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John Freund's Time Attack 99 Eclipse GSX

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Supporting Vendor
Aug 15, 2003
Herndon, Virginia
This thread will be where I post updates to my Time Attack 2g Eclipse GSX.

Caveat: I'm starting this thread about 17 years after I bought the car, originally my daily driver and now turned race car, and have been racing for the past six years. So there's no way in hell can I capture the entire "build", but I'll try to organize some past info here and then just start chronicling changes to the car moving forward.

Follow me at:

From this:

To this and beyond:
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A brief post about what the car was. The car is a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, built in October 1998, and purchased by me second hand in I think 2001 (can't remember for sure) with 13k miles (car has over 135k now). Bought as my third DSM, a formerly modified car returned to stock, it had everything I wanted being AWD, black interior, leather, power seats, sunroof, 2gb styling, and Eclipse (my prior two were Talons), and in great condition with 13k miles.

I quickly transferred my 16g and mods from my Talon. Car grew as most street cars do, from getting an FMIC, then a bigger turbo, injectors, bigger wheels, tires, brakes, more gauges, DSMLink... I kept the car mostly stock looking because I don't care about ricer shit and am only about performance.

Notable things about the car were:
  • custom flared fenders to fit 255 tires
  • Ronal 18x8.5 LV Wheels (man, these were so hot, company's gone now)
  • Forced Performance 3150 Turbo (I think this was what might be considered a 50-trim turbo with a dual ball bearing chra and a DSM-style housing)
  • a 3" exhaust with stock styled twin-tips (cops stopped ticketing me once I had this!)
  • Tokico Illumina Shocks w/Ground Control Coilovers
I stupidly do not have a ton of pics:




Nothing special, right? Basically your run of the mill street car, with a focus on overall performance and reliability rather than just drag racing power. Had a sick sound system though, really miss my state-of-the-art Sony CDX-C90 with fiber optics, god that sounded good. This was my daily driver for many years, though as I pushed further and further the reliability dropped and it became more of a weekend car (enter the Evo 9 MR you see in the pic above).

Early in my ownership of my prior Talons I got into road course stuff thanks to a fellow DSM owner and quickly became addicted to HPDE events. I loved whooping on higher horsepower Corvettes and Porsches that refused to believe I was faster and begrudgingly eventually had to let me pass. With how often this happened I developed a belief that this platform had a lot of potential, but much of it was so untapped with how focused much of the DSM community was on drag racing and very little on road courses. We lacked experience, we lacked parts (let alone PROVEN parts), and for many of us we lacked the funds (let's face it, many of us own these cars because of how cheap they are for what you get, and road racing is really expensive).

Over the years as my career progressed the funds issue slowly handled itself, but I still was missing everything else. No known good suspension, no aero, and lots of other "race level" bits were just not developed. Enter Andrew Brilliant. Andrew basically not only confirmed what the platform is capable of, but he also developed and made available (in very limited quantities) truly functional aero in a widebody package (another dream of mine thanks to Gran Turismo haha), developed a number of solutions to problems he discovered, and shared his knowledge on creating affordable yet performant suspension. I took the plunge, got on the small list of recipients of his aero work (you can find that thread yourself here on tuners), and my Time Attack escapades began.
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So Andrew Brilliant released his aero package and through Robispec made available his KW V3 shock specs. He shared his engine specs so I duplicated them mostly with some changes.

- Head by TEM Performance. Stock intake valves, Evo 8 sodium filled exhaust valves, some FP4R2 cams from Forced Performance, and I forget what else (brass valve guides, I think evo 8 valve springs and keepers? those commonly used green and blue valve stem seals? I really can't remember...)
- 2.3l stroker 8.8:1 compression from Magnus Motorsports with about every option short of a dry sump. Manley billet crank, their design of pistons, balance shaft removed... that's about all I remember at the moment. I didn't go to a 2.4l like Andrew as I... wanted to keep air conditioning as I was still driving to/from race tracks and I couldn't figure out if the g4cs block would accept the 2g 4g63's ac compressor bracket. Lower compression than Andrew's as well because I wanted to run pump gas and wasn't sure how high I could go.
- KW V3 with 450 front/500 rear springs, supposedly "custom" revalving by Robispec though I found out later after opening them this was really minor and only on the front.
- modified front subframe with raised LCA mount points for more roll resistance.






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Car was back together and ready for use in April 2012. Once the car was together I started hitting events.

King of Mitsubishi 1st Annual Car show Apr 15,2012 (won the event, $500 cash and a big trophy)

Mach V Spring Open House Apr 2012:

SVT Superfest May 2012 (basically an HPDE for me to practice):

Trackdaze HPDE at VIR June 2012:

Hyperfest at Summit Point Raceway HPDE June 2012:

GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge and NASA TT at Virginia International Raceway July 2012:

Cool Transformer pic made by a user here (don't think his user exists anymore):


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At some point in 2012 I had a photoshoot for Modified Magazine (no longer in publication sadly) which was used for a feature in their January 2013 issue:
Modified Magazine Jan 2013 - Cover - resized.jpg

2nd Annual King of Mitsu Car Show and won again May 5 2013 (Happy birthday to me!):

At the prior year's Hyperfest I met the guys at RRT Racing, a performance shop here in northern VA. I don't know what I said but later they agreed to sponsor me, and we've been working together ever since. Here I am at their Open House May 11, 2013:

Trackdaze HPDE at Summit Point with a bunch of Eclipses May 2013:
At this event I found my Sparktech COP had issues and had to go back to stock. Also learned from a fellow DSMer that my ignition switch was at least partially at fault for all the issues starting the car (we had to push start the car at the event at least once!). Had a blast though driving with everyone!

Ultimate Track Car Challenge and NASA TT July 2013:

Don't remember when these happened but at this point I had these mods:
- Custom radiator with built-in oil to water cooler:

- Evo 8 rear diff with Weir Performance extra plates (from 8 to 12), assembled by TMZ Performance
- TMZ Performance Stage 4? Transmission. I put a question mark there because I had beyond what's in the stage 4 list. Also included a Quaiffe ATB front differential in there and a Quartermaster Twin Disc clutch with TMZ's special sauce.
- Spoolinup COP prototype
- Ceramic Bearings in my Wheel Hubs
- Venom Intake Manifold wrapped in Aerolite reflective tape
- Vented valve cover by Greengoblin with -10AN vertical ports to a Calan custom catch can
- Moved from 285 street tires to Nitto NT01 315/30/18 on Enkei RPF1 18x10.5 +15, needed spacers to get it to not hit the uprights
- XP24 Carbotech pads
- Greddy coolant surge tank and a custom coolant swirl pot inline with the upper radiator hose
- Made an alternator heat shield because I was tired of destroying alternators

Mach V Colossal Charity Car Show VIII July 2013 (won Car We'd Most Like to Drive award):

Mitsubishi Owners Day East Coast Oct 2013 (won People's Choice award):

Summit Point NASA Time Trials TT2 Nov 2013:

In early 2014 I added carbon fiber doors. The thread's images are broken but I think they can all be found in the linked Facebook album:

Featured Customer for Autosport Labs Mar 2014 (they're a sponsor too):

Mach V Colossal Charity Car Show Jan 2014 (won Best Engine Bay) (can't find pics)

King of Mitsu Annual Car Show Jan 2014 (won People's Choice and $250 cash) (can't find pics)

Cars and Coffee with RRT:

Hyperfest at Summit Point Raceway June 2014:

Ultimate Track Car Challenge and NASA TT2 at Virginia International Raceway July 2014:
Improved by 7 seconds from previous year, got 2nd place in TT2.

At this point I am trailering the car after getting tired of the risk and various issues that happen at the track (I had to drive all the way home from VIR 4.5 hours away in the heat without air conditioning, thought I was going to die). Got a Durango and an 18ft. trailer with e-trac to make trailering easier.

Mods at this point include:
- brake ducts because I was cracking rotors with the high friction pads:

- compworks fender braces (really don't remember when these went on)

- a roll cage by RRT and some weight loss (gutted interior and no a/c):

- I'd bumped up to 500/600 lbs springs but that wasn't enough for the aero, was compressing at speed and then in brake zones would be on the bump stops already. Had shocks revalved and bumped rates to 900/1000 and that fixed it, handled very very well.
- Venom intake manifold cracked a number of times and took many attempts at welding and reinforcing to make it stable, but finally solved the issue:

- Made an airbox to try to combat high intake temps, drawing from below and this helped a little but not much, and no where near enough:

- re-did my entire battery and alternator wiring, relocating the battery to behind the passenger seat. You can see the junction in the above pic

- picked up Autosport Labs as a sponsor and they hooked me up with a discounted RaceCapture Pro Mk2 + some add-ons (they later gave me a free Mk3 plus addons):

- switched to some Galant front uprights, clearanced and sold to me by Bobby Gould, so I could run wheels without spacers up front and mount up some nice Evo X front calipers and Girodisc 2-piece rotors (Girodisc is now a sponsor):


- designed an air intake feeding off a duct in the bumper cover mouth to feed the airbox, this reduced intake temps to ambient (seriously, was such an awesome mod):


Some of this might have happened in 2015.

Didn't do any other events in 2014 as I got married and went on my honeymoon. So on to 2015.


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Early 2015 I got a set of Finspeed F110-RT Ultra wheels. I wanted to get a new set of wheels with the intention of running Hoosier A6 tires for trying to set fast times, and using my Enkei wheels with Nitto NT01 for warm-up and testing. The completely custom set was 18x12 +16mm, and with about every extra machining option they had to get things light and yet still strong enough for my aero load. I chose a 12" wide rim to make sure there was slight slide wall angling for the tires for improved stiffness, but not too much (this is the size Hooser recommended for a 315 wide tire). This wheel design is used on Le Mans and other various professional race cars so I had confidence they would deliver. The wheels mostly were great, though it turned out not exactly as light as they should have been (more on that later).


Also got some Paul Volk tubular rear toe arms:

I was mistaken in my earlier post about the RaceCapture mk2, I had a mk1 before and at this point got a mk2 for free from Autosport Labs per my sponsorship.

A good pic of how the cold air intake was set up:

Gutted my headlights which is why from this point on they're solid black (I painted the inside). Lost about 8 lbs off the front with this.

Removed the front wiper system which was like 15lbs but I never did measure it to be sure.

Added some tear-offs to my helmet visors, so I can stop worrying about scratching them (I'm really picky about things in my vision and even small scratches bug the crap out of me):

Had a tire rack made for the second set of wheels:

Summit Point NASA TT2 June 2015:
Improved 3 seconds and for a brief moment held the track record for TT2, but was beating by a Corvette by .003 seconds that same session. I tried to go out to beat him but then a clip holding my shifter cables to the transmission left the car and I was without 2nd and 4th gears.

Oh, i also stupidly didn't verify how the new wheels/tires would fit and found out at the track they would not clear the rear uprights with the current spacers (I think 7mm in the rear?) so we tried to grind them at the track. Thought we had it, but we did not and the lower spring perch on the rear passenger side carved a nice scar into the tire's sidewall. We did some more grinding and I (stupidly) went and raced on that tire anyway :D Threw it away after the weekend though.

Car changes:
- VDO oil pressure sensor failed, likely due to vibration as I had it mounted directly to the oil filter housing. Replaced it with a new one but will relocate next one to frame rail.
- Added Optic Armor polycarbonate for the front, rear, and side quarter panel windows. Really came out great:

Virginia International Raceway Ultimate Track Car Challenge and NASA TT2 July 2015:

First place in TT2 with a 2:00.119. Blew my old FP3150 turbo during the UTCC, so Forced Performance scrambled and overnighted an FP DSM76 turbo and the Loose brothers got me out in the car just in time for the last TT2 session.

Parts overnight from Jap... Texas:


Oh, guy on the right there in 2nd place drives a Ferrari challenge car:

Back to the Finspeed wheels, before the event I noticed the wheels were over 22lbs, but Finspeed had told me they would be in the 20lbs range. Whole story is outlined in the above dsmtuners thread linked for VIR, but basically they screwed up, admitted it, made me a new set with a more expensive (read $1k more) finish for no additional charge, and later let me pay half price for the new set to keep (so I had two sets of Finspeed wheels). So I went through with this and sold the Enkei RPF1 set to my friend (which he's still using to this day).

Few weekends after the VIR weekend I attended the Mach V Annual Charity Car Show, and won their "Car We'd Most Like to Drive" award:

I can't remember a lot of what happened in 2016. I only did one event, which was the Ultimate Track Car Challenge and NASA TT2, but I can't remember why nothing before it.

At the UTCC I won the Ultimate Production Based AWD class:



I basically managed this because I think all the other AWD cars broke. So really, not that impressive. Also I wasn't driving very fast because something was VERY wrong with the front alignment, my driver's front wheel was toe'd way out. Very odd. We tried screwing with it and did get it slowly better over time, but it was always bad and dramatically slowing me down. I basically could turn hard left, but right turns I felt I had no grip and understeered like mad. I still ran a 2:01.7.

The alignment issue I think led to my catastrophic failure on Saturday after the UTCC in NASA TT2. The problem was getting worse all day but I just decided to drive through it. In the last session on Saturday at about 140mph on the back straight my front driver's tire exploded, taking out all the body work around it, as well as the wiring harness. I didn't spin or anything, but was able to coast down slowly and pull off the side. Friend of mine said he still has dings from all the fiber bits that exploded and hit his car (he was behind me). The track was covered in parts of my car and I basically screwed that entire session for everyone. What was worse was because I was stuck out on track I missed the awards ceremony (in front of the huge Hyperfest crowd) where I would have won 2nd place. I found out the next day that I won 2nd and actually won a free Hoosier tire. Ain't that some shit? Blow up a tire, win a tire :D







So much of 2016 was spend figuring out a way to to recover from this. Greengoblin let me borrow his fender and sideskirt which were used to re-make the parts. I had a complete mold made of the fender. The bumper cover was painstakingly recreated based on the opposite side.

Here it is repaired again, good as new. Pretty much 100% except the new parts were heavier than the old because the body guy... is obsessed with strong parts regardless of what I tell him.

So after this painful recovery I decided to make lots of long awaited upgrades and target the 2017 UTCC as my first event. I decided to get:
- full spherical bearings on all suspension
- Full solid bushings on subframes and rear diff
- add reinforcement between the front subframe's LCA mounts
- upgrade shocks to a high end racing shock

I'm getting tired of all this recap stuff so I'm just going to post lots of photos. As always ask away if anyone's curious about anything.
Paul Volk rear LCA
Front upper a-arm anchors with rubber bushings (cause of my toe issues and explosion due to severe tearing) modified with spherical bearings
Bobby Gould rear upper a-arms and the clearanced/reinforced rear upright (so I can do away with spacers)
Ohlins TTX36 custom shocks!

Paul Volk front LCA

Delrin rear diff bushings:

Megan Racing rear trailing arms:




front upper a-arm frame reinforcement (needed since I went to sphericals to avoid fatigue failure)

added a winch with solar power tender to the trailer (in case of more explosions!):


Autsport Labs released the mk3 of the RaceCapture Pro and sent me a unit:
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- The Frontline Fabrication rear diff cover design is awful. The preload bolts break loose almost immediately (so no more preloading!), and they leak fluid as a result. You can't even try to lock the nuts again once they're loose because of the stupid shrouding around them built into the cover (i.e. the diff has to be dropped so you can get a deep socket on them, as a wrench can't be used). Also the brass filter up top lets fluid puke right out. So we fixed this by adding some better locking on the preload nuts, put some o-rings inside to help seal the holes around the preload bolts (they JUST fit between the cover and the braces, so they're sealing), and replaced the brass filter with a nipple and vertical hose (this lets any puking fluid to go up the hose then drain back down via gravity). Sorry, don't have pics of this.
- I don't recall what year I had this made but I have a brace added to the brake master cyliner. Basically it bolts to the driver's strut tower, and has one of those articulating feet on a threaded rod that I can position, lock into place with a lock nut, and brace the end of the master cylinder. This limits flex in the firewall. I noticed my brake feel was terrible and while watching someone push the pedal saw the firewall visibly moving. This brace fixed that. I tried to get RRT to fab more and sell them but they don't have interest in that.

Added a Tire Pressure Monitoring System because, well, it's obvious why :)

It's a Carchet TPMS, no longer on Amazon but you can find it on Ebay. Uses screw on sensors so I can just transfer them between wheel sets (as opposed to the kind that replace the valve stem and are inside the wheel). Beeps very loudly if tires are under/over pressure as well as temps. Very simple yet cool.

Also in that pic is a new Android tablet (Nvidia Shield K1, now discontinued sadly) I'm using a wireless dashboard streaming data from my RaceCapture Pro. You might notice I still have the stock dash cluster behind it. That's because I still needed that for my fuel level and CEL (as I hadn't had time to puzzle out how to feed those into the RaceCapture and display them) and also because I wasn't sure how well the RaceCapture app would work as a dashboard. The goal here is to remove the OEM dash cluster as well as all physical gauges in the car, and replace them with tablets. This tablet is mounted with some aluminum straps that bolt into the two bolts holding the steering column to the dash crossbar, and are held with velcro to the dash cluster plastic surround (so I can fudge their orientation a bit). The tablet snaps into your run-of-the-mill plastic snap on case with the cover cut off, that is screwed into threaded holes in the straps. I have a USB 12V to 5V converter wired into the car for power, and the tablet is automated so it goes to sleep when no power (car is off) is applied, then when power comes back (car is on) wakes up the screen, starts the app, connects over wifi, bam working dashboard. I even wrote a guide for doing this:

Removed the fuel tank heat/scuff shield as it was heavy and wasn't really needed. It's really heavy!

I didn't like how the sideskirts let wheel well air under the car so I made some simple deflectors to guide air outside the car. This is my own hairbrained idea, not something Andrew told me to do. I tried explaining it to him once and he didn't get it and then disappeared like he always.'


The heat shield for the exhaust manifold has been an issue since it was created. The bracket would crack repeatedly from the vibration and heat. Many many attempts have been made to reinforce it. I don't know why my fabricators refuse to just weld nuts onto the manifold itself but they seem to prefer these complicated ideas. Latest iteration here:

Oh for my touch screen I wanted to be able to interact with my race gloves on (in case the automation glitches or something while I'm about to go on track) so I bought some conductive thread off Amazon and sewed it into my right glove. Worked like a charm:

There might be other changes I'm missing but I'm having a brain fart.

Like the day before the UTCC I go to take a quick test drive around the block (I forget what I was testing) and as I turn to go back into my driveway SNAP, shifter brakes. Raced over to RRT after pulling it and in 30 minutes had it welded back together. I've since bought a spare:


Ok so we make it to UTCC. Go out for the first warm up and in the VERY FIRST LAP I hear "BEEP. BEEP. BEEP." My TPMS tells me my rear tire is low by 5psi. in a 1/4 lap it goes down 2 more psi. and another 2. I have a leak. What could it be? Come it, take a look, oh joy I have a screw from someone's car in my brand new $400 Hoosier R7 tire:

Thankfully Phil's Tire Service on track has my size since corvettes use them a lot, and they get me a new tire in like an hour. I don't remember if I made the next session or what.

I also had issues with the turbo to mani gasket leaking. I don't think I mentioned it before but they've leaked a number of times. I even safety wired them this time and switched to Nord-lock washers. I suspect the issue is the surfaces weren't flat as this leaked the year prior too (but then it was bolts that backed out). So I just had to keep re-tightening these and eventually this blew out and was toasting the wastegate (note the colors) and completely liquefying the timing belt cover, blowing hot melted plastic onto the power steering reservoir and ABS (initially I thought it was some sort of oil!, nope, hot plastic). Surprised things didn't catch on fire. Destroyed a new turbo bag, water pipe heat shielding... alternator survived though, thanks to my heat shield :D

So other than this, all the new suspension changes were good and very bad. Good is the front-end felt improved, especially when jumping gators which you really need to do for fast times at VIR. The rear however felt like I was skating, like I was a drift car. I could NOT push the car at all. Not at all. Example: The best I've done the uphill esses is WOT at 138mph. I got to the esses and had to feather the throttle and hit the brakes hard at the top (to avoid a 4th gear drift and death), ending at like 110mph. Very bad. I still drove a 2:01.843 though on my R7 tires (slower by 2 secs of the A6 set), pretty funny :) So that tells me things were definitely better, but not right.

Footage from the new rear GoPro Hero5:



Ok so I won Fastest 4 banger and Fastest AWD:


Oh, I had no idea I was going to win this, I was busy wrenching on shit on the car and as you can tell quite disheveled. I think when they called my name I yelled "WHAT?" That might have been the year before though, I can't remember for usre. Man I look awful.

That's DJ Fitzpatrick there, former Eclipse owner.

The rest of the weekend was shit. So I was overheating but I ignored it. This sent EGTs high. I ignored that. I fried the turbo. Oh I also broke the shifter again, on the other side of it, too. ABS wasn't working either, so that led me to flat spot tires as I'm used to having it. With the ABS out I learned my rear brake pads are actually too much causing them to lock up really fast, causing a couple spins.

The turbo overheating I think I figured out later. With the exhaust leak getting progressively worse to constant it was blowing right on the main water line and heating up the water. I went over 210 and this caused the ecu to start pulling timing, which meant more fuel, which meant more unburnt fuel and EGTs going high. High EGTs mean cooked turbo bearings and blam, fell apart. The latter confirmed by Forced Performance looking at the turbo. Yay, I'm an idiot! Don't ignore your warning lights people, no matter how badly you want to race!

So onto prep for 2018.


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So after the UTCC I had:
- broken turbo
- leaking at the manifold to turbo connection
- various melted bits from the leak
- non-functional ABS
- flat spotted front R7 tires

The first three I could tackle with a new turbo. Should I just get another FP DSM76? Hells no, I'm sitting on bonus money so I take this opportunity to upgrade.

To what? Well I have always dreamed of going to a twin scroll turbo. Ever since buying my 2006 Evo 9 MR I've been in love with how amazingly responsive a good twin scroll setup is. You just have to drive it, man it's like a dream for any turbo lover. It is THE way to go for road racing. So which should I get? I really wanted to go full v-band to get rid of stupid leaking gaskets if I could.

I won't bore anyone with the thought process. Ultimately I landed on a Borg Warner EFR 7670 Twin Scroll with a .92 internal wastegated turbine housing. You know, those turbos oozing with technology not from a diesel truck? Titanium Aluminide turbine wheel, billet compressor wheel, fancy compressor housing with turbo speed sensors and built-in diverter valves, compressor housing mounted boost controlleer, internal wastegate for a twin scroll, vband connections, dual ball bearings... whew I'm getting excited just writing about it.

I called around and these were out of stock everywhere. I talked with Modern Automotive Performance, and not only did they agree to sort of sponsor me by giving me a HUGE discount on this extremely hard to get turbo (hard to get because of BW production issues), they tracked down what might have been the last one in the country and shipped it to me. Amazing. <--- go shop there!



How the wastegate ports are routed:



Seriously this thing was so gorgeous. If I was loaded I would just have one mounted somewhere as a piece of "art".

So I needed an exhaust manifold, but no one had an off the shelf known great performing T4 Twin Scroll bottom mount design available. I reached out to a number of fabricators and for various reasons landed on working with Archer Fabrications. Kyle worked with me on my design requirements and really put together a design EXTREMELY quickly. While not perfect I'm really hoping this works well. I may revisit the design later but it will do for now.





Test fitting:

Yeah there's no way I can route an exhaust down without hitting the alternator, so that will have to get relocated. Also the o2 housing will likely prevent me from getting the oil filter off, or at least really heat it up, so that will need to be relocated too:

Compressor side looks ok as far as outlet routing goes for the intercooler piping, shouldn't interfere with the front engine mount with a bit of clocking of the compressor housing. Big issue here though is the wastegate, it's poking way far out and will hit the radiator as it sits.


Another issue to be concerned about is the turbo speed sensor outlet. It's not quite obvious, but in this picture you can sort of see it in the upper left of the compressor housing and how the sensor itself will start to hit the transmission housing if the compressor housing is rotated more counterclockwise. So that means I have a limit here on rotation. By luck this worked out that I get the route CH outlet orientation I need to clear the motor mount and also not hit the transission with the speed sensor.

Here you can see Kyle@Archer did a great job taking my measurements and making sure the turbin housing didn't hit the water pipe or block:

So now that I had a working manifold I needed a heat shield for it. Since I got my dream turbo I wanted to make sure its shield was great, without all the issues I dealt with on the old on for mounting. This meant light, durable, effective... inconel. What pro teams and high end cars use. I had the whole system shipped out to a place that does this. I won't share their info because their owner is a complete bi*** and was a nightmare to work with, but I ultimately coaxed out a usable part that required a bit of modifying on my own.

I also decided to finally switch from my HKS EVC V Boost Controller to ECMlink boost control. I engineered a way to mount the ingersoll-rand BCS to the compressor housing and hooked it up. Note, the way I hooked it up here is slightly wrong, the BCS bottom left port should be left open and that line there connected to the top port (I realized this literally two days ago from when I'm writing this...).

One thing that's hard to see here but you might if you compare pictures closely is that in these two heat shield pics I am not running the original wastegate in its original position. I reached out to Full-Race as they are the BW experts and asked about what wastegate I need, and if something can be done to pull it in tighter to the turbo. They pointed me towards the Turbosmart IWG75 internal wastegate for the smaller B1 frame BW turbos (this is a B2) and a Subaru-specific B1 mounting bracket. Said it fits like a charm and basically does what I asked, and sure enough it does. Don't hesitate to reach out to Full-Race, they are really awesome guys! They also threw me a discount so I'll try to get some of their stickers on the car. edit - found a pic:

Oh, one downside to this turbo system was weight. This manifold is heavy, and this turbo, probably the massive turbine housing, is very heavy. I think the whole thing was double the weight of the old FP DSM76 + FP Race Manifold. SO heavy. So weight loss on the front now was a priority for me.

I forgot to mention that I switched brake pad sponsors to G-LOC brake pads. The owner of Carbotech (well, one of them) sold Carbotech and started a new company, G-LOC, but using the same compounds (no idea how that agreement was made). He offered to take me on and since he was the guy who originally set me up with the Carbotech sponsorship I felt obliged to follow. They make really great pads so please reach out to them for your motorsports needs, I outbrake everyone with their stuff.

Ok so I have a turbo system with heat shield. In order for it to work it needs the following:
- relocated/tilted radiator for clearance
- relocated oil filter housing (I could have probably switched to a downfacing oil filter housing like an Evo 9 but I really didn't want to deal with all the hassle of re-doing my accusump lines, sensors, porting... ugh)
- O2 housing fabrication
- Downpipe modification to connect to new o2 housing
- re-shape block water line connection as it slightly interfered with I think the compressor somehow (it's in my notes).
- dipstick reshaping, it would hit things in this new configuration

I had in addition the following work I wanted to get done at the same time:
- Fix the ABS. I don't know what's wrong, maybe I screwed up the rewiring I did recovering from that tire explosion (I spliced in a harness from a good donor harness off a 99 GSX) or the pump/ecu are bad.
- Fabricate new better routed and lighter aluminum intercooler pipes. This had been something I wanted done for a long time, decided to splurge on this.
- Install a power steering cooler. Don't have a pic but I bought a cheap transmission cooler. This was to see if it helped with power steering fluid overflow (possibly simply due to heat) I see all the time.
- Clearancing of the rear uprights. Last time RRT had the car they didn't have enough time to get these quite right so I still had to run a 3mm spacer back there. I hate having spacers as they put the tire out in the airflow. So I asked them to finish this up.

I handled the oil filter relocation (FRAM filter was just temporary!!):

I also switched to a Saturn alternator from Got a 1 wire self-exciting alternator and relocated it to the back of the block using a Jay Racing kit. The alternator can be found here:

The Jay Racing kit was a small pain in the ass. First, the wrong adjustment arm was included and I dicked around with that for a while before realizing it. Jay seemed stoned, drunk, or exhausted maybe from getting ready for the Shootout (it was around this time I was working on it) and didn't seem to understand why I had the wrong part, but did send me the right one finally. Second, this kit can't work with a 99 Eclipse's half-shaft mounting bracket. It just doesn't line up with the holes, you absolutely must have a 95-96 bracket. By a stroke of DUMB luck I had one I got just a few days prior because I bought a spare front axle from a 95 talon awd. That really pissed me off. Last issue was the lower bracket from the kit that you mount to the block can't possibly clear the lip at the edge of the block, at least not mine. I have a timing cover but there is a hard metal lip preventing the bracket from laying flush like it needs to be. I had to cut out a chunk of the bracket to get this to work.


Anyway, after that nonsense it fired up first try, idling I think in the high 14s for voltage. Nice.

So off to RRT to get this done. I gave them the car in late September with the goal of having it all done by end of October so I had time to get the car tuned and dyno'd before an early November NASA event at Summit Point. Sadly, RRT did not deliver, but I don't really blame them. They were kind of screwed by a build owner with whom they set up to rent a space from to move their race operations (not street cars, those would stay in their original facility). They moved, got all set up, then the guy sold the building but said he'd arrange with the new owner to let them rent but he lied and so they had to move everything back to their old facility. So my work didn't get done. I didn't get the car back from the above work until January.

Basically they did what I asked but we made some changes along the way:
- replaced the radiator cross support steel boxed beam with an aluminum one (I don't have a pic, will take one at a later date). This saved about 4 lbs and we lowered the mounting to get better, dramatically more direct, airflow in the radiator ducting out of the fmic.
- replaced the engine crossmember with a chromoly tubular piece. Originally a piece from Boosted Fabrications made for a 2g, it was modified to work for me with my extra diffuser support, the braces for the front subframe, and bolting straight into the new radiator support rather than upwards like the stock one. Again, pics to come later.
- Radiator is tilted forwards about 10 degrees. Had to notch the radiator fan for wastegate clearance still.
- Redid how my bumper cover attaches in the center, cutting out the steel and replacing with aluminum. This saved a couple pounds.
- Added a larger power steering reservoir tank that allows for expansion. It has no mesh filter on the inlet so we added a filter on the low pressure side to at least try to catch things (unfortunately no high pressure side filter).
- radiator ducting is now much more direct

Downpipe/o2 housing in progress:

Everything's done:

While RRT had the car user Apache here on tuners reached out to me as he'd heard I was interested in having a carbon fiber roof made. He was too, and he had a brand new OEM roof skin (no sunroof) and he offered to ship it anywhere I wanted if I could get the part made. Here's the thread about it.

I reached out to my wing maker DHP Composites and he agreed to make a mold and make three roofs, shipping by end of December. DHP kept his word and my roof arrived around the time my car was done at RRT.

If anyone wants one, DHP will take on more orders but keep in mind this is not consumer grade wet-layup shit, this is pre-preg vacuum bagged motorsports level stuff. No autoclave, but still very light, my roof was 6.1lbs as delivered.

I took the car to my regular body shop Mr. Spoiler and they agreed to do the roof install. Simultaneously I reached out to Carbonetics and Sergio there agreed to fabricate me some hood vents normally reserved for the v2 AMB Aero widebody kits. He had me my parts, in hand from Mexico, within a couple weeks. Amazing. Can't thank him enough.

Here's what the roof looks like removed. Note we pulled the entire roof, without leaving edges that an overlay would need, and this saves the most weight possible.


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The old roof ended up being about 40lbs. It had lots of filler from when we filled in the sunroof, and metal braces on the underside. The new roof was clear coated with some black strips down the edges, and was never weighed, but I figure it was about 7 lbs when done. So a net savings of 33lbs up top.

Here's the panels installed:



It came out very nicely I think, better than I'd hoped for both. The hood vents weren't done exactly like I wanted and they had agreed to do, but overall it's really nice work and I can check off a couple things from my car bucket list :)
I can't edit the above posts anymore so this is out of order, but last summer Northern Virginia Magazine had a very small article about me, kind of neat:

The car needed to go back to RRT but I had a whole laundry list of work I needed to get done myself.
  • I was trying the Spoolinup COP with a custom circuit I designed/built and it was working much better now, with eliminating the stock Power Transistor Unit. Oddly though it failed while at Mr. Spoiler. I think I fixed it now but can't go into details as I will let Spoolinup sell the system should it end up working on track. It worked in a small 34psi around the neighborhood run nicely though :)
  • Removed the wiring harness from the rear hatch, to get rid of that dead weight since I removed the wiper system a long while ago.
  • Trimmed up other wiring aorund the a-pillar and dash
  • Finally removed the rear spacers (RRT had left them in place because I forgot to give them the hubcentric rings)
  • The airbox wasn't really sealing well properly I discovered, so I added an extra dzus fastener and some additional foam seal.
  • Need to switch to a lesser friction compound in the rear per the lockups I saw when the abs was not working last year. I forgot to mention this, but I switched to two-piece Girodisc rotors in the rear last year and we found the pad backing from g-loc and carbotech is too large for girodisc's hats, and they interfere. Fix is to grind away pad backing plate and material which is a pain in the ass. I did it myself last year and nearly killed myself by not wearing a mask and breathing lots of dust. I was coughing severely and hacking up black phlegm for a week. Really stupid. This I'm letting RRT do as they'll use a respirator.
  • Get rid of all the physical gauges in the car and replace them with another dash tablet.
I completed all this after about 2.5 weeks working weekends, and some nights.

The last bullet was the biggest project. Here's what was going on:
  • I wanted to go really fancy in the car, eliminating all my analog gauges and replacing them with another Android tablet. Any sensor data I could get into the RaceCapture Pro could be displayed, so that meant I needed to get all necessary data there.
  • EGT/Water gauge probes were unknowns as far as resistance/voltage maps, I those needed to be replaced with known units, and then wired to the RaceCapture Pro
  • Had to wire up the Borg Warner Turbo Speed sensor to the RaceCapture Pro.
  • I wanted to get rid of the stock dash cluster for weight loss because I was only using it for CEL and Fuel Level. That meant I needed to figure out how to get that data into the RaceCapture
  • I needed to get Boost, Oil Pressure, and Oil Temperature into Race Capture too, though I could use their existing sensors as their maps were known (Omni 4-bar, and VDO pressure/temp sensors). Actually at this point I'd already put the temp/pressure in and got them working and so the gauges were now just waiting to be removed.
With these changes I was going to run out of inputs to the RaceCapture Pro so Autosport labs hooked me up with an AnalogX add-on board which gives me four additional voltage-based inputs and sends the data in via CAN Bus.

They also hooked me up with a ShiftX2 LED display that I will use as an RPM gauge/shift light, plus two warning lights.
Dashboard Automation - Example Dash Mount with Tablet Case.jpg

I didn't post about it here but another add-on I'm using is their SensorX add-on board which really is just a breakout board to make wiring inputs, including optional pull-up resistors, easier. Love this thing.

Since I knew I was going to be using a lot of SensorX and I had it hardwired before, I decided to make the entire wiring harness for SensorX, as well as the rest of the inputs for the RaceCapture Pro, modular. So I figured out I needed two harnesses handling the wiring from the car to the RaceCapture Pro, AnalogX, and SensorX. I made one 16-pin harness handle the analog inputs (some to SensorX, one to AnalogX, and some directly to the RC Pro molex plug), and another 10-pin (though now I think I should have gone larger) handling other inputs to the RC Pro like General Purpose I/O (used this for the CEL), Frequency (use this for RPM and Turbo Speed), 12V Power and Ground. This is ugly, sorry I suck at making beautiful wiring but I am really good at making functioning and reliable wiring (everything worked on the first try):

Left molex plug goes into the rcpro. The mesh covering hides the SensorX and AnalogX (protects it too).

For EGT I went with a Type K thermocouple from The Sensor Connection. I stupidly didn't take pictures. These need an specialized voltage amplifier as the voltage is in millivolts (I actually did not know these generate their own voltage potential just from thermal energy). I got these:

Total of about $140 shipped, which was cheaper than I could find elsewhere. They have the voltage maps available (were even included with the package)

Water Temp probe I just bought an AEM 30-2012, pretty cheap off Amazon. Used the 2.2k ohm pull-up resistor like their docs suggest and used their provided map.

Turbo RPM requires a bit of math, but for those that ever need to do the conversion of signal pulses to RPM it's frequency * 34.286. You want to keep a limit of 140k RPM per Borg Warner.

The CEL is just a signal that is floating when off, and drops to ground when on. So I wired that into a GPIO port set to an input, and then via the Lua scripting reversed it (created a virtual channel and then an if/then/else statement for setting opposite values from the gpio input). Gets me a usable CEL which I can use on the ShiftX (necessary for Knock alerts from ECMLink). It's pin 36 on harness B-54 (second from the bottom/left harness, green wire third from the top right of the plug looking from the wire side).

Boost input I simply pulled from the Omni 4-bar input I had to my ECU via the original MDP input line (that's how mine is hooked up). Omni's online data really didn't make it easy for me to map this the way RaceCapture likes to map inputs. I have the formula I calculated somewhere, if anyone needs it you can ask (I'll post it if I find it).

Wideband is my Innovate LC-1. Used its brown wire output which I already have going to the ECU's rear O2 sensor input on pin 75 of B-56 (white wire, fifth from the top left of the top/right most harness). Output is linear from 7.35 to 22.39 from 0-5V, easy to program. This is the one input I sent in via the AnalogX and thus CAN bus, but it worked pretty nicely.

Fuel level was a bit annoying to figure out. I get this from the single yellow wire in the wiring bundle that leads towards the top of the fuel pump area back behind the passenger seat. This wire is the output of the two senders, one on each side, which are resistance based and in series. The total resistance for 2g AWD is 107 ohms for Empty and 4ohms for Full (per the electrical service manual onpage 54-15? I think, my copy is smudged). I used a 220ohm pull-up resistor and calculated a 5V voltage map assuming (likely erroneously, but good enough for me) that the resistance was linear vs fuel percentage. I only really care when fuel is really low, like 10%, so this is fine I think.

I got all this wired up, then hardwired my Samsung 10.1 tablet up with a chinese (via ebay) 12V to 5V micro usb converter (same kind I used for my dash tablet). I had already done all the automation setup on the tablet prior. Everything worked on the first try, was very pleased.

After this I did some coding work and set things up so the Left alert LED on the ShiftX2 is CEL light in Yellow (since I'm trained to react to orange/yellow from the stock dash). The right one is pretty cool in that I set up warning/critical levels for about every other input and this will light up yellow or flash red accordingly based on all of them. Basically another kind of catch-all CEL. The center works like a shift light, gradually filling up green but changing colors to yellow then red (I think I may change this to blue though) when it's time to shift.

Realized I hooked up my wastegate wrong. Not sure why, was watching tv and it popped in my head. Got googling, realized I had it all messed up. Removing the wastegate is a bi*** while on the car, and I have tons of cuts on my hand to prove it, but got it out. Flipped it around, hooked it all up. This is at midnight, finished at 1am. At 1:30am I realized I did it wrong again and actually was mostly right before, could just moved one boost input line to the BCS to another port. UGH. Went back the next morning, pulled it out, and this time decided to make a small correction to the wastegate. See when I talked to Jon@Full-Race he asked what boost I would run and I said around 26psi, but I should have said less because while I run 26psi to get the necessary power with the old turbo, I can't be sure how it will be with the new. He sold me a wastegate with a 26psi spring setup, and it had been bugging me ever since. So I took the damned thing apart. Realized I didn't have the specific wrench Turbosmart supplies to undo the collar but I got it off with a big flathead screwdriver and a hammer. Used a vice + c-clamp to hold the case together while I did this, then gently spread apart and disassembled. Turns out Jon gave me a 24psi total spring setup, not 26 (11 + 10 + 3). I pulled the 3psi spring anyway, re-assembled, and put back on the car.

Before going to RRT I took a quick spin outside. First, boost control wasn't working, I hit like 34 psi instantly (well not instantly, but super fast) with part throttle in 2nd gear, when I should have hit wastegate pressure in the 21psi ballpark. I tested ABS and it didn't work.

Dropped the car off to RRT with the following laundry list yesterday:
- install a new Optic Armor windshield. Old one had haze from the start and they sent me a new one. Mr. Spoiler did a bad job of the first install so I decided to give the new one to RRT.
- install a support beam for the windshield. There's too much flex in the windshield, even with 1/4" thickness, so I want something there to give it support in the middle
- my radiator was leaking, didn't mention that before. I dropped a shovel on it. no visible hole, but RRT had it leaking and tried to fix it over the winter. They pressure tested it fine, but when I had the car at home it was leaking a lot. Ordered a replacement radiator and had it in time for this.

RRT will have to weld on the mounting feet plus an npt port the fabricator forgot.
- swap new R7 tires to replace the ones I flat spotted last year
- fix the front ductwork as it wasn't built to my spec, didn't seal to the bumper cover like it should.
- fix/review rear upright clearance. I can barely get a piece of paper between the tire and upright on both sides.
- figure out why by boost control isn't working (I am just letting them puzzle it out as I need it working so I can tune/dyno the car as soon as they're done).
- Fix the ABS. check wiring, replace with a spare pump I have, whatever it takes. This is the last attempt for me though, if they can't fix it I'm pulling it out and considering a Bosch motorsport ABS system down the line (that's like $8k though).

Some other small things too, but nothing worth mentioning. Here's the car dropped off:

Today I stopped by because I had some ductwork seals they could use and they told me it looked like I preloaded the wastegate arm too much and it wouldn't open. When they loosened the lock nut it was able to open when the wastegate was pressurized. I suspected this, but didn't have time to screw around with it. We'll see if that was it.
I forgot to mention I was having problems talking to my Ecmlink ecu. Found this out after finishing up the RaceCapture stuff when I wanted to connect to the ECU to take a backup of the config before we start playing with boost control. Could not connect with multiple cables and laptops, different software versions. Eventually after checking pin 1 and 7 voltages I believed the issue to be something connected to the OBD2 data lines. Tried a spare ECU and still no luck. I found mention on an Ecmlink forum post by Dave Mertz that other ECUs do talk on those lines and can cause issues, and you can bypass issues by connecting the port lines directly to the ECU's two obd2 data lines. Tried this and it worked.

Thinking about the above, and knowing the only wiring work that likely affected this was the wiring harness repair from two years prior (and remembering just prior was probably the last time I tried to connect to the ECU), I looked into the electrical service manual. I did find pins 11/12 of the ABS harness connect straight to the obd2 data lines. I also found the Immobilizer ECU does as well, but I think I completely removed that from the car. Well anyway, looking at the diagram the pin 12 wire is Yellow, and the pin 11 is yellow w/red. I happened to still have the damaged harness in storage so I looked at it, and there were those wires. Oddly though... just two pins over from pin 11 was... another yellow w/red wire. GREAT. I probably mixed these two up assuming it didn't matter which was connected to what. So I brought the diagrams and this info over to RRT to use for troubleshooting. Seriously Mitsubishi, WTF is with using the same exact color/size wires in the same wiring bundle?

While there, I snapped some pictures of things I didn't capture before.

Redesigned radiator support that is lower and lighter. Allows for a MUCH more direct airflow path for the bumper cover ductwork.

One side of the front cross member. I believe the fabricator said this was a few pounds lighter than stock but I forget exactly how much.

Shot of the subframe bracing. Goal was to keep it low profile so as not to affect under car airflow.

The o2 housing and downpipe, because I thought it looked pretty.

Pic of where and how I mounted the oil pressure sensor. Hopefully no more short-term failures! On the left you can also see the o2 housing's mount to the block, trying to avoid cracking manifolds.
On the boost control troubleshooting we found a number of things:
1) Pressure to the wastegate wasn't actuating the wastegate arm, this seemed to be too much preload causing some binding of some kind. Backing off preload a bit solved this. I had it I swear at 3mm preload (no idea why I did 3mm, turbosmart spec is 2mm) but going back to 2mm works. Turbosmart docs say preload can go beyond spec to raise the base boost pressure but I guess not in my case (which is bothering me, so I'm still going to mull over why the "binding" occurred). While the springs inside total 21psi per Turbosmart, at 2mm preload the arm starts moving at around 23-24psi.
2) Using Ecmlink tried actuating manually the BCS with no luck. Verified connectivity in the BCS harness to the ECU (pin 11, harness B-53 which is the largest of the ECU harnesses). Found the R-Y wire's connector in the harness at the BCS side had a lot of corrosion. Cleaned this out, and pinched the connectors a bit for better connectivity, and this fixed the issue. Need to eliminate this oem harness and switch to a DTM connector.

On the ABS issue:
Thanks to @turbosax2 looking at his 99's harness in tandem with scouring the 97 electrical service manual plus the 99 electrical supplemental we pieced together a way to check all the wiring on the ABS harness. While not every pin is identified as far as function (seriously, WTF Mitsu), and still with multiple wires with different functions using the same color patterns (two with Y-R, and three with L-B), we mapped connectivity to grounds, power sources, ABS wheel speed sensors, and the rest to harness B-59 which is in the passenger footwell. Knowing how the 99's ABS ECU A-24 harness pins map to those will get the mis-wiring I did sorted out. In case this info is useful to anyone else in the future I'm including the spreadsheet here.


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I have a 2.3L with a .92 EFR7670 that I might install one day, so I really, really want to see this car on a dyno!
Are you worried about transmission life with the new setup?
Great journal. I read almost every word of it. Do you ever drive the car around town or is it strictly track and trailer? If so, what are people's reactions to it? I came across a tuners post from maybe 10 years ago where Andrew Brilliant was giving somebody advice about suspension or whatnot and some random user called him out for being a ricer with his body kit and wing (same kit as yours obviously). I thought it was hilarious. I imagine a lot of people would misunderstand the car as a ricer car but in reality it's a work of art. Great job.
Glad the manifold ended up working out for you and thanks for the review in your build , I did the best I could without actually having your turbo with all the gadgets on there, and the long outlet for the turbine housing. The turbosmart gate was a great idea! Let me know if you wanna do something similar out of inconel to shed some weight in the future ;) look forward to seeing you win some races
You mention having a problem with toe and alignment so I wanted to share my backyard alignment trick

Usually you can just measure the gap from front tire to tire, and back of the front tire to back of the front tire and make the gap on both is the same distance so you know both outer edges point straight

Even simpler is using a tow strap, loop the strap around one rim and pull the cable to the other. Mark the center of the strap in the center of the tire, or any spot on the tread on the front of the tire. Then rotate the tire closest to you to spin the rim and move the rope to the back of the tire.

Adjust the inner tie rod against the mark in the strap to get it closer to the mark in the tread. Then rotate your tire again to the front tire to check the markings new alignment to the tire tread of the front tire

You know you're done when the mark on the tow strap matches the tread mark on both the front of the front tire, to the back of the front tire.

It sounds like a long process, but t literally took me 5 minutes to get a basic aligment that tracks straight at any speed. You do it with both wheels on and in the air. Basically you hold the rope, spin the tire and it rotates the other tire, adjust the tie rod, repeat

Now I just wish they would make a platform that would bolt on to your hub that would have an aligment bubble on it so you could easily adjust camber. Like an adjustable height stand with a wide base. Anyways..

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I have a 2.3L with a .92 EFR7670 that I might install one day, so I really, really want to see this car on a dyno!
Are you worried about transmission life with the new setup?

Keep in mind I'm not going to max it out. Primarily because I can't per my NASA TT2 ruleset limiting me to an 8.3 weight/hp ratio and I don't want to add tons of ballast. Also because I don't want to risk blowing the transmission or engine unless there's some major reward for that risk (which there isn't in the UTCC). I am not really worried about the transmission as we aren't dramatically changing things from before besides potentially more torque down low. I guess that does raise some concern but there's not much I'm going to do about it. My TMZ trans has been incredibly stout over the years with only a single wave spring failure so knock on wood it will continue to hold together for a while longer.

Great journal. I read almost every word of it. Do you ever drive the car around town or is it strictly track and trailer? If so, what are people's reactions to it? I came across a tuners post from maybe 10 years ago where Andrew Brilliant was giving somebody advice about suspension or whatnot and some random user called him out for being a ricer with his body kit and wing (same kit as yours obviously). I thought it was hilarious. I imagine a lot of people would misunderstand the car as a ricer car but in reality it's a work of art. Great job.

The car now isn't registered any more so I can't drive it around. I don't have headlights, I no longer have tires I want to use up on the street (both wheel sets have Hoosiers), no cat, my turn signals aren't working at the moment, no wipers, no windshield sprayers, no door windows... Before a lot of those changes though a few years ago I would occasionally take it to the grocery store, or Lowes, or some other random place for an errand, or to shops for work, and yeah I would get lots of attention. Had a Porsche 911 owner park next to me at McDonald's and wait for me to come back so he could ask me about it, he really geeked out for a while. Folks at gas stations wanting to chat about it. People at lights opening their windows to talk about it, one saying it was the baddest ass car he'd ever seen heh. Lots of random thumbs up. Haven't had any negativity generally, which is likely people being polite because of course this isn't everyone's cup of tea. The stickers probably help people realize it's an actual serious track car. The RRT cars and coffee event, I forgot a funny story about that one... I went with my father who was visiting and let him drive my Evo. On the way back only 1.5 miles from my house a cop was next to me at a light, under an overpass. Well of course the overpass amplified my exhaust note and sure enough the cop let me go ahead and he pulled right behind me and pulled me over. Long story short he pulled me over because he figured the exhaust might be illegal but looking at my car he guessed there were tons of other violations. There weren't any other than the exhaust, and he ended up being an old track guy and when he learned it was an actual track/race car he got excited, talked for a while and just let me go :)

Glad the manifold ended up working out for you and thanks for the review in your build , I did the best I could without actually having your turbo with all the gadgets on there, and the long outlet for the turbine housing. The turbosmart gate was a great idea! Let me know if you wanna do something similar out of inconel to shed some weight in the future ;) look forward to seeing you win some races

Review's not really out yet, have to see how the dyno goes and then long term how it holds up to the heat stress. On the placement of the turbo you did a fantastic job especially considering you didn't have my turbo. You put it exactly where I'd hoped you would. Really great job there. You gave me enough room for the o2 housing downturn, you cleared the water pipe, and you gave me room for an exit out of the compressor. That's all I could ask for on that front and you delivered, so kudos for that.

You mention having a problem with toe and alignment so I wanted to share my backyard alignment trick

That is a terrific share, thanks for that. That actually is how we dealt as best we could with the toe issue at the track. I used a tape measure to measure from both sides of the tire. I just re-read what I wrote above and I totally glossed over that major issue. The problem was that the rubber bushings in the SPC upper a-arm's anchors were torn, dramatically more so in one of the two anchors on the driver's side, though torn on all four. I had replaced them maybe a year prior (again, due to tearing), so they really didn't last long time, likely due to me really pushing the forces on the suspension as I and the car improved. It was the rear driver's anchor that was the most torn. Found it by watching the anchors with the car on the ground and turning the wheel side to side, you could see the major movement there. With that one allowing a lot more movement it basically let the driver's front wheel turn out a lot more than the other, especially under force like while driving/turning. I really shouldn't have driven the car like it was but... I couldn't help myself, I love driving VIR. Fight your impulses folks, when you know something's not right with your car don't drive it! What's worse here is I had the plans and pieces on my desk to convert the anchor bushings to metal spherical bearings but just kept putting it off. The tire explosion from this bushing failure was the major impetus behind me finally removing almost all the suspension's rubber bushings.
I was bored with the car being at RRT so I thought about what I could work on in the meantime. I'd been paying attention to efforts to run ECMLink on cheap Raspberry Pi units with the hopes of having a headless solution to provide logging without having to use a laptop. While I had a system set up with a padded laptop case strapped to the floor with a cheap laptop for logging, it was SO annoying to have to set it all up in the pits before going out, hoping it didn't crap out. With the newest 3 B+ model pi coming out I thought the pieces were finally there, so I decided to dive in. Thanks to fast Amazon shipping I got parts next day and got started. After a couple nights of work I took it to RRT today and it magically worked on the first test (though this footage is from afterwards at my desk at home):

That's a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ that automatically boots on power, runs ECMLink, connects to the ECU, and will automatically start logging. When in the car it will automatically stop logging when power is lost (like when turning off the car) so as to avoid log corruption. The music was just for fun :)



The display will actually usually be for a rearview camera which I'll be feeding from my rear GoPro Hero 5 via HDMI. If you didn't know, like I before two days ago, the GoPro Hero 5 can simultaneously feed its video to its HDMI output while it's recording. So it can double as a rearview feed as well as record my rear footage. I felt kind of dumb when I realized I could do this. Got the idea talking with a co-worker who does drones and feeds his live feed from his GoPro while it's recording to his FPV head display.

The screen is really awesome, I really lucked out after all the searching I did. It's a 7" 1024x600 but unlike most screens this size it uses HDMI rather than RCA so I expected the visual clarity to be way better and I was right, it looks fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. What I didn't notice when I ordered it was that it has speakers! So after I figured out all the automation for the ECMLink stuff, I thought hmm, let's try to send audio out the HDMI, and it worked!



Now I'll buy a cheap 2-port hdmi switcher to let me view the rearview and switch to ecmlink when I want.

Stopped at RRT for a checkpoint. They cut the windshield and prepped it for install, it looks great and I stupidly didn't take a picture. I did take a picture of the new support beam they added to deal with the fluctuations I was seeing with the Optic Armor windshield in the past couple outings, really came out great.

Wow, amazing build. Good luck with the race season.

Any more pics of the front upper control arm mounting reinforcements? I plan on doing this to my car this season while its being rebuilt.
Wow, amazing build. Good luck with the race season.

Any more pics of the front upper control arm mounting reinforcements? I plan on doing this to my car this season while its being rebuilt.

A flat plate around the hole, and vertical gussets, all welded to the fender metal.


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RRT has had the car for a while to do a whole laundry list of things.
  • Fixing my ABS issue is still in progress, but last update was they finally got the abs ecu talking and cleared its codes, but haven't tested it on the street (they plan to just cover their backyard asphalt with water and attempt to activate the abs at low speed).
  • Replacing my rear RM Racing sway bar with a new one. Old one was very bent up, enough so that to get no preload on the bar when sitting that the rod end of the end link would just hit the half-shaft on the driver's side on full droop. RRT thinks it was years of ownership then racing with mostly right-hand turns. So Mach V just recently did a run of RM Racing bars so I emailed Dan, asked if he still had them, he did so I ordered one online, and drove over in 15 minutes and picked it up. Crazy small world sometimes. I had to wait ten more minutes for me to get the part from the back :D
  • They got the new Optic Armor front windshield in with its new support beam, and it all looks fantastic (no pics yet because it was dirty). This time the border paint is on the inside unlike before where Mr Spoiler made a very bad call of painting the outside (contrary to my very specific instructions).
  • Car's weight dropped to 3090 from the previous year's 3176 with driver (yes, my fatass needs to lose a lot of weight), which is quite a surprise, I didn't expect to lose that much weight on the car from our changes.
  • Car's been corner balanced and aligned with the new weight.

Still other things left to finish up this week. Amidst the work I took the car to Mach V and my friend tried to tune it but we ran into a wall of timing retard from knock we couldn't explain. The knock showed up with no changes from a previous run with very little knock. So we wasted 4 hours and didn't get the car tuned right, which was awful. Was starting to look nice too, with something like 360 torque and 340 whp.


Another issue was the kid at Mach V that strapped my car down must have really cranked down on the front straps because he actually ripped my bumper away from the end of the frame rail. We've always strapped the way we did but he completely bent the bar down. I noticed it because at some point in the dyno session I noticed my new radiator ducting was sitting away from the radiator by at least half an inch. That's all I could figure out and I thought something had been goofed up by RRT (because I couldn't find any other cause looking around). RRT found the real problem and had to bend things back and add a gusset for reinforcement.


So I was stressing out about what the hell the tuning issue was. We couldn't find anything obvious but possible the exhaust hitting the rear diff as it was very close. We clearanced that, but couldn't find anything else. So I:
1) Changed the knock sensor (I think I found/bought the last two 2g knock sensors in the country)
2) Changed plug wires
3) Changed plugs (even though they were brand new before Mach V)
4) Had the knock timing retard option handy in case we needed it.

I then took way too long making a new dyno appointment because I had hoped RRT would finish all their work soon and was waiting on them. This was a stupid idea because nothing they were doing prevented me taking the car for a dyno day, and they were already behind on my car due to lots of other cars taking priority over mine now (frustrating, but it's how race shops work) and thus taking a lot longer than expected. So last week when realized they weren't getting done for at least another week I called around and found EVERYONE was booked for weeks, likely due to the warm weather. I finally called Moore Automotive in Fairfax, VA, not far from my home. They were just amazing. Long story short they arranged for me to come on Saturday at 4pm to dyno as long as necessary to get things right.


My friend Jon there did most of the tuning. We didn't actually get started until 630pm because the prior appointment ran very long. It was an Evo X with a twinscroll BW EFR 8374 doing both an e85 tune and a pump gas tune. He pulled out 720whp on e85 and 580whp on 93, it was pretty sick!

Anyway Jon was tuning, initially we got only a little knock, and then the wall of knock showed up. It would go away, then come back, go away... I stepped away but it felt like awaiting a newborn or something. I stayed in the waiting room so my stressing didn't stress Jon out. Eventually Jon came in smiling and said we were at 370whp and still playing. He had a hard stop at 8pm thought and we were almost out of time. He stayed until 830pm though and left with it at 350 ft.lbs. and 370whp. How though? He and the dyno operator (Chris at Moore Automotive, GREAT guy and very experienced tuner, and even knew Ecmlink) decided to just disable the knock timing retard because it just didn't make any sense.

With that, Chris agreed to take over and try to bring up the low end with rpm-based boost control via Ecmlink. He kept tuning until like 1015pm where we finally called it. 392 ft.lbs. and 385 whp. The hp is a bit higher but he found Ecmlink's boost control with my setup is terribly coarse, and hard to control with boost jumping a whole psi with the smallest incremental duty cycle change. It was pretty bad, which might make me switch ECUs later this year. He said he started with boost but with the poor control he would bring torque higher with more boost down low, but then hp would jump from 380 to 390 and he couldn't seem to bring it back down to keep things where I wanted them. He thinks with more time, or perhaps a better ECU, we could smooth this out a lot more, make it flatter, and bring the torque up further. In the end he stopped with boost and used timing to get a bit more control only on the lower side.


So with these numbers, and my car weight, I'm going to have to add ballast to the car a bit. I have to hit an 8.3 weight/hp ratio, and per NASA rules my hp to use for this calculation is 377 (you take the max hp and the top three surrounding measurements at 250rpm increments away from the max hp point and average), which means I need around 3130lbs in the car.

RRT has the car again to finish up remaining work and now to add ballast. When the car comes back I will install my raspberry pi and rearview camera setup, and I'll share pictures/video of all that as I'm kind of excited about it as I love gadgets.

I've paid my registration fees for the Ultimate Track Car Challenge plus NASA TT2, and am excited to be going. Hopefully we can tune the rear suspension so it's not skating around like last year, as that's the only thing I think holding the car back. Here's the last entrance list I saw in early April, look to be some interesting cars this year:

Can't wait to see you at UTCC. Hotels were booked so we're camping at VIR for the weekend.

I'll be there friday-sunday. Not sure if I'm bringing the wife's jeep for the off road course or not. It's got a weird rattle from the last time my wife took it hill climbing. Sounds like an exhaust sheld came loose but haven't had a day off to look at it yet.
That's around 23 psi? The numbers are still pretty healthy, but it's a shame that it doesn't want to cooperate. Time for AEM or Haltech?
Do you have any hp/weight limitations for UTCC? Seems like your setup is solid enough to turn up the wick!
John posted earlier per rules he has got to be at 8.3hp/weight ratio. And at his current hp level he said he already has to add weight.
That restriction is NASA, no? I thought UTCC ran with a different classing system.
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