One kind of story we haven’t featured on Mitsubishi Gearbox Magazine is a story like Marks. He took a 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage S and converted it into what it should have been in the first place, a Lancer Evolution III. Sounds like a ton of work. Here is his story.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
Mark Schroeder (tkrPerformance)
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
I am a ground equipment mechanic for Delta Airlines. I live in Plymouth, MN.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
1998 AWD Spyder. I have had it since it was new off the lot.
1995 Evo III swap. I have had the car for 4 years.
1993 Evo I swap. I have had it for a year.
1989 Mirage turbo hatch. I have had it for 3 years.
2001 Mirage sedan. I have had it for a year.
You’ve done something fairly unheard of in the Mitsubishi community. Care to share?
I got a free 1995 Mirage S. when I was working at a small shop were I was building and painting custom cars. It came in with a blown head gasket on the 1.5 and the auto transmission only had reverse. It ended up to be more than the owner of the car wanted to put into it so he gave me the title for it. So in the end it cost me $35.00 to put the title into my name and then it went all down hill from there.
I found an Evo front clip and rear end for a good deal and ordered it up. This is when the full on swap started to turn the 1995 Mirage S into a full on OEM Evo III swap. With help from family and friends we took on the swap. It ended up being AWD swapped, RHD swapped and it has all OEM Mitsu panels throughout out the car.
It stayed all OEM Evo III engine and drive train for a month then started to upgrade pretty much every thing that I could on the car. Even when we had to make one off pieces to get the Evo IX Brembos to fit on the car front and back. It has been a great car just to have fun with over the last four years now.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
When I started the build I only wanted to use OEM Mitsu panels. I could have gone the easy way out and got a copy Evo III body kit but I just don’t like fiberglass kits all that much and they will never fit like OEM panels do.
The main goal for it is just to have fun with it and not take it too serious. It will never be a full out show car. I love to drive it too much. It gets dirty all the time and it does not bother me at all.
The car it self is my daily driver. Just have to keep a good look out when driving it since other drivers look at it and see it is RHD and start to swerve at it.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
I fell in love with the Spyder and really wanted one. I just liked the way they looked and how easy it was to mod them. So for my 19th birthday I bought the 1998 Spyder new. I have never looked back.
I just like to build Mitsu’s for myself, my wife and for close friends now. One of my friends said this about me and I think it is pretty dead on. ”Mark has Mitsuitis, it inflames every time you sell a Mitsu and forces you to buy another to replace it, sometimes even buying two to replace the original.”
Got a favorite story about your Mitsubishi?
The best one I think is when I was coming home from work at 11pm. I got pulled over as they were looking for drunks. I was a few blocks from home to boot. I got the normal speech from the cop. The best part is that he came up to the left window and was talking to me in the right seat and had no idea that it was RHD at this point. He asked for all my info, etc. Then he asked were we were going tonight and I told him home, just got off of work and he walked back to his car. About ten minutes went by he came back up to the car and asked me a second time where we were going tonight at this point I had more than I could take. So I told him “who me and my lunch box?” that was in the left seat. He then figured out I was the only one in the car. He turned red and could not say anything at all to me. He just looked dumb founded, handed me all my info back and walked away.
What are your goals for your Mitsubishi and how close are you to achieving them?
I want to get it all prepped and painted by spring, shave the engine bay, full wire tuck, and stitch weld the engine bay also. I have already started with it. I took everything out of the engine bay and started on redoing all the wiring so far. I am also building a new 2.4 for the car right now. I just have to drop the block off to get machined.
What was your favorite modification and why?
It would have to be the RHD swap, it makes the car very unique in the states. I have only seen a hand full of them in MN and there is not a second Evo III swap in MN that is RHD. Without it the car could not be a full on Evo III swap in my eyes since it is the only way they were ever sold.
Your mod list:
1 of 2 divided top mount manifold
PTE 1600cc injectors
Cast shim that came from Japan
Hot pink valve cover
HKS 272 cams in a stock Evo III head
2.4 bottom end
Ross 9:1 pistons
ARP l19 head studs
ARP main studs
Felpro Perma TQ head gasket
ACL race bearings
ECMlink for the Evo 1-3 ecu
Evo III RS tranny, transfer case, and rear end
Cusco center, front and read LSD diffs
HKS twin plate clutch
Cusco Zero R2 coil overs
Cusco front and rear sway bars
Cusco tower bars front and rear
Megan rear toe arms
5 lug swap
Evo IX front and rear Brembo brakes
Cusco brake master stopper
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
All the local Mitsu owners go on a spring and fall car cruise for the week end each year. The spring is the best we always go the week of my birthday in April it is always a great time.
Tell us about a time something broke and what it took to fix it.
The HKS 2.0 bottom end spun a rod on the dyno. It was a good excuse to build on of the 2.4 bottom ends I had laying around.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
They are a fun car to own and play with and hanging out with other people that are into Mitsu’s.
The most challenging thing would be trying to get parts for a car that was never sold in the states so you end up making a huge list of what can be swapped out for DSM, Mirage and Evo parts that can be replaced by the broken Evo III parts.
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
I will have the car painted this coming year. Also looking forward to the car cruise’s with everyone.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
We have a weekly meet to go out for dinner. Also the local guys always get together to work on each others cars all year long.
Your thoughts on those who part out otherwise salvageable cars?
It comes down to what you have to do for yourself. I myself have parted out over 40 DSM’s to fund all my projects over the years. I would say 98% of them were rotted out, crashed, or were too far gone to salvage.
How has your Mitsubishi build benefited from your involvement in the community?
I have great friends that have helped me build the car for the start. Without them and my family it would have never took off like it did and be what it is today.
What’s next for your Mitsubishi?
I will be painting it Daytona Pearl Blue and will keep on driving as much as I can when the snow is gone in the spring.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? Any mentors?
It would have to be my dad Ken. Without his knowledge of building hot rods and teaching me when I was really young, I would have never been this much into building cars.
How have you paid this forward and mentored others?
I have helped people build their cars from the ground up, Mitsu or not. If they need help with a crazy swap, I will lend a hand whenever they need it.
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend?
It would have to be DB Peformance. Shane is the best Mitsu tuner in MN.
Do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones? Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Where can people find you online?
I am on mirageforums.net, evo123.net, mitsustyle.com, evolutionm.net, ecmlink.com
I am also on Facebook – Mark Schroeder
You can see all the pics of this build and the other builds I have done on photobucket.com under username tkrperformance.