It's been almost 20 years that an enthusiast's hobby would open the door to starting a business. Just shy of 17 years since that thought was turned into action, that action into countless wonderful experiences, as well as the ups and downs that nobody can escape when it comes to a new business. Just trying to figure it all out and attempting to make it all work...all the while trying to please everyone in the process. It's challenging, it's what keeps one striving for better, working harder, working smarter to keep family and customers alike happy.
From being the first to perform CA Smog approved conversions (NA to WRX swaps) 19 years ago to motor builds, moving shops and building our current facility, racing Modified Magazine Tuner Shootout, racing with Redline/Global Time Attack, our series "The Underdogs", to regular everyday maintenance, the financial crisis of 2009, and now pandemic of 2020. After almost 17 years, LIC Motorsports will be closing our doors. There is a lot that goes into this and ultimately this isn't the route we had envisioned long term, but not everything can be as planned and go exactly as one wants - we are no exception to this.
We truly want to thank you for everything, for placing your trust in us, even if it was just continuing your relationship with us via your car; it really has meant the world to us. You helped build our dreams, our families, and our success for these past 17 years - without you all this time, we never would have existed.
Some Images Over The Years
Its been a long time coming and we're happy to report the new LIC Motorsports is up and running! For quite a few years we had given up on our old one and virtually stopped updating it because of some quirks it had - although we were still interactive in the comment sections on a daily basis.
Having redone the site, the upside is its fresh and clean looking, as well as being mobile optimized! Unfortunately the downside is all the previous comments (which there were thousands of them), especially on "The Dreaded Subaru Head Gasket Issue" blog article - which you can still find in this blog section a few posts down. Its a bit of a bummer but we had to cut the cord on the old system at some point and that point came today.
As you'll notice, we currently don't have a full blown e-commerce site up but do have a "LIC Products Page" where you can find all our products for purchase still. We've also added a section in the About Us where you can meet "The Team" here at LIC.
We hope you like the new site - we'll be in the process of updating more and more as we build upon it.
Always striving for the highest quality engineered products and affordable to the masses, we here at LIC Motorsports have been working with CSF Radiators for almost a year now to assist in bringing a fantastic option to market for these cars. One that not only meets others standards but exceeds technology in its class. We are honored to be a strategic partner on this venture and we feel that it will be a product you won't want to be without!
CSF Radiators and LIC Motorsports are proud to announce the release and immediate availability of a new line of unique and innovative All-aluminum race-spec radiators with built-in oil coolers for the Subaru WRX & STI platform.
Now available in limited quantities for both the 2002-2007 (Manf # CSF 3076O) and 2008-2014 + 2015 (Manf # CSF 7042O). * 2006/2007 WRX has a much tighter fitment due to different factory oil cooler and exhaust manifold combination. To make this work with these model years, you will either need to remove the factory oil cooler and cap off the coolant line coming off the water pump and at the block and/or run aftermarket headers (as it'll have less of a fitment issue).*
Price ~ $649 MSRP/MAP, currently offering introductry price of $599
Links to kits:
2008-2014 WRX , 08+ STi
At times we get asked why our 105k service costs more than the next shop. The answer is simple, we use OEM Genuine parts or better....NOT inferior products passed off as OEM.
You see, a lot of folks in this field like to make double margin profits on parts and although that may be nice in the short term, its not always in the best interest of the consumer; you the customer! These folks like to pass these parts off as OE, which stands for Original Equipment. The term OEM means Original Equipment Manufacture and doesn't necessarily mean its the same spec component that came with the car (sometimes they also call this OES, Original Equipment Supplier). You'd think it stops there but it doesn't. You still have OEM Genuine, which means its the same component that came on the car or would get from Subaru as a factory component.
Lots of companies make water pumps, albeit aftermarket, OE, and OEM but not all water pumps are created equally. You can physically buy a OEM water pump that orginially produced a product for Subaru but have it be an inferior quality. This is because Subaru doesn't make water pumps, well they really don't make any of the bolt on components...they contract others and in those contracts they have certain products that are a proprietary design. The only way to get it is to purchase it directly from a source that sells OEM Genuine components (these will always be in Subaru packaging).
Ok enough of my ramblings....let me show you what I mean.
Here is a 2005 STi, it had a 105k service done elsewhere and as part of the 105k you do the water pump. The company whom did the work used an aftermarket water pump. The customer advised he was seeing coolant temps ranging from 195* - 218*, this is concerning because this is at a level of warping heads. The normal operational temps one should see while driving is typically in the mid 180's to low 190's (under normal cruising conditions for this time of year out here in California), he was seeing 199*+ just cruising. Being as the radiator fans turn off at 195* this means something isn't right in the system. A quick test of the cooling system to rule out C0 gases was done (you get C0, or exhaust gas, in the system when you have warped heads).
After ruling out the C0, we moved onto the thermostat and ensuring A) someone installed the right one, as there is a 172* one and 180* one available and B) that its functioning properly. Both those items checked out so our next level of inspection was at the water pump level.
We know from experience on these aftermarket pumps to check certain areas. When you look on the surface, it all looks just fine. But digging deeper into the functionality of the product one can easily point out what is going on.
Here is the aftermarket water pump, it uses the old style cast impeller wheel (like seen on the older non turbo models).
If you look closely, it shows how the profile of the cast impeller doesn’t even follow the inner housing (big gap in front and even on outer leading edge it has a huge gap).
In this next image it shows (albeit hard to capture) the huge gap associated with the outer leading edge as well.
This is a OEM Genuine unit, it shows the revised stamped steal design but even so, the tolerance should be no different.
This aftermarket water pump is not engineered properly and it's causing cavitation in the system, leading to poor circulation, and ultimately overheating.
To us as a business, that's not worth the 100% profit margin on the part!
Non turbo 4 cylinder applications all have head gasket issues, you've heard this before, most of you know this, and yes its a result of a bad/faulty design with the gasket.
The factory gaskets have a coating that deteriorates over time (typically between 80-120k miles. That range is dependent on if you've run the SOA mandatory coolant conditioner, which is designed to get you past that 100k mile hump).
The symptom of leaking "head gaskets" is oil weeping between the head/block surfaces. This weep over time turns into a significant leak, which then turns into coolant leaking as well, after that symptom you often times will go into overheating, from there its a few mile slippery slope...which then has coolant and oil intermingling together.
If you haven't guessed it yet, this is where bearings get trashed, you develop a rod knock and hopefully at this point you've realized its about to be over but recognize before the next critical stage.
The sad thing is....it doesn't need to get to this point. If you work with a specialty shop its easy to point out early on when this is happening (at the weeping stage) and proactively fixing it. By doing so, you 1- secure your investment with your vehicle, 2- save yourself the headache of being broken down on the side of the road, and 3- you get to enjoy your car for another X amount of miles b/c you didn't let it catastrophically fail.
Did you know when we do head gasket jobs here at LIC Motorsports we don't install the same gaskets that do the same thing? Would you be shocked to know that the dealer and most other independents still install these bad/faulty gaskets to this day when they perform this job (reason being is Subaru hasn't revised the gasket on the older SOHC vehicles).
These vehicles all have cylinder head gasket related issues:
You can purchase revised/upgraded gaskets here: Non Turbo Upgraded MLS Head Gaskets
More info about our Head Gasket Service here: Maintenance Service Page
Here is images of when someone has let it go to far and more or less driven there car into the "ground" (that slurry leaking out is the "milkshake" of coolant/oil that has mixed).
For those that didn't see...we will now be offering pinned mains on cases as an option on bigger builds. This isn't something that is necessary for everyone but anyone over 400whp and 25psi of boost, its something that should at least be considered.
What does this do and why would I need it?
The issue at higher horsepower and boost levels is what's called shuffling. This is where the two blockhalves come together, it literally starts to move around, this is caused by pressure/heat/torsional stresses/etc.
By pinning the mains (aka anti-shuffle pins) a more robust and rigid environment is achieved. This custom pinning work can now be done through LIC Motorsports.
Price: $500.00 (does not include shipping to/from)
Turnaround Time: 2 weeks (once in the schedule)
A big weekend for LIC supported drivers/teams. Check out these fantastic results and accomplishments by all these drivers.
-1st Place, Travis Barnes captured this in UMS Tuning Time Attack TT-U class
-1st Place, Taylor Wilson captured this in UMS Tuning Time Attack TT-2 class
-? Place, Markos Mylonas competed in the Modified MagazineTuner Shootout (results to be published later on this year in the magazine)
-1st Place, Huck Gee captured this in SFR SCCA Inc. AutoX T2-ASP class (and got 11th fastest time out of 200+ cars)
-3rd Place, Palmer Sanderson captured this at ThunderDrift (he also mentioned his car has never worked as good as it is now and just a few personal errors costed him this placement).
***Congrats to all the LIC Motorsports supported teams on a great showing and effort this past weekend!***
Photo Credits: Carbon Studios, Sportcar Motion
This weekend was the inaugural event of the Sonoma Drift Series. It's a 4 race series that will put amateur drivers to the test on a course that is both power inspired as well as technical. Having a well rounded car and being a smooth driver is paramount. The title winner at the end of the series gets to walk away with $3,000 cash! LIC Motorsports sponsored driver Palmer Sanderson was in attendance with his 1993 240sx (S13) and gave us an event recap on how his weekend went.
A great photo often says a lot and explains this past weekend perfectly; keep pushing through fall backs. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot. Making some changes to my setup and I had no time for an alignment, it was off by a lot. Tried to get it close but it didn't quite work out like I had hoped
The last minute tech rules added on short notice took quite a bit from my budget and much added stress. I had trouble with focusing on the setup and with no one available to do tires on Saturday, it led to me leaving for most of the day and my buddy Jose Cortez saving me by mounting some tires on his lunch break.
Sunday rolled around and my right rear wheel bearing started failing due to my negligence. Kyle Jedd, Matt Madrigali, and I got it as good as we could before we had to qualify. On new tires for the first time I had the psi way too high and I couldn't complete the course. Second try I made adjustments and it felt perfect, but touching the inner clip cone with my front bumper put it under the car as I tried to continue the course the bumper sucked under the car and pushed the front wheels off the ground and resulting in an explosion of fiberglass and a spin resulting in a second 0. Not exactly how I wanted it to go but that's motorsports.
Now starting at the bottom of the bracket and my clutch going out, I was up against Matt Madrigali. It always seems I have to battle people I'm good friends with. On my follow run we had quite a long way to the first corner and as soon as he hit the pace cone he took off. I went as fast as I could and did not get left behind, I matched his line even though I couldn't put it on his door like I had hoped. In his follow run he left some gap assuming he would easily catch my much lower powered car. He slowly caught me through the course, but never was able to close the gap. I felt like it was close, they gave the win to Matt who went on to winning the whole event. This meant I was knocked out in the top 16.
Even though on paper it was a loss, I feel like with my car setup I did well. I think I will easily do better next time because I know what I need to change. I really want to thank everyone at LIC Motorsports for going over my car and fixing all my mistakes, and helping me out with everything and telling me what I need to make the best of my setup. This is my first event driving for them and if it's up to me it won't be my last. Thank you to Jose Cortez for saving me by getting some tires on my wheels. I want to thank Jason Bostrom for trying to help me get my setup dialed in via text, and Andy Gillespie for hooking me up with air and a place to keep the car during the event.
*Photo Credit Carbon Studios
We thought it would be fun to let you guys in on the making of the LIC Motorsports Adj. Idlers. Often times one never really thinks just how something is made, albeit that it never crosses one's mind, too busy to even think about it, and/or just downright don't even care. Well we know some do care and would be interested; so this article is for you!
The chronology is like many other designed parts...which has a chain of events that must occur
The process seems fairly uninvolved right? Well let me break it down a little differently and a bit more product specific. This is what it takes to make 1 idler bearing (which is only 50% of what comes in the kit).
Most Articles are written by Noah Levy.