Sunday, February 18, 2018

Well, It's A Start- 98 Eagle Talon TSi/AWD

Basket Case, 1 Each

I finally got a chance to go outside and do a little more work on the 98 Talon TSi/AWD I picked up a few months ago.  Actual work, besides going out there to look at the car, wonder how I'm going to do this and then beating my head against a wall.

I'm still not 100% recovered from my shoulder surgery, so I can't really get after it like I want to.  However at this point any progress made towards getting the car going again, is a GOOD thing.

As mentioned before, it's a real "Basket Case" and if it wasn't a really rare 98 AWD Talon, I probably would have run screaming from it.  Maybe I should have.

"This Thing Needs A Lot Of Work."

The Day It Arrived

Interior Shenaningans

"I'm A Mechanic, Not An Electrician"  Well Actually...

How Does Something Like This Even Happen?

A Little Primer And A Little Paint...Make It What She Ain't"

Missing Side Strakes/Door Guard Pieces?  Figures.
The car is missing the engine, and as you can see the interior really needs some help.  

The engine bay has been partially disassembled and is pretty filthy. 

 A lot of parts were haphazardly removed and/or stored in one of the plastic tubs I got with the car.  Some stuff is flat out missing or unaccounted for.

It's also dinged, dented, missing some trim pieces and rusty in some spots.  It also looks like it's an AWD without Limited Slip.  Bummer.

Hey, let's find the shittiest 2Gb Talon AWD in Kansas and try to save it!

At Least It Was Cheap. Sorta...

Silver Lining?

While this thing is indeed a true "Basket Case", it did come with some stuff that kind of took the sting out a bit.

  •  2G 7 Bolt 2.3l Longblock Assembly- with Eagle Rods, Wiseco Pistons, 100mm Factory Crank, Split Thrust Bearing Block (Assembled By The Previous Owner)
  • Spare 2G 7 Bolt Split Thrust Bearing Block, Stock Crank, 7 Bolt Rods/Pistons
  • 2 Black Box Flashable 2G ECU's
  • 97 AWD Transmission/Transfer Case
  • "Custom" FMIC Setup With Piping
  • MAF Translator With 2 Spare 3in GM MAF's
  • AEM 52mm Wideband Gauge/ProSport Boost Gauge
  • Spare Parts To Include: Clutches, Flywheels, E-Bay Turbos, E-Bay Tubular Manifold, a Greddy Adjustable Cam Gear And Other Random BS.

Some of these items have already been sold or traded off.  I have a pretty clear idea of how I want this thing to be built.

First Things First

The easiest thing to tackle first would be the interior and the wiring,

I knew this car had probably passed through a lot of hands the chances for all sorts of wiring fuckery were high, and I was right. 

 I find it's often easier when dealing with a new to you project car, to just got through the wiring and remove any thing that looks sketchy or questionable.  Which in this case was pretty much..everything.


The car came with two 52mm Gauges on the A-Pillar in a Gauge Pod.  The fact that the Gauge Pod was secured to the A-Pillar with two big Wood Screws should have been my first clue that maybe someone before me should have put down the tools and walked away.

You Gonna Learn...
The two gauges were a AEM Wideband Gauge, with a blue bezel?  Alright, I guess.  Also in the pod was a ProSport Mechanical Boost Gauge.

The wiring for the gauges was jammed between the dash and the A-Pillar and consisted of speaker wire in some places, with the bare wire ends twisted together.  At least they used electrical tape. 

The bezel on the AEM Wideband was painted with blue paint.  Well, that's one mystery solved.

Gauges were removed and the wiring that was still usable was also removed for possible future use in the car.  

Radio Ga Ga

The car came with a Factory Amplified Stereo System, that was bypassed by the previous owner.  I found the Factory Amp in one of the bins that came with the car, and plan on using it if possible.

The Factory Amp mounts underneath the passenger seat and is often bypassed when it stops working, "Becasue Racecar" or if the owner wants to put a better Amplifier and  Speaker setup in the car.

I found the remnants a of a Amplifer and Subwoofer install in the rear hatch, so I imagine the PO bypassed it for this reason.  Unfortunately, instead of using a Adapter Harness to wire his new Head Unit into the car, he cut the Factory Radio Plug off and hardwired his new harness in place.

"Way To Go, Genius..."

I wonder why he did this as the Adapter Harnesses to work with the Factory Amp or bypassing it isn't that expensive.  It was probably harder and more time consuming to figure out how to cludge his new plug into the factory wiring.   

Whatever.  I wasn't there, I just have to fix his "modification."

Using a plug from a junkyard car, I went ahead and resoldered the Factory Radio Plug back into place.  Luckily, the wiring for the Factory Amp  was still intact and hadn't been removed.  Hopefully the old Amp still works.  I plan on installing a Double DIN Touchscreen like the one in my old VW Golf TDI and utilizing the Factor Amp to power everything.
In Progress

 Turbo Time...Err, What's All This?

I saw that the HKS Turbo Timer on top of the steering column wasn't secured very well and I wanted to verify that someone hadn't hardwired the Turbo Timer into the Starter Circuit, so I dropped the Driver's Side Under Dash Panel.  

This revealed that not only was the Turbo Timer properly installed, but that something else was present.  A partially installed Matrix 10.5  Clifford Alarm System.

The Alarm Control Box had been removed previously, but all the wiring and relays from the previous install were still in place.

I carefully removed everything, and had to reconnect a lead on the Ignition Switch that had been split for the Starter Kill function.  I also removed a set of relays that had been spliced in to the Turbo Timer harness to allow the Turbo Timer to function with the Alarm.

At Least It Came Out Easily

I'm sure that the car started just fine with the Alarm Control Box removed, but I'd rather not deal with having to work around the wiring in the future.  There's still a Coaxial Cable of some kind that runs to the rear of the car.  I still need to trace that and see what it goes to.  

The HKS Turbo Timer has a some features that require additional wires to be run to it from the Parking Brake and the vehicle's ECU.  These wires were routed and installed, with the underdash cover reinstalled as well.

Translation...Not Needed

The car came with a MAF Translator, which I had never used before.  

I planned on using a 2G MAF on the car, so I started trying to figure out how to remove it from the car.

The install looked...ODD, because I thought these units were designed to be installed in the engine bay or relocated with a adapter harness inside the car. 

Mine was completely covered in electrical tape and went through a hole drilled through the firewall (Really?)

Turns out the previous owner extended the connectors with what looks like electrical cable for a house?

What. The. Actual. Fawk?

I went ahead and cut the wires off to remove the Translator from the car and carefully verified the wiring schematic and resoldered the connectors back onto the Translator.  Who knows?  I might actually need this someday.  Just wish there was some way to test it out.  Who knows what it's been through.

More To Come

The interior is still in need of work.  The Previous Owner liked to drill into panels and installed a small gauge in the Center Console, so there are several panels and components that need to be replaced.

The carpet needs to be replaced, and there's a large oil spill behind the Passenger Seat that needs to be cleaned up as well.  No idea how that happened.  The Driver's Seat is a power adjustable unit, so I have to disconnect the motor to pull the seat out without a battery in the car.  I already have a replacement carpet set, so once I can wrestle the seat out, that'll get done.

Not a lot done....but it's a start.

Until Then,

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot....

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Re-Education Of Mr. Trogdor

Well, Let's Get On With It

*My Cell Phone ate pretty much any pictures that weren't stored on my Phone's internal memory when my SD Card shit the bed.  So, some sections don't have pictures or are whatever I managed to recover from Facebook.*

I finally got my new project car up to Wichita from it's previous home in Plano, TX.

"Trogdor" is a 1993 Eagle Talon TSi/AWD with a rather well known history to me. A buddy of mine back home, had owned the car for many years and eventually decided to sell it to me when I got tired of my Miata.

  I didn't pick the name, but it kind of made me laugh all those years ago when it was first christened, so I've decided to keep it.  Even if a lot of people have NO IDEA where the name came from.

 It was a modified Street Car, that was modified like most AWD DSM's, in the interest of  just going fast in a straight line.  A bigger turbo, bigger exhaust, more fuel, more boost, screaming AWD launches from a dig.  You get the idea.  

After a few years, the previous owner wanted to turn it into more of a "Race Car" after he caught the "Road Racing Bug".  

This led to several modifications that made safely and comfortably driving the car on the street , a little..."problematic".

Oh Boy...

Here's a partial list of the "Because Racecar" stuff was done to the car:
  • Welded Rollbar With Integrated Harness Bar
  • Stripped Interior From Behind The Front Seats Back To The Hatch
  • Removed Factory Seat Belts For Five Point Racing Harnesses
  • No Front Crash Beam Under The Bumper Cover
  • Corbeau Fixed Back Racing Seats
  • Removed Heater Core, Blower Motor, A/C Evaporator and Ducting From The Dash
  • Modified Engine Main Coolant Pipe With Deleted Heater Hose Fittings
  • Modified A/C Control Panel For Boost Gauge Install
  • Custom 3 Inch Thick Griffin Radiator With Slimline Fans (Needed To Be Wired Up)
  • Relocated Alternator to A/C Compressor Location On Engine Block
  • Deleted The Entire ABS System (Pump, Lines, Controller, Wiring)
  • Removed Factory Battery For A Lightweight  Racing Battery
  • Brake Master Cylinder Brace

Some of the changes made were no real big deal and didn't affect the operation of the car on the street for the most part.  Other changes, however did produce some issues with safety, comfort and appearance.  Since I wanted something I could drive on the street and occasionally take to a race track and not the other way around, some changes were going to have to be made.

Crash Beam Blues

The first and easiest thing to address was the lack of a Crash Beam under the front bumper cover.  

  The car had a large Indy Race Core Front Mount Intercooler kit from it's days as a Dragstrip Queen.  

The large Spearco core that was the centerpiece of the kit, required trimming of the Crash Beam and several other permanent modifications to properly fit on the car.  

For some people, trimming the Crash Beam was a tedious and thankless task, so some opted to delete it all together. Others opted for the "Race Bumper" available from JM Fabrications.  It bolts into place of the factory unit and it's made out of aluminum.  It offers no protection whatsoever, but it will hold your bumper cover up and weighs next to nothing.  

I know that a factory Crash Beam that's been cut and trimmed to fit a large Intercooler Core is not going to be anywhere near as strong as it used to be. However,  I would personally take my chances with a compromised Crash Beam in place, rather than nothing at all on the street.

I found a local guy willing to sell me a front Crash Beam from his 93 Eclipse along with the hydraulic shock mounts for the bumper.  I then proceeded to cut and modify the components to allow the Intercooler to clear and added a little peace of mind, if not some additional protection to myself and the car.

Friends Indeed

A mutual friend of both myself and the previous owner was looking to get rid of one of his DSM's back in Texas.  I was basically told that if I wanted it, I could have his old 91 Eagle Talon TSi/FWD.  

If I wasn't interested, he was going to crush the car because it had been sitting at his Mom's house for over 8 years and needed to go.

  I made the trip back down there with the possibility of hauling the whole thing back up to Wichita  as a possible car for my Girlfriend.  Unfortunately, the car was too far gone and I decided to pass on taking it home.  

I was then given the opportunity to take whatever I wanted from the car, and I wound up stripping the complete interior from the car, minus the cracked dash and anything I already had in my 93.  

I hated basically adding the final nail to this car's coffin, but needs outweigh want.   

I went back to Wichita with a bunch of sun faded interior parts, that would help me resurrect my 93's interior. 

Dashboard Refresh

The original Dashboard in the 93 was cracked in the center, much like the 91 parts car in Texas.  Also the soft touch "Elephant Hide" padding used on the dash had started to delaminate and curl up from the heat in some spots.  Unfortunately this is a common issue with the First Generation DSM's.

I decided to find another Dashboard Assembly and swap it in.  Since the dash would be out, it was also a good time to go ahead and address the Heater Core, Ducting and Blower Motor under the dash.

I found a decent used dash from a 90 AWD in a local junkyard using I used it to search for junkyards in the area that had a Dashboard and lucked out with a yard here in town.

I had never pulled a Dashboard out from a 1G DSM, so I had to do a little research.  I found a great video on YouTube from "Velocity Labs" that detailed how to go about this.  

With a minimum of cursing, and dropped bolts I managed to get everything out by myself.  I had to swap dash harnesses from the 93 Dash into the replacement 90 Dash because of some gauge cluster wiring differences, but it wasn't hard.  

I also took the time to remove the padded "Elephant Hide" from the dash and used Automotive Goop and some spring clamps to try and fix the peeling issue.  It's not perfect, but it looks a lot better now.

However, before the dash could go back in...I needed to work on the Heater, Blower and Ducting first.

I managed to snag everything I needed to reinstall heat and ventilation back into the 93 from the 91 Texas parts car.  I ordered a new Heater Core from Autozone and swapped it into the housing.  

I gutted the A/C Evaporator case and installed a metal blank off plate where the evaporator lines poked through the firewall.  I also took the time to clean out the blower motor with compressed air.

The under dash heating and ventilation components were reinstalled, along with the un-cracked dash.  The 90 Dashboard is a slightly lighter shade of grey than the 93, but it isn't a real issue as it looks great without a huge crack down the center.

Take Your Seats, Seat Belts....Whatever

I liked the Corbeau Racing Seats, but didn't want to deal with getting into a 5 Point Racing Harness everytime I got into the car.  Also the Harnesses while cool as Hell, weren't technically street legal.  So, unfortunately for now, the factory Seats and Seat Belts would have to go back in.

The Corbeau seats unbolted from the car just like the factory units, since they used vehicle specific brackets to bolt into the car.  I had a set of grey factory seats from the Texas car, but needed to address the Seat Belts before throwing them into the car.

The factory Automatic Front Seat Belts had been removed when the 5 Point Harnesses went in. I had the parts from the 91 to throw into the car, so I started bolting everything up.  It was going so well too...until I realized some of the wiring for the passenger side Seat Belt Was missing.

If you remember the ABS had been deleted from the car by the previous owner.  He had also taken the time to delete the wiring for the ABS system in the car, which unfortunately also contained the factory Seat Belt wiring on the passenger side.


There was brief experiment where I tried to install a set of 2G DSM Seat Belts into the car, and I even thought about trying to track down a set of Canadian 1G Seat Belts.  Too hard to find Canadian Belts and the 2G Belts looked like ass in the car.  Plus I was concerned witht heir ability to keep me safe.  I decided to "Bite The Bullet."

I asked my friend back in Texas to send me the entire Interior Body Harness from the 91 to me so I could maybe,  "cludge" the wiring I needed back into the car.  Using the Factory Service Manuals, a Multimeter, a lot of cursing and trying to wrap my head around the Factory Wiring Diagrams, I eventually got everything figured out and rewired.

With the Seat Belt Wiring sorted out, I needed to clear up some other interior issues before the belts could be completely reinstalled.  I was relieved though, because I knew it all worked and the car was closer to being a Street Car again.

Interior Makeover

Since I wasn't a fan of the Stripped Interior, I wanted it to have most of the interior reinstalled.  Luckily the 91 Texas Talon had given up it's very complete, but rather sunfaded interior.

The seats were in excellent shape, just faded.  I used some Upholstery/Seat Cleaner on it with my Shop Vac and made the front and rear seats presentable again.

The interior panels were cleaned with water and a damp rag to get the panels as clean as possible.  Since they were faded, I wanted to do something to make them look better.

I found some Vinyl/Fabric Coating from Dupli Color in the local Autozone and decided to give it a shot.  I bought the recommended Adhesion Promoter and looked for something that would work for my panels.  

Unfortunately the closest color that matched was either Charcoal Grey or Black.  Easy choice there, I went with Grey.

Followed the directions on the can, and it turned out okay.  I have no idea on how durable the finish will be, but it looks a lot better. Even if the Grey is a lighter shade than the factory color. 

Now that the panels were ready, I needed a way to attach them.  The Interior Trim pieces are held in place by a combination of Nylon Trim Plugs, Screws, Double Sided Tape and Good Intentions.

Most of the Snap/Pop Fasteners used were no longer available from the dealership, having been long out of production for the most part.  

Using a cracked version of CAPS, the Mitsubishi Parts Lookup Software, I was able to get the part numbers for a number of the fasteners and was able to track down whatever I couldn't get from the dealership via Amazon or E-Bay.

Now, hopefully I could get the Interior Panels reinstalled around the Roll Bar.

That's A Nice Roll Bar...It'd Be A Shame...

I REALLY wanted to keep the Roll Bar in the car.

I tried, I really tried to keep it but I think I knew early on, it was probably going to have to come out of the car.

First there were the Gussets that tied the main hoop to the B-Pillars of the car.  I was willing to trim the B-Pillar Trim Panels if I could get the panels to fit around the Main Hoop and Gussets.

I couldn't do it with the Gussets in place, so I removed them with a Angle Grinder and a Sawz All.

That truly sucked to do because I nearly set the headliner on fire, and metal shards got everywhere in the car.   But with the Gussets gone  I was able to reinstall the Front Seat Belt Tracks on botrh sides and the B-Pillar Trim Panels.  Success!!  (Or So I Thought)

Unfortunately the Lap Belt Reels for the Front Seat Belts are what finally killed the Roll Bar.  The base for the Main Hoop was welded in place on the floor, directly in the way of the opening where the reels for the Front Lap Belts needed to go.

  I could keep the Roll Bar, but I would need to use the 5 Point Racing Harnesses...everywhere.

 I would also not be able to reinstall the Rear Seats, some Interior Panels would require trimming to clear the Main Hoop, and all the time and effort spent in rewiring the Seat Belt on the Passenger Side?


Screw It.  It's coming out. 

Grabbed my Sawz All and did the dirty deed.  I wasn't happy about it, but it was just in the way.  One day, I'd like to put another one in that's more interior friendly.  Maybe an Autopower Bolt In Cage.  I don't know.

  I kept the Cross Bar tying the rear strut towers together, because it was already there and figured it couldn't hurt to keep it in place.  It required trimming the Rear Hatch Trim to clear the Cross Bar, but it doesn't look that bad.

With that issue addressed, the rest of the interior went back together rather easily.  Everything that's supposed to work interior wise, works.  For the most part. 

I left the Rear Seat Belts out of the car since no one is insane enough to ride in the back of a 1G DSM, unless they're into pain or something.  The Rear Seats are there purely for decoration, as a barrier to separate the Rear Hatch from the Passenger Compartment and Sound Deadening.

The Heater and Blower Motor work as advertised, although I can't get full travel out of the Temperature Select Knob.  I'll have to mess with it later.

Seat Belts work as advertised and they had better after all the BS I went through to reinstall them and losing the Roll Bar.

The seats and refinished trim pieces look great and make the car look almost like a real car again.

I just wish I had some pics so I could show you.  

Stupid Phone.

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot....

Thursday, January 25, 2018

"Trogdor" Arrives- 1993 Eagle Talon TSi/AWD

This post is long overdue, considering I've had the car since March of 2017.  Sorry.  I'm lazy.-Muttski

Why This One?    

  This car used to belong to a close friend of mine and was a long term project of his.  As a matter of fact, he's owned it as long as I've known him.  No BS.  Well over 15 years now.

 Originally like most DSM owners, he was more interested in just going fast in a straight line and the car was modified with those goals in mind.  From what I can recall, it had a 16G and the usual mods one makes when owning a DSM.  Boost controller, S-AFC, lowering springs, exhaust etc.  He worked as Mercedes Dealer Technician, so the car was always well kept up and looked good.

Sometime around 2010 or so, his goals and mindset began to change.  He wanted a 1G AWD that he he could take out to the road and autocross course, with less of a emphasis on straight line (drag) racing.

A few friends in the local DSM community had been road racing their 1G AWD DSM's at various tracks in the D/FW area.  The guys in this group came up with some really nice and unusual one off parts for their cars.  When they decided to switch to another platform, their cars were parted out and my buddy swooped in and snagged some of these parts for his car.

  With this goal in mind, he began to build the car up using these parts. 

God, This Meme Is Old

Burninating Teh Countryside..

He called the car "Trogdor" and started building the car up for his new goal.  And he made some serious progress on the project. However,  pesky things like Work, Life, An Addictive Online MMORPG, Home Ownership and a desire to Relocate To Another State, soon led to a slowdown on progress.

Geez, I Wound Up Owning Both Of These Cars...Eventually

After a few years, he lost interest in the project and migrated to Miatas.  This car sat for many years in various garages, outside his apartment and stored at his job before he mentioned early in 2017 that he was going to start parting it out and crush the shell. He figured he'd have to crush it because he'd "Gone Too Far" with it, and no one would be interested in turning it back into a street car.

At the time, I still had my 99 Miata, but I had just gotten the 1G DSM "bug" back in my system. (It actually never left.) I knew the car, and I hated seeing a good car get parted out, so I asked him..."How much?" (Stupid, Stupid, Stupid DSM'er)

We talked prices, and worked some deals out. I didn't get everything, just most of it.    He unloaded his automotive "albatross" on me and I was back in the 4G63/DSM game.

What Have I Done?

I drove down to Plano, TX from Wichita to pick up the car and the parts that came with it.  Because all DSM's come with extra parts.

Since the car was going to be primarily used for Road Racing, as mentioned before, he had done some "Because Racecar" mods to it.

  • Welded Rollbar With Integrated Harness Bar
  • Gutted Heater Core, Blower Motor And A/C Condensor Under The Dash
  • Modified Water Pipe With Deleted Heater Hose Fittings
  • Jay Racing Alternator Relocation Kit (Where The A/C Compressor Was Located)
  • 5 Point Harness And Corbeau Racing Seats
  • ABS System Deleted
  • "Custom" Gauge Install In Place Of Ventilation Controls
  • Odyssey PC680 AGM Racing Battery In JM Fab Billet Bracket On Subframe
  • No Front Bumper Crash Beam
  • 3 Inch Thick Custom Griffin Radiator, No Fans 
  • Gutted Interior Behind Front Seats

Some of these mods were fine for a track only car, but I wanted a more street oriented car, so some of these things would have to be addressed at a later date.

A few "Good Things" it came with:

  • Fresh 6 Bolt 4G63 With Good Compression and FP2 Cams
  • Forced Performance 68 HTA Turbo, Exhaust Race Manifold and Ported EV03 O2 Housing
  • 1G EPROM ECU with Custom EPROM and S-AFC
  • 850cc Dephi Fuel Injectors, Fuel Lab AFPR and Fuel Filter
  • Mach V Brake Master Cylinder Brace
  • Custom Front Big Brakes (Porsche 996 Brembo Calipers/Mustang Cobra Rotors)
  • Diamond Star Specialties Coilovers with KYB AGX Shocks F/R
  • 3 Inch Turboback Exhaust (RRE Downpipe/Apex-i Catback)
  • SS Brake Lines
  • Indy Race Core (Old School) FMIC and Piping
  • Kosei K1-TS 17x8 Wheels with Bridgestone Potenza Tires
  • MB Motoring "Competition" 17x9 Wheels with Toyo Proxes Tires
  • Spare 6 Bolt Block, with a Stock and Stroker Crank
  • Spare 6 and 7 Bolt Heads
  • Spare 4 Bolt LSD Rear End
  • Spare Set Of 90 Eclipse GSX Front Seats
  • Other Odds and Ends

So after loading up his truck and my truck with parts and the trailer, we set off for Wichita.

Now, The Real Work Begins

Along the way we stopped to grab dinner with another DSM Buddy of ours in Oklahoma City, and decided to stay the night after having a little too much to drink.  We spent the night nerding out to old DSM Shootout videos and geeking hard about the 4G63 and the DSM platform.

The next morning, a little more worse for the wear, we finished our trip to...Wichita (yay).  Got the car unloaded and in it's new home.  Got the parts off loaded and somewhat organized in the garage.

Grabbed some lunch before my friend headed back to D/FW and I returned to the garage to contemplate my next move for the car.

Turning a "Track Rat" back into a street car.  Should be interesting.



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Can A DSM Turn?

AWD DSM's are pretty infamous for being great street and strip drag cars, once you figure out how to keep the transmissions from self destructing.

Really good at making power with the 4G63.

Keeping the transmission gears inside the case? Not so much.

Being able to turn with all that power? Also not so much.

Let's Try To Make This Pig Handle

So, in the interest of trying to get this thing to turn, I've picked up a few more things to upgrade the suspension on my 93 Eagle Talon TSi/AWD.
In addition to the Koni Yellow Adjustable Sport inserts for the front shocks, I picked up a set of 3SX Racing Adjustable Rear Camber arms and a Jay Racing Active Rear Toe Elimination Kit.

These Look Familiar

The 3SX Rear Camber arms are a kit composed of AFCO tubular arms, some stainless steel bushings, a ball joint and a teflon lined Heim end. It replaces the upper suspension arm on the multilink rear suspension used on the 1G AWD DSM.

Honestly this "kit" could have been pieced together using parts from a Dirt Track Racing catalog, but I'm lazy and just decided to order the kit. This kit will allow the rear camber of a 1G AWD DSM to be adjusted easily to compensate for a excessively lowered vehicle or to dial in the rear camber for better handling. Since the DSS Coilovers I have on the car aren't very good at going for the "low life", I'll be using these to add a bit more negative camber to my car for better handling. No more than -2 degrees. You know? For handling.

Squats, Squats

The Jay Racing Active Rear Toe Elimination kit consists of a steel threaded "plug" with a large Heim joint.

It gets welded in to both rear trailing arms on a 1G AWD to replace the soft rubber bushing that secures the trailing arm to the rear subframe. The 1G DSM uses the same subframe and suspension setup from the 89-93 Galant VR-4 AWD Sedans. These featured 4WS, but this was deleted by removing the rear steering rack and associated parts when these were used for the 1G DSM cars in the U.S. The original attachment point for the rear trailing arm however, would still allow the rear tires to toe in under hard suspension loads causing issues with handling and during hard drag launches. This kit eliminates the soft factory bushings and locks the rear toe into one position no matter what state the suspension is in. This can enhance the handling of the car, and also help with 60 ft times if drag racing is your thing. It's going to be awhile before this stuff goes onto the car, but I can't wait to get to it.

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot.....

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Of All The Stupid, Ham Handed....

It's The Simple Things

Be careful out there, when installing old parts. (Well, No Shit Kung Fu..)

I picked up a really clean set of 1Gb Talon taillights a few months ago from a guy in OKC parting out his car. These were slated for "Trogdor", my 93 Eagle Talon TSi/AWD  

These have been lovingly stored until I felt like installing them, and I decided to throw them on the car the other day because the weather was nice and I had all the time in the world.  The set of taillights that are being replaced, are serviceable, but scratched, faded, and just look like "Hot Buttery Swamp Ass".

Now, I've done this procedure a million times before and I never had an issue.  It's pretty simple.

Remove the trim covers in the hatch area to access the pugs and nuts holding the taillights and center section in place.  Unplug harnesses, remove center section then the left and right taillight assemblies.  Installation is the reverse of removal.

 I even replaced all the bulbs with new Silverstar bulbs because I was feeling froggy and proceeded to remove the old set of taillights from the car.

Everything was going well, and I was digging how the new set of clean taillights was looking on the car.  That lasted until it was time to install the center section.

If you've never seen the taillight setup on a 92-94 Talon, well it's unique to the 1G DSM line of cars.  The mid cycle refresh gave each of the 1G DSM Triplets a unique taillight treatment for each car.   With the Talon being the most different of the bunch, the best looking and unfortunately the most fragile.

It was a little tight going in so, just need to add a little pressure to get it line up properly...there it goes...just a little more....*CRACK*!


Well, They Were "Nice"

Yup, in the course of trying to get it to line up properly, I cracked the lens of the center section.

Go Me. (I Suck At Life)

So now I get to hunt down another "clean" center section and hopefully I don't try to "gorilla" this one into the car and jack it up too.

Or I can try cleaning the other center section up and seeing if it looks OK.  Assuming I can get it on the car without breaking it.  That might be my only option, as unfortunately finding parts for a 1Gb Talon these days is kind of like striking gold somewhere.

Stupid, Stupid, Ham Hands.

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot....

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Unfuckening- "Or, I Drag My Broken Ass Out Into The Garage After 3 Months Of Sitting On My Ass."

This Blows...

"Recuperating", that is.  For the last three months I've been sitting on my ass waiting for my broken body to heal up from my recent accident.  I've watched TV, surfed the Internet, researched car projects and even built model kits.  Bored, does not even begin to describe my mental state.

  My surgeon gave me the green light to start hobbling around on both legs without any support for the broken ankle and I've been making pretty good progress.  Until I was told I needed another surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder and I was looking at possibly another 3 months of downtime.


So, 5 days after my surgery, I decided to head out to the garage and at least look over the 98 Talon I picked up before the accident and see what I've set myself up for.  I mean I can't "work" on it, but what harm is there in looking it over.

Ran When Parked

With any used car purchase, there's a point where you look everything over, see what you've got to work with and devise a plan to address any issues that may arise.  Over the years, I've come to call this process "Unfuckening The Car".

How much of this process involves, wailing, tearing of hair, and the gnashing of teeth generally depends on whether an informed decision was made while purchasing the vehicle in question.

Since this was a 98 Talon AWD and the last year it was made, and knowing "I've always wanted one", I didn't have a lot of hope in that regard.

I Hate Being Right

Yeah, it's a basket case.

The rear of the lower rocker panels on both sides, show signs of rust, along with the underside of the car.

 For some reason the wiper cowl and wiper arms were removed and were chilling in the hatch area. 

 I found a pair of aftermarket gauges attached to the A-Pillar pod with wood screws that had wiring twisted together with electrical tape.  I suppose I should be glad they at least used electrical tape.

The stereo wiring has the aftermarket radio wiring harness butt spliced in place of the factory wiring plugs.

The interior is missing bits and pieces everywhere, and it looks like he enjoyed screwing random things into the various trim pieces.  Luckily, it has the Gray/Black ombo dash and interior in the car with power leather seats.  *SCORE!*

The carpet on the passenger side of the car has been removed and there is a huge oil slick inside the car on that side.

The Driver's Side door appears to be misaligned, and the door panel needs to be reinstalled.

There's a virtual rats nest of wiring and poor choices that will need to be sorted out before I even think of applying power or hooking a battery back up to the car.

Both taillights, the center section and some other lenses were tinted at some point and look like sweaty swamp ass. 

The top of the hatch near the roof is dented for some reason.

Fucking rust! Did I mention that?

I haven't even looked at the engine bay yet, becuase I don't have bolts for the hood and I can't hold the hood up with just one hand.  The hood prop is missing too.

 Someone, just shoot me now.

I Don't Care

Like I said, I've always wanted one of these and I have no problem taking my time trying to get this thing looking and driving good again.  To make things easier, I'm pretty sure I'll need to find a parts car so I can source the various interior, engine bay and body bits to restore the interior and shell.

Well, I'm always talkign about how much I love working on basket case cars. Time to prove it.

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Yeah, But You Should See The Other Guy

I Wish I Wasn't Typing This..


The "Helmet" Is Dead.

  Well....That Happened...

Nope, not a joke.  My faithful 2005 VW Golf TDI is dead.
Bier Cans.
Scrap Metal.
Peace Out, I'm Done.

I got into a car accident on the way home from work.  Someone crossed into my lane and hit me head on at full speed.

I Should Be Dead

Both vehicles were traveling at roadway speed when the vehicles collided.  My Golf was struck head on by the mid sized sedan (details of other vehicle withheld) at full speed.

After the impact, I was initially conscious but trapped in the vehicle. I was later told I lost consciousness at some point.  It took EMS personnel approximately 10 minutes to extract me from my car.

Pity Party, Party Of One

The last two months have been filled with stress, drama, surgeries, physical therapy, hospital stays and more doctor visits than I care to remember.

I have subjected my family and girlfriend to stress, drama and my personal bullshit and issues that have arisen from this accident.  I've suffered from physical pain, mood swings, depression, memory loss and lingering, unresolved anger.  Unfortunately the people I love, have been the recipients of my anger and frustration at times.

For this, I sincerely apologize.

My family and especially my girlfriend have gone above and beyond to take care of and help me get through this.  I have no way I can possibly articulate or ever possibly express just how much this means to me.

The accident has left me in a very dark place emotionally, that I'm still dealing with.  I'm not sure how I would have made it this far without her support. 

"Thank You Weezie.  I'm Sorry For Being A Whiny Jackass Sometimes."

According to my doctors, I SHOULD recover from this mostly, with some lingering effects.  My range of motion in the affected joints and limbs will suffer from slightly degraded range of motion, dexterity and strength.  I will have lingering pain from the surgeries used to repair the accident damage. Most of this will be mitigated with Physical Therapy and time as my body heals, but I will have reminders of the accident for the rest of my life.  My finances will be damaged and several things I had planned to do will be placed on hold because, I now have medical bills to contend with until things with the other driver are settled.

However as my girlfriend has reminded me numerous times..."At least you're alive."

She's right.  I broke almost 3/4's of my body in the accident, and not only am I alive, I'm not permanently crippled or missing any limbs.  In the coming months of recovery and physical therapy, I'll try to remember that.

I also just wanted to thank Volkswagen for engineering the Mk4 Golf.  The design of the vehicle ensured I survived what could have been a  far more serious accident.  I want another Golf or Jetta, but my Girlfriend thinks I might be pushing my luck considering how easily this could have gone much, much worse for me.

I'm inclined to agree.

She still hasn't showed me the pics she took after I asked her to clear my car out at the tow lot.  She says it's pretty bad and probably not a good idea to see it until I recover a bit more.  I'm told it looks like the front end of the car has been bitten off, while the rest?  Well, it looks like a car.

I'm just pissed because now I have to find something to replace it.  Hopefully I can find something as cool looking and fuel efficient as the Golf.


R.I.P. 2005 Volkswagen Golf TDI "The Helmet"

You Saved My Life.  Thank You.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

As for the guy who hit me?  Destroyed my super cool Diesel Daily?  Caused me and my loved ones worry, pain and unneeded stress?  Derailed my finances, health, career and several long range life plans?

I wish the other guy no real ill will at all, but I do wish we had never met.  I've been told you're not supposed to speak ill of other people, even if they've wronged you so I'll just say this to the other guy:

"Nice try Cupcake.  I'm still here."

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot.......