Puerto Rico has been a hotbed of import performance for decades. Turbo first shined its spotlight on the island in the mid-'90s and brought the passion and innovation of the Puerto Rican enthusiast to America in a series of feature articles under the "Puerto Rico Connection" banner and various other race coverage stories.
Back in the day the island, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, featured a number of tube chassis import drag racers and a lot of old-school stuff. The Puerto Ricans seemed to be able to go faster with less, coaxing impressive times out of street/strip warriors running carbureted 13Bs and Toyota 3TCs. This was due to extensive track testing made possible by the fact that the local dragstrips were open every day and the meticulous nature of the island's enthusiasts who all seemed to have that magic touch.
Today their street/strip warriors are high-tech sleds, the very same cars that dominate the American tuning landscape. The unchanged portion of the equation is the magic touch that Puerto Rico seems to have when it comes to turbos. The result of this enticing power calculation is embodied in Johnny Fargas' wild Mitsubishi EVO IX - big power, edgy looks and grocery-getter reliability.
In preparation for the onslaught of some serious boost, the EVO's 4G63 was fortified with hardcore internals. With the talented people at Colo Performance doing the honors, the block was fitted with Wiseco slugs and Carrillo rods. Then Fargas, owner and operator of popular car performance website carrito.net, called on Carlos Sanchez of Creative Performance to craft a trick turbo manifold. The one-off masterpiece is Fargas' favorite mod on this exquisite EVO and who can blame him. The manifold faces the inlet of the turbo toward the front of the car and since the radiator has been moved off-center the menacing compressor wheel can be seen through the grille. The turbo is custom spec'd by Speedtek, a popular Puerto Rican boosting shop. Based on a Garrett GT35-R with a 58-trim compressor wheel, the hard-hitting unit was built by Precision Turbo & Engine. The rest of the turbo system consists of Creative Performance piping that's home to a TiAL Sports blow-off valve on the cold side and a TiAL Sports wastegate on the hot side. The wastegate dumps into a custom 3.5-inch exhaust system fabbed by Andy Muffler terminating into a Borla XR1 muffler. Fargas reported a bump in power after the 4G63 moved from Cosworth cams to 280/280 Buddy Club bumpsticks.
Fueling the beast falls to twin Walbro in-tank pumps, Ultimate Racing 1,000cc injectors and an AMS fuel rail. Fuel flow and ignition timing are controlled via a Hydra Engine Management System. This stand-alone ECU features Auto-Tune programming that uses an optional oxygen sensor to calibrate its maps by air/fuel ratio. The Hydra system was initially tuned by Gadiel, famed tuner of the Big Valley STi (cover car Jan. '06). The ECU has since been under the care of Fargas and Team NASA. "I would have to say that the one-off turbo kit from Creative Performance and the Hydra EMS tuned by a group of friends called Team NASA (Nerds Applying Science to Automobiles) are keys to the success of this project," Fargas says. "One of my major accomplishments has been making 478 whp on 93-octane fuel. It took a lot of daily tuning and hardship to get the car to the power level it is right now. Kids, don't try this at home!"
Likewise, Fargas enjoys the Creative Performance turbo header and Hydra ECU. "I also like the radio, which was installed to replace the heavy OEM sound system with a better system that did not take as much space and weight," he says. "The Ny-Trex nitrous system is another uncommon part, it uses a different kind of setup for the solenoids with fewer parts and is easier to install."