Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Abort Operation Evo?

There are some times in a persons life where they had (or have) big plans to do one thing or another, and then life throws them a curve-ball. That's precisely what happened to me when I saw this 1990 Eagle Talon Tsi AWD floating around the internet for sale at a price I could finally afford. The whole point of this operation was to work my way up from a $1,200 investment, to a $15,000 daily driver that dominates essentially anything on the road. This is exactly that. (Keep in mind I use the term "anything" very loosely here.)

This car was purchased new by a guy out of Northern CA, and his family took care of it from day one. As the DSM community grew all through the nineties, titles swapped hands countless times, and finding one today from the original owner is a feat in and of itself. As they were the original owners, there were plenty of OEM parts that went with the sale, including carpet kits, stock seats, and much more for future use. Unfortunately, I've not had the chance to inventory all of the aforementioned parts, but that will come with time.
For now, I will concentrate on what's already on the car. First, we address the suspension and brakes. They chose to utilize Ground Control Coilovers and AGX shocks, which are both excellent options for the 1G DSM. It retains a certain level of comfort while simultaneously lowering the ride height and improving handling characteristics tremendously. The brakes up front were upgraded to dual piston calipers for slightly more grabbing power than stock.
The interior of the car looks pretty much left untouched except for the MOMO detachable steering wheel, the questionable "racing seats" (purchased from a computer supply store), and the aftermarket stereo. Once you hop inside and turn it on, it's another story entirely. The previous owner went so far as to replace the stock lights behind all the knobs and dials with custom blue leds and relocated the battery to the rear with a custom case and breaker box for security and battery saving purposes.
The engine is where it figuratively shines the most. Basically all components that could be upgraded have been replaced with bigger, badder parts that transform it from a capable all wheel drive daily driver, to a ground pounding weekend warrior. We'll start from the front and move our way back from there. The stock intercooler was upgraded to something that has the cooling power to handle the much-larger-than-stock 35R turbo, along with custom piping to accommodate the setup. And what good are all these parts if the ECU thinks they're all stock? That's where ECMLink comes in. ECMlink is software designed specifically for the DSM community of cars. In fact, it used to be called DSMLink until version 3, so it has a pretty good following with the DSM'ers. For more on how ECMLink works, click here.
The exhaust is a custom 3" cat-back setup with a hi flow cat and no muffler, so it is obnoxiously loud. A lot of guys love a loud exhaust note, but if you're lookin to daily drive it, something a little tamer should be in order. If you use a popular system like the Megan Racing 3", that would be much more tolerable in the sound department.. However, this one will need a universal muffler to be fitted and a solid tune completed by a professional like Tedspec Tuning if I want to utilize the current exhaust system. The fuel is fed by 1000cc FIC injectors, so there should be plenty of room to grow if I feel the need for MOAR POWAA. (which we all inevitably do) Unfortunately, as I've not really had the time or energy to spend with this beauty, I don't know much more than this. I will have to hook up DSMLink and take it for a long drive before I really get to know her.

In the end, I feel that I ended up with a car that I will be happy with for quite some time. There will be little to no overhead costs to repair other than getting a smog check completed, replacing the non-existent headliner, and fixing the stereo deck. (it was seemingly installed by a twelve year old) So what do y'all think? Is this car something lustworthy? Or is it a turd in turds clothing? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and don't forget to subscribe for future Wheels and Deals Rides and reviews. Drive safe, drive fun!

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