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¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/13/21 9:59 a.m.

I have been getting increasingly concerned about the stock motor mounts, since the oil filter housing was occasionally hitting the airbox and the shifter moved around an alarming amount on the rough stuff at NEFR.

So I'm attempting to correct that with some Kein engine and transmission mounts- I like that they're steel rather than aluminum like a lot of the aftermarket stuff, the price was right, and when they asked what color I said "the brightest orange you have"

Driving a bit they have increased the engine and gearbox noise an appropriate "racecar" amount and things feel a lot more direct and the shifter isn't a moving target any more so I'm happy thus far.  Every fastener on them already had some sort of locking feature but I also added blue loctite so hopefully there are no vibration loosening issues.

I also added the little muffler skid suggested by bluej, it's a repurposed chunk of Silverado cab corner:

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/13/21 9:39 p.m.

looks like the mini-skidplate protecting my rear exhaust hanger under my rear subframe. Of course, that was cut out of an e30 hood, not a Silverado :)

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/13/21 10:23 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Where did you find a Chevy cab corner in PA that wasn't rusted beyond use?

Gaunt596 Reader
8/13/21 11:09 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Where did you find a Chevy cab corner in PA that wasn't rusted beyond use?

I think that's just the remains of a rusted cab corner, hung as a totem to ward off the metal mites.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/14/21 6:53 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

You're quite right that there are no original Silverado cab corners here in salt country- this was an off cut from a patch panel that I used to fix the rust on ours!

2Girlsracing (Steffi)
2Girlsracing (Steffi) Reader
8/14/21 7:10 a.m.

Nice engine mounts, i just welded mine up solid but horrible amounts of noise/vibration. Ok for hillclimb but I wouldn't like to do a stage with them.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/16/21 6:59 a.m.

"Come to the farm and drive your rally car around the hay field while we fly our paramotors around" 

Sure, why not.

therealpinto Reader
8/16/21 8:49 a.m.

I like the design of those mounts. They work to isolate the transmission from the body (it´s not a given that the engine and gearbox like the stresses from solid mounts in a rally car) but will also keep them steady. And if a bushing fails, the mounts are still contained so rather "fail safe".

Good choice IMO!


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/16/21 8:51 a.m.

In reply to therealpinto :

My thoughts exactly, and the bushings are all the same so I'm hoping if they become a wear item I can just keep them in stock.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/21/21 2:35 p.m.

Time to try some different valving on the rear shocks- old valving was 4 compression and 6 rebound, new is the same compression but increased rebound to 8 to hopefully reduce the amount that the back end bounces after big hits.

While I was at it I also trimmed down and installed these massive Camry bumpstops hoping for cushier and more pleasant bottoming out behavior:

Old and new:

Feels good so far, will report more after further testing:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/7/21 7:16 a.m.

Car continues to drive well, bolt check revealed slightly loose rear upper control arm bolts again- those just need to be torqued before every event I think.  I regrooved some used Hoosiers for STPR since we don't stand to win anything there contingency wise.  We also did a fun event with the Lehigh FSAE team, a little "come see racecars and get sandwiches" thing at the traditional FSAE lunch stop The Goose:

May be an image of 6 people, people standing, car and outdoors

Our car is ready for STPR as far as I can tell, and now has company since Downey's e30 is living at our place right now too:

May be a black-and-white image of car and outdoors

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/7/21 3:18 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Car continues to drive well, bolt check revealed slightly loose rear upper control arm bolts again- those just need to be torqued before every event I think.  I regrooved some used Hoosiers for STPR since we don't stand to win anything there contingency wise.  We also did a fun event with the Lehigh FSAE team, a little "come see racecars and get sandwiches" thing at the traditional FSAE lunch stop The Goose:

May be an image of 6 people, people standing, car and outdoors

Our car is ready for STPR as far as I can tell, and now has company since Downey's e30 is living at our place right now too:

May be a black-and-white image of car and outdoors

Make sure to put a big throttle body restrictor on his car before STPR ;)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/10/21 9:24 a.m.

One week to go and everything (car, truck, trailer) seems ready. 

For now,  they wait:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 7:55 a.m.

STPR 2021 Setup:

Front Suspension:
Damping: 300/70 Bilstein
Spring Rate: 225 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.75"
Bumpstop:  3" soft foam
Toe: 0"
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, regrooved used (sharpened edges, 2x center groove opened)

Rear Suspension:
Damping: 4-8 AFCO (revalved up from 4-6 per AFCO recommendation)
Spring Rate: 275 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.5"
Bumpstop:  2.75" soft foam
Toe: 1/16" in
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, regrooved used (sharpened edges, inner tread "paddles" opened)

Jump behavior?  This is AFCO's suggestion based on my feedback, we'll see.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 8:10 a.m.

STPR 2021

This year STPR is a shortened, mostly Waste Management stage, regional event.  That's not as fun as a huge forest rally but it's also cheaper, so off we went.  We had a crowded but fun airbnb, shared with some of the New England guys as well as Josh Hickey- four teams in one house is probably a little much but it worked out OK:

For once the truck had a totally uneventful tow up, and we got to do a little adventuring to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon with the dogs:

Tech went smoothly for the most part, I just had to point out where everything was since so much is tucked inside the back seat area of this car:

Then recce- this event had only three stages, with Waste Management (rough, muddy, tight, with a couple faster spectator sections and the big jump) being run two directions and Rattler (uphill, fast as hell, smooth) being run twice to break things up.  We did recce with the truck and it yet again behaved itself, although things were pretty ugly deep in the woods on Waste Management.  We actually added a new descriptor for our notes- we use "rough" and "slippy" but there were so many places that the road was both that we added "nasty" to denote sections that were rough, slippy, rutted, and generally lousy in most ways.  The big jump also looked sharper than what I had previously seen, with more of a kick at the top.

Then it was back to the house for note cleanup, pizza, campfires, and general hanging around:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 8:43 a.m.

STPR 2021 Continued (the actual racing part)

Race day started with service setup and a bit of waiting since our crew had been dispatched to help get Downey a return trailer setup after some towing issues on the way to the event.  So it was a bit of hanging around with the rally pups:

Then off to the center square in Wellsboro for Parc Expose- it's always nice when the town hosting the rally seems like they actually want it there, and Wellsboro may be one of the better examples of that.  We hung around, talked a bit of trash, tried to not think too hard about the jump and upcoming stages, and generally meandered until the start:

Then off to SS1, WM In- at the start control, James/Orlove were stuck because the passenger window wouldn't close- a really unfortunate start, especially since we were in the same class and looking forward to a good battle.  It was rough in there as expected, but we put in a respectable 4th place 2wd time and were fastest in L2wd.  Unbeknownst to us, Downey cracked his oil pan in here and ran a full 40sec faster than us anyway.

SS2 was Rattler, which was super fast with only a chicane in the middle and a single R3 near the end to slow the cars down a bit- we yet again ran 4th 2wd and fastest L2wd in here, although I overrevved it a bit on the final R3 and hopefully didn't hurt anything too much.

SS3, WM In again- pushed here a bit, even with lots of banging coming from the front- it turned out to be the front skidplate bolts, which had fully ripped the centers out of the weld nuts and disappeared somewhere in the muck and rocks.  A little faster than last time although Josh put down a flyer for the 2nd fastest 2wd time (the leading 2wd overall was a fancy R2 Fiesta which we had almost no reasonable hope of catching).

In service, we checked things over, impact gunned some absolutely massive threadforming bolts into the front of the skidplate mount (note, find more sizes of these they were awesome), and developed a ratchet strap plan in case they didn't.  I threw the strap in the spare tire well and we were ready to head off again.  We also took more fuel than I had originally intended, since the WM stage actually burns a full 1/8th tank on this car despite only being about 8 miles.

SS4 was WM Out, and I really thought I slowed down enough for the big jump in this direction, dropping from 5th to 4th on approach and then gassing it off the launch, but clearly we still have a little suspension work to do because the thing still drops out of the sky like a lawn dart:

Whatever it was still awesome, the skidplate held on, and the bumper was repairable with zipties.  We were slower relative to the rest of the field here, I'll chalk it up to being shaken after the hard landing.  Still leading L2wd and second in 2wd overall at this point, which we held for the rest of the event although our times were mostly midpack once we realized we had a bit of a lead and didn't want to tear the car to pieces chasing that R2 for the overall 2wd position.

The second running of Rattler as SS5 went really well, zero complaints other than that the rear tires were pretty shreadded and the car was somewhat loose.  We nailed the chicane and the final tighter corner, it felt great.

SS6, WM Out yet again and AGAIN I thought I slowed enough for the jump but came crashing out of the sky in distinctly uncool fashion.  At this point we added a "don't be a hero" note before the jump and planned to brake way harder and drop to third gear.

Yet another service, lots of zipties but little else other than some fuel and a lightbar install.  With two stages to go and attrition setting in (half the 2wd field was out at this point) the name of the game was steady pace, don't hurt the car.  So that's what we did, losing time throughout but keeping things relatively safe, although we lost a rear mudflap, a front turn signal trim piece, and nearly the rear bumper just thanks to the rough road:

There was a big delay before the very last stage and as a result it was really, really dark.  Running a stage like Waste Management at night is really something special- the fast sections have dust you can't see through, the slow sections are full of trees, and a lot of it is about memory and trusting the notes.  It felt great just to make it with a semi-respectable time.

Others were not so lucky- head over to Josh's thread to see how this glorious slammed stance was achieved:

Then we sat in impound for a while as scores were tallied, sharing stories and in general just relieved to be done destroying our cars.  Result?  Well, we won the coveted "Big Nuts" trophy for fastest RWD car:

And L2wd on a podium made of dirt:

Overall position was 12th, which I'd call respectable for the car's third rally.  The New England region/DC/us house had a whole lot of podium finishers in it so we snagged a group photo:

And our crew, including Dan Shirley who is prepping a car right now.  We may have to sabotage it so he keeps crewing for us instead:

Tow home uneventful.  I'm happy.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 8:47 a.m.

STPR damage:

Got home, washed the car for the first of many times as I fix stuff.  The skidplate bolts (I have bigger, thicker weld nuts I planned to install over the winter anyway):

Some minor bumper issues:

More exhaust damage:

All pretty minor, really, and can be addressed in my overall winter reprep.  Unless something weird happens this was our last event for the year.

I didn't get a picture of the tires, but lesson learned there- regrooved fronts can last a full event, regrooved rears are only good for a few stages before they're pretty rounded off and worthless.  Next time I'll just sharpen the edges rather than opening up the tread like I did on these.

Downey, spurred on by the car's oil pan issue, is already hard at work tearing stuff apart in his corner of the shop as well:

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/20/21 9:48 a.m.

did the shielding help prevent too much ovaling of the exhaust? 


nice job!!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 9:49 a.m.

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

It kept it from closing up fully, but I should probably remake that section now- NEFR and this version of STPR back to back have given it a pretty rough time.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I vote for dual stacks through the rear seat area. 

Congrats on another awesome finish too!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 12:28 p.m.

So, with this probably being the last big event we do this year, what do I want to do in the offseason?  I'll start a list I guess:

  • Fix and reinforce skidplate mounts
  • Repair/remake exhaust
  • Lower rear spring rate and compression damping slightly (something between the old 200lb/in springs and the current 275lb/in is probably ideal, maybe 250)
  • Deep clean with all underbody/liners/whatever removed
  • Repaint underbody and wheel wells
  • Service/regrease front struts
  • Change all fluids
  • Make small carrier for spare fluids
  • Complete check of how all rerouted lines, wires, etc are holding up

All in all, not that much work unless I find something scary.

paul_s0 Reader
9/20/21 2:52 p.m.

Congrats on the result guys, going really wellsmiley 

Re the skidplate mounts - can you recess the bolt heads and/or put a sacrificial block/ramp in front of the bolt heads?  I used to have to change the bolts on my stuff after every event, then I put a sacrificial block in front and countersunk the heads (welded a big lump on the 'inside' where the bolt goes through).

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/20/21 3:09 p.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

I could probably figure out a way to protect the bolt heads a bit better, but the hit that ripped things apart was gonna break SOMETHING it's just a matter of what.  I do already have stronger weld nuts I was planning to install this winter, I guess that's no longer optional now!

My concern about recessing the heads is that it would effectively move the whole plate down, and the car is pretty clearance limited.

JAdams GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/20/21 3:34 p.m.

This thread makes me want a twin so bad. Keep on keepin on!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/21/21 8:35 a.m.

So, the suspension and the lawn dart jump behavior- I like the way this thing handles when it's on the ground.  The front is perfect, the rear puts down power nicely, it doesn't bottom out too much... but I think I need to lower the compression damping and the spring rate in the back, even though AFCO's suggestion was to up the rebound and leave compression alone.  I think on takeoff the front is soaking up more of the face of the jump than the rear, causing the car to start pitching down the moment it gets into the air and leading to nasty landings.  It'll be a couple weeks before I can get to it, and it's hard to find a jump to test on, but that's the direction I plan to head.

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