|Project Goodwill started as a great find on the local
Goodwil car lot in Bradenton Florida. We found the car
there with an asking price of $500. It is a 1990 Plymouth
Laser RS Turbo with 78,000 miles. The car was the
stripped down base model front wheel drive with crank
windows and all but had no ignition power. We found the
MPI fuse to be missing. With the fuse replaced, the car
fired right up. The car had a good sounding steady idle
and ice cold A/C but would not rev above 2-3000 rpm. It
would mis-fire and blow out black smoke. We diagnosed
it as ECU trouble and payed Goodwill their $500.
The following day we returned to Goodwill, replaced the
ECU, and went on a quick test drive. The ECU fixed the
While on our test drive, we ran into another issue. It
seemed the Laser wouldnt make any boost. We pulled
the intake pipe to find that the factory 14b was siezed up.
We could not spin it with our fingers.
We located a good used 14b that was ported and had a
ported 1g manifold and O2 housing attached to it. While
swapping the turbo, we found that the cause of death for
the original turbo was a rag that was left in the oil return
passage. This turbo had been off before. While we were
in there, we replaced a clicking axle on the passenger
side and performed a good tune-up.
With the car now in good mechanical condition, we
worked on some cosmetics like the broken tail light,
misadjusted wiper blade and some other small items in
preparation for the Laser's first trip to the track to get a
baseline in stock form.
Our main goal is to build a fun and reliable track only
DSM that is in our budget. We could have saved a lot of
money by not performing maintenence on the engine
and skimping on the fuel system, boost contol and
exhaust but we didnt want to "Mod Cheap, Mod Twice".
Project Goodwill Begins
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