The Chrysler 2.2/2.5 liter four cylinder engine- A short history
Presented to the Shelby-Dodge club at Ann Arbor Michigan July 12, 2000 by Peter Badore D.C.V.I.P.

Corporate Strategy and Governmental Requirements
1. Chrysler's product strategy for the 1960s and 1970s does not require a US designed and manufactured four cylinder engine.
2. Chrysler imports small cars from Europe and Japan to sell against Ford and GM made small cars.
3. The 1974 Energy and Policy Act establishes a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law forcing US car makers to build small cars in the United States.
4. Chrysler responds by building a US version of the Chrysler France Horizon with a bought out long block engine from VW.
5. Chrysler buys VW 1.71 four cylinder for five years for the L-body cars-- Omni, Horizon, Charger and Turismo.

6. Chrysler engineers its own fuel, ignition and exhaust emission system for the German made 1.7 liter engine.
Chrysler Plans Its Own Four Cylinder Engine
7. The CAFE law requires a graduated increasingly more fuel efficient passenger car fleet.
8. Chrysler decides to become the most fuel efficient US car company.
9. All new Chrysler cars are to be front wheel drive and four cylinder powered.
10. Chrysler designs the 2.21 engine for the 1981 model year K-body and plans to replace the VW 1.71 engine in the L-body.
Chrysler 2.21 Design Features
11. Because of the long experience with the VW 1.71 engine Chrysler "models" many features of the 2.21 engine from the VW 1.7 engine including material choices for the cylinder head (aluminum) and cylinder block (cast iron) location of the camshaft, in-line valve arrangement, offset water pump housing, intake and exhaust manifold on the same side of the head and located to the rear of the vehicle.
12. With a need to replace the VW engine the L-body the 2.21 engine is made as short as possible with siamesed cylinder bores (no water circulates between the cylinders except for the cross drilling in the 2.21 turbo II and 2.51 turbo).
13. The cylinder bore diameter was set at 87.5 mm (3.44") and was never changed.
14. The 2.21 is designed by the former 340 V8 engine designers and was made very robust in certain areas particularly the crankshaft and cylinder block. The crank bearing diameters are very generous at 50 and 60 millimeters. Other areas needed several design changes and many model years to be improved-- especially cylinder head gaskets and oil leaks.
Manufacturing Strategy, Locations and Performance Versions.
15. Because of the fuel efficiency strategy described in item 8 above Chrysler made very large capital investments in high volume engine machining equipment.
16. The Trenton engine plant in Trenton, Michigan (south of Detroit) had three complete block and head machining lines that were fully automated. The Saltillo Engine plant in Neuvo Leon, Mexico had one block and head line slightly less automated. Total investment for the 2.21 and 2.5 engines probably reached over one billion dollars although not recorded by Chrysler on a lifetime basis.
17. Because of the large commitment to four cylinder engines, Chrysler had to use the 2.21 in many applications including minivans and pickup trucks. Of interest to Shelby Dodge owners are the numerous performance versions of the 2.2 and 2.51 turbocharged engines produced starting with the 1984 model year and ending with 1993 model year. The 2.2 turbo and 2.51 turbo are described in two SAE papers 840252 & 900852. The highest performance 2.21 engine produced in volume was the intercooled 2.21 turbo II engine.

18. Although Chrysler does not produce the 2.21 or 2.51 engine today, the 2.21 is alive and well in the Peoples Republic of China. Chrysler licensed the First Auto Works (FAW) of Changchun, PRC to build the 2.21 for the domestic market of China. FAW produced its first 2.21 engine in 1990 and is still in production today.

Peter Badore 7-11-00

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