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Old 2006-03-23, 03:24 PM   #1
sperry
The Doink
 
sperry's Avatar
 
Real Name: Scott
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 20,334
 
Car: '09 OBXT, '02 WRX, '96 Miata
Class: PDX/TT-6
 
The way out is through
Default Ongoing project thread: DoinkWRX

Current Modifications List:
...chances are I'm missing stuff, this list has been changing for 6 12 15 years now!

Interior
Window Tinting (35% HP all around)
STi Aluminum Pedals w/ Heel-Toe Flange & Dead Pedal
Sparco Monza (red) Sparco Strada (black) wheel on Snap-off Systems quick release
Defi v2 BF Boost, EGT, Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Water Temp Gauges
RacePak G2X GPS/Inertia based data logger/lap timer
Innovate LC-1 wideband O2 sensor/gauge
STi Projector Leveling Switch
Removed rear seats
Aluminum trunk separator (not needed with the stock fuel pump)
'05 STi floormats

Safety
Bieffe Formula 1 SA2000 Helmet Pyrotect Pro Airflow SA2010 Helmet
RJS custom fitted Nomex fire suit
Sparco gloves and shoes
RaceTech 4009WHR/4009W seats
RaceTech 6-point 3" harness (driver)
RaceTech 6-point 3" harness (passenger)

Exterior
STi Front Grill (debadged)
STi Hood Scoop back to stock to improve aero/cooling Kamanari Carbon-Fiber Extractor Hood (w/ Aerocatch hood pins)
LHD STi Projectors
s202 C/F Wing (replica) back to the stock wing Back to the s202 C/F Wing (replica) to match the hood
STi fog covers
Self fabricated minimal light bar (bolts to bumper mount under the skin)
Hella 500 driving lights (on with hi-beams)
PIAA 5190 510 SMR Series fog lights (with yellow lamin-x)
JNA polyurethane front lip

Supension/Handling
Whiteline 20-24mm Rear Swaybar
Whiteline H/D Rear Swaybar Brackets
KartBoy Soild Rear Endlinks
Whiteline 20-22mm Front Swaybar
Whiteline Rear Subframe Bushings
Whiteline Rear Subframe Locking Bolts
Whiteline SM-legal ALK offset bushings Whiteline Race ALK
Whiteline poly steering rack bushings (not needed with Q-Rack)
11.5:1 Q-Rack w/ solid mounts
SPT aluminum front lower control arms
Tein SuperRace double-adjustable coilovers
H&R Rear Camber Bolts
6-gun '05 STi hub conversion
ARP 3" extended lugs
Enkei 17x9" +45 RP-F1 wheels (silver) w/ 255/40/17 Dunlop StarSpec Z1 tires
5Zigen 17x9" +43 FN01RC wheels (hyper black) w/ 255/40/17 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires
Fenders pulled/rolled, 25mm front / 15mm rear spacers

Brakes
StopTech 332x32mm Front Big Brake Kit (red ST-40 calipers)
Subaru 2-pot 22b Rear Calipers on Group-N gravel spec rotors
StopTech Stainless Steel Brake Lines (front) / Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake Lines (rear)
ATE Super Blue Fluid
StopTech Club-Spec Race Pads or Hawk DTC-70 Race Pads (track)
Axxis Ultimates StopTech Street Performance Brake Pads (street / auto-x)

Engine
'08 EJ257 Shortblock
'11 STi crank
Icon forged pistons, OEM rods
STi AVCS heads (valve and spring job)
TGV deletes
TD05-20G Turbo PF-Green Turbo Element Tuning GT-52 Turbo
Walbro Fuel Pump feeding swirl can feeding Bosch Motorsports fuel pump (back to in-tank Walbro only)
Perrin Fuel Rails
Helix 675 injectors (going back to the PE800 injectors soon) Deatchwerks top-feed 800cc injectors
Perrin Front Mount Intercooler (anodized black)
Gruppe-S Headers (jet coated) OEM cast headers (ported/polished), Grimmspeed crossover pipe (coated)
Perrin up-pipe
Invidia catless/resonated turbo-back exhaust Turbo XS stealth-back downpipe, Prodrive oval-tip cat-back
Vishnu Underdrive Pulley
Hydra ECU (tuned by Mike Warfield of GST) (currently running on the Knucklesplitter tuned open-source stock ECU)
KartBoy Exhaust Hangers
GST oil-breather can
GST fabbed fender CAI KSTech CAI
Cusco solid engine mounts
Optima Yellow Top Battery SuperStart AGM Battery (relocated to trunk)
DIY oil cooler/filter relocation kit (canton adapters, aeromotive lines, fluidyne cooler)
Koyo radiator (anodized black)
Removed A/C from engine bay

Transmission
STi 6MT w/ DCCD
STi R180 Rear Diff
Excedy Clutch and Lightened Fly Wheel (hyper single) ACT pro-lite flywheel / 4-pad unsprung 6-pad sprung clutch
RedLine Lightweight Shockproof
Cory's rear-diff special sauce
TIC/Cobb short shifter & bushings
Cusco solid tranny mounts
Neetronics programmable DCCD controller

----------
Originally Posted 8/5/2004:


I purchased my 2002 WRB WRX Sedan back in July of 2001. (Yep, I'm one of those Subaru owners that started w/ a WRX... phear my lack of old skoolness!) Anyway a friend of mine had a sick black '01 RS that got me hooked on the Imprezas, so I had to 1 up him and get a turbo model.

On with the mods...

My primary goal for the car was to build it up for autocross. The 1st thing that went on the car was a Whiteline adjustable rear swaybar, H/D mounts, and endlinks. That and a set of RE92's <snicker> got me through about 4 events in the Sacramento based American AutoX Series. Running in ESP, I was everything but competative, however, the bodyroll and bad tires really helped me learn to drive the car. I had to plan ahead for every corner, and learned alot about using air-pressure to make the car handle better.

Some of the other initial mods that went on the car were the factory armrest extension (ha! I actually used to consider that a "mod"), a Cobb short shifter w/ bushings, window tint, alarm, Blitz FATT Turbo Timer, Auto-Dimming mirror (not the Subaru optional one, I got one w/ a temp display too ), STi pedals and my Amp/Sub from my previous car (a '95 T-Bird). I also got a Schroth Harness in preperation for the next season of AutoX.









Then winter hit in Reno. On with a set of snow tires (Blizzack LM-22s!), ski rack, and the bra!



Ahh, those were the days... back when a stock WRX was a rare car on the road, and all the RS guys would still wave at you.

When buying the snow tires, I figured I should also hook up some summer tires... so I warmed up the credit card and took my 1st hit off the Rota crackpipe w/ some 18" SubZeros and Kumho ECSTA 712 tires.



Wow, to think my car was ever that shiney!! A few winters following sand trucks on the freeway over Donner Pass will really do a number on thin Subaru paint.

And now the fun begins. Following my philosophy of "braking and handling before power", I got some GoodRidge SS brake lines from (dare I say it) a SubyGal group buy. I also upgraded to Axxis Ultimate brake pads and started using the Ford 550 brake fluid and some SpeedBleeders. Now the brakes were pretty much adiquate for anything I could throw at 'em on the AutoX course.

Front and Rear Whiteline Strut Tower Braces went on.. though I didn't realize how little they'd help. I also put an ALK on the car, only to have to take it off later when I found out it was illegal for AutoX.

Cosmetically, I did the ubiquitous "headlight mod"... which looked cool for about 3 weeks until everyone and there momma was baking headlights like they were brownies.



At about 14,000 miles, I went through the whole deal of getting my clutch replaced due to the faulty clutch design that went into the early '02 WRXs. That's a rant that used to be available on www.deniedmywarranty.com.

Now that the car was coming along in the handling department, I figured I could add some power to it. Enter Vishnu Stage 0. This was back when Stage 0 included a 321 (non-flex) up-pipe, crank pulley, colder plugs, MBC, that god awful UniChip (though at the time I was like w00t!), and for the hey of it I added the intercooler hoses.

This was my 1st "big" install. But I was able to get it done in only one day, by myself, including that crank pulley.... you should have seen that breaker bar flex... I must have put damn near 10" of deflection on my 2' bar... and when the bolt came loose... BANG!! it was light a gunshot, and I tossed myself onto the floor!

Some pics from the install:












After all this was installed... DAAAAAMMMMMNNNNN!!! That turbo came on so much quicker, and so much harder in the lower gears. Plus all that UniChip hesitation made the ride rambuncious, exciting and most definately not stock feeling!

Since my girlfriend at the time lived in Sacramento, I found myself making lots of late-night drives over the mountains. To keep from out driving my lights as I sped through the night, I replaced the fogs with some Hella 500 Driving lights, and added some Hella projector fogs. The driving lights are wired so they only come on with the high beams, and the fogs use the stock wiring, so they only come on w/ the low beams. This means I can arm them both, then simply use the high beam toggle on the turn signal stock to turn them on and off. No fussing w/ the lower switches, and no issues with running an illegal number of lights at once on the front of the car.



I used a second factory fog light switch for the driving lights.

To install the 500's, I ended up using some really simple corner braces from the hardware store instead of expensive KartBoy mounts (sorry Tom, I tried ordering the mounts, but you were out of stock, so I improvised!).



With a set of 100W bulbs in the Hella 500's, this setup is unstoppable. I'll pass a car in the mountains, and as they turn off their high beams, I click mine on, and it's like the sun comes out! I actually tend to get a group of cars that will follow me through the mountains so they can use my light! And the yellow bulbs in the projector fogs rule in the rain/fog/snow.

The only draw back... I've been told my car looks "buck-toofed" due to the projector fogs in the lower grill... and while I'd have to agree with that assesment... this is all about function over form.

Now that I was no longer putting down stock power, I figured some gauges would be useful. I put together a suite of AutoMeter's finest. Boost, Oil Press, Oil Temp, EGT, and a Clock that I had to have custom assembled by AutoMeter so it'd match the rest of the Sport-Comp gauges. I got a modified stock gauge cluster and an AutoMeter pillar pod. Not bad for about $500. It's too bad I later decided to sell them all for a Defi BF Boost gauge... damn Defi's are expensive!



In order to facilitate the Oil temp and pressure senders, I converted a Perma-Cool sandwich plate adapter for an oil cooler into an oil gallery for the meter probes. I drilled out the adapter and made it a simple pass through with two ports.



It was around this time that I swapped the interior dash lights to red. I tried LED's 1st, but eventually got better results with reb bulb covers. I even converted my Turbo Timer to red, by cutting and rewiring some traces on the circuit board.





After getting nailed by some debris kicked up on the freeway, I ended up with a nice dent in the hood, and a busted headlight. The insurance paid for the repairs, and instead of getting a new factory headlight (that wouldn't match the modded one anyway) I put that cash towards a set of STi Projectors. It took a long while of waiting for the boat to arrive, but eventually CC-B came through and I had some EDM LHD STi Projectors! I wired them up with a custom harness that allows the low beams to stay on when the hi beams are activated, because I'm a whore when it comes to massive light output. I also StonGarded the lights before they were ever installed to prevent the awful pitting the sand in the winter causes.





I also decided I needed to step up to Vishnu Stage 1. Stage 0 was just too damn quiet! I ordered the exhaust and sent my UniChip out to Vishnu to get remapped with their off the shelf Stage 1 map. I picked the Vishnu exhaust basically because I wanted to stick with all Vishnu stuff for my motor, however as it turns out, I have yet to hear an exhaust that I like better than my Vishnu exhaust! It's just the right mixture of rumble and roar... and it's quiet enough at idle, yet loud when you really get on it, and doesn't drone on the freeway too badly.

And since broke up with my GF around this time, I decided I needed a "project" to occupy my time. To that end I designed and built a home-grown intercooler waterspray. I used a fat pump (designed for a sink in a camper) and a bunch of agricultural spraying hardware. I also picked up a used spray computer that monitors ambient temperature, IC temperature, and fuel injector duty cycle to determine when to automatically spray the intercooler. All that and a custom wired 3-way switch to allow on/off/auto, and my kit was done... and cost *far* more than just ordering a full setup from RalliSpec, or MRT.

Here's a movie clip just after installing the exhaust and the I/C sprayer.

Exhaust_and_Waterspray.avi (10MB DivX)

At this point, I chilled out for a while on the mods and concentrated on driving. I started the AutoX season in Street Mod because I thought the ALK was legal there, and I hadn't had time to remove it. Of course the ALK wasn't legal, but it didn't matter since I was so uncompetative. Once the ALK came off, I moved down to STX and settled in for the season.

I'd have to say my driving improved tremendously over the season. I won all but one of the events in STX that season. (LagnWagn beat me w/ his automatic wagon on one day... then promptly sold the car and bought a new STi!)





Mid season, I started getting the mod itch again, and since my 712's were getting thin, I decided to take another hit off the Rota pipe, and had SubyDude hook me up with some White Rota Attacks, and an STi grill to match the projectors. I wrapped the Attacks in some Falken Azenis Sports, and WHOA! did the car handle!





As I mentioned earlier, LagnWagn sold his wagon for an STi, so I was able to pick up his P1's off him since they wouldn't clear the STi brakes. I "tried before I buyed" and took some pick of them on my car before selling my SubZeros and picking them up.





Once I bought the rims, off came the old galvanized rubber, and on went some Falken Azenis ST-115's, which are the quietest tires I've ever heard!

After the 2003 season ended, I began formulating a plan for next season. At the top of the list was a set of coilovers. After much nail biting, I decided to get some JIC FLT-A2's. It took going through a bunch of drama involving a huge lack of customer support and technical knowledge over at JIC USA, but finally I got my JICs to me the day before the SCCA NORPAC convention where my Subaru club (SECCS) was putting on a car show. The shop responsible for this amazing feat of shipping, and re-shipping, and re-shipping was EastStreet Motorsports. All in all they shipped me 3 sets of JICs (because JIC USA kept screwing up and sending the wrong parts), two sets of which were overnighted so I'd get them in time for NORPAC.

Me and the a few of the SECCS crew pulled an all-nighter installing the coilovers, and we got them on for the show! Also installed for the show was a Gruppe-S replica STi C/F wing... since it's a replica, it only appears hard to damage.









The JICs have been both wonderful, and a nightmare. On the track or AutoX course they really perform. But on the highway, they tend to hop all over the place like the Easter Bunny on crank. I'm slowly sorting things out... new rear springs are in the mail... suspension ajustments are making it better. I think I can eventually get them to when I want to be, but it's been a lot of work.

After the convention, I dumped the ride height, tossed the camber way over negative, threw on the race tires, and took some of the best pictures I've ever taken of my car.













In addition to the coilovers, I figured it was time for an EcuTek remap to replace the old-n-busted UniChip. I talked to ESX about the remap since they had been so awesome about the whole JIC situation. A trip to L.A. was in order so Super-Trucker (LagnWagn) and I packed up the car on a UHaul trailer and trucked on down to North Hollywood for some dyno time. In addition to the remap, I also installed an Injen intake, and Samco inlet hose... now the stock BOV makes all kinds of noise! To top it off, we stickered up the car for the upcoming AutoX season.











With remap, gone is my MBC, the stupid UniChip hesitation, and CELs! Nothing but smooth power, with more torque earlier in the rpm range!

This is basically where the car is today. It's been a long journey, with hundreds of new friends and experiences along the way. I don't even know how expensive it's been (someone started a rumor that "there's an ESX car running around Reno with over $25,000 into it"... In reality it's much less than $25k) but the money's purchased a lot more than car parts... I've met most of my closest friends because of this quirky little car, and my life has been completely changed for the better because of them.

Ever since the STi came out, I've been constantly fighting the urge to trade up. I think in order to keep myself from selling the WRX, I may end up with a 2.5L shortblock, turbo, I/C, and 6MT in the future. Granted it will cost a lot more than just selling and getting an STi, but I really like my car... it's pretty unique, and has a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it. Plus it's paid for. Car payments suck, and I'd much rather spend more money on the car piece by piece when I can afford it, than to constanly make a payment every month on an STi. If I do keep the car and take it to the next level, I figure a 2.4L or 2.6L Crawford block, STi injectors, VF22, STi intercooler (or a larger topmount), Walbro, and the best tranny ever, the STi 6MT w/ DCCD and all the matching parts for the rear-end. It won't be cheap, but in the end it would rule!

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Originally Posted 1/12/2005:


Update!

Since the original posts, I've added the 332x32mm StopTeck BBK to the front of the car. These are the StopTechs designed for the STi, which means I'm pretty much stuck needing wheels that fit over the STi's brembos. So I went and sold all 3 sets of rims that I had and purchased a set of Enkie RPF1s that clear the brakes in a 17"x8" fitment. These wheels are very light, fairly strong (supposedly they're "semi-forged" like SSRs are), not bad looking, and relatively inexpensive at about $1000 for four. For track days I'm using the StopTech Club-Spec race pads, as they're fairly inexpensive and more than adequate for the speed/weight of my car. I've also got a set of Axxis Ultimates that I'm contemplating using for auto-x and street driving between track days... however, the Club-Spec pads aren't as bad on the street as I expected they'd be, so I might not bother with swapping pads around (and all the bleeding/bedding that goes along with that).

Now, since a set of rims and snow tires that would fit over the new brakes would cost about as much as a winter beater, I decided just to buy a daily driver instead of continuing to compromise on the WRX in an attempt to keep it streetable and driveable in the winter. I lucked out and found a 1994 SVX for a great price, and only had to put about $1000 into it to get the tranny serviced as well as some other odds and ends that needed repair/replacement.

So, since the WRX isn't driven daily, I've gone and stripped some of the "luxury" items out of the car. The auto-dimming mirror got moved over to the SVX, along with the radar detector. I also removed the fog and driving lights, since they're unecessary on the track, and the fog light holes were converted to brake duct intakes. I also removed the sub-woofer, which will find its way into the SVX as soon as I get the time/money to upgrade the stereo in there. The rear seats are also out, since I rarely carry passengers in the WRX, and it's easier to pack all my race-day junk in the car w/o seats. (I'm not kidding myself to believe the removed seats are a significant weight reduction.)

I'm also in the process of buying a US STi 6MT tranny and an R180 rear diff. My car is only putting about 200hp to the wheels right now, so I don't actually need the beefier drivetrain, however, the gear-ratios and better LSDs should make the car far more competative in Solo1/2 even if I don't add power right away. Also, I want to protect myself from damaging the WRX's 5MT since I'd like to swap it into the SVX.

Once the tranny's upgraded. I think I'll probably end up adding fuel, turbo and a larger top-mount to make a bit more power out of the 2.0L. Then in the future go to an STi EJ257 block with some headwork on my WRX heads (think 9k redline muhahah!) and see if I can't put a useable 250-300 to the wheels.

So, here's a pic of the car as it is now (at Thunderhill), hopfully I'll have that tranny in before the next race season begins in April!







Note that I had to run my old Attacks on the rear (mad tight JDM style y0!) since the wider 8" Enkie's were rubbing in the back. I've since rolled the rear fenders, and I don't think that will be an issue any longer... I'll find out the next time I'm at T-Hill I guess.

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Originally Posted in early 2006:


Been a long ass time since this was updated... here's the short version of the last year...

Tranny went in... rear-end/rear brakes swapped... and we tossed a GT30-10 turbo on the 2.0L. Car made around 260awhp, but "acted a little funny" on the dyno, so the power was scaled back to 240awhp in race trim. Then I took the car to the Lovelock Trials and the motor promptly blew up. Next up, EJ257 block w/ ported/polished WRX heads. With the addition of a FMIC and a bunch of other supporting mods, things were looking good, 'till it blew up on the dyno. Enter EJ257 #2, and Gruppe-S who took over the project. Got the problems with the motor resolved, and ditched the GT30-10 for a TD05-20G and added headers in an effort to make more torque w/ a wider powerband. Car's finally coming together, and I think it'll be ready for the '06 race season!



----------
Originally posted around June 2007:


Dare I attempt to update this thread?

*deep breath*

When I started the '06 season, it was painfully evident that the suspension on the car wasn't cutting it. Turns out the rear dampers were done. So, it was time for some double-adjustables. After driving Eric's sweet Tein shod '06 to top PAX at an autocross, I decided that Tein was the brand that suited my driving style. I hooked up a set of Tein Super Race (think beefy DA Tein Flex's). I paid too much for them, but it was a rush to get something on the car in time for a track event, and I felt good that if I was paying too much, at least it was going to the good folks over at C&C who bent over backwards to get them to me and on the car and corner balanced in time for the race. (Thanks Rusty!) The suspension is terrific, however with the added adjustability comes twice as many ways to screw up the settings. It's taken some learning to get them handling good, and I know I still have more tweaking to do to get the car planted through turn 1 at RFR.

The next major change since the last update was the conversion to '05 STi hubs. In the forever quest for more rubber, I decided I wanted the beefier 5x114.3 hubs. That way there are some actual 17x9" wheels for sale w/o having custom 3 piece wheels made, and the hubs will be strong enough to handle the lateral G's of some 255/40/17 R-Compound tires w/o having to be rebuilt every two events. The 6-gun kit seemed like a raging deal, at about $1000... but that doesn't include converting the front suspension lower brackets to '05+ fitment, nor the re-drilling of brake rotors to 5x114.3, or the labor to press the ABS tone wheel adapters on the axles, etc, etc. Plus, you have to of course buy new wheels!

So the hub conversion turned into quite a minor fiasco... so much so, I wouldn't recommend it, unless you've already got access to the suspension lowers. I had to beg Tein to sell me some '05 lowers for my brand new Tein SuperRace's... including sending them a picture of the car to prove it was a "real racecar" and not me just trying to hook up a set of '05's at a lower '04 price or some crap... nevermind they charged me $500 for the lowers. My faith in Tein USA as a company that's willing to support their local racers was quite dismantled. I guess they'd rather be content with selling Flex's to the folks that track only lightly... which makes me wonder why they sell the SuperRace coilovers in the States to being with.

Additionally, the re-drilling of the brake rotors turned out to be more complicated than expected. I was able to get the fronts seating properly, but the rears never cut it... probably due to the low tolerances associated w/ the parking brake drum. Luckily I was able to source some matching grN gravel rear rotors in 5x114.3.

I went with a set of 17x9" 5Zigen FN01RC's in the gay looking hyper-black (that I secretly think looks kinda pimp on a blue WRX) for my race tires. I started w/ some Toyo Proxy RA-1's, but after killing them quickly and not getting a ton of grip (a lot of which probably had to do with too little negative camber) I followed Eric's lead again and got a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cups, which I'm in *love* with. They're fairly expensive, but I've been able to get more track time out of them than the RA-1's 'cause you can run them full-depth as opposed to shaved.

For autocross, I tried being sneaky and getting some 17x9" +45 RPF1's, but it turns out the RPF1's in that size and offset are actually for use on the *rear* of the RX-8. So they've got no bow to the spokes to clear front brakes. I'm left with a set of 4 rear wheels... then realized, hey my WRX and SVX now share wheel fitments! Sure enough, the pussy brakes on the SVX are small enough to fit under the RPF1's, so the daily driver ended up with a set of pimp looking Enkei's, and the WRX inherited some cheap-ass 17x8" A-tech Erasors for autocross duty. The RT-615's in 255/40/17 are a bit gumballed on the 8" wide wheels, but they'll do, since I'd rather not go wheel shopping again just yet.

With the above setup, the car was fast enough to set the fastest lap of the weekend at the SCCA NORPAC Divisional Time Trials Championship, beating all cars in all classes. But not without some drama, as the motor was kinda kaput by the end of the season...

The last motor build lasted about a season... only so much as I was racing with it all season long, but it was never 100% right, and only got worse as the season wore on. The Gruppe-S build seemed good at first, but there seemed to be oil-breather issues related to WRX heads on an STi block under heavy lateral G's. Oil would pump out the valve cover breathers and fill up my catch can(s). Once they were full, that oil would start going into the intake. Oil in the intake = lower effective octane = detonation = blow by = higher crank-case pressure = more pressure blowing oil out the valve breathers = more oil in the intake = a vicious cycle ending in two blown ring-lands by the end of the season.

So, in the off season, the car was back to Hayward... but this time to Mike Warfield's new brain child: GST Motorsports. The motor re-build consisted of forged/coated JE pistons, bottom-end blueprinting and balancing, some used STi AVCS heads rebuilt w/ a valve job and some new springs, and a super-special oil breather can designed for their 25hr T-Hill car. The water injection setup was ditched because the new motor will be run on 100 octane, and WI adds very little to the power over 100 when compared to the complexity of keeping the WI reliably running.

Also, the car made it's way up to Sac to Mike's cage builder for a Showroom Stock legal roll cage in order to comply with the '07 Track Trials regulations. Additionally, a fuel swirl can and Bosch motorsports fuel pump went into the truck to combat fuel starvation on light fuel.

Running this new powerplant is a Hydra ECU. The initial tune put down a little over 300 awhp and a little under 300 awtq. But that's on pump gas, and at about 18 psi. Once this thing's unleashed on 100 octane... well, it should be a bit faster. I just need to get it down to GST again for a few more hours on the dyno.

But even on pump gas, with limited boost, and a "self-enforced" lower rev-limit, the car won it's class at the first '07 Time Trials event. (Actually, it was the 3rd fastest car overall, getting beat by a pair of open wheel formula cars by only about 2 seconds on a 2 minute long course ).

Here's some pictures from the 1st event back from GST (the May 13 autocross)... hopefully some from the track will turn up!








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Originally posted 5/3/2013:


Well, I might as well update this once every 5 or 6 years, so here it goes... but first, here's a visual summary of 2001-2007:



The '07 season was, in a word, expensive. Spent a ton of money getting the car prepped (with the motor/turbo/cage/seats/etc). But the car never really lived up to expectations. There was an odd partial-throttle issue that caused drivability problems, that existed for oh, the next 5 years or so. Mid way through the season, aided the fact that the TD05-20g runs stupid-ass hot on a 2.5L and my refusal to pit when the oil temp gauge is screaming at me, the motor was eventually grinding up a rod bearing.

Now, my memory of the timing of everything here is a bit fuzzy, since I'm updating this like 5 years later... but IIRC, I pulled the motor myself and had the crank ground and the bottom end rebuilt AIMS locally in Reno. At the same time I switched to an FP-Green turbo since I was finally giving up on autocross and could handle the lag and cooler temps of a larger turbo. I reassembled the motor and put it back in the car myself, then headed down to GST to tuning. I was hangin out in Sacramento with Aaron when Mike Warfield called me up to tell me the new motor demolished itself on the dyno during break in. Apparently, you're not supposed to reuse things like oil coolers after a bearing's let go. All those bits of metal can never be cleaned out of them, and they'll make short work of the new bearings in the motor. I learned this lesson after the motor went back to AIMS for inspection. They suggested that it would be more cost effective just to get a new block because the old one would need sleeving since it had been bored to 100mm already and there was cylinder/skirt damage from the gritty oil. Regardless, there wasn't time to salvage the end of the 2007 season. I was finally on my way to a TT-2 championship only to get passed in points at the end and couldn't run NORPAC.

But the season wasn't a total loss, had some good events early on, and that crazy incident where the pace car crashed in front of me.



Disheartened, the car sat for a few months. We ended up buying a house in Feb of '08, so in order to move the car to the new place, I ordered up a fresh shortblock direct from Subaru, and put it in the car myself. Did some cleanup of the car as well... anodized the intercooler and radiator, painted the engine bay, powdercoated the IC piping, painted the roll cage. In general, I needed to freshen up the car so it stopped feeling like such a pile of fail.

Once I had everything together, I was able to move the car under its own power to the new house, and I started the process of breaking in the new block. During the break-in, I went to the track for a test-and-tune to put miles on the motor and had an LCA failure.



Ended up replacing the LCAs with the SPT aluminum arms since they were less than half the cost of the STi arms. Also went back to the full ALK since, like I said, I had given up worrying about staying in SM for autocross. By the time all this was back together, 2008 was over without ever really running the car.

When the 2009 season started up I had the motor broken in, but unfortunately I never really was able to get the tuning right myself. I still had those odd hesitations at partial throttle and ended up with a car that would run super lean at part-throttle around 4000rpm but super rich at full-throttle around 4000rpm. Anything I changed in the maps would help one way, but not the other. I farted around with the tuning most of the summer, and took up being an SCCA driving instructor because I could get out on track even without a working car. Plus, around this time I was tinkering with getting the SVX running in top-shape and could even PDX it now and again. I ran a single track event near the end of 2009 as a driving instructor, even though the car wasn't running great... there was lots of driving around the bad spot in the tune around 4k rpm.



2010 came around. I was still trying to sort out the turning of the car. I thought it was good enough to actually drive the car in anger, so I took it to and autocross. During which I promptly I cracked a ring-land on one of the pistons. Certainly, those '08 blocks were no where near as robust as the earlier STi blocks, but it was detonation due to my tuning issues that most likely was the end of that block.

Now the timing of things gets really hard to remember. I must have sat on the car for most of 2010. Certainly, at that time I was doing crazy stuff like converting the SVX front kunckles to STi parts so I could run StopTechs. Then tracking the SVX w/ nearly a quarter million miles on it. It went and stopped great, but the suspension geometry just wasn't quite right and there were some odd tire scrub issues exiting corners, leading me to eventually abandon the idea that the SVX could be dual duty, and got me back working on the WRX.

By now Matt and Cory had setup KSpeed, and with a local shop to take the car to finally, that's where it went (after tearing the motor down myself in early 2011). The fellas installed some Icon forged pistons, and had the motor back together. Once again, I used the motor being out of the car as an opportunity to switch up turbos again, going with the Element Tuning GT-52... similar power to the Green, less lag. (Not that I ever really drove the car with the Green in the first place. ) By the middle of 2011, I nearly had the motor broken in, when Matt called me to tell me there was a defect in the batch of pistons that went into my car. So, back to KSpeed it went for a new set. On the way home from the shop... a rod bearing spun. Who knows what went wrong during the install and the car immediately ate a bearing upon startup. So, back to KSpeed *again* where it sat for a while before getting rebuild.

I got the car back in early 2012, right around the same time I bought a Miata to have something trackable while the WRX was down. Started the break-in process again, running on the stock ECU in an effort to avoid whatever turning problem the car had a 4k rpm. But, regardless of the ECU or the tune, that lean-spot/hesitation was still there. Back to KSpeed. Matt pounded on it, off and on, for months trying to sort out the source to no real avail. But with a much revised break-in map, the car was back in my hands just in time to park it for the winter. Also while the car was at the shop, Cory put the ARP studs into the rear wheels (I had already done the front), and pulled my fenders. The SVX had been sold, so I was swapping the RPF1's over to the WRX, and they required some spacers to clear the brakes, which required some extra fender clearance.



With the dawn of 2013, I went about breaking it in, yet again. This time the tuning was much improved, but still not perfect. On a whim, (and because I was tired of smelling gas every time I filled up) I re-installed the EVAP line/solenoid. Doing so required me to re-route the FPR boost line away from the single intake runner it was on, to one attached to the center of the intake manifold. Like a light-switch my hesitation issues were solved. Looks like the at low loads, the valves opening/shutting on that single cylinder were fluttering the FPR and reducing my fuel. With the new line attachment point, it was balanced out and no longer screweing with my fuel pressure!

So, that's basically where the car sits today. The motor is broken in and running good (but pretty rich). I just need to turn up the boost and get it tuned, and I think I may be able to get a season out of it for the first time in about 6 years. Just in time to part it out so I can focus on the Miata.





----------
Originally posted 6/25/2013:


Well, after my last track day I had some cooling issues. Water temps were pegging the gauge at over 240F... at least oil temps were under control, never getting over 245F.

Anyway, decided I needed to address some airflow issues with the FMIC/oil cooler/radiator. Picked up a used Kamanari extractor hood. Worked on the under hood/fender aero by blocking off places where air might have been going instead of through the radiator. Replaced the t-stat, and made sure I was running minimal coolant + RP ice. Added fan override switches. I also went back to my S202 replica wing, since it matches the hood... there's no point in trying to fly under the radar with an unpainted fender and a huge carbon hood.

The track day this weekend is probably going to be 100F ambient temps... so even if all this work helps, it probably won't help enough.

Pick of the new hood setup:













If I can get the car over to the shop before the weekend, I'll probably go to some softer springs and lower the ride height since I wasn't bottoming out or rubbing the fenders at the last event. RFR is crazy bumpy these days, so I could use a softer setup.

Oh, and if anyone is interested, I'm probably parting this car out in the off-season this winter. Compared to the Miata, running the WRX is kinda too expensive what with needing twice the fuel, twice the tire, twice the brakes, and me having a 10mo old son now.



----------
Originally posted 1/29/2014:

Just some notes from the end of last season:

That last track day for the WRX saw ambient temps of 104F. At the track, as the day warmed up, I ended up pulling the grill and supertones off the car to help with cooling. I also tested various uses of stick-on foam tape to seal the hood to the radiator. All in all, I was able to get the car down to running flat-out for 3 or 4 laps at a time, with a single cool-down lap able to bring the water temps right back to nominal. Considering how brutally hot/dry/thin the air is, that's not bad. Certainly better than years past where a single hot-lap would heat-soak the oil system.

I did end up softening the springs before the event as well. Moved the 500lb/in rear springs to the front, and installed a set of the 450lb/in H&R springs I had from my old Koni setup on the rear. This softened the car overall, as well as added some rear bias to the car. After driving the Miata a bunch, I'm finally coming around to liking a looser car. I also lowered the car like 1/2" and still had no tire clearance issues... if anything, it looks better.

Unfortunately, I left the memory card for my gopro at home so, no in-car from the track. But I did do a few autocross fun runs with the car at the end of the season:


At this point, I'm calling the car "sorted". Hey it only took 10 years! But seriously, I don't know that there are any more small things I can do to make significant improvements to the car. Perhaps a little better sealing between the FMIC and radiator... or switching back to a TMIC (but that's not a small change). And certainly, tuning the ECU for electronic boost control might help, and there would be some mid-range power gains by going back to the Hydra in order to use the AVCS. But frankly, the car has enough power as-is with just the 18psi on the stock ECU. besides, I don't think I can run more boost without having to address the cooling further... not if I'm running at RFR. I bet this thing would be a champ at thunderhill or seca with ambient air that has some heat capacity.





----------
Originally posted 6/3/2016:

So, after 15 years, the WRX is gone. Having had to park it for most of the last 2 years after moving to Portland, I decided that I've actually moved on from the car, despite still owning it. So, with an offer from a fellow Reno SCCA driver, I decided it was finally time to sell. I loaded it up with all the spares, and hauled it down to Reno to its new owner John (wrxlerate) last weekend. The car was basically in the condition as noted in this thread, so it will be interesting to see where he goes from here with the car.

So, on to the next chapter... I think my Miata needs a supercharger... or it also needs to be sold if theres a chance I can get into a p-car of some sort (Cayman? air-cooled 911?), but that seems maybe a little out of my budget... the Miata is super fun and cheap to operate (assuming supercharged 200whp doesn't suddenly start breaking everything). Either way, I'll need to find something fun to fill the hole left by the loss of a project that I've put more time into than any other thing I've ever worked on.
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Old 2006-03-23, 04:13 PM   #2
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If I may intervene, Scott, you have too much money...
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Old 2006-03-23, 04:16 PM   #3
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If I may intervene, Scott, you have too much money...
The opposite is true. It's all in his car, so what he has a lot of is debt/depreciation.
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Old 2006-03-23, 04:39 PM   #4
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Dean's right... I'm broke!
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Old 2006-03-23, 06:11 PM   #5
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Dean's right... I'm broke!
You need to Pchop the picture with your hands in your pockets!
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Old 2006-03-23, 06:23 PM   #6
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That's a good read. I thought you were cool the first time I met you and you were rolling on 18's, you could have stopped there

It's been fun watching this build. I can't wait to see it run in a couple of weeks.
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Old 2006-03-24, 07:59 AM   #7
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That is an awesome story, I always like you're car, No bullshit approach is always good to me. I'm jealous.
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Old 2006-03-24, 02:08 PM   #8
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If I may intervene, Scott, you have too much money...
No, just way too much time. That was an intense post scott. Nice car tho...
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Old 2006-03-24, 02:11 PM   #9
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No, just way too much time. That was an intense post scott. Nice car tho...
That post is actually like 6 posts copied from my thread on i-club... but since I don't frequent there much anymore, I figured I'd move the thread over here.
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Old 2006-03-24, 02:25 PM   #10
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Dude you're car is sick Scott. Ok that was a joke (YOUR car is sick).
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Old 2006-03-24, 10:22 PM   #11
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Great biography Scott!!!! I can't wait to see it run. I'd still love to get a ride.... maybe I could ride along during one of your autocross runs. I'll try really hard to stiffle the giggles of excitement so you can focus.

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Old 2006-03-24, 10:27 PM   #12
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I heard you got 25 grand in it? Where's the money shot?
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Old 2007-05-21, 07:48 PM   #13
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Bump for update to the world's longest post.
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Old 2007-05-21, 09:13 PM   #14
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Wow! Just Wow! I love that story.
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Old 2007-05-22, 07:02 AM   #15
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Scott, I know a good body man. Been working on Subaru's for about 12 years. LOL.
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Old 2007-05-22, 04:56 PM   #16
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That's a good read. I thought you were cool the first time I met you and you were rolling on 18's, you could have stopped there
Word, he had the best bugeye in Reno then; well not counting all the wrecked ones.
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Old 2007-07-23, 11:38 AM   #17
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How do you like the Tein Super Race coilovers? Did you start out with the Tein Flex? How would you compare the two? Thanks-D
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Old 2007-07-23, 12:16 PM   #18
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How do you like the Tein Super Race coilovers? Did you start out with the Tein Flex? How would you compare the two? Thanks-D
The Super Races are basically double-adjustable Flex's. Their design is pretty much the same, with things just beefed up.

I really like them so far, but I still think I haven't learned enough about setting them up. I think I may want to go to some softer front springs to suck up the RFR bumps a bit better, while reducing understeer. But other than tuning them, I've had zero issues with maintenance (I just wash 'em off occasionally), the lower adjustment knobs have never frozen on me like my JICs did, they came out of the box 49/51 cross weighted at their recommended ride heights, they were a breeze to install, they've got caster/camber top mounts out of the box... really they're a great setup.

My only beef is with Tein USA... after going through a huge hassle to convert my '04 front lowers to '05 with my hub swap, I get the impression that Tein isn't all that interested in motorsports and standing behind their racing products. The folks at Tein Japan seem on the ball, but I don't think that dedication has been exported to the US branch. Compared to folks like Ground Control, Koni, Moton, Ohlin, and DMS... Tein looks like they're in it for the import tuner crowd and not the competition crowd, even though they've got a product that's competitive with the offerings from the rest.
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Old 2007-07-31, 07:26 PM   #19
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Awesome read man! Always loved the bug eyes.
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Old 2007-08-01, 01:36 PM   #20
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If it makes you feel any better then I'll say you are not alone. I've been going through a very similar experience with my Syclone starting out with a "mild mannered" and "civilized" street machine and transforming it into psycho-truck. It's a never ending process in persuit of perfection. Sounds like a Lexus ad?

The only real advantage I see with the STI at this point is the STI chassis is probably more rigid from all the extra reinforcements and spot welds strategically placed in the right spots, but then again you have a full safety structure that adds mega rigidity anyway.
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Old 2007-08-01, 02:17 PM   #21
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If it makes you feel any better then I'll say you are not alone. I've been going through a very similar experience with my Syclone starting out with a "mild mannered" and "civilized" street machine and transforming it into psycho-truck. It's a never ending process in persuit of perfection. Sounds like a Lexus ad?

The only real advantage I see with the STI at this point is the STI chassis is probably more rigid from all the extra reinforcements and spot welds strategically placed in the right spots, but then again you have a full safety structure that adds mega rigidity anyway.
As far as I know, there is no difference in the Impreza vs. WRX vs. STi chassis. Sure the body panels on the WRX and STi are flared at the fenders, and there are differences in the grills/scoops. And the STi has lightweight rear glass... but the unibodies are identical. In fact, due to homoligation reasons, the WRC rally cars actually start out as WRXs not STIs.

And yeah, it doesn't really matter, 'cause there's a cage in there anyway.
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Old 2007-08-01, 09:40 PM   #22
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As a former Evo guy I know for a fact that the unibody on an Mitsu Evo was heavily reinforced compared to the Lancer unibody. So the standard WRX already gets the improved chassis. Didn't know that.

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As far as I know, there is no difference in the Impreza vs. WRX vs. STi chassis. Sure the body panels on the WRX and STi are flared at the fenders, and there are differences in the grills/scoops. And the STi has lightweight rear glass... but the unibodies are identical. In fact, due to homoligation reasons, the WRC rally cars actually start out as WRXs not STIs.

And yeah, it doesn't really matter, 'cause there's a cage in there anyway.
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Old 2007-08-01, 09:52 PM   #23
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I think there's an extra brace to remove when you do steering bushings on an Sti. Obviously the aluminum suspension bits are nice too.
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Old 2007-08-17, 03:01 PM   #24
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Regarding the projector fogs you had before, are they Hella Micro DE's? Was that bulb inside originally yellow? Did you have to take off your bumper to install?
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Old 2007-08-17, 03:04 PM   #25
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Regarding the projector fogs you had before, are they Hella Micro DE's? Was that bulb inside originally yellow? Did you have to take off your bumper to install?
I don't remember, Micro DE sounds familiar... they should be in a box somewhere in my garage, if I come across 'em I'll let you know.

They were originally white, I replaced the bulbs with yellow Osram's.

I don't remember if the bumper had to come off or not... I don't think so.
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