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Hey Folks,

I wanted some input from you on this. I have a donor 88 Lebaron with a 2.5 TBI that has 200 miles on the rebuilt engine, it was rear-ended and mostly intact, just really not roadsafe. I want to take the engine out of that and put it into my '87 Horizon which has the 2.2 carb which seems to be just tired and even after a good rebuild doesnt seem to run quite right.

I have an idea of what i would need to take out of the Lebaron to make it happen, but im guessing i would need to find a good donor 89 or 90 horizon for the tank and wiring.

I'd love to hear any thoughts on this, I have time to aquire what i will need, I just want to get some insight maybe from someone who has done something like this before.

Thanks in advance for reading all of my nonsense above :)
 

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IT is actually a pretty straight forward swap. Engine, wiring harness, fuel lines and fuel tank pump should do it. Sure, there are a few hoses here and there, but it is overall a straight forward swap. Check the size/shape of the fuel tank, if it is the same, just the screw-off top and the guts/lines from it to the Lebaron to the Horizon will take care of that. Last thing would be verify the exhaust system is the same, which I believe it is, and you are done. The difference between the 2.2 and 2.5 is I think one inch taller block for the 2.5 (before the common block was designed)
 

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dana44 said:
IT is actually a pretty straight forward swap. Engine, wiring harness, fuel lines and fuel tank pump should do it. Sure, there are a few hoses here and there, but it is overall a straight forward swap. Check the size/shape of the fuel tank, if it is the same, just the screw-off top and the guts/lines from it to the Lebaron to the Horizon will take care of that. Last thing would be verify the exhaust system is the same, which I believe it is, and you are done. The difference between the 2.2 and 2.5 is I think one inch taller block for the 2.5 (before the common block was designed)
The only question that comes to mind, is with regards to the power to the fuel pump. The horizon has a manual pump and if i am not mistaken the power for the fuel pump comes from the interior harness which just looking at it does not look like its anywhere close to the same. I was considering just running new wires to the pump and wiring it in to the harness from there.
 

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Once you pull the computer wiring harness and the extra power box, trace the wiring back to the fuel tank, it is only two or three wires in a harness. If the Horizon is a manual fuel setup, pull the other tank, lines and purge lines, and tank, which should be the same or very close size and replace as a whole unit. Basically, replace the body around the car, and to that extent, someone else may be able to answer the question if it would be even easier and faster to unbolt the whole front engine cradle, struts, and steering/transmission linkage, and take the whole nine yards for an even quicker swap.
 

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I don't think the Lebaron cradle will work in an L-Body.. He should have most of what he needs.. Any thing he's missing simply go to the parts store or shop online for parts for a GLH. I think the fuel take is the same but the sending unit & pump are different.. May be able to just add a strong enough inline pump to the OEM pick up & Tank.. add a a Fuel pump relay and wiring.. and use the regulator that's on the 2.5L.
I'm not sure if computers will interchange.. or if the pin out is different between the Lebaron and the Horizon.. May be able to adapt if minor differences..
 

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Get factory wiring books for both cars and compare the circuits. If both cars use the single computer near the battery, should be easily modified. The bulkhead connectors should have the same number of pins, just need to verify if they are all labelled the same. Tank would have to be replaced since there is a return circuit for fuel injection that requires additional baffles. Might be able to wire in an external electric fuel pump and not have to change the tank.
 

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For the tank there may also be a screw-off top that can swap everything, but I don't think so, one has a carb, the other has a fuel pump in the tank, and the return line, etc., swap the tank after comparison. If it is the same physical tank, do the swap, if not, external fuel pump and a return line.
 

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Your 87 is a carb setup with the spark control computer, so you need both computers from the LeBaron and you will need the wiring harnesses and the ASD relay, MAP sensor, etc moved to the Horizon. The fact that you have a complete TB car to use for a donor will make this a posibility. I would be a little concerned about how the 2.5 will fit in the Horizon because, as I remember, there was not much clearance from the top of the airbox to the bottom of the hood. I'm not sure if you have room for the logic module in the right kick panel, but check it out and keep us posted. I'd love to see you work through a successful transplant.

We have a guy here at work getting ready to junk his 87 Omni, (45,000 miles) primarily because no one can get it running right. I'd love to have it, but the salvage yard is giving him $400 for it. The car has bad peeling paint, dry rotted tires, a brake pedal that hits the floor, and a tiny bit of exterior rust. I just don't want to deal with it.
 

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If you don't want to deal with all that, you could simply bolt the intake manifold from the 2.2 over to the 2.5 and run the new engine with a carb. A lot simpler, but you wouldn't have all the EFI advantages. Maybe get it in for now and deal with all the electronic stuff later?

Mike
 

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@mpgmike... Good idea.. He could have it running in no time like that. May be better to do it in stages.. Have it installed and running then just do an EFI Conversion later. I had to do major fabrications on my '86 Turbo because I needed to replace tank, pump, and sending unit.. The part Bosch had listed was not correct.. Hopefully the EFI parts are more readily available ( and correct)
 

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The only slight concern would be whether or not the throttle body is large enough so as not to run lean. The computer/O2 sensor may be able to overcome this issue, a comparison of a 2.2 and 2.5 throttle body injector size would be something to check and change if necessary, but that is minor.
 

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Transferring the carb setup onto the 2.5 engine does work. I personally did that with an '83 Reliant I had years ago. I had only two problems doing it.


First Problem:

The mechanical fuel pump did not work, the intermediate shaft driving the distributor did not have the lobe on it to drive the mechanical fuel pump on the 2.5. Rather than changing out the shaft, the solution I used was an external low pressure electric fuel pump, at the time about $45. (Also, I believe that later 2.5's did not even have the opening for the mechanical pump machined into the block, which would require the electric pump solution)


Second Problem: (Which probably won't apply in this case)

The flex plate on the '83 Reliant's 2.2 engine used three bolts to attach to the torque converter and the 2.5's flex plate had four (spaced differently). I couldn't transfer the old flex plate over to the 2.5 because where it attached to the crank they had also changed the number of bolts. The cheap solution was to take both flex plates off and overlay the 2.2's over the 2.5's plate, mark the positions of the three holes onto the other flex plate and drill them out.


I had that car for several years until one of the shock towers finally rusted through and tried to come up through the hood :) The engine ran flawlessly in the carb setup and had noticeably more torque then the old 2.2 the car originally had.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just wanted to update on this,

So far I have the engine out with the complete under hood harness, all the sensor goodies off the firewall, Basically just leaving the transmission (which was junk anyways), I took out the power box from under the dashboard, and a good stretch of the harness, the fuel tank and the harness to the body.

Its been annoyingly cold out so my ambition to do this has been less then so its taking longerbut im sure we all can relate.

I popped off the oil pan which no surprise was leaking like crazy and checked out inside, it overall looks pretty clean, the bearings are in excellent shape so with any luck I have a good shape engine. I'll probably put new bearings in there while im at it, I have my local parts shop working on getting the balance shaft chain and tensioners.

I just need to put the Lebaron back outside and then i can get a good look at the Horizon to see how this is going to go, I might have access still to a 89 Sundance at a local boneyard for parts too, I grabbed the TBI assembly for spare bits a few weeks back, the harness looked closer to what i need.. but we'll see.

Thanks for the replies folks, I really appreciate it!


I thought about that Mike, I really did. but in all honesty we skipped over Carb's in tech school and i've never really been great with them, its become more of a hatred in just trying to move the Horizon in the yard this winter. I have the time to work this out right so I might as well do it all at once. Its no worry because at least on the nice days I have my charger to run around in.

Thanks for the thought though

mpgmike said:
If you don't want to deal with all that, you could simply bolt the intake manifold from the 2.2 over to the 2.5 and run the new engine with a carb. A lot simpler, but you wouldn't have all the EFI advantages. Maybe get it in for now and deal with all the electronic stuff later?

Mike
 

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update: Sofar so good, had a bad run of luck with intermediate shaft bearings... It would seem that my parts store was trying to get me a crossed part#, which was different enough to give me troubles. At this point I have replaced all the bearings in the block, removed the balance shaft assembly and am in the process of ordering a new crank pulley, the one i have is banged up real good so no saving that one. I have not started removing the 2.2 from the Horizon yet just incase i for some reason could not get parts and needed to abort.

Plus.. it was cold, and noone likes the cold :p

Now that its nice out I should be able to get this rolling, Still a little concerned about the fuel pump situation, but i can work that out when i get to it.
 

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update: Sofar so good, had a bad run of luck with intermediate shaft bearings... It would seem that my parts store was trying to get me a crossed part#, which was different enough to give me troubles. At this point I have replaced all the bearings in the block, removed the balance shaft assembly and am in the process of ordering a new crank pulley, the one i have is banged up real good so no saving that one. I have not started removing the 2.2 from the Horizon yet just incase i for some reason could not get parts and needed to abort.

Plus.. it was cold, and noone likes the cold :p

Now that its nice out I should be able to get this rolling, Still a little concerned about the fuel pump situation, but i can work that out when i get to it.
Good deal. Sounds like you are moving right along. Scratch my comment about a logic module in the kickpanel of the LeBaron. I forgot that those were done away with in 88 and became incorporated in the powermodule to form a complete ECU. That makes it easier. Salvage the ASD relay and MAP sensor from the LeBaron. You might check E-Bay or the local Salvage yards for a gas tank & pump from a TBI Omni or Horizon. Tanks are sometimes tough to find because the yards often punch a hole in the tank to totally empty it so there are no residual fumes before it heads to the crusher.
 

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John Wood said:
Good deal. Sounds like you are moving right along. Scratch my comment about a logic module in the kickpanel of the LeBaron. I forgot that those were done away with in 88 and became incorporated in the powermodule to form a complete ECU. That makes it easier. Salvage the ASD relay and MAP sensor from the LeBaron. You might check E-Bay or the local Salvage yards for a gas tank & pump from a TBI Omni or Horizon. Tanks are sometimes tough to find because the yards often punch a hole in the tank to totally empty it so there are no residual fumes before it heads to the crusher.
I believe i can switch the pump from the Lebaron to the Horizon, it might take a little doing but i kept the tank with the harness ends attached. I pulled out the rest of the engine harness and wow what a difference. the wiring diagrams show its similar and i should be able to use the 40 wire harness plug just move the necessary wires over from the new harness. I guess im glad i kept the fuse box as well, so i have a reference on the inside when it comes time to wire it up. I have had pretty poor luck finding a 89/90 around here that hasnt been sent to the crusher.

Worst case scenerio which i do not want to do.. get the new engine in, buy a carb and make it a 2.5 carb. Not ideal because i very much dislike carbs but its good having a backup plan just incase :)
 

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darkcougarkat said:
I believe i can switch the pump from the Lebaron to the Horizon, it might take a little doing but i kept the tank with the harness ends attached. I pulled out the rest of the engine harness and wow what a difference. the wiring diagrams show its similar and i should be able to use the 40 wire harness plug just move the necessary wires over from the new harness. I guess im glad i kept the fuse box as well, so i have a reference on the inside when it comes time to wire it up. I have had pretty poor luck finding a 89/90 around here that hasnt been sent to the crusher.

Worst case scenerio which i do not want to do.. get the new engine in, buy a carb and make it a 2.5 carb. Not ideal because i very much dislike carbs but its good having a backup plan just incase :)
Any updates on this project?
 

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John Wood said:
Any updates on this project?
Well, tbh I have been somewhat lazy due to work trying to pretty much kill me.

I'm currently at the point of installing the interior wiring, only a few things left under the hood to do (just some hoses and cleanup). Once i get the wiring done im going to pick up a new gas tank and fuel pump and hopefully it will be done. I'm hoping to have enough time freed up to get it done this month, I'll certainly put up something when its there!
 

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The L-body went EFI in 1988 and ran until 1990 when production ended. If you could find a donor from these years, you wouldn't have to try and make wrong parts fit.
The big changes were fuel tank, fuel lines and engine compartment wiring. A 'ck eng' light wire to the dash may already be there as I'm not sure that the 1987 carburetor cars had that, maybe CA emission cars did.
Factory service manuals for both pre-EFI and EFI cars would be greatly helpful, especially one for an EFI car.
I did drive a 1989 2.5L Horizon with the 5-speed stickshift and it was a very quick car. It belonged to a dear old retired postman customer of mine. He loved the car. Our family had several Horizons as well.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
The L-body went EFI in 1988 and ran until 1990 when production ended. If you could find a donor from these years, you wouldn't have to try and make wrong parts fit.
The big changes were fuel tank, fuel lines and engine compartment wiring. A 'ck eng' light wire to the dash may already be there as I'm not sure that the 1987 carburetor cars had that, maybe CA emission cars did.
Factory service manuals for both pre-EFI and EFI cars would be greatly helpful, especially one for an EFI car.
I did drive a 1989 2.5L Horizon with the 5-speed stickshift and it was a very quick car. It belonged to a dear old retired postman customer of mine. He loved the car. Our family had several Horizons as well.
I was fortunate to get a complete wiring harness from a 89 omni, I need to replace the fuel tank anyways due to some heavy rust so im just going to get the 89 tank to go with it.

Its actually coming together quite well, I just have not put alot of time into it lately
 
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