Q&A's!

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This is not the definitive guide to the FTO, rather some frequently asked questions and answers by FTO owners...

General | Engine, Gearbox & Mechanicals| Electronics & Electrics | Wheels & Tyres
Bodywork | Spare parts & vehicle suppliers | Insurance


General

Q. What does FTO stand for?
A. To give it it's full title, Mitsubishi Fresh Touring Origination.

Q. How many FTO's did they build?
A. 1995 = 9,741, 1996 = 2,928, 1997 = 1,960, 1998 = 1,033, 1999 = 616, Total = 16278 FTO made from 1995 -1999 in the Mizushima Plant, Japan.

Q. How often does the FTO go wrong?
A. Most stuff is easily and cheaply changed because the FTO is screwed together well, but it's very easy to take apart. Things like the fuse boxes are easily locatable in the engine compartment and under the driver's side dashboard, with full descriptions in the owners manuals. There are some great part suppliers around like Jappex (01452-549116) and Camskill Motorsport (01946-694794).

Invoice

Usual stuff to go wrong is;

Q.Is there an FTO owners club I can join?
A. Yes, there is. Click here to go to the Owners Club page on this site - you can find out more details.
Also, you may be interested in joining the FTO Mailing List. This is an email-based system where you post a message to MANY owners at the same time - it's great for finding out information or just chatting about the FTO! You can join in one of two ways. 1) Click the picture below, 2) send an email by clicking here. The official Owners Club site is www.ftooc.org

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And don't forget about the JCars forum!

Q. I have no underseal under the car - should there be any?
A. Definitely yes! Chances are that it would not have had underseal sprayed on in Japan and British winters will destroy the underside of the car in no time!! Get the whole thing WAXOILED including the chassis legs etc. Don't delay, do it today!

Q. There are two plastic loops in the passenger's footwell. What are these for?
A. They are only for the Japanese market. They are used to house flares required in the event of a breakdown etc. They can't be used for much else. Also flares are illegal in the UK.

Q. Leather Interior sir?
A. Oh! Suit YOU sir! Sir should call MotorMall on 01227-730932 for a full ... trim sir! Ooh! Does she get it sir?

Q. Car mats anyone?
A. RalliArt can supply official FTO mats, otherwise try Autostyle or Car Mats 4 U


Engine, Gearbox & Mechanicals

Q. What are the recommended servicing ( service ) or maintainence ( maintenance ) intervals and can you recommend fluid types?
A. Try these below...

  1. Engine oil - 6,000-9,000 miles (10,000-15,000Km) or 12 months - 4.5 litres of good grade semi or fully synthetic oil (see further in this section)
  2. Engine oil filter - every time you change the oil. Part number MD135737 or MD360935
  3. Cam (Timing) Belt - Think about changing it after 50,000 miles (80,000km), but always before 60,000 miles (100,000km) and 5 years maximum. (one part number is MD211195)
  4. Fuel Filter - 60,000 miles (100,000km)
  5. Transmission oil - Manual. 40,000-50,000 miles (65,000-80,000Km) - DIA Clean Multi (or DIA-Queen) gear oil.
  6. Transmission oil - Automatic. 12,000 miles (16,000km) - DIAQueen ATF-SP3.
  7. Transmission filter - Automatic only - replace ever time you change the transmission oil
  8. Differential Oil - 50,000 miles (80,000km) - DIA Clean Super Hi gear oil 80 or 90
  9. Limited slip diff - DIA Clean Super Hi Gear oil 80 or 90 - VCU type - 50,000 miles (80,000Km)
  10. Air Con Gas - HFC - 134A (R134A)
  11. Air Con Oil - SUN PAG 56, or Nihon Denso ND-oil 8, Zekusel ZXL100PG
  12. Fan belt(s) [air con and power steering] every 50,000 miles (81,000Km)

Q. What's the difference between the FTO models and their engines etc?
A. The FTO has a range of three engines: GS has an 1800 16v engine, the GR and GX have 2.0 V6 24v DOHC engines and the GPversionR and GPX have 2.0 V6 24v DOHC engines with MIVEC. The MIVEC variable valve timing accounts for about 20bhp more and a bit more torque. Click here for performance graphs of the 3 different engines. Further, the GPX has the highest spec interior/exterior. Bear in mind that there are LOTS of factory options and no two FTO's are the same. To see the different specs and lineups, click here!

Q. What is MIVEC?
A. MIVEC is an acronym for 'Mitsubishi InnovativeValve timing and lift Electronic Control system'. It alters the profile of the cams to suit your driving demands. Thereby under low rev conditions the management system uses the smaller cams. The main feature however is if you open the throttle it can give the valves a longer duration and longer stroke providing maximum and efficient power and torque at all engine speeds. I amounts to an additional 20bhp over the standard engine.

Q. Which oil should I use for my engine?
A. A quick guide...
Take a couple of numbers - 15/40. Not surprisingly this will sound familiar to you because they refer to the performance of an oil at temperatures (hot & cold). The first number is how thick it is when cold (-5 deg.C) [the higher the number the thicker the oil at low temps]. The last number is the viscosity of the oil when it is hot (measured at 100 degC (ie. 40 "centistokes"). From this you can work out that 15W/40 is just as 'thick' as 0W/40 at normal working temps but a bit 'thinner' when cold. Funnily enough, synthetic oils were originally developed to increase the time between oil changes, not actually protecting engines any more than mineral oils.

More on oil - here's an email from Mobil courtesy of Paul Therman;
[from the Technical Manager for Mobil Oil]
The Mitsubishi FTO is a high tech engine with the latest design and best materials in construction. When new, the engine is clean and tolerances are fine. Common sense suggests that to keep it like this and in tune for best performance you have to use a quality lubricant. The most stable products on the market and those which are being chosen by manufacturers for extended service are fully synthetic PAO (PolyAlphaOlefin). This includes Castrol SLX, Esso Ultron and Mobil 1. These products are extremely stable in extremes of performance. Next consideration is viscosity. At the low temperature end you need a 0W to give the best flow around the engine and ability to satisfy hydraulic tappets and variable valve timing. Note: 0W is not thin when cold. It is just thinner than higher numbered oils, in fact it is around 10 times thicker at 20 degrees than the oil is when at 100 degrees. For best high temperature performance you need an oil which has a High Temperatre High Shear (HTHS) rating of 3.5 minimum. This will usually mean a 40 weight oil. The high quality base oil and strong additive package make sure the oil does not shear and become lower than this figure. If it does, you have wear at best and siezure at worst. So there is the case for Mobil 1 0w-40. If it were my road car, and I drive enthusiastically! I would use Mobil 1 0W-40. However if you do not have low temperature situations, or care not about start up fuel economy, and run your FTO as an ultimate balls out rally car, then Mobil 1 Motorsport at 15W-50 may be the way to go to give you ultimate protection at the limit (thicker oil film at highest temperature and power). For your interest the product being promoted by Mitsubishi dealers (Castrol Magnatec) is offered to maximise profit potential from a relatively inferior cheap product. It is a mineral oil with a small percentage of non PAO synthetic to allow the not so low rating of 10w. Sure it will work and the engine will not sieze up. But consider the longer term !! Why do Castrol have a top tier SLX grade. And why are they launching a 0W-40 SLX onto the market. To copycat Mobil 1 0W-40 !!

The GR engine The GPX engine
180PS 2.0L V6 DOHC 200PS 2.0L V6 DOHC MIVEC
125PS 1.8L 4-cyl

Q. I have a noisy tappety engine, how do I adjust the tappets?
A. The GR has non-adjustable hydraulic tappets and it's only the MIVEC engine's tappets that can be adjusted (if your GR is tappety put a thicker grade oil in). Find a Mitsubishi garage who has the tappet adjustment tool - the clearances are; Inlet 0.1mm and Exhaust 0.13mm.

Q. The FTO is available with Automatic and Manual gearboxes. But which is best for me?
A. There are auto and manual versions. Both gearboxes are possibly among the finest examples on the market. The manual gearbox is one of the most precise and rewarding available (it even has a synchromesh on reverse!). Also, the automatic INVECS-II gearbox is excellent having full automatic mode which learns and adapts to your driving style and it also has a 'Tiptronic' mode sports shift! As to which is best for you, it's down to personal preference. Drive both of them and then make a choice!

Q. Gearbox oil - what to use?
A. In light of some threads on the FTO mailing list I had a really in-depth chat with Camskill motorsport about auto gearboxes...
Dextron 3 is the stuff you need to use, but "Dextron 3" is only a specification that an oil has to meet. The auto gearbox oil that Camskill sell is a very high quality Motul oil and you DON'T need a modifier with the oil he supplies. Obviously he can't speak for other suppliers/oils.
Camskill's recommendation for FTO auto gearboxes is as follows; -

By doing this, Camskill would say that it's a cheap way of reducing the chance of possible problems and wear. Don't forget that they recommend using *original part filters* when doing oil changes, and can supply original part filters etc. as part of a kit. In the FTO's auto gearbox there is an AFWUL lot that goes on. In comparison to the engine, the auto gearbox is FAR more complicated and in a way you can look at it being much more important to get the oil right in the gearbox than the engine!!

Q. How do I change the automatic gearbox oil?
A. It can be quite arkward to get all the oil out and you really need to leave it draining overnight. Make sure to measure what comes out so that you can put the same amount back in (you'll never get 100% of the oil out of the gearbox). The car must be warm (go out for a 10 mile drive before you change the oil) and also get it level (you'll have to use axle stands). The drain plug is a large hex nut on the right of the gearbox as you look at the car toward the rear. After the oild has been draining for around 30 mins take the filter off (removing the filter before that will mean oil everywhere!)

Q. I've heard that the INVECS-II automatic gearbox has 5 gears but mine only has 4! Why?
A. The facelifted models have 5-speed auto boxes but early '97 and below have 4-speed auto boxes.

Cut away of auto gearbox
This picture shows a cut-away of the IVNECS-II automatic gearbox

Q. How can I swap the tiptronic direction around on the gear stick?
A. This information was obtained from FTO Tension which is a great Japanese FTO site.
STEP 1 Remove the rubber "packing" around the shift knob. Next, remove the cigarette lighter and ashtray.
STEP 2 Remove the shift knob. The button on the shift knob is fixed by two hooks. Push these hooks and remove the shift button. Locate the spring and remove it. There is a rubber cap under this spring, pull it out. Next you can see a nut (12mm) under the pushable rod. Remove this nut. You can then pull out the shift knob.
STEP 3 Remove the centre console panel which is fixed at 4 points: (1) the side of shift knob (2) the other side of 1 (3) the upper-side of the ashtray (4) the other side of 3. Remove these points, carefully. They should just pull out.
STEP 4 Remove the centre box panel. Pull up and remove the cup holder. You should see 2 nuts, remove them. There are 4 nuts in the centre box, remove them, then remove the centre box panel.
STEP 5 Change [+][-] labels around - remove and change carefully. Take care!
STEP 6 Change [+][-] switch. Looking at the left side of shift knob, you will see the micro switch and 4 cables. Cable 1 and cable 2 do not need to be touched. You must switch cables 3 and 4 over
STEP 7 Put it back together in the reverse order!

Q. On the 6-cylinder engines, are there two different types of spark plug for the front and back bank of cylinders! Why is this?
A. The reason that there are two different specifications for spark plugs is that the rear set are difficult to get to and so those ones need changed less often. If you need to change the rear set, you will need to remove the inlet manifold to get to them! The plugs are standard NGK parts. You can buy them from Camskill Motorsport (see the telephone number below). I have the Platinum plugs all round.

Q. What does my chassis number mean?
A. Your number (eg. DE3A 0000000000 HNGH) is split like this:

Q. Can I do anything with my brakes? Or they seem to have a wobble on!
A. Standard Mitsi brakes are not really up to much. The GR has 10" discs with a single pot caliper and the GPX has 10.8" discs with a twin pot caliper. Rear brakes are the same on both models. If you would like to fit performance parts, call Camskill Motorsport on 01946-694794. See the MODIFICATIONS section here. Another option is Grooved and drilled front disks from EBC (Sejoc) D679-GD.
Don't forget to clean the hub with wire wool to remove all the bumpy crap accumulated between the hub/disc/wheel.

Q.What is "bedding the brakes in" and how do I do it?
A. "Bedding" is simply conforming the new pads to the rotor. This procedure is recommended for Mintex and Padgit pads:

Q. My ignition key is stuck in the ignition barrel in my automatic FTO!
A. There is a cable running from the gearlever to the ignition barrel which allows the key to be removed only in the 'Park' mode. It could be the case that the cable has jumped out of the guides or even that one of the guides has broken. You'll need to take off as much of the plastic covers as you can to see what you're doing.

Q. Getting at the front brakes is easy, but what about the REAR brakes?

  1. Slacken the handbrake from inside of car as follows; a) Remove 2 screws from inside rear centre console pocket. b) Pop out small recessed holder thing in rear centre console (next to handbrake lever) and remove 2 screws retaining rear centre console. c) Remove centre console rear half d) undo 10mm adjuster nut to slacken off handbrake
  2. Remove rear wheels
  3. Remove horseshoe clip retaining handbrake cable to caliper
  4. Remove handbrake cable from caliper (you may have to remove 1 or 2 of the 12mm bolts retaining the cable)
  5. Undo the lower caliper slide bolt
  6. Lift up the caliper (pivots on the top slide) off the pads and slide off the top slide
  7. Replace brake pads
  8. Return the caliper piston by screwing back into the caliper housing (to do it 100% correctly, you should loosen the bleed nipple and let the fluid behind the piston vent to a container, rather than force it back up the hydralic lines. Reassembly is a reversal of the above.
  9. Before readjusting the handbrake cable at the lever, pump the brake pedal to adjust the rear brake piston on its worm drive
  10. Check brake fluid level and top up as neccesary

Q. My Alternator has packed up - what can I do?
A. Don't go to Mitsi for your alternator, it's around £700! Instead you can have yours re-conditioned by a local electrical motor shop (any area with industry will have one of these close to you) or you can buy one from the likes of Japco or U-Save or Mitsubishi Parts Pro.

If you want to change it yourself you'll need a couple of hours, basically the manifold has to come off followed by the throttle body and then the inlet manifold. Remove the manifold bracket and then the alternator bracket and this should allow you to get the alternator out (you need to have patience here as it can be awkward).


Electronics & Electrical

Q. How do I find instructions for the climate controlled air-con?
A. Check out the downloads area - I have a some Adobe PDF files with that information there. Also the Owners Manual is available through the FTO Owners Club.

Q. Why do the windows steam up in wet weather if I don't have the air-con switched on?
A. The air-con also de-humidifies the air and so helps to dry the interior. You can demist windows quickly by pressing the button on the control panel above the rear demister button.

Q. My Japanese radio only picks up Radio 2! Why?
A. You need a band expander to plug in between the radio and the aerial. It does not cost much and is available from most importers. One supplier is EuroSpec2000 on 01276-670628. They shift the frequencies that you receive up the scale, even though your radio may still display the incorrect frequency.

Q. What do I use as a replacement for a blown bulb?
A. Use this table below (thanks to David Corbett).

Part Name Part Number Part Manufacturer Make, Model of Equivalent UK Car
       
Front Fog (55w) H3 (Generic Code) Any
Front Indicator ( 21w) RU382 Ring Any
Front Sidelight ( 5w) RU501 Ring Any
Headlight High Beam ( 60w) HB3 / 9005 (Generic Code) Ford Puma; Audi A8; Lexus GS300
Headlight High Beam ( 65w) R9005 Ring Ford Puma; Audi A8; Lexus GS300
Headlight High Beam ( 65w) LLB9005 Lucas Ford Puma; Audi A8; Lexus GS300
Headlight Low Beam ( 51w) HB4 / 9006 (Generic Code) Lexus GS300
Headlight Low Beam ( 55w) R9006 Ring Lexus GS300
Headlight Low Beam ( 55w) LLB9006 Lucas Lexus GS300
High Level Stop (5w) RU501 Ring Any
Licence Plate (5w) RU501 Ring Any
Rear Indicator ( 21w) RU382 Ring Any
Side Indicator ( 5w) RU501 Ring Any
Stop / Tail ( 21w / 5w) RU380 Ring Any

Q. I've removed my stereo, chopped the loom and I don't know which wires do what!
A. The colours (courtesy of Niche Automobiles 01285-860865) is as follows (or you can buy an ISO harness for under a tenner)
Permanent live: RED/BLACK
Accessory +12v: BLUE
Illumination: GREEN/WHITE
Earth: 6mm nut
Antenna trigger: PINK
Rear left speaker+ : YELLOW/BLUE, Rear left speaker- : GREY/BLUE
Rear right speaker+ : YELLOW/RED, Rear right speaker- : GREY/RED
Front left speaker+ : WHITE/BLUE, Front left speaker- : BLACK/BLUE
Front right speaker+ : WHITE/RED, Front right speaker- : BLACK/RED

Q. Where is a good online place to get car audio stuff from?
A. Try these:
www.caraudiodirect.com/
www.edworthys.co.uk/
www.caraudio.udm.net/
www.empiredirect.co.uk
www.locostcaraudio.com/
www.mcs-direct.co.uk
www.cel-direct.co.uk

Q. How can I remove my rear speakers? I want to change them but can't get them out!
A. Check out this great guide by Steve Hemming - click here to go directly to his pages
or visit his website www.mitsubishi-fto.org

Q. What do I do about my speedo? I want it to read 0-180mph and have the odometer clock up in miles instead of Km!
A. You can buy white dials with different speedo faces from the FTO Owners Club (merchandise). EuroSpec2000 (01276-670628) and Protech (0117-9861611) are two companies that can do the conversion job for you.

Q. I've heard it is possible to get the mirrors to fold in automatically on central locking activation - how?
A. Pete Schofield has designed an inexpensive kit which you can buy. The kit uses two blocking diodes to simplify the installation and requires just two connections at the switch and two at the door lock relay. The kit is only £7.50 and comes with "idiot proof " instructions. Make a cheque for this sum payable to "P. Schofield" and send with return address to:
Pete Schofield,
224 Sheffield Road,
Barnsley,
S70 4PG

and he will send a kit by return post.

Q. My central locking is a bit sticky - what can I do?
A. This is a solution, courtesy of Peter Sarsota

Removing the door panel.
First remove three black plastic popper covers and the screws behind them. Two on the rear edge adjacent to the door mechanism and one at the front in the panel dashboard recess. Remove screw just below inner door handle and then slide the plastic cover that it held on forward whilst pulling away from door. Remove the large screw that is now exposed. Remove the plastic plug just above the door pocket and remove the screw behind it. Carefully lever the panel away from the inner door skin using a screwdriver at the bottom and then pull the panel off the door. Disconnect the plugs for windows and speakers. Carefully pull the plastic off the door and remove the one inch wide black plastic disc adjacent to the locking mechanism just above the rubber door stop

Removing the lock mechanism
An inspection lamp is really useful now! Look inside the door and you will see where the rods for the internal handle and lock joint the locking mechanism. They are held in place with green (may be orange) plastic clips. Easiest way to remove them is to follow the rods with your hand towards the lock until you feel the plastic clips, push the clips up off the rod then push the rod towards the outer door skin. Next you need to disconnect the two rods for the outer Handle and lock. These disconnect at the handle and lock end (You cannot disconnect them at the Locking mechanism end) The lock rod (shorter of the two) is held by a similar plastic clip. Again follow the rod up until you feel the clip, push the clip off the rod and push the rod back.Now the really fiddle one. Unless you have very small hands and rubber arms you will not be able to get a grip of the top of the last rod. Pull the rubber out above the lock on the end of the door where the door and window meet. Look down though the hole you should see the rod and clip, use a screwdriver to prise the clip open and remember the plastic disc you took off, there was a hole behind it. Put your finger in the hole and push the rod out of the clip. Undo the three screws around the door lock, hold onto the lock or it will drop to the bottom of the door. Manoeuvre the lock mechanism behind the window guide and out of the door. Disconnect the cable plug.

Fix the locking motor
Remove the 6 little screws that hold the circular cover onto the locking mechanism. Don't lose the rubber seal.
Inside you will see cogs, a little motor and a green disc shaped electrical component. The problem generally seems to caused by the grease in the unit melting and getting into the motor this in turn causes the disc shaped component to overheat and break down reducing the power to the motor stopping it turning fast enough. Easiest way to check is to lift the motor up at the top so the spigot does not engage with the cog and plug the unit back into the car, Every press of the remote button (note you will have to hold the interior light switch in or it will not try and lock/unlock) will result in the motor turning slower and slower every time you press and the disc shaped unit geting very hot !
DO NOT TEST WITH THE UNIT OPEN AND THE MOTOR ENGAGED OR ALL THE BITS WILL COME FLYING OUT !! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Two ways to resolve this.
1) Very fiddly. Un-solder the two connections to the motor (Make sure you mark which way round they go) Place the motor in a vice spindle down and lever the two metal tabs off the plastic end plate. The motor will now come apart. Gently clean the brushes and conductor with a degreaser. Use two opened paper clips to hold the brushes out the way while you put it back together and tap the metal tabs back into place. Re-solder the two connections.
2) May not resolve the problem. Un-solder the two connections to the motor (Make sure you mark which way round they go) and then spray electrical board cleaner (Not WD40) into the motor several times. Wait until cleaner has evaporated and then reconnect motor.

Test again by connecting to the car. Motor should now turn quickly. If not then electrical componect is probably knacked. If this is the case just bypass the electrical component using a very short piece of wire. Needs to be short or you will not get the cover back on. I just soldered a piece of wire from one leg of the electrical componect to the other. Test again by connecting to the car. Motor should now turn quickly. Reduce the amount of grease in the unit especially above the motor (to stop it happening again) Put it all back together making sure the cover fits correctly. (It should fit flush all the way round without pressure. If not then the cog spindles are not located in their holes correctly.) Very important or lock will not work properly !!

Replacement is the reversal of removal. Except that you when you reconnect the outside door handle rod, do not lift the handle up. Check carefully that the rod is correctly engadged in its clip. Careful the clip is easy to break.I am unsure why the electrical component is there. General concensus seems to be that it is to protect the motor from an overload or to reduce noise picked up on the radio. So it may be that the motor will fail earlier than normal. It is up to you. Take the risk or lock your doors manually ! Peter@sarsota.force9.co.uk

Q. My battery is dead or my car "clicks" when I turn the ignition key.
A. A Halfords HB054 will get you going again, but be aware that the terminals might be the wrong way around, and that the 054 is for a Micra :) Alternatively you can uprate the battery - call Camskill Motorsport for more details 01946-694794.

Q. My car is lumpy and/or cuts out at idle (or I have a faulty Idle Speed Controller)
A. [This courtesy of Adrian Wright] The ISC (Idle Speed Controller) is a small stepper motor, capable of moving up to 120 steps, bolted to the side of the throttle body. It controls the opening and closing of the idle butterfly, which obviously should open when the engine is cold, and close completely when warm and under normal load (it will open if the engine is loaded, with either heavy alternator load or aircon, etc.). It's normally the cause of idling problems.
Problems (1) : The 120 steps appears to be a notional figure rather than an actual - ie 0 is not closed and 120 fully open. Depending on the car, how it was serviced and whether this 'steps' figure has been reset, many FTOs typically have around the 40 'steps' mark as fully closed. Problems can arise when the fully closed 'steps' gets too high, as the ECU will only step up to 120 max. Therefore if the fully closed number of steps is, say, 80 you only have 40 steps until max - which will only partially open the idle butterfly and hence the car will not idle when very cold or under very heavy load. Apparently a Mitsi service should reset this (steps figure to a lower value), providing they've got the kit to do it.
Problems (2) : The ISC gets covered in black carbon deposits which prevents it working properly - typically causing hunting at idle and general eratic idling. Remove it (two bolts hold it to the throttle body) clean the hell out of it (WD40 or something), clean the hole in the throttle body where it fits and finally clean and lubricate the main throttle butterfly and interior of the throttle body just for good measure.
Problems (3) : The ECU needs to 'learn' where the idle point is - so an ECU reset can sometimes help to force it to relearn!
Problems (4) : Due to the position of the ISC and the wiring loom, the wires to the ISC are prone to fracture and complete breakage. Simply pulling back the black plastic looming material on the six wire connector should show whether all wires are in fine fettle. If you doubt the continuity of the wires, the Owners Club have the Electrical manual and it's not TOO difficult to trace all 6 wires on the connector back to the 1st ECU connector and one of the junction blocks, both in the passenger footwell.
Problems (5) : Low idling, but everything else is OK - just need to pump up the idle. The throttle body has a recessed idle screw, on the top - towards the front, normally covered by a very obvious circular black rubber dust cap (about half an inch in diameter). Simply remove the dust cap, and turn the screw in or out to increase or decrease the idle speed.


Wheels & Tyres

Q. Are locking wheel nuts available for my wheels?
A. Yes - they are Mitsubishi part number SP029173 and are available from dealers from around 20 quid.

Q. I heard that the FTO is brought over from Japan with poor tyres...?
A. In most cases, yes cars have come from Japan with a lower quality tyre fitted, often "Q Rated" (see below). This can have an adverse effect on handling, road noise and braking. If you have some of these tyres fitted I recommend changing them as soon as possible.

Speed / Tyre rating table

Speed Symbol
Max. Speed MPH
Max. Speed KMH
N
87
140
P
93
150
Q
99
160
R
106
170
S
112
180
T
118
190
H
130
210
V
149
240
W
168
270
Y
186
300
ZR
149+
240

Q. Can I get aftermarket wheels for the FTO?
A. Yes - sizes of wheels and associated tyres follow:

Rim Size Correct Tyre Size
15x6"* 195x60R15
16x6.5"** 205x50R16
17x7" 205x40R17
17x8" 225x40R17
15x6.5" 205x60R15
16x7.5" 215x45R16
17x7.5" 215x40R17
18x8" 215x35R18

If you use the tyres as suggested above with your rims then you will not have any trouble with the tyres rubbing in the arches.

*Standard 15" GR Wheel **Standard 16" GPX Wheel
Standard 15" Wheel GPX Wheels


If you want to look at alternatives (17" wheels etc...) I can recommend Camskill Motorsport on 01946-694794. They are alloy wheel specialists and can even send you a photo of the FTO with the wheels of your choice fitted!


Bodywork

Q. I need some touch up paint - where can I get it from
A. Normall, your dealer can help you. Quote the paint code found on the rear bulkhead in the engine bay. It will be something like R34 or R39. Failing that, call Automotive Paint Supplies on 01635-43149 / 42790 or try Halfords.
Icelle / Ijselle blue is {T73 MZ101977 AC11173 ICECELLE BLUE}
Midnight Blue is {B09 MZ101480 AC10609 MIDNIGHT BLUE}
Moonlight blue is {T88 MZ101942 AC11088 MOONLIGHT BLUE}
Imperial Pearl Red is R39

Q. The front grille is very rusty and I want to clean it up - how do I take the bumper off?
A. Thanks to Josh Swinnerton for this answer:
1) Under the bonnet, unbolt the two metal strips which go from the bumper back to the chassis, just above the radiator (they're right on top, easy to access).
2) Under the bumper, remove plastic screws/lugs from the two plastic strips that go from the bumper back to the chassis. They're quite big and plastic, and are a part of the bumper (hence the same colour as your car).
3) At the front edge of each front wheel arch, remove the screws to release the front part of the mud guard. By mud guard I mean the black plastic casing around the entire wheel arch. Remove a few of the screws at the front to access a vertical screw which goes from the bumper up into the bodywork, right at the end of bumper. Its at the point where the line between bumper and front left body panel meet the wheel arch. Get a screw driver up there, and release this screw. (if you can't see it, get a light under the car). THIS is the only tricky bit.
4) Now simply remove the four main bolts which hold the bumper on. They're under the car, along two rails which face forward on either side of the engine. You should now be able to carefully slide the bumper forward. Before removing the bumper, disconnect the plugs to either fog light - there's one big plug for each.
Also, Steve Hemming has instructions and pictures on his website - click here to go there.

Q. How much of a part does the rear spoiler play in the aerodynamics?
A. In a recent discussion on the mailing list Andy MacNaughton Jones gave these figures:
Measurement of upward lift at the rear at 200 km/h:
Escort Cosworth : -200 kg (downforce)
Lambo Diablo : +3 kg
Scoob : +11 kg
Audi S3 : +31 kg
BMW M5 : +32 kg
Ferrari 550 : +40 kg
Merc CLK550 AMG :+ 43 kg
Mitsubishi FTO : unknown!

A correctly positioned and proportioned spoiler also lowers the Cd (Coefficient of Drag) of the car because of the effective angle between the back of the roof and the highest point at the back of the car (i.e. the spoiler) is about 30 degrees (talking about a Subaru Impreza here) which is the worst angle from a drag point of view. Go higher or lower and the Cd gets better. The downnforce on a road car is not due to the spoiler alone but rather a reduction of the upthrust caused by the low pressure area at the rear of the car. The reduction happens because the pressure at the rear is now higher with the wing as the air is following a better path than the 30 degrees without the spoiler. The shape of the wing acounts for only a tiny amount (if any) of the downforce as most of the air goes over the top of the wing, but an aerofoil shape is very "slippy". Obviously the higher you go with a wing the more important the section of the aerofoil is (eg. Escort Cossie Whale Tail). So yes, keep the wing you'll get better fuel economy and be able to go faster.
The standard spoiler (again talking about the Impreza - Pre-MY99) definitely reduces drag. It does this because it provides a clean cutoff between the turbulent air behind the car and the air moving smoothly above it. By making the turbulent area smaller you reduce drag, and you can see that it works because the water runs smoothly down the rear window in the rain.
Its not about reducing drag, its about reducing lift. Spoilers do just that, they spoil the airflow thus reducing the lift effect of the air flowing faster accross the top of the car. The little ones on the Audi TT are for this purpose. Wings create downforce, or at least they are supposed to. Thus, lip type spoilers are to create turbulence, Wing type spoilers are to create downforce. In each case, drag is increased.

Q. Where can I get the FTO stickers (decals) from?
A. Peter Lee from Kempys Bitza Mitzys in New Zealand proivided this list: (click here to email and order from them).

Also a company called "Hypno Graphics" (01908-378914) have most of the Mitsi graphics on file and can make designs up for you. They can do all sorts of variations if you wish and colours (ie brushed alluminium, holographic etc.) - they do mail order. Ask for Lee.

Q. How to I remove the front bumper?
A. Rob Upham posted this to the mailing list in June 2001:

There's one important bolt/screw just inside the wheel arch at the join between bumper and the wing each side. Next take out your fog/side light pods - a long philips screw in each. Then there's the two bolts along the top of the engine bay - they're quite obvious. Take 'em both out. Next, get under the car and you'll find two sets of two (quite large) gold coloured bolts in rails. Take all four of these out and the bumber will slide forward nicely. I found this all out AFTER I'd removed all the wheel-arch linings, the headlamp bolts, etc, etc...!! Oh... and it's best to get a friend to help, if you can... or you may end up scratching various bits of bodywork (especially re-fitting).
Also visit www.mitsubishi-fto.org for some more instructions (and loads of useful other stuff too)


Spare Parts and Vehicle Suppliers

Q. Are parts hard to come by?
A. In the early days of the FTO being imported, yes parts were hard to get because nobody knew what the FTO was and Mitsubishi would turn people away. However, people such as companies below are a great help. Even Mitsubishi themselves have come around to the grey import! You can even walk into a dealership without getting thrown out these days :)
From 4car.co.uk today 26/7/2000
Mitsubishi UK has reduced parts prices for unofficial imports by 20%, and introduced a wider range of components. In conjunction with its dealer network, and with the approval of Mitsubishi Motors in Japan, Mitsubishi UK is aiming to provide full support for owners of 'grey' imports such as the FTO coupe and high-performance Ralliart models like the Lancer Evolution. Mitsubishi UK has built up stocks of genuine improved parts from Japan, and supply will begin from the 1st August. John Rose, General Manager Parts for Mitsubishi Motors UK, said "As we are the official supplier of Mitsubishi vehicles, parts and accessories, we acknowledge that customers who have bought 'grey' or parallel imported vehicles still actually own a Mitsubishi even if it wasn't designated to be sold in this country. We know that there are 33,000 'grey' or parallel Mitsubishi imports circulating in the used car market and that equates to approximately 10% of our total parts stock of 33,000 items being given over to these vehicles". Mitsubishi, along with other manufacturers who originally turned their backs on owners of unofficial imports, is clearly now realising that any business is good business.

Q. Where can I source parts and even the FTO from?


Insurance

Q. What about Insurance? Can you recommend a firm?
A. There are several insurance companies which will insure your FTO;
The FTO Owners Club has an approved insurance company! Call AON Insurance on 01384-552670 ( you have to be a member of UK FTO Owners Club to take advantage of this offer)

NEW!!!I have a new page which lists all the companies I rang when getting insured on the EVO. This will be good for FTO insurance too ... see the EVO section or click here

The Insurance Center online - It's easy to go through this online quotation system! Give it a try!
AON Insurance
(FTOOC policy scheme) are on 01384-552670
Crownthorne Insurance
are on 01344-771626
A-Plan are on 0845-0711234
J.E.Oakely (OPI) are on 0121-3250633
Admiral are on 0800-600800
Keith Michaels PLC are on 0181-6427868
Bell Direct are on 0800-140180
Privelege on 0113-2925555 (need a TRACKER fitted)
Liverpool Victoria on 0800 608608
I have added a page full of Insurance which I used to insure my EVO6 ... you can find the page in the right frame or by clicking here


The bottom bit...

If you searched for tires, note that the "British English" spelling is tyres - try your search again. This goes for all kinds of spellings - I use British, not 'American English' spellings.


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