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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I apologize in advance if this doesn't count as a "Classic" car, but it is 40 years old this year so I figured it was worth a shot. Please feel free to move my post if need be.

I recently purchased a 1982 Plymouth Reliant 4 door 2.2 / 3 speed for dirt cheap not running. Needs timing belt, but the engine is non-interference, so I figure it's worth a shot. Anyways, I was wondering a few things things:

-The wiring to the ignition coil is a bit chewed up and someone has added an old points-style condenser. Is this factory? Where can I find the condenser? I did not think electronic ignition required one, but I cannot find a part number to replace it anywhere at all. Nobody lists one!
One wire is chewed off, it may not even go to the ignition coil, but it is exiting the loom in the same place as the coil (This is where this particular section ends entirely, on the passenger front of the fender right behind the headlight). It appears green with a red stripe. Any suggestions on this? I have a service manual coming but not in hand yet.

-I am going to change the transmission fluid (and filter if I can get one). The car has 46,420 original miles and was even on it's original air filter and plug wires when it came to me. It is an A413 if that helps.
The trans fluid looks plenty nice and clean, smells alright, but I figure it is best to change it now before something goes wrong. What fluid is recommended? Owners manual says Dexron II, which is no longer made, and I've been told Dexron III will be okay, and that if I ever do a full drain I should use Dexron VI. However, Chrysler says ATF+4 supersedes all previous specifications. I will call a dealer on Monday morning and ask, and of course I will also check the service manual when it gets here, but I'm not sure what to do here.

-My instrument panel is totally stone dead. I mean absolutely nothing, no warning lights, no illumination, no fuel gauge. I have not yet been able to move the car fast enough to see if the speedo works. The car was parked in (we think) 1991 when it snapped a timing belt, and there is evidence of animals under the hood. Where should I look first for the instrument panel? Just yank it out of the dash or is there something else?

-Finally, where the heck do I get tires for this? They are P175/75R13s and I cannot find ANYBODY who is able to get a set rated for anything other than ST (utility trailer). Is there a more common size for this? If possible, I would like to keep the original wheels because I have the hubcaps for them, but a friend of mine says he would probably sell me the alloys off his wrecked Shelby Shadow, which we think are 14s or 15s. Do you think they would fit? I've had great difficulty tracking down even lug patterns for these suckers.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I hope to get this car back on the road someday, hopefully soon. Already have most of the parts I know I need in hand, but just need advice with this last little bit.

Thank you very much for your time. Oh, and here's a picture of the car (After we washed it) for good measure. Not bad for $300.
 

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and someone has added an old points-style condenser. Is this factory? Where can I find the condenser?
That's a radio noise suppression capacitor, original p/n was 4222103, but probably available in the aftermarket. Not likely it needs replacement, though.
Finally, where the heck do I get tires for this?
You can go with P185/70R13, which became the norm on K-cars a few years later. Still available.
Do you think they would fit?
Not with the current hubs. You have 4-luggers; P-bodies (and most everything else by 1987) were all 5-lug (5x100).
My instrument panel is totally stone dead. I mean absolutely nothing, no warning lights, no illumination, no fuel gauge
Is it just the panel? Do the dome light, cigarette lighter, and radio have power? If so, you may just have a small issue with power going to the printed circuit board (or an issue with the board itself). In any case, the dashes on K-cars are very simple to remove. If that's my car, I'm pulling it all for a close-up inspection and clean-up.

Nice car with GREAT color combo. Also like the optional chrome rearview mirror. I use ATF+4 in all my Chryslers, from 1985 model year to my 2014 T&C.

One of the first things I'd do is rebuild that carburetor and go through the entire fuel system...before trying to fire it up, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I see, I will look into the capacitor at a later time then. Will call around about those tires tomorrow as well.
As far as I'm aware, the Shadow was also 4 lug but I could be wrong. What is the lug pattern on K cars with 4 bolts?

Just the panel. Dome light, cigarette lighter, headlights, turn signals, tail lights, brake lights, reverse lights, radio, blower motor, the radio and HVAC illumination, washer pump, and the ignition key's illumination before you put the key in all work.
The horn does not work and the wipers do not move, but I can see that the linkage has fallen off under the case. I have a body service manual coming so hopefully this will not be an issue. I have one reverse light out and no tag lights, but I'm hoping for just bulbs. Sadly I do not have the key to the trunk and can't take the car to the locksmith without having the car running and driving so it will just have to wait a while.

How do I remove the instrument panel? With how crappy the plastics are, I'm wary of touching anything for fear of smashing it to a thousand pieces. Absolutely everything else in the dash appears to be functional.

Thanks, I'm sure with how few miles are on this car that the trans is still on it's original fill of Dexron II and I am also aware that taking a pan off doesn't drain a trans completely, so I wanted to make sure putting ATF+4 in the trans with potentially a quart or two of Dex II left behind would not damage it.

I've already done the fuel pump, lines and filter. I do not currently have access to a carb kit and I'm not sure how much I want to mess with a computer controlled carb at the moment if there's a chance it works. I will probably disconnect the fuel lines before doing anything more than cranking the engine over, and just feed it off a bottle to make sure the engine is working enough to be worth my time. At that point I have a nice little reservoir that I will plumb to the fuel pump just to make sure the rest of it works. If all is well, I'll drain the tank and fill it back with new gas and be done with it.


Speaking of, the timing belt is broken and it appears that the original cause of this failure was the smog pump (driven off the opposite side of the cam from a V belt, Dayco # 15240) locked up and dragged on the cam a little too hard, causing the belt to break. For now, I have chopped this belt off at least until the engine runs. We do not have inspections here, is there any reason to track down a new smog pump and belt for this, or can I just leave the belt off and be okay?
 

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I believe the lug pattern is 4x100mm; never saw a Shadow/Sundance with four lugs. I had a base 1987 Shadow many years ago and it was five-lug. I think almost everything (except maybe Omni/Horizon) went to five-lug starting in 1986. My 1986 base Daytona is five-lug as well. This is from my experience, though...

Sure sounds like your issue is isolated to the panel/gauge cluster. You'll need a schematic for the specifics, but the gauge cluster is very easy to pull - the bezel is held on with philips screws top and bottom; then pull it out a few inches to get your hand behind it. You have to squeeze and un-clip the speedo cable and then unplug two harnesses. The printed circuit boards can be problematic as they get old, as the solder joints can break. Lots of folks just re-flow the breaks with solder. However, you could have a power issue (or bad ground), which will require more investigation. That's probably why I'd just pull it all apart.

When I got my K-car wagon a few years ago, all my wiring was severely cobbled up (much of it from when someone installed an aftermarket radio & speakers). It's really simple to pull it all apart. You start by removing individual components (e.g., radio, HVAC control, ashtray, glove box door, etc.). The top pad is screwed on at the base of the windscreen and under the front lip. Once you start pulling stuff (and photographing/labeling), it's very easy...and a great opportunity to clean everything up. This was my wagon after an hour:

Motor vehicle Steering part Vehicle Steering wheel Car



If you pull the rear seat cushion and seatback, you can crawl into the trunk and manually open it by manipulating the lock rod off the trunk lock cylinder. A new lock cylinder is about 10 bucks from Rock Auto, and it's held in place with a large locknut. Really simple.

Copy all on your fuel system work. My major concerns would be gunk in the carb bowl and passages, as well as dried-out/failed gaskets which may leak. You may have to address these items at some point, but I catch your drift.

Without inspections, you can certainly let the smog pump be. I'd probably replace it at some point, as I'm more of a "put it back the way Lee Iaccoca made it" kind of person. Although it looks like a rebuilt unit is 125 bucks on Rock Auto. Yikes! Those things used to cost 20 bucks!

A few bits of advice for more info. Suggest you search/join/post on the following site forums. You'll find lots of K-car aficionados to help:

www.allpar.com
www.turbododge.com

Again, it's a great looking car. Best of luck getting it back together. I just sold my 1985 wagon a few weeks ago after a solid year of reconstruction, so I still have lots of K-car on the brain.
 

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You are going to need a PLAN and a meter. You don't need tires or tranny if it doesn't run. Check for power and grounds before removing dash. You need to troubleshoot not throw parts at this car. Fond memories of my K - car. Good luck
ps - I'd head over to YouTube and watch a few vids on car restoration
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are going to need a PLAN and a meter. You don't need tires or tranny if it doesn't run. Check for power and grounds before removing dash. You need to troubleshoot not throw parts at this car. Fond memories of my K - car. Good luck
ps - I'd head over to YouTube and watch a few vids on car restoration
Already have meter. The "plan" is to put a timing belt on it. It's fine. Everything else in the dash works, the only part that does not is the instrument panel which shows no signs of life at all.

I've worked on enough cars before - Please do not be so condescending.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, we've got a timing belt on it now, car runs pretty decent and I had it running long enough on the bottle to put it into reverse and move back about 2 feet before it ran out of fuel and conked back out.

I drained the tank out as much as I could (not much in there it seems) and put about 4 gallons of fresh fuel + a can of sea foam in (just in case there's crap still sticking around). However, it does not seem to be picking up any fuel from the tank as the car won't run unless I put fuel down the throat of the carb. I've had it running off the carb bowls about 5 times now, including cranking I would expect this to be more than enough to have drawn from the tank. Any thoughts? New pump, new filter, new lines, fresh gas in tank.

Also, it seems Chrysler decided it was a good idea to use a bolt on the AC bracket (which holds the compressor and tensioner) for the purpose of holding back engine coolant. Why? Who designed this? Not only is this very annoying, but I actually can't get the bolt to thread into anything. It goes in and stops about an inch from the bottom but will not thread in for anything. This makes for a massive coolant leak that I can't fix.

The P185/70R13s look great and definitely hold more air than the old tires, which were dated 1989! Hopefully I can get the rest of the little minor things done and have the car back on the road. I'd like to have it going by the end of the month but I'm not sure if that will happen. Fingers crossed, though.
 

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Great work so far! Glad the 185-series tires worked out. Although I don't have any ideas on the fuel flow issue, I can tell you about the "wet" bolt for the A/C bracket. Just want to make sure we're talking about #3 in the attached illustration. This is an open hole into a water jacket, so just requires a little thread sealant before installation. The fact you can't thread it makes me wonder if the threads are gone, in which case it would need to be re-tapped for pipe thread. See attached (sorry for the crummy pic, had to scan from my FSM):

Font Parallel Art Paper Paper product
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, car runs great on the bowls until it's empty. I've got reverse and first, at least. Two more tires on the way to get the car on new rubber. Probably going to order a new tank since the pickup is probably blocked and it doesn't seem to be separate - I'll just drop the old one and stuff a new one in. Only about $80 on Amazon.
Video of the car running
Sounds like it needs more advance when starting and I can definitely tell it's not picking up from the tank, but stopping the hideous water leak is definitely my priority right now.

Just want to make sure we're talking about #3 in the attached illustration. This is an open hole into a water jacket, so just requires a little thread sealant before installation. The fact you can't thread it makes me wonder if the threads are gone, in which case it would need to be re-tapped for pipe thread.
Yes, #3 is exactly what I'm talking about. Pictured below. The bolt does go through the hole almost until it's base, but stops about an inch from fully in. I cannot, however, get it to thread in! It didn't bring any threads with it when it came out, and it didn't make a scene on removal either. No coolant when we took it apart for the record, which makes me think that it has a leak somewhere else as well.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Took the car around the block today. I think it might have either a pretty major coolant leak or a head gasket problem of some kind. Plus the carb seems to have decided at the last second to let go, it was working great the entire time I was running the car off the bowls! Started fine, revved great. Now the car hesitates badly under any throttle haha. Guess the accel pump let go. Oh well, a carb kit is cheap.

It's also on 4 new tires and has a "fuel cell" which is a coolant reservoir repurposed for gas duty zip tied to the front while I wait on a gas tank and try to find a sending unit.

Anyone know where to get a sending unit?

Picture of car with nice new tires and a "fuel system" on the front, and since I forgot to post them earlier, here's where the timing belt would have been:


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Really makes me believe the "Parked in 1991" even further!

Anyways, I keep pouring coolant into the radiator and it keeps going down but not hitting the ground or the carpet anywhere I can see. No big smoke from exhaust while the car's running or driving at all, it doesn't seem to run hot but I've got no gauges or cluster to really know. Engine is not excessively noisy, in fact it runs beautifully at idle. Surges a bit under coasting and accels horrible because no diaphragm but that's fine. The oil level doesn't seem high, but it could be my eyes or the lighting.

How common is it that these cars blow head gaskets, and how bad of a job is it to replace one? I went ahead and ordered a carb kit and a head gasket set + head bolts off Rock Auto, I think it was $40 total for all three so not too bad either way. Think it can be done in one or two days by amateurs with mostly hand tools and a service manual (or printouts from alldata)? Anything I need to be warned of for the carb rebuild or head gasket job? Any little springs gonna fly out at me or tiny screws to get lost or washers to fall into the motor conveniently? I've done both jobs before but never on a Mopar.
 

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We had a Horizon it was a great car...Till the A/C went south as I remember we had +140k on it? My wife had a Lynx and ran it low with coolant. The head was warped, so I had the head machined, cylinder head resurfaced. New gasket and bolts.
Try not to run the car so the head can be safe. Great find nice to have one with A/C.
 
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