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Salty Seagull's RS to GS Upgrade

BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
3,595
1,279
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
268
223
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
268
223
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. πŸ‘

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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
I was afraid this cucumber might be a dill and I would find myself in a pickle. πŸ˜„ 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
268
223
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. πŸ‘

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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
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
268
223
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 it, 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. πŸ€”

It does now. I used a Mahle Engine Seal Kit 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, clamps and fan motor, the exhaust manifold, spark plugs, all of the belts, the timing components, all of the motor mounts and cushions, the transmission and fuel filters, inner tie-rod ends and steering rack bellows.

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

The engine needs more attention though. There is a piston slap that I'd like to circle back at some point and fix, but for now it doesn't seem to be a pressing concern. I feel like it's time to close the hood on this part of the project (pun intended).

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 pretty much all of the rubber parts are worn out, and will definitely need to be addressed in the future.

I guess we'll see what next year brings because the maintenance completely blew up my budget for this year. πŸ’₯πŸ˜…πŸ˜†

It was well worth it though. It's time to hit the road. πŸ₯²
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
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 πŸ’©πŸ“¦. πŸ˜†

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Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
I took some time to detail the engine bay today. The 420A is a good looking engine IMO. πŸ˜€
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I discovered a transmission fluid leak though, πŸ€” so it's going back into the shop soon.
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
Turns out the fluid leak was due to a bad transmission output shaft seal. A new Mopar seal went in today, and now the car finally seems to be leak free! πŸ‘ 🀞

In other news, my passenger side interior mirror trim cover broke today... πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ Oh well what can you do? πŸ˜…
 
Last edited:

BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
3,595
1,279
Feb 9, 2019
Alabama
The power mirror covers are equally as brittle but you touch them a lot less. I ended up just removing my covers and running without them. I'll keep an eye out at the junkyards for a decent set if you'd like. Ebay probably wants a fortune for them.
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
The power mirror covers are equally as brittle but you touch them a lot less. I ended up just removing my covers and running without them. I'll keep an eye out at the junkyards for a decent set if you'd like. Ebay probably wants a fortune for them.
I appreciate that! I am good for now though, I purchased a new old stock set a little while back. I'm hoping those will last a few years at least. πŸ˜„
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
I spoke too soon about the fluid leaks being resolved. Despite it being new, the oil drain plug that came with my aftermarket oil pan was leaking, so I replaced it with an OEM one. So far so good. 🀞

I still have a small transmission fluid leak though. The culprit seems to be one of the remanufactured axles that I had installed a few years ago. I am planning to replace both axles with a new OEM set, which should fix the problem. I will probably do this in the Spring.

I think I might overhaul the suspension when I do the axles. I don't like the "popping" sound coming out of the front end when I turn the wheel, and the ride quality feels like it's degrading. The struts are starting to leak, and the ball joints are ready to be retired. It's time.

I'm actually excited about this because tearing apart the suspension creates a great opportunity to upgrade to GS sway bars. I found a set a while back out of Arizona that look to be in really great shape. πŸ‘ I can't wait to start making improvements to the car again. 😊
 

Salty-Seagull

Supporting Member
268
223
Jul 16, 2019
Kimball, Michigan
It's tarp time again.
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I lay tarps down in my garage to keep the undercarriage of my Eclipse as dry as I can.

I read where the temperature shifts in the Fall can cause the pavement to sweat in an uninsulated garage. Unfortunately I don't have the funds to insulate my garage and seal the floor at the moment, so I use tarps as an economical alternative.

I usually pull them up in the summer, clean the floor, and then lay them back out in the Fall... and as much as I don't want to admit it, winter is rapidly approaching.

It may only be early September but the nights are getting colder and the leaves are already starting to change.
 
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