After my Integra was stolen in November of 2002, I needed to find another car. Having a friend
who was into DSMs (Diamond Star Motors - Mitsubishi Eclipses, Eagle Talons, and Plymouth Lasers) and understanding
the advantages of a turbo-charged 4 cylinder motor and an all-wheel-drive drivetrain, I decided
to get a first-generation Eagle Talon. I had wanted one when they were initially released anyway;
I was in high school at that time and was aware of the power and sportiness of these cars. When the
DSMs were introduced in the US they were lighter, faster, and more nimble than either the Camaro or
So I bought a 1993 Talon; this car originally came with the '7-bolt' motor,
which was used on the late 1Gs and all 2Gs, and had a weakness with the crankshaft / block design
which caused many to fail catastrophically. However the previous owner had had this motor replaced
with a '6-bolt' motor. It also came with the '4-bolt' limited slip differential, which is stronger
and more desirable than the 'non-limited slip' rear-end used in earlier models. So I had the 'golden'
combination - an all-wheel-drive car with a 6-bolt motor and 4-bolt rear-end.. However shortly after
I bought the car, the transmission case broke and I spent big $$ having it rebuilt by my friends at
Bar None Motorsports.
After this operation the tranny was strong (and we fixed many other problems - replaced rubber coolant
lines, front axels, motor mounts, clutch, slave cylinder, etc) but the car still wasn't too reliable.
It leaked a lot of coolant on long highway drives and had only 90psi of cylinder compression. So in
the fall of 2003 I re-built the motor by hand and re-assembled it with 9:1 CR forged Wiseco pistons
and re-built a Mitsubishi 14b turbo. At this time I also fixed and replaced many other parts, including
the brakes, tires, some missing bolts, knock sensor, alternator, and more. Finally this car is on the
road and it doesn't leak anything.
However given the nature of DSM cars (which is to break down) it's necessary to have a tool for
diagnosing problems with the complex computer-controlled engine. It is also very useful to
gather some sensor data for tuning purposes (just like a race-car team). These goals can only be
accomplished with the aid of a "datalogging cable" which attaches a standard PC-compatible laptop
computer to the car's 'brain', which is called an ECU. The ECU is just a special-purpose computer built
for controlling the motor, and the acronym stands for 'Engine Control Unit'.
For this reason I borrowed a friend's cable and reverse-engineered the
circuit, which is rather ingenious. The efforts of my labor are available here for anyone else who
would like to build one.