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Technical data and information, as well as testing and product reports.

What’s a Secondary Air Pump?

To meet the ever more stringent emissions targets being placed on manufacturers, Subaru introduced a secondary air injection system on all turbocharged models manufactured from around 2004 onwards. Specifically, the system is fitted to the 2.5L turbo engine found in the MY06-on Forester XT, MY07-on Liberty GT and MY06-on Impreza WRX/STi models. What does the system do exactly? To help combat unwanted hydrocarbon emissions, air is injected post combustion for a predetermined amount of time after the engine is started. The system is only operational for a small amount of time post start (the amount of time varies depending on engine temperature, but is typically around 30-60 seconds), and inactive thereafter. It has no effect on engine performance or fuel efficiency it is solely there for emissions control.

What Is The Fault And What Causes It?

The system consists primarily of an air pump assembly, two air valves and a crossover pipe. As vehicles the systems are fitted to age, we are increasingly coming across several variations on the same fault. Either the pumps themselves fail, or one or both of the air valves seize open or closed. This triggers an engine fault condition and the ECU will show a “Check Engine Light”on the dash. The cruise control system will also cease to operate (and where fitted, the light on the dash switch flashes). The codes can be checked with a generic scan tool, Subaru Select Monitor or aftermarket software on a laptop (such as EcuTek DeltaDash or another open source derived product).


One or more of the following Fault Codes will be recorded in memory as Current, Historic or both:airpumpfault_1

  • P0410 Secondary Air System Malfunction

  • P0411 Secondary Air Pump Flow Abnormal

  • P0413 Secondary Air Combi Valve Relay Circuit 1 (Low)

  • P0414 Secondary Air Combi Valve Relay Circuit 1 (High)

  • P0416 Secondary Air Combi Valve Relay Circuit 2 (Low)

  • P0417 Secondary Air Combi Valve Relay Circuit 2 (High)

  • P0418 Secondary Air Pump Relay (Low)

  • P1410 Secondary Air Combi Valve Open Seized

  • P1418 Secondary Air Pump Relay (High)

  • P2431 Secondary Air Pressure Sensor Property

  • P2432 Secondary Air Pressure Sensor (Low)

  • P2433 Secondary Air Pressure Sensor (High)

  • P2440 Secondary Air System Open Seized (Bank 1)

  • P2441 Secondary Air System Closed Seized (Bank 1)

  • P2442 Secondary Air System Open Seized (Bank 2)

  • P2443 Secondary Air System Closed Seized (Bank 2)

  • P2444 Secondary Air Pump On Malfunction


The Solution

We haven’t seen a successful repair of any components to date, and to complicate matters Subaru only sell the replacement parts as a “kit” which presently costs around AU$3700-4500 depending on where you source the parts. The system can’t be removed from the car easily without triggering more faults either (the Atmospheric pressure sensor, used by the engine management system for ongoing day to day engine related calculations, is fitted within the primary air valve assembly). Fortunately there is another solution which is both CHEAPER and gives you the option of added performance as a bonus! Using EcuTek software, we have the ability to access your factory engine management system and change a whole host of parameters. Generally we use this to increase performance on standard and modified cars by optimising the engines operational parameters (fuelling, boost control, ignition advance, variable cam timing and so on), but it can also be used to access both the parameters that run the Secondary Air System and the fault codes which are or aren’t triggered in the event of a fault condition being present.


With that in mind, you have 3 options. All will permanently rectify the Secondary Air System fault condition, restore Cruise Control operation AND be a fraction of the OEM replacement and repair cost, but depending on your budget it is also a convenient time to consider a performance upgrade as well!


  • Option One Retain factory tune in OEM specification and rectify fault conditions only

  • Option Two Upgrade to an entry level performance tune designed for the same 95 RON fuel that the factory tune runs on, and rectify the fault conditions. Gains are typically around 8-10kw depending on your specific vehicle model.

  • Option Three Upgrade to our XA Performance Kit. Designed for 98 RON fuel gains of around 15-20kw depending on your specific vehicle model are typical.


Download full article PDF here


For more information and current pricing call us (or your local authorised MRT reseller) NOW..! 


    Source: Fuji Heavy Industries

    Compliant with Euro 5 legislation, the all-new boxer diesel engine has been launched in the new Liberty in Europe

    In recent years, being environmentally friendly has become an important feature for new passenger cars. Diesel cars, which produce lower CO2 emissions, dominate new car sales in Europe, taking a 50% share of the market.

    It was for this reason that in 2008, Subaru launched the Euro 4-compliant boxer diesel Legacy. Employing a common-rail system and a variable nozzletype turbocharger, the Subaru boxer diesel offers output performance and fuel economy that are well suited to an AWD vehicle platform.

    The 2008 boxer diesel won praise from consumers, the media and the industry alike. However, the development concept of the second generation boxer diesel was to satisfy Euro 5 regulations while maintaining the engine output performance, fuel economy, and NVH characteristics of the Euro 4-compliant boxer diesel.

    For Euro 5, the NOx and PM elements must be reduced by at least 30% and 80% respectively from the Euro 4 levels. To realize this, the development team reduced PM by improving the DPF that is employed in the Forester and Impreza models, and reduced NOx by developing advanced combustion control.

    Engine configuration

    The main configuration of the new engine is based on the conventional boxer diesel. The benefit of the boxer engine is that it enables a compact, lightweight and highly rigid design compared with an inline four-cylinder unit. It also offers excellent NVH behavior, engine performance, and fuel economy. To extend the stroke, but keep the overall width of the engine equivalent to that of a four-cylinder boxer petrol engine, the boxer diesel employs a diagonally split connecting rod and a different method of assembly. This has minimized the increase in the cylinder block deck height.

    Furthermore, the piston height is kept compact by employing high-strength aluminum alloy pistons. The cylinder head comprises four valves and center injection. Employing proprietary fuel spray injectors with short overall length, the cylinder-head height is lower than in the boxer petrol, successfully maintaining the engine overall width equivalent to that of the petrol.

    ITable 1: Comparing the technical features of the two boxer diesel powertrainsn general, diesel engines are much heavier than their petrol counterparts. To minimize the increase in weight, the overall length of the boxer diesel engine is shorter than that of the boxer petrol. The bore pitch was shortened by 14.6mm compared with the boxer petrol, giving an overall length of 353.5mm, which is 61.3mm shorter than the boxer petrol. In total, the boxer diesel achieved a weight reduction of 10kg compared with a typical 2-liter four-cylinder diesel powertrain, through the compactness of short overall length and width, combined with the balancer shaft-less structure coming from the good noise and vibration characteristics and the weight reduction of various parts.

    The turbocharger is of a variable nozzle type, which controls the vane opening around the exhaust turbine according to the operating range, giving highly efficient supercharging in all ranges. The turbocharger is located under the engine to ensure good exhaust gas conversion and give a low center of gravity.Table 2: Further important differences between the two boxer diesel powertrainsThe characteristic dynamic performance of the Subaru is realized through the lowered center of gravity and enhanced supercharging response. The oxidation catalyst and the DPF are located directly downstream of the turbocharger. This layout enables the catalyst to warm up more quickly, securing the exhaust gas conversion performance in a wide operating range.

    Aftertreatment system

    The aftertreatment system for the Euro 5-compliant boxer diesel incorporates several new features. The DPF system located directly downstream of the turbocharger, equipped as standard in the first-generation boxer diesel for the Forester, has improved PM converting capability. For emissions conversion, especially the NOx, five features have been adopted: large EGR cooler; new fuel injection system; new combustion chamber shape; low compression ratio; and lift sensors for variable nozzle-type turbocharger actuators.

    Subaru second generation diesel boxer engineThe major difference in the regulations between Euro 4 and Euro 5 is in the permissible emission levels of PM and NOx. The improvement of air utilization factor is effective for the reduction of PM emissions, and the decrease of combustion temperature is effective for the reduction of NOx emissions. To restate: the two keywords for PM and NOx reduction are combustion temperature and air utilization factor. In general, when a large volume of EGR gas is introduced into the combustion chamber with a large-sized EGR cooler, the low temperature levels of the EGR gas helps to reduce NOx emissions.

    However, the decreased combustion rate often impairs the thermal efficiency and leads to poor fuel economy. Moreover, the increased EGR rate lowers the air utilization factor in the cylinders and increases PM emissions. A large-sized EGR cooler is good for NOx reduction, but could worsen fuel economyand raise PM.

    Furthermore, the new fuel injection system has an increased fuel pressure at normal range, with eight holes that are 9% smaller in diameter than those of the previous system. This promotes the atomization of fuel spray and the increase of air utilization factor, leading to PM reduction and quick, efficient combustion for better fuel economy. Yet there is a risk of increased combustion temperature levels and NOx emissions.

    For Euro 5 compliance, Subaru chose to employ a large-sized EGR cooler and a new fuel injection system. Engineers also set out to develop a combustion chamber shape that maximizes  thebenefits of the large-sized EGR and the new fuel injection. The shape of the combustion chamber is an important factor, because it is where the atomized fuel meets oxygen to cause combustion. The development team used CAE analysis of space and time to investigate the combustion of the fuel injected into the chamber.

    Table 3: The degree of influence of each combustion factor for NOx Table 2: Further important differences between the two boxer diesel powertrains and PM emissionsIn the Euro 5 system, where the diameters of the chamber lip and the chamber cavity are extended and the cone angle is optimized, it is clear that the PM generation in the cavity is reduced. In addition, the high PM consistency area at 26°ATDC (after top dead center) has been considerably reduced compared with the Euro 4 system. This is the result of PM oxidation, which has been promoted by the improvement of air utilization factor.

    The intake airflow is another important factor for controlling fuel diffusion in the combustion chamber and the combustion rate. The air is taken in through a helical port and a tangential port to create a swirl inside the combustion chamber and to diffuse the fuel so that oxygen and fuel are mixed. The optimum velocity and streamline are where the neighboring fuel sprays are not made to overlap each other by the swirl.

    The engineering team also focused on the lowered compression ratio, which is aimed at decreasing the combustion temperature to reduce NOx. The combustion temperature has been decreased by about 100°C. As well as satisfying the Euro 5 NOx limit, the influence of the low compression ratio on theoretical thermal efficiency and on PM emissions has been minimized. The development team concluded that the best compression ratio for the Euro 5 system is 16.0, compared with 16.3 in the Euro 4 system.

    The final feature to be introduced is the lift sensors for the variable nozzle-type turbocharger actuator. The lift sensors help to keep the boost pressure high at low load range, thereby raising the oxygen concentration in the combustion chamber and improving the air utilization factor. This leads to a reduction in PM emissions. To maximize the effects of these five new hardware items, the development team conducted a series of elaborate and highly accurate calibration tests.

    Figure 1 compares the rate of heat release of the two boxer diesel powertrainsThe engine control strategy is made up of a complicated matrix structure compared with the Euro 4 system. The influence on the combustion varies according to combinations of parameters such as the pressure, timing, the number and the time period of fuel injections. In addition, by optimizing the EGR rate control and boost pressure control at all operating ranges, the best performances of engine output, fuel economy, and emissions conversion have been achieved.

    Figure 1 illustrates a graph that compares cylinder pressure, rate of heat release and cylinder temperature levels for the Euro 5 and Euro 4 systems. The operating conditions are third gear, 1,600rpm, which is equivalent to 25mph vehicle speed, and mid-level load of 750kPa indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP).

    Figure 2 compares the cylinder pressure levels of the two boxer diesel powertrainsIn the Euro 5 system, as more EGR gas is introduced and the combustion rate is controlled at a much faster level compared with the Euro 4 system, the overall thermal efficiency level isvastly improved, and as a result of this, the combustion temperature level is maintained at about 100°C lower.

    Table 3 shows the degree of influence of each combustion factor for NOx and PM emissions respectively. The reduction of NOx and PM was realized by the combination of five hardware components and seven combustion factors. As can be seen, the influence of combustion factors on NOx and PM varies. By balancing these complex factors, the new engine cut NOx by about 60%.

    NVH performance

    The second-generation boxer diesel boasts several new features including a new DPF systemThe Euro 5 boxer diesel maintains the NVH standards of the Euro 4 system while also satisfying the Euro 5 regulation. In general, the high combustion pressure of diesel engines leads to greater combustion noise and engine vibration. The boxer diesel reduced such NVH and maximized its potential for stillness, realizing smooth and lively driving with low noise and vibration in all ranges from idling to high speed, without the need for balance shafts. The combustion noise, which could have deteriorated by making it Euro 5 compliant, has been maintained at the same level as the Euro 4 system, after reviewing the number of multistage injections and calibration strategies for driving conditions.

    The second-generation boxer diesel has been launched into the European market, satisfying the Euro 5 regulation while maintaining the engine output, fuel economy, and NVH and vibration characteristics of the first-generation engine. The development of this engine had two outcomes. First, five new features have been introduced: a large-sized EGR cooler; a new fuel injection; a new combustion chamber shape; low compression ratio; and lift sensors for the actuators of variable nozzle-type turbocharger. These features, in combination with the DPF, enable the second-generation boxer diesel to meet Euro 5.

    The second outcome is that the quietness and fuel economy of the first-generation engine have been maintained.

    Stabilizer bars are part of a cars suspension system. They are sometimes also called anti-sway bars or anti-roll bars or sway bars. Their purpose in life is to try to keep the car's body from "rolling" in a turn.

    Think about what happens to a car in a turn. If you are inside the car, you know that your body gets pulled toward the outside of the turn. The same thing is happening to all the parts of the car. So the part of the car on the outside of the turn gets pushed down toward the road and the part of the car on the inside of the turn rises up. In other words, the body of the car "rolls" 10 or 20 or 30 degrees toward the outside of the turn. If you take a turn fast enough, the tyres on the inside of the turn can actually rise off the road.


    Body roll is bad. It tends to put more weight on the outside tyres and less on the inside tyres, reducing traction and grip. It also messes up steering. What you would like is for the body of the car to remain flat through a turn so that the weight stays distributed evenly on all four tyres.

    Stabilizer bars provide a dampening function and structural support. ­

    A sway bar tries to keep the car's body flat by moving force from one side of the body to another. To picture how a sway bar works, imagine a metal rod that is 2 to 5 cm in diameter. If your front tyres are say,1.6 meters apart, make the rod about 4 feet long. Attach the rod to the frame of the car in front of the front tyres, but attach it with bushings in such a way that it can rotate. Now attach arms from the rod to the front suspension member on both sides.

    When you go into a turn now, the front suspension member of the outside of the turn gets pushed upward. The arm of the sway bar gets pushed upward, and this applies torsion to the rod. The torsion them moves the arm at the other end of the rod, and this causes the suspension on the other side of the car to compress as well. The car's body tends to stay flat in the turn.

    If you do't have sway bars, you tend to have a lot of trouble with body roll in a turn. If you have too much stabilizer bar, you tend to lose independence between the suspension members on both sides of the car. When one wheel hits a bump, the stabilizer bar transmits the bump to the other side of the car as well, which is not what you want. The ideal is to find a setting that reduces body roll but does not hurt the independence of the tyres.

    Here at MRT we use and recommend Whiteline sway bars, made here in Australia, because they are reliable and they are designed for whole range of makes and models. Plus they have varied diameters allowing the "tuning" of the suspension to suit your particular needs.

    Contact MRT now for sway bars and suspension advice, so we can give you best advice on how a new single or set of sway bars can both reduce body roll, but also reduce tyre wear and add to your fun in driving your car.


    Original Article: Car Advice

    Non-car enthusiasts are very confused by this question. And the fuel companies haven’t helped – the number of different retail fuel products beggars belief.

    In the past few years we’ve seen an explosion in the number of fuel products – many of which bear absolutely no resemblance to the way fuel is actually specified by car manufacturers.

    Pop open the fuel flap on a contemporary car and you’re likely to see “Uleaded Fuel Only” inside the flap. Other options include “Premium Unleaded Only” or “98 Octane Unleaded Only”. Imagine how confusing that is when someone in an unfamiliar car pull up at a servo, next to a pump marked ‘V-Power’ or ‘Bio e-Flex’. It can be a difficult code to crack, for the uninitiated. There are consequences – sometimes severe ones – if you get this wrong. You could easily blow up your engine, or cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.

    Fuel Choices

    There are currently five different ‘flavours’ of automotive petrols on the market, if you discount the 100-octane leaded avgas sold near some aboriginal communities to discourage recreational sniffing. The widely available mainstream petrol blends are sexed up with a hodge-podge of different brand names for retail sale in the same way, for example, orange juice manufacturers try to differentiate themselves from one another even though it’s really all the same swill, basically. No two fuel brands use the same name for their basic unleaded petrol, even though it is all often produced by exactly the same refinery.

    Automotive fuels currently on offer include:

    • Standard unleaded petrol (ULP), which has an octane rating of 91 and is being phased out in some states, soon to be replaced by E10. It’s the fuel most petrol cars on sale in Australia require. (It’s the one that goes with the ‘Unleaded Fuel Only’ sticker inside the fuel filler flap.)

    • E10, which is a blend of 10 per cent ethanol. Most modern cars can run E10, as well as many older cars. If unsure, check with the vehicle manufacturer. Older cars might not have E10-proof materials inside the fuel systems. The E10 can, in these cases, break down these incompatible materials and the byproducts of that breakdown can become dislodged and migrate upstream where they can clog the fuel filters and injectors, which is an expensive problem to solve.

      If you’ve been using 91 ULP and it’s become unavailable in your area, and your car is incompatible with E10, you’ll have to use the next fuel in our list, a premium unleaded petrol, which is more expensive. (interestingly, E10 can also damage mowers and other yard equipment in the manner described above. It’s generally a safer bet to run these items on a premium unleaded fuel. (They consume very little, so the running cost difference is negligible.)

      E10 will help a suitably compatible 91-octane-minimum engine perform a little better, too, allowing the engine to advance the timing a little, but it packs less energy into every litre, so your fuel consumption invariably goes up, offsetting most of E10’s upfront price discount. The performance increase will be very minor, and the consumption goes up 3-4 per cent.

    • Premium, 95-octane unleaded petrol (PULP). This is the first of two ‘flavours’ of PULP, and is the entry-level fuel in some other markets, like Europe, which lacks 91-octane. If your car says ‘Premium Unleaded Only’ inside the filler flap, this is the one you should use – if you use 91-octane or E10, serious, expensive engine damage might result. This 95-octane stuff is the cheaper of the two PULPs.

    • Premium 98-octane unleaded (PULP).This is the fuel demanded by some exotic cars, often with forced induction (turbo or supercharger induction) or ‘direct injection’, and the most expensive petrol on the market. If the car says ’98-octane Unleaded Only’ you must not use any of the lesser petrols, because you could severely damage the engine, landing you with a bill an ordinary mortal might not jump over, given the nature of some of the cars that require 98.

    • E85, a blend of up to 85 per cent ethanol, with the balance in petrol. The recipe varies by place and season; it’s not always 85 per cent ethanol. Currently this fuel is available only at some selected Caltex servos and is called ‘Bio e-Flex’. The only cars – so far – that can run it are the latest ‘Flex Fuel’ iterations of Holden’s Commodore. If you stick this green-oriented fuel in basically any other car, chances are you won’t get it started at the next cold start. Cue the expensive repair bill again.

    Fuel Choices

    Here’s the thing: you can put a higher octane fuel in a car than the manufacturer’s requirement. No problem with putting 95 or even 98 in a car designed for 91 – except generally you will be wasting money. Higher octane fuels don’t contain more energy. Octane rating is basically resistance to burning under pressure, allowing higher compression ratios to be used (cylinder pressures, actually). A modern engine designed for 91 will even deliver a very small amount of additional power if fed 95 or 98 because it will advance the timing a little more than with 91. The improvement will be very minor. So minor you probably won’t notice it.

    Most engine design experts I’ve ever spoken to regard running higher octane fuel in an engine designed for a lower octane fuel as basically a waste of money.

    Fuel Choices

    However, it’s an unmitigated disaster to put a lower-octane fuel in an engine than the one recommended by the manufacturer. This can lead to severe engine damage. The early detonation of the fuel can raise the temperature inside the combustion chamber to levels that the metal parts inside the engine can’t withstand, and unacceptable stresses are also placed on internal components.

    One fuel manufacturer that has recently taken a real step in the right direction is Caltex, which has taken the decision recently to display the meaningful numbers – 91, 95, 98 – on every bowser. It’s really useful information to help ordinary consumers cut through the branding to the essential information.

    By Anthony Parle

    Have you ever had the not so enjoyable pleasure of boiling your car every time you push the revs up or drive it hard, you watch the temp needle rise?  You have been doing well in the race but you had to back it down or you are going to cook your engine  You have read all the different articles on keeping you engine cool and walked away more confused then ever.  Asked your self the big question what is truth and what is fiction?  Which ideas belong in the real world and which one belong in the tooth fair world? What ideas are backed by fact and what are historical artifacts from the stone ages? Questions like

    Cooling testsShould I give an electric pump a go, will it save power?
    Is my coolant flowing to fast and do I need it to slow down?
    Should I drill the impeller blades?
    Why put a top tank in for air, do I need it?
    Is a down flow radiator better then a cross flow?
    What happens if I run with out a thermostat, should I?
    Does my engine block cause too much restriction in the cooling system at high revs?
    In the case of Subaru’s, does the left bank really run hotter than the right?
    If I increase the radiator cap pressure will that solve the problem?
    Why does my Ford have wire in the bottom suction pipe, that’s right to stop it collapsing dummy?  Is that okay?

    Well in the next couple of articles I going to answer all these question and separate the “Dream time from the bull time”.  I have spent a year running tests on Subaru cooling systems with temperature gauges, pressure gauges, air flow gauges, water flow gauges & vacuum gauges mounted in every conceivable spot of a Subaru engine that people know about and a few that they done.  I have run tests on “Cross flow”, “Down Flow” and “Multi Pass” radiators. I have cut, drilled, milled, welded, bled and got burnt all in a effort to answer the big question “Why the hell does my engine keep boiling when the revs go up”.  I have made friends, lost friends and been abused all in a effort to get to the bottom of the black art of cooling a car engine.

    Okay lets get rocking

    I want to answer some of these big questions up front then I will back up my answers with the research to support the statement.  My reason for doing this is that the solution needs to be clear so people don’t have to read the whole article to find the answer or get to the end and be more confused.  Or think I am on drugs and don’t have a clue what I am talking about.  So here we go.

    The best radiator is a cross flow with the cap on the same side as the water pump inlet.  If the bottom hose has wire in it you have a problem the pipe is to small to keep the water pump happy at high revs.  Even if it doesn’t have wire you could still have a problem with the pipe to small.  The thermostat needs to be at the top of the radiator not the bottom on the water pump cover.  In most cases you need to find a bigger water pump inlet pipe.  Your bottom pipe out of the radiator needs to be in the best place to get maximum flow from the tank.  If it’s a bottom tank radiator it needs to be in the centre or on a side tank slightly up.  The pipe needs to be as large as possible to help flow to the pump.  Electric water pumps in most cases are a waste of time and don’t have the kind of flow needed to transfer the heat generated by the engine.  They also only save power because they pump less coolant they are not more efficient at the same flow rate of your existing pump. Nearly forgot changing the radiator cap won’t help and may blow your heater core due to the increased pressure, it just masks the main problem.

    I can hear the screams now, where do I get off making such statements and have such confidence that I am right, you could take my word for, but I would be disappointed if you didn’t demand my proof, we are dealing in facts here and not fairytales.

    And_ _  here we go.  A couple of years back people around the world started to put manual gearboxes in Subaru SVX’s, for those people that never heard of these cars they were a executive sports car built by Subaru from 92 to 96.  They were only available in auto because at the time Subaru did not have a manual gearbox capable of handling the high hp of the engine.  The engine is 3.3L NA (naturally aspirated), they are known for being as tough as a preverbal brick building.  They ended up in planes, buggies, drag cars and more then a few WRX’s.  Some were even fitted with twin turbo’s by the drag guys.  This was all good “except they overheated” when the revs went up the engines started to overheat.

    In an attempt to solve this problem I started my search and found that a lot of high performance Subaru engines were having overheating problems, even rally cars in the UK were modifying the top cross pipe in a effort to beat the heating.  My internet research led me to two conclusions, first that Subaru weren’t the only company to have issues with cooling and the second, best of all, there were a lot of people out there that must be on drugs or best friends with a tooth fairy because they didn’t have a clue what they were writing about, there was no logic or science to back up the statement.

    Lots of gauges

    I started my research by fitting myroad car with three temp gauges, radiator return coolant temp, left and right heads by removing the plug into the back of the head against the fire wall.  Then on a 38c degree day I conducted a test, I was driving straight on flat level ground in 6th gear at 110kph measure the engine temp, then changed to 5th, 4th and 3rd while keeping speed the same.  The aim was to raise rev without changing load on the engine to see what effect increased coolant flow would have on the engine temperature.  What I discovered was that as the revs went up the engine temp shot up and not by a little bit but on a increasing scale. It was so bad that in 3rd gear the test lasted about 30 seconds before the engine boiled.  As you can image I had my tail between my legs because I had just boiled my engine (possibly stuffed it) and learnt nothing.  My new research career was over.  At anything above 5k continuous the engine was on a path to become a barbeque for a beer ad.

    After a couple of weeks I decided that I need to learn more. Too dumb to quit I decided to inflict more pain on my dearly loved car.  With great reservations I drilled holes in the water pump just in front of the impeller and mounted a vacuum gauge, installed pressure gauges on the outlet of pump before the engine block, outlet of block and before the radiator.  It was a hot day - 40c - had the car parked, took a deep breath and did a new set of tests.  Revved up the car while recording the readings of the gauges every 1,000 rpm.  We again had to stop because at 6k it was good and boiling.  What we noticed was that the vacuum gauge on the inlet to the water pump showed increasing vacuum until all of a sudden it showed zero vacuum.  This occurred at around 6k and the engine would boil.  The test at this point had to be terminated as the engine temp was heading past 130C and fast.  The other pressure gauges stated to drop at 6k.  I posted this data on the Subaru SVX forum and it created a lot of discussion as to why it happened.

    My good friend Harvey was the one to hit the nail on the head he suggested that the coolant was boiling before the water pump and then the water pump was losing prime as a result no coolant flow.  For those not to bright and wrote that garbage on the net about cooling.  “No pump no coolant flow means boiling engine”.  Okay so we did a bit of math.  The vacuum gauge read -5psi before it all turned bad and went to zero when you work this out water boils below Zero at a lower temperature there for the calc says that at 88C the coolant was going to boil going into the pump.  All right I can hear everyone say but what about the cap holding pressure 10psi?  You are right (only to a degree, I will go into it later) the boiling point has moved to 98C and your engine is going to boil its little head off.  If you rev the engine more and the suction goes lower the temp at which your engine will boil will drop.  For example I tested a special radiator and it reached a suction of -9psi at the pump in which case before cap pressure it would boil at 78c inlet temp to pump.

    Engine on a stand

    At this point I figured my poor car needed to be spared any further abuse from its unloving owner (if it had of been a pet the RSPCA would have lockned me away by now), so I built a test bench with a motor mounted on a stand and a electric motor driving the water pump with a clear pipe nstalled to be able to watch the coolant flow through the pipe and look for air.  Filled with water as it was clear and a standard radiator from a SVX (pinched the one from my wife’s car, was not a good idea, “did not feel the love”).  Away I went looking to see what the clear pipes showed.  Due to the circuit being cool I had to remove the thermostat.  Installed onto this test bench were a bunch of gauges, as the revs went up the vacuum increased on the suction to the pump and there was nothing that could be done stop the air getting in the circuit.  Below 3k the water was clear, the faster you went the worst it got and at 6k you could have had a milk shake there was so much air.  Also this air was cause back pressure in the cooling loop to the point that air was being blown out the overflow pipe taking with it liquid.

    As far as I could see there was not a thing I could do to sort it out, was the block just to restrictive, the radiator the problem or the pump just too good?  The only way to find the answer was to break the cooling system do to smaller test units.  As a result I mounted a Subaru water pump on its own belt driven by electric motor with no radiator just a clear looping pipe to check for air.  To my surprise I noticed that the air was better but still there above 4.5k rpm.  At this point in a state of frustration I figure its time I got locked away as a nutter, done heaps of work seen lots, achieved nothing and getting nowhere.  This job was going to turn a man to drink.  However there was a clue, the vacuum gauge on the test unit was still showing -5psi (this did not make sense) and in my looped pipe the water level was rising as the revs increased.

    Cooling testing

    Went away sat under the tree, sucked up to my wife (after the radiator was returned) by taking here for a drive to the Birsdsville races and drove across the Simpson desert in the SVX sports car (I was running a stress test on our marriage).

    When I returned I examined the water pump cover and found that while it looks large the internal size is about 27mm.  At 6k this the engine is pumping 200L per min and you are trying to suck that volume of coolant through a 27mm pipe.  It just wasn’t going to happen.  The next step was to build a new pump thermostat cover of larger size so I tried 45mm.  Assembled this all again with 50mm clear pipe and gave the stand alone pump a go again.  What I found now was after the small pockets of trapped air escaped from the block the system settled down.  At 6k the water flow through the pump was so good you couldn’t tell at all if the pump was running or not.  Success was with in sight.

    Modified PWR radiatorFeeling the taste of success getting closer I install the modified pump cover and the 50mm pipe on the motor with out the radiator and ran the unit.  All was good, no air at 6k the liquid was clear it was as if I did not have the engine attached.  Now I felt I was on the home run so I bolted on a brand new PWR radiator that I had built specially for me.  It had 45mm top and bottom pipes, I turned it on and was shocked at 5k and up you could see the air forming in clear inlet pipe to the pump.  The vacuum gauge while lower was still reading -3psi.  The air was coming from the bottom of the radiator out let pipe. The next step was to move the radiator to the centre of the radiator bottom tank which I did.  The next lot of trials proved that at 6k with a 50mm outlet pipe in the bottom tank the problem was solved.

    The answer was clearly that you can’t suck the kind of flows (200L per min) through a 27mm pump cover and that’s without the thermostat install.  A couple of guys in the USA, Tom and Dan had come up with the idea of putting the thermostat inline on the top radiator hose so as to improve flow into the pump but still be able to have a thermostat in the system.  This has proved a real winner.

    The big question is does it work, well a number of cars are now racing around the world and are not overheating and don’t even look like they will.  My friend in Australia Matt has been rallying a SVX that has always overheated.  He changed the bottom pump cover, took the thermostat out and moved the bottom radiator pipe to the centre and now the car runs to cool.  My friend Adam in the USA has a WRX with a SVX engine in it and he has changed the bottom pipes as suggested and he also installed a top pipe thermostat.  He wanted to find out what would happen so he put the car on a dyno trying to overheat it but it never happened the thing ran as cool as can be.

    Lets talk top tank radiator versus cross flow radiators, I don’t think I need to cover all the work I did to figure out the answer as to which is best.  It is quit easy to explain the reason for using cross flow.  On top tank radiator the coolant is forced through the radiator under pressure from the pump but what everyone is no aware is that under high flow that pressure can be 9 psi or higher depending on the flow characteristic of the core.  If the cap is set for 10psi then you are going to blow coolant at 102c and you need to think back to what I said about the boiling temperature of the inflow into the pump.  If the cap is only effective to raise the pressure by 1 psi then at a suction of 7psi the engine will boil at the pump 85c.  Think about that you can boil the car and the cooling fans are not even on.  Due to the fact the pump is a centrifugal when you do slow down the rev the pump won’t start pumping.  It will not restart till the rev drop to idle.

    Water Pump SVX Differential Pressure

    Compare this to a cross flow radiator with the cap on the suction side.  If it’s a 10psi cap then you get the full 10psi on the pump less the vacuum which means you boiling point into the water pump will be over 100c.  That’s a big difference also if the system needs more coolant the radiator will suck it through the cap not blow it out.

    As I get to the end of this article I need to defend my honour and get in before all the people out there call for my blood and demand that I be burnt at the stake for not taking on board one important factor.  They will scream “BUT IT’S A CLOSED LOOP” pressure coming out of the pump ends up on the inlet so there can’t be a vacuum, you must be on drugs.  Well the bad news is it is a closed loop but no pressure turns up at the inlet of the pump.  Just think if the pump was capable of boosting the pressure by 30 psi and 10 psi turned up at the inlet then the next loop would mean the pump would boast by 40psi.  It just doesn’t happen it would be a type of perpetual motion and we all know that isn’t possible.

    Depending on how this article is enjoyed we might discuss why high coolant flows are best next time.  May you engines run sweet and cool.


    More details on GFB products can be found on our on-line shop e-CAT here.

    • How a GFB BOV works: A GFB valve operates on a pressure differential between the intercooler and the intake manifold. If they are both at the same pressure, i.e. WOT, the pressure top and bottom is equal and there is no resultant force. The spring then keeps the valve in the closed position. When the manifold pressure drops below the intercooler, there becomes an imbalance in the forces and the valve opens. Once the intercooler pressure is relieved, the spring closes the valve again
    • Spring pre-load – as above, the spring pre-load had nothing to do with the amount of boost pressure – a GFB valve stays shut regardless of whether boost is 5psi or 500psi. The spring pre-load is adjusted to balance the IDLE VACUUM. At idle, the spring should push the piston down just a little bit harder than the vacuum trying to open it, so the piston stays shut, but will open very easily if there is boost in the pipes that needs venting.
    • GFB vs factory: The operation method described above means that a GFB valve is shut until it is required to open, whereas a factory valve is usually open until required to shut. GFB’s method improves throttle response over the factory valve.
    • Factory valve operation:  typically factory valves have one extra force acting on the valve that causes it to open at higher boost to prevent boost increases – manifold pressure on top of the diaphragm, IC pressure on the bottom of the diaphragm (thanks to the small transfer port), intercooler pressure pushing valve up, spring pushing down. At WOT, the forces on the diaphragm are equalised, leaving the spring to hold the valve shut against the boost trying to open it. So in this case the spring pre-load is DIRECTLY responsible for holding the boost, and will leak at some point. For example, a WRX valve starts leaking at about 19psi, STi at 22psi, EVO at 22psi, and a 200SX leaks from 0. This is also why the spring on a factory valve FEELS harder than a GFB one, but in actual fact the GFB spring is EFFECTIVELY harder.
    • Venting bias adjustment: GFB is the only manufacturer to offer venting bias adjustment – a feature patented by GFB. This allows you to choose how much air vents to atmosphere, and how much is recirculated, simply by twisting the cap. Other brands require plug kits and tools to achieve a maximum of 3 configurations. When the GFB Respons is the same price or less than these types, it’s not a difficult choice.
    • Vehicle applications: The Respons TMS comes in a bolt-on kit to suit just about any turbo car on the market, without modification|
    • Boost leaks: a GFB valve will show a leak when subjected to most common methods of pressure testing. This is important, because it does not actually indicate a malfunctioning valve, and the reasons for this are not well understood, even by people that would call themselves “experts”. A normal intake system pressure test will pressurise not just the intercooler downstream of the turbo, but the intake between the filter and the turbo too. If a GFB valve is fitted to the car and is connected to the recirc hose, that means the recirc outlet of the valve is pressurised during this test. GFB valves are not designed to hold pressure on the recirc outlet, simply because in practice there is no need to – the intake pipe only sees tiny amounts of vacuum, never boost pressure.

      Secondly, the piston in a GFB valve is precision machined with a piston-to-bore clearance of 0.03 to 0.05mm, and features an Ertalyte (similar to Teflon) piston ring, similar in design to an engine piston ring. However, this does not form a perfect seal like an o-ring, and a small amount of leakage will occur past the sides of the piston. This is normal, and will show up during a leak test if the vacuum nipple is pressurised. The size of the leak however is approximately 2/5ths of f**k all, and about 10 times smaller than the amount of air leaked by a common boost control solenoid, and many, many times less than a factory valve at its threshold, and is therefore not capable of causing a boost pressure loss, performance loss, or any adverse effects to the engine whatsoever. The reason the piston does not use an o-ring is because o-rings cause friction, which prevents the valve from being able to vent to atmosphere properly without stalling the car, and they need frequent replacement. O-rings are in fact cheaper than the ertalyte piston ring we use, so this is an example of how we put performance over cost.
    • Venting To Atmosphere – is it really as bad as everyone says? Not with a GFB valve. A correctly installed and set up GFB valve won’t (and can’t) blow your engine up, damage or wear the engine or turbo, stall the car, or use more fuel. Fact is, GFB have been making valves that successfully VTA on cars with airflow meters for over 10 years. If it couldn’t be done, we wouldn’t still be in business.

      There is of course a valid technical reason why people say you shouldn’t. If the ECU measures air which is then vented out of the system by the BOV, it will continue to inject fuel for the measured amount of air which is now missing, and will result in a rich mixture. However, the conditions surrounding this need to be looked at. The only time this occurs is when the valve is venting, which if set up correctly, is for a brief period after the throttle is closed when the car is on boost. In addition, how rich the mixture goes depends directly on how much air you vent. Put too big a valve on and it will cause problems.

      So, the mixture goes rich ONLY for a second or two when the throttle is closed – not really detrimental conditions to the engine. And with the venting bias adjustment system of GFB’s valves, you can fine tune exactly how much air is vented, which will prevent problems such as backfiring as a result of a rich mixture.

      Stalling is caused by a VTA valve that does not close at idle, or does not close quick enough. Correct spring pre-load is the simple way to ensure this does not happen.
    • Throttle response: contrary to popular theory, venting as much air as possible through the BOV does not allow the turbo to “freewheel” and maintain RPM to reduce lag. What is does do is empty the intercooler completely of pressure, which ultimately means it takes longer to return to peak boost after shifting gears. The key to optimum throttle response is having the spring pre-load set firm enough to hold a little backpressure in the intercooler, but not so firm that it causes compressor surge. The end result is up to 30% less lag during a gearshift.

    Further Reading

    • The truth about Compressor surge
    • Turbo Lag and the TMS solution

    Disc Rotor Machining - Slotted and Cross Drilled Rotors

    The introduction of slotted and cross drilled rotors has left technicians asking the question “Can they be machined?” The answer is “Yes – but there are some important things to remember”.

    When machining any disc rotor it is important to make sure that all the mounting faces are clean and undamaged on both the rotors and the tooling. Always make sure that the tool tips are sharp and setup directly opposed to each other.

    When machining slotted or cross drilled rotors it is extremely important to remember to always use the slowest feed rate and take the smallest cut. DO NOT take 1 cut to clean up the disc and then a fine finishing cut as you will damage both the disc rotor and your tool tips. If you need to take 5 or so fine cut passes to clean up the face of the disc then that is OK.

    Once you have finished machining the disc rotor, very lightly use 240 grit emery paper to smooth off the fine grooves on the face of the disc rotor. Clean the friction faces with a suitable cleaner like liquid acetone or brake clean. Never use petroleum or silicon based cleaners as they will leave a residue on the disc rotor that will impede brake performance.

    Remember: Always check rotor thickness & replace if on or under minimum thickness after machining.

    The disc rotor below shows a typical result of a slotted disc rotor that has been machined using blunt tool tips and too heavier cut. The rotor has ridges on the opposite side to the slot and also shows the signs of the tool tip bouncing out of the slot leaving a shadow ridge on the disc face as well. The result is machined in DTV (Disc Thickness Variation) so when these rotors were refitted to the vehicle it still had brake shudder.


    Looking closely at the disc mounting face it is evident that the original cause of the problem was that the hub face had not been cleaned before the discs where fitted, causing built in runout, resulting in premature DTV. As the machinist has failed to clean the mounting face prior to machining these discs he has also now machined runout into the disc.


    The disc rotor abovet shows a typical disc rotor finish after being machined correctly. Note also that the mounting face has been cleaned thoroughly.

    Download PDF Article

    Source: DBA

    MRT develops, fits and tests a water spray kit for the EVO X with SST transmission (that has no kit factory fitted). For some unknown reason Mitsubishi chose to omit the water spray function on these models, it is however fitted to the GSR (5spd) model, like the one that MRT uses for R&D.

    Using the right parts and some common sense, EcuTeK software, and some modifications, MRT have provided a solution that is genuinely sought after that will be a huge benefit to many owners of this model.

    Water Spray Benefits

    Intercooler Spray KitThe water spray system on the EVO like the earlier models has 3 nozzles that direct water onto the front mount intercooler. This water then improves the efficiency of the intercooler thru evaporation. The real benefit is then a lower inlet charge to the engine and more power.

    Added Bonus

    On the Models with the SST transmissions, an extra (custom made) nozzle can be fitted to also spray onto the transmission cooler that is located on the front left hand side of the car, just behind the bumper bar. These models when driven hard are known to run high trans temperatures and in some situations can overheat causing the Transmission ECU to remove drive whilst it cools down. A good example is in skid pan situations where transmission loads are high and air speed is low, as the cooler has no electric fan it relies on road speed and air flow to cool the oil that passes through it.

    (There are several aftermarket larger SST trans cooler kits, the downside being they cost thousands, require a lot of labour to fit and wo't work at high speed in some cases. Some come with cooler fans, The upside is they work with no air flow and at zero road speed, the downside is the fan causes a restriction to air flow above 80 km/hr. Water on the other hand works in all cases.)

    The Water Spray Kit

    On the SST models the rear washer tank is smaller than the models with a water spray kit and has no provision for a intercooler spray pump.

    Note: The water spray function will not work unless the factory ECU has had a software update (via EcuTeK) to enable the "Auto" function to work and in "Manual" mode some other small mods are required.

    Obviously the (MR) car needs the following to make the kit a reality (Please note this is a basic list and not everything is listed):

    Water Spray Switch

    • Rear tank
    • Rear tank cap
    • Main hose
    • 3 x nozzles
    • 3 x nozzle clips
    • Front hose kit
    • Relay
    • Fuses
    • Auto / man OEM dash switch
    • One way valves
    • and more


    • Nozzle for SST trans cooler (MRT made)
    • Hose for above
    • Shut off valve for above to allow choice of use
    • Electric solenoid to stop water leakage when spray is not in use (Factory check valves are unreliable)

    More Options

    The factory fitted fog lamp covers over 50% of the SST trans cooler we recommend the following if you want to maximise your SST trans cooler performance.

    • Remove the LHS fog cover and replace with:
      • the factory mesh grille and outer garnish
      • fill the lower space with an alloy tray to direct air to the cooler and stop "leakage" around it.

    Water Spray NozzlesThis (water spray) kit is very labour intensive to fit and requires the car to be substantially dismantled to run all the hoses from the rear to the front as well as to modify the wire harness and fit the nozzles at the front.

    The end result is well worth it as the test car showed significant reduction in the cooling required after a track test (as in cool down laps or driving around the pits) as the car performed well with the water spray on the intercooler in "auto" mode.

    For use in day to day conditions where the sst trans cooler may not be needed, we fitted a valve to control water flow to the optional MRT sst trans spray, this also saves water!

    Note: The EcuTeK upgrade by MRT uses a whole new set of triggers to ensure best performance of the Intercooler water spray function in both the GSR and the MRT fitted MR models kit.

    This kit can be purchased from MRT as:

    • Ready to fit with all parts and info.
    • Optional SST trans cooler parts.
    • Fitted by MRT.

    Factory Settings on GSR models does not work

    Ever wondered why the water spray on your Evo 7, 8 9 and 10 wo't work in auto mode?

    The reason is the factory settings and triggers are set in such as way that your car will never turn it on! One example is the engine temp has to be over 105 degrees to trip just one of the many trigger points! Read the following document to understand why....

    The solution is a MRT EcuTeK ECU upgrade that gives, Power, Torque AND revised water spray settings!

    Related Info

    •  STi Spec C water spray tank   {wma}MRT-Tech-file-No-18-water-spray-evo-sti{/wma}
    •  How it works  {wma}MRT-did-you-know-7-sti-water-spray{/wma}

    There are many different ways to drift a car - below are different techniques on how to do this,

    (Note: ABS and TCS should be turned off before attempting to drift. These systems are not made to take into account a driver wanting the car to slide. Also, please do not practice this on the road, but at a MRT Track or Skid Pan Day or other safe venue that is not a pulblic road).

    How to drift like a pro 

    Braking drift - This drift is performed by trail braking into a corner so that the car can "set" or shift weight to cause the rear wheels to lose traction, then controlling the drift with proper steering and gas inputs. Having brake bias can be beneficial to the drift depending on the driving style. Usually having bias on rear brakes helps to brake drift.

    Power Over Drift - This drift performed when entering a corner at full throttle to produce heavy oversteer through the turn. It is the most typical drifting technique for AWD cars (predominantly RWD). Keiichi Tsuchiya has been regarded as saying he used this technique when he was too scared to drift at certain corners when he was younger. However the chance of this technique leading to a burn-out instead of a drift is possible if executed at a bad angle. 

    Inertia (Feint) Drift - This is done by rocking the car towards the outside of a turn and then using the inertia of the car to swing it back to the desired drifting line. By going away from the corner, and turning back in hard, you are coming from a much sharper angle. Somtimes the brake will be applied while rocking the car towards the outside to give a better weight transfer; hence creating an even sharper turn. It has been said by many pro-drifters that this is one of the hardest techniques to master as has a high spin-out factor.

    "Lift Off" - At very high speeds, by letting your foot off of the accelerator while cornering, certain cars with very neutral handling, such as the MX-5 or 200SX S14, will begin to slide, simply from the drop in torque and engine braking. The drift is controlled afterwards by steering inputs from the driver and light pedal work.

    Handbrake/ebrake Drift - This technique is pretty straightforward; pull the handbrake to induce rear traction loss and balance drift through steering and throttle play. Some people debate the fact that if using the handbrake creates an actual drift, or just a power slide, but ultimately, using the e-brake is no different than any other technique for starting drifts. This is generally the main technique to perform a controlled drift in a FWD vehicle. This is one the first techniques beginners will use as their cars are not powerful enough to lose traction using other techniques. Also this technique is used heavily in drift competitions to drift big corners.

    Dirt Drop Drift - This is done by dropping the rear tires off the road into the dirt to maintain or gain drift angle without losing power or speed and to set up for the next turn. Only permissible on roads without barriers and lined with dirt or other materials which to lose traction. This is commonly done in WRC rallying. 

    Clutch Kick - This is done by "kicking" the clutch (pushing in, then out, usually more than one time in a drift for adjustment in a very fast manner) to send a shock through the power train, upsetting the car's balance. It causes the rear wheels to slip and enables the driver to induce over steer. 

    Choku Dori - This is used while drifting on straightaways. The driver of the car sways the car side to side while the car is in a drift, which looks impressive. It can be initiated through all the above techniques. 

    Changing Side Swing - This technique is used extensively in the Japanese D1 competition and is very similar to inertia (Feint) drift. It is often done on the first entry drift corner, which is often a long double apex turn just before a very fast straight-way. If the straight-way before that double apex is of a downhill orientation, the driver keeps driving on side of the track that is closest to the corner. Then with correct timing in mind, the driver abruptly changes the car onto the other side. This movement has the car momentum to be altered causing the rear wheels to lose traction. The car is in a drift motion right now. Then the drift is carried over into the corner and through it. 

    Dynamic Drift - This technique is similar to the Choku Dori. It employs all forms of the above techniques - and not restricted to only one - in combinations to accomplish the desired drift movement.        

    It was 31 years ago in August 1978 that Mercedes-Benz presented the second­generation anti-lock braking system (ABS), developed together with Bosch, to the press in Untertlirkheim, Germany.

    This world-first enabled a driver to retain steering control even during emergency braking. From December that year the innovation became available to customers, initially in the S-Class sedans (W 116 model series). Eight years before, in 1970, the first ­generation anti-lock braking system for passenger cars, a system that had been developed together with TELDlX, had its world premiere.

    ABS is thus an example of the great staying power sometimes required to bring a pioneering new product up to production standard, a responsibility which the Mercedes-Benz brand takes upon itself again and again with its numerous innovations.

    Development over decades

    ABS ExplainedAn anti-lock braking system had been on the automotive engineers' list of wishes for decades - it was, after all, expected to improve handling safety drastically by retaining steerability during braking. As early as 1928 the German Karl Wessel had been granted a patent on a braking force regulator for automobiles, but this design only existed on paper.

    In 1941, an anti-lock regulator was tested with which, however, "only modest successes were achieved," as the "Automobiltechnisches Handbuch" (Automotive Engineering Manual) reported. Nevertheless, these first attempts set the course: an anti-lock braking system had to have sensors for measuring the speeds of each front wheel, as well as a control unit for recording and comparing the data measured by the sensors. This control unit was to correct excessive deviations by individually controlling the brake pressure at every wheel up to the point at which the wheel is about to lock.

    However, the transfer of the idea into hardware for use on the road proved to be significantly more difficult than expected. The sensors did work satisfactorily as early as 1952 when used in an anti-skid system for aircraft, and in 1954 in a Knorr braking system for railways. But in the car, the demands on the mechanical friction wheel sensors were much higher: they had to register decelerations and accelerations in wheel speeds, they had to react reliably in corners and on rough ground and work perfectly even when heavily soiled and at high temperatures.

    Induction instead of mechanics

    The problem was tackled not only by Daimler-Benz engineers but also at TELDIX GmbH in Heidelberg. The two companies did not make any headway with mechanical sensors, so they had to look for another, new solution.

    In 1967, they came up with a solution to the problem in a joint effort -in the form of contact-less speed pickups which operate on the principle of induction. Their signals were to be evaluated by an electronic unit which controlled brake pressure via solenoid valves. At the time, electronics still worked on the basis of analogue technology which was relatively susceptible to failure and consisted of complicated circuitry. Integrated modules did not yet exist. And yet, this proved to be a first, promising approach.

    For this reason, Daimler-Benz introduced this first generation of an anti-lock braking system for cars, trucks and buses to the public on the test track in UntertUrkheim on December 12, 1970 ­with a resounding echo by an enthusiastic expert world and press. The principle had been found to be convincing.

    Development of the production ABS

    Another eight years passed before Daimler-Benz was able to offer a reliably functioning anti-lock braking system for production cars; this time the challenge was to give the prototype the degree of technical maturity and reliability that is absolutely necessary for large-scale production.

    In development, the engineers benefited from the revolution in electronics. It was not until the invention of integrated circuits that small, robust computers could be built, capable of recording wheel sensor data in next to no time and reliably actuating the valves for adjusting brake pressure.

    It took development partner Bosch five years to supply the first digital control unit to UntertOrkheim for test purposes. Digital instead of analogue: this meant fewer components with the advantage of the risk of malfunction being reduced down to virtually zero.

    Thanks to digital technology, the electronic components were capable of recording, comparing, evaluating and transforming sensor data into governor pulses for the brakes' solenoid valves within milliseconds. What's more, not only the front wheels but also the rear wheels were included in the control operations.

    1978: The world's first production ABS

    Thus, it had taken a long, long time before Mercedes-Benz became the world's first motor manufacturer in August 1978 to officially launch the second-generation anti-lock braking system and to offer it as an option from December 1978.

    Since 1984, ABS has been standard equipment on Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Ten years after the introduction, as many as one million Mercedes-Benz cars with ABS were being operated on the roads throughout the world.

    Mercedes-Benz also adopted a pioneering role where ABS for commercial vehicles was concerned. As early as 1981 ABS was offered for compressed-air brakes, a joint development with Wabco. ABS has been standard equipment on all touring coaches of the brand since 1987 and on all trucks of the brand since 1991. In late 1990, ABS also found its way into the Mercedes-Benz racing cars for the German Touring Car Championship.

    Basis for innovations

    ABS development never stops. The complete control system is becoming ever smaller, ever more effective, and ever more robust. The initial, typical pulsating ofthe brake pedal, indicating ABS activation, has largely been eliminated today.

    However, the system not only optimally decelerates the car and retains its steerability, it also serves as the basis and pulse generator for the acceleration skid control (ASR) system, the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, the Brake Assist and also for the electro-hydraulic brake system, Sensotronic Brake Control (SBCTM).

    In Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, the wheel sensor data also serves less conspicuous functions in that it is, for instance, processed by the electronically controlled automatic transmission that adjusts to the driver's wishes, the navigation computer, the DlSTRONIC proximity control, the engine and windshield wiper control, the active suspension control (ABC, or Active Body Control), 4MATlC all-wheel drive -in short, by everything in the car that is controlled on the basis of speed. The same naturally applies to trucks and buses.

    Anti-lock braking system is a matter of course throughout the world today. If the anti-lock braking system is today taken for granted in virtually all cars of the majority of automotive brands throughout the world, we owe this to the commitment of the large number of engineers and technicians at Daimler-Benz and cooperation partners Bosch, TELDIX and Wabco, who searched for the best solution for this system which improves handling safety, avoids accidents and saves lives.

    This is what Heinz Leiber, the then head of ABS development at Daimler-Benz and also called the 'Father of ABS', has to say: "The anti-lock braking system, and with it Mercedes-Benz, was also a pioneer in automotive digital electronics."

    When you start to engage (any) gear the synchro ring and hub create friction as they begin to mesh as they are both spinning at different speeds.

    Once they match they engage with the dog teeth onto the drive gear.
    (That's why a dog box is faster to change gears, it has no synchros to wait for!)

    If you force it (esp. 1st as this gear is designed to be slow) you generate heat and basically make the synchro assembly work harder and hence wear faster.


    If you want to grab 1st gear FAST, (or any LOWER gear) you can choose to double clutch....and to clear this up, its as follows:

    • clutch in to select neutral
    • clutch out (in neutral) blip the throttle (this spins up the gearbox (input) shafts to match the faster speed of the (output) gear you will be selecting)
    • clutch in, select gear. (if you have blipped the throttle the "right" amount the gear will select almost instantly as you do't have to wait for the synchros to do anything)
    • clutch out and MATCH the engine Rpm with the road speed (normally higher RPM) if you do't do this you will effectively have to slip the clutch until the engine and gearbox speed match....

    Remember there aint no point blipping the throttle if you do't have the clutch OUT.

    Common handling problems

    When any wheel leaves contact with the road there is a change in handling, so the suspension should keep all four wheels on the road in spite of hard cornering, swerving and bumps in the road. It is very important for handling, as well as other reasons, not to run out of suspension travel and "bottom" or "top".

    It is usually most desirable to have the car adjusted for a small amount of under steer, so that it responds predictably to a turn of the steering wheel and the rear wheels have a smaller slip angle than the front wheels. However this may not be achievable for all road and weather conditions, speed ranges, or while turning under acceleration or braking.

    Car handling componentsThe most important common handling failings are:
    • Under steer - the front wheels tend to crawl slightly or even slip and drift towards the outside of the turn. The driver can compensate by turning a little more tightly, but road-holding is reduced, the car's behavior is less predictable and the tires are liable to wear more quickly.
    • Over steer - the rear wheels tend to crawl or slip towards the outside of the turn more than the front. The driver must correct by steering away from the corner, otherwise the car is liable to spin, if pushed to its limit. Over steer is sometimes useful, to assist in steering, especially if it occurs only when the driver chooses it by applying power.
    • Bump steer – the effect of irregularity of a road surface on the angle or motion of a car. It may be the result of the kinematic motion of the suspension rising or falling, causing toe-in or toe-out at the loaded wheel, ultimately affecting the yaw angle (heading) of the car. It may also be caused by defective or worn out suspension components. This will always happen under some conditions but depends on suspension, steering linkage, unsprung weight, angular inertia, differential type, frame rigidity, tires and tire pressures. If suspension travel is exhausted the wheel either bottoms or loses contact with the road. As with hard turning on flat roads, it is better if the wheel picks up by the spring reaching its neutral shape, rather than by suddenly contacting a limiting structure of the suspension.
    • Body roll - the car leans towards the outside of the curve. This interferes with the driver's control, because he must wait for the car to finish leaning before he can fully judge the effect of his steering change. It also adds to the delay before the car moves in the desired direction. It also slightly changes the weight borne by the tires as described in weight transfer.
    • Excessive load transfer - On any vehicle that is cornering, the outside wheels are more heavily loaded than the inside due to the CG being above the ground. Total weight transfer (sum of front and back), in steady cornering, is determined by the ratio of the height of a car's center of gravity to its axle track. When the weight transfer equals half the vehicle's loaded weight, it will start to roll over. This can be avoided by manually or automatically reducing the turn rate, but this causes further reduction in road-holding.
    • Slow response - sideways acceleration does not start immediately when the steering is turned and may not stop immediately when it is returned to center. This is partly caused by body roll. Other causes include tires with high slip angle, and yaw and roll angular inertia. Roll angular inertia aggravates body roll by delaying it. Soft tires aggravate yaw angular inertia by waiting for the car to reach their slip angle before turning the car.

    Lowering the center of gravity will always help the handling (as well as reduce the chance of roll-over). This can be done to some extent by using plastic windows (or none) and light roof, hood (bonnet) and boot (trunk) lid materials, by reducing the ground clearance, etc. Increasing the track with "reversed" wheels will have a similar effect. Stiffer springs and/or shocks, both front and rear, will generally improve handling. Light alloy (mostly aluminum or magnesium) wheels improve handling as well as ride comfort. Moment of inertia can be reduced by using lighter bumpers and wings, or none at all.

     Component  Reduce Under-steer  Reduce Over-steer
     Weight distribution   Centre of gravity towards rear   Centre of gravity towards front
     Front shock absorber  Softer  Stiffer
     Rear shock absorber  Stiffer  Softer
     Front sway bar  Softer  Stiffer
     Rear sway bar  Stiffer  Softer
     Front tyre selection¹  Larger contact area²  Smaller contact area
     Rear tyre selection  Smaller contact area  Larger contact area²
     Front wheel rim width or diameter  Larger²  Smaller
     Rear wheel rim width or diameter  Smaller  Larger²
     Front tyre pressure  Lower pressure  Increase pressure
     Rear tyre pressure  Increase pressure  Lower pressure
     Front wheel camber  Increase negative camber  Reduce negative camber
     Rear wheel camber  Reduce negative camber  Increase negative camber
     Rear spolier  Smaller  Larger
     Front height (because these usually  affect camber and roll resistance)  Lower front end  Raise front end
     Rear height  Raise rear end  Lower rear end
     Front toe in  Decrease  Increase
     Rear toe in  Decrease  Increase

    1) Tire contact area can be increased by using wider tires, or tires with fewer grooves in the tread pattern. Of course fewer grooves has the opposite effect in wet weather or other poor road conditions.
    2) These also improve road holding, under most conditions.

    Whiteline have carried out some more laboratory analysis on the stock Diaqueen SST-F fluid today. The fluid sample was an interesting one because:

    • This sample is from a Ralliart Lancer
    • As a rule these cars load the transmission less hence wear should be lower
    • This car had been used on the track
    • Sample had completed around 50 laps
    • In total this sample had covered just on 6000km (not very far)

    We test the fluid using a Filtegram procedure, which has a fluid sample put under a high powered microscope in controlled industry standard conditions, so that each and every contaminent in the fluid can be uniquely identified, and the source of the wear determined. The photograph that follows is directly from the microscope slide zoomed in at 500x magnification:

    SST fluid sample - note the gold pieces

    While this might not mean much to the casual observer, this sample follows the trends we are seeing in hard driven SST transmission vehicles - whether they be an Evo or a Ralliart. The points of concern as the gold pieces you see, as they are of considerable size (5 - 7 micron range) and are created by pure metal/metal contact in the transmission. We call them '3-body-fatigue wear particles' and they are created when the thin hydrodynamic film (oil film) between the gear faces breaks down with the resulting heat and friction tearing these fragments of metal away. The transmission filter did not catch these pieces.

    Now, this wear isnt at a critical stage in the transmission at this point, however after the test distance of approx 6000km there needs to be a fluid change to avoid the metal thats already in the transmission transferring through the system and creating more.
     Our engineers live by the motto that one piece of metal in the transmission makes 10 makes 1000 makes a million. Once wear metal is present you must flush it out to avoid accelerated wear.

    The testing method shows that SST transmission wear can be slowed down, by more frequent SST fluid oil changes (we would suggest approx 5000km - 8000km if using the factory fluid) or a higher grade lubricant with greater film strength (ie. WR35TMX). Regardless, the SST transmission isnt a 'set and forget' part free of service requirement, it needs to be considered as part of the overall vehicle maintenance plan.

    If you own an Evolution X or Ralliart with SST transmission, make sure you change the transmission fluid regularly.

    Oxygen SensorOxygen sensors cannot be cleaned, that is why checking for and replacing a worn out or damaged sensor should be and important poart of every routine service.

    Replacing a worn-out sensor will not only imporve a vehicle's performance and reduce harmful exhaust emissions, but it can save hundreds of dollars a year in fuel costs.

    We know that an oxygen sensor detects the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas and sends a signal to the engine computer (ECM or ECU), which adjusts the air'fuel mixture to the optimal level.

    Too much oxygen in the exhaust gases indicates a lean mixture, which can cause performance problems, including misfires. Too little oxygen indicates a rich mixture, which wastes fuel and results in excess emissions. Either condition can shortned the life of the expensive cataltic converter.

    Almost all petrol powered vehicles between 1986 and 1996 have at least one oxygen sensor while newer vehicles often have two or four.

    Not only are propertly functioning oxygen sensors good for the environment, but it's confirmed that they can save money in fuel costs, provided they are serviced correctly.

    An oxygen sensor is a wearing part with a specific service life, not unlike a spark plug. However they are often incorrectly viewed as a repair item. The will eventually die of "old age" but without regular checking and replacement their performance will greatly deteriorate.

    A sensor should have a service life ranging from 50,000km to 160,000km dependant on design. Single and two wire sensors should be checked and/or replaced at 50,000km, three or four wire heated sensors at 80,000km, and wide band sensors at 160,000km. There are various conditions however that can dramatically reduce these life spans.

    Exposure to carbon, dirt, dust, harmful gases, anti-freeze, chemicals, incorrect fuel, water and impact damage will shorten the life.

    A common practice amongst some engine re-builders and panel beaters is to paint the oxygen sensor and its surround, which also causes contamination and "kills" the sensor. Any contamination of the oxygen sensor results in the coating of the platinum electrodes, which insulates them and slows the sensor response time down.

    This causes the sensor to give a lower that average reading to the fuel/air mixture, giving the impression that the engine is lean, causing the fuel management system to overcompensate and drift the fuel ratio to rich.

    The end result of old, worn, damaged or contaminated oxygen sensors is inevitably the same: higher fuel consumption, poor engine performance and excessive exhaust emissions.

    The automotive oxyen sensor was invented by Bosch, which has manufactured over 400 million of them since 1976. The company points out that it is the world's largest producer of oxygen sensors, supplying to virtually all vehicle manufacturers around the world, all manufactured to meet or exceed OEM specifications.

    They utilise a mix of oxides including zirconium and yttrium to form a tough base that will withstand intense stress. Bosch advises that it has a huge range of direct-fit oxygen sensors plus a range of universal-fit oxygen sensors which cover more than 90% of the Australian market.

    Bosch Oxygen Sensors

    More information can be found in this Technical Guide or on the Bosch website:

    Engine OilSince lubricating engine components – reducing friction for smoother running and optimal efficiency – is only part of what engine oil must do, it needs assistance to fully protect an engine. That’s where the additives come in.

    One of these additives is detergent. Not the type of detergent we’re familiar with in a domestic context but one containing a dispersant additive that suspends contaminants and combustion by-products in the oil instead of allowing them to settle out onto engine surfaces as sludge.

    That’s why your oil may look dirty when you check it – it’s doing its job.

    And that’s also why you can’t tell when it’s time to change the oil simply by looking at its colour.

    The oil is designed to prevent these corrosive contaminants from being deposited on engine surfaces, where they can cause piston rings to stick and oil-pump screens to block.

    The oil filter helps by removing suspended abrasive particles as the oil passes through the filter, but an oil filter can’t correct the effects of fuel dilution and other liquid contaminants, like acids, in the oil.

    No matter how good the oil and the oil filter, eventually they can no longer do their jobs effectively. That’s because with time and distance travelled, the oil’s additives get used up, allowing the oil to degrade (oxidise or thicken). At that point the oil must be changed, before sludge and deposits build up on engine surfaces, and when the oil is drained, the contaminants are removed with it.

    Obviously, oil should be changed before it is contaminated to the point where engine damage could result. Yet it’s unlikely that the individual motorist will be able to determine this critical point. For this reason, automobile manufacturers recommend oil changes at a specific time or distance interval, whichever comes first.

    Information courtesy of Mobil 1 Oil

    Subaru Forester XTThe Forester is an all-wheel drive Compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) manufactured since 1997 by Subaru — currently in its third generation and now marketed as a compact crossover. Originally introduced to the Australia in 1998, the Forester shared its platform with the Impreza up to the third generation and now features a hybrid platform of the Japanese Impreza wagon and the rear platform of the Impreza sedan. The Forester was designed and built with four-wheel drive (AWD) as standard equipment.

    The Forester was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show November 1995, as the "Sutoriga" concept and made available for sale February 1997 in Japan replacing the Subaru Impreza Gravel Express, known in other markets as the Subaru Outback Sport.

    From its introduction into Australia, the Forester has been Subaru's highest selling car, with buyers attracted by the practicality and versatility of its design, and its car-like driving characteristics. With the introdution of the turbo models, Subaru has basically a niche market for a sports SUV with only Toyota recently adding any form of competition with its V6 RAV4.

    This article focuses and deals only with Australian delivered turbo Foresters.


    Forester GT

    Forester GT (MY98-MY02) - SF Chassis

    The impetus for the tricked-up Forester GT came from the stunning success of the Impreza WRX in the late 1990s - the little turbo tearaway that quickly became the car of choice for a generation of lads and getaway drivers. Subaru figured there was a market for a vehicle with the Forester's obvious usefulness, combined with its all-wheel-drive safety and some of the straight-line zap of the WRX.

    And when you think about it, a small-to-medium-sized station-wagon with plenty of grip and some serious on-road power is appealing.

    The GT's engine was based on the WRX unit of the time, but its sported a smaller Mitsubishi TD035 turbocharger running lower boost pressure. The GT engine produced 125 kW in the first version of the Forester GT which was increased to 130kw for the 2001-2002 model, as opposed to the WRX's 160 kW. Forester GT EJ205 EngineIn keeping with the design intent for the Forester GT, its engine was been tuned to provide strong response at low to middle engine speeds, in preference to maximum urge at high engine revolutions as in the WRX. It made the Forester perky in most situations with a 0-100 time in the mid 7 seconds and gave it enough pulling power to tow a light boat or trailer with ease.

    Compared to the naturally aspirated versions of the Forester, the only real concession to the car's obvious bitumen bias was that the GT version lost the transfer case (with its super-low, off-road gear ratios) of the manual Forester (the automatic never had it in the first place). However with the standard five-speed manual, there's not much the GT ca't do.

    Like the WRX, the throbbing sound and feel of the boxer engine can be an acquired taste, but the pay-off is the torque and flexibility that is a characteristic of this type of engine. The GT got firmer, lower suspension than other Foresters but it still had plenty of ground clearance, whilst the bigger, wider alloy wheels give it even more grip.

    Forester GTInside, the Forester GT is not incredibly sporty to sit in, but is well laid-out. Whilst some of the interior fittings feel a bit plastic, equipment levels were comprehensive and included dual front airbags, air conditioning, ABS brakes, an engine immobiliser, self-levelling rear suspension, alloy road wheels, remote central locking, power steering, power windows and power mirrors, a leather bound steering wheel and front fog lights. A $3,000 luxury pack was also available comprising leather trim, heated front seats and mirrors, and an electric sunroof.

    The real beauty of the Forester GT was that it's one of those rare vehicles that really is a jack of all trades. It's fast enough to be entertaining on a winding road, capable of tackling tracks in and out of secluded camping spots, easy to live with day-to-day and practical, thanks to its station-wagon layout. No wonder is was such a popular vehicle in its day and quite highly sought after today second-hand.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power KitsLike so all other early Subaru turbo charged cars, the RS Liberty responds very well to the traditional turbo-car mods. A 3-inch exhaust from the turbo back comprising a high-flow cat, muffler and perhaps a central resonator will give the car extra power, and air intake modifications also reap good rewards. A very popular modification is to replace the TD035 with the TD04L from the WRX. With so many WRX owners upgrading their turbos, it is easy to get a good quality secondhand TD04L cheaply. Boost also be increased to around 1 Bar (14.7psi) with a larger turbo in a variety of ways, with the most common method being the use of a simple boost regulator, however we highly recommend the use of a good aftermartket ECU such as Link or Apexi Power PC for 1998-2000 models and EcuTeK for 2001-2002 models.

    There are no Power Kits for the Forester GT, however MRT have done heaps of work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the Forester GT

    MY03 Forester XT

    Forester XT (MY03-MY07) - SG Chassis

    After the success of the Forester GT which proved that a performance compact 4WD wagon can be extremely effective on the road, the second generation SG chassis with features such as weight-saving refinements such as an aluminum hood, perforated rails, and a hydro-formed front sub-frame gave Subaru an even better platform for a turbo-charged model. Enter the MY03 Forester XT.

    The naturally-aspirated SOHC 112kW 2.5-litre four found on the X and XS model is heavily modified in XT guise with innovations such as an electronic accelerator, improved ECU, DOHC, variable inlet valve timing (AVCS), and the first 2.5L turbocharged engine (EJ255) introduced by Subaru into Australia - it took the WRX another 4 years before it replaced the old 2L EJ205 engine.

    Its five-speed manual gearbox houses a blend of base model Forester (first and second) and WRX ratios (the higher gears, and final drive.) Power goes to all four wheels in high range only, with a viscous coupling/limited-slip differential at the rear.

    MY03 Forester XT EngineTurbocharging the 2.5 delivers peak power of 155kW at 5600rpm and a very handy 320Nm of torque at 3600rpm, some 30 percent more than the old 2. 0 GT engine, and enough to get the manual version from 0-100kmh in 6.5 seconds. Under 2000rpm the 2.5L is nothing special, but from there the turbo begins to push things along. When the tacho passes 3000, its assistance becomes more emphatic with the XT running hard and mighty fast to its 6500rpm redline. On the open road, this equates to strong, responsive performance from about 80kmh in fifth, and that lovely, effortless, hand-in-the-back turbo shove.

    The performance hike is substantial, yet modifications to the Forester's running gear on the XT are relatively few. The front crossmember mounts are stronger to cope with higher cornering forces, the anti-lock brakes have minor upgrades, the front suspension struts are stiffened, and surprisingly XT wears the same tyres as other Foresters: 215/60 Yokohama Geolandars on 16-inch alloy wheels.

    MY03 Forester XT RearAnd therein lies the MY03 Forester XT's achilles heel. With the extra power and torque of the 2.5L engine but with only minimal upgrades to the chassis, it soon becomes clear after some spirited driving that some components are not up to the task. Firstly the suspension suffers from too great body roll. Sure it is very compliant and gives a nice smooth ride on our typically average Aussie roads, but the tip the XT into a corner and it the wallow is somewhat unsettingly, especially if you do't adhere to the slow-in, power out tactics. Its made worse by the awful Geolander tyres that might work well for the X and XS models that might go off road occasionally, but do't provide the XT with its extra power the required grip on the road.

    Get some steam up on the open road and whilst the 2 pot front disc brakes will haul you up the first time, they go spongy quickly afterwards and do't inspire much confidence. The XT also suffers a slight lack of refinement which is not noticeable in the X and XS models that shows with excessive noise, vibration and harshness.

    MY06 Forester XT InteriorDespite this, the XT has all the practical virtues of the base model Foresters, so in addition to smoking performance, you also get a versatile family wagon, albeit with a fairly dour interior, and class-leading safety credentials.

    The dash layout is functional, minimalist and a touch dated. The Forester has more storage bins and cup-holders than you can poke a stick at, including a couple of shopping bag hooks in the back, two sunglasses holders and a handy bin on top of the dash. Long-range reception is great on both radio bands. The XT includes active front seat head restraints, Subaru's hill holder, an in-dash six-CD player with 6 speakers and subwooker, climate-controlled air-conditioning, remote central locking, dual front airbags, air conditioning, ABS brakes, an engine immobiliser, self-levelling rear suspension, 16 inch alloywheels, power steering, power windows, power mirrors, a leather bound steering wheel and front fog lights. The Luxury pack adds leather upholstery, two side airbags for the front seats and a huge sunroof.

    MY06 Forester XTThe MY06 and MY07 models saw a significant revision to the Forester model range. The most noticeable differences was the heavily revised front grille and lights, giving the car a more aggressive look as well as new self-levelling HID lights. The rear end also copped significant revision, with the XT badging being removed altogether (although the huge exhaust is still adead giveaway).

    The most significant revision was the engine, with Subaru giving the upgraded MY06 model the same engine as the MY06 WRX with 169kw @ 5600rpm and 320Nm @ 3600rpm, allowing the manual version to sprint from 0-100kmh in 6.1 seconds, a mere 0.2 seconds slower than the WRX! Other improvements included 17 inch alloys, revised HVAC controls and most importantly, stiffer spring rates to reduce the body roll around corners whilst still giving excellent compliance on the average Aussie roads. The four speed auto is also upgraded to a tiptronic version.

    MRT Power Kits

    The Forester XT is a good car from the showroom floor - no doubt about it, but there is huge amounts of untapped potential that can be released with simple yet effective modifications. The most effective mods are simple - replace the stock Geolander tyres with something better suited the potential of the XT and replace the front brake pads and rotors with quality parts from us, DBA and/or Bendix to improve the braking. Whiteline swaybars are also a good modification to reduce bodyroll, and changing all of these component will transform the handling of the XT. And we have't touched the engine yet . .

    Speaking of which, MRT has done heaps of work on this model and have designed three Power Kits for the XT in addition to custom work. All Power Kits use EcuTeK, giving the ability to tune the factory ECU whilst also allowing direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT offers three Power Kits using EcuTeK:

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade and MRT 3 inch rear muffler for a guaranteed 15kw power increase and up to 45% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, air intake modifications and full MRT 3 inch exhaust for a guaranteed 35kw power increase and up to 60% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit:Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, air intake modifications and full MRT 3 inch exhaust, upgraded fuel pump and VF34 turbo for a guaranteed 65kw power increase and up to 65% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY03-MY07 Forester XT

    MY08 Forester XT

    Forester XT  (MY08 onwards) - SH Chassis

    The MY08 Forester was unveiled in Japan on December 25, 2007, and introduced in other markets suc as Australia in 2008. With a more pronounced grille and strongly styled fascia, the MY08 XT leans more towards SUV cues than the previous wagon-like Foresters.

    The strengthened body has also answered the customers’ call for more space. It’s 110mm taller, 60mm wider and 75mm longer on a 90mm larger wheelbase – most of which as been given to the rear passenger and cargo area, while larger openings make for easier access. Overhangs have been shortened slightly for better manoeuvrability and ground clearance has been raised by 25mm to take the XT to 225mm, which gives a smidge more leeway but still keeps the Forester in the light offroading category.

    The engine is largely unchanged from the outgoing MY06/07 models, however it now gains variable valve timing on the exhaust side which helps bring peak torque of 320Nm lower by 800rpm at 2800rpm. Power remains unchanged at 169kw at 5200rpm. but fuel consumption for the manual version drops a significant 7.8 per cent benefit (and the auto 5.4 per cent) at 10.5L/100km.

    MY08 Forester XT EngineInterestingly, despite only adding 30kg to the kerb weight, the 0-100 performance times for the MY08 Forester increased over the outgoing model by one second to 7.1 seconds,

    The drivetrain remains the same, so drive goes to all four corners and is infinitely variable: changing from 95-front/5-rear bias to 50/50 depending on throttle, load and speed inputs. The five speed manual remains albeit with some improvements to the 1st gear synchromesh, and the four speed tiptronic auto remains unlike the Liberty which gets a 5 speed version. VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control), a premium stability control system designed to give you optimum control in emergencies, is now standard on all models.

    Like the previous model XT, body roll is once again issue. Indeed the roll is worse than the MY06-07 and similar to the MY03-05 with Subaru obviously deciding that ride quality is more important than cornering ability. The 17 inch alloys are once again wrapped with Geolanders which help the give the car good off road capabilities, but do it little favouts when driven hard on bitumen. MY08 Forester XT InteriorWhats more, like the previous model, the brakes could be better to with Subaru making no changes to the brake system, so the MY08 XT experiences significant brake fade after repeated stops or heavy towing.

    Also like previous models, the MY08 comes with active front seat head restraints, Subaru's hill holder, an in-dash six-CD player with 6 speakers and subwooker, climate-controlled air-conditioning, remote central locking, dual front airbags, air conditioning, ABS brakes, an engine immobiliser, self-levelling rear suspension, 17 inch alloywheels, self-levelling HIDs,  power steering, power windows, power mirrors, a leather bound steering wheel and front fog lights. The Luxury pack adds leather upholstery, two side airbags for the front seats and a huge sunroof, and an integrated factory DVD and SatNav system can also be optioned for the first time.

    MRT Power Kits

    Whilst the MY08 Forester is a more refined and uses its interior space better compared to the previous mdel, it is acutally less accomplished in terms of performance. It still requires the same essential updates as the MY03-07 models - tyres, brakes and potentially swaybars as well, but also needs work on the engine to bring its performance level back to that of the MY06/07 model.

    MRT has done heaps of work on the MY08 Forester XT and have designed three Power Kits  in addition to custom work. All Power Kits use EcuTeK, giving the ability to tune the factory ECU whilst also allowing direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT offers three Power Kits using EcuTeK:

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade for a guaranteed 15kw power increase and up to 25% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, and full MRT 3 inch exhaust with twin mufflers for a guaranteed 30kw power increase and up to 35% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit:Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, air intake modifications, full MRT 3 inch exhaust with twin mufflers, upgraded fuel pump, larger intercooler and larger custom turbo for a guaranteed 60kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY08 onwards Forester XT


    Special thanks to Wikipedia, Cars Guide, Web Wombat and Drive for much of the content in this article.

    Written by: Satoshi KATAOKA, Norimasa HASHIMOTO, Masahiro YOSHIDA, Tomio KIMURA, Naoki HAMAMOTO

    Air flow on rear of vehicle


    Aerodynamics technology for the LANCER EVOLUTION X was developed not only to reduce drag but also improve lift and cooling performance. The applied aerodynamics technology includes the nose shape like that of a shark, the cooling, the rear spoiler shape, etc. As a result, the drag coefficient (CD) and lift coefficient (CL) values are less than that of the LANCER EVOLUTION IX. This paper describes the aerodynamics technology for the LANCER EVOLUTION X and also introduces the Under Floor Air Guide, a new aerodynamic device.


    Since the appearance of the first-generation model, the LANCER EVOLUTION has been continually improved to excel in various motor sports by outstanding driving performance superior to competitors. A lot of model tests, CFD analyses, and tests using actual vehicles have been performed that aims not only to reduce the drag coefficient (CD), but also to reduce the lift coefficient (CL) and enhance cooling performance.

    The resulting aerodynamically shaped bodies offered a sophisticated combination of riding comfort and body design. In developing the LANCER EVOLUTION X, additional efforts have resulted in lower CD and CL compared to the LANCER EVOLUTION IX. Particularly, the CL value is world-leading for this class of vehicle.

    The development work is summarized in this pdf.

    Pressure distribution and air flow trace line

    2.5LHave a pre MY05 WRX or STi and thinking that you'd like the extra torque and bottom end of the 2.5L engine, but are still really enjoying your car and do't want to trade up? You're in good company, and like the many others who feel the same way, we bet you have or are considering converting your engine for 2L to 2.5L.

    At MRT, we have done a lot of 2.5L conversions for the WRX and STi, and get asked regularly for advice and tips on what is best practice when doing the conversion.

    We have compiled a list of things we recommend that anyone thinking of performing a 2.5L conversion should consider, and believe it to be invaluable knowledge to have BEFORE you start.

    Cylinder Heads 

    Empty engine bayThere are two (significant) differences between the 2.0L and the 2.5L heads. Based on what we've seen and experienced here the 2.5L head has smaller ports more designed for emissions than power, the second being the chamber size (and shape) between the 2 and 2.5L variants (The 2.5L chamber being larger to suit the larger bore / pistons). The benefits of the free'er flowing 2.0L heads would be marginal but worthwhile over the 2.5L heads. If funds do permit we recommend that the 2.0L heads be modified to have the chamber machined to replicate that of the 2.5L heads. This way you have the best of both worlds. Any good machine shop should be able to do this, even if you have to lend them a 2.5L head to replicate the machining.

    Always have the cylinders serviced before refitting including replacement of the valve stem seals and triple check with your machine shop that they test each valve vs. valve seat for the best seal possible as this is easily overlooked and can be the difference between a good new motor and a great one.

    Head Gaskets

    The head gasket thickness is't something that we can specify for all conversion examples - the best gasket thickness is the right one!

    When your new engine goes back together, your builder should be measuring (or cc'ing) the head chambers and the pistons. With this they will be able to calculate the gasket thickness required to achieve the correct compression ratio. Generally speaking we've found that most 2.5's with these types of mods should be shooting for around 8.2-8.5:1 compression ratios, but again this is also best discussed with your builder and your tuner also as they will both need some input here.

    Another point to take into account when using non genuine head gaskets, is the cam timing. As the stacked height of the block, heads and gaskets are 'in theory' now different, the cam timing will no longer be spot on. Make sure whoever is building your engine is experienced in degree'ing cams - as again this is another difference between a good motor and a great one.

    Pistons and Rods

    Getting the 2.5L engine inWe recommend that you take the opportunity while the engine is out to replace the factory rods and pistons with heavy duty items. Most people use the EJ257 block for the 2.5L conversion, and the factory pistons are prone to ring land failure in modified state and the connecting rods are't consistently reliable over 17 psi either. Again if budget allows, get yourself a piston that replicates the factory piston design that matches the heads you use. That is to say, some 2L heads are used on engines with a  square cut out on the piston whereas the 2.5L heads are a domed design with cut outs for the valves. These designs are there for a reason and specifically to match combustion chamber design. If budget dictates that you must use the factory pistons, no worries. Just remember not to push the car beyond 17 psi!

    Crank and Block

    Get your crank checked by your machine shop before re using. Have your engine builder at least check it for wear and again if budget allows, a crack test will ensure you wo't have problems with it -  Also leave it up to them to pick your main cap bearings as it's often not as simple as buying a 'set' of a single size. Do't re use the factory head bolts - these are designed as a stretch bolt for a single use and are not re useable. The best bet would be a set of ARP 12mm head bolts - these are a direct fitment into the block without mods and are reliable up to around 22 psi. If you and you tuner have ideas of pushing past this you will need to look at a 14mm stud conversion, but this is a complete other story as heads, turbo and cams would need to be re-evaluated.


    EJ257 Engine BlockThere is no correct or perfect turbo for a 2.5L conversion, as it all depends on what you want from the car and how you drive as to which is the better turbo for you. The best compromise better low down power and top end are the newer twin-scroll turbos found in the latest WRX, STi and Liberty models, but to use a twin-scroll turbo you will need to replace you engine oil sump, exhaust manifold and turbo up pipe.

    Most conversions stick with the single-scroll turbos that fit in the factory position. For best driveability and where the engine is limited to 17 psi, the VF34 is still a good and popular choice. More increased mid-range power, the APS SR40 turbo is very popular and for good mid and top range power up 400 kw at the engine, the APS SR56 is a good choice.

    For those who want more, rotated Garrett monsters are the way to go - best talk to you engine builder about this as the list of supporting mods will be significant (including some serious drivetrain enhancements).

    Other Components

    You should be ensuring you replace the oil pump and the head exchanger also if your existing engine failed. MRT do this as the debris from the failure could be any where in the pump or the cooler / heat exchanger and you can never guarantee to get it all out - risking your new engine.

    Virtually everything else is interchangeable in the conversion such as manifolds, ancillaries etc so you should't have any issues with those. Your timing belt is a personal one - We generally recommend replacing them simply so you know you can officially 'reset' your service schedule and not have to worry about it for another 4 years or 100,000kms.


    Upgraded 5 speed gearboxThe Subaru 5 speed gearbox found in the WRX and STis pre the MY02 is considered fragile, but is it really that bad and will it be the first thing to break after a 2.5L conversion?

    Our experience is that the 5 speed gearbox in the MY99 WRX and STi models and later are fine with modest power increases, indeed pretty much the same box is used today in the WRX and Forester. As long as the car is treated sympathetically (i.e. no repeated launches at 7000rpm) with no hard shifting between gears (i.e. shifiting too fast for the synchros), then the gearbox should last with no issue for conversions where the engine power levels do't exceed 250-300kw. A golden rule is also to ensure that the clutch has a bit of slippage so it can take some of the strain - button clutches are not recommended!

    For serious conversions, where you know you intend to drive the car with little to no mechanically sympathy, or just for insurance then we recommend either upgraded PPG gearsets or a 6 speed conversion.

    More Information Needed?

    We are more than happy to assist. Contact us via our website, or on 02 9767 4545.

    Subaru MY04 Liberty GTThe Liberty is a mid-size car introduced by the Japanese manufacturer Subaru in February 1989 as a larger companion to the company's Leone/Loyale. Worldwide distribution started in 1990. In all other markets, the Liberty is called the Legacy but in Australia it is named the Liberty out of respect for Legacy Australia, an organization which aids veterans and their families during and after wars.

    The worldwide introduction of the Liberty was a notable departure from Subaru products in the past. Subaru had earned a reputation of building vehicles that were regarded as "quirky" and other Asian manufacturers were bringing more upscale and conventional appearing models to the market. Unlike local cars in markets the Liberty was imported into, Subaru did't have a large displacement V6 or V8, instead offering only a boxer 4 cyclinder engine.

    The largest sedan and wagon offered for sale by Subaru, the Liberty was more aerodynamic than previously built products, with soft edges and a more coherent appearance. The sedan had a break in the beltline where it dropped down from the windshield to the front door glass, and then jutted up from the rear door glass to the rear window, and the beltline was interrupted as it transitioned down to the rear window on the wagon. The beltline treatment was used again on the SVX when it was introduced in 1992.

    The Liberty was interpreted by some as Subaru's attempt at participating in the growing, upscale market. The Liberty broke with many Subaru traditions, such as no longer locating the spare tire in the engine compartment, behind the engine and above the transmission. The Liberty was an all-new model, and positioned above the Leone in Subaru's model range. The Liberty also introduced an entirely new engine series, called the Subaru EJ engine, which was quieter and more powerful than the previous Subaru EA engine. The EJ engine is still in use in current models, 20 years after the first Liberty was produced.

    Prior to the release of the first turbo-charged Liberty (Legacy) turbo, Subaru Australia had never enjoyed the experience of distributing a genuine performance car. Of course, there had been the 4WD turbo RX and Vortex, but neither could crack 10 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint - although they were very reliable.

    This article focuses and deals only with Australian delivered turbo Liberties.


    Subaru Liberty RS

    Liberty RS (1991-1994)

    The RS was the gun version of the first Liberty series released, and arrived in Australia in late 1991 and became a hugely popular car until it was discontinued in 1994. The RS (Rally Sport) model was aimed squarely at world rallying, with many of its components and concepts carried over to the dominating Impreza WRX.

    Set up as the high performance car in the Subaru line-up, the RS is quite firmly sprung in comparison to the naturally aspirated models. However, it does retain the hereditary suspension layout consisting of MacPherson struts at each corner, and front and rear sway bars (although all of these were higher-rate). Combined with the constant all-wheel-drive, the car is close to being completely foolproof in its handling. The rear differential uses a limited slip centre, the front diff is open, and there is also a front-to-rear LSD which varies its split depending on available grip. The large four wheel disc braking performance was okay back when the RS was released but the arrangement can give problems when the car is modified. Anti-lock brakes were an option on the RS and usually found on cars also fitted with a sunroof.

    Liberty RS EJ20T EngineAvailable as either a sedan or wagon, the styling of the car is nothing too wild - a "Q-car" as it was often described. To avoid corrosion, 78% of the body weight was galvanised, while PVC, corrosion resistant wax and seals are used in other design areas. All RSs sport exclusive alloy wheels, bonnet scoop, driving lights, and black skirts all 'round.

    The RS Liberty is powered by the first generation EJ20T engine, a 2,0L, quad-cam, 16-valve, intercooled turbo flat four with full engine management. Its basic design is very similar to today's WRX, however the RS uses slightly different cylinder heads and valvetrain, an 8.0:1 compression ratio, water-to-air intercooling and an IHI RHB52 turbo. Direct-fire ignition (ie a coil on top of each plug) is used. A total of 147kW was credited to the RS's engine at 6000rpm. Torque was also very strong for a two-litre with 260Nm at 3600rpm. However, there is a lack of turbo-assisted torque at low revs - around 3000-3500rpm is needed before any real boost pressure developed. All Australian-delivered Liberty RSs came with a 5-speed manual gearbox, while some other counties also saw the optional 4-speed auto version.

    Liberty RS InteriorIn factory trim, the 1355kg RS sedan punches its way to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds and passes the quarter mile beams in 14.9 at 148.7km/h. Its top speed is still pretty quick today at  230km/h. Despite having 147kW, the car still returns around 11-12 litres/100km - and this improves to about 10 litres/100km with the fitment of a 3-inch exhaust and inlet mods.

    Around corners, the RS displays minor understeer (an inherent trait of constant AWDs) which can develop into plough understeer if the driver is't careful to get the turn-in over early. Because the car has some turbo lag, the throttle should be squeezed prior to the apex and this will enable full-boost to blast the car out of the corner with total traction. Any understeer will be lost and the car becomes wonderfully neutral. It will only oversteer when being 'trail-braked' or when it is being driven on a loose surface.

    Going quickly around corners in the wet is also one area that lets the Subaru's constant all-paw traction shine though - virtually any 2 wheel drive car will simply be left behind.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power KitsLike so all other early Subaru turbo charged cars, the RS Liberty responds very well to the traditional turbo-car mods. A 3-inch exhaust from the turbo back comprising a high-flow cat, muffler and perhaps a central resonator will give the car about an extra 15% more power, and air intake modifications also reap good rewards. Boost also be increased to around 1 Bar (14.7psi) in a variety of ways, with the most common method being the use of a simple boost regulator, however we highly recommend the use of a good aftermartket ECU such as Link or Apexi Power PC.

    There are no Power Kits for the RS Liberty, however MRT have done heaps of work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the RS Liberty

    Subaru Liberty B4

    Liberty B4 (2001-2003)

    After the success of the RS Liberty and despite the availability of a twin turbo charger GT version in Japan and Europe, no second generation turbo Liberty was imported into Australia. Instead, Australians had to wait until late until 2001 and the release of  the twin-turbo B4 based on the third generation Liberty.

    Unlike all other Australia turbo Libertys, the B4 is powered by an EJ20B 69H engine - a turbocharged, intercooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 2-litre boxer four, which is of the same basic design as the engine found in the Liberty RS ten years previously. Internal developments resulted in reduced valvetrain mass and an increased compression ratio (up from 8.0 to 9.0:1), and Subaru endowed the B4 with two sequentially-staged turbos in order to maintain a good spread of torque. The Australian-delivered Impreza STis of the time used a single turbo and made more power than the Liberty - 206kW versus the B4's 190kW at 6400 rpm - but they did't offer 278Nm at a mere 2000 rpm or a 320Nm peak at 4800 rpm.

    Liberty B4 twin-turbo engineThe primary turbocharger is arranged to quickly deliver boost up to 4000-4500 rpm, with the secondary turbocharger then kicking in to add flow in the higher ranges. to give a broad spread of power and torque, but with the Australian B4 it was never a perfect system. During the transitional phase - where the secondary turbocharger is starting to pump in addition to the primary unit - there's an ugly 'hole' in the torque delivery. It's enough for first-time passengers to ask if there's an engine problem.

    Unfortunately for Subaru, the B4 is one of the worst tuned cars that was ever released. 98 octane fuel is a requirement, despite the fact that 98 octane fuel was especially difficult to come by at the time of release. The tune is also very lean and with excessive ignition advance across the rev range. This means the engine is often on the verge of detonation – as many owners can attest to. If ever there was a car that begged for enhancing, the B4 is it (see below).

    Liberty B4 twin-turbo diagramDespite the engine flaws, there is a strong spread of torque and the B4 is a deceptively quick sprinter away from the lights with a full-on launch taking 6.5 seconds. These sorts of acceleration times can partly be attributed by the traction of Subaru's long-standing viscous AWD system. With drive taken by a relatively lightweight clutch and a nice short-shifting 5-speed 'box, the B4 apportions torque front-to-rear depending on the rotational speed difference between the front and rear wheels. Traction is also aided by a rear LSD.

    Combining with AWD is the B4's lowered Bilstein struts, which offer an excellent combination of ride quality and handling. Despite being set up quite firmly, the car manages B-grade public roads without any nasty surprises - though small-amplitude, high-frequency bumps induces slight patter. This goes away at high speed, where the B4 shows itself as a truly wonderful machine. The well-weighted, precise steering allows you to place the chassis wherever you want and it wo't budge from that line. It just grips and grips and grips.

    Liberty B4 InteriorIf you approach a corner a little hot in the B4, you can depend on its powerful ABS brakes to bring things back into line. The 294mm ventilated front discs are effectively pegged by twin-pot calipers, while the rears use 290mm ventilated discs and single-pot calipers. Aerodynamically, the Liberty feels stable - but not to the same degree as, say, an Evo, GT-R or even the STi Impreza.

    Externally, the B4 is understated and similar in looks to the RX model. Carried over from the rest of Liberty line-up are side skirts, a rear spoiler and a fog light'd front bumper, with the only difference over the Liberty RX's panels is a small bonnet scoop, 17 x 7-inch forged alloy BBS wheels with 215/45 Bridgestone Potenza RE010s and the slight lowering of the Bilstein suspension.

    Internally, the B4 pioneers a backlit instrument cluster and an awesome McIntosh single CD/tuner/cassette system and seven speakers with surprisingly good quality for an OE fitment giving a  full spectrum of sound and zero distortion. There is also a black leather Momo steering wheel, driver's seat 6-way electrice adjustment and standard leather trim.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power KitsAs mentioned earlier, the Liberty B4 was delivered to Australia with a horrible tune that is very lean and with excessive ignition advance across the rev range and sports a huge power hole between 4000 and 4500rpm due to the transitional phase between the primary and secondary turbo-chargers. The good news is that the B4 comes with the ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. If you own a B4, an EcuTeK upgrade is a must. Not only will it transform the power delivery of the car, but will also reduce detonation and significant increase engine safety.

    Like the RS and other Subaru turbo models, the B4 also benefits greatly from a better flowing mandrel exhaust from the turbo back, larger intercooler and air intake modifications. Combined with an EcuTek upgrade, the B4 is absolutely trasnformed.

    There are no Power Kits for the B4 Liberty, however MRT have done heaps of work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the B4 Liberty

    Subaru MY04 Liberty GT

    Liberty GT 2L (2004-2005)

    On May 23 2003, Fuji Heavy Industries debuted the redesigned fourth generation Liberty, known as the BL for sedan models and BP for wagons, and it was released worldwide in 2004. The large red plastic rear trim piece that first appeared in 1989, on both the sedan and wagon, with the word "Subaru" or "Liberty" had been removed. The Subaru star logo reappears on the back of sedans and wagons, now with a blue background. The fourth generation Liberty was presented the 2003-2004 Japan Car of the Year, Subaru's first win for the award.

    The chassis was redesigned and made stiffer, and it marked the return of a turbocharged engine to the American market, featuring a 2.5 litre unit derived from that of the North American Impreza WRX STI. In Australia and Eurpoean markets, the twin-turbo was dropped from the lineup due to advancements in turbocharger technology and tightening emission standards and replaced with a single twin-scroll 2L engine.

    The GT 5 speed manual engine power is line-ball with the superseded B4 with 190kw but torque increased slightly to 330Nm, but the auto version was slightly detuned to 180kw to preserve the gearbox. Whilst peak power remained similar to the B4, thankfully the driving characteristics of the GT is hugely improved thanks to the fitting of a single twin-scroll turbocharger instead of the previous twin-turbo system. Although slightly laggier at lower revs, the power hole between 4000-4500rpm was gone with the car pulling cleanly to 6400rpm before dropping off slightly to the 7500 limit.

    Liberty GT InteriorIn addition to the revised turbo setup and drive-by-wire throttle, the 2004 Liberty GT was also the first locally delivered Subaru with variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust camshafts. Only fitted to the inlet camshafts on the similar era MY03-on WRX and MY04-on Forester XT, the extra complexity of variable exhaust camshaft timing was primarily fitted to meet stricter emissions targets so the model could be sold in many markets including Europe. 

    Like the B4, the GT comes with a 14 speaker McIntosh stereo system with an in-dash six CD that is arguably the best stereo in a sub $100K car that is designed by McIntosh for the Liberty with awesome response and minimal distortion. The GT also includes front, side and curtain airbags, stability control, power adjustable driver's seat with two memories, , leather upholstery, Data Dot security, self levelling bi-xenon headlights, sunroof, and dual zone automatic air.

    The standard GT came with 17 inch alloys, whilst the Spec B gained 18 inch alloys, Bilstein suspension and alloy pedals.

    Limited Editions

    • MY05 Liberty GT Tuned by STi2005 Subaru Liberty GT Tuned by STI - only 300 units produced. It featured an upgraded Electronic Control Unit (ECU) increasing peak power from 190 kilowatts to 200kW and torque from 330 Newton metres to 343Nm in the manual and 180kW to 190kW and torque from 310Nm to 343Nm in the automatic. This represents more than five per cent increase in power across both transmissions. Two STI twin tip sports mufflers complete the engine upgrade components, enhancing exhaust flow and providing better turbo response and a sportier sound.

      Suspension upgrades included STI lowered springs that drop the car by 15mm, sports tuned Bilstein front and rear struts, and a titanium look front strut brace increases the vehicle’s rigidity, enhancing handling and steering response. An STI rear lateral link set reduces suspension friction, improving ride, roadholding and steering precision as well.

      Customised body styling complements the vehicle’s performance capabilities and includes a front lip and rear boot spoiler enhancing vehicle aerodynamics by increasing down force and improving the front lift coefficient (CLf) by approximately 80%. Unique 18-inch wheels feature a wider 7.5-inch rim and Pirelli P Zero Rosso (215/45R18) tyres maximise grip, especially in wet conditions.

      Inside, an all-black interior features leather seats with STI embroidered alcantara inserts, complete with trademark red stitching, offering increased comfort levels. Titanium finish trim on the dash, centre console, door trim and an aluminium pedal set give the vehicle a modern, sporty edge. STI-red luminescent dash cluster lights complete the interior upgrades.

      The Liberty GT Tuned by STI is available as a sedan and wagon in both automatic and manual transmissions. The manual variant features a quick shift gear lever resulting in a quicker, more responsive and sporty gear change.

    MRT Power Kits

    Whilst the Liberty GT is much improved all round car compared to the previous B4, it still responds well to careful modifications that improve fuel economy, reliability and performance. Unlike other turbo-charged cars, simply placing large turbos and exhausts on the Liberty GT does't fit in with the understated image of the car.

    MRT has done heaps of work on the Liberty GT and have designed three Power Kits for the GT in addition to custom work. All Power Kits use EcuTeK, giving the ability to tune the factory ECU whilst also allowing direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT offers three Power Kits using EcuTeK:

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade for a guaranteed 13kw power increase and up to 15% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, air intake modifications and upgraded top mount intercooler for a guaranteed 25kw power increase and up to 20% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, air intake modifications, upgraded turbo, new custom dual exhaust, upgraded fuel pump and upgraded top mount intercooler for a guaranteed 65kw power increase and up to 70% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the 2L Liberty GT

    Subaru MY07 Liberty GT

    Liberty GT 2.5L (2007-2008)

    After being dropped from the product range in 2006 due to the inability of the EJ20T engine to meet stricter emissions control, 2007 saw the return of the Liberty GT to Australia now with the 2.5L turbo charged engine that had debuted in the US STi in 2003, then introduced in Australia with the Forester XT in 2003 and in the WRX in 2006. New new engine produced 184kw and torque increased to 339Nm and now ran on 95 octane premium fuel as opposed to the previous model's 180kW 2.0-litre turbo GT requiring 98 octane.

    In Australia, the GT was offered in two main variants. The standard GT model came as a 5 speed shortshift auto only, and the Spec B GT came as a six speed manual with an auto option. The Spec B also came with 18 inch alloys, Bilstein shock absorbers and stronger front and rear differentials

    Debuting in the 2004 GT was Subaru's new Intelligent Drive, or SI Drive, a new push button performance system for the electronic accelerator/engine and, in the GT, the automatic transmission, which allows the driver to change operating characteristics at the push of a button on the centre console.

    MY07 Liberty GT Tuned by STiIn economy, or Intelligent mode, engine power and torque are reduced by approximately 20 per cent. In the auto, it also adjusts the shift timing. This can improve fuel economy by 10-20 per cent.

    Sport mode is the default setting, which delivers full engine power. Sports Sharp mode, also available by flicking a button on the wheel, accesses a more responsive accelerator/engine map and a late upshift map for the automatic transmission, for maximum responsiveness and performance.

    Like the previous 2L engine, the 2.5L GT included front, side and curtain airbags, stability control (not in the Spec B), power adjustable driver's seat with two memories, 14-speaker McIntosh sound with an in-dash six-stack CD player, leather upholstery, DataDot security, self-levelling bi-xenon headlights, sunroof and dual-zone automatic air-conditioning.

    The 2007 model Liberty GT came with the larger 2.5 litre turbo engine and power increased to 184kW and torque up to 339Nm. A 6 speed manual gearbox also became avaialble in this model the the form of the Liberty GT spec.B. A tuned by STI model also became available with further upgrades including power stepping up to 194kW and torque up to a huge 350Nm. 

    Limited Editions

    • STi twin exhausts2007 Subaru Liberty GT Tuned by STI - only 300 units. It featured an upgraded Electronic Control Unit (ECU) increasing peak power 194kw and 350Nm. Externally, the car also includes two STI twin tip sports mufflers, STI lowered springs that drop the car by 15mm, sports tuned Bilstein front and rear struts, and a titanium look front strut brace increases the vehicle’s rigidity, an STI rear lateral link set reduces suspension friction, 18 inch STi Enkei lightweight alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tyres and  STi front spoiler. Inside, an all-black interior features leather seats with STI embroidered alcantara inserts complete with trademark red stitching, titanium finish trim on the dash, centre console, door trim, an aluminium pedal set, STI-red luminescent dash cluster lights and a gear box short shifter. Available as both a manual and auto.
    • 2008 Subaru Liberty GT Tuned by STI - only 300 units. Exactly the same as the 2007 version but with some additional colour options.

    MRT Power Kits

    Whilst the Evo IX is a wonderfully performing and handling car straight from the showroom floor, other markets such as the UK can access factory enhanced models such as the FQ-360 which Australia misses out on.

    The good news is that MRT has done heaps of work on the Evolution IX, largely due to the MRT Evo IX development car that was used to design awesome Power Kits to give the Australian market similar packages to the FQ models available in the UK. All Power Kits use EcuTeK, giving the ability to tune the factory ECU whilst also allowing direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT offers two Power Kits using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade for a guaranteed 15kw power increase and up to 15% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade and a custom dual exhaust for a guaranteed 25kw power increase and up to 25% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, air intake modifications, upgraded turbo, new custom dual exhaust, upgraded fuel pump and upgraded top mount intercooler for a guaranteed 45kw power increase and up to 35% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the 2.5L Liberty GT


    Special thanks to AutoSpeed and Wikipedia for much of the content. Other sources include Cars Guide, Web Wombat and Drive.

    Which is better for my Subaru, the Subaru Premium Synthetic product as used by Subaru dealers or Mobil 1 products such as Mobil 1 5W40?

    It might surprise you, but the Subaru Synthetic is made from a “Group 3” base stock. This means that the based stock is a highly refined mineral oil not fully synthetic like Mobil 5W30, and as you know, full synthetic base stocks provide superior performance in comparison to mineral base stocks.

    Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic OilSubaru Premium Synthetic OilThis superior performance includes:

    • Higher Viscosity Index – This prevents oil becoming too thick at low temps and too thin at high temps – This reduces engine wear, especially at temperature extremes.
    • Low temperature performance – Keeps oil flow at start up – This means oil reaches critical engine parts more quickly to reduce engine wear.
    • Lower volatility – Reduces oil burn off – This reduces oil consumption and the need for frequent top up.
    • Lower traction – Due to the more consistent molecular structure of synthetics, there is less friction within the fluid – This leads to greater efficiency and lower oil temperatures.
    • Increased Oxidative Stability – Resists breakdown and attack from oxygen molecules – This slows down the rate of oil thickening and minimizes engine deposits and varnish.

    This does't mean that the Subaru Premium Oil is a bad product - far from it. It is also widely recognised that good quality mineral based oils are ideal for new engines being run in, so need to rush out and change the oil in your new Subaru (or other car). But after 10,000-15,000kms, you really should be using a fully synthetic oil, and we at MRT only use Mobil 1.

    There is a significant amount of information available on the benefits of using Mobil 1. Check out this website: or contact us at MRT for more info.

    BG LiquitechFuel system maintenance is essential on modern vehicles. A complex network of electronic sensors control combustion, performance and exhaust emissions. Contamination from modern fuel interferes with the accuracy and efficiency of combustion, leading to poor fuel atomisation, excessive fuel use, high pollutant emissions and loss of performance. Heavy deposit accumulation in the throttle body assembly and plenum is common in modern fuel injected engines. This accumulation will reduce air flow and disrupt the critical air/fuel ration essential to efficient engine operation. Rough idle, poor performance, poor fuel economy and increased exhaust emissions are all common.

    Today’s service customers expect noticeable improvements to their vehicle as a result of a routine service visit. Above all, driveablility is one of the key improvement that influences whether the customer perceive money well spent on servicing was well spent and your service department or workshop worth a repeat visit.

    BG  Liquitech PETROL INJECTION FUEL SYSTEM CLEANER - Removes carbon and varnish deposits from injectors, values, combustion chamber, sensors and EGR systems. For use with BG Vehicle Injection Apparatus (VIA). DO NOT ADD FUEL TO THE TANK.

    BG Liquitech CF5 - Our most advanced formula fuel tank treatment, CF5 ensures an even more effective clean up through deposit control technology and fuel stabilisers. Protects against rust and corrosion of the fuel system and its components. Add one 325ml bottle to the fuel tank while servicing vehicle with 210L and 206L products as referred here.

    BL Liquitech AIR INTAKE SYSTEM CLEANER - A cleaning and degreasing formula that quickly and safely removes sticky, heavy deposits in the throttle body assembly and plenum of fuel injected engines. Specifically designed for modern electronically controlled systems. For use with BG AIS Cleaning tool (#9206).

    • Restores combustion efficiency
    • Improves driveability
    • Reduces exhaust emissions
    Manifold before clean Manifold after clean


    Designed for use on all petrol engines, including direct injection, high pressure, common rail and lean burn types.

    BG Liquitech

    Before you read to the end, can you name the main ingredient of WD-40?

    'Water Displacement #40' The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company.

    Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts.

    Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you. Here are some of its uses:

    WD-40: Marvellous Stuff!

    1. Protects silver from tarnishing
    2. Removes road tar and grime from cars
    3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings
    4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery
    5. Keeps flies off cow
    6. Restores and cleans chalkboards
    7. Removes lipstick stains
    8. Loosens stubborn zippers
    9. Untangles jewellery chains
    10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks
    11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
    12. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidising
    13. Removes tomato stains from clothing
    14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots
    15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors
    16. Keeps scissors working smoothly
    17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes
    18. It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It does't seem to harm the finish and you wo't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks
    19. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
    20. Gives a childre's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide
    21. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers
    22. Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises
    23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open
    24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close
    25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers
    26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles
    27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
    28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling
    29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly
    30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools
    31. Removes splattered grease on stove
    32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
    33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs
    34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
    35. Removes all traces of duct tape
    36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain
    37. Florida 's favourite use is: 'cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.'
    38. The favourite use in the state of New York , WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements
    39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some statesUse it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch
    40. WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag
    41. Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!

      And Finally the one you all know: 
    42. If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

    P.S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.

    Lancer EvolutionThe Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (colloquially known as the "Evo") is the Mitsubishi's flagship sports car. There have been ten official versions to date, and the designation of each model is most commonly a roman numeral. All of them share a two litre, turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive system. Evolution models prior to version VII were the homologation models for Mitsubishi's efforts in the World Rally Championship. In order to follow these rules, the Evolution was based on the same unibody as the Lancer, which only changed with the introduction of the Evo X.

    Evolution models prior to version V were the officially approved models for Mitsubishi’s efforts in the World Rally Championship’s Group A class and SCCA Pro Rally Championship. In order to follow these rules, the Evolution is based on the same platform as the Lancer, but is much more powerful and the only major part in common between the Evo and the Lancer is the unibody. To meet Group A and N rules a minimum number of cars had to be produced, forming the basis of the car to be raced / rallied. Ten street versions of the Evolution have been produced from 1993 up to today. Evolution versions VI - X did not need to meet WRC homologation requirements.

    The legendary Evo 4G63 2L turbo engineThe Evo was originally intended only for Japanese markets but demand on the ’grey import’ market led the Evolution series to be offered through limited type-approval in Australia with the EVO VI in 1999 in response to Subaru's decision to import limited numbers of the Subaru Impreza WRX STi in the same year. Australia missed out on the EVO VII, however resumed limited imports with the EVO VIII via Ralliart and then from the EVO IX fully imported the car via normal channels.

    Here in Australia models not officially imported by Mitsubishi have since been approved for low volume private import by specialised importers. Most common is the EVO VII, and VIIIMR. It should be noted that all (Japanese) EVO model are designed to run on 100 Ron fuel and any import model is required to have its ECU retuned to suit local fuels (this is often overlooked).

    Until the Exo X, all Japanese spec cars were limited by a gentlema's agreement to advertise no more than 206kw, a self imposed limit, a mark already reached by Evolution IV. Therefore, each subsequent version has unofficially evolved above the advertised power figures, with the Japanese-spec Evolution IX reaching a real power output of around 236kw. Various versions available in other markets, particularly the UK, have official power outputs up to 302kw, whereas the Australian spec Evo VIII only came with 195kw and the Evo IX with 206kw, coincidentally the exact same power figure as the Australia spec STis at the time.

    In 2008, the latest generation Lancer Evolution X was launched worldwide, and featured an all-new 217 kW inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine and a full-time all wheel drive powertrain.


    Lancer Evolution I

    Evolution I (1992)

    Flush with success from its Galant VR-4 and hungry for WRC victory, Mitsubishi determined in 1990 that further success would require a new platform. To that end, Mitsubishi engineers started with VR-4’s proven drivetrain and shoehorned it into the lighter, smaller Lancer chassis and the Evolution I was born.

    However, competition in WRC’s Group A and N required the homologation of 2,500 production models. No problem. Offered in GSR and RS flavours, 5,000 EVO Is were snapped up between September 1992 and December 1993. Mitsubishi’s intent behind the lightweight RS model was to provide a good starting point for building a club-level rally car.

    The Evolution I was introduced in 1992 to compete in the World Rally Championship. It used the 2.0 L turbocharged DOHC engine and 4WD drivetrain from the original Galant VR-4 in a Lancer chassis, and was sold in GSR and RS models. The latter was a stripped-down club racing version that lacked power windows and seats, anti-lock brakes, a rear wiper, and had steel wheels to save approximately 70kg less than the 1238kg GSR, while the former came with all of the conveniences of a typical street car. It came with Mitsubishi’s 4G63 engine producing 182kw at 6000 rpm and 309Nm at 3000 rpm, along with all wheel drive which would become a trademark on all Evo models. 5,000 Evo Is were sold between 1992 and 1993. Evo I was using the CD9A frame.

    Lancer Evolution II

    Evolution II (1993)

    The successful Evo I was changed in December of 1993, and the Lancer Evolution II, built from that month to January 1995, was focused primarily on improving the handling of the EVO I. Though the same fundamental chassis was used in Evolutions I-III, EVO II brought a 10 mm increase in wheelbase accomplished by moving the front wheels forward. Vehicle track was increased at both ends to accommodate larger tires (now 205/60-15, up from 195/55-15), while longer control arms in front and a revised sway-bar mounting arrangement enhanced steering response. Aerodynamic tweaks like a front air dam and an additional rear spoiler support improved vehicle stability at higher speeds.

    Mitsubishi intended to improve power output with each Evolution, and EVO II started the trend. Boost pressure was increased, higher-lift cams were fitted, and detail changes to the exhaust reduced backpressure. Power of the 4G63 was now up to 188kw, while torque remained unchanged at 309Nm, propelling a vehicle weight of 1248kg for GSR models and 1180kg for RS models.

    Also, Mitsubishi decided to change the frame this year to CE9A, a spin off the CD9A used in the previous edition.

    Lancer Evolution III

    Evolution III (1995)

    Speeds on tarmac stages were getting higher, so reducing lift and improving cooling performance became priorities in Evolution III. A larger rear wing, a front airdam with brake cooling vents, and rocker panel extensions were fitted and power was increased again.

    It arrived in January 1995 and this time the 5000 strong production run was brought up more quickly than the Evo II. The Evo III looked more serious, with it’s new nose moulding (to channel air better to the radiator, intercooler, and brakes). New side skirts and rear corners, while the rear wing had grown again to reduce lift. Under the vented aluminium bonnet a new TDO5-16G6-7 Turbo, new exhaust system and increased compression brought another 7kw power rise, Torque output was unaltered, apart from a higher final drive ratio. Both GSR and RS still used the same 5speed gearbox. Interior tweaks were limited to a new Momo steering wheel (GSR only) and new fabric on the Evo 2 type Recaros. This model still used the same frame (CE9A) as the EVO II.

    The Evolution III GSR weighed 1260 kg while the RS model weighed 1190 kg. The car's 4G63T engine had a displacement of 1997 cc and provided 201 kW at 6250 rpm and 309Nm of torque at 3000 rpm.

    Selling 7,000 examples from January 1995 to August 1996, Evolution III was the best-selling EVO to that date.

    Lancer Evolution IV

    Evolution IV (1996)

    The Lancer platform was completely changed in 1996, and along with it the Evo, which had become extremely popular throughout the world.

    The engine and transaxle was rotated 180° to better balance the weight and eliminate torque steer. There were still two versions available, the RS and GSR, with the RS version produced as a competition car with a limited-slip front differential and a friction type LSD at the rear. It also came with GLX seats and 16" steel wheels as these were items that would be replaced by anyone entering the car into competition events.

    The RS also had wind up windows, no air conditioning-just heater, and a few extra brace bars to strengthen the chassis, one behind the front grill and the other across the boot floor. The RS also had factory thinner body panels and thinner glass!

    Active Yaw ControlThe GSR and the RS shared a new twin scroll turbocharger which helped to increase power to 206kw at 6500 rpm and 352Nm of torque at 3000 rpm.

    Mitsubishi’s new Active YAW control appeared as a factory option on the GSR model, which used steering, throttle input sensors and G sensors to computer-hydraulically controlled torque split individually to the rear wheels and as a result the 10,000 Evo IVs produced all sold quickly.

    The Evo IV can be distinguished by its two large foglights on the front bumper, and the newly designed tail lights on the rear, which became a standard design to Evo VI, which would become yet another trademark of the Evolution series.

    This new generation was slightly heavier than previous Evos (1260kg for the RS and 1350kg for the GSR) - the GSR in particular due to the added technology systems- but to counter this the car produced even more power.

    This was the only model year to use the CN9A as its frame.


    Lancer Evolution V

    Evolution V (1997)

    In 1997, the WRC created a new class, "World Rally Car", and while these cars still had to abide by Group A standards, they did not have to meet homologation rules. Mitsubishi redesigned the Evo IV with this in mind and introduced the Evo V in January of 1998.

    Many aspects of the car were changed such as: The interior was upgraded in the GSR version with a better class of Recaro seat. The body kit had flared arches at the front and rear and a new aluminium rear spoiler relaced the IV FRP version and gave an adjustable angle of attack to alter rear down force. The track was widened by 10 mm, the wheel offset changed from ET45 to ET38 along with the wheel diameter which rose from 16" to 17" to accommodate Brembo brakes which were added to enhance braking. In addition the brake master cylinder bore increased by 0.3 mm. The engine was strengthened in a few areas and the cam duration was increased. The pistons were lighter with a smaller skirt area. 510CC injectors were replaced with 560CC injectors for better engine reliability due to more electrical "headroom" and the ECU was changed to include a flash ROM.

    Further more, the turbocharger was again improved. Torque was increased to 373Nm at 3000 rpm. Power officially stayed the same, at 206kw as agreed by Japan’s automotive gentlemen’s agreement, but reputable sources claim horsepower was actually somewhat higher. Frame CP9A was used on the Evo V.

    Despite the changes, total weight increased only 10 kg over the EVO IV. With an aggressive new rear wing, larger hood vents for improving radiator airflow, a deeper front chin spoiler, and enormous cooling vents in the bumper, the EVO V looked like a rolling street fight.

    Lancer Evolution VI

    Evolution VI (1999)

    The Evo VI’s changes mainly focused on cooling and engine durability. It received a larger intercooler, larger oil cooler, and new pistons, along with a titanium-aluminide turbine wheel for the RS model, which was a first in a production car. Also, the Evo VI received new bodywork yet again, with the most easily spotted change in the front bumper where the huge foglights were reduced in size and moved to the corners for better airflow. A new model was added to the GSR and RS lineup; known as the RS2, it was an RS with a few of the GSR’s options. Another limited-edition RS was known as the RS Sprint, and was tuned by Ralliart to be lighter and more powerful with 246kw.

    Yet another special edition Evo VI was also released in 1999: the Tommi Makinen edition (named after Finnish rally driver Tommi Makinen that had won Mitsubishi numerous WRC drivers championships) which was also known as the EVO 6.5. It featured Red/Black Recaro seats (with emmbosed T. Makinen logo), 17" ENKEI white wheels, a leather MOMO steering wheel and shift knob, a titanium turbine that spooled up quicker, front upper strut brace, lowered with tarmac stages in mind, a quicker lock to lock and amongst others colours, came in an exclusive shade of red with special decals, replicating Tommi Makinen’s rally car’s colour scheme.

    Evo VI TME - first Evo officially imported into AustraliaAnother trim level was introduced, RS2, combining the RS-only hardware specification with a modicum of the GSR’s niceties. The frame used for the EVO VI was CP9A on both the TME and standard edtions.

    The Evo VI saw the first official import of the Evo into Australia, with 100 units of the TME edition imported via Mitsubishi's performance arm, Ralliart.  Featuring all the fruit of the regular JDM models with 206kw and 373Nm, the Evo VI nevertheless sold slowly due to its high AUD $80K price tag, some $20K higher than the cost of its arch rival, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power Kits

    As with the Subaru WRX and STI, the Evolution VI comes with the ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. This model also benefits greatly from a better flowing mandrel exhaust from the turbo back, larger intercooler and air intake modifications.

    There are no Power Kits for the Evolution VI, however MRT have done heaps of work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the Evolution VI

    Lancer Evolution VII

    Evolution VII (2001)

    In 2001, Mitsubishi decided to race in the WRC class instead of the Group A class, and thus did not need to follow homologation rules, wowever the model was still homologated for Group N. The Evo VII was based on the larger Lancer Cedia platform and as a result gained more weight over the Evo VI, but made up for this with multiple important chassis tweaks. The biggest change was the addition of an active center differential and a more effective limited-slip differential, while a front helical limited-slip differential was added. Torque was increased again to 385Nm with engine tweaks that allowed greater airflow, and horsepower officially remained at 206kw. Despite its civilian appearance, the Evolution VII could outrun many more expensive cars (such as the Ferrari 360 Modena).

    Most significant was the introduction of an active center differential (ACD), an all-new electro-hydraulically controlled multiplate clutch-type limited-slip differential with three times the binding capacity of the viscous unit used in the EVO VI. Active Yaw Control (AYC) still regulated torque split in the rear differential, while a torque-sensing helical limited-slip was fitted to the front. With input from a host of sensors, ACD and AYC were both regulated by a single dedicated control unit. Together, ACD and AYC improved turn-in and reduced understeer more seamlessly, allowing controlled tail-out hooliganism and scalpel-sharp steering response.

    Evo VII Component View

    Structural reinforcements to the donor Cedia chassis increased flexural rigidity by 50 percent by adding thicker sheetmetal and bracing in high-load regions, seam-welding in the B-pillars and front chassis section, and more than 200 additional spot welds in the door apertures. Weight-saving measures like thinner glass, forged aluminum suspension pieces, aluminum front fenders, thinner sheetmetal in the roof panel, a magnesium cam cover, and hollow camshafts kept the total vehicle weight increase to about 90 pounds over the EVO VI.

    At 206kw, quoted power remained unchanged though peak torque increased to 385Nm, this time by way of reworked intake ports, a less-restrictive intake manifold, and a smaller twin-scroll turbine housing (reduced from 10.5 to 9.8 cm2). Paired with a 20mm larger intercooler and a lower-backpressure exhaust, the sauce was spread over a broader range of engine speeds than ever before. Overall, the VII was an even more potent performer-if a more civilized one-than the VI.

    Evo VII RearThe introduction of the Evolution VII also marked the first time an automatic drivetrain was included within the model lineup—the GT-A (JDM only). Seen as the 'gentlema's express' version of the visually similar VII GSR, the GT-A model was only produced in 2002 and had the following distinguishing interior and exterior specification: GT-A-only diamond cut finish 17-inch (430 mm) alloy wheels, clear rear light lenses and all-in-one style front headlights (later used on the Evolution VIII). The GT-A had the option of either no spoiler, the short spoiler (as later used on the Evolution VIII 260) or the thunderspoiler as used on the standard Evolution VII models. The most distinguishing feature was a smooth bonnet with no air-grills on it at all. Although offering inferior cooling capabilities, the bonnet was designed to give a cleaner line through the air with less air resistance at motorway speeds.

    The frame used was frame:CT9A, which was used until the arrival of the Evo X.

    The Evo VII was not sold officially in Australia, most likely due to the residual stock of the Evo VI still in showrooms due in turn to the high $80K price tag.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power Kits

    As with the Evolution VI, the Evolution VII comes with the ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. This model also benefits greatly from a better flowing mandrel exhaust from the turbo back, larger intercooler and air intake modifications.

    There are no Power Kits for the Evolution VI, however MRT have done some work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the Evolution VII

    Lancer Evolution VIII

    Evolution VIII (2003)

    The Evolution was changed again in 2003, this time sporting Super Active Yaw Control to handle traction and a 6-speed manual gearbox. It was available with 206kw in three trims: standard (GSR in Japan), RS (devoid of all excess components, such as the rear wing, trunk carpeting, interior map lights, power windows/doors, and radio) and MR, which came with a new vortex generator (a set of ridges above the rear window to improve aerodynamics). Both RS and MR Editions came with a revised limited-slip front differential.

    The Lancer Evolution VIII MR uses slick-response Bilstein shocks for improved handling. The aluminum roof panel and other reductions in body weight have lowered the centre of gravity to realize more natural roll characteristics. Detail improvements have also been made to Mitsubishi’s own electronic all-wheel drive, to the ACD 5 + Super AYC 6 traction control and to the Sports ABS systems. The Lancer Evolution VIII displayed at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show took the MR designation traditionally reserved for Mitsubishi Motors high-performance models and used first on the Galant GTO. Other parts on the MR include BBS alloy wheels, Recaro bucket seats, Brembo brakes, and a MOMO steering wheel

    Evo VIII standard low rent interiorIn the United Kingdom, many special Evolutions were introduced, which included FQ320, FQ340, and FQ400 variants (FQ said jocularly to stand for ’Fucking Quick’). They each came with 320, 340, and 400 hp (239, 254, and 298 kW), respectively and all featured EcuTeK upgraded ECUs developed in collaboration with EcuTeK UK.

    The FQ400, sold through Ralliart UK, produces 302.13 kW (405.2 hp), from its 2.0L 4G63 engine as the result of being specially modified by United Kingdom tuning firms Rampage, Owen Developments and Flow Race Engines. At 202.9 hp (151.3 kW) per litre, it has one of the highest specific output per litre of any roadcar engine. With a curb weight of around 3200 lb, it achieves a 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and a 0-100 in around 9 seconds, while costing about £47,000. BBC’s television series Top Gear demonstrated that the FQ-400 could easily keep up with a Lamborghini Murcielago around a test track. The Stig recorded a Top Gear Power Lap Times of 1 minute 24.8 seconds.

    The Lancer Evolution VIII was once again officially imported into Australia, however the Australian spec car was detuned to 195kw (coincidentally the same as the Subaru WRX STi at the time) and also lacked the JDM 6-speed manual transmission, coming instead with the old 5 speed manual transmission. The Australian spec still included many goodies such AWD (all wheel drive) with S-AYC (Super Active Yaw Control) and ACD (Active Centre Differential), Brembo brakes with ABS and EBD, and a carbon fibre rear wing. Interior wise, the car was clearly based upon the entry level Lancer with a spartan interior including a basic A/C, rubbish stereo and no cruise control.

    Initially only 100 units were imported via Ralliart for $61,000, however this time the cars proved to be so popular that an additional 100 units were also imported and sold quickly through dealers.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power Kits

    As with the Evolution VI and VII, the Evolution VIII comes with the ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. This model also benefits greatly from a better flowing mandrel exhaust from the turbo back, larger intercooler and air intake modifications.

    There are no Power Kits for the Evolution VIII, however MRT have done heaps of work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the Evolution VIII

    Lancer Evolution IX

    Evolution IX (2006)

    Mitsubishi introduced the 2006 Lancer Evolution IX at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. The JDS versio's 2.0L 4G63 engine got MIVEC technology (variable valve timing), boosting official power output to 213 kW and torque to 392Nm - however actual figures are significantly higher.

    The Australian spec car saw power lifted from 195kw in the Evo VIII to 206kw for the Evo IX (again the exact same output as the MY06 Subaru Impreza WRX STi) whilst torque remained at 355Nm (still less than overseas models). Goodies such as S-AYC, ACD, Brembo brakes and that carbon fibre wing were retained from the previous model. Notable enhancements to the Evo IX were the 6 speed transmission, the introduction of Variable cam control with MIVEC technology, BBS alloy wheels, vortex roof generators, a more efficient air dam (the most noticeable feature are the two small oval ducts to cool the intercooler pipes) and new rear bumper with a diffuser undersurface to smooth out the airflow coming out of the car. Unlike other countries which were offered various model choices, Australia was only offered one standard model which was closest to the JDM and European GSR model.

    Three trims were available for Japan, Asia and Europe. Although all models used the same 213 kW engine, the torque differed from one model to another. In Europe, like Australia, the Evolution IX was advertised to have 206kw. The GSR produced 400 Nm of torque, while the RS and GT produced 407Nm.

    • RS - "rally sport", revised 5-speed, aluminium roof, gauge pack, minimal interior, LSD and a titanium-magnesium turbine, left-hand drive option available.
    • GT - revised 5-speed, this is basically the RS mechanically, but with some of the GSR's features (mainly interior pieces).
    • GSR - 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, aluminium roof, gauge pack, SAYC (Super Active Yaw Control), and double-din radio (this is roughly equivalent to the USDM MR).

    In the United Kingdom, the Evolution IX used a different model scheme based on the car's horsepower. There were initially three models available: the FQ-300, FQ-320 and FQ-340 each with around 300, 320 and 340 bhp (254kw) respectively, and all once again using EcuTeK upgraded ECUs. An FQ-360 model was subsequently released as a successor to the Evolution VIII FQ-400. While the new FQ-360 produced less horsepower than its predecessor, it had more torque at 363 lb·ft (492Nm) at 3200 rpm - 8 lb·ft (11Nm) more than the FQ-400. All four models were designed to run on super unleaded petrol only.

    • FQ-300, 320, 340 - 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, AYC (Active Yaw Control)
    • FQ-360 - 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, AYC (Active Yaw Control), Ralliart Sports Meter Kit, carbon front splitter, Speedline alloy wheels

    Four models were available in the US. All models used the same 286 hp (213 kW) engine. All models used a front and rear Limited Slip Differential, and an Active Center Differential.

    • Standard - revised 5-speed, standard model
    • RS - ralli sport, revised 5-speed, aluminium roof, gauge pack, minimal interior, also no radio
    • SE - Special Edition, aluminium roof/hood, and front fenders, split seven-spoke forged aluminium BBS wheels in "diamond black" finish, HID headlights with integrated fog lights, red-stitched Recaro seats
    • MR - 6-speed, Bilstein monotube shocks, split seven-spoke forged aluminium BBS wheels, aluminium roof, hood, and front fenders, gauge pack, HID headlights with integrated fog lights, vortex generator, and custom MR badging

    Evo IX Rear Wing A 2,500-piece, limited edition Evolution IX station wagon was released in Japan soon after the sedan’s debut. It uses the back end of the Lancer Sportback wagon grafted onto the sedan. Two trim models will be introduced: the GT with a six-speed manual transmission and the GT-A with a 5-speed automatic. Other than the station wagon back end, redesigned seats, and some small chromed trim pieces, the car’s interior is the same as the sedan.

    Mitsubishi also developed the Evolution MIEV, based on the Evolutions IX’s chassis but with 4 electric engines connected to the four wheels as a test bed for the Mitsubishi In-wheel Electric Vehicle (MIEV) next-generation electric vehicle. The in-wheel engines use a hollow doughnut construction to locate the rotor outside the stator unlike other electric motors where the rotor turns inside the stator. The result of this is a lighter engine which translates into lower unsprung weight in a system where the engines are mounted in the wheels. Each in-wheel engine produces a power output of 68hp, thus giving a massive combined output of 272 hp comparable to that of regular, gas powered Lancer Evolutions. The car subsequently competed in the Shikoku EV (Electric Vehicle) Rally 2005.

    The Evo IX uses the CT9A frame.

    MRT Power Kits

    Whilst the Evo IX is a wonderfully performing and handling car straight from the showroom floor, other markets such as the UK can access factory enhanced models such as the FQ-360 which Australia misses out on.

    The good news is that MRT has done heaps of work on the Evolution IX, largely due to the MRT Evo IX development car that was used to design awesome Power Kits to give the Australian market similar packages to the FQ models available in the UK. All Power Kits use EcuTeK, giving the ability to tune the factory ECU whilst also allowing direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT offers two Power Kits using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 15% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 35kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.
    • For more power above "XB" levels, contact MRT for a custom package

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the Evolution IX


    Lancer Evolution X

    Evolution X (2008)

    The Lancer Evolution X sedan features a newly designed 4B11T 2.0L turbocharged, all-aluminium inline 4 cylinder engine. The car has also a new full-time all-wheel drive system named S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control), an advanced version of Mitsubishi's AWC system used in previous generations. The S-AWC uses torque vectoring technology to send different amount of torque to any wheel at any given time.

    The Evo X also features Mitsubishi's new sequential semi-automatic six speed Twin Clutch SST twin-clutch transmission with steering-mounted magnesium alloy shift paddles. A 5-speed manual gearbox is also available with Mitsubishi claiming that the 5 speed manual transmission has always been preferred in rallying and should be very refined, resulting in a more satisfying drive.

    The Lancer Evolution X uses the next generation RISE safety body.

    Lancer Evolution X S-AWC System

    Japanese models

    The engine is the 4B11-type 2.0 litre inline-4 turbo and produces 221kw at 6500 rpm and 422Nm at 3500 rpm. Aluminum is used in the roof panel, front fenders and the rear spoiler frame structure

    The standard GSR model can be fitted with following packages:

    • High Performance Package - Bilstein single tube shock absorbers and Eibach coil springs, brembo 2-piece disc brakes, high performance tires with stiffer walls and better grip.
    • Stylish Exterior Package - Chrome finish for the front grille lattice and beltline molding, body colour-keyed fender vents, adds fog lamps.
    • Leather Combination Interior - The seats matches the color of the exterior.
    • Premium Package - All 3 above packages plus 18-inch (460 mm) BBS lightweight alloy wheels.

    North American models

    Engine produces 217kw at 6500rpm and 407Nm at 4400.

    • GSR - Same as base Japanese GSR. (available only with manual 5 speed)
    • MR - 6-speed TC-SST transmission. Suspension with Eibach springs and Bilstein struts. 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels. Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps. Color-keyed large rear spoiler. Leather and sueded seating. Electronic keyless entry and starting system. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Bluetooth hands-free cellular phone interface system with voice recognition.
    • MR Premium - MR with a 650 watt (max) Rockford Fosgate Navigation/Stereo with 9 speakers.

    Evo X Interior

    UK models

    UK cars kept the Evolution X name.

    • GS - Base Japanese GSR with Enkei wheels, 5-speed manual transmission, Stereo radio/CD with MP3 compatibility and 6 speakers.
    • GSR - GS with HDD navigation with radio and music server (MMCS), Rockford Fosgate premium audio, iPod/MP3 auxiliary input port.
    • GSR SST (FQ-300 only) - GSR FQ-300 with 6-speed TC-SST transmission with SST mode selection (normal, sport, super sport).

    Engine options:

    • FQ-300: Engine rated at 217kw at 6500 rpm and 407Nm at 3500 rpm.
    • FQ-330: Engine rated at 242kw at 6500 rpm and 437Nm at 3500 rpm.
    • FQ-360: Engine rated at 264kw at 6500 rpm and 492Nm at 3500 rpm. Carbon fibre front lip spoiler, rear vortex generator, gear knob, hand brake. Front leather Recaro seats.
    • FQ-400: Engine rated at 302kw and 542Nm of torque. It also includes six-piston Alcon calipers, upgraded brakes, revised Turbo, EcuTeK enhanced ECU, revised exhaust with downpipe, larger injectors and 18-inch wheels, a new aero kit that includes additional cooling intakes, vents, a larger air intake in the hood and ducts and a massive diffuser at the rear.

    Australian / New Zealand models

    Engine rated at 217kw at 6500 rpm and 366Nm at 3500 rpm.

    • GSR - 5 speed manual or 6-speed TC-SST transmission.
    • MR - 6-speed TC-SST transmission. Suspension with Eibach springs and Bilstein struts. 18-inch BBS forged alloy wheels. Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps. Mitsubishi Multi Communication System.

    MRT Power Kits

    Like the Evo IX, the Evo X is a wonderfully performing and handling car straight from the showroom floor, however the new 4B11T engine has enormous potential that is suppressed on Australian model cars. In addition, other markets such as the UK can access factory enhanced models such as the FQ-360 which Australia misses out on.

    The good news is that MRT has done heaps of work on the Evolution X, largely due to MRT's new Evo X development car that is used to design awesome Power Kits to give the Australian market similar packages to the FQ models available in the UK. All Power Kits use EcuTeK, giving the ability to tune the factory ECU whilst also allowing direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT offers two Power Kits using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 18% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of an EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the first OEM turbo collector for a guaranteed 40kw power increase and up to 25% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: In development at time of writing - coming soon . . .

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the Evolution X


    Special thanks to TopSpeed and Wikipedia from where much of this article was reproduced from. Other sources include Mitsubishi Secrets, Web Wombat and Strike Engine.

    The fitting of larger sway bars (rear and in general) has two main effects, vehicle balance in terms of understeer and oversteer, and increased roll resistance. Both of these can provide increased overall grip levels that can be achieved by the vehicle.

    As most factory vehicles are biased towards understeer, fitting of the larger rear sway bar will help in providing a more neutral characteristic in the handling at the limit. This is due to the increase in roll stiffness at the rear, which loads the rear wheels more unevenly and provides slightly less grip at the rear than previous.

    Whiteline WRX front swaybar

    At first this may sound sacrificial, however, as the rear end is resisting more of the roll, the front end resists less in proportion, leaving the front wheels more evenly loaded, therefore more available front end grip. In the end an increase in overall grip can be achieved by balancing the vehicle. A WRX or other front torque biased all wheel drive vehicle will benefit even more due to combined front end steering/traction demand.

    Another effect of introducing larger rear bars is that the roll stiffness is increased, and chassis roll is reduced, this also reduces the effects of "roll camber". Roll camber is the variation in the wheel/tyre camber setting due to chassis roll, and during cornering usually results in the outside wheels gaining positive camber.

    By increasing the roll stiffness and reducing roll camber effect, the wheel/tyre stays closer to its wheel alignment setting or optimal setting. This can increase the overall cornering grip available, as the wheel/tyre does not lose as much negative camber at the limit.

    The balance (and grip increase) of the car could also be achieved by reducing the front sway bar stiffness, however its roll stiffness would be reduced and roll camber would suffer. This would lead to large amounts of positive camber being gained on the outside wheels/tyres when cornering. This would result in a wheel/tyre that would not be at its optimal camber setting at the limit of handling.

    This could be remedied with large amounts of static camber to counter act the positive camber gain, however the resulting tyre wear, and straight-line handling effects would suffer.

    So without reducing comfort, a Sway bar will make your suspension system and tyres perform better, making the car more responsive while delivering more grip. Fitting a new Swaybar offers all round improvements in handling, tyre wear, comfort, safety and even load carrying. Its the best dollar for dollar handling improvement you can make!
    MRT use and recommend Whiteline Sway bars and use the finest grade spring steel, are powder coated and supplied with high performance polyurethane mounting bushes in a DIY kit form, ready to simply bolt on.
    Contact us now on or visit our website for more information on how to improve your car.

    STi LogoSubaru Tecnica International (STI) was created with the foremost task of establishing a full scale Subaru entry into the World Rally Championship. STI managed the contract to build the first factory Group A Liberty as well as developing much of the technology behind it.

    Whilst preparing to enter the WRC, STI campaigned the Liberty in the local Japanese domestic rally championship and from the beginning supported and worked with Possum Bourne when he ran the Group A Liberty and later the Impreza. Interestingly Possum had a motorsport connection to Subaru several years before STI was formed. STI supplied engines for the Group A Liberty and later the Impreza WRX and Impreza World Rally Car.

    STI was still a small group in 1992 when the Impreza Group N car was first tested. It was at this time that Australian engineers started working on tests and events with STI engineers.

    Overwhelmed by the success of what was initially a small group, Subaru has invested significantly in STI, given the people and the technology to support a diverse range of Subaru motorsport activities. Along with WRC, STI develops the Subaru technology and components behind the Production World Rally Championship, significant regional Rally Championships such as the ARC, and SCCA Pro Rally Series in the US. In the Japanese circuit STI supports teams in the All Japan GT Championship and Super Endurance Race Series.

    STi GD Chassis DrivetrainFocusing on Group N Rally, Australia's outright rally class, STI controls the development, technology and homologation of the Subaru Group N vehicle competing in the PWRC, ARC and all Group N Rally Championships around the world. STI works closely with all the factory and leading Group N teams, intensively helping the teams to collectively develop the technology of their cars and each year co-ordinating the feedback from these teams into a more competitive set of parts or more advanced complete Impreza WRX STi vehicle for the next homologation. A lot of this technology also filters down from STI's involvement in the development of the WRC car. In fact this is the process that drives the development of the Subaru and especially Impreza WRX STi that you drive today.

    So, from the beginning of the Group A and Group N Impreza, STI began developing a number of suspension and engine competition parts for race and rally. This has grown into a comprehensive STI catalog, covering Impreza and Liberty for dress up, performance and special motor sport parts.

    Subaru and STI have won many times in the history of WRC and ARC competition, but the core technology and motorsport philosophy has remained the same.

    Premium technology represents both excellent engineering and the intensive effort of all the people who work for STI and Subaru competition teams around the world with passion and craftsmanship.

    Historically, the STi (like all other Subaru models) has taken to referring to the car in terms of model years: MY00, MY02, etc. As with many car makers, Subaru starts selling its next year’s model late in the preceding year. For instance, in September 2007 the MY08 went on sale in Australia.

    This history will focus on Australian spec WRXs which ofter differ from JDM (Japanese Domestice Market) and other foreign market WRXs (such as the UK and the US). The exception to this are the MY94-97 STi models that were released as JDM models only, but are included to give a starting point of the Impreza STi's origins.

    This history will not include limited special edition STis such as the S20x series, Type R, Type RA or Spec C models unless they were offered and sold by Subaru Australia.

    The Birth of a Legend - The Impreza STi Version I (MY94) - JDM only

    STi Version IThe first Impreza STi was launched in January of 1994 and was a response to Mitsubishi's Lancer GSR Evolution.  The Lancer GSR was quicker than the standard Impreza so WRX's were taken to Subaru Technica International to be fitted with a tuned and blueprinted engine. This STi came with forged pistons, lightweight valve adjuster system, polished intake ports, a revised TD05H turbo and a remapped ECU. The spec was the same for both the Saloon and Estates with the engine producing 185kw at 6500rpm and 310Nm of torque at 3500rpm.

    Extras to come with the STi included Intercooler watersprayer, uprated intercooler ducting, a larger bore Fujitsubo exhaust system, loads of pink STI badges, an STi chassis plate on the offside front suspension tower, front strut brace, uprated brake pads, stiffer STi springs and dampers and the now familiar high level rear boot spoiler.

    Inside was red stitched Nardi steering wheel, STi gearknob, STi dials and STi semi bucket seats. The STi was also available with a large range of options including a limited slip diff for the rear axle. The Impreza STi was available in Red, Silver and Black with the Version 1 STi using the same gearbox as the WRX.

    The Type RA (Race Altered) STi was launched in November of '94, it was similar to the STi but was lighter, more powerful, having 202kw at 6500rpm  and 320Nm at 4000rpm. The Type RA also had a diver controlled centre differential (DCCD) with a rear limited slip differential which allowed between 50 and 65 percent of power to the rear wheels via a 5 step adjustment. The Type RA also came with closer gear ratios which made acceleration quicker, WRX style front foglamp covers, 16inch gold alloy wheels, silver and black strut brace, rally style roof vent, a faster steering rack and Type RA badging on the boot lid.

    Both the Version I STi and STi RA models were built to order only.

    Version II (MY95) - JDM only

    In August 1995 the C Spec STi Version 2 series was released. This Impreza was similar to the original STi but power was hiked to the same levels of the old RA model:  202kw at 6500rpm and 320Nm at 4000rpm. Interestingly, the standard STi came with the red induction manifold but the Version II RA which followed shortly did without. The RA also had less power with 195kw and 312Nm. Also released was the 555 WRX STi saloons and Estates which came which a deluge of stickers, a roof vent.

    In early 1996, STi released 1000 units of the the Version 2 V-Limited edition and was based upon the earlier Type RA but came without stickers. A white only V-Limited Type RA was released a month later, this had a polished exhaust system and minor internal changes.

    Like the Version I, the all variants of the Version II STi were released as JDM models only.

    Version III (MY97) - JDM only

    STi Version IIISubaru brought out a heavily updated STi (D Series) Version III STi at the end of 1996 which reached the Japanese market ceiling of 206kw at 6500rpm. Torque increased to 343Nm at 4000rpm. The intercooler on this car was mounted flat as opposed to the slightly tilted position on earlier versions. The Type RA now gained the red inlet manifold and a carbon fibre strut brace. The open decked engine boasted lighter forged pistons, molybdenum coated valves, a metal head gasket, a better radiator an improved single bore exhaust system, stronger clutch and an STi quick shifter. The car also featured From mechanical as opposed to hydraulic lifters.

    A new face appeared in January 1997 in the form of a 2 door STi Type R. It had a stiffer 2 door body shell, a front lip spoiler, side skirts, a deeper rear valance plus Type R badging and tinted rear windows. It also had an even closer Group N gear ratios, manual control of the intercooler water sprayer, air conditioning, folding mirrors and blue faced gauges. This model was available in Feather White, Sonic Blue Mica or Chase Yellow. Today the STi Type R is one of the most sought after Imprezas today.

    Version IV (MY98) - JDM only

    The Ultimate STi - STi 22BThe E Series STi version 4 was released in September 1997 with the main changes being in the interior. This consisted of a new dashboard, revised instrument clusters and a central speedometer. Power remained at the maximum allowed, 206kw but torque was raised to 355Nm and 4000rpm.

    The E series also had one of the most desirable Imprezas ever. In September March 1998 the 22B (WRX STi Type R 22B) was released with a run of only 425 vehicles of which 5 were brought to Australia. Somewhat of an Automotive legend, this very special 2 door STi was created to celbrate Colin McRae's winning form in the WRC. They were very expensive at AUS$125,000 each, and that did't include compliance to enable it to be road registered here in Australia. Only later did Subaru Australia assist owners with registering the car for road use in Australia.

    Hand built by STi in Japan, the 2.0L engine was enlarged to 2.2L by boring the cylinders (hence the 22B nameplate) fitting them out with forged pistons and specially matched cylinder heads and cam profiles and punched out  206kw and almost all of its 363Nm at a much lower 2800rpm. STi 22B RearA VF23 turbo was fitted as standard, but the car could also be specified with the larger VF22 as a no cost option. A unique twin-plate clutch fed power to a revised transmission with DCCD. Subaru tests in Japan resulted in a boasted 0-100kmh time of 4.2 seconds which was never repeated elsewhere with a 4.8 sprint more realistic, but nevertheless still frighteningly fast for its day.

    Most striking of all was the 22B's coupe body shape, complete with pumped-out flared front and rear guards over the wider track (20mm front, 40mm rear), aggresive front spoiler and rear wing. Styling cues were taken directly from the championship winning World Rally Car version, giving the 22B a much more muscular appearance than previous 2 door STi models. Wheels were specially made BBS 17x8.5" wheels with Z rated tyres.

    Other notable features of the 22B included a unique interior, better brakes, suspension, and steering rack.

    Version V (MY99)

    STi Version 5 - first Australian delivered STiWhilst released in September 1998, early 1999 saw the arrival of the two-door STi Version V coupe in Australia. Only 400 were imported making it highly sort after with its popularity remaining undiminshed even to this day. Available in white or blue, these had the full Japanese domesitc spec 206kw engine, readily identified by its red intake manifold, complete with roller bearing turbo, revised cams and comparatively high boost pressures.

    Other Version V STi goodies included close ratio transmission, aluminium bonnet, rear screen wiper and the biggest rear wing this side of a 22B. Oddly enough, Australian delivered models had the old Version IV suspension and not the inverted strut type fitted on the JDM version. STi Version 5 Rear WingThe Australian spec car also cam with semi-automatic climate control, and a special in-car security package offering anti-hijack protection.

    This car proved to be an instant hit with both customers and the motoring press, who praised the car for its impressive performance and handling, as did customers who voted with their cheque books, ensuring that the entire shipment of 400 cars sold out in double quick time. It was not all good news for Subaru as a certain number of cars fell foul to mysterious piston failures, possibly due to a mismatch between the Japanese domestic engine calibration and Australian 95 RON fuel. Subaru's response was to reduce peak boost from 17.5 to 16 psi when owners brought their cars in for normal servicing, which effectively reduced power slightly from 206kw.

    Version VI (MY00)

    STi Version 6Whilst Subaru Australia promised that the import of 400 Version V cars would't be quickly repeated, the strong demand resulted in Subaru Australia immediately importing an additional 400 STis with the release of the Version VI in late 1999.

    Mechanically the Version VI was nearly identical to the previous version with the primary difference being that the Version VI was a four door body shape. Other differences included the adoption of inverted struts, a fully automatic climate control system, a slightly re-styled front spolier, and minor engine management tweaks in response to the piston failures of some Version V cars.

    MRT Power Kits

    As with the MY99-00 WRX, the MY99-00 STi models come with ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required.

    MRT Power KitsThere are no Power Kits for the MY99-00 STi, however MRT have done heaps of work on this model and are able to put together a package to suit your needs.

    Download: Contact details regarding more info for the MY99-00 STi

    Version 7 - MY01 (JDM Only)

    The Version 7  STi was freleased in 2001, but only in Japan. Essentially the Version 7 is the same as the Version 8 (MY02) model releases in Australia in and is reviewed below. From the MY01/2, the STI was less commonly known by its version number and like other Subaru models known generally by its manufactured year.


    MY02 Bug-Eye STiThe MY02 was the first STi in Australia not sold in limited numbers, and was the first STi since inception to have a new chassis (the GD chassis as opposed to the GC chassis for all previous STis)

    Based on the "bug-eyed" Impreza, the STi too featured dominant round headlights, however the STi ones were WRC inspired with eyelids that look more purposeful and less like a startled dear! Like the WRX, the body was completely new with improved torsional stiffness, in addition to improved crash safety due to the addition of a large "U" shaped reinforcing brace bolted to the underside of the front chassis rails. Whilst smoothness, feel and NVH all improved directly as a result of the greatly increased torsional rigidity of the new body shell. Like, the WRX, the downside of the new chassis was the weight with the STi now tipping the scales at 1475kg - 75kg more than the WRX and nearly 200kg more than the Version 6 STi.

    The biggest change to the STi was the engine which was the first Subaru engine in Australia to feature variable valve timing. Known as AVCS (Advanced Valve Control System), the timing was on the inlet cam only. Other new engine features were forged pistons as standard, the deletion of the up-pipe catalytic converter found on the WRX, intake manifold tumble valves, bigger intercooler, manual intercooler water spray and a new VF35 turbocharger. However, unlike previous Australian delivered STis, the MY02 arrived detuned for our 95RON fuel and produced less power than the JDM versions (and previous Australian versions), with a peak power output of 195kw and 343Nm of torque. Whilst Subaru claimed a mid 5s time for the 0-100kmh sprint, the reality was more like a high 5, flat 6 second time.


    STi 6 speed gearbox MY02 STi Detuned 195kw Engine


    The weight gain, reduced power, detuned engine map and continued use of a single scroll turbo as opposed to the use of twin scroll turbos on JDM STis produced an engine that delivered above 4000rpm, but suffered from a huge torque hole up until that point. Reviews of the engine were harsh from many automotive magazines, with Autospeed stating that: "there's no excuse for the fact its tuned-for-Australia turbo engine has the worst torque range of any vehicle on the market."

    MY02 STi InteriorIt was't all bad news though. The highlight of the MY02 STi was the new 6 speed gearbox that was much stronger than the WRX 5 speed, and had a close spread of ratios that helped keep the Australian spec STi's narrow power band engine on the boil. The 6MT was built completely from scratch, with a new transmission design to fix the strength and shift quality issues of the old 5MT transmission.

    Other drivetrain enhancements included a larger R180 rear diff (as opposed to the R160 on the WRX) and stronger driveshafts. The STi also scored larger disc rotos and Brembo brakes on both the front and rear. Externally, the STi looked much like the WRX except for a slightly larger bonnet scoop, foglight covers and headlights.

    Like the MY01/02 WRX, the interior was much improved over previous STi models with a new dashboard, instrumentation with a large centre tacho, centre console, 6-stack double DIN CD player, front and rear blue-trimmed seats and interior trim.

    Despite the criticism of many automotive magazines, the MY02 won Motor's BFYB (Bang For Your Bucks), showing that it was still a hard-core machine when driven hard.


    MY04 STiMechanically, the MY03 STi delivered to Australia was identical to the MY02 with the same detuned 195kw engine and drivetrain.

    The obvious change was the exterior styling, which the ditching of the "bug-eyes" headlights for more shapely candles more in keeping with the Subaru brand, a new front grille, re-touched bumper bar and lightly re-styled rear lights in line with the MY03 WRX. The most striking changes were the huge bonnet scoop, the biggest ever seen on any Subaru and large rear wing(the MY02 STi had the same flat-lid boot spoiler as the WRX).

    Like the WRX, the MY04 saw very minimal changes - indeed the addition of a pollen filter to the A/C system was the only change of the previous model.

    The MY05 STi featured the first mechanical changes since the MY02, and the most significant was the inclusion of DCCD (Driver Control Centre Differential) - the first time it had been included for an Australian spec STi despite the fact it had been available on JDM models since the late 1990s. MY05 STi DCCDIn short, DCCD is a sophisticated mix of electronic and mechanical elements combining together with the aim of maximising the amount of engine power transferred into the road surface, in addition to the basic task of providing differential action between the front and rear axles. DCCD is controlled by a stand-alone ECU that takes inputs from a wide range of sensors and parameters, including lateral "G", brake light switch, handbrake switch, ABS activation status, throttle pedal position , rear differential oil temp, individual wheel speeds and finally DCCD auto/manual status. The DCCD on the MY05 STi allowed for a torque split from between 50/50% to 35/65% from front to rear.

    Other significant changes were bigger wheel hubs that housed much larger bearings, necessitating a change to a bigger wheel PCD of 114.3mm, up from the previous size of 100mm, a slightly increased rear track covered by larger flared rear guards and new HVAC controls and centre console.

    The MY05 STi represented perhaps the end of the dominance of the STi in its market, winning Motors BFYB (Bang For Your Bucks) - the last time a WRX/STi has won the award.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power Kits

    If there was ever a car that qualified for most requiring a better engine map, the MY02-05 STi would be it. There is so much potential in the engine that is wasted by the ECU tune, and a retune using EcuTeK software transforms this car with significant power and driveability increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. As a result, in addition to all other custom modification work offer, MRT offers three Power Kits based using EcuTeK.

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 15% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake and new intank fuel pump for a guaranteed 40kw power increase and up to 28% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY02-05 STi



    MY06 STiLike the MY06 WRX model, the STi saw the Subaru style and design statement make another big statement with the contraversial new front grille based upon the new corporate grill based on FHI's (Fuji Heavy Industry) aviation beginnings. Whilst not as poorly received as the bug-eye, it nevertheless received much press attention and was known by Subaru fans as the "pig nose".

    The exciting news with the MY06 model was replacement of the old EJ207 2L engine with the new EJ257 2.5L motor that had been introduced in the US back in late 2003. Complete with a revised AVCS system, electronic throttle control and larger exhaust system with a single tip muffler, the engine gave the STi back its old power figure of 206kw and torque increased to 392Nm, giving the STi the genuine ability post mid 5s for the 0-100kmh sprint.

    The increase in engine capacity in addition to a retune of the ECU removed much of the torque hole that had plagued the MY02-05 STi, giving the car much improved tractability and driveability. Another significant change was the addition of a steering wheel input to the DCCD system and a changed max torque split of 41/59 fron to rear, giving the car even better handling on the road and track.

    EJ257 2.5L EngineInternally, the MY06 and MY07 models were pretty much identical to the MY05.


    The MY07 is virtually identical to the MY06, with only small changes such as the addition of a roof wind spoiler.

    Limited Editions

    • Whilst special editions of the STi such as the Type R and RA were available for most versions of the STi in Japan, it was not until the release of the MY07 did Subaru Australia offer a special edition STi with the sale of the track only STi Spec C Group N FIA homologated car from their Motor Sports division. Sporting the full treatment from stripped body shell, Japanese specification EJ207 2L engine and upgraded suspension, these cars represented the ultimate weekend car fro use in competition and targas.

    MRT Power Kits

    The introduction of the relatively low stressed 2.5L engine and electronic throttle control gives a fantastic platform for enhancing the MY06-07 STi. Using EcuTeK software to upgrade the factory ECU and using parts developed, MRT offers three Power Kits.

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 15% torque increase over standard.
    • MRT Power KitsXB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 35kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY06-07 STi



    MY08 STiThe release of the MY08 STi saw the first all new car since the 1994, and a demonstrated a significant shift in Subaru's focus. Like the WRX it was based upon, the STi was more refined and "user-friendly" than previous models - gone was the harsh ride for a more agreeable ride and manners.

    The MY08 STi in terms of body panels this is the most differentiated STI ever. Only the front doors, bonnet and roof panels are carried over from the WRX. Underpinning the MY08 Impreza WRX STI is a strengthened version of the same body that sees the standard Impreza achieve impressive safety ratings and much improved NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).  The STI's wheelbase is a scant 5mm longer than the WRX (put that down to suspension geometry) though the track increases are a substantial 35mm at the front (to 1530) and 40mm at the rear (now 1540).MY08 STi Rear Overall the cars are the same length, but thanks to those flared guards, the STI is 55mm wider than the WRX.

    Guards have been flared WRC-style front and rear -- the former scoring vents that actually help cool the engine bay. At the rear there's a four-outlet exhaust system and an aggressively styled under bumper diffuser. Combined with the surprisingly subtle hatchtop spoiler, the diffuser generates enough downforce to negate any aero lift at high speed. The STI also gets unique headlamps (with xenon low beam) and it's the only Impreza to feature mirror-mounted front indicators.

    At the heart of the new STI is a revised version of the 2.5-litre boxer engine that graced the last generation STI. The new engine complies with Euro IV emission requirements and pumps out an impressive 221kw at 6000rpm. Peak torque is 407Nm at 4000rpm. The engine also features a new full CAN-Bus technology ECU that controls the dual Active Valve Control System (variable valve timing and lift on both inlet and exhaust cams) for better driveability.

    STi DCCD DiagramThis MY08 STi is also the first Impreza to feature SI-Drive (Subaru Intelligent Drive), offering the choice between three throttle/engine control maps. Intelligent (I) mode improves economy, while the Sport (S) and Sport Sharp (S#) modes offer better throttle response and unfettered access to the engine's full output.  Other changes to the STI's powerplant include a larger capacity intercooler and revised exhaust layout with two twin exhaust outlets.

    The MY08 STi retains DCCD as implemented on the MY06-07 STi, with torque split through a range from 50:50 (fr:rr) to a rear-biased 41:59 depending on conditions. Thanks to a blend of mechanical actuation and electronic control it responds in milliseconds.

    Another first for the STi is the three-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system. The default setting is a conventional, if generously calibrated, stability system. The driver then has the choice to disengage the system completely (one touch of the lower dash-mounted button) or choose a Traction mode which allows more leeway for sideways antics. 

    Lastly, for the first time the STi was available in two variants, the base STi and the Type R. Both cars are identical except for the 18" lightweight BBS alloy wheels and Recaro sears 

    Whilst the spec sheet of the MY08 STi is impressive, it ca't disguise the fact that the MY08 is not the hard core STi of old. Softer and less explosive than previous models and obvious not targeted to the boy-racers, it is nevertheless a serious car that is much more focused and cohesive than the MY08 WRX that it is based upon.

    MRT Power Kits

    Whilst the MY08 STi is undoubtably more advanced and softer than previous models, it still has much potential lurking under its skin. With a new, more powerful ECU that can be tuned using using EcuTeK software, the MY08 STi presents many opportunities to regain much of the old STi character. In addition to all other custom modification work offered, MRT offers three Power Kits based using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 15% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 35kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY08 STi


    Special thanks to: Subaru Australia, Subaru Performance Handbook, AutoSpeed, Carsales, Strike Engine, and Graham Berry for the majority of content and images contained in this article.

    In the first part of series, we focused on the original WRX that arrived in Australia in 1994 and carved itself a unique niche in the market as a thrilling pocket-rocket, delivering the performance and handling of cars twice its price.

    From the bug-eye model of late 2000, Subaru started a deliberate policy of broadening the appeal of the WRX and tackling head on the ramraider media image with increased security measures and clever advertising strategies, and then recently with the new model of late 2007 deliberately changing the car to more of a grand tourer than a performance pocket-rocket.

    MY08 WRXWhilst the first series (GC8) of the WRX faced little challenge (the 200SX was its closest rival), the new millenium saw other companies jump on the bandwagon with potent and affordable small to mid size cars, and for the first time the WRX faced stiff competition from cars such as the Golf GTi, Mazda 3, and Ford Focus XR5. Furthermore, both the local Ford Falcom and Holden Commodore progressed in leaps and bounds, the Falcon with the introduction of the BA XR6 turbo in 2003 and the Commodore with the 6L VE SS in 2006. Even the STi faced stiff competition from the FPV Typhoon, HSV Clubsport, Nissan 350Z, Golf R32 and Evo VIII onwards in its price bracket.

    Whilst the WRX was still unmistakeably unique with its all-paw turbo charged delivery, trademark bonnet scoop and awesome grip, it was no longer the standout performance that it was in the late 90s. It still remained exceptionally popular due to its image, value and performance, and also the ease in which extra performance could be gained with clever modifications, and it was during this time that MRT carved out its reputation as the premier workshop for enhancing the WRX.

    Historically, the WRX (like all other Subaru models) has taken to referring to the car in terms of model years: MY00, MY02, etc. As with many car makers, Subaru starts selling its next year’s model late in the preceding year. For instance, in September 2007 the MY08 went on sale in Australia.

    This history will focus on Australian spec WRXs which ofter differ from JDM (Japanese Domestice Market) and other foreign market WRXs (such as the UK and the US).


    MY02 The MY01 was unaffectionately dubbed the “bug-eyed” Impreza. With dominant round headlights and a new body over familiar underpinnings, the controversial MY01 wasn’t well received. This was despite a completely new body with improved torsional stiffness, in addition to improved crash safety due to the addition of a large "U" shaped reinforcing brace bolted to the underside of the front chassis rails. Whilst smoothness, feel and NVH all improved directly as a result of the greatly increased torsional rigidity of the new body shell, the downside was a weight gain of around 100kg despite the re-appearance of an aluminium bonnet. As engine output remained essentially the same, this resulted in noticeable loss of performance.

    Whilst engine output was essentially the same, Subaru nevertheless had made some noticeable changes to the EJ20 in the MY01 WRX. Revisions were made to cylinder head combustion chambers, a new intake manifold and tumbler valves in the intake runners. A new ECU also featured with direct ignition by individual coil on plug, and a small pre-catalytic converter appeared in the turbo up-pipe. Designed to help with cold start emissions, this pre-cat was unreliable and had the potential to damage the turbo when it failed, leading to its deletion in the MY03 WRX. Whilst these revision led to improved mid-range response, power remained the same at 160kw and 292Nm.

    Externally, the new head lights were the dominant feature that received most of the attention, but there were noticeable other changes. Wheels were now 17 inch standard (as opposed to 16 inch for the MY00), flared front and rear guards on the sedan model and a new rear-end saw the removal of the large rear wing which was replaced with a more conventional flat lid type spolier. The flared guards on the sedan were due to a wider track than the old model, however the wagon retained the MY00 track and front suspension arms. Most sedan and wagon received an improved suspension geometry and adjustments to the rear roll centre.

    MY02 EJ20 EngineInside, the interior must much improved with a new dashboard, instruments, centre console, 6-stack double DIN CD player, front and rear seats and interior trim. The front 4 pot and rear 2 pot ventilated disc brakes were retained, although minor adjustments were made to the ABS system.

    The MY02 saw the return of an optional automatic transmission to the WRX range. Responding to criticism of the blunted performance on the MY01, manual models got shorter gear ratios and final drive ratios for improved acceleration (from 3.9 to 4.44 to 1) which resulted in improved acceleration. A suretrac limited slip front differential also featured on the MY02, along with EBD (electronic brake assist) which improved it further. Unfortunately, the 6-stack CD player was replaced by a single CD player, whilst the external aerial was incorporated into the windscreen.

    Subaru also responded in Australia to the increased theft rate of the WRX and poor publicity because of the frequent use by thieves in ram-raids, fitting a keypad alarm system. It was a necessary evil to reduce theft and required users to enter a PIN code any time they got in the car. Owners of the MY99-01 were offered free of charge a retro fit of the alarm.

    Limited Editions

    • Club Spec Evo 5 - shortly after the release of the MY02 model saw Subaru Australia launch the Evo 5 Clubspec WRX. Mechanically it was identical to the MY02, but featured a toned down mustard yellow colour scheme (as opposed to the eye-catching yellow of the Evo 4), leather interior and sunroof.

    MRT Power Kits

    As with the MY99-00, the MY01 onwards come with ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. As a result, in addition to all other custom modification work offer, MRT offers three Power Kits based using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 22% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake and new intank fuel pump for a guaranteed 40kw power increase and up to 30% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: Consists of Type 2 EcuTek retune, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake, new intank fuel pump, larger injectors, new fuel rails and a larger STi turbo for a guaranteed 55kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY01-02 WRX



    MY03 WRX SedanFollowing the stinging criticism of the appearance of the "bug-eyed" Impreza, Subaru responded to criticism with the company’s fastest facelift (or update) in history. Subaru ditched the circular headlights for more shapely candles more in keeping with the Subaru brand. External updates also sawa new front grille, re-touched bumper bar and lightly re-styled rear lights.

    On top of the updated look came some significant mechanical changes, the most significant being the adoption for the time of variable valve timing. Whilst only on the inlet cam, AVCS (Advanced Valve Control System) along with a boost in the compression ratio, enhanced ECU and the deletion of the pre-turbo cat saw power increase to 168kw and torque to 300Nm. For the interior, the 6 stack CD player introduced in the MY01 and then deleted in the MY02 returns.

    The MY04 saw very minimal changes - indeed the addition of a pollen filter to the A/C system was the only change of the previous model.

    The MY05 however saw several enhancements, including a revised suspension system (using more aluminium) aimed at improving stability, particularly at speed. Subaru also tweaked first gear of the five-speed manual by adding a double synchroniser for better shift and selection quality, new HVAC and centre console, as well as red front brake calipers. Mechanically, the engine remained the same for the MY03-05 model.

    MY03 WRX Sedan rear

    Limited Editions

    • Club Spec Evo 6 - based on the MY03 model, it featured leather interior and a sunroof.
    • Club Spec Evo 7 (Petter Solberg Edition) - based on the MY04 model, it also featured leather interior and a sunroof.
    • Club Spec Evo 8 - based on the MY05 model, it featured leather interior and sunroof and two new colour options - champagne and crystal grey.
    • WRX WRP10 - the name commemorates 10 years of WRX involvement in the World Rally (WR) running on Pirelli tyres (P). Crystal grey metallic is the only exterior body colour available, and in addition to the fancy badges and interior trimmings is a very special modification for a limited release WRX - more power! A recalibrated ECU and freer flower exhaust is responsible for lifting power from 168 to 175kw and torque from 300 to 302Nm. Other modifications include a 15mm lower ride height, carbon fibre strut brace and special wheel rims.

    MRT Power Kits

    As with the MY99-02, the MY03 onwards come with ability to upgrade the factory ECU using EcuTeK software, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. As a result, in addition to all other custom modification work offer, MRT offers three Power Kits based using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 20kw power increase and up to 22% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake and new intank fuel pump for a guaranteed 40kw power increase and up to 30% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: Consists of Type 2 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake, new intank fuel pump, larger injectors, new fuel rails and a larger STi turbo for a guaranteed 55kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY03-05 WRX



    MY06 The MY06 model saw the Subaru style and design statement make another big statement with the contraversial new front grille based upon the new corporate grill based on FHI's (Fuji Heavy Industry) aviation beginnings. Whilst not as poorly received as the bug-eye, it nevertheless received much press attention and was known by Subaru fans as the "pig nose".

    Whilst the styling is the most obvious change over the MY03-05, the major mechanical change was the replacing of the old EJ20 2L engine with the new EJ25 2.5L motor that had been introduced in the US back in late 2003. Complete with a revised AVCS system, electronic throttle control and larger exhaust system with a single tip muffler, the engine made only 1kw more than the previous engine to make 169kw, but torque jumped 6.6% to 320Nm. The old TD04 single scroll turbo remained as opposed to the twin scroll turbos that had been used in JDM versions since 2001, but the extra 0.5L made a significant improvement to low end driveability. However, the TD04 could't flow enough air at higher rpm for the larger capacity engine, resulting in the loss of the WRX's traditional top end rush for a more refined driving characteristic.

    MY06 WRX InteriorInternally, the MY06 and MY07 models were pretty much identical to the MY05.

    Limited Editions

    • Club Spec Evo 9 - the last limited model WRX to date, only 300 were built and featured 18 inch wheels, STi front spoiler lip, sunroof and a leather interior. Mechanically, the Evo 9 is identical to the MY07 WRX.

    MRT Power Kits

    The introduction of the relatively low stressed 2.5L engine and electronic throttle control gives a fantastic platform for enhancing the MY06-07 WRX. Using EcuTeK software to upgrade the factory ECU and using parts developed, MRT offers three Power Kits.

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 15kw power increase and up to 35% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 35kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.
    • MRT Power KitsXC kit: Consists of Type 2 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake, new intank fuel pump, larger injectors, new fuel rails and a larger STi turbo for a guaranteed 55kw power increase and up to 42% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY06-07 WRX



    MY08 Impreza WRX RearMY08 Impreza WRX FrontThe release of the MY08 WRX demonstrated a significant shift in Subaru's focus. The first all-new Subaru WRX since the original in 1994., the MY08 brought new levels of safety, comfort, equipment and value. However, even more so the the "bug-eye" WRX, the MY08 received not so flattering reviews from local and overseas magazine. But worse still, the most unflattering reviews came from current WRX owners!

    To start with, the MY08 WRX in Australia came only as a hatchback/wagon - the sedan that had been introduced back in 1994 was gone. Described by many as a cross between a BMW 1 series and a Kia Rio, the new chassis had improved torsional stiffness, improved crash safety and side air bags, resulting in the WRX achieving a 5 start ANCAP rating for the first time. To Subaru's credit, all this was achieved without the car adding weight which stayed at 1395kg, the same as the outgoing model.

    Inside, a new dash, centre console, interior trim and seats also featured. The seats were no longer as supportive as the previous model and had a less sporting flavour, but the WRX was offered for the first time with a semi-decent stereo system with 10-speakers, a 6-stack CD stereo and auxilliary input. An optional Sat-Nav was also offered.

    Externally at the front, the car featured a new grille, new Xenon headlights, and retained the bonnet scoop, however it is a sleeker and smoother profile than previous models and more like the Liberty models. At the rear, LED brake lights replace the traditional lights and a rear diffuser was added underneath the bumper.

    MY08 WRX EnginePerhaps the most noticeable change to the MY08 WRX was its roadholding ability. For some inexplicable reason, whilst Subaru retained the 17 inch wheels, they were a narrower profile (205/50 opposed to 215/45)  than previous models and gave less overall grip. Furthermore, whilst significant changes and improvements were made to the suspension, it felt much softer than previous models, leading to greater body roll. The old 4 pot disc calipers introduced back on the MY99 WRX were discarded for inferior 2 pot caliper, resulting in greater brake fade under heavy braking.

    Mechanically, the engine pumped out the same 169kw and 320Nm of the previous model, however a twin-scroll turbo replaced the old TD04L, giving the car more power down low. Previously peak kw had arrived at 5600rpm - now 5200rpm. Peak torque used to hit at 3600rpm - now 2800rpm. Another new addition feature for the WRX engine was variable timing on the exhaust cam and an upgraded ECU utilising for the first time full CAN-Bus technology to control the new cam system. THe end result was a much smoother power delivery than previous models, so much so that the turbo rush that characterised previous WRX models was negligable.

    The MY08 WRX was a step away from the hard-core WRX to a small grand tourer - indeed in Japan the WRX namebadge was dropped for the MY08 model for the Impreza GT moniker. No longer was the WRX a niche vehicle - which critics tend to love - but a mainstream small car that can compete in an increasingly tougher new car market.

    MRT Power Kits

    Whilst the MY08 WRX is undoubtably softer than previous models, it still has much potential lurking under its skin. With a new, more powerful ECU that can be tuned using using EcuTeK software, the MY08 WRX presents many opportunities to regain much of the old WRX character. In addition to all other custom modification work offered, MRT offers three Power Kits based using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek upgrade, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 15kw power increase and up to 25% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo and air intake modifications for a guaranteed 30kw power increase and up to 35% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: Consists of Type 2 EcuTek upgrade, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake, new intank fuel pump, larger injectors, new fuel rails, larger top mount intercooler and a larger custom turbo for a guaranteed 60kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY08 WRX



    The release of the MY09 saw an extraordinary turnaround from Subaru. As a car company, Subaru ca't be accused of not listening to the market, and the MY09 WRX saw Subaru restore much of the WRX character than had been missing from the MY08.

    MY09 WRX Sedan

    The biggest news was the return of the sedan model, closely followed by the incorporation of a bigger turbo-charger, freer flowing exhaust and increased boost, resulting in power jumping from 169 to 195kw and torque jumped from 320 to 343Nm and improved acceleration from 5.8 to 5.31 seconds.

    Other highlights included an enhanced suspension package that eliminated much of the excessive body roll in the MY08 and wider 225/45 tyres, giving the MY09 much improved handling. Other features include distinctive brake calipers (although the 2 pot calipers were retained), WRX logos on the seats and the option of leather trim with sunroof.

    For potential WRX buyers, another bonus was that pricing for the WRX was kept at MY08 levels despite the economic turmoil at the time of launch, and for the first time there was no price difference between the sedan and hatchback/wagon.

    MRT Power Kits

    MRT Power KitsNo power kits "officially" exist for the MY09 WRX, however many road cars are now being tested with beta XA and XB kits with astonishing results. Power increases of more than 40kw have been in testing for the beta XB kit, and this is on top of the additional 26kw that Subaru gave the MY09. As the premier WRX aftermarket workshop in Australia, we are working hard on the development and completion of the Power Kits for this model. We are already able to update the ECU for better performance and fuel efficiency using EcuTeK - contact us or one of our resellers for further information!

    Keep an eye on our Power Kits page for updated information on this model


    Special thanks to: Subaru Australia, Subaru Performance Handbook, AutoSpeed and Drive for the majority of content and images contained in this article.

    Part 1 of 2 - WRX MY94-MY00: the "classic" era

    The Subaru WRX first arrived in Australia 1994, following the heels of the Liberty RS which had already introduced some to the benefits of a relatively light weight, all wheel drive turbo-charged car that was both practical and affordable. It arrived with little fanfare, but quickly established a following, particularly from motoring publications who appreciated its performance and value.

    WRXWhat started life as a quirky, niche performance car based on a modest-selling small car has evolved into a cult car with a colourful history.

    Initally, the WRX struggled to sell and was considered by many to be on the expensive side (compared to today’s real price) in the mid 1990s. However,  Subaru's kept the price point despite inflation and enthusiast car magazines regularly sung its praises as they pitted the WRX against far more exotic and expensive machinery. The WRX was often quicker than the good old Aussie V8, prompting the likes of HSV to get more serious. Despite the price difference, the Subaru was often found to be faster and more capable, something that added enormously to its popularity.

    The WRX was more popular than ever in the late 1990s, when rivals of similar performance and price were few and far between. Holden and  Ford V8s couldn’t match the WRX’s potent – and affordable – turbocharged performance.  1999 and 2000 were the golden years of the WRX in Australia, with record sales that Subaru admits are unlikely to be challenged. The WRXs popularity was such that Porsche even saw it as a threat to the standard 911, resulting in Porsche entering a mini advertising war in the late 1990s in an effort to show why its German thoroughbred was indeed better than the new Japanese kid on the block. In reality, it worked much better for Subaru than Porsche.

    The golden years had a dark side though, with heavy media publicity over a spate of robberies in which the WRX was the getaway car. Thieves had figured out that the WRX was realtively to steal if you knew the trick and the Police Ford and Holden V8s could't keep up in pursuits, increasing the chances of the thieves getting away. The police adopted a “fight fire with fire” policy and followed suit, with limited numbers of WRXs purchased for pursuit duties in some states. It was something of a PR nightmare in Subaru's Sydney head office, and also stung WRX's owners back pockets with insurance companies either refusing to insure the WRX, or rising premiums to eye-watering levels.

    WRXTo a large extent, the success of the WRX has come down to being in the right place at the right time. There was a market for an affordable, high-performance car. Subaru's success in the World Rally Championship attracted interest and provided the perfect marketing base. On top of that, the WRX had little, if any, genuine competition until recent years, when the market has bulged with newcomers from Honda, Mazda, Ford, Renault, Volkswagen and HSV.

    These days, there are all manner of $40,000 performance options that the Subaru WRX in a large way created. These days there are clubs across Australia devoted to the WRX, which has become affectionately known as the “Rex”.

    Today, much has changed, but much has also stayed the same. From the bug-eye model of late 2000, Subaru started a deliberate policy of broadening the appeal of the WRX and tackling head on the ramraider media image with increased security measures and clever advertising strategies, and then recently with the new model of late 2007 deliberately changing the car to more of a grand tourer than a performance pocket-rocket.

    Historically, the WRX (like all other Subaru models) has taken to referring to the car in terms of model years: MY00, MY02, etc. As with many car makers, Subaru starts selling its next year’s model late in the preceding year. For instance, in September 2007 the MY08 went on sale in Australia.

    This history will focus on Australian spec WRXs which ofter differ from JDM (Japanese Domestice Market) and other foreign market WRXs (such as the UK and the US). The exception to this is the first generation WRX which was't exported to Australia, but is included to give a starting point of the WRX's origins.

    MY93 (JDM only)

    This little known car was only sold in Japan and not exported, and was simply named as the Impreza GT, and was basically a standard Impreza GC8 chassis with a turbo and four-wheel drive. It introduced the "shark grill" bonnet vents and the horizontal "slatted" grille assembly. The GT was known to suffer with electrical problems and excessively soft, poorly controlled suspension compared to latter incarnations of the WRX. Air-to-air intercooling was adopted for this car, replacing the air-to-water unit fitted to the outgoing Legacy (called the Liberty in Asutralia) RS. Cooling was fed to a small, heavily slanted top mounted intercooler via a bonnet scoop, which also supplied air to a cooling "chimney" built into the turbocharger heat shield.


    MY94 WRX Wagon


    This was the first Impreza to wear the WRX nameplate (WRX stands for World Rally Edition). Engine management and vehicle electrics were all heavily revised to fix shortcomings prevalent in the previous model, and the shock and spring rates were also given a major overhaul.

    Under the bonnet with the trademark bonnet scoop was the major secret to the WRX success - a two litre flat four, quad cam, 16 valve, fuel injected intercooled turbo. A static compression ratio of 8.0:1, Mitsubishi TD05 turbocharger (Oz spec) and a scoop-fed air-to-air intercooler mounted atop the engine helped the Rex deliver its 155kW at 6000 rpm along with 270Nm at 4800. The large-ish turbo (especially compared to later model) meant that the car did suffer from a lack of low-down torque, but once on boost the WRX hauled itself like few other cars of the era, sprinting to 100 km/h in the mid-high sixes and across the quarter mile in mid-high 14s.

    Available as either sedan or a hatch, both cars weighed in at around 1250kg and featured a 5-speed manual gearbox that also contains the front/rear viscous drive coupling.

    MY94 WRX InteriorThe constant all wheel drive system gave virtually unparalleled stability under all conditions - accelerating, cornering and braking. The latter was improved because of the drivetrai's inherent ability to equalise drivetrain speed from front to rear, which reduced the likelihood of lock-ups at either end. The brakes were discs all round (vented at the front) with the added driver control of ABS as standard. The early WRX rode on a set of pretty dull-looking 15x6 inch alloys that came factory clad in Michelin Pilot SXs.

    On the road, understeer dominated handling characteristics (which still remains to a point today), but overall the package was much more in keeping with the sport image Subaru was promoting. A small wing on the back and the trademark bonnet scoop intake on the bonnet were the main clues to its performance potential. In its day, the 155kW of power and 270Nm made the WRX a true pocket rocket.

    MY94 WRX Engine

    Limited Editions

    • WRX Ralleye - late November 1995 saw Subaru Australia release the first in a series of special editions, the first called the Ralleye, cashing in on the success of the WRC team. Only small numbers were available, and featured a Prodrive blue paint job, colour coding of door handles and door mirrors, and the 16 inch gold rims from the JDM STi. Seats were trimmed in Alcantara (fake suede), which were subsequently used as the standard model seats for the next model WRX. Mechanically, it was identical to the standard MY96 model, but still sold out quickly.

    MRT Power Kits

    No power kits exist for the MY94-96 WRX models, but that does't mean MRT do't know how to extract more herbs safely from these cars. As one of the first aftermarket workshops to start enhancing the WRX, we have seen more early model WRXs than any other workshop.

    Simple and effective modifications include fitting our free-flowing exhaust system, air intake modifications and increasing the boost pressure a bit. Use of aftermarket ECUs such as the Apexi Power FC, Link or Motec will also transform the car, as will a replacement top mount intercooler. A newer design roller-bearing turbo can also minimise lag whilst retaining or improving top end performance.

    Suspension wise, Whiteline swaybars and front castor kits transform the car, and coilovers are ofter a good solution for replacing tired shocks. Owners of this model can contact us via phone on 02 9767 454  or web to find out what we can do to either enhance this model, or simply keep it well maintained.


    MY97 WRX Sedan


    Prior to the release of the MY97 model, the WRC (World Rally Car) rules were changed to make the competition more attractive and economical for manufacturers. As a result, manufacturers were no longer required to produce a minimum of 5000 units of a particular road model for it to compete in the WRC, allowing manufactures (under strict guidelines) to convert a basic economy car (such as the 2wd Corolla) into a 4wd turbocharged rally car. As a consequence, manufacturers no longer had to equip their road cars with oversize turbos and other parts that increased production costs and whilst necessary for the rally car, detracted from the driving performance and experience of the road car.

    As a result, the biggest and most significant change to the MY97 was the adoption of a smaller capacity turbocharger, the Mitsubishi TD04. Other changes included an all-new intake manifold with the compressor inlet tunnelled beneath, a larger air-to-air intercooler and new blow-off valve. Mechanically, new pistons, headgaskets and shim-adjustable solid tappets replaced the sometimes troublesome hydraulic lifters fitted to previous models. Further improvements to the engine were made with a new ECU, ignition coil and boost control system. The static compression ratio remained unaltered at 8.0:1.

    WRX EJ205 EngineInterestingly, the MY97 WRX's max power output was listed at the same 155kW as the MY64-96, though this is now found at 5600 rpm rather than 6000 rpm. Maximum torque increased, however, from 270Nm (at 4800 rpm) previously to 290Nm (at 4000 rpm). Boost was perhaps slightly more than the 11 - 12 psi used in the MY94-series, and acceleration times were improved to mid 6 sixes for the 0-100km sprint.

    The transmission was given a much needed upgrade, with improved synchro rings and a dual cone synchro ring for 3rd gear, to resolve a weakness found in even moderately driven MY94-96 models. In addition, the clutch grew 5mm in diameter and received a slightly heavier duty pressure plate, and the gear shift design was modified for a shorter, more precise throw.

    In an effort to increase the appeal of the Impreza WRX, Subaru also added automatic transmission as an option. Fewer than 5 per cent of buyers took up the offer, despite the fact performance wasn’t wildly affected. Responding to concerns over high insurance prices and concerns over theft, Subaru added an engine immobiliser added for greater security. Everything else underneath the floor - brakes, diff and suspension - remained almost identical.

    The MY97 interior is a stark contrast to the MY94-series. The new model received the same bucket seats as the MY96 Ralleye edition, however these seats were a bit too narrow for people with a larger frame. The next model year - the MY98 - was then equipped with a completely revised dashboard (with white face dials), airbag equipped Momo steering wheel as standard, door trims and a lidded centre console.

    Externally, the MY97 sported revised 15-inch wheels with relatively subtle body changes. The bonnet was changed with revised vents and scoop and the front bar was tweaked. Five spoke 16 x 7 inch alloys then became standard (wearing 205/50 tyres) for the MY98 car. Overall kerb weight went up about 10 kilograms on the MY94 to about 1260kg.

    The MY97 update addresses the main criticisms of the MY94-series and, in doing so, goes a long way toward explaining the 'stripes' the WRX wears today. The MY97 WRX turned out to be the turning point in the car's success - Subaru sold 1743 units that year, compared to just 360 in 1996. These effective engine, body and interior changes created the package that is gained cult status.

    Limited Editions

    • Silver anniversary edition WRX - released early in 1998 by Subaru Australia to celebrate 25 years of Subaru in Australia. The car featured a black paint scheme, full leather interior and gold wheels.
    • Club Spec Evo 2 - First of the Evo series, this was released mid 1998, sporting a new shade of blue that was different from the previously used Prodrive blue. Other goodies included gold wheels, alcantara seat panelling and racy decals. Mechanically, the Evo 2 was identical to the MY98.

    MRT Power Kits

    No power kits exist for the MY97-98 WRX models, but that does't mean MRT do't know how to extract more herbs safely from these cars. As one of the first aftermarket workshops to start enhancing the WRX, we have seen more early model WRXs than any other workshop.

    Just like the MY94-96 models, effective modifications include fitting our free-flowing exhaust system, air intake modifications and increasing the boost pressure a bit. Use of aftermarket ECUs such as the Apexi Power FC, Link or Motec will also transform the car. Even though the intercooler for the MY97-98 was much improved, use of our top mount intercooler assists greatly in chasing more power, as do larger IHI intercoolers such as the VF30/34/35.

    Suspension wise, Whiteline swaybars and front castor kits transform the car, and coilovers are ofter a good solution for replacing tired shocks. Owners of this model can contact us via phone on 02 9767 454  or web to find out what we can do to either enhance this model, or simply keep it well maintained.


    MY00 WRX Sedan


    The final phase of the GC8 chassis development came in 1999-2000. There were three significant changes over the previous MY97-98, the first being an extensive makeover of the EJ205 engine with new pistons with teflon coated skirts and ceramic crowns, redesigned cylinder heads and camshafts. Further adjustments were made to the intake manifold runner length and plenum size, and the TD04L turbo was revised.

    A newer and more sophisticated engine management system (ECU) was fitted, with a new ignition coil, air mass meter, idle speed controller and boost control system. Power jumped from 155 to 160kw (occurring at the same 5600 rpm) and mid range power was further improved, resulting in better straight line performance and overtaking. The MY99-00 could mange low to flat 6 second times for 0-100kmh, and low 14s for 0-400m.

    The second significant change was detailed attention to the transmission, with a new stronger and stiffer transmission casing, with eight bell housing to engine mounting points instead of four in previous models to reduce gearbox flex. Minor changes were made to reverse gear and synchro hubs, and externally the transfer case was redesigned, containing detailed improvements to the selector mechanism, case bearings, and a completely new centre differential assembly.

    MY00 WRX InteriorThirdly, the front brakes were upgraded to four piston fixed calipers with larger diameter discs, replacing the old sliding two piston units. The read brakes scored ventilated rear discs in place of the previous solids. These changes, resulted in less brake fade and more consistent stopping power.

    Externally, a new re-styled front bumper, new lights and grille was immediately apparent, which had remained virtually unchanged since 1992. This series also adopted a new hise rise rear wing from the JDM V4 STi for the sedan version. The MY00 model saw colour coded side skirts, mirrors and door handles, and revised six spoke 16 inch wheels to differentiate it from the MY99. It also finally gained windscreen wipers with variable speed delay.

    Interior wise, the most noteable change was the standard fitment of dual airbags for the first time in the WRX, but there were also updates to the centre console and dash.

    1999 and 2000 were the golden years of the WRX in Australia, with record sales that Subaru admits are unlikely to be challenged. The MY99 picked up Motor Magazine's BFYB (Best Bang for Your Buck) award in 1999, with the MY00 winning Motor's BFYB and Wheel's Car of the Year for 2000.

    Club Spec Evo 4

    Limted Editions

    • Club Spec Evo 3 - based upon the MY99 model and released June 1999, this special release featured an alcantara trimmed interior, blue fabric seat inserts, revised decals and a different dashboard finish 
    • Club Spec Evo 4 - based upon the MY00 mode and released March 2000l, this special release was very striking with its pale yellow paintwork and was the last special edition for the old GC8 chassis. It also featured yellow alcantara trimmed interior and gloss-black painted 16 inch wheels.

    MRT Power Kits

    With the advent of the MY99 WRX comes the ability to flash and tune the factory ECU using EcuTeK, negating the requirement to replace it with an aftermarket unit when chasing significant power increases. The ability to tune the factory ECU also allows direct access to factory calibration data, and the ability to use most of the default factory settings whilst just changing those required. As a result, in addition to all other custom modification work offer, MRT offers three Power Kits based using EcuTeK.

    MRT Power Kits

    • XA kit: Consists of Type 1 EcuTek reflash, 3" muffler and air intake modifications for a minimum 20kw power increase and up to 22% torque increase over standard.
    • XB kit: Consists of Type 1.5 EcuTek reflash, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake and new intank fuel pump for a minimum 40kw power increase and up to 30% torque increase over standard.
    • XC kit: Consists of Type 2 EcuTek reflash, full 3" exhaust system from the turbo, cold air intake, new intank fuel pump, larger injectors, new fuel rails and a larger IHI VF30 or VF34 turbo for a minimum 55kw power increase and up to 40% torque increase over standard.

    Download: Full Power Kit Details for the MY99-00 WRX


    Special thanks to: Subaru Australia, Subaru Performance Handbook, AutoSpeed and Drive for the majority of content and images contained in this article.

    Did you know that many non-turbo Subaru models for many years have had what they call hill holder?

    The hill holder on these models is a good little feature that when you’re sitting in traffic with the car in gear, and you’ve got your foot on the clutch, when you put your foot on the brake pedal, the braking mechanism actually holds the car on the hill.

    Then, to disengage it, it is released when you take your foot off the clutch, hence the reason it is called a hill holder.

    From the simple point of view, the way to understand it is you pull up at a set of traffic lights and the road is on a slight angle. Normally, you would put your hand brake on or put your foot on the brake pedal and keep it there.

    With this particular feature, you simply pull up at a set of traffic lights on a hill, put your foot on the clutch pedal, and put your foot on the brake pedal.
    When you take your foot off the brake pedal, as long as you’ve still got your foot on the clutch, the car will hold there with the brakes on.
    Obviously, when you want to go and take off, you just take off in the normal fashion. With a little bit of throttle, let the clutch out and off you go.
    As the clutch pedal rises up, at the last point of the throw of the pedal, it disengages the braking mechanism and at that point, there is enough grip on the clutch to accelerate the car forward without it rolling backwards.

    This is the reason why it’s call hill holder. For some reason, up until 2008, Subaru never included this feature in the turbo models, but as of the MY08, it’s available on the STI and the WRX model.

    If you are a performance auto enthusiast of any kind then you already know that MRT Performance are one of the leading performance workshops in Australia for performance Subaru and Mitsubishi cars.

    Piston damage caused by detonationWithout a doubt the single biggest barrier to high performance tuning is detonation.

    Detonation (also called knock, knocking or spark knock, pinking or pinging) in spark-ignition internal combustion engines occurs when combustion of the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder starts off correctly in response to ignition by the spark plug, but one or more pockets of air/fuel mixture explode outside the envelope of the normal combustion front. The fuel-air charge is meant to be ignited by the spark plug only, and at a precise time in the piston's stroke cycle. The peak of the combustion process no longer occurs at the optimum moment for the four-stroke cycle. The shock wave creates the characteristic metallic "pinging" sound, and cylinder pressure increases dramatically. Effects of engine knocking range from inconsequential to completely destructive. It should not be confused with pre-ignition (or preignition), as they are two separate events.

    Normal Combustion 

    Under ideal conditions the common internal combustion engine burns the fuel/air mixture in the cylinder in an orderly and controlled fashion. The combustion is started by the spark plug some 5 to 40 crankshaft degrees prior to top dead center (TDC), depending on engine speed and load. This ignition advance allows time for the combustion process to develop peak pressure at the ideal time for maximum recovery of work from the expanding gases.

    The spark across the spark plug's electrodes forms a small kernel of flame approximately the size of the spark plug gap. As it grows in size its heat output increases allowing it to grow at an accelerating rate, expanding rapidly through the combustion chamber. This growth is due to the travel of the flame front through the combustible fuel air mix itself and due to turbulence rapidly stretching the burning zone into a complex of fingers of burning gas that have a much greater surface area than a simple spherical ball of flame would have. In normal combustion, this flame front moves throughout the fuel/air mixture at a rate characteristic for the fuel/air mixture. Pressure rises smoothly to a peak, as nearly all the available fuel is consumed, then pressure falls as the piston descends. Maximum cylinder pressure is achieved a few crankshaft degrees after the piston passes TDC, so that the increasing pressure can give the piston a hard push when its speed and mechanical advantage on the crank shaft gives the best recovery of force from the expanding gases.


    Engine block damage caused by detonationWhen unburned fuel/air mixture beyond the boundary of the flame front is subjected to a combination of heat, pressure for a certain duration (beyond the delay period of the fuel used), detonation may occur. Detonation is characterized by an instantaneous, explosive ignition of at least one pocket of fuel/air mixture outside of the flame front. A local shockwave is created around each pocket and the cylinder pressure may rise sharply beyond its design limits. If detonation is allowed to persist under extreme conditions or over many engine cycles, engine parts can be damaged or destroyed. The simplest deleterious effects are typically particle wear caused by moderate knocking, which may further ensue through the engine's oil system and cause wear on other parts before being trapped by the oil filter. Severe knocking can lead to catastrophic failure in the form of physical holes punched through the piston or head, either of which depressurizes the affected cylinder and introduces large metal fragments, fuel, and combustion products into the oil system.

    Detonation can take the form of:

    • The fuel/air mixture being lit-off too early in the engine cycle by over advanced ignition timing
    • Fuel with too low an octane rating causes spontanous ignition of the fuel/air charge before the spark plug would normally initiate the combustion process
    • Once the spark plug ignites the fuel air charge and begins to burn, a second unplanned ignition of the fuel/air charge occurs simultaneously in another area of the combustion chamber

    Detonation can be prevented by the use of a fuel with high octane rating, which increases the combustion temperature of the fuel and reduces the proclivity to detonate; enriching the fuel/air ratio, which adds extra fuel to the mixture and increases the cooling effect when the fuel vaporizes in the cylinder; reducing peak cylinder pressure by increasing the engine revolutions (e.g., shifting to a lower gear); decreasing the manifold pressure by reducing the throttle opening; or reducing the load on the engine. Because pressure and temperature are strongly linked, knock can also be attenuated by controlling peak combustion chamber temperatures at the engineering level by compression ratio reduction, exhaust gas recirculation, appropriate calibration of the engine's ignition timing schedule, and careful design of the engine's combustion chambers and cooling system. As an aftermarket solution, a water injection system can be employed to reduce combustion chamber peak temperatures and thus suppress detonation. In turbo-charged cars, sensible boost pressures and controlling intake charge temperatures also has a significant effect on controlling detonation

    Knocking is unavoidable to a greater or lesser extent in diesel engines, where fuel is injected into highly compressed air towards the end of the compression stroke. There is a short lag between the fuel being injected and combustion starting. By this time there is already a quantity of fuel in the combustion chamber which will ignite first in areas of greater oxygen density prior to the combustion of the complete charge. This sudden increase in pressure and temperature causes the distinctive diesel 'knock' or 'clatter', some of which must be allowed for in the engine design. Careful design of the injector pump, fuel injector, combustion chamber, piston crown and cylinder head can reduce knocking greatly, and modern engines using electronic common rail injection have very low levels of knock. Engines using indirect injection generally have lower levels of knock than direct injection engine, due to the greater dispersal of oxygen in the combustion chamber and lower injection pressures providing a more complete mixing of fuel and air.

    More piston damage caused by detonationProlonged or heavy detonation in petrol engines can be very damaging, so if you hear knocking or pinging when accelerating or lugging your engine, you probably have a detonation problem. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, some very curious attitudes towards detonation in petrol engines still persist, and are hopefully cleared up below:

    1. There is no such thing as minor or non-damaging detonation
    2. An engine that detonates only occasionally is not correctly setup
    3. Forged pistons and racing connecting rods are not detonation proof
    4. Each detonation event on a highly modified engine making large amounts of power will be proportionally stronger and far more damaging compared to a detonation event on the same engine in un-modified standard trim
    5. Sophisticated closed-loop knock control is not a crutch on which to support a badly modified and tuned engine
    6. A knock sensor is only a glorified microphone, and in the case of some highly modified engines, noisy engine pats and high RPMs can make the ECUs job of listening for knock similar to trying make out a flute at a heavy metal concert.
    Detecting Detonation

    Checking for detonation during the tuning process is not an easy task. Loud exhausts and noisy dyno rollers can easily drown out the tell-tale sounds of detonation. Professional engine tuners get around this issue by using acoustic probes clipped to the engine block, fed back through an amplifier and then into a set of headphones. Probably the best form of knock detection, it is also the hardest to master, as the operator has to be familiar with the way in which knock can sound subtly different depending on the type of engine being tuned.

    There are other commercially available electronic knock detection sensors available. Typically they use a Bosch style knock sensor that is attached to the engine block. Sensor output is then sent back into a head unit inside the vehicles cabin. Once correctly calibrated and adjusted, knock events are displayed visually by means of different intensity LED lights. It is important to note though, these units cannot be depended upon to detect detonation with 100% accuracy.


    Another condition that is sometimes confused with detonation is "pre-ignition." This occurs when a point within the combustion chamber becomes so hot that it becomes a source of ignition and causes the fuel to ignite before the spark plug fires. This, in turn, may contribute to or cause a detonation problem.

    Instead of the fuel igniting at the right instant to give the crankshaft a smooth kick in the right direction, the fuel ignites prematurely (early) causing a momentarily backlash as the piston tries to turn the crank in the wrong direction. This can be very damaging because of the stresses it creates. It can also localize heat to such an extent that it can partially melt or burn a hole through the top of a piston!

    Pre-ignition can also make itself known when a hot engine is shut off. The engine may continue to run even though the ignition has been turned off because the combustion chamber is hot enough for spontaneous ignition. The engine may continue to run-on or "diesel" and chug erratically for several minutes.

    To prevent this from happening, some engines have a "fuel cutoff solenoid" on the carburetor to stop the flow of fuel to the engine once the ignition is turned off. Others use an "idle stop solenoid" that closes the throttle completely to shut of the engine's air supply. If either of these devices is misadjusted or inoperative, run-on can be a problem. Engines with electronic fuel injection don't have this problem because the injectors stop spraying fuel as soon as the ignition is turned off.

    Causes of pre-ignition

    Carbon deposits form a heat barrier and can be a contributing factor to preignition. Other causes include: An overheated spark plug (too hot a heat range for the application). Glowing carbon deposits on a hot exhaust valve (which may mean the valve is running too hot because of poor seating, a weak valve spring or insufficient valve lash).

    • A sharp edge in the combustion chamber or on top of a piston (rounding sharp edges with a grinder can eliminate this cause).
    • Sharp edges on valves that were reground improperly (not enough margin left on the edges).
    • A lean fuel mixture.
    • Low coolant level, slipping fan clutch, inoperative electric cooling fan or other cooling system problem that causes the engine to run hotter than normal.

    A very comprehensive report of detonation and pre-ignition was published in Contact Magazine and can be read here.

    The typical brake system consists of disc brakes in front and either disc or drum brakes in the rear connected by a system of tubes and hoses that link the brake at each wheel to the master cylinder.  Other systems that are connected with the brake system include the parking brakes, power brake booster and the anti-lock system.

    Brake System DiagramWhen you push on the brake pedal, you are actually pushing against a plunger in the master cylinder, which forces hydraulic oil (brake fluid) through a series of tubes and hoses to the braking unit at each wheel. Since hydraulic fluid (or any fluid for that matter) cannot be compressed, pushing fluid through a pipe is just like pushing a steel bar through a pipe.  Unlike a steel bar, however, fluid can be directed through many twists and turns on its way to its destination, arriving with the exact same motion and pressure that it started with.  Actual applied pressure to the calipers is according to a preset front to rear ratio or "bias" (see Brake Balance or Bias section).

    On a disc brake, the fluid from the master cylinder is forced into a caliper where it presses against a piston. The piston, in-turn, squeezes two brake pads against the disk (rotor), which is attached to the wheel, forcing it to slow down or stop. With drum brakes, fluid is forced into the wheel cylinder, which pushes the brake shoes out so that the friction linings are pressed against the drum, which is attached to the wheel, causing the wheel to stop.

    In either case, the friction surfaces of the pads on a disk brake system, or the shoes on a drum brake convert the forward motion of the vehicle into heat. Heat is what causes the friction surfaces (linings) of the pads and shoes to eventually wear out and require replacement.

    On cars with disc brakes front and rear (such as the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo), brake pressure is also split into two separate circuits, the idea being that in the event of a brake system failure half the brake system will still work. On cars such as the Subaru WRX, brake pressure is split into two diagonally split systems. The front left wheel is connected to the rear right wheel to make one circuit, with the remaining front right and rear left wheel making up the other.

    Disc Brakes

    Disc brakes are used to stop everything from cars to locomotives and jumbo jets.  Disc brakes wear longer, are less affected by water, are self adjusting, self cleaning, less prone to grabbing or pulling and stop better than any other system around. The main components of a disc brake are the Brake Pads, Rotor, Caliper and Caliper Support.

    Disc Brake Diagram

    Brake Pads

    There are two brake pads on each caliper. They are constructed of a metal "shoe" with the lining riveted or bonded to it.   The pads are mounted in the caliper, one on each side of the rotor.  Brake linings used to be made primarily of asbestos because of its heat absorbing properties and quiet operation; however, due to health risks, asbestos has been outlawed, so new materials are now being used.  Brake pads wear out with use and must be replaced periodically. There are many types and qualities of pads available. The differences have to do with brake life (how long the new pads will last) and noise (how quiet they are when you step on the brake). Harder linings tend to last longer and stop better under heavy use but they may produce an irritating squeal when they are applied. Technicians that work on brakes usually have a favorite pad that gives a good compromise that their customers can live with.

    Brake pads should be checked for wear periodically. If the lining wears down to the metal brake shoe, then you will have a "Metal-to-Metal" condition where the shoe rubs directly against the rotor causing severe damage and loss of braking efficiency. Some brake pads come with a "brake warning sensor" that will emit a squealing noise when the pads are worn to a point where they should be changed.  This noise will usually be heard when your foot is off the brake and disappear when you step on the brake.  If you hear this noise, have your brakes checked as soon as possible.


    The disc rotor is made of iron with highly machined surfaces where the brake pads contact it.  Just as the brake pads wear out over time, the rotor also undergoes some wear, usually in the form of ridges and groves where the brake pad rubs against it.  This wear pattern exactly matches the wear pattern of the pads as they seat themselves to the rotor.  When the pads are replaced, the rotor must be machined smooth to allow the new pads to have an even contact surface to work with.  Only a small amount of material can be machined off of a rotor before it becomes unusable and must be replaced.  A minimum thickness measurement is stamped on every rotor and the technician doing the brake job will measure the rotor before and after machining it to make sure it doesn't go below the legal minimum.  If a rotor is cut below the minimum, it will not be able  to handle the high heat that brakes normally generate.  This will cause the brakes to "fade," greatly reducing their effectiveness to a point where you may not be able to stop!

    Caliper & Support

    There are two main types of calipers: Floating calipers and fixed calipers. There are other configurations but these are the most popular.  Calipers must be rebuilt or replaced if they show signs of leaking brake fluid.

    Single Piston Floating Calipers are the most popular and also least costly to manufacture and service. A floating caliper "floats" or moves in a track in its support so that it can center itself over the rotor. As you apply brake pressure, the hydraulic fluid pushes in two directions. It forces the piston against the inner pad, which in turn pushes against the rotor. It also pushes the caliper in the opposite direction against the outer pad, pressing it against the other side of the rotor. Floating calipers are also available on some vehicles with two pistons mounted on the same side. Two piston floating calipers are found on more expensive cars and can provide an improved braking "feel".

    Four Piston Fixed Calipers are mounted rigidly to the support and are not allowed to move. Instead, there are two pistons on each side that press the pads against the rotor.  Four piston calipers have a better feel and are more efficient, but are more expensive to produce and cost more to service.  This type of caliper is usually found on more expensive luxury and high performance cars.

    Drum Brakes

    Drum brakes consist of a backing plate, brake shoes, brake drum, wheel cylinder, return springs and an automatic or self-adjusting system. When you apply the brakes, brake fluid is forced under pressure into the wheel cylinder, which in turn pushes the brake shoes into contact with the machined surface on the inside of the drum.  When the pressure is released, return springs pull the shoes back to their rest position.   As the brake linings wear, the shoes must travel a greater distance to reach the drum.  When the distance reaches a certain point, a self-adjusting mechanism automatically reacts by adjusting the rest position of  the shoes so that they are closer to the drum.

    Drum Brake Diagram

    Brake Shoes

    Like the disc pads, brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with the friction material or lining riveted or bonded to it.  Also like disc pads, the linings eventually wear out and must be replaced.  If the linings are allowed to wear through to the bare metal shoe, they will cause severe damage to the brake drum.

    Backing Plate

    The backing plate is what holds everything together.  It attaches to the axle and forms a solid surface for the wheel cylinder, brake shoes and assorted hardware.  It rarely causes any problems.

    Brake Drum

    Brake drums are made of iron and have a machined surface on the inside where the shoes make contact.   Just as with disc rotors, brake drums will show signs of wear as the brake linings seat themselves against the machined surface of the drum.  When new shoes are installed, the brake drum should be machined smooth. Brake drums have a maximum diameter specification that is stamped on the outside of the drum. When a drum is machined, it must never exceed that measurement.   If the surface cannot be machined within that limit, the drum must be replaced.

    Wheel Cylinder

    The wheel cylinder consists of a cylinder that has two pistons, one on each side. Each piston has a rubber seal and a shaft that connects the piston with a brake shoe. When brake pressure is applied, the pistons are forced out pushing the shoes into contact with the drum.  Wheel cylinders must be rebuilt or replaced if they show signs of leaking.

    Return Springs

    Return springs pull the brake shoes back to their rest position after the pressure is released from the wheel cylinder.  If the springs are weak and do not return the shoes all the way, it will cause premature lining wear because the linings will remain in contact with the drum.  A good technician will examine the springs during a brake job and recommend their replacement if they show signs of fatigue.  On certain vehicles, the technician may recommend replacing them even if they look good as inexpensive insurance.

    Self Adjusting System

    The parts of a self adjusting system should be clean and move freely to insure that the brakes maintain their adjustment over the life of the linings.  If the self adjusters stop working, you will notice that you will have to step down further and further on the brake pedal before you feel the brakes begin to engage.  Disc brakes are self adjusting by nature and do not require any type of mechanism.

    Examples of Brake Master Cylinders

    Master Cylinder

    The master cylinder is located in the engine compartment on the firewall, directly in front of the driver's seat.  A typical master cylinder is actually two completely separate master cylinders in one housing, each handling two wheels. This way if one side fails, you will still be able to stop the car. The brake warning light on the dash will light if either side fails, alerting you to the problem.

    Master cylinders have become very reliable and rarely malfunction; however, the most common problem that they experience is an internal leak. This will cause the brake pedal to slowly sink to the floor when your foot applies steady pressure. Letting go of the pedal and immediately stepping on it again brings the pedal back to normal height.

    Power Brake Booster

    Power Brake BoosterThe power brake booster is mounted on the firewall directly behind the master cylinder and, along with the master cylinder, is directly connected with the brake pedal.  Its purpose is to amplify the available foot pressure applied to the brake pedal so that the amount of foot pressure required to stop even the largest vehicle is minimal.  Power for the booster comes from engine vacuum. The automobile engine produces vacuum as a by-product of normal operation and is freely available for use in powering accessories such as the power brake booster.  Vacuum enters the booster through a check valve on the booster. The check valve is connected to the engine with a rubber hose and acts as a one-way valve that allows vacuum to enter the booster but does not let it escape. The booster is an empty shell that is divided into two chambers by a rubber diaphragm. There is a valve in the diaphragm that remains open while your foot is off the brake pedal so that vacuum is allowed to fill both chambers.  When you step on the brake pedal, the valve in the diaphragm closes, separating the two chambers and another valve opens to allow air in the chamber on the brake pedal side.  This is what provides the power assist.   Power boosters are very reliable and cause few problems of their own, however, other things can contribute to a loss of power assist. In order to have power assist, the engine must be running. If the engine stalls or shuts off while you are driving, you will have a small reserve of power assist for two or three pedal applications but, after that, the brakes will be extremely hard to apply and you must put as much pressure as you can to bring the vehicle to a stop.

    Brake Fluid

    Brake fluid is a special oil that has specific properties. It is designed to withstand cold temperatures without thickening as well as very high temperatures without boiling. (If the brake fluid should boil, it will cause you to have a spongy pedal and the car will be hard to stop.) It is very important that the fluid is pure liquid and that there are no air bubbles in it.  Air can compress, which causes a sponginess to the pedal and severely reduced braking efficiency.  If air is suspected, then the system must be bled to remove the air. There are "bleeder screws" at each wheel cylinder and caliper for this purpose.  

    The brake fluid reservoir is on top of the master cylinder. Most cars today have a transparent reservoir so that you can see the level without opening the cover. The brake fluid level will drop slightly as the brake pads wear. This is a normal condition and no cause for concern.  If the level drops noticeably over a short period of time or goes down to about two thirds full, have your brakes checked as soon as possible. Keep the reservoir covered except for the amount of time you need to fill it and never leave a can of brake fluid uncovered. Brake fluid must maintain a high boiling point.  Exposure to air will cause the fluid to absorb moisture, which will lower that boiling point.

    Brake Balance or Bias

    As a car decelerates under braking, vehicle weight is transferred forward and onto the front axle. This requires brake force to be regulated or "biased" to take into account of weigt transfer, which increases front wheel grip at the expense of the rear. If not for this adjustment in brake force, the rear wheels would lock up and skid, while the fronts still had plenty of excess braking traction available. This biasing is known as brake balance and regular viewers of motor racing will often hear discussion regarding the effect of fuel loads, track conditions and tyre wear on brake balance, and how it is constantly adjusted throughout the race to suit. A rally cars rear bias is higher than normal so that the driver can throw the car sideways if needed by deliberately locking up the rears before the fronts.

    Production cars use a complicated pressure regulating valve that adjusts brake balance automatically, without any sort of driver intervention.

    The very best types of adjustable brake balance commonly used in motorsport is a simple system where two master cylinders are used, one for the front wheels and one for the rear, operated by a common bar that is, in turn, moved by the brake pedal. The pivot point of the "balance bar" can be adjusted, usually by a cockpit mounted driver adjustable knob. Moving the pivot point towards one master cylinder and away from another changes the amount of pedal force that is converted into brake pressure by both master cylinders, altering the brake balance front to rear. Cost, complexity and incompatiblity with production anti-lock brakes make it impractical for all but serious competition.

    Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

    The point at which maximum brake force is transmitted onto the road surface is the moment just before the wheel stops turning and locks. When you lock up the wheels from excessive pedal pressure, you lose the ability to steer your car and stopping distances increase greatly. Once the wheels lock and start to skid, grip reduces markedly, and control of the vehicle is lost as it no longer responds to steering inputs and continues on travelling in the same direction it was when the wheels first locked.

    This means in an emergency situation the driver is unable to steer around obstacles on the road, taking a greater distance to stop the car completely. ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) monitors wheel speed and regulates brake force applied to each wheel by way of rapidly pulsing hydraulic pressure according to changes in rotational speedto achieve the point of maximum braking. This is the rapid pulsing felt through the brake pedal when ABS is active.

    Under a few situations, such as fresh show or loose gravel, ABS actually increases stopping distances. As a wheel never locks completely, it cannot dig through the top layer of loose material and into the harder material below. ABS also stops the tyre from building up a wedge of loose material which can also help slow the car. This is purely a technicality, as in the majority of cases the ability to steer the car outweighs the extra stopping distance. If the driver can brake and steer at the same time, you stand a much better chance of not needing the services of a crash repair shop!

    Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)

    ABS system operations can be further augmented with the addition of EBD, which constantly adjusts brake system pressure when in operation. EBD works like a sophisticated brake proportioning valve, optimising brake system performance in accordance with such things as dynamic weight transfer and prevailing road surface grip. Overall stopping distances decrease with EBD, along with a marked increase in stability while braking hard.

    Replacing Brake Discs and Pads

    Avoid fitting new brake discs and pads at the same time. New pads should always be fitted with old discs and new "green" discs with olds pads. Why?

    Because with use, discs form a heat-hardened surface allowing them to bed in new, soft pads. Similarly used pads will also become heat-treated and are the best way of bedding in green discs. However this assumes that all used parts are mechanically sound and in good condition. Badly worn or scored brake discs should not be used to ped in new pads, and pads worn to suit the contours of scored or warped discs cannot be used to bed green discs.Unless stated specifically by the supplier, never "stand" on the brakes after fitting new pads or discs. Overheating the brakes inthe early stages of the bedding process will overcook pad and the disc material and result in reduced longevity.

    Sometimes badly worn or damaged brakes will necessitate discs and pads being fitted at the same time. Even more effort should be put into the bedding in process. The longer the time, the more frequent the cycle of heatingand cooling before the big "test", the better most pads and discs will perform. This is one case where stop-start city driving is useful!

    Just picture the scene. You are happily earning a nice six figure salary, your mortgage repayments under well under control or non-existent, the kids are self-sufficient or have't arrived on the scene as yet,  and every three years you get to trade in your old car and renew your lease with your new dream car. I'm not talking a Porsche GT2 here (that's pushing the reality just a bit), but a nice new STi or Evo, perhaps a Falcon F6 or HSV Clubsport, or maybe something more European such as a BMW 335i or Audi S4.

    For some its a reality, but for others its just dream that does't match the economic reality that they find themselves in. Large mortgage or rent repayments, rising costs such as fuel and utilities and kids that bleed you of every cent means that a new car just is't in the pipeline, and your vehicle is called upon to do its duty year after year after year. The rising repair and maintenance bills means that its time to trade in and move on, but a new car just is't possible. A second-hand car (or pre-loved if you are feeling more optimistic) is the only option.

    And thats where I find myself. Single income, three kids (two under two) and a Sydney mortgage means that although my wife and I are nowhere near the poverty line, purchasing a new car to replace our 13 year old Ford Laser that has faithfully served as a family car since we were married simply is't feasible.

    But the good news is that if you know what you are doing, getting a second-hand car does't have to be a second-best option.

    Tips on buying a second-hand car

    There is one major drawback of buying a new car - it devalues at least 5% the moment you drive it out of the dealer. Within three years, if you drive a car that holds it resale well (such as a Subaru, most Toyotas, and many Europeans), the car will still be worth about 65% of what you paid new. However, fleet cars such as the Falcon, Commodore or Mitsubishi 360 can be as low as 40-50% of their original value. Cars, especially new cars, and not a good financial investment.

    Savey money purchasing a used car!As new cars depreciate most with the first three to four years, it therefore stands to reason that from a financial point of view, this is also the best time to buy. Many leases expire around this time, so there are many suitable cars in the marketplace. Furthermore, with more and more manufacturers offering a 5 year warranty, it is becoming easier to pickup a 3-4 year old car that still has 1-2 years of manufacturers warranty, which is great for piece of mind.

    Next, always research what can you want before making any offers. Work out what you need the car for and how you intend to use it, and then there possible, narrow down the make and model that you want. It gives you a much greater bargaining power when you know exactly what you are after. This is perhaps easier said than done, but at least narrow your options. If you have friends or family that have cars similar to what you are thinking of purchasing, then try to take one for a drive and check it out before entering the market.

    My MY05 Subaru Forester XSAs an example, for me, I am completely sold on the idea of permanent all wheel drive. And as I already own one Subaru, and my Mum, Dad, brother and even parent-in-laws all own one, then it meant that if there was a Subaru that would do the job, then I was getting one. This car was going to be a family car for at least five years, so had to cope with three children up to the age of ten. As I refuse to drive Tribeca (which is just Subaru's very ugly version of a Toyota Torago), it was out. The Impreza is too small and we already have one, so scratch it too. I needed a car that was not too low to assist with my wife's bad back when getting the kids in and out of the car, so scratch the Liberty too. That left the Outback and Forester, and considering that I was planning to do some occasional offroad driving out the back of Bathurst and like the easy boot access of the Forester, then that was the way to go.

    So which model? The XT would be fantastic, but price and the fact that I have proven myself completely incapable of not modifiying a turbo-charged car ruled it out. The X model is OK, but I like the improved road-holding of the self-levelling suspension in the XS and the alloy wheels, so the XS it was. Both my wife and I find automatics dull and boring (especially the Subaru 4 speed found in the Forster as opposed say to the Ford 6 speed ZF), so a manual it was. The last decision was the year model. The MY06 (released August 2005) was my preference as it just on three years old and had a slightly revised look to the MY05, and it also scored a revised engine with an additional 9kw and 3Nm over the previous model. However price for good models was above budget, so it was ruled it out. The MY04 was also an option, but the MY05 XS came with a much improved 7 speaker setup and side air bags which the MY04 lacked and was important to me, so the MY05 it was. There - a Subaru MY05 Forester XS was what I was after - and I had't even entered the market yet!

    How did I do all this research? Well, both my parents have a Forester, so I knew how they drove. But all the model details were found online at Redbook - arguably the best research tool available. Many people think that Redbook only gives a guide on pricing (which it does), but it also lists in detail the specifications of all models, and unlike other website it is nearly always accurate. I also checked the NRMA website for car reviews.

    RedBookThe next move is to ascertain good pricing for the car you are after based upon the kms it has done. The best way to do this is to look up the recommended price range on Redbook, and then monitor large car sale sites such as Drive and Carsales for a week or two to ascertain pricing ranges. Never rely on eBay for pricing as it is seldom accurate, and unless you are desperate, do't buy off eBay either. Remember eBay is like any other auction - once you commit to buy then you have no option out. More on this later.

    With all research complete, does one purchase via a dealer or privately? There are pros and cons for both. With a dealer, the pros are that they are bound by state fair trading laws, so you are largely protected against repossession of the car due to problems with the previous owner. Fair trading (at least in NSW) also means that dealers must give a 3 month warranty on any car that is less than 10 years old and has done less than 160,000km. Dealers can also offer third-party warranty on the car for up to five years, in addition to any manufacturer warranty that may or may not remain on the car.

    Dealers are also able to trade your old car in, which is beneficial in two ways. One - they generally have numerous ex-lease cars so have a good range of cars, and second it can save you lots of hassle in selling your old car. Secondly, trading in your car might be the most hassle free option, but it is generally not the best financial option. A dealer will generally make lots of noise about giving you a great price on your new used car, but will offer you a pittance for trade-in. The rule of thumb is that you can normally as good as if not better deal on your new used car without a trade it, as well as getting 10-20% more for your old car by selling it privately.

    Of course, the biggest con of purchasing through a dealer is the price - it is generally cheaper to purchase privately. Hence if your budget is tight, then you may have more luck find a car in your price range by purchasing privately. Another con of purchasing via a dealer is that some sales people (but not all) can be a bit unscrupulous and will do nearly anything to get a sale, and as such can put potential buyers under greate stress as they try many tactics to get the sale. When dealing with a car dealer, where possible research them on the Internet and see what feedback people have posted. If there is lots of negative feedback, then go elsewhere. Also, remember that car sales people work on commission and at the end of the month and generally more willing to do better deals.

    Once you find the car you are after, there are a few things to do. First - you must get a REVS check. Regardless of whether you purchase privately or via a dealer, make sure you get the REVs certificate for the car you are purchasing to ensure that there is no finance owing. Also remember to get the certificate on the day of completion of sale and before you complete the sale.

    If purchasing privately, also ensure you get a VCheck Standard (or alternatively the VCheck Plus which includes both VCheck Standard and REVs). VCheck unlike REVs checks the national write-off and stolen vehicle information database for all states except WA (the exclusion of WA is generally not an issue for the Eastern states due to the significant cost in moving stolen and/or damaged cars from the West to the East Coast). QLD residents can purchase a VCheck online from the QLD Deparment of Transport, whereas residents from other states need to use a registered VCheck provider such as Autocheck.

    NRMA CarwiseLastly before purchasing, make sure you get the car checked by an independent source. In NSW, NRMA no longer hs a vehicle inspections division, however they do offer inspections via their affiliated workshops. Other options are to use AVI (where many of the NRMA vehicle inspection team moved to), or a trusted mechanic such as MRT (also a NRMA approved workshop) or any of MRT affiliates or resellers. Trained inspectors will not only provide a general health check on your car, but can most of the time also determine whether the car has been damaged in a crash and how good the repairs are. This is another reason to avoid purchasing a car at auctions as it is't possible to arrange an independent inspection of the car prior to purchase.

    My MY05 Subaru Forester XSI recall when I was in the market for my Ford Laser back in 1997 and I found exactly what I was after beign sold privately in Sydney's southern suburbs. It looked immaculate, the owner said the car had never been involved in a major crash, the mileage was good and the price was excellent. I took it for a drive around the block with the owner and my wife in the car and noted an unual sound from the rear end. When I asked the owner and my wife whether or not they heard the same thing, they said they could't. I looked under the rear of the car, could't see anything, and put it down to pananoia. We put a deposit down and arranged for an NRMA inspection prior to finalising the sale. As it turned out, the car had been involved in a serious rear ender which had't been fixed properly, hence the noise. The owner of the car did't know anything about it as he had bought the car from a government auction. Needless to say, we did't proceed with the purchase.

    When buying the car, always remember to negotiate as both dealers and private sellers are almost willing to sell below the advertised price. Be prepared to walk away if they wo't negotiate, you can alwasy come back! The price negotiations need to take into consideration when rego (and therefore third party insurance) expires as it can blow your budget if it is due in a month or two. Also be aware of (and the vehicle inspection will pick this up) the state of tyres, brake pads and brake rotors. If they are up for replacement soon, make sure the price you pay for the car takes this into account. Lastly, do't forget there will be stamp duty on the purchase - many have forgotten this and have been caught out when it comes to transferring the registration.

    If you follow the advice above, you should be able to buy a used car with confidence and know you have covered all bases in ensuring that you get a good condition, reliable and value-for-money vehicle that suits your needs just as well as a new car, yet costs you less. For convenience, below is a summary of all the points made above.


    • Best point to purchase a used car is when it is 3-4 years old
    • Know what you want the car to be able to do in the foreseeable future (i.e. do't buy a 3 door city runabout as your only family car if you plan to have kids later in the year!)
    • Always research what car you want before making any offers. Try to narrow down to the make and model
    • Research pricing using online tools such as RedBook, Drive and CarSales
    • Pros of purchasing through dealer:
      • Dealers subject to fair trading laws
      • Car cannot be repossed if purchased through dealer
      • Dealers can offer extended warranty through third-party companies in addition to the manufacturer's warranty
      • Dealers can offer trade-ins
    • Cons of purhasing through dealer:
      • Generally more expensive that private sale
      • Some (but not all) car sales people will do almost anything to get a sale and can put potential buyers under greate stress
    • Always get a REVS check, regardless of purchasing through a dealer or privately
    • If purchasing privately, get a VCheck Standard in addition to REVS (or a VCheck Plus that includes REVS)
    • Always get the car checked by an independent source such as NRMA affiliated mechanics, AVI, or a trusted mechanic such as MRT (also a NRMA approved workshop). Never rely upon your own judgement or the dealer or private seller
    • Do't forget potential hidden costs such rego, tyres, brake pads and stamp duty


    EthanolWith fuel prices rising to all time highs, one issue that has come to a head, especially here in Australia is the contraversial topic of pump fuel blended with Ethanol.

    From an economic point of view it makes sense, as mixing in locally produced Ethanol reduces the amount of expensive foreign crude oil required. Blended fuels are not a new development, as Sweden and the US have been using 10% mixes for many years successfully. In Brazil, it is illegal to sell pump fuel that has less than 20% ethanol content. Granted, Brazil was the last country in the world to finish producing the original Volkswagen Beetle, in itself not exactly a paradigm of high performance or modern tehnology, it is plainly evident high levels of Ethanol doesn't seem to create too many issues. And certainly not the sorts of wild predications of doom and gloom for your motorcar as portrayed by some of the Australian media.

    In actual fact, ignoring the hype, there are four main areas of concern with 10% Ethanol blends:

    1. Water - Ethanol has a great affinity with water. Most metal components in fuel systems will corrode or rust in the presence of water. Fuel blended with 10% Ethanol will increase the quantity of water it can absorb without separating out. It is important to note that the addition of Ethanol doesn't suddenly create water out of nowhere, but tends to "pickup" water more easily throughout the transportation and storage phase of its distribution to end users. It is generally accepted that 10% blends do not pose a significant risk of fuel system corrosion in everyday use, as Ethanol blends have increased quantities of anti-corrosion additives found in normal un-blended fuels.
    2. Fuel System Contaminants - 10% Ethanol blends can cause problems with cars that already have a heavily contaminated fuel system to begin with. Ethanol can act like a solvent, scouring gum, varnish, dirt and water from the insides of fuel tanks and fuel lines, leading to clogging fuel filters more regularly until contaminants are cleaned from the system.
    3. Material Incompatibility - Older cars can be at risk of accelerated wear of rubber, cork and certain plastic fuel system components, but these very same components are equally at risk when used with fuels containing high levels of toluene, the additive primarily responsible for improving the octane rating of unleaded fuel.
    4. Fuel consumption - Ethanol has a lower energy content when compared to petrol, requiring a slightly higher volume of fuel to be burned in order to provide the same amount of power. In theory, an engine using a 10% blend should consume 3.8% more fuel. This is somewhat offset by a sligh improvement in efficiency, but is very much dependant on the type of engine.

    Now for the good news. As demonstrated by the fuel tests, significant performance gains can be made by using a 10% Ethanol blend. This is becuase Ethanol is an oxygen rich fuel, and this assists with improving the combustion process. Most importantly the addition of Ethanol improves resistance to detonation, which is good news in a turbocharged car such as the WRX and Evo. The ECU in the WRX will respond to improved fuel quality and will increase the maximum amount of ignition advance generating more power. As a general rule of thumb, 95 RON unleaded fuel blended with 10% Ethanol will achieve an octane rating of between 97.5 and 98.5 RON.

    Performance Tuning for Ethanol blends

    Highly stressed engines would benefit from a dyno tune and check if switching to an Ethanol blend. Typically airfuel ratios will go slightly leaner,s omewhere in the vicinity of 3-4%, requiring slightly more fuel so as not to compromise engine safety.

    Subaru and the Ethanol debate

    Going by a press release listed on Subaru Australia's website, all Australian delivered Subarus built after the 1990 model year are compatible with Ethanol blended fuels up to a maximum 10% blend. This compatibility extends to a maximum of 10% only, and comes with an important caveat, warning that damage could result from the use of fuels containg more than 10% will not be covered by new car warranty. Pre 1990 delivered Subarus have not been tested with Ethanol blended fuels and as such are not recommended for use with these early cars.

    There are some important exceptions: Liberty B4s, Liberty GT 2.0L and Impreza WRX STis MY99 to MY05 may experience starting and / or driveability concerns if Ethanol Blended fuel of any level is used and therefore is not recommended by Subaru for these cars.

    Mitsubishi and the Ethanol debate

    According to the FAQ on the Mitsubishi Australia website, all Mitsubishi vehicles built since 1986 are fully compatible with up to 10% ethanol fuel in the mixture, provided the octane rating is at least as high as that recommended for unleaded petrol. If your car was built prior to 1986 or you are unsure of its age, please contact Mitsubishi Australia.

    Grudge Match II (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Here at MRT we are all about having fun PLUS doing the right thing.
    So when you can think of how your actions effect others.

    One way is to reduce emissions, use less fuel and save money on buying fuel! 

    SAVE $$ on the Purchase of fuel

    Only buy or fill up your car in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the fuel, when it gets warmer petrol expands,so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your litre is not exactly a litre. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the petrol, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

    When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapours that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapour return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapour. Those vapours are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

    One of the most important tips is to fill up when your tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is, the more fuel you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. petrol evaporates faster than you can imagine. Petroleum storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the petrol and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, every truck that is loaded is temperature compensated so that every litre is actually the exact amount.

    Another reminder, if there is a fuel truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy, DO NOT fill up - most likely the petrol/diesel is being stirred up as the fuel is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

    Hope this will help you get the most value for your money.


    The keys to climate control are in your hands.

    You can boost the overall fuel-efficiency of your car as much as 30% by simple vehicle maintenance and attention to your style of driving.

    Here are some tips on fuel-efficient driving that will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, but could save you hundreds of dollars a year in fuel costs.



    Avoid aggressive driving.
    Fast starts and hard braking can increase fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Tests show that fast starts and hard braking reduces travel time by only four percent, while toxic emissions were more than five times higher. The proper way is to accelerate slowly and smoothly, then get into high gear as quickly as possible. In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration.

    Drive steadily at posted speed limits.
    Increasing your highway cruising speed from 90km/h to 120km/h can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. You can improve your fuel economy 10 - 15% by driving at 90 km/h rather than 104km/h.
    Note how quickly efficiency drops after
    90 km/h .  

    Avoid idling your vehicle,
    in both summer and winter. Idling wastes fuel, gets you nowhere and produces unnecessary greenhouse gases. If you're going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic, turn off the engine. In winter, don't idle a cold engine for more than 30 seconds before driving away. (Older vehicles, however, may need more idling time when first started. In cold, winter conditions all vehicles may need more idling time to warm up and ensure the windshield is fully defogged. Be sure your vehicle is warmed enough to prevent stalling when you pull out.)

    Make sure your tyres are properly inflated
    to prevent increased rolling resistance.
    Under-inflated tyres can cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 6%.
    Check tyre pressure at least once a month, when the tyres are 'cold' (i.e. when the vehicle has not been driven for at least three hours or for more than 2km). Start by checking tyre pressures in your driveway. Note any tyre that is underinflated, and then drive to the nearest location to add air. Check
    tyre pressures again, and inflate the low tyre to the same level as the others (these will likely have higher pressure than they did in the driveway, since the tyre have heated up.)
    Radial tyre can be under inflated yet still look normal.
    Always use your own tyre gauge for consistent results. On average, tyre lose about 1 psi per month and 1 psi for every 10 degree drop in temperature.
    To determine the correct
    tyre inflation for your car, consult the car's operator manual or ask your tyre dealer. Do not inflate your tyre to the 'maximum allowed' pressure which is marked on the side of your tires.

    Select the right gear.
    Change up through the gears and into top gear as soon as possible without accelerating harder than necessary. Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel; so does letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners. Automatic transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car gathers momentum.

    Use your air conditioner sparingly.

    Using a vehicle’s air conditioner on a hot summer day can increase fuel consumption as much as 10% in city driving. If it’s cool enough, use the flow-through ventilation on your car instead of the air conditioner. At low speeds, opening the window will also save reduce fuel consumption by reducing A/C use. At higher speeds however, using the A/C may be more efficient than the wind resistance from open windows and sunroof.

    Use the cruise control
    On long stretches of highway driving, cruise control can save fuel by helping your car maintain a steady speed.

    Choose the octane fuel which best suits your car.
    Premium, high-octane fuels aren't necessarily the best choice for your car; higher price doesn't guarantee better performance. Refer to MRT direct for the easy way to work out the best way to choose the fuel thyat suits your car. or Check your owner's manual for a general notice to see what your car requires.

    Service your vehicle regularly,
    according to the manufacturer's instructions. A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly.

      Air filters: Dirty air filters can also cause your engine to run at less than peak efficiency Regular visual checks of the air filter will tell you if it needs replacing and your owner's manual will also recommend appropriate replacement intervals. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption.
    Using the correct viscosity oil is important because higher viscosity oils have greater resistance to the moving parts of the engine, and therefore use more gas. Clean oil also contributes to better gas mileage. It is usually recommended that engine oil be changed every three to five thousand miles. Synthetic oils add value as they generate less resistance inside the engine allowing more power to be generated.

    Monitor power accessories.
    Be sure to shut off all power-consuming accessories before turning off the ignition. That way, you decrease engine load the next time you start up. Items that plug into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, such as TV consoles for mini-vans and SUVs, can cause the alternator to work harder to provide electrical current. This adds a load to the engine and added load increases fuel use, decreasing your gas mileage.

    Tighten your fuel cap.
    If you don't tighten up the fuel filler cap to the second click, fuel can evaporate. According to the US Car Care Council (, loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate every year.

    Think "aerodynamic" and "lightweight".
    Reduce drag. Out on the open highway, keep windows rolled up to reduce drag. Remove bicycle and ski racks when not in use. Excess weight also uses more fuel. Remove unnecessary items from inside the vehicle, boot or truck bed. An extra 48 kg of weight can increase your fuel bill by 2%.

    Park in shady areas when possible.
    Besides helping to keep your car cool, which reduces the need for air conditioning, parking in the shade also minimizes the loss of fuel due to evaporation.

    Cold weather driving?
    Use a block heater
    when the winter temperature drops to -20°C or below. A block heater keeps your engine oil and coolant warm, which makes the vehicle easier to start and can reduce winter fuel consumption by as much as 10%. Use a timer to switch on the block heater one or two hours before you plan to drive.

    If you're in the market for a new car, why not purchase the most fuel-efficient model that meets your needs? Check its its fuel consumption rating.

    Plan your trip,
    whether you are going across town or across the country. Try to combine several errands in one outing, and plan your route to avoid heavy traffic areas, road construction, hilly trerrain, etc. With a little organization, you can group your "town tasks" into fewer trips, saving you time and fuel expense.

    Make a commitment to drive less,
    by walking to some nearby destinations. It's good for your health and the environment. Approximately 50% of car use is for trips within 3 km's of the home. This distance is within the range for easy biking, so it makes sense to try to use your bike for some of these short hops. You'll be saving fuel and reducing pollution, and you can also save on trips to the gym with this added exercise.

    Changing the oil in your car?
    Disposing of used motor oil by pouring it into storm or sewer drains, dumping it onto the ground, or placing it with household trash may create risks to human health and the environment.
    Human health is affected if rainwater carries metal-laden oil into underground streams and contaminates drinking water. It is almost impossible to clean up groundwater once it has been contaminated. Surface runoff from ground disposal and oil poured down drains often lead to water treatment plants, streams or rivers, which can also affect drinking water supplies.

    Used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water, a year's supply for 50 people.

    Pour all collected used oil into a clean, empty, sealable container such as a plastic milk jug. Specialized used oil containers can be purchased at local auto parts stores. Take it to a used oil collection site (UOCS) that accepts and recycles used motor oil. These sites, generally places such as service stations that sell motor oil, can be identified by an amber and black "Recycle Oil" logo.

    "Hi, Your site says "You can boost the overall fuel-efficiency of your car as much as 30% by ..."

    Make that closer to 40%. I get 72 MPG regularly, but my 2003 VW Jetta TDi's official EPA combined estimate is only 45. No custom tech, just efficient driving. And that's not pure highway driving either. My last tank was 69.9 MPG with 40% city driving. The car's efficient diesel engine helps too. Also, the Wall Street Journal mentioned a Honda Insight owner who gets 100 MPG on occasion -- that's fully 58% better than the official combined of 63 MPG".    Alexander Passmoore

    "Not all cars get the best economy at 55MPH, it depends on gear ratio, I have had cars that deliver better fuel economy at 70 MPH, Like a 1970 Plymouth Duster I had years ago, it got over 21MPG at 70 MPH pulling a double snow mobile trailer with two machines on it and it was over 340 Horse Power. And my 1986 Corvette will get 32 MPH at a steady 70MPH, and only about 28MPH at 55 MPH. Thank You"   Richard Heater

    Track days - how to prepare and get involved (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Heading Water Injection - Suit All Turbo/Supercharged Cars (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Turbocharger Compressor Calculations (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Upgrading your WRX or Evo Sound System on a Budget (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Mitsubishi EVO VII-IX Intercooler Waterspray System (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    MRT Evo IX Development Update - February 2007 (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    1st Impressions MY06STi Vs EVO IX (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    OEM Intercooler Waterspray Upgrade Kit MY02-07 Impreza STi (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Grudge Match - Evo IX vs MY06 STiWhat do you find when you take two rivals to the track? Mitsubishi lancer EVO 9 Vs Subaru Impreza MY06 STi, both with Whiteline and MRT power kits (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Mastering the Evolution VIII Lancer (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    EVO IX Exhaust myths exposed (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Ford XR6Turbo, why would you drive a V8? (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Mitsubishi EVO, what an exhaust WO'T do for you! (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    MRT track day clinic Report (Click picture to Read Technical Document)

    Mitsubishi EVO 6.5 - Showroom stock surprise (Click picture to Read Technical Document)