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9 Year Build Thread

AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA
I picked up my GVR4 back in 2001. I saw it being towed from a local grocery store. The tow truck driver was getting ready to leave, but was trying to tow it with the rear wheels on the ground. I warned him that the car was AWD, and he could not tow it that way. He blew be off, saying it would be fine since it was in neutral. My protests fell on deaf ears, so I got the info for the tow company info off the truck, and hoped I could track down the owner later. The idiot drove off, and I passed him on the side of the road a short distance away. Two long, snakeing skid marks led to the rear tires, and the dumbass was scratching his head. I tried to find the owner through the local DSM message board with no luck. A week or two later, I called the tow yard. No one claimed the car. Over the next three months, I bugged them to sell it to me. Eventually they liened the car, and they got sick of me calling them. They asked me to make an offer. I'd only seen the car twice, once on the truck, and once through a fence at the tow yard. I figured they would take it to the salvage yard since they said the transmission was broken, so I offered $750. They said come get it. I didn't know much about the car, but figured even a totally thrashed GVR4 was worth way more then that in 2001. Anything more would be bonus. My jaw dropped when I really got to look at it for the first time. It was in very good shape on the outside, with just minor dings and scratches. The interior was in great shape with perfect seats. It even had an Alpine CD changer. It had just rolled over 100k miles. Here is how it looked when it was dropped off in the driveway and given a quick bath...



One neat tidbit. This was only the second time I saw a grey GVR4. The first time was a year or two prior in the same town. It was on a dealer lot, and I test drove it. It was a nice car, but they wanted over 10k for it. Wait a minute! This was the same car.

Time to see what was wrong with it, and why it was abandoned. I popped the hood to find this...



It looks like the engine was recently replaced. Further inspection revealed importer or rebuilder warranty buttons on the head and block. The number written on the spark plug cover led me to believe that the engine was replaced. The head looked brand new under the oil cap. It didn't take long to find the problem...



The bolts were missing from the tranny mount, and loose in the block. The weight of the unsupported transmission bouncing around snapped the bell housing. Apparently, the previous owner just had the engine replaced. Someone screwed it up, and the tranny fell out. Then they just abandoned the car where it stopped. The car also had damage to the stock exhaust, I'd guess an encouter with road derbis took out the oil pan and original engine. The car was bone stock. I replaced the tranny with one borrowed from a friend, replaced the turbo back exhaust, and did the t-belt. The car smogged like new and drove great. I did a couple minor mods, intake, fuel pump, boost control. The car was very strong for such mild mods, the motor was obviously in much better shape then my high mileage Talon. I took it to an autocross on the stock suspension and on the Pep Boys all seasons it came with. The car slid the tail all over the place, and rolled so much I thought I'd scrape the door handles. I still beat a few then new WRX's. I scored a free set of rims from a friend who was getting rid of them. I was suprised how well they complimented the car...



They also made it look like a lifted truck. That and the whole door handle scrapping autocross thing led me to pick up some lightly used AGX's and Eibachs...




Much better now!


All was good, and I drove the car for a couple years without any problems. Then the starter went out. I tried a few starters without any luck. When the original tranny fell out, it tore up the spacer between the tranny and engine. I replaced it when I first put the car back together. With one from a FWD. Those of you laughing know why the starter didn't fit. Eager to get the car fired up for the first time, I seperated the tranny from the engine and cut away the offending metal. I then used a piece I hacked off as a spacer for the starter. This worked fine for a couple years, but I feared this may have been preventing any of my replacement starters from working. Plus I figured it was time to return my friend's transmission and find one of my own. So up on jackstands it went. I had recently bought a house, so for the first time I had a garage of my own. I believe this was in 2003. The tags on the car expired in April of 2004, and I think I parked it in the summer. House things started to intrude on my car time, plus I had two DSM's to maintain. I also spent a lot of time working on friend's cars at the time, and didn't leave much time for my own. My friends started giving me their extra parts for helping them. One of them gave me a nearly new Hahn Racecraft TD06H-20G, since he was going to a new set up. I also picked up an intercooler off a new EVO, four bolt rear, etc. My tranny replacement turned into a real big "while I'm at it" project. I also had a pretty big hurdle to overcome. When the tranny broke away from the engine, it also broke the front mounting ear off the block. This was okay on a near stock car driven with a bit of care. Not going to cut it with my plans for the car. The problem was that the engine was in otherwise great shape. I was also seriously thinking of entering it in one of the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 challenges. Then this happened, and kind of took away my desire to pour a lot of my time and care into a car...




Finding out what all of my years of blood and sweat was worth to an insurance company put a damper on things. I got tied up in house projects, and bought an 05 Legacy GT wagon for a daily driver. I promised to get around to finishing the GVR4 someday, and would occasionaly chip away at it. I had my first kid in 2007, but wanted to do some racing before I really knew what it would be like. I used all my spare "car time" to build a Starion for one of the early 24 Hours of Lemons with a group of DSMer friends. After that, two kids put a halt to anything but maintenance to the fleet. This last year, I started to free up some time to tackle the GVR4. The first order of business was the broken ear off of the block. My wife had suprised me with a welder for Christmas, so I put it to good use. Here was my solution...






With that solved, I could get on with the rest of the build. So much time had passed, I decided it would be a waste to just throw it togther. I decided to take my time and do it right.
 

ApexHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,986
Location
Marysville, WA
You've got some great history with this car. Glad to hear you are going to follow through with it. I look forward to seeing the progress.
 

AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA
I had decided on clearly defined goals. I think a 16G is probably one of the best turbos to build an all around car. But I already went that route with my Talon. Plus I daily drive a punchy Subie Legacy GT, I didn't want two of the "same" type of car. I wanted to build a street car that would make good power on pump gas. Good thing I have a free 20G sitting in the trunk. I did a lot of research, but couldn't find much real info on the turbo. Everything I saw was either owners who were happy with it, or others who had no expirience with it yet claimed it was horrible with too big of an exhaust housing. It's a full TD06H-20G with a 10CM turbine housing. I had the full kit with the spacers and adapters. I debated about just throwing my spare 7CM housing on it like a "regular" 20G. I decided to try to stick with the large housing since I wanted to utilize the internal wastegate. I figured a could deal with a few hundred more rpm before it spools. My goals were as follows...

1) Good power on pump gas.
2) Factory appearing as possible. No underhood bling, hide all mods or make it look factory.
3) Stock or better driveability. No funny noises, smells, quirks. No special instrutions or warnings if someone else were to drive the car.
4) Reliable. I fulley believe a properly built and maintained GVR4 can be very reliable.
5) Cheap. I'm a cheap ass DSMer at heart. I figure why dump a lot of money in one car when I can use it on multiple cars. Plus I wanted the possiblity of entering the car in the GrassrootsMotorsports $2000 challenge. I'll probably never do it (wrong coast) but it's nice to know that I could. Plus every year I take earns me an extra budget dollar!

Yes, I'm going after cheap, fast, and good. There is a solution to that riddle- it's called lots of free labor.

On with the build...

I used a Centerforce clutch. I've always had good luck with these. They last a long time, are easier on the clutch system, and my right leg. I know it's not a race clutch, but I'm not building a race car. See #'s 3 and 4 above.



I also replaced the rear main seal and oil pan. I put in a known good 23 spline tranny I bought from a friend that was in real good shape.

I replaced the t-belt and associated parts, along with every engine seal except the head gasket and front case. I chose to keep the balance shafts. See goal #3. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me, but I've never had a b-shaft issure in hundreds of thousands of 4G63 miles. I also swapped on a '90 like oil filer housing. I say '90 like, because I don't think it's a DSM housing. I don't know where it came from. It looks just like a '90 housing, but it's missing the threaded hole where a DSM oil pressure gauge sending unit would normally go.




It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling to pull the valve cover and find the head this clean...



I rebuilt the power steering pump...




It had been leaking badly, and I thought the alternator was done for. But it cleaned up nicely...



I think I spent most of my time cleaning and painting. Every part, bracket, or bolt was cleaned, painted, or replaced. I blame you other anal basterds that keep posting your beautiful build threads for adding at least 3 years to my project.

I painted the silver valve cover back to the GVR4 red. I've got a stock looking black upper t-belt cover, but I painted a spare one red and I like the way it looks. I found a great condition lower cover at a Pick 'N Pull.



Cleaned up and painted the T-case...


Some more cleaned up and painted parts. I scored a set of front and rear ST sway bars from Pick 'N Pull for $65. They were grey and a little scratched up, so I painted them red. Gotta have a little hidden bling.





That's a good chunk of the grunt work. Next up is the turbo and intercooler install. I'll save that for tomorrow.
 

GSX_TC

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
Messages
3,722
Location
Houston, Texas
Glad you stuck with her over the years, keep up the great work buddy.
 

DynastyLCD

Well-known member
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
761
Location
Harwinton, CT
great story behind this car, and great save /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/applause.gif
 

mitsuturbo

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
3,537
Location
Near Seattle, Washington
I once had a block with a busted off "ear" as well. I did the same thing, but it was on the motor mount in the back, and the mounting tab looked a little different, but same concept. It worked great.

Good looking car. Nice work!
 

iceman69510

Turn Right Racing
Staff member
Joined
Mar 5, 2001
Messages
10,931
Location
Michigan
Nice to see your perseverance. And I love that elegant solution on the mounting ear (ok, you too Mitsuturbo /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif).

I just had my block welded because it was out of the car and I had the piece.
 

KiNgMaRtY

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
816
Location
Corona, CA
Nice build story and what a steal! $750 in 2001! I believe we have the same wheels as well
 

85tr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
208
Location
washington
What happend to the talon ?
 

AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA
The Talon fought an 18 wheeler and lost. I was on HWY 12 for those of you in the CA bay area, which is a divided rural road that runs allong a levy. An approaching gravel truck turned left in front of me to drive down the side of the levy. There was no road there, no construction, no warning at all. He never saw me. I braked as hard as I could, but I knew there was not enough room to stop. At this point his truck was blocking the whole road, with the side of his trailer in my lane. If I went left or right, I would have rolled the car down the levy. The funny thing is that a couple days prior, someone posted a picture of a car that went under the trailer of a truck. The car got stuck, and the wheels of the trailer crushed the car in the picture. I decided that if I were in that situation, I'd aim for the tire on the trailer. Who would have thought that it would happen to me a week later? When I knew I couldn't stop, I aimed for the trailer tire, which was on the center line. You can see the shape of the tire in the pic above. I think it saved my life. I got pretty beat up, but walked away without any major injuries.
 

AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA
The turbo and Evo 8 IC install took me a while. I didn't want the car to look modded. 20G's usually point downward, but that didn't look like the best option for a GVR4. My friend that have me the turbo had the compressor housing modified with a couple elbows so that it would point up. It was a good idea, but I didn't care for the way it was executed. The turn exiting the compressor was too abrupt, and the welds made the turbo look obviously modified to fit...




I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new unmolested compressor housing...


To make it more stock appearing and simplify I/C piping, I clocked the turbo so that it pointed up towards the manifold, similar to where the stock 14B outlet is. This created a couple other problems. One, the wastegate actuator mount would no longer work. So I drilled and tapped the housing to accept a bracket to mount the actuator to. I painted the bracket grey to blend in with the turbo and not look like a hack.




The next part of the problem wat that clocking the turbo put the wider part of the compressor housing against the water pipe. Even with the Hahn Racecraft manifold spacer that came with the turbo, it wouldn't clear the feed fitting on the bottom of the water pipe. Here's a side by side pic of the stock 14B and the 20G



My solution was to use a non turbo water pipe. This eliminated the fitting that was in the way.





This meant that I had to find a new way to feed water to the turbo. I teed into the line going to the throttle body. Rather then run a hose the whole way, I bent up a new hard line...




Now comes the tough part, the EVO 8 intercooler install. I made this a real challenge. I wanted to keep the A/C, it blows nice and cold. I wanted to keep the hood support. I wanted to keep the power steering cooler. I wanted to keep the fog lights. I wanted to keep the bumper cover stock looking, and as much of the bumper beam as possible. I was also adding a '90 oil cooler with stock lines. Somehow I needed to get all of this stuff to play together nicely. To top it off, I wanted to use the I/C without modding the inlet or outlet. It took a LOT of attention to detail and trial and error. Here is how it worked out...

I welded a tab with a stud to the A/C fan to mount the oil cooler. I also used a 1G DSM power steering cooler. I made brackets to support all of the lines and spaced everything so there would be no rubbing.






With that squared away, it was time to mount the I/C. Only one of stock mounting points could be used with some reworking, and would secure the I/C to the bottom of the car. The rest were cut off. I was going to have new mounting points welded on, but an idea hit me. I used 2 1/2" electrical EMT straps (called mineralac straps). They would be clamped to the inlet and outlet, and provided adjustable mounting points on both sides...


I then welded up some brackets to attach the straps to the core support...


Here is the result



Now that I've figured out how to mount the I/C, it's time to make the bumper fit. I could have hacked it up and called it a day, but I wanted to retain as much strength as I could. So I sectioned it and welded it back togther...










The intercooler got a fresh coat of black paint to better hide it. The core just got a light dusting.


Here's the I/C piping I made




It took a lot of work to get the I/C in just the right spot, but by using a couple silicone 90's cut to just the right lengths, I was able to make the I/C work without changing the inlet or outlet.








To be continued...
 

citymunky

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
1,760
Location
Chesapeake, VA
I feel for you guys in Cali, all that stealth modding would drive me crazy. However it's nice to see a normal build thread. BTW what did you paint your IC piping with?
 
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BoostedAWD91

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Messages
2,937
Location
Danville,Pa
looking great man!! Glad to hear you saved it from going to the scrap yard and got it all fixed up
 

AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA
I painted the I/C piping with engine paint. You have to be careful with it when installing it. Once you run it a while the heat bakes the paint, and it's pretty durable.
 

AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA

My new turbo created a problem with the stock cooling fan. There was no way it would clear the wastegate actuator. I tried to find another way to mount the actuator, but I wasn't happy with any of the options. My first though was to use a slim fan. The problem was I don't think many of the slim fans flow nearly as well as the stock fan. The slim fan would also kill my goal of keeping the car factory looking. I had some spare fans laying around. I decided to modify a DSM A/C fan to fit. It is made of metal, so I could modify it as need. I welded on new mounts so I could slide it towards the passenger side, and trimmed it to clear the I/C piping.





Can anyone spot my mistake in this picture? I'll get to it later.



Here is the fan mounted in the car. I'm happy with the way it turned out.






I took the time to throw some fresh paint on the exhaust. It's a bit undersized, 2.5" mandrel bent with a Magnaflow muffler. If it turns out to be a big obstacle to making power I'll replace it later, but I've already got it and it's not too loud.




I went through the brakes, cleaned them up, and painted them. I put the Porterfield R4S pads from my Talon to use.



Here's a couple picks of the four bolt rear. I actually started the build installing the four bolt, and deleting the rear steering. As you can tell, this was before I went crazy with the cleaning and painting.





Here's the Suspension Techniques add on front swaybar I picked up at Pick N' Pull...



This sucker here is partly what got me motivated to work on the car again. Well, not this one but the old one on the car. A few months back, I went out to let my dogs out in the middle of the night. I opened the door to my garage, and it smelled stongly of gas. I found the old one sprung a leak, and was dripping on the floor. The car had been sitting unmoved for years. I had to drain a few gallons out of the tank, and cut the bad end of the hose off to stop the leak. Not fun at 2am on week night.


Good as new. I'm glad I planned ahead and bought the hose way back when, I heard they are no longer available.


This is the first time my Galant has seen daylight in almost a decade.


I put the kids to work washing all of the dust off the car.





I tried to start the car, but was foiled by a bad starter. Oh yea, isn't that where this all started, no pun intended? I had a pile of starters, but wasn't sure which one I needed. The only good starters I had were for autos, so I had to pick up a new one.




With the new battery in place, it was time to fire it up. I had trouble starting it, until I realized it wasn't building enough fuel pressure when cranking. I jumped the fuel pump test connector to the battery, and it started right up and was fine after that. The only prioblem I had was that the cooling fan wouldn't turn on. I checked all of the fuses, relays, and wiring. I was stumoed for a bit, but discovered my mistake. Some of you may have noticed in the pic above that I left the resistor installed. The problem was that I was using the fan for a cooling fan, not A/C. I eliminated the resistor, and all was well. The car kept cool, even at long periods of idle in near 100 degree weather.

The stock intake wouldn't fit with my new I/C piping. I still wanted the car to look factory, and still had to pass a smog check. So I switched to a 1G intake and mounted the stock GVR4 MAS where the battery should be. Batteries don't like to sit for 9 years, so I needed another one anyway. I didn't want to break the bank on a fancy battery, but I wanted to take the opportunity to go with something smaller and lighter. I found that Pep Boys carries a Bosch AGM Miata battery for just over $100. It's much smaller and 20 lbs. lighter then the battery I am replacing.





I left the battery in the engine compartment, and mounted it where the stock MAS usually sits.








I took the car out for it's first drive, and everything went great. I still needed to have it smogged and break in the clutch, so it was still running stock boost. I took it easy with the new clutch, but I was pleasantly suprised with the turbo. The powerband was much wider then expected. The boost threshhold is obviosly higher then a 14B or 16G, but not much and boost builds quickly once it hits. It doesn't feel anything like a big laggy turbo. I was also suprised by the sound of the exhaust. I had an identical system on my Talon for years. I liked the fact that it's not overly noisy, but I wouldn't say that the noise that comes out is particularly good. The Greddy system I had on my 2G sounded much better by comparison. But with the turbo change to the Galant, the exhaust sounded very different. It's still realitively quiet, but much deeper and throatier. My guess is it's the larger turbine housing that makes the difference. I took the car in for a smog check today, at a test only station no less. My hard work paid off, the car was squeeky clean and no eyebrows were raised on the visual check. Those of you who have to deal with California's smog Nazi's know it's not easy to roll in with a custom turbo and FMIC and still pass a test only station inspection. Also keep in mind that I have 9 year old tags on the car, so I didn't have the luxury of time to work out any bugs and tune it. Two test drives, then on to the smog station. It also goes to show that you can heavily mod a car and still keep it clean. If it wasn't for the visual check and the CARB approved mods only scam. Now I just have to hit the DMV to get my new tags.

Future plans include swapping in my 750cc injectors to replace the 550's in there now, and replace the stock MAS with an EVO MAS. I've also got an old Todd's Mods ECU, and I'm still running a SAFC for now. I still have to put in a new headliner, and eventually I'd like to get it repainted, but it's still in pretty good shape for it's age. Spending years in a garage has it's benefits.
 

ApexHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,986
Location
Marysville, WA
Nice work man. I don't have time to get on here as much as i'd like so it can be a challenge to keep up with build threads, but this is great, all the updates are coming quick. Plus i really like the concept here.

I can appreciate the smog situation and the awesome work you've done to keep things very factory appearing. Back in March I smogged 1951 legitmately for the first time since i purchased it in 07. My car snuck through the visual, but barely. A few of my mods are considerably more obvious than yours, particularly inlet pipe w/ 3g mas, intercooler and charge piping. I had to do quite a bit of explaining and convincing with the tech. I took BACACC and EACACC smog classes a few years ago. According to the BAR inspection procedure manual that was issued, CARB exemption is not required for an aftermarket intake on any car MY 1995 and older so long as the car is not equipped with a thermostatically controlled air cleaner. Aftermarket/upgraded intercoolers (on factory turbo cars) don't require exemption regardless of model year. I got through thanks to that manual, which i carry in my car. Hopefully if i ever have any trouble with LEO's they will be as understanding as the smog tech. I would feel a lot safer driving your car though, your work is very well executed.
 

JNR

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
9,803
Location
ca
Good job on the progress and bet it's a great feeling to get it back up and running...can't wait for that day to come here, ha ha.

Also, wow on the difference in battery weight...does it still provide enough juice and all? Looks like a good option to keep it up front and/or reduce the weight + imagine it may even be cheaper?

Apexhunter - do you have a link or anything for the air filter stuff you mentioned? I'd like to have a reference to that when the time comes...I am not concerned about the SS intercooler piping, shiny turbo or large FMIC, as everything will be hooked up and functioning, plus be able to burn clean enough for the sniffer (I hope). I think people get too 'scared' to do anything under the hood, but so long as things are not disconnected or bypassed you shouldn't have anything to worry about IMO.

The part that does concern me now though is I have an aftermarket cat and always have since I've owned it; being they recently passed that thing on no aftermarket cats, does that apply to OBDII only?
 
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AWDPower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
107
Location
Vacaville, CA
Quote:
Nice work man. I don't have time to get on here as much as i'd like so it can be a challenge to keep up with build threads, but this is great, all the updates are coming quick. Plus i really like the concept here.

I can appreciate the smog situation and the awesome work you've done to keep things very factory appearing. Back in March I smogged 1951 legitmately for the first time since i purchased it in 07. My car snuck through the visual, but barely. A few of my mods are considerably more obvious than yours, particularly inlet pipe w/ 3g mas, intercooler and charge piping. I had to do quite a bit of explaining and convincing with the tech. I took BACACC and EACACC smog classes a few years ago. According to the BAR inspection procedure manual that was issued, CARB exemption is not required for an aftermarket intake on any car MY 1995 and older so long as the car is not equipped with a thermostatically controlled air cleaner. Aftermarket/upgraded intercoolers (on factory turbo cars) don't require exemption regardless of model year. I got through thanks to that manual, which i carry in my car. Hopefully if i ever have any trouble with LEO's they will be as understanding as the smog tech. I would feel a lot safer driving your car though, your work is very well executed.



Thanks. I've heard that before about the intercoolers and intakes being legal, but I've also heard of people failing because of them anyway. I figured the less questions asked, the better. Even if they are legal, I don't want the attention drawn to the parts that aren't. My cars always seem to get the enhanced smog check- test only reqirement. Plus I like the sleeper look. I once had trouble smogging my Eclipse simply because it had a turbo.I went round and round with the smog tech until I showed him that the emissions sticker under the hood had a picture of a turbo on it.
 

ApexHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,986
Location
Marysville, WA
Indeed, the less questions asked the better so they don't have any reason to sniff around. While my car appears legal, to any non mitsu enthusiast anyway, i could see being sent to the ref anyway if some guy felt like being an ass or just didn't want to deal with it. I was questioned about the car being turbo from the factory as well- the guy was skeptical until he opened one of his books which lists all vehicle models, which engine/trans/driveline, what smog equipment they came with etc.

JNR i'd be happy to snap a couple pics of the manual and send to you. The manual might even be available online somewhere. Mine is a few years old now and i'd like to check to see if the BAR changed anything. I will contact my teacher and see if he can point me in the right direction.
 
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