This customer’s 99 3000GT VR4 was involved in a pretty major car accident some time ago. We just received it this morning for repair and restoration. Who wants to see a 99 VR4 die tragically? We sure don’t! So, we’re tackling the repair work in house. You will be able to see this Phoenix rise again!
Just what everyone was waiting for. After a battle figuring out a misfire problem. We traced it down to a bad set of MSD wires. They were replaced with a set of Accel wires and some fresh plugs and we were off to the races! We set to tune at wastegate pressure first. It was hitting 8 psi and putting down 300 awhp. Not too shabby! Final numbers come in at 430 awhp at 16 psi on pump gas. We will revisit later with a new set of plugs 1 step colder and some methanol injection to see if we can hit the 500 awhp number. The tune is nice and safe for the owner to enjoy the car for a long time. An alignment and new set of wheels are the only things left to do!
Mod list is as follows:
91.5mm Wiseco Pistons
BC Forged Connecting Rods
GZP Stage 1 Cylinder Heads
Injector Dynamics 850cc Injectors
Walbro 450 lph Fuel Pump Hotwired
South Bend Stage 2 Endurance Clutch
MAF Translator with 3.75″ MAF and K&N Filter
CX Racing Dual Core Intercooler
3SX Intake Pipes
HKS SSQV4 Blow Off Valve
Mishimoto Radiator and Hoses
3SX Crank Pulley
Exhaust Downpipe, High Flow Cat, and Borla Cat-back Exhaust
Today more progress was made on this 96 VR4 project. We worked on removing the front sub frame so that we could install new bushings as well as clean it up a bit. It also allowed us to have a bare chassis to lay some fresh under coat on. We also touched up the front sub frame with some paint in areas that it needed it.
After getting that accomplished, we worked on a plan for the fuel setup. The current setup had an in-tank pump and an external pump feeding the main feed line. This adds a level of complexity since they are not evenly paired pumps and they flow at different rates. If one goes bad, the other could limp the car home. Or it could blow up the engine at a WOT pull. So, we decided to simplify the fuel setup by just starting over on the fuel delivery end. We’re ditching the fuel tank that has a sump and replacing it with a smaller capacity fuel cell. This will sit closer to the passenger side to help balance the car. It will also sit below the factory floor so that the floor can act as a firewall (just like the OEM tank). We removed the spare tire holder section of the floor to make way for a rectangular fuel cell.
From there, we moved onto reinstalling the sub frames. The front received new poly bushings and the rear got an AWS delete that we showed in the initial post about this car. And, since it was a roller again, we took it outside to get the engine bay power washed. Later, we will be cleaning up some unused holes in the firewall that was for the HVAC systems.
And that’s where we leave off for today. The next step may be a week or so away, so no updates until then. We will start a post about some of our other big projects going on so you can have some reading material!
This project is starting out as a 96 3000GT VR4 and will be converted into a street/road course car. We’ll keep the list of upgrades a secret and only release info as we build the car. You’ll see as we go through the pictures that this car has a lot of work ahead of it! So, here is what we’re working with.
The tear down begins with the interior of the car. Here, we found A LOT of extra wiring going on. There will be a lot of wiring changes going into the car to help clean up and streamline everything. If anything needs to be diagnosed in the future, this clean up will make it a whole lot easier.
With a majority of the interior out of the way, we started work on the front end of the car. This one is getting a 99 front end conversion to help with cooling on the track. We figured we would test fit the front end before tearing the rest of the car apart. This should make it easier for us to do multiple things to the car at once without stepping on each others toes.
And now the car is mostly torn down. It will be ready for the next stage of the chassis work once we get the rest of the parts in for that portion of the job.
With the car ready for the next step, we focus on getting it onto a lift to go through the suspension and drivetrain to see what needs to be addressed. We won’t bore you with those photos, but it added some well needed parts to the build list.
Now that the build list is pretty well ironed out, we move on to removing the drivetrain from the car. Lots of work going on with that, so we’ll tear it all down and put it to the side so we can send off the components to the necessary people to get everything up to snuff.
Some view of the empty engine bay shows all of the work we need to do there. We will be minimizing everything in the engine bay to make it more simple to work on at the track.
Now we move onto the rear of the car. This is the easy part of the whole build. Install an AWS delete kit and reinstall the sub frame! Today, we got it dropped, AWS delete installed, and the whole assembly cleaned up.
The person that installed the adjustable upper control arms totally nailed it!
Thanks for checking out the start of this build. Plenty more updates to come once we get rolling. Keep checking back!
Well, it’s almost that time to say good-bye to this project. We last left off with getting the engine dropped into the engine bay. A lot has happened since. One of those things was forgetting to add aftermarket intake pipes to the mod list. So, we had a delay on getting them in… and getting them powder coated to match the rest of the piping. Hence the big gap between updates. It’s always something!
Now that those pipes are in, we could get to work again! While we were waiting, we did polish up the Borla exhaust and get that mounted. It was pretty nasty, but we brought it back to life.
After the exhaust was installed, we worked on assembling the freshly powder coated brake calipers. We did this with all new caliper pistons, seals, and hardware. They really did turn out fantastic.
New AEM X Series boost and wideband gauges installed in the a-pillar. Also installed an M7 Japan EBC in the center console. These are the exact same boost controller as a Blitz model, just under a different name.
Engine bay got tidied up with the final components. We later removed the fuel injector resistor pack since we’re running Injector Dynamics high impedance injectors.
99 front bumper and headlights got installed, as well as the hood. Then the whole car got cleaned up!
On to the dyno for some engine break in runs.
In between all of these steps, we located a couple of power steering leaks. So, we had to change all of the hard lines on the power steering rack. Good times, but that was really the only issue we had after initial start up. Which, if you have ever done a large build like this before, you know that is a modern day miracle!
Stay tuned for power pulls on the dyno and their results.
We just got in a new inventory of these plates. The purpose of these is to direct air to the back side of the caliper and rotor to aid in cooling. These are great for daily driver and track use. Cooler brakes equals shorter stopping distances and less brake fade when you are hard on them in spirited driving situations. This can also help keep your brake calipers cooler, which helps with longevity of the piston seals.
Normally $85, now only $65. This sale won’t last forever, so act now to save!
It’s been a long time coming, but we have another update. This one is LOADED! And it’s very close to the completion stage! We left off with the chassis, and most of the accessory pieces painted W75 pearl white. Also, we took a quick peek at what our new dress up bolt kit will look like. Now, we move on to what has been going on since then. Since last time, we have done a ton of stuff. First, we painted the rest of the accessory pieces. That includes a 99 front bumper, 99 VR4 replica spoiler, and 99 sail panels. This car will have a complete 99 exterior conversion!
We had some accessory part installations to do on top of installing these freshly painted parts. Side skirts, mirrors, door handles, sail panels, and a pillar trim pieces got installed. We also finished up all of the molding pieces and started assembling the interior.
Next, we addressed the chassis/suspension part of the car. The rear sub frame was dropped and it did not look so hot! Typical for these northeast cars. This makes our job super easy /sarcasm!
So, we first stripped off the all wheel steering to get it ready for the delete, and the upper rear control arms to get ready to install some adjustable ones. Then, we stripped the rust off and put some paint on it to preserve everything. And now it’s ready to put back in…. after something else!
We have to take care of the under body of the car first! We brushed down the bottom of the car and sealed it in some new 3M under body coating.
So, now the sub frame is all back in place. We needed to address the shocks and struts. The front struts were absolutely rotted through at the mounting points. Extremely dangerous and amazing it was all still together! A perfect opportunity for some Tein Flex coilovers!
While it’s up in the air with the wheels off, we wanted to protect the paint as good as possible. A set of Lat 42 mud flaps (OEM replicas) were installed to keep rock chips from happening on the inner fenders.
Now, on to the engine build! The bottom end was carefully measured and spec’d out for proper clearances. New Clevite H series bearings were used in the bottom end. BC forged rods were installed on Wiseco forged pistons and the block was bored to fit the 91.5mm pistons. Fel-pro MLS head gaskets and head bolt set was used to clamp down our mildly ported cylinder heads running stock valve train that was completely redone. New big bore lifters were installed at the same time.
A set of DR750 turbos were bolted on and all of the accessories started to get installed.
Powder coated goodies came in! While going through the chassis of the car, we found all of the calipers needed to be rebuilt. This was a perfect excuse to have them powder coated.
Engine is finally taking shape and off of the engine stand. A new Stage 2 South Bend Clutch is bolted on and the transmission is installed. Now it’s ready to drop into the engine bay.
After adding some more dress up bolts/washers, it’s installed in the engine bay with a set of Prothane poly engine mount inserts. And that’s where we leave off!
This car got delivered to us in super rough shape. Not to mention that it was full of garbage and rodent feces. So, we had to tear her down and wash her up… and that’s just what we did. We also started to prep it for paint. The rear quarters had some dents in them that we pulled and filled. Something special will be happening with the quarters on this car, but we had to straighten them out first before modifying them. All of the weatherstripping was removed from the roof to preserve it and recondition it before reinstalling after it’s painted. The engine bay was stripped down to prep for paint and do some rust removal/prevention. There is also some foreshadowing going on in one of the pictures that allows you to see where we’re going with this (if you have a keen eye).
Well, we wrapped up the project Make Spyder Great Again, and now we’re starting off project Make Spyder Crawl Again. We’re bringing back Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyders from the grave here! This one had both feet in and was already buried up to its waist. But, this 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder VR4 caught the eye of one of our customers and he had the great heart to try to save it. And we’re going to get it looking beautiful again! This particular example was pulled from an insurance salvage auction in Arizona. 99% of the Spyder specific roof components were there, and it only had one leaking hydraulic line for the trunk (tonneau) which probably saved the roof components from being pillaged. If you don’t know how to get into the trunk, they are almost impossible to open without the top system functioning. The emergency release is almost always broken (this one was). But, luckily for us…. we’ve been around a few spyders before and it wasn’t a big deal. The stench of mouse poop and pee was the hardest part to overcome! After opening the roof and clearing out the inside, I think we have ourselves a pretty good specimen for modification. Once we start receiving some more parts, we’ll go over what the future holds for this rare bird. And then take you through the process of getting it completed!
Here it is next to our last project 3000GT Spyder VR4!
Because we’re so busy at the shop, we don’t always get time to sit at a computer and type up a bunch of nonsense for you all to ooogle over. And we’re sorry! I know some people just love watching builds go on and on and on. So, here is our mega update on this project since we got pretty far with it since the last update. Last time we updated, we had the car stripped all the way down and we were getting started on the prep for paint.
Now, with the car stripped down, we need to clean this guy off. So, we took it out back and gave it a good power washing. This allows us to get off any/all dirt stuck in the crevisisisisis in order to ensure a nice paint job. Plus, nobody likes working on a dirty car!
Ok, now that old green bean up there is all cleaned up, we move onto panel prep. Sanding. Probably the worst part of painting a car. But, we made our own camouflage on the hood!
Uh, Houston. We have a problem! Apparently the sunroof got a little rusty. But, that’s not problem for us. We hopped into our spare parts bin and pulled out another sunroof assembly! Yay for having stuff! And this even solves the seized motor problem that this sunroof also seemed to have!
We had to fix some rust starting to form on the rear quarter panels, as well as some dings and dents along the way. Also, we had to fill in the holes in the hatch for the active aero spoiler. Why, you may ask? Because combat wing! #becausecombatwing
Fast forward through boring body work pictures to, primer pictures! Yea, I know…. exciting. But, we got it in primer. Which is just one step closer to paint!… just not the next step.
Now, we’re on to the step right before paint! Sealer! We lay down a sealer to give a good uniform base for the new paint to lay on. That way there is no discoloration between panels.
And the part you have all been scrolling down for……. dun dun dun dun dun!!!! The color! But first, let me tell you a bit about what we did first. We broke this chassis painting job up into 2 parts. The main chassis being the first part to get painted. Then, the engine bay. Breaking it up like this keep the room for error down. With painting an engine bay, you never know what might pop out of it. Could be a squirrel (probably dead at this point) or just some little bits of dirt. So, it’s always best to paint that guy separately.
Now that the main part of the chassis is painted, we paint the engine bay. Tah-dah!
Then, we get to unwrap the present to see what we’re looking like. That has got to be one of the best presents to ever unwrap!
With the chassis all painted, we move on to getting the pieces painted. Lots of parts to paint when having something broken down this far! Side skirts, lower door trim, a pillars, door handles, side mirrors, fenders, bumpers, hood, sunroof, sail panels, tail light panel, etc. Here are only a few pictures of the parts. I won’t bore you with the details.
Now that 98% of the car is painted, we can start assembly. First we worked on getting the mirrors reassembled, doors reassembled, and the whole door assembly hung into place. As well as installing the new sunroof assembly.
We also decided it was a good time to get the windshield done.
Since the windshield was on, we could move onto the wiper motor, wiper transmission, and cowl. To fasten the wiper motor on to the car, we’re using a new engine bay dress up kit that we will have available on our website once we finish with the install on this car!
That is where we leave you at for today. Expect another update this week. And we will also be starting to post up progress on another project we just started. So, stay tuned!
End of day 1 we showed you an empty engine bay on this 95 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. We could not disappoint for the end of day 2. Today, we stripped the car down to get ready for paint. Also, prep started on many of the body panels. There is some minor rust issues to repair on the rear quarter panels and the sunroof. But, other than that, the car is pretty straight. This car is undergoing a color change, so the tear down is pretty extensive. After it’s painted, you’ll never know what the original color was unless you tear out the interior.
So, today was the start off to project Green Is Lucky. We started off the project by assessing what we have to work with and modifying our “to-do” list accordingly. Then, we ripped her heart out…. and again, adjusted our “to-do” list. These are the things you run into with these cars because of their age. But, we will make this car like new. So, now that we’re fairly acquainted with the project car, here is what we’re going to do.
- Rebuild Engine (Wiseco Forged Pistons, Brian Crower Connecting Rods, Clevite H Series Bearing Set, OEM Oil Pump, OEM Engine Gasket Set, Timing Belt Service Kit)
- Rebuild Transmission
- Southbend Stage 2 Clutch Kit
- Fidanza Flywheel
- Injector Dynamics 850cc Fuel Injectors
- Walbro 400 Series E85 Safe Fuel Pump
- GM MAF Translator
- 3.75″ GM MAF Sensor
- Chrome ECU
- DR750 Turbochargers
- AEM X Series Wideband Controller w/Gauge
- AEM X Series Boost Gauge
- Autometer Dual Pillar Gauge Pod
- Dual Core Intercooler Kit
- 99 Front Bumper
- 99 Headlights
- 99 Turn Signals
- 99 Sail Panels
- 99 Spoiler Replica
- Tein Flex Coilover Kit
- Adjustable Rear Control Arms
- Poly Rear Differential Bushing Kit
- Front Control Arm Bushing Kit
- Driveshaft Carrier Bearings
- Prothane Engine Mount Inserts
- And a Full Paint Job
Looking to fix your 3000GT or Stealth and you just need some guidance on what to do? Here are some helpful service manuals to get you started in the right direction. These service manuals cover both mechanical and electrical components of the cars. They give you step by step instructions on how to accomplish many tasks, along with circuit diagrams to help diagnose any electrical issues you may have. We recommend using the Dodge Stealth manuals, as they seem to be more in depth with the information they provide.
Many people come to us with problems asking for our help, when the solution is right in front of their face. How do I read my check engine light codes, SRS codes, ABS codes, etc? Well, it’s as simple as having a multimeter or voltmeter. Analog voltmeters are the easiest to read, but you can certainly read it using a digital meter as well. They can be picked up for $10-100. You will also want some wire, and either really small female spade connectors or alligator clips. I personally like to use alligator clips myself.
Reading the engine codes is super easy. Here is a picture of the diagnostic port and the pin numbers on that port. This port is located next to the fuse box inside the car on the driver side.
*photo courtesy of Stealth316.com*
For the engine codes, you will place the positive voltmeter probe on pin 1 and the negative on pin 12. This will make the voltmeter sweep long and short pulses. Count the long pulses and that will be the tens digit of the code. The short pulses following will be the ones digit of the code. If you get 2 long pulses and 5 short pulses, then you have code 25. Keep the meter connected to check for more codes. It will keep repeating the code sequence over and over again. If there are no codes, it will just do short pulses constantly. If you have a bad ECU, it can not pulse at all (no communication with the ECU).
Now, here is a chart showing what all of the pins mean. This will come in handy to diagnose just about anything on the car.
|1991-1993 Self-Diagnosis Check Connector|
|1||ECM – MPI functions|
|3||ECS control unit|
|4||ABS control unit|
|5||Auto-Cruise control unit|
|6||ELC-4 A/T control unit or unused|
|7||Air Conditioner control unit|
|8||SRS diagnosis unit|
|10||Query – ECS, ABS, ECM, A/T, AC|
To test for error codes for any of those above units, just do the same thing as you did for the engine codes. Negative to pin 12 and positive to whichever pin correlates to the appropriate control module you are trying to access. Doing it this way will make diagnosing problems with your car so much easier and more reliable! In another article, we will discuss the codes and what they mean.