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1986 505 Turbo Wagon N9T Advice Desired


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Hello All,
I hope to introduce myself a little and ask for some advice/suggestions regarding my 1986 505 Turbo Wagon, which I have owned since 1996, but parked since 2006 due to a thought to be cracked cylinder head.  I enjoyed driving this wagon as a daily driver quite a bit during the first 10 years until a very hot summer afternoon when I got stuck in a giant interstate highway traffic jam for a very lengthy time.  Although the temperature gauge never entered the overheat range, still it did reach high into the normal range (even with turning-off the air conditioning, and instead running the heater on the highest fan speed).  The car was (once) still driveable, but it was obvious that a little coolant was present in the exhaust, so I parked it assuming that I would eventually repair the N9T (I also do have a complete spare N9T engine), or possibly swap to a Peugeot V6 engine with an at one time hopeful purchase of a donor STX sedan.  Until of very recent, my finances have prevented any repairs, but I am now trying to decide/hopefully plan what to do.  After reading through both threads "89 PRV wagon projects" and "Another V6 Wagon is born", besides the need to purchase a 505 STX, I presently do not see me having the very long time large indoor work space seemingly required to devote to a successful completion.


Questions seeking advice:
Does the Danielson cylinder head resolve the cylinder head cracking issue, or Is there another cylinder head which does not have the apparent design/construction flaw where a cracked head is eventually inevitable?  Or what cooling system changes might be made to greatly prevent future head cracking?  Is an overhaul gasket set or cylinder head gasket reasonably available?


If retaining a N9T engine, what can reasonably be done to significantly reduce the turbo lag, the most unfavorable issue I have with the stock arrangement, and preferably a 20% to 50% increase in horsepower and still retain a pleasant engine to daily/pleasure drive with?  I do have a factory trailer hitch which I have never installed, and I would like to consider  occasionally to tow a boat, but  I have long thought that the lag would be a serious issue when retrieving a boat from even a low angle launching ramp.


Will the automatic transmission (ZF 4HP22, I remember correctly) hold-up with a torque/horsepower increase, or are there recommended upgrades to do so (I previously have successfully totally rebuilt an automatic transmission)?  The plastic automatic transmission shifter has cracked badly (UV damage apparently), any recommended current sources for a quality replacement?


My windshield was seriously cracked long ago when windshield's were then readily available, but a new windshield gasket could not be easily located.  I eventually did later purchase a new windshield gasket, but then new windshields were seemingly not available anymore.  Any recommended current sources for a new or nice used windshield? 


If I should rather decide to sell my wagon, and a long-owned 1989 405S I also have (automatic transmission needed/needs an overhaul when I acquired it), is there a recommended market such that I am not selling each car for "scrap pricing"?


In reality, this likely will be far too costly to be practical for a new replacement "billet" cylinder head, this firm has my interest to at least contact them.  Here is a press release I received in the past 12 months:
"Mast Motorsports New Race Cylinder Head Services Division"
Darin Morgan will head up Mast’s Race Cylinder Head Services division, which will operate out of a sprawling 22,000 square-foot facility in Nacogdoches, TX. Although the Mast brand has always been associated with the GM LS platform, Morgan will tap into his broad base of experience to provide cylinder head solutions for all engine platforms including Chevys, Fords and Mopars as well as imports and exotics. “At Mast, I’ll be able to continue doing what I’ve always done but with far greater resources than ever before,” Morgan stated. “The LS platform is taking off by leaps and bounds, but as a custom shop, we will provide cylinder head services for all types of engines. I enjoy restoring the cylinder heads and intake manifolds for collector cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, horseless carriages and everything in between. It takes a lot of trust to send someone these ancient and super rare engine parts, but they know when they get them back they’ll be perfect.”

 

Thank You In Advance,
Joe in Atlanta, Georgia
 

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Hi Joe,

Welcome to the forums!

  • Does the Danielson cylinder head resolve the cylinder head cracking issue, or Is there another cylinder head which does not have the apparent design/construction flaw where a cracked head is eventually inevitable?  Or what cooling system changes might be made to greatly prevent future head cracking?  Is an overhaul gasket set or cylinder head gasket reasonably available?

 

They do not, they're still susceptible to cracking, but http://www.erikssonindustries.com/ has an excellent reputation for repairing heads that don't crack again.  Personally I think the cooling system isn't well designed as it's not designed to account for situations where the closed systems has a small leak.  I'm going to change it so that the coolant tank is the highest point, and ensure the there are added lines in the circuit to ensure the system can self bleed - especially to ensure the head is always full of coolant.  Finding a Dani head is pretty much impossible these days - but I see V-M just posted one of his for sale for 550e:  

  • If retaining a N9T engine, what can reasonably be done to significantly reduce the turbo lag, the most unfavorable issue I have with the stock arrangement, and preferably a 20% to 50% increase in horsepower and still retain a pleasant engine to daily/pleasure drive with?  I do have a factory trailer hitch which I have never installed, and I would like to consider  occasionally to tow a boat, but  I have long thought that the lag would be a serious issue when retrieving a boat from even a low angle launching ramp.

They only thing that can be done to reduce lag would be to replace the turbo with a modern replacement, and that would involve either modifying the stock manifold (my plan) or to have a custom manifold built to use a more common flange like the T25, T3 or T4 flanges.  Power increase would need to be done with a standalone ECU to replace the factory system.  Bigger injectors and likely a bigger fuel pump would also be needed.

  • Will the automatic transmission (ZF 4HP22, I remember correctly) hold-up with a torque/horsepower increase, or are there recommended upgrades to do so (I previously have successfully totally rebuilt an automatic transmission)?  The plastic automatic transmission shifter has cracked badly (UV damage apparently), any recommended current sources for a quality replacement?

The 4HP22 should be OK to hold the power, but the Range Rover specialist transmission places have some good upgrade options for the 4HP22 using some of the HP24 internals.  Personally I think the transmission should be fine unless you're racing it, but the real issue for increasing power is the tiny u-joint.  

  • My windshield was seriously cracked long ago when windshield's were then readily available, but a new windshield gasket could not be easily located.  I eventually did later purchase a new windshield gasket, but then new windshields were seemingly not available anymore.  Any recommended current sources for a new or nice used windshield? 

Best would be to contact glass shops to see if they can source one through their channels.

  • If I should rather decide to sell my wagon, and a long-owned 1989 405S I also have (automatic transmission needed/needs an overhaul when I acquired it), is there a recommended market such that I am not selling each car for "scrap pricing"?

Unfortunately these cars don't command a huge price even when minty, so non-op cars, or cars needing major work are only worth scrap prices even to enthusiasts - especially if travel is involved to recover the cars.  Exceptions of coarse for super minty cars that are immaculate and rust free - but only by a very little amount.

All depends on what YOU want to do really.

For myself:  I also have a 505 SW8 Turbo wagon that I've been collecting parts for.  It is getting a stand alone (SDS EFI EM-4F), bigger 60# injectors, fuel pump upgrade, and the u-joint will get redone hopefully with higher strength 4x4 parts of a similar size.  Turbo will likely be even laggier as it's a T3/T4 hybrid turbo, but the beauty of the auto is that the turbo can build boost on the converter if needed - but any towing I'll be doing won't need a lot of power off the line.  My experience with launching boats:  having really good brakes, and a good strong park brake were way more valuable than torque down low.  As for lag when pulling - Turbos love load, so you'll probably find the turbo much more responsive while pulling a trailer as it will always be spooling a little even at cruise.

Rabin

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Hi Bean,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply, you certainly did address almost every question I posed!  I have never posted prior to this, but I have regularly visited the forums and read numerous threads over several years.  If I remember correctly, you do have experience with race cars, which I certainly do not, and thus I would best require specific brand and model recommendations to have confidence and then hopefully success.  Would you possibly venture a (wild, or ballpark) parts price guess as to incorporating a standalone ECU, hybrid turbocharger, modified exhaust manifold, a bigger set of injectors and fuel pump, and stronger U-joint?  If possibly so, I could contact Eriksson Industries for a quote, to then have a little understanding of what it might cost in parts if I was to go forward with serious changes.  I would like to ask again if a cylinder head gasket, or engine overhaul gasket set with the head gasket, is reasonably available, if you should know?

 

Thanks Again,

Joe

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Hi Joe,

Cometic makes head gaskets for these engines, and there’s a French shop that sourced new gasket sets, bearings, hoses etc etc - So it’s very doable.  
https://www.mespiecesauto.com/en/categorie-produit/peugeot-505-turbo-injection/

As for costs, doing everything at once is likely not very feasible, but a stepped or staged approach makes the most sense.  Fixing the engine, and getting it back to stage 0 (as they say) would be my advice.  (Stage 0 is basically mechanically perfect)

You may find that once it’s returned to stock that it needs very little more, or you can at least reassess and figure out just how far you want to take it.

To get your car back to 100% stock - I would say it will be $2000 - $4000 depending on what needed doing.  Even more if you’re paying to have it done.

And yes - I used to be a pro-rally mechanic / crew chief, so almost all the stuff I plan / do for my Peugeot’s is absurd overkill by any rational standards.  :)

 

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I bought a brand new windshield from Peugeot L'Aventure pièces de rechange.

image.png.601915e507046f028bd39a0dc931f876.png

 

They pay air freight.  Flew it to Seattle.  (Merci!).  Others in the mix had their hand out.  (Taxes, "Agents", shipping company - add $150) There are hoops to jump through.  And expect to pick it up from the airport yourself.  Even after having a top notch shop install it I was out < $1,000.

 

I would recommend it.  The glass shop I went to said they could have ordered me up a non-tinted piece, but I'm super happy to have gotten this.  They were impressed with it's quality.  It's awesome.

 

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Mine was just roached.  A PO had somehow let the rubber in the wiper to deterioriate to the point it was dragging metal against the glass and put an arc-shaped scratch in it.

I always buy used cars, but always put in new windshields.  Just about makes the car new.  Never scrimp on tires and glass!

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New seal as well?  And I assume the plastic locking strip shattered?  Now that would be nice to find a replacement.

I was going to see if I could get my installer to use generic seal to flush mount the glass in.  Buddy had it done on his Europa and it turned out nice.

Rabin

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I had a seal, but it wasn't right for some reason.  They re-used the old one.  Sealing up was an issue they were not concerned about.  The lock item had been removed by the PO in the 1990s.

I can put you in touch with my glass shop if your guys have questions.  Everybody there is over 50 so this didn't cause them any issues.  They normally do exotics.  

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Seriously, they pay the air freight?  I was thinking of getting a spare for my 404 Coupé which is mere months from getting back on the road again...

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