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rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/3/22 6:29 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, I think the second one was pretty bad for everyone, but I was surprised by how hard it was to nail the previous one, just after the timing van. It seemed like I wasn't ever able to get the weight where I wanted to turn in, and washed out into the outside cones.  I tried both 2nd and 1st gear to try and get it to rotate, but I think I wasn't watching for the non-moondust line enough.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/3/22 8:28 p.m.

The first one in the "dip down" area past the timing van was definitely worse in the afternoon (they changed it) and I berkeleyed it up every single time. The one down the hill was slow, but was pretty easy since you could see it in plenty of time. The one up top was mostly blind and I almost had to come to a stop a couple times to not hit those three outside cones. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
9/4/22 10:52 a.m.
rallyxPOS13 said:

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I'll have to pull stuff apart and inspect to see what's going on.

I'm kinda torn on lift the back vs drop the front. 

I've been going back to RallyAnarchy and reading Martin's old 240SX suspension adventures with JVL, and he had raised the rear shock towers similar to yours, and had some crazy setup on 40mm bilsteins with a 14" long 175lb spring and a short 6" 300lb spring to give a pseudo bumpstop, or progressive rate or something.  Interestingly enough, he wasn't able to raise the front shock towers as much.  I don't think we've got the hood clearance in an S13.

The good thing about buying into a driftcar is that there's basically a choose your own adventure book on suspension geometry, and I'm tempted to throw something like GKtech's front spindles at the car, it'll drop the fronts a couple inches and keep the same travel.  It also has added benefits like better steering angle and faster steering rate.  Just need to confirm it wouldn't restrict me from using smaller wheels.


Ignoring the cost, my main concern with those would be whether the strut will get friendly with the control arm.   If not then the next thing is probably making sure they don't give it crazy bumpsteer when you have 3x as much travel as they're designed for. 

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/7/22 8:18 p.m.

Distraction/Excuses/Randomness post

Basically no progress on the POS13 since the last event.  If you go back to the first few posts, this whole crazy train left the station when I was at a local's house to buy a longnose R200 diff and axles out of a Z31.  Well I finally got around to dropping this off with the local Z car specialist, Datsun Spirit, and had the whole mess rebuilt, and a Cusco 1.5 way diff installed.

As we get to the end of the year, I may drain the car fund on silly machined parts to mount this in the 260Z.


The daily Outback had the Cobb turbo inlet fall off again, so I got sick of it and replaced it with a Perrin inlet.  And while I was in there...  I added an AOS, and replaced the PCV.  With all things intake manifold on a EJ25, it was a royal pain in the ass, each step I'd get done would have a conflict with one of the other three parts, so it was 1 step forward and 3 back for a weekend.

All the connections really had me laughing at this scene of Idiocracy all weekend: https://youtu.be/vhl5ObsQZfQ

I think I eventually got it all figured out:


Traveled back to visit my folks in rural Missouri.  It'd been a while since I'd been back, and I forgot how.... interesting... Missouri is:

But the Range Rover really helps eat up miles, it's still doing well, there's an ever-present CEL for left bank fuel trim that pops up every few hundred miles, but I'd expect nothing less.

On the way back we stopped in Nashville, there was a '63 or '64 Continental at our hotel valet, that  one's always been on The List:

We also finally made some time to stop by the Lane Motor Museum, it was a fantastic stop, tons of varied and unique cars, I highly recommend it!

Back at home, the distractions continued.  SWMBO texted one day at work "Hey, we're going to look at a Volvo wagon tonight"

uh oh:

now there's more 240s:

at least Yoshimi approves!


Driveway's getting crowded.... Anyone want to buy a LandOozer?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/7/22 9:32 p.m.

Ugh, I had to do the turbo inlet on my (09) WRX for the same reason, kept coming off and was kind of "disintegrating." I also did the Perrin. What a massive pain in the ass that job was (and I also had a TMIC in the way to remove too). That's on the list as one of the reasons I have no interest in owning a Subaru again....

madmrak351 Reader
10/10/22 5:03 p.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

As you look at the vehicles in your driveway, at least your functional to nonfunctional ratio is far better than mine.... I like the Volvo wagon by the way!

madmrak351 Reader
12/29/22 12:19 p.m.

Getting anything done now that winter has settled in?

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/30/22 11:23 a.m.

In reply to madmrak351 :

Thanks for asking!  Not much progress on the POS13 lately.  My car-fund is largely filled with a yearly bonus that comes at the end of February, so by the end of the year, I'm typically financially dry....   That said, I couldn't help myself during Black Friday, and picked up the Fisher-Price My First Rally Tires set:

Accelera RA 162 in a waaaaay too big for the car 205/65/15 size

These were hilariously cheap, all 4 shipped to my door for less than 1 real tire ($240).  Also, despite being a copy of a directional tire, they only offer one flavor, and not L/R, so I guess I'll just spin in circles!  I figured it was a cheap test of a stiff sidewall 'rally'  tire versus the soft sidewall 175 snow tire to see which gets better grip at our local events.

Other than that, my wrench time has been spent on the daily Subaru, which just nuked the clutch, or the other 240:

Just catching up on maintenance mostly, and fitted an IPD skid plate, as I wanted it to be up to daily duty while I take my Subaru down to swap the transmission and clutch.


Nostalgia Story Time:

So the last time SWMBO got the itch for a Volvo wagon, we ended up with a old white 78 wagon with a 4 speed, the quad round headlights, red interior, and a 2.1 on K-Jet.  Shortly thereafter, I bought a 75 flathood, basically just for the 15" wheels.

The 78 was great, but I could never quite get the 75 running well enough to daily drive... but one winter, the 78 was sidelined for a while while I struggled to make electricity find the wiper motors.   After victoriously fixing that issue, I decided to take it to work one morning to make sure they worked repeatedly. The drive started out OK, lights on, wipers going, I putted down our gravel road towards the highway.  However, as I turned left on the highway, the car developed a miss.   Now as an old K-jet car that had sat a while, I figured it might just need a a few miles to work it out...  but as it sputtered and missed across the bridge by my house, it started to lose momentum, and I realized it wasn't the day for taking the Volvo to work.  It started to lose pace in 3rd, then 2nd wouldn't keep it going, I saw some smoke behind the car, and I finally gave up.

Now, as I whipped a U-turn after the bridge, FIRE!

Flames were suddenly licking up in the gap between the hood and the fender, and the car was running worse, and I was faced with a decision.  I was on the shoulder of a bridge, car still making forward momentum, so instead of waiting for the fire department, I decided I could limp it the 1/2 mile back to my garage where a couple fire extinguishers waited. (for anyone actually reading this, driving a car on fire is always the wrong choice).

I popped open the door, undid my seatbelt, ready to bail, and floored it down the bridge.  Whatever was succumbing to the flames was obviously providing propulsion, as it shuddered, lunged, and I only made it halfway back across the bridge.  I hit the hazards and noticed that all of the interior lights were pulsing, and hopped out, stood on the bridge, and resigned myself to watching this car burn to the ground.  I called the fire dept, then I called my boss to say I'd be late to work.

As I stood there in the rain, watching my car burn, my boss's response was not what I was expecting: "Oh, that's you?"  Confused, I asked what he meant, since he lived on the other side of town. "Oh, someone on the radio station I listen to during my commute called in that some maniac was driving down K-42 in a car on fire!"

As I waited the 25 minutes for the fire dept to show up, I noticed the smell was not oil/gas burning, and I noticed that the lights were pulled down each time the flames shot up..... This was an electrical fire!  I ran up and killed the lights/ignition, and the fire started to die down. 

By the time the Volunteer Fire Dept got there, it was just slightly smoldering. They thermal-cammed the hood, and let me hit the hood release instead of jawsing the hood up, and sprayed it a bit, but it was mostly done burning.  Sure enough, I looked down and the source of the fire was the battery cables, and it lit off the 40some years of grease and oil under the hood.  The guys even gave me a ride back to my garage in the fire truck!  I think they were happy not to be fighting a full blown car fire.

I grabbed the truck and trailer, and by the time I got it hitched up, the Highway patrol was there being helpful.  My trailer had earned the name "Scary Trailer" by my wife, as it was mostly the width of a standard lane, had no brakes, and was welded together with scrap.  The shoulder of the bridge was not accommodating to it's girth...  and fun fact, when there's a small fire under your brake master cylinder, it expands all the fluid, and locks your brakes!  After some adventures in winching I got it on the trailer.

Back in the driveway, the cause of the fire was that Volvo, in their infinite wisdom, routed both positive and negative battery leads through the same P-clamp, and some relative motion, grit, and 40 years caused them to finally get together and have a party.

So, guess what the first mod to our new Volvo was?


Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/30/22 1:10 p.m.

I went for a few years on aged Michelin 17-65-15 rally tires on the RX-7.  Not ideal but way better than nothing.

madmrak351 Reader
1/3/23 6:58 p.m.

Wow, the electrical fire story was wild! What a way to route battery cables. I am sure you can't be the only one that has happened to, and they were still using the same setup what 15 years later? Go figure.   I got sidetracked here with a 2k challenge build, so the 240 progress has slowed down considerably. 

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/8/23 7:17 p.m.

No wrench spinning on the POS13 again, but I wanted to share the clutch/trans install on my Outback:


It was eventful, and took 5 attempts to line up!

Step 1:  Throw a jackstand through your rocker angry :

The ceiling fairly low in the garage, and I was measuring to see if I could keep the hood on, and get the car high enough to pull the transmission out from under the car....  So I had the jackstand sitting next to the car to know how many notches to hike it up to, and completely forgot about it when the hood hit the ceiling, and dropped the car back down right on it, DOH!

After that I just methodically worked through removing the exhaust, driveshaft, front axles, intercooler, starter, etc. and pulled the old box out:

The clutch was slipping at anything over 10psi of boost, and the pilot bearing was completely seized, and TO bearing was making a terrible racket.  That was ~20k on a miserable Competition Clutch kit for the car, I won't be buying one of those again.  I had also 'hurt' the transmission at the first RallyCross I went to in DC (circa 2019) launching like an idiot.... and then further helped it out by treating the car like it was a pickup truck for a couple yard projects throughout the pandemic:

I had picked up a spare box from a local parting out a rare 5 speed Outback XT, so the plan was to fit an ACT clutch kit that was rated to hold the newfound torque, and finally install the 'new' transmission.

The flywheel and clutch went in quickly and easily.  There's quite a bit of room to work in there with the transmission out.

Attempt #1 of fitting up the trans:   Jacked it up into position, the new up-pipe seemed to locate the turbo a little bit farther in than before, so I had to jack up the front of the engine, and the back of the trans to get the trans on the lower two guide studs and miss the turbo, so that took a bunch of figuring to determine!  However, as I lined it back up and got it close to engaging with the pilot, it didn't want to go.  After a while doing the wiggle, jiggle, & shove, I wasn't able to lock it in, so I pulled the trans back down to inspect.

Attempt #2  The clutch alignment tool, had a good amount of play in it.  Those plastic ones are miserable, and it had about 10 degrees of play, so I wrapped in the pilot bearing portion with electrical tape until it was *just* tight in the pilot bearing, loosened the clutch plate, and tried to re-align.  Still no luck, so the trans came back down off the jack again....


Attempt #3.  Maybe the transmission is different despite being the same PN?  Maybe the clutch kit is wrong?  I pulled the pilot bearing and clutch disc, and checked them on the trans, everything fit up OK, but very tight on tolerance.   Put it up again, got the pilot bearing engaged, checked everything was lined up with a socket in the gap all around the bellhousing, but couldn't get the clutch disc engaged.  Very Frustrated, I pulled the trans back down.

Attempt #4.  Same thing again, just wouldn't go that last little bit!  Experience has taught me not to force it at this stage, I've done over a dozen clutch swaps, and there's always that feeling when it goes, and this wasn't it.   As I checked everything over with a socket again to make sure the gap was even all around something felt weird in a spot on the far side hidden by the power steering lines...  berkeley!  The motor had the locating dowel, and so did the 'new' transmission in the same spot!    To alleviate the hot dowel on dowel action, the transmission came down again....

Attempt #5.  Ok, 5th times a charm, dumbassery over.   I get the box back up there, and still it won't line up with the clutch disc.  I've done all my tricks, rotated the output with the driveshaft, tilted the engine and box up and down at every perceivable angle.. and nothing.   I finally try my new stupid clutch trick.  I run all the bolts up by hand to the current spot where the trans is up to, quadruple check everything is aligned.....  then I re-attached the slave cylinder, add a spacer to the output of the slave so it's snug against the fork.  Now I had my wife clutch in, to float the clutch disc, while I wailed on the transmission, wiggled, pushed, cursed, and still nothing!

I gave it a break, but left the box in position, ate lunch, then came back at it full of anger and rested arms, and it finally popped into the clutch splines, and popped home! Success!!!


Speaking of tasks I hate, I also did plugs and coilpacks 'while I was in there'  

It's my 3rd or 4th time doing plugs on a DOHC Subaru, and I dislike it every time, there's just no room, and I end up using 3 different lengths of 3/8 extension, and I have to swap them off and on in sequence as the plug comes out.  The latest trick is to use an oversize socked on the outer hex part of my spark plug socket, just to give enough play to get the wrench out.  Even the coils are a pain in the ass to remove, here's my lowest profile 12mm ratchet combo, and how much room is around it on the passenger side, my knuckles still hate me:

The truly sad part is I noticed so many leaks while doing these two tasks, that I'm going to have to pull the whole mess out again this year and rebuild the stupid thing.  I'm super glad I chose to get a dedicated RallyCross car in the POS13, and not try to dual duty this thing.

Note to self:  Buy tightly machined metallic clutch alignment tools for every car you own.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/8/23 7:29 p.m.

Too bad it's not a pull clutch.  Those you get close enough to get the clutch splined in and a couple upper bolts started, pop the throwout arm back to engage the throwout bearing, then yank the throwout arm forward.  It simultaneously disengages the clutch so everything can line up and sucks the engine and trans right together laugh


Can't say I have ever done a clutch in a stock turbo car (only ones with rotated turbo and front mount) but I've always pulled the engine vs. fighting the exhaust and the FU plate under the driveshaft held in by six 17mm headed rivets.  They are allegedly bolts but they never come out smiley


Plug access is way easier if you unbolt the motor mounts and jack the engine up enough to stuff a chunk of wood or whatever between the mount and subframe.  That inch or so you can get makes a huge difference.

Honsch Reader
1/8/23 7:52 p.m.

Do you still have the bad transmission?  Do you not care about it?

Cut the input shaft off and make your own alignment tool.  Once I started doing that alignment became trivial.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/8/23 8:03 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Yeah, I sat there for a good half hour debating pulling the motor instead at the start, especially since I wanted to do plugs at the same time, but breaking the coolant and fuel lines dissuaded me.   If I had a separate garage/shop that wasn't under my bedroom, I may have been swayed that way!

Fortunately all the GC/GF chassis I've had didn't have issues with those bolts, and my Bugeye was fairly well taken care of.  As was this Outback, it came from Denver, where they don't seem to salt as much as the NE or upper midwest. 

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/8/23 8:05 p.m.

In reply to Honsch :

Yeah, that's a great thought!   The 4.44 stuff is fairly rare on the ground these days, especially with the push clutch, so I'm going to try and have it rebuilt as a spare.  If it's F'd too much for a rebuild, I'm certainly cutting off the input shaft as a future tool!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/8/23 8:48 p.m.

After doing the clutch and center diff on my WRX (at like 150k miles), an all-day job - on a lift, with a buddy who had done it a dozen times before - I decided I didn't want another Subaru lol.....

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/19/23 8:17 p.m.

The parade of blue wagon maintenance continues to distract me from POS13 work.

The last generation of Volvo 240 had quite possibly the worst ratio of headlight area to light output of any car.  The two massive plates of opaque plastic on this car were bad, and did little to make this car enjoyable to drive at night.

I discovered that since my last time looking at turbobricks, there are actually E-Codes available new stateside.   So in with the EDM Tyte headlights.



Then I think SWMBO was flexin on me that she still had money in her car-fund, and pulled the parts shotgun at the front suspension:

Basically replacements for anything that moves up front.

Apparently I'm just bad at working on cars now... I started stripping one of the brake fittings, so tried to remove the strut from on the car.... this happened, I don't even know how.... the bushings wouldn't come out with a press, and I had to resort to fire.

I eventually, got it all straightened out and put in some poly bushings, got the ball joints and tie rod ends replaced, plopped in some endlinks, installed new struts and strut tops, and killed all the leaks with a new steering rack.

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/19/23 10:36 p.m.
rallyxPOS13 said:

The last generation of Volvo 240 had quite possibly the worst ratio of headlight area to light output of any car.  The two massive plates of opaque plastic on this car were bad, and did little to make this car enjoyable to drive at night.


Fun fact about those Volvo 240 head lights - they were shared with the truck division.  The scale looks a little better there, but the light output is still roughly one tea light candle.


rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/26/23 8:16 a.m.

In reply to Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) :

That's amazing!   Of the tens of thousands of times I've seen those things driving around, I never equated the headlights to the 200 series!  Now I can't unsee it.  That's terrifying that so many large trucks are out there with those worthless headlights.

rallyxPOS13 GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/26/23 8:53 a.m.

This weekend is the 2 year mark of POS13 ownership, and I'm embarrassed there's an entire page here with no real updates on the car.

While the rest of the fleet does have maintenance priorities, there is a pile of parts starting to accumulate for the 240SX, and I rolled it into the garage yesterday do what might be my favorite mod yet.

Some things you do to your car because they're replacements for worn out broken parts, some are functional performance enhancements, and some things you do just because it makes you smile.   This one falls into the last category:

The 'zenki' (89-90) iteration of this car was designed in the late 80s, and showed a stepped change from the boxy 80s to the soap bar styling of the 90s.  The taillights were modern for the time, but the hatchback form of the S13 stayed on sale all the way through 1998 in Japan.  In 1998 you could walk into a Nissan dealership and order a 180SX (S13 Hatchback) a S14 Silvia (97-98 240SX sold here) or a S15 that we didn't get in the states.  To keep the hatch relevant for over a decade, there were some updates to keep it fresh, and my personal favorite were the tail lights...

To illustrate why this is such an incredibly stupid thing to spend money on, here's how much mud, dirt, and water leaks lurk behind this panel.  A small part of my motivation to sink money into this modification is that I've been fighting a source of water ingress into the rear hatch area, There's some butyl rubber seals around the tails, and they were pretty torn up when I put this set of lights on to replace tinted ones that were on the car when I bought it.  So since I was in there....

There's been two moments building this thing when I broke into a big ridiculous grin, when I finally assembled the front struts with those silly 14" springs on it, and when I put these tail lights on.   Super happy with the look and in love with the car again.

While it was in the garage, I threw on the rally tires, they're quite a bit bigger!  I also raised the rear 1.75" to try and match the front, I'm going to try and track down a longer, softer spring since this involved some pre-load.


As I rolled the car out of the garage, I realized that with the chunky tires, and high ride height, I've accidently stumbled across that 'safari' aesthetic that rich people do to expensive cars when they don't want them to look like other rich people's cars.  Now all I need is a roof rack, and I can go sip coffee with other car enthusiasts in public laugh


There's some real modifications coming soon.  I'm going to be pulling the front end apart to do some welding, I need to seal off the corners by the air filter, fabricobble a battery tray, and convert my headlights over from plastic fittings to a welded stud to install these to my headlight motors.

Also of plenty of other distractions on the horizon too....

jfryjfry SuperDork
3/26/23 1:27 p.m.

Love seeing the progress with this beauty.  Taillights look marvelous

madmrak351 Reader
3/26/23 2:45 p.m.

Glad to see your progress! The tail lights are cool I was not aware of that style and the extended production of the S13 hatchback for the home market.

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