42,650 mi. Just changed my brake pads to Cobalt Racing Brakes (Cobalt Friction GTS-Series Carbon-Ceramic). Really awesome grip, took maybe few miles for them to "adjust" but once I got a feel of them I really noticed night and day difference compared to stockers. Another nice things about these (and some people won't like it) is they squeak a little bit when you step on a pedal. But this noise reminds me how Porsche Michelin Cup sounds and I like it a lot.
Today, I had to re-open my other tail and redo it, too. Condensation appeared after a rainy day. So now it's two tail lights re-done. Hopefully last time, honoestly I am sick of dealing with them :)
This compulab pc could be an awesome candidate for a carputer.
Today was a nice day after last night camping in Bethel,ME for Maine Forest Rally or what is now known as New England Rally. Very good time, enjoyed it a lot, but not enough exposure of the car. Definitely different experience watching it on TV and in real life, both have its minuses and pluses.
On the way from rally event, I decided to cruise around scenis northern new hampshire, maine and vermont and found myself few feets from Canadian territory. Driving around and once I saw customs, I decided it's time to turn around. But it wasn't easy to turn around. I got stopped by Border Patrol and was interrogated. Got stuck there for maybe fifteen or so minutes but was let go. I was a little worried that I will end up in jail until Monday. I am not used to carrying passport around and that is what they wanted to see after they heard my accent.
I finally managed to figure out why Enginuity ECU Logger didn't output my logs correctly. And thanks to the post on esecuroms forums and ev8siv3's reply which hinted to towards solution. And solution is the fact that my comptuter with which I was attempting to log as well as carputer's regional settings were set to Russia and not United States. So what I had to do is go to Control Panel > Regional Settings and reset all settings to USA. That helped and now I can log. So far I have three files: second gear, another second gear, and third gear pull.
Still no luck with loggin. ECU Logger doesn't work right, outputting corrupted data. I posted my request for help on esecuroms forums.
Today I had a crazy race. Race for a green card on the streets of Boston. Had to make two trips to Boston, and one to Concord,NH. And like many races, it depreciating your car. I drove somewhere in Mattapan behind the bus. All of a sudden I see a rock in the middle of the road but way too close for me to react because of other traffic behind and beside.
So I attempt to avoid a rock and I hit it with the corner of my tyre. Of course tyre is cut. Thankfully or not it's RE070. If it was any other softer tyre it's probably be ripped. RE070 sidewalls are extremely stiff. That might have saved it. Very very light air leak. So tyre is a junk of course but it was good to drive on today and maybe tomorrow. Worse news is alignment is off. So I drove to Nashua and my friend Jay fixed alignment. But negative camber is about 0.02 degrees. Which means something is bent. In a few weeks we'll be taking that part of the car apart attempting to fix it. In the meantime I have a camber like a nascar and car pulling to the right.
But on a good note all my documents are in order and dropped off at my attorney's place.
TriCity Subaru -- Somersworth,NH, http://www.tricity.sne1.com/
I purchased a car from them, and never had problems with them before but today. Went for oil change and free state inspection sticker (they offer that to those who purchase cars from them).
After work is done, I get my keys and proceed to drive home. Slowly pulling out of dealership I hear weird clinking. I roll another 50 feet or so realising car didn't make those sounds when I bought it in. So I proceed another 50 feet or so and pull over onto a grass.
I get out of the car and walk around looking at tires. What do I see? I see a front right wheel is about to fall off, I think they take it off to inspect brake pads. So I leave the car where it was and walk back to the dealership asking if it's something they would like to take care of or is it "safe to drive like that"? I see a look of a service clerk change to embarrassment and he takes keys.
In the end I get free oil change coupon to compensate for what happened.
Anyone wants that coupon? I'll give it away. I sure as hell not going back there ever again.
I realise it's down to one mechanic, but I think dealership should have a hire programme that hires people who know what they're doing.
I think Exeter Subaru is the only decent local dealer left.
Well now I still cannot log properly... :( I installed everything on carputer now and it still generates messed up logs, wrong data in wrong columns.
Also when I installed Enginuity software on carputer and then plugged in a Tactrix cable, it didn't want to work. Said openport 1.3 subaru driver couldn't be installed. Well I solved it via downloading ECUExplorer, it has that driver embedded.
Still cannot log anything :( but thanking Jeremy and Hank, I am narrowing down to a problem. My laptop USB doesn't operate as USB 2.0, so connection is too slow. Perhaps need to call Dell Support. I read online that some people with such a laptop had to replace entire motherboard to get USB 2.0 to work. And carputer cannot install openport 1.3 Subaru.
I still cannot log properly. WeldingHank pointed out that I am logging at a very slow pace, which prompted me to suspect that USB is perhaps not functioning as a 2.0 enabled. So I will try my carputer instead tonight. The problem is I cannot make USB 2.0 work on my Inspiron 9200. This is odd.
"Psshht Mr2" gave me a nice link for studying logs: http://www.enginuity.org/viewtopic.php?t=957. It's an awesome tool that you use to import your logs to.
Since I still cannot generate correct log files, I decided to re-install Enginuity. It's not the same program that reflashes ECU. That one is called ECUFlash. So I download Enginuity client for Windows and latest ECU definitions and Logger definitions. Going to check tonight after work if it is logging correctly.
Yesterday I finally managed to find a spare minute to reflash my car with tactrix cable. I used map from osecuroms.org "3gsucks - 2006 WRX Custom Stage 2 Map *Update 4-23-07*". This seems like a very aggressive map. Registers above .1 on my european boost gauge.
I am still in a learing mode, now need to do some reading to understand logs.
After a painful weekend the job is done. Tail lights are cleared to match headlights style. Click here to see. Or go see more photographs. It's been exactly one year since I did my headlights. Those were painful enough to forget about that and never do it again :) but I liked what I saw on one nasioc thread. Happy posts followed here, here and here.
It's been about a month since last update and nothing happened. It's a shame. I am even riding on stock map having Tactrix cable sitting in the car. The only new thing is that today I swapped my tails with unsakred. I got ricer back on my car and gave him mine from '05 model. I am going to attempt to split them open and speay-paint ricer part inside. Going to do it all in TrickyDik's house this weekend.
Today I got pulled over while not driving. :) pretty funny story, click here to read the story of the State of New Hampsire still making its point of not wanting anyone to have front windows tinted.
After DMV adventure, I went to Circuit City to pick up two subwoofer 10" speakers. My friend Eugene and I got a deal, buy one get one free. So we got two Kicker 10" Subwoofer speakers total $70. $35 each, really good deal. This is an upgrade to my carputer setup.
Today had a garage day, Dave helped me a lot with a new 'Mad Dad' sway bar. Additionally, Access Port has been unmarried, sold and shipped :) and all the while, Tactrix cable has arrived. So far today I have played with data logging. Need to do some reading before I reflash the new Stage 2 map. And finally, I purchased a skid plate, which was installed today. But I am still debating whether or not I should keep it.
Just ordered Tactric cable for my new tuning era. Should be here soon, by the time I am done with my crazy teaching week. Teaching Web Administrators workhop this week.
WeldingHank gave great idea of a toggle switch for infamous green switch under the steering column. So now test mode is easy as a switch, not need to crawl under the column and fight with damn green switch.
Access Port is sold and Tactrix cable has arrived. :) will be playing with it on the weekend.
Today I finally hooked up a small USB keyboard I bought a while ago. Worked perfectly from getgo, which is good. Now I need to figure out where to hold it. Perhaps velcro kind of material but more solid one. I forget the name of it.
STi springs are proving to be a perfect investment. $60 used. Purchased on nasioc. Supposedly had about 6,000 miles on them, which I believe. They feel like new. Stiff and more responsive -- very happy.
STi '04 Spec springs are in.
Injen short ram intake installed.
I am still on summer racing tyres but it's damn snowing again :( I just came from work 33F outside, snow and rain. I am surprised how much grip I got, way more grip than last time I was caught up in the snow on racing rubber. I think it's temperature, right now is not as cold as last time. But it is amazing how much difference few degrees can make!
I am once again on summer tyres :) second attempt.
91 octane, 326 miles (note: about 25% city driving).
93 octane, 319 miles (note: started using economy mode about 30 mi into gas tank).
On the weekend I intalled Economy Mode realtime map for my engine ECU. It will be interesting to see how much my milage will increase.
Today I left Bridgestone RE070 on the snow, it was scary, driving 60 mi from work. About 50 or so accidents. At some point, I was debating whether or not to stop and get the car towed home. No grip whatsoever.
Today went to change oil and had EXETER SUBARU replace my floor matts. Driver side had holes again. It's an ongoing problem, either a shoes or a driving style. More information here.
Switched to summer mode rubber.
Today was a scary night. After all winter with 'unmarried' Access Port, I today decided to put it back on. I was upgrading to AP Cobb stage 2, so I am looking at display and it says 1%...2%...3%... I went home for five minutes. Come back to see blank screen on AP. Those who know AP might imagine how scared I got all of a sudden. So with many thoughts on my mind, unplug it? Turn ignition off? What to do? What to do! I started calling all my friends but to no avail. Only Ichigo (Adam) answered. Click here to read the rest of the story.
After second time carputer amplifier ended up hanging on only two bolts, I decided to put some spacers and washers and remount it. Hopefully it'll stay little bit longer until it gets warmer so I can figure out alternative mount method.
Time for me to show off. You should check out my carputer on Subaru Website. A company hired by Subaru of North America filmed evens that were taking place at Team O'Neil Rally School. It was about two winners of SubaruShakedown.com game, one of whom happened to be me.
So part of the filming was filming my carputer. I never really expected Subaru of North America approving it to go live on that website but I guess they did like it. So now it's live on one of official Subaru Promo Websites.
Check it out:
- Once on this website, "WATCH THE ACTION" in lower right. - Then click "MEET THE SHAKE DOWN CHAMPIONS".
That's where you see "Tour Vlad's tricked out Subaru WRX".
I backed up my Windows XP installation and wiped it. Now with a help of nLite I am trying to make XP smaller and quicker. It's now all installed, lighter version. Just need to install all drivers and programs right now.
WRXTEAR is now back to stock map, Access Port is unmarried. On two occasions, car would stop responding to gas pedal, go to test mode. So either something is wrong with COBB map or my car's ECU. For now, decided to ride around on stock map, then try to go back to Stage 2. It will be a nice treat to get a feel of power again. Car's really slow now.
This weekend install Kartboy short throw shifter and worked on my dummie radio plate to cover LCD. Will be ready soon. Still no snow, riding on winter setup.
Winter setup and silver BBS wheels.
My car's back and looking very good.
Dropped off car at Colony bodyshop, was given Ford Focus rental.
Finally wired a microphone still in beta version, i.e. wrapped in electrical tape, but all functioning.
wired microphone from carputer to front of the car.
Downpipe is in and Stage 1 93o installed, ECU still learning, but I am already happy with the outcome!
Just upgraded to COBB Tuning stage 1 93o. Amazing result, took 30-40 minutes. Turbo spool went up and more torque. Smoking rubber in first gear. Simply amazing for stage 1. Stage 2 coming soon :)
Today purchased Helix downpipe and winter tires -- Hankook iPike W409.
Drove 3 hours to Torrington,CT to pick up a second set of BBS STi wheels.
My friend Jay installed side skirts for me. Many think it's not necessary but it actually adds some styling to the car, makes it look a little lower and tight.
Got '03 wrx sideskirts.
Today in boston got rearended :( got my bumper and trunk lid messed up. Read more.
Today was the day when we went flat out on an entire course. Well not entire course but we basically combined all techniques we learnt into one course. That was so much fun. Surely felt like a real Rally :) Unfortunately, this was the last day, but fortunately, left with a wealth of knowledge that mazing Team O'Neil instructors gave me. Thanks to Tim, Adam, Mike, Alan and Wyatt!
And finally, I talked Adam into swapping wheels with him. I took his powdercoated BBS's with Falken rubber and gave him my oem STi BBS's with Bridgestone. Now my car has an ultimate stealth look.
Second day of Rally school went on better. Some of the techniques from the day before matured and I could do them better. On the first day I was a huge lifter, couldn't keep my foot on a gaz. Today I could do it no problem. But just as we all got comfortable in FWD, they sat us in AWD and that's when real driving began :) Additionally, RGA TV crew was there, so it was a quite a distruction. But we tried to pay as less attention to them as we could.
I have to say that RGA crew had me wake up earlier to photoshoot my car, and I didn't mind.
What happened later in the afternoon was a dream come true, that even now does not feel like real. I went for a ride with Travis Pastrana in a car #199.
Amazing first class day today. Tim O'Neil picked us up from the hotel himself. Today we've mainly used VW Golf and Jetta, FWD. Learnt how to drift into corners and how to do it right. It certainly not as easy as it looks from outside. Took us a long time. All this done withleft food breaking.
Today was a first day of my trip to Team O'Neil Rally School, it started with checking in to Mountaint View Resort and travelling to Vermont Sports Car with another winner. Very awesome experience and informative tour at VSC. I sat in Ken Block's car and Collin McRae's car which he rolled over on X-games. Also received a phone call from director of Subaru Motorsport Programme in USA inquiring on my experiences so far :)
It's been months since I mounted my Italian air horns. I never connected them being overwhelmed with carputer. So today I finally wired relay and it's all working now!
As for carputer, I am working on my custom Zeus skin for Road Runner front end.
I changed my windows registry shell from explorer.exe to rr.exe so now it nicely boots straight into rr.exe. I was using this document. We'll see how I like it. For now I just have to forget about start menu which, in reality, I don't really need in the car.
Also just reconfigured computer's PSU from J10-B to J10-A. I think I'll stay like this.
I had a microphone and headset from Creative. Unfortunately, when I cut a wire to make an extension I learnt that the wire inside is some strange wire that doesn't get soldered. When you solder it there's no electricity flowing through. Whatever the reason, I decided to completely rewire microphone deleting headphone. Here's what it looks like right now. Next step is to run a longer wire from trunk to dash area. This is going to be used for voice recognition/control. I am going to be using NaviVoice.
Qiuck update: spent most of yesterday playing with carputer, everything works great! I need to reconfigure power supply to work off of switched power since now it still does not. Also I need to do lots of configuration since I basically hasn't played wiht my software yet, it's all default. I am overall really happy!
Finally! Today was a decisive and great day. I hooked up all my equipment and did a test run. Everything's working like a clock! However, my touch screen device wasn't detected by computer. I think there's an issue in connection, I am going to troubleshoot that tomorrow. Also I'll reconfigure my power supply to work with ignition. Now I hit power button to get computer started. Otherwise, I am really happy. No more silent ride. Tomorrow, heading to Nashua with the music :)
Majority of wiring is done. Working on a prototype rack that will support computer box behind the rear seat. Also working on voice recognition software which works like a charm so far, I really love it. Oh and power supply for USB hub (12v to 5v converter) has arrived. Things looking good for this weekend's first test-drive.
Today my friend Glen helped me hook up my amp. Instead of putting it under the seat, we put it underneeth rear seat deck, looks awesome and completely stealth. Also we ran a main wire from engine compartment through firewall, to the back of the car, under the carpet. Seems like things slowly taking shape. It was a weekend though so it was all laid back. Went dirt biking and hang out with friends.
Let's just say I had a few weeks of summer vacation. :) now back to the project. I got almost everything together. Only three pieces missing that I can think off: USB hub, USB power supply, Bluetooth hub. Got wires, distribution blocks, and terminals together. Jay gave me the rest of the wiring, and Rich lended me his soldering gun. Soldering wire ends and terminals now, planning wiring. It's going to take me a little bit, since it's my first ever attempt at wiring. I do have a pretty good idea of what's to be done, I just need to take my time and properly get it done.
I've abandoned Pioneer speakers. They ended up being too big for my rear seat deck. They're 6"x9". So after a frustrated attempt to install them, I went to Walmart this morning and picked up Sony Xplod 5.25" 160 Watt 4-Way speakers. They are nicer and ain't gonna make me broke all but it's an unplanned money spent.
On the other hand, I tested my GPS receiver with my laptop, drove around Seacost. Tested that with Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006. And I have to tell you, I am impressed and impatient to get it all running from my dash!
That's all for updates... still working on electrical design... it's a pain, some conflicting opinions too. So folks, carputer is not all that easy after all. It's interesting project by all means! But it's a project requires patience, dedication and responsibility.
My headlights's been dealt with and for now all initialised! I bough a nice dremel kit and already trimmed my dash. Tomorrow will do some detail job.
LCD is in my dash but I need to trim it because it doesn't fit vertically. Therefore, I was going to buy a dremel today to do it but I got yet another setback. That is my headlights which I cleared. One of the internal pieces was broken and I hotglued it. That was a stupid step since hot glue melts at high temperatues. And since it's headlight, on a real hot day it melts... that is what I just noticed. So tonight it's again taking headlight off, cooking it, JB'weld it and put it back on. Don't know if I can do it all in one night, but hopefully I can.
Yesterday I got my LCD kit! Right now installing nLite to see what it's like. And as it takes forever to wait while nLite generates XP, I decided to take some pictures of my development environment. I decided to stay at work late for a few days to enjoy quietness as I work on this project. Picture speaks a thousand words about it :) clean n messy! Tapping 12 Volts from my monitoring Unix server.
Following yesterday's successful powerup, today I partitioned my hard drive in half and already have Windows XP Professional up and running. Currently, Fedora CORE is being installed. I think Fedora will take a while. Therefore, tomorrow, when it's all set and done, I'll be playing with things like front ends.
Today, got a confirmation that my LCD kit is shipped, which means by the end of this week, I'll have an LCD kit! This is great news. GPS receiver presumably will be arriving by the end of this week, too.
Yes I know... I am extremely lazy :) but today is Sunday and I managed to power up my carputer from home. I tapped my old FreeBSD desktop 12v wire. And my carputer booted for the first time, so it's good news. However, right now, I am going to watch Russian TV show called "Zona", it's best ever show, and worth this slight delay. More good stuff is coming next week.
Just like I expected, nothing was done to carpc project over the weekend :( partying, moving to a new house, etc. However, I just bought a GPS received on ebay. So it's slowly moving along.
Today was slow but progressive. I assembled most of my car computer case with an exception of a few wires which I have doubts about, so I posted that on mp3car.com forum. If all goes as planned, I should be able to power it up tomorrow or on Monday. Power it up just to check how hardware behaves and whether all hardware components are detected. I'll be running it in an in-house mode tapping 12v off of my desktop FreeBSD server.
Well it has began! UPS brought my mp3car computer. Kind of tired right now, but tomorrow, after F1 qualifying, I'll jump on it start to assemble everything together. Still waiting for Lilliput LCD kit from mechatroniks.com
Today, this site was extended as I started ordering carpc components, one more section added: Carputer.
Awesome day today at wickedbigmeet.com, swapped my '06 tail lights with older '04 style thanks to Devin for that. My ricer tails look actually decent on his red color car.
Thanks Raj I now have BBS STi 5x100 wheels. Just swapped my '05 with his '04 :) maybe will be putting them on Sunday as Saturday will be busy, going to Wicked Big Meet.
Installed Hella Italian air horns, now working on wiring them through a relay.
Installed Blow Off Valve today.
Finally, clear light project is completed. I have to say though it's been a painful weekend, kind of enjoyable, but painful. In the morning, as I was putting headlights back, an interior piece broke off, so I had to glue it together. But despite of today's unexpected surprises, it's done, see it here and here.
Additionall, with the help of my friend Rich, I removed air silencer from right fender. Now I can hear turbo spool and blow off very well.
Great day today. I removed my headlights and took them apart, by cooking them in oven etc. :) It's a long process. I used this document as a guide courtesy of Silver_04_WRX_SC. Here's a NASIOC link to it.
Right now the interior layer is painted. Tomorrow, will get headlight back together as one piece and install on the car.
Today I picked up a set of OEM STi BBS wheels :) maybe will mount them this weekend. Seems like they're almost brand new.
Debadged my car today, nice and clean, subaru emblem will stay because it has two holes behind it...
Finally! Mission complete! My car is tinted. Bad weather right now, raining. Good pics will come later. (Madico 35% Tint Film was used.)
Today was a busy day, I completed my turbo boost gauge project. Tapped electrical line, tapped clock pod after some prompt help from NASIOC. What's left is to paint front guage housing plate. It took me a while to fabricate this plate but finally...
Also, I decided to finally loose my temp plate and install normal ones. Ironically, front plate is sitting on VW plate holder that I kept from my previous car. Thus, I am officially using VW OEM part on my Subaru :)
First of April's joke or reality? :) I guess it's a latter one, I did get a letter from DMV. Medical waiver! Yea! Already scheduled an appointment for tinting next week!
I still find it hard to believe but just now, a lady with a lovely voice at DMV office said she's emailing me a waiver. That'll come either on Saturday or Monday. This is good news. I think I called their office no less than 50 times if not more. Finally everything got clarified and I can have my windows tinted legally. So thank you Janet!
Today I got a letter from D.L.Blair finally confirming my dates for attending school in Dalton,NH! Just need to find some patience now until August.
Today was a bit warmer finally, so I installed my sun shade on rear window, seeing as I probably won't be getting my car tinted any time soon, unfortunately.
Today I get a phone call from my eye doctor. This nurse asking me a question "Have you tried special blablablablba sun glasses while driving to cure your photophobia problem?" So I am saying "Yes I have but it is not effective." Then of course my obvious reaction as to what's going on. Turns out the story is, the State of NH contacted my eye doctor trying to resolve this, trying to avoid to issue a window tint permit for me. Why do they do it? I mean the medical condition is there, my doctor submitted two letters to them? What is a big deal?
Certainly I tell the person who called that I used to live in Florida and that tint has always helped me and made me comfortable. That it's a proved record of what works out for me. She was nice enough. That's why I appologized that State is causing them so many headaches. She said it's no problem, that they will submit a third more detailed letter and hope that I get some sort of response back.
Just got my sunshade, I really like it especially now that I still don't know whether I will be allowed to get my car tinted in NH or not. But one way or the other I'll install this one on the rear window.
1,486 mi oil change at Exeter Subaru.
Good and Bad news! First bad news, state of New Hampshire did not issue a permint for my tinted windows, they need more information from my doctor.
And good news that I've been expecting for a long time! I WON SUBARU IMPREZA SHAKEDOWN CHALLENGE. If all goes well I'll be heading to Rally School! I am so excited I can't describe it. I am so happy! Thank you Subaru for this opportunity!
Just talked to Inspection Dept from NH State Office and they said my tint permit is on the way in mail for me! This is superb!
Well today, randomly out of the blue, I decided to go to my new eye doctor and asked her whether she can write a note to Departmenf of Motor Vehicles in Cocord,NH with regards to allowing me to tint my car. And she did write that note! I am so happy. Tomorrow, I'll be heading exactly there.
Today I found out amazing news! As of January 1 2006, a new bill will eliminate prohibition on after market tinting of motor vehicle windows to the left and right of the driver in the state of New Hampshire.
Today almost lost my WRX. Driving on a two lane Market St of Portsmouth,NH I notice someone switching lanes very quickly while I am flying about 40 mph. All I know is I had no time to decide what to do, my reflex worked and I managed to steer away from collision. Still in shock... some stupid $%^&*# with NY plate.
I think I started my modding already... today I removed dealer's sticker from the trunk of the car. When it becomes warmer I'll debadge the whole trunk.
I found a parking lot that wasn't plowed and started discovering what AWD really is. Amazing how much control you have just so much fun!
So 10 days after I test drove WRX TR, I have one in my driveway right now! It's awesome, amazing car. I got used to a rough clutch already, even found a parking lot that isn't plowed to feel AWD... amazing to say the least. The only thing I miss about my VR6 is suspension, but I hope my new car will get it at some point. I am so happy, I can't even describe! A new adventure has began, good bye to VW, hello to Subaru. I've never owned a brand new car, now my odometer reads 84 miles :) what an amazing feeling!
Just gave my deposit to Subaru, my car's on the way!
Today I test drove WRX TR and... that's it, I think I am all done with VW. Now what's left is to sell my VR and I will be going back to Somersworth Subaru Dealership. I will certainly miss my VW (not its reliability issues though) and I am thankful to VW for the opportunity it gave me to meet a lot of nice people. It's been great time, great couple of years, lots of learning and good times.