Exocet Part 16: Rear Bodywork and Gas Cap

Posted: January 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

After many, many set backs regarding time and funds with the recent major life changes I gave in and brought it to a local shop to get the major things finished. This includes lots of welding, fabrication work for the body panels, gas filler, intake system, etc.

Gas Tank / Fuel Filler / Rear Hood

Trunk Installed

Fuel Cap Fixed Position / Hard Mount

Mock up of lines and fuel pressure regulator.

Gas Cap – Fixed and Trunk Removable

Side Mount Brackets



Pallet Wood Shed

Posted: September 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

This will hold two cords and has 4×8 surface with two shelves. You can access it from front and rear as well. Roof is 8 feet long and has a 25 degree pitch. Cost about $150 to make as 4 long fork pallets do the main job of holding the wood and 6 pierblocks with 6 4×4 posts and 2×6 for roof structure make it very sturdy. I will do some more strengthening of the pallets with 2x4s. Now just have to split all the wood I have. I can also segment and season wood for indoor and outdoor burning.

Jeep EcoDiesel P20EE Issue

Posted: September 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

Was happily enjoying the Jeep for almost 26k miles and then got what seems like an eventual P20EE code every Ecodiesel from 2013-2014 will eventually trigger. Also along with it is an exhaust smell when idling even with all windows closed. Now trying to schedule dealer visit with local dealer. Will update this thread with resolutions and update the WK2 EcoDiesel FAQ as well as I’ve not put time into it (because of little issues) as the Jeep has been working well (aside from injector breaking because of no protection under the truck from rocks or splashing water).

9.11.15 DTC Code P20EE thrown (read it with OBD2 reader and have 3 total codes for this). P20EE is reluctant temp too low on SCR catalyst. Noticeable exhaust smell in the cabin when idling for more than 30 seconds with all windows closed. Called Beyer Jeep and had to talk to two reservations persons to hopefully get a rental car covered as this may take several days or weeks from horror stories on the forums. Second person said I should get one when I bring it in (#fingerscrossed) next Thursday 9.17.15. Tweeted @ChryslerCares about no standard rental coverage for a $50k vehicle for warranty work. Not the best strategy to keep customers IMHO.

9.14.15 Talked via DM with @ChryslerCares and my standard warranty does not include rental car coverage unless there is an open recall. No recall on these trucks for the P20EE issue. Why? Failure rates seem very common and doesn’t instill confidence in the product. I made it to 26k before mine went but others have had this issue much earlier.

9.17.15 Dropped off Jeep at Beyer Jeep in Morristown and have to fork out $48 per day (with tax) for a rental car. Dealer doesn’t have any open diesel techs so they won’t look at it until late today or tomorrow morning.

9.17.15 Well got some good news. The tech looked into it and they have had several Ecodiesels in for this problem. Would not comment on how many. They ordered the cat converter and it’s supposed to be at the dealer tomorrow and hopefully fixed that day.

9.18.15 Dealer held true to their word and I picked up the Jeep late afternoon. They did diagnosis and found the cat converter failed. They from experience ordered new sensors (nitrogen oxide and particulate matter) with the new cat converter as they break when removed (learned from experience). Jeep is running fine and I’ve got 50 miles on it already and no codes or smell that I had when the old cat failed. Now to work out the rental reimbursement with FCA.

Check back for updates…

Was able to get over the DIYAutotune booth and check out the XP-4 chassis and get my first in person look at a built car. This is really helpful to me as I need to see examples on the road.

IMG_2337 (Medium)

I’m glad to say that the transmission tunnel on newer kits will provide more seating width so you can mount the seats more inboard giving better safety to occupants. But here’s a bunch of detailed pics of sections of the car (battery, fender mounts, hood / boot, etc.).



I was able to be at PRI 2014 for the public announcement for the release of the NASA NP01 Prototype (click link for Website). They unveiled a model and had Chassis 001 on display where you could sit inside. Let me tell you it’s big inside the cockpit – even for a > 6′ guy. The information below is why I’m really excited.

Design, Build & Availability:

  • It’s built by a very well known racecar manufacturer (read up more on elan Technologies).
  • It’s a real kit racecar. That means it will come with almost everything to get it up and running. You’ll just need to add fuel / fluids, seat / harness and gauges / telemetry / fire system / radio / drink bottle / and fuzzy dice. elan will also offer options for buyers as well (such as cool box, cockpit ventilation, helmet a/c, quick refuel kit, windshield demist blower, alignment tools, chassis jack, etc.). elan is also offering a discount to the first several buyers of $5k!!!
  • Driveable prototypes will be ready in 2015 year with customer deliveries beginning late 2015. elan will likely be coming to your NASA Region with a rental car so contact your Regional Director to get on a list of available dates.
  • You can build it in your own garage with your own tools – expected build time for someone with decent mechanical ability is 100 yours or if you want Elan can ship it out fully assembled for an extra $5k. That’s essentially a $50 shop rate from a high end shop.
  • Fiberglass body for easy replacement and at the track repairs.
  • Adjustable rear wing and gurney flaps for quick adjustments.
  • Light packages / windshield wiper.

Big guy approved (have 6″ of headroom).


  • 2.0 Mazda MZR with dry sump making 185 hp (tbd if at wheels)
  • Sadev 6 speed sequential gearbox with manual shifter (is not overstrained by engine power and has room for more if you want to increase power). At this time it will likely fit in an ST-2 raceclass with NASA creating a Spec NP class based upon growth.
  • Sealed ECU
  • Dimensions: 1,550 lbs wet (driver extra) / 100.6″ wheelbase / 161″ overall length / 75.4″ Width / 42″ Height / 155 MPH Top Speed (not certain if electronically limited)
  • Brakes & Wheels: 4 piston aluminum calipers / 315mm ventilated rotors / 17×9 OZ wheels with 235-40 17 Toyo RRs
  • Suspension: fully adjustable inboard suspension / Corvette Hubs (heavy duty, cheap and easy to fix)


Subaru XV CrossTrek Performance Upgrades

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Winter is coming and I’ve no Dragons to keep me warm so Hjalmar is getting some improvements to make it more enjoyable for everyone – even my son approves (and he’s not a car guy…yet). This blog post is also a work in process of what is to come (Pics forthcoming as well).

Freeing up some lost HP and making the boxer sound more like a Subaru. The 2.0 FB engines are not that special and the aftermarket has really not given us a lot of choices. I’m not looking for any big gains but something to wake up the engine. I have a manual in the car so it makes it more fun to drive than the CVT (just dislike driving CVTs even though they are more efficient). As the car makes only 148 HP stock at the crank looking at some AWD dynos that interprets to ~ 100 awhp which is not that much for the weight of the car. Supposedly from others once you hit 7k miles on the odometer the engine really loosens up and improves (but no dyno proof I’ve seen yet).

  • Removal of Intake Charcoal Filter: Subaru has a charcoal filter for emissions purposes next to the stock air filter and removing it really livens up the throttle as allows the engine to breathe easier. It is a pain in the butt to remove and you’ll break these plastic tabs and likely the flimsy plastic on the filter panel as well (like it was never designed to be removed).
  • Upgr8 Dry Air Filter Panel (similar to K&N / Apexi but 1/2 the price). After inspecting the stock air filter it is one of the most restrictive air filters I’ve ever seen removed from a car – it’s almost cotton ball style and very thick. After swapping it out the car seems much more alive and not that much louder – left the stock intake plumbing in place.
  • Cheap & Easy – Rear Muffler Delete: Found that this Intermediate pipe made by Walker (part #: 41785) for less than $20 shipped that will basically fit and bolt right onto the mid pipe and reuse the stock gasket and bolts. Took me 5 minutes to make the swap. I also trimmed the plastic with a coping saw so that the new pipe does not touch the plastic bumper. I will add some aluminum tape and cover the area. You can’t see it anyway as the pipe like the stock muffler is hidden behind. Also this removes about 12 pounds of weight from the car and gives it a nice burble. I have a manual so I can cope with this mod but if you have the CVT it may drone too much. (placeholder for video)
  • Header Back Exhaust with Hi Flow Cat: (placemarker for this possibility) I found a site called Rallisportracing that has a full header back exhaust for the XV that allows you to also keep the stock skid plate / heat shield and has built in hi flow cat options as well. You can also get ceramic coating for better resistance to elements.
  • ECU Reflash: (placeholder) if I go down an headerback exhaust route this would be a good bang for the buck to advance timing, run premium and I bet the engine could make decent power. Not seen anyone do this just yet and there seem to be two ECU tuners with products. Delicious Tuning has a tune for the car at $895.
  • WRX Transplant: (placeholder) this is not in my plans but could be a very easy possibility with the 2015 WRX’s making their way out of the factory (albeit slowly). Supposedly Subaru is also considering an STI version of the XV as well which likely would be a WRX engine transplant (still unfounded rumor).

Rally Cross Prep / Maybe some Ice Racing: Next up is getting the car ready for some more spirited driving.

  • MudFlaps: Another modification I wanted to do to protect the body work is adding the polyurethane rally mudflaps and I found two kits – Rally Armor ($150), Gorilla Offroad Company ($100) and RokBlokz ($90). All are similar but have slight mounting differences. I tried the RokBlokz setup as it was much cheaper than Rally Armors and saved me quite a bit of money. I discovered Gorilla after I already ordered. All of them use the same mud flap material but come with slight variances in mounting. You can mount the fronts with the tires on by turning them but the rears you’ll need to remove. Then notice how heavy the stock wheels are – 50lbs!
  • Rain Out / Air In: Rain guards were up next so I can have the window open to let air in but also keep rain out. I’d suggest OEM Subaru as you can get the kit for < $100 and they are easy to install and have two braces that easily clip into the rain channel that make them very sturdy. No increase in wind noise at highway speeds and they even look good too.

IMG_2187 (Medium)

  • Rear Spoiler (really just for looks): (placeholder)
  • Front Grille (really just for looks but might also allow more air into the radiator for better cooling): (placeholder)
  • Rally Car Horn: (placeholder) The stock horn is really weak sounding and living in the Northeast you need to use the horn from time to time so I want to make sure the other car hears it. Plus it is also red and gives some visual effect of what’s behind the grille.
  • Front Sway Bar: (placeholder) The front sway bar is 26mm fixed.
  • Rear Sway Bar: (placeholder) The rear sway bar is 16mm fixed (USDM model). As the Impreza is the same chassis as the XV you can upgrade to those as well. One word of warning when doing lot’s of on road handling improvements you may negatively affect the way it can off road. There is a upgrade from Subaru (non STI) that is 19mm for the Outback but fits the XV and reuses the stock end links (part # 20451FG020). XV owners can also upgrade to the STI 20 MM rear sway bar from Subaru for $108 MSRP (part #: 20451VA000). Eibach has a 2 position 22mm rear (part #: 7717.312), and Cusco has a makes one as well ( part # 682 311 B20 ) but for $300 and it’s not certain it’s adjustable. Rear end link part #s are: 20470AJ010). Please also remember when replacing the sway bar it likely will require new (larger bushings), mounts and possibly end links (I don’t have an exhaustive list). For those who want dual purpose (good on road and good off road) you can get quick disconnect sway bar end links so you can disconnect the rear sway (only one side needed is all). Otherwise you simply remove a bolt to an end link.
  • Front Strut Bar: (placeholder)
  • Wheels & Tires: (placeholder) After doing the mud flaps and I had to take off the rear wheels I discovered how heavy the stock rimes are (they do look nice). OEM specs note they are ~ 23 lbs each! That’s very heavy from what I’m used to so next summer I’m going to get a new set of lightweight stock sized wheels and maintain diameter / width but take hopefully 8-10 lbs off each end which will really wake up the car by taking away rotational inertia (helps acceleration and braking) and unsprung weight.

Making it Nicer: Some quality improvements to make the car more useable as a daily driver.

  • LED under dash lights:(stock kit) that really brighten up a very dark (black color) interior.
  • LED Dome / Map and Truck lights: Subaru has a “red” theme with their gauges which makes it very dark inside the car (interior color is black). So I bought a Blue LED kit off eBay which helped a lot but still the dome light is just not bright enough to see inside. So I ordered a 16 LED DE3175 1.25″ bulb to see if I can get that really add some more light. If that doesn’t work then I’ll be looking into how I can supplement it.

OEM Specs:

  • OEM Wheels: 17 x 7 with 48mm offset / Weight: 22.75 lbs / Bolt Pattern 5×100
  • OEM Tires: 225/55/17

Goodbye Rayce – Hello Hjalmar

Posted: October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

As with the snow coming soon, mountains to climb (literally) Rayce (our family BRZ) had to go. She will be missed but when one Subaru goes another joins the fleet. Last week we welcomed home Hjalmar our new steed to get us to / from work, soccer and all sorts of trips.

Unfortunately Subaru doesn’t allow a stick shift in any other model except the base one (and they call it premium level? – someone in Japan needs to reread what that words mean). There’s also a hybrid model but add on $3-5k for those and every non-stick comes with a CVT (so no thanks). I see some rallycross in the future (that is until soccer season ends – WHICH IS NEVER!).