Dear Robert,
I couldn't agree with you more about the way you've come up in the industry. I love the fact that you did something that almost no one in the magazine industry does, and that is to let us know more about you and how you came up. Those of us who have been reading this mag for a long time already know, but it's nice to hear that from time to time. If I didn't have a subscription already, I would've picked up one just for your honesty and passion. I know what mechanics hand looks like - because I have them. I love cars just as much as you do, and people like us know that after hours of wrenching there's no better feeling than finishing your installation and checking it out and knowing you didn't pay anyone else to work on YOUR car ... unlike half of the editors out there who "take" their cars to shops and have them install everything for them.
Ram Forreal-via the Internet

Thanks a lot. It means a lot to hear that our readers are also are grease monkeys like myself. Nothing beats turning over the ignition on a car and hearing the engine come to life after you just rebuilt the entire engine from scratch. Keep the passion alive, keep the wrenches turning.

Dear Turbo,
I would like to say first and foremost, I absolutely love your magazine. Out of all the tuner magazines available in my area, I find that yours is truly superior. You always have great advice, great feature cars, and excellent articles that stay on point and keep your attention. I especially appreciate the tech tips and the "how tos" that you offer.

Anyway, I have some questions too. I have unfortunately been forced to drive, for my entire life thus far, a Mitsubishi Mirage. Two of them actually. I have always hated the powerless, rusting, rattling, FWD P.O.S. that has been passed off as a vehicle of decent caliber. But don't get me wrong, I actually LOVE Mitsubishi in all of its great forms, and have great respect for the Eclipse and the Lancer EVO. In fact, I am in love with the EVO, a great car that I will soon be able to afford. Now I was wondering, do I have to worry about an EVO MR vs. the other models, or is an EVO an EVO? What performance parts would be best to start with? Should I start by protecting my turbo by installing a blow off valve and then a turbo timer, then move on to things like an exhaust and intake? Or vice versa? What simple bolt-ons should I start with, and at what point during these installations should I consider an ECU/dyno tune - after each part, or after a grouping?

I have also been told that the stock clutch tends to "fail." In your professional experience, what are excellent clutch replacements? On that point, I have driven only automatic in my lifetime, but I know how to drive stick. Should I perfect my driving skills on the stock clutch knowing I will burn it out (I drive like a maniac when I'm alone in the car) and then replace the clutch?

And now my last question: A good friend of mine has an insane '04 STi that does better than 11s on the quarter. He told me that installing a cold air intake on a turbocharged vehicle is a "bad idea," as he put it. Is this true? I can't see how it would be bad.

My general goal for this vehicle is a daily driver/10-second speed demon, but one that is still safe as the 4-door family-friendly sedan that it is. I understand that I have a lot of work to achieve that goal. Thanks again and keep up the excellent work!
Thanks,
Are Mady-Bedford, Mass.

It's great to hear that although you drove two P.O.S. Mitsubishis, you are still loyal to the brand. We think the EVO is the best all-around performance car you can buy for your money. The EVO's all-wheel drive platform matched to a potent turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant translates to one hell of a ride. Are, there are benefits to the EVO MR versus the other models. First off, the MR comes with a six-speed transmission and computer controlled LSD. Also, the suspension has been reworked for even better handling, and don't forget about the cool BBS wheels. If it were up to us, we would spend a little more money and get the MR. As far as performance products go, it's a great idea to have the vehicle tuned after installing an exhaust, performance filter and downpipe. The extra airflow going through the engine needs fuel and ignition tuning for the maximum power. It would be best to tune the vehicle with each new product but we understand that can get costly. Regarding your question about the factory clutch on the EVO: they have been known to wear prematurely. We have seen EVOs with less than 5000 miles that need a new clutch. The most likely culprit is the driver abusing the clutch. An all-wheel drive redline drag launch might sound great, but it wreaks havoc on the drivetrain. Unless the factory clutch is slipping, we don't recommend fixing it. Why fix something that isn't broken? to answer your last question, we do not know why your buddy thinks it's a bad idea to change the intake system with a cold-air system. One of the easiest ways to increase turbo spool-up is to reduce intake restriction into the turbocharger. Hope that helps. Don't beat up your new EVO too much, the better you treat your car the better it will treat you.