Long Overdue

Click on the image to see a full size version

Due to the record high temps that we've been having this summer, I haven't been driving the mirage too often. I need my freezin' cold air conditioning, which means the Talon has been the daily driver as of late.

During this downtime, I decided to tear into it and tackle a few much needed modifications that were long overdue. That way it will be ready to return back to daily driver status when frigid (sub 90 degree) weather rolls in.

So I've got this ass-kicking Buschur Racing motor, big HKS cams, capable 20g turbocharger, 3 inch exhaust, etc, but I'm still running the stock intake manifold! What the hell am I thinking? To remedy this poor behavior, I called Road Race Engineering and ordered the legendary Magnus sheetmetal intake manifold and phenolic spacer.

Oh, and she's a beauty too!

This is one of those modifications that I've needed for years, but have been putting off for some reason. I have narrowed it down to simply being a cheap bastard. Well, I'm cheap until it's time to make a decision, then I usually get the best part I can. The old adage is very true: Mod cheap, mod twice.

I picked up the venerable Aeromotive A1000 bypass style fuel injection fuel pressure regulator from Jeg's. Not only is it pretty, it has a nipple (hee hee) that's used for referencing boost. Kindly, it adds 1psi of fuel pressure for every 1psi of boost pressure.

I also picked up some AN lines and fittings to finish off the job. I've worked with this stuff a few times in the past, and ya best not piss it off. It'll make mince meat out of your soft, lily white fingers.

My stock injector clips were brittle from 17 years in a fairly harsh environment. I replaced them with these GM "weatherpak" style clips made by MSD. This was one of those "while you're in there" mods, since I needed to lengthen my injector wires during the Magnus intake install.

Due to the Magnus intake's purpose-built design, some components that were once mounted to the stock intake need to be pulled from their happy homes and relocated elsewhere. The ignition coil pack and ignitor to name a couple.

Here's another pic of the install. You can see the new fuel pressure regulator in it's home too. Performance results coming soon!

Another change that's long overdue is the switch from my little 22" tall by 8" wide slicks to the more man-sized M&H 24.5" tall by 8.5" tire. These suckers are WIDE! They say 8.5" but are more like 9.5" I'm hoping that these will be the ticket to some decent 60 foot and 1/8 mile times.

When I started measuring, I immediately realized that the M&H slicks weren't going to slide right on stock-type wheels like my old 22x8s did. I needed a wheel that was 8" wide and had enough backspacing/offset to clear the factory struts.

After much research, Weld DragLites were the best all-around wheel I could find at a price that didn't kill the bank. They are going to hang outside the wheel well a little more than I'd like, but that's the price I gotta pay for more traction at the dragstrip.

Shot of the old wheel vs. the Weld wheel.

Fabbing up this lower intercooler pipe replaced about 4 feet of my old intercooler piping! That should help response a little.

The biggest problem that I've had with this car as I've added more power is the lack of Traction. If you watch the most recent video I posted, it will spin the tires easily from a 60-70 mph roll.

To address this, I followed my buddy Joe's (www.projectgoodwill.com) advice and picked up a TurboXS high performance dual stage boost controller. The unit is pretty straightforward, two manual boost controllers adjacent to one another, with a solenoid that switches back and forth between the two.

This simple, but elegant design will allow me to run low boost in 1st and 2nd gear (maybe 3rd too) and then flip a switch for high boost once I'm rolling. Joe also suggested that I hook up some micro switches to the shifter so that low boost automatically engages in the lower gears.

That's a damn good idea, but I may try a voice activated switch. It will activate low boost when I yell "FRONT WHEEL DRIVE SUCKS!"

Of the umpteen million 1989-1992 Colts & Mirages that are roaming the roads and filling junkyards, only the 1500 (or so) Turbo models came with beefy four wheel disc brakes. Now that I've added a decent dose of power, I figured it was time to add a little more braking to the mix.

I searched here and there and found these Ceramic dudes from Advance Auto. The brand is "Friction Master" which sounds more like the name of an early 80's condom manufacturer.

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to take a break. Until next time, thanks for reading!