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Old 11-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
BlacknRedGT
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Default Bought a Rally Car and.....

Its a 2002 Impreza RS Body with a WRX engine/drivetrain. Its currently running in the PGT series but as a noob I would need to race it in the Open Class Light for the 09 Rally America series. What are my options?? Can I just change the pistons and everything on the current block or would it be easier to just swap with a used N/A engine. What can I do to get the most power out of the N/A engine and are there any good shops in San Antonio, Texas that work with theses car day in and day out?
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:43 PM   #2
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I am not an expert on rally cars, just a fan, I got to go to one race this year. The best thing to do would probably put in the 2.5 rs sohc engine and harness. I think for power you'd be looking at a header and some sort of exhaust system. I thought you had to start out in a 2wd car in rally america?
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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swap a motor in and go race. Don't bother with power mods. Make sure your safety equipment is up to date and make sure the car is running reliably.


The important thing is to get a legal car, and finish (finish) some races. Keep your investment low, because you might suck, you might not enjoy it, and you might wrap the car around a tree at the first bend of the first stage. Remember that driving a full rally is going to be grueling as hell.



Find somebody who is local to you, and latch on to them for help.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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pics?
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:52 PM   #5
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You can start in either a Group 2 car or Production car and in 2009 the rules are changing that you can also start in Open Class Light (AWD with no turbo).

I have pictures of the car but only have a private myspace to upload them to. Its the 6th listing down at specialstage.com right now. Send me your email and I can send over the pics if you want. Anyway to upload photos on this site?

So just source an entirely new engine or use the same block to rebuild a NA engine? Will the NA engine mount up the WRX drivetrain with no problems?
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:11 PM   #6
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Go run several NASA sanctioned rallies, your legal there with the car as is. Then if you still wish to run in RA you will be qualified.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:05 AM   #7
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Bhawk, I didnt even think about that. That would prob the best for now until I can get a waiver from RA to run my car. Beats the hell out of spending money on a engine that doesnt make near as much hp.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:35 AM   #8
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go to www.photobucket.com and make a profile and upload the pics from your computer to photobucket then post the code in a reply to this thread.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlacknRedGT View Post
So just source an entirely new engine or use the same block to rebuild a NA engine? Will the NA engine mount up the WRX drivetrain with no problems?

Source a new engine. Guarantee it would be less of a pain in the ass.

The NASA rally thing is a good idea, though.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:12 PM   #10
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definitely keep it cheap. for the first couple of events, get your groove down and FINISH. that's the important thing.

and read the rules. they will tell you what's legal or not. I haven't been keeping up to date, but last time i looked (for RA, anyway) noobs can't run anything but production or PGT.....I think.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:55 PM   #11
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Open light is a new regional class, newbs can run N/A AWD cars. I don't know what the engine specs are, but i bet they're something like a max of 2.5L.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:38 PM   #12
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:19 PM   #13
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is it me or is swapping in an N/A engine pretty simple, relatively speaking? i mean our exhaust is like headers and cat pipe, which arent the expensive and you can get a high flow cat (not sure if thats Open Class legal). Cat-back should be the same, and you dont really have to worry about not having enough fuel or anything...
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:33 PM   #14
BlacknRedGT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarrgh View Post
definitely keep it cheap. for the first couple of events, get your groove down and FINISH. that's the important thing.

and read the rules. they will tell you what's legal or not. I haven't been keeping up to date, but last time i looked (for RA, anyway) noobs can't run anything but production or PGT.....I think.

The car is PGT but noobs cannot run in this class. Only Production, Group 2, and Open Class Light starting Jan 1st of 2009. Will I have any problems mating the NA engine to the AWD Drivetrain??? I dont know anything about Subarus so Im not sure what is interchangeable.

Here are the pics:





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Old 11-14-2008, 05:37 PM   #15
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Engine looks like hell dude. I have a 2.5sohc id trade for it tho lol, too bad ur in tx.

Oh, and your drivetrain should work fine. All subys are AWD! whoot whoot.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:45 PM   #16
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btw dude, the N/A engine is used on the base impreza, which shares the same drivetrain. i guess the only real "problem" youll have is the sudden loss of power.

although a new 2.5 SOHC probably comes closer to an old wrx engine than it does now (jesus that 09 wrx really has 265 hp?! what were the first STi numbers? cant have been far off that...), plus that one looks old and tired. also, having a flatter torque curve does come in handy if you dont downshift to the right gear or something (you said you was noob sooo... not insulting or anything just trying to defend us non-turbos!)
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:46 PM   #17
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Motor will bolt right up. Wiring harness should be interchangeable as well, since that's a WRX. Instruments might be a problem but i don't know.

My totally uninformed guess is that the ECU will plug into the WRX harness, and the motor elements will also. That should give you a running motor without much hassle.


Quote:
what were the first STi numbers?
US? 300HP... STi is a homologation car, remember (even though it's the 2.0 motor that's actually a homologation motor. )

Old GC STi was apparently 250.

Last edited by sniper1rfa; 11-14-2008 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:58 PM   #18
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Mounting the engine is fairly straightforward. The front crossmember is different, you will probably need to switch to the N/A one and need a new exhaust system. You can keep the wrx trans just put the wrx flywheel and clutch on the new engine. The fuel pump is different. The radiator and fans are different.

The biggest problem you will run into with your swap would be wiring, you would have to swap the entire chassis harness with one from a non-turbo. The dash needs to come out along with other interior parts. Will the dash come out past the cage in the car?

I might be easier for you to do what was mentioned above and run NASA rally if they let you, get the experience there and switch to Rally America.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:31 PM   #19
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the wiring is not at all trivial or interchangeable
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #20
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the wiring is not at all trivial or interchangeable
bummer.
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:02 PM   #21
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I think I would be a little scared if the engine was clean after the rallies it has been in. I guess Im going to have to run some NASA events instead of the engine swap. Im a shade tree mechanic at best and wiring diagrams make me go huh??? unless it has to do with car audio. That and I dont think I could deal with the power drop. I have been driving a 300hp Porsche 944 Turbo around. It would be a little hard to switch to a NA motor and not bitch the whole time.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:21 PM   #22
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but the engine isn't over the rear wheels!! It's nice to be able to predict what tree the Subie is going to crash into.

Addressing sniper1rfa, the STi only came to the US in 2003 I believe, which means in 6 years they have a WRX with only 35 less horsepower that costs the same basically as the WRX in 2003 (slight inflation and nicer interior/stuff largely offsets the price difference) But this is irrelevant my argument was that a newer N/A engine would not perform exceedingly worse than an old dirty WRX engine... although im sure an extensive maintainence would unlock more power out of that engine then you would get by spending serious $$$ on N/A.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:03 PM   #23
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but the engine isn't over the rear wheels!! It's nice to be able to predict what tree the Subie is going to crash into.

Addressing sniper1rfa, the STi only came to the US in 2003 I believe, which means in 6 years they have a WRX with only 35 less horsepower that costs the same basically as the WRX in 2003 (slight inflation and nicer interior/stuff largely offsets the price difference) But this is irrelevant my argument was that a newer N/A engine would not perform exceedingly worse than an old dirty WRX engine... although im sure an extensive maintainence would unlock more power out of that engine then you would get by spending serious $$$ on N/A.
Lol, yes I know, I have the poor mans porsche but it has more then enough power for me to have fun with it. It was honestly one of the worst investments I have made due to the high cost of repairs (even if I do them myself). Hopefully the subie doesnt eat my wallet up too much.
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:11 PM   #24
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well its certainly a generally more reliable brand, as you can tell by the age of your current engine. If you take care of it properly, the only thing eating up your wallet will be the gas money (damn 25% drivetrain loss) and the modifications (which are of course optional)

good luck!
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlacknRedGT View Post
Lol, yes I know, I have the poor mans porsche but it has more then enough power for me to have fun with it. It was honestly one of the worst investments I have made due to the high cost of repairs (even if I do them myself). Hopefully the subie doesnt eat my wallet up too much.
Welcome to the rally community. The Subie won't eat your wallet, but rallying the Subie WILL eat your wallet. If you drive with any pace, you will dent/whack/bend/ding/break stuff eventually. That's just the nature of the sport.
Your idea of the NA swap has some merit. PGT has a 32 mm restrictor while Open and SP have a 34 mm restrictor. Just swapping your restrictor would give you significantly more power and you could swap your brakes. But you are starting out with a real-world budget and considering your options is wise. Open Light permits OHC displacement to 2.65 l. A built motor of this displacement in a lighter Open class car (P rules require the interior door panels, stock driveline and some other weight adding stuff) can quickly approach the power to weight ratio of a PGT car and not have turbo lag as an added driver variable. But this is not without cost.
My suggestion, if your engine is toast, consider Open Light. If your engine is strong, consider NASA to get your coefficients.
The first NASA event of 2009 is the Team O'Neal Winter Rally up here in New Hampshire. Come on up and get some seat time and coefficients. Winter rallies tend to be easier on the car and Street Legal Studded Snow tires are legal this year for 2WD and AWD. The roads are great and the people are also.
Learn your car, get your unrestricted competition license, then consider PGT vs SP vs Open. That's my 2 cents.
PM me if you want to exchange phone numbers so we can talk in real time.
Best of luck to you! See you in January?
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