RexSeven UltraDork
Oct. 26, 2012 9:09 p.m.

As I mentioned in my introductory thread (click here), my winter beater is this, a 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX:

Ugly, ain't it?

This New England survivor has 168K miles on the clock. The PO has had a lot of maintenance work done to it recently, including a new timing belt at 165K miles in May, valve cover gasket, front control arms, and rear diff seal. The car drives well with no leaks or smoke, it holds boost, no odd noises. Most of the issues with it are cosmetic - including that stupid biohazard symbol painted on the hood.

It's hella-sweet, yo, but I'm just not cool enough to rock it, so the biohazard will be removed or the hood will be replaced.

The sunroof needs a new latch, and the headliner and hatch interior panels are missing.

The previous-previous owner did the duct tape rust repair on the fenders (what can't duct tape do?). The paint overall is scratched to hell and the clearcoat has long been gone. The left door frame is rusting, and rust is also beginning to peek through the paint on the right door frame. However, the rocker panels and frame rails are surprisingly clean.

As far as I'm concerned... perfect for a winter - and rallycross - beater!

Mods when I bought the car include a 2.5" full turbo-back exhaust exiting through a Magnaflow muffler, Mach V Motorsports shifter bushings, AutoMeter boost gauge, a modified stock air intake with a K&N cone filter, and a no-name rear strut tower bar. PO also gave me the matching front strut tower bar and a metal intake pipe.

Plans for now are to prep the car for winter and SCCA Prepared AWD class rallycross. The Eclipse did not pass safety inspection because of a loud exhaust and Prepared class requires a catalytic converter, so a Magnaflow high-flow cat. will be installed. General Altimax Arctic tires will replace the cheap "Goodride" tires, and a new spark plug wire set and O2 sensor will be installed. The missing interior hatch panels and blown-out hatch struts will also be replaced.

Future mods depend on how long I decide to keep the Eclipse. I may sell it once winter's over, in which case general upkeep will be the only thing I do. I'm still thinking about what I would do with the Eclipse if I keep it. If I get attached or feel adventurous I might repair the rear fenders and replace the front fenders, doors, and bumper covers, but as-is I don't mind the Eclipse getting a little dirty.

Nov. 1, 2012 3:39 p.m.

I've had about 8 or 9 of these. They can be fast, they can be problematic. I still love em.

RexSeven UltraDork
Nov. 2, 2012 9:23 p.m.

Whelp, I wanted a winter beater, and I got one!

I noticed a small oil drip a couple days ago. Not wanting to leave a stain on the driveway and not having much time to fix it myself, I brought it to a place called Doug's Automotive. I've seen it mentioned on some DSM forums, and it was close by, so it was worth a look. At first, I was worried because it looks like some dude's house (with a really big two-stall garage). Then I spotted an old Colt with a massive intercooler and a 2G Talon with another big intercooler and 'chute mounts. I'd read up on Doug's Talon online, and realized the Eclipse was in good hands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYKehar5Ing

http://www.dougsautomotive.us/?page_id=8

Anyways, he pretty much established what I already knew- My Eclipse is a rustbucket. The old oil pan is banged up and seeping, the downpipe bolts are rotted, and Doug thinks there may be more than one spot in the engine leaking oil. Since I'm trying not to drop more money into this thing than I have to, he's only going to install a decent used oil pan and pickup and RTV it shut, and will also poke around to see where else the car is leaking.

The IAC valve (which DSMers call the Idle Speed Control, or ISC) is also busted, so the Eclipse is hunting for an idle. Normally, I wouldn't care, but a bad ISC valve could potentially fry the ECU. A new OEM ISC valve from the stealership is $375. A new OEM part from dsmisc.com is $175. A reman is $80. A used eBay part is $50. Guess which one I'm buying?

Oh, and the exhaust is still too loud to pass inspection! Methinks the inspection shop is trying to break my balls. Time to drag the Eclipse elsewhere.

Spinout007 SuperDork
Nov. 3, 2012 2:16 a.m.

A good friend of mine just came home from spending 4years in the UK. One of the things he complained about was the yearly inspection you had to have done. Apparently its fairly common to fail at one place and drive it to another and pass, as it was a purely judgmental call on the part of the mechanic doing the inspection. If they could show you a db meter, and say this is why blah blah blah, I could understand it, but any engine that's pumping through a turbo, cat, and muffler isn't going to be overly loud.(unless we're talking rotary) Heck I remember the sucker vette that was only muffled by the turbos and saying it just sounded too subdued. My .02 ymmv.

RexSeven UltraDork
Nov. 8, 2012 4:56 p.m.

My Eclipse is STILL at the shop. After waiting for a long-ass time for the oil pan to arrive... they delivered the wrong one. Apparently, I have one of the rare 1G DSMs with the 7-bolt 4G63T, and the supplier gave the shop a 6-bolt oil pan, which is not compatible. As the guy at the shop said, "You've got a rare bird. Most of those blew up a long time ago." That's a vote of confidence, right there.

After a terror-filled ride home in the Mustang during a nor'easter, I'm really itching to get the DSM home soon.

So, any DSM owners here, question: Will a 7-bolt oil pan from a 2G Eclipse/Talon fit the 1G DSM 7-bolt?

[EDIT]: Never mind. Yes, they do fit and my mechanic found one.

tb Reader
Nov. 8, 2012 7:18 p.m.

Nice car! It is good to see another 1g; good ones are getting rare these days.

I know Doug and he is an all around good guy, I am sure he will get it back to you soon.

Idle control issues are common on these cars and the factory controls for it are a little odd and very old. Rest assured, you are not the only DSM that does not idle well. Most of the issues and diagnostics are pretty well documented on dsmtuners.com so read up.

I also think that your shop is breaking your balls on the exhaust. I have a 3" turbo back (apexi) setup with a ratty muffler and it really is not that loud. It was a great upgrade for me; hopefully with a little tinkering you can make it more acceptable.

Yes, all 7 bolt oil pans are the same as far as I know. They are slightly different from the 6 bolts, but the vast majority of engines out there are 7 bolt so it should not be hard to find one. Also, the fragility of the 7 bolt motor is largely an internet rumor type phenomenon; if the crank has not walked yet it probably never will.

newengdsm.org will be your friend. It has a bit of noise typical of many forums, but there are a lot of knowledgeable people in your area that will help out if they can. In particular, look for Bruce K. in West Newton for 1g parts, he has a huge collection of almost anything you could possibly need. He might not be at junkyard prices but is not unreasonable and his employee mechanic, Chris, does good work. Tell them that you are a friend of mine and that I say 'Hi'.

Overall I have had a pretty good experience with mine over the past two years. These cars require maintenance, much like everything of this age. Stay in front of the preventative stuff and you should be fine.

also, the single biggest upgrade you could possible make it DSMlink, a flashable eprom ecu. If you find a v2 lite (or better) setup for cheap grab it and enjoy. I picked up over 100awhp through self tuning mine...

Lastly, a recent pic of my toy at the Weatherly Hillclimb a few months ago in PA:

I'll definitely try to keep an eye on this thread, good luck with it.

Tim

RexSeven UltraDork
Nov. 8, 2012 7:26 p.m.

Good news is, Doug was able to source a "new-used" 7-bolt oil pan. It's painted orange, but whether it adds 20hp or just adds to the "My First Ricer" look I've got going on, I don't much care at this point. I also got an NOS genuine Mitsubishi ISC valve, just waiting for the gasket to come in, and I sourced a set of lightly used General Altimax Arctic tires in the size I need.

Thanks for the links and tips, TB! I'll be sure to remember Bruce K. if I decide to try to restore the DSM.

RexSeven UltraDork
Nov. 12, 2012 5:12 p.m.

Another day, another problem.

Doug (mechanic) had finished the oil pan replacement Saturday and said the car would be ready yesterday, once the RTV had fully cured. Just before he took it out for a test drive, he noticed a big puddle of coolant under the Eclipse and called me right away. As he put it, a rotting coolant hard line had failed after he had buttoned up everything from the pan replacement.

Normally, I would be suspicious that the mechanic is trying to rake me across the coals, but given Doug's outstanding reputation amongst New England DSM owners and the Eclipse being a total rustbucket, I believe him. He has a replacement hard line in stock and will have the Eclipse finally ready tomorrow. I hope.

EDIT: No dice. In order to replace the hard line he has to remove the turbo- which has rusted bolts holding it in place. And the radiator is more like, "replace me NOW" than "I can handle a couple more months." Doug invited me to drop by his shop Tuesday morning, and I will confirm if what he's saying is true or not. I will try to get pictures, but I only have a crappy flip-phone camera at the moment.

No Koyorad for me, this heap has sealed its fate - one winter, and that's it. I'm probably not going to rallycross it either, as it seems anything in the engine bay crumbles to dust at the the slightest touch.

RexSeven UltraDork
Nov. 26, 2012 6:42 p.m.

I got the Dirt-E-Clipse back on Saturday. I don't have the receipts handy, but Doug replaced the exhaust manifold, O2 housing gasket, oil pan, and every hard oil and coolant pipe hidden under the exhaust manifold and turbo because the originals rotted off. It took him a few days to find some of the parts because they are NLA, or he was sent parts for a 6-bolt instead of the 7-bolt I have. One of the exhaust manifold studs broke off inside the block, but he used an OEM 4-layer gasket to compensate. I get to fight with that one myself.

The old exhaust manifold was cracked in 5 different places. The "new" one is a used 2nd. gen. manifold which can hold up to the extreme heat better. It also has a mild port, which would be nice if I decide to upgrade the turbo, because the stock turbo is missing 1 or 2 fins!

I'm still getting a vibration between 65-70mph, probably because the el cheapo Chinese tires are out of round. The brake and fuel lines and the fuel tank mounting studs will need to be replaced soon- they can take one more winter but not something as punishing as rallycross. I plan on removing the ineffective and heavy ABS system while I'm at it. Oh, and it still hasn't passed inspection. However, the shop I took the DSM to in the first place is notoriously anti-mod, and I have a couple of alternate places I can take it to.

In reply to TB: Thanks for suggesting the New England DSM forums. I got a nice welcome in spite of my trollish user ID (you'll know it if you see it).

mndsm PowerDork
Nov. 26, 2012 6:44 p.m.
RexSeven wrote: My Eclipse is STILL at the shop. After waiting for a long-ass time for the oil pan to arrive... they delivered the wrong one. Apparently, I have one of the rare 1G DSMs with the 7-bolt 4G63T, and the supplier gave the shop a 6-bolt oil pan, which is not compatible. As the guy at the shop said, "You've got a rare bird. Most of those blew up a long time ago." That's a vote of confidence, right there. After a terror-filled ride home in the Mustang during a nor'easter, I'm really itching to get the DSM home soon. So, any DSM owners here, question: Will a 7-bolt oil pan from a 2G Eclipse/Talon fit the 1G DSM 7-bolt? [EDIT]: Never mind. Yes, they do fit and my mechanic found one.

Not that rare, all the 1993's were, i wanna say it's a build date after april 1992.

RexSeven UltraDork
Nov. 28, 2012 5:30 p.m.

Looks like I will need to get a new muffler. Apparently, Mass. has a law that says all car exhausts MUST be at or near stock volume levels. I got second and third opinions on this, so there's no dodging it.

Oh, and I also need a new lower radiator hose. I discovered this when I noticed the coolant puddle in the driveway after bringing the car home from my latest rejection. Even after cranking the hose clamp down as tight as I can, it's still seeping coolant, when the system is pressurized, from the opening that connects to the lower part of the radiator. I already have a Gates brand hose on the way from RockAuto. DSM guys swear by Gates' timing belts. I'll see if I can say the same for their radiator hoses.

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