1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z C/S
This was my most recent Turbo Dodge daily driver: a 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z C/S, aka “Frankentona”. The “C/S” stands for “Carroll Shelby”, which is basically a performance handling package on top of the “Turbo Z” Daytona package. The C/S package includes a 32mm solid front sway bar and a 28mm solid rear sway bar. It also includes a set of 15×6.5 inch “crab” rims (in gold for black C/S’s), but I got this one with the standard 15×6 inch “pizza” rims. See Dempsey Bowling’s pages for more information on Daytona C/S packages.
See more pictures from the gallery…
Today I let go of everything G-body. Frankentona was sold to a friend of a club member, along with my stash of spare 2nd and 3rd gen Daytona parts. It needed to go to someone with the enthusiasm and the time to put into it, instead of it rotting in the driveway. I think it’s in good hands.
After almost 8 years of daily driving service, the Daytona was taken off the street for some badly needed attention. The motor had been having oil system problems for a while: low pressure and was losing oil into the coolant and other places rather rapidly. The body is also showing its age.
I’ve since swapped the motor for the original 2.2L Turbo I motor from my old 1988 Shadow. It still runs as smooth as I remember. I’m not sure how the Mitsu will behave with that giant, triple-core intercooler. I had some interesting issues with boost oscillation in the Shadow when I was using a Conquest intercooler. I am confident that a grainger can be used with a mixed pressure signal from the manifold (which causes oscillation) and turbo outlet (which causes creep) to keep the boost steady. The cal is a stock 1987 CSX cal right now and the trans is a stock 1990 A523 with the OEM Turbo II clutch that held well in the Shadow.
The national convention was back in Chicago again this year. The car show was at the same venue in Fox Lake along with the Chicagoland Mopar Connection’s “Mopars at the Park” show. It was neat seeing such nice FWD Mopars next to the classic iron again. The weather was perfect.
The drags were at Da Grove again as well. I was able to make a few passes. These new tires aren’t as sticky as the old Kumhos were. That along with this hair-trigger ceramic clutch had something to do with my launch problems, I think. The cal has been tuned better since the last time, so my MPH was in the 100s even on the worst pass. But I wasn’t able to beat my previous E/T. Best was 14.343sec @ 102.90mph. Best MPH was 103.66.
Coolant started getting pushed into the overflow at this point, so I called it quits.
|React||60′||1/8 ET||1/8 MPH||1/4 ET||1/4 MPH||Comments|
|0.845||2.565||9.861||75.27||14.897||101.69||First run. Bogged it.|
|0.827||2.710||10.065||76.43||15.056||103.17||Spun then bogged it.|
|0.663||2.685||9.938||78.11||14.876||103.66||Spun like crazy. Hot-lapped.|
|0.490||2.599||9.720||77.49||14.720||102.13||Tried staging rev-limiter at 4k. Spun like crazy.|
|0.079||2.572||9.675||78.31||14.616||103.37||4k launch, spun. Hot-lapped.|
|0.941||2.337||9.352||76.76||14.343||102.90||4k launch, feathered the clutch better. Hot-lapped.|
Here is a video of one of the runs taken by Ron M from the SDAC-Chicago club.
The TU Kevlar clutch that I installed back in ’06 failed. It had been slipping for a few weeks, but it was holding as long as I didn’t go over 5psi of boost or so. Eventually any boost would make it slip, so I broke down and replaced it with this one from SPEC. It is their “Stage 3+” which has a full-faced ceramic-type disc with a supposedly-modified pressure plate. The pedal feel is just like stock, so I am skeptical about that last part. It holds well, but the real test won’t be until the summer tires are back on.
The Kevlar clutch was very chattery, especially while backing up. If I tried backing up a hill, the motor would practically try to fly out of the engine bay. I also experienced a bizarre problem on two occasions where I could not release it. This was in heavy stop-and-go traffic. I suspect the disc warped because it started working again once it cooled-down. I expected better longevity from the Kevlar lining. It should have lasted much longer than the 35k I got out of the ceramic puck clutch in the CSX, but it failed right around the same time. It did have a stock-like feel in terms of engagement. As long as the RPMs were high to avoid the chattering, the engagement was smooth and easy to manage.
The SPEC clutch is “grabby”, just like you would expect from a ceramic type, but not “chattery”. In other words, the pedal has a very narrow band in which you can slip it especially at low RPMs. When you do slip it however, it does not chatter or at least not very much. Backing up is not a problem, other than avoiding a stall. The Kevlar disc had a lot of run out form the sloppy spline and that may have contributed to the problem. The SPEC disc was tighter, but still had some run out.
While the clutch was out, I replaced the 3-4 shift form pads again. I also replaced the fork. I noticed the new pads on the 1-2 fork were also starting to crack, right over the groove carved into the fork while the pads were blown 2 years ago. So I replaced that fork as well with another good set of pads. I also swapped 3rd gear and its syncro with another used one that looked better. It’s nice to have 3rd gear again.
Re-rewelded the driver’s seat frame. It was broken into three pieces and was being held in place by an empty cat litter container. I added some steel to it, so I don’t expect it to break again, at least on in that spot. The bottom cushion has a weird feel to it now, probably because it is being properly supported for the first time in years.
The UltraFlo muffler rusted-off. That thing only lasted 3 years…not impressive. Put the Super Turbo back on there…it’s no quieter than the UltraFlo (at least on the inside), but maybe it’s quieter for the neighbors.
The water pump housing has been leaking for years, but now coolant is dropping at an alarming rate. Not sure if it was the leak or something else, but the housing is now resealed. The car suddenly started using more oil than before as well, so something is clearly amiss. Last time I had the turbo intake off, I saw oil in there. There is still a very small amount of oil in the coolant. Now sure if it’s just leftover film or if there is a leak or crack somewhere. I’m guessing that I will find out sooner or later what the issue is/are.
I haven’t done anything to this car since last July other than drive it. It’s been daily driven for an entire year. 3rd gear is still jacked-up, but got a little better over time until recently. Now I can hardly get it in, but I can say that it is the shift pads again. 4th is starting to give a little trouble too, so I think I will swap the whole 3-4 gear pack for one from an ’89 A555. I wish I could buy new stop rings for less than the cost of an entire transmission. That damn short DSS axle ripped through it’s inner boot again, this time it wore through the inside. Aside from being shoddily assembled, they obviously don’t intend anyone to use these on the street. Pretty lame, given what they cost. This time the spring broke inside the tripod, probably because it can’t sit flat on the shaft end due to those welds.
Last week was really hot, so that motivated me to try to fix the A/C. Had to fix the air compressor first and various other things, but finally got it done. There was a slow leak at the H-valve due to a poorly machined surface on the hoses. Crappy aftermarket parts. The compressor has been holding up so far, so we’ll see if it makes it through the summer. I would be impressed.
A week or two after the convention, the car suddenly got a bad vibration when making right turns. It seemed like the left axle tripod was bottoming-out. I had recentered the engine when I had the old stock axle in there and never put it back, but I wasn’t sure what caused it to suddenly appear one day. It turned out that the aftermarket trans mount I installed had partially collapsed, which was enough to take out the last bit of slack in the axle. Anyway, I put the poly trans mount back in (the engine vibrations were no better with the rubber mount anyway), fixed the front mount bracket so I could slip washers in there to space the poly away from the bracket, and recentered the engine. Everything is fine now and the washers did seem to help a bit with the vibs.
I also cleaned-up the crab rims from the CSX, hit the lips with a scotch-brite abrasive wheel, and polished them a bit before installing them on the Daytona. The Dunlop SP8000s from JT are worn down to the markers now, so I’m running the Kuhmo 712s from the CSX. They have flat spots from the freeway spin-out, but they do have plenty of tread. The Dunlops were awesome tires, but you can’t get them in 225/50 R15 anymore. I’m saving the last of them for the CSX when it is done.
Lastly, I made shims for the brake pads on all four calipers to try to shut them up. They still squeak, but are better overall. I think the notches that are worn into the brackets from the pad plates may be to blame. Would have to weld them up somehow, but I have bigger fish to fry.
The first time I drove the car after coming home from the convention, the door handle broke on the drivers side. Joe from the club was nice enough to pick one up from an 85 Daytona in the junkyard and ship it to me. The rod had to be bent to match the old one, but it swapped over just fine otherwise. While the door was apart, I installed the ’87 power mirrors. Man, the ’91 wiring diagrams are horrible. Not one single interesting circuit on the power mirror page was right and as such my splice job from way back when did not work. I spent many hours trying to sort that out, but now I finally have working power mirrors!
Another awesome time at SDAC has come and gone. The performance driving school was a blast as always. The Daytona did great overall, but the stress did highlight some issues. The intercooler definitely needs to be kicked-out at the bottom to allow some air to get around it. The loss in cooling capacity was very obvious after a few laps, though it will happen on the street in traffic with the A/C on as well. I’m thinking of buying a new fan as well. The other issue was oil pressure. I know the pump has issues and when the oil temps got high, I was seeing only about 30psi of pressure at 5000rpm. Not good, so I think it’s time for a new pump.
I made 14 passes at the drag strip. Times weren’t what I had hoped (was shooting for 13s), but I didn’t break the car. I couldn’t get the car to hook nor could I get it to make more than 18-19psi of boost…even with the wastegate unplugged. I also trashed 3rd gear by the end and it seems that it will need a new syncro. Did a bit of tuning, but most of the effort was spent trying to learn how to launch the car. Best time was 14.269sec @ 98.87mph.
|React||60′||1/8 ET||1/8 MPH||1/4 ET||1/4 MPH||Comments|
|0.659||2.757||11.049||70.65||16.261||94.11||First run. Completely borked the launch and then missed 3rd.|
|0.277||2.669||9.949||77.33||14.896||95.98||Swapped to BB60.14 cal. Slightly better launch. Hot-lapped.|
|0.253||2.717||10.060||74.62||15.094||95.95||Crappy launch. Hot-lapped.|
|0.494||2.620||9.899||75.60||14.803||102.99||Added boost to the cal.|
|0.510||2.498||9.792||75.12||14.732||99.98||Switched to grainger and dropped tire pressure to 35psi. Ended up with 15psi of boost.|
|0.514||2.364||9.380||76.51||14.275||100.08||Cranked up boost to 17psi.|
|0.339||2.437||9.674||75.63||14.598||100.19||18-19psi of boost. Best MPH.|
|0.145||3.092||10.719||74.40||15.686||99.53||Bumped trans out of 1st during launch.|
|0.261||2.265||9.276||73.87||14.269||98.87||Finally a decent launch. Best ET.|
|0.260||2.525||9.917||72.34||14.968||98.04||3rd grinding bad.|
|0.371||2.698||13.899||47.47||22.392||54.02||Turtle race (lost).|
|0.159||2.410||9.792||76.13||14.802||95.75||3rd is done.|
So I’m going to SDAC-18 and have been doing a mad-dash to get the car ready. The axle boot was the wrong one and tore itself up on the trans case. I put an old stocker in there from the Shadow while I worked on other things. Later I got the correct boots from JT and completely went though the axles. Only the short axle has the tripod welded to it and it looks like they did it while the bearings were on. They must have slipped and tagged one of them with the welder. The tulip race is chewed-up pretty good there. The outer joints have a lot of hammer blows on them and long axle’s has a lot of play and binds much beyond the center. I put them back together anyway and they seem to be holding up so far. I don’t expect to get a whole lot of miles out of them.
Trying to address the somewhat-weak oil pressure issues, I pulled the pan and removed the pickup. My thought was that it may have been leaking at the o-ring since I had to bend the tube a bit when putting the motor together. I took the pump apart as well to check the clearances. It had a lot of scoring in it for some reason, but the clearances were all well within spec. I also plastiguaged the rods bearings, which looked great and were nice and tight.
I’m going to be running the road course, so I put new pads and rotors in the front and bled the brakes. Also replaced the front swaybar bushings with new ones from Johnny. The radiator was throughly flushed, since I had some oil in there.
The ends on the CS Racer panhard bar were shot, so I modified a stocker to make it adjustable. One end was cut off and a grade 10.9 M16 bolt welded to it. Some of the bar was removed and an M16 coupler nut was welded to that end and the whole bar was boxed-in. It warped a bit after all the welding, so I lowered on car on it to bend it straight again. It was installed with new poly bushings from Johnny Spiva.
I DA’ed and rattle-canned the roof and mounted the side door mouldings. Painted those as well as some missing paint on the nose. Also painted the exposed bumper support since the grill is missing there. Did lots of touch-ups and also tried to deal with the worst of the rust on the hood. Didn’t have enough time to finish sanding and rubbing-out the patches, but it looks better than it did before.