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¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/19/22 8:37 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Maybe some Nord-Lock washers would help there? Are you already loctiting them?

I found that when I had urethane bushings on my trailing arms, my bolts would loosen up EVERY rally (and would oval out the mount holes, annoyingly). I switched back to OEM-style rubber bushings and haven't had them loosen up at all since then. I can't tell if you have urethane or rubber there, but may be worth a try. 

Also, have you thought about plating those lower trailing links that seem to hang down lower than the control arms? Those things look like they'd get beaten to death down there. Maybe even just some UHMW sheet hanging off the back of the main control arm would help protect them better. 

I tried poly bushings thinking that it was a twist problem, but I'd say this disproves that.   Will go back to rubber and do nordloks with a locknut. 

Not sure about the trailing arms yet, these are actually still straight where it matters surprisingly. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/20/22 7:28 p.m.

Sometimes you have to take stuff off and clean it to know just how hard it's been working:

Stuff is mostly ok though, just a little dinged up. 

I replaced the other diff bushing that I didn't get to before the event:

And after a full season of rallycross, thousands of street miles, two rallysprints, and six rallies, the front struts were feeling a little loose so I'm partway through the somewhat annoying process of replacing the bushings:

It's actually easier to split than and "peel" them out so I've been doing that after an unsuccessful experiment with the slide hammer. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/21/22 5:20 p.m.

Reinforced some aftermarket trailing arms- it's mostly just so they side over stuff nicely:

They seem pretty beefy for only being $20ea, we'll see how they hold up:

95maxrider Reader
5/22/22 7:48 a.m.

Congrats on the solid finish, sucks about the cone though.  Where do those bushings come from within your front shocks?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/22/22 9:14 a.m.

In reply to 95maxrider :

Gartrac, although I believe they only carry these 40mm pieces- JVABs like yours would require some measuring and cross referencing. 

The cone is definitely a direct result of years of sloppy rallycross driving. blush

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/22/22 6:39 p.m.

I continue to be amazed at how many times this piece of aluminum will bend back into shape:

Changed the oil and filters and it drives great again! Still waiting on locking hardware for the rear control arms.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/22/22 7:27 p.m.

It's amazing to see how much of a beating your car can regularly take. You're definitely running out of soft spots to beef up!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/22/22 7:47 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I think I will eventually need to beef up or rebuild the core support and skidplate mounts, but the important parts do seem to be staying put.  It helps immensely that the oil pan is steel and the differential housing is cast iron, I've probably gotten away with a few hits where cast aluminum wouldn't have fared so well. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/23/22 6:00 p.m.

Tundra is in for a little maintenance and figuring out a better filler neck for the flatbed- not because it necessarily needs it, but it would be nice if the check engine light would stay off:

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/24/22 8:23 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Ah yes, flat bed fuel filler necks are the only real downside to a flatbed. Fortunately mine doesn't give a check engine light for it, but that's because it's older. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/28/22 1:43 p.m.

Mounted up a set of "experienced" RE71Rs from Patrick via a Pete/Evan GRM express:

It's definitely a little silly to bring a whole different set of wheels for a one mile tarmac super special, but it's at least marginally less silly when they're free.  I think these still have enough stick to them to have some fun:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
5/29/22 4:14 p.m.

For my own future reference- 0 toe at ride height corresponds to 1/2" in up front and 1/2" out in the rear at full droop, measured at the edge of the wheel.   This should make alignments easier. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/5/22 5:33 p.m.

We're packed up early and hopefully ready to leave on Tuesday- in the meantime, here's the view from the kitchen window:

Sonic UberDork
6/5/22 8:55 p.m.

Question for Sara: What do codrivers use for nausea mitigation?  One of the drivers on our Lemons team is having struggles with nausea when he is driving.  He can usually get 30-45 mins and then he will get ill.  I'm sure that codrivers have figured out the most effective remedies for this sort of thing, please share the codriver knowledge!


kodachrome New Reader
6/6/22 12:38 p.m.

In reply to Sonic :

Lots of co-drivers use a nausea patch (I think those are prescription.) Seabands and non-drowsy Dramamine are also usually in everyone's bags. Thankfully I haven't needed to use anything yet. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Sonic UberDork
6/6/22 4:11 p.m.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/6/22 4:37 p.m.

Southern Ohio Forest Rally 2022 Setup:

Front Suspension:
Damping: 300/70 Bilstein
Spring Rate: 225 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.75"
Bumpstop:  3" soft rubber
Toe: 0" to maybe ever so slightly out
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, new-ish

Rear Suspension:
Damping: 3p-8 AFCO
Spring Rate: 250 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.5"
Bumpstop:  2.75" soft foam
Toe: 0" (changed from slight toe in)
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, used previously as fronts

Reverted to stock rubber rear upper control arm bushings with improved locking hardware.
Will be running some used RE71Rs for the single, short tarmac super special.
New reinforced rear trailing arms we haven't tried before.

eastpark HalfDork
6/9/22 10:04 a.m.


This R&T article just came up in my news feed. A great shout out to Chris and Sarah from Adam Brock. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/13/22 7:12 a.m.

Southern Ohio Forest Rally 2022


Something always goes wrong for us at SOFR, and this year was no exception but at least we got it all out of the way right off the bat.  First, our crew tested positive for covid and had to cancel their flights at the last minute- not insurmountable, we've run plenty of events just sharing crew from other teams before.  Then, backing the trailer into the driveway at the airbnb, I thought I smelled power steering fluid, followed by getting out of the truck and stepping into a puddle of it.  Crap.

It was late enough that most parts stores were already closed, and the truck needed to be our recce vehicle the next day, so once I located the issue (blown out o-ring on one of the lines at the pinion) I set about the extremely annoying process of removing both lines there completely blind, 1/12 turn at a time, to get them out and take a look.  Shuffling through our spare parts in the dark, I found some o-rings that were the right size and probably rated for a high enough pressure- the FA20 direct injector o-rings that we had just thrown into the spares box before the last event.

Got it all back together, filled with some ATF and a little stopleak that Kimmett grabbed for us, test drove, and none of the fluid came back out so we declared it good and got a quick 3.5hrs sleep before recce.

Recce itself went well- it's a long day at this event since the two groupings of stages are so far apart, but the truck did just fine and the notes seemed good.  Then I dropped Sara and the dogs at the house, hitched the trailer back up, and towed through a zero visibility torrential downpour to get to tech.  Passed tech with no issues, returned to the airbnb, and basically went straight to sleep after hanging out briefly with Kimmett, Krista, John, and Cole.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/13/22 7:40 a.m.

Southern Ohio Forest Rally 2022

Rally Day 1 and 2

We had a much needed slow morning on Thursday before heading into Chillicothe for some food, parc expose, and the only stage of the day.  Grabbed pizza with Brock/Brolin/Bukky, and headed over to parc expose in Yoctangee Park (aka The Yoctangle because I can't read).  Merriman Industries photos:

Talked rally for a bit, checked out the other cars, and handed out stickers- this particular parc expose had more people than usual who really seemed interested in how to get into the sport, and it was really fun to talk about the realities of it with an interested audience.  Then it was off to the tarmac super special SS1, a one mile loop through the park with a jump at the end.  Patrick's free RE71Rs were mounted up and ready to go, and while the brake bias (unchanged from my usual gravel settings) made things a little squirrely, we managed to snag a small lead in regional L2wd and not hurt the car on the jump:

Everything felt great, and I swapped the gravels back on before loading the car on the trailer.  We went back to the house and got some rest.

The next day, we got all set up at service with Sean and Breandan (who unfortunately had to drop this event due to car issues) watching the dogs and manning the tools along with Evan (EvanB).  Then off to the same roads we had run at this car's first rally one year ago.

SS2, Saddle Up, was a typical Portsmouth area stage, with some tarmac, some gravel, and lots of cliffs- I tried to start up on pace right were I had left off at Bristol, but quickly spooked myself with the loose surface in a few places and slowed down a bit; it didn't help that there were cars off and rolled all over the place, or that we caught the Cosworth Escort near the end of the stage and couldn't find room to pass, but those are just excuses and when  it comes down to it I really fell off the pace and had trouble getting it back.  McGee, Grant, and Cyr all moved ahead of us and we dropped back to 4th.

SS3, Disco Inferno 50 Cent Remix (this event has fantastic stage names), went better, and although we didn't improve our position we at least ran a respectable time here and everything was feeling better.

SS4, Top Gun North Short, was inappropriately named at 13.35 miles long, and although I yet again ran too conservatively it was fun with a big hairpin and lots of fast sections.  I was still yo-yoing back and forth on speed, pushing a little and then scaring myself in the ultra loose gravel.

SS5, Zorn's Hollow, was short but had a really fast section and a tight bridge in the middle.  We went fast here, setting the quickest regional L2wd stage time and feeling pretty good.  I saw the shift light in 5th but chose not to grab 6th.

Then back to service, where we found no issues with the car and simply bolted the lights on, refueled, and headed back out.

The same loop of stages again, with nearly the same results- we stayed in 4th behind, McGee, Grant, and Cyr, with Rokus and Brock just behind us.  We were consistent but just not moving at the pace we should be capable of.  Unfortunately, we passed Tony Gearhart broken down on a transit with damage left over from going huge on the jump in SS1 the day before, but at least we marked his location so his crew could go get him in an area with no cell service.  Oh well, had fun, didn't crash, nailed the hairpins, and learned a bit about how to get a little more speed out of the car even if we weren't taking enough risks to catch our competition.  Alice Stone photo:

Back at service, Sean and Breandan had secretly acquired a cake for Sara (oh yeah, it was her birthday) and we all surprised her and enjoyed a rally birthday celebration as everyone packed up for the night.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/13/22 8:21 a.m.

Southern Ohio Forest Rally 2022

Day 3

Up and off to McArthur for the final day of the rally, we set up service again and had a nice parc expose in town.  Some teams were back after repairing cars, others spectating, and others still repairing- the bridge on Zorn's Hollow had claimed a number of cars, with a bunch sporting front end and side damage.  Pretty soon it was time to get going:

SS10 was Courtney's Webb, short and full of fast sweepers with a weird muddy garbage section near the end that concluded in an ultra tight left-right through some logs.  Our pace was a little faster than the day before but nothing spectacular, and Grant bumped up into first with a fast run.

SS11, America's Best, was named because John Buffum called it that and by all appearances he wasn't wrong- it was a flowing rollercoaster of well banked turns and big crests, and while fun, we didn't commit hard enough on the first pass and ran a midpack time.  It's worth noting that Brock put in an incredibly impressive run here though, the second fastest in our class in an NA Volvo 240 with no power steering.

SS12 Bolster Hollow was just a normal SOFR stage, tight and with big cliffs in places.  We yet again ran an acceptable but not impressive time, and at this point I was really starting to fight myself to try and get into a faster frame of mind.  It didn't help when a car spun off the road directly in front of us and we were first on the scene, although luckily they were ok.  As Whitsell told me at parc expose, ideal rally driver brain is 85% stupid- you can leave that last bit but you have to shut the rest off and just drive like an idiot.  David Gossett photo:

At the start of SS13 Raccoon Church, Cyr was having fuel issues directly ahead of us and a spectator nearby had a fuel can in the back of his pickup- he topped Cyr's Fiesta up and refused his money.  This is part of what makes this sport such a wild experience, a Team O'Neil Fiesta being fueled out of a random can somewhere in the woods of Ohio on a road named after Raccoons.  This stage was muddy and had a huge hill in the middle, and Cyr broke down partway through.  We were getting a bit of pace back but I completely blew a corner and had to reverse back up the road to make it- oops!

On SS14 Will's Tract South my goal was to shake the feeling of messing up that corner, and we had a 4 minute empty gap ahead of us thanks to all the broken cars we had just passed over the last few stages.  Finally we got some speed here, with a fastest regional L2wd time, although only by a fraction of a second on Grant.

Back at service, Tony's 10 man service crew now had no car to work on so they made quick work of ours instead- everything was checked, cleaned, and refilled nearly instantaneously the moment we got back.

At this point, thanks to Cyr's issue, we were on the regional L2wd podium and trying to improve.  Still well back from Grant, but we had made up nearly 30 seconds on McGee, who was missing first gear and losing time on every stage start.

We started off SS15 Courtney's Webb really moving, but something that hasn't happened in a long time cropped up- we got lost in the notes.  Sara was slightly late, and I was trying to go full "dumb driver" and didn't give her feedback to move to the next note until too late... a few corners of confusion and we were fully lost and driving blind for the majority of the stage.  We got back on the notes near the end, and I nearly slid off the road into a tree that had claimed the bumper of Santiago's BRZ just a few cars ahead.  Bad stage time, big oops, but the car was fine.

Time to shake that off because next up was SS16 America's Best again, and shake it off we did- everything really clicked, we went fast, and it felt great.  Nothing amazing in terms of class results but it was really good to go straight from our previous stage to just committing to every crest.  Keith Kreatives photo:

SS17 Bolster Hollow I remember nothing about, but we got the fastest regional L2wd time there so things must have been working.

SS18 Raccoon Church was much more fun this time around, and we were on pace with our competition despite the sloppy conditions.

SS19 Will's Tract we went fast again, but a huge bummer- Downey and Gouin, running WAY in the lead in regional O2wd and on the regional overall podium, had crashed and were stuck on the side of the road.  We did our best to ignore that and went fast anyway, but were absolutely devastated for them to go out that way in the last couple miles.

Back to service for the finish ceremony, and what was the result?

3rd place regional L2wd, 12th regional overall, 27th overall overall out of 76 entries- SOFR isn't hard on the car but it's easy to crash out there.  This result is good enough to keep us in the lead for the Eastern Regional L2wd championship, although I can't help but wonder what would have happened if I had driven like I did on the last leg the entire time- need to find that pace sooner next time!

Other big results too- Kimmett and Skucas won regional overall, as well as their class, with Kramer and Smith and Gondyke and Chuong right behind them.  They even won some money, both for the overall and for Krista being the highest placing female codriver:

Brock and Brolin also did well in the Volvo, despite having a structural ratchet strap holding the motor in by the end, and every class seemed to have at least one good battle in it.  Then it was time for the usual: hand in the rallysafe unit, pack up, head home after many goodbyes to our rally friends.  Even with the typical "curse of SOFR" truck and crew issues, this was a good one.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/14/22 9:08 a.m.

Onboard from the last stage- I know it looks slow, trust me it felt faster!


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/14/22 11:02 a.m.

Lessons learned this time:

-Zeroing the rear toe made the car turn in more readily, high speed stability is slightly effected but it's still totally manageable.  Good change.
-Next time I run tarmac stuff I should probably figure out an appropriate brake bias setting ahead of time
-Whiteline diff bushings lasted one event.  Bad change.
-Tire wear here was excellent, I can probably use all four again.

-Still working on getting into the zone on weird surfaces
-Corner speed is good, generally speaking.  Need to work on variations like 5 into 2, etc, where speed needs to change a lot between corners
-I really, really like that we successfully went from a stage where we got out of sync to one where we went fast and stayed on the notes cleanly.  Have to get good at applying that mental reset
-...brake later

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
6/14/22 11:49 a.m.

A few more photos:

Merriman Industries:

David Cosseboom:

Cyr's emergency spectator refueling:

Some friends being awesome:

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/14/22 8:35 p.m.

Nice job, as I've already said :)

That's insane you kill the diff bushings in one event - I know it's a different setup but I've literally had the same diff/subframe bushings for like 7 years on mine with no issues. Any thought to switching to a UHMV bushing - that's what I have. Seems those would be a lot harder to kill. 

Did the rear control arm bolts stay tight this time with the rubber bushings and nordlocs?

Looking forward to NEFR. While following you guys rallying all over is fun, it's not as much fun as doing it ourselves lol. 

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