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1995 Eclipse GSX - 2.3 Stroker 400WHP

Year
1995
Model/Trim
Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Ok I figured I would Start a Build Thread for my GSX. This is not my first venture into the DSM world. I have owned a 1999 GST since 2012. Drove the car everyday. Never did anything major too it. Here's how it looked when I got it:
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I added a small FMIC and a FP Big T28 pushing 17PSI. Stock injectors and fuel system. Put about 70,000 on it that way. Never missed a beat. Only other mods were some black Enkei wheels, DG Spec Koni Coilover setup that I built and a blacked out interior with some leather RSX seats to get rid of that horrible tan.

Here's the interior:
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I loved this car and drove it every day. But sadly good things must come to an end. In February of this year I was hit hard on the freeway going to work one morning, completely totalling the car.

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The funniest part of it was that it was a News Van that hit me. Guy said he fell asleep cause they had him up all night doing traffic reports. Go figure. haha

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So with it being his fault I was paid out for the car. I got $4500 and was able to keep the car. And I then set out on a journey to find a new shell. The old car still drives fine and I'm actually still driving it right now. Threw a new tail light in it and its good to go. It leaks a little bit with that bent hatch but I don't care I'm building another DSM! The oddest part about the whole thing was that the news company insured themselves so I was paid out and was able to keep the car but it still holds a clean title.

I searched Craigslist for a while and most Turbo DSM prices were very high around here. Found a Nice 1998 Eclipse GST that had thrown the timing belt. Only 115,000 miles on it. Red with the nicer Gray/Black interior (Did I mention I hate Tan interior!). Anyway paid only $600 for it complete and towed it away. My plan was just to put a rebuilt head on it and the parts from my wrecked GST and get on with life.

However, as we all know plans can change quick. About a week later I found another unpassable deal on Craigslist. A 1995 Eclipse GSX with a spun rod. This car was not near as clean as the GST I just picked up but it was AWD complete and I only gave $500 dollars for it! towed it home and couldnt resist the photo op with 3 DSM's in the driveway.

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GSX is on the far right. It was owned by some kid who thought he was out of F&F. Even has a Paul Walker memorial sticker on it. Anyway, I decided screw it I'm going for a full build and started gathering parts. Picked up a FP Green, Eagle Rods, Wiseco Pistons, Stock 2.4 100mm Crank, Manley Springs/Retainers, 272 Cams, PR FMIC, and quite a few other things. I'm going to put the AWD parts in the red GST because it has such a cleaner body and was never abused. The actual GSX body is rough and would need paint and a full interior swap. Going for 400 AWHP!
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Those are some amazing deals! Can't wait to see some progress pics!

Thanks! Should be making some real progress here shortly.

As for what I've done already, The first thing to do was get the wrecked Eclipse legal to drive again since I knew I would get pulled over anytime for the busted tail light. The bumper and rear unibody was so smashed that I couldnt get the new light to go in. I just took a boxcutter and sliced a big section of the bumper out to allow it to fit. Grabbed the rear light out of the GSX since I wont be using that body and threw her in. This is how I have been rocking it. Gets a lot of laughs from people but I don't worry about door dings anymore, Haha. Only thing that sucks is the hatch won't open but it works for going back and forth to work.

Here it is the Frankenstein:
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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Just finished my stroker build. Breaking it in now and haven't gotten on it at all but it was a fun process. I'm looking for 400-450tq. Good luck man.

Thanks! Actually it was reading your and Aaron's build threads that got me decided on doing a stroker. I really want this to be a fun street car that I can take to an autocross now and then so it just seemed like the best route.

The first thing I did was remove the engine and trans from the 98 Red GST. I decided to use this block because being a 98 it should have the revised 2 piece thrust bearing. Pulled the head and found that all but three of the valves were completely bent. You can see where all of the valves were touching the pistons.

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Got the block out and tore down. Found that unfortunately I was not the first one to get into this motor. Not only was it the earlier single piece thrust, it was already bored 0.020" over. It was have been rebuilt early on in its life though because the pistons were factory Mitsubishi oversize not aftermarket.

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Here is the thrust bearing from this block. Really hope I don't have to deal with crankwalk on this build. Never had an issue with my 99. Dont know if that was because it has the 3 piece thrust or I was just lucky but this bearing is showing some wear on the clutch side. Not sure what I'm going to use for clutch yet. I know most just go straight with the ACT2600 at my power level but I know that is a heavy pressure plate and I dont want to be changing thrust bearings every 10,000 miles.

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Here's the empty bay from the new car. This thing is clean. It was all stock. Had one PS leak at the reservoir so I have some oil to clean up but other than that this is the best shell I have of the three. I am not exactly looking forward to doing the AWD swap on this car but its worth it because that GSX shell has seen some hard miles.

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99ECLIPSEGSXDSM

Proven Member
1,748
71
Aug 22, 2010
Erie, Pennsylvania
Best thing you can do is have someone keeping you moving forward when shit gets tough. Aaron and I both have pushed the other to finish something on our cars in the past. He's the reason why Betty started the other week. Keep your head up and let Aaron or I know if you need anything.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Decided to start tearing into the GSX this week. I will need the transmission to make the AWD swap and I also found a great deal on some 0.020" Wiseco stroker pistons. Since the block from the GST turned out to already be 0.020" I needed the hopefully standard bore block from the GSX.

I went for a different approach this time, usually I pull the head and lift the motor and trans out from the top with my cherry picker. Installed a nice Bendpak 2 post lift a while back so decided to drop the motor and trans out the bottom. Of the two methods I must say that I like out the bottom much better as you don't have to fight the transmission mount on the body. Although you probably wouldn't be able to do it without the lift.

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Tore this block down and found that it had in fact spun a rod bearing. Crank was trashed. But the block is good and it has a standard bore. So off to the machine shop it goes. They will be doing the following machine work:

Bore & Hone at 0.004" Wall Clearance
Deck Prepped For MLS
Pin Fit and Hang the Wiseco Pistons 8.5:1 Pistons on the Eagle H-Beams
File Fit Piston Rings
Polish the OEM 100m 2.4 Crank
Spin Balance Crank with Fidanza Flywheel
Install Balance Shaft Eliminator Bearings and New Freeze Plugs

They will also start on the head but I'm hoping to get the short block back ready for assembly by the end of next week.
 

Subie2Dsm

Probationary Member
1
0
Aug 8, 2016
summerville, South_Carolina
Looks like you are having a lot of fun with this one. i just picked up my first DSM a month ago, a 97 GST.. had a rod knocking so I pulled the motor in my garage and swapped in another engine. It was not a terrible job but there are definitely some things i would do differently the next time around. I have not put it all back together yet but i will definitely be looking at your pictures for reference!
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,160
639
Jul 11, 2009
Some where, Colorado
Damn, sucks it got rear-ended. I had a Barcelona red spyder when I lived in NY that got rear-ended, and my current one did a couple years ago. However, neither got more than scratched paint, and the one in NY hit hard enough to push me across the intersection.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Well as we all know sometimes things don't go according to plan. I had hoped to be getting this build going quickly but here we are almost a year later and still its not done. Had a few other projects get in the way.

Over the rest of the summer 2016 I took a break from the DSM build to give my 2wd F-150 a little maintenance. Ended up turning into a whole other build lifting it up and going 4wd.

Went from this:
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To this:
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So that ate up a bunch of time. But I did manage to get my block and head for the GSX off to the machine shop and after almost 6 months they were ready to go. So in October 2016 I went and picked them up. The cylinders were bored, it was line honed, decked, new freeze plugs, the head had a full valve job, supertech valves, manley springs and titanium retainers, balanced the 4g64 100mm crank, hung the wiseco pistons on the eagle rods, file fit the rings, the works:

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So I got to work on it. First thing I did was to block off the oil squirter passages. I decided that even though we cant directly attribuite them to crank walk it was best to just eliminate them. I have been running forged aluminum pistons on my ford v8 for years at 20psi with no squirters. Never had a problem. And frankly I just dont like the idea of an unreliable spring loaded relief valve robbing oil pressure from the main bearings. If it was a 6 bolt with the tube style squirters on the other oil passage I would have kept them.

All you do is go to the hardware store and buy 4 set screws in 1/4-20 thread. Then drill and tap the squirter hole being careful not to damage the main bearing surface or go all the way through. Then just loctite and bottom out the set screw into the hole. This is what it looks like when finished.

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Top Side:
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With that done and all the shavings cleaned out I test fit the rotating assembly to check the clearances on the main girdle with the stroker crank. Ended up not having to do any grinding so that was a plus. With all the machine work done to the block I gave it a thorough cleaning out and gave it a coat of paint. Debated between going black or red. Decided on the latter, hopefully its not too much red in the bay since its a red car but I guess we'll see.

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With the block ready to go I started checking the clearances for the rotating assembly. Luckily I have access to very nice micrometers and bore gauges through my job so I dont have to use the typcial plastigauge. Please excuse by bad hand writing. Ended up with right around 0.0025" clearance on all the mains which was perfect and 0.002" clearance on the rods which was also exactly what I was looking for. Used ACL Race bearings for both.

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With the clearances set I moved on to the thrust clearance which we all know is severely important for these motors in order to avoid quick crank walk. Mine came out right in spec at 0.004"

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Finally it was time to get some rings on the pistons and button up the short block.

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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
With the short block done it was time to get the head on. I think I could have gotten away with the standard ARP studs and composite gasket since my boost will only be around 25 lbs. But this is a 7 bolt with the smaller studs and in case I dont hit the 400hp number at that level or in case I ever want to up it I went with the L19 studs and Mitsu 4 Layer MLS gasket.

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The studs did not come with a recommended torque spec which surprised me. We cannot use the factory torque spec as it torque to yield and has the 1/4 turn after nonsense. After some searching I settled on 95 ft-lbs torqued up in 3 steps using moly lube.

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That completed the long block.

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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Next thing I put on was the rear main seal carrier. Normally I wouldnt clutter up the thread with these simple tasks but I thought this was noteworthy.

I wanted a good seal but I didnt want to pay the big price for an OEM one so I ordered a Timken from RockAuto in the catalog listed under 1995 Eclipse 2.0 Turbocharged. It was part number 710056. It gets here and it is far too big to fit in the carrier.

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Did some research and found that the Evo 8 should have the same rear main seal as ours. Checked it on RockAuto and it showed that the Timken part number was 710235. Figured I would give it a shot for $15 bucks. It showed up and sure enough it fit perfectly. So RockAuto and maybe others catalog's are wrong! Keep this in mind when ordering a seal.

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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
At this point I found out some more about my GSX. It is an early 95 and has a few differences from all other 2G's. One of those differences of all things is the windage tray. It is a slightly different shape and uses smaller bolts than the later 7 bolt blocks. Found this out when I tried to bolt the 98 windage tray on and it didnt fit.

98 Tray with the big bolts:
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Early 95 Tray:
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Next I had to get the front case taken care of. I had two OEM oil pumps from each motor but one had had bearing material go through it and the other didnt look that good either. Didnt want to shell out the big bucks for a new OEM pump so I picked up an ACL/Orbit replacement pump and BS elimination kit. Also decided to ditch the factory 2G OFH with the water/oil heat exchanger. Went to the Evo 3 Housing and will run a large air/oil exchanger.

Opened up the relief valve port to keep the pressure down with the BS and squirter delete.
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Drilled and tapped an extra 1/8" port in the OFH housing to be able to run both the Oil pressure gauge sender and the idiot light switch.

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Got the pump and OFH on:

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That about did it for the bottom end. I had two oil pans one from each of the cars and both of them were screwed up. The one from the GST had the drain plug stripped at some point and the previous owner had put one of those parts store rubber repair plugs in it. The one from the GSX had a huge dent in the sump and the flange was bent all over. So I broke down and bought a brand new pan because I absolutely hate oil leaks. Got an ARP crankshaft bolt while I was at it.

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I had bought a gasket as well but after some research I found that the factory did not use a gasket and it is recommended not to run one. The GSX had one when I took it apart and that is why the flange was warped. The flange is thin and when you tighten it down on a gasket it will bend in around the bolts and leak. Makes good sense. So I laid down a nice bead of Grey RTV on the new pan and tightened it down.

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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
I took my valve cover to work and started shaving it on my lunch breaks. Took out the baffles and bought a set of the compworks weld in ones. Man let me tell you it is some work with a file but well worth it. This is almost finished I just need to blast it and get it powder coated.

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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Last weekend I started stripping the 95 of the remaining AWD components to swap over to the other car.

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Found another one of those early 95 differences this car has when I was taking the breaks off. This time its a pleasant surprise. Early 95's have larger vented rear brakes. Score!

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The body on this car is pretty tore up underneath. I think its from a long time of riding around low on these cheap no name lowering springs and tokico illuminas. To the trash can with these

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If you look closely in that first picture you'll see that all 4 tires on this car are completely bald. I mean complete slicks. So whoever lowered it did have it aligned as its getting even tire wear. Just didnt spend the money on a camber kit for the back. Say hello spacer washers. The bolt only had 3 or 4 threads left holding it in.

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So that is where the project sits currently. I got the AWD rear subframe out of the GSX. Still need to remove the gas tank and driveshaft mounts as well as a few other pieces. Then that shell will get cut up and sent to the junk yard so I can begin install on the other car. Need to finish the motor build as well get the cams in and degreed as well as all the accessories.

Stay tuned.
 

spyderdrifter

Supporting Member
5,160
639
Jul 11, 2009
Some where, Colorado
Found another one of those early 95 differences this car has when I was taking the breaks off. This time its a pleasant surprise. Early 95's have larger vented rear brakes. Score!
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I found that out a few years ago too. I bought a complete awd rear subframe assembly with axles, diff, control arms, brakes, etc... It's from a 95 and has the vented rear discs. However I never used it since at that time, I didn't know I needed subframe bolts and a lot of other things. So it just sits in storage as spare parts for now.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Well its been a few months and progress has definitely been made.

Once I got my AWD parts that I needed out of the GSX I decided to keep right on going so that I could get that car cut up and out of my driveway. I ended up stripping the thing completely down to the bare unibody. Kept all the parts in case I ever need something later. Here's a few pics from the process.

First the lovely boost gauge installation this car had in it. Nothing better than a $5 chinese parts store gauge taped to the dash. Super clean...

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Next I pulled the hatch off. Rather than just throw it away I put it on my wrecked 99 where the hatch was smashed but somehow the glass had stayed intact.

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Then I got the interior out and stripped the engine bay down to nothing.

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Once all the harnesses were out the last thing I took off were the doors. The passenger side just unbolted however on the drivers side I found that one of the hinges was missing a bolt and had been tack welded on. It was under red paint so I was guessing this car had a shoddy body shop repair at some point in its life. However on the passenger side I found that this hole is not even drilled in the body from the factory. Still don't quite know what was up with this.

Drivers lower where the hinge bolts on the body:
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Passenger side lower: (Picture didnt come out good but you can see the hole is not drilled on this side)
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Anyway after a few long weeks of working when I got home from my day job I ended up with a this stripped shell.

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At this point it was hard cutting up a rust free shell that wasn't really in that bad of shape. But I feel I did her justice by saving all the parts that I could. In came the sawzall and a stack of blades.

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And that as they say was that for the GSX shell. More to come with the rebirth...
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
Well it's been almost a year and of course I haven't gotten as much done as I had hoped. But there is progress to report.

I guess I should start right after I cut up the GSX. When it was out of the way I pulled the GST over in the same spot and started on the AWD swap. Now I know a lot of people out there have done this swap and really it isn't all that complicated. But without doing it for yourself you really dont get a handle on a few of the quirky things you have to do to make it work. I can say after doing it that if I had it to do over I probably would have just stuck with the GSX shell and fixed the problems with that car. Oh well the ship had sailed on that option as you see in the post above this one.

Anyway first thing to do was to drop the FWD subframe out of the car. Now this car actually had a busted 3G rear subframe in it as I had given the good subframe from this car to a friend of mine who was messing around and smashed the rear wheel of his 3G into a curb. So from that I did find out that the 3G and 2G FWD rear subframes are completely swap-able. For FWD guys thats nice as the 3G is setup for a larger sway bar from the factory. As I was going AWD it all had to go.
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Next out was the GST gas tank and filler neck. This car was a 98 and the GSX that I had just stripped was a 95. As I found out here there was a big difference in the evaporative emmisions equipment between 95 and 98. I'm sure this also has to do with the GST charcoal canister being mounted inside the tank where the GSX charcoal canister is mounted under the battery in the engine compartment. Below is all the pipe work mounted above the GST tank. None of this is used with the GSX tank.
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Next was dealing with the filler neck and I found something interesting here as well. Everyone knows the first thing you do for this swap is read all the guides on GST to GSX swaps. I read these over and over and one of the parts that it said you MUST have is a GSX filler neck. And I have also seen many threads stating that the GSX and GST filler necks are different. Well I am here to tell you right now that they are NOT different in the bends of the main tubes where it counts. Here you can see what I am talking about. The GST neck is the one with all the extra evap tubes and canisters and the GSX neck is the one with just the single air vent tube going up to it. So I am not sure if these are 95-98 emissions differences or GST to GSX differences.

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I know in the pictures its hard to tell and they still look different cause I left the hose on the GSX neck. But I measured them both and they are indeed interchangeable. The vent hose is even in the same location at the bottom. The only difference is the evap canister and line on the 98 GST filler neck which could be cut off if using it on a GSX. I didnt go this route as I had the actual GSX filler neck to use but for many of you who have rusted filler necks and are having trouble sourcing a GSX one, using a GST one may be a good option.

Next I had to get rid of the GST tank mounts as these are in the way for GSX saddle tank. I saw many people just took a reciprocating saw or cut off wheel and lopped them off leaving the bases for them which were spot welded to the unibody. I didnt like this approach as even though it will never be seen by anyone, I like things clean. So I drilled out the spot welds on each.

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With that done it was time to change out the subframe bolts for the longer bushings on the AWD subframe. This to me was the worst part of the job because it was difficult to do it cleanly with my poor welding skills. The bolts unfortunately are captured inside the unibody under the rear floor. Again in some guides you'll see many show you where to cut but I have not seen anyone talk about how they retain the longer bolts. Many only cut a small square out of the floor large enough to remove the bolt. I decided to try and replicate the factory setup. First I cut a large square along the frame rail and removed the FWD Bolt and put the longer AWD one in.

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This is from the other side but from this point to put it back the way it was I covered half the bolt with the top of the original broke plate. And then the second half gets another cap to keep it from turning. Then I just welded the exposed floor panels back in.

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The front bolts are less difficult as they are not going in the same holes as the FWD subframe but farther forward. To avoid cutting up more of the floor to get the original FWD bolts out I just cut them off and ground them up flush from underneath as I had seen many others do. Now since the new front holes did not have bolts in them on a GST the frame rail is just empty in that spot. Its just a hole in the sheet metal and does not have the nice captured, sleeved, and reinforced factory setup as shown in these pictures above like a true GSX would have.

So this is another place where many people who have done this are unclear and differ. I have seen some people just use large flat washers to reinforce the area. Others use nothing at all under the FWD bolt and run with it. The big thing is you want to add surface area to the bolt so it cant pull through the sheet metal and keep it the head from spinning as it is inside the frame rail where you can't get a wrench on it. I saw one idea that I quite liked where someone made metal slotted "T's" on a mill that capture the bolt to keep it from spinning and offer the most strength of any of the solutions I had seen. So I copied their Idea and came up with the below. Wish I could find the thread where I saw it so I could credit them here.
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This also gives the added benefit of keeping the FWD bolt at exactly the same length sticking out underneath as the AWD bolt that I just put in the rear spot.

Next came installing the AWD tank and rear subframe. I'll try and post that up soon.
 

95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
So once I had the AWD subframe bolt situation taken care of, the next thing was to get the driveshaft mounts installed.

The forward one in the middle of the car is pretty frustrating because the AWD one is the same as the FWD piece just with the studs for the driveshaft and the AWD exhaust mount added in. But you have no way to add the studs to the FWD mount so the only thing to do is drill out all the spot welds and swap them.

The rear mount is nonexistent on the FWD so the only thing is the make certain that you get it in the proper location when you weld it in.

I had saved the floor section with each mount on it when I cut up the GSX. Made it a lot easier than drilling them out on the car. So onward I went with the spot weld cutter.
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That is the rear mount. The front went the same way. Then I just had to get them positioned in the car and weld them in. Sprayed on some undercoating to keep the welds from rusting and voila... welds could be better but overall it didn't turn out too bad.
Front
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Rear
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With the mounts taken care of the next thing to tackle was the AWD gas tank install...
 
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95REGF150

Proven Member
429
215
Mar 7, 2012
Elk Grove, California
First thing was to open up the AWD tank and swap out the factory pump for a 255lph. Looking back on this now I should have probably put a 340 or 450 in there as I will end up running E85 but we'll see how far the 255 gets me.
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Since I had the fuel pump hanger out of the GST tank I set all 3 side by side to see the differences. A big difference between the FWD and AWD tanks is that the FWD tank is stamped steel and the AWD tank is molded plastic with a skid plate. Therefore the AWD tank uses large plastic nuts to hold the sending units in and the FWD tank uses a bolted flange. Below left to right is as follows: AWD drivers side sending unit (No pump just pickup for saddle tank), AWD passenger side sending unit, FWD Sending unit
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Interestingly the FWD sending unit does not contain the float for the fuel gauge. The AWD uses two floats one on each side to give the level. One of the big complaints I had heard about the AWD swap is that the fuel level gauge will not work after going to the AWD tank. More on the rewire later on...
 
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