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Thread: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    I finally landed a SRT-4 engine. It was turned in as a core to an import junk yard I use to work at. The manager knew I was looking for one. He set it aside and called me. I tore it down and inside is flawless. I got the block magna fluxed and the head pressure checked and both are okay. From what I can tell they never changed there oil because it was black. The top of the pistons were coated with thick gooey carbon so either the oil rings stop doing their job or the turbo was letting oil in the intake track. Either way I score an $800 motor for $250.

    After the parts washer:




    After a little love:






    Number four rod and number five main bearings:




    Number four rod and number five main bearing journals:






    I plan on using an automatic transmission. Either from a 2.4 Caravan or a Neon. Preferably from a Caravan. I'm hoping the Caravan trans with have stronger internals. If not I have an A/T out of a '88 T-I Daytona that cooked the front clutch I can rob the beefier internals from.

    I'm going to keep the stock '89 SMEC I have in it now. My 'puter is socketed and I just got an Ostrich.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do for an exhaust or intake manifold. I heard the SRT intakes hit the auto tranny so I might go with the 2.4 Caravan intake.

    While I was waiting for for the block to get back I cleaned up the valve cover. It was in an engine compartment fire. I was afraid of getting glass bead stuck in the baffles so I had to remove them. I ground down the peaned over aluminum, removed the sheet metal, drilled and taped new holes.




















    I’m in the process of porting the head. More to come.

    A.J.

  2. #2

    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Wow looks really good!
    Glad to see you are moving forward with the project.

  3. #3
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Cool project!

  4. #4
    The moderately moderate moderator Turbo Mopar Staff
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    What, its not done yet????
    Bryan
    86 GLHS #161, 2016 Impala
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    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    So is this going into the van you already have, or a new one?

    Dont push the red button.You hear me?

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigo View Post
    So is this going into the van you already have, or a new one?
    Ya it's going in the van that's in my avatar. I'm going to assemble/fabricate as much as I can out of the van to cut down on down time. The only thing that's going to hang me up is the front engine mount.

    A.J.

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    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Turbo224's Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Cool project!

    ~Tyler Larsen~Salt Lake City~
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    turbo addict
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post
    Ya it's going in the van that's in my avatar. I'm going to assemble/fabricate as much as I can out of the van to cut down on down time. The only thing that's going to hang me up is the front engine mount.

    A.J.
    I am hoping to do this someday with my van! Post lots of pics please!

    On the front mount I have seen a bunch of guys use the stock mount with an extra plate welded on to cover the extra bolt holes. Check out the swap section there are a bunch of pics with a few diff ideas

  9. #9
    Buy my stuff!!!!!!!!!!! :O) Turbo Mopar Vendor turbovanman²'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Nice project, your going to love 16 valves,

    Neon and 2.4 van trans internals are the same.
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Diesel with a remote mounted turbo setup burning WMO-For sale.
    2003 GSW 2.0L TDI, auto, fully loaded, modified, 360K-wife's.
    2004 GSW TDI, 5 speed, fully loaded, modified.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

  10. #10
    turbo addict
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    whats the purpose of removing the baffle then attaching it with screws?

  11. #11
    Buy my stuff!!!!!!!!!!! :O) Turbo Mopar Vendor turbovanman²'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by 1BADVAN View Post
    whats the purpose of removing the baffle then attaching it with screws?
    To clean out the shi*t. He sand blasted it, if he didn't take off the baffle, that sand would get into the oil and BOOM. I bet that baffle was plugged up with carbon too.

    Per AJ-

    While I was waiting for for the block to get back I cleaned up the valve cover. It was in an engine compartment fire. I was afraid of getting glass bead stuck in the baffles so I had to remove them. I ground down the peaned over aluminum, removed the sheet metal, drilled and taped new holes.
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Diesel with a remote mounted turbo setup burning WMO-For sale.
    2003 GSW 2.0L TDI, auto, fully loaded, modified, 360K-wife's.
    2004 GSW TDI, 5 speed, fully loaded, modified.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by 1BADVAN View Post
    I am hoping to do this someday with my van! Post lots of pics please!

    On the front mount I have seen a bunch of guys use the stock mount with an extra plate welded on to cover the extra bolt holes. Check out the swap section there are a bunch of pics with a few diff ideas
    I plan on taking lots of pictures once things get rolling. I'm also going to do an item list, what I used and off of what. And a price list of what I spent.

    Most of the front mounts people have made were with the 2.4 and the 568 trans. They have to deal with one of the holes not lining up. I'm not going to have that issue. I'm sure I'm not going to have a problem making this mount (have you seen some of my other fabricates stuff?) I just have to wait until the engine/trans is in the van to mock it up.

    I'm working on the exhaust manifold right now. I'm going to be using my T3 Garret with the Chrysler flange.

    I'm on hold with porting the head. I have a junk 2001 PT head that I want to cut through the intake and exhaust ports to see how much meat I have to remove so I don't window a runner.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    Nice project, your going to love 16 valves,

    Neon and 2.4 van trans internals are the same.
    I wanted to do the 2.4 head/2.5 block hybrid but with the location of the A/C compressor, I couldn't figure out that hurtle and I'm not going without here in AZ. Also I wanted to get away from the 2.2/2.5 block. The 2.4 just seems like a better updated design and I like the flat oil pan gasket surface.

    As far as the difference in the Neon and Caravan 413's, I was pretty sure I was going to have to swap over the beefed up '88 turbo internals I have into it. But what about the the differential ratio. I was thinking the Caravan would be closer to what I need seeing that it's going into a van.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    I bet that baffle was plugged up with carbon too.

    Per AJ-
    You can see a bunch of carbon in one of the pictures.

    A.J.

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    Buy my stuff!!!!!!!!!!! :O) Turbo Mopar Vendor turbovanman²'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post

    As far as the difference in the Neon and Caravan 413's, I was pretty sure I was going to have to swap over the beefed up '88 turbo internals I have into it. But what about the the differential ratio. I was thinking the Caravan would be closer to what I need seeing that it's going into a van.
    Neon and later van have the HD internals and they also have the bigger diff bearing. They still need some tender loving but they are stout.

    Ratio, you'd have to run the part number on the side to figure out what gears you have. Also, you'll now have LU,
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Diesel with a remote mounted turbo setup burning WMO-For sale.
    2003 GSW 2.0L TDI, auto, fully loaded, modified, 360K-wife's.
    2004 GSW TDI, 5 speed, fully loaded, modified.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

  14. #14
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    Neon and later van have the HD internals and they also have the bigger diff bearing. They still need some tender loving but they are stout.

    Ratio, you'd have to run the part number on the side to figure out what gears you have. Also, you'll now have LU,
    So if they have HD internals what's going to need this tender loving you speak of? And what about the 31th that's bolted to the little 2.0 SOHC? Is it the same as what's bolted to the 2.4?

    YES LU! I'm looking forward to a little better then the 18 m.p.g. I'm getting now.

    A.J.

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    Buy my stuff!!!!!!!!!!! :O) Turbo Mopar Vendor turbovanman²'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post
    So if they have HD internals what's going to need this tender loving you speak of? And what about the 31th that's bolted to the little 2.0 SOHC? Is it the same as what's bolted to the 2.4?

    YES LU! I'm looking forward to a little better then the 18 m.p.g. I'm getting now.

    A.J.
    All the later 31TH's have the extra clutch packs and larger diff bearings. They still need the HD rear strut rod, governor fix, tighten clutch packs, valve body mods, accumlator removed, higher line pressure, weld pinions etc. I sell a rear drum that uses a needle bearing, the stockers get chewed up using the stock thrust washer. Also get a 2000+ Neon TC, it already has bearings inside.

    http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3180

    At least you get 18 mpg,
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Diesel with a remote mounted turbo setup burning WMO-For sale.
    2003 GSW 2.0L TDI, auto, fully loaded, modified, 360K-wife's.
    2004 GSW TDI, 5 speed, fully loaded, modified.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

  16. #16
    turbo addict
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    yea my van got maybe 18 on a good day with its a-413, its much better since i put the 520 in it, still not REAL good though, maybe 22-24 at times.

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    All the later 31TH's have the extra clutch packs and larger diff bearings. They still need the HD rear strut rod, governor fix, tighten clutch packs, valve body mods, accumlator removed, higher line pressure, weld pinions etc. I sell a rear drum that uses a needle bearing, the stockers get chewed up using the stock thrust washer. Also get a 2000+ Neon TC, it already has bearings inside.

    http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3180

    At least you get 18 mpg,
    I haven't done any of these mods to the trans I got out of an '89 T-I Daytona and haven't had any problems. That's what's currently in my van. I've done some reading on those sites you linked to. Other than the governor (from what I understand the stock one sucks) I don't really see why I need to do any of these. If you have some time could you explain why each of these should be done.

    Thanks for the tip on the 2000 Neon converter. Is it safe to assume that if I get a 2000 + Neon trans it'll have the converter I need or should I just buy one to make sure?

    I'm only getting 18 because I'm not using my A/C right now. It'll drop down to 16 m.p.g. come 90* + temps.

    A.J.

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    Buy my stuff!!!!!!!!!!! :O) Turbo Mopar Vendor turbovanman²'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J. View Post
    I haven't done any of these mods to the trans I got out of an '89 T-I Daytona and haven't had any problems. That's what's currently in my van. I've done some reading on those sites you linked to. Other than the governor (from what I understand the stock one sucks) I don't really see why I need to do any of these. If you have some time could you explain why each of these should be done.

    Thanks for the tip on the 2000 Neon converter. Is it safe to assume that if I get a 2000 + Neon trans it'll have the converter I need or should I just buy one to make sure?

    I'm only getting 18 because I'm not using my A/C right now. It'll drop down to 16 m.p.g. come 90* + temps.

    A.J.
    You should always buy a new converter anyway's but yeah, any 2000 and up is ok.

    As for the trans, Carl's link pretty well sums up why you need each mod and remember, you now have a 16 valve, more torque and power. If you need a breakdown of each mod, I'll do one up.
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Diesel with a remote mounted turbo setup burning WMO-For sale.
    2003 GSW 2.0L TDI, auto, fully loaded, modified, 360K-wife's.
    2004 GSW TDI, 5 speed, fully loaded, modified.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

  19. #19
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    You should always buy a new converter anyway's but yeah, any 2000 and up is ok.

    As for the trans, Carl's link pretty well sums up why you need each mod and remember, you now have a 16 valve, more torque and power. If you need a breakdown of each mod, I'll do one up.
    I'll read it over again. I'll PM you any questions I have so this thread doesn't turn into a mainly transmission discussion and post the mods I do.

    A.J.

  20. #20
    Bad Mother Flecker Turbo Mopar Staff fleckster's Avatar
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    Re: '04 SRT-4 engine in an '88 Caravan build

    The newer 31TH for the Neons and vans (I believe '96 and newer) also have an extra pinion gear in the carrier as well for extra strength.

    John M. Fleck

    '83 Dodge Rampage 2.2 w/ 2.5L Turbo 14.79@94
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    '98 Dodge Neon R/T 15.66@89
    '03 Dodge SRT-4 13.91@98

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