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Here in a couple of days, I'm going to buy a 2002 Eclipse GT manual for dirt cheap. I'm going to turn it into a sleeper/show car. I've browsed what I can browse and I keep ending up here. This is about performance so here goes:
It has a 3.0 V6 engine in it, pushing about 200 hurspurs. It was originally automatic, but it was swapped for a 5-speed manual. My question is the engine. According to my 3G facebook page, I should swap for a 3.8L V6 engine and then turbo it to add power. I have always wanted to build a sleeper, and I think this might be my chance to do so.
I am only 19 so my budget is pretty tight, but I want to have this car for a long time and I want to put the time and money into it. People say don't waste my money, but it's my passion so I'm going to waste my money on it.
Has anyone swapped for the 3.8L? Is it worth the time and money? Any advice of any sort would be helpful
 

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Yeah I mean, if you want a decent daily driver and you don't have to put much effort or money into it to keep it going, I think this car is perfect. If you want something that looks nice and is fast, just buy a nicer, faster car. It's not simple to make these cars fast, but pretty much anything with a turbo will be fastish out of the gate and will truly be fast with a hell of a lot less work. Look at subarus or euro cars for a much more satisfying wrenching and modding experience. They already handle way better than an eclipse, even stock, and have much more potential modded. Most will have a way better aftermarket offering too. Truth is, you can put an enormous amount of effort and money into putting a 3.8l in it and have like 250hp NA and *maybe* have it work right depending on your work quality, or you could go buy an older WRX and be most of the way there bone stock AND have AWD and way better options for parts and accessories. If you truly want a "sleeper" you need to get something that at puts power to at least the rear wheels if not all of them.

People have made fast, good looking eclipses, but it's an aging platform that wasn't that competitive even in its day. No sense in diving in now when there are so many other options out there. If this eclipse runs good, drive it while you save up for something nicer.

Best of luck.
 

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Cosmic Turd
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Honestly, I know you don't want to hear it but... No. I literally was you, I bought a GT "cheap" and did all the research and wanted to do all the things to it. Wasted a couple thousand to just make the car nice again (paint, interior, repairs) and do some minor performance mods. And it never went anywhere because I drew the line at a broken clutch cable and numerous other "quirks" that persisted no matter what I offered to appease the thing. So I bought a different GT with lower miles because I was so invested in this platform that I thought I could still pull it off and make a mean car out of it. It made a nice daily when it wasn't spitting out hundreds in parts at a time, even took it to a show or two. But I chased so many problems on that car that I never even bothered to pursue a real build. The 3G eclipse is an okay car, and even fun to drive. But to build, they are expensive and have limited options for comparatively little reward at the end. The others are right, this is not a car worth dumping money into. I finally sold my second one a couple months ago and while I was sad to see years of effort just driving off with nothing to show, I will admit I'm glad I don't own one anymore because it never lived up to my expectations. If you want something to keep for a long time and build into an impressive vehicle, start with something different.
 

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I understand the negativity with the possibilities of the Eclipse. Sure it's a wrong wheel drive car, not many performance parts for it, unless you look hard,

I had a 2G not very impressed, then I got my hands on a '01 GT with the 3.0. Man they really shoehorned the V6 into that body. It forced the turning radious to 3 miles, kidding 1 mile.

I did the CAI and Headers the power was good, surprised all but the big $ cars. What I really enjoyed was the handling after I added Coil-overs and lowered the car 1.5-2 inches. That was the move the car needed, it was like driving a car on rails. A hell of a ride.

I now have a '06 with the 3.8. I'm on my 3rd engine rebuild but working out the issues. Last Dyno put 325 hp and 330 ftlbs at the front wheels. I'm adding forged pistons and rods since I'm planning on adding some spray.

Before this rebuild I had about $11k in the car, just under a 12 sec 1/4 who can complain for the $/performance.

Once the engine is complete and in the next step is adding coil-overs maybe $1200 worth every penny.

The Eclipse is a tough car to get moving, but it can be done to a fairly high level.

Looks, hell the 4g Eclipse has it. Once the engine is in, I'm planning on building a custom dual exhaust. Doing a rear seat delete installing a 5000W 8 channel amp with appropriate support items.

Then a body kit and coil-overs.

That's the plan and I'm looking forward to it.

Yeah, this is an old 2001, go figure.
 

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Thing is, the 4g came with like 60 more hp stock and an extra gear in the transmission. Other than the small weight increase, the 4g is probably a better place to start if you want to go fast. More displacement and variable valve timing and no need to cobble something together to get the same equipment in a 3g. Also you get an engine bay that was made for the 3.8l engine so if you want to add more things under the hood, you might have a little more room.

Sort of a side note, but also always thought the 4g looked better with the GT body kit on than the 3g did. Without the body kit, the 4g looks like ass, but something about those skirts really makes that car.
 
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