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Thread: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    Since the Omni has been down for the last year and looks like it will be for several months more I decided to buy another daily driver. I came across this 90 Spirit 2.5 turbo 5 speed and was pretty impressed with its condition. Look at the pictures in order and see if you can guess the mileage.

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    This car is really clean inside and out. Someone has evidently restored it some time in the past. Even the headliner is in near perfect shape. The engine runs as good as any stock 2.5 turbo I've driven and the clutch and trans are pretty much flawless. I need to get the two plastic parts that have teeth on them inside the clutch pedal for the self adjusting clutch cable. The front motor mount is worn out. Other than that it just needs some paint touch up and general service work. I plan to do the mandatory intercooler install and bump the boost to 12 or 13 psi with a turbonator cal. It has working a/c, power windows and locks. Even though its a manual it has cruise control. I have found no cigarette burns anywhere in the interior. Now here is what I don't understand about the car. Look at that speedometer reading. 290,300 miles! A mistake or maybe someone changed the cluster from a high mileage car? I don't know but I plan on getting a carfax and see what's up. It has an R title and the only damage I can find is the rear bumper cover and tail lights have been replaced and the trunk lid appears to have had some body work. The trunk floor and spare tire well are original as well as the sub frame. There is no rust anywhere underneath so I'm pretty sure its not spent very many if any winters in the snow. I'm really happy with the car and can't wait to get it on the road.



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    I put the car up on the rack to fix the front motor mount and check it over really well. There is no way its spent its whole life in WV. Way too
    rust free for this area.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    I agree. It's way to clean to have been in WV since new.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    Got the history on the car today. The first owner was in North Carolina and put 210,000 miles on it. Car was rear ended in 2010 and since it was 20 years old and had over two hundred thousand miles on it they totaled it. Car was repaired with a trunk lid, tail lights and bumper cover. Second owner put another 80,000 miles on it so I will be the third owner. Hopefully I can get several thousand more miles out of it. I have a couple low mileage engines and another transmission just in case but so far it seems both are in pretty good shape.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    It seems a little quiet in here so I will post another update on my new daily driver. I've spent the last couple of weeks getting the car ready to put on the road. I had to replace all three motor mounts as every one of them was broken, probably all original 300,000 mile units. Replaced the front struts, not original but very old and the passenger one had leaked out all its oil. Neither side had a bumper on it. Traded out the factory sway bar with a Shelby Daytona one. I changed out the sbec for a socketed one and modified a turbonator mp cal and burnt it to a chip. Installed a new timing belt, tensioner and cam and crank seals while I was at it. Changed out the air filter and put in champion RN7YC spark plugs. I took the factory blow off valve out of the air cleaner since it was leaking boost and put on a cheap external one. I took the car on a test run and it spark knocked pretty bad so I immediately let off it and took it back to the shop. I did a tap test on the knock sensor and noticed that while I was tapping on the intake I could see the knock sensor connector moving. The terminal was completely broken off the sensor. Installed a new sensor and took it for a drive with my snap on scanner hooked up and monitoring knock. I still hear some slight knock. The cel flashes as the computer is detecting the detonation. However on the scanner there is very little knock retard on cylinders 1, 3 and 4. Maybe three or four degrees max on a long pull in fourth gear. The trouble is with cylinder 2. It is constantly pulling ten plus degrees of timing while under boost. I'm trying to think of all the things that could cause this. Here is what I am going to check this week.
    1. Maybe its lean on that cylinder due to a restricted or bad injector.
    2. Carbon build up on the piston.
    3. Oil getting by the rings and lowering the octane level in that cylinder.
    4. Carbon on the intake valves of cylinders 1,3 and 4 causing 2 to get more air and be leaner than the other three.
    5. Wiring problem with number 2 injector, too much resistance in connectors etc?
    6. Maybe a piece of the head casting is getting hot and lighting that cylinder off early?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    Found the likely culprit for the spark knock on cylinder number 2. Someone in the past has changed the injectors and three of them have the part number 01D027B and the one that is in number 2 cylinder is part number D1540AA. It has a different shaped body on it and the spray nozzle is different. I cannot find much info on it either. I have two good sets of flex fuel injectors that are slightly bigger than the stock 2.5 injectors so I am going to install them. I welded a fitting into the down pipe for the wide band and installed the sensor so I can tune the cal for the injectors. Hopefully this will cure my cylinder number 2 spark knock problem.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    A short video on prepping a set of replacement injectors that have been sitting on a shelf for a few years.


    Last edited by RGL10; 04-11-2017 at 12:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    Wideband and boost gauge installed. I'm on my fifth cal revision now, car runs pretty good so far. Just getting a base setup so I can drive the car to work and back. Next I plan on installing an intercooler and then I will finish tuning.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cowen WV
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    I wanted to use the flex fuel injectors since I had two sets of them and I know they flow more than the stock 2.5 turbo injectors. Its been the subject of several discussions as to just how much more they flow so I figured I would start off with lower fuel pressure and gradually raise it until the wideband agreed that it was in the range of the stock injectors flow rates. Just for testing purposes I put in the stock regulator which was set at 55 psi. The fuel was rich at all points with the ffv injectors. After 20 or so miles the computers adaptive memory reduced the pulse width enough to be drivable at idle and cruise but would still peg my wideband under wot at a ratio of 9 to 1. So I ordered a regulator normally used on gm vehicles in the 80's and early 90's like the GMC Typhoon, Turbo Trans AM and some 3.0 v6 engines. I can get them for about 17 dollars. They are suppose to be set at 45 with the vacuum line off. Normally they are not adjustable but I used the same old trick I did back in the 80's to bump fuel pressure on my Omni. I used to have a tool I made years ago to do this but I could not find it so I made another one at lunch the other day. Its pretty self explanatory as to how it works.
     
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    Here you see how the tool wraps around the regulator like a c clamp. By tightening the tool and bending the housing in slightly you can put more pressure on the spring, raising the fuel pressure in return. Here is the pressure I started with--
     
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    About 43 psi. Driving the car around at this pressure was ok but the car was lean and again the computer tried to add pulse width to get it back in a normal range but it still had problems. So I raised it 4 psi. I did this while the engine was idling but with the boost reference hose off the regulator. I would just tighten the bolt down and give it a few seconds to stabilize. I actually ran it up to 50 knowing that as soon as I unhooked from it the pressure would drop slightly.
     
     
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    Now when I drive it the fuel trims are in line with the factory specs. Bigger injectors running a little less fuel pressure. I will run it this way a couple of weeks and see how it does.
     
     
     

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Morgantown
    Posts
    1,690

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    Good stuff!
    JP
    Bigger, Stronger, Faster...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    St. Marys, Wv-----Near Parkersburg
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    Wow that is very nice! You really know how to pick the good ones. No doubt in my mind you'll be doing upgrades sooner then later.
    10 Kia Forte EX (Wifes) 145k miles

    12 Chevy Sonic LTZ HB Turbo (My DD) 102k miles

    95 Chevy 1500 Ext cab 4x4 (my spare and toy) 240k miles, now with a 1999 5.3 and 4L60e with 191k miles.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Under a sombereo
    Posts
    9,408

    Default Re: New daily driver - 90 Dodge Spirit

    LOL I have the same boost gauge. My friend had a 87 Dodge shadow Turbo.
    2000 Mustang GT SOHC 4.6L : 665hp at the tirel
    11.00 @ 134 mph... A 17 year love affair...


    Wyotech Graduate 03/14 : High Performance 1 & 2...Engine Management Systems 1 & 2...Powertrain...
    Chassis/Suspension & Braking systems.. 3.7 GPA.

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