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[Evo X] Review: Whiteline Roll Center Kit

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  • [Evo X] Review: Whiteline Roll Center Kit

    Initially I thought I had to drive my car on the track to feel a difference with these. Never have I been so wrong.

    1. In the box


    Note: Bushings came separately.
    The RCK came nicely packed in a box with molds to fit each individual part. Inside were also some instructions that could work with virtually any car, since the basis of the install are the same for cars utilizing similar components. Whiteline also provided new snap rings that are much easier to use than the OEM ones.
    Packaging: 10/10
    Contents as Described: 10/10

    2. First impressions

    OEM ball joints and tie rod ends are very high quality items, thus I used them as benchmarks. I was expecting an item that would be almost as good as the OEM piece, maybe match the quality. I was not disappointed when I compared the two side by side. The ball joints may have even been of better quality while the tie rod ends were right up there with the OEM ones.

    The reason the quality mattered so much is because these are components responsible for steering and suspension geometry. If they go bad during an event, things can get ugly. Thankfully the white line piece if very high quality. I do however find the dust covers to be a bit more fragile than the stock ones. After hammering the slot where the tie rod end was connected the dust cover was quickly damaged, which resulted in having to place the stock one on top.

    The stock dust cover received an even harsher beating and held up just fine. The stock tie rod ends also inspired a bit more confidence, feeling heavier and tougher in the hand, but not enough to sway the rating to the extremes. The quality of snap rings was about even with the OEM ones, but the OEM ones (while tougher to use) were just a tad bit thicker.

    Update 8/18/14
    The Whiteline yellow boot is not as strong as the OEM boot, so go ahead and replace the Whiteline one with the OEM one in order to save yourself the trouble in the future. Rating dropped from 9.5 to 8

    Quality of parts: 8/10

    3. Installation.
    This is where things got really ugly. I have made a thread of notes which I will now copy here to make it easier for everybody:

    Pre-note: The job is a lot easier with two people. My friend Ara helped me with the install. It is doable with one person, but easier (and more fun) with two.

    Note 1: The autozone kit is useless if you don't have some expensive air tools or a large socket/torque wrench. Basic air tools did not work either as I've visited multiple shops and they all said you'd need a really strong tool or a press. The Ryobi impact kept overheating and so was the battery and it just did not have the torque necessary to press the ball joint out. I found a local machine shop (Undercar Plus in Glendale) that pressed the ball joints out of the LCA as they are crimped in there and pressed in the new joints. Total came out to 30 bucks.

    subnote: If you are just replacing the OEM LCA bushings with the whiteline ones then the autozone kit is fairly sufficient assuming you have a Ryobi or an equally capable impact. As stated previously, a large socket tool should work but it will take a lot more time and effort rather than using an impact wrench.

    Note 2: Use a permanent marker to mark where the tie rod was threaded to and mark AS BOLD as possible, since it will come off slightly even if you use a permanent marker.

    Note 3: To remove the tie rod, DO NOT hammer the tie rod itself (:imstupid: ). Instead, hit the area circled in the picture below:


    It shouldn't take more than a minute of consistent hitting to get it out, but you will need to hit it HARD. I accidentally messed up installing the white line kit and hit the top of the tie rod to get it out and messed up the threads. Five bucks later at undercar and they had the threads fixed and sent me off with a new locking nut, but I did have to change the dust cover to the black one because I ripped the yellow one.

    subnote: Before you start hammering anything, put the nut on the tie rod but don't tighten it, enough to cover the threads and prevent them from being damaged in case you accidentally hit it with the hammer.

    Note 4: When assembling everything back, install the control arm BEFORE installing the tie rods. While putting the control arm back, it was easier for me to remove the camber bolt and loosen the bolt below the camber bolt. This way you can place the ball joint into it's slot and have all the flexibility you can ask for. You will obviously need an alignment after this.

    Note 5: Before installing the tie rods, replace the yellow whiteline boot with the OEM black boot, as it is far stronger than the whiteline boot.

    Note 6: If you're working on the floor, use a jack to jack up the control arm so the ball joint enters its slot. Also you may need to use the jack to line up all the bushings correctly so the bolts can go through the holes.

    How to used for the install:
    How-To: Install Whiteline Roll Center Kit on 2003+ Mitsubishi EVO 8/9/X - theATTACK.rallysportdirect.com

    CHECK EVERYTHING TO MAKE SURE IT'S ALL TIGHT!

    Total time of actually working was about 6-7 hours, should not take more than 2-3 hours if you learn from my mistakes.
    Here's the ball joint pressed into the LCA

    Removing the bushings. The RYOBI Impact works well with the bushings but will not help much with the ball joints.


    Everything installed on the driver's side:


    Needless to say I needed an alignment after the install. My toe was so bad, my car could turn ever so slightly if I let go of the steering wheel. I later found out I had 1.3 degrees of toe in the front right side. The front left was not too bad. Overall the install is a complicated process if you haven't done this before, but I feel as though it shouldn't be difficult to install it again if I ever need to do so. While it was difficult, the parts fit as they should and the install went basically how every guide depicted it. The above notes could have been helpful, so make sure to take advantage of them.
    Fitment: 10/10
    Ease of Installation: 6/10

    4. Performance
    At first I thought to actually feel the difference between having the Whiteline kit on and having the stock kit I would have to drive on the track. Needless to say, I felt the difference when simply changing lanes to pass someone at around 70-75 mph. The car felt much more stable, the front felt stiffer and it would now point wherever I pointed it. Previously the steering felt numb and it did not inspire any confidence at all and felt as if the front was floating on its own accord. Now the car feels exactly how it should feel with all these aftermarket goodies on. Hell, it even changed my perspective on the springs as the car does not roll as much and feels much more planted. It's ridiculous how much of a difference such a small part makes, and now I can't wait til summer to hit the track again. Most certainly deserves a 10/10.

    5. Bang for the buck
    For 200 bucks this mod is a MUST if you plan on lowering your car. That's literally less than the cost of OEM Mud Flaps. The quality of the items definitely lives up to the price tag, but not necessarily a BANG. Not much else to say here, other than if you have lowered your car and have not bought this and keep buying other suspension parts (that probably cost more than this), you won't feel their effects anywhere near as well as you could with this kit on.
    Value: 9/10

    Total: 9/10

    My reviews are also collaborative, so if you have something to add feel free to comment below.

    Pic of my car after the alignment:
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