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Thread: '89-'90 2.0 and 2.4 cross-breeding

  1. #1

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    Unhappy '89-'90 2.0 and 2.4 cross-breeding

    As I posted in the newbie threads, I have a 2.4 that certainly has some internal damage due to a timing belt incident.

    First: the 'confession', and what I learned from the experience (might help someone else):

    my 1990 D-50 blew smoke on cold start-ups. This eventually prompted me to add Lucas oil...very thick. In the cold Virginia autumn, it was slow to crank over. One day while warming up, the timing belt chewed some teeth.

    What I learned:
    The cold-start smoking was likely from worn valve seals. I suspect that when the engine was turned off, and sat, oil leaked from the cylinder head into the cylinder, awaiting the time to be burned. Once the motor was warm, smoking was minimal or non-existant.

    My Chilton book on the vehicle gives wonderful instructions for cleverly replacing the valve seals without removing the head: each cylinder at TDC, then stuffing nylon rope through the spark plug hole to support the valve after the keepers are removed. I didn't know that, then

    And now I have a 1989 D-50 I bought from a neighbor. Their report is that it sat due to a suspected head gasket breach. If I gauge this from the inspection sticker, that truck sat for 12 years. BUT...it isn't a broken timing belt, so the motor is in a state of preservation.

    '89 forensics: No water in the oil, but #1 & 2 spark plugs were excessively fouled
    The timing belt, though intact, is seriously in need of replacing.
    Precautions I took: Before moving the vehicle, I added a gallon of fresh fuel and some Seafoam so it could slosh around on the tow to my home. I then drained tha tank.

    I also made no attempts to turn the engine over. I added a whole can of Sea foam to the crankcase, and upon getting the vehicle home, drained the oil and removed the filter. Fresh oil and a new filter, with spark plugs out, I hand-cranked the motor several revolutions.

    I asked about using the head from the 2.0 for the 2.4. I am interested in the other possibility:

    Can I put the 2.0 (complete, with new timing belt) in the fuel-injected truck, and the 2.4 sensors adjust it to the lesser-degree in fuel demand? If so, this would be awesome, giving me a motor (and transmission) with 60,000 fewer miles. It allows leisure time to rebuild the 2.4 (and locate a head for it...or use the existing one after reconditioning).

    Having both trucks has given me some great possibilities, though i think I do not want to retain carboration in exchange for fuel injection.

    The '89 will be a parts truck. Though I thought of making the bed into a trailer, at this point in my addiction to D-50's, I refuse to hack up a vehicle that becomes rarer every day that passes by.

    Any and all comments are humbly welcomed, and expert advice is really appreciated.

  2. #2

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    And now I have a 1989 D-50 I bought from a neighbor. Their report is that it sat due to a suspected head gasket breach. If I gauge this from the inspection sticker, that truck sat for 12 years. BUT...it isn't a broken timing belt, so the motor is in a state of preservation.

    '89 forensics: No water in the oil, but #1 & 2 spark plugs were excessively fouled
    Another possibility is that it jumped timing, which it's starting to look like is the case.

  3. #3

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    I don't mean to be a bother but since you said the 89 is a parts truck would you be willing to part with the air ducts and vents. Since one of the previous owners of my truck thought it would be a good idea to strip the dash of its parts. If you are pm me.

  4. #4

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    I am willing, but I feel it best to wait until my donation to the forum is received: it just seems like the good way to go.

    I'll PM you when that happens. I wouldn't think shipping would be expensive, and as it looks like this truck will never see pavement again, the ducts/vents would find good use with you. You may have them for free. (I paid $300 for the 89, and I got my money's worth, I'm sure).

  5. #5

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    That sounds great. I was trying to find them.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefreack View Post
    That sounds great. I was trying to find them.
    From the help I got on this forum, I know to not interchange engine parts. So I'll be parting out the '89 (lots of great salvage) and during the process, I'll pull those for you and clean 'em up.

    For those who were attracted to this thread for information about the mechanical differences of the 2.0 and 2.4, DroppedMitsu wrote:

    The 2.0 head will bolt onto the 2.4 block but will also bump up the compression a bit, theres a guy on the facebook mighty max page running this setup. You could also take all the fuel injection components(and ecu/engine harness, etc) and convert the 2.0 to fuel injection. Transmissions cannot be swapped between the two as one is a narrow block and the other a wide block engine design .
    My apollogies to the forum if this information already exists on another thread: I have not had time to search the forum extensively. I am so grateful for the help from you all.

    Next question: I assume other parts are interchangeable, like brake disc/drums, calipers, grille, bumper, winsheild and fuel tank. Any expert advice on this is also appreciated. My intention is to use brake parts for core exchange and/or rebuilding them myself. I want to store glass (windows and windsheild) to have on hand "just in case". I'm more interested in restoring my '90 D-50, rather than customising it.

    Between camoit and DroppedMitsu I've probably saved myself a week of frustrating work, and several hundreds of dollars. A donation contribution to the forum is forthcoming.

  7. #7

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    It might be of help to some to know that the air filter for the '90 2.4 is almost identical to a shop-vac filter, available at Home Depot or Lowe's for the same price as auto parts stores, and readily available. Only a very slight modification is necessary.

    Here in Virginia, these air filters are order-only from parts suppliers.

    If any of you experts dispute this alterantive, please let ALL of us know. <eamwhile, the shop-vac filter seemed to be working just fine.

  8. #8

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    The next episode of my adventure is the Mystery Of The Missing "B" Belt.

    I got the timing cover off the 2.0 and discovered the silent shaft belt is non-existant. Absolutely no trace of it anywhere.

    I wasn't sure what a silent shaft did: sounds like what politicians do for a living. Wikipedia explains that it is a means of balancing vibrations from the engine. Made sense, but I'm puzzled as to why the B belt is missing, and if this would affect any major opperation of the engine?

    I'm going to run a simple compression test and see if the head gasket is blown. If it doesn't appear to be, then I'll go ahead and replace the timing belts: I can sell the engine in the future, but meanwhile I'd be able to move the truck when I need to. Otherwise, I have to accept there's nothing I can do (economically feaseable) other than part it out wholesale, since the parts don't help my 2.4.

    I already have the timing belt kit for the 2.4. I ordered a head gasket set and will be getting into that motor in a few days, I hope. I have to get the 2.0 out of the garage, first.

    Thanks for being here for me

  9. #9

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    I found this thread about silent shaft stuff here on the forum.

    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...+shaft+purpose

    It may be someone left it out purposely on my 2.0. This is looking more and more like I have a fried motor. I also have no visible oil pressure...certainly nothing is coming through the oil filter, and there isn't a lot up on the valve train.

    With a minimum of one of you experts telling me "okay", I'll simply yank the head, carb and useable parts, and scrap the block.

  10. #10

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    Welcome Royster to the forum. It appears you had a lucky find with a second truck of the same generation; a feat I have not yet been able to accomplish. My 2 cents on the moter from the '89 would not be to scrap the block unless it has physical damage or defects. There is always others on this forum that might be willing to take the block and rebuilt it.

    Like you, I have trouble finding parts and other folks (in my area) that share a love for these little trucks. If you are planning on parting out the '89, I might have a few requests . The only thing I haven't seen in your posts (and maybe I missed them) is some pics of the '89.

  11. #11

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    Thanks, R5N.
    I don't intend to junk the block, I just don't plan to use it. I understand the rarity of parts and will keep working with it a bit more...(finally got oil to the top end). I lost nothing by getting this little parts-truck: between this forum and the hands-on work I'm able to do without serious consequence (or expense), I've already learned a lot about how they were built, the various # designations...all KINDS of stuff. And it's great "practice" for when I get into the '90 repairs.

    I have taken a few pictures of the '89 but the roll is not finished in the camera ( I use dinosaur technology).

    The '89 is white with blue interior. One thing that fascinates me about it is that I got it from the original owner. It is not in great shape, as it was relegated to farm use, but some aspects of it are encouraging...like the transmission has virtually no oil coating it, for example. There isn't much to save from the interior, though I intend to keep the instrument cluster and heater unit. (In my '90 I removed the rear-view mirror and installed an after-market windsheild-mounted break-away RV mirror). Freack wants the heater ducts and vents. I'll save all that stuff and have a place to store it. PM me for what you'd like and I'll see what I can do. Waynesburo isn't terribly far from here, depending on what you want.

    As the truck sits, it would be quite a project vehicle, but it isn't in really tempting condition. Yesterday I spent some time banging out dents that caused the passenger door to conflict with the fender and got it all working/looking pretty good. There is no frame damage and the driver's side body is in near-perfect shape. All the glass is good. Of course, those REAL BRASS radiators are something from my teenage years...I hated seeing plastic become increasingly used for valve covers and radiators. Someone has soldered a tag on the radiator and I need to see what it says...all I could read was "Winchester" (which is about 20 miles north of me). It looks like a dog-tag (not military but for canines). The Age Of Wal*Mart has killed the Mom and Pop businesses, and there was a day in which people had radiator shops for a business...now you just buy a plastic replacement part. Being 56 years old, it pains me to see those old virtues die. In a very real sense, this little truck helps me retain that "user-serviceable" aspect of life I knew when I worked on Ramblers, Valiants and Falcons. (My first car was a '62 Nova). With Ram50's, it's simply a difference between a 12 MM wrench instead of a 1/2". The funniest thing I came to realise is how simple cars were back then, and I felt it complex. Now I know that stuff and have to learn about the gadgetry on today's vehicles...I just spent significant time fixing up my inherited '95 Mercury Sable. One sensor affects the rest of them, conspiring with the on-board computer, ruthless dictator it is. Any ONE of them can have PMS or a bad-hair-day and without electronic technology to act as Diplomat, the real problem can be illusive for days. No more "just replace the points".

    I bought the '90 with the intention of being able to work on it, myself. Finding this forum was a real blessing, not only in the information and expertise here, but the kindred spirits of Do-It-Yourself and the resourcefulness us survivors all have. Few of today's youth know what a piston is, much less how to make a gasket.

  12. #12

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    My donation was received, so I can now overtly get those parts requested of me, though I am not asking for money, except postage/shipping. thefreack, please PM me with a mailing address and I'll get your vents/duct work to you in short order.

    I WILL take advantage of the For Sale board later and list what parts are available.

  13. #13

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    I MAY need a head off the 2.4 if mine is cracked. It was soo full of rust in cooling system! I cleaned and flushed it until apparently the HG didn't have enough smooth head/block to hold compression, so blew... Just ordered HGasket ser this AM and will start head removal tomorrow PM (hopefully). Need to find a head just in case.
    Myave seals were shot and smoking also. The trickto replce them /o hed removal workd GRET, just pu off the head removal unfortunately in this case
    Merry Christmas! and GL with the project!

  14. #14

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    leave it to mercury. I have that kind of issues with my wife's 06 mountaineer. the tire pressure sensor is messed up so the ecu is then messed up. the dash lights don't work for some reason. I had the speed sensor go out on it and you could not move 5 ft with out the brakes locking up not allowing you to move when that happened. anyway enough of me banging on mercury. I sent you a pm with my info.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefreack View Post
    ...the tire pressure sensor is messed up so the ecu is then messed up. the dash lights don't work for some reason. I had the speed sensor go out on it and you could not move 5 ft with out the brakes locking up not allowing you to move when that happened...
    Gawd, it's ridiculous. The automatic cup holder doesn't work if the driver-side fart sensor isn't in seat-ventilation mode. Good lord! No WONDER we love these fairly simple trucks!

  16. #16

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    Crossover information is very hard to find, or maybe I'm not using the right language for searches. Plus the difficulty of locating parts makes crossover info even more scarce.

    I want to know if I can use the VALVES from the 2.0 for replacements in the 2.4 head. I tried looking up parts to see if the part-numbers were the same, but as of yet, there doesn't seem to be any specifics I can locate.

    My idea is to use valves from the 2.0 to replace any damaged valves in the 2.4. Camoit and a few others think there isn't any damage (the belt got chewed up at idle speed) though I want to go ahead and take the head off, anyway. I'm looking to get at least another 10,000 miles out of this engine before rebuilding or exchanging.

  17. #17



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    try rock auto for valves for the 2.4, or look on ebay under 4g64
    Pennyman1
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  18. #18

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    One thing for certain: the fuel tanks for a carborated '89 and a fuel-injected '90 are not interchangeable. I had hoped for a capped off plate on the tank, but the carborated tank lines are on the side, not the top. And there isn't an "either/or" cap from the factory on the tank.

    From a manufacturing point of view, I would think Mitsubishi would have made one part more universal for the various models. I'm finding they went to a lot of lengths to be specific per vehicle.

    I do know the carborated tank's pressure is much lower than the f.i. tank, and this is reflected in the fuel line pressure rating, too.

  19. #19



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    but if the tanks for either are good they are like gold - there are no aftermarket tanks available because there are several different tanks for the different models.
    Pennyman1
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  20. #20


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    as far as P/N research goes have you tried loading CAPS? the Mitsubishi Parts catalog? type in the VIN and select the part from the pictures and viola! a P/N!

  21. #21

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    I visited http://www.rockauto.com/ and it's quite a treasure-trove of parts. It's good to know there's an availability of parts when all other resources seem dried up.

  22. #22

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    Here are the cams from the 2.0 and 2.4. The 2.4 has the gear on it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Note the lobes on the 2.0 are wider, in order to service the jet valves. I did not check to see if the distributor gears are the same: I see very little reason to interchange parts, other than to switch a 2.0 over to fuel injection. Since my position on this forum is to provide primarily STOCK repairs, information and comparisons, the modification details need to be addressed by the foprum's experts. For the sake of information, I WILL compare the distributors to see if they can be interchanged. EDIT: Of course they aren't: the 2.0 is carborated and the 2.4 is fuel injected. The 2.0. distributor has a vacuum advance, the 2.4 does not.

    I'd ask "WHAT was I thinking?" but thinking had nothing to do with it.

    What would get tricky with switching to fuel injection would be the timing belt aspect: you'd certainly always have to remember to get a 2.0 belt kit.

    So far, my experience is that many pedestrian engine parts will interchange. I also intend to see if the brake calipers and drums are identical or not.
    Last edited by royster; 01-13-2014 at 12:29 PM.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  23. #23


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    The difference between a 2.0 4G63, and a 2.4 4G64 is deck height, i.e. the cam gear is further away from the Crank. If you were to use a 2.0 cam on a 2.4 engine you would still need the longer belt of the 2.4. as fro the distributor, the FI unit has thr Crank angle sensor built into the base, you would be missing a very important signal needed for the ECU... Vacuumadvance is the least of your worries.

  24. #24

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    Thank you, Mike. It's good to have that information.

    In short, the inter-breeding is just not a good idea.
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  25. #25



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    It will work fine just use the correct combination of parts
    Josh
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