Saturday, April 12, 2008

Christmas at Alba Rallysport

Two of the key design goals with this project from the start have been to build a safe and reliable car. We want to be sure that if, when, we go off the stage we reduce the risk of harm to ourselves. To that end we enlisted the help of Chad at Racecraft to build a fantastic cage to a specification well beyond the basic requirements of all sanctioning bodies in North America. Secondly, with today's entry fees we want to complete all stage miles and get the most value for money. How frustrating is it when you DNF because of a mechanical failure? That would just p!ss me off.
Of course you can achieve both these goals and add to that a healthy turn of speed if you have a healthy cheque book. Sadly that's not reality so we've been selective in what to spend our hard earned cash on. A recent post I read on a Subaru forum highlighted that some people don't recognize what it takes to turn a regular road car into a safe, reliable rally car. The photo below shows just some of the parts we decided were vital to that goal.
Thanks go to our primary team partner Team Illuminata Motorsport ( for stepping up and helping out with sourcing many of the parts required.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Moving along

In the past couple of weeks after getting the car back from McCleery's paint shop, Zeeland we dropped the drivetrain and rear suspension destroying a few recip saw blades in the process. Two winters of MI roads pretty much seized up all the important bolts under the car. After a quick call to my friendly parts guy at Delta Subaru in GR I had a whole new set to replace the old corroded ones. Although it's been a huge PITA project I'd rather swap the bolts out in the dry warmth of the garage than in the middle of the night at a remote service somewhere. It'll pay off.

Once the gearbox was out we fitted an Exedy stage 1 clutch. The gearbox hadn't been removed since the car left the assembly line in 2004 so it took a large chisel, a mallet and some creative swearing to get it off. Again, better here than at a rally. We gave the underside of the car a good cleaning, washing off several pounds of dirt and clay from the last two years of rallycrossing. We painted her up real purdy too! ;o)

As you can see, the engine compartment now has a few blank spaces where parts used to be. The AC compressor and condenser are now gone, and the stock downpipe will be replaced with a performance piece. The turbo just arrived last night having been machine fitted with a 32mm restrictor.
We've test fitted the seats and positioned drivers and navvie footrests, map lights etc. so now it's just a matter of bolting it all back together, doing some wiring and firing her up...sounds easy right?!

Friday, April 4, 2008

No brakes!

So we've just completed a last minute brake install on the Forester XT. They were pretty bad. Unfortunately we sheared the lower bolt on the front caliper hanger. Luckily we managed to get the whole assembly apart then installed a hanger from the WRX. The pads and rotors have been bed in and now we're ready to rock tomorrow. Stay tuned for an event report and WRX rally car build update soon...