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Thread: 85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Phoenix, AZ

    85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

    So, after years and years of working my ass off to get financially stable enough to warrant getting my own car, after an apartment and paying off bills, etc. I finally have a new ride, and the motivation and financial means to make this thing a sick, and incredibly unique project.

    Last weekend, I picked up an 85 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo, generally all original with a few exceptions here and there. The body is in fantastic shape, and the engine is very clean. Just needs a battery, and a new fuel pump, both of which will be had soon. Also, needed a bit of a bath and vacuum, as the previous owner, who claimed to love her, was a bit of a mess, and a cheap-ass with many of his "fixes."

    Looking into the cars past, it beat the boxy hatchback styling craze in Japan by 2 years, and was generally lauded as easily the best option of the group when it was released in the states in 85, but unfortunately, Mitsubishi had never grabbed a foothold in the states, yet, and through an unfortunate deal with Chrylser (Diamond Star Motors) was limited in how many Mirages they could bring in due to it being direct competition with the Dodge Colt, which was nearly the same car, minus many of the performance and suspension upgrades that made the Mirage such a great car in the first place.

    In the case of mine, affectionately named STARCHASER from here on out, she's in good shape, mostly in need of interior repair and replacement, and a really good scrub-down, as well as a fresh coat of paint from the Desert sun damage here in Arizona. I'll post more pictures this weekend, when I start getting down and dirty on the thing, and ripping out many of the needless things the previous owner had done with the car. In the meantime, I have two pics below, so you can get an idea what I'm working with.

    May seem strange, as well, but I've also made a pinboard on Pinterest keeping track of parts, and future mods. You can follow it Here.

    I'll be keeping this updated as much as possible, and would love to hear thoughts and suggestions. This is going to be my first full car build in years, so suffice it to say, I'm gonna be a little rusty on this one.


    So, started cracking down on things today and getting to work on unloading this car a bit, and shedding some useless shit, and useless weight. Previous owner had a tendency to do certain things on the cheap side, so it's a bit of a struggle to get past all the shitty "fixes" he's made. In fact, his fixes are the main reason the Interior is pretty well gone. Needs replacement on a lot of pieces, and it will all come in time. Hoping to have it mostly restored and running smooth by Mid-July for Mitsubishi Owner's Day in California.

    At the beginning of all of this. Car's paint is pretty faded, but nothing a good paintjob won't fix. The body is in great shape, as well as the ground effects with the only issue being a small crack in the driver's side skirt. Also easily fixable, as it's not a serious crack, and not missing any chunks.

    Rear of the car is also really great, with a few minor details being irritating, that will need fixing. The spoiler is covered in some shitty faux-carbon fiber contact paper, and the PO put a stick-on carbon fiber antenna in the center of the spoiler to... make it look faster? Not sure. Also, the passenger side taillight trim is pulled out a bit, will need to be fixed, as well as the right side License Plate illumination. Car originally had an obnoxiously large Mitsubishi emblem stuck in the center of the rear window also, but I removed it the day I got the car.

    Another shot of the rear. The strap below the car is currently holding up the fuel tank, as the brackets need to be put back on. PO was going to replace the fuel pump but claimed a mishap with ordered, and never got around to it. Says the current is good, but would recommend a new one for "better fuel performance." Alright then.

    Upon further inspection of "3A Racing," it's a cheap American exhaust company. Pipe looks nice, but most certainly won't stay on for long after the car is restored. But she'll suffice for the time being.

    Hatch was filled with random speakers and plastic pieces. None of them belonging to the car. Very strange. Rear seats have some sun damage that caused rips and tears that eventually grew larger in the back. Needs to be reupholstered.

    Only "mod" the PO put on that I plan on keeping are these metal hood pieces. They're fairly attractive on the car, with the exception of the stick-on Turbo badges, which will be coming off. I'm going to take off and powdercoat them flat black. They're pretty solid, so if they become too much of a burden on weight, they can always be removed. In the meantime, I plan on keeping them.

    Interior is where a lot of the work is going to be going into. Notice the shitty wheel cover, and "custom painted" steering wheel, as well as the "super rare" carbon centerpiece. Dash itself is fucking fantastic with no cracks or fades anywhere. Seats on the other hand are not so good.

    Both seats are very dirty, with the driver's seat clearly having it bad with the huge hole in the back. Passenger is better off, with just some cigarette burns in a few small places. Both will get reupholstered, and eventually replace the driver's seat with a bucket.

    Door panels on both sides have sun damage that nearly destroyed the tops of the door panels. Definitely need to be completely replaced.

    PO had put in this sweet head unit and these awesome racing gauges before giving up the car. Yes, that gauge enclosure is made of wood. Yes, that was all pulled out.

    There was even some strange gunk around the shifter. Definitely going to replace this whole center console. Wtf.

    After ripping out the stereo and gauges. Getting ready to pull out the center console, and just start from scratch.

    Aside from the rips in the tops of the seats, the rear seats are actually pretty nice.

    After removing the front grill to be sent to powdercoat as well as the two headlight bezels that need to be replaced. That intercooler is off a Starion, and it is not supposed to be there. In fact, it won't be there for long. That's going to relocated, and my A/C is going to be put back in because fuck that.

    All the shit I pulled out of the car. Several speakers in the trunk, as well as home theater speakers in the back seats that were rigged to work with the shitty stereo. A few plastic pieces, as well as some random door panel that was in the back seat. The subwoofer in the back was genius. It was a car subwoofer, stuffed into the enclosure for a home theater subwoofer. Amazing.

    Shot of the engine. It's a little dirty, but everything appears in great shape. It'll be fun to clean up, and really get going on it. Needs a battery for starters.

    Removed the spoiler and started taking off the carbon contact paper. It has not been kind.

    Hopefully get some more work done tonight, and possibly tomorrow! Definitely keep this thread updated as I go. Looking forward to the future with this girl, and she'll be amazing when she's finished. I'm sure of that.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Georgetown Ma

    Re: 85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

    Love it. Love it so much. I would love to find a super super crappy one and transfer all the good stuff to my '80 Colt. Glad to see another Colt/Mirage owner here.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Bay Area, California

    Re: 85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

    What a cool car!

    Can't wait to see more progress. Thanks for sharing, keep us updated

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Central NJ

    Re: 85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

    So funny how when they were new I wouldn't have looked twice,now its such an awesome car.

  5. #5
    Administrator john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Arlington, TX, USA

    Re: 85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrilla
    when they were new I wouldn't have looked twice,now its such an awesome car.
    You just described the entire decade of the 80s. :P

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    scappoose, or

    Re: 85 Mirage Turbo - STARCHASER

    Love it man, Nice catch. I've been going through similiar problems with my 87 mirage turbo hatch. But mine was a horribly done 4g63 swap with cut and broken springs... I really wish I still had the stock 4g32t in it, but I suppose the 63t should be ok, I kinda feel it will take away from some of the cars charm though.

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