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1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD - Utterly Stock to Sleeper Shock

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
I figured since I am an avid photo taker during my builds that it would be prudent for me to try and document everything for everyone else that may be interested to read. This build will focus on my travels from a utterly COMPLETELY VIRGIN 1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD that I just purchased as a toy. I have owned 3 prior DSMs as well as ventured through various other imports such as a Datsun 280z restoration. This project will take a slightly different route as I am still deciding if I want to go full blown street monster or a fun, stock LOOKING autocross machine -- this will evolve over the next few months.

Just to give you guys an idea of what my prior cars were:

1996 Eclipse GS Auto - got backed into twice, still drove and made enough insurance money off of it to buy my following GST .
1992 Eclipse GS Manual - bought as a backup and car to practice driving a 5 speed. Still in operating condition and my Father's current DD for the past 5 years.
1997 Eclipse GST Manual - was my drag car for 3 years while serving dual purpose as a DD....bad decision. Constant breakdowns and timing belt snaps led to a very disappointing time. Rebuilt and sold to a highschool friend which still owns it (although he broke the tranny and it sits around for now). The GST was the car that I used to do a write-up for the first lambo doors install tutorial on here (I know, I know, silly teenage years ).
2003 Firebird Auto v6 - Wife's old car that replaced the GST for awhile. Sold to Car*Mart for way toooooo little.
2005 Ford Escape - Wife's daily driver, over 100k miles since we bought it and NOTHING has broken (knock on wood).
2003 Chevy Impala - current daily driver I inherented from the wife's grandmother (pristine condition with very little miles).


So to get things started here is a little background on this purchase. I picked up the talon for $2400 with a few issues but definitely without a PO's project mess. When I say virgin on this car I mean it, there is ofcourse a K&N airfilter (in-box) and an upgraded FP Big T28 (cheaper than stock replacement at the time) and a recent timing belt replacement (dealership installed) but other than that it is STOCK. It even has an uncut intake BOV tube, restricter in the BCS, and not a single aftermarket gauge in sight. This was EXACTLY what I was looking for to start off a new project, especially since this is purely a project and can sit stripped down in the garage for long periods of time without me stressing over transportation.

Interestingly, it came with a TON of paperwork, all the way back to the original sales worksheet created at the dealership. I'm the 5th owner in total but the car has only been driven 20,000 miles the past 5 years and been garaged for the past 7 years.

The car has a few issues, primarily to do with the clutch. They couldn't get it started (due to the clutch safety switch missing the rubber bump stop to press the switch) and I was able to talk the owners down another 400$ from their previous offer (this was before I did any diagnosis and was anticipating a clutch job). Simple disconnect of the safety switch and she started right up and purrsssssss.

Now, I had hoped that this would maybe solve some provlems as I had driven it back in the Spring and found no serious clutch issues. However, now the clutch didn't want to fully disengage even with the clutch pedal adjusted. After tracking down any possible leaks (and finding none clutch line related) I decided to go ahead a switch the master cylinder, slave cylinder, and put in a SS clutch line before I decide if I want to drop the tranny to check for issues. Considering that this build would require a new clutch line and cylinders eventually the fix early on in attempts to get the car mobile was the best option.



Now that you have an idea of the raw status of the car I'll get to the potential plans as of now. I am thinking that considering the stock look of the car a sleeper build would be interesting. I have done the looks build with the GST and the speed build with the 280z so something streetable and secretly devious would be interesting. When I speak of sleeper I want to go all out on the engine, obviously a true DSMer would notice some changes but something that would fool others and make track techs take a second look would be nice. Ofcourse these goals may evolve as all do but for now this is how it will initially roll out.

Phase 1: Maintenance and Cheap Power
Step 1.1: Free Mods and Maintenance
Step 1.2: Clutch Line and Cylinder Install
Step 1.3: Boost and EGT Gauge

Phase 2: Bolt-ons and Tuning
Step 2.1: Front Mounter Intercooler
Step 2.2: Downpipe and Cutout
Step 2.3: Clutch, Pressure Plate, and Flywheel
Step 2.4: ECMLink v3 install

Phase 3: Suspension and Handling
Phase 4: .....





Step 1.1: Day 1 Mods and Examination
Well the first things that I wanted to knock out of the way this weekend while I wait for my clutch components to come in was the free mods.

First up was the stock air which began as this:
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And after some hacking and speedholes:
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That should open up some of the initial airflow until I can get the FMIC installed and route some ducting to the current location.

Next thing to tackle was the intake pipe dump tube which was stock and uncut:
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And got some nice hacking to reduce a completely idiotic excuse for engineering....
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As of now I am going to wait on the BCS restrictor until I can get the Boost gauge installed as the turbo is upgraded to a T28 and want to see what it performs at in its current state.

Now to move a little further down the intake system it was time for the infamous intercooler resonator. This thing again, not necessarily a restriction but a waste of airspace and engine bay space.

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So, not a bad way to spend an afternoon tinkering on the car while I look over to see EXACTLY what the POs may have messed with. So far it is obvious that they were NEVER under the hood of the car unless it was at the dealership.
 

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zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Some shiny new toys finally showed up this past week to fuel my tinkering for the weekend.

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Clutch Disengagement Issues:
Since the master, slave, and SS clutch line didn't fix my disengagement problems it seems that it will have to wait until I can drop the clutch. I went ahead and ordered an F1 Stage 3 clutch with Fidanza flywheel to hold me over for awhile. If I'm going to spend the time to drop the tranny then I'm going to do a good chunk of work while I'm down there as this is the factory clutch and flywheel in the car. I also ordered an OEM TOB, clutch fork, and pivot ball from ExtremePSI. I also picked up a full engine gasket kit to do the rear main while I have the tranny out.

I went ahead and started prepping the car to drop the tranny out and clean up the engine bay while I'm at it.

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Notice the Styrofoam...this is because my wife doesn't understand how much of a pain in the ass it is to remove a door ding out of the curves of the car :banghead:...

Anyway, while those things are on the way to the house I decided to wire up my new Glowshift Red Digital EGT and Boost Gauge and mount them in an OBX cluster pod.

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Everything looked good wired up and test fitted. I made sure to make a mini harness for these gauges so that I can pull the cluster as well as make sure I can disconnect them from the firewall where I'll run it through the shift boot for now. I have to say that I really like the quality of the digital gauges and the color as well.

Quick question for you guys, what would be the best 12v switched source to use on the firewall for my digital boost gauge?

Finally, I took the time to throw on my Voodoo III mbc after I did the full EGR, emissions, and vacuum delete.

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zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
danielsl1999gsx - I used a Torquesolutions (ebay) EGR blockoff plate, removed the entire EGR system including the charcoal canister and associated vacuum tubes. attached a hose from the factory hard pipe and ran it out of the engine bay and under the car (left the check valve on the pipe as well). Then I did the vacuum delete using Taboo diagrams with some modifications. As for now all of the associated sensors are still hooked up to avoid CEL but I will probably take them out anyway as a CEL doesn't both me (in reality I get worried when it's NOT on....).

As for the equipment, it was all still in good working condition so I just threw it in a box and put it up on a shelf for now. Are you looking for a specific piece or just curious?
 

jtmcinder

DSM Wiseman
5,402
90
Nov 4, 2003
Iowa City, Iowa
From what I could tell, your first mod was to hack up the OE airbox so you could pull more hot air from the engine bay. Is that about right? (I quit reading/looking at that point.)
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
From what I could tell, your first mod was to hack up the OE airbox so you could pull more hot air from the engine bay. Is that about right? (I quit reading/looking at that point.)

Considering that a recommended and initial mod for MOST of the DSMs on here are an intake and open air filter located in the SAME location, I'll disregard this comment. Once the FMIC is installed the air filter will be relocated to the the factor SMIC location but at the time this will do for now. It would be pointless to spend money on a filter and intake now when it will be removed once the FMIC and piping arrive.

99ECLIPSEGSXDSM - I agree, I'm interested to see how well the T28 can perform as my prior endeavors have been with a 14b and 16g. Most people seem to disregard the T28 going for high horsepower but as I plan on autocrossing this car some I think it will be the perfect fit for the car for awhile.
 

danielsl1999gsx

Proven Member
847
91
Jun 5, 2009
los angles, California
Good, my car has all of its emission crap removed as and i live in CALI -_- My dream is to have a DSM that will pass smog legally. Would you be willing to hand over your trash?
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Well I figured I would wait a little while and try to do a large update at once as I worked through some issues the past month.

As mentioned earlier in my build, the car had some clutch issues that caused it to be undrivable at the time that I purchased it. I initially replaced the master, slave, and clutch line as it was the (1) easiest to access and (2) cheaper replacement to test out instead of pulling the transmission for a full clutch job. After putting the new parts in it still wasn't having disengagement issues which meant it was time to go ahead and drop the transmission and see exactly what was going on.

A few years ago my father built this engine hanger out of some 2x2 metal tubing, peg stands off of an old bicycle, and some random nuts and bolts. It works quite nice and mimics one of the engine hangers that is recommend in the service manual for doing the swap.

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After a few good hours of disconnecting wires, breaking loose factory tight bolts, and quite a few curse words the transmission was finally out and down on the ground. After pulling things away it was quite evident that the TOB has exploded and blown parts all over the bellhousing, into the clutch disk, and done a number on the shaft.

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While the factory clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel looked in decent condition still I knew this was the time to do an upgrade. I decided to go ahead and put in a lightweight flywheel, 6 puck clutch, and stronger pressure plate. However, since I was already going down to the flywheel it was the perfect time to swap out the rear main seal as I had direct access to it.

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In addition to the clutch components, I took the time to put in an OEM TOB, pivot ball, and clutch fork as the car has 188k miles on it with all factory components. I don't want to go back in an be messing with these items again for awhile so it got a large chunk of maintenance funds thrown at it. After a quick replacement of the drivetrain components it go buttoned back up, refilled with fluids, and put back down on the ground.

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At this point it was derivable and I was able to put about 100 miles on it before I started diagnosing a few other problems. Primarily the car seems to pull to the right slightly while driving which leads me to think (a) alignment, (b) ball-joints, or (c) brake drag. I started off by driving around the block to heat up the brakes and felt them with my hand to determine if any were noticeably warmer than the others. Nothing came off as different so I moved forward to the balljoints. I jacked the front of the car up slightly and then started pressing around with a large prybar to detect any balljoint issues. The driver's side looked good and had the tie rod and end replaced recently. On the passenger side it seems that the tie rod and end were completely shot. I could literally shake and wiggle the rod around both at the ball-joint as well twist and spin the tie rod itself.

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So, after only a short 100 miles with my new transmission the car went back up on jacks as I decided to replace the tie rods and ends as when I go to the shop for an alignment they wouldn't have been able to touch it. I ordered a set of Ray Bestos tie rods, ends, and bellows off ebay (Same as the parts on Rock Auto so stop freaking out because I said ebay...) and got to work.

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Since the Ray Bestos rods were slightly different in the length of the tie rod end as well as the length of thread I tried to get things as close as possible to similar lengths before installing onto the car. Now after a relatively easy job with the use of a small pipe wrench to break the tie rod loose (2.99$ at Wal-Mart) things got moving along quickly and the car was back down on the ground again in a day.

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zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Now that things were lined out in the suspension for now until I get a new set of tires and the alignment I started playing around with some other aspects of the car to pass the time. I figured it was a prime time to do a solid boost leak test on the car to get things ready for tuning on ECMLink which I snagged off of the classifieds for steal.

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While going through the typical boost leak tests I noticed that my lower injector seals had become completely harden. A quick trip to Lowe's got me back on track with 4 new seals for cheap. These were actually cheaper than what people usually get at Home Depot. These were 0.78$ for a package of 2.

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Now that the boost leaks were fixed, the suspension was straightened out, and the transmission was running smoothly I took a chance to fix some cracks in the front bumper from the PO hitting a rabbit.

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Considering that the front bumper will be swapped out for a 2Gb eclipse bumper in the spring this will hold things together for now while I focus on the engine and suspension. I also took the chance to try out a headlight restoration kit to clear up the fogged 2ga lenses.

Before:

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After:

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For 5$ at Harbor Freight I think it saved a pair of headlights and made things a little safer.

After driving around for another 100 miles I finally realized how bad the factor shifter, bushings, and plate mounts are from the factory. My prior GST had everything replaced and a B&M shifter and I absolutely loved it. I decided to try the stock shifter cut down and see how I like it compared to my old B&M.


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For a cost of $0.00 I feel that it turned out pretty good. In addition to this I also fabricated new plate bushings from a set of washers as well. These again cost me only about $3.00 in washers from the store.

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Overall, the past month has given me a good chance to do some much needed maintenance, run through the majority of the free/cheap mods and get an overall better feeling car. I've started gathering up a stock of other parts for next month when I put the car back up on jacks to check things over again.
ECMLink v3 Lite and socketed EPROM

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FP Manifold

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Also decided to finish building my blast cabinet. Total cost was about 25$ - Plastic Tote, Dishwashing gloves, plexiglass, and fuel hose. The instructions to build these can be found all over YouTube if you are interested. I was able to sandblast some parts on my wheels, use baking soda to blast some plastic parts clean, and pressure wash with simple green and water.
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Well it seems to have been a long time since I updated the build log. Things have moved along smoothly since the last update and this update should provide insight into the direction I am taking with the car.

Plastidipped the Wheels:
Since the last update I was able to pick up some new times and decided to plastidip my wheels. The wheels originally were highly oxidized, curbed, and scratched which made things look very rough. The wheels themselves are quite nice, lightweight, and wider than stock which I wanted to keep, therefore a nice flat black of plastidip was in order to cover things up.
New Tires:
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Before:
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During:
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After:
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Things turned out quite well in my opinion and they have stood up very well over the past few months. The only location that I have noticed any issues are the lugnut holes where I have taken the wheels on and off a few times.
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Laptop Stand:
Now that the car was running and driving it was time to start playing around with ECMLink v3 to get used to tuning before I start throwing mods at it. My prior DSM only had an SAFC and a pocketlogger, needless to say this route is much easier and more satisfying. The only problem that has been buggin me is the laptop sliding around in the passenger seat or floorboard as I try and tune. Therefore, I decided to make a laptop stand.

Things began with a trip to Home Depot to pick up some piping which is strong and does not flex with the weight of a laptop. If you check online most of the ebay "universal" laptop kits are actually just black iron pipe as well. I started with a quick mockup and then tested the position in the car.
Mockup:
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One of the key things that I wanted was to be able to quickly take the the stand apart to accomodate passengers. A quickpin and a hole made quick work of things after I drilled out the threads in the 90 degree elbow.

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The next step was to make the actual stand to hold the laptop. I decided to make one out of Optix plexiglass to keep things nice looking and light. Cut out a nice rectangle for the laptop size and mock it up for mounting to the baseplate.
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The last step was to add a piece of aluminum angled stock and then paint things up nicely.
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After painting things I decided to cover up the angle iron with some tubing (spa tube) from Home Depot as well.
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And here she is all complete and in position. The way the piece is built it can be positioned for both the driver and passenger to use by swining things away or completely removing the stand and making lots of legroom for a passenger.
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All in all, not too bad for about 50$ in parts, the most expensive piece was actually the thick plexiglass but the sheet was large enough to make two of these as well as an eventual sparkplug cover. I have seen a lot of people interested in these but nobody seems to have made many, I may covert this into a write-up for the tutorial if people are more interested.
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Now that I was able to get the laptop up and start logging to check things out it was time to go back over the car and make sure I had no boost leaks before starting to tune. During the process I noticed that I was only able to build about 11psi even with my MBC screwed in all the way, therefore I know an issue was lurking around. During a boostleak test I discovered that my factory 2g BOV was leaking starting at about 9psi (as expected). This is common, however I didn't want to go out and buy a new BOV just yet as I will be buying a full FMIC in the early spring and I wanted to just get things lined out. I had seen a few individuals talk about a way to mod the factory BOV but most individuals are told to "shut up" when they even mention because the DSM world things throwing money at the car is the solution....

Anyway, after some digging around I found the post that describes the actual functioning of the BOV and how you can modify it to make the stock 2G BOV handle 25+ PSI....yes I said 25+ PSI....needless to say I was skeptical but for a nearly free mod I had to atleast try it to see if it could hold me over until spring. Therefore, this section describes how I modified my factory 2G BOV with 185,000 miles on it go from holding 12PSI to holding 25+ PSI for FREE!
Original Post: http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/new...2g-blow-off-valve-not-suck.html#post151870850

Modded 2G BOV:
Start by removing the BOV from the tubing so we can work on it. This mod is going to require the following tools:
1. A small drillbit
2. A screw
3. A vice or c-clamp (or a friend).
4. JB Weld or something similar
5. A socket.

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To make this work you have to (1) drill a new vacuum port for the diaphram and (2) plug the old vacuum port. The original post describes the logic and physics behind this but does not have actual pictures which I will provide. However, I want to thank turbo BMW for writing this up, event through the thread got closed and fell to the DSM graveyard after the "2g BOV" sucks discussion started...
Anywa, this is the hole that we will be pluggin with a screw and JB Weld. Try and find a screw that is just barely bigger than the hold so that the threads can grip some but not too much, the JB Weld will be the full seal.

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Before plugging the hold we need to create a new vacuum port, however to ensure that we do not bust the diaphram in the BOV we need to compress and open the port. There is where you will get a socket and c-clamp or vice to compress the plunger.
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Once you have it compressed all the way you will drill a port hole on the ridge as depicted in this picture:

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The plastic is not thick so use a small drill bit and stop as soon as it goes through. Now that the port is drilled we can plug the original port hole. Use the screw, some JB Weld, and patience to plug the hole.

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And the last step to complete is a boost leak test. I recommend that you wait a few hours to ensure that the JBWeld has sealed clearly before putting it back on the car. Now tighten everything down and perform a Boost Leak test. I was EXTREMELY surprised to find that my factory 2G BOV was now holding 25+ PSI and it didn't cost me a SINGLE CENT! For those of you that are looking to keep the 2G BOV or atleast get by with the factory BOV until you can upgrade later (like I am) this is a MUST DO. After driving the car around for about 200 miles I can say that I have not noticed any ill sideeffects. I was curious if the BOV would still operate as quickly and have not been able to notice anything but benefits from this mod. I am surprised that it has not been done more often, however since the DSM community just instantly tells everything to "get a 1G BOV" I believe these mods have been blow away. However, for my "sleeper" look this is extremely benificial to be able to up the boost safely.

Drilled and Slotted Brakes:
After spending a few weeks driving the car around to make sure things are working nicely and break in the clutch I started to notice that there was a slight metal drag coming from the rear. After a spirited driving episode one afternoon I finally noticed that my rear brakes were sticking. I believe that the 2G rear drum emergency brakes were rusting and hanging up. Additionally, the calipers may have been hanging up after noticing the corrosion.
The car came with Stillen rear drilled rotors:

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However they seem to be corroded along with the rest of the brakes.
Additionally, the rear pads were COMPLETELY shot on the passenger side.
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I decided that since I would be replacing the brakes that I might as well upgrade all the way around and rebuild the calipers. Therefore I picked up a set of 4 wheel drilled and slotted discs with new brake pads from BrakeMotive.
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I pulled off all the calipers, ripped out the pistons and seals, brake honed the barrels, and then installed after sandblasting and painting.

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After doing the rear I have to say they look VERY nice compared to what they have. Still in the process of finishing up the fronts as I need to go pick up some new copper crush washers for the brake lines before reinstall.
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Solid Motor Mount:
While I had the front of the car jacked up I decided that I would take a stab at fixing the motor mount issues that I noticed while changing the clutch. The factory mounts were COMPLETELY shot and created a lot of vibration and slack during the 1-2 shift especially.
I'm going to start with a solid front mount and then see how things feel. The rear and sides I may simply utilize poly mounts.

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In addition to the solid mount in the front it was time to do the front mount bolt mod. As you can see below the factory bolt is EXTREMELY small and creates a lot of slack itself. Just imagine how much slamming this would cause if you were to use a solid mount and leave this bolt the same, it would feel like every time you rev the car it would slam a hammer into the frame.

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Therefore, to create a solid motor mount as well as replace the factory bolt you will need the following items:
1. (1) Grade 8 5/8 bolt
2. (2) Grade 8 5/8 washers
3. (1) Grade 8 5/8 hex nut
4. (2) Flat 7/8th washers
5. Sheet of steel (atleast 16ga)
6. A welder
7. A Grinder
8. Various c-clamps, vice grips, or vice.

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To do all the welding on this project I used a cheap HF mig welder with flux core wire. I know it is not the best thing to use but it does the job and if you are good about using a decent wire, clean up the piece, and redo the welds a few times it will do the job. A new welder is in the works but for the things I do lately this has done all that I need.
To start off I'll talk about the bolt. As you can see below the two bolts are very different in size.

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The new bolt does not have any slack in it and will keep the mount very rigid. A test fit of the bolt and washers gives you an idea of how it will go together afer the metal is welded in. The bolt seems long in this picture but you have to keep in mind that the mount also will go through the section that attaches to the motor.

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The 7/8 washers will be used as additional gussets that fit around the center pin like blow. They will go on AFTER the metal sheet is welded in.

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Start by tracing out the size of metal you will need on the steel. Use your preferred method of cutting the metal out such as a grinder, body saw, band saw, etc. It doesn't have to be perfect as you can trim it later.

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Now that the pieces are cut away you can drill 7/8 inch holes in the plugs after marking their location. The 7/8 size is so that sheets can slide over the center pin and sit flat against the outside rings. A test fit before cleaning and welding is a must.

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Now that things are moving along it is time to clean up the mount for welding.

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Now this is where I will place a disclaimer that I am NOT a highly experienced welder and have been dealing with a HF welder that doesn't use gas. If you have access to a better welder PLEASE use it but remember that these welds will do just as well if you take your time and clean things up both before and after. I didn't take a lot of pictures this route as I was trying to keep my phone clean but here are a few in-between shots after a first round of welding, some grinding, the addition of the center ring gusset, and final cleaning.

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As you can see I used the central ring to support the center pin as well as create a thicker section for the center plates. This may not be necessary but for $0.25 a piece it's better safe than sorry. Now, it needs a little bit more grinding to clean things up nice and smooth before I primer and paint it black.
The final thing that you have to remember when reinstalling the mount is that the bolt hole size that is attached to the block section MUST be drilled out to accept the 5/8th bolt as it is the size of the factory bolt. So use a drillbit to open it up large enough, reinstall, and enjoy. Keep in mind that you may notice some vibration but if your mount is trashed as bad as mine was it will probably feel better than it did before. All in all the solid motor mount cost me $20 and a few hours of time.

The next projects I have to finish up is drilling and tapping my FP manifold for the EGT bung, installing, and installing my Innovate wideband before I start a full tuning round.
 

zachakagoat

Proven Member
1,154
6
Feb 7, 2003
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Thanks guys, I finally got it all back together, brakes bleed, and a quick test around the block for leaks and brake drag. One last bleeding to get the last bit of air out and she'll be good for a proper test. So far I love the new front mount. Definitely helped the 1-2 shift and only gave a little bit more vibration.

After Christmas the new wideband, egt sensor, and FP manifold should be going in. I'm debating picking up the new VRSF group buy FMIC if I can squeeze it past the wife....
 

LxiMax

Proven Member
263
0
Mar 29, 2011
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
I'm interested to hear about the T28 performance compared to the T25. I've been wanting to go that route instead of the 14b/16g route.
 
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