Not everyone can claim that they have a 9-second bugeye. Brian is one of the few that can.
Brian's car: 2003 WRX
Exterior: Carbon fiber trunk, Aerocatch hood pins, 35% tint
Interior: Prodrive cluster, carbon fiber interior trim pieces (to replace the crappy bugeye silver ones), Sparco racing seat, AEM 50 psi boost gauge and air fuel gauge, Defi gauges (oil pressure, fuel pressure, and EGT), radio removed and replaced with a carbon fiber switch panel (fuel pump duty, fuel pump race mode, fuel pump on, oil scavenge on, gauges on), and some weight removal.
Engine and Drive-train:
- Bottom end - 2.6L Benson sleeved EJ257 (79mm stroke, 102.3 bore) - 8500 rpm redline currently, O-ringed, 9:1 custom JE FSR pistons, Custom Pauter X-beams, STi non-nitrided crank modified to use Chevy small block bearings, Clevite rod bearings, ACL Mains, P&L 13mm Head studs, ARP Case bolts, Modified/Shimmed oil pump, Killer Bee Oil pickup, baffle, and pan.
- Heads - EJ207 heads, CNC chamber matched, Kelford 280 AVCS cams, +1mm valves, springs/retainers, ported & polished.
- Engine management - Version 8 ECU, Carberry ROM tuned by myself on Ignite Red (e90 race blend), Working AVCS.
- Fueling - APS twin injector TGVs, ID2000s on top rails, ID1000s on bottom rails (mostly used for break-in until I decide to go standalone), 15 Gallon fuel cell in trunk, Aeromotive fuel filter, Weldon 2345A fuel pump with controller, Weldon fuel pressure regulator, -10 AN to distribution block and return.
- Turbo and cooling - 8mm phenolic spacers, Process West race intake manifold (drive by cable), Boomba 3" throttle body, Strictly Modified catch can (with exhaust scavenge), Fobia foglight mounted header, Bullseye turbo 72mm "batmowheel", 83mm exhaust wheel, 1.25 AR T4 twinscroll housing, twin Tial 44MM wastegates, Tial blowoff valve, Mishimoto oil cooler, Mishimoto radiator, custom fabricated Bell intercooler, AEM IAT sensor, AEM 5 bar MAP sensor, Exa-Pump scavenge pump for oil return on turbo.
- Drivetrain - Cusco motor and transmission mounts, Beat Rush pitch stop mount, 07 STi 6 speed with carbon synchros and Spec B 5th and 6th gear, Spyder DCCD controller, 07 STi R180, DSS front & rear axles, 04 STi rear hubs, 07 Limited Brembos, STi aluminum control arms, Exedy triple plate clutch, PST carbon fiber driveshaft.
Wheels/Tires/Suspension: Mach V Awesome in gunmetal with 255/40/17 Dunlop Star Specs (street), RPF1s in gold with 26x8.5x17 with M&H Slicks (race), THM/Fortune Auto 550 Drag Spec Coilovers, sway bars removed, adjustable lateral links in the rear, and aftermarket trailing arms.
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a Director of IT and Security at a payment gateway company. I tend to gravitate towards technical or complex things to learn about them. That is true of IT, as it is of mechanical stuff or tuning. Other than the obvious part about working on my car or driving, I enjoy shooting at the range, playing video games, playing pool, good beer (or mule), the driving range, and as of late bicycle riding.
How did you get into cars? And what was your first car? I enjoyed cars even when I had crappy ones. My first car was a 96 Ford Taurus GL that I broke open the filter panel for because it sounded cooler. It was slow as hell, and I was that dumb ricey kid that had to pretend he had a manual because he couldn't afford anything worth a crap. It had a cheap ass head unit, and I had a habit of using the parking brake a lot in snow (yeah, it was a pedal one, just try to imagine how that looked or worked). Once I bought the bugeye... I dunno... it was like I graduated from O'douls to my brother's Habanero Wheat beer.
What's your favorite thing about your car? How stupid it is. I went to the Byron Street Car Shootout the other day and entered the ProStreet class. No one gave me the time of day until my first run. I met a lot of cool people and my car is a great conversation starter. I drove it there (80 miles), swapped wheels, made a few runs (made it to the semifinals where I screwed up a launch), swapped back, and drove her home (another 80 miles). One tank of ignite red and a lot of funny looks and raised eyebrows - it was a good day.
What is your car like to drive? To be frank, it is the best thing ever and the worst thing ever. She drives pretty well under normal conditions, even if 6th gear passing at 65-70 mph isn't happening in less time than it takes to grow a beard. She is also noisy, as you probably surmised. It is also a unique feeling to have a Z06, Lamborghini, R8, or any of the more common dream cars roll by and not feel the need or want to race it, or compare myself to it. It is kind of hard to explain - probably some portion confidence, and some portion fear (the car can get sketchy on the "go" button).
What are your future plans for the car, and what do you like to do with it? My biggest debate right now is to stay with Carberry engine management, or go to a standalone that supports JDM AVCS (since Cobb won't support JDM stuff or permit static fuel/timing targets under launch control - shame on you Cobb!) like a Vipec v88. Mostly, I just like driving it. I drove it to Scoobapalooza the last couple years and I'll drive it pretty much anywhere except I try to avoid subdivisions. I drove it down LSD and around the museum once which was pretty funny. The loop echoed a lot and got pretty loud if I didn't baby it.
What was your inspiration or objective with this build? And how did it end up where it is now? 1 part financial mistake, 2 parts love going fast, and 1 part people saying I shouldn't do this on a Subaru. I have just always wanted to go faster than I have before and those around me. I am a very competitive person, and it has just kind of grown together. I've never really been top-dog, but I enjoy trying to get there.
Why did you choose a Subaru? I had the busted Taurus, and started looking around at fun, manual, cars that were in a price range I could afford at the time (which was around $20k at the time I ran the Taurus into the ground). I looked at a WS6, a Camaro, some Mustangs, and some other stuff. I took a test drive in the Subaru thinking I would feel less bad about that in winter and my parents would think I was being responsible, and it just kind of happened. I should mention, I bought my bugeye with a bunch of APS stuff on it so it was already 220-230 wheel when I bought it - but they didn't need to know that. I also didn't know... 5 speeds...
How much power are you looking to get out of this setup? What sort of goals do you have? I want to get her into the 4 digit range - trap something in the high 160s or low 170s in the 1/4. Right now it is making about 830hp to the wheels, (and that's with an exhaust leak that needs to be fixed), so it's a definite possibility. The goal is drive to the track and run an 8, even if she has to go home on a trailer (though driving home is a better story).
The big question that everyone probably wants to know - What is your best time in the 1/4 mile? It was a 9.37 @136mph run at Great Lakes Dragway, but the car is no stranger to 9 second runs. It also ran 9.45 @ 142mph at the Subaru Shootout last year in Byron (in loafers!), and I'm excited to see what it can do this year.
Any funny stories with your car? I have a few, but I'll do some cliff-notes versions:
- Dewey going full fetal position in my passenger seat as a slightly damp road let my car spin tires through all of 3rd and 4th. Pansy.
- The time I had to give a stalled, drag radial-ed, sprayed corvette 3 and the hit to get a race on my old FP Green turbo.
- The funniest times are any time people notice the turbo placement for the first time and you get these weird looks - or the people that look at the car and just shrug it off, especially when they make comments about "just another 13 sec Subaru," I am sure all the other foglight guys get the same thing - you just can't help but laugh.
Any shout-outs to anyone who helped you along the way? How much bandwidth does this site have? I'll keep it short:
First and foremost, Sammy So & Six Star - if you need the stories, I can write a book. Dewey - we have come up with so many dumb ideas together, a few of which turned out not quite as bad as initially thought. Andy Housholder - for encouraging me to get into tuning myself. Sam Shirreff - lots of talking and support. Kris Zee - finding a lot of weird or rare shit for me to buy (APS twin injector TGVs for if/when I ever run an ecu to support them both and others). JrTuned - lets be bounce ideas off of him, even when they're dumb, and giving me an honest answer. He has been a lot of help. And finally, my wife Keri - but that's another book.