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Old 12-06-2012, 07:07 AM   #31
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Great thread. Will the increased front and rear overhangs pose any clearance problems in the rough stuff? When I had an Outback, I used to scrape the air dam on fire road water breaks at moderate speeds.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:28 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by fullmonte View Post
Great thread. Will the increased front and rear overhangs pose any clearance problems in the rough stuff? When I had an Outback, I used to scrape the air dam on fire road water breaks at moderate speeds.
Those issues will be addressed. It will have much improved approach and decent angles for sure. Stay tuned. We are much further along with this project...just starting from the beginning in the thread to tell the story
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:24 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by oregoncoast View Post
Those issues will be addressed. It will have much improved approach and decent angles for sure. Stay tuned. We are much further along with this project...just starting from the beginning in the thread to tell the story
Awesome! I love it!

..........btw "departure" angle....
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:26 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by cross-country View Post

..........btw "departure" angle....
Yeah, that too
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #35
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stop putting ideas in my head, dammit. I just quit bike racing, and am trying to stay outta racing...
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:26 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by UngaWunga View Post
stop putting ideas in my head, dammit. I just quit bike racing, and am trying to stay outta racing...
Racing is a life sentence!
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #37
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Paul @ Primitive is a great source of info and parts. You also have All Wheels Driven down in Bend too.

The Subie shell is a good start but flexes a bit. If you already have your cage in you know what I am talking about. It's a night and day difference....Consider building a footbox for small storage in the passenger footwell. Helps the co-driver brace themselves for comfort better. We build ours for a firstaid/ fire extinguisher/ tow strap mounting and storage. A little grip tape and a hinged door. Simple and effective.

Lower control arms, stockpile a couple of extras in your spares mix. They are strong but in the terrain you'll be in a good hit and they will fold back and hit the fenders. Good news is they are $20 at the local yards and a 20min fix.

We raced an RS in PGT and the car has evolved into a Full Open car with an entire STi drivetrain in it. Much more fun and alot faster the old GC8 chassis shows its age against the new STi chassis though. We mostly run it in RallyCross not due to its age.

Good luck looks like a fun project. If there's any questions I can help with pm me.

Subsribing to the thread to watch it unfold.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:23 PM   #38
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U'r gunna put your eye out.......
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #39
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Ok, so in this post, I will be including the OSR Subaru Tech’s (I love giving my crew high-falutin titles) first installment. David will be joining ADV and will probably be posting his own stuff very soon, and available to answer any questions about our motor. But maybe I should give a little background first.

I love doing these race builds for many reasons. They are extremely satisfying and they serve as a great way of bringing like-minded individuals together for a common goal. I learn a crap load and that’s a big part of it for me. I love watching artists work. And we have our share of those guys on our team. David is one of those guys. As mentioned earlier, I met David by responding to his ad on Craig’s List. I have a pretty good read on people and I got a good vibe from him immediately. Even if he does text me while driving with a large excited dog on his shoulder

David made it clear that he wanted to be a part of this project because he was in the final stages of establishing himself and his business as a Subaru only joint. He spends every day doing the common head-gasket repairs and timing belt replacements that Subaru’s are known for. He probably rebuilds two motors a week, and has very few customers returning with problems. You can’t do that unless you are serious about what you are doing.

While researching Subaru threads, I found lots of internet experts and gurus that know everything about everything because they have torn their motor apart and built a Frankenmotor by following instructions online, or they are poor students and have learned how to work on them out of necessity. They seem to be pretty good at fixing their old Subaru’s and this is probably fine for a daily grocery getter or a car you built to take wheeling. But this project is much different and the vehicle will be punished much differently.

This is where David stands apart from the usual suspects. Because although he is now focusing on Subaru’s, he is a skilled auto mechanic first, Subaru guy second. Nothing seems to faze him very much, because in 30 years he has seen it all. However, he is anything but arrogant about it. In fact, he actually still possesses a boyish curiosity in figuring out how to make something work better, or diagnose a problem that is not obvious, and share his knowledge even if most of it goes right over your head DAMHIK.

He wanted to be involved with this project because he wanted to do the research, plan the build and re-plan and re-build as necessary until he got the result he wanted. His instructions have always been for me to run the motor hard and try to break it so we can find the weaknesses and then eliminate them. I love this. Whereas without this sort of guidance, I might be too easy on something, not push it, just to make sure it was good to go in April. With David, we plan on beating the piss out of this bitch until it breaks, then tear it down, fix what needs fixin’, improve what needs improvin’ and then do it all again until it is what we want it to be. That’s just cool.

David and I have become friends; another reason I love these projects. The only down side is we spend more time BS’ing when we should be working. But oh well, its all part of the process.

Bottom line; David is doing this because he wants to be able to offer his customers the best damn product he can. He warranties his motors and he doesn’t want to have to see them again due to failure after they leave. So in this respect, the Outta Sight Racing car is a research lab for David’s Apple Automotive out of Vancouver, Washington. That is just fine with me.

So, here is the first tech installment from from David of our motor build:

The Making of a Winner: Building Outta Sight Racing's
2013 Mexican 1000 Subaru Power Plant.

When considering how to modify a stock engine for competition, an engine builder has to first know what will be expected of the engine. A road race GT engine will be built different from a rock crawler. When Paul told me that he wanted to subject a Subaru engine to the Mexican 1000, I had a good idea what modifications to do and what not to do. Over several conversations I was to learn what the top speeds are, what the average speeds are, what the elevation and temperatures will be. This critical information was instantly boiled down to one word that guided the whole build: reliability.

The rules under NORRA (National Off Road Racing Association) that govern this event eliminated turbo-charging which made me happy. A turbo engine is not as reliable, has terrible low-end low-RPM power but makes lots of power and heat which has to be controlled and tailored to fit the type of racing you are doing.

This project was an exercise in economy, a nice way of saying we needed to build a competitive engine for cheap as neither of us had deep pockets. A 2.5 block was decided in favor of the 2.2 for several reasons. 1. The Bore to stroke ratio was closer to square. 2. Larger cubic inch which means more horsepower no matter how you look at it. 3. Most important of all: I had a few spare engines laying around. Remember, cheap!
The above picture is half of a 2.5 block under consideration. The bores were carefully measured. All threaded holes were chased with a tap, the deck was measured for warping. This one passed my criteria.

The twin cam heads were sold off and 2.2 heads were chosen. Several good reasons followed for the head selection. Single overhead cam heads are more reliable because there are not so many moving parts. In addition, the valves are manually and quickly adjustable. Thirdly, if we change cam profile, swapping out the cams is a two hour job not a two day job, plus the cam gears are steel. What about compression ratio? You thought I would start with that didn't you?

Basic physics teach that the more you can compress the fuel air mixture the bigger bang for the buck you will get. Go too high and you get pre-ignition (about the worst thing that can happen to an engine), go too low and you get a wimpy, gutless VW engine. Car manufactures include a warranty with new cars so they play it safe and keep the compression ratio moderate.

Subaru states that a 1998 2.5 has a 9.5:1 ratio. I was not surprised to find this was not accurate. Just as the engine itself is not a 2500cc but in fact a 2457cc. Most horsepower figures given are also "Hollywood Horsepower" stats given to impress. What we wanted is real world usable and reliable power day in and day out for one thousand miles. For this reason I never dyno my engines, I test drive the car to see if it will get the job done.

Back to the 2.2 heads. After measuring the volume of both the stock 2.5 heads and a set of 2.2 heads,
I found that it will raise the compression ratio to use the smaller heads but not radically. There is also the volume of the pistons and cylinder head gasket to consider.

Our stock 2.5 engine was actually 8.3:1 which is fairly low. With the option of smaller chambers on the 2.2, different pistons and 2 different choices for cylinder gasket thickness, I worked up a matrix of 5 different choices for higher compression ratios from mild to wild. Reliability dictated a ratio in the middle, much better than stock but still be able to burn low octane fuel if need be.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:09 AM   #40
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Right on! I'm in. It wrong that I see my son in a cheap Franken-buru?
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #41
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Earlier in this story, in an email to me, motorman David had mentioned that he had built up a Datsun race car that was uber reliable. During a visit to his shop, David showed me this photo.

Damn cool car. And karma-wise, it was a great sign. Since my first off-road race season, vintage motorcross, Trials and for the two Mexican 1000's, my race number has been "12."

Very cool coincidence

Alright, enough reminiscing, back to the Subaru!!

More motor stuff - David's next installment:

The decision was made to ceramic coat the pistons and head chambers as an effective way to keep the heat down. If this race was in the cool Northwest I would not have added this expense. The word from Paul was that even though the race was at the end of April, the temperatures can be over 100 degrees.

After a thin layer of ceramic is bonded to the aluminum, only a small portion of heat transfers to the water jacket and oil. Even at that we added an external oil radiator that opens up at 165°. Doing this was actually less expensive than a custom or race radiator. In the picture below, the combustion chamber and piston have been coated. It is difficult to see the coating, even when holding them in your hands as the coating is the same color as the aluminum. Even though the coating is only .001-.002" thick it did reduce the volume of the chamber by almost 1cc. Not much, but it does change compression ratio.

One final word on the cooling safeguard if you are inclined to make such a Franken-Motor: We had to have some custom machine work done on the 2.2 heads to open the water passage to match the 2.5 head gasket. Compare the picture above and below.

While David was working on the motor, I was researching and accumulating parts, contacting NORRA about rules, and trying to come up with the theme for this build. I like to have a theme to look toward so all of the OSR build team can get on board and have a vision for the project. It allows everyone to be creative in their own respect, while we are still working toward a common goal. The old Honda was a tribute bike to the Bergquist/Preston bike from the 60's and it was important for me to keep it looking like a vintage Honda, even while we were adding newer/custom components. I just didn't have the Subaru theme worked out yet.

The easy thing was to slap on a couple of these bumper stickers and have a true Portlandia tribute car:

Then create a graphic of Lola staring out the back window and call it good (Lola is the yellow one)

And NORRA actually loved the idea of me building and entering a Subaru Wagon into the race. They felt it fit in with the overall spirit of the rally - which is "Fun." Maybe I should have gone this route:

I wonder if Rick and Jr. would volunteer to ride in the back. Be nice to carry the pit crew out on the course

In any case, the ubiquitous Northwest Subaru Outback Wagon theme was not going to cut it. I wanted the car, although a Subaru wagon, to be something that people would recognize as a real race car. Something that you'd want to take a closer look at just because it was something a little unique. Something that people could relate to, because they had one in their driveway, or they used to own one, or their mother owned one.

I was looking for more of this:

And less of this:

It would not take long, and the vision would soon come to me during a night of heavy drinking and being PUI on youtube

The theme will be revealed soon, but the car's motto is, "This is not your mother's Subaru."

oregoncoast screwed with this post 12-12-2012 at 08:08 PM
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #42
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:22 AM   #43
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Loving it.
The picture of the vintage race with the open face helmet is awesome. It looks like a guy on his land playing instead of a full on gear-nazi certified encapsulating suit like you usually see in pics. Very Steve McQueen-ish. lol

My dad sold Subaru's and my mom had plenty but the XT Doorwedge was my favorite. Man did that turbo kick when it came on.

For the slogan, I will always remember a commercial or print ad Subaru ran in the 80's that said something like "Don't be another pathetic sheep following the herd". I still say that to people.

Semper Fi & YAT-YAS!
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:55 AM   #44
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FWIW, the SOA rally cars are built by Vermont Sports Car.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:47 PM   #45
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Love it - subscribed for more.

I'm a former rallyist and subaru enthusiast as well, looking forward to seeing the outcome of the project.
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