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Thread: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

  1. #1
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    Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Well as the title states Iíd like to hear some opinions and get some direction to getting a LeBaron into the 12s. I am a mechanic with my own shop so Tools and know how are avalible. Iíve done research and have some experience already with these cars. Mostly though they were just daily drivers or projects that never got finished. Several things have been done already here is a list.

    2.5 L freshened up engine with cast pistons stock bore
    manual a568 trans
    stage 3 clutch from FWD
    stock Garett turbo
    two piece intake with port matching
    52mm throttle body
    ported stock exhaust manifold
    2.5 exhaust no muffler
    +40 injectors with adjustable regulator
    a/f and boost gauge
    lightly ported stock head (782)
    stock cam
    fwd Performance stage 5 cal
    good front mounted intercooler and blow off valve
    indy 500 firehawlk tires p225/50/17

    Id like to try and do this all on street tires. Slicks are possible but it would be nice if cold be done in the same form as the car is driven daily. Iím open to things that cost some coin. But looking for what seems to work the best given the vehicle as it is. As of now I donít have a 1/4 time because of poor traction on the previous tires. Then once it grabbed in 3 rd gear the clutch was slipping (the first clutch done at time of rebuild was a stock luk). In this form it was running 23lbs boost and still managed a best 14.7. Currently the clutch isnít in but backing the boost to 15lbs and clutch and new tires hold very well Iíll be going to the track soon but it feels like a low 14 sec car right now. Thanks for looking and I look forward to the games!!
    Last edited by Moparman141; 09-16-2018 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Additional info

  2. #2
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    coupe or vert?

    If your goal really is to get in the 12s, you may as well get some slicks now to spare a lot of heartache and disappointment. You didn't state what wheels you have on there, but they already sound heavy for a relatively heavy car. That doesn't help the 60ft or anything thereafter.

    Have you taken much weight out of the car? You can do 12s with a TII turbo in an Omni or charger, but you'll be maxing that out with a Lebaron to do the same. You'll need phenomenal traction regardless with that turbo.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor tryingbe's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Moparman141 View Post

    Id like to try and do this all on street tires.
    Not gonna happen unless you have massive trap speed (115mph+), but then you can put a set of slicks on and get 11s. Go for slick if you want 12's relatively low power.

    Here is a drag time database with tires listed, you'll want to read them and see what people uses to get good 60 ft time.

    http://www.turbo-mopartimes.com/

    Do you have a wideband 02 sensor?
    Last edited by tryingbe; 09-16-2018 at 11:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor ajakeski's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Add a ported head with larger valves to your parts list. The 2.5 doesnít breathe well at high rpm.

  5. #5
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Force Fed Mopar's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    You have pretty much the same exact setup I had in my 89 Turbo GTC, except my 568 had a OBX and 3.77 gear, and I had a air-to-water intercooler. Weighed 3300 with me in it. Fastest 8th mile time on street tires (215/50/17 BFG G-force AS Super Sport) was 9.24@80mph. On 26" slicks, did 9.03@76mph. This was on about 22-25psi of boost on my own tune (I do custom tuning).
    Rob M.
    '89 Turbo GTC
    2.5 TIII swap is here!

    Project LookOwt
    '91 Daytona ES, 61k original miles, Rick Lozier's old 3.0 nitrous car
    Back to basics, then the mods go back on....

  6. #6
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Thanks for the info keep it coming!!👍. I had put more info about the car in my original two attempts to post a thread, but was having connectivity issues or some kind of a problem and when I would go to post it was kicking it out. So it would wipe everything I just typed up away. So I got a little frustrated and moved on to shorter list. To answer a few of the previous questions.

    -Car is a coupe
    -No weight reduction ( and I think Iíd like to keep it as it is. Donít really want to take out interior or anything like if possible spare tire is out though in the rear)
    -Wheels are actually not that heavy, The brand name is escaping me at the moment Iíve had them for years. They are certainly more than the factory 15Ē aluminum, but not by very much. You can still easily pick wheel/tire combo up with one hand and left to the vehicle.
    -Does have a wide band o2 at WOT fueling is close to 11.9
    -Running 93 premium on street and 110 race gas when I go to strip

    I will definitely be looking into slicks I was just being optimistic that it might work or at least if I could get some minimal spin out of the hole (IE grip or feather the throttle) and make up on the top end. As for the big valve head I had wondered about doing that but was concerned turbo might not be enough. With the bigger valve head what cam are you suggesting? I am also very much open to a new turbo but as there are many options in many different methods and this being a manual car Iíd like to go with one that can still breathe really good but not have tons of lag. As of course it is I have your vehicle and spends a lot of time being driven not drag raced. Can I do a really appreciate your input Iíve been on the forms in terms of looking for years. I definitely have bought and sold some stuff on both of the turbo forms but I donít generally get to spend a lot of time on here as Iím usually really busy with my business and family So the info you have is very appreciated



  7. #7
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Will look into that chart thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by tryingbe View Post
    Not gonna happen unless you have massive trap speed (115mph+), but then you can put a set of slicks on and get 11s. Go for slick if you want 12's relatively low power.

    Here is a drag time database with tires listed, you'll want to read them and see what people uses to get good 60 ft time.

    http://www.turbo-mopartimes.com/

    Do you have a wideband 02 sensor?
    will look into that chart. Yes have wideband (for the gauge not pcm)

  8. #8
    boostaholic Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    One thing you should consider is replacing those cast pistons. Especially if they are new replacements. Like a KB or Sealed Power. All the new cast pistons are hypereutectic, and are brittle. If you plan on making serious enough horsepower to run 12's in a stock body car, it's not a matter of if, but when they will grenade. All it will take is one time of the engine detonating while you are in boost, and poof, you lose a piston...

  9. #9
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Force Fed Mopar View Post
    You have pretty much the same exact setup I had in my 89 Turbo GTC, except my 568 had a OBX and 3.77 gear, and I had a air-to-water intercooler. Weighed 3300 with me in it. Fastest 8th mile time on street tires (215/50/17 BFG G-force AS Super Sport) was 9.24@80mph. On 26" slicks, did 9.03@76mph. This was on about 22-25psi of boost on my own tune (I do custom tuning).
    Were you happy with that unit? It seem to be worth the effort and or I should say cost? Because I have been thinking about getting one of those units. Keeping in mind this vehicle spends majority of his time on the road. Do you notice any sacrifice and drivability that wasnít worth it or was it minimal and you still enjoy the benifits??

  10. #10
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    no intercooler?
    a 3100 race weight car needs about 300HP to break 105MPH in the quarter which would equate to a 12 second car.
    you will either need more power. or less weight.
    you will be at a handicap with out slicks.. if you want to/must see 12's on a slip. get some slicks.
    if you just want to be as fast as a 12 second car. you need to break about 105 in the quarter.
    I ran 13.08's on a mustang on street tires. that trapped 112. easily 12 second car with a launch.
    I ran 12.97 on a 3000GT VR4 at 103MPH with a 1.8 60 foot time..
    the mustang would stomp the VR4 on a roll race..


    you wanna see 12's on what you posted. Intercool it. put on a 46 or 50 trim T3/T4. boost to about 20PSI. add slicks.
    you wanna trap 105+. pull some weight out(sub 3,100lbs). intercool it. crank that turbo to 23-25PSI.

  11. #11
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Can it be done? Yes. Can it be done with your combo? No.

    #1: you *need* forged pistons. (for argument's sake, yes cast pistons can do it, but they most likely won't live a long life)
    #2: A stock Garrett turbo won't move enough air. You need at *least* a Super 60 T3. However, there are better options out there nowadays. Give Chris a call at Turbos Unleashed
    #3: 2.5" exhaust is OK, if you also have a 3" downpipe and a cutout before the cat. Otherwise it's not enough.
    #4: a lightly ported stock head is going to require a LOT of boost to make the power. You don't need a "max effort" head, +1mm valves and a decent port job should be enough (with the intake and exhaust matched)

    You also are going to need a fuel pump.

    This addresses power, but not the chassis. You're going to want to probably replace the bushings in the control arms, engine/transmissions mounts, (polybushings.com is your friend here) and figure something out for better dampers. The stock alignment SUCKS! The most common suggestion is to set the car on the alignment rack like it is launching and get the tires to have the best possible contact patch in that condition. As others have said, street tires is going to compound your problems and make getting to your goal difficult.

  12. #12
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    12.9 in a full weight Lebaron Coupe with a stock Garrett would be basically maxing out the turbo, which means more heat and more likely to detonate than if you ran a turbo better suited to the goal. However, it has been done a couple times that people have trapped ~108 on a stock garrett in a full weight daytona and spirit which are similar weight to your lebaron coupe. It is possible, but more likely to break trying than if you build a bigger setup in the first place.

    Dont push the red button.You hear me?

  13. #13
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/sh...-is&highlight=

    He's what it took me with a full weight shadow.

    My dyno results thread. http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/sh...t-2&highlight=

    And the manifolds I made that I feel were a huge part in reaching the 12's http://www.turbo-mopar.com/forums/sh...ods&highlight=

    FYI, it was done on hyperutectic pistons, but they failed due to my tuning error shortly after, replaced with a forged piston bottom end.

  14. #14
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by 83scamp View Post
    One thing you should consider is replacing those cast pistons. Especially if they are new replacements. Like a KB or Sealed Power. All the new cast pistons are hypereutectic, and are brittle. If you plan on making serious enough horsepower to run 12's in a stock body car, it's not a matter of if, but when they will grenade. All it will take is one time of the engine detonating while you are in boost, and poof, you lose a piston...
    Yes Iím very well aware of the cast piston issues. 😦. This engine was kept close to stock to cut some cost for now. I did find some older NOS CLEVITE pistons that were not hypers. Hard to find but they do exist. Had to buy some that were more than 10yr old. That said I have two spare engines of which one that WILL be getting forged pistons and many of the things I learn from this engine. I wanted to get it running and drive it and have some fun. Plus gain experience. Thanks again for he info!! Keep them coming if you have anything to say👍
    Last edited by Moparman141; 09-17-2018 at 10:26 PM.

  15. #15
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by masterjr33 View Post
    no intercooler?
    a 3100 race weight car needs about 300HP to break 105MPH in the quarter which would equate to a 12 second car.
    you will either need more power. or less weight.
    you will be at a handicap with out slicks.. if you want to/must see 12's on a slip. get some slicks.
    if you just want to be as fast as a 12 second car. you need to break about 105 in the quarter.
    I ran 13.08's on a mustang on street tires. that trapped 112. easily 12 second car with a launch.
    I ran 12.97 on a 3000GT VR4 at 103MPH with a 1.8 60 foot time..
    the mustang would stomp the VR4 on a roll race..


    you wanna see 12's on what you posted. Intercool it. put on a 46 or 50 trim T3/T4. boost to about 20PSI. add slicks.
    you wanna trap 105+. pull some weight out(sub 3,100lbs). intercool it. crank that turbo to 23-25PSI.
    Thank you for the great info. It is intercooled (sorrry I missed that in list) has a pretty decent 2.5 diameter piping to and from cooler and a low pressure drop unit. As for the slicks. They are likely gonna be happening. But as you stated Iíd like it to at least be ďAs fast asĒ a 12 sec car. Ie be able to catch one if I got a bad launch. I know the street tires will be a problem. It just spends most all it life either being driven or parked in the winter. So slicks would only be to achieve best 1/4 mile at track. Which is a small amount of the cars life

  16. #16
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigo View Post
    12.9 in a full weight Lebaron Coupe with a stock Garrett would be basically maxing out the turbo, which means more heat and more likely to detonate than if you ran a turbo better suited to the goal. However, it has been done a couple times that people have trapped ~108 on a stock garrett in a full weight daytona and spirit which are similar weight to your lebaron coupe. It is possible, but more likely to break trying than if you build a bigger setup in the first place.
    So Iíll ask you same as Iíll ask the others. What turbo would you recommend?? My next move is likely a turbo/head combo. Meaning improved head of some sort probably a 1mm oversized and a good turbo. Iíd say likely Iíll be doing the exhaust manifold as well. Possibly a TU header?? I also like the BMF (did it get the name right?) intake manifold as well. But as I stated before all in time. Iíd like to learn in this engine and build the next one on the stand to be better.

  17. #17
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaper1 View Post
    Can it be done? Yes. Can it be done with your combo? No.

    #1: you *need* forged pistons. (for argument's sake, yes cast pistons can do it, but they most likely won't live a long life)
    #2: A stock Garrett turbo won't move enough air. You need at *least* a Super 60 T3. However, there are better options out there nowadays. Give Chris a call at Turbos Unleashed
    #3: 2.5" exhaust is OK, if you also have a 3" downpipe and a cutout before the cat. Otherwise it's not enough.
    #4: a lightly ported stock head is going to require a LOT of boost to make the power. You don't need a "max effort" head, +1mm valves and a decent port job should be enough (with the intake and exhaust matched)

    You also are going to need a fuel pump.

    This addresses power, but not the chassis. You're going to want to probably replace the bushings in the control arms, engine/transmissions mounts, (polybushings.com is your friend here) and figure something out for better dampers. The stock alignment SUCKS! The most common suggestion is to set the car on the alignment rack like it is launching and get the tires to have the best possible contact patch in that condition. As others have said, street tires is going to compound your problems and make getting to your goal difficult.
    Great points! Iíll be looking into that and contacting Chris. Car does have a 225 fuel pump and no cat. I will be doing the larger down pipe/combo once I settle on a turbo. As for the mounts and bushings they are all new. Nothing fancy just new. Only thing that is Polly is the Bobble strut adjustable bar. Pistons will be on the next engine. If I trash this one it will stink, but be ok😳. On the the next with all Iíve learned!!

  18. #18
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Force Fed Mopar's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Moparman141 View Post
    Were you happy with that unit? It seem to be worth the effort and or I should say cost? Because I have been thinking about getting one of those units. Keeping in mind this vehicle spends majority of his time on the road. Do you notice any sacrifice and drivability that wasnít worth it or was it minimal and you still enjoy the benifits??
    I assume you mean the AWIC? I loved it, there is no sacrifice with it in my opinion. It would start to heat soak after 3 hot laps. 10 mins sitting with the pump and fans running (heat exchanger had it's own fans) it would be cool to the touch again. On really hard mountain runs, it might get a little warm after 15-20 mins, if it was a tight technical road. It's a cheap frozenboost.com cooler with a Bosch pump and frozenboost 24x2x7 exchanger. A reservoir would make it stay cool much longer, but I haven't added that yet. Also, a high quality would help also, as the frozenboost intercoolers don't transfer heat as well.

    My car is a coupe also, sunroof car with power everything and dynamat everywhere, including the roof and trunk. It had a stock 2.5 w/Wiseco pistons, 2-piece intake, 52mm TB, ported stock exh mani, stock Garrett T2 turbo with a big can wastegate (made that, drilled the spot welds off a T1 log can and screwed it to a T2 can bracket), 3" exhaust, +40 injectors and GM 3-bar map. I think it would have went faster, I spent the first year with it at the drag strip running up to 25psi and tuning fuel and spark. Didn't run the track at all next 3 years, just did rolls on the street on weekends, but I started playing with less boost and more timing and it got a bit faster. 6.1 SRT and 09-up 5.7 RT cars couldn't pull much till after 80mph, by 100-120 mph the stock head 2.5 was done and the V8's were just getting rolling lol. 3.77 geared 568 made it a beast from a 2nd gear 35 roll up to 70-80 though

    Mountain runs were fun too. I made a (then brand new) '14 Civic SI fade his brakes going uphill trying to keep up...and, if I drove it super easy, I could get 34mpg driving back and forth to work (part town, part country driving).
    Rob M.
    '89 Turbo GTC
    2.5 TIII swap is here!

    Project LookOwt
    '91 Daytona ES, 61k original miles, Rick Lozier's old 3.0 nitrous car
    Back to basics, then the mods go back on....

  19. #19
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Force Fed Mopar's Avatar
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Moparman141 View Post
    So Iíll ask you same as Iíll ask the others. What turbo would you recommend?? My next move is likely a turbo/head combo. Meaning improved head of some sort probably a 1mm oversized and a good turbo. Iíd say likely Iíll be doing the exhaust manifold as well. Possibly a TU header?? I also like the BMF (did it get the name right?) intake manifold as well. But as I stated before all in time. Iíd like to learn in this engine and build the next one on the stand to be better.
    A really good intake and large TB and a 50 trim would wake it up good, without having to go ported head. +1mm valves are a worthwhile investment on a stock head. In my experience, makes more difference than a cam.
    Rob M.
    '89 Turbo GTC
    2.5 TIII swap is here!

    Project LookOwt
    '91 Daytona ES, 61k original miles, Rick Lozier's old 3.0 nitrous car
    Back to basics, then the mods go back on....

  20. #20
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    Re: Making an 89 Lebaron run in the 12s

    Quote Originally Posted by Force Fed Mopar View Post
    I assume you mean the AWIC? I loved it, there is no sacrifice with it in my opinion. It would start to heat soak after 3 hot laps. 10 mins sitting with the pump and fans running (heat exchanger had it's own fans) it would be cool to the touch again. On really hard mountain runs, it might get a little warm after 15-20 mins, if it was a tight technical road. It's a cheap frozenboost.com cooler with a Bosch pump and frozenboost 24x2x7 exchanger. A reservoir would make it stay cool much longer, but I haven't added that yet. Also, a high quality would help also, as the frozenboost intercoolers don't transfer heat as well.

    My car is a coupe also, sunroof car with power everything and dynamat everywhere, including the roof and trunk. It had a stock 2.5 w/Wiseco pistons, 2-piece intake, 52mm TB, ported stock exh mani, stock Garrett T2 turbo with a big can wastegate (made that, drilled the spot welds off a T1 log can and screwed it to a T2 can bracket), 3" exhaust, +40 injectors and GM 3-bar map. I think it would have went faster, I spent the first year with it at the drag strip running up to 25psi and tuning fuel and spark. Didn't run the track at all next 3 years, just did rolls on the street on weekends, but I started playing with less boost and more timing and it got a bit faster. 6.1 SRT and 09-up 5.7 RT cars couldn't pull much till after 80mph, by 100-120 mph the stock head 2.5 was done and the V8's were just getting rolling lol. 3.77 geared 568 made it a beast from a 2nd gear 35 roll up to 70-80 though

    Mountain runs were fun too. I made a (then brand new) '14 Civic SI fade his brakes going uphill trying to keep up...and, if I drove it super easy, I could get 34mpg driving back and forth to work (part town, part country driving).
    I was referring to the OBX differential. Hahha sorry didnít clarify that. But great info on the cooler and the car. I have
    Considered a water to air cooler as Iíve installed a couple for some other customer projects. Real slick setups and makes for less charge pipes and lag. That said I went traditional air to air intercooler on this if a good unit. Seems to work very well. Iím encouraged about your experience with your car though. Since we are similar in build. Iím defiantly looking at what it will take to make more power with less boost and stress/heat on the engine. Seems a turbo, exhaust, head, and intake will be in my future👍

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