Monday, July 6, 2009

Bad Wiring Phantom Guy... Grrr

So over the weekend we made some additional progress with gutting the car. We needed to remove the dash to get at all the crap behind it (Heater Core, Blower, AC junk, etc.). We still haven’t decided how we want to proceed with the dash, but I believe we’re leaning towards a aluminum sheet metal flat dash. Something similar to a Nascar style.

We removed the remainder of the trunk interior and insulation before moving on to mounting the new door and side mirror. Every piece of covering we remove has a chance of uncovering some gremlins. We’ve already identified a few areas of very minor body rust we will need to repair. Luckily, most of the rust is localized to spots where we can just cut the metal out without even having to weld in new pieces. An example would be on the inside of the trunk where a weather strip sits to prevent water from coming into the car. So far we haven’t found anything structurally compromising (Thank god).

So to get to the title – Bad Wiring Phantom Guy – Curse you. We had to remove and re-wire a botch job on a car alarm. There were random, non electrical taped connections as well as they had the unit integrated into the ignition as a “lock out” for any potential thieves. All I have to say is thank god it wasn’t the cause of an electrical fire – because that’s where it was headed, haha.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Ok - been a week or so since I last posted. We've been trying to source some new wheels, tires, and brakes. The problem has been sizing. We need something that can fit over a 4 pot front brake but also is small enough to keep the unsprung weight/rotational mass low. That being said - I've been trying to find a buyer for my 17x7.5 SSR Comps but I think they will be ideal for our needs.

We're moving towards using a 245 wide tire for the remainder of the season and next season - Any more will require extensive fab work to widen the fenders. Still, 245 meats are going to need a little hacking to get the job done and will squeeze onto these 7.5 wide SSR's just fine.

Moving along - I sourced some used G-Forces which we'll use for the time being to test fit and be able to roll the car once we bolt up the brakes. I also think they will be pretty good for a few Auto-X days. The previous owner blistered them very bad so I wouldn't trust them on a track - free is a nice price though. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So what do we do...

We're debating - Keep the dash - Get rid of the dash... Personally, I think get rid of the crap and sell it to put some cash back in the car fund. But - What do we do after it's gone?

Here are a few of our options:
  • Painters tape over the existing dash and lay a thin layer of fiberglass and resin.
  • Remove the dash and build a custom dash out of a "net" or "skeleton" of balsa and hot glue. and glass over it.
  • Aluminum sheet metal.
  • Zip tie the cluster to the dash beam and race it!!! (ya I'm sure tech inspection would approve that, haha).
  • Get some thin PVC type material, heat gun it, and shape it into what we want - lay some glass over that.
There has to be at least 40-50 lbs in the dash, heater core, AC crap, and blower. Not to mention the random brackets and airbags.

Feel free to comment, we need some ideas!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finishing Up

So last weekend we finished up the front end body work. Tacked in the new panels and primed them up. Everything lines up perfectly... other than the radiator brackets which totally confuses us... maybe the piece was stamped wrong? - Anyway - That can be a quick fix with Kris' TIG Welder and some Aluminum :)

The tacking and seam welding went very smooth and was easier to align than expected. I guess that can be attributed to the minor damage up front.

Once we finished we moved to removing the interior. It all came out easily and we made sure to preserve each piece for resale down the road. Next step will be removing all that sound deadening - Ugg - Dry Ice here we come...


Well - Opportunity presents itself - I think I'll take advantage. A local friend of mine came across a EJ205 (US 2.0L Turbo motor) out of an 2005 Subaru WRX. We picked up the ECU, Wiring Harness and motor (bad short block - spun rod bearing) along with the stock radiator, fans and other goodies. The seller had his car totaled when a tree feel on it (Sorry Junior!) but he was able to help us out with costs. - If we end up preparing this car for NASA ST-2 Classification, we're going to need a little more power than the stock 2.5 naturally aspirated motor.

Step 1: Body Work

On the 15th of June, we started working on the structural body work. The front end came apart a lot quicker and easier than we originally thought. We put in about 4 hours worth of work to take out the damaged Radiator Brace and passenger front sheet metal. We had to straighten out the mounting points for the fenders but all it took was a few hundred whacks with a hammer :)

We had to drill out about 50 spot welds and use a metal chisel to pull the damaged panels away from the frame. Once that was done - we cleaned up the metal and made sure it was all ready for the new pieces to be welded in.

While we had the whole darn thing apart - we figured it wouldn't ever get ANY easier to do a timing belt and water pump. So we did.

The Beginning !

So the ultimate goal of this blog is to keep both a log of our personal progress and build history, but also as a user guide for those who have interest in a similar project down the road.

So we found our Subaru 2.5RS shell at a local auto auction for around 1400$. The reason for the low price was it has a salvaged title and accident damage to the front passenger side. The research we did on the chassis revealed it had been in an accident with a truck, localizing the damage above the frame.

Closer inspection - we found the frame is straight, motor unhurt (besides the cracked timing belt covers and bent power steering pulley, haha). Cosmetic wise, she's hurt - but nothing we can't fix! (Plus... race cars don't need to be pretty, do they?)

Pictures as of the beginning (Project Started: 6/15/09)