Clutch change

Evo 5 clutch change

Standard clutch and flywheel upgraded to larger Evo 8 items

Having enjoyed the extra boost for 2 weeks of post remap fun it was clear the clutch was struggling to keep up with the increased torque. It was starting to slip quite badly under boost. (For those unfamiliar, this means the revs increase without a corresponding increase in vehicle speed, the same as what happens if you were to slip the clutch yourself) Having heard of a fellow Evo owner’s clutch going from slipping to broken in no time at all, I thought it better to get the car into the garage sooner rather than later. I booked into DWR again who changed the clutch and flywheel for a slightly larger Evo 8 item with a very quick turnaround time, given the little notice I gave them. The increased surface area of the clutch and flywheel should mean it can handle up to 400bhp no problem at all.

Something interesting Darren did point out, was how the engine bay had got dirty quite quickly since he last cleaned it and that the manifold may be leaking when warm, causing exhaust gas to vent out. So that’s something to keep an eye on in the next few months. They also spotted a split steering gaiter and 2 worn balljoints that were replaced at the same time.

Good service from DWR and now the Evo was ready for it’s next challenge, 3 of the best driving destinations in England…

Service and fixing some niggles

With the AYC fluid due a replacement, I dropped the car off to have all the diff oils checked, the mudflap refitted, the non operative drivers window and the knocking noise from the front left investigated.

The window issue was put down to the regulator, strange since this was supposed to have been replaced last year with an Evo 8 model although I’m beginning to lose faith in the work done by that particular “specialist.”

The AYC, rear diff, transfer box and gearbox oils were all changed to fresh fluids.

It was nice to have another comment from the mechanic about how nice this example drove compared to an Evo 7 he was working on recently.

While the car was in the garage I asked them to diagnose a knocking noise, present on low speed bumps from the front left corner. The knocking was put down to the strut and/or top mount. Since the top mount was supposed to have been replaced last year, I’ll be surprised if its that. So I’m on the lookout for a replacement strut on the MLR forum and eBay. I’d love a set of coilovers all round, but that will have to wait for finances to allow it.

Hesitation on full throttle

An annoying problem has been plaguing the car of late; Under full throttle the car jerks and holds back before accelerating. There doesn’t seem to be much pattern to the jerking other than it tends to occur most on WOT. This got me thinking that it was either fuel or ignition related.

Since the spark plugs probably hadn’t been changed in a while, I wondered if they were worn and if the spark was either too weak or being blow out under a lot of boost pressure.

On removing the plugs, they did seem quite worn, so in went 4 fresh NGK BR8EIX plugs from Ross Sport.

I took the car out for a quick test and pleased to say no more kangarooing silliness

Door switch fix

Door switchRecently I noticed that I was leaving my lights on by accident more often than not when I got out of the car. This is not ideal as the battery is fairly small and drains quickly. I soon realised this was because the door chime was not working when you open the door with the lights on. This is an easy fix and is down to the small switch on the door with a button that is pushed when the door shuts. A screwdriver and 2 minutes of your time is all you need to replace it (in my case with a second hand one). Unscrew the old switch, unclip the plug, plug in the new switch and replace the screw – problem solved.

The costs of running an Evo

Running costs can be highThe main question that comes up when people chat about Evo’s are “How much does it cost to run?”

If you’re used to Fiat Punto levels of costs then you may be in for a shock. However if you compare the costs against running costs for cars with similar levels of performance, running an Evo is relatively cheap.

The main regular expenses are fuel and servicing. However as cars are getting older you may have turbo, actuator, gearbox, differential issues and it’s critical to find one that’s been correctly serviced. Sometimes the Active Yaw Control pumps can fail. These will set you back around £250 second hand. Beware of heavily tuned examples. Standard Evo V engines are known to handle 1.5 bar boost reliably, so beware of standard cars boosting more than this on standard engine internals.

Since the versions 5s have suffered the majority of depreciation already, what you save on purchase price compared with another car you can use on fuel and maintenance.

e.g. If you buy an Evo V for £5500 and spend £1500 a year keeping it running this can work out the same or less as buying a car that will depreciate by thousands of pounds every year. Insurance will be almost unattainable for those under 25 unless you have large amounts of No Claims Bonus, live in a good area and the car is garaged. For those in their late twenties, you’re looking at a minimum of £700 to insure the car, but often nearer £1000 a year. Obviously insurance costs come into play but as a petrolhead there is no question for me. It’s a performance bargain and such a capable car it raises a smile every single time i drive it.

Regular oil changes are a must every 4500 miles or 6 months. This is an easy job to do yourself, but make sure you use a high quality oil like Fuchs Silkolene for example.

Active Yaw Control fluid changes are every 9000 miles or every year. Differential and transfer box oils should also be changed every year. This will be around £150 at an independent garage.

Evos go through consumables very quickly, expect to replace brake pads, discs and tyres regularly. However brake changes are easy to do yourself if youre handy with a spanner so you can save a few hundred on labour costs. Brake Pads vary from £100 to £300 depending on the specification. Brake Discs cost from £90 a pair upwards. Tyres are around £80 a corner from the likes of mytyres but will wear quickly – in as little as 6000 miles depending on use.

As you can see Evos take some looking after, but go into ownership with your eyes wide open and your car will reward you with a fantastic ownership experience and many happy motoring miles.

First oil change

The fantastic 4G63 engineIf you own an Evo, you’ll soon discover that oil changes need carrying out about as often as you change your pants! With a 4,500 mile or 6 month schedule for an oil change, you need to keep on top of servicing to ensure your car is running on clean uncontaminated oil. Lets not forget the cars are used hard and need looking after so forget your Fiat Punto 20,000 mile interval and dig deep for quality oil reguarly. Luckily doing this yourself is very easy and you can save money by doing it yourself in less than an hours work. The first oil service in my care was due on the Evo so I used the same oil as the last owner as well as many tuners and professional on the MLR. I bought some Silkolene 10W50 racing oil and some Mitsubishi oil filters (part no. MZ690116). which came with sump plug washers (part no. MD050317)

Changing the oil is very easy:

  • Warm up the car with a 5 minute drive so the oil is warm but not too hot and will flow out easily.
  • Jack up the car and secure it on axle stands so it is safe and secure to work under.
  •  Place an oil catch tray under the sump plug and undo it with a 19mm socket. Be careful not to burn yourself if the oil is hot.
  • The oil filter is located in what looks like a vunerable place directly in front of the sump hanging vertically down. I wonder if this was moved in the rally cars as it does seem vunerable to rocks and objects that could easily hit it. Undo this with some oil filter pliers and drain into the drip tray.
  • Run some fresh oil round the new filter seal and screw back on, being careful not to overtighten.
  • When all the oil oil has drained out, place the new sump plug washer on the bolt and tighten up, again careful not to overtighten and strip the thread.
  • Lower the car back down on the ground and fill with the new oil, regularly checking the dipstick as you do so. Do not overfill the engine!
  • When the dipstick level is ok, start the car and check for any leaks underneath.
  • Check the dipstick once more and top up if necessary.
  • Drain the catch tray into the oil can and dispose of at your local recycling centre.

Job done for another 4500 miles!

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.

Service time

Service time

While the car was in the garage for new tyres, I wanted the track rod ends replacing as I noticed the boots had perished and could be knocking. These are easy to check by yourself. Simply jack up the car and remove the front wheels to check the condition of the steering arm track control ends. So with the car booked in with a local Evo specialist, he rang to say the steering rack arms were worn as well. I was initially skeptical as to how the arms could wear, but apparently there are ball joints that make up the arm that can wear, so I agreed to having them replaced with the track rod ends.

I also had the nearside top mount changed to help allieviate the slight knocking noise over bumps from the front suspension.

With the Active Yaw Control fluid due a change, I had this done at the same time, to keep the pump in good working order.

With the oil still golden on the dipstick, there was no need for an oil change yet, though with a service interval of 4500 miles, it won’t be long before it’s due I’m sure!

Hopefully with that little lot done, the Evo can be enjoyed to it’s potential.