Tricks: Tony Hawk pulled his 900 on a skateboard, Tim Duncan likes to bank his off a backboard and Jeff Hill, of Turbotrix, displayed his on the scoreboard-9.77 seconds at 147 mph. Although the execution of each trick takes mere seconds, getting to that point in time represents months or years of hard work, bumps, bruises and battling.
Turbotrix has been tweaking DSMs for a decade from its Edison, N.J., facilities and needless to say the introduction of the EVO VIII was a godsend. So much so that all three principals of Turbotrix crowded into the local dealerships to buy one of their own.
The cars served as testbeds to prototype parts but three was not enough so a fourth EVO was purchased online at eBay for the express purpose of applying all the lessons learned on the Big 3, take them to the extreme and see what that equates to at the strip. The result was the quickest EVO VIII in the country. The candy tangerine Mitsubishi went 9.95 at an Import Survival Series race at Englishtown, N.J., and then nailed a 9.77 a few weeks later. Here's how it went down.
After plopping down the PayPal cash, the car was immediately stripped and sent out for paint at Lambspeed and the installation of a roll cage at Unorthodox Chassis. In the meantime, the 4G63 block was machined by Thule Engines of Plainfield, N.J. Jeff and the Turbotrix crew then filled the barrels with Ross bullets, secured with Crower rods.
Power has its hiding places and in most cases the cylinder head is a good place to look. Turbotrix applied its experience in this arena by port matching the runners and polishing the bowls and runners to expedite flow through the 2.0-liter V8 beater. Then the head was fitted with high-speed hardware in the form of Turbotrix 1mm oversized Inconel valves, double valve springs and titanium retainers. Valvetrain operation is orchestrated by HKS 272 cams, fine tuned with Fidanza adjustable gears.
Boost is provided by an Innovative T4 ball-bearing turbo configured to Turbotrix specs. The rest of the turbo system consists of a PWR inline air-to-water intercooler, TiAL 46mm wastegate and TiAL blow-off valve. Pressure control falls to a Hallman Pro controller. On the hot side, a custom 3.5-inch stainless-steel downpipe leads to a Turbotrix custom 4-inch exhaust system featuring a Burns Stainless muffler.
To fuel the beast, Turbotrix elected to run a pair of in-tank Walbro 255-lph pumps, a Weldon regulator and 960cc injectors fed by a billet AEM fuel rail. For spark energy, a Turbotrix custom coil-on-plug ignition is teamed with AEM CDI ignition boxes.
The immensely popular AEM EMS plug-n-play computer oversees all engine operating parameters. The system was installed and tuned by Turbotrix and the venerable 4G63 definitely has the bite to back up its bark as the eager four-banger generated 558 whp and 459 lb-ft of torque on a Dynojet all-wheel-drive dyno. Max boost for this run was set at 32 psi. To heat things up, Turbotrix dropped the boost to 30 psi and engaged a port-injected Nitrous Express system jetted to the tune of 100 hp. The EVO feverishly pumped out 670.11 whp and a hefty 599.78 lb-ft of torque.
Making power with the 4G63 is only half the battle. The task off getting the power to the ground is like walking a tightrope where one misstep means chunks of smoldering diff gear chunks littering the pavement. Turbotrix fortified the Mitsubishi driveline by adding a limited slip differential in the transfer case and installing an Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) six-puck disc and a special pressure plate. These mods along with good driving technique have been quite successful so far.
Weight transfer is addressed with a set of TEIN coil-overs, which give Turbotrix the ability to tune damping and ride height. Perhaps the greatest departure is the deletion of the factory EVO calipers up front in favor of 1999 Eclipse GSX units. This was done to accommodate the 16-inch Hoosier tires that the team runs at the track. On the road the EVO flexes a more traditional 18-inch setup consisting of Volk Racing LE 37s and Kumho 245 rubber.
The interior is all business with a Sparco Pro 2000 bucket in place of the stocker, the 10-point cage from Unorthodox Chassis and Simpson harnesses safeguarding the driver. The roll cage was cleverly run through the defroster openings in the dash, lessening deconstruction of the factory interior. A custom SPA dash relays engine vitals while a water reservoir and Nitrous Express bottle ride shotgun.
The Turbotrix crew is rather surprised at the speedy progression of the Mitsubishi. The candy tangerine EVO is indeed a Tangerine Dream to Turbotrix, but the dream is a nightmare for anyone stupid enough to rev on this single-digit street car.
Tuner Talk 33
Jeff Hill of Turbotrix
1) What are three weaknesses or troublesome quirks with the Evo VIII engine? i.e. When tuning what system(s) create the first roadblocks?
Jeff-The tuning from the factory is way off. The tune runs very, very rich and the engine can be prone to detonation. That's why tuning makes such a difference in power. We use several systems to improve the situation. The cheapest and easiest is the APEXi Super AFC. It works but we're not able to do anything with timing. Another problem is that the computer has several maps that it uses when it picks up problems like knock. The AFC can only modify the first one so at times you may be down over 30 hp if the ECU reverts to another map temporarily. We also do computer reflashing. We can tune timing and two ECU maps and the engine will make more power than an AFC-modified car. The main disadvantage is that it still uses the stock ECU and mass airflow sensor. The best way to go is with a stand-alone system. Full tuning flexibility, nitrous control and datalogging are just a few of the advantages.
Off the subject perhaps, but the clutch is a major issue. The stocker soon fails as horsepower is increased. Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) is our clutch of choice for everything from a stock Evo to our race car.
That's about it. It's a car with few flaws.
2) What are the three "Best first things" to do to a stock Evo and what kind of power would you expect to see?
Jeff-A boost controller is the best first mod. The stock boost will spike to 19 psi but will drop off to 16 by redline. An aftermarket controller will enable boost to stay around 20 psi. This is usually good for around 25 hp
It's expensive but the AEM EMS can pull an additional 50 hp at this point when tuned correctly. We've made 300-310 whp several times with just these two mods. That's 70 whp over stock.
A full turbo-back exhaust system is worth 30-40 whp.
3) What three things had the biggest impact on getting your car in the 9s?
Jeff-First and foremost was our experience with building DSM cars. We've spent years making big HP numbers, getting the cars down the track quickly and keeping them together. We took a lot of the information learned from our 9-second 1991 Talon and used it on the EVO VIII.
Jason Siebels from AEM and the AEM EMS system. Jason had several good ideas and helped us quite a bit during the build. The EMS system is amazing and it enables us to make power more safely than other fuel management systems.
Motivation from other shops and tuners that said we couldn't do it. We wanted to be the first in the 10s and we were, first in the 9s and we were. You probably shouldn't print that but you get the idea.