Tag Archive | STi

Odometer oddity

On Friday, June 20, 2008, an odd thing happened to my car’s odometer.  Its backlight (see the lower right corner of the photo above) stopped working!  My thoughts ranged from, “<sarcasm>Great</sarcasm>.  Now I’ll have to spend more money on the car.  Replacing this will be a pain, too, because the replacement instrument cluster will have to be turned to my car’s current mileage,” to “Upgrade time! ” after thinking a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi instrument cluster (seen below) retrofit could work.  The problem with retrofitting a STi instrument cluster is that my car doesn’t have the driver-controlled center differential (DCCD) or an outside temperature sensor.  Retrofitting the STi cluster would require modifying the cluster itself to make it work well with my car and getting it turned to my car’s mileage.

I don’t know what caused the odometer backlight to go out.  My car’s left side headlight bulb went out the previous night.  Perhaps that had something to do with it.  I replaced both headlight bulbs with European-spec Philips Vision Plus +50 H1 headlight bulbs (which are amazing by the way – I’d say their light output is better than the Euro-spec Osram Silverstar bulbs) on Saturday morning.  I took the car for a quick spin to Wal-Mart and back on Saturday afternoon, but didn’t notice if the odometer backlight was on or not (it should be on anytime the ignition is in the on position).  It wasn’t until I was leaving church on Sunday afternoon that I noticed the odometer backlight was fully functional again.  Seeing it illuminated again was a relief!

For kicks, here’s a shot of my car’s instrument cluster using my camera’s nightvision mode and flash.  That’s right, folks!  With it, I can see you, but you might not be able to see me! j/k

Watch where you’re going

Tip of the Day: A person will usually steer his or her vehicle to go wherever he or she is looking.

Here’s a video of my run down Glendora Mountain Road back on February 18, 2008.  One “issue” I had during it was looking ahead with my eyes instead of looking at the rear of Jon Mak’s 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.  This gave me greater respect for professional race car drivers who need to focus on the racing line and keep track of the other cars in front of them at the same time.  I basically had to mentally force myself to keep looking ahead instead of the rear of his car.

Here’s an excellent article on Inside Line by Mac Demere about using your eyes properly as a driver.

The Eyes Have It: Visionary Tactics for Smooth, Quick Driving

See how I’m not looking ahead into the turns and beyond.

Here are some examples of professionals looking ahead.

Al Unser, Jr. at Long Beach in 1991

Gil de Ferran entering the Corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

GMR and my car

Last week, I ordered two new Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires to replace the two front tires that took a beating at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  The tires arrived on Wednesday and sat in the backyard until they could be mounted and balanced on wheels.  On Saturday morning, I took the tires and wheels to Island Tires & Service (www.islandtire.net) in Pasadena.  Service was friendly and quick as I arrived and left in about half an hour.  Later that afternoon, I swapped the stock 2006 WRX wheels and tires that were on the car for the Prodrive P1 wheels that had been in storage since mid-November.

On Sunday afternoon, I did a recce run for a drive I was going to do the next day with some friends.  The plan was to go North on Azusa Ave until it turned into San Gabriel Canyon Road and continue along that until East Fork.  On East Fork, I headed East to the point Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) began.  GMR was where the fun to be had until it ended down the mountain at Sierra Madre Ave.  The first and only previous time I had driven GMR was back in July 2007 when I had the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback for an evening.  It’s definitely more fun to drive in daylight than at night.

Because I was stuck behind a GMC Yukon the entire time I drove along San Gabriel Canyon Road yesterday, I figured it would be better to go North on GMR and double-back today.  This afternoon, I met my college friends Steve Mar who has a 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon and Jon Mak who has a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.  We had a lot of fun driving our ‘Rexes up and down the mountain over the course of an hour.  Below is a video of my run up the mountain (the first minute and a half is pretty boring).  I’ll post a video of the run down the mountain later.  Enjoy the ride!  Note: I wasn’t driving all-out.  “Maximum attack” is reserved for the track alone.

You may view the rest of the photos I shot here.

Pretty in pink

After busting the left front strut of my car at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in November, I was presented with the burden privilege of upgrading its suspension.  I was hoping to have the upgrade done before I went to Laguna Seca, but the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) STI (Subaru Tecnica International) springs I ordered in late July.  The problem is that they didn’t arrive from Japan until after I had to get the car ready to go to Monterey.  I ordered Koni adjustable strut inserts a little before I ordered the springs.  They came within a week and sat in the house for the next four and a half months.

The springs that were on the car previously were Prodrive lowering springs.  Prodrive is the U.K.-based company that prepares and runs the Subaru World Rally Team in the FIA World Rally Championship.  The Prodrive springs are actually Eibach springs that are manufactured to Prodrive specifications.  Prodrive has never released the spring rates for their springs.  The closest they’ve come is saying that they’re 25% stiffer than stock.  The stock spring rates for a 2002-2007 USDM (United States Domestic Market) WRX Sedan with a 5-speed manual transmission are 163 lb./in. front and 119 lb./in. rear (there’s a great list of spring rates on NASIOC.com (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club) here).  25% stiffer spring rates translate to roughly 204 lb./in. front and 149 lb./in. rear.  They supposedly lower the car 20 mm, but I’m pretty sure that number isn’t accurate because they lower the front more than the rear to create the “even” fender gap look.

Those, my friends, are the JDM STI pink springs.  They have spring rates of 257 lb./in. front and 217 lb./in. rear.  Compared to the Prodrive estimated spring rates, they’re 26% stiffer in the front and 46% stiffer in the rear.  For reference, stock 2004-2007 STi/STI spring rates are 224 lb./in. front and 195 lb./in. rear.  They lower the car 1 inch in both the front and rear from the stock (STi/STI) ride height.  As a result, my car now has a saggy butt look.  But that isn’t nearly as important to me as it being able to handle better!

Because the car got stiffer springs, it would be a bad idea to couple them with the stock struts.  The stock struts don’t provide enough damping for the springs.  This is where the Koni adjustable strut inserts come into the equation.

The part laid flat in the above image is the Koni Sport adjustable strut insert.  The item positioned in an upright manner is an actual strut assembly, which is not available for the WRX.  To install the Koni strut inserts, Suby Specialties had to remove all four struts, cut and drill into them, remove the original cartridges, and then install the new strut inserts.  Because of their adjustability, a broad range of strut damper settings are now available to me.  Out of the box, I believe there were set around 40-60% firm.  At these settings, most of the body roll the car would previously exhibit in turns had been eliminated.  The tradeoff was the ride was annoying on bad (read: pothole-ridden) roads.  Wanting to soften up the ride, I adjusted all four inserts to an almost full soft setting.  The car feels like it rides better now than when it was on the Prodrive springs and stock struts.  Then again, that may simply be all in my head.  The beauty of the ability to adjust the inserts is that I’ll be able to firm them up the next time I take the car to the track!

My Magnificent Obsession (Part 1 of 2)

Here’s my magnificent obsession…

Edmunds.com Inside Line‘s Comparison Test of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, and 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR (Click on the image to see the article and video)


My real magnificent obsession lies in God’s call to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength — a humanly impossible feat.

Hanley preached from James 3:13-18 (link to BibleGateway.com James Chapter 3 – NASB) many Friday nights ago (September 7, 2007 to be exact).  God really convicted me of my selfish ambition.  I should want what God wants–not what I want.

Wisdom from Above

 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

A few weeks later (September 23, 2007), God convicted me through Pastor Jackson’s message on the Triumphal Entry in Matthew 21.  He mentioned that Jesus Christ wasn’t who the Israelites hoped He would be as the Messiah.  He used a cross reference from Isaiah 55:8-9 which says that God’s thoughts and ways are higher (Thanks, Nick!) than people’s.  This reminded me I need to have the proper perspective of God and not try to make Him who I want Him to be.

When I went with Steve (Xanga: rice4krxst), Hanley (Xanga: randomranting), and Don (Xanga: udonoogen) to see Steven Curtis Chapman, Sanctus Real, and Bethany Dillon perform live on the evening of October 28, 2007, God convicted me that I had not been placing Him entirely first in my life when SCC and his band featuring his two sons played “Magnificent Obsession”.

Last month, I applied for an Associate Editor position in Edmunds.com’s editorial department.  The thought of getting it would be a dream come true (since becoming a professional race car driver or fighter pilot is very unlikely at my ripe old age of 26) as I would get to write about (it’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun, too) and evaluate automobiles for a living.  Last week, I started getting anxious that I was probably not going to get the position.  God used His Word (Philippians 4:6-7) to remove the anxiety and replaced it with a sense of contentment.  I knew His perfect will will be done.  And in that, I rejoiced!  I probably will find out in a few weeks where I am in that process.  I would appreciate your prayers for God’s will to be done, not that I would simply get the job.

With that said, I’ll post Part 2 of “My Magnificent Obsession” in His time.

In closing, here’s a clip of SCC performing “Magnificent Obsession” live along with the song’s lyrics (from www.hughchou.org).


Magnificent Obsession
Written by Steven Curtis Chapman
From the recording: Declaration, Track #9.

Matt. 13:44-46; Heb. 12:2; Phil. 3:8-10

Lord, You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers and explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life’s complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling like I’m chasing down the wind
But now it’s brought me back to You
And I can see again

This is everything I want
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You, Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession

So capture my heart again
Take me to depths I’ve never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You’ve shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down to so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains

You are everything I want
And You are everything I need
Lord, You are all my heart desires
You are everything to me

You are everything I want
You are everything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You
I want it all to be for You

Copyright Information
©2001 Sparrow Songs / Peach Hill Songs / BMI / Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing

We must protect this house

And we did!  Booty, Booty, Booty, Booty-rockin’ everywhere!

This has been the craziest college football since I became a fan in Fall 1999 when I started attending USC.

What a “coincidence” that #2 West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh by a score of 13-9 tonight–just like #2 USC lost to UCLA last year 13-9.

What Would Petter Solberg Drive (WWPSD)?

Find out as Inside Line tests the all-new 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.


STI – Sweet or sigh?

Yesterday, official photos of the new Subaru Impreza WRX STI were released.  I think it’s SWEET!  Others may sigh.  What say you?

Full story here: First Look: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

By God’s grace, I helped the author of that story confirm and/or find information about the vehicle thanks to the fine members of NASIOC.com (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club).

Here’s what I’m thinking – USC colors – Lightning Red with gold BBS wheels!


Rally Time!

I went to the X Games 13 Rally event on Sunday.  Here are some of the photos I took thanks to free tickets from Subaru that I got from Santa Monica Subaru.

1995 FIA World Rally Driver's Champion (thanks to a Subaru Impreza), Colin McRae, at the beginning of what would be his last run of the day
Colin McRae on all four wheels…but not for long

Video of Colin McRae’s semifinal run in the #7 No Fear Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Rated X

X Games 13 is here!  It actually started on Thursday and ends tomorrow with the Rally event (1:30-3:00 PM PDT on ABC).

On Thursday, Jake Brown caught some major air and helplessly crashed about 40 below.  He only suffered a broken right wrist and a bruised lung.  The video below is not for the faint of heart.

Tomorrow, I’m going after church to the Rally event with Derrick Ma (who turns 25 today) thanks to free tickets I got from Subaru at Santa Monica Subaru.

Here are some highlights from last year’s X Games Rally event.

1995 FIA World Rally Driver’s Champion (driving a Subaru Impreza), Colin McRae (co-driver Nicky Grist), in the #7 Sobe No Fear Subaru Impreza WRX STI (2:09 in the clip below is an amazing sight)

Not even a full day removed from performing the first ever double backflip on a motorcycle in competition, Travis Pastrana (co-driver Christian Edstrom) sought to win another gold medal in the Rally event in his #199 Red Bull Subaru Rally Team USA Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

Here’s Edmunds.com Inside Line‘s feature story on Travis:
Travis Pastrana: Brutal Speed and (Sometimes) Graceful Landings

Here’s Travis’ gold medal-winning double backflip from last year’s MotoX Best Trick competition:

Here’s the practice he put in just to be able to do the double backflip (note: the music in the clip below is pretty loud):

Here’s an excerpt from Travis’ new book, The Big Jump: The Tao of Travis Pastrana, that was printed in the July 30, 2007 issue of ESPN: The Magazine.

Praise & Potenzas

It’s time again to give thanks to the Lord, our God and King…His love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34,41; 2 Chronicles 5:13, 2 Chronicles 7:3,6; 2 Chronicles 20:21; Ezra 3:11; Psalm 100:5, Psalm 106:1; Psalm 107:1; and more)!

Softball – Team Edmunds co-ed softball team (now 6-3) won their fourth straight game on Monday night 17-14 over the top team in the league (7-2) in eight innings (one extra inning).  I went 1-for-4 (pop up to the pitcher, line single between the first and second basemen (sure felt nice to rope), groundout to the pitcher, and reached on an error on a hard groundball I hit back to the pitcher) with 2 runs scored.  The error I reached on occured as I led off the top of the 8th inning.  We had a 12-10 lead going into the bottom of the 7th, but were unable to hold the home team to less than two runs as the balls they hit seemed to find all the holes.  It was a good, fun game.  The only bad thing that happened was I didn’t have to slide at all and get dirty.  This team was the team I had my worst game ever against.  They hold the tiebreaker over us as they beat us twice and lost to us once.  I hadn’t joined the team yet the first time we played them.  Any progress my injury made toward recovery was thrown away by playing and running the bases (and also basketball on Sunday nights).  I probably won’t be 100% until a few weeks after the softball season is over (3 games remain in the season with playoff games afterward).

I had dinner with my wonderful, old (not in age…old in that I’ve known the person for almost nine years) friend, Talene Lee, tonight.  It’s always nice to catch up with people you don’t regularly see!

I missed most of tonight’s (Tuesday night) 2007 MLB All-Star Game.  Padre pitcher Jake Peavy pitched an okay, scoreless first inning for the National League team.  Padre pitcher Chris Young was credited with the loss thanks to an amazing inside-the-ballpark 2-run home run by Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners.  At least Padre pitcher Trevor Hoffman didn’t get rocked again this year.

Puttin’ on the Ritz…Potenzas

I threw some old shoes back on to Devoted Dan tonight.  It took me about 90 minutes to do it all myself which wasn’t too bad.  I then took him for a nice, “spirited” spin for about 20 minutes.



Why the change?  I can’t totally tell you all why I did it yet.  Let’s just say I felt I need to get a good feel for Dan’s capabilities again with “stock” all-season rubber (Bridgestone Potenza RE92 – 215/45R17…the tires that came off were Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R – 225/45R17 summer (read sticky/grippy) tires).

Here are a couple of hints:

Finally, Subaru has a new commercial that makes me want to drive!  Off the top of my mind, Mazda, Audi, and BMW have awesome commercials that have been evoking this feeling in me for years.

Subiesport magazine’s 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX preview

I spy STI!

Here’s another treat for you all!  The next-generation Subaru Impreza WRX STI has been spotted at the famed Nürburgring track in Germany.  Click on the photo or the link below to watch an exclusive video at Edmunds.com Inside Line.

Article and video here: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/GeneralFuture/articleId=121620

Thou shalt not steal

Photo: ©2007 Dann Chen – Russell Martin gets “owned” breaking the eighth commandment in the 11th inning of the game played on June 30, 2007.  As a result, the Padres won by scoring two runs in the top of the next inning off Brett Tomko and Trevor Hoffman shut the Dodgers down in the bottom frame to produce a 3-1 victory.

The Los Angeles Dodgers: Property of the San Diego Padres

The Pads lead this year’s series 7-5.  Who wants to see the Swingin’ Friars rough up the (other) Blue Crew on Wednesday night, September 12, 2007?  I’ll be there!  Will you?