Last Ditch Racing's 1998 TAD Motorsports Subaru Impreza
Steel Tulip 2, or Tulip 2, T-2 for short is our, 'new' Open Class rally car that we drive in Pro level events in both the US and Canada.
Known as, "T-2," or, "Steel Tulip-2," this car is no longer with us. You can check out the video section for the gory details. A right 4, NO CUT at the 2005 Maine Forest Rally on the Middle Dam Out stage was the scene of the crime. I cut-just a little-but that was enough to catch the turned right wheel on a slab of glacial granite about the size of a grand piano. It bent the unibody badly enough that we didn't feel she was safe to repair.
The car started life as a 1998 US Subaru Impreza RS coupe and had a 1995 JDM Subaru WRX drivetrain grafted to it. The car was originally built by TAD motorsports.
Since we've had the car, we've changed/added a few things.
Engine: EJ20G, 2.0 Liter horizontally opposed, turbocharged(TDO5) with top-mount intercooler. GT Spec headers, cold air intake, custom downpipe and exhaust. Approx. 285bhp. Tuned by F-1 Dyno in Scarborough, Maine, who are unfortunately no longer in business.
Protection: Engine/gearbox skidplate. Primitive Racing rear differential skidplate. Kevlar underfloor and sill guards from Austex racing. Rear suspension protection courtesy of custom fitted Volvo truck mudflaps.Communications/Electronics: Yaesu YM-1500 2M ham radio and Terraphone Pro intercom. Custom radio console between seats. Set of four PIAA off-road lenses in bonnet mounted pod(one pair driving, one pair fog).
Tires: Michelin gravel rally tires
WRX Turbo on a ‘98 Impreza RS
Note, this is archival info only posted for informational purposes-the car is long gone!
It all started when I bought my '98 Subaru Impreza RS. I was already into the rally scene, having campaigned a Group 2 Honda CRX for a couple of years. I knew I wanted to turbo my RS, but how?! There were few kits at the time, and not a lot of information on the web. My goal is a quick car, but a reliable daily driver at a fairly low boost level.
I found out about the i-Club on the internet and it turned out to be both a blessing and a curse! There was lots of great information, but also lots of ways to spend cash. I got burned in a turbo group buy by a company named JC Sports, in Colorado. Turns out they took our deposits and never delivered product. Buyer Beware indeed! :-(So, I decided to turn to fellow i-Clubbers to help me turbo my RS. There are lots of great sources of information out there. Go to the i-Club and DO A SEARCH! :-)I bought my parts piece-meal. Here's what I'm used.
- EJ22T turbo block from Exeter Subaru
- 2002 WRX stock TD04 turbo
- Walbro 255lpm fuel pump
- Saab900 Intercooler
- Saab blow-off valve
- Up/Down/Intercooler pipes from Unique Motorsports
- Oil supply and drain lines from ISR
- Performance Torque converter from ProTorque
- Omori Gauges
- TIAL 35mm external wastegate
- Silicone hoses from Bel-Air Composites
So, what are the difficulties in using a stock WRX TD-04 turbo? The compressor housing needs to be rotated counter-clockwise(looking at it from the front of the car), so that the Unique Motorsport intercooler pipe works. This is accomplished by removing the large circlip that fixes the housing. It's big and difficult to remove, but once off, the housing rotates freely.
When the housing is rotated, it needs to be rotated enough so that the coolant lines for the turbo can go back on. The upper and lower lines are connected to each other in the center, and I cut them so they can be rotated slightly.
In the picture below, you can see the Tial 35mm wastegate down below the turbo. The main engine harness connectors sit right above the turbo housing, so some heat insulating will be in order. Despite increasing the horizontal length of the uppipe about .5", the down-pipe still rests on the transmission.
The air filter, made from a cut-down cold air intake works well. The angle of the turbo is slightly off, causing the pipe to hit the valve cover a bit . The up pipe may have to be bent laterally a bit in order to keep this from becoming a problem.
Everything sitting where it should, but nothing hooked up!
Side view of the engine bay. Everything fits-just!
A big thank you to Eric Wages for helping wrench on the car, moral support, and humorous banter! :-) I hope to start the car by this weekend after we get the vacuum lines, coolant lines and electronics wired.
When I completed the Acura engine swap, I wanted to start the car to make sure it ran ok. The exhaust manifold was on at the time, but not the exhaust. Little did I know that I frigged up some wiring and one of the fuel injectors was stuck open. My oldest son, ten 5 or 6, shouted, "FIRE!!!!" and ran for the house. After extinguishing the fire, I did what any man would do, I started it up again to see if it would happen. Of course it did. So, the bright red color and the incident led to the name pretty easily!
Many thanks to Wes Grammer for his article on swapping in the Acura engine and support
throughout the process and Pete Mathewson(fellow CRX builder) for
moral support and humor! :-)
- 1987 Acura Integra 1.6L DOHC engine, Integra gearbox intstalled,
Integra rear suspension and front disc brakes. Many thanks to
Motorsports magazine for an excellent article on how to carry
out the suspension swap!
- Battery relocated to right rear of loadspace using Moroso battery
- Kuhmo rally tires
Control coil-over kit in the rear with 300lb springs and Tockico
Illuminas at all corners. We have fitted 27mm. torsion bars from
Motorsports for increased stiffness and ride height.
- Lexan rear window
- Roof vents from the local trailer supply store
- Sparco Sprint seats with RCI 5-point harnesses
- 1/4"Aluminum skid plates under the engine
Suspension bushings for the suspension
remote oil filter kit and oil cooler. With the skid plate fitted,
It made sense to have the oil filter someplace where we could
change it along with a cooler. It also added two ports so we could
hook up our oil temp and pressure sensors.
brake proportioning valve with Performance
Friction pads up front.
Grip LSD-please note that we NO LONGER run these in our cars.
- Rally Mudflaps and Hella driving lights and map light from Susquehanna
- The car was lightened as much as it could be. The dash
remains, but all interior trim and soundproofing has been removed.
We did not remove the undercoating from the car.