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HELP! 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST Spyder rod knock

Posted by coolasianperson, Aug 14, 2020

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  1. coolasianperson

    coolasianperson Probationary Member

    2
    0
    Joined Aug 13, 2020
    Tacoma, Washington
    Hi there! I recently (less than a week ago, on the 8th of August) purchased a used 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST Spyder. I paid $3200 for the car, which had 177k miles and generally was in very good condition (it seemed). Owners claimed it was taken good care of, hasn't been in any accidents and had a lot of life left. And before anyone judges me which I have already gotten so much of, I know I made a mistake. The car was dope, nothing stood out, great physical condition with no dents or major flaws other than clear coat which at the time I thought would be the biggest of my issues. Engine looked fine, nothing stood out and when we took it on a test drive it ran and sounded amazing. I'll be including pictures of the car. Long story short, I had the car for a total of four days, some of the most fun I've had all summer with all the covid stuff going on and after I got gas two days ago, it had a knocking noise. Took it home to my dad and my neighbors and came to the conclusion that it has a rod knock. My dad believes, in a horse term, that the car was ridden hard by previous owners and put away wet. unnamed (10).jpg unnamed (9).jpg unnamed (8).jpg Now here comes the rough part, what to do now. I never thought I could feel heartbroken over anything other than girls and friends and school LOL. I've talked to some people, uncle knows a guy at a mitsubishi shop who estimates it'll cost 8-10k to replace engine. However I have some questions:
    1. Is it possible that the engine hasn't been damaged severely enough by the thrown rod to the point that I can save the engine by fixing the bearing and rod? And if so how much would that cost?
    2. If it isn't possible to save the engine which means a swap would be the only way, would it be worth it? Anything above 3-4k is just simply too much. But if it's possible to get a swap for around that price I think the car is worth saving and rebuilding.
    3. If all else fails and the car is completely done for, what should I do with it? How much could I possibly get for it?
    Some context that could help with possible advice, I owned a 2005 Honda Accord before this car that I sold to get the eclipse. It worked perfectly, had no problems and did the best job at being a daily driver. However, I felt left out. All my friends and a good amount of my family have all these cool cars that they take to meets like MR2's, miatas, e46's, evos etc. The accord wasn't a bad car but I almost felt embarrassed of the look of it. I wanted a cool car. I'm a student at Washington State University and due to COVID I won't be returning to campus for school. So with no living fees and being home, I wanted to get a new cool car that I could customize and do stuff to. Even just for the four days I felt like I was really bonding with old friends and family over the car and learning so much about the car scene in general. Any advice would be gladly appreciated, I know this is a lengthy post but I like to be detailed as possible to maybe help give some insight into the best move for me. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Strengthega

    Strengthega Probationary Member

    5
    0
    Joined May 24, 2017
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Are you absolutely sure it is rod knock? And 10k?! No... You could buy another used, or rebuild, and have it swapped in for around 2k.
     
  3. coolasianperson

    coolasianperson Probationary Member

    2
    0
    Joined Aug 13, 2020
    Tacoma, Washington
    I’m fairly certain. I tried to include a video but there’s no easy way for me to do so without making a youtube video. My uncle posted the video on a local mitsubishi facebook group and everyone agrees that it’s rod knock. I haven’t yet checked like the oil pan and what not for metal shavings but I plan to tomorrow
     
  4. Strengthega

    Strengthega Probationary Member

    5
    0
    Joined May 24, 2017
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    Asking because I've seen people think lifter tick was knocking. If it is indeed knocking you have plenty of options, it won't be as expensive as you were estimated, don't worry.
     
  5. JediMindBlazZin

    JediMindBlazZin Proven Member

    85
    36
    Joined Nov 25, 2011
    Palmdale, California
    There is absolutely no way a motor will cost you $10k.
    Put it this way, you can buy this for under $6k

    Also, you're able to upload videos here. You don't need a YT account. There's an "upload video" option next to reply.
    20200814_020245.jpg 20200814_020301.jpg
     

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  6. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

    3,027
    1,067
    Joined Dec 9, 2010
    wampum, Pennsylvania
    Very nice color combination on that car. Don't start or run the car anymore if its rod knock, you are just doing further damage, at this point if its determined to be rod knock you could get away with a new crankshaft and one piston and rod assembly, a new set of rings and some gaskets and timing belt change kit which should be done anyway. Your talking maybe 1k for all of that if you do the work yourself or know or can find someone to work on it with you.
     

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  7. Evolving_sti

    Evolving_sti Proven Member

    376
    256
    Joined Apr 28, 2019
    DANBURY, Connecticut
    A used motor and having a shop do the install won't even be close to 10k total.
     

    678  6

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    320 whp · 315 lb/ft · 2G DSM
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  8. randman2011

    randman2011 Proven Member

    254
    75
    Joined Feb 26, 2012
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    If the chassis is in great shape, just swap the engine and move on. I've had this happen twice. The first was entirely my fault, having taken two trips previously with little to no oil. The car was fine for a year afterward, but one winter day all four rod bearings and all five main bearings decided that it was time for liberation and made their way to the oil pan. I think I paid $400 to have an engine shipped from NY and swapped it in the parking lot at college over Christmas break so I could get home to see my family. The second was more similar to your story, where I bought a Spyder that looked to be great and within three weeks it developed rod knock AND the passenger front suspension mounting points separated from the chassis. Had it just been the engine, I would have fixed it.

    You've got an aftermarket replacement front bumper and respray, but if the underside of the car looks as good as the top side does, I'd fix the engine.
     

    Street Build 1K  1

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    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  9. Mello

    Mello Proven Member

    1,160
    337
    Joined Jul 4, 2003
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    As @motomattx said
    At 177K mile it would be prudent to drain & inspect the oil for glitter & pull your oil pan to inspect the bottom end. This will help access your situation & path forward. Also a good time to reseal the oil pan because it probably leaking now anyway.
    Stay way from the dealerships. We call them "stealerships" & Satan for a reason.
    Can you wrench? Most of this is not really very hard & our members are very helpful with questions especially if when you tried to search for answers & get stuck.
     
  10. 2Gjunkie

    2Gjunkie Proven Member

    51
    15
    Joined Aug 5, 2020
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you know your way around an engine, you can probably fix it for a couple grand in parts and machining. Add another couple thousand for a decent independent shop to do the work for you (at least around here. No idea what labor is in Washington).

    Only way you get to $8-10k is if you let the dealership do it, or if you let a speed shop build you an upgraded motor (maybe not a bad idea).

    But if you DIY, try to figure out the cause of the rod knock before you invest a lot of time and $ into repairs.

    Congrats on the Spyder
     

    Street Build 128  2

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    manual · 2G DSM
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  11. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

    6,690
    2,926
    Joined Nov 14, 2013
    Independence, Kansas
    Beautiful Spyder!!!
    Fix it yourself and be proud of the fun you will have AGAIN and did it for a 10th the price quoted. They are not complicated motors. :thumb: Stealerships......I like that term!
    Pops
     

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  12. JusMX141

    JusMX141 Moderator

    14,959
    879
    Joined Dec 13, 2005
    Greensburg, Pennsylvania
    Rod knock 4 days after acquisition...either the previous owner knew there was a problem and band-aided it somehow, or the car's been over-fueling and flooding the crankcase with unburnt fuel for quite some time and it just finally decided to let go. There's nothing you can really do to these engines abuse-wise that would suddenly cause a rod bearing to fail at 177k assuming it wasn't extremely low on oil during spirited driving.

    The bad news is usually by the time you hear an audible knock a fair amount of metal has bypassed the oil filter (which may only filter about 10% of the engine's oil per cycle once the element becomes a restriction due to a large volume of contaminants) and cycled throughout everything that receives oil- the head, the oil cooler, the turbo, etc. All of these parts will need to be fully-disassembled and cleaned/rebuilt or replaced before they can be used on a rebuilt block.
     

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  13. sinned4g63

    sinned4g63 Proven Member

    255
    50
    Joined May 1, 2017
    Pasadena, Maryland
    Congrats on the DSM, so far the only mistake I see is thinking you made a mistake buying one! They are great cars and easy to learn on and very rewarding especially if you do the work yourself. I would be willing to bet Justin is right in that the previous owner knew something they didn't share.

    A friend of mine bought a 95 talon AWD with about 120k on it and the worst of it was the rust underneath coming from PA.. until we drove it in the snow one night having some fun in an empty parking lot. Previous to said parking lot we stopped at the closest RoFo to grab some drinks and check the oil which was actually a little too high. Parking lot later, maybe 15 minutes down the road taking it slow due to weather, started having some fun. Got one big gnarly slideways after some small ones and my friend offered to let me have a go. Of course I just got out and hopped in the drivers seat (who wouldn't right?) and that's when he stopped quick by the hood.. *knock knock*. Thing sounded like a small diesel when you revd it up. $800 for a parts car and a weekend later the car was whole with a new donor motor and driving daily.

    8-10k could probably get you someones garage queen GSX already built or a stupid nice built motor like listed above. I'd get a donor motor and drop it in to keep enjoying the car and tear down the bad one in the meantime to see what happened, rebuild if you're up for it and keep rolling. If you plan to own a DSM, you best educate on some mechanics but the experience in invaluable and you'll save an incredible amount of money. And again, the satisfaction and rewards of doing it yourself and enjoying the fruits of your labor. I have a small hand tool set smaller then a phone book with just the basics (not even a ratchet, but I did get one) and a service manual and I do everything myself in the driveway with absolutely no schooling. Just quadruple checking, taking my time, and asking a ton of questions. We all have to start somewhere.. Welcome!
     

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