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Unread 08-01-2012, 05:54 PM
Fair!'s Avatar
Fair! Fair! is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Default Re: Brianne Corn's Pike's Peak Subaru STi

Project Update for August 1, 2012: Wow, started writing this Monday and I'm still writing it on Wednesday. Its been a crazy week. The Subaru arrived back from AWD Tuning on Tuesday the 31st, who had it for 3 days sorting and tuning the new motor they built. I am not allowed to share the power numbers until after the race, other than to say it makes "plenty of horsepower" with the conservative tune necessary to complete the grueling PPIHC event. With no car to wrench on our guys here at Vorshlag took the weekend off (much needed!) but got back to work Tuesday morning, after it returned to Vorshlag. Let's get caught up from the last week of work.

More Plumbing and Thermal Protection Updates

Even after my last July 23rd thread update there was still a bit more plumbing to do. The engine bay had a factory late model STi plastic coolant expansion/fill tank, but that made us a tick nervous. It also was plumbed with hoses using worm gear clamps, which Pirtek wanted to change to use threaded ends. We found an aluminum Moroso expansion tank that looked pretty good. When it got here a few modifications were made and this new coolant expansion / overflow /whatever tank was mocked up in the car, as high as possible. Brackets were made to bolt it to the LH strut tower, then another threaded aluminum bung was TIG welded onto this tank (after it was machined down to a reasonable size on the lathe). The modified tank was then mounted and coolant lines plumbed to the radiator and turbocharger, with lines made by the guys at Pirtek. There's an overflow line (tied into the radiator's puke line) if the cap over-pressures as well. The high mounted location of the axillary tank makes the coolant (water only) system that much easier to fill and purge of air. Its also now metal instead of plastic, and has threaded connections instead of clamped.

Below are some shots of more plumbing work, start with the two -6 braided stainless lines and Red Horse bulkhead connectors and end fittings for fuel. These two lines run inside the car (protected from being ripped off by under car debris) along a protected part under the cage, then snake behind the dash and come out through the center of the firewall, away from any heat source.

Some more of our heat insulation solutions are shown below. The main source of heat is, of course, the turbo. It now has a form fitted thermal blanket and the downpipe is fully wrapped in ceramic header wrap.

An picture of the custom oil cooler heat shield is shown below. Here you can see the oil cooler feed and return lines routing very near the (wrapped) exhaust header primaries. A stainless steel heat shield was fabricated with an air gap to the exhaust and also has a shape to keeps these lines routed smoothly away. These two lines have since been wrapped in thermal sleeving and a reflective thermal barrier film was applied to the heat shield on the top side. Next to that picture is a shot of the stock clutch salve cylinder. The OEM "Clutch Delay Valve" (CDV) has been removed and the clutter of 3 OEM hard and soft lines has been replaced by a single Teflon-lined, stainless braided, BrakeQuip hydraulic hose, custom made at Pirtek Plano South. This new clutch line will be also be wrapped in thermal sleeving, as this line was thought to be the culprit behind the mysteriously missing clutch actuation about 2/3rds of the way up the mountain in Brianne's 2011 PPIHC run. No clutch = no smooth shifts. Hopefully this thermal management will prevent this issue from cropping up this time up the mountain.

Other Fab and Prep Work

To work with various thickness wheel spacers, some extra long ARP wheel studs were installed in both the front and rear hubs. With the rear hubs removed it was obvious the bearings were shot, so those were pressed out and new bearings went back in. When the Subaru arrived here it had a full-sized battery (35+ pounds) in the OEM location, way up front. A new Odyssey AGM style battery was picked, a new mount fabricated in aluminum, and it was all bolted to the trunk floor way in the back, for better weight balance. All new 0-gauge cables were made with swedged ends. All new wiring was made to the new fuel pumps, with isolation relays, as well.

Another custom fabricated part shown before is now painted red - the strut tower brace and oil cooler mount. The engine oil and trans/diff fluid coolers are shown mounted and fully plumbed. This was one of the most well received parts of the build so far, which was surprising. It is pretty simple fabrication work, but everyone that's seen it first hand loves it. No, this won't be some production piece we make to sell, as it is completely custom made set-up specific to: this turbo, this intercooler, and these two oil coolers.

One little area to fix we ran into was a cut apart lower radiator core support, done by a previous owner way back down the line. This is a structural piece that was an easy fix for Ryan. He cleaned off the paint, stitch-welded the cut metal back together and then patched a larger opening with a bent piece of steel sheet. Once it was all tied back together it was painted black and the FMIC was then put back into place in front of it.

After many more late nights and long hours the car was finally plumbed up, the fender flares were far enough along to fit the 18x10" wheels, and the wiring was done. It was time to fire it up... VROOM! It ran, but had a miss, but nothing leaked a drop - which was a minor miracle considering the complete plumbing replacement done by Pirtek. Our guys quickly diagnosed a misfire on both rear cylinders, but it was intermittent and we couldn't see what we had done wrong. Turns out it was a fuel injector harness that was pinched on both rear cylinders when we switched to the billet fuel rails. There's more to it, but long story short, AWD Tuning figured it out and got the motor running smoothly.

The car was loaded onto the trailer at Vorshlag Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm. JasonM left here to tow the car across town to AWD Tuning and promptly had two blowouts on a borrowed trailer. One of our shop guys took him a spare, tools and jack and they limped the trailer on 3 tires to a local Discount Tire store, purchased 2 new trailer tires, and was outta there by 6 pm. The car finally made it to AWD Tuning on Friday night...

14 Pieces of Flare

After the tuning professionals at AWD Tuning did their magic, making huge improvements in power and engine smoothness, we got the car back to Vorshlag late Monday night. Tuesday morning we all came in and got back to work, with fender welding underway by 9:10 am. Its been late nights since then but much progress has been made.

Here's where we are at the moment on the rear flares. Most of this is Ryan's handiwork, with some assistance from Cameron on grinding, cutting patch panels, and holding things in place while welding.

Below you can see the under-fender patch work that is involved with any rear fender flare job that alters the unibody tub for wide tire clearance at full bump. Cutting, patching, welding, hammering, seam sealing, painting. Not glorious work anyone will ever see. Using the patches Ryan and Cameron had made I tack welded these in place this morning before the gang arrived. MIG welding is fine for these panels (great, since I personally can't TIG weld), which have a bit of an overlap to the chassis panels (for strength and ease of welding). We'll grind the welds down a bit and smear every line with seam sealer, than paint it.

The inspiration for these box flares came from our little E30, which sold last weekend. Left rear fender work shown at its first stages below also.

Here's more of Ryan's work, showing how he tied up the rear of the fender sections back into the body. Cameron with the assist.

Still have a lot of grinding to do, plus my least favorite - body filler and paint. Gonna come in early tomorrow and get crackin!

Suspension Updates

As I mentioned before, AST USA really hooked up Brianne on a killer set of inverted struts. The fronts are regular off-the-shelf 5100 single adjustables with 45mm chrome shafts. The rears are actually called 6100s, which are 50mm shaft inverted rally struts. Normally for a car being used in an event like this we would custom order a complete set of 6100s, but with a very short time frame we were happy to get this set-up on the car. After a call was made to Swift Springs they stepped up with a nice sponsorship and 20 springs are on hand for testing and set-up before race day.

With the dual-spring set-up on the AST strut below you can see how much travel is available on the car now. This is crucial for tarmac rally events like this. Running a single short spring, like you would in a road race setup, won't allow the extended strut to have any spring tension in droop. Also shown below are 8 fresh Hoosier A6s from Hoosier Tire, another sponsor of Brianne. These will be used for qualifying and on race day mounted to two sets of Vorshlag/D-Force 18x10" wheels (a whole new pallet of these arrived at the shop today).

We still need to install the Kartboy end links from TurnInConcepts on the front swaybar, corner balance and align the car.

Exterior Work

After fighting with the existing sanding tools I already owned (DA sander, inline sander, and a couple of small sanding blocks) I finally broke down and bought a complete set of Dura-Block flexible sanding blocks. These 7 pieces gave me round, flat, and other shapes of dense foam sanding blocks of several lengths to use to get better results when shaping the body filler and finish putty on long flat surfaces, inside curves, and other odd shapes on the front fenders. After a some early mornings of making a mess of the shop before the crew arrived I got the front fenders good enough for some high build primer, and moved on. Rear fenders are tomorrow...

The factory titanium silver whatever color paint doesn't photograph well, and we were making a mess of the finish with all of our box flare efforts. Since we're out of time for proper paint it was decided by the crew chief and driver to wrap the car in basic red vinyl and put white graphics over that. After a little experimentation it seems to be working, with a wet layup, stretching and heat gun use. The color was inspired by our 2011 Mustang GT, shown here.

That's all I've got for now. If I keep writing I'll keep taking pictures of work happening right now and this will never get posted.

Until next time...

Last edited by Fair!; 08-01-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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