After Round #1 I put the car in storage and didn't touch it again until the weekend of round #2. During this time I did a LOT of research on various Limited Slip Differentials for the C60. My original plan was to purchase a "used" TRD helical differential from a UK-spec MR2, since they are so affordable and maintenance free. But that plan soon fell through when the supplier I had bookmarked sold out, then the only differentials in that price range were on Ebay...so no thanks. At this point I started looking at NEW torsion and helical differentials but that turned out to be a mistake as well since they were close to the price of a new clutch-type LSD. To top off this nonsense, all of my fellow racers that have experience with a torsion or helical differential told me the grip is nothing like that of my previous Cusco clutch-type unit. So now I've contacted Cusco again and learned that the C60 Type-RS LSD is a special order item from Japan. Of course it is. Time to save up some money....
February 18th 2018 | SCCA SDR #2
This was our second event with the C60, and like last time you will see a ton of wheel-spin. At round 2 I was a bit less anxious about the gearbox and axle combo holding up, so we focussed more on dampers and driving styles. We added another 2 clicks to the rear dampers and the lift oversteer was awesome! There was a ton of long slides and epic saves from both of us, but again Patrick bested my time by a second.
I did 3 fun-runs after the main event and committed to a "up to 3rd and drift" plan. My first 2 runs I hit cones but on my 3rd it all came together and I put down a 56.0!! That really helped my confidence since I have now been beaten twice in a row, hopefully I can remember what was learned today. Now lets see if I can keep my courage and shred tires for Round #3 on March 18th! Check out the video of round #2 below.
First, If you haven't seen our C60 6-speed swap FIRST DRIVE video go take a look real quick. The close ratios make for a very quick acceleration and shifting experience and I knew for sure we were gonna be fast at our first autocross. I had studied the gear ratio spits and made a plan to get into 3rd and stay there, keeping my speed up. That did not happen at all though.
January 28th 2018 | SCCA SDR #1
Prepared class ran very last this time, so after being on-site for 3 hours we finally got our turn to drive. It was a surprisingly hot day for January, 80's and clear was nice even for us spoiled San Diegans. I drove first to be sure the dampers were set properly and that no new issues surfaced after removing another 68 pounds from the car. On my first run I nearly spun out the car in the first high speed turn, then I struggled the rest of my runs to adapt to the car having no LSD. I was sloppy and timid, none of my plans had worked out and I felt confused. I handed the car over to Patrick and he showed progress on each run, his final run besting my time by nearly a second!
I'm fully aware that the car is slower than it was last year, and I attribute that to the lack of an LSD. In the video you will see us spinning one tire at the start and in every transition. I hesitated on installing an LSD into this C60 because I wanted to be sure the bell housing and center case swap were not going to result in any strange issues. Also, I had to be sure the Scion xD axles are going to handle the duties of racing in a chassis they're not designed for. One step at a time right, maybe after half a season with no issues I'll go ahead and buy another Cusco Type-RS LSD. In the meantime we will work on our driving and learn the tricks to being fast with the open differential. Even though we are off pace for Prepared class, the car is still a ton of fun and only requires $10 in fuel to run every event. Stay tuned for the following events and check out the video below...
We've all heard it from somewhere by now; "The new Subaru engines are no good, they consume oil" or "why are they using a 6000 mile interval on a 0W20 oil ?". Well friends I'm afraid I thought these things as well in the beginning, until I owned 2 of these vehicles and never saw a single issue...
So what gives? Why are thousands and thousands of these engines in service right now, still performing respectably well past the 100,000 mile marker....yet the small percentage that do have issues are cried about in dealership service departments or on forums leading to this stigma Subaru carries today? Seems unfair doesn't it? This is exactly why I'm writing this, so that through my education and experience in the automotive industry we all can adopt better engine care practices that I use myself with excellent results. Lets start with the engine break in:
Engine Break-in Procedure
If you are the first owner of a new car or are having the engine replaced, you should do a break-in procedure. A new engine block has a fresh crosshatch pattern cut into the cylinders, this is where a new piston ring will slightly grind against the pattern to create a matching surface for the two metals to make a seal. Two sealing rings and two oil rings per piston, times four cylinders. Then there are all of the Main and Rod bearings, bushings, and every other metal part that will wear off it's superficial surface. See how that adds up to a lot of wear metal in the first batch of oil? Good.
Now I know some are thinking; "don't they do a break-in on the engines at the factory?". I don't know exactly what they do since I've never been there, but I have watched many assembly line videos on the internet from various manufacturers. In all of these videos they start the engine and run diagnostic tests and maybe run the vehicle on a dyno to test the transmission, but thats all. The rest is on us, the end consumer. I've included a link to my favorite "Engine Break-in Procedure" Website HERE but I don't follow the whole thing. Heres my personal break-in process:
1-Change oil to conventional or a high Zinc formula right away, and drive using about 3/4 throttle and some deceleration in gear(or in "L") for 500 miles.
2-Change the oil again at 1000 miles (conventional oil is cheap), and reset the fuel trims.
3-Change to the recommended oil at 2000 miles, then resume recommended 6000 mile interval.
At this point some would say that break-in is complete, but thats simply not true. I've attached my latest oil sample from my 2018 forester below and even at 8000 miles you can still see small traces of bearing(copper) and piston ring/cylinder(iron and molybdenum) material lingering. So keep that in mind when you're thinking about hitting a track-day in your new car. That leads us to the next part, oil and the interval.
Engine oil and the Interval
Please believe me when I tell you I've seen a LOT of oil analysis reports on various makes and models, and using a variety of oil brands and viscosities. I frequent the Bobistheoilguy forum to learn how other manufacturers equipment is holding up and what oil they use, and I'm going to summarize everything I've learned in three steps.
1-Choose a synthetic oil you want to use, theses days they are all performing very well so it doesn't matter.
2-Send in at least one sample of a regular interval, and see what Blackstone reports and recommends.
3-Don't listen to anyone else.
You can see from my report that the factory-fill 0W20 withstood a full 5000 mile interval, in San Diego traffic, idling for long periods as my kids sleep, and daily full-throttle pulls to get onto the freeways. So this time we are going 7500 miles based on their recommendations, and I'm sure that will be fine as well. I've already seen many FB25 oil analysis reports pass 7500 and go on to 10,000, but I'm not going to exceed the factory recommendations that far.
In addition to using top-teir fuel and the CORRECT OCTANE, some other maintenance items to consider on the FB25 are:
1-Engine air filter every 12K miles
2-Throttle plate cleaning at 30K miles
3-Spark plugs at 60K
4-Coolant at 120K
Items to inspect regularly:
1- Inspect for oil leaks- If the FB/FA engines develop an oil leak it can foul the Bank1 and Bank 2 Oxygen sensors, and they are not cheap.
2- Water pump weep holes- I've seen some leak at 60K, and some last to 200k.
3- Drive Belt- They seem to last between 60-80K before they start to dry out and crack.
4-Intake tube and PCV system- I've seen the intake tubes start to slide off of the air-box, and the PCV hose cracks/splits and develops an air leak.
5-Listen for noises- I'v had engines with a noise complaint at 40K, and the cam/valve clearance was out of specification. That was rare, most of the FB/FA engines I work on don't need an adjustment until the 100k mark.
Every so often the manufacturer will develop Engine Control Module software updates to improve drivability, charging, oil level detection, extended cranking, or improved idle. The only way you will get these updates is if you go to the dealership and request them. If your vehicle is still under warranty then you will not have to pay for these updates, but if you're not covered any longer be prepared to pay the standard diagnostic fee.
I believe that covers it for the FB25 engine, but of course the rest of your vehicle will need regular service and inspection as well. For those items just refer to your owners manual, but I may do a write-up on the Subaru CVT's as well later on to clear up any misconceptions. See you guys next week!
You guys may remember last January when Konig worked with us to secure a set of the new Dial-In wheels. We received boxes of beautiful, gold 15x8 wheel goodness and we filmed the UNBOXING. We never did another feature on these wheels because, well what is there to say until you beat them up over a period of time. So here it is, the 1 year evaluation of the Dial-In after a full racing season. Having run through 3 sets of tires , 2 sets of these tires were dismounted and flipped mid-lifespan so we have some thorough tire machine use as well. I will split this review into 3 sections; Strength, Finish, and Appearance to try to cover all the bases.
I mentioned in my unboxing video that these wheels are flow-formed like BBS and 949 Racing wheels, so there is no doubting their integrity. I ran the BFGoodrich g-Force R1, the Hankook Z214 C7, and the Achilles ATR K Sport tires in 2017. The race tires were rated under 100TW and the Achillies are a 140TW, each set of these tires saw plenty of heat cycles and laps as well. So before we started the 2018 season I dismounted the tires and inspected the wheels thoroughly. In the above picture you can see there is some melted rubber or tire lube around the bead, whatever it is I had no issues cleaning it. There are also some scuffs on the drum from tire R&R, but aside from these superficial markings the surface was still good as new. I also inspected all of the spokes and hub for cracks and discoloration, finding nothing at all to report. During wheel balancing the machine passed all of the wheels for run-out, and they still look perfectly straight while spinning.
Take a look at this picture. That my friend is a whole year of undisturbed brake dust from my Winmax W4 track-pads. You can also see all of the clamping marks around the edge of the drum from the tire machine. In addition I also use a sharpie to log all of my sessions on the wheel face, and when I mount a new set of tires these marks get cleaned off with a rag and brake-clean. And anytime I hit a cone with the wheel, it leaves a large black streak on the spokes. My buddy John is always telling me to clean my wheels, but honestly I like the patina. Every once in a while he will clean them when we do an event together, and believe it or not most of the marks and brake dust come right off with soap and water. Easy.
I felt it necessary to add this part of the review because we all know that feeling of "its time for change" when it comes to wheels. I never got tired of my Enkei RPF1's, but the Rotas bored me. I had a set of Drag and Jongbloed wheels as well, and I grew tired of both. The Konig Dial-In is one of those wheels that looks great, and will hold up to almost anything you throw at them. While these wheels have an aggressive look, they also kept the design simple so you end up with something that looks great on a wide variety of cars. Konig has not asked me to write any of this nor am I on their payroll, I just REALLY like these wheels. I also like to provide completely transparent parts reviews, so we can all make better decisions with purchasing parts. Support the companies that support the racers right? Thats what its all about anyway, community. Feel free to watch our most recent race with the TRD Cup below.
After removing 70lbs from the car last year we attended SCCA SDR round #5 to see if we could feel the difference. The car was noticeably faster right away and caught me off guard as I entered the first elements. I struggled all day to get accustomed to the car again, clocking a 46.9 in fun runs while Adam had set a fast lap of 45.7 early on his 3rd run. Now we have proved the car improved via a PAX result of #71 by Adam, where my result at the previous event was #93. So lets continue with the cutting.
A week after racing I return to the shop to remove the rear door skins and bumper beams, threw all of that in the box and...
WOW. Now I have to trim the hood and remove all of the small brackets inside the cabin, and there is still the rear glass to change to lexan....
The hood was an interesting project because after trimming it was to flimsy to latch. So now I had to install hood pins and toss the hood release parts. Next I removed the trunk springs, and all of the door wiring harnesses. I cut a few brackets away from the inside of the cabin for the map light and roof handles and also cut away a bit of wiring for the trunk lighting and rear window defroster. We ran the car like this for the remainder of 2017 and focused on tuning the suspension instead.
On October 2017 we ran with the TRD Cup and placed 2nd at "Big Willow", the car was great but there was a considerable margin up to 1st place. We did a C60 close ratio transmission swap during the Nov-Dec months (to improve acceleration AND top speed) and missed the last 2 autocross events of the year, but still won the points championship in "Prepared Class". WooHoo!
Fast foward to January 2018, where we were brainstorming more ideas on how to be faster on the "big" race tracks. I looked over the car again and noticed there was still a lot of unnecessary weight in the car, so we started pulling the inside of the car apart again. I pulled the dash out and noticed all of the original wiring for the windows, audio, mirrors, airbags, defrosters, HVAC, etc were sill just hanging there. These bundles of unused wires not only looked messy but served no purpose, so with the help of the 2ZR crew I got some EWD's and started cutting everything away. I started with the dash harness, and once finished I wrapped it in blue tape to signify it's contents.
Next it was time to do the same to the chassis harness. So I separated it into necessary parts: Fuel pump, EVAP, lights, and ABS. Each set of wires got a specific color coded wrapping, then put back in the car and tied down neatly. Here is a photo of all the things removed from the car, and it all added up to 68 pounds!
Next, since I decided I wasn't going to put the lower dash back in, I cut off all of its mounting brackets. I removed every piece of metal I could find still being unused, and even left the passenger seat out as well. Now I had to go through and remove all the extra screws and debris left in the floors, give it a good vacuum, and wipe it clean. Now we are ready for the 2018 season!
Now if we do the math, last year at the match tour we were 2153lbs. Most of the cutting we did yielded 118lbs and then there was this latest effort adding up to 68lbs. 2153 - 118 - 68 = 1967! Awesome! We reached our goal of 1999lbs and even a bit more! Lets see what the car actually weighs at the ProSolo in March. This is going to be fun!
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