13th Jul 2006, 18:18
The turbo issue just happened to be a broken vacuum hose on the wastegate. The turbo is back, and now it's faster than ever.
157!!! I nearly maxed it out, and the tires were about to blow, but it made it. It also drained 1/6 tank of gas. This car also has more power than a stock Lebaron, so I'm not sure if a standard Lebaron would make it that fast.
17th Jul 2006, 18:18
I don't see how it's even remotely possibly you got your Lebaron with a 3-SPEED AUTOMATIC up to 157mph. Surely you mean kilometers, haha. I once got my Plymouth Acclaim with the non-turbo version of the same engine and same transmission up to 100mph. The entire car was vibrating and the engine was SCREAMING! I don't see these cars capable of the speeds you mention or maybe your speedo is broken. Besides, if you keep driving it like it sounds you do, it'll wear out very quickly. These cars were not designed for high performance driving.
14th Jan 2007, 10:03
I bought a new 89 LeBaron turbo1 2.5l with a 5 speed, I loved the car then, and still love the thing. If you replaced the computer 150 MILES/HOUR is not unreachable, I up graded the injectors and at 3500rpm the stock fuel pump and regulator couldn't keep up. A pump from a glh or Shelby will work. I hope you still have it.
29th Dec 2007, 21:30
Chrysler products of this era, especially the four banger turbos, were never know for their reliability or durability for that matter. When treated with care, (that means not driving like a mindless clown and going 100+ MPH!) These motors still had a poor repair index. Head gasket failure, frozen turbo chargers (excessive heat), oil leaks, cracked cylinder heads, you name it... As for Chrysler's three speed and even the four speed automatic transmissions (front wheel drive units), anyone who knows them knows they are major sore spots! The old torqueflites were built like Goliath and those FWD transmissions were about as brawny as Pee Wee Herman! Those sad old K cars were Chrysler's darkest period; without a doubt!
2nd Mar 2008, 08:28
Does anyone know what the right price for a rebuild for a new tranny would be? I have an 89 LeBaron GTC turbo 2.6 l convertible, and love it, but 2nd gear is completely gone and 1st is going and reverse is starting to go as well. It's my baby, so I want to get it fixed.
I think it's one of the best cars ever. They are built to last; I mean I don't see my 2007 Chevy lasting as long as this car lasts.
My husband found a place that will do a rebuild for $750. I think its great because most other places want at least 1 or 2 grand. Just checking to see what you all think...
20th May 2008, 00:00
The small 4 cyl. Chrysler products from the '80s were, overall, very good cars. Please note - many of the early LeBarons came with 2.6L Mitsubishi engines and 1990 - 1995 came with 3.0L Mitsubishis. Those engines were low power / performance, and a little costly to repair (IE: 3.0L water pump - OUCH).
The Chrysler 4 cyls. on the other hand, were well engineered and offered increased horsepower through the years. Yes, as most engines, they have their weaknesses (don't let them overheat - the aluminum head can warp). But the 1989 2.5 turbo was a great 4 banger. The block is called the "common block" and is overbuilt high-strength alloy steel.
The reader who posted on 29th Dec 2007 and said these cars were problematic was not well informed. The trannies were more than adequate - these were not high-performance cars even with the turbo, except the Turbo IV engine - only with 5 speed.
Yes there were turbo problems, but almost all turbo-ed cars of the era had the same problem. This was because owners were never told to cool down the turbo before shutting off the engine!
I bought my '89 coupe 2.5 turbo at 98,000 miles. It drove so well, it felt like a car with no more than 40K miles - tight, solid, well-built, and no squeaks/rattles.
Sadly, Chrysler did cheapen the car in 1990 with a minor make-over, and went with the 3.0L Mits I mentioned above. It was more plastic and didn't hold up as long.
Lastly, TRANNY REBUILD - just remember you get what you pay for! $750 is on the low side, at least in Los Angeles. Top dollar would be ABOUT $1,300. There are differences in different regions of the country.
Super, super car for the money!
31st Jan 2009, 21:37
Don't count out the 3.0L V6 cars just yet. I had a 1990 Le baron GT Convertible with a 5-speed and it was fantastic. I bought it as a throwaway car with 50K miles on it, and owned it for 7 years and took it to 120K miles on the factory clutch and AC charge. The only reason I no longer have the car is due to a divorce. Yes the water pump / timing belt repair is costly, but replace both every 60K miles and you have no problems. Great car. Looking for another. Regarding the speedo comments above, I know my speedo was off. I drove at 120 MPH regularly, but it didn't seem that fast.
19th Apr 2009, 21:20
Hello, I have a 1989 LeBaron with the 2.5L turbo. My friend borrowed my car and now it has a transmission slip; it does not even acknowledge the 2nd gear. And the first is still slipping, does anyone know whether or not this is cheaply fixable or not? Let me know.
23rd Mar 2011, 22:30
Yeah, you'er right! I had a 1987 turbo and I loved it. I went up the Niagara escarpment doing 100 KPH, but the turbo was running full and the engine was revving at 5200 RPMS!
I wish I could find another car like that one!!!
3rd May 2011, 01:15
I drove a LeBaron Turbo in High School and it really was a good car I have to say. MPG wasn't really that good (24), and it handled like a rubber duck in a bathtub, but it was solid, and very luxurious for a commuter car. Also, it was ridiculously easy to work on.
It's a shame Dodge has gone the way of the past with making cars like this.