compressorsurge New Reader
4/25/23 11:14 p.m.

Hey Nocones! I'm building a wide body Honda-powered Spridget! I'd love to chat with you about your car, I'm a new member here so waiting on PM approval still 

nocones PowerDork
5/3/23 12:08 p.m.

Lots of progress. Some forward.

So as Xzibit said…


The next step on the front suspension was starting on the bellcranks. The 3rd element bellcranks will be actuated by a shaft attached to and sneaking behind the existing bellcrank in front of the frame. The shocks levers will be floating on the bellcrank shaft and driven by a cam with a threaded bolt welded to the bellcrank. A 3rd welded on bracket will actuate rods for the Tbar swaybar. If this is confusing don’t worry because it is. 

The goal of the floating shock driver is to allow for initial droop travel to not actuate the 3rd element. The 3rd element will engage immediately below normal ride height (which will be adjustable via the bolts) increasing the springrate. I may set it up to where it is just before ride height so there is no non-linearity in the spring rate during cornering. 

I have done the math and figured out the relative lengths for the various actuators. Bellcranks operate under the theory of lever ratios so the radius that the various things are mounted at determines their leverage which determines how much force and displacement the various parts experience. Consideration has to be given to the angle the force vectors come into on the arms as the radius of torque application changes as the bellcrank rotates. I will do a more detailed post on this when I get a chance, but generally I try to keep all the actuation angles close to 90* as that keeps the effective radius close to constant. For these the shocks will actuate at a angle of less then 90* to ensure that their effective radius increases as the suspension actuates, as I want the wheel rate to increase as I approach full bump. 

So math in hand I prepared arms. The arms are adjusatable and because I want the Tbar to be 1:1 actuation across the bellcrank I made 8 sides which makes for a good picture.

I was then able to mock everything I had done up and make sure things clear. As is everything on this car clearance is TIGHT but it will work. So that is the current status of the front suspension. 

And that is all the farther I got on that for now, however you can start to see how the system will work as it takes shape. I’ve not had a chance to do anything additional as Saturday Robbie came down to run FDat on Sunday at a TNT autox. As he brought FDat “Ready” we had all night Saturday to work on the LMP360.  

Since multiple hands make hard things easier we decided to tackle the engine removal. I built the car to split in the middle with 6 ½” bolts. When Robbie first arrived we tested my insanely small Noco LiPo battery so the car was running. About 45 minutes after we started disassembly the engine was out and on the ground. 

Looking for more stuff to do we tackled installation of the IAG performance baffled oil pan on the “new” EJ25. This thing is a work of art. Installation was so easy I got to do it twice when I freaked out about if I pulled the paper towel I had plugging the oil drain back passage. 


And that takes things to today. The list of things required to get it ready to go on track is long. Although I am sure it would be POSSIBLE to get it ready for the Challenge I don’t think this year I want to do another insane scramble on it before the event. I found out I missed out on registration for Gridlife Midwest so the car will not be at GL MW which is the week after the challenge. Realistically that event was what was motivating me to have the car at the challenge this year as a Pre-GL shakedown of the changes. Since that event isn’t going to happen my first GL track event is at Autobahn CC in late June. Adjusting to that date would give me almost 8 weeks to focus on doing the work required (which is a fair amount) well instead of just FAST, and I will be overall happier with the result (I MAY even paint parts of the chassis…). 

So what does that mean for the Challenge and the FIRM? Well I happen to have a pretty great back up car in the 13B Tube frame rotary MG Midget. The only thing it needs to pass tech is in date harnesses which I can borrow from the 360. So I will bring it down instead. Now the big question is do I run it in GTN on 225’s RE-71s or do I run it in GTU on 245 A7s. 

Between now and the challenge I will still be working on the car so expect plenty of updates. The car still has to be back together and running as a TT car by end of June so still a nice long list of work to watch happen. 




12GS New Reader
5/3/23 3:56 p.m.

Hey Nocones, hit me up if you're interested in getting ABS on that thing, now or later. I know it's not necessarily needed, but it'll help you push the car harder on track knowing there isn't a risk of lockup braking late into the corner. I can donate my time and expertise to get it done on a budget. I love this build (I've been following for a while, and have read every post) and want to see it go fast.

wvumtnbkr PowerDork
5/3/23 3:58 p.m.
12GS said:

Hey Nocones, hit me up if you're interested in getting ABS on that thing, now or later. I know it's not necessarily needed, but it'll help you push the car harder on track knowing there isn't a risk of lockup braking late into the corner. I can donate my time and expertise to get it done on a budget. I love this build and want to see it go fast.

Can you walk everyone through this?  I have an 80s track car that I would love to have a cheap / modernish abs system onboard!

12GS New Reader
5/3/23 5:11 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:
12GS said:

Hey Nocones, hit me up if you're interested in getting ABS on that thing, now or later. I know it's not necessarily needed, but it'll help you push the car harder on track knowing there isn't a risk of lockup braking late into the corner. I can donate my time and expertise to get it done on a budget. I love this build and want to see it go fast.

Can you walk everyone through this?  I have an 80s track car that I would love to have a cheap / modernish abs system onboard!

I don't want to derail Nocone's thread too much, but I can probably put together a separate post on E46 MK60 ABS Standalone installs on this forum if everyone wants. There are posts on other forums if you do a little digging on Google for a lot of the info though.

I've got some other ABS tricks up my sleeve though that I'm not quite ready to publicly share, but if you PM me, we can talk about what you're looking for.

obsolete HalfDork
5/4/23 3:53 p.m.
12GS said:

I don't want to derail Nocone's thread too much, but I can probably put together a separate post on E46 MK60 ABS Standalone installs on this forum if everyone wants. There are posts on other forums if you do a little digging on Google for a lot of the info though.

I've got some other ABS tricks up my sleeve though that I'm not quite ready to publicly share, but if you PM me, we can talk about what you're looking for.

Yes! I've been curious about these for a while, I think that write-up would benefit a lot of people here.

wvumtnbkr PowerDork
5/4/23 5:14 p.m.

Please write it up!


We are all here to learn and talk cars.  I agree this isn't the right thread, but I'm guessing you will get a lot of views if you make a post.


Thank you!

singleslammer PowerDork
5/4/23 5:34 p.m.

In reply to 12GS :

Yep, 3rded. I would be interested in such info as well.

nocones PowerDork
5/4/23 6:05 p.m.

Please I encourage you to make a post discussing your ABS ideas.  When I get through this round of modifications I will reach out to discuss something.  I would be interested but need to focus on the current plans right now.

TurboFource HalfDork
5/6/23 8:26 a.m.

When you have a moment, what is the dimension from bellhousing to front of motor, to the stub axles and then to your frying pan? Just thinking

of my next project...

nocones PowerDork
5/7/23 12:22 p.m.

Man what a frustrating weekend so far.  Basically all of it self inflicted.


So those following along in my nearly build thread for the assumed LMP360 engine donor WRX challenge build..  Singleslammer has a similar problem as I with a planned car that isn't going to get done so he came over to help with the WRX to try to get it ready for the challenge.  Well that car was found to be pretty darn rusty.  Repairing it as a car made very little sense as it would be a quite large project.  I'm still undecided if it would be useful for the Panhard but for now it was decided to put it back in the driveway.   The engine has 220k miles on it and it probably doesn't make sense to fix the top end without going internal for use in the 360 so it probably is on the back burner.  So we spent all night Friday Messing with the WRX and moving things around the garage, and then searched FBM for cars for sale in Gainesville for a Challenge PLB...

Saturday we decided to try to make the "totally identical" EJ251 I just bought run.  First we just plugged everything in and got no fuel/no spark.   So we swapped all the sensors on the engine and still no fuel/spark.   So then we looked and realized the throttle body was different with different IAC valves and Map locations and wireing.  Since Subaru EJs are very lego we decide to swap intakes.   So we did that, and then we got..  nothing.   So at this point we look and realize the IAC on the new motor has 6 wires with 2 of them being 12V hot.  At this point we became convinced we have fried the ECU.  We spend several hours discussing how quickly we can make a Microsquirt work and as a final effort we check compression (180-180-190-195) and decide to reconnect everything and give it one more try with the other Coils pack.  And we get..  backfire, but at least we get spark.   We throw a timing light on and get consistent spark on the 1st coil but spark in a wierd pattern on the other.  

And it is at that point that I realize something..  those familiar with Subarus will know what's coming.   

The "new" motor is from a late GC8 2.5RS.  The "old" motor the ECU and wiring is from is from a 2002 Outback.   Both are EJ251s BUT, the coil triggers are not the same.   The 2.5RS uses a 6 tooth crank, 7 tooth cam wheel.  The 2002 uses a 36-2 blank Crank, 2 tooth cam wheel.   This would never of worked.  The engine is simply giving the wrong timing to the ECU.  We pulled the gears off the old engine but left the new engine alone for now.  

So at this point happy we figured this out but frustrated and tired after a day in the garage we went in to play GT6. 

Singleslammer went home but today I'm going to swap the gears and install my IAG oil pump then try to start the engine.  

At this point assuming the "new" EJ25 runs and is healthy the plan for the UTCC is to keep the EJ25 in.   If the OEM ECU is still alive it will stay for most of the summer.  But Singleslammer is going to help me put some kind of aftermarket ECU on it.  We have all the plugs from the other motor and can make a new harness that plugs into the engine.   Once running on the new ECU it likely it will get a small 5-8 psi turbo.  We think it's very likely that we can make OEM WRX power easier and more reliably with this fresh built EJ25 vs a 220k mile EJ20.   We know boosted NA EJ25 SOHCs are not the right way to make big power..  but I don't want or need big power at his time.  200whp will be enough for now.  

Then there may be a different plan post UTCC involving a EZ36....

No pictures but that's the update midway through a busy weekend.  It's frustrating because it seems like we didn't really accomplish anything but it would of been MUCH more frustrating to find this ECU situation a week before Gridlife Autobahn.  

Thanks to Singleslammer for keeping me sane when it seemed like the plan was unraveling.  

singleslammer PowerDork
5/7/23 6:03 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

Happy to help, I have some ideas on how to add an ECU.

12GS New Reader
5/8/23 12:59 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

ABS Post started here -

Working on the wiring part of the writeup in a bit.

nocones PowerDork
5/8/23 1:59 p.m.


Last night I swapped the timing gears and went ahead and install the IAG stage 2 oil pump.  

Reinstalled all the timing stuff then hooked all the wires back up and pushed the button.  

Engine started and settled into a high idle.  I haven't looked for vacuum lines and stuff so it may be that or I just didn't let it run long enough because it was open exhaust but it runs.  

It seems very snappy with the light flywheel and makes 75psi oil pressure which I now know because I have a gauge.  

There is still aftermarket ECU plans afoot but at least I know the new engine runs and sounds good.   

Now back to bellcrankery.  

singleslammer PowerDork
5/8/23 2:08 p.m.


The_Jed PowerDork
5/22/23 12:22 a.m.

In reply to nocones :

Totally unrelated... well... maybe somewhat indirectly related to your build, I seem to remember you mentioning that you sold the '97 Impreza Brighton shell to a guy who wanted a clean GC shell for a JDM drivetrain swap, is there a build for that on the interwebz by chance? 

nocones PowerDork
6/11/23 3:07 p.m.

In reply to The_Jed :

I've not seen one and I reached out to the guy about a year ago and it seems he went dark.  Hopefully it's because he's to busy blasting around in his GC8 WRX coupe.  

nocones PowerDork
6/11/23 3:21 p.m.

It's been a minute.  I wish I was going to show you a ton of cool amazing unbelievable progress.  But all I have is a functioning 3rd element.   I will attempt to explain its operation here.  

Here is an IG reel that shows it working.  


A post shared by Daniel C (@noconesgarage)


There is a lot going on here.   The original belcranks push on a 2nd set of belcranks.  These belcranks are 1" tube.   The 3rd element floats on these belcranks and is not directly attached.  The green bolts can be backed out to introduce a gap.  This gap would allow the normal Ride springs to actuate in 2 wheel bump before the 3rd element actuates.   The 3rd element is only compressed if both bellcranks move in the same direction (2 wheel bump).   In roll the belcranks rotate opposite directions which does not compress the shock.  

For the video the ride springs are removed.  Here is a view from the back that makes it a little easier to understand. 


A post shared by Daniel C (@noconesgarage)


Okay so that's a little easier but easier still is to remove everything from the car and put it on the bench so you can see it.  In this there are only 6 bolts that hold all this on the chassis.  4 belcranks pivots and the bottom of the two silver shocks.  I labeled the motion in both bump and roll. 

Back on the car here are a few details shots of the installation.  

Also shown is the new 1/2 rod end pullrods.  These probably aren't necessary but after the failure at the challenge in 2021 I wanted the extra safety factor.

Overall this 3rd element was pretty difficult.   There is a lot of math at work that I want to cover but that post will have to wait until after Gridlife Autobahn.   There isn't much space for everything and I would much rather have more space then have to tightly engineer everything.   I'm happy with how it works.  I can bounce pretty aggressively on the front of the chassis and the suspension only moves about 1/2" when suspended only by the 3rd element.   This seems about right for the application and goal of keeping the aero platform level under braking.  

A Tbar Swaybar is going to be added but probably not until after Gridlife.  

Now I thrash trying to throw the car back together and install the fire system and other punchlist items.  

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) SuperDork
6/11/23 3:45 p.m.

Saw the IG posts this morning (It's 5:45am Monday for me right now) and came running here but after many minutes of trying to get USA 2.5world internet going and losing power for a bit I don't have time to get the explanation I wanted. I will have to revisit the post. Looks cool as hell.

TurboFource HalfDork
6/11/23 4:32 p.m.

Can't see some of the pics to try and visualize all this

nocones PowerDork
6/14/23 2:45 p.m.

What do you do when the car is supposed to be on a trailer for an event in 9 days?  

Remove more parts and paint the chassis.   Or at least part of it.  

I've been tired of watching the chassis rust.  I was planning to strip it all the way down last winter and paint it and you see how that went.  Before I put the pedals and floor back on I thought it made sense to at least paint what I could.   

I'll slowly do more sections as I remove things for mods and maintenance.  Eventually maybe it will get sand blasted and painted properly.  

At this point welding on the front should be pretty localized.  It's just spray paint so I will be able to grind it off and touch it up whenever I need to add anything.

If you look close the paint job is terrible but from a few feet away if is effective at making you think I am not some rusty chassis animal. 

Shavarsh HalfDork
6/14/23 2:47 p.m.

Great move, also, love to see those seat covers whenever they pop up.

nocones PowerDork
6/26/23 5:13 p.m.

So Im genuinely sorry about not providing any updates.  As is typical I got really behind and had to scramble so hard to get the car on the trailer that I didn't do much in the document the finishing part.  It's probably best to start with the event and come back a bit later to document a few of the steps along the way. 

So since the last update I basically assembled the car.  That included putting the new brakes and hardlines in, installing the fuel cell, fire system, the new 1/2 rod end pullrods, putting the chassis back together, connecting the engine, installing new battery/cutoff and then reinstalling all of the body.   It was a lot.   

And then when I got it started I was struggling with cooling and gauges.  I had bought some lower cost electric gauges and none of them worked right after I got them in the car.  The temp probe resistance is way off and the oil pressure gauge wasn't working.   So I connected the OEM gauge cluster and put it in the passenger seat.  The temperature still wasn't reading right but I confirmed that the fan was cycling and thermostat where opening and keeping the crossover pipe around 205F which I thought was fine (Big Foreshadowing energy).  Of course this all went down the morning I was supposed to leave so I eventually got the RV loaded ready to role out Friday at 11pm.   

I left the house at 4:15 AM to get to the gate by 7.  Got the car unloaded, assembled the aero and drove to tech.  I fully planned this to be tech trip 1 and I would just have a list of things needed, but amazingly other then needing to hook up my brake lights I passed.  It was a big hit in the tech shed when I pulled the body off so they could inspect everything.   

So tech passed I hopped in to drive back to pits and promptly sheared the entire shift arm off the shift shaft ...  .   

I needed a welder.   But after announcing at the drivers meeting no welder materialized but Harbor Freight was 20 min away so off I drove to aquire a welder.  My generator is an inverter type and after the challenge I learned it doesn't always play well with other inverter machines so I needed the cheapest transformer based welder available.  So I am now the proud owner of a HF Flux only 125 AMP welder.   And you know what..  it's not actually that bad.   

So welder secured I returned to make my repair.  At this point I had missed the first session but I got back, fixed the shifter, put all the Gridlife stickers on the car and wired the brakes just in time to get suited and booted for my first and everyone else's 2nd session.  

I've not ran time attack with GL before but thankfully they put me at the back of the slowest run group.   So it was me and all the Sundae Cup cars.   Not knowing how the car would do I was fine with this.  The goal was just to get a lap in and not get in anyone's way.   

I did a warmup lap and the car was feeling pretty good.  Brakes are strong and firm, the 3rd element keeps the car incredibly flat under braking.  Corner grip felt balanced and responsive.   We got to the start finish and I started to push a bit on lap 2.  It was still clearly very early but I was able to push and the car was behaving well and giving me as much confidence as It could in the first several corners.   I was monitoring indicated temperature and it was holding around 220 so I did another lap.   This lap I pushed a bit more, and by the end of the lap the car was claiming 280F so it was time to come in.  

I got back to the pits and checked temperature with the IR gun and the car was definitely boiling water but wasn't 280.  Apparently the gauge broke but I still had an issue.   I waited until it was cool enough and refilled it all and then idled it to make sure it wasn't showing signs of head gasket or anything.   I used the IR to mentally recalibrate the temperature gauge and did the last session of the day.   I was able to get the same 3 laps and had the same result.   The car was getting really hot.   

But that was 3 sessions done and was the end of day.  I had managed 8 total laps with 4 of them timed.   My best time was a 1:45 which put me right in the middle of Sundae Cup.  

The overheating issue seemed to be a heat rejection issue not a heat generation issue.  Like the thermostat, water pump, and engine side was fine but the radiator just couldn't reject heat.   The position of the radiator is incredibly compromised due to decisions made fo support being a challenge car.   I basically rely entirely on a fan to cool the car.  That fan isn't directly on the radiator because there is no space so there are losses.   So Asphalt Gundam and I were talking and he suggested I just make a big scoop out of cardboard or whatever to cram air in.   It was worth a try because worst case was I run 3 lap sessions on day 2 managing heat.  

I had cardboard from the welder and I also had a Tupperware bin that I cary my driving suit in.  I made the decision to use the Tupperware bin as it was more rigid then the cardboard.  Lots of rivets and gorilla tape later "FRANKENSCOOP" was born.

It's hideous but damnit..  it worked (mostly).  Sunday I was able to run 3 nearly full sessions. And my laptimes were improving.    The car never fully overheated and after the final session when I got home the radiator was actually still full of water.  

My final laptimes was a 1:40.1.   It wasn't  fast by Gridlife standards but I'm very happy with that result.  

Plans are already in place for moving the radiator to give it more air and get it's heat out of the engine bay.  


nocones PowerDork
6/26/23 5:27 p.m.

So I ran my MG last year at this event and it ran a 1:44.7.   I wanna talk for a second about how the Subaru felt before drawing some conclusions based on the obvious 4.6 second smackdown it layed on the MG.  

The Subaru handling was very balanced with neutral to slight understeer at speed.  Braking is simply fantastic.   It feels like you can really lean on the car in the corners.  But it felt like it was WAY down on power compared to the MG.   The MG dramatically seems to explode out of corners on the edge of traction and then accelerates pretty strongly until you have to brake for the next corner.   With the Subaru you just pin it midcorner and the car feels like it kind of meanders down to the next corner that you probably don't have to brake for.   

I assumed this was due to the 360 being slower in a straight line and running up against the drag wall of the aero.   But I pulled up my data trace from last year (which I don't have from this year..  don't ask I was so freaking busy I couldn't get the phone mounted to take data).   I did have video though and a tach with working speedometer clearly in view of the camera.   

The 360 went through corners 12-20 mph faster then the MG.  It then proceeded to accelerate from a higher speed to a HIGHER terminal velocity by almost 10mph.   What I was thinking was less acceleration, was actually just less G loading because the car was accelerating with similar power from a higher speed.   Obviously the aero drag impacts it but my top track speed was almost 15mph faster braking for the heaviest braking zone on the course.   

I've driven a lot of MW tracks all in the MG, and although a nice facility Autobahn was not one of my favorites.   The track felt like it didn't have flow and felt a bit repetitive at times.   Driving the 360 it felt completely different.  The course felt like it flowed all the way around the track and it honestly was one of my favorites I've driven on.   

There is much room to improve the car but I'm very pleased with the performance so far


golfduke Dork
6/27/23 7:58 a.m.

Hey, for a shakedown first trip out with EXTENSIVE changes, I'd chalk that up to a massive win.  You took good data, found a clear path forward to improvement/reliability, and drove it onto the trailer at the end. 


Have a beer, that's a huge W. 


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