Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Everything but the same old cars

Archive for the ‘1987 Mitsubishi Starion’ Category

Replace Oxygen Sensor

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On August - 4 - 2009

o2_sensor_leadJoining Space Invaders, the personal computer, and perhaps Sputnik in the pantheon of modern technological achievements is the oxygen sensor. Most every modern fuel injected automobile has one or more of these sentinels threaded into its exhaust pipe. Elements inside the oxygen sensor tip measure the amount of oxygen gas in the exhaust, and convert the ratio into a signal that makes sense to the engine computer. The computer uses this signal, along with input from other sensors, to feed the right amount of fuel into the air entering the engine. If all parts are working correctly the fuel, air, and spark balancing act succeeds in ideal combustion! If the oxygen sensor goes haywire, the engine computer can add too much or not enough fuel. Poor fuel economy, lousy emissions, or both can be the result of a spent or malfunctioning oxygen sensor. The good news is an oxygen, or O2 sensor is about as easy to remove and replace as a spark plug.

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Tool of the Week: Engine Code Reader

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On July - 10 - 2009

engine_codeWelcome to the one if by land, two if by sea 50-in-1 electronic playground edition of the Tool of the Week. This time around we’re peering into computerized technology. The 1987 Mitsubishi Starion is a fuel injected car, but by no means modern. The transitional period between carburated and electronically injected engines produced some interesting if not cantankerous systems. The two-injector throttle body injection on the Starion falls into the island of misfit toys category, but the car is equipped with fully transistorized Electronic Control Unit. Any ECU made after 1995 can be accessed with a readily available universal engine code reader to help sort out check engine lights. The only people that had a Mitsubishi code reader back in 1987 were Mitsubishi (and Chrysler) dealerships. These machines were a few steps ahead of ENIAC, and about as expensive. Proving that you can learn and save money on the internets is the forum post that provided the knowledge to solder together this simple engine code reader from a two-dollar 12V LED and thirty-cent alligator clips from the local Radio Shack. Just find the pin outs and count the blinks.

More: Checking ECU Engine Codes on StarQuestClub

Replace Fuel Pump

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On May - 29 - 2009

fuel_pump_leadAs most all of us have discovered when the tank ran dry, an engine requires fuel to run. As this fuel is flammable and generally explosive, it is kept in a tank away from the combustive action going on inside the engine. This setup presents the problem of how to get the fuel from the tank to the carburetor or fuel injectors that feed the engine fuel. Enter the fuel pump. The fuel pump draws fuel from the fuel tank and delivers enough to the engine to keep things moving.

When cars used carburetors, the fuel pump was usually a mechanical deal bolted up to the side of the engine. Carburetors are now about as common as console black and white console televisions with built in hi-fi phonograph and stereophonic sound. Fuel injection is the fuel delivery standard. A modern fuel pump is capable of maintaining the pressure and flow required by the electronic fuel injection system, itself powered by electricity created by the alternator. If the fuel pump quits? Game over.

Step-by-Step Gallery with E-Z Captions

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Jack and Stands

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On May - 21 - 2009


Working on any car sometimes involves getting safely underneath to spin wrenches, or swing hammers. A floor jack and jack stands are the right tools for the job when it comes time to working on an automobile with more than one of its wheels removed. Choosing the right floor jack and jack stand set depends on the weight of your automobile. There’s no need to get a 12-ton set if you drive a 1982 Toyota Starlet. Conversely, an economy stamped steel 1-ton set won’t hold up a full-size pickup or SUV. Ground clearance, or lack of it, is another factor. Low-profile floor jacks will squeeze under most stock body cladding. A set of ramps are the answer for getting the floor jack under super low rides.

Step-by-Step Gallery with Bonus Captions

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Check Your Oil

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On March - 25 - 2009

oil_leadEarly horseless carriages had no oil containment system whatsoever. These contraptions deposited used oil directly onto the ground as drivers twirled handlebar mustaches. Modern automobiles boast completely self-contained oiling systems, but still require that the driver check the level every now and again to prevent the engine from tearing itself up.

Of all the fluids contained in an automobile, oil is absolutely crucial to the survival of your engine. A thin layer of oil molecules rides between moving internal engine parts. These molecules prevent heat-producing friction from destroying your engine in short order. Keeping an eye on your engine oil level is as important as it is simple. Read on to see how.

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Posted by Mike Bumbeck On March - 10 - 2009

Mitsubishi StarionWhile not quite the usual sub 500-dollar car, the Starion will be an omnipresent¬† and endlessly ongoing project here at Clunkbucket. Purchased back in 2004 as a replacement for an Evo8 that was garnering way too much attention from the authorities, the Mitsubishi Starion (aka Chrysler Conquest) has been a source of both enjoyment and frustration over the last few years. Keeping 25 year old machines running is fun enough. Making them go faster or handle better makes for even more entertainment. We’ll share what we’ve learned along the way.

Tool of the Week: Fiat SST

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Sep-3-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Replace Window Regulator

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Aug-28-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Five Tips for DIY Automobile Repair

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Jul-21-2010 I 8 COMMENTS