Performance Kote Projects

1990 Eagle Talon AWD Turbo

Project Talon Update

To say we had some "Bad Luck" with this one is an understatement! When the car was first put together and fired up, it puked oil out of the exhaust like it was designed to do it. So, after all of the usual tests, we couldn't for the life of us figure out why it had a hatred for oil. We narrowed it down to the cylinder head.

So we sent the head back to our "reputeable" cylinder head shop to be checked. When we got it back we were told there was nothing wrong with the head and that we probably washed the rings out on start up! Well, the fact that we didn't tell them our compression and leakdown tests proved good prior to sending the head back, we basically ignored them and sent the head to another head shop.

To our surprise the 2nd head shop stated he could not find anything wrong with our cylinder head. The engine was put back together without the Cometic head gasket. We instead used a Mitsubishi Multi Layer Steel head gasket and made super certain (like we didn't the first time!) the ARP studs were torqued correctly.

With the engine back in and ready to go, we fired it up and watched a thick cloud of burnt oil come rolling out of the tailpipe. Suggestions started to arise ranging from sell it, to set it on fire, to park it on the railroad tracks and walk away. After much cursing and head scratching and oh, did I mention another round of perfectly good compression and leak down tests, we decided to go to the junkyard and pick up another cylinder head.

After grabbing a decent looking N/A cylinder head from the yard, we had head shop #2 put new exhaust guides in with the stock valves, BC valve springs and the mild comp cams. So, 3 times a charm right! Low and behold, no smoke! Not even 1 drop of oil! We know this of course because we ran it without the header to see! Happy as a 6 year old on christmas morning, we got to tuning.

Lessons learned; 1. Just because a reputable cylinder head shop has your head for 6 months doesn't mean they'll assemble it correctly. Nor will they even come close to admiting there might be a problem on there part. 2. Not all problems that seem to be extreme have an obvious answer.

We couldn't get the Talon to idle well with the DSM Link and the 1000cc RC injectors. Our buddy Jay over at Real Street Performance in Longwood suggested an AEM box and gave us a great deal on one. After some careful street tuning, we ran the Talon on a Mustang All Wheel Drive Dyno. The pulls at 15 psi resulted in 330 Hp and 298 ft. lbs. of torque at all four. With the grace of God and a few twists of the boost knob the little 4G63 (120 cid) layed down 4 back to back pulls of 430 Hp and 356 ft. lbs. of torque at 21 psi on 7-11's best 93 octane. A Big thanks goes to the good Lord above and Dick at Full Spectrum Racing in Longwood for his wisdom!

Apparently, with a 4G63 and a GT35r, 6psi equals 100 wheel horsepower! Stay tuned to see if that equation holds true when we turn it up 27 psi and add a little race gas!

Previous Post

Originally purchased off of Ebay for $1250.00. This car had 83,000 original one owner miles. It "only" needed a head gasket change because of a broken water pump. Needless to say as we began to tear it down we found more and more things that needed "attention". The # 1 piston had a collapsed top ring land which had scored the cylinder. The water pumps internals had broken, scoring the block. It needed a front and rear wheel bearing, rust, weatherstripping, paint etc, etc.

Needing little excuse to upgrade the 4G63 powerplant, we soon had Eagle Rods, CP pistons and Clevite bearings on the way. Since it had most likely been over heated the cylinder head had to go out to get checked. If you're going to have the cylinder head guessed it, you might as well put cams and valve springs in it!! It's only money, right?!

With the engine block being machined to accept the new internals, it was time to decide what direction we wanted to go with the Talon. We definitely wanted to take advantage of the 4G63's legendary power potential but we also wanted it to remain fully streetable and comfortable. This being Florida and Temps. in the 90's into October meant the A/C was definitely staying! We tried to find a realistic compromise of power and reliability on pump gas. We knew the power potential of the 4G63 would eclipse that of the drivetrain. Not wanting to spend any more precious dough, we decided that 550 to 600 crank H.P. would be about the limit of the factory drivetrain.

Hearing of stock 4G's making 450 and 500 hp we decided on the milder Comp cams and Crower valve springs and retainers. Believing the head to flow well enough from the factory for our goals we left it untouched except for a good cleaning. We wanted to make as much low end or average torque as possible, so we decided to keep the stock intake manifold untouched except for Ceramic Coating it black. The same went for the throttle body.

With our HP and Torque goals in mind we went looking for a turbocharger. After looking over numerous compressor maps and many phone calls to Jay Meagher (pronounced Marr) at Real Street Performance in Winter Springs, Fl. we decided on the Garrett Ball Bearing GT35R. Jay had intsalled a few of these on small displacement engines noting its fast response and ultimate top end power. Considering he has upgraded Ford GT40's, Vipers, 911 turbo's, Lotus turbos, the venerable 5.0L and just finished a Supra Turbo which made over 950 HP at the tires, we took his word for it!

Awaiting the arrival of the Big Brown Truck with our HP goodies we ran into a snag. For the life of us we could not find anyone who makes a turbo manifold for the GT35R and keeps ALL of the stock accessories. This was going to be a problem as we were trying to keep the total budget (including paint and interior) $10,000 or under. Paying $1000+ dollars for a custom manifold and having the car at Mr. Fabricators shop for 6 months wasn't an option. We decided to take on the challenge ourselves; hopefully some of our prior racing experience will come in handy!

We decided on thick, schedule 10 stainless steel for obvious reasons. That's where Hector and the guys at Central Florida Motorsports in Longwood, Fl. came in. Having made the first Vortec Supercharger bracket for the Ford 351, the first Vortec supercharged 2.0L Focus in Central Florida to run in the low 12's at over 112 mph, and having made numerous other custom throttle bodies and motor mounts we knew they would be a valuable source of parts and guidance in building our custom manifold. After many hours of consultation the basic layout of the manifold was drawn up. Hector then ordered up the necassary tubing and bends for our manifold. Not only did the parts show up when promised (and for a great price) we had only 2 1/2 inches of straight pipe and no bends left over! A BIG thanks to Hector and the guys at Central Florida Motorsports for all their help!!

Having assembled the engine and bolting on the ACT Clutch purchased from Jay at Real Street, the transmission was mated to the engine. The whole assembly was carefully lowered into the chassis and secured.

It took about 5 ten hour days to complete the manifold (Big thanks to Jay at Real Street for donating a set of Flex a Lite electric fans which made it sooo much easier to squeeze in the turbo!). Then we needed to tackle the downpipe, intercooler piping and turbo plumbing. We purchased the Aluminum and Stainless Steel piping and bends from Jay at Real Street Performance and in about a week had our basic intercooler piping and exhaust layed out. We found a Spearco Intercooler on Ebay for dirt cheap, so we hit the Buy it Now button.

Wanting this project to be up and running quickly we decided on DSM Link to manage our 1000cc RC injectors. Not having to spend days of tuning sounded great to us and the DSM Link allows you to modify the factory settings so you don't have to start from scratch. If the 1000cc injectors end up being too much for the DSM Link to handle on the street we'll go back to the tried and tested Gen 7 ACCEL DFI stand alone.

As for now the engine and trans are in, the intercooler piping, manifold and exhaust are done. We are having some issues with the turbo oil drain clearing the front roll stop. So, stay tuned for further updates.

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