Very glad to be here, on Tuesday I completed a 19-hour round trip to bring back a car I’ve wanted for 20 years.
Its obviously a Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo. Opposite my first office was a bright red GTO that sat outside my window every day, I always liked it. I’ve always wanted a tuned Japanese car and when a bit of money came my way, I plumped for the GTO.
This one is black, has a bodykit, dump valve, turbo timer, aftermarket coilovers and wheels. I’ve hardly touched it yet but am pretty pleased.
This is the list the guy selling it posted, the head unit is a Sony for starters, the turbo timer is there, the wheel is OK, nothing special, it gets in the way of the indicator lights, the rims are cool, the suspension is too low, but here it is:
- Powerflow system
- Blitz dumpvalve
- HKS turbo timer
- Drilled and grooved discs back and front
- Momo steering wheel
- Rota GTR 18" rims
- Brand new BC coilovers/camber adjustable
- Brand new BCT tyres
- JVC headunit
- K&N induction kit
I joined a few days back when I made the deal with the guy, my cheque’s in the post, REAL photos will be coming in the next few days, but I am chilling with a beer and just thought I’d say hello and post initial thoughts after 3 days’ driving and copious note-making….
I bought the car for £2,450 although you can call it £2,800 with travel and petrol to get it home.
Initial thoughts, whines and wonders:
I love low-to-the-ground sports cars. I’ve got a little Lotus Elan and work on Lotuses including parts design, for the main part. I’ve never owned a grand tourer. The guy who owned this before me put aftermarket dump valve, coilovers, and a powerflow system, whatever that is, together with some other irrelevant bits, onto the car.
I feel it drives too hard, there is a noticeable double-bump from the shocks after even the slightest road impact. Either its got to be an out-and-out burner, or its a grand tourer - I think he tried to get the best of both worlds and failed - he hasn’t achieved anywhere close to maximum engine performance yet its set up to be driven hard. I am undecided whether I try to settle the handling down to a more comfortable ride, or try to turn it into a beast.
Its fast - but its not nippy. The weight implies that. The back wheels are toed in but I won’t comment further on the handling for now, I’ve taken it around literally 4 or 5 real corners.
It has a front-wheel judder from 60-70mph, intermittently. I suspect it only occurs when you return from one lock, and a balljoint is wavering, or it just needs alignment or wheel balancing.
I bought it in Ireland, took it back on the ferry to Bonny Scotland, and immediately had 2 inescapable speedbumps - it ground out nastily on both. The third had a side path which the boat police kindly let me go round. About 10 miles later, the brake pedal was dropping to the floor and had to be pumped to generate any real stopping power. So I was convinced I’d ground out a brake line…
When I opened the reservoir 20 miles later, the fluid was to the brim. No obvious leaks underneath, although an obvious dent to the exhaust at the lowest point underneath - I think its been lowered too far. These can’t have been the first speed bumps its seen in 22 years…
Perhaps it was overfull or some air was trapped - when I got back on the road the brakes worked fine for another 150 miles - not the reassuring heavy sponge and steady travel one might expect from an Audi, more of a free pedal feel for the first 20-30%, then a bit of bite with a hard edge - but OK for now. I put it straight on ramps when I got home and no fluid is leaking… I’ll be looking seriously into this.
The gauges all sat quite happily in the middle register even in heavy queues.
The turbos (or one at least) engage at the slightest movement, and when you release them without care, there is noticeable kickback - attune to this and the engine runs virtually silently when the turbos are idling. There is definitely an exhaust rubber gone, you hear it every time you let the vehicle’s weight take after any acceleration - and also some squeaks/rattles from the passenger door and cargo deck - both tiny jobs.
There’s also some clunking when engaging gears, very minor but I think a transmission fluid change is on the cards for starters.
So here’s my big tasks list.
a) rear aerofoil doesn’t function. I had no expectations that it would. Its cool, but a bit of a fiddly gimmick IMHO. I do want to fix it though! Although I wasn’t diligent, from memory, if you exceed 50, or if you press it to off (hard latch) and then back to auto (which is latch and release, so I am not sure the switch is good), the AERO light illuminates. I have no idea if the front aero works, or if it even has one, or how to test. I’ve ordered the rear service kit and will follow the instructions on the site to refurb the front, then see where I am.
b) ECS button doesn’t function, unless I misinterpret its use. No lights light, no change in feel when you press it.
c) I don’t think the air conditioning works. It provides pleasantly cool air (today was a very hot day) but there is no genuine chill, and no noticeable difference (or beep) pressing the AIRCON or ECON buttons. The display does not illuminate.
d) cruise control button sags to the right, illuminates green A-SC light (don’t quote me on that) and then doesn’t actually work
e) drivers’ side wing mirror just clicks when you activate auto-retract. It will push closed and open (and you have to force it to the new position before it will allow you to push them back the other way) so I suspect a broken or worn cog/rack inside.
f) there is some kind of small dial fitted to the RHS of the steering column shroud. No idea what it does.
g) I will need to seriously look into the braking.
h) Slight clunk as you engage drivetrain, may just be an engine mount or something clutch/drivetrain related. So minor I am counting it as a niggle not a concern.
i) Need to work out and test the AWS
j) Need to raise it. Its grounding out on a fast bumpy road or a high speed bump. Only 1" or so should do it and I don’t like the look of wheels sunk into the rims.
k) Need to look at all the camber, toe-in, offset and general basics - my guess is its been adjusted for looks not for correct performance. Its toed in a lot at the back, a personal dislike.
l) Need to ensure the turbos are working correctly. I am guessing turbo 1 engages almost instantly and turbo 2 with a high-pitched whine much later in the rev range.
Aside from that, its just cosmetics and niggles, quick task list:
Tasks all moved to my project thread http://www.gtouk.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=3734531#3734531
So overall I’m pretty pleased. It looks the part, I am already getting annoyed at the amount of roadside conversations its generating when I am busy!
I am guessing the big things to start working out are the aerofoil and aircon display - I can imagine both items or ancillary parts are hard to get and priced accordingly. I’ve found a US company who will repair the aircon unit for $74.99 plus shipping - given the fiddliness, I think I will do that.
I really want to show some genuine pics….I am VERY picky about detail and the photos make it look way better than it is…you probably know the guy or the car already - but I should be able to post more accurate pics shortly. Admittedly it looks fine from a metre or two away but my goal is to get it totally detailed and pristine.
Plan is to daily drive it and expand this list, buy and search for parts, for a month while I refurb my S6, then take the S6 back on the road and take this off for a month while I send away the aircon, strip the panels and deal with the paint & engine bay and all the other tasks that can’t be done while its on the road daily.
Then put it back on the road, keep working on how to improve performance and handling until I am confident I know it inside out and can be proud of it….
Shopping List all moved to my project thread http://www.gtouk.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=3734531#3734531
Paint error list - exterior - will keep working on this
Nearside blanking plate by front indicator - rust
Wing corner right beside it - rust under paint
Front bumper and top front clamshell - complete remove & refurb, poss reversing sensors
Rear bumper - complete remove & refurb, poss reversing sensors
Door edges, around handles and all similar rounded edges there is flaking
Here are his very artistic photos…I’ll post some more accurate ones soon as I start on the work….