Dec 3, 2013 update to the Factory Five 818 project car

Initial Testing

On track, it was quickly clear that we needed more tire.
We also needed an intercooler bracket.

When we built our 818, we opted for Autozone’s absolute cheapest brake pads. Not because we’re cheapskates, but because we wanted to see how well the system performs with the least enthusiast-friendly compound out there.

By the same token, when we took our new 818 to our test track—the FIRM, in central Florida—we left this car on the tires and wheels that came on the donor vehicle. Those were some rock-hard all-season tires on stock WRX wheels. We painted them black for looks, but it didn’t help its grip much.

This combination didn’t work very well. The car was a handful to drive, power-oversteering even with moderate throttle. There was simply not enough grip to put the power down. Under braking, the pads proved worse than our tires. It took a hard punch on the brake pedal to lock them up, and they faded into almost complete uselessness in less than half a lap.

So, in case you were thinking of building that 818 and just using whatever components came on your donor car, think again. Unless the donor is already well equipped, budget yourself some dollars for better tires and brake pads. We’ll discuss what tire fitments work best in a future installment.

We had one other little mishap: Our intercooler coupler popped loose. We hadn’t noticed that our donor WRX was missing one of the brackets that holds the intercooler in place. Add that to the repair list. In case you’re wondering, though: a Factory Five 818 with a naturally aspirated engine is still quite fast.

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Comments

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PearlBlueSoul
PearlBlueSoul None
12/3/13 4:35 p.m.

Hahaha....comedy. Kind of reminds me of doing a track day on a super budget MR2 I had. Brakes were done in 3/4 laps, alternator lost the lower bolt and therefore lost belt tension, and I had rock hard FZ4 Toyos up front with second hand yokos on the back (forget the model). Did ok for a bit but it was not a happy camper out there...was super puckered up when the brakes disappeared near the end of the front straight. :X Lesson learned. Good to know though, considering the weight of the car I could see how using budget brakes might seem like an ok idea. Tires tho..well...hahaha. Nuff said. ;)

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Dork
12/3/13 5:35 p.m.

When we built our 818, we opted for Autozone's absolute cheapest brake pads. Not because we're cheapskates, but because we wanted to see how well the system performs with the least enthusiast-friendly compound out there.

By the same token, when we took our new 818 to our test track—the FIRM, in central Florida—we left this car on the tires and wheels that came on the donor vehicle. Those were some rock-hard all-season tires on stock WRX wheels. We painted them black for looks, but it didn't help its grip much.

This combination didn't work very well. The car was a handful to drive, power-oversteering even with moderate throttle. There was simply not enough grip to put the power down. Under braking, the pads proved worse than our tires. It took a hard punch on the brake pedal to lock them up, and they faded into almost complete uselessness in less than half a lap.

So, in case you were thinking of building that 818 and just using whatever components came on your donor car, think again. Unless the donor is already well equipped, budget yourself some dollars for better tires and brake pads. We'll discuss what tire fitments work best in a future installment.

We had one other little mishap: Our intercooler coupler popped loose. We hadn't noticed that our donor WRX was missing one of the brackets that holds the intercooler in place. Add that to the repair list. In case you're wondering, though: a Factory Five 818 with a naturally aspirated engine is still quite fast.

Can't get enough of project 818? Subscribe now for full details on the build.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
12/3/13 11:19 p.m.

FYI to anyone reading who doesn't know. If you have a turbo engine and blow the charge plumbing on track, you should limp it in at low throttle and fix it.

If you go WOT in a turbo engine without working charge plumbing, you will overspin the turbo and either damage it immediately, or shorten its life. The wastegate opens in response to boost pressure; if you dont generate boost the wastegate cannot control the speed of the turbo.

willg
willg
12/15/13 10:25 p.m.

At elevated boost, the WRX intercooler pipes can pop loose. Clean them well, and coat in hairspray for added stick. T-bolt clamps if you are really boostin.

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
12/16/13 8:27 a.m.

CFR has scheduled the first Deland autocross for Jan. 19th. I'll be there, and I hope you can bring the 818 out too. I'd love to see it up close.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
12/16/13 1:45 p.m.

Good point, Vigo. We limped it to the pits as soon as we realized something was wrong.

Cxracer
Cxracer New Reader
12/31/13 4:38 p.m.

Really, no video?! I wanted to see the car in action. Every other segment had video. Please post some track footage that will give us an idea of how the performance upgrades affect the driving habits.

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