Last post on at the beginning of May?! Okay… well… so… some things have changed. Personally, I feel it’s very important to have all of your most life changing moments in a single year… you know shake things up a little…
Wow I’ve been slacking on writing stuff! On the plus side I haven’t been slacking on doing stuff! I think probably the biggest change lately is my new obsession with VR and VR kit. I picked up a used HTC Vive and I was instantly hooked. In fact, within a couple of weeks the obsession started taking a darker turn:
VR Racing with a wheel, clutch, shifter… oh it’s so good. It’s like you’re there, you can look through the corner just like you would on the track, and honestly it feels nearly as mentally fatiguing. You don’t quite get the same ‘fear’ moments of approaching a corner too fast, but it’s really really good. Thing is after playing a racing game in VR you can’t really come back.
Funny I look back and it’s been a couple months now I think! I’ve been trying to make as much progress as possible in a couple of fronts, so I that’s prevented me from writing all that much. Big news is:
818’s motor is in!
Well this is a bit embarrassing. Last weekend I was staring at my engine parts, vowing to call a motor shop on Monday and just have them deal with it! You see there’s two problems with this motor.
The last couple weekends have been really productive on the 818C. With the progress I’ve made lately it feels like I haven’t been doing anything the last year. It’s important to look back a bit though. While I’m on pg 227, I’ve been skipping around a bit so it’s closer to 200 completed pages out of the 700+ page manual
I think I also need to remember just how much work came before this. It wasn’t just install the front suspension, then install the rear suspension. There was a ton of work drilling and riveting the sheet metal panels. There was a ton of work tearing apart the donor car. There was a lot of work getting the pedal box and the steering fitted up. Every part cleaned up, wire brushed, repainted… yeah… I’ve made a lot of progress.
Progress! I didn’t manage to do much this weekend sadly. Just made for a bit of a lazy weekend, which was nice in it’s own way, but after talking with Factory Five and Stewart Transport, then looking at calendars…well…I have my work cut out for me! The kit’s due to arrive around the end of August/beginning of September. Should be reasonable weather and out of the way of any important events.
That said, between now and then is not so long in time, especially time where it’s cool enough to work! I’ve got to:
1. Strip the donor of all its useable parts, get rid of the lifeless carcass and hopefully sell off as much of it as possible
A. Empty the garage enough that I can fit a car plus all of its innards into the garage! Consolidate consolidate consolidate!
On the plus side I think I can get rid of one whole tool box and if I move a few things around, I can probably clear enough space to get rid of or relocate the central work bench. The SV650 can go outside, and I’ll put a cover over it. The table saw can fold up, as I don’t forsee much work for it in the next month or two. I can move a few things upstairs (perhaps some of the boxes of FFR stuff once it arrives!). What I do still need though is an engine stand and a hoist. Motor’s on the back burner for a bit though, there’s plenty to do stripping the WRX, cleaning up/repainting parts, and organizing stuff. Besides the motor’s a ways into the build. It starts on Pg 156! That’s miles away from where I am now. That said, I do need to call the machine shop and schedule the Head Work…could take weeks depending on them…
Pg 28 is complete though! There’s a page or two ahead of the game that I’ve finished too, but it’s important to make sure I get everything necessary. Teardown finishes on Pg 52…so still a ways yet and the tough bits like suspension, trans, rear diff are yet to come.
Excellent! Finally got a bit of cool weather to begin the teardown on the WRX. Technically, I did pull a few things earlier in the week on Tuesday while I was waiting for a guy from craigslist to look at my old windsurfing gear. But technically doesn’t matter! This is the first real focused time I’ve had and the first after more thoroughly studying the manual. It’s a bit tough because there’s lots of ambiguous notes like take off the door latches, hinges, and all the hardware…does that include this little very breakable plastic thing?!
Nonetheless we have progress! The rear doors and rear seats are out (and listed on craigslist), but more importantly the door hardware has been bagged and tagged along with the rear seatbelts which will be used in the 818. Some excellent progress so far.
Which brings me to the second point of excellent news. I called FFR, sounds like a 6-8 week lead time, so I gulped a bit and pulled the trigger. My order has been placed… the 818C will be on order and damn expensive. Then again, I look at the price of a new car or even a used car a few years old and it seems like a bargain! To be fair though, my choice of vehicle does require a bit more effort… Next cool(ish) day, front doors, front seats, consoles, etc!
A Kit Car has always been on my bucket list. It’s just been something I’ve always wanted to do. funny enough when I sold my last ‘fast fun car’ a 96 Ford Mustang which ended up being neither, having a great many mechanical problems and just not generally being manueverable (I was used to Miatas)…Hmmm… an impressively run on sentence so far. Let’s restart, when I sold that POS Mustang I said my next car is going to be something I REALLY want. The SV650 was a bike I saw and immediately loved. For cars it’s much harder. Sure Corvettes are nice, the new Miata’s gorgeous, but I always wanted to build my own car. Funny thing, I had selected the DF Goblin as my kit car of choice. Similar to the Ariel Atom, but with easier to find components and MUCH lower price… I spent the last couple of months watching for a Cobalt to come up. I wanted an SS Supercharged minimum, but then I started pricing things a bit more and the WRX based 818 started to seem a lot more reasonable. Admittedly the justification is: if I’m maybe doing this once in my life, I might as well [insert large amount of money here]. That said my budget has ballooned to about 15-20k depending on how much I can get for the excess donor parts. Here’s the thing… a brand new WRX starts around 26.7k…Mine will be 1000lbs less and probably higher horsepower…and the project has started! Project Bugeye WRX is officially home!
As you can probably see the motor’s removed. That’s what really happened…I looked up craigslist for WRX’s and lo and behold I found a guy that was selling a WRX…head gasket blown and he had a forged internals short block waiting to go in… It’s like half the work is done for me! (sort of…the downside is, having not taken it apart myself, I have little idea how to put it back together). That said he was going for a hybrid build 2.5L motor paired with 2.0L heads and transmission. I made a few calls today to FFR as well as a machine shop that specializes in those heads. This’ll end up expensive, but I’ve already got my first parts to list tomorrow…and we had a garage sale this weekend…made about 400 bucks selling off old projects. Just sold some more craigslist stuff yesterday and today for 380. I’ll list the good condition STI trunk and all the door skins tomorrow. I won’t need them. This project will come together in no time! Now I just need to get the gumption to actually order the kit. It’s been configured and sitting on my laptop for days…It’s just…somewhat frightening to pull the trigger… It’s what I want though…it’s always been the dream… so many tough decisions though…convertible or hardtop? In the mean time enjoy this photo of our Mazda 3 with an extra engine in the back!
And an extra engine sitting outside the garage!