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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #1
Project Cuz Lulzcar aka Midlana

I was looking for a project as I hate modifying a daily driven car too much. I wanted something I could take my time building and working on. Something that if I broke it at an event it wasn't the end of the world. I wanted something fun and unique, and something I could point at and say "that's me, I built that." After all that I got to looking at different platforms to build. Flyin Miata's were considered HEAVILY (I still want to build one...) Exocets, then I realized no matter what I did I wouldn't be happy with a car that was already built. So I looked at Locosts and kit cars. Then Midlana came along and was just right.
The author of the book refers to it as a "cookbook" of sorts. Its a general guideline for building the car. But he still gives you plenty of options and ways to "make it your own". The best part is the hardest part about building a car is setting up the suspension geometry. As long as I don't change where the mounts are on the car I am fine. All that hard work is done. So I can rest assured that its going to handle well.
The chassis was designed around NASA / SCCA roll cage rules and is plenty safe. So that is a plus there. Builders still have the option to change a few things in the design, but you have to think about how it will effect the car and its safety.

I am looking to build this car to cruise around in occasionally, autocross, and hopefully take it to the Dragon one day.
I'm not looking to make ZOMG mad horsetorques but I want to build the motor to be quick and responsive.
I am putting an auto in it for a few reasons that I can elaborate on later, but a main one is so my wife can drive it if she wants to.

NOT MY CAR!!!
This is the original builder/designers car before any bodywork but will give you an idea of what it looks like.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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2,365 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
What I have so far:

Engine:
EJ25 from a 2004 FXT donor
Plastic DBW intake manifold & throttle body from a LGT
Motive TGV deletes
Agency Power 3 inch hard inlet
Killer B Ultimate Oil Pickup
Shimmed 10mm oil pump
0db oil fill tube
0db dipstick

Turbo:
TD05 EVOIII 16G 10sq cm Twin Scroll
JDM Twin scroll headers & up pipe
Kinugawa Twin scroll downpipe (will be modified to fit)

Transmission:
4EAT with sport shift PN TZ1B8LCEBA

Fuel System:
2006 Lotus Elise Gas Tank


What I need: This will grow as I think of things...

Engine:
1000cc Injectors ID or RCI (cuz e85)
Fuel rails / FPR / Filter / Lines
AWIC Top Mount setup (cuz Mid Engine)
Air Intake (KS Tech so I can be either MAF or Speed Density tuned)
Lightweight crank pulley (cuz 1500 lbs)
STi internals (Crank, rods, pistons etc)
06/07 STi Oil Pan
Accusump
Oil Cooler


Transmission:
IPT Valve body upgrade
IPT Torque converter
Cooler

Fuel System:
Pump
Surge Tank
Lines
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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2,365 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, at ~1550-1600 lbs 300whp will be plenty. Plus being TS it should spool lightning fast. I'm just hoping it can hold at least 18psi if not closer to 20-21 psi to redline. Which will remain stock.
 

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2004 XT 5 MT
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1,088 Posts
This is pretty cool. Are you planning on fabricating the cage or do you buy it?


Edit:
I just looked at the website and see its plans to build looking forward to this and kudos to you for tackling a build of this magnitude.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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2,365 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
This is a build everything yourself deal. I can have the cage tubes bent, but that is about it. That is one reason I am drawing the car up in Solidworks first so I can manipulate every aspect of the car the best I can and hopefully find any issues before any cutting or welding.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #12
Just a little bit of technical info for those that might be curious.


Midlana Technical Specs

Dry Weight 1563 lbs Honda K24A1 w/turbo, 17" wheels and tires
Weight Distribution 33% FR / 67% Rear

Wheelbase 97"
Front Track 64"
Front Caster 7.7 degrees
Ackerman 17% Miata Uprights
Rear Track 60"
Ground Clearance 3.75" Fr / 4" Rear

Roll Center Height Front 1.4"
Camber Gain, Front .64 degrees
Effective swing axle length front 110"

Roll Center Height Rear 2.8"
Camber Gain, Rear .67 degrees
Effective swing axle length rear 100"

Wheel rate front 150* lb./in.
Spring Rate front 200* lb./in. Inboard suspension
Suspension Travel front + 3 / - 1

Wheel Rate, Rear 300* lb./in.
Spring Rate rear 400* lb./in.
Suspension travel, rear + 3 / - 1

Steering rack speed 1.77"/turn Miata rack
Turns to lock 2.5
Turn Radius 13 ft.

Torsional Rigidity 7000 lb-ft/deg w/ cage
Torsional Rigidity 4000 lb-ft / deg w/o cage

Spec Tire diameter fr/rear 23.5" / 25" od
Front / Rear wheel size 15-17"
Acceptable width 185-275 mm

Coolant Capacity 4 gal w/o swirl tank
Fuel Capacity 14 gal

* builder dependent
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #13
This is awesome. Quick question, why a 4EAT and not a 6 speed?
6 speed cannot be converted to FWD easily (or cheaply) unlike the 5mt's.

So that leaves me to run a weak 5 spd or a MUCH stronger 4eat. I can convert the 4eat to FWD by removing the clutch discs from the center diff. After cutting and removing pieces from it, the overall length is within a couple inches of the 5 mt after its been converted.

Oh and I got it with a TCU, shifter, & torque converter for $100...:icon_wink:
 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester XT 5 speed
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1,043 Posts
How much fabrication/welding experience do you have? I hope the answer is 'a lot'... :)

I assume you've looked at a Factory Five 818? Still a big project, still a car that you can say you built yourself, but all the heavy lifting of chassis design and welding has been done by professionals with very good equipment after lots of engineering and testing.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #15
I did look at the factory five 818.

1. I'm not a huge fan of the body lines, and if I am going to spend all this time building a car I better like the way it looks.
2. A friend of mine is building one and seeing all the issues with fitment and other things he is having is ridiculous. He might as well be starting from scratch himself...
3. I don't have the initial investment to buy the kit, I can just buy pieces and parts as time and budget allows. Not to mention the whole car can be built for under the cost of the 818 kit.
4. I'm not "locked" into donor parts. Literally I only need a few Miata hubs and steering rack, everything else is fabricated. Which means I have free choice over every component in the car. I can get exactly the shock I want, or the seat, steering wheel, pedals, etc.
5. The designer of the book has already built one car this is his second. He had 2 others build cars "alongside" him while he was building and writing the book as a sort of double check to make sure things were right. He must have done something right as almost all the numbers in the suspension (and anything else handling related) are nearly spot on with a Lotus Elise.

My fabricating skills are fine for this, welding is where I am lacking some. But I have a brother who has been a code welder for almost 20 years. He will weld the really important bits and I will tackle the small odds and ends until I feel comfortable risking my wife and my lives. Between him and a couple others I know I can get all the welding done and learn myself. Which is a major reason I am building this car. I feel more than comfortable tacking the pieces together, I just need a little more time practicing before I tackle the really important stuff.
 

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2002 ES300
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4,419 Posts
300bhp FWD? Holy torque steer batman. Why FWD? Or are you installing it and the engine in backwards for RWD? And I take it you didn't want to build a kit Caterham or Ariel Atom? Looks like fun tho.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #17
I didn't want to mess with the complex bending of tubes for an exoskeleton car like the Ariel Atom. I had seriously considered a Locost (Caterham Seven style) build but 2 things got me. 1: Anything over 250-275 HP is nearly uncontrollable in a front engine rear drive car like that. MANY people say that. So even a stock EJ would be a handful. I wanted to do a motor build so that was going to be an issue. 2: Even though most all the chassis is done and figured out, the suspension geometry is still up in the air. With the Midlana platform there isn't any guess work with the suspension other than spring rates. So the hard part is mostly done.

Midlana was originally designed to be used with FWD platforms. It simply puts the motor behind the driver. No flipping it around or anything. So I am adapting this for use with an EJ25. So it will be like a cross between an 818 and a Locost.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester XT Sports
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1,706 Posts
Sounds like a fun build!

I thought about doing an 818 with all the spare chassis we have laying around and since I am pulling the entire drivetrain/engine/turbo out of the widebody build.

I wasn't 100% sold on the 818 at first either because of the body lines but after seeing a few of them done up nicely at SEMA last year I started to like them with some of the more race inspired lips/diffusers and such on them.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,813 Posts
Sounds like a fun build!

I thought about doing an 818 with all the spare chassis we have laying around and since I am pulling the entire drivetrain/engine/turbo out of the widebody build.

I wasn't 100% sold on the 818 at first either because of the body lines but after seeing a few of them done up nicely at SEMA last year I started to like them with some of the more race inspired lips/diffusers and such on them.
Best idea: Get an old Volvo P1800, throw engine into that! lol. You'd have the best driving and best looking car evar.
 
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