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1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD: Clunkbox

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
For a few months, we – Matt and Samantha – had been chatting about setups we always wanted to do and what our “dream build” would be like. Shortly after, we began informal conversations about acquiring another car that wasn’t red – we were quietly scoping out white 1ga’s. It was important to us to find one that wasn’t already done and we could start fresh and do everything together. We had our own cars and thought it would be pretty neat to have one to share.

In the meantime, Samantha was interested in getting a cage put in her 1ga talon (named the 5-speed) because there were big plans underway for that car. Matt mentioned how impressed he was with our friend Kenny’s car and the cage-work that was done. Samantha didn’t remember what it looked like, so Matt texted Kenny to see about checking his out to see if she would want to go with that person. After a few hours of chatting, hanging out, and checking it over, we were on our way home and discussing the cost and pros/cons of doing it to the 5-speed.

Suddenly, we looked at each other and said out loud, “What if we just bought Kenny’s?” Brilliant. No need to cage the 5-speed and we could stop searching for a clean, caged, untouched, seemingly non-existent white 1ga talon. Not seconds later, Matt called Kenny and said, “How much would you want for the car?” to which Kenny responded after a long pause, “…my car????” Kenny was open to the idea of selling it to us but needed to think of a price and after a few hours of deliberation, he had one and it sounded perfect to us. A fair deal was made and on March 25, 2016, Kenny delivered the car to us.

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It fit in perfectly with our twin red 1ga talons!

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We decided, together, that we wanted this to be a “secret” until it was completed; ultimately, our goal was to completely make the car our own without the pressures and influences. It’s been pretty awkward the past few years for the three of us to remember we have been keeping this a secret and we are so entirely grateful that Kenny has managed to avoid saying he is no longer in ownership of it by saying: “Yeah, it’s still just sitting around.” A good enough response to keep our cover!

Since the car was already caged, we wanted to make full use of that so we knew this setup would require a decent amount of planning – we wanted to do it right and really incorporate everything we could want out of a car. It was important to us to have it be able to do work at the track but also have it capable of getting an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen - so it had to remain a street car. Having an auto and a stick car already, we wanted something new for us to experience together so we decided that we wanted it to have a dogbox transmission. The name is derived from the clunking sounds the car makes while shifting – Clunkbox, or Clunk for short.

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While we had chatted about what we hoped to get out of the car and what it would be neat to see for an ET/dyno number, we also were determined to not get hung up on that and just make it something we would be able to fully enjoy and get the most out of whatever setup we decided to go with. We just…wanted to enjoy a car we put together, together. The rest was just whatever :)

Over the next few months, we put a lot of thought into the setup, what we wanted out of it, what our goals were, the progressions it would take over the next decade, etc. and wrote them down on a notepad. We slowly but surely started acquiring parts – one of the first being one of the most important pieces of the setup. After long discussions and chatting with our delightful friends at ShepTrans, we placed our order for our dogbox transmission in June 2016. We spent a bit going through our stash of cases, and sent “the one” in. We took delivery of it on August 24, 2016; the feeling of seeing that box being brought up by the carrier was definitely out of this world.

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That June/July, we ordered the stuff we’d need for the shortblock and dropped off the block for machine work and half-fill at Class One in Freeport, IL. The morning before we left for the DSM/Evo/GTR shootout, we went back down very early to pick it up – it was perfect!

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(we did the assembly but had no time to take a photo of it when we got it)

We spent an enormous amount of time discussing an exhaust manifold and doing significant research on every option available. Our goal was to gain mid-range, response, and spool for a badass street car that also had the capacity to do work at the track without sacrificing high RPM efficiency. It was at this point we decided that we were going to embark on this journey to create one that fit all our specific needs and requirements. We spent countless hours coming up with designs and throwing them out the window. It had to be aesthetically appealing but more importantly, efficient. We wanted a manifold where the flow was natural with no harsh angles, smooth transitions while taking up less space, and something that was a size where it allowed room. No corners were cut on the design of it and after over a year (August 2017), it finally started to take shape. We decided on a compact, consolidated runner “4-2-1” style design that is built around the twin scroll concept.

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(took on a real nice color from the dyno testing we did!)

During the design phase, we were also diligently putting the car of our dreams together – we put in the seats and made them capable of fitting us with our helmets on, installed the gauges, put in the harnesses, put it back to being a manual car, and began doing the (what feels like) never-ending work of wiring. Things felt like they were slowly but surely getting done.

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In the meantime (February 2017), we took over making the Shearer Fabrications DSM/Evo exhaust manifolds and components. Our free time – and focus – started to consist of building our business. Just a few months later (May 17, 2017), a massive tree came crashing down upon our lives, destroying our garage and one of our 1ga talons (and causing pretty hefty damage to the other). Clunk was in the garage when the tree went down and surprisingly, it made it through the devastation with just a few little scrapes.

(photo to come - it's hidden away in a folder we try not to visit often)

We ended up putting the car on hold for a few months while we rebuilt the garage, cleaned up the massive mess that it left on our lives, and bought/put Prototype (Samantha’s replacement) together for testing now that we had a business we took on together. After several months, we started slowly getting back into working on Clunk but our free time was minimal so progress was slow.

People were interested in the Consolidated Runner Top Mount, so we began selling them in November/December of 2017 but felt very strongly about getting one made for ourselves to do testing on before really promoting it. In February 2018, we did a side-by-side comparison between this design and the standard top mount we offer at Morrison Fabrications. It did everything we expected it to which really propelled our desires to have the car done and running after nearly two years of owning it in secret! We got the engine and transmission installed into the car, and we were determined to spend every “free” second on getting this car on the road. If you’re interested in the results, you can read about them here: http://morrisonfabrications.com/tec...er-twin-scroll-t4-vs-standard-twin-scroll-t4/

We were halted again but this time by something that happened with Prototype – the block had a small crack in it at about the 7 o’clock mark on the exhaust side of #4 right where the half-fill was. It led us to having big conversations with some incredibly well-respected members of the community and re-evaluating our plans for Clunk; after all, it was a half-fill too. We ended up decided that for Prototype, it would have a wet block and for Clunk, it would have the half-fill but with a small layer of epoxy to have a smoother transition of stiffness. We called up Terry at Class One and asked if this was a possibility; thankfully for us, it was do-able so in April, we dropped it off to him.

While the block has been at the machine shop for the second time, we’ve been getting the little things that seem to take the most time checked off the “to-do” list.

We had hoped to announce the car when it was completed; we just can’t keep it to ourselves any longer! There’s still quite a bit to have figured out before we turn it over for the first time but it’s getting closer and closer with each day.

It’s been a long 2+ years of keeping this secret but this car really, truly is everything we’ve ever wanted it to be. Here it is, our Clunk – the car we kept undisclosed, and the reason we decided to design and create a manifold ourselves.


PS – We’ve actually posted this car quite a bit but, thankfully, we own two other red 1gs so nobody has noticed! It’s been in several mock-up photos :)



Modifications/Information for our 1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

Bolt-ons:
Borg Warner S369 SXE
Morrison Fabrications Consolidated Runner Top Mount T4
ETS 6” Race Intercooler w/ Morrison Fabrications 3” piping
2 x 38mm MVS Wastegates
Magnus Cast Intake Manifold
Stock 1g Throttle Body
Morrison Fabrications 3.5 to 4” exhaust through the factory routing
Dynatek

Engine:
Half-filled, SS O-Ringed Block from Class One in Freeport, IL
AEM Cam Gears
284/280 Kelford Cams
Kiggly Girdle
Kiggly HLA
Kiggle Crank Trigger
Kiggly High Pressure Springs and Retainers
FFWD Vader Aluminum Rods
L19 Head Studs
Tri Metal Main Bearings
Tri Metal Rod Bearings
ARP Main Studs
8.5:1 Wiseco 1400HD w/ 22mm Wrist Pins
ATI Harmonic Super [Duper] Damper
Tial Q BOV

Fuel:
E85 through 2150s with 1750s as secondaries
Magnus Secondary Fuel Rail weld-in kit
Aeromotive A1000 FPR
Magnafuel 4303
Aeromotive 12304
Sumped tank

Drivetrain:
ShepTrans Dogbox Transmission (w/ 5th gear for the ice-cream cruises)
QuarterMaster 6-leg twin disc clutch from TMZ Performance
Scattershield

Handling:
KYB AGX
Eibach Prokit
Rays Engineering Metal Valve Stems
Rota Slipstream Wheels 15x8 (40 offset)
Hoosier Quick Time Pros (26/9.5-15)

Logging:
Haltech 2000

Misc. Interior/Gauges:
Cage built by Dave Meister in Madison, WI
Corbeau Seats
Corbeau Harnesses
Innovate MTX-L Air/Fuel
Stewart Warner Boost Gauge
Stewart Warner Oil Pressure Gauge
Stewart Warner Water Temperature Gauge
Auto Meter Oil Temperature Gauge

Misc. photos:
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Last edited:

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
Thanks, y'all! Picking up the block this week and looking forward to starting it for the first time very soon :)
 

crash89

10+ Year Contributor
3,538
174
Mar 5, 2008
Punta Gorda, Florida
With as much time as i spend with kenny im extrememly impressed that he didnt drop any hints or anything! Although i have been a little skepticle that something was going on behind the scenes! Id mention the car often and he wouldnt say much about it, or ask if he still had a couple parts. Im excited to see the car back on the road for sure!!
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
With as much time as i spend with kenny im extrememly impressed that he didnt drop any hints or anything! Although i have been a little skepticle that something was going on behind the scenes! Id mention the car often and he wouldnt say much about it, or ask if he still had a couple parts. Im excited to see the car back on the road for sure!!
Thanks, Tom! It was hard for the three of us, honestly. There were a handful of folks who knew; however, we did our best to keep it a secret. We have been so grateful for Kenny's willingness to keep it hidden, as well - it was important to us to keep it to ourselves while we figured it out and worked on it to make it our own. We know he's had to dodge the question often and when asked what's been going on with it, he'd say, "Oh, just sitting around," which was indeed the case, ha!
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
We already know you make great products and now we know you can do a great build. Looks awesome! Good luck and I can't wait to see more! :thumb:
Thank you!! We are pretty proud of all three of our cars :)
More photos and details to come once we pick up the block :)
 

turbotalon1g

Proven Member
1,080
38
Oct 19, 2005
Blaine, Minnesota
What is this small layer of epoxy used on the half fill?

I'm thinking of doing a 3/4 fill instead, a local has had very good luck with it.
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
In between work, KOTS, and naps, we got a bit done this weekend!
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Couldn't help but just throw the manifold that was designed and built for this car on it - oofta it looks nice!

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Crossing fingers for a July 1 completion date but that feels like there's a lot of hope being thrown at that idea considering how bonkers the upcoming weekends (and weeknights just keeping up with work!) look. It'd be really nice to take it to the local Cars and Coffee though (the first weekend of each month)!
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
What is this small layer of epoxy used on the half fill?

I'm thinking of doing a 3/4 fill instead, a local has had very good luck with it.
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Here is the most recent epoxy fill, it is about 3/8"-1/2" above the grout style fill (hardblok we believe for the grout, will find out for the epoxy). It will make for a more gentle transition in stiffness and still allow the use of a factory water pump. It's been blended and the opening has about the same area as the water pipe.
Not 100% if this is going to be the answer to any potential cylinder wall cracks in the future but we are very curious to find out! A full fill wasn't something we were ready to tackle yet for this car and it had already been half filled almost 2 years ago.
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
We made further progress on Clunkbox last night! The shootout is just over a month away and we are feeling that pressure.

Making it hard on ourselves with a bulkier Saturn alternator and stock location oil filter. But the 3.5" downpipe clears! Thanks to the bottom of the radiator being moved forward and the Bulfab front crossmember.

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MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
Well, we went to the dyno on September 24, 2018, with Clunkbox when it still had the S369sxe. Here were the results:
We went to Late Model Throttle (where we did our previous testing) and we got a couple pulls in to get an initial idea where Clunkbox is at. Admittedly, we’ve been slacking on getting the car where we want it. It’s still not on Haltech or even a crank trigger, currently using a 4 bar MAP sensor (stayed below its 43.5psi window), etc.

S369SX-E 1.0 Divided T4, 42psi, e85, Consolidated Top Mount Twin Scroll T4

Run #1:
750whp/554tq
42.2psi, 11.6AFR (gasoline scale), 12* timing at peak power, 73-76* IAT

Run #2:
802whp/575tq
42.4psi, 11.6AFR (went to 10.9 after 9k), 14* timing at peak power, 79-85* IAT

The main difference between the two pulls (and what was changed in the tune) are the 2* of extra timing, resulting in an extra 52whp (peak) and ~25tq while at full boost. This tells us that there is certainly a little more left on the table at this boost level but the shape of the curve seems to indicate that the turbo may getting be near the point of diminishing returns. The power curve was still broad, healthy, and very usable.

Poor quality video:

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MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
We have since decided that because Clunkbox was supposed to be our "dream car," having everything we've ever wanted in a car, we needed to do a big turbo upgrade.

So we went with the FP HTZ GT4505R.

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We have hopes to take it back to the dyno again soon just to see what it does out of curiosity but have been so swamped with everything else that we haven't quite made it there just yet! Either way, we are so excited about the changes and can't wait to just enjoy the heck out of it.

Cheers!
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
Seriously looking forward to summer. A good friend of ours took this at the local Cars and Coffee here in Lake Mills, WI. It happens to be one of our absolute favorite photos, too!

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MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
Well, we haven't done anything further to Clunkbox since we got the new turbo; however, we did just get a staging brake which feels like we are moving in the direction of actually doing something to it. And one in a million is still a chance, right? ;)
The struggle we are having is that each of our cars are perfectly set up for mock-up, and it's hard to find motivation to get them together just to take it all apart again. But with the nicer weather we've been having, the itch is starting to be real to get at least one of them on the road again!
 

MorrisonFab

Supporting Vendor
277
861
May 28, 2017
Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
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Well, we got a little further today on Clunk. Got the intercooler piping tacked up and ready, and now just the list of little things is left (which always seem to take the longest to complete). Brought home the wheels today from storage which felt good (had to bring both sets because who knows what kinda stuff we will want to get up to!)

Getting there! Slowly but surely. We are getting there :)
 
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