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RexSeven UberDork
3/16/15 10:33 p.m.

I no longer own my 2013 Mustang V-6. The brutal February we had in New England started me thinking about moving on, not just because of how useless the Mustang was in the snow and how none of my winter beaters I've owned seemed to work, but I felt like I was never totally enthused by it. I think the Mustang has come a long way since the soggy noodle chassis of previous Mustangs and the S550 looks sweet. However, I've come to the realization I am an import guy at heart and would really rather stick to one car I can use all year round. I will certainly consider the AWD Focus RS once it comes out (and maybe depreciation kicks in), but my hankering for a new boost buggy needed to be fulfilled sooner rather than later. Last Thursday I picked up a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X MR with the factory Aero Package.

It was a one-owner car with only 39,500 miles on the odometer when purchased and it is super clean. Well, not outside since I've yet to get any pictures of this car clean... This Evo was always serviced at the dealership it was purchased from. The PO traded it in towards a 2015 since the Evo is being killed off this year (pours a 40 out). It does have a few minor cosmetic blemishes but no signs of ever being modified aside from leftover hardware from some Rally Armor mudflaps. Replacing the missing mudflaps is high on the to-do list since this car will be my winter warrior. A couple of other blemishes are some paint missing from the NACA duct on the hood and a small crack in the front lip.

I'm debating whether I should have a body shop take care of these issues, or if I maybe want to replace them with carbon fiber. Anywho, future mod plans will include the obligatory intake and exhaust, an oil catch can, KW or Fortune Auto coilovers, a Cobb Accessport tuner with professional tuning, and a bigger, badder transmission cooler to replace the puny stock unit.

Oh, and better tires. I drove the Evo out during yesterday's storm that finally broke Boston's all-time snowfall record, and discovered the braking performance of the Hankook Ventus HRII all-seasons suuuucks.

NGTD SuperDork
3/16/15 11:18 p.m.

Nice - I love AWD turbo cars!

sethmeister4 Dork
3/17/15 12:36 a.m.

Awesome car, I love these things. Will be following along for sure!

pinchvalve MegaDork
3/17/15 8:51 a.m.

A neighbor has the same color, but with HUGE black rims. It is so freaking awesome, I lust after it daily.

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
3/17/15 8:57 a.m.

Looking good!

Real snow tires made a big difference on mine not only when it came to braking.

RexSeven UberDork
3/17/15 9:40 p.m.

I've already got parts on the way. Visual for now, mainly. I'd like to be able to come to grips (ba-dum-TISSSH!) with the Evo before throwing tons of performance parts at it. First up, new Rally Armor mud flaps to replace the old ones the PO removed. I got the black with red logo but this picture will give you an idea of how they will look.

Next is a Rexpeed carbon fiber NACA duct. It cost about as much as a professional respray of the stock hood vent but adds a little bling. If I don't like the look I will paint match it.

And finally a Perrin 4" shorty antenna to replace the goofy stock R/C car antenna.

JohnRW1621 UltimaDork
3/17/15 10:12 p.m.

I did not know they came as automatics.

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
3/17/15 10:15 p.m.

That's a flappy paddle dual clutch box, and a rather impressive one to boot.

RexSeven UberDork
3/17/15 10:27 p.m.

The Evo's SST transmission shifts lightning fast! It can't handle the ludicrous amounts of power the 5-speed can, but 400-500hp isn't too much for it. However, the stock cooler is barely adequate for fast street driving, never mind autocross or track days, so a much larger cooler is in the plans for this year.

Opti Reader
3/17/15 11:02 p.m.

Does it have launch control, can you do a redline clutch dump with the SST? Either way, my one request is you do one and video it, bonus internet points if you do it in the snow, wetness, or dead hook in the dry.

I want an AWD car but literally just to do a full bore launch on it, just once, all I ask.

RexSeven UberDork
4/2/15 2:20 a.m.

In reply to Opti:

It does have launch mode, but I only plan on using it once I upgrade the transmission cooler (I may not need a new one, just a fan on the stock cooler may work fine. Stay tuned) and change in some fresh fluid. You can expect those to happen in the next few months once I reach about 45,000mi. I will try to get video, I promise!

Anyways, enough with the show bits, time for the go-fast bits! And I am impatiently awaiting for my first to arrive.

I want an exhaust next. The engine sounds like a blender. Unfortunately, Massachusetts has a stupid law that says car exhausts must be as quiet as stock when it comes time for inspection, but what's quiet enough is completely subjective to the inspection stations. I've had trouble with this in the past and would prefer not to mount up the stock exhaust every year, so I will be doing my homework to find a better-sounding exhaust that's as quiet as possible at low revs.

tjbell Reader
4/2/15 4:25 p.m.

I am in MA too, I feel your pain! wheat town are you in? I may know of a "inspection" station with less than ideal hearing nice EVO though!

RexSeven UberDork
4/6/15 6:00 p.m.

In reply to tjbell: PM me the details, please!

In other news, my Accessport arrived today! Woo-hoo!

But I can't use it yet. D'oh! It turns out the Evo X and Ralliart have issues with their fuel pump relays. The Evo X fuel pump runs on 5v mode for normal driving and 12v for starting and fueling under heavy loads. The relay's 12v mode can fail, causing the car to have trouble starting and run lean under heavy loads! Mine doesn't appear to have those problems, but I definitely want to make sure there's no chance of that happening before I tune it. Mitsubishi put out a TSB for it, though I don't have the number on me at the moment. The problematic relay is circled in the picture below, colored black:

Mitsubishi has an upgraded fuel pump relay, part #8627A024, colored blue. So, off to the dealership tomorrow or Wednesday. I also found out my Accessport is from an unauthorized seller, so I lose out on the 1-year warranty. Caveat emptor.

I am also waiting on a new C/F hood vent. I got one already, but there was some clearcoat peeling on one of the edges, so the retailer is sending me a new one.

RexSeven UberDork
4/8/15 12:14 a.m.

I got a lot of small jobs done yesterday on the Evo. First, I got that replacement relay so I could hook up my Accessport... only to find out that THAT relay has been superseded by another part number, MR122409 (also black). Seems like Mitsu hasn't been able to get this problem licked because they've been through four relay types now, stock black/green/blue/new black, and some folks are still reporting relay failures. The blue and new black relays last a lot longer than the stock ones. I ordered a couple extras just in case.

On a less maddening note, that blue relay has allowed me to safely install my Cobb Accessport! I had one for my '07 Mazdaspeed3 I owned a few years ago and it worked a treat, but the new AP V3 is even better. Bigger screen, faster loading of maps, comes with a car mount and changeable faceplates, etc. I haven't had a chance to really open 'er up, but already I can tell the throttle response is better and the power delivery smoother. I can't wait to get more go-fast bits so I can have the Evo professionally tuned!

On the appearance front, I installed a new set of Rally Armor mudflaps. The PO had them on the car before and some of the mounting hardware was still in place which made mounting the new ones faster for the most part. Since I didn't have my jack at the ready access to the rear brackets was tough since I could not get the wheels off. Some finagling and a offset screwdriver helped. Sorry for the craptacular cell phone pictures!

And finally, my replacement carbon fiber hood vent arrived today, so I went ahead and put it on!

It doesn't quite fit flush to the hood contour. I may need to strategically sand the bottom in a couple of areas. I'm not totally sure I like the vent, but I will give it a little time to see if it grows on me.

The_Jed UberDork
4/8/15 1:48 a.m.

Looks good! I like the hatch. (Edit: that is a hatch, right?)

The shifter is oriented properly too! The wife's Outback is reversed; to upshift you bump it forward and you pull back for a downshift... berkeleying maddening!

JacktheRiffer Reader
4/8/15 9:36 a.m.

Looking good! Ive always wanted an Evo.

RexSeven UberDork
4/8/15 7:01 p.m.
The_Jed wrote: Looks good! I like the hatch. (Edit: that is a hatch, right?) The shifter is oriented properly too! The wife's Outback is reversed; to upshift you bump it forward and you pull back for a downshift... berkeleying maddening!

Nope, sedan. IIRC the only long roof Evo was the IX Wagon, and those were only sold in Japan (of course). The Evo X's baby brother Ralliart was available as a sedan or hatch for a little while but now it is sedan-only.

I had a 2014 Outlander Sport as a dealership rental for a day and the manual shift mode on that car was also backwards, like on your wife's Outback. Weird.

mazdeuce PowerDork
4/8/15 9:16 p.m.

The launch control on those is astonishing. It's probably not great to do it a lot, but if anyone gets a chance to ride in one with it engaged, do it!

RexSeven UberDork
4/22/15 12:53 p.m.

It's been a rough past week, what with my grandfather passing away and me running around like a headless chicken trying to get a job lined up so I am not out of work too long after my May 22nd termination date. To try and take some of those things off of my mind, I got a couple of small jobs accomplished on the Evo.

First, the hood vents. If you look further up you'll see they are painted the same gray as the rest of the car. I replaced the body-colored plastic NACA duct with a carbon fiber piece, but I felt like something was missing. The hood vents didn't quite match the C/F duct! So I took out that Eastwood Elastiwrap (their version of Plasti-Dip) they gave away last year on the forum and finally put it to good use. I think the results came out pretty darn good.

Rexpeed makes C/F replacement vents, but I wanted to see how the whole thing would look with the contrasting black, and I like it! Those will come at a later date.

The second mod is a high-flow panel air filter from Cosworth. Yes, THAT Cosworth, the one with 57 years of engineering and tuning history in the upper echelons of motorsport! They make quite a few go-fast goodies for the 4B11T engine, but since I have found myself on a tighter budget, I went for the cheap mod.

This by no means is a bad thing. The Evo X's intake system is actually not that restrictive, with only the filter and the elbow going to the turbo being the choke points. Cobb sells a silicone intake elbow that smooths out the accordion-like stock piece.

You can see just how big the stock filter is. Why replace nearly new air filter? Because race car!

Gains of 10-17hp on a stock Evo X with a performance panel filter have been reported! Cold air intakes don't make much more HP, though they look cooler and make a louder induction noise. Cobb even has a performance air filter tune available for the Accessport, so I loaded that up to the ECU after install, then took the Evo for a quick jaunt through some backroads. I knew the Evo was quick, but it really scoots now with the filter and tune! The Cossie filter barely made itself heard at higher revs. Even though there were too many people out on the roads to really enjoy the mods, I still walked out of the car with a big E36 M3-eating grin on my face!

Once things get settled in the other areas of my life, an exhaust is next on my mod list, followed by a new cooling solution for the DCT. Keep it right here, folks!

RexSeven UberDork
4/28/15 10:12 p.m.

Another el-cheapo mod done today: I removed the fog lights. Why, you might ask? Well, besides the weight savings and making the Evo look more badass, removing the fog lights helps improve airflow to the radiator and transmission coolers that hide behind them. The fog lights and bezels block almost half of the surface area of the coolers and is a contributing factor to the dual-clutch transmission's cooling woes. The SST will only last for a few laps or even only a few minutes of hard driving in hot weather before going into limp mode. Mitsubishi even recommends removing the fogs before tracking the car. While it doesn't cure the issue completely, it will help extend any hard driving sessions. I am researching other solutions, but this mod can't hurt.

First things first, got the mesh grille from PepBoyz Racing for $18 on clearance. Yo, dawg...

Let's de-bling this thing.

Get used to seeing the bumper cover off. Lots of mods on the Evo X require its removal.

The stock fog light housing.


Here is the oil cooler, on the passenger's side. Note the nice air guide.

And the SST cooler on the driver's side, complete with much worse air guide. That radiator area visible in the picture was almost totally blocked by the fog light.

All together again!

I will need to do something to make the grilles fit flush with the bumper. I cannot reuse or modify the fog light bezels because of their design. I had to remove a lot of annoying push clips to free the bumper cover, but even worse was that some hammer mechanic replaced a few of them with huge Phillips screws and 14mm nuts. Getting them out was a big PITA thanks to the Evo's cramped quarters, especially one near the right wheel well that had rusted tight. I ended up breaking it and getting the nut stuck in one of my sockets in the process. If I ever meet the genius who thought that was a great idea, he's getting a nut punch. And he owes me a 14mm socket.

DaewooOfDeath Dork
4/30/15 2:02 a.m.

That, sir, is a beautiful machine.

What's your planned usage? Autox and occassional track days?

RexSeven UberDork
4/30/15 7:10 p.m.

I definitely want to do some racing this year. It's been years since I last attended an autocross. I would love to do a track day, maybe even rallycross or a visit or two to the dragstrip. The Evo is kind of a Swiss Army knife in that it can be easily made to excel at any of those things. However, my current job ends May 29th and I'm knee-deep in job searching, so that will have to wait. In the meantime, I will continue to make some cheap 'n cheerful mods. Mostly visual, I'm afraid, but performance hop-ups for the Evo are 'spensive.

RexSeven UberDork
5/3/15 10:58 p.m.

I went to a cookout yesterday with the New England Evo Owners Club and had a good time noshing on grub and talking shop with other Evo guys. It was in my hometown too, so how could I miss it? You can see the full set of photos on my Photobucket page.

There was only one Evo VIII and one IX in attendance. Unfortunately, the IX was in kind of rough shape and the VIII had some rear wheel well rust. The IX owner's car had a lot of mechanical trouble, which is sadly indicative of the condition of most VIII/IXs in New England and part of why I ultimately gravitated towards my X.

To make up for that was a very special Evo X, the 311RS by Evasive Motorsports. You can click the link to find out more about this limited-edition beauty (seriously, those Volks and the tartan seats are magnificent!). What makes this particular one even more special is that is the only one based on the MR, all the others are based on the 5-speed GSR.

And finally, a couple cars I think GRMers would dig. First a VW Caddy Sportruck, which I had never heard of and is supposedly quite rare:

And besides the Evo, the host has a souped-up Impala SS, which he inherited from his late father. He used to own a 914 and is also a shooting enthusiast. Sounds like he'd fit right in here!

RexSeven UberDork
5/13/15 10:56 p.m.

The hideous red tail lights are gone. I replaced them with black housing tail lights from a Ralliart.




Much better!

DaewooOfDeath Dork
5/14/15 11:43 p.m.

Wow, that is a big improvement.

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