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August 2006: Downsized!

I haven't had an update to share for some time, the reason being that I haven't had much to say. The Talon is running like a top, although with 214,000 miles on the clock, the stock engine is starting to burn a little oil at startup and after it idles for awhile. Hard to be angry though, I don't believe valve seals probably weren't meant to last this long!


Regarding the title of this post, the Talon was recently downsized. Since the Talon is the younger brother of the 1989 Turbo Mirage, the Mirage had permanent dibs on the 20g and decided to take it back. You can read all about that on my other site, TurboMirage.com Long story short, that turbo "just belongs" on the Mirage. I've deemed it the perfect setup for that car.

Now what to do for a turbo on the Talon? I found a local guy that had a used turbo for sale at a great price. Turns out it was a small 16g in good condition. A few days later I had the 20g ripped off the Talon and the 16g in. I'm happy to report that it was a good move. The car is much more responsive at lower RPMs and still pulls nice and strong on the top end. I do miss the "rear-ended by a truck" acceleration that only a 20g can provide though. It doesn't spin all 4 tires from a roll anymore either. Rats.


The weather has warmed up in these parts, which means it's time to start doing some little odds and ends to the car that had been bugging me over the winter months. When I picked up the Talon it had a nasty little crack that had grown in the last few months. I called up the local auto glass company and in no time they had a new one in and wow, what a difference. I guess that old windshield had lots of tiny scratches and stuff after all those years.


Ahh, the HKS VPC. This mysterious little box can be friend or foe. For the most part, I've had great luck and success with this piggy back computer. Since they're known to have some strange effects on idle and (in my experience) aren't terribly good in on/off throttle transitions, I decided to try something different. Out came the VPC and in went a 2g MAF and a K&N filter and adapter that I once had on my old Evo. This was also a good move as the car now idles and drives like a stock car. I don't notice any performance penalty, so this worked out great!



Since 680cc injectors were now officially overkill, I found a nice set of 550s and threw those in. My hope for all of this was better drivability and fuel economy and I got both of those. With about 60/40 highway/city driving, I am getting between 28-29mpg!


Old cars are awesome for crap like this. One day I was driving home from work and the loudest, most obnoxious squealing noise started blaring from the instrument cluster. As I drove faster, it got louder. I didn't have time to fix this for a couple days, so as soon as I had the chance, I ripped everything apart and found that the speedometer cable had seen better days. I've since replaced it, and now the squeal is gone. That was brutal.


A few months back, I installed a 3" turbo back exhaust. Although I kinda liked the look of the muffler on the car, it was just too loud for daily driver duty. After having a Magnaflow muffler on my Evo, and now one on my Mirage, I've been impressed at how well they quiet things down, without hurting power. My plan was to create a rear section with the Magnaflow that I could bolt on, but remove and go back to my other muffler when I want something a little louder and flashier.


Here's a shot of the two mufflers, side by side.


My first step was to get a 3" flange from Road Race Engineering that matched the one on the existing exhaust. I also ordered a magnaflow from summit racing, and used some 3" exhaust pipe that I had lying around. After the welds cooled, this was my finished product, with a nice coat of low gloss black paint.


Another shot of the finished product.


Here's a shot of it on the car. It is much quieter than the old setup, but still has a great sound at wide open throttle. At cruise, I can actually hear myself think, which can be a little scary at times. The neighbors are gonna love this setup too, especially at 6:00am each morning.


Another shot on the car.


Ok, so far I've downsized the turbo, injectors, fuel management, air intake, and muffler. What's left?

Now that we're smack in the middle of the dog days of summer, the heat is officially on. Since I installed my front mount intercooler months ago, I hadn't bothered to try the air conditioning. One hot afternoon, I was driving home in a suit and cranked on the A/C. It got chilly for a minute and then quickly stopped working. I noticed that the temp gauge was creeping toward the big "H". Damn, I was roasting. I tried a couple things, but nothing helped, the car wanted to heat up no matter the circumstance, which in turn forced the ECU to disable the A/C compressor.

I drive this car 60-70 miles a day and after a week of the heat, I decided to take action…the front mount intercooler had to come off. I was sure that I didn't want the stock DSM side mount intercooler back in the mix, so I instead went with a stock 93-up Supra side mount intercooler. After a post on a local forum, I found one, and pretty fast!

And whoa, this thing is big. It took a bunch of trimming and brow furrowing to get this thing to fit, but once it's in there, it's in there.


Need a couple cheap bends? Check out Napa reinforced truck hose! They have straight sticks and a variety of bends. They are 2.5" and very affordable. It ain't purdy like a yellow silicone connector, but it is strong and will stand up to the heat and lots of boost. Did I mention that it costs a fraction of what they're asking for silicone bends these days?

I've personally ran 25-30psi on these for years with no issues. I cut this one in two and used the bends seperately. This cost me $16. Two silicone bends will run you at least $50-$60.


To help the A/C work to its fullest potential, I fabbed up some simple sheet metal ducts and of course, laid some low gloss black spray paint on there. To help airflow in and out of the new intercooler, I made a sheetmetal duct in the front, and opened up the splash guard in the fenderwell.

I am now happy to report that the air conditioning works like a charm once again! The coolant temp stays right where it should be too. Mission accomplished.


Thanks for reading and look for another update later this month!