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Dirty Impreza - Project Rally RS
Vinyl Graphics, Tranny and Motor Mounts, Roof Scoop Installed!

There has been quite a bit of work done to the Project Rally RS since the last update about getting the car logbooked! We cut a hole in the roof, applied our vinyl graphics along with sponsor decals, along with strengthening bits of the car…

First up, getting the roof vent installed.The challenge was making a hole in the roof that would allow the latch underneath enough clearance to move correctly open and shut with the windscreen bar underneath. This vent is designed to go in a regular car that has a headliner, etc. Since i have none of this, the pretty gray bezel was not going to be used for anything other than a template to trace lines to cut on. In addition, the hole needed to be far enough back on the roof so that the scoop sits flush on the curvature of the roofline.

The holes that were drilled were pretty damn close to being just right. They were slightly crooked, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some manual filing. KevinWelker was helping me out during this whole process. It would have turned out way more messed up if i didn’t have him double checking my measurements, etc. Project Rally RS

The hole was just a tiny bit too small (better small than too big!) the weather stripping was bunched up in the corners, so i cut a bit more out of each corner to get a good fit. Here is Chip helping me get the rubber weatherstrip ring in snug. Standing on the door bars for an hour or two, really made my calves sore the next day. I should have used a stool or something. Project Rally RS

I swapped the drive shaft out with a spare that I have. This was to hopefully fix a problem with some clunking i was hearing under the car during deceleration. Its less pronounced now, but i think both drive shafts have questionable joints and carrier bearings. Ill be “re-urethaning” the main bearing to see if that helps. First on the list of things to do was pull the old POS tranny mount. With a lift and a tranny jack (for support) this is a piece of cake. Can be easily done in just a few minutes, i took my time and made sure everything was gravy before tightening things up.

group N tranny mount: Project Rally RS

Next up, was the group N motor mounts. These fought us on the way out a bit (stupid rusty Illinois motor) and we discovered that the left front bolt had a 17mm head and not a 14mm like the other ones. No doubt replaced by some knucklehead that doesn’t seem to care about having mismatched hardware. The rear bolts are a bitch to get to as well, but we managed. Kyle beat them into submission, and Greg used his manly pivot head ratchet to break the front bolts. Getting the new mounts to drop back into place wasn’t too bad but did require that we loosen the tranny brace to get studs to drop through the front cross member.

group N motor mounts: Project Rally RS

After weeks of teasing that the RS sounds like a Prius it was time to get some kind of exhaust fabbed up. I had a Magnaflow muffler from the previous catback setup that we figured we could make something out of. Project Rally RS

The whole exhaust was cut and rotated so that it sit higher up against the bottom of the car, but still being careful to allow enough clearance between the exhaust and the rear driverside axle. We wrapped up after midnight sometime, and I fought to stay awake on the drive home. The new exhaust sounds really good, a nice low rumble and some decent boxer sound when you get on it.

The RS got a proper beating out in the desert finally. I have to admit i was a little sketched out on driving all the way out to our “stomping grounds” in California City. Would the car break and leave me screwed out in the middle of nowhere? With the Jacksons coming i was confident that we would be able to handle anything bad that might happen. I managed to jam everything into the fully caged car and make it out there. There was literally no space in my car for ANYTHING else. I was completely loaded up. 5 rally tires (two riding shotgun), tent, sleeping bag, aerobed, floor jack, toolbox, hibachi, food, water, beers…

It was hot out at Cal City, but not unbearable. The wind would come and go which is nice to help manage dust when following other cars. Bugs were all over the place, but most of them were just annoying and didn’t bite. We met up with the Jacksons to camp, as they had a whole crew of family members camping in trailers and RV’s. I was rocking a tent along with worldrallyblue, Rally OBXT, and RallyPro7. We unloaded the cars, i swapped tires and we were off to explore.

Even more stickers on the car... Project Rally RS

I love rally tires. They have so much grip its amazing. The sandy dirt on the trails allowed for sideways fun, but still had plenty of grip on the hard pack underneath. Even better is that these tires barely show any wear after the whole weekend. Project Rally RS

The coilovers handled this jump very well. In the pics i was hitting this roller at about 75-80mph. There was a little bit of a bump right in front of the bottom of the take off, and they sucked this up no problem. The landing was very smooth and controlled even the few times I came down on the front two wheels first. No abrupt rebounding or anything like that either. Just jump, land, and stick. The brakes tend to shimmy the steering wheel on the street, but in the dirt it didn’t really matter since grip was so low and the tires would just lock up and slide. Ever since we bled the brakes they are much better.

Overall i am very happy with the car. I definitely need to get some racing seats, as the OEM ones are REALLY poofy and for a short guy like me, its not that big of a deal. However for Albert when he was riding along in my car his head (with a helmet on) would bump into the roof X all the time. Not cool. At least i was smart enough to install some of the roll cage padding that i got from Safe Drives on the head knocker bars. Project Rally RS

A few weeks ago, I randomly came across a guy on Nastysock selling what looked like a Rallispec roof scoop (that was painted black already!) for $80 shipped. The ad was over 5 months old, but I PM’d the guy anyway to see if he still had it, and he did! This just goes to show a few people actually rally on the biggest Subaru site in North! Anyway, this was a great find so i happily paid the guy his asking price for the scoop and he mailed it out. Brand new these things are around $200.

Install was a pain in the ass. This is another reason to not roll the car. I don’t want to have to put another roof scoop on. The scoop didn’t fit exactly with the RA roof vent because the vent door was slightly too large to fit under the “feet” on the inside of the scoop. I spent some time using the dremel to get everything cut out ok, but still leave enough material to drill the holes that the bolts will go through to hold the scoop on. Blue tape was used on the roof of the car so i could trace the outline of the scoop. Next the scoop was traced on a piece of cardboard where i marked the holes that were drilled in the fiberglass. The cardboard template was then matched onto the roof of the car so that the holes could be marked on the roof. This method worked out pretty well and i was able to get the holes drilled into the roof pretty accurately on the first try. I used some metric hardware from the local hardware store (bolts, locknuts, washers) to fasten everything down, snug but not too tight. Getting my hand into the scoop to hold a 10mm wrench and reaching into the car to ratchet from the inside was not easy. Im sure to anyone walking by it must have been a funny sight. So here it is, the RS with the roof scoop installed! Project Rally RS

Gooped on some clear caulking on the bolts inside the car to hopefully keep the water out. We’ll see how this goes next time i wash the car. Stay tuned for more updates!

Discuss The Progress Of Our Rally Impreza RS With Other DirtyImpreza Enthuasiasts: Click here!

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