Updated 2/27/07

EJ's Project Evo

 

2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

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Welcome!

Latest journal entry:

12/30/07 - Catching up from this past summer and fall, trophies and travails.... see the stories in the journal.

 

Past journal entries:

2/27/07 - A *MAJOR* update of the mods list... see the new parts here.

2/26/07 - A slog though the Evo aftermarket for some go-fast & stick parts... see the latest in the journal.

10/25/06 - Driving season now over, onto the Modification season! ... see the latest in the journal.

6/15/06 - Track days, autocrossing... see the latest in the journal.  Mods list also updated.

4/30/06 - Many mods and several trips to Pruven Performance, first MoHud SCCA autocross of the season... see the latest in the journal.

2/28/06 - Exedy gives me their verdict on the Twin Disc, Yokohama ADVAN Neovas ordered, continuing Lime Rock story.

12/17/05 - ACT clutch goes in the Evo, Exedy inspects the Hyper Twin Disc, Lime Rock track day.

7/21/05 - Test driving the G35, checking out an A3, the Evo heals itself on the way to an autox.

7/4/05 - Evo versus RSX Type-S: what to do?

6/29/05 - New clutch, new plugs, new harness, new exhaust, new problems... see the latest LARGE post in the Journal

5/23/05 - Clutch is slipping, misfiring after plug changes - grrr!

11/29/04 - Removed my ECU and shipping to Vishnu Tuning for a reflash

11/12/04 - Autocross seasons end, snows are back on, stock wheel defect

9/28/04 - More autocrossing, wheel defect, no GVW sticker yet

7/6/04 - SHHH! Icks-nay on the utocross-aay, Xpel headlight covers installed, Perrin oil catch can installed

5/18/04 - First podium finish at SCCA Autocross

5/3/04 - No intercooler spray reservoir leak, autocross school with BMW CCA

4/20/04 - Intercooler Spray Reservoir leak detected, autocross #1, MPG update

3/15/04 - Warranty work complete, speeding ticket, prepping for autocross season

2/20/04 - Oil leak discovered, driver mirror replacement requested

I've taken the lessons I've learned from 5 years of building a Honda Accord project and am going to apply that knowledge to the eventual build-up of a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII.

Lesson # 1 - PATIENCE! As you research parts for specific applications, understand what your needs and wants are, and go for the touchdown, and not the first down.  On my previous car, twice I got impatient while researching parts, and decided to purchase the milder of 2 options. When looking at intakes and exhausts for my Accord sedan, I decided to purchase a short intake rather than the cold-air intake and an axle-back exhaust, rather than a full cat-back exhaust.  Each part simply whet my appetite for the real thing, and thus I ended up spending about 60%-70% of the purchase price of the "touchdown" part, the full-on performance part.  I would have been much better off if I had just researched those items a bit more and simply bought the cat-back exhaust and cold air intake from the start. By the way, the stock Evo intake is excellent, and really only needs a performance drop-in filter such as a K&N or HKS.

Lesson # 2 - Envision the goal! I used to have a basement full of parts that seemed like real good ideas at the time, but when they actually showed up, they lost their appeal either by posing a challenging installation, requiring big compromises in quality or functionality, or didn't seem like a great idea after all.  I bought a body kit for my Accord, and while the kit looked great in the promo pics on the manufacturer's web site, the kit represented some compromises that I ended up not accepting.  The kit was fiberglass, which is very fragile compared to urethane.  Installation and prep costs were going to run around $800, which was a lot of money to risk on a setup that might not last that long, depending on the odd curb or stray cat that you might run into.  Add on top of that, it would have made swapping tires much more difficult (by hiding the jack points), and would have complicated the access to the cold air intake filter (which required me to pull the bumper cover out from the side of the car in order to get at the filter, which would have been impossible when it was wrapped in inflexible fiberglass.

Lesson # 3 - Prioritize! What's most important to you? Performance? Show?  Decided now before you begin.  Perhaps you want a little of both.  Create a plan and map out where you want to end up with the car.  It's difficult, but attempt to envision your modified car as a finished product.  Do any of the plans interfere with each other? Does a body kit make it difficult to change wheels, which you'll want to do when you visit the track?  If so, you'll need to revisit Lesson # 2.  Once you've got the final vision mapped out, decide which parts or changes are most important to you.  Approach the project like your budget only has a limited amount of money (most of us DO have a limit, so it shouldn't be difficult).  If you could only do one thing, what would it be?  Those decisions will help you figure out where you should start.  If performance is your deal, then you'll want to put emphasis on the weight of any new rims you consider, and make their look a secondary decision point.  With my Accord, I bought some Borbet rims that were very smart looking.  However, they were so heavy that when I took them off at the end of the summer and put my stock rims back on, I could feel a noticeable bump in power due to the lost rotational mass of the Borbets.  I learned then that wheel weight was VERY important.  The Evo can probably absorb added weight better than the horsepower challenged Accord, but if you bought the Evo for its performance, why would you want to throw even some performance away if you don't have to?  With a little more research, and sometimes only a little more money, you can find wheels (or whatever part) that perform AND look great.


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