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 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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It’s Always the Little Things

It’s Always the Little Things

Race Reports, Repairs and Upgrades
This post was supposed to be a race report for round 9 of the 2016 CCR SCCA autocross season, but instead it's the story about the importance of the little things. I arrived at zMax Dragway on September 24th with a suction cup mount for my GoPro and a lapel microphone in addition to my regular gear. I was excited! I was going to attempt to record my first video recap of the race, but that came to a ticking, squeaking halt in the McDonald's drive through in Concord, NC. (more…)
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Brake Upgrades Complete

Brake Upgrades Complete

Repairs and Upgrades
Today, I finally got my stainless steel brake lines fitted to the WRX. The Stoptech brake lines I purchased for all four corners installed with ease and came with all of the parts I required for final installation. As many other buyers have mentioned, the stock retaining clips should not be discarded as the lines for the rear are not delivered with replacements for all of the retaining clip locations. This shouldn't be a big problem if you treat your clips properly during removal. (more…)
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Fresh Brakes: The Goods

Repairs and Upgrades, Uncategorized
After solving the issue of my sticking right rear caliper, I decided I could confidently purchase some new brake parts. Since my rotors are too thin to turn and the pads are wearing out, I decided to go ahead and get autocross pads from Hawk Performance and Powerslot rotors. Since one of my complaints from earlier in my autocross campaign came from what I felt was poor brake pedal modulation, I threw in some stainless steel brake lines to replace the old, soft, stock brake lines on the car. The lines and rotors are coming from Rallysport Direct, a longtime favorite of mine, and the HP+ Autocross/Track pads are coming direct from Hawk. I'll be honest, my research on brake rotors was brief, and my pad selection was based on…
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RR Brake Drag Solved

RR Brake Drag Solved

Repairs and Upgrades, Uncategorized
For years I had noticed extra brake dust on my right rear wheel. I replaced the rear calipers with re-manufactured calipers, and after a year or two it was back again. I finally addressed the issue last week by inspecting the offending caliper. One of the sliders on the caliper was stuck, and the pads were worn correspondingly. I disassembled the slider mechanism on the stuck caliper and found that the ends of the rubber bushing on the leading slider pin had sheared off. Either they had come apart and jammed up the slider, or the slider wasn't greased and the ends were torn off when the pin was disassembled. (more…)
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Bugeye Brakes: Assessing the Situation

Repairs and Upgrades, Uncategorized
At my last autocross, I noticed that my braking seemed to be more black and white than shades of grey. Braking for a corner is difficult to judge and the soft pedal means I have to travel farther to stop as hard I want. I'll admit that I haven't paid much attention to my brakes in the last five years other than replacing the rear calipers with re-mans. Excessive brake dust and pad wear on the right rear prompted the swap, but I ignored the service manual and only bled the new rear calipers. Now I'm paying the price. Approaching a tight turn, I have to stab into the brakes in order to get any response. The rapid actuation removes any ability I have to modulate the input into a smooth…
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