RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

September, 2001

Club News

  • Same meeting location.

Woody's Grill and Bar. 14450 Woodinville-Redmond Rd, Woodinville WA, 98072; phone: 425-483-6633. It is located at the corner of Woodinville-Redmond Rd and SR 202, just east of the Red Hook brewery. Kids are allowed.

Rally News

  • Wild West Pro-Rally. Sept 7-8. 

-by Mark Nolte

Some of the circus is in town already- the Subaru team rented some roads from Simpson, via the NWR-SCCA - to do some testing prior to the rally. 50 entries firm, 10 more "nibbles".

The route remains a secret. Not sure if this is to escape penalties for rallyists who want to wander the woods, and would be penalized for pre-running, or just the way things are organized.  Pretty sure "Mason Lakes" stage on Friday night (when we did it, it was foggy!), and my guess of "Taylor Town" was confirmed.

In any case, the workers should be in the stages, not doing "parking attendant" duties at the Controls.  I hope the spectating maps lead the spectators elsewhere than to my stage!

Saturday will feature FCO at 9:31, to a 29-mile stage made up of the popular roads east of California road, and north of the Simpson Sort Yard.  Although it gives bragging rights to "longest stage", it'll be only run once if a 2 minute "dust window" spacing is required.

The RASC stage, at 13 miles, is a shorter version of Cranberry Marsh, with a fairly good Spectator Corner.  Working a stage rally is no longer a "red circle" date on most calendars; at WAG deadline, the stage was mostly covered. Tom Palidar is manning the Finish end with his Torque Steerer's "Timing Experts".

Workers get T-shirts.

  • Friday Niter- September 14.

Called  "Don't Go There", Rallymaster Eric Horst has spent his time in south King County- he mentioned "Green River".  Checkout is on the 7th ("Y'all invited!") Dash plaques are nearly in hand, so it's all ready to go.

  • August Meeting minutes -Pete Shelton, Secretary

NWRC Friday Niter- approx. 28-29 cars (17 novices!) slight instructional errors caused some lost souls.  Joel and Steve ran the rally-Rainier ran a checkpoint. Ok event.. Good attendance

Previous Friday Niter- No Traps, 22-25 cars. No big traps, not anything super exciting , but standard rally.   Good consistent attendance of events recently

"Don’t Go There"- The Rainer Friday Niter, Eric stated will be a conservative rally traveling through the likes of Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Green River area.  Not a really fast paced rally.. approx. finish time - 9:45 at a Pizza joint.

The club discussed purchasing Mark’s Timing Lights. After much discussion the majority of people decided timing clocks such as Alfa checkpoints or Timewise clocks would be money better spent. Jerry Hines promised to get prices on several used clocks (that don’t work well for the Alcan in frigid temperatures?) The discussion was tabled until more information could be obtained.

Kirk and Terry brought their two Foster Children to the meeting who behaved very well during the 2-hour meeting

Much to the disappointment of everyone at RASC, SCCA will now use the SCCA Pro-rally timing system instead of FISA rules.  Will likely make a long spread out event.

Alcan Report- Jerry brought an entry list for the upcoming event with 19 competitors, 16 of which pre-paid.

Meeting adjourned…

  • Cleaning a Speedometer… Another Subaru Quirk by Ron Sorem ©2001

The speedometer is pegged at 135, on the freeway, in traffic…  Not likely!

I’ve had a large and varied collection of cars and not had the pleasure of “cleaning” a speedometer until now, until Subaru.

The first symptom came on the Sportwagon, our chase-car, parts-car, service vehicle, and TSD rally car.  Gradually the speedometer needle indicated higher and higher speeds on the freeway, although the tachometer remained steady at 3500 RPM.  Soon, 60 MPH became 70 indicated, then 80 and climbing.  Another instrument cluster was installed and freeway speeds came back close to normal-- Unfortunately I found, after the swap, that older Subaru speedometer heads are gear-ratio-specific (as opposed to different senders at the transmission).  Our Turbo-motor 3.7 ratio now had a non-turbo 3.9 speedometer.  We were rally types, we could live with a correction factor, and we did until the replacement failed. 

It failed on the Totem 2000 Rally, in the snow, where 33 MPH actual speed rapidly climbed to 45 indicated and eventually peeked at 120-plus.  In a rally, in the snow, in the middle of British Columbia, is not the time to have a speedometer failure.  I had to get creative.  I had to drive by the tachometer!  We created a gear-to-rpm-to-speed table, and rallied on, but...  Something about our Subaru speedometer had to change.

Technically the speedometer needle is not “connected” to the speedometer cable.  The needle is connected to a “cup”; the cable is connected to a “cone”, which fits inside the cup with a magnetic field causing the cone to drive the cup, against a very specific resistance spring.  When all is right, the two are not connected, except that Subaru speedometer cables often fill with transmission oil and as it creeps further up the cable it eventually works around the cone and fills the cup and the rest of the speedometer cluster with oil, grease, lint, etc. and the connection is as good as solid.

Removing the speedometer from the instrument cluster is the easy part-- The cluster from the dashboard is the hard part.  Not wanting to make this a life’s work, and not wanting to undergo repeated expense I did some research.  Subaru recommends a new seal at the transmission and a thorough cleaning of the cable.  A new seal means removing the tranny.  Since both failures occurred after 130,000 miles I thought I’d take another less costly route.  An ex-Subaru employee said to just take the speedometer apart and clean away the goo.  It should last another 100,000 or so…  Great!

Once the speedometer head is in hand, use a "plastic safe" cleaner (e.g. CRC non-CFC electronic cleaner) and thoroughly remove all traces of grease and goo.  Clean any residue off the face and odometer wheels and re-install.  This is a good opportunity to help nighttime views of the trip odo.  Carefully lift out the little black window bars in front of the trip odo wheels, allowing more illumination and easier reading.  You may also want to remove the colored vinyl covers on the speedometer illumination bulbs, thus making them brighter.

The speedometer on the replacement RX was pegged too (125,000 miles), with grease coating the entire backside of the dash, the radio, and the ashtray.  After removing the dash for roll cage installation, a cleaned speedometer was installed.  I still have cleaned 3.70 and 3.90 speedometer clusters on the shelf…  Just in case.

Subaru RX Rally Team   10835 SE 170th Street,  Renton,  WA  98055   ronsorem@hotmail.com

 (Ron will be piloting the  "new" RX at Wild West club rallys this weekend. - MN)


  • Steve Richards took delivery of a new Subaru Outback Sport (the Impreza version of the Outback line). Succumbing to the horrid commuter traffic, he got an automatic.
  • Changes: Steve Wiley is spending the weekend with boxes and movers.
  • Roy Ward is changing ISP's.
  • Ron Barker is deliveryman for the Aberdeen furniture store where his wife works (much more profitable than cranberry farming). It's going out of business- the final days are on Wild West weekend.
  • Peter Linde has 3 big radios, suitable for Alcan, that he is thinking about selling.  No antennas (they don't come back like loaner radios do).
  • Ron Johnson has too many cars. (What's new, you think) He's getting ready to sell the Gran Tourisimo. The blue car has the bugs worked out.


  • 1992 Audi S4 Quattro Red/Blk leather, 90k miles, Hoppen/MTM Stage 2+ engine enhancement, RS2 manifold (290+ hp), CD changer, all else stock.   $14,900.  Call Steve at (425) 337-0232 or email smrdcatman@juno.com  for pics and details.
  • Ed Millman got a '97 Taurus, wants to sell the '91 white Taurus wagon. 150K mi. $2000 (206) 361-7389
  • Mike Jones still has the collection of parts in his garage that could make somebody a dandy Fire Arrow. Make an offer. (425) 823-8329
  • '87 Audi 4000 Quattro needs a home.  It's gold, with 4 new tires and 140,000 miles. Needs either a new timing belt, or a new motor= PRICE REDUCED to $400.  Call Jerry at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • Colleen wants a convertible.  The pearl white (with white 17" wheels and new tires)  '89 Corvette is offered at $9900 Call Jerry or Colleen at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • 94 white Plymouth Grand Voyager LE, AWD, 3.8 motor, new transmission, seats 7, dual A/C, custom wheels, 140K miles. $5900  Call Jerry or Colleen at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • Three (3) Checkpoint Timing lights. These are "Pat Biggar Special" timing line tubes with the "delay" module so you don't get 4 flashes for 4 tires. I purchased them thinking RASC would upgrade timing techniques.  I'll keep one. $80 each.  mnolte@qwest.net
  • Subaru Impreza Wheels and tires: 15" rims don't fit over WRX brakes.  Hakka H1 studs on 4 (gold) American Racing wheels. $650    Four 15" Legacy wheels. No tires. Just one weekend of TSD on them. Make offer. mnolte@qwest.net
  • '88 Cavalier 4 dr, 4 cylinder, auto. $750. Ran out of parking space. …But wants a Audi/Passat wagon (Amy is tired of trying to parallel park the Suburban) Pete /Amy Shelton 206-783-5681

RASC Calendar

Call the NWRC Hotline (206) 256-9627 for latest info on Puget Sound TSD events

  • 9/7-8 - Wild West Rally weekend- 2 Club rallys and Wild West National.
  • 9/14- Friday Niter by RASC
  • 9/15-16 – Pacific Forest stage rally, B.C.Two separate locations:  the Scotty Creek area north of Cache Creek as well as the Battle Creek area northeast of the town.  The PFR will begin with a night stage on Friday, the rest of the event will be run on Saturday.
  • 9/22-23 - "Mountain to Waikiki" TSD, Cascade SCC, $55. Starts in Portland, 8:30am. Overnight/end Ocean Park, WA (Long Beach peninsula) Sunday includes go-carts and a gimmick rally (503) 844-6664 or m2c@cascadescc.com
  • 9/30 - Maryhill Hillclimb by SOVREN, Goldendale,entry by invitation only, 35 or so cars. Fun to spectate. .
  • 10/6 - Nite on Bald Mountain by ORCA . Brisk gravel TSD Rally. It begins before dark / ends in the late evening NO NOVICE CLASS. Competitors who have not participated in a previous gravel TSD should contact the Rally Master.
  • Start : Snoqualmie Pass. Registration: 2:00pm ,FCO at 3:01pm. $35US with a $5 discount for NWRC club members.
  • 10/5-6 - Prescott Forest (PRORally)
  • 10/12 – Friday Niter by ORCA, Bellevue, WA
  • 10/21 - Armegeddon TSD by Chuckanut. Start in Bellingham, noonish, 4-5 hours. Might have some gravel, but Healey, Miata, Mitsubishi "OK".
  • 10/27 – Ghoul’s Gambol (TSD)
  • 10/28 -  Litter Clean-up (MP 99-101)
  • 11/ 24-25 – Totem TSD (B.C.)


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