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Old 05-09-2013, 09:14 AM   #1
ryolse
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Default My '97 Impreza Wagon Open Light Rally Build

In everyone's adult life they should ask themselves do I save up for my own house, put more money into a 401k, go on some European trip or do I fulfill my childhood dreams and build a race car?

Well as most of you have already done I'm sure you can guess I went with the fulfillment of one of my biggest childhood dreams which was to own a Rally Car and legally drive it flat out like a crazy person down County dirt roads. Which when growing up in the foothills of Colorado in Clear Creek County you often find yourself on flowing hilly dirt roads imagining how much fun it would be to just ignore the 35 mph speed limit and go for it. Even more so on snow days before the plow had a chance to get out and destroy a perfectly good powder day.

Some people over the last few months have asked me "rally what is that?" And then after explaining it to them there's been responses such as "that's insane! Why would you put yourself and your investment at such a risk". Well that's easy, growing up I often found myself running or riding mountain bikes on dirt trails. I also spent about 7 years competing against some of the best runners in the state on those trails in the hot summer sun, cold snowy winters and wet raining spring downpours. So I guess you can say my passion was not only influenced by driving down those county roads but also the years of running and constantly pushing yourself to the limit regardless of what hill or weather conditions might get in your way. Which is why I feel like Rally is the ultimate test in automotive racing. There is no excuses as to why you did not win or finish other then those which you let get in your way. And as with the days of running where you often heard your fellow friends and teammates encouraging you to push harder, with rally they are sitting right next to you pushing you past your skill limits. But instead of screaming at you through trees half winded they are yelling at you through an intercom. All while you pass your friends and family who are standing next to the road cheering you on.

Here are some of the build pictures along the way to that dream. While it seems to have been a long road before it can see it's first stage mile and was filled with lots PB&J sandwiches and Mac-N-Cheese, it has eventually gotten to being close to there and will be more then worth the wait in a couple of weeks at it's first event. And when it is finished it will not only continue to be raced in SCCA RallyCross events which I've been doing since 2007, but bigger kid stuff like CHCA, NASA Rally & Rally America events. And while the car is almost finished for it's first hill climb there's still a little more to do, so here's where it is to date.

Hope to see you all while mingling waiting for the next SS or cheering on along side of the roads at it's first big event when it is finally finished! And remember to always Press On Regardless!
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Last edited by ryolse; 02-03-2014 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
ryolse
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New 4&2 pot calipers and rotors for the Wagon. They were far from being on my priority list for building the Rally car. But I got all of it for the price of the front ones new. And then there was the cost for the Kartboy brackets, stainless lines and 2 new wheels... Oh well, the current buyers remorse will go away when I can spend the money saved on something else


I won't lie, when this box showed up at the door I almost peed myself a little.




The first day out with my fancy new JVAB coil overs. Oh what a joy it was to jump a car and have it feel like plopping down on a couch when landing.


After owning the car for the past 2 years, this past November finally came to be the time to take this heavy set bootylicious girl to Jenny Craig and get her slimmed down for bikini season.


The last picture before it was gutted


And well that escalated quickly... It took two hours to pull all but the main part of the dash out. Next the dash, sound deadening, and un-needed pain in the neck wires




It ended up taking me 2 1/2 hours to remove the 22 ibs of sound deadening with the dry ice method. The stuff simply fell off with it


What car build isn't complete without a picture of a pile of stuff to be installed?
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
ryolse
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The last picture of it before it went off to be caged


Her final wet (full tank of fuel) weigh in before being taken to get caged tomorrow morning. 280 pounds of useless garbage was taken out!


The good boys over at No Cost working hard while on lookers admire their craft






The new numbers with the cage added.


Because of work I've had a very busy winter where very few of the nights were spent at home. So I picked up the car with parts still warm from being caged on the night of Saturday February 6th, still without it's windshield of course. And then Prepped and painted the interior on Sunday


And after about 12 cans of Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy we were done around 9pm.


Then Monday morning I had to get it back into driving condition to take it to have a windshield put in. And then later that day had to leave out of town for 2 weeks for work.


It sure doesn't look or feel like there's a lot to show for the past 17 hours of dust/water proofing, welding, painting, wire harness running and dash fitting/flocking. But as soon as a couple of dash parts dry up it can finally go back in followed by the seats and belts. Until then I'll have to keep busy by chopping up the door panels. After all, this will be my last day to work on it before the first RX event.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
ryolse
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More installed from Rocky Mountain during my 2 days free before the first event of the Colorado RallyCross season


And the first trip with everything installed in the car is... REI to spend $200+ on none Race Car parts for once.


Bacon wrapped in bacon, wrapped in bacon! Well... okay, not really. But almost as good for you.


Still getting more and more parts in. Today's new toy, even delivered in person by the hard working boys up at Rocky Mountain Autosports! While true, there were plenty of other cheaper options out there. I figured I'd just go ahead and buy what I really wanted. Which in this case was because I spend lots of time driving the car to and from RallyCross events, so it would be nice to have something to listen to other then road noise.


And the most recent of chores: Removed the Cat and muffler from my old stock 2.5" WRX exhaust and fitted it up to the wagon for that added annoying race car sound. I'm sure my neighbors will love their new 5am wake up call during RallyCross weekends.


And of course the best passport a boy could ever want which just showed up in the mail.

Here's some of last nights chores.

I mounted the front fire extinguisher and add seam sealer around the rim of the hole plugs to keep water out because they were still leaking. I also had to raise the front of the co-drivers seat bracket because even with the rear of the seat mount as low as it'll go and the front as high as possible it still felt flat. Another note about this picture, awhile ago I ended up painting the brake and fuel lines so that they were more obvious to people and they don't end up kicking/bending them. I also went with florescent zip ties on the wire harness so that they would be easier to find if I ever need to pull it apart. Which was a theme I've been carrying over to other items as well.



I also added the hood pins which took some thinking and effort. But a special thanks goes to Bryan at RockyMountainAutoSports for this order!


I picked the 2 outer rectangular holes to mount them at so I could get the nuts onto the screws. I also added some seam sealer around the screws to help keep them from working loose, which I've been doing more and more of.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
ryolse
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The triangles are all mounted up and will hopefully see little action.



My car is so "light" I've decided to add a little ballast to it in the form of 1 of the 2 fire extinguishers. Both are items I hope to never use.



Updated view from the front



Updated rear view
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
ryolse
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After spending the last 5 months taking my '97 Subaru Impreza Wagon and getting it road worthy for Hill Climbs and Stage Rallies, the time has finally come to take it out to Colorado Off Road Extreme and see what she can do 2 weeks before it's first hill climb event.

Driver/Owner: Ryan Sealey
CO-Driver: Tommy Kilpatrick

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
ryolse
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After years of waiting around, followed by months of building, the day finally came to participate in my first big kid event requiring a real roll cage. Here's a video of our 2nd practice run on April 20th and 1st race day run on the 21st with Colorado Hill Climb Association at Pueblo Motorsports Park.

Driver: Ryan Sealey
CO-Driver: Tommy Kilpatrick

Practice Day Run #2
Time: 04:35.77
Note to self, don't shift while making a sharp turn...

Race Day Run #1
Time: 04:13.72


Then on this past Saturday the Colorado RallyCross group had our 3rd event of the year at the USTDS. Here are my quickest AM/PM runs
AM Run #3: Time 108.945 (no penalties)
PM Run #2: Time 103.98 (with 2 cones)
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:50 AM   #8
Subyguy257
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hey man i love this thread i'm looking at building a similar wagon and i was wondering if i could get a little bit more information on the coil overs that you used for your wagon
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
ryolse
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Thanks, they are called JVAB and are custom built to order by John Vanlandingham in Washington. Each orders price is different because they are based on the current costs to build them but they are all fairly close for the most part, mine were $2,200.

The inserts are none adjustable Bilstein. And rebuilds are probably the cheapest I've come across. If you do have him make you a set I'd send him a OEM donner front and rear strut and spring that he can measure off of. Mine were the first GF Wagon he did and they sometimes have a sticking point in the insert.

Here's his contact info. And while he's always on 2 of the true stage rally forums, he rarely replies to emails. So the best way to get a hold of him is by phone. http://rallyrace.net/jvab/
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:40 AM   #10
Subyguy257
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Thanks a lot man that really helped me out. I was also just curious as to what all you did to your engine.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:55 AM   #11
ryolse
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Changed the oil a few times, oh and washed it once.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #12
ryolse
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Here's a video I did 2 weekends ago, when 2 of us went out to play at CORE. Silly YouTube made me change the song due to "copyright" laws. Oh well

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Old 07-23-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
ryolse
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Here's the latest addition to my Primitive vent and eBay roof scoop which I made the other weekend. It's nice not waisting all of the air straight down the middle and to the back. However I would prefer to have a vent with the single lever in the middle and not the long one that connects from side to side because it would have made for better positioning of the diffusers and easier fabrication.


Last edited by ryolse; 07-23-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #14
ryolse
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Swapping out the "old" stiff JVAB rally suspension for a smoother RallyCross ride on AGXs after they had a long day pulling the correct top plate parts. The RetroRoo boys did the fastest suspension change they've ever had to do. Seriously, we had 45 minutes until my alignment appointment and got all 4 corners swapped in 30. I won't lie, it was pretty awesome sitting back watching with my cup of water. I almost felt like a real race car driver.

The height of the car has dropped a lot with the AGXs (on the Left) compared to the JVABs (on the right). I feel like I'm in a low rider now and need some hydraulic switches.


It was nice having a smooth ride while it lasted. But Lands End hill climb is this weekend, so it's out with the new and in with the old.

Last edited by ryolse; 08-09-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:09 PM   #15
vhsandvinyl
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subbed
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #16
ryolse
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After a 6 hour delay at the side of I70 on Friday due to mechanical problems with the tow vehicle, we were unable to get to Grand Junction until 11:30pm. And therefore we could not make our own notes and had to use ones made by another team.

Then as we pulled up to the line on Saturday we were faced with a 45 minute delay due to problems on the course. Until finally, we had our first chance to get to the top. Granted, with 223k miles on the naturally aspirated 2.2L motor that's linked to the stock gear box which is made more for fuel millage... it was a very slow drive up.


Last edited by ryolse; 07-31-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:00 AM   #17
ryolse
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Here's my contribution from Sunday's event

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Old 09-03-2013, 09:32 AM   #18
ryolse
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With only 35 drivers, here's what lots of you missed out on Saturday which resulted in us getting a whopping 9 runs for the day!

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Old 09-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #19
lub
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That looks like a lot of fun! Your wagon is awesome and so is this thread.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #20
wrc_tunedwrx
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Awesome build man, looks like you've got everything you need. Is that understeer I see through the tight bends?
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #21
ryolse
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Thanks guys. Almost everything I need, next up is to get more power because it's slow as cold tree sap compared to everyone else at Hill Climbs. So the next big item will be a 06/07 WRX swap. And then I'd like to go with a STi transmission with a 4.44 final.

Yep... it's that pesky understeer stuff. I have the stock front sway in, and a 20mm('04 STi) rear sway with KYB AGX shocks and '05 STi springs.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:20 AM   #22
ryolse
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While I hadn't planned on spending much money on the car this Winter. During the the 4th run of the last RallyCross event of the year on the November 3rd, my old 5 speed 1st & 2nd gear shifter fork decided to change those plans and break. And it turned out that one of my really good friends happened to have an '07 STi transmission he was looking to sell. So seeing the price was far better then any that I would come across in the future, especially seeing it only had 6k miles on it, I took it.




Just got back from weighing the car in. It's now at "2760"lbs, the last time it's last weigh in was at "2640"lbs which was 2 days after it was caged and the only thing added back in was my old Sparco Evo seat and 8 or so cans of white spray paint. It still didn't have the dash, heater, or either of the current seats and other all of the other miscellaneous added items. So looks like I've only added "120" lbs to it.

Now to explain why I keep quoting the numbers. I've been taking the car down the street from my house to the truck stop with CAT Scales. They say it's accuracy is within in 20 pounds. So to test that I had them do one weigh with a 25ibs dumb bell (that's been collecting dust) and it came in at 2800lbs. So not only was the weight different with the 2nd weigh but also from the weight being removed. Once it comes time to start splitting hairs with weight removal I'll use some actual car scales.

Until then, like Drew Carry used to say "welcome to the show where the numbers don't mean anything".





As much as I enjoy the comfort feeling of the rear diff guard, it's impossible to keep things clean behind it.





With the exception of the clutch and flywheel, all of the other parts have been pulled for the cars up coming transfusion.





Aaaand... There's the $4k problem. And by the price I mean the funness that's going in it's place. The 1st/2nd gear shifter fork decided that after 225k miles it had enough and thew in the towel.







This had been the most frustrating 3 hours of this project. The problem was the top of the pedal bracket won't line up with their 3 mounting points of their bracket which is welded in. The bracket around the brake master has no play, and the 2 bolts on the clutch master is as far down as they will go. I referenced another similar swap and every bolt lines up. Nothing seemed to go right that day.





The new pedals in their place after a very frustrating day.





The old transmission was a pull cable, so here's the start of the new one is hydraulic one





The original shifter that was purchased was advertised for a 04-07 STi when in reality it was the longer '08 STi. So it kept hitting the top and rear of the transmission tunnel. Luckily I have a really great friend who happened to have a 04/05 shifter so we traded.

Last edited by ryolse; 02-03-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #23
ryolse
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Seeing they would be off anyway, it made for a perfect time to replace all but a few of the suspension bushings





The newly added bushing ready to go back in.





The 1st corner all buttoned up and ready, with the exception of the pictured sway bar endlink being mounted wrong. The other 3 corners, new wiring and everything that I have parts for with the exception of the clutch fluid and transmission fluid are in which will be finished up tonight and the car will hopefully be drivable this evening. The DCCDpro controller will be ordered later this week! Hurrraaay!
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:59 AM   #24
wrx442
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love the thread! sure is inspiring... to me at least.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:09 AM   #25
ryolse
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Thanks! While it has certainly had it's ups and downs and sucking up of most of my funds, in the end it has been a great little project to pass the time while getting to learn new things during projects that you typically wouldn't ever do. Plus having the end result has also been very fun when I get to take it out and play.

Last edited by ryolse; 02-03-2014 at 11:24 AM.
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