The car picked up its first damage this morning…and wasn’t even out on a stage! One of my neighbors backed into it this morning and pushed the left rear door in about eight inches. No proof yet…but the neighbors have hit our cars before. I’ll check for matching damage on their rear bumpers when I get home tonight.
We’re leaving Thursday for Maine Forest Rally. Not driving, just spectating. We should get some spectacular photos and video!
I started preparing the Impreza for a full body repaint on Sunday and have the first layers of primer and white on the trunk. The Pontiac Grand Am spoiler has also been removed and the rusted out convex holes were banged down and repaired with Bondo. The rear quarters and bumper should be a nice shade of primer come Sunday.
We’ll be doing a paintjob similar to Kris’s Production class Neon, except we’ll be doing blue and white with white wrapping up over the trunk and roof similar to Realtime Racing’s scheme.
I took care of the 75k mile service last week up at Exeter Subaru and, with the help of Ian, found quite a few things wrong with the car. Overall, the service came to around $750 after the NESIC discount due to additional parts and labor that needed to be performed. What follows is a stream of consciousness overview of what is wrong with the car and needs to be looked at immediately.
- Clutch: The clutch is completely flattened and is starting to slip under any torque in first, second and third gears. The clutch and flywheel will be replaced with lightened trackable street parts so the car will still bearable on the street. The pressure plate is in unknown condition so it may be replaced as well.
- Lower Crossmember and Oil Pan: The car had a previous impact on the crossmember and the oil pan is out of a 94 Impreza.
- Rear Motor Seals: The rear seals on the motor are leaking and Exeter will be taking care of them when they crack the transmission open to replace the clutch, flywheel and pressure plate.
- Spark Plugs: The spark plugs were less than finger tight and two of the four plugs had signs of blowby. They have since been replaced.
- Oil Pump: The oil pump was spewing oil all over the place and was replaced. A rebuild is possible because it’s only a screw that has come loose so it looks like we have a spare.
- Oil Filter: The old oil filter was extremely gunked up and corroded because it was finger tight and leaking oil all over the place. It spewed over two quarts between CT and NH when the car was driven home the first night.
- Oil Filler Tube: The 710 cap was on so tight it needed to be forcefully extracted using the tire as a wedge after the oil filler tube was removed. I tightened it down lightly and Ian at Exeter had to forcefully remove it. It will be replaced eventually.
- Suspension: It looks like I’ll be getting the KYB AGX setup with Ground Control coilovers with adjustable collars to run with temporarily until the first ClubRally. Right now the 5Zigen springs on the stock blown struts are unbearable and the car is extremely twitchy.
- Alignment: The steering wheel is off by about two degrees and the car needs to be fully aligned after the new suspension goes on.
- Bulbs and Lenses: Fluorescent lighting covers were cut to fit the front turn signals to simulate JDM clears and were cracked. The stock orange lenses were reinstalled this weekend. The clear corners and clear side markers may be sold and replaced with stock to raise funds.
- Rear Bumper: The rear bumper is extremely scratched along the bottom edge and it looks like it scraped along the ground when it got pulled up onto a flatbed…I can’t see any other way for the damage to get there. Also, a coat hanger was being used to hold the rear bumper in place. Ghettobling!
- Brakes: The brakes are extremely worn and need to be replaced in the next month or so. Still looking into the PGT legality of a rear disc conversion. It appears that the front pads are EBC Red Stuff which accounts for the rotors overheating and awful brake fade. The brakes are much better since the brake fluid replacement, however.
There are quite a few other things but that’s all I could immediately think of off the top of my head. More will be added later.
I took fifteen minutes this evening after it stopped raining to go out and put the stock airbox back into the car. The K&N Filtercharger with poorly-fitted air horn adapter and ghettotastic Home Depot sheet metal and weatherstripping “cold air box” came out and the car now has its torque restored down low and the hesitation between 3.5k and 4k RPM is now gone.
After much procrastination I finally got the car registered and took it over to Security Sound Systems in Haverhill for its mandatory pre-insurance inspection. I was not aware that such a beast existed but, apparently, used vehicles registered in MA must be documented and photographed to make sure all of their important bits are in place before the insurance company will sign off on a deductable for fire/theft/comprehensive.
The stereo installer who documented my car was extremely amused by the fact that it was almost completely stripped and got a laugh out of the fact that I had to pull the radio out of the trunk for him to photograph it for the insurance company. He was also impressed by my endevour…he mentioned that in the three years he’d been doing stereo installs I’m the first guy he’s seen who actually does racing other than drag racing or street racing.
When the pre-insurance inspection was finished I headed over for the state inspection. I rolled in, the technician got in the car and promply drove it up onto the 2WD dyno. It took about ten minutes to convince the technician that the car was, in fact, AWD and that firing it up on the dyno would destroy the center differential.
Once the 2500 RPM sniff test was run he checked the suspension and failed me because the car was too low to get the jack underneath it. I showed him the stock springs in the trunk and he passed me once, after pointing out the stripped interior, I convinced him that I didn’t want to be on the 5Zigens any more than he wanted me to be on them and that the car would be stripped and almost completely rebuilt within the month.
For Immediate Release – July 7, 2002 – Haverhill, MA
Haverhill, MA – After bringing home a second place season finish in the 4WD snow tire class of the Boston BMWCCA ice racing series, Trunkmonkey Racing has acquired an MY96 Subaru Impreza L 2.2 in preparation for entry into Production GT. Sean Sosik-Hamor has stepped up to the plate as team owner and driver and has chosen Andrew Hobgood as co-driver. Vehicle preparation has started and will continue throughout the Summer.
When asked to comment on being chosen as co-driver for Trunkmonkey Racing, Andrew replied, “sweet, and by sweet, I mean cool.”
Sean has been autocrossing and rallycrossing for the past three seasons and has just now acquired the funding to enter into the ClubRally circuit. A schedule has been set to have the car mildly prepared for Production GT by Fall for entry into rallycross and rallysprint events sponsored by Team O’Neil and WDCR as well as the 2003 Boston BMWCCA ice racing series. The car should then be fully prepared by Spring for entry into ClubRally events.
The goal of Trunkmonkey Racing for the first ClubRally season is to simply gain seat time and finish DLBF. Sponsorships have not yet been announced.
Team updates and journal can be found at http://www.trunkmonkeyracing.com/.
Deconstruction has begun on the Impreza L to start preparing for Production GT. The carpet and flashing was removed from the cabin and trunk this afternoon. Carpet extraction required temporary removal of the seats so I am now intimately familiar with seat bolt alignment. Yay. More cleanup will be done over the next few days to remove all aftermarket sound deadening material and goo from the floor pan to prepare it for a clean repaint.
Kris, Jeremy, Andrew and I did some recce on North Mountain and South Mountain last night and, on the way home, I decided to test my brakes just to see how absolutely crappy they are. The pads and calipers seem adequate however the car desperately needs a bleed and new brake fluid. On the street and highway a hard brake stops the car quite quickly but, afterwards, there is noticable brake fade. After two or three hard pumps the brake pedal gets quite mushy. This alarmed me so I took the car over to a one mile unfinished industrial loop to really give the brakes a test.
I executed some 30 MPH panic stops and noticed the same brake fade I was experiencing on the highway. I did one lap to let the brakes cool down and executed an 80 MPH to zero threshold stop and was quite impressed with the stopping power. I accelerated to about 40 MPH, hit the brakes and the pedal went to the floor. Not good. I did another lap to let the brakes cool down and I had a nice solid pedal again.
So, either the brake pads are crap or the brake fluid is full of water and air bubbles. Probably a not big deal but worth paying very close attention to.