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Street Build 1G Build: Return of the DSMer!

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Vegas Smith

20+ Year Contributor
Dec 2, 2002
Houston, Texas
Hey folks, in this thread I will be detailing my 1g DSM build about my 93 Eagle Talon I bought in August of 2015.

A brief history:

In 2001 my big brother had a 92 AWD Eagle Talon and a 91 fwd Plymouth Laser. He gave me the Laser as a present during my senior year in high school before he shipped off to Germany to fly for the army. I had always been into muscle cars and didn't know much about working on cars or much less modifying them. I think the only mods were 2.5" exhaust, intake and maybe free mods. I wound up getting a small 16g, full 2.5" turbo-back, full Dejon Tool sidemount intercooler setup with the enlarged intercooler inlet/outlet pipes among other things. That car ran amazing and I don't think I ever lost to another DSM from a roll the entire time I owned it.


My brother and my niece


As with most DSMers, I just had to have an AWD because even at my power level I was having traction issues. I found a super clean 92 shell with leather interior and swapped everything over. Long story short, I modified the hell out of it and sold it when I got accepted to UT Austin because I knew I wouldn't have the time or space to work on it while in school. it actually had an FP "Orange" in it when I sold it. I don't know what exactly it was but that was the story on turbo and to be honest it didn't perform well for me when I ran it on pump gas.


Vegas in Vegas!


My old fmic in 2005
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Enough reminiscing. After 10 years of turning my attention to partying, studying, lifting weights, women, Texas football and two degrees I'm now graduated with a job......that I HATE. I sit in my stupid apartment all day just waiting to go to a job that I absolutely hate. It pays very good but I literally hate every second that I'm there. I'm starting to hate my life. I'm trying to figure what will make me happy again. What do I like to do? Hmm......I like to work on shit! I like to mess around in the garage and not sit on my couch all day in my second story one bedroom apartment. Two things need to change: I need a house and I need.....a DSM!

Now, enter this piece of shit that I made the mistake of buying:

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Your story is really touching me... I have my 1g since 1998, in 2002 this car became a lawn decoration for 4 years (for studies mostly).
After that a start to modifying it or repair it. 10 years later (today) i still have the same car, and i decided recently to be part of the dsmtuner community. I'm forty now, and the passion is still strong. I have a wife, a daughter, a house and of course a ... garage, to keep this toy happy.

Welcome back and good luck with your build, And it's not a piece of sh**;), is just a car with a lot of potential.
I'm in a similar boat. I've had my car since 2000 and replaced and upgraded many parts on the car as well as repainted it. Since then it's been sitting for nearly 10 years. Other cars have come and gone but the Talon still remains. After serious consideration of selling it i'm now in the process of bringing it back from being mothballed.


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Thanks for the replies guys. I have a whole year of stories and projects that I need to post on the thread so stay tuned.

The reason why I'm calling the car a POS is because it basically was when I bought it. I was very ignorant when I purchased the car in 08/2015. I hadn't touched a DSM in ten years so in my mind all the modifications the car had were great. However, they were nice mods 10 years ago, not in 2016. And the problems the car had I arrogantly brushed aside as silly tuning issues. I used to know a lot about DSMs....10 years ago. But I forgot all that stuff and I didn't take the buying process seriously. For example, 18g turbo, fmic (very cheap pos ebay), gm maf setup, cheap bc 272 cams, cheap ebay bov, crappy 90 transmission, cheap racing seats, poorly made press-bent exhaust system. SUPPOSEDLY it had a fully built 1000hp-capable engine (eyes roll-more on this later). The ONLY good thing about this car is it came with dsmlink v3. That's it.

Now onto the engine.


Can anyone see what has happened here?

That's right. Previous owner put the entirely wrong headgasket on the car. Had someone not notified me of the gasket sticking an inch out from the head I could have grenaded an engine that I would later find to be bad anyways. About half the oil and coolant passages were blocked. Totally unbelievable.
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I bought this trash soon after I bought the car. I saw it on Craigslist for $350 and it was literally 10 minutes from me. Manifold, wastegate, fp intake pipe and turbo all together. I thought I was getting this amazing deal. Well, I hadn't been around for 10 years and didn't realize I bought a bunch of eBay trash. Luckily I was able to resell this stuff even when I was honest about it being eBay stuff (shoulder shrug).

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I bought a used act flywheel that owner stated was "pretty much brand new". Turns out it was warped and I had to remove my trans to get this fixed. I was having clutch engagement issues. Always check flywheels for step height and never buy from people in San Antonio. Seriously.

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More pics of the day I bought the car: Frickin scammers told me the engine was good for 1000hp. I found out later the engine was trash. It had 1g rods and wiseco 8:5:1 pistons. That's it. Crank needed machining. Wrong head gasket. Engine was an absolute time bomb. it was first time I had seen a 1g DSM in 10 years and I just had to have one.

Switched out the cheesy custom press-bent exhaust with a SS thermal R&D exhaust. I wrapped the downpipe and closed off the extra o2 hole as I am moving my innovate lc2 to the front o2 location.

I bought a new engine with Manley rods and Wiseco pistons. I relocated the alternator to the back and of course the jay racing kit I bought off somebody was for the wrong alternator. This actually worked out in the end because a few months after this I decided to go buy a Saturn alternator so at least I had the smaller rod. Apparently the motorman alternator guys found the perfect pulley for us DSM folk. I was the very first guy to get the new pulley and it works perfectly. I just used my stock alt-belt and didn't even have to dent the engine bay for clearance.

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I upgraded the turbo xs bov to a Tial. Of course the clamp I received in the kit didn't fit the pipe/flange I bought from silicone intakes. I had to find an old tial clamp and rig it work. Gotta love that
I bought an SBR fmic kit with piping and everything for $100. I would later find out that the intercooler had massive leaks on both sides and was totally useless. I wound up buying an ETS race intercooler. This would be the last time I try and cheap out and buy used trash. The piping for the kit was pretty good SS which made it worth it in the end.

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Nice build man! I have a build that would mirror a lot of your troubles. My 2.3 rotating assembly is on its way and I think I will put one of these logs together when the end is in sight.
Nice concise post of tribulations and progress. I I enjoyed reading every minute of it. I too am in the same boat! 92 talon tsi spun a rod bearing 6 years ago and has been sitting in my garage since. I had a good bit of money in the motor when it happend, I was so pissed I had to step back and regroup for six years. We'll waits over for me, I'm putting her back together with the hopes of putting down 500 awdhp. Thanks for the post nice to see other people are going through similar things! Rock on brother and keep it fun and you'll have all the motivation you need! :hellyeah:
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm just getting started and I've only documented up to maybe last year :)

The muffler was sitting really low and looked awful. I then realized the car was missing the rear exhaust hanger. It took me a couple months to find one. Every one kept telling me they would send one of their hangers from a parts car and then they would just disappear. I think I talked to 5 people about that damn hanger then I finally found one locally.

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