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Dodge Daytona and Chrysler Laser Repairs and Performance Upgrades

<a name="maintain"></a>Dodge Daytona maintenance and repairs

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

  • Troubleshooting: see the Allpar repairs section.
  • Technical Service Bulletins: These
    are Chrysler bulletins that warn and instruct mechanics of
    common problems when working on specific vehicles. They are available
    to the public and are extremely helpful to the backyard mechanic.
  • Computer Codes: Turn the ignition
    ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON within 5 seconds (do not start the engine) and the
    engine light will light for 2 seconds and then start flashing 2 digit
    engine codes. See what the codes mean.
  • Chrysler Manuals:
    Chrysler service manuals, training videos, Technical Service Bulletins,
    supplemental manuals, and owner's manuals are available from Chrysler's
    publisher, Tech Authority. They can be reached at 1-800-626-1523 and
    have reasonable prices. For example, I bought a full Chrysler shop
    supplement manual for disassembling a 3.0L V6 for under $10.
  • Also: 1-800-890-4038 for Chrysler service manuals and 1-800-346-4696 for the Chrysler Catalog Center (other docs)
Dodge Daytona Performance Upgrades: A step by step approach

daytprostreet.jpg
1. 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.

showfield6b.jpg


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.jpg


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-drive-daytona.jpg


"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.jpg


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