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Is modding a 1996 RS even worth it?

Posted by Dayoung2, Sep 6, 2019

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  1. Dayoung2

    Dayoung2 Probationary Member

    10
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    Joined Sep 5, 2019
    High Springs, Florida
    As a broke student working a part time job for car parts, I thought finding a 1996 Eclipse RS with only 68k miles was a dream come true. Now, a couple months later, still broke and barely having enough money to even keep up with maintenance, I wonder if it's worth it to try and mod it. I keep hearing people say to sell any RS/GS and buy a GSX but that's not an option as of now. I'm not looking to make any crazy power, 250 HP as an end goal is more than enough for me. should I save up and just buy a GSX or mod it as I get money (after maintenance, of course)?
     

    143  1

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
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  2. tk106

    tk106 Supporting Member

    1,449
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    Joined Sep 11, 2017
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Cars are one of the worst investments, and you'll never get your money back especially with our cars. If you're a broke student, focus on school and not modding cars, especially an RS. Hopefully one day you'll land a kick ass job, and bank tons of money because you'll need it.

    I bought my car October of 2017. The car drove fine, but needed some work just like anything that's 25 years old. These cars will drain your time, money and patience at times.

    250whp??? is doable but will be hard to achieve on an RS without turbo or nitrous. Much easier on a turbo model.
     

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
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  3. Canadian_CD9A

    Canadian_CD9A Proven Member

    441
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    Joined Feb 10, 2012
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Just keep up with the maintenance and keep it as reliable transportation. If you can't afford to maintain it, why would you modify it? That's just asking for trouble. I agree wholeheartedly that you shouldn't be chasing a power figure until you're making a decent and consistent income, it's just not an important priority. Today's Camrys would probably beat up a 250HP DSM, so it doesn't exactly have lots to prove.
     
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  4. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

    647
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    Joined Feb 9, 2019
    Hoover, Alabama
    I've beat a 2.2l 1996 Camry beforeLOL But the new Camry's are supposed to be a "performance car". They make them that way on purpose.

    Either way you go you'll be in at least a couple thousand dollars. I personally think it would be cool to see a 250hp RS. In fact I'm sort of - sort of on that journey myself. But if you don't have time or skill then it would be easier to start with a GSX since you'd already be most of the way there, and just a few mods can have you there. With an RS you will need a different ecu, tuning solution, larger injectors, some extreme grinding, honing, and smoothing, full exhaust, full intake, cams, stronger fuel pump, high compression pistons, and whatever else you break while tearing down the engine. (you're looking at a couple thousand right there)

    But like stated if you are short on money then none of the above is a good idea.
     

    Road Race Build 2K  15

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

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    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

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  5. rabenne

    rabenne Proven Member

    750
    132
    Joined Apr 21, 2006
    Racine, Wisconsin
    My advice is to use your car while you are in school. Mod your car when you get a job afterwards. TBH, I personally wouldn't mess with the 420A engine. Many have done incredible things on the 2gNTs but it is all about personal preference. If you like doing things the hard way (see BLACK'98DSM's post above), it may be a great/rewarding challenge for you.... but, you are already talking about making a 4 cylinder car fast, which is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. By starting with an RS instead of GSX your are fighting with no hands.

    If you never want more than 250HP, you should stick to your RS. In reality, I would expect that you will want more and more power - like most of the other people on here. If you think you may someday want to make more power than that, you can't un-spend the money you spent on making the RS faster.

    So save your money that you would spend on mods and put it into a 4g63 savings account. When you leave school you can reward yourself for your hard work with a new 4g63 DSM project car.
     

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    1995 Eagle Talon TSi
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  6. Canadian_CD9A

    Canadian_CD9A Proven Member

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    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    A 420A usually will take around 8 psi on the stock bottom end with a 16G-sized turbo. That's good for around 225-250 WHP. I would estimate the cost between $3,000 and $4,000, and it wouldn't be reliable anymore. I can't even guarantee it would be more fun.

    Right now, be realistic. Your priorities should be reliable transportation and cheap operating costs. That's it.
    An RS runs on 87 octane and gets okay MPG. It's not expensive to maintain and will get you from point A to point B.
    A turbo RS will run purely on 91/93, will break things, and will have downtime. It's not worth a few thousand dollars (that you don't have) to go a bit faster, not to mention the problems with the law that you might encounter. We've all been in your shoes. There are thousands of smarter things you can be doing with your money instead.
     
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  7. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Joined Aug 13, 2019
    Princeton, New Jersey
    I've been going through the same dilemma, I have a 1998 gs. Came with a few mods already but there is so much rust on the poor thing. Currently looking for a donor just because I hate rust (megan coilover, short ram intake, rear strut bar, HID up front). Engine has 181k right now and a p0455. I've lurked on here for a very long time and came to the conclusion (since I live on my own, go to school and work) that right now I cant do the things I want to do, so I'm choosing to maintain the car and continue looking for a donor car so I can have a cool daily. Soon I'm gonna start saving for a gsx, hopefully the right one comes along at the right time. You're in a similar situation as me, personally I'm just doing small things as I go to learn more about the car and the platform. I feel your pain with wanting power but unable to achieve it, it's not easy on a 420a and a lot of 4g63t owners advise against it and tell us to sell and buy a gs-t/gsx. Personally I would like to turbo a rebuilt 420a just for the experience (what better way to get to know a turbo system than to build one onto a n/a). I love all DSM, they are such cool cars and they are getting more and more rare. Hope this rant helped, have a good day and good luck on your journey!
     

    Street Build 121  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  8. Dayoung2

    Dayoung2 Probationary Member

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    Joined Sep 5, 2019
    High Springs, Florida
    Just to be clear, I did mean mod it after the maintenance is done, but thanks for all the replies. Looks like a GSX is the way to go, it's a shame because I love the car despite hating it, but if that's the way to more power that's what I'll do. Thank you guys for the replies
     

    143  1

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
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  9. Dayoung2

    Dayoung2 Probationary Member

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    Joined Sep 5, 2019
    High Springs, Florida
    You're right, I'll probably want more power after I hit 250 LOL
     

    143  1

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
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  10. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Joined Aug 13, 2019
    Princeton, New Jersey
    Honestly don't be too down on it. When I got my 98 gs I knew nothing about the DSM cars (had basic car knowledge though) I was so upset when I first started researching my car. I came to the conclusion that it is what it is (a great daily!) I get 30mpg! That's including having what fun I can shifting through gears getting onto highways. Look at it as a car to teach you the basics, keep it and maybe one day you will have the money to build a turbo (always rebuild the engine first btw). There is so much the 420a can teach you and you cant put a price on knowledge like that.
     

    Street Build 121  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  11. Dayoung2

    Dayoung2 Probationary Member

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    Joined Sep 5, 2019
    High Springs, Florida
    That's the plan especially since getting a new car right now isn't an option LOL, but you're right, it's still a great car. Just a little slower than I would like (and also an automatic, which isn't fun but whatever)
     

    143  1

    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
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  12. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Princeton, New Jersey
    Hey you can always do a manual swap, just find a well taken care of nvt350!
     

    Street Build 121  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  13. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

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    Joined Jul 19, 2005
    Greenville, South Carolina
    As someone that has a turbo 420a car. It's not worth the money to mod it. I wish I would have traded it for a gsx long ago. It's a fun car, but I have put a lot of money in it to get it where it is today.
     
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  14. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Yeah but that's awesome bro, not many people have a turbo on their 420a and even less with a well built smooth running setup. Mad props to you. This isnt a cheap hobby, even a nice gsx or gs-t is going to be expensive to build (you just start with more hp right out the gate with the 4g63t platform).
     

    Street Build 121  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  15. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Hoover, Alabama
    How
     

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    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

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    2009 Troy Bilt Bronco
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  16. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

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    Name somebody who hasn'tLOL

    Welcome to the car community
     

    Road Race Build 2K  15

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    293  3

    2012 Murray Explorer Dune
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

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    2009 Troy Bilt Bronco
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  17. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Not sure. I do the math every time I fill up based on how many gallons I used and how far I drove. Sometimes its 25 sometimes its 33 so comes out to around 27-29mpg. I can drive over 300 miles on a full tank and then I believe there is still a couple gallons left, haven't risked getting stranded so I don't push my limit on low fuel.
     

    Street Build 121  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  18. pauleyman

    pauleyman DSM Wiseman

    5,126
    991
    Joined Nov 19, 2011
    oklahoma city, Oklahoma
    Just drive it.
    If you absolutely have to spend money assuming you can the best fun factor thing I can think of is really good tires. Pains me to see so many good cars running some cheap Nankang tire or the like. Tires drastically change the dynamics of the vehicle if you're going from all seasons to something summer oriented. However that too comes at a price. Wear is fast and I maintain two sets of wheels and tires. Well I used to....car is no longer driven in winter.
     

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    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
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  19. curt-s

    curt-s Proven Member

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    Winterville, MB, Canada
    I hear that.. going to NT555s in 225 was a huge leap from General 205s LOL

    Maintain the car and work towards being able to afford upkeep of a more powerful car. These are all over 20 years now and a gsx isnt a magic ticket to speed and reliability. Its just more complicated parts to break.
     

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    1991 Eagle Talon TSi
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  20. Cherry

    Cherry Proven Member

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    Joined Jun 16, 2019
    Hull, Georgia
    If you want a 2g eclipse and you have the 420a that faces the other direction and you are going to modify it why not just do an engine swap to an evo8 4g63. It's not super easy but it also doesn't look like it's the hardest thing ever either. Usually the hard parts of engine swaps are the engine mounts and with the swap 3/4 of the mounts line up and the 4th being the transmission mount has to be relocated. If you are looking at 3-4K upgrading the 420a and you want about 250hp then it might be right suit what you want.

    https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/1999-eclipse-evo-swap.502761/ Is a thread build showing the swap. It's an option if you are willing to put in the work. How much the cost would be I don't know, but it's a good looking swap.
     

    Street Build 235  3

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 1G DSM
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  21. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Miguel_DSM on youtube has a pro/con video on doing the evo 8 swap onto his 99 10th anniversary GS. Hes got the build process uploaded too, he goes fairly in depth with a lot of this stuff if I recall. His build is here on the forums too, haven't checked out the full thread yet. Hes currently doing a fwd -> awd conversion I believe.
     

    Street Build 121  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  22. Cherry

    Cherry Proven Member

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    Hull, Georgia
    That is the thread I linked too. I would go as far to say that the pros would far outweigh the cons. More updated motor, more options for modification and from my reading it seems like the cons are just figuring out what parts to use and if there is a list made then that isnt even a con anymore. The hardest part on swaps is mounting it though and without the trans you can just drop the engine in and the engine mounts will line up. Dont get me wrong, its a LOT of work and if you arent willing or have the time then just stick with the original and upkeep.

    There is another thread on here though that talks about a stage 2 turbo setup for around 1000 dollars, but you have to be lucky with parts on ebay. The guy got a T3 Garrett turbo for 100 dollars which looks like it costs around 700-750. He got lucky and spent as much on the entire thing as it would cost to buy the turbo outright since he got some parts for free. Granted you could buy a knockoff turbo for 105 on amazon, if it would hold up I dont know.
     

    Street Build 235  3

    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 1G DSM
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  23. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

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    Greenville, South Carolina
    Here is the problem with putting a turbo on a 420a, you can do it super cheap.. I did back in the day. It's almost always a time bomb that will eventually crack the ringlands. So then you build a motor to take the boost. And you have to upgrade the ECU to control it. And now your into this build 5k of more.
     
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  24. 609DSM

    609DSM Proven Member

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    Princeton, New Jersey
    He did mention something about overheating in his pro/con video with the evo swap. Not sure if he figured that situation out but he's continuing with the awd swap so it probably isnt a huge deal. But I would definitely like to evo swap just do have the experience of doing it. I believe you need a custom wiring harness as well.
     

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    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  25. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

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    I would rather just buy an Evo.
     

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