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Street Build The Battle of "Eris"

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Eagle Talon TSi AWD
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  1. Street
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Compiling for too long now..
I am finally joining the community I’ve been watching for so long. It’s taken me over 20 years to write this, so I apologize in advance for the length that I’m sure will follow. Also, I hope it’s not premature as I still don’t have a bunch of luxury money to throw at this as I would like. But this step is way overdue, so here we go.

Grew up loving Stangs and wanting one as long as I could remember. Until I drove my first DSM.

Fell in love with my first 1g with my 92 esi front wheel drive. Even with the lower model, the styling, comfort, handling, etc, and I was hooked although I knew I wanted a Tsi AWD Turbo one day. At one point I was offered a straight up trade for a fox body that was clean and could pull pretty hard, but I couldn’t do it. Not to say I would never own one as you will see, but my heart forever would lie with the DSM.

So I bought my first Talon when I was 16 or 17, 1998 I believe it was. Found it at a tiny dealership in the backwoods of Maine. Didn’t know much about them at the time, although I had seen a few on the roads up there. I had to have it. I Drove that car for a couple of years, throughout which time had to deal with the unfortunate reality of damage and repairs that comes with the territory of a used vehicle in that type of a climate. Needless to say I could not keep up with the constant repairs as a teenager just getting my feet under me trying to work a full time construction job and making it on my own, so had to sell it for a more reliable vehicle to get to work with, and payment to go with it.

Then one day meant to be on my way home from work I saw it. Another 92 Talon. But this time the TSI I lusted for. Naturally I pulled in. I came upon a car that had sat for a couple of years at least, in a quasi field next to a trailer. I learned from the old man I met that it belonged to his grandson, who had bought it brand new from the dealer, and then destroyed in not many years later leaving an H&R Block not happy with his tax return. Yup, you guessed it, the timing belt had never been replaced. We all know what followed. I was told he paid to fix the car for his grandson, who didn’t drive it much after that as he was “afraid of it.” Took it for a brief test drive, turbo spooled and pulled a decent amount for how long it had been sitting, blew a little smoke of course, but made me smile again. Based upon the 96K and change written of the front of the valve cover, and the 114K that was on the odometer, the story had enough merit for me to dive in. I came back the next weekend to meet his grandson who wanted X amount. I walked out. Walked back in a few minutes later, offered him half that in cash, and wouldn’t you know, I was the new proud owner of a TSI, paperwork and service papers from original purchase included.

At this point I thought I was on top of the world. I knew she needed some work, but I was the only 19yr old I knew that could come home from work, and hit the town with his side piece, that hello, just happened to be a DSM to boot. Obviously I was heavily looking to upgrade, so I took it to a local reputable garage as I did not have much mechanical experience, to find out what needed to be fixed to get her in perfect stock working condition before I moved forward. I was told it needed 3-4k worth of work. I said ok, give me a few weeks, stick it in the back, and we’ll go forward from there. A week later I was driving by to get dinner and decided I would just pull in and put my eyes on her as I’m sure she was lonely in the back of that yard. I almost fx8king lost my shit. As I pulled in, I found my car, outside, windows down, had just been raining, greasy handprints and scratches all around the car. WTF?! They weren’t even supposed to be working on it. LONG story short as I can, after two weeks of them trying to fix everything they did incorrectly I took it to the local Eagle dealer and was informed the ruined every part they put in and then some. They ruined new brakes, new struts, and I can’t even remember everything at this point. They even tried to sue me for payment. I typed up a counter suit, and never heard back from them. Should’ve sued there asses, but hey I was a teenager fighting a huge dealership by myself with no money, so..

The next few years the poor girl basically sat idle. I built a makeshift cover for her to keep her out of the elements the rest of the time I was in Maine and would start her up a few times a year, hated to hear that timing belt tapping though. And occasionally sit in her to keep her company in the lonely winter.

Finally got the chance to move to Florida where I always wanted to be in 2004 to help my grandmother after my grandfather died. Unfortunately, she had to go in storage as there was no place for her. It would take 4 more years before we would be reunited again.

Met my wife shortly after moving. In 2008 we bought a house together with a 3 car garage. That’s not that much room btw when you have as many tools and stuff as I do. (I’m a GC.) I think it was 2010 when we were finally able to make the trip back to Maine to get my other beloved and all my stuff that was in storage. FML.

The storage unit had been broken into from the unit next to it. On top of that there was a roof leak that was allowing water to get into the units throughout the area. The owner knew about all of this and took my money for 6 years without informing me of the vandalism or damage. My parents were 10 mins down the road and could’ve done something over the years had I been informed. So everything that wasn’t stolen was ruined by water damage, I’ll spare you the gut-wrenching details of everything I had in there. The TALON though! Everything underneath was welded together with rust because of the standing moisture! Yes a lot of new parts included of course! We tried to pull it out with my dad’s jeep and the brakes were so rusted it would not budge no matter what we did. As I ran out of options I’d be damned, I was getting my car out. Went to the auto parts store and bought a new battery. Put the battery in the car and said what do I have to lose at this point? I couldn’t believe it, second crank with 6 year old gas in the tank and the old girl fired up, tapping just as before. Thanks pre-ethanol era…LOL. Let her warm up slightly, gave her some gas, popped the clutch, and broke those mofoing brakes loose and drove it on the trailer awaiting her highness. It was a trying day to say the least.

As she arrived in her new much warmer climate, she was greeted by a freshly epoxied garage floor we prepared for her where she would sit until 2013. At this point I was out of work for a while due to the recession and needed something to do with the time so I, and my wife, didn’t’ go insane. I spent an entire summer with her help, tearing that baby down. We basically tore everything out except some of the interior such as carpet, and the motor and tranny are still in place. I had to cut most of the shit out underneath as it was rusted so bad. Luckily it was only the components and the body is still tight. So yea I legitimately have probably 20k in a car that’s sitting on jackstands in my garage that I barely got to drive years ago. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from people like my parents and co-workers over the years that I should just get rid of it. Dream on people. Bury me in it! Past the point of diminishing return right? I mean, that’s not why we do this. As hard as these past two decades have been with daily thoughts consumed by this car and what I want to do and what I’m not able to do at the moment, in retrospect at this point I’m trying to convince myself that it was a good thing. I mean I didn’t just throw any ol’ part in it that was cool at the time, I didn’t destroy the cars’ integrity by being stupid and rodding it out as a young person. I now have a pretty good all original specimen to work with and do it right. I mean where else could you find a 92 TSI AWD Turbo with less than 120K original miles on it and all original/stock parts on it? Well, used to be on it..

So now that we are caught up…I didn’t come from a mechanical background. Didn’t grow up in a racing family. Just always loved the shit and wanted to learn more. Never had the opportunity. I was going to have to earn it, and teach myself when there was finally extra money to spend. I have been perusing websites, including this one over the years in my spare time, which has been seldom to say the least. I have had naïve notions over the years at times. These thoughts have been quelled thanks to everyone who has figured this platform out through practice and books that I have also picked up. At first I thought I had to have a 1400hp track demon the likes of John Shepard back in the day. These thoughts have fluctuated back and forth over the years. Now I just wanted to build a bad ass sleeper that will embarrass most cars that pull up next to us on the weekend if we take it out to dinner or for a long weekend ride. Something that is highly tuned but also reliable so when I shuffle the mustang out of the way she fires up accordingly and is ready to have some fun. And of course, it will be an amazing specimen for the true enthusiast. Around the 500hp mark minimum is more of a realistic goal I think at this point for what I want now, I mean we do live in Florida and no AC is just not an option for any use outside of track only. Just being able to drive her down the road again will do untold things for me mentally and emotionally in my life. We’ll save the 1400hp asphalt shredder for the second build..?LOL

So the next logical step I guess is to finally figure out a build path and parts list needed to accomplish that build. This is where I need help from those who already know what works best. I have ideas but it’s a guessing game from my perspective at this point. Engine build and tranny is first on this list I believe. I want to paint the car a darker midnight metallic blue, I think, but in the spirit of originality I have a conundrum. Do I paint the engine bay while the motor is out or leave it original to match under the interior? I’m sure most people wouldn’t care and think this is a stupid thing to be hung up on. Then there’s the hard brake lines. I pulled all of those out as well. It will need to be one of the first components to go back in I would imagine due to logistics of all the bends. Where can I get some good ones made? I don’t like the idea of “shipping bends”, but did see a sexy set of stainless ones made years ago on the web someone posted.

I have learned quite a bit of mechanical stuff and experience working on our vehicles over the years, but the engine and tranny stuff are still very intimidating and new to me. I have the desire to learn though, just need to make sure I learn the proper info and hoping to find someone local who might be able to help with what I’m not comfortable learning online or through trial and error.

I’ll end this very long intro here I reckon. Ya’ll can see where I’m at and where I’m trying to go with this info I believe. Anyone who has any proven input that would help me in my apparently lifelong quest, or if anyone identifies with my story and would just like to respond, I would appreciate any and all feedback.
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