We've been branded by many...
We've been branded by many famous-named billet shift knobs in the past and now that branding is replacing tattoos as the "in thing." We are disappointed that the Works knob didn't sear their logo into our palms on hot days.
The ABC-improved boost response over the stock factory ECU controls, but once we tuned the factory boost control with ECU flash software we were able to get nearly identical performance. It's not that easy to effectively tune the boost through ECU since it requires editing two different tables and data logging. You must reflash the ECU to change the boost level. There is a limit on how many times the factory ECU can be reflashed with no glitches. If you frequently run race gas or have a desire to change your boost pressure often, depending on the situation, the ABC is for you. The ABC will come in handy later when we go to a big turbo and an external wastegate.
In the interior of the car, we replaced the stock shift knob with a Works Grab billet part. The 6061 bead-blasted, hard-anodized knob is nice because it doesn't get burning hot like most metal knobs and its extra weight smoothes out shifting. Its large 2-inch-diameter head is easier to grab than the 1.7-inch stock knob, making the part more functional as well as stylish. The Works part also shortens up the shifter by 6mm. Well, we admit that we got it purely for looks and to complement the other Works products in our car.
To shave some weight off of Project Evo and to clean up its looks, we installed a JDM Evo IX bumper cover, sourcing it from Gruppe-S. The part comes pre-painted and matched our car perfectly. The Evo IX has a more angular front bumper that matches the sharp creases of the body better than the rounded Evo VIII bumpers. The U.S. model only got the front IX bumper while retaining the rounded rear VIII bumper, something that looked less than desirable to us. The JDM bumper is angular and matches the front bumper and the car's overall styling better. The JDM bumper is also cut higher on the bottom and thus doesn't trap air like the older bumper does. Dave Buschur has noted higher trap speeds in the quarter-mile with the IX bumper, probably due to less drag.
A drawback to the JDM bumper is that it does away with the rear bumper support. Although it's heavy, we do prefer to have some protection for the rear of the car in case of an accident. After studying a JDM manual, we determined that Japanese cars don't have rear bumper beams. We didn't think having no bumper reinforcement was acceptable, so we took our car to Afterhours Automotive where Brian Kono built us a very trick rear bumper beam from strong, lightweight chrome molly tubing.
The brace as it bolts to the...
The brace as it bolts to the chassis. Note the clean TIG-welds, finished tube ends, and the dimple die plates holding it together.
The bumper beam has twin tubes for full underbumper coverage and is reinforced with cool dimple die punched plates. The dimpled holes shave weight and improve the part's stiffness. The tube ends are fully finished. The beam looks like the trick race car part that it is. It's also light, weighing in at about 9 pounds, shaving about 12 pounds off of the rear of the car overstock while probably ending up somewhat stronger than the stock part. The beam is nice; it's a pity to cover it up with the bumper cover. The bumper beam also ties the rear framerails together, improving torsional stiffness.
Most people leave the lower part of the JDM rear bumper cover unsupported to where it can flap in the wind, not too sane. The Afterhours brace solidly mounts the lower part of the bumper cover to the brace, using the factory holes that are already there. The brace also accommodates the rear license plate bracket and light since the JDM bumper doesn't have a way to mount these parts. Although this was a custom piece, if you want one, Afterhours built a jig off of our piece and is selling it for a very reasonable price-about the same as the cost of a new stock factory bumper beam.
We also installed a few Genuine Mitsubishi accessories on Project Evo. The existence of some of these parts is not very well known but, like most factory parts, the quality and fit of these parts is superb.
We feel that the JDM rear...
We feel that the JDM rear bumper matches the styling of the IX better. We also hear that it actually effectively reduces drag by not acting like a big undercar air scoop.
Afterhours created this super...
Afterhours created this super trick chrome-moly brace to fit under the low-profile JDM bumper skin. It sure beats going around with nothing back there, like most people with JDM bumpers do.
When the bumper cover is replaced...
When the bumper cover is replaced you can see where the license plate and lights bolt up to, nice and clean, just like stock. Most people just screw this stuff into the plastic cover.