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James92TSi's 3000GT

38087 Views 142 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  noob2gowner

James92TSi's 3000GT - aka "Red"

Red is a '91 3000GT VR-4, which I bought in November 2004. Always garage-kept and dealer maintained by previous owners (a good thing in this case), she is what one might refer to as "a keeper". She is actually one of the first 100 VR-4s to come over to the States, denoted by a gold "Premiere Edition" badge on the glovebox (Pic 1 Pic 2).

Red was bought as a daily driver to back up my DSMs, and performed that task quite admirably until early 2007. She started to have little issues here and there, and the final straw was when the output shaft failed in late June (Pic 1). I started plotting and scheming -- as my original plan was to have Red as my daily car, and my '92 GSX project as my track car. It seemed Red had other ideas.

I eventually arrived at the difficult decision to cut my losses on the GSX project, make Red the track car, and shop for a newer car with warranty to serve as my daily. Shakira (my G35 Sport Coupe) was added to the family in late August, and Red officially moved into the "toy" role.

More pics of Red, including shots on-track, can be found in my Picasa album: http://picasaweb.google.com/James92TSi

Here's the rundown of what's done to her so far:

• Eclipse AVX2494 - touch screen DVD/CD/MP3, 20GB HDD (visible in these: Pic 1 Pic 2)
• PPI 5440 5-channel amplifier (Pic 1)
• Infinity Kappa 60.5cs 6.5" component set (front)
• Infinity Kappa 692.5i 2-way 6x9" coaxials (rear)
• Infinity Kappa Perfect 10 DVC sub (Pic 1)
• Audiobahn 1-farad capacitor
• Optima Yellow battery
• PAC SWI-X steering wheel radio control interface

Under-hood gadgetry
• Matrix cone filter with 3SX MAS mounting bracket
• MSD spark wires (and NGK coppers, of course)
• 3rd revision lash adjusters
• Alamo Y-pipe (Pic 1)
• Emissions/vacuum line reduction (EGR removed and blocked)
• Supercar Engineering oil pan with trap door and kick-out (Pic 1 Pic 2)
• Northbend Technologies Quadco XR output shaft and input spool (Pic 1)
• EK2 poly motor mounts
• Otherwise just your typical stock 2-bolt 6G72 TT, as maintained by an anally retentive person.

(Pic of all parts - note that brakes were not installed yet in pic above)
• 2G VR-4 front brakes - powdercoated red & rebuilt (Pic 1)
• Porterfield R4S pads
• Drilled/Slotted rotors (eye candy from when the car was my daily)
• Goodridge braided SS lines
• ATE Super Blue fluid (or ATE TYP 200... same fluid, yellow color... good for alternating flushes)
• Speed bleeders

Suspension, Wheels, and Tires
• Tein FLEX coilover system
• MB Motorsports Weapon wheels, 18x9 gunmetal finish (+1 in the garage as a full-size spare)
• Falken FK-452 tires, Y-rated 255/35/18

• Chrome front emblem :)
• Snake Eye mod (Pic 1)
• Hella H4 conversion headlamps
• Supermac race shifter
• 99 GSX leather shift knob (the last remaining piece of the Talon)
• Active Aero that actually works (a rarity among first-gen VR-4s)
• Brushed aluminum defrost vents (Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3)
• Leatherseats.com reupholstery kit, two-tone with custom logos (Pic 1)
• Tint, yo!

Parts I have that are not on the car yet
• 2G VR-4 rear brakes (same disassemble/powdercoat/rebuild treatment as the fronts)
• Greddy/GT Pro FMIC kit
• TD04L 13T turbos
• DNP precat eliminators (tubular o2 housings)
• Alamo 3" downpipe
• More brushed aluminum interior bits
• A whole lot of body parts (for 2G/99 conversion), including a Cianci Viper hood
• Parts for quad e46 bixenon HID retrofit into 94 Stealth glass headlights
... and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting to mention.

Future plans for the car are
• Repair of damage from off-track incident at September's HPDE event (including installation of Tein FLEX system)
• Replacement of the three factory center gauges with accurate stuff
• Another rework of the braking system, to include better quality rotors, more race-oriented pads (most likely from Carbotech), and ducting for the front rotors
• Installation of the 99 front end, Viper hood, and HID retrofit
• A second set of wheels, most likely 17x9.5 with 275/40/17 Toyo RA1 tires.
• Installation of the remaining 2G body parts and repaint of the car
• Resisting the urge to put all of those other performance parts on the car until my driving improves... a lot. :)

The eventual power goal is 400 to 425 awhp reliably on pump gas, which is well within the capabilities of the parts I've chosen. At that power level, she'll be a complete hoot on the road course... all in due time. Engine management will most likely be AEM EMS.
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Yeah, it's in Austin... Oct 23-25.

My to-do list looks something like this.

- replace front subframe yet again (2nd time's the charm?)
- install FMIC (with stock turbos on stock boost, lol)
- install radiator, fans, and other misc crap
- swap to 2G rear calipers/rotors (fronts already on car)
- pray, start engine
- fill and bleed brakes
- test laps around the hood!
- make ducting for IC/rad
- install Aerocatch hood latches
- corner weight
- alignment
- finish HID retrofit
- charge A/C
- ?
- profit
- enjoy driving stupid money pit car
- detail stupid money pit car
- attend TX09 with stupid money pit car

Totally doable.

The rear brake swap is kinda optional but I've put it off long enough. Plus the brake system is empty right now since the ABS headunit had to be disconnected during frame work.
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She looks about the same as this...


and this


... considering she's still in the same spot and nothing external has been done since those were posted. I messed around with radiator fitment (has new al-u-minium rad, needs new brackets to fit) and will probably be starting the FMIC install process next.

I've been working on the headlights the last few days since the weather's been crappy. I just about have the projector + bracket units done & ready to put into the lamp housings for on-car testing/aiming. Probably gonna hold off on that for now, and get going on some mechanical stuff. I can come back to the headlights later...

Car really needs to go into the garage so I can tear into the suspension when the new subframes arrive. HOA doesn't like Jackstand Racing League competition to take place in the driveway. At minimum it is going to take me a couple weekends, plus wrench time after work during the week, to swap it out again. If I can get some friends to help, it'll go faster.

I did slap on the adjustable rear upper arms a couple weekends ago, but did not have time to adjust them & torque down. So rear camber is now adjustable past the stock (limited) range.... :)

Ride height is still a bit sloppy too. Not too worried since that will get addressed when she goes on the scales.

The order stuff appears in the list is pretty much the order it's gonna get tackled.
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Oh, I just want to see how it looks when the front end is done. I love the new front end and cant wait to see it done!
I messed up that second link... it was supposed to be this:


Add FMIC and completed headlights and you pretty much have it :D
What I did today...

Stock ICs and 3 miles of piping removed in preparation for...

... Front Mounted Cardboard Box!

Yes, engine bay is dirty... blame TWS

Slight misalignment here due to 3$X MAS mounting bracket... will have to remove that so the MAS can drop down a bit. Gap taped shut so crap doesn't get in...

OK, so it's not just a box.

Name-brand bling yo!
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Nice updates :)

I spy a 99 conversion huh? :p
aawww I miss the cardboard FMIC. But, yeah, I can't wait to see the finished product. I've always loved the 99 3KGT. Good luck with the second sub-frame.
Updates on my list o'junk.... ;)

- install FMIC
- install radiator, fans, and other misc crap
- swap to 2G rear calipers/rotors
- pray, start engine


- fill and bleed brakes
- test laps around the hood! :D


To do:

- replace front subframe yet again
- make ducting for IC/rad
- corner weight
- alignment
- finish HID retrofit
- charge A/C
- ?
- profit
- enjoy driving stupid money pit car
- detail stupid money pit car
- attend TX09 with stupid money pit car

I also have no tach reading on the dash right now so I'll have to manvestigate that situation. I believe I had tach reading last time I ran the engine, but that was a while and many beers ago, so not sure.
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Wow... it runs? Like omg... and shit.

Good stuff James.
As I said on htown and 3S -- congrats!
I need me a fmic. My ic pipes and smics are crap. :(
Wow... it runs? Like omg... and shit.

Good stuff James.
Indeed! She ran around the block and ducked into the garage under her own damn power.

:D <- actual photo of me

She goes back under the knife to have the front subframes replaced. Had to get her in the garage for that, as my HOA doesn't like extended Jackstand Racing League action in the driveway -- and I could think of no better way to get her in the garage than to get all her mechanical thingies in working order and drive her in. :)

I gave her a big stupid-retarded hug afterward. It had been nearly 2 years since she was self-propelled -- and I had not driven any other 3S cars since then (caught a ride in a customer's 94 R/T TT at my friend's shop... that was it).

One might say I've got the itch again.... :cool:
Don't feel bad. I went on vaca for a week driving this pofs conversion van that had alignment, wheel balance, and other misc issues... I got back, jumped in the evo and was like... omg omg omg omg iloveu iloveu iloveu.

So I can only imagine what you're feeling after 2 years!
That's the silly thing about me. I haven't been driving a POS... I have the G to drive every day, which is also a pretty fun car.

Yet I still got all down-syndrome over taking my old Mitsu around the block. .

I really missed this car. And I didn't break my foot off on it either... just cruised around the block in 2nd.... and that was enough of a taste for now. :D

As I said on htown and 3S -- congrats!
I need me a fmic. My ic pipes and smics are crap. :(
Mike - you forgot to mention that yours came back to life on the same day as mine! I think that's pretty swell neat-o type stuff. :)

My FMIC kit is a Greddy from the original gtpro group buy. I'd recommend it in a heartbeat. Fitment was absolutely *perfect*... I mean the pipes are butted right up against each other inside the couplings, and they line up perfectly. Simply the easiest FMIC install I've ever done.

(Note I am not so concerned with keeping the crashbar as I am cutting out the middle section for cooling purposes. YMMV if you care about the crashbar.)
I'm going to take your advice and look into that FMIC kit. See if I can find one for sale somewhere.
It's also sort of amusing that we both have 2g front brakes on and 1g rear brakes. I keep looking at those dinky rotors, and single piston rear calipers going "damn that's gotta get fixed soon".
I put my 2G rears on the other day. Had 'em just as long as the fronts, but they never made it onto the car.

So it's just you now. :p
How to Access the Rear Engine Mount, The Fun Way

1) Take a bunch of shit off until the car looks like this.

2) In the pile of things you removed, there should be a large piece that looks like this.

3) Remove 4 bolts holding engine mount to strange sheet metal boat anchor. Hold engine mount in your hand -- Mission Accomplished.

4) Installation is the reverse of removal. (Kind of like up is the reverse of down, I suppose.)

This concludes "how to access the rear engine mount, the fun way."


Current status is... need to gut the rear precat, then I can start reassembly.

This went much faster the second time around. ;)

Unfortunately, I will not be attending TX09 as I had originally hoped.... my friend picked that weekend for his bachelor party and I'm a little bit in the wedding. I'm bummed about missing TX09 but there will be other car meets...
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OMG!!!!!! This is the nicest 3000 gt I have laid my eyes on. :eek:
Well... I appreciate the compliment, but you must not have seen a whole lot of them. There are 3S cars out there with some serious bucks in them.
So James, I'm currently in the market for a boat anchor. ;)

Looks good man.
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