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95 talon tsi awd/ 99 eclipse gsx conversion "resurrection"

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Probationary Member
Mar 23, 2013
rochester, New_York
Warning, this is my first time ever working on a car. I'm 19 and have never done more than change my own oil or VHT night shade my previous turning signals. This is a huge learning experience and Im going to be turning wrenches and learning from start to finish. ALL corrective criticism is appreciated.

I was an owner of a 2004 eclipse GS with 169k, and disliked it. Too slow. This past weekend I traded it for a 95 eagle talon tsi awd that the guy put an eclipse gsx hatch with spoiler and tail light assembly on. He also put a 99 eclipse gsx 4g63 in it with 87k on it. He had the following modifications on it. Stock evo turbo, custom exhaust from headers back, greddy BOV, a big FMIC, it was lowered on 19's with newish racing low pro's. Had a camber kit, new struts, springs, shocks and all that jazz. And I'm sure I'm missing a few things that I'll add when I edit this. The reason I was able to get this at such a decently low price is because he had skipped timing and the car wasn't running. I was skeptical when looking at but when I took the valve cover off it looked really nice. I got it home and then I started finding the problems. The body kit was nice, but seemed pretty half ass'd; there was bolts missing everywhere which made everything lose. The battery was shot, the sunroof motor didn't work, and one of the headlights wasn't getting power, AND The first time I opened the passenger side door the handle broke.. at this point I was about to call the tow truck back and have him bring it back and drop it off in the sellers living room. But I figured they would be easy and relatively cheap fixes if I found someone parting their car.



So I settled down and got serious and me and my father tore her apart. We took the head off and as a first time doing this I am still wondering how we're matching up every hose and plug to get the thing back together, but my father seems confident. When we drained the radiator and the head we got our first big scare. Only about half a gallon of a really watered down antifreeze came out. We live in upstate New York and this car had just sat outside all winter so we thought the guy had done a shitty job getting it flushed and prepared for the winter and the block cracked. But as we started disconnecting the temp gauge and a few hoses here and there more water was coming out so we kept going. When we finally got the head out we found some good things and some bad. The bad: he had blown an exhaust manifold to turbo gasket and it had been that way for a while. We also found acorns on the intake manifold where a squirrel had spent the winter.. but once we got the head off and tore it down we found that the pistons were not damaged from the timing jump and only a couple valves were bent ( 2 bad and a couple were bent but hardly noticeable) which was a big relief.

Turbo manifold gasket:

You can def see where the valves hit but no damage

valves are bent

Cams and rockers look great

What caused all the pain

From here we stripped the head and and we're sending it to a local machine shop to be checked out and from there we will buy valves, gasket kits, head studs, and a timing kit to see if we can get her running again. This project isn't going to be a heavy build. all I'm doing at the moment is buying the parts needed for the repairs (I am a full time student and the fun stuff will be installed after a summer of making money). Although money is a factor; I'm want to do it right, with the right parts, the FIRST time. So I would appreciate any recommendations as far as which kits are best and most reliable as well as a good bang for the buck, or even general tips!


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Probationary Member
Jan 31, 2013
Crowley, Texas
The first thing any DSMer is going to tll you is MAINTENANCE! You look like you're on the right track and with 15 year old cars "The RIGHT way" is always expensive at first but cheaper at the end. Keep fresh plugs in gapped correctly, boost leak test often, things of that ntaure. You'd be surprised how your car will respond to a fresh oil change or new wires!


Probationary Member
Mar 23, 2013
rochester, New_York
As a new DSM'er ive got some questons that I'm trying to research. The previous owner skipped timing and i got the car not running. He says he ripped his belt cover off because it was cracked and on the way home the belt made noises and he skipped timing. The engine only has 87k, do you think it would be appropriate to replace the tensioner pulley while im doing the timing belt? i dont believe the tensioner pulley was the reason it skipped timing due to his description, but i know they do tend to go bad. Is there a way to see if its still good or a way to check for wear?

I'm away at college and cant work on the car, but in the meantime I'm purchasing a Felpro gasket kit, ARP headstuds, and I'm getting the head machined/tested by a professional. More pictures and updates will be up April 13th-14th when I go home to finish it up

Didn't see any signs of valve contact in this picture. Those notches (valve reliefs) are normal.

The silver mark on the right side is where it hit. it looks like it hit just hard enough to move some of the black soot from the top of the piston.
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