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paperpaper New Reader
3/28/16 4:48 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

Oh I am certainly getting the 67$ special from Amazon. No need for "quality".

paperpaper New Reader
4/6/16 12:53 p.m.

Random updates from the constant little things I've been doing to keep my sanity. 10 days to rally sprint.

Car has had a hell of a time starting lately. Something is still not happy. but once started it runs perfect. Changed out the AFM for a much newer one. Also hopefully closed off some possibles for vac leaks.

Valve adjustment with new end plugs and cover gasket.


Ram Mount for smart phone based ODO

WHY. We needed this stuff months ago.

Added gas tank protection with some HPDE. Thank you jesse at banchwerks for continued help with weld nuts to mount them.

Always a good time at Banchwerks.

Thats all for now. Vacation this weekend so next update will probably be panic packing for the rally sprint next weekend.

paperpaper New Reader
4/13/16 8:19 a.m.

Fix fix fix. rushing to get everything done and ready. last week driving home the brake petal hit the floor. curious.

Come to find my exhast has been humping on of my flex lines in the rear for who knows how long.

Good bye SS line

Oh well one normal rubber line near the top of the trailing arm wont kill me. Order a fresh one right quick. Throw that in on sunday night. Try to swap over front calipers while I am at it. My car has the calipers that use pins the move in rubber bushings 29 year old rubber bushings. another style uses normal metal guide pins. get both done fine but snap a bleed screw on one....

So 2 different front calipers but they work fine and function the same. get that all bleed fine last night. Also changed the oil and fixed the windows that refused to work since I got the car back.

Tonight I will try to jam as many tires and tools into the car as possible to be ready to drive all the way north for my first rally sprint!

paperpaper New Reader
4/21/16 8:38 a.m.

So Here it is the rally sprint Update.

First off it was amazing! So MUCH fun!. And I only finished half the day!

So yeah half way through the day the hard starting problem I have been fighting finally cault up with me. Car died on stage and would not restart. Spent the rest of the day trying to diagnose. Really annoying because we where flying and where third in class at that point. Only behind the fastest overall and a guy that works at the rally school.

We did get it going (amazing because I drove it up there) and feel some shorting wires near the fuse box where the problem. Applied more tape and zipties to the fuse box to keep that from happening again. Can't thank my rally friends enough for the tireless help all day to get it fixed.

Other thing that happened was after a slight off on the fourth run. Seen here: Found a rock that thought cat back exhaust are tasty and munched mine. was totally fine as the exhaust was crap and rusted through anyways. Sounded funny and certainly shortened my hearing life on the drive home.

Due to a rally Cross this weekend just had to pick up some autozone Muffler and bring it to a local guy to get something welded. Up. Quality work that I will probably have to hack at a later date.

And Of course

It is way quiet and I may have to V band the muffler so I can swap in a strait pipe for stage.

The suspension has always clunked over bumps for some unknown reason and at the sprint it got worse. I have been figuring it to be the sway bar end-links but removing those last night clunks almost the same. All bolts are tight and Control arm, strut mounts, CAB bushings all look solid. it could be the solid Condor bushings just being noisy due to not having any give? not sure. Nothing will fall apart just sounds awful.

Lots of little things to come as rally sprints do their job in showing you what needs be changed, upgraded, replaced for full stage rally.

Me and Kev will be back at the next sprint on May 14th. stonger car, experienced driver/codriver, and New tires!

4 Medium compound Pirelli 175/70/15's

They are what I think is the perfect size for the car. and Proven pirelliness. Watch out G2!

Also new gravel tires are a bastard to get on.

That's all for now. no rest this weekend with the rally cross but next weekend I should have some time to work out small kinks.

paperpaper New Reader
7/19/16 11:16 a.m.

Where do I begin.

New England Forest rally has been a dream of mine since 2010. Freshman in college, though it was the craziest stuff. Never thought I would be able to do it. Rally a dream from even longer ago. Just a Lad with video games and this weird side section in Grand Turismo 3 called rally.

Cut past 3 years of building, 2.5 years of rallyx, 4 years of research. Untold hours of driveway time. And you have July 13th. Me in my driveway trying to do final packing with the truck trailer and car. “I’m not ready” I keep thinking. I am going to go, but I did not prepare enough. Not nearly enough is packed. Car is not perfect(when is it ever). But I have the stuff, I have provisions for 5 days. I have spares. I have a rally car…. I am ready.

It’s hot Wednesday. 97ish with humidity of someone spraying you with a hose. The truck has no AC but neither does the race car. And towing to events is better than driving a rally car 4 hours right? So whatever, wind in my hair, here we go.

I loaded the car too far back to try and mitigate some tongue weight with the pig of a trailer I borrowed. Anything over 60 was schech. So at Kayla(Girlfriend)’s house I moved it forward a foot.

Much better at speed. Co Driver kevin met me there and we put my snow tires on the subaru for recce. His stuff in the subaru and hs tools in the truck we were ready. 3 ish hours to go.

But wait. As soon as we get on the highway. Kevin has a problem. Subaru is shaking to bits. That’s weird? Was fine a week ago. Oh well lets stop in and have town fair tire balance those suckers. (sweat about 2 gallons at this point). But wait they can’t balance them. Wants like 10 ounce or something to balance. WUT.jpg? OH YEAH I had put slime in one for leaky something orother. Ask them nicely to remove that crap and boom we are on our way.

Excellent, hour and half later we are doing good. Make a gas stop in campton NH. and continue on thinking nothing. After campton 93 in NH goes up, like way up. Franconia notch. A place with its own weather. Previous site of the old man on the mountain and NH Fjords. You climb probably near 1000 feet real quick. Ending it off with huge hill right before the notch. Truck had show now warning signs at this point.

Going up this last mega incline the crusie control is not keeping 65 like I asked. Oh well big hill. Bounce the gas petal to get it to kick down right? Weird its not working? WEIRD we are still loosing speed. WERID…. POW. Something lets go audibly, Truck dies. I am looking for somewhere to pull over as we crest the hill. Side mirror shows something burning rolling away from the truck. Just then kevin comes up fully boost in the wrx screaming FIRE at me.

OHF@%k.JPG. brakes as hard as I can but truck is off and brakes and trailer brakes are hindered by lack of running engine. Takes forever to stop. As I get it stopped and jump out. Probably 6 foot high flame coming up between the bed and the cab. I knew at this moment that there was no hope. But as the whole weekend would go I did not give up. Ran around the truck for extigisher 1 of 3. After all three including the ones in the car for the race. We had slowed the fire but had no chance of putting it out. After maybe 30 more seconds of a bystander with extinguisher number 4 spent. I had the realisation to save what I could. First and foremost the car. Retrospect the car could have waited small amount of time to get some things out of the truck. But you go for big ticket items.

Car off after ramp and strap scramble. I went for stuff in the truck. Managed my tool box right next to me. But when i turned back around it would have been foolish to go for anything else. Nothing left to do but step back and watch it all burn. About 8 explosions later and 10 more minutes the Fire crews came. A full size truck with 25 gallons of fuel makes quite the fire.

All said and done Iost everything but PHone, wallet, firesuit, hans, and random things in the car. Everything else we had in the truck was gone. Clothes, camera, laptop. Spares, any other tools, coolers. Girlfriends clothes and stuff. It was pretty devastating. My brain didn't really know what to do with this information.

We called a few people contemplating what to do and letting people know we are ok. I ended up deciding you know what The rally car has 4 tires. I was going to transit on them anyways. Let’s just get on the road again. Just keep moving. Forget about this for a bit and just get to our destination. We make Jalopnik. And the News

On the way

Get there check into registration. Have been ignoring my phone because it is just going nuts with notifications. Nice dinner and Beer to celebrate making it and bed. Answered as many messages as I could. So much help offered it was unbelievable. Seriously Rally takes care of their own and I had nothing to worry about. I was covered for helmet and everything else by the time I made it to recce the next day.


Thursday was actually uneventful. Dropped the car off at our shared crew shanty town. Centered around the x DHL sprinter van. (banana van) Pawned kayla off on people to find a ride to a walmart to get us things like clothes, soap, and food for the weekend. She was still wearing yesterday's clothes and kevin lent me an outfit. Finish recce in the trusty WRX and head back for some nuggets and sleep.


Friday was good. Stemmed my nerves the whole morning. Car was finalised with stickers and getting things ready.

Park expose and wait forever. Being first time we had no speed factor. Putting us 50th on the road. 50 min after the “rally start”


But finally after 50 min transit we are at concord pond. Stage one. I have spectated concord pond for 6 years. Since 2010 as I said. Its everyone's favorite for a reason. Video here. Amazing stage. Good jump going FAST. Really boosts our confidence. Especially when we learn it was 3rd place time for the stage in G2.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24_qa_Tf4oI

Stage 2 after Service.

Stage 2 starts the long double used stage with turn around. This plus the extra long run back is known to be the friday car breaker. Using our planned caution it was going fine. But somewhere around mile 7 I had a moment where I either heard the notes wrong and or interpreted the notes wrong. Hesitated bad. This put me in the inside ditch ready to hit all sorts of stuff. Saved it out of that ditch but at the expense of overcorrecting into the other side. Nothing i could do. Hit the brakes and hope. We ended up stopped in the ditch, stuck but fine. Only cosmetic and pride damage. It was all my fault not co drivers or anything unlucky. Just had a moment when I lost what I was doing next. Sweep came eventually and we finished the stage at speed.

Spall fan broken, valance missing, hella lights gone. But we are fine car is fine. But a few miles into the next stage something is wrong. Shifter goes sloppy. Feels like something is moving around bad. Gets worse and worse. Eventually catastrophic failure. What we have determined is that when i parked in a ditch it most likely damaged the transmission casing and tabs for the mounts. These sheared off and sent the driveshaft off. Cut clean through both shifter linkage arms. We are getting flat towed.

Eventually decided we had to take front half of the drive shaft off. This allowed for ok flat tow without the driveshaft trying to eat through the car and kill us. Pulled through 10 ish miles of one of the toughest stages followed by a mad max entourage.

Mad max entourage out of the stage.

Now we are stuck. What do we do. I have nothing. Basic tools and zero spare parts. I send out all appropriate social media cries for help for parts. While we wait for a real tow I get the message. One man has answered the call. E30 parts hoarder friend from Maine says he is half way done gathering all the parts we need. Legit hero status.

Our new mission, stop sulking. Get car back to shanty town and start stripping out broken parts. Trans, driveshaft, and shifter linkage all removed, we wait. I get the call. “Come meet me” armed with half a pizza and fast beat music i boogie to meet Eben at a Walmart halfway and hour away. Having said my 1000 thank you’s I am off back to the cabin to sleep. Back at 1240 I get what I can. Kevin and the guys had wrapped up the tools and stuff and were asleep.

Saturday 4:30 AM.

Wake up quick shower. New set of Walmart clothes. Off to service area weary and unsure. It doesn't matter. We just start working, 5 am, park expose is at 7. Doesn't matter what it is. Doesn't matter if we have the right tools. We have parts. And hammers. New trans goes in not really an issue. Love how light they are on these cars. Had to pull some hammer hackery to get bearing and drive shaft together. But we never stopped. Never a moment to sulk. Never a moment to be angry. Waste of energy, waste of time. Work or don't make It I kept repeating in my head. It does not matter that everyone is in Expose ready and we are not. Don't stop. Eventually this mindset paid off. Not sure if it was the sleep deprivation or the desire to finish but it happened. Took quick spin a around with no hood to confuse the competitors. Then put everything back in the car and showed up for Expose (sorta) they put me on the road blocking view of higgins because there was no room in expose at the time. (foreshadowing? He did not finish)

Saturday stages. Saturday is more than twice as long. With around 70 stage miles and some more super rough stages at times. NEFR is not called the car breaker for nothing. But through all the stages I tried to do what I did on the first stage. Push where I could see and keep it on the road in rough/ blind sections. Good fun fast stages. I am touching second gear at only 1 or two corners per stage. BIG rocks to kill ya and rough sections to wear parts down.

First loop saw us lose a bolt on the drive shaft, again with it being legit hammered into place that morning and maybe not lined up properly. Tighten them all and replace bolt and it was fine. Started seeping oil but did not know where at the time. All was good car felt fine. Sammiches and glass clean and we were back out. Babying it more than I would normally have, but still going fast and having fun.

Sturtevant pond is the attrition stage. Each time we go through we see 4 or so cars go off or break. On the second pass we had similar scare. Huge surprise jump that caught a lot of people out knocked a connection loose under the dash that cuts power to ignition. Trying to to keep it from coming loose while driving was dangerous. Stopped to fix it but it didn't help came loose mile later. Had to stop in terrible sport and fix for real. Wrapping it around itself and securing for the rest of the stage. Lost a good 2 min or more fiddling with this. This will be permanent or deleted by the next time I touch the car. So silly to loose time like that.

Also along the second pass a rock jumped up and decided it did not like our exhaust quiet. Pulled the entire xpipe back off. Though it was hanging at the time but was certainly louder. Hope the spectators enjoyed the noise! We eventually had it taken back to us. But ran the whole rest of the rally with no exhaust post O2 sensor

With second pass done we had 2 more stages before final service. After a fast but uneventful 12 mile azistios or whatever. Pulling up to stop control they point out or right front wheel is covered in fluid. We all assume brakes. But brake feels fine. Next stage is 5 ish miles I'll take it easy and test brakes often. Went through fine again.

Final service. We find that brake master is still full…? But find the oil leak! Remote oil cooler loosing oil. But not at fast enough rate to hurt us on a loop. Tighten it up, fill with oil again. The brown a slippery kind as Teo says. Who cares at this point. One more transit, one more stage, North road, the victory lap.

Merica Star pattern oil wheel

North road is gorgeous. If you can find youtube of the stage watch it. We have no film all Saturday as we did not care about cameras just cars. But serious it is an amazing final stage to a rally. Fun, tons of spectators cheering. Scenic. Threw it extra sideways as I knew everyone had been rooting for us all weekend. Between the fire, first time there, and the last minute fixes to make the big day Saturday they all knew what we had done.

Lined up for final stage

On stage: http://i.imgur.com/0Ukg4k3.jpg


One final transit home to Sunday river and we had done it. My friend Dave had his car break on stage six and had taken the opportunity to congratulate us at the finish. After me and Kevin had stopped yelling.

We had done it. 2 guys with almost nothing had beat one of the toughest rallies in the Continent. With a car I have built mostly by myself in my driveway. I couldn't believe it. Still don't. We had enormous amounts of help. And would have never made it without friends help. But we did. Though it all we even pulled of a 5th in G2 and 16th overall regional for Saturday.

Post finish No windows very dusty Park Ferme

Sunday: Was left to coathanger the exhaust back on and scoop up the burnt trailer with help from Liam another friend.

I was left driving the car all the way home from an event, just as I always do. Spare gravels in the rear. Borrowed Summers in the front. We are not a team. We are a guy chasing his dreams and some friends to help him get there. If you ever thing you can’t or could not do something, you can. Get out there and try it. Maybe I was not prepared for this past weekend, but I'll tell you given the chance anyone is capable of anything. It may not be the amazing story ever but it's everything I've tried for in the past half decade. An It sure feels amazing to pull it off.

Victory Pizza Both Victorious. Did not forget the Subaru Drove all those miles and more. Carting people around to spectate and running us to food and parts. was our savior all weekend. Even for a friend who's Subaru fell apart on recce. http://i.imgur.com/yQ8HdhH.jpg

Now a long rest before getting back to making myself and car better than ever. Many parts to be ordered for upgrades, replacements, and spares.

java230 Dork
7/19/16 11:39 a.m.

Wow talk about a crazy weekend. Sorry to see the truck and all your stuff go, but you should feel pretty good about the friends you have made to help you make it though the weekend. What an awesome thing.

Bubs Reader
7/19/16 12:03 p.m.

Although I wasn't at NEFR this year, it was such an emotional rollercoaster watching the events unfold from the sidelines. So glad it all came together in the end and, to echo what others have said, we're all amazed at your perseverance! Well done.

Daniel New Reader
1/4/17 12:45 p.m.

I'm happy I found this thread. It keeps my dreams of finishing my RallyCross build, and actually progressing through the ranks Alive! So unfortunate about your tow rig, but at least no one was hurt. Cannot wait to read the next chapter of your events.

irish44j UltimaDork
1/4/17 7:47 p.m.
Daniel wrote: I'm happy I found this thread. It keeps my dreams of finishing my RallyCross build, and actually progressing through the ranks Alive! So unfortunate about your tow rig, but at least no one was hurt. Cannot wait to read the next chapter of your events.

are you building an e30?

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/30/18 4:09 p.m.

In reply to paperpaper :

Resurrecting zombified thread to say holy hell man, your last post could be the true story that a movie is based on.  Are you still in the game?

NGTD UberDork
3/30/18 5:07 p.m.
AngryCorvair said:

In reply to paperpaper :

Resurrecting zombified thread to say holy hell man, your last post could be the true story that a movie is based on.  Are you still in the game?

He's still around - posts on FB quite often.

paperpaper New Reader
3/30/18 5:21 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Yeha we Out here still lol. 

I am just to lazy to post here selfishly enough. Mostly do the instagram and Facebook thing. Look for "downeydirtyracing" on both. 

It was a wild ride and still is. Car has done 3 big rallies since then and we have been taking home hardware. In relativity simmilar spec. 

May ill post a big update from the past year or so! 

irish44j UltimaDork
3/30/18 9:01 p.m.

Dan is too big-time as an instructor at Team O'Neill to worry about his build thread any more ;)

paperpaper New Reader
4/2/18 8:36 p.m.

Ok so I have decided to start a recap of the past year and a half and put some effort back into documenting the rally life of Fritz the tenacious. 

First up is post Forest rally 2016. There was lots to do in the name of unjankifying the hot fixes needed after the story above. 


Like this with the dif coming loose,

and these wonderful wire tie ups. 



And fixing the wires on the borrowed trailer. 


But really after that i found nothing else was really busted. Suspension was all good, motor was fine, we didnt break anything else so I decided to enter Black river stages Rally in September 2016. (Brilliant)


Days leading up to the rally i did important packing and prep. Like.....

BIG lights as BRS has actual night stages. 

And this super necessary Drainage pipe Gurney wing the night before. 

paperpaper Reader
4/2/18 9:14 p.m.

Black River stages 2016

Harrisville NY.   I had never attended this rally so i had no idea what yo expect. Unlike NEFR that I have attended in some form since 2010 this was completely foreign . 

Right from the start. Slow leak on the tow rig. (Kevin's Dads much safer Tacoma.)

Plugged the tire and continued on. No issues! A win in just actually successfully towing to an event. 

Tech went fine. Few little things. No big deal. 

Shakedown was at night which was silly because we had never run at night. More getting used to that than testing the car. But we had done a rally sprint in-between so that was fine. Lights got readjusted and all was good. 

Plus i got to park next to the Famous @irish44j !

BRS is all in one day so race day was long but fun. Smooth and quick/tight roads. big difference not looking out for rocks like NEFR. 


Early loop onboard

Jayville out 

Few things. As you can hear there is a major racket from the trans. This turned out to be later loose flywheel bolts. So the whole rally was done with those wobbling around. 

Second was the major train track jump. Which caught out many competitors and flattened two tires for them.... We sent it and got lucky. 

Otherwise first loop done and having fun. 

Until Goose pond Stage. With its famous jump. I arrived to the checkpoint with somehow loosing 98% brakes on the transit. No joke no brakes besides the e brake. we had to go into the stage and run the corners knowing we could only engine brake. Slow but made it to the other side.....  Only one close call in a spot that competitors had gone off. 

being a turn around stage we were able to steal like 5 fluid ounces of brake fluid and bleed the brakes once discovering the loose fitting. Lots of fluid recapture was used. brakes now at 85% time to re-send. 

Getting back to service and full bleed of the brakes we were good to go for the rest of the rally. 


Besides a quick run in with a deer. Video

Last two stages are in total darkness. Same stage run twice. First run through was exciting and totally new. Going over crests is now hoping that there is a road on the other side. Speed is way different. 

Second run through..... the heavens opened. Full on torrential downpour. Lightning, thunder, wind. All of it. 


Nuts stage to finish the rally. 

No Trophies or anything but another wild ride and a successful finish.  Car was fine. So I thought. 


irish44j UltimaDork
4/2/18 9:42 p.m.
paperpaper said:

.  Car was fine. So I thought. 



Not the first or last time I've heard you say that :)

paperpaper Reader
4/2/18 9:57 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

Correcto. Build, race, rebuild

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