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What do you think? Spending too much too quick sometimes? Please read!

Junzu

Proven Member
112
13
Aug 21, 2021
California
Had my DSM for only 4 months. Paid for a timing job, pulleys and all, water pump few weeks ago. Not comfortable enough to do that myself and risk bending valves. Good price, 1 grand flat. Various other things like tires and a new cat for smog ($700 😞) exhaust leak fix, and $800 behind tags, and parts I've bought added up to ALMOST 3.5k these past months!

It is a project and all, and the goal is to also learn and work on it myself, which I have plenty, but little things like that which involve welding, timing, tags and smog, etc have really added up. Then today, clutch felt like like was slipping pretty bad in 4th gear...

Think I've spent too much? How's your experience been? I obviously work but I make about 15/hour right now, but don't have many other expenses for now. Most of this has been "catch up" maintenence for 152xxx miles, sitting for a while before I got it.

It's basically "one and done maintenence", you do it now and you're okay for another 50k miles, give or take. But sometimes I feel like I've spent too much too fast and embarrassed a little. Even though I've learned a lot and want to continue that process! I have done a lot of work myself. Not broke yet!

Just wanna know other's experiences and thoughts... I think how you feel about the car really matters for a project to work out, it's important in my opinion to feel a connection with the car and really like it. And I this is my dream car, if I had 20k that I could magically only spend on a car, it would be this one. It's really my dream car and I do have long term plans for keeping it. Some have kept theirs 10+ years. I want to as well!
 
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BLACK'98DSM

Proven Member
3,318
1,137
Feb 9, 2019
Alabama
They're old cars now. They require our money and attention... the real question is, how much are YOU willing to spend on it? Don't let other people set your limits. Set your own limits.

Let me put this into perspective for you. I have a spreadsheet with nearly every purchase I've made on my Eclipse. Not including things like gas or oil of course. Just real parts that I run on the car and paint etc. As of this very moment the end total is over $14k. Not a single penny of that was paid to anyone else to work on my car. It blows my mind to scroll through the spreadsheet and see how much I spent and where. All these little purchases really add up. $50 here, $75 there... make these purchases all year long and there's a couple thousand. Rebuild the engine, another couple thousand... see what I mean? You need to decide how much your car is worth to you and how much you're willing to do to make it the way you want it to be. To do this you need to decide what your goal with the car is. Are you going to fix it up and sell it? Or are you going to keep it till your last breath like me?

To some people they're just cars. To us, they're collector's items that need to be maintained, and in some cases they need to be built like hell and ran till there's nothing left, then rebuilt and do it again.

It's really all up to you. Don't let other people tell you what to do with your project. The whole point in a project car is to go your own path with it. There are some obvious limiting factors such as how much money you make, and how much time you have. And you definitely need to use your resources responsibly. But take it as far as you can go dude. Keep your DSM game as strong as you can reasonably do :hellyeah:
 

streetraceboi

Proven Member
735
267
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
Honestly, if you feel like youre spending too much. Youre better off doing it yourself. The mistakes you make will outweigh what youll be paying any day. Why? Because experience trumps all. Get hands on. Don't get scared. That's what you have us and this forum for. We will be more than happy to guide you through the process. There is 20 years of knowledge and posts on this site :)
 

Junzu

Proven Member
112
13
Aug 21, 2021
California
Honestly, if you feel like youre spending too much. Youre better off doing it yourself. The mistakes you make will outweigh what youll be paying any day. Why? Because experience trumps all. Get hands on. Don't get scared. That's what you have us and this forum for. We will be more than happy to guide you through the process. There is 20 years of knowledge and posts on this site :)
Thanks! I've done a lot but the welding and timing is where I draw the line. Goal is to definitely do as much as I can myself and learn more as I go too.. Don't you think I should just tackle clutch myself? Could take me a few days but chrisfix makes it look easy! Just need some bread for that pilot bearing! Hahaha.

They're old cars now. They require our money and attention... the real question is, how much are YOU willing to spend on it? Don't let other people set your limits. Set your own limits.

Let me put this into perspective for you. I have a spreadsheet with nearly every purchase I've made on my Eclipse. Not including things like gas or oil of course. Just real parts that I run on the car and paint etc. As of this very moment the end total is over $14k. Not a single penny of that was paid to anyone else to work on my car. It blows my mind to scroll through the spreadsheet and see how much I spent and where. All these little purchases really add up. $50 here, $75 there... make these purchases all year long and there's a couple thousand. Rebuild the engine, another couple thousand... see what I mean? You need to decide how much your car is worth to you and how much you're willing to do to make it the way you want it to be. To do this you need to decide what your goal with the car is. Are you going to fix it up and sell it? Or are you going to keep it till your last breath like me?

To some people they're just cars. To us, they're collector's items that need to be maintained, and in some cases they need to be built like hell and ran till there's nothing left, then rebuilt and do it again.

It's really all up to you. Don't let other people tell you what to do with your project. The whole point in a project car is to go your own path with it. There are some obvious limiting factors such as how much money you make, and how much time you have. And you definitely need to use your resources responsibly. But take it as far as you can go dude. Keep your DSM game as strong as you can reasonably do :hellyeah:
Hell yeah thank you!! I really do plan on keeping her AS LONG as I can. I love the DSM life and enjoy working on her and learning new things too. This has been my dream car for a while and now I've really got it and I feel that connection that I never get tired of. I'm motivated and committed to keeping in the game. Of course budgeting is important but you said it best, to some they're just cars. To us, it really is a labor of love. This sounds cheesy, but even modifying and customizing your DSM is a reflection of your own personality and creativity. I really do love this car in a way that isn't a fad. I see DSMers who've been in the game a decade and I want that too. I think it's all worth it in the end! What's another clutch in comparison! It's the original, had to be replaced sometime. I also had the mindset of rebuilding it 6 bolt when the time comes. I'm motivated to keep her long term, no other car compares for me :thumb:
 
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TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
5,777
2,897
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
The bread trick is real…I think but you don’t have to worry about that as manual dsm’s don’t use pilot bearings. Too late…Don’t be afraid of doing a timing belt, it’s not too bad. When working on older cars in general, you’ll almost always run into situations where it’s hard to get a bolt off, or they break/strip. This is where proper tools and knowledge comes into play. Like streetraceboi said, there’s a lot of members here that are willing to help.

Not sure what you need welded, but that’s another animal since a decent welder alone is quite expensive and takes practice to get good at unless you don’t mind booger welds LOL.

Cars in general are the worst investment because you’ll never get that money back. Good news is that I do think our car values are appreciating but it’s at a slow pace from what I’m seeing.

Fwd clutch job isn too bad either. Difficulty 3/5 or 4/5 (some might say 2/5 LOL) depending on your ability and what tools you have.

For me, think I have about $7-8k in my car including the car itself which was $3,200. But that’s doing everything myself that I can. Had I paid someone to work on it, it would probably be double that. Sounds like you’re fairly young. My advice would be to save your money. Don’t be car broke. Do basic maintenance to keep it up to par and enjoy it. Once you start adding power, things are bound to break or need upgraded. That’s when it starts going downhill/lose motivation.

Good luck with your build!
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,279
2,199
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Hell yeah thank you!! I really do plan on keeping her AS LONG as I can. I love the DSM life and enjoy working on her and learning new things too. This has been my dream car for a while and now I've really got it and I feel that connection that I never get tired of. I'm motivated and committed to keeping in the game. Of course budgeting is important but you said it best, to some they're just cars. To us, it really is a labor of love. This sounds cheesy, but even modifying and customizing your DSM is a reflection of your own personality and creativity. I really do love this car in a way that isn't a fad. I see DSMers who've been in the game a decade and I want that too. I think it's all worth it in the end! What's another clutch in comparison! It's the original, had to be replaced sometime. I also had the mindset of rebuilding it 6 bolt when the time comes. I'm motivated to keep her long term, no other car compares for me :thumb:
If you're confident in doing a clutch you could've tackled the timing. Most of the stuff I've done where I wasn't experienced I did out of necessity. I simply couldn't pay someone. Here I am 30 years later. Truthfully the only reason I stayed out if trouble was I bought a talon which carried a 7 year transferable warranty. I had 4 years left on a 3 yr old car which allowed me to learn, building on the skills I already had. As I got older money didn't matter as much asnd I could afford to do what I wanted. The amount of warranty work I had done was insane. At the end of it I had a solid 70k mile car paid off and bone stock. The rest is history. That was also 4 or 5 cars ago. I love my current dsm but always have a soft spot for a black 1ga talon.
If it's financially a burden maybe it's not good right now. Only you can decide what is too much. I've spent 2k in the last 18 mos and it doesn't even run, LOL. Mostly because I'm lazy.
 

streetraceboi

Proven Member
735
267
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
Thanks! I've done a lot but the welding and timing is where I draw the line. Goal is to definitely do as much as I can myself and learn more as I go too.. Don't you think I should just tackle clutch myself? Could take me a few days but chrisfix makes it look easy! Just need some bread for that pilot bearing! Hahaha
Look up Jafromobile. He has a lot of how-to's on this channel. You can probably find others doing it as well. Its not nearly as hard as you think. I wouldn't watch ChrisFix when it comes to these cars, its not really relevant much but he is entertaining LOL
 

TheDude236

Proven Member
146
57
Mar 15, 2021
Kingston Springs, Tennessee
Had my DSM for only 4 months. Paid for a timing job, pulleys and all, water pump few weeks ago. Not comfortable enough to do that myself and risk bending valves. Good price, 1 grand flat. Various other things like tires and a new cat for smog ($700 😞) exhaust leak fix, and $800 behind tags, and parts I've bought added up to ALMOST 3.5k these past months!

It is a project and all, and the goal is to also learn and work on it myself, which I have plenty, but little things like that which involve welding, timing, tags and smog, etc have really added up. Then today, clutch felt like like was slipping pretty bad in 4th gear...

Think I've spent too much? How's your experience been? I obviously work but I make about 15/hour right now, but don't have many other expenses for now. Most of this has been "catch up" maintenence for 152xxx miles, sitting for a while before I got it.

It's basically "one and done maintenence", you do it now and you're okay for another 50k miles, give or take. But sometimes I feel like I've spent too much too fast and embarrassed a little. Even though I've learned a lot and want to continue that process! I have done a lot of work myself. Not broke yet!

Just wanna know other's experiences and thoughts... I think how you feel about the car really matters for a project to work out, it's important in my opinion to feel a connection with the car and really like it. And I this is my dream car, if I had 20k that I could magically only spend on a car, it would be this one. It's really my dream car and I do have long term plans for keeping it. Some have kept theirs 10+ years. I want to as well!
I got my DSM in the beginning of last April, sight unseen off of an ebay auction. It had a lot of problems, ended up spending nearly 3-4k the next couple months on a pro timing job, clutch replacement, new transmission, and 44 dollars to a AAA tow truck LOL
Just recently I sent it back to my DSM mechanic to have its engine rebuilt completely, of course it needed to be bored out more which means I had to get forged internals. There goes another 3k...
Moral of my story, stuff is going to break. In total since April of 2021, I've probably collectively driven my Talon for about 3 months and its almost the end of 2021. The other 3 months the Talon has been on jacks fixing the problems I listed above, and other misc problems.

Everyone said it pretty good already: These are old cars, and they break a lot.
If you want to keep it forever (like I do as well) then you may as well get all your jobs done right, and as fast as possible so you can enjoy driving it more. Spending a lot of money really fast is just the nature of cars, not just DSM's. It is how it is.
(Side note, I could have done my clutch, trans, timing, and engine rebuild myself for a lot cheaper obviously, but since I'm a fairly new DSM'er, I'd probably find a way to mess up every single job and spend more money fixing the "fix" that I attempted)
 

Junzu

Proven Member
112
13
Aug 21, 2021
California
Look up Jafromobile. He has a lot of how-to's on this channel. You can probably find others doing it as well. Its not nearly as hard as you think. I wouldn't watch ChrisFix when it comes to these cars, its not really relevant much but he is entertaining LOL
Saw his trans removal, holy hell that's a lot to remove the trans. Not too bad though might take me more than a day for the entire process clutch included LOL. Great time to replace the rear main seal too :thumb:
 

diambo4life

Proven Member
1,309
94
Apr 18, 2002
Edmond, Oklahoma
All of us have been where you are right now. Trans removal is super easy. Follow the VFAQ. Stabbing it in on an AWD can be tricky and I would recommend a second helper so you're not hanging that trans on the clutch or something while trying to stab it in.
 

streetraceboi

Proven Member
735
267
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
Saw his trans removal, holy hell that's a lot to remove the trans. Not too bad though might take me more than a day for the entire process clutch included LOL. Great time to replace the rear main seal too :thumb:
Luckily yours is a GST and shouldn't be hard at all :)
 

KCDsmDude

Proven Member
331
201
Oct 11, 2020
Kansas City, Missouri
I've done all my own work to save $, but things I won't touch are motor internals/timing and trans internals, anything else I'll tackle. It's best to learn to wrench on these cars, learn the "ins and outs" of them. It will save you money in the long run.

Any time I've ever removed any transmission with these cars, I've always had an extra jack/transmission jack to help. Saves a ton of hassle.
 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,095
952
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
I'm the original owner of my 99 Eclipse GST (FWD) and have had it as the ONLY car I've owned since 1999! It's still the best and most fun car I've ever had. I've always done all my own work on everything (which is pretty much everything). I'm now retired (70) but was an electronic enginner (BSEE degree), NOT a mechanic. But fixing my own cars has always been a hobby and necessity. Anything I didn't know how to do I've learned from the real Mitsubishi factory service manual and from the people and articles on this site. I've even rebuilt the tranny 3 times myself from an article on here complete with pictures (never had a tranny apart before that and too scared to try)! Another great article on valve stem seal replacement, etc - you get the idea. There's a ton of experts on this site that will respond to your posted questions.
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
8,593
4,497
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
Think of the $ you wouldn't have if you had an assortment of DSMs like me.
Do yourself a favor and buy a used Factory Service Manual. They are just as important as any tool when it comes to feeling more comfortable working on them yourself, which is the only way to enjoy these hobby cars. You have to be willing to take the chance so you can feel comfortable and confident to do the necessary work that these (and any old car) require to keep them on the road. If you get to that point then you will also feel the reward of doing it all yourself and that should make you HAPPY. If it doesn't then you might not think it is the right type of car for you. Believe me, the FSM is where the local run of the mill wrench turner would start and if THEY can do it, you can too.
Marty
 

Junzu

Proven Member
112
13
Aug 21, 2021
California
Think of the $ you wouldn't have if you had an assortment of DSMs like me.
Do yourself a favor and buy a used Factory Service Manual. They are just as important as any tool when it comes to feeling more comfortable working on them yourself, which is the only way to enjoy these hobby cars. You have to be willing to take the chance so you can feel comfortable and confident to do the necessary work that these (and any old car) require to keep them on the road. If you get to that point then you will also feel the reward of doing it all yourself and that should make you HAPPY. If it doesn't then you might not think it is the right type of car for you. Believe me, the FSM is where the local run of the mill wrench turner would start and if THEY can do it, you can too.
Marty
Yep, REALLY want to do the clutch myself! Even if it takes days! I have a haynes but quickly learned it's not very effective... leaves a lot out. I definitely have the rewarding feeling of doing it myself and I enjoy working and learning on this one. No other car makes me feel the way I do about this DSM. Been watching lots of videos today on my day off LOL
 

1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
8,593
4,497
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
I was hoping that would be your reply. The true FSM is the bible and actually is for all cars. I have a Chevy, Saturn, Toyota and Infiniti besides my DSMs and I have a FSM for every one of them.
They all start out with "Remove the battery" ROFL
Glad that you feel good about doing it yourself! Its important with these cool little cars if we want to see them on the road in the years to come.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,279
2,199
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
The time you will spend is gaining knowledge. Once you have that knowledge the jobs get easier and far less intimidating. I will admit I own way more tooling than I ever thought I would. So there is that.
 

Junzu

Proven Member
112
13
Aug 21, 2021
California
The time you will spend is gaining knowledge. Once you have that knowledge the jobs get easier and far less intimidating. I will admit I own way more tooling than I ever thought I would.
Are you familiar with jafro's vids? Spending my day off watching him do his! Doesn't seem too bad but will take me a while. Im pretty excited to do it. Experience and knowledge is very valuable
 

Vincent Pandolph

Probationary Member
24
8
Apr 2, 2021
Townsend, Massachusetts
I'm in the same boat, bought a 1990 TSI AWD Talon. It wasn't running when I got it. Spent over 1k on fuel system but did the work myself. Tires $365 from tire rack. Refinishing the wheels myself for about $30. Clutch slave and cmc $100 give or take. Plugs and wires $75. Hks cat back $600,Megan racing downpipe $225 ( arriving soon) all new parts for when I do the clutch south bend ss2200 pressure plate and kevlar ceramic disc $700, new pivot ball,fork, OEM bearing and clip $180. Some of these parts are on the way. I thought I was ready to drive it but it turns out the clutch pedal assembly is wearing out and only moves the rod half of what it should. So that's another $40 for a bronze bushing and then a 12 pack of beer for the welder to weld the assembly so this never happens again. The sale price was $3000 plus $450 to tow it home. Just like you guys I love this car and the way I feel when I sit in it. There's absolutely nothing else like it. Know that once the major items are replaced and you don't beat on them, they are reliable. I'll post some pics soon interior is all apart still until I get the bushing for the pedal assembly
 

streetraceboi

Proven Member
735
267
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
I'm in the same boat, bought a 1990 TSI AWD Talon. It wasn't running when I got it. Spent over 1k on fuel system but did the work myself. Tires $365 from tire rack. Refinishing the wheels myself for about $30. Clutch slave and cmc $100 give or take. Plugs and wires $75. Hks cat back $600,Megan racing downpipe $225 ( arriving soon) all new parts for when I do the clutch south bend ss2200 pressure plate and kevlar ceramic disc $700, new pivot ball,fork, OEM bearing and clip $180. Some of these parts are on the way. I thought I was ready to drive it but it turns out the clutch pedal assembly is wearing out and only moves the rod half of what it should. So that's another $40 for a bronze bushing and then a 12 pack of beer for the welder to weld the assembly so this never happens again. The sale price was $3000 plus $450 to tow it home. Just like you guys I love this car and the way I feel when I sit in it. There's absolutely nothing else like it. Know that once the major items are replaced and you don't beat on them, they are reliable. I'll post some pics soon interior is all apart still until I get the bushing for the pedal assembly
Just add in the cost of labor if you were to take it to a shop LOL That's where people really hurt when they attempt to own a 24-30 year old car and choose not to work on the car themselves.
 

luv2rallye

DSM Wiseman
8,095
952
Jun 7, 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota
To replace clutch you'll have to remove the tranny. Here is a very timesavings tip:
You don't have to remove the axels from the hubs at all (leave wheel nuts on). You also don't have to remove ANY ball joints! Just unbolt the 2 lower arms at the chassis end (READ THIS proceedure: http://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/awd-drivers-axle-help.462647/#post-153254703) and remove the damper fork bolt and the entire assembly will swing out far enough to pull the axles out of the tranny (pry axle out the first inch with a flat blade screwdriver between the inner CV housing and tranny on each side of that housing 180 apart). Move tranny axle end out of tranny and down where it won't bump into anything.
 

Vincent Pandolph

Probationary Member
24
8
Apr 2, 2021
Townsend, Massachusetts
Exactly I missed a few odds and ends plus supplies like rags and cleaners primer and hardware, don't forget the hardware. Al together about $7k plus the rmv fees. I know there's a bunch more repairs to make and some of the parts I didn't mention are for later use when I have the head machined and change the valve seals, springs, retainers, seats and valves if the machinist recommends it. I knew this when I started looking for it. I owned one 20 years ago and it was even worse than this one. I also replace the entire brake system including the lines. I kept rear calipers because I couldn't find the left rear new for under $300. So I did what I could do to clean and recondition the rear calipers. They work good and parking brake holds good and I haven't even adjusted it. So hey don't worry if you can't do it all at once or even on your own take care of what you can and prepare for what you can't. It's your passion and dream. Go for it!
 

Junzu

Proven Member
112
13
Aug 21, 2021
California
To replace clutch you'll have to remove the tranny. Here is a very timesavings tip:
You don't have to remove the axels from the hubs at all (leave wheel nuts on). You also don't have to remove ANY ball joints! Just unbolt the 2 lower arms at the chassis end (READ THIS proceedure: http://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/awd-drivers-axle-help.462647/#post-153254703) and remove the damper fork bolt and the entire assembly will swing out far enough to pull the axles out of the tranny (pry axle out the first inch with a flat blade screwdriver between the inner CV housing and tranny on each side of that housing 180 apart). Move tranny axle end out of tranny and down where it won't bump into anything.
Yeah was planning on letting the axles hang LOL. Thanks!

To replace clutch you'll have to remove the tranny. Here is a very timesavings tip:
You don't have to remove the axels from the hubs at all (leave wheel nuts on). You also don't have to remove ANY ball joints! Just unbolt the 2 lower arms at the chassis end (READ THIS proceedure: http://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/awd-drivers-axle-help.462647/#post-153254703) and remove the damper fork bolt and the entire assembly will swing out far enough to pull the axles out of the tranny (pry axle out the first inch with a flat blade screwdriver between the inner CV housing and tranny on each side of that housing 180 apart). Move tranny axle end out of tranny and down where it won't bump into anything.
Yeah was planning on letting the axles hang LOL. Thanks!
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
7,279
2,199
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Are you familiar with jafro's vids? Spending my day off watching him do his! Doesn't seem too bad but will take me a while. Im pretty excited to do it. Experience and knowledge is very valuable
Yes I am. Jafro and I sat down and chewed the fat a few years ago at the shootout. Good videos.
 

jed344

Supporting VIP
1,147
242
Jan 10, 2008
Waterville, Iowa
Take your time. The one Dsm I still have I have owned 13 years now. It has been threw many motor/ turbo changes over the years. I shudder to think the money I have spent on it. Easily $15,000+. When ever I get burned I just park it and let it sit. Currently it is waiting for a dog box, twin disc, 300m t case. That’s another $12,000+ 😢.
 
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