It seems like we've been talking a lot about garage builds lately. Maybe it's because 95 percent of people who are into building cars don't have the luxury of massive budgets and large full-service shops and crew. Because of this fact, we can all relate to the story behind building a car on your own, in your own garage, and with the help of a few friends. Especially in the current less-than-ideal economic climate, it seems like one of two things has happened: either you've gotten out of the game, or gotten back to your roots.
This particular EVO XIII is the result of one man's decision to get back to his roots as a driver. Rod Morley is no stranger to competitive racing. Having started his career driving in the D Sport Racer segment of the SCCA, Rod knows his way around the club racing circuits. In 2005 he took second place in the National Runoff for the DSR category, a strong accomplishment indeed! But at the end of the day, Rod wanted something different. Feeling that it was important to be in tune with one's own car, Rod decided to sell his DSR car and begin work on the EVO, which up until this point, had served as a trainer of sorts for new drivers. Knowing the nearly endless potential of the chassis, the choice was made to go under the knife and transform the car into a full-fledged time attack monster.
Imploring the help of good friends Korby Van Valkenburg and Zach Matthews, the full ground-up rebuild commenced. Korby tells us a little about the beginning of the process. "We wanted to do something that was a little more hands-on than the DSR [Rod] was doing. He had a crew that would maintain the car, and it was kind of like an 'Arrive and Drive' type of thing," Korby says. "Rod wanted to really get in there - into the nitty gritty - because as a driver, it's important to really understand the inner workings of your car. The best way to understand and improve how your car is handling and running is to know exactly what's going on under there, mechanically speaking."
Staying true to form, Korby, Rod and Zach performed the majority of the work themselves, including the painting process. "When we put the motor in, we had a friend come help who knew a bit more about how to drop a motor," Korby recalls. "None of us had actually dropped a motor before, so that was a huge help for us." Learning as they went, the guys made sure to do everything right the first time. By researching and blueprinting the entire build, Korby and Rod were able to plan, develop, design and build the EVO how they wanted, with very few snags along the way. "We knew what our horsepower goals were, so we built a spreadsheet with the parts we needed and kind of just went from there," Korby says. "Within about two weeks we had all the parts ordered, and by the end of May 2009 we started the tear-down."
For propulsion, the guys wanted to go with a slightly larger-displacement engine package. The Buschur Stage 3 kit suited their needs perfectly, increasing the EVO XI donor 4G63 up to 2.3 liters. Mated with the company's Stage 3 cylinder head, this motor would be able to handle the 600+ hp they guys planned to throw at it. AMS' GT3582R HP turbo kit provides the major girth under the hood, paired with a complete fuel system upgrade and a plethora of increases in the cooling department, everything is kept within optimal operating temps as much as possible. The setup is good for a whopping 635 awhp - nothing to scoff at!
"The car was already gutted and had a full cage installed," Korby remembers. At the time when the guys decided to dive in and rebuild the EVO, it was also bright yellow. Thankfully, a full color change was in order, opting to go with something much different: Lexus IS-F Ultrasonic Blue. A full Voltex Cyber Edition kit, including a Type 5 GT wing was chosen for its aggressive looks and aerodynamic function. With so much power on tap, the AWD system alone isn't a sufficient way to keep the EVO on its proper line.
On the suspension side of things, TEIN Flex coilovers have been selected for their well-known performance characteristics and wide range of adjustability. Along with a rear bumpsteer correction kit from Whiteline, the suspension package is dialed in nicely, keeping the EVO tight through the corners, with beefy 18x10.5-inch Enkei wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo R888 tires playing a huge factor in the car's handling as well. The EVO's interior is barren and race-ready, with essentially nothing more than a Racetech bucket seat, Schroth harness, AIM Sports MXL Pista digital dash, some wires here and there, and a rollcage (and a fire extinguisher, just in case).
Once it's all said and done, Rod has himself a pretty nice time attack machine to work with, and he knows the car inside and out. With only a few shakedown days under their belt, Rod, Korby and Zach have some sorting out to do still, but we can't wait to see what the guys are capable of. Keep your eyes on the bright blue EVO throughout the 2011 time attack season!
Specs & Details
'03 Mitsubishi Evolution XIII
Engine Mitsubishi 4G63 inline-4
Engine Modifications Buschur EVO IX Stage 3 2.3-liter stroker block, Stage 3 cylinder head; AMS GT3582R HP turbo kit; VSR intake manifold, fuel pressure regulator, race fuel rail, race front-mount intercooler kit; Tial 38mm wastegate, Q blow-off valve; Cosworth Mivec M2 Grind 272 camshafts (intake & exhaust); Boomba 75mm throttle body; HKS Twin Fire ignition system; Fuel Injector Clinic 1,250cc injectors; Aeromotive 1,000hp fuel pump; ATL aluminum lightweight fuel cell; Braille small battery kit; GReddy oil cooler; Koyo Racing radiator
Engine Management AEM EMS
Drivetrain ACT Extreme Pressure race clutch; Shepherd transmission w/ upgraded gear ratio; Quaife transfer case differential
Interior AIM-MXL Pista Digital Dash; Racetech seat; Schroth harness; custom rollcage
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Enkei RPF1 wheels 18x10.5" (f/r); Toyo R888 tires 285/30R18 (f/r); StopTech ST40 14" big brake kit (f), factory Brembo brakes (r)
Thanks To Mike at Road Race Engineering, Strictly Modified, Ed Hannan, Tiffanie Mar, Rod Morley, Korby Van Valkenburg, Zach Matthews