We’re always looking to feature owners with unique vehicles here at Mitsubishi Gearbox Magazine. With that being said, we contacted our good friend Dave Groff to see if he’d be interested in sharing his 4G63 Mitsu powered Sandrail with our readers. Here’s what he had to say.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
Dave Groff / Dave99gst
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
My profession is CAD. (computer aided drafting) Currently I design weld fixtures and prototype exhaust components. I live in Plymouth, MI.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
While I have had my fair share of Mitsus, I currently have an EVO IX SE that I bought new, and a 91 Talon TSI.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Sandrail? How do you use it?
My only goal for the sandrail was to shove a 4G63 in a dunebuggy and drive it on the street.I drive this thing everywhere!If rain isnt’ in the forecast and it’s remotely warm enough, I drive it.
What originally attracted you to your project? What keeps you going today?
Oddly enough, I’ve never taken the buggy to any dunes or trails, I’ve just always thought it would be a cool project to do.
Got a favorite story about your Sandrail?
While no single story stands out with the sandrail, the one thing I didn’t expect was how much so many people love it. Every single time I drive the thing I get tons of smiles/comments/thumbs up and that never gets old.
What are your goals for your Sandrail and how close are you to achieving them?
My goals were just to totally redo the sandrail from the frame up including making every little thing work (gauges, turn signals, horn, lights, etc.) and be able to drive the thing all over the place.
What was your favorite modification and why?
Since my main mod is having a Turbo’d 4G63 in a dune buggy I’m going to say that’s my favorite mod.
Your mod list:
My mod list is pretty boring, in stock form I already chance shattering the trans every time I get on the gas.
AN supply/return lines
255 FP Inline
Tial Knock off
The motor is stock stock stock!
I even still have the balance shafts.
The motor is managed by the factory 1g ECU
I have a MAFT but that was more to make the plumbing more simplified then anything.
VW IRS trans with heavy duty side covers and a supper diff
2 sets of KYB shocks in the rear and Kybs up front
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
Of course the most exciting thing I’ve done is attend the Shootout every year. It never fails to be a blast and something I look forward to every year.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
At the end of the first year I had the buggy on the road I tried to do a bit of a spirited launch and exploded my differential. Fixing that took yanking the entire motor and drive train and the better part of the winter.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi powered Sandrail owner? The most challenging?
The best part of owning the buggy is the joy it brings to others. I get tons of smiles and people asking if they can get in it for pictures or go for a ride. I am a bit of an attention whore and driving this thing certainly delivers attention! The most challenging thing was cooling it. In the end it just took me throwing a ton of money at it and having a custom solution made.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
This year I am looking forward to the Shootout of course! I’m hopping with the progress Shep has been making, the Talon will make a pass or two.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
Living in the motor city we have a ton of automotive enthusiasts including Mitsus, I probably get to gather anywhere from 1 to 3 times a month when the weather breaks with them.
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
Speaking on DSMs specifically, I would rather DSM enthusiasts part out the cars over salvage yards as the odds are better that more of the parts are used and it helps keep used parts cheap for the rest of the community. And most people know that you can normally get more money parting the car out rather then selling it whole. At the same time, I used to be able to go to local junk yards and see anywerhe from 4-6 first gens and now I only see 1 or 2. Once they’re gone, they’re GONE! Getting parts in the future could become a problem.
How has your Mitsubishi powered Sandrail build benefited from your involvement in the community?
The sandrail benefited by lots of people willing to help with technical issues and even donate time/parts.
What’s next for your Sandrail?
Next for the sandrail is just to drive it. Maybe one of these days I will take it trail riding. Other then that, I will just fix stuff as it breaks.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the Sandrail? Any mentors?
The most help probably came from Gary Rokal. He let me do the project in his pole barn and lent the use of tools/equipment. But a lot of Michigan DSMers helped out with different things. (they know who they are) Also, projectzerog.com was a HUGE help for the wiring/coolant/etc.
How have you paid this forward and mentored others?
I help out any DSMer if I can either with parts I have laying around or lending a hand.
Do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones? Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Where can people find you online?
I am Dave99gst on pretty much everything. (MIdsm.com, DSMtuners.com, DSMlink, DSMtalk, MM, EvoM, Photobucket, YouTube, Facebook, AIM, etc.)
Thank you to David for sharing your story with us!
Do you have a 4G63-powered non-Mitsubishi vehicle? We’d like to hear about it!
Do you know about any Mitsubishi-powered non-Mitsubishis? Let us know so we can interview them!
If you could put a Mitsubishi engine into any other vehicle, what would it be?