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rallyxPOS13 New Reader
3/17/22 6:37 p.m.
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm glad I wasn't the only one wondering about the low number on the entrants list.  Although, more runs is always nice as long as have enough to man the course...

Good luck with the changes to the S13, I hope it works better for you now.  I did a quick oil change on my beater Subaru and it should be ready to go for Sunday.  See you there!


Looks like the event is postponed to the rain date! frown

I was really looking forward to how the car would do, but it does give me some time to tinker and improve it. After driving the pile to and from work this week, I need to adjust the clutch pick up point, fix one of the headlights shaking around, look into some grumbling from the rear when I reverse, and determine where the fuel is pissing out of when I take a left hand corner with enthusiasm...

rallyxPOS13 New Reader
3/27/22 8:27 p.m.

So I had a delivery this weekend!

The Range Rover was destined to the the tow rig for the season, however it doesn't come with a tow hitch or wiring standard.  Some internetin' found a company called Stealth Hitch.  It allowed the maximum tow capacity, but protruded out the bottom like a Miata tire tail, and had minimal impact to the visual lines of the rear of the vehicle.   It was slightly cheaper than the OEM stuff, so I pulled the trigger.

So it showed up this weekend... and while I've installed trailer hitches on my Subaru, a Jeep, and a couple F-250s, those instructions were about 5 items.  The complication of this vehicle, and the sneaky install, meant that this was a 52 step install-a-thon over the weekend.

So yeah, that escalated quickly:

The hitch installs behind all the crash structure, so it should keep SWMBO safe, and keeps it sturdy:

While I was in there, I became abruptly aware that this is a whole 'nother generation of automobile.  In the spare tire well, there was a giant battery, a huge higher voltage power distribution module, and an air tank for the suspension, cause, you know, Stance Is Life®. Another interesting tidbit in the instructions: I could never disconnect the battery, or the software would start Skynet and kill all humans. I kept waiting for the speakers to say "No Disassemble, Jonny 5 is alive!" and smash the hatch on me.


After some hilarious dremeling on a 60k SUV, the end result was pretty good:

The hitch and wiring connection install vertically from underneath, and on either side of the aluminum block are the eyelets for the safety chains.  Then there's a fake diffuser-lookin cover panel that hides it all:

And here it is with everything installed:


It seems to be fairly sturdy, there's no slop like there is in a 2" receiver.  I don't currently own a trailer, so I can't test it out.  I'll have to see if I can grab a U-Car-Hauler for the event.   I really need to see if a trailer can navigate the driveway before I pull the trigger on my own trailer. 

A couple other things during the week to wrap up the POS13, and I'll be ready for the event this weekend!

rallyxPOS13 New Reader
4/2/22 7:24 p.m.


Towing is a no-go.  I bought a 7-pin wiring tester, but it's not working with my wiring solution... pulse-width modulation has me confused, it's hard to test or troubleshoot with my basic multimeter, so I gave up for now.


Still, car's still fine to drive to the event, so I gave it a quick once over, futilely washed it (focusing on the windows and underside), packed up, and. Did one last thing:

I didn't want to wreck the new shocks, but the Bilstein dust boot was too big in diameter to fit inside the 2.5" springs.  So I just pinched one side, and shoved it in there, hopefully it'll hold up for at least one event!

1st event of the season is tomorrow, we'll see how it all works out now that the rear wheel actually move up and down. laugh

jfryjfry SuperDork
4/2/22 11:21 p.m.

I'm in for updates on the race and on the trailer lights

rallyxPOS13 New Reader
4/4/22 8:22 p.m.

Event Recap:

The car drove fine up to the site. with the improved rear suspension, and slightly quieter exhaust, I've accidently made a decent cruising car!  I showed up on site early, and got to chat with some other participants, I really like the social aspect of the sport, and everyone I meet at these things are genuinely nice folks, and everyone's willing to share whatever is needed.   The day was on the verge of cold, 40-50 degrees with a huge blowing wind from the west.  I haven't seen cones move on their own since I left Kansas, I'd guess gusts over 40mph throughout the day on top of the ridge.   Regardless, I still can't get over how beautiful this location is, nestled in the mountains:

(this dust is all from wind, not a car on course)

I didn't take a lot of pics, but the place was swarming with photogs so hopefully some good ones turn up!

For the car: 

The rear suspension was night and day!  The back of the car was actually touching the ground, and more importantly, I was much more capable of transferring weight by leaning on the throttle and squatting the car over the rear tires.  Somewhere around the beginning of the afternoon runs, the front struts blew.  It's hard to see in the pics below but the strut shaft was wet, and you can see the moisture of the shock fluid running down the shock body (caked in dirt).

Also, I hadn't had a good look in there with load on the car, that's not a ton of travel!

The engine held up through the event, but it still seems off, with more power at the top of the powerband, and not the torque hit I'm used to from a 'truck motor'  I'm trying to remember if the secondary throttle 'swirl valves' are in the intake or not. I checked timing over the break, but I do need to  investigate a few thing on the engine side to see why it feels a bit down on torque.  But all the fluids stayed in the motor, and it tolerated quite a bit of redline time, so I can't complain too much!

On the inside, I kept hitting my helmet off the sunroof and it would close on me, bouncing off my helmet for the rest of the runs and slightly distracting me.

I was also struggling with getting the car to naturally rotate, it would understeer, or oversteer, but never had that nice pirouette feeling.  It's hard to describe in words, the the E30's I was watching out there just kind of rotated into the corner, then could transition into throttle on the way out.  It seemed like I was fighting the car to get turned in, and the only way I was getting to to work was initiating a slide too early, and sitting on the back tires spinning on full lock to to rotate.  I'm not sure if it's the front suspension, the diff not locking up, alignment, or the idiot at the controls.   That brings me to the other thing:


The Driving:

So at the last event, with the car just pogo'n everywhere, I was 10-20 seconds off the pack during a ~60 second run, not even close to competitive.  This time, the car was much better, but my driving was even worse, and again I was 10-12 seconds off the pace.  I was struggling to place the car, trying to find the 'line' through corners had me outside a bit too much, and as a result, when things got a bit squirrelly, I'd massacre a whole cone wall.  (sorry corner workers!)  As previously mentioned, I wasn't able to get the car to rotate, and as a result, I was 'goosing' it to try and get a bit of turn-in before the turn.  But mostly I was understeering into a corner, trying to bleed speed too late, and then oversteering on the way out.  The ideal wrong line, like teaching someone how NOT to drive.

But then somewhere halfway through the afternoon runs something clicked.  I quit trying to drive the car I wanted to have, or thought I had, and drove the pile of E36 M3 I was sitting in.  I relaxed a bit, and tried to feel out the bounces  and undulations, time the compression strokes to turn in, actually looked at the course to see where the lighter swept areas of grip were, and worked on placing the car there instead of outright speed, or some ideal line that doesn't exist in RallyCross.   The other thing was throttle modulation, instead of throwing full pedal at it to try and blow the dust off whatever terrible line I was on, I was modulating better, keep the the slip angles down.  I still screwed up plenty, but all the sudden the times started to improve, and one run I was only something like 4 seconds off the pack!  I'll take that victory!   While it felt slower than all the other runs slinging dust with the exhaust banging off the limiter, it started to feel familiar, and right.   

I still have a lot of improving to do as a driver, and a few tweaks to work into the car...   but some 16 year old kids stopped by at the lunch break and told me my car was their favorite, so I can't be doing everything wrong cool

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/4/22 10:06 p.m.

Do you run a front sway bar? Most of the e30s (including me) don't have a front sway (and some don't have a rear either). While that sometimes results in lifting an inside rear on certain corners (less of an issue with an LSD), it helps turn-in and rotation immensely. I did an event or two back in the day with the OEM front sway and found the car pushed into corners and wouldn't rotate for E36 M3.

So, if you still have the front bar, try next time without it. It'll feel a bit funny at first but should improve rotation.

And yes, my e30 rotates/pirouettes pretty easily with light trail braking as have the others I've driven (basically all the ones that were there last weekend).

I just looked at the times and it's pretty clear in the times exactly when you consciously changed your style (Run #10).....you pretty much immediately knocked 3 seconds a run off your time for runs 10+ - so nice job changing styles to suit. Sometimes I wish I could do that easily. Incidentally, you had at least one run that was within a second of me. Not that I was the the fastest in the class last weekend, but still....

rallyxPOS13 Reader
4/6/22 9:15 p.m.

Yes, I am running both sway bars!  I'll have to give that a shot next event, seems like it could help the front bite a bit more on corner entry.   In my past (MO, KS, NE) the courses were less bumpy, and had more slaloms, so I always kept them on to let the car transition faster.

Yeah, I'm not typically the kind of driver that can change styles throughout the day, I typically just get worse and worse throughout the day as I overdrive and start remember bad habits.  This time I think it was self-preservation stepping in.  I was getting a bit too wild next to those cone walls and sharp drops, and had a few moments where I was just hoping it'd claw back onto the course.

I was happy to hear some of the other folks in grid talking about the course getting really bad and bumpy in the afternoon, as I was certain I'd broken something, I even stopped after the finish to check if I'd de-beaded!

After I switched my driving style to "need to drive this car home", it got much faster! laugh

rallyxPOS13 Reader
4/7/22 8:51 p.m.

We got some great pictures in from Tyler Powers: https://powers2440photos.smugmug.com/DC-Rallycross-Event-1-2022/

I really appreciate photographers who make it out to events, for so many reasons:

  • RallyCross photos are just F'n cool!  The dirt is always dynamic, whether it's a quick shutter to capture a flying clod, or motion blur to capture the flow, RallyX is very photogenic.
  • It's hard on equipment!  I can't imagine having all your fine gears of adjustment and lenses full of all the same silt that came out of my nose is good for them!
  • It's an amazing tool to see how the car is handling, I've learned so much about the contact patch of tires and handling balance by looking at a well timed shot of my pile in a corner.

Some things I gleaned from Tyler's Pictures:

#1, he's nailed the panning motion blur smiley

#2  Those times I'm entering corners, I'm using all the front travel and am on the bumpstops, this may be leading to the corner entry understeer.  (also you can see I'm too wide, and in the fluff instead of the grip line)

#3 I can get away with a much lower rear spring rate.  In all his pictures I always have at least 3-4" to the fender, and from the travel pics previously, I could tuck another couple inches on top of that.  So I'll likely order some 10" long 225lb/in springs.  It looks like droop travel is good, and I didn't see any pics where I was lifting a rear tire, it just needs more travel on compression.  I also wonder if the relative rake of the front to rear roll centers is causing some of the issues since the front is compressed on lowering springs.  Regardless, fixing the front is on The List.

#4 It seems the sunroof would slam closed on my head generally by the second corner, so I need a better seat solution.


This gives me a good hit list to go tackle before the next event... ya know, after I fix the clogged cats on the daily, and the massive powersteering leak on the LandOozer, and catch up on yard work.  But on the plus side, I took training last week at my work's Makerspace, so I'm cleared to start accidently cutting my shocks in half on the lathe, and even milling new top hats.  

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/7/22 9:20 p.m.

Thanks for posting the link to the photos from the last event! I forgot to check if anything had been posted yet.  No matter how bad you are at Rallycross the images always look quite dramatic and I try to thank the guys and gals who spend their free time getting covered in dust, dirt, and sweat all day while taking some great photos. 

While I was working the course I noticed the front edge of your hood dancing around quite a bit, maybe the latch needs adjusted or some rubber bumpers to keep it closed all the way?  


rallyxPOS13 Reader
4/23/22 7:43 p.m.
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) said:

While I was working the course I noticed the front edge of your hood dancing around quite a bit, maybe the latch needs adjusted or some rubber bumpers to keep it closed all the way?  


Oh man!  I had no idea.  Thanks for the heads up!  I focused on it while driving the car around the other day, and it will shake around if I pull the hood prop, and don't force it back into the full 'closed' position by pushing on it.  As I was popping the hood between each run, I'm sure I just forgot to secure that.   Certainly something to look into a fix for!

On a similar note, when your OBS was coming around corner 5, and loading up the LH side of the suspension over bumps, I could hear an audible clunk from the rear of your car I didn't notice on other Subarus.


rallyxPOS13 Reader
4/23/22 8:10 p.m.

Did some work on the other cars lately. 

The daily Outback now has far too much power now with an up pipe, downpipe, and stage 2+ tune.  Basically doubled my boost, and transformed how quickly it spools up.  I was starting to smell sulfur on early startups, and I was worried that all the metals that come in cats are from the area around Ukraine, and it'd get much more expensive to replace in the future.

Also fixed one of the leaks in the power steering system on the LandOozer... just to find that the entire steering gear housing was leaking frown  At least I got to use a new tool that I've never used before, I ordered a 17mm Crows Foot that's shaped like a flare wrench... and it was so rusted on, I still needed to just cut off the fitting and use an impact.  For a giant SUVbox with an inline engine, t's got amazingly little room for tools in the engine bay.

I also put the same LED lights as the 240 into the FJ.... only to find that Toyota was channeling their inner Lucas and has them set up as switched ground... so the diodes don't really work.  While I'm rewiring things, adding relays and wiring all 4 to come on with both low and high beams.



In POS13 updates: some bat decided that it wanted to spend it's final hours planted on the hood of my car.  Whatever disease comes after the 'Rona, it started here folks!


I also took some time to take apart the driftyboi front coilovers and measure the tube, to see if I could use the ears and housing to create another DIY coilover:

The main shock body is around 43mm in diameter, the shock shaft is 22mm, and the tophat seems to be somewhere between 15mm and 20mm.  The overall shock body is a smidge over 13 inches long (330mm)


These numbers don't seem to match up with any of the Bilstein inserts I can find online, but they do match up nicely with Koni 8611's.  I need to check into those damping rates and see if it matches up with what I think I'd need up front.

rallyxPOS13 Reader
5/29/22 10:10 a.m.

Took a bit of a break from the car lately, and missed a couple events I wanted to get to.

I had a long trip from work, got to let my aircraft nerd self see some cool stuff:

Then on the way home managed get COVID despite the vaccinations, and then also gave it to SWMBO a couple weeks after.  So a few weeks away from the garage .

During that time, mostly quarantining, the car got some use on the random pizza run: 

During the downtime, I did a bit more research on front shocks.  The Konis seem to have a bad reputation for durability for Rallycross, but I wasn't able to find another good solution to use the existing coilover bodies.   The obvious solution for this is the Escort Bilstiens, but I wasn't able to find much information on the dimensions of those units, and the folks that sell them are all overseas.

One night, under a nyquil induced haze, I discovered the exchange rate with the UK isn't too bad right now, and the resellers would easily ship to the US, and a few clicks and under a week of time....

I'll get some good measurements to add to the thread, but there's an obvious length difference, and thin shim I'd need to do to fit it in the existing coilover body.  So I think I'm going to wind up re-reading  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯'s thread and ordering up some of those custom weldable coilover bodies to match these shocks.  


In the meantime, did a bit of work on the Daily Driver.  After making it fast, it became quite apparent that the brakes needed some attention! I'd had some Hawk HPwhatever that I was disappointed with, so I tried some EBC Yellowstuff this time around:

The rears must have been the rare run of EBC E36 M3estuff, the casting wasn't even parallel, and after struggling to fit them, i determined the entire rear kit was wrong for my application.


I'll try to get some more updates over the long weekend, and try to get the POS13 ready for the upcoming RallyCross next weekend.

rallyxPOS13 Reader
5/30/22 7:43 p.m.

Ok, Hopefully this helps someone else trying to adapt Escort Rally inserts into something completely inappropriate:


rallyxPOS13 Reader
5/30/22 8:02 p.m.

In other random Memorial Day wrenching:

I did the whole recycling oil thing, as I wanted to change the oil in the POS13 prior to the event, and ran into Autozone with 4 gallons of used oil.....  A couple retrospectively enthusiastic corners into the drive, I hear the sickening thud of a plastic jug hitting broadside on the floor angry   A quick glance over the shoulder revealed an entire gallon of pre-sullied oil flowing around in the back of the car. My nose instantly identified this batch as the karmically appropriate motor-death batch from the 240's previous engine as it was ladened with gas and bearing material.  In the following three corners before I could turn off onto a side street, it sloshed back and forth, pooling in the spare tire, oozing down the back seat lip, and I could see it roll forward as I broke for the side street all the way to the firewall in the passenger footwell.  I re-attached the cap to the offending jug, and proceeded into town.  Thankfully Autozone sells pigmat, but not before about half the fluid trickled out the drain in the quarter panel.

Smells nice in there still, as it's seeped under all the sound deadening.  Which I guess pushes the whole gutting all the sound deadening up the list!   Thankfully there was no interior, and I reckon there's some accidental rustproofing that's occurred.  

Also in the good news camp, despite the old oil coming out of the engine a bit dirty, still no glitter, so the motor's not dead yet.

In other fleet news: I also managed to remove the Powersteering Gearbox from the FJ62, so hopefully I can tear that down to rebuild this week.  SWMBO really wants her dog-mobile back. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/31/22 4:45 p.m.

whatever you do, do NOT overtighten the lower nut on the bilstein inserts (at the bottom of the body). Ask me how I know that they can shear off if you crank them too tight.......

also, I did the same ones on my e30 and have the build-up somewhere in my thread, in case that helps. I used different top hats than Chris did, since I have different shock tower openings. 

madmrak351 Reader
6/3/22 8:05 a.m.

Enjoying the coil over buildup progression. Accumulating parts to build a set for mine based on Koni Sport dampers. Sorry to hear about the Exxon Valdez reenactment inside your 240. Hate that bad enough when it happens in the bed of the truck. Got to be awful inside!

rallyxPOS13 Reader
6/3/22 6:41 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I swear, it must be PTSD from spending too much time lurking over at RallyAnarchy...  but when I saw the color, I assumed Mister Vanlandingham must have had a hand in those!  Now that I've gone back back and read your thread, I'm a bit embarrassed.

I'm going to bring some calipers to the event tomorrow, maybe I can grab some measurements off your top hats to see if the centers will work with the POS13?

rallyxPOS13 Reader
6/3/22 6:42 p.m.

In reply to madmrak351 :

I'm excited to read about your build up too, are you following the NRR setup?

Neslie Reader
6/6/22 12:37 a.m.

Man you should've mentioned you had a grm thread on this thing!! I've got a thread for the volvo on here that details my struts if that would be of any help to you. Anyways, nice meeting you and looking forward to giving this thread a read thru!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/6/22 4:24 p.m.
Neslie said:

Man you should've mentioned you had a grm thread on this thing!! I've got a thread for the volvo on here that details my struts if that would be of any help to you. Anyways, nice meeting you and looking forward to giving this thread a read thru!

Lol, I already pointed him toward my thread, where I basically just copied your thread regarding the struts lol.

rallyxPOS13 Reader
6/11/22 3:47 p.m.

In reply to Neslie :

Nice to meet you as well!  Thanks, I went back and read your thread, and between your thread, Josh's and Chris's I think I have a good idea of what I can get to work out on my car, and yesterday a package came to the door from Wales!

I went with the eccentric top hats, my bolt patterns seems to be with in a couple mm of the 'big' bolt circle on Escorts, and the offset should hopefully fit within the pass through at the top.  I'll have to hack these up a bit to fit, but seems like a worthwhile starting point, and these cars like some camber up front.

rallyxPOS13 Reader
6/11/22 4:26 p.m.

So, I made it out to the DC RallyX third event.

On the drive out, the thought crept into my head that I'd changed absolutely nothing since the first event of the season.  There's so much low hanging fruit on improving the car, and I'd tackled none of it.  So blown front struts, sway bar still hooked up, I decided to focus on my driving...

At least until the fist couple runs:  A group of kids had shown up without cars and were interested in RallyX, and they seemed particularly interested in the POS13.  I offered them all a ride.  So naturally I spent the entire set of morning runs driving like a complete idiot and sliding the car wherever possible and making as much use of the rev limiter as I could.   So while I had no hope of being competitive, I may have planted the seed of sideways shenanigans in someone's head to come out and RallyX later.

This was captured in someone's video on facespace here: https://www.facebook.com/100002670871493/videos/2121245144723092/  or maybe it was here... https://www.facebook.com/100002670871493/videos/1217502699061976/  logging in just typically angers me, so I generally avoid it.   One's quite a bit calmer (and less cone calls) than the other.

Comparing this run to some of the actually fast drivers through that corner, the old adage of "Smooth is fast" comes to mind, and I was jerky with my inputs, and the bumps seems a bit amplified compared to those folks who's suspension I'm copying, so hopefully getting the new struts set up will help calm things down.... but there's certainly the loose nut behind the wheel to fix as well.

On the plus side, there was a great photog there, and he grabbed a few snaps of my car.  Props to Alan Olson for the pictures!  Again each picture tells an interesting story about the car setup:

^ Worlds greatest skidplate photobombs this shot, but my favorite part of this one is if you look closely at the sunroof, you can see it deflected from my helmet bouncing off of it.

^ this confirms that I can go much lower on my rear springrates, this is on the throttle out of a hairpin, bump on the outside, and there's still 3-4" of bump travel on that rear wheel.  See also the haze of dust that accumulates inside of the car.

^ I am skidplate surfing the moon dust during runs, I'd imagine I could gain some speed by raising the car a tad.  When I changed the oil prior to the event, my skidplate had 4x the wear than it has on the previous 2 cars it was mounted on combined from a couple Panthera events.


^It was a dusty day.  I found myself coughing and hacking more than I did with the 'Rona from breathing in moondust all day.  Obviously not the greatest thing from a health point of view.

So my list of improvements this summer in terms of bang for the buck:

  1. Fix front suspension, I spent too much time with the front wheels too light to turn/brake properly to keep the car on the quick line
  2. Get a lower seat,  it'll hold me in the car better, and more importantly, it'll allow me to close the moonroof, and that should keep dust down during runs and in the grid.
  3. Finish gutting interior panels, chip out the sound deadening, and spend some quality time sealing up all the holes.  Again for dust mitigation, with the added bonus of making the car lighter.


Overall I had a great time there, the only casualty was one of the headlight actuators, and my magnetic #2.  All the fluids I put in the car when I left were still there when I got back, and I got to meet and talk to some fellow GRMers.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/12/22 9:33 p.m.

We were all skidplate surfing in a few sections lol...

Also I think it's funny - both you and Thomas (neslie) said that when you have passengers you drive badly because you're trying to put on a show. I'm just the opposite. When I have passengers, I always feel like it's my duty to put down my absolute fastest run of the day lol, and typically drive extra clean and tidy (and usually actually DO run my fastest run). One of the same kids ran a run with me and it was my best run of the day :)

Neslie Reader
6/13/22 9:06 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Hey hey hey I said I send it extra hard when I have passengers. That's not bad driving, it's just slow.

madmrak351 Reader
6/16/22 11:00 a.m.

In reply to rallyxPOS13 :

The NNR build I looked at was based on the Koni race shocks. I am following an older build I found that was aimed at a Street / track day compromise, using the Koni sport shocks looking to start with 350 in/lbs front, 275 in/ lbs rear. When I finally get it driving we will see how close that is. Finished with the flip house. Waiting on it to sell now.... on our second contract contingent on the sale of the buyers house. I hope to get a few licks in on the 240 before we go to a week long MX camp in Indiana where my wife is the nurse and I am the mechanic. Glad you enjoyed you last event! Looked fun in the photos!! Looking foreword to updates.

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