Project Evo: Can Cars Be Cursed?
The bad

By warrant of being here, I’m figuring that you’ll know that cars can be a source of great pleasure. They can bring you joy, help you to meet new friends and offer up new experiences. They can serve to inspire, tantalise your senses and offer thrills and spills. They can also be a royal pain in the arse.

In case the title hadn’t given it away, my experience with my own car recently hasn’t exactly been all positive. I’m now finally at the end of the whole saga, so feel able to talk about it now without wanting to smash/burn something, but it’s not been pretty. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me start at the beginning…

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At the time of the last update, everything was running great. I’d come back from my most successful Nürburgring trip yet and then gone on to do some driver training. So far, so good. But after a quick oil change, and an attempt to track down an annoying squeak, a small web-like crack was spotted where the rear sub-frame bolts to the chassis. With this being a notorious spot for rust to start, it went straight off to the lovely guys at Dynotech to get it put straight.

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A few days later, I had the call you really don’t want to get. “Um, your car…” Now there’s never been a good outcome to any phone call that begins with that sentence, so already I knew it was bad news. “Yeah, the rust is worse than first thought.” As that area is double-skinned, peeling back the upper layer had revealed a patch on both sides about three inches long. Ok, not great news but better to catch it now rather than later, right?

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A few hours later, the phone rang again. This was not a good sign. “We’ve found some more rust.” As well as the two bits where the sub-frame bolts up, rubbing down the underseal had revealed holes in my rear chassis legs and a spot in the sill under the driver’s door. This was way worse than I expected. But there was nothing to do except (wo)man up and get it all sorted.

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Having popped down to inspect the issues, the fact that the entire rear sub-frame was coming off made me wonder if I could at least supplement the work with some nice additions. A quick call to SuperPro and a full poly bush kit was ready for the car, including caster adjustment front bushes.

SuperPro bush and sway bar installation feature at AmD Tuning, West Thurrock

These neat little bushes enable the fulcrum point to be offset to enable extra caster to be dialled in. The Evo’s steering is quick and precise but I like something with a bit of weight, and being able to adjust the caster past its normal setting not only increases this, but also improves straight-line stability and helps to increase camber gain on turn-in – a definite plus on track.

My rear anti-roll bar wasn’t looking too healthy either and it’s an upgrade I’ve been considering for some time. SuperPro doesn’t have one for my model Evo, so an uprated Whiteline equivalent was ordered. With a diameter of 24mm – a 3mm increase over the standard bar – I hoped to dial out a little of the Evo’s characteristic AWD understeer.

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There was another bit I wanted tackled too – the fuel filler neck. This is another notorious place for rust, and I’d noticed a few drops leaking when I’d fill up, so a quick hunt around saw a brand new replacement being fitted. Even with the mild leak, I don’t think anybody was prepared for the state of the thing when we took it off. It looked like it had been recovered from the Titanic! It was soon joined in the bin by a host of other nuts and bolts that just didn’t want to come off as intended.

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A few weeks later, all of the work had been completed and I went to pick the car up. With all the rust patches cut out, new metal welded back in, new bushes and rear anti-roll bar fitted, and a fresh coat of underseal, plus freshly painted suspension arms, the end result was that much of the underside now looked better than it probably had done for the last 14 years! First things first, I needed to get the geometry set-up done again though, so I popped into AmD and got a base set-up dialled back in.

The worse
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So, with my wallet feeling substantially lighter, I should have been happy, right? Well, no. Although the car instantly felt better to drive, thanks to the poly bushes (more on that shortly), there was one thing making me want to cry: my rear diff was being incredibly noisy again. I’ve pretty much had just about the worst luck with diffs ever. The car came with the RS rear diff fitted (a mechanical LSD instead of the viscous AYC that so many people have issues with). They’re supposed to be way more reliable, but I’d already had mine rebuilt twice thanks to it being really loud on over-run. A short while before starting at Speedhunters, I thought I’d solved the issue when we realised my diff was using the wrong hangers and mounts, thus letting the prop fall slightly out of alignment. It’d been near silent ever since.

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And now the noise was back. I was shocked. There wasn’t anything else to try. Obviously mounting it on poly bushes would make it noisier anyway, but it was back to sounding almost broken again on over-run. After much ranting and swearing, I finally bit the bullet, took the rear diff assembly off AGAIN and sent it to my car club’s resident transmission expert, Clive W. He’s worked on rally cars and even the Ross Sport Evo, so if anyone could help me, it was Clive.

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Clive confirmed that pretty much all of the tolerances were out, which was allowing the crown wheel to twist under load and mesh with the pinion wrongly, causing the noise. So much for my last rebuild! It was rebuilt to Clive’s discerning tolerances and the diff plates configured to UK lock-up settings instead of the US ones it had been using, meaning it should give better traction until passing grip limit when it might prove a little more prone to oversteer.

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So back it came and was fitted back onto the car. By now, it had been weeks since the car had been right and I was desperate to go for a good drive. A quick call to my buddy with his R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec II found me a driving partner to go out with, and we set out for the seaside. That’s not quite the glamorous proposition that it is in somewhere like LA. Still, with all the tweaks to the handling to test out, I was anxious to get some seat time. And it was perfect weather for turbos, if not a stroll along the beach!

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So, the SuperPro bushes. To be honest, I can’t say I was expecting much difference from them. Perhaps a touch more directness and maybe some additional stiffness to the ride. But I was wrong. The handling just felt that much sharper and more precise – far more like a new car, than the 14 year-old she really is. I’d only had minimal caster dialled in so far, but the steering was also happily a touch heavier. And the additional stiffness? Nowhere to be found. Admittedly, my car’s pretty stiffly set up for the road anyway, but there was no extra harshness and no extra noise. If I hadn’t known they’d been fitted, I would just have wondered why the car felt better.

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But that wasn’t all. I’ve had a mild steering wheel judder for a long time that would tend to surface when braking lightly from motorway speeds. I’d changed discs, re-surfaced the pads, been on a hard braking mission to try and clean up any pad deposits, experimented with different tyres and eventually, not having much luck with anything, learnt to just ignore it. Now it was gone. 100%, completely disappeared.

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Some very minor steering wheel wobble that I’ve had around 70mph for years was also gone (that I attributed to my road tyres being hard to balance). By fitting the bushes, I’d not only improved the general feel but solved two minor annoyances I thought I just had to live with. Checks hadn’t revealed any cracks or splits in any of the original bushes, so it was just general play. So, some good news – finally.

The downright ridiculous
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But that wouldn’t last. Whilst driving around a few different locations, I occasionally thought I felt a knock from the front end under low speed, tight turns. Knowing that I tend to imagine the worst, I put the feeling out of my mind. When we returned from the drive out, I took a trip to my local empty car park, set the car on full lock and cautiously pulled off. The front end started knocking. My heart sunk. I knew that sound all too well – front diff bolts. You may remember that I only had these replaced about six months ago.

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By now, I was thoroughly pissed off. I’d understand the constant issues if I was running huge horsepower, but it’s just a lightly tuned stage one car. I’d also understand if I’d been throwing it around a ton, but I didn’t manage any track days last year, nor sprints, and just one Nürburgring trip. The design of the Evo’s front LSD means that the torque tends to loosen the bolts, so it’s a common issue suffered by a lot of owners, but I’d heard that CliveW might have a solution, so there was only one thing for it.

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Frustrated, I once again got in contact. He confirmed that he did have a more permanent solution. But my run of bad luck wasn’t over yet. I casually mentioned another issue I’d been experiencing – a resonant frequency vibration that only occurred between about 2,700rpm and 3,200rpm in fifth gear. There was no associated noise with it, just a shaking of the car. I’d assumed it might have been tyre wear or I might need new gearbox mounts, but Clive had a very different diagnosis: gearbox input shaft spline wear…

It’s another common issue with the Evos (although one I was experiencing for the first time). The preload on the input shaft was set incorrectly from the factory – this puts pressure on the bearings which can eventually fail, but only some gearboxes are affected. Of course, that would happen to be mine. So now I was looking at another front diff rebuild and a gearbox rebuild. Deep breaths.

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My hopes of stroking the engine and finally getting some more power out of her were in tatters. When I posted the news on Facebook, I was flooded with comments telling me to get rid of it, to sell it and cut my losses and that my car was cursed. I love my car dearly, but I’ll admit, for the first time in five years of ownership, I put serious thought into selling up. But frustrated as I was, the fact that I’d just poured a pretty large amount of money into sorting the underneath and the rear diff meant that would have all been wasted if I did. Plus I knew I’d only buy another almost identical car and would likely be confronted with all the same problems that I’ve already solved.

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There was only one thing for it – to put up and shut up. December was so busy that I didn’t get to speak to Clive again until early January. He then confirmed he could do both jobs, but was fully booked until mid February. That would mean three months of the car not being right. But there were no other options.

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The car became an expensive driveway ornament. For 12 long weeks, I glared at it from behind my window. I forgot what it was like to drive and enjoy it, I refused to wash it or look after it in any way and resentment began to build. Friends were in the process of installing upgrades to their cars and all I was doing was throwing money at mine to keep it going.

We’re not done yet
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Our relationship started to be rekindled in the week of Valentine’s Day, when I celebrated by returning the car to the garage, getting the gearbox and transfer box out and shipping them to Clive. I was taking no chances this time – the transfer box was the ONLY part of my drivetrain that hadn’t caused me issues, so I was sending that to be checked too. If that went as well, I would truly burn the whole thing.

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Even this part didn’t go smoothly. The original couriers didn’t turn up on time and the second courier company wanted a £350 surcharge to pick up something that was on a palette. The package was eventually picked up, then didn’t get delivered on the day it needed to – the only time Clive had an opening. Eventually, it arrived and the rebuild process started. The front diff was fixed in a more permanent fashion and the input shaft proved to be more worn on the spline that fifth sits on, than any Clive had ever seen. I was Jack’s complete lack of surprise. So, a new input shaft was needed, fifth gear was replaced and a higher load output shaft bearing was fitted. Well, at least I acquired a new desk ornament.

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But the car still wasn’t done with its torture (you seriously can’t make this stuff up). Whilst taking the gearbox out, it was noticed that the standard clutch was very worn. I might have known. Quite honestly, if the whole car had spontaneously combusted at this point, I really wouldn’t have been surprised. Money was tight though, and I didn’t think I could afford the replacement I wanted, but a nice surprise meant an Exedy twin-plate was soon fitted. Time to learn how to really launch this car!

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My exhaust manifold gasket had been blowing, so that also got replaced. To everyone’s surprise, when the worn old one was removed, it was found to be a 2.5″ version. On a 3″ downpipe. I’ve no idea which idiot thought this would be a good idea, but the welcome news was that at least I’d get a free power hike, albeit a very minor one. Still, I’d take anything I could get at this stage! Whilst we were there, I also binned the remains of the air-con system – it had not worked for a while and removing it not only saved me about 20kg in weight, but also put less strain on the engine with the pulley removed.

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At last, everything was finished. The car’s finally back and I can happily confirm, working perfectly. No judder, no knocks, no squeaks, no diff noise. It’s been great to be able to drive her again, and with the weather finally starting to improve and a sprint event booked at Castle Combe at the end of the month, I’m cautiously optimistic that this will mark the turning point between the bad bits of W27 EVO ownership and the good bits. For now…

So what do you think? Can cars really be cursed? Is it just a bad patch that you need to push through or is it destined to repeat itself, over and over again? Has anyone else out there had bad luck to rival mine?

Suzy Wallace
Instagram: speedhunters_suzy



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they say never buy a car made on monday, or friday.


Woah ! That's surprisingly big rust for a car that made in the 90s ! Although that said , the car is at least 15 years old , and the previous owner could have bring it to the seaside or something .


That's what I call COMMITMENT! Hang in there Suzy, it can only get better now.


My god.. I heard Evos were high maintenance but I haven't heard of half those parts that needed to be replaced! 
Makes me look terrible complaining about a few rusty bolts haha

Bigger picture is that you'd have to spend on the maintenance of these things sooner or later if you plan to keep it along time.. flip side is that its one less thing to worry about in the future (Especially when having an expert do the work!)

Congrats, pushing through was the right decision!


Unfortunately on a vehicle with known trouble spots, these things will happen as they get older.. Good job though sounds like it is getting quality care so should last for a lot longer this time.
I know the feeling of selling up. I've had those thoughts many times with my GT-Four, but it's hard to think of letting go to something you have invested so much in to already. There will always be something better out there to upgrade to, but I get a lot of enjoyment and gain knowledge with every modification I do to transform it in to a reliable track car, it provides a sense of accomplishment.
Keep at it, it'll all be worth it!


As far as cars being cursed... The Devil Z. Enough said.


I feel your pain; I've thrown rods in two (supposedly indestructible) slant 6's in my 73 duster, in January, after doing parking lot donuts. First in my 6th month of ownership or so, and most recently this past January, almost 5 years apart to the day. That feeling of selling your toys comes and goes, but it takes real dedication to turn down an offer when it comes time to step up and take the cash or keep the curse


Let's see.
Blown engine, (1150)
fuel pump (1600 to track down the issue and remedy it)
misc fuses,
two tire replacements (295/30/19 ) 700
Hicas delete fail (over 1k total)
Both front calipers froze
New clutch (500)
New oil pan 200
Wheel bearing (150)
Starter is going out now..
Not to mention all the tools I've bought to tackle various issues (thousands right there)
Same boat dude. Cursed loves.


You broke 2 Slant 6's? You're a special kind of cursed.
I've drempt of making a sleeper Twin Turbo Slant 6 63 Valiant because those engines reay can take the stress.
I'm really put sad you had such cruddy luck.


yes cars can be cursed. heck, my car is a magnet for dents. next thing you know stuff starts to break n needs to be replaced. i like how u have the r34 accompanying your evo. as mentioned in the previous post, i have yet to see an r34 in the US. some people have all the luck, i probably find a 4 leaf clover before i spot an R34. as much as your car is cursed, i think that it comes with the territory, you drive a car that most of us stateside could only dream of, plus you actually race you car. i'd be happy to drive something as cursed as an evo v/vi =)


Gotta Love Mitsubishi Rust :(


Great read Suzy, such are the joys of owning an ageing car.  I like your approach though. Fix it....fix ALL of it.  350pounds for a pallet pickup is crazy talk, jeepers.


I've had to replace everything on the car at least once. Some many more times. Its broken down at least twice every summer in the seven years I've owned it. Things broke on it I never thought was possible. I continue to fix her up out of spite now. Shes worth to much to me for me to sell.


man you take the cake on this i thought i had it bad


100 bonus point for the Fight Club reference.


its just cars, they are evil and hateful and wonderful all at the same time, they break, we fix them, they dont appreciate it and break again, we fix them some more and so the circle of life continues


I'd say yeah cars can be cursed, a friend of mine bought an e36, he blew the clutch after a few miles, then a few weeks later the gearbox input shaft, the lsd (I upgraded the thing to 4 discs while everything was out), he found cracks on the rear subframe mouting points (M3 reinforcements had te be welded), conrod bearings at the track (oil pump nut loose, engine changed) and cherry on the cake, he put 2nd gear instead of 4th last weekend, and bent the valves on the engine he changed last time. Yeah he's beating on it hard, but his previous E30 kept going like new.

Now that your Evo is done, enjoy driving it as much as you can, to me it's even better when it's back on the road after a hell lot of problems. 

Breaking, fixing, driving, fixing more, breaking more etc is part of our passion and maybe it wouldn't reward us if it was  easy. Then there's the wallet but when you love ...


fuck dat evo dat r34 doe


Isn't Clive amazing?  I had a very strange problem in which the car would go into limp mode in 5th gear.  Mitsubishi couldn't help nor any of the big tuners in Kansai.  Clive came to the rescue , via email, with the solution to the problem which unfortunately meant a new transmission.  Expensive fix, but better than doing your head in with a mystery problem.


The story of you and your Evo is, hands down, my favourite of all the project car threads. You're so goddamn nails Suzy,.. committed to the END!


I love the commitment, but god DAYUM I would've been living on 2 minute noodles for years if I'd had to pay for all that!
Also love the pics of the two cars together, I honestly can't pick between the two, I want them both =P


a navy green would be nice =)


Push. Always push. Exorcise the curse.


RDS  It's certainly not uncommon. The issue is that any imports weren't undersealed to start off with in Japan, and we're certainly not short of a bit of rain over here in the UK (plus we grit the roads in Winter). One of the toughest things about finding a decent V or VI now is finding one that's not got major rust issues!


KeithCharvonia  I hope so!


PaulDYuen  In all fairness, I've got many friends with Evos who don't have half the issues I do. I guess it's just luck of the draw (and I obviously suck at that!). But yeah, as you say, I want to keep it long-term so not much to do apart from get it all sorted and hope the list of stuff to go wrong just keeps getting smaller...


i had (keyword HAD) a c34 stagea... Satan himself must have been posesing that car 'cause i swear it hated me. on the day i brought it home from the importers here in Melbourne the gearbox decided to give up the ghost when i had just left the car yard, then about a week later when i got t back the brakes decided they would lock up completely for no apparent reason. the last straw was when the hand brake didn't engage at all (due to a dodgy service) and my expensive r34 front was rather broken. i sold the car for parts, and bought myself a gen 1 subaru legacy and have never looked back since


Punknoodle  The one thing it does still have going for it is that there's nothing out there I'd rather have (unless I won the lottery). Just need to keep plugging away at the issues and keep on smiling. At least I'm getting some track action out of it later this month! :)


d_rav  Bizarrely, I never have issues with it on track... only ever when driving it on the road like a normal car. Maybe it's trying to tell me something... ;)


AceAndrew2  FIX MOAR ISSUES! :)


johnygezony  'Love' said through gritted teeth. What's annoying was that I thought she was relatively rust-free but we reckon someone previously undersealed over the top of the rust to hide it. Doh!


dangina  Ah, breaking down in summer is even worse! At least mine was a pain over winter. I like the idea of fixing it out of spite though - 'Screw you car, I'll fix that and see how you like it.' Heheh


Philmanktelow  Yep! The Lion King had it all wrong...


Polar Pierre  Wow, that's scary how many issues we shared! Yeah, the weekend I got it back, I drove it 200 miles just aimlessly enjoying it working as it should. Track time booked for the end of the month - gotta get in there before something else goes again. :)


Holy cow - i hope i never have this problem with mine, *touch wood* nothing has broken on mine and i've been actively on the track for the past 4 months 

Sometimes you just have to soldier on and enjoy the fruits of your labour


roryfjohnston  Yep, he definitely knows his stuff!


RBJKT  And there was me just thinking I was unlucky. HARDCORE!


InnerToxicity  You've gotta love the noodles! ;)


majik16106  Begone car demons! Anyone got any holy water I can put in the rad?


MR_E_Stranger  Ah, I love a Stagea! And with an R34 front end too - nice. Too bad you didn't have much luck with it...


ssbeane  I felt like destroying something beautiful...


SuzyWallace d_ravIt's just telling you that it's not domesticated. :)


My trainer would kill me if I started eating them again, and my gf would kill me if I started spending copious amounts of money on "that car" =p so I'll continue to live vicariously through you and the others on this wonderful website =)


I doubt there is a car enthusiast out there who hasn't lost the love at some point. Having said that, your Evo has seriously tested you!


SuzyWallace majik16106  Actually I have :D coming straight from Lourdes here in France, only issue is the quantity (0.25L)  so it's not gonna help a lot except to top up the radiator ..


InnerToxicity  There are definitely benefits to being single, especially when it comes to owning cars. :)


Interesting story, my story is much much worse. I have an 2007 EVO 9 which was lightly modified originally. Its currently sitting in my garage with only 50000km's on the clock. Its been mostly sitting in the garage for 18 months to the point where I am now buying another car. So here goes the saga :
Stock evo - took it in for an exhaust and tune. picked up the car, no 6th gear.. wtf? bought a second hand gearbox which fixed the issue.
Many months later - Track day - complete engine failure. Spun a bearing, the bearing shattered and took out the pistons, rods, crank, cam shaft and head. Full 2.3 L stoker build. all the fruit. new clutch although clutch had 50% left on it. 20K in parts and labour.
Get the car back, wont shift at high revs. After much arguing issue was clutch related workshop advised I it was gearbox related.
Payed for a gearbox rebuild which I didn't need. still doesn't shift at high rpm..
After 3 months of wasting time with the workshop in question, bought a Competition Clutch twin plate myself, took the car to another workshop and said "fit this, no diagnosis required"
Clutch issue resolved, I can now shift to 8KRPM. Car is a pig to drive though, the CC clutch was rubbish. Clutch would only operate above 4.5K RPM making street driving near impossible.
As a result of many 5K + RPM take offs, whining noise starts. Now this is where the story gets nasty.
Took the car to a well known EVO workshop for diagnosis, having had similar issues with a WRX I knew this was transfer case related. Workshop confirmed, transfer case faulty.
Thinking I should try and save money bought a second hand TC. fitted to car, still whines.
Workshop advised second hand transfer case was rooted. happy days..
Having first gone for the cheap option, I decided to go all out and search for the strongest TC case available. Decided on the Shepherds Stage 3 TC, good decision ? wrong.. sent one over from the US to Australia using a brand new Mitsubishi TC. This thing cost 7K landed! Fitted to car and straight off the hoist has really bad grinding noises and much louder whining. Now onto the 3rd TC workshop starts to doubt diagnosis and suggested the gearbox could be an issue.
Knowing the 6 speed was a weak point in my build I bought a brand new RS 5 speed and fitted to car. still grinding and whining. car is not driveable.
Workshop removed a TC from their own Evo 9 and fitted to my car. Problem gone, confirmed issue is the TC. Contacted Shepherds in the states, advised no warranty. ship it back (at my cost) and we will rebuild it at a cost of $1500 US. (costs 400 freight each way so this option is simply stupid) 
Workshop feeling quite guilty with all my issues offered their spare second hand TC to me at a cost. Given that it was already in my car and seem to be working fine I took this option.
2 months later clutch starts to get really bad, not engaging at all - clutch has less than 5K on it. Worse still I'm hearing a grinding noise only on deceleration which am fairly sure is the second hand TC case.
All up spent around 35K in parts and labour. Car is sitting in the garage awaiting more funds. This time a Exedy twin plate and the big question do I rebuild one of the 3 TC's I have or buy a factory new one ?
Many people have said "sell the car". I know that in its current state I would get little for it plus I just cant throw away the 35K+ spent.
The worse part is I am fairly sure this all started from a simple clutch install gone when the engine was rebuilt. The flywheel was machined and I suspect this was the cause of the RPM lockout.


SuzyWallace Show your Evo who's the boss ! Driving on the road is a good thing, it shows that everything works properly before some track action, I'm sure you will trust your car back soon and all that nightmare is behind you



I really relate to that as I have an annoying vibration of the entire car when I lift off the throttle from higher revs.

This is on a 300zx TT so where I live there is barely anyone with experience on the car so this has been quite a trial and fail experience. Sometimes it feels like a pointless money burning experience with parts being thrown at it and no difference whatsoever made to how it drives.

I love the car to bits and intend to keep it until I'm fed up but sometimes I'm feeling closer to the edge!

Good to know that you have the right contacts and was able to sort it out! It must be quite a relief. 
I'm eager to get to that day but from where I'm standing now, it feels like a very long walk!

Thanks for sharing your story! :)


Sell it now, whilst it still works! :D


Sorry to hear about your trouble Suzy. Every petrol head has to overcome them though from time to time, and like you said, unless you're going to jump in to a brand new car, anything of similar age will only have the same issues you've already fixed on your own car - The grass isn't always greener.

On the + side though, there are very few cars that can make a black on black R34 GTR look tame, and your Evo manages that in every picture, from every angle. I really do love the VI, easily the best Evo.


You are SO right, and she SO doesn't read this so I can SO say that


tbtstt  That she has! Still, one quick blast and all the bad memories fade surprisingly quickly...


Really enjoyed reading that Suzy.  I had an unfortunate experience with my DC2, it started with a drop in power and then no Vtec, then a horrible rattle, I ended up having the whole engine replaced, then the gearbox virtually exploded straight after that, then the heater matrix cracked spewing steam into the cabin and a whole host of other minor issues. 
All of these things literally happened one after the other and I know that's nowhere near as many problems as you had and I also felt my car was cursed but I just could not bring myself to break it.  So I pushed on through and eventually it was all sorted, 5 years later the thing was still faultless.  I loved that car and when I replaced it with a DC5 I kept it for another year as I just couldn't bring myself to part with such a good car.  Eventually it just had to go as it was costing money to keep it on the road with no garage to store it in.
With the time and money you have put into that car and the joy it must bring you I say push on!


I don't think cars are cursed. It all has to do with the quality of work done. One poor modification or installation will invariably lead to damages elsewhere. Suzy - as you experienced, Clive seems to know his stuff, and it might have taken some time to get to him. Plus, in the end, it is a 14yr old car! Things are bound to wear out!  Keep your head up and keep going!


VitorPinto  Yeah, I'm very lucky that Clive was able to look at the drivetrain and diagnose the faults, but I've had issues with the rear diff for years. Finding someone who really knows what they're talking about makes a huge difference! Good luck with getting it fixed. :)


Bryn Alban  Shut up you. :D


Robo_No1  Yeah, the Evo IS still my dream car so if I sold this one, I'd literally go and buy another VI. A black one. So there's really no point in getting rid of it. Thanks for the compliment on the car! Now if she just stops breaking for a bit, I can get that front end tidied up and make her look a bit neater.


maxvr6  If I can get five months out of it without breakages, I'd be happy! Five years is some good going - I can but dream...


louisFCO  Yeah, I've never believed in 'bodging' anything - cheap/poor quality work often just means having to get it done more than once. Hopefully now I can stop throwing money at fixing things and start getting some enjoyment out of it instead. Fingers crossed!


Reading through the comments, I did not see Toyota`s..:)
Have had my 1993 Supra MK4 TT for 5 years soon, and yes there has been a few issues, but nothing like others on here. Was thinking of replacing it with a EVO 9, but no sure it is a good idea.
The rust issues are just normal for UK cars, thats why I stay well clear of any car from the UK, they are generally in very bad condition and full of rust.


Not cursed just getting old that's all..^.^


Great read there, and I can see myself and some of my friends in so many of your words!!! I think, as soon as you look after your car, and you use it "properly" (ie do trackdays or anything similar) you're prone to some extent to those things happening!
I've used my current car, a simple Twingo 133 Cup, on the Nürburgring for the better part of 2 years, upgrading and improving it along the way, making it faster, funnier, cooler, but surely safer and more robust, as I went through pretty much everything you can think of.
Suspensions snapping off, leaking oils repeateadly even after 2 services, wheels broken, tires coming off due to a bad fitting, exhaust snapping in half in the Karussel, seat bracket bending, steering column play, steering assist motor going completely dead in the middle of a high speed corner, several broken windshields, 2 sets of adjustable top mounts (on the way to a 3rd one), 2 gearbox linkages litterally blown to pieces (it's all rubbish plastic, and obviously you have to change the whole thing, including the gear lever!), destroyed the washer bottle (so nice to spread washer fluid onto your own wheels!), and finally on my way to just swapping the engine for a Clio RS 2.0 as the 1.6 is showing increasings signs of imminent failure...
Cursed? not sure, but a big hole in my wallet, I know where this one comes from, but still love it anyway :D


Talk about coincidence, that's actually the direction i'm going to go next; either that, or find an aluminum block and order a six pack setup from Australia and go all-motor


If you have a minute, i invite you to read a post started by a friend of mine on our classic impreza forum. When were going through rough times with our porjects, we all talk about it here.
We all ride this emotional roller coaster with our cars, i have had quite a crazy one myself. Throughout the time you have the car your always weighing options, whether its parts or track days, detailing for a show or getting dirty in the woods. When the time comes to weigh the option of keeping a car, or selling/scrapping it, thats the point where you'll truely find out how strong your emotional connection is with your car. This point is where you make a decision to move on and potentially destroy a part of you, or do what has to be done to keep that connection alive. It sounds silly when you think about how emotionally attached we get to the vehicles we drive, but its the same as the connection an artist has to his art, its a part of you and you dont want to let it go.
In my opinion, keep the car. Reading about everything you do with your evo shows you really love the car, and at times you really hate it. We all go through this, its part of playing with cars, and those of us who have strong connections with them will move on and do whatever it takes to keep our cars going.


Your car is nowhere near the point where anyone should suggest getting rid of it, i bought a 99 Impreza RS in 2008 as a graduation gift for myself, as i had so much fun driving one around i had to get one. It was a real cherry, decent mileage, perfect paint, clean as a whistle. Now, as we speak, its a stripped out rusted shell in my garage with 302,000 miles, about to go on its 4th motor along with a full STI drivetrain. The rust is something Subaru people deal with more than others, maybe comparable to my old 260Z, but im fixing everything myself. This car has never been to a dealer, never worked on with anyones hands but mine. As it sat, the car is worth about $2500. Only in the past 3 months ive spent triple that in parts, in which all but my closest car companions call us crazy, but thats why we do this, because its crazy. Its a rush.
Keep your car, and keep it going. Dont give up!


Excellent read Suzy, good to know you're back in your car's Good Books, and fingers crossed you'll have a brilliant time at Castle Combe at the end of the Month !

(What happened to the picture of 'The Swimmer' at the beach ?)


Having powerful cars is a good thing as long as they are errorfree. All of my powerful cars had these kind of error series, so right now im settled in a focus1 1.4.. It knocks, has steering whobble, has 253k kms on it, and still i can jump in it anytime and this car just keeps on going. Only replacing parts when absolutely needed. Sure, i would love to have some Evo or Scoobie but these kind of cars would possibly need a total rebuild to be reliable.


I know that feel and how it truly sinks your heart when you get that call or realize something requires work on your older vehicle.  My RX-7 has truly jerked my feelings and torn my wallet apart a good couple times now as well.  But the love for the vehicle takes over and I save up and get it fixed!
Definitely a good read and I'm pretty sure alot of us can relate.  You're not alone!!! Please don't give up on this gem and fight on!


I don't see the negatives here. Just think of it this way, now that all that BS has been taken care of, you can move on to fully building it however you want without worry of failure. 

You've been able to rebuild the entire driveline of the car, which is, as you've found out, the weakest part of the car. Now it's completely proper and the literal foundation of the car is now as solid as ever. Next up is a baffled oil pan and some seat time right? - all without worry of something falling off or rust shattering it. Good times indeed.


Last week I seen that my right rear quarter panel was rusting on the edge of the wheel well. Turns out my wrx had gotten in a wreck before and the body shop WELDED A QUARTER PANEL ON TOP OF THE OLD ONE. Took a dremel and cut the inside one out up to the top on the wheel well and now I'm waiting it to get welded. Lesson learned: Check all fenders when you buy a car, body work costs a lot more than engine work at this level.


ShaheenMerhej  Keep the curse! Keep the curse! ;)


AnthonyColard  God yeah, don't even get me started on listing all of the things that have gone wrong with it in total! This was just in the last four months! But yeah, as long as there's periods in between where you get some enjoyment out of it (i.e. a 'Ring trip, which I'm sure you can sympathise with :D ), then it's all good. And some of these issues shouldn't happen again now they've been sorted (i.e. front diff, gearbox, rust - at least for a while). I'm sure it'll find something else to break though...  Cars eh? Who'd have 'em? ;)


Bansheeboy11  Yep, non-car people think I'm crazy but they just don't understand. They still see it as a means of getting from A to B, not as a passion. At least on Speedhunters, people understand much better! :)


Uncle Bob  I'M back in my car's good books? Surely that's the other way round? Yep, all getting sorted for Combe as we speak.
P.S. Learn how to clean your car. ;) lol


AdamBezzegh  Oh, I have plenty of friends who very rarely have trouble with theirs. And the Scooby I had before the Evo was just about the most reliable car ever! Just sod's law I guess... I could have kept driving the Evo on the front diff, gearbox AND clutch, but if any actually went properly (which they would do given time), it would be WAY more expensive to fix than getting in there before they do. Plus you can't go and throw it round a track knowing stuff isn't right with it really. If you want to drive it hard, you've got to look after it. No car will ever be error free - even the sensible ones, but looking after them properly goes a long way towards helping. And having some good luck too (which I obviously don't have)!


SuzyWallace Uncle Bob  Lol ! surely you don't think you're in charge in this Evo owning relationship do you ??? :-)
And as you well know, baked on brake dust doesn't come off paintwork very easily .......


Uncle Bob SuzyWallace  Get it detailed properly - it'll only get worse otherwise. Drop Mr Creasey a line...


Jaemcius  No way I can get rid of it, as much of a PITA as it can be. It owes me some hassle-free track time! :)


SuzyWallace Uncle Bob  Humphhhhhhhhhh !


FunctionFirst  I hope it's that simple, I really do! Seat time is booked and I'll get to finally use the twin-plate properly for some launches then. Looking forward to it!


Badgercock  Ah, that sucks! It's crazy what lengths people will go to in order to hide something as well. Yep, engine issues can normally be sorted but the rust on some Evos means they're just not worth repairing. Luckily I caught mine in time!


yeah i feel what you felt.
last summer i worked almost every day in my garage to get things sorted out, didnt even have time to make the car nice, only mechanical problems. wasted my vacation on that. got the car running and soon after that my new engine got no oil pressure! nice
now waiting for engine parts from another side of the world. hoped to get it running by june but its not gonna happen.
the worst thing is i work near a race track :D


wheatgod  You notice the difference in fuel costs if you leave it at the maximum angle of attack and there was a wing-less Evo that had a major spin at 130mph at the 30-130 event once, so now you have to run one, so reasonably functional I'd say. Plus you have to remember that the VI was designed to keep Mitsubishi at the forefront of WRC at the time - I doubt very much Tommi Makinen and co. sported them for looks! There are simulations of how much downforce Scooby/Evo wings generate online but none of my particular model...


MadisSidam  Yeah, I'm not far from Brands Hatch, which definitely doesn't help matters!


SuzyWallace I'm so far beyond the point of giving it up; it was my first car, and I could never let it go (though there are plenty of times when four letter words and daydreams of pushing it off a cliff certainly cross my mind!)


I feel as tho my car is cursed, although differently then others. Anytime it was in a picture with friends cars, there cars would meet an untimely demise. No one was ever seriously hurt, just strange happenings. 
First friends car suddenly suffered low oil pressure and took out the engine (he was a stickler for maintenance and had everything looked at right away). 
Next friend hit a fox on the road that did enough damage to the underside to be deemed a TL (total loss), next friend a recurring overheating issue even with thermostat, radiator, overflow tank, new hoses and about 3 full system flushes, still overheats. 
And one friend was moving and had loaded his car onto a dolley (fwd eclipse) to make it easier to travel with it and the dolley's tire blew out at highways speeds pulling the car and the truck into the ditch, my friend made it out with a seat-belt bruise, truck was fine, car took out a highway sign and suffered severe rear suspension damages.

While all this happened, my car was sitting in a compound waiting for me to be able to afford to have my engine swapped out after a cracked spark-plug went like a grenade and the shrapnel took out the piston, valves and most of the head.

My car is still going strong, although now I am on my third engine with it, have replaced 98% of the suspension, brakes, hubs and everything in between and now suffering a phantom battery light issue. Seems like anytime I want to add more power she has something come up that needs to be addressed first.

Gianluca FairladyZ

Cars can be joy and pain at the same moment. It depends how you treat them and for which purpose they're used. Treat them good and they'll treat you good as well. Now, what does mean "good treatmeant" for each other? It sounds funny, but to me cars are something living, if you listen good to them you'll know exactly what to do for them. I think for you being based in England, the possibility of rust is very high, and then being such a petrol head and pushing the car over the green hell does require some additional care, which is a part of normal :) When i was working at a tuning shop for some years, i buildt a supercharged fairlady Z33. After the finish, the system broke all the time and i almost couldn't drive the car the way i wanted for 1 year.. It was such a pain in the a... because i love driving, i loved the sound, loved the car but the supercharger always broke. After the third time i said stop, i got back to N/A. This time was a real curse, always rebuilding and then breaking again (swearing, being frustraded, etc )... But now it's a joy because i know it's reliable, i can rev it up without bad feelings and just enjoy VQ35HR sound :)


Yeah you seemed to hit a serie of bad luck :). Thankfully my issues were more spread apart over a 3 year period and i still managed to get some 300 Ring laps on it, and it surely took its toll on the car! Regarding your Ring trip, did you do it with Darren's organisation (Destination Nurburgring)? We've done the 24H bicycle race together (with much less technical issues :D )

boost me till i burst

I'l keep it very short had a 1986 Cavalier convertible sri (don't laugh it was a great car) but I wanted a big fat TURBO. But it had to be old school. So one scruffy 1989 Mk4 escort RS turbo later and a few break downs some car some mine and a on going running restoration/ upgrading nightmare later. it's never looked worse, but goes quite well but the engines coming out for the 3rd time soon for a full on rebuild and upgrade, with new paddle clutch maybe a new gearbox stage 1? oh nearly forgot about the complete strip down to a bear shell and weldathon. then found a roll cage near to Somerset, after a very long drive down and a very long break down on the way back, it didn't sodding fit!!!! (lying scumbag) I won't list all the new parts, I will end up being sick. But I'm not giving up, as Winston Churchill said " K B O" Keep buggering on!!! so chin up Suzy keep working and don't let it get you down it will be great in the end.


SuzyWallace : Once the brake judder return's (and it normally will in about 6 months time), buy a set of normal bushings. When you replace them, only replace the front or rear side of either arm with the normal ones (the ones that are shot of course) Leave the polyurethane ones on the other side on (the good ones) . Things should last years on the street, but still give crisp handling.

The thing is: Polyurethane is good for about every aspect of the suspension, except 1 thing: Absorbing things. Polyurethane will only deform and cause a bit more slack. Rubber on the other hand, absorbs the best but is worse on everything else. So combiningthem gets the best of both worlds. It is about twice as expensive, but you can use the spare ones the next time ( 5-10 years on). Usually it's the back ones that tend to go first, as they take the energy of braking. Circuit cars should use poly all the way, but street cars should use a combination of both. Circuits tend to not have speedbumps, rough roads or curb's in a way that streets do....


dont ever sell it!


Nice update Suzy! Congrats for ironing out all of the driveline and rust issues. Is the Evolution driven through road salt?

The problem with rust repairs such as yours is that you always find something else that could use replacing once you place repainted parts on the car, like the spindles, brackets, dust shields, etc.


Oh wow, what a story... I must admit, an Evo is so out of my range right now (it's probably the Austrian pricing policy). My love and I already pay more for our cars on insurance, taxes, fuel and garage space a month than for our little apartment. But we sort of got this agreement about spending money on what we consider valuable - so we've spent our weekends in the garage for about seven months now, scraping rust off his 4WD, saturating it with rust converter, painting one protective coat after another onto its belly and finally adding some wax. It got horribly expensive, we took quite some scratches while polishing off its own, and I didn't get that paint off my hair for about two weeks ;) All for keeping a special kind of car alive that just isn't built any more these days. We hope to finally take it offroad in some weeks. When we're done, it's my little Swift Sport's turn with the wax, allthough it's quite a new car. Hopefully, that way rust will stay away as long as possible and me and my baby will keep having lots of fun for some years to come.
My point being - I'd keep it. Not only because I'm also in the habit of developing feelings for my cars. But also because it's a f***ing Evo IV - there's hardly another pure rallye car like it, especially since the Evo X got all comfy and stuff. It's a dying breed, and if a caring petrolhead won't look after it, treasure it and drive it according to its nature - who will? I know I couldn't give it away to an unknown fate, it would break my heart..


Cute, try working on old cars!  

Seriously though, stick with it!  It's a labor of love and an EVO IV is a prime candidate.  If you have the time and the space, I would suggest investing in some tools and learning to do some of this work yourself.  Wrenching is more about attention to detail rather than aptitude, and it sounds like you have a wealth of knowledge immediately available via your club. 

As the owner of a '56 Buick that spent most of its life in the rust-belt, and a (daily driven) S30 that's clocked 280k miles, I feel your pain.  But, trust me, there's no greater feeling than knowing every inch of your drivetrain, engine, chassis, etc. on your 10, 30, or 60+ year old car is functioning as good as or better than new, because of the work you put into it.


Unfortunately cars are like this, my builds and my mates builds never go quite how they should and I don't know anyone that hasn't had more than one problem with their cars.
Keep at it, once everything is sorted it should be good for a few years or great rewarding driving.


Don't confuse bad luck with years of usage and an aging car, on top of that it being AWD. I have a 94 Z32, and a 73 S30, and when I say I know your pain, trust me....I do. The thing is, you are paying someone to sort this problems, its a different story when you hack at it problem by problem on your own.

Seeking Perfection

That's really nice, Suzy. It seems like a lot of my bros in here are deeply inspired from your story and found the chance to write walls of text narrating their personal experiences. I will go against the norm and keep it short. If I were you, I would sell it in a heartbeat. The argument is that if I was going to own a car that looks like a taxi (with a huge wing and mudflaps in this case), I would buy a proper one that is actually dependable and offers some luxuries. I mean I know those Evos have horrible interiors and I bet you pay a lot for insurance. Sell it and buy a BMW E39 M5 or Audi B5 RS4 Avant. But no mudflaps this time. That's simply a poor decision. This is not Gigi Galli's rally car, it is a street car.


Glad to hear to you kept at it.Its too easy to just strip it and put it on ebay.
People who are real petrol heads never give up.
You can enjoy it now..


easy answer YES, and they can fight back like ROCKY


Question: Can cars be cursed?
Answer: James Dean's 550 Spyder.


On a long enough timeline, all cars eventually turn into money pits. It's the nature of machinery, especially the high performance-type. You could get a little Civic Type R and run it wild for 20 years, or a Porsche Turbo, and have the same experience. It's all steel on aluminum on plastic on leather (or vinyl). The difference is how dedicated you are to putting in the time, money and sweat to keeping it on the road. Most people ditch their cars at the first sign of wear in favor of the newest hotness. It takes a real hero to keep up the good fight. Great job, Suzy.


Let me tell you something about a car beeing cursed:

i bought a ER34 several years ago. shortly after running out of warranty we discovered it had an accident. After that we decided to hunt down all the rust under the front fenders and the suspensionmounts. Minor performance upgrades -> Rodbearings broke. No time, no place - giving engine to company with good reputation. They "repaired" it, took my 4 grand and the engine blew up again after a year of 5000km MAX. New engine specialist took engine apart. Noticed every tolerances were faaar out. Screws werent fixed.. even scratches in head. Wrong oilpump, too small crank collar. Pistons too small. Unfortunately, again - out of warranty. Gathered all my money - getting the engine fixed up again. Grandpa died of cancer, paying treatment, funeral and stuff, promised him to finish that "piece of crap" as he sometimes called it jokingly while supporting me as good as someone could do. Still no time to work on it myself. no time no place. Finally got a place for my own to store the chassis while the engine is gone for rebuild. Got some time to rip the car appart and analyse every part of it. Found new rust. found out that -allthough i am 1,87m there is no eartmade seatrail to get my arse into the car with a helmet on ^^ nvm. Found more rust, found out that the tein coilovers were broken beyond any chance of repair. Giving chasis away for painting trunk and enginebay. Found much more rust hidden in the corners of the engine bay. Wanted to close the sunroof gap. Decided to weld in a metal plate. Professional welder with over 20 years of practice totaly overheats the roof and by doing that makes a dent into it the size of a fist. After that makes a CUT  with an angle grinder (NOT with a cutting disc....) into the roof... cutting 2 layers of metal just leaving it even worse .Struggling with that car since 2008 and every step forward i take is just to get another kick into the nuts to fall 2 steps behind.

aaaand thats the short version - thats what i call cursed ^^

104 guys have some rusty cars.


When I read the title I thought 'oh yeah, my car keeps eating driveshaft joints for a reason I haven't yet worked out', but that's nothing to what you've been through! Still, enjoy the car now!
What day is the Castle Combe event? I'm local and try and pop up as often as possible, would be great to see the Evo on track and meet you, can do you some track photos too ;)


Wow bad luck there! And the rust! Oh dear. I've been lucky with my lightly modified v5 type R sti, but as its the same age as an evo 5/6 it, like this car requires a big birthday. It's at the same point as this car. 175,000km and tracking her has taken it's toll. Needs new intercooler, 5th synchro and bearings in the box, turbo whines, motor could do with a refresh, callipers have been rebuilt, fitted bilsteins and group N bushes to replace the old stock ones... Sometimes I really question why I don't sell up and get something newer, but the car is stupid fun! Stick with it!


Bryn Alban  Nooooooo!


SuzyWallace johnygezony  My Grandmothers car got hit when it was parked. Pushed the front right wheel back and in, damaged the guard and firewall. She paid full price, no haggling to get it sorted. i drove it in the wet and got a splash on my foot. (OK I took grandmas car through a shallow-ish ford). Checked it out and they'd bogged the whole thing on the outside, no metal work at all and left a gaping, now rusted hole in the firewall! (She only pottered around town and wouldn't have noticed a breeze etc). Lower suspension arm was cut and shut with some steel channel. The geometry was actually right! but unprotected so that was on the way to rusting through too. When the work (and profit) is paid for cash upfront why do some shops still do shitty dangerous work?


Always look forward to reading about W27 and although this one has come at the cost of your wallet, still really great to hear about. I'd have driven it off a cliff long before so the fact you've stuck with it and got it back to running great again is fantastic! Good luck at Combe!


Pancakes SuzyWallace johnygezony  Yeah, it never ceases to amaze me what cowboys are out there working on cars - a reliable mechanic/garage is worth their weight in gold!


Tim Oliva  I completely sympathise with that last sentence! Remind me never to be in a photo with your car though - I've got enough bad luck of my own. :)


Gianluca FairladyZ  That's what I kind of don't get about my car though - I only did one 'Ring trip last year. It always gets treated right - as soon as I notice an issue, it goes to be looked at, and it's serviced regularly, including oil changes after trackdays. None of the issues that have arisen recently have been through hard use, more just bad luck. Guess that's just the luck of the draw sometimes...


boost me till i burst  Hmmm, KBO - that might just have to be a new slogan! :) She's all good for the moment - now to get some proper enjoyment out of her before the next niggle rears its head.


Kevski Style Interesting - I'll definitely bear that in mind!


JaygunEvans  Oh, it's not going anywhere. I can still see me at 60 doing track days in it. : D This woman is my hero...


jah1mon  Yeah, they grit the roads here in winter if the temperatures dip. I don't tend to drive it so much then, but it's definitely seen its fair share of crap from the road. Yeah, there's a lot I'd love to replace and make neater if ever I had the time or money - but it's also my only car for the moment, so anything approaching more of a full restoration is out of the question. When I get that lottery win though, it will be the cleanest time attack car out there. ;)


Ian Cormack  God, I hope so. I suspect it will be more like a few months before something else rears its head, but even that would be an improvement on the last four months!


BrandonTilghman  I really wish I could work on it more myself - not just for the money savings either. I will get around to doing some basic mechanics courses one day... And then try to get a place with a garage!


MattAtDoyle  I guess I feel like I'm in a bit of a wonky relationship. I think I love that car way more than it loves me sometimes. I can get angry at it, but deep down, I know I'll always be in love with it. Till death (or rust) do us part...


apex_DNA  Yeah, rust is a pretty big problem here in the UK!


MatthewDear  Saturday 29th. There'll be a host of far more powerful Evos and Scoobies there - there's some really amazing cars in the series! Hope to see you there. :)


OhJay  Oh, the thought has definitely crossed my mind!


I have had my share of issue with my 05 Z33 that I have had to fix while others are throwing go-go parts at their cars, but I think THIS very thing is what makes us car guys, while most others would simply give up, we push on and never give up.

Gianluca FairladyZ

SuzyWallace Gianluca FairladyZ  Okey, so I understand that you treat the car right. Which is very good and should be like this. Another   aspect is, what did the owner before you do with the car? The rest is up to the car.. How's the EVO in general? Is it known to be a problem child or is it very reliable? I always loved the Delta Integrale EVO's, a friend of mine is specialized on them, but he told me to be careful with them, because there always something braking down.. :(
Anyway, I totaly understand you, if you love the car than hang on. I'm sure that it will reward you with driving pleasure like no other :)


SuzyWallace MattAtDoyle I completely understand. I've had my Integra for 18 years and, while rust isn't as much a problem here in California, things like rubber deterioration and just general wear & tear will turn your significant other into a whiny, cranky, emotional drain. The key is to remember the good times, the happy times, when you both worked together in sync and harmony.


SuzyWallace Kevski Style  : And as for the bolts of the diff: Are they stretched or did they came loose because of vibration? I the first: local Specialist nuts and bolts store and upspec the bolts. Should cost you more then about 10 quid. If the latter: Loctite and or spring washers will do just fine. Shouldn't have any issues with it after that....

As for the rust: Allways weird to see cars the other way around compared to here (Holland). Cars in England rust from the bottom up and cars on the mainland tend to rust from from the top down. Rocky soil is a weird thing....


Gianluca FairladyZ SuzyWallace  The guy just before me only had it for a year - not sure how well he looked after it. The guy before tracked it but took good care of it too. Some of the issues I've had recently (the front diff bolts and the gearbox input shaft bearing) are common to the car, but it's sod's law that they happened at the same time (and the front diff bolts went twice!). They're not that unreliable normally, but hopefully I've just got all of the problems out of the way at once so I can have the rest of 2014 just enjoying it. Fingers crossed!


MattAtDoyle SuzyWallace  By significant other, you DO mean the car, right? ;) Heheh


Gianluca FairladyZ SuzyWallace  : and don't forget that street driving, especially slow can be a killer for engines. Driving 30 mph in 4th or 5th gear causes a lot of vibration in any car. which usually goes straight into the drive train, hence bolts coming undone or even snapping, cracks in parts and so on. Never ever drive cars below 2000RPM and then press the gas without shifting. they should cane people for that! And since its a turbo engine, is should really not have to mention this at all but will do so anyway: Warming up and cooling down is essential. And I don't mean the coolant temp but the oil temp gauge. It should probably be around 20 minutes or so before its even warmed up in your climate....


Kevski Style SuzyWallace  It's a design fault of the front LSD - the torque serves to work the bolts loose, so it's pretty common with a 5/6 that has the front LSD instead of the open diff. When we replaced them last year, they were replaced with high-tensile 12.9 bolts and put in with Loctite. And less than six months later, here I was again... They won't be coming loose this time though!


Tim Oliva  check the earth strap, loosen it, clean the metal underneath until is shiny and check if all the accesoires have the same earthing point. Should disappear after that....


Kevski Style Gianluca FairladyZ SuzyWallace  Oh, you mean minicab-style driving (the low rpm acceleration bit). :) Ha, no, don't do that. And yeah, I've got an oil temp gauge so never thrash her when cold and always have a cool-down if I've been gunning it.


Kevski Style I have been meaning to pick up an earthing kit, just every time the money is there, the suspension or brakes need to be looked after. Definitely need to go over the wiring and be sure to check the grounds as well, could be a dirt / grime build up waiting for winter to go away here in Canada. Thanks!


SuzyWallace Kevski Style  I that case the LSD (mechanical? Is suspect plate type LSD?) is the fault. You are probably experiencing some torque steer, am I wight? Best remidy would be an support brace for the diff case itself. A chassis mounted one would be the best. Could be fabricated for a couple of pints if you vould draw one up and know a friendly welder. Second option is run less agressive springs in the LSD (the ones  that put the torque on the casing and loosen the bolts). But that causes more slip and less grip and therefore a more tailhappy car....


Tim Oliva Kevski Style: Save the money, just clean it first. Al it needs really is a good scrub with some sanding paper or a steel brush. If that isn't the casetry disconnecting all the accesoires. Light should go of by then. Connect every one to the same earth point (preforably the engine earth point and it should be fine. Wouldn't probably cost you anything.... As for the Canada thing: I'm half Canadian/Dutch and a lot of other stuff in between. Born in Wasaga Beach, living in Holland :D


I like to think of it as a right of passage.


Bloody hell, you haven't had much luck with it recently! I had a lovely condition V3 STi Scooby which I imported myself from Japan that went through a similar phase including getting swiped by a foreign lorry driver on the M25 :( However, glad to see that things are now sorted!


apex_DNA Exactly!


The problem I have with the Honda crowd is that majority of them bought the cars simply because they're great performers from the factory, but as soon as those cars wear down they turn to cheap (as in quality) aftermarket parts assuming they're killing two birds with one stone. Yeah at first you feel an improvement...over what? Over word down factory parts? Another problem is using race parts on the street and then bitching why they don't last as long.


This is too funny. Literally felt like I just wrote all of that out. Going through the same situations at the moment as well. It never ends..


I bow to you for the determination to stay with the car through all that. I felt defeated just having to have my Mitsu repaired twice this winter due to stupidity accidents (we do get a LOT more snow and ice than you do in the UK though).

 I can't imagine having to rebuild all of that in 3 months timeline. Sounds like Mitsubishi owes you a pint the next time your in Japan for sticking with them!


Will definitely pop up then! Hopefully it's good weather!

Gianluca FairladyZ

SuzyWallace Kevski StyleGianluca FairladyZ Yeah i keep them crossed for all of here. Because i feel your post had a tremendous reaction. I hope you can keep the EVO safe and working, will you be there at the green hell driving days? 1.-4.05? It would be a pleasure to follow you with my Z on the Ring, and get to know some of the Speedhunters staff!


I 100% believe cars can be cursed. I'm in Texas, and all of the Mazdaspeed Protege's (Mazdaspeed Familia in Europe) in this are have had bad luck. both my turbo, and my friend's went out, I'm on my second Transmission, another had his car set on fire, chewed up by his dogs....Twice, another friend got totaled right after installing carbon fiber fenders. I'm replacing my turbo and cutting my losses. Buying a Miata that'll be reliable.




what a useless owner. LEARN TO DIY. stop crying about your evo7. Deal with it and fix it yourself.


Perhaps I'm not the only one who noticed but she's simply explaining the problems she had and how she did indeed fix them at least to the extent of her personal knowledge and with the help her friends. So that's rather unnecessary.
On another note, just keep your chin up and power through it, from an audi fanatic, I know how big of a bear some of those roughy patches can be!


Be glad you're not working on a Mercedes, my W202 C280 has been off the road since the transmission speed sensor failed. that one little part is almost impossible to find and accordingly expensive to replace. Good Luck with your Evo though.
Like the Fight Club reference when you were talking about the 5th gear spline.


Fixes rust issues. Immediately drives car to the beach. 

Haha, in all seriousness this is my favourite type of article on Speedhunters. Look forward to future updates.


Gianluca FairladyZ SuzyWallace Kevski Style  I'll hopefully be back out at the 'Ring in the first week of July for a trackday with Destination Nurburgring. Not so much a fan of the TF days any more. I may stray over at some other points as well though - it's hard to keep me away! :)


AnthonyColard  Yep, been on a few Destination Nurburgring events now with Darren and should be at the one in July. Wow, the bike race sounds like hard work!


Kevski Style SuzyWallace  Nope, no torque steer, just a knock you can feel through the front steering when it goes. It's all fixed now with a more permanent solution, so hopefully shouldn't be an issue again. :)


MatthewDear  Yeah, fingers crossed! :)


CP9A Will  #evowoes eh? :)


Lollypops  Eek! That can't have been much fun! The good ol' M25 eh? lol


Kirk_B  Now THERE'S an idea... :D


soobjm  It was just the gasket. The car would have been mapped with the correct gasket in...


AldenBird  Ha - chewed up by his dogs? I'm kinda glad I'm a cat person now.


Gary Luttrell  ddddddd So you're only allowed to have a cool car if you can work on it yourself? Yes I'd like to be able to work on my own car (god knows it would save me a ton of money), but I don't have the skills (or the garage!) and things like rebuilding gearboxes and diffs to tight tolerances are pretty specialised jobs - hardly somewhere for a beginner to start. It's a nice theory but we're not all mechanics. Or maybe you weren't talking about me anyway, as mine's a 6. ;)


Trentworth  It's so annoying when it's something little like that. No joy from breaker's yards? And rule #1 - every story should have a Fight Club reference. :)


SuzyWallace MattAtDoyle Oh yeah, right.... ;-)


apex_DNA Sadly it's not just a Honda phenomenon. eBay is chock full of low quality high volume parts for about any car out there, claiming performance points that just aren't there. The best way to be sure are dedicated forums for your vehicle, or places like Speedhunters, were folks like SuzyWallace do the hard work for us!


Sucks to hear about the Evo troubles Suzy, but I guess that is a problem with car ownership when they are reaching those kinds of age. While I don't have a fast car (yet, saving up for something a little more me and quick), my 1.2 Corsa is also into its 14th year and recently I've started to have my own issues. Replacement exhausts and back boxes that have fallen apart with rust, and a new set of front springs, while not to mention the misc small things that need doing from time to time. Crazy thing is, while the car is from 2000, it's only done 26000 miles, and having spent most of it's life garaged up until 14000 miles when I got the car, I thought I wouldn't have to deal with stuff like this yet.

I hope you stick with the Evo. As you say, you'd only get another one and potentially have to go through this again. Plus, your Evo is one of the best looking ones I've ever seen. The black on black looks fantastic, and even better when teamed with the same on that Skyline. All the best, hope the Evo behaves for a while now :)


I just want to say that your story reflects what I'm going through as well with my E36 M3. Except in my case I've decided to finally sell the thing and move on. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and wiser. Maybe it's because it's putting me in the poorhouse. But it no longer makes sense for me to keep it.

I hope this is your last bit of trouble, but realize that there is always going to be something to fix later on...


I know the feeling all too well. I've got an E36 Touring and every time I fix something, I'll get two weeks of enjoyment out of it, then it'll throw me another problem. It's a never ending cycle.

This weekend I'll be fixing rust (surprise, surprise) and a wheel bearing. Yey.


SuzyWallace Kirk_B  Personally, I think they owe me one for not going completely crackers on them for the AC compressor issues. Mine is a 2009, and I've had 2 that had bad seals, and one with a failed clutch plate. I'm not a mechanic, but I'm starting to feel like I am an HVAC repairman with the number of changes I made. 

Of course this isn't covered in the manufacturer warranty either.

I was impressed that you just gave in, and dropped the AC from the car altogether. I've felt that way until July... then change my mind. :)


eBay is a given, althought you can still find legit parts/tools, with good deals to boot. Just gotta know who you're buying from and learn to work the system to your advantage. Originally I was referring to parts made by "reputable" companies (Japanese included). A good start imho is knowing the OEMs for your particular brand/model.


yea i defiantly think cars can be cursed. especially with my 1g DSM. I fix one problem then another always seems to show up. But i know in the end the car will be amazing, its just taking awhile



Good one Suzy!


go7roo7 apex_DNA
If only "significant others" understood that..


Good luck with the sal.....cough cough, I mean repairs (joking). Ive got a few evo desk ornaments myself sort of comes with the territory luckily no rust though.That last shot in "the bad" chapter has to be the cleanest underside Iv seen of an older dd evo. 
wow, alot of comments here.


SuzyWallace CP9A WillI'm trying not to get too excited from reading all the positive effects the bushings had on the car. Unfortunately my car has over 180,XXX KM's on it so I've noticed all the sloppiness you've mentioned. I was hoping a fresh set of bushings would clear things up. When I had my S2000, those guys would switch to a non staggered wheel / tire setup and add a beefy rear sway to add some oversteer to balance out the understeer from the new grip the front of the car had. It's something I have planned to do on the Evo since my first autocross understeering all over the place. I see you went the same route and like I said earlier, literally like I wrote this article myself.. haha.


I know that feeling. I've had three cars that were "cursed" in my recent history.
-A 1998 Subaru Impreza that was a magnet for highway stones, cops, and vandals. Thank goodness for free auto glass coverage! Seriously, a 125hp car got more police attention than the two cars I've owned since that make over twice that much! I dropped it like a hot potato first chance I got.
-A 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX. Rust, rust everywhere. The exhaust manifold was cracked in six different places. The rear fenders/wings were rotted out. It leaked like a sieve. I had to choke the exhaust up big-time to get it to pass inspection. I finally sold the DSM to a couple of Honda guys who wanted to drop the motor into a Hyundai (popular sleeper swap).
-A 1994 Alfa Romeo 164 24V V-6. This one hurts the most because it's self-inflicted. I've been tracing down gremlins for months like a bad idle and coolant leak that weren't there before I did an engine teardown. The reason for the teardown? I did not test a set of injectors thoroughly enough before installing them and ended up hydrolocking a cylinder! I have a friend who is crazy enough to own four 24V 164s and we replaced that one bent conrod and big-end bearing (there was almost no other damage, surprisingly). It'll be worth it to wring out that sweet Alfa V-6 once it's fixed. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself!


Have you ever owned a rotary?


Lol! I know what you mean, I remember my first diff rebuild.... It was a nightmare! And I'm an automotive tech by trade. You're so very fortunate to have awesome friends and acquaintances and such to help you out.


Like a lot of other commenters, I feel your pain - it sounds a bit like my MX5. I hate it for the grief it causes, but I'm not convinced anything else would be any different. 

Were the beach shots taken at Pendine?


Better the devil you know.


ddddddd  You know that's why I hate all the F1 drivers.  Never willing to get on the end of a spanner....



CP9A Will It's back to that great minds thing again... ;)


Kirk_B It's helped by living in a country where summer only really lasts a week anyway. :D Mine's been broken for years though anyway, so it was just dead weight. I'm sure I'll regret it at some stage but I survived a 30 degree C track day without it...


OneCrazedJoker  Thanks! :)


carmaniac  Maybe I'm just missing the getting wiser bit... :)


Paterson Photo  Gotta love the rust. Sort of. Not at all...


ConnorMcleod1  Yeah, it's all worth it for the moments it works as intended. Then onto the next issue...


this.guy.said  That's because most of it is new/recently repaired/painted! Come to think of it, so is most of the car now... lol


RexSeven  Oh yeah, it'll be worth it in the end. Jonathan's got an Alfa V6 and it sounds great!


@FD3S  Nope. That would be trouble, right?


Nathan Parton  No, down by Dungeness. Nothing like heading towards a nuclear power plant for a photoshoot. lol


mctav  That sentence sums it up perfectly. Although I have been using that for a few years waiting for it to justify some good luck instead of bad...


I definitely know your pains. About 6 months ago I got my 2000 silverado (not a car I know, but where I live trucks are far more useful and enjoyable to run) and it's been a bitter fight between the fuel system and I. I finally got it tracked down to a fuel pressure regulator when misfire happened and we founds clogged injector from dirt from the tank getting through two filters. Replaced those and the injector and then 3 more started leaking like sieves.
It's my belief that vehicles almost have some type of personality and that they just like to screw with us lol. I hope the Evo starts running better than mine!:)


Yes yes they can. 

Both my e30's fight me every step of the way. Get to a stage of saying I'm done with my blue daily e30, but when I walk away, I always find my self looking back & admiring it. Pretty sure the damned thing knows it's loved. Every time it goes wrong money I've saved for my other e30 vanishes into the daily. 

I laugh when the car was originally a consulate car for the USSR embassy in the ACT, me thinks a little bit of communism is still in its veins...


Why U go to beach is rust is a issue?


Feeling your pain, recently spent £3k on rust repair & respray of my FD.  One tiny little problem - the spoiler mounting points leaking - let rainwater into the car, and it rusted from the inside out!  FDs don't normally go rusty, either - just bad luck.

The Evo is a relatively complex car mechanically, and obviously all the cars from Japan's glory days are getting old now.  But it sounds like you've fixed most of the weak points, so I think if you keep it then you'll have more good times coming up.  It's not power or hard use, just age and complexity and bad luck that a number of bills 'came due' at around the same time.

Only other thing I'd say is - how well does the Evo drivetrain take hard launches?  I've always heard that powerful 4wd cars being launched hard will tend to break the weakest link in the drivetrain, so that if you upgrade the clutch then something more expensive will then fail instead.


fairlady432  Well, rust isn't an issue any more! Everything was fixed and newly undersealed at that point. :)


NoahDaniel  Isn't that always the way? You spend ages tracking down a problem, then finally find a solution, only for something else to happen. Cars/trucks eh? Who'd have 'em? Oh... us. ;D


AnthonyAntBolic  Ah, I do love an E30 - great cars! And yeah, we're suckers right? And the car knows it!


@Tom Westmacott  Yeah, the drivetrain is one of the weakest points on the Evo anyway, as you can just put so much through it. I'll only be doing some launches at the sprint event in the afternoon to try and get a good time. I definitely won't make a habit of it, as that's just asking for trouble. And my car doesn't need to be asked... ;)


SuzyWallace Oh , I had totally forget about Winter , that's where most car get the rust from ... wheel arches especially , and then the underbody . About those rust , can they be fixed/repaired ? And is there any way to ... prevent from keep happening ? Apart from keep the car away from the Winter .


RDS SuzyWallace  Forgot about winter? Let me guess - you're in SoCal? Definitely not the UK! ;) I had to have the rust all cut out and new metal welded back in, then it was all undersealed again. The key is to keeping the underseal up to date - I've always done this but I suspect someone in the past didn't, then undersealed over the top of rust which made it impossible to see and trapped it in, allowing it to get worse.


SuzyWallace RDS  : Forget Underseal. The best thing by far is applying regular paint. Next best thing is hammerite, next thing after that is undercoat. Paint is only better then hamerrite because it looks better, otherwise its about the same. You don't have to apply it every time unlinke underseal, which is allways temporary. We've gotten allmost the same winters as they have in England and also use copius amounts of road salt. Other ways to prevent it is by double skinning it with aluminum and a couple of rivits and sealing it sealer glue. But it has to painted underneath, otherwise it won't work....


I guess it is just Mitsubishi cars being themselves. Have quite bad experience with their cars.


SuzyWallace I'm from South-East Asia , apart from 12 months of Summers with 6 months of them being rainy season , that all of our weather . :P It's better to avoid the cancer to keep spread , or else , someday you will end up chassis cracked or something , which would be difficult to get it fix .


Kevski Style I Google about Hammerite , doesn't looks that bad apart from most photo show it looks kinda rough on surface after apply Hammerite .


RDS Kevski Style  : It's a paint thats promoted as that you can apply it over rust, but thats really not the case. It's kind of a very thick paint on polyurethane base. It looks a bit flakey in a way. Not smooth at all. It isn't the most beautiful looking, but it does get the job done....


sounds like my old s14 adventures lol.broken subframe bolts rust right after a new paint job.. an evo6 is my favorite version but all these problems makes me not want to import one


chrisgotta86  Ah, loads of people have them without half of the issues I've experienced, so don't let that put you off. Rust is the biggest issue with finding a decent one over here...


SuzyWallace rust is something that can be addressed here but as for the suspension parts and diff replacements, thats hard to come by in the states for an old evo.


My friends WRX:

All the work done to it and a deer crossed this path and bent the rad. support and creased the hood, got it back and once again another Deer beaned the car a few months later and did the same damn thing but rolled over the roof of the car. Insurance would not total it and fixed it, but still i would have just thrown in the towel at that point and time.

My own cars play that game. one car has been in the garage for over a year cause every time we try to work on it something else goes wrong from fuel injectors leaking,exhaust system actually falling off in the garage, rear  caliper failure, blowing a brake line after getting everything together and now replaced the distributor and it just cranks and cranks. Gotta love LT-1 Motors and the location of that unit, but hey that's the hobby i chose like the rest of us on here.


This was a great read, I can genuinely relate to your frustration lol some bits proper made me laugh aswell.

Im not sure it rivals your bad luck but I bought an AE86 Levin a couple of years ago, the thing flew through its MOT, got it taxed insured and ready to head down to Players show.... Then a week before Players show the bottom end started knocking badly :( id had it on the road about a week. Completely my rookie error for not servicing it but still, it sat in my garage for months as I saved up for a complete set of ARP bolts and ACL H/D bearings


Haha I'm all too familiar with that rust issue Suzy!  :(  We did all the repairs ourselves though.  Thankfully I had the luxury of fixing the pan outside of the car.  If you wanna see just how bad the rear pan of these cars can get rust wise, have a look at the last few pages of my Mirage/Evo conversion here:


Elaborate coating procedures for the win...


I'm starting to feel about as cursed as your evo ! My MY01 GT Forester (for any one not sure what that is it's a turbo version of the sf5 foresters you guys got in America, But mine is a series 2 SF5 which i don't believe you guys ever got) it started with this being my second one, because my first met an untimely fate when a stupid old lady drove through a give way sign right infront of me leaving me no time to react at all ! That saw me with a 12 hour stint in hospital in a neck brace suspected of neck and/or back injuries ! It then took 3 months for my insurance company to pay up ! Which meant no money to buy another car for 3 months and me resorting to riding a 50cc scooter with a top speed of 50km/h. When i finally got my payout, then came the hard part of finding another similar age/milage/condition exqmple of the same car and swapping my mods over from the wreck ! This mean that the rattly front drive shafts and stock brake pads come out to make way for nearly brand new shafts and Project Mu pads. Then it saw a massive 2 week stint on the road before, on my way home through some nice windy roads up in the Adelaide hills, my brakes completely dissapeared ! I spoke to my mechanic who confermed i had a dead master cylinder and to both of our surprise my brake booster had died too ! This was supposedly unheard of in subies.
It saw another month off the road after i had changed over the master and booster just waiting for assistance to bleed my brakes due to my stupid working hours and availablity of helpers.
After i bled my brakes all was good for a few weeks, i booked it in to get fully ajustable coilovers fitted and get my wheepy rocker cover gaskets replaced (typical ej20 subaru engines) the morning of it's apointment with my "car doctor" i went to start it after a long niht shift only to hear a really ragher strange noise (it was a starter motor spinning but nothing happening) "ohh great, here comes a nice h3fty subaru bill" was the first thing to come to mind ! But after getting a quote of $600 AUD for a replacement from subaru, my mechanic inspected it only to find one of the bolts (top bolt) had gone missing. Soo that saw a much cheaper fix than i was getting ready for ! After driving it for a while with the coilovers i realised even with my upgraded brake pads i was finding brake fade ! this meant higher boiling point DOT4 fluid was required. After this it saw another few weeks on the road before i noticed centre diff symptoms, hoping to avoid worse problems i quikly sourced a replacement, and got my driveline specialist to install it. Only to find literally the next day, a rear diff whine, that we susspect to be either the spider gears or the internal clutch for the LSD rear, (apparently it is also unheard of for foresters to kill rear diffs) aswell as a squeeking coming from the brakes that is suspecfed to be a caliper piston needing a rebuild (or just an upgrade to sti brakes ! :P soo it is currently having a holliday waiting for me to save for those things ! :/


I was Jack's complete lack of surprise haha I see what you did there... but we can't talk about it


Hi suzy I really like your project evo, do you still have this evo as of this present date? And I feel you on this blog. I have a Nissan Sentra b13 tsuru & SE R inspired here in the Philippines to be exact in Angeles Pampanga and as of what I know and aware of I'm the only one who has it here, no proper mechanic exactly knows the SR engine specially the fwd once. I basically fixed it my self aside from the general once that I pay someone to fix it then eventually turns out the job is not proper that I still have to do the adjustments on my own... ^ ^ thinking of selling the car is like cheating with your partner... But yes there I times I've just wondered what if I just have a car that will be normal daily and track like a civic but where the fun and passion in that returning to it just because there are steps on making our addictions faster and better right ? What I do is just think of the times how fun we scream on roads and on tracks. And when its fixed again do the same exact thing and all the trouble has been forgiven ^__^


I've had the same disappointing experience with my Alfa Romeo 147, at least from that thing it was expected. Do you still have the Evo ?