I’ve been driving the A100 Hell Project around with its horrible-at-best Carter BBD carburetor (which Chrysler almost certainly chose because it was 18 cents cheaper than a Holley), and every time it stumbles, refuses to idle, or performs any of the standard repertoire of BBD tricks, I swear to myself that I’m going to go to fuel injection real soon. That process began weekend before last, when I grabbed the intake and throttle body off an ’89 Dodge van.
Oh, I have a Holley 2300 in the garage, and an adapter to bolt it to the Carter-friendly intake, but that’ll just be a temporary measure. The long-term plan involves a Megasquirt setup controlling bolt-on Chrysler factory hardware. I need to rig a fuel return line to the A100’s tank, along with a high-pressure fuel pump and an oxygen sensor in the exhaust, but the first step involved scoring an intake/throttle body setup from a pre-Magnum 318 or 360 Dodge truck. A quick phone call to Andy, LeMons racer and owner of a Colorado yard packed with such goodies as this time-capsule ’66 Coronet and the King of the Molester Vans, and I was on my way to snatch the intake hardware off a Crusher-bound ’89 Dodge Ram van conversion. “You might have to help me move some other cars out of the way first,” he told me, and he wasn’t kidding. Here’s the view of the van when I arrived.
What van, right? After we dragged the ’02 Camaro, the Peugeot 505, the ’95 Caprice, and the ’79 Malibu station wagon out of the way and over to the other side of the yard, we still had the Golf, the Monte, and the Vanagon to go. Andy has plenty of inventory, and it’s all for sale!
There it is! It’s a shame to crush a running van conversion in nice shape, but the scrap value is higher than the real-world resale value these days; those who once wanted these vans now insist on giant SUVs.
Hmmm… that intake isn’t coming out from this side!
That’s better! Once the doghouse came off, access to just about all the fasteners was quite easy.
Rodents had been nesting on the engine, so I had to brush away lots of hantavirus-saturated mouse poop and nest material to get to the intake bolts.
The only real hassle was removing the AC compressor brackets, which attach to the front of the intake manifold. That part had to be done from the front, with every socket extension and swivel in my toolbox. Adding to the fun was the mixup of metric and SAE fasteners used by Dodge during the late 1980s (this concept served as the inspiration for a great 24 Hours of LeMons penalty.)
Success! Then it was time to admire some of the great machinery in Andy’s yard.
Like, say, this refrigerator-white big-block Satellite! I’ll share some more of my photos of Andy’s inventory in the near future, so check in later.
Intake, throttle body, air cleaner, distributor, various sensors, pretty much 85% of the parts I’ll need to go to a Megasquirt EFI system in the A100, all tossed in the back of my increasingly beat ’92 Civic. The intake should bolt right on to my 318, and the throttle body is more or less self-contained, with built-in fuel-pressure regulator, most of the needed sensors, and the correct downshift linkage attachments. Since I’m not trying to go fast, the power limitations of this throttle body won’t matter to me; I just want the van to start in all weather, idle smoothly, and crack the two-digit fuel-economy barrier.
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