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Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/4/22 8:07 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

A local Subaru dealer will have the seals and various o-rings tomorrow, so that's nice.

Did you buy two sets?  Having spares on hand seems to always result in a part never failing again... wink

I wonder if the aftermarket will come up with a more durable, hi-temp version if these seals prove to be a consistent issue.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/4/22 8:11 a.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I did actually, and the ones from the parts engine have the same part number on them so those are spares now.  It does appear that there are aftermarket seals, but at 4x the price with several weeks of lead time I'll roll the dice with factory stuff for now.

759NRNG UberDork
5/4/22 9:00 p.m.

"That said, now that Perry has the Merkur making like twice as much power I'd bet it's really fun- that car's strong suit was always just keeping the hammer down through the straighter sections."

Which pretty much answers irishj44's IDK how in the previous post. Thinking outside the box....if this had AWD what could one expect? Stooopid Smiles after every stage?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/6/22 6:18 p.m.

Lots of cleaning, both of the components themselves and the bores they sit in, before I could reassemble the DI stuff with all fresh seals- Harbor Freight sells an engine brush kit that works really well for the latter. 

Reassembled with plenty of dielectric grease (Xero-Limit's suggestion) to help the injectors go in without hurting the seals. 

Back up and running!

And then on the lift for checks before Bristol- seems like we took a pretty hard hit on the diff skidplate at the rallysprint but it should still do its' job:

Today also marks the 2yr anniversary of this car coming home with us for the first time, completely stock with a knocking engine- a lot of stuff has happened since then!

Recon1342 SuperDork
5/7/22 12:31 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Yeah, we know. 

"I got a new car, gonna do a slow build into a rally car to replace the Merkur!!!"

GRM- "Awesome, we will watch with great interest!!!"

*2 whole seconds later*
"TADA!!!! Rally Car!!!"


So far, it's been a really awesome build to follow along with.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/7/22 12:59 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

Thanks!  What I lack in patience I try to make up for in effort.

I think I'm declaring the car good to go, although I preemptively ordered some diff bushings for after the event since they're starting to look pretty tired.  The only loose bolts I found were on the rear upper control arms yet again- not super loose, but enough to check them again during the event for sure.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/11/22 7:17 a.m.

Bristol Forest Rally 2022 Setup:

Front Suspension:
Damping: 300/70 Bilstein
Spring Rate: 225 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.75"
Bumpstop:  3" soft rubber
Toe: 0"
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, new-ish

Rear Suspension:
Damping: 3p-8 AFCO
Spring Rate: 250 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.5"
Bumpstop:  2.75" soft foam
Toe: 1/16" in
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, used previously as fronts

Diff bushings don't look awesome, hopefully they last the event

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/11/22 8:12 a.m.

You may have covered it before, but why the slight toe in on the rear?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/11/22 8:17 a.m.

In reply to AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) :

Honestly, I tweaked it a long time ago to settle it down a bit under braking and never changed it back.  It does toe out a bit under droop so the thought was to keep it to 0" or less even when the thing is pitching all over the place.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/11/22 12:04 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Gotcha, fair enough! Was just curious, especially since I just tweaked my Miata alignment last night. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/11/22 8:22 p.m.

Diff bushings showed up early! I replaced the PS bushing since it was far worse than the other one and doesn't require any cutting. 

Oh yeah and the car was already on the trailer.  Hopefully this is an improvement and keeps the diff attached to the car for the whole rally.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/13/22 2:30 p.m.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/16/22 7:36 a.m.

Bristol Forests Rally 2022

Recce/Parc Expose

We got an early start and had a wonderfully uneventful tow down to Bristol:

Picked up our recce car for this one (a Chevy Spark) and headed out to write notes on the super twisty and technical stages:

Super, SUPER technical, tons of turns, lots of cliffs to fall off of, some soft spots, and some big rocks.  There was one stage with a relatively fast tarmac section but for the most part Bristol is an extraordinarily tight rally:

Got some sleep back at the airbnb we were sharing with Brolin and Spoth, then the next morning went through tech (no issues!) before getting some more recce in.  I don't think we've ever noted so many variations of a 2 before.

Once we had notes we were happy with, headed off to Parc Expose for some time with friends, dogs, and rally cars:

Fried chicken capped off the evening before we headed back for some rest.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/16/22 8:34 a.m.

Bristol Forests Rally 2022

Race Day

Since Parc Expose was the night before, the rally started from the service park at Bristol Motor Speedway:

The first transit out was awesome, a long twisty road the locals apparently refer to as "the snake" which we had to remind ourselves wasn't a stage so we could just cruise and not eat the tires too much.

SS1 was called Copperhead Rd, and apart from being a little bit wet it was just a nice, flowing 4.5 miles of twisty stuff- notes were perfect and we started coming up to pace pretty quickly, although not as quickly as some of our competition and landed 4th in L2wd timewise.  Everything felt great though!

SS2 was the rough one of this rally, called Southern Loop Lite, and at over 8 miles of varied surface, nasty bumps, and big rocks it was a tough one to find time on.  Cyr (class leader after the first stage) broke down midway through, and while we ran a respectable 3rd place L2wd time McGee jumped out ahead with a fast run through the rough stuff.  More than the others, this stage evolved as cars went through it and took different lines, making the notes a little less precise as rocks moved around and big cuts took pieces of the road away.

SS3 was called Holler Puts, and it was a little less rough than the previous one and around half the length with more open terrain- the fastest average speeds of the rally were here, and there were a few proper hairpins in the mix too.  Eckstein, who had been running second in class, broke down near the finish while we managed to come through with a L2wd stage win, moving us into second in class behind McGee.

SS4, Countersink, was the longest at nearly 9 miles, smooth, dry, and had a fast tarmac section in the middle which required a big shift in pace from the many tight gravel corners that made up the rest of it.  This one felt great, and we managed to make up another 10 seconds here before heading back to service.

Back at service, EvanB, Justin, and Pat checked over the car as we ate some sandwiches, things were determined to be just fine, and before we knew it we were ready to head back out.  Adam Brock's Volvocame in on a trailer needing a water pump, and Evan and Justin immediately began dismantling it; Pat and Cam produced a spare water pump from Cam's daily driver 240 and they were hard at work as we left for another loop.

Those 4 stages repeated again, and we ran a fast time on SS5 Copperhead Road with one crucial mistake- I hit a cone.  No, this isn't rallycross, but there was a chicane on the stage where the cones were worth 15sec each and I came in too hot and managed to tank the inside cone on the second element.  This will be important later.

SS6 was Southern Loop Lite again and we did much better than the previous time, but still couldn't keep up with McGee in the mud and rocks- the skidplates really took some punishment here.  If I'm remembering the order of events correctly, on the transit after this one we lent Cessna some tools to tighten his steering wheel since it was falling off.

SS7 Holler Puts went well again- I think this is the one where we passed the aircooled 911, although I could be mistaken.  I just remember going "oh my god we passed a 911!" after squeezing by.  Another L2wd stage win brought us within 5 seconds of McGee for the class lead, and Brolin was right behind us on times and climbing in the order too.

SS8 Countersink had an interesting delay at the start- Yuvali had managed to spin off the road on the very first corner, so we had to go around his 318ti immediately after launching.

This didn't slow us down much, and we were feeling great until we started to encounter some serious dust, eventually catching James' Fiesta running on a flat- we passed him going into an L2- with plenty of handbrake, I can't wait to see the in car from that one.  After we got by we were still running in some serious dust though, the car ahead must not have been far, and on the very last corner before the finish line I overcooked it driving nearly blind and slid off the road onto the berm, luckily with just enough traction left to drag the skidplate back up and get the front wheels in a position to aim us down the road, backing over one of our mudflaps in the process.  Despite this nearly disastrous goof up, we managed to pull into the L2wd lead on this stage.

Back at service, the car went up in the air and Evan, Justin, and Pat set about making sure we hadn't hurt anything with our little unplanned parking incident.  Everything seemed ok if a little squished here and there, so we headed back out for the final loop of those same stages yet again, transiting behind the 911 and enjoying the view:

On SS9 Copperhead Rd we took great care not to hit any of the pieces of the chicane, and ran ever so slightly than McGee on... what is this, did I forget how to drive?  Partway through the stage it became obvious that it had rained on this side of the mountains, and things were getting SLICK.

At the SS10 Southern Loop Lite start we asked the volunteers- did it rain here?  We had had clear skies all day but it had apparently dumped rain for nearly half an hour, and the conditions showed it.  We survived, nearly slid off the road once, but lost a lot of time to both McGee and Brolin, driving arguably too conservatively, although our rear tires were also getting pretty bald by this point so who knows.  McGee moved back into the lead and Brolin bumped up to 3rd right behind us on the road.

SS11 Holler Puts was, by all appearances, nearly dry, and we had time to make up.  This one went extremely well, we pushed hard, and we managed to pull back nearly 30 seconds from McGee at the expense of a few more hard skidplate hits.

We didn't have live results for this event, but the ballpark math said we were very, very close behind McGee.  SS12 was do or die time, and we knew he'd be trying just as hard not to lose any time to us.

This was the fastest we had run the whole rally, the notes were perfect, the car was perfect other than some nearly cooked rear tires, the road was dry, the dust was minimal- we were flying... and then, a little over a mile from the finish, the stage was cut short.  One of the leading Subarus had had a turbo fire and threw the SOS, so although the fire was out by the time we got there we still had to stop, meaning we (and McGee) would get issued the same time for this stage.  I was pretty unhappy with this and pretty certain that we had lost our shot at the class win, I just had no idea what the margins would be.  To be honest, I would trade our times for the rest of the event just to know how we would have stacked up against the rest of the field with a full run here, the pace felt so good.

The finish was at the Bristol Dragway, so we drove down there, met up with our friends, and traded stories while we anxiously waited for results.

What results?  Well, remember that 15sec chicane penalty?

Yep, I managed to cone away a stage rally class win.  blush  That said, it was a great fight all day, and a well earned win by McGee- the cone wasn't the only incident, we had to back up twice to get back on the road, there were plenty of other places (including the scrubbed final stage) to make back that deficit but the cone really put a point on it.

Lots of friends brought home hardware too, with Downey winning 02wd, Gondyke winning NA4wd, and Brolin 3rd in L2wd.  Not bad!

So that puts us, thanks to our out of region carryover points from Sno*Drift, in the lead for the Eastern Regional L2wd Championship.  What a day!

This was a real chance to push ourselves and the car on the same stages repeatedly, and it felt great on those last couple especially.  I'm hoping we can carry what we learned here into future events and go even faster.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/16/22 12:45 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Congrats on taking the lead in your region!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/16/22 1:30 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks!  We're technically leading Central Region too but have no intention of running enough events there to be in contention for a championship win.  Right now it's a case of two second places beating a first, that will change as other people run more events.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/17/22 7:18 a.m.

Photos from Ridonkulous Rallysport, two from Keith Kreatives, and another LucksLens respectively:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/17/22 9:34 p.m.

And so we begin my least favorite part of reprep- cleaning. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/22 10:46 p.m.

You do it INSIDE?


I remember one time I wanted to get teh RX-7 superclean, so I took it, my Daytona floor jack, and my 3 ton jackstands to Evan's place to use his driveway and power washer.  Got it  right on up there and went to town on it with the washer.  His friend Jake kept commenting "that car is SO HIGH" smiley

The fun part was cleaning the driveway afterwards.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/18/22 6:42 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

We have no driveway, I wash it just outside the door, then inside on stands, then take the wheels off and do it again, then put them back on and roll it to the lift and wash the floor.

A wash rack at a farm or something would be super nice.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/22 7:32 p.m.

Nice recap :) Side note - so your rear tires were almost bald after 10 stages? Was it that abrasive of a surface, or were you using previously-used tires?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/18/22 8:17 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I use them one event up front and one in back, in that order, generally.   Lots of wheelspin off the slow corners didn't help. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/19/22 7:19 a.m.

Here's a stage from the middle of the rally- every one of those "tidy" calls is a cliff or a giant ditch that would end the event.  We set the fastest L2wd time here but you can see from the video there's a lot left in the car, I just need to learn to brake later and stay on the gas longer!  I also have a little scare with a log and ask Sara to add a "don't" note to a corner at speed.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/19/22 7:48 p.m.

The back end of this car really takes a beating in the rocky stuff:

I thought the back end felt loose on the final transit, guess I found why:

Those control arm bolts definitely need a better locking mechanism. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/19/22 8:19 p.m.

Maybe some Nord-Lock washers would help there? Are you already loctiting them?

I found that when I had urethane bushings on my trailing arms, my bolts would loosen up EVERY rally (and would oval out the mount holes, annoyingly). I switched back to OEM-style rubber bushings and haven't had them loosen up at all since then. I can't tell if you have urethane or rubber there, but may be worth a try. 

Also, have you thought about plating those lower trailing links that seem to hang down lower than the control arms? Those things look like they'd get beaten to death down there. Maybe even just some UHMW sheet hanging off the back of the main control arm would help protect them better. 

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