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Thread: 1987 Lancer

  1. #1
    Mitsu booster
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    1987 Lancer

    Hi Folks,

    Been meaning to get this posted for a while.. So the car is an '87 Lancer ES, originally a TI auto. It has been in the family since 2001. My grandfather owned it and then gave it to me a few years back. I actually raced the car on and off with him and my dad throughout the years in a few different configurations (auto, stick, TI, TII).

    In 2020, I decided to build a bottom end for it and use a freshly rebuilt a555 I had sitting on the shelf. When I ran these cars in the past, I really didn't have a decent grasp on the engine management side of things but as time went on I had the opportunity to become more familiar with some of the systems out there and decided to have a go with Holley EFI on a Turbo Mopar.

    The engine is a recipe that a lot of us are familiar with. 2.2 CB with a 2.2 forged crank, K1 rods, Wiseco 9.0:1 custom pistons. I run a high tension (12-14 lb. tangential tension) oil ring set because the first set caused some oil usage issues. Tension on the first set was in the 4-5 lb. range. Car uses no oil at all now, even with 2500 miles and 25-30 1/4 mile passes on the last oil change.

    On the cylinder head I did some cleaning up in the ports and bowls but I really dug into the chambers and unshrouded the intakes and exhausts. Stock valves, TU springs, lifters and R5 cam. I'm also running the TU cast header and GT3076R turbo. Stock two-piece intake with a 52mm TB. Intercooler is just a decent sized eBay deal. Something like 28"x10"x3.5" up-down flow.

    Transmission was sort of an odd find, It came in a small parts lot that I got off of craigslist. It was a fresh a555 rebuild that still had the rebuild tag on it. From what I could tell when I installed the LSD and bearing retainer plate, it all looked like NOS parts inside. I went through it per the '89 service manual and it was all set up the right way.

    For the Holley EFI setup, I had an HP ECU from another project so I got a Holley universal unterminated harness and the Holley 6.86" Pro digital dash. I basically just gutted the stock underhood harness except for a few essentials (lights, power circuits, etc.) so the car could still work as it should from the controls inside. ECU is mounted in the stock power module location and I just tailored the Holley harness under the hood to the car and engine.

    I wanted to take advantage of the capability of the Holley EFI and run sequential injection so I needed to run a cam/crank signal setup. For the crank signal, I took the stock accessory drive pulley and trued it up on a lathe so that I could press and weld a GM LS reluctor wheel on to it. I made a balancing fixture for it and balanced it neutral. The crank sensor sits in a bracket that I machined and attached to back of the block. Cam signal is just a single pulse mag sensor on the intermediate shaft pulley. No distributor, I made a block off plug for it.

    Ignition is stock GM LS coil packs. ICT Billet makes real nice universal mounts for those so I got one and mounted it where the A/C compressor was.

    I use Holley EFI injectors because they're matched and the software has all of the off-time data already stored. They're the same EV1 low impedance style that originally came on these cars so it all worked out. Originally I used 66 lb/hr but I quickly found out in the data logs that I was right at about 100% duty cycle at the top of 4th gear. Running 83 lb/hr on gasoline currently.

    Connectors and wiring for the IAC and TPS were surprisingly spot on. Literally plugged right in and worked as they should. (I think most of the turbo mopar throttle bodies are Holley anyway so it makes sense kinda).

    I'm sure I'm missing some things here. Overall, it was a bunch of work and a bit pricey but I figured it'd be something I could make last if I could tune it well and be able to monitor the vitals. So far, with the exception of a broken axle at the track, it runs really well and really strong with without any drama. And it gets dang good fuel mileage when I keep my foot out of it..

    The car is a work in progress. I'll update my log as I go. This winter I'd like to really dive into the cylinder head and focus on the ports and bowls.

    A couple of pics of the car;

  2. #2

    Re: 1987 Lancer

    Beautiful car, nice work! More photos of engine please. whats it run?
    best 1/8 ET-6.16 sec. best 1/8 speed-119.70 Best 1/4 MPH 145.5, Best 1/4 ET 9.65 sec. 8 valve NO NITROUS!!

  3. #3
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Tuscola, IL

    Re: 1987 Lancer

    Plus one for more photos and info. That looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Mitsu booster
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Re: 1987 Lancer

    Thanks guys. I'll have to take some pics this weekend and get the link up at some point soon. Best run was 11.93@119 so far. Not real into putting a cage in this car so the goal is to be around that 11.50-11.60 e.t. range while still keeping all the parts happy.

  5. #5
    Boost, it's what's for dinner... Turbo Mopar Staff Aries_Turbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Warsaw, NY

    Re: 1987 Lancer

    cool. love the EFI setup. tuning is the hardest thing for many with this platform. especially with the 30+ year old wiring.


    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman
    This one is easy, I have myself to blame, I rush things, don't pay attention to gauges when I should, change to much stuff at once then expect miracles, the list is endless.

  6. #6
    Mitsu booster Turbo Mopar Contributor
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Farmington, NM

    Re: 1987 Lancer

    Very impressive Lancer! Definitely would like to see more pictures and details of your EFI setup.

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