You know how there was always that kid in school that nobody wanted to hang out with? Like that smelly dude who picked his nose, or the girl with bad acne. If you don't, then maybe you were that kid. Anyhow, that s how we feel about our Project Strip Eclipse GSX. Throughout the build, you ve probably read us bitching about the car and how nothing fits. The crank pulley falling apart on the drive back to LA from Seattle was the bad omen that set it all off. You read that right, Seattle. The GSX was a popular car back in the day when turbocharged cars were rare, especially combined with an all-wheel drive platform, but who would have thought that locating a clean one in decent running condition in LA would have been a pain. Sure, there were some GS and possibly Eclipses around, but those wouldn’t cut it for plans, so we searched high and low before we finally found one that was worth fixing up. The only bad was that it was a $150 flight up and 1,100-mile back down from the Emerald City.
The guy we bought it from did all the major maintenance on it so everything should have been easy, but we ran into some major roadblocks. Whether it was parts not fitting, trying to locate drive dyno, or shops totally ranking out, Strip was definitely a handful. We had to cut pipes, fabricate piping and ghetto-rig parts. Weren’t for the help of Eddie Kim, Jeff Lee and Depner from Dynamic Autosports we definitely Wouldn’t have gotten anything done.
The main focus of Project Strip was to take the drag strip. The platform was perfect. It was the handful of carney-sized cars back in the day that came all-wheel drive and turbo from the factory. We just needed to capitalize on those assets. The 4G63 is a stout engine, too. Knowing that the turbo had to breathe more, we slapped on a fresh K&N drop-in filter, A PEXi downpipe from Options Auto Salon and Megan Racing exhaust. Then we got rid of the cheesy rubber upper intercooler pipe and replaced it with a hard version. The power was decent, but the fuel definitely wasn’t. That’s where the 550cc RC Engineering injectors and Walbro fuel pump came into play. Those were a must, considering that we planned to slap on the T04B turbo from Turbokits.com and crank up the boost. After Jeff fiddled around with the settings on the Gizzmo MS-IBC and CamFC, we managed to put out decent numbers to the ground. In fact, the final numbers for horsepower and torque were 216 and 217 respectively. That s a huge improvement over the stock 150hp that we laid down originally. We know that we could’ve cranked up the boost and made even more power, but Jeff ran a compression test and our number two cylinder wasn’t playing nice with the other ones. Rocking 170,000 miles on a 16 year-old turbo motor will do that to you.
The rest of the goods we added were to make it look, handle and stop better. For the rollers and rubbers, we went with a set of 16x7 MB Drifter wheels from Discount Tire and 205/45ZR16 Nitto NT555 tires. We stuck with the stock sizing because we were on a budget and wanted to focus more of that into the motor. But we definitely had to upgrade the stock brakes for street and track with Power Slot slotted rotors and Hawk pads.
Though we didn't shave off two full seconds in the quartermile, we did get it down a decent amount from 15.5 to 14.2 and we were 9 mph faster with the trap speed. As for power, we know that if the motor was healthier, simply cranking up the boost would have bumped us to 250hp at the wheels or even more than the 66hp we gained. To be completely honest, this is the car that we.re happy to be done with and get out of our hair. We spent so much time putting on parts that don't fit and taking them back off that we could have rebuilt the whole motor. All we ask for was that nothing break before or during the tests.
Stock Car Vs. Project Car
|Quarter-Mile||15.5 @89.5 MPH||14.2@97 MPH|
|0-60 Braking||139.56 FT||134.11FT|
|Budget $6,500||Price List|
|Unorthodox Racing Pulley||$202||$161|
|K&W Air Filter||$57||$45|
|Megan Racing Exhaust||$425||$340|
|Hard Upper Intercooler Pipe||$220||$176|
|RC 550cc Injectors||$290||$290|
|Walbro Fuel Pump||$120||$106|
|New Turbo Lines||$115||$115|
|H&R Sport Springs||$329||$263|
|Power Slot Front and Rear Brake Pads||$342||$274|
|Hawk Front Brake Pads||$95||$76|
|Auto Parts Store Rear Brake Pads||$35||$28|
|MB Drifter Wheels||$408||$327|
|Nitto NT555 Tires||$540||$432|
|S.I.X Autoworks HID Kit||$350||$280|
|Project Shift Knob||$78||$62|
|Razo Pedal Set||$87||$70|
SPEC IT OUT
1990 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE GSX
POWER 216hp; 217lb-ft torque
UNDER THE HOOD Unorthodox Racing Tuner crank pulley; Gizzmo MS-IBC boost controller and CamFC fuel controller; A PEXi downpipe; Megan Racing exhaust; hard upper intercooler pipe; RC Engineering 550cc injectors; Walbro fuel pump; Turbokits.com T04B turbo, oil lines; K&N replacement filter
STIFF STUFF H&R Sport Springs
ROLLERS 16x7 MB Drifter wheels; 205/45ZR16 Nitto NT555 tires
STOPPERS Power Slot front and rear rotors; Hawk front pads and cheapo rear pads
EXTERIOR S.I.X. Autoworks HID kit
INTERIOR Project shift knob; Razo pedal set
CO-CONSPIRATORS DME Inc., Auto Shop Links, Dynamic Autosports, Turbokits.com, S.I.X. Autoworks, Nitto tires, Discount Tire Direct, H&R, Dynamic Auto Service, K&N, Alamo Motorsports, RC Engineering, Megan Racing, A PEXi, Options Auto Salon, Power Slot, Unorthodox Racing
DEEP THOUGHTS With this car we spent more time tweaking parts that didn't fit then anything else. The 4G63 lived up to its reputation as a brawler, laying down 217hp to the wheels after 16 years of abues and who knows how many trips down the drag strip.