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The Red and the Rage

The Red and the Rage

The quest for a 2G is nothing that I’ve really verbalized.  I’ve wanted one for a long time, since before I knew what they were, since before I acquired my 1G.  Moddy has always been an exciting part of my past time in upgrades and the source of tears during break downs but she has always lived in the shadow of the second generation DSM’s.  I had passively been searching, knowing that I would eventually come across the perfect one but never really investing much into the efforts.

In summer of 2014, a good friend of mine started a conversion about how he wanted to sell his 2G.  Ben and I have been friends since maybe 2008 or earlier, he was more of an enthusiast than I am in some areas and not in others.  He made it sound like he was ready to let go of it at a price that was attractive. It starts to sound pretty good, the car runs, needs some work, let’s do this.  I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to get the cash fast enough but a try at a personal loan with success caught me by surprise.  However, Ben had disappeared, no longer responding to my texts and messages.  Frustrated wasn’t even close to what was being felt that week.

Months went by, with plenty of Moddy problems.  Belts, alternators, transmissions, etc….. Problem after problem in the same areas.  All in all, Moddy is collecting more and more problems because I cannot keep her off the road long enough to give her the attention she needs.  The good thing about it is that parts costs are pretty low at this point but it’s still enough to make her completely unreliable.


January 21, 2015

While at work, I get a text message during a meeting from a number I didn’t recognize so I dismissed it as not important.  After putting my phone on vibrate and continuing, I got another from the same number.  After actually reading the message, which read “hey trouble”, I felt a lot of things.  It was Ben, and it had been over 6 months since I had heard from him.  I was so frustrated with him from before that I had deleted his number … but not upset enough to block him completely.

After a short conversation, it appears that he is again ready to let go of his 2G. For months, his 2G has been just sitting there, collecting dust.  It looks like he has finally come to terms with letting it go to some one that wants it and will take care of it.  This is perfect because it doesn’t need a lot of attention as is and allows for me to pull Moddy off the road for a few weeks while I take things out and redo the half-ass work that was done previously as a break-fix.

As Is:

  • DSM Link Computer- Tuned – V3
  • 20g turbo
  • Bigger injectors- 680 CC
  • Fuel pump upgrade
  • 2.3 bored and stroked. 40k to 50k Miles
  • Block was o-ringed to handle boost. – Pressure Treated
  • GM Mass air flow conversion – Translated by DSMLink
  • Welded front differential
  • Sheppard Stage 3 built transmission
  • ACT 2600 Pressure Plate & Clutch
  • Aluminum Radiator
  • Stainless Steel 3″ Exhaust – No Cat

The list grows as we’ve been back and forth, conversations about what it has and what is needed.  The more we talk; it does seem that the list of items for repair seems to grow.  Some of it is expected, as these cars are attention whores.  To add to that, there are a lot of performance mods but the photos of the car do them justice, under the hood really just doesn’t look as nice as his list does.  Now, I’m not saying that just because you spend the money on performance parts that you must have a clean engine bay, but quality parts that are installed correctly display a quality set up.  I expected a lot more engine bay porn when I received the photos, but instead I got some pretty dirty stuff that made my heart break that something so expensive and time consuming looked so poor.  Here is a list of known issues so far.

Known Issues:

  • Valve Cover – Slight Oil Leak
  • Water Pump Gasket – Needs Replaced
  • Heater Core – Needs replaced
  • Clutch – Not sure if the lines need to be bled or if the disc needs replaced
  • Driver Door – Does not open from outside

x_20150122_175218 x_20150122_175356

It’s a small list of little things.  Ben was able to move it into the driveway with its own power.   He said he was driving it daily when he parked it and now the clutch has issues. I have a hard time that a name like ACT would just fail due to sitting for some months.  Ben believes that it’s pushing at least 300HP, but a friend of mine, who is a trusty source, states that clutch should be rated for up to 500HP.  I’m really hoping that the damn thing just needs to be bled and the lines tightened up.  I’ve also read that the 2600 series is a stiff clutch, maybe his leg just isn’t up to the challenge.  The driver door problem he said he would fix before it was brought to me.  I intend on replacing the 2 gaskets and heater core before we make this thing legal to drive.

With the list of problems being shorter and less expensive, I’ve decided to move some of the Moddy projects to the 2G. The 2G will actually really demonstrate the advantages of the mods much more than Moddy would have, even though my goal wasn’t really performance for Moddy.  She was to get the mods only to prep her for her boosted future.  It makes more sense to apply these directly to the 2G after Moddy’s issues are addressed – I completely plan to still do them to her as well.  As a matter of fact, I’ve already been toying with the idea of building up a 2.4L engine to put into the 2G, and moving the 4G63 into Moddy.


February 7, 2015

Today was delivery day, allegedly.  We had agreed for Saturday, since he had to fly out on Monday.  My primary concern was, would really show up? Secondary to that, where to find a notary that would work with us on a Saturday.  What do you know; I have a friend that happens to be a notary with a clean schedule that day, up until 4pm.  It is all starting to come together and align like stars in the sky.  So Ben states that he’ll be here around noon.  Super, because I slept until 11am – sinuses are wreaking havoc on my sleep.  I send a few text messages… with no response.  Just as I’m starting to acknowledge that today was going to turn out to be a bust, again, I get a response.  Great! He’ll be here in an hour.  Sure enough, he arrives with the GSX on a trailer, and we’ve all arrived.

We got it unloaded, he was very careful about backing it off the trailer, more so than I would have been. We had it unloaded though, and there she was – running, purring, and in my driveway.  Paperwork was in order, everything was good.  It had finally happened!  We did the cash exchange, got the title handled, and he started to make sure that he didn’t leave any personal items in the car.  This was an adventure in itself.   He never cleaned it out, so there was plenty. Some things he knew about, some he forgot about, and some even he was surprised to see. He pointed out the issues that he had mentioned before and tried to talk about the mods he had as well.  It didn’t take long to realize that he actually knew very little about things under the hood.  He had mentioned all of these things, but didn’t appear to do any of them himself nor could he talk about the specifics in detail.  While he did share a photo prior to the sale, under the hood was actually worse than I thought.  It didn’t stop me, though, as all of the things I wanted to frown at were relatively easy to handle.  Like the fan that was hardwired to cut on when the key was inserted,  or the un-insulated wiring that looked like it was going to short on the exhaust manifold at any moment, the PVC hoses that were literally just laying around, things like that would need cleaned up but didn’t indicate that this shouldn’t happen.   He even mentioned that it was tuned and got 25 MPG on 87 octane, it was hard not to cringe at the statement.  I smiled, I nodded, and I pretended that everything was kosher, while my insides clawed and screamed at the abuse and neglect.   She was mine, and now I could take care of her.  She would no longer be a bought and kept lady, but instead, a built and toned beast, ready to ravage the streets.

After really looking this over, it has a few more issues than what was discussed.  I hold no bad feelings, as I actually feel like he may not have seen them as issues and, as mentioned before, they are easy to address.   We took the interior mostly apart to clean it and look around.   Our findings are probably pretty clear to the normal DSM enthusiast, maybe to some other motor heads as well.  Let’s take a look at that new list.

Known Issues:

  • Valve Cover – Slight Oil Leak
  • Water Pump Gasket – Needs Replaced 2/24/2015
  • Heater Core – Needs replaced 2/24/2015
  • Clutch – Not sure if the lines need to be bled or if the disc needs replaced 2/8/2015
  • Driver Door – Does not open from outside 2/10/2015
  • PVC System – Needs catch can installed
  • ECU – Needs tuned 2/10/2015
  • ECU – Configured to run very rich with double the factory timing values 2/9/2015
  • Front O2 Sensor – Showing no value, either unplugged, missing, faulty 2/9/2015
  • Rear O2 Sensor – Left in center console, hot to touch – delete or install 2/9/2015
  • Wiring – Loose/Poorly terminated wiring needs reworked
  • Radiator Fan – OE Fan didn’t fit correctly, replacement hardwired to `on` when key is present 2/24/2015
  • Battery – Doesn’t hold charge 2/8/2015
  • Brakes – E-Brake doesn’t hold car on slopes
  • Hatch – Does not unlock correctly 2/9/2015
  • Passenger Head Light – Collecting moisture 2/24/2015
  • Hatch/Donut Area – Has standing water/fluid 2/24/2015
  • Oil Cap – Seal has failed, needs replaced 2/9/2015
  • Clutch Fluid Reservoir – Missing bracket
  • Horn – Doesn’t appear to work 2/10/2015
  • AC/Heater – Missing/broken knob 2/24/2015
  • Timing Belt – Missing lower cover


February 8, 2015

Today, we’ve taken the seats and console out to detail the car.  The whole thing got a vacuum; the bad parts of the carpet got some shampoo.  The molded console parts got cleaned, and everything got wiped down really nice.   Everything put back together, but the battery was too dead to get a start on the motor.  Sometime under the hood let us discover a catch can hanging out under the nasty intake filter, so that is good, but would better if hooked up.  Interesting fact, the front O2 sensor had the same issue!Unplugged but present, so I plugged it in. The clutch was the easiest to address; it had no problems at all, just a weak leg on it.    Tomorrow will tell us more about that. Let the fun begin!



About Ashley Young

I'm a North Carolina transplanted girl reaching my 30's. A few years ago, I procured my first DSM that would eventually mature many of my skills. This website is dedicated to the stories, adventures, and lessons that the car has brought to me over the years.
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