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GSX to Sebring LX Swap

Year:
1997
Model/Trim:
Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
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  1. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Long time reader, finally joining.

    My story started with me wanting to do something nice for my wife. She still has her first car, a 1997 Sebring LX, and I thought fixing it up for her would give me a good reason to turn a wrench on something that didn't need to be fixed by yesterday. It wasn't long before I found the connections between her Sebring and the world of DSM. I've never stepped foot into the tuner world before so this is all new to me.

    After making the connections though, my first thought was to turn my goals of a restoration project into something really fun. My wife enjoys her fast cars and her father is a lifelong mechanic so she's been around it all. This gives me the golden ticket to doing something fun and have the wife's approval at the same time!

    I started looking for a donor car. I really would like to turn the Sebring into an AWD. I am not too worried about the front end, wiring, etc but the rear is something else I would imagine. I did manage to find a 1997 GSX that seemed to be in fairly decent shape. It had been sitting for a year and the guy that owned it got it from some sort of house/land foreclosure where the owner had left it behind.

    The GSX seemed to have been in mid-repair as the valve cover was off and a nearly new head sitting in the trunk. Other than that the biggest thing was the turbo was missing. It also came with an extra front diff, extra valve cover and a few other bits and bobs. Considering the price, what I was wanting and likely the rarity of finding a non "showroom" quality GSX around the Kentucky area any time soon, I pulled the trigger. I pretty much just bought the extra parts and got the car for free.

    To pull the band-aid off things I knew I had to start somewhere. The first place, the turbo. Reading for many hours, it seemed the wanted HP rating dictated everything and the turbo was the king in terms of one part that requires to be right to get your wanted HP. In my case, I want the 400-450 range as that seemed the high end of OEM parts like the crankshaft. So, to get the ball rolling, I purchased an FP Red turbo and I'm going to allow that to dictate other things, fuel injectors, pump, etc.

    I know the rear swap will be daunting but I figure, worst case scenario, if things don't work out I'll still have a decent GSX to restore... but I'm hoping to score major brownie points and turn the Sebring into something nice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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    Bud92gsx likes this.

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  2. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Finally got the engine removed for the GSX. To my surprise, it is a 6 bolt, out of a '92 Talon... per the VIN number at least.
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  3. GPLaserRS

    GPLaserRS Proven Member

    226
    23
    Joined Aug 23, 2005
    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    I’m subscribed to this! I always liked the look of the Avenger/Sebring but was always disappointed by the lack of performance they offered.. Totally looking forward to seeing an AWD 4G63 powered Sebring “sleeper”, good luck and can’t wait to see this project unfold
     

    Street Build 538  4

    1992 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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  4. Talon96fwd

    Talon96fwd Proven Member

    175
    24
    Joined Apr 11, 2011
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Definitely looking forward to this! Any pictures?
     

    851  0

    1996 Eagle Talon TSi
    14.184 @ 104.365 · 2G DSM
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  5. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Thanks for the kind words! I'll update as things go long.
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  6. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Just what are in my build page. I've not gotten too much done just yet. Got the motor pulled from the GSX over the weekend. I'm waiting to open it up to see how the block and crank are.

    I do want to add though, for everyone... Haltech is an amazing company. I ordered a wiring harness to go long with my ECU and they screwed the order on the harness up. The sales rep drove 45 minutes to my house to personally pick up the wrong order he had sent out and to apologize. I've not seen service like that in a very long time. Hopefully their ECU is as good as their service!
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    GPLaserRS likes this.
  7. Bud92gsx

    Bud92gsx Proven Member

    7,953
    78
    Joined Jan 16, 2008
    Wisconsin, Wisconsin
    Early 92 is 6 bolt, late 92 is probably 7 bolt :thumb:
     

    4K  13  14

    1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    13.300 @ 102.400 · 1G DSM
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  8. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Sorry for being vague. I meant it is for sure a 6 bolt, per the flywheel. Just according the the VIN it is from a '92 Talon.

    Thanks for the info though, I actually didn't know the cutoff date for them.
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  9. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Found out a little more about the motor today. I was curious as to why the car had a nearly pristine 2g head in the trunk. Turns out the timing belt broke. a Gates Racing timing belt. And being an interference engine.. and yeah the pistons were pretty banged up too. But the piston bores look pretty good, well enough to to take to a shop and have them fixed up anyhow, which I was already planning on doing.

    It is always fun playing detective on things you do not know the history of!
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  10. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

    2,001
    472
    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Bummer on the busted belt and bent valves, been there before. But it is fun doing investigations on stuff and seeing what other ppl do.

    Got any pics of the damage on the engine?

    Here's mine from a parts car I picked up that was list as a "runner". Luckily I got it for essentially nothing.

    IMG_20140825_131721_884.jpg IMG_20140825_131735_219.jpg IMG_20140825_132855_632.jpg
    And another friends car after he couldn't boost his 300d Mercedes enough to do highway speed...
    IMG_20130902_214518_969.jpg
    IMG_20130902_214511_786.jpg
     

    Street Build 485  7

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    Street Build 716  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

    Street Build 2K  10

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  11. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    This damage was nothing as bad as what you had. I'm not too bummed about the valves and pistons though. The car came with another head with valves, though I'll likely be replacing them anyhow as I doubt stock would be able to push my hopeful 400+whp I'd like to get out of this motor. The pistons I'll be replacing for sure. It just depends on what they have to do at the shop with the piston bores as to what I'll be getting. Still debating on piston ratio though. I'm still very much a noob, learning as I go.

    20190316_142917.jpg
    20190316_170407.jpg
    20190316_170356.jpg
    20190316_142904.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  12. buhay6

    buhay6 Proven Member

    419
    39
    Joined Jul 9, 2010
    Delisle, SK, Canada
    400whp not out of the question at all on a stock bottom end, people have made over 500whp with stock internals. But with anything tuning and supporting mods are key.
    I've always actually like the look of the avenger/sebring trimd models. Looking forward to see how your project turns out
     

    1K  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    14.300 @ 98.670 · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  13. Bud92gsx

    Bud92gsx Proven Member

    7,953
    78
    Joined Jan 16, 2008
    Wisconsin, Wisconsin
    I wanna say by March/ maybe April/ may ish they were 7 bolts. My yellow 92 was a January build. I had a late 92 talon once that was 6 bolt, but I think it was ordered that way. I'm not exactly sure month wise when they switched.

    Anyway I cant wait to see what u do here with this build.
     

    4K  13  14

    1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    13.300 @ 102.400 · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  14. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

    2,001
    472
    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Agree with @buhay6, 400 is doable on stock pieces, tho id consider that close to pushing the reliable limit. 450 I'd consider a fair max for anything expected to last longer than a year that's driven regularly and as hard as most of us drive our cars.

    If you're already this deep in, forged rods/pistons and some decent head parts aren't a bad idea. If the stock valves are in good shape and you're not going crazy with the cams/springs, they're less crucial than the bottom end and can easily live in a 4-500hp setup.

    Aside, that amount of damage on the pistons isn't bad, about how my red 1g was when I got it, and I just checked the pistons over, polished the dings out and put it back together.
    Now I have a spare motor with wiseco/k1's ready to go in once the stock one goes, tho I've out 40k on it and my last cold compression test came back 155-158 on all cylinders, and the bearings look new, so I'm not in any hurry.

    I say a built bottom end (cuz you know you're going to wanna go higher) and a stock or close to it head should suit your goals as long as you have good supporting stuff. Haltech is amazing stuff and if you know how to or have someone to tune it well, it'll be solid either way I'm sure.

    I'm guessing you're swapping the engine mount points over from the gsx?
     

    Street Build 485  7

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    Street Build 716  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

    Street Build 2K  10

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  15. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    Whatever it takes to get it into the Sebring is what I'll be using. Considering the motors are flipped, yeah very likely the GSX mounts. But I plan on swapping the subframe as well. The cars are so similar, the front 3/4 anyhow, that I'm hoping after the subframe swap there will not be that much to do in the front. Not a massive amount of info on it all so I'm ready for the worst, hoping for the best.
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  16. Laiden

    Laiden Probationary Member

    15
    6
    Joined Mar 2, 2019
    Berea, Kentucky
    What an odd time to decided to completely switch over... though I guess that is really about half way through the production of that year though...

    Thanks! Hopefully I can manage to at least do something!
     

    248  8

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  17. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

    2,001
    472
    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Biggest thing I think you'll have to tackle is the swapping of mounts and the passenger frame rail possibly not having the hump in it to clear the transmission.

    Essentially similar to a 420a-to-4g63 swap, not for the light hearted, and I'd recommend doing some research on those swaps.
     

    Street Build 485  7

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    Street Build 716  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

    Street Build 2K  10

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  18. BAD

    BAD Probationary Member

    8
    2
    Joined Jul 7, 2009
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  19. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

    2,001
    472
    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho

    Street Build 485  7

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    Street Build 716  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

    Street Build 2K  10

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  20. buhay6

    buhay6 Proven Member

    419
    39
    Joined Jul 9, 2010
    Delisle, SK, Canada
    Are the front and rear end of the chassis that different you cant just swap front ends?
     

    1K  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    14.300 @ 98.670 · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  21. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

    2,001
    472
    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Are you meaning, Sebring front panels onto gsx body?
     

    Street Build 485  7

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    Street Build 716  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

    Street Build 2K  10

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  22. BAD

    BAD Probationary Member

    8
    2
    Joined Jul 7, 2009
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    Evidently not
     
  23. BAD

    BAD Probationary Member

    8
    2
    Joined Jul 7, 2009
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    The front and rears are different, the front will swap over if the radiator support is switched out, but the rear is completely different.
     
  24. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

    2,001
    472
    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    Exactly what I was going to say, and I don't think that's what @Laiden is going for. Wants the sleeper Sebring body with gsx drivetrain. Besides, we all know Stratus/sebrings with eclipse/talon front swaps look terrible.

    Could swap the whole front clip if you were a decent welder, but the standard swap is alot less work (quietly laughing to myself) comparatively I feel and doesn't compromise the safety of the car nearly as much.
     

    Street Build 485  7

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    Street Build 716  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

    Street Build 2K  10

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
    Loading...
  25. buhay6

    buhay6 Proven Member

    419
    39
    Joined Jul 9, 2010
    Delisle, SK, Canada
    Haha ok i didnt realize the chassis werent setup the same, lots of pictures please!
     

    1K  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    14.300 @ 98.670 · 1G DSM
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