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irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/20/23 5:16 p.m.
engiekev said:

How are you liking the seats you installed?

We really need to replace our Gen1 seats with something newer, they're just worn out and I don't fit too well in them.  Would be really nice to find something with integrated arm rest like the Gen2 seats.  We've also been looking at Corbeau GTS2.

the seats are great. comfortable and supportive. I do wish they were a bit lower though, I feel like I'm sitting REALLY high (though I have a foot of headroom above me. Good for sightlines on the trail, but feels a bit "up there' on the streets. I couldn't figure out any way to make them lower though....the WRX seats are simply thicker at the base than the OEM ones. 

engiekev HalfDork
3/22/23 10:23 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Maybe you can do a foamectomy, miata style?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/26/23 10:27 p.m.


Headed up to the MD/WV border to check out Wolf Den Run state park, which has a lot of great new trails and is making more. It's only $12 entry, so way less than Rausch Creek ORV park, and is only 2.5 hours away so that's pretty close for this metro area. The weather was perfect and after a ton of rain yesterday dust wouldn't be an issue (but water?) Anyhow, met up with Andy Thomas (rallycross national champion and featured earlier in wheeling in his big-ass pickup in this thread), and Andy just picked up a Montero Sport (stock except tires) and wanted to test it out before he does a larger build on it. His buddy RJ came as well, in a nicely-built Jeep Gladiator.


Note: just the cab of the Gladiator forward of the bed is the size of the Raider, which is pretty funny. That thing made big rocky areas look easy but did have some trouble in the tight woodland areas (the opposite of the Raider, basically)



Overall, the Raider continues to be a great little rig for blue-trail wheeling. Great maneuverability and traction, it's really sure-footed and adding the spacers actually makes a big difference in terms of how stable it feels on off-camber and off-angle stuff. Didn't have any issues all day other than a handful of hard bangs and drags over rocks due to its relatively low clearance. I definitely need to build a strong gas tank skid (said that before and didn't do it....) since I took a couple hard hits there dropping off ledges....sucky gas tank location on this thing....



I'm still having an issue with a loud "pop" sound that I can't seem to locate whether it's front or rear and only happens when (it seems) the front right wheel goes to max droop or max compression. I thought previously it was the swaybar but it still did it with the front sway removed so....will have to look into it again. Doesn't seem to actually cause any issues but it's pretty unsettling on trail. 


Andy's Monty Sport did pretty well, though lack of rear LSD showed itself a few times and he had hard hits too since his clearance is about the same as mine.




Plenty of water as well, some areas maybe 2 feet deep, so not too bad




Cruised with this couple on the way home, guess they were out camping but I was looking at all their gear on the highway for an hour....



Anyhow, a few other photos




irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/9/23 9:46 p.m.

We got new HVAC at the house last week. Instead of having the guy haul the old furnace and stuff away, I took everything apart for scrap (got about $140 out of it, so worth the hour of effort). Anyhow, haven't used the Raider Trailer much recently, so this is perfect



Figures my scrapyard pic is blurry.........



Here's one that's not, because I look so overland-y rolling with this trailer here in the suburbs.....



So yeah, that's it. Just taking the opportunity to post some pics I guess :

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/29/23 9:13 p.m.

Hey, let's do a little update here. First, a few pics of the last Rally-X. Since I was not driving my car, I rolled out to Summit Point in the Raider and used it as a basecamp

and corner-working station/photog platform

and recovery rig for brokedown Subaru rally car...

Andy was there with his Monty Sport as well (seen previously in this thread) and got to do some towing as well. Not a great day for Subies...


Now, on to some other stuff. So I think I mentioned before I picked up another pair of WRX seats - same as the ones I currently have in the Raider (except not yet dyed tan to match). I had gotten rid of the old grungy bench seat in the back when this build started and built a storage platform back there. I have to say, it was really well-built and I'm still pretty proud of it - but I found it to be a bit inconvenient for some purposes, and I've also wanted to have the ability to carry a third person in the truck on a few occasions - also handy if I ever use this thing for Rally Sweep duties, which is another future plan, where a 3rd person aboard happens on occasion. 

So, out came the platform, parts of which will be repurposed in the future.

First order of business was to cut off all the odd Subaru brackets on the seats, which are all funky and not flat at all...

Then I welded on some square bar stock as mounts since I needed a bit of clearance for the adjuster and other crap under the seat (not pictured).

The back of the Raider is just slightly not wide enough (by about 2-3") for two seats side-by-side, so here we go - the "Dakar Navigator" seat, lol. Single in the middle.  Through-bolted with backing plates under the floor (still have to make some seatbelt mounts). The wife tried it out and give it tacit approval...

Plenty of legroom for me (6') and it can slide up right near the front seats for more cargo space. I'll dye it tan to match the front seats when I get around to it. 

In any case, the plan will be to have the bazooka tube on the right of the seat (it fits) with a small platform over it mounting storage racks or something (TBD). The left side will be for access - since both my front seats have the suspension bases, they don't tilt so the backseat-rider will have to get in from the back - actually pretty easy if you're not elderly lol...

So more on that setup once I figure out what the plan is.


Side note - a couple weeks ago was driving and the clutch pedal went to the floor (I had to rev-match to shift for 10 miles home in suburban traffic...fun). So I put in a new master cylinder and got that bled/adjusted better - I think the old one didn't have the stop in the right place and maybe I was over-compressing the piston and blew it out....IDK, or it was just a cheap/crappy piece. In any case, new one in there now and everything is fine again.



irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/4/23 9:55 p.m.

Related project. I hate strapping stuff down with bungees and ratchet straps, and this vehicle always has a couple of gearboxes for recovery stuff, tools, etc. So let's repurpose some of my materials and see what we can do about that. So Jim (my rally codriver) has the cool Milwaukee Packout setup where all the boxes are held in place by a locking base. pretty neat. All my gearboxes are Ridgid and while they lock together, I didn't find any useful "base" lockdowns for them.

So the first thing was to remove the lockdown "handles" from one of my old broken boxes. These will be my base. They're just U-shaped metal bar handles, basically. After doing some height measurements, I determined they either needed to be sunk into the base or the base raised in order to be tight and lock the upper boxes. Since I'm re-using some of the beefy plywood from the old platform, lets go the former. Got out the dremel and did some manual routing...

so the handle will go like so

here's how it works, basically (the red things are some cut-up old fire extinguisher mounts, by the way. To keep this a free project, of course.

then put together some legs and stuff. Looks janky but it's a perfect fit and plenty strong. They're all braced.

then some carpeting and paint etc etc. So here's where it goes, to the right of the "dakar seat." The outer mounts are through-bolts to the wheel-well, and the inner mounts are brackets attaching to the factory rear bench bolts, basically.

Also my 90s-tastic Bazooka tube fits underneath.

Anyhow, it's solidly-mounted and I can stack multiple boxes there if needed:

So anyhow, that was a fun couple-hour project. I know it could have been done fancier with metal/welding (and I may re-make it in steel someday if I like how it works out), but I do like wood because it's easy to work with and make modifications to, and I don't have to get the welder out. And it's free.



thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/5/23 4:20 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

RE loud pop: have you checked your steering stops? My old Toyota would make terrible noises when the stop on the knuckle would scrape against the stop on the control arm. Allegedly it came from the factory with some plastic covers there but they vanished before I bought it. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/5/23 9:12 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

RE loud pop: have you checked your steering stops? My old Toyota would make terrible noises when the stop on the knuckle would scrape against the stop on the control arm. Allegedly it came from the factory with some plastic covers there but they vanished before I bought it. 

yeah, the covers are long gone but I have some rubber bumpers on them. In any case, it's not when I'm at full lock anyhow, it doesn't seem to care where the wheels are pointing. Still suspect something to do with sway bars....not front since I've detached them and still does it. Rear I put new endlinks on an didn't change anything so still a mystery. 

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