Ok so, I have no idea if I'm doing this right, this forum's got a realy weird way of operating (or I'm just an idiot '00s kid who only knows how reddit works) but people asked me to fill out a profile so I hope I did it right.
Anyways, on to the important part. It's been over a month since I last posted and it was about potential headgasket problems. Well, 3 weeks after that my mechanic finaly pulls the car into the bay and I finaly finish second year of university which means we can finaly dig in. He calls me up, says he got the head off which is great news to me, but then he start the horrible list of horriblenes the previous owners are responsible for.
To clear the issue at hand first, the culprit for the overheating and coolant pressure and stuff was the blown headgasket as you all confirmed in my previous post, so the head is going to the shop sometime this week and we've also got new parts on the way.
Now onto the horrible previous mods... so apparently the previous owners (who are basicaly considered "the rednecks" of our country) just slapped the engine in the bay anyway it would go. They chopped off the mount that holds the engine at it's side and squeezed everyting in just where it would or even where it wouldn't go. (For context, the engine mentioned is a 4G63T from a 1st gen, the previous engine was god knows what, the registration says 4G63, but that might just be the current one, without mention of the turbo... I might try to contact the previous owners but at this point I would probably just ask them what is wrong with them? ) Anyways, so, the side mount is non-existant, the timing belt cover is done for as it was so close to the belt it was cut and melted by it, the wiring is A MESS. It's basicaly what you would expect from a couple of guys just absolutely slapping two wiring harnesses together... and a little worse. Most of the conectors are just raw wires into ports... so we are greatly concerned about water getting in as there's already some corrosion showing at one of the ports...
Next up the spark plug wires... each one is from a different car, idk why they wouldn't just re-use the ones they had and instead came up with this monstrosity... I mean it would have probably been fine if it was operational but 3 of them are just scuffed to hell, won't even come appart and the 4th one which did come apart only did so because the metal part on the inside, the part that conducts electricity to the actual plug was rusted through and through so I have no idea how that cylinder was even getting spark. It was conducting on straight up magic for god knows how long.
In the weeks that the car was waiting for us I did find a free day and I took the front appart (I was curious about why the gap of the bumper under the headlights was so "wavy" and I found that well, the car was probably hit in the front. Not something that suprised me much, rather it confirmed what we already knew when we saw a little crack in the driverside fender liner on first inspection. They did an ok job at presenting the car, I'll give them that. The guy who I bough it from (middle aged man who just wanted to age the car for a while) didn't even know the full extent of it. Like I said, the only thing you could notice from the outside was the tiny crack in the fender liner and I guess the wavy gap under the headlights, if you knew what you were looking at. That turned out to be due to their horrible fix that you could see, once I took it apart. And my god, let's get to that. So the push bar was apparently unusable after whatever accident it had, they removed it. Then, they got the frame straight. They did ok, other than the first 10 cm of the frame rail, right where the push bar would slide in. That part is still bent further down on the driverside than the rail on the passenger side. But they countered that by mounting two plates on top the rails to hold the bumper up, and just bending them at different angles so they hold the bumper straight. They used raw steel btw, so ofc it's rusted to hell. They didn't bother readjusting them after the first attempt, so when they saw that their work holds the bumper way to close to the headlight to put bolts in anywhere, they just stuffed styrofoam in there and only attached the bumper at the middle of the chassis (where it meets the hood) and at the fenders. So the wavyness under the headlights was the styrofoam, bending the bumper because it was holding it up by the edge of the plastic, instead of the proper mounting points. I'll make a second post to show how I'm fixing it as this one is way too long already.
That sums up the major problems I think, I won't go into more detail on this post.
So if anyone's got a timing belt cover, any of the plastic bottom bumper supports (they didn't replace those, the bumper is just held at the top edge) and engine wiring to sell, please contact me
So while we're waiting for the head to be machined, I started working on the bumper mounts. The first picture is what the previous owners did, the red and black flat spots under the headlight are plates they welded over the holes in the frame rails, where the push bar mounts in. The rusty plates right under the headlights are what I talked about in the previous post. They used to mount on top of the frame rails with 2 small screws and were welded prety shitty, so I've since removed them and made my own.
The second pic is what I see people on the internet going for, the supports hold the bumper higher up so it closes the gap to the headlight better. I cant really do it like that because as I've said - my frame rails are welded shut and to be honest, I'm afraid to look inside. So what I'm doing is I'm making the supports some plates that'll mount on the face of the welded frame rails and will be adjustable, so I can move the bumper up and down with 4 bolts, if need be. I'll drill four tapped holes into the face of the frame rails and 2 long, oval holes into the plates I made to allow for that adjustment.
The third pic is the support I made, I've got both of them done now. That's as far as I am going with this part of the car for now, since it's sitting in a prety tight garage right now and I can't realy get a good look at how the bumper sits because it's right up to the wall. So the plan is, we get the car runing and out of the shop first, then I'll park it next to my garage and finish welding the supports when I can make sure the bumper is sitting right.
Another potential problem is that the way the bumper attaches now, without the pushbar, I can't realy take it off to experiment with the height of the bumper and compare it to the headlights whenever I want to, because the headlights need to come out if I want to acces the bumper mounts. So I assume it's gonna take a lot of trial and error to get it sitting right because I'll constantly have to remove and install the headlights to see how the bumper compares, but that's why I'm making it adjustable so at least that part is easier.
I've been busy with uni, work and a little lazy BUT nevertheless, there is now progress to report of. Since I last posted, the engine was put back together and I got to drive the car for a couple days (illegaly of course, as it still probably doesn't pass tech inspection). I also replaced most of the fluids and brake pads. Day 2, I felt around in the engine bay after a short run to a neighbouring town and was dissapointed to find that the top radiator hose was once again hot and hard while the bottom one was soft and cold. I called over my mechanic buddy and he half-jokingly suggested that maybe, the radiator is just very good at cooling, though we all feared that wasn't the case. Something must have been blocking the flow. We clamped the hoses shut with some pliers and we pulled the radiator in about 5 minutes. We cleaned it inside and out with a power washer and were happy to actualy see some gunk come flying out. Though I fear it wasn't an amount significant enough to be causing that blockage, but I was hopeful.
After that my dad did some burnouts in the car and we did some laps around town and it felt good until it all of a sudden stopped accelarting past 3k RPM. We knew the wiring on the mass air flow sensor was loose so that's what we checked first. The connector that plugs into the MAF sensor was coming undone but no matter how we postioned it, it still wouldn't read, so we followed the wiring a couple centimeters up, where there's another connector that connects it to the harness. (That's how I learned that I have an adapter for the 2G MAF sensor, it's not the original). That second connector was wrapped in electrical tape, so I assumed it had cracked or broken and the hillbilly previous owners just taped it together, but oh no, it was worse. We pulled the tape and found THERE WAS NO SECOND CONNECTOR. They just straight up inserted the adapter's wires into the empty pins on the harness and taped around it to hold everything together. So that's what this picture is, It's the 'adapter harness' as it's called on ebay and its only connector with just wires on the other side.
Now, since I obviously have no idea what wires went into what pin holes as they are even different colors, I had to order a new 'adapter harness' on ebay. It cost me $35 + $17 for shipping and $18 to 'import'. But what am I to do, I'm just a kid who wants to drive his car. It's now been a week since it was supposed to arrive and it's still being held up at our customs, which I had to pay another $17 for handling. They are saying I should recieve it monday or tuesday so that's another 2-3 days away. Hopefuly they stick to their word this time. I hope to god that once I plug it in it fixes everything because the waiting with this car has been exhausting.
Next update is what I did in the meantime.
Thanks for reading.
Alright, finally a more hopeful update on this shitbox:
While I am waiting on the adaptor harness to arrive, I went back to the bumper supports I talked about a couple posts back and basicaly completely redesigned them but I also got them finished this time. I decided not to use the flat spots the previous owners made to close off the frame rails for mouting my brackets, but to insted cut them open and get access to said frame rails as mitsubishi originaly intended. And boy, oh boy, this car just doesn't dissapoint. Guess what I found, still in the frame rails? The remains of the god damn crash bar. So get this, when they crashed the car - they didn't simply take the whole crash bar out as it was designed to do, oh no. They cut it of where it exits the frame rails and just welded them shut. WITH THE REST OF THE CRASH BAR STILL IN THEM. IT'S 4 BOLTS. 4 BOLTS TO COMPLETELY REMOVE THE CRASH BAR and they just couldn't bother. God, I will never understand these people.
So anyways, getting sidetracked, I made new brackets that still support the bumper the same, but they now attach inside the frame rails using the 4 bolts that held the remains of the crash bar.
I gave them a nice, thick coat of paint (don't look at that left one too close XD) and they are fully operational:
I thought the downside was going to be the fact that this new design isn't height-adjustable but that wasn't the case as I made them pretty spot on in regards to height. The problem is, as can be seen in the picture, that at the very ends of the headlights, right where the supports end, the bumper still has that awful headlight gap. I don't know for sure what's causing it now but I think it has to be the bumper that's deformed. It must have lost its edge over the years of being supported only by rusty brackets and styrofoam. Side note: On the driver's side, you can also see the bumper dips a bit on the inside edge of the headlight, right where the headlight comes to a point. I also don't know why that is, but it bothers me and I cant unsee it now XD.
Another great addition with no substantial effect was a new AC condenser. The old one was wrecked from that meeting with the crash bar so it had to go. I had it replaced in a pretty timely fasion:
The reason I am listing it as an addition with no effect though, is because I found that there is no wiring to connect to the valve that controlls the flow to the condenser so all this fix did was, it basicaly made it less appalling to look into the grille of the car as you are now greeted with a nicer looking condeser if you stick your head in there. The AC still doesn't work.
I also used some of the paint I had left over on all the rest of the supports that hold the bumper up, but I didn't include those pictures here as I scuffed most of them up trying to get the bumper to sit more straight.
Thats it for now, thanks.
EDIT: adaptor harness arrived a couple days after this post was made and it fixed the issue of the car not revving past 3k rpm. Power washing the radiator also seems to have done the trick as the car stay cool through pulls and boost now. It recently passed tech inspection and I got it registered so I guess after 5 months I actualy own a street legal, running and driving car.
More updates soon probably.
Today I picked up the new struts. The car runs and drives now so I spent the whole day just driving around, feeling it out and didn't even install them untill it was already nighttime .
My findings are as follows:
The standard ball joint works great on the hatch (it even has the same thread, just bolts right in), but if you can, go a different way for the joint on the car. The stock struts are rivited into the brackets on the car so they have to be drilled out, but it's how you replace them that really matters. If you can, find a joint that's the same width as the original rivet because the channel it has to fit in is really narrow.
I tried to keep my cost at a minimum so I went with the standard ball joint and if you decide to go that way as well, the only mod you really have to do is switch the brackets left/right.
The way they are angled makes the wider-than-original ball joint fit nicer into the channel and the new position of the fulcrum makes the struts clear the rubber liner of the trunk so it closes fully. If you do not switch the brackets out, the trunk will still fully close, but then a bump can be felt where the struts press up against the liner instead of dipping into the channel.
Another thing to note is - I went with 250N struts, so about 20N stronger than the original spec, but It's just about perfect.
When I pull the release the trunk pops up to where it can't latch again by itself so the original problem I had 'of the unopenable trunk' is solved.
The hatch also rises on its own, after a gentle nudge with one finger and stays dead still in the top position.
I highly recomend this fix to anyone who still has problemes with the rear hatch not unlatching or strugling to stay open.
Thanks and yeah, we do have gypsies haha, the people who tried to build this car before me aren't exactly them. They aren't immigrants of any kind, it's just common knowledge that something is a little odd about that part of the country . But they did buy the most imports in their time it seems, so we have that to thank them for, everyone else here just buys german or french right out of the salon. And there's nothing wrong with that of course, but you know it's great to see a mustang or a honda here and there.
Ever since I first took this thing apart to find no crash bar, I told everyone who ever rode with me "you know, if we crash, it's done for, there is no safety measures between us and whatever we hit" and I always imagined it would either be a tree or a street lamp that does it in. But to have my baby killed by a f***ing deer!
It was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life, I spent my whole summer clutching university and fixing this thing. In the 3 months that were supposed to be summer break, I only saw 2 whole days of vacation and seaside and that was it. I put everything I had into this car and It was officialy registered and road legal for 13 days.
I poured my heart and soul (as well as my schollarship XD) into it so I see no reality in which I could get rid of it. I'm actualy f***ing cursed to pour more money and time into now it if I want to make any money back. Which kinda sucks 'cause (if you've read any of my other posts, you'll know) it wouldn't even be a presentable car when fixed, with all the wiring issues and what not. So even selling it fixed is of the table, unless they shoot up in price to like 2x what they are now.
I had plans for wheels and suspension over the winter but it looks like that'll have to wait. And I can't even begin to describe how hard it is to get parts in Europe. I had an amazing oportunity to buy what would be a donor car recently, but the guy must have sold it or something because he stopped answering and now all I'm left with are sketchy-ass facebook part-outs that don't even want to ship overseas.
So if you, or someone you know wants to sell me some parts and is willing to ship to Europe and not scam me out of even more money XD please hmu anywhere.
Untill then, I'm working on fixing the frame and anything else I can mend without specific parts then I'll probably get in inside over the winter.
Dude that sucks I’m sorry. My dad used to tell me my car was “past the point of diminishing return” and that was years ago before I even started to tear it down or buy any parts. I said bury me in it. Point is if you really love it and want to fix it back up do it for yourself and ditch the idea of ever “making money back on it.” Unfortunately that’s the reality that goes with the DSM sickness/madness.