I happened to stumble across the car for sale on ebay this evening and it looks like the person who bought
it from me sold it about 3 months ago to someone in central Illinois. From the pictures and details it still
looks very clean, and has been updated with a new Thermal R&D cat-back exhaust, GReddy Profec-B electronic
boost controller, new taillights, and some tinted windows. I'm coincidentally selling my Focus SVT today as
my most recent daily driver has been a 2006 Mazdaspeed 6 that I'm very happy with.
I realize it's been quite a long time since I've updated this page, but today I just sold the car :( See, I
got my M-class license last summer and bought a Kawasaki Ninja 250R. Since then I've recently purchased a
Honda CBR F3 600cc bike and have been riding on the street and running trackdays, so with a new hobby comes
new interests, costs, and less time for other things.|
As I haven't been driving the Eclipse at all, just my 2003 focus SVT, I decided it was time to sell the GSX and then pay off the Focus. The new owner seems very happy to find a car as unique and clean as mine, so I'm sure he'll be happy.
Here's a photo from the last time I pumped
a tank of 93 octane, on my way to deliver the car.
Went to one of the largest Chicago DSM meets ever last night. I met up with a bunch of guys in Schaumburg
and then we all headed out to the Portillo's in Franklin Park, where about 50 DSM showed up. About half of
that group then cruised down I-290 and blasted through Lower Wacker Drive. Afterwards we cruised down LSD,
hit the NBC Towers parking lot, and then stopped at the Plantarium for a while.|
I've got some pics of the meets and cruise on the Pictures page.
|03-28-2004||Pulled the car out of storage today, and as usual had no problems starting it up or driving home. I'm looking forward to road racing the Eclipse this summer, as well as Autocrossing the Focus SVT.|
Returned to Byron today looking for a 12 second timeslip. I ran the tank as dry as I could and then added
10 gallons of Sunoco 110 octane leaded fuel that I got from my brother at SpeedTech in Cary, IL.|
I turned up my manual boost controller as far as it would go, giving me 22psi peak with boost slowly dropping off to 20psi. After each run I slowly bumped up the timing and leaned out the injectors, never seeing ANY knock. I eventually stopped at 18 degrees total advance timing and fuel leaned out to an estimated 12.2:1 Air/Fuel Ratio.
I'm planning on dyno-tuning the car this weekend with the current setup and getting wideband o2 reading to measure the actual Air/Fuel Ratio, finding out some real horsepower numbers on the setup. Using a calculator, I estimated the car was making 310hp at the wheels and about 390hp at the flywheel.
Here's a picture of my fastest timeslip for the day :)
Went to Byron Dragway today after spending the last 2 weekends tuning the car on pump gas with DSMLink.
On the way to the track I was seeing a few degrees of timing retard due to knock, so I stopped at the BP
station just outside the track that sells Turbo Blue 110 octane fuel. I splashed in 2 gallons of the race
fuel with about 6 gallons of 93 octane and the knock disappeared after that. I left the fuel and timing
adjustments to +1% timing advance from 4000rpm and up, with fuel leaned out -5,-10,-11% starting at 2500rpm.
After a shakedown run and a review of the datalog, I increased the stutterbox to 5000RPM and tied my previous best time, but with a higher trap speed. I leaned out the fuel a few percent more in the upper RPM range, and ripped of a personal best in basically every cateogory. The sttuerbox makes launching so much easier, I simply hold the throttle at WOT and then slip the clutch slow and steady; the AWD takes over from there! (I'm also going to start linking clipped DSMLink datalogs for each run)
With most of the interior wiring completed yesterday, I installed the amplifier, crossovers, power distribution
blocks, and finished wiring the PowerPole
connectors on the custom-built subwoofer
I finished looming all of the interior wires, ran two pairs of RCA cables from the center console to the hatch, connected everything to the box, and then installed the Eclipse headunit.
I adjusted the gains on the amplifier a little bit and although the tweeters seemed a bit harsh to me, everything else sounded awesome. After switching the passive crossovers to use a -3db cut on the tweeter signal the sound was much more balanced. Other then filling in the hole in the dash below the stereo and replacing the rear speakers, the stereo is basically done; I plan on replacing the Clarion 6x9 full-range speakers with a set of CDT 6" full-range for rear fill.
Created a diagram of the
new stereo system detailing what components will be used and how it will all be connected.|
Began installing the new stereo system today by basically stripping the entire interior of the car. Removed the factory headunit, amplifier, DIN cables, CD Changer, all wiring for the CD changer, wires for the auxilery FM antenna, door and dash speakers, and the current aftermarket amp and subwoofers in the hatch.
I destroyed the factory dash speakers to make baskets to hold the new tweeters, and installed the new CDT 6.5" midwoofers in the doors. The original door speakers measured 6.75", but these fit easily by simlpy screwing new holes into the plastic housing. By splicing the amplified crossover outputs into the factory amplifier harness I was able to re-use the existing wiring into the dash and door speakers, saving a lot of time and work running wires through the dash and into the doors.
I ordered a set of blue LEDs that are direct replacments for 168/198 bulbs commonly used in the Autometer
gauges and other interior places on my car. Here's a
picture of the 4-LED style
installed in my Autometer gauges. I also replaced the footwell and glovebox bulbs with the wedge-type LEDs.
The first of many new stereo parts have just been ordered: a set of CDT component speakers from thezeb.com.
I've finally decided to completely rip out the entire factory stereo, wiring and all. I will be installing a
new MP3 headunit, front full-range components, rear full-range speakers, and a custom box in the hatch with a
4-channel amp, crossovers, and a single 10" subwoofer.
Well, what can I say? I went to my first DSM Shootout this year and it was a blast. There are
a ton of pictures under the meets section of the website.|
I left Friday morning and met up with a caravan of cars at AMS, where we departed at about noon. After a typical Chicago commute of 2 hours just to get to the Indiana border we made it to Ohio in about 3 hours, including a 45 minute stop for food and gas. Then began the fun: 2 overheated cars, 1 flat, and 1 tire low on pressure set us way off the pace, even at average speeds of 80-85 mph. We finally rolled into Norwalk, Ohio at 8PM Friday night. I checked into the Amerihost, met up with some other local guys, and just checked out all the cars in the parking lot. I instantly recognized a few cars from DSMtalk/DSMtuners, and eventually met a few of the owners, like Greenstreak and ECLIPSE4x4 from DSMtalk. A few people recognized my car as well :)
Saturday I spent the entire day at Norwalk Speedway for the Summit Import event that was obviously overrun with DSMs. After a long day of hot, sunny weather most people just went and partied in the Econolodge parking lot all night, including a few of the typical tranny swaps. Sunday was the actual DSM Shootout, in which I saw tons of every type of DSM, from Galant VR4s to EVO 8s, including a real JDM Lancer Evolution VII.
As long as I own a DSM this event is now a permanent addition to my summer calendar!
I've just decided to attend this years DSM Shootout in Norwalk, OH. I've found a vacant room at the Amerihost
thanks to a local Club DSM member, and I'll be leaving Friday morning with the AMS caravan.
Installed a new OEM front oxygen sensor today in an attempt to isolate some issues with the long term fuel
trim reading in the ECU. In an attempt to cut corners I left the battery hooked up and managed to whack the
alternator positive post with the socket wrench I was using on the os sensor. After 10 minutes of trying to
figure out why I had a bunch of electical issues, I relaized the 100AMP alternator fuse was blown. Replaced
it and was back on my way again.
Today I installed the new 680cc fuel injectors. The install went pretty easy and would have only taken
about an hour but I took the time to sandblast, clean, paint, and clearcoat the fuel rail. The engine
fired right up with the new injectors and ran fine. In fact, it now starts on the first crank, everytime.
Over the next few days/weeks I'll attempt to get the global fuel and dead time value set correctly to minimize ECU fuel trim adjustments. Then I'll start to add fuel, timing, and boost for power!
Attended an autocross event for the Salt Creek Sports Car Club today at Joilet Community College. It was a
small parking lot, which made for a very tight course. I did pretty good considering the car was sliding all
over the place on my poor Nitto 450 tires. There are some photos in the
Replaced my driver's side headlight with a brand new unit that I purchased from
Auto Body Parts Online.|
The only problem is now the passenger headlight looks bad in comparison to the brand-new unit, so I'll probably end up replacing that one as well. Then I'll get a pair of new reverse-light housing as those are also showing their age.
I re-routed my catch-can back into the intake snorkel instead of venting the air. After a 30 minute
cruise home I datalogged the idle after 5 minutes and my LTFT Lo is down from +10% to around +0.5/+1.5
range. Also, my idle no longer sits at 2k when the engine is cold, it starts at 1500rpm and slowly drops
I also made a nice little Menard's-custom pressure tester and tested my intake for boost leaks. System was solid over 20 psi, no leaks that I could find/hear.
Since I've got 84k miles on the original o2, I'm going to replace the front o2 sensor, and then re-route my HKS SSBOV back into the stock location instead of venting. Then install the 680's and I should be ready to start the tuning process.
Re-installed my ECU in the car today now equipped with DSMLink, coutesy of
I haven't installed the new injectors yet as I'm just going to spend some time getting aquainted with the datalogging and programming features now available to me. I've already logged some simple WOT pulls and am learning how to read the logs and decide what changes should be made based on the captured information.
Got the car out of winter storage today and for the first year ever the battery was actually dead and I
had to jump start it. The car started after only a few seconds of cranking though, so I’ll probably end
up getting an Optima dry-cell battery sometime this year.|
Since the weather still isn’t that great I took the car straight home and pulled the ECU out in order to send it ECMTuning for the DSMLink installation. Once I get the ECU back I can then install the larger injectors I just bought and get the engine tuned on AMS’s dyno.
Purchased a set of 680cc fuel injectors from AMS today in
preperation for this coming spring.
Put the car into winter storage today, so their won't be much to add until April when I get it back out
again. Sometime soon I'll update the notes from the previous entries to cover the details of all the
work I just finished. There's already photos of all the mods in on the Pictures page.
Dropped the car off at Bigger's Mitsubishi In Elgin to get the
gas tank replaced under a factory safety recall by their service department.
(byron) comments coming soon...
(tune up/dash trim kit) comments coming soon...
(biggers/idle/ball joints) comments coming soon...
Replaced the rear-end and transfer-case fluids with Red Line Heavyweight Shockproof Gear Oil. Drained the
old Red Line MT-90 out of the transmission and added fresh BG Synchoshift II. Replaced the fuel filter,
changed the oil, and double-checked everything before firing up the car.|
After spending the entire weekend living in my friend's garage and sleeping on his couch, I have to say all the work was defintely worth it. The car looks meanier and pulls moticably harder in cooler weather. The intake noise is also louder now, from turbo spool to the blow off valve. It's quite evident that the intake system is moving more air then it was before with the smaller intercooler.
Installed the 60mm first generation throttlebody. Replacement was straight forward, thanks to detailed
instructions from RRE's webpage. I ported both the intake manifold and the throttlebody elbow to match the
larger throttlebody bore. Once the vaccuum lines were all re-routed and the Thottle Postion Sensor was
calibrated the engine started up fine, but idle was around 2500rpm.|
The DSM TB has three components that effect idle: the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS), the Idle Air Controller (IAC), and the Base Idle Set Screw (BISS). I reused the IAC and the TPS from my stock TB, but retained the metal BISS in the 1G unit. I did replace the BISS O-ring with a new #5 (3/8x1/4x1/16) from Sears. To correctly adjust the BISS, I needed a Mitsubishi Diagnostic Scanner Tool, which only a dealer would have. The problem is that when you adjust the TPS and BISS, the computer compensates by moving the IAC all over the place. You ideally want to hold the IAC in it's center position while you adjust the BISS and TPS, which is what the Mitsubishi scanner does. I was able to reduce the idle to 800 rpm by moving the BISS and TPS way out of adjustment, but throttle response was horrible. But this got the car running good ehough to drive to Bigger's Mitsubishi in Elgin, where they recalibrated the TPS and BISS with the help of the diagnostic scanner.
Spent almost one entire evening on just the grill mesh alone, carefully trimming and fitting it all to the front bumper cover. I got stainless steel mesh from the Pegasus Racing catalog and it's excellent quality. I went with the #4 Course Mesh with 4 openings per inch. (Part No. 3642 which is 0.047" wire diameter with a 0.203" opening size, netting a 66% open area for flow.) I also cleaned and applied a few more coats of paint to the calipers. This time I used a glossier black paint that is actually a brush-on, high-temp system specifically designed for brake calipers.
I removed the entire front bumper assembly, as seen
here, and installed the FMIC.
Removed the stock SMIC, installed all the new intercooler piping, had to drill and tap some bolt holes, and
trimmed anyway a few sections of the bumper core support.|
I also made a custom cold air intake out of 4" heating duct that runs from the stock SMIC bumper inlet up to the bottom of the K&N filter.
Re-routed the valve cover ventilation line through a fuel-filter to act as an oil catch-can, then vented the outlet through a small K&N breather filter.
Attended another ChicagoDSM meet and barbeque hosted by Automotosports, which had a pretty decent
turn-out of DSM owners and some great food.|
Pictures I took of the meet are can be found here on my Pictures page.
I also purchased a GReddy front mount intercooler that I will be installing sometime in the next few weeks.
Spent some time planning out next springs interior mods, which include the below mentioned carbon-
fiber accents, a set of racing seats, and a complete stereo system.|
Along with a set of 4-point harnesses, I'm still deciding between either the Corbeau CR1 or the more expensive Sparco Torino adjustable racing seats.
Also, the entire factory stereo will be replaced, which means stripping the interior to the metal. At this point some Dynamat sound deading material may be applied to the doors and cabin, and a complete stereo system including an Alpine MP3 head unit, one or two pairs of component speakers, a couple amps, a single 10" subwoofer, and all related wiring will be installed. Afterwards I hope to have a close to stock appearing interior, with just a few carbon-fiver accents, the bucket seats, and a mostly hidden stereo installation.
Just a few quick updates. I early decided to hold of all mods for the rest of the summer, mostly due
to buying the jetski. Well, that hasn't lasted :)|
After spending a lot time researching a front mount intercooler, I decided to go with the smaller core GReddy FMIC, which I had to find used since GReddy stopped making that kit last year. I just found one in great condition, and I'll be picking it up shortly. Soon afterwards I will be installing the FMIC and the 1G throttle body I bought back in spring of this year.
Just bought a carbon-fiber dash overlay kit, which includes about 10 seperate pieces. I'm also going
to get a matching carbon-fiber gauge bezel. I probably won't install them until next spring when I
overhaul the interior.
Performed some general maintenance today on the car, mostly repairing annoying electrical and cosmetics
issues, and also did a quick oil change.|
For the cosmetics problems, I again removed the driver's side headlight in an attempt to remove all the water that had gotten into it and keep condensation from getting in again. With the headlight out I cleaned up some more of the engine bay. I also removed the ECLIPSE badging from the rear center taillight section and will be replacing it with new lettering from the dealer soon. A new GSX sticker is on the way as well.
A new power door lock actuator was installed in the driver's door, replacing the dead motor that has rendered the keyless entry useless for the past month. Getting the actuator out of the door wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be, but it took a while to do everything given the limited space to work with inside the doors. Both of the door jamb switches have been replaced, and the air conditioning system will be recharged tomorrow.
Decided to toss on a set of white decals that cover the plain factory black
ones from Black Cat Custom, which I bought over
a year ago, but never put on. They are made from a thin enough material that they are still visible at
night, although not as bright as before. During the day they match the interior very well.
Installed the replacement power invertor for my Speed-Glo gauges that I ordered from
Speedhut, who make custom gauge faces and other
glowing interior pieces. They said their 2-color (blue/green) invertor would work with my APC gauges,
but may require splicing the wires due to different connectors. Since I was unable to find the APC brand
invertor in stock anywhere, and I wasn't about to spend over $100 on another set of gauges (much less
go through the installation of the faces again!) I decided to give the Speedhut part a try. And for $25
it seemed like a safe bet.|
Well, as luck would have it, not only did they work, the plugs were identical to my existing setup, so all I had to do was rewire the power and ground wires; even the brightness dial was the same, so the hole I previously drilled in a small cover plate need no modifications either. The really cool part is the new invertor also came with a toggle switch to change the light between green/blue; where before green was the only color. Also, the old invertor shut off below about 50% brightness which was real annoying, but the new one is adjustable across the entire range, so I can choose a nice soft, excellent looking blue glow when driving at night.
All in all, I think the combination of the completely factory looking APC gauge faces, and the better-built power components make for the best setup. I may look into replacing the orange factory dash bulbs and LEDs with blue LED to match a little better.
I received my recent order from Midnight Moose
yesterday of Eaglite Xenon 100w bulbs to
replace my standard halogen highbeams and foglamps. Although these bulbs do have blue-tinted
glass, they don't appear blue like those cheap fake-HID bulbs. The light appears much more white than
stock when they are on by themselves, but as soon as the HID lights are turned on, then the Xenon bulbs
still appear yellowish by comparision. Short of spending $400 on a true HID conversion kit for my
foglamps as well, this is as close as I'm going to get to matching the lights.
Attended SCCA Solo2 event #3 for the Chicago Region 2002 season today, along with my brother and a friend.
Athough the results show me
pretty far toward the bottom, I'm very happy with my performance in the event. I'm finally starting to
get comfortable driving the track at speed and not getting lost. I drove very aggresive on my first run
and never looked back, and got no DNF's due to going off course. I did manage to cone every run
except for one, but that just shows that I'm driving the car faster and closer to the gates,
and not as apprehensive behind the wheel.|
The only thing I didn't care for was the performance of my tires. After driving few a events and talking to a handful of people, I've learned that the Nitto 450 tires that I am running on are ill-suited for racing. They are a decent street tire, but have a relatively hard compound and don't stick very well on the track. I'm currently deciding whether to get some R-compound race tires or purchase some stickier street tires like Falken Azenis Sports.
I again spent the entire day detailing the car this Saturday. This time I tried a few new Meguiar's
products, performing a 5 step procedure that left the car's exterior looking better than it has since the
day I bought it. I started with a quick touchless car wash, as the car was still very clean. After
completly drying the exterior without spotting, I let the car sit in a garage for a while to cool off. I
then used Meguiar's Paint Cleaner/Swirl Remover to get a completely clean surface. At this point the
car's body panels felt as smooth as glass. The car looked incredible! I then applied a complete coat of
Meguiar's Show Car Glaze polish by hand. Afterwards I should have taken the car out into the sunlight
and buffed the polish more, but in the shade it looked good, so I then put on a coat of Meguiar's Gold
Class wax and buffed it to a shine. When I did pull out the car, I could still see streaks of polish,
but by now it was too late to fix that, the wax was already coating and protecting it.|
All in all it was a lot of work, but I won't need to wax it again for a while. I just wash and dry when needed and use Meguiar's Final Inspection in the meantime to remove fingerprints or dirt and keep a nice gloss on the exterior.
I received my two replacement HID 9006 bulbs from
Midnight Moose tonight. I replaced the driver's headlight with the new one I picked up recentely
and put the bulbs back in the car. The new lights look even better than before; the color is even more
white and it spreads very evenly.|
Soon I'm going to pick up some Eaglite Xenon gas bulbs to replace the 9005 heambeams and the H3 foglamps so that they match the HID color more closely than the now yellow-appearing stock halogen bulbs do.
I spent the entire day detailing the car today, and am very happy with some new cleaning products I
recently purchased. I've used an Absorber for years on all of my vehicles, but I recently discovered
some excellent products from the like the Original California
Car Duster and the California Water Blade. I'm also very happy with all of the
Meguiar's product's I've been getting lately,
especially their line of professional items.|
Currently, my toolbox of detailing products contains:
Next time I'm going to use a Meguiar's Cleaner after washing, then the Mirror Glaze Show Car Polish before waxing it, to see if I can get a very-reflective, glossy finish on the paint.
After spending a few hours polishing and buffing my driver's headlamp, most of the yellow had all been
removed, with only slight, yet noticeable, hazing left on the lens. Then for a few bucks I picked up
a slightly used replacement that looks brand new and matches the passenger headlight great.|
I also returned one of the HID bulbs, as it stopped working last week. The vendor is going to test it and replace both of my lamps with parts from their newest model kits.
Went to Hooter's in Schaumburg and met up with a bunch of street racers in a nearby parking lot. There
were probably 50-60 cars there by the end of the night, and everyone drove off to a local street to
watch a '77 Camaro race a local Galant VR-4. Too bad the Camaro driver didn't realize that particular
car happens to be the fastest documented Galant VR-4 in the country, as can be seen on the
DSM.org Drag Racing timeslips page. Adam gave me a
ride in the car earlier, and I still can't believe how fast it accelerates; it makes my 13-second car
feel like an Escort by comparison.
Due to the recent purchase of a Jetski, I haven't spent too much time lately doing anything with the car.
I'm still trying to find an aluminum bracket for my BOV valve that is needed by the shop to perform the
FMIC installation, but I may just defer that purchase until next year. In fact, all other planned mods
are going to have to wait until next year because of both the amount I spent on my new toy, and the fact
that I plan to spend weekends this summer out on the water, and NOT under my car.
I will be dropping off the car at Charged Air Systems in Grayslake in a few weeks for the FMIC
installation. In the meantime I plan on installing the first generation throttlebody I picked up, and
then getting some paint touched up, replacing the factory badges and stickers, putting on some new
belts and hoses, and putting new fluid in the transmission, rear-end, and transfer case.|
Then, sometime before the end of this summer, I'll be purchasing:
Then maybe next summer I'll pick up a set of Web-Cam street grind camshafts. At that point, I think I will be done making any major changes to the car. My goal is to have a perfectly streetable, stock-appearing, RELIABLE, consistent 12-sec daily driver.
Replaced all the hoses and accessory belts on the engine, including an o-ring that was leaking coolant
from around a line to the turbo. Also flushed coolant system.
I finished the installation of all the brake parts yesterday. I touched up the paint on some of the
calipers and brackets, replaced the stock bleeder on the passenger rear caliper with the new
Speedbleeder I received to replace the bad one, and put on the new rotors and pads. The
rear brakes had so little pad wear that I didn't
even need to compress the pistons; I think the R4-S pads are going to last forever on the rears! The
paint came out a little more brown than black after many coats, but at a rated 1200°F the paint should
hold up very well. After seeing the finished product on the front
brakes I really noticed just how big the factory dual piston calipers are, and I'm glad I didn't
spend 2 to 3 times more on a full rotor and caliper kit; I think it would have been overkill.|
Now that I've gotten rid of those rusty old rotors and cleaned up the calipers, the car looks much better. Although I would ultimately like to cram some 13" rotor's underneath the larger-than-stock 17" wheel, I think the finished product, with the contrast of bright silver rotors and dark black calipers, looks pretty damn good.
After the first drive I'm noticing just a little amount of squeaking which hopefully will subside after enough heat cycling seats the pads correctly. Powerslot recommends 500 miles of normal braking with brand new pads before performing any "high speed braking", so in a few weeks I'll test them out and then see on May 19th how well they perform autocrossing.
I also left in the Valvoline SynPower DOT3/DOT4 brake fluid that I flushed and bled the system with last week, saving the Motul for later on. The SynPower fluid has a high boiling point of 500°F, very close to the Motul RBF's rating of 600°F. Since the Speedbleeders work so well, I can flush and bleed the brake system a few times this summer, using the Motul before any open track or road racing events that I may go to.
I picked up the rest of my order from RRE last night, which contained both the Powerslot rotors,
Porterfield brake pads, and the Motul brake fluid. I hopefully will get a chance to install these
remaining parts, flush and bleed the brake fluid one more time, and touch up the paint on the calipers.|
Yesterday I also spoke with Tony at Charged Air Systems to get more info on the front mount intercooler I mentioned in the log entry on 1-26-02. From the two custom setups that they offer for the 2G, the top-to-bottom flow sounds like my best option. It flows better than their side-to-side flow IC, but doesn't cool the intake charge quite as much. Since I am using a small 16G, that turbo doesn't heat the air as much as a larger 20G or T3/T4 turbo would. It will mount inside the 95-96 front bumper cover with very little trimming underneath. The factory foglamps will be retained, as well as all of the visible plastic. The piping consists of multiple pieces that include their custom designed, high-flow turbo outlet elbow. A flange is welded onto the upper intercooler pipe for my blow-off valve, and the piping goes all the way to the throttle body elbow.
The first Chicago Region SCCA event for 2002 was held at Rt. 66 Raceway in Joliet yesterday in horrible
weather and was cut short halfway though the event. The weather, timing errors and other issues dragged
the first half of runs well into the afternoon, so after 3 runs everyone decided to call it quits. I
actually got 4 runs in and, unfortunately, lost my best time due to a timing problem.|
The results list me 36th overall and 3rd in Street Modified. The combination of better operating brakes and the AWD allowed me to confidently drive my car much harder in the wet conditions than I ever have. Although I didn't cone any runs, I made at least 1 mistake in each that I would have liked to improve upon with a few afternoon runs; my best (unrecorded) time of 63.444 could easily have dropped 1-2 seconds.
Although a majority of my order from RRE didn't arrive on time, I was able to get most of the work
done that I planned to. Only the stainless steel brake lines were delivered; I will be picking up
the rotors, pads and fluid next Tuesday. The new headlight is also in and the HID conversion finished.|
After 3 days of stripping down and sandblasting the calipers, brackets, and dust shields, as well as cleaning and painting everything, it's all back together. The stainless steel brake lines from RRE fit perfect and even came with new banjo bolts and washers for the front calipers. I flushed and bled the entire system with Valvoline Synthetic brake fluid and a complete set of check-ball equipped Speedbleeders which worked quite nicely.
I am also very happy with the HID lighting system; the difference is phenomenal! At night these lights illuminate 2 to 3 times more area both ahead and to the sides than normal Halogen bulbs could dream to. And the light is so white that reflectors and street signs appear as if they have their own fluorescent light emitting. In just 2 evenings of driving I've already had about 6 people flash their brights at me, but my lights are aimed correctly. I just flash my brights back briefly, and that is about all the usage the 9005 bulbs will see from now on. I can see myself getting spoiled enough that I will be buying these kits for every one of my future cars, or purchasing them from the dealer if available.
I spent all of Saturday working on the brakes and a few other things. Right now the car is on jack
stands in my friends garage without any brake hardware located at the wheels. The old rotors, pads,
and hardware were all removed, and the calipers disconnected. I tore apart all the calipers and am
in the middle of sandblasting them for painting and rebuild. The brake hoses are removed, as well
as the dust shields which had to be cut off without removing the hub assembly.|
The driver's side headlight assembly has been removed and the replacement will go in next weekend when I finish everything up; I'm still waiting on the parts from RRE.
I wired up the HID conversion kit, mounting the ballasts and running all the wires. Right now I've only got the passenger headlight on the car, so I've only seen the results of one light cast on the rear wall of a garage, but the results look pretty impressive so far!
I picked up the car from storage this past Sunday, and other than the inclement weather, everything
was great. The car started on the first crank and drove beautifully all the way home.|
Changing my original plans outlined in the 8/30/01 post, I decided to stick with OEM size rotors, and also talked myself out of buying a full track kit for the fronts. I'm going to stay on the cheaper side and still get plenty of braking power for autocrossing.
So, I ordered Powerslot rotors, Porterfield R4-S pads, stainless steel lines, and Motul RBF600 fluid from Road Race Engineering and will be picking up some caliper rebuild kits from Barrington Automotive this week, then I'll remove, sandblast, paint, and rebuild all 4 stock calipers and wait for the parts to arrive. The Modifications sections will be updated with details once the parts are installed.
Picked up a drivers-side headlight assembly off the DSMTrader to replace my fogged up lens. I'll
install it with my new H.I.D. kit as soon as I get the brakes done.
I finally found some good used items for sale online, so I've now started purchasing parts for the first
wave of springtime mods.|
I picked up a 60mm stock throttle body from a first generation Talon which is a pretty straightforward replacement for my current 52mm throttlebody. I also found a nice set of 17" wheels with some BFGoodrich G-Force R1 tires on them, and although two of the tires are completely worn out, it still was a great deal. I just need to pick up a pair of Kuhmo Victoracers and I'm all set for this years autocross events. The wheels are 17x7" Team Loco 134's and weigh only 19 pounds.
The latest decision on the planned brake mods is to stay with the factory calipers and rotors, add get some Porterfield pads, stainless steel lines, and flush and bleed the system with new fluid. That should take out all of the softness in the pedal and give me excellent stopping power. I'm still debating on a bigger kit for the front, and might go with the Baer Sport or Track kits, the AEM rotors are no longer an option as I've heard about them cracking under extreme heat.
I've also recently found out about a complete downflow intercooler kit for 2G's that is offered by Charged Air Systems in Grayslake, IL. It uses a custom made top-to-bottom flow design intercooler with custom piping that go from the turbo all the way to the throttlebody elbow.
Not much going on with the car since I put it into winter storage early November. I did just purchase a
High Intensity Discharge conversion kit for my 9006 low-beams in a group buy from
Midnight Moose. I'll install them come spring,
when the GSX is back home.|
Still deciding on what brake kit to purchase for the car; either a full road race front kit from Baer or TCE, bigger rotors from AEM, or OEM-sized Powerslot rotors. For auto-x purposes the Powerslots mated with stainless steel lines and Porterfield or EGC pads is probably the best way to go: cheap, efficient, and still allows clearance for 16" wheels. On the other hand a nice set of ZR-1 calipers up front would really help stop the car fast.
I probably should decide if I'm going to run street tires or race rubber next year before deciding on the brake kit, as I would like to be able to get some 16"x8" 3rd generation RX-7 wheels with some Kumho Victoracers or something similar.
Spent the entire day washing, buffing, waxing, and detailing the GSX in the unseasonably warm weather
we were having. Right now it's parked my a garage under a cover awaiting the trip this Sunday to the
warehouse where it'll be stored for the winter.|
I'll add updates over the winter as I work out the plan for next spring's mods. So far I'm looking at some sort of brake kit first, then autocross related upgrades like seats, a harness, and a second set of wheels for Kuhmo Victoracers. Then in the drag racing department: fuel injectors, an Air/Fuel computer, and a Spearco FMIC are next in line.
Well, the 2001 autocross season has come to an end, and after missing most
of the events, I don't think I've improved much since attending Learning Curve back in March. At least
I'm starting to get a feel for where the limits of the car are, after another wipe-out and a few close
calls. Next season I may pick up a set of Kuhmo Victoracer or similar race tires, in addition to getting
some much needed brake rotors and pads. Considering my brother's Dakota RT could out-brake my car by many
feet, I think there is much room for improvement in increasing stopping power.|
These results show me even farther off the quickest street tire car at the event, but I wasn't happy with my afternoon runs at all. Two DNF's and a coned 59 second run leave me with my best time coming from my FIRST run of the morning. Not much improvement to speak of there.
Today I ran in the first of the Twin Solos, which wrap up the Chicago
Region SCCA Solo II season. My brother raced his '99 Dakota RT, as well as a few other friends in a '99
Civic, a '97 Saturn, and a '00 Focus.|
The results show me about 4 seconds behind the fastest street tire car.
I picked up the car this morning from High Performance Auto Body, where they repaired the rusted panel
and seams around the driver's front shock tower in the engine bay. Next spring I'll get started on
detailing the rest of the engine bay by hand.|
In other news, I've found a facility in North Riverside that has an AWD dynamometer, so maybe I can get some true horsepower numbers before the car goes into storage for the winter. I've also got 2 Chicago region SCCA events this weekend which will give me a chance to test out the new suspension. Since the car is about a second faster than it was last time I raced, it should be interesting!
I went to Byron Dragway again today, and the weather was much cooler than
the last trip, and the car pulled harder. With the help of the stainless steel clutch line, a solid boost
controller, and the factory cat removed, I was able to easily beat my previous best time of 14.2. In fact
my earlier estimate (see log entry for 9-16-201) of a mid 13 second run was right on!|
My first 2 runs of the day were both 13.5 seconds, with my second run giving me a personal best 60 foot time of 1.85 seconds. I was so surprised how the car accelerated on that launch, that it broke my concentration, and while laughing out loud, I shifted into 2nd way too early. So the 2 tenth's of a second I picked up on the 60', I lost by 330 feet. Otherwise I would have had a low 13 second pass.
My friend Scott ran his Corvette to a 14.0, and another friend broke in his 2002 Acura RSX Type-S to the tune of 15.4. There were about 15 DSMs running throughout the day, and about 6 Supras, including Sound Performance's 9-second MKIV.
Based on the average of my 2 best times and the measured weight of my car, I estimated the following performance numbers:
Dropped the car off at Automotosports today for a few hours so they could install the RRE stainless
steel clutch line and remove the reservoir. They also replaced the old bleeder type boost controller
with a new check-ball type that is much easier to adjust, spools the turbo quicker, and holds whatever
level I set it at.|
A 3" high-flow catalytic converter was also installed, replacing the rusty old 2" OEM pipe that was definitely a major restriction on the exhaust system. Now the exhaust sounds just a little bit louder across the powerband, with a very noticeable increase in power and noise at the top of the tach.
The stainless steel clutch line definetly gives you better control of the clutch, as it engages quicker than it ever did before. This should help decrease my 60' times at the track.
Tomorrow I'm going to drop the car off at
Automotosports and have Martin make an adapter to bolt my 3" cat up between the 3" Hahn downpipe
and the 2.5" HKS exhaust. My RRE stainless steel clutch line will also get thrown on, and remove the
stock fluid reservoir.
Finished the suspension installation by replacing the front and rear upper control arms. The driver's
front had a bad ball-joint, and the rears needed to get hacked off to replace the bushings, as well as
some new tie rods ends. So almost the entire suspension is brand new, and the car sure handles great
I spent the day Sunday at Byron Dragway
with a few ex-ChiDSM'ers and their newly acquired MKIV Toyota
Supra twin turbos. We headed out to the track pretty early and spent the whole day there, but I only
got 4 runs in due to the track stopping about every 30 minutes for one of the most accident prone days
I've ever seen. From Mustang's blowing their engines and dropping oil all down the track, to dragsters
losing control and swapping lanes, getting on 2 wheels, and nearly missing people and equipment. On
the line, one guy fell off his motorcycle, and another dragster deployed his chute on the ground.|
The best runs I could muster were 2 passes of 14.2 @ 97mph. My trap speed suggests a high 13 second run, but my ET is suffering from my 2.2 and 2.1 60' times. I need to get the stock clutch reservoir removed so I can slip the clutch with a little more control, and I simply need to just get more practice launching the car hard. With a better takeoff, and the stock catalytic converter removed I should be in the mid 13 second range at over 100mph, which is about average for my mods. I just have a few bottlenecks I need to remove from the system before everything will finally come together.
Picked up the car from the shop yesterday with all the new suspension components installed, with the
exception of a few bushings. A couple of parts need to be replaced before swapping the bushings, as
removing them from the car will destroy them. Both rear shocks were dead at 73K miles, a couple of
sway bar links were frozen, and most of the bushings needed some attention to get out.|
The Ground Controls are lowered all the way, which only dropped the car a little over 1", which is perfect. If the springs settle a bit, I may raise it back up a little. Otherwise the ride height is great for the street, it's not slammed at all. The Tokico shocks were all at the hardest setting when I picked up the car, and the ride home was a little bouncy. I then set all shocks at full soft and the bouncing went away, but the suspension was too soft. Right now I'm running 2 in the front and 3 in the rear (1 is the softest, 5 the hardest), we'll see how that goes for daily driving.
The RM racing anti-roll bars really remove a lot of the body roll, and the new bushings, springs, and shocks make the car so much tighter. I can't wait to go auto-crossing now!
That will probably be it for new mods to the GSX for the year. I need to get some various maintenance done, like new transmission, transfer case, and rear end fluids, some new suspension components and some rust needs to be removed under the engine bay and a few other places on the undercarriage before winter. I've also got the cat, intercooler, and the clutch SS line to install.
Yesterday we had a Chicago DSM meet at
Automotosports in Elk Grove Village, IL. There was quite a turnout, more than 30 cars showed
up throughout the afternoon. There were a lot of 1Gs, more than I've ever seen at a meet, and the
shop had a handful of Galant VR-4s there too. There where some nice 2Gs there, like Jason's white
GST sporting the new go-fast mods to go with his body kit and roll cage.|
I let some members try out my shifter and they all loved the feel (except that it is still connected to a DSM tranny!) I also showed some how light the clutch pedal pressure is on my Centerforce DF.
I'll be dropping my car off at Automotosports tomorrow to get all of my suspension mods installed. That means I'll be finally upgrading the stock suspension with a complete Energy Suspension polyurethane bushing kit, RM Racing front and rear anti-roll bars, Tokico Illumina 2-way adjustable gas shocks, and Ground Control coilovers with their custom front upper mounts and Hypercoil helper springs.
I simply have to much to do to the car this summer, without the time and facilities to get
everything done before winter. So soon I should be taking the car to Martin at Automotosports and
the suspension components (springs, shocks, anti-roll bars, and bushing kit) will all be installed.|
Also, now that I've gotten used to the new shifter, I hardly remember what the old one used to be like. I'm thinking about trying out the 50% throw reduction setting...
Today I installed both the Symborski metal bushing kit (Mach V sells them), and the B&M Edge short
The bushing kit makes the entire shifter rock solid, and the bushing are cut perfect; they fit like a glove.
Wow, is the B&M Edge a NICE shift kit! Laser cut metal, excellent welds, needle-bearings, and good instructions. When installed it only looks to be about 1" shorter than stock, but all the goodies are under the boot. The pivot point is changed from the stock location, and you have 2 choices for overall throw reduction, 35% and 50%, depending on which hole you use for the linkage arm. So instead of having to chop the shifter down to a nub that looks goofy, basically the fulcrum is moved as high as possible, while pushing the linkage as far down as possible creating a very short throw. I went with the 35% reduction and that seems like more than enough. Overall it's money well spent.
Here's an image of the installed shifter and bushings; the metal bushings can been seen underneath the gold colored nut in the lower right-hand corner. The shifts feel REAL notchy, but you know it's in gear; you get a LOT more feedback.
My parents and girlfriend must be somewhat concerned with my new autocrossing hobby, as they gave me gift
certificate for my birthday from a local shop to purchase a helmet! I was planning on getting an HJC
full-face helmet, but after trying on the Shoei TZ-1, I was sold. It is very comfortable and will work
nicely in both autocrossing and motorcycling.
Now that I'm well past 700 miles of breaking in the clutch, I pulled a few WOT passes on the tollway
from a dead stop and the clutch never showed any signs of slipping.
The new clutch is installed and feels great! I'm tediously driving the car for the next 500+
miles on low to no boost, and keeping the tach below 5K, until the clutch properly seats.|
The difference in pedal pressure is amazing, the Centerforce requires about half as much pressure to depress the pedal than stock, which is great for daily driving. After the break in period, I'll see how much different it feels under heavy acceleration and HP loads. I also can't really feel any difference with the lighter flywheel on the engine; it's seems to rev the same.
Sometime in the next week or so I'm planning on changing the trans fluid to BG Synchroshift, as well as putting new fluid in the transfer case and rear end. The hydraulic clutch fluid will also be bled so I can get the SS clutch line installed.
My Ground Control coilover kit FINALLY showed up today. I have yet to go home and check them out,
but I'm still not in much of a hurry. The clutch needs to be done first.
I finally got around to installing the APC Speed-Glo gauges I bought this winter on eBay.|
I purposely bought the indiglo glowing set because I had no intention of pulling the gauge needles, so laying these on top of the stock ones would block almost all of the stock backlighting. Which it did.
The installation went pretty well, considering the gauges couldn't have been designed any worse for that specific application. But after getting them mounted and re-installing the cluster, it was a snap to route the wires around behind the cruise/fog lamp switch pod, where I stashed the Speed-Glo's relay.
I mounted the brightness switch on a screw cover plate under the steering wheel, and waited for nightfall.I currently have the brightness as low as it will go, as those things get VERY BRIGHT! But in the daytime the white faces look so much better, and finally match my Autometer gauges on the A-pillar.
I've updated the Modification Details page with a day image and a night image of the final product.
My order from Road Race Engineering arrived this
afternoon, complete with a new Centerforce Dual-Friction clutch kit, a machined and lightened stock
flywheel, a stainless-steel clutch flex line, and a bent-up factory throwout bearing. I'll pick up
a new TOB from the local Mitsu dealer on Saturday.
I participated in my first autocross event at Rt.66 Raceway in Joliet. The Chicago Region Sports Car Club
of America hosted the event, and the
results are hosted on their website.
Due to recently spending a lot on the turbo I was intending on waiting until next summer before buying
anything else major. That was until I saw an add online with a great price on a set of wheels that I had
been eyeing for quite a while. I really liked 5Zigen's
Inperio M-05 wheel, and had seen it on a few cars online, but not on a Eclipse.|
When I went to my local Discount Tire outlet to get pricing on some tires, the salesmen there told me he could get those wheels for even less than what I found them for online. So I ordered a complete set of the wheels with Nitto 450 Extreme tires and just put them on the car today, and they look great!
Taking advantage of a Carparts.com 15% off coupon, I ordered
a rear upper strut tower brace to match the front one I got a while back. I simply removed the plastic
caps in the rear and bolted the bar in place. I'll cut out holes in the interior trim pieces sometime
In an effort to dress up the car a little bit, without adding a bunch of ricey stuff, I ordered a few small
parts from NOPI, including a
Greddy Aluminum Shift Knob, a set of
Razo Carbon Fiber Pedals, and a pair of APC Clear Bumper Lenses.
Installed the Walbro 255lph in-tank fuel pump. Now the infamous AWD fuel gauge acts even stranger than
before. It used to drop quickly below an indicated 1/4 tank, but now it will sometimes drop all the way
to empty around 200 miles on the tank, but bounce back to a near-correct reading. Regardless, there is
always more than a few gallons of fuel still in the tank when the gauge indicates empty.|
Regarding the fuel pump, now I know why it's nicknamed the "whine-bro." Although, it's only really noticeable when the car is stopped and the radio isn't on. Now I've got the boost turned up to 16psi, and I'm quite happy with the results.
Recently the pair of rear MTX components speakers started to die out, probably from being driven off too
low of a wattage from the factory amplifier. I picked up a pair of decent Clarion 2-way 6x9 speakers to
run off of the factory amp. The install took about 30 minutes, and the stereo sounds much better now.
TAD Motorsports installed my new turbo,
downpipe, and some other related parts. I choose to go with a
Mitsubishi 16G turbocharger with the original size compressor wheel (not
the custom-made 'big' 16G). The turbo and exhaust manifold were ported, an EGT probe was installed in
the downpipe, and an oil temperature sensor was tapped into the
drainplug. A pair of Autometer Phanton Exhaust Gas Temperature and
Oil Temperature gauges joined the existing
Boost gauge with the help of a Lo-Tek
Triple-pod A-pillar replacement.|
Not thinking, I filled up the car with gas earlier so the in-tank fuel pump cannot be replaced yet. Boost is set to a conservative 9 psi until I can replace the stock fuel pump, but the 16G pulls noticeably harder at that boost setting than the T-25 ever did at 17psi on a cold day!
My first attempt at drag racing was at Great
Lakes Dragway in Wisconsin. The weather was somewhat cool in temperature, but also a bit humid. It's
obvious from my 60' times that I don't beat on the car daily, and haven't launched it more than a handful
of times. Considering the level of mods I have I should be a little quicker, but a more respectable 60' time
would bring the quarter mile time down to the mid 14s.|
These will be my baseline times with the stock T-25 turbo, as a new 16G will be installed soon.
This winter I will start storing my car, as I've found a place where I can store it indoors for 6 months
for only $50 for the entire time. This should help the car last many more years by keeping it away from
Had TAD replace the timing belt, tensioner, water pump, and all other related items at 57000 miles.|
They also replaced the original tranmission fluid with Redline MT-90 synthetic which seemed to slighty improve the shift feel.
Mitsubishi replaced the ECU under warranty in an attempt to clear a reoccurring ABS warning light.
Driving to work yesterday I noticed that the engine was beginning to miss under WOT, so I figured it was
time for a tune up. But later in the drive I was getting horrible boost creep and intake pressure was
not venting off. After screwing around for a little while, thinking maybe something more serious was
going on, I noticed that the little plastic filter that was attached to the vacuum line between the intake
manifold and the BOV was broken. So basically the BOV was never getting a vacuum signal from the intake
manifold whenever the throttle plate closed. I rigged that back together on the side of the road and took
off again thinking al was fine. But the engine still was missing...|
After looking at the plugs and replacing them with some new NGK's all was fine; just a weird coincidence that both of those unrelated things happened on the same day.
Replaced the worn stock front brake pads with a set of Metal Master pads, and resurfaced the front rotors.
They were warped pretty badly, but now all of the pulsation in the front end is gone under breaking.
I bought a front strut tower brace and some lower intercooler piping online, which showed up the other
day and I just installed today. The front STB took about 5 minutes to install, and the polished aluminum
looks good in the engine bay. It should help increase body regidity and decrease roll a little bit.|
The lower intercooler piping is a silicone hose that replaces a plastic intake baffler that is located right before the intercooler. I didn't even know this part was in there, and it apprantely on exists to help muffle engine intake noise, which I personally like to hear! Now there is just one solid hose going from the turbo compressor outlet to the intercooler.
Picked up a boost gauge and manual boost controller at TAD today and had them installed. Now I never have
to look at that worthless factory boost gauge again. Turning up the boost from the stock setting to about
16 psi makes quite a nice difference.
I came home with a bunch of goodies from TAD today, and spent most of the rest of the day working on my
car in my friend Tony's driveway. It only took me about 30 minutes to mount and wire up an HKS Turbo
Timer, and we spent a little more time replacing my stock upper intercooler piping with a pipe custom-made
by TAD with a brand new HKS Super Sequential Blow-Off Valve attached to it. After checking all the hose
clamps and vacuum lines, I started up the car and went for a test drive down his street. When I let off
the gas at the top of first gear I was pleasantly surprised by the loud whistle from the releasing air.
Sticking with the birthday theme, I got my next mod a year later. Once I installed a new K&N
Filtercharger from Extreme Motorsports and started hearing
the beautiful sounds that the turbo makes, I got a taste of how much fun this car could really be!|
This spring I started looking for and finding a ton of DSM information online and started reading and learning a LOT about my car. I was starting to finally realize the potential the Eclipse possessed.
Brought it into the dealer for the Transfer Case recall to be performed. Also had the driver's side view
mirror housing re-painted under warranty.
Getting myself an early birthday present, I buy the first performance mod: an HKS 2.5" cat-back exhaust
system. I recently discovered TAD Motorsports
and took the car there on Saturday and had them install it.|
I ordered it from the HKS catalog and was unsure of what it was going to look like; I actually thought it was going to be stock appearing with the dual tips exiting the muffler. Was I surprised when I came back to the shop a few hours later to see that huge 120mm tip sticking out of the ass end of my car. I haven't ever seen piping larger than 3" in diameter on a car before! (Note: Sounds silly reading this in 2002, but back in 1997 there were NO Hondas running around with coffee can tips in the NW suburbs.) Also, the sounds is just perfect. It's louder than stock at idle and under load, but not so much more that it gets annoying at highway speeds.
After just a few days of driving, it's obvious that the stock Infinity system is not going to keep me
happy after getting used to the 500 watt MTX system I installed my previous Ranger. I only finished the
stereo in the truck two weeks prior to trading it in, so I have some nice new componets to use.|
I ran a length of 4-gauge wire from the battery, behind a circuit breaker, all the way to the trunk. The power is then connected to a pair of distribution blocks that feed an MTX Thunder 2 channel amp, which is in turn driving a pair of MTX Blue Thunder 8" subwoofers in small truck enclosuers. This setup works remarkably well, as the subs bounce air right off the hatchback window.
I also removed the rear set of stock 6x9 speakers and installed a pair of MTX component 5 1/4" midrange and 1" tweeters with passive crossovers. All of this is running off of the factory head unit and sounds pretty good, considering. Someday I may install a complete audio system in the car, but until then I've got some decent bass repsonse and a clean sound.
After finding out that the insurance on this car was not near as high as I expected (thanks to finally
being 21) I decided to trade in my 1990 Ford Ranger XLT on this beauty. After a few hours
at the dealer signing paperwork and taking my parent for a ride in the car, I drove off the lot that
night with my new purchase!
I've always wanted to go test drive an Eagle Talon like this one kid had in high school; it was a black
91 Tsi with gray trim. My brother told me there was a new Eclipse in the used lot at his work,
Crystal Lake Chrysler Mitsubishi. So I headed over there
yesterday afternoon to check out the car, intent on just driving it around.|
Well, when I got there I realized it was the newer body style and was loaded! I didn't even know what the GSX model had other than a turbo and a 5-speed manual transmission, but I soon discovered it also came with all-wheel drive, leather interior, a power moonroof, power door locks/windows, keyless entry, 6-speaker Infinity stereo with amplifier and 6-disc CD changer, as well as a power driver's seat.
Once I took it out for a drive, I was really smiling :) The power delivery provided by the turbocharger felt much different than anything I've ever ridden in before; almost the complete opposite of my friends Mustang. Where most V8s have a lot of low-end torque, this car felt very docile, but around 3500rpm, the HP starts to pour on as the tachometer needle raises.
After owning 2 different Ford Rangers with no amenities and little power, this car impressed me a lot.