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Discussion Starter #1
First post!

My truck is going to be down for a while, so I decided to buy something for alternate transportation. I found a GTS for a thousand dollars! This was almost my first car and I've never stopped wanting one.

So I have a lot of work to do on restoring this. Once the engine dies, I'll probably have it rebuild it as long as I don't have frame damage. Multiple accidents are evident, but the title is clean and it holds a straight line.

Here comes the list.

There is a white barrel on top of the valve cover that has one tube coming into it from the bottom left and one tube missing that aims up toward the hood. While running, there is an audible suction coming from the tube connection. I can see clean lines, showing there was a tube there recently. Any ideas? What is it supposed to be connected to?

There is a long rectangular wire harness that holds wiring away from engine heat that is located just in front of the valve cover that has basically turned to dust. Any idea if it can still be purchased?

Valve cover leaks oil pretty badly. Spark plug tubes had oil in them. Is this a pretty easy DIY fix? I'm no mechanic, but I know my way around a wrench.

Moonroof makes noise but down not open. I hear it struggle and I let go of the button. Any common issues with the track or anything to check first?

If I don't press the clutch hard to the floor, the car wont turn over, or it will hesitate, or stop and start again.

Every since time I enter the vehicle, the alarm goes off. Can I disable it?

I have P0154 and P0156 codes causing CEL.

The air conditioner does not work. The previous owner claims it's the compressor. I have a used working one to have someone install. I did notice that when I press in the dial for fan speed, the AC light does not illuminate.

Also, I have had it running for a pretty good amount of time while sitting in place and it has not overheated, but I cant recall ever seeing or hearing the radiator fans fire up.

Any easier way to find parts including body parts like hood, bumper covers, etc than going to junkyards?

Thanks!


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I don't have answers for all of your questions, but I'm going to start off by saying holy shit. You've got your work cut out for you.

That white barrel is not stock. Someone added that. What it replaced? I don't know. What does the connected tube come from?

Check dealer sites for that harness holder. Might be hard to find though as a lot of parts for these cars have been discontinued, especially things that aren't usually replaced.

Front valve cover is easy. Rear one is a job because the upper intake manifold plenum needs to be removed. If the front one is leaking, the rear one is too. While you're in there, do plugs and wires. If it's your first time and you don't have a ton of tools, count on it taking an entire day.

The sunroofs on these cars are garbage. Make sure the track and sealing gasket are lubed and the limit switches are in good shape. Not much else you can do with that. It's always going to suck.

Check your clutch switch for adjustment, operation, and loose wires. Sounds like it is loose or something like that.

Use the remote to disable the alarm when you enter. Unlocking the car should disable the alarm. If this doesn't work, reference your user manual.

As far as the obd diagnostic codes, you have some issues going on with your oxygen sensors. These cars have 4. Make sure they are present and the wires aren't cut. May need to replace them all. Couldn't hurt on a car this old.

You'll have to poke around with the AC issue. Weird the light doesn't at least flash. Reference the factory service manuals in the 3g section to diagnose.

If the temp gauge isn't moving, there is no need for the fans to turn on. Chances are they were on the slow speed setting and you couldn't hear them. I rarely heard mine when I had this car. Only on really hot days.

Again, new parts for these cars are getting harder to come by. I think salvage yards are your best friend for body parts. Either that or just buy aftermarket online. Maybe rock auto has something good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for spending the time to comment on so many of these issues, I really appreciate it.

I'll check to see what the hose to that white barrel is connected to today.

I'll probably just leave the moon roof alone, it sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth.

I'm assuming it's well worth a DIY on the plugs, wires, and gaskets because a mechanic would charge way too much due to the amount of time it takes?

I have no idea where any of the oxygen sensors are or how to replace them. I'm going to download the manual now and then I will start trying to find the O2 replacements. I'll report progress along the way.

Current project was adding some clear coat to prevent rust. I'll end up sanding and polishing by Sunday.

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The valve cover gaskets and plugs are definitely worth the diy. Labor is crazy on these engines if you have to take the manifold off.

O2 sensors are in different locations. One is in each exhaust manifold near the engine. The other two are in your exhaust pipe under the car. One before the main cat and one right after. If you don't have an O2 sensor socket, go to your local chain auto parts store and borrow theirs through their loan-a-tool program.
 

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Good info, thank you. I watched a video on the locations. They are both bank 2 so it will be easy. I found the sensors on eBay for 40 bucks as a pair. Should I not buy cheap ones?

I also watched a video on replacing gaskets and plugs...seems like a nightmare, but I'm sure it's worth it. It's time consuming.

$100 dollars would get me both sensors causing CEL, plug wires, plugs, and gaskets. A full days labor and we're done. The seller has agreed to take care of any cost over $300 for AC repair.

I'd be into this thing about $1700 after the things I've already done. I'm wondering now if I should just run it until it needs a repair too much to bother with and then find one with lower mileage and less body damage. It has a hair under 196,000 miles on it. Think it's worth it?

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Yeah I'd just run it and keep an eye out for something nicer. If the body was close to perfect I'd say this one is worth the effort, but with accident damage I think it's better if you just get it mechanically sound and drive it. Maybe clean up some rust spots just to keep the cancer from spreading. Just remove the rust and rattle can auto primer and auto paint something close in color.

Mine looked like garbage in its later years, but it ran forever because I took care of it. Nice driving car and pretty good on fuel if you don't wring it out all of the time.

Also no idea on the cheapo O2 sensors. I always went name brand from rockauto. Not saying that's the only way, but I hate doing a job twice so I'll happily pay extra for parts I'm sure will work well.

The manifold isn't the worst once you figure it out. It can come out with a lot of stuff attached to it. Make sure you get another upper to lower plenum gasket before you start. also might help to take pictures of any hoses you disconnect so you can reference them for reassembly. Do your distributor cap too. They wear out sooner than you'd think and you'll be in there anyway.

Another thing to consider is the timing belt. It's another difficult job, but the timing belts on these cars need regular changing and most people don't do it. If it breaks, your engine, which is interference, is toast. If you're not certain when it was changed last, you should plan on doing that too. That's another full day job if you've never done it before.

Finally, make sure you're buying the correct O2 sensors for each location. I think depending on the location, they can be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's fair. I'll experiment with fixing the paint, take care of the 02 sensors to keep the light clear and keep the engine running optimally and slap some seat covers in it. Would it be worth changing the gasket on just the bank 2 (front) side and plugs? The gasket set is 8 bucks and 3 plugs would be under 15 for decent ones online.

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I wouldn't change only half of the plugs. They do wear out and you will notice a difference. If you do all of the plugs, the cover gasket is easy to get to. Also I'd bet money the back gasket is just as bad as the front gasket. The job isn't really that hard, just time consuming. Plus side is you won't have to do it again for a really long time if you even have the car for that long.
 

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That white barrel is not stock. Someone added that. What it replaced? I don't know. What does the connected tube come from?
Whoa! It is stock. Is the vacuum canister for the variable intake system. Complete the circuit to make sure that system works properly.

The valve covers are always prone to leaking. The main issue is that people over torque the valve cover bolts and the gasket doesn't work properly. You have to replace the spark plug cups while you do the valve covers. They are leaking and that's why you're getting oil down the spark plug passages.

The moonroof has a very weak motor. If your moonroof is closed as you open it push slightly up on the back of it so that it can clear the roof. A little bit of grease on the rails will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Any chance you have a picture of the variable intake system? I have no idea what I'm hooking it up to. I'll have to buy a new hose.

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I ordered the gaskets and they came with the plug cups! Thanks for the input.

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Whoa! It is stock. Is the vacuum canister for the variable intake system. Complete the circuit to make sure that system works properly.

The valve covers are always prone to leaking. The main issue is that people over torque the valve cover bolts and the gasket doesn't work properly. You have to replace the spark plug cups while you do the valve covers. They are leaking and that's why you're getting oil down the spark plug passages.

The moonroof has a very weak motor. If your moonroof is closed as you open it push slightly up on the back of it so that it can clear the roof. A little bit of grease on the rails will help.
Whoops. Sorry. I didn't remember that being there. Also I had a GT so mine didn't have it. Thank you for correcting. That said, sort of looks like it doesn't belong there though. It doesn't look like it fits in the bracket right and it's a strange place for it. Good job, mitsubishi. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Good time for an update:

Well, I got the white barrel solved. The hose was just underneath the barrel, so I just popped it back on. The connection is very loose so it takes almost no force at all to pop the hose off, however, I don't hear the vacuum leak at all when I try to listen close, but after all I am sticking my head in a running engine bay. I wonder how important a tight hose would be?

I was able to get all but the reverse lights to work by just changing bulbs. I'm going to check fuses today.

The moon roof now does not make a sound at all from the motor. Just a click and it's dead. I'll likely leave that alone, I suppose. Yes I checked that fuse.

The front bumper will be my next project. I'll attach photos. The air diverter is broken. I may just ziptie it or glue it.

I didn't figure out the clutch switch yet.

I found that the pipe coming out of my headers looks smashed and pinched. Looks like maybe downpipe? I'm going to guess that this is robbing a ton of power. Also attaching a photo.

The oil you see in the photos is a long buildup of leaky valve covers and lots of engine degreaser. Sorry if the photo was blurry, it was hard to see the screen to ensure it was in focus.


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Any chance you have a picture of the variable intake system? I have no idea what I'm hooking it up to. I'll have to buy a new hose.

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Absent a picture, make sure the vacuum lines are hooked up to the actuator (which is the brass-colored disk-shaped thing to the left in your picture), the tank, and the solenoid valve. If you have two ports that are missing a hose, I'd say those are the ones that should be connected.

Keep in mind you may have to replace the solenoid valve, tank, or actuator. I'd bet there is a reason someone disconnected it and it's probably because it wasn't working correctly. Either that or they thought disconnecting it would boost performance by, if I understand the service manual correctly, keeping the variable intake open. Thing is, I doubt it helps performance. It probably actually hurts it because you'll lose low-end torque.
 

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Vacuum hoses don't need to be tight, but they shouldn't fall off. Usually the vacuum in the line will keep the hose on and cause it to seal. That's why you almost never see a hose clamp on a vacuum hose. If you want piece of mind, bring the old hose to the auto parts store and have them cut you a new length of hose. Shouldn't be more than $5 depending on how long it is. Otherwise, if you don't hear a leak, you're probably fine.

The pipe you're talking about might be fine. You're looking at the heat shield. Hard to see how much it's crushed. If it's not hard, try to look under the shield at the actual pipe.

My sunroof just stopped retracting one day. It would pop up if I helped it, but it wouldn't even try to slide open. Up to you whether you want to dig in and figure out why it does that.

I'd ziptie that air diverter given the choice. It'll never come loose if you put the ties in good places.

Also I had trouble with my reverse lights. Also check the reverse light switch to see if it needs replacing or adjusting. Mine would eventually turn on if I wiggled the shifter enough. Maybe yours has the same problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Air diverter- That's my plan as soon as I figure out everything else in the area. There's also an aluminum tube run in an odd shape that is loose and has a broken bracket. It doesn't seem to move too much because of its weight, but I'm guessing a hard bump would not be healthy for it. It gets hot with the engine, and may be attached to the radiator. Any guesses?

Moon roof: it's a lost cause, I probably wouldn't use it anyway.

Vacuum hose: if it ever pops off again, I'll change out the hoses.

Downpipe?: Based on the looks of things, I'd be shocked if the guard could indent this much without the pipe taking damage. I'll try to get a better picture. I can't see underneath it.

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If you're talking about the tube with the 180 degree bend you can see in your front air intake area in front of your radiator, that's the power steering fluid cooler. Repair its factory mounts and it should be fine. Sometimes you don't want things too rigidly mounted. Often things are designed to have some flex in them. Also, even with fluid in it, that tube doesn't weigh much.
 

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Good time for an update:

Well, I got the white barrel solved. The hose was just underneath the barrel, so I just popped it back on. The connection is very loose so it takes almost no force at all to pop the hose off, however, I don't hear the vacuum leak at all when I try to listen close, but after all I am sticking my head in a running engine bay. I wonder how important a tight hose would be?
Just because you don't hear a vacuum leak doesn't mean there isn't one. The 3Gs runs like crap when there are the slightest of vacuum leaks. It's an easy enough repair... I would replace any of the vacuum hoses that have lost their pliability. If your idle is pretty steady, then you likely won't have a vacuum issue.
 

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I agree with Budd in his reply above. The first thing you should do, before you even drive the car, is to change the timing belt and water pump. My son bought a 2001 3.0 liter V6 Eclipse new from the dealer. He had the timing belt and water pump replaced at 100K miles as recommended. Years later I bought it from him with 130K miles on it. It ran beautifully until 193K miles when the water pump failed at 60 mph and took out the timing belt. This caused damage to one of the valves when it hit the piston. My mechanic said that the original water pump was probably replaced with a rebuilt pump and it failed prematurely. The repair cost $2100 five years ago. It still runs beautifully today and is fun to drive with 207K miles on it. PS My sun roof still works fine, although I have to push up on the rear of the glass while pressing the button to get it to start to open.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE:

Okay so I have the CEL codes solved. I attached pictures of the issue. It runs really smooth and fast now however, when I release the clutch in neutral I can hear a lot of chattering that I never heard before. It goes away when I press the clutch pedal, so my guess is throwout bearing. Also, when I'm shifting, it grinds a little into each gear unless I slam the pedal to the floor as hard as possible and shift very slowly. Maybe the master cylinder is wearing out or there is some air in the line? It happened pretty suddenly.

I can't seem to reach the adjustment on the pedal. It's also possibly that the transmission has low oil/no oil/ or very old oil.

The timing belt feels grippy and new and the water pump has less oil on it than other parts in the area, so I'm guessing it has been done somewhat recently.


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