Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My New Pet Project: 1990 Eagle Talon TSI AWD.

Way back in 2009, I purchased my first car. It was conveniently located at Wheels and Deals, and as soon as I laid eyes on it, I was in love. This was my first encounter with what are known as DSM's. (Diamond Star Motors) These cars include the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Plymouth Laser, and of course the Eagle Talon. My first was the Eagle Talon TSI, which meant it was the 2.0L turbo, but no AWD. Luckily for me, It came equipped with a manual transmission, which made it way more fun than the automatic version. Immediately after making the eight-hundred dollar purchase, I began researching the specs and power output just to see what it could do. In stock form, they are nothing special, but I soon realized that with very little work, they can become some seriously quick little cars. Alas, I was young and dumb, so I had an Ebay knockoff turbo installed with bigger fuel injectors, not knowing they were completely useless for that particular application. In the end, I drove it a couple years, the turbo blew, and the trans took a dump. (Not to mention I couldn't afford to replace the brake pads and rotors) So I sold it to a mechanic for fifty bucks more than I bought it for! After I got rid of that piece, I replaced it with a '93 Cadillac DeVille.
However, I recently came across an ad for a 1990 Eagle Talon TSI AWD with a built motor, but not in running condition. This beauty got my DSM juices flowing again, and apparently all it needed was an alternator and it was good to go. This thing is absolutely perfect for me because I'm not planning on driving anywhere anytime soon, so I have time to get it running smoothly. All the work that had been done to the car in regards to "go fast" parts, were installed by someone who knew what they were doing. That being said, buying a car that won't pass smog, has the interior ripped out, holds a salvage title, and won't start is a risky venture, to say the least. So, I did my homework. First, I found out how much it would cost to replace an alternator, then looked for someone who can actually tune AWD platforms, and most importantly, made sure I have enough time and money to actually spend on this little endeavor.
So long story short, I made the purchase, bought the alternator, got it running, and it is now sitting against the fence waiting for me to decide what to do next. Sounds simple, but my options are pretty much limitless right now. I think the next logical step would be to have it checked out by a professional, just to make sure absolutely EVERYTHING mechanical is in good working order. For this I will enlist the help of one of the best mechanics in the entire Bay Area, Sonny Tran at Autoworld. After he O.K.'s everything, I'll take it to Dietsch Werks for a tune. I'll keep updating you guys as I go, but until then, come down to Wheels and Deals and fall in love with your next toy!

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