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Fabulous Flops: Chrysler 2.2L and 2.2L Turbo I


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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  • 3 months later...

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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  • 3 weeks later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 6 months later...

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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  • 3 weeks later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Laser Driver '84

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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  • 1 month later...
Guest matt

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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Guest ILIKESHELBYS

OMG! The ignorance of the author of this article is OVERWHELMING! I would like to invite him over to any of the turbo Dodge forums and see what these 'flops' can do, even in a base trim T1 Daytona. And..Oh! BTW Mr. Ignoramus, the GLHS you have pictured was is an 87 Shelby GLHS brainchild that was faster than his v8 GT350 Mustang from the 60's....as was the 86 Omni GLHS. BTW, also you can't touch either of these cars today for less than $5K in even fair condition with nice ones starting to go for $8K - $10K, and more. There are TONS of after market parts still available for them and a thriving community of enthusiasts.

I own 4 Shelby cars from his Dodge era, and it's hysterical the number of 'bad ass' V8s that I see getting smaller in my rear view mirror. 25-30MPG, daily driven and reliable as anything I have ever owned. And yes, I have owned one of those Ferrari's w/the fabulous tiny V8s and by comparison its substantially slower, more common by production numbers, and unreliable as all get out weather I drive it or not! Don't even ask what it cost me to have it tuned last time it needed one of those 'rubber timing' belts that the author scoffs at. And Whoa! if it ever breaks, the interference engine that Enzo's team designed is massively expensive to repair with even a single bent valve. I could buy a nice GLHS for the cost of just that single repair.

So what if it doesn't have a prancing horse on the front, Mr. Shelby had one goal, to build the fastest production cars of his time that the common man could afford and drive any and every day of the week if desired. He totally hit that target and he hatted Ferrari and the man behind it for building such cars out of reach of nothing less than the galactily rich...which such trend continues today. A brand new, well optioned Shelby is no more than a top of the line Honda Cross-over or a mid range Lexus.

Pffffft, do a little research fella. The head gasket problem you refer to had nothing to do with metallurgy. It had more to do with people that bought cheap cars and expected to not have to maintain them well. No maintenance, at regular factory specified intervals will kill any engine. No matter who or what team designed it.

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Guest Jonny

Terribly misinformed. Regarding the comment of torque on a 2.2 non-turbo, it produced more torque than the imports of that time and even today (of comparable class). Bringing up Ferrari's and Chrysler economy cars in the same article.. really?

That being said I own a 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby, it has a 2.2 Turbo II which from factory produces 174HP / 200ft-lbs torque and 25 -30mpg. With modification requiring no tools I achieve a dynoed 223HP / 287ft/lbs and retain 25 - 30mpg with 235,000km mileage. This motor is mechanically same as the Turbo I you mentioned in the article with the addition of a factory intercooler. Reasonably impressive, since a 2012 Subaru BRZ achieves 200HP to the crank and less torque, and domestic V8's of the time made under 200HP unless you paid top dollar.

Head gasket issues, matter of purchasing the improved mopar performance head gasket.

Overheating, never had an issue with a car that had reasonable maintenaince.

I also owned a 835,000km Dodge Aries with 2.2 TBI, purchased from new in 1986 so each time the odo rolled over it was recorded. No major engine or transmission repairs. What ended it's life? It was wrecked in a collision.

Also how many millions of the 2.2/2.5 variants where produced that moved America around to this day? The biggest flop I seen with the 80's FWD Chrysler's was rust issues, but that goes with any 80's car really.

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Guest Looneytuner

The author is obviously a Car and Driver fan, not a Road and Track fan. If Ferraris were so bad they wouldn't sell....espcially to dweebs like the author. Also he doesn't know the history of the emmissions laws. The makers had to scramble to meet standards. Oh. The RUBBER BELT is a timing belt that is fiberglass reinforced and they can break at about 100,000 miles. They are used on a lot af autos today.

The sad part of this thread is that DWEEBS thread is going to show his stupidity till the end of time.

Owner of 2-87 Laebron GTS, 1 87 Shelby Lancer, 1 88 Ttop shelby Daytona, 2 89 TC by Maserati.

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That implies every engine with a timing belt is a failure.

Having actually owned several cars with these engines, two 2.2 N/As, one 2.5 N/A, and one 2.2T, timing belts were never a big deal, and of these 4, only the the 2.5 had head gasket issues. They were replaced twice, and its have valve cover gasket leaks several times. But then that engines was probably near 250k when the car was finally sent to the bone yard, due mainly to rust. Head gaskets or no, any engine from the 80's that can make it to 200k is pretty damn impressive.

Of course I disagreed with this article from the beginning anyway. The 2.2/2.5 engines, put in millions of vehicles were hardly "flops". I mean if we want to talk chock up leaky gaskets and seals to flops, then the 350 is an enormous flop, and so are the Subaru 2.5s, or the Volkswagen 2.0s with the timing tensioners that like to fail without warning in an interference engine. There's also the Toyota V6s that had a nasty habit of sludging up, the 2.7s which can suffer catastrophic engine failure, and that 4.0 in your jeep which just loves to go through valve cover gaskets, and don't forget about the RENIX fuel injection system on the older ones. But none of those are flops because millions were made and many are still going.

flop (flobreve.gifp)

v. flopped, flop·ping, flops

v.intr.

1. Informal To fail utterly:

None of the above mentioned fall under that definition. Now the 8-6-4, that was a colossal flop.

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Sure, I could've written an op piece on the V8-6-4, but I don't think it would've or could've held the same weight as this piece. Everyone knows the story there, no one cares anymore. That was the thinking here. Besides, the argument has been made (even on these forums) that the 8-6-4 wasn't much of a flop either considering that many V8 engines built today feature cylinder deactivation.

I don't have to defend myself here. Like I said, even over a year later, this article still does its job.

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Black-knight should write an article about why Chevrolet Celebrities are terrible and get that obscure fanbase to rage on C&G too! We can become the internet's epicentre for buttmad owners of lousy cars everywhere!

Edited by FAPTurbo
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I would nominate the HT 4100 as a far worse disaster than the Chrysler 2.2. Aluminum block and cast iron heads that scrubbed the intake manifold to shreds. Weak aluminum oil pump and bottom end. Main bearing thump. While some say that proper maintenance was key to this engine's longevity, it really boiled down to GM not making the block tough enough, there cheapness in not putting in a proper temperature gauge on the instrument cluster and using two dissimilar metals and various updates along the way that point to the fact that this engine was rushed into production too quickly before the real bugs were worked out.

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No.. I have one that is going to get a lot of people butthurt.... including a lot of people on this site.

That sounds like a true bend over and take it like a man statement! ;):P

:rofl:

I vote the 4-6-8 V8 as one of the worst engines ever right up with the lousy Diesel converted V8's GM built also.

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No.. I have one that is going to get a lot of people butthurt.... including a lot of people on this site.

That sounds like a true bend over and take it like a man statement! ;):P

:rofl:

I vote the 4-6-8 V8 as one of the worst engines ever right up with the lousy Diesel converted V8's GM built also.

The 8-6-4 368 Cid Cadillac V8 is actually a very solid engine in it'self. It's the electronics that marred this engines launch. A simple one wire cut to the lock up converter disables this and your left with a rock solid long lasting Cadillac V8 and THM 400 transmission.

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Guest Pope

The belt on a 2.2 though is $10 and takes all of an hour to swap out.

The later 16v engines suck, most V6 engines are a nighmare at best. But in the age of the 2.2 the Japanese were building timing chain SOHC engines. The chains are so loud in a 2.4 you have to scream at your passengers on the freeway. Timing belt cars were night and day quieter.

As for the rest of the artical. I would spend at least 5 minutes reseaching before actually writing anything. This guy clearly does zero research. The 87 GLHS he posted at 107 HP has 175 HP and was faster than Shelbys own GT500KR in 1968. BTW Scott Harvey back in 1990 made a 238 MPH record at El Mirage in a Shelby Charger with the 8v 2.2 turbo...

well... in BK's defense, timing belts do suck... (Former owner of an Olds with the 3.4 DOHC)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest GLH to SRT4

Have you heard of the GLHS it had a 2.2 turbo the 2.2 turbos got better you need to to some more research on the 2.2 based on what I read your research ends in 85,86 but 87s,88s,89s wear turbo stage 2&3s some were Evan inter cooled

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The belt on a 2.2 though is $10 and takes all of an hour to swap out.

The later 16v engines suck, most V6 engines are a nighmare at best. But in the age of the 2.2 the Japanese were building timing chain SOHC engines. The chains are so loud in a 2.4 you have to scream at your passengers on the freeway. Timing belt cars were night and day quieter.

As for the rest of the artical. I would spend at least 5 minutes reseaching before actually writing anything. This guy clearly does zero research. The 87 GLHS he posted at 107 HP has 175 HP and was faster than Shelbys own GT500KR in 1968. BTW Scott Harvey back in 1990 made a 238 MPH record at El Mirage in a Shelby Charger with the 8v 2.2 turbo...

well... in BK's defense, timing belts do suck... (Former owner of an Olds with the 3.4 DOHC)

Have you heard of the GLHS it had a 2.2 turbo the 2.2 turbos got better you need to to some more research on the 2.2 based on what I read your research ends in 85,86 but 87s,88s,89s wear turbo stage 2&3s some were Evan inter cooled

You both (?) need to learn sentence structure, proper grammar, and proper spelling.

Also, with regards to the statement that the horsepower figure for the Shelby Charger is incorrect, I'm afraid it isn't. Granted, yes, the caption is below a picture of the GLHS model that made more power, but I thought we were all old enough now to actually read long pieces of text and not look at the pictures first.

I'm going to bow out again now. I'm not afraid to throw rocks at a hornet's nest.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest jergins

You both (?) need to learn sentence structure, proper grammar, and proper spelling.

Also, with regards to the statement that the horsepower figure for the Shelby Charger is incorrect, I'm afraid it isn't. Granted, yes, the caption is below a picture of the GLHS model that made more power, but I thought we were all old enough now to actually read long pieces of text and not look at the pictures first.

I'm going to bow out again now. I'm not afraid to throw rocks at a hornet's nest.

Your halfway there. Yes, the 83.5 and 84 Shelby Chargers may have made just 110 horsepower, but the 85-87 made 146 with a Turbo 1. That's good for low to mid 15s in a car that weight. As for the non turbo, 110 hp SC, what N/A four cylinder made much more than that in the early 80s? Not many. And few made as much torque as a 2.2/2.5.

And what was with the moronic statement about the intercooler? Running without an intercooler doesn't overheat your car. That was probably one of the most simple minded statements I've ever read. Intercoolers reduce intake temps to prevent detonation, as well as increase air volume. At the relatively low boost level the T1 cars made, the intercooler would have just been extra weight. At 7-9psi, those turbos don't even begin to push hot air. You don't seem to be very educated about turbocharged engines.

Its funny that you gave a nod to the TIII engines in the Spirit R/T, because they are the only 2.2 engines that really suffered inherent issues, such as timing belt slap, intermediate shaft and oil pump failure, and head cracking around the core plugs.

You're not wrong about the head gasket issues, but they're not nearly as common as you think. The issue is intensified by poor maintenance. The truth is most bi-metal engines of the day had head gasket issues. The crappy Ford 4 cylinders and the GMs. On early aluminum head engines, head gaskets simply didn't last as long as they did on many of the old v8s.

All of that said, you could pick on the 2.2 and 2.2 turbo engines for several reasons. Its just that you missed practically all of it. My only problem is that you try and knock one of Chrysler's sturdier engines, but you a lot of your info was just off. This and the mindless bashing makes it difficult to give credence to any of your criticism.

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  • 1 month later...

This is the worst article I have ever seen. We have owned and still own thee engines and guess what, we have never done head gaskets and we only replaced timing belts every 65,000m as required.

We currently have an 87 with 300,000m on it, no obvious oil burning, no head gaskets and no problems with timing belts.

Perhaps it would help with if the person writing this actually knew something about the topic.

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  • 3 months later...

I also disagree with the article. I owned a 2.2-equipped 1981 Omni 024 during my high-school years in mid 80's. The car endured merciless Minnesota winters and equally merciless teenage driving habits. The issue that I was plagued the most with is failed clutches on the toy-like 4-speed transaxle. I think I replaced three or four of them during my 6-7 years of ownership. One thing this engine did was start and run day-in and day-out. I replaced the head-gasket, timing belt, and related top-end seals and gaskets as a proactive measure during one of the clutch replacements. Not a necessity as I recall. I did it because I had the motor out to get to the clutch. Had I not needed to replace clutches, I don't think I would have ever cracked open the motor.

As long as we're poking fun, my brother had a 1980 Citation with a 2.5L "Iron Duke" 4 cylinder. Now that was a ridiculously unrefined low-tech powerplant that is typical of Detroit's early 4-cylinder missteps. That motor ran so rough, it seemed more suitable for farm-implement use than for an automobile.

Of course 25 years later it's easy to poke fun at the flimsy engineering of that era.

Easy and fun. I don't intend to ever stop!

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  • 5 months later...
Guest Trubolt

with all due respect, the author of this article is clueless. the 2.2 was one of thee best motors Chrysler ever made, or anyone else for that matter. you just don't build hundreds of thousands, if not millions of engines and consider them a flop. the author obviously didn't like the motor. in reality, the motor was rock solid barring the occasional head gasket replacement in the 1st few years of existence. like anything, you have a learning curve. the author obliviously doesn't consider power to weight ratio when blathering about how supposedly under powered these engines were. 100hp in that small of a car is fast. the Dodge Omni GLH-S (S for Shelby) was less than a tenth of a second faster in the quarter mile than a 68 Plymouth Road Runner 383 (335hp) 4-speed. I've had numerous 2.2's, carb, efi, Turbo 1 and Turbo II's and they are/were awesome engines with great mileage and durability. btw, the Shelby Charger in the picture? not the one the author was talking about. the one in the pic was an efi 2.2 w/intercooler, steel crank and rods, capable of 300hp+ with only a waste gate upgrade. this article is EXTREMELY misleading.

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Having owned an O24 back in the day myself, I can say decent car for the time. They were ahead of the curve then. Now, look at how far behind the curve chryco is in small fun cars. Yes, I know the 500 Abarth exists but it is a Fiat, designed in Italy. The current Dart is wildly behind the Focus/Fiesta ST, GTI, SI Civic, BRZ/FRS, et all.

Now, I am of all people on this forum the first to throw Mopar under the bus. As far as I am concerned, Chrysler engineers are behind global warming, Miley Cyrus and her strange behavior, and John Boehners skin being the same color as a jack o lantern. That being said, I would love to see the Mopar boys join the party with another fun, small American car.

Something like the first gen Neon R/T and ACR twins.

Edited by A Horse With No Name
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Who wants to put all that work into an engine just to get good power and reliability out of it? It should come from the factory that way.

Pretty much this.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest Jeremy Mitchell

My first car was an '85 Omni GLH (naturally aspirated) and had a lot of fun with it. It was easy to work on, parts were cheap, and it just kept on running. I never experienced rust or 'rot' because I live in Wyoming where it's high and dry.

 

A couple years after getting my first Dodge Omni, I had a ride in an '89 Dodge Lancer with the 2.5L "Turbo I" engine. Everything changed after that point and I was addicted to these cars. The torque that that car put out was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The fastest car I had ever been in previous to that was an '85 Chevy Impala with the police "Interceptor" package (9C1). It had a 350 with 700R4 transmission and I thought that was fast..

 

I have had many many 2.2/2.5 turbo Mopars over the years and I have had a TON of fun with them! Isn't that what it's all about anyways? To say that the 2.2/2.5 engines from Mopar were lemons or flops is just wrong. I delivered pizza in several of these cars for 10 years and had no problems getting to work everyday and making money doing it. I have also embarrassed many V8 cars and other turbo 4-cylinder cars doing it.

 

These cars have been reliable, affordable, and easy to work on period. Not to mention a TON of potential under the hood for making power.

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  • 2 months later...

with all due respect, the author of this article is clueless. the 2.2 was one of thee best motors Chrysler ever made...this article is EXTREMELY misleading.

Absolutely.

The internet is a great place for information...but it also allows any moron to pose as an "expert", and that clearly is the case here.

 

Not the most oil-tight engines ever built (though in-line with others of the era), but quite durable, and easily the most durable of the 80's turbo engines. I personally put 250+K on a turbo I car (with the original turbo), and that is not an unusual occurrence. Find me a Buick turbo or SVO that did that? The Turbo IV CSX is, according to some sources, is the 1st production vehicle to use a VNT turbo...though this hasn't stopped other mfgs like Ford from trying to claim they were the 1st. The Turbo III in the Daytona R/T and Spirit R/T was a DOHC made 224 HP with a Lotus-designed 16V head. Very impressive in its day!

 

In fact, those last 2 are the only real black spots on the 2.2/2.5's reliability. Fortunately, they make up a small percentage of the Chrysler Turbo's made...

The Garrett-made VNT turbo proved to have issues and was quickly removed...though there is some discrepancy as to what actually was wrong with it.

The Turbo-III had early head cracking problems, and needed special attention payed to the timing belt tension and procedures, which few people actually do, and the belt breaks and causes other issues. This engine had some very advanced features with tremendous output per-displacement for the time. 

 

Now...the cars they went it? Well...Chevy made Citations and Cavilers while Ford made Tempo's, so they were inline with their domestic counterparts.

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God. I think it'll be the year 2025 and I'll still be getting hate mail from the Chrysler 2.2 fanclub over this article.

 

So I'll say it: I'm sorry the 2.2 sucked and probably sowed the seeds for Chrysler's second bankruptcy. There. Can we kiss now?

 

... That was a joke, Chrysler 2.2 Fanclub. Just in case y'all couldn't tell.

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God. I think it'll be the year 2025 and I'll still be getting hate mail from the Chrysler 2.2 fanclub over this article.

 

So I'll say it: I'm sorry the 2.2 sucked and probably sowed the seeds for Chrysler's second bankruptcy. There. Can we kiss now?

 

... That was a joke, Chrysler 2.2 Fanclub. Just in case y'all couldn't tell.

Nahhhhhhh, I am sure some idiots of the 2.2 Fanboy club will never let it die till they die! :P

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If done right the Turbo could be very potent. Head Studs and custom head gasket on my buddies modified GLHS would let run reliable 10 seconds in the 1/4 mile runs back in the early 90's. He was told it could not be done and he was able to do it and keep it very street able.

 

It was still a crappy car but it could be made very fast and very reliable even with NOS.

 

He sold the car and got back into Big Block and I am not sure where it is today.

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Who are You Mr. Know it All ? Or the shell answer man ? The 2.5 89 Turbo Lebaron Convertable I have out runs most Mustang GT's and it gets 21 MPG while doing so ! , The AC is still cold and it is fully loaded also ! . I'd like to see Detroit or Japan do so much for such a low price again ! . You don't know $h! about cars if you slam 2.2 and 2.5 engines ! , another thing is anti freeze was not the head gasket problem with 2.2 engines it was oil leaks from the head gaskets due to a bad gasket design that was quickly fixed by gasket makers ! . If your a mechanic ? You are talking out your asshole ! , All of my mechanic friends will tell you that my Lebaron runs it's ass off ! . My older brother also a mechanic and a service manager will tell you the 2.2 was a great engine ! . Judging early to mid 80's us cars while they were still learning fuel systems is what only an asshole would do anyway ! .  Why not praise Chrysler for stepping out with 4 cylinders and being the leaders when Detroit had totally lost it's way ? ! , the Pinto and Vegas were cars that required special cam tools just to replace the head gaskets on them . Then You rail on the man who made the slant 6 ? , Why not GO slam Henry Ford for being a Nazi and paying Hitler $ 200,000.00 a year for slave labor instead ?,  At least You could find something with some meaning before you go run off with diarear of the mouth next time ! ?

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Guest The Mechanic !

Still driving my 89 Lebaron 4 cylinder turbo and it's 2015 ! , Is Mr. Know it all who wrote this $h!ty article still driving his same 89 4 cylinder turbo car ? ! , I bet he has had 50 fords sence then and that I smoked every one of them in the 1/4 mile and on the Hi-way ! .

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I am a retired ASE and GM Certified Mechanic, ASE Certified Machinist and an advance engine performance plus an electrical specialist and the 2.2 and 2.5 Chryslers were great cars ! . 4 to 5 hundred thousand miles easily with just a little bit of care ! , The turbo models usually had mostly turbo seal and bearing failures, it usually was not an engine failure until the oil ran out of the engines exhaust via the leaky turbo seals due to bearing failure, a more expensive turbo and an intercooler would have prevented this and would have also raised the cars price up considerably  , a simple mechanical oil pressure gauge on the turbo oil feed line could have prevented this failure from happening or even a oil pressure to ground the coil out switch installed in this line . A manual fan switch also could help prevent heat and the head from cracking as well ! . The problems were all very minor ones with very easy fixes if done by a competent mechanic. Did you know GM could not fix their cars either ! ? and that all we did at GM was recall work and engine and transmission replacements ? I did most of the computer nightmares at GM and made their cars and trucks run that would not out of the factory run during the 80's . I remember when the GEO's came out and everyone was afraid of them and I said send me to the schools for them , I went and I never needed what I learned there because they were all great cars that did not usually break down ! . I worked mostly on Chevys and Fords for the new and used car departments and one thing I remember was that no 2.2 or 2.5 Chryslers were coming in needing work from the used car dealer ! , My friend was a salesman for a Chrysler dealer and he would take us out at night n the turbo lebarons and those cars flew !. I saw Chryslers later on in private shops that I worked at most usually only needing a carb base replaced or a mixture control solnoid , a water pump or a timing belt , I noticed they all has over 100,000 miles on them usually ! , That kind of miles was unheard of back then out of an American 4 Cylinder car ! , 50 or 60,000 was tops back then usually and 2.5 chevys like Citations may go 100.000 with 3 or 4 piston changes and a lot of engine noise ! .  You need to Go slam Ford and Chevy for their lousey Pinto's and Vegas ect... before You slam on 2.2 and 2.5 K Cars ! . The Chevette was not too bad other then it's broken seat mounts , broken crank bolts and bad computers and the large rust holes in the floor boards after a few years ! . Pinto's were not too bad on low power and oil burning unless you got hit from behind and it exploded with you in it ! .  2.2 turbo bad ? Tell Me ? Just Where would performance be today in American cars without it ? ! , It would be no-where today without the 2.2 and 2.5 Chysler Turbo Cars of the 80's ! , I Drag race a Big Block Chevy but I drive a 89 Lebaron 2.5 turbo car on the street and I could not be much hapier with anything else ! , Not many Mustang GT's out there can pass my lebaron in the 1/4 mile or on top end ! . I cannot even remember one that has ever beat me ! .

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Dave Gerstner

Your "Shelby Charger" photo is actually a 1987 GLHS, which made 175HP on 107 as you state. The Turbo IV was not the Spirit R/T motor. The Turbo III was. It had a Lotus twin cam head. The Turbo IV (which was actuall built before the Turbo III) had a variable nozzle turbocharger and was used in the Shelby CSX VNT and some Shadows. As for reliability, you're wrong. I've had 4 2.2's run over 150K with no problems and I still drive one. The 2.2 Turbo (I or  II) would embrass many V8's. Yeah, the cars were cheap rattle boxes but the engine was definitely not a flop. You'll still see many of them at the strip and road course to this day.

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  • 5 months later...
Guest Guest

boughta 86 k off the floor ....only had a pick up coil go out which killed the fuel pump .it drove me crazy running it down ...BUT the car was great , peppy ,great mileage ,roomly .my wife totaled it twice and we bought it back the 3rd time she smashed it  i took all the drivetrain and put it in another shell .i think they have a hate thing with chrysler .my 2.5 in the dakota ran excellant and no problems ..the lebarons i bought for the kids also ran grat ..but the turbo line did coke up ..but where fun cars i was aware of the head gasket problem [outside corner ]  but never had any go bad ...sorry to say it was one fine automoblie.maybe they where thinking of that mr.bitchy 2.6.. now that was a terrible design .lol THAT THING GOT A HEMI !!

 

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LOL...this thread will never die...... :toiler:  

 

Never was a huge fan of the K cars.....engines were okay if you cared for them. Pretty much true of any small big 3 4 banger in the 80s....(coming from the guy who rocked a 100hp 87 Cavalier.)

 

Now the rest of the car was a different story.......

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Aires_Guy

Black Noble, you apparently wrote this just to start trouble, and you are picking on the wrong motor.  At 522,000 and still going strong, my Dodge Aires K car is still the go to car in my family for smooth, reliable transportation.  Sure, it's not pretty like the horsey brand cars, it's also not expensive to keep on the road like your obviously favorite horsey car either.  It just keeps going and going.  I think that's where Energizer got the idea for their bunny commercials; from my Aires.  

Out of pure respect for her, I had the body gone over and the eventual rust repaired properly, then had the car repainted at 368K miles.  Still looks great, BTW. 

No, it's no race car. No, it won't beat everything else on the road except in longevity. The motor itself has never been cracked open. Regular oil changes, antifreeze changes at 50K intervals, brakes, belts and hoses when they start looking crappy.   Replaced the trans about 150K ago. I don't see that as a problem either.

 

No, I'm fairly sure you just wanted to cause trouble by writing this. 

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  • 1 year later...

LOL. This dribble has more holes in it than the author's head. Sorry but I owned a 1984 Daytona Turbo, '86 Turbo Z, '87 Shelby Z. My brother owned a 1984 Daytona Turbo, '85 Turbo, and now has my Shelby Z. My mom owned a Turbo Lazer. My brother and I never lost a race to Z28 Camaro, Trans Am, or 5.0 Mustang and we had far less problems with our cars than any of the competition. Want a list of all my friends who had to replace engines under warranty on their GM and Ford products in the eighties.

By the way, I replaced the timing belt on my Shelby Z at 96,000 miles. It far outlasted the 5.0's in several of my friends Fox Mustangs or several Z28's that suddenly lost a cylinder.

 

How about writing an article on the biggest 1980's POS ever...The Pontiac Fiero, or Fire-ero.

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  • 2 months later...

I see the troll contingent has shown up to defend Chryco.  In all fairness, these were cool cars back in the day.  I have seen Turbo 4's embarrass SS 396 Chevelels and Camaros at the drag strip.

However, Chryco is pretty much out of the passenger car business other than a couple of retro muscle cars while Honda, Ford, GM, Porsche, VW, Audi, Mercedes, Toyota ane everyone else is still going strong.

Chrysler really for all practical purposes died as a company building desirable passenger cars about 1973 or 1974, and they really have never come back. The K cars were total crap boxes, the Omnis and Horizons were rust prone crap boxes that were behind every other car in the day, and the laudable minivans were outclassed by products from Honda, Nissan and Toyota.

In many ways it would serve the memory of Chryco much better if they had actually died in 1974 rather than the endless and embarrassing stream of Lebarons, Cordobas, K cars, Sebrings, Avengers, and Calibers they brought forth.

I actually enjoy watching the endless stream of older Chryco stuff get crushed at my local pick and pull so it is no longer on the highway.  Good riddance and good bye to 44 years of embarrassment to the American auto industry.

On 8/9/2012 at 0:44 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

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

Or not, in fear that it will cause extensive, long term or even permanent brain damage.

On 9/5/2015 at 9:31 AM, Guest Aires_Guy said:

Black Noble, you apparently wrote this just to start trouble, and you are picking on the wrong motor.  At 522,000 and still going strong, my Dodge Aires K car is still the go to car in my family for smooth, reliable transportation.  Sure, it's not pretty like the horsey brand cars, it's also not expensive to keep on the road like your obviously favorite horsey car either.  It just keeps going and going.  I think that's where Energizer got the idea for their bunny commercials; from my Aires.  

Out of pure respect for her, I had the body gone over and the eventual rust repaired properly, then had the car repainted at 368K miles.  Still looks great, BTW. 

No, it's no race car. No, it won't beat everything else on the road except in longevity. The motor itself has never been cracked open. Regular oil changes, antifreeze changes at 50K intervals, brakes, belts and hoses when they start looking crappy.   Replaced the trans about 150K ago. I don't see that as a problem either.

 

No, I'm fairly sure you just wanted to cause trouble by writing this. 

You must have done something horrible to a young gypsy girl in a former life to be wiling to torture yourself with an Aires K car for so much as a weekend...522,000 miles....wow...you must be the envy of the trailer park!

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Guest Mark V8

You must be thinking about the 1.7 VW or 2.6 Mitsubishi engines being a flop !

 

The 2.2 and 2.2 Turbo were very reliable,they ran forever...Just like any car change the coolant 100,000 miles then you wont blow your head gasket !!!

 

My family had a few of these,I had a 2.2 Turbo Daytona my Dad a 2.2 Turbo LeBaron and a Dodge Aries with a 2.2..

 

All cars were reliable,never any problems and lasted over 320,000 miles,my dads daily driver a Aries 2.2 ..

 

My 1984 Daytona had 201,000 trouble free miles,I changed the timing belt on time 100,000 miles and coolant then again at 198,000..Then I bought a new car,I thought I would keep it but wanted the last year of Ram Charger 1993 Ram Charger 5.9 Magnum that I still have ,restored and not daily driven anymore..

 

Parents LeBaron GTS was in use until 1998 when they sold it for a new car and it had 280,000 miles again bulletproof reliable.

 

Remember 5 digit odometer,after 99,999 they rolled to 00,000 thus people think a 30,000 or 50,000 mile car is only that,it can be 130,000 or 150,000 or 230,000 or 250,000 miles...Our cars were always detailed bi weekly by myslef,inside the seats were not worn as we were not rough,carpets were clean etc..The could have passed for low mile year old cars,they looked that good and drove perfect too..

 

Again,the odometer was the downfall..If they registered like todays cars people would say they were reliable..I still see K cars roaming the streets today..Dayotna's are rarer as they were rare when new as they were more than a Mustang and Camaro,,

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9 hours ago, Guest Mark V8 said:

You must be thinking about the 1.7 VW or 2.6 Mitsubishi engines being a flop !

The 2.2 and 2.2 Turbo were very reliable,they ran forever...Just like any car change the coolant 100,000 miles then you wont blow your head gasket !!!

My family had a few of these,I had a 2.2 Turbo Daytona my Dad a 2.2 Turbo LeBaron and a Dodge Aries with a 2.2..

All cars were reliable,never any problems and lasted over 320,000 miles,my dads daily driver a Aries 2.2 ..

My 1984 Daytona had 201,000 trouble free miles,I changed the timing belt on time 100,000 miles and coolant then again at 198,000..Then I bought a new car,I thought I would keep it but wanted the last year of Ram Charger 1993 Ram Charger 5.9 Magnum that I still have ,restored and not daily driven anymore..

Parents LeBaron GTS was in use until 1998 when they sold it for a new car and it had 280,000 miles again bulletproof reliable.

Remember 5 digit odometer,after 99,999 they rolled to 00,000 thus people think a 30,000 or 50,000 mile car is only that,it can be 130,000 or 150,000 or 230,000 or 250,000 miles...Our cars were always detailed bi weekly by myslef,inside the seats were not worn as we were not rough,carpets were clean etc..The could have passed for low mile year old cars,they looked that good and drove perfect too..

Again,the odometer was the downfall..If they registered like todays cars people would say they were reliable..I still see K cars roaming the streets today..Dayotna's are rarer as they were rare when new as they were more than a Mustang and Camaro,,

Just because you followed the OEM recommended maintenance does not mean this engine was still a flop. This era was the move to 100K mile maintenance free auto's. Lazy Americans that would not follow a 30K mile tune up and other scheduled needs would drive the auto and have it fail repeatedly. 

One only has to look at the web to see all the horror stories and failures about the chrysler, GM and FORD engines of this era.

People tell me all the time they are shocked to see my 1994 GMC SLE suburban still running and yet I do the basic tune ups and required maintenance and it runs like a champ. Would I like a 100K tune up schedule sure. But that is not what the 80's and 90's were about for the American OEM. They still thought 70's as Japan moved to 100K maintenance free auto's.

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47 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I can't imagine spending 500k miles in a K-Car.

Neither can I.  Good riddance to the whole lot, most of which was made into beer cans a long time ago.

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24 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Neither can I.  Good riddance to the whole lot, most of which was made into beer cans a long time ago.

 

22 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Steel beer cans?  

Isn't that a Texas thing, Steel Beer Cans, turn the dead armadillo over and put one on it's belly out of respect?

Guess the south has to have something that can take being shot at! :P 

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  • 8 months later...

 Blake Noble most of your info is incorrect. They were and still are some of the toughest most reliable engines and transmissions you can buy. HP for HP they are faster than most cars. The Turbo versions are cheap to modify. You can put a Intercooled Daytona with few mods into the low 13's for under $1000.

Also the 'knock' some of you guys were referring to, is simply either worn slider cam's (early cars) or worn lifters...which can be changed for dirt cheap and it's a easy job like most stuff on these cars.

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  • 2 years later...

The guy who wrote this has no idea what he's talking about.In my area I still see 3-4 K cars still driving daily. What other 35-40 year old beater cars are still driving daily?
NONE. All the jap interference timing belt 80's cars are dead or in a garage pieces,the euro junks are dead or in a yard rusting,And there are a few RWD weekend 80's cars around but as far as daily drivers the K car is winning. Today in 2020 I see 2 Lebaron convertibles 1 Reliant Wagon and a 2 door Aries driving locally.I drive all over and see even more standing out on the road due to the 80's chrome style popping out in a field of plastic The 2.2/2.5 Chrysler powered K cars keep going while more modern "Better" cars succumb to the "not worth being fixed" issue due to over-complex design and low durability. Modern engines are more powerful and advanced but the reliability is even worse with CVT belt drive transmissions that barely hit 100k and mpg requirements forcing 0 weight oil which wears the engine faster. Also all the plastic used in modern cars intakes,coolant parts,covers,etc makes them even more fragile and less robust than earlier designs......

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Did K cars actually last past 4 years? They like rusted out and went the way of the Dodo bird, decades ago. None around here unless it is sitting in the garage some place. I see plenty of GM and a few Fords from the 80's on the roads here, but nothing from Chrysler.

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The only 80s Chrysler products I've seen on the road in the last 3 years in NE Ohio have been maybe a couple tired, rusty full size vans and a couple rusty 1st gen vans.  

In Arizona between '08-17 I did see the occasional tired, faded M-body Diplomat or Fifth Avenue bumping around, a couple TC by Maseratis (last time I saw one, it was broken down on the side of I-10)  and 1 R-body Newport (saw it three times driving through my neighborhood over 9 years).   

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