The results of our tuning were pretty epic. Our car now made 479 wheel hp and 418 lb/ft of torque! Jason tuned the car to hold the torque down to below 420 lb ft to limit stress on our stock bottom end. This level of power and torque was obtained with 25 psi of peak boost that was purposely reduced at lower RPM to reduce torque to save the bottom end. The turbo ran out of capacity and the boost fell to 21 psi at higher rpm although our top end power didn’t really fall off, thanks to our Cosworth M2 cams and MIVEC. Note that we are making over 100 hp more than our previous iteration of the engine with less boost. We were previously running 27.8 psi peak falling to 22.7 psi with the stock turbo.
Our cars driveability with the MIVEC system functional is amazing, the engine now has gobs of bottom end torque, to the point where it no longer feels like a 4 cylinder but a large displacement engine. The tuning when combined with the HKS ball bearing turbo and Full Race Manifold produces boost instantly, almost in sync with your throttle foot. The power comes on strong as well with the engine pulling hard from 3000 rpm all the way to 8000 rpm! That is one super wide powerband. This is nowhere close to the most powerful Evo IX but we bet that its is one of the most driveable ones. This low end and mid range helps the car rocket out of the turns.
At this point our HKS GT turbo is close to its flow limit. So if we choose to build the bottom end we won’t be able to get much more in the way of peak power unless we do a larger turbo, cam change and/or some head work but we can get more bottom end. We are thinking of a 2.2 liter bottom end and a Cosworth M3 intake cam with a CNC ported big valve head now! Can you imagine having this car with around 500 whp and 480 lb/ft of torque with its fast response and super wide powerband?
Jason’s extensive experience tuning cars for Formula Drift competition also helps with tuning things like the rev limiter, launch control and no lift to shift. In drifting, violent rev limiters break parts from the driveline to the valvetrain. Jason’s method of limiting revs is a mixture of spark retard and rotating fuel cut which lets the engine sit very smoothly and gently on the rev limiter. We have never before experienced such a smooth rev limit. The car smoothly stops revving with a burbling sound coming out of the exhaust. No jerking or violent banging off the limiter. This is a lot easier on the engine than traditional, and even from OEM rev limiters that cut spark or fuel.
The same thing applies with Jason’s approach to no lift to shift and launch control. The strategy is to build or maintain boost smoothly with minimal stress to the valvetrain and drivetrain. For no lift to shift Jason retards the ignition timing to unload the drivetrain instead of relying on the drivers foot to do so. It is activated via the clutch switch. The amount of retard and the attack and decay timing of it are Jason’s tweeks but we can say that you can safely shift the balky Evo transmission with your throttle foot to the floor and it’s all very smooth. It works so well that the car seems to rocket away after shifting due to the fast shifts and the maintaining of boost pressure during the shift.
The no lift to shift feature is so smooth and effective that we think that the standard Evo trick of disabling the clutch line pressure accumulator for faster shifts and less grinding is no longer needed and you can take advantage of the accumulators transmission saving cushioning effect on the shifts. It is pretty noisy though with backfires and comes with nice flames out the tailpipe. To prevent it from being annoying Jason programed it to only come on above half throttle.
Some of the same control strategy was used for the launch control. The revs are smoothly held at 5700 rpm via a combination of spark retard and rotating fuel cut. This allows boost to be generated off the line before launch. At first our turbo as generating 25 psi off boost but this was cut down to 12-13 psi to reduce stress on the driveline! Launch control only works at zero road speed. This feature really helps the car leap off the line and accelerate until full boost becomes available.
We did not employ anti lag yet because we didn’t want to be too hard on the turbo or the exhaust valves and our HKS turbo spools so fast that it doesnt seem to be really needed. We may employ something like Turbosmart’s cold anti lag system in the future as an experiment.
Jason did some other cool integration of the cars systems into the Link, the flex fuel sensor allows the ECU to adjust the fuel and spark maps to match the fuels ethanol content on the fly. When the ethanol content falls, the Link will automatically turn on the cars AEM water meth injection and meter that through its pump modulation. If the fuel pressure or water pressure drops the Link ECU will reduce boost to safer levels.
With great system integration and superior driveability to the tuned stock ECU, with the easy plug and play installation and wiring and easy initial setup, the Link ECU is a great choice for the the Evo IX. With Link’s great price the choice becomes a no brainer!
Now we are going to have figure out how to make 500-whp with a wide super torquey powerband for the ultimate in driveability!