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Hello,

 

I'm a college student pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. I'm looking for an interesting and fun first car to purchase that will be cheap yet somewhat reliable to start learning how to work on cars and such. My former boss has two TCs and is willing to sell a '90 3.0 V6 to me for $1k. He doesn't drive it much and it only has 68k miles on it. I test drove it a few months ago and it ran great. If I remember correctly, the only thing that didn't work were the windshield wipers. 

My main question is how hard is it to find parts for these cars? I know some parts are shared with the 87-88 daytona and maybe some k cars, but I'm not sure to what extent that is true. Especially regarding important parts like brake components. Also, did the brake lines rot in these cars or were they coated with something or stainless? How hard is it to work on them in general? What kind of common problems may I face?

 

I really appreciate any input from you experts here!

 

Thank you,

James

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Hi James, I am one of the technical advisors for TC America, the exclusive club for these cars. I have also been a Chrysler product mechanic since 1959, so I do know a little about these and all the other 'K' car platform cars and all the rest between the 1950s and up through the '90s.

The TC was based on the Dodge Daytona 'G' body, however they are all just about the same. You are right about mechanical parts on the TC being closest to the 87-88 Daytona. That is mainly because they share the exact same rear disc brake system. Also the 2.2L engine in the 89 TC is the same as the Daytona 2.2 Turbo engine. Therefore parts such as these are rather easy to get, well, considering they are 30 years old.

As for the body sheetmetal and such, that is exclusively TC specific. There are several sources for those parts as you will see coming your way, should you need anything like that.

The instrumentation and electrical is pretty much Chrysler as well, except the 1/4 window motors and mechanism.

The Tevis ABS brake system is unequal to the TC in the Chrysler line, though also used on several GM models back then as well as some foreign cars.

If you follow the links you will see below this, you can read more about the history of the TC as well as a couple of projects I have been involved in with a couple of my personal TC automobiles.

The red one is the only TC I own these days.

Good luck with your TC and $1K is definitely a GREAT deal!

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46 minutes ago, Hemi Dude said:

Hi James, I am one of the technical advisors for TC America, the exclusive club for these cars. I have also been a Chrysler product mechanic since 1959, so I do know a little about these and all the other 'K' car platform cars and all the rest between the 1950s and up through the '90s.

The TC was based on the Dodge Daytona 'G' body, however they are all just about the same. You are right about mechanical parts on the TC being closest to the 87-88 Daytona. That is mainly because they share the exact same rear disc brake system. Also the 2.2L engine in the 89 TC is the same as the Daytona 2.2 Turbo engine. Therefore parts such as these are rather easy to get, well, considering they are 30 years old.

As for the body sheetmetal and such, that is exclusively TC specific. There are several sources for those parts as you will see coming your way, should you need anything like that.

The instrumentation and electrical is pretty much Chrysler as well, except the 1/4 window motors and mechanism.

The Tevis ABS brake system is unequal to the TC in the Chrysler line, though also used on several GM models back then as well as some foreign cars.

If you follow the links you will see below this, you can read more about the history of the TC as well as a couple of projects I have been involved in with a couple of my personal TC automobiles.

The red one is the only TC I own these days.

Good luck with your TC and $1K is definitely a GREAT deal!

Hi Hemi,

 

Thank you for the response. I've been reading a lot of your posts for the past few days, so I was hoping you'd respond! I have read much of the Allpar info on the TC already. My dad is a Mopar guy since way back and has an 86 Omni GLH and his dad had a 94 GTC Lebaron we just sold (just a year too late for me), so he's pretty well versed with these cars. He had an interesting question I'd like to forward over to you. He said in 91 or 92 Chrysler redesigned the suspension on the K car and it had much better handling. Is it possible to retrofit 92 parts onto the 91 TC suspension? How different is it? Also, is the Tevis ABS system the same one that Chrysler had to lifetime warranty because it had so many problems, or is that a different one?

 

Thank you, I really appreciate the help!

James

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18 hours ago, James440 said:

Hi Hemi,

 

Thank you for the response. I've been reading a lot of your posts for the past few days, so I was hoping you'd respond! I have read much of the Allpar info on the TC already. My dad is a Mopar guy since way back and has an 86 Omni GLH and his dad had a 94 GTC Lebaron we just sold (just a year too late for me), so he's pretty well versed with these cars. He had an interesting question I'd like to forward over to you. He said in 91 or 92 Chrysler redesigned the suspension on the K car and it had much better handling. Is it possible to retrofit 92 parts onto the 91 TC suspension? How different is it? Also, is the Tevis ABS system the same one that Chrysler had to lifetime warranty because it had so many problems, or is that a different one?

 

Thank you, I really appreciate the help!

James

As Marty has already stated, the later ABS system was totally different, having been designed by Bosch rather than Tevis. If you have read my articles, they explain precisely how you can eliminate the Tevis ABS system on a TC. If you have not read it, merely click on the link as I suggester previously.

As for the suspension, there were 3 versions of the 'K' car suspension, the last version having actual CAST lower control arms rather than stamped steel arms. Since you have, or could have, a '90 you may have the cast arms already in that car. Better handling is dependent on the size of the sway bar, the spring rate and the steering rack ratio. A 3.0L TC is basically a highway cruiser in stock form, not a performance car. With the 41TE transaxle, it is not something you could play around with in any sort of 'race' competition. There you would need to change it over to a 5 speed manual transaxle as I did with my 89 TC. There are a few things you could do to slightly improve the performance of the 3.0L, but not like you can with the 4 cylinder turbocharged cars.

I see that your dad and grandfather had performance oriented MOPARS, a TC is not unless it is the DOHC 2.2L with the Getrag transaxle or a modified 2.2L Turbo powered car.

By clicking on my red TC you can send me a private mail (PM) if you care to.

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10 hours ago, Hemi Dude said:

As Marty has already stated, the later ABS system was totally different, having been designed by Bosch rather than Tevis. If you have read my articles, they explain precisely how you can eliminate the Tevis ABS system on a TC. If you have not read it, merely click on the link as I suggester previously.

As for the suspension, there were 3 versions of the 'K' car suspension, the last version having actual CAST lower control arms rather than stamped steel arms. Since you have, or could have, a '90 you may have the cast arms already in that car. Better handling is dependent on the size of the sway bar, the spring rate and the steering rack ratio. A 3.0L TC is basically a highway cruiser in stock form, not a performance car. With the 41TE transaxle, it is not something you could play around with in any sort of 'race' competition. There you would need to change it over to a 5 speed manual transaxle as I did with my 89 TC. There are a few things you could do to slightly improve the performance of the 3.0L, but not like you can with the 4 cylinder turbocharged cars.

I see that your dad and grandfather had performance oriented MOPARS, a TC is not unless it is the DOHC 2.2L with the Getrag transaxle or a modified 2.2L Turbo powered car.

By clicking on my red TC you can send me a private mail (PM) if you care to.

Thank you Hemi, I will PM you! 

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No TC's should have the cast control arms from the factory. Those were introduced in 1991 and as we know, the '91 TC's are actually left over '90's. Furthermore, I do NOT recommend swapping out to the cast control arms. It has been found that the machining tolerances for the location of the ball joint isn't very good and the basic design also moves the wheel forward about 3/4" to help increase caster. In other words...stick with the stamped, double-pivot arms. You can get polyurethane bushings from polybushings.com.

 

I *DO* suggest upgrading to the later '91-up front uprights if you can. These will improve handling and ride while giving you an easier to service wheel bearing. They move the ball joint down about 5/8" to improve the roll center. I don't know if you can adapt the Teves ABS sensors to these.

 

The 3.0 is a great engine. Earlier ones are known for dropping valve guides and smoking, but this was fixed in later engine and really has no effect on performance...just really annoying. The engine itself can handle boost or nitrous if you want to make a lot of power. As has been stated, the A604(41TE) transmission isn't the greatest for performance applications. Internally it's a strong unit (just do NOT put any power to OD), but the electronics let it down and there's no good "fix". You can find the A670 3-speed that you can build up, but you loose OD, or you can 5-speed swap it to an  A543 if you can find one.

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12 hours ago, Reaper1 said:

No TC's should have the cast control arms from the factory. Those were introduced in 1991 and as we know, the '91 TC's are actually left over '90's. Furthermore, I do NOT recommend swapping out to the cast control arms. It has been found that the machining tolerances for the location of the ball joint isn't very good and the basic design also moves the wheel forward about 3/4" to help increase caster. In other words...stick with the stamped, double-pivot arms. You can get polyurethane bushings from polybushings.com.

 

I *DO* suggest upgrading to the later '91-up front uprights if you can. These will improve handling and ride while giving you an easier to service wheel bearing. They move the ball joint down about 5/8" to improve the roll center. I don't know if you can adapt the Teves ABS sensors to these.

 

The 3.0 is a great engine. Earlier ones are known for dropping valve guides and smoking, but this was fixed in later engine and really has no effect on performance...just really annoying. The engine itself can handle boost or nitrous if you want to make a lot of power. As has been stated, the A604(41TE) transmission isn't the greatest for performance applications. Internally it's a strong unit (just do NOT put any power to OD), but the electronics let it down and there's no good "fix". You can find the A670 3-speed that you can build up, but you loose OD, or you can 5-speed swap it to an  A543 if you can find one.

Thank you for the info, Reaper. That's really good to know. You said earlier 3.0s were known for dropping valve guides. Do you mean the one in the TC has fixed this problem? I thought it wasn't fixed until a later iteration in 92 or 93 or something.

 

I wouldn't mind eventually sprucing it up a little, but I'm certainly not looking for a race car. Once I have the car to a point where I can drive it reliably, then I can look into slight performance upgrades - but that's way down the road!

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It's hard to say whether the valve guides have been fixed or not. Some cars got fixed at the dealer. The engine should technically be the older design. If it's not smoking now, I wouldn't worry about it until it does. Again, it's not going to hurt the engine at all, it's just annoying.

 

The A604 can handle *some * power. Again, *NOT* in overdrive. Most 3.0 guys go the boost route, but there's power to be made N/A as well. It's still not going to be a rocket, but the nice torque curve of the 3.0 will make it feel nice.

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On 5/30/2018 at 2:33 PM, Reaper1 said:

It's hard to say whether the valve guides have been fixed or not. Some cars got fixed at the dealer. The engine should technically be the older design. If it's not smoking now, I wouldn't worry about it until it does. Again, it's not going to hurt the engine at all, it's just annoying.

 

The A604 can handle *some * power. Again, *NOT* in overdrive. Most 3.0 guys go the boost route, but there's power to be made N/A as well. It's still not going to be a rocket, but the nice torque curve of the 3.0 will make it feel nice.

Okay thank you, I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for them. I don't think I'll get into boosting. That's too expensive for me right now and I also am a little wary of putting that much stress on a 30 year old engine.

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