The idea was to pick up any old turbo DSM - front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, it wasn't a big deal - use it as a test bench for products every once in awhile, and carry on with business as usual. We have other project cars, other cars to drive. Somewhere along the line, the idea changed. Shortly after purchasing Project Laser, we realized we actually liked the car and got the idea in our heads to perform all-wheel-drive surgery. After all, if we really were going to spend some time driving this thing, it needed to be all-wheel drive. It's one thing to make due with front-wheel drive when concerning the Yaris, tC or Integra, but it's not as big a deal with those since FWD is the only option there. But with other AWD DSM's right in front of us, we couldn't help ourselves. Granted, it isn't a common or easy conversion when concerning first-generation DSM's and most smart people would reconsider. But nobody's accusing us of being smart. Luckily what we lack in common sense we make up for with decent fabrication skills and mechanical know-how, so the changeover didn't seem so intimidating. But common sense got the best of us. The cost involved just never made sense; no matter how we added it up, starting from scratch with an AWD chassis is just smarter in every way, even for us.
After months of searching, we stumbled across a decent find: a '91 Eclipse GSX. It has less than 100,000 miles on it, a drivetrain that shifts like butter and an interior so pristine you'd have to see it to believe it. It'll be a damn shame to get rid of those seats. Unfortunately we had to rape Project Laser to replace the GSX's locked-up bottom end among a few other things. We ended up swapping in the Laser's entire longblock since the head has just recently been freshened up. And a headlight, a windshield, a couple of interior bits, more than a few electrical connectors and that's not all. As such, it's off to the scrap yard for our faithful front-wheel-drive DSM. No matter, the GSX is better in every way and we're excited about its potential. It could use a paint job though.
We receive a lot of e-mails in regards to Project Laser. Most Turbo readers were happy to see a DSM in the pages of the magazine once again. Even those that came off a bit sour as far as our choice in the wrong-wheel-drive drivetrain was concerned were still, for the most part, happy to see something with a 4G63 in it that wasn't an EVO (no disrespect to the EVO). We have even better expectations for our GSX as it's arguably got the superior drivetrain of the two. About the only negative thing we've come across so far is the GSX's inferior rate of acceleration when compared to the Laser - a few hundred extra pounds of all-wheel-drive goodness will do that to a car. Understandable. There's no denying though which of the two will be able to better hold its own once we generate some real Zhorsepower out of this thing though.