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October 14, 2005: Chips, Pipes and Clutches

I have no time. Even when I do have time, I don't have much to spare. So as I get older, the harder it gets to take on projects like this, which is a shame since I get so much enjoyment from this stuff. That's life I guess…

That said, although I am a couple weeks behind, the project is still moving right along. I've spent very little time on the car lately, an hour here, an hour there. It's hard to get much momentum when you have to keep stopping, but I'm not letting that get in the way. The show must go on!

If you've never heard of an "Easter Egg" it is when a developer hides a little treat inside lines of code or within a video game or the like. I would consider the EPROM ECU to be the Mitsubishi equivalent. For those that don't know, an EPROM ECU has a chip that can be removed and replaced with an aftermarket chip that can do all sorts of cool stuff like higher rev limits, fuel cut removal, launch control, injector compensation, and lots more.

As I tore apart the console pieces that allow access to the ECU, I could feel the anticipation building. I had no clue if this was an EPROM car or not. As I finally got to the ECUs 'bat-like' position under the dash, I unbolted it from its perch and brought it to the workbench. I carefully unscrewed and removed the cover and there it was! The virgin chip lay ready for its horsepower sacrifice.

Being the ham-fisted solderer that I am, I sent the ECU to David (who is part of www.dsmlink.com, but does this on the side) to replace and repair the leaking caps and to socketing the ECU for easy chip installation.

In the stock chips place will be an old-school TMO chip. I've never had a stutterbox on a manual car before, so that should provide laughs during the morning commute.

I'd always heard that dropping the transmission in an AWD was a bit of a pain. There are some extra steps with the transfer case and all, but after helping a friend change out an Evo 8 clutch, anything is easier than that. At one point, I was hoping that heavy-ass Evo transmission would just fall on my head and put me out of my misery.

In a matter of a few minutes, the transmission was on the floor and looking real dirty. Lots of miles and an axle that spewed grease during it's life made for an arduous cleanup. Once it was all clean I replaced the clutch fork and fulcrum ball with new ones.

Here is the new ACT 2600 clutch and pressure plate going in place. I've used ACT 2600s in all of my mitsu powered cars and have had excellent results. They grip like crazy and still engage nice and smooth. Does it make the pedal stiff? Hell yes! But, any man who complains about his clutch pedal pressure needs to put down his mocha latte and re-think his strategy.

Goodridge clutch line. After feeling the incredible difference this mod made on my Evo, I had to do this for the DSM. Can't wait to stomp that clutch pedal!

Redline Heavyweight shockproof gear oil: The lifeblood of the transfer case and rear diff, and it looks like blood too. Cool, but will it help keep the puny 3 bolt rear diff in one piece?

Since I bought the front mount intercooler without piping, it was time to improvise. I went to summitracing.com and picked up one 90 and two 45 degree mandrel 2.5" bends. I had the 180 bend left over from another project, but didn't end up using it. I also got a 1G stock blow off valve flange. Once I cut them to fit and do any welding needed, I'll give them a nice coat of low gloss black and slap 'em on.

Here's the latest engine shot with the transmission back in its home, the battery in and the turbo mounted up real proper-like. I drank a beer at this point.

Until next time, here's my punch out list. Damn, longer than expected. As I look over it, I can almost here the deep rumble of the turbo 4G63 now...