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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't really posted much here in awhile, I thought I might throw out some info on whats been going on, and the status of the car currently. Between Trashing a $5K set of heads from my own stupidity/negligence, The 6G75 Swap, and the Tubular Subframe Debacle (it worked well once the kinks were worked out, just not for what I wanted it for which was something it wasn't designed to do/be) I was quickly finding myself in a position where I was working on the car more then I was driving it, and the car was sitting on jackstands for days to weeks at a time, Which was something in 10 Years of 3/Sing I've always found pride on NOT being that guy, and it was overall really sucking the fun out of the things to the point where I wasn't even motivated to touch the car when I had my perfectly good, ever so reliable Mazda that was always ready to go, and ultimately shit on my 3/S in every single way almost while being 99% stock.

I spent the first half of winter doing a small part out of specific items, and embraced a more stock like build, and pieced the car back together with alot of missing OEM parts, or non hot boi stuff, like most of the under plastics, interior bits, and some mechanical related things, and overall just keeping things simple, putting more rubber back into the car, etc

Build Details:

Engine:
Legitimately Blueprinted and Balanced NA Early 92 2 Bolt Shortblock.
W/ Forged Crank with touch of weight reduction.
Ported and Matched Lower Intake Manifold
Upper Plenum was cut open and the runners were ported as open and Velocity Stack-like as possible.
Hi Rev Springs
Titanium Retainers
Shitty Long Tube headers
Stock Modified Catback
High Flow Cat
Oil Catch Can that actually works while maintaining Crank Case under Vacuum.

Cooling:
Stock VR4 Oil Cooler Setup (I managed to source an entirely new OEM setup. Yes it was very expensive)
Koyorad Radiator
Stock Dual Fans

Engine Management:
Chrome V2 Singing to 7400RPM
Stock otherwise down to the fuel system

Drivetrain:
Rebuilt 5 Speed FWD W/ LSD
Fidanza Aluminum Flywheel
SouthBend Stage 1 Clutch, not really a need to go more aggressive then that.
Seattle Bearing Loaded Shifter (RIP Pauly)

Handling + Chassis:
Stock 94 VR4 Wheels
Balanced set of Summer tires, Falken Azenis, 300TW I think.
Rebuilt OEM Front Subframe and Control Arms W/ New Bushings + Balljoints
New Hubs/Wheel Bearings
2G VR4 Brakes
Hawk Pads
Centric Rotors
New OEM Brake Lines (My SS Lines were Toast after only 4-5 years)
VR4 Front Sway Bar (Addco was too Stiff IMO)
Addco Rear Sway Bar
Megan Racing EZ Coilovers << Single Best Coilover for the 3/S under $1,500 Fight me.
3SX Rear Control Arms

Other:
No AC
No Radio
98+ HomeLink/Domelight
Cloth Interior W/ Non Powered Driver Seat
Fixed-Deployed Front and Rear AA

Specs:
213Whp/202Tq DynoJet 3/21 Don't really care, just was curious.
2940lb No Driver, Full Tank of fuel

I feel this is a good place for this car, and I don't have really anything planned from a performance standpoint other then replace the Cheapo Headers that are 10+ years old and have been cut and welded 20 times with a set of nice 1 offs or just some Kooks from 3SX.

I'd love to finally have all the body work and paint taken care of professionally this winter, then 2-5 years look at finally completing that Non Turbo GTO AWD Drivetrain conversion and revisit the 3.8L DOHC sitting on a stand collecting dust, but if I'm honest I don't see either happening. For the Money, and time of all of that, I'm honestly just keeping my eyes out for a clean AWD GTO SR that's been imported or to import, and swap everything over from this car and retire this shell. Sorry GTWizard RIP Buddy, but it just doesn't make sense for the sake of time and financial investment when clean NA GTO's with sub 100K miles or even 50K miles are under $10K.

Feel Free to comment.
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Did you ever figure out your tubular subframe/steering rack toe issue? I'd be interested to hear more about that, including what the issue was, how you resolved it, which subframe it was (I know of a couple different places making them) and finally what was it designed to be that didn't line up with what you wanted? (IE: was it designed with straight line performance only? did you find it flexed under hard cornering? maybe just made the ride harsher than you enjoyed? etc.)

While it would be sad to know that the car is "retired" due to the amount of history behind it... I can understand how you'd get to that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you ever figure out your tubular subframe/steering rack toe issue? I'd be interested to hear more about that, including what the issue was, how you resolved it, which subframe it was (I know of a couple different places making them) and finally what was it designed to be that didn't line up with what you wanted? (IE: was it designed with straight line performance only? did you find it flexed under hard cornering? maybe just made the ride harsher than you enjoyed? etc.)

While it would be sad to know that the car is "retired" due to the amount of history behind it... I can understand how you'd get to that point.
Mostly it was the bushings, they were too soft, I could compress them and move the control arms around very easily with a small prybar. The guy who makes the Subframes had new bushings made out of a firmer material, Delrin I think. This fixed most of the issues, and he now sends them with all kits. but the Steering Rack still moved quite a bit more then desired. I found it was flex in the mounts themselves, could easily be fixed by welding in braces for it - but not a concern if you don't go chasing corners at speed with big grippy tires.

Then I was still left with Uneven Lock to Lock, so much so it greatly effected turn radius. I'd have a nice tight radius one direction, and really bad radius the other direction, never could figure out why, Wasn't something with the steering rack because I'm using the same one in my stock subframe now, maybe in the way it was mounted I guess, some simple engineering oversight probably. Supposedly other people haven't had that problem.

Lastly the Geometry wasn't that great for handling, which is to be expected because that isn't what it was designed for. The Control Arms needed to be longer, and also Non Parallel like OEM. On a stock car, The Front Control Arm Mounts are angled inward towards the center of the car slightly this helps alot with drivability I've found out. I built my own Bracing for the subframe since i did not buy it with the subframe, so this helped eliminate any potential Flex that might of been there, or at least most of it.

It was a good piece, beautifully made, and would work well for most people, especially if you are focused on Drag Racing and related. It just didn't work like I had hoped for what I wanted. It sucks because I lost some money when I sold it and cost myself alot of time. But that's part of the game when you were trying to do things like I was trying to do LOL.

I forget who made the subframe, but it was whoever that Larry K was working with for their drag car.
 

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Thank you for that. That was one of the subframes I was looking at. I actually didn't know he was providing bushings at all, I thought all the mounting points for both the subframe and control arms were solid. If I do go that route I'll ask him to beef up the rack mounting points based on your feedback. I'm not going to be trying to rip down tail of the dragon at record pace or anything... but I want to be able to enjoy those "35mph" corners on the backroads and on-ramps occasionally without worrying that my steering or handling is going to suddenly go wonky mid turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's nice only having to focus on old car things again for a change, instead of constantly battling issues caused by aftermarket parts. I unfortunately don't have any photos of all the new OEM looking goodness, but felt like sharing anyways while I kill some time at work. I'll try to have photos for future posts.

Spent half the day the other Saturday diagnosing a noisy Power Steering System, and a fluid leak. Despite the Power Steering Reservoir remaining at or above the max line, the power steering pump was constantly making noise under load when turning the wheel like it was low on fluid or had air trapped in the system. I had this problem before I had parked the car over the winter and assumed it was the PS Pump, so I bought a Reman off Rockauto and installed it but when I got the car back together it was still an issue. It's good to have new/rebuilt parts but I probably should have looked at it closer. I had been living with the issue for awhile now.

I found most of the hoses were leaking slightly, not alot thankfully due to them being low pressure... Dry Rotted, swollen and soft, combined with OEM Spring Clamps the hoses were just not sealing well around the metal lines.

I was able to track down almost all new OEM rubber hoses to replace with new spring clamps... In doing so i found the line that goes to the Power Steering Pump and pulls from the Reservoir was so loosely fitting I could pull it off with the clamp still on it. This was likely sucking in air and the cause of the noisy PS pump. I could not find this hose however, but it was long enough I cut the swollen and split end off it, and put it back on using a worm clamp.

While I had everything apart I took time to clean, degrease, and dry the frame rail, plastics, and suspension under the power steering stuff.

Viola, After about a week of driving, not a drop of fluid and it instantly cured the noisy PS Pump. Everything has remained nice and clean and dry.

I've been driving the car almost non stop the past 2 weeks other then for work, and It's been great. I've been feeling a bit more motivated to do car projects again, and I'm kinda reconsidering maybe giving the body one more shot at repainting it. If I do it will likely be a color change to a different OEM color, if I decide to do a full respray again and not just respray the parts that need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Decided I finally had it, and quit my high stress job outright back in Mid October, Took on a cushy job working 3 days a week that still pays well enough to cover Bills, and still have a little money left over. This is allowing me to focus more on my investing career and also my little side gig for the automotive work, while giving me 4 full days of free time to do as I ultimately please.

Since I no longer have a free truck to use as a daily driver, and have been dailying the 3000, and RX-8 while the weather is still Salt and Ice Free (I bought a newerish Focus for the winter months)

3000 doesn't make as good of a daily as the RX-8, mostly because its 29 years old and mildly modified, while also missing many creature comforts and ammenities, but when I dig through my Cigar box for keys, I just tend to always grab the 3000's...Maybe making up for lost time over the last 8 years, for so long the 3/S served as my do everything car as it was my only car... I'm really enjoying it. Somedays I wouldn't mind having a radio again though, and I'm sure come summer I'll be wishing I had AC on those extra hot days if I choose to drive it, but otherwise it's been such a blast.

Not awhole lot new with it. I've got a oil leak I need to addres, I think its front valve cover and maybe the Dip Stick Tube Oring, Seems to be a bit of blowby still, might need to make some revisions to my catch can setup. I want to put a Pressure gauge on the crank case and play around, From what I understand, there is power through efficiency to be had by mantaining slight vacuum in the crank case at WOT to redline. So I'll be working on that soon.

Im the meantime, decided I wanted a bit more throatyness out of the intake when I was putting my foot into it, so I replaced half the stock rubber intake with some aluminum pieces and couplers I had laying around the garage, worked like a charm. There is this really pronounced bassy growl of induction noise from 4,000RPM all the way to redline now. It's quite enjoyable.

Here's some pictures. (Edit: I'm wondering if maybe I should move the return line from the Catch can to be Post-Throttle body instead of before, I should do some research)

 

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'95 RT/TT
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super like, seems like a lot of people are getting fed up with their jobs and making changes.
car is looking great as well.

dailying the 3000, and RX-8
tell me you're a masochist without telling me you're a masochist.
 
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