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5+ Year Contributor
Feb 9, 2019
BLACK'98DSM submitted a new DSM Profile :

Solomon's 2GNT Build - 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS

A little history about the car, I bought the car on January 4th of 2018. I paid $950 for it, and have no regrets about that due to their local rarity. As purchased, it needed a bit of everything besides interior work. The paint was rough, and the engine had 5 different oil leaks.

So, I had someone drive me there and follow me as I drove it home. I had to stop at the auto parts store and buy an extra quart of oil just to get me home. I'm not joking when I say that the engine was spewing oil.


Very first thing I did once I got home was diagnose the most major of the oil leaks. Upon degreasing and inspecting, I found that it was mostly coming from behind the timing cover. I found that the oil was soaking the timing belt, causing it to tear up easily. The oil was leaking from the front main seal. Also, a large chunk was missing from the crank sprocket LOL, (that's what happens if someone attemps to remove it with a 3 jaw puller). So I decided that it was best to do a complete timing job. Something I also noticed is that the timing was one tooth off. I do not believe that it had jumped time. A new timing belt had recently been installed, along with a crankshaft repair sleeve which was the cause of the main seal leak.

The next thing I did was replace the radiator. The original had cracked plastic tanks and leaked a bit of coolant. The previous owner was such a liar about everything, but was nice enough to include a new radiator with the car. So all I had to do was install it. Easy enough.

After I got that tidied up, I just drove the shit out of it. To my surprise it was a very decent car that handled fair. After some time had passed, the oil light started illuminating. Replaced the oil pressure switch and done. It was also leaking oil, a very common spot on the 420a.

Next up, the front end rebuild. I noticed that the insides of both front tires were significantly worn when purchasing the car. Almost bald actually, while the outsides of the tires still had plenty of tread. Upon inspection, the ball joints were completely trashed. The rubber boot was missing on both sides. In fact, most of the steering and suspension components appeared this way. So I shopped on RockAuto... Some $ spent and I had nearly rebuilt the whole front end. Then got it aligned, of course. I took it for a drive... now it felt tight. Not as tight as a new car but much better than before.

Now, it was time to temporarily address the body. I had a combination of stock paint, and what looked to be some spray can primer that was sprayed over the peeling clear coat areas... It also had quite a few dents and scratches. It was ugly to say the least. So I spent less than $100 at Lowe's and Harbor Freight on budget materials and painted it in my garage. I chose flat black :toobad:. I knew it wasn't going to be permanent, so I decided to experiment a little. I really just did not want to drive around with it looking so bad, and I knew I would be driving it a bit, as I do with new projects.



Now... I had to get rid of those stock wheels and tires. 14 inch wheels are not for me, especially not on a spirited vehicle. To get things going, I ordered some 16 inch KONIG graphite wheels. Not only are 16 inch tires easier to source, but more performance options are available. But there was one more thing I had to do before replacing the wheels. When I bought the car, it only had 4 lug nuts on each hub. I thought it was only because the previous owner removed some locking nuts. But upon inspection, the rear lug studs were beat to hell, so a nut couldn't catch a thread.


And now, to tidy up the exterior, I had to replace those faded headlights. Simple enough.



Thus far, only a small portion of things that were actually done. I started this build thread more than a year and a half after purchasing. I will try to update this post if I remember any other details. And I will search back in my camera roll to see if I can find any older pictures I missed.

Despite everything, this car is my favorite. I probably will not stop improving it unless there is nothing left to do, which would be never. I don't care much that "it's an RS". That's just the factory's classification, for all it's worth. I've been told not to mess with it because it's not worth what I'll put into to it. I'm not building this car to get a better resale value. I'm building this car because I'm passionate and there's nothing else I'd rather spend my time or money doing. :laser::dsm::hellyeah:
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I've spent the last few days getting my "paint booth" all set up. And the last couple of nights painting and clearing my new bumper. Last night was a late night, I spent a long while getting the new bumper put on, and also aligning all the front end panels. I think I've got the front body lines straight, now time to paint the rest. :)

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Did some more body work and painting this evening. Both the fenders. Tomorrow I'll pull the paper and tape off. This is going slow and steady, hopefully it turns out great.

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There has been quite a bit of rain here lately. Monsoons compared to what we usually see out here. I took a turn too quickly and hydro-planed across an intersection, crashing into the wheel of a Jeep. Ouch. Luckily I am well, and so is the car... well mostly. Great way to ruin my efforts of the front end. Back to square one up here!
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Nice to see that you dont give up on it after the accident! Soon the car will look great again.
Thanks for the support man, I need itLOL

Today one of my shifter bushings fell apart and popped loose. 1st and 2nd gear were unable to engage by the shifter, so I had to drive home using only 3rd and 4th gear. I could smell the clutch burning by the time I arrived home. I ordered some Torque Solutions shifter bushings. They are much stiffer than stock and last significantly longer (plastic vs rubber). I also ordered some fiberglass heat wrap. Planning on wrapping my headers and downpipe to keep the intake temps lower and make it easier to work on the engine after running.
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As of today I have all of the parts I need to repair the accident. One of the fenders I ordered from Chicago Autobody Parts (which I overpayed for), and the other one I went and picked up from Pull-A-Part just in case I ever need it for future DSM's. While I was at the yard, I also picked up a new spoiler since the one I ordered from Ebay a few months ago is complete trash. Never buy those cheap chinese products on Ebay. Soon I can prep and paint these pieces so that I can install them.

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Last night I replaced the damaged fender and headlight. I decided to leave the bumper off, as it would be senseless to reinstall just to take it off again in a few days.

There was an unpainted spot behind that fender that wouldn't match very well. So I had to paint it. It's one of those details that nobody ever sees but it makes me feel better.



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Torque Solutions shifter cable bushings have arrived. I also acquired some Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings for the shifter base. It should be tight soon... also 2 rolls of heat wrap and stainless wire ties. I will note that I am not a fan of the composite exhaust gaskets, but MLS are few and far for this application.

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On Saturday I was able to wrap the headers and the downpipe along with changing the gaskets. I don't recall what grade of stainless this headers claims to be, but I'd say definitely not a T304 in reality.


And I also replaced my shifter bushings. A very much needed upgrade. LOL

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The accident is finally undone! In fact, the car is in better shape than it was before (besides that crash support). I did a little more customizing while I had the bumper off.


As you can see I sprayed some more of the red I had left over LOL. Damn she looks good!
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Just mounted a fire extinguisher inside the car. I plan on taking it to all the events I can, and going to the strip ocasionally too. I've got to have a fire extinguisher for these things, just in case. Not that I'll have a carburetor fire or anything, but I'm deep enough in the investment that I'd prefer it doesn't cook on the side of a highway.
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