As I said, I got this car for FREE. A friend of my dad is a mechanic and one of his former employees had left the car there when he quit and moved out of state. The mechanic didnt really know what to do with the car, but it was too clean to throw out. A few weeks later I happened to be looking for a nice cheap car for my girlfriend at the time and my dad mentioned this one. I went and looked at it and talked to the mechanic about it. It needed a radiator and a headgasket (go figure), but they had just put in both brand new axles. He said that if I wanted to do those things to it, he'd let me have it for free. Kick ass! We towed the car home and I soon began work on it. The head gasket was the easy part, but locating a radiator was a small challenge. Now, on any given day in the local junk yard, there are dozens of Omni's and Horizon's waiting to be crushed. Of course, the one time I need a part for an "L", there's only 4 there total! To make things worse, 3 of them were manual transmissions and the remaining auto one had a trashed radiator. I tried a few other yards and found no good cores. The next week I went back to my normal yard and they had gotten a few new "L's" in and I snagged the radiator out of an automatic Charger. Problem solved and now the car runs!
I handed the car over to my girlfriend and kept asking her to let me know of ANY noises or problems the car may have. She kept telling me that everything was fine. Well, very shortly after she got the car, I became very fed up with the way she was and was wanting to break up with her. No problem right? Right! Except I wanted to get my car back. LUCKILY, she ran it out of gas one night and I went out to fix it. I figured out the problem right away but acted like it was something serious so I towed it home. I had the car running that night but kept telling her that I was "still working on it" and then about a week or so later, I swung the axe. I drove the car a little bit after that and I immediately noticed a severe grinding noise coming from the transmission area. I asked my ex how long it had been making that noise and she said she never heard it before... whatever. This was a HARD grinding noise that rattled your teeth! I narrowed down the problem to an axle bearing. After playing on a hydraulic press for about 20 min trying to put a new bearing in the spindle, I decided it was much easier to just get an entire spindle from the junkyard and replace the whole thing. Easy enough. I put in a "new" spindle and took the car for a drive. Ahhh, nice and smooth! But about 2 miles down the road the grinding started again.. and quickly got very loud again. WTF? I pulled the wheel off again and started removing the spindle when I noticed that the axle splines were sticking out of the hub when installed. Hmm.. Just then I remembered asking a question for my friend on the FMML about putting Daytona spindles on an Omni to make it 5-lug. People told me that the splines were a little longer on K-based cars compaired to L-body cars. Ah-ha! They put in a Daytona axle! The splines were too long for the hub and the axle nut would bottom out on the axle and not even touch the spindle. That's why it destroyed the bearing so quickly! Digging through our parts bins, I found a washer that fit around the axle and inside the hub which would shim the nut out so it wouldnt bottom out on the axle. I went and got yet another junkyard spindle, reassembled the side, and the test drive was smooth once again!
I drove the car for a month regularly to see what else it needed as I was planning on selling the car. Everything seemed fine, but towards the end of the month it started developing another grinding axle noise. ARGH! Now what? I jacked the car up and wedged the drivers side wheel. I started the car and put it in gear so only the passenger side spun (this is the side that kept killing bearings before). No noise. Hmm.. I unblocked the driver side and blocked the passenger side. Major grinding! Immediatly I assume that this side also had a Daytona axle in it and just took longer to develop a problem. I pull the wheel and remove the axle nut but the splines were just fine. I pull the spindle just for kicks and find that the bearing was dead but it must have just died naturally. I went back to the junk yard for yet another spindle and while i was there I grabbed a very nice looking passenger side axle so my car wouldnt be so rigged on that side. So, after putting in the new axle, replacing both spindles, getting a radiator, and changing a head gasket.. I have a very nice FREE car! It's been running smooth and fine ever since then.
2.5L "Tall Block" With 11:1 Compression
Ported "G" Head
Mexican Spec PFI
In order to run this setup on a standard American TBI engine, you must first convert the cars electronics to 92 SBEC specs. In order to do this, you must find a 92 or newer donor car and pull the complete engine wiring harness and ECU out of it and swap it into the recieving car. For most body styles this is no problem at all. But in my situation I had one slight dilemma.. the last Omni was made in 1990! LUCKILY Chrysler evolved the L-body into SBEC electronics along with the rest of the cars. However, 1990 and 1992 SBEC's are slightly different and the 1990 ECU can not support the Mexican PFI which is in 1992 SBEC calibrations. We will deal with that a little later.
Hooker Super Comp Header
2.5" Mandrel Bent Exhaust
1.22:1 Transfer Gears with "Shift Improver"