When Edwin Diaz needed something withfour doors to replace his heavily-modified RX-7 project, he turned to one of the most potent import performance sedans on the planet, the EVO X. “I needed a 4-door family car that was comfortable enough to take my daughter Bella anywhere without any reliability issues,” he remarked. Diaz decided the turbocharged 4B11T engine mated to Mitsubishi’s smooth-shifting Twin Clutch Sporttronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST) was the answer to his daily family-transportation question.

Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Richard Fong


Looking the Part

After replacing the modified RX-7 with the 2008 EVO MR here, Diaz missed the admiration he previously received in his “fast-looking” car. In response, the initial round of modifications to the EVO X focused on aesthetic upgrades. “I built toward a JDM look. Not because I think it’s the best there is or because it’s ‘JDM’. I simply like the styling,” he explains. To that end, Diaz installed several Varis carbon-fiber aero pieces including a vented hood, front lip spoiler and rear diffuser. He added Chargespeed carbon fiber side skirts and a roof-fin vortex generator to round out the aero enhancements.

front of Edwin's EVO X MR

Fancy Footwork

Volk Racing Wheels on Edwin's EVO X MR

The EVO wore several wheel and tire sets during Diaz’ search of the perfect combination for street and occasional track duty. Currently, 19 x 10.5-inch Volk Racing TE37s carrying Nitto NT-555 drag radials fill the wheelwells. JIC-Magic FLT-TAR coilovers control the wheels and tires over the bumps. These coilovers offer individual corner height adjustments to allow the EVO to be properly corner-balanced after setting the desired ride height. The 15-way monotube dampers also feature 15 response curves allowing for “softer” street friendly settings or “harder” track settings that sacrifice ride comfort for performance. Diaz’ considerably-low stance preference for his EVO X created a number of issues including errant suspension geometry and an increase in bump steer. A set of MoonFace roll center adjusters (modified tie rod endlinks) correct the geometry, subsequently reducing bump steer. Cusco swaybars and end links reduce body roll while a Cusco underbrace and Beatrush strut tower bars minimize chassis flex. This flex reduction improves both ride quality and suspension efficiency.

Rear of Edwin's EVO X MR

Add-On Addiction

When it came to adding power, Diaz reminded himself of his original intention; grocery-getting and transporting his daughter. “The goal was to keep it simple and reliable,” Diaz states, “but, being a chronic car enthusiast, minor modifications started happening here and there. The car soon looked more track-inspired than street car.” While trying to follow the spirit of his original intention, Diaz reasoned that any engine performance upgrades would be in the name of improved efficiency and reliability, not extreme performance.

4b11T in Edwin's EVO X MR

Head Honcho

Factory head gaskets and head bolts are not designed for the prospect of enthusiasts doubling the factory horsepower output. When turbo engines are pushed hard, the factory head gasket may fail due to a lack of adequate clamping force. Looking to avoid this issue, Diaz opted to upgrade the factory head bolts to ARP head studs to increase the clamping force on the head gasket. Once the cylinder head was secured to the block, Diaz next upgraded the cams. Camshafts are the conductors of all valve events. The lift, duration, ramp profile and timing of the camshafts influence power output, fuel economy, emission and the width and location of the engine’s powerband. To increase the efficiency and expand the powerband of the 4B11T, Diaz replaced the factory cams with a set of Jun Auto 264-degree camshafts. Diaz installed high-rate valve springs and titanium retainers to properly control the return of the valves to the seats.

Seeing Red

Since Diaz would drive the car on the street 99-percent of the time, he narrowed his turbocharger choices down to stock-replacement or “sport turbo” selections. These turbos would bolt in the factory location while supporting faster spooling characteristics and increased power at street-level RPM ranges. After some research, Diaz selected Forced Performance’s FP RED turbocharger. This turbo spools fast while producing more power than the stock turbo. A ball-bearing center section and twin- scroll configuration allow the FP RED to deliver the goods.

Boost Neighbors

Edwin's EVO X MR dyno graphWith a new turbo taking the lead, a new supporting cast was in order. A complete ARC-branded intake charge- air system consisting of front-mount intercooler, matching intercooler piping and aluminum airbox replaced the factory units. To meet the fuel requirements of the larger turbo, Diaz employed a host of HKS and SARD fuel components. With all the components in place, Diaz’ EVO registers 480 whp at its 7,600 RPM peak on a Mustang Dyno all-wheel-drive dynamometer on a diet of 93-octane pump gas. A stock EVO MR on the same dyno delivers 240 whp for comparison. To validate the goal of making a true street car, Diaz’ component selections and corresponding engine-management tuning allow the EVO to produce its peak 368 lb-ft of torque at a very usable 4,900 RPM.

Edwin's EVO X MR shooting flames on the dyno

EVO SST Needs TLC

Diaz enjoyed his well-thought-out horsepower increases and chassis and suspension upgrades for some time without incident. Soon, the desire to push the power envelope manifested in a lead foot that ultimately led to the demise of the original twin-clutch Getrag box. Undeterred by the setback and boosted by the feeling of being close to completing his build, Diaz opted to reinforce the replacement transmission before installing it. Where AWD transmissions at this power level are concerned, the clutch packs are usually the main point of failure, as was the case in Diaz’ TC-SST. An aftermarket upgraded clutch pack kit and transmission cooler were incorporated in the rebuild. The transmission cooler extends the life of the wet clutches by keeping the transmission fluid temperature in the temperature range that delivers the best protection.Side of Edwin's EVO X MR

Bella’s Edition

Diaz drives his EVO MR daily to commute and to transport his most precious cargo, his daughter Bella. “She has been my inspiration for everything I do. In fact, she is the one that convinced me to go with the Phantom Black and carbon-fiber components because she likes how the combination looks,” Diaz explains. While the incremental performance additions have slowed down, Diaz still works on the vehicle’s appearance. Of course, each modification requires Bella’s approval. One day, Diaz hopes to throw keys of this EVO to his daughter. Until then, Diaz plans to enjoy each day that this 480-horsepower monster takes him and Bella out on the town.

SPEC SHEET

VEHICLE
Year / Make / Model: 2008 Mitsubishi EVO MR
Chassis Code: CZ4A
Vehicle Weight: 3,300 lbs.
Weight Bias (F/R): 58/42
Launch RPM: 5,000 RPM (Launch Mode)
Shift RPM: 7,500 RPM
Redline RPM: 7,900 RPM
Peak Boost: 32 psi
Fuel: 93-Octane

ENGINE
Engine Code: 4B11T
Displacement (cc): 1,998cc
Bore & Stroke (mm): 86mm x 86mm
Peak Horsepower (@ RPM): 480 whp @ 7,600 RPM
Peak Torque (@ RPM): 368 ft-lbs @ 4,900 RPM
Dyno Type: Mustang Dyno
Camshafts: Jun Auto 264-degree IN/EX, Stage 2
Valves/Springs/Retainers: Jun Auto Springs w/ Titanium Type-1 Retainers
Cylinder Head Modifications: Port Matched, Ports Smoothed
Head/Main Studs: ARP Head Studs
Intake Manifold/Throttle Body: Ported OEM Intake Manifold
Air Induction System: ARC Air Box
Cobb 3-inch FP Inlet pipe
Fuel Injectors: HKS 800cc/min Injectors (x4)
Fuel Delivery System: HKS Fuel Rail and Fuel Pump
SARD FPR, Custom braided lines
Engine Management System: Open Source EMS
Engine Management Tuner: Jack Cecil @ Horsepower Logic Inc.
Boost Controller: HKS EVC 6
Spark Plugs: HKS M Series
Exhaust Manifold: Full Race Pro-stock Equal-length Manifold
Exhaust System / Downpipe: AMS Wide-mouth Downpipe
MXP Test-pipe
JIC Magic Titanium Cat-back Exhaust
Wastegate: HKS GT Actuator
Blow-Off Valve: HKS SSQV bov kit
Intercooler: ARC Intercooler and Upper Intercooler Pipe
Cooling System: Mishimoto Radiator and Coolant Hoses
Oil System: AmsOil Synthetic 10w40
Performance Electronics: ARK Design Multi-meter Display
Innovate Motorsports LC-1 Wideband UEGO

TURBOCHARGER
Turbocharger: FP Red, Ported
Frame: TD05H
Compressor Wheel Specs: 76mm Major, 54.8mm Inducer
Turbine Wheel Specs: 67mm Major, 58.8 Exducer
Turbine Housing: 10.5 cm2

CHASSIS/DRIVELINE
Springs, F&R (Make & Rate): JIC Magic Springs, 11kgf/mm, 14 kgf/mm
Shocks, F&R (Make & Rate): JIC Magic FLT-TAR Coilovers
Additional Suspension Components: Cusco Sway bars (F&R), End links, Under Brace
MoonFace Racing Roll Center Adjusters
Transmission Gearing: 3.655, 2.368, 1.754, 1.322, 1.000, 0.775
Final Drive: 4.062:1
Clutch / Flywheel: SSP 500HP Clutch pack w/ Aluminum Deep Pan
AMS Transmission Cooler w/ Fan
Wheels (Make, Size & Offset): Volk Racing TE37, 19×10.5-inch, +12 (F&R)
Tires (Make & Size): NITTO NT555, 265/30R19 (F&R)
Brake Calipers (F&R): Project Mu 6-Piston (F), 4-Piston (R)
Brake Rotors (Diameter, F&R): Project Mu 2-Piece 355mm x 28mm (F),
345mm x 32mm (R)
Brake Pads (Front & Rear): Project Mu Type NR
Brake Lines: Project Mu Green braided lines
Etc.: Beatrush Front/ Rear Strut Bars
Agency Power Rear End Links

INTERIOR
Roll Bar / Cage: Cusco 6 Point Thru-dash
Seats: Bride Cugas Gradation w/ carbon fiber
Harnesses: Takata 4- Point long harnesses
Steering Wheel / Quick Release: Works Bell Short Hub, Works Bell Rapfix pop-up,
Sparco LE Steering wheel
Gauges: Defi Boost Press, Oil Press, Fuel Press,
EGT Temp & Multi-link controller
Etc: Bride custom door panels, Bride custom
rear seats (from leather OEM to fabric),
ARC Titanium shift knob.

EXTERIOR
Front Bumper: Varis with Carbon Fiber double canards
Front Lip Spoiler: Varis carbon Fiber
Front Fenders: Varis Carbon Fiber fender ducts
Hood: Varis Carbon Fiber Hood
Side Skirts: Chargespeed Ver. 2 Carbon Fiber sides
Rear Diffuser: Varis Carbon Fiber Diffuser
Spoiler/Wing:: Voltex Type 5V Carbon Fiber Wing
Doors: Varis Carbon Fiber door pillars
Mirrors: Jun Auto carbon Fiber Mirrors
Headlights: Custom Blackout with REAL Carbon
Fiber inserts @ Bottom
Paint: Phantom Black (OEM)
Etc.: Chargespeed Carbon Fiber roof fin
(Voltex Generator), Agency Power short antenna

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