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Thread: Ex project- 1978 Mitsubishi Celeste

  1. #1
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    Ex project- 1978 Mitsubishi Celeste

    Purchased this back in 2004, after being purchased a 79 LB lancer for my first car 2 years prior. Fell in love with them, and stumbled upon the Fastback version, the Celeste via the Internet.

    Found one being sold in my own town, and popped around to have a look. Took it for a drive. It was horrible. The transmission mount had snapped and as such the tranny was bouncing all over the show. The 1600 4G32 was deperately out of tune and extremely slow, and the interior was non existent.
    I loved it!
    3 days later I arrived back at the guys place and gave the $900 NZD to him. I drove away extremely happy but very nervous also, as I hadn't told my parents, and as such had to keep it a secret for 6 months until I admitted it to them as I moved back home for the holidays.
    I actually parked it on the street to keep it out of view, here it is a couple weeks after I got it.


    Stock as a rock! Complete with dealer sticker, mismatched tyres and gross door mirrors. Would kill to have it back like that!

    Anyway, I was a poor student so mods were limited to begin with. I installed a basic stereo, removed all the crappy interior and cleaned up the engine a bit.
    All I really wanted was a set of big wheels, a loud exhaust and low suspension, being the typical 18 year old, so I had a local garage weld me up a 2" exhaust system which sounded awesome, complete with disgusting dump pipe, cut the front springs, re-set the leaf springs (twice, so it was well and truly on the bumpstops), and threw on a set of cheap ugly multi-spoke 15" mags. This had it looking like..


    That! December 04. About here was where I started talking to guys from oldschool.co.nz. They explained to me that instead of swapping to a 4 speed manual box, I could just as easily drop in a SOHC 4G63 from our locally built Sigmas. My mechanical knowledge was slim, so I aquired a Sigma of the necessary type for $400nzd from an English tourist, and dropped both cars at my local garage with vagues instructions and no timie limit.
    This meant it took 4 months to do, but it was relatively cheap.
    I'll never forget the first drive. With no suspension travel and no warrant of fitmess, I thrashed the life from it home. Was a spectacular upgrade for the money.
    At this point, I realised it needed some work to pass a warrant of fitness.

    I purchased a set of lowered, but legal, springs, new gas shocks, cut the cumpstops down so there was travel in the rear, fitted a Weber 32/36 carburettor with pipercross filter, fitted some AE92 Toyota Levin seats, dyed some of the interior, has the front doorcars retrimmed in black, had the rust from the rear arches removed, repainted them and the bonnet (bonnet got matte black :roll: ) and had the exhaust fixed so it ran under the rear axle (was so low in the back that the axle was hitting the exhaust looping over it) and had the horrid pipe removed from the back.




    This had it looking, in my eyes, quite repectable, from the outside at least. Interior was still a bit average, so I purchased new carpet, and popped some more comfortable seats from my daily lancer in

    Nice!
    Got it a Warrant of fitness and drove it everywhere I could for a couple months before I needed some JDM in my life. Purchased some 14x7 meshies and slapped em on. Didn't know anything about tyres so had to live with a set of 195/60s. Yuck! Still looked tough though

    Also got some fender mount mirrors from a much larger car, and they looked horrible in retrospect. I also decided to try and sell it so I could buy an R30 Skyline to "boso". As you can see, it needed to be lowered in the front. Note "retrofitted" LB Lancer grille. I wasn't on drugs either!


    Here's some shots from when I tried to sell it. I was asking way too high at $3000NZD. I sold the wheels and tyres to a guy in the lower North Island of New Zealand for his EX Lancer. Suited his car much better. They now reside on his LB Lancer four door.


    Also procured a JAF badge

    As a side note, it was hillarious to drive on the 155 Yokohamas. Oversteered everywhere, even with partial throttle. Could do a burnout on the spot with no brake use. Sidewall movement was terrible!

    After it didn't sell, I knew it was time to upgrade the engine. After a quick search, a fella about an hour drive north of me had a very rare 12 valve turbo Sirius Dash 4G63 available, with 5 speed. I took his word it was in reasonable condition and purchased it complete with loom and box for $400NZD. Very reasonable I thought, but then I knew nothing about these engines, as evidenced by the fact it came with a hopeless TC05 turbo instead of the TD05 it should have, and the gearbox was leaking some strange grey-green goop and needed to be preofessionally cleaned out! Oil and water=not good!



    I'll stop here with an image of it sans engine and having had it guts dropped on the drive way, as I'm starting to feel lightheaded from all this typing...To be continued!

  2. #2
    Administrator JNC's Avatar
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    welcome divine! i remember your car from the nz forum, and wondered whatever happened to it

    be sure to invite your other oldschool jnc friends to join our forum!
    -Matt

  3. #3
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    Yeah, turned into a non event I'm afraid. Has had two owners from the forum since me, both hav achieved nothing with it, so ya never know, I might buy it again one day!

  4. #4
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    Great story so far, great looking Lancer, looking forward to hearing the rest of your tale.

    What's with all the ground level shots though? It's like you were laying on your stomach when you took 90% of these pictures. :P

  5. #5
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    Never noticed! I like the angle, makes the car look lower to the ground I think.

    Will continue shortly

  6. #6
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    Glad to see more Celeste love here. It's really one of the coolest Mitsubishis in my book. Sorry to hear you sold it. What are you pushing now?

  7. #7
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    Great to see you on here Lowlancer!!! wats with the name?

  8. #8
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    The end...bummer!

    Well that first entry was messy... Must go back and tidy it up.

    So where did we leave the poor Celeste... That's right, time to go turbo!

    At this stage I'd moved out of home, into a bachelor pad with a good friend and his brother. There was a massive garage and driveway, perfect for working on cars! This was March 2006, I'd just got my first proper paying job and I was also trying to have a social life...It didn't work too well!
    I'd made the decision to go ahead with the conversion without asking my flatmates/landlords, and they were a little pissed off after a week of the Celeste sitting around doing nothing. little did they know that a year on, it would still be sitting there!
    Here she is the day I started, at the front of the property. She was soon moved to the back, where she would stay for many months!

    I got started with the engine bay. Here it is sans engine, but still with all ancillary business.

    I was always going to move the battery and delete the tray, as it was in the way, and it was an easy way of moving some weight to the rear.
    So I started hacking the tray out after work. It took 3 nights in a row, as it was winter now, which meant I only had around an hour each night to work on it.

    While I was doing this, I dropped the engine down to the same garage to be rebuilt... I was assured it wouldn't take too long this time...

    So I continued with the engine bay, and ended up with a fairly smooth tray area. I had planned from the beginning to repaint the engine bay as it seemed easy. I wanted it done professionally, with the prep done by myself, but this was logistically difficult as I couldn't move the car easily.

    I also had the MAJOR issue of the ECU. I had recieved the engine with the loom, and two funny lookin boxes. Of course, one was the main control unit, the other was just to control windows or doors or some such. Anyway, I had no idea, I didn't even know if it was the correct ECU. So I started stripping down the loom with the intention of retaping it up and going from there. What a mess. I had no way of testing it, as I had no multimeter and didn't know how to use one anyway!

    I started to learn more about this series of engines now. I knew it should have had a TD05, not a TC05 turbo. As such, I purchased one off our online auction site, Trademe.co.nz, which was apparently set-up for a Starion engine. Of course, it wasn't, but it sure was pretty!

    I needed to mix n match a bit from the TC05, but I got there in the end. As the stock manifold was cracked, I needed it repaired, and the external wastegate mount welded on. The guy did a great job, but did the mount wrong! Do A friend re-did it, but it was a terrible job So the external got the boot, and I purchased a stock manifold, as well as a better downpipe.

    So it had taken around 4 months with the garage to sort out my engine. I wasn't happy, but the availability of parts for this motor was slim to say the least so I wasn't too harsh on them. The rebuild cost me quite a bit, close to $1000.

    I had finished prepping the engine bay, and opted to paint it myself. I purchased a small $100 compressor, and a $50 paintgun, and did it on the driveway, with acceptable results! I dropped the engine in a week later with no problems, except the driveshaft not fitting the box! Different splines for Starions and Sigmas.

    At this stage, I decided to flag the stock ECU and shop around for an aftermarket model. I talked at length to both Link and Microtech about my engine and both assured me they had a model that would work with my engine. I decided to go with the Microtech, as a friend had great results with it. It was a costly decision, as they have no proper support within NZ, and are actually not like by NZ tuners much. I opted for the LT-10S model.

    Of course, it was designed for the standard turbo 4G63. That is, a fairly different beast. The 12 valve model used staged injection, with the larger injector coming in at around 4000rpm, along with a solenoid which opens the extra 4 smaller inlet valves. Quite a cool setup, but hard to plan around. As it eventuated, one of my injectors was stuffed, so I had to bring one in from Australia. i also purchased a unit to allow tuning via a laptop. Not cheap, as I purchased a laptop also!

    Unfortunately, at this point, my best friend was killed overseas. This was extremely difficult, understandably, and I knew then that I was never going to finish it. The project went on the backburner for a number of weeks.

    EventuallyI started fitting all the extras, such as manifolds. This is where I started to have major issues. The ECI unit was old, and pretty crusty, so I decided to refresh it with new gaskets, and clean it up.
    I STUPIDLY used a far too harsh brush on the alloy, and gouged it quite badly. This lead to water being allowed into the inlet manifold when it was running, and I was lucky to not lock the whole motor up! This happened a number of times, until I tracked down a secondhand manifold and ECI unit and made one good unit with two "big" injectors instead of the staged setup. I had managed to get it running, I should mention, but as the ECU wasn't turning the second injector on, it wouldn't rev. I decided to take a week off work and just go hard at it with a friend.


    In one afternoon, we mounted the ECU, the fuel pumps and fuel lines, replaced all locks and ignition barrel, mounted another turbo, installed the battery and cabling, a new stud for thermostat, and had the ECU 90% ready to go.


    It had now been a year since I started the swap, and with the death of my friend, the changing of what I held important had happened, and decided to sell up and move to another, bigger, city. I now wish I had waited a month to get it going with the better ECI unit and turbo setup, but life is life! I purchased a new daily and made for the hills, having lost close to 10k, but having learned a lot for it. Drove my daily, the below 1983 Sigma, on bumpstops, 550km south to Wellington and back about 5 times in the following year. Great car, it's now been retired also. Don't ask what I drive now ops:

    I recieved huge amounts of flak from forum members at oldschool.co.nz, but I know that without their help with the technical nature, and support after Chris died, I wouldn't have got as close as I did. So cheers to them!

    My advice to everyone is to do stupid amounts of research and take time with little stuff. Also, try not to drink too much beer.

    Cheers!

  9. #9
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    Damn, I told imageshack to resize! Stupid thing


    Quote Originally Posted by RedSunday
    Great to see you on here Lowlancer!!! wats with the name?
    Thieved it from the japanese. It's the translation of Kamikaze. Cheers.

  10. #10
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    OMG, that Sigma wagon is the hotness. Got any more pics of that??

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