OHSCrifle UltraDork
10/24/22 6:33 a.m.


dyintorace PowerDork
10/24/22 6:38 a.m.

It was awesome to see the car in person. Congratulations on a incredibly well deserved win!!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
10/24/22 7:44 a.m.

Nocones built a HELL of a machine and he drove it to the autox win himself!  Mad props for building AND driving!!

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
10/24/22 8:30 a.m.

One of the best build threads on the site, from the original vision to the final product, very impressive. 

AxeHealey Dork
10/24/22 11:15 a.m.

Awesome! Well deserved. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
10/24/22 4:57 p.m.

Congrats Dan! Very much deserved. This thread started with "So. Much. YES!" and is current with an all out win. What started as a meme of a subaru watching from the rafters of your shop to one of the coolest builds I have had the pleasure to follow along. Watching you blow Bucky's mind is second to this.

Are the purse strings going to open now?

Unlimited LMP360? LMP360 EVO? :drool:

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/24/22 6:38 p.m.


Stampie MegaDork
10/24/22 6:45 p.m.

Congrats Dan.  Sorry I didn't get to talk to you much this weekend.  It sucked for us.  Very deserving car.

nocones PowerDork
10/24/22 9:56 p.m.

Thanks a lot everyone.  It's still setting in that I actually went and Won the thing.  

Had a blast today at the post challenge trackday.  It was fun to just go out to do a few laps come back and take a break.  I'll post up some videos I took and a full breakdown when I get home.

Short version is the car is fantastic to drive on track.  It's well balanced and has enough power to be entertaining.   The suspension is incredibly well behaved and the Aero really seems to let it's presence be know.   The Firm doesn't have many "high speed" corners but the few it has it was impressive to be able to lean on the wings.  

As the car is basically completely unproven and had a Pullrod failure earlier this weekend I was hesitant to really push all out.  Additionally the brakes are still the random pads that where on the donor components so braking was not confidence inspiring.  Even still I managed a 1:38.6 with the shoebox and a 1:23.870 with the GRM test track configuration.   

It wasn't issue free.  I've been running the car without gauges for a while.  Mainly it's been an issue of just not having time to extend the wires to the stock cluster.  I knew the car was running warm and that although the radiator is probably adequate that the $0 radiator fan configuration really wasn't perfect.  For short duration Autox use it was fine but it seems the track day may have been to much for the 170k mile donor head gaskets.  Car still runs fine and drove every session I wanted to drive but it obviously was pushing water out the cap.  It's fine.  I knew it was likely as they are the original head gaskets and I'm glad they had the decency to wait until after the challenge.   I was planning to do the MLS gaskets this winter so it's not really even extra work.  

I need to assess the car when I get home and see what additional repairs need made.   The car needs to stay mostly as is for a few months before I take it apart and do any modifications..  for reasons.  

I apologize that a lot of my detailed reporting on the experience and such will have to wait until I get home.   I will follow up and keep everyone updated as things progress when I get home.  

Again I really appreciate everyone's well wishes and wish I could of spent even more time just hanging out with all of you.  

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo PowerDork
10/25/22 9:28 a.m.

always late to the approbation party...


way to go!  Good to see all the hard work come together.

I look forward to hearing more, when you've had a chance to get home, unpack, unwind, etc

nocones PowerDork
10/26/22 1:49 p.m.

I posted this in the Trackday thread but I thought I'd put it here so people that didn't know to look there could see it too...


The LMP360 seems to do okay on track.  The behavior at Autox of generally neutral remains and the Aero seems to really do something allowing for huge confidence in the rear end staying behind you in high speed sections.   There are definitely some changes and adjustments that need made that resulted in less then 10/10ths efforts. 

-The cooling system that seems adequate for Autox is most definitely not sufficient for Track.  I believe it just needs a better fan/shroud arrangement to ensure adequate Airflow.  The car was HOT after every run and I probably hurt the head gasket, but It started right up this morning and isn't blowing Air out the water so maybe it's okay.

-BRAKES, or Should I say lack of them after >2 stops.  The brakes that where marginally okay at Autox where atrocious at the track.   I had ordered "decent" brakes to replace the donor car brakes/pads that are on the car before the challenge.  Everything arrived in time but it was all wrong.  They sent me WRX front calipers/pads instead of Outback (They are ALMOST identical but the pads don't fit the Outback Calipers) so I was forced to run the stuff I had.  Braking was a, Coast, check brakes before 300' cone, heavy brake around 2, then coast into corners after you are sure you are going to stop.

-General lack of trust of the rear pullrods.  During the challenge 1 of 4 rear rod ends decided it was done being a rod end and failed.  I thankfully had spares and was able to get the car back going.  But it definitely impacted the confidence on the track.  I tried to stay away from curbs, didn't really push hard around the high speed corners and was constantly aware of the amount of runoff available when I did push a bit more.  I'll be upgrading from 3/8 to 1/2 rod ends in the rear to restore faith.

Still despite this I ran a Transponder recorded 1:23.870 on the full track.   This time was with a estimated 200lb passenger in the car (Which is >10% weight increase for the Me+Car package).  That puts it near many fast cars on the GRM leader board.  It puts it near the 997.1 911 project car baseline test and other recent sporty performance cars that cost a lot more then $2000.   With optimization and a higher level of confidence particularly in braking and ability to attack curbing substantial time could be cut. 

Following this session after I went into the NASA bus thing and found I had ran my fastest lap of the day I knew if I had went out again I would do a Dumb and push way harder then I was comfortable or than I had all day and broke something so I shut it down.  

Here is incar from 2 sessions.  The first is some 1:25/26 laps during the 1st Shoebox-less session with a fixed camera view.   The second is a "First Person View" with the camera strapped to the helmet and has the fastest lap I ran.  I know FPV bothers some people so I included videos both ways.



nocones PowerDork
10/26/22 2:00 p.m.

One thing I really like about the FPV video is it really demonstrates how:

1. Low the car is.  That is the real view out.  You really do look UNDER the mirrors.  

2. The fenders although they obviously block your view you really can drive around them.  I can totally understand how F1 drivers get used to the halo center and just never really notice it.

3.  Effective the mirrors actually are.  The Drivers one requires a slight head tilt for me to see easily but the passenger one provides a great perfectly stable view of the back of the car.  

msterbeau New Reader
10/26/22 2:25 p.m.

This thing is such a great example of creativity and DIY skills.  Love it!!  

What I'd really like to see, and I'm sure I'm not alone, is to rebuild it without all the budget and time constraints. Actually - probably better to just start fresh but to the same basic plan. It would be sad to see the original torn up.  :-)



MuSTANK Reader
10/26/22 2:41 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

WONDERFUL work/build/refinements and SUCH well deserved accolades and awards ! ! !


sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo PowerDork
10/26/22 3:13 p.m.
nocones said:

One thing I really like about the FPV video is it really demonstrates how:

am I right, that it sounds like with 2-up that there's underfloor rubbing through the left-handers?

or is that an artifact of something to do with the GoPro being helmet-mounted?

hobiercr UltraDork
10/26/22 3:24 p.m.

Watching both I just want to say that I can't wait to see this car with a) brakes you trust, and b) sticky tires.

nocones PowerDork
10/26/22 3:34 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead the buffalo :

The only rubbing I've been able to find is during braking/cornering the front corners of the front wing rub.  This is particularly noticable during 2 up when braking into..  3 I guess it is, but again can be heard going into 6 or the turn before the Esses.  It's possible there is light kissing of the outboard parts of the underbody.  Because the car is primarily making contact in roll It is unlikely the chassis is touching.  I'm not actually sure the suspension can compress enough before the shocks are bottomed for the chassis to rub in a straight line. 

That said I am already planning a 3rd element for the front and rear.  I like the Ride rates the way they are as the general feel of the car is really nice.   I want to run about 1/4-1/2" higher in the rear and then have the "platform" stay at that level.   So I think a 3rd element will achieve that goal.

I've not driven a car with a 3rd element but It will be a fun development direction to take the car in post challenge.   I'll also probably attempt to work in a swaybar at the same time.   The car doesn't roll excessively but it does roll a little more then ideal.    So expect that design and develelopment to start in January with a goal of having the car back on the ground with a 3rd element in time for Gridlife events in Summer.  

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
10/26/22 4:24 p.m.

I mean if my IG post did not make you famous enough, here you are on 914World:


nocones PowerDork
10/26/22 4:28 p.m.

Also..  someone linked me to this external video of the Autox by Turtlesharkshooter.  Not sure if they are on the forum but thanks for the video.


It even has the part where I forlornly grind to a halt sad about my station in life during the first run.   I'm assuming this is prob my fastest morning run so a 46.9xx or there abouts.  It's cool to see the çar from the outside and see what you all see.  I keep trying to show you videos of what I see so it's neat to flip it around and see it from the outside.  

Also if you guys see things pop up on socials link it to the build thread. I like seeing what other people do with videos and pictures of the car.  

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
10/26/22 4:38 p.m.
nocones said:

Also if you guys see things pop up on socials link it to the build thread. I like seeing what other people do with videos and pictures of the car.  

Done in the thread on 914World posted above.

nocones PowerDork
11/10/22 3:12 p.m.

Okay a little catching up is in order and I'll try to get to that in the next few posts.  I'll start at the beginning..   or at least at the car breaking on run 1 of the challenge Autox.  

I launched the car for run one and as soon as I turned left the right rear started making noise.  The car still handled okayish.  So I initially thought it was maybe an aero or bodywork part dragging.   As the cars can fail spectacularly at any time I thought it best while still running to attempt to complete the run.   That was obviously a bad plan about 10 seconds later when I figure out that the thing dragging was the entire car.   So I forlornly made my way to the concession stand in almost the exact same location that my Run 1 from the 2021 challenge ended up.  Once I got out It was obvious that the right rear suspension had collapsed.  My mind immediately went to failure of some fabricated component that I figured I wouldn't be able to repair.   Looking under the car I was surprised to see a rod end had failed.   But not necessarily the way you expect them to.  More on that in a second.  

Thankfully when I was throwing parts in the car loading I grabbed the bin with the spare rod ends.  It turned out it was a Left Hand thread one, so had I not brought one it was likely my challenge was DOA as finding a 3/8-24 LH rod end in Gainesville in a few hours was likely not possible.  So the 2021 Champion crew who was there to watch helped me schlep tools and parts and I made the repair.  I considered going back to the pits to look the car over but decided to just roll up to grid and send it.   The car held together for the rest of the event and the trackday so I was glad about that.  


So what happened?   This is the failed part.  

In my experience these break at the root of a thread and the threaded bolt section fails.   This one failed at the side of the forging and split the rod end housing down the middle.   I believe the Pullrod hit the ground and that broke the rest of the housing  off the rod end.  It could not be located.  

Looking closely at the failed joint it appears (without a microscope) like a defect/stress riser at the forging edge propagated a crack across the housing yoke. 

This crack propogated into the yoke until the remaining material failed in tension. 

This is evident because the surface of the failure is smooth halfway then it's rough.   This smooth area doesn't display the typical polishing of a fatigue failure (due to small motion between the sides of the crack) but this is most likely due to the Pullrod never experiencing load reversal.   The surface seems similarly weathered and there is no heavy corosion so i would estimate this crack propogated relatively quickly as the car has gotten wet and you would expect some crevice corosion if the crack was present.  

So I believe this was a bit of a manufacturing defect failure.  The rod ends used aren't special high strength ones and are just Jegs economy ones.   They have a rating for strength but clearly the rear weight makes them marginal.   I will probably be a bit of a dork and calculate the cross sectional area that failed catastrophically and back calculate an assumed load at failure.  It's not fully straightforward because the internal stresses would be hoop strain in that area but I should be able to get close with a little Free Body Diagram.  

Moving forward the plan is to put 1/2" rod ends on the rear Pullrods before the car is driven in anger again.   The front suspension loading is 1/2 as much as the rear so I don't believe the upgrade is necessary in the front.  The remaining 3 rear rod ends have survived so they are likely good on 1/2 the load in the front.  I will lathe some spacer sleeves to let me use 3/8" bolts in the 1/2" rod ends so I will only have to make new Pullrods.  I will likely have to redo the upright brackets to get the 1/2" rod in in as there are not  spacers today.   I'll document this when I do it.  Which won't be until end of December.  

For now the immediate next steps are repair the damage done by the suspension collapse and when I broke the rear wing endplates unloading the car (details in next post) as well as finish the seats, swap rims and fuel cell, and probably make the forward roof section.  

maschinenbau UberDork
11/10/22 4:20 p.m.

*looks nervously at my own challenge car's 3/8" heim joints*... Though mine are pushrods, so compression should be an easier life for them. Cool failure mode, both the fracture mechanics part and the aero dragging pavement throwing sparks everywhere while I worked course.

nocones PowerDork
11/11/22 4:24 p.m.

After the post challenge trackday I drove the car over by the NASA transporter and recorded a few videos for a short IG reel.  I am by no means a Social Media Expert, and I simply try to use it to promote the DIY, enhance your knowledge lifestyle.  

My typical post or reel would get like 3000 views and a good post would break 100 likes.  

This one has done substantially better.   


A post shared by Daniel C (@noconesgarage)


Hopefully this is some good exposure for the event and magazine.   Reaction has been really positive and I'm learning all kinds of new ways to say "this object is appealing to me".  

If you are new to the build thread, the GRM Forum and Magazine, or the $2000 challenge have a look around.  This is the best corner of the internet I've found and if you like building and learning it's a great place.  

nocones PowerDork
11/14/22 10:22 p.m.

OK..  So I'm an Idiot.


Let me explain.  


I've shared pretty much the entire build here so I might as well share the expensive failurey parts too.   

So you know how I had some problems with overheating at the trackday.  Tonight I figured out why.  A while back in the Europa thread coolant system routing in engine swaps was discussed.  During that discussion I convinced myself that I needed to block my heater hoses to "force" water through the radiator otherwise I would bypass it and just short circuit the radiator when the thermostat opened.   Looking back I'm not sure how idiot me thought the coolant would circulate through the engine with the TStat closed..   .  

So here is my coolant Diagram of what I ran at the challenge.

Don't be like me.  If you swap a Subaru leave a loop in the heater hose so the engine can circulate coolant before the thermostat opens.  What was happening to me is the radiator was doing exactly nothing, because the engine would exceed 220 and 1.1 bar of system pressure before the thermostat on the bottom of the engine would get to 185.  Without coolant flow through the heater hose loop the Thermostat never got to temperature and never opened.  

So I fixed the loop. 

Unbelievably the car runs fine and doesn't overheat anymore.  I'm CERTAIN it has to have a blown head gasket..  I mean it has to.. It had an evaporative coolant system for 4 track sessions.  In an EJ25 known for it's robust head gaskets..  ..    

But the fact that it starts, idles, and runs on all 4 cycles the fan and thermostat after restoring the loop and idled for 30 minutes without blowing steam out the radiator cap makes me at least hopeful that just a Timing Belt, Water Pump, and MLS Headgasket job will restore the 2.5L to full health.  


So it was me.  I'm the problem.  Just proof that you can be talented enough to build the rest of this car and still make simple dumb mistakes.   

!EDIT!..  I just looked, I did not block the throttle body coolant lines as shown.  So that explains why I didn't have a cooling problem at Autox but did at the track day.  The Throttle body line is ~1/4" ID.  At autox apparently there is enough idling for given heat generation for the small circulation provided by this line to get the Tstat to open.  On Track apparently the heat generation is rapid enough that this limited circulation gets the engine hot enough to pop the cap before there is enough heat at the TStat.   It's possible this will still be an issue when I have the 5/8ID radiator hose loop in place.  I will ACTUALLY PUT A COOLANT TEMP GAUGE ON THE CAR and be able to monitor at the next track event after the Head gasket replacement. 

Asphalt_Gundam Reader
11/16/22 12:22 p.m.

Other fix options include: Drilling a hole or two in the T-stat for flow before it opens or eliminating the T-stat and running a restrictor instead (might increase warm up time). Both of these you can keep the heater core stuff capped off.

I also find it strange that the T-stat is on the cold side of the radiator...

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