911 Carrera RallyCross Project

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We finally sourced a donor for our RallyCross project car, a nice 84 911 Carrera with 100K on the clock. Though we haven't receievd the car yet it is supposedly in great mechanical condition with just a few minor cosmetic defects. Sounds perfect.

The plan is to campaign the car in Detroit SCCA Rallycross program while slowly developing it into a dirt monster. The Detroit program runs yea-round so this car is going to see plenty of snow and ice as well as dirt. To help with development we'll also throw the car at some local autocrosses and track days but the main focus is RallyCross. We have been competing with our Subaru Ouback since the program began some six years ago so it's time for a new challenge. As we are fairly new to the marque we will be asking lots of questions on this forum to aid in the development so brace yourself for some pretty dumb ones.

and one of the car it is replacing:

The first event is December 8th so, assuming the thing runs when it gets here we will have a bit of mad prep to do. Because of the specs of the BRAID rally wheels we will but running it is already out of Stock class and into Prepared where, coincidentally, it will be up against a couple of 944s. Top of the list is to get some snow tires mounted to the wheels and slap those on, then some number panels and hopefull try to lift it. Stupid question #1: can one easily lift a 911 by indexing the torsion bars? An inch would be nice but anything would help as we are afarid of ripping the front spoiler off at stock ride height. We may get away with removing the lip spoiler beforehand though that is technically illegal. I dont think the competiton will mind unless we beat them.

We also have to add an AC compressor to be within the Prepared rules. Apparantly one of the previous owners removed the AC from the car so we might be looking for a used broken unit if anyone has one. Of course, if we can prove it was a factory delete then we can run without it.

Bookmark this thread for more stupid questions and a blizzard of updates.


Agreed, but it's getting the new Fullrace Acropolis for RallyCross:

15x6.5" ET 35 all round with 12mm spacers in the rear. For autocross we will initially run the 16" BZ

as we'll be using the Dunlop Direzza in 205 and 225 to stay in street tire classes. When the car moves up then maybe 17" BZ will be the way to go.

Rather than paint over the beautiful black and anodized finish of the BZ I have this silly idea to do a vinyl wrap on them, initially in School Bus Yellow while the car is red then white once we go to SC/RS look. Anyone ever tried this?


Woke up to a nice shiny (not) new car in my drive. Time to check it over and take it for a test drive.

Uh oh! Everything was looking good till we took a 90 right at a light. There was a loud BANG from the rear. We pulled over and found the rear suspension collapsed! The left a little more than the right. Great. Now I have another broken car.

We only put 3 miles on it before this happened and were going really slow the whole way .

What do you think, broke a torsion bar?

Could this have been a contributing factor?

Didn't expect to be doing this today

Disconnected the rear anti roll bar and I can move the left rear wheel up with little resistance. Can't move the right side so left torsion bar must be broken or out of its socket.

Left side is green end. Right side has a cap on it. Does this look right?

I guess it's still safe to drive till September 13th, at least in Virginia.


Success! My car no longer has a broken rear torsion bar (in it).

That torsion bar be broken. It broke at the inner splines. You can see where the crack began and propagated out in a spiral. Very impressive.

That's the broken end still in the torsion tube. I guess I'm supposed to bash it out from the other side once I remove the other bar. No rust or anything. I would even say "pristine"

Used my fancy iPhone angle find app to determine the inclination of the non broken torsion plate. 34.8*. Is that correct?

The good torsion bar. Ready to be pulled. I think I am now one with this car Green on the left, blue on the right. Is this significant?

Lets twist again, like we did last...........oh, never mind. Couple of zip ties, JB Weld and some duct tape and it'll be good as new. (Its'a rally thing)

Now I'm off to Dearborn to pick up some used torsion bars in case the rally-fix doesn't work. Ford ones will work right? But first I think I've earned a nice cup of tea.

Tomorrow we slap it back together. Saturday we figure out how to work the radio.


I picked up some local used torsion bars and slapped the thing back together yesterday. I also took the opportunity to lift it a bit, maybe a bit too much. Ended up with 28" to top of fender in the rear. 27.7 in the front. That's about 2-3 inch lift. God knows what my alignment numbers are but it drives OK. I made a funky tool for the camber and caster adjusters. One ratcheting wrench, one bolt and two nuts. Worked great.

Reversing lights work. Car settled 1/2" after a few test miles. I think I want to raise the front a little more yet.

I didn't get a baseline height for the rear as it collapsed but in this picture it looks quite high already. Stock height do you think?

We also removed the front chin spoiler before it gets torn off. It's for sale

Found these on the door step when I got home.

Oh my. Maybe these and some rally tires will make the lift seem less silly.

And 12mm spacers for the rear. This way we can run the same spec wheels all round.

Now I can get back to the important stuff like the radio.


New boots going on last night.

We lifted the front another 1/2" yesterday so now we are are at 27.5" front and rear. I measured available suspension droop at 2-3 inches.

We also replaced a sealed beam headlight and the wipers and put the rockers back on.

Next we'll try and get baseline weight and dyno pull and find some longer wheel studs so we can run the 12mm spacers in the rear. It really needs them.

I drove it home from the shop last night. Handling with the 195/65 Winterforce snow tires is, er, interesting to say the least. Maybe an alignment will help.


Not much action yesterday but at least the State of Michigan fully endorses the project now.

Sorry about the untidy rear. The car was backed into a trailer at some point resulting the the above damage. It got a new engine cover as a result. The remaining damage is not visible with the Porsche plate on but, because of the distortion it wont stay on so I took it till I can devise a fix.

These showed up yesterday. They're not for me but I sure am tempted. We still have to figure out our autocross and track day setup but are leaning to these BRAID replicas in 16x7 and 16x8 shod with Dunlop Direzzas 205 and 225. Of course, ours might be white!

We scored some proper rally snow tires; Yokohama A034. Can you imagine how squirmy these would be on tarmac?

What's this for? One on the left and one on the right, just behind the front wheels.

No windshield washers! I added washer fluid and it poured straight onto the floor! Found the pump and bottle but the pipe from the filler is missing. Sorta strange. Pump works though. Today I'll investigate the bottle which is sort of loose.

Apart from the above major triumphs we did suffer one setback yesterday: I was adjusting the engine cover latch as it wasn't quite latching. Now it wont unlatch. DOH! Any suggestions how to get it open? I'm sure I'll have to get in there sooner or later.

My car came with a carbon fiber duck tail in the back seat. As far as I can tell it has never been installed though it is not in pristine condition as it has two scratches in the jell coat. I think I'll sell it but I don't know what it's worth. It only weighs 11lbs!


OK, time for a race report. Literally, I finally have time for a race report.

So the car performed flawlessly. Better than that it won it's class! Proof of concept-check.

It was a bit touch and go weather we'd get in but the poor weather kept a few preregisterds away so we were OK. I say we as I shared the car with 9Magazine's Brad Brownell. He knows 911s better than me and needed a ride so we both drove it.

The weather really was appalling, cold and wet. The two things I left England because of. I think it worked in our favor though as some of the other rear wheel drive cars couldn't even get off the line without a push. The rear engine in our 911 was just the ticket though the steering was a bit light in some of the soupy bits. Speaking of which I didn't notice any of the understeer people had warned me about. Once moving the car would only really over steer, throtle on and throttle off. Kind of fun. As always in these conditions slow is fast so I just took my time, especially as I had no idea what the car was going to do as I've only really driven it up a down a main road a few times. Got my first ever cone-free event too. This car is going to be great.

So the car works and people love it too. It could use a limited slip diff and those Yokohamas would have been better than the snow tires we had on but we can't complain. Now I have to clean the thing though It's not that dirty on the outside but the wheel wells are full of thick goopy mud. I bet it weighs 2-300 lbs more right now.

Here's some pictures: 3-2-1-GO, er go, go on then, go.

Look for a story about the event at 9 Magazine - The Porsche Enthusiasts Magazine soon

All dirtied up (underneath)

and some video

next event is January 5th. Fingers crossed for snow.


Another picture from the weekend's RallyCross. This is what it's all about.

I just had an idea in the shower this morning. The 2013 Porsche Parade is in Traverse City, only 4 hours north of us so we were planning to attend and take this car, my colleague's Carrera and the BRAID sponsored 996 up there and join the fun. Now I'm thinking would't it be fun if there was some kind of RallyCross related event as part of the festivities? This could be either:

a) an actual RallyCross
b) a RallyCross demonstration
c) a RallyCross demonstration with ride-alongs

There are at least two more RallyCrossing Porsches in the Detroit area, possibly more further afield.

What do you think?


Our RallyCross 911 came with some polished original Fuchs wheels in 16x6 and 16x7 in the correct offsets for the car: +35 and +23. They really shined up well with a little polish too. Not that I would ever admit to owning any polish mind you. Needless to say we are not going to rallycross 28 year old 16" polished classics like these so they have to go. They are in great shape with no evidence of cracks nor any curb rash. 100,00 mile on the car so 100,00 miles on these I guess. Tires are 205/55 and 215/50 Michelin XGT all seasons with 6/32" of even tread depth but we will sell with or without. My partner Dick put them on eBay this morning:

Porsche Fuchs Polished 16 x 6 16 x 7 Wheel Tire Set | eBay


Not much action lately but the holidays have slowed down wheels sales, allowing us to get into the shop and take care of a few issues.

First off we added some bling with some number circles and decals. Car has to pay for it's keep after all.

Sorry the pictures are a bit naff. It was very cold and wet outside. Ths scheme is sort of temporary till we are ready to repaint the car.

Our car came with a missing windshield washer bottle. As a used replacement runs around $75 we rigged up this universal version. After blowing out the lines we now have a clean windshield

We changed the studs in the rear to 72mm so we could run spacers. Fitment was a bit tight but after grinding a chamfer on the threaded end and an edge off the shoulder they slipped into place. We decided not to use brute force for once and selected an appropriate tool.

We are currently using a 12mm spacer which gives the 15x6.5 wheels the same effective offset as the OE 7" wheel but have enough thread left to go to 25mm if needed.

Fronts next. Longer studs but no spaces planned for now.


Took the car out for a "spin" yesterday.

It did surprisingly well; lots of traction from the Firestone Winterforce tires, not much understeer except at really low speeds. Very controllable oversteer at moderate speeds. I didn't get to fully open it up though so can't comment on high speed behavior.

During my play time I did get to weigh the car at a friend's shop with his very nice wireless setup:

Here's the result with me in the driver's seat, 1/2 tank of fuel and spare tire and tools removed. Race trim.

Or, if you prefer:

How does it look?


This car is proving to be an ideal weapon in the world of SCCA RallyCross as yesterday, driven by guest driver Scott Harvey and owner Paul Eddleston it achieved first and second place in the Detroit Region Season Opener held in Crystal, Michigan.

Conditions were frigid for the morning session and competitors were presented with a frozen solid dirt surface with litlle snow coverage, even the portions of course inside the dirt ovel track. The Carrera, on it's Winterforce tires once again had an advantage in traction over the other Prepared RWD who's engines were all in the "wrong" place for such conditions. The course started out wide and open and gave some wonderful arse-out drifting opportunities but one had to reign it in for the last third as it got much tighter and slippier as it entered and traversed the oval to the finish, albeit by a circuitous route.

The afternoon session was a different story. The course was run backwards and with temperatures climbing into the 30s a sloppy goop had formed on top of frozen dirt, churned up by the AWD classes before us. Still, once we picked our way carefully through the oval track section we could open up the car, with a little care than we both used, to set some really quick times. One or two of our runs came to grief however as we both had instances of instananeuos oversteer in some of the faster sections, resulting in a few spins and multiple cone penalties between us. Still, the other competitors suffered similar fates and we came out on top again.

It was good to finally drive the car fast on the loose and I was amazed how competant it is. It just bites you in the bum surprisingly quickly if you overstep with no way of rescuing it. Lot to learn with this one. The car ran flawlessly agaiin despite the beating. Only issue was a burnt out blower motor for outside air but as the outside air was freezing we didn't miss it much. Might do next time. Easy fix?

Next event: round two on February 15th or thereabouts. Maybe some performance mods can be incorporated before then.

Here's some pictures and video links. More should surface over the next week or so.




Here's some more videos of the event from Brian Thorpe:


I just found out the car produced the fastest time of the day at the RallyCross this past weekend. Scott was driving not me but it's still very gratifying; it was faster than all the heavily modified Subarus and other well developed cars.

As the car was still on the trailer Tuesday morning we decided to drop it off at Thompson Racing Fabrication to get some "Porsche Protection" installed. That's skid plates and oil cooler system shields in English.

Their almost completed rally Lancer in the background is amazing.

Despite spending $10 of my life savings and the best part of an hour of my life at the local power wash the underside still looked like this when we got it on the hoist.

Still, it's a lot cleaner then the floor of the power wash bay I used. Wont be invited back there again.

Stuff keeps showing for the car. Wish I had time to install it all. Yesterday pedals, foot rest and a throttle pedal lifter from Pelican.

Today some rubber floor mats. I was going to get racing red but bottled out and got safe grey instead.

I'll post pictures of Ryan's handiwork when we get the car back next week.

Have a great weekend.


Some images are emerging from the University of Thompson Racing Fabrication

Front skid plate

Oil tank armor

Oil cooler protection

Oil lines shielding

I can't wait to see the harness bar he is creating.


Picked the car from Ryan Thompson today and found this gorgeous custom harness bar in the back. Better and cheaper than Sparco. Perhaps yYou should get one.

and the MOMO steering wheel hub arrived.

Now I have the car back I really should bolt some of these goodies on it.


We took the car up to the Sno*Drift rally in Lewiston, Michigan this past weekend. Well, my friend Ray did. I drove the van. It was the cars first long distance run so we were a little apprehensive but we needn't have been. The car performed flawlessley and was a big hit.


As seems to be my style lately parts keep showing up that I don't have time to install as it's wheel season. Here's some nice Corbeau harnesses for instance:

and what's this?


One skinny for me and one medium for a passenger. As you can appreciate, I managed to find time to install the driver's seat at least.

Sliders mounted to the bottom of the seat

Adapter test fitted:

and bolted to the sliders:

Et voila:

We still have to install the crotch strap but the final position needs to be dialed in better first and that may depend on the steering wheel. And we gave to do the other side too of course. Not a great weight saving but I can already feel how well this seat and belts will hold the driver in place. OE driver's seat with sliders was 33lbs. The Corbeaus are 25lbs and 26 lbs similarly equiped.

Anyone want a nice pair of OE seats?

Feeling very pleased with myself I took the car home in anticipation of doing some ice racing at the weekend but the event was cancelled due to snow! yes, really. Never mind, there's a rallycross this weekend and those guys don't cancel for anything. Press On Regardless.


It's time to start thinking about tires (and wheels) for autocrossing and track days for this thing. The car will be running in SCCA Street Touring class so DOT R compounds are out. Thats good as they wouldn't survive many track days anyway.

The hot tire in this class appears to be the Dunlop Direzza ZII Extreme Performance Summer

Suitable sizes available would be 205/55-16 front and 225/50-16 rear mounted on BRAID (of course) Fuchs replicas in 16x7, ET23 front and 16x8, ET10 rear. We all know this fits the Carrera body well.

But is this enough tire to be competitive?

How about Bridgestone's Potenza RE-11 in 225/50-16 front and 225/45-16 rear?

Perhaps not as grippy as the Dunlop but a lot wider. These could be fitted to the same wheels as the Dunlops though 8" front and 9" rear may be better but what offsets are needed to clear? Surley not the ET23 and ET 10 above? I know these tire sizes can be made to fit the Carrera body but I'm not sure what offsets work.

Any thoughts?


Round two tomorrow. Currently lying first and second in Prepared Rear or, as it is now known "Porsche Rear". Wish us luck. Report, pics and videos next week.

Detroit Region SCCA: News


I must say, this car is amazing. Considering it is basically stock it performs remarkably well. After all we are only in Prepared class due to our wheels being too far from stock spec ( 6.5" width) yet this thing just kicks arse. No understeer, loads of traction, plenty of power, narrow enough, short enough and fast enough. Incredible. It feels like cheating.

Detroit SCCA did another stellar job putting on the event based around a twin dirt oval in mid-Michigan. Needless to say we don't just go around the oval. See the video for a ride on course with my fellow driver Scott Harvey. (yes, he beat me)

Detroit Rallycross 84 Porsche 911 - YouTube

The challenge of this event was all about changing course conditions. With temperatures in the 20s all day were were greeted by frozen dirt for the most part. This had the consitency of sandpaper making for a very fast but twisty course. Except if the sun came out whereby the top 1/4" of surface would change almost instantly to liquid soap and prove a devil to drive on. This happened to me for my last two runs of the day resulting in them being a full 10 seconds slower than my previous runs. Never-the-less we came out in 1st and 2nd place again beating another couple of Porsches, these being 944s.

Some pictures at speed. It goes "all right" doesn't it?

There's supposed to be some helicopter-cam footage of the car too. Hopefully I can snag that soon.

It wasn't all roses though, there were a few casualties. This is what happens to a Porsche fog light when it hits a frozen solid traffic cone at 40mph:

and somehow my skinny tires on 35 offset wheels managed to contact the fender lip and bend it down. No big deal but what's going to happen when we lower it on 205s?

The new Corbeau seat and Momo steering wheel were excellent but we did have to remove the seat cushion to stop our helmets banging on the roof. Need to figure out how to lower it before the next outing.

Only rally guys would find eating lunch outside at 20F fun.

Next RallyCross is March 10th but we might get an opportunity to do some ice racing this weekend. Let's hope the weather cooperates.


I agree and I don't really need them but I don't think the rules allow removing them. They probably allow for replacing them however, perhaps with something big and round and cheap so I can afford to replace them.


A short video from yesterday's ice race complete with "oops".


Took these off

and put these on

because I'm hoping for sloppy, muddy conditions in tomorrow's RallyCross. Hope I'm right.

All loaded up and ready


Another successful RallyCross for the Carrera. I finished second and Scott won, again in Prepared Rear class up against tow gentlemen in a 944. Not oly that Scott managed the fastest RWD run of the day and was only beaten overall by a Toyota with an All-Trac swap running in Modified AWD. Quite amazing for a 30 year old RWD vehicle with it's engine in the wrong place.

It was perfect conditions for our Yokohama snow and mud tires. Here's the pictures and videos:

Wind assisted launch.

and flying finish

In car video of one of the morning runs. Scott Harvey driving.

Bob, we tie the front down from the tow hooks and the rears via the wheels.

So far so good.


Pulled the passenger seat and started working the various heating and ventilation issues the car has.

Had my freind Ed do a PhotoShop mock-up of the new livery too.

Some pictures from last weekend's RallyCross in Marshall, Michigan.


Tried to get the hot air blower to turn on. I think this is the relay that controls it. Have power at the three pins marked in gray and red. Is there something missing from the socket to the right?

I'm thinking it is bad so where does one get a replacement?

Also removed the clock because it runs slow and the speedo because the odometer is broken.

so how do I go about getting these repaired?


Fixed my heating by plugging the connector back on to the engine compartment blower DOH! It turns out the wires that were cut were not for the blower. I found those yesterday hanging down by the valve cover and once I plugged them in everything worked like it should, even the footwell blowers. Lesson learned, look more carefully and don't jump to conclusions. Now I'm wondering what the cut wires are for.

I also got to install the passenger seat and harness. I didn't trim the feet on this one electing instead to not fit sliders. Still a bit high and a little more forward than I like but as my race rules require the seats bolt to the OEM brackets I'm stuck for now. Have some Corbeau side mounts on the way, hoping thay may improve the situation. Otherwise we'll have to weld in some cross members and bump up a class or two.

I also started installation of the whale tale picked up from a Pelican member. Very nice aftermarket job but it looks like it will require a bit of fettling to get a perfect fit.

Then I drove this home to shakedown the new engine. It has a flat six too!


We decided to replace the rear muffler. Just too quiet for a race car.

The fasteners fought me a little. They've been on there nearly 30 years.

Didn't take too long to wrestle it off though. 23lbs of German suasage muffler.

Found a used but good M&K locally. Only 11lbs.

Ten minutes later:

This is what the car sounded like in the shop with no muffler:

and with the M&K

A lot quieter. I didn't take a stock muffler recording. Too excited.

But wait. What's that on the parts table. Why it's a Fabspeed muffler delete pipe and it only weighs 2lbs! Let's slap that on see what it's like.

Wow, that's gotta be loud:

Yes, it is kinda loud, but souds pretty good. What about on the street?

You know, that's not too bad, even with the windows open. Not even turning heads. I think we'll leave this on for the next rallycross at least.


I've never been a fan of pedal covers. I always thought they were a bit bling and pretentious but when I drove the 911 in the wet and mud of a RallyCross I relised there might be something else going on. These are slippery when wet.

These are not:

The gas pedal has a spacer on it so we can heel and toe this thing on downshifts. Before the gas pedal was way too low to reach with the outside of one's right foot when on the brake pedal.


We removed the fresh air blower this week because it doesn't work any more. Last time it rotated under its own power it belched out acrid smoke. I think it's dead.

YUK! burnt stuff.

Fortunately I have sourced a used replacement from a Pelican. hould have it in next week.

Meanwhile we ordered autocross and track day tires:

16" Direzza IIs for our other Carrera and 15" BFG Rivals for this one. Unfortunately the rears are back ordered went with 205 front, 225 rears.

As the weather was sunny and we were shuffling cars around we took the opportunity to do an impromptu photo shoot.

We will be painting the car next week. We were comitted to reproducing the Rothmans livery of the SC/RS but with a BRAID/TIM twist (BRAID logos and yellow/red stripes) but are now considering replacing the white with silver. The reasoning is two-fold: we are concerned that mimicking the SC/RS too closely will just result in an imperfect looking clone and using silver will introduce the one missing color from the TIM logo. What do you think?


Took the car to Ice Nine Group for paint, wrap or Plasti-dip color change.

I'm in Europe for the next ten days. We'll have to see what it looks like when I get back.


Got back from Europe and couldn't wait to see what progress Ice Nine Group had achieved with the car. I guess they decided to wrap it.



Big push over the next few weeks to get the car ready for the Porsche Parade at the end of June while simultaneously prepping it to tackle Autocross and track days as well as it's primary purpose; RallyCross. If there's one car that can shine at all three disciplines it's a 911.

By way of a warm up exercise we installed the repaired speedo/odometer and replaced the clock with a volt meter.

Then, onto the lowering project. When we replaced the broken rear torsion bar we set the car quite high as it had no underbody protection so was a little vulnerable. At 28" front and rear it was at least further away from the nasty stuff. Now, with skidplates etc installed and the looming track and autocross season it seems prudent to return it to something approaching stock ride height. For the US this seems to be 25.5 front and 25" rear as far as we can tell. This is measured from the floor to the top of the wheel arch.

This was measured with 195/65-15 rally tires at 32psi which happen to be the same diameter as the stock tires.

We didn't get chance to measure a baseline when we got the car as we broke the torsion almost immediately but we did measure the angle of the unaffected spring plate at 34.5* using a handy iPhone app. so we thought we'd aim for this. Reading the workshop manual also suggests the spring plate angle for this car (US spec) should be 35* so it should produce something similar to stock ride height.

The plates were both where we set them last time at 40.7* and 39.9*


With the torsion bars having 40 splines on the inside and 44 splines on the outside we figured you could tweak the angle in increments of 0.8* by turning one spline in and one spline out. On the left side we were looking for a 5.7* change in angle. If we divide that by 0.8 we get 7.125 which should mean if we turn the bar on the inner splines by 7 then the outer end by seven in the opposite direction it should result in about 35*. In effect, you can't turn the spring plate 7 splines as you have to take it off to turn the inner splines but, if you adjust the inner to 7 then in theory you should be able to put the spring plate back on in a position that would correspond to 7 splines of outer adjustment. Even though that's a bit long winded it actually worked, on both sides of the car, almost perfectly. The only problem being that when we bolted it all back together we only got to 26.75" of ride height! This is with the dampers still unbolted and the suspension bounced a few times so it should be accurate right? Maybe the car has lost more rear weight recently than we appreciate. I think we will be dialing out some more height later today.

At least while we were in there we did get to replace our missing torsion bar end cap cover with one from a Pelican. Thanks Bob.

Possibly the most significant modification we plan isn't to the car but to the driver. Cheap too.


I drove the car home last night and noticed that the voltage on the new voltmeter was all over the place. At idle it was around 14 but driving it would fluctuate between 14 and 18. This can't be good.

Do I need a new regulator?

Are they easy to source and replace?

Anything else that should be done at the same time?

Pulled out the alternator. Doesn't look to bad but I think I will just replace the whole thing. What do you think?

Nice and clean in there


Today we ordered an alternator off eBay. Then replaced the front wheel studs with longer ones:

Then found we are going to need a new tie rod end sooner or later


Installed a remanufactured alternator.

Though a little fiddly it all went back OK, until the final step:

Why is my belt now slack, even with zero shims?  

Installed a new belt courtesy of Munk's Motors. Also bought an extra 2 shims. You can see the old belt is significantly narrower then the new one.

Problem solved. Though it did need only 2 shims inside, 4 outside. Will check it next week.


Back to the lowering saga. If you remember we were trying to lower the car back to stock US ride height of 25.5" front and 25" rear. We had set the spring plates at 35* which, with our stock torsion bars should result in this. But it didn't! Instead returning about 26.75".

So we tried again with 32* which we calculated based on how many inches of lowering we got per degree of spring plate inclination change from the previous attempt. This resulted in 24.5" ride height which is lower than we want.

What's going on? Well, it turns out the car appears to settle quite a lot if left overnight or driven. I thought bouncing it would settle it but apparently not. The 26.75" was measured after just bouncing the car. The 24.5" after letting the car sit overnight. Solution: set the spring plates to 33* and leave it overnight. Result: 25.5" of rear ride height. YAY. Then we set the fronts to 26" rather than 25.5" for a little more front clearance and took some pictures because it just looks so darn cool in the sun IMHO.


Next: mud flaps.


Mud flaps are essential for Rally Bling. They also help keep stone chips at bay. We normally use Rally Armor Urethane in red but recently discovered these light and cheaper offerings from Sparco so we thought we'd try them out. So, how to mount them? On previous projects we have drilled holes in the fender flanges and inner fender wells but the 911's fender flanges are kind of thin. Might have to get creative. The right side should be easy as we already have flat aluminium surface protecting the oil lines:

but the left side might be more difficult:

However, after offering up the mud flaps it was obvious that a few strategically placed aluminium brackets attached to existing fasteners would provide the necessary support. The fronts would just require drilling into the inner footwell and rocker panel end caps:

The top bolt is clamping the fender flange between two large washers. We will probably replace them with even larger ones in the future though.

I have always found it tricky to get mud flaps vertical, even heights and roughly in the center of the tire. I think this one worked out pretty well first attempt though they may need raising at some point.


This weekend we put some new rally rubber on a set of BRAID Winrace TA wheels and mounted them on the car. Tires are used Michelin gravels, 205/65-15 rear and 175/70-15 front. The wheels are also drilled for BMW. (one never knows). Now we have two sets of RallyCross wheels for the car. A set for dry and a set for mud which also work in snow,

We also mounted our autocross and track day tires on some BRAID BZ wheels. Tires are the new BFG Rival which, by all accounts are incredible. 205/50-15 in the front and 225/45-15 in the rear. Wheels are 7x15, ET23 front, 8x15, ET10 rear. Not as much rubber as some are running but we went with lightness and low rolling diameter rather than ultimate grip. Still, 225 is not too shabby for a 230hp, 2700lb car.


We have been wondering why our Porsche came with the same size battery as our Mercedes Sprinter van for some time. This was made more intriguing by a used PC680 battery sitting on our parts shelf. Well, this week we cracked and threw the much lighter PC680 in the car spurred on by a desire to corner balance and align the car in the near future. We have used these batteries without any issues in our previous RallyCross project. We just kept that on a Battery Tender when not in use. Has never let us down. Let's see if the 911 likes it.

No surprise it is almost 30lbs lighter.

It almost looks lost in there.

Installed using a crude, cobbled together mounting bracket for now.

Ryan of Thompson Racing Fabrication, the genius who built our harness bar and skid plates is fabricating a more elegant aluminium version for us but at least we can corner balance the car now. We weren't tempted to put this in the smuggler's box like many do as our a/c blower is still in there and as it only weighs ~15lbs does it really matter where it is?

Now where did I put those scales?


No cup holders but it does have a Chapstick holder! Does your Fusion have one of these?

We've seen the light!

Well, not quite yet. Lights aren't needed for a while but we couldn't resist drilling holes in the trunk lid.

The view from the "office"

Last Friday we put the autocross wheels on and weighed it. The mud flaps now scrape on the ground!

Might need to tweak the front left or right rear

Firmed up the battery install with a proper bracket from Thompson Racing Fabrication.

and then drove the wheels off it at the autocross

We also had the car at a PCA track day Tuesday and Saturday we have a RallyCross. PHEW!


On Saturday we took the car to round 3 of Detroit's RallyCross series for 2013. This was the first event that wasn't sloppy mud or snow and ice so was something of a new experience being dry and dusty. The final phase of a week of firsts for the car: first autocross, first track day and now first non-slippery dirt.

Based on an old horse racing oval the course consists of sandy rockck dirt on one saide and more grassy loam on the other. The organizers, anticipating plenty of grip designed a tight and twisty course to keep the speeds down and challenge the driver. Perfect for the agile 911.

As usual I shared the car with Scott Harvey Jr. based on the adage "If you can't beat them at least let them beat you in your car". Scott's dad was a national level professional driver back in the day. My dad was a carpenter so all things considered I think I doo pretty well just to keep up. After 4 frantic runs in the morning and four more controlled efforts in the afternoon we finished just 5 seconds apart with Scott and his genes in first place and me in seconds. Five seconds is just two and half of the four cone penalties I accrued during my runs. Just have to be more precise with the car I guess.

Here's some iPhone video footage, mostly of the starts.



You'd think we'd be crazy busy working on the car prepping it for the Porsche Parade in 10 days. Well, we have been crazy busy but keeping up with wheel sales instead so the car my not be quite as we'd like it to be when we get to Traverse City. It will work; just wont have it's new livery perhaps. We have worked on a few things though. Mostly small issues. The PC680 battery we put in had to be replaced. The one on our parts shelf proved to be less than pristine, probably how it got on the parts shelf. Now it starts every time again.

At the last RallyCross the car popped out of second gear twice on me. Didn't do it for Scott though. On our Subaru when this happened replacing the transmission mount was the fix so we popped out the two rears on the 911 and found almost new Club Sport mounts.

That's good because we don't need to replace them but bad because we haven't found the cause of the problem. Of course the front mounts could be bad but we have a car stuck on the hoist so haven't been able to get under the 911 yet. Let's assume they are good and move on. A little research suggested that worn shifter bushings could cause it to pop out of gears and are a common wear items so we ordered some new ones from Pelican along with some new brake lines (later).

The rear coupling was easy to find and soon came out.

It definitely had some play both side to side and along its axis

Soon dismantled it and put in the new Delrin bushings

We were a bit disappointed to find that the holes in the new bushings were as ovalised as the old ones but at least the side to side play has gone. More research suggested that this is a "design feature". We may have to source some after market round hole versions later.

On to the front bushings. The console was a complete PITA to disassemble. Took an hour to figure out and ten minutes to put it back together.

Got there eventually then removed the lever form the tunnel. We replaced both the bushing on the end of the lever and on the rod support

We applied some grease to the lever mechanicals then installed this modification

Yep, that's a rubber band. I never liked how the lever flops around in neutral so thought this might help.

So what did we achieve? Well, at least with the gear box cold the shifting felt a little smoother but it is still not super slick. I suspect the bushings were replaced in the somewhat recent past. None of them seemed desperately worn and there were paint marks in the coupling to indicate how it was positioned. Have we fixed the popping out of gear problem? The next RallyCross will tell us but we did notice that in second and fourth gears the shift lever was all the way back against the gate. I suspect this was why it popped out. We forgot to take a picture of this but when we put it back together we made sure it had some clearance. Time will tell I guess. Stay tuned.


All loaded up for RallyCross followed by Porsche Parade, all week!


Some catching up after a hectic two weeks:

We had another successful RallyCross finishing first and second again. As usual the car ran perfectly in the dry and dusty conditions.

Not sure which got dirtier; the car or the van.

We wanted our BRAID BZ Fuchs replica wheels to be white like the Rothmans SC/RS cars but thought nobody else would. So we decided to Plasti-dip them as it can be easily removed or so they say. For those not in the know, Plasti-dip is essentially spray on vinyl so these will be wrapped liked the car except sprayed on.

It went on just like paint

and then we found that stickers wont stick to it.

and it peels off REALLY easily.

Still, once reapplied to the two wheels effected it looks quite good. At least race car good.


After the RallyCross we took off up I75 headed for Traverse City and the week long Porsche Parade, the Porsche Club's annual convention if you like. We only got 20 miles before the RALIVAN cried foul and slowed to a crawl while making a loud exhaust noise from under the cab. After a few phone calls and about 100 miles of 50mph crawling we found an Autozone and pulled in for a code reading.

As suspected we had a boost leak. The computer shuts it down by opening the waste gate so it just runs normally aspirated and slow. We limped into Traverse City around 7pm instead the anticipated 5pm.

As we were too late to check in for Parade on Sunday and with the concours being at 8am, too early to check in, we couldn't get the car into the concours at all. Seemed a bit silly as we'd paid and were physically there on time but whatever. We parked the car in a conspicuous spot and went off to breakfast in a huff.

When we came back we dd find a treat in the form of an authentic Rothmans SC/RS sporting one of only two light pods at the entire Parade! Excited again we went off and set up our display.

Unfortunately we had to miss the TSD rally on Tuesday morning because the car was sick. After the last run on Saturday it developed a high idle as in 2000rpm high. Not knowing what the cause was we thought it prudent not to drive it and try to fix it before the autocross on Thursday. We also broke the passenger door handle and the rear view mirror fell off! Oh, and we now have a small oil leak from the front main seal area.

We found this small vacuum hose flopping around behind the throttle body but replacing it didn't make any difference

So we took of the idle air control valve and sprayed carb cleaner through it. A lot of carb cleaner.

Fortunately, that seemed to fix it. At least for now.

So at least we should be able to run the autocross on Thursday. Stay tuned.


But before the autocross a few other items to take care of. Parade is a very busy week and you can't do everything, not even close. We signed up to instruct at the Street Survival course Wednesday morning. We've done a few of these now and find them very rewarding. The people we train also share the road with us so from a purely selfish point of view very useful too.

Wednesday afternoon we spent a very entertaining couple of hours with David S. Wallens from Grassroots Motorsport Magazine shooting the breeze about older 911s. GRM has a similar car to ours that they are running stock to show their readers that you can have affordable fun in a Porsche. David and I had some "fun" in ours in a gravel lot we found nearby but before that he took some pictures in clean-mode.

With all the activities going on, not the least manning or display, it was quite late when we finally got all loaded up for the autocross. The autocross took place at the Beach Bums Stadium outside of Traverse City. I think the Beam Bums are TC's minor league baseball team. PCA do things a little different to SCCA but the event ran very smoothly and we got five runs instead of our usual three so that was a bonus.

We managed second in class which surprised us no end as the car is not really setup for autocross and this was only our second one. To be fair we only had one fast run with all the others being in the 6-7th place times. Still, it only takes one and we didn't hit any cones all day

Friday was pack up the display, check out of our condo then spend the rest of the day in seminars before heading of to Grattan for the High Performance Drivers Education event hosted by the RSR division. FUN!


The final phase of our Porsche Parade adventure was the High Performance Driving Education event put on by the RSR region of the PCA. The event was held over Saturday and Sunday at Grattan Raceway near Grand Rapids, about 3 hours south of Traverse City.

The weather on the way down Friday looked a bit ominous but cleared up for the weekend with only one damp session:

All set up and ready to go

Grattan is a challenging track with many blind apexes and elevation changes

But our instructor, Christopher de Graffenried is one of the best.

Apparently the car leans a lot under hard cornering

which may explain this:

Brake dust on Plasti-dip


Back from the Porsche Parade; time to start fixing things: Replaced the mud flap and glued the mirror back on. We also cleaned the wheels before replacing the broken passenger door handle:

A bit fiddly getting the circlips out.

Looks good. Will replace the driver's side soon, hopefully before that breaks too!

Then we replaced the idle air valve. Now idles steady as a rock.

Now the car is ready for tomorrow's photo shoot.


Phase 1 of our photo and video shoot with Winding Road Magazine went well but we were rained out in the afternoon so didn't get to use the goggle cam and ear bud microphones yet!

You won't believe the results these two pieces of technology produce but you'll have to wait till next week.


Some actions shots from the recent RallyCross have emerged:

Currently working on the Rothmans/BRAID/TIM graphics package. Stay tuned.


We have finally started work on the graphics package for the car. As you may have read earlier in this thread the goal is to do a TIM/BRAID version of the classic Rothmans SC/RS graphics from the 80s. We are trying to stay true to the design while substituting our BRAID blue, TIM yellow and red and adding a gray TIM into the stripes. The current bumper arrangement is quite dissimilar to the SC?RS so we may have to fudge that a little until we can replace the bumpers once we move up a few classes.

So far:

We layed out the design with flexible pin striping tape.

But started on the engine cover as it seemed easy and defines the stripe's end points.

Cutting is hard. Actually the whole process proved more difficult than anticipated so we brought in some professional advisors from One Soul Graphics.

Adam uses cutting edge technology (knife, get it?) to cut the vinyl.



Set out to get the new shiny vinyl dirty at the Detroit RallyCross.

No mud but plenty of dust which is appropriate as we dusted the opposition, again.

We tried a GoPro for the first time at this event. Unfortunately we had lost the instructions so got plenty of video of Scott turning it off DOH! here's one iPhone launch Video we got as a backup.

Uh oh! found this on the trailer this morning. Doesn't smell like transmission fluid so must be oil. Doesn't really smell at all to be honest. Coming from the bell housing. Main seal? Is it called rear or front main seal on these?

I guess the engine is coming out this week. Anyone want to help? What are the likely culprits? What "while you're in there's" should we do?

Brace yourselves for lots of pictures and even more questions.


Managed a little progress yesterday then someone came over to buy our Outback Rally Wagon so job stopped. It was late anyway.

Here's more pictures of the leak:

Drained the oil

Disconnected all this stuff: electrical connectors, fuel lines, vacuum line.

Disconnected the HT lead and found a cracked wire

Disconnected the oil lines except this one which would come apart. Any suggestions?

O2 sensor. Why is the stud not connected?

Was working on the main wiring connector but I may have broken it. Then the phone rang.


More engine removal progress.

Trying to remove stuff that's already removed. Where is this supposed to go?

Part of my problem working on this car is lack of familiarity, especially with electrical connectors. Case in point:

Apparently some people have struggled getting this through the bulkhead. I didn't have a problem though.






Cleaned the engine and transmission some yesterday then started looking it over.

Missing screws!

Should this have a cover on it?

Transmission off

Yuk! lots of dust from rallycrosses.

Is this the stock clutch then?

Is this leak coming from the pressure sensor or the oil line?

Not much clutch disc left

So, not sure where the leak is but leaning towards the crank seal.What do you think?

What's this on top of the transmission and why is it damp?

Today we start ordering parts.


Started the refurb.

POR15 treatment on the worst of the tin ware.

New gasket for the crankcase breather cover.

New shift rod boot as we destroyed ours on the way out

new oil pressure switch.

New oil cooler seals.

New crankshaft seal.

Clutch and flywheel back in place. We only replaced the clutch disc as we will be using an uprated clutch once we move up a few classes next year perhaps. This will get us by for now especially as the old one was almost down to the rivets.

The old distributor cap, rotor arm and plugs don't look too bad but will be replaced never the less.

We are going to adjust the valves while the engine is out. Seems like a good idea. Set #1 cylinder to TDC.

Shouldn't this be a bit more to the right?

This is supposed to make things easier. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Would have adjusted the valves yesterday but got distracted by tryig to make the tow vehicle look like the race vehicle.

Two weeks till the next event. Still have:

valve adjustment
trans fluid change
plug wires
cut air filter cover
attach transmission
replace fuel filter
install in car

Think we'll do it?


Bilsteins for breakfast. YUM YUM

We used wooden blocks under the engine and tranny to angle it slightly up at the front. Then, once we had the shift linkage in the hole lifted the rear with our engine hoist to level it back up before lowering the car into place. Our lift is very hard to modulate but we managed somehow.

These were on the transmission drain plug magnet when we drained the fluid today! Problem? We are glad we waited till it was back in the car so we are less tempted to fix anything right now. Car shifts great. We'll fix it when it breaks I guess.

Added fluids. Job done. Runs like a charm.

Drives too:

I drove it to soccer last night and then home. Car is a lot quieter from the valves now and smoother too. Can't say if it's any quicker. New Bilsteins feel more connected to the road. Did have a slight oil leak from the oil tank area last night. Will check that out today.

Very happy and will not hesitate to drop this again. Thanks for your input and advice.


The car is running nice now. Valve adjustment made it quieter, new trans fluid made the shifting smoother, despite the missing syncro teeth and the Bilsteins are holding up the rear with aplomb. This weekend we take to the dirt again in Detroit SCCA's RallyCross. Just to get us all in the mood here are some pictures from the last outing.


Some great shots taken at last weekend's RallyCross courtesy of Chris Lee. Let's start with the more significant ones:

Yes, we scored 1st and 2nd in class again only now we have clinched the same places in the Championship. Scott in first, me in 2nd.

Now, the rest of the pictures and a short video:


So we got the car on the hoist after the RallyCross to check it. No leaks or damage to report. Due to the dry conditions it wasn't even dirty, just a bit of dust. We took the air cleaner out to see if any dust was getting through or past the filter. I'd say "no" though the outside of the filter itself was quite dusty.

While it was on the hoist we finished the blue vinyl on the rear bumpers. This meant taking off the rubber overriders. Man, they weigh 12lbs each! It hurt to put them back on but rules are rules. Next year they are coming off. Graphics are now complete with the exception of a few sponsor decals. Not that BFG sponsor us or anything. Car just needs a few more decals. Pictures at the Pontiac Silverdome Autocross that we didn't do.

Next, in preparation for the local track day at Waterford Hills we replaced the flexible brake lines and flushed the brake fluid. We used ATE BLUE because it's illegal but awesome.

Then we took the car to Auto Europe for a PCA inspection. "When was the brake fluid last changed sir?" "Er, 20 minutes ago." "That'll do nicely."

Trackday was fun, cool weather, no rain, lots of track time, no drama. Just what you'd want. No on track video or pictures unfortunately. Just this:

Oh, there was one momentous event; the car turned over 100,000 miles while on track. Neglected to get a picture of that till the paddock, eight miles later.

Opportunities to thrash the car are diminishing for the season. RallyCross continues through the winter and, if winter is winter there should be some ice racing too. Will be attending a few more car meets and shows through Fall to make up for the lack of racing though. If the car survives them it might free up some time to work on our Quattro this winter. It's been usurped by this wonderfully idiosyncratic beast lately.



We took the car to the monthly Detroit RallyCross this time held at I96 Speedway in Lake Odessa. This has a clay based surface which, when wet is like ice but when dry is like tarmac, complete with tire squealing. To make life complicated the track owner insisted on watering the coarse between groups to keep the dust down as the local pig farmer is apt to complain. This made the first couple of runs quite interesting but once the coarse dried out the key was keeping up with the increasing amounts of grip.

Fortunately, despite a few cones (due to the water) we secured first and second places again so our 100% record is in tact.

Here are some pictures and videos mostly courtesy of one Brain Thorpe:


So the next RallyCross is looming and it's an afternoon and nighttime affair which means LIGHTS. We've had the light pod on and off for a few months but have never got the lights mounted in it properly because, well, it's complicated. Not really, just need the right hardware. Thanks to Will at Rallylights.com we sourced nut plates, screws, rivets and springs for mounting Hella 2000s to light pods. Will told us our lights are older than our car but we can still get parts and lamps for them. Even so we ordered 120% of everything just in case.

We had already cut the holes so just needed to figure out where to rivet the nut plates.

They stick out a little more than expected. Maybe we can recess them some later. At least so we can get the cover over them.

And done. Two 100W spots in the middle and two 100W driving lights either side.

Next we had to provide them some electrons. We used trailer wire harness because it comes as a flat ribbon and has flat plugs.

Then we wired two 20A relays to the battery and switched them off the main beam fuse for now. We'll wire in one or two switches later once we find a spot for them. We will also tidy up this wiring mess.

They look at home on the hood and period correct.

Our 911 was recently featured on Winding Road Magazine's YouTube Channel. Enjoy.


It dos sound nice I must admit. Exhaust is stock apart from a Fabspeed muffler delete.

With the Prepared RWD class secured there was nothing holding us back from removing those big and heavy rear bumper over-riders from the car.

It's a bit rough looking with all the holes and we still need to illuminate the plate (later) but still, 17lbs saved and it looks "cleaner"?

Weight loss can be addictive and now we are into Modified Rear class we can go nuts. So, another 11lbs saved:

and then another 14lbs:

and what does all this weight loss get you?

only by 8 seconds this time with a lot more competition. 2014 is going to be fun.


Twelve months ago to the day we took delivery of this fine 84 Carrera with a view to turning into a Rothmans 911 SC/RS tribute and to RallyCross the wheels off it. Well, if you've been following this thread you'll know it's been an interesting year with a few ups and downs but we can now declare this project COMPLETE.

We still intend developing it further as a RallyCross monster but as far as the initial goals of the project go, we have reached them. The car has been a joy to both drive and work on and there has been some work to do. You may remember the torsion bar breaking after just a couple of miles of ownership. Then the alternator failed and there was that oil leak necessitating the removal of the engine. But the highs have more than made up for the lows and, to be honest, fixing these issues was part of the fun.

Just a week after replacing the torsion bars the car scored its first RallyCross victory in essentially stock form. It went on the win every RallyCross it ran in and the Detroit SCCA RallyCross Championship. A co-driver took it to second place in almost as many events and the championship as well. What a car! It's also showed its prowess in ice racing and autocross and has proven no end of fun on two or three track days as well. Last week it completed its first TSD rally without missing a beat.

Here's a little montage of its development throughout the year.

Of course we will continue to improve the car especially as we will now be competing in Modified class. A class the car has already been successful in on two occasions by the way. Look out for further weight reduction and performance tweaks during 2014 and also maybe the cars replacement (or partner)   Stay tuned.

Thanks for all the help and advice from the forum members

Enjoy the holidays.


We continued to take some weight out of the car this past week. It's kind of fun concentrating on these free mods. Feels like cheating though my wife did say I'd ruined another perfectly good car. She might have a point LOL.

Managed to remove the stubborn seat belt latch allowing removal of the seat bases and carpet.

This revealed water damage in the seat pans. Fortunately it's not too bad. Nothing a little POR15 can't handle.

Looks like another 30lbs gone.

This insulation residue will be fun to remove. NOT.

An angle grinder with wire brush reduced it to this.

Just need to remove the glue now but first RALLYCROSS

Not exactly your typical suburban driveway but I guess not everyone has a RallyCross tomorrow.


I finally beat my co-driver


We've been cracking on with tidying up the rear of the car we stripped a few weeks ago. It was a bit of a chore but is complete now. We had to wait for a gap in the schedule as we had to remove the seats, harness bar and harnesses to get back there but we managed it.

The first thing we had to address was this surface rust from a yet to be found water leak.

We hit it with a wire brush and some rust treatment.

The next challenge was to remove the old dry glue residue. We tried many solvent products but settled on decal remover, a scraper and many, many Scotch pads (not shown) as the best solution. It took a while as working in the confined space with the chemicals required many tea breaks.

Once it was cleaned up we brushed on a couple of coats of Rustoleum and job done.

We only did the rear for now. There's not much weight savings to be gained in the front and it's less beneficial than what we removed from the rear. Plus there's a lot of stuff to deal with to get at everything so it can wait for now. We did clean up the transmission coupling cover by applying a sheet of carbon fibre look vinyl. I know it's pretentious but its the holidays.

If anyone can make use of the parts we removed let me know. Most of it is in at least serviceable condition.


After the diet the car's been one we thought it might be an idea to weigh it again so we drove it onto the four post lift and onto the scales.

and added 150lbs of driving gravel.

New total weight 2632lbs and that's with the rally wheels on. Last time we got 2705lbs with the autocross wheels on, about 40lbs lighter than this setup.

We also managed to improve the weight distribution by jacking up one of the front torsion bars. Can you tell which one?

We also had a go at aligning the car with strings. That went pretty well too.


Feels like we haven't updated this thread for a while and that we haven't worked on the car. Well it's been just a few weeks and when I look at find we've done many. many small jobs and a couple of events. I'm blaming the holidays. So what have we been up to? Well:

We cleaned it. Bought an iPhone holder. Replaced a few noisy blowers with less noisy ones.

Tried some thinner oil as we can't get the oil temperature up in these cold winters days.

Did a RallyCross and a TSD

Got it buried.

Replaced the sliders on the drivers seat and added sliders to the passenger seat.

Put the big battery back in as the car is going to be a zero car at Sno*Drift rally and needs to start in the morning.

Swapped out the Winterforce tires for some Nokians as we seem to see a lot more ice than cold mud and snow.

And removed the radio as we needed somewhere to mount a switch for the lights.

This weekend we will take the car up to be a course opening vehicle at the Sno*Drift rally than, on the way home, we'll hit an ice race on Sunday. Should be a great long weekend.


Last weekend we got to take the car 4 hours north to the Sno*Drift Rally, round #1 of the Rally America series. No, we hadn't entered the car in the rally, but it was in the rally, as a "course car". We were hoping it was going to be a course opening car and run ahead of the rally but instead was delegated as a course closing car, running behind. As the whole point of the exercise was to get exposure for the car we were a little disappointed by this but we need not have been as the car was a big hit with the fans in the service areas and display parcs.

Normally for this event we'd put on a big BRAID Wheels display at the various venues but this year we just went with the course car role as I've actually never fully spectated here. Needed to fix that and did.

Temperatures, needless to say were frigid, being well below 0F most of the time. Still, as I like to believe, there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes (or tires). This adage was put to the test but me being frozen was not a feature of the weekend. The vehicles being frozen however, was.

Thursday afternoon, when I arrived in Lewiston, our home for the weekend, the poor Porsche was covered in road salt and not very happy. It did start but it didn't sound encouraging making me wonder if I'd actually broken the engine. Eventually it got over it's cold feet and sat in the snow purring away as usual. It was not a confidence inspiring moment as I retreated to our rented house for the evening.

Next day the rally took over downtown Lewiston with a Parc Expose and official start. Parc Expose is basically a free car show for rally cars and allows the fans to mingle not only with the cars but also the crews. Before I could get the car "inside" I had to scurry over to Atlanta (MI) to get it's credentials or it wasn't going anywhere. Decals suitable affixed I hurried back to find our driver for the weekend, Paul Fernadez and his wife, Kerry who would be looking after our precious vehicle for the duration. Now this car, as you know has been splattered all over various forums and has been seen at many events but it's never been exposed to the actual stage rally world in person. I must say I was absolutely stunned by the response of the people in Lewiston to the car as I trundled round down town looking for people I knew or needed to say "hi" to. Despite being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Dollars worth of high end rally cars people turned their heads and were gob smacked by the 911. I could see them patting their pockets for their camaras, nudging their friends, taking pictures, giving thumbs up. It was incredible and took me completely by surprise. It was also quite gratifying I must admit and vindicated the decision to bring the car up.

I finally tracked down Paul and Kerry and parked the car in a free spot. Then we set to work installing the green light on the roof and his radio. Then Paul gave me a ride over to meet up with one of the stage captains, Jerry Shiloff as I'd volunteered to work one of the stages Friday, twice as it turned out. It was great fun working the corner we were on as it soon filled up with lot's of boisterous fans who kept us entertained between the cars showing up. Unfortunately I didn't get to see our car follow the race on this stage as it was sharing the task with another vehicle and only doing alternate stages.

See next post for day two.

Sno*Drift Rally continued……

Freed from my work assignments of the previous day, Saturday was spent hanging out with my friends and spectatating the rally (for once). We started early by hitting the parc expose in Atlanta where I bumped into Paul and Kerry parked righ next to the ceremonial start. They explained how they were amazed by the reaction the car was getting and wished they had contacted an agent before taking on this job as they felt like celebrities and the fans like paparatzi with the amount of pictures they were taking. Job done!

Off to see a stage then. This is not NASCAR. This is not easy. What you have to do is get a map of route for the day. Pick a few stages you think you can get to before the rally does. Find a side road that intersects the course and hope you can get down it without getting stuck. Fortunately we had Ed Schowalter driving us in his 2013 Subaru WRX armed with a set of Blizzaks. Ed won the POR rally last year so he knows what he's doing too, not that it felt like that from the back seat. We managed to hit three of the stages and saw most of the remaining cars at some point but we still never saw our 911. Didn't get stuck though.

We skipped the last stage as it was getting frigid and scurried back to the house for the evening. Paul delivered the car and gave me his report. he was stunned by the whole experience but I'll let him explain:

"Kerry & I had some Real Wheel Drive fun of our own at S-D. Worked out a deal with Paul Eddleston to use his '84 Porsche 911 for the weekend to get him some BRAID exposure throughout the weekend both on and off the stages. Expected to be running as 000, but was assigned Green Light instead.  

I imagine that the 911, in the old Dakar-Rothmanns colors, was one of the most photographed cars in Northern MI over the weekend. EVERYWHERE we went, people were stopping to take pictures of the car. Kerry & I felt like celebrities being followed by the paparazzi.

This was my first experience with RWD on slippy stuff (except for karting in the rain), so I got off to an easy start on Friday as I gradually got used to the behavior of the 911. The brand new Hakka R2's were doing an excellent job of providing plenty of bite at the front. Moderate application of the accelerator in the tighter corners produced a "comfortable" level of over steer. Having lots of fun when possible, but not taking any chances either. No surprises...yet.

Apparently my confidence was increasing on Saturday morning. While transiting to the start of SS12, making the right onto Voyer Lake from M-33, gave it a bit too much gas after the apex and around we went. Fortunately no traffic and plenty of space to maneuver. Its ALL good. I got that out of my system (maybe?).  

At the spectator area on SS12 (where Bruce & Suzy Beauvais were marshals), the extremely well-polished 90-right (after 2nd time through for rally cars) caught me off guard (compared to the rest of the stage up to that point) and around we went...again. We got a BIG cheer from Suzy. Bruce was upset he did not have his camera handy. We continued on without further incident until...

SS19 was another stage that was used twice, but it was my 1st time seeing it and it was completely dark. And as Jimmy mentioned, the spectator area was super slick. Getting on the gas a bit too soon on the nearly glare ice and..."it's time to make the donuts". Of course now we have NO momentum to get up the ensuing ice hill. I was scrambling for every bit of snow I could find, but we went nowhere. Then we got half way up with the help of 2 guys pushing the best they could. But it took a flat-tow from one of the marshals behind us in an Outback to make it to the top of the hill. It was a little disappointing because it was the first and only time that the 911 got "stuck" all weekend. But I think we could have made it up the hill with a proper run through that corner....maybe.

Anyway, Kerry & I had a great time in the 911. It was quite an experience. (Thanks Paul E.!)  


Normally, on the Sunday after this rally I'd sleep in, tidy up our house and slide out of Lewiston around noon. This year I had other plans as I'd entered an ice race on Ross Lake which, in a rally drivers justification mind set was "on the way home". Well the RALIVAN had other ideas and refused to start as it was 0F outside and I guess it felt neglected. This is my first diesel and the first time I have tried to start it in these kind of conditions. No, it doesn't have a block heater but it will have one on Monday. We nudged the nose through the garage door as far as we could and after running a hair dryer on the engine for two hours finally gut the thing to fire up, though it wasn't happy about it. The Porsche, that had been in the garage overnight, was more than happy to start so we retrieved the trailer and loaded it up, way too late to make the ice race of course. It had occurred to me that it might be a bit ambitious to attempt a race the day after doing the rally but it was the Porsche I was concerned about not the van. That vehicle had no problems all weekend and just got on with it as usual. A truly amazing and versatile little work horse.

So when is the next ice race?

EVO X makes the 911 look tiny.

911 back safe and sound. RALIVAN scowling in the background. "Wait till tomorrow you stuck-up Limey".


Three weeks since my last update. Interesting. Been working on the RALIVAN more than the Porsche I guess. still, there has been some action, mostly driving action which is the best kind. So I did get to do an ice race the week after the RALIVAN refused to take me to one.

The new Nokian tires were great but the ice was very polished under it's covering of snow and I only managed one run in which I did not spin the car. Ended up second in class, again, but not to my co-driver this time. To an RX7! Still, not a championship event so it was fun just to let the rear hang out for a change. An interesting aside: I let the car (and the van for that matter) idle all day to get some heat into it. That worked to some extent but driving it made it loose a bit of temperature. Here it is sitting patiently.

Why do rally cars have skid plates? Because sometimes you drive them onto the trailer too fast. DOH!

Last week was back to our normal SCCA RallyCross program. The event was supposed to be held around the various dirt ovals of I96 Speedway but because of severe drifting (snow not cars) that area of the facility was out of bounds. Instead the organizers improvised a course in the snow covered field next door which worked out great except for being a bit bumpy. Less of a problem for the 911 than others I understand. So we finished first and second again with me coming second, again. There's more competition in Modified RWD class but the car still manages to kick arse.

I only hit one cone all day too and managed to get stuck in the snow just once this time and as it was after the finish it didn't cost me any time.

After my recent excursions into the snow banks I've come to appreciate that it's a lot easier on the volunteers with the tow truck if they know where your tow hooks are so today I stuck some stickers on to help them. The fronts are very accessible but the rears not so much.

My bumper appears to have a threaded hole for a tow hook (no pic, sorry) so I'm intrigued to see if I can find something to screw into that. Any ideas? Something like this perhaps?

While I was in sticker mode I removed the Ralph Thayer sponsor decals from the roof and added some new ones in front of the doors. A much more appropriate location I think.

Next RallyCross is March 22nd. That's like 4 weeks! I'm going to have to find some more ice racing before then.


Can you believe the RallyCross got cancelled due to a flood? I thought this was rally!! Actually, I have no interest in driving through a flood but I did get to work on the car a little. Not much, mainly because I got distracted by this:

It's a 300hp ex-Speed World Challenge Focus and its going to keep us very busy for a while, both inside the shop and on track. If you want to learn more here's it's build thread: Speed World Challenge Focus Restoration

Now, back to the Porsche. Made some progress with the rear tow hook. Bought a cheap dangly one from China. It doesn't thread into the bumper but a long M12 bolt should solve that.

The driver's door pocket started to fall off a few weeks ago so I can take a hint. Couple of pounds saved.

Picked up some extended front control arms from a fellow Pelican to add camber one day.

Bought a decibel app for my phone. This is at idle! Got to 113db at 80mph. Think we need some ear protection.

Hopefully the next event doesn't get cancelled and my wife doesn't make me go to that wedding. Stay tuned.

: )


Been working more on our World Challenge Focus than the 911 lately so not many exciting updates to report.

We did get the rear tow hook on with the help of an m12x1.75 bolt.

It's that time of year again; time for Cars and Coffee. In SE Michigan we are almost spoilt for choice now. I could hit these in one morning if I got up early enough. These pictures however, are from two consecutive Saturdays because I'm a lazy bugger sometimes.

Pasteiner's at Woodward and 14 Mile:

PCA-RSR at Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor:

JD Indoor Karting in Novi:

Three very different crowds with three different sets of cars but the 911 is always popular. And yes, we put the summer tires on, perhaps a little optimistically.

We also had a go at trying to isolate the rear leak. Suspecting the rear window seals we made some rain.

and found it leaks in at the corners where everyone said it would.

Not to follow everyone's advice we slapped on some silicone around the seal as a "temporary" fix. To be fair we are considering a Lexan replacement so are no about to pull this one out to replace the seals right now.

This weekend is the RallyCross that was cancelled due to flooding last month. Feels like I haven't raced for decades. can't wait.


What an amazing machine. Win a RallyCross Saturday, bolt some street tyres on it, win an autocross Sunday.


I thought we hadn't done much to the car recently then I looked at my pictures in my phone and thought "oh poop, better do an update". So here it is:

Removed the rockers for weight savings and bad-arse look.

Then thought. I need a bad-arse helmet too:


Then we took some cars to some coffee (cars & coffee)

RallyCross in South Lyon this weekend . Let's see how the new helmet performs.


Sent the car on a diet again. Removed antenna:

added a foot rest, removed front carpets, removed sound deadening, removed center console, removed ac blower:

The result, -52lbs:

Also adjusted the valves on the right side of the engine, tried to adjust the clutch but I think we need a new helper spring. Adjusted the handbrake.


Well, it finally happened; the RallyCross 911 got beaten in a RallyCross! So now it's for sale. Nah, we're keeping it silly. It did get beaten though but we have an excuse as the clutch was slipping. At least that's Scott's excuse. My excuse was slipping talent. Here's a video of it launching with the slipping clutch. We thought it was tire spin but tires don't smell like that PU.

So do we need a new clutch? We're not sure. The clutch disc was changed last year even though the old one was only 50% gone, but the pedal has felt funny the last few weeks. We thought it was our inability to adjust it properly but upon closer inspection we discovered the helper spring, the horse hoe shaped one under the transmission was binding and possibly taking some pressure off the clutch plate. It also stopped the clutch pedal from coming back up all the way too. That's all freed up now and it seems to be working but we need to test it under race conditions to be sure. Fortunately there's an autocross own the street this Sunday that will be perfect for such an occasion.

Other than this hiccup we finished cleaning up and painting the driver's side floor which meant dealing with the ECU, handbrake and gear stick.

Just need to source a better pedal plate and passenger footrest. The wooden ones fell apart.


Some pictures from the last RallyCross courtesy of Nathan Usher.


A bit of fixing, a bit of improving, then BAM! a whole lot of broken, probably.

We went to adjust the loose wheel bearing last week, the day before the autocross, only to find it was a worn tie rod end instead. Skipped the autocross and ordered up some Turbo tie rods from Pelican. These are what came out. What were you thinking Dr. Porsche?

and the new stuff. An "upgrade" to what every other car manufacturer uses.

Pretty easy to swap in. The hardest part is getting the spring to seat over the bellows but we found rotating the bellows also rotated the unseated portion of the spring.

We then sent the car off to the 944FEST to be used for rally demo runs while we visited Niagara Falls with the family. By all accounts it was a big hit. We picked up the car from the venue on Tuesday and took advantage by doing some practice runs for a couple of hours. Unfortunately during this session the gearbox started acting up such that now it won't go into first gear and fifth is a bit stiff to get into as is reverse. We have yet to get into it but suspect broken synchros but hoping for something in the linkage.


Hey, I need to apologize.

Apologize for not updating this thread for a while, I have an excuse: I broke the car. That's not really a good excuse. I could have posted about how I broke the car. Well, I was going to but I realized pretty quickly that I didn't need to race the rest of the year and so I didn't need to fix the car right away so I decided to fix my UR Quattro instead as it hasn't ran for ten months and THEN I forgot to update this thread. Forgive me now?

85 UR quattro - AudiForums.com

So what happened to the Porsche? Well, I think I broke the gearbox during a testing session. It will no longer go into first. There's no grinding or weird feelings. It just wont go in. I don't think I should force it. First was always a bit grindy and we did find some dog teeth on the drain plug last summer if you remember.

During the test session I started using first on one particularly slow corner and it would grind sometimes. Then it grinded a little more then the next time I came round it wouldn't go in. All the other gears work though fifth was very stiff at one point and I couldn't get it out of reverse a couple of times. It's out now and fifth and reverse all work fine.

So what have I done and what's the way forward if you excuse the pun?


The Porsche's new home is finished.

and a friend to keep it company


Took the engine and transmission out. Time to fix the transmission.

So, what do I do now?


Gearbox came apart quite nicely. No horror stories so far. Just a broken synchro ring and stripped dog teeth. The great news is the main bearing races are not loose in the diff housing and no gears look chewed up. I think we will be rebuilding this one


I made a closer inspection of the gear sets today. Looks like 1st on the main shaft is worn pretty bad. How do we fix that? The rest of them look OK, to me. Are they?

I also got the diff out. Looks like he only issue in there is a missing magnet pick for the speedo ring. Repairable?

I won't get till work on it again till next year but I'm not sure what to do next anyway.


Happy New Year everyone. Feels like I've been away from the car for a month yet it's less than a week. Strange.

Tonight I got to look more closely at first gear on the main shaft. I'm concerned this might be worn. What do you think? Doesn't photograph well though.

Then I got to disassemble the pinion shaft.

I gave everything a quick once over and found a few issues. Here's one obvious problem. I don't think that ring is supposed to be around the dog teeth like that and those bent bits used to be inside it!

I'll post more issues tomorrow if I get chance.


Today I did more research, separated the syncros on 1st and 2nd, inspected the rest of the components and drew up a parts list.

The first thing I have decided today is that 1st gear is not worn out. I don't think it is pristine but at $2500 it better fall out of the car and onto the road if it wants replacing. I looked at pictures on line of others and they do look very similar so it stays. Get used to it.

So I managed to disassemble the syncro rings on 1st and 2nd. Those snap rings are pretty tough. You can see the carnage on 1st, 2nd doesn't look too bad.

I'm going to replace everything associated with these two gears, except the gears themselves. I just need a tool to get the dog teeth rings off.

I then looked over the main shaft gears. I've decided to leave these alone as, in my opinion they look pretty good and I've never had any issues shifting 3 to 5,

So here is the parts list so far. Did I miss anything?

1st gear brake band (37)
1st gear dog teeth
1st gear synchro ring (39)
1st/2nd shift hub (41)
1st/2nd shift sleeve (42)
2nd gear brake band (37)
2nd gear dog teeth
2nd gear synchro ring (39)
accelerator pivot bushing (13)
Main shaft lock nut
Pinion shaft lock nut
Transmission Cover O-Ring
Transmission Gasket Set
dog tooth ring tool

There's also a few engine pieces to replace and add a new cutch cable and helper spring. I still have to decide if I'm upgrading the clutch and whether or not to install an LSD. Running out of time not to mention money.


Parts have begun to show up

Kitty thought there was a bird in here.

Maybe one of these magnets will work in my speedo ring.

Still need Dog tooth rings before we can proceed. Due here tomorrow so a busy weekend ahead. I wonder if I can get the transmission all back together before Monday.


Removed the dog tooth rings from first and second with the Porsche took. Started to clean parts and reassemble the pinion shaft.

Hope to have the box back together tomorrow.


Got the new dogs pressed on at Auto Europe.

Beginning to look like a gearbox again.


It may be a bit late but:


I think it's safe to say this is now a gear box again.

I even put new bushings in the throttle link rod thingy.

Now I just need the new clutch kit to arrive.


I picked up some Castrol transmission oil. Thought we'd give it a try.

and the new clutch arrived from Pelican.

No, we didn't forget to install the ring gear.

Offered it up to the engine which accepted it graciously.

And slapped it all back in the car.

I hope to drive it home tonight


Was going to update then got bombarded with wheel sales. I bet you're all holding your breath right? Well, I did drive it home that night and I did take it to Sno*Drift. We decided though not to run it as green light as we didn't feel we'd put enough miles on it to risk it. Well, we have now! The car ran like a champ and was a huge hit where ever it went. People were gathering round it like flies round sh...well, you get the picture. Speaking of which, here's a few I found on Facebook, mostly.

Love this one

Not sure what's next for the car. maybe some ice racing.


I just installed the first production 17" BRAID classic wheels on our RallyCross car. 17x8 and 17x9 with 225 and 255 BFG Rivals.


Here are a few iPhone snaps I took during a recent photo shoot in Detroit. Proper pictures to follow. Yes, 17" replica wheels!

More here: http://www2.snapfish.com/snapfish/fe/c=snapfish/l=en_US/p/Organizer/AlbumID=16002306013/a=124138880_124138880/s_c=0/s_mvm=SNP/s_ev20=naturalsearch_0105_google/s_se=FDR/s_pt=MMB/s_cmpg=naturalsearch_0105_google#state=%7B%22pl%22 %3A%7B%22uc%22%3A2%2C%22aid%22%3A15341519013%2C%22 vp%22%3A%22g%22%2C%22ss%22%3A198%2C%22sb%22%3A5%7D %2C%22ovm%22%3A%7B%22v%22%3A%22s%22%7D%7D


While the cars racing career is on hold we got it some new numbers to wear so it can help promote the new 17" BZ wheels.

They also fit on the RALIVAN quite nicely


No exciting modifications or racing exploits to report sorry. The wheel business is keeping me close to my desk. We did get chance to take the car to a German car show recently in Frankenmuth, Michigan called Northernworthersee and won BEST PORSCHE! Our friend Tim's Group B Audi Quattro won BEST EVERYTHING ELSE including BEST OF SHOW. The event was very well attended and included some interesting German specimens along with the usual mix of lowered Golfs and slammed Audis. Here are some pictures and a video at the end.




Because it's only 70f out we decided it was time for winter tires LOL

During the process we discovered this rather worrying damp patch. Could it be the flexible line? Found out one of the mounts is broken too. How much trouble are we in?


So to troubleshoot the damp patch we cleaned up the area as best we could. It's not very accessible on the front side and our UR Quattro has squatters rights on the hoist till it's done but we did our best with a floor jack and a flashlight. While doing this we discovered that the outer line was loose where it connects to the oil cooler. We, of course, tightened it up but, not wanting to jump to conclusions and looking for an excuse to test drive the car took it to visit Oakland University's Formula SAE team as they need some wheels for next year's car.

During the "test drive" the oil never got hot enough to open the thermostat to the front oil cooler so that didn't tell us much. We had to let it idle in the showroom for ten minutes more to open it up but we were still not sure if we still have a leak or not. The suspect line is still soaked with oil so we can't tell if it is getting more soaked and the front of the cooler is still caked in dirt and oil and we can't see it. The only hint of a leak was from around the ferrules at each end of the suspect line but we think that was brake cleaner boiling off as oil would just seep and this was bubbling.

So what to do?

a) One idea is "nothing". The car is probably not going to get hot enough to open the oil cooler thermostat till next June and we did find a loose connector which is a pretty obvious red flag.
b) Take the oil cooler out, clean up the connectors and replace one or all of the mounts.
c) Same as above but replace the lines too.

For now I think we will go with b) Agreed?


So we went with b) Take the oil cooler out, clean up the connectors and replace one or all of the mounts.

The lines were a bit tight. Well, one of them was. Had to use a heat wrench on it but it freed up. The bottom mount that wasn't broken broke so we only had to unscrew the top mount then the cooler came out easily. This left us with a damp oil cooler with two broken mounts. The top mount that was was still attached to the cooler refused to budge; the nut was so rusted as to not resemble a nut at all. So then we had three broken mounts to try to remove. Fun!

The two bottom mounts we drilled out on the drill press. The top mount we hack-sawed off. Then we cleaned out RallyCross debris from between the tubes and we were ready for our new mounts we got from Pelican. Only about $5 each. Some parts for these cars are very inexpensive. Some aren't.

Before re-installing our cooler we wrapped it in cardboard as we wanted to see if it had any effect on oil temperature as we experience what we consider very low oil temperature in the winter. Unfortunately our phone died so we have no pictures. Once the outside temperatures head south our 911 barley gets out of the first notch on the temperature gauge. We were always taught that gauges are designed to read straight up or level when at the ideal temperature or pressure or whatever so you can just glance at them and know everything is OK. So just above that first bar (ours is like on the left) always felt low to us but without numbers on the gauge we never really knew what the temperature was. Then we found this face-plate picture which gave us some clues.

So we were getting around 140F on the coldest days in Michigan when it can be -20F outside. That's actually not as bad as we thought. Then we remembered that the engine thermostat is designed to open at around 185F which means that's the operating temperature Porsche expect the engine to stabilize at. If you look on the face-plates that's not that high up. If it can't manage that it opens the external thermostat and sends oil to the front oil cooerl too; the one we just blanked off. A test drive at 50F resulted in our gauge indicating around 180 with the front oil cooler lines still cold, suggesting that the engine oil cooler was doing its job and our attempts to raise the oil temperature by wrapping the front cooler were both unnecessary and futile as it's not even in play.

This temperature was verified by an infra red thermometer aimed at various parts of the engine. However, when it's really cold out the temperature often never even gets out of the first segment so something else must be keeping it cold.

The first winter we ran the car we don't remember it struggling to make heat. This only started the second winter after the engine had been out and a few "while you are in theres" attended to. We always wondered if we'd accidentally improved the cooling while we were in there but recently realized one other thing we had done to the car since the first winter: added a whale tail. It is now our theory that that scoop is a lot more effective at ramming cold air through the deck lid to the fan and is preventing the oil from reaching proper operating temperature during very cold weather. Therefore our next project is to take off the cladding from the front oil cooler and rig up some sort of restrictor for the deck lid and test in lower temperatures that are surely on their way.

Does all this sound plausible?


So, the first attempt (after thinking about it) to add some oil temperature in the winter: block off the engine (primary) oil cooler airflow to some degree, after removing the front (secondary) oil cooler cover we made the other day of course. Here's the bottom of the primary oil cooler. Air from the big fan blows down through this and around the cylinders.

The piece of card we cut to block off most of that flow:


And the result after 20 minute sprited driving in ~40F outside temperatures:

Looks like about 170F so not very conclusive but we don't exactly have data on what it normally does when it's 40F outside. At least it didn't overheat. In fact it didn't even open the secondary thermostat.

Next we try it in colder temperatures (excpected over the weekend and/or remove the rear whale tail.


Went tailless today in an effort to see if the whale tail is contributing to keeping the oil temperatures a bit low in colder weather. It's clear to see how much less restrictive the whale tail and open deck lid combination might be when compared to the deck lid grill.

Now for some cold weather testing just as it's warming up again


Tailless test drive tonight. 37F; the coldest it's going to be for about a week. Not liking the look

A 20 minute drive at 55mph to a restaurant for a business meeting prduced this:

I'd say that was 180F. I was hoping for more, after all, it wasn't that cold and the oil cooler is still covered. The exterior thermostat didn't open and it didn't overheat. Maybe I'll try restricying the deck lid grill a bit.


The oil temperature issue continues to frustrate us.

The standard decklid grill is about 101 square inches while the whale tail is about 162 square inches in area. This is just measuring the individual slots and doesn't take into account the sizes of the relative mesh and slats but let's assume they are at least "similar" So it seems plausible that the whale tail would be a) less restrictive and b) capture more air when in motion. So we reinstalled the whale tail but covered half the slots with packaging tape in an attempt to restrict cold air flow to some extent but, alas, with 37F outside temperature and the engine oil cooler still covered with cardboard we only achieved what appears to be 160F. Is this a good enough oil temperature to be thrashing the engine at redline and wide open throttle? It makes us very uncomfortable. We are going to try blocking off 50% of what's left open and see if that helps but at that point we are concerned about restricting air intake for the engine itself. Temperature outside is only going to get lower.

Perhaps driven by the need to score a victory over the car, however small, we decided it was time to install the LED gauge lamps/bulbs we have had on the parts shelf for some time. This is not for bling but for practical reasons as it is very difficult to see the odometer at night; a fact that came to light during a recent TSD rally.

So we had to pull all the gauges out one at a time, locate the illumination lamps and replace them. Actually quite easy once you figure out how to get them out of the back of the gauge.

The effect is quite illuminating.

You can't see the volt meter hidden behind the steering wheel which is fortuitous as it still has it's old yellow incandescent lamp in there. We will need to source a 194 LED replacement to finish the project. And yes, we also fixed the offset steering wheel position, and not by just moving the yellow tape either.


Mixed bag of progress today but no oil temperature posts; not cold enough to do any meaningful testing.

First off, to make sure we win this weekends RallyCross we added some stickers/power.

Ralph Thayer Automotive is the series sponsor in case you were wondering.

Then we installed the last of our LED gauge illumination lamps: the aftermarket voltmeter. It cost nearly as much as the bloody voltmeter!

Then the postman arrived with a spare transmission. OK, it was a big truck. We are now practising round the clock so we can do transmission swaps between runs at the next RallyCross.


We had a very interesting weekend with the car, racing and making a movie!

Firstly Ryan Symancek arrived Thursday as guest driver and filmmaker for the weekend. Ryan is famous for his film series he made for /DRIVE about his experiences building his first car for RallyCross and driving a Group B Lancia 034 in New Zealand among other things. After those exploits were were hoping he wouldn't be underwhelmed by our little 911. We needn't worried.

Friday was spent prepping the car, loading the van and shooting some moving footage from the back of our Audi. It was an interesting process and the car was a star performer. Here are some iPhone shots we took of the proceedings.

One interesting result of all this was that the oil temperature reached 195F. It was 46F outside and mostly were were making passes at around 50mph so that was somewhat encouraging especially as this somewhat replicated the conditions we expected Saturday at the event. Consequently we decided to remove the plastic tape blocking of half the whale tail slots.

Race day morning we were greeted by thick fog and freezing temperatures. We were happy we had left the winter tires on the car and that the venue was only an hour away. The temperature kept going down the closer we got till it was only 24F when we unloaded and set up camp!

By the time the runs got underway the sun had emerged and burnt off most of the fog. It even climbed above freezing, barely. Ryan managed to spin the car on his first practice lap but after that he got it down. The thing is so easy to drive anyway, once you figure out not to lift mid corner. After 8 runs each and much filming Ryan finished 2nd and I was fifth, after I demolished a bunch of cones on my sixth run. I'm rusty, what can I say?


The car ran flawlessly, almost. After my debacle with the wall of cones I suffered a stuck throttle at wide open and shut the car down mid-run. It fired right back up at idle so we are not too sure what happened. One theory is that broken pieces of cone got jammed up in the throttle linkage as it runs almost under the transmission. At these temperatures cones just shatter when you hit them! Another is that, due to the deep ruts that were forming we were jamming frozen mud into the linkage and jamming it up that way. Either way it is a bit worrying and something we may need to address if we decide to RallyCross the car again.

Oil temperature-wise we got some good results. whale tail fully open but engine oiler cooler still shrouded we saw 195F again during the runs. This was in temperatures in the mid- thirties so quite encouraging. We drove the car home below freezing but only got 140F at highway speeds, not surprisingly.

So we can't wait for Ryan's film to be done now and released to YouTube. Expect it in about a month. Oh, and our new mascot, RALLIDOG was a big hit too.


We think we have the oil temperature concerns addressed now. With some 5W40 oil in there and a cover over the engine oil cooler I think we should be fine. Time to move on to other issues: poor running and "popping" noises at idle!

We read on the forums that the popping noises are probably due to intake leaks; either from aging vacuum lines, oil filler gasket or, more than likely, intake manifold. It seems the bolts come loose and they can suck in the paper gaskets! These issues might also account for the rough idle. Of course there are other possible causes for the idling so we decided to look at plugs and ignition too.

So off with the distributor cap. Doesn't look pristine in there.

Neither does the rotor arm

We found these loose wires in front of the engine too. Can't believe after how many times we've had the engine out we haven't noticed them before. We must have forgotten what they were previously for, surely.

Plugs all look OK though the gaps were a little tight.

Uh Oh, another oil leak. Put it on the list.

So we gapped the plugs, cleaned up the cap and rotor, checked the oil cap gasket, looked around for deteriorating vacuum lines and checked the intake manifold bolts. Every bolt was loose! Not hand tight loose but almost. We torqued them back down and fired it back up, hoping that would be sufficient to sort it out for now.

It was Runs like a champ again. I think we'll plan on removing the intake manifold and replacing the gaskets and vacuum lines next time the engine is out. Which, judging by the proliferation of oil leaks recently will be quite soon.

Next we are off to Sno*Drift rally with the car to do some spectating and sell some wheels! Stay warm.

One more project on our to do list before we head to Sno*Drift was to relocate the battery to the smuggler's den, the recessed box in the trunk that used to house the AC blower. Weight distribution is the oft touted reason for doing this and there may well be some benefit in that regard but to us it felt necessary because we could never get jumper cables on the terminals in the stock location behind the front left headlight and that seemed important, especially as we head into the depth of winter.

The RENNLINE relocation kit is a well designed beauty that comes with everything you need to bolt the battery securly in place. We opted for the clamp with space for a disconnect switch but did not order the switch, yet. The main pieces are anodized aluminium and all the fasteners are stainless steel. The instructions are very clear too.

Here it is fully assembled but without the battery.

This particular kit is designed for the Odyssey PC925 battery and as we have had good luck with these batteries in the past had no hesitation to go with one of these again.

And this is where it's all headed.

It drops right in and rests on the lip of the aperture. It is then clamped to the lip with two small plates and srews.

Now for the tricky bit: wiring it up. The idea is to cut the terminal off the existing battery cable and pull it through the firewall into the passenger compartment and fish it into the smuggles box through the hole in the central tunnel that used to flow air to the AC blower. It's a bit fiddle espaecially as the cable is quite big and stiff but it was quite manageable. Once in we soldered and new ring connector on the end.

With the main battery cable now in the smuggler's box this left a bunch of wires in the old location without a positive feed. We ran a new fat cable from the battery back to this area and temporarily bolted them all together while we figured out how best to connect them. We also had to include two more wires for our rally lights into this configuration.

Then we had a brilliant idea: use a radiator isolator mount from our Audi Quattro

and a Tupperware box!

Worked perfectly


Last week we talked about prepping the car for Sno*Drift rally, even though it wasn't competing. Well now we feel obliged to let you know how it all went.
Of course it wouldn't be rally unless you were burning the midnight oil just before you left and that's exactly what we did though, of course, it wasn't planned that way. When we moved the trailer into position to load the car the next morning we found the lights only worked if we jiggled the trailer plug back and forth. Uh oh! We carefully removed the plugs cover and promptly three loose wires came out of their terminals with no clue as to which terminals they were.

We have no documentation of what terminal does what and the interweb wasn't forthcoming so we dashed out to Autozone before they closed to purchase another plug so we'd at least have a diagram and, if needed, a spare plug. The issue soon became that there were three loose wires and only two loose terminal screws. This was compounded by a wiring diagram that had the plug notch 180 degrees out of position which suggested our plug was always wired wrrong. But it wasn't as it always worked before. Oh, and the wire colors were all different too! It took a few hours to realize all these but when accounted for we got it back together. The extra wire? That turned out to be the trailer brake ground so we twinned it up with the trailer ground. PHEW! still Wednesday; just.
Loading up the car and trailer next afternoon was unefentful, thankfully, and the weather wasn't too bad with just some light snow forecast for later. Piece of cake.

So it was an easy drive to Lewiston and some logistical jiggery pokery soon saw the 911 parked at the rental house and the RALIVAN and trailer locked up in the local hardware store's yard (same owner). Then a quick jaunt over to race HQ in Atlanta via the snow covered "scenic route" had us registered, acredited and smiling. The Nokian tires proving more than adequate for the snow covered ice encrusted back roads. Back to the rental. Drinks, dinner and rally banter ensued.
The next two days were a blur of spectating and hob nobbing with participants and rally enthusiasts at our vendor booth and both parc exposes. The car really is a massive hit, even getting more attention on local TV than the rally cars. (see below) The car ran flawlessly all weekend and proved more than adequate for the conditions. There's just so much grip! After sitting in Atlanta service for two cold days the RALIVAN sputtuered into life Sunday morning to drag us all back down state without a hiccup. All said a thouroughly enjoyable but exausting weekend.



That's right, our little 911 is getting a roll cage. Does this mean we are going racing? Maybe. Motivations for this are three-fold: 1) safety during track days etc. 2) Race car credibility generally. We are showing the car a lot more these days. 3) This six point bolt in cage is SCCA time-trial approved and should allow us to run the Empire Hill Climb later this year!

We picked it up from a chap in Cincinnati who was selling for "Local pickup only" as a few of the bolt on sleeves had been welded "for additional safety" which rendered it less easy to ship.

Fortunately that allowed us to win the auction for a great price as it really narrowed the market for it and, although we were willing to drive down to Cincinnati for it a good friend of the shop, Nick Clute very kindly volunteered to pick it up for us on his way back from Florida. SWEET!

We would prefer a white cage and will probably paint it before final installation but first we have to make sure it fits and that we can still install two seats with harnesses as only the driver's side harness bar is looped for extra clearance. So first thing was to remove the seat and harness bar from the car.

The rear hoop was a bugger to muscle into place unassisted but we managed and immediately a problem presented itself: we had assumed that the bolt holes in each sleeve and bar were factory drilled thus making the sleeve locations universal. WRONG. Every sleeve must have been drilled in the car as none of the holes would match up. So we wrestled the rear hoop back out and started to put this jigsaw puzzle of a cage back together in a way that rendered it somewhat 911 shaped. Eventually we had it figured out and marked everything so it could be reassembled the same way in the car. PHEW what a job.

Three hours later the cage was fully assembled in the car but it was tight and even though all the bolts were loose it had very little flexibility. It seems it is going to mount exactly where it is now and nowhere else.

Again, a few issues presented themselves; non of which are insurmountable. Firstly, the sun visors are clearly never going to work with this cage in place. I guess they are coming out.

And secondly, the door pockets line up perfectly with the door bars. Either they go or the door bars go.

I think we'll source some RS door cards from RENNLINE to tidy this issue up.

So next job is putting the seats and harnesses back in to see if they still work then adjusting the feet locations, if we can and marking bolt holes. Then taking it all back out, drilling holes (gulp), painting it and finally throwing it back in. Stay tuned, it's about to get interesting.


That's right, our little 911 is getting a roll cage. Does this mean we are going racing? Maybe. Motivations for this are three-fold: 1) safety during track days etc. 2) Race car credibility generally. We are showing the car a lot more these days. 3) This six point bolt in cage is SCCA time-trial approved and should allow us to run the Empire Hill Climb later this year!

We picked it up from a chap in Cincinnati who was selling for "Local pickup only" as a few of the bolt on sleeves had been welded "for additional safety" which rendered it less easy to ship.

Fortunately that allowed us to win the auction for a great price as it really narrowed the market for it and, although we were willing to drive down to Cincinnati for it a good friend of the shop, Nick Clute very kindly volunteered to pick it up for us on his way back from Florida. SWEET!

We would prefer a white cage and will probably paint it before final installation but first we have to make sure it fits and that we can still install two seats with harnesses as only the driver's side harness bar is looped for extra clearance. So first thing was to remove the seat and harness bar from the car.

The rear hoop was a bugger to muscle into place unassisted but we managed and immediately a problem presented itself: we had assumed that the bolt holes in each sleeve and bar were factory drilled thus making the sleeve locations universal. WRONG. Every sleeve must have been drilled in the car as none of the holes would match up. So we wrestled the rear hoop back out and started to put this jigsaw puzzle of a cage back together in a way that rendered it somewhat 911 shaped. Eventually we had it figured out and marked everything so it could be reassembled the same way in the car. PHEW what a job.

Three hours later the cage was fully assembled in the car but it was tight and even though all the bolts were loose it had very little flexibility. It seems it is going to mount exactly where it is now and nowhere else.

Again, a few issues presented themselves; non of which are insurmountable. Firstly, the sun visors are clearly never going to work with this cage in place. I guess they are coming out.

And secondly, the door pockets line up perfectly with the door bars. Either they go or the door bars go.

I think we'll source some RS door cards from RENNLINE to tidy this issue up.

So next job is putting the seats and harnesses back in to see if they still work then adjusting the feet locations, if we can and marking bolt holes. Then taking it all back out, drilling holes (gulp), painting it and finally throwing it back in. Stay tuned, it's about to get interesting.

Now everything was falling where it should it was time to drill holes and commit to this cage!!!

and then take the whole thing out and reassemble it again so we can paint it.

BTW the seat cushions turned out lovely

In Part #3 we will finish this project once and for all.


OK, part #3. Final part? Read on..................

Painting took just two coats of brushed on Rustoleum; the same and left over paint we used for the interior. It was a bit of chore having to paint all round each tube and, because we didn't want to remove the sleeves again, required a bit of touch up later. But it is done and we think looks cracking!

While it was drying we ran to Fastenall to get some new hardware. We didn't like the black allen screws that came with the kit and wanted new nylock nuts too.

Then we threw it back in the car. cinched everything down and it fit perfectly.

Then we put the seats and belts back in to complete the project. Well, so we thought.

As you can probably see the seats sit too high; both for shoulder belt angle and head to cage relationship. Unfortunately we don't see any way to get them lower without cutting the existing mounting pads away and fabricating new ones and that is definitely another project so this one is done.



You may remember our car used to be dark pink with a beige interior? Well beige is not a rally color in our book and as this car appears to be transitioning into some sort of rally replica/tribute we thought the door cards needed some attention. We already removed the pockets to get the doors to close with the new cage but when we did the door cards just looked so wrong.

So we did a little research and selected RENNLINE's RS inspired, black leather door cards as they are simple looking and retain all the funtionality of the originals in terms of switch gear etc. One bonus is that they replace the unusual and hard to find door latch handles with a rather nifty red pull strap. 911 Door Panels-Rennline, Inc.

They come complete with everything you need to complete the swap making it a very easy job.

They are a very universal kit that come with all the cutouts already made. All you do is cut out the leather from the holes you need and leave the others in place.

Removing all the dodads from the door is pretty easy

as is removing the door card itself

We discovered that our door caps were covered in brown leather from the factory but it peeled away easily to reveal patterned black plastic below. After removing a bit of old glue they looked like new.

and before we knew it; race car!


Spring is finally here and it appears our little 911 has decided what it's new role in life will be: as a show car!. I know, I know, they should be driven and it's a race car but to be honest sales are keeping us busy and it is over 30 years old now. Perhaps retirement is appropriate. Having said that we do have two defenses to mount: one, it keeps getting invited to shows and two, we have entered the next Detroit Region RallyCross so it's not all show and no go.

So what prompted this you may ask? Well we did rather enjoy showing the car off at last year's Northern Worthersee show in Frankenmuth, you may recall it won best Porsche or something. And the UR quattro of our friend Tim Maskus also won Best Of Show so these cars are very popular and get a lot of exposure.

The car is also very popular at local car and coffee gatherings as you can imagine.

Which may have contributed it being invited to this year's Eyes On Design show. which is a HUGE honor.

So then we thought it would be good exposure to once again attend the Motorstadt show in June but this time as a vendor, again with the car of course. This one is a similar crowd as Wurthersee and they have always appreciated the older German stuff.

But then we also got invited to The Concours d'Elegance of America along with a bunch of other rally oriented cars. It can't get any better.

However, despite all this attention we are not detailing the car. It's still a race car after all.


Was fortunate to make the list for the Detroit region of the SCCA RallyCross this past weekend. These events are always over-subscribed and for good reason; they are a great fun and exceptionally well run.

Unfortunately not driving competitively for six months really diminishes ones skills so, for the first time ever in a RallyCross the poor car did not take home a trophy. I apologized to it profusely.

Still, despite my lack of ability the car is still a crowd pleaser and produces excellent action shots and video:


The spoiler also doubles as a trophy table!

Pictures by Brian Thorpe and Scott Banes.


As the opening salvo in our "All Show and All Go" program for 2016 we entered the car in it's first proper show of 2016, the Motorstadt show put on by the Michigan Volkswagen Enthusiasts and held on the beautiful grounds of the Austrian Society. We also entered our other 911 and our RALIVAN in the show and took along the entire dog and pony show too! It was a long day resulting in 2nd place for the RallyCross 911.

The next event on the calendar is Eyes On Design. That's a BIGGIE. We might have to get in some practicing.


We were honored to be invited to the Eyes On Design show this year and surprised to win a Designer's Choice Award. We guess all that lack of preparation paid off.

Early bird gets the designated spot they would have had even if it were late.

This was an unexpected surprise. No mention of Michelle Mouton though.

Our "class"!

and some competition. Uh oh.

Breakfast with a view.

More surprises

We got to keep this. Now we'll never forget what kind of car is under all that vinyl.

More pleasant surprises. Designers Choice Award

Next big event is the Concours Of America. All Show and All Go!! (no Q-tips either)


As the car is red hot now we thought we'd be sensible and install a fire extinguisher before we need one. We went with a 2.5lb dry powder with a quick release mounting bracket.

There were a few options for mounting: on the cage behind us, on the cage leg in co-drivers foot well, on the transmission tunnel in front of the shift lever. Finally we decided to mount it to the floor in front of the co-driver's seat as it would be most accessible for both driver and co-driver.


We took the "All Show and All Go" 911 to the Concours d'Elegance of America over the weekend to hang out with some other rally cars. There were two groups invited to this concours: real works rally cars with provenance and the rest of us "pretenders". We all participated in the peripheral cars and coffee type events but only the provenance-full cars were allowed on the concours field. The rest of us were allocated a club parking spot on the grounds. Still, it was good to meet people from the Historic Rally Cars Group in person and see cars we haven't seen live for thirty years or more.

Here we are with Colin McRae's Ford Focus.

This is Richard Burns' Impreza.

MK2 Escort


Always use your mirrors. You never know what you might see.

Rally cars thrive in these conditions, even at a concours. Opel Manta (red)

Great taste

What a nice spread.

Safari 911

Lancia 037

Fiat 131/Brava

All business inside











More non-action action for our All Show and All Go Carrera RX this weekend as we took the car along with the dog and pony show to the Northernworthersee (NOWO) show in Frankenmuth. An apt setting as it is a German themed town and home to one of the largest Christmas stores in the world.

On the way up we had some fun racing our RALIVAN.


Here we are setup.

The event was well attended, mostly by lowered Golf's Jettas and Audis but we did manage third in the Porsche class. Unfortunately festivities were cut short by the weather so we had our Flint Water Crises on the way home while going through Flint.

Enthused by our jaunt to pseudo Germany we are inspired to take the car to Canada next weekend, the real Canada though.


Another outing for the 911 Carrera RX, this time with a bit of speed involved; only a bit mind. We were happy to sponsor the 3rd iteration of the Empire Hill Climb Revival in Empire, Michigan again this year and as a bonus they let us use the car as course opening vehicle. This meant our duties were to lead the convoy of race cars from the village center to the bottom of the hill, run ahead of them on the hill (at a moderate pace), lead them back down then around the block to the start again for two more climbs then back to the village. Despite our "moderate pace" on the hill we still had a lot of fun and would not have been last if we were entered.

You can watch some in car video of one of our faster runs here:  https://www.facebook.com/TeamIlluminataMotorsport/videos/10153998737330773/

The weekend began early on Friday morning loading up the van and the car but by just after noon we were on the road.

It's only a little over four hours to Empire so we pulled up to our hotel for the weekend a little after 4pm.

After checking in and getting our key it was off to registration where we encountered this beauty

No, it's not a real one; well not quite. It is an actual rally car, just done up in period Rothmans livery. Looked and sounded great.

The Empire Hill Climb attracts quite a bit of vintage kit as indicated by this Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 Cosworth in the hotel. Yes, those are BRAID wheels too.

and this 72 911 with 3.2 engine. An actual rally car.

There were plenty of other interesting vehicles running including a vintage Lola and a Toyota Starlet with a Sadev transmission! Yes, the Starlet won overall!


This past weekend, along with a few friends we were invited up to show off our historic rally cars at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (previously Press On Regardless) on the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.That's Peninsula Squared! From the display in the spectator guide it looks like the were expecting us.

It's quite a long tow for us from all the way down state so we broke the trip into two sections which allowed us to meet up with the two quattros in Newberry on Wednesday evening and trundle the rest of the way to Houghton Thursday morning.

Plenty of rest stops and email checking on the way up. Work never stops.

Obligatory photo crossing the Mackinac Bridge. Windy and wet.

Here we are pulling out of Newberry. Even colder and wetter now. (33F)

From the road it appeared we were going to hit peak leaf peeping season.

All arrived safely at race HQ hotel.

As it was only around noon we had lunch and went for a drive up the Keweenaw Peninsula. But first an obligatory stop at a parts store for some running repairs. Apparently a quattro tradition this time of year.

Once we fixed the 84's errant turn signal we found some windy roads to open up the cars a bit.

Then a rest by Lake Superior.

before heading up Brockway Mountain where the other quattro promptly overheated due to a melted fuse holder. After lunch we headed back to Houghton as we'd been asked to park the cars outside the SAE Rally Forum at Michigan Technology University where they caused quite a scene.

The next day was the start of the rally so we were up bright and early to stage the cars at the entrance to Parc Expose, basically a car show before the event. Our number was swelled by the addition of a MK2 Ford Escort and Saab 96.

Spotted this in Parc Expose.

Once the event was underway we packed up and moved Historic Rally Cars HQ an hour south to Baraga to be closer to the action. Once back in our trusty (or not) cars we shot over to the first service in Sidnaw where a few spots had been set aside for us to pose. Fortunately thre weather had improved tremendously by this time.

We were thankful to get an early night after all the driving the last few days. Even more thankful when the bar bill arrived as our hotel was owned by the local tribe so, seemingly no federal alcohol tax! It was just a short jaunt over to L'Anse in the morning to exhibit the cars once again at the parc expose and hang out with rally people once more. It was a great venue being right on the water and the cars were as popular as ever.

Our next engagement was to run the spectator stage in downtown Houghton but before we could get there we needed lunch, and to visit another parts store. This time the Escort needed a new battery.

Here's a video of our exhibition runs through Houghton by Ben Newburn. The stage was a great way to end the rally and very popular with the spectators.


and here's one very happy future rally rally driver.

On the way to dinner the Escorts transmission decided to end it's relationship with its engine so we had to stop again. Fortunately there were enough tools and bolts to effect repairs and, as a bonus, were were in a great spot to experience the sunset.

Another cheap night in the bar capped of a great few days hanging out with car friends and showing off the cars. The CarreraRX never missed a beat and only required the attentions of a gas station while the, oh, never mind..........

If you get chance you really should attend this event; it possibly the best rally in the country. Thanks to Tim Maskus for making this all possible.


Our car has been sidelined by our 85 UR quattro that recently came back to life after a 2 year engine refurbishment. With winter looming we have been driving that every chance we have gotten, as you can imagine. However we did register for the Detroit SCCA RallyCross on December 3rd which, by happy coincidence is where Ryan Symancek of /DRIVE filmed most of this last year. Enjoy.


We put the winter tires on a couple of weeks ago:

Not because it was snowing but because we entered a local Rallycross.

and the conditions were cold and wet. Not great for proper rally tires.

We still slid about quite a bit


In car video:

We didn't hit any cones all day and finished a respectable fifth in class. Not bad considering we haven't driven in anger for six months. When we finished the car was very dirty:


Last weekend was our annual pilgramage up north to the Sno*Drift Rally. As usual we had a vendor booth and used the Carrera RX in our display and to go spectate. However, before we set off we had some winter prep to take care of. Our 911 does not get very warm in the winter, the inside does but the oil does not. We rarely see it rise above 160F so we took Tuthill's advice and replaced the Miller's 10W50 race oil with their 5W40 race oil. Tuthill runs an ice driving school in Scandinavia during the winter and swears by this stuff.

We also shielded the engine oil cooler with cardboard to retain some heat. We have found this to give us around 10-20 degress more oil temperature.

Then we were off.

No snow on the ground and temperatures in the 40s but we were assured that 4 hours north of us it would be below freezing and snowing. Good, as conditions up there had been quite warm and melted the snow pack they had built up already on the stage road turning them into ice rinks. A good snow covering would help all the competitors out. We were not too disappointed but even more snow would have been welcome.

We unloaded the car and retired to how rental house to catch up with friends. We spent the next two days camped out in our display and driving between stages enjoying the rear wheel drive traction from the Nokian R2 winter tires. At one stage we thought we would need help after parking on an ice covered steep hill but the care just pushed its self out to the amazement of all around. We even manage to recruit a new fan and future rally champion.


When we returned home we were happy to find a magazine from Norway in our mail box with a story about our car in it. Thanks BIL. Anyone speak Norwegian?


That's an interesting question. The answers are mostly driven by contemporary tire supply. For gravel rally tires stop at 15" (with the odd exception) so 15" wheels are required. 13" and 14" rally tires also exist but those would be too small for the 911 anyway. We used to run 205/65-15 in the rear and 175 or later 185/65-15 on the front but this year will be running 195/65-15 all round as we now do for winter tires (on the same wheels) This is not for performance reasons but so we can also run the same wheels and tires on our other care, an 83 Audi quattro rally car that we are currently building.

For tarmac events (autocross and track days in our case, we run 225/45-15 rear and 205/45-15 front on 15" BZ wheel (Fuchs style). These are very light and nimble with low gearing due to their small overall diameter. We also have a set of 255/40-17 which we pair with 225/45-17 on our 17" BZ wheels but, to be honest, these are just for marleting purposes as we wanted to promote the 17" wheel when it came out. They are big and heavy compared to the 15" and I imagine slower but have never tested them back to back.

Of course the very existence of the 17" inch versions is driven by tire availability, especially in the wider sizes as there is very little streetable rubber available these days in the necessary sizes.

Hope this clears some things up.


We were honored to have our 911 Carrera RX invited to the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn last week. It was displayed in the atrium outside a meeting hall in some very distinguished company. First we had to bring it home

Some Porsche/Audi love

Next day we took the winter tires off and mounted the summer BFG Rivals in readiness for our next adventure in New Jersey. Stay tuned.


It's been nearly two months since our last update so no wonder those upstart safari cars ^ thought they could sneak in. OK, back to our car.

In Aprilhe car was invited to the motoring club car show at Oakland University and displayed next to the FSAE car we sponsor.

During April and early May, as time permitted we did a few minor mods:

We replaced the cone seat steel lug inserts with ball seat so all our Porsche wheels can now use the same lug nuts.

and then some hood pins, front only for now. Rear looks more involved.

and finally a period rally computer.

Last week we dragged it down to Ohio to display it and spectate at the Southern Ohio Forest Rally


Our 85 UR quattro is running sufficiently well enough to tackle solo classic car duty at events so we decided to drop the engine in the 911 Carrera RX.

Before we got carried away and disconnected everything we had the presence of mind to do a compression test. We think it went well.

Plugs look OK too

We have a five week window before we need the car again so we got a wiggle on:


and 1 minute and 40 seconds later it was out.

Ok it took a bit longer than that. About four hours over three days I think. Now we start in on refurbishing the top. Here's what we are thinking:

New Heater ducts
New Shifter coupling
Intake manifold gaskets
Clean Injectors
refurb air flappy door thing
replace Rubber hoses
replace Fuel lines
Adjust clutch
Replace Plugs
Replace Leads
Replace Distributor cap
Replace Engine mounts
Replace Engine crossbar
Replace Left camshaft oil line
Valve clearances
Replace Air filter
Replace 02 sensor
Fix oil Leaks
Rear Hood pins
Refurb tinware

money and time permitting of course.

Car is running a bit rough and making some popping noises. Also doesn't like part throttle but idles well and pulls strong. Would like to dress up the engine bay a little too. Maybe some steel braided lines instead of OE replacements. Can you think of anything else we can do?


Tear down is nearly complete so we took the car off the lift and pushed it back into the showroom. Looks odd so high in the rear.

It didn't take long before we found our first issue. This might need cleaninig.

We soon had the intake manifold off the engine.

and found some more, not unexpected problems.

A bit more wrench wiggling and we had the shroud off too.

A few more things to address.

Generally speaking there were no surprises so we think we'll push on with our original plan. There was one little wrinkle: a morning spent googling "Individual throttle bodies Porsche 3.2" !! Maybe next time eh?


Anyone have a cheap(er) fix for this? OE part is $165!


The 911’s engine is back together. First we painted the valve covers red because racecar.

Then our cleaned and tested fuel injectors arrived from Cruzin Performance.

We repainted all the tinware

Then replaced the intake manifold connector with a silicone one from Vibrant.

We took advantage of the open engine bay to install some Sparco hood pins

Then our new intake gaskets arrived for TRE Motorsports

And a new engine cross member from Rennline

Munks Motors rebuilt all our fuel lines with Aeroquipe hoses

And Wevo sent us some performance engine mounts.

Finally we slapped the engine back in and took it for a drive but not before replacing the rear anti roll bar drop links.

The result of all this effort? The engine starts easily now and goes straight to fast idle then settles down to a smooth 850 rpm. No popping and bucking anymore and it pulls a lot smoother too.



We are pleased to report that the Carrera RX is now running very well indeed and we have been enjoying the car a lot visiting several cars and coffee events including an impromtu dash 200 miles up north to vist our 83 UR Quattro build at Cherry Classic Cars after our van blew a turbo hose.

We also attended the Woodward Dream Cruise and the Detroit Car week with the car.

Meantime we fabbed up a gauge pod to house the AFR gauge connected to the wide band o2 sensor we had installed while the engine was out.

This week we are dragging the car up to Empire, Michigan where it will once again be functioning as the course opening car. Maybe see you up there?


It's been a busy few weeks for the CarreraRX. A couple of car shows, pace car duties and even a race!

First up was pace car duty at the Empire Hill Climb in Northern Michigan. Normally we get to run a few parade laps up the hill but due to time constraints caused by the number of entries fun was restricted to escorting the cars from down town to the base of the hill. This is necessary as most of the cars are not street legal but need to use public roads from staging to the start. There were plenty of interesting cars on display too:

The following weekend was our (now seemingly) once a year RallyCross event with the Detroit region SCCA. As these were only a few days apart we let the CarreraRX sleepin the trailer.

Made some new friends and got the car nice and dirty.


Last weekend's adventure was to the car show held as part of the Speed Ring festival at M1 Concourse. At just over a mile from our shop we really couldn't miss this one. The event was primarily a Time Attack weekend but we did come away with two awards for looking pretty while stationary.

The car is resting for a couple of weeks in preparation for posing about at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where it will get to meet non-other then Hannu Mikola! Should be fun.



No, the guy on the left met the CarreraRX.

Last weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to the Lake Superior Performance Rally to hang out with our Group B rally car mates only this year there was a special treat laid on my the Guys from Dirtfish Rally School in the form of one Hannu Mikkola. Hannu was one of the first works Audi Quattro drivers and a true motorsport legend. Dirtfish also brought with them a replica of the MK2 Escort Hannu drove in Europe and a pristine Audi Sport Quattro. Hannu drove the Audi with us on Thursday up and back down the Keweenaw Peninsula then drove the Escort during shakedow, a couple of stages as course opener and then, again with us in the super special last stage in downtown Houghton.

There is a Flickr album documenting this occasion here but here are a few appetizers:


Can't believe it's been so long since our last update. So much has gone by, like: it's another year now! So what have we been upto since we got back from LSPR? Well:

We replaced the door seals then took out the rear window and resealed it with a new gasket.

No rust, thankfully.

Then we added a map light for an upcoming TSD rally.

Replaced the voltage regulator on the altenator and the fan belt.

Then had fun doing the TSD rally which really didn't go very as we set our clock 17 minutes off so were consistently 17 minutes early at every control. We did set fastest time of day though LOL. Our spot lights also packed up as soon as we turned them on. Still, we had fun!

We also did a RallyCross. That's two in one year! It didn't produce any great pictures (or results) but some in car video.

What's next for the car? Well, we are definately taking it up to Sno*Drift rally again at the end of the month and, due to the rather frigid weather we've been having here lately, there might be one or two ice races on the cards. We've got a door rattle to chase doen and a rain leak from the front end to diagnose. We also just received our heater blower backdate parts but that might wait for warmer temperatures just in case it sucks. Stay tuned (subscribe).


The end of January saw our annual pilgrimage to the Sno*Drift Rally about 4 hours north of us in Atlanta, Michigan. Despite the name This particular Atlanta normally offers frigid temperatures and lots of snow but this more resembled its warmer namesake to the south. Much of the snow had melted and refrozen during the preceeding week making the roads an giant, elongated ice rink. Still, as we were only displaying our wares and the 911 it was not of much consequence to us, the warmer temperatures making it that much less uncomfortable standing around.

Here are some pictures from our weekend.


Wow what a build! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Diggymart on 1/7/19 @ 3:39:29 PM