Oct 16 2016

Project A3: Engine Progress

Pushed the car out of the garage for, hopefully, the last time today. I  borrowed a pressure washer from a friend and got the car out and dragged the transmission out into the open. A can of engine degreaser and the engine bay and trans are looking drastically better.



Got back to work on the engine assembly, at last post, I had installed the cams and had the tbelt on. Well those turned out to just be test fits, I forgot to install the cam chain tensioner when I put the cams in last weekend. So today, I got to un-install the cams and tbelt, install the tensioner, then re-install the cams and timing belt. While the tbelt was off, I removed the crank pulley and replaced the front main seal while I was there. Cams back in, timing set, tensioner cover reinstalled let me get the tbelt side of the engine almos completely finished!




The list is getting shorter after hammering through a bunch of the details. Found a couple gaskets and orings I still need to replace, so ill order some more parts this week and keep ticking things off. My bolt kit for the cam girdle said 23, but there was only 22 in the pack. Once I get that bolt I can do the final torque on the cam girdle and install the cam cover. With those things finished, I still need to flip the engine over and time the balance shafts. When I was assembling the bottom end, I got to the balance shaft timing and found that the timing mark on the sprocket to time the shafts isn’t there! We will see how that goes in a couple a days…

Oct 9 2016

Project A3: Photo Updates

Few more photos from the build this weekend:

New catless dp, with stainless vibrant resonator, hooks up to stock rear section for deep stock ish sound levels



Ran into an issue with the ARP cam girdle bolts, they sit higher than the sealing surface of the valve cover 🙁


Going to ditch the over complicated tension setup from the FSI, and swap on an old school 16v timing belt and tensioner


Oct 9 2016

Project A3: Engine Rebuild

We haven’t really introduced this project yet, but mine as well start when the car is coming back together. This way, updates come fast and progress seems to blast along at a nice pace. Here are some photos of the engine rebuild, will post more details later.



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Sep 21 2015

In-car from ORP, Battle for the Lead!

Here is some in-car footage of Brad Greco in the TRAKS Clothing/RalleyTuned/JRM Fabrication road race car. Brad was pushing the car to the limits to try and catch the leader, and he even gets by for a short bit!!


Sep 21 2015

TRAKS Clothing/RalleyTuned/JRM Fabrication Rabbit Rocks ORP!

Last July (2014) we traveled south to the absolutely awesome Oregon Raceway Park, known as ORP. This track is what you dream about when you think about racing. It is located out in the middle of no where in central Oregon in a very small town called Grass Valley. The name suits the location to a “t”, it is literally in a huge grass field. I am fairly certain the Windows home page photo was taken out there!

The last time we took the race bunny out to ORP, we had a great stroke of luck in the race and very nearly came home with our first overall group win. This track is perfectly suited to our car, there are no really long straights, it is very technical, and it favors a good handling car with a smooth driver.

Brad Greco in grid awaiting qualifying session at ORP

We have been chasing a misfire in the car for the past 2 races, it showed its ugly head once again at this race in the first session. We scrambled to find the culprit, preparing a spare ecu even just in case. When Brad (driver/car owner) pulled out for the first qualifying sat afternoon, the car would barely move itself along coming out onto the track. He pulled in and we brought a fresh set of wires and plugs to throw at it. Luckily Hank from Advance Auto Fabrication in Spokane, Wa was on hand with his lazer temp gun. He shot the magic red dot on the header and immediately noted that our issue was in the #1 cylinder. I knew the car had been apart semi-recently and that the Bosch injector plugs can be hard to get clicked in on the 16v, so I investigated the #1 injector while a crew member swapped the #1 plug wire. A solid press with a screwdriver on the injector plug and BAM! Car purred like a kitten. Problem solved and he still had enough for 2 hard laps to put up a good qualifying time for Sundays race…phew!!

Brad Greco rounds the kink at the end of the straight away at ORP

With the car running hard, we knew we had to put up a fast time to get up in the front of the group to make a hard charge for the overall again. Brad went out on the newest set of Hoosiers we had and set a blistering qualifying time, over 2 seconds faster than the previous best lap! We were sitting at a comfortable 3rd overall, just behind 2 insanely fast BMW E46’s. Knowing those 2 were nearly 4 seconds faster a lap, we switched back to a set of take-off’s for the race, little did we know that was a decision that likely cost us a shot at another chance to win the overall.

Crew member Ken Porter makes final checks before afternoon qualifying at ORP

Pulling into pre-grid, we noticed 2 empty spots in the line up. The 2 BMW’s had pulled out, saving the cars for another race group. This meant the little orange bunny was starting on pole! With no chance of switching back to the fresh rubber, we went out on the worn out spares hoping for the best. The one car in second place would now be faster with our exhausted tires. Even with the fantastic start, the ground pounder with nearly 100 more horsepower was able to get a jump and take the lead. Brad pushed hard all race and made a pass for the lead about 10 laps into the race. Unfortunately that only lasted about half a lap, when they made the final corner onto the straight, the bit white ex-NASCAR chassis quickly made up for his lost time and snuck by before the first corner. There were several more solid attempts at a pass for the win, but the HP deficit combined with the worn tires made it almost impossible to make it stick. Ending the day mere 1/2 sec behind the leader was still a very solid effort and we were excited to have a class win and a overall 2nd to finish off the weekend.

Brad chases the Ground Pounder and runs from a pack of E30’s

Brad pushing hard to catch the leader in the Group 1 race

Be sure to subscribe to Brad’s YouTube channel to see in- car videos from a few of our races!

Also check out our friend over at JRM Fabrication for all your custom/metal fabrication needs

Sep 21 2015

New Features Coming Soon!!

We got some exciting new car features coming soon! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up on all our latest automotive adventures

We will be updating Brad Greco’s insane road race car, he has been hard at work this season and the list of upgrades is simply staggering!
Brad Grecos Road Race Rabbit with some Aero Upgrades


We have also been hard at work this summer helping our friends over at Spinasquared.com restore their 1983 VW Rabbit Pickup, we will give you the full scoop on this rad little truck.


Photo: Spinasquared.com

Jun 20 2013

Power King Golf – Saloon Car Series Survivor

Hands down one of the racing series that produced some of the most insane car builds ever seen…The Manufacturers’ Challenge Saloon Car series. This golf is one of the few survivors from the epic racing series of the late 70’s and early 80’s in europe.

Power King Golf

Read the full feature on the TopCar site here: http://topcar.co.za/first-drives/power-king-golf/

Mar 17 2013

Feature Car: Nick Middleton’s ABA-T Swallowtail

Happy St. Patricks day! We thought it would be appropriate to feature a mean green bunny today.

Nick picked up this early rabbit as a project, and if you have seen any of Nick’s other projects, you know these usually spiral quickly out of reason for most folks. You see, Nick has been tweaking on cars since I met him around 6 years ago. He had a set of race tires that would fit perfect on my ’77 rabbit track car, the trade he was after was a set of skinny little 13″ tires to make his car sit lower. I happened to have a set so the meeting was arranged to make the trade.

At the time, nick had a couple mk1 projects already, and some large ambitions. He had purchased a rabbit that had a fully custom independent rear suspension and air bag suspension. The things he has done to that car were pretty incredible, but that build is for a different feature 😉 I will say this though, that kids desire and dedication to having the car sit as low as possible hasn’t change since the day we met.

Hold back that super lowz stanced out enthusiasm, this build is of a completely different nature entirely. This is Middleton’s daily driver, and rather than being the lowest rabbit possibly driving the roads of the state, this one is about function and performance, with a slight emphasis on fun. Starting out as an ABA swapped ’75 rabbit with some interesting 16’s, it has been morphed into a mini monster.

Now sporting a well matched k14 turbo, JDM Spec intercooler and Megasquirt standalone, the little bunny has been developed into a green machine! We got to check out Nick’s car when he asked us to help him get his Megasquirt tune dialed in. He had done the turbo setup along with a refresh on the transmission and a new clutch, after the NA ABA 2L 8v had made quick work of the previously fitted unit. The Megasquirt replaced the factory ABA management in preparation for running boost, and wanting an ease of fine tuning.

This is undoubtedly only one of the steps in the future of this bright green bunny. We will try and keep up with his next big change to this one or the several other makeovers he has going right now.

A full suspension refresh, new brake lines w/ vw mk4 aluminum rear calipers round out most of the chassis modifications. With the way this car corners combined with a nice amount of power under the hood, I think he may want to start thinking of a seat upgrade soon! Nick told me that the inspiration for the turbo addition was due to a brief encounter with a Lexus on the freeway one night. I think it’s safe to say, that car may have a little tougher time getting away next time!


Jul 16 2012

Demon Rally Team Brings the Heat to Oregon Trail 2010!

After the successes and dramas that we encountered at the Wild West event, the Demon Rally team regrouped and rebuilt for the 2010 Oregon Trail event. The issues we had at Wild West would almost all be attributed to stock parts getting too hot. The easy remedy here was to carry out the already planned gear box change. By changing from the stock 020 linkage shift transmission to the much more stout 02J cable shift box, we knew we could gain some much needed reliability. There was also some wiring changes that needed to be made, which we were more than happy to handle.

Another issue we had was some excessive oil coming out of the crankcase, upon our post-rally tear down we found what we had known all along. the #1 cylinder getting some extra oil from the wrong place. Tom (owner/driver) decided that not only would the motor need a rebuild, but a plan was hashed to get him some more ponies. The end result was a ABA/9a 16v combination, built with forged pistons and H-beam rods of course. Atop the ABA sat the robust 16v head that had been previously (and heavily I may ad) by Steve Hanaford. Strapped to the prepped head would be a Garret GT28 turbo. In the end the motor put out a very healthy 191whp and 181wtq!

We arrived at Portland International Raceways for the 2010 Oregon Trail event with a lot more power, a much stronger drivetrain setup and the confidence that came from a good result at our last event.

Arriving at PIR:

Setup service for the first day: You can see Jake from JRM Fab checking over the exhaust before Tom heads out..

We also revamped the dash display for this event

The boys had a good start on Day 1 but it was cut short when they managed to shear off the out axle stub nose. With the car unable to move under it’s own power they were done for the night. This failure unfortunately also ended their chance at the Max Attack 2wd Series podium.

Service crew working way too late into the night. We finished the event around 11pm and had to pack up and head about an hour east to the next days first service location. After a hearty denny’s breakfast we set to fix an overheating problem and also the broken axle:

Parc Expose on Day 2:

Tom ran the car hard on day 2 but the overheating issue kept him from pushing for a win. The car ran well all day but the team ran too low on fuel and got stuck on stage which cost them valuable time on day 2. Exhausted from a late night on the car we packed up and headed south to Dufur for the final service of day 2 and for the final day of the rally.

An unfortunate incident late in the day sat involving a hay bale and speeds of around 80mph brought the car into service on a trailor. Once again the crew set to work in the dark hours of sat evening to get the car back in action. A snapped rear control arm bolt would prove very difficult to fix due to a battery issue with our drill. After we nearly lost a crew members finger in the mayhem of fixing the issues, the car was set down and the crew finally was able to retire back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.

Day 3 brought some awesome weather and with only one service scheduled for lunch time the crew was able to relax most of the day aside from a short and un-eventfull service stop. The car was not making boost and with no time to fix it since no more services were in the schedule, Tom was forced to push on as it. Incredibly though, he was able to shimmy the car through the stages on day 3 down on power, running on 3 cylinders some of the time (faulty spark plug wire) and somehow managed to best all other 2wd competitors!

Coming out of this event with a lot of new knowledge about our setup and even a Day 3 gr2 win, we are heading back to the garage quite happy. We were not able to push for an overall win or even a Max Attack podium, but it was a very successful rally in the eyes of the team. We are making some new additions and planning to come out to Wild West in September with a much better sorted car and be able to run hard and compete for the top spot!

Jul 16 2012

(Archive) Demon Rally Team Debuts New Car @ Wild West 09!

The site of the event was a small town in the southeast corner of Washington state. A town where if you blink too long you may just miss it. Once a year this delightful town opens its doors and welcomes the competitors, teams and spectators for the Wild West Rally. This year would mark the return of the Demon Rally team in their brand new VW mk2 Golf. Just a year ago the Demon Rally team had a very bad wreck which left their VW Rabbit in completely destroyed. This year they came back, and they came back with a vengeance!

Since the wreck in ’08 the team had found a new completely prepared VW Golf that was already a decently fast vehicle. However, the teams owner/drive Tom Burress knew that without some major re-working, the car would never be fast enough to compete with the best teams in the country. Over the past 6-8 months prior to this even, RalleyTuned and the Demon Rally crew set to work tearing the new Golf completely down to a bare shell and upgrading and improving anything an everything they could get their hands on.


To start out the entire chassis was seam welded and reinforced. The suspension was upgraded to a much beefier setup from JVAB. RalleyTuned was brought in to help with the Fuel Injection upgrade as well as handling re-wiring the entire car. We removed every single wire out of the car, stripped anything out that wasn’t needed and added new circuitry for the things that the team felt would be necessary for competition. A STACK cluster was installed to handle all the guage needs in one handy package, however the discovery of the internal battery being bad prompted us to make a last minute change to use a small Palm Pilot to display the information. The motor was upgraded to a 2L 16v with some beefy cams and head work, megasquirt EFI, and a VWMS gearbox. Tom also fabbed up a steering quickener to help control the car in the heat of battle.

After some initial testing the team was confident in the new chassis and ready to get the car into it’s first event. After a short press stage the car was puking out oil from the breather. Modifications were made and the breather situation was fixed so that Tom could focus on driving. “When we finished the second stage w had a chance to check on the oil consumption, fortunately, the breather drama had calmed down. We lost much less oil, my confidence in the car was starting to grow, and I felt like we could attempt to get into a good rhythm very soon.” -Tom Burress

Despite a plethora of issues including melting shift linkage, broken motor mounts, smashed radiator fans etc, the Demon Rally crew continually kept the car in running order and allowed Tom and Don Burress to complete the rally. At the end of the weekend the team had finished 6th overall on day 1 and 4th overall on day 2, and besting the 2wd cars winning Group2 in its debut event! For more info and a more thorough breakdown from the event, visit DemonRally.com