I originally had a 87 Conquest in the late 90s, it was a fun car, I eventually upgraded to a super 16G and centerforce clutch, as well as emissions deleted etc. Very fun car, could have been faster if I knew more back then, if you stayed in it too long it would eat spark plugs. I let a friend borrow it to go get a part for my Barracuda and he wadded it up and knocked down some fence with it. I was compensated and my friend was OK so life goes on and he is a still a great friend and I never let him forget lol. I made a good chunk of money selling parts on the Ultimate Conquest and Starion Page. That was kind of my first dive into online sales and I think I liked it better then.
Anyways, fast forward to 2021 and I have never forgotten about my conquest and always wanted another one. I passed on a MINT one in Chandler Oklahoma back when values were at their worst several years ago and never forgot about it. So in June 2021 my Dad and I drove to Texas to pick up one of three conquests that a guy had for sale. He had one that ran and two that didn't. I didn't want red so and it was kind of janky so I passed on the running one. I ended up dragging home another black 87 5 speed with a blown head gasket and a locked up engine from sitting with coolant in the cylinders. I got it home, got it unlocked the head was cracked and the cylinders were in really bad shape. I traded the APEXI module thing to another member with a little cash for a complete engine in unknown condition and some other parts I needed to start back stock. That engine looked super clean and nice inside, it has a reman head as well, but the rod bearings and crank were no good....NEXT. I did get good a good stock of useable spares from this engine and met another Conquest guy so I am still ahead.
September 2021, driving down the road I suddenly remember a red Conquest sitting behind one of my customers, I used to see it when I ran a route(stopped that in 2008) and had to turn my truck around behind the shop. I talk to one of my route guys and he drives to the shop and around back and BAM its still there. Talked to the shop they want it gone, they have the key and the title since it used to belong to an employee and he left it there. $300 and I load up an ugly and rusty but complete red 87 Conquest that "ran when parked". It has massive wiring damage from rodents, even the upper radiator hose was chewed away. We tails things and realize short of the fusible links that it should have enough to run. We clip some jumpers on, put some plug wires on it and it fires off of some starting fluid and sounds smooth and quiet. The fuel pump was locked up and the tank was full of what my friend called "deck stain" so we aborted trying to get it to run on the fuel system.
A week goes by and before I feel good about swapping this engine into my nice conquest I want to hear it run longer, get it warmed up, and make sure its really a good donor. So I take the injectors from my black 87, and the spare fuel pump for my Barracuda(Walboro GSL392) and I cobble up a fuel system to run out of a gas can. My 7 year old and I head over to my friends house where the car is stored and check more wiring and crank it to find if the injectors are getting signal. We put the good injectors in and rigged up the fuel system. This car has been sitting since 2005, it started up like I turned it off the day before. I had some trouble getting it to take water but after I moved it on more level ground it was good. I ran it for probably 30 minutes and it warmed up enough to cycle one of the fans(the drivers side one) on and off and the temp gauge ran just below the middle while it did. It sounded great The gauges all work, it has decent oil pressure with 16 year old oil in it, and idles smooth as can be. After it was warmed up I gave it some good revs and held it at higher RPM for awhile and it passed all the tests I can do in the car. So as of today I need to remove the remaining engine stuff from my black car, get it over to the shop where the red car is and start the swap.
My plan is to swap in this engine and get the black car driving. I removed all the mods on it and it will start stock. If I decide to do much mods to it I will go with one of Scotts Megasquirt systems, my Barracuda has an MS3X on it and I am familiar with it. But, after I get it running and driving I will take my two other engines and tear them down to see if I have enough good stuff to build an engine. I have built multiple engines for my Barracuda and a stroked 4.0 liter inline 6 for my Jeep so now I need to add a SOHC forklift engine to my building resume.
I'll try to keep this kind of updated. My wife has been wanting another car with a manual trans so it made it easy to add yet another hobby car to the fleet. I hope she likes it as well, then it will earn a spot in the garage and not have to sit outside.
In the pics the black car is obviously the one I am trying to make run. The red parts car picture is from when I first drug it out of its 16 year resting spot. The first tow hook ripped off as soon as I put the old dually in gear, that is when I knew i wouldn't feel bad about harvesting its organs.