We have covered suspension buildups on the EVO VIII and IX before, but this time we decided to try something special. We decided to build the ultimate no-holds-barred suspension for the EVO, money not being an object, the only caveat being that it had to remain streetable and not be so stiff that it needed a rollcage to function properly. We're attempting to build the ultimate setup for time attack in the Limited or Street Modified classes.
When attempting a bold endeavor it's best to consult with those who've been there before. Fortunately for us, the EVO is such a popular and flexible platform that there are many companies who specialize in getting them to stick like glue to the pavement. We called upon Robert Fuller (or Robi for short) for some much-needed advice. At the track, Robi has always been a big help, instantly springing through the garage door, tools in hand whenever a loud crash or a burst of foul language was heard. Despite being a fierce competitor Robi has always been there to help out from simple advice to all-out wrenching at the track, even when we were out to beat him.
This spirit has always earned our respect and we always wanted to pick his mind directly on a project but we've never had one that matched his specialty, making EVOs and Subarus corner like Velcro on Velcro through his suspension tuning company, Robispec. That all changed when South Coast Mitsubishi made us an offer on a brand new EVO IX that we couldn't refuse and we found ourselves taking one home. Within days we found ourselves calling Robi and finally initiating that project. Robi was an instrumental adviser for all aspects of our build. Although we mostly sourced our own parts for this build, Robispec stocks and recommends nearly all of the parts we used.
With deadlines depressingly close and an injured back aching, we had to enroll the help of some competent professionals to slap our EVO's suspension together. As we have many times in the past, we called upon Howard and Ritchie Watanabe of Technosquare to help us with our install in record time. Technosquare is a race prep shop located in Torrance, Calif., and the Watanabe brothers have many years of experience in getting SCCA, NASA road race, pro rally and drift cars working fast. Technosquare really is the best damn garage in town and the bros are capable of lightning-fast, high-quality work.
Moton Motorsports 3-way adjustable dampers, Eibach ERS main and tender springs, GC camber/
The basis of any suspension buildup revolves around the dampers or shock absorbers. Good dampers can make or break a cars' handling and are often overlooked or maladjusted by the inexperienced. For our dampers we got our inspiration not from the streets of Tokyo, or any street for that matter, but from the paddock at SCCA Speedworld Challenge and Grand Am Cup races. While walking pit row at these events, we noticed that many of the top cars had one thing in common, Moton dampers. Moton is a Dutch company but they have a North American operation that supports their products. Moton has very technically advanced dampers and we opted for their 3-way adjustable Motorsports units, cost being no object.
Are dampers that cost nearly a quarter of the price of the car worth it? No, if you're just interested in high-performance street driving. Moton makes a much lower cost Clubsport damper for you. If you're actually going to the track and competing then these highly adjustable dampers might make the difference between winning and losing. The Motorsport dampers are 3-way adjustable independently for high- and low-speed compression damping and rebound damping. High-speed compression affects how the car will react when hitting big abrupt bumps. You can adjust the high-speed damping to keep the car from crashing through the travel and bottoming out hard when you hit an FIA curb while still providing a compliant ride.