taparsons
taparsons None
Oct. 16, 2014 10:13 a.m.

I'm trying to figure out if the 1996 subaru outback 5mt i currently have is worth investing any money in for rally cross. I also have a low mileage spare engine for the car. If not I'd rather sell it and put it towards something better suited for racing. The neon seems to be the best at being cost effective and competitive but i would prefer something rwd or awd. It wont be a dedicated racer as i will be driving it to the track and probably around town but i have another car for daily driving. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

EvanB UltimaDork
Oct. 16, 2014 10:28 a.m.

I wouldn't say it is worth investing money in besides what it needs to stay running but it would be a blast to run for fun. It could probably be competitive regionally (depending on the region) but not nationally.

sachilles SuperDork
Oct. 16, 2014 10:44 a.m.

If it doesn't cost you anything, run it. Rallycross is a lot more fun, when you can drive the car like you don't care about it. It should do fine, but rallycross course vary greatly. If you can find a rear limited slip in the correct ratio for cheap, throw it in. Otherwise beat it until you kill it.

NGTD SuperDork
Oct. 16, 2014 1:20 p.m.

It depends what you want to do and your local classes. I ran a 97 Outback for a couple of years in Ontario in the MLRC Rally-X series. Here are my observations:

  • The Outback suspension rules, especially if the track gets rough. Good compliance, extra clearance work out well.
  • The Outback weighs 200-300 lbs more than an Impreza Wagon and quite a bit more than any FWD cars.
  • Its not the most competitive platform unless you put it on a significant diet.
  • Is your 96 a 2.2L or 2.5L? That year was a mix IIRC - auto's were 2.5's and MT were 2.2L. If that's the case it will likely be even less competitive.
  • Overall Results - In our series I was Class 3 NA - AWD. I could be competitive in class except against the Impreza's but the FWD guys and the AWD - Turbo guys beat me normally.

BTW, I paid $500 cash for that car. Rally-X and used it as my rally volunteer car for 2 years and sold it for $1000. I only sold it to buy my WRX.

taparsons
taparsons New Reader
Oct. 16, 2014 1:50 p.m.

It's the 2.2 unfortunately. Bushings would be a must. Most of them are shot. I payed 1300 for it years ago. I was looking at the whiteline bushings and for everything it looks like it would cost more than the car is worth. I could justify it if would be competitive. Thanks for all the input so far.

series8217 Reader
Oct. 16, 2014 2:19 p.m.

YES! I won the Porterfield SCCA RallyX Stock AWD class championship last year in a 2001 Outback Limited 2.5L. That's ~3600 lbs of steel and 110 whp.

I don't know if I'd build one for anything but stock class though.

You have some big advantages in stock by running an Outback:

  • excellent suspension particularly when the track is very rough
  • capability of fitting larger tires than the Impreza -- maybe even good mud tires
  • maybe more power, if you have the 2.5L
ssswitch Reader
Oct. 16, 2014 3:16 p.m.

I podiumed a few times in my Impreza Outback Sport, which, while not an actual Outback was still an overheavy 2.2L car with a lifted suspension.

It was fun to use (a momentum car, if such a thing can be said to exist in rallycross) and the 2.2 is an anvil. With an Outback vs. an Impreza you can also run 31 inch tires such as General Grabber AT2s without much work.

NGTD SuperDork
Oct. 16, 2014 3:18 p.m.
taparsons wrote: It's the 2.2 unfortunately. Bushings would be a must. Most of them are shot. I payed 1300 for it years ago. I was looking at the whiteline bushings and for everything it looks like it would cost more than the car is worth. I could justify it if would be competitive. Thanks for all the input so far.

Put it on a BIG diet. Strip everything out of it you can and go have fun. The most important thing to improve in Rally-X is the driver. Then the tires (these could be the other way around).

I ran true rally tires - beat-to-death Michelin's. But our classing allowed any tire in class

Class 1 - FWD
Class 2 - RWD
Class 3 - NA AWD
Class 4 - Forced Induction AWD

That was it.

Oct. 16, 2014 3:36 p.m.

I've read in Sports Car magazine that it's undetermined if lightening the car makes it faster for rallycross. I haven't raced at an event yet, so I don't know first hand. I have also read that the course changes a little from run to run so it's difficult to measure speed back to back.

However, running it in the stock class is the cheapest way to go, especially if you will sell the car soon. Tires are likely the second best mod after the driver.

NGTD SuperDork
Oct. 16, 2014 4:26 p.m.
Mr_Clutch42 wrote: I've read in Sports Car magazine that it's undetermined if lightening the car makes it faster for rallycross. I haven't raced at an event yet, so I don't know first hand. I have also read that the course changes a little from run to run so it's difficult to measure speed back to back.

That may be true. Stripping more than 200 lbs out of an Outback is likely difficult and then you still have 3200-3400 lb car, so as a percentage that is small. However anything you can do to help out that little boxer should be done.

Running rally tires did not help my speed, as all that unsprung weight slowed the car, but in Rally-X durability can help. Snows are quicker but a big heavy car with snows are a de-bead waiting to happen.

series8217 Reader
Oct. 16, 2014 4:40 p.m.
ssswitch wrote: It was fun to use (a momentum car, if such a thing can be said to exist in rallycross) and the 2.2 is an anvil. With an Outback vs. an Impreza you can also run 31 inch tires such as General Grabber AT2s without much work.

There is also a 215/65/16 (27" overall diameter) Grabber AT2. That's what I run on my stock-class '01 Outback. In Stock AWD the tires have to fit without rubbing. They don't rub on my Outback, but they might on an earlier car.

I think the 31" is too big just based on what it'll do to your final drive ratio..

fornetti14 Dork
Oct. 16, 2014 4:59 p.m.

I'd run what you have, BUT try not to go crazy on mods. Just get out there and enjoy throwing dirt with it.

taparsons
taparsons New Reader
Oct. 17, 2014 12:18 a.m.

Thanks for the advice. I appreciate everyone's input.

Knurled PowerDork
Oct. 17, 2014 5:36 a.m.
series8217 wrote: It was fun to use (a momentum car, if such a thing can be said to exist in rallycross)

All cars are momentum cars, really. One of my friends pointed that out while we were discussing merits of various things. He routinely wins SA by absurd margins in underpowered cars. (Don't lift and choose lines that let you not lift. And don't lift.)

There is also a 215/65/16 (27" overall diameter) Grabber AT2. That's what I run on my stock-class '01 Outback. In Stock AWD the tires have to fit without rubbing. They don't rub on my Outback, but they might on an earlier car.

I think that is going in the wrong direction. Larger diameter is great if you have traction problems, but you are not going to have traction problems, so I'd personally try to run something smaller if possible.

Truck tires may have chunky tread but they also have hard rubber. Snow tires have softer rubber, even if the tread is less chunky they will work better.

It is moot, because the way the rules are written, you must run the stock tire size in Stock. This is not the way it gets interpreted, but the letter of the rules does not permit a size change.

moxnix Reader
Oct. 17, 2014 8:28 a.m.
Knurled wrote: It is moot, because the way the rules are written, you must run the stock tire size in Stock. This is not the way it gets interpreted, but the letter of the rules does not permit a size change.

There was a rule proposal this year to fix that and allow alternate tire sizes in stock class. I did not see many people objecting to it so I would assume that alternate tire sizes will be legal next year.

Knurled PowerDork
Oct. 17, 2014 12:10 p.m.

Indeed. I'm the one who pointed it out to the powers that be, after it was brought up to me last month.

series8217 Reader
Oct. 17, 2014 2:11 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
series8217 wrote: It was fun to use (a momentum car, if such a thing can be said to exist in rallycross)

Not sure how that quote was attributed to me

series8217 wrote: There is also a 215/65/16 (27" overall diameter) Grabber AT2. That's what I run on my stock-class '01 Outback. In Stock AWD the tires have to fit without rubbing. They don't rub on my Outback, but they might on an earlier car.
Knurled wrote: I think that is going in the wrong direction. Larger diameter is great if you have traction problems, but you are not going to have traction problems, so I'd personally try to run something smaller if possible.

I'm not sure what kind of surfaces you run your RallyCrosses on, but even with my 4.11 final, 27" tires, and 110hp, I have traction problems at the Southern California venue -- a dirt parking lot at Glen Helen Raceway. The reason the Grabber AT2s were so successful for me is because as soon as the surface got a little wet, everyone else's tread was packed solid with mud and they just spun the tires out of every corner.

It is moot, because the way the rules are written, you must run the stock tire size in Stock. This is not the way it gets interpreted, but the letter of the rules does not permit a size change.

This is incorrect. You can run any size tire on the stock size wheel as long as it does not rub.

From the 2014 SCCA RallyCross rulebook 6.2.C.2:

Tires must be DOT approved. Tires marked “For competition only”, “Not for street use” or similar, are not allowed. No part of the tire may be modified or altered from its original form, either through addition or subtraction, other than normal wear. No studded tires are permitted at National events unless ice or snow is present; Regional and Divisional events may allow studded tires any time. Studded tires may not be homemade using bolts or 28 screws. Only street-legal studs are allowed. Tires may not interfere with any parts of the car (fenders, fender liners, suspension, etc).

ouchx100 Reader
Oct. 17, 2014 2:26 p.m.

In reply to series8217:

Are you the guy with the camo wagon?

I'd say run it and see how it is. Stock class and make no changes to it yet. If series is who I think he is, I think hes been faster than me at times in his wagon. And I'm in a wrx

series8217 Reader
Oct. 17, 2014 3:16 p.m.
ouchx100 wrote: In reply to series8217: Are you the guy with the camo wagon? I'd say run it and see how it is. Stock class and make no changes to it yet. If series is who I think he is, I think hes been faster than me at times in his wagon. And I'm in a wrx

Yup that's me.

Unfortunately I won't be taking it out to the RallyCross this weekend at Glen Helen because the transmission's input shaft bearing is failing. I don't want to risk causing more damage before I fix it. I'll try to get another car together, but at this point it's looking unlikely that I'll make it at all.

fornetti14 Dork
Oct. 17, 2014 3:23 p.m.

^^That proves you can rallyx any damn Subaru you want -

Woody MegaDork
Oct. 17, 2014 6:09 p.m.

I wonder how much lighter an Outback SUS would be?

 photo RB3.jpg

Woody MegaDork
Oct. 17, 2014 6:46 p.m.

You could get an LL Bean Edition in 2005-2006 with the 3.0 H6.

mazdeuce UberDork
Oct. 17, 2014 7:06 p.m.
Woody wrote: I wonder how much lighter an Outback SUS would be?  photo RB3.jpg

I saw one of these on vacation a couple of weeks ago and it took me a second to figure out what it was. It channeled the old AMC Sedans perfectly. I kind of want one.

Woody MegaDork
Oct. 17, 2014 7:11 p.m.

They may have been sold only in New England. There aren't a lot of them, even around here.

ssswitch Reader
Oct. 17, 2014 7:29 p.m.

I didn't even know they made an SUS past the 2nd generation Legacy.

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