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Thread: 1971 Mitsubishi Galant/Dodge Colt turbo diesel

  1. #1

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    1971 Mitsubishi Galant/Dodge Colt turbo diesel

    I decided it is about time I posted a sort of build thread of my frankenmobile.

    It once was a 1971 Dodge Colt/Galant. The engine that was in it was basically running on rust and cooled by rust. When we tried to clean it up it was just too much solid rust chunks and not enough parts available (4g32 engine)

    So... I am putting a 4d55 in it. Got a decent deal on one in many pieces. I think I have definitely labored away the difference between the cheapness and the cost of finding one intact... but anyway, it is in one piece finally. And it is in the car. sort of.


    Anyway here are a couple pictures to begin with, hopefully someone finds this sh*t-show entertaining.
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  2. #2

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    To start, here is the engine when I started taking pictures. Had it sleeved and boiled. I ended up getting a new assembled head because the one I bought was completely disassembled with pieces missing in a big plastic tote, and one of the rockers was broken in half, and most importantly because I am lazy and found a reasonably priced one.
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  3. #3

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    Some more progress. Starting to look like an engine.

    Of course one step forward, two steps back. Found out there was a giant crack in the exhaust housing, so I managed to find a new turbo for too much money. NOS but has a lot of shaft play.. hopefully it will tighten up when oil gets into it. It tightened up a decent amount with me running oil through it and spinning it with an air nozzle, so I am optimistic.
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  4. #4

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    Transmission clutch and flywheel added. And belts and what not. I still need to source a plug of some kind to put on the front behind the timing belt.
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  5. #5

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    So that is pretty much everything I have accomplished so far. I am in school and working so the project is not moving at lightspeed, but I hope to be done soon.

    Some wonderful things I get to do now include:
    -finding a radiator that is two hairs thick and will fit in the car.
    -getting a fuel cell to put in the trunk, and running the lines
    -figuring out the frankenwiring of the ignition to the glow plugs (or switch) and fuel injector pump
    -fabricating a bracket and pivot to actuate the hydraulic clutch with my cable
    -translating the rotational movement of the crude throttle arm in this old thing into a fwd/bkwd movement for the engine throttle... with magic.

    But anyway. Progress is happening. I may need to reach out a bit more to some of the gurus here, but so far I am moving in the right direction I think.
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  6. #6

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    ...a turbo diesel Colt. You have definitely made yourself a contender for the 'dare to be different' trophy. I'll be curious to see how a 2 door coupe that weighs the same as a bathtub performs with a work horse engine in it. We never got this model of coupe in Oz and I bet they are on the edge of extinction in the States.

  7. #7

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    It is definitely an odd project. I must say, for someone like me who has very little experience with builds like this, it has been an interesting journey.

    I think there are at least a couple, I actually have gotten most of my advice from guys in Australia. I think it may just be that these hardtop versions were pretty rare everywhere. I have only seen a few of them scattered in the US, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The 1974-76ish style was a lot more common here in the US, but in my opinion not as cool.

    You might have gotten them under the Mitsubishi badge. I see the 'Galant 1600' badges on Gumtree and its frustrating because no matter how politely you reply to an add on gumtree, as soon as you say you are from America there is no more response xD but one day I want to get a hold of some Mitsubishi/Galant 1600 badges.

  8. #8

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    I tip my hat to you SlothMan! It's not going to be much different than a Volkswagen Rabbit really. You'll have twice the power though and should still get relatively good fuel economy. I was getting as good as 30 mpg in my truck before the rebuild. You should do better than that once it's broke in.
    What are you going to do about exhaust? I don't know how much more you are going for the slammed/lowered look but I think it'd be cool if you had a 2.5" flat black pipe coming out the passenger side fender, versus having it just come out the rear.
    Keep us updated on your progress. I'm excited to see the thread progress.

  9. #9

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    I haven't decided completely on the exhaust yet, right now there's about 6" of pipe leaving the turbo and that's it hahaha. I am toying with the idea of doing a bozosuku style exhaust since the thing is already pretty ridiculous, but I am not sure I want that kind of attention. I do like it slammed, but I will probably raise it a bit. It was slammed when I got it and scrapes a bit.. I will probably leave the front springs alone and mess with the rear leaf to get a little more clearance. I also will have the tank in the trunk now though so we will see if I even scrape anymore first. Definitely can't use the OG exhaust though, when I removed the engine the muffler literally disintegrated hahaha.

  10. #10



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    1971 I think was the first year for the Colt in the US - they were selling the cricket (from England) and the Sunbeam Alpines then and were moving from English to Japanese cars.
    Pennyman1
    The best Dodge that Dodge never made
    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  11. #11

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    Just to get an update out there:
    I have the engine bolted in, the turbo is all attached.
    The heater core line is correctly routed (well half of it) just needs a gasket.
    Started installed
    Alternator installed, although I have the colt/4g32 adjuster piece so I may need a slightly smaller belt

    Looking for the correct plug that goes above the balance shaft (red arrow in pic) I believe it is either 19mm or 20mm
    I have to get the M14 1.5 bolt to attach the pulleys into the crankshaft

    At this point I have decided to remove the clutch slave cylinder entirely and fabricate an adjustable pivot of some kind. I want to use the cable clutch, through the pivot, to actuate the lever that the slave cylinder was interacting with. What a joy.

    Another of my current challenges is that the bellhousing is pretty much touching my metal brake lines. Still brainstorming on ways I can sort out those lines without removing the engine... it was horrific to shoehorn in there, and ideally I don't want a repeat of that endevour. I haven't had a great deal of experience with brake lines, so any input would be appreciated! I will put a picture below to show what I mean.

    After that stuff, I will need to get an oil cooler, which will probably sit externally below the bumper, and a radiator. Toying with the idea of a custom radiator, because paying the price for one might be better than the massive shit show of trying to mount one in the trunk...

    And a fuel cell in the trunk, which should be relatively straightforward.
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  12. #12

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    That thing is cool man. Thanx for sharing.

  13. #13

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    No chance you could bend the lower brake lines away from the trans tunnel entrance? I'd be more worried about how close they are to the starter motor housing than the brake lines along the back of the head (but they are damn close). If you undo the brake line retainers and sort of curve them up and over a little, the only thing it will alter will be their appearance. I would test your drivetrain movement with a pry bar - if it rocks back towards the firewall and touches it, that will indicate the engine can move backwards off deceleration. Looks like you really need an extra 1/4" clearance more room.
    Last edited by geezer101; 04-08-2017 at 02:10 PM.

  14. #14

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    This thing is cool!

    When I was younger I always wanted to race out a '78 Dodge Colt. (last of the RWD Colts)
    I knew daredevils and I ain't got nothin' against them, ........it's just they're all dead.

  15. #15

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    Yeah Geezer I was thinking that, just a little worried about bending 45 year old lines. But that was my hopeful option, as it was a real pain to shoehorn in there. I think that is what I will try. Worst that happens is I have to do it the right way, so might as well try bending first and see how it goes.

    Lon Moer, yeah I am still trying to convince myself that this will be the equivalent of 'raced out' even though it is not exactly a sports car motor haha.


    By the way, anyone have some advice on intake/air filter options? I don't have the original examples of all the junk that sits just ahead of the turbo. All of the pictures I have seen it looks like a sort of a complex mess of plastic housings and a line back to the breather etc. Have some of you foregone all that for say.... an autozone special air filter and called it good haha? I am just thinking it may be a pain for me to get ahold of all of that plastic junk, and may not be worth the effort. From the pictures I have seen it is hard to tell what all is in between the turbo and the inlet, but if the grand total is a line to the valve cover and an air filter I will probably pass on all the OEM stuff.

  16. #16

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    I am going to recommend you find a sealed box for your intake and duct it into somewhere behind the grille. Look through JY's to get ideas on what will fit and how to mount it. Using a pod filter is bad news especially on a turbo - the engine is pulling all the ambient heat from the engine bay through the intake which kills torque and affects fuel economy. Plus some of the filters with a cheap element material don't last long. They can crumble and the fragments only have one place they can end up (add a turbo in there and well, you get the picture...) It might be worth investigating an oil catch can as well. It will help keep your intake clean.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Moer View Post
    This thing is cool!

    When I was younger I always wanted to race out a '78 Dodge Colt. (last of the RWD Colts)
    Damn this thread has me looking around for one again.
    I knew daredevils and I ain't got nothin' against them, ........it's just they're all dead.

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