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Old 10-28-2017, 09:47 PM   #1
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default Tracknerd's bugeye wagon, SM build

Build Goal:

Reasonably competitive (locally for now), Street Modified auto-x car, while remaining reliably capable of occasional city use and hauling dogs around.


Thread Purpose:
  • Simply to keep a history of my build.
  • To hopefully help others doing similar things in the future. Iíve gained a lot of helpful info from various forums, including this one, for this and other projects over the years but doing so usually involves digging through loads of information, not all of which ends up being very accurate.
  • Gather some constructive feedback and advice.
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Last edited by tracknerd; 10-29-2017 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:47 PM   #2
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default

Backstory:

I've owned several Subarus over the years and my family has owned more than a few (my brother has had and/or helped build some very nice examples, like this one). I really wanted a wrx wagon back in 02-03, but as a poor grad student racing track bikes as much as possible, I couldn't even afford to think about one at the time. Fast forward over a decade to where I had the itch to get into autocross and finally had capacity for a project and unloved examples were going for pennies. I promptly picked this one up:



It needed lots of love, but I said that I wanted projects and I got what I asked for. All kinds of suspension issues, turbo needed a rebuild (which was MUCH easier and cheaper than I expected), a few easy oil leaks, missing drive shaft, transmission that didn't match the rear diff and much more...

While fixing everything I ended up setting it up as a budget minded STX legal autocross car, primarily off of used goodies on nasioc.

Mod highlights included:

Perrin ELH and uppipe
Cobb catted downpipe
AVO inlet
STX legal tune
BC BR coilovers
Swift 8k springs front and back
24mm sway bars front and back
Stoptech ST-40s
Braided brake and clutch lines
17x8 RPF-1s with 245 Rivals for one year and RE-71s the next
As much front camber as I could get out sedan coilovers on wagon control arms and slight front toe out
CG Lock



It was a fun setup for learning and even with a work in progress driver it was consistently reasonably competitive in class locally. It was predictable enough at the limit with better rotation than I expected. The biggest annoyances / shortcomings were spinning the front inside wheel on some sweepers and pretty much any on power corner exit, plus I was constantly wishing that I had much more low end grunt.



In addition to autocross, I had some fun at a few track days. Including one in the fall of 2016 in Joliet IL. During the first session of the day, after only a couple honest laps, she lost power and quietly went to sleep while dumping just enough oil on the header to fuel a nice little fire. The safety crew were on the scene immediately and got it put out before too much damage could be done.



Which is where this re-rebuild started.

Last edited by tracknerd; 11-03-2017 at 09:32 PM. Reason: More pics
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:47 PM   #3
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default

Build as of 10/28/2017

Motor:

I had initially planned on doing a reasonably stout hybrid build, but while looking into the costs of getting heads machined to avoid some of the hybrid headaches that I've heard so much about for years I stumbled upon a nice low milage long block from a 2013 wrx for about what I was going to have to pay for the head work and grabbed it instead.



The trickiest bit of getting the new motor to work with my 02 usdm ecu was to bypass the avcs, which was actually much easier than most of the threads around here would lead one to believe. All thatís needed is well stated in the elementtuning avcs delete walk through.

I would love to have the extra low end grunt and improved spool that having functional avcs would give, so a future project will possibly be to try to get that working, while still being able to easily pass the OBDII step of emissions testing.

I still have the shortblock that I was going to use for the hybrid build, Iíll be very slowly building that up as a stronger spare for when I kill this one.


Turbo:

Little oem turbos just werenít going to cut it. After looking long and hard at Killer-Bís spoolinator setup and at various EFR turbos, I opted for a GTX-3067R with a tial exhaust housing. I had always wanted to learn how to weld, so figured I'd choose my own adventure and roll my own rotated setup. This slowed my build down quite more than I expected, after several iterations with ugly not air tight welds, especially in places where the MIG nozzle didnít fit well, I ended up tacking the tights spots together and having a shop TIG them.



The main take away lesson was that I should have bought a kit and learned to weld on something easier than thin stainless steel tubing with a MIG. That said, I'm hooked on welding and really wish that I'd gone straight to the steeper learning curve of TIG instead of messing around with this MIG.

Going rotated required doing a few unplanned changes, such as AN power steering lines, Killer-B overflow tank and some other small bits here and there.


E85:

To kick up low end grunt, I wanted the ability to run E85, so added a walbro 255, ID1000s, flat4motorsport fuel lines, ID fuel filter, aeromotive FPR and an ethanol sensor.

Once I get everything more or less sorted I plan on getting both a pump and E85 dyno tune and then possibly venturing into something like carberry based flex fuel.


Simplify and add lightness:

Nothing helps everything like less weight. In the process of this build I am trying to remove weight everywhere I can and simplify as many things that used to annoy me about working on this car, while staying SM legal.


Turbo oil drain:

I never want to 2nd guess if my turbo oil drain is on right again, so I converted to -10 AN oil drain with a TigWerks block adapter.


TMIC:

I've never liked the Y-Pipe setup but didn't want to go FMIC so I switched to a side entry TMIC with a little custom tubing from the turbo.



(so far I'm a big fan of that choice)

Last edited by tracknerd; 11-03-2017 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:48 PM   #4
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default

Current winter plans:

Transmission:

One of my core must haves for this build is a front LSD. I’ve been looking at 07 sti 6MTs, but don’t really want the short gearing and can’t really afford the cool bits from subydude to make the 6MT gearing more auto-x friendly. An added annoyance / hesitation to this option is that I picked up a DSS carbon drive shaft for my 5MT and would need to sell / trade that for one that would work with the 6MT.

I’ve also been looking at just adding a front LSD to my current transmission (or a cheap spare if I can find one) and possibly drop in some slightly stronger gears while I’m in there. The drawback to that thought is that even with a couple of RA, the 5MT would probably always been the weak link in this build.


Suspension:

I’m currently on very used BC BRs with 8k swift springs, which was fair enough for STX, but seriously sucked on our crappy Chicago war zone streets. I’ll be stepping that up to something stiffer and looking at getting some more tolerable dampening. Looking at Feal coilovers or at rebuilding the BCs with Bilstein guts and better valving:

I also have some of the caster adding sti aluminum front control arms and some adjustable whiteline adjustable rear arms sitting in the garage just waiting for some free time to throw them on. While I’m at it, I’ll probably try dumping the front sway bar, just to aid in keeping the front inner wheel down and drop a little weight. Also looking at roll center kits.


Exhaust:

Currently my header, up-pipe and turbine housing are ceramic coated and wrapped / blanketed. The downpipe, EWG bypass piping still need to be wrapped.

The catback is currently a cheap SRS Type-RE system from ebay. It’s held up well and sounds nice / mellow, better quality than I expected for the price, but it weighs a ton. I’ve been looking at used ti systems, but am not a fan of the cockeyed JDM pipe exit that most of them have and I don’t really want something ridiculously loud, I’m just too old for that. Not sure where I’ll go with that yet.


Wheels tires:

I definitely need something much wider, but I’m not a huge fan of the flared look. I might just get some sti front fenders and roll/pull the hell out of everything, but I want at least 275s, so that probably means flares, we’ll see.

Last edited by tracknerd; 10-29-2017 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:00 AM   #5
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default

Reserved
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default Plx

Added 2 PLX DM-6 gauges with a fist full of sensor modules today.

- Wide band (with passthrough to left TGV sensor for easier logging)
- Boost
- Oil Temp (from pan)
- Oil Pressure (reading from oem port, with pass through to oem oil pressure)
- IAT (currently just a probe in the front of the IM)

Finding a decent spot for all of the sensor modules together ended up being more annoying than I expected. I ended up stuffing them under the dash tied to the steering column. A bit more of a rats nest than I wanted, but it'll do for now:



I'll probably end up relocating the sensor modules somewhere cleaner / easier to get to eventually. I'm more than a little tempted to eventually ditch the pretty little aluminum housings and fab up something to hold all of them together in a smaller space. Probably not any time soon though, more pressing / interesting projects to work on currently.

Side note, in the process of trying to figure out logging options and trying (and failing) to get some of the fancier DM-100 gauges, I had a couple of interactions with PLX support. They were very responsive and friendly enough, but they didn't have any useful answers and didn't really seem overly interested in their automotive products, definitely more focused on their other areas of business.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:29 PM   #7
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default Two steps forward, one step back

Out data logging in stop and go traffic today and the clutch decided to sink to the floor and make some awful noises.



Once again thankful for AAA.



Initial probing looks like the clutch fork is cockeyed somehow, fearing a cracked bell housing.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:55 PM   #8
subydude
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 80649
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Columbia, SC
Vehicle:
2000 2.5 Auto-X RSTi
What's A Head Gasket?

Default

I know you said you wanted to avoid it, but I have a nice 6-speed and matching OSGiken front diff sitting in my shop just waiting for someone to buy it and go autoxing (although I did totally just swap the stock front diff in).

You won't need the good gearing stuff for at least a few more years anyway as this trans will get you to 65-68 mph depending on your rev limit.

I won't pimp out the shocks I have since they're for 5x114 cars, but when you're ready... :P
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:26 AM   #9
tracknerd
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 53793
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle:
02 WRX

Default

The bell housing indeed somehow cracked where the clutch fork rod goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subydude View Post
I know you said you wanted to avoid it, but I have a nice 6-speed and matching OSGiken front diff sitting in my shop just waiting for someone to buy it and go autoxing (although I did totally just swap the stock front diff in).
I can't see spending money on another wimpy 5mt... so am indeed tempted to go the 6MT path. I was looking at 07s, to get the slightly better gearing but not need to worry about the speed sensor junk. What have you been doing for a speed sensor on the newer ones? Do you use the DCCDPro VSS thing?
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:57 PM   #10
subydude
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 80649
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Columbia, SC
Vehicle:
2000 2.5 Auto-X RSTi
What's A Head Gasket?

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tracknerd View Post
The bell housing indeed somehow cracked where the clutch fork rod goes.



I can't see spending money on another wimpy 5mt... so am indeed tempted to go the 6MT path. I was looking at 07s, to get the slightly better gearing but not need to worry about the speed sensor junk. What have you been doing for a speed sensor on the newer ones? Do you use the DCCDPro VSS thing?
To be honest, my primary is an 07 with the speed sensor. When I swapped in the 2010 at Nats the speedo just didn't work for a while. I haven't looked at other options since I was putting my 07 trans back in. If DCCDPro has an option then I'd roll that. Others I know have just put a GPS module on the dash

If you're serious though let me know
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