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Dodge Daytona and Chrysler Laser Repairs and Performance Upgrades

Dodge Daytona maintenance and repairs

Turbo engines require more maintenance; the 2.2 blocks themselves were extremely solid. Good sources of info are:

Dodge Daytona Performance Upgrades: A step by step approach

Dodge Daytona orange from back1. General Tune Up: Engine, Tranny, and Suspension. DO THIS BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE! Grab your owner's manual and look up what routine maintenance needs to be performed on your vehicle based on its mileage. Many people dump hundreds of dollars into 'performance' upgrades, and neglect the fact that the car has bald tires, the timing is off, and the struts are shot.

2. Increase Air flow: Your engine runs on air and gasoline. The general rule of thumb is if you can get more these into and out of the engine faster then you will get more performance (of course there are exceptions). High flow exhaust, intake, headers, carbs/throttle body, air cleaner, new/bigger turbo.

3. Increase Spark: Performance igniton/spark control, high flow plug wires, good plugs, new/clean distributor, inspect charging system.

Dodge Daytona cars

4. Increase Fuel Intake: Performance fuel pump, carbs (jets), performance fuel injectors, high-flow fuel filter.

**All of these things can be done without tearing down the engine. Each one makes a good weekend project. After you have considered them all, then think about internal engine upgrades like cams, pistons, and a general overhaul.**

**Note:  Thinking Big Block?  Mopar Performance makes a rear wheel drive conversion kit (Part #P4529533) and 4.5" bolt circle steering knuckle kit (Part #P4529329).  Good Luck! **

See: Turbo Engine Rebuild/Upgrade

V8 Daytona performance upgrade

2.2 and 2.5 carbureted and fuel injected cars — engine upgrades

Allpar has a page dedicated to the 2.2/2.5 TBI and another to 2.5 Specs.

Your number one source for performance engine upgrades should be Mopar Performance. Their catalog is available from most Dodge dealers for $5. They have an extensive inventory of 2.2 performance engine computers, heads, cams, turbos and accessories far too large to get into here. The also have a great book called "2.2/2.5 FWD Speed Secrets and Racing Modifications." If you have a 2.2 or 2.5, get the book, it's the bible on performance engine parts.

Your second source will probably be Forward Motion. They carry Mopar Performance parts as well as their own line of custom engine parts. A mail order catalog is available. LRE (Lambros Race Engineering) also has an outstanding selection of mail order engine, suspension, brake, fuel, and other high performance accesories.

Howell Automotive also carries a number of key components.

3.0 Engine Upgrades 

Allpar has a 3.0 Liter performance page (including instructions an building a Ram Air kit) and a page instructing you on how to go about fixing the leaky valve seals that plague many of these engines.

Make sure you sure you have a 52mm throttle body on your 3.0 Liter (only 1987's got it), others were reduced to 46mm.  If so, buy an aftermarket T.B. or visit the scrapyard for the larger 52mm.  It makes a big difference in throttle response.  You'll need a new gasket and will have to plug one port.

The only source I have found for any performance engine parts is Forward Motion. (see above). They offer an underdrive pulley that I have seen no where else.

Suspension Upgrades:

Typical front wheel drive handling problems (torque steer, understeer) were countered with better than average success for the time. The stiffer suspension assemblies in the C/S and Shelby editions were a large improvement (at the expense of ride). If you can locate these as parts cars, they are a real find. [Added by webmaster] Bob O'Neil wrote: "Energy Suspensions offer urethane bushings for the Daytona as well as other cars. These are very low cost."

The rigid rear axle means that at higher speeds the rear end will tend to become light and hard to control (about 61/39 weight distribution depending on engine). The Dodge Daytona frame was never updated but owners can increase its rigidity. Steering is quite good, and the later version of the steering was used in the development of the Prowler.

Go to Allpar's FWD handling modification page or try these suppliers: Mopar Performance, Forward Motion, Monroe, Eibach; also see Suspension changes for racing on road courses and circle tracks

Rear wheel drive / V8 kit

Perhaps this is the ultimate engine-performance kit: moving from a 135-cubic-inch four-cylinder to a 440-cubic-inch V8, driving the rear wheels. Thanks, Sgt. Jason E. Schrieffer, for sending in these photos.

rear wheel drive dodge daytona

“I have a 1989 Dodge Daytona that has been converted to rear wheel drive using the Mopar Performance kit, which is no longer available through Dodge. I did not build it, but it is strictly Mopar with a 440 and an 8 3/4 rear end.”

440 V8

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