Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Last night I started working on the Lexan windows. It's a bit more work than I expected mostly because I only have a pair of metal shears to cut the stuff. Luckily, it's only 1/16" thick so it's not too bad. I used a cardboard template of the glass window to start my cutting. I added about 1/4" to the outside of the template for some wiggle room, but found I didn't need it in the end. It was extra cutting, but adding material is always the hard part when you cut something too short haha. The fitment is ok, nothing spectacular, but I think it will look ok when I put the trim back in and seal it down. I fastened it with some self tapping, hex head screws which I popped right into the metal window frame in the body. 1 down - 4 to go.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Window Net, Sunroof, and Roll Center

Last night was wet... of course... But I did have a good visit from Sean. He came over to finish a few pieces of the cage. Primarily, he was assembling the window net brackets. I won't need it right away, but I figure what the heck - might as well have it there for when I need it. The process went fairly smoothly from what I heard/saw - we will need one other little piece to the net to make sure it drops away quickly in an accident. Today's task will be to try to find a place around here who sells 1/4" thick flat stock steel for the seat brackets.

While Sean was swearing at the window net, I took the time to uninstall my stock ball joints/tie rod ends and install the new roll-center kit I purchased. Even with the Tarmac 2 ride height set to "normal" the a-arms do sit a bit higher than horizontal which alarms me. I want to keep the suspension as flat as possible to reduce binding. This system should lower the ball joint and keep the arm flat - same principal with the tie rod end.

After all the fun - I brought Sean back to DSX and he cut me up a nice piece of aluminum for the roof to cover the sunroof hole. Sean built a pattern

Monday, March 29, 2010

I hate painting

So it seems like it would be easy right? Just slap some paint on the cage and be done with it. I wish.
I spent a good 5+ hours so far prepping and priming the cage and other bare metal pieces on the chassis. As I mentioned in previous posts, I didn't like building cages due to my lack of patience, same goes for painting them haha. I do need to make sure this very expensive asset doesn't get eaten by mother nature though, so I endured. I'm using a flat black primer on pretty much everything for now. A lot of the interior will be gray, but flat black is a good alternative so I can protect the items, reduce the glare, and not have to worry about putting 50000 hours into paint work. My buddy who has a paint booth offered to help - I think I'll take him up on it haha.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back from Houston

Week delay is due to my job - I guess I have to continue to earn an income while I blow it all on this car right? Anyway - started to prep and paint the cage - Doug came over and was scrubbing away with a rough scotchbright pad. I'm going to do the floor and the majority of the cage with a gray and the rest and critical "reflective" points (Rear deck and A-Pillars) in a flat black. I also need to fix all the holes in the floor - another excuse to use my plasma cutter! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Paint and Window Prep

I started to put all the goodies in the motor and get ready to start it up - then I realized... I don't have a steering column! Ah well, I'm dumb - and I didn't feel like hot-wiring the car on initial start up so I moved to putting some of the minor components back in.

I wanted to put the peddle box back together so I could have a clutch and such - but I realized, if I do that - I can't paint the floor. So - I grabbed some flat black Rustoleum "Rust Converter" paint and went to town. I prepped the surface with a scotch bright pad and cleaned it up with some acetone. after I was sure it was fully evaporated and dry, I sprayed on the paint then installed the peddle box.

At the same time I had the paint out I figured, what the hell - Might as well paint the window frames where I messed them up using the braided wire. I masked off a nice area around making sure to keep the paint off the main body and went to town. I figure when I install the Lexan it will almost appear to have a smoked look like the stock windows (from afar anyway).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"It's In!"

McLovin' said it best - It's In! - Doug came over and helped me throw the engine in last night. Took 10 minutes to mate it to the bell housing... So why did it take all night? Well - 1) Timing belt covers were wrong - tried to pull some off my other motor, no beans. Then it took is 3 hours to find the damn box of sensors (Crank Position) which was sitting in the back of the RS the whole time. Sigh.

Ah well, it's in and bolted down - It's starting to look like a car now. I just hope she starts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Productive Night

So last night was a lot more productive - Jeff and Doug came over to press in/out some bushings for Doug's Evo which kind of inspired me to keep working. I ended up doing a few things including power washing the engine bay, installing all the struts, starting on brakes, rolled/flared the fenders and getting pretty close to a finished motor.

The engine bay was really filthy and I was hoping to have enough time to repaint it. I'm quickly running out of time so I figured, screw it - I'll just try to get it as clean as I can with the power washer. Surprisingly it came out exceptionally well - I really forgot how white this car is haha. "Purple Power" + Power Washer (and a little elbow grease) = clean!

After I pushed her back into the garage I lifted her back up and proceeded to remove the wheels and roll/flare the fenders. This really sucked because the drivers fender lip is rusted to hell so of course no matter how much I heated the paint, it chipped. I figure I'll deal with it next year. It will be an eye sore for now, but whatever. Race car's don't have to be pretty right?

After I got bored/frustrated with trying to get the brake lines to fit up properly - I moved over to the motor. I finally dug up some of the intake manifold bolts and threw her back on. As soon as I can find my crank positioning sensor and get the timing belt covers from Subaru, she'll be on her way back in.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Slow goings last night. I started to install the sensors into the galley plugs and broke one off.. great. I don't think I was over torquing it but whatever... I'll buy a new one.

So moved on to working with the suspension - put the spindles back in with the axles, bolted up the new RCE Tarmac 2's and reconnected all the front components. I still need to do small stuff like add the cotter pins to the castle nuts and such, but it all went together fairly easily.

I also mounted up my JDM bumper beam and fit up the front bumper. I think I'm going to have to invest in some type of latch or quick connect/disconnect for the bumper to get the car on and off the trailer easily. Also, I've cut so much crap out to save weight there really isn't anything keeping the bumper in place other than 2 plastic clips haha. I'll figure something out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Front Torqued - Rear Sway On

Got my Cusco rear sway to mount - Took a little modification of the mounting plates but it's on and ready to go - I may have to do something different with the end links or maybe even hack off the ends and weld new ones on but we'll see. The bar doesn't like to work well with the adjustable lateral links. Ah well.

Also, took some time and swapped out the RS steering rack for the WRX one and made sure to replace the rack bushings with some Whitelines. I didn't get time to mount the new coilovers, but I torqued down all the suspension components otherwise. After that was done I bolted down the fenders and headlights/side markers to make sure it all lined up (still). Hopefully tonight I can get the rest of the suspension on and start rolling the fenders. If Subaru has my parts - Ill get that darn motor together.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

FedEx Lady!

Today - After watching F1 qualifying of course - I was visited by the FedEx lady carrying two large boxes. Excited, I quickly opened them to find my RaceComp Engineering KW Variant 3's! 400/340 spring rates with duel way adjustability.

After I unwrapped the suspension I started to get back to work on the engine. I had to run to Sears Hardware and buy some new allen key bolts to replace the very corroded/stripped ones I had to drill out. After getting all the hardware, I put both the cams in, adjusted the valve clearances and started the final "buttoning up". I'm going to put the motor in without the intake on it for now as I'm still waiting on parts from Subaru (bah). Tomorrow I'll see if I can get the steering rack swapped out and the rear Cusco Swaybar installed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Tonight I spent a few hours assembling the motor a bit more. Put the timing belt pulleys/stuff on along with the 08 STI Oil Pump. Threw the stock water pump on but with a new thermostat. Put the rest of the oil pan stuff on as well - although I had to modify a few things to support the 08 STI oil pickup. EFI had a STI oil pan laying around which I had the machine shop clean up so I could use it (More baffling for the win).

After that, I started cracking into the heads to change out the cams. I'm a little annoyed with the Northeast Auto and Machine for their "cleaning" of the heads. When I removed the rockers, there was so much gunk and excess oil behind them. I really wish they had disassembled the heads to clean them - or at least offered it to me for a bit more money. Would have taken it. Anyway - Had to drill out a few of the bolts holding the retainer plates on the heads - I hate corrosion.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Engine Reassembly

Reassembly in progress! - Finally got around to putting assembling the motor. Took forever to get it back from the machine shop for one, two - bearing availability is scarce (Thanks Economy) - and three... well - Not a lot of available time heh.

The basic block assembly is pretty simplistic as long as the machine shop did their job correctly. I made sure to check the bearing tolerances and oil clearances prior to assembly with some plasti-gauge. Turned out to have rod bearing oil clearance of about 1.5 thousandths or so. With that - Added some assembly lube and went to town. Placed two pistons in the bottom case half first with rods attached and used it as a "base". After those went in I placed the first halves of the mains in and set the crank down (making sure to place the other two rods on the crank first).

Once it seated properly I put the other mains on the alternate block half and set that down on the first making sure the rods pushed up into the appropriate cylinders. Spinning the crank I lined up the rods/pistons and knocked in the pins and made sure to place the retainer clips back on.

From there it's pretty much done - torque everything down on the block and start buttoning it back up in reverse order as we took it apart. I've come to appreciate the heavy lifting the
machine shops do.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Paint Work

Junior was nice enough to hook me up some some paint work on the odd colored panels of the car. I had to replace the door and fender due to some previous body damage but the blue/black on white combo wasn't very attractive. Junior did a great job for what I gave him (basically spray it and go - don't worry about fixing dents and such). Even though the paint would be appropriately blended to other panels if it was a street car - a few decals and some brake dust will mask the disparity.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cage Completed

Sorry for not updating for the past week or so. Been super busy and also took a little time to head to the mountain for some snowboarding.

Sean from DSX completed the roll cage and I picked her up yesterday. He added in a cross in the roof, brace from the rear plate to the bottom of the main hoop, and tied the strut towers together. The welds came out extremely well. Even the MIG welded plates look awesome. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking: