Monday, June 16, 2014

Grip Gained, Power Lost, and Plans Made

The Project car, a 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe, made two things clear at yesterday's Rallycross event hosted by the Nebraska Region SCCA.  First, these tires dig in like nothing I've ever experienced in a car before!  They were an obvious game-changer for this car!  However, because they did so fantastic, they highlighted a long-standing issue this car has had since the project was started: power.  The fantastic grip from the Michelin competition rally tires was too much for the hurting motor under the hood.  All the more reason to push forward with plans to rebuild the engine in the downtime until the next Rallycross in September.  This will be the most extensive and time-consuming work performed on the car, but because there's such a long gap until the next event, there's time to potentially get a lot done.

In the wake of this recent event, the engine build has jumped to the top of the list.  We're already gathering parts needed to build a new motor for the RS.  At the core is a short block with 120k miles on it from a 1999 2.5 RS.  It's the identical motor, only in MUCH better shape, that's already in the RS.  New heads for this motor are being sourced and, from there, we'll have a complete motor to build off of.  The Project car will remain non-turbo, which has surprised a few folks.  Cost savings aside, with this car being prepped for Rallycross, there's a lot of potential to make a powerful motor with immediate power as well as keep things simple and reliable.

Adjustments also need to be made to the suspension and body to accommodate the beefier rally tires.  Camber Bolts can probably solve most of the issues, but some fender rolling might be in order, too.  Luckily, the rust in the rear quarters has already started preparing for that!  The KYB Excel-G Struts with Group N Top Hats are still new, so I'm not too worried about the big suspension items in the car.  It's mostly space in those wheel wells I'm concerned about.

Well, it's time to quit playing in the dirt and gravel with this machine and start some REAL work on it!  Should be a fun build!

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