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Old 01-14-2016, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default rebuilding front end suspension & steering rack questions.

so we picked up some used snow tracks for our rally wagon this past week and took them out for a test drive. when i was taking them off i noticed huge amounts of slop in pretty much everything on the car. balljoints & tie rod ends. shits wasted. not surprising as we beat the snot outta our wagon, but its time to put it all together at once and be done with it. cars been heavily neglected for years, lol.

did some searching and see that the raybestos lower balljoints seem to come up quit a bit. prolly go with those, but dont really see much regarding tie rod ends. just stick with oem?

also searched replacement upper a-arms. normally i would stick with oem as i dont play around with ride height on this car, but we do need a little lift for maximum clearance with the tracks. plus the added travel would be nice during the rallyx events. plan on getting the k-sport gravel coilovers but still undecided on adjustable a-arms to correct positive camber im guessing ill get with the lift. skunk2 proseries seem to have more range, lower profile, and the largest actual balljoint. i cant seem to find any info that in depth from any other brand. skunks a safe bet here? anyone else using them in off road use applications? others i should seriously consider? i dont have a problem spending money for a quality product.

i also ruined my steering rack last season. it got flooded then frose. i started up my car one morning and the steering wheel just started turning one way till lock. kinda freaked me out, lol. i tried to stop it, but it was gonna turn whether i wanted it to or not. once the car warmed up a bit, i was able to drive like normal, but the steering has never been the same. is this rack done or can it be rebuilt? what are my options here? i have a spare one kicking around, but it looks pretty bad off too. torn boots etc. i assume my pump is shot as well. any advice would be appreciated as ive never messed with the steering rack whatsoever.

also curious about the quaife quick rack and peanut kit. if im going to go with one of those, now would be the time correct? anyone using one of these? love it, hate it, worth the money? notice there are 2 available, 2.83 and 3.25. guessing the 2.83 would be the ticket??

all advice and opinions welcome. ive been somewhat out of the game for 4-5 years now (other than rallyx). 2-3 autox events (after 13 years straight) and only hillclimbing when people offer me cars i cant refuse. forums have changed drastically and i dont fb. all input will be very appreciated!
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The Quaife quick rack (2.83) actually ends up around 2.5. This is pretty quick and would be good for auto/rallyx, but pretty twitchy on the street. We haven't found the need to go to quicker steering in stage rally. If we're going lock to lock, there are other things happening that have turned us into passengers.

The kit is pretty expensive, $140 or so, then VAT and shipping, then you need bearings and seals. You can get a 1.5 or 2.0 ratio quickener from ebay (or other places) for about $100, but there's fab work needed for installation.

Here's a link to a Quaife install how-to to give you an idea of what's involved.
http://www.accutach.com/Documents/QuaifeRackUpgrade.pdf

Honda-tech has lots of info about it as well, both the good and bad.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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lol, understood and thanks for the reply henry. i see no need for quicker than 2.5 either. even that might be too much as you mentioned, but doesnt seem like the 3.25 would be worth it for such a minimal change.

great writeup on the swap. thank you for the link! ill go poke around ht and see if i can find anything useful.

what tie rod ends do you run on your hatch for rally and how often do you change them out? iirc, you run oem upper a-arms with stock balljoints correct? curious on lifespan for those balljoints as well if you dont mind.
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Outside of the Integra spindles, we run stock suspension components. The ball joints and upper a-arms are inspected during each re-fit (between events and at the end of the season). We went to poly bushings everywhere and haven't seen much wear yet on them or the ball joints. The tie-rod ends were replaced before the beginning of last season, so 5 rallies on them. They are still tight, so no issues yet.

I'd like to find after market a-arms that aren't targeted to the camber crowd. Stiffer tube versions would be nice. I might get around to making some after I finish caging a Volvo S70.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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k sport gravels + quick rack + non OEM axle is a recipe for broken motor mounts, broken axle cups, and DNFs. I fabbed up some limiting straps with cable wire. Rallyx in the morning to test it out.

ive been using moog inners and outers, the outer tie rods have a grease zerk if you're into that sort of thing. I still can't decide on uppers, I worry those bolts for the ball joint plate wont stand up to what i put it through.

The quaife rack is awesome, you don't even need to move your hands most of the time. especially on loose surfaces or yeah you did something wrong. Honestly it doesnt quite level out to the half turn. I would call it 2.3-2.4 lock to lock. Sucks on the 205s on the summer tires at a stop but on my snows i barely notice.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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k sport gravels + quick rack + non OEM axle is a recipe for broken motor mounts, broken axle cups, and DNFs.
Why?
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Axles prefer all bearings to stay in the cup, and each one of those things pulls it further out. every inner cup on parts store axles has been 1/4" too short. extra angle from the rack is also extra axle movement. you can add rack lock limiting rings to help. k sports are taller than stock and your droop is only limited by the shocks really. i measured an extra 1/4"+ of droop at 19" fender to axle center. a bit under 18.75" stock. My ride height is 14.5" fender to axle center. stock is 15". Good enough for 5th out of 15 in modified all (do whatever you want, a few log booked stage rally cars) yesterday.



after my second event dnf i made cables that loop through the sway bar hole on the control arm and then a piece of angle weld steel attached to the big subframe bolt right next to it. I limited more to about 18" at full droop for extra insurance because spending the rest of your race day fixing your car enough to make it home sucks
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I get the droop bit. I didn't know the Quaife rack allowed for extra wheel angle.
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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good info abide, thank you! currently using oem integra axles. cant remember if they are longer or shorter than the stockers.

abide, what gauge cable are you using for a limiter strap and are you using stock or aftermarket upper a-arms? also curious what kind of terrain you race on. from the pic above the surface looks way more car friendly that the surfaces we race on.

i can see scenarios where extra droop, a little bouncing of the suspension and a tight corner could create the perfect storm and make the axle puke out, but not 100% clear how this setup would eat motor mounts. are you talking breaking mounts off motors and chassis or just chewing up and spitting out of the rubber inserts?

just a quick thought, but could you run extended tophats for more upward travel that would somewhat act as a limiter for droop too or is that asking too much out of the struts? never seen the ksports in person, so just thinking out loud here....

and thank you for responding guys. i havent found anywhere else where people are actually using their hondas offroad, so this info is awesome!!
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Henry, correct noone seems to have mentioned it ever, I cant fathom how they dont notice though.

Shenrie, I have quite a few answers to those questions. first thing is first, The integra axles are about 1/4" shorter BUT i believe the inner cups have been longer on some that i have. every RT one ive ordered has had a short inner cup. Easy enough to swap though



Stock uppers and lowers up front, i'd like some spherical bushings but dunno if i need adjustment. I wouldnt mind a little more camber but dont know how that will effect straight line grip in the winter.

as for the cable 1/8" stainless. it said it was rated for 340lbs but i know the break strength is usually a ton. Since i have helper springs and no preload the force on the cable is equal to the weight of everything + whatever the wheel happens to hit at full droop which is likely to support that weight. I did some jumping on my rotor and it didnt even loosen for more droop so im not worried.



as far as surfaces id recommend checking out my friend photography page for examples. https://www.facebook.com/DaggerSLADEmedia/?fref=ts the last one looks plenty smooth outside of the car. In car youll see ice and mud rumble strips everywhere lol. We have done everything from nice smooth hilly grass, loose dirt, snow, ice, mud, staright gravel, to very hard packed dirt with huge rocks under it (GRANITE STATE BOOOYEEE)

as far as motor mounts go im running the innovative 95A rt kit with the 92+ bracket so my z6 sits properly. when the axle binds it pushes on the motor and when the mounts hit their limit it usually shatters the cup.

this one was just cracked on the near side


extended top hats? sure, youre on the right track! on k sport gravels? nay already tried that one. turns out they don't even fit through the chassis hole. you could make some with bigger tubing but you'd need cut a bigger hole and replate the mount area. Easy enough if you can weld i guess. This is the ideal way to limit droop though since you dont lose any travel and your shocks are already the limiting factor up front. until it's just angled out on the ball joints.




Ask away with anything else you've got. I love talking about it almost as much as racing and brainstorming sessions like this produce results.

I should have had 3rd on sunday but i got boned on some reruns that were way more slippery than the PERFECT FREAKING run before it, but thats how it goes sometimes. i think that outback was a H6. he was the only MA that was actually noticeably faster than my little ole z6 and we were on mud. They are all boned when we really get back into snow and ice. the wagon will rule the day!

Last edited by Abide; 01-19-2016 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Henry, correct noone seems to have mentioned it ever, I cant fathom how they dont notice though.

Shenrie, I have quite a few answers to those questions. first thing is first, The integra axles are about 1/4" shorter BUT i believe the inner cups have been longer on some that i have. every RT one ive ordered has had a short inner cup. Easy enough to swap though
ah the axle game again. ahem. i guess thats the price you pay to play. my old db1 was lowered 5". i got pretty good and mix matching parts to keep axles under that thing. i suppose i can roll through all the rt axles ive been stock piling before i start the custom crap. regardless, great info man!

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Stock uppers and lowers up front, i'd like some spherical bushings but dunno if i need adjustment. I wouldnt mind a little more camber but dont know how that will effect straight line grip in the winter.
i just want to eliminate the positive camber i have. if i can get back to negative camber up front id be stoked. i run zero camber and toe in rear just to preserve tires as the car is a daily as well.

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as for the cable 1/8" stainless. it said it was rated for 340lbs but i know the break strength is usually a ton. Since i have helper springs and no preload the force on the cable is equal to the weight of everything + whatever the wheel happens to hit at full droop which is likely to support that weight. I did some jumping on my rotor and it didnt even loosen for more droop so im not worried.
perfect. appreciate the pic. its exactly as i envisioned from your description. might have to follow suit with this idea. thank you!

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as far as surfaces id recommend checking out my friend photography page for examples. https://www.facebook.com/DaggerSLADEmedia/?fref=ts the last one looks plenty smooth outside of the car. In car youll see ice and mud rumble strips everywhere lol. We have done everything from nice smooth hilly grass, loose dirt, snow, ice, mud, staright gravel, to very hard packed dirt with huge rocks under it (GRANITE STATE BOOOYEEE)
man, im jealous. you guys actually have a good amount of participants AND a shitload of great venues. every video i saw looked like sofa king much fun! we have one venue. its in the desert. the surface is awful. its either hard as a rock and broke up, moondust, standing water, or slimey mud that i swear turns into concrete if not washed off that day. if we leave the course, hitting a badger hole is likely. our dec event got cancelled due to too much mud that said, the surfaces you guys race on looks tenfold better than what we get. im sure i would think differently during a ride along...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abide View Post
as far as motor mounts go im running the innovative 95A rt kit with the 92+ bracket so my z6 sits properly. when the axle binds it pushes on the motor and when the mounts hit their limit it usually shatters the cup.
how do you like those mounts? did you break any stockers before going to the innovates? i replaced all my stockers with oem and filled with windshield urethane. pretty happy with the end result. a little more vibration, but nothing bad at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abide View Post
extended top hats? sure, youre on the right track! on k sport gravels? nay already tried that one. turns out they don't even fit through the chassis hole. you could make some with bigger tubing but you'd need cut a bigger hole and replate the mount area. Easy enough if you can weld i guess. This is the ideal way to limit droop though since you dont lose any travel and your shocks are already the limiting factor up front. until it's just angled out on the ball joints.
ug, thats what i assumed. glad i asked and thanks for the info and pic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abide View Post
Ask away with anything else you've got. I love talking about it almost as much as racing and brainstorming sessions like this produce results.

I should have had 3rd on sunday but i got boned on some reruns that were way more slippery than the PERFECT FREAKING run before it, but thats how it goes sometimes. i think that outback was a H6. he was the only MA that was actually noticeably faster than my little ole z6 and we were on mud. They are all boned when we really get back into snow and ice. the wagon will rule the day!
were lucky to get 20 entrants per event and the locals bitch out if its cold or theres snow on the ground. fucking pussies. if we dont have at least 20 people show, our events have been getting cancelled. sucks to be ready to lay smackdown then get sent home.

and lol at the rerun factor. never freaking fails... love hearing that you can hang with the local big dogs. nothing gives me greater joy than doing the same locally. as far as being competitive, im usually the fastest street legal car at our events and normally* only get beat by the rzr's and one fully prepped stage rally sti. been chasing him for 8 years now and have yet to beat him, but i was within .04 at the last event he showed up for (not overall combined, just our fastest laps) vs the 10 seconds he had on me when we first started these events. needless to say, that put a big smile on my face. our car has a stock sohc zc and blown rear struts. his car has over 500hp and is a serious full on stage rally competitor.

again, ty for the info, it does help out a lot. gotta start collecting some pieces parts. i think our first outing with the snow tracks took quite a bit of life off our front end parts. car feels extra squirrely since that day.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Ill check my alignment sheet if i cant find it, im almost sure i've got 0 camber up front and i dialed in about 2 in the rear.

I dunno if you remember my old blue wagon the real racecar. It was a $500 rusty junker i bought for the trans that just happened to run. Delta Region SCCA | Rally of Eight Reindeer RallyCross Results and when you dont care about them? FTD...... The mounts were shot when i got it and causing some axle bind so i just replaced with 75A on those then swapped out the pucks recently after the axle issues.

lol i do love when the Rally caged subie guys hop in for a ride and see not only my full interior but a few extras. They seem slightly annoyed.

We had maybe 2-4 events if we were luck in louisiana and a 5 hour drive. New england is rally central(rallycross, tons of stage, hillclimbs, nice track and racing all year round.) if its something you really love i'd consider a relocation. I know it sounds crazy but the job i moved here for didnt work out but i just cant leave all the rally. You're right though, some of the surfaces may be rougher than they look, but man it's hard not to get distracted by the views at some of these places. It's really an incredible region.

next rallysprint is on an unfinished track being built in Tamworth, NH if you watch motor trend youtube. there was an e30 episode where they were sliding through the gravel on it. just need a logbooked RA or NASA rally spec caged car and suit + hans to go do the same on snow. entries are usually under $200 for some serious seat time.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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if you can find your alignment sheet great, but no biggie if you cant. youve provided me enough info to get this going anyway.

and x2. love the looks on fellow competitors faces when the runs are over. i dont really get the annoyed looks though. most of the looks are of confusion. what really annoys people is when you beat them in their own cars...having never driven it before ive tried to keep those wins to a minimum though. people stop letting you codrive, lol. btw, our car is full interior as well. momo evo wheel with 3" quick release (so wife can reach steeringwheel), 91 hatch seats, a harnessbar and sparco 4 point harnesses. other than that, its all that terrible oem blue.

weve been doing 7-8 events a season. basically once a month if possible with the exception of june and july. thats when the local rally group focuses on the stage rally we do here. our season got fuct this year due (3 events total) to the person selling our local venue, a mx track. when he sold it, he didnt renew all his permits and totally screwed the new owner. no idea if its all been sorted out yet. luckily, the other mx track welcomed us with open arms (and 500 bucks a day). not looking like we get a jan event, but thats ok. we arent ready for it anyway.

and while i love rallyx, i couldnt relocate. even though your area looks amazing, nothing beats my love for snowboarding and i could never leave these mountains.

when you say hillclimbs, are those similar to an event like pikes peak or are they offroad?
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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we take the summer break as well.

Snow boarding?! its no colorado but we have resorts in about 5 states i think. a few are only about 30 mins from me haha! and our mountains have TREES!! and....bears.

they do some normal closed road hillclimbs, but in the pikes peak area we haave the mt washington autoroad. doesnt get to the same peak elevation, or travel as far. However it is a much steeper ascent on a much narrower road. A friend of mine came to visit in July and had a few near panic attacks in the wagon on the way up. she eventually just put her seat back and closed her eyes lol.

to be fair watching this makes me pretty uneasy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17EkOwoVw-Y

gonan try to get into some of this too Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club gentlemans door to door ice lake ice racing for street cars and then getting to watch some serious ones
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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screw colorado (naw, not really, would love to go be a ski bum there). the 2 mountains in the usa with the most vertical drop are wyoming and montana. both within 2 hours of where i grew up. so im kinda a powder snob. not cause i think i deserve it, but more cause thats the kind of snow i can ride and actually walk after the fact (im old ). we have trees and bears as well, lol. aplenty actually. remember rural idaho. we get cougars in town these days...and not hot older ladies. ive ran into 2 bears in the last 3 years. not my fav activity...once on a mt bike, and somehow snuck up on one on my pitster!?!

we have 2 hillclimbs within 30 min of us. wife and i chair one of them and help considerably with the other. this year will be the 50th consecutive running at freezeout. the guy in the vid has taken all my records away from me. bigole jerk...(hes a member on here as well).

neither are near the length of that vid you posted. which was bonkers btw... nor is the scenery near as beautiful. seriously, really pretty terrain. all our forests are mostly pine with aspen groves here and there. so much green in that vid. reminds me a lot of oregon.

last event looks like fun. with the warming winters, our lakes dont freeze over enough to race on any more. apparently they used too though. sadly, that was before my time.

would love to load up the race car and cruise across the nation someday hitting all these grassroots style events. i love (most of) the people ive met at the hillclimbs. maybe someday when my knees and back wont let me snowboard and mt bike anymore, i can do something like that. ive spent almost zero time further east than denver. well other than driving my van back from georgia.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i loved seeing your old freezeout pics. i got spoiled with my first new england winter being the most snowfall EVER here. kinda disappointed so far, yeah no powder here usually either. Last year was an exception. been too warm for the lake fun too. Good enough for snowmobiles and fishing houses now though so it shouldnt bee too long.

definitely some amazing folks in the rally/rallycross/rallysprint/hillclimb scene here too. Totally differen from autox imo. dunno what it is, maybe that people are racing themselves first more than each other?

I was running flying finish at a rallysprint early last summer. finish was about 200yrds down the road and a prett fat momma black bear and two cubs wandered onto the road about 100ft from us. in between all the people, cars, everything but the two of us and a walkie talkie and a timer. Skeeeetch. Once the cubs quit staring at us and wandered into the woods it was a nice nature moment. Ive seen prints and poop in my front yard too. havent seen the culprit yet.


Im curious what youve done for bracing and which harness bar that was. I feel like i could benefit from one considerably. currently just using the CG lock lap belt and it helps but i really need a bucket too. any strut or c pillar bars?
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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thanks for the comps on the frezeout stuff! not many people show much interest. just a little town event, but we have people come from all over to play. i also totally agree. the grassroots events host some great folks. even though we get a bunch of crossover from the autox folks, the vibe is just...i dunno. different, in a good way of course. not sure what it is either.

that is crazy about the bears, damn! i have lots of friends that have hunted their entire lives and shit like that doesnt concern them at all, but it freaks me the hell out, lol.

heres a few pix of the bar. its made by nrg and was made for the same year hatch. if you need more specific pix, just let me know.





pix were before the si seats of course, but the setup made a huge difference not being thrown around inside the car during our runs. the si seats helped even more with the fatty bolsters. didnt help the wife as much since shes a toothpick, but the si seats helped me a lot keeping me in one spot. plus my knees didnt hurt as bad after an event from trying to keep myself in place by wedging myself against the door and center console, lol.

we dont use the harnesses for the dd. they tuck away nicely into the gap between the seat upper and lower cushions. the only challenge was getting the harnesses adjusted to work on my fatass and still be able to hold my toothpick wife in place with a quick adjustment in between runs. took us a few events to get them dialed in, but its been great since.
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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rofl, i do remember several post event bruises on my left leg from the window crank. shes a biter.

Nice on being smart enough to run a collapsable hub too. no one ever seems to remember that step.

I may have to join that setup but we are starting something between rally sprint and rally cross. longer runs just need a helmet and the hoop part of a RA cage you can all all the other stuff for sprint later
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
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ya, i first noticed the bruises after autoxs way back when, but those were nothing compared to what i was getting from the rally events. we needed a solution quick and the harness bar was perfect for it. cheap and easy. plus it was nice to not have to remove the oem belts.

not sure what you mean by collapsible hub though??

and more events? sometimes, being where im at when it comes to racing really sucks, lol. we just seem to lose events, not get more options that is one nice thing about being in nowheresville though. idaho rally group is very lax when it comes to rules for our events (rallyx, NOT the stage rally). a dot approved helmet and a shoulder belt is all thats required to play. only no no is paddle tires. we dont even have to work most events. show up, drive the piss outta your car, then leave. its great. 12 65-70 second runs in by 2pm and out the door. then you still have a whole day to do other stuff. lol, or fix your broken car....
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Never had any issues with the Quaife rack (2.83) in my CRX on the street (vids below if you want to see it on an autoX course and road circuit)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZNPV0cAU-c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK-UDIAS570


We use Raybestos and Centric for suspension and brake components on the Tape-R. Been good so far after 5 years and almost 125 hours of racing (overall, the ball-joints and outer tie rod ends have been changed every winter after the season) and when the components come off the race car, I've used a few on the Wagon just because they still were tight and had life left in them.
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'87 Civic Si
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'03 Astro AWD
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