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Gav's AWD Lancer

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Always wanted an Evo 5. Prices are nuts now though.

Every time I walk my dog I'd walk past this rough '98 Lancer and I noticed the AWD sticker on the back a few years ago. Had a chat to the owner recently and said if he ever wants to sell it let me know.

That day came about a week ago when he left me a note saying it has a massive oil leak and do I still want it?

*voice over* He did still want it.


My main interest was what sort of Mitsubishi 'parts bin' is going on here? How similar is it to the Evo, which is obviously just based on the small 4 door family car that is the Lancer.

But SURELY they wouldn't have made a different floor pan for this one model right?

I did some part catalogue searches to compare this, which is a CM2A  and an Evo 5 CP9A it does look like the rear diff is the same as an RS Evo and the drive shafts are the same too. I think the outer will be different though.

The rear subframe itself does look different, there are apparently 2 extra mounting points for the Evo subframe. But it will still bolt in from what I've found...still to be proven, if I want to go that way.


Too much words without pictures, so here it is.




It sure doesn't look like an Evo 5.

I've replace that front guard with one from Pick a Part, its just cosmetic damage which is good.

I thought the headlight wasn't lining up and thought maybe the radiator support was bent but its just the guard being bent, which is all bolt on. One tab is broken too.




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Back to the oil leak. It's shockingly bad. The mechanics report said something about the transfer case/diff.

But I'm pretty certain its the rear main seal.

So either way the automatic transmission has to come out.

That's when I found someone advertising a gearbox from a CL2A, which is the mirage of similar age but equally rare awd option. Also with the 4g15.

So I thought, I should buy this. Did a bunch of research to find that Mitsubishi's gearboxes are all very similar. The only major when it comes to Evo's is after the Evo 1-3 they move the gearbox to the passenger side.

This seems to also mean that, unlike the 1-3, the 4 onwards Evo 4g63 had a bigger bellhousing that only fits the 4G63. Previously models the gearbox could fit a 1.8 4G93 as well as the 2L 4G63.

I had a think and check pricing on the Evo 4-9 gearbox decided to buy the gearbox and transfer case that fits only the 4G9* anyway. Worst case is I'd have to build a 1.8L turbo.

The interesting thing is that it seems based on the model numbers, this gearbox should be as strong, if not stronger than the 1-3 Evo's had.


Don't take these as gospel but this is what I think I understand of the gearbox history through the evolutions/gsr-utions.

Evo/GSR 1-3 = w5m33 with a 225mm clutch

Mirage 1.5L CL2A = w5m42 (also used in a manual 2.4 Outlander, so should be strong right?)

GSR (CM5A) = ?? finding it hard to find info. But should be the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the CL2A one above. 

Evo 4-8 or 9 = w5m51 with a 240mm clutch


So in theory, the w5m42 can fit a 225mm clutch and likely has quite close gear ratios. So could work quite well with a 4g93 turbo?




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I then decided bugger it I'll go get this gearbox anyway and had a nice Sunday 4hr round trip with my 7 year old boy. Ice cream, BP pie and all.

Took the runaround Celica and hoped it would be happy with a gearbox in the back.

Arrived and bought two identical gearboxs and two matching transfer cases, some driveshafts and a flywheel for a 4g15.

Back home and wife helps me lift them onto a couple of wheel dolly's









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So I'm basically set on using a 1.8L.

The 4g93 is known to be able to make good power, but it also has weak rods.

So my thinking is to find a 4g93 block for bugger all, then put some put H-beam rods in it. Apparently Ca18Det rods are an upgrade and you can also using 4agze pistons since they are both 81mm bore, but you have to heavily shave the skirts.

Then for the head, I want to find a 4g92 1.6 dohc Mivec head so it flows like a mofo.

That way it kind of justifies not just using a 4g63 and sticking with the 1.8 block. 

Apparently some Mitsi ECU's are programable, I wonder what the limitations are versus using a link or even Speeduino?


Should be fun and I've never owned an AWD turbo performance thing. 


The question is, do I make it look like an Evo 5 when it isn't one? Technically it could easily be faster than one with more power or what ever.

Or do I keep it looking like a boring Lancer? Problem there is if I change my mind later, I'd need a cert to cut the rear arches etc.



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Another interesting 'parts bin' thing is, can I use 5 stud hubs from something else at PickaPart? Maybe an Airtrek or Legnum? 

Or do I keep it as 4x100 with 15's and biggest brakes I can fit?

If I do swap it to 5 stud I could use the spare wheels from my 200sx.


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Dave Thomsen (Thomsen automotive) had a very rapid mivec turbo Mirage years ago. It may have gone ~10 seconds 1/4 mile in fwd  format if I recall correctly. Before he converted it to a circuit car.. It might be worth tracking him down for a chat. 


It's possible that the complete 1600 mivec engine becomes a better base for a turbo application.. (maybe) 





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4 minutes ago, mjrstar said:

Dave Thomsen (Thomsen automotive) had a very rapid mivec turbo Mirage years ago. It may have gone ~10 seconds 1/4 mile in fwd  format if I recall correctly. Before he converted it to a circuit car.. It might be worth tracking him down for a chat. 


It's possible that the complete 1600 mivec engine becomes a better base for a turbo application.. (maybe) 





Nice, thanks for the info. I've seen that name before I think.

A 1600 mivec could work, but I guess I'd be giving up some response. Thing is a 1.8 block could be had for $100 so makes sense to go with that since I'd have to put stronger rods etc into the 1600 as well anyway.

I've had a few 4age turbo's in fwd and it was great fun. 220kw was amazingly responsive with a td05. That was 920kg though and this will be 12-1300 kg minimum? 


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Out of interest I checked the bearings and they all look ok?



Took a piston out and no damage to the ring lands etc. 

The rods are TINY!



Also interesting that it has piston oil squirters built into the rods which is pretty cool.



So I'm not sure why this engine had it's sump taken off and oil pick up removed and left off?

Maybe one of the other rods is bent?

Doesn't really matter though. Just interesting to see.



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2 hours ago, yoeddynz said:

That head is huge. There can't be much room between it and the bonnet?

I'm figuring it's a fairly hefty engine in weight? 

It is pretty tall yeah, but being aluminium it doesn't feel all that heavy, well compared to others I can remember. There is a quite a bit of empty space too.

The 4g93 1.8 block is a taller block than the 1.6 so it will definitely be taller than a 4g93t like in a GSR. The hybrid 1.8 with this head has been done before so I'm sure it won't be too bad... maybe some bonnet ribs need removing... I guess I'll see!


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Made a start on getting the 4g15 out of the Lancer.

Put it on the hoist, which involved moving 6 cars and a trailer :compress:

Drained the auto trans fluid.

Drained the engine oil. Looked real black but no flakes:


The transmission magnetic drain plug itself had a bunch of crap on it. It doesn't really matter though since I am not using it.



Unbolted the knuckles from the struts and that gave just enough room to pull the drive shafts out.

Not in the photo but compared to the manual drive shafts I am pretty sure they are the same length. I was hoping that would be the case so I have spares.



A photo of my oil collection as well as the 4wd'y bits.



Rear 4wd bits, there is some surface rust to clean up but overall the underside is in good condition. Even the rails are pretty damn straight.

Tiny exhaust is tiny:



That's as far as I got and it was too late at night to cut the exhaust bolts off which were seized on.

Plan is to drop it out the bottom with the loom still attached.

I also purchase a whole other Lancer which has a Mivec 4g92 conversion, bit rough but it was a good price. No certor wof but has a 'covid reg'. Conversion looks to have been done in 2010. Originally it was a 4g15, so I plan to take the one out of the 4wd lancer, fix the seals etc and swap it into the 'parts' lancer to sell and get some money back.

The parts Mivec lancer apparently isn't running right. I wasn't too worried since I will be rebuilding the engine anyway. But there are some parts I want to keep off of it, like the momo wheel (worn out), mivec engine, mivec ecu, white face cluster, side skirts and maybe the suspension. Looks like they are king springs but not sure if they are compatible with the 4wd suspension.

I had taken it for a drive around the block a few times, it has blown exhaust manifold gasket at the bottom flange where it joins 2-1. And it had previously run out of fuel so I had to bring what I had which was only about 4L. But it started first pop etc and didn't look to overheat. Clutch feels worn but it shifted fine.

Oh and it has THESE (never mind the silver painted plastic trim):




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Plan is/was to take the engine and trans out the bottom, with the loom all still attached so I can swap it into the 'parts' lancer (with a manual box).

Found the ecu location, which is under the dash on the tunnel. No real problems accessing it to unplug the loom. Nice work Mitsi.

Loom is easy to disconnect under the carpet up to the firewall where it then goes behind the heater motor. Nice.

Can't get to the engine side of the loom big rubber grommet thing since the ABS unit is in the way, tried anyway but could not. So had to disconnect the brake lines and the ABS unit. Not too bad I guess.

Now I can pull the loom through a bit, but it doesn't seem like the plugs can fit behind the heater bits. Hmmm bugger, maybe it I undo the mounting points for the heater stuff?



Undo the nuts at the bottom, can only see one above the blower unit. Can barely get a spanner on it, spent 20min on trying to undo this one nut. Maybe I have to remove part of the blower to get to it...realise its all one unit unlike most other stuff I've dealt with and there is no way I can get to the other top mounting nuts to remove the whole thing. Don't want to disconnect he AC lines... Not so great Mitsi...

So I have another go at trying to get the plugs behind the Fan unit. Then I notice/can feel another part of the loom going to the A piller. Oh maybe that's what is stopping it. 

Found where that goes and disconnect. Nice...maybe now.

Nope still can't get it out.

OK fck it. 





Quite like the way they've mounted the cluster plugs so it stays in place though. So... yay Mitsi?




Not pictured: remove radiator, AC pump (tied off to the side), auto cooler lines, air box, loom connections to fuse box inside and in engine bay.

That's as far as I got. But I think all I need to do now is remove the Alternator, shifter lines and two fuel lines then it should be ready to come out the bottom while still attached to the crossmember.


Also, never seen one of these stickers. They would have had to remove the cluster to do this:





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Got it out last night, didn't need to remove the alternator in the end. I thought it would get in the way but was able to move the engine forwards enough.

Used my transmission jack, its rated to 500kg but I was a bit worried about balancing it. I guessed where the centre of the weight would be and didn't quite get it right so it leaned over a bit...



Reminds me of a 16v smallport 4age.





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