Find a junkyard with access to Hollander (an internet-like parts finder that binds junkyards). You will find our junkyard, we have over 6000 cars and over a dozen Starions and Conquests (same car), then you can see some low-cost possibilities. I work at Somerset Auto Salvage in Somerset Wi.
I recently bought an 87 conquest tsi from a used car dealer.
This thing was a piece of junk. The turbo has to be replaced and the engines are known to be costly and bothersome. The heads are faulty and they have a bad heat management problem resulting in expensive valve jobs. When my car did run for a month problem free, it was a blast. Even a car this old has superb handling and the engine size (2.6 liter) and turbo combination were amazing. I could roast Honda/Acura v-techs and imprezas like they were standing still. However it sits right now and is going to stay that way until I can pull money off trees.
I'm a Starion/Conquest lover, but since I got married I guess my priorities have changed.
I do read and watch about this cars.
Keep up the good work and thank you.
On my second Conquest. My 89 runs great. The car is old, so if you get one used, perform all the fixes it missed. Timing chain and radiator are important. If you run over 1/2 on the temp gauge, get the radiator rodded or replaced. Also the fuel filters if they are clogged will cause this car to run lean, causing problems for the head gasket. These cars can be found with bad head gaskets from people cranking the boost without taking proper repairs to heart. If you get one with bad head / head gasket, you can repair this pretty cheap.
The people that think these cars suck or are hard to work on, have never owned a high strung turbo car before. Wait till they try to fix an Eclipse with bent valves, or worse, they try to fix their Subaru (good luck!)
These cars are as simple as you can get, and with the right knowledge, you can get 300-400 WHP reliably.
Good luck with your car.
Try this link for help/advice/encouragement:
I have a 1988 Conquest that I got in a trade, and I love it. It's pretty quick. However, so far the only thing that gives me a problem is that some of the parts are kinda' hard to find, or when you do find them, you have to chop off an arm or leg to buy the darn thing! Where can I go to get the best prices?
I've always loved the StarQuests... I'm the proud owner of an '89 Conquest TSI. Owned the car since 1999... second owner... changes I've made include:
A metal head gasket.
ARP head studs.
Installed a non-jet valve head.
2.5" turbo back exhaust.
Vented to atmosphere blow-off valve.
Manual boost controller set to 20 PSI.
Eclipse MAF to raise boost cut limit.
3 core radiator.
Upgraded fuel pump.
Installed a 3rd injector in OVC pipe.
Polyurethane bushings all around.
225/50/16 in front and 245/45/16 in back.
Back rims are the 1 inch wider special rims offered on the '89's as an option.
Car runs excellent. Stayed neck and neck with my friend's '05 Evolution in a race (much to his surprise). Car pulls hard all the way to 155. Limited by gearbox (car is red lined in 5th at 155).
I would not sell this car for anything in the world. The car is black with tan leather interior. Oh, I also installed 8.5 to 1 forged pistons. Runs like a champ.
If you need any online help with your StarQuest, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also own an '06 Evolution MR.
StarQuests have huge potential due to the strong bottom end... check out these videos on YouTube:
"Very very fast car, I have a 95 Mustang GT now and it's much much faster plus it's a much nicer car to live with, it's got everything but a kitchen sink."
The '95 Mustang did 0-60 in just over 6 seconds, and if it is much much faster, then how could the Starion do it in 5.4 seconds. The best time I've ever found in the car mags for this car is 7.6 seconds to 60. That was on the 170 HP version. It got a bump to 188 HP, but even that kind of power won't get you to 60 in 5.4 seconds. Not sure where the reviewer got their info from.