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LTA 1998 GSX

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Well, two new additions coming up! I'll dive a bit more into detail once installs are finished up!


Well I finished up the Forced Four smart 100.1 shift box installation and pretty sure I have it configured with everything I want it to do! I decided to totally ditch the OEM TCU and use this unit to shift on street as well as track. I believe I still have a little bit of values to tune for street driving, but it's close to be dialed in.

A couple really nice features of this thing (especially being limited with ECMLink's input and outputs) is that it gives you a couple of inputs you can use to log data! I haven't started to log anything yet, but I'm sure I will find something to log at some point (Maybe coolant pressure, oil pressure etc...) Another AWESOME feature is the stall up mode, which allows the car to be in 2nd gear while on converter, so between stall up mode, and the Audi vacuum pump I should never have to worry about the car over powering the brakes while being on the converter.

And, one of the selling points of this unit to me is that ability to configure two separate outputs. I am only using one of these outputs, so I have another if I find a use for it. This was important to me due to the use of n2o. I have ECMLink controlling the n2o to get on the converter, since I am able to use a min/max boost parameter. So I have it set on ECMLink to shut off at 10psi on street tires, probably 16psi on the M&Hs. Now, I don't like the idea of having the n2o spraying the entire time I'm on the 2 step, so having this extra output allows me to tell ECMLink to shut off at my desired boost value, then once I launch the shift box is set up to control the nitrous! The parameters used for the shift box are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gears, TPS, Brake switch (really cool), RPM, and vehicle SPEED, which is what I use to tell it when to shut off.

Install was pretty straight forward. I made a simple mounting bracket out of aluminum L to mount in the factory TCU location, and had already identified a lot of the TCU harness wiring from my old forced four shift box. I love that this box has a computer app to control it, it was really a pain in the dick to enter settings into the old unit. I highly recommend this part for anyone modifying an auto car!

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Here's the update on the steering wheel and my COWBOY button.

A friend of mine had one of these Grant GT wheels in his car, and I really liked the styling and the feel to it. It is about 13" diameter wheel, so a bit smaller than the OEM wheel. The pain in the ass about this little project was the NRG quick release. The steering wheel is a 5 bolt as you can see in photos, which is fine because NRG does make a 5 bolt quick release. Well, what I didn't know, is in the 5 bolt steering wheel kit from NRG, the steering wheel hub adapter is also 5 bolt, and not 6 bolt, which is what my hub adapter is. Long story short, I don't believe NRG makes a kit the combines the 5 bolt steering wheel mount, and a 6 bolt hub adapter, so I had to purchase two separate NRG kits to make it work (SRK-350BK and SRK-250BK) . Oh well, it's mounted and working properly so what can ya do.

Now, the COWBOY button. I didn't like the idea of being forced to use n2o with whatever parameters I had set in the shift box. So I had to make a choice before the run where I wanted to nitrous to shut off based on MPH. This solution allows me to turn the nitrous off via shift box early in the run (example tell shift box to shut n2o off at 80mph instead of 115), but allows me to override the system during the run and activate the n2o if needed. This momentary switch and bracket are from Motion Raceworks, really cool company with some bad ass products.

I'm really looking forward to putting this recent round of mods to the test, as at the end of this month I have another PYOP hardtire event, and an IFO event in Hebron, OH.


Well, took the car out to IFO Hebron and entered FIS class. First pass off the trailer testing 75 shot and the new shift box yielded a new PB of 9.855 @ 138.67! Terrible TERRIBLE 60' of 1.639 and the new shift box seems to shift way faster than the old box, so I had my shift points sent wayyy too low. Car shifted 1-2 at 8k, and 2-3 at 8200, both of which I typically shift around 8700.

This was all very promising to me, as I saw A LOT can be improved on. This was the first pass I had turned the nitrous off while on the two step. I did not like the idea of sitting on the 2 step with a 75 shot spraying the the same time like I have done with 35 and 50 shot just fine. I believe there's a bit of a delay from the shift box reactivating the nitrous when I let off the brakes, so I figured that's the reason for the terrible 60'. I decided to try what I have been doing in the past with the smaller shots, and spray while on the 2 step.

2nd pass, car gets on the converter just fine and reaches the two step, then it just... shut off. Like I turned the key to the off position. Really weird, as this has never happened to me. I fire the car back up after a bit of cranking, and chalked it up to maybe the system being flooded while being on the nitrous. So I will switch back to turning nitrous off while on 2 step (shuts off when I reach 18psi).

3rd pass, which is eliminations round 1, Car seems to get on converter fine, two step is all normal, let off the brake and the cars moves but then suddenly shuts down on me. Pack up and head home.

Compression test showed number 3 at 90 psi, so something's hurt. I leak down tested and pinned it to the exhaust valves. Strap on the spark plug was also melted. The head is already at the machine shop getting repaired. I plan to step the nitrous back to 50 shot just as I had it at the last event. The car never skipped a beat with the 50 shot, and it seemed to love it. I will be most likely upgrading from ECMLink and moving away from wet shot system to dry shot over the winter, maybe then I will try a larger 75 shot then.

Anyway, had a great time with friends regardless of how it went down. That's racing for ya, time to get it fixed and try the hit the last two events I wanted to go to for the year!

Alrighty, well a bit of an update. I found out that the two intake valves on cylinder 3 were leaking, and the exhuast valves actually turned out to be alright, but had some aluminum stuck on them and cleaned right up. Got the car back together and just missed out on my local PYOP no prep event for the month of September, due to me being a moron and breaking my map sensor LOL. All is well, as I had more time to get the car ready for the PYOP event at Pacemakers, hard tire class.

That was a completely different experience of PYOP than I'm use to. These guys start at the front of the track, so there was still some prep on the surface, and the track just kept getting stickier as the night went on. Those hard tire guys down there are for real also, they were hooking and putting power down, they were fast! I had a blast down there, and hope to bring a bit more for them next year!

I made it to round 3, with terrible launches as you can see in the videos, and we decided to try and turn it up out of the hole, I was going to need it to hang in there. Well, it didn't go so well, as the car's power ramped in the tires and prepped surface caused wheel hop, and then snapped the passenger side rear axle as pictured.

There is one last event I wanted to make, and that's my local no prep October 16th, but I just caught news that the build time for my axles are 4 weeks out, so that's a wrap for this year! I learned a lot, and accomplished my goals, I have nothing to complain about! I'm looking forward to getting back out to events next season and give er hell. I'll post up some videos of the Pacemakers event!

Round 1: Front brakes were actually hanging up from me adjusting the brake switch in too far, fixed between rounds 1 and 2. This notch was on nitrous as far as I know as I saw the purge.

Round 2: Launch was really bad, had to run him down. The yellow mustang hooked great, and made some good power, I don't know specifics, but I do believe I heard a supercharger in the staging lanes.

Round 3: Snapped rear passenger axle, fast ass truck though, I believe nitrous powered.


I have a couple things in mind for winter upgrades, but not 100% set or sure on all of them yet, so I will try and post updates as they happen! Thanks!
I’ve never seen the tree light straight to green after staging. Car seems pretty consistent and not too bad if you just broken an axle. Are you planning to upgrade axles? Love the car:thumb:

Yeah seems like these pour your own puddle (pyop) and no prep events use stright to green. My local pyop no prep event I go to uses a flashlight start.

I ordered a set of Driveshaft shop's 800hp rear axle set. I think they may be a newer option from these guys, as I don't recall seeing them before. I just recall the 900 hp option that comes with larger splined axles and a new hub to go with it, or a 650hp option which I believe you had to reuse your oem inner cups.

This new option is a direct fit into oem hub, and comes with their own inner cups with 300m stubs and chromoly CV internals.
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Well, I have decided to shut it down for the rest of the season, and begin the winter mods. After my last outing, my plans have shifted pretty dramatically from what I was planning. I really wanted to step into a 62mm turbo and divided T4, but after snapping an axle I have since decided to shift totally onto the drive train. I'll just give a brief run down on what will be done over winter on this post, and maybe make a bit more in depth post as I go through each project.

Starting towards the front of the car, I will be going with a basic built 300M transfercase. I will be going with the stronger (so I've been told) early year 91-96 12 turn Tcase, so the transmission will have to come out so I can swap out the front diff's ring gear and also the front output shaft to the early year gearing. I have since sourced the ring gear and front output shaft, and still need to order the 300M tcase later this winter. At this point in time, the 300M Tcase is the last larger ticket item for this winter, so I feel like I'm off to a decent start!


Well, with a 300M Tcase, comes a solution for that larger tail shaft. I have ordered DSS heavy duty 3.5" Aluminum drive shaft from @twicks69 TMZ, coupled with the stronger SONNAX 25 spline yoke. The build time on this was like 8-10 weeks, so I don't have that part just yet.

Now, The rear differential wasn't damaged at all when the axle snapped, but I know how flimsy the 2g rear diff's covers are, so I have ordered a Frontline Fab girdled diff cover. Upon removing the old rear diff bolts, I found my oem bushings were trashed also, so I ordered a set of POM (polyoxymethylene) rear diff bushings from @Gsx-Dude! I also found that pretty much all the main hardware on the rear subframe is seized and trashed, also a lot of the bushings are not in great shape. I ordered up a set of @99gst_racer Volk Metal Crafts aluminum rear subframe bushings, and a set of Prothane's rear bushing sets to just replace everything. I'll refinish the rear subframe in POR15, and try to make it look as nice as possible.


I don't have the Frontline Fab cover yet, so no photos of that.

And finally, what FRICKEN started it all.... My new axles ordered through @extremepsi have just arrived from DSS. These are their OEM hub direct fit axle option, which I want to say is a bit newer? Anyways, rated at 800hp, a friend of mine is using them on his mid 8 second EVO2, and I really like the material they use. They look great!

DSS Axle 2.jpg
DSS Axle 3.jpg
DSS Axle 4.jpg

That's all for now. I've already started on things for the rear subframe, so I'll start on other things once the rear is all finished and buttoned up. When these rounds of mods are all said and done, I'm really hoping to be able to take the car's 60's into the 1.3s. Time will tell, but that's the goal for now. The car's drivetrain being this much more robust will also give me a piece of mind on the hard tires for those pyop events! cheers!


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Well I'm still the process of wrapping up the rear subframe and rear suspension overhaul, but I did manage to finish up the rear diff and got a few other parts in! One I wasn't really planning on changing up for next year, but I went ahead and picked up a Precision Industries #6 converter, so I'll be stepping away from the IPT restall. Also, I got the Jeff Bush/English Racing 300M Transfer case in, the tail shaft is a unit! I will not be using the spicer slip yoke that came with the transfercase, as I upgraded my DSS driveshaft with the sonnax unit.




The rear diff I pretty much just cleaned up, refinished it in POR15 and installed the BEAUTIFUL Frontline Fab diff cover to get away from the flimsy 2g diff cover.

Rear Diff 1.jpg

Stay tuned! The rear subframe will get it's own post when complete! I have everything refinished, just gotta press in all the bushings!
Rear subframe, axles, and suspension are finished and installed. I'm happy to be done with removing old bushings, that was getting old ha. Everything seems to be nice and firm back there now with the prothane kit. I'm hoping that will help keep the car planted better going down the track. I'm happy with how it all turned out, it's also nice knowing I can adjust toe now since the new OEM hardware isn't seized like it use to be LOL. The DSS rear axles fit and look great!

As for the spare wheel well, I have an Al cover I was using before taking the well out, that I will be adding some support to and reusing. If for some reason I don't like it, I will possibly go with a vendor's 2g spare wheel cover. Having that wheel well removed makes life way easier for any kind of service back there. I wouldn't recommend it for weight reduction, as it's not very heavy at all, just wanted to throw that out there for anyone thinking about taking it out for that reason.

Plenty more to do during winter! Up next I believe will be pulling the trans to swap out the front diff ring gear and front output shaft for the 12 turn 300M Transfercase.

X Suspension 2.jpg

X Subframe and sus insalled 4.jpg


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I've been taking a little bit of a break. I did start getting a couple things ready to drop the trans though. Here are the new tires for this year. Street tire, which should be a huge upgrade over what I had been using for those "hardtire" classes.

Federal 595 RS-RR 245/40-17. I went with a bit smaller overall diameter and wider tire, since all these no prep hard tire classes are 1/8th mile, it should help me out a bit. They are also 200 treadwear, so a bit softer than my old Nankang tires.


And the Rotas will also be getting an upgrade. Stepping into a Hoosier QTP 26X9.50-15. Really hoping to see some 1.3x 60's on these with all the drivetrain upgrades.Thanks for checking it out!


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Not going to lie, taking some time off from the car was nice... Spring is approaching though (at least I keep telling myself this) so it's time to start on the transmission. I really wanted to clean the thing up while it was out, it literally looked like it was pulled from the bottom of a lake, so I applied some foaming engine degreaser, and wasn't too happy with the result. So I brought out the heavy guns, and used the easy off heavy duty oven cleaner, cleaned 95% of the crap off, and was pretty happy with the result. I planned on digging into the trans pretty far, so I wanted the trans as clean as possible before doing so.




So far it has been a great learning opportunity, and I really hope I got everything right the first time, cause it's not the funnest job pulling an auto trans out of a 2g.

I decided to get the gearing swap done first, so I pulled the front differential and swapped the ring gear from the 97-99 71 tooth to the 91-96 72 tooth ring gear. That was fairly straight forward and went smoothly.



Next was digging behind the center diff, and all the way to the front output shaft. I was told by a handful of people that the front output shaft needs to be swapped, and I'm not sure if this is 100% true or not, because it turned out my original front output shaft and the new one I installed have the same tooth count. I installed the shaft I got with the gear anyway since I dug that far.


There's a photo of the stack, and the front output shaft on the top. The center diff is welded, so the viscous coupling unit was left out upon re-installation. In order to get the whole stack out I had to also remove the idler gear and the valve body to get to a small stopper screw located under it.

I re-installed everything, the two things that were a bit of a pain in the ass for me were both the bearing retainers (the shiny Al discs on both sides of the viscous coupler in the photo above.)

I'm going to continue on another post.


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After the gearing swap was complete, I planned to pull the oil pump and toss in a fresh set of Kiggly 5 friction front clutches, and a quick inspection of the kick down band and forward frictions and steels. When I bought the trans, I was told it had a Kiggly 5 friction front cluch pack installed and also IPT supposedly installed fresh ALTO red eagle rear frictions, so this was the time I would find out if it was true or not.

All checked out to be true as far as I could tell (it's hard to tell what the rear frictions are as there's no longer a brand inked on them). The Kiggly frictions still looked pretty darn good to me, the steels show a little wear. I'm no expert so I can't say if that's totally normal or not, but I got the trans about 3-4 years ago and have a good amount of abuse on them along with street miles.


Soaking the new Kiggly frictions in ATF

Next thing I looked at were the rear frictions and steels, and they looked great! I was happy to see those were in very nice shape.

I'm currently trying to work with Raybestos and a local dealer to get some stage-1 performance Red forward frictions made to toss in since it's apart. If I'm unable to do so, I'm going to just reuse what I pulled out.

If I am able to get something worked out with Rabestos and the local dealer, I may try and put together a small package to offer as a performance rear clutch pack option. Kiggly has his front clutch options and also his billet direct drum and clutch pack option, IPT has their end clutch kit, and JB has his billet forward drum and clutch pack option, but I wasn't able to find anyone offering a performance friction and steel kit for use with the OEM forward drum. If anyone would be interested in something like that, shoot me a PM. I'm still unsure if anything will come of it, but I'll keep anyone interested updated.

rear clutches 1.jpg

And lastly I wanted to inspect the kickdown band. It was time for it to be replaced LOL. I have a Borgwarner band waiting to get soaked and installed.


I should have the trans wrapped up as soon as I find out more info about the forward frictions. If I'm able to have some made I'll hold on on reassembly till I get them, if I'm not, then I'll have this thing back together in no time.

Thanks for checking out my build log. Lots more to come!
Got a little bit of an update. STILL waiting on the new forward frictions to put the trans back together, and also noticed my forward drum is cracked! I sourced another drum to use, so I learned how to pull it apart and replace the piston's seals. This will all be on my next post when I wrap up the trans.

While waiting for the frictions, I decided to knock out the driveshaft. While tearing my OEM driveshaft down a bit, I noticed the universal joint was in rough shape, so I just decided to refinish and rebuild the the tail shaft with a new OEM U joint and new OEM carrier bearing and hardware. Not much else to really say here. I'm really happy with how it turned out, I hope it performs as good as it all looks! I love fresh parts!



Thanks for looking! Here are a couple more photos of the drive shaft project.

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I wish DSS would produce the tail section shaft. I know a few people with carbon fiber ones that DSS produced but mainly the big dogs. Looking good though man keep up the good work.
Got a little bit of an update. STILL waiting on the new forward frictions to put the trans back together, and also noticed my forward drum is cracked! I sourced another drum to use, so I learned how to pull it apart and replace the piston's seals. This will all be on my next post when I wrap up the trans.

While waiting for the frictions, I decided to knock out the driveshaft. While tearing my OEM driveshaft down a bit, I noticed the universal joint was in rough shape, so I just decided to refinish and rebuild the the tail shaft with a new OEM U joint and new OEM carrier bearing and hardware. Not much else to really say here. I'm really happy with how it turned out, I hope it performs as good as it all looks! I love fresh parts!

View attachment 623179
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Thanks for looking! There's more photos attached to this post as well.

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Starting to look pretty serious underneath the car. Coming along nicely.
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