ClubRalliart.com  
  #1  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:55 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default Info: Modding your RA!

(Courtesy of Exyia)
Source: http://forums.evolutionm.net/09-rall...g-your-ra.html

I'm bored off work so I decided to share this write that I normally just send to local guys.

Frequently, there are so many misguided suggestions posted in these forums about what to do to the Ralliart. I think a basic knowledge-base like this should help people in making decisions!

The Ralliart comes with a great engine, transmission, and AWD system, but every bolt-on piece inbetween is a bit lacking. In essence, for the Ralliart, you paid for the essentials.

Let's first start with the basic mechanics/flow of the car to understand how it works and each pieces function:


- Incoming air is first fed through the intake
- The intake then filters that air, then feeds it to the turbo for compression
- The turbo compresses the air, then sends it out on top through the Upper Intercooler Pipe (UICP - the black hose)
- The compressed air is then cooled by the Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC). This is to cool the air as much as possible - remember that hot air expands and cold air is more dense. You always want cold and dense air for the most power
- After air is cooled by the FMIC, it is fed through the Lower Intercooler Pipe (LICP) to the throttlebody, intake manifold, and then the engine. So the air that was compressed through the turbocharger passes through a cooling phase with the intercooler, before it is actually used in the engine
- As exhaust gases leave the engine, it spins the turbo's turbine. This is creating the "spool" of the turbo, and spins the other wheel (compressor) that compresses the air coming from the air intake

This will be updated and added to over time. Feel free to pm or post questions you might have!
__________________

Last edited by MTZL; 01-13-2012 at 11:50 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:55 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default

One of the first, must-do mods to the Ralliart: Upgrade the Intercooler system
Now that you know how the basics of how the system works, you can see how important good cooling is. If you want the most pressurized air, you want it as cold as possible. As air is pressurized, molecules will collide and will cause more heat and want to expand (losing pressure again). The intercooler keeps air temperatures down to help prevent this.

When the intercooler can't keep up with cooling the passing air, it is known as "heatsoak" and the intercooler isn't accomplishing it's job. The OEM Ralliart Intercooler is pathetically small and gets easily heatsoaked. The more and more your car runs, the higher and higher your air temperature (and in turn, your boost pressure) will increase. Obviously this will cause a loss in power.

Luckily, a used OEM Evo X intercooler setup is a direct fit and a very cost effective upgrade AND can easily be done in your garage. It is not very technically challenging. I recommend buying at least a FMIC AND LICP.

"What about piping? I heard the upper hose NEEDS to be upgraded to a hard-pipe, but the LICP is fine?"
Remember how the intercooler system works. The Upper Intercooler Pipe (the black hose from the factory) is BEFORE the intercooler. The only problem is that this hose expands under boost pressure. Remember, this air is still going into the intercooler to be cooled - so the UICP is not a major factor in total power output - but you lose throttle response: as you floor it, some of the boost pressure is lost as it expands the upper piping hose - but it STILL goes into the intercooler afterwards.

After the intercooler does it's job, then the pressurized air is on it's way to the engine for use. This is the MOST important component. There is nothing left but this pipe before this pressurized air is used - so you do not want to worsen this air in any way possible. The stock RA LICP, which is made of plastic, has a small diameter (which causes heat as particles collide) and an unusual bend (again, another place for collision and heat generation). The Evo X LICP is a finely crafted piece - made from aluminum to hold the air, a bigger diameter, and very smooth curves for a clean flow straight to the engine. Almost nothing interrupts the air as it is fed to the engine with this pipe - which is what you want.


This is the biggest misconception that RA owners seem to have. Most think that the UICP is the biggest restriction and that the LICP is fine. The expanding OEM UICP hose just lose you throttle response, but still accomplishes it's job of sending the air to the intercooler.

The OEM LICP, with so many bends, ruins work that the intercooler accomplished. With so much restriction in flow and bends causing collision and heat generation, you're ruining the work of the intercooler just before the air enters your engine for use.

But with how cheaply you can pickup a whole Evo X set (UICP + FMIC + LICP), I recommend you replace all pieces at the same time. This also avoids any fitment issues - just complete replacement with 100% fitment.

What about aftermarket?
For UICPs: This is a good choice for customization. Any hard pipe will prevent expansion and improve lost throttle response that the OEM hose has. Since there are so many available and are relatively low cost, many opt for an aftermarket UICP when upgrading to an Evo X FMIC. When upgrading to any Evo X FMIC (either OEM or aftermarket), you will need an Evo X specific UICP

FMICs: An upgraded FMIC core is always nice, but within reason. Remember that the purpose of the intercooler is to keep temperatures down. The intercooler doesn't really generate power as much as it prevents power loss (from heatsoak). You should pair the appropriate intercooler size with the turbo you plan to run. An Evo X FMIC is more than enough for the small size RA turbo. You're not going to gain much power off a huge 4" intercooler when it's still being fed a small amount of air by the stock RA turbo.

LICPs: There really isn't much to improve on from the OEM Evo X piece. It's aluminum with good flowing bends. There's not much to improve on as far as material used or shape, so the Evo X LICP is actually as good as most aftermarket pieces out there - making it a GREAT budget upgrade.

Fitment:
- An Evo X FMIC (stock or aftermarket) is taller than the RA's, so an UICP is needed to match lengths
- The outlet of the Evo X FMIC is larger than the sizing of the OEM RA LICP, so a reducer coupler will be needed to fit properly
- Because of such low cost of used Evo X UICP and LICP, it's much easier just to buy a whole set and avoid any fitment issues - and gain the most out of the whole setup
- Because the intercooler will be cooling whatever turbo or whatever boost pressure you are tuned for, upgrading this first gives plenty of forward growth for whatever your further plans are
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:57 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default

Ok I upgraded the Intercooler set, but what about the BoV (blowoff valve)?

The BoV has many different names, sometimes referred to the Bypass Valve (bpv) since the OEM actually diverts the air back to the intake.

First, let's look at the purpose of the bov:
Edmunds Insideline.com have a great writeup here, so I won't go into detail myself
http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtest...alkaround.html

So understanding it's purpose now, the bov, just like the Intercooler, will never really make power - it just prevents lost power (from leaking boost pressure).

the factory bov on the Ralliart is made of weak plastic and easily leaks. when your bov leaks, you're losing boost pressure right before it enters the engine (the bov is connected to the LICP). All you need is a bov adequate enough to hold the boost pressure you are running/tuned for - there is no power to be gained from having a bov that can hold 60psi, when you're only running 20psi - vice versa.

Again, a used Evo X bov is a great piece for low cost. Since you only need a bov strong enough to hold your boost level, those shiny aftermarket ones are rather unnecessary. Remember the function/purpose of each piece when considering the benefits of upgrading!

I want the bov sound! Can I vent to air/atmosphere (VTA)?
When there is a cut in throttle, the pressurized air needs somewhere to go. When recirculated, this air is reused and sent back to the air intake (and goes through the whole process again). Because of this, your ECU/tune is expecting this recirculated air. When you vent this pressurized air to the atmosphere, you're throwing it away when the ECU is expecting it. This obviously causes stability problems. There's no beneficial point to running a VTA bov setup - other than the sound. If you REALLY want the sound, you can get it from an intake/filter upgrade - I think it's silly to sacrifice performance/stability just for a sound.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:58 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default

What about exhaust?
Remember that turbo's are spun by exhaust gases. Increasing flow on an exhaust will increase the flow of a turbo by increased turbine speeds. This is why a better flowing exhaust is such a popular upgrade on turbocharged cars.

There are three components to an exhaust system - the downpipe (starting right after the turbo), the catalytic converter (cat for short), and the cat-back exhaust (the rest of the exhaust piping after the cat)

upgrading the cat to a high-flow aftermarket piece (HFC), or a test pipe (TP) that doesn't have one at all is the biggest upgrade. the OEM cat is the biggest restriction of the whole system because of emission restrictions on production cars. The Ralliart and Evo X use the same cat, so any HFC or TP for the Evo X will fit on the Ralliart

Ralliarts must use a different cat-back than the Evo X for fitment purposes. The downpipe must fit the turbo, so if you're on the stock RA turbo, you must have a Ralliart specific downpipe - an Evo X turbo would need an Evo X specific downpipe.

Upgrading the cat-back exhaust (better flow, biggest diameter) can also help to a small degree. Downpipe upgrades are more complicated to install and net very little gains for the Ralliart. Why is that?

Remember that all these systems are there to function WITH the turbocharger. The factory Ralliart turbocharger is VERY small and has limited flow capacity. Sure, upgrading the whole exhaust system will flow more air, but the stock RA turbo can only flow so much. the factory downpipe doesn't restrict much flow compared to the output that the RA turbo is capable of. The cat-back exhaust can show some gains in power, but again, only so much since there is a limited amount of air flowing from the stock RA turbo anyway
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:58 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default

Intakes
This is probably another huge mis-understood concept across both RA's and Evo's

The purpose of an intake is to feed the turbo air to compress. NOTHING more.

An intake does not help spool - the exhaust gases control the spool rate of the turbine and compressor wheels.

Turbo's that are not being fed enough air to match how much it needs to compress at higher rpms can face a restriction with the air intake. But with the case of the Ralliart, the stock turbo is VERY small. Since the flow of the turbo is very limited, there's no huge power gains to be had from an intake on the stock RA turbo.

An upgraded drop-in filter that helps flow a little more is enough for most RA owners. When you have upgraded the full exhaust, the stock RA turbo might run into some restriction by not getting fed enough air, but this margin is very small overall.

But this intake claims/shows to make XX amount of power?
Most intakes are showing gains off a stock car and stock tune. The factory tune's mixture of air and fuel (AFR) is so rich on fuel, that adding more air will always increase power.

The problem is that the main purpose of tuning involves optimizing fuel trims and AFR's. Buying an intake to change the AFR's is essentially doing the job of a proper tune - but with less control and less optimization than obviously directly changing fuel trims in a tune.

So you're back to the pure purpose of an intake - to feed air to the turbo. This is why most intakes actually don't show much power gains AFTER a tune compared to a drop-in filter. The turbo will not compress more air past it's capacity, no matter how much air is being fed to it.

And remember, the stock RA turbo is SMALL. You will run into restrictions on the turbo's flow rate much sooner than the intake's ability to feed it air.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:59 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default

Tuning - What Normal Owners Need to Know

"Does XX mod require a tune?"
I personally don't recommend 90% of mods without a proper tune. You are modifying expensive and complex equipment. I would not cheap out just because you want to save $350-$500.

The biggest misconception is that our ECU is smart and auto-adjusts to some mods. Yes it auto-adjusts, but that is NOT for you to save from a tune. That auto-adjust variation is there for safety/reliability - mainly weather and temperature conditions. It is not wise to rely on this to save money on a tune.

This also means intakes that don't require a tune don't flow enough air to throw the ECU off - as in they don't flow much more air at all than stock.

"I don't have a tuner/dyno near me!"
Internet, or "e-tuning", is becoming more and more popular these days. With a tactrix cable and wideband gauge set to datalog to your laptop, you can easily gather all the data a tuner needs to change a tune. The tuner will simply email you the new rom after adjustments until done. Any well respected tuner can do this, so don't feel like you're stuck with only tuners that openly offer this service like AMS. And don't feel like you're stuck without tuners at all!

Poor Tuning WILL destroy your SST
There are, surprisingly, a LARGE number of mediocre tuners out there. Previous Evo's are much easier to tune than SST platforms, and they require a high level of experience and guidance to tune properly. Because we don't have full control of the TCU yet, and since it's a separate unit from the ECU, an improperly tuned ECU will leave the TCU making outrageous and harmful adjustments to be in a comfortable zone of operation. Tuning your Ralliart requires an experienced tuner, and since e-tuning is so popular these days, there's no reason not to be tuned by one of them.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-13-2012, 11:21 AM
TrailBrake TrailBrake is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: At the apex
Posts: 1,007
Default

Excellent thread.

One area most often missed in modding are brakes. On the Ralliart, this is a particularly weak point of the car in stock form.

I have info on economical upgrades if you are interested.

Last edited by TrailBrake; 01-13-2012 at 11:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-13-2012, 11:44 AM
Exyia's Avatar
Exyia Exyia is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 343
Default

I'd say provide a link to my original thread, incase there's an update/discussion there that isn't carried over hereh

and as a source
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-13-2012, 11:45 AM
SubjecttoChange's Avatar
SubjecttoChange SubjecttoChange is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 147
Default

Thanks for bringing this thread over to Club RA- very informative! Thanks MTZL and Exyia!
__________________
2011 Lancer Ralliart
Graphite Gray
Evo X FMIC
Evo X BOV
RRE Modified Magnaflow Catback
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-13-2012, 11:53 AM
MTZL's Avatar
MTZL MTZL is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mountain Zone Lancer (MTZL)
Posts: 4,060
Default

^All i did was copy & paste, make it sticky.

Thank Exyia <- this guy he took the time to write all that up with pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exyia View Post
I'd say provide a link to my original thread, incase there's an update/discussion there that isn't carried over hereh

and as a source
OP updated.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:12 AM.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright (c) 2011 RnD Media LLC