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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

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)

 

 

 

Greddy steps up again and releases the SP Exhaust.  Bringing Back A Classic!

Greddy steps up again and releases the SP Exhaust. Bringing Back A Classic!

Return of the GReddy SP Exhaust Line! Its something that people have been bumping Greddy to do for sometime. Now that
Greddy is releasing the RS line, they have followed up with the SP. Back in the day, the SP was a perfect balance between acoustic sound and damn good power. They got all that sorted out back in the mid 90’s before most of the other companies. At a time when other manufacturers were pumping out mostly exhaust that sound like dog crap. Greddy took pride in this specific release. The updated 2011 version is no different. And I am happy to say that they have the SP for both the Lancer and the EVO X with speculation that the Rallart isnt too far behind.  Customers who liked Greddy, were always stuck between all power, or all looks+sound. Now this SP exhaust address answers that problem, giving people a blend with very little compromise.

Rick Chong has told me that he will be selling this exhaust shortly in Singapore, USA and Canada by Mid Spring. Follow his website at www.rickchong.com

Mitsubishi Lancer GTS SE Exhaust GTS (JA3AU) 4B12, 60mm piping, compact oval SP muffler with 102mm resonated tip, rear section only, 1pc.

Mitsubishi Evolution SP Elite Exhaust (CZ4A) 4B11, 70mm dia piping, to single sideways, oval SP muffler to dual 115mm resonated tips (does not fit RallyArt)

AEM’s CAI for the 2009+ Mitsubishi Ralliart Preview (AEM Interview Part 1)

AEM’s CAI for the 2009+ Mitsubishi Ralliart Preview (AEM Interview Part 1)

The one thing that brings a smile to my face is the fact that even to this day, companies like this continue to develop parts for Mitsubishi Platforms.  Specifically the Mitsubishi Ralliart 2009+ 4b11T.  Now the brief sad story of the Ralliart is that aftermarket vendors for the most part ignored the car for product development.  While the car has a great amount of potential and shares the exact same powertrain as an Evo 10, its shared chassis platform with the Lancer GTS has left the Ralliart misunderstood.  There just isnt a lot of aftermarket parts available for the Ralliart.  To complicate things further, Mitsubishi consistently disregards the aftermarket point of view when it comes to production design.  The setup of the Ralliart engine bay presents 2 problems for aftermarket intake designers.

A) Mitsubishi choose not to relocate the battery into the trunk like the EVO 10.

B) Mitsubishi’s OEM HID setup obstructs the only available path for a cold air intake in the wheel well fender area.

Very few companies have braved enter this space.  When you stop to think about intakes.  Regardless of how old you are or what car is your passion.  It’s very likely that one of the first brand names that come to mind will be AEM.  Since the 90’s I cant think of very many who has pushed their intake technology harder than AEM.  When news hit that AEM had a Ralliart intake on the way, I jumped on it and set out to interview the engineers behind this intake.  Who I got was probably the single best person to tell me everything I need to know.  Some say he is the most senior ranked engineer, other describe him as the Father of the cold air intake.  John Concialdi is the original founder of AEM and has taken time out of his business schedule to shed some light on this latest project.

1.  John, At first glance the look and feel of this Ralliart intake is very similar to what was done for your EVO X intake.  Is this a trend for future intake designs?

Answer: “Our OEM work is what has driven a lot of the current development we do here which is why the Mitsubishi systems we produce have a look and feel of an OEM system. We do a lot of intake systems for the OEM’s and have learned a lot about validation in the process. For example, we do vibration and thermal tests to demonstrate the durability of our pipes and any of the components in the kits. We also have to do chemical resistance tests and of course we do filtration tests to show the efficiency of the filters. You may know that AEM is the pioneer in the performance dry filter and that was driven by the OEM work we do.”

2. There was a pretty slick feature on this intake that I have noticed on some of your larger truck applications in the past.   Is it really that simple?  A filter monitor that actually tells you when its time to clean your filter.  How does it work and why is AEM the only intake company in this space?

Answer: “On systems where the filter is not easily seen, we use the filter minder to help our customers monitor when the filter needs servicing. The filter restriction indicator we use on our passenger car applications uses a 10” water restriction value to indicate the filter needs servicing (red on the dial). Over servicing the filter is not recommended because when a filter is totally clean it can have slightly lower filtration efficiency which means more contaminant can pass through the filter. The common thought that drives this is that the filter will flow more when always clean which is technically correct but it has to be taken in the context of what the filter can flow vs. what the engine needs for maximum performance. Of course running the filter until it is plugged up so much that performance drops off is also not recommended because not only does performance drop off but dust can be pulled in the filter and the pumping losses created by a plugged filter will pull oil into the intake tract through the valve cover vent and that may cause ignition knock which is really bad.”


3.  Besides visual presentation, your intake’s performance exceeds many expectations, posting impressive HP / TQ numbers.  What is the secret to these gains?

Answer: “When our engineers started the development of this intake system late last year, we initially ran several open intake prototypes under the hood to maximize air flow to the turbo. However, during our fuel trim loops we found that intake air temperatures (IAT) would soar uncontrollably in traffic. Once IAT exceeded 100F, it would never come down to match ambient air temperatures again. This had a negative effect on ignition timing and therefore limited any power gains. It became readily apparent that while we had determined the right length intake tube to see “streetable” increases in mid to high range power and torque, we had to find a way to maintain IAT’s near ambient temperature to control ignition timing and increase air density to further increase power. So we created a sealed intake system with an air box that utilized the stock intake scoop, and the improvement in our results was immediate. In addition to getting the IAT’s to reasonable levels, we use Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) studies to determine air flow potential but perhaps just as importantly, we get the distribution of air around the filter as even as possible. This is important with air box designs because if we have a region around the filter that has abnormally high flow velocity the filter will load dust in that spot prematurely. That indicates inefficient air flow and loss of use of the balance of the filter until the filter loads around the “hot spot”.”

4.  There is a lot of myths out there about air fuel ratios and what is acceptable for safe operation in a forced induction vehicle.  Where does AEM stand on this?

Answer: “This is totally fuel dependent as well as engine condition dependent.. As a GENERAL rule in most cases we maintain the OEM AFR’s because that is what they mandate. It is best to run on the richer side with a forced induction engine but the caveat is that a lot of turbocharged engines run excessively rich. Conversely, there is a very popular tuner car that seems to have a lot of issues with detonation and when we monitored the AFR’s while at boost we noticed the AFR’s were at 14.6:1 up to 5 pounds of boost! We verified this on several of this car and it held true every time. In that case we made sure our intake did not exhibit that condition. We do extensive tests to validate the AFR’s in drive loops where we data log virtually all of the engine operational parameters and while performing dyno tests. Obviously it is up to the customer to put fuel worthy of their Mitsubishi in their car.”

5. In a hurting economy like we are in today, are week looking to see fuel economy negatively impacted by this intake?

Answer: “There should be no degradation in FE because the fuel trims are as good or better than stock. That said, we usually see a decrease in FE initially because the consumer puts their foot into the throttle to see the results but after they calm down they see the FE come right back.”

Stay tuned for part two of this interview

AEM's R&D process for the Ralliart Cold Air Intake

AEM’s R&D process for the Ralliart Cold Air Intake


AEM has spent a great deal of time and effort making sure this intake performs well and most importantly, safely.  Engineers created an indepth write up on the development / inception of this intake.  I had the opportunity to interview a key engineer involved with the project.  Look for the two part interview in the coming two weeks.  In the mean time, read up on the notes below.

Stay tuned,

EVOSOUL

AEM's Production Dyno Results for the Ralliart Cold Air Box Intake.

AEM’s Production Dyno Results for the Ralliart Cold Air Box Intake.

AEM has again posted some pretty damn good numbs for the Ralliart intake which on paper puts it near the top of the list for intake power upgrades.  AEM posted similar numbers when the EVO X air intake came out.  But we were able to post almost double the HP / TQ in our Canadian Winter  Dyno Day a year and half ago.  http://forums.evolutionm.net/evo-x-engine-turbo-drivetrain/418684-evo-x-aem-works-injen-intake-shootout-round-1-a.html

We have an evaluation intake on its way from AEM where we will test the intake on a Bone stock Ralliart in both the summer and later this year in the winter to pull real world numbers.  AEM is known to be conservative with their intake numbers.  So it will be interesting to see what this well presented intake box can do.  Below are the dyno sheets from AEM engineers.  Stay tuned with my 2 part interview with AEM engineers starting  next week.

For more information about AEM.  Visit WWW.AEMPOWER.COM

INJEN moves forward with Short Ram variant for Ralliart

INJEN moves forward with Short Ram variant for Ralliart

Injen has revealed that a SP1839 short ram intake for the Mitsubishi Lancer 2009 – 2011.  This new intake is set to make +14.42HP & +14.38TQ.  This is welcome new for the Ralliart owners who owned a Premium package Ralliart that came with HID’s.  Long story short, the OEM HID system would obstruct the path for the cold air to get into the wheel well.  If you were a Canada owner.  All 2009 and 2010 Ralliarts came with HIDs standard.  It wasnt until 2011 when Mitsubishi removed the standard feature and made it optional only for higher end Ralliart packages.
We will be looking forward to getting our hands on this kit for testing in our latest round of dyno review.
Sailun Z4+AS Tire Feedback

Sailun Z4+AS Tire Feedback

It was about 3 months ago when I sat down with Sailun to see what they are all about.  Whats the substance behind their product and what their corporate goals are.  I quickly got the message that they mean business.  They have taken aim at their industry peers and have the mission to bring forward a quality product for affordable prices.  Sure, Sounds funny, something that you would expect to hear from any tire company under the sun.  But I have been fortunate enough to see how driven Sailun is, looking behind closed doors to see what they are willing to do to improve their product.  Even as we speak Sailun isnt standing still.  They have great ambitions and are making efforts to R&D even better compounds and tread design and refinement.  Time will tell how this venture will go for them.
What I can report on today is the fact that todays Z4+AS tire from Sailun is very much so Mitsubishi Lancer, Ralliart, and EVO X worthy.  I have spent a fair bit of time testing this tire myself and I have honestly had my expectations exceeded two times over.   The tire seems to provide a comfortable ride and meaningful performance when you start to throw it around with aggressive street driving.
To drive this point home,  Sailun invited me to test their tires in a heads up test again some pretty serious tire brands.  Now you would think they would pick some mid range or weak tires from those brands to go up against.  But your dead wrong, Sailun wanted to beat its chest and have at it vs. some of the best competing tires.
Now me being there would be great, but I decided to step back and have two of my most critical EVO X friends visit the testing rounds to test these tires.  While I expected the tires to do well on the track, I was unprepared to hear what tires the Sailun’s went up against, and then the fact that they beat and held their own vs. the competing tires.
Now one of these friends, Widow, shows no mercy to what ever car he drives.  If he had a whip he would roll down the window and give the rear end of the car a lash or two.  His overkill driving method even caused a group passenger throw up.  Crester snapped a shot of brakes and tires literally smoking when the keys were turned off.  “I think we should give this car a rest before we give it another go”.
I don’t put words in their mouths, but the fact that you can get two nods of respect for Sailun.  I think it’s safe to say they have earned the right to play in this market space. I will comment further on this after we get some pictures and comments posted.
EVOSOUL ASIA / Rick Chong mini photoshoot

EVOSOUL ASIA / Rick Chong mini photoshoot

Rick has been kind enough to show off his latest mods for the EVO X, in this little preview.  Rick has been developing more and more mods for all levels of the Mitsubishi Lancer Family.  And you will notice in future posts alot more CF items.  Click below to view larger images.