Saturday, April 16, 2005

A close-up of a Ross piston. The bottom looks like it just came from the shop. The black coloring on the skirt is Moly-Cote from Swain-Tech coatings. The gold-colored band just above the skirt is the Gold-Top coating, also from Swain-Tech. I need to see if you can get pistons recoated...if I can find out if the pistons will give me 11.0:1 CR as they are or if the were meant to be used with the DPR head. You'd think I already knew this, but no. I'm not that bright. Posted by Hello'll see the same detail from the DPR head. Notice how the casting isn't as deep? That's due to the extra material that was removed..which ultimately made the head useless.It doesn't look like a lot, but there's not a lot of play in the stock timing belt tensioner. Posted by Hello

This is a close-up of a detail on the stock head. It is here because if you look at the next picture... Posted by Hello

A combustion chamber from my DPR head. Notice how it was reshaped in more of a figure-eight (called a clover-leaf) pattern. This would have been great if they hadn't then screwed the whole head up. The valves are supposedly 1mm oversized: When I pull it apart I'll post them side-by-side for a comparison. Posted by Hello

The stock cumbustion chamber. Normal, everyday pent-roof goodness. Remember, this head was on the car for just over a year and already looks like that. Just think what yours looks like. Posted by Hello

This assembly... the F, drivers the bane of my existence. The driveshaft is so welded to the hub that I broke a big 2-jaw puller trying to get it off. The other end of the driveshaft is wedged in my tranny and refuses to budge, thats why the CV joint is destroyed:It gave out before the retaining ring on the shaft. Posted by Hello

My Fidenza flywheel..ouch. I think the replaceable surface looks like a potato chip. I will remove it soon to verify. Posted by Hello

Yummy Ross racing pistos on stock rods. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

New Links

I am so proud of myself for figuring out how to add links to my blogs. As I came late to the blogging party, that's probably pretty pathetic. But, if you like DSM's there are a few good links here. I can't vouch for the quality of some of the site as I just cam across them in my search for more parts. I can say Buschur is first rate, as is Road/Race Engineering and I've been treated well by FFWD Connection and Extreme Motorsports. DSM forums and VFAQ are both very helpful as well. Enjoy.

Friday, December 31, 2004

It all starts here.

Well, not really. The blog starts here, but the project has been ongoing for the better part of a decade. I originally bought a stock '91 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS in 95 after my Mustang converted itself into an external combustion phenomenon. After blowing the stock tranny after some rough upper state New York and New England winters, I performed my first modification by swapping out the tranny for a used one off a turbo model. After the shop fixed my hack job (though still for much less than having them do the whole damn thing, I did some of it right) it worked fine until I pulled the motor to have it rebuilt during a 6 month Mediterranean deployment.

This is where the project took a decidedly nasty turn. For some reason, I convinced myself that an old-school V8 guy in Connecticut, where I was living, could handle the rebuild. I also figured I could trust DPR to work over the cylinder head. This despite the fact that my parents lived less than an hour away from Dave Buschur's place and I wasn't going to drive the car till I moved back there anyway. You can probably guess how well this went. When I got the head back from Cali, it looked really pretty. Welded combustion chambers, 1mm oversized stainless steel valves, custom cams and new springs and retainers. Of course, when it was installed it ran like crap. When it would run. The only blessing was that I was able to ditch the Eclipse, which I had basically ruined through inexperience and neglect, and bought a '94 Eagle Talon DL that had had a spring come out of the valve cover and some damage to the side for around $1000, which was great 'cause I hate pop-up headlights. Here I went wrong again, however. I had some unknown corner store put my brand new engine in to the new car. They did a serviceable job for not too much money. And they threw in, for free, a botched emissions system. Luckily I was ably to find a good tune shop that fixed most of these errors for little extra cash while they wired in my Apex AFC and ITC and did the initial dyno tuning. Unfortunately, my new engine blew a head gasket on the 5th or 6th dyno pull. I packed it up for the return trip home.

After taking the car to Buschur’s I was informed that so much material had been shaved off the bottom of the head that it was unusable. There was not enough material to allow the timing belt tensioner to adequately tighten the timing belt. Which was why my pretty 1mm stainless valves looked like pretzels. Crap. And, surprise, no one at DPR remembered me and all their files were shipped accidentally to the Philippines, I believe is what they told me. Me being the master record keeper I was had to eat the whole $4000 bill for a carbon-covered paperweight. So Buschur fixed all that ailed me by slapping on a brand new stock head.

This worked well for 6 months or so, till one day on the highway, my transmission made a horrible sound and refused to shift if I tried to use the clutch. I had to try to coast and slam-shift the tranny when I could keep the car rolling and use the starter to get the car moving from a stop. Talk about sucking. Of course I took my car to Buschur’s and they fixed it….no, not really as that would have meant I learned my lesson. I took it to another unknown shop in Akron, OH. And they replaced my ACT 2100 lb. pressure plate and clutch, since both looked like they had been detonated in a blast furnace. I am told this happens often in these cars if the mechanic doesn’t know to pay special attention to the dowel pins. Well, the car worked great for another 6 months, and it happened all over again. I admitted defeat, pushed the beast into the garage and marched my happy ass into a Ford dealer where I bought a Focus for some semi-spirited but mostly reliable transportation. Which, surprisingly to some, it has been.