Hey gearheads, meet Brian Loose (aka: snowborder714). Brian is a computer consultant from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and has played a major part in organizing the NE DSM meet the last few years. We’ll be working with Brian on some new events in 2011, but let’s start out by getting to know this brother under the diamonds.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST which I bought in October 2006
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
“Building a fast, fun, and great handling road race and autox car, while keeping it street legal and clean.” (This is the title to my blog on DSMtuners.)
I bought the car to drive on the street, but the more I got into modifying it and reading about the potential of the platform, the more I wanted to race it on a track. So now it’s a fun street car that is built for the track.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
I initially became interested in the Eclipse in 11th grade (2002). We had to do a report on a car for driver’s education class and that is the car I chose. Sadly, I found that it did not get top ratings, but I still loved the way it looked.
I’m constantly being motivated by other members of the community, whether it’s because of their achievements on the track or their unique, custom parts to help solve some specific issues. My brother also does a good job of kicking me in the butt to keep me going when he’s bored!
Got a favorite story about your Mitsubishi?
It’s not necessarily my favorite story, but it’s the one that sticks out in my head the most. I went into the purchase of this car with very little knowledge of the platform. I had done some research before purchasing (as I do for everything) and knew a few things that would be nice to have if they came on the car. I didn’t have the money to purchase an AWD car at the time, so I looked at the FWDs. My brother happened to be looking for them and sent me one that was located in my college town which was listed to have a 6 bolt swap and a big 16g turbo – two things I knew were good upgrades.
I went to look at the car and the guy seemed to know what he was talking about. He had worked on many other Mitsubishis and had a nice looking convertible 1g project in the garage. After buying the car, I ended up doing a bunch of maintenance, which included pulling the transmission to check the clutch and flywheel. After I removed the clutch disc, I counted the flywheel bolts…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…..7! Great, I didn’t get what I thought I bought. I decided to check the turbo as well, which came up as a small 16g when I searched the serial number. Both of these mistakes had ticked me off, and also made me wonder what else he either didn’t know about, or just flat out screwed me over on. As much as it sucks, it’s helped me learn more about my car as I have taken most of it apart to do basic maintenance and modifications so no other little surprises from the previous owner showed up.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi and how close are you to achieving them?
I am building this car to be a road race car that will still pass state inspection every year and be able to be driven on the road. I don’t get to drive my car that much on the street as it is, so I would hate to make it a track-only vehicle and only drive it a couple times a year.
What was your favorite modification and why?
Wow, this is a hard choice. Recently I would have to say the Direzza Star Specs (245/40) on the stock Evo Enkeis. Moving from a 225 to a 245 tire made a huge difference, especially with the RM sway bars. My car just sticks to the road – and I’m not even on R comps!!
But I always have a weakness for ECMlink and looking at all the data!
Your mod list:
SSAC FMIC/Punishment SS J pipe
Dejon 4″ intake with K&N air filter
Tanabe 2.5″ G Power Medallion catback exhaust with Megan Racing 3″ downpipe (cat-eliminator)
Aeromotive A1000 13101 AFPR
Rewired Walbro 255 fuel pum
FIC 1150cc injectors
Permacool power steering cooler
1G throttle body
Flex-a-lite slim line fans
Dakota Digital fan controller
Power Enterprise 1.3 bar radiator cap
Hallman Pro RX MBC
1G intake manifold and Hondata spacer
1G 7 bolt swap with 1G head
ECMLink V3 (Speed Density)
AEM 5.0 Bar MAP
ACT 2600 pressure plate
Southbend kevlar disc
RRE SS clutch line
B&M short shifter
Symborski shift kit
Speed-Source shifter cable bushing kit
Shep cable bracket spacers
Prothane motor mounts (sides)
Solid aluminum front and rear motor mounts (Biglady mod)
Tein Flex coilovers
RM Sway Bars
GSX front calipers
Axxis Metal Master (street)/EBC Yellow Stuff brake pads (race)
RRE adapted SS lines
Motul 600C fluid
18×7.5 +42mm Racing Hart Evolution C2 rims with225/40ZR18 Kumho Ecsta SPT tires (street)
Evo 8 17×8 +38mm with 245/40R17 Dunlop Direzza Star Specs (race)
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
I helped start and grow a very big meet – the NE DSM Meet, which has been held the past 3 years at Ridley Creek State Park near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first year we had just about 40 people, if that. The other guy who really helped start the meet went to college in Ohio this year, so I took over. This past year (3rd annual meet) that number had just about tripled! We do a car meet, parts swap, and huge cookout. Anyone can bring their car, and we’ve seen anything from project cars, to daily drivers, to a full out dragster.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
I’ve had plenty of little things break or go wrong, but thankfully nothing major. *Knocks on wood*
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
As most other people write, it’d have to be the community. It’s incredible to see how many people from different times in their lives still run these cars. I’m friends with some who got their car before they were able to drive, as well as some who are close to retirement. And everyone brings something unique.
The most challenging would have to be the limited number of aftermarket parts. Compared to some other well-known platforms, it is getting harder and harder to find parts for these cars. Especially ones geared towards road racing. You can find all the drag racing parts you want, since that’s a very common path to take, but finding high quality and functional aerodynamic and suspension parts is like finding a needle in a haystack. And then when you do find them, it’ll cost you a month or two of your salary to afford them.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
Getting back out on the tracks – road course, autox courses, and drag strip. I was only able to do one HPDE event this year because of overheating issues, so I’m hoping to cure them this winter with some changes to my setup and be back out in full force.
Some people in the community have some sick plans for the winter and I’m looking forward to seeing them come through. Hopefully I will either learn something from them or be able to use something they think up/develop to better my setup.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
Not nearly as much as I would like to. I have a few people local to where my car sits which I have met up with a couple of times. And then the NE DSM Meet for the past 3 years. But travelling for work all the time kills any chance I have to meet up local owners.
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
In watching the prices for the average DSM in the past 4 years, I can’t really argue with either decision. Some people have very nice cars and everyone knows what they’re worth, but just can’t find anyone to come up with the money. It is sad to see some of the nicer cars just sit on the market at, most of the time, fair prices, and no one snatch them up. Stock cars seem to sell easier, so I can understand if people part out all the goodies and return it to stock to sell. It is sad to hear about people who want to part out a beautiful car, but sometimes it has to be done.
How has your Mitsubishi build benefited from your involvement in the community?
I’ve been able to use and adapt ideas that others have come up with to make my car more fun to drive, faster, and cleaner.
What’s next for your Mitsubishi?
Ah, the famous “to do” list! On my plate (and almost all of these are in the works) is DG suspension with SPC upper control arms, custom catch cans by Calan, battery relocation/wiring harness cleanup and tuck, VEI gauges with custom mounting solution, external oil cooler, different transmission with Quaife LSD, tow hooks, and much, much more! I hope to have a good bit of this completed by the start of next year’s season.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? Any mentors?
My brother, Eric (turbosax2). He’s put countless hours into helping me, and doing work on my car even when I’ve been unable to be there. He has come up with great ideas for custom parts and unique solutions for problems. And I wouldn’t have made it through race days without a Pit Crew Chief!! My mom has also lent a hand and worked with my brother and I late into the night – and sometimes right through until the next morning.
How have you paid this forward and mentored others?
Many times over. I can’t even count how many people I have helped via the forums, instant message, phone calls, texts, or in person. I have helped people with the most basic of problems all the way up to tuning advice for a well-known compound turbo car and helping another guy turn his daily driver into a beast on the road course.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend?
I do all my own work, so I don’t have any service shops to recommend. But ExtremePSI has been the best parts supplier I have dealt with for anything from any OEM part I can find in ASA to aftermarket parts I want. They get orders out fast and have the best customer service of any shop I’ve dealt with. And who doesn’t like the guys at ECMTuning for their excellent product, fantastic customer support, and for just being fun to hang out with!
Do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones?
Way too much of it, probably. Most of it is spent on DSMtuners, DSMlink forums, Mitsu-Media, and Mitsu-Marketplace. And there are various others I check from time to time.
Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Where can people find you online?
I’m not a huge social network butterfly, but I do have a Facebook account. I’d post a link, but I hate seeing friend requests from people I don’t know, so contact me if you want to be my friend. Easiest way to get a hold of me is to send a PM.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Brian. We’re looking forward to working with you in 2011!
What about you?
- Did you get scammed by the previous owner?
- What surprises did you find once you began working on your car?
- What tires do you run when you race your car?