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Old 05-02-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
CamaroFS34
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Default Karen K's 2006 ESP WRX build thread, sponsored by IAG Performance

Okay, okay, I should have done this when I started. The car was created from D-stock scratch after Subaru pulled the SCCA Solo contingency monies, and I've been running it in close-to-full ESP trim since. It's similar to, but different than, Greg McCance's car (mccanixx), which is a bug-eye, and Greg, Joel Fehrman (AUTOwrXER, '05 BSP STi) and Billy Brooks (bbimpreza at MODE Racing) have all helped me with setup.

If a moderator thinks this would be better in the Project Cars thread (since Greg's build thread is already there), please move it.

IAG Performance has helped a ton with this car, from the installation of all the goodies, to the fixing of those goodies when they decided to go bad. There is a summary of all the parts currently on the car on their site. Also, Vorshlag Motorsports accepted me into their Test Pilot program for 2009, as I was one of the first with a GD chassis car to install the AST 5200 strut setup on my car, but I switched to the ZZYZX/Koni coilovers in 2011 when a set magically became available. I was accepted into Mishimoto's sponsorship program this year, after my car served as a test-fit mule for one of their FMIC kits being developed. Kartboy and TurnInConcepts have also been very generous with their help as well.

After four years of running the car in ESP, an ESPL National Championship, and what seemed like constant changes to the setup, I'm at a bit of a plateau. I am always looking at improvements that I can make, however. The latest additions to the setup (as of 5/10/2014) are asterisked below :

Engine :
COBB V2 AccessPORT / Pro Tuned by Jorge
Invidia G200 Catback Exhaust with Kartboy PINK exhaust hangers
COBB cold air intake
STi TMIC
APS Catted Down Pipe
Cusco Turbo Heat Shield
COBB Uppipe
Kartboy oil filler cap
Killer B oil pickup
IAG TGV delete
Perrin equal length headers
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Crawford Air/Oil Separator V2
Manley platinum series pistons
IAG AIR pump block off plate
ARP head studs
Mishimoto turbo inlet
*Mishimoto intercooler hoses

Driveline & Suspension
*ACT HDSS Clutch and Flywheel (yes, this was part of the original setup, but I was on a Competition Clutch for the past two years)
MFactory Helical Front Differential
'02/'03 front axles and axle stubs
Cusco Type RS 1.5 Way Rear Differential
MODE Racing double adjustable short shifter
TurnInConcepts shift lever bushings
Kartboy shifter bushings (front and rear)
Kartboy Delrin shift knob
Kartboy rear differential outrigger bushings (hard black)
Kartboy transmission cross member bushings
Whiteline steering rack bushings
TurnInConcepts rear differential mount bushings
TurnInConcepts lateral link bushings
Group N motor mounts and transmission mount
Kartboy pitchstop
Stock front sway bar with solid Kartboy endlinks
Whiteline 22mm rear sway bar with Kartboy endlinks
ZZYZX coilovers (w/ Koni 8611 inserts)
Swift 120 front springs (~650#) and Hypercoil rears (600#) w/ tenders
Custom Front Camber Plates and Cusco rears
TurnInConcepts rearward front control arm bushings
Whiteline forward front control arm bushings
TurnInConcepts forward and rear trailing arm bushings
'04-'05 steel front control arms

Wheels & Tires :
18x9.5" Rota Torques/Grids
285/30ZR18 Hoosier A6 DOT Radials
ARP wheel studs

Brakes :
Ferodo Brake Pads (front and rear)
stainless steel brake lines
dba slotted front rotors
Perrin master cylinder brace

Interior :
Sparco Evo2 Plus driver seat
Sparco Evo passenger seat
Stri DSD 52mm smoke/white boost, oil pressure and EGT gauges

Exterior :
'05 WRX taillights
IAG Fender Rolling & Pulling
STi Rear Fender Flares
Custom Paint
Prosport Carbon Fiber Hood Dampers
IAG billet dipstick, radiator stays, master cylinder cap, slave cylinder cap, wiper fluid cap


Photo by Craig Wilcox, Toledo ProSolo 2013

Photo by Danny Kao, DC ProSolo 2009

What's up next?

I'm actually considering an upgrade to the coilover suspension... I know Martin Kriz uses an MCS triple adjustable contraption on his SM car, but that's just out of my price range right now. Still thinking...

Ask questions if you have them!
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Last edited by CamaroFS34; 05-10-2014 at 11:44 AM. Reason: went back to an ACT clutch/flywheel
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:39 PM   #2
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Couple of questions... Why no front bar? And why no moAr rear spring rate?

More importantly, how do you like the 5200's? Ive been eyeing the 5200's (known as XIDAs in the Miata world) for quite a while now.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
Couple of questions... Why no front bar? And why no moAr rear spring rate?
This was what I went with based on Joel's BSP STi setup (which I really liked). Originally, I left the front bar connected, then disconnected it for one event, and the handling was worlds better with the disconnect, so I just pulled the dead weight off.

Joel (or an engineer) could explain the "why" better than I can. It has to do with the spring rates I'm running.

Quote:
More importantly, how do you like the 5200's? Ive been eyeing the 5200's (known as XIDAs in the Miata world) for quite a while now.
Very nice. I usually don't like to worry about double adjustables, but with the stock deficiencies in the suspension, it is nice to be able to mess with both rebound and compression. Coming from Koni DAs (which were stock on my 1LE Camaro), you do have to remember that that rebound and compression adjustments are opposite of the Koni adjustments.

The most difficult thing about the 5200s was choosing the spring rates (again, I'm not an engineer, and there isn't really a "set" setup for the WRX -- only me, Greg McCance and Drew Little seem to be seriously running these cars at the National level in ESP, with Christian Nissen bringing his up this year too). The only other issue was figuring out where to mount the nitrogen canisters. When I finally decide on a strut tower bar, I think there's going to have to be some... ah, "rearrangement" under my hood.



Last edited by CamaroFS34; 09-29-2011 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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Im assuming youre on R's then? The reason I asked, I never got a good chance to compare between bar and no bar with my WRX before it was sold, but on street tires, the bar was considerably better, especially on turn in.

Either way, just watching the videos, that car is a beast. The driver isnt bad either.

Since you had Koni DAs (as do I), would you say the 5200s are better/worse/about the same? I had mine revalved, and to be honest, with just a few events in the car under my belt, I already feel like Im leaving performance on the table.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
Im assuming youre on R's then?
I'm on R compounds, yes (A6s, to be exact), but it shouldn't matter that much. Good (ST) street tires are going to be pretty close to an R comp.

Quote:
Since you had Koni DAs (as do I), would you say the 5200s are better/worse/about the same? I had mine revalved, and to be honest, with just a few events in the car under my belt, I already feel like Im leaving performance on the table.
The AST 5200s are a lot easier to adjust than the Koni DAs that were on the Camaro, at least in the front. Other than that, it's hard for me to directly compare since the only Konis I had on the WRX were the single adjustables that we never really messed with because the rears were so difficult to access. The Camaro and the WRX handle so differently, and I also didn't have springs on the Camaro, so I don't want to make any assumptions.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CamaroFS34 View Post
If a moderator thinks this would be better in the Project Cars thread (since Greg's build thread is already there), please move it.
I moved mine from Project Cars to here. I think it gets more eyeballs here than there. My car is not hellaflush enough.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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Nice intro Karen. It'll be interesting to watch the development between your car and the other ESP cars duking it out nationally. I really like the way my FSP car handles with no bar(s) as well. (imho) It's all in the springs, ride height and alignment.....get them right and you don't need the extra roll stiffness.

Jay Storm
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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What's the advantage of the 02/03 front axles/stubs? Are they stronger? (Sorry, I'm not as familiar with differences in years as I should be)
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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Nice writeup Karen, looking forward to more updates.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
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This build thread is waaayyyy better than ^^^^^^^ you know who's ^^^^^ thread.

Are you running the 295's for gearing? Everything I hear is the 285's are just as wide, but shorter.

Also find it very interesting that with that much tire we still have more roll stiffness in Justin's 06 STi STU car.

John
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:15 PM   #12
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Thats because you and Justin are crazy! But more that the trained eye can catch the loop hole in this!

Nice write up so far Karen.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:44 PM   #13
CamaroFS34
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Originally Posted by UWMechEngr View Post
What's the advantage of the 02/03 front axles/stubs? Are they stronger? (Sorry, I'm not as familiar with differences in years as I should be)
It's not that there is an advantage, but because the '06 axles won't work -- and believe me, IAG and Andrewtech both tried -- with the MFactory front differential. The '02/'03 axles work with some modification (taking about 4-5mm off the end of the axle stubs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by espEVO View Post
Are you running the 295's for gearing? Everything I hear is the 285's are just as wide, but shorter.
Partly, it's because I'm on a 9.5" rim. According to Hoosier's spec sheet, the 295s are 0.4" taller and have a 0.6" greater circumference. I don't know how significant of a difference that is in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by espEVO View Post
Also find it very interesting that with that much tire we still have more roll stiffness in Justin's 06 STi STU car.
??? (remember, I'm not an engineer...)

Karen
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cucamelsmd15 View Post
Couple of questions... Why no front bar? And why no moAr rear spring rate?
Given that Karen can run whatever spring rate she wants in SP, a front bar would only reduce front end grip and increase rear grip. That's not what we need from a Subie. Also, swaybars add weight. I don't run any on Stompy after experimenting with a few options. At one point I was running a huge front bar so that the inside rear tire wouldn't lift. Given that Karen and I both run real diffs in the rear now and have adequate droop travel in the struts, there is no need for a front bar.

The spring rates were chosen to give a slightly higher rear suspension frequency than the front frequency. When you consider how much lower the rear cornerweights are than the front, you can see how you end up with a higher rear suspension frequency than the front despite the difference in spring rate.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroFS34 View Post
What's up next?

Still deciding, but looking at bushings, strut tower bars and a short shifter in the short term

Do you have any bushings at all? The difference is pretty substantial not only from a feel and consistency perspective, but a reduced delay between pressing the gas and the time that the car moves.

I would also suggest pnp-ing everything you can get your hands on: exhaust manifolds, intake manifold, TGV deletes, TB, etc. Of course it all depends on how much you want to spend (as even pnp-ing has the cost of gaskets).

I had a buddy with a nearly stock 05 WRX drive my ESP 06 WRX and he was most impressed with how quickly power came on, and how much it had.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mechie3 View Post
Do you have any bushings at all? The difference is pretty substantial not only from a feel and consistency perspective, but a reduced delay between pressing the gas and the time that the car moves.
That doesn't make any sense. Bushings shouldn't affect the actual throttle response. Are you sure it isn't just a feeling (ie., butt-dyno)? The lightened flywheel makes a real difference in how quickly power comes on (McCance remarked on it when he drove the car at Toledo), but I'm thinking an increased stiffness in the car due to bushings will just make throttle response more noticeable, not actually better.

Quote:
I would also suggest pnp-ing everything you can get your hands on: exhaust manifolds, intake manifold, TGV deletes, TB, etc. Of course it all depends on how much you want to spend (as even pnp-ing has the cost of gaskets).
Are the factory tolerances that bad? It's less a cost issue than a time issue, to be honest.

Karen
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:07 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by CamaroFS34 View Post
That doesn't make any sense. Bushings shouldn't affect the actual throttle response. Are you sure it isn't just a feeling (ie., butt-dyno)? The lightened flywheel makes a real difference in how quickly power comes on (McCance remarked on it when he drove the car at Toledo), but I'm thinking an increased stiffness in the car due to bushings will just make throttle response more noticeable, not actually better.
Power doesn't come on quicker, but it gets to the ground faster. It was most noticeable for me when changing from stock engine mounts to some metal/urethane mounts (they did away with the "no increase in relative metal" verbage for motor mounts last year"). With everything else stiffened up, power transfer is much smoother and efficient.

Steering bushings are a nice upgrade as well as steering feels much sharper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroFS34 View Post
Are the factory tolerances that bad? It's less a cost issue than a time issue, to be honest.

Karen
The x-pipe is pretty constricted (an aftermarket unit flows ~ 37% more), TGV's restrict flow, and the manifolds have a bunch of steps and rough insides. If you know what you are doing and don't encounter rusty/broken hardware, the manifolds and X-pipe can be dropped in 30 mins, another 1.5 hours to PnP, and another 30 mins to put it back together.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1942411

After doing all the PnP I could (including gasket matching the heads) I get full spool (21psi) at 2800 - 3000 rpms in 2nd gear depending on what rpm the engine is at when I get on the gas.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:45 PM   #18
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Default ESP vs STU

How do you feel you're doing in ESP compared to others in STU? Do you think the WRX is competitive there against the camaros and others?
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:04 AM   #19
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Karen all the bushing I replaced in my car made a big difference..
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:53 AM   #20
CamaroFS34
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How do you feel you're doing in ESP compared to others in STU? Do you think the WRX is competitive there against the camaros and others?
I don't pay much attention to STU because a WRX isn't competitive in STU. It is competitive in ESP when it's set up. I've competed in Camaros for quite a while, and I wouldn't have wasted time and effort in setting up the WRX if I didn't think it could win.

Now, against the new Mustangs -- especially the 2011 model -- I don't know if anything currently in ESP will be competitive against those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilary0110 View Post
Karen all the bushing I replaced in my car made a big difference..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechie3 View Post
Power doesn't come on quicker, but it gets to the ground faster. It was most noticeable for me when changing from stock engine mounts to some metal/urethane mounts (they did away with the "no increase in relative metal" verbage for motor mounts last year"). With everything else stiffened up, power transfer is much smoother and efficient.

Steering bushings are a nice upgrade as well as steering feels much sharper.
So, what you're saying is that you're not losing power to the "squish" of bushings?

The bushings have been on the table since the beginning of the build. The main problem has just been the time to install them. It's something that I will need to revisit.

I've got NEDivisionals and the DC ProSolo coming up in the next month, and I need to get some other issues worked out first. Last weekend was the first event I've done since Nationals, and so getting the rust out of my system is also a problem.

Karen
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #21
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Let me pose this question - do you think this car, once you tweak it to your liking, will be competitive with the new mustang gt (current model and next model with more power) in esp? I heard rumor that Sam was going to prep his mustang for ESP, and that made me decided to give up on ESP. But then I heard he is going to buy the next one with more power and use that instead. I drove Christian's at the Finger Lakes Tour last year, and it has a far better powerband than my ej20. So I wasn't going to do another engine swap just to get beat by the new mustangs. However, if we can get the 08+ same lined in the rule book....

Ok, I'm just rambling now. So the question remains - do you think the current bread of 2.5L ESP WRX can dominate good driver in a new Mustang GT that's prepped for ESP?

Jim Perrin (who is contemplating going back to street mod since Mark Daddio isn't there any more)
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:11 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sureshot007 View Post
Let me pose this question - do you think this car, once you tweak it to your liking, will be competitive with the new mustang gt (current model and next model with more power) in esp?
I think that depends on just how much better ESP mods will make the Mustang. Having never driven even a GT, much less a Shelby (not even an FS one), I really don't have much basis for comparison except raw times of the local FS guys (Strano, Burns, Baker). Talking with Mike Snyder (the owner of the Shelby that Strano drives), I think it's going to be a tough car for anyone to beat, WRX or Camaro. And that will simply mean that the current pony car drivers had nothing to bitch about with regards to the WRXs (which they currently still do).

McCance drove the Shelby at Dixie when his BOV broke. Honestly, I think he'd be able to answer the question better than me.

Quote:
I heard rumor that Sam was going to prep his mustang for ESP, and that made me decided to give up on ESP. But then I heard he is going to buy the next one with more power and use that instead.
Not a rumor. The only piece you have wrong is that it's not Sam who is going to buy the 2011, it's Snyder.
Quote:
I drove Christian's at the Finger Lakes Tour last year, and it has a far better powerband than my ej20. So I wasn't going to do another engine swap just to get beat by the new mustangs. However, if we can get the 08+ same lined in the rule book....
The '08+ won't be on the same line, ever, and the only reason it was for a short time is because those who write the rules don't know enough about the cars to have known better. It would be like putting the third gen Camaro on the same line as the fourth gen. Someone would put an LSX motor in a third gen, and that would give even the new Mustangs a run for their money.

Karen
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:34 PM   #23
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Came home early to grab the WRX to run it over to IAG Performance for a wheel bearing check after the codriver noticed excessive play in the front passenger wheel during the swap back to streets on Sunday.

Found this in the mailbox :


Traffic was bad enough in Baltimore this evening that I didn't get to IAG early enough that the bearing could be fixed, but James installed the shifter. I did talk to JJ about the bushings too. I should have them before the DC Pro, if not before NEDivs.

Karen
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:25 PM   #24
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Looks like a short throw shifter box
Karen I think you'll like it! I know I like mine.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:39 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by sureshot007 View Post
So the question remains - do you think the current bread of 2.5L ESP WRX can dominate good driver in a new Mustang GT that's prepped for ESP?
I agree with Karen's assesment, of the 2011. In the dry, if it can put most of the power down (IRS ), I think it would be hard pressed for anything currently in ESP to keep up.

The only counterpoint you'd have is: Will it be as fast as a BSP corvette? If that ends up being the case move it or put 02-09 wrx on the line. Of course I don't think you'd see that the first year even if it was. Why do that?

On paper? Yikes!


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