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Product Review: GUNK Engine Degreaser

Product Review: GUNK Engine Degreaser

Reviews
First and foremost, the products used in this review were provided by the manufacturer, GUNK, as tester samples. No compensation was made for the creation of this review. I write this review as an independent consumer of a product that I liked using. With my engine out of the car it was time for some much needed TLC. The engine was coated in baked on oil and dirt, and I really wanted to get it as clean as possible before removing the valve covers and other components. I challenged Gunk and Chemical Guys to a cylinder head-to-head competition, and Gunk provided me with samples to use. I can say with confidence that using it to clean the engine outside of the car was probably the most time consuming method creating…
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New Springs in the House

New Springs in the House

Repairs and Upgrades
A sale on lowering springs that aren't low-rider crap?? I'm in! They're not the raciest springs available but they'll bring the platform down about an inch and increase the spring rate at each corner. I'm expecting a little more slalom speed from the reduced roll. What springs are you running on your WRX or other autocross car?
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How To: Replace a Front Axle on a 2002-03 WRX

How To: Replace a Front Axle on a 2002-03 WRX

Repairs and Upgrades
[caption width="300" id="attachment_735" align="alignright"] Yes that grease is burned onto the exhaust heat shield... yes it's going to be a pain to clean.[/caption]This is not an uncommon repair on our favorite bugeyed sporty car, and luckily it's not a difficult one either. The left front axle inboard CV joint sits within inches of the exhaust, so the grease boot experiences excessive thermal stress. The cyclic stresses of constant rotation combined with the heat of the exhaust will cause the boot to tear and eventually split. You can imagine the mess that comes next. Enough time without grease and the bearings in the CV will fail. If you find that you have an axle with a failed boot, then the best course of action is to replace the axle assembly. It may…
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Powertrain Rejuvenation: Getting Dirty

Powertrain Rejuvenation: Getting Dirty

Repairs and Upgrades
Project Powertrain Rejuvenation has officially begun. I started with a compression test while the engine was still in the car so I could rule out any big problems (ring land failure is a classic issue with these WRX's), and the results were great. All four cylinders returned 175-180 PSI after a consistent number of compression cycles, so I'm confident that I don't need to be digging into the internals. The smoking issue still exists, so I ordered up a gasket kit as well as a water pump and timing belt kit. In case there are any other issues I'm taking the engine out anyways, so replacing the water pump and timing belt is a practical measure. (more…)
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Powertrain Rejuvenation: The Rules are the Limit (STX)

Powertrain Rejuvenation: The Rules are the Limit (STX)

Tech Articles
If I'm going to pull the engine for a refresh, there's no reason I couldn't replace my flywheel with the stock version and bump down to a more appropriate class for my budget. As such, I wanted to investigate how far I could go with my engine in Street Touring X. Here's what I compiled from the 1/30/2017 release of the SCCA Solo STX Rules, which can be found here. Oil Pan/Lubrication Any oil pan is acceptable Any oil pickup is acceptable NO addition of, or modification to, windage trays or crank scrapers Thermal Control Radiator can be replaced, BUT must be same as stock (or greater in magnitude) in the following areas: Dry weight Coolant capacity Core dimensions Mounting locations Any water expansion tank is allowed Silicone replacement coolant…
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Powertrain Rejuvenation: The Rules are the Limit (ASP)

Powertrain Rejuvenation: The Rules are the Limit (ASP)

Tech Articles
I have made it abundantly clear, because I am too honest when it comes to racing, that I've installed a lighter-than-stock flywheel in my WRX. This makes me ineligible for the stock, or even STX SCCA classes, and relegates me to A-Street Prepared (ASP). My car is woefully outgunned in this class, but luckily a good opportunity to change classes has arrived. When I pull the motor to do the refresh that I'm planning, I can swap back to my stock flywheel! However, for due diligence, let's take a look at all the things I can do to my engine based on the ASP rulebook. The notes below are compiled from the 1/17/2017 release of the SCCA ASP rule set, which can be found here. Oil Pan/Engine Lubrication MUST retain standard…
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Powertrain Rejuvenation: The Plan

Powertrain Rejuvenation: The Plan

Repairs and Upgrades
My WRX has over 220,000 miles on it, and it is clear that old Bugeye could use a refresh. For a while now the engine has been a little leaky. The oil splatters onto the chassis and suspension all around the turbo, and oil smoke wafts out of the hood scoop when the car comes to a stop. Stopleak and gasket fillers seemed to delay the inevitable, but it is now time to face the music. I'm going to rebuild the engine before the autocross season begins! Over the course of this project I'll be collecting information, compiling guides, and reviewing products. Here's a preview of some of the topics I plan to cover: Oil Analysis: What Does It Mean? Compression Checking How Good Can an $18 USB Boroscope Be?…
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2017 CCR-SCCA Preliminary Schedule

2017 CCR-SCCA Preliminary Schedule

Uncategorized
The 2017 Central Carolinas Region SCCA schedule is all but finalized. The preliminary schedule shown below is said to be solid barring any mishaps or unforeseen conflicts with booking the venues. New for 2017 is the addition of the Donaldson airfield in Greenville, SC. The facility is a former air force base that's now a component of the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center. I had the opportunity to drive there several times with the Clemson Formula SAE team. The repave of the facility in 2014 revived the track surface, and now it's a great place for an autocross. zMax Dragway is returning in 2017 for approximately 3/4 of the season, and the Black Lake at the Michelin Proving Grounds will not return. Although racing at zMax is incredibly convenient,…
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2016 Season Recap

2016 Season Recap

Uncategorized
The CCR SCCA solo season wrapped up last week at zMax Dragway and so has my first season of autocross with my WRX. I was able to compete in seven different events this season. Five were with the Central Carolinas Region SCCA, one with the Ultimate Street Car Association, which was a blast, and one with the Clemson Sports Car Club, which kicked off my racing season. My goals for this season were to win the CCR Rookie of the Year, spend less than $2500, and above all else to learn and grow as a racer. I am glad to say that I was 2-for-3 on my goals. (more…)
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Race Report: CCR AutoX #10

Race Report: CCR AutoX #10

Race Reports
Race Date: 10/23/2016 Class: Rookie – A Street Prepared Results: – Class: 6th/8 – Overall: 109/167 – My FTD: 75.432 (PAX:65.248) – Class FTD: 71.734 (PAX: 59.969) 2015 Scion FRS – Class Win: 73.624 (PAX: 58.751) 2015 Ford Fiesta ST – The FTD: 64.410 – 2004 Mazda RX-8 Fall finally arrived! The morning started cool, breezy and slightly overcast at zMax Dragway, and I was loving the change of climate. Today's mission was two-pronged: try the Cantrell Motorsports lap timer app and make clean, fast runs. CCR put together another fun, fast, and challenging course and over 160 entrants registered for the event. I didn't make any changes to the WRX for this round, because I have exceeded my season budget and am in the midst of reconnaissance for the best…
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