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Thread: '89 LS Rebuild

  1. #1
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    '89 LS Rebuild

    Figured I'd make a project log thread as things are starting to come together finally!

    I'll update periodically with pictures in my Google Photos album here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

    You can also follow along on TD.com where I'll likely add more detail - https://www.turbododge.com/threads/8.../#post-4534734

    The engine was bored .020 and has wiseco pistons, freshened and balanced crank.

    New oil pump.
    New intermediate shaft bearings.
    New turbo (stock specs) from TU, with a brand new CHRA instead of refurbished.
    ARP head studs.

    We have a really good head shop here that went through my head. They helicoiled some buggered threads like the thermostat housing, a couple for the valve cover, etc.

    Head was shaved just a tad for flatness.
    Also had them put together the 3.3l spring and GM retainer mod for me, and did a beautiful job.

    3-angle valve job and new valve guides.

    New rockers from FWDP
    Fidanza cam sprocket from TU
    NOS cam found on eBay

    A555 tranny completely gone through by Ed Papp, along with his signature bronze shift pads and a chrome-moly plate added.

    These are just the big things, and I'm likely forgetting something ha.

    Hoping to have everything together soon!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Spent the day cleaning out the engine bay. It's not "perfect", but this isn't going to be sold at Barrett-Jackson 😜

    Took about 4 hours. There was no white, nor was the steering rack silver. It was ALL black sludge built up over the last 32 years.

    Oh, I also found a lovely nest in my cowl. That was an adventure in and of itself.

    Images added to linked album.

  3. #3
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Very cool. I love my lancer Shelby and hope to get it running really well for this upcoming year. I need to change the clutch and do a few small things. Yours looks really nice.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Thanks, Cordes!

    I've only had this one TD, I think I could only keep up with one at a time anyway lol. But I do love it, it's honestly a very comfortable car to drive, great for long trips, or just rippin' around the back roads here. She's been down for a few years as I hadn't made the time to fix'er up until recently. But I'm back in it, and can't wait to drive ol' Jango again!

  5. #5
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Made some more progress! Officially torqued all my pulleys, and installed the flywheel & clutch assembly! Tomorrow I'm hoping to mate the transaxle to the engine, and install everything into the engine bay.

    As always, images added to the Google album.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Was able to mate the transaxle to the engine today and get everything properly torqued, but I ran out of time before a family dinner to install it into the car. Hoping that'll be next weekend now.

    Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

  7. #7
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Looking good Iím enjoying the updates.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Haven't been able to work on the project lately due to some life stuff, but made it out to the shop today and installed the engine! Still much to do, but glad that milestone is out of the way.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    On a side note, engine centering might be interesting. I'll be taking a closer look tomorrow, but it seems like I had to push the engine as far towards the driver side as possible, and also adjust the front mount core support all the way towards the passenger side to make things line up.. My "side" (pulley side) mount and transaxle mount are Anchor aftermarket units from RockAuto, so maybe that's part of it, but we'll see. Anyone who's had similar experience I'm all ears.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Spent some more time at the shop today, was able to center the engine..I think. The Duracrap axle on my passenger side seems far stiffer than the other, and while my 120 pound --- can't seem to compress it nearly as much, the engine appears to be centered.

    To be clear, there isn't nearly enough adjustment to be able to make the two axles "even". I'm hoping that it works itself out after driving a bit, but I might have an axle replacement in my future.

    On the bright side, I was able to install the water pump, power steering pump, alternator, and all associated brackets/hardware today. Tomorrow I'm going to start focusing on the cooling system and electrical connectors. We're not that far off from firing this thing up, but there's still a decent amount of work ahead of me first.

    As always, images added to the album https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Not saying it is not important but don't put too much stock into the mythical centered engine. The front and passenger side mounts are usually ok for allowing adjustment. In all the years of screwing with these cars I have never gotten a replacement transmission mount that actually mimics the OEM mount where it lets there be some free sliding side-side movement. Add in that the aftermarket axles are usually longer and nothing ever goes right. Eyeball it, get it close and ride on.
    1994 Shadow Sedan. 2.2 N/A, A568 396,000 miles. "the science experiment"
    1987 Shelby CSX #418. Long term rebuild and restore ?

  12. #12
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    The tranny mount I got actually does allow it to slide pretty much the whole width of that mount support on the frame, but it's still terrible quality lol. I hate the general aftermarket engine mounts..

    I'm not too worried about the engine centering, it looks pretty good to me. But, I am wondering about the axle on my passenger side. It actually feels far stiffer than the other, but we'll see.

  13. #13
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Been a minute since updating. We're so close now! The wiring harness is all hooked up again, cooling system is back in, little odds and ends done. Pretty much all that's left now is connecting the distributor and intake system.

    I've installed a custom gauge pod containing water temp, oil pressure, and AF ratio gauges.

    Hoping to be breaking this thing in over the weekend 😁

    You can view the whole album and a video of the gauges working here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

  14. #14
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    TODAY WAS THE DAY. Started the engine, everything seems fine, it fired right up without hesitation. Only problem is I'm pretty sure my thermostat housing is warped. I'm getting coolant leaking out of the top and bottom of the darn thing, and I put a fresh thermostat and gasket in. Gonna see about getting a replacement housing. So no break-in yet, unfortunately, but we're so close. I added a quick video of the first start-up to the Google album.

  15. #15
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Very nice, CONGRATS
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432 2.5 CB TII, SLH

  16. #16
    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Probably never to be made again but the aluminum T-stat housing is a solid upgrade if you can find one.
    1994 Shadow Sedan. 2.2 N/A, A568 396,000 miles. "the science experiment"
    1987 Shelby CSX #418. Long term rebuild and restore ?

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor shmedley's Avatar
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Cindy at FWDPerformance (glhs727 on here) had some of the billet O-ring housings made semi recently. Maybe send her a message
    Thanks
    Brad S.
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  18. #18
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by 135sohc View Post
    Probably never to be made again but the aluminum T-stat housing is a solid upgrade if you can find one.
    I see Cindy has them listed for $49 before shipping on FWD, which is a bit ouchy for me right now.

    I'm gonna be giving this guy a shot, it's the only housing I could get without paying shipping at any shops near me.

    https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c...+housing&pos=0

    I just plan to install everything bone dry, and use generous amounts of silicone, and then allow it to cure before adding coolant again. That's how I used to get it to seal before I had my threads for the housing bolts fixed. Now that I can properly torque it down, I trusted it to work as designed. My mistake lol

  19. #19
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by shmedley View Post
    Cindy at FWDPerformance (glhs727 on here) had some of the billet O-ring housings made semi recently. Maybe send her a message
    My only concern with these is the sealing surface on the head needs to be near perfectly flat otherwise the o-ring cannot seal thus it leaks. I sanded my CSX head deck/manifold and thermostat surfaces and it sealed great. I used a piece of a quartz countertop as the flat surface. My Sundance's version leaked and I needed to change back to the old style until I can sand it flat.
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432 2.5 CB TII, SLH

  20. #20
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: '89 LS Rebuild

    We finally got there! Took old Jango for a 20 mile break-in, going WOT through the RPM range and letting the engine decel back. Still have some kinks to work out, but it drives well.

    Currently running a manifold vacuum source directly to the wastegate so we're only running about 4-5 psi while breaking it in.

    Had a small coolant leak coming from the back of the engine somewhere, not sure where yet. It actually seems to be getting better since running the car, so I'm hoping a few more heat cycles will just resolve it. But, I'm still getting some UV solution to add to my coolant so I can trace the leak with a blacklight.

    Only got a poor quality video of driving it, since I was more focused on the car and NOT getting pulled over lol

    Videos can be found in my Google album here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGdRGz9kbrTastqr9

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