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rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/24/21 4:56 p.m.

Engine #2's a runner!  

Feels strong, isn't making any death noises, all the fluids are staying in their respective systems.

Trans needs some fuild topped off... but a 3' breaker bar + 2' cheater bar wouldn't budge the fill plug.  Might just pour an educated guess down the shifter hole for how much came out while moving it.

I'm going to sign up for the RallyCross and drive it to work tomorrow to get some miles on the clutch/brakes.

If it holds up through the week, I'll be pogo'in around the dirt this weekend.


(checks AAA tow home distance)

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/24/21 7:31 p.m.

Had a great test drive around the area for an hour or so this evening! 

Engine is great, strong, and has the meaty mid-range and I like KA's for, it's got a much better top end than the other motor, I'm almost thinking there's cam shenanigans going on here.(or maybe just intact piston rings?)  I stopped by the gas station and pumped up the tires to 45psi, and around there, they hit some harmonic that's actually damped out OK by the mostly blown coilovers.  I really enjoy driving around this car.

Things to fix prior to Rallycross:

  • Add trans fluid
  • Replace starter (starts 1/15 times), old one worked fine
  • Fix spongy brakes
  • Find a shift knob
  • Try to track down stock suspension? (stretch goal, these seem to have all been blown/scrapped 15 years ago)

Things to fix after RallyCross:

  • Everything else

Oh!  spongy brakes, so I came back from the test drive and popped the hood to see if anything was leakin' squeakin' or tweakin' and heard a loud sucking noise from the back of the motor...

It was the fitting on the brand new brake booster!

It was weird when I unboxed it, because the OEM ones have a welded or brazed fitting, and this one had a fitting with some strange hole through it, and a rubber grommet, bound to fail with exhaust heat.

So yeah, I may have to do a special "Learn Me Brake Boosters" because I figured all they wanted to vacuum and lots of it.  I sprayed this area with brake clean, and it massively changed the running of the motor...  So I did what any idiot with lots of electrical tape and a combo pack of rubber nipples would do:


Braking up and down the driveway was cured as far as I can tell.  We'll see how it feels on the way to work tomorrow.


Oh yeah, and actually registered for the event this week, damn-near 20 entrants in class!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/25/21 5:54 p.m.

Drove the car into work today, about a 50 mile round trip on some twisty backroads!


and almost made it back

ran out of electrons as I turned into the neighborhood, and coasted it to the driveway to get 'recovered' by my wife in the LandOozer

jfryjfry SuperDork
8/26/21 2:40 p.m.

In for diagnosis

jfryjfry SuperDork
8/26/21 2:40 p.m.

Oh and the rubber grommet in the booster will probably be fine wrt the heat

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/27/21 9:16 a.m.

The battery was sitting at 8V by the time I got back to the driveway, and I'm honestly impressed that it was still making spark before that!

The engine's previous owner claimed it was a recently new alternator, so I swapped it over...  apparently not.  I put the old alternator on, took my first meeting of the day in the Subaru running with jumper cables attached to the 240's battery to charge it back up for 30mins.

With a bit of charge back in the battery, and the old alternator installed, everything seemed 'fine' 11.9 V at rest, 13.6 V running.  I'm going to assume that's the charging system sorted, and in the future grab a volt gauge.

On my drive I was also having issues starting the car,  I assumed these were traced back to the low voltage, but changed the starter over too while I was in there....  and have still had a couple of instances of hearing the relay click, but no turn.  Perhaps the flywheel gears aren't lining up, or the shoddy wiring to the trunk mounted battery has too many losses... but no time to fix those before the event.

Instead I'm wiring up the electrical fans so  I can keep the car running without shutting off.   I also got really good at bump starting the car on Wednesday!  I'll bring some jumper cables and a tow rope with me this weekend just in case I need to borrow some 'trons or a tug.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/27/21 6:18 p.m.

Wired up the electric fans today with a random toggle switch, a relay left over from an aux light kit, and some bits of wire.  Oh, and the classiest mounting of a switch ever:

Then I packed a couple things for the event:

Took it on a drive to top off with gas, pump some air in the spare Celica Supra wheels, and test the power system.

The fans worked great while idling, the car started up on the key without drama, and when I was all done, the battery sits at 12.4 VDC, so I'm thinking that problem is fixed.

Cleaned the windows, checked wheel torques and tire pressures, gave myself a quick tech check, and I think everything's set to try and RallyCross tomorrow!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/28/21 1:47 p.m.

Good luck!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/29/21 1:05 p.m.

While I'm sure others will chime in with some run-by-run analysis and the points chase, my event recap will be more of a Roadkill-esque story:  Can this largely unproven POS13 drive 120 miles through mountain roads, get flogged at an event, and make it back home again?

Event Recap:

I had the car all packed up and ready to go, leaving around 6 in the morning.  I had briefly considered that the headlights weren't particularly aimed at anything useful, but figured with just a half hour of pre-dawn, and arriving home before dark, they'd just be there so other folks could see me... so I didn't bother.  I pushed the car out of the garage as not to create an early morning ruckus for the neighbors, fired it up on the way down the driveway, and was off!

Living up in the midwest, everything was distanced in time on an interstate, and directions were quite simple: Hop on 44 or 70 or 35 for some duration of time, arrive at your destination that time later.  Here in Virginia, it's much more complicated to get places, and multiple series of backroads are often quicker than trying to get to the interstates.  So my journey started on many of these curvy 45-50mph backroads as I worked my way up to 66.  The car was running well, everything seemed within spec on temps and fluids, no weird smells or sounds.  The brief stint on the interstate was the first time I'd gotten the car into 5th gear for any period of time, and other than an inop speedometer, it handled the higher speeds just fine.  After I got off the interstate 20 miles later, I stopped to check fluids, make sure my alternator was still charging, etc.   Everything looked OK, and as I was pulling back onto the rural highway that goes into West Virginia, I caught sight of a white WRX full of rallycross-related stickers.  Great! I had a general idea of how to get to the site, but not the specific entrance.  So I followed him in...   at about 8 car-lengths back as the brake pedal was quite spongy, and while I could get the car to whoa, there wasn't a ton of feel there, and any hard braking events usually ended with a bit of lockup.  This highway winds up and down some decent grades, and has a few switchbacky turns.

When we turned off the highway, it was as if a rallycross Nirvana was unfolding in front of me.  Nestled in the mountain ridges and beautiful views, was an undulating field or twists and turns, cambered from years of use, in a tight pattern perfect for Rallycross.  Next to it was a small road course, and giant asphalt skidpad.  It was like The Sound of Music meets Motorsport.

Unpacking the car went quickly, and as I was wandering the paddock back to my car, I noticed it'd acquired a nice puddle underneath!  A quick search showed that the upper radiator hose was either loose, or cracked near the clamp.  I was able to cinch it up closer, move the clamp down the hose a bit, and tighten it down, and that mostly cured it.

I miraculously passed tech, and was whisked off to the drivers meeting.  A quick drive up the hill to grid confirmed that this was, indeed, the wrong suspension setup for the day.  Way too much spring with no dampening made things a bit 'bouncy'. 

For most of this ordeal leading up to the event, I had a strange amount of trust in the car, my abilities to troubleshoot, and my (poor) choices of prepping the car.   However, during the driver's meeting, all that optimism and trust began to erode.  Over half of the driver's meeting was to address one of the site's unique characteristics: sharp rocks that would break off during the day, and puncture... everything.  We were told that if you had street tires the rocks would puncture sidewalls if you were at all sideways.  The snows I'd chosen were bumped up to 45psi cold, had nice voids and edges for grip, but offered no sidewall resiliency to rocks.  Stories around the group were tales of sharp rocks going through the footwells, puncturing fuel lines, going through skidplates to attack oil pans, etc.    One part of basic rallycross preparation I'd overlooked was to to even fit a skidplate.... I even had the material sitting in the garage, just needed more time.  So as we took our parade lap, I was a bit nervous to see what was out there. 

After the parade lap and my first run, I began to realize that this surface was like nothing I'd raced on before.  Most of my midwestern venues were basically fields: Decent dirt with a layer of grass on top.  The day typically went with some slipperyness of removing the grass layer, then cutting into the soil to find grip, and as the day went on there'd be a 'line' for grip, and some loose dirt on the outside.  What was coined "Moon Dust" was different entirely.  The base of this course was hard packed clay with the aforementioned rocks, but on top was a fine silt of clay dust far fluffier than then even the off-line loose dirt I was accustomed to.  It was also fairly deep, and stuck to the racing line.  This made picking a line and adjusting the angle of the car a hilarious exercise.  It was like driving on sand or snow, but with brief moments of grip if you dug down enough in just the right spot.

So the day became a battle of who could react to their car and catch the undesirable under or oversteer fastest.  This was something I did not excel at laugh

But damn if it wasn't fun!  I was pogo'ing off the bumps and dips trying to predict the moments that I'd have the suspension loaded up and I'd dig through the dust.  Often times it'd catch mid-corner and throw me off into the inside cones (sorry cornerworkers!), sometime's it'd be the fronts and and it'd rotate HARD.  The speed of the corners and straights had me at the top of 1st gear, so I often found myself sideways with the throttle pegged, just trying to fling the steering wheel in a direction that'd keep me on the track.  Every now and then, it'd somehow come together, and it'd feel right and it'd hook all the way through a corner, with just enough rotation, pulling down the straight, then hooking into the next.

So I should mention that it was HOT, and dusty, there was intermittent wind, but from seemingly random directions.  There'd often be corners where I'd run into dust clouds from previous runs, I even roosted myself from one corner into another!  This is the only time I've ever had to use windshield wipers on course to clear my window of dust.

Working the course, even though my corner was an uneventful one was a toil in the heat and dust, and I had gone through much of the water I brought prior to the lunch break.  Thankfully someone brought a cooler with some extra water bottles (Thanks!), and mercifully some clouds arrived in the afternoon with some moments of rain to drop the dust down.

One neat trick I saw from my corner's previous crew, they'd put a radial line with their shoe to mark the cone location, and one across it to mark the base of the pointer.  I'm not sure if this is common to the region, but is simpler than flags, lasts longer than spray paint, and made them easy to replace when hit.  Certainly something I'll take with me for future rallycross adventures!

The car didn't skip a beat!  The engine happily played in the higher revs all day.  The temps stayed right at the thermostat opening temp with the electric fans.  The dampers weren't any more blown than when I showed up, the oil pan was intact, and the electrons all stayed in the car doing laps, and each tire avoided the sharp rocks and had all the psi's. The only random issue I came across was the hydraulic systems.  Despite the new clutch master and slave cylinder, the fluid had turned black, and my travel was almost non-existent.  It made it tricky to maneuver in grid without spinning the tires like an idiot.  Also the brakes are still spongy, and there's a definite idle drop by pressing the pedal, so I need to hunt down another vacuum leak with the booster or MC.   Oh, and the fluid was 'jumping' out of top of the reservoir , and down on to the spot I had to rust repair already.  So I need to figure that out too.

With all that done, I needed a shower and a cold beer!  I didn't book any local accommodations (are there any?), so I packed up the car, cleaned the windows and taillights off, and prepared to head out for the 2 hour drive back in this completely inconspicuous livery:

There was some rain coming in, so I went to turn on the headlight to find that my tape and ziptie fix on the headlight rod had failed... so I added a new bit of tape and ziptie and hit the road.

The cloud of dust that came off the car as I pulled onto the highway was epic, and I pulled away to keep in front of the stormfront as I headed back east.

Well, it caught me about halfway back, and while I was prepared for a bit of rain, nothing prepared me for this.  It was biblical.  The kind of thing they invent new colors for on the radar screen.  The sky went completely dark, and my ill-aimed headlights did nothing, I was navigating by lightning strike until the rain was so hard I couldn't keep the window from having a 1/4 of water on it with the wipers on high.  The 240 has frameless windows, and the rain was so hard, and wind so high it was pressurizing the gap and shooting inside onto me.  The road was flash flooding, and the ditches were all overflowing onto the roadway.  There's no car I'd rather be in than an S13 with skinny full tread depth snow tires in these conditions, and they certainly kept me from hydroplaning everywhere, but I put far more driving talent into making it home than I did at the day's RallyCross.  It must have been following me home, because I was in the thick of it for about 40minutes, trudging along at 30mph, splashing water over the roof of the car, dodging downed trees and trying to stay in the lane, and straining to see anything past my bumper.

The pressure of the multiple water crossings were enough to blow the front turn signal out, hardware nowhere to be found.   Yet, the car still got me home!

Exhausted from the day's heat, the stress of the untested car, and the harrowing drive back, I decided to throw in the towel for Sunday's part of the doubleheader and just get some rest instead.

madmrak351 New Reader
8/29/21 2:34 p.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

Just found your build thread yesterday. Wish I had found it sooner I could have given you a coil  with the bracket and transistor. I currently have 2 S13 coupes that are both engineless projects. Have a LS1 from a GTO for one of them. Hoping to find a aluminum block 5.3 for the other. Enjoying your build and adventures. One question: any idea how much weight you took out with the seat belt swap? The mouse belts are not going to stay in either of my cars.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/29/21 4:54 p.m.

In reply to madmrak351 :

I'd guess somewhere in the 7-10 lbs range, not a ton, but the tracks are high CG, so that's gotta count for something!  As I clean up the complete mess of my garage next week I'll try to weigh them.

Awesome on the LS 240s! As I was doing the painful PayPal transaction for this last motorset, I briefly thought if that'd buy me an LS!

madmrak351 New Reader
8/29/21 8:09 p.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

Thank you sir. Congratulations on a successful day yesterday. 

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/29/21 8:23 p.m.
So it's always good to look back at goals and requirements after the first event
rallyxPOS13 said:

What are my plans for this car?

I want to be able to make it to a RallyCross this year.  That’s sporty considering the state of the car, and my available free time, but the tasks ahead of me seem to be:

  • Get it running.  See what’s wrong, fix it, make combustion noises, annoy the neighbors
  • Fix the rust.  It just needs to not rust into oblivion in the next year or so, so hit ‘pause’ on the east coast, not completely rustproofed, but enough I won’t worry about it.
  • Fix the suspension. It’s currently stupid slammed on some driftspec coilovers, I had to remove the exhaust just to get it off the towtruck
  • Make it reasonable to drive a couple hours to an event.  This means a new steering wheel, maybe a new seat, these seats killed my 19 year old back, my old ass likely can’t tolerate it now
  • Tires for dirt.  Likely some cheap snows or used tires on 15” Datsun wheels I have sitting around
  • Put the hurt to dirt.  See if I remember how to drive at RallyCross, and more importantly enjoy it enough to dedicate my weekends to the sport again.
  • So the car is now running, so that's a check!  It still needs some miles on it, but I'm sure the neighbors are annoyed smiley.  I did finally receive both mufflers, so in the next couple weeks I'll likely get under there and weld up a higher clearance and quieter exhaust.
  • Rust 'fixed' but there's still plenty of spots to clean up and apply POR15, and some more welding to do to create dust/water shielding for the intake.
  • Suspension not fixed...   Anyone who saw my car run this weekend will have certainly noticed that this setup is horrible.  I'm conflicted on which path to take:
    • Throw stock stuff at it. ~$200-$400.   Pro: cheap, will likely work for a few events, known quantity. Cons: still not 'ideal', throwing money away
    • Aftermarket Shocks/springs ~$600-$800.  Pro Not expensive, they make Bilstein inserts for  the car, other rally cars have used AGX's.  Cons: More expensive than stock, not an entirely known quantity, likely need to buy stock stuff to hack up for inserts, at least need springs.
    • Fully Custom. $sideways8.  Pro:  the right thing to do, where I'll likely head anyway.  Cons: Math.  I need to go re-read Chris Nonack's post on his suspension options for his BRZ.  There's also allegedly a US importer of MCA suspension in the US, and they've done multiple S13's down under.
  • The car is comfortable to drive (with the suspension fixed) The steering position and seat are good.  However, I made one mistake for the first event....  I never sat in the car with my helmet on.  I don't think I could have fit with the sunroof closed, fortunately no one seemed to care it was popped.  Either way, I'll be looking for a seat in the future, most low seating solutions require removing the 'cat hump' where there's a section of raised floorboard to clear the catalytic convertor.  I'd also like to have a more solid brake pedal.  This is #1 thing I'm going to be pouring into in the next couple weeks.  I'm also going to be getting rid of the solid motor mounts for something that's not going to vibrate the car to death.
  • Tires worked 'well'.  It seemed like I had all the grip I needed.   May move to real rally tires next season for peace of mind at Panthera.
  • This one was important, "Would I enjoy myself RallyCrossing again?"  While I did bail out of the second day, I did enjoy the hell out of my time at the event Saturday, and it was great to be out there flinging silt around and sliding a car.  I still can't believe we are allowed or encouraged to drive like hooligans, and this area was a beautiful spot to spend the day.  I also had some brief moments of adequacy in my driving.  My last run of the day actually linked together some turns, showed a bit of potential for the car, and was only off pace by about 4 seconds on a 50sec course.  There's a few things I can do to make the experience more enjoyable in the future:  I think a tow vehicle with AC will help my personal endurance on hot days like this weekend, and will also cause me to worry less about the car.  I also think the suspension will bring some consistency to help me improve my driving.

I'll be making a post-event plan for the car.  Eyeballing the various schedules, I'm going to miss the local September event due to a vacation, so I should have some time to work in the mods to the car.  I think the next one on my radar might be Hyperfest down at VIR.

2Girlsracing (Steffi)
2Girlsracing (Steffi) Reader
9/3/21 6:01 a.m.

MCA are local to me here, let me know if I can help/ on ship etc. My neighbour used to rally with Murray in New Guinea. Small world!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/3/21 6:06 a.m.

If you decide to go the math route, you can just measure stuff and send me numbers and I can do the math for you instead if you want!  Another "not all the math and none of the welding" option might be to put stock replacement Bilsteins on it and figure out a happy spring length and rate combo.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/4/21 5:47 a.m.

In reply to 2Girlsracing (Steffi) :

That is a small world!  Wanting to Rally one of these chassis for decades, I've done tons of googling to find other ones. The Aussies seem to have had a handful of them successfully campaigned down there.  It still may be cost prohibitive, and I'm weighing my options....  time for spreadsheets!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/4/21 5:57 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Thanks!  I appreciate the offer, I think I can pull my engineer head out of my manager ass and do some of the calculations smiley  I'm really thankful you documented your process here!

I've got a reasonable weight range, and folks out there have done Motion Ratio measurements for Road Racing setups, I just need to spend some time with the car in the air doing some travel measurements.   Seems like compared to the Furs&Burs, the weight is similar, but since I've got a motion ratio a lot closer to 1, but less stroke, it may end up close in terms of spring rate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/4/21 7:15 a.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

Clicking around on Rock Auto it looks like you've got about 6" of travel- plenty for rallycross.  I'd be really tempted to just throw the Bilstein HDs on it and figure out a spring that's a little stiffer, maybe even factory style springs.  Did the S14/15/other Nissans that were heavier use the same spring profile?  There might be a parts bin solution out there.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/4/21 8:47 a.m.

A shame you were not able to stay for Sunday. You would have gotten to try out an entirely different flavor of rallycross at the same venue. No moon dust, just nice grippy dirt saturated by 5 in of rain the night before that ran off and dried off well. I think the course would have been much more amenable to your car. That is one little secret of Panthera events.... If it is a two-day event the second day is *usually* the big fast course, which may be the most fun course of any rallycross venue any place.

In any case hope to see you out there again. I spy my car in the background of a couple of your photos :)

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/5/21 4:40 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, I was kicking myself when I made the call to bail on the second day, I'd had a chance to look over the course, and it seemed like a good flow with longer sweepers.  I was just exhausted from fighting the car on the way back and worrying about the car all day at the event. I think the next outing should be a much smoother ordeal, now that the car is a known quantity.

Also, I wanted to apologize to all the GRMers that were at the event Saturday.  One of the things I love about the sport is the social aspect.  But between being out of practice due to COVID and the new car, I realized I was in my head most of the day and not as friendly to others.  I was super excited to see familiar cars there, but looking back only talked to you at the end of the day.

Good tip about the second day being the more open course!  I think next time I'll try to find some nearby lodging.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/5/21 5:24 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Oh wow, I didn't even see that on the KYB's that they listed extended and compressed numbers!

Also noticed that the later S14's had an additional inch of rear travel!  So in combination with a better anti-squat geometry to gain grip, I think that's the way to go, and will likely do a subframe swap next year.

Back to the present, I went to pull the car into the garage to do monkey with the springs and travel, and realized I could find any of my tools, and had no room to work.

As anyone with eyes has noticed, I'm not a terribly organized person in the garage, I typically keep the tools out for the task I'm in, and as a visual person, can visualize where I set it last....  after a couple months of thrash, this process had completely broken down, and I spent all my time wandering the garage flipping over shop towels looking for the 12mm deep well socket.

So instead of real work, I cleaned up and organized the garage!



Whew!  Took all day, but now everything is in its place, and the extra motor and transmission are on wheels so I can move them around.  Also bagged two trash bags of shop towels, random part boxes, and cut open oil filters. Sir Also Not Appearing In This Film was a cleaned up full workbench on the other side of the Datsun, which will make it easier to finish weld the exhaust! 

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/9/21 7:54 p.m.

A bit of a break from the car, as I mentioned above, SWMBO and I had a long overdue vacation to visit friends and family back in the Midwest.  And leading up to that, work got crazy to wrap up a bunch of things.  The vacation meant I'd miss both the local DC event, and Hyperfest.  I did get a nice opportunity to drive a newer car.  Our rental was a '21 Mustang Convertible Ecoboost poorly paired to a 10 speed auto.  It was intersting to drive a modern car.  There were things I liked: Both my wife and I miss a convertible in our lives, Car-play, great brakes, fantastic midrange power, etc.  But certainly things I didn't:  Electric Power steering was terrible, the autobox to save gas was rediculous.  In flappy paddle mode, it was 5-6 downshifts away from real power on the highway.

Anyway, it was good to get a change of scenery, we had a nice VRBO on the Mississippi River:


Back home, I finally got a weekend to work on the car, weather was perfect, and I've finally accumulated a few key parts and tools:


While out of town for business, I'd been doing some homework on suspension options, based off of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯'s math, I got a range of desired springrates based on either S13 or S14 shock travel.  There's decent springrate information available for a bunch the options out there.  An interesting option that emerged was the Nismo S-tune suspension.  It was right in the range I was expecting, and a matched spring and damper from Nissan themselves.....   But that's over a grand in cost, and still might bottom out.   


In the land of theory bench racing suspension, I was being lured to S14 suspension.  The rear especially had additional travel, and would help gain traction out of corners.  While on my trip, a setup I was eye'n on FaceplaceMarketbase was reduced drastically to the cost of single replacement strut, so when I got back, I drove down to Richmond and grabbed a set of S14 Eibach Pro-kit springs on Tokico blue shocks.  In theory, this is a good fit for my car!

Now, the interwebs says S14 struts won't work on an S13, I had assumed this was due to the fact it would raise up the car, and everyone was looking for obscene lowering on a drift car...    Now that I've got a set, it seems to be more than that.  Looking at the top hats, the S14 is almost twice the diameter:

I schemed up a plan to cut off the S14 mounts, and weld on the S13 top hat.... but it was all wrong, the spring seat was so far up there'd only be room for about 4" of travel.

And this seems like a waste of effort, as it's half of the available travel:


So lesson learned, I bailed on the S14 rear struts, and I'll have to figure something else out there.  I went ahead and bolted up the fronts:

And while I had the rear of the car apart, I realized that the battery ground was through the strut attach bolt..... onto a painted surface surprise  So I did a bit of surface prep to let the 'trons find thier way home.

With the suspension still a half clusterberkeley.  I decided to turn my attention to the brakes.  The pedal was spongy with a hard braking event towards the floor, and the MC was leaking.  I had picked up a spare a while back, but I was unable to the LF bake line was stripped out, and wouldn't even turn with vice grips.  Knowing I'd have to cut the line to remove the MC, I resigned myself to making a new brake line.  So I ordered a some 3/16 NiCopp brake line, a brake benders, and a flare tool from Eastwood.

I did a few test pieces, and it looked like it matched OEM fairly well!

With that checking out, I went ahead and started bending my first brake line.  Using the OEM one as a guide, I flared the start, and went bend by bend along the line....  when I got towards the end, I even remembered to add the fitting and grommet.... however, the last bit was a tight turn in three axis, and when I went to fit it up to flare the end, it wouldn't fit in the die.   So I started un-bending, and the copper broke.

Gave up for the night, and I'll tackle it tomorrow.  I think now that I've got a length, I'll flare both ends first on a straight bit, then bend.

jfryjfry SuperDork
10/10/21 9:02 a.m.

Try to find some less aggressive ways to hold and bend the line - I see a lot of gouging. 

there is a really cool pliers-style bender that I learned about not too long ago and love them. great for short tight bends

like these: 


rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/10/21 8:55 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

Thanks for the tip, I did pick up some of those when I was spending way too much money at Eastwood:

There's almost certainly some user error involved here, I was able to do the gentle and sweeping bends by hand, but then the tighter ones were done with the pliers, it was tricky to ensure I had the plane of bend right as I was going through, I think maybe there was too much play in the clenched diameter, because the tube wasn't tangential coming out of the bend as I was forming them.


I was able to crank out one the second attempt fairly easily. I used some string to get the length, cut the length first, added both fittings and the grommet, then flared each end, and bent it up.  Fitment was good enough to do some final tweaks in place.

With this new line, I could install the new Master Cylinder and new line:

Spent some time bleeding a whole bottle through the system with my Motive Pressure Bleeder...  Success!?   Or not, pedal is still just as spongy.  Not sure what else to fix, I'm thinking my next attack will likely be to refurbish the OEM vacuum booster, and swap out the weird aftermarket one that was leaking.

While I had the car in the air, I took a look at the skidplate provisions.  In a previous iteration of RallyCross 240, I had a speedlimit40 sign that had been mangled in a nearby construction site as a skidplate.  It saved the oil pan a couple times, so I acquired a new chunk of aluminum that happened to be about the same size and thickness as a street sign.  Before I tackled the new skid plate, I decided to see if my old Subaru Skid Plate would fit up, as I'd already done some forming on it:

This plate had served me well.  It was on my bugeye WRX wagon, and a couple GF chassis Imprezas.  It's been up Pikes Peak, through RallyCrosses, and across the stages at 100 Acre Wood while marshaling, and sliding through snow drifts.  It makes me smile that I can keep using on the POS13.  Just a bit of work to get it fitted, and I'd like to weld a fake Nismo Power Brace into the tension rod brackets with skidplate provisions, but it looks like it'll fit!

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/16/21 8:35 p.m.

Wishing I was in Chillicothe this weekend, but the car and the driver aren't ready this year. 

I did get to spend some time in the garage today.  I took the car for a spin to pick up pizza, and the front suspension is at least 10x better with the S14 struts vs. the driftboy blown coilovers.  The rear, even though they're still blown coilovers with about 2.5" of travel, didn't seem to dominate the handling as it was before.  Brakes were still hot garbage.

So I found the old vacuum booster in the parts pile, and scotchbrite'd the rust off and hit it with a bit of paint:


I 'borrowed' a Nismo shift knob that I had gifted to my wife back when she bought a G35 Coupe 6MT.  The car is long gone, but the knob has sentimental value, so I didn't want to trash it on the RallyCross car.  So I ordered a new one, it was hard to find something not super expensive or made of molten hot metal on a summer's day, but I came across a machined delrin-type material one from Tomei.  It's also helpfully a bit larger to fit my hand.

Lastly I spend some time forming and drilling my skidplate to fit.  I didn't think cardboard would offer much protection, so I copied it over to the sign:

It made for some interesting tooling, as I don't own a brake for sheet metal, but I was able to use some scrap metal, a few clamps, and many whacks of the hammer to get it the aft portion formed.


I also installed some new silicon radiator hoses to replace the leak I was chasing on the upper radiator attachment.

As I was buying all these parts, I came across a unique solution for a problem I'd had on my previous cars.  Many of the hatches on the SE level cars had a foam spoiler that eventually broke down, gathered water, and rusted out the rear hatches.  One of the levels that didn't have this spoiler was one that had a rear wiper motor.... I don't really need the wiper, or always had the wiring to work it, so I used a rubber chair leg cap from Lowes that wedged in there closely.   As time has marched on, there's a low profile aluminum plug that has a thin rubber washer, it tightens down to seal the hole with much more surface area.  Always a sucker for an inexpensive elegant fix, I ordered one and installed it:

Then I ran out of shop towels and called it a night! 


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