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Curiosichi Time Attack Eclipse

Year:
1997
Model/Trim:
Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
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  1. greengoblin

    greengoblin Supporting Vendor

    1,105
    372
    Joined Mar 10, 2006
    McKinney, Texas
    MCA suspension golds if memory serves me.
     

    9K  11  0

    1995 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    12.830 @ 120.000 · 2G DSM
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    Atuca likes this.
  2. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
    91
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Sorry I forgot to reply to your question; good guy Kevin nailed it though: custom MCA Golds with remote canisters.
     

    829  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  3. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
    91
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    So quite the busy month preparing for our latest track event.

    After a shake down in Sonoma, we headed back to the dyno to look at fixing the higher RPM stutter and get a proper tune on the car.

    IMG_20191004_172814.jpg

    During diagnosis, the tech checked timing again, checked ignition, and fuel pressure and everything seemed fine, but the car kept stuttering and a lean AFR at higher RPM not responding to dumping fuel in the tune. Something mechanically had to still be off. We pulled the fuel injectors out and gave them a test.

    2000000000035696.jpeg

    Luckily we are running e85, because with a fuel injector firing like this, one cylinder running lean while the other's aren't is very dangerous. You can obviously see the cylinder 3 fuel injector was under-performing. The AFR is reading in the downpipe, as a sensor reading on a collection of 4 cylinders, so it was difficult to identify a single cylinder issue. This scared me straight; I will need to get individual EGT sensors to tune and alarm better. Luckily we didn't push the car above the 4-5k mark on the track and didn't force through the sputtering and nothing major happened. We decided to just buy new fuel injectors. I will clean these old ones and will have a second set on hand for anything in the future. In the mean time, time is literally money to the shop so I had to get the car running asap and tuned. New injectors were faster to get than to send the old ones out for a clean.

    After the swap however, we still had issues..

    The Fuel pressure signal that is logged by the Motec is showing fuel pressure at 51 psi, but we notice no matter what the RPM is or Boost Pressure, it doesn't move at all. So he hooked up a mechanical gauge:



    3ddv29.jpg

    So now the problem is fuel delivery. At this point the tech who just wants to tune my car is starting to turn into a builder and he has other cars to tune, so I have no choice but to take the car home and figure out yet another issue. I am pretty bummed all the time and money it's costing, but no body ever said a winning race car was cheap or easy. He tells me he's cleaned up the tune for lower rpm part throttle and the sub 4kish RPM range, so if we fixed the fuel pressure issue, he could just turn up the boost and massage the tune a bit. Remember, the car was tuned on E98 before so we aren't doing anything drastic.

    Getting the car home, I order new 3 new fuel pumps and prepare myself for a relatively quick fix. I am pushing for the next track day which is the following weekend so I don't have time to mess around. I start to remove the fuel lines from the pump and then the fuel filter so I could check on that (admittedly, I should have replaced or cleaned that before going to the tuner. Learn from me!!)

    Before:
    IMG_20191016_180802.jpg
    After: IMG_20191016_184903.jpg

    Eh.. it was dirty, so I don't feel like I wasted time there, but.. how about the fuel line itself?

    IMG_20191015_203210.jpg

    IMG_20191015_203236.jpg

    Now THAT looks like it would be restrictive at a higher flow rate. Seems like we can never catch a break. At some point during reassembly, this line must have been kinked terribly. Again, I am not going to be pointing fingers at anyone, because it's my fault for not catching it when I looked the car over when I got it, but this is a fuel line that would need to be replaced. Luckily Amazon has next day shipping so I could fix both this kink plus the fuel leak prone area I had to fix the first time I went to the tuner.

    IMG_20191019_124237.jpg

    Since the issue seemed to be with a kink probably caused by a hand formed bend, I decided to spring for a fancy tube bender. This thing has aluminum dies in every size I'd need sub 1". Larger than that I would be using my JD2 Model 3 tube bender, but when one die for that is 150-200 bucks vs this whole kit for 200, it made sense to have a smaller tool for use under the car.

    IMG_20191019_161641.jpg

    I also used a Rigid Flare tool which I had acquired previously for brake lines. I love it when I have a tool that I use more than once! Within about an hour, I had myself a new fuel line.

    IMG_20191019_164353.jpg

    I am so happy to replace this crazy fitting area. It leaked once before so it was probably a matter of time before it would do it again. Except, it won't now. And of course the kinked lines were a think of the past. Very happy with this.

    I was certain the fuel pressure issue would be resolved now, there is no way fuel pressure would have been able to climb with the kink it had, so I assembled the cleaned fuel filter and new lines and turned my attention to the fuel pressure sensor.

    This is something I could type out and tell you a story that spanned 4 or 5 hours in the garage, but I'm going straight to the TLDR: the sensor wasn't wired. Milspec wiring is fantastically sexy to look at when its completed, but when you have a 50 pin firewall plug with all white wire, tracing wires from the sensor to the ECU was impossible. I tried. So the quick fix was running new wire, rewiring the ECU pin and assigning it correctly.

    I tested the sensor with the air compressor to check pressure readings in the ECU and felt confident to start the car. The car was so so much happier! The new fuel injectors had the car idling so much better, and a quick test of the car showed fuel pressure climbing 1:1 with boost even above 4k rpm. The stuttering was gone so we were ready for the proper tune to max boost pressure.

    By Wednesday, and I decide to follow up with a call to my tire supplier to see if my new tires, Yokohama Advan A052, were going to be arriving sooner than expected. The A052 are going to be a spec tire for the future of Super Lap Battle and the racecar needed new tires anyways. The country wide back order meant no one had them though so I was waiting for them to come in. Out of months of stories with nothing but bad news, I finally got some good: they had some come in!

    With a little bit of begging and pleading for free shipping as advertised...., I still ended up paying for next day shipping LOL. This was something I really wanted to have, a day to test the car on its proper tires would be invaluable and the prior test day on 5+ year old street tires was not going to net me any more information. Even with the tires not leaving the warehouse Wednesday, instead shipping Thursday, and showing up by Friday, all I had to do was get them mounted and balanced on the big boy rims and that doesn't take long at all. Maybe not even a day to spare, but it was more than enough.

    IMG_20191025_145606.jpg

    I installed the tires on the car and topped the oil off in the dry sump and the transmission with Motul gear oil and as the sun set after work, I was looking to load truck up with all my tools and get the car up onto the trailer to head back to Sonoma.

    IMG_20191022_213459.jpg

    I started the car and got the ramps ready on the trailer, when I came back, under the car was this:

    IMG_20191025_200455.jpg

    Nooooooo!! NO, no no no no no! I thought we fixed this oil leak issue, OMG! Upon further investigation, I found that when the car got up to temp, oil start pouring out of my puke tank/Oil Vent. I had over filled the dry sump. My car didn't come with an instruction book, and there isn't an oil level dip stick for me to check, but apparently I went too high. I drained the overflow tank and revved the engine a bit trying to purge the system of anything extra, empty the tank again and repeat. At 9-10pm or so I am sure my neighbors loved that... Eventually I was satisfied and got the car loaded on the trailer. Off to Sonoma I went.

    IMG_20191025_200824.jpg
    Boy was I excited!

    IMG_20191026_094653.jpg



    I was so excited to have Mario behind the wheel testing the car for me, he was getting an opportunity to get a feel for the car on its tires as he prepares himself to race the car at Super Lap Battle Buttonwillow. But it wouldn't be today.

    Shortly after this video, Mario pulled the car in. He said he smelled oil.. and I bet you can guess what the cause of that was... The dry sump was still too full, and was dumping oil out the vent and onto his tires where he noticed it get squirly in a corner. I felt so embarrassed a day at the track could have turned so bad over something so dumb, endangering both my driver and the car.

    There is no way to drain the oil in the dry sump only partially, and just emptying the catch can while reving the engine wasn't doing it apparently. So we were 3 of us running around the paddock asking random people for a tube to use as a siphon. NASA folks are awesome to be around, and even those without a tube were still willing to look and ask around to their friends. Luckily we got a tube, tapped it to a windex squirt bottle, and starting SLOWLY pumping oil. It took well over an hour due to air gaps and tape and just random dumb stuff, but we drained a quart or two of oil and it got us back on track, and this time hopefully without issue.



    The next session was a heartbreaker. Lap 4, Mario was continuing to drive at an imposed RPM limiter til we had enough full lap logs for our tuner (who was on site) to green light us to go faster. I also wanted to be sure we were good on the oil leaking issue and I didn't want to endanger anyone. The over filled oil wasn't the issue though. Coming around turn 8, I spot the car coasting, slowly even for the limitations I had the driver under.

    He came to a complete stop, in the middle of the session. My heart is sunk. Did we just lose an engine? Did our PPG dogbox already die? That and a 100 other terrible ideas popped in my head as I could do nothing but watch as the safety and tow crew made their way to collect the car.

    IMG_20191026_125321.jpg

    Murphy's law, I swear. Anything that can go wrong, will. In this particular case, and I am not sure on the order of events, we lost an axle and CV boot, causing a major mess under the car. The axle came out of the transmission somehow, and due to the car having a Quaife LSD, with a missing axle the gearbox acts like an open diff, meaning all mechanical grip was sent the path of least resistance which, in this case, was the axleless driver side. That is what put the car to a stop. This in it self is not the end of my worries, because an axle that slowly falls out with a fully engaged transmission meant there would be likely damage to the splines of the axle and differential as one was spinning faster than the other.

    That would be the end of our test day. I have spare axles at home, and I am feeling silly I don't own a giant enclosed trailer that can haul a full car's worth of spare parts. ** Looking at the big boy racers and their big rigs grumble grumble** Easiest thing to do is just swap the axle and hope the splines in the diff aren't garbage. Luckily they aren't, so OEM style replacement will have to suffice til I can rebuild the DSS it replaced. Looking forward to Sunday for another test day.

    Sunday, however, was something no one could have expected. For the first time in 30 years, due to California wildfires, the race track was shut down. The safety personnel were needed for the fires and the track was ground zero for evacuees. I was having car problems but there were much bigger problems going on that day.

    EFFECTS.jpg

    So with Super Lap Battle just two weeks away, we never got a full tune on the car, we never got a full test day with the car. Things are looking pretty grim, but I have plans to rebuild the DSS axle properly and another dyno day in the shop with the tuner. The car's mechanical grip with the new tires was good but we never got heat in the tires to know just how well it will hold up. This is not the car I wanted to have going into SLB, but I do have a team of folks helping with the car trying to make the most of our situation.

    I feel like every time you talk to a car guy, they always have excuses about something, always say "next time it'll be faster because of" this or that. Here I am 2 weeks before the race and I already am lining up the excuses, but after talking with the team, they want to go forward and learn as much as possible from this experience and attend SLB anyways. I had expectations of winning the race before we even got there, but now I would be happy to just attend. I continue to appreciate more and more the racers who do this regularly and show up to put respectable times down. Anyone can spend money on parts, or with a little know how spend time fabricating custom pieces, but it's the determination to keep going forward you can't buy.

    I look forward to all the competitors at Super Lap Battle on November 16/17 and can't wait to see what the C1 Motorsports team can do to over come the hurdles we must face to go fast.

    p.s. Social media is how I connect with fans of the Eclipse and other Time Attack race cars, and is the metric used for acquiring some sponsors. If you have a social media account, please consider following us on Facebook or Instagram to show support. It means more than you can imagine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019

    829  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  4. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

    3,626
    948
    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    Great update Philip. Sorry to hear about all the troubles with the car. It's never a good feeling going to a race event when you haven't been able to get some good test laps in, especially with a car as heavily modified as this. So many unknowns. And I can relate with all of the thoughts on the excuses, but honestly, that's just part of the journey. Frustration and heart break are simply part of this passion. It's those few times where it all comes together that gives us motivation to keep doing it, but having fun with the rest of the process (or at least most of it) is imperative. Determination is required, but so is enjoyment.

    Keep up the good work! Can't wait to see how it all plays out this year.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 7K  23

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
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  5. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
    91
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    So calling up DSS, they sent over the C clips we needed to keep the axle in the transmission, and rebuilt the boot with new grease. What isn’t shown is the 4+ hours of cleaning up the huge mess. There was old grease throw up as high as the intake manifold and covered tons of wiring.

    IMG_20191105_173603.jpg

    IMG_20191105_193506.jpg

    While considering just throwing in a stock axle that Sunday, I found the design of transmission support would not accommodate the stock axles, which we will keep as backup at the track. Now, with time so tight I didn’t have time to waste waiting to borrow a plasma cutter again, so I did what had to be done to shape the thick support piece.

    IMG_20191106_200015-1.jpg IMG_20191106_211916-1.jpg IMG_20191106_214737-1.jpg

    It’s the weekend before Super Lap Battle and we were back at the dyno trying to get our elusive full tune back. We get the car hooked up for the third time on the dyno, and for the first time, we do a pull all the way to redline at wastegate spring boost pressure. We finally did it, all the time effort and energy felt like it paid off. The tuner started to turn to boost up and at about 22 PSI, fuel pressure started dropping again.

    I am running out of ways to describe the team’s disappointment. There is no way that makes sense to have the fuel pressure dropping. I am thinking “The only thing we haven’t replaced at this time is the wiring” and at this point, the tech says, “Well, then let’s check the wiring!”

    IMG_20191108_114335.jpg

    This shunt resistor can measure and log the current flowing to our three fuel pumps; that is if we knew what it was beforehand. Tracing power we found this box and what was a pretty obvious cause of the fuel pressure loss. Only one of the two pressure side fuel pumps was receiving power, so in the interest of time and continuing the tune with the car, we would just jump this for now and continue turning up the boost.



    Pull after pull, the tuner turned the boost up and cleaned up partial throttle. For two or three hours we worked our way up adding more and more HP every pull.

    Until we didn’t.

    I was recording every pull on camera but after an hour or so, I decided to just hold out for a final “Max HP” pull. So of course I wasn’t filming on one particular pull, that much like every other prior pull, the car gets put into 3rd gear and begins it’s climb up the RPM range. By ear, it sounded like 5k RPM or so, which is when our broad torque curve and fully spun turbo would be shining, when the RPMs jumped unnaturally like a free rev.

    drain.png

    I never thought I’d say this, but I hoped the axle had just popped out again. That was a relatively easy fix (though I guess unexplained..), but this wasn’t an axle.

    The Dogbox sheared 3rd gear and cracked the mid transmission housing, probably from wedging some fragmented metal between another gear and the thin aluminum housing. This is a season-ender.

    We have three other transmissions for the car, but they were all broken from other similar excursions from past race events and we haven’t had the time to replace them yet. Dog box, face plated, it doesn’t matter; this car’s 2.4l torque eats transmissions for breakfast. Cost of replacement aside, getting a new transmission, or even just the parts from Australia’s PPG would take longer than a week, which means we have to officially announce a withdrawal from Super Lap Battle Finals 2019.

    It was the one race we had planned for all year, but nothing went right for us. It is certainly a hurdle not being able to street drive the vehicle or have a local dyno for quick tests, but nothing can prepare you for a major engine or transmission failure like this.

    Before the decision to withdraw was made, I called all our sponsors, and every one of them asked how they could help. Horse Power Industries said they’d swap a transmission in this week, driver Mario asks how much money does he need to send to just straight up buy a new box, and as beaten up as I am, I still wanted to make the race. I gather myself to reached out to @twicks69 at TMZ Performance to ask the big question, “Optimistically, and realistically, can we get a replacement transaxle before next week”. Tim is a great sponsor and like many of our other sponsors, helps with more than just what his primary business services provides, knowing about race cars in general. However, time is our limiting factor now, and we are all out of that.

    IMG_20191108_135750.jpg

    I even tried swinging by TEM Machine where I got to finally meet face to face with our engine building sponsor, Rich. I asked if he had any leads or solutions on such short notice, but there aren’t a lot of folks around with spare Dogbox transmissions in a DSM.

    So that’s a wrap. Luckily a transmission swap is a very simple process, all things considered, so we’ll be able to swap it easy enough when we can get a replacement. We’ll have plenty more time to go out and get a few more shakedowns before next year’s event. For 2019 however, it seems we’ve reached the end of the road on the opportunity to make it out to Super Lap Battle Finals.

    We’ll continue to post updates on the transmission rebuild and keep you up to date on SLB results on our social media accounts, so stay tuned, and wish GOOD LUCK to all our SLB competitors!
     

    829  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  6. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

    3,626
    948
    Joined Nov 12, 2001
    Roseville, California
    :banghead: what a kick in the balls.

    For what it's worth Philip, it's great reading about the effort. You tell a great story, and I feel like I'm right there with you, feeling the same devastation. It's one thing to put in all the time and effort to have the car break at the event, but to not even be able to make the trip due to lack of time/availability of parts... :mad:

    Hope to see you continue the quest. That car needs to compete. We need to see it on track fighting for glory.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 7K  23

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    435.0 whp · 399.2 lb/ft · 1G DSM
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    BLACK'98DSM and spyderdrifter like this.
  7. ec17pse

    ec17pse Freelancer

    3,479
    1,365
    Joined Nov 1, 2008
    London, Europe
    The proboem with 2.4's is it either cracks a block or eats trannys, either one its a common thing but it certainly does suck man, i hope you get it all sorted in time and you will be one busy monkey wrenching away into the early hours of each day.

    If i was closer i would lend a hand for sured, is there any other local dsm guys that know enough to help out
     

    Road Race Build 8K  10  51

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    175 whp · 180.1 lb/ft · 2G DSM
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  8. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
    91
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    I think the 2.4 has a place in a DSM. In the 400-600 HP range, they are going to provide the meaty torque and help spool the turbo that will be sized appropriately for that application. When you start getting into the 600+ HP range, you start getting into larger turbos that need more RPMs to breath, and you have to start considering higher revving/ lower torque engines like the 2.0/2.1/2.2. Maybe it's something we consider? I still haven't pulled the gearbox apart to verify exactly what happened, but I don't know if counting the 2.4 out is the right decision at this point in time.

    I jumped into the project mid way after Andrew; he was already trying to solve these issues 10 years ago. The last year has been a flurry of information from Andrew and the original supporters of the car providing information and the new guys getting caught up on what all was done before. @Boostin Performance developed a billet bearing housing, maybe some new developments like that could solve issues with our dog box. He's making 1800 HP I think, I'd hope we could figure out how to hold my lowly 600 together.
     

    829  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    2K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  9. ec17pse

    ec17pse Freelancer

    3,479
    1,365
    Joined Nov 1, 2008
    London, Europe
    A Long rod certainly wouod go down well in racing. Torque is nice but not in a FWD so a high compression LR would be a nice compromise i think. If he was having issues and never solved them i doubt much will chsnge now because apsrt from a few billet upgrades the rest still is the same and our boxes never get better.

    Would it be cheaper to look at a seqentual unit for the long run where our boxes and gears are not onoy getting weak and old but extint aswel? At least they are designed to work alot better for super high levers of power and torque. It is costly up front yes but i think its alot cheaper then that gesr set you was selling alone and these would at least be cheaper to replace. Just an option. I know its something i am considering for strength anyway.

    I know a few of the guys running evos here in TA had engine issues but not so much tranny issues so maybe it is just a trans thing for us but the blocks are better? Who knows with out the kind of data we cannot afford to get from testing
     

    Road Race Build 8K  10  51

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    175 whp · 180.1 lb/ft · 2G DSM
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