Part III: Planning the Build
Okay, so now we had two cars. One had an engine that's no good. One had a working engine and...well, the body is a total loss, which is how we got the car for not too much money. If you want to start swapping parts on these two cars, you'll want to have access to the following:
Engine and front suspension on dolly with custom Mach V improvements (wheels stay on)
- Storage space. Two cars, both of which look like they belong in the junk yard, are not something your landlord or your neighbors are going to want hanging around outside. Ask us how we know this. Just the parts we took off to sell took up an entire storage locker.
- A welding rig, and someone who can use it. We TIG-welded the dash beam in place, among several other things. We also MIG welded all the seams in the front of the car, although you don't have to do that.
- Subaru Bucks. (Or just plain old regular bucks.) You'll become friendly with your local Subaru parts counter. No matter good your two cars are, you will need more parts. We needed a cam pulley bolt, a zillion plastic fasteners, a cam cover, a couple of hoses, a turbo heat shield, various gaskets, and a bunch of other parts.
- Time. Very much time. Many, many, many hours.
- Dollies. By this I mean a flat platform with casters on it, on which you can put things -- engines, transmissions, gutted car hulks. We bought two rated at 1000 pounds. The wheels folded off each the first time we used them. We welded the wheels back on (see welding rig, above) and they have worked great ever since.
- Lifts. This project would be hard without automotive lifts. Getting the engine and transmission out of one of these cars from the top is not fun.
You've assembled your space, and your cars, your manpower, and your cash. Now think about what this car is going to be. What is its purpose? Road car? If so, what sort? Commuter? Weekend warrior? Track mule? Road course? Drag strip? Is it intended for competition? If so, under what rules? Some of these questions can be answered as you go along, but many of them will have an effect on what you do from the very start of the project.
For example, we decided our car was going to be for recreational track use, and NOT for all-out competition. This meant we would have track-type safety equipment (like multi-point safety harnesses), but we would NOT have to install tabs to hold the windshield and sunroof in. This decision also dictated some of the stuff (like bumper beams, the rear seat, and carpet) we left on the car just for aesthetics or ease of use.
Since pretty much every part of the car will be disassembled, what parts do you plan to replace with aftermarket upgrades? (This question might better be phrased as "How much money you got?") It would be very, very easy to spend vast sums simply replacing decent factory parts with slightly-better, but far-more-expensive, aftermarket versions. It takes a strong will to draw the line, but it has to be done at some point. In our case we were hemmed in by two resource constraints, which were money (we didn't have any) and time (we didn't have any). We decided to get the car together using almost all factory-issue parts. We could always go back and bolt aftermarket stuff to the car later.
There were a few items that we selected from our own parts catalog. Those included a Seibon carbon hood; TurboXS turbo-back exhaust
; Kartboy just about everything in the catalog (including short shifter
, front and rear shifter bushings
, rear subframe lock bolts and outrigger bushings
, and tranny crossmember bushings
); Prosport headers
, carbon catch can
, and exhaust wrap
; Paranoid Fabrications fender braces
; and Rota Torque wheels
in 17x8" size. (After each one of these items, I was shouting, "I swear, that is IT! No more! That's the last mod!")