Chrysler Engine in a "D" ;)

07-20-2005, 04:12 AM
Well, just wondering, am I the only person to ever put a Chrysler-Designed engine into a De Lorean? I'll tell y'all the story so far just so you can point and laugh. I'm enjoying myself so far, with this project! "About three weeks ago my De Lorean apparenty had a massive cooling system failure (it was about due for something at 275K hard miles) wich caused both heads to crack at the exhaust headers, causing a massive pool of water as well as some oil to go pooling across the road. I had the car dollied home, and crawled it under its own power into my workshop. I looked a little bit for a PRV engine for it, but not much liking the PRV engine to begin with, I started to look around the shop for something fisable to hack into the poor carcass, without causing it too much embarrasment. I found that I had a handful of GM 350's, as well as 307 Buick and 454 Suburban/Silverado motors, a few Chrysler 318's and 440's, as well as a 340 and a couple Dart slant-six, a Ford pinto 4-cyl, a couple of 250 I-6 engines, and lastly a handful of EFI Chrysler's. Wanting something with respectable tourque, I pulled my first car, a positively evil Ford Grenada, into the shop next to the D and started to remove the engine, a 250 I-6 with barely any mileage on it. My friends at the local hotrod shop came by, did some measurements, and started to make some motor mounts and adaper plates to make the engine work. After I worked on it a while, I looked over at the "D", and had a this engine short enough to fit in there?? I got out a tape measure, and measured the valve cover, and then measured the room in the engine compartment.....a tight squeeze, but it should fit.

By the time the engine was hanging by the picker, the guys at the hotrod shop where back with the parts, but had the same concern that I had....would the thing fit? God I hope so. I left for a while, and left the hotrod guys to go at it. I came back about five hours later, to find the engine in the car, but some severely ticked off workmen. They had installed the engine, put everything together as it shoud be (except the electrical), and tried to crank it. With the engine in the car as it was, it would be pumps or anyting installed, just the engine....but because of the engines tourqiness, it was possible that it would run the pumps and equipment into things...knowing how that engine had tossed about in the grenada, I should have known it wouldn't work. We yanked it out, and sat thinking for a while. Then I got a call of someone looking for a used Chrysler 3.8 liter engine. I told them that I didn't have one, but I had a crate engine on the shelf that had been bought for a van I had recently sold for junk. They said "no thanks" and hung up. I mentioned to the boys that I had a couple of Chrysler v-6 engines I needed to get rid of, and one of them piped up and said I should put the 3.8 in the D. I thought about it a bit, and remembered how my LeBaron convertable had been quite powerful, and told them to make it so.

The next morning I went into the shop to find the crate motor sitting in the middle of the floor, wires and crap everywhere, and the boys hard at work mounting the engine computer. They informed me that they had come back as soon as the mounts and adapters where done, and started on the installation. They had apparently been there all night and already had the engine installed once. They then realized that they wanted to use the Chrysler charging system, as well as the Chrysler A/C pump, power steering unit, and an electric water pump. They had also replaced the cars original fuel pump with a Chrysler in-line electric fuel pump...they had gone all out. One of them was in the car working on the interior electrical, wiring up a hazard light bank (which matches the interior quite well I might add), and re-makeing the instrument panel wiring harness to interface with the Chrysler components (we simply tied the original wiring harness aside, so never fear, we didnt tamper with the electrical). I had arrived at 8 am, and by 10, the boys where ready to start work on the engine. We dropped the engine in, bolted everything up, and Mike and I started working on the pumps, hosing, and cooling system, while Jim and Bill finished the electrical. By 2, Jim and Bill where hooking everything up to the engine, and I was putting in a couple of lights in the front that where burnt out, and shortly thereafter I heard the welder kick on, and saw them finishing the exhaust work. I figured all was well and went into the other room to work on my Fiero.

A few moments later, I heard an engine crank, and a deep rumble. I ran into the other room, nearly falling on my face, and there she was, running beautifully. I have to say that this was an interesting, and yet successful project. My Chrysler 3.8 now has 2,000 miles on it, as in the last two weeks I have been forced to make several trips from southwest MO to Oklahoma City, and Kansas City / Wichita for my work, and the car has made all the trips flawlessly (well, except the electric fuel pump did die on me due to rusty ground contacts). I would reccomend this engine swap to people wanting to significantly increase their DeLorean's I had never gotten this vehicle up to 100mph before, but now have managed to get it to 145 (I think) before the front end went squirrely. I have to wonder how well the conversion would go for the automatic transmission models. Go figure. Well I hope you've had fun reading my post, and I'll post some pics as soon as I get a camera. TTYL!!


1966 VOLVO 122S
1981 De Lorean - State-Assigned VIN (Chop Shop Reposession, believed to be #00709 *209*)
1979 Ford Grenada :loser:
1981 Buick Skylark Limited :loser:
1982 Chrysler LeBaron GTC
1984 Chrysler LeBaron SE
1986 Pontiac Fiero GT **Help!!** :banghead:
1989 GMC Suburban SLE 1GKGR26N4KF509600
1989 Lincoln Town Car
1990 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
and many others....

RIP My Dodge Caravan.... :crying: I cannot afford the parts (struts, fenders, axles, ball joints, etc.....).

08-10-2005, 09:03 PM
UPDATE ON THE "D" With a Chrysler Heartbeat.

Disgraceful to hear a D start up with that mitsu/chrysler 3.3 chatter, but she sure runs nice! Just wanted to tell everyone thats read these postings that the car is running awesomly. I had to add a Chrysler 5-speed transmission to it since the original didn't like the Chrysler engine all that well, but so far she seems to run out ok. Been driving her around a bunch, and took it to Kansas City (3 hour trip) twice this month....makes it beautifully, and at an average speed of 85 mph (which, mind you, doesnt take 12 seconds like the original motors!) I would reccomend this engine experiment to anyone wanting to upgrade to a better V-6, and am soon gonna buy a beater D to try a similar swap...a ford 300Cu. In. inline 6 with a Jatco X 3speed auto trans. TTYL!

09-04-2005, 07:12 PM
I love it! I'd love it even more it we had some pics though. :iceslolan
Hey, if you ever end up in the vicinity of Kansas State University, I bet there are a ton of guys (and gals) who'd love to see this thing! I know I would.

mopar or no car
07-29-2007, 09:12 PM
thats almost as good as the AWD v6 neon!

07-30-2007, 07:57 AM

10-03-2007, 01:03 AM
Keep an eye on the engine electricals. Do you have a working check engine light and ability to pull Chrysler codes? I have a 95 Cirrus with 2.5 Mitsubishi V6. Good power and fantastic mileage when it's running.

These are notorious for computer and distributor problems. The distributor has coil and many other components built in, so failure of any one part means new distributor at about $900 or rebuilt at $250 and up.

Overall though, congratulations! Sounds like one of the nicest swaps since Subaru flat four into Vanagon.

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