Location:Home > Turbo Industry News > Turbochargers information > 1980 Mitsubishi Lancer EX Mish Mash 159

1980 Mitsubishi Lancer EX Mish Mash 159

Time:2012-08-15 03:12Turbochargers information Click:

EX Lancer 1UZ-FE Mike Gray

Old-school Mitsi with a dirty great turbocharged Toyota V8 inside? Yes please!

If there is one thing that never fails to give me a raging automotive mongrel, it’s a big-capacity force-fed motor. I don’t particularly care if it’s a heavy old piece of blown Ford big block, a late-model, twin-charged Chev LS2 or a high-tech Japanese

bent eight — as long as it has that V8 rumble, the big-cube torque and the almighty force-fed power, I’m a happy, happy man.

This sort of thing doesn’t come up too often within the realms of NZPC, so you could imagine my smile when I first laid eyes upon Mike Gray’s crazy 1980 Mitsubishi Lancer EX. At first glance it’s unassuming, but popping the bonnet reveals a four-litre, all-alloy, 32-valve Toyota/Lexus 1UZ-FE V8, and one hell of a turbocharger to boot.

What on earth possessed Mike to throw a Lexus V8 into an old Lancer? “It’s simple, really,” explains Mike. “At the time I was working for Mitsubishi as a parts manager. I already had the 1UZ sitting in the garage but nothing to put it in, so I had a look round and the EX Lancer made the most sense: rear-wheel drive, relatively light and easy for me to source parts.”

It seemed the perfect plan but, as with many perfect plans, life intervened. In Mike’s case it was in the form of a family. Although progress has been slower than expected, Mike is still a happy man.

“My eldest son was born around the same time I got the Lancer, so he has grown up helping me build it. And by that I mean stuffing tools up the exhaust, but that’s okay.” Mike didn’t originally intend to turbocharge his EX, and actually finished off the

whole project a few years ago in naturally aspirated form. The result was good enough to net a healthy 12.8-second quarter mile at the strip on some very average tyres. That got him thinking: why not force-feed the motor and see what it can do?

Toyota famously loves to over-engineer its equipment, especially motors. Like the six-cylinder 1JZ and 2JZ, the bent-eight 1UZ can handle much more power than the factory intended. In completely untouched form the Toyota V8 can easily handle 350kW at the wheels, day in and day out. But make a few basic changes and the limit climbs much higher.

In this case, most of the motor remains in factory spec; Mike simply changed the head gaskets (the factory items tend to fail at the 350kW mark), and made a few other basic aftermarket replacements to ensure it was capable of handling well over 400kW at the wheels.

That sort of power figure is hard to reach with capacity alone — and that’s where a big Holset HX40X turbo comes in. Holset isn’t a name you hear too often in the import scene, but the English company has been producing turbochargers and other goodies for more than half a century, and this unit does the business.

It’s a bit of a tight squeeze fitting not only the big V8 in the Lancer’s engine bay but also a forced induction system.

Custom fabricated steampipe manifolds were carefully measured and made, allowing just enough room for the turbo to sit behind the left headlight, necessitating the use of an amusingly stubby K&N air filter.

When it came time to source a driveline that could handle the power levels Mike was after, instead of going for a Toyota Supra 5- or 6-speed, he chose a far lower tech option: a Chevy TH350 auto, as seen in V8 drag cars and hot rods all over the world. Backed by a big Commodore diff bolted up to a custom four-link rear end, the Lancer’s powertrain is near indestructible.

At this stage the EX is still on its running-in tune — the arrival of baby number two means Mike has had problems finding time to put the finishing touches on the Lancer. So although we would love to see this car go on a full boost tune right now, it looks like we may just have to be a little patient… Who knew cars could take second place in the priority line? Now that’s a scary thought.

1980 Mitsubishi Lancer EX – Specifications

Engine: Toyota 1UZ-FE 4.0-litre quad cam 32V alloy V8, ACL bearings, ARP rod bolts, linished crank, Mahle rings, Cometic steel head gaskets, Holset HX40X turbocharger, custom steam pipe manifolds, M&H 44mm external wastegate, 50mm blow-off valve, custom intercooler, 3-inch intercooler piping, 8x Mitsubishi Evo 4G63 510cc injectors, adjustable fuel regulator, 2x HP fuel pumps, single primer pump, stainless surge tank, anodised fittings, braided fuel lines, 3-inch exhaust system, Link G3 engine management system, KW 3-core alloy radiator, single 14-inch electric fan, 8-row trans cooler, semi de-loomed engine bay, custom catch can, fully detailed engine assembly
Driveline: Chevrolet TH350 auto transmission, Castlemaine Rod Shop trans adapter, B&M 2500rpm Holeshot torque convertor, custom shortened Holden VP Commodore housing, Steelie LSD unit, 3.45 gears, custom driveshaft
Suspension: Shortened Starion Turbo struts, Monroe gas shocks, King springs, custom 4-link rear end, adjustable panhard rod, Nolathane bushes
Brakes: Mitsubishi Starion Turbo vented front discs/callipers, Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 rear discs/callipers

Wheels/Tyres: TSW Turn 5 17×7-inch rims, 235/40R17 Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tyres
Exterior: Mitsubishi Flame Red paint, customised bumpers, new chrome/rubber seals, fibreglass Evo IV bonnet vent, custom bonnet scoop, deleted door locks
Interior: Mitsubishi Evolution IV front/rear Recaro seats, Evo III Momo steering wheel, B&M Quicksilver ratchet shifter, Autogauge gauges, custom carpets, re-trimmed dash
Performance: Estimated 450hp @ wheels

Mike Gray – Driver Profile

Copyright infringement? Click Here!