Mitsubishi Mirage 1991, NOT running

1991 Mitsubishi Mirage

Condition: Used
Make: Mitsubishi
Model: Mirage
Type: Hatchback
Year: 1991
Mileage: 174,184
VIN: JA3CU24A0MU030337
Color: Red
Engine: 1.5L
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Interior color: Gray
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: McDonald, Tennessee, United States
Air Conditioning

Description for Mitsubishi Mirage 1991

1991 Mitsubishi Mirage, title, owned since 1992! 3 speed automatic, 1.5L 12 valve EFI, original paint!
DOES NOT CURRENTLY RUN (see below), last ran December 2017. Try to view engine bay photo full size, it's very detailed. (This is long but I get to the point about the engine fairly soon !)

I will post interior/seats shots soon (along with other exterior pics), but the interior is quite good, NON-SMOKER. (This has NOT been a daily driver since the 1990's, only driven a few times a week at most, usually just once or twice a week). Garaged constantly since 2007, and at times before that, but always at minimum under a shelter. Tires still quite good, General Altimax on larger 15 inch "Sport Edition" aluminum wheels. They gear it up by 5% or so...raised the ride height about 3/4 inch...but also INCREASED track width at least THREE inches. It handles almost like a sports car compared to how it did on the tiny 13 inch wheels and narrow tires.
Steering feedback puts many modern cars to shame, especially the 2012 Ford Mustang with electric steering that I drove a while back, it felt as vague as a farm tractor ! This steering has a nice kickback to it, you feel the road.
We also have all 4 original 13 inch steel OEM wheels (without tires) that will come with the car, see picture of one.

THE MAIN ENGINE ISSUE: One spark plug somehow welded itself in and never came out, then the tool to remove it broke off in it. Also it's quite possible the cylinder head is cracked, but I'm not sure. Coolant seeped out of two of the spark plug holes (we did try a heating torch as per youtube, probably a mistake !).
I see cylinder heads for this engine on ebay, not cheap, but not too bad either...depending on if you even want to keep the engine (for example if you want to modify the car, etc...the larger 1.6L turbo engine is sort of a beast! Just throwing that out there, lol.)
I think the timing belt has been replaced but it's been 15 to 20 years ago, but that was not the cause of the engine issue.

The engine itself ran fine and still had plenty of power before the issue, did not burn oil (only leaked it) if you like these engines I say fix the issue and drive it ! My family owned a total of 4 cars like this one, they all had the oil leak issue after about 50k miles.

Besides the engine, one known issue is BODY DAMAGE on right front (and corner of hood) from low speed impact of a deer (occurred in 2015, see pictures). Hood still works fine, passenger door rubs a bit to open it very far (I rarely took passengers). Parking/signal light needs replacing on that side (I may be able to include one if I can find it). But turn signals worked, and all 4 headlights work (also are still aimed correctly), along with brake lights. Battery still relatively good, is a couple years old.
OTHER KNOWN ISSUES: Oil leak from one or both crank seals, would leak about 15 ounces every 1600 miles if driven above 60 mph constantly (on interstate). If kept slower than 60 mph, it's about 1/3 that rate (which is how I usually drove it, NOT on interstates, but on back rural roads, highways). If driven above 85 mph, it's a bit more than 15 ounces per 1600 miles (this is not really an overdrive transmission). I had this seal leak fixed in late 2007 (after selling another car so I wound up driving this one slightly more often than I had previously for a while.) But within 8 months it began leaking again, so they obviously did not do the crank seal job very well. Also they cracked the radiator but I wound up not replacing it until 2010, as it was slow to leak, I actually fixed the crack in the plastic.

Radiator has had no issues since, and it's metal on top now.
Transmission has always seemed great (for what it is). It does NEED BRAKES badly (and the brakes are crap anyway, if you like to use brakes hard often, you need to find a way to retrofit better, or bigger ones). Also needs A/C serviced, and perhaps converted if you can't run the old gas. I was told by a mechanic in the past that the condenser is still good, but it's not had working A/C in a while. The interior fan blower works.

To summarize: I hate to see the car go, it's been in my family friggin 26 years ! But it's time.
I paid for a tune up several years ago, but apparently they never replaced one or more of the spark plugs (was not at a dealer). It started not running on all cylinders intermittently in mid 2017, I drove it off and on like that, but then we tried to change the plugs. We got all out but one, and that one was fatal !!
My hope is someone who appreciates cars like this, kind of the last of the golden era of the really LIGHT WEIGHT hatchbacks, will want to restore or even modify this thing beyond its former glory.
Curb weight is only around 2300 lbs, similar to Honda Civics of the same time period. Power was supposed to be 92 still felt like it had 80 something to me, at least, before the spark plug problem.
The only other accident damage that I'm aware of, was in 1995 where someone backed into the same right front fender in a parking lot. So that fender was replaced then.
Park this little car next to a new Fiat 500, and other than the wheelbase, the Fiat looks like a tiny toy that could tip over !! This Mirage looks like the right size...also old cars like this have a lot more interior room for their size than new small cars.
The modern Mirage cars I find very ugly, it's quite sad...oh well. Thank you for reading!