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Salty Seagull's RS to GS Upgrade

BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
3,507
1,232
Feb 9, 2019
Alabama
In the meantime, it was a beautiful day so I installed a set of manual mirror covers. My plan is to replace the side mirrors with a power set at some point, but I need to rewire my doors first and I was tired of looking at the uncovered cables.
Where did you find the covers? I've swapped over to power mirrors now so I no longer need them but I searched for a set for over 2 years with no luck. The originals are too brittle at this point.
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
Where did you find the covers? I've swapped over to power mirrors now so I no longer need them but I searched for a set for over 2 years with no luck. The originals are too brittle at this point.
I got lucky and found some at a local junk yard, and one in the classifieds a while back. They all have at least one broken mounting clip but they still work.
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
It finally happened! My car is in the shop to make a huge dent in the deferred maintenance. The goal is to get my engine healthy. If all goes well, the car will be running in top shape soon. 👍

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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
I was afraid this cucumber might be a dill and I would find myself in a pickle. 😄 But the shop sent me an update today, and it seems that the engine is super clean inside, which is a relief and very exciting to hear!

I can't wait to see it when it's all put back together!

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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
Waiting for a new exhaust manifold to arrive (mine was cracked). I am also going to replace the steering rack bellows since mine are in rough shape. Other than that, I think this round of maintenance is pretty much done.

It's cool to see the engine bay without an engine in it, and I'm pretty happy with how clean everything looks with roughly 97k miles on the car. 👍

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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
Your firewall lining is in amazing shape. Usually on these cars it is peeling or has been removed.
Yeah, I was excited to see it intact! I got really lucky with this car. The firewall lining is like new and the hood liner is in great shape too. There's certainly a lot of work to be done, but the really rare parts seem to be intact and in great shape.

The trade-off though is that a lot of the foam and rubber pieces aren't in the best shape from spending nearly two decades in the hot, dry Arizona air. I'm working on it though. :)
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
I picked up my Eclipse from the mechanic this evening and went for a drive. It was amazing, and well worth the wait. I didn't feel like it was going to stall, and it seemed very smooth. If I'm not mistaken, the car turned a few heads too. 😁

In short I had a ton of work done to the car, and almost all of it was in the engine bay, with the most important repair being the head gasket. It's been leaking oil since I brought it home, and it turns out the gasket was the culprit.
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I am surprised by this, because I thought, with the car being a 1999 model, that it would not have this problem, and that it would have an MLS head gasket. It did not. 🤔

It does now. I used a Mahle Engine Seal Kit that had an MLS gasket, and it was a great opportunity to reseal the engine. No more oil leaks at the moment.

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Along with the seal kit, I replaced the valve springs and keepers and most of the cooling system with new or refurbished parts. I also replaced the radiator hoses and clamps, the exhaust manifold, spark plugs, replaced all of the belts, timing components, the transmission and fuel filters, inner tie-rod ends, steering rack bellows, and more.

I now have confidence when driving the car, and it is a joy to drive.

I'd like to circle back to the wiring in the engine bay at some point, but other than that I feel like I can close the hood on this part of the project (pun intended), at least for a while.

I really want to focus on the exterior and interior now, but I also need to do some work to the suspension at some point. Everything is still pretty tight, but the struts and rubber parts are worn out.

I guess we'll see what next year brings because the maintenance completely blew up my budget for this year. 💥😅😆

It was well worth it though. It's time to hit the road. 🥲
 
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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
260
214
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
Last night was Cruise Night in Fort Gratiot, MI. I took the Eclipse out with my family and it was an awesome, perfect; beautiful night. It was a dream come true and I can't wait to do it again. 😁

There are two things that concern me though.

I could feel the transmission shifting in the stop-and-go traffic more than I feel like I should have. It felt a little rough. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive to it, but I saw there were metal shavings the filter when I had it changed it out, so I'm going to be keeping an eye on that.

The only other thing that concerns me is how uncomfortable the seats are. Lol. We were only out for a few hours last night, but my back still hurts.

Still, these are minor things. That drive was almost magical.

I think this last round of maintenance finally pushed the car over the tipping point to where it is no longer a 💩📦. 😆

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