I have been looking for a
another Turbo Dodge for some time now for a number of reasons. The primary
reason was to get my sons more interested in cars and racing (I want them to do
auto-cross and some light drag racing)... They like the older cars very much but
seem to find the older tech daunting and harder to relate too. The secondary
reason was I desired another TD vehicle to do some parts development work on and
tooling about the streets in a full race car is problematic at best.
A lot of time was spent looking for another 2-dr Reliant or Aires so that I
could interchange sheet metal if need be but none were to be found that were not
already half way to rusty-crusty-ville. So here we are..
Dave Scrab dropped me a note letting me know that CSX #193 popped up for sale in
upstate New York. The price was right, it is rust free, the family likes it and
just in range of a 12 hour dash to and fro for pickup which we did on a Sunday.
If we hustled, we could make SDAC-25 in less than
3 months... little did I know what we were getting into.. On with the show!
After arriving home and doing an assessment it took three days
to get the car running....
Repaired wiring harness in multiple
locations under the hood, in the dash (it caught fire) and at the fuel tank. New
radiator and intercooler, new fuel injectors, new radiator fan, new radiator fan
relay, new cap, rotor, plugs and wires, coil from GLHS, new carpet, re-sealed
oil pan (leaking) replaced transaxle output shaft seal, new 87 tail lamps, new
logic module (one in car had WAY too much spark timing AND bad radiator fan
drivers) new thermostat, new headlamps, repaired grill, replaced windshield,
replaced rear view mirror, painted all "trim black" pieces on outside
of vehicle, repaired several broken dash pieces, replaced several broken dash
pieces, replaced several broken or missing trim pieces, polished rims, mounted
and balanced tires, new pads and rotors up front, new pads in the rear, new
caliper bushings, new shocks, struts and upper strut plates, front end
alignment, replaced passenger side axle, replaced turbocharger with NOS unit,
replaced front half of exhaust system, replaced turbocharger oil and coolant
lines, replaced missing coolant tank, repaired several water leaks, attempted to
fix a/c system, repaired circuit board for dash cluster, repainted the steering
wheel and replaced the cover, replaced 2 broken gauges and missing lens, touched
up Shelby dash plaque, repaired rear tail lamp wiring, pulled the rack and
replaced the inner tie rod ends, shortened drivers seat tracks, replaced the
shifter, polished all the lenses front and rear, repaired and refurbished the
boost gauge, replaced the ignition lock and re-keyed the doors and hatch,
replaced the ignition switch, replaced the wiper delay module, replaced the
headlamp switch, replaced the windshield washer tank, replaced the stereo,
repaired the speaker wiring, swapped out the fuse block, cleaned all the upholstery,
repaired the wiper bushings (twice) stripped the body and sent to body shop,
reassembled and then installed decal set.
whew. 60 days.
As the car sat in the storage lot in upstate
The interior was tough, look at the wiring!
All the paint was cooked off the top sides.
Engine bay was something of a mess.
Another view of the dash, notice the fuse
On the dolly heading home..
This doesn't look good.
The poop really hit the fan one day when it
The boys cleaned and painted the floor with
New A.C.C. carpet (plush Essex in case you were
Steering wheel after it was painted, had not
done the wrap yet.
Car had ES seats which we cleaned and
Front area going back together.
Back from the body shop and reassembled.
Much more presentable.
Wrong exhaust tip but only so much you can do..
Back in place..
On the auto-cross course SDAC-25
The kids had fun riding shotgun.
At the SDAC-25 car show, the one in the middle.
Well that isn't good.
Years of excessive timing had taken their toll on
the motor. On the third pass at the dragstrip (14.5 at 97 mph) cylinder number
three decided it had enough. We limped back home to CT where I tore down the
motor to assess the damage. All the pistons and rods were replaced with Turbo II
pieces and when changing out the valve guide seals found one of the intake
valves cracked from detonation.
Back together again..
One of the projects I had on
the back burner was a slightly tweaked frame rail on the CSX on the passenger
side. The car aligned fine and tracked fine down the road but I had noticed a
ripple in the sheet metal of the radiator support between the front motor mount
and the passenger side frame rail. Setting the car up blocks of the same size
showed that the rail was off 3/8" compared to the drivers side. I think the
car hit or was run into at the passenger side bumper area and it pushed the rail
downwards. There is no other evidence of damage aside from the ripple. After
giving it some thought for a few weeks this is the solution I came up with and
it worked out rather well.
First the car was blocked on
the trailer so the front rails were secure from moving. You can see the 4 x 4
post under the car which had a few blocks to make up the difference. Then the
rails were chained down to the trailer to keep them from moving, the front motor
mount was also chained to limit the area we wanted to move to the passenger
front corner. I had made up a steel beam which was secured to the bumper shock
mounting. From there it was a matter of sliding the jack in and going up very
slowly as I was paranoid about cracking the new windshield.
After a few tries (you can
see the tape measure in the picture) everything was where it was suppose to be.
While the front end was under tension I got in the radiator support with a body
hammer and you can't even tell where the ripple is now, its totally gone. For
good measure we added two steel plates on the passenger side of the radiator
support making a "sandwich' front and back since we are going to be beating
on the car and wanted the area to be stronger than new. Turbo II Daytona's
actually have a reinforcement plate across the front as they are expected to be
taking some abuse.
After that we pulled the
intercooler and radiator and installed a factory unit picked up a few weekends
ago and stiffened up the front motor mount to limit engine travel (wheel hop
The CSX's natural environment
Stock intercooler back for
maximum ground clearance, finding the coolant tank was a chore!
In October 2015 after the
turbo failed the car was thoroughly gone through; The head was pulled and the
turbo replaced with a brand, spanking new unit, cam replaced with another roller
due to pitting, blue printed another distributor and installed, replaced the NOS
coil with an Blaster 2, new cap and rotor, new charge air sensor, new RN9YC
spark plugs, replaced the pigtail on the coolant sensor, inspected the intermediate
shaft gear, replaced the front crank seal, fabricated a new wiring sub-harness
for the injectors, installed an under-drive pulley and EGT gauge, replaced the
drivers side transmission mount, opened up the wiring harness near the shock
tower-distributor-power module looking for damage, checked the intake halves and
ported inlet for 52 mm throttle body.
Going old school.
Also done was SEVERAL revisions
to the calibration. The car seems sensitive to knock and there has been numerous
changes till it ran satisfactory. The car now runs very well and stay tuned as
were going to Cecil County to find out what it will run.
November 2015 Update
We drove down on Friday at
noon and the traffic was just horrendous in the upper NJ area. It took us 8
hours to make a 5 hour trip! We spent over an hour at the upper toll booth
alone, was just insane.
First pass- 13.3 @ 105
Car hooked TOO well and spun the clutch bad. I let it cool down as much as
possible and adjusted launch technique.
Second pass- 12.98 @ 106
Car cranked off a 12 like it was nothing. I parked the car for a bit to catch up
with my friends and watch some of the action.
Third pass- 14.1 at 105
Ugh. Lets not talk about this. Soft launched it out the hole AND missed second
so bad I lit the check engine light. On the other hand the noise of me missing a
gear clued in the Mustang owner in the other lane it was time to go. He still
Forth pass- 12.80 @ 107
Lined up against one of my best friends Jon Genesky in a Dodge Magnum. Was
considering spotting a few car lengths but competitive instinct kicked in and I
let the clutch fly as the lights came down. Shift points were a touch different
than earlier pass. Wayne said I spun the slicks pretty good and was of the
opinion there was a better pass still lurking in there. With the traffic we dealt
with the day before I called it a day.
Time to detune the CSX for a bit (making the OB more active), car was built so
the kids could go auto-crossing. It was hard getting the darn car to run right
but finally got it sorted out and it didn't break this weekend or catch fire
again. Peak EGT was 1580F so we were right in the sweet spot and only tapped the
overboost once and even then that was just out of the traps when I was getting
ready to lift.
Cecil County videos
July 2016 update
(modified drivers seat
In the last month or so I
replaced the dash with one that wasn't warped, insulated the firewall, replaced
the headliner and changed out the roof insulation, replaced the door panels and
seats, lowered the drivers seat track, replaced the steering wheel, replaced the
rear seat belts, replaced some door gaskets, replaced all the speakers, replaced
the hood insulation and got the hood lamp functioning and just started replacing
the lower beltline silver CSX decals. This turned into a mess as the paint
started peeling away from the factory primer!
I had to remove all the
factory paint, re-primer, putty and block sand.
Laying down new gloss
black which still had to be wet sanded...
And install the new
New hood insulation from
This week hoping to change
out the struts, an axle and the a/c lines and attached the lower door air dam
End of July 2016 update:
Changed out the a/c lines,
receiver/dryer and expansion valve... painted the aluminum lines black.. Wire
brushed the compressor and painted the clutch assembly, filled with 7 oz of R-12
compatible oil and reinstalled. And yes, the system got good old R-12 Freon. I
have a 30 pounder squirreled away for just such an occasion. After digging
around my belt collection (doesn't everyone have one? Every time I strip a car
the good belts go into the pile, never know when one will come in handy) I found
one that worked with the underdrive pulley.
First step was to hook up an
old electric vacuum pump (failed electrical leakage testing and was discarded)
from my former job, they are for suction in the medical field and will pull
21" of vacuum. I left this on for an hour or two to do the heavy lifting
before swapping over to the compressor powered vacuum pump for final draw and
check. I use the electrical one for the long pull as the compressor powered ones
uses a LOT of air and will run the compressor hard. They will however pull a
full 30" of vacuum and if you see 29.5" on the gauges you can be
pretty sure the system is fairly well sealed.
Fired up the car, fed in a
little R-12 till the compressor started firing and then jumped the clutch
cycling switch (Damped pressure switch if you want to get technical) and slowly
fed in Freon while watching the sight glass, gauges and monitoring the dash
output temps. This took about a 1/2 hour as I don't like to shotgun a large
amount of liquid into the system as it is bad for the check valves in the
compressor. Once you think you are getting close start feeding in Freon in 15
Check the dash temp, feed in
15 seconds, let system stabilize, check again and so on. Chrysler states with
R-12 to feed the system till there is no bubbles present in the glass but I like
to be conservative and come up just short of that point so there is no chance of
the system being over charged. Clear glass 98% with a few random bubbles now and
then and call it good. The 30F temp results speak for themselves. Did get one
more surprise as the Damped pressure switch turned out to be bad, good thing I
had a spare!
Leah and Faith helped mask
off the rims..
Several generous coats of
paint were applied..
Car finally has the proper
Even the trunk area got
attention as I cleaned the carpet and installed.
In the last 2 months the car
has received the following: Headliner, sun visors, new seats, seat track, dash
replacement, door panels, new speakers, carpet in trunk area, door gaskets,
firewall insulation, hood insulation, lower fender/door/quarter decals, new EGT
probe, rims painted, new KYB struts, bearing plates, bellows, jounce bumpers,
new a/c lines, new receiver dryer, drivers axle and numerous other details
Tonight topped off the
fluids, checked the alignment, fixed a minor boost leak, changed out the EGT
probe, popped the carpet in the trunk and hit the road.
The front end was quiet, no
more steering wheel shake, a/c cold and the back roads were fun. Amen
Still have to pop the pieces
on the doors as soon as the double stick tape comes in... Long term plans are to
swap out the engine bay harness (I have a 87 Turbo I harness I'm going to
refurbish) and keep an eye out for decent a-pillar trim along with the rear
trim. Time to move on to another project as this one is well along for now.
Hitting the track with the Duster in several weeks and the GTX is finally also
going to the track after a decades long hiatus. See if the ol' girl still has
enough moxie to run 11's. Gary
Pictures taken August 2016 after lower
air dam pieces installed on the doors.
October 2016 Update.
Been tinkering with the
calibration for several months refining the fueling and cold start parameters.
Loaded calibration number 187 into the car, a new expanded range boost
controller, a new exhaust dump and 4 gallons of 110 octane fuel and headed to
Mopar day up at Lebanon Valley... with dismal results.
Pass one: 13.6 at 99 mph
2.14 short time
Assumed the track surface would be slippery as heck and bogged it out the hole.
Pass two: 13.3 at 98 mph 1.95 short time
Came out of the hole hyper aggressive (the horn button actually popped out the
steering wheel) better but felt something was wrong with car. It just felt
"flat," the MPH in the 1/8 was ok and close to what it was running at
Cecil. Top end I was getting an over boost pop right before the stripe.
Pass three: 14.2 at 95 mph 2.5 short time
Track surface gone to hell in a basket in right lane. Tires went up in flames
and peddling did nothing. Went back to pits and checked everything. Cam timing,
distributor timing, vacuum lines, spark plugs, etc. Nothing wrong. Reinstalled
calibration 177 from Cecil. Hooked up the Snap-On 2500 brick scanner.
Pass four: 13.5 at 95 mph 2.08 short time
Raced a dragster which was hilarious as I actually killed the driver on the tree
and beat them to the end of the track when they had to lift. After shifting into
4th gear I grabbed the scanner and took a gander at it while pounding up to the
traps and the spark retard was lit up like a Christmas tree with 15-20 degrees
of timing being sucked out. I just lifted at that point and coasted through the
Now we know why the car felt so flat and lifeless! With 4 gallons of 110 octane,
5 gallons of fresh 93 and a modest spark advance there is no way it was pinging.
Plugs were fine, nothing in the breather tank nor was the dipstick popped out.
I either have a hyper sensitive knock sensor or some engine noise is tripping
the sensor off.
As tempting as it was to pop the plug off the sensor and go for banzai run I
thought it better to load the car on the trailer and head home, it has been a
long stressful 24 hours.
(Last photo courtesy of
OnPoint Image Photography.)
First pass of the day,
dash camera view. The camera is acting up again and for some reason will not
record more then one pass!
10/08/16 Raced at Lebanon Valley
Mopar day, best pass of 13.3. Computer pulling timing for some reason.
11/14/15 Runs 12.98 and 12.80 at
Cecil County Dragway
11/01/15 Car back on road with
brand new turbocharger and several other minor upgrades and fixes.
10/03/15 Turbocharger fails on exhaust side.
7/20/15 Engine rebuilt with TII rods and pistons,
92,360 miles. Wipers fixed again.
7/5/15 SDAC-25. Road course, 3rd place in car show and 3 passes at drag
strip (14.5 at 97 mph). Number 4 piston failed and limped home same day (7/8/15)
6/26/15 Obtained plates from state of CT, registered as Shelby CSX.
4/26/2015 Purchased from Chris Williams with 91,372 in upstate NY. Car
sat in storage lot from 2011 to 2015 broke down. Before that in N.C.
7/6/2011 NC reg renewed. (Cramerton NC)
7/5/2011 90,913 miles NC emissions form
10/2000 Wiper motor purchased from S&R Salvage in Charlotte NC
4/10/2010 Vehicle at Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair
1/22/2010 NC reg renewed. (Cramerton NC) Chris Williams owner
12/18/2009 Sold to Chris Williams from Landon Kivett (Date from NC
title, no miles)
6/8/2001 NC reg renewed. (Charlotte NC)
1/21/2001 88,591 miles listed in Carfax report, NC emissions
11/10/2000 88,288 miles listed in Carfax report, NC emissions
10/30/2000 88,218 miles listed in Carfax report, NC emissions
9/2000 Matt Wells sells or trades car to Landon Kivett with 86,119 miles
(miles from Matt)
4/3/2000 Matt Wells claims purchased car in St Petersburg and put 2000
miles on it before selling.
10/27/1995 66,000 miles listed in Carfax report, FL emissions
6/13/1995 56,000 miles listed in Carfax report, FL emissions
11/21/94 Brett McMullen?/Florida West Motors purchases car from
"Pick and Pull Auto Parts" of Tampa FL with 66,148 miles on
title. Brett owns car for 94-00 and puts 20k on the clock.
1990-1994 I assume "Pick and Pull" owns the car for this
timeframe but could be very wrong. The 1994 FL title indicates the
previous issue date is 1/30/90. Can anyone shed some light on this from
Florida? Whats intresting is the odo on the title indicates that "odo
read date" was 10/18/94. So I'm assuming the title was not issued
to "Pick and Pull" till 11/10/94 which is only a month after
the odo read date. So was the car just sitting unplated? How does that
work in FL?
11/10/1994 DMV inspects vehicle and indicates odo is 66,145 in Tampa FL
7/30/1987 delivered to Kenyon Dodge in Clearwater, FL. Car is verified
as being in the first batch (#114) of 125 shipped to Shelby. Kenyon
Dodge is out of business as of 1998 (purchased in merger)