Caroline's 2014 WRX Haru - Track/Daily Build | 2016 Track Season - Socal Subaru Forum For SoCal Subaru Enthusiasts: SoCalSubies.com
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:20 PM   #1
msawsmr
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Cool Caroline's 2014 WRX Haru - Track/Daily Build | 2016 Track Season

Alright... I finally have some decently interesting stuff to post with my build.

In case you need a formal intro, here's my noob intro thread:
http://www.socalsubies.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=28878

Picked up a 2014 WRX wagon on New Year's Day. This is my third car and first build "investment." The purpose car will be track-capable daily driver. I'm currently in the process of getting my racing license through NASA. Got about 1.5 years to go.

Named the car Haru, Japanese for "spring time"... since that's when I expect to have a decent understanding of the car's dynamics and quirks on and off the track, with the goal of being able to heel-toe from third to second without hiccups.

The build is lead by John Lindeman, owner of Corner Speed Tuning in Huntington Beach. He knows my driving style, racing goals, and overall car "style" which makes it sooo much easier to plan/build as my racing skills continue to improve.


The car had its issues from the previous owner who had, in my opinion, TERRIBLE taste and half-assed a lot of "mods."

First, had to clean up the fading tail lights. The spray paint job was peeling and fading badly.


The existing outlines on the lights weren't too bad. I hand-masked the lights.


The previous owner did a bad job of masking off the lights. Yay, over-spray!


Properly masked!


Hit with some paint, courtesy of Amazon. After three coats of the red stuff, the lights got 2 coats of clear gloss top coat.


The before & after.



EXHAUST... the previous owner decided on a muffler delete. For me, it made daily driving pretty painful. Having a normal conversation with passengers was out of the question. So, the BF and I picked up a factory muffler on Craigslist for $35.



Other not-so-interesting fixes:
Repairing broken paint around the wheel wells from bad fender rolling
Replacing various missing fasteners
Removing random makeup stains in the interior
Repairing a small tear on the driver's side bottom of the bumper cover


TIRES! Had to get some badass tires for the track and my, uhh, "spirited" daily driving of mountain roads. Got some Dunlop Direzza Z2s in 245/40/17. I'm madly in love with them. Is it weird to think tires are sexy?



Plasti Dip... I absolutely hate this stuff and everything it stands for. After getting the tires mounted, it was time to face the reality that this stuff had to go. So began a 6-hour battle of removal since I didn't have a pressure washer handy. After throwing every solvent I had in the garage, the magic combination was brake cleaner and isopropyl alcohol. Eff this stuff.



Shifter bushings... I didn't like how vague and mushy the shifter felt. John recommended the Kartboy Holy Shift Kit to tighten things up. The BF got the kit for me as a surprise gift and John handled the installation.

The rear stay (apologies for the fuzzy pic). HUGE material difference from mushy rubber to solid poly.


More rubber replaced with poly


John doing the lower install


...And the upper install



Coming in the next couple of weeks:
Pitch stop mount
Group N tranny mount
Tranny crossmember bushings
Rear diff and rear sub-frame bushings
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Last edited by msawsmr; 04-18-2016 at 08:53 PM.. Reason: updated title
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:01 PM   #2
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Nice car and good luck getting your racing license!

Just a heads up that VHT spray will fade on the tails. My gf and I have gone through a couple different sprays on our WRXs but they keep fading and cracking. I'm going with vinyl again. Way easier to correct than the paint.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bkruelle View Post
Nice car and good luck getting your racing license!

Just a heads up that VHT spray will fade on the tails. My gf and I have gone through a couple different sprays on our WRXs but they keep fading and cracking. I'm going with vinyl again. Way easier to correct than the paint.
Thanks. I'll be doing a two-day event at Big Willow in a few weeks. Aiming for HPDE 3 within the next couple of events.

I'm new to the whole paint thing. We'll see how it all pans out over the next few months.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:58 AM   #4
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Decent build update. Got a bunch of stuff replaced and test it altogether at Big Willow over the weekend.

These modifications were made to help the handling and drive-ability of the car for the track (without compromising daily driving sanity) while also properly prepping the suspension for future coilovers (which are toward the end of the upgrades list).

For the record, I don't care much for cosmetic upgrades short of my back-ordered Gram Light wheels in black. I prefer to keep the car as stock looking as possible to keep things low-key and surprise people with my driving ability when they least expect it.

John, feel free to correct me on some of the part names in case I get them mixed up, lol.

Whiteline 22mm front and rear sway bars
Kartboy endlinks
Whiteline gearbox positive shift kit
Whiteline crossmember mount insert
Kartboy pitch stop mount
Subaru factory group N mount
Hawk HP+ front and rear brake pads
Motul 8100 engine oil
Red Line Oil's new RL600 brake fluid
Whiteline rear diff bushing inserts
Whiteline rear subframe inserts


Time for photos!


The parts:














The other parts + happy girl:



The installs:

Pitch stop mount (old vs. new)


Pitch stop mount new installed


Group N mount (old vs. new). Note the amount of rubber in the old and solid metal in the new.


Group N mount new installed


Various bushings installed (John, this where I need some memory help, lol).






Front sway bar and endlinks installed


Rear sway bar and endlinks installed



Track weekend: HPDE 2, on the verge of HPDE 3

It's 41 degrees outside and flarking cold. Waiting to grid.


First session. Getting a feel for this track in a completely different car than last season. It's about learning the corners and how to best attack them. Anyone can mash on the gas to go fast in a straight line.


Second session. Leaving the pack out of the omega. Slow in, fast out. Build a gap.


Second session. Passed the RX8. Hit 120 mph down the front straight, my personal best for the weekend. Hit 110 mph through turn 8. Had a clean entrance and exit out of turn 9, which gave me the extra speed to the front straight.


The artsy shot. Cosmetic damage to the passenger rear door caused by a little old lady backing into me in a parking lot a week before. Not too thrilled about that one. Should be getting the car back tomorrow from the body shop.


The biggest compliments:
1. Being told by the other guys that I'm "getting frustratingly fast."

2. Asked the HPDE 4 / Time Trials instructor, who has been competing for 10 years, to drive my car and show me where I need to be for HPDE 4. After the session, he said, "I've driven a lot of WRXs and EVOs that felt awful and unimpressive. This car is balanced: excellent power and handling. It's perfect for you for working your way to your racing license. Don't mess with it. No power mods. Did you build it or someone else?" Needless to say, I mentioned that John, owner of Corner Speed Tuning, built it.

The biggest changes:
Prior to the suspension and handling upgrades, the car had some gnarly understeer. The feeling of washing out mid-corner wasn't a fun one.

The car has a more neutral feel now. The front-end suspension bushings and mounts are easily felt in a daily driving setting, making it much more fun and responsive. The harmonic changes alone in all of the mounts and bushings working together bring out the car's rally heritage. Starting up the car every morning brings a huge smile to my face. The rear end suspension bushings are better felt when the car is under load going through a mountain road or on the track. The rear sway bar at the medium setting helped balance out the understeer, making the front and rear ends feel more harmonious in the corners (the front sway bar is at the soft setting).

The enhanced mechanical grip coupled with the Dunlop Direzza Z2 tires gives the car much more confidence through the corners. As far blasting through straights... the power mods will happen down the line. Right now, it's about focusing on clean corner entries and exits which will help me gain additional speed going into the straights and maybe put a few more GT-Rs in their place.

Last edited by msawsmr; 03-05-2015 at 03:01 PM..
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:08 AM   #5
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this is the definition of a functional build. very nice!
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:36 AM   #6
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this is the definition of a functional build. very nice!
Thanks! Aside from some 17x9 wheels, the car will be staying as-is for a while.
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:13 PM   #7
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great build Caroline . Remember that stiffness is great when its dry, but when its wet, things get slippery and tire grip becomes compromised. Hopefully that front bar is not the 24mm by whiteline. I am glad you are enjoying the road you are on.
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:32 PM   #8
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great build Caroline . Remember that stiffness is great when its dry, but when its wet, things get slippery and tire grip becomes compromised. Hopefully that front bar is not the 24mm by whiteline. I am glad you are enjoying the road you are on.
Thanks. I did get the quickie course when it came to racing in the rain while at Big Willow. Fortunately, when it started raining the car and track surfaces were already decently hot, so compromised grip wasn't too big of a concern. Going into turn 5, there was a bit of extra rotation when I tapped the brakes to shift the weight forward to setup for the exit. The rear end did momentarily break loose, but settled back down as soon as I throttled out.

Fun times, lol.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:48 PM   #9
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Default Intercooler upgrade!

There was one worry that rolled through my mind during the Big Willow event: I hope the motor doesn't detonate from heat! There were a few times where I got pretty effing close to the car ahead of me, which impeded air flow into the intercooler and made my coolant temperatures creep up. It wasn't a fun feeling.

Consulted with John and did some online research on the factory bits. Basically, Subaru got a little lazy with the overall design which equates to unnecessary heat soak. Not a big deal for a "normal" person, but since this car will see triple-digit road temperatures on track and receive heat-generating power mods in the future, I decided to upgrade the intercooler a little early for overall peace of mind while helping maintain the car's reliability.

So, the tiny factory thing had to go and a new one came in!

This beauty came into my life - the Process West Verticooler in black. The core is 4.72 inches thick, 8.07 inches tall and 15.75 inches wide. It makes the factory intercooler look adorable. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the overall design from the hose routing to the rubber lip around the duct to maximize direct air flow.



The full kit:



Installed. One of my biggest pet peeves is loud, brightly colored bits under the hood. I appreciate the simple gloss black which blends in seamlessly into the engine bay, which looks stock to the untrained eye.

The WRX and I are headed to Buttonwillow this weekend to run 13CW. Aiming for a 2:15 lap by the end of the first day. I'd be super elated to hit 2:10 by the end of the second day. We'll see how this pans out.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:00 PM   #10
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I saw that pic on Instagram, I believe. that intercooler is freaking awesome
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