What's Wrong With This Picture?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

In this vivid demonstration of how steel differs from aluminum, we see how a junkyard-turbocharged Mitsubishi V6 eats one of its own pistons.

This Dodge Shadow, which won the coveted Index of Effluency trophy at the ’09 Goin’ For Broken 24 Hours of LeMons race, showed up to the Buttonwillow event with a hooptily installed remote-turbocharger setup (complete with intercooler in the passenger-seat area) force-feeding its Mitsu V6. It worked just fine… for several hours.

Hey, what’s that terrible noise? Better come in for a pit stop!

When the team got the head off, they discovered that the #6 piston was just gone. The rod and wrist pin were still there, but the aluminum piston got vaporized. Hey, maybe it ran a little lean?

The only remnants were some tiny metal particles on the other pistons. Yes, racers, ghettocharging your engine can result in unpleasantness when your kludged fuel-delivery system doesn’t work exactly right.





Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Dec 23, 2010

    Not enough Slick 50!

  • Itsgotvtakyo Itsgotvtakyo on Dec 25, 2010

    Ahhh, the ghettocharge. I have fond memories of my first. Exhaust manifold gasket made from the cardboard back of a three subject notebook, junkyard mitsu turbo with more shaft play than I had as a hormonal teenager at the time and only the vaguest understanding of air/fuel ratio and the role it would play in keeping the engine's insides inside. Car was fast until it puked it's guts all over the street... a 1/2 mile away from my house. A necessary sacrifice though, car was in desperate need of an engine with two bump sticks.

  • SCE to AUX This year is indeed key for them, but it's worth mentioning that Rivian is actually meeting its sales and production forecasts.
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh a consideration should be tread gap and depth. had wildpeaks on 17 inch rims .. but they only had 14 mm depth and tread gap measured on truck was not enough to put my pinky into. they would gum up unless you spun the libing F$$k out of them. My new Miky's have 19mm depth and i can put my entire index finger in the tread gap and the cut outs are stupid huge. so far the Miky baja boss ATs are handing sand and mud snow here in oregon on trails way better than the WPs and dont require me to redline it to keep moving forward and have never gummed up yet
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  • Lou_BC I've been considering a 2nd set of tires and wheels. I got stuck in some gooie mud that turned my Duratrac's to slicks. I personally would stick to known brands and avoid Chinesium knock-offs.
  • Carson D How do you maximize profits when you lost $60K on every vehicle you produce? I guess not producing any more vehicles would be a start.
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