Catch Up !

20 04 2010

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, what a crazy couple of months it has been…

It all started back in early Feb when I was asked to officially represent Bozz Speed at the Hyper Challenge Time Attack with our Evo X, not only did they want my car to carry their name but they also wanted me to drive… wow what a shock !… why so shocking… well because all the cars entered into the time attack challenge at the annual Hyper Meeting are driven by Professional time attack drivers from throughout Japan… names like Yamada, Taniguchi etc would fill the entry list and for me to be included with such talented drivers was a little unbelievable.

Making the transition from owner driver competing occasionally at small events to representing one of Japan’s top Lancer tuning shops at a high profile event such as the Hyper Meeting would require not only a step up in my driving but a lot of work to do on our car in preparation, hence the lack of posts on this blog as I have been busy talking to sponsors, fitting new parts, testing testing and more testing.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to a few people that have been immensely helpful with the preparations on the car and also mental preparation for me… So a big thanks to Richard for his amazing skills and patience at re-mapping the ECU to get the absolute best performance out of the car and it’s new parts, thanks also to the guys at Greddy Japan for their dedication in developing and testing new parts for the X and for the use of their dyno so we could tune the car and thanks to Hisada-san at Bozz Speed for sharing his experience and helping me to get my head in the right place.

In addition to the above individuals I should also thank our new sponsors for their generous support…

Prodrive Japan, Bridgestone, Nukabe, Greddy, Winmax and Liqui Moly.

So enough talk, here are a few pictures showing some of the new parts on our car…

Nukabe BBK

Greddy Oil Cooler

Greddy SST Cooler

Nukabe & Greddy additions





Tokyo Auto Salon 2010

19 01 2010

After all the sombre predictions around the web that this years TAS would be a washout with nothing more than dressed up hybrids and K-cars on show it was pleasing to see how wrong all the rumors had been, sure some of the big name companies were noticeably absent but in my opinion this did not matter as there was a host of smaller tuning shops filling the void.

During the course of the three days, most exhibitors I spoke with were pleasantly surprised at how many people were in attendance and indeed spending money… perhaps the doom and gloom from last year has passed and we can look forward to a more normal year… was the general sentiment echoing around the pavilions.

For me the most pleasing aspect of the show was in the development of real performance parts for the Evo X… as expected there was a large number of them scattered throughout the show floor and in contrast to last year most were featuring significant power upgrades instead off just body kits and wheels. Indeed the bar has finally been raised with many X’s now pushing out north of 500 HP and in a couple of cases over 600 HP, during the course of the year I predict we will see an Evo X get close to the 55 sec time at Tsukuba.

It was a little disappointing to see no real progress on pushing the power up on the SST version’s… hopefully someone will take on the task as the year goes by !

Anyway enough chatter, let’s get to some pictures… below is a selection of what I liked or found interesting or just plain weird, hope you enjoy them.

Looks as good at a show as it does on the circuit, my pick for best Evo X

My pick for best looking Racecar

My pick for the best looking Import

Just stunning

I am starting to like the look of these

Still one of the best looking X's around and It's for sale !

A little more subdued than the Toyota below

This get's my vote as the worst looking car at the show

Still one of the best Japan has ever produced

+ one for the kids

I think this will be the fastest X around Tsukuba this year

A couple more X's

Makes a change from a Hummer I guess

This owner has nailed it... looks superb

Glad Toyota had a different team work on this compared to the Prius





Evo X Summer Upgrades – Part 2

18 08 2009

Moving on with our upgrade schedule for our X, next on the list is the re-programming of the cars ECU in order to get rid of the absurdly conservative settings put in place by Mitsubishi at the factory.

Although it is still early days in terms of open source tuning software being available for the Evo X, progress is being made on a daily basis in unlocking the multitude of information inside the cars brain allowing for some significant gains to be made in the areas of Timing, Fueling, Boost Control etc.

This step actually started a few months back with a data log being taken on the car in it’s standard form and converted by software into a dyno graph, that log showed the car putting out a peak of 292 HP during a 4th gear WOT run.

After a lot of experimenting and changing of the various data within the ECU and logging the results we have arrived at what for the time being is as much power as we are comfortable running through the SST transmission, we have reached the torque level generally believed to be around the limit for a standard SST transmission to handle so at this point we will continue to monitor everything for a while before pushing any further.

So what are the numbers like ?… using the same software to log and convert to a dyno graph as the base run a few months back the latest log showed a peak of 374 HP during a 4th gear WOT run. In fairness not all of that gain has come from the ECU tune as we now have the single outlet free flowing exhaust fitted which obviously helps the numbers but regardless it is a very satisfying gain and really makes the car feel worthy of being called an Evo.

For anyone that wants some visual reinforcement of what tuning the standard ECU can accomplish take a look at the graph below that shows what kind of difference can be had in the case of boost control … who needs a external boost controller !

Evo X SST Boost Graph

Evo X SST Boost Graph





Evo X Summer Upgrades

7 07 2009

With the rainy season in full swing here and the humidity off the charts it is not the best time of year to be pushing the car hard on a track, it is however a great time to be doing a few upgrades on the car.

Our focus over the summer is to improve on 3 different aspects of the cars performance…

- Better cooling for the SST transmission.

- Re-programing the ECU for better response.

- Replacement of factory exhaust system.

First up is the exhaust, the choice of a replacement system is always a difficult decision as it inevitably involves some degree of compromise… with the Evo X there is additional confusion by having to decide between a dual exit setup for aesthetics or a single exit for less weight, add to this the usual dilemma’s of what piping size and to keep the catalyzer or not and it becomes a bit of a nightmare trying to decide.

After much debate it became clear, the whole point of changing the system is to provide the most efficient removal of hot gasses from the turbo… when all other factors are dismissed and this reason alone is considered the choice becomes clear, single system with at least a 3 inch pipe with no catalyzer and a muffler with as little restriction as possible. Guess that is the end of not drawing to much attention to myself when driving down to the supermarket !

Great with that cleared up it is time to go shopping… unfortunately due to the local db restrictions none of our preferred local parts companies offer this type of exhaust for the X yet ! After some lengthy negotiations we finally got our hands on a system made here in Japan by one of those companies but not for sale on the domestic market.

So let the install begin, could not be simpler… the only tricky part is getting access to the bolts on the turbo housing for the downpipe other than that it was all done in about 15 minutes and we were off for a test drive.

Amazing is the best word to describe the difference, turbo spool up is insane now and no longer does the car feel like it is held back as the revs climb through the 5,000 – 7,000 range. This will definitely make re-programing the ECU a little easier. Off course the downside is the noise… it is loud, so loud in fact that all the annoying rattles and squeaks from the so well put together interior on the X have magically disappeared, … oh wait that is a good thing ! … I will have to be a little careful with throttle application when encountering any local law enforcement on the street though.

So that’s about it for the exhaust, the true potential will be explored once we start adjusting the ECU, in the meantime here are a few pictures showing the new system installed.

Evo X Downpipe

Evo X Downpipe

Evo X Midpipe

Evo X Midpipe

Evo X Single Muffler

Evo X Single Muffler

Evo X Single 3 inch exhaust system

Evo X Single 3 inch exhaust system





Time Attack Event – Hyper Meeting at TC2000

21 04 2009

The annual Rev Speed Hyper Meeting is a must see for anyone interested in Japanese Time Attack cars and the latest parts to turn your daily driver into a track warrior… forget all the bling parts to pimp out your ride ( well OK there is plenty of that as well) but this is the place to find all the bits that make power and keep your car glued to the road or track.

In years gone by the cars most prevalent at this event have been either the Lancer Evo or Subaru Impreza… both on display and on track showing what they have got, unfortunately this year, no doubt due to the over hyped economic meltdown these two models were almost out numbered by of all things… Suzuki Swifts !!, I am sure the swift is a nice little car to punt around town in but come on… as a time attack car ?? 

Thankfully many of the top Lancer & Impreza tuners were still showing off there wares and as usual the highlight of the day was the tuners battle, a series of three exhibition races featuring many of the tuning shops top demo cars on track together jostling to be first across the line. The other great spectator event during the day was a series of driving displays by the Team Orange drift cars… those guys have got some talent… not to mention some crazy power in those cars !

I was very pleased to see at last a few companies starting to push the power up on the Evo X’s, unfortunately only the manual version so far but at least it is a start. I would say within the next six months or so someone will have a 10 that can put down a similar lap time to the Unlimited Works Cyber Evo.

That’s about it I think, no really earth shattering news this year but looking forward to the next six months to see who it will be to push the envelope with the Evo X.

Oh… I should say a big congratulations to the guys at our tuning partner Bozz Speed, they got there first sub 1 minute lap in there Evo IX demo car. Given that all the other cars posting sub 1 minute laps arrived on transporters and had been gutted to nothing more than a shell… the guys at Bozz Speed should be feeling very pleased as there car is still road legal and drives to the event complete with a full interior… well done guys !!

Here’s some pics of my favorites from the day… hope you enjoy them.

 

C-West Evo X Front Bumper

C-West Evo X Front Bumper

 

Unlimited Works Cyber Evo

Unlimited Works Cyber Evo

 

Jun Auto Mechanic Evo X

Jun Auto Mechanic Evo X

YR-Advance Evo X

YR-Advance Evo X

Blitz Dunlop Evo X Time Attack Lap

Blitz Dunlop Evo X Time Attack Lap

 

Cyber Evo Time Attack Lap

Cyber Evo Time Attack Lap

Bozz Speed Evo IX

Bozz Speed Evo IX

Cyber Evo strategy session ?

Cyber Evo strategy session ?

 

Team Orange Evo X... what's wrong with this picture ?

Team Orange Evo X... what's wrong with this picture ?

Ralliart Lancer Evo Sportback

Ralliart Lancer Evo Sportback

 

Blitz & Bozz Evo's on the start line

Blitz & Bozz Evo's on the start line

Team talk ?

Team talk ?

Heat 1 Tuner Race 1st Lap

Heat 1 Tuner Race 1st Lap





HKS Oil Cooler Installation

17 02 2009

The time has come to start dealing with the inadequacies of the Evo X’s cooling systems… step 1 is a more efficient engine oil cooler.

After much debate as to whether it would be better to remove the factory fitted cooler and fit a larger more efficient core in it’s place the decision was made to instead opt for an add on kit that retained the original and added a larger second cooler, the theory being that the dramatic increase in surface area by using two coolers would result in lower temps than could be achieved with just one given the space constraints.

As luck would have it HKS have released just such a kit for the Evo X and at a very reasonable price so knowing the quality of HKS products that was an easy choice.

The most time consuming part of the whole installation process is removing and replacing all the plastic… underbody covers, bumper etc, although not difficult some care needs to be taken as many of the small screws and clips are plastic and easily damaged.

Once all this stuff is off it is a pretty simple matter of assembling the stainless steel air guides, attaching the supplied additional oil hoses and bolting everything into place… less than an hours work, but then there is all that plastic to put back.

After installation a shake down drive to make sure there were no oil leaks showed a drop of around 20 degrees in oil temp compared to just the standard cooler so a good start… off course the real test will be on the track so only time will tell, in the meantime here are a few pictures showing off the quality of the kit.

 

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 1

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 1

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 2

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 2

 

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 3

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 3

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 4

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install 4

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install Completed

HKS Oil Cooler Kit Install Completed





Tokyo Auto Salon 2009

11 01 2009

TAS can be a place for sensory overload with all the merchandise, tuning parts, cars, music, girls etc on show so in my mind it pays to go there with some kind of objective rather than spend countless hours wandering aimlessly around with your jaw on the floor trying to take it all in.

So in keeping with that thinking my objective was to focus on new parts for our Evolution X demo car or more specifically cooling and downforce parts.

It was clear to see that the Evo X is one of the hotest JDM models for tuning this year as they were everywhere… hard to tell if there were more of them than the other JDM star of the year, the R35 GTR but it must have been a close call.

I was encouraged to see a few companies starting to get beyond the wheels and bodykit phase that we have had up until now however also disappointed that no one yet has started tackling the task of upgrading the SST clutches or power handling capabilities, oh well all in good time I guess.

The highlights for me and the things that made it onto the ever growing list of upgrade parts to get for our X are shown below… thankfully it is a short list.

 

Varis Carbon Lip & Dual Canards

Varis Carbon Lip & Dual Canards

 

Varis Carbon Rear Diffusser

Varis Carbon Rear Diffusser

Blitz Intercooler & Piping

Blitz Intercooler & Piping

HKS Kansai Carbon Airbox

HKS Kansai Carbon Airbox





Aragosta Suspension fitted to our Evo X

1 11 2008

This morning I picked up our Evo X complete with it’s new Aragosta suspension courtesy of Topline Japan, they needed someone to donate a Evo X for them to test as they have not got a kit out on the market yet for this car so I was more than happy to volunteer our demo car to be a guinea pig.

Aragosta make some pretty wicked suspensions so I expected a decent improvement over the standard setup but I was not prepared to notice such a dramatic improvement at legal speeds on public roads…the difference is stunning, even just cruising back home on the highway it was immediately obvious the car has been transformed from a pretty competent handling car to something that feels like it is driving on rails, off course I was expecting the obvious differences such as less body movement, better bump control etc etc but what really stood out was the difference in response to steering inputs… it is like a different car… can’t wait to get out on the track to really explore the potential of this setup.

I will give more feedback on this in the coming weeks once I have it out on the track. Here is a picture of the kit prior to installation along with a shot after installation showing the improved stance of the car.

 

Aragosta Suspension Kit

Aragosta Suspension Kit

2008 Evolution X

2008 Evolution X





HKS Camp 2 added to our Evo X

3 10 2008

HKS Camp 2 system is a very tidy way of displaying lots of info about what’s going on inside your car without the need for the traditional plethora of extra gauges scattered across your dashboard. The only requirement is you must have a navigation system with a separate video out channel to be able to hook into for displaying the data but most newer navigation systems have this either built in or as an option.

So what do you get for your money… all the usual info you would want to monitor such as water & oil temps, oil pressure, boost level, engine revs etc plus a lot more stuff that to be honest I can’t see myself looking at more than once.

Thankfully you can select what you want to see on screen at any time so you can focus on what is important to you and there is a choice of displaying that information in either analogue or digital modes with up to six different parameters displayed at a time. Another useful feature is the graph mode were you can select what parameters to measure then view that information over a period of time laid out as a graph. 

No the info you get from this fairly pricey piece of tech is nothing extraordinary however the simplicity and elegance of having all this info available on your navigation screen is worth the price of admission for anyone that likes to keep their cars interior looking somewhat normal and not something resembling the cockpit from a jet plane.

Here are a couple of screenshots showing the analogue mode and the digital mode…

 

HKS Camp 2 Analogue Screen

HKS Camp 2 Analogue Screen

HKS Camp 2 Digital Screen

HKS Camp 2 Digital Screen








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.