(part 2 of 3 for the July 16th update)
With the Tein struts still installed, we mocked up the 18x10" wheels first with the 295/35/18 Nitto NT-05s that I ran on these wheels and our 2011 Mustang GT at the Optima Challenge event in June
(200 treadwear minimum required - but even with that stipulation, these tires were terrible
). The next day we rounded up an old set 285/30/18 Hoosier A6s from the shop that were mounted to the D-Force wheels, as Brianne will be running this wheel and tire package (on fresh A6s) for the Pike's Peak event. This now gave us the perfect package to build the steel box flares around (the custom flare work will be shown in my next post - it is well underway).
That front bumper cover had to be trimmed considerably to fit around the massive Perrin front mount intercooler, which we did in four iterations until it fit juuuust
right. The OEM front bumper crash structure is all gone, which is a requirement for this FMIC kit, I guess. The flexible plastic that the bumper cover is made of cuts like butter with an air powered body saw, or a cut off wheel and disc. Then you can fine tune the finish with a sanding disc in a 90° die grinder, as shown above. Once the melted slag hardens (in 30 seconds or so) use a de-burring tool to make the cut edge look clean and smooth. Those brake cooling ducts were done in years past, but we're going to re-make the lower corner sections of this bumper cover and relocate the duct openings, which are int he way of the FMIC piping.
Cooling, Heat Management and Insulation
This STi has seen the rigors of Pike's Peak before and Brianne's team knows you can never have too much cooling going up this mountain. At 14,000 feet the air is so thin that everything trying to radiate heat can't do it very well - there's not enough air particles to bump into the metal from the various radiators. Instead of leaving the engine oil cooler and transmission cooler stuck behind the new FMIC, we are going to place them in an unusual place - under the factory hood scoop. This area has a nice blast of cool, high pressure air which can be put to a new use - since the top mount intercooler is no longer there. This Subaru was not equipped with any sort of strut tower brace, but since the strut towers are so close to the firewall on a GD Subaru, it's not really necessary. Still, a brace does make a great mounting structure for these two oil coolers, so we built a strut brace for that purpose and mocked-up the coolers as far from the turbo as possible.
The turbo itself will have a thermal blanket, as will the downpipe. The transmission tunnel will get some heat insulation, as will the firewall, clutch lines, fuel lines, and anything close to the turbo. The co-driver of this car usually has melted shoe soles by the end of a run, so hopefully the addition of all of this insulation and thermal wrap will help. Last year the clutch fluid boiled so badly that Brianne lost the clutch actuation 2/3rds if the way up the mountain, having to shift "clutchless" with extreme rev-matching - hopefully that problem will be gone for the 2012 run. The factory cooling fans were also melted on last year's run, so more DEI insulating wrap will go around the exhaust headers that run next to the radiator. The old aluminum radiator also started to "expand", so a replacement was found and will be installed shortly. A Moroso crankcase evap system oil catch tank was added and the factory battery will now reside in the trunk, for some front weight bias improvement.
(see part 3 below)