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1991 Galant VR-4 88/2000

Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Everything is really coming together. Block, head, and transmission are all inbound! Time to get the chassis as ready as possible.

Took the night to get my prothane kit installed. It was pretty easy and seamless. Got a catch can bracket made up and will be showing that when it’s complete. Big suspension upgrade on the way as well!

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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Got a hold of some Bilstein shocks from an evo 9 MR. These came with Swift Spec-R springs and Galant top hats already installed. I went ahead and swapped the fronts out for my Tein camber plates.
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The rears bolted right in after some paint and cleaning to prevent rust:
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For the fronts I had to drill out the knuckle bolt holes to 12mm and get some new grade 10 hardware. I decided not to use the eccentric bolt because I can now control camber with the top plates. I then had to fabricate some spacers to accommodate for the differerence between the ears on the evo knuckle vs the galant. I used 2x 16 gauge spacers for this on each side.
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test fit:
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I put the wheels back on for the first time in ages to check how it sat without an engine:
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Much lower in the back! The weight of an engine will change this a ton but i wanted to see it NOW! LOL.

installed the scirocco style radiator under the front support adding a ton of room to the engine bay. I used some radiator support bushings from amazon and modified them a bit. You can see them under the radiator. Its solid as a rock.
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Lastly, I have the engine as assembled as it can be while I wait on the head studs to arrive. They'll be here this Friday then i can assemble the head and degree the cams before finally dropping the engine in!
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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Assembled head, and got everything timed. Set gears to stock position had to compensate for the 2.4L block with the adjustable cams.


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Hot side installed starting to look like something.


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Transmission/clutch installed and ready to drop in.


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Had some clearance issues with the alternator relocate kit from jay racing. It was actually hitting the frame. Ended up pulling the engine out again and taking a sledge to the frame.


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Back in for a second time torqued down and ready to be hooked up! I might actually drive this thing some day.


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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Your going to like the ride height with the swift springs. That's what i have currently in my galant.
:thumb: It looks great so far! I just got to looking at the car with the weight of the engine on it and I am happy with how it looks. Going to go up to 17x7.5 from 16x6 to fill out the wheel wells a bit and get more meat on the ground too. Probably some 225/45/17's.
 

Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
I was able to snag a pair of hood struts from b2autodesign which allow me to keep the hood on and I still have tons of clearance. Awesome little upgrade.

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I made a bracket for my coil plug and power transistor unit out of an old shelf bracket I had laying around. Had to do this because of the addition of the sheet metal intake manifold.


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Found a dash center unit with a carbon fiber trim kit from a vehicle junker site on eBay. Threw that in and then picked up a carbon fiber shift knob and just mocking up the interior for now.

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ETS Galant VR-4 Intercooler bolted up to bumper. Will be adding a bar to hook all hood latch, intercooler, and bumper fasteners to a sturdy piece of metal.

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Transfer case bolted up and driveshaft is fully installed with aluminum bushings.

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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
So my wastegate is permanently mounted to my O2 Housing. I took the V bands off and couldn't get the wastegate off. Confirmed this with STM.
Had to get creative to get my springs installed while its in the car but I stole an idea from the forums here and it worked beautifully!!


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Here is the wastegate plumbed up with my Ingersol Rand Electronic Boost Control Solenoid. Found this little red plate that looks awesome in the bay:



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Next on the list was a two-fold problem. I seemed to be missing a bracket that bolts to my hood latch which would have been used as a mounting point for the Intercooler. I decided to go overkill and bend some 3/8" flat bar in my bench vise with some motivation from a map gas torch. This bar mounts the hood latch perfectly now for a good close, reinforces the front and mounts my intercooler. When i say its as solid as a rock now its definitely stronger than that.


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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Well final checklist items are wrapping up as I get ready to finally start this engine.

Completed:
  • wiring harness routed and plugged into ECU
  • All sensors, gauges and wiring complete
  • axels all installed
  • transmission filled and slave installed, clutch bled
  • radiator hoses figured out (for now)
  • intercooler piping routed
  • fps solenoid set up to trigger fan
  • speedo sensor housing located and installed
  • non cruise throttle cable installed
Here's the gauges with a nice off switch to turn them all off when desired:
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wire schematic for rocker switch to turn them all off:
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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Can you guess what's in the box?

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Side by side with the CM Exhaust that was on the car. Mounting points look the same.

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This kit was made for the Galant VR-4 with body code E39A. They will still make these at the Japanese factory so I had to give it a try. Took a few months between assembly and shipping.
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The kit includes the rear section with muffler along with the next section which has a resonator. They advertise this exhaust at roughly the same decibel level as stock although it is a 3" system with a large tip. My only complaint is that the end towards the engine steps down to 2.5" from 3" so I'll have to cut and weld a flange on. Here you can see with my Megan Racing 3" downpipe on the end I would just need a straight pipe to finish this setup.

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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana

Got it running! Not ready for driving yet. Only pulling 5 hg/psi of vacuum and had to turn the timing way up just to get a stable idle.

Going to mess with overlap on these 280/280 cams and set base timing hoping to fix my vac issues. Overall I am happy with this baseline.
 
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Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Major Setback!
Since the last post showing the first startup of the engine, I have played with various settings in DSMLink getting the car stable enough to get some miles on the new drivetrain and engine. We got the idle under control with the Q45 throttle body and all of its complications. We got air fuel about where it needs to be for now. VE was slightly adjusted. All at the direction of my tuner who is an amazing help.

We made it about 45 miles and then while cruising at about 2500 rpm.... CATASTROPHE

From the driver's seat, all I experienced was a sputter followed by the engine dying. I cruised into a parking lot and tried starting it a few times and called a tow truck.

Sorting through the carnage, I reached out to people much smarter than me to figure out what went wrong. Our best guess is that a valve got seized in the valve guide and stuck open just waiting to be slapped by a piston. In total I lost two valves and was only able to find one. The other may have gone through the hole in my piston! I guess we will see.

Here is what something like that looks like:


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You would think that the engine slipped the timing belt, or something like that but no damage was observed on any other cylinders.

Timing marks on crank and cams still line up. Just really extremely terribly bad luck is all I can assume! Head was assembled at a machine shop and so was the bottom end. Perhaps the valve tolerance within the guides could have been a bit looser. who knows. who cares at this point?

Here is a video of a nice smooth cruise moments before this happened:



In summary, I will push forward, pull my motor, see what can be saved, and TRY AGAIN! That's all we can do right?? 40 miles on my first engine build is not a title I wanted but its mine now. I can only do better... right???
Who here has overcome major setbacks? Mostly everyone? Tell me about it.
 

Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Dude that effing sucks! I’m so sorry. Glad to see the positive outlook though.
Just the way it goes.

I’m just thankful to be in a position where I have the ability to push through it. At the end of the day this car has been a project for fun and I’ve had to remind myself of that.

One of my rules is that if I am not enjoying myself or I’m upset, I can’t work on the car.
 

DreamChaser7

Supporting VIP
207
148
Jul 18, 2019
Valrico, Florida
Just the way it goes.

I’m just thankful to be in a position where I have the ability to push through it. At the end of the day this car has been a project for fun and I’ve had to remind myself of that.

One of my rules is that if I am not enjoying myself or I’m upset, I can’t work on the car.
Great mantra. I will try and remember that one.
 

Dashnizzle

Proven Member
116
86
Jun 5, 2021
Montana
Starting to look like I went backwards in time but my buddy helped me prep the engine/tranny for removal.

Going to scavenge what I can and push forward ahead of some cold weather…
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