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gymowner

swapping engines

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new guy here. have had my tc for about 4 years. 80k miles on it. repainted it a true italian green color with the ginger interior and brand new haartz cloth top in black. looks fantastic like a real italian maserati. question.  my fantasy to move this wonderful little car along would be to swap out the anemic 2.2 with a '89 maserati bi-turbo v-6. what a car this would be. a real bonified  maserati much nicer than a bi-turbo. does anyone know if this swap will work? has anyone ever tried it before? 

 

also. i have seen on you tube where guys swap out the analogue guages with a digital dash on other chryslers in that era. has anyone ever swapped out the analogue dash for a digital one from maybe an '87-'89 lebaron? swap out the hvac manual controls for the digital one from maybe a '90 new yorker?  i would love to make this car a really unique beautiful italian lady!

Edited by gymowner
misspelled word (see edit history)

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Do you plan or want to make your TC a rear wheel drive car? Do you plan to invest a lot of money into this project? Although this group is not quite a 'Purist' group, we still stay relatively close to Chrysler power plants be that the 4 cylinder or the V6. The dash swap is the only one of your fantasies that I can see working out as you are going to have to use Laser or Daytona digital inserts if you plan to continue having the dashboard now in the car.

There may be others here who have some more exotic thinking than I. Have a look at the links associated with me.

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I eventually plan on a 5.7 hemi swap. And yes, rear wheel drive. Possibly independent i haven't got into that far yet. If you look on youtube you can find Lebaron/Daytona V8 swaps that may give you some ideas. Granted it will be more involved than just putting in a different engine.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oRzN2bQDdE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YdBBlFiAXA

 

 

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Well, I looked at the 2 videos. The video of the Dodge Daytona shows a car definitely well done. How close to $100,000 did that conversion cost?

The video of the 1994 LeBaron reminds me of what the gear heads in Sweden build during their long cold winters. Being a Minnesota plated car, maybe a swede too.  

Both cars are similar to the Q body of the TC and it would be interesting to see that done with one of these bodies, especially by those who converted the Daytona.  

You have to ask yourself "Just how satisfying will it be to build and own either of these cars?" A lot of money invested in a vehicle that is unique, but not a practical daily driver or show car at a TC America Meet. 

Just saying...

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Just how satisfying will it be to build and own either of these cars?

 

In my book, AWESOME! It's a shame Chrysler only built these cars with 4/6 cylinders and front wheel drive. Some of us want more! You may not know about this but there is a company that makes full frames for unibody cars. This would be the way to go for such a conversion. Of course this would have to done by the owner because it's not made for the TC.

21022657716_955c5a940e_c.jpg

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5 hours ago, Moparite said:

 

In my book, AWESOME! It's a shame Chrysler only built these cars with 4/6 cylinders and front wheel drive. Some of us want more! You may not know about this but there is a company that makes full frames for unibody cars. This would be the way to go for such a conversion. Of course this would have to done by the owner because it's not made for the TC.

21022657716_955c5a940e_c.jpg

 

Do you have more photos of the rolling frame from various angles? We would like to see more.

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Getting back to gymowner's original query, there is a MUCH simpler way to improve performance.  For a fraction of what the Biturbo swap would cost, just get Rick Diogo's SMEC upgrade.  Even with my rudimentary mechanical skills I was able to do the complete installation in just over a hour.  The gain for either the 8v or 16v engine is about 35hp, so for the latter you're looking at a minimum of 235hp.  In the real world it feels like more. The effect on my 16v car was stunning, not only in the increase in power, but also in drivability and sound (with higher boost the turbo makes wonderful noises when you let off the power).    

 

Only a few of the Biturbo motors exceed that figure and given their low production, finding a good one might be difficult.  Then there's installation - will it physically fit and how will it interface with the ancillary systems (cooling, electric, etc) and how will it mount.  Another issue is the transmission -  the Chrysler automatic of that era probably cannot handle the power; the Getrag can, but will it mate up to the Biturbo v-6?  If not, what tranny do you use?  If it's a different one, will it match up to the driveshafts?  If not, what ones will you use and will torque steer now become an issue?

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Nile has many good points as well as WHAT WILL IT COST?  We have all seen good cars converted to monstrous AWD contortions, and for what purpose? Just to look different?

gymowner, if you plan to drive this automobile at all on the highway or just for pleasure after conversion, how much and how far? I have driven my TC over 250,000 miles.

Yes, I did convert it to a five speed 555, and I did replace the ABS system with a conventional brake booster and master cylinder, but it is a car that can be fired up and driven cross country with ease AND at 30 to 34 MPG as well.  So before you go to extremes, think about the end product. Will it be something great or a piece of scrap? These cars deserve some respect by their owners.

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Hi. Biturbo owner and former Maserati/Alfa mechanic here. IMHO there is no practical way the Biturbo engine is going to fit in a TC. It is a 90 degree V6, and it is WIDE. Since the turbos are right under the heads, the engine is not just wide at the top, but all the way down.

 

IMG_20180613_122025_1024x1024.jpg?v=1529

 

IMG_20180613_122040_1024x1024.jpg?v=1529

 

I'm not sure what you would find that much nicer about a TC with a Biturbo engine (if it were possible) than a Biturbo. To me, the body and interior parts of the TC look an awful lot like Maserati stuff of the same period (not interchangeable, but similar). It isn't surprising since IIRC the TC bodies came from Maserati.

 

If it is a Maserati V6 you want, and assuming you are in the USA, I suggest looking for an 89 Biturbo Spyder with a 5 speed. Don't buy one older than 1987 no matter what. Keep in mind that there is quite a bit more maintenance to be done on the Maserati V6 engine.

 

If it were me, I would keep the Chrysler turbo drivetrain in the TC. A whole lot of development and hot rodding has taken place since the Chrysler 2.2 turbo was introduced. IMHO you would be crazy not to take advantage of that knowledge if you want to build a really fast TC.

 

 

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I say it's your car and do what YOU want. If you have $$$$$, time, fab skills...git-r-done!

 

The 2.2 8V engine can make plenty of power. However, if you want to get serious about power, I'd suggest a full 2.4 swap from a PTGT or SRT4. The A413 automatic can hold a good bit of power (this was just being discussed on Facebook)...guestimates are that it can do ~500hp on stock guts with the right upgraded parts and more line pressure. You could also do a 5-speed swap.

 

As for the digital dash, I actually am doing that to my TC. There are 2 things that are not straight forward to this swap. The stock TC dash has the ABS warning light and the bezel is spaced out from the dash differently with lens covers for the warning lights. This means that the select buttons have to be extended and you have to modify the bezel to accept the buttons. Not difficult, but something that isn't apparent just by looking at it. Otherwise you can make a jumper harness and splice into the stock plugs to the correct digital dash pigtails. All of the wires are already there. I actually took this to the next level and have integrated the entire thing into my harness in the factory locations and have both sets of plugs present for either dash. I have also included the electronic climate control in this conversion. I don't have it installed in the car yet, but I have bench tested it and it works perfectly.

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hi reaper...that is awesome! let me know if you are interested in building a "plug and play" digital dash for members like myself. for a decent price, i sure would buy one!

 

nile....do you have information  on how to get in touch with rick diogo? i am thinking this is more of the way to go now. man...when you need some "oomph" to get up to speed from the start, these little cars sure dont have anything to get up and go.

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Rick's email is rick@rdiperformance.com. Last phone # I had for him is 561-523-4684.  I've never driven an 8v car as all mine are the 16v's and oomph off the line is not a problem at all.  It  may be that the automatic trans saps some power so an 8v with Rick's updated SMEC and a 5 speed conversion might be an awesome package.  I think there just might be someone active on this forum who's done that 5 speed conversion, too!

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spoke with rick this morning. very nice guy. i am buying the upgraded smec and upgraded blow off valve.  he claims they are easy to install and will get over 200 horsepower from these installs. the blow off valve is necessary he believes since they work hand and hand.  rick told me his dark red tc with the 16 valve 5 speed has these upgrades and a few more and gets easily over 270 horsepower. looks like a great deal guys. anyone interested in it should look on ebay. has about 44k miles so a great car.

 

i will update you when i get them and do the install.

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When you see the stock blow off valve and the where it's located, it will be pretty obvious why you need that upgrade.  The sound it makes when you let off the gas is great, too!  The installation was straightforward and I took some extra time to clean under and around the battery tray.

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Nile.. you are right on the money! Rick is a super cool guy that knows everything about the TC. Called him a few times to make sure I attached the bov in the right place. The smec was a plug and play sort of install. Super easy. 

The difference these two parts make is crazy good! The car now has a good amount of acceleration and pull it should have and is linear throughout. It easily has another 40 plus horsepower. Where the car should have been originally.

Thanks to the knowledge of you guys on this forum and Nile, getting me to Rick. Thank you!!

 

 

Edited by gymowner (see edit history)

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