With so many tuning shops and self proclaimed tuners out there, how do you know you’re getting what you paid for? Meet Mellon. One of the best Lancer Evolution tuners in the country.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
Chris Turman, Mellon Tuning, most of my friends call me “Mellon”.
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
IT Engineer and Tuner, Horn Lake, MS very near Memphis, TN.
Tell us about Mellon Tuning and your accomplishments as a tuner.
Mellon Tuning came about when I saw a need for quality e-mail based tunes. I saw a few other shops offering their services but limiting customers to 3 revisions and failing to respond to their customers timely. More recently we began carrying parts from the best manufacturers in the business, Buschur, ETS, CBRD, AMS, etc…
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
Currently 05 Evo GSR (700awhp), 91 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo(550awhp) and 92 3000GT VR-4 Twin Turbo(450awhp). I’ve also owned an 88 Chrysler Conquest TSI, 08 Endeavor and 92 Eagle Talon. I’ve been a Mitsu guy since the late 80’s.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
The goal with my Evo was to have a 10 second daily driver without purposely reducing weight or any creature comforts and retaining the stock ecu/maf. I daily drive it and drag race it as often as I can. The Evo went 10.41 @ 135 on 93 octane the way I drive it to work.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
I like the idea of 4 cylinder turbo engines because it surprises the competition and it’s more unique around here.
Got a favorite story about your Mitsubishi?
For years I had haters say that my DLL software dyno numbers were inflated but because there was no local AWD dyno I didn’t have the opportunity to prove them wrong. Finally I was invited to the MWE Dyno Day in Kansas and made the trip to an AWD DynoJet. The car put down 675awhp on the street according to my software. I put the car on the dyno a few hours later without making any changes, it laid down 700+awhp three times in a row at 38psi on e85. I took the car to the track and it spun like nuts but still managed to trap 139.80 in the ¼ mile setting the stock ecu/maf world record which has stood for years without anyone even coming close. Needless to say, the haters got very quiet.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi and how close are you to achieving them?
My current goal is 9.99 @ 140+ in street trim. On my last outing the stock suspension was bottoming out which caused the tires to unload and bounce the car down the track. I’ve since installed some D2 coilovers and suspect that will cure the traction issue. Our local ¼ mile track has been closed for over a year but was just purchased at auction and should be opening up in the spring of 2011.
What was your favorite modification and why?
HTA3582 .63. Prior to this turbo I couldn’t quite keep up with my dad’s Viper on the FP Green with 93 octane. After the 35R was installed I could put car lengths on him.
Your mod list:
BR HTA86 @ 38psi on e85 700awhp.
BR HTA86 @ 30psi on 93 ~600awhp
Buschur 2.0L ~10:1 CR
Buschur Stage 3 head
Buschur BF272 cams
Buschur twin walbro fuel pumps
Buschur 3″ tbe, test pipe, bullet muffler
Buschur 3″ intake pipe + Mas adapter
Buschur UICP and LICP
Buschur Mini Battery
Buschur Race FMIC
Buschur Fuel Rail
ARP head studs
PPI ported stock intake manifold
PPI 65MM throttle body
FIC 2150cc injectors
Tilton Twin Disc Carbon clutch
Buschur, Bushwacker Transmission upgrade
Tuned by Mellon MellonTuning.com (stock ecu/maf)
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
I really enjoy going on tuning trips and meeting new customers to work on their cars.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
I broke the stock 5-speed when I began powershifting at 600awhp. Shipped it off to Buschur and let them do their magic, no more problems.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
I think the best part is knowing the stock bottom end can handle 500awhp and 400tq all day long, not many cars can. The most challenging part is educating the Mustang and Camaro guys.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
I’m looking forward to the local ¼ mile track opening back up and going after the elusive 9 second pass with my daily driver. I’m also eager to meet more Evo enthusiasts.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
No regular meets around here since there’s only a handful of owners in Memphis.
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
I hate to see one dismantled but hopefully the parts go to a good home and keep another one on the road.
How has your Mitsubishi build benefited from your involvement in the community?
I received some good tips from the community members that uncovered some very useful stock ecu features such as JCBanks, Tehpra and many others.
What’s next for your Mitsubishi?
Fresh clutch, suspension tweaking and 9 second pass.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? Any mentors?
David Buschur helped me by building some of the best parts in the industry and shared his recipe for going fast to the public forums.
How have you paid this forward and mentored others?
I’ve helped countless forum members pick out the best mods for their goals and turned wrenches on many of the customers cars whom have come to be tuned.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend?
There’s too many kick ass Mitsu shops I work with to narrow it down to a single one. My advice is to support those whom support the community by sponsoring sites and that are vocal.
Do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones? Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Where can people find you online?
I’m on Evolutionm.net, MidwestEvos.com, Evowned.com, Racevideoforums.com (my forum), LancerRegister.com, EvoXforums.com and others. I do have a Facebook account but don’t have much time for it lately. I do have a YouTube site and upload videos here and there. Mellon Tuning on YouTube. Also people can contact me through my website MellonTuning.com or e-mail me directly firstname.lastname@example.org.