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How to make a rally cross car?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 wrxsubaru

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 07:07 PM

My dad just bought a newer legacy 92 AWD 5spd to replace his older 90 legacy 5spd AWD sedan. Sence he dident need it any more I asked if i could have it, and he said yes, so now i can have accses to a 90 legacy AWD 5spd sedan, that needs a new engine, and trannie, ( thats why he gought his new one), and was wondering if you think it would be worth swaping a newer engine, and trannie in, and making it into a rally cross car. The car has some KYB GR2s on it in OK condition, and it has good brakes, and a decent body. What do you think i should do to it, I think i would start by completly striping the interior and tring to get it lose some pounds. The car doesent have a sun roof or ABS which seems would make it a decent canidate for the job. I always wnated to participate in some sort of rally, or rally cros, which i couldent really do with my SVX.

#2 DerFahrer

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 11:00 PM

When I read your title, I had a simple response already summed up: Put a good driver in it :lol:

I had an experienced SCCA licensed-autoX'er run my 91 Legacy 5spd AWD in a rallyX last month. He came in 2nd overall! He beat every WRX, STi, RS and everything else except his brother, another SCCA driver with a GSX with 20lbs boost In fact, the pic in my sig is him driving it...:cool:

My car has completely stock suspension, no intake, no exhaust, no mods whatsoever. Just very good Michelin tires and a very picky owner who fixes everything possible.

That said, if you fixed up your Legacy, and by that I mean get the drivetrain running correctly, got good suspension (which you already have) and put some good all-season tires on it, you could be VERY competitive in a rally. BUT you need to be able to drive. AutoX'ing and rallyX'ing are about the driver, not the car!

#3 JonOfScio

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Posted 25 April 2004 - 11:31 PM

you could put whatever EJ series engine (except the 1.3L justy engine) in there but you would need to do an ECU swap as well. I say, go for an EJ22T or the JDM EJ20TT they sell. You could get one off ebay (front cut) for under a couple grand, and you'd have the transmission to go with the engine and wiring harness and ecu.

but yeah, you could make it into a great rally car as far as the mechanical abilities are concerened. A good driver makes a bad car look better than a bad driver driving a good car. Not saying a gen one legacy is bad. I't all about skill.

#4 wrxsubaru

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 12:44 AM

I would want to put a ej22t, or ej20t into it, but iam very short on money, iam only 17 with paper rought. I would want to spend less than 1 grand in parts, so i need to find a great deal for a front clip to a sube with a ej20t, or ej22t. Also
Subeluvor2212 what tires are you running? Any particular mods that would really help besides tires, maybe a larger rear sway bar?

#5 mudrat79

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 01:12 AM

I second the Vote for returning it to stock for now....:)

I know of a Guy who took a 200.00 1982 Brat to a Rally X Here in Oregon.....He got second Place in his Class over 3 other Brat's that had driven all summer in rally X's and several other brands of Suv and Cars only ride that beat him was a Dodge Durango running a Turbo 318 V-8 with a Good driver behind its Wheel....

Learn to drive it Well in the Stock class, And then when your Able to do it right, Beef it all up the way you realy want to.....Then you will apreciate it More for what it Will be.......:)

Later, John in Oregon

#6 jamal

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:51 AM

you could put whatever EJ series engine (except the 1.3L justy engine) in there but you would need to do an ECU swap as well. I say, go for an EJ22T or the JDM EJ20TT they sell.


I heard that the twin turbo will only fit in RHD cars. Otherwise I'm buying one when I have money in a year or so.

#7 edrach

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 08:29 AM

Firstly, make it reliable and stock. And run rallycross for fun and not necessarily to win. If you run to win, you'll get discouraged and all your modifications will be wasted and you'll probably find something else to do. As you gain experience, you'll find that you are getting better and you'll also find you will have an idea what you want to do to improve the car. All the car improvements in the world won't do a thing for you if the driver isn't up to the task. My son won the truck/suv class last year with his '82 Brat and consistently beats the majority of WRXs and other "hot" cars in the field. "Seat time" means a lot in that sport.

#8 wrxsubaru

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 10:43 AM

The main reason i want to fix it is so i can learn to drive better soi willwant tokeepit in the stockclass. What can i dotothecar and stillkeep it in that class? I want to strip out the interior sence it stinks horribley of spilled tea, and trannie fluid, and the car could lose alot of weight. Any ideas? Thanks alot for all the input so far.

#9 rugbyben

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 12:39 PM

I am not a suby expert yet, but I have owned jeeps, and motorcycles. and the number one thing i can tell you about off roading and racing is, if you are racing in a cross-X type of race LEARN TO DRIVE first. no offence but as a 17 year old you cant have much driving experiance, so go ahead and play on dirt but DO NOT RACE YET, it is much harder and more dangerous then it looks. Plus veteran drivers love to knock around rookies, so they would love totake you out of the race before you even get the chance to beat them.

As far as the car goes. if you want to do dirt track stuff spend more time on suspension and tires then engine. limit your HP and torque, grip is key.
with equal drivers, the car who can keep its front wheels griping going tighter will win. because he wont need to take the outside every time and can stay faster through turns. HP normally helps you accelerate on the straights, but it slows you down if you loose traction, right?
on dirt you dont need a lot of HP to go around turns or accelerate because you will loose grip too quickly to use the extra torque anyway, it is wasted.
bottom line keep it stock, get good tires, trusty breaks, and make sure it runs nice and cool. the only perfomance part you need is a raceing seat and belts. and believe it or not, on a tight course weight can be your friend as long as its low so dont bother stripping the interior, you wont see much either way.

as far as grooming yourself. practice in a large paved parking lot first to get a feel for the car, dirt is too deceptive. learn how to use the E-break to slide.(use crappy tires) and how to accelerate smoothly, being smooth is the difference between first place and runner up. take outside inside outside lines to minimise dirrectional forces. and the number one best thing you can do is take lessons. a lot of races wont even let you enter until you have been checked out by an experienced driver anyway.
Good luck. Have fun.

#10 Hondasucks

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 12:41 PM

check www.oregonrally.com , under rallycross, for the regulations. I don't think they let you run in Production or Production GT with weight reduction but I am not sure. There is a Sprint that runs with a full roll cage, andthe back seat is cut around the roll cage, and someone told em that was because he has to keep the stock interior to run in that class..

You will most likely be running Production GT, since I think your adjusted displacement is too large for Production class.


Also, Jon, the Justy motor is a 1.2 liter, not a 1.3, and it is not an EJ series motor, but an EF series motor.

#11 DerFahrer

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 01:45 PM

Also Subeluvor2212 what tires are you running? Any particular mods that would really help besides tires, maybe a larger rear sway bar?


I have just a nice set of Michelin Symmetry all-season tires, stock size, that were pumped up to 35lbs for the race.

I heard that the twin turbo will only fit in RHD cars. Otherwise I'm buying one when I have money in a year or so.


Yes this is true. The secondary turbo on an EJ20TT would try to occupy the same space as an LHD brake MC.

Firstly, make it reliable and stock. And run rallycross for fun and not necessarily to win.


This is entirely true. I entered the rallyX just to play around and have fun, and to learn my car a bit better.

And get this: That was my first time ever playing in the dirt. I posted a 1:24 for my 3rd run in my bone-stock Legacy, a guy here in Orlando with a WRX with some engine mods ran a 1:33. He didn't even bother doing his 4th run, he was doing so bad.

#12 wrxsubaru

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 05:14 PM

I dont really see how auto crossing, or rally crosing as a amature is dangerous, i can see it on a race track, but sence you dont pass each other or get close i do not see it. I am, only 17 but grew up driving cars/4 wheeler/dune buggies/dirt bikes in dirt, I know i have a fare amount of experiance driving in dirt. LAst summer i bought 100 beater legacy 5spd AWD and spent a month beating the crap out of on my grandmas over $100 achers driving on 4 wheeler paths and so forth. Your not spose to use the ebrake on subes while driving not good at all for the center diff, ecept on the STI sence the car diables the rear wheels when you pull on the hand brake.

#13 edrach

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 08:47 PM

Hondasucks gave you the right idea; go to http://www.oregonrally.com/ and check out the regulations. If you're running stock, I don't believe you'll be allowed to remove any of the interior to lighten the car. I wouldn't be concerned about damaging your car in rallycross but it is possible. I've seen three rollovers by others in the last three years of running, two by in-experienced drivers and the last by someone who should know better who was just driving too fast for the road condition (he got it sideways in a rut, rolled a tire off the rim and went over). Also, if you're not 18 (sorry), I think you need a parent to sign off the permission waiver. Come on out; you won't be sorry.

About the smell in the car: wash out the interior thoroughly and then allow it to dry completely (I have a little portable electric heater that I use to dry the car after washing the inside). After that cut up a few apples into slices (get cheap ones that are no longer suitable to eat), and lay the pieces all over the floor in as much of the car you can get to conveniently. It'll take a few weeks but the apple slices will absorb the evil smells in your car.

#14 Bmxpunk

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 10:15 PM

Sorry WRXSUBARU, not even the STi has the handbrake that disables the center/rear diffs. It is only the WRC car. The handbrake can be used, my friends drive WRXs, STis, and i Drive an impreza it more isnt good on the car if yo udo it all of the time but some times, snow and rain, you need it to pitch the car. On gravel or even tarmac it takes a little left foot brake technique or larger inputs/lift- throttle to get the car pitched into the turn. I am only 20 but i have spent many hours in the gravel (and some in the ditch, Iam still learning) . Somebody said earlier that grip was the most important and Horsepower wasnt. I have to disagree with that slightly. There are times when more horsepower would have saved me by pulling the car straight, back into its intended line. A spinning tire has more grip than a stopped one. ight noww my car has a lot of grip, I have Kyb AGX struts turned way up ( my car drives like a go kart) with BFG traction T/A 205/50 VR15 tires. the thing sticks well, but powering out of the apex of a turn is hard.

That is another thing, learnto be smooth. A local autocrosser was telling me what a joy it was to ride with this other guy because youcould never tell if he was braking or accelerating. He said "fluid" was an understatement. Always keep both hands on the wheel, only remove one to shift and put it right back on. Its hard on subarus but try to avoid shuffling the steering wheel. you have more control if you can keep your hands on the wheel and just x-up a little. But i know sometimes it is impossible. But hey, I'm no expert, i am learning something new all the time. Just practice. SAFELY!!!

#15 myles

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 10:30 PM

Sorry WRXSUBARU, not even the STi has the handbrake that disables the center/rear diffs.


Incorrect. The US-market STI has this feature.

#16 Bmxpunk

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 10:50 PM

Are you sure, iknow i could be wrong on this but i thought i had looked my friends STi up, down and back wards. I have the brochure her at work, i' have to go see. I knewthe us STi had Driver adjustable center diff and that the JDM spec STI had a "performance" hand brake, but i didn't think it disconnected from the drive train. stranger things have happened though.

#17 kevinrogosch

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 11:51 PM

My advice would be to join a local autox club. I go to KSU (I guess you have a couple of years) and my friend is in the motor sports club. He is restoring his 77 Corvette and spends very little money on actual racing stuff. Stiffer roll bars and high dollar tires for safety, but thats about it. The point is he is working on his skills before his car. Guys online can tell you everything you need to know, but until you actualy get the seat time then it is kind of pointless to pore your money into it. I would have to agree with everyone who said keep it stock. (but then what do I know...)

#18 wrxsubaru

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 11:51 PM

I am positivethe center diff disables the rear when the hand brake is pulled, Sport Compact Car was taliking about it, when they were comparing the U.S. STI to the EVO 8. I am not really worried about damaging the legacy, it going to be my rally beater with 345,000 miles on it. I have my SVX to drive around in if i damage the legacy any ways. I would keep the car stock, but if i woudl stay in stock class, i would strip the interior just to get rid of the smell, you cant even get in the car once its been in the sun you have to let the car air out. I looked through the oregan rally page and it said (very limited mods) to describe the modification that can be done to the car and keep it in the stock class is there a list that would say if i could strip the interior out and stay in the stock class? Thanks alot for all the info.

#19 Hondasucks

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 02:24 AM

345,000 -- go post that on www.subaruhighmileageclub.com..

And where can I find a 100 dollar beater legacy.. my turbowagon needs an EJ22 :-)

#20 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 07:42 AM

I think Rally-X is totally safe for any ability level. But since no one said SKIDPLATES, may I suggest them?

I have the Primitive Racing aluminum front and the aluminum Mini-Plate in back. Where I have Rally-X'd, there are always huge rocks that somehow surface in the course (old New England farms) and if you hit one of them unprotected, bye bye oil pan!

Kevin

#21 rugbyben

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 09:47 AM

Good idea Kevin with the skid plates. you dont even need to buy them, they are pretty easy to fabricate, at least they are for jeeps. make sure you use good heavy metal. and if you can afford it use stainless, water likes to pool up on top of them and they will rot out in no time.

But definetly use good sturdy metal because if you dont the plate itself can bend in and do almost as much damage as the rock would have. I have seen some people use a tube structure for them but i think that might create a clearance problem on a car. Like i said before I am no subaru expert yet, the hand break stuff is news to me, and I do agree some horsepower is needed to get proper slides but the suby should have plenty for that stock. no need to add any boost.
Tires Tires Tires, seat and belts. HELMET!!!!

#22 wrxsubaru

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 01:12 PM

Yeah i can probley make some my self to save some money. I bought the $100 90 legacy AWD 5spd in michigan we go there every summer. My uncle goes to alot of car auctions, he buys them and resells them. I usally go with him to the auction to help persade some purchases, and one time there was that legacy, it was in horrible condtion at least the exterior. It had rust holes you could stick your head threough on the rear quarter panel and had a hitch that was half way rusted off, and it looked like it was a winter beater that was nevr washed ( michigan uses salt for the snow). It had around 230,000 miles on it and seemed to drive fine. So it went through the auction and no one bid, but my uncle went up to the auctionener and said i will give you $50 for it. It was a donated vehicle so they had to check with the donation place. They said no, but would take $100 and so i payed for it and had a complet rally beater for one month. I did every thing with that car i would go off roaden and get it stuck alot ( deep mud pits, high centered). I even drove around and made new trails by nocking down samll trees and taking out 20 ft high balck berry bushes. I was going to weld the rear diff so it was locked, but one of my cousins wanted it for winter so i sold it to him when i left backe sor seattle for $150. It still is driving today, but my cousin is tring to sell it for $450.

#23 rugbyben

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 01:27 PM

Thats great!!! and i too curse the use of salt on snow. I live in PA and have to remember to put a double layer of wax on every fall to prepare for winter. and all those people who say undercoat is a bad thing, I laugh at your rusted floor pans!

#24 kevinrogosch

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 10:23 PM

450? ouch. Im selling my 92 legacy for 500 (or less) and its got 214k. Still seems like a bargin to me. If it was all wheel drive I would make it my shagin wagon rally car. Wish I could find a 100 bargin. Heck, for that price you could drive it like you stole it for a week and sell it for 50 bucks (or parts.) Some people spend 50 easy just going around and around in those stupid little go carts at Fun World, so I would consider the loss money well spent!

#25 kevinrogosch

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 10:25 PM

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the wagon is in pretty darned good condition and no rust at all, yet alone any holes that i can stick my head through! Sounds like you got a sweet deal.




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