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    Fabulous Flops: Chrysler 2.2L and 2.2L Turbo I


    G. Noble

    Editor/Reporter

    CheersandGears.com

    March 28, 2012

    Fabulous Flops is a monthly series profiling some of the spectacular failures in the automotive industry. The automotive industry is by nature an innovator, but sometimes those innovative ideas are taken out of the oven before they are done cooking, others fall victim to poor timing. Today we are profiling Chrysler's two terrible piston-equipped children, the 2.2L four-cylinder engine and the 2.2L Turbo I four.

    During the course of automotive history, we’ve seen automakers take the engineering that goes into building an engine and turn it into something of an art form. The end result usually is nothing short of something brilliant.

    For example, Ferrari has given us microscopic engines that somehow produce massive horsepower numbers and still have at least eight cylinders. Then there’s Alfa Romeo, who have built engines so beautifully detailed they’ve somehow managed to make the innocent act of raising the hood of one of their cars into something totally adulterous. Detroit during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s managed to produce the most heroic symphonies the word had ever heard from their massive V8s. On the subject of Detroit, remember the old 2.0 liter, forced-induction Ecotec four-cylinder from General Motors? That really was nothing short of a 21st century small-block Chevy.

    Those are just a few highlights from the century-plus long automotive footage reel, though. Watch the whole film in its entirety and you’ll find that there have been many an instance where an automaker strives to push engine — uhhhengineering to the outer edges of the envelope only to fall flat on its face. And while it’s certainly true that GM has succeeded in this century with building a great four-cylinder engine, you certainly couldn’t say the same for Chrysler in the closing quarter of the 20th century.

    For those of us who had to suffer through the K-Car years and the subsequent fallout, the mere mention of the name LeBaron or New Yorker codgers up images of some bland, front-drive car with a nasty paintjob and electrical issues. Okay, yes, I know Chrysler was more concerned with building affordable, efficient cars that would pay the bills back then. Yes, sure, some of them were sort of reliable and not completely terrible, but the K-Platform derived Chryslers were all cars devoid of the rather admirable, plucky Pentastar personality that made the original Hemi Challengers and Road Runners such magical machines. In my eyes, the fact the platform spawned a billion soulless children and carried on relatively unchanged for over a decade is one of the many great automotive mysteries.

    It’s even more mysterious when you consider people actually bought them with Chrysler’s horrible 2.2 liter four-cylinder engine. I’ll admit Chrysler seemed to have all of its stars aligned and ducks in a row when they were designing it. First, they benchmarked a fairly solid 1.7 liter engine they had bought from Volkswagen to use in the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon/Talbot Horizon triplets. After that, they grouped together a team of guys that was led by Willem Weertman, who worked on the old warhorse Slant 6. How the 2.2 became the end result then is a huge letdown.

    gallery_8523_134_38227.jpg

    The original Chrysler 2.2L four was more or less born from the VW 1.7L four used in the Dodge Omni.

    For starters, the 2.2 had an aluminum cylinder head and an iron engine block, exactly like the 1.7 liter VW motor. This was by no means a bad design and was advanced for an American four-pot in its day, however Chrysler failed to understand the mixed metallurgy required additives to the coolant that would prevent a total meltdown — additives they decided to forgo for production and subsequently forgot completely. American buyers, who were then used to a four-cylinder motor that required very low maintenance, weren’t exactly ready for the high demands of the aluminum/iron design either. As a result, cylinder head gaskets had to be replaced as often as the driver would change his underwear and the cylinder heads themselves would eventually crack.

    Then there was the terrible carburetor and distributor chosen for use on the 2.2. The carburetor came from Holley who by no means makes bad carbs, but on the day they built the ones chosen for use on the early 2.2 liter motors, they must’ve forgotten everything. The design was an electronic progressive feedback, two-barrel design that only lent itself to stalling when you wanted to go, wheezing when you did, and bizarre burps of power at random intervals. The distributor in particular was a rather nasty device because the shaft support bushing was so cheap it would wear out in such a fashion that the rotor would eventually hit the distributor cap, which would then break. The end result of that, well, is obvious.

    The 2.2 also had a rubber timing belt which would break between oil changes and the whole thing only produced an underwhelming 84 horsepower. As for torque? Let’s just say your grandmother is probably capable of a higher amount of twist if you handed her a torque wrench.

    gallery_8523_134_16931.jpg

    The Dodge Shelby Charger used a tuned version of the 2.2 that produced all of 107 horsepower. How's that for power?

    Chrysler knew the engine left plenty of room for improvement, so it didn’t take very long for them to set about changing things. For 1983, they fiddled around with the pistons and the aluminum head and wrung a whole 10 more horsepower out of it. Poor Carroll Shelby also had to use a modified version of the 2.2 in the front-drive, Horizon-based Shelby Charger. His tuned 2.2 managed to just barely break the 100 horsepower mark. Then in 1984 Chrysler installed throttle body fuel-injection, which bumped the power up to 99 and actually had few advantages over the terrible Holly carburetor.

    1984 also was the first year Chrysler built the laughable 2.2 Turbo I motor. What Chrysler did for the Turbo I was take the 2.2 and, well, put a turbo on it. That sounds like it could’ve made a bad motor decent and that would be true if they had fitted it with something all well-built turbo engines have — an intercooler. The decision to save a few bucks by not installing an intercooler on an turbocharged motor that was, in turn, based on an engine that already had cooling system issues meant that the Turbo I was one of the least reliable engines Chrysler had ever built. Take a Turbo I-equipped LeBaron up a decent grade of a hill and you were guaranteed to boil your coolant into oblivion.

    So, in 20/20 hindsight, the Chrysler 2.2 and 2.2 Turbo I were flops, perhaps not in sales, but from a reliability and engineering standpoint. To Chrysler’s credit, they tried to at least rectify some of the issues that plagued the Turbo I when they rolled out the 2.2 Turbo II, which actually had a factory intercooler. The Turbo III and Turbo IV 2.2 motors that succeeded it also were fairly respectable performance motors. The Turbo IV in particular was responsible for making the old Dodge Spirit R/T the fastest North American production sedan money could buy when it was new.

    * * * * *

    Do you have a nomination for a Fabulous Flop? Drop an email to Flops@CheersandGears.com with your nomination. Make sure to share this with your friends on Facebook or Twitter using the buttons below.

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    Cool history of some bad 4 bangers. Course growing up in the late 70's and early 80's gave us a view of many ugly american engineering ideas that were before their time.

    Remember the gas converted to Diesel engines or the loverly 4/6/8 V8 that just never seemed to work right.

    But back on the 4 Bangers, these did leave a lasting impression of how poorly America built small engines.

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    I suspect there were two problems with these Chrysler (and GM) engines 35 years ago. One: Detroit-area engineers lacked the experience of making good if not great 4cyl engines, and that often took 5-10 years to sort that out. Two: Detroit-area management and executives were never willing to bet the farm on small engines at all, and go all out on making the best 4cyl engines around.

    Remember that the Germans and especially the Japanese were always 3cyl and 4cyl masters because they started very small and seldom went big. Going in the opposite direction is always much harder. This is why today's GM and Chrysler 4cyl engines have their roots in Europe to a significant degree. There simply is no substitute for experience.

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    When the Chrysler K-Cars came out in 1980, they were great cars. As an owner of a 1982 Dodge Aries powered by the 84hp 2bbl 2.2L SOHC Chrysler four-banger (mated to the 4-speed manual), I cannot complain about the car or the drivetrain...and definitely couldn't defend calling the engine "horrible." Over the 94,000 miles my family put on this car and engine, we had only a few relatively minor problems. The car's "soft" camshaft was replaced early on and the engine continued on like a champ for the rest of our time with the Aries. The "terrible" carburetor had only one glitch (to my recollection) over eight years when the extreme cold temperatures froze it open while driving on the highway, but it closed up a minute later without incident. And carburetors in general during this period of emissions controls were suspect (and expensive), but I can't see how the Holley on the 2.2L should have been singled out as being worse than any other at the time.

    As a matter of fact, my car (and it's engine) was praised by nearly everyone who experienced my Aries 6-passenger 2-door. A schoolmate who (along with his father) restored Pontiac GTOs took a ride in my Dodge once and exclaimed how impressed he was with its power and acceleration. Granted, my 2,400 lb Aries was not slowed down by unnecessary accessories such as power anything or air conditioning (or cloth seats or padded dashboards or...). And the car returned an impressive 25-30 mpg day in and day out...which isn't bad considering the abuse I put the car through and the car's ability to haul around five of my friends at the same time.

    In hindsight (and especially at the time), the 2.2L Chrysler engine was anything but a flop. It powered a range of models including economy cars (Omni/Horizon, Sundance/Shadow), family cars (Aries/Reliant, 600/E-Class), pickups (Rampage/Scamp, Dakota....the latter, probably not the best use of the engine), minivans (Caravan/Voyager), station wagons (Aries/Reliant, Town & Country), "luxury" cars (New Yorker, limousines), and sporty coupes (Charger/Turismo, Daytona/Laser). It ranged in power from 84hp (carb'd) to 224hp (DOHC, turbo). And it was in production from 1980 through 1995 (as the 2.5L version) when the tooling was sold and continued in production afterwards. This engine was successful because it was a good (not great and not merely adequate) engine for its time and because it powered Chrysler from near bankruptcy to prosperity.

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    I really have to disagree with calling these flops. Yes these motors had some issues (poor flowing 8 valve cylinder heads and the marginal early transaxles they were mated to) but aside from the odd head gasket and timing belt, the later 2.2's are very reliable. And if a timing belt does break, you just replace it in an hour, no harm done.

    The longer stroke 2.5's will develop a knock with mileage, but it does not mean pending doom. They all do it and keep running.

    Let's not forget as the prior poster noted that the 16 valve 2.2's of 91 and 92 made more horsepower per inch than virtually any mopar motor ever made (even since) (can you tell I am biased).

    I have owned 7 variations over the years and still have one. Dead simple to maintain and I think quite reliable. As an aside, I have accumulated well over a half million miles in these and have had to replace 1 head gasket in a very high mileage motor and never had a timing belt fail, but I check these and replace as neccesary.

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    I really have to disagree with calling these flops. Yes these motors had some issues (poor flowing 8 valve cylinder heads and the marginal early transaxles they were mated to) but aside from the odd head gasket and timing belt, the later 2.2's are very reliable. And if a timing belt does break, you just replace it in an hour, no harm done.

    The longer stroke 2.5's will develop a knock with mileage, but it does not mean pending doom. They all do it and keep running.

    Let's not forget as the prior poster noted that the 16 valve 2.2's of 91 and 92 made more horsepower per inch than virtually any mopar motor ever made (even since) (can you tell I am biased).

    I have owned 7 variations over the years and still have one. Dead simple to maintain and I think quite reliable. As an aside, I have accumulated well over a half million miles in these and have had to replace 1 head gasket in a very high mileage motor and never had a timing belt fail, but I check these and replace as neccesary.

    True story. The 2.5 in the Shadow developed a sort of low knock. Not a loud one but you could hear it. That was 5 years and 12,000 miles ago. It did end up having it's head gasket replaced last year, but for any Detroit engine from the 80's to make it north of 220,000 miles is nothing to sneeze at.

    That engine did have a thing for valve cover gaskets though.

    The 2.2 Turbos in the `87 Shadows were putting out 175 hp, which is more than the 3.5 V8 put out in `85.Even today 175 horsepower is more than respectable in a turbo 4.

    I wouldn't really consider these flops, the early ones weren't very good, but find me an early 80's 4 banger from Detroit that was. Last ones were pretty good for their day. Now if flops is what you want might I suggest the 8-6-4 or perhaps the HT4100? While the 2.2 turbos have quite the cult following, I'm pretty sure no one lusts of those horrible V8s. Now those were flops.

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    My general impression has been that 4cyl engines (at least in american cars) weren't worth having until at least the very late 80's & early '90's. Weak, overworked, and unreliable was always my general impression. Now it's a completely different story, with turbo 4's reliably pushing more power than you got from many 80's 6 (or even 8 ) cylinder engines.

    Edited by PurdueGuy
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    The 1.4T in the Cruze puts out just 2 horsepower less than the 5.0 in my Toronado..... though my Toronado does make up for it in torque. I'd need to get a Cobalt SS engine to exceed the torque I have now.

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    The 1.4T in the Cruze puts out just 2 horsepower less than the 5.0 in my Toronado..... though my Toronado does make up for it in torque. I'd need to get a Cobalt SS engine to exceed the torque I have now.

    Yeah, you have to be willing to wind up an n/a 4cyl to get the power, but they can take it just fine anymore.

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    Having owned (a long time ago) a two door Omni that was a decent but not fantastic little car, I'd have to disagree with the article.

    I've seen Turbo Chryco 4 bangers of the era embarrass SS 396 Chevelles at the drag strip, so...no I wouldn't call these a failure.

    The 1.4T in the Cruze puts out just 2 horsepower less than the 5.0 in my Toronado..... though my Toronado does make up for it in torque. I'd need to get a Cobalt SS engine to exceed the torque I have now.

    ...and the smaller miklls are fu n to rev too.

    Looking forward to test driving a sonic myself, I've heard lots of great things from owners about how much they love their cars.

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    One correction for the article. It was the Turbo III, and not the Turbo IV in the Spirit R/T's. The Turbo III was the 16 valve motor in the Dodge's. The TIV was the VNT turbo variant. As a side-note, a different 16 valve variant was available in the Maserati - k-based cars.

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    One correction for the article. It was the Turbo III, and not the Turbo IV in the Spirit R/T's. The Turbo III was the 16 valve motor in the Dodge's. The TIV was the VNT turbo variant. As a side-note, a different 16 valve variant was available in the Maserati - k-based cars.

    The Maserati-head was only offered on the 1989 "Chrylser's TC by Maserati." The Turbo III had a Lotus-built 16-valve head and was offered in the Spirit R/T and the Daytona IROC R/T

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    Oh wow. My first thought was "maybe the author just doesnt know anything about these engines or the cars they came in". Then I read it again and had a look at the profile and I was sure of it.

    I have a 1981 024 2.2L 4 speed. No, not alot of power but it gets great gas milage (what it was designed to do) and I have never had to replace the head gasket. The timing belt has broken but every belt does if not replaced. No problem to replace and no piston or valve damage was done.

    These misguided shots across the bow at Chryco really crack me up. They have built their share of junk but then, so has every other manufacturer. Honda Pilot transmissions?Toyota Tacoma frame rot? Fairmont? Pinto? Citation? Chevette? Go look up the "Iron Duke" and tell me what you find. Give me a break.

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    Oh wow. My first thought was "maybe the author just doesnt know anything about these engines or the cars they came in". Then I read it again and had a look at the profile and I was sure of it.

    I have a 1981 024 2.2L 4 speed. No, not alot of power but it gets great gas milage (what it was designed to do) and I have never had to replace the head gasket. The timing belt has broken but every belt does if not replaced. No problem to replace and no piston or valve damage was done.

    These misguided shots across the bow at Chryco really crack me up. They have built their share of junk but then, so has every other manufacturer. Honda Pilot transmissions?Toyota Tacoma frame rot? Fairmont? Pinto? Citation? Chevette? Go look up the "Iron Duke" and tell me what you find. Give me a break.

    So, long story short, you're butthurt, eh? That's fine. Like it or not, that means I did something right.

    This article wasn't intended to be a "misguided shot across the bow" at Chrysler. I've owned Chrysler products in the past and I've been pleased overall with all of them. That said, this article was meant to roast an engine that, according to the research I did, was ... let's say, rather inadequate in the early stages of its life.

    I mean, who honestly turbocharges a four-cylinder engine, decides to cut a corner by not installing an intercooler and expects it not to overheat? One of my earliest car-related childhood memories is of my aunt's Turbo I-powered LeBaron convertible boiling itself alive going up a mountain road.

    Yes, every automaker makes boneheaded decisions. I'm not denying that. But I'll be damned if that wasn't a dumb and bureaucratic decision on Chrysler's part.

    Edited by black-knight
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    This article wasn't intended to be a "misguided shot across the bow" at Chrysler. I've owned Chrysler products in the past and I've been pleased overall with all of them. That said, this article was meant to roast an engine that, according to the research I did, was ... let's say, rather inadequate in the early stages of its life.

    That's where I strongly disagree. My early (1982) 2.2L carb'd engine was fantastic. For its day, it was powerful (without accessories, as mine was) and economical (25-40 in real-world driving). Compared to the competition, it was great.

    I mean, who honestly turbocharges a four-cylinder engine, decides to cut a corner by not installing an intercooler and expects it not to overheat? One of my earliest car-related childhood memories is of my aunt's Turbo I-powered LeBaron convertible boiling itself alive going up a mountain road.

    Go back to your research. Intercoolers were not commonplace until the mid-1980s, at the earliest. Look at GM or Ford turbos and you won't find an intercooler in the 1960s, 1970s, or early 1980s. EVERYBODY built turbos without intercoolers! It wasn't cutting corners, it was how it was done.

    Yes, every automaker makes boneheaded decisions. I'm not denying that. But I'll be damned if that wasn't a dumb and bureaucratic decision on Chrysler's part.

    Again, not quite. Some corners were cut at Chrysler, but that was because they were almost in bankruptcy. The cars I experienced with "inadequate" designs in that era weren't any worse than the GM X-Cars (look that one up!) or almost any American car of the 1970s. The K-Cars (and their 2.2L SOHC engine) marked the beginning of a new and better era for the Big 3.

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    Again, not quite. Some corners were cut at Chrysler, but that was because they were almost in bankruptcy. The cars I experienced with "inadequate" designs in that era weren't any worse than the GM X-Cars (look that one up!) or almost any American car of the 1970s. The K-Cars (and their 2.2L SOHC engine) marked the beginning of a new and better era for the Big 3.

    Have to disagree with you here... the X-bodies had their problems, but at least the X-body was a much more substantial car than a K-car (especially the early ones). I would give the edge to the K-car in engine, but the X-body engine choices lasted longer (even if belching smoke and leaking)... while the K-cars had notorious rot problems. That said, Chrysler improved the K-car and used it to spawn all sorts of models for the next 15 years... but the X-body was quickly forgotten at GM, with only a handful of parts surviving on in the FWD A-bodies.

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    Have to disagree with you here... the X-bodies had their problems, but at least the X-body was a much more substantial car than a K-car (especially the early ones). I would give the edge to the K-car in engine, but the X-body engine choices lasted longer (even if belching smoke and leaking)... while the K-cars had notorious rot problems. That said, Chrysler improved the K-car and used it to spawn all sorts of models for the next 15 years... but the X-body was quickly forgotten at GM, with only a handful of parts surviving on in the FWD A-bodies.

    So...I'm not sure which side you took. The "forgotten" X-body was better than the K-Car which you gave the "edge" to for its engine and where variations lasted "for the next 15 years?" My K-Car didn't rot and had nearly 100k mostly trouble-free miles on it before you were born. The car (physical) was fantastic....and the engine was great. The X-Car was merely adequate in comarison.

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    So...I'm not sure which side you took. The "forgotten" X-body was better than the K-Car which you gave the "edge" to for its engine and where variations lasted "for the next 15 years?" My K-Car didn't rot and had nearly 100k mostly trouble-free miles on it before you were born. The car (physical) was fantastic....and the engine was great. The X-Car was merely adequate in comarison.

    Before I was born, huh? So when did you buy your K-car, to have run up 100K before my birth, smart-ass? 1962? 1963?

    Sorry I have to spell it out, the X-body trounces the early K-cars. It was a smidge larger and the body and parts were, in general, more robust than the cheap junk parts the K-cars used. I will give the 2.2 and its turbo'd brothers credit for being a quick motor, but I never saw a turbo'd 4 survive 100K, and the NA 2.2's were not much better in the long term. The GM motors all sucked performance-wise (maybe the X11 didn't, but I never drove one), but they would start every morning and lug off to work ticking, leaking and burning oil. And, IMHO, the notchback X-bodies were not terribly unattractive compared to the K-cars... of which only the K-wagon only looked decent.

    I drove several friends X-bods over the years, including one that made it deep in the high 200Ks and withstood several accidents... and I drove about a dozen K-cars of various ilk. I repaired both. I worked hard to keep my friend's '84 Aries K from folding in on itself, but by the time '92 rolled around, the doors no longer would close and the engine had caught fire at least twice. It was not the only one I've seen back then with severe rot in the door sills. Maybe you should have looked under your sill plate. She would later love her 6000's and J-bodies.

    Every K-car I drove would flex like crazy, even new... and I constantly was fixing some cheap part that had fallen off. The K I rented in '89 locked me out because the door locks were fubared. Only reason I didn't see more X-bods was because GM euthanized the line after '84. OTOH, inbreeding 3/4s of Chrysler's car lines to be K-car related was NOT a smart move and hurt Chrysler badly in the early '90s. The K's should not have lived past 1988, IMHO.

    I certainly agreed earlier that the 2.2s didn't belong as "Fabulous Flops", but the K-cars were not the terrific cars you are hyping.

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    I certainly agreed earlier that the 2.2s didn't belong as "Fabulous Flops", but the K-cars were not the terrific cars you are hyping.

    In 1981, when they came out, the Aries and Reliant were great cars. I don't know about the flex you're talking about, but in the 8 years my Aries was in my family, it was a spectacular car. Granted, mine was an anomaly, but not radically so. In 1981, the K-Car (all three body styles, including my 2-door sedan) were considered to be relatively attractive. I, personally, think the Aries/Reliant (all body styles) have aged better than, say, a Skylark/Omega (either body style).

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    I certainly agreed earlier that the 2.2s didn't belong as "Fabulous Flops", but the K-cars were not the terrific cars you are hyping.

    In 1981, when they came out, the Aries and Reliant were great cars. I don't know about the flex you're talking about, but in the 8 years my Aries was in my family, it was a spectacular car. Granted, mine was an anomaly, but not radically so. In 1981, the K-Car (all three body styles, including my 2-door sedan) were considered to be relatively attractive. I, personally, think the Aries/Reliant (all body styles) have aged better than, say, a Skylark/Omega (either body style).

    Okay Hudson... I love ya and you're a long-timer here... but you have got to share whatever it is you are smoking....

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    I certainly agreed earlier that the 2.2s didn't belong as "Fabulous Flops", but the K-cars were not the terrific cars you are hyping.

    In 1981, when they came out, the Aries and Reliant were great cars. I don't know about the flex you're talking about, but in the 8 years my Aries was in my family, it was a spectacular car. Granted, mine was an anomaly, but not radically so. In 1981, the K-Car (all three body styles, including my 2-door sedan) were considered to be relatively attractive. I, personally, think the Aries/Reliant (all body styles) have aged better than, say, a Skylark/Omega (either body style).

    Okay Hudson... I love ya and you're a long-timer here... but you have got to share whatever it is you are smoking....

    You know me...I'll gladly share!

    But the Aries/Reliant weren't "unattrative" at the time. I'm not saying that they were rocking the world with their designs, but they were, relative to everything offered in 1980 (when they were introduced) above average (aka "attractive").

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    I'm back and showing my age.

    I have owned over the years a couple of Chev Monza's (looking back these were not very good, but in the late 70's, not bad compared to what else was out there). Buick 231 V6 powered - all 110 hp. Then I had a GM X - an 81 X11. This is the car that convinced me that FWD could be fun. But then I drove an 84 Omni GLH (non-turbo 2.2) and promptly ditched the X. A lower quality car than the X and built as an obvious 'throw-away when done', but it would run circles around the X and the 'fun' factor was much higher. I beat that thing to death, it leaked oil so much I put used oil in it, and it lasted for well over 100K and was still running strong when I sold it (on the original headgasket and timing belt). Then I moved on to a string of k-based turbo cars and I have had all of the 8 valve variations. Yes the cars were not built to last, but the 2.2 drivetrains were as good or better as any from the era. The turbos all had a big 'fun' factor for cheap. Look back 25 years and what else was around; deisel oldsmobiles (I had one of those too, thats what donated used oil for the GLH), 160 hp Ford and GM V8's, etc. Adding the turbo to the 2.2 allowed Chysler to keep up from a performance perspective on a budget. I have had my share of imports and currently drive one. I am not 'brand loyal' in any sense as I would not purchase any new mopar (aside from the Cummins), but if I want to get a grin on my face, I fire up the 2.2 powered daytona in the garage and go out to the track (it runs mid 12's). What is fun is not the fact that it runs mid 12's, but that no one expects it to. It is not too far removed from stock aside from more boost with a bigger turbo, decent pistons and a clutch. 5K launches on slicks (hundreds of passes) and all on the original trans.

    In summary, the 2.2 started off as most new motors do and morphed into a very good engine and drivetrain considering the era. The cars that wrapped around these drivetrains were admitedtly not the best, but not bad when one considered the intent and price. They do not compare to anything a decade newer, but they are the grandfathers of performance front wheel drive.

    Not flops, they saved a car company that was willing to stick it's neck out and build more turbo motors than any company before or likely since and to price and sell these to the masses as neglected daily drivers.

    (who else would put a turbo motor in a mini-van)

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    I have to disagree with the turbo 2.2 being a flop too... my parents bought a brand new 88 lancer es with the turbo 1 and put nearly 300,000kms on it (about 220,000 miles) in which they replaced the 5 speed manual because they ran it out of oil and i think the radiator. We live in vancouver and took it through the rockies many times to visit family in alberta and never had overheating problems. I myself am building a turbo daytona and these are also a dream to work on. Everything is accessible and the only distributor problem i have ever heard of on these is the hall effect sensors fail, and those take about 5 minutes to replace with a phillips screwdriver. A flop? I dont think so.

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    I think these engines worked fine as long as you did the maintenance and took care of the needs that come with a turbo engine, but as we have seen. Most people only want to drive an appliance and do nothing to it so engines that require routine maintenance tend to fail early and had many people complain about it when in reality it was their own fault.

    While these were not the best engines engineered, they do last if taken care of.

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    Guest Laser Driver '84

    Posted · Report

    You do not need to intercool when the boost pressure is a modest 7-9 PSI. The loss of pressure caused by the flow resistance in the intercooler path offsets any gain from lowering the charge temperature. Once they started boosting 12+ PSI, they added the intercooler.

    Rubber Timing Belt? Need to replace every 3,000 miles? I don't think so! The timing belt is fiberglass reinforced and cogged just like hundreds of other car models that use a belt as opposed to a chain. The belts routinely last 100K miles unless the car sits for a long time and the belt dry rots. One of the easiest timing belts to replace too as it mounts externally. You do have to remove a few other belts and move a couple accessories out of the way, but that still beats cracking open a sealed timing cover and pulling the valve cover off. Also, this is a non-interference engine, so no appreciable harm will come to the engine if the timing belt was to break due to not being changed at the recommended 65K-100K mile range(not sure of the exact interval for this engine).

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    Guest matt

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    I run a forum dedicated.to these cars and not once have i heard a story of the 2.2 in any variation boiling itself alive. Having owned every version and variant of the 2.2/2.5 series in nearly every body style, the only ones that disappoint were the feedback holley carb,d versions, due to aterrible design. The carb warps, not the car makers fault in all honesty. And yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but i think its pretty safe to say that most all cars made from 77 to 95 had some bad rot issues due to metal constructions and the manufacturers changing thebway they made the cars. If you let any car sit outside in snow, water, salt,bit will rust, whether it be that alfa romeo ytalk on or any other car you so choose. And as i recall, the hi-po carb motor produced 110 hp, the first turbo I car produced 145, and the subsequent turbo 1 cars produced 150 with the intercooled turbo 2 cars producing 175, t-4 producing 176, and the t-3 producing 224. Name another car in the 80s that made that power per cid.

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