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Old 07-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
Vorshlag
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Default Vorshlag: Brianne Corn's Pikes Peak Subaru STi

Brianne Corn took her 2005 Subaru STi to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2011 and came away with a historic class win in the AWD Time Attack class. She is only the 2nd woman in 83 years of PPIHC's running to win a class, and she did it on a shoestring budget. That was only one of many amazing driving feats she pulled off in 2011, which also included: a historic BMod open class win at the SCCA Solo National Championships (only the 3rd woman to ever win an open class), she was the Rally America Open Light Shootout Champion, raced in the support series at the WRC Mexico rally, and was named SCCA's Driver of the Year. Whew!



Brianne's boyfriend and race crew chief JasonM is one of our suspension guru's here at Vorshlag, and he does a lot of race preparation on the PPIHC Subaru as well as other cars she races - along with Brianne, who is an accomplished mechanic in her own right. Vorshlag was a small sponsor for this driver/car combo in 2011, but is stepping it up this year to do more, on a very compressed time schedule.

The 2011 race event was the last running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb that had dirt sections of the course, which was approximately 15% of the race route. Paving of the entire road up the mountain was completed in August, 2011, weeks after the 2011 PPIHC event. This means that 2012 is the first year that the entire 12.42 miles of Pike's Peak mountain road is paved. This massive change in surface has attracted a whole new crowd of hill climb and road racers to this historic event. 2012 had so many entrants that for the first time the organizers had to announce qualifying during the practice days, to weed down the field of entrants for race day. In 2013, the PPIHC event is being changed to a 2-day race format, to accommodate even more racers.



One other thing that changed was the merging of some classes. Since there's no longer a gravel element to this hill climb, the AWD and 2WD Time Attack classes were merged for 2012. This brings in some serious 2WD machinery to the new combined class (the old 2WD Time Attack record was 44 seconds faster than the AWD record!), such as Rhys Millen in the V8 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, a works Porsche GT2 911 with 700+ hp, among others. Brianne and Jason knew they'd have to step up the power, grip and the preparation level of the car for 2012 to have another shot at the win.


Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima next to Brianne Corn at the PPIHC event in 2011

To address the power department, AWD Tuning in Flower Mound, TX built an all new motor, added a massive Perrin front mount intercooler kit, and a host of other horsepower upgrades. This all-new motor was built on very short notice. Since the event was delayed until mid August due to the wildfires in the Colorado area, there was some extra time to do more than just install some new shocks and camber plates, so we now have it at Vorshlag for various updates for roughly 3 weeks. Our sponsorship and labor commitment went from minor, to... a little more than that. We're jumping onto an existing, winning race car hoping to do a few upgrades that make sense in the short time window we were lucky enough to have.



Since Vorshlag specializes in suspension design and race preparation, we had originally hoped to concentrate on just upgrades to the suspension. Off come the Tein coilovers and top hats and on will go some AST dampers (We had a set of GD AST 4100s sitting on the shelf), Swift springs, and Vorshlag camber plates, front and rear. After seeing the skinny tires they ran and won on last year, I insisted that we also add some of our Vorshlag/D-Force, 5x114.3 pattern, 18x10", lightweight 5-spoke wheels. On those wide wheels will go some 285/30/18 Hoosier R6 tires, in place of the old 245mm Hoosiers. Having +40mm of tire on each corner will improve grip tremendously, especially when there are 156 turns and 11+ minutes of abuse per lap.


Left: 18x10" wheels and custom flares on a 2-door Subaru Impreza. Right: 18x11" wheels and custom box flares on a BMW E30

To make those big tires fit this stock body chassis properly, at full bump travel and full steering lock, is no small feat. Luckily it is something Vorshlag has tackled many times in the past, on various chassis, including the two shown above. Essentially the shape of the factory front STi "box flares" will be enlarged and all new steel rear flares will be added. We will show that work in this build thread, as well as the other race preparation work we will attack.



Some substantial plumbing upgrades to many systems will also be performed, with parts/assistance/guidance from the hose and fitting wizards from Pirtek Plano South, including the shop owner Ed (who is a friend of Vorshlag) and two more guys from his crew. Both Ed and Mike from Pirtek are die-hard racers and both have extensive knowledge of many areas of race preparation, above and beyond just plumbing. Making a race car that can finish the entire PPIHC event takes some serious attention in the plumbing department, as the cooling, oiling, and fuel systems are taxed to their maximum in this event. With Pirtek's help we hope to make the plumbing on this car bulletproof.



We're excited that Vorshlag have a chance to wrench on this already previously winning, fast hillclimb car, and we mostly hope we can improve the handling & grip (since that's our specialty). Stay tuned for more details on the work being performed here at Vorshlag over the next 3-4 weeks. We will cross-post this thread on SCCAForums, Corner-Carvers, NASIOC, RRAX, and the Vorshlag forum.

Thanks,

Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:39 PM   #2
geronimo81
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Wow Brianne is such an impressive driver! I hope to someday attend the hillclimb as a spectator. Will definitely be following this build.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
Vorshlag
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Here's what the crew chief JasonM wrote about the car in 2011:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M View Post
We bought the car just a few weeks before leaving for the PPIHC and had very little time to get the engine built. We used every bit of adjustability in the chassis and engine and every hour available to tune it on site in Colorado. Everything that was "stock" limited us somewhat and everything that was aftermarket was alternately genius or crap!

The 2011 version: The car is surprisingly stock. The tub is uncut and the only bracing is a rear bolt-in Cobb tower brace and the welded in SCCA legal road racing cage. The HVAC parts have been removed and a fixed firebottle system has been installed. Sparco seats (good) and some not-to-be named here sucky harnesses were installed.

Engine is stock block, stock crank, Manley rods, Arias pistons, MA Performance head studs, stock rebuilt heads, Grimspeed TGV deletes, Grimspeed coated and polished intake manifold, Grimspeed ported and polished throttle body, AWD Tuning modified WRX injectors, Warbro 225 fuel pump, MA Performance 20G turbo, Perrin equal length headers, Grimspeed coated up-pipe, TIAL 40mm wastgate, Perrin oversized topmount intercooler, Samco inlet pipe, Grimspeed electronic boost controller, APS intake, Cobb catless downpipe, Cobb exhaust, Exidy stage 1 street clutch, Amsoil Dominator racing oil. The engine was run on Hyperfuels E-95. We did use DEI heat wrap on the header and a Fluidyne radiator. With a custom AWD Tuning tune loaded onto the OEM ECU it produced 358 hp at 5745 rpm and 400 ft/lbs at 4349 rpm.

The transmisison, center diff, rear diff, diff controller, axles, hubs, etc were all stock except for Amsoil lubricants. We did use a Kartboy pitchmount and TurnInConcepts shift bushing kit and transmission mount bushings and diff outrigger bushings. We didn't have time to install some of the other bushings they provided. Vorshlag gave us lots of parts, but we only had time to install their studs and lug nuts. Their fantastic camber plates will replace the Tein units soon.

The suspension was Tein Ultimate Spec Circuit Master Super Racing struts with camber plates and we removed the antisway bars. It's wasn't ideal, but we made it work. The rear trailing and lateral arms are Cusco pilloball arms. Front arms/subframe had an anti lift installed.

The brakes were stock except for the DBA lightweight two-piece front rotors and Hawk DTC-60 pads. We did modify the original handbrake handle to lengthen it and make it non-locking.

The steering wheel is a Sparco suede racing model with their keyed weld-on quick release.

The race-day tires and wheels are Volks CE-28 Time Attacks in 17x8.5 with custom hand grooved Hoosier A6 tires in 245/40-17.

The engine, turbo and tune produced an amazingly flat torque curve and was easy to drive with the stock transmission ratios. The suspension, tires and grooving took a lot of time to get right. We had just got the car bolted together and had no debugging time before arriving in Colorado, so we paid to use Pikes Peak International Raceway for testing days in addition to our practice days.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
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Project Update for July 16, 2012: Well the Subaru has been here for a hair over a week and we've accomplished a good bit. Let's take a look and see what has happened. If you have never read one of my build thread posts before... I add a lot of pictures. We try to share race preparation tips whenever we can, so people can see what it takes to do what we're talking about. Since we tend to "over-share", we can see lots of second-guessing and internet criticism, which is fine. Just know that we have nearly a dozen experienced race techs working and/or "supervising" on this build - so rest assured that each modification shown has had a lot of criticism before the first cut was made.



The first day it was here it was put in the air for a look inside, out and underneath. It was grimy, dirty and covered in muck after many years of hard race use, including blasting up Pikes Peak last year. Our guys wheeled it outside and put it up on jack stands. After a couple of hours with the pressure washer, suited up in rain gear + face shield, the underside and wheel well grime was mostly gone. The engine bay was washed with a bit more care and less pressure. Now it could be worked out on without too much nastiness getting on us. The Subaru is going to be wrapped from the shoulder line down, so all of the decals in those areas were removed and the panels cleaned.



After a look by the plumbing experts at Pirtek Plano South, they made a list of items and systems to tear down further for a closer look (fuel tank, rear subframe, cooling system, etc). It quickly became apparent that they wanted to do a major plumbing upgrade on every system of the car, front to back. That seems a bit overboard, and it is a huge undertaking, but the Pirtek guys are friends of ours and Jason's and they wanted to show off some of their race car worthy hardware. Vorshlag uses Pirtek for all of our plumbing needs. This car was purchased and then prepped a whole two weeks before the 2011 Pike's Peak event, so some of the race preparation work done in that short timeframe, or by previous owners, was probably rushed. We've got about three weeks to go back and do some updates and us and the Pirtek guys will need every bit of that time to get this updated. Hill climbs are brutal on every system on a car, so going in with all new race parts should add reliability.



After that first look few days later Pirtek came back with a three man team (Ed, Mike and John) and with JasonM's help they pulled the stock tank (full of E95!), then removed a tangled mess of OEM rubber and hard lines, as shown in the big box above. The long jumble of fuel hard lines from the tank to the engine bay are also gone for good. This box includes dozens of patches, fixes, and updates over the many years this car has been a race car. Not atypical when a race car has passed through several owners.



The rear subframe was removed, along with the differential assembly, to make room to extract the fuel tank. Once the fuel tank was out the factory fuel pump + pick-up assembly was removed and upgraded. Deleted the in-tank filter, TIG-welded -6 AN bungs in place of the stock push-lock ends, and securely mounted an in-tank Walbro 255 lph pump to the pick-up. The Pirtek guys new submersible fuel line to connect it all, as the outer jacket is of course covered in fuel (alcohol). These new feed and return line connections on the exterior of the fuel tank will with be connected to the rest of the fuel system with braided -6 lines using proper AN fittings everywhere.

It was noted that the subframe to chassis mounts were still OEM rubber, so a call was made to TurnInConcepts, who are sending a gaggle of their custom race bushings to install. Thanks! Once those arrive, we'll pop them in and reinstall the rear subframe; the fuel tank is already back in place.



With the OEM fuel hard + soft lines and fuel rails out of the way, a new set of billet fuel rails were purchased and installed. A new Kinsler fuel pressure regulator is now mounted on the left front strut tower, which will regulate fuel supply to the new rails. A fuel pump surge tank made by Integrated Engineering and supplied by AWD Tuning (which uses a Bosch 044 pump mounted in the top), will be fed from the stock fuel tank by the 255 lph Walbro in-tank pump (see above), acting as a lift pump. A 100 micron pre-filter will be used before the surge tank/pump and a 10 micron filter will be in-line after the final fuel pump stage. I will show this area in more detail once these filters and the surge tank are permanently mounted and plumbed.

(because of the 10 image limit, I have to break this post up into 3 parts)

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:23 AM   #5
Vorshlag
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(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)

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:23 AM   #6
Vorshlag
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(part 3 of 3 for the July 16th update)

One thing we had to do to prepare for the rear flares was move the fuel fill pick-up tube and gas cap. It ended up being a bigger job than expected. The stock fuel fill location had a normal flip-out filler door that is right in the middle of the right side fender flare section, so we decided to move it into the trunk. There are no timed pit stops in hillclimb, so speedy filling is not a concern. With the gas tank removed, a hole was cut in the floor for the filler neck new routing and then opened up a bit more (this will be sealed once the location is nailed down).



The factory fuel fill tubing runs in the right rear wheel well (that tube is shown in the 4th picture of this post), which is too close to the wheel/tire debris for comfort. Moving it into the trunk will now make it safe from road debris, as well as making the right rear fender flare easier to fabricate. The fuel filler neck relocation took a bit of thought and some fabrication time this past Saturday (when the shop is normally closed). I was the only one on hand that could weld at that time (which is scary), so I got tagged for this work. First, a piece of steel tubing was swedged and added to the stock up-bent piece (by Pirtek, who had two of their service trucks on hand), to extend it near the trunk opening. Half a dozen OEM brackets were cut off, some extraneous holes were welded closed, and two new brackets were welded to the fill tube. An aluminum bolt-on bracket was built and added to secure the filler neck to the trunk structure. The "Unleaded Fuel Only" nozzle restriction was cut out with a hole saw and smoothed, then the entire tube was painted and bolted into place. It wasn't half bad in the end, and I can point to one small part of this 3-week project and say "I did that". The rest of the welding on this project will be handled by a much more skilled fabricator - Vorshlag's Ryan B.

I will discuss the custom box flares in my next post. They are progressing along nicely. The suspension we have in store is also pretty slick - stay tuned.

Thanks,

Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:27 PM   #7
scby rex
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Nice to see some pros prepping the car this year. Cant wait to see Tue car in person soon.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
solakian
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WOW - really cool, can't wait to see more
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
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Nice!! I wish
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
Vorshlag
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Project Update for July 23, 2012: A lot of hours and late nights have gone into this project in the past 7 days. Plumbing, flares, suspension, and more. Let's get everyone caught up on the last week of Vorshlag work on Brianne's Corn's hill climb Subaru (including Brianne, who is also watching our work progress online) by the crews here at Vorshlag joined by our hose and fitting experts.


Major Plumbing Upgrade Work

The crew from Pirtek Plano South have burned a couple of nights and most of last Saturday at Vorshlag getting the complete plumbing upgrade of the car knocked out. This is a big job happening on a compressed schedule. First they worked with our crew to get every device mounted, then mapped and planned the hoses, got the AN fittings ordered. Once the fittings arrived (including some they custom built for this application, to reduce adapters) each dedicated hose end fitting (+ adapter, if needed) was installed on each device. With these in place the individual hose lengths can be measured, then the complete hoses were built at the Pirtek shop, then the hose + fitting assembly was installed on the car at Vorshlag. This is normally a multi-thousand dollar plumbing upgrade - luckily Pirtek is a sponsor to Brianne's race effort.



The fuel filler tube hole is covered with a Hurst boot - yes, a manual shifter boot - and it works like a charm. The custom double-mount for the two fuel filters (pre- and post-surge tank pump) has rubber sheeting on both sides for vibration protection and bolts to a threaded fitting TIG-welded to the chassis (called a "weld nut"). The surge tank is mounted to the unibody through poly isolators as well.



Vorshlag's fabricator Ryan and assistant Cameron re-worked the initial shape of the strut tower brace (aka: the dual oil cooler mount) with larger 3/4" square tubes for the forward section. Pre-drilled brackets were tack-welded in place, the coolers were bolted to these, and the AN fittings were pre-installed for hose routing. Ed from Pirtek is shown laying out some hoses under the hood - he will be traveling with Ryan and Jason from Vorshlag to help support the Brianne Corn Racing effort during the week of the PPIHC event and will be joined by 4 more Vorshlag employees around race day as well as tuners from AWD Tuning. If it "takes a village to raise a child", it takes a crew of experts in their respective fields to help make a car capable of winning at PPIHC. It goes without mention that it also requires an awesome driver and navigator, too! We know that formula is there, with Brianne Corn and Jeremy Rowland. We are all so excited to see this driver, navigator and this car attack the mountain again!



With all of the fittings and hoses in hand, they got to work properly routing and plumbing it all. The RedHorse AN fittings look great, the hoses are all secured, the routing tweaked, and any hose that can rub against anything else will have some abrasion protective sleeve added.



I will show more of the under hood work after the new coolant expansion tank is added and the new coolant lines are plumbed. That's happening in the next few days. At the moment the entire fuel system and oiling lines are all upgraded and completed. We still have heat management issues we want to address, but that's a job for next week.


(see part 2 below)

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #11
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(continued from above)


Suspension Upgrade Shaping Up

With only a couple of weeks notice before the event, and a tighter than normal budget, AST-USA worked with Vorshlag and Brianne to come up with a custom set of inverted AST dampers that will suit this unique Tarmac Rally setup for this car. A mix of track worthy AST 5100 inverted front struts (45mm shaft) was paired up with some inverted AST 6100 Rally (50mm shaft) rear struts, for a combination that has the proper bump travel and extreme droop travel necessary when attacking the one of a kind Pikes Peak asphalt course (and again, this year is unlike any other before, with a fully paved course). The old front struts had almost zero droop travel, which is obvious when you look at the comparison picture of the old TEINs, the AST 5100s, 4100s and 5100 Rally struts. More travel = mo better! There were many corners last year where the car had 6" of air under a rear tire. Not conducive to good corner exit acceleration when you have a driven tire in the air.

We tested with four different front struts on the car and ended up picking the off-the-shelf GD 5100 front struts after we found that they had the perfect amount of bump and droop travel. Ryan tweaked the mounting holes in the lower half-brackets on the strut bodies for maximum tire clearance. Then Erik and Stuart at AST-USA checked out and went though all of the struts in short order, and got them to us from start, to testing, to finished in under two days. It sure is handy being located next door to their shop! These struts look great and should be strong as hell on this car. Our standard Vorshlag GD front and rear camber plates will be on top of each strut, of course. To gain an extra 5mm of room for spring length our single row race radial bearingsare used in the front set - which we do on a lot of race cars. The GD rear plates/perches always use the single row radial bearings.



One way to pick custom damper and spring lengths is by checking the travel on the car. We start by removing the springs and installing the strut (or shock) + the final top mount onto the car while suspended on a lift. Then we lower the car onto the tires and allow the suspension to compress down and touch the bump stops, then raise it up to check maximum droop (we check for fender flare clearance the same way, too!)



We did this testing on both ends of the car with several dampers. Since we already had the wide body front flares completed in steel at this point, the front wheels we used were the custom-Vorshlag-run of 18x10" D-Force units, while the skinny stock wheels were tested inside the not-yet-flared rear fenders.

These tests + lots of calculations dictated the proper spring lengths and rates for the unique dual spring set-up Jason is developing for each corner of this car. The front flare is made to allow the wheel outboard enough so that a 10-12" long spring assembly can be used. In the rear, it is set up to use 11-12" of spring stack, all placed above the tire. One of Vorshlag's spring vendors, Swift Springs USA, stepped up and sponsored Brianne's PPIHC race effort this year with free set of eight springs! That was very cool and much appreciated. Jason ordered those + another twelve springs from Swift for tuning purposes next week as well as during the week of the Pikes Peak event.




Wide Body Flares - Part 1

I didn't show much flare work in my last post, but it was already well underway (we began on Day 1). I have been posting teaser pics on the Vorshlag Facebook page, which if you "like" will show you spoilers of most of our projects before they are formally written up in our various build threads (as well as new products, long-term project cars we are selling, and other news). Let's take a step-by-step look at how we're making this custom fabricated set of steel fender flares for this car. As usual, we show more behind the scenes steps than most folks are willing to share, and hold back nothing.


The factory box flares look great, but they have trouble covering more than a 255mm tire. Not good enough for Pike's Peak!

The factory 2005 Subaru STi fenders already have a modest little box flare, and instead of lopping those off and taking a short cut by welding on a new rounded flare section from a donor BMW fender flare section (like we have done on non-STI Subarus in the past), the VoMo team instead opted for an exaggerated factory box flare. This is an old fabricator's trick where you take an existing flare section or bodyline, slice open the upper section, and extend it. Seems easy, but the proper execution of this method is time consuming and tricky. We're burning 1.5 man days per corner, just in fab work.




(see part 3 below)

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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(continued from above)


Even though this process takes longer to do than the rounded flare transplant, or slapping-on some composite flares, we went with it for aesthetic reasons (it just plain looks right!), but also because it makes for a stronger, more durable finished unit. Steel flares can take a bit of a beating (smacking autocross cones, gravel hits, etc) that will normally crack fiberglass flares. Show me a real race car with fiberglass flares and I'll show you the cracks. We were also short on time for finding the right kind of widebody kit, such as ordering fiberglass fenders + overflares (which are usually built to order and almost never just sitting in stock). We could start making the steel flares in-house on day 1, which we did, using our past steel flare experience and the skills of our in-house fabricator Ryan. Sticking with steel worked for this tire size package, this car, this crew, and this timetable. Luckily the car owner Brianne left it up to us, as we were the ones that talked her into the 285mm tires.



We looked at another similar project's work (Kevin Byrd's beautiful LS3 widebody E30 M3, of Two Guys Garage TV fame), followed his example, and modified this proven method to fit this Subaru's boxy body lines. The total amount of room added is about 2" per side, with a sliced/and-filled pie section only about 1-1.5"" wide at the top of the flare and a re-shaping of the radius where the flare meets the body. The front inner fender lip was also rolled once it was pieced back together. These flares will cover not only the 18x10" wheel and 285/30/18 Hoosier, but an even larger 18x10.5" wheel and wider 295 tire - in case Brianne wants to go wider in the future.



A TIG welder was used with a very specific rod that can take a lot of heat without blowing out, and a very steady hand. These pictures show the cutting, slicing, patching, and re-shaping necessary to make a wide body flare in steel. What you don't see is the hammer and dolly work, the tweaked contours of the bumper covers to match, and the hours and hours spent getting the metal shaped and re-shaped to the final contours. There are a lot of radii built into the Subaru box flare, surprisingly! Overall, all I can say is: "It's a lot harder than it looks".



We still have all hands on deck attacking these flares, trying not to let this push anyone's deadline back. In fact, last week we pushed up our own the deadline to get the car to the tuner half a week sooner than originally planned.

Two of my racing buddies and I volunteered our bodywork talent (of which we have very little!) last Saturday to try to make these look "race car good" before the vinyl wrap. I came back on Sunday and did some more filler, did another round today, and I will keep attacking the bodywork every night to keep from dusting up the shop during the day - when they are cutting, welding, and wrenching on this car. I think I've ingested enough body filler dust to make a 1/25th scale, sand castle replica of Windsor Palace.



So far we are on target to get the rolling chassis back over to AWDTuning on Thursday night or Friday, fully plumbed and on the big wheels/tires, for their tuning work. The flares won't likely be 100% done by then, but they should be clearanced and the 285mm tires functional. Hopefully the tuning can be wrapped up Friday and then that gives us all weekend to swap in the new Swift dual-spring set-up, corner balance and align the car, and work on more flare stuff. Hopefully we can sneak out of work for a few hours to do some track-side testing early next week as well. After the test (and any subsequent changes), we can vinyl wrap the car and add sponsor decals and number graphics.

I will show one teaser pic of the rear flare work, then describe it in more detail in "Flares Part 2" - just know that the fronts were EASY to widen compared to the rear, which also encompass the rear doors as well as the fuel filler door:



Nice, fat back end shaping up. See why we moved the fuel filler to the trunk? That fender will be seamless when its completed. Again, more pics of the rear flares next time...

Stay tuned!

Thanks,
Terry @ Vorshlag

Last edited by Vorshlag; 07-27-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:40 PM   #13
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Very nice work. Now come do mine! I pay in beer! Hope to meet you all the week of qual and race days.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:12 PM   #14
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Project Update for August 1, 2012: Wow, started writing this Monday and I'm still writing it on Wednesday. Its been a crazy week. The Subaru arrived back from AWD Tuning on Tuesday the 31st, who had it for 3 days sorting and tuning the new motor they built. I am not allowed to share the power numbers until after the race, other than to say it makes "plenty of horsepower" with the conservative tune necessary to complete the grueling PPIHC event. With no car to wrench on our guys here at Vorshlag took the weekend off (much needed!) but got back to work Tuesday morning, after it returned to Vorshlag. Let's get caught up from the last week of work.

More Plumbing and Thermal Protection Updates

Even after my last July 23rd thread update there was still a bit more plumbing to do. The engine bay had a factory late model STi plastic coolant expansion/fill tank, but that made us a tick nervous. It also was plumbed with hoses using worm gear clamps, which Pirtek wanted to change to use threaded ends. We found an aluminum Moroso expansion tank that looked pretty good. When it got here a few modifications were made and this new coolant expansion / overflow /whatever tank was mocked up in the car, as high as possible. Brackets were made to bolt it to the LH strut tower, then another threaded aluminum bung was TIG welded onto this tank (after it was machined down to a reasonable size on the lathe). The modified tank was then mounted and coolant lines plumbed to the radiator and turbocharger, with lines made by the guys at Pirtek. There's an overflow line (tied into the radiator's puke line) if the cap over-pressures as well. The high mounted location of the axillary tank makes the coolant (water only) system that much easier to fill and purge of air. Its also now metal instead of plastic, and has threaded connections instead of clamped.



Below are some shots of more plumbing work, start with the two -6 braided stainless lines and Red Horse bulkhead connectors and end fittings for fuel. These two lines run inside the car (protected from being ripped off by under car debris) along a protected part under the cage, then snake behind the dash and come out through the center of the firewall, away from any heat source.



Some more of our heat insulation solutions are shown below. The main source of heat is, of course, the turbo. It now has a form fitted thermal blanket and the downpipe is fully wrapped in ceramic header wrap.



An picture of the custom oil cooler heat shield is shown below. Here you can see the oil cooler feed and return lines routing very near the (wrapped) exhaust header primaries. A stainless steel heat shield was fabricated with an air gap to the exhaust and also has a shape to keeps these lines routed smoothly away. These two lines have since been wrapped in thermal sleeving and a reflective thermal barrier film was applied to the heat shield on the top side. Next to that picture is a shot of the stock clutch salve cylinder. The OEM "Clutch Delay Valve" (CDV) has been removed and the clutter of 3 OEM hard and soft lines has been replaced by a single Teflon-lined, stainless braided, BrakeQuip hydraulic hose, custom made at Pirtek Plano South. This new clutch line will be also be wrapped in thermal sleeving, as this line was thought to be the culprit behind the mysteriously missing clutch actuation about 2/3rds of the way up the mountain in Brianne's 2011 PPIHC run. No clutch = no smooth shifts. Hopefully this thermal management will prevent this issue from cropping up this time up the mountain.




Other Fab and Prep Work

To work with various thickness wheel spacers, some extra long ARP wheel studs were installed in both the front and rear hubs. With the rear hubs removed it was obvious the bearings were shot, so those were pressed out and new bearings went back in. When the Subaru arrived here it had a full-sized battery (35+ pounds) in the OEM location, way up front. A new Odyssey AGM style battery was picked, a new mount fabricated in aluminum, and it was all bolted to the trunk floor way in the back, for better weight balance. All new 0-gauge cables were made with swedged ends. All new wiring was made to the new fuel pumps, with isolation relays, as well.




see part 2 below...
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:13 PM   #15
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(continued from above due to 10 image limit)

Another custom fabricated part shown before is now painted red - the strut tower brace and oil cooler mount. The engine oil and trans/diff fluid coolers are shown mounted and fully plumbed. This was one of the most well received parts of the build so far, which was surprising. It is pretty simple fabrication work, but everyone that's seen it first hand loves it. No, this won't be some production piece we make to sell, as it is completely custom made set-up specific to: this turbo, this intercooler, and these two oil coolers.



One little area to fix we ran into was a cut apart lower radiator core support, done by a previous owner way back down the line. This is a structural piece that was an easy fix for Ryan. He cleaned off the paint, stitch-welded the cut metal back together and then patched a larger opening with a bent piece of steel sheet. Once it was all tied back together it was painted black and the FMIC was then put back into place in front of it.



After many more late nights and long hours the car was finally plumbed up, the fender flares were far enough along to fit the 18x10" wheels, and the wiring was done. It was time to fire it up... VROOM! It ran, but had a miss, but nothing leaked a drop - which was a minor miracle considering the complete plumbing replacement done by Pirtek. Our guys quickly diagnosed a misfire on both rear cylinders, but it was intermittent and we couldn't see what we had done wrong. Turns out it was a fuel injector harness that was pinched on both rear cylinders when we switched to the billet fuel rails. There's more to it, but long story short, AWD Tuning figured it out and got the motor running smoothly.



The car was loaded onto the trailer at Vorshlag Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm. JasonM left here to tow the car across town to AWD Tuning and promptly had two blowouts on a borrowed trailer. One of our shop guys took him a spare, tools and jack and they limped the trailer on 3 tires to a local Discount Tire store, purchased 2 new trailer tires, and was outta there by 6 pm. The car finally made it to AWD Tuning on Friday night...


14 Pieces of Flare

After the tuning professionals at AWD Tuning did their magic, making huge improvements in power and engine smoothness, we got the car back to Vorshlag late Monday night. Tuesday morning we all came in and got back to work, with fender welding underway by 9:10 am. Its been late nights since then but much progress has been made.



Here's where we are at the moment on the rear flares. Most of this is Ryan's handiwork, with some assistance from Cameron on grinding, cutting patch panels, and holding things in place while welding.



see part 3 below
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #16
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(continued from above due to 10 image limit)





Below you can see the under-fender patch work that is involved with any rear fender flare job that alters the unibody tub for wide tire clearance at full bump. Cutting, patching, welding, hammering, seam sealing, painting. Not glorious work anyone will ever see. Using the patches Ryan and Cameron had made I tack welded these in place this morning before the gang arrived. MIG welding is fine for these panels (great, since I personally can't TIG weld), which have a bit of an overlap to the chassis panels (for strength and ease of welding). We'll grind the welds down a bit and smear every line with seam sealer, than paint it.



The inspiration for these box flares came from our little E30, which sold last weekend. Left rear fender work shown at its first stages below also.



Here's more of Ryan's work, showing how he tied up the rear of the fender sections back into the body. Cameron with the assist.



Still have a lot of grinding to do, plus my least favorite - body filler and paint. Gonna come in early tomorrow and get crackin!

see part 4 below
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #17
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(continued from above due to 10 image limit)


Suspension Updates

As I mentioned before, AST USA really hooked up Brianne on a killer set of inverted struts. The fronts are regular off-the-shelf 5100 single adjustables with 45mm chrome shafts. The rears are actually called 6100s, which are 50mm shaft inverted rally struts. Normally for a car being used in an event like this we would custom order a complete set of 6100s, but with a very short time frame we were happy to get this set-up on the car. After a call was made to Swift Springs they stepped up with a nice sponsorship and 20 springs are on hand for testing and set-up before race day.



With the dual-spring set-up on the AST strut below you can see how much travel is available on the car now. This is crucial for tarmac rally events like this. Running a single short spring, like you would in a road race setup, won't allow the extended strut to have any spring tension in droop. Also shown below are 8 fresh Hoosier A6s from Hoosier Tire, another sponsor of Brianne. These will be used for qualifying and on race day mounted to two sets of Vorshlag/D-Force 18x10" wheels (a whole new pallet of these arrived at the shop today).



We still need to install the Kartboy end links from TurnInConcepts on the front swaybar, corner balance and align the car.


Exterior Work

After fighting with the existing sanding tools I already owned (DA sander, inline sander, and a couple of small sanding blocks) I finally broke down and bought a complete set of Dura-Block flexible sanding blocks. These 7 pieces gave me round, flat, and other shapes of dense foam sanding blocks of several lengths to use to get better results when shaping the body filler and finish putty on long flat surfaces, inside curves, and other odd shapes on the front fenders. After a some early mornings of making a mess of the shop before the crew arrived I got the front fenders good enough for some high build primer, and moved on. Rear fenders are tomorrow...



The factory titanium silver whatever color paint doesn't photograph well, and we were making a mess of the finish with all of our box flare efforts. Since we're out of time for proper paint it was decided by the crew chief and driver to wrap the car in basic red vinyl and put white graphics over that. After a little experimentation it seems to be working, with a wet layup, stretching and heat gun use. The color was inspired by our 2011 Mustang GT, shown here.



That's all I've got for now. If I keep writing I'll keep taking pictures of work happening right now and this will never get posted.

Until next time...

Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:52 PM   #18
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^This is awesome. Very cool reading these updates and seeing the build progress, keep up the great work!
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:31 PM   #19
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Project Update for Aug 4, 2012: Final thrash underway for the trip out to Colorado Springs that leaves tomorrow. The last few days have been a blur. I just worked a 25 hour stint and got back to the shop after a few hours sleep. Please forgive spelling/grammar/logic errors in this post, as we're all having trouble remembering what happened. Final hours of prep are here!

More Exterior Prep

I think Ryan had finished metal work on the right rear fender where we left off. From there Ryan finished up welding the left rear flare, Big Paul helped with some metal grinding, and I got to work on the bodywork on the right rear. This is the one with the fuel door and was extra fun. I started on this at 7 am Friday morning, knocked that out, we went to the test (more on that below), came back and I worked through the night on that plus the left rear. I suck at body work - we don't normally do this work - but it's done and they are wrapping the car now.



Don't ever try to make exaggerated OEM steel flares like this on a Subaru. Just cut for the tire clearance you need, buy composite flares and slap them on. This was an epic amount of work - like 150 man hours or more. Not what you do for race car flares.



Matt has been working on the hood, hood scoop and bumper cover wrapping for the last 2+ days. Amy and Jason are jumping in now to help cover the rest of the car now. Lots of work to do.



I left the shop at midnight on Thursday but Matt and Ryan were still going strong. We had talked... talked about replacing the OEM rear wing but there just didn't seem like we had time left to get it on, do some testing, and make the matching front splitter. Well I made it back into the shop at 7 am on Friday and saw this monster bolted to the trunk. They took the GTC-300 carbon wing from my Mustang, mounts and uprights as well, and made it fit Brianne's Subaru. Fit perfectly, bolts securely to the full steel trunk lid, and the forces go right into the rear fenders/chassis. Massively strong uprights - .250" thick 6061-T6 plates. Trust me - we've heard all of the suggestions on Facebook already: No, it doesn't need cables or guy wires or more structure. The same wing worked fine on my Mustang just bolted to the trunk, going into Turn 1 at 150 mph at Texas World Speedway, and it worked on the Subaru in testing at 130+ yesterday. No shimmy, no shake, and it isn't falling off.




More Race Prep



Thermal wrap is still going on in many places. The ECU is still in the factory location, under a metal "shoe rest" in the passenger foot well. To keep heat from the ECU and the navigator's feet we've covered this section in thermal insulating blanket, sealed to the floor. The downpipe is fully wrapped, too. No more melted shoe soles.

(continued in part 2 below)
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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Thanks for sharing. AWESOME build!

C
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #21
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Thanks for sharing. AWESOME build!

C

Ditto, been following on FB.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #22
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Looks like a fun build, but after seeing what happend to Phils APR wing after he put taller risers on I wouldnt do the same. If you want a good wing that works well get a Kognition unit and be done, dont risk the drivers life.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:54 PM   #23
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If it works on his mustang Im sure its safe. You sould see some on the redneck ingenuity that goes on on the mountian.

I hate mineral, got a puncture from some sheet metal screw last time I was there. Hope tech went well today.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #24
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Project Update for August 8, 2012: The last several days have been a blur and we're just digging out of the rubble here. We were thrashing and putting in some crazy hours the last couple of weeks, fueled by energy drinks and a looming deadline. We pushed past the original departure time by only 12 hours, but it was time well spent. This thread update will show the last the pre-Colorado updates and preparations done to Brianne's car before they hauled out of Texas to go to Pikes Peak.



Last of the Wrap + Decals

When I posted last we had begun wrapping the car in red. We had a lot left to do, and the wrap crew went from one person, to two, to four people in quick succession. We never remembered to call Costas, who can wrap any car, but we weren't really awake enough to remember that. Matt took care of the hood scoop, trunk, rear bumper, and trimmed the door and fender vinyl for Amy and McCall. JasonM handled some other bits, and Amy + McCall wrapped a big chunk of the car too including the rear quarter panels and roof.



Some of the panels came out great, but some of the curvy bits got a bit complicated. None of us were skilled in wrapping cars, and we were very tight on time, but I think it looks good from 20 feet at 20 mph, heh.



Once the red landscape was laid down, Amy and JasonM applied the cut vinyl decals that Jason had designed in Illustrator. These angled stripes each have the names of the bigger ($1000+) parts sponsors. There were also decals on the front and rear bumper covers, hood, hood scoop, and even more are being applied today at Pikes Peak.


Front Splitter & Air Dam Construction

Once the rear wing was installed, it was obvious in high speed corners at our short Mineral Ring test that we had an aero imbalance, with significantly more rear downforce (wing) than up front (none), even with the wing trimmed all the way out. I had been pushing for us to include a front splitter since day one, with as much of a front undertray as the rules allowed. Once we decided to hold the car another 12 hours, it was splitter makin' time!



Due to the time we had left, plus the rigors that Brianne was likely to put through the splitter, there was one material that made sense - plywood, with a tubular aluminum reinforcement structure. If we had more time maybe aluminum plate could have been used, or a carbon+aluminum composite splitter. I wasn't about to make something from sign shop material, because my "rule of thumb" is if a material can be crushed between my forefinger and thumb it doesn't belong in a splitter. Aero forces alone will tear it to shreds, and any road scrapes or rubs with FIA curbing will fold it up like paper. I've spoken up against using Alumilite and other plastic corrugated material on forums in the past, and stand by that statement. We got some grief for the plywood splitter on our GRM E30, but the unit we built works and can take a beating on the street or track. The driver of this Subaru can do swan dives off of this splitter as well. Haters are gonna hate, nothing we can do about it. Refer to it as a "carbon based composite" if you like.



As you know plywood is tough, abrasion resistant (F1 cars use a wooden wear plate material under their chassis), and has significant cost advantages over almost anything else you can dream up. It is an easy material to quickly fabricate with and because of the cost and ease, we made a full duplicate main plane for only a little extra scratch. They now have a back-up if this unit somehow gets broken in practice (it would take a big hit to break it).

(continued below)
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:54 PM   #25
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(continued from above)

Using a plumb bob to trace the bumper cover outline, Ryan and Ed marked the splitter's main plane a full 5" beyond the front bumper cover's shape, per the PPIHC rules, and used massive 3/4" thick slab of plywood. I had voted for 3/8" or maybe 1/2" thick material, but JasonM wanted to make it Brianne Proof (TM), so he went Texas big.



Once the aluminum structure was added to the splitter, it became even more rigid and was ready for some paint. In case you are wondering, the entire thing weighed 38 pounds and if 1/2" thick material was used it would have been closer to 25 pounds. The splitter sits about 4" lower than the wrapped exhaust header and oil pan, with about 3" of front ground clearance. The main plane was painted with gloss black enamel and the aluminum was shot with some black spray enamel by Brianne herself. After the splitter dried overnight it was bolted on (via the four front brackets and two rear bolts into weld nuts added to the lower subframe), we had a big air gap to fill between the bumper cover and the splitter main plane.

We don't have many pictures showing the air dam construction, as they are still on the memory card in my Nikon, which is in Colorado. I will show it's construction in my post after Pikes Peak. The air dam is simple and functional. JasonM had picked up a 7' length roll of 3/16" thick ABS plastic sheeting from a local circle track supplier (Smiley's), which was a red that matched the wrap. I made a dozen or so brackets from 2" x 2" x 1/8" angle aluminum, bolted them to the splitter, with a drilled hole and a Rivet Nut (RivNut) pressed into place on each vertical portion - with the help of two of Brianne's volunteer Austin crew members. This series of lower brackets (see below, right) allowed us to bolt the lower edge of the ABS sheeting onto the brackets for easy removal of the splitter. The upper section was riveted onto the bumper cover with backing washers behind. This looks a little crude, but it keeps the high pressure air pressing against the splitter, directs some over the hood, and forces some of the air stream into the radiator or intercooler openings in the bumper cover. Two slots for brake ducts can be seen at the bottom edges.



In order to make sure we were on the right path, we did some "static testing" during construction. Ed stood on the plywood splitter without any aluminum structure in place... and it barely flexed at all. I was about to choke when he hopped up on the lip! Once it was beefed up with a few pounds of aluminum tubing, Brianne was hopping up on the thing like a kid on a trampoline. It doesn't flex an 1/8" with her on the thing, so I guess it's Brianne Proof after all.



Brianne was a good sport and posed for a couple of splitter pictures, above. You can see the finished air dam on the right picture, and the splitter structure is visible in the left picture. There is a front tow strap we added visible in the center, poking out of a slot between the splitter and air dam. This air damn was made very quickly and only completed an hour before they loaded the car into the trailer to head out.



More pictures above are of the completed car, right before it went into the Vorshlag trailer Sunday afternoon.




Cool desktop wallpaper, with a ghosted view from the hood open merged with a picture of the hood closed: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Vorshlag...428-copy-O.jpg


(continued below)
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