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This car used to be cool

Year:
1992
Model/Trim:
Eagle Talon TSi AWD
Please Support Feal Suspension
Please Support STM Tuned
  1. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    Year/make/model: 1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    Transmission: manual
    Rust levels: minimal
    Level of abuse: low to moderate
    Months on jack stands: 26
    Months its been roadworthy: 61
    Goal: urban road warrior


    Table of Contents
    0.0 Introduction
    1.0 Burning Blue
    Top end and throttle body rebuild
    2.0 Drivetrain Dies
    Continuing upgrades, drivetrain failure, and overheating issues
    3.0 Luck Runs Out
    Car accident, repair, and recovery
    4.0 Wasteland Warrior
    Turning it into a Mad Max car
    5.0 A Whole New Look
    New paint job and suspension upgrades
    6.0 More Drivetrain Problems
    Upgrade to E-85 and deal with drivetrain again
    7.0 Oil Leak Turns Into a Rebuild
    Dealing with the excess crankcase pressure

    0.0 Beginning

    Here it is! The pinnacle of DSM ownership, at least for me. A 1g Talon with the “b” body style, a 6 bolt motor, a 4 bolt rear end, and the porno red interior. 20130721_142422.jpg

    The guy I bought it from was asking $3,500, so I offered $2,000. He said it was a deal, so long as he got to keep the Enkei wheels and the aftermarket stereo system. That was fine with me.

    Car was in fair shape and had been kept pretty much stock as far as I could tell. Only mods I found were Eibach springs and an Auto Zone muffler. The biggest issues were that the car needed a paint job and the clutch engaged right off the floor. Overall it was a good running car with the stock 14b still strong.

    My plans included going the tried and true 16g route along with the accompanying accessories. Then one day it became this....
    20160816_145848.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  2. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    1.0 Burning Blue

    So I drove the car in stock form for over a year and took it all over the state without any problems. This thing was solid and I was almost reluctant to modify it. But then it bit first and began to burn a bit of oil here and there. I figured the turbo or valve seals were going. I wanted to run the car above stock boost, so ARPs were a must.

    Sure enough, the valve seals were expired.
    valves.jpg

    I had planned to tear the head off, rebuild it in my living room, and then throw it back on in less than a month. Life crapped all over that plan, something I’m sure you’re all familiar with. So in between a nasty breakup with my girlfriend, buying a house, restarting college, and a new part-time job, the car was forgotten.

    Fast forward another year. I towed the car to my new house and picked up where I left off. This included hot tanking the intake manifold and head, installing new valve seals, ARP head studs, and an OE Mitsubishi head gasket. Ditched the EGR while I was at it and fixed a block-off plate.
    old HG.jpg
    New head.jpg


    While everything was torn apart, I installed a new timing and balance shaft belt too. Plus, I gave the car a tune-up (oil, coolant, plugs/wires, new thermostat, and rebuilt the throttle body). Car fired right up and after a new tank of gas, all was well in the Land of DSM.
    tensioner.jpg
    -temp_hash=f221cceb79f9252c5a0192d4db3b3bc8.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  3. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    1.1 Mighty Enough to Mod

    After I deemed the car healthy and all the mini kinks were worked out from a minor rebuild, I finally threw on the small 16g turbo. This turbo actually came off my FWD rallycross Talon that’s painted in cow print. The cow car needed the quicker spooling 14b anyway, so it all worked out.
    20130724_133750.jpg
    The turbo install included a Punishment Racing O2 housing, Forced Performance manifold, and new oil and coolant lines.

    As this is my fourth DSM, I’m pretty familiar with the mod path. Over the next few months I cussed out the car plenty and installed the necessary support parts in-between searching for that 10mm socket I JUST had in my hand. Some of the parts were new and others I had lying around from past projects.

    First stop was the brain. I swapped out the 1992 ECU for another ECU that was already chipped with the ECMlink hardware. An Innovative LC-1 wideband wasn’t far behind.
    P1000132.JPG

    Afterwards, I moved to the fuel department where I threw in a Walbro pump, rewired it, and then finished things off with a brand new FuelLab regulator. I picked up some Fuel Injector Clinic 1050cc injectors and was on my way to boosting big.
    20141227_142212.jpg
    20160816_141918.jpg
    Finally, I got a set of Avid Racing motor mounts (on sale for Black Friday!). These things rock. Sure, it translates to a bit of vibration in the cabin and the rear view mirror shivers like a Chihuahua, but shifts feel more direct and I enjoy being more “in tune” with the motor.
    20160816_145720.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  4. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    2.0 Drivetrain Death and Rebirth

    I managed to finish all the above before the Colorado winter hit. Car ran well and I tuned it for about 14psi on a semi-reliable Dejon manual boost controller.

    So one night I’m driving home to Denver from the mountains where I’d been visiting the family for New Years. It’s about a 250 mile drive back home. At about 2am I feel a really subtle thump from beneath me while going like 80 mph on the interstate. I knew something had gone wrong, but the car wasn’t blowing up, so I say a prayer to the Internal Combustion God and carry on. I make it home safe, but it’s the dead of winter and I have no interest in displacing my 300ZX from the garage to work on the now crippled Talon. So it sits for the remainder of the cold weather.
    sno.jpg

    Then one day the snow melted and I was back at it. Turned out that a roller bearing failed on the output shaft and then the transfer case failed either due to lack of oil or maybe age.
    20150808_114313.jpg
    So I ditch the transmission and t-case (the tran’s 1st and 3rd synchros were toast anyway) and picked up used units from other DSMers.

    Then I learned why details are important. The replacement t-case I bought was 23 splines. The replacement 5-speed transmission? Yeah, that was 22 spline. Learned that the hard way. Luckily the guy I bought the trans from still had the matching t-case so I was all set.

    Because the Talon was in pieces, I decided to finally use the South Bend clutch that I’d bought a few years prior.
    20150604_192414.jpg
    20150604_195449.jpg
    While on the subject of clutches…..like I mentioned above, the clutch always disengaged an inch or two off the floor. I had learned to live with it, but figured it was time to rectify that. In an attempt to fix that one inch nonsense I replaced the master and slave cylinders. That didn't fix it though :toobad:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  5. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    2.1 Replace One Thing, and then another, and another…

    Usually when my cars are down for maintenance, I’ll take advantage and replace a lot of parts at once. And that’s exactly what happened during this round of repairs.

    I had bought some dual piston brakes for the Cow Car plus the bigger rotors a few years ago, but never used them.
    20150604_180933.jpg

    20160816_141654.jpg

    Then I got carried away with the brakes and ripped out the ABS systems in exchange for non-ABS everything. Not satisfied with just brakes, I also threw on a rebuilt power steering rack, new axles and tie rods, pressed in new ball joints and wheel bearings, alternator, and replaced all the u-joints in the driveshaft. Lastly, I tore out the non-functional air conditioning compressor and the lines.
    20150616_183023.jpg
    20160822_184109.jpg
    20160816_144703.jpg

    Then it occurred to me that it would never stop. I’d just keep putting on new parts but never actually drive the car. The madness had to be reigned in. So I stayed off of websites like JNZ and Rockauto for a bit and started to actually get the car reassembled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  6. buddahboost

    buddahboost Proven Member

    304
    38
    Joined Aug 15, 2007
    CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Illinois
    I love threads like this!! Oh the suspense!!
     
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  7. NOOB1GDUDE

    NOOB1GDUDE Proven Member

    77
    3
    Joined Oct 3, 2016
    MT Gilead, North Carolina
    I feel the same way. The never ending upgrades. One thing to the other. Just want it to stop and drive it the way it is. Lol (DSMLIFE)
     

    866  0

    1991 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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    Dhan likes this.
  8. 95REGF150

    95REGF150 Proven Member

    164
    84
    Joined Mar 7, 2012
    Elk Grove, California
    I know I cant wait to find out what the deal is with that rusty pipe push bumper!
     

    Street Build 1K  0

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  9. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    Glad you're all enjoying the story so far! To me this car represents what being a real car guy is all about...getting your hands dirty, ups and downs, wins and losses.
    I have no regrets :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  10. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    2.2 Drivetrain Hell

    At last it’s time to fire up the Talon for a springtime drive. It starts and idles but won’t go into gear no matter what. However, it does go into all the gears when turned off. And so begins a month long struggle which sees me remove and reinstall the transmission three times using a floor jack and beer-fueled-muscle.
    FB_IMG_1476419304288.jpg
    I throw countless new parts at it (shift fork, pivot ball with and without shims, new masters and slaves, etc.), bleed the hydraulics dozens of times, adjust the throw of the master rod, and consider giving up several times.

    So one day I had my buddy over and we were tinkering with the car. He was on the forums on his phone and found the 2g master cylinder rod swap for 1gs in order to get extra throw. I told 'im I read about it and it's just a Band-Aid.

    Regardless, we decided to give it a shot and rolled over to the local O'Reillys warehouse. Got back, swapped the rods, bled the system, and fired things up. It worked! Could shift into all the gears, putt around the driveway, no grinding. Perfection.

    Strange thing though, this new 2g rod wasn't adjusted out all that far yet (we planned to adjust it out in increments). Then we noticed we'd forgotten to tighten down the master cylinder to the firewall. The bolts were barely finger tight.

    This was a yellow flag for me. At this point, I know this car well. I decided to switch back to the original 1g rod.

    Fast forward a few minutes. This time when we bolt the master to the firewall, we're careful and go by what the service manual says. Just the minimum, 7 ft/lb. Sure enough, it works great again.

    Just for fun, we tightened the two master cylinder bolts more to see if we could see anything strange happen. We couldn't see anything with the naked eye, but soon after it gets tightened, the clutch fails to disengage. We had to loosen the master cylinder bolts to get the clutch working again. Only thing I can think of, is that the firewall is warped from age or a minor accident.


    I would like to add a big kudos to Tim Zimmer (twicks69) for helping me sort out this issue two years after I had purchased this South Bend clutch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  11. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    2.3 FMIC and Overheating

    With everything running well, I figured it was a great time to add some more modifications to the list. I went ahead with the VR Speed Factory FMIC.
    FB_IMG_1476420184316.jpg
    Install was fairly involved but I went by the books and everything went smoothly.

    FB_IMG_1476420202639.jpg
    Soon after the install I ran into cooling problems. Putting around the city or sitting in traffic the car was happy and stayed at 210 degrees. But once I hit the highway, even if I wasn't boosting, the car would get up to 225+ degrees. This was mid summer so outside temps were in the 90s or hotter during the day.
    So I threw on some heat blankets around the manifold and the O2 housing to try and minimize engine bay heat.
    FB_IMG_1476420501391.jpg

    Blankets definitely bottled in the heat as I could touch the blankets with my bare hand even when the car was hot.....but it wasn't enough. Then I switched to an Evo rad cap which holds more pressure, replaced coolant with a 60/40 mix of water/coolant (plus WaterWetter), and put in a new thermostat. This didn’t help either.

    The radiator just wasn’t getting enough airflow when the car was in motion. I had long since removed the A/C condenser so I used the old plastic shroud and fashioned a new one to be placed between the FMIC and the radiator.
    FB_IMG_1476420233604-1.jpg

    This helped, but the car would STILL creep up to the 225+ degree range on the highway. I drove around with the hood off for a while too, but that didn’t really do much.

    A compression test revealed the head gasket was still good so I was running out of ideas. For the time being I just settled on periodically blasting the heater to cool things down, which my passengers hated.

    I finally just got a new radiator and flushed the coolant system with a pressure washer for 30 minutes. No major pieces of gunk came out of the system, so I guess the old radiator was clogged. Combined with all the above efforts, my cooling issues were alleviated.
    FB_IMG_1476420170410.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  12. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    2.4 Exhaust and Other Fun Stuff

    With the SMIC gone, I decided to play around with the vacant space and add a sort of ram air/cold air intake system. Its effectiveness is debatable, but even if it only provides one degree of cooler air, I feel it was worth it. It was made from spare parts, so no big loss.
    FB_IMG_1476421207137.jpg
    FB_IMG_1476421213661.jpg
    FB_IMG_1476421220476.jpg
    FB_IMG_1476421225164.jpg

    While I was giving the intake system a happy addition, I decided to do the same for the exhaust and picked up a homemade turbo-back from a neighbor. Test-pipe for the track and a cat for the street. It has no muffler so something is in the works to quiet it down.
    FB_IMG_1476421175312.jpg

    Then out of nowhere, the car starts to smell like Jolly Ranchers. At first I thought it was burning coolant and began looking out for white smoke from the exhaust. But eventually I find a damp spot by the passenger footwell. The heater core has sprung a leak, so out comes the dash. While everything was apart I cleaned the ducts, greased the HVAC mechanisms, and deleted the A/C condenser.
    FB_IMG_1476421367313.jpg

    And just like an exclamation point on a bad month, someone lightly rear-ended me at a traffic light. He didn’t want to involve his insurance so I took whatever cash was in his wallet at that moment (about $250). I had some spare taillights lying around so everything worked out.
    FB_IMG_1476421231049.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  13. TrevoREX

    TrevoREX Proven Member

    80
    12
    Joined Sep 2, 2013
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Is it sad that I'm reading this with genuine anticipation?
     

    Street Build 677  6

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
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  14. NOOB1GDUDE

    NOOB1GDUDE Proven Member

    77
    3
    Joined Oct 3, 2016
    MT Gilead, North Carolina
    :cry:I have that's same heater coil problem but don't have the time to work on it yet
     

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    1991 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
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  15. _4g63_

    _4g63_ Probationary Member

    24
    4
    Joined Aug 12, 2016
    Sparks, Nevada
    Nice build man good luck
     

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    1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  16. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    3.0 Luck Runs Out

    Here’s some life advice: never lie to your doctor, all guns are loaded, and be mindful of what’s
    between you and the earth, namely shoes and tires. I didn’t take my own advice and driving on crap
    tires cost me.

    14563533_10154599701688841_1030761907658574106_n.jpg

    One freezing cold night I was headed home from work; sober, not on my phone, and only going five
    over the speed limit. I pulled onto a sharp highway on-ramp that I’d driven a thousand times and my
    rear tires lost grip (who knew that DSMs could oversteer? :idontknow:). I tried correcting by turning into the slide but it was too late and I slammed into the guardrail at around 50 mph. My mistake? Old all-season tires in the cold (they should be called “no-season”) and going too fast.
    No one saw the crash and no one was coming behind me, so I limped the car off the highway ramp. I
    called a buddy and he phoned his friend to come tow my car. Went to the hospital the next day and
    found out the scaphoid bone in my wrist was broken. They fixed me up with a cast (in Broncos orange)
    and I set out to retrieve my similarly crippled car.

    14572842_10154599704698841_336479552268301980_n.jpg
    14495237_10154599706793841_2498832012905258742_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  17. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    3.1 Some Rest and Recovery

    After six crappy months, two casts, and a surgery, I was ready to get back at the car that my friends all dubbed Carmageddon. I wasn't able to do any car work in those six months and it was torture. I love tinkering with my cars and spent many hours planted at the window staring sadly into the driveway.

    14600978_10154599704723841_1627090136298938484_n.jpg
    14517527_10154599706663841_8619718638393892886_n.jpg

    The damage actually wasn’t too bad. The list was as follows: shattered wheels (bummed about losing my TSW wheels) and ripped tires on the driver’s side, torn CV boot, bent inner tie rod, broken control arm, bent sway bar link, and bent strut, but no major frame damage :pray: Headlight was also ruined. Annoyingly, several of these ruined parts were less than a few months old.
    14502953_10154599704603841_7179858408434067601_n.jpg
    14484952_10154599705903841_5686726702005258895_n.jpg

    Total cost: $170 in car parts and about $12,000 for all the medical costs (health insurance covered $10k). It took just a couple weekends to get things repaired and bend back the mangled metal.
    After an alignment, the car was back on the road just in time for summer driving weather.

    I replaced my ruined TSW wheels with a set of Dollar Store 17 inch wheels and wrapped them in some Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 summer tires (WTF kind of name is that for a tire?!). They are decent dry weather performance tires that do well once they're warm. I got them because they were on sale, but I probably won't get them again. I prefer the Michelin Sport series (or if you're more on a budget, the Hankook Ventus V12 series are great for the street).

    14563337_10154599704933841_30453006707765849_n.jpg
    14484839_10154599705123841_6719271992639501463_n.jpg
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  18. 90laserRSfwd

    90laserRSfwd Proven Member

    1,292
    75
    Joined Mar 5, 2007
    Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
    Glad to see your still at it!
     

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    1992 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo
    manual · 1G DSM
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  19. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    4.0 Wasteland Warrior intro

    After my Talon was brought back to life, I decided it was time for a whole new era. I've been a fan of the Mad Max series since the early 90s. The cars and motorcycles of those films have always impressed me way more than Fast and Furious or what’s at the local SCCA meets. Way back when I was in a community college Photoshop class I made this picture for a project LOL
    Horner-Project-#3.jpg

    I have always wanted a post-apocalyptic car of my own. With the Talon already in poor physical shape from the accident, it seemed like a fitting transition.
    So I threw around some ideas and sketched out a dozen or so ideas on bar napkins. I figured this sort of build can’t be too planned out as that goes against the whole “hap-hazard wasteland” look. The only caveat I stuck to was that any Mad Max modification I made, had to be reversible in case I wanted to revert back to a stock DSM.

    I started by sanding off all the factory paint from the exterior panels. This left just the bare metal which I intended to let rust over time.
    14520364_10154599705338841_1243373272438424485_n.jpg

    I used an air powered vertical disc sander. Started with 36 grit, and then went over the entire vehicle with 120 grit. Taking the car down to bare metal was a long process, made a big mess, and took a couple weekends. It was kind of fun though. I had never done this much bodywork.
    Next step was the "face" of the car. At first I just left the front bumper off and hacked up a spare bumper to protect my CAI apparatus.
    14517346_10154599705343841_6559703763738401975_n.jpg

    I didn’t care for this look. To me it just looked like the car was missing a bunch of parts. Plus, the no bumper/giant intercooler look is so overplayed. So I came up with several ideas and finally settled on a grill guard type layout to “toughen” up the car (plus it would be needed to plow through that gang of motorcycle bandits :D).
    There was a clothes line hanger in my backyard made out of metal pipe and that's what I used for the guard. My welding skills consist of what I picked up in high school metal shop class and youtube videos, so look away if crap welds annoy you. I trimmed the stock bumper brackets so they’d fit with the FMIC and used those to mount the lateral pieces of the grill guard.
    14563335_10154599705073841_7319560433193839895_n.jpg
    14572138_10154599705483841_514108554696699215_n.jpg
    14495375_10154599705593841_8284812767948654375_n.jpg

    I did all the cutting with a Sawzall and welded everything with a gasless mig welder. I am no fabricator so it was a little trial and error. I had to cut out the notches for each piece using the saw, a homemade jig, and a bench vice. Then cleaned the cuts up with an angle grinder.
    14470619_10154599705703841_4607077718764284913_n.jpg

    The guard turned out alright, but it was still missing something. So I mounted the rest of
    the plastic bumper securely using the stitched zip tie method.
    14563474_10154599705853841_2759099978208378154_n.jpg
    14484885_10154599705808841_6292639843140145835_n.jpg

    Like I stated above, everything I did was reversible and a lot of the parts came from my FWD donor car. This used to be my dedicated race car that I used in rallycross and actually did really well in. Over time though, I neglected to do maintenance and eventually it needed so many replacement parts, it became a drain on my AWD Talon project. It is pretty handy to have around though.....
    14492395_10154599706238841_6134469997822504893_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  20. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    5.0 A New Paint Job

    So I pilot this ugly four-wheel drive badger around for almost two years. It got plenty of attention and a lot of stares. A few people called it "badass" and others just wanted to know "WTF kind of car is that?"(in all that time it never got any cop attention though :pray:).
    Among my friends, co-workers, and family it became the Rusty Razor. Aside from normal maintenance, I didn't do much of anything with it. Mainly because a lot of my time and cash was wrapped up with my Nissan 300ZX and the motorcycle I had at the time.
    14572437_10154599707268841_2536962988782851963_n.jpg

    In spite of two years driving around in all weather conditions and being parked outside, the car didn't rust as much as I'd hoped it would. The arid climate of Colorado just isn't ideal for oxidation.
    But one day an acquaintance of mine makes a comment about what great condition my car is in compared to so many DSMs he's seen. He was referring not so much to the junky exterior, but more to the parts that mattered. The underbody and sub-frames weren't rusty or destroyed by road salt corrosion, the drivetrain and motor were healthy, and the interior was complete.
    I'm not sure what it was about that comment, but something clicked and I decided it was something of a shame to let such a near perfect specimen rot away.

    This time around I was more prepared though. When I first stripped the car down two years prior, I had never painted a car and never really done major body work. Now however, I had a few projects under my belt, some better tools, and more experience.
    So I began by once again sanding down the entire vehicle with an air sander and 120 grit. I had a larger compressor so it didn't take as long. Once the the bare metal surface was shining in the sun I went over it again with 180 grit.

    Once the body was smooth and clean, I hit the car with a thinned flat black enamel paint. I did three coats of the paint and finally sanded the finished car with 2,000 grit sandpaper. The fine grit sandpaper brought out a nice sheen to the otherwise boring paint.
    14517645_10154599706323841_1388949791140790560_n.jpg
    14484994_10154599706253841_5154619041845395927_n.jpg

    I felt the rusty push bar no longer fit the theme of the car, so I ground down the rust and painted it with the enamel and a couple coats of Plastidip.
    14925805_10154707912253841_8376003801689721032_n.jpg
    20161205_163531.jpg

    The only photo I can find of the car in flat black is the one below where it's at my work and almost finished. You can't really see it all that well unfortunately which is a shame, because the car looked like a chrome chalkboard on wheels.

    14601059_10154599706613841_5117876524421428168_n.jpg

    So I rolled around in "The Chalkboard" for a few weeks, but I got tired of it quickly. I decided to just paint the whole car the original maroon/red. There were dings all over the vehicle from being 20+ years old and also a few major dents. The biggest dent that had always bugged me was from where someone backed their truck hitch into the hood. Originally I had just painted over all these imperfections with the flat black, but I decided to go back and fix it the right way.

    14469522_10154599706723841_5333443485135932381_n.jpg

    Even though I had some knowledge of painting, had the tools, and knew the process, I wanted the final coat to look as nice as possible. I didn't have 100% faith in my abilities yet, so I brought the car to a local Acura guy who painted the car in his garage. We couldn't get the original paint code R65 from Chrysler so we settled for the closest match they had.
    15037252_10154707912418841_7545593631145740589_n.jpg
    20160915_1902031.jpg
    14938214_10154707911033841_5296542910191848956_n.jpg

    I left the push bar up front as a sort of homage to the Mad Max era and to keep some uniqueness :cool: The car turned out great and I learned a lot during the process.
    As much as I liked the new look, I actually missed having a wasteland clunker that was immune to rolling shopping carts. However, I think in the grand scheme of all things DSM, our community is better served with a clean example than the ratty version. Hearing people admire a DSM for its appearance was something that took some getting used to LOL
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  21. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    5.1 Final Exterior Touches and Weight Loss

    Not long after painting the car, I picked up some replica stickers of the OE badging. I think these are the only stickers that the DSM community approve of. They round the car out well and lets people know what kind of car they're losing to :)

    20170309_093542.jpg
    20170309_093023.jpg

    I found another cause to celebrate when I at last found the passenger side trim piece. It wasn't the right color but I had plenty of the imitation R65 paint left and my Acura friend was more than happy to lend his giant air compressor again (I supplied the beers).

    Screenshot_2015-12-14-22-50-47.png

    Originally I had removed the driver's door trim piece so both sides would match. I filled the holes with rivets and we painted over them. But now I could finally complete the exterior body kit. I had to drill out the rivets and then fish around the inside of the doors to retrieve the drilled out remains.

    20170214_134038.jpg

    I mounted the trim pieces using a combination of 3M double-sided tape, weatherstripping adhesive, and new plastic clips from clipsandfasteners.com. It's held up just fine.

    20170309_121906.jpg

    Rewind to when I bought the car. When I was negotiating with the previous owner he agreed to knock off $1,500 if he could keep his bad-ass sound system and Enkei wheels. He took out the stereo (which I replaced with an el cheapo system) but left a bunch of Dynamat sound dampening material. Since I had the doors apart for the trim piece installation, I removed all the Dynamat to save a little weight.

    20170214_145815.jpg

    Not satisfied, I removed the Dynamat and OE sound dampening tar under the seats and carpet during a free weekend. I also eliminated all the rear seat belt assemblies. The Dynamat was kind of a pain to remove because the aluminum strips came right off but left a rubber sticky mess behind. The black adhesive sticks to itself really well. So I found the best way to get the remaining goop up was to form a ball of the stuff and then roll it back and forth. Eventually it all came up with the help of a heat gun.
    The OE sound deadening was another form of pain-in-the-ass. I used a putty knife, flat-head screwdriver, and the heat gun to get this stuff off.

    On a weight reduction binge, I deleted the charcoal canister and vented the gas tank near the rear differential.

    20170311_184214.jpg

    I brought the car by the scales and it weighed in at 3,180 lb with a half tank of gas. Minus myself (170 lb) and the gas the car is right around 3,000 lb. Quite a bit more than my old FWD turbo DSM that I got down to 2,500 lb!
    I could easily pry another 150 lb from this car by ditching the interior, sound system, and the OE body kit, but I'd rather just make more power :sneaky:

    20170309_091245.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  22. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    5.2 Handling the Handling Problem

    20170309_090837.jpg

    Okay, so the handling isn't a problem, but the car's suspension was pretty tired. The shocks on the car were long since blown and the Eibach lowering springs were rusting on all four corners. I had ignored suspension related upgrades for a long time because going faster in a straight line was more of a priority. Pretty typical approach for a DSMer I guess :D

    I had actually bought some front Koni yellow shocks years ago when I first got the car. They ended up just collecting dust while I focused on other things. When I went to get the rear Konis a couple years later, I discovered they were discontinued :sosad: So I had to buy a new set of KYB AGX shocks to stand in for the rear.

    20161130_131134.jpg

    For springs I went with the Ground Control sleeve setup. For spring rates I had to call Ground Control and explain the car's setup. I ended up going with a spring rate of 450 in the front and 350 in the rear.

    20161130_124710.jpg

    Getting the Koni shock cartridges into the strut casings was something I handed off to a DSM buddy at SCR Performance near Fort Collins. Once those were together I was able to bolt everything on. Except getting the rear passenger shock off proved a hurdle. The metal sleeve inside of the shock's rubber bushing fused solid to the control arm's mount. I ended up having to burn off the rubber bushing with a torch and then had to use a Dremel to get the metal sleeve off.

    20161129_151618.jpg
    20161129_163405.jpg

    I rode around with this oddball setup for a few months until I lucked out and found a set of used Koni yellow shocks for the rear. I exchanged GC sleeves for the Koni style and I was on my way with Koni yellows all the way around.

    20170228_152353.jpg

    I was happy to get the KYB AGX shocks off of the car. Whether it was the spring rate not matched properly to the damper or the shocks themselves, I found the KYBs jarring on city streets. Not only that, the KYB/GC in the rear led to the rear tires losing grip on wide turns when the road wasn't completely smooth. This side to side hop was unnerving and dangerous.
    Perhaps the KYBs would be great when paired with stock springs and on a smooth surface. But I'm not sure because I never tried it. Regardless, after swapping the rear KYBs with the Konis, ride quality improved and the car felt more stable in the turns.

    Call me crazy, but despite all the time, money, and labor I put into this Koni/GC setup I don't like it. It's stiff, bouncy, and tortures my kidneys. Maybe this is a sign that I'm getting old but city streets just aren't the place to drive around on "racing" suspension :ohdamn:

    Anyway, here's how it sits on the new suspension.

    20170309_121610.jpg

    Up next is a healthy dose of E-85.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  23. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    6.0 College, E-85, and Another Round of Transmission Problems

    Since I went back to college at the end of 2016, I've had very little time for the Talon. What little time I did have was usually dedicated to simply keeping it going. It's been on the small 16g for several years now, but not to its full potential. When I first installed it, I had pushed it to around 22psi and upper 30s lb/min on 91 octane. The car could definitely handle the power, but because I was starting school soon and unlikely to take it to the track, I kept things conservative. I just didn't want things breaking at a time I wouldn't be making good money and wouldn't have much time. I wanted to at least be able to drive the thing while in school. So I turned the boost down to near stock and took it easy for a while :boring:
    But when a gas station down the road started selling E-85, I couldn't help myself and switched over the first chance I got. It was always my intention to run E-85, hence the 1050cc injectors from the beginning.

    So in mid-2017, I started into the ethanol game. Apart from messing with ECMlink here and there and working with carbs on old three-wheelers and dirt bikes back in the 90s, I had zero experience tuning. So I bought a book and used the forums to try and figure it all out.
    20190818_202433.jpg 20170311_152210.jpg


    Using ECMlink with speed density and my LC-1 was pretty straightforward though, and it wasn't long before I was dialing things in and running 18psi with mid 20s lb/min. Still weak sauce, but I just didn't want things breaking. And then something broke anyway :cry:
    Making a highway pull one day, I heard a "thunk" sound from the drivetrain. The car didn't explode so I kept rolling. From that moment on, the car made a thump thump thump sound wherever it went. The sound sped up when the car sped up, so on the highway it became a howl. By now it was late 2017, freezing outside, school and work were ruining my life, and the car barely started in the cold on E-85. I gave up for the time being.

    20190818_221133.jpg

    Fast forward to mid-2018 when I finally got around to tearing out the thumping time bomb transmission. I had found a “works great" 5-speed for sale on Craigslist. The guy was way out in the middle of nowhere of Eastern Colorado. This isn't the guy's place, but you get the idea.....
    nowhere.png

    Here is how it sat on the garage floor when I brought the transplant home. One of the two motor mount bolt holes was completely stripped so I tapped some new threads there. The unit went into all gears fine, the shafts rotated freely, and it seemed in decent enough shape. For $200, I wasn't too worried.
    20190818_193421.jpg

    So here and there I get free time and finally install the transmission in time for summer 2018. The “works great” transmission turned out to not-work-so-great-at-all. Both 5th gear and reverse were completely locked out when the car was on. The shifter cables were fine as were the linkages but no matter what I did, the car wouldn't shift into 5th or reverse. So I drained the trans and popped off the cover hoping it was a loose nut or something. No luck.

    1st through 4th gear worked alright (2nd and 3rd gear synchros were both worn) and I didn't have the motivation to pull the trans out again so I just stayed off the highway and never parked anywhere that I would have to reverse. In a few instances that I did need reverse, I would either push it or pop the hood, shut the car off, manually put the car in reverse by hand using the linkage, and then start the car already in gear. Needless to say, I didn't drive the thing much during this time, but at least it wasn't on jack stands!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  24. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Supporting VIP

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    Joined Jan 5, 2012
    Rathdrum, Idaho
    That's a rough story of "git er done" if I ever heard one! Way to keep plugging away!
     

    Street Build 199  3

    1990 Plymouth Laser N/T
    fwd · manual · 1G DSM

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    awd · manual · Misc Vehicles

    Street Build 838  7

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    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  25. Dhan

    Dhan Supporting Member

    882
    110
    Joined Apr 29, 2010
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks man! It's a beast sometimes and I've cussed more at this car than anything else, but when the boost hits, it's all worth it! :hellyeah:
     

    2K  4

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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