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Showcar Build Not for show, but for fun

Year:
1998
Model/Trim:
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
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  1. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  2. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    For a quick background on this car, I am the 3rd owner. The car was bought off eBay for my daughter for $1,100 in October 2018. The plan was to do some minor work on the car to get it ready for my daughter's spring semester at college. She was living in a small college town and needed a grocery/video game getter. The car was bought in state, but in a state the size of Texas that was still 225 miles away. After a couple of failed attempts to get the car shipped, I went up to Waco with my son and drove the car back home to Houston. The car was filthy, the kind of filth the comes from always driving with your top down, but it started right up with no smoke or engine noise. There was no slipping in the transmission, the car steered and stopped well, and had no issues with the 75 mph speed limit and then some.

    About 2/3 of the way, We ran into a huge black thunderstorm. The kind that looked like a wall of water coming toward you. The traffic on the interstate had come to a stop, so I veered off to the old State highway, the kind that has curves and hills and little traffic. At points the rain was so heavy, I could barely see 50ft in front of me, but the Spyder drove like a champ. After 225 miles, I felt like I had mad a good purchase and was pretty happy with myself.
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  3. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    After getting home, I opened the trunk to see what spare parts the former owner left for me to work with. I found engine mounts, a couple of rear windows, a couple of right side door handles, radiator hoses, two convertible top motors, and a small swimming pool. The owner didn't leave the swimming pool, but the storm left about six inches of water in trunk. This was the first convertible that I had to work on, so this was all new to me. It took some time to find the leak. In the process, I also found this website. The issue ended up being a leak at the bottom of the rear window. In the meantime, my daughter got a job and bought her own car, so I ended up with a convertible that sat in the driveway for about a year and half, then moved into the garage about 6 months ago. About a month ago, I decided that I would fix it up since I do enjoy driving it.
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  4. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    The first projects I had on the car were mostly maintenance. When 2015 daily driver had a fuel line issue, I the Spyder drove me 34 miles to work. I could tell why the motor mounts were in the trunk, and got them on their as quickly as I could. I also found out about the limited clearance under the car. I also changed out the transmission fluid and filter, and spark plugs and wires. I hate changing spark plugs, so I went with iridium. Sorry to the copper purists. At this point, I thought, why not post the rebuild on the web site. I've never posted any of my rebuilds before. At first, I was going to do detailed step-by-step photos. I soon realized that I don't have the patience for that, I found that I was often working two or three steps beyond where I should have taken the picture. So this will be more of a progress log.

    Overall, the build is backwards from what I normally do. I usually work on the mechanicals first, then then the exterior, then the interior. I am afraid that leaving the top as is might do more damage, and frame parts are expensive. So the game plan is to work on the exterior first, then critical mechanicals, then interior, then consider upgrades. The plan is
    1. Concurrently replace convertible top, right outside door handle, and upgrade to power outside mirrors.
    2. Timing belt replacement - The condition of the transmission fluid and spark plugs makes me nervous that the timing belt may be past its expiration date.
    3. Air conditioning repair - The car had some front end damage which punctured the condenser. I have no idea how long the air conditioning has been out, so I will replace the compressor while I have the front end torn apart.
    4. Front end repair - The bumper is cracked, I may try to plastic weld. If that isn't successful, I will replace. I already have the fog light bezels.
    5. Interior - the carpet is shot, as well as the seats. Carpet should be easy and not to expensive to replace, the seats are another story. The former owner took the shoulder belt clip off the driver's side and that is impossible to find. I was quoted a stupid number to recover the seats. I may go with 3g or aftermarket. This doesn't look like it will be cheap.
    6. Upgrades - Debating on turbo. By the time, i get to this point, I will have 3 times what I paid for the car in repairs. Adding turbo will double that amount. I also have to consider whether I want to dump turbo on an engine with 128k miles on it. It would be sick to have 250 - 300 hp in this car, but I would also have to upgrade suspension and brakes. That may make this car cost more than some other alternatives that are already turbo. I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  5. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    I am not sure why I waited until July to get started on this project. The outside temperature is hovering around 100 degrees, and it must be about 120 degrees in the garage. The former owner had done a nice job of painting the door handle. What remained of the old handle was a real pain to remove...and guess what the painted handle didn't fit. Now I knew why the owner had two handles. I left the door lock out since I was planning on repainting it, but the black is starting to grow on me.
    IMG_20200717_174921520.jpg
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  6. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    So last week, the real work started. It was over 100 degrees last Saturday. After inspecting the top, it looked like the frame rails were shot. A bolt was missing on the right side, and the frame link arms were seriously bent. I ordered a set of eBay from Lawrence Technologies. I was blown away by both the quality of the arms they sent, they looked like new, and the speed in which they sent them. I received them two days ahead of their promise date:
    IMG_20200706_191901973.jpg
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  7. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    At this point, I owe major props to Jinscho. His link was invaluable for removing the top. I was also much easier to understand than the service manual:
    https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/convertible-top-replacement.528063/

    I was able to follow those instructions until I got to the end because the person that installed the last top didn't want to be bothered with all of the fasteners.
    IMG_20200712_192129960.jpg
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  8. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    With the top off, more damage became apparent. The frame extension arm was broken, and there were holes in the boot. Add another couple of hundreds of dollars to this project. Lawrence Technologies had the arm, and that is supposed to be here on Thursday. Rock Auto has the boot, but it is coming from China with a two week delay.
    IMG_20200712_192155956.jpg
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  9. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    Hard to believe it's been three weeks. With an hour in the evenings and most weekends tied up, progress has been slow. I was able to get one of the frame rails replaced, I was also patting myself on the back for remembering to put the motor into the rail before tightening. Then I got to assembling the right side and ran into a hiccup. IMG_20200807_180958175.jpg IMG_20200807_181007189.jpg
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  10. daughtersspyder

    daughtersspyder Probationary Member

    14
    0
    Joined Dec 2, 2018
    SPRING, Texas
    I am finding that there are many parts simply not available. Something I didn't expect from a car of this age. When I removed the old balance link from the frame rail one of the flange bushings was broken. I've found them being sold with the arm, but am not wanting to spend $60 to $70 for a $3 part. It seems ridiculous to get stopped for a $3 part. I may go with a spacer and washer as a replacement. I've searched the internet for a week without any luck. I am also going to post on the body and exterior page of this forum to see what everyone else is doing. The top on this car has been better than a box of Cracker Jacks. It's been full of surprises.
    IMG_20200807_175950921.jpg
     

    Showcar Build 150  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...

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