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Thread: Mischif's 1988 Mighty Max.

  1. #1

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    1988 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    Mischif's 1988 Mighty Max.

    Hey guys, thought i'd drop by and introduce myself and the Mighty Max. Guess you could say i'm a gear head that likes Mitsubishi's. Been wrenching on them for about 8 years straight now. I've been strictly into Dsm's for the most part. Unlike most Dsm'ers i prefer the 4g37 (1.8 8valve sohc). Learned everything i know modding that engine over the years. Anyway for the past few years i've been throwing around the idea of expanding into a new platform. I wanted something rwd and that i might be able to drop a 4g37 into eventually. Enter the mighty max. Been keeping my eye on craigslist for a while and finally found one within my budget, a 1988 Mighty Max 5speed 63b. Went to look at it last sunday, engine sounded great. So the next day i bought it for $500 and drove it home.




















    Got it home and it has been all down hill since then. After i took these pictures i noticed a puddle of coolant underneath it. So i had a look around and i couldn't see anything obvious. So first thing i do is check the spark plug gaps just to see what they are like. Tighten them up put them back in, now im ready to go drive around the block a bit and warm the engine up to see if i can't spot the leak. Went maybe 5 miles total. It ran like crap for the most part now. Get back home noticed a plug wire wasn't pushed down right. Also found the coolant leak, the intake manifold is leaking from the bottom of it. Cool, make sure the spark plugs are on tight and drove another 5 miles. Ran like ass again. Okay well fine maybe its the carb since those mikuni's are crap. Anyway i hit up the local junk yard to look for a new manifold. Stumbled onto a max with a weber 32/36 dgav33b1, Snatched the intake and the carb for $89 bucks. How awesome is that, i went to the junkyard for a repair and left with a upgrade.



    Spend a day cleaning up the new manifold and carb then get to work on swapping it in. Fire it up and move the truck to a different spot in the yard so i can finish up getting rid of all the extra hoses and stuff in the engine bay. So while im doing that i notice my radiator hose is pressurized alot. Open the cap and a bunch of water/pressure comes out. Doesn't make sense, it didn't even run for 30 seconds while i moved it. So after dicking around and doing a leak down test, i find cylinder 3 is loosing alot of pressure into a coolant passage. Now im thinking i just somehow managed to blow the head gasket the short time i've had the truck. Great. Anyway rip the head off and while im cleaning the mating surface on the head i notice it. Looks like a crack between the valves in the combustion chamber. So i tape all the coolant ports up except for one, fill the combustion chamber with water and hit that open coolant port with air. BUBBLES!!! Seriously how did this thing crack on me that easy. The engine might have ran a little warmer than usual due to the leaky intake but it never got close to hot. Then while im stripping the head bare i also notice the head has the jet valve elimination kit installed. And it still fucking cracked??? Now i've heard all about the mca jets and their tendency to crack, but damn, i didn't think they were that brittle. So thats my first and last experience with those styled heads. I still have to go back to the junkyard sometime this week to pick up a normal 8 valve head.

    Wasn't expecting to have to replace the entire top end practically, theres still alot of other stuff the truck needs thats gonna have to wait now...smh....Build journal?
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  2. #2

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    1988 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    Grabbed that normal 8 valve head for $45 bucks from the junkyard. Tested the valves before i bought it, all were good except one that weeped a little but thats an easy fix.






    Only thing im bummed out about, no mechanical pump provision.


    Got to put some work into the head. Give it a good valve lapping and replace the stem seals and it should be good as new. Now i really don't want to have to drop another 50-60 bucks into a new fuel set up so i may see if i can't modify this head to run the mechanical pump. Keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be as easy as drilling/boring a hole and swapping the cam.

  3. #3

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    1989 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    hey, that's the valve cover i have!! keep it!! not many left around, i bet it came off a galant or a minivan lol. believe it or not it is just a hole in the side of the head, shouldn't be that hard to drill one and open it up. both fuel injected and N/A cams have the lobe on them to run the fuel pump 2.0 or 2.4 it doesn't matter, i think Mitsubishi just got lazy during production and didn't want to have to use more than one cam blank for everything.

  4. #4

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    Yea it came off a 92 galant. I definitely like the valve cover with "mitsubishi" on it better than the other one. However i may have cracked the cover when i was pulling it off, heard a pop that didn't sound good. They are either lazy or unimaginative. Alot of their pre 94 sohc heads look the same. I like how alot of the smaller type parts are interchangeable within and between engine series. Makes finding parts so much easier when you have a wider range of engines you can pull them off of.

  5. #5

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    Umm I'll just chime in since no one has told you yet.. That weber will need an electric fuel pump and regulator since the webers only like 3 - 5 PSI. the stock mech pump puts out 7 - 9 PSI....

  6. #6

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    Yea i went with an electric fuel pump after all.

    So i wound up rebuilding the entire engine. She finally breathed life again today after all this time.

    Out It comes.


    My transmission, and what looks to be a few decades worth of buildup.


    Weight Reduction haha!


    An empty dirty bay






    More weight reduction.










    Figured, why not right.


    Engine block stripped and getting cleaned up.








    Balance shafts were eliminated.






    Normal 8 valve cylinder head. Cleaned it up, lapped the valves, new valve seals, and did some port work on it.








    Just finished it up today.


    Now to break it in later on tonight.
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  7. #7

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    Nice . Just need a decent set of headers and a 2" exhaust system to get it breathing. I'd also think about binning the water pump mounted cooling fan for an electric thermo fan set up while you are at it.

  8. #8



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    Nice job!!!

  9. #9

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    +1 on the electric fan. It really helps.
    I can help get your truck to pass California smog! PM me.
    California BAR Smog Inspector License #EO635469
    "Keep 'em on the road."

    See what I have for sale:
    http://stores.ebay.com/zims

  10. #10

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    How did you get that trans so clean??!

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