Friday, April 30, 2010

Winton Test & Tune

After a not so successful first outing (due to AFM failure), we decided to have another crack at Winton. This time at one of their Test & Tune track days.

Upon arrival we were surprised to find less than a dozen sport sedans and a few Formula Fords. However no complaints were heard from us especially considering we had three drivers sharing the one car and needed as much track time as we can possibly get.

The Subaru ran strongly throughout the course of the day. For a fairly standard car it drives quite well. However suspension, exhaust and ECU modifications are on the cards.

Overall it was quite an interesting day with a couple of amazing machines present including a Rally Spec Subaru Impreza STi and a Maserati GT3 coupe!

All whom had teams of mechanics with trailers of tools and spare parts...We, on the other hand had a small tool box with a ratchet, wrench and a couple of old screw drivers! But we were content with what he had and ended up having an excellent day!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Winton Track Day

Having purely wanted to test the Subaru's reliability we journeyed out to Winton Raceway for the STi's debut...

Twice a year Winton runs a 'Fun Day' in which anyone above the age of 16 with a roadworthy car can jump into the drivers seat for some adrenaline packed fun in a safe-ish environment :-S

The day started off well with all temperatures reporting as per normal.

And with a wide variety of vehicles on track made it quite an interesting experience!!

However, the fun ran out during the third session with John in the passenger seat. A faulty AFM (airflow meter) had caused an ECU error which unfortunately ended our day very early.

So unfortunately John missed out from any track time that outing. And I can assure you that after traveling for more than 2 hours to get circuit, having car issues early in the day doesn't leave you in the best of moods!!

On the bright side though, once we replaced the faulty AFM the STi cleared all ECU error codes and ran better than it had previously.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

STi weight reduction

So the Team decided before we head out for our first track test session that a few minor modifications to help increase the vehicles performance were required. And the cheapest and easiest way of doing that is by making the car lighter! The STi from factory weighs in at 1270kgs which we hoped to bring down to approximately 1200kgs without major carbon fibre panel work or lexan racing windows.

So besides completing a minor mechanical service (oils & fluids), we got straight to work! Stripping the STi was relatively straight forward; a couple of screwdrivers, spanners, a little bit of pull and tug and there you have it, instant lightness :-D. Now we didn’t just settle on removing seats, carpets and door panels, we wanted to remove as much weight as possible.

We also figured if we remove the sound proofing in the car that would save around 10-15 kg, which was quite considerable. And after a little research we settled on using some dry ice. The dry ice would harden the sound proofing material and by using a hammer or rubber mallet it would break off fairly easy.

The whole car required 4-5 kgs of dry ice to get all the sound proofing off, all the way from the boot right down to foot wells. I did this job on a pretty hot day so that could’ve affected the cooling capacity of the dry ice, but if you’re quite quick and efficient you could probably get the job done using about 3 kgs.

All I did was place a couple of handfuls of dry ice, applied it directly on top of the soundproofing material and left it there for a few minutes till it hardened. Then with the hammer gave it a few hits and it just crumbled. Some of the glued down parts won’t come of so easily though, so you'll need to chisel those bits off.

Dry ice - boot

Now you’re not going to get a perfect finish when you’re done, there’ll be a few scuff marks and traces of glue here and there. But if you really want a clean finish there are a couple of options. One is you could sand down any traces of glue and re-paint the interior or the other option is to use paint thinners. I opted for the paint thinner option simply because I had some lying around in the garage. Just apply a little with a clean cloth to where the traces of glue are and after some vigorous wiping the job is done. Also make sure you’re not in an enclosed area when using the paint thinner. Have the car doors and windows open!!

10kgs of sound deadening