Project JDMVette: Taking a page from NASCAR’s book

As our race team continues the mammoth effort of swapping in a Mitsubishi four cylinder motor into a Chevrolet Chevette we decided to follow what NASCAR did recently and convert our carbureted fuel system to fuel injection.

This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Our car runs a fuel cell, so adding the requirements for fuel injection is far easier than adapting a factory OEM fuel tank. There was one concern though, most fuel injection gas tanks have baffling around the fuel pump pickup to help prevent fuel starvation. Fuel starvation can lead to the engine running lean and causing catastrophic damage. This isn’t an issue for carb engines as the float bowl on the carb itself acts as a miniature reservoir for the fuel supply. We needed to add our own reservoir to prevent any fuel starvation under sustained cornering at the race track. Luckily, many racers have already solved this problem and have come up with a mass market solution called the surge tank. Adding one to our setup took a bit of planning and a couple of shipments from Summit Racing.

Our surge tank would provide the proper reservoir for the fuel injection pump but we need to ensure the tank is full by using a low pressure feeder pump that pulls from the fuel cell.

Once the surge tank has the required fuel, we need to give the fuel injectors the fuel they need at the required pressure they need. To do this we bought an inline EFI fuel pump and mounted a fuel filter between it and the surge tank.

Once we got the high pressure fuel into the fuel rail and fuel injectors, we needed a way to regulate the fuel pressure the motor would see. To accomplish this we mounted a fuel pressure regulator in the engine bay and plumbed it into to the fuel rail. The regulator will also ramp up the fuel pressure as boost rises when we plug in a vacuum reference line from the intake manifold. More boost is more air going into the engine, which needs more fuel to keep the needed air fuel ratio.

The regulator keeps the fuel pressure at the the proper level by returning whatever fuel isn’t needed to the surge tank. Running a line from the FPR back to the surge tank completes the fueling circuit and also completes the conversion to fuel injection for our fuel setup in the Chevette.

Mitsubishi Live Drive: World Record Idiocy

Ninety-one miles in 24 hours, via online remote control, sets the Guinness World Record books.

Yeah, we’re impressed too. *yawn*

5,000 drivers from across the United States plus one Mythbuster-esque Outlander Sport equaled 38 drivers spending the entire test drive doing doughnuts. Perhaps they fell asleep at the wheel. We were excited to see the Sport announced in the United States with a 4B11 and the potential to carry the 4B11T from the Lancer Evolution X. Alas, the Sport is, well, more jockey than prancing horse.

Seems like this was a step backwards for Mitsubishi… and eleven virtual drivers agreed… by staying in reverse for the entirety of their test drives.

Mitsubishi Rayon to Resume Building World’s Largest Carbon Fiber plant

Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (MRC, Tokyo, Japan) announced on July 9 that it has resumed construction of new carbon fiber plant to be operational in the second quarter of 2011. MRC had suspended the construction in March 2009 in response to global economic conditions and the corresponding downturn in carbon fiber markets.

The facility, located at the Otake production center in the Hiroshima prefecture, Japan, will have production capacity 2,700 metric tons/year.

The product, P330 series, is a high-performance, large-tow (50k to 60k tow) carbon fiber designed mainly for industrial use. Capital investment in the expansion is ¥12 billion ($135.7 million, USD).

MRC originally started new plant construction to meet increasing demand, especially from growing industries, such as wind blade, pressure vessel, and automotive, which was expected to keep growing in long term. However, since many projects had been delayed or suspended under economic recession, the company decided to suspend new plant construction and put off start-up by a year.

MRC decided to resume construction since demand from sports and leisure applications has increased significantly from early 2010, and because suspended big industrial projects resumed.

Until manufacture of new product begins in Japan, MRC will continue making these new products at Grafil in the U.S. for initial customers’ evaluation and marketing.

MRC says the new facility will be the largest capacity carbon fiber plant in the world.

World Class Car Pack for Forza Motorsport 3 Xbox

Forza 3
Forza 3 is reporting on a new car pack available today on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It features some cars that I think Missed Shift readers would like to be able to play:

Forza Motorsport 3 unites the racing game genre, making it possible for everyone to experience the thrill of the world’s most exotic and exquisite cars. Live the most realistic racing experience ever as you take the wheel of more than 400 of the most-beloved cars on over 100 renowned real-world tracks and exotic road courses from around the globe. With breathtaking high-definition graphics and the most advanced vehicle performance modeling in a video game, Forza Motorsport 3 includes a host of driving assists and adjustable skill levels to make the game a gripping pick-up-and-play experience for audiences of all ages and skill levels.

Your escape into the world of car culture in Forza Motorsport 3 doesn’t stop at the track. Turn 10 is a proven leader in user-generated content creation in games. Forza Motorsport 3 further fuels the imaginations of its already thriving community of painters, tuners and photographers with improved customization tools and brand-new ways to share creations with the world via Xbox Live. Xbox Live makes your journey into the Forza Motorsport community and the world of user-generated content easy and fun.

The Forza Motorsport 3 World Class Car Pack, available for download starting today on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, features some of the most stunning 2010 and 2011 production and performance models in the world. Available for 400 Microsoft Points, the pack offers some of the hottest new cars from leading manufacturers like McLaren, Acura, Mercedes, Cadillac, Fiat, Mitsubishi, and more.

This month’s car pack puts you behind the wheel of some of the world’s newest and most sought after vehicles. From the elite McLaren MP4-12C supercar and the luxurious power of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG, to the tuner-friendly 2010 Acura TSX V6 and the agile 2011 Citroën DS3, the World Class Car Pack will ensure your Forza Motorsport 3 garage is fully stocked and ready to take the competition by storm during the summer racing season.

The World Class Car Pack features 10 new cars that are ready to hit the track or tuning garage:

  • 2011 McLaren MP4-12C
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
  • 2010 Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
  • 2010 Fiat Punto Evo SPORT
  • 2010 Acura TSX V6
  • 2010 Kia Forte Koup SX
  • 2011 Mazda 2
  • 2011 Citroën DS3
  • 2010 Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart

After launching the iconic McLaren F1 in the early 1990s, the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C is the culmination of over a decade of Formula 1 and street car development. Built upon a super light Carbon MonoCell structure with a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 600hp V8 engine, this latest supercar from McLaren is a must-drive in Forza Motorsport 3. Sample the World Class Car Pack now and download a free 2010 Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart, the hot hatch tuned by the legendary Mitsubishi Motorsports division.


Mitsubishi Electric to Supply Jeep with Touch-Screen Radio

NORTHVILLE, Mich. – July 7, 2010 – Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc., today announced it is supplying Chrysler Group LLC with large, touch-screen radios for its Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles.

The new dash-mounted radio, which is available as an option, features a 6.5-inch touch-screen with full access to Sirius satellite radio standard, as well as basic AM/FM service and a DVD player that plays music for the front passengers, or music and videos for rear seat passengers on vehicles equipped with a rear screen. A motorized mechanism tilts the screen to provide access to the DVD player. The radio also features a 28 gigabyte hard drive that can store about 7,000 songs in addition to the navigation map data, a USB port for downloading audio/picture files and an audio jack. The screen also displays the rear view camera image for vehicles equipped with a back-up camera safety system.

“This Mitsubishi Electric radio is among the newest generations of radio/touch screen systems on the market today. Drivers and passengers have quick and easy access to their favorite music and DVDs,” said Mike Antrim, director, Audio/Video/Communications (AVC) marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America. “And, because the radio can display a vehicle’s back-up camera, the safety benefit is enhanced.”

About Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, was established in 1979 to serve the North American automotive, heavy duty truck and coach business. Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America offers a wide range of products and services including engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing, distribution and service of electrical and electronic systems and components for automobiles, heavy trucks and commercial engine manufacturers, serving both OEMs and the aftermarket. For more information about Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, visit