Mirage Heart Transplant

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Loren Williams
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:23 pm

I guess it's time to start a thread for this.

A missed shift put the Mirage into first gear at 54 mph. I estimate that could have spun the engine as far as 10,800 rpm. After that, the engine stalled, and will not restart. The engine spins freely, as if there is zero compression. No unusual noises that would indicate badly bent valves. Removing the oil cap and looking inside, the timing chain and camshaft are still turning, so the timing chain is not broken. Possible failures include a jumped timing chain, slightly bent valves, or maybe a damaged VVT actuator.

Repair options:

1. Disassemble, inspect, and replace broken parts. Oddly enough, I can't even find a reference as to whether or not this is an interference engine. But, I suspect that it is. So, best case... maybe a broken chain tensioner and a bunch of disassembly and reassembly... and hope that there's nothing else wrong. It's actually a pretty complex engine. Just disassembling and reassembling all of the timing gear with the VVT and all that is a pretty detailed process. Perhaps worth doing if a replacement engine was an expensive option. But, this is an unknown in many ways, including parts cost. It's also likely to take a bunch more time, and have a lot more potential for error and associated problems. Ain't nobody got time for that.

2. Replace the engine with a 2014-16 engine. This would be a direct replacement, and engines are available for $250-1800. I expect somewhere around $500-600 will get a good low-mileage replacement. And it's a pretty basic car, should be pretty straightforward to just R&R the engine.

3. Replace the engine with a 2017+ engine. Also a direct replacement, but improved. It's the same basic engine, but with roller cams and several other friction-reducing changes, which give it an extra 4 hp. That doesn't sound like much, but it's 5%. If we were talking about a 400 hp Mustang, 5% would be 20 hp. I'm not sure if a 2017+ ecu (or reflash) would be required to unlock that 4 hp... but, I kinda doubt it. I don't think they actually changed the cam profiles, they just put rollers on the cam lobes. (and trick low-friction piston rings, bearings, and a fancy new low-friction timing chain) These engines are available within about the same price range, $300-1600.

I think the obvious choice is to simply swap in a newer 2017 engine. And, to make further lemonade, while I have the engine out, I'll get the flywheel lightened. This is all stuff that I wanted to do, anyway. I probably never would have done the engine upgrade out of sheer laziness, but now that my hand has been forced...
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Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:32 pm

Oh, btw, I did look at my warranty. The 10yr/100k powertrain warranty is non-transferrable. So, I don't have that. But, the car actually IS still under the 5yr/60k factory warranty at only 40k miles. But, it clearly states that things like "racing" and "abuse" are not covered. I could take it to a Mitsubishi dealer and try to get it covered, but they'd be justified to deny it. And, honestly, I wouldn't feel right even trying. Mitsubishi made a perfectly reliable engine. This failure is not their fault.

So, unless someone is prepared to try to talk me into repairing the engine that's in the car... I'm going to start trying to find an engine either locally, or get one headed this way from elsewhere.

Meanwhile... the sooner the engine is out of the car, the sooner I can start working on a flywheel solution. I'll probably start pulling accessories off this week. Maybe get the front bumper out of the way. And then maybe try to round up some help to pull the engine out this coming weekend?
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby dbeng » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:41 pm

Definitely in for this weekend, along with the trusty engine lift.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:08 pm

My weekend is open. Any preference for Saturday or Sunday?

If it's a factor... Cathy's going to be baking stuff on Sunday for a bake sale. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby aw614 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:47 pm

About the flywheel, I am curious to know if it uses a dual mass or a single mass flywheel Most of the stuff I've read says you shouldn't shave a dual mass down, but with the power it makes, I would think it has a single mass.

I also think getting another long block would probably be the best option. I like the 2017 option, hopefully there aren't any weird gotcha's with the canbus and any of the electronics playing nice with it. But I would assume since it was built to a price point, it should be far more simpler than most other new cars.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:06 am

A dual-mass flywheel is also a lot more expensive, and this is one of the cheapest cars you can buy. Flywheel should be just basic flywheel like this one.

All of the electronics are the same for 2017. They just changed the cams and a few other parts to reduce friction. They did change the exhaust manifold for better positioning of the cat and the O2 sensor. But, I'm using a header, anyway.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby twistedwankel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:24 am

If it didn't take too long it would be worth the time of returning the car to stock form to make them fix it. We love a great story. Who makes a tranny that will shift into first gear at that rpm? Nobody. Should have been a lock out making it their fault. Just sayin'. How much does a Hyundai lemon cost? You're probably done with the Mirage by now? You were impressed by it on your vacation.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:48 am

Playing games with dealer service departments and car manufacturers is not my idea of a good time. I'm not that guy. I'd rather do the work myself, know it's done right, and be done with it... with no delays and no fuss.

I still like the Mirage. And this experience will get me more familiar with the nuts and bolts under the hood. That will give me a better idea of whether I want to take it to the next level in the future or not.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby dbeng » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:24 am

I can do either day. But given the option, Saturday would be better for me because it fits better with my wife’s schedule for the weekend.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:39 am

9am? Earlier? Later?
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The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby dbeng » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:00 am

I’m ready to dedicate the day to it. How about 8:30?
We can discuss tonight if there are any tools I can bring in addition to the engine lift. I have plenty of tools and a truck to bring them.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby ImpostorDan » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:06 am

Not sure I'll be that helpful, but I have time to spare!
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Postby Native » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:29 pm

Gotta teach Saturday.
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I'll get to it. Eventually...
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Magooiii » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:57 pm

I’m all over the state and go out towards Alabama every other week. If you need it picked up from somewhere holler. I can make it happen.

Can also grab a whole car if need be. Or have capability of accepting tractor trailer freight delivery at my shop.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:20 pm

Great info, Ken, I'll keep that in mind! :lust:

Today was spent more dealing with the truck. (okay, and being lazy, and dealing with some FAST registration stuff, and working on a course for 11/17 late last night...) Decided that since it was a little slow cranking a couple times recently, including yesterday, that I should put a battery in it before it leaves me stranded somewhere.

So, no engine hunting just yet.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby ImpostorDan » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:08 pm

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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby CaptainSquirts » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:27 pm

LOL, I work at a company that provides IAAI the software for running their auctions online.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:05 pm

I did think about buying a whole car for about 3 minutes. Then I remembered doing that with the Festiva, and how much it sucked having a parts car sitting around for 2 months.

Right now, I've got a line on a 20k mile 2017 engine in Riverview. It's listed for $645, and I asked if they could discount that if I buy some additional parts. They even offered to deliver.

So, if they can get me the engine, the larger brakes, and the driver's seat (if it's the height-adjustable one)... for, say... under $1k. I'll have my replacement engine in the garage probably this week! The only thing keeping us from dropping it in Saturday would be that I won't have the flywheel ready.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby CaptainSquirts » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:55 pm

Jesus that was quick. Looks like you'll beat me in getting the car up and running. 650 for the long(can we call a 3 cly a long block? :snicker: ) block?
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Mirage Heart Transplant

Postby Loren » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:49 am

Still waiting on the salvage guy to email me a quote for the parts that I want. Maybe I'm just impatient, but if you want to sell parts... and OTHER PEOPLE are selling the same parts, I'd think you'd be quicker about this kind of thing.

The plan for disassembly is coming together. I inquired of the audience of experts on the Mirage forum. After a bunch of "oh, it's easier to drop the whole driveline out the bottom" talk... we finally determined that you need to have the WHOLE CAR (not just the front) at least 3 feet up to accomplish that feat.

And there's not enough room to separate the engine from the trans within the frame rails. That leaves two good options. Either pull the trans out the bottom, and the engine from the top. Or, just pull the whole works out the top.

Ultimately, we came back to the standard approach. Pull the axles. Lift the engine and trans out from the top.

The bumper and radiator support come out easily, giving lots of clearance.

So, that's the plan. As long as the axles aren't too stuck... should be pretty easy.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.

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