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1G How to get this connector apart

Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
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How do you get this plug apart? I see no visible tab to press. It won't budge, and I don't want to ruin it. This is a 1990 GST, the plug is coming from the O2 sensor to the wiring harness. There are single ridged grip sections on both ends, but gripping them does nothing.

And do they have to use a different connector with a different unplug secret for every connection? It's like a personal torment design where you pull and press and push all to no avail until you either have sweat dripping in your eyes, skin a knuckle, or both. /Rant.
 

Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
That did it, thanks! Just like most things, easy when you know how.

There's a 3rd plug behind the thermostat housing, that was initially stubborn as it was gooped up and tough to see. Got that figured out once it was clean enough to see the small details. So that makes 3 plugs on the thermostat housing.... what are all 3 for?

And stranger still is two senders down low in what looks like the oil circuit. One for the gauge and one for.... a light? Is there a separate oil pressure light in these? And someone cut the wire to one of them, you can't swap out the sender? (eye roll)
 

Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
Here's the next one that has me stumped so far. It's on the drivers side on the manifold, you can see the plug wires loom above it and an idler for the timing belt below it. This has a rubber boot on it that is somewhat dry and won't take much abuse. Not sure if the boot has to slide off first, or if it comes apart further into the plastic. Again, no obvious tab to press, the teeny square recess on the top doesn't seem to do anything.

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BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
2,605
846
Feb 9, 2019
Birmingham, Alabama
Just a recommendation... while you're in the engine bay, do some cleaning (wipe down the loose dirt and grime & use cleaner where needed). It's always much easier and much more enjoyable to work on a DSM when it's clean (same for any vehicle).
 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
7,972
842
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Here's the next one that has me stumped so far. It's on the drivers side on the manifold, you can see the plug wires loom above it and an idler for the timing belt below it. This has a rubber boot on it that is somewhat dry and won't take much abuse. Not sure if the boot has to slide off first, or if it comes apart further into the plastic. Again, no obvious tab to press, the teeny square recess on the top doesn't seem to do anything.
Ya that one is an absolute bi***. My 2g has 3 of them and I cringe every time. You see that wire clip? It has to slide off a tab on the other half on each end before the connector will come off. Once it slides past that tab on each end (halfway) the connector will come off. So take a tiny screwdriver to push the wire off from the ends or pry from the long side (and use a tiny long nose to grab it). Be careful not to break the plastic tab in the middle that holds it on. And be warned as soon as the wire comes off, it will go flying and you'll never find it. So put rags all around area to catch it. Putting it on will be a challenge to keep the wire on the connector properly too before you even push the connector on. It will always want to fly off or not seat on the connector half. Once you finally get the wire on the connector half to stay, then you simply push that half onto the other one and it will stay. Again put rags all around and be prepared to swear a lot - poorest design I've ever seen. Extremely difficult. See attached from the 2g VSS connector.

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Mech Addict

Supporting Member
621
226
Jun 9, 2019
Jackson, Wyoming
So both the oil and the coolant have senders for their gagues, and also separate sensors that inform the ecu. The ecu would “decide” if check engine light should come on. The third coolant sensor is actually for the air conditioning control unit. There is another coolant sensor In the radiator that kicks the fan on.

while this may seem odd or redundant, keep in mind that these cars came in many configurations (engine choice, a/c or not, power steering or not, cruise control or not... you get the point). Most of these systems were borrowed from the Mits/chrysler parts bin and adapted to the dsm. All part of cramming some pretty impressive features in a car in the 90’s.
I do agree about your comment on why so many different dang connector styles, but perhaps to keep from misconnecting circuits by accident.
 

97egl

Proven Member
205
58
Feb 6, 2014
Brownsburg, Indiana
Looks like your a 1990 based off the square coil pack connector. I beleive the ptu connector was the same on all 1g cars. Heres a pic of mine. My thumb is pointing to the tab you need to press
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Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
Just a recommendation... while you're in the engine bay, do some cleaning (wipe down the loose dirt and grime & use cleaner where needed). It's always much easier and much more enjoyable to work on a DSM when it's clean (same for any vehicle).
I'm with you on this. There's just so much in the way, it's going to be a far better clean up job once everything is apart.
Ya that one is an absolute bi***. My 2g has 3 of them and I cringe every time. You see that wire clip? It has to slide off a tab on the other half on each end before the connector will come off. Once it slides past that tab on each end (halfway) the connector will come off.

Thanks...Those clips look very similar to the clips on the fuel injector connectors. I finally decided they were meant to pull off, and they did, but the plastic has clearly oxidized in 30 years and suffered some minor cracking on a few non critical places. On this much larger plug, does the boot have to slide back to expose the clip? As I said, I'd rather not move that boot unless I have to.

Looks like your a 1990 based off the square coil pack connector. I beleive the ptu connector was the same on all 1g cars. Heres a pic of mine. My thumb is pointing to the tab you need to press.

Yes, 1990 with a March 1989 build date. Serial # 10774. I'll go look for that tab with an inspection mirror, I don't see it yet.

** Looked, it's not there. I'll try for a better photo.
 

97egl

Proven Member
205
58
Feb 6, 2014
Brownsburg, Indiana
Yes, 1990 with a March 1989 build date. Serial # 10774. I'll go look for that tab with an inspection mirror, I don't see it yet.

** Looked, it's not there. I'll try for a better photo.
So I lied. The 90 PTU is different than 91-94. Looking at a 1990- PTU it looks like it should have a metal tab on it like in the picture luv2rallye posted
 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
7,972
842
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
97egl shows the connector with the tab (which 2g has on the MAF connector). Yours looks more like my other 2g ones with the wire clip around the opposite end from the boot. It goes around 3 sides. If you have the tab as 97egl has, it will be obvious when you clean off the crud. Then just press the tab and wiggle it off. If it's like my other 2g ones however, don't just pull the connector off hard or you risk breaking it (mine did) - then you'll be in trouble cause it won't stay on. However you can try gently pulling while wiggling it. If it doesn't come off with gentle pulling, see post #15 for how to get it off.
 
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Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
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This is viewing the bottom with a mirror. The metal clip goes across the top and bottom, no tabs apparent


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Face on view. This isn't a gooped up problem, that was looking elsewhere. If those little clips have to come out, it's going to be dentist pick type tools. Is that what they engineered? (Can't be)

Looking at the back with a mirror, it appears the top and bottom are conected around the back.
 
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luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
7,972
842
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Yours are just slightly different than mine in that the wire clamp wraps around to the 4th side (mine don't). But the tab I mean is fixed and on the other half this connector fits over (on the ends). It's more like small fixed protrusion (not a tab) part of the other connector half that the wire clamp fits under to hold it in place. You won't see it until the connector is off (although you can see part of it on the end in the first picture). On yours the connector removal is simpler. Take 2 tiny flat bladed jewelers screwdrivers and stick one on each of the wire ends where your red arrow is in the 2nd picture. Push both wires slightly out towards the ends so the wire no longer goes under this tab protrusion on the ends. While you are doing this (holding them there) on both together you can then lift the connector right off. Still put a rag around it in case the wire flies off although with your design it probably won't. Reassembling with the wire clamp in place on the connector, you can simply push the connector on (don't have to hold wire).

Perhaps after getting the connector off you could post a picture for us all of the other half that this connector fits onto showing the tab protrusions (so we can see what the wire goes under to hold the connector on).
 
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Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
Take 2 tiny flat bladed jewelers screwdrivers and stick one on each of the wire ends where your red arrow is in the 2nd picture. Push both wires slightly out towards the ends so the wire no longer goes under this tab protrusion on the ends. While you are doing this (holding them there) on both together you can then lift the connector right off. Still put a rag around it in case the wire flies off although with your design it probably won't. Reassembling with the wire clamp in place on the connector, you can simply push the connector on (don't have to hold wire).

Perhaps after getting the connector off you could post a picture for us all of the other half that this connector fits onto showing the tab protrusions (so we can see what the wire goes under to hold the connector on).
Yes. I took a very expensive precision tool (Harbor Freight curved pick) and tried lifting the wire up, as in upper wire up, lower wire down. There was a click, and the wire stayed in the unlocked position. Now the connector slid off easily. Here it is, face on, showing the wire retainer in the unlocked position:


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You can see the openings in the side where the wire is lifted off and will grip a corresponding tab. It appears the wire is held on in the rear, it did not attempt to fly around the engine compartment.

Thanks for the help!​

 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
7,972
842
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Glad you got it off. I didn't think you had to push the wire ends that far where they bend up the clip as in your pic - just enough to take the pressure off the tabs. And I was talking about taking a picture of the other half of the connector (the half this connector with the wire clip attaches to) so we can see the tabs the wire goes under.
 
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Red Rider

Proven Member
48
9
Aug 12, 2009
NW, Connecticut
I was talking about taking a picture of the other half of the connector

Here you go. Hard to get the camera and the light in there, but you can see the tab the wire slips over has a ramp to slide over going on. On the other side is a notch, so it is firmly connected. Very reliable, and devilishly difficult in tight dark places with no instructions.

Reminds me of a girlfriend in college.

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luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
7,972
842
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thanx. This is a good pic for others to see and will help them understand how to disconnect it too as that wire connection is very tricky and not obvious. Yes that tab (or protrusion) with its ramp shape for the wire to slide over is exactly what's on my 2g ones. I initially cracked my connector (at the opening where the tab goes through) when I first just pulled it off. On mine the wire doesn't go around to the back side so it goes flying off upon removal (thus my rag suggestion). Did you figure out what this connector connects to?
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
7,913
3,869
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
On a 90, that square 4 pin connector close to the PTU is the connector for the coil packs.
 
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