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stavison
stavison New Reader
2/3/21 7:03 p.m.

In reply to gszczyrbak :

I've looked into engine swaps, 2.0L Beta swaps were popular in the previous generation Accent, but I know it's not as easy in the MC Accent. I found a short video of one on YouTube but there's no other information as far as I can find. For now I'll probably keep the original engine and stay naturally aspirated. I may still be moving up to mod this year though, I've got some new parts that'll put me in mod but I don't know if I'll get them installed before my first event.

Do you run with Susq? That's where I've run before with my Focus. I want to try to make it to some Susq events this year if my work schedule allows it. Either way, hopefully I'll see you out there this season.

bobzilla said:

I. Am. So. Friggin. Happy. 

Plus eleventy billion! I miss mine & really need to pick up another one someday. 

NoBrakesRacing
NoBrakesRacing Reader
2/3/21 8:27 p.m.

Had I seen this build a few days ago, I may not have bought my Forte.laugh

Had seen some of these but never at the right price. 

Following. 

Good luck

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
2/3/21 8:48 p.m.

In reply to NoBrakesRacing :

Thanks! I actually really like the Forte and wanted to get a Koup SX as my daily before I got my Focus, I just never found one in the right price range.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/4/21 5:44 p.m.

Hey, I know that car :)

Side note: Like yours, my rally car (and my Raider) both have rally mudflaps cut out from big tractor-trailer urethane flaps, and they've held up for years. 

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/4/21 10:02 p.m.

Alright, I'm finally back home after being deployed for the past three months. Unfortunately but fortunately, DC region postponed their first event of the season, so I haven't missed the start of the season. Now let's see if I can get my car running this week since DC's first event is now on the 11th. Back in November or December, one of my shifter cables kinked itself and now the car will only shift into second and fourth gears. So I'll be ripping the shifter cables out of the parts car and transplanting them into the racecar. Anyway, now I'll get to talking about the fun stuff again.

I wanted to get new tires, ones that are a better size for a low-hp fwd car. After talking with a few people and asking around some of the FB groups, I decided to get some 175/65-14 Yokohama Advan A035 Soft Compound. At the time when I ordered, not many places stateside seemed to have any rally tires, especially narrower ones, so I imported these from Rallynuts in the UK. Now, since these are 14" and my DMacks are 15" that means I needed another set of wheels to mount these on. I searched FB Marketplace and found some AW11 MR2 wheels for too good of a deal and got a friend to go pick them up for me. They're in pretty decent shape, not much damage, just some curb rash, one small ding, and very dirty, but I'll get them cleaned up and painted. My only complaint with these wheels so far is that I didn't realize when I got them that they require mag-seat lug nuts instead of the 60-degree lug nuts... oh well.

I also picked up a seat slider from Corbeau. I'm shorter than most of my friends, so having the seat hard-mounted meant that no one else could fit in my car. I have a couple of friends that want to give rallyx a try so I got the slider so I can let them co-drive my car at some events. I haven't shown my seat bracket on here yet. Since no one makes one, I had to make my own which proved to be a bigger pita than I expected. What I ended up doing was taking the bottom part of the factory seat sliders that had the mounting points that attached to the floor and just welded some steel plate to it with holes to mount the seat to. For the factory seat belt, I just welded that straight onto the side of the bracket. For my harness mounts, I cut some small plates and welded them onto the backside of the bracket. My harness has clip-in ends so they can easily be unclipped and moved out of the way when street driving. For the shoulder belts, I have eyelet bolts that use the holes from the rear seatbelts. You might also notice that the slider is technically mounted backwards, I did that for two reasons, first to just have it out of the way so it wouldn't get accidentally bumped, but also because at some point I'll probably be putting a fire extinguisher on the front of the seat bracket.

Another thing I did last season and haven't shown on here is an oil catch can. When I was replacing radiator hoses, I had the airbox out completely and noticed some oil in the throttle body. So I hopped on amazon and got the cheapest catch can that had decent reviews. I didn't have a lot of options for where to mount it so I just welded a plate between the passenger strut tower and the firewall and mounted it there. In the future, I'm planning to relocate the battery to the trunk and possibly build a custom intake, when I do that, I'll build a better-looking mount for the catch can on the driver's side of the engine bay.

Anyway, I've got some fun things planned for this season. I'll be missing a bunch of events this season because of other things going on in life, but I've got plenty of events on my calendar, hopefully hitting events with Washington DC, Susquehanna, and Ohio Valley Regions.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/4/21 10:10 p.m.

Not to be that guy, but that stock seatbelt doesn't have much support just being welded in tension like that.  

 

Can you gusset that?  

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/4/21 10:38 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

Not to be that guy, but that stock seatbelt doesn't have much support just being welded in tension like that.  

 

Can you gusset that?  

You make a good point. I didn't care much about that seat belt when I built it, I just needed it to pass inspection but since I've been street driving the car more I probably should address that. I'm already planning on adding more support to the seat bracket once I can get my welder back out, so whenever I do that I'll make sure to make that a little safer.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/5/21 9:44 p.m.

Well, it took pretty much all day, but I managed to get the shifter cables replaced. Looks like I might actually be able to make it to the DC region's event this weekend (hoping it doesn't get rained out). Getting the cables out of the parts car took half the day. I took apart way more of the car than I needed too just trying to figure out how to get them out. Once I got them out though, I was able to get the broken cables out of the race car much quicker. Getting the cables put in though was a whole nother story... there's a bracket and a rubber bushing where the cables pass through the firewall that wasn't an issue getting out, but getting it lined up to go back in was difficult. Big thanks to my dad though for helping with that; honestly without a second set of hands that easily would've taken at least twice as long.

Since the shifter assembly and airbox were completely removed, I took the opportunity to install a short shifter and an intake, both from Cosmo Racing. I put on a shifter extension that I had made in a machining class but I'm not sure how I like the height, so that might not stay.

Now all I should need to do is get the interior put back together and I should be ready to race. Might not have the new wheels/tires mounted in time though since I want to sandblast and paint the wheels first.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/5/21 10:11 p.m.

the way the forecast is looking (again) you may yet have a couple more weeks......... :/

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/6/21 2:13 p.m.

Not much work today, but I got the interior completely put back together, also threw on a different shift knob I had lying around. Then I took it for a wash, which I don't do often with this car but it seems like a whole flock of birds decided it looked like a nice target the other day... With it all cleaned up I also gave it some GRM decals. The one on the hatch worked nicely to cover up the residue that wouldn't come off from the old Hyundai badge.

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/10/21 10:58 p.m.

I sandblasted the mr2 wheels the other day and painted them today. I'm no professional spray painter so they ain't perfect but they're good enough. Monday I'll get the new Yokohama's mounted and maybe take them out for a test drive on some State Game Lands roads.

I forgot to take a picture before it got dark out but I also finally got the lower grill put back on. After I made my skid plate, the lower grill was hitting the mounting tabs and it needed to be notched for clearance but I just never got around to it. I kinda liked the look of not having the grill but that lower part of the bumper definitely needs some extra support, especially after I broke it and had to zip-tie it back together.

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/13/21 2:56 p.m.

Yesterday I got my new Yokohama A035 tires mounted on the mr2 wheels but with rain and other errands, I had to wait until today to take them for a test drive/adventure. I love driving up the mountain on the State Game Land roads and seeing the views. I also enjoy doing Jeep-E36 M3 in my cars that really shouldn't be doing Jeep-E36 M3.

I also took some pictures today showing the lower grill and how it needed cut to clear the skid plate mounts. It wasn't anything major, just a couple of minutes with the dremel and it fit up just fine.

Today was a little like Christmas walking out to a bunch of boxes from Rock Auto, each with more, smaller boxes inside.

I've known that my suspension has been tired and would need to be refreshed but lately, it's been sounding and feeling a little worse, also found that one of the rear shocks is blown. So now I've got one more box from Rock Auto coming tomorrow and I can start replacing most of the front and rear suspension.

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/13/21 4:54 p.m.

I love the idea of a test drive on state game lands roads. Any trouble from game wardens or anything like that? 

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/13/21 6:28 p.m.
gszczyrbak said:

I love the idea of a test drive on state game lands roads. Any trouble from game wardens or anything like that? 

I've never run into any game wardens while out adventuring. But I usually don't drive too crazy on game lands anyway, especially since a lot of them around me have big rocks and potholes, some stretches I have to drive slow and technical to not get hung up or break E36 M3.

So I guess it wasn't much of a test of how the tires will feel on the rx course, more just an excuse to go on an adventure.

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/18/21 9:53 p.m.

Lots of work getting done this week. I decided it was finally time to refresh the suspension, it's been making noises (I think mostly lower ball joints) ever since I bought the car but it's been getting worse lately; combining that with discovering I had a blown rear shock, it was just time to get it done. So, I figured if I was ripping into it, I might as well replace everything while it's all apart. For parts I have: KYB Strut Plus assemblies (which use Excel-G struts), KYB Excel-G rear shocks with mounts and dust boots, Moog control arms, ball joints, outer tie rod ends, hub assemblies, and Powerstop front and rear brake kit. The rear brakes aren't going on just quite yet; eventually, I'll be replacing the rear hubs and wheel bearings and I'll do the rear brakes then.

So, I started with the rear shocks, figuring it would be the easiest (it was). Aside from a bit of a learning curve since I have never done any of this, the rear shocks went very smoothly and quickly. (also I know that the dust boot is messed up in that picture, I did fix it later)

Next up was the front, which was very intimidating for me since I've never really done more than a brake job on the front of a car. Disassembly took several hours and multiple trips to Advance Auto for tools, but I've definitely learned a better order for removing things that'll make the passenger side go smoother. Assembling everything with the new parts was super easy but we did call it a night after dinner with the brakes still not on. So, the car currently sits with the driver's side only needing the brakes put on and the passenger's side untouched, waiting for tomorrow.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/19/21 5:22 a.m.

In reply to Stavison :

Check the rear bushing on the front control arms. Mine were pretty trashed by about 150k & were causing some noise, along with the front end wandering under hard acceleration. 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/19/21 6:08 a.m.

Nice work!  I'm in the same boat. Before my rallycross car, I had only done brakes, oil changes, and audio stuff. Feels great accomplishing bigger jobs. 

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/19/21 11:07 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

Check the rear bushing on the front control arms. Mine were pretty trashed by about 150k & were causing some noise, along with the front end wandering under hard acceleration. 

The bushings looked pretty tired, but not bad enough to suspect them as a cause of any noise. Either way, they got replaced anyway.

Anyway. I got a later start today but got the driver's side buttoned up before lunch. I had a real struggle when it came to greasing the ball joint and outer tie rod end. For some reason, I had forgotten to put the zerk fitting in the ball joint before installing and I couldn't get it in with everything connected. So, I unbolted the ball joint from the hub and had to jack up the hub to get enough room to put the fitting in. Then getting the ball joint bolt holes lined back up with the hub holes was way more difficult than it should've been. Lesson learned, make sure to install the fitting before installing.

Disassembly of the passenger side today didn't end up going any quicker than the driver side. Most of it was quicker but this side has a wheel speed sensor (since this car didn't come with ABS, it only has the one) which unbolted just fine but the sensor itself was seized in the knuckle, and in trying to get it out, it just snapped. I'm not quite sure what the data from the wheel speed sensor is used for, nothing seemed to be affected on the short test drive I did. We did manage to get the rest of the car put back together minus the wheel speed sensor which will take a few days to get a replacement. With everything together, I took it for a short drive to a big parking lot where I could test and bed the brakes as well as check for any issues with all of the new suspension. Happy to report that I didn't have any issues. Now it just needs an alignment, which I have scheduled for Friday, and it should be ready to race!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/21/21 1:03 p.m.

That wheel speed sensor will likely limit RPM to 5k. Its the secondary output sensor for hte ECU. Every one of those I've had fail caused the engine to break up at 5k. 

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/22/21 10:05 a.m.
bobzilla said:

That wheel speed sensor will likely limit RPM to 5k. Its the secondary output sensor for hte ECU. Every one of those I've had fail caused the engine to break up at 5k. 

Interesting. Well, I won't have my replacement before this weekend anyway, so if I do have this issue, I'll just be a little slower at the rallycross(es?) this weekend.

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/23/21 9:05 p.m.

Got a four-wheel alignment done today. Since I had replaced everything it was pretty far off, but now it tracks straight, the steering wheel is straight, and it drives better than ever! (Caster and rear toe are still red because they are not adjustable.) Now we'll see how everything feels at Summit Point tomorrow. This will be my first race with the front sway bar disconnected so I'm curious to see how that affects traction; last season there were plenty of times I could feel the drive wheel skipping during harder corners.

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/24/21 9:21 p.m.

Todays's rallycross at Summit Point was a lot of fun and definitely a challenge. I really did well on the morning course, the car did exactly what I wanted it to and the corners were wide enough to stay in second gear. I think the disconnected front sway bar combined with left foot braking really helped to keep the front end planted and maintain traction through corners. I had the fastest times in the class for the first two runs, then still managed to keep up enough to be in the lead when we broke for lunch. During my fourth run of the morning (out of 5), I could tell something was wrong with the car, it started out as just noise that I thought might've just been the exhaust rattling on the skid plate, so I kept going; during the fifth run, I started to feel the engine not running quite right and it got a lot louder. Once I got back to the paddock for lunch break, I jacked up the car to take a look and saw two bolts sitting in the skid plate and I recognized them as exhaust bolts. Looking back on old pictures, I think the bolts originally had regular nuts with lock washers, but all of that was lost, also only half of the gasket was there. So in order to keep running, I used the hardware from the skid plate to bolt the exhaust back together without a gasket. The skid plate used nylon lock nuts, which of course are not good for exhaust, but gotta do what ya gotta do to keep running. And I can't thank Gabe and Adam enough, my competitors in my class who helped so much to make sure I got the car put together in time for the afternoon session. In the afternoon, the course was reversed and some of the corners adjusted and I just could not get in the groove, I didn't have a single run in the afternoon that I thought was good, but luckily my competitors also had some not-great runs and hit more cones than I did which kept all three of us really close and at the end of the day I came in second place, less than two seconds behind first, a big improvement for me since last season I was consistently a good bit slower than them.

As for damage, I've got some work to do before next weekend's double-header. As already talked about, I'll need to replace the exhaust hardware and gasket as well as the nyloc nuts for the skid plate that I used on the exhaust which didn't take long to melt. I also lost part of a fender liner which isn't a big deal. The most frustrating thing is that I'm starting to have issues with my shifter again. On my drive home I could only use gears 3 through 5. I'm hoping that these shifter cables aren't already starting to fail as the last ones did. There's some adjustability on one of the cables and I'm hoping that that's all it needs.

Lastly, the wheel speed sensor didn't seem to cause any issues. Everything worked as normal and I never had issues with the ECU limiting my rpm. I drove 115 miles to Summit Point, thrashed on the car all day running it to redline quite a bit, then still drove 115 miles back home. I'll still be replacing it, but at this point, I have no idea what it is used for.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 7:40 a.m.

Just for your future reference if you ever need nuts and bolts I generally carry my full hardware bin in my truck and have most sizes available ;)

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
6/26/21 9:42 p.m.

So I realize it's been quite a while since I've updated this thread. So right after this first event, we had a double-header the next weekend. Nothing exciting happened with the car. On the first day, we had a large turnout for PF, 5 competitors; there were some good drivers and I ended up getting 4th out of 5, overall I'm not unhappy with that because I know I'm still progressing as a driver. The following day I was the only one in my class, so it was a guaranteed 10 points and it gave me the chance to experiment a bit. The fourth event for the WDCR season I was unable to attend because I had a bachelor party that weekend. So that brings us up to last weekend.

So, last weekend was event #5 for WDCR and it was a 2-day event. This was also the maiden voyage of my new tow vehicle. In May I bought a 2005 Toyota 4Runner V8. So far I love it, I have been dailying it lately because my actual daily (2014 Ford Focus) has been broken. It handles the daily commute just fine, albeit with much lower gas mileage, and tows great. I have a Master Tow dolly without brakes and it feels fine for me, even without brakes but if I were to tow anything heavier, I know I will want brakes. Anyhow, the 4Runner is also great because it allows me to camp without messing with setting up and tearing down a tent, which at my last event was awful because the high winds collapsed my tent several times throughout the night...

The back of a 4Runner perfectly fits a twin-size air mattress which made camping super comfortable.

I knew I needed some ventilation since it was really hot and I had looked at actual bug mesh but it was all unnecessarily expensive, so I improvised and got $1 worth of tulle from the fabric section of walmart and taped it over the window. It worked great to keep the bugs out and keep a decent amount of fresh air flowing through the car.

So now onto the fun part to write/read about, racing. Since this weekend was a two-day event, the results were cumulative of both days. For the first day, it was just me and Gabe (Mazda Protege5) in my class. We both ran really well but I had a couple of bad runs (I blame one of the runs on my shifter cables...) and Gabe was overall faster than me and had a 13-second lead going into day 2. On day 2, Adam (Mazda 3 sedan) came but since he was ineligible for points (because he wasn't at both days) he used this more as a practice, trying different techniques to see what worked. We ran a course that we run all the time with WDCR at Summit Point but it was set up differently this week than I have ever seen it before. I really got in the groove of that course and was outrunning Gabe most of the day, but in the end I wasn't able to close that 13-second gap and we ended the weekend with Gabe 5-seconds ahead.

Some action shots courtesy of irish44j:

Gabe and his Protege5

So. after-action report: the car did really well last weekend. I have been using my brakes a lot more (and I mean a LOT) between both left-foot braking and braking late and hard into corners. The braking seems to be working well for my times but the car is definitely not happy about it; I noticed the brake pedal would get very stiff at times and the brakes were very hot. I haven't changed the brake fluid, so what's in the car is more than likely 220k miles old, so it's time for that to get flushed and replaced with some high-temp fluid. As far as pads/rotors, I'll likely keep the rotors but try to find some better pads (not easy since basically no one else races these cars). Also, I'll look at my local pick-a-part places and see if I can find some rear disc brakes off of a higher trim Accent and try to do that swap at some point.

I also am still having issues with the shifter cables, and the short shifter from Cosmo Racing. The short shifter hasns't been working out for me, so I plan on putting the stock shifter back in. As for the cables, it's crazy for them to fail already, so I talked to some people and got some ideas of what might be causing it. The big thing I think I need to look into is motor and trans mounts. We thought maybe if they were worn out, that the cable could be needing to hyper-extend which could be causing my issues. So when I get a chance to look into that, I'll be sure to update the thread.

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