This page can help the "DO IT YOURSELF" car builder avoid common mistakes, making things easier and less frustrating.  This page will continue to grow as we get time and information to add to it, so check back periodically. 

Send us your tips that might help others in the garage or the dunes.  To send in a tip, click here.

Subaru motors are the latest rage for sandrail applications. Basically you're getting a VW motor on steroids.  The infrastructure of a Subaru motor has an amazing growth path to produce loads of HP with bolt on parts.  We always keep JDM (Japanese Domestic Model) Subaru pre-owned motors in stock. For a bargain price of $1000 to $2000 you can get a good used motor that has lots of life left in it, ideal for a sandrail project.

Where do they come from?  Japan has very strict emission laws, more strict than California.  After a vehicle accumulates 30K miles in Japan the government levies very high taxes on the car.  These taxes are so high that it's cheaper for the owners to sell their car for parts and buy a new car.  Since there is no market for used motors in Japan, they are exported around the world.  These motors are perfect for the sandrail enthusiast looking for a good used long block motor core.  At Outfront we completely check out these motors upon arrival and sell only the best long blocks to our customers.  Without opening up the motor you can virtually slap an Outback exhaust, turbo, and computer on these used motors and produce up to 300HP, reliably.  There's no need to rebuild the motor because these engines have lots of life left, good for years of duning.  Then when you're ready for more horsepower just rebuild the motor with race rods, pistons, bigger injectors, along with a closed deck block and the shade tree mechanic can get over 400HP, just by cranking up the turbo boost.  Check out our MOTOR MATRIX to understand the possibilities.

JDM motors from Japan keep the cost low with high volumes of used engines and parts flowing from Japan. With ~30K miles on the motor they are barely broken in, ready for the sand!  These engines come complete with injectors, OE fuel rails, OE fuel regulator, coil with plug wires, power steering pump, alternator, intake manifold, throttle body, and usually a belt.  Yes, it's basically a complete motor ready to start, less computer.  The OE computer will not work in a sandrail application because it's not programmable to adapt to turbo applications, not to mention the OE computer would be a wiring mess.

Outfront is "the source" for Subaru motors, parts, and advice for "Go Fast" off-road applications.  If you're thinking about a Subaru engine for your car, you've come to the right place.  Reading through our website can enlighten even the savvy mechanic about the upgrade options available for Subaru motors.  If you're new to Subaru engines, this is the place to learn.  Before you buy your motor core or start your project, spend some time reading through each page.  You'll find loads of information that will help you save time, money, and frustration.  Make sure you start with the right motor core for your long term needs.

Secrets Disclosed

If you have ever talked to a motor builder you have likely experienced the code of silence they practice.  They always seem to keep critical information to themselves, thinking it will help build their business, forcing you to have them build your motor.  We happen to believe this creates animosities. At Outfront we will help you build your Subaru engine by sharing our knowledge for building engines up to 500HP, telling you the secrets others won't.  So if you want to do the work we'll provide the parts and information you need to build a reliable motor for the least amount of money.  If you buy all your parts from Outfront you can be assured all the parts will work together, and be reliable.  Our knowledge of Subaru motor parts and setup can save you thousands of dollars, and weeks of time.

Turn-key Motors

If you don't want to build your own motor, we can help with that too.  You'll find our prices on turn-key motor setups to be very competitive from a basic turbo setup to the exotic wahzoo muscle-motors.  We have built our business by providing our customers with value and reliability, including turn-key motor packages.  At Outfront it's important to us that you are happy....... long-term.  If you're happy about what you buy from Outfront we believe our business will grow by word of mouth.

The beauty of the Subaru engine is you can have a light weight car and loads of horsepower.  If you watch John at the drags with his Subaru "GREEN MACHINE" race V8 powered cars you won't see many beat him, if any.  Just to stay close to John most V8 owners have to put $40K into their V8's to generate enough power to overcome the weight disadvantage and be in the same ET class as John's Subaru power cars.  Bottom line, it's all about weight.  There's no substitute for being lean and mean when jumping, racing, spinning, dicing, or simply have fun duning.  If you want the best sandcar motor available.....just call Outfront.  Let us explain why Subaru is the ideal setup.

Just Subaru

Why does Outfront focus only on Subaru motors?  Subaru power plants are the ideal engine for the sand.  To build a good handling car it's all about power to weight ratio.  Good handling also has a lot to do with center of gravity.  Subaru motors keep their weight very low and short (like a VW) so the weight distribution on rear engine cars can be closer to ideal.  V8's have good torque but the downside is the 200lbs. additional weight, not to mention V8's are taller and longer than a Subaru which impacts handling.  The higher center of gravity and longer length of a V8 rear engine setup naturally has more leverage against the front end of the car, impacting the ability to steer the car.  If you have experience driving sandcars you know the advantages of a car that weighs less, evident even when you have less people riding in your car.  Less weight naturally handles better to let sandcars be more nimble to dance across the dunes. Lighter cars usually exhibit less risk of chassis damage too when you hit that witches eye (unexpected holes of death) in the dunes. 

You can't dispute physics, a lower the center of gravity helps a sandcar turn flatter in the sand, alleviating the leaning that's seen in heavier V6 or V8 cars.  A low center of gravity handles better, it's safer, and it's more fun!  Think Subaru !

Have you ever broken your Buggy Whip by driving it into the trailer, forgetting about the antenna? Yep, been there, done that.

Buggy whips cost about $40 new, but if you have 45 minutes to repair one it only costs $3!

Here's a process to extend the life of your whip antenna. This may be helpful to make a spare antenna, or simply give yourself an excuse to work in the garage one night. You can repair a buggy whip many times, maybe 6 or 7 times, until it's too short to use.

Read more: Buggy Whip Repair

CV maintenance is an important part to prevent ruining a perfectly good weekend.  It's recommended you inspect your CV's every 15th trip to the dunes, or at least once every 2yrs, whichever comes first.  Inspection requires disassembly of the CV and wiping off all the grease so you can see the metal surfaces for wear, pits, or cracks.  If it's your first time to inspect a CV it's recommended you consult with someone "in the know" so you can learn what you're looking for.  Most of the reputable parts houses who sell CV's can help you with that.

Read more: CV Assembly

If you ever load your Subaru powered sandcar into the trailer, tow the trailer a distance, then find out your car won't start, you're likely the victim of a slipped timing belt.  What likely happened was your tow straps were not tight enough, and the car rolled backwards, turning your motor over in reverse.  This can make your motor skip a cog on the timing belt.  To prevent this situation you need to know this crucial tidbit of info.

Read more: Trailering your Subaru safely
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