Rally: the original motorsport
Photo Courtesy of Tim Winker
Photo Courtesy of Warwick Patterson
unknown photographer
Photo Courtesy of plaftaphoto
---- 1991 9000, 5door, 2.3L 16 valve turbo, 5 spd manual ----

This 1991 9000turbo was donated to me with a intermittent but apparently uncurable running problem. This problem continued to get worse and was joined by a nasty bottom end knock. I pulled the pan and found a spun main bearing and that was that. no oil pressure and grooves on the crank and block meant time for a new motor. It took several months to source a good motor that didn't have a lot of miles or a problem that would require several hundred dollars on top of purchase price to fix.
I finally found one in vermont with 130k on it and a 1 month old headgasket and timing chain. A quick run up there in the winter beater (yes a 9000 motor will fit through the rear doors on a 4dr 900) secured the engine and we slotted time to do the swap. The goal was to do the least amount possible and still have a reliable daily driver. No rebuilding.
Before the 'new' motor went in it got new front and rear main seals and an oil pump o-ring. Nick pulled the old motor for me while I prepped the new motor to go in. He showed me an interesting trick to getting the motor out when you can't pull the drivers side axle shaft. Some monkeys had been in there and really gone to town on the axle nut. Nick actually broke his new 2 ft. Snap-On breaker bar on it!

The new engine had been sold to me without the intake or exhaust manifolds and with only the water pump on the belt side. So everything from the old motor was moved over to the new motor. Then some serious degunking and she was ready to go back in. While we had it out we also replaced the shift shaft seal on the gearbox and threw a new clutch at it. Here's the new motor ready to go back in. The trick is to seriously tilt the engine so you can get the inner cv hooked up before you drop the rest of the engine in. Somewhat like a classic 900. The motor went back in with minimum sketch factor. OK, not minimum but we still have all ten fingers and toes so you really can't complain.
I spent some time repairing some questionable wiring left over from some monkeys who went in there and took the time to reroute all the wiring and hoses correctly. It's amazing how simple it is to do things the right way! After hooking everything back up she cranked for a bit to get fuel back in the lines and then fired right up.
5 minutes of lifter tick as the hydraulic lifters pressured up and then she idled quiet as a mouse. I've got to bleed the clutch again as it's not got a nice feel but other than that she's ready to go! No puddles of oil or coolant under the car and a civilized looking engine bay once again. Now if something starts leaking I'll be able to tell where it's coming from!
As Promised here's some more photos of the perfectly unspectacular 9000t. The motor almost ready to go: battery and a couple of wiring brackets to go. And the outside of the car as it sat for 8 months. Needs a wash desperately. The car will get a tune up and oil change 300 miles down the road just to make sure we don't run into any problems.
There are no LH or DI/APC fault codes and i believe a recharge of the A/C will get it going again. It's already been converted to 134a. Daily driver here we come!
Some buffing, small interior bits and suspension work and it'll be a done deal.

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