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Monday, July 5, 2010

Some Time Off and Engine Build #2

We've had some time off since Desert Storm Rally back in March. In April we headed down to Ridgecrest, CA for 'High Desert Trails Rally', which is a 30 mile rally on a short but very fun stretch of private land.

After three of the six scheduled stages we discovered quite a bit of oil going though the engine and coming out the back. A blown turbo seal? Heads? or possibly a blown piston or ring. Well, we weren't sure but we weren't going to risk it either. We shut down right then and there and withdrew from HDT.

Follow up compression and leak down tests weren't terrible, but weren't all that great either. The engine hasn't been pulled as of July 4th, but all signs point toward a potential cracked ring land in one of the cylinders. We'll find out soon enough as I'm pulling the engine in the next week.

After a bit of research, a new shortblock will be ordered soon, and we're going to have some CNC headwork done so that the WRX heads will mate up better with an STI shortblock and proper STI pistons for the correct compression ratio (w/o the old 'thicker headgasket' trick).

While the engine is pulled, we will also be doing some front end reinforcement work to delete a bit of damage taken on at Desert Storm. Front bumper replacement, subframe delete and radiator support will be redesigned with some burly tubular construction.

Unless there are other unforeseen issues, we plan on being race-ready again for Gorman Ridge Rally (www.GormanRidgeRally.com) at the end of August. See you there!

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