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I figured I would tell you guys about a few things I recently did to my 1986 Turismo. This car was last driven regularly back in 2007 when the original A525 MTX failed and I bought a reliable daily driver. The Turismo has over 160,000 miles and is in pretty bad shape and I want to eventually have it completely restored. The project will take many years because I don't have a lot of time or money. I recently decided that I need start repairing this car slowly instead of carrying it around and having it just be a burden. So here are a few repairs I did this week:

1) Replaced the voltage regulator. This car has gone through a few alternators in the few thousand miles I have driven it since it was given to me around 2002. The voltage regulator frequently hits 18 volts and causes the belt to scream in agony. I never really put much thought into it until a few weeks ago when I discovered that this issue could be a bad voltage regulator, so I bought one on rockauto.com and the problem was solved. That was a relief because it was such an easy repair.

2) Replaced the right side half shaft. When the transaxle failed back in 2007, it completely locked up while I was driving on the freeway. The left side half shaft snapped. I found a suitable transaxle at a junkyard (I'm not sure what model, but I think he said it was from a Daytona) and replaced it. After driving it around, I realized that the right half shaft was intact, but warped. I put the problem off until recently because I have a daily driver. The replacement was very easy.

3) Replaced the rear shock absorbers. The back of the car was sitting a little crooked, but not anymore.

4) Caliper bushings and bolts. One bolt was missing (not sure how that happened) and the bushing for it was destroyed, so I got replacements at O'Reilly's.

5) Driver door handle. These pesky handles break a lot. Just have to keep the components inside the door clean and lubricated and keep the links adjusted.

Still left to be done:

The engine runs, but there is a crack in the block along a cooling line right by the starter. It leaks when the engine is running. I will eventually decide if I want this one rebuilt, or maybe buy a long block. There is a rust hole in the exhaust pipe at that 90 deg turn just before the muffler.

The transaxle that is in right now sounds like it has a worn bearing or something. It makes a "wop wop wop" noise. I will need to decide if I want to rebuild it or not. I still have the original A525, but it might not be rebuildable. I'll have to find out.

Emissions stuff (thanks a lot CA). I need to replace pretty much all of the vacuum lines. They are old and brittle. I will also need to replace the air pump because it is seized up.

Cooling system. Radiator fan motor screams when it is on. Need a new one. Radiator is full of rust, probably need a new one and hoses and thermostat housing and water pump.

Suspension and steering. All the bushings on the subframe are destroyed, ball joint boots are torn and ball joints are stiff. Oh, and the subframe cracked many years ago right where it bolts to the vehicle frame and was welded back together. Camber and alignment are way off front and back.

Brakes. All of the brake components (front and back) work, but are rusty. I may upgrade to 5 bolt, but I want to keep those awesome rally style stock wheels.

Electrical. Some fusible links on the main wire harness fried a ling time ago and were replace by normal wire. It's been working fine since then, but needs to be replaced by fusible links. Other than that, most of the electrical system is pretty good.

I want to get all these functional items repaired before I dig into the body and interior. Which are both in pretty bad shape as well.

I've got a big project ahead of me with this car, but I knew that when I started. I'll just focus one thing at a time, and eventually the car will be like new.

Thanks for reading.
 

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The cracked block sounds suspicious. I never heard of that. Could the leak be from a freeze plug? Are there pre-heat lines from the cooling system back there? I know on this car, it is very hard to check between the firewall and block bacuse everything is jammed in there so tight. The air pump seizing up was quite common on these cars, especially after about 80,000 miles.
 

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John Wood said:
The cracked block sounds suspicious. I never heard of that. Could the leak be from a freeze plug? Are there pre-heat lines from the cooling system back there? I know on this car, it is very hard to check between the firewall and block bacuse everything is jammed in there so tight. The air pump seizing up was quite common on these cars, especially after about 80,000 miles.
Unfortunately, it's not from a freeze plug. I looked at it from underneath as it was running. There was plenty of room that way. It's coming right out of the block. This engine has experienced lots of freezing and overheating. Is the air pump just a CA thing? What is the purpose of it?
 

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gondlesnorf said:
Unfortunately, it's not from a freeze plug. I looked at it from underneath as it was running. There was plenty of room that way. It's coming right out of the block. This engine has experienced lots of freezing and overheating. Is the air pump just a CA thing? What is the purpose of it?
The air pump was on all the engines made for the US (in the 2.2 carb era) as far as I know. It helps with emissions by allowing unburned fuel vapors to further burn in the converter. For a while, most manufacturers' had engines with air pumps. Even some fuel injection setups had air pumps (i.e. a Ford 5 liter that we had several years ago). Sorry to hear about the cracked block.
 

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I replaced the caliper guide pins and bushings on the front brakes tonight. Wooh! Exciting huh? Well, during the process, I noticed that there was some new fluid leak and through some troubleshooting, I discovered that there is something wrong with the rack and pinion. I'm not sure exactly what it is yet. When the steering wheel is turned, there is a sucking/gurgling noise. Maybe it's just a broken or loose power steering line.
 

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gondlesnorf said:
I replaced the caliper guide pins and bushings on the front brakes tonight. Wooh! Exciting huh? Well, during the process, I noticed that there was some new fluid leak and through some troubleshooting, I discovered that there is something wrong with the rack and pinion. I'm not sure exactly what it is yet. When the steering wheel is turned, there is a sucking/gurgling noise. Maybe it's just a broken or loose power steering line.
Don't you wish your Plymouth was like the '57 Plymouth Fury from the Stephen King novel "Christine"? It'd fix itself! :) Rome wasn't built in a day. If you do a little to it frequently, it will be in great shape soon.
 

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jd is right, a little bit at a time. It goes easier when you simply break it down in systems like you are doing. You can still find the blocks pretty easily, plenty of donors for that issue, cracked blocks are rarely repairable when cast iron, few people know how to weld cast iron. A donor car is always a plus. This way you can pull a component, rebuild it, then one day replace. I suspect the fusible links will now safely hold with the voltage regulator replaced, they did their job, then they were bypassed. Keep up the good work, and keep us appraised of the the progress, lots of good help available here.
 

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jd_1138 said:
Don't you wish your Plymouth was like the '57 Plymouth Fury from the Stephen King novel "Christine"? It'd fix itself! :) Rome wasn't built in a day. If you do a little to it frequently, it will be in great shape soon.
That would be cool, but I wouldn't learn anything!


dana44 said:
jd is right, a little bit at a time. It goes easier when you simply break it down in systems like you are doing. You can still find the blocks pretty easily, plenty of donors for that issue, cracked blocks are rarely repairable when cast iron, few people know how to weld cast iron. A donor car is always a plus. This way you can pull a component, rebuild it, then one day replace. I suspect the fusible links will now safely hold with the voltage regulator replaced, they did their job, then they were bypassed. Keep up the good work, and keep us appraised of the the progress, lots of good help available here.
I will be doing this project a little at a time. I'm tired of seeing the car just sit there and be a burden. I can't wait to have it restored and a reliable daily driver. I know of a good engine rebuild place here in San Diego that may be able to repair the block and rebuild the whole engine, but the price might not be worth it. I can get a reman long block for about $1300 on rockauto.com.
 
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