Mitsubishi Eclipse 3G Club banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Working on squeaky belts, and shoring up the front end due to the massive amounts of rust she has seen and I came across this:

She has 230,000 miles, still runs like an "electric MOFO", but the rust on her is soo bad, there is almost nothing to weld to her anymore. The front end clip support is just about gone so the hood can't be closed...I'm one of those guys with a rope holding the hood down pretending there isn't anything wrong. When the strut tower let loose on the way to work, about 3 miles FROM work it starting driving a little weird. I then drove it home 30+ miles and I knew something was wrong...in the snow no less. Thinking about buying a lottery ticket today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
What typically would you strip off of the vehicle to part out, if anything? I do have some Continental DWS all around that have plenty of life left that I absolutely love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
Agreed that sucks, did you buy it new? If you have time and room, part out what you can. Call the tow truck for the rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
Damn sorry to see this. Everytime someone posts a rusted out strut tower I realize how fortunate I am to live in the south
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Strut tower rust must be a common issue on 3g's mine has some rot in it to going to do some cutting and welding to get her back up and road worthy
 

·
My "Toledo" wing
Joined
·
100 Posts
Strut Tower Woes

My strut towers went in Sept 2013 on my 2001 Spyder, 180,000 miles at the time, all driven in the northern rustbelt. No warning, really. I had noticed what looked like just a little surface rust on them from under the hood. Then I hit a pothole and everything just collapsed. Fortunately, the suspension did not come through the hood, but the car was no longer driveable. From no problems at all to total disaster, just like that. Apparently they had been rusting away underneath from the wheel well side for years. I take really good care of the car, work on it all the time, still wash it several times a week, it didn't matter.

I was lucky locating the parts, because Mutsu doesn't make many parts for this car any more and there is not much aftermarket support these days. Once the dealer stocks are gone, that's it. I think I got the last two OEM replacements, one from a dealer in Ft Worth and the other in Washington State. (By the way, the Ft Worth dealer, Southwest Mitsubishi, has always been awesome supplying parts.) Good luck finding any more. If your strut towers are bad and you really want to keep the car, maybe you can get some from a scrapyard, and hope they don't destroy them cutting them out. Just make sure they are sourced from a southern car.

Anyway, after I bought probably the last 3G OEM strut towers in the universe, I had a friend with a body shop basically remove the front end of the car, cut the old strut towers out and replace with the new ones. It was a really big job, the engine and drive train had to be removed and for a while there was nothing left of the car in front of the firewall. He took his time and in the end it cost me about $3,500, probably more than the car is worth, but he did a beautiful job. The car is solid with no issues for the past year and the new strut towers should last at least another 10-15 years. Or until the next big thing happens to the car, now with 200,000 miles on the clock.

So why did I fix it? There was no other obvious rust anywhere else on the car, it still runs and looks great and had lots of recently installed new parts: top, trans, suspension, brakes. Looking back, I probably should have just cut my losses and parted it out, but I am the original owner and the car has been a labor of love over the years.

So what caused the rust? Looking at the new strut towers, you can see that the gauge of the sheet metal is incredibly thin and they are not coated with any kind of rust protection. (I made sure the new ones were after they were installed.) Big design flaw, no wonder they are all rotting away.

There really is no easy solution for this car, like with the Chrysler minivan strut towers that are rusting out. Chrysler sells strut tower caps to cover the old rotten ones that can be easily welded on to get a few more years out of them. No such luck with our cars. I'm sorry to say that I would not advise buying a 3G that has been driven in the the north without first doing a very careful strut tower inspection from underneath. It can be a hidden disaster waiting to happen.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top