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  1. #1

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    new member new owner

    Hey all, new to the forum, been searching stuff for my new mighty max project. Figured I'd go ahead and join and post pics of the build and get some help along the way alot of you seem very knowledgeable about these little trucks.

  2. #2



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    Watta you know - another short name! Welcome to the forum - ask away and we will do our best to answer them.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  3. #3

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    Do I need to move to another forum or can I ask here

  4. #4

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    1990 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    Ask away, it's a pretty informal site.
    1990 MM 4x4 3.0
    1991 MM 4x4 3.0 Diamonte
    1994 MM 2wd (work in progress)

  5. #5

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    Alright got a few basic questions from what I've seen here the info is around, I have a 90 mifhty max that needs rings. Gonna pull it out here soon and send it off to the machine shop. First question, is it worth boring it .20 or .40 over, is there anything fairly cheap I can do to the head to increase power after I bore the block and get oversized pistons. Or is boring it pretty much a waste and should I just get it honed and get oversized rings. Does anyone make an aftermarket cam for this motor? Balance shaft elimination worth it for power? Or just reliability?

  6. #6

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    Browse the Performance Modifications section and you will find a lot of detailed info for most your questions. Looking forward to your progress and photos, always enjoy new projects.
    1990 MM 4x4 3.0
    1991 MM 4x4 3.0 Diamonte
    1994 MM 2wd (work in progress)

  7. #7

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    1995 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    4G64
    The exhaust manifold is the major check point on the exhaust side. Get headers . ALso, have you checked compression? My truck just bought 2 months ago was SMOKING like hell, and using a qt every 5-600 miles. I replaced the Valve guide seals on the head (can do w/o removing the head with the correct tools) in about 6 hrs total. Now, NO smoke, ZIP! and I've taken a high speed interstate trip of 700 miles rt, then same week, 400 miles rt, plus daily commute of 145 miles (total). Have not added ANY oil yet, and thats over 2000 miles since repair. Parts cost 12.00 (Rock AUto). Get the Fel Pro ones with the "improved design" for better oil scraping. The seals are a known issue on these early to late 90's vehicles made in Japan. Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, ALL had this issue. Easy fix tho, (with tools to not remove head, anyways.) Truck over 25mpg hwy now! Runs MUCH better. I can PM you part numbers etc and more info if this helps. Unless you are certain its needing rings, this is what I'd do first, for sure. You will need to replace them if you rering anyway.

  8. #8

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    I should do a wiki on the repair, and guess I will if you decide to do this. Have you done a compression test yet? If so, what were your #'s? My truck had 168,000 miles, and no maintainance records, (but good compression etc) now. How many miles on yours?

  9. #9

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    Info on cam regrind is posted here (Brad MPH, I believe has the info). Camoit has DG headers making the headers for 2.4 engine. 2.0 and 2.6 are ready and for sale, I believe. Again ask him (or search).LSR Mike has head port info (and experience!
    Why not just hone block after procuring headers (unless ,of course,scratched or ridged cylinder bores?) Get a rering kit (Rock Auto, again) and make sure you use our discount (or mine) Its 5%, and definitely helps! I'd definitely NOT do this unless/until I KNEW valve seals and or guides were not the issue. These engines will run 500,000 miles if taken care of (I know I did this in 3 already, one turbo diesel, and 2 2.4's Transmission went first bearings at 125, on diesel 2wd, and 180,000 HEAVY towing on a 3.0 V6 4WD, and again at 450,000+. The V6 and 2.4's were running Amsoil since break in and used a qt between 6000 mile oil changes, but were 6 yrs old or younger! so seals not an issue yet. ALso overheating it may kill the seals as well. My Radiator was rusted and plugged, and was def running hot. STILL flushing it, weekly and getting some rust..

  10. #10



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    Your machine shop will inform you on what to bore it out to and since your paying them in money, they will determine the pistons, rings, sizes etc etc. It's their job to get it right, try not to tell them what you want or they might take that wrong. You probably don't want to bore it out too far because it will just limit your future rebuilding ability if you remove too much material.
    You just want to get new and original parts stuff and also want to know what issues they might of found during the rebuild. Check your machine shop for past problems with customers through the BBB. If your going to pour money out in large quantity, best to check the shops background. Bad shops are everywhere, good shops are rare.
    Your not going to make a lot more power with these trucks unless you do a swap or upgrade to the present parts. You can give it more potential with duel cams and headers, weber, and on and on. There is also the notorious V8 installation. This requires a personal touch and fabrication, but when it is completed correctly, your guaranteed a chubby.
    Whatever you decide is your choice. It comes down to money and how long you want to be without a truck. Once you start with wanting more power, be prepared for the disease to be terminal.
    Welcome to the forum

  11. #11

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    Well went and rescued the truck from my dads yard where it's been sitting for about 2 years, somehow a spark plug broke off into the cylinder as he was driving. His makeshift mechanic friend tore it down to the block and told him he didnt know what was wrong with it, he finally told me 100 bucks come get it, went up to nc and towed it down here, got a free motor from a buddies junker that had aboit 375, 000 on the clock, dropped that in and fired her up and so much smoke coming out the valve cover recirc to throttlebody, has to be rings or seals, this is my third vehicle and first project so pretty much full custom resto is gonna happen. Thought about a 5.0 or 318 swap but I have enough toys I want a little rc truck to cruise around in. I'm only 22 and I've been a mechanic for about 3 years now wanna build my first ride. And figured this should be a simple little project sohc fi 4 cylinder with manual trans and base everything, should be about as simple as I can get.

  12. #12

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    Started tear down today and here she is.
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  13. #13


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    That should be a nice little project. as far as the V8 thing goes I'm getting around 17-18mpg with a 300+ hp 302 and I drive the crap out of it all summer, think I put maybe 600 miles on my 02 F-150 since may. If it's not raining I'm driving the D-50.

    Keep us posted os the project moves along.

  14. #14

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    How did fitment go with the 302 I saw the pics on your profile looks pretty snug in there, did you use an automatic? Did you have to do any modding to the tunnel if so? Have to do anything to the firewall?

  15. #15


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    Fits in great, just made some engine mounts and a new Tranny X-menber as far as the tunnel I had to cut the bell housing area out and move it up 2" then filled in the hole with some new sheet metal. the reason I had to do this was I run a AOD and it has a 13" converter. with a C4 or even a standered it would have fit with no mods. Took the drive shaft down to a local shop and they shortened the front a few inch's then welded on a Ford yoke. I had a custom rad made using a 4 core core out of a forklift then they made the end tanks to fit that fits under the light header panel. As you have a 90 you have more space up front then my first gen does so you should have a few more options for the rad.

    If you do a swap like this go with a MSD 6a box and you won't have to screw around with the Ford Dura-spark box if you don't have a lot of experance with electrical. Originally I ran just some cast iron exhaust manifolds(67-75 Bronco Drivers side, 81 Crown Vic Pass Side) into a duel exhaust that Y'ed to the pass side and ran in the factory location.

    Another option is finding a wrecked 83-88 Thunderbird or Cougar Turbo Coupe and pulling the driveline out of that. then you have a 2.3L EFI turbo with a Borg/Worner T5 and all the stuff to hook it up.

  16. #16



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    There might be a little bit of a difference between the 1st Gen of Fordubishi and your 2nd gen truck engine bays. Though Mitsubishi seem to always leave enough room under the hoods for a hemi big block, lol.

  17. #17

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    I think I'm just gonna rebuild the 4 cylinder for now do a little body work put some wheels on it and go for a 302 with a t-5 later on down the road

  18. #18

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    To hell with it 302 is happening, fordubishi how is it on traction and have you ran it in the 1/4?

  19. #19


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    when I did the swap 18 years ago I put in a bone stock 85 T-bird 302(145hp 4500rpm red line) with a Holley 4bbl and it ran a 15.6 the first time out. Found the rear gears way to low (4 point something) so grabbed an axle of an 83 ranger with 3.45 gears. Truck ran a 14.8 with that diff as I wasn't floating the valves at 4500 any more. With the upgrades I have done the engine is now well over 300hp and redline is now 8000 in case I miss a shift.
    We lost our track last year 1 month before I got the truck back on the road but on paper it should be good for high 11's low 12's @ sea level, I'm at 3600ft elevation and we run 1-1.5 sec slower then sea level.Lets just say it's faster then a 460hp Evo that a friend has that we did some "street" racing on Sunday night in the industrial park just up the street from my place.With the original leaf springs it was Ok for traction but WAY better with the 4 link and Air bags.Of course this also depends on road/Track temp and what tire compound you are running. I use H rated and they work good.

    When I did the Ranger axle swap I just got new spring mounts for around $7 each and some new U-bolts, Used a set of Eclipse 15" rims as the Ranger axle is 1.5" wider then the D-50's and is 5 bolt. The nice thing about doing the swap is a posi is easy to find for them and they come stock with 3.45, 3.73 or 4.11 gears.Oh yeah had to take the back 1/2 of the drive shaft in and have a ford yoke put on($45.00). You just need a addaptor to go from metric brake line to the Y block on the Ranger axle($4)

    the other thing I did was put in 1 or 2" lowering block as the weight of the 302 made the front end drop about 1-1.5". Guys had no problem alligning the front and I drove the hell out of it for 5 years summer and winter.

    The swap took me about 3 weeks the first time I did it but as I know Fords I used the Dura-Spark to get it running then switched to the MSD 6A as its so much easier to hook up. I did drop the gas tank and plugged all the extra lines as I only needed the main fuel line not the return lines and vent lines. Left 1 vent that I relocated to behind the gas filler door and got a vented gas cap.

    I hope this helps you out and if you have any other questions ask and I will tell you how I solved some of the problems.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsnotthesizeofthedodge View Post
    I think I'm just gonna rebuild the 4 cylinder for now do a little body work put some wheels on it and go for a 302 with a t-5 later on down the road
    That was the plan for my courier last year. lol That plan didn't go over so well.

    Welcome, can't wait to see some progress.

  21. #21

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ID:	7028Updates buddy swapped his rebuilt 5.0 for a 390 in his 79 f100 so picked up his 302 and c4 for 200 bucks for helping him swap, fordubishi could I possibly get a pic of your crossmember set up?

  22. #22


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    Sure I can get a pic tomorrow, it was super easy to make. 3" x 1/2" flat bar with some holes in it. then a small step to mount the tranny mount into it.

    engine mounts were made from pieces of the same flat bar welded to the factory front x-member.

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    and I used a front sump oil pan

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  23. #23

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    Are those the stock mounts on the 302 and just welded the flat bar for placement?

  24. #24


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    Yep stock energy suspension Mustang replacements on the welded flat bar. I'll have the pic of the Tranny x-member for you today.

  25. #25

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    Much appreciated

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