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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't see as many build threads on here anymore. Since I hate Facebook, I figured I'd post up some progress pictures of my build. I wanted to start this thread last year, when I actually started the restore/build process. But life gets in the way sometimes. So some of these pictures are older but better late than never. Unfortunately, I'm dealing with a chronic disease and energy is hard to come by. By the time I get done w/ my 8-5 job, do the family routine (wife and 2 boys), my energy is all but gone. So progress might be slow, after these posts. Either way, I'm still pushing myself to get out to the garage, at least 15-30 minutes a day, to accomplish at least one thing a night.

My original setup was an OEM short block, purchased in 2007. I was also using the original stock heads and using the IPS TD05 16g kit. I put down around 500awhp in 2009 and I have kept the boost and tune where it's at, since then. I've put less than 5,000 miles on the block, in 13 years. I didn't drive it much, as was always worried about a rod taking a jump for freedom or a destroying a piston ringland. The dumbest reason was because "racecar", I ripped the A/C out in 2009 (dumbest move ever). Now that I'm older, wiser and have a bit more expendable income, now is the time I wanted to build it "right". I also have a buddy w/ a Tesla Model 3 and he keeps getting "free" performance upgrades. So I'd like to be able to keep up and hold my own with him. Nevertheless, I called up Ray last year and we ran through some options. In the end, I settled on a BC 3.4 stroker, with Oliver Rods and Ray's custom Ross pistons. Since I planned on keeping my older OEM block as a backup, I found another good, non-spun bearing block and had it shipped to Ray/Merkel. During my shopping spree, I also found a set of mint IPS CNC'd race heads, for a decent price and purchased a set BC 266/272 cams and BC cam gears, to compliment them.

While he was busy building the new block, I got the windows tinted, because Florida:


Shortly after, I started tearing out the engine:


Removed all of the non-essentials, in preparation for paint. Also removed the ABS break lines, as I'll be doing an ABS delete:






I sent the car chassis down to a local painter, to have the exterior and engine bay painted. I've been wanting to have this car painted, ever since I purchased it in 2004. The previous owner hit a deer and had just put a black spray painted bumper on it (as seen above). I had also purchased a Victory hood in 2007, that was also black and I had been running like that since forever. It didn't look "terrible", but I just never had the finances to get a paint job done, the way I wanted it. So after 15 years of owning the car, I finally had the funds to do so. The paint job took about 2 months to complete. Unfortunately, the car needs to be sent back, due to contaminates and pinholes throughout the entire paint job. I'm still fighting w/ the painter on this. Nothing is ever easy.









After initial painting, looks a lot better, even though it has contaminants and pinholes.





While the car was out of the garage, I started on a garage renovation. This took way longer than expected and of course, had a bit of project creep. lol. Unfortunately, the car had to come home, before I could get done w/ the project. So it had to sit outside every night, while I was doing the drywall work.







Just a quick blip about the garage. My garage had old rotting yellow painted peg board, throughout the entire garage. My father in-law helped me hang the drywall and showed me the basics of taping/mudding/sanding. YouTube showed me the easier way. lol. I also removed all of the popcorn on the ceiling, installed some additional recessed lights, re-secured the old loose boards and then re-taped, mudded, sanded all those joints. Then of course painted, installed baseboard and finished it off w/ some new tile flooring. I'm proud w/ the end results (don't mind the still primed door).

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Now for some of the goodies. While the engine and transmission was out, I sent the transmission over to Chris @ Rvenge. He did a full rebuild, installing new OEM synchros and also installed an OBX-SCE LSD. I already had an SCE torsen center differential in it. So he just checked things over with it (i.e. tapered bearings) and replaced as required. BTW, I have nothing but great things to say about Chris. He's been awesome to work with. Getting ready to come back home:


I also had Chris build me one of these bad boys (Billet transfer case from Mark @ PCT).


Sitting pretty:






Also picked up a Fluidampr crank pulley and installed Erron's awesome timing decal:






One of the last sets of Itallo's oil pump gears:
 

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Very cool and thanks for sharing! It is always nice to know the backstory and steps taken over the years. Sorry to hear about the disease, but at least your car (and family of course) is still bringing you joy.

Any ETA on the engine? Chris definitely does excellent work. He also did my billet Broomfield/PCT TC not too long ago (working awesome)

Looking forward to updates! :)

-Alan

PS: Garage looks badass!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm trying to avoid head lift, as much as possible. So I had a local shop install a set of ARP insert washers, into the IPS heads.


Removing the valve springs, to clean out all of the metal shavings from the insert washer machine work.


Intake/Exhaust valves:


Verifying they have Ray's head lift fix...yup!:


Exhaust CNC porting. Pretty cool!


Intake CNC porting. Again, pretty cool!


Verified IPS heads. At least we knew who made them. I'd loved to have seen the CNC work done on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So here's the bad boy itself. Fully assembled 3.4l short block, completed by the master of 3/S (Ray). I also blessed it with holy water. j/k. As mentioned above, I'm really trying everything I can, to keep those heads down. In speaking with Ray, he mentioned to try out the Athena gaskets. I originally purchased a set of pyramid rings, from Andre. Unfortunately, he was out of stock and had to get them ordered. The wait was a bit longer than anticipated. I didn't want to keep holding up Ray/Merkel, on the engine assembly. So I purchased a few sets the Athena gaskets. Ray speaks good things about them and runs them in his max'd out DR750 3000gt. So I'm thinking they'll do me well. If not, I have the pyramid rings, in my possession and the spare block. So I'll send those up to Ray/Merkel, if these don't hold for some reason. The head studs are from Extreme-Studs.com (not a porn site)..lol.


Heads mounted and torqued down to OEM spec. Each Athena gasket was installed leveled. Meaning the engine stand was rotated, so that the engine deck is perfectly leveled to the ground. Installed the head, torqued to FSM specifications. Repeated the process to the opposing deck. Also installed the BC 266/272 cams and cam seals.


Installed new OEM rear main seal and housing. It was quite challenging to install, with the engine stand in the way and not getting RTV everywhere. Either way, mission accomplished.


Just a peak at the bottom end. She won't mind. Looking kind of meaty in there:


Another upskirt shot:


Time to cover her up. Installed an extended oil pan, made by Hans. I think 3SX sells them now. Holds an extra 1.5 qts. Comes with trap doors and looks like a good design. That dude can weld!


Water pump and BC cam gears installed. BTW, make sure you check the torque on the cam gears, before timing the engine. The front exhaust slipped on me, while timing the engine. I read that the allen bolts are supposed to be torqued to about 45in/lbs. So that's what they are torqued to, at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And that brings me up to today:
Just got it timed last night. I know it has compression, as one of the paper towels I had shoved in the spark plug holes shot out across the garage. Scared me a bit. lol


The next project, degreeing the cams. Went down the isles of Lowes for a bit, looking for a bracket to use. Found this one that should work nicely to hold the magnetic stand. I still need to setup everything (dial indicator, TDC indicator, etc). So I'll be posting pictures of that process, within the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very cool and thanks for sharing! It is always nice to know the backstory and steps taken over the years. Sorry to hear about the disease, but at least your car (and family of course) is still bringing you joy.

Any ETA on the engine? Chris definitely does excellent work. He also did my billet Broomfield/PCT TC not too long ago (working awesome)

Looking forward to updates! :)

-Alan

PS: Garage looks badass!
No problem. Glad I could share. I remember the good ol' days where these build threads popped up quite often. Trying to restore some of that. Thanks for your condolences on the disease. I contracted Lyme Disease about 4 years ago. I live in Florida and went to 13 doctors trying to diagnose what was going on with me. Finally, the 14th Dr. figured it out. Unfortunately, damage is done and I'm just maintaining some of the symptoms. Luckily, the 14th doctor got me on the correct treatment plan and got me functional again. It still sucks at time but I do my best to not let it take away my livelihood.

As for the engine, I plan on degreeing the cams this week. But after, the engine progress will be in a holding pattern for a bit. I had my painter spray the engine bay and the same issues of pinholes and contaminants, are in there as well. So I don't want to install the engine, when it's going to probably need a respray. I'm also going to be sending my valve cover/intake manifold out, to get re-polished. In addition, I'll be sending my IPS TD05 kit out, to get the inconel shield treatment. The ceramic coating that they used didn't last very long and is chipping off everywhere. I plan on re-installing all of the A/C components, that I ripped out a decade ago. I do remember having overheating issues when I used it. I'm pretty sure it's either the FMIC blocking too much air or the TD05 header being so close to the radiator and radiator pipes. The heat also fried one of my Mechman alternators. So at least I can get manifold radiant heat issue, removed from the picture.

Thanks for the compliment on the garage. It's been a nice change!
 

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I just got a 3si recently too and am amazed at what you guys are still doing to them right now. I love it.
 

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1994 Mit 3000gt VR4 6spd
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Those are my custom athena gaskets and will hold up better than any other any gasket with a proper tune. Everything has its limits though and will give eventually, hit it with a 200 shot of NOS making big power and it'll probably give lol.

But the garage looked really awesome man, what a great job! The build looks like it is going smooth and you're doing everything the right way taking your time. Did you pack your oil pump gears with some assembly lube?

Also that stroker setup is exactly what i'll be running except with some bigger turbos than 16g's ;)

Put up pictures of the pinholes. Lots of times your need to wetsand to get rid of fish-eye and other contaminants that got in while spraying clearcoat, especially if you weren't in a proper booth. Even then you can still get annoying contaminants, just not as much. It may not need a respray
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Those are my custom athena gaskets and will hold up better than any other any gasket with a proper tune. Everything has its limits though and will give eventually, hit it with a 200 shot of NOS making big power and it'll probably give lol.

But the garage looked really awesome man, what a great job! The build looks like it is going smooth and you're doing everything the right way taking your time. Did you pack your oil pump gears with some assembly lube?

Also that stroker setup is exactly what i'll be running except with some bigger turbos than 16g's ;)

Put up pictures of the pinholes. Lots of times your need to wetsand to get rid of fish-eye and other contaminants that got in while spraying clearcoat, especially if you weren't in a proper booth. Even then you can still get annoying contaminants, just not as much. It may not need a respray

Yeah man. Thanks for getting that GB together. These gaskets are probably the coolest I've ever seen. I don't plan on running any nitrous, but that could always change. So hopefully they'll last a long time. Worst case, I lift a head and then I go for broke and put Andre's pyramid rings in.

That's awesome, that you'll be running one as well. I would love to see some build pictures, when you get ready to do that.

I poured some motor oil on the oil pump gears, as I didn't have assembly lube at the time. So I didn't leave them dry. I was reading about some people using petroleum jelly, but I just wasn't comfortable using that for some reason.

Here's a quick picture of the paint work. It's all over the car. It should have never left his garage in this condition. Unfortunately, I didn't see it in his lighting for some reason. I only noticed it when I was looking at it up close, when it was already sitting outside my garage.

 

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1994 Mit 3000gt VR4 6spd
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Yea man my gaskets will hold up great. My 3.0 build was done but torn back down for stroker, maybe when that's completed i'll post pics.

The jelly would've worked on the oil pump gears and wouldn't have a back effect. You need to drain the oil after it's ran for a few minutes on first startup anyways and change the filter. Packing the pump with lube or the jelly is so when you prime the oil system, you can get pressure building in the system.

Honestly try wet-sanding that small area and the buffing it out with a 3 stage process.. I bet all of that will clear up
 

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I'm sorry if I missed it, and if you don't mind answering, what wheels are those?
Size? Offset?

Bob. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yea man my gaskets will hold up great. My 3.0 build was done but torn back down for stroker, maybe when that's completed i'll post pics.

The jelly would've worked on the oil pump gears and wouldn't have a back effect. You need to drain the oil after it's ran for a few minutes on first startup anyways and change the filter. Packing the pump with lube or the jelly is so when you prime the oil system, you can get pressure building in the system.

Honestly try wet-sanding that small area and the buffing it out with a 3 stage process.. I bet all of that will clear up
Thanks and appreciate the info. That makes sense. I'll definitely be changing the oil, after the initial startup.

As for the paint job, I sincerely appreciate the optimism. From far away I love it, but whenever I get close, I hate it. I'm putting pressure on the painter to fix it, so I'm hoping I don't have to. It's just a time thing, as he's working/finishing other jobs now.




I'm sorry if I missed it, and if you don't mind answering, what wheels are those?
Size? Offset?

Bob. :)
No worries at all. They are Volk GT-Cs. Here's the info on them:

Volk GT-C 18x9 "Face 1" +30mm (in front)
Volk GT-C 18x10 "Face 2" +31mm (in rear)





Nice to see a new build thread here and your car looks great with those wheels on ?
Thanks man. Definitely appreciate it!
 

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I don't get on the forums much, I never have luck posting pictures, and seems to really suck doing it on a phone.
I went in on the GB for a billet stroker and am going to run Ray's pistons and rods. So my build will be a lot like yours.
And this thread is great because I can follow this and help me out a lot, there's actually pictures you can see and it's a current build. Plus I have the fluidampr and bc cam sprockets.
Most things on Facebook get lost.
But it's great to get quick answers.
It's nice to see a stealth build too. Everyone seems to hate on them. And I have 2. Lol
Stealth93 is right, most times you can wet sand and buff out blemishes. I just did my car last summer, me and my brother did the paint, and he does it for a living, you almost always have blemishes. You have to be very careful not to sand through the clear coat though.
And I'll have to look into this athena gasket. Sounds like I'll need that.
Good luck with the build. It looks great so far!
 
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