View Full Version : Vorshlag/AST EVO X - Project / Deveopment Thread

09-01-2008, 09:53 PM
New Introduction - January 16th, 2018: We kicked off our in-house EVO X project project in 2008, but I (Terry Fair) am going back to write the "intro" to this thread ten years later, to better match the style of build threads we have written since that time. This first EVO X MR project was initially launched by my former business partner Brian Hanchey, with the EVO he purchased. We both raced this car on track and in autocrossing over the course of two years, but strangely enough my wife Amy and I raced it more often than the car's owner, including at the 2009 SCCA Solo Nationals (below).

As you read these first few posts, remember - 2008 was smack dab in the middle of the Great Recession, fuel costs were sky rocketing (double what they are in 2018 now), and attendance at motorsports events was suffering.


At Vorshlag during this time we already had a wicked shop race car - the Alpha E36 LS1 (shown above left) - but it was a dedicated race car that had to be towed to events (getting 9 mpg using my truck), it could not be legally driven on the street, it was gutted inside, and it had relatively high expendable costs (tires, brakes, etc). This EVO X was Hanchey's answer to a multi-purpose daily driver/time trial/autocross car, with four doors to better fit his growing family. Being brand new it had a big fat warranty, too - which takes some of the "risk" out of performance driving. The initial plan was to build around SCCA Solo's STU class for autocrossing, which is relatively harmless for warranty concerns.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-px3rZjm/1/6c19424a/S/DSC_7663-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-px3rZjm/1/6c19424a/L/DSC_7663-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-fXdh57D/0/26e2cf0e/S/DSC_9512-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-fXdh57D/0/26e2cf0e/L/DSC_9512-L.jpg)
Left: Hanchey doing some work on the trans cooler. Right: Fair building a customer 3" exhaust

This EVO X was a brand new chassis at the time, and we were "forging a new path" with the suspension as well as the completely untested Dual Sequential Clutch transaxle new in the EVO X MR. We had developed a lot of parts and even built a few AWD Subaru rally cars but this was our first EVO, and we learned a lot from this build.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Product-Pictures/Vorshlag-Camber-Plate-Product/i-m3Gqm4F/0/8aed8931/S/_DSF2843%20copy-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Product-Pictures/Vorshlag-Camber-Plate-Product/i-m3Gqm4F/0/8aed8931/X3/_DSF2843%20copy-X3.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/AST-4200-Shocks/n-L98bL/i-Vrx8ZGr/0/8112dbc3/S/i-Vrx8ZGr-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/AST-4200-Shocks/n-L98bL/i-Vrx8ZGr/0/8112dbc3/X3/i-Vrx8ZGr-X3.jpg)

We were sponsoring an EVO forum at the time and this build thread had a lot of followers that mimicked some of the solutions (cooling, wheels/tires, exhaust, and tune) we figured out. We also used this car to develop a new Vorshlag camber plate and several AST coilover kits, and COBB used this car for the first EVO X they tuned for their AccesPort.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-tF4FR59/2/19eafbca/S/DSC_7503-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-tF4FR59/2/19eafbca/L/DSC_7503-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-XgQgH5x/1/6a259792/S/DSC_8272-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-XgQgH5x/1/6a259792/L/DSC_8272-L.jpg)

The stock suspension on the EVO X was very soft and the handling left a lot to be desired. In stock form Brian drove it at one NASA Time Trial (at ECR 2008, above left) and I autocrossed it like that once as well (above right). We both felt like we were scraping the door handles in turns! :D


The improvements we made to this '08 EVO X MR over the next 18 months were nothing short of miraculous. With upgrades to 18x10.5" wheels, 275mm tires, proper spring rates, real monotube adjustables, additional camber, more power and a few other tricks we transformed this car into a NASA Time Trial record setting car, an autocross winner, and it was still a great daily driver. Achievement: Unlocked!


Now that is is 2018 we have worked on a number of other EVO X chassis cars here at Vorshlag over the last ten years. I have changed this to a "development thread", where we can cover current and future EVO X work.


- Terry Fair @ Vorshlag


Project Kick-off - September 1, 2008: We asked ourselves, are we crazy? Surely this can't be done? But what if it could? What if you could daily drive your autocross car, your track day/time trial car, AND have it be spouse and family friendly? No, that is definitely crazy!


Sure, most of us can get by. We can make sacrifices. Heck, I drove a '07 STI around town with a side pipe and no muffler all for the "sake of winning". The downside? Well, no one would drive with me, but sometimes that's good. Hey, it was light! We've all driven cars with 750 lb/in springs and twin tube shocks on the street because we couldn't afford a truck and trailer. No it doesn't ride THAT bad...does it? We've pulled the A/C out of cars in Texas to drop 30 pounds before a big event. The list goes on and on. You know who you are.

In this time of high fuel costs and tightening spending, we believe the trend of multipurpose cars will become more and more important. With gas over $4 per gallon in some places, you begin to feel the crunch when you tow a car 1400 miles to an event. When the pump shuts off at $100 and you haven't finished filling up you begin to ponder, is there a better way? I don't think as "car guys" we're about to roll over and pick a new hobby. Sure, basket weaving is relaxing, but nothing compares to wide open throttle acceleration or making yourself keep your foot down through a 100 mph corner hoping it sticks this time. No, not many hobbies compare to cars. We want to have our cake and eat it too.

So, if we could find this "car nirvana", what would it be? What would it look like and what classes could it run in? What are some nice to haves? Lists are subjective, but we had some ideas. It needs to be a smaller displacement motor so probably turbocharged. It needs to have 4 doors, gotta carry people too. All wheel drive could be nice, how many times do you lose in the rain? It happens when you bring a two wheel drive car to the event ask me. One problem though, we LIKE the way rear wheel drive cars handle. Of course we want to make parts for it so it has to have a little "left on the table" from the factory to improve on. It needs to run on street tires. Forget towing a tire trailer and changing tires at the track. We're lazy and 18" race tires have gone from pricey to astronomically pricey!

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-XPp54qJ/0/5acd7b4c/S/DSC_3496-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-XPp54qJ/0/5acd7b4c/L/DSC_3496-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-8qzh6tk/1/703906f7/S/DSC_1099-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-8qzh6tk/1/703906f7/L/DSC_1099-L.jpg)

That starts the conversation and narrows it quickly in our minds. Street tires - SCCA autocross has some very nice street tire based classsing structures. We're familiar with that. NASA TT has some nice classing as well that accounts for treadwear. A plan wouldn't be complete without hoping to run One Lap of America and a return trip to the GRM Ultimate Track Car Challenge to boot! Don't forget Redline Time Attack and Super Lap Battle. All possibilities.


Again, this may be subjective, but we think we've found a car that can check all our boxes. Friday we headed over to Don Herring Mitsubishi in Irving, TX and test drove some Evos. By Tuesday the next week, we picked up our 2008 Mitsubishi Evolution X MR in Wicked White as they say. You might say, "yikes, but you didn't factor in price tag?" Yes, the price of entry into the Evo is a little steep, bordering BMW levels. But if you step back and look at the package (and magazine articles) the EVO is a relative bargain to the cars it gets compared against. All the major magazines have done "track car" articles and the Evo is coming close to cars that start at $25,000 MORE than the Evo. It has brakes, power, suspension, and again, checks off our wants and desires. Better yet, it leaves room for improvement on suspension and power! But what about fuel mileage? More on that later. We plan to improve the abysmal mileage the Evo eeks out.

In short, we'll be combining the strength of Vorshlag and AST along with a few key partners to build what we feel is the Ultimate Dual Purpose Car, Project UDP. Short term planned mods include Vorshlag camber plates, AST 4200 coilovers, turbo back exhaust, and ECU tuning by Cobb Tuning. Stayed tuned for more!

09-05-2008, 11:28 AM
Project Update - September 5th, 2008: We've been busy little bees with the new EVO, even before doing our first new part install. First, Hanchey acquired an EVO X "GSR" model for 2 days while his "MR" was being shipped in from another city. The MR is different than the GSR cosmetically, but also in that it has an aluminum roof (no sunroof) and the killer Getrag dual clutch semi-automatic ("SST"). While he had it we partially took the GSR apart, took pics of the suspension, weighed a wheel, and corner weighed the car.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/357525758_6k5jD-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/357527152_u7TLZ-S.jpg

We know from experience that the EVO has a lot of "junk in the trunk", so we yanked the spare, jack, Subwoofer, and other stuff to get a "Race Weight". We also took into account the fuel load - 14 gallons, so knock another 86 pounds off of the final 3525 pounds for 3439 pound total weight, in stock form, at with no fuel. We've got some work to do on the weight, but nobody said it would be easy.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/357527966_RPpga-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/357529777_zBBPn-S.jpg

He liked driving the GSR, even with the "old skool" manual transmission. Ride quality was pretty good, power was great. But the transmission of the MR was hotly anticipated...


Then the MR arrived and the GSR was returned. The DSG trans is a thing of beauty! Hanchey can't get enough of it, and is caught constantly shifting it up and down for kicks. But the "MR" seems to ride worse than the GSR - a LOT worse. What gives?

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/366101526_dJyh4-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/366101984_TGTS9-S.jpg

A couple of nights ago Hanchey pulls a wheel from the MR to weigh it - and finds the front spring shipping spacers still installed! These are for transport by ship from Japan, and are supposed to be removed during "make ready" at the dealership. Amazingly, when those were removed the ride was all sorts of better. :p

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/366101616_rPfes-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/366101632_4o3T9-S.jpg

As you can see above, the factory MR wheel (18x8.5" BBS) and Advan (245mm) weighs 46.8 pounds. Not light! We're finding lots of places where we can "get the lead out".

continued below

09-05-2008, 11:34 AM
continued from above


The EVO X is a BIG GIRL! The corner weights for the MR are shown above. Wow, 3610 pounds, we have a lot of work to do...


The 5 link rear is a nice set-up on the EVO, and what the newest STI finally went to when they ditched a strut rear set-up. The rear differential housing is also noticeably larger than the rear axle used in the GD or GR chassis Subarus.


The front and rear suspensions both make ample use of forged aluminum control arms. Nice! This shot above is of the front control arms.


Here is a weight of the EVO X "GSR" model's stock wheel and tire, at 42.8 pounds. This is the same size and tire fitment used on the MR, but weighs about a pound and a half more than the stock MR wheel/tire. Not light - but a great place to lose more weight.


10-08-2008, 10:15 AM
Project Update - October 10th, 2008: This weekend will be our first track test of the Evo. We're going to the NASA event at Eagles Canyon. While it would have been nice to have the full suspension upgraded for this event, keeping it stock gives us a good baseline. Then we can go back to the same track and see improvements. Granted, we'll have learn this brand new track, but at least we have a baseline.

The racier 245/40-18 Dunlap Z1* tires went on the EVO X today. We'll drive out to the event on these for now. Looks like we'll run either 265s or 285s on a 18x10 before it is all said and done. We're evaluating some braking options and are going to use Racing Brake's RB800s pads for the front for this ECR event. There aren't any available options for front and rear of the Evo X from Racing Brake. Maybe they'll change that. Not many options anywhere yet.

It would have been nice to make it a little louder for the weekend. You literally can't hear the car which sucks with windows down and a bunch of loud cars running with you.

I worked on the camber plate design this week. Looks like we'll be able to build a camber and caster plate which is unique in this market. AST 4200s are being built this month as well.

10-08-2008, 10:25 AM
Project Update - October 8th, 2008: We took some weight and size data on Hanchey's new 245/40/18 Dunlops for the EVO, shown below.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/389508131_orgSe-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/389508232_xVyQC-S.jpg

The measured section width (outside sidewall-to-sidewall measurement) will likely change once mounted. These are going to go on factory 18x8.5" EVO X/MR wheels but ideally would go on something wider, perhaps an 18x9.5" wheel (it has a 9.5" tread width, so that seems like a logical place to start).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/389508210_9faqm-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/389508314_bzEvU-S.jpg

More soon after the NASA @ ECR track event.


11-19-2008, 04:48 PM
Project Update - November 19, 2008: Quick post-race report after using the EVO X on track with stock suspension, stock power, and upgraded street tires.

After the first "baseline stock" track outing (ECR, Oct 11, 2008 (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/6220603_T6jYA#393436166_t9sFy)) in a new 2008 EVO X "MR" we noted that after 2-3 hard laps the transmission would overheat during each 20 minute session. This was with a totally stock suspension and drivetrain - so why didn't any of the million magazine articles praising the EVO X's flappy paddle semi-automatic "DSG" style transmission mention this after their many on-track tests? Well apparently it only happens when 1) driven harder the most automotive journalists can muster (yes, that was a jab!) and 2) when drivers employ Left Foot Braking. But ... with no clutch pedal, what sane racing driver wouldn't use LFB on track? That's one of the big pluses of these 2 pedal transmissions - the ability to let each pedal have its own foot. Colin McRae said it best (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMEqOGejlrw) about LFB use (video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMEqOGejlrw)).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392412441_pryjG-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/392437729_kbqnh-S.jpg

We soon found out from talking to a local Mitsubishi dealer (big props to Don Herring!) that when the brake pedal is even lightly pressed ("covering the pedal", which is what you do when you are using a Left Foot Braking technique) the clutch is semi-disengaged... allowing for clutch slip and potnetial transmission overheating. One automotive journalist did in fact have this happen during the press testing barrage, but it was overlooked. Well, Hanchey track drove the car like it should be driven - using LFB technique. That could have caused some of the overheating problem, but we wanted to improve transmission cooling just in case it reared its head again at the next track event (less than 5 days after the first event was run) or at the next autocross, where he WOULD be using LFB, by damn. What's the point of buying a $40K performance car if you have to drive it like Mr. Magoo??

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/357004122_7SunX-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398596230_TKc7d-S.jpg
L: EVO X with fog lights covering up the oil coolers. R: Fog light housings removed and coolers exposed to more airflow!

The EVO X "MR" models' trans overheating woes are well known (http://forums.evolutionm.net/showthread.php?t=374988) on the interweb with track drivers already, and even acknowledged by Mitsubishi dealers and Mitsu corporate. They promote the Super Sport transmission mode "for track use" but didn't quite get the cooling right on their first iteration (and even had a production halt in February on the MR to address this). We aimed to improve that instead of waiting for a "factory update".

So, after that initial track day where 3 hot laps was about the limit before "trans over temp...SLOW DOWN!" alarms would chime, we knew something had to be done to the cooling. There aren't a lot of solutions yet, so Hanchey decided to come up with his own.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398657151_MRFtH-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398639205_LP4k5-S.jpg

After a look at the shop manual he noted problems in the ducting and location of the SST transmission cooler, and thus where some of the problems probably stemmed from - insufficient air flow to cool the heat exchanger, which was buried behind a fog light assembly, a wonky looking air duct, and cooling air that exited into the left front wheel well. Brian suggested adding a cooling fan to the back of the cooler and I suggested removing the fog lights - in the end we did both.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398644796_H8TzG-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398637469_PNKR4-S.jpg

After Hanchey sourced a stout looking 5.2" diameter fan from Spal that was made for this type of use, we tore into the installation late one night at the shop. We thought we might be able to get away with a quick 30 minute install, but access to the front of the cooler was very limited, so off came the front bumper. I wanted an excuse to take a look under there for large lead weights or other ballast - something to explain this 3600 pound curb weight! - and we did indeed get to uncover a few things about the EVO X with a look under the skin.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398641496_veWwg-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398639184_B9iYd-S.jpg

The front bumper removal was the hardest part of this project, but a glance at the shop manual helped us track down the thirty or so fasteners that held the bumper cover and lower shrouds in place. Once it was off we could see that Hanchey had chosen the perfect size fan from Spal, and it went on with the included fasteners, plus a few washers and some rubber hose used to make a compliant seal between fan and heat exchanger. This was a "sucker" fan, so its mounted on the back side of the cooler. There was ample room to the fender liner to fit the fan in there, no worries.

Once the fan was in place, we removed both fog light assemblies. Good riddance to unnecessary bling - we don't have "fog" in Texas and their dead weight was covering up a good portion of two important oil coolers (engine and trans oil). We put together the wiring for the fan quickly. This included a relay and fuse for the higher current fan circuit, and a switch under the dash for the "low power" side of the relay. There was an unused 12V switched circuit in the factory fuse panel under the hood, right above the cooler & fan.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398645519_o3cKu-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398647027_UaYsk-S.jpg

Total costs: About $100 for all of the parts, about 2-3 hours of time (possibly more if you are not familiar with removing bodywork and doing 12 volt wiring).

Another open track event was run the following weekend (same track, same format, same ambient temps; BMW at ECR (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/6319536_sNhJr#398457400_EpWmL)). This showed the results we wanted to see - ZERO trans temp problems and improved lap times. At the end of each 20 minute lapping session the new trans cooler fan was run for several minutes while the engine sat at idle, and heat was POURING out of the heat exchanger - so the fan was definitely moving some air, and helping.

I guess we can chalk this on up as a successful mod. Here's the step-by-step install guide picture gallery: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/6321704_Wm79c


We will go back and add a new/improved duct to the trans cooler (sheet aluminum), then make some mesh coverings for both fog light openings soon. I will update this thread when we add those final bits.


11-19-2008, 05:01 PM
Project Update for November 19th, 2008: We have done the first autocross in this EVO X, and this will be the write-up. It will also be the last event we will run using the stock suspension!

Amy and Terry (me) ran the EVO in its first and only autocross event last weekend at Le Grave Field in Ft. Worth. Sure is easy to take this car to events - hop in and drive there, air up the front tires, and race! No tire swapping, no loading truck and trailer, just go - very nice compared to our normal load the truck, trailer, car, crap process.

The early cold temps warmed up considerably and we were borrowing water to spray the overheating Dunlop Star Specs on on the front after the 2nd runs (5 runs each w/ 2 drivers). The rears just barely got up to temp (55-60F ambient). The stock suspensioned EVO X was a huge marshmallow but it was still two tons of fun to drive! The only mod on the car - the 245mm Dunlop Star Specs - was the biggest contributor to these DL-1 data logged numbers (98% percentile, not peaks):

Lateral Grip: 1.00g (left) / 1.04g (right)
Braking: 0.98 g
Accel: 0.60g

The numbers were pretty good considering the MASSIVE pitch, roll, drive and camber loss the under-sprung stock suspension allows. It was hilarious!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/418534695_zqc2C-S-1.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/418544925_hb3jn-S-1.jpg
Look at the massive lean in Cornering!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/418546569_ccAzm-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/418560411_mMrRM-S.jpg
Accel and Braking made for big pitch and dive!

It was like driving a big parade float... except it had a LOT of acceleration, good brakes, and the auto shifting S-Sport mode was FLAWLESS. The car would use 3rd and 1st gears where no other racers dared shift, and the data logging shows seamless acceleration during upshifts where our manually shifted cars always have a big dip in speed and acceleration. The SST magic is NOT A JOKE - this semi-automatic dual clutch business is the Real Thing. You never have to even THINK about shifting, don't even have to flick the paddles, you just mash the throttle and it is ALWAYS in the right gear. Amy and I were both Left Foot Braking everywhere, and it helped considerably.

The course had a heavy emphasis on slaloms, but the stock EVO gobbled them up with ease. The active yaw control system seems to actually work - you have to be somewhat violent with the wheel but it sticks better than you would think. There were some long sweeping corners that the car didn't like so much, due to the lean and camber loss, and we lost a lot of time there to other cars and classes we gauge by. The maximum 1.02 g avg lateral grip number is pretty low for STU cars on 140-200 treadwear tires, as we usually see 1.15-1.3g lateral in our prepped STU and STS cars. The braking numbers are OK, about what we saw in our STS prepped E30 and the old STU classed STI, but nothing like the 1.1g braking we saw in our STU E36 M3. Even with massive 2-piece rotors and Brembo calipers, you can't make up for that much dive.

The acceleration was pretty impressive, considering this thing is still bone stock and pushing 3600 pounds of puddin' around. The slower corner exits were helped dramatically by the SST's use of 1st gear. Due to a weird starting light placement that occurred in a braking zone right before a corner, far away from the actual starting line, we didn't mess with launch control as it would have been pointless.

With two driver's using LFB we knew we'd be adding extra heat to the transmission so the custom trans cooler fan was used between each run. With 2 drivers in a somewhat small run heat we were a bit pressed for time, but we did manage 4-5 minutes between drivers to swap numbers, spray the front tires, swap data cards for the DL-1, adjust the seat, and give the trans time to cool. It never had a single fault or overtemp warning, so that problem seems licked. Glad we had removed the fog lights and housings, as another EVO X driver attested to their fragility - one cone and POW they're gone. We'll not have that problem. Although Amy did have some cone issues...

The car is very wide, much wider than her M3, and Amy took a bit to gauge the corners of the EVO

As you can see the other STU cars didn't have as much lean or dive, but they were already prepped.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/418563175_Poish-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/418575280_mDZE6-S.jpg
L: Jason in Paul's 2005 STI (KWs). Right: Shawn in another EVO X (BC coilovers)

This is the last time this car will have this much lean!


I ended up 4th place in STU, but surprisingly only 0.3 seconds back from in 1st place in class.


1Tm STU 166 Paul Magyar Subaru STi Silver Dunlop 56.158 56.101+2 56.409+1 57.112+1 56.470+1 56.158
350983 Vorshlag Motorsports -
2Tm STU 66 Jason McCall Subaru STi Silver Dunlop 58.474+DNF 56.390+2 56.015+1 56.261 56.476+2 56.261
358922 Vorshlag Motorsports 0.103
3Tm STU 91 Wayne Atkins Honda Civic Si Black Bridgestone 57.545+1 57.479 56.423 56.422 56.261+2 56.422
282424 Atkins Design Group, Inc. 0.161
4 m STU 193 Terry Fair Evo Black Dunlop 55.751+DNF 57.481+1 56.440 56.855 56.636 56.440

--------data analysis---------

OK, lets discuss the magical "SST" transmission. Are the shifts as fast as they say? The data will tell us - we can compare 2-3 upshifts in a manual transmission car (our STU prepped E36 M3) vs 2-3 upshifts in the EVO X MR with the SST in Super-Sport auto mode. These graphs say it all....

E36 M3 shift, This is time vs. mph. Red, purple and black all have a 2-3 shift.

Evo X MR, black line represents acceleration from 1st through 3rd (starting in middle of graph). Red is longitudinal acceleration.

There was a cone in the middle of the section, hence the dip in acceleration. Peaked at 65mph. Possibly the two flat parts are from the shifts, but it is a little hard to tell since this data is on an autocross run and not a straight line, ruling out other variables. Regardless the car never stops accelerating and the slope of the curve only changes slightly. It has no dip in the speed vs time graph like the M3 does on an upshift.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/419430180_6dMyn-M.jpg (http://www.vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#419430180_6dMyn)
(click to see video of data logging of Terry vs. Amy)

That's the screen capture of the DL1 data showing Terry's vs Amy's best runs (2 sec difference - normally only a tenth or two). Basically he's just faster everywhere and brakes later. Push it Punky!


----------up next---------------

The AST 4200 double adjustable shocks are already here and the last EVO X camber plate part we need is due later this week. We'll post more in the "Team Cars" thread when we get the suspension on. We've got a gaggle of exhaust parts here too, so we'll begin the custom 3" after-cat system tomorrow night.

11-19-2008, 05:41 PM
Project Update for November 18th, 2008: This time we build some stainless steel mesh "Foglight Opening Covers" to keep rocks, bugs and debris out of the transmission and oil coolers.

A previous cooling mod (see earlier posts, above) left the EVO X MR's two foglight openings now completely unobstructed - begging to ingest a rock or giant bug into the pricey and essential engine and transmission oil coolers that nestle inside the front bumper cover. With track events on the schedule anything can happen if there's an "off", and our local tracks do have some rocks when you (or someone else in front of you) get off pavement. We regularly see gravel and debris slung on track and Hanchey was holding his breath at the last ECR event that none of that made its way into the oil coolers,

This project was undertaken by Brian to put some protective mesh in place of the foglights, which allow unrestricted airflow but will stop a rock or other foreign object larger than 1/4" diameter. He ordered some stainless steel "rock protection" grill mesh - he used #4 Mesh/Extra Course from HRP World (http://www.hrpworld.com/index.cfm?form_prod_id=94&action=product) (24"x36" sheet was $35). This gave us enough mesh to do the foglight openings on the EVO and the main radiator inlet + two brake duct openings on our LS1 powered BMW E36. Keeping rocks off the SST trans cooler on the EVO X MR was the reason for project. We removed the foglights and factory ducting from both sides when doing the SST cooling fan mod, shown above.

The mesh is stiff and holds it shape, yet still bends and cuts easily. Its stainless steel but we painted it semi-flat black to somewhat match the factory grill mesh. We didn't put it on a 45 angle like the stock stuff, but hey, its close enough and the final project still looks damn good in person.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581202_yotdJ-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581202_yotdJ-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561196_dfhbG-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561196_dfhbG-L.jpg)
(click all pictures to see larger versions)

Of course we "cheated" and used the lift to make the work easier. First step once you have the car in the air is to remove the two plastic lower engine cover panels for access to the back of the bumper cover - there's no need to remove bumper cover from the car for this project. There's about 1.7 million screws and snap clips hold these two panels in place.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581169_kw34m-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581169_kw34m-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581188_bBMW9-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581188_bBMW9-S.jpg)

Each side uses approximately one rectangle that is 18" wide by 8" tall. You can go a little smaller, but there's plenty of room behind the bumper cover, so be conservative and make em larger. Use a black "Sharpie" marker to draw a line on the mesh then cut - You'll need a good pair of tin snips to cut it.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581493_vjFuU-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581493_vjFuU-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420582023_djes8-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420582023_djes8-L.jpg)

Above, left - Hanchey test fitting the mesh before painting and final attachment. At above, right the painted mesh is secured to the factory threaded stand-offs for the foglight assemblies. #8 x 3/4" long button head Phillips drive sheet metal screws threaded into the stand-offs to hold the mesh in place. Brian made some large, square surface washers to spread the load of the screw head over the surface of the mesh.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581496_ZjGi4-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581496_ZjGi4-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420582141_caCzt-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420582141_caCzt-L.jpg)

You can see the mesh in these photos above - the hand is there for contrast to show the black color. The stainless steel look would be OK if the factory grill mesh weren't black.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420582025_cB7Ee-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420582025_cB7Ee-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581844_Yi6rD-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420581844_Yi6rD-L.jpg)

The final mesh covers secured before the lower engine cover panels are replaced. OK, onto the exhaust next.


11-19-2008, 06:10 PM
Project Update for November 19th, 2008: In this installment we show the lightweight, custom, after-cat Exhaust build for the EVO X.

We plan on using the COBB Tuning downpipe, O2 housing and cat, but we wanted to make a lightweight after-cat exhaust ourselves... we have the tools... we have the technology... The Six Million Dollar Exhaust is born!

OK, so its really only about a $200 Exhaust, but who's counting? Unlike most of the off-the-shelf offerings out there (which are still few and far between for the new EVO X) we wanted to get a lightweight system with a low buck, home brew solution. No, its not titanium, or even stainless, but it is thin-wall 20 gauge (.049" wall thickness) carbon steel tubing with smooth 3" diameter mandrel bends, sourced from SPD Exhaust. We've built systems for our race cars before using SPD bends and they are very, very high quality. Not cheap, but you won't find thin walled 20 gauge bends for less (the cheaper bends are all .065" wall, or thicker).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/416366185_g22CV-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/416366185_g22CV-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/415759012_V6pXa-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/415759012_V6pXa-L.jpg)
(Click pictures for larger versions)

We used three of the 45 mandrel bends (SPD 3" ID, 4" bend radius, .049" wall thickness = thin and light), 3' of straight pipe (3" ID, SPD .049" wall) and the two mufflers shown. The U-bend and 4th mandrel 45 were not used. Since the SPD parts come from California and have a 3-4 day lead time, we ordered everything in advance and got a few extra bends, just in case. The mufflers were 3" ID low cost DynoMax "straight through" units bought from Summit Racing (you don't get much cheaper than that). And instead of the uber-light system we built for the BMW E30, which is LOUD AS HELL (16 pounds for cat + exhaust + muffler), Brian chose a larger case 3" chamber main muffler + resonator for this multi-purpose daily driver/autocross/track car. And instead of a simple dump after the rear axle, this system runs all the way to the factory rear exhaust outlet opening. The main muffler came in at 10.8 pounds and the resonator at 5.2 - the muffler is heavier than we like, so we might go back and add a flange and section of pipe to allow for quick swapping of the muffler with a lighter weight "straight pipe", to drop 10 pounds and lose more back-pressure for race use.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420572287_4XmmH-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420572287_4XmmH-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420591710_DMHA8-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420591710_DMHA8-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561196_dfhbG-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561196_dfhbG-L.jpg)

First step (after sourcing all of the parts) was to get the car in the air and yank the stock after-cat exhaust system off. This took literally about 90 seconds once the isolators were loose - its too easy when you have a lift. A tip for faster removal - lube all of the rubber exhaust hanger isolators with WD40 (shown above, left) and then the three exhaust hangers will pop right out. A little leverage with a prybar helps if they are stuck on.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420559294_whPhH-M.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420559294_whPhH-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560888_Epm3p-M.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560888_Epm3p-L.jpg)

Once the factory after-cat exhaust is off, its straight to our trusty 150 pound digital scale (+/- 0.1 lbs). I delicately balanced it on the flange with the lightest touch, and the system tipped the scales at 45.1 pounds. Our goal was to drop at least 20 pounds in this portion of the exhaust upgrade. The stock system is shown above, on the right.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560135_GYDxt-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560135_GYDxt-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420559608_aqXSr-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420559608_aqXSr-L.jpg)

We started at the OEM flange at the back of the catalyst and worked our way back. An aftermarket 2-bolt 3" ID exhaust flange was bolted up to the stock cat flange and then the system was started from there. A 3' section of straight pipe was followed by the resonator, then another 3' section of pipe (later cut down a bit). Our hydraulic transmission jack worked well as an adjustable height exhaust stand. Both the 3" ID resonator and muffler allowed for a slip-fit to the 3" tubing, which gave us 2-3" of wiggle room as these joints could each be slide in and out by that much. You can see above that one of the 45 bends was cut in half and extended in the middle to give a slight jog laterally and another jog downwards, to clear the rear diff housing. Once it was all laid out where I liked it, each section was tacked together.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560492_3sdAd-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560492_3sdAd-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560818_diMq8-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560818_diMq8-L.jpg)

OK, everything is tacked in place. Neglected to get a good picture of the system installed in the car at this stage, of course. Work up to this point took 2.5 hours - that is fully laid out, tacked-together and ready to final weld. That's where we stopped last night and I'm heading out the shop to finish the welding. Once its welded up we'll re-fit it one last time and add the exhaust hangers (oops!) then remove it again for JetHot thermal coating.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560865_mC2Z2-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420560865_mC2Z2-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561598_dwmeD-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561598_dwmeD-L.jpg) http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561234_xp42u-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420561234_xp42u-L.jpg)

Here's the new exhaust on the scale and laid up next to the stock system. The new bits are weighing in at 23.8 pounds, so we've got a pre-coated savings of 21.3 pounds. Big thanks to DaveB for help during the entire fabrication!

More soon once I finish weld the exhaust and get it coated. Our new EVO X camber plate parts are days away, and the AST 4200s are sitting on the shelf.


11-22-2008, 07:45 PM
Project Update for November 22nd, 2008: Well we got the exhaust finish welded and prettied up and then fire the engine... too quiet!?!

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/422318168_Kbk3C-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/422315499_uAuGN-S.jpg
L: On the car with the massive MagnaFlow R: Seam welds ground down for coating

It seems that with a turbo plus the MagnaFlow 3-chamber "straight-thru" muffler, the new exhaust had about the same volume as stock. Part of the reasoning behind our lightweight exhaust was so we could actually hear the engine note, to help with shifting when in manual mode (as it is now we have to watch the tach - deathly silent).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/422319366_rapEa-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/422318084_S6sE5-S.jpg
L: After driving the car for a short stint the steel turned bronze colored R: outlet is on left side only

So now we're going to make an interchangeable straight pipe to replace the (11 pound) MagnaFlow muffler for track events. Then we can change it out quickly at the track for more engine noise and power. :) Ordering some 3" V-bands and will knock out this new optional piece, then get all of it coated. This way we can also dyno with and without the muffler quickly...

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/422315438_aS67t-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/422279670_hRba5-S.jpg
L: Brian's EvoX at the Cobb Show. R: Vorshlag Test Pilot Mark Berry's EVO 9 weighs 2320 pounds!

Pics from a car show today, at the Cobb Tuning grand opening in Plano, TX. More: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/6623846_gJkMg

More soon,

12-22-2008, 02:44 PM
Project Update for December 22nd, 2008: Wanted to do a quick update on the Evo. We're waiting on rear top mounts to test with the rear suspension, but we had enough time on Friday afternoon to get the fronts on. By "we" I mean "me", Fair was hiding selling something or designing something so he said. Gosh! ha!

We installed our new camber plate and AST 4200 double adjustable shocks. For this first install we used Hyperco 7", 450 lb, 60mm ID springs. Not sure where we'll end up but that's where we'll start.


The spring perch was moved up to almost seat with the spring platform when installed. This lowered the car approximately 1" from stock. I didn't want to lower it too much with stock height still in the rear. We'll finalize various spring height combinations depending on what dealers and customers ask for. Yes, we're aware of driving with such drastically different rates and how that affects handling, ride, etc. This is just to test fitment, etc. We'll put the package together and head out to the track over the holidays if all goes smoothly.

The camber plates had our typical range of just over 2.0 degrees of change per side. I didn't get to check caster yet, but we did design it to provide stock caster and one adjustment for more caster. With the strut eccentric maxed out the car sat with -1.2 of camber and maxed out at -3.3 of camber. Since the eccentric gives you some range we will probably change the camber plate to have a final max of -4.5 and then -2.3 or so. If you change the eccentric bolt then you can get back into the stock spec range. The other side of the car had the bolt minimized and it was only at -0.9. So you can see we have a large enough range to give you street and track setups. No one ever runs as much camber as we do, but we've seen situations where some tire/surface combinations require it. Usually it is for autocrossing, but this car will be doing that as well.


I drove the car over the weekend, granted all the testing was street driving on 5 clicks from full soft rebound, 0 on compression. We have 12 clicks total rebound and 12 clicks compression. The car rode extremely well passing the "spouse test" with flying colors. She had no idea anything had changed on the car which is what we were shooting for. That likely means we can go higher in rates helping some of that lean in the 3600 pound Evo.


Here's where it sits at the moment. Lowering the front really helps visibility. The Evo sits up so high, us shorter torso folk can't see over the huge, flat hood. :)

continued below

12-22-2008, 02:51 PM
continued from above

One more benefit - this AST suspension upgrade is also making the car lighter:

19.4 pounds for the OEM strut, spring and top mount

We have seen a nice 12+ pound drop of unsprung weight off the front axle with these new bits.

13.1 pounds for the AST 4200, Hyperco spring and Vorshlag camber-caster plate

After we get some more street and track testing on the prototype coilover design and new Vorshlag camber plate, they will both move to production units.


12-29-2008, 01:50 PM
Project Update for December 29th, 2008: While many of you are on holiday from work we are putting the EVO X through its paces on the dyno, looking for more power!


Dyno testing for the baseline setup and First Dyno Tune at Cobb Tuning. The EVO still has the completely stock exhaust and otherwise is "as delivered" from the dealer (we removed our "lightweight" exhaust for this test and replaced it with the OEM system).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/444913881_hJtGD-M.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/444913881_hJtGD-XL.jpg)
click to enlarge

+50 whp peak and more power everywhere. Car already felt good at all engine speeds but feels amazingly good now. 8)

01-09-2009, 11:09 AM
Project Update for January 9th, 2009: We are plugging away at the EVO X, looking for more places to drop weight on this big car.


A common autocrosser/track trick to lose weight from a car is to use a lightweight (motorcycle) AGM style battery in place of the stock unit, when allowed. We have used Odyssey PC680 batteries in the past but this time we tried a similar unit from a company called DEKA.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451747555_QHPws-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451747663_MGu9p-S.jpg
Left: OEM battery. Right: The Deka ETX18L we used instead

The Original Equipment batteries used in most modern cars (which can range from 35-55 pounds) are almost always a lead-acid wet cell battery, spec'd to work in extreme hot/cold and to have a lot of reserve power - so you can leave your lights or hazard indicators on for a long time and still be able to start a car at -30F. With smart use in "engine off" situations, racers can deal with a bit less reserve power and we tend to use much lighter, high cranking amp mini-batteries that are sized for motorcycles.


The Absorbed Gas Mat (AGM) style batteries can deal with more vibration and do not de-gas (Hydrogen) like a standard wet lead-acid battery, and the vibration proof AGMs also work better in racing environments. We've used many brands over the years but have noticed that a lot of the higher cost names are just rebadged batteries made by a select few battery manufacturers.

The Deka AGM battery we picked for the EVO X is one we've used in a number of our other cars, including our V8 powered BMW. They work well for the relatively mild winters and hot summer weather we see here in Texas (15F to 105) and usually last 2-3 years of street/track/autocross use. A $10 low amperage trickle charger (a "battery tender") is a good idea if the car sits for more than 5 days or so without being used.


The factory battery mount was surprisingly versatile and simple (stock design used J-hooks that you can get at AutoZone!) and with little more than a spacer block (with a shaped cutout to grab the narrower Deka) it worked great and took all of 15 minutes to swap in. I'm not showing the spacer up close and no, we are not going to be selling this part. Yes, it will even pass a tech inspection - something most homemade battery mounts rarely do. ;)

This Deka battery cost about $78 and the Werker SAE top post adapters (automotive style brass posts that convert a motorcycle battery for automotive use) were another $9. So for about $90 we dropped another ~17 pounds from the car. Yes, it removes weight off the rear, but we always go for the lightest legal class weight at all costs (esp. on this heavy EVO!) rather than strive for the "perfect weight balance" by adding weight (which is not beneficial). Car started great and has been working fine for street use.


01-09-2009, 11:32 AM
Where did you get it, is that the normal published weight *ie is the published weight correct or off*, what is the CCA of this, have you compared any of the others *ETX16L, ETX20L........*?

Thank you! :)

*edit* apparently of the Deka's the 18L has the highest CCA @300, the 20L has a CCA of 275 but shows another 3# weight loss....

01-09-2009, 03:20 PM
Where did you get it, is that the normal published weight *ie is the published weight correct or off*, what is the CCA of this, have you compared any of the others *ETX16L, ETX20L........*?

Thank you! :)

I never trust published weights for... anything. But its actually pretty close to what they stated for the ETX18L. I believe the "18" in the part number refers to the approx weight, by the way.

01-09-2009, 06:47 PM
Project Update for January 11th, 2009: We finally got the spherical rear shock mounts in from AST for the EVO X and installed the 4200 rear shocks yesterday (the fronts went on a while back with our alloy steel Vorshlag spherical camber/caster plates). With these pieces in hand we can move forward with suspension testing.


Both Hanchey and I have driven the car around extensively now (test loop, street driving) with the 4200s on front and back, and its awesome. We'll tweak a few things then put these into production - and we already have a brand new shock design (upcoming 5100/5200 series ASTs) planned for testing on this car very soon.


We are scrambling to line up a track day to test 4200 shock settings, spring rates, alignment tweaks, etc. Brian wants to change the base rebound valving on the fronts before we hit the track, then we're ready.

Full gallery of AST / EVO X installation pics: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/6894033_ZP2NB

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451768323_gUeUU-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451768056_2X5aX-M.jpg
These are the ride heights were are happiest with. No droop travel was lost at these heights.

Of course we rated the OEM rear springs (some goofy tapered/progressive Eibach spring). It was variable rate 160-215 #/in, and we used a 550 #/in rate for initial testing. The car rides better than stock with the compression valving turned down. The OEM shocks it came with are garbage - one of them is already leaking, at 6000 miles, and they have zero compression damping and too much rebound. Its not hard to improve handling over this stuff, even with nearly 3X the stock spring rate. :p

Better picture of the Vorshlag camber-caster plates (pre-production) add positive caster and negative camber adjustment

Our front spring package allows the lower spring perch to sit above the tire (lots more room inboard)

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451767741_A687t-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451767898_KaYwy-M.jpg
Setting rear ride height (left) then locking down the lower perch (right)

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451765852_xtKyj-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451766198_mjQXg-S.jpg
Left: Stock rear shock assembly = 12.6 lbs. Right: AST 4200 rear was 9.1 lbs

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451767195_dNYXA-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/451767326_2QnPz-S.jpg
Rear rebound knobs are accessible with the forward plastic trunk bulkhead removed, but we'll add remote cable adjusters for easier access instead


Like up front, the rear shock's Compression adjuster knob is at the bottom. Its easy to reach if you lean down and reach behind the tire - enabling fast/pit stop valving adjustments. We'll post up with more data once we get this car on track with the DL-1 onboard.


01-13-2009, 02:07 PM
Project Update for January 13th, 2009: A quick update on my birthday, showing the new even lighter exhaust we made.


After hearing how quiet our first "race" exhaust ended up at, and with the main muffler gobbling up a bit more weight than we liked, I went back and re-made the lightweight after cat exhaust on the EVO X. This is just a one-off exhaust we made for our shop car and not something we're going to mass produce or market, so its not exactly pretty but it is functional. The system is pieced together with thin wall 3" carbon steel exhaust tubing and mandrel bent bends from SPD Exhaust. We picked up a few V-band clamp assemblies from them for this version as well.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/454256469_gmC48-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/454258293_ujKb9-S.jpg

The first step was cutting off the rear section in front of the main (rearmost) muffler we added, with an eye for the added clearance room around the to the rear subframe (1/4" is enough). I tacked the clamp to the now "mid-pipe" section (shown above) and mocked up the exhaust with the muffler on the car and tacked that end in place.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/454256624_Z54PM-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/454257106_s55Pa-M.jpg
The rear muffler section weighs 12.9 pounds and is now removable.

We then added a hanger to the back of the mid-pipe (bolting to one of the many chassis bracing points) and then made a new rear section to take the place of the muffler, and added an additional V-band stub and mount to that end. Everything fit great and it sounded a LOT better. The entire race exhaust (sans muffler) is now 16 pounds after the cat.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/454257337_dv5vq-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/454257243_4D83A-M.jpg
The "Race" version was mocked up. This rear section weighs just 4.5 pounds and is a bit louder.

Brian drove the car around for a day with the race setup, loved it, and now its removed for coating. Building another setup like this for a 2008 STI this week (Paul's STU car) and we'll get that one coated as well.


An extra 45 bend and a short length of 3" straight pipe + a V-band and a little bit of work, so wasn't much more money, and now we have a dual purpose, reconfigurable lightweight race/street exhaust. Thanks to Paul for helping with the version 2 work.

continued below

01-24-2009, 07:14 PM
continued from above

Here is the exhaust coated with a high temp black ceramic coating:



Should provide a little more long term protection on this carbon steel exhaust system.


02-15-2009, 06:11 PM
When are you going to test the bars? I am assuming you will use both front and rear. Will be interesting to see how you like them with the coilover set up. Have you thought of a rear bar upgrade only to start?
After looking at all of the many options available, Hanchey just contacted Cobb about anti sway bars and we'll likely go pick them up this week (along with their high flow catalyst). We're going to put them on the front for sure and probably both ends soon.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/420559608_aqXSr-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/398637469_PNKR4-S.jpg
Left: Rear bar looks easy to change. Right: Front bar = notsomuch

The front bar doesn't look like fun to remove/replace on the EVO X but even with 450F/550R #/in spring rates it still needs help with roll control. We are going to up the front spring rate as well before doing one final test, then taking the entire suspension off and sending it to a magazine for one of their test cars. We have a new setup (5000 series Inverted ASTs) coming for our EVO to test with very soon. We're already testing 5100, 5200 and 5300 inverted shocks on a number of cars and the testing is going VERY well. We should have 5100s on the shelf for the EVO 8/9 and EVO X soon.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/474275718_4b9bb-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/474275941_BrMjk-S.jpg

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/474275505_g7exn-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/474276224_cDLUD-S.jpg

03-04-2009, 09:42 AM
Project Update for March 4, 2009: A little update on our custom race / street exhaust setup. We had this ceramic coated in black, mounted this to the EVO, and its working pretty well.


We have to make a new hanger for the "Street" rear section, as it wasn't as well made as the one I did for the "Race" rear section - the heavier Race section come loose at a bumpy race track. Don't ask. :sneaky2:


The "Race" version is still very livable and that's what gets used almost all the time.

edit from 2018: This coating did not last well over the long term. About a year later it was falling off, and turns out our powder coater that we used was somewhat mis-representing the "ceramic coat" product he used.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Justin-Glass-E36-M3-LS1/i-dpHWZMt/0/59037537/S/B61G3102-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Justin-Glass-E36-M3-LS1/i-dpHWZMt/0/59037537/L/B61G3102-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Justin-Glass-E36-M3-LS1/i-74wr5Gk/0/fd17e35b/S/B61G3400-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Justin-Glass-E36-M3-LS1/i-74wr5Gk/0/fd17e35b/L/B61G3400-L.jpg)
Left: Bare 304SS headers from our E36 LS swap kit. Right: Ceramic coating added

We have since found another local supplier that uses a proper ceramic based coating, which lasts a LOT longer. That's the joy of doing things for a long time - we learn things, and share them with you!


03-04-2009, 11:08 AM
Excellent. It looks very professional!

03-04-2009, 12:49 PM
Project Update for March 4, 2009: The Vorshlag Crew had a fun filled track test day on Tuesday of this week.

A magazine we work with was in the Austin area working on a Tech article, so we had asked them to drive the Vorshlag EVO X for a possible future article. They finished up their testing on time and had Tuesday morning free. Our good friend, Andy Hollis, is a member at the new Harris Hill Road country club track in San Marcos. We had a magazine writer, a track, and a car. Road trip!

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Left: The magazine tester talks with Andy. Right: Heading out on course

Seeing as the EVO build is supposed to be a "do-it-all" project, we decided to make the 251 mile drive down there in the EVO versus trailering it down there. We've had the Dunlop Star Specs on it for a while - they are doing fine and wearing well, with several track days, many autocrosses, and 6000 street miles. They are a great tire if you want to "do it all".

We left Dallas at 5:30AM, arrived 5 minutes late in San Marcos at 10:05, unloaded the car and got started. The EVO's onboard GPS Navigation led us directly there (for once). We had added Cobb sway bars to the car last week and had not tested with them on yet. Also, we didn't have time to set the camber trackside for the initial drive by the magazine writer, as his schedule was pretty tight. It wasn't really crucial since this was just a brief test drive. We weren't trying to set fastest lap (yet) - more on that in a bit. After a brief photo shoot, airing up the tires and removing our wares from the car, we were off. The car was a little pushy for our liking, but there wasn't time to really dial the car in for him.

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The Harris Hill Road course has excellent pavement, big elevation changes, and lots of room

Everything went well and the comments were positive concerning the ride quality and handling. Keep in mind it has to be daily driven, autocrossed, and track driven which is a challenge in the EVO. We were a little disappointed that the car didn't handle up to our track standards out of the box, although it wasn't a surprise. We had not had the chance to get on the track since getting the AST 4200 suspension installed plus the new Cobb bars. We had autocrossed it with the ASTs, but that is a complete different driving style and camber/shock setup. After the magazine writer had left we put in several additional sessions in the EVO, playing with camber & toe, shock settings, tire pressures and sway bar settings. We were able to get most of the push out and the car was extremely neutral when the tires were cool. In a few laps the weight of the EVO just overpowered the narrow 245mm tires. We know it would improve considerably with 275mm rubber. When the tires overheated it would push, and the DL-1 data showed it in lap times. It would slow down a second or more after the first few laps. We saw as high as 1.21g lateral and 1.12g under braking, however, even with the skinny tires.

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These pictures were with the "street" camber of -2. It got a lot faster at -4

Thanks to Chris Fleming at Cobb Tuning of Plano, who helped source new Hawk DTC-70 brake pads for the track testing and helped with the swaybar install at their shop. With these new pads braking on track was MUCH improved. Even though you're not supposed to drive them on the street, we took the car down there with the track pads on it. We just made sure our stops were all hard and fast on the highway, hehe.

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The horses in the background liked the EVO's exhaust note

You can see in the pictures the car still has some body roll. We plan to go up in spring rates to help combat this. It rides so well now that I'm confident we can revalve the shocks, go up in spring rate, and still maintain good ride quality. We asked the track management what a good time at Harris Hill was for their clockwise 1.8 mile course. They said in a street car a 1:35 is fast, anything 1:30 or less is really fast. By the end of the day we were running 1:30 laps according to our data logger. We were happy with the results and know there's more time in it, especially with properly sized track wheels/tires. We'll be running it at a NASA Time Trial event in two weeks and a BMW Club event after that, so we'll make some tweaks and go back for more. Stay tuned!

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Fair in the Miata: "Its a bit different than driving our V8 powered BMW..."

As a nice bonus, H2R let Terry drive their club's track prepped Miata (NB). It was equipped one of our competitor's coilovers on it so it was nice to get an on-track comparison. He was "just going to do a lap or two" on the almost corded race tires, but had a blast and stayed out lap after lap. Of course he said it needed better shocks, ha. Driving the lightened Miata on 225mm R compounds is "too easy", yet still lots of fun.

The folks at Harris Hill were great and they have a fantastic Country Club road course and driver's facility. If anyone that lives near Austin or San Marcos hasn't been out there they need to look for a DE event there and go (and join - we were there on an open "member day" and had the place completely to ourselves!) We're thinking of renting the track in the future and coming down again to test with some AST customers - it was well worth the 3.5 hour drive from Dallas.

03-06-2009, 11:28 AM
Project Update for March 6, 2009: Last night we were doing some "clean up" projects. I had a chance to throw the stock MR front strut on the shock dyno. Pretty interesting plot really. I did a run at 15 inches/second. This is a common "full sweep" people tend to want to see. It actually is completely unrealistic in the real world. There's no such thing as 15 ips in rebound so why measure it?

So I did a sweep at 5 ips as well. Notice how different the plot is on rebound (the negative side). Very little hysteresis and more progression AND zero or very little rebound at slow velocities. That's where you need rebound on turn-in. This curve has almost the opposite shape of all high end shocks out there where you have high rebound forces at very slow speeds and a digressive shape to the curve above 5 ips. 5 ips (or less) is more realistic as to what you see on the track or street and where you should look for performance. We've tested some of the low cost overseas coilovers where they made zero rebound force till 4 ips. That's the difference with high end shocks. Bistein makes good shocks and probably gets stuck with specs the manufacturer wants to meet liability and other requirements.

We recently purchased a potentiometer for testing (shock pot) to prove this in a real world situation by using our data logger and driving around on our test loop. We've got some really good pot holes, washboard bumps, and turns to show what your car is really doing on the street.


03-13-2009, 10:03 AM
Project Update for March 13, 2009: I had a really interesting morning I thought I'd share. Late last night Fair and I decided to install a new spring rate package for this weekend's events. Saturday I'm taking the car to a NASA Time Trial, Sunday "the Fairs" will be running the car at an SCCA autocross in STU, a good mix for testing. After seeing all the body roll at Harris Hill we decided to go from 450/550 lb/in to 700/800 rates. Now the car had slight understeer with this first combination, but I attribute some of that to running a skinny, worn out street tire versus the balance AND the nose heavy platform that the Evo is doesn't help. So if we fix the front, it's possible that we fix the issue. We don't like to change the opposite end of the car if we don't have to, I.E. fix what's broken. Most of the time you'd think more spring rate would make that end push more, but sometimes that's not the case. As a side note, we'll be switching to Yokohama AD08s in late April, running AD07s in the meantime. We have always loved Yoks for their R Compound-like turn-in and have had a 1st and 2nd place at Nationals on them too which doesn't hurt.

I drove the car home last night and it definitely felt aggressive to say the least, but not unbearable. I still want a suspension that I can drink a Starbucks in. Call me a snob, but I gotta have my coffee. :) I had to meet AJ from Performance Speed Tech (shop at MSR) this morning to deliver a part for a customer. We met in downtown Fort Worth which is 65 miles one way for me. I figured it might be a good test for the new package. I revalved the front slightly and did nothing to the rear. The rear has been working well on soft settings so no need to go up. The front we were running at full stiff so with the increase in rate I upped the rebound valving. North Dallas to Fort Worth is a great test for a suspension. Concrete side streets, new concrete highways, old concrete highways, new asphalt and old, VERY old asphalt highways make up the trip. Not to mention downtown Fort Worth is a disaster of construction. You get a mix of every bump you could ever imagine.

The trip to Fort Worth was comfortable, still aggressive. Definitely not coffee cup worthy. The car was pitching more than I like, and it was pretty obvious the rear of the car was the likely problem since I had them full soft and 6 clicks on the front. After meeting AJ I turned the rears up 5 clicks and drove back to our shop down the same roads. It was a night and day difference! The car was super smooth, obviously stiffly sprung but you could definitely drink your favorite beverage now.

Why do I bring all this up? Aside from the fact that it proves that monotubes can do a great job of controlling high spring rates without beating you up, it comes back to all the chatter we hear about critical damping. Yes, the theory and practice of trying to find the "perfect" suspension via calculations works, it can never beat the actual practical testing on the street. With a simple turn of the knob, I was able to match the front and rear frequencies of the suspension without too much effort. I reached in the trunk, turned two knobs, and was done. I can probably tell you that 700/800 won't be the perfect combination in a spreadsheet (I didn't calculate it), but with some tuning and testing, it might end up being very fast. We'll see this weekend. :)

03-19-2009, 09:29 AM
Project Update for March 19, 2009: Well, I was hoping to have all the race results in before I posted an update from the weekend. Last Saturday Terry and I took the Evo to MSR for the NASA event. The weather was pretty bad when we got there. It was in the low 40s, still raining and misty. The track was super slick. We were there late, but no point in going out since the weatherman said it would dry out slowly. Time Trial is a "best lap" effort so there's no point in beating the car up.


And it was sloooow to dry. The track wasn't fully dried till our 4:30 session later that day. Our first afternoon session was almost dry. The car turned a 1:27 in still slick conditions. That was good for 4th in the group behind two Vipers and a ZO6. The last session had some more "big guns" come out and the guys with R compounds started showing their grip. We managed a 1:25.1 in the Evo which was good enough to win TTA, and be within a few tenths of being a front runner in TTS. While a 1:25 isn't super fast when you consider the Evo is 3600 pounds and we still have the Dunlop 245mm street tires (Star Specs), a 1:25 doesn't sound so bad. A lighter, raced prepped E36 BMW usually runs 1:24s on Hoosiers for a comparison. So given the cold weather, the drying conditions and the prep of the car, we were happy with the results.

The car felt really awesome pretty much everywhere. It could use more power, but turn-in, mid corner, and corner exit were all great. For once, it had a touch of oversteer which was nice and much different than our first event at Eagle's Canyon on stock suspension. I was getting pulled on the straights by all the TTS and up cars, but usually closed the gap in the tighter turns (thank you autocross!). The Evo was definitely fast in the turns making 1.28g according to the DL-1. It made 1.15g in braking a time or two. And an interesting side note, when you start making 1.28g in an Evo you have to fill the tank every session. The Evo is thirsty on the track. Even with 5/8 of a tank, the car will suck air at some point. With stock suspension we could make 2 - 20 minute sessions, not anymore.


Sunday Terry and Amy took the Evo to Pennington Field for a SCCA autocross. Amy ran in "Women's" and Terry ran in the "X" class. Both classes are PAX based. Since he's probably running different cars this year, he wanted to be in a class that allowed that. Amy smoked even STU Open with a 37.2. That would have won STU by 0.4s! Terry was a few tenths behind with a 37.4. Amy wrapped up the 10th spot in PAX in a field of 148. That's an encouraging result, but still the car was 1.5s out of 1st place in PAX which means we'll need to do better to place well at Nationals. Considering the level of prep, this definitely was a promising finish in its 2nd autocross ever (with shocks). The transmission comes through again with some 2-1 downshifts and 2-3 upshifts you'd never dare do manually. Thumbs up to the SST!

Needless to say, the new spring rates really helped at the track and autocross course. Terry said the car turned in so fast you had to rethink your driving. This is definitely a change from the first autocross at TAMSCC where it was a little sluggish.


New things coming soon:

Race seats - get some of the "lead" out. The car is making enough grip now that even the awesome stock seats aren't cutting it.
Yokohama AD08s - this should be worth a few tenths at least over our beat up Star Specs, most likely much more.
Lighter and wider wheels - we'll probably get a 18x9 or 9.5 for the car, possibly 18x10s for the track wheels.
Lighter brakes - see if we can't get some weight off the front with some Racing Brake goodies. The stock brakes are still marginal at best on the track.

03-30-2009, 09:21 AM
Project Update for March 30, 2009: Another fun weekend in the Evo! We joined the BMW CCA Saturday at MSR-C for their DE and Club Race. Kudos to Bruce Heersink and team for running a great event!


This was a great test after our NASA event two weeks ago where we ran very tired 245/40-18 Dunlop Z1 Star Specs. We switched to Yokohama AD07s (265/35/18s) and Enkei 18x10.5 wheels. The AD07s are on closeout since the AD08s are around the corner. This was a chance to try something new and bigger, for this "bigger" car. Robert Fuller of RobiSpec shipped out the wheels the day I called and we had them two days later. Thanks Robi! A mid week trip in the pouring rain to MSR where AJ at Performance Speed Tech had our Yoks and we were ready to go. The 265s were a perfect fit for the fronts. The rears required a little fender rolling, but we made sure to stick to the "letter of the law" for STU so they aren't aggressively rolled in the least. With the right offset rears, we believe we can run 285s no sweat. The front easily swallows it. We'll most likely settle on AD08s in 285mm width for NASA TT use.

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Looking over the DL-1 data from the NASA event two weeks ago, we had max values of 1.25g lateral, with 98% values of 1.05g on the Dunlops. Using 98% values rules out the occasional variance in the data. The weather was almost identical for the two weekends, with most sessions were in the 40s with high winds sustained at 25-35 mph, with gusts even higher - not your perfect day at the track. I had to close my helmet visor the wind would blow so hard into the car on the south side of the track that it would move your head!

The new, unshaved AD07 Yoks pulled a max of 1.40g and 98% values of 1.15g. So basically we picked up 0.1g going from a Dunop with 2/32" of tread to a full tread, wider Yokohama. Shaving the tires can be good for 1-2s a lap depending. Lap times were a second faster as well. The DL-1 recorded a 1:24.2 vs. a 1:25.1 from two weeks ago. Not that you can put much into theoretical laps, but the DL-1 says the "perfect" lap would have been a 1:23.4. I would believe it though since there wasn't a perfectly, traffic free, clean lap in any of the 4 DE sessions (unlike in NASA TT, there's only 4 places to pass at MSR in a DE). Unfortunately we could not take in reliable tire data during all this. We started with 36/34 psi and the outside tires climbed to 58/55. Yes, hard to believe. The car had an obvious tire pressure induced push towards the end of each session, no doubt related to the insane tire pressures. We didn't have enough sessions to play with pressures or tire temps. The tires weren't rolling over to the edges so the pressures we used were not ideal - 5-10mm of the tire tread wasn't even being used at these high pressures.

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I lost the 2nd session entirely, betting 3/4 of a tank of fuel was enough, but on the first lap the car fuel starved and I had to go get filled up. The EVO does use some fuel in track use. Now that we've really got the car working, it can't even make a 20 minute session without fuel starving! MSR has a complex of left handers that ends up being one constant arc called "Buzzard's Neck". By the end of 20 minutes the poor EVO would fuel starve coming onto the straight after that sequence of left handers - Not ideal.

So another great weekend in the EVO. No issues, and no trans overheating. What's it like to drive? It is "simply amazing". It turns in when you want it to, it is so easy to correct in mid corner. Terry drove it on the new tires briefly and was shocked at how instantaneously it responds to steering inputs. It also never feels like you're in trouble even when the back end comes around, with a quick flick adjustment of the wheel putting the car back on line. Here is a car that has to run full of fuel, is daily driven, can carry 4 adults, and with driver and fuel probably weighs 3800 pounds (we're going to weigh it this week), on full tread street tires, and it turns 1:24s at MSR. That would have put it towards the front third of the qualifying grid for the BMW Club racers, most of whom are on Hoosiers and weigh around 1000 pounds less. We barely have any power mods either - the car is probably 80hp shy of most hard core track driven EVO Xs now. So we're happy with the track times its putting down.

So next up is the Houston SCCA National Tour this coming weekend, switching gears to STU class autocrossing. We're sort of in a jam on tires, unfortunately. Its 5 days before the event and we're not sure if we're getting the new tires or not. Long story, out of our control.

After that event we'll be installing race seats and a harness bar and heading to COBB for an updated "retune". They've played with the MIVEC and are getting more torque - sounds good to us. :) Our new inverted strut AST 5200s should be here this week, too. When we get the LS1 BMW back together (new LS2 based 550hp motor is done and going in soon!) we'll take both cars to MSR and try to do some comparable lap times of 4200s vs 5200s on the EVO.

03-30-2009, 12:36 PM
Project Update for March 30, 2009: I wanted to add a little more info on the new wheels and tires Brian mentioned above. This is the new track setup we're using for now, until the 285/30/18 Yokohama AD08 comes out. The 285 should fit the front great, but the back wheel might need more backspace.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/366101616_rPfes-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/501958477_TcVzc-S.jpg
L: Stock BBS 18x8.5" and 245mm Advan = 46.8 pounds. R: Enkei 18x10.5" and 265mm AD07 = 48.5 pounds

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Fronts fit like a dream, no spacer. Lots of clearance inside and out. Wheel alone was 21.6 pounds

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Rear fender lips had to be rolled, but it didn't take much.

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We also tried a 18x10 Enkei ET38 wheel and it fit the rear much better, but needed a spacer in front. If we go to a 285mm tire we may get two of these 18x10s for the rear and keep the 10.5" wheels we have now up front. This way they would all fit without spacers.

03-30-2009, 12:41 PM
Enkei NTS03+M's = new hawtness for racers.

Did you go with a 35mm offset or the 24 on the fronts? *that is the two sizes I can recall them offering*

What is the plans for STU wheels/tires? Stock ones?

03-30-2009, 12:48 PM
Enkei NTS03+M's = new hawtness for racers.

Did you go with a 35mm offset or the 24 on the fronts? *that is the two sizes I can recall them offering*

What is the plans for STU wheels/tires? Stock ones?

35mm. Might go to a 18x9.5 for the STU setup.

04-06-2009, 11:28 AM
Project Update for April 6th, 2009: What a weekend or maybe an entire week. We had plans to go to the Houston SCCA National Tour and participate in the STU class. That all started going "haywire" a week earlier.

We had originally hoped to run the new Yokohama AD08 at the event only to find out at the last minute that wouldn't be possible, but we'd have the tires "next week"....*just* not in time for the Tour. So, we really didn't see the point in buying another set of tires at $1000 for one event, surely our old Dunlops could make one last run right? Surely the well setup Evo could muster a competitive placement even on old tires right?

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At the last minute we decided to go ahead and install a Cobb downpipe and cat "test" pipe. On Thursday I headed over to Cobb Plano to get our STU and TT maps updated before leaving at 4AM Friday for Houston. I'm driving down there when all of the sudden, out of nowhere comes a heavy duty tie down (think bulldozer "come along") into view as I change lanes to exit. The giant BANG and almost immediate left tug of the wheel told me that this was "not good". I pulled on the shoulder to find the sidewall cut into shreds and our new Enkei wheel with a gash in it. Luckily Fair was following me, but of course, we had put 17mm lug nuts and the factory was 21mm. After going to Stett Performance to borrow a socket we had the spare on. Fair drove to the shop, picked up the Dunlops and drove back to Cobb since you can't really dyno on a spare. While out, he mounted a 3 year old Advan AD07 (matching brand/size as the other three tires from our NASA TT setup, except bald and MUCH older) on the Enkei as a "back up" for the Tour, and to run at the Friday practice. This was a tire our friend and former STU competitor Mike Simanyi threw away and sent to us for fitment testing. Basically it was junk. But we wouldn't need it right? I mean we couldn't even drive on the street with it since it was below the tread bars and the others were new, with the AWD you know.

Tuning wrapped up, we loaded the car with the Enkeis on it to practice Friday since the Dunlops were already beyond their usable life. Remember the Enkeis have 265 tires on them, not legal for STU. So the trip down was without incident. We had a trailer tire blowout a week ago so we bought 4 new ones. It was an expensive week. :) More on this later.


We started the practice on the Advans with the bad Mike Simanyi tire on the left front. I helped Paul Magyar with his STI's setup while Terry and Amy drove the Evo. I drove the Evo and it didn't feel right to me, but obviously pushed with the "bad" AD07 on the front. Still the car was faster than other guys practicing by 0.5s on a 30s course. We went to lunch, came back and mounted the Dunlops. Terry's first run was 0.75s slower than the AD07s. That was a shocker. Well, we weren't going to come all that way to come in last in STU just because we had a last minute snafu on tires. Buying another set at 3PM on Friday having zero testing on Bridgestones or Toyos didn't make sense. We still want to try the Yoks when they are out. We decided to "punt" and sign up for BSP on the 265s. Since the car pushed a little we decided to put the bad tire on the back and we called it a night. Certainly disappointed. We didn't bring a BSP car to the event after all.


Saturday morning we're ready to go. BSP was in the same run group as STU so at least we could compare times with STU drivers. Terry makes his first run and the car is terrible, unlike any time we've ever run it. It oversteers like it is on ice. I'm not much better wagging the tail out everywhere and taking cones or just DNFs since I was so off track. Terry actually puts a mid 60.6 run down with plenty of drifting, but hits the last cone on course. The fastest STU driver was a 61.6. OK, so even with the poor handling the car is "in the hunt". We're disappointed, but hey, the car is capable.


Amy runs after us in Heat 2, Grid B. We drive the car over after asking our competitors if they care. They didn't so we leave. More on this later. :) Amy takes one run and says the car is undriveable. We knew this already, but we were hoping she'd be OK. We decide to swap the bad tire back to the front. Amy makes her second run and drops 2 seconds, getting a clean 61.1 - BEATING the boys in STU Open. Now, most will argue the course was cleaner, conditions were better, etc. Anything NOT to let a Ladies class driver beat them. BTW, she did the same at Nationals one year. Gulf Greyhound Park actually gets WORSE as the day goes on. It comes apart and makes so much gravel there becomes one line and if you deviate you're in the marbles and its all over. So we leave Saturday excited that the car seems to be better even if we're basically on 3 tires, obviously slightly bigger tires with a junk tire. The course was reversed Sunday so we swapped the bad one to the right for the Sunday runs. There were really only two left hand turns so we picked the lesser of two evils.


We start Sunday with Terry's first run. Terry pulls out a 57.2. Most STU cars at this point were in the 59s and high 58s all dirty. Terry had a cone as well. I get in and run a clean 57.5. The best STU car is a 58.0 from Wiggy in an Evo RS. A great run no doubt. Good enough to move him into first place. Terry never could get clean and both of us slowed after this first fast run. We were within 0.5s of it though. Looking at the data the lateral acceleration numbers decreased on every run. We were spraying the tires, but I think the dead AD07 was just getting worse and worse. No biggie, the car is proving it's potential besting STU by 0.5s each day even if not by the same driver.

We move the car as we did the day before to let Amy run. Unfortunately the tires were getting worse and worse. Her lateral numbers were going down. She eeked out a 58.5. Her combined times would have given her 2nd place in STU Open. Her last run looked great but was 2 seconds slower! Again, looking at the data, the car just got worse and worse. We end the day excited. The car is a blast to drive on the track and at the autocross. With the new cat it sounds so mean when it shifts. We love it!


Vorshlag drivers in other classes did great too. Gerry T won E Stock with AST 4100s by 3 seconds, ASTs were on a C6 ZO6 that got 3rd behind nationals level drivers. 0.5s out of first. This was his second event on shocks! The ST Civic we help with won overall, Matt Lucas too, and many other strong finishes. Our STU drivers had some cone troubles but had good raw times. Roger Johnson courses are evil, I'll leave it at that. Can't forget Stuart Maxcy and his A Stock win. This AST 5200s will be on the car in a few weeks!


We pack things up during a break, complete our work assignment then head for Dallas at about 2PM. I check the results from the car and we were DSQ'd today? What the heck? Since we were so far back, we never checked the times. We call Gerry Terranova who checks for us. Apparently we didn't "dot our I's" when we moved the car for Amy's runs and the Impound Chief got us DSQ'd. We were standing 50 yards from the grid. Why didn't anyone ASK us why we moved or where we were? Oh, no, just DSQ them even though the car stayed in grid. For the record, we're aware of the rule of not leaving grid and would never do so, but we also had to get a car ready for the next driver. This happens all the time at Nationals where you have to DRIVE distances to other spots not even staying in the same area. We were just baffled at a Tour that someone would assume the worst. Whatever, we're calling today to argue the case and frankly discuss other concerns we had at the event.

We get into the heart of South Houston (a lovely place btw) and I hear a strange noise from the trailer. Terry looks back and smoke is bellowing out from the passenger side fender. Great! A blowout on a new tire? Amy as calm and collected as she always is pulls off the highway into a Bail Bonds parking lot. You get the picture where we are? Terry and I inspect the trailer to find the leaf spring broken (and missing parts) on the rear axle. The tire was lodged in the fender which made for the smoke. We call in the soldiers.


Before you know it, we have an army of people surrounding us which is good in this part of town. Jason McCall, Paul Magyar, Matt Lucas, Chris Ledbetter, Kurt Janish (Mr. Tools), Greg Piper show up along with Gerry Terranova. It was a party in South H! Terry and Jason run to Northern Tools and buy a leaf spring and new hardware. Kurt, me and everyone else work at breaking all the rusted bolts off. We broke one bolt so Terry and Gerry had to run back to the store. We had everything ready to go once they got back and we were off again. Only a two hour delay. Thanks again for everyone and their help. I wasn't too excited about leaving the Evo to go get parts. It definitely would have been missing wheels at a minimum. :)

We made it back in one piece around 10PM, a LONG weekend for sure. While we didn't get to compete in STU we're pretty happy with the car. It really handles well. I can't wait to see what it does with four equal, current generation ST tires. Should be interesting!

04-06-2009, 01:07 PM
WOW, long weekend it sounds like. Anxious to see how your EVO stacks up this year. Any plans to be at LAP prior to nationals?

Who is your AD08 source?

Thanks - Jon

04-07-2009, 11:18 AM
Who is your AD08 source?


I need some 255/40-17 AD08s for my STX car :)

Sorry to hear about the Houston experience, but it is good to see that the car has potential in STU. Too bad you can't run wider tires in STU like the RWD cars.


04-07-2009, 11:24 AM

I need some 255/40-17 AD08s for my STX car :)

Sorry to hear about the Houston experience, but it is good to see that the car has potential in STU. Too bad you can't run wider tires in STU like the RWD cars.


It won't matter. We ran on 3 good AD07s and a trashed tire. I think the times will stand with narrower AD08s. We'll soon see. :)

TireRack will be the first to have AD08s listed.

04-08-2009, 11:56 PM
One of the best Vorshlag threads yet! I look forward to following the progress on this car and hearing more about how the AD08s fair. I'm co-driving with Brian's STX 328is so I'm eager to see those Yokos out ASAP too!

04-21-2009, 12:16 AM
Project Update for April 20th, 2009: Lots of little updates for the EVO lately, even though we've been working mostly on final assembly of the new 550hp LS2 motor for our BMW E36.

We added some new shocks last week - Brian installed inverted AST 5200s last Thursday - and we added our first bit of bling (headlight covers). We also got a replacement 265mm AD07 tire for the one that blew out the day before the Houston Tour (the last remnants of tread on the "old" 265 we had thrown on for that event were literally crumbling!)

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517320570_DAHLi-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517322059_G9K8K-S.jpg
XPEL yellow headlight covers. Hopefully the distinctive yellow lighting will help clear away traffic at TT events

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/517255043_xyNHa-M.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/515240919_mvN4Z-M.jpg
L: remote reservoirs are temporarily mounted to the strut brace. R: AST 5200 front strut for EVO X

The AST 4200 shocks came off, were cleaned up, and immediately shipped out to Edmunds.com for use on their EVO X GSR track car project, in which they hope to beat a Nissan GTR on track. They've got a good, proven setup in their hands that should do just that!

After our NASA @ TWS weekend plans were rained out (that event saw "wrath of god" rains on Saturday - we made the right choice!), Amy and I decided to enter the local SCCA autocross event in the EVO (Pennington Field, April 19, 2009 (http://www.autocross.com/tr/modules/content/index.php?id=81)). And we went full boat lazy: packed up the helmets and camera gear and just drove out there on the Yokohamas. Sometimes, very rarely, I do like racing in Street Touring. 8)

Event Picture Gallery: here (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/7951754_R7dsW)


http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/516472485_TJx2D-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/516402759_sqQBg-S-1.jpg


We're still (still) waiting on our next set of 245mm ST tires so we ran on the 265mm Yokohama AD07s. These are the full tread track tires Brian has been running at NASA Time Trials and other DEs, as well as what we ran at the Houston Tour. Since they are wider than the STU class max of 245mm we ran in BSP, naturally. Not exactly the hot ticket for that class but we mostly went to test the new AST 5200s, and of course to compare with the local STU times.

We got to the site, slapped on the "BSP" magnetics, and pulled into the tech line. After working first heat announcing I got the car to grid. Amy and I ran in heat 2, but she ran in the pax factored "Womens" class (lets her run one class but jump around in cars all year if she wants) but I ran in BSP. I was running in the "X" Pro class, which is also Pax factored, but was getting killed by all of the National Champions in Mod cars that run this class (which tend to do VERY well on the ~30 second/smallish courses our region favors at some sites). Running BSP also gave me a slightly better chance at winning $50 per event from Don Herring Mitsubishi (this local dealership pays $50 per class win and $500 for an annual class win in any Mitsubishi), too.

So first run Amy had some trouble remembering the course and DNF'd in a very tight offset at the finish. Checked tire pressures (32F/30R) and I made a run with a passenger. STU had run in heat one and finished with a 36.7 as the fastest run. My first run, with some herky jerkiness at the rear, was a 35.6 so I was off to a good start. The shock settings were a total guess with this new 5200 set-up, so I dropped compression in front & rebound in rear and it settled down a good bit out back. I managed to clock off 4 clean runs with my fastest on my 3rd being a 35.2 (video shown below).

on-car video from my 3rd run. The vidcam roof mount is still terrible - its the mount shaking, not the car (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#517394294_kncNs-A-LB)

The car felt incredible - immediate turn-in, super crisp transitions, great mid-corner grip, staggering stopping power, and incredible corner exit acceleration. The SST trans was working its magic in S-Sport mode again, performing perfect 1st-2nd-3rd upshifts coming out of each tight turn around. There was a point right after the start where the speeds dictated an upshift mid corner from 1st to 2nd - which was seamless, didn't unsettle the car, and forward acceleration never ceased. This transmission is the hottest thing since sliced bread. 8)

Amy had some minor driving troubles - a first run DNF, 2 coned runs, and she caught her hand in the paddle shifter on her 4th run causing some sideways antics - and finished the day uncharacteristically off pace. She's usually right there with me, or beating my times.

Results: http://www.autocross.com/tr/modules/content/index.php?id=81

My 3rd and 4th runs felt great but we're still lacking about 1/2 second of performance for STU. Using the STU pax I was only 9th out of 145 cars, and that's not nearly good enough. Using the BSP pax I was way down in 27th, yuck. The 245mm tires will change things, but we suspect these full tread 265mm AD07s won't be any better than modern ST rubber in 245mm and shaved under 5/32". We have got to get the final STU wheels and tires in our hands soon to get some much needed testing underway - its pretty damn late in the season to be picking tires, but some of the new ones we want to test still aren't out yet in the sizes we need.

So up next we have the following potential upgrades:

The latest and greatest in ST approved 245mm tires (Toyo, Bridgestone, or Yokohama - we don't know yet)
Lighter 18x9.5" wheels
Sparco harness bar and 6 point harness
Lighter fixed back racing seats
Possibly a set of lighter front brakes
Much more setup testing at an upcoming Vorshlag Test-N-Tune practice event

Brian and I wouldn't mind running 285mm Hoosiers on this thing and moving to BSP for good, but that doesn't really fit with the original multi-purpose street/track/autocross plan for this car, as full-tilt Street Prepared prep does push a car a bit beyond the streetable daily driver (unlimited boost, unlimited EFI/intake, no emissions). I hope we're not too disappointed with the grip from the 245mm ST tires when we get them on here. :devil look:

04-21-2009, 09:36 AM
Brian and I wouldn't mind running 285mm Hoosiers on this thing and moving to BSP for good, but that doesn't really fit with the original multi-purpose street/track/autocross plan for this car, as full-tilt Street Prepared prep does push a car a bit beyond the streetable daily driver (unlimited boost, unlimited EFI/intake, no emissions). I hope we're not too disappointed with the grip from the 245mm ST tires when we get them on here. :devil look:

Does the limit of street-ability incur with the performance to be competitive in BSP? By the sound of it, this car is already a jack of all trades. What modifications would move it away from street-able to be competitive in BSP?

As usual, a super write-up! I look forward to hearing back from the Vorshlag TNT...

04-21-2009, 10:02 AM
Does the limit of street-ability incur with the performance to be competitive in BSP? By the sound of it, this car is already a jack of all trades. What modifications would move it away from street-able to be competitive in BSP?

As usual, a super write-up! I look forward to hearing back from the Vorshlag TNT...

I'm with you. :) The only difference in what we'd probably do is slap R compounds on for autocrossing. We trailer it most of the time anyway so what difference does it make what tires are on it. heheh >:D

NASA TT rules are open for boost and you get dinged regardless of if you admit to having it or not. So really the car becomes closer rule prep-wise if we ran BSP and TTA.

04-21-2009, 10:49 AM
Does the limit of street-ability incur with the performance to be competitive in BSP? By the sound of it, this car is already a jack of all trades. What modifications would move it away from street-able to be competitive in BSP?

As usual, a super write-up! I look forward to hearing back from the Vorshlag TNT...
Well... we could just "slap on some Hoosiers" and go BSP racing, but I suspect we'd have to get more serious into the Prep limits to be competitive with the hot EVOs at Nationals that are all hundreds of pounds lighter.

To keep up with these guys (that regularly match or beat the "faster" ASP at Nats) we would probably need to run a LOT more boost, race fuel, ditch the cat, and re-route the intercooler with bigger piping (and even a bigger intercooler). Bigger blow-off valve, fuel injectors, possibly a custom intake manifold, bigger throttle body, etc. There are just a lot more areas to explore in BSP that can make it more radical...

04-21-2009, 11:18 AM
I think if you went the BSP route you would end up in TTS rather than TTA due to power mods.

04-21-2009, 11:40 AM
Well... we could just "slap on some Hoosiers" and go BSP racing, but I suspect we'd have to get more serious into the Prep limits to be competitive with the hot EVOs at Nationals that are all hundreds of pounds lighter.

To keep up with these guys (that regularly match or beat the "faster" ASP at Nats) we would probably need to run a LOT more boost, race fuel, ditch the cat, and re-route the intercooler with bigger piping (and even a bigger intercooler). Bigger blow-off valve, fuel injectors, possibly a custom intake manifold, bigger throttle body, etc. There are just a lot more areas to explore in BSP that can make it more radical...

By the singing of your praises for the EVO X, I wasn't sure if it had a distinct advantage that would give it some "street leeway" in terms of preparation. Sounds like that's a NO. Never the less, great information!

04-21-2009, 01:15 PM
I think if you went the BSP route you would end up in TTS rather than TTA due to power mods.

If we kept the car "as is" but only ran the boost map it wouldn't move. Plus we'd have to run street tires.

05-06-2009, 03:59 PM
Project Update for May 6th, 2009: A set of Yokohama's new ADVAN "AD08" arrived last week. These are to be our STU class autocross tires.


After putting the call out on EVO M forums we got a good lead on some wheels... from local racer and Vorshlag Tester Mark Berry's FPrepared EVO. These are his old BSP wheels. CCW 3-piece 18x10" with 6.75" backspacing. After verifying that our 18x10.5" wheels that fit the car now also have a 6.75" backspacing, we picked these up last Saturday. I went to have the tires mounted (in a horrendous storm, with Tornado sirens blaring - I couldn't wait!) and came back to the shop to clean up the tire mounting goo.


The 245's fit a lot better on the 10" wide wheels than we thought. Its nearly perfect. :) I'm glad we found this set of wheels in the perfect size and in such perfect shape - Mark keeps his stuff super clean.


These tires have 9.6" of tread when mounted. As usual, Yokohamas "run wide" for their stated size and we don't mind one bit. :) We would recommend at least a 9.5" wide wheel for this tire, for optimal use.


So we roll the EVO up on Sunday to test fit the wheels....


...and the big ass rotors and calipers are too close to the inner rim half on the fronts. CCW uses the same centers for 17" and 18" wheels and it makes caliper clearance a bit tight on cars like these, with nearly 14" diameter rotors and gargantuan calipers. OK, so we have spacers from ROBISPEC on the way and 3" long ARP wheel studs have already arrived. We should have everything here by this weekend, hopefully in time for our Harris Hill Road testing on Friday morning in San Marcos. If not we'll test with only the 265mm AD07s, which is our track tire for this car anyway. Just wanted to do some back-to-back AD07 vs AD08 tests this week, oh well.

Long term fix: RacingBrake 6-piston calipers up front. These should lose some unsprung weight up front, increase braking performance, and allow for more wheel clearance with the CCWs. We hope.

John in Houston
05-06-2009, 04:19 PM
Man... poor Brian looks dejected. Sux.

05-11-2009, 10:33 AM
Project Update for May 11th, 2009: Another update on the Evo. We joined the North Texas Evo Club for a HPDE / test day at Harris Hill Road (in San Marcos, TX) on Friday.

Vorshlag EVO X MR sporting the new Yokohama ADVAN stickers

Nothing like a 20 hour day to start your weekend. We were up at 4AM and got home at midnight. But I can say it was well worth it! Nothing like spending the day at a great track, great friends, and a great car.

The wheels stayed this clean for about.... one lap

The track day didn't start till 1PM, but we were able to pay extra to do some lapping in the morning (both Hanchey and Fair driving the EVO). We had not run at HHR with the new spring rates, new AD07s or AST 5200s. Of course the track conditions are not identical, but if you're down there, why not? We started out re-familiarizing ourselves with the track then we made some swaybar changes and some shock setting changes. When we were here in March the car had a considerable push. Most of this was gone, but not all of it, unfortunately. HHR has some challenging off-camber turns that don't help, but we kept changing the rear bar to try and help the situation. The front bar needed to be softened but the schedule didn't allow for changing it. The rear bar takes 5 minutes to change; The front you really have to jack up both sides and remove a wheel to do it.

Fully loaded in a corner, making right at 1.25g lateral grip. As you can see the -4 static front camber setting is perfect when loaded

The car did drop a second or so in lap times going from high 1:30s to high 1:29s. It is hard to take data from the same car running one day with temps in the lower 70F range to another day where its 100F outside on street tires and get a good comparison. The full thread Yoks were extremely hot after only a few laps (too hot to touch).

The downhill Turn 5 is a total blast!

Good news though, the Dual Clutch Semi Automatic transmission never overheated, even with the high temperatures and two drivers beating on the Evo all day. Bad news, though, Terry DID overheat. He got sent to the nurse's station. Note to Terry, Diet Coke does NOT replenish fluids. :) Looks like we'll need to put a Spal fan on his head or something. It IS only May after all.

People drinking water were smart - Fair wishes he had done the same!

Overall the day was really fun. We both instructed students and ran in the instructor's group. This pretty much left zero time in the afternoon to play with the car, as we'd hop from car to car after each run group ended. We did get to try out our new datatoys.com Sony 580 line bullet camera connected to our Aiptek A-HD video camera. We had an external microphone as well and spent each session trying to find a place to hide the mic from wind noise. We didn't have foam to cover it up but next time we will, because no place is safe from wind noise in the Evo.

Sean Goodpasture was flying in his EVO X GSR

Towards the end of the day I was frantically making changes trying to eek out that last bit of precious test time. The car had a push on corner exit that you'll see in the video. I kept adding rear compression towards the end of the day and it finally worked! The last runs I made you'd hear the tires squealing in mid corner and as soon as you touched the gas the car would launch out of corners. Of course, I didn't get those faster laps on video or data logged, but the feel was dramatically different. Ugh.

Ian Peebles was quick in his RX8 on Toyo R888s, and instructed throughout the day

We were a bit rushed getting the car ready for this event in the week leading up to it. It really needs another alignment, the ride height reset and the corner heights and cross weights re-balanced. I replaced the rear spring perches with longer ones the day before we left and was not able to re-adjust the height at the rear. I think it shows because you can see in the video that it doesn't pull as many g's in left handers as right (2nd video). We were seeing 1.25g lateral.

The Turn 4 & 5 up/downhill complex is a signature of Harris Hill Road's beautiful course

Here's a sample of the new camera + trackvision software (we just purchased this today) + DL1 data overlaid. You'll notice the ~1:30 lap time. This was late in the day with over 100F air temps. We were both going faster in the morning.

In Car Video
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/533019967_NhUS8-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#533019967_NhUS8-A-LB)

In Car Video with TrackVision overlay:
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/533861843_tE7ZZ-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#533861843_tE7ZZ-A-LB)

Next up we're going to try Race Technology's new Dash 3 display + out DL-1 in the Evo. This will give us lap time readouts real time, as we're driving, which will help with testing. Instead of having to come in to look at the data, we can made decisions more quickly. Also, since Time Trial is about the fastest lap this will help us to see if we're going faster or just wasting tires and equipment. Yes, these lap time display units have been out for a while, but there hasn't been a good one to use with the DL-1 untill now. The DL-1 can also take OBDII data and record it and/or display it on the Dash 3 in real time. Should be nice to see all this.

There were a minimum of "offs" - everyone kept it clean and safe

Here are all of the pictures: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/8178120_W5ZoX

(pictures and editing added by Fair)

05-12-2009, 03:28 PM
Man the car looks awesome!

05-13-2009, 11:06 AM
YouTube video from HHR inside a MazdaSpeed3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7_pnF_DXpo)

Check the video above. At 3:30 this MazdaSpeed3 lets a white EVO X go by, then at 4:00 the EVO goes veering off into the grass. That's the one in the picture below. Good stuff. :D

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/534077104_6sigj-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/534079314_L5wv6-S.jpg
A little dirt trackin' never hurt a rally car...

05-20-2009, 04:31 PM

05-21-2009, 08:56 AM
Project Update for May 21st, 2009: Still waiting on spacers for the CCWs from one of our dealers... about to design some here and just have them machined. Here's some wheel & tire weights:

Factory EVO MR 18x8.5" wheel and 245mm Advan tire, 46.8 pounds

CCW 3-piece 18x10" wheel and Yokohama ADVAN AD08 tire in 245/40/18 is 47.5 pounds

That's kinda funny... the "lightweight" MR wheel is barely any lighter than the 18x10. CCWs aren't known for being light, either.

Did a quick rendering.... in goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooold! :D

Spacers for the EVO are designed and prototypes are being machined. We should have some ready by the time Brian and I get back from Holland next week.

05-28-2009, 06:17 PM
Project Update for May 28th, 2009: Brian and I just got back from the Nurburgring 24 hour race (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/8362465_W4r4p) and a trip to AST in Holland.

We were happy to see that our prototype wheel spacers were done when we got back.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/548774511_P63k7-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/548774626_jHW8T-S.jpg

If everything works out the way we want, we'll have the CCW 18x10s and AD08s on the car tomorrow!

Pics from the race:

Scirocco R chased by an Audi R8

The only EVO X we saw at the race was still running at the end

05-29-2009, 08:59 AM
nice spacers..

sure you guys had a blast over there.

05-29-2009, 09:59 AM
Pics from the race:

The only EVO X we saw at the race was still running at the end

Evo was a SST too!

06-15-2009, 08:35 AM
Project Update for June 15th, 2009: Our wheel fitment dilemma is solved, for the moment. We are using two different wheels for now...

Here's the weights on the stock wheel & ADVAN tire package, the CCW 18x10 with 245 AD08 ADVANS and the latest 18x10 Enkei RPF1 wheel and 245 mm AD08 setup we're using on the front:

Factory EVO MR 18x8.5" wheel and 245mm Advan tire, 46.8 pounds

CCW 3-piece 18x10" wheel and Yokohama ADVAN AD08 tire in 245/40/18 is 47.5 pounds

Enkei RPF1 18x10 with ET38 offset wheel (wheel was 19.1 lbs) and 245 mm AD08 = 46.3 lbs

So our latest 18x10" setup is lighter than the stock, skinny wheels by half a pound. Not too shabby.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564317316_vpYqP-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564317448_uvn7W-S.jpg
Front caliper clearance is the trick here. With 15mm of spacer up front the wheel would finally clear.

We had already test fit these particular Enkeis in the past and they fit beautifully in the rear, but we could only find two of these wheels in the country. So we got two of them last week, found the spacer combination needed to clear the front caliper (15mm), and ran them up front with the CCW 18x10 on back. Once we can source 2 more of the Enkeis we'll put them on the rear and sell the CCWs.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564317645_Scsfh-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564317722_LZbdC-S.jpg
The rear fits easily with the 6.7" backspace 18x10" CCW. It has 20mm clearance to the control arm and rear shock's spring perch

This unusual wheel setup finally allowed us to run the new Yokohama 245/40/18 AD08s at an autocross this past weekend. I have to say - these tires are awesome. 8)

I'd figure I'd update on the EVO's track wheel & tire setup in detail. This is what Brian is running at NASA TT events, HPDEs, and for the time being, as the street tire setup.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/501955835_eDhBp-L.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/501959062_sGHHW-L.jpg
Wheel is 21.4 lbs. Wheel + 265/35/18 Yokohama ADVAN AD07 is 48.5 lbs. The intricate spokes are hard to keep clean.

This Enkei is an NT03+M, 18x10.5" wide, ET30 and super strong

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/501960036_a3hSW-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/501960890_TxFiV-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/501965797_SqPev-S.jpg
This package fits the front and rear of an EVO X with no spacer and only light fender rolling in rear. 285mm tires might require a bit more rolling out back

Shot from underneath the front with the track wheels & tires mounted

These AD07 tires are wearing extremely well and keep knocking down incredible lap times, race after race. They've also been good street tires and have done autocross duty for the past few months, while we awaited the new AD08 to arrive. I consider the older AD07 to still be a competitive tire for Street Touring and TT events.

We're mounting a set of 265mm Yokohama A048 R compounds on this set of wheels for use at the 10th Anniversary Celebration event at Motorsports Ranch this weekend. If you are a member at MSR and are coming to this event this Saturday, June 20th, look for the Vorshlag crew and our EVO at the Yokohama booth. We'll be giving ride-alongs all day on the 1.3 mile road course, to show people the grip of the A048. A supercharged Audi R8 will also be there for Yokohama to give ride-alongs on AD08s. If you are not a member at MSR... well, find someone who is and join them for this event. :)

07-14-2009, 10:05 AM
Project Update for July 14th, 2009: A belated update on wheel studs, spacers and lug nuts.

The EVO X MR uses lug-centric wheels from the factory, meaning, the wheel doesn't fit snugly to a hub, but is rather located by a long shank on a square shoulder lug nut. Its not ideal, but that's the way the factory chose to do it. The factory lug nuts therefore don't fit most aftermarket wheels, which tend to be built to utilize a tapered seat lug nut. So whenever we switch from the stock wheels to the Enkeis or CCWs we have to swap lug nuts. Not a problem for us, as we have thousands of tapered seat, M12-1.5 thread pitch, open ended lug nuts in stock.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/590918135_YXuL9-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/590918336_Jvaxn-S.jpg
Stock length rear studs (left) vs long wheel studs (right) on the front of our EVO X

Since the Enkei NT03+M 18x10.5" wheels didn't need a spacer so we used the stock wheel studs and our tapered seat lug nuts. Going to the 18x10 RPF1 Enkeis we needed to use a 15mm spacer in front, to clear the calipers. This entailed the use of longer wheel studs, so we used the 3" long ARP press-in studs. There's a detailed instruction guide here (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/8682376_asLvf).

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573691963_yD3Lz-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/573692167_YKzrF-S.jpg

These have worked great for both sets of Enkeis and the CCWs. About a week ago I had the stock ADVAN tires remounted on the stock MR wheels. We have race or street touring tires mounted on all the other sets, so it was time to put the stock wheels back into use. I go to plop the wheels on and went to grab the factory shank style lug nuts and ... oops... then are a closed in lug nut. This won't work with 3" long wheel studs. What to do?!

I looked for another 10 replacement lug-centric style M12-1.5 lug nuts and I was going to cut the tops off, making them "open ended". A quick check of auto parts and tires stores reveals that Mitsu uses a proprietary shank length, so its dealership time. Bah, I'll just cut the stock nuts for now.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/590917315_FWA47-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/590917740_bvQdH-S.jpg

Chucked each lug nut in the lathe and cut the tops off. This doesn't weaken the lug nut, as its simply a cosmetic cover. Now the stock lugs work on the stock wheels with the longer studs. Cool.

07-28-2009, 03:49 PM
Project Update for July 28th, 2009: Here's a few updates from the last week with the EVO X.


Pictures from last weekend's Texas Time Trials (http://www.texastimetrials.com/) event: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/9060410_Fotkg

those 3-piece CCWs on our V8 BMW are anchors

In-car video from this Time Trial event (in the 490 whp BMW):
http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/603864839_BndPW-S.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#603864839_BndPW-A-LB)

This event on Saturday was a blast. We'll edit the video from the EVO and post it up next. As crazy as the V8 car looks in the video above the EVO was only 3 seconds a lap slower, on street tires. It was SO much easier to drive than the BMW on 4-year old R compounds. TTT president David and co-driver Gerry set-up two courses... one was a road course with timers and the other an autocross. We played with the setup on the EVO off and on all day (as well as several other cars), and worked the new engine in the BMW for many laps. Trying to de-bug little things on this car before Brian runs it at Texas World Speedway (NASA TT) next weekend, while Amy and I take the EVO up to Vail for the National Tour (a 15 hour tow, yuck). If you are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and have done some autocrossing or HPDE events before, check the Texas Time Trials (http://www.texastimetrials.com/) schedule and come join them for an event. $40 for as many runs as you can stand in the 4-5 hours of your run group, no corner working, free hot lunch, and tons of fun!

Since one full day in 108F Texas heat wasn't enough, Amy and I ran the EVO at an Equipe Rapide autocross on Sunday.

It was hot so we spent the 4 hours in grid under our pop-up tent!

Pictures from ER's Challenge Cup #5 Autocross: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/9060415_zWVVV

The new 1000#/in rear springs (we had 800's, switched to 900's early last week, then to 1000's later in the week) really helped the car rotate better and kept the car flatter in corners. Still playing with shock and bar settings with these new spring rates, but the car rides surprisingly smooth on the street with these crazy rates.

Results: http://www.autocross.com/er/equiperapide/modules/content/index.php?id=64

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/603311608_JitFq-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/603313708_YdVRF-S.jpg
Left: tight slalom # 3. Right: Tight turn-around # 2

I had STU covered until Andy Hollis showed up. :-? ST Hondas are so damned light, and all 3 of the competitive Texas area Civics jumped classes to run in STU. The tight and tiny 33 second course had no place that the AWD turbo cars could use their advantages, so Andy's sub-1900 pound Civic put .3 sec on me in the big EVO, pushing me to 2nd place on the 4th run (I still had him in 3, heh!). Amy was another .5 behind in 4th, with another Civic in between her and me (she was also edged out on the 4th run). At least she won their Women's "RapidPax" shootout, and $40 cash money. At ER events if you pay $10 extra you get 2 extra runs which are judged in their "RapidPax" results, with cash payouts. I choked in the RP runs and went slower, bah.

The course was tiny - literally 2 big 180 turns, 3 tight slaloms, and two 90 turns. The start was severely "kinked" and there was nowhere to use any of the EVO's power. I hate those types of courses... its all about grip, grip, grip. They had over 40 Formula SAE competitors at the event so they kept the course small to work better with their itty bitty cars and time constraints. Anyway, this sized course is typical of events at this small concrete site (Pennington Field), but I still always b!tch about it. :D

3 of my 4 timed runs were in the same tenth, but I just watched the runs on video and there were still some mistakes, so I'm sure I left some time out there. It was so different with 200# more rear rate that we had to re-learn driving slaloms again.


Brian has been playing with a new Race Technologies "Dash 3" unit and a CAN-BUS cable, getting the Mitsubishi ECM to talk to the DL1 data logger. There's pages of real time data shown on the DASH3 display reading right from the OBDII data stream... tachometer signal, TPS, and lots more. Pretty cool little unit. This will let us datalog lots more stuff and put it on the video overlays.

OK, we'll update again after the SCCA National Tour in Vail next weekend!

08-06-2009, 11:43 PM
Project Update for August 6th, 2009: Amy and I went to the Vail Valley National Tour with the EVO last weekend. We got back on Tuesday but have been playing catch up all week, so I'm just now adding our event report.

Vail Valley National Tour update - the battle of scrub

It was a tow from hell getting there... 16 hours straight thru, after working a full day. Towing over several mountains including an 11,000 foot high pass wasn't fun in our truck, either. We got there Friday morning at 7:30 am, and Amy was entered in the EVO school at 8:30 am. So we grabbed an hour of sleep, our only rest for 2 days, and spent the next 3 days testing and racing.


Weather couldn't have been better - it sure beat the 100F heat we had in Texas! Beautiful mountain views surrounded the Eagle Airport site as well. We had been battling some serious understeer the past several weeks, which I will touch on in a bit. Amy got a lot of test runs during the Evo school, but I think she could be teaching at these things by now (she has instructed at several driving schools in the past and has more wins at Nats than many of her former Evo teachers), but she says "it never hurts to get an outside perspective" and she got a good number of laps in before a freak downpour at 11 am. It dried quickly and (co-driver) John Scheier and I started taking laps at around 2 pm. The car was pushing as badly as ever, so we quickly headed for the pits and made some big changes between the many test n tune runs we made for the next several hours.

We swapped rear swaybars (from a Cobb hollow to a Works solid), adjusted all of the shocks, changed the front camber by a full degree, tweaked the front toe, and made laps in between changes. Nothing helped. We could get the turn-in right but as soon as the front wheels turned more than a few degrees the front end would wash out. The tires were howling, and we had no front end grip. Front tires were SO hot, rears were dead cold. Frustrating! Slaloms felt OK but the many 180 degree turn-arounds we had to drive through all weekend on the narrow airstrip courses were murder. Losing so much time in the big turns!


We've been playing with all sorts of adjustments on the car of late to try to re-discover some seriously missing front end grip. Ever since we switched from the 265mm AD07s we've been fighting a serious push, but the lack of performance wasn't as apparent at higher speed events (time trials/HPDE) nor at local autocrosses, where we still seemed to be doing well overall (but slowly slipping back in PAX). Too many spring rate changes to count, ending up with 700# fronts and 1000# rears, which seem a bit extreme because they are. On top of this push, the formerly flawless SST S-Sport automatic shifting mode was acting funny at this event for the first time ever, probably due to the 7000 foot elevation of the site? It needed coaxing to hold a gear and not upshift at odd times. Never done this to us before, so this was a mystery. We went to full manual shifting on some runs.

285 Yokohamas and 18x10s on an E36 M3!? Mayfield was FAST

At this Tour event we had a lot more competition (19 cars in STU!) and it was fairly obvious that the car was off the pace with all 3 of it's drivers. It wasn't until we got back that one of the obvious deficiencies was found - tire pressure. Look at this picture:


That outside front tire looks like it is about to come off the rim. We were running the sub 30 psi pressures that had worked so well on the wider 265mm AD07s. We'd noticed odd tire wear on the 245s lately though - it as wearing the insides more then the outsides up front. WTF? There was something else going on that was masking the lack of tire pressure that is so obvious from these pictures. We're running 40 psi up front on future testing, starting today. 3700 pounds with fuel and driver is too much for 29 psi. It may have worked on the 265s, but not on these 245s. We also noticed a lack of dynamic camber in higher angle turns, not readily apparent until you study multi-sequence pictures from the same turn. It needed more caster.

Anyway, we fought the car all weekend, barely maintaining our mid-pack finishes in this field of STU heavy hitters (driving our butts off to get 10th an 13th places in Open). Amy still won STU-L somehow, but she was struggling more than normal to stay in front. She had a "mystery cone" assigned to her fastest Saturday run that knocked a cool second off her next best time (I watched that run from start to finish - it was bogus) which made it too close for comfort. We tried all manner of changes all weekend, even adding as much as 1/2" of toe out in the rear to try to get this thing to rotate. Nothing made a difference, which just didn't make sense. Something else was fundamentally wrong. We finished our runs, taking our licks, then packed it up for an 18 hour tow back to Dallas (record traffic jam at the Eisenhower tunnel made for an extra 2 hours getting from Vail to Denver - yay!)

On our way home we were scratching our heads, looking for answers. The video and data showed what we already knew - there was no front end grip. We had plenty of static camber and tested there with the the extremes. Hanchey called another engineer/racer friend of ours (Matteucci) and they keyed in on the many changes we've made to the car this year. We went from 4200s to 5200s (to test both AST strut designs), changed spring rates many times, played with various camber and toe settings, multiple swaybars, and more importantly used 3 different sets of wheels and 4 sets of tires in 2 widths. We also went back and forth from track to autocross setups, sometimes week after week. The problems seemed to follow the 245mm tires, and more specifically the 18x10" Enkei front wheels we've settled on lately.

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/564317070_uVE6j-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/613189425_EW8jR-S.jpg
Kazera 18x9.5" wheels are 3 pounds heavier, but reduce front track width by a full 2", reducing scrub!

Remember from earlier posts in this thread that the Enkei RPF1's we have on the front (6.7" backspace) had even less offset than the 18x10.5" NT03's we've been running for track events, and these RPF1s also needed 15mm of spacer to clear the calipers. The black CCWs on the back had more backspace as well (7") but couldn't clear the 14" front brakes with any amount of spacer. Well this weird offset issue with the front wheels was causing a terrible scrub condition, moving the centerline of the tire further away from the Kingpin angle defined scrub radius. I rechecked the toe at the event and noticed the front track width was alarming wide... nearly 74 inches! By contrast our old STU car, an E36 M3 with 18x10" wheels, has only a 67" front track width. Even our V8 powered E36 race car with 315mm tires has only a 72" track width! WTF?

There are ways to improve weird kingpin angle/scrub issues, namely adding more positive caster. We already had a much improved over stock +5.6 of caster, but our three previous BMW racecars have always been able to achieve +7 to +9 degrees of caster, with the steering feel and dynamic camber that were much better than what you typically see on the AWD cars. They come with much more caster to start with, and we improve on that with our plates. So the first thing I did when we got back from Vail was to make a new High Caster version of our camber-caster plates. We had also just made a short production run of new HC1 plates for the GD Subaru and EVO 5-9, some of which are already on testers' cars. This EVO X version made this week was hand built and adds .400" of more caster offset, which should add another degree and a half of caster, getting us closer to +7 (we will verify with a laser alignment soon).


We also dumped the RPF1s and CCW wheels this week, as they just are not the right fit for this car at all (CCWs are sold, the two RPF1s are for sale). The 10.5" wide NT03s are too wide for the little 245s we're restricted to for STU class, so we went looking for an 18x9.5" ET30 offset wheel... and found them from one of our employees! Stuart here at Vorshlag had a (discontinued) set of Kazera 18x9.5" ET30 wheels from an S197 chassis Mustang and they fit the Evo nearly perfectly. We're using a 5mm spacer in front (to clear the tender spring we need to run for use with a test sensor - a shock pot) and no spacer in back. The width change alone knocks out a full inch of track width plus losing a total of 20mm of spacer width is another inch less track/scrub... so track width in front is a full 2" narrower now. This is a HUGE change, and a GOOD thing when you are trying to slalom around cones. Every inch removed from track width can make significant time improvements in autocrossing.


These wheels aren't the lightest thing we've ever run (21 pounds) but they clear the brakes better than anything other than the NT03s, and due to the proper backspacing they fix much of our scrub problems. The added caster from the new plates was obvious on our first test drive, with improved steering feel and the most important improvement - the car rotates now! I could saw the wheel and break the rear tires loose at speed, which is so much better than before. No more howling front tires, as the scrub problems in front seem to be fixed with the new wheels, and the increased tire pressures feel better as well.

So now we're sort of back to the drawing board on the rest of our Autocross setup... we've started by resetting the adjustable swaybars on both ends, changed camber again (from -4 to -3), and have to settle in on the spring rates now that we have the other fundamental issues improved (but it feels pretty damn good with 700/1000 - corners flat!). This scrub issue has probably been holding back performance for a couple of months. Good grief - we've only got a few weeks until Nationals, too. Today Brian also swapped back to the RacingBrake pads after he opened up the struts and put them back on with the new plates. This moved the car away from the ultra-hard race compound HTC-70 Hawk pads in front, as they take too much time to get up to working temperature. Great for the track but not so good on your first autocross run (we can't just "drag he brakes coming to the start line" due to the SST trans, either).

We've already scheduled two more test events in the next 3 weeks, so we've got some work ahead of us. If we can regain some of the performance we had earlier this year we think the STU competitiveness will return. To top off the week we have also had to pull the trans from our V8 powered BMW, as the input shaft decided to leave the bellhousing at 155 mph at TWS last weekend (http://www.vorshlag.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5479&page=9). Brian was racing it at a NASA Time Trial... good times.

Tune in for more test results soon...

08-07-2009, 01:59 PM
Project Update for August 7th, 2009: Short update to the above post - now with video.

In-car video from the Vail Valley Tour. This is my 3rd run from Day 2, and the time was almost exactly what John ran in the same car. Warning - it does not sound good, as the front tires are really howling:

click for video (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#613318517_xGfNc-A-LB)

Stuart is out test driving the Evo on one of our secret test locations, but so far Brian and I both feel like its now about 100% better. SCCA practice next weekend and TAMSCC practice the week after will shows us what we need to see.

08-17-2009, 10:34 AM
Project Update for August 17th, 2009: Amy and I spent most of Saturday at an SCCA practice event, testing new settings, alignment, tire pressures, and new parts.

Pennington Field's high grip concrete is a great test site, even if not that big. Brian came out for a few hours to help and we all drove the car in several iterations. We had some other known drivers there to compare to, namely Chris Ledbetter's STX prepped E36 and Andy Hollis' ST prepped Civic (Andy took an unusual number of runs, prepping not only for Nationals but also doing a test for an upcoming magazine article).

There was a timed ~23 second practice course that we could take 1-2 laps on at a time and we tested a lot of theories and setup changes, finding 1 full second from tuning by day's end. The skidpad was also helpful when coupled with our pyrometer tests, which showed us that the low camber (-2.5) setup we had aligned to last week needed another degree of camber after all. The increased tire pressures helped considerably as well, going from the 29-30 psi range to 40-45 psi up front by days end. Big car, little tire, needs more pressure.

We had one more test to try but the event was shut down abruptly at 3 pm, so we left that setup and packed up the car/trailer/truck and headed back home until Sunday, when the competition event would be held at the same site.

Results: PAX (https://axwaresystems.com/axorm/files/TRSCCA/event6_pax.htm) - Final (https://axwaresystems.com/axorm/files/TRSCCA/event6_fin.htm) - Raw (overall) (https://axwaresystems.com/axorm/files/TRSCCA/event6_raw.htm)

Andy Hollis and the other fast ST Civics have made a habit of bumping up to STU at our Regionals as they have a good shot of beating the "Faster" STU cars on this smaller site's tighter layouts. On Sunday's event I started out with that last, untested change from Saturday, which proved to not be beneficial. My first run was 1 second slower than 2 of the faster STU drivers, so I quickly changed back to the last, proven setup. I made changes after almost every run yet again, but kept finding time. In the end my times were bested by 3 other STU drivers... Andy Hollis had me by .6 sec and Jason McCall in an '08 STI (that we've done a lot of work on) and Ken Orgeron's E46 M3 both had me by a little over .1 sec (they were .005 sec apart). As I was changing things between each run this made for more of a test event than a competition, and by my 4th run I felt like the car was handling pretty well, without looking at the car from outside or seeing data.

The front end looks higher because it is... we were testing another theory that didn't hold water. Its going back down by 1/2"

Amy ran in in the last Heat of the day (temps were hovering around 99F by that time), running in the local PAXed Womens class and starting with the setup I finished with. Her first run started out quicker than mine did but while watching her on course I saw some things going on in the front end and changed the rebound yet again, and she kept improving her times throughout the heat. By her 4th and final run she had bested my time by .01 sec and won her class by 1 sec, so she was happy.

Then Amy skirted me by a fraction of a second...

We've come to realize that this 3700 pound car (with driver and fuel) is probably limited more by the 245mm section width than most other competitive STU cars, none of which are this heavy. The trick is to get the car to the limit of the tires' adhesion (a slight push in steady-state) and then keep it there, or it moves into a loud and ugly push. It doesn't feel fast around sweepers and at this overall weight it may never be. The SST transmission did work flawlessly in S-Sport auto mode at this site for both days, so the odd shifting issues we saw at Vail had to be altitude related, we think.

The unusual Figure 8 course layout made for lots of loooong sweepers.

In the end we PAXed well enough (15th and 16th out of 126) but its not where we like to be right before Nationals. The grip was good (1.2g lateral and 1.13 under braking) so basics are there. As you can see above the course layout was laid out with a LARGE emphasis on long sweeping turns, having a huge figure 8 dominating the course design. There wasn't much room to accelerate as it looks, either, as there was a transition at the start of one of the long stretches in the "X" and a transition at the end of the other. This emphasis on sweeps does not exactly play to the 3500 pound EVO's strengths, which are: braking, acceleration, large speed changes (where we'd see lots of up/down shifting) and transitions. Not to take anything away from their driving, but the cars that outpaced us in STU were a good bit lighter (Civic is ~1960, STi is ~3150) and/or had much wider tires (E46 M3). Excuses - I've got a million of em! ;)

Hollis was on fire and PAXed 4th

Ken O was fast in his STU prepped E46 M3 on D-Force 18x10s & 275mm tires

Paul and Jason are getting quick in the 08 STi on ASTs

Todd M's Civic was one of the ones that didn't beat us...:P

Anyway, we don't think these Pennington courses are indicative of what we'll see at Nationals, from what we've heard from the course previews by Howard Duncan. Our setup has changed drastically from the Vail Tour 2 weeks ago and hopefully the Lincoln site will play to this car's strengths... and hopefully Amy and I can drive well enough to show the car's performance. We'll be taking lots of laps at the Nationals Practice Course looking for the right setup.

Until next time...

08-17-2009, 04:41 PM
Kudos to Jason McCall! He Pax'd awesome.

08-17-2009, 09:04 PM
Quick video from last Sunday's event:

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/photos/622681338_FhUcp-M.jpg (http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/gallery/4882794_PPm2C#622681338_FhUcp-A-LB)

Not hardly my best run, but its the only decent recording we managed this day. None of Amy's runs recorded correctly either. Several big driving mistakes on the run above, that I freely admit.

10-06-2009, 09:45 AM
I figured I'd provide an update for the Evo. Now that the season is winding down, the Evo will be used as a test platform for new products, product revisions, and general street and track testing. I'll be publishing our results on the AST blog (http://ast-usa.blogspot.com/) (third entry down) hopefully on a monthly basis. My first addition is here (http://www.ast-usa.com/resources/Test%20Vehicle%20Update%20Oct2009.pdf) and includes a link to one of the faster laps that day.

These results are from the NASA event at Eagle's Canyon last weekend. I ran TTA. NASA TX is a little slow on the results, but I think I won for the day. Hard to say, but I was fastest and then it started raining so I'm pretty sure the time wasn't beat.

Keep in mind this is my daily driven street car. I drove it to the event with a tool box, jack, and a cooler. :) It has very few mods besides the suspension and Cobb AP. I was running Yokohama AD07s and the competition weight of the car is around 3700 pounds with driver and safety gear. We have to run it full of gas of course.

The car's peak lateral g's was 1.33, sustained was 1.2g. Not bad for such a porker! It ran a 2:03.7 as well. That's on par with 2600 pound Prepared class BMWs on Hoosiers. Again, not bad! Car still has some push steady state that we'll continue to work on, but it was a blast to drive!

03-22-2010, 08:22 PM
I hate to bump and older thread...

But do you guys over the High Caster plates for the Evo 8 at this time?


03-23-2010, 09:50 AM
I hate to bump and older thread...

But do you guys over the High Caster plates for the Evo 8 at this time?


We made some prototypes and they tested well. We'll make it a production change in the future...

03-23-2010, 09:54 AM
We made some prototypes and they tested well. We'll make it a production change in the future...

:frown: Any idea how far off in the future? I really could use a set now...

I need a set of plates now being I screwed up my Kmac's...How much caster do your standard vorshlag plates add to the Evo 8?

Thanks so much for the reply!

03-23-2010, 10:02 AM
:frown: Any idea how far off in the future? I really could use a set now...

I need a set of plates now being I screwed up my Kmac's...How much caster do your standard vorshlag plates add to the Evo 8?

Thanks so much for the reply!

Funny you say that... we just sold some EVO X plates to a guy yesterday that bent his K-mac plates like a noodle, on his first track outing...

http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Product-Pictures/Vorshlag-Camber-Plate-Product/DSC1016/498308677_4tb9P-S.jpg http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Test-Pilots/Craig-Wilcoxs-BSP-EVO/DSC5281/617173051_RdHpo-S.jpg

Look the "standard" EVO 8 plates we make are damn good, very strong, and do add 1/2 of caster out of the box. The high caster versions just add another 1/2 beyond that, but we don't have them now and won't for several more months. Don't let a 1/2 of caster keep you in crappy bent camber plates. :D

03-23-2010, 10:04 AM
Haha, alright I will keep that in mind.

I have a set of Robispec'd Kw Clubsports. What spring diameter do I have then to make these work? 60mm or 2.5"?

Here's what I did to my Kmac's...


03-23-2010, 10:08 AM
Haha, alright I will keep that in mind.

I have a set of Robispec'd Kw Clubsports. What spring diameter do I have then to make these work? 60mm or 2.5"?

Here's what I did to my Kmac's...


NIIIIICE! That is craptacular. That picture is a KEEPER! :D

Yea, the guy yesterday was on Robi KWs as well. I need to call Fuller again and get him off the K-mac train.

His KWs tend to have 60mm sprints and we know the shaft profile of all KW struts. We can make them.



03-23-2010, 11:42 PM
Hate seeing the failures. IMHO, RobiSpec is a self promoted joke, having met him several years back, it was a shock (parden the pun) that folks blindly followed. I did not see him as a functional expert. It's like the Mullerized juice that guys drank in Evo land from my former life on that side. Self promotion without the goods to back it up - custom valving does not necessarily = better. I performed shock dyno and spring tests to prove it. Let the buyer beware. Begin with quality parts.

03-24-2010, 09:29 AM
Hate seeing the failures. IMHO, RobiSpec is a self promoted joke, having met him several years back, it was a shock (parden the pun) that folks blindly followed. I did not see him as a functional expert. It's like the Mullerized juice that guys drank in Evo land from my former life on that side. Self promotion without the goods to back it up - custom valving does not necessarily = better. I performed shock dyno and spring tests to prove it. Let the buyer beware. Begin with quality parts.

Well, I agree with parts of your statements there. However, from what I've gathered, many of the quicker/quickest evos that autox/roadrace/etc are running suspensions from him. Sure, the driver is the most important aspect, but why are so many guys running "his" suspension?

Either way though, I've only had these coilovers for a couple months, and trying to get in contact with that guy is next to impossible. I will not be a repeat customer due to this.

I was looking at AST's prior to buying these coilovers. We'll see how this setup handles this year, and if I look to upgrade I'm going to go with a set of AST 5100 or 5200's next year. :D

03-24-2010, 11:42 AM
My comments about the bent KMacs were not menat to be a jab at Robispec.... he makes/sells/tunes stuff well, but until recently had hadn't heard of Vorshlag plates. And his hands-on track tuning does tend to improve lap times greatly. Having a knowledgeable setup guy setup your car at the track - with a custom alignment, spring rate changes, and proper data logging - will drop laps times, no matter who's shocks you have. He does that a lot - flies in to an area, meets people at a track, and sets-up their cars - and he's very good at it.

Robert does tend to buy our plates nowadays, and he's even using ASTs on higher end builds... He's been in bed with KW for a long time, and he has a lot invested in custom valving packages with them, so I understand why he hasn't switched over to AST fully yet. KW makes a decent shock, for a twin tube...

Pretty soon it might be hard to sell any KWs against an AST, but that's another story we'll talk about after April 1st... :devil look:

03-24-2010, 10:18 PM
Well, I agree with parts of your statements there. However, from what I've gathered, many of the quicker/quickest evos that autox/roadrace/etc are running suspensions from him. Sure, the driver is the most important aspect, but why are so many guys running "his" suspension?

Either way though, I've only had these coilovers for a couple months, and trying to get in contact with that guy is next to impossible. I will not be a repeat customer due to this.

I was looking at AST's prior to buying these coilovers. We'll see how this setup handles this year, and if I look to upgrade I'm going to go with a set of AST 5100 or 5200's next year. :D

The Evo can mask a poor suspension more than the typical car due to it's AWD and flexible motor. But getting it to be the quickest is tough and leads to a lot of the misinformation and a proliferation of lemmings. Hate seeing it but it is what it is. I had the good fortunate of being able to lead the development of several solo National Championship Evos and advise on other successful ones, having performed hundreds of hours of testing and development. Just shy of putting one on a 7 post shaker which was offered but a bit cost prohibitive. Finding the optimal competition setup for an inherently front heavy chassis, poor camber gain strut suspension and variable torque transfer thru the ACD while needing to maximize the AWD turbo shot off a corner presents unique challenges. It caused me to do a few things that were very atypical but effective. I just find that most "so called" experts really don't know enough to get the "best" out of that other than by hit and miss. Most important is to start with quality components, but that's a universal requirement.

I didn't use AST on my former Evos, didn't know about them at the time, but have only praise for it on my current BMW. A Vorshlag fan sure. :thumbup:

03-24-2010, 10:28 PM
My comments about the bent KMacs were not menat to be a jab at Robispec.... he makes/sells/tunes stuff well, but until recently had hadn't heard of Vorshlag plates. And his hands-on track tuning does tend to improve lap times greatly. Having a knowledgeable setup guy setup your car at the track - with a custom alignment, spring rate changes, and proper data logging - will drop laps times, no matter who's shocks you have. He does that a lot - flies in to an area, meets people at a track, and sets-up their cars - and he's very good at it.

Additionally, mine were opinions based on personal observation from several years ago and not meant to unnecessarily disparage others, usually try to avoid it. But helping others get into quality components to better enjoy their cars is a priority of mine.

02-12-2018, 07:22 PM
Project Thread update for February 12, 2018: Some of you might have noticed that this thread went dormant for nearly a decade. Recently I have come back in here, cleaned up some posts, and changed the format to better match my "Project Build Threads" from the last 10 years. There was still one major event that we competed in the EVO X that was not covered.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-x8Trz85/1/abaf8664/S/STU%20191-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-x8Trz85/1/abaf8664/X2/STU%20191-X2.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-Zq9xqTc/1/f20e897a/S/STUL%2091-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-Zq9xqTc/1/f20e897a/X3/STUL%2091-X3.jpg)

Amy, John and I all raced Hanchey's EVO X for the last time at the 2009 SCCA Solo Nationals, and I never drove it again after that event. I did not write another forum build thread update here or even a write-up on that particular event for a couple of reasons. Now, nine years later I have the time and clarity to be able to cover that event.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Adam-Baltutis-EVO-X/i-6bL4knx/0/c2af69ff/S/B61G0680-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Adam-Baltutis-EVO-X/i-6bL4knx/0/c2af69ff/X3/B61G0680-X3.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Adam-Baltutis-EVO-X/i-xmpT54F/0/6e480de6/S/B61G1280-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Adam-Baltutis-EVO-X/i-xmpT54F/0/6e480de6/X3/B61G1280-X3.jpg)

This thread was cross-posted to other forums over the years, including to a major EVO forum we sponsored that we have since left. I have also changed how and what we write about in these build threads - from only "shop cars" to a more generic "development thread" covering one type of chassis. This thread started as a chronicle of a shop car but is going to morph into the latter, as this car has left but we have a lot of cars coming through our shop and can cover a lot more ground now.


To explain this large gap I need to inject a bit of company history. A lot has changed at Vorshlag since we began in 2005. Initially this was "home based business" for Vorshlag and AST both (in my 1100SF home shop + half of my house used as offices). We split AST and Vorshlag into two separate businesses in 2009, which was a pretty massive change.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/Vorshlag-Shop-Build-up/n-fg2PW/i-pPw6vJt/1/fa43a523/S/i-pPw6vJt-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/Vorshlag-Shop-Build-up/n-fg2PW/i-pPw6vJt/1/fa43a523/L/i-pPw6vJt-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Brianne-Corn-2005-STi/i-nfdmb8H/0/81f82bfa/S/_DSC5290-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Brianne-Corn-2005-STi/i-nfdmb8H/0/81f82bfa/L/_DSC5290-L.jpg)
Left: Our home based shop from 2005-2011 for Vorshlag/AST. Right: Our first commercial space 2011-2014 was 4 times as big

I kept Vorshlag and grew it with new staff in some new directions in 2010. By 2011 we had moved to our first commercial space, hired even more staff, and opened a race fab shop within Vorshlag.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/1703-Capital/n-65wtJ/i-5Lz4GKj/0/a3b78a6f/S/i-5Lz4GKj-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/1703-Capital/n-65wtJ/i-5Lz4GKj/0/a3b78a6f/L/i-5Lz4GKj-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/1703-Capital/n-65wtJ/i-TnKg643/0/7496e005/S/i-TnKg643-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Vorshlag-Private/1703-Capital/n-65wtJ/i-TnKg643/0/7496e005/L/i-TnKg643-L.jpg)
Our 2nd commercial space was 2 times as bigger than the last shop, which we have occupied from 2014-2018

We are now in our 2nd commercial space, where we added CNC machines for suspension part production, and we are building our 3rd shop now. For 2018 I am re-launching this individual car "project" thread as a generic "EVO X Development Thread", where we will show parts and work we have done on EVOs at Vorshlag since this last update in 2009.

I figured I'd provide an update for the Evo. Now that the season is winding down, the Evo will be used as a test platform for new products, product revisions, and general street and track testing...
The last "update" in this thread on the EVO X was written by Hanchey after he had started his own business and moved the AST distributorship under that company. He sold his EVO X sold shortly after posting that. That was one of the reasons I never posted again in this thread for nine years. Hanchey announced his new business venture the day before Amy and I left for the Vail National Tour event, which made for a tense situation. We were obligated to compete in his EVO for some sponsors, but we got through it.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-ffDpvZp/0/20972212/S/DSC_5953-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-ffDpvZp/0/20972212/X3/DSC_5953-X3.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-HF9pkp8/2/ff0a11ff/S/DSC_6047-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-HF9pkp8/2/ff0a11ff/X3/DSC_6047-X3.jpg)

Another reason why I didn't post about the EVO again was that I did very poorly at the 2009 Solo Nationals - 26th our of 46 in STU class - nearly matching my worst ever showing at this event from 2007. We were having some serious problems with the dual sequential gearbox at that event, plus the move to 245mm tires late in the season really hurt the autocross performance of this heavy car.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-qN2hFCp/3/9987af9f/S/CRW_7650-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-qN2hFCp/3/9987af9f/L/CRW_7650-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-w324mVH/3/34279b60/S/DSC_3495-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-w324mVH/3/34279b60/L/DSC_3495-L.jpg)

I have written many times about "weight to tire width" ratios and this car informed a lot of that. This car was SO good on a 275mm street tire, but went to Hell in a hand basket as soon as we put the class required 245mm tires on. For various reasons out of our control (Yokohama sponsorship and late release of the AD08 model) it wasn't until late in the development of this car that we made the switch to 275s, and we had very little test time on this tire. If we had done more autocross events on the 245s we would not have entered the SCCA Solo Nationals with this car, as it was pretty much a bust.

Without too many more excuses, let's talk about the bloodbath that was the 2009 Solo Nats. :D


Results: http://scca.growsites.net/downloads/3998-2009-solo-nationals-final-resultsf/download
Photo gallery: https://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/

This will be short and sweet. I remember the bad parts of this event vividly, which was during a string of poor showings for me at the SCCA autocross championships. Nobody to blame for that other than myself, of course.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E36-M3-STU-prepped/i-vDKqGfK/2/ba33fdb6/S/CIMG6585-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E36-M3-STU-prepped/i-vDKqGfK/2/ba33fdb6/L/CIMG6585-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E36-M3-STU-prepped/i-9Bv9RSw/1/ac2f56ce/S/m3_amy_nats06-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E36-M3-STU-prepped/i-9Bv9RSw/1/ac2f56ce/X3/m3_amy_nats06-X3.jpg)
Left: Hanchey and I both coned away the STU win in 2005 (I took 6th). Right: I took 2nd in STU in 2006, Amy took 1st in STU-L

I had a couple of good showings in 2005 and 2006 in STU class (see above) racing in our 1997 M3, scoring 6th and 2nd place trophies those two years. Amy co-drove the car in STU-L in 2006 and took the class win by a large margin, even beating the fastest STU "open" class time on Day 1.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E36-M3-STU-prepped/i-KN5dQ8S/2/87f5e788/S/DSC_5867-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-E36-M3-STU-prepped/i-KN5dQ8S/2/87f5e788/S/DSC_5867-S.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2007-SCCA-Solo-Nationals-Sept/i-mXJPBwn/5/c167821b/S/DSC_5840-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2007-SCCA-Solo-Nationals-Sept/i-mXJPBwn/5/c167821b/L/DSC_5840-L.jpg)
Left: My 2007 STU entry for Nationals was a hot mess. Right: So was Hanchey's 2007 STi that year

Then I drove the same 1997 M3 with a lot of "improvements" in 2007, but just tanked it - 28th out of 47 cars in STU. My co-driver John Scheier was in 20th. Yet Amy won STU-L once again by a large margin. Hanchey (26th) and his co-driver Casey (15th) also had trouble that year in a 2007 STi. I blame our showing in 2007 on a lot of things: not enough testing on asphalt, bad decisions in tire choices, and a year of development "down the wrong path" on some fundamental items (a wider tire size that led to compromised alignment). We were also having too much fun prepping and racing in our shop owned E36 LS1 Alpha car (below) at that time, plus with Hanchey prepping his 2007 STi that divided our focus.


At the 2008 Nationals I raced our shop E36 LS1 "Alpha" car in X Prepared. This was a V8 BMW we used for LS swap and suspension development. We had a lot of good results on track and at local autocrosses that year but terrible results at the 2008 Solo Nats - I took 8th out of 13 in XP - when the ABS computer died during my first run of the event (shown above). I couldn't stop the car at all, and even with light pressure on the brake pedal it would lock the rear tires - it was a total disaster! We had decided to go back to STU for 2009 with this EVO X being the "big" gamble - could the additional power and sequential trans make up for the big weight penalty of the EVO X?

continued below

02-12-2018, 07:35 PM
continued from above

The short answer was NO, the weight disadvantage of the EVO X cannot be overcome for this SCCA "STU" class.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-83gQxGn/0/31625f72/L/evox-weight-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-83gQxGn/0/31625f72/X3/evox-weight-X3.jpg)

I recently spent some time looking at the Nationals' STU results from 2009-2017 and EVO X has never placed in the top 10, ever. There's just no getting around the 3600 pound weight of the X chassis compared to the 2950-3100 pound weight of the EVO VIII and EVO IX chassis. Carrying 500 extra pounds on the same skinny 245mm tires just doomed this car from the start - and frankly, I should have known better.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-jWS4zSx/0/334236cb/L/2009-solonats-stu-top10-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-jWS4zSx/0/334236cb/O/2009-solonats-stu-top10.jpg)

The 2009 STU season was dominated by EVO VIII and EVO IX models - a 2004 EVO took the top spot and a 2003 EVO took 2nd, and the image above shows that 7 of the top 10 cars were VIIIs and IXs.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-PPJgrdH/0/db045c21/S/DSC_6443-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-PPJgrdH/0/db045c21/X3/DSC_6443-X3.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-58NjWSx/2/8f227ada/S/DSC_6311-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-58NjWSx/2/8f227ada/X3/DSC_6311-X3.jpg)

We struggled all week at Lincoln to dial in the setup on the grippy concrete, a surface which we had not done much testing on all year - much less with the recently added 245 tires. Man I cannot describe how different the car was on 275s compared to this!

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-BgfXrnQ/2/9b40fd09/L/DSC_6309-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-BgfXrnQ/2/9b40fd09/X3/DSC_6309-X3.jpg)

Having "blocked out" this event for nearly 9 years I never looked closely at the images from this 2009 Solo Nats. The shot above shows the outside front tire with massive deformation (tire pressure was too low) and the inside rear tire off the ground. The AWD system also doesn't deal well with a lifted tire. The lifted rear, the skinny tires, plus the heavy front loading led to considerable understeer.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-W5VZrN3/0/dda3a782/L/2009-solonats-terry-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-W5VZrN3/0/dda3a782/O/2009-solonats-terry.jpg)

My co-driver in the EVO X in STU class that year was once again John Schier. While only a tenth apart over two days we were both 3.2 seconds back over the two courses. That's an eternity - yet running nearly the same times as each other led us to believe we had a serious car determent. Neither of us wanted to compete in this car on 245s ever again.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-rRLrPwF/0/8d0429d7/L/DSC_6356-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-rRLrPwF/0/8d0429d7/X3/DSC_6356-X3.jpg)

It didn't seem to matter in STU-Ladies as Amy had a huge 2.5 second lead going into the last runs on Day 2 for her class. She was fighting the setup but we had raised tire pressures to try to deal with the push. Of course it rained before her runs and she was driving in wet but drying conditions - which she always does well. There was a protest in STU-L the day before against a car that was visually illegal in 3 ways, but the protest was thrown out because the driver "came from so far away". I cannot make this stuff up folks.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-JbG5W36/0/11463843/S/DSC_6214-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-JbG5W36/0/11463843/L/DSC_6214-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-V79R7Wm/0/8c95761b/S/DSC_6219-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-V79R7Wm/0/8c95761b/L/DSC_6219-L.jpg)

With a massive lead going into day 2 it wasn't a worry and we expected Amy to once again salvage our poor showing in Open with a win in Ladies. The DSG trans had been acting funny for a month and it was really giving her fits on Day 2. On her last run the wet pavement was really drying, so she pushed it to ensure that none of the other competitors could drop a hero run on her.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-Vf5LN75/0/a22e5129/L/solo-nats-2009-amy-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2009-SCCA-Solo-Naitonals/i-Vf5LN75/0/a22e5129/O/solo-nats-2009-amy.jpg)

On Day 2 the auto-shifted DSG transaxle was possessed - and the damned thing auto-downshifted from 3rd to 1st in the final offset before the finish, which caused Amy to snap spin her last run away. She was super pissed off when she came in, but we thought still comfortably in the lead. Of course the car that was much more prepped, 600 pounds lighter, and visibly illegal had a hero time - dropped massive time on the final drying run, and nipped her time for both days by .069 sec, dropping Amy to 2nd. Just figures, right? We should have pushed the protest on this car through, over the weak sauce objections of the National Solo group.

Still, the EVO X was the wrong car for either class, when penalized with the 245mm tire. We had no business bringing the car to this event, so the results it generated should have come as no shock. We had to be there for various company/sponsor reasons, but it still made for a bitter end to our time with the EVO X.


Running this 2009 Solo Nationals, and the previous year of autocross, track and suspension development with this EVO X taught me a great many things. I will try to list out the major points learned or reinforced with this project:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-MJM2nhq/0/0a89b2d2/S/DSC_5590-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-MJM2nhq/0/0a89b2d2/L/DSC_5590-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-rrZSvND/0/fe971f57/S/DSC_7417-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-rrZSvND/0/fe971f57/L/DSC_7417-L.jpg)

1. Most cars are usually easier to class and compete with equally in NASA Time Trial than in SCCA Autocross
2. You can't beat physics: a 600 pound weight penalty with the rest being equal (tires, power, aero) is insurmountable
3. Prepping and racing in a new car that is A) under warranty, B) has monthly payments, and C) owned by somebody else is a bad idea three times over
4. Never trust the SCCA to follow their own rules (protest)
5. Never build around SCCA autocross classes when they are fundamentally broken (took me a few more years to learn that)
6. I am a better driver in NASA Time Trial than in SCCA Autocross (has taken a decade to figure this out)
7. Brand new technology (DSG) is often unreliable and problematic in the first year
8. Most "All Wheel Drive rally cars" are still very front weight biased, and chew up front tires quickly
9. You cannot race a car all year on a 275mm tire and then jump to a 245mm at the 11th hour without setup and performance repercussions
10. Without any controls on weight-related advantages, class winners tend to narrow down to a single chassis within each class

Now not all of this was learned immediately after this year in the EVO X, and not all of these things were the EVO X's fault. The DSG had been giving us a few clues as to its issues that popped up on Day 2, which cost Amy the win in STU-L.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-wmfzMqJ/2/5668e245/S/DSC_1356-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-wmfzMqJ/2/5668e245/X3/DSC_1356-X3.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-BXZ3m4s/2/18fb73b2/S/DSC_8353-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-BXZ3m4s/2/18fb73b2/L/DSC_8353-L.jpg)

Hanchey had done most of the track driving in this EVO X, often using the auto-shifted Super Sport mode that keeps the revs above 4000 - so it shifts a lot. Left Foot Braking tricked the trans into down shifting at times when it shouldn't have. Brian noted a "trans overtemp" condition about 8 or 9 times, even once or twice after we did the DSG fluid cooling mods above. We were worried about the SCCA Solo rules with respect to cooling mods, as well as potential warranty problems, so we just "dealt with the issue" as best we could by removing the fog light from in front of the DSG cooler. The DSG trans was so new that none of the local dealers could or would even service the fluid.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-K8wJ4jg/0/62a76bbb/L/45384373af408b4923eb84542f116c89-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-K8wJ4jg/0/62a76bbb/O/45384373af408b4923eb84542f116c89.jpg)

Starting in 2014 the STU class was thrown a major curve ball with the addition of the Nissan 350Z and Chevy Corvette C5 (non-Z06), both of which can run substantially wider tires than the previous RWD chassis that competed in this class (E36 M3). From that point on the once popular "AWD Rally car class" looked completely different, and the total entrant numbers that nearly topped 50 for many years in a row fell to 18 in 2014, 36 in 2015, 39 in 2016, and 29 in 2017. Nissan 350Z cars have won STU class for the 4 years in a row since.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-2011-Mustang-GT-build/i-wZ9b5Nw/3/c890007b/S/20130613_115943-X2-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-2011-Mustang-GT-build/i-wZ9b5Nw/3/c890007b/O/20130613_115943-X2.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-tghRXgx/0/e1a15e06/S/zMax%2025Oct14%20STU%20C5-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-tghRXgx/0/e1a15e06/O/zMax%2025Oct14%20STU%20C5.jpg)
During 2014 the S197 Mustang, C5 Corvette and 350Z were all lumped into STU. The S197 later moved to STP

How did this change in chassis dominance happen so quickly and completely? Well the suspension on a 350Z and C5 Corvette are both better than what comes on the E36 M3, Subaru STIs and Mitsubishi EVOs (McPherson struts). These two cars can also fit the 2WD STU class limit of 285mm tires, which is a damn sight larger than 245s. These two RWD chassis have Naturally Aspirated engines (3.5L V6 in the 350Z, 5.7L V8 for C5) that can also make pretty decent power within STU limits, unlike the S50/S52 engines in the E36 M3. And in STU trim the 350Z can dip into the 2900 pound range. So you have the lightest car, on the biggest tires (+40mm wider), with the same (300+ whp) or more power than anything else in class... confused as to why this 350Z is now the STU class overdog?

https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-34XgwL2/1/fcebafec/L/Vorshlag2-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Projects/Vorshlag-EVO-X-MR-STUTTB/i-34XgwL2/1/fcebafec/X3/Vorshlag2-X3.jpg)

The EVO X never had a chance in STU, even before the dominant chassis changed from AWD rally cars to 350Z / Corvette chassis in 2014. It was always too heavy (I usually worked Impound and weighed STU class EVO VIII RS cars on the scales at 2950 lbs) and the rules did not allow us to get any substantial weight out. In their infinite wisdom SCCA precludes any tire-to-weight based rules in Street Touring and most other classes - the hard 245mm limit for all AWD cars handicaps the EVO-X massively.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2016-SCCA-Texas-ProSolo/i-zhWdrmQ/1/f23d3402/S/DSC_1605-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/2016-SCCA-Texas-ProSolo/i-zhWdrmQ/1/f23d3402/L/DSC_1605-L.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/TechArticles/Car-Weighing/i-RmwzQgf/0/d082111e/S/e30-m3-stx-weight-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/TechArticles/Car-Weighing/i-RmwzQgf/0/d082111e/L/e30-m3-stx-weight-L.jpg)
Something as simple as even a casual look at what cars weigh could alter SCCA classes enormously

NASA does a much better job of creating rules around these weight related factors. Their rules are more based in measurable things like power/weight (ie: physics) than hearsay and old wive's tales. These are the most important aspects of rules within NASA:

1. Power-to-weight ratios are part of Every. Single. Class.
2. Tire-to-weight ratios and imbalances are addressed
3. Upgraded Aero is also factored into the P-to-W and T-to-W limits

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-Hallett-062213/i-RLbhq7S/1/bb3b6354/S/DSC_8420-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-Hallett-062213/i-RLbhq7S/1/bb3b6354/X3/DSC_8420-X3.jpg) https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-ECR-Nov-110213/i-qG2pxzk/0/7d3e70b8/S/DSC_0293-S.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-ECR-Nov-110213/i-qG2pxzk/0/7d3e70b8/X3/DSC_0293-X3.jpg)

I've had a number of great battles over the past decade in NASA Time Trial racing, and have even run against some EVO IX and EVO X cars in our shop Mustang and other cars. With the power-to-weight, tire-to-weight, and aero balancing that this series bases their rules around we have seen that it almost doesn't matter what chassis you start with - you can make a winner out of virtually any car, with the right amount of prep.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-at-Hallett-062114/i-KQVqScH/1/579d1bd5/L/IMG_1937-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-at-Hallett-062114/i-KQVqScH/1/579d1bd5/X4/IMG_1937-X4.jpg)
Racing rules that preclude a clear "chassis advantage" leads to much more car diversity within classes

There also seems to be much less of an advantage with AWD vs 2WD chassis when speeds get above about 45 mph in the dry and additional tire width from stock isn't prohibitive. This has shown to be the case up and down the grid within NASA, at all power and weight levels. Even in SCCA autocrossing, when the 2WD cars get a tire width advantage (245mm on AWD turbo vs 285mm on 350Z) the "AWD Advantage" also seems to go away. Exception is ProSolo, which always has a straight, drag race style start.


I am not going to explore all 10 points of things I have learned from the EVO X, other than to say "racing is complicated". We welcome you to read our other posts on this forum to see all of these detailed extensively.


Thanks for catching up with us! That will be the last post I write about a particular car that we stopped developing and driving in 2009. We have another EVO X in the shop right now getting a roll cage and many other upgrades, which I will detail in future posts.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Adam-Baltutis-EVO-X/i-gsp9jBR/0/85e13a8f/L/B61G0852-L.jpg (https://photos.smugmug.com/Customer-Cars/Adam-Baltutis-EVO-X/i-gsp9jBR/0/85e13a8f/X3/B61G0852-X3.jpg)

We have since found ways to get weight out of the EVO X chassis, as this one lost 447 pounds in about two days, before we started adding the roll cage. An EVO X race car will likely never be as light as an EVO VIII or IX, but the small differences once prepped don't really matter when you are running in a power-to-weight restricted class. We will go over this and more next time.