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Down on power...help...HELP!!!

667 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Polked4G63T
I've noticed my car seems down on power. Figured I'd ask everyone their opinion. Here's the series of events...

After I put the engine in it ran fine but felt slug'ish. I couldn't really tell if anything was running funny because i was going through the break in period. It bothered me so i took it to Travis at Pro-Auto (Memphis, TN). It ended up the ignition timing was off a little. When I got it back it was running like a champ. It felt healthy, started up quicker, and boosted fine.

I continued to drive it how Polk Performance (Little Rock, AR) told me to break it in, but again it started to feel down on power. Along the way, one of the stress springs in my new clutch shot half way out of the hub. I had Travis put in the act 2600.

Got it back and swapped out the exhaust housing for a ported one from sloboyracing, thinking that the lack of power was blown through on the cracked up waste gate. Thing was a pos. Had to be worped cause it was rubbing the fins. Changed that back to the stock housing.

I finish the breaking in on the engine and clutch. So I wanted to see if it was still boosting ok, and now the car is definitely feeling like a turd. It feels decent when I gradually give it gas, but i.e a down shift from 4th to 3rd - turbo spoolin but car goes no where!

So the next step I'm going to take is doing a leak test. I bought everything, just lack an air tank. Instead of letting the car sit I changed out the vacuum lines and zip tied everything again. Since I've been messing around with it, I've noticed that the exhaust housing is glowing. I don't think its normal because I can drive it without laying into it and it still looks really red.

Travis thinks one factor might be that the turbo is about to take a shit. I'm meeting up with him this Sat. so we can try to troubleshoot this thing. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

90 Talon Tsi AWD
flip up sun roof w/ air deflector
white/black top and the stock white wheels
gray cloth interior
98,732 miles
right at 3,200 miles on rebuild

Polk Stage 1 head
ARP rod, main, and head studs
EVO head gasket
blue printed and balanced block and crank
block bore .020
2g pistons on machined 1g rods
oversized rings
no balance shaft
Turbo XS boost controller
ported o2 housing
slowboy hogged exhaust housing with 34mm flapper
braided stainless steel clutch line
ACT 2600
Fidanza 8lbs flywheel w/ new bolts
unorthodox pulley
rebuilt starter
rebuilt alternator
new front, side, rear motor and tranny mounts
3 gauge pillar
new front and rear breaks
rebuilt 450cc injectors
short shifter
no emissions
new lower ball joints
2g throttle body elbow ported to 62mm
Brode uicp
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How much boost? Stock boost gauge? Have you logged it?
yes, how much boost are you running. stock turbo?

Run the boost leak test. That should be the first thing you do any time your car is not 100%.

Do you have a logger? If so, how much knock are you seeing?

What was his break-in method? I hope it wasn't "go easy on it".
Its my daily driver so I'm trying to run around 10lbs on stock 14b. We found the CAS wires in bad shape. Exposed and touching, so we fixed those. It seems to be running a lot better now! But when we were trying to check the CELs, we used two different obd1 scanners and we couldnt get anything out of either one?! They wouldnt even power up! anyone ever had that problem?
Just get a logger set up. You can do if with a old palm and one of the free programs. Total cost could be under 50$. It will let you read errors, measure knock, and a bunch of other usefull stuff.

Also, do you have a aftermarket boost gauge? What was the "break in" method? Did you run the boost leak test? results?

P.S. If you want help you have to answer our questions.
sorry crazy weekend, friends in from out of town.

I have a aftermarket boost gauge. We have my mbc set for around 11psi. At wot it spikes to 12-12.5psi then settles at 11.

Break in involved:
Crank the engine for the 1st time. Let it idle for 20 mins using castrol gtx 10w-30 with a NAPA Gold filter. Drained.

Refilled with the same gtx 10w-30 and gold filter. Then made several passes starting out slow in 4th gear, run it up to 4500-5000rpms, then let of the throttle easily and letting the declining engine speed slow the car. Didn’t do this back to back, but did it repeatedly for a 30 minuet time period. <---geez! Hard to put that into words! lol

Change oil at 500 miles after install: 10-30 & gold.
Change oil at 2500 miles: Mobil 1 Syn 5w-30 & Mobil 1 filter
and every 2500 mile regular oil change.

I haven’t been able to do the leak test. I have the tester built now and buddy of mine is letting me borrow an air tank from his shop tomorrow. Should have results on that ASAP.

With the code readers not being able to pick anything up, would a logger still work using that plug? Meaning is there something wrong with the wiring to the plug? A logger is the next thing I'm going to buy!

Thanks for the help!!!
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Thanks for the info.

break-in looks ok. I was worried that he told you to baby it for 1000 miles.

Do that boost leak test. I am betting on a boost leak.

Have you done a compressiong test? if not, you should.

Yes, a logger plugs into the same dianostic port by the clutch petal. If the wiring is bad then it might not work either.
Hopefully my friend will be bringing me that air tank, I'll snag a compression tester from him as well.

That diagnostic plug has me worried. Ever since I built the car I planned on getting a logger. If thats messed up, I don't even know where to begin?!

Car is running way healthier! Only thing ive noticed, every 25-30 seconds, it sounds like it has a little miss? i guess ill try to pull the codes again later this evening. Ill let you know what i find.
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