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Salty Seagull's RS to GS Upgrade

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My favorite auto recycler just got this 1998 Eclipse GS in!
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The car is beautiful in person, with a bunch of amazing parts, but being from the north, it does have rust.

The doors and hatch are actually in great shape though, and the interior is amazing!
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I've been looking for a car like this for a long time. Needless to say I'll be spending some money on this one. 😄
 
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My favorite auto recycler just got this 1998 Eclipse GS in!View attachment 684498
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The car is beautiful in person, with a bunch of amazing parts, but being from the north, it does have rust.

The doors and hatch are actually in great shape though, and the interior is amazing!
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I've been looking for a car like this for a long time. Needless to say I'll be spending some money on this one. 😄
Oof it hurts to see such a clean body taken off the road. I’d have a hard time not just buying the whole thing to save it
 
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Oof it hurts to see such a clean body taken off the road. I’d have a hard time not just buying the whole thing to save it
Yeah, it is sad. But while I may not be able to save the whole car, I am going to be saving a LOT of the parts from it. 😁 And I mean a LOT. 😅
 
I started pulling parts off that GS this weekend.

My first pick was the spare tire cover because a previous owner spilled something on my original one.
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I realize this isn't typically visible, but I love little details like this. 😉

Speaking of little details, the GS had a cargo net with a little blue tag on it. I believe it's an original manufacturing tag?
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I've never seen one before. That went into my trunk today too. 😄

There will be much more to come. 😁
 
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Slowly but surely I'm disassembling the GS. 😁

I worked out a deal with the auto recycler and paid for the whole car... or rather, I purchased all of the parts on it, and I have some time to get them before it gets recycled.

I'm working against the weather and short winter days, but it's coming along.
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I'm gutting it from the inside out, and in the end, if all goes well, it should just be a hollow shell of red paint, and rust getting crushed. 👍
 
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The weather has been unseasonably warm, and I'm not letting it go to waste. 😊

I was able to get the seats out today!
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I've been looking for these seats (2GB GS gray cloth) for a very long time. I can hardly wait to get them installed. :)
 
The temperature was over 50 degrees today, and the forecast for tomorrow is snow, so I pulled all of the trunk trim after work tonight. No broken tabs or mounts! :)

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I still have a lot to do before I pull the hatch and the doors. I want to completely gut it before that happens since whatever is left behind will be exposed to the elements.

I am being really careful with this. I actually cover the interior with a plastic sheet when I'm done for the day in case the moonroof or any of the seals have a leak. I'm working to save as much as I possibly can. 😁

My next big opportunity is to document how the main harness and hatch plumbing are routed and installed. I just need to pull a few more things before I can get a really good look. I can hardly wait!

No doubt, I'm having a lot of fun, but it turns out that converting an RS to a GS is a pretty big undertaking. Can't say I realized that before I started. 🤷‍♂️😄 But oh well, it's happening. 😉
 
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The parts car is coming apart. 😁 I'm learning a lot through this process. I feel like everything that is easy to pull is out of the interior now. :thumb:
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Slowly working my way to liberating the dashboard.
 
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Not much going on with my car lately but I've been making slow but steady progress on the parts car. 😁
Most of the interior is out, and now I'm working on the front end.

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It probably sounds strange but I'm really excited about the plastic duct behind the front bumper. I've been trying to find one off a GS for a very long time now, but they always seem to be damaged in some way. This one is in near-perfect condition, and I'm friggin geeked about it!

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This is one of those more subtle differences between the RS and GS. The GS duct has holes pierced for the fog lights. The RS one does not.

Yeah, it's probably pedantic, but I really love those little details. 😁
 
I was furloughed from my job earlier in the year, and money has been tight, so there still isn't a whole lot going on with the car, which is obviously a huge disappointment to me. There is a lot I want to do.

I've been working on my blog and YouTube channel in the meantime, and tearing apart the parts car, getting everything ready for when I can start making progress again.

On that note, the parts car had an OEM front bumper on it AND that duct I'm still unreasonably excited about. So I thought, "hey, why not take an hour, and install those?" Afterall, Fort Gratiot cruise weekend is coming up this weekend, and I've been wanting to replace the headlights and a broken fender liner anyway. Might as well get it all done. Easy-peas-y, right?

12 hours later...
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It needs to be repainted (like the rest of the car), but I love it. It looks so much better with the Mitsubishi emblem, in my opinion.

We had a heck of a time with it though.

Long story short, the car was missing some bolts and we had to fix a bent slot because, as best I can tell, the previous owner went John Cena on it rather than to try to reseat the bumper bracket when they missed the slot. That was fun. 😆

It was a lot of work but it's all fixed, and all the fasteners are in their place. Thankfully I had spares. 😅

Speaking of spare parts... the parts car is really coming apart now. I pulled the carpet and seat belts today. I still have the dash and a few odds and ends to pull, then I can get the doors and rear hatch off the car.

I'm really excited about the doors because that will allow me to get the power side mirrors up and running sooner rather than later (plus it gets rid of about 50% of the dents on my car! 😆).

Getting the fog lights and rear hatch wiper working will take more time because it's a lot more extensive wiring job. I'm still thinking about the best way to handle that.


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It's a lot of work, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it. :)
 
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Thanks @Dericsh and @BLACK'98DSM I really appreciate that. :)

Well, due to the weather, we missed the official cruise last night, so we charted our own course tonight instead. It didn't have the density of a usual cruise, but classic cars were still in good supply, and we had an absolute blast.

What’s Your Happy Place?

I found mine last night behind the steering wheel of my Mitsubishi Eclipse.

There's something special, almost magical, about driving that car on a summer's evening; being on the road as the sun kisses the horizon, painting delicate strokes of vibrant amber, gold, and crimson across the sky in such a way that only summer can.

As the car glides down the road, the temperature and feeling of the air whooshing past the lowered windows changes. Like the flip of a switch, as soon as the sun slips behind the auburn horizon, the muggy haze of the day transforms into a soothing cool aromatic blend of deep fried foods as restaurant-after-restaurant blurs by. The breeze feels amazing rushing over your sunbaked, radiant skin.

All-the-while, in a slow descent of fading intensity, the fiery hues of the sunset catch the hood bump, making the red paint gleam with reflections that pour like liquid light across the surface, melting onto the black dashboard and filling the cabin with vivid, yellow-soaked light that paints my wife in a breathtaking vibrancy that exceeds even the most masterful strokes of a Renaissance painter's brush. My son, bathed in that same warm light, sits wide-eyed in the back seat, watching the world rush past the quarter windows, clutching his own toy model "Mitsubishi Eclipse," and melting my heart faster than cotton candy in the rain.

Every time I drive this car, it tethers me to the present moment. I think that's one of the biggest reasons I love it so much. But my affinity for the car pales to that for my family, and when the two are brought together, especially during a summer's dusk, well, that is my happy place.

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Tonight I drove the Eclipse to its first ever car show thanks to encouragement from @Widgmaster, and boy was that AWESOME. The show was at a Culvers restaurant, and they do it every Thursday. My son LOVED it! That little dude is starting to get into cars-- especially the Eclipse. I'm raising him right, I suppose. 😆

I bought him his own recently, a white 2nd gen "Bride" diecast they had at the hardware store that looks a lot like the Fast and Furious car, and he really enjoys it. He usually brings it with him when he rides in mine. 😍

We got there kind of late so we ended up parking with customer cars, but we weren't the only ones over there. 😆
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The only bummer was that I discovered the seals are bad on the headlights I just installed. I ran the lights for a while on the drive home (we took the looooong way home, LOL) and there was condensation inside the lenses by the time I got it into the garage. They'll work for now, but I'll want to look into restoring a set in better condition at some point.
 
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I just completed my annual trip-odometer reset on the Eclipse. The car is in storage now (and has been for a few months), but I put more than 500 miles on it this year! Most of those miles were making memories with my wife and son. It was a hard year as far as job instability, but those miles were magical. ☺️

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Won't be long until you're catching up with me on miles. I just started mine to get the fluids flowing, it was the first time in a while. Soon after that I pulled the ignition coils. It's going to sit for a while as I figure out how to mount these things. 97k original miles is awesome though. Keep it low.
 
It's still officially winter in Michigan, but somehow it reached 70 Degrees today (woot!), so I went back to the parts car and pulled the main body harness.

I learned a few things during this process, and one of the things I learned was that it is a LOT of work turning an RS into a GS. 😆 Is it worth it? No, probably not. 😅 Do I still want to do it? Yes. Yes I do. 😁

I have a few more things to tear out of the interior before I pull the hatch and doors and start cutting sheet metal. With the main harness out, I will have no trouble pulling the rear washer tubing out of the trunk. That's my next target. 👍

Oh yeah, and I finally cobbled together a good set of OEM headlights. That was a long quest, LOL. The lenses are pretty clear on both, but they could use a polish. Anybody have any tips for a treatment that lasts?
 
Congratulations on your progress. Use 2K Clear 2-part spray epoxy on the headlights once they are sanded/buffed clear.
 
We are actually getting a Spring in April this year so I took the Eclipse out of storage on Monday, just in time for the celestial eclipse.

I took this rare photo of a partial eclipse partially eclipsing a partial eclipse 😆
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Other than that, I'm back to tearing apart the GS I bought last year. I pulled the dashboard today, so there isn't a whole lot left to take out of the interior, which is good. I'm anxious to pull the hatch and doors soon. The weather and sun aren't doing them any favors, and these are key components for my build.

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Fun fact, you can fit a 2G Eclipse dashboard in a 2011 Volvo C70 with the top down... Sort of. 😆

When you don't have a truck, you find ways to make it work. 🤷‍♂️ 😁
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Happy to share that with the amazing weather we've been having in Michigan, I was able to make some significant progress on the parts car.

The doors and hatch have finally been liberated! 😁

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Finally got around to fixing the air vent lever on my HVAC controls. It wouldn't go all the way to the left.

I reseated the cable behind the glovebox and now the vents fully open and close. Pretty easy fix for something that has been bugging me since I bought the car. 😆

Ignore the dust, I haven't done any spring cleaning on the car yet... 😅
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Tomorrow I'm going to replace the axles and the front lower control arms.
 
Well, the new (old stock) axles have, so far, appeared to put an end to the last of the fluid leaks! 🤞🤞🤞

I also used this opportunity to swap out the front lower control arms with some new old stock. The boots were shot on all four arms, so I didn't want to wait any longer. Everything else seems to be alright for now, though, so I'm hoping to put some miles on the car before the next round of maintenance.

I think I'm just about ready to start adding GS trim-level upgrades now. I will have to map this out; it will be a lot of work. I feel like the hardest part is going to be containing my excitement through this project, though.😅 I've waited a very long time for this.
 
Try as I might, I haven't been able to find a mint trunk carpet, so I decided to try to clean the one I picked out of my parts car. It's kind of sad because that carpet was ALMOST mint, but unfortunately a little bit of oil dripped onto it and it bled through to the backside. While the backing will never come clean, I'm hoping the visible surface can at least be restored.
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I dropped it off at a local professional detailer along the carpet out of the GS, and that nice set of OEM headlights I cobbled together a few months back. They seemed pretty confident that everything would clean up nice. I'm excited to see how it all turns out, which should be tomorrow.
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The carpet is especially exciting because, even though the GS it came from was a '98, it still had the old-style floor mat hook, whereas the carpet in my '99 has the newer style hook. I don't know why, but they made the redesigned hook too big to fit the dealership-upgrade floor mats. Weird right? 🤷‍♂️

At any rate, I'm going to be tearing the interior out of my car at some point to rewire the chassis, upgrade the seats, and install new parking brake cables, so now I will have the carpet ready to swap in when I get to that project.

Other than that, there isn't much going on with the car right now as I'm still catching up on other expenses after having been unemployed for several months last year. I've been putting miles on it though, and enjoying every moment behind the wheel, much of it with my wife and son. 😄

Here is a photo from the car show tonight. A very short rain storm kicked up, making this about the fourth time where it has been rained on in the last five years. I try to keep it dry, but inclement weather happens... what can you do? 😅
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At least the roads were dry when we left for home. No rainbow tonight though, unfortunately. 🤷‍♂️ I did catch the northern lights a few weeks ago though! :thumb:
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Try as I might, I haven't been able to find a mint trunk carpet, so I decided to try to clean the one I picked out of my parts car. It's kind of sad because that carpet was ALMOST mint, but unfortunately a little bit if oil dripped onto it and it bled through to the backside. While the backing will never come clean, I'm hoping the visible surface can at least be restored.
View attachment 735030
I dropped it off at a local professional detailer along the carpet out of the GS, and that nice set of OEM headlights I cobbled together a few months back. They seemed pretty confident that everything would clean up nice. I'm excited to see how it all turns out, which should be tomorrow.
View attachment 735031
The carpet is especially exciting because, even though the GS it came from was a '98, it still had the old-style floor mat hook, whereas the carpet in my '99 has the newer style hook. I don't know why, but they made the redesigned hook too big to fit the dealership-upgrade floor mats. Weird right? 🤷‍♂️

At any rate, I'm going to be tearing the interior out of my car at some point to rewire the chassis, upgrade the seats, and install new parking brake cables, so now I will have the carpet ready to swap in when I get to that project.

Other than that, there isn't much going on with the car right now as I'm still catching up on other expenses after having been unemployed for several months last year. I've been putting miles on it though, and enjoying every moment behind the wheel, much of it with my wife and son. 😄

Here is a photo from the car show tonight. A very short rain storm kicked up, making this about the fourth time where it has been rained on in the last five years. I try to keep it dry, but inclement weather happens... what can you do? 😅
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At least the roads were dry when we left for home. No rainbow tonight though, unfortunately. 🤷‍♂️ I did catch the northern lights a few weeks ago though! :thumb:
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That pic with the northern lights is super cool! Thanks for sharing.
 
Well, the carpet isn't perfect but it's very much improved! I felt like they did a great job considering how nasty it was when it went in. 😆
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I'm planning to take a crack at that lingering stain soon. I bought some Meguiars carpet cleaner that I'm itching to try out. It's just been crazy hot... And I've been busy... And lazy... And yeah, definitely waiting for milder temperatures. 😆

As for the headlights, unfortunately the lens on my passenger side just didn't turn out. It's been some kind of saga trying to find a restorable OEM set, but I'm not giving up yet... I will keep looking. 😄

In the meantime I took the car back to the weekly Culver's car show tonight and actually met the owner of the other Eclipse I usually park next to. He seems like a great dude, but then, I find most Eclipse owners tend to be pretty cool people. 😉 Needless to say I pointed him to this website to support his build.

Tonight's show was special, as it was supporting a local charity. It was fun popping the hood amongst a sea of muscle cars and classics. I normally don't do it because I don't like to brag about the piston slapping 140-ponies under my hood, but no sense being modest amongst car enthusiasts, I suppose. 😆
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I know this sounds weird, because the 420A really is not a great engine, but man, I have grown to love this stupid thing. It has a nice look to it, it's not terrible to maintain, and I love how it sounds when accelerating. For relaxing summer cruises with my wife and son, it's perfect.

I'm really happy. This project hasn't been the easiest road to travel down, but boy what a drive it's been so far! I have met some amazing people, learned some fascinating things, and found out I have a passion for hunting down rare parts. I am really enjoying this journey. I will never regret buying and building this car.

Here is a pic from the show:
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