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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I owned this car for about 10 years, then traded it in on my current daily driver back in 2015. It popped up on Facebook Marketplace and after some back and forth on whether or not I needed another project, i decided to go look at it.
It was in great shape when i traded it in, and the 4.5 years / 60k miles it was in someone elses hands it was near destroyed. Luckily it ran or I would have walked.





Body work will come, but so far the following has been done.

-Transmission rebuild. The input shaft bearing failed, and they continued to drive on it. The TOB sleeve ended up taking the job of the bearing, and the input shaft seal was gone, allowing gear oil to get into the clutch disc. It was driven on for so long the friction material rivets broke free.




Pulled the motor, eliminated any leaks. This involved pulled the lower case, and replacing gaskets and seals. The oil pan was also resealed.




Front suspension had bad ball joints, loose bushings on the A-arms, a blown strut and i believe the original wheel bearings.
The calipers were rebuilt, and the Sportline springs i had installed previously were reused. New A-arms, KYB Excel G (GR-2's), strut mounts, wheel bearings, rotors/pads and tie rod ends installed. The calipers we rebuild, and powder coated.


Calipers were powdercoated Illusion Red
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #2
Motor Stripped down

Motor after powdercoated bits, new seals and ready to install


Rear suspension got a good pressure wash and scrub, VHT chassis black, new rotors / pads, KYB Excel G struts, new rear brake lines, and rebuilt calipers.

Interior was the first thing to get done, due to the excessive smoke and pound of dirt. It was completely stripped, and new headliner fabric was installed



All plastics were pulled and scrubbed, and a steam cleaner was used quite a bit.

The chrome wheels had seen better days, so they were blasted, smoothed and powder coated semi gloss black.


After having a great experience with General tires on my Suburban, I decided to go with the General GMAX AS-05 tires.



Motor will go in tomorrow, and im hoping to start it up. Im ready to drive this thing. I made decent progress for only having it 1.5 months and working on it some evenings and part of the weekends. It was picked up mid July.
 

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Looking good ... I am assuming you are doing all the work your self , if so , give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #6
Looking good ... I am assuming you are doing all the work your self , if so , give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Thanks. I've done everything myself except flywheel resurface and tire installation.
looking awesome! I just did my brakes, calipers, lines and rotors and painted the fender walls too.
Thanks! It makes a huge difference to clean those areas up.
Are you having the transmission rebuilt by a shop?
I did it myself. The transmission had a similar failure and I rebuilt it in 2012. I didnt let it get to the point it was this time. Browsing the internet, its common on the F5M42 transmission. Every 100k miles or so it seems to fail. The Lancer guys have a lot of trouble with them.
These gearboxes are pretty simple.
Transmission case torn down and ready for a bead blast

Mid assembly, all new bearings installed.

Seal up and painted
 

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I am toying with the idea of buying a used transmission and sending it for rebuild for my GTS. I just picked up my rebuilt engine this week but, I was having some shifting hard shifting issues before the engine blew. I changed the trans lube the day the engine blew and in its defense it was pretty dirty. Your project is look good. Its good to see people restoring these cars to the extent you are.
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #9
I took the day off of work to install the motor and it went pretty smooth. I bought a new rear mount and it was fun to line up and get mounted in. I was hung up on that the longest I think. Transmission is smooth and the engine started right up.

I did make a small goof which gave me a near heart attack. After the motor was warm and the cooling system was 'burped', antifreeze quickly flooded under the car. I jacked it up and there was coolant running near the lower case and oil filter housing. Turns out I goofed and didnt seat the O-ring between the water pump outlet and the water pump correctly. 😲. Its clearly visible. I thought for sure the case had a leak. Timing belt was clean as could be though. Phew.Ill get that fixed up first thing tomorrow and hopefully put a few miles on it to get the computer to cycle and get it inspected before my 10 day tags run out.
Motor and trans ready to go in this morning

Engine in place

Of course I wire wheeled and painted the axles before installing

Still have some cleanup to do under the hood, but its worlds better from when i picked it up. Love this color especially in the sun. More will be added.


Still love this thing even with the body in the shape it is in currently. Note the coolant leak remnants after hosing the pad off.
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #10
I am toying with the idea of buying a used transmission and sending it for rebuild for my GTS. I just picked up my rebuilt engine this week but, I was having some shifting hard shifting issues before the engine blew. I changed the trans lube the day the engine blew and in its defense it was pretty dirty. Your project is look good. Its good to see people restoring these cars to the extent you are.
Auto or manual? Ive never opened up an auto, but the manual gearboxes are pretty easy. The FSM is a huge help too.

If i hadnt owned this car for so long prior, I wouldnt have even thought to pick it up to restore it. I definitely have more time and money than 'worth' it to most people, but ive enjoyed the wrench time. I rebuilt a 1992 Yamaha Warrior earlier this year and i think i have equal time and money in both 😅
 

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Manual. I would rather not try to open it personally. I know exactly what you mean about money into these cars. I don't have that much in mine but, I am married to it now. My wife really liked her 2001 GT Spyder she bought new, so she is partly the reason for me restoring this one. I always like them but, didn't buy one when I was younger.
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Ran into a few small things getting the car 100% dialed in.
-Valve cover gasket was torn and was leaking oil down the backside of the motor, onto the exhaust flex pipe. Not sure how it was torn, but that was an easy fix.
-P0421 code came on. Spark plug anti foulers fixed that.
-EGR code P0401 came on. EGR valve was gunked up so it was cleaned, then I found the nipple on the solenoid was broken off. New one took care of that code.
-Alternator quit on me after I cleaned the EGR valve and was waiting on the new solenoid to arrive. That was ordered as well. Went home for lunch the day it was scheduled to arrive, and UPS showed up right when i pulled in my driveway. I put it on right then and all is well.
-Put about 30 miles on the car after the solenoid arrived and went to the inspection station and passed safety and emissions. After two months of work the car is plated and legal.

I now have an annoying creaking noise up front I cant figure out. Im going to try to take it to a local shop this weekend to see about putting it on a rack and getting under it with weight on the wheels to inspect. Only thing I havent changed were subframe bushings and sway bar bushings. Rear motor mount is new, the front and left mounts are prothane poly mounts, and the right motor mount is stock and like new. Really creaks when starting to accelerate or tapping the brakes. Turning while moving or sitting still doesnt make noise.
 

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I am very jealous. I have been working on my car 1.75 years and still not on the road. Congrats on getting your car back on the road. When you did your front shocks, did you also do control arms? After my engine is installed, my suspension will be the next system to restore. I feel confident I can do this in my garage with exception to the alignment but, I have never dont anything like this before.
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #14
I am very jealous. I have been working on my car 1.75 years and still not on the road. Congrats on getting your car back on the road. When you did your front shocks, did you also do control arms? After my engine is installed, my suspension will be the next system to restore. I feel confident I can do this in my garage with exception to the alignment but, I have never dont anything like this before.
The rear bushing on the lower A-arm was done for on both sides, and cost wise it was more logical to replace the entire thing. The ball joints likely hadnt been changed either, so that took care of everything. New struts and upper mount/bearing on both sides, along with spring isolators. (Rubber pads so the metal spring doesnt directly touch the metal strut mounts) Since the car was already lowered I didnt need a spring compressor which saved a ton of time.

😅
I wish I got better pictures, but the only thing reused on the front was the knuckles and springs.I stripped everything out, scrubbed and pressure washed, and used VHT chassis black. I was even able to locate new fender liners for cheap on ebay as mine were both half gone.

The car mechanically is at a good base now, I wanted to be able to at least drive it. Definitely need a turbo after getting in my daily after driving this
 

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Low and Slow.
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Discussion Starter #16
So you changed out the control arms yourself? I wish I could do that, my daily driver needs it to be done and it will cost like 800 total to change both lower control arms. I hate how cars wear down :(
Wow, that seems high. Its a good amount of labor, but essentially 4 bolts if you're just after the A-arm. I already had the axles, strut assemblies and knuckles off to either replace or clean up so everything was already out of the way.
I bought the A-arms off Detroit axle and they match OE perfectly. They were about $75 shipped if i recall correctly.
 

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Wow, that seems high. Its a good amount of labor, but essentially 4 bolts if you're just after the A-arm. I already had the axles, strut assemblies and knuckles off to either replace or clean up so everything was already out of the way.
I bought the A-arms off Detroit axle and they match OE perfectly. They were about $75 shipped if i recall correctly.
If I remember correctly, you have to pop the axle out of the wheel bearing to get the ball joint apart too. $800 sounds right to me. $300-$400 for two control arms with garage mark up and 3-4 hours labor. Most places charge about $100/hr these days, which is ridiculous, but that's what the going rate is.
 

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If I remember correctly, you have to pop the axle out of the wheel bearing to get the ball joint apart too. $800 sounds right to me. $300-$400 for two control arms with garage mark up and 3-4 hours labor. Most places charge about $100/hr these days, which is ridiculous, but that's what the going rate is.
No you remove the pinch bolt and hit the arm a couple times to slip the ball joint out of the knuckle. Then the 1 bolt in the front and 2 bolts in the rear. I can have both arms out in 5 minutes. 1hr of shop time is even a lot.
 

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No you remove the pinch bolt and hit the arm a couple times to slip the ball joint out of the knuckle. Then the 1 bolt in the front and 2 bolts in the rear. I can have both arms out in 5 minutes. 1hr of shop time is even a lot.
My mistake. I was thinking about my current car.
 

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Wow, that seems high. Its a good amount of labor, but essentially 4 bolts if you're just after the A-arm. I already had the axles, strut assemblies and knuckles off to either replace or clean up so everything was already out of the way.
I bought the A-arms off Detroit axle and they match OE perfectly. They were about $75 shipped if i recall correctly.
Being the Detroit Axle arms fit so well, I think i will order mine from them too. Have you bought anything else from them? Their prices look pretty good, but that makes me skeptical.
 
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