1991 Eagle Talon – Another Failed Project

This is the car that I forgot about, another failed project that I had attempted.  As I was driving down the road the other day thinking about what I could write about I remembered it!  I once had a 1991 Eagle Talon that I was in the process of modifying pretty heavily.  It was never really finished but I owned it and made some major modifications to it for about a year and a half.

This was back when I was just getting into cars, I purchased it from a garage that was a place my in-laws went to when their older vehicles needed repair.  I took it for a test drive and it ran ok, the mechanic who went on the test drive with me told me not to rev the engine too high because it would damage the motor.  I was a little skeptical about this statement but the car ran fine and was in decent shape so I purchased it.  Later in the story that statement becomes important!

I really liked this car, it was the NA version not the turbo, but it was fun to drive.  I purchased a Pacesetter Header and Cat-Back Exhaust for it.  Put an Injen Intake on it, and installed a Kenwood head unit with a subwoofer in the trunk.  This has pretty much been my MO for modifications to this point, get a good stereo in the car and then do minor bolt-ons and think its fast.

This is the car that taught me how to look on the internet and troubleshoot problems.  This car had a lot of them.  It was plagued with a strange idle issue that I was able to figure out by reading the DSM forums and looking up my issues.  It had a transmission rattle that would not go away.  I eventually had to take it to a place that specialized in the DSM cars to resolve a bad throw out bearing.  While he had the car we talked about making some other modifications to it to improve performance.  This is when things really started rolling.

At this point the suspension needed to be re-done due to the amount of miles on the car.  I ended up needing to overnight a set of KYB GR-2 struts and Eibach SportLine Performance Lowering Springs for the car due to the suspension being completely shot.  It was worth every penny!  After this modification the car handled like it was on rails, to this day I haven’t had a car that could corner as well as that Talon.

Then the day came when the inevitable happened!  To all of you who have owned or read up on the Mitsubishi engines of that era, you are aware that they are interference motors.  That means that if the valves are down and the piston is up they take up the same space, if the timing is off then they hit each other.  You would also know that they use a timing belt and not a chain, as most cars from the early 90’s did.  If you did not change that belt in a timely fashion on the Mitsubishi engine, they broke, and took a couple of valves with it!  That is what happened to this car.  One day I drove the car to work, parked it, and that is the last time that it ever ran!  I went to leave work that night, turned the key, and you could hear the valves get smashed by the piston!  CLICK!  And that was it.

This was not the total end of the story; I had plans for this car.  I had it towed back to my apartment complex, and proceeded to take the head off the motor.  Sure enough, the valves were all bent out of shape!  No big deal, I understand that it happens, and who knows when the previous owner actually had the timing belt changed.  What did surprise me however was that one of the pistons was cracked in half!  It could have happened from the valve collision, but those valves were fine…hmmmmm.  I wonder if that mechanic knew that there was a problem with the engine internals and was hoping that I wouldn’t notice…..It’s a possibility, but I drove that car 50k without too many issues so maybe not.  Or I just got lucky.

Anyway, I still had plans, now they were just bigger.  I shopped all around for the cheapest way to rebuild that motor to performance specs.  I was going to add a Turbo and get the power up to around 400HP.  I would put low compression pistons in it and boost the s#*t out of it.  Put giant valves in the rebuilt head and make this thing an absolute monster.  All I had to do was to save up the money and get it done.  The only problem with that was I had to buy another car to get me back and forth to work so money at this point was non-existent!  So there it sat, my 1991 Eagle Talon, all busted up in an apartment complex waiting to become that street monster.  Unfortunately life got in the way and that car ended up at the junk yard.  Another failed project for me…..

I did dig up some of the Engine specifications and plans on what I was going to do with this car.  You can read about the engine i was planning on building here.  It was just a general plan on how to move forward but it was fun dreaming about it!



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