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Well, it's been a while. I had a few family things happen that caused things to have to be on hold for a minute.

 

I decided the other day I needed to try to make *some* progress, so I made a list of things that needed to be done and picked something small and easy to try and complete. I only had a little left to do to figure out how to finish the installation of the digital dash, so I decided to do that.

 

The issue I was running into is that the position of the function buttons for the digital dash aren't in the correct location for the TC due to the way the bezel is made. So, I had to modify the plastic of the bezel, modify the wood grain, and extend the wires for the buttons. I wanted to be able to easily service the buttons, etc., so I needed to make it so the could unplug. I decided to use heavy duty R/C servo extension harnesses. There's 7 wires, but those harnesses only have 3 wires each, so I still have to do a single connection for the ground, but that's not a big deal.

 

So, I'm hoping that I can get the wires extended and possibly the buttons mounted to the bezel this week. I have to clean the garage to get the car in it so I can work on it, but the intent is to start working on the interior once it's inside. I'll be ready to do all of the interior work at that point, so I will be installing the pedals, shifter, cables, and center console when putting it back together. I'm also planning on a new stereo and re-doing the sound deadening. I've got to research that.

 

Other than that, she's been hibernating because the weather is utter crap out here right now!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I actually have accomplished a few things on the car. I did finish extending the wires for the digital dash buttons. I also cleaned up the garage some so I could get it in there. Last night I put it up on some dollies so now I can move it around a little easier. Still not as easy as I thought it would be, but I can at least move it. So, now I am going to start actually taking it apart! Let the madness begin!

 

Oh, I made my own hard-top cart, too! I was originally going to copy the OEM one I have, but aluminum is frigging expensive! So, I used PVC! It works well enough.

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Looks like a decent cart. Need to figure something out myself as I have no idea what to do with mine come summer, but I know it's coming off! At least I don't have to worry about scratching the paint since it's already ruined (pushing ice off the other day turned it from faded to scratches everywhere) I just hope my soft top is in good shape. Guy I bought it from said it looks like it's never been used but I'm not gonna mess with it to find out until it's warmer. Do the cloth tops dry out if not used or do they stay nice due to being tucked away?

 

Loving your progress updates so far! Can't wait until I can afford to do more with mine!

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I have a 90 TC and had a similar thing said about mine. When I first put the top up I latched it down but it wouldn't close all the way... the top had shrunk. I finally had to weigh it down with my Mopar parts book and a steel plate that I had laying around. It took a good week in my heated garage to stretch it out enough to hook up and latch it above the windshield. The exterior of the top was fine but then I  noticed a black granular substance sifting out of the padding over the bows that I think was originally a black foam inside of the padding that has started to  disintegrate over the years. I continue to use the car but every time I put the top up I need to use the vacuum and clean up residue. Long story short it will depend on how the top was stored whether it was put away wet or allowed to  properly dry. Our cars are 20 odd years old and many things can happen from years in use and storage.

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Hey Reaper sorry for not taking the time to compliment you on your project. It looks like your cart turned out very well....  I 'm sure it works as well as the one I spent many bucks for on Ebay! Keep up the good work and the great articles!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks!

 

I think you hit the nail on the head about the soft tops and how they hold up. It depends on how well they were taken care of. If it's been down for a long time, don't expect it to "fit" when it's first pulled out. It will take time for the material to relax.

 

Over the holiday break I was trying to get most of the interior work completed. Do to a broken rib I'm kind of on hold at the moment, however. :(

 

I was able to get the interior stripped out, and it's ready to actually put back together now. I have all of the parts/materials. I decided that due to my experience with the 2 parts cars I had that I wanted to redo the factory sound deadening. While the carpet doesn't let much moisture through (I was totally surprised by that...even using a pressure washer!), it is a convertible and moisture WILL find its way under the carpet. Unfortunately the stock sound mats absorb this moisture and the multi-density fabric on the back breaks down, gets moldy, etc. plus the factory tar-based dampening on the floors also absorbs moisture and can allow it underneath causing rust where you can't see it!

 

The good news is I can happily report that the dry ice trick to getting the dampening mats off of the floor works! In order for it to work you have to crush the dry ice to be more of a powder and using rubbing alcohol helps transmit the cold. I was able to get all of the factory stuff off without any damage to the car!

 

It's a good thing I did this as I did find some corrosion (not enough for even pitting to start, so not bad). I plan to treat the affected areas, seam seal it, then install Dynamat. I also sourced new padding for under the carpet. My plan is to get as much of the old stuff off of the matting as possible and use the heavy rubber top side over the new padding.

 

I am prepping the pedals, center console bracket, etc. for the 5-speed swap and the HVAC box has been ready to install for a while.

 

Pictures to come!

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Alrighty, I am finally getting around to putting up more pictures. I got quite a bit done over the holiday break, but I unfortunately broke a rib, so I got stalled a bit. The good news is I have everything I need to put it back together! Lol 

 

I knew from the other 2 TC's that I have been through that the factory sound deadening likes to hold moisture. Because I needed to basically strip the interior to do the work I needed to, I decided to take care of any potential issues before they got bad. Good thing I did! There's no damage, just surface rust. I am treating it now and will prime it and put new seam sealer over it, then new Dynamat. I also got replacement padding for under the carpet. 

 

BTW, if you have ever wondered if Evap-o-Rust works, I can assure you that it does, and my pedal assembly is some proof! I love this stuff!

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hey Reaper.... I came across with an open wire problem with my cigar lighter. I don't smoke but would like to use my GPS. It appears the circuit has an open under the carpeting on the passenger side. My question is b4 I start to tear things apart... does the rear console need to come out to gain access under the carpet? Both my seats are currently out of the car. Any words of wisdom on getting the carpeting out?  Is the wire bundle under the sound deadenor or is it between the carpeting and the sound deadenor?  I saw a prior post with an owner that had a problem with corrosion c/t the connector under the carpet/seat.. I believe that is my problem but I can't locate that darn post! I Hope you can give me some insight. Thanks!

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You don't have to take the console out. With both seats out, you are most of the way there. The carpet splits behind the center stack and velcro's together. You will need to take the door sills and the kick panels out to be able to pull the carpet back.

 

The wires are under the heavy sound deadening, but it just lifts up.

 

I hope that helps some.

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Quick update on the project:

 

I completed replacing the stock deadening on the floor and firewall. I got the driver's door completed and I re-wrapped almost the entire door wiring and a good portion of the driver's side of the body harness. I also got the thermal/sound barrier mostly done for the firewall, too.

 

I got a hold of Rick last week about the 16V head. I'm hoping to get it shipped off to him by the end of the week.

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  • 3 months later...

Wow...it's been a while since I updated this!

 

So, head got sent to Rick and is back. To install it I'm using a Cometic head gasket. I wasn't satisfied with the deck of the block, so I used a piece of glass, a suction cup, and 400 grit sandpaper (with plenty of precaution to prevent contamination of sensitive areas).

 

I have been working on getting the engine back together...slowly but surely. When I took it all apart, I had everything on one bookshelf, but I had to do some cleaning and reorganization and now I am having to search my bins for the parts I need! LOL I'm TOO organized!

 

Every nut, bolt, bracket, screw...EVERYTHING is getting cleaned, de-oxidized, and protected with some sort of coating to keep it all looking good. 

 

I have progressed a tad on the convertible top and the headliner. I was able to re-attach the headliner metal bows by drilling holes in the plastic ribs and the bows and using zip ties to hold them together.

 

I finally got the brake pedal I needed, so now I can put the pedal box back together and pull the Teves out!

 

Anyway, that's where she's at for the moment.

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  • 1 month later...

Alright! Update time!

 

So, I decided that the intake manifold in its stock configuration wasn't up to mustard. Now, whether this was a good idea or not...well, that remains to be seen. I knew I was going to open up the throttle body bore, but I have heard several times that casting flash and core shift are issues with these. Being as I concentrate on stupid details, I figured that I needed to preemptively do something. 

 

So, I took my very nice looking, already painted intake....and cut it up! LOL

 

Some interesting things I found: this intake wasn't too horrible as far as casting flash and core shift. It did have a few "blobs" left in it, but no that bad. The plenum volume is roughly 1L (probably more like 1.1L...or half the engine displacement, which is about right). The inlet cross section is about 80% of the intake port cross section. The runners are all very close to being the same length. There's not a lot of meat.

 

I also want to make the inlets to the intake ports "better", but that requires adding material...in others words: welding.

 

Welp...if anyone is considering welding on one of these intakes...HOLY CRAP IT SUCKS!! The aluminum is so contaminated. It's going to take me longer to do this than I anticipated. Good thing I'm going to powder coat it, because the welds are going to look like dog sh*t....

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Quick update: found out the gas regulator for my argon bottle is mucked up. Might be part of the reason my welding is so tough. According to my research and people that do it for a living, I was doing most things correctly. I needed to change a few things about my prep. So, I am going to get a new regulator (a dual one so I can do backpurging), then try this all over again.

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  • 5 months later...

OK, so I thought I'd updated this. Guess not.

 

I haven't messed with the welding quite yet. A buddy was in need of the 8V engine, so over the weekend we yanked it out. I'm SUPER committed now! LOL

 

I also got the pedals hung a couple of weeks ago and I was going to put the hood pad on, but that got sidetracked. I cleaned the bottom of the hood prepping for adhesive. I then decided to use my shop vac with a brush to get any loose dirt off the back of the hood pad...it ended up sucking up the disintegrating pad material. :( I was able to get it all off of the felt without damaging it, but I'm not sure how to put molded felt onto a soft pad material.

 

Anyway, it's coming along slowly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got the Teves booster out, and the rest of the engine bay wiring. I finished cleaning the bay this weekend...now to make it look nice!

 

That brake booster did NOT want to come out of the car! I used my *good* line wrenches and a few tricks...nope. I STILL had to bust out the vice grips and ended up totally screwing the fittings. Yay...so I get to put new flares on...ugghh...

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On 2/11/2019 at 12:39 PM, Reaper1 said:

I finally got the Teves booster out, and the rest of the engine bay wiring. I finished cleaning the bay this weekend...now to make it look nice!

 

That brake booster did NOT want to come out of the car! I used my *good* line wrenches and a few tricks...nope. I STILL had to bust out the vice grips and ended up totally screwing the fittings. Yay...so I get to put new flares on...ugghh...

Don't put it back in, SCRAP IT, and install conventional Vacuum Booster and Master Cylinder for a 4 wheel disc brake 1989 LeBaron.

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Edited by Hemi Dude
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Hemi, I have absolutely NO intentions of putting the Teves back in the car! I even went so far as to completely remove ALL of the wiring from the new engine bar harness. I already have a booster that I've detailed up nicely and a new 24mm master cylinder waiting to be bench bled and painted. I am going to be installing the whole 11" brake package. Only part I'm currently missing (and waiting on delivery) is the proportioning valve.

 

I am going to re-do the engine bay so it looks nicer. I have a "surprise" I have planned... ;)

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1 hour ago, Reaper1 said:

Hemi, I have absolutely NO intentions of putting the Teves back in the car! I even went so far as to completely remove ALL of the wiring from the new engine bar harness. I already have a booster that I've detailed up nicely and a new 24mm master cylinder waiting to be bench bled and painted. I am going to be installing the whole 11" brake package. Only part I'm currently missing (and waiting on delivery) is the proportioning valve.

 

I am going to re-do the engine bay so it looks nicer. I have a "surprise" I have planned... ;)

This quote is what threw me, "I get to put new flares on...ugghh..."   I realize you need to re-flare one line at least. Now regarding your new 24mm Master cylinder, it is for all disc brakes, RIGHT?  Just making sure here.

Hmm, I have 2 NEW proportioning valves lying around. Just saying.

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I messed up all 3 of the fittings that would normally be on the Teves. I just couldn't get those suckers to budge! So, I have to cut off the ends, slide new fittings on, and re-flare.

 

Yes, the 24mm master cylinder is for 4-wheel disc cars. The smaller 21mm is the one that doesn't work with the 11" brakes (found out the hard way many many years ago!).

 

I may need to get Rick in touch with you.

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday Xmas came early! A HUGE thanks to Turbos Unleashed! They beat ATP's pricing on a brand new Garrett G25-550 turbo for my TC! This is a *BRAND NEW* design...DBB, billet compressor wheel, new turbine aero and M-mar material, .72AR integrated wastegate V-band stainless steel exhaust housing. It's what I would have designed for myself. It's a small frame turbo, physically not much bigger than the stock IHI and it doesn't even weigh that much. 

 

My plan is to open up the stock exhaust manifold outlet to the required size for the new turbo (about 2.2") and either have an adapter made or weld a V-band directly to the flange. I will keep things updated as it progresses.

 

In other news I did finish the rough sanding of the engine bay. Now I have to do the body work...

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, the exhaust manifold is now with the machinist. I have both V-band flanges.

 

I installed the ARP studs and buttoned up the head this weekend.

 

I also sanded the engine bay more. Not a fan of body work.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm still waiting on my machinist to get to my exhaust manifold. :( He had a family health issue come up, so I get it, but....yeah...tick tock...

 

Anyway, I *finally* got the engine bay in primer this weekend. I used Eastwood 2K epoxy self-etching primer in cans. It's not joke. It's 2 parts in the can that you have to activate with a 48 hour pot life and you *must* wear a respirator. 2 cans was enough to do the entire engine bay. Now to do body work!

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I got the core support body work done and 95% of the passenger's side fender body work done as well. I thought I was going to be able to bust out the entire engine bay this past weekend, but between my shoulder blade feeling like a flaming knife being twisted in it and the work taking longer than I anticipated (story of my life), that's as far as I got. Still happy with progress, though.

 

My machinist was *supposed* to have gotten a hold of me, but alas...nada. I'm getting kinda antsy...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, it only took 2 months, but I got my exhaust manifold back today! I have to get the V-band flange welded to it (it's sitting in a counter bore), do some blending inside, and I'm going to get it coated with a thermal barrier coating. At least I can mock up the turbo and build the oil/water feed/drain lines, now!

 

 

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So...FANTASTIC news! I mocked up the turbo to the manifold on the engine this weekend. I couldn't find a starter laying around (I must have "organized" too well!), but I had an air compressor that is about the same size. It looks like everything clears without issue. The good thing about the V-band and new tech turbo's is I can slightly tilt it (up to 15* IIRC) and get clearance that way if I need to.

 

So, this seems to be the easiest route thus far to adapt a larger aftermarket turbo to a 16V Masi engine.

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Primered the engine bay this weekend! I declare engine bay body work *COMPLETE*!

 

I made the critical, fork-in-the-road decision last week to NOT install the engine now. There's a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is: every car guy knows that if you put the engine in, the body work NEVER gets done. So, to ensure I actually complete this, I am forcing the body work! LOL Luckily the car is very straight and no rust, so, hopefully the prepping will go fairly easily.

 

 

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Engines go in to avoid letting the car sit in body shop purgatory! Shouldn't be a problem if you are doing your own bodywork. The other adage is that body guys have great running cars that look bad and mechanics have great looking cars that constantly need repairs. When you do one for a living most people let it slide and pay to have the other stuff done. 

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So I pulled the rest of the front of the car apart yesterday. More accurately the bumper, filler, headlights, grill, and wheel well trim. I took a "rubbing" of the pin stripe so I can have it re-created when the new paint is done. I will start sanding on it this week...

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I cleaned up the core support, took off the lower brace and sprayed it with anti-corrosion compound, then reinstalled it.

 

I then decided it was time to sand the hood....HOLY CRAP! Now, I only really had 120 grit (I did use some 80 that *kinda* worked on my orbital, but it's hook&loop and the paper was PSA, so...yeah). After a LONG time, I finally got down to the original primer...*6* coats of paint were on this thing! After that I decided it was time to introduce the hood to the wonderful world of chemicals and started using Aircraft Stripper. That STILL took 3 coats to get it all off! I know the whole car isn't like that, and I knew the hood had been sprayed, but I didn't expect to find what I did. The good news is that thus far it's straight!

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