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1992 Talon TSi Restore - First DSM


Proven Member
Nov 20, 2019
Louisville, Kentucky
What's up all, it seems the cool thing to do now is to bring these old DSMs back from the dead. I've always been a Mustang guy but loved DSMs ever since I first rode in one before I got my license.

I should have started this sooner, but I bought the car in November 2020 and have been slowly working on getting it running and starting to bring it back to life. It's a 1992 6 bolt w/ a 4 bolt rear. I found this car sitting next to an old barn for 10 years in Indiana. It was in pretty rough shape but no rust and I was looking for a project. What a project it's been! Anything and everything that could be broke on the car has been. I fix one thing and find 5 more problems behind that. :) I'm not sure how far I want to take the car to bring it back. At this stage I'm trying to get it mechanically sound and have plans in the fall to have the body fixed and fresh paint.

Here is the car when I first picked it up. It was at this point in my new DSM journey that I was optimistic that a set of plugs, some fresh gas, and a brake job would get the car running. All 4 wheels were seized, the cat had been cut off the car, the slave was missing. Seemed like some easy fixes..

I get the car home and start investigating why the wheels were seized, turns out the rotors and calipers were rusted together. I was glad that was all it was as a set of brakes would be no big deal. Little did I know it's almost impossible to get rear calipers for a 1g, but more on that later.


I put some fresh premium in the tank that night and was going to put on new plugs and wires and see if I could get it to run. After putting the gas in I went in for a drink and when I came back out, there was 10 gallons of gas on the floor so now there's a fuel leak on the car. The return line had rusted through.


In the process of looking up the best way to repair this I find out my sending unit is in terrible shape and need to replace the lines. The PO cut the head off the feed line so my only option was a repair kit. The guys at RTM Racing hooked me up with a full feed and return kit.


New lines come in.

new fuelline.jpg

Clean the sending unit up, replace the feed fitting with AN from a few write ups on here.


All the factory rims that came on the car were destroyed, so next up I wanted to get some rims and tires so I could at least push the car around. Ended up with some trak lites and Nittos.

new rims.jpg


I think they look pretty good!

At this point I run all new fuel lines, replace all the filters, clean the TB, oil change, etc

I also started working on the missing slave. Once I got under the car someone had cut the hardline for the fluid, so I order an STM clutch line, oem master and slave.
I get all this on and the car runs like shit and my clutch is limp from the top to about half way down. I spend hours bleeding it and still the same issue. I follow Jacks procedure on adjusting the clutch, but still same issue.

It ended up being my pedal assembly, so I started that adventure. I read a ton on the debate between welding or just replacing. I found way more threads on the welds breaking and the guys that just replaced the bushings were only having to do it once every 5 years. So, once again I hit up RTM, they had a really nice rebuild kit for.

Getting the assembly out wasn't as bad I thought. It's annoying though.
pedal out.PNG

I can't find my pics of the build, but once I got everything back together my clutch was working as it should.

While I'm waiting on some parts, I try my hand at rebuilding the rear calipers based on a couple write ups here. If you're lucky enough to find rears for a 1g they are expensive so I figured this was worth a shot......I was wrong. :) They were beyond repair.


This part is the hardest when trying to rebuild them. There's a C clip in there that's impossible to work with.


So I ended up finding a new right rear from NAPA for $150, but the guys at RTM were the ONLY supplier that had left rear, so I picked up a caliper from them. It was pricey, but there's no other option.

I found a full 3" Megan exhaust since someone cut the cat off. I get that bolted up, finally starting to get some issues resolved.



I get all this together and pull the car out of the garage to see if I can get it to run and drive.


Tranny and drivetrain feel good. I can move it around a little bit, but car has NO power. If I attempt to give it any fuel it dies and won't rev passed 2500. After running up to temp for a few minutes I start hearing a tapping. I thought it was the lifters at first, then realize something is in the oil pan banging around.

At this point I decide to rebuild the engine. I tossed around the idea of learning to build it myself, but ended up deciding having it built was just easier and less headache down the road. I looked all over for a short block. Spent HOURS trying to find the best option for a forged rotating assembly. If anyone is reading this, the best options out there right now are MAPerformance and Buschur for a shortblock. I didn't want to deal with shipping and my motor ending up in another state was just a hassle.

Engine OUT! Wasn't too bad. Everything is in bad shape and filthy. I'm glad something made me pull it to have a chance to powder coat the brackets and pullies, get some paint on the block and replace everything.


Dirty AF

Get the head off and realize the car has some P2V excitement. Once I saw this I was kind of relieved because I figured the valves were bent and that was the cause of my low compression, but this car wasn't done surprising me yet.


I take the pan off and find a bearing. I wasn't sure if it was a main or rod and decide to go ahead and drop the motor off to my engine builder. While I'm waiting to hear back from him I pickup a fresh head with GSC springs, new valves, guides, and a port and polish. Got a great deal and plan on running cams later so I won't have to wait on the machine shop for the old head.


Old Head...pretty damn clean.




Come to find out the bearing in the pan was from the balance shaft. At first glance it looks like it did some damage so waiting to hear back from my builder if we can put a BSE in or if a bearing will even fit in it. The funny apart about this is I've been reading a ton on keeping or removing the balance shafts before this came up. I've been arguing for months that it looks like the best thing to do is keep them. After seeing this, I changed my tune. I will forever be an advocate for deleting them.

I decided I'm going to run Manley pistons and rods with a 9:1 cr. Extremepsi has a good deal on a package kit, just waiting to get sizes if it needs bored and see what condition the crank is in.

Last edited:

pat white

Proven Member
Jun 10, 2017
West Bay, NL_Canada
it would be a good idea to drop the fuel tank and get it cleaned out ...could save you head aches later's the interior and the rest of the body ...not to much corrision ?


Proven Member
Nov 20, 2019
Louisville, Kentucky
it would be a good idea to drop the fuel tank and get it cleaned out ...could save you head aches later's the interior and the rest of the body ...not to much corrision ?

Tank was in great shape believe it or not. I drained it and it wasn't rusted. The two front fenders are bent where the doors are out of alignment and bent them, not sure if they can be fixed and painted or if i'll need to track down a pair in good shape. Interior is pretty much perfect, I'll probably replace the carpets but other than that it's good to go.


Proven Member
Aug 23, 2007
PNW, Washington
Nice progress and good call on having someone build the motor for you. Focus on the fun and frustrating parts of the build. Or else just become a machinist. I just bought a 1gb that had a lot of the issues you encountered and has been sitting since 2008. You know theres not a ton of 1g talon stuff on YT, would be nice to see some non race content. Im trying for a daily driver myself, more as a novelty piece.


Proven Member
Nov 20, 2019
Louisville, Kentucky
Got some engine parts in today! Went with stock bore 9:1 compression. My engine builder said the balance shaft bearings gave out and caused the timing to jump. The bad BS bearings also ate up my rod and main bearings once metal was in the oil. I was pro keeping BS before I found this out, so now have a BSE on the way for the new build.



Took almost 2 months to get these.



Proven Member
Nov 20, 2019
Louisville, Kentucky
What's up guys, I haven't forgotten about the thread just been waiting since September to get my motor back. Machine shop was backed up like crazy. Figured I would do a pic dump of what I've been working on.

1.) Recoated the fender wells and replaced everything.



Started to try my hand at Powder Coating. Only had a little oven, but it worked out well for things like motor mounts. Got the powder from prismatic powder and used a harbor freight gun.

Engine Mounts Before:






Got a -12 AN drain welded on for the HX35, still need to clean up and paint the pan.


Finally got motor and head back! Manley pistons and rods, ACL bearings, ARP main studs, 9:1 compression on stock bore.

The fun begins...



I was following @jamel16 build thread and like the look of the Mastercoat AG111 so I got the motor coated today and the head on. ARP studs.


Here's what the motor looked like when I pulled it out, night and day.


Other updates: My ETS Front mount and ACT 2600 arrived today. Went with an unsprung 6 puck, ACT Flywheel, OEM release bearing. I'll post some pics once I start getting those ready


Supporting Member
Nov 25, 2002
Pearl River, Louisiana
Nice progress! Im digging that powder coat work you did. My car had a bs bearing failure too, found it in the oil pan the same way. Oil starvation trashed my head as well.


Proven Member
Nov 20, 2019
Louisville, Kentucky
Nice progress! Im digging that powder coat work you did. My car had a bs bearing failure too, found it in the oil pan the same way. Oil starvation trashed my head as well.
Yea I’m done with balances shafts after this whole ordeal.
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