The AutoIndustriya.com Lancer Restoration Project Part 2

The AutoIndustriya.com Lancer Restoration Project Part 2 image

Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Vince Pornelos | posted May 19, 2014 18:36

Proudly red... but with no engine yet

(If you missed the first part, click here)


Body in White

After weeks of scraping and stripping of the previous paint, MJ Autoshop at Metrowalk then began the process of priming the body for a new paint job: Renault's Rouge De Feu by the brand formerly known as DuPont: Axalta Cromax.

Of course they still had to get rid of some scars on the sheet metal of the body; scars caused by past colissions, including one that I didn't know about on the rear quarter panel (I'm actually the second owner of this car). Mon and Jem of MJ Autoshop did a superb job in getting the bare metal of the car as smooth as possible.

With the bare metal ready, a layer of anti-corrosion solution was sprayed onto the car. That's the green coat applied to the car above; as the name states it prevents rust, and it also serves as the surface on which the putty is applied on. Given the level of detail that MJ Autoshop put into making the bare metal body as smooth as possible, only a very thin layer was needed for the bodyworkers to restore the car's original lines.

From green (and beige), Axalta/DuPont's primer turned the once black (then green) car white; taxi-white, actually. From here, MJ's body repair specialists got to work in sanding the car further and correcting any imperfections. The windshield and other exterior plastic parts were removed to facilitate a cleaner paint job.

The paintworkers then proceeded to spray another coat of primer; this time mixed with a little of the Rouge De Feu, hence the pink shade. The purpose of this, so I'm told, is to bring the primer's color closer to the actual coat of red.


Paint it red

MJ Autoshop then proceeded to get started on the actual color. The first coat of the Rouge De Feu went of without a hitch, finally giving us a peek at how the car would actually look once completed. After it settled, another coat was applied to fully clothe the 1993 Mitsubishi Lancer in it's new color.

I have to say that the shade of red we chose was quite striking, even more so when we applied some clear coat to give the Lancer a bit of a shine. It's hard to appreciate in the shade, but once in the sunlight, that hue of red from Axalta is indeed a gem to see on a car.

With that done, we then loaded the car on a trailer so that it can be taken to the engine shop all the way from Metrowalk to Cainta Green Park: K's Racing.


Pulling out the engine

After the trip, the guys at K's Racing proceeded to remove the 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4G63 out of the engine bay. Our goal for this project is simple: restore the engine to original but with a few modifications and enhancements. However the engine bay is where a majority of our headaches will come from particularly because the guys who actually installed the engine botched the job in so many little but annoying ways.

The story of this car's engine and mechanicals is actually quite strange and interesting. The original 1.6 liter SOHC 4G92 engine had been swapped out by the original owner for a 2.0 liter SOHC 6A12 V6. When I acquired the car in 2005, it had the V6 already and an automatic transmission. That engine really filled up the bay and gave the Lancer a really heavy front end, but at the time I didn't care; the intake note was incredible.

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In September 2009 this Lancer encountered nature's wrath in the form of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana). The floodwaters didn't consume the car entirely, but the waterlevel did reach the top of the dashboard, and that was that. Instead of repairing the waterlogged engine, transmission and replacing the ECU, I took the offer of Arlan Reyes of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines as he had a spare 2.0L DOHC 4G63 (from a 1992 Mitsubishi Galant GTi) fully rebuilt and waiting to be claimed at AER in Manila.

The motor had been fully blueprinted and balanced (thereby negating the balancer shaft), underwent quite a bit of headwork to open up and polish the ports, and also has oversized pistons, among others. In effect, the engine was brand new, though in the past 5 years it has only been driven a handful of times and so it's not in tip-top shape anymore. We'll change that.

The major problems that arose were with regards to shop that installed the current engine; they did a poor job with it, simple as that. The most important task we needed to do after we yanked out the motor was to realign the engine mounts as the shop that did the work mounted it a bit too low on one side.

Yes, we have a lot of work on our hands, and it began when we pulled out the motor. More on that later.


Back to the paint shop

With the engine out and the engine mount hardpoints aligned to the proper height it was time for another trip back to MJ Autoshop in Metrowalk by flatbed truck.

Once back at the paintshop, MJ then proceeded to sort out the engine bay. The plan was to have the engine bay area sprayed in glossy dark gray to contrast with the colors for the engine and other parts to be installed.

After a bit of work, the engine bay indeed looks pristine and incredibly smooth all around. Everything had been cleaned up including the steering rack, suspension and other bits and pieces already fitted.

Our concept for how the engine would look would be to have the block in high temperature black while the cylinder head and intake manifold will be silver. Stivo Concepts in Paranaque (owned by Steve Rojas) will build a special prototype-style, stainless steel full exhaust. All these, among others, will certainly make the valve cover and timing belt cover pop out: these will be finished in the same shade of red as the body with the lettering shaved to bare metal.

With the engine bay done, it's time to get started on the actual engine and everything else. There's still a long road ahead.


MJ Autoshop is located in Metrowalk along Meralco Avenue in Pasig City. For inquiries, contact 0917 630 8370 or 0922 864 7667.