Monday, November 1, 2010

NJMP - Almost into the 1:35's!

There's something very gratifying beating up on 300-320 hp evo's all day, but it's all in good fun! Looks like I was just about into the 1:35's at New Jersey Motorsport Park for the last race of the season. Went all year on one motor, one set of brake pads, one set of rotors, and really only replacing a water pump on the first event of the year (shakedown). I shouldn't of even really used the pump but that's what I get for trying to be cheap.

I've decided that the turbo route is too expensive at this point so I'm going to try to do some additional minor modifications to get the car legal for a Performance Touring class. Not sure if I'll be competitive at all, but I need the experience.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not Lost, Just Busy

So there's much to talk about - Been to a ton of tracks and will finish up the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park at the end of October. I have some winter plans which won't really involve a swap just do to financial constraints, but will involve some work. I'll get some more recient photos up soon. Monticello - Watkins Glen - Etc.

Stay Tuned.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Went out to Pocono for the 4th event of the season. Car's still running well - Was putting down some nice lap times minus the bent rim (rock at the end of the track out curbing). Next step will be brake ducts and forward under-tray - Also would like to fix the darn fuel starvation issues :(

Check out the video below for some in-car around the double infield configuration.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brake Wear?

I'm anal - I know - But when it comes to the track car I think it's a good kind of anal. I like to inspect every bolt on the car after each track day to make sure there are no points of failure. So my first point of inspection after Lime Rock was the brakes... You hear a lot of complaining from the high horsepower cars or heavier cars about brake wear and being that I ran 3 pretty full-out sessions at Lime Rock I figured I'd pull the wheel off and see some destruction...

In fact I saw the opposite - I had virtually no brake wear! This is very nice for a few reasons - 1) I don't need to buy brakes every other track day (save me about 200$ right there... per front set) and 2) I'm not overworking them. I still think I should get some brake ducts (Didn't have them for Lime Rock) just to have a little extra safety - especially on a track like Monticello coming up on Friday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lime Rock

So I had the car up at Lime Rock last Thursday and she really performed well. I was running high 1:04 laps on street tires when I wasn't in traffic... The car can be setup a bit more to get rid of the push at entry and stablize it under braking. After 3 sessions of some pretty good abuse, I have virtually 0 brake wear and tires are still good.

I had a guy come up to me after one of my sessions and ask "So what turbo do you have on this thing?" - My response is... "I don't - it's the stock 2.5". The expression on his face was pricelesss haha.

I did have a small problem with leaking coolant. The car never overheated, but I'm thinking the water pump may be bad due to the previous event at Monticello. I'll take her apart and prep her for ANOTHER trip to Monticello on Friday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weekend Projects

So over the weekend I worked on the RS a bit more. Cut out a bunch of unneeded metal off the front of the car (could cut more, but decided not go nuts just yet). I removed material basically because I wanted to offset the weight added with the addition of the oil cooler and brake ducts.

I Fabbed up some brackets and mounting points for the oil cooler and hooked it up to the thermostatically controlled sandwich adapter I have. used -10 line to keep the restriction down. I had an old steel oil cooler laying around from a previous car. It's not the best cooling but it will get the job done for now. I tried to tap all the brackets to reduce fasteners needed to speed up removal if ever necessary.

I then installed some inlets for the brake ducts. These will be modified over time as they are no where near optimal for flow but they are just temporary to get some air on the brakes in time for Lime Rock. My goal will be to build an inlet using some fiberglass to allow for more aerodynamic efficiency. All in due time...

Friday, June 4, 2010


So it's been awhile since I last posted most because work has picked up a lot.

I've been awaiting my second track event with the RS at Lime Rock - and in preparation I need to install brake ducts and an oil cooler. I ordered up some 3" high temp brake tubing and clamps and will fabricate up some ducts. Stay tuned for the progress:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tow Vehicle

So I've been looking around for a truck for awhile now to use as a tow vehicle for the race car. I've been using my Dad's F250 and I like the truck so I've kept my eyes open for something similar. I eventually found a 97 Diesel F250 which I think will suit towing a littler better. She's old and has her ugly side but she runs strong and the transmission shifts well. Aside from the minor electrical issues I think she will be a good truck once I get the kinks worked out.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Race cars need stickers... I mean come on. So the company I work for decided to sponsor me a bit. Nothing crazy but every little bit helps. I got some decals made up and slapped those babies on the side. My friend Nick from work helped me out (He also owns a family business called Silver Fox Signs).

We applied the decals wet for the most part, soaking the back of the decal with a water/soap mixture. We lined them up and used a squeegee to push out the bubbles and make sure the vinyl was in good contact with the paint. About 30 minutes later we were finished. I think it looks pretty nice.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Thursday night seems like a good night to build an exhaust. So I did. Thank god FedEx got a clue and delivered my mandrel bends on time - without any fuss. (Long story about FedEx and not delivering stuff - for another time.)

The stock exhaust is extremely restrictive and being an off-road, trailered only car, I have no need for items like; catalytic converters, resonators, non-mandrel bent 1.5" tubing. I ordered up some 2.5" mild steel thin wall tubing from Columbia River ( I was passed to that site by a friend awhile back - they offer good consistent products for good prices. I also had to run to Napa to get a 10' strait section of pipe which would of been killer on shipping.

So the goal with all my exhausts is mainly to make them as short and as strait as possible to maintain flow and reduce turbulence. The downside is I have to mate it to my aftermarket axle back for those tracks with noise restrictions. I'm going to add a little strait pipe to bypass the muffler for all the rest.

I started with the largest strait section first, putting it on jack stands trying to get it as close to the body as possible. The transmission cross member required me to jog it out a little and then make a hard 90 back into the header. I cut a few 45 degree bends at strategic points and joined them with pie cuts (cuts of a mandrel corner). At the tail section I made a small jog just to locate the main strait section to the rearward flange to mate with the stock axle back. Top it off with an o2 sensor bung and called it a night. (My dog felt the need to try to clean my new exhaust... sigh)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Decided to throw on some yellow vinyl overlays on my headlights... This really serves two purposes - 1) It counts as "Taping your headlights". A lot of racing/HPDE clubs will have you put tape over glass headlights to keep the shrapnel down if you were to hit someone or something. The overlay is like one big piece of tape. 2) The yellow hue allows me to be seen a lot better in the rain or in low light situations. If I ever race in rain, fog, humid summer day... whatever - I'll be able to let the driver in front of me know I'm there.

The installation was kind of crude. I used a heat gun to stretch the vinyl over the headlight and sprayed the back adhesive with some water to give me a little time to position/push out the bubbles. It was a little tedious and didn't come out perfect but I'll make due.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cage Padding

Installed my roll bar padding last night. Stuff cost me an arm and a leg but it's required by safety regulations to have it. Bad part is, since I have to have an instructor as I run with these new clubs, I need to have it installed on both the driver and passenger sides of the car... so $300+ later, I have the padding...

The install was pretty strait forward. I used the 1" SFI certified high density padding and just cut it to length with a hack saw and notched where the padding crossed pipes with a 2" hole saw. I started with the longest pieces first. All the straits with minimal overlap of other pipes - so the a-pillar tubes, top door bars, rocker bars, etc. Then I worked from longest to shortest to make sure I was using my padding resourcefully. There are a lot of bars in this cage, haha. and even with 40 feet of padding, I still had to cannibalize some extra from my endurance car.

I secured the padding with black zip ties that were included in the package (they are horribly dry and brittle, but I made it work). I'll most likely replace them down the road with a thicker zip tie to get a tighter fit.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Action Shots

Finally found some pictures from the SCCA Auto-X on the 11th. These aren't the best and I'm working on getting some video, but they work. Interestingly enough they do show the full body roll on both images as I'm hard into a corner - virtually none haha. I've been thinking about coming down in the rear about another 1/2 inch, but I'll 1) need to wait until RaceComp sends me my new springs and 2) see the other side of the body roll (fully compressed) to see if I'm too close to the fenders.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Side Windows

So over the weekend I put in some temporary lexan side windows mainly for transporting the car. I bought some C channel aluminum, screwed it to the inside of the door and set the lexan down in. When you close the door you can tuck the lexan under the weather stripping to make a fairly water tight seal. I may have to apply a bit of tape to the vertical face at the rear of the window just to make sure it is sealed and doesn't fly off during towing. Still trying to diagnose why my damn STRI oil pressure gauge won't work - I think the sensor has failed which really frustrates me. But I guess that's part of it haha.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nice to come home and...

...see new parts on the table! - My D-Ring kit came (for the Hans) and my wide, 17" rear view mirror. I've used these mirrors before on my endurance car and they are awesome. You almost don't even need side mirrors as they let you see almost 2 lanes to the left and right. New Jersey Motorsports Park isn't going to work out - I was on the waiting list and no one canceled (despite the impending rain...) Oh well - Next event will be an Auto-X next weekend then on to Monticello in NY first week of May.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First Race

So I dropped her off the jack stands and took her for a spin in the driveway. She works! - No additional problems, actually sounds a lot quieter than I expected (with solid bushings). Eagerly anticipating my Sunday deadline I washed her up and made some minor tweaks to interior. I put my race numbers on the side and pulled her on the trailer.

5am on a Sunday is not my ideal time to wake up but I was very excited. a 2 hr drive up to Devins Air Force Base was pretty quick seeing Jeff and Todd were "late". They tended to motivate my right foot a little.

Despite the horrid SCCA format for their auto-x and the 6 hours of waiting around I did before I ran the car - oh my word did the car handle. I had a few people ask me "Is this on slicks?" (It's not by the way, haha.) The turn in on the car is ridiculous - not like any Subaru I've ever driven. It's very neutral and rotates on command. The motor held together after being beaten off the rev limiter a few times and feels very, very strong. The power band feels very linear and I caught myself wondering where I was on the tach just because the TQ was so sustained.

Needless to say I'm a happy camper. Now we prep for New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Clean Up

Last night I just spent some time working on my short list of "things left to do". I fastened the fuel and brake lines to the chassis and pulled them away from the driver/passenger's legs. On the fuel side I separated the main high pressure line from the return/vent lines just for the heck of it. Figured it would reduce any wear/breaks. I then moved to securing the interior wiring harness. Wrapped a a lot of the exposed parts in electrical tape and fastened it to the chassis. I also modified the seat bracket for the drivers seat to move it a bit closer to the pedals and bought some grade 8 hardware. Fixed the trim and I picked up my newly painted hood elements and fog covers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another Late Night

So I'm down to the short list - tied up a lot of loose ends last night. Jack came over again and helped dial in the alignment now that the suspension bits are properly adjusted and modified. WRX axles were added to the rear (I was maxing out the RS axles). I laid out the harnesses to map out where I want to run them and reassembled the steering column electronics (headlights and wipers). I cleaned up the engine bay adding the timing belt cover and fabricating up a bracket to hold the power steering reservoir. Now I have to buy a few more minor things (trunk gasket, rear view mirror, bulbs for the brake lights, etc.)

Oh and you have to have a race dog :P

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Note to self - "When raising the rear sub frame up - check to make sure things aren't going to be crushed due to lack of room!" - Last night I fixed up the brake line that broke. I had to drop the rear sub frame and remove the passenger side straps off the gas tank just to replace this hard line. The issue was when I raised the sub frame up 1/4 inch or so, I neglected to see there was a brake line run in a very tight area between the frame and sub frame. I ran a new line (with the help from Doug - he loves coming over and removing/installing sub frames) and put everything back where it was.
After everything was bolted back up I figured, what the hell it's 1am anyway, why not install the rear Lexan window. Done and done... Now I need to figure out how to attach the stock trim pieces...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dialing in

So my time on Sunday was spent "getting" the car aligned - well it didn't work out as well as I would have hoped. We ran into some snags in terms of tire clearance and such so I brought her home and started to fix the issues. Jack from EFI Logics swung by to give me a hand.

The biggest pain in the butt was the rear springs - RaceComp Engineering gave me a 6" 340 in/lb rate rear setup with a helper that compresses to about 1 3/8" - I needed about 2" of extra clearance on the inside of the tire to be able to move the wheel under the fenders appropriately. We removed the helper and jacked up the springs and got the room we were looking for. After the spindle/strut was set, we set the camber plates to the middle (to give me adjustability out and in) and then shortened up the lateral links to pull the bottom of the tire under the car. Very effective - Jack really knows his stuff. (And I might add - Myles from RaceComp was VERY understanding about my situation and is going to ship over new springs/helpers to fix the clearance issue - Thanks!)

Moving to the front the camber plates I installed add caster when you add camber. Although that's nice - I think it will hurt adjustability on the track. We decided we'd just re-drill the strut towers to the "GD" style which allowed me to mount the plates where they will only add/remove camber without effective caster at all.

And then to top it off - I made my nice ABS plastic insert to mount the gauges :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

8 hours of sleep in 3 days

This weekend was nice, warm temps, sunny - and without sleep for me. I pulled an "all-nighter" Friday into Saturday trying to prepare for an alignment at EFI Logics in Bethel, CT. So besides the exhaustion - I made quite a bit of progress on the car.

First and foremost the engine runs! By 4am Saturday morning I was able to modify some Ebay stainless steel headers to extend them past the turbo cross member. The work was a little "rushed" but it came out ok. The headers are very low now so I may end up raising them up another 1/4" to 1/2" but I need to be sure they don't rub on the cross member and cause false knock readings. After cranking the motor for about 20 minutes to lube everything up - I connected the engine electrical and hit the juice - Bam started up within 2 cranks - perfect. Runs good, no weird noises - The car drives - but I still need to do a bit of work on a broken brake line which is 1) a hard line and 2) ABOVE the rear cross member (uggggg....).

Installed some hood pins to eliminate the hood latch and assembly off the nose of the car - Boy was that nerve racking at 6am drilling into my JDM Aluminum v6 hood. Once I figured out where the holes go it was cake from there. the biggest pain in the butt is just getting it all to line up properly.

After all said and done I pulled the car out of the garage and got 50 feet before a maxed out a rear axle and caused the diff to lock up hard. I had to remove the rear axles just to move the car on the trailer. Once loaded we were off to EFI to get the car aligned.

At EFI I noticed a scraping noise coming from the rear which was accompanied by 5 guys saying "Wow this car is hard to push, is the e-brake stuck?" Turns out I grabbed bolts for the rear calipers which were about 1/16" too long... I'll blame it on my delirious, sleep deprived state. Once fixed, we rolled the car up on the lift and Jack proceeded to fix her up. (also had a front windshield installed while I was there).