Monthly Archives: March 2014

Mitsubishi to cease production of Lancer Evolution X – Left Lane News

Mitsubishi has announced plans to wind down production of the Lancer Evolution performance sedan.  According to Japan’s Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (Automotive News Daily), Mitsubishi will cease building the tenth iteration of its halo sports sedan, the Lancer Evolution X, by the end of this year.




We knew it was coming…it was just a matter of when they would plan to stop the production line.  We are lucky they didn’t do it sooner.


UK to Receive 440-HP Evo?? – Road & Track

As with all UK-market Evos since 2003, the MR’s numerical badge denotes its power rating. Offered only in white, the FQ-440 achieves its 440 hp via an ECU remap, high-flow fuel injectors, revised intercooling piping, and a new manifold-back exhaust courtesy of Janspeed. Torque also gets a slight bump, from 400 to 412 lb-ft. Mild Eibach suspension tweaks help hunker the FQ-440’s nose down 1.3 inches, with the rear sitting 1.1 inches lower than stock.

Only 40 examples of the Lancer Evolution X FQ-440 MR will be produced, each with a £50,000 ($83,000) price tag.

The last FQ sold in the UK was $82,000 (equivalent USD).  I posted this article up on IWSTI and someone mentioned that the pricing was inflated due to UK-specific issues and that it would likely be a lower price if offered in the US.  I’m not sure I agree with that, because some cars in the US are always offered at an inflated price (or not at all).  We’ve never received an FQ version of the Evo.  And if we did, it would certainly not be even close to the pricing of a standard USDM Evo.  The FQs are not standard offerings, so they’re always going to be quite expensive in comparison to non-FQ Evos.  Also, not the production count of the FQ-440…only 40 examples will be produced.  Yes, pricing is affected because of that, too.

Subaru still considering a five-door version of its new WRX –


Don’t give up hope for a hatchback version of Subaru’s new WRX just yet.

That’s the message from WRX Project General Manager, Masuo Takatsu, who told at this week’s Australian launch of the fourth-generation model that a five-door body style was still under consideration.

I shared a very similar article back in Feb regarding Subaru possibly working on a hatch version.  The more news we hear of this, the stronger the possibility that this isn’t just a rumor.  Me?  I’m not a hatch guy but I’ve no problem with a hatch version existing, as long as it doesn’t water down the platform as a whole (divided attention does tend to make for a less focused product).

Also note that the article talks mainly of the WRX.  I’m not sure if this will trickle to the STI variant.

2015 Subaru WRX STI: Everything You Need To Know — AFTER/DRIVE

This is the best 2015 STI review I’ve seen yet.

Why? Because it’s an honest review that explains where the real improvements are and how those real improvements translate into a great track experience.  It discusses things such as the stupid comments about the lack of a hatch…it discusses that issue with tact.  It discusses the active torque vectoring and shows a great example of how such tech helps drivers on track (there’s video footage of it kicking in when a driver is overshooting the apex of a corner).

I really liked how the three guys discussed the car and how they were rational when discussing the differences between the STI and WRX.  They gave solid feedback on why the STI was the overall better buy (not better value buy).

I highly recommend watching this video if you want see an unbiased and frank review.

Fix for STI Stumble

So, there’s a thing called the ‘stumble’, where there’s a fueling issue that causes an STI engine to falter or lean-out.  In some cases, it is noticeable, especially when getting tuned.  Some tuners can tune it out while other can’t/won’t.

There are several fixes:  1) using an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator; 2) using an aftermarket fuel rail; 3) extending a fuel line.  The below links describe how to perform #3.  As well, after doing fix #3, it is advised to use Cobb’s Accesstuner (if you don’t have it, you can request it from Cobb at this link) to modify your TGV tables (as they were modified by Cobb to compensate for the stumble)…the first URL below explains how to do it.

I do plan to do this as soon as I can.  It shouldn’t take any more than 20 minutes and shouldn’t cost any more than $20 in material.   I plan to do this before I get protuned.

Note that this only affects later model STIs (2008-2014)…it does not affect the WRX or other models.

Mishimoto Cold Air Intake for 2008-2014 STI


This cold air intake (CAI) is a bit different than that’s currently on the market for the GR/GV STIs.  What’s different?  Your vehicle doesn’t need to be tuned for it to be used on your car, nor does it need to used with a Cobb AP OTS tune.  In most cases, CAIs for Subarus are not plug-n-play.  So when I saw the above URL posted within the IWSTI forums, I immediately had questions, such as ‘how did they do this?’.

Here is an engineering writeup of the product (by Mishimoto engineers).  It is actually pretty thorough.  Another cool fact is that it can still be protuned for further gains.  Mishimoto claims,

The maximum gain achieved was about 25 hp and 24 tq at around 5300 rpm, with a peak gain of 12.7 hp and 2 tq. These results are very good for such an easy part to swap out. Increases on average through the power band measured around 20 hp and 18 tq, which would certainly be noticeable to the driver.

Additional notes regarding the air/fuel ratio of a car with this particular CAI:

The Mishimoto CAI follows the stock AFR as the car builds its boost. Once the engine reaches 4000 rpm the car is under full boost, as seen when the Mishimoto CAI starts to differ from the stock unit. The maximum AFR reached was about 11.7:1, but on average the Mishimoto CAI runs about 11.3:1 when under full boost. The stock AFR maxed out at about 11:1 and averaged about 10.5:1 when under full boost. These numbers were consistent throughout multiple runs, which assured the engineers that this CAI can be used every day without harming the engine.

Looks-wise, I like the Nameless Performance CAI better, even though that particular unit still needs a Cobb AP to be used (it can be used with any map that supports the AEM CAI).  Pricing between the NP and Mishimoto CAIs are also very similar.  The NP CAI is $299 and has an arsenal of color choices of the closeout and MAF housing.  The Mishimoto CAI is $313 and only offers 3 colors of the intake piping.

I’m not sure which offers better gains on OTS tuning, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either solution.

Wrapped DP!

So, I finally found a local place (Advance Auto) that carried the wrap and supporting items. I spent the last few hours wrapping the DP. It had me cussing the whole time, mainly because it was difficult to wrap the cat because of the way it expands beyond the diameter of the pipe and then tapers back down. Starting the wrap was easy, but around the cat and the end part of the wrap…JEEZ. I ended up just tucking it. I left the excess on the end and will trim it off tomorrow.

I used plastic ties to hold the wrap in place. I’ll either remove them after the paint dries or let them melt off after installing the DP.

Again, I know that it’s a no-no to wrap a cat. I really don’t have any choice and I’ll continue trying to figure out how to protect the CV boot. If I discover how to do protect the boot, I’ll remove the wrap…since I’m spray-paining over the wrap, it should protect the pipe under the wrap.

Mod Dilemma

So, I explained my woes with the downpipe that I recently purchased.  I’ve got all my parts and can begin installing them at any time, but I still have to decide how to deal with the catalytic converter being so close to the CV axle boot.  I do not yet have any exhaust wrap and still don’t want to wrap the cat.  I’m still mulling over how to deal with shielding the boot.  I’m pondering if I should find some heat reflecting material that will keep the heat off the boot, by covering the boot.  Something like this:


 I figure that I can use hose clamps to seal the ends of the heat-wrapped boot.  I won’t know much more until I  spend a bit of time under the car.

I also need either some ramps or two more jack stands (maybe both, but at least the ramps.  Also, I need to get my ’98 Honda Accord out of the garage so that I can install the Stage 2 parts on the STI, in the garage.  That means I need to get the Honda fixed (I’m looking at $1000 in repairs since it’s been sitting awhile (motor mount needs to be replaced, rear brake rotors/pads need to be replaced, and the engine is sputtering, which could be bad fuel, plugs, both, or something else entirely…I did check to see that no mice had made nests in the airbox, so that’s good).

So, I may need to hold off on my build until my Accord is fixed.  That’s the smart thing to do, as I’ll have a spare car in case I botch something on the STI or even if I break a ringland (but I also have the motorcycle).  So, next week, I’m going to see if I can get the Accord towed to the local shop and see if they can give me an estimate on repairs…the last quote I got was $550 and that was just for the motor mount and rear rotors/pads.

That also gives me time to talk with several local tuners.  Initially, I’d opted to have iAG tune my car, but I’m put off to the fact that they’re charging extra for a mandatory pre-dyno inspection, which is bullshit, IMO.  Their reasoning is that it will lessen/prevent cars breaking on the dyno (because time is money).  I understand what they’re trying to do, but my car is pretty much brand new.  It has no boost leaks (I checked via datalogs).  It doesn’t leak oil.  It runs fine.  The fluids are fine (I’ll have the oil changed before going to the tune).  The tune is already $500.  The pre-dyno inspection is another $100.  So, $600 to be tuned…$100 of that is because they insist on doing an inspection on a car that is basically new (16K miles on a 2011…yeah, pretty much new).  IMO, that’s nickling and diming every person being dyno’d.  As well, it’s almost an insult to me, because I maintain my car already.

I’ve also contacted two other tuners:  Mach V Motorsports and PTuning.  I’m gonna say right now that PTuning is expensive (more so than the others)…they’re also pushy and I don’t like the owner at all.  When I asked him via Facebook about if his shop required a pre-dyno inspection, he didn’t say if it was required, but kept saying it would benefit the owner of the car being dyno’d.  I told him that I already know my car will pass the checks and would rather opt out of it if I could.  He clammed up.  WTF.  It’s a yes or no question…answer it.  Now, Dan at Mach V was cool.  He assumed that I was more focused on the inspection than looking for a reputable tuner (that wasn’t the case and I explained to him that I’d rather not be “nickle and dimed”).  He stated that inspections aren’t required and left it at that.  He answered the question without a lot of dialog, which I liked.  Mach V has an open house tomorrow and I’ll visit them to get an idea of how the tuner dials in a car – I expect that tuners will want to know what I desire in a tune.  I want to make power and also be safe…let’s say mildly conservative.  Keep in mind that I don’t have upgraded fuel injectors, so they’ll probably be watching the injector duty cycles (850cc injectors will be added to my wish list).

So, Ptuning is off my list.  iAG, I’m not sure yet, because Rick stated that because his website didn’t list the pre-dyno checks requirement, he’d let me pay $50 for the inspection since I went out of my way to get clarification.  So, it’s either iAG or Mach V.

The Accord is a big hindrance right now, though…if I can get that fixed within 30 days, I’ll be very happy and can then move on with my Stage 2 project.

Comparison: BMW M235i vs. Mercedes CLA45 AMG vs. Subaru WRX STI

In this latest 2015 STI review, the STI is pitted against European metal:  the 2015 BMW M235i and the 2015 Mercedes CLA45 AMG.  The STI fares very well, considering it was out-powered and that these cars were MUCH more expensive than it.

Note that the base price for a 2015 STI Launch Edition is $38,190.  Non-Launch-Editions will not be as much (for those people thinking that $38K is a lot…it is, but doesn’t apply to the rest of the line-up).

It was a pleasant surprise to see that the STI outran the other two on the road course (Streets of Willow).  Within the articles comments section, several people proclaim that the win margin was slim.  That may be, but IMO, the other cars should’ve been very much ahead in that contest, but they weren’t…BMW and Mercedes should be embarrassed.  Now, we all know that the M235i isn’t really an M2, but the M235i still had the STI outright beaten in sheer HP/torque and apparently it handles like a dream, too.

This was a good read, especially since I hate Jonny Lieberman.  Thank goodness Jonny tested and someone else wrote the article (Nate Martinez).

Now, if they only post some video footage of the testing…

Downpipe and Cobb AP have arrived!

So, my CNT catted downpipe  (from Cygnus Performance) arrived yesterday (Friday).  I did NOT know it was coming and was fortunately home when it arrived.


Notice the placement of the cat.  I’m not sure I’m liking it’s position, because there have been complaints that the cat has melted the passenger-side CV boot, spilling CV grease everywhere (and at least a few instances of that grease catching fire from the cat’s heat).  The cat is big enough that it is less than an inch from the CV boot.  This isn’t the only brand that places the cat on the neck of the DP…Invidia does it, as well as a few other brands.  

So, I’ve three options to mitigate the heat of the cat from causing damage:

  1. Fabricate some type of heat shielding (doesn’t necessarily have to be a metal shroud-type of shield).
  2. Heat-wrap from the top of the neck to the bottom (wrapping the cat as well, since the cat is the main cause of the heat damage).
  3. Get a DP that has the cat near the tail.

Yes, heat-wrapping the cat can cause the cat to fail, but I’ve asked on IWSTI if anyone has ever had a cat fail because it was heat-wrapped…I got no answers.  I’d rather not heat-wrap the cat but I might not have a choice if I can’t find or fabricate a shield, because I’d rather melt the cat than melt a CV boot and damage the axle ($600 to replace) or even cause a grease fire.  I could also just sell the DP and use that money to get a better DP…I’d need $300 extra, though.  The CNT is priced at $369, which undercuts the higher-priced DPs with lower mounted cats by a good bit ($100-$250 more).  What I’m more than likely going to do is use the CNT (heat-wrapping the vertical part) and start putting money aside to get a Cobb catted DP when the CNT fails.

I’m also going to probably reinstall the stock mufflers.  Why?  Because, with the CNT DP, the current setup is going to be pretty loud (we’ll see).  My current setup consists of an axleback muffler delete system.  Without some type of muffler, the car will more than likely be loud since aftermarket DPs tend to be higher diameter and less restricting (the stock DP has two cats, I believe, which would probably help in masking sound).  I’ll run the stock mufflers until I can come up with an alternate solution (I very much want Nameless muffler replacements, but they’re around $400, much more than my Nameless axleback deletes).

 20140307_141141_HDR 20140307_141103_HDR 20140308_151930

My Cobb AP v3 also arrived.  I purchased from and found cheaper pricing than at online tuning shops.  They typically sell them at $650, but I got mine for $639 and used the different for faster shipping…note that SKOOT LLC is selling them for $624, which is even cheaper than when I bought mine 2 weeks ago.

The AP is very nice…it should be, for $600+.  It is built well and comes with a good bit of accessories:  a USB cable for connecting to laptops to get map and firmware updates; a OBDII cable, a blue faceplate, a quick start guide, a mount, and two Cobb stickers….oh, and a case.

The unit itself has a screen that’s about the same size as an iPod.  It offers virtual gauges and you can configure it to show between 1 and 6 of them.  It also datalogs, displays any trouble codes, has launch control options, has a configurable shift light, and has Cobb’s off-the-shelf tuned maps for specific mods and fuel configurations.  The unit can be used while driving but isn’t required.

Now the only differences in capability between the v2 and v3 models is that with the v3 you can have more than one gauge up and running.  If you’ve a budget, you can still buy the v2 models…they still log data and can do pretty much everything the v3 can do.  If I really wanted to cut the budget, I could’ve just searched for a used v2, which I’ve seen as low as $350.

I’m still awaiting other parts to arrive, but I’ll begin to work on the heat-wrapping of the CNT this week and post pictures when I’ve finished.