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'97 Eclipse GSX 'Clean Build'

eclipsemf

Proven Member
398
4
Jun 10, 2010
Glen, New_Hampshire
I'm finally going to start my own build thread, I'm not going high hp numbers or fast 1/4 miles times, just building the car to my liking for now and I'll see where it goes from there. First will be some history of me with DSM's and then I'll get in to the car I have been working on for the last year.

On a side note I am in college right now so the updates will not be as past as I would like them so please bare with me!
The car is not driven in the snow, and now is up to 74k miles. I also have all the stock parts so I can go back to stock if I feel like it!

First dsm:
I got my first car when I was 15, it was a 1994 eclipse base model 1.8l with an oil leak and a clutch going down hill and I paid $2500 for it, a bit much but I didn't know any better. It had a body kit, racing spoiler all the f&f stuff which I liked at that point in time.
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I slowly worked on it adding CAI and an exhaust tip, and painting the interior. I also started getting into wiring starting with my first sound system, 2 pioneer 12's off a 1600 watt amp. I drove this car till I was about 17 when I found this website called DSMtuners.com....
Though hours of reading the forums I decided I was going to get a 4g63 and just swap it in. I spent about 1k trying to gather all the parts together when I realized that I was no where near as mechanically inclined as I should be to take on a task like this, so I started selling those parts and looking for one that already turbo'd. Here are some pictures of the 1.8 and the motor I had gotten for it but then sold it for my next car.
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Second dsm:
After about 2 months of searching for a cheap awd turbo dsm I found a nice 1995 eagle talon tsi awd with a super 20g and the works except a tune for $2500. I went to look at it and it had a bit of frame rot and needed the 1g cas rewired but I didn't think it would be too bad. I came back the next weekend and worked on talking the guy down and got it for $1350! Over the winter I worked on it every weekend trying to track down all the problems that I had not discovered when I had looked at it the first two times. About four months later I put it up for sale because I could not seem to get it fixed and running right. I later traded it to a buddy and that was a whole other story that I wont go in to now. But I can say I never ran when he had it either. I am kind of glad we never had it running because I know it dyno'd at 417HP and after going from my 1.8l to that I probably would have wrecked it very fast not knowing what real power was like. I have just this on picture of it I'll try to find one of the engine bay if I can.
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Third dsm:
After not succeeding with that dsm I decided to look for one that was unmodded and running. Over that summer and most of the winter I saved up my money looking for a nice one. At the end of February I finally found a clean one not to far away from me. It was a 1997 eclipse gsx with on 69k on it and COMPLETELY STOCK! I immediately called him up to arrange a time to meet up with him too look at it. Two days later I drove two hours away to look at it after school. When I got up there and saw the car I knew it was the one for me! An older gentleman was the only owner of the car and bought it in 97 with all the features in it that he could. I got to take it for a test drive and the power put a smile on my face instantly. I ran to the bank right then to get the money out and I purchased it right then for $4700, which was a steal considering the condition of the car. It had never seen the winter and had been garaged every year during the winter, and the leather seats showed no wear what so ever.
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On the way back I had some trouble getting used to the hydraulic clutch since I had learned on the 1.8 which has the mechanical clutch. The only thing that was wrong with the car is the Fuel Pressure Solenoid though a cel which I know because I brought my scan tool, and the front speakers were blown. I managed to talk him down $100 because of that but that was it. The car handled like none other I had driven and had all the power I thought I would ever need. After about a week I started to want a bit more power so I started looking at a few things to get a little more out of it, but still keep it basically stock.

Here it is after just changing the valve cover out and adding a cold air intake.
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Over the next month(being late march early April 2011) I did hours and hours of research on what mods to do and to make sure that I did them right because I did not want to hack this car in any way, shape or form.
During the summer I started some smaller mods such a cold air intake, 3" cat back, hard upper and lower ic piping and a 1g bov with darth vader cover!

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I also started on the smaller visual parts like re painting the front black plastic pieces and getting my valve cover powder coated. I also acquired a clear timing belt cover in a trade. Once those were done I was more than happy with the power increase so I went to slowing my self down and handling.

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I bought new cross drilled and slotted rotors with hawk pads, and threw them on. While I had the calipers of I painted them red to go with the car which was a nice touch I think. I then put an eBay front strut bar on, which alone improved the handling substantially. During this time I also installed a auto-meter boost and volt gauge, and got set up for an AEM wideband(now I'm just waiting to weld on an o2 bung for it).
Getting a double din soon to clean it up more here
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I cant seem to find a picture of the gauges but I know I have one somewhere

Also during this time I worked on the stereo system for when I didn't want to listen to the turbo :thumb:,which wasn't often. For speakers I bought front 6.5 and rear 6x9 alpine type s wired in to my old head unit from the 1.8. I wired it in using the mitah adapter which made is sound 10 fold better especially with the clarity of the music. I also wired in two punch p3 10" subs in a custom box that I made with a 1600watt amp to get some of the bass I was used to before.
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The next thing I went to work on changing out the led's in the cluster to red, I saw some pictures in a few threads and decided I also wanted to do this. I bought 10 94 wedge base led's from superbrightleds.com. The installation was very easy and it looks amazing!
Day time picture, night time will come in a second
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After a saw these I decided to change out my gauges to 7 color led gauges that I had laying around to match the dash. These are some from harbor freight and so far there accuracy has been unmatched with any of the others I have had. I also went to yellow fog lights as you can kinda see from the picture bellow.
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The next weekend that I came home from college now being about mid October, I had some VHT and a rear strut bar waiting for me when I got home. The VHT tail lights are awesome, I love the way they came out on the first try, they are a little dark but I'm happy with them and I will be getting the ECLIPSE part painted to match the car to finish it off.

From this
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To this (snow is gone!)
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I also installed the rear strut bar, I just need to cut holes in the covers to finish it off. I just barely fit over the subs!(snow is back:nono:)
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That's all I have for updates for now I did just get a few things in. My next update will be with the down pipe and high flow cat install. I'm also swapping my t-25 for a new one because the old one is going down hill fast. While I'm doing this I'm putting on my JMfab heat shield and a new aluminum radiator that is on its way!
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Last edited by a moderator:

eclipsemf

Proven Member
398
4
Jun 10, 2010
Glen, New_Hampshire
Thanks everyone for the compliments :thumb:

I got some more parts in for the spring break parts upgrade. I'm hoping to have everything ready by March 11th when my spring break it to swap a small 16g on it. Today I got most of the parts I need.

Big FMIC with 3" core, might be a little aggressive for just a small 16g but we will see.

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I also got a coated j-pipe, after market o2 housing 2.5" that will hopefully bolt up to my 3" down-pipe that should be in soon, and a set of RC 550 injectors. I will just be running a custom chip for now and eventually going to the link.
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I also went to work on installing my pro-thane motor mounts on a spare set of mounts. The first one came out fairly easily but the second one did not as you can see.
Me 1 :hellyeah: - Pro-thane 1 :cry:.

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'97 Cayenne

Proven Member
175
10
Mar 30, 2011
Milford, New_Hampshire
ouch with that mount! that makes me nervous now cause I'm going to do the inserts also. what method are you using to do those?
 

eclipsemf

Proven Member
398
4
Jun 10, 2010
Glen, New_Hampshire
I drilled out all the rubber I could, then cut the metal lining. I went to hit the lining out with a chisel and hammer and missed the chisel and caught the side of the mount instead. :ohdamn: I would suggest cutting that lining in 2 places and lightly tapping it out and you should be good, or just don't miss like me! I was kinda surprised how easily it broke though so mine could have had issues before.
 

eclipsemf

Proven Member
398
4
Jun 10, 2010
Glen, New_Hampshire
I don't have much to update but I did get some more parts in for my spring break swap. I'm planing on running the new t-25 until summer break when I should have the money to get dsmlink v3 and the rest of the smaller things needed to get the car to where I want before I swap the newly acquired t-28.
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I need to put a little work in to it like replacing the intake fin but I got it for any amazing deal and it is a true Garrett t-28 with an adjustable actuator. It has no shaft play what so ever will just need some cleaning and the fins replaced and its good to go.
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I got a 2g ported o2 housing. I'm not sure if I'm going to use the after market on I have or the ported still kinda in the air at this point. But both match up a lot better with the t-28 than they do with the t-25.
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I also got my first of to orders from Allen at SIM. I got a killer deal on this 3" down-pipe which will finish off my exhaust after I cut part of the end off to fit the 3" cat in.
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I hope to have one more update of the exhaust and getting that all ready to be put on in another 2 weekends when my next order from SIM comes in. Then the weekend around march 8th all of these parts will be going in! I will have many many pictures from that weekend so stay tuned for that update
 

Bobble

Probationary Member
35
1
Feb 12, 2012
St Petersburg, Florida
Nice, it looks like your doing about exactally what I wanna do LOL. Do you regret doing anything? or not doing anything
 

eclipsemf

Proven Member
398
4
Jun 10, 2010
Glen, New_Hampshire
I did some of the final work on the car this break but didn't really have time to take pictures of the whole thing. I installed my 3" down pipe with 3" cat and 2.5" O2 housing. I also swapped over a new t-25 and did the BCS mod and am now around 16PSI. Next was a set of torque solutions shifter bushings which improved the the shifting 10 fold. When going in to gear you are certain that it is the correction one and probably was the best 25$ spent on the car so far. Then I installed a Mishimotor radiator and a JMF heat shield. I also got my AEM wide band hooked up

Here is what the engine bay looks currently...
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I also installed 2g OEM mud flaps but I forgot to take a picture, I will post one next time I am home. For now that is pretty much all I am going to do to it for now I decided to keep it stock because I picked up another DSM for cheap I will be starting another build journal for that one later on!
 

Nicklepage1010

Proven Member
392
0
Feb 28, 2012
Portland, Maine
I almost bought that "2nd dsm"
The guy i talked to was kind of sketchy =|

If youre ever in maine hit me up, there arent very many of us up here.
 

eclipsemf

Proven Member
398
4
Jun 10, 2010
Glen, New_Hampshire
Well just a super quick update on this car, she has been driving well up till about last week when I started have clutch issues. I think it was due to a weak slave cylinder because if I pump up the clutch it shifts fine but if I dont it wont go in to gear very easily. I have a new OEM slave and have a new Master coming in tomorrow (I heard you should change them at the same time). If this doesnt work the tranny is coming out and ill get new everything! I did bleed it but that did not help any.
 
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