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Old 10-01-2000, 10:07 PM   #1
Digital_Boy
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Exclamation My $0.02 on the "Be Afraid"/ AKA behind the curtain of the "Super Tuner"

Oooooooookay. I've been busy this weekend, and would have posted this in the original thread, but I felt that some light needed to be shed on this whole "super tuner" BS-athon...

First off: Rally Knight has NOTHING even remotely resembling F1 style "paddle shifters", etcetera. Rally Knight is a SCCA Pro Rally team sponsored by Knight Steel. Their goal is to dominate the Pro Rally circuit, and this year is their inaugural season. I met the guys who are the technical and driving talent, and have been up close and personal with the cars they're campaigning. No exotic megabuck parts here, except for the Leading Edge supplied engine. Here's a note: Rally Knight does not build their own engines. Leading Edge leases engines to them, and they're safety wired shut, and all bolts are marked with tamper evident paint.They return the engines to Leading Edge after every race for a rebuilding. This is a common practice in the racing industry.

The cars are 93 or so Impreza L Coupes that have been gutted and rigged with standard rally safety equipment, i.e. welded in 12 (I think) point cage with roof hoop, fire supression system, navicomp, fuel cell, etcetera. No sequential 6 speed dog box, no paddle shifters.In point of fact, they're having the same trouble the street turbo guys are in regards to drivetrains. Only they lunch gearboxes in a matter of hours, not months.
It's pretty crude when compared to Subaru's factory WRX effort, or the Focus WRC or the Lancer EVO WRC's. But, I believe that this simplicity will enable it to do exactly what they intend, kick ass and take names. The "real" rally cars aren't faring any better with all the active yaw control, bang-bang anti-lag systems, active torque transfer and yadda yadda. I think comparing SCCA Pro Rally to WRC is like comparing AAA minors to the World Series.

I'd guess that the driver who placed 2nd in the latest rally was Lonnie, whom I've also met. He's got the trophies and titles to prove he's no rookie in rallying. That more than anything will determine Rally Knight's success or failure when next year rolls around and the new season starts.

As for parts development, the shop that Rally Knight uses is working on some things (SC) for street cars, and they do intend to get CARB certification for them. I've seen it, and it looks to be a whole HELL of a lot nicer than any other system I've seen on the US market. (hehe, that Australian SC looks sweet, but it's only for 2.2's) But here again, there was no evidence of any super exotic, "F1 technology at junkyard prices" whiz-bang gizmoes. Just a very knowledgable and experienced mechanic who loves racing who's going to build a power adder for the Subaru Impreza RS. As a testament to the skill of the guys working at this shop, Jovo Mastrovic (I know I bungled his last name, the inventor of the G-Tech, brings his track only Mark IV Supra to them for maintenance and repairs. While I was visiting the shop, he pulled up in his tow rig, and brought the car in for some brake pulsation he was getting while he had the car out at Willow Springs.

There you have it. No BS, no wildly exaggerated tales of alien technology and materials destined for the shelves of the local speed shops, just a factual recount of what I saw when I visited the shop and met the guys who build and drive the cars for team Rally Knight. They're good people, and when they have time to breathe, I think we'll be seeing them post here and share their knowledge with us.
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Old 10-01-2000, 10:16 PM   #2
markus
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Thanks for the info Digital_Boy.

I do sincerely hope they will follow through with some aftermarket performance parts for our cars.

Cheers,
MB
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Old 10-01-2000, 10:21 PM   #3
Imprezer
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Hehe, even I didn't know this. Good stuff.
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Old 10-02-2000, 12:38 AM   #4
ARG
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Thumbs up

Actually, this is all old news. Rally Knight had already stated that the engines are from Leading Edge.

Rally Knight is still working on the automatic trans for the rally cars. The problem is not the trans itself, but the computer controlled valve body. They (Rally Knight) want the trans to be fully manual.

The dual friction, dual material lightened clutch and flywheel assembly you forgot to mention.

Along with the custom tuned headers.

And the proprietary remote reservoir long travel struts.

There is more. You just have to wait. Mega-tuner? Sure. They are testing all of the equipment in the rally events. So before you turn into another "Joel Gat" and start tearing people apart before you "really" know them, sit back, relax, and count your blessings that there are people that are trying very hard to make an aftermarket for your car. Lets not even mention the amount of money involved in running your own rally team, with linited sponsorship and support.

Every great enterprise has a humble beginning, just relax and be patient.

ARG

One thing that I forgot to mention. I spoke to John Ryther of Rally Knight and he stated that the engines have yet to be rebuilt, after three rally events. One thing for sure, I want a Leading Edge engine in my car!

Hey Joel Gat, no offense, but you do have some VERY critical opinions sometimes
[This message has been edited by ARG (edited October 02, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by ARG (edited October 02, 2000).]
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Old 10-02-2000, 01:00 AM   #5
Digital_Boy
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Well, Bill and his son (can't for the life of me remember his name) were more focused on making the stock manual trannies capable of withstanding the boosted EJ25's for more than a couple of stages. They were experimenting with using Forester trans cases, but I haven't heard back on that.

As for using an autobox, yes, the autos can take more torque. But they are also less effecient at getting the power to the wheels than the manuals. There are full manual valve bodies for THM-350's, THM-400's and 700R4's for the Chevies, and the C-4 and C-6 Ford auto trannies. But they're still 3 speeed autos when all is said and done. (4 speed in the 700R4's case) And still carry their liabilities and limitations with them.

AFAIK, they're using standard aftermarket ACT rally clutches. They lost one car at the Maine rally because ACT misunderstood and sent them a kevlar STREET clutch, not a full on race clutch. They corrected that oversight apparently.

Headers? You're closer to them, and get the info more readily, but unless they're abandoning Leading Edge as an engine supplier, they couldn't develop headers for a turbo since Leading Edge supplies them with a complete engine and electronics. Or is the header development a parallel effort in concert with the supercharger?

I was given to understand that after Minnesota, Bill would have more time to focus on developing the SC for street application, since they were happy with the way the turbo engine performed. Lonnie apparently didn't have the trouble with the turbo coming out of slow corners that he was anticipating.

And I'm not knocking Knight Steel, the Reither's, Bill, Lonnie, Nick or anyone else involved at all. I'm applauding their efforts. I talked to Lonnie, and I beleive him when he says he thinks he can whip some ass once the car's are dialed in. He struck me as not being one prone to teling tall tales or exaggerating his own abilities.

I'm not really flaming ravent either. But I do think it is irresponsible and immature to go around making wild claims and speculations like it's already happened.

And yes, I am keeping in contact with Bill. I think he appreciated my (and Jay UK's) assistance in getting the Quaiffe's for a bargain price. I am quite willing to assist them again if they ask. I would also love to be a "beta tester" for their SC kit. I'm not sure what the process is to get a CARB EO, but Bill knows someone (forget who) who has gone through the process sucessfully, so their kit will be 50 state legal.

Oh, ARG, I kept this under my hat because Bill asked me to. I figured by now everything was already out, so my divulging wouldn't give their competition in Maine any kind of edge.
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Old 10-02-2000, 01:07 AM   #6
Joel Gat, 1.8L
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Hello,

Very critical of the uninformed, the liars, and the cheaters!

Not too critical of those that don't fall into those three categories

Joel
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Old 10-02-2000, 02:24 AM   #7
RallyKnight
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Question

This is all very interesting stuff. I've been too busy keeping the cars running than reading erant threads.
If you wanted to know anything you could just ask me Jonathan Ryther.
First the cars are doing well, with four rallys completed. The engines are outstanding and have run flawless. They have not been rebuilt yet. But the big part of the engine lease type agreement that you missed is that the engine and the Motec were the only items supplied.
We along with Raw Motorsports and Leading Edge fabricated everything that went to the engine. R and D is not free and we did not get it from the shelf because it didn't exist. Turbo and intercooler all atachements and headers and exahust. Leading Edge engines are for sandrails and dune buggies and putting the engines back into the car and making everthing work was a feat in itself.
The auto trans with the paddle shifters are almost done and will test after the season.
No reason to change everything now.
6 speed dog boxes with paddle shifters is not going to help you or I. First they cost too much and they also will not take the torque output of our engine anyway.
We need to find a way to make the stock boxes live under rally conditions. Then you can modify your box to take the power and know that the parts you are getting have been tested in severe conditions.
Mega-buck parts was not our intention in the first place when we started all of this 2 years ago. Take a stock 2.5 RS and make it with a minimal amount of money able to win a Rally. There is no aftermaket for $50,000 dollar subaru trannies. We arent technically going to be able to make transmissions for any less than overseas. The only way one would sell is if I had a raffel. Useless for this maket.
The comparision to WRC to Pro-rally is not valid. This is after all america and if everyone wants to make rally just like the Euros then Rally will die sudden death in this country. No-one will pay in this country $10,500 a car to enter a WRC event.
Secondly the cars would have to be available here in the states. Name one car including ours that you can buy off the showroom floor in its current form. AWD turbo Hyundais,EVOs ans Turbo WRX don't exist here yet anyway.
If we are all going to just become part of FIA everything that we are doing is for nothing. We are a organization that intends to sell tried and true parts for your Subaru and the proceeds will go to the racing effort. We are here to Race not double the price and add overhead and profit. Just pay the bills.
Well I have to go.. I've been rabbling on long enough but if you have questions you can ask me. B & D Automotive has been disbanded. Bill Gutzmann is now a full-time employee and works on nothing but the Knight Rall cars.
Last Note Lon Peterson finished second overall adrift by 26 seconds
I finished 9th overall.
I think we have proved our point that we can build an Impreza with 430 hp and beat factory sponsored high-dollar teams. Lon lead the event at mid-point on SAT then got a flat.
Until next time.
Jon Ryther
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Old 10-02-2000, 02:49 AM   #8
lostsoul
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Cool

Way cool Jonathan, Looking forward to reading more from you here. Hope they didn't ruffle your feathers.
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Old 10-02-2000, 04:21 AM   #9
N/A
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Hey now that's the kind of info I was after! Thanks for posting some facts for us. I would have asked you personally but didn't know who the tuners are on here except for Trey Cobb. Now that I know I will send you a email. Thanks again.
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Old 10-02-2000, 08:24 AM   #10
rsquire
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Quote:
that we can build an Impreza with 430 hp
How was that number substantiated ??

Richard
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Old 10-02-2000, 08:34 AM   #11
Gearhead_42
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Excellent info Jonathan. I think we all look forward to seeing more from you in the future. I'll be sure to look out for your cars in the rally highlight reels

-Dan
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Old 10-02-2000, 10:47 AM   #12
Faraz
What?...
Do they speak English in What?

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even a close minded moron like me ... could understand that thanks for the Real Deal...keep up the good work .... me want SC
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Old 10-02-2000, 11:05 AM   #13
8Complex

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Yeah... more info on the Supercharger kit please. This is one of those that I'd be very interested in hearing...
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Old 10-02-2000, 11:55 AM   #14
Midwayman
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Yes! more info on the supercharger. Its the FI I want.
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Old 10-02-2000, 01:33 PM   #15
Digital_Boy
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Hey Jon,

Sorry if I mangled your last name.

Anyway, I was aware that Leading Edge supplied the engines and that they were for sand rails and sand dragsters. I was unaware of the effort you'd put into modifiying LE's stuff to fit in an Impreza. Bill never mentioned it when I visited.

I recall that Bill mentioned the engine out of the one car that crashed bad in Maine was being sent back to Leading Edge, so I assumed it was for a rebuild.

I have a question about the way you're setting up the autobox. I'll post it in the Tech forum, since it's the appropriate forum.

Did Bill move his shop, or is he still at the same address as last time? I would like to visit again and talk, now that the rally season is over. Or is it?

But you've definitely got our attention when you say cheap, race tested, street car parts for the Subie's! Now that I've solved my employment problems, I can concentrate on putting together a car. I may buy a car that already has forced induction, but I may put one together from scratch.

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Old 10-02-2000, 06:46 PM   #16
RallyKnight
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The engine that we used for our car is the 550 hp sandrail version. The 600 hp alcohol uses to much fuel for rally use. We then fitted the restrictor and Leading Edge adjusted the maps for rally use. They will be happy to give you any info that you require. They do have a dyno in house at Leading Edge so ask them. The numbers we got from g-tech were also close to the dyno number. Come for ride its alot fun and bring your butt-o-meter.
Jon
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Old 10-02-2000, 08:08 PM   #17
ravent
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Rally night is looking for an automatic to borrow and will even trade a 5 speed, to the right individual. They will only add sensors to monitor the works. It will take a week or two of use and they won't be able to give their full attention to it till after the next rally...are their any automatic donors out there...they also want to build a third car for a "demo driver" but to be able to drive, you have to donate time to their Rally Team...are there any volunteers going to the Lake Superior rally in Houghton, MI. These things are most emminant and to those that are patient, all things are possible
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Old 10-03-2000, 04:49 AM   #18
ravent
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Are there any requests as to what the I-board wants to be marketed first? I am sure there are more desires than just 18" chrome wheels I would also like to apologize to anyone that mistook what I was saying in the BE AFRAID posts...I am not a spokes person for Rally Knight, only about them and their conversations with me. There is no smoke and mirrors here, only lots of hard work with more to come...and lots of FUN

[This message has been edited by ravent (edited October 03, 2000).]
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