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I have always wanted a TC ever since I learned of their existence while doing research when I first got my '88 LeBaron turbo convertible. I have had my LeBaron for over 10 years now & my friend backed into it in his driveway & put a huge dent in the side a couple weeks ago. Still driveable, but was a "total loss", got a check for $2,600 from his insurance co. & got to keep the car. I was initially looking for another LeBaron but the pickings were slim. As luck would have it, I came across a TC for $1,500 & knew it had to be mine! Drove 2 hours away to pick it up & it ran & shifted beautifully the whole 2 hours back home! It is a 1989 Cabernet/Ginger TC with the 8v TII engine. Paint is faded & interior needs some love but for what I paid & what I see them selling for, it was worth it (not that I plan on ever selling this gem) I am excited to be joining the Chryslerati family!

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Does anybody know if the reverse light assemblies are interchangeable between the TC & the LeBaron? I don't think I can just swap lenses because there are visible screws on tge LeBaron but not on the TC. I just think the LeBaron's reverse light lense with the red reflector strip on top looks a bit classier than the all clear TC lense. 

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Welcome 89Chryslerati, glad to see you here. Amazing, isn't it? They look so similar from the rear.  I hope you will keep the TC out of the snow and salted streets. Rust really likes to eat at foreigners. Maybe MOVINSLO can spend the winter in the garage with you sprucing her up for spring and summer. A good friend with 3 TCs lives in Alexandria, maybe you are close. In any event, have a Merry Christmas. Be seeing you.

 

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Welcome! I also have a Cabernet/Ginger. I’m sure you’ll do some reading and come across some great info on preserving a tc on here. The best initial investment I think you can make is getting some leatherique and treating the seats before you start driving it. That old leathers probably very dirty and stiff. It works excellent and you’ll be glad you starting using it right away. Another thing I’d suggest is flushing the brakes and get some new dot3 in there. Mine had similar paint fade. This color didnt hold up well. In my opinion the Tc’s a car worth investing into especially for the price you paid. Good luck and can’t wait to see the progress!

 

Andrew

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Thanks for the warm welcome, guys! It's nice at least 2 people out of 100+ views have the decency to welcome me! I am already benefitting from this forum though. I read the topic on re-painting the "Chrysler's TC By Maserati" on the rear reflector and, apart from one small spot that I have to re-do, it turned out excellent! I will add some pics of that once it gets lighter out, forgot to take them yesterday.

 

Hemi: Unfortunately this is my daily driver until I find a new job & can afford tires for my '84 K5 Blazer but I will try to keep the salt rinsed off after snow drives, we usually don't get that much snow around here. I am in Charles City, Va, just outside of Richmond. 'MOVNSLO' was transferred from my now turbo-less LeBaron (noticed turbo was locked up when I was putting the engine back together) lol her name is "The BluBaron" & the TC is "Ron Burgandy"

 

Kane: Thanks for the advice. I will try that once I have some $ to spare. The driver's seat is probably not savable & the console lid is completely shot but I am holding out hope for the passenger seat & I would like to keep my door panels & dash in nice shape. Sadly, a previous owner burned a cigarette hole in the top of the dash!

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Congrats on your new toy! If you're ever down the Norfolk way, look me up. I have three TC's now, and am always willing  to help a fellow TC'er. I have much experience in preserving the interiors and dyeing with leatherique. you may be surprised at what can be done with bad looking seats. 

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Thanks, Mensanguy! I'll definitely look into leatherique once I find a new job. I did notice the section of my dash with the cigarette burn appears to possibly be removable from the rest of the dash so hopefully I can just replace or re-cover that small piece instead of the entire dash.

 

Forgot to post these pictures the other day of my reflector paint. Just need to touch up the 'e' & 'r' where it messed up but it looks amazing! You can compare it to my earlier pictures in this post where most of the paint is gone.

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The TC broke down on Tuesday on my way to the dentist. A bit ironic when I found out the reason.. the timing belt was missing a few teeth! Finally tracked down the correct belt, as well as the 3 drive belts, as they were all dry & cracked. I read the timing belt should have been changed at about 60k miles & the car "allegedly" has about 78k miles on it (not sure where the guy got that figure as the odometer quit working at just over 7k miles!) Need to figure out how to fix that so I can keep track of maintenance intervals. Not concerned about it showing accurate mileage as this seems to be an extremely common problem & nobody will probably ever trust the mileage on our TC odometers as actual mileage because of this issue. If anyone can find me a link to where I can get parts to fix the odometer that would be great though, thanks!

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Same thing as the TC owners--getting  old, stiff, and the grease dries out causing them to jam-up.

 

Or, it could be a sending unit

 

I have been down this road several times, and the best thing I ever did was take them to a repair facility and get the gears replaced, and the speedo cleaned and lubed. If you are really good with precision instruments you can do it yourself, but the shops have the skills and knowledge to do it right.

-works like a charm now. 

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Hey speak for yourself, I'm only 28! :) Always loved the TC though. Hope to get at least 1 more some day.. always liked the pale yellow color. Reminds me of my pale yellow '74 Jaguar XJ12L with a 350sbc swap. I miss that car! Guess I will save up & get it done, it's got to come out eventually anyways for the odometer repair. My dad is a mechanic but he doesn't mess with instrument clusters.

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I have used a very small pair of needle nose pliers, and a lot of finesse'.  However, if all else fails, disconnect the battery, and squeeze hard until the bulb breaks. it's already burned out-right? Then all you have to do is grab the filament and yank out.

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I will try that. I destroyed the 1 working bulb with pliers when I first got it because I was initially unable to find that tiny sweet spot between gauges & headlights lit only & gauges, headlights, & interior lights lit up. That combined with not having re-glued my mirror button yet & the mirror swinging & flashing light around while I drove needed to stop & it is my only drivable vehicle at the moment. Live & learn lol same mirror as my LeBaron so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to find a replacement if I screwed it up worst case.

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Also having intermittent rough idle issues if anybody knows what to check. The P.O. installed new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, & air filter runs great on the road but rough at idle (seems worse when cold) I am hoping/praying the hard/fast trans shifting is due to the abnormally cold weather as it shifted beautifully beforehand but the rough idle has been there from day 1. My gas mileage seems to be a decent amount worse than my '88 T1 LeBaron (with no turbo currently) if that helps. I drove it forever between fill-ups. But My bro drove 2 hrs each way to pick up the TC & only burned 2/3 tank in his 350 V8 Chevy Tahoe while the TC burned 2/3 tank just 1 way I know the tanks are smaller but the mpg it still seems ridiculous to me. Thanks for any input.

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On 1/6/2018 at 8:28 PM, 89Chryslerati said:

Also having intermittent rough idle issues if anybody knows what to check. The P.O. installed new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, & air filter runs great on the road but rough at idle (seems worse when cold) I am hoping/praying the hard/fast trans shifting is due to the abnormally cold weather as it shifted beautifully beforehand but the rough idle has been there from day 1. My gas mileage seems to be a decent amount worse than my '88 T1 LeBaron (with no turbo currently) if that helps. I drove it forever between fill-ups. But My bro drove 2 hrs each way to pick up the TC & only burned 2/3 tank in his 350 V8 Chevy Tahoe while the TC burned 2/3 tank just 1 way I know the tanks are smaller but the mpg it still seems ridiculous to me. Thanks for any input.

You have read about 2 of the 1,000,000 possibilities above.

A more plausible problem or condition is one I recently experienced and finally repaired with my 1989 TC. This was a situation that had become increasingly annoying in the last year or more. Yes, the last year!

It was, on occasion, a pronounce stumble when accelerating normally from a stop, though it was also felt at cruising speeds as a momentary 'cutting out' of the engine when the throttle was moved slightly open or closed.  Some people would immediately jump at the conclusion that it is the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) however I did not. A TPS operates similarly to a house lamp dimmer switch. It is actually a rheostat with a coil winding. When a switch like this begins to fail, you have a particular spot in the winding that looses contact. Therefore it will repeat the failure every time that point comes in play. The symptoms on my TC were not that predictable. The MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) sensor turned out to be the culprit. I had an old used spare lying around and when I installed it, the problem was resolved. You may ask, just what does the MAP sensor do? It is a major controller of the amount of fuel that the injectors produce for each combustion cycle. When it malfunctions, the fuel mixture will either lean out so much that the engine will feel as though it is misfiring on a cylinder or even several or the opposite could occur, the engine runs too rich which of course would show up in fuel mileage and also that black smoke from the exhaust. In the case of my car, both lean and rich symptoms were present. The photos below show the MAP sensor with part number of that which is used on the 2.2L 8 valve engine. The MAP sensor is on a bracket shared with the BARO sensor and connected by a vacuum hose. It senses both the engine vacuum and the turbo boost pressure and is therefore also the boost pressure control.

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Edited by Hemi Dude (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, 89Chryslerati said:

Wow that's quite the pricey MAP sensor! Is it the same as the one on my '88 LeBaron 2.2 T1? Might have to swap them for now but not sure if T1 & T2 use the same sensor or not. 

 

5227152 is the part # for the original MAP sensor on the 89 TC with the 8 valve engine.  Take a look at your MAP sensor, of the numbers match then indeed they are the same.

I do not have a parts catalog for the '88 year model cars. MAP sensors of this type appear to last a long time as this is the one that came on the car when new. Also take notice of the lower picture showing the 3 terminals and the way that the 2 terminals have 'restrictors' molded in the plastic connector. A different MAP sensor is restricted in other ways, preventing your 3 way wire connector from attaching.

You mentioned 'PRICY', I paid $59.99 including shipping for a new one from RockAuto. Do you think that is pricy for such a precision made part? Think of what it has to do, control perfectly the fuel mixture at all times under all conditions, likely for 25-30 years.

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16 hours ago, Garnet & Gold said:

 From 89Chryslerati "I have always felt like the temperature gauge reads too low. It moves, but barely."  and this from Garnet & Gold "sounds like a broken or stuck thermostat."

 

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You will notice in this picture, the temperature gauge needle resting on the center white line of the 3 smaller white lines. At this point, the cooling fan will come on in the engine compartment.

That temperature which engages the fan to run is 210 Degrees F. If you would like to verify the accuracy of your temperature gauge, then drive the car until it has warmed up, stop and allow the engine to continue to idle, as you see in the picture, at about 750 RPM on my Chrysler LASER. Listen for the cooling fan to come on as the engine is idling and when you hear it come on, TAKE NOTICE OF THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE. The temperature would be at 210 Degrees.

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Now you may wonder, "Where should the needle be at normal operating temperature?" In the case of my cars, the TC or the Laser, they both have 195 degree thermostats. Their normal range is at the 1st (FIRST) smaller white line when the ambient temperature is normal. In the summertime here in Arizona, the needle normally is between the first and second line. If I am driving at freeway speed, such as 75 MPH with the A/C on, the gauge will climb to the 3rd small white line. You may consider that HOT!

Edited by Hemi Dude (see edit history)
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Hemi: my needle is always below the 1st smaller line, even the 2 hour drive from purchase in Lorton, Va to my place in Charles City did not cause it to even touch that line.

 

Reaper: good to know. I didn't even think to just look them both up & check the part #s but they are the same. Despite my coolant temp issue I will swap it out too & see if it makes a difference because my fuel mileage does seem quite low compared to my LeBaron. I do wish these had the 'Baron's digital info center!! Mpg, distance til empty, etc. really was nice, was it ever even an option in the TC?

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4 hours ago, Hemi Dude said:

"You mentioned 'PRICY', I paid $59.99 including shipping for a new one from RockAuto. Do you think that is pricy for such a precision made part? Think of what it has to do, control perfectly the fuel mixture at all times under all conditions, likely for 25-30 years."

I understand that but, according to my 61 year old father who has been an auto mechanic since his teens, that is a high price for a MAP sensor. I don't really know personally as I unfortunately never picked up the trade but he has been fixing cars since long before I was even born & still does to this day.

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5 hours ago, 89Chryslerati said:

I understand that but, according to my 61 year old father who has been an auto mechanic since his teens, that is a high price for a MAP sensor. I don't really know personally as I unfortunately never picked up the trade but he has been fixing cars since long before I was even born & still does to this day.

In reply to your last, I too have been a Chrysler mechanic since 1959, I'm 78, and certainly things have been cheaper even since the mid 80s when a similar MAP sensor was available.

However, consider the price of a car in 1987 compared to 2017, that's 30 years. That is why a MAP sensor is also comparably more pricy.

It doesn't make it better, but the US Dollar is worth so much less today than 30 years ago! Therefore it takes more of them to buy ANYTHING.

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89Chryslerati, you wrote "Hemi: my needle is always below the 1st smaller line, even the 2 hour drive from purchase in Lorton, Va to my place in Charles City did not cause it to even touch that line."

 

Well then, take my TEST!  Follow the instructions I wrote about testing your instrument temperature gauge. 

After you have done so, report back your findings.

There is a good possibility that your engine doesn't even have a thermostat in it, or as others have written, your thermostat has failed in some way. Check that out before you even try the TEST.

Be sure to install a STANT brand thermostat and a 195 degree one. Your engine requires the heat to operate efficiently.

Also, If I can run a 195 degree thermostat in Arizona summer heat where it often goes up to 120 degrees, you should not have to worry about your car.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally replaced the thermostat today, as well as swapping the LeBaron's map sensor just to be safe. Changed the horrible dark black oil too. It runs so much better now that the computer doesn't flood the engine thinking it's too cold! The rough idle was probably why the previous owner replaced the plugs, wires, cap, & rotor, but $5 thermostat & $10 antifreeze & she runs like a top! Next to tackle are the low-ish oil pressure & the extremely short shift from 2nd to 3rd.

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1 hour ago, 89Chryslerati said:

Finally replaced the thermostat today,  Next to tackle are the low-ish oil pressure & the extremely short shift from 2nd to 3rd.

Try a 'real' mechanical oil pressure gauge on it first.  Normal oil pressure only needs to be 4# at idle when warm, 25-80# at 3,000 RPM  So don't even worry about it. If you have 50# at normal driving speed, be happy.

Try adjusting the transmission throttle pressure CABLE that runs from the throttle-body to the transmission. The adjustment is at the transmission end of the cable.

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Will do. Any guesses on the short shift? Mine seems to go from 2nd - 3rd in 1-2 seconds after shifting to 2nd. The drive still feels fine but it seems way shorter compared to my T1 '88 LeBaron. Overall I am beyond pleased with my $1500 TC. Book value was ~3k in "fair" condition, so I can't complain. Despite the slew of minor issues with the old 'Baron, the engine itsself is excellent, if worst comes to worst.

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BTW, with my new T-stat, the guage seems to max out around the middle line & drops to as low as the 1st thicker line once started. The gas mileage will surely be better now that the computer knows the right engine temp. Kinda doubting the map made a difference but at least I have the other one on the  'Baron in case it's still good. Even the turbo seems to have more kick!

Edited by 89Chryslerati
Miss wording (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, 89Chryslerati said:

Will do. Any guesses on the short shift? Mine seems to go from 2nd - 3rd in 1-2 seconds after shifting to 2nd. 

That was what the second line in my answer was all about.

Try adjusting the transmission throttle pressure CABLE that runs from the throttle-body to the transmission. The adjustment is at the transmission end of the cable.

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