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 Post subject: A Starion Story (4G64/3 Starion build)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
Hello everyone!
It has been a while since I've been on the forum, but I've come back with an exciting tale to tell.

Some of the members here who frequent the other Starion and Conquest community sites will already be familiar with this car and this thread. So I apologize to those who have seen this to death :lol:

I hope that this thread can tell the entire tale of my car from cheap cast-away, to a unique classic that can be enjoyed by enthusiasts everywhere. At the time of this posting I've just about finished up the first of 4 stages of my build. So I figure I've actually got something to contribute to this great community now.

Let's begin!
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I bought my 1988 'StarQuest' on March 24th 2004. I'm not really going to split hairs about whether it's a Conquest or a Starion. To me they're all Starions, Made in Japan at Mitsubishi's plant. :)

I had always loved the silhouette and aggressive stance of the car ever since high-school. It mesmerized me with it's wide rubber, negative camber and blistered fender-wells. As a young lad it totally changed the way I thought about cars from Japan.

It would be 15 years later that I would have a rare chance to buy a very well preserved example.

This was what the car looked like when I bought it. Bone stock, Fiji Blue, non-SHP wheels and a factory automatic transmission and roughly 80,000 miles on it:

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Shortly after purchasing the car (3 days) a drunk driver side-swiped it while it was parked out in front of my place. It happened during the night so I woke up to a nice surprise. The drunkard's front passenger bumper caught and hooked my rear drivers-side wheel, bent it and then folded the A-arm underneath. The police were able to determine this because the moron left bits of his car up and down the road and totaled an Acura just 2 spaces ahead of me. I got VERY lucky.

Undeterred I quickly fixed the car to the best of my ability. New rear wheel. New control arm, and a lot of pounding out the fender well from the inside. It's not perfect, but it will do until I eventually get the car to a professional body shop.

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A few weeks later I started getting some plans together for restoring and 'building up' the car. The first order of business was to perform all of the obligatory "free mods". Mainly the deletion of the non-functioning AC, and other half-broken systems such as ABS, Cruise Control, and all of the emissions devices. These are very common procedures for Starion owners:

Tiny garage, hehehe.
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Bye bye
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Don't need any of that
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Definitely don't need that :-)
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Football sized AC compressor
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Engine bay looking MUCH better
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This big empty space is where the AC condenser used to sit... making the car overheat at red lights all the time.
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Rear hatch interior getting pulled, revealing the rear strut towers.
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All said and done, I removed about 50 lbs worth of crap from the car. Big surprise when the car ran better then ever, was much faster and responsive and never overheat ever again.

Also during this time I did some minor dress-up on the car. I painted the factory wheels centers satin black and polished up the lips, and also acquired a rare 1983 Starion hood with the vented scoop.

All in all the car was starting to shape up:

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During this time there were some life changes that took place. A relocation and a new job and a bit more spare cash at the end of every month. I also ended up meeting a visionary and talented mechanic who started to put the idea in my head that we could swap a 4G6x "evo" type motor in to the car and really have a unique machine on our hands.

My mechanic, we shall call him "Ligo"... had already built a turbo 4G64 DOHC motor and put it in his Mighty Max truck so he was not a stranger to performing an operation like this. Additionally my car was starting to show it's age. A host of EFI problems along with a blown head gasket had been keeping me from driving and enjoying the car for some time now, so I felt this would give the car a new lease on life, and would put a classic back on the road.

LET'S DO IT!!!! :tu:

The plan of attack was to build a hybrid motor based on the 4G64 wideblock bottom end and use a modern 4G63 head and cam setup. The result is a 2.4 liter block that can rev to 7800rpm that is 400-500rwhp capable on pump gas.

Of course, in order to handle that power the old factory auto tranny simply wouldn't cut it. Additionally I intended to style the car after the old silhouette racers from the 70's and 80's, so a the factory automatic transmission had to be replaced by a Starion manual 5-speed.

I was lucky enough to be given a 1988 Starion 5-speed by a good friend. They are hard to find. I sent it off to get fully rebuilt. Here is the finished gearbox along with a 5-speed driveshaft. Excuse the oxidation. It was removed later before installing the unit in the car:

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lightweight aluminum flywheel:
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6-Puck DXD stage 3 clutch:
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Gonna need this:
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And this:
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New factory OEM Hydraulics:
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And now for the heart. 4G64 bottom end:
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New piston on the left, stock piston on the right:
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Continued in the next post:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
The idea of doing a 4G6x swap on the Starion has been catching on lately. However it's not an easy task, and there are some annoying problems to solve. Mainly that the thermostat and the cam timing sensor ends up on the "back" of the motor requiring either custom motor mounts or a modified firewall to accommodate the engine. Ligo intended to solve these problems with my build and relocate the thermostat, cam sensor to the front fascia of the engine. As a result he made some modifications to the block.

Tapping the block:
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Waterpump test-fit:
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The Head (still requires porting):
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Head Gasket:
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ARP Studs:
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Continued in the next post:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
I'm not a mechanic and after I've covered the basics I find it hard to speak intelligently about all of the nuances of the engine build. So I think I'll just shut up and let the pictures speak for themselves. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
Apologies about the crappy cell phone pics of the engine pull.

Good bye crappy truck motor. The G54B was better suited to tractors, forklifts and small duty trucks then a RWD sport car with a over-engineered chassis and driveline. Mitsubishi, you perplex me with your logic.
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What a tangled mess of garbage! That will just not do!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
A good test fit with some POR-15 being applied to the engine bay to stave off corrosion and to give things a cleaner look.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
I had a spare set of Starion wheels that I figured I'd get refinished so I would have a backup. I wonder if the wheel repair place will sort this out?

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The old harness... What a mess! :lol:

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More or less final por-15 application on the engine bay:

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Got the gas tank rehabbed, and hit with some por-15 as well:

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more in the next post:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
custom harness made, more or less from scratch by Ligo

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nice clearance:
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Yes, that is a stock mass airflow sensor. Expensive standalone EMS not required. No laptop tuning required... ever. It will start when it's 109f or -30f outside... also will automatically adjust to 20lbs of boost or 30 lbs of boost, or whatever I choose to run. Did I mention Ligo is a genius? :lol:

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Getting air... pretty much right where it used to:
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slightly V-mount EVO8 IC:
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Much better pipe setup then before.
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Improvised radiator mounts
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Getting closer.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
Remember those nasty wheels?

from this:
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To this:
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Decided to upgrade a few parts:
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Fuel pump and tank assembly:
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Intake piping finally done. We will probably end up cutting out all the metal down there as it was starting to show signs of corrosion. As far as I could tell it was the only metal rusting on the entire car. Solving 2 problems with one solution is always a good thing:
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Finally got the last of the clutch hardware (thanks to a fellow starquester) so now we can get this thing hooked up:
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A few other nice new shiny parts:
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More coming!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
Now that "phase 1" is nearly finished, it's down to the fine details.

Battery relocation:

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Heater core fittings:

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Fuseable link modernization. I think everyone who owns a Starquest should do this.

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Final orientation on our piping:

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A few of the bay:

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:D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
Finally... the moment that we've been waiting for!!!!!

FIRST ENGINE START!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMF6srADRcc&fmt=18

from the drivers seat (yes I sound like a giggling idiot):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dglezbqVmYM&fmt=18

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
As of this post, we still have a few electrical gremlins to sort out, and these videos are pre-tune, running no exhaust and pre-engine break-in. We were basically just doing heat cycles on the motor at this point.

The idle will smooth out a bit as we will raise it to 1000 from 900. But the 280 cams will ensure that the car has a schizophrenic and angry idle not matter what we do with it. Which is just the way I want it :D :tu:

There will be more updates in the weeks to come. I'll try to be as regular as possible, but this project has 3 more phases to go. Probably about a year left to go before I'm putting paint on the car and taking it to car shows, etc.

Thanks for reading and please ask any questions you want.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:57 pm 
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I know where this is... :P

Quote:
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Glad to see you back!

Now we just need to get this beast to one of the local old school meets. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2204
Location: Sydney, Australia
Holy schmokes, what a build! This is gonna be a balltearer of a car :)

I like the treatment of the stock wheels....I wonder how it would look if you polished the lip, painted the spokes black, but left the indentations in the middle of the spokes a sandblasted matt silver?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:44 am
Posts: 64
Location: san francisco
So this is the "auto to manual swap"! How do you like the trans mount? I found it to be too flexible the way you have it, so I put some extra brackets to mount to the trans tunnel. Stiffened it right up! Great work by the way! Did your speedo cable hook right up like I said?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 12:25 am
Posts: 311
Location: Alabama
kev wrote:
Holy schmokes, what a build! This is gonna be a balltearer of a car :)

I like the treatment of the stock wheels....I wonder how it would look if you polished the lip, painted the spokes black, but left the indentations in the middle of the spokes a sandblasted matt silver?


here's something I did a while back.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:51 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Mmm..ok all-black is nicer :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 12:25 am
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Location: Alabama
hehe yeah now they are all black


I love the video of cranking the car

please tell me about the item in your dash.

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datsunfreak wrote:
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http://www.myspace.com/abandonaugust


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:16 am
Posts: 141
Location: Mill Creek WA
Thanks for all the comments and support guys. Can't wait to get this thing on the road and supply a steady stream of photos and also the ability to connect with local enthusiasts!

fsbmx88, Heheh, yes the speedo cable plugged right in, and I'll keep an eye on that trans mount. Thanks for the heads up on that!

For as nice as those wheels came out, they are actually kind of temporary and will get relegated to a "backup" status. The next phase for the build is a total subframe drop.
Complete with suspension upgrade and eurathane bushing job. At that time I'll be getting some new wheels. Some CCW classics, custom barreled for a 275 or 285 tire size.
But that probably won't happen until this winter. I figure these will look very appropriate with some aggressive negative camber:
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Zukiru, Item in the dash is a Apexi AFC. Similar to the one in this photo:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:45 pm
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def nice build you got going ... especially love that blue :tu:
i have been considering a dohc in rwd mitsu, but i've never been happy with the thermostat relocation cluttering up the front of the engine, the view that everybody gets when you pop the hood (not dissing your build mind you!)
not an issue if your ride is a drag car, but to show it i'd like to find a cleaner arrangement
i have seen one build where the thermo was placed near the h2o pump, but then you still have radiator hoses routed all over
anybody out there have an alternate thermo relocation solution?


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