Today I took the first step in the transformation of the 2006 Evolution MR SE into something that will really show what an Evo can be.
Today I installed a trunk bar.
It may not seem like much, but adding bracing to this already stiff chassis pays off dividends on the street as well as the road racing track. Bracing means that dimensions stay consistent and that helps handling to be predictable and repeatable.
The trunk bar was a Mitsubishi part that came on the Evolution RS version. The RS was a stripped down Evolution that had no air conditioning, no electric windows, etc. It had the aluminum roof of the MR and added the trunk bar bracing. That means that I can get a trunk bar from Mitsubishi parts and there are threaded holes just waiting to accept bolts to secure it in the trunk.
First I had to take out the trunk’s grey mat as well as the board that covers the spare tire well. Then I had to pop off the plastic panel that covers the rear of the trunk. This is where a trim tool comes in handy. Luckily they are easy to find at auto parts stores and tool stores as well. With the rear cover off I had to loosen the fuzzy panels that cover the sides of the trunk. These are held in with push pins that are a little tricky to get out. In the center is a pin that you need to push on. The trick is to push it just enough to loosen the pin clip and not push the center pin all the way through. Chances are that you will push the center pin all the way through so you may want to order a handful of those fasteners when you order the trunk bar and bolts from Mitsubishi.
With those out of the way you will find two plastic disks covering the threaded bolt holes in the trunk. Peal them off and throw them away. Then lay down your trunk bar and add the bolts. Tighten it down firmly.
Now you need to trim the spare tire cover since it is too long to drop past the trunk bar. I used a scroll saw and copied the hand hold of the original just moving everything back from the bar.
You will also need to trim the plastic panel since it is too long to go on. I cut mine down with a jig saw. Trim a little at a time and you will get it just right. Whack off a bunch all at once and you will either get lucky or end up buying another panel from Mitsubishi. The fuzzy panels can be trimmed with a good pair of scissors. Again, go slowly since it is easier to take away than to put back.
When you are done it will look like something the factory did and you will have added some important stiffness to the chassis.
Next I’ll work on the rear strut brace.