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New Driver, Need Advice.

BFreeman

Probationary Member
17
1
Aug 28, 2014
Bethalto, Illinois
So I have my permit. I will be getting a new car very soon. I am not quite sure what I want. Originally I wanted a 94-95 Cobra, But was shot down by my mom because she said it was "too fast". Then I started looking at the 04 Mustang GT's. But then I talked to my dad and he told me that they are hard to make HP. So then I started looking at other cars. I looked at 350z's, Supras, Mustangs, GTO's but non of them really suited my needs. Then I came across a 98 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. I first ignored it but then my dad said that it might actually be a good first car. So, what I am wondering is, Are Eclipses reliable cars? Are they quick if you mod them? Can they easily make HP?.

The GSX I saw: http://www.carsforsale.com/used-cars-for-sale/vehicle-details.aspx?vid=234924536
Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
BFreeman

Happy Modding!
 

Zufelt

Proven Member
543
9
Oct 15, 2012
Lemoore, California
The car has a good bit of mileage. I would keep looking personally. Your question of "are they reliable" depends on who you talk to. Go talk to a guy that owns a mustang and ask him how reliable he thinks DSM's are. I'm sure he'll tell you that there unreliable and break down every day. Then come and PM someone here, that actually takes care of their car, maintains there car, and enjoys it. I'm sure you'll here about how reliable they are. In all honestly these cars are old, some break, some don't. It all depends how well they were taken car of by the PO's. As far as being cheap to mod, you can put that in a google search and find as many threads about that as you want. These cars are extremely easy to mod and have a great/reliable platform to do so. This of course is if you maintain it and do all your maintenance, such as timing belt, water pump, oils, fluids, etc. The benefits to DSM's is there an easy mod, and you can take little bites, instead of big ones. Just as an example, you don't have to drop 4k all at once on turbocharger/supercharger/engine build like you would a v8 or other N/A platforms. This one you can slowly build your supporting mods for the power level your shooting for. I work at a gas station while attending school. Within the year of having the car I was on a 16g, E85, full bolt-ons. Everything for these cars are cheap, and don't require a chunk of change but rather a piece. I would do some more research into these cars prior to buying one, as I would hate for you to go into the scene and decide you don't like it.

EDIT: Also, if she thinks the cobra is going to be to fast.. shes going to hate a DSM.
 
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wolf alchemy

Proven Member
724
14
Mar 4, 2014
kouts, Indiana
Well....I didn't like the transmission bit, but as long as the strut towers show no rust and a compression test is performed. I'd say good by pics.[DOUBLEPOST=1409342291][/DOUBLEPOST]Zufelt is right on the mileage. Forgot to add my comment. Lol
 

Type1DSMr

Proven Member
1,118
153
Jul 27, 2014
Jasper, Indiana
They can be good reliable cars if proper maintenance is done but it's still a dsm and you gotta pay to play. One question tho why did you wanna pay more for the cobras but buy a cheap high mileage gsx? What's your budget and go from there. You can find nicer gsx or tsi for little more than that one.
 

Fullthrottle7

Proven Member
278
42
May 21, 2004
Lake Tapps, Washington
The above posts are all quite valid and you can definitely search for a well taken care of GSX get lucky but in short, no this would not be the best platform for you to choose as your primary daily driven first car. Unless you have a garage full of tools and knowledgeable friends/family that are willing to help you maintain the car and don't mind taking a weekend here and there to replace/repair items that are worn out or broken and occasionally call for a flatbed tow home, then you are going to want to look for something that requires less attention. These are high performance 4cyl cars which means they have to work harder to make the same power as a V8 platform which in itself doesn't cause problems, but very few owners keep up with the preventative maintenance they need to stay reliable and this brings about failures that often leave you stranded. In addition, because they are so cheap to modify, it is nearly impossible to find one that hasn't been messed with in some shape or form. Lots of backyard wiring jobs and hack job mechanical decisions are made that are easily hidden from view and can bite you in the ass.

I don't want to scare you away cause when I was 17 this was my dream car too and after a v6 mustang got me through senior year I finally got an AWD 2g that had just been rebuilt and was as clean as they come. Within 6 months I had three flatbed tows home (2 hrs away at college) and several weekend long repairs for basics, then got crankwalk and had to do a full $2500 6 bolt swap then sold the car. This may not be the experience of every member, and I've since owned 8 more in various forms of modification so it didn't deter me from sticking with it and was a great learning experience, but if you truly want a reliable car, get a Honda/Toyota or something else naturally aspirated and try to find a project GSX to build up on the side. In my opinion the only way to trust one of these cars at this point and really make it reliable is to tear it down and build it back up completely. Many will argue that point, but I promise you that at the very least you'll need to have a solid chunk of money set aside in an account waiting for problems to happen. Guessing you won't find one under 120K miles and after that point its just a matter of time till you're going to be needing a turbo, fuel system parts, timing belt job, clutch, etc. depending on the previous owner's investment in the car.

If you are willing to do the research/learning and keep up on the maintenance its pretty hard to beat the value and fun factor that these cars offer. Just don't blow your whole wad on the car you want so that you have a side fund to keep the downtime to a minimum as issues arrise. Try to find a 6 bolt swapped 2g with receipts if you can and drive it for at least 20-30 mins before you buy it. Problems like overheating, intercooler piping/boost leak issues, oil leaks, headgasket sealing, etc. problems can hide for a few mins, but these things run hot and you should be able to tell if things aren't quite right by then. Ask a ton of questions and do all of the basic checks for any used car. Check under the oil cap for milky color (water in oil) or dark black (never changed), check the coolant level, play with ALL of the electronics, look closely for aftermarket gauges, alarms, computers, etc. so that you know exactly what you are getting into. Good luck and shoot more links to the ones you're interested in so we can give you tips or call the owners out on bull$hit!!!
 

pb_evil

Proven Member
49
0
Jul 15, 2012
elmhurst, Illinois
Agreed^^^^ any car needs maintenance but moding a car and making more HP means even more but any car if properly maintained can be reliable. They are also fairly easy to work on and extremely fun to own and drive. Good luck regardless of what you buy!
 

mjdarg

Proven Member
54
1
Dec 2, 2012
Raleigh, North_Carolina
Whatever car you buy, make sure you get the car reliable before you start modding it. I know it can be frustrating to spend money on things which won't make it faster, but it will save you a ton of headaches down the road. Id also try to find a car that is as stock as possible so you don't have to deal with crap jobs done by previous owners.
 

BFreeman

Probationary Member
17
1
Aug 28, 2014
Bethalto, Illinois
Thank you all for your helpful and insightful opinions and knowledge. I will definitely look further into the DSM world.[DOUBLEPOST=1409437508][/DOUBLEPOST]Thank you so much. I am very excited for the upcoming journey. I already have tons of ideas in my head. Your knowledge and advice is greatly appreciated. =D[DOUBLEPOST=1409437684][/DOUBLEPOST]So I came across this listing today. Not to sure if I like it or not.

http://www.autozin.com/Mitsubishi,7...low-miles--new-motor--lots-of-mods,30952.html
 
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Fullthrottle7

Proven Member
278
42
May 21, 2004
Lake Tapps, Washington
Yikes, $6500 is waayyy high for a car that beat up, don't let low mileage fool you into thinking that its a nice car. The pics aren't very good at all but just by the way the add is written and the way it looks, I would stay away unless you can get him down quite a bit. If he has receipts for all of the work/parts especially the engine replacement then I guess it may be worth looking at the 99 black/black leather is impossible to find so that would hold its value well if you could do the bodywork. Paint is very expensive and the fact that its had a door replaced and been spray painted leads me to believe that its been in a wreck of some kind.

I would really try to find something with less mods if you can even if its a bit higher mileage. Do a compression check on whatever ones you look at and if possible, a leakdown test as well. Any owner that has nothing to hide should be OK with pretty much any sort of checks you want to do, if you don't know how, make arrangements to take it to a shop of some kind to have these things done. They will tell you a lot as far as the health of the motor's internals. One more tip as well, I would advise staying away from anyone selling a car immediately after a rebuild. Often things will break and people will short cut whatever they can to get it running and dump it on someone else, but they usually will try to sell it by saying that it "has a new motor." That isn't always a great thing, unless done by a shop with receipts/pics I'd rather have a motor with 10-20k+ miles so that you know it was assembled properly and has stood up to a year or two of driving and will for many more.

I'd stick to forums, craigslist, and autotrader I don't know about any East coast specific "hot spots" to check very well, but sites like that random autozine you linked to aren't usually great places to find a car. If this is really something you are gonna dive into, try to find as stock of a car as possible or if you want a pre-modified one try to find someone that is on forums so you can review their history of posts or at least one who has owned these for a while and clearly knows their stuff!
 

Fullthrottle7

Proven Member
278
42
May 21, 2004
Lake Tapps, Washington
Getting better, but still not what I would suggest. A GST is the same car as a GSX only without the AWD system. The transmission is a little more weak but they have much less to deal with since you don't have a transfer case or any of the rear end drivetrain. It would be a smart way for you to get into these cars and learn about them since the engine management and motor are the same, then later on if you love it you can either convert it to AWD or sell and buy a GSX

As far as the motor goes in that one, find out what exactly was done to it and what his receipts show. If he just slapped a 4g63 head on top of a 4g64 block and bolted up his turbo etc. then it would run but may still have crappy non turbo pistons and high mileage everything else in the bottom end and blow up in short time. If a shop that is well known assembled and installed it then it may be worth a look. For a FWD however, the more power you make early on (torque, which is what strokers are for) the more traction problems you'll have. The guys that have the most fun in a GST usually are the ones with a smaller sized (stock, 14b, maybe 16g) turbo and simple bolt on mods, or if they do decide to do motor work, a built 2.0l with a biiig turbo that takes a while to spool so you can hook up and then get your big power hit. The GST is light and they are geared a little differently as well. They can be freeway monsters!

Drive it if you like it and get more info about the mods and past work but the monster tach bolted to the dash, the altezza lights in the back, and the lack of any information in the add leads me to believe that this guy is not really knowledegable about the car which would be enough for me to not even consider it personally... Its your money though and the car has a ton of potential find out about the motor and report back!
 

BFreeman

Probationary Member
17
1
Aug 28, 2014
Bethalto, Illinois
Hi guys! Sorry for long absence, Wrestling season started so I have been super busy. But exciting news! I found a 99 GSX in really good condition. The best part is its my neighbors car, but its been sitting in the driveway for about 2 years. Me and my dad took a look at it and everything seemed to be in line and in good shape. I will post pics very soon! Im so excited!!!!
 

darknezz7

Proven Member
571
79
Mar 30, 2014
Eugene, Oregon
So many first time drivers get a turbo or mustang or m3, guess what happens within a year 90% of the time...

Whats wrong with people.

My suggestion would be buy a cheaper car fir your first one and take some road courses. Chances are you'll end up in a ditch and/or a few small accidents a few times...
My car at 15 was a '78 bmw, I rallyd that thing, put it in ditches and bounced off curbs, then a few years later I got a $6000 v8 bmw and knew how to control it. It still got wrecked after owning only a year, but I was just trying to make a left across two lanes in backed up traffic at night in the rain...

It may not even be your fault, knowing how your car responds when some jackoff cuts across 2 lanes on the freeway and about sideswipes you can be the difference.

If you can get the eclipse for cheap go for it but keep it stock for awhile til you get the feel of it. A gsx is a great place to start.

We recently picked up a great shape, leather interior, manual, fmic, 3" turbo back apexi exhaust, few other small things, '95 gst for $900. Just needed a headgasket.
 
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lasershark

Proven Member
1,607
236
May 17, 2013
over yander, Idaho
Nice find... well can you call it a find if it is next door? Anyway, it's always nice to finally find something you have been wanting. Just be careful of BMW's when it's raining, I heard they handle horrible when it's wet. ;)
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,307
2,852
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Have you priced insurance? You might be shocked. I dont happen to be rich and my quotes are very high for my soon to be 16 yr old.
 

DSM1G90

Proven Member
5,101
66
Apr 6, 2008
Nampa, Idaho
And the first speeding tix you get, the ins company will cancel you out, or jack your rate up so high that you'd better get the Schwinn out and ride that for a good while.

If you get a vehicle that doesn't spell 'FAST and RACE ME', the ins rates will be on your side.

Sorry, ins companies don't trust the teen age drivers too well-you're too much of a risk unless you can prove them wrong.

-DSM
 

rough

Proven Member
802
73
Nov 12, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
This is my 3rd Eclipse, I'd recommend one to anyone that is mechanically inclined.
These cars are a minimum of 15 years old, if you want skills, get a DSM.
If you want your cake and to eat it too without putting in the time, DSM will not be for you.
 

boostedfrak

Proven Member
43
1
Feb 28, 2014
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
Whatever car you buy, make sure you get the car reliable before you start modding it. I know it can be frustrating to spend money on things which won't make it faster, but it will save you a ton of headaches down the road. Id also try to find a car that is as stock as possible so you don't have to deal with crap jobs done by previous owners.


I agree 100% my previous dsm I bought had a few mods done to it so I bought it thinking I was saving money on parts but there was so much done wrong that I ended up costing me twice as much in the long run. But these cars can make good hp fairly cheap. You beat up mo mustangs with just a few mods! And like others here have said do the maintenance first. I made 400hp on e85 with a 16g and supporting mods fuel wise. I think I spent 1200.00 on parts and did the work myself. That car beat cobras all day long !
 

jimsgsx

Proven Member
810
104
Oct 21, 2013
toppenish, Washington
I would be very leary of a dsm with tons of mods. Tons of new parts, then the owner wants to sell it? That has never made sense to me. My gsx had 62k on it and only a injen intake as a mod. Look for something along that line. If it sounds too good to be true, it always is man.
 

dugan33

Supporting VIP
397
8
Jun 11, 2011
Madison, Wisconsin
Take it from a guy who has owned just about every tuner car. I can't think of a better starter car than a DSM or , dare I say it, Honda. Not because they are the best, but because they are the best to learn from; especially dsms. There really isn't any other car out there that is more mod rewarding. It's going to be as reliable as you make it to be. With a dsm you cant just start modding everything and expect it to still run forever like a Honda. It's entirely up to you to make the car your own with a dsm. If you don't care about your car it will show and you will have a slow piece of crap.

I highly suggest getting a stock DSM as a first car for an enthusiast, but if you're not willing to take car of your car buy a Honda. Everyone on this forums knows how much time a dsm can take up of yours but that's mostly because we want it to, not design flaw. Whatever you do don't buy a domestic, just eww mustangs unless its a foxbody.

I own a 350z currently and cant imagine owning one as my first car I'd probably be dead with how tail happy they are.

If you want a DSM let me know I got a really nice one for sale here that's a way better deal than the one you found. I'd give it to you for $4500. If you need something awd and cheaper I have a 1990 talon too that's in not as great as shape. If you want a dsm I suggest buying off this site from another enthusiast. That way you're a lot less likely to get taken in a deal. http://madison.craigslist.org/cto/4692566631.html[DOUBLEPOST=1412585710][/DOUBLEPOST]As for insurance just put your dad on the title and have him insure it. You don't need anything to do with the insurance. As long as the car is insured it doesn't matter.
 
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BFreeman

Probationary Member
17
1
Aug 28, 2014
Bethalto, Illinois
Hey guys! Thank you all for the posts! So, I think I found the GSX..... Its 4 houses down from me... its a 99 GSX, 60,000 Miles, Godspeed Intercooler, and my favorite, Tinted windows!!!! Me and my neighbor are talking prices and as of right now were at 4,500. Should I pull the trigger or not??
 

rough

Proven Member
802
73
Nov 12, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
That's some very low miles I thought my 104k was low! Pictures? ANy rust?
I'd pull the trigger just because the 99 is the best year, not to mention if the odometer is true, that's amazing!
99GSX best of the 2g's :)
 

BFreeman

Probationary Member
17
1
Aug 28, 2014
Bethalto, Illinois
That's some very low miles I thought my 104k was low! Pictures? ANy rust?
I'd pull the trigger just because the 99 is the best year, not to mention if the odometer is true, that's amazing!
99GSX best of the 2g's :)

I will be posting a ton of pictures this weekend. There is very little rust in the rear wheel well. And it sounds like a choir of angels singing a hymn.
 

rough

Proven Member
802
73
Nov 12, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
That's a great deal then, rust in the rears is a given, I've not seen one without a little back there, "that area by the ground effect, in front of the rear tire, that has a ledge where everything and it's mother collects on"
 
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