DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

In the late 80s and 90s Mitsubishi and Chrysler had a deal to where the pair would build certain model a cars on a shared platform, these cars would be known as DSM’s. DSM is an acronym for “Diamond-Star Motors” that was used to represent the duo .

In the late 80s and 90s Mitsubishi and Chrysler had a deal to where the pair would build certain model a cars on a shared platform, these cars would be known as DSM’s. DSM is an acronym for “Diamond-Star Motors” that was used to represent the duo . These cars were released under the Plymouth, Eagle, and Mitsubishi Brands in America. The duo released a series of different models that included the Galant, 3000gt, Mirage, and Colt. However, the most famous of the cars was the 2nd Generation 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by Paul Walker on “The Fast and the Furious” in 2001. Other renditions of the Eclipse were made under the Plymouth Laser (1989-1994) and the Eagle Talon (1989-1998).

All-Wheel-Drive All-Day All-Day

DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

The Eclipse GSX, Laser RS, and Talon TSI all had constant all-wheel drive systems that gave the DSM’s the same drive system as the famous EVO III, this means rally bread. This also gives the DSM tons of grip, which in America is used in drag racing.


DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

The powerplant of this beast is the same one that is found on the EVO (1-3). The 4g63 is a 4-cylinder 2.0L DOHC turbocharged engine that produced 210bhp. Although these figures don’t sound too impressive for a turbocharged car compared to todays standards, you must look past stock levels and see what potential lays ahead. The 4g63 has an almost unlimited amount of aftermarket support that has these engines surpassing the 1000hp mark. The simplicity of it all makes it a great entry-level engine for those looking to learn engine-building and tuning. Crank, rods, pistons, cams, timing belt make it basic but the Hydraulic Lift Adjusters make it so that you don’t have to time the valves; making things much better.

Lets Dance the Crankwalk

DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

The biggest drawback to this little beast is that what plagues all 2nd generation DSM’s or any 4g63 with a “7-bolt” block. Crankwalk is what engineers and DSM’ers call when the crankshaft begins to develop a considerable amount of movement or “end-play” back and forth relative to the block. This “end-play” cannot exceed the stock levels of 0.05 - 0.18mm (.0020 - .0071in.). If this “end-play” exceeds the 0.18mm mark it can reek havoc for the crank bearings (mains); spinning bearings, releasing big chunks of metal that circulate through the engine journals causing considerable amounts of damage to anything the oil touches, including the turbocharger.

What is a “7-bolt” block and how can I avoid crankwalk?

DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

A 7-bolt block refers to the number flywheel bolts the crank holds. For example the 1st generation DSM’s from 1989-1992 had a “6-bolt” block, meaning the crank had 6 flywheel bolts. So what is the difference between 6-bolt and 7-bolt blocks? For the most part, the 6-bolt blocks had much thicker mains. This meant you can run up to 500hp without having to upgrade any of the internals for support. And because of this, the 6-bolt was almost never prone to the crankwalk epidemic that plagued the 7-bolt. There have been many tuners trying to fix the issue of crankwalk by; installing thicker thrust bearings, honing the main journals for a more balanced fit, to even swapping the 7-bolt block with the 6-bolt block. The issue is not so easy to fix in regards to your everyday average tuner.

The Bargain

DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

So what makes DSM’s the poor bloke’s EVO? Well for starters, they are a relatively cheap car to buy. A stock 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX with all-wheel drive, 4g63 turbo engine, moon roof, leather/electric seats, manual, around 100k on the clock, and will run you about $4000 (3,700 €). This is a bargain for a car designed in the world of rally. What makes DSM’s even more special besides the value is the community.


DSM: The Poor bloke’s EVO

DSM’ers encompass everything that is right with the car community. They are always willing to lend a hand if you ever run into any problems, they have great knowledge in engineering, and appreciate a clean tune. They don’t care much for exterior modifications (unless its crucial for performance) and they build their engines with the passion and quality that even surpasses Mitsubishi.


Eric Mark X

Nice article. Especially the engine bit. I never knew the 4G63 could have that much potential

12/08/2015 - 16:22 |
4 | 0

I do thank you. They have so much potential and most of them reach it. Before I sold mine it made 343hp to the wheels. All I did to it: Upgrade turbo, upgrade injectors, Install aftermarket Fuel pressure regulator, walbro 255 fuel pump, Front mount intercooler with Greddy BOV, and 3in catback. And it did all of this without a tune :)

12/08/2015 - 20:58 |
10 | 0

There’s a few 4G63 making upwards of 1400 hp, heck, 700 is easy on a stock bottom end.

12/13/2015 - 17:43 |
2 | 0

Very good article. A reminder of the great Mitsubishi back catalogue.
Also, the Talon will forever remind me of playing GTA SA

12/08/2015 - 18:22 |
18 | 2

Thank you, I never noticed that before on GTA, time to reconnect the PS2 :D

12/08/2015 - 20:59 |
4 | 2


12/09/2015 - 12:54 |
2 | 0

So, get a talon, crank it up to 11, and then destroy V8s?

12/08/2015 - 20:34 |
4 | 0
Edward Lopez

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

yep and not just from a roll, destroy them from a dig (from a dead stop). This is where the AWD comes in, it gets all the traction off the line

12/08/2015 - 21:01 |
2 | 0
Max Vinzi

One of my dad’s friends is really into the dsm scene. He’s got a stripped out 1st gen talon tsi with a built motor and turbo w/ ~600whp, a 4G63 swapped Fiero, and a Galant VR-4 pushing 350whp. Since I am 15 and soon to be getting my licence, I am planning to buy the Galant from him as my first car.

12/08/2015 - 22:32 |
0 | 0
Ben Switch Harrington

In reply to by Max Vinzi

I really hope you don’t kill yourself. I wouldn’t recommend that much power for a first car.

12/09/2015 - 09:57 |
6 | 2

Got an old Laser sitting on my back yard. Unfortunately someone backed into it and screwed up the electronics

12/08/2015 - 23:18 |
0 | 0

what about the 420a?

12/09/2015 - 02:48 |
0 | 0
Scott Anderson

In reply to by carzz

I’ve had two 420a cars and they will just laugh at you. Barely any aftermarket either compared to the 4g63

12/09/2015 - 04:00 |
2 | 0
Michael Rempel

In reply to by carzz

420a is a Chrysler engine, it came be decent as I believe it’s what’s in the SRT4 but it’s nothing compared to the 4G63 and you can’t get it in AWD form.

12/12/2015 - 01:28 |
0 | 0

Great article, great car, but the prices seem to be higher in Germany. Cheapest one I could find here is about 7000€ ..

12/09/2015 - 09:50 |
2 | 0

Guess the price in Norway? One gsx for sale was about 19 000 €

12/09/2015 - 11:15 |
2 | 0

I miss mine :(wasn`t easy crush it in a little block of “ fk you you little pice of st wasting my money and nerves! “but still miss it :)

12/09/2015 - 09:51 |
2 | 0
Liam Mehlhopt

Is that 210hp at the flywheel?

12/09/2015 - 10:01 |
0 | 0

yes, which is kind of pathetic…..stock :)

12/09/2015 - 16:13 |
0 | 0

right in the feels :D so much memories for this car ..It was the Dream car of my childhood…I had printed picture of that car on every single wall in my room :D ….after all these years I still love the design still looks soo modern

12/09/2015 - 10:31 |
0 | 0


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