Turbosmart Dump valve

Turbosmart dump valveWhen I bought the car it came prefitted with hardpipes and a Forge recirculating dump valve. This was a nice subtle sound for everyday use, easily audible within the cabin on gearchanges. However with the Evo now relegated to weekend duties for the most part I thought I’d try ‘chav it up’ a little but buying a Turbosmart Dual Port Blow Off Valve. This dump valve, as they are known, has two ports to allow some air to recirculate back into the intake and some to be released out.

Fitting in my case was very easy; Simply remove the Forge valve by undoing the jubilee clips securing it to the intake pipe and replace with the Turbosmart.

Turbosmart Hardness settingThe Turbosmart has a hardness setting that is easily adjustable. By twisting the case you can specify how much air gets released to atmosphere and how much gets recirculated into the intake system. Too ‘hard’ and the engine could stall at low revs by venting all air out, too soft and all the air gets recirculated.

After a trial run down the road, at a mid range setting, the car sounded great, with no stalling issues and had my brother in the following car chuckling at the commotion on each gear change. The hiss of escaping air is now clearly audible outside the car and as juvenile as it is, I think it’s great!

Evo mud flaps

Evo MudflapMy once proud Mitsubishi is now mudflapless on one corner after I stupidly reversed up a kerb, which dragged the mudflap under the car and ripped it off. So in keeping with the red calipers and red Mitsubishi rear lights and badges I thought it would be good to get some red Mitsubishi Lancer Register mudflaps to replace the black Ralliart ones that were on before. These are £76.60 from the MLR club shop and were easy to fit, especially given the fixings were there from the last set anyway. Of course these pick up dirt easily and are a bit painful to clean with the wheels on the car but I think they look fantastic.

Changing the front brake pads and discs

Since Oulton Park finished off the rest of my front brake pads (and discs – due to me not having time to change them before metal on metal contact occurred)  I purchased a full set of EBC BlueStuff NDX pads and Camskill discs. This came to a total of around £330.

The Bluestuff NDX pads are getting good reviews on the MLR as a fast road pad with good pedal feel. These are very different from the old Bluestuff compound that generally received poor reviews from the market. Since I boiled the fluid at Oulton Park, I’ll need to change that soon too as the pedal travel is definitely longer than it used to be.

Heres a guide to changing the brakes:

  • Jack up the car and secure on axle stands where necessary.
  • Remove the appropriate wheel
  • Loosen the caliper bolts with a 19mm socket
  • Withdraw the caliper from the disc
  • Tap out the retaining pins
  • Remove the pads from the caliper
  • Clean out the brake dust from the old caliper
  • Hit the disc with a rubber mallet to remove
  • Clean the new disc surfaces with brake cleaner
  • Place some copper slip on the hub and locate the new disc on the hub
  • Fit the new brake pads to the caliper, with shims if necessary (usually included with the pads)
  • Refit the retaining pins to the caliper.
  • Slide the caliper over the disc and bolt it to the hub with a little threadlock.
  • Torque up the bolts
  • Replace the wheel

IMPORTANT: pump the brake pedal a few times before you forget and end up in the neighbours garden/front room when you reverse off the drive.

Make sure you check the bolts are tight after 30-40 miles.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for problems arising from you following this guide. Always support the car safely using axle stands and don’t take chances when it comes to brakes, double check and make sure.

Fitting a Cusco rear strut brace

Coming from a nimble and potent lightweight hatchback, the Evo feels like a fairly heavy car and is Cusco rear strut bracemore reluctant to change direction. Since I felt the rear was a little sluggish to react, to try and combat this I purchased a Cusco rear strut brace to fit in the boot. This fits to the rear struts in the boot and can help stiffen the rear end a fraction. Do be careful when fitting not to strip the threads on the bolts, and purchase longer bolts if necessary.

New fuel pump

Walbro pump

Walbro pump

With the car currently running 1 bar of boost pressure (~0.2 bar above standard) I thought it best to upgrade the stock fuel pump to a Walbro 255lph pump. These are a regular upgrade on most performance cars to beef up the fuel system. A better fuel pump can provide more fuel at higher pressures for longer. It prevents any danger of the engine being starved of fuel, running too lean and causing internal damage. It also means the Evo can take a hike in boost levels from its current 1 bar of boost in the future, to make it accelerate even harder.
The pump is now a lot more audible than the stock pump as it whines away when running but I feel more comfortable that the car won’t be running lean any time soon.

Which tyres for an Evo?

Falken FK452s

Falken FK452s

Since buying the car I noticed it was understeering too much for my liking when pressing on in the dry. I checked the tyres and soon realised that the Bridgestone Blizzak tyres fitted were in fact winter tyres and were often fitted in Japan. Since I seemed to be running the original Winter tyres that the Evo was imported on, I decided to look at performance summer tyres, to cut the understeer and offer more grip. The Blizzaks offered chronic understeer in the dry and strangely no grip in the wet. So it was time to replace them with a decent summer tyre to make the most of the Evo’s famous handling. I set about searching for tyres online. Having run Falken ZE912s on my hot hatch, I took a look at the Falken FK452s which get some excellent reviews. After hours of research it seems the general concensus is that they offer 95% of a premium tyre like Goodyear Eagle F1 at 50% of the price. Camskill came up trumps only charging £70 a tyre delivered, and I took the Evo in to get them fitted at a local Evo specialist. Review to follow soon…

Buying my Evo

Evo 5For years I’ve wanted to own an Evo – I like the technology, I like the unapologetic aggressive looks, I like the rally motorsport heritage – I suddenly found myself religiously checking online ads for Evo V. Almost an identical car to the VI except for some minor cosmetic and mechanical changes, the brutal looking version 5 has a nicer looking rear wing, rear light cluster and front bumper compared to the (IMO) bulbous VI. A good 5 also better fitted my budget than a slightly shoddy 6.

So having set about viewing Evos in various parts of the country, what I soon discovered was that some people’s definition of “mint” differs from mine! It was never going to be easy finding a 12 year old performance car in excellent condition but I knew there would be good examples out there it just requires patience and the will to travel to find the right car.

Viewing was not straightforward I found and subsequently was beaten to, a very nice Evo V with a forged NR Autosport engine, and also wasted a long trip to see another forged motor which ended up being a complete dog. This car was leaking oil all over the drive, had a snapped actuator a windscreen covered in chips and the worst thing, poor bodywork and chronic rust underneath.

Evo from the frontThen my patience was rewarded, a car with traceable history through the MLR owners club, standard engine with “Stage 1” mods, but also extremely tidy bodywork and totally rust free underneath. The owner lived on the Isle of Wight and I can see why he sold it, theres barely any decent roads to stretch the car’s legs.

I was delighted after the long trip over to the island to see the car was exactly as described with fantastic bodywork, absolutely no rust, and a very tidy engine bay. The oil looked brand new and was quality Silkolene Racing oil. The service history was spot on with belts changed and servicing completed on time. I had found “the one.” Swift negotiations were dealt with, and I left in the Evo a very, very happy man. The only problem was finding reverse to get the car off the drive as the white Ralliart gearknob had no gear indicators!