Project EVO IX Part 5: ARK Designs and Mitsubishi Products


ARK came to our rescue with their MFD1 or Multi Function Display.  The MFD1 can monitor 10 different engine vital signs; boost/vacuum, water temperature, RPM, vehicle speed, throttle position, injector duty cycle and O2 A/F signal through OEM sensor input signals to the vehicles ECU. The MFD1 has additional analog inputs using their very accurate stand alone sensors for critical functions such as water temperature, oil temperature, and oil pressure.  Importantly, the MFD1 has a peak hold feature and user limit settable warning alarms for monitored parameters. The warning function provides an audible and/or visual notification when a user defined level is reached. The MFD1 features an easy to read 2.4’’ widescreen color TFT display which replaces a huge number of gauges. The MFD1 offers six different display options where one, two, four or even eight vehicle vitals can be viewed at a single time with a choice of a traditional analog meter view or a digital bar graph display. 

ARK Design MFD1
The ARK MFD takes the place of a bunch of conventional gauges.  It can be configured to monitor up to 4 parameters at once with warning limits.  We have it configured to read just oil pressure and temperature, two gauges the EVO lacks that are critical to monitor for a track driven car.  You can configure the display to show a bunch of different digital and analog ways.

The MFD1 wires into the vehicle’s engine harness to read the ECU’s sensor inputs directly, which is a little bit of an involved installation.   ARK tells us that tapping directly into the sensor wiring gives more accurate and faster readings with less latency, especially on many late model cars where CAN data traffic is very high.  For an easier plug and play installation there is the MFDII which plugs into the vehicles OBDII CAN port.  Look for a review of the MFDII soon as we are evaluating one of these on Project S2K as this is being written.

Although tapping into the engine harness seems pretty scary, the MFD1 is still very easy to wire; we used ARK’s plug and play E-Harness which is available for most popular Japanese made performance cars to speed installation and to ensure the quality of our wiring job.  The E-Harness is a jumper that fits in-between the ECU and the factory wire harness with output plugs that snap right to the MFD’s own wire harness.  The E-Harness also has additional inputs for some of ARK’s other products.  For oil pressure and temperature, we installed the sensors into the cars factory oil distribution block leading to the oil cooler, by removing some block off plugs that were handily there (thanks Mitsubishi).  Howard Watanabe of Technosquare then helped us out by machining an adaptor so the sensors could screw right into the block.  Howard also welded a bung into the engine’s water outlet for the temperature sensor.  The sensors plugged into the E-harness, no cutting or splicing required.

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