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    Thread: oops--I did it again (turbo minivan content)

    1. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 09:12 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      Great. Now Matt will chime in, goading me on to make an awesome, yet huge, mistake...
      What will you tell your grandchildren? That you had a chance to own one and never did? What kind of a story will that be? No. You will buy it, then share with your kids and grandkids the time that you did a giant smokey burnout and then blew a giant white cloud out your tailpipe along with the remainder of the head gasket.

      DO IT.

      Chris
      | 2012 Nissan Leaf | 2005 Chrysler T&C |

    2. Member rains's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 09:16 PM #72
      this thread is excellent.

      My first vehicles I learnt how to drive in were a turbo lebaron, and an astro van. I always wished I could put the two together
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      This thread is now about car cakes.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Things I learned today: You don't have to pass grade 12 English to Manage a Honda dealership.

    3. Member lab_rat's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 09:20 PM #73
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      Thank you.

      True story: when looking over the van to ensure I wanted to buy it, there was the inevitable test drive. I opened the door, climbed into the driver's seat and closed the door. Then I put the key in the ignition and started it. While the seat belt chime sounded, I buckled up. All the while, I kept thinking to myself, "wow--this feels just like home."

      It's great to be back.
      Wow...I can only imagine that feeling... it sounds like when I pull the VFR out of the garage after a long winter, turn the key, and hit the start button.

      Glad to see you get back into a turbo brick. Keep us posted.

      I TCL

    4. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 09:48 PM #74
      Quote Originally Posted by Bias_Ply View Post
      Read the thread, and searched my local craigslist

      For Daytonas......
      You're welcome.

      http://akroncanton.craigslist.org/cto/2899085037.html

      Chris
      | 2012 Nissan Leaf | 2005 Chrysler T&C |

    5. 03-12-2012 09:59 PM #75
      ^^^ HAH! I think I know that guy.
      2012 Toyota Prius 3, Blizzard White/Gray
      2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Edition30, Pure White/Black V-tex/carbon

      Son of a gun / Master of fate / Bows to no god, kingdom, or state.

    6. Member wabbitGTl's Avatar
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      03-12-2012 10:18 PM #76
      Loving this thread! I used to follow you back on turbododge.com when I was 16 and still have a soft spot for these cars after a small fleet of them over the years. Had a shelby charger, an acclaim and a horizon. I may have to track down a parts hauler. Do you recall your fuel mileage?
      Quote Originally Posted by chucchinchilla View Post
      People spec their Porsche cars like they select bottles of wine when going on a date. Few people want to be the guy buying the cheapest bottle on the menu. The rest, like myself, realize they'll be just as happy (and just as laid) buying the cheapest. Garcon, one base Carrera for me please.

    7. 03-12-2012 10:40 PM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      My only concern with that ad is that his extensive list of mods makes no mention of beefing up the bottom end. The 1987 TurboI used the lightweight connecting rods which are not known for their strength.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 03 Protege LX

    8. 03-12-2012 10:45 PM #78
      Quote Originally Posted by wabbitGTl View Post
      Do you recall your fuel mileage?
      I recall observing ~20 mpg in my former van. I did lower the compression ratio in that one, which must have had a negative effect on my economy. Knowing that nowadays we are forced to run E10 gas, I don't expect my current van to do any better even with its stock compression ratio.

      Given its shape, size and 3-spd automatic, I am fine with 20 mpg.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 03 Protege LX

    9. 03-13-2012 11:30 PM #79
      March 13th, 2012: Today's adventure

      I had lots of plans for today. I was going to my local exhaust shop in the morning to adjust/correct the poorly-installed and leaking system fitted by the van's prior owner (PO). After that, I would spend the afternoon making a few minor repairs to bring the van into compliance with all local safety regulations. Finally, I would go to the dealership and have a tech test and sign off that the van was in proper working order, thus allowing me to get my plates.

      I headed out early for the exhaust shop. This was a 30-minute drive, which is plenty of time for the van to get nice and warmed up (more on that in a bit). I got there early, so I decided to stop across the street at a gas station. I hadn't yet put fuel in the van since buying it, and it was nearly empty. As a bonus, this exact station offers premium unleaded with no ethanol... so I decided I would take advantage of the situation and fill the tank to the brim.

      As I did so, I made a horrible discovery: when you really fill the tank on the van, gasoline rapidly spills out the top of the tank. Even worse, it runs down one side and drips--well, make that pours--right onto the hot exhaust pipe. I lucked out, as the van did not spontaneously combust there at the gas pump.

      When I called the exhaust shop, I was surprised (not) to hear he didn't want to weld on the exhaust system when gas was spilling onto it. I told him I'd have to reschedule. Next, I called my little sister to come rescue me again. She drove to my house, got my Jeep and drove it to me. I then used my tow strap to tug the van across town to my mechanic's shop. There we put the van on his hoist and carefully dropped the 20-gallon tank to diagnose the problem.

      Turns out when the PO upgraded the OEM fuel pump to a Walbro, he installed a new but completely incorrect tank seal, which... didn't. The van's stock setup actually uses two fuel pump tank seals--one for the pump, another for the fuel level sending unit (which is in a separate housing). Just on general principle, I replaced them both with new seals. While poking around, I could tell some of the fuel hoses were newer than others--they were apparently replaced when the new pump was installed. I decided to take a close look, and I'm glad I did since one of these new hoses was not rated for fuel injection. Also, none of the shiny new clamps he installed were actual fuel injection clamps. Needless to say, I replaced all these items with their proper counterparts. The PO is a good friend of mine, but this van is making me realize over and over again that he is relatively incompetent as a mechanic.

      Due to making multiple parts runs during the operation, the repair took all afternoon. At least it was completely leak free when I started it back up. I did not return home until 7pm, and I accomplished nothing I set out to do for the day. So now I'll try on Thursday to do all the things I planned to do today.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 03 Protege LX

    10. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      03-13-2012 11:35 PM #80
      Well, it was a rotten day, but you quickly got it resolved. You can at least feel good about that.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    11. Member lab_rat's Avatar
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      03-14-2012 08:28 AM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan;76393175[I
      ]*snip*[/I]I did not return home until 7pm, and I accomplished nothing I set out to do for the day. So now I'll try on Thursday to do all the things I planned to do today.
      Half the fun is getting the project sorted out, even if it is a pain while doing so at the time...glad to see you got this resolved without any serious issues.
      The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.

      -phaedrus

    12. 03-14-2012 09:06 AM #82
      Sorry to hear that, but better to learn now than later!

      Projects like this have a mind of their own.

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      03-14-2012 11:54 AM #83
      Wow, Dempsey...very glad you didn't end up with a van-b-q. I hate discoveries like that. Once had a friend's parents buy a 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190SL roadster on which the Solex carbs had been 'just rebuilt'...drove him over to pick it up, and when they got it home I smelled gas. Opened the hood to see gas leaking out of the carb onto the exhaust manifold below. They were VERY lucky...

      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      What will you tell your grandchildren? That you had a chance to own one and never did? What kind of a story will that be? No. You will buy it, then share with your kids and grandkids the time that you did a giant smokey burnout and then blew a giant white cloud out your tailpipe along with the remainder of the head gasket.

      DO IT.

      Chris
      HAHAHA! Dude. I once owned a Quantum Syncro wagon with a 2" custom lift and rally tires. Unique vehicles are NOT a problem in my life. But...it's still tempting.


      If only I had a major house project for which I could justify an old beater van...
      Last edited by Numbersix; 03-14-2012 at 11:58 AM.

    14. 03-16-2012 02:33 AM #84
      March 15th: at last, great success!

      Today I was able to accomplish everything I had hoped to do on Tuesday. A very brief rundown:

      - finished wiring the boost & EGT gauges (now their lights are functional)
      - diagnosed and repaired the non-functional reverse lights
      - had the exhaust system welded so as to prevent asphyxiation inside the cabin
      - replaced the transmission mount
      - had the van inspected for the safety test, which it passed--tomorrow morning I'll get my plates

      And because charitable service is a good thing:

      - replaced the front brakes on my little sister's PT Cruiser

      All in all, I think it was a great day.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 03 Protege LX

    15. 04-12-2012 05:15 PM #85
      In my post directly above, I mentioned having the exhaust system welded. This was because the former owner left the joint between the cat and the muffler unwelded, and it had a bit of free play where one pipe could slip on the other one a bit. This 'slip joint' also allowed exhaust fumes to escape, which is a big no-no for the local safety inspection. At the time, I just had the joint welded to satisfy the inspector... but I knew I'd be doing something more about it in the near future.

      It was kinda sad. The former owner spent some coin on a 3" mandrel system/kit for the van (which is good) but then he had it installed in a really goofy manner (which is bad). Besides the aforementioned joint that wasn't sealed, the muffler was installed at an angle sufficient enough to keep it in permanent contact with the underside of the van. This created rattle noises underneath and lots of vibrations inside, so today was the day to fix it for good.

      Your town's most competent exhaust man should be high on any car enthusiast's list of People To Know. An experienced, skilled exhaust man can fab anything you need; it'll fit properly, look good and function perfectly for many years. In my case, this man is Rick (owner of Rick's Muffler in Orem). As with most exhaust shops, Rick does not have a mandrel pipe bender, so I purchased three 45^ bends and two 90^ bends from Summit Racing and brought them with me to this morning's appointment.

      Step #1 was to remove the current system from the cat back (that's the muffler on the right):



      This system had already begun to rust, especially at the two 90^ bends. It incorporated a few oddball bends and angles (presumably to make everything fit) and also a horrid chromed (and dented) ricer exhaust tip. The muffler itself was a large perforated-core bullet, which I would have liked to retain, but as we examined the inside we found a spot where the walls were partially pinched shut in a bizarre way--it looked like the perforated tube had imploded in this spot, though Rick had no idea why/how that would have happened and he had never seen anything like it. No big deal; I decided to chuck the muffler and replace it with a new (but shorter) perforated core bullet. The core of the cat looked perfect, and the mandrel-bent downpipe from the turbo was in fantastic shape; we retained them both along with their welded connection.

      Thus began the building process. First, Rick positioned the cat perfectly parallel with the underside of the van:



      This allowed him to position the new muffler in perfect alignment with the cat. Unlike the former system, Rick felt it best to move the muffler rearward so as to (a) take advantage of the factory heat shield, (b) prevent any contact with the parking brake cable system and (c) keep the muffler from absorbing so much heat from the cat itself.



      Once those pieces were welded together, he was able to install the two 90^ bends, bringing the pipe to the van's perimeter:



      Next, two 45^ bends tucked the pipe up and over the rear axle as well as between the gas tank and the shock absorber. This was the trickiest part of the whole install (since the factory never used 3" pipe), but Rick's patience and attention to detail made it turn out perfect. The final 45^ bend was used to make a downspout/tip; it was tucked up to the body and chopped off flush with the rear rubber air dam so as to be completely hidden from behind:



      Once all the welds were complete and the custom hangers were in place, he added the final touch by spraying some silver high-temp paint over each weld. The result makes the whole system look like a work of art, and as far as I am concerned, it is.

      A custom exhaust system can be a thing of beauty.
      Dempsey Bowling
      Sales Consultant at Doug Smith Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/Ram/Subaru/Kia/used
      My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 2500 8.1L, 14 Impreza Limited, 03 Protege LX

    16. 04-12-2012 05:23 PM #86
      Im not sure what you expect as a response from me...

      Nice dude! That's awesome! ?

    17. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 05:23 PM #87
      Nice! It is a thing of beauty.
      | 2012 Nissan Leaf | 2005 Chrysler T&C |

    18. 04-12-2012 05:31 PM #88
      Nice work by Rick. I'd love to hear it... if possible, get a sound or video clip of the sound. Its usually best to put the recording device a few feet (maybe 5?) away from the exhaust tip so the audio doesn't get overwhelmed when you rev it.

    19. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 05:36 PM #89
      I had a good muffler shop do some nice work for me in the past. It's a good feeling to find a pro who will go the extra step to do a job correctly. Nicely done. Yeah, it usually costs a bit more, but I hate having something half-assed.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    20. Member thegoose's Avatar
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      04-12-2012 06:04 PM #90
      Aw man, My friend in high school had a turbo caravan. Oh the shenanigans! Nothing worse than a 16 year old with 5 or 6 friends egging him on.

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