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Evo X Introduction: Take a look at Panda Motorwork's newest project!

Posted by Justin Franz on

    Evo X Shop Car 

      The shops Evo X started life the same as your everyday car does, picked up new from a dealership, specifically for our Evo, Gary Lang Mitsubishi in Chicago, IL. It was a very exciting time for me as it was going to  be my first turbo car to call my own. The 12 hours it took to drive up to Chicago, sign the papers, and drive it home passed by in a flash. 

      Shortly after getting home around midnight on Nov 2, 2013, I had already ordered the first “must have” part for the car, Rally Armor Mud flaps. After ordering the mud flaps, the first order of business was to attach the 4b11t piston given to me by a fellow Panda Motorworks employee, Ryan, which was taken out of his Ralliart when he had the motor built. Not only was the Ralliart an amazing car within its self, it was also the main reason that I got an Exo X. When the mud flaps came in I was ecstatic to put them on, because this finally meant that my Evo would be unique compared to most other ones that were rolling around St. Louis. When the clock rolled over 600 miles later that month it was time for the Evo, now lovingly referred to as “Eva”, to get its first oil change, this time with Mobil 1 Full Synthetic oil. As the clock rolled to 1000 miles, I then did the next mod any Evo X GSR owner should do, changing the transmission fluid to what is called  the “Red Line Cocktail”, which is a blend of redline fluids to help improve the feel of the shifts. This was instantly noticeable, helping get rid of the “3rd gear grind” which is common on the Evo X’s. Since I was alreadyworking under the hood, I took the opportunity to put a GM 3 Port boost control solenoid on the car, leading to a much smoother and easier to control boost  curve.

     By November 30th the car had an AEM Uego AFR gauge installed, to pair with the previously installed GM 3 port, which allowed me to begin the tuning process. Using a generic map off of the Evo forums as a base, I started to rein in control of the AFR and knock of the stock tune piece by piece, as well as increasing the boost to a safe 23 psi. When I was finally happy with how the car was running, having only the stock equipment, it was time to start the joyous period of buying performance parts.

      The first of the performance parts that were purchased for the car were the K & N Typhoon intake and upper intercooler pipe. Due to the Evo using the stock MAF housing, it did not require much retuning to get the car back to the correct AFR . As with most intakes on stock turbo applications for the Evo X’s, the horsepower gains are not great, however the sound gains are! This is due to its open element construction, now you can finally hear the turbo spool as well as the diverter valve’s whoosh, which is always a fun time. Shortly after the intake and intercooler pipe, I purchased a Depo test pipe to remove the main restrictions from the exhaust, which gave the car a nice bump in power, and only required minor retuning to manage the extra airflow. Along the line the car also got a short shifter and a Blox weighted shift knob, these together drastically shortened the shift and made it much easier to shift, thanks to the weight of the ball. It also gave the all black interior a little splash of color. 

      The car stayed in that orientation for a few months, having the tune changed every few weeks just to make sure it was running as well as it could, while still being very safe. Around July 2014, a friends of mine contacted me, who had just sold his Evo X, asking if I wanted to buy his old Invidia N1 exhaust, and not being one to pass up a good deal, I hopped on it, and had it on my car the next day. With the stock turbo, the car could not benefit power wise from this added flow, however the car finally sounded as good as it looked. This has been the last major performance modification to the car thus far, as the next step is a turbo kit and intercooler, which will be coming sometime late 2015, early 2016.

Here’s the current mod list:

  • K&N intake
  • Depo Test Pipe
  • Invidia N1 Cat back
  • Gm 3 port BCS
  • AEM Uego AFR guage
  • Prosport boost guage
  • Panda Tuned with Tephramod V2
  • Spark Cut on stock ECU
  • Diode Dynamics Fog lights, Daytime running lights, Reverse lights, Map lights, Rrunk lights and License plate lights
  • Redline Trans Fluids
  • Clutch Pill removed
  • Torque Solution Short Shifter
  • AMS and Works Shifter bushings
  • XXR 530’s 75 +20
  • Michelin Pilot Super Sports

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