Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide
Like most performance cars, the Mitsubishi Evolution CANNOT be run on a shoestring budget. Although some of the earlier Mitsubishi EVOs can be had for bargain prices an EVO certainly cannot be run on a shoestring budget. Insurance, servicing and parts all take their toll.
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Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide – Background
The EVO I, EVO II and EVO III were only available as unofficial imports and look quite dated now. The EVO IV and EVO V which are also only available as imports look much more aggressive, have improved handling and performance, but for nearly the same money you can buy an EVO VI. The EVO VI is the favoured model amongst enthusiasts especially the Tommi Makkinen edition. The UK EVOs are slightly more expensive than the Grey Imports.
The softer looking EVO VII is often accused of being a less driver orientated car, but it is still an awesome tool and can be had for the same money as an EVO VI.
The EVO VIII series saw Mitsubishi return to aggressive styling and these models were the first to be available with a six speed transmission, their handling and straight line performance is deeply impressive. Most EVO VIII and EVO IXs are still covered by the Mitsubishi 3 year warranty as long as they still have their Ralliart service
Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide
history. When buying an earlier EVO get the dealer to offer you some sort of warranty. The high power FQ versions of the EVO command high prices where as the lower powered 260 is hard to sell with prices reflecting this. The RS and Extreme models are extremely raw and as such, some people find them too much to be a daily driver. With regards to tuning, its extremely rare to find a standard EVO. The most common modifications are a performance exhaust system, performance suspension and big brake upgrades. For more advanced mods it is highly recommended to get the car inspected by an EVO tuning specialist to ensure they have been installed properly.
A full service is absolutely essential and this must be verified with the dealer that has stamped the service book. It is imperative, as with all super high performance cars, to get an inspection carried out by a competent garage who are familiar with the Mitsubishi EVO. Most EVO specialists should be able to help you out with this.
Mitsubishi EVO insurance is never going to be cheap so its worth ringing round a few car insurance brokers to get some quotes beforehand. All Japanese imports must have a UK service record from when they arrive in the UK and double check that all the necessary items have been converted to UK spec (Speedo KPH>MPH, Rear Fog Light etc etc) These items are required for the car to pass the MOT.
Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide – Engine
The Mitsubishi EVO 46G3 unit is incredibly tough as long as it serviced regularly and fully synthetic oil is used. The oil should be changed every 4500 miles with plugs and timing belts every 45,000 miles. Fuel Cut Defender and Boost Controllers should be treated with caution if fitted to the vehicle your looking at. Again get the car checked by a specialist to ensure everything has be set up as it should. Standard boost pressure is around 1.2 bar for the EVO IV> and under 1.0Bar on EVO I>III, any deviations from this could be due to a rusty waste gate actuator which will cost £300 to replace. Avoid any cars which display engine warning lights.
Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide – Transmission
The standard clutches are not especially tough and wear out quickly. Check for slippage and high biting points to assess the condition of the clutch. Gearboxes can wear out, the symptoms being hard/difficult changes into 1st, 2nd, 5th and Reverse. Gearboxes are never cheap to replace so keep an eye out for signs of difficult operation and whining.
Recalls: 156 EVOs manufactured from 20th December 1996 and 17th July 1998 were recalled because of an incorrectly programmed AYC ECU. Check that this has been rectified by calling Mitsubishi on 01285 647774.
Banging from the front of the car could indicated LSD bolt failure, this costs £2000 to repair. The ACD pump has been know to fail so check that all the green lights light up properly when switching between snow/gravel and tarmac. The pump is incredibly expensive to replace.
As always, check for curbing damage and tread on the tyres. The wear should be even, if not a geometry check is on order, factor this into the purchase price. Make sure the tyres are of the correct size and of a suitable speed rating and that the wheels have the correct offset. An incorrect offset can cause scrubbing on the arches and negatively effect the handling
Bushes that wear out include top mounts, anti-roll bars and drop links. Wear can be identified by knocking when turning. The EVO has a massive range of after market performance suspension kits available from various manufacturers and most owners go down this route when replacing their standard suspension. Speak to your local specialist to select a set up that suits your driving style.
Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide – Brakes
Take a pasting on all EVOs so many have uprated brake systems the most popular appear to be AP Racing and Brembo. Whatever is fitted check that the car pulls up straight and smoothly by braking heavily from speed. Brake fluid should be changed every 18,000miles.
Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide – Bodywork & Exhaust
As with all cars check for sign of over spray on panels and windows, check the suspension for signs of rust as well as the underneath of the car. Rust in the boot lid in common. If the car your looking at is fitted with a decat pipe get the old cat form the owner, if its not available, factor the price of a new cat into the purchase price as you will need a cat to pass the MOT.
Mitsubishi EVO Buying Guide – Interior
All the warning lights on the dash should go out when the car is started, if they don’t, walk away. Again, as with any car check that all the interior electrics work.
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