Restoring my 97 Mitsubishi FTO - Beginner so any help and feedback welcomed

  1. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    Hey all.
    So I've a Mitsubishi FTO here that I'm looking to restore as a track car (so doesn't have to pass the MOT/ NCT or whatever road test you have locally) but should be safe and I want to stop any further degradation of the car.

    I've had the car for 12 years so it's something I'm not really willing to let go and in my early 20's I spent a fortune modifying the car so the spec is huge and ill never get a fraction of what it's worth back so I want to enjoy the car. For reasons I wont go into I haven't had access to the car for the past 6 years and I only got it back 2 months ago so that's how something I'm so passionate about has been left to get into this terrible condition.

    I'm definitely in well over my head and as everyone says with rust its just the tip of the iceberg. I don't have the crazy thousands that people here in Ireland are quoting to restore it so I'm going to take on what I can myself and offload what I need to where required (so will be looking for advice from you guys as to what you would suggest leaving for someone other than a beginner.)

    This is going to be a slow burn project as the only space I have to keep it is in my In law's and that's about an hour away so wont get to go at it regularly but when I do ill be doing bit chunks of work.
    So to kick off the this thread here's a few pics of how she looks now and from a distance she doesn't look bad for a 23 year old car.
     
    • 121977477_2899574593620351_5366755593424210459_n.jpg
    • 121980093_337012154270383_3514094504273239855_n.jpg
    • 126351860_2710241115907903_5902379600763317751_n.jpg
    Exuptoy, Dcal and skotl like this.
  2. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    So first on the list is to point out the doozies that will need to be addressed. These were taken the day I got the car back after a little bit of a wire brushing and a poke with a screwdriver for obvious offenders.
     
    • 121993650_347215276541043_2996207399396192625_n.jpg
    • 122062166_2610592895920616_1202634747337673958_n.jpg
    • 122483632_2753756794892612_512614939519004707_n.jpg
    • 122681485_343670503367277_1107734346875075661_n.jpg
    • 123137430_680204816249842_3254416808130306787_n.jpg
    • 123195768_1211855235854026_8160623173079389973_n.jpg
    • 125956952_291478438787564_4433841073916186957_n.jpg
    • 126197995_390089102113434_2266794391718789605_n.jpg
    • 126494429_406703373838477_5494060004799359764_n.jpg
    Myles1970 likes this.
  3. hotponyshoes Member

    Messages:
    3,395
    Location:
    Somerset. Uk
    Looks better than mine.
    I have got an old 3000gt that is a track only.
    Not a lot needs doing if you don't need an mot but check the rules of the tracks you plan to use as some of them do say you need an mot.
    The ones I do are airfield ones but even then they have a few rules that I fell foul of the first time.
    Indicators need to work and windows must wind down!
     
    Cosantoir likes this.
  4. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    Right they say Rust is the top of the iceberg so lets take a closer look so taking a drill with wire brush head, and a grinder with a sanding pad I set out to tackle the back end to get a better look and drop the fuel tank to see if there was any hidden spots that I might miss.
    You can see there is pitting in the chassis rear arches, Any suggestions on how to go about fixing these and have I gone down deep enough with this or should I actually get the grinding disc out and try to bring out some fresh shiny metal?

    Before I undersealed the work I taped off about 2 inches each way around any of the holes that would require welding and sprayed the tape red so that when I come back to do the work they are easy to spot as black tape on black underseal makes it hard to spot and I dont want to make it even harder to try and repair down the line by having to remove underseal from these corroded areas.
     
    • 126141594_213614340177087_7526353993234550909_n.jpg
    • 126147715_861321921336050_2672065296777530877_n.jpg
    • 126174192_398981411539374_6279237204282285485_n.jpg
    • 126245518_184628429962480_2172662732639637105_n.jpg
    • 126285743_450249995965083_2666971719635558943_n.jpg
    • 126289419_2326477400831050_3860805295381403091_n.jpg
    • 126311289_697111131008028_456568751632122174_n.jpg
    • 126328639_194498012173351_3008068423461544936_n.jpg
    • 126493301_653900655488710_7550616724027642773_n.jpg
  5. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    And this is where I've left it and the point where I decided to join this group and start looking at welding.

    Next up is goin to be to take off the side skirts and getting a good poke at the sills and seeing how bad they are I know there is a large hold of a few inches in the drivers footwell where I can see in behind the sills so I'm assuming there's a ***** of work here and the front crossmember from the chassis rail to the sill is completely corroded but fingers crossed it's not terrible.
    I'll move on to the front arches, engine bay and front bar before I go back and look at the suspension.
     
    • 125977202_415490199460106_5894668790815288742_n.jpg
    • 126010552_821188515325955_1335715119446420548_n.jpg
    • 126049193_1751556131679639_7418634736810753715_n.jpg
    • 126059384_396851358028939_6211523059282515243_n.jpg
  6. mike 109444

    mike 109444 Member

    Messages:
    4,301
    uk Bristol
    Try this for a bit of light reading https://retrorides.proboards.com/thread/70135/panels
    Does not just cover panel making.
    Basic sheet metal bender/vice is a good staring point.
    Remember quite often you have to unpick the layers to build it back up again.
    Use chalk to outline the area you are working on before taking pics as that will help give a good contrast from one bit of rust to the other !
    And welcome to the forum Cosantoir :hug:
     
    Cosantoir likes this.
  7. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

    Messages:
    6,478
    Location:
    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks
    A guy near here does up older jap cars. Was there he had one that looked half decent, stripped it down for blasting and painting. The little bits of rust turned into fair sized holes.

    When you really start digging to get solid clean metal to weld too, be orepared for a surprise.
     
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
  8. tom2207 Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    uk northern ireland
    Jap cars go quick and get great mpg as they are light , they are light as they are made out of thinner tin , this is the pay back for it , but they can be brought back its the time it takes thats the killer , but if your not charging the time out it changes the rules , we all do daft things from time to time , some times more often than that too ,, Im sure you will enjoy the project and Im sure you will learn lots from it , one way or another.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  9. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    Thanks for the encouraging words guys and ill deffo check out that article Mike.

    Exactly Tom in relation to the time spent by doing the grunt work that takes crazy hours to do im able to save a small fortune and can just get pros to do any work I cant do myself where as if I hand it to them in a state they won't want to do it and will charge a bomb.

    I still have the question as to how do I address this corroded section of the chasis? Have I gone done deep enough or do I actually need silver shiney metal before I stop? I was using a sanding pad on the grinder and it wasn't movie or coming up and better and was reluctant to get a grinding disk out at it if I didn't need it.
     
    • Screenshot_20201112-174104_Gallery.jpg
  10. skotl

    skotl Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    7,377
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    That looks like a lot of work!

    I had an FTO up until 2005. Great car, but always regretted that it was a GR and not a GPX.
    Also had a 1990 GTO (imported 3000GT) in Ferrari red - that was a hilarious bit of kit. Probably still the fastest car I've ever owned :D
     
    Shox Dr, slim_boy_fat and Parm like this.
  11. Rrobson

    Rrobson Member

    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Cut that bit out, you’ll never get that back to shiny metal...
     
    stuvy likes this.
  12. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    And the imports lack rustproofing when made in the Orient, which is where the trouble stems from. :(
     
    Parm, tom2207 and stuvy like this.
  13. stuvy

    stuvy Member

    gonna disagree with the mpg

    my Rav4 does awful on fuel it’s the 3sge engine

    my mate had an older celiac the 1.8 and that was so thirsty
     
    tom2207 likes this.
  14. Rrobson

    Rrobson Member

    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Having had another look at this, I’ve changed my mind.
    What I think you are better off doing here (if your going to do a proper job of this) is stripping the car to bare shell and having the entire underneath blasted. Your never going to see the true state of the metal (which is literally hanging on for dear life in places!) unless you have it totally stripped back. That or a complete dip. Then I suspect a lot more than what is currently visible will rear it’s head.

    definitely not being negative about this, but the rust will creep along panels, especially inside the rails and you’ll never see it until you have to start chasing it with weld... it’s all doable though but at least if it’s stripped out you aren’t likely to set fire to anything :welder::flame::D
     
  15. stuvy

    stuvy Member

    totally agree
     
  16. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    A big GTO/ 3000GT contingent here I see they were a beast.

    In regards to sand blasting or any other form I've had a look around locally and people are quoting hefty prices of 3-4000 for the job. I appreciate there are a lot of hours needed on the car to make it right I also need to consider that this is a track car and is never going to be doing a DOE I need to toe the line between a pet project and it being unviable.

    I do agree that blasting it would be best approach to doing this right. But to keep costs down and try to figure out where I'm going long term and what's ahead of me so just pearing it all back and finding everything that needs to be cut out.

    I'm 19 pages into the link Mike shared and it's really opening my eyes to what's ahead and I think I'm going to have to double down on twist knot disks for the grinder and focus more on getting any and all rust off the chasis be it grinded away or cut out. Although deffenitey holding off on cutting anything out until a see everything and have a bigger picture
     
  17. Rrobson

    Rrobson Member

    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    That’s expensive! If you’ve got a compressor you could probably buy the gear for less than that!
    Other suggestion would be get it on a rotisserie. At least that way you can get the car in a decent position to make your life as easy as possible. Will be a good deal easier to fabricate and weld too. You really don’t want to be attacking the underside with a wire wheel on a grinder 3” above your chest. Those things are nasty and unforgiving and will happily grab loose clothing, not to mention make a mess of the fleshy bit beneath.
     
  18. stuvy

    stuvy Member

    You could drag it on a trailer to my mate for £1200
     
    tom2207 and Mr Roo like this.
  19. Cosantoir Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Ireland
    Yea my problem is I'm in Ireland and it seems unlikely the UK there's a few people who do this work and they are all happy to charge you an arm and a leg
     
  20. hotponyshoes Member

    Messages:
    3,395
    Location:
    Somerset. Uk
    Mine is at least as bad as that underneath. Probably worse now as it's been a while since I last looked under there.
    I would not get too carried away if it's just for track use. I have wide sticky tyres on and it will still loose grip before any of the suspension components rip off. You don't want to spend ages making it pristine then rip it all to shreds the first time you go backwards over the gravel at 60mph.
    Brake & fuel lines were all in a bad way on mine so I replaced all those but I ran all the new ones internally to avoid any track damage.
    I would not recommend any form of sticky underseal either as you will be fighting against it every time you have to repair something under the car.
    Although I'm not a very good driver so you might not suffer as much damage as I do.

    I just started tracking mine and then I repair/replace things as they break.
    So far I have welded up all the diff mounts to solid and 2 out of the 3 engine mounts but the rest of it is hanging on in there.

    I have also found the other drivers tend to give you a bit more track space if your car is a bit rough looking. If you turn up in something flash in mint condition its almost a competition for them to chase you into the corners and see if they can get you to crash it.

    Have a look at the surface prep tool thread, they leave a finish that is pretty similar to blasted. With the advantage that you only have to use them in the area you want to do at that time. Also good for getting all the seam sealer off if you want to seam weld it. Dcal has done a good write up on how to make your own.
     
    Cosantoir and Mr Roo like this.
Advertisements