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Still alive and kicking

It’s been a long road and the journey with Mitsubishi has been very rewarding to everyone here in the Evosoul camp.  As you know Mitsubishi has been attempting to reshape the brand and putting it’s green foot forward.  Since however Mitsubishi has discontinued the Evo, we will be working with Mitsubishi wherever possible on the new “Lightening”  platforms being released in 2017.  It has been a long road but we will follow it till the end

LONG LIVE MITSUBISHI

Rick Chong's Upgraded armrest is in!  Reviewed

Rick Chong’s Upgraded armrest is in! Reviewed

Rick sent over the armrest pretty quick.  Shipping was pretty quick via EMS (5 days from Singapore).  Rick said he send over the step by step instructions for installing this wonderful mod. But because I felt like a kid on Xmas day I couldn’t wait and took matters into my hands.   Now keep in mind this install is the shortcut method and isnt recommended.  Rick will soon post official proper instructions in a week or so.

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So this is what I started with.  A cluttered center console area and an oem armrest that wasn’t really good for anything. To small to use as an arm rest and too limited in storage use.

Last weekend I took the time to install my armrest.  I looked for easy access points to remove the old one and here is what i found.

First i looked at the construction / integration of the armrest hinge and decided to attack this from the back.

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I then used a flat screw driver to access the hinge of the armest from the back side. As you can see from the picture above the back of my center console already looks like crap.  So further scratching was the last thing on my mind.  But with extra care you can access open the rear section pretty easy.  There are 3 large bump clips along the top and about 4 on each side of this panel.

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After popping the clips you will notice that the panel doesnt fully disconnect.  Near the bottom there are two screws that keep that panel captive.  :(

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I decided to break one of the clips held by the screw seen in the picture above. The logic was that those screws were not needed to hold the back panel in place.  There were a dozen clips on all 3 sides.

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After exposing the work area.  A philips screw driver will be your next best friend.  There are 5 screws that hold down your armrest hinge.

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Start with the pair smaller screws first and work your way to the group of 3 larger screws.

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Once you got the hinge off the arm rest comes right out.

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Right away you can see the size difference of the armrest.  Oem on the right and the newer deeper + longer armrest on the left.

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Once you fit the new armest on, reverse the steps with the screws and push the back plate back in to place.

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The only mistake I made at the end was using the screw driver to ease the plate back.  Dont.  Just use a fist and punch it into place.

And presto.  You are done!

The two major benefits once again.

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* Utility storage space is priceless for storing valuables or your wallet,  especially if you cup holders are already full.

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* armrest extension reach is perfect.  And wide enough for your passenger to utilize without making elbow contact.  Unless you have monster arms.  Either way it will make your lancer or Evo more comfortable to drive.

As a review here is how i score this type of mod.

UTILITY VALUE: 7/10
The utility value factor of this mod is high.  It adds needed storage space to the lancer/evo.  The factor space is decent but you tend to fill it with cellphones, keys, or other crap we drop in our cars.  Where there is room for improvement is expanded the utility compartment to fit large smart phone like the samsung note.

I have a Sony Xperia S and my phone fits perfectly.  It is of good average smart phone size.

COMFORT: 8/10
This armest is an upgrade over the oem style armrest.   It is made of a leatherette with stitching and has a decent feel to it.   It is padded well but could use more to make it perfect.  It is still comfortable enough to not bruise yoir elbow with extended use.  The reason why this gets an 8 of 10 is because the armrest extends out to better support your arm.

PRICE Vs. VALUE: 7/10
The price point is attractive at 250 shipped.  And here is my simple logic.  My Lancer and EvoX project cars are 4 years old and I do a hell of a lot of driving.  And anything that makes ot easier and more comfortable is very important to me.   It’s not for everyone.  Some wont care about comfort or storage but i know for a fact driving with this mod is addictive and I notice it not there when i switch vehicles.

Looking to order Rick’s arm rest upgrade.  Email him at RickChongUSA@gmail.com

Or visit his ebay store
Rickchong.com

Look at this cluttered mess.  Thank goodness for Rick Chong's armrest upgrade

Look at this cluttered mess. Thank goodness for Rick Chong’s armrest upgrade

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I will be installing this armrest on the long weekend up here in Canada. I will try to document the install for everyone

JVC camera unboxed

JVC camera unboxed

I have been having a lot of fun with this JVC camera to the point where I am using it for everything.  Car related or not.  It tiny, weighs almost nothing and seems to work as adverised.  I will upload some sample video to give you guys an idea of the quality.

here are some images of what is inside.

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HSD Coilover Bracket update: Lancer 08+

HSD Coilover Bracket update: Lancer 08+

(image shows new North American bracket next to installed JDM spec bracket that required grinding)

Ok, I have had my 10 question this month about HSD from guy in my local car club or online hitting my blog. So here is the one big update for everyone.  There is a large shipment of updated Lancer coilovers that are true North American spec kits.  I was fortunate enough to communicate with HSD and figure out when the updated bracket would hit.  I scored one early before anyone else to test it out.  Let me explain what the issue was.  There were two coilovers produced for our car way back in 2007, but a design spec difference cropped up that resulted in the HSD coilover having a lower rear bracket that was very close to the control arm.  This basically meant that you had to grind down your control arm just a few mm to give yourself comfortable clearance
HSD Lancer and EVO coilovers are of a INVERTED MONOTUBE design and are one of the highest quality and most durable coilover kits at this price point and with this level of adjustment.

 

More info later.

ContiForceContact Racing Tires - 2012

ContiForceContact Racing Tires – 2012

One tire I have been eager to get my hands on for testing is the ContiForceContact Tire from Continental.  For about 2 or 3 years now I have been raving on the forums and on my old blog about the Conti Extreme Contact DWS and DW tires. They were solid performers and earned their keep.  When talking people about an All Season tire that actually performs, people thought I was mad.  “There is no such thing as an all season tire” etc… etc…  Fast forward to 2012, and everyone who has bought the Conti DWS has become a believer.  Is the tire perfect?  No.  But does it perform well?  Hell yeah!

I own this tire, and when I can, I have bought it for all my other cars I own.  Its that good.  The Conti Extreme Contact DW is the same story.  A well balanced summer tire that performs in the wet, handles braking like a champ and has a tread life that will make you smile.


And now, we have the next generation summer / race tire ContiForceContact .  While it has been out in Europe for a little while now, there is a very good chance it will be a bit closer to home.  (North America).  They took their time with the design of this tire and utilized what they learned with their Extreme Contact Tires, ContiSportContact, and their strategic partnership with Hoosier to design something great.

 

I will get my chance to track this tire on the Ralliart and if I can afford it, on our EVOSOUL Evo X.

Keep you guys posted!

 

2009+ Ralliart Brake Options – StopTech

There was a lot of confusion over the past few years about what pad actually fits what.  Many thought that the Ralliart 2009+ had the exact same brake setup as the 2008+ GTS.  Especially in the rear.  The truth is Mitsubishi did a shake up.  They decide not to harmonize the platform by making it compatible.  When I spoke with my contact at Mitsu HQ in Japan, the official reason was more to avoid confusion and mistakes at the dealer level and for the end user customer who is a do it yourselfer.  What he was refering to was the fact that they took the time to ensure that Ralliart, Lancer GTS and ES rotors would not mount on cars they were not intended for.  So their are sizing differences either in rotor dimensions and even the mm sizing of the bolts.  (sigh)  so what that means is no compatibility for the Ralliart and Lancer owners.  The good news is reserved for the Ralliart is that they feature a more stout two piston caliper setup which relates to the second gen Eclipse and Outlander.  The rears look similar to the lancer but because of rotor hat height difference make them different enough to cause fitment and clearance issues.

For anyone looking for a complete setup option. I would recommend looking into StopTech brakes for pads and slotted rotors.

Front Pads = 309.05300 (309 series high performance pads)
Rear Pads = 105.08680  (105 series ceramic pads)

 

Front Left = 126.46078SL (Powerslot Rotors)
Front Right = 126.46078SR (Powerslot Rotors)
Rear Left = 126.46074SL (Powerslot Rotors)
Rear Right = 126.46074SR (Powerslot Rotors)

 

 

 

September Sales 2011 are telling a story!

September 2011 Sales have been increasing. That’s the good news.  The not so good news is.  There is a trend growing.

While sales are up overall and for the majority of the year so far month over month.  An alarming tend is very apparent that Mitsubishi needs to address in a more direct manner.  Outlander RVR / SPORT sales are the top seller.   Followed by the standard Outlander (full size).  The worry some part is that Lancer sales are dropping off considerably.  Mitsubishi has made a decision to face lift swap the ralliart front onto one of the Lancer trims for 2012 (Lancer GT), and on another trim (Lancer SE AWD) gets an All Wheel Drive system.  Now when I first heard this I had one of those “WTF moments”.   And here is why.

I own a Mitsubishi Lancer 2008, I loved it. Still do.  But if there was thing that really “cooked my chicken” (AKA made me really mad) It was the fact that every year Mitsubishi made product tweaks that throw a previous year owner under the bus.  Classic example.

1. Mitsubishi has a 2.0L engine for 2008 for the GTS.  Then in 2009 Mitsubishi decides to throw a 2.4L into the lancer.

2. Mitsubishi then decides that the GTS was a great seller, so they made everything look like the GTS by giving most of the lower trims the same look and body styling cues as a GTS.  Then in 2010 saw the wingless era where Mitsubishi decided that only the GTS was to come with a spoiler.  I think this caught even the  dealers off guard because Mitsubishi Dealerships started emailing me for sourcing out Spoiler replicas.  Then in 2011 everything changed back to normal.

3. The Tail light saga –  The lancers all had red / pink color tail lights and the EVO X had dark colored tail lights.  Everyone wanted to the rare dark colored tail lights.  Then around 2010 Mitsubishi saw the trend and made everything come with the tail lights.

I think you can see my point…  I dont think Mitsubishi has a problem with the Lancer line at all.   The lancer is a super reliable car that has a solid powertrain and chassis that responds very well to aftermarket upgrades.  But the constant knee jerk tweaks to the platform by the OEM product designers are causing a bit of confusion.  Unfortunately Mitsubishi does not have ties to the aftermarket world with the closure of the Ralliart Division in Japan in 2009.  In my humble opinion, the Ralliart Division had a pretty good finger on the pulse of Mitsu enthusiasts.  Motorsports racing was something dominated by Mitsubishi.  The products while expensive still demonstrated that Mitsubishi knew what people wanted and shined a light for all the Aftermarket Manufacturers to make products along the same direction Mitsubishi was facing.  Now that Mitsubishi has no Aftermarket direction, the aftermarket no longer develops parts for the lancer.  What makes matters worse, Mitsubishi has hinted but not confirmed the EVO X 4b11 platform maybe coming to an end.  Once you do that…. Aftermarket develop for the EVO X will grind to a halt and the brand will suffer further.

Now for those of you who dont know what I mean or what I am talking about or Mitsubishi Ralliart died?  WHEN???
read here.  http://ralliart.com/10topics/100310.html

Now if your hardcore into Mitsubishi parts, than Ralliart had the car porn of modifications for your car in Japan.  If you look at the last few parts that they cranked out before someone pulled the plug.  You can see what I mean.  http://ralliart.com/GRN/index.html HKS worked very closely with Mitsubishi’s Ralliart program and the reason why you saw amazing things like the FQ-400 in the UK was  because HKS worked hand in hand with Mitsubishi and tuned and modified those FQ cars.  Even tuning the ECU with ECUTEK.  Then funding dried up and the doors were closed.  They left the lights on but no one was home.  Sad, but its true.

Fast forward to 2011.  And we have Mitsubishi trying to revamp its entire product line.   Sure there have been a few missteps but everyone has them.  As Mitsubishi finalizes its road map for the next 5 years.  We all have to wait and see what course of action they take to address the Evo, Lancer and small car line up.   The past 3 months had resulted in some high profile talks with Nissan but no confirmation if those projects will make their way to the streets of North America.

On the top of my wish list?

Mitsubishi releases the 2008 variant of the Colt in North America with the 1.5L Turbo variant

K&N intake meets Rick Chong's improved intake duct scoop for the Lancer.

K&N intake meets Rick Chong’s improved intake duct scoop for the Lancer.

I have been putting the K&N intake I bought thru its paces and to be dead honest with you all.  I wasnt exactly eager to make the switch to the short ram intake.  The cold air intake has been a trusted friend of mine for 10 years 😉

But the more I drive the more I start to enjoy some of the benefits.  But I will cover that later in my formal review.  The one thing I wanted to mention right now was something I saw about 3 months ago on Rick Chongs website.

When I look at this air scoop, i knew that it would be perfect for the K&N short ram for the lancer.  The logic is,  a short ram has one major weakness.  Heat soak.  And this happens because a sealed engine bay keeps the heat from engine trapped under the hood. The K&N intake comes equipped with a heatshield and uses the OEM air scoop to keep the temps low.  The use of a bigger scoop will work to get more outside air directly to the short ram filter.  Below you can see what my current set looks like by this K&N photo.  I will be ordering rick’s scoop to finish my review benchmark test.

Rick’s website is www.rickchong.com .  He has a great list of mods he makes himself and manufacturing partners like Scorpion.

Two nose overlay options for your Lancer

Two nose overlay options for your Lancer

My buddy Rick Chong from Singapore sent over his new updated Ralliart nose section for me to checkout.  Now one of the joys of receiving a package from is to see how neatly the products are packaged and from time to time to see what newspaper it some of the contents are wrapped in.   To be honest its a little fun, cause the stuff they put in their newspapers in Singapore is a bit funny.  But I will get to that a little later.

Rick offers this EVO X style nose overlay for the 2008+ Lancer and it looks stunning.  I love Rick / Scorpions workmanship, because when the release something they dont stop there.  They listen to feedback and make it better.  Using better or lighter materials and packaging it the right way to ensure it arrives alive and in one piece.

Rick operates the global wing of Scorpion – Malaysia.   All Scorpion and Rick Chong items can be ordered from www.RickChong.com

Shaun