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Dz Nutz
Dz Nutz

Posts : 297
Join date : 2010-11-24
Age : 44
Location : Sycamore, OK

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PostSubject: StarQuest NOOB Check list   StarQuest NOOB Check list I_icon_minitime2010-11-27, 12:07 pm

I got this courtesy of Starfighterpilot on SQC .

Original topic by Starfighterpilot here.


Congratulations, you now own a Starquest. WHAT'S NEXT?

I strongly recommend NOT immediately going out to see what American Iron or Rice Burner you can blow off of the road cuz you now have a "TURBO" car. REMEMBER YOU ARE DRIVING A CAR THAT IS, AT LEAST, 19 YEARS OLD AND YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW IT HAS BEEN MAINTAINED OVER ALL OF THOSE YEARS OR WHAT KIND OF SHAPE IT'S IN!!!!!!

I (Starfighterpilot) lifted the below from Shelby's GREAT Starquest FAQ Post:

"Ok, every so often, depending on how many new guys we get, there comes a time to warn them about turning the boost up because it's so easy, too easy!! In fact, most do not know or care what the results will be, without taking proper care and precautions before hand - but the result is always the same. A blown head gasket, that a lot of the time results in a bout of name calling and dang junk car. Any way, next thing you know the car is parted out, all because of the owner NOT taking the time to learn what he needs to do, he just wants to bypass all the stuff the rest of us have learned the hard way.

14lb boost is the max safe and when I say safe, I do not mean the longest lasting safe level of boost for the engine or the turbo. Anytime you go over the factory limit of 10 lbs boost you are asking for a shortened life of the turbo and the head gasket. That's a fact of life, learn to live with it or leave things alone.

Even 14 lbs should never be run unless you know, for a fact, that every part of the car's fuel control system is at 100% or better , and that is your responsibility to find out!

One more thing, don't read that Tommy the nitro (no real person) down the street is running 28 lb of boost and think you can do the same, You won't make it without spending a lot of loot or trashing your engine

Many of us have been at this for a long time and we've came a long way towards much more horse power then ever before. BUT making this power and keeping the engine alive for a reasonable time, is our goal not a 10 minute wonder. That's the reason many of us go at this at a much slower pace than others; that, and money comes hard to some of us.

What I'm saying is take the time to fully understand just what it is you are doing to the turbo and engine when you do these mods! In the long run you'll be much happier with your car and the money you've invested in it. There are many guys here to help you, but most lean toward the let's take it slow and make it last, rather then a quick, short lived Shooting Star!!" Shelby

The above words to the wise, from a VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE Starquester, should be sufficient.


OK, here we go:

FIRST thing to do is download the APPROPRIATE year Mitsu Starquest Factory Service Manual (FSM) from Starquest Garage.

USE THE Factory Service Manual because it will save you a lot of pain, heart ache, hitting your head against a brick wall, and MONEY if you do something to your new LADY, and you find out you did it incorrectly because you didn't use or have it. I also recommend getting to be friends with any KNOWLEDGEABLE Starquester(s) in your geographic vicinity.

SECOND thing to do is download the 1988 MITSU Parts Catalog from SQ Garage. That way you can get the exact part you need. Even though the only parts Catalog listed is for the '88's the vast majority of part numbers are correct for the '86 through '89 Starquests.

An added bonus to having the parts catalog is, a good portion of the exploded detailed parts configuration views, aid in figuring out how to take some Starquest component apart and/or put it back together properly where the shop Manual does NOT show jack in DETAIL.

THIRD thing to do is add Starquest.i-x and B2600 Turbo to your TREASURED list of Starquest Favorites.

Engine Cylinder Compression Leak Down Test

This is an important test. Remember: Many running/driveability questions can be answered with a simple compression test on these cars. It is good to do that first, before asking a bunch of questions that need that information first, so people can better know what we are starting with.
White smoke at start up for about 30-45 seconds = coolant in the combustion chamber. Either a cracked head, or blown head gasket.
Continuous blueish white smoke = oil in the chamber, or a very bad turbo oil seal. Could be rings, valve stem seals (they usually only smoke blue at start-up), loose valve guides or bad head jet valves.

By running this test it will tell you the condition of each of the cylinders. Having this information allows you to make smart educated decisions as to where to start to bring back your LADY to be all that she can possibly be. This is a link which fully explains compression testing. Compression Test Procedure - chiplee

What's an Error Code?

Error Codes are error messages stored in the ECU computer to tell you what the computer is seeing as a problem and is compensating for (it is not running the best that it can if any sensor input to it is incorrect) and as a consequence, your engine is running in a less than optimum mode. You can check this at the receptacle located in the vicinity of the glove box.


Review the applicable Starquest FAQ on how to correct the most common error codes. I can not stress this enough. NO ERROR CODES !!!

Hoses and Belts

Replace ALL of the hoses and belts. Don't forget the intake manifold to engine block hose and the two heater hoses. I used MITSU OEM hoses. They may cost a couple of bucks more, but it's worth the piece of mind on a hot summers day, stuck in rush hour traffic, when it's 95 degrees outside and the A/C is on. Be aware that the belt sizes are not the same for all years of Starquests. '87 and back use 5/16" wide belts; '88 & '89 Starquest's use 3/8" wide belts.

Engine Oil System

Make sure that you have good oil pressure at idle (just below the 1/2 mark on the gauge) and 1/2 or greater between the mid and the high gauge marks on the gauge at 1750 RPM and above. The above pressures are based upon using 10W40 engine oil in the summer when the engine is at normal operating temperature.

The above oil pressures are also for a newly rebuilt engine. If you don't see those oil pressures, or close to them, install a mechanical oil pressure gauge, in accordance with the FAQ on installing one, record your indicated oil pressure at idle (should be between 800 - 900 RPM's as indicated on the dash tachometer; then record your indicated oil pressure at about 2300 RPM. Post your observed oil pressures in the Virtual Mechanics Forum and let knowledgeable Starquesters advise you as to what you are dealing with.

I would also recommend dropping the crankcase oil pan, clean it thoroughly with brake cleaner, replace the gasket and reinstall it. Make sure that when you are drawing up the bolts that you draw them up evenly, crossing back and forth across and around the bottom of the pan in about 3 increments. Don't be in a hurry - take your time. It would help to have a 1/4 inch drive socket set to use and on 1 or 2 bolts you will need an universal joint. BE CAREFUL!! Don't snap a bolt head off from applying too much force. But get them evenly tight.

Another area to check is the oil lines to the engine oil cooler. These are mostly metal tubing , but, there are 4 "rubber" jumper lines installed in these lines. Get a flash light and trace these lines from the engine oil filter assembly to the oil cooler and back. They are notorious for weeping oil. If you have ANY oil weepage at these joints REPLACE ALL of the jumpers. Another area to check is at the "Banjo Bolts" which attach the oil lines to the engine oil filter assembly and the oil cooler. If there is weepage at any of the banjo bolts then get some new gasket washers from MITSU and install them per the Shop Manual.

Two other components to consider replacing are the metal turbo oil supply line and the turbo oil return hose back to the engine block. They probably have crud inside of them which will restrict the flow of oil to the turbo.

Coolant System

Check the engine coolant pump for sounds of marbles rolling around in it. No marbles? GREAT!! Now check the weep hole under the water pump shaft housing. Does it have a discoloration around it, usually brownish or a dark gray? Depends upon how clean your coolant system is. Is it wet or moist? If so the water pump is telling you that it's getting ready to loose the seal. CHANGE THE PUMP NOW, or else it WILL cost you BIG BUCKS by correcting the problems that it WILL CAUSE when it takes it's dump.

When you take the radiator cap off (when the engine is cold) does the coolant have a glowing green or glowing pinkish red color? If not, then you need to go completely through your coolant system as soon as possible, as stated below.

Completely drain the coolant system, including the engine block. I believe the agreed on correct ratio is 33% anti freeze to 67% DISTILLED water. Water has a much greater affinity to absorb/dissipate heat faster than Anti-Freeze. Better yet, take your LADY to a Jiffy Lube or similar shop that has a Engine Coolant flush Service System. It may be expensive (about $75.00) but I believe it's worth every penny. And specify that you want the above ratio of anti-freeze to DISTILLED WATER ratio to be replacing the unknown coolant that is being removed. In fact, I bring my own Distilled Water with me and make sure that they use it during the flush.

The Coolant System's capacity is 9.22 quarts.

If you are using straight anti-freeze, use 3 quarts of Anti-freeze to 6 + quarts of DISTILLED WATER.

If you are using a solution of 50% antifreeze and 50% water out of the antifreeze jug, add 1.5 quarts of DISTILLED WATER and then add approximately 7.5 quarts of the 50/50% anti-freeze solution.

A couple of Starquesters in the past,have stated that they could not understand why their Starquest started gradually running hotter after a year or so after topping off the coolant expansion tank with straight anti-freeze out of the jug. They dumped that anti-freeze solution and put in the above 33-67% solution and the coolant temperature went down to where it should be. This is because water has a much higher capacity to absorb heat and dissipate it than anti-freeze.

You MUST use distilled water to keep from introducing minerals, which are dissolved in tap water, into the cooling system. These minerals tend to plate the internal heat transfer surfaces of the radiator, which after time reduces its heat transfer capability. This is the main reason that so many radiators have to be rodded out or replaced after a couple of years of use.

Check to see that all of the radiator fans are operating at the OEM proscribed engine coolant operating temperatures: Passenger side=primary fan, Driver side= secondary fan.

Primary fan comes on at just below the dash temperature gauge middle line.

Secondary fan turns on just below 1/3 of the way between the dash temperature gauge middle line and the uppermost line. If they do not come on at those temperatures you have cooling problem(s). See the FAQ on keeping your Starquest cool.

However, the factory temp gauge readings differ, a bit, from car to car. On some, the Primary Fan comes on about 2/5 of the way up. The Secondary Fan comes on exactly at 1/2. If you see anything above half on your Lady it is dangerous to the continued health of your head gasket.

You should also check the engine coolant thermostat for proper operation in accordance with the Shop Manual. If it's bad, get a new one with the temperature range as denoted in the Shop Manual. Get a MITSU OEM thermostat.

If the fans and thermostat are working properly and you are running hotter than the above temperatures, you most probably have a clogged radiator, which is in dire need of a radiator shop rodding out. Don't think that just because the coolant passages in the area of the radiator cap opening are clean that the rest of the radiator passages are clean too, because they might not be. Or, the A/C condenser in front of the radiator (or the radiator itself) may have leaves, paper, and etc. on it reducing the available cooling surfaces.

If you need the radiator rodded out it would also be a GOOD IDEA to remove the metal coolant line that runs down the passengers side of the engine block and take it in to be rodded out also. If the radiator is clogged up, this line is also. Also remove the throttle body and see if the coolant passages in the intake manifold are clogged up. If so take the intake manifold in and have it rodded out too. It might also be the right time to rebuild your throttle body while you have it off.

If you have to rod out the radiator, also remove the coolant lines Banjo bolts at the turbo. They also are probably full of crud as well as the turbo coolant supply and return lines. It is STRONGLY suggested that you replace the coolant lines because they ARE crudded up if you see ANY evidence of crud in the banjo bolts. You can drill out the holes in the banjo bolts and reuse them. If the bolts and lines have ANY crud in them AT ALL you are restricting the flow of coolant to the turbo and it is or will be running hotter than design temperature - YOUR TURBO IS HEADING SOUTH FROM THE INCREASED TEMPERATURE AND WILL EXPERIENCE PREMATURE FAILURE.

Engine "Rattling" noise in front

When you start your Starquest's engine up, do you hear a rattling coming from the front of the engine? The silent shafts (balance shaft's) chain tension needs to be adjusted because this chain has stretched over the years. See the Shop Manual, Page 9-15 for the proper way to adjust the chain. This is only for G54B Turbo engines with less than 100K miles.

If there is more than 100K miles on the engine, or you cannot get the rattle out of the engine, it's time for a balance shaft chain and chain guide replacement. Remember there are two of them, one to the oil pump/balance shaft and the other to the driver's side balance shaft. Also clean the accumulated crud out of the crankcase oil pan. Replace the oil pick up tube o-ring with a MITSU OEM new one, or contact DAD (Randy) for the parts. See the Shop Manual on how to do this.

Do NOT put this off!!! You and your engine will be sorry if you do.

It would also be a good idea to replace the engine oil pump's relief valve spring and plunger as well as the timing chain, chain guides, tensioner sleeve, rubber sheet (2 of them = more oil pressure), and tensioner spring. (Parts Catalog, Timing Train Chain, page 31 of 66)

Or even better yet, replace the whole oil pump assembly with a MITSU one.

Another option is installing a balance shaft elimination kit. See DAD (Randy) for the parts, and the FAQ on how to do it.

Turbo Hoses and Accordion Hose

Check all of the turbo tubing hoses for proper fit to each of their metal connectors; and whether or not you have any splits at the hose ends or anywhere in each of the tubes. This includes the joints at the inter-cooler (if you have one). If you do, then replace the tube. Tighten all of the hose clamps on the tubing joints to ensure that you are not experiencing any leakage.

Do not forget to check the hose and tighten the hose clamps at the throttle body to the Over The Valve Cover Metal Tube joint.

I usually lube each of the joint ends with Silicon Lube. It helps getting them off at a future date. Don't over do it with the lube.

If you have ANY leakage, it negates the Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor signal to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) which tells the injectors how much fuel to inject for the given air flow as sensed at the MAF.

Also CAREFULLY remove the accordion hose between the Air Filter Canister and the turbo. Inspect it for any cracks, holes or rips. If you have ANY replace the accordion hose. New from MITSU it's about $110. But you can probably pick up a used one in the Parts Wanted Forum for CONSIDERABLY less. Make sure that all of the clamps are tight on it and that it is properly seated in it's inlet and outlet joints. Check the hoses going to the accordion hose. Are the connection joints TIGHT and going to the proper components; check the hoses for cracks or rips. If the joints are not tight or the hoses have problems, replace them.

Vacuum Tubing

Replace all of the engine compartment vacuum tubing with new tubing from MISTU. Bring a sample in to your "friendly" MITSU dealer to make sure you get the "right stuff." Replace the tubing piece-by-piece, cutting to the OEM lengths. Do NOT rip all of the tubing out and expect to remember were each piece of tubing goes. It's too much of a spaghetti bowl in the engine compartment. See the Vacuum Diagrams In Color FAQ for the tubing layouts. See this link for the tubing layouts Vacuum Lines. By the way, there is approximately 42 feet of vacuum tubing in the engine compartment.

Lightly cut a slit, just through, the old tubing at each of the plastic couplers joints before you try to remove it. The couplers, Tee joint's, etc. The plastic is AT LEAST 19 years old and they break easily.

Do not forget to replace the larger tubing that goes to the brake booster too.

If the vacuum tubing has been "hacked up," initiate a post on the Virtual Mechanic Forum and maybe a knowledgeable Starquester can get with you to get the correct tubing routing for what you have.

Intake Manifold Sensors

Remove all of the sensors on the intake manifold and burnish the male and female ends with the jewelers file or finger nail file until they are "squeaky" bright. See this link Professor Quest for an excellent description on how to do this.

EGR Valve

Remove the EGR Valve and clean out all of the crud in it and in the intake manifold. Remember, or better yet mark the tubing and the connectors it goes to so you can reinstall them in their original locations.

PCV Valve

Install a new MITSU OEM PCV valve. Repeat MITSU OEM, the after market ones for the Starquests are junk. For further information on the problems a NON OEM PCV can cause, see: Crank Case Pressure

Exhaust System Catalytic Converters

Gut your precat. Probably the most performance noticeable mod you can make, and still pass smog inspections.

If the Precat is heavily clogged up, then the Main Cat is AT LEAST partially clogged, Strongly consider replacing it too.

Fuel System

Replace all of your fuel filters and strainers (5 of them) in accordance with the FAQ. I don't think that the fuel pump inlet conical strainer is still available from MITSU. But CAREFULLY remove, clean and reinstall it. You may be lucky and not damage it.

Check the fuel injection system throttle body for ANY evidence of gas leakage. If it's around the area of the injectors get the fuel injector seal kit from MITSU and replace them in accordance with the Shop Manual. Be aware that each injector has it's own part number. Why? I'm not really sure, but for safety sake, it's advisable to install the right seal kit (according to MITSU) on the appropriate injector. The gas leakage at the injector to throttle body joint has been the cause of MANY, MANY Starquest burning up!!

Fuel Injectors and Clips

The fuel injectors that are installed are probably, at least, 19 years old. Look carefully at the plastic caps at the top of each injector. Are there any cracks in them? Does the throttle body in the area of the plastic caps have a brownish substance on it? If so it may be that the caps are leaking gas. Or, the injector o-rings are weeping ( as noted above ). If there is a crack(s) the injector is shot. If it not leaking gas now, it will in the future. It CAN NOT be repaired. Once again, gas leakage around the injectors has been the cause of MANY Starquests burning up !!! See SQ.i-x for further information.

Check the electrical clips that mount in the top side, on the plastic caps of the injector for a TIGHT fit. If they are loose they need to be replaced. Review this Starquest FAQ Pigtails .

Next, remove each clip individually and look at the male and female connectors. Do each of them individually so you can keep track of which clip goes to which injector. They are probably dirty and/or corroded. This condition introduces electrical resistance into the pulsing signal that is coming from the ECU to fire the injector. Needless to say if these connectors are dirty they will not send the full amount of current to the injector solenoid to make it fire properly. Therefore, you will probably have some degree of combustion misfire. Get a finger nail or jewelers file and gently burnish the male and female connectors until they are "squeeky" bright.

Now, with clean male connectors, it is time to test the injectors themselves for proper operation. Do them one at a time so you do not get the clips mixed up and attached to the wrong injector.Get a electrical circuit tester (either digital or analog, but the digital is better cuz it gives you the exact reading numerically) and put it on to check ohms. Then put the circuit tester's two probes on the two male injector connectors. You should have a reading between 2 and 3 ohms. Anything more than 3 ohms indicates that the injector is shot and it has to be replaced. Be sure your Ohmmeter zeros out for this test!

The next test of the injectors is to see if one or both are leaking or weeping gas. Remove the metal pipe that is going across the top of the engine valve cover to the throttle body. Get a clean rag and stuff it down the throttle body air inlet bore. Get a long wire and use it as a jumper between the positive pole of the battery and the fuel pump electrical test connection which is located in the engine compartment by the air filter canister. Using this jumper, energize the fuel pump for about a minute or so. Then remove the rag from the throttle body to see if there is ANY evidence of gas on it. If the rag is dry you are home free. If there is gas on the rag, then energize the fuel pump again for a minute or so, and, using a flashlight look down the throttle body bore to see if you can see which injector is weeping gas. Can't see it? Then put your finger on the tip of each injector to see if you get gas on your finger. You must either replace the weeping/leaking injector (probably the seconday) or you clean it or have it cleaned.

See this post for an in depth explanation of the fuel injectors, Fuel Injectors


Check your drive shaft u-joints for play. If you have ANY, replace them with MITSU OEM ones.

Spark Plug Wires

Install the NGK 8 MM plug & coil wires. Relatively cheap, and probably give the most punch for the buck on the plug wires. That is a matter of opinion though. Some Starquesters recommend Borg Warner plug wires from Pep Boys because supposedly the resistance is 10 times lower than the NGK wires.

Spark Plugs

Now a little about the best spark plugs to use on the Starquests.
Stay away from the newer long lasting plugs, where turbo boost pressure could blow the fragile tip off, and into combustion chamber and scour the cylinder wall.

Install NGK BPR7ES-11 spark plugs and gap them to 0.034" (they are gapped at the factory to 0.044 “. It is desirable to run the widest gap as possible before the flame blows out. Turbo boost is a factor. Do power runs, increasing the gap by 0.001" each time until you get hard acceleration with a miss-fire. When you get the miss-fire, drop back the 0.001" to when you didn't get it. (Each engine is different and you are tuning to YOUR PARTICULAR engine).

Below is an explanation of the designators on the NGK spark Plugs.

B Thread diameter = 14 mm
P Construction = Projected Insulator Type
R Construction = Resistor Type
Heat Rating Number = 2 HOT, Increasing Number = Colder
E Thread Reach = 12.7 mm
K Firing End Construction = 2 ground electrodes
N Firing End Construction = Special side electrode
S Firing End Construction = Standard 2.6 mm diameter center electrode
Numerical number = Pre-gap; for example: BPR7ES-11; the 11 means pre-gapped at 1.1mm (.044)

See this Starquest FAQ Spark Plugs

Cylinder Head Jet Valves

Also consider removing the Jet Valves located in the engine head. They have been shown to be the cause of many performance problems throughout the years. An inexpensive Elimination Kit is available from DAD

Electrical Relays

It would also be an EXCELLENT idea to pull all of your relays in the engine compartment, (do not forget the ones behind the panel outboard of the battery). Burnish the female and male ends of each of the connectors and reinstall. See the Shop Manual, Section 8 for the locations.

Electrical Grounding

Inspect the negative ground wire from the battery to the block. Is there any evidence of corrosion at the battery connector? If so clean it NOW. Remove the negative connector where it bolts to the engine block. Same thing, burnish it NOW. Is the cable insulation split in any place or have corrosion on it. If so, replace this cable. If you have ANY of the above you are not getting the full electrical power to the engine that you need to let it work at it’s optimum performance.

Also check the positive wiring coming from the battery positive pole to and through all of the connectors in the engine compartment.

See the Shop Manual, Section 8, page 8-10, for the location of the other grounds in the engine compartment. Check them for the above characteristics. Also view here for additional info.

Fusible Links.
Remove each of your fusible links separately. Look at them for ANY sign of aging. In fact it would be a good idea to replace them all with OEM MITSU ones. God only knows how old they are, and if they have never been replaced you probably are not getting full electrical power through them. See THE SHOP MANUAL, Section 8 FOR THE LOCATION OF ALL OF THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT FUSIBLE LINKS.

At a minimum, removing one at a time, and clean ALL of the female and male fusible link connectors, using Scotch Brite pads or jewelers files. Then use a Ohm meter to measure resistance. There must be 0 Ohms.

Air Filter.
Check your air filter. Is it dirty? If so, either blow it out until it's clean (you can see a glow through the filter element when looking at the sun through the element) or if you can't see a glow, replace it.

Power Steering
Use 1.2 quarts of DEXRON auto tranny fluid (ATF). DEXRON I, II, III, etc are fine - all "higher number" DEXRONs are compatible with lower numbers. DO NOT USE "POWER STEERING FLUID" - StarQuest systems were designed to run with ATF since ATF can withstand MUCH higher pressures than simple power steering fluid. If a StarQuest power steering system ever gets filled (or just topped off) with plain power steering fluid it'll make a groaning sound, foam up and overflow, and the power steereing pump will die pretty quickly.

To check the distributor vacuum advance: Carefully remove the vacuum advance tubing from the nearest plastic connector. Remove the distributor cap. Suck on the tubing and watch the lever coming out of the area of the vacuum advance inside of the distributor; it should move easily. Once you cannot suck any more air out, put your tongue over the tubing end for about a minute and watch the lever to see if it moves along with a decrease in vacuum as felt by your tongue. Then slip your tongue off of the tubing end a watch the lever to see if it SMOOTHLY moves to the at rest position.

If the vacuum as felt by your tongue decreases over the ½ minute or does a jerking retract to the at rest position then your vacuum advance is shot and it needs to be replaced.

Then check to see if the lever moves smoothly retarding the advance, by blowing into the tube and watching what the lever does.

You could use the following : Vacuum Advance J: Wells V1411 -- available at Autozone; Standard VC269 -- available at Sorensen 43-5004 -- available at Advance Auto Parts or CarQuest Auto Parts. See the Starquest FAQ for the procedure on how to replace the vacuum advance.

Next change the distributor Cap & Rotor. Use a Wells Pro Gold (made by Conrad with brass inserts) CR2205G -- available at Autozone; many owners recommend Bosch.

Distributor Pickup Coil: After removing the distributor cap, under the rotor, there are two pickup coil resistance-measuring terminals. The resistance value should be between 920 - 1,120 ohms.

Go to < for how to totally rebuild your distributor.

Engine Oil

Finally, what brand and weight of engine oil to use in your LADY. This subject is like who is the most beautiful woman. I can only speak from my own 22 years of experience with the Starquests. It has worked for me (I'm still running the original short block after 285 K miles). Every spring, when the temperatures start getting into the 60's Degrees I change my oil to Castrol GTX 20W - 50. In the Fall, when the temps start dropping into the lower 30's at night, I switch to Castrol GTX 10W - 40. I also religiously change the engine oil after 2500 Miles. I also use a Napa Gold 1381 engine oil filter each oil change. It is one of the best filters and has the best internal check valve on the market. I have been doing this for 20 years and it seems to work for me and my G54B. But, opinions are like tailholes - everyone has one.

Change your tranny & differential oils. Probably they have not been changed for many years. And it could be very possible that you have a leaking tranny rear/front oil seal

5 Speed Tranny:

2.4 quarts of API GL-4 gear oil. Fill the tranny until the oil just begins to ooze out the fill bolt half-way up the side of the tranny.

Also check the inside surface of the dust cup on the end of the transmission tail shaft for evidence of tranny oil. If there is ANY oil, change the oil seal before you lunch the tranny from lack of oil.

Auto Trannies:

7.4 quarts of DEXRON auto tranny fluid (ATF)

Rear Differential

2.7 pints of GL-5 gear oil WITH added "friction modifier" for cars with the limited slip differential (LSD) (there is a warning sticker on the door jam of LSD equipped cars that warns about jacking only one rear wheel up and then running the engine). Mitsu dealers sell a one gallon can of pre-mixed stuff that is great... but pricey too. Chrysler dealers sell "MOPAR Hypoid Gear Lubricant" (part no 4318058) plus the friction modifier (part no. 4318060)

Also check to see if you have any ATF leakage/weepage at the trans, the tran's ATF cooler and the cooler's supply and return lines.

Speedometer Cable

Chances are the speedometer cable has never been changed, consequently the cable inside of the jacket has 20 something year old grease which is crusty. Do the following ESPECIALLY if the speedo needle is even slightly twitching at any speed!!! BELIEVE ME, YOU DO <u><b>NOT</b></u> want to have to replace the cable and the jacket if the cable breaks!!!! If the cable breaks it chews up the inside surface of the jacket and you must replace BOTH the cable and the jacket, to have the job last. It is a SUPER PITA!!!!

Remove the speedo cable's female screw-on connector from the drivers side of the tranny. Look at how the cable is seated inside of the jacket and remember it. Pull the cable completely out of the jacket. Remove all of the crusty old grease with brake or carb cleaner. Then liberally apply disc brake grease to the entire lenght of the cable. Make sure that you do not have any grease on the square male ends which fit into the trans or the speedometer. Then reinsert the cable into the jacket turning it as you are feeding it in slowly. As the cable is just about all of the way in the jacket keep rotating the cable slowly, so the cable's square male end will slip into the speedometer female end. The cable must be seated completely inside of the jacket at the tranny end in the same location as before you took it out. Screw the jacket female end back in it's proper location.

If you bought your LADY with a trashed engine, you have two options.

Option A: Buy another GOOD operating engine and swap the original one out. I'd keep the original OEM short block though, if it is not seized. Down the road, if you ever decide to sell your Starquest, having the rebuildable OEM short block will increase the value of the car. The new owner will have the ability to return the car to MITSU OEM MATCHING NUMBERS (as it came from the factory).

Option B: Rebuild your Lady's engine. See DAD's FAQ post on rebuilding these engines, what options you have, approximate costs, and what to look for when choosing a machine shop. Rebuild Advice

If you need a new head and you are considering using a Marnel or Alabama NJV head be aware that there could be valve train oiling problems caused by the machining of the oil passages in these heads. The problems and the fixes are shown in this link. BTW If it has an AMC marnal head it will have AMC near the dist. Other aftermarket heads (alabama, clearwater) have a M28 between the 2 and 3 spark plugs.

Marnel Head The Alabama head has similar oiling problems. See Alabama Head



ONCE you get your lady RIGHT, cheap inexpensive ways to get the max power (increase of anywhere between 45 to 60 some HP over the stock 188 HP) out of her are:

Catalytic Converters.
Once again, gut your precat. Probably the most performance noticeable mod you can make, and still pass smog inspections. Supposedly good for about 10 - 15 HP. You should also consider replacing the main cat too. It's at least 18 years old and is also partially clogged.

Engine Air Filter.
Unless you have a clean K&N air filter, clean it in accordance with K&N’s procedure. If you have an after market one replace it with a K&N Air Filter E-2873.

There are different schools of thought on cutting a large rectangular hole in the air filter canister. Personally, I wouldn't, cuz you would be sucking MUCH hotter (less dense) engine compartment air into the combustion cycle, which negates the increased air flow. But, once again, opinions are like tailholes - everyone has one.

Ignition Coil.
If you are still running the original Mitsu OEM coil (it's at least 19 years old), replace it with a MSD Blaster 2. Coils get old (like me @ 62 years old), and don't put out like they used to on hard acceleration (?) like when they were young. They sort of loose their ability to "pulse hard, fast & with gusto." I'm still trying though. WTH, I still have the hard & fast part - WITHOUT Viagra.

Consider doing a Balance Shafts removal modification, for reliability & performance in accordance with the Starquest FAQ. If you are new to Starquests, I would recommend doing this modification WITH a KNOWLEDIGIBLE Starquester, that has previously done this mod, to advise you and give you tips and tricks on how to accomplish it. Once again, contact DAD at Engine Machine Service for the parts, and print out the FAQ on how to do it. Supposedly this is good for a 15 HP gain.

Ignition Timing.
I have also read, on this site, that you can advance the ignition timing to 15 DEG and not hurt anything. But I have no direct experience in that. Maybe someone else does. For daily driving I would leave it at 10 DEG advance.

Remove your belt for the AC compressor. I've heard a rule of thumb over many years that this is good for an approximately 15 HP gain.

Engine mounts.
You might also consider changing out the engine mounts. God only knows how bad they have been abused over the years. It would really be a bummer if you get a hole shot and hit second and your tranny shift linkage suddenly moves SIDEWAYS and you can't hit third cuz the linkage wouldn't let you.

If you get all of the above done and still have money left over and you are a glutton for additional punishment, consider changing out, with new, all of the tranny and differential mounts in accordance with the Shop Manual. But once again, I would recommend having a KNOWLEDIGIBLE Starquester help and/or advise you.

Last, but not least; make sure your tires are at the proper air pressure.

For what it's worth.


The above compilation of Newbee need to know and do data is a result of numerous Starquester's contributions: Shelby, DAD, Ernie88TSi, indy_85stariones, MainstreaM, shift1313, hickabilly, MikeC, ProfessorQuest, JustPaus, Indiana, chiplee and Starfighterpilot.

Last edited by Dz Nutz on 2010-12-10, 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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