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Just bought a Starion from an Auction - New Owner


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#1 StarFunk

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

I am more of an old school BMW guy and have built my 1988 E30 from the ground up - chassis reinforcements (front and rear subframes), 3.2L M3 engine swap, coilovers, BBK, 5 lug conversion, all the goodies, etc. I am quite familiar with that car, but have not worked on anything else other than 80s-90s BMWs. I have a Starion now because I always liked them, their styling, and the fact that they are underdogs. Now that being said, I do not know much about these cars other than their specs. I know they break a lot and they are tough to work on. I am just here to introduce myself, get welcomed into the community, and get some beginning tips/advice since I will be picking this car up next week unseen. I am all ears if you want to let me know what to look out for and where to start. I am just hoping this car can make the LA to Bay Area 6 hour drive.

Now com the pictures.

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Edited by StarFunk, 01 May 2019 - 11:53 AM.






#2 Preludedude

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 11:59 AM

Welcome to SQC...Good to see another recruit...

What did you have to pay for the Starion?   How long has it been sitting?  

And yes, 6hrs is a long drive for a sight-unseen Starion.. :) Best of luck though..

#3 speedyquest

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 12:31 PM

Welcome to the community. I'd push back a bit on the idea that these cars break a lot and are hard to work on. They are very reliable if you maintain them and they are far from hard to fix and work on in my opinion. I'd suggest you download or buy a copy of the service manual and read it. Because 90% of your questions will be answered in it. Of course there is always the forum here where basically any question you could want to ask has definitely been asked before.

1987 Flatty Starion -- Widebody Conversion -- V-Mount Setup --  JDL Tubular Manifold  --  MX-6 Intake -- MS3-Pro -- AEM FPR  --  ARP head studs -- 3" hood exit exhaust -- Hahn Racecraft 16g --  Tial F38 Wastegate -- Tial Q Bov -- Short route piping -- 5 lug & LSD conversion -- Tubular Front End -- Manual Steering Rack Conversion -- Manual Brake Conversion -- Stack Digital Dash -- AEM UEGO -- D2 coilovers -- full GNT poly bushings & mounts -- four 8" rears -- car lightened significantly...  More to come!


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#4 croquest87

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 01:31 PM

Welcome .Here you will find lots of info and nice people to help you out.

#5 aknorthstar

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 01:57 PM

It has a front spoiler! That is one of the hardest things to find. Car looks good from what i see.

#6 freebird

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 01:59 PM

nice starion is hard to find these days....lots of conquest's out there.

these cars are easy to work on.
Just hard on troubleshooting some things.
I always start with the fuel system.
always something needed cleaned there and replaced.

looks like taking the exhaust off and upgrading will be the next i would do. Seems to be all original.
but if your in cali you may have to keep it original.

look for the rust on frame rail passenger side.

do compression test. especially #3 cylinder.

look into the turbo and see if its aftermarket or not. Also i think it is dumb that mitsubishi bolted the oil feed line to the manifold. why just to boil the oil before going in?
then adjust the wastegate and put a blow off valve on.

look into the cooling system. fans working and if the waterpump is leaking or not.

differential has two top rubber mounts that usually go bad.

Lastly I have an 83 hood that matches that color....come here and buy it..lol..
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#7 StarFunk

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:14 PM

View PostPreludedude, on 01 May 2019 - 11:59 AM, said:

Welcome to SQC...Good to see another recruit...

What did you have to pay for the Starion?   How long has it been sitting?  

And yes, 6hrs is a long drive for a sight-unseen Starion.. :) Best of luck though..

Lets hope it goes well. I paid 4,300 after fees, taxes, and transport. It says 111,xxx miles, but odometer exempt. Maybe the gears on the odo went bad which has happened on my BMW twice.

View Postaknorthstar, on 01 May 2019 - 01:57 PM, said:

It has a front spoiler! That is one of the hardest things to find. Car looks good from what i see.

Thanks for letting me know. I had no idea. I am a car guy and love these old school cars, just that this model I know nothing about. Ask me about an 80s BMW, I might know, but this one is going to be a journey of learning.

View Postfreebird, on 01 May 2019 - 01:59 PM, said:

nice starion is hard to find these days....lots of conquest's out there.

these cars are easy to work on.
Just hard on troubleshooting some things.
I always start with the fuel system.
always something needed cleaned there and replaced.

looks like taking the exhaust off and upgrading will be the next i would do. Seems to be all original.
but if your in cali you may have to keep it original.

look for the rust on frame rail passenger side.

do compression test. especially #3 cylinder.

look into the turbo and see if its aftermarket or not. Also i think it is dumb that mitsubishi bolted the oil feed line to the manifold. why just to boil the oil before going in?
then adjust the wastegate and put a blow off valve on.

look into the cooling system. fans working and if the waterpump is leaking or not.

differential has two top rubber mounts that usually go bad.

Lastly I have an 83 hood that matches that color....come here and buy it..lol..

Oh Trust me! First thing I will do when I get this home is lift it up and shake things around to see what is loose and needs attention. I will check rust and the exhaust like you said. Compression after that and replace fuel filter and spark plugs if they look bad. Any knowledge on where to download the manual? And if compression looks good, how should I go about the cooling system (timing belt, water pump, thermostat? or just H20 pump and t-stat?)?

#8 croquest87

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:20 PM

Fuel system should be inspected and cleaned out w new filters from tank to the injectors.

#9 joshtrup

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 04:47 PM

Nice looking car, I am located in Monterey Bay I go to CSU here, Theres a page on facebook I run called the Norcal chrysler conquest & Mitsubishi starion owners. Get on there and we can help you out as well. as he said go through the fuel system. At least a new fuel filter, its located below the brake master cylinder, forward a little.
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#10 helluvaengr

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 05:30 PM

Start here:

Beginner's check-list, manuals, sage advice

http://www.starquest...showtopic=66449

#11 importwarrior

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 04:51 AM

Welcome !!!!

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Proud New 89 slightly Rusted Fiji Owner !!!




#12 StarFunk

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 10:39 AM

View Postjoshtrup, on 01 May 2019 - 04:47 PM, said:

Nice looking car, I am located in Monterey Bay I go to CSU here, Theres a page on facebook I run called the Norcal chrysler conquest & Mitsubishi starion owners. Get on there and we can help you out as well. as he said go through the fuel system. At least a new fuel filter, its located below the brake master cylinder, forward a little.

HEY! Great to know. I already registered to that group yesterday and still awaiting approval to join. Monterey is not very far, 1 hour max, and I plan to be there on May 11th for an AutoX event at the Marina airport, I plan to run my e30. In the mean time, I will await my acceptance to that facebook group and give an update on the car once I pick it up.

#13 StarFunk

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:54 AM

View Posthelluvaengr, on 01 May 2019 - 05:30 PM, said:

Start here:

Beginner's check-list, manuals, sage advice

http://www.starquest...showtopic=66449

Wow! lots of literature and good info there. I will refer to it regularly I am sure.

Also, is there a list of interchangeable parts on the Starion/Quests? For example, e30's can have control arms from the e36 and even e46 BMWs and e30 steering racks can take in the BMW Z3 steering racks for quicker ratios, the diffs of an e30 can come off the 80s 5 series and 7 series cars, etc. My point is that a lot of stuff is interchangeable between cars. What about the Starion? Are there parts that other Mitsu models have that can go into the Starion (i.e. Control arm from a 3000GT can go into a Starion, or Calipers from a Lancer Evo can go onto a Starion, etc)? If there is no comprehensive list like this, maybe I should make a thread about this that we can refer to.

#14 kev

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 02:24 PM

Not too much is interchangeable.  If you get down to a commodity level like a fastener, then there is but not the primary components.   Even with engines, the 2.6L N/A engines were in tons of 80s chrysler vehicles but there aren't too many parts that can be used on the conquest including the block itself.  

Now there are part differences throughout the years of a starquest.  The 88/89 traditionally has the most desirable parts such as the stronger differential/axles, ecu, etc. but in some cases parts from the earlier models are extremely desirable (ex. 83 hood).  

Some commonly sought after interchangeable parts:
  • 83 hood
  • 86 and earlier manual seatbelts (including center console, A/B pillar interior panels, headliner, etc)
  • 88/89 ecu
  • 88/89 differential/axles
  • 88/89 knock box
  • 89 auto power window down switch
  • 1g dsm bov <-- requires 'crushing'
  • 1g dsm steering wheel
  • 1g dsm mas <-- although not as hot of a commodity as it use to be and requires modification
  • 88/89 intercooler
  • 83-84 adjustable rocker arms/shafts
  • 83-84 clutch fan/shroud
  • 86 turbo door handles
  • dsm radio with cd player
  • 83 tail lights
  • 84-89 starion tail lights
  • 88/89 heater control
  • 88/89 manual transmission
I'm sure I'm missing a bunch...

#15 psu_Crash

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:33 AM

Welcome Aboard!!
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#16 StarFunk

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 01:40 PM

View Postkev, on 02 May 2019 - 02:24 PM, said:

Not too much is interchangeable.  If you get down to a commodity level like a fastener, then there is but not the primary components.   Even with engines, the 2.6L N/A engines were in tons of 80s chrysler vehicles but there aren't too many parts that can be used on the conquest including the block itself.  

Now there are part differences throughout the years of a starquest.  The 88/89 traditionally has the most desirable parts such as the stronger differential/axles, ecu, etc. but in some cases parts from the earlier models are extremely desirable (ex. 83 hood).  

Some commonly sought after interchangeable parts:
  • 83 hood
  • 86 and earlier manual seatbelts (including center console, A/B pillar interior panels, headliner, etc)
  • 88/89 ecu
  • 88/89 differential/axles
  • 88/89 knock box
  • 89 auto power window down switch
  • 1g dsm bov <-- requires 'crushing'
  • 1g dsm steering wheel
  • 1g dsm mas <-- although not as hot of a commodity as it use to be and requires modification
  • 88/89 intercooler
  • 83-84 adjustable rocker arms/shafts
  • 83-84 clutch fan/shroud
  • 86 turbo door handles
  • dsm radio with cd player
  • 83 tail lights
  • 84-89 starion tail lights
  • 88/89 heater control
  • 88/89 manual transmission
I'm sure I'm missing a bunch...

Hmm... Seems more like aesthetic type parts. But good to know regardless. Thanks for the info.

View Postpsu_Crash, on 03 May 2019 - 10:33 AM, said:

Welcome Aboard!!

Thanks. Your car is looking good by the way. Expect some questions from me as to where to get parts and upgrades, especially since if I am enjoying the car, I will also be autoXing it.

#17 Ressurect1on

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 05:51 PM

Good luck with your new project.

I myself am attempting to ressurect one i bought for 500 almost 10-15 years ago. wire harness fire brought mine down, and i'm just now in a position to start getting the car back up.

i think i would do some minor engine based work first like the balance shaft elimination. and then look into going standalone ECU and MPI converted. if i picked up an auction Starquest nowadays, the electronics from mitsubishi in the 80's where known to be problematic.

#18 StarFunk

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:04 PM

Well, an update. Picked up the car finally from LA and needed to drive it up 350 miles to NorCal.

- Battery seems weak and probably needs a new one
- Power steering was low --> I added ATF fluid to it
- Found a vacuum line dangling out of nowhere --> I think it is the cruise control line
- I found another dangling vacuum looking line, it looks like it is coming out of the oil pan on the turbo (passenger) side --> I do not know what to do with this, but it looks very oily/
- 02 sensor was unplugged --> I found where it goes and connected it (one wire O2 sensor huh? Interesting; My BMW is a 3-wire)
- Car shifts fine; no grinding; but the suspension is done. Needs shocks for sure and maybe some bushings and engine mounts
- fuel pump might need to be replaced since I hear a loud whine at the rear of the car behind me when driving or at idle.

All in all, car might not be worth the money I paid. It also does not seem to have power. It really struggles to get to 60mph and cant even go past 4500 RPM. It is as if there is no turbo, but the gauge goes up and down when on/off the throttle as if functioning correctly.

I think there are either vacuum leaks, MAF is bad, injectors bad, fuel delivery clogged, or a combination of 2 or more of these. Ughh! should have thought ahead. I really do not know where to start with this thing. Especially since I do not know anything about these cars.

I think I have to start a new thread purely on just the issues I am having.

#19 TexasQuest

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:23 PM

Just take it one issue at a time and you'll get there man. That dangling line from the oil pan is the oil catch can return hose. It connects to the bottom of the oil catch can that should be mounted next to the air filter housing.
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View PostJohnnyWadd, on 04 March 2010 - 10:01 PM, said:

my shaft was big i dont know what your talking about.

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#20 Ressurect1on

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:35 PM

the boost gauge on factory dash isn't a good indicator of a functionign turbo exactly, it's what the ECU "thinks" boost is based off the MAF readings.  i would get the hoses all plugged in/lines replaced for starters, then do a smoke test for leaks.




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