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Thread: Zach's 818R Build Thread

  1. #1
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    Zach's 818R Build Thread

    Production date was 11/8/2014. Since then I've had the donor tear-down, the holidays, and a competing project on a motorcycle delaying getting started on the car.

    Kit options:
    - 818R
    - Bare frame
    - Front race splitter
    - Street windshield
    - Door ducts
    - 6-speed transaxle kit
    - Wilwood pedal box
    - Front canards

    Donor: 2005 WRX STi, 135,000 miles, totaled due to interior fire resulting from theft

    I built a Mk II Roadster way back in 2003 and got as far as doing a couple track days with it before realizing I wanted something more track-dedicated. I'm using my small amount of experience with the Roadster to form my plan for the car:

    Engine: Relatively stock STi motor, rebuilt and upgraded with reliability in mind (dry sump, etc.). I know nothing about turbos and these motors, so got a lot to learn...
    Trans: Rebuilt 6-speed from the STi, possibly with different gear ratios (I may change my mind and go for a 5-speed, still researching...)
    Aero: Custom APR wing (likely the GT250 sized to my spec vice the GTC250 offered by FFR), plus the options above.

    The build will basically be done in two phases. Phase 1 will be mock-up and test-fit, which is why I got the frame uncoated. The main focus here is modifying whatever I need to to make sure I fit in the car the best I can. I'm 6'3" with most of my height in my legs. The Roadster's legroom was a constant annoyance and there will be no holds barred when it comes to cutting and welding on the 818R frame to get the fit right. I will also modify what I need to for the transmission and mock up the rear/side body panels to fabricate a wing support. Phase 2 will commence with getting the frame powdercoated. Hopefully it will be mostly a matter of assembly from there.

    Some pictures from the pick-up back in November are below. Very exciting to see the factory. It was the weekend they were getting back from SEMA, so I missed out seeing the Gray (old Red) car, but the Blue car was there. The pictures just don't do it justice. These cars in full race trim look incredible.

    Here's a few pictures of the pick-up. Loooong drive from Norfolk.

    20141110_094156.jpg20141110_100017.jpg20141110_215654.jpg
    Last edited by Zach34; 01-08-2017 at 01:50 AM.

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    Engine and trans test-fit

    So I had done a little bit of research about the 6-speed option, enough to know what FFR had developed a kit for it by the time I ordered. I stopped my research there, so hadn't learned of all the other issues involved with the 6MT.

    I learned about the frame interference when I dropped the engine in for test-fit.

    IMG_9038.jpgIMG_9040.jpg

    I'm sure FFR will eventually modify the frame to accomodate both transmissions, but in the mean time if I stick with this transmission I'll be borrowing heavily from Kurk818's approach here: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...l=1#post146410

    The determining factor will be what I decide for gear ratios. I was planning on a transmission rebuild regardless just due to wear (135,000 miles), so I'll have an opportunity to change gear ratios and final drive there, if possible, there.
    Last edited by Zach34; 01-03-2015 at 02:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    I'd been stressing over the seat choice since ordering the kit. I finally took a trip up to OG Racing yesterday and came back with this:

    RT4009HR-116(sml)-360x360.jpg

    It's the Racetech RT4009HR, wide version. It was the only one they had. I think it's the same model Chad Plavan has. I wish I could have tried the regular (narrow) verson, but the fit was so good on the wide I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on it. I spent about 2 hours just sitting in a couple different Sparco and OMP seats. I really liked the OMP HTE-R, but the thigh bolsters were uncomfortable when making a motion like pushing the clutch pedal. The Sparco seats tended to lack lumbar support and didn't have the support around the rib-cage that I like. The Sparco that I liked the best was the Circuit II. Things that factored into my decision:

    -Good lumbar support
    -Not too wide (21" max along hips/legs, about 23" at shoulders to fit in the car)
    -Comfortable clutching motion
    -Good support on sides of torso
    -Headrest area not extremely large since it will be up in the wind

    If I had unlimited legroom in the car, I would have probably gotten the OMP and saved some money. But I had taken measurements of the footwell area and already had a good idea of where my legs would be - knees up and somewhat close to the steering wheel. The Racetech was just much more comfortable in that position. If I could have my legs straight forward the OMP would have been just as good.

    First order of business was the broomstick test to try and get an idea of how much I will have to modify. Due the amount of room I have I couldn't get the front rollbar in the picture, but you can pretty easily interpolate it.

    In both pictures, the seat is sitting flat and square on the floor with zero decline. This is NOT how it will be finalized, but I can't really reposition it until I remove the 3/4" slanted lateral brace above the sub belt mount on the frame. I used a piece of conduit to serve as my broomstick. In the first picture, the conduit was sitting on the front and rear rollbars without me in the car, so you can get an idea of where the front one is.

    IMG_9041.jpgIMG_9042.jpgIMG_9046.jpg

    Here's me in the car now. The conduit was a full foot above the front rollbar!

    IMG_9047.jpg

    Here's me scrunching down in the car so that the conduit once again rests on the front rollbar.

    IMG_9048.jpg

    Obviously, the seat will have to be reclined as far back as possible. I will probably have to cut whatever I can out of the seat foam and possibly cut out the entire floor to recess the seats down flush with the bottom of the car. I need every inch.

    IMG_9049.jpg

    Reclining the seats means taking away footroom area that I don't have to spare, so more cutting and welding will likely be needed to push the pedal box forward.

    I think I can make it work. It's going to be a better fit than the Roadster was, that's for sure.
    Last edited by Zach34; 01-04-2015 at 12:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    So I had done a little bit of research about the 6-speed option, enough to know what FFR had developed a kit for it by the time I ordered. I stopped my research there, so hadn't learned of all the other issues involved with the 6MT.

    I learned about the frame interference when I dropped the engine in for test-fit.

    IMG_9038.jpgIMG_9040.jpg

    I'm sure FFR will eventually modify the frame to accomodate both transmissions, but in the mean time if I stick with this transmission I'll be borrowing heavily from Kurk818's approach here: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...l=1#post146410

    The determining factor will be what I decide for gear ratios. I was planning on a transmission rebuild regardless just due to wear (135,000 miles), so I'll have an opportunity to change gear ratios and final drive there, if possible, there.
    FFR's solution to the frame interference was to raise the transmission with a block. I was the first to buy the 2WD conversion adapter for the 6sp from them. They provided no instruction on how to go about making the 6sp work at that point in time. I ended up modifying the frame to allow the oil pan to sit lower, which i believe was the correct way to approach it. There is a thread that goes about the installation of the 6speed.

    I have a fully functioning and driving STI 818S go kart. Currently working on buttoning up some details and putting body panels on.

  5. #5
    Senior Member C.Plavan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    I'd been stressing over the seat choice since ordering the kit. I finally took a trip up to OG Racing yesterday and came back with this:

    RT4009HR-116(sml)-360x360.jpg

    It's the Racetech RT4009HR, wide version. It was the only one they had. I think it's the same model Chad Plavan has. I wish I could have tried the regular (narrow) verson, but the fit was so good on the wide I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on it. I spent about 2 hours just sitting in a couple different Sparco and OMP seats. I really liked the OMP HTE-R, but the thigh bolsters were uncomfortable when making a motion like pushing the clutch pedal. The Sparco seats tended to lack lumbar support and didn't have the support around the rib-cage that I like. The Sparco that I liked the best was the Circuit II. Things that factored into my decision:

    -Good lumbar support
    -Not too wide (21" max along hips/legs, about 23" at shoulders to fit in the car)
    -Comfortable clutching motion
    -Good support on sides of torso
    -Headrest area not extremely large since it will be up in the wind

    If I had unlimited legroom in the car, I would have probably gotten the OMP and saved some money. But I had taken measurements of the footwell area and already had a good idea of where my legs would be - knees up and somewhat close to the steering wheel. The Racetech was just much more comfortable in that position. If I could have my legs straight forward the OMP would have been just as good.

    First order of business was the broomstick test to try and get an idea of how much I will have to modify. Due the amount of room I have I couldn't get the front rollbar in the picture, but you can pretty easily interpolate it.

    In both pictures, the seat is sitting flat and square on the floor with zero decline. This is NOT how it will be finalized, but I can't really reposition it until I remove the 3/4" slanted lateral brace above the sub belt mount on the frame. I used a piece of conduit to serve as my broomstick. In the first picture, the conduit was sitting on the front and rear rollbars without me in the car, so you can get an idea of where the front one is.

    IMG_9041.jpgIMG_9042.jpgIMG_9046.jpg

    Here's me in the car now. The conduit was a full foot above the front rollbar!

    IMG_9047.jpg

    Here's me scrunching down in the car so that the conduit once again rests on the front rollbar.

    IMG_9048.jpg

    Obviously, the seat will have to be reclined as far back as possible. I will probably have to cut whatever I can out of the seat foam and possibly cut out the entire floor to recess the seats down flush with the bottom of the car. I need every inch.

    IMG_9049.jpg

    Reclining the seats means taking away footroom area that I don't have to spare, so more cutting and welding will likely be needed to push the pedal box forward.

    I think I can make it work. It's going to be a better fit than the Roadster was, that's for sure.
    That is my seat, but I have the non "Fat Boy" model

    Here are my findings so you don't have to re-invent the wheel. You do not have to cut any bars. I thought I would, but didn't once I moved firewall back. My buddy who is 6' 2" sits in the car and loves it. I'm 5'11"

    1. Keep in mind you can't have the seat right on the floor. You need room for your sub belt mounts on the floor. (I would suggest a Schroth 6 point belt http://www.schrothracing.com/competi...rofi/profi-III ).
    2. Make your mounts/ weld them in.

    3. I added around 10 degree's to the firewall bend and that enabled me to push back the firewall around 3". The I have seat reclined back too which helps.
    4. After my first shake down, I still did not like how high I was sitting in pictures that were taken. So I bought this. http://racetech-usa.com/shop/cushion...w-base-cushion . It lowers you an additional 30mm!!! The stock cushion is ridiculously tall, remove it and you will see (velcro'd in). The super low cushion is 2 pieces and it fits fine. It lowered me down to where I want to be.

    BTW- The Jury is still out on the 6 speed. The 5 speed is 80-100 pounds lighter and probably can handle the lightness of the 818R in 2 wheel drive. Not to mention 6th gear is useless in stock form, the 5th gear is basically the same. I have two Legacy GT 5speeds 4.11FD (beefier gears over stock WRX trans)

    Last edited by C.Plavan; 01-04-2015 at 12:38 PM.
    Thanks- Chad
    818R-SOLD!!!- Go Karted 7/20/14/ Officially raced NASA ST2- 2/28/15
    2016 Elan NP01 Prototype Racecar Chassis #20
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    1972 Porsche 911T (#'s matching undergoing nut & bolt resto in my garage)

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    Senior Member STiPWRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    Obviously, the seat will have to be reclined as far back as possible. I will probably have to cut whatever I can out of the seat foam and possibly cut out the entire floor to recess the seats down flush with the bottom of the car. I need every inch.
    Have you considered raising the top roll bar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurk818 View Post
    FFR's solution to the frame interference was to raise the transmission with a block.
    Wow, that seems a little absurd to leave it at the severe angle in the picture. I agree with you. If I keep the 6-speed I'll be recessing it down like you did.

    How do you like the gear ratios so far on your go-kart drives?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.Plavan View Post
    That is my seat, but I have the non "Fat Boy" model

    Here are my findings so you don't have to re-invent the wheel. You do not have to cut any bars. I thought I would, but didn't once I moved firewall back. My buddy who is 6' 2" sits in the car and loves it. I'm 5'11"

    1. Keep in mind you can't have the seat right on the floor. You need room for your sub belt mounts on the floor. (I would suggest a Schroth 6 point belt http://www.schrothracing.com/competi...rofi/profi-III ).
    2. Make your mounts/ weld them in.

    3. I added around 10 degree's to the firewall bend and that enabled me to push back the firewall around 3". The I have seat reclined back too which helps.
    4. After my first shake down, I still did not like how high I was sitting in pictures that were taken. So I bought this. http://racetech-usa.com/shop/cushion...w-base-cushion . It lowers you an additional 30mm!!! The stock cushion is ridiculously tall, remove it and you will see (velcro'd in). The super low cushion is 2 pieces and it fits fine. It lowered me down to where I want to be.

    BTW- The Jury is still out on the 6 speed. The 5 speed is 80-100 pounds lighter and probably can handle the lightness of the 818R in 2 wheel drive. Not to mention 6th gear is useless in stock form, the 5th gear is basically the same. I have two Legacy GT 5speeds 4.11FD (beefier gears over stock WRX trans)

    Now I feel fat.... But no, I have about a 32 inch waist and there is a bit of extra room at the hips, but the seat was just so much more comfortable around the thighs. I'm tentatively planning on adding a passenger seat down the road, which will obviously be the same model, but maybe I'll get a chance to test the narrow version then. I have a feeling I will prefer the wide version, though.

    Thanks for the link to that cushion! The site doesn't list the RT4009HR as one of the seats that it fits, but if you say it fits I'll definitely get one of those. That will make things a lot easier. I was planning on trimming down the stock cushion, as I did notice it was plenty thick, but no need now.

    I'm pretty much resigned to doing major surgery to the floor for two reasons: 1) get the seat another inch lower, and 2) make it easy to fit the Racetech seat brackets for easier mounting. It really won't be difficult with the bare frame. I managed to wedge the seat in with about a 15-20 degree recline, and it feels great and improved the way I fit in the car. I basically matched the seat-back angle to the angle of the firewall, and at this angle the headrest just touches the frame below the rollbar, so I think I can leave the firewall intact. Also, with the seat reclined like this, there will be room under the middle of it to fabricate a sub belt mount.

    I'm waiting on the Wilwood pedal box. If I can push it forward and up just a few inches, I'll be pretty happy.

    Chad, full disclosure. I'm going to imitate a lot of what you've done. Thanks for all your contributions to the forum!

    That gear ratio graphic is handy. It looks like the 6-speed gives you a very high first gear at the expense of about 70 pounds (found a thread on NASIOC, 6-speed = 192 dry and 5-speed = about 122) http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...59&postcount=5

    Maybe it's time to see if I can find a Legacy 5-speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STiPWRD View Post
    Have you considered raising the top roll bar?
    For about 10 seconds. It's tied into too many other bars. I'm fully confident in my welding ability, but I would rather get the seat reclined and lowered for ergonomic reasons.

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    I'm sticking with the 6-speed. In case anyone else is struggling with their donor decision or which transmission to use, here is my reasoning:

    6-speed pros / 5-speed cons:
    1. I already have the 6MT
    2. The 6MT is regarded as stronger than the 5MT
    3. My 6MT (from 2005 STi) already has a torsen LSD. I verified this through the trans serial #.


    5-speed pros / 6-speed cons:
    1. The 5MT is 70 lbs lighter than the 6MT
    2. The 5MT may have better gear ratios for racing over the 6MT

    Bottom line, the benefit of saving 70 lbs and some gear ratios that MIGHT be better than the 6MT doesn't outweigh the cost and hassle of finding a 5MT, adding an expensive LSD to it, and then having to worry about the strength of it behind the STi engine. I'm quite a ways away from competitive racing and I have a lot more expensive stuff to buy for the build. It just doesn't make sense to pursue a 5MT.

    With the major advantage of this car being lightness, I think the tendency is to overreact at the 70 lbs. I'll gladly add 70 lbs to gain more reliability.

    The tipping point is the LSD. That almost makes it a no-brainer in terms of cost.

    I do want to get the 6-speed rebuilt - likely calling Andrewtech for that. Hopefully most/all of the gears in my trans are in good shape.

    I broke out the 6-speed conversion kit yesterday. It's pretty simple, basically very similar to the 5-speed process. The instructions were not included with the kit, but a quick call to FFR and they sent me the pdf. The instructions are very good. Only question is whether I do the conversion before or after the trans rebuild?

    In other news, I got the Wilwood pedal kit yesterday. No instructions included (pretty sure a quick call will fix this, too), but the kit is very straight-forward. My only problem with the Wilwood box is that it lacks a positive back-stop for the pedals. There is a point where the linkage binds that kind of acts like a stop, but I don't want to rely on that. There is a lot of adjustment, too, and it's difficult to tell exactly how much clutch pedal travel will exist without hooking it up to the slave and testing. The good news is there appears to be enough room to move the pedal box forward 3-4 inches and up about 2 inches, which should put them in a good spot for me. Clearance between the brake pedal and OEM steering column is very tight - considering stripping the column down and removing the collapsible tube portions to ensure I can make the column dead-straight. This would mean positively securing both ends of the steering column somehow.

    Anybody know if the master cylinders included with the Wilwood pedal box can be mounted upside-down? I don't see why it wouldn't work as long as it was bench-bled first.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Silvertop's Avatar
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    You have lots of good reasons to stay with your 6MT. But the LSD isn't really the tipping point. It has been determined that the Quaife QDH3Y, which is identified for use in 6 Speed transmissions, and which is much cheaper (about $400) than the QDH1Y meant for the 5 Speeds, can also be used in the 5 Speeds. It will require going to male inner axle shafts. These are inexpensive, apparently only about $60. Just bought a QDH3Y for my 5 Speed. Not only are they cheaper, but they are a lot easier to find........

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    Senior Member STiPWRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    Only question is whether I do the conversion before or after the trans rebuild?
    If you bring Andrewtech the conversion parts with the trans I'm sure they can put them in no problem. I also considered the Quaife but decided against a torque biasing LSD in favor of a metal-on-metal plate style, so I'm planning on going with the Cusco LSD.

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    So an update is long overdue.

    I'm done with my frame modifications, and should have it out to powdercoat next week.

    Here's a shot with everything cut out and nearly ready for new tube work. Notice the cut-out in the 1.5" tube in the dash area.

    20150202-March818progress-9050.jpg

    New floor tubing in place. You'll have to stare at it a bit to see all the things I added - it's quite a bit. It was difficult to figure out some vertical support for the floor, since I had to remove the 3/4" tubes in front of the seats to get the lean-back I wanted. I feel extremely good with what I ended up with, though - two supports behind the seat and one that lies within the center console. No modifications at all to the firewall aluminum behind the seat. There will be considerable modification to the pedal-box aluminum.

    20150307-March818progress-9062.jpg

    Again, notice the craziness behind the dash.

    20150307-March818progress-9061.jpg

    And then there's this...

    20150307-March818progress-9075.jpg

    The end result of all that behind-the-dash work is this:

    20150307-March818progress-9074.jpg

    I moved the pedals about 4 3/4" forward, and 2 inches up. When the clutch pedal is fully depressed, the pedal pad is right above the rear LCA bushing. I also moved the pedals about 1.5-2 inches to the right, so that the steering column will now pass between the brake and clutch pedals. I moved the steering column bracket left about an inch to center it in relation to the seat. That bracket with the vertical oval cut in it is for the throttle pedal, which I positioned for the best heel/toe action I could manage.

    The end result is the seat, steering wheel, and pedals are all now perfectly centered in relation to each other. I have about a 15-20 degree lean-back on the seat, and the bottom of the seat is flush with the underside of the car. I easily pass the broomstick test.

    20150313-March818progress-9096.jpg
    20150313-March818progress-9097.jpg

    It feels awesome.

    The floor in the footbox area will be raised up a bit to complement the raised pedal height - probably about 1.5 inches.
    Last edited by Zach34; 03-13-2015 at 11:16 PM.

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    I'm glad I test-fit the engine a couple times because it revealed what a huge pain it is to shoe-horn that thing in under the angled tubes above the engine compartment. I cut them out, welded in some tabs, and they now bolt in. I HIGHLY recommend this modification. It took me an afternoon and it is so much easier to install the engine/trans now.

    20150307-March818progress-9064.jpg
    20150307-March818progress-9068.jpg
    20150307-March818progress-9069.jpg

    I also made the necessary modifications to clear the 6MT's oil pan:

    20150218-March818progress-9060.jpg

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    I was thinking that I would go ahead and fabricate the support structure for the wing, but in the interest of not putting the cart too far in front of the horse, I scaled those plans back to just adding some tabs to the frame since I know I want the wing support structure to be bolt-in anyway. I'm planning on attachment points at the crossbrace that runs above the turbo, and here:

    20150307-March818progress-9066.jpg

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    In other news, the long block (STI EJ257) is now in the custody of Element Tuning. Here's the rundown:

    -Manley Pistons
    -Element's forged rods
    -Element's "big-valve" heads (+1mm on the intake), SS intake valves, Iconel exhaust valves, and mild porting
    -Brian Crower 272 cams
    -Element's proprietary block reinforcement. Phil is keeping the details a secret, but he claims dramatically reduced ring wear, and since this is a race motor I figured what the hell...
    -Older Subaru water pump with cast impeller that Phil recommended, and upgraded oil pump

    Fingers are crossed that the block and crank are in good condition, as the above is stretching the budget thin. During the engine tear-down, I noticed the oil is pretty dark. The spark plugs looked very good with the only exception being some blow-by evidence on one cylinder. The clutch had been recently changed, and the timing belt looked reasonably new.

    Phil at Element says 8-10 weeks on the motor build which puts me well into summer for having the car finished. There's a good bit to do while waiting on the engine, though...

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    Very nice. Keep on the good work and innovations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    I was thinking that I would go ahead and fabricate the support structure for the wing, but in the interest of not putting the cart too far in front of the horse, I scaled those plans back to just adding some tabs to the frame since I know I want the wing support structure to be bolt-in anyway. I'm planning on attachment points at the crossbrace that runs above the turbo, and here:

    20150307-March818progress-9066.jpg
    These are some nice looking tabs. How are you making those?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fryguy View Post
    These are some nice looking tabs. How are you making those?
    Thanks! Just careful measurements and a good belt sander. I used a bandsaw to rough-cut them, but an angle grinder would work just as well.

  20. #20
    Senior Member C.Plavan's Avatar
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    Just an FYI- Save yourself a bunch of time.

    http://www.tabzone.com/STORE-HOME-PAGE_c_74.html
    Thanks- Chad
    818R-SOLD!!!- Go Karted 7/20/14/ Officially raced NASA ST2- 2/28/15
    2016 Elan NP01 Prototype Racecar Chassis #20
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  21. #21
    Senior Member C.Plavan's Avatar
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    What race group/class are you going to run with?
    Thanks- Chad
    818R-SOLD!!!- Go Karted 7/20/14/ Officially raced NASA ST2- 2/28/15
    2016 Elan NP01 Prototype Racecar Chassis #20
    1969 Porsche 911ST Vintage Race Car
    1972 Porsche 911T (#'s matching undergoing nut & bolt resto in my garage)

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    Thanks for the link! I thought about ordering from somewhere, but then I wanted wrap a couple of those tabs around two connected tubes, and, well... I get particular about small stuff...

    I'm targeting ST2, since that seems to be the most logical place for us for now, but there's going to be some autocross and some track days before I get to the wheel-to-wheel stuff.

    Frame, spindles, and all the brackets I could round up go to powder-coat tomorrow.

  23. #23
    Senior Member C.Plavan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    Thanks for the link! I thought about ordering from somewhere, but then I wanted wrap a couple of those tabs around two connected tubes, and, well... I get particular about small stuff...

    I'm targeting ST2, since that seems to be the most logical place for us for now, but there's going to be some autocross and some track days before I get to the wheel-to-wheel stuff.

    Frame, spindles, and all the brackets I could round up go to powder-coat tomorrow.
    Keep in mind the HP/Weight. Its hard to detune instead of adding HP. Frustrating also.
    Thanks- Chad
    818R-SOLD!!!- Go Karted 7/20/14/ Officially raced NASA ST2- 2/28/15
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  24. #24
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    Yeah, I talked to Phil at Element about the possible necessity of detuning eventually. I hope I'm right in assuming that that can mostly be handled with the turbo/tune, all stuff that I have yet to spend any money on.

  25. #25
    Sgt.Gator's Avatar
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    Any updates Zach?
    "Good Judgement comes from Experience. Experience comes from Bad Judgement"
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  26. #26
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    Kind of. The project is sort of on hold. I got the engine back from Element in November, but then it was all about getting the car to a condition where it could be moved to San Diego. The powdercoating turned out great. I have the radiator from Griffin (looks superb, but I have to re-locate the bottom hose connection). Steering is in. I gutted and welded the OEM rack. I made all the custom aluminum panels to enclose the extended pedal box - came out well. I also made 7075 1/8" thick aluminum side intrusion plates very similar to Chad's (totally ripped his idea off). Suspension is on with Cusco rear trailing arms. I picked up the redesigned front end when I got my trailer at FFR - totally unnecessary for an R, but I couldn't resist.

    I literally just got in to San Diego a few days ago. I'm looking for a house/workshop. To say it's been frustrating is a huge understatement. San Diego housing is expensive to begin with, but the market has pretty much exploded over the last 6 months. There is almost nothing I can afford that has a garage big enough to accommodate my little operation. House flippers have taken over and everybody seems to be buying. The banks are fat and I think credit is almost as easy as it's ever been. I may have found a place today, but it's going to be a financial stretch, which will impact how much I can put into the car. The thought has crossed my mind of just shelving the project for a year or two, renting a small place, and falling back to my sport bike, but that would be demoralizing and still expensive since I would have to pay for storage of the car, tools, and my trailer. I'm determined to keep going. No way I'm giving up on the R, I think it's going to be great. I'll eventually post details once things settle down a bit, but that might not be for a couple months.

  27. #27
    Senior Member wleehendrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    I literally just got in to San Diego a few days ago. I'm looking for a house/workshop. To say it's been frustrating is a huge understatement. San Diego housing is expensive to begin with, but the market has pretty much exploded over the last 6 months. There is almost nothing I can afford that has a garage big enough to accommodate my little operation. House flippers have taken over and everybody seems to be buying. The banks are fat and I think credit is almost as easy as it's ever been. I may have found a place today, but it's going to be a financial stretch, which will impact how much I can put into the car.
    Hi Zach,

    Welcome to SoCal! I sympathize with you on the real estate market here. When I started my build I was in condo in Carmel Valley with no work-space; luckily a friend of mine offered garage space where I did my donor tear-down and started my build. Last year my wife and I bought a houseand when I got the 818 to a roller, I trailered her home (my body panels are still in a storage space). It's tight, working in half of a small 2-car garage, but manageable. You do what you have to!

    I don't think easy credit is as big a factor like before the mortgage melt-down. We had a ream of paperwork and pretty stiff requirements to finance our home (below median, in pricey Encinitas). Investors with full cash offers are driving things up. I had a flier left on our doorstep from a real-estate agent describing how they have servers which give them access to buyers "behind the red firewall". Don't know how much is marketing BS, but they are explicitly catering to cash loaded Chinese. I do believe in a free-market, but that really bothers me.

    You've probably found than looking south or east gets you more for your money, and that anything not considered a 'luxury' home built in the last several decades probably does not have generous work space. So, I think your best bet would be to look for older construction in the south or east county. Hope you find a place suitable with a reasonable commute!

    Lee

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by wleehendrick View Post
    Hi Zach,

    Welcome to SoCal! I sympathize with you on the real estate market here. When I started my build I was in condo in Carmel Valley with no work-space; luckily a friend of mine offered garage space where I did my donor tear-down and started my build. Last year my wife and I bought a houseand when I got the 818 to a roller, I trailered her home (my body panels are still in a storage space). It's tight, working in half of a small 2-car garage, but manageable. You do what you have to!

    I don't think easy credit is as big a factor like before the mortgage melt-down. We had a ream of paperwork and pretty stiff requirements to finance our home (below median, in pricey Encinitas). Investors with full cash offers are driving things up. I had a flier left on our doorstep from a real-estate agent describing how they have servers which give them access to buyers "behind the red firewall". Don't know how much is marketing BS, but they are explicitly catering to cash loaded Chinese. I do believe in a free-market, but that really bothers me.

    You've probably found than looking south or east gets you more for your money, and that anything not considered a 'luxury' home built in the last several decades probably does not have generous work space. So, I think your best bet would be to look for older construction in the south or east county. Hope you find a place suitable with a reasonable commute!

    Lee
    Thanks Lee. I think you're exactly right about the cash investors. I've toured a few properties that would have been a pretty big financial stretch for me to buy. Even so, I considered offering on a couple, only to find out some cash investor had come in with an offer at or above list. I feel pretty much helpless. I have the means to build this car, but apparently I don't have the means to put a roof over it? Absurd.

  29. #29
    Senior Member flynntuna's Avatar
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    Welcome Zach, hang in there the market in San Diego is really tough now, lots of competition in a low inventory market. Lee gave some good advice, you need to have your loan money pre approved so you can have a chance against the cash buyers. You need to focus on how far your willing to drive to work, what area of the county you're interested in, and I'd suggest you find a good realtor. Someone who closes a min of 30 houses a year. They should have access to the homes that become available before they go on the MLS.

    Good luck and happy hunting
    George

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach34 View Post
    I've toured a few properties that would have been a pretty big financial stretch for me to buy. Even so, I considered offering on a couple, only to find out some cash investor had come in with an offer at or above list. I feel pretty much helpless. I have the means to build this car, but apparently I don't have the means to put a roof over it? Absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by flynntuna View Post
    You need to focus on how far your willing to drive to work, what area of the county you're interested in, and I'd suggest you find a good realtor. Someone who closes a min of 30 houses a year. They should have access to the homes that become available before they go on the MLS.
    Zach, another approach to try is to look into FSBO properties; although a minority, more sellers are going that route, and that can get you a good deal, if you can find one yourself, are prepared to jump on it, and the seller doesn't have an unrealistically high expectation of what their property is worth.

    We had the inside track on the home we purchased and negotiated directly with the seller, so the property was never listed or shown. The seller paid a nominal fee to a REA to represent both of us in the transaction, after we had already agreed on a price and basic terms. So there was no conflict of interest, but we had the benefit of making sure the paperwork was in order. The seller avoided paying a large commission and the effort of prepping and showing the property, and we got some price relief and had no competition to worry about. It ended up being a win/win situation, but we got lucky; we had been looking for a long time, knew the area and had a good idea on fair market value, and were able to come to an agreement.

    It's hard to find those opportunities, though, especially being new to the area. If you need advice on local areas, traffic patterns, etc... just ask!

  31. #31
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    Long past due for an update. Progress is still very slow, but I've chipped away at a couple things. Some pictures:

    20161121-818R progress-9371.jpg

    The floor is nearly complete. When I re-structured the floor and extended the pedals forward, I positioned them a little higher to help with the angle of incline I wanted in the seat. The aluminum subfloor is raised to sit on top of the 1.5" square tubes that form the perimeter of the cockpit, effectively raising the floor just over 1.5". I added some aluminum channel bracing to give more support to the .090" aluminum top plate. Very sturdy, no oil-canning like the factory floor. Very happy with how it turned out.

    20160704-818R floor fabrication-9355.jpg20161121-818R progress-9372.jpg20161121-818R progress-9373.jpg

    I'm getting close to being finished with the radiator plumbing. I went sort of bonkers with it. I wanted -20 AN everywhere (built my roadster with -16 and loved it), including the connections to the engine. The stock coolant crossover was pretty badly corroded and pitted on the o-ring surfaces, and I was leery of welding a -20 bung to the cast aluminum..... so I made one from scratch! Fun project. All made out of .060 aluminum sheet and 1.5" round tube, with some 1/2" plate for the o-ring surfaces. I made my own tubes to replace the factory supplied ones (used the supplied tubes as raw material). I'm almost finished machining my own -20 thermostat housing. Then it's just a matter of assembling a few hoses, which is fun but the fittings are crushingly expensive.

    20161023-818R coolant pipes-9359.jpg20161023-818R coolant pipes-9360.jpg20161023-818R coolant pipes-9364.jpg20161023-818R coolant pipes-9365.jpg20161119-818R coolant pipes-9368.jpg20161119-818R coolant pipes-9370.jpg

  32. #32
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    Custom coolant crossover:

    20161121-818R progress-9376.jpg20161121-818R progress-9377.jpg

    I also made my own crankcase vent crossover tube since the stock one was significantly rusty and integrated with some stuff I won't need. I'll be running a dry-sump oil system, no PCV valve, and I've already capped off the un-needed nipples on top of the block. I still have a coolant line to run to the purge tank, fuel lines, and all the plumbing for the turbo, but it should turn out much cleaner than the stock engine.

    20161121-818R progress-9375.jpg

  33. #33
    fasterer and furiouser longislandwrx's Avatar
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    that looks fresh. much better than miles of black rubber.
    Last edited by longislandwrx; 11-22-2016 at 08:12 AM.
    A well stocked beverage fridge is the key to any successful project.

  34. #34

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    Nice work. No, amazing work!
    818S/C : Chassis #25 with 06 WRX 2.5 turbo, ABS, cruise, PS, A/C, Apple CarPlay, rear camera, power windows & locks, leather & other complexities.
    Mk3 Roadster #6228 4.6L, T45, IRS, PS, PB, ABS, Cruise, Koni's, 17" Halibrands, red w/ silver - 9K miles then sold @ Barrett-Jackson Jan 2011 (got back cash spent).

  35. #35
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    Thanks! Had some free time today to knock a couple other things out.

    I finished machining my own -20 thermostat housing today. I haven't test-fit it yet, but it turned out great. Anybody know of a good place in San Diego to have small stuff anodized?

    20161122-818R coolant system-9378.jpg20161122-818R coolant system-9379.jpg20161122-818R coolant system-9380.jpg

    I also re-located the outlet on the bottom of the radiator. With my steering rack slightly raised, there was just no way to make the existing outlet work. I'm pretty sure there's not enough room to raise the radiator high enough so that it would clear. The new outlet sticks straight down. A 90-degree -20 fitting will leave about 1/4 - 1/2 inch clearance above the underbody aluminum. This was a tough welding job, and stressful considering what the radiator cost.

    20161123-818R coolant system-9383.jpg20161123-818R coolant system-9385.jpg

  36. #36
    fasterer and furiouser longislandwrx's Avatar
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    http://symcoat.net/wp/ if you are not picky about the color, they can throw it in with another batch and get you a deal.

    talk to Joe Kilduff. [email protected]
    A well stocked beverage fridge is the key to any successful project.

  37. #37
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    Perfect! Thanks!

  38. #38
    Moonlight Performance
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    Looking very nice!

  39. #39
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    Still here! Unfortunately not much of any progress. Life is getting in the way, but hoping to resume investment in the car within the next few months.

    I haven't been completely dormant, though, and I've had a chance to dabble in some CNC work:

    20170814-radiator brackets-9561.jpg

    20170814-radiator brackets-9565.jpg

    20170814-radiator brackets-9568.jpg

    I've also decided to heavily modify the driver's side of the frame for more elbow room, looking to start cutting out the existing tubes next weekend.

    driver side roll cage modification v4-2.png

    driver_side_roll_cage_modification_try2_2017-Aug-14_07-08-47AM-000_CustomizedView9975027656.png

    driver side roll cage modification v4.png

  40. #40
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    Nice work on the radiator mounts. Good to see another west coast R being built. Are you planning on wheel to wheel racing, time trials, etc...? What class?
    818R Build date 10/31/15

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