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Galant GSX build (and how to evict rodent squatters)

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
I picked up this Galant GSX in January just after new years, it had been sitting in a field for a couple years and all I knew about it was it had rod knock, flat tires, and some rodent activity in it. The tires were cracked badly, so I put in just enough air to get it rolling without blowing out the sidewalls, which made it fun to unload at home with about 18psi in an icy driveway and 15 degrees out.



My initial plan was to drop the pan and inspect the cause of rod knock, then if the damage wasn't too severe, I would polish the rod journals and put in some new bearings. After that I wanted to slowly piece together am OEM(ish) turbo kit and make a pretty standard street car out of it. The more I dug into the car, the more that plan went off the rails. I checked the history on it also and I was the 12th owner, the car car obviously had a very hard life.

I began working on it the day after I got it home and quickly realized the extent of the rodent damage on the interior. It being near 0 degrees definitely suppressed the smell so I didn't think it was too bad. Mice had found their way into every single area of the car, and into areas I didn't even know were accessible. Under all of the pounds of nests, droppings, and seed casings was urine sludge soaked into every part of the car and working it's way under the sound deadening.



 
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iceman69510

Turn Right Racing
Staff member
Joined
Mar 5, 2001
Messages
10,931
Location
Michigan
It's absolutely wild how destructive mice are when they move in. Good luck with the project in whatever direction you go.
 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
It's absolutely wild how destructive mice are when they move in. Good luck with the project in whatever direction you go.
Completely agree, knowing now the extent of the damage, I'm not sure I would take it on again. The seller had a dozen other cars where this was stored too, I guarantee they're just as bad or worse.
 
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BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
I got tired of just cleaning, so I started collecting some parts for the car.

Some new corner lights, ignition barrel, key, door locks, and trunk seal thanks to JSchleim18.

Some mud flaps from an Evo 3 RS and a Nardi Classic 360mm thanks to a friend who found them in Japan and had them sent over.

A Recaro LX-C that was going to go in a different car, but will go in the Galant now, some large fogs with screens off a Legacy, and a Evo1/2/3 OEM intercooler sprayer tank with wiring and buttons, and Evo8? OEM 3-gauge pod.

The GSX came with a Ralliart shift knob and JDM Galant RS 240PS intercooler, the only things I'll be keeping on the car really.

Also got some 2G DSM parts like manifold that I'll be porting to 7cm, o2 housing, downpipe, valve cover, etc. I bought a Cyclone intake manifold from a JDM Galant engine too, but ended up selling it.

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turbomister2

Active member
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
34
I don’t know where you are located but I have a gsx dash with the electronic suspension pod and I have door cards if you’re interested in them
 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
I don’t know where you are located but I have a gsx dash with the electronic suspension pod and I have door cards if you’re interested in them
Thanks, I'd normally take you up on that, but I'm going to be putting an aluminum dash in and composite sheet door panels. Do you happen to have a hood, right fender, or windshield?
 

turbomister2

Active member
Joined
Aug 29, 2015
Messages
34
Aghhhh ok…. Yeah I have them just sitting around and don’t see too many people so figured worth a shot on getting them out of my way and help you out lol
 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
I started in on the engine, doing some disassembly and cleanup, and it was no better than the interior of the car. Mouse droppings and nests everywhere, most wires had sheathing chewed off or chewed through completely.




I pulled the exhaust off and the mice had even climbed up the entire length of the exhaust into the manifold and head.

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paul j

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
Messages
241
Location
Lone Tree, CO
You are moving along much faster than I am with my very minor but extremely time consuming small project.
 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
You are moving along much faster than I am with my very minor but extremely time consuming small project.
Thanks, I don't spend nearly as much time on it as I'd like to, but try to whenever I have a few minutes. Time consuming jobs seem worse than even the biggest of jobs, it'll be painful when I get to re-wiring the whole car.
 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
After I got the exhaust off I started into the engine a bit, the head looked pretty clean inside.

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I turned the engine over with a breaker bar on the crank bolt and it hung up bad at one point, wouldn't move at all past there, I thought a balance shaft plug or something might be jammed inside, it felt very strange. So after dropping the exhaust, transfer case, and oil pan I got the first look into the ass end of the engine. Pan was full of bearing material.

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Wiggle test was good on 1,2,3, but #4 had a ton of slop so the caps came off, it had pretty deep gouges in the surface.

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The rod was almost impossible to move, felt like the wrist pin was seized, which was what was hanging up when I was trying to turn it over. Also the rod/bolts look slightly twisted in the bore slightly, not a good sign.

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BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
The tires were completely knackered, so I grabbed some rollers from the junkyard and mounted them up on the wheels, snapped some studs while I was at it. I wasn't sure what wheels they were, but they sort of looked like some old jdm wheels, unfortunately they were just some American Racing Wheels.

https%3A//i.imgur.com/PSOEQW0.jpg[/img]']PSOEQW0.jpg

https%3A//i.imgur.com/LGJzyR0.jpg[/img]']LGJzyR0.jpg

https%3A//i.imgur.com/Jz6Oppn.jpg[/img]']Jz6Oppn.jpg
 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
I'm jumping ahead a bit, but this is fresh in my mind since I just did it yesterday. I removed the intake manifold and the manifold brace wasn't connected to the IM and was barely connected to the block by the last thread on the bolt so it was just banging around on the support. The head did have ARP head studs, which is the first good news I've come across on this car, I'll have to check if they can be reused or if they were stretched at all.

As soon as I started backing the head bolts off, I noticed they didn't feel right, so I checked with a torque wrench to get an idea what they were set at. Not only were they inconsistent, most were only torqued (and i use that term loosely here) to 55 ft/lbs, when they should have been 90. This is worrying especially since when I removed the rod caps, I did the same thing and they were set around 62 ft/lbs and should have been 38 ft/lbs.

All of the pistons were a bit of a bitch to get out, the rods were extremely tight and didn't want to move so I had to keep turning the crank over to get then to unbind. It looks like whoever "torqued" everything down also probably installed the wrist pins wrong or used the wrong ones because every piston was about this tight, the 4th one with the destroyed bearing being the worst.

 

BeerySquash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
65
So to recap, the rod caps were torqued to almost double spec, head bolts were torqued to half spec, transfer case was missing 2 of the 5 bolts, transmission bolts were hand tight and starting to back out, north/south brace was missing bolts and hanging by a thread, head bolts and most of the engine are covered in shavings/bearing material, pistons appear unusable, #4 is slightly rotated/twisted, all rod bearings were working on spinning because of the resistance from pistons, #4 just won the race. Areas of the wrist pins I could see looked almost blue/purple from heat I'm guessing. I'm not going to use this block now, side walls have heavy mirroring. I've been really trying to stay super low budget for this, but it's looking like I'm going to have to find a whole different engine.

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