This Evo’s story is more than your basic exhaust bolt-on and dyno test. It needed a little more pep in its step for sure, but the exhaust on the car was not factory-issue Mitsubishi, the Evo was fitted with a homemade exhaust, which flashed a light bulb above our heads … which is better? … home brewed or aftermarket manufactured? We picked out a full Takeda exhaust system from Advanced Flow Engineering (aFe) and made reservations for dyno time.
A look before we dug in and changed it all for the better.
What aFe calls engineered adrenaline, the Takeda Evo X 304SS dual cat-back exhaust system is designed specifically for the 2008 to 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4B11T engine. According to aFe, the Takeda Evo X exhaust system is said to yield 17 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque over the stock exhaust system.
Takeda's exhaust system for the Evo X is lightweight and good looking.
Its success comes down to thought, execution, and the proper materials. “The Takeda EVO Dual Cat-Back Exhaust System is a popular setup because it delivers in many ways,” says aFe’s Josh Biggers. “With 304 stainless steel construction throughout, OE style flanges, and three-inch mandrel bent tubing it is built to last. Our use of polished four-inch double wall tips add style. Because we design it right installation is very straight forward, direct bolt-on system with OE flanges and all hardware included, and like all of our exhausts, require no cutting or drilling. Performance increases are dyno tested, and dual free-flowing mufflers absorb high pitch tones, and produce a desired exhaust note. That’s right we even tune the sound.”
As advertised, the two polished high-flow 304 stainless-steel mufflers push out a threatening and sporty tone at high RPM levels, but retains a subtle, tame tone at cruising speeds. Takeda’s exhaust system does a nice job at absorbing high pitch tones that imports typically tend to project when a larger, free-flowing exhaust system is installed.
The system has plenty of detail and luster, coupled with phenomenal performance gains on the low and top-end.
Featuring 100 percent TIG-welded joints, the system has a four-inch Takeda insignia etched into each of the double wall, 304 stainless steel tips. The mitered collectors help decrease turbulence and increase exhaust velocity, resulting in more horsepower, torque and improved throttle response.
The exhaust system normally doesn’t require drilling or cutting and also included all the required hardware, resulting in a hassle-free installation. For our application, we had a 3-inch downpipe on the car that required us to modify the 2.5-inch merge for a seamless transition between the exhaust and downpipe. The process ran us about four hours in total, and we experienced no problems along the way, but we must admit we may have spent some time ‘admiring’ imperfections in the homemade exhaust set-up. At an overall weight of 45 pounds, the exhaust system represents a significant weight savings compared to the previous homemade system, which was made with different grade piping.
Out With The Old
The homemade exhaust system featured several bends and welds that can only be seen when the Evo is lifted into the air. Made from several pieces of piping, the homemade system was welded at almost every bend, especially towards the rear where the pipe split into two for the dual mufflers.
The difference between the homemade (left) and the new Takeda exhaust system (right) is definitely noticeable.
Weighing in at 51 pounds, the old exhaust system was a bit heavier, its piping was aging, and we could see minor leaks in the bends leading up to one of the mufflers. The leak areas appeared as dark black spots on the weld.
No welds to be seen on the new Takeda exhaust.
Other problems we saw during the removal of the old exhaust system was the stress the piping was putting on the exhaust hangers, which needed to be replaced for the new exhaust system to hold firmly. A good tip to avoid any burns or bodily injury is to let the car cool down, allowing the exhaust system to be cold enough to grab and not hot to the touch when you drop it down.
One modification we needed to make was the 2.5-inch merge was increased back to 3-inches to match our 3-inch downpipe.
A few modifications were necessary to mount the new exhaust system to the aftermarket downpipe on the Evo.
With the Evo cool, we put the vehicle up on our lift, and began the process by removing the two spring bolts that secure the muffler to the mid pipe. We then slid the two muffler rubber hanger mounts off the chassis and removed the muffler section. Next we slid the single rubber hanger mount securing the stock mid pipe to the chassis.
Dropping down the homemade exhaust system was a simple, straightforward process.
In With The New
The next step was to remove the stock mid pipe by removing the two bolts secured to the catalytic converter. We then unbolted the mid pipe rubber hanger mount off the stock mid pipe, removing the spacer from the rubber mount, which we won’t be reusing. This rubber mount will be transferred onto the Takeda muffler section.
We spotted a few leaks in the homemade exhaust, which only robbed power from the engine.
Removal of the rubber hanger mounts off the muffler section was next, and they were transferred onto the Takeda left and right mufflers accordingly. Using the original two bolts that were secured to the catalytic converter, we installed the Takeda mid pipe section and tightened it firmly. We then took the supplied three-inch Takeda band clamp and installed the right side Takeda muffler section onto the mid pipe, securing it with two rubber hanger mounts onto the chassis but not tightening the band clamp just yet.
We spent a small portion of time modifying the exhaust to fit the downpipe mentioned earlier.
Then, we used the supplied 2.5-inch Takeda band clamp, which will attach the Takeda left side muffler section onto the right side mid pipe, securing the rubber hanger mount onto the chassis. Be sure not to tighten this band clamp either as we needed to align the exhaust system accordingly. Once everything was in place, we tightened all of the band clamps and re-checked all the connections one last time.
After a few modifications, everything lined up perfectly.
Being different from the original exhaust system, the homemade setup made for the Evo suffered some setbacks from leaks in the exhaust, which caused turbulence, resulting in a loss of power across RPM range when under throttle. Our technicians also had to fabricate a flange that fit where the piping diameter transitions from three inches to 2.5 inches.
The finish was simply spectacular.
On The Dyno
Prior to the installation shenanigans, a ‘before’ dyno run was conducted at Makspeed in Temecula, California. The Lancer Evolution X topped out at 404.2 wheel horsepower at 4,750 rpm and 466.3 lb-ft of torque at 4,410 rpm on the shop’s Dynapack dyno.
Before the exhaust install, the Evo was cranking out 404 wheel horsepower and 466 lb-ft of wheel torque.
After making sure the exhaust system was secure, we started up the Evo, and were immediately taken aback by the tame exhaust note at cold start. The newly installed exhaust system did emit some smoke for the first few minutes, but it is merely the grease used in the mandrel bending process burning off.
With the Evo up to operating temperature, we made a few pulls and saw some serious performance gains from the previous exhaust configuration. After compiling a few runs, the Evo showed maximum power gains of 35.2 wheel horsepower at 6,640 rpm where output jumped from 316.9 to 352.1. On the torque side the biggest gains were realized at 4,095 rpm where the 4B11 dished out an additional 86.3 lb-ft, bumping thrust from 381.9 lb-ft to 468 lb-ft. Peak output was a wash as the new system produced three less horsepower. Peak torque output rose from 466.3 lb-ft to 473.4 lb-ft, a jump of 7.1 lb-ft. The dyno charts illustrate the Takeda exhaust provide substantial performance gains at both the bottom end where exhaust velocity is key and at the top end where engine speeds are high and flow or volume is critical.
The homemade exhaust system, which was a few years old, was on its way out since its welds were starting to break. The Takeda is not only built to last, it expels a more tame exhaust note, giving the Evo a more tuned tone versus its raspy, homemade counterpart. “The new exhaust note sounds great, but it’s the performance gain that matters more,”said shop technician and car owner Kyle Kitchen. “The drone inside the car is almost nonexistent now with the new exhaust system. I was surprised at how much more power I gained off changing out my homemade setup. My original setup was a product of learning how to weld, which came with sub-par results.”
The Final Analysis
The Takeda exhaust system worked wonders for Kyle’s Evo X. Swapping out the old, homemade exhaust for a complete, engineered, and tested aftermarket system yielded more power and a tame, sporty exhaust note. Only taking us less than four hours to install, we couldn’t be any more pleased with the results.
The new exhaust system looks great, sounds aggressive, and most of all unlocks more untapped potential out of the nimble Evo X. Stay tuned as we have more parts coming in for the Evo X. We don’t want to spoil the upcoming surprises just yet.