The All Motor Build Report

All motor 2.0l SOHCWhen we last posted (The 2GN SOHC 2.0l Group 2 All Motor Build), the plan was a pile of parts on a shelf and some boxes had just started to arrive from Modern Performance. Our donor block had been cleaned up and the crank checked. A clean area was setup and covered using recycled boxes from our kitchen cabinets.

Just like standalone engine management, the key here is to take your time and methodically go through the build step by step. I have rebuilt a bottom end a couple of times, but this was the first time assembling the whole machine from scratch. All of the running gear for the camshaft was needed, along with all of the miscellaneous brackets and bolts, the intake manifold, etc.ย ย I found a wonderful 2005 donor in the junkyard on a “50% off” weekend.

Piston Ring CheckWhen installing Piston Rings: Read the page that came with your pistons. Read it again! I looked at the chart about 20 times, it said: Bore x .0056″ and when I tested the rings, right away the gap was almost .015″. Incorrect rings? I ask around and after a few inquiries it is brought to my attention that Bore x .0056″ย actually means ([bore size 3.445] multiplied by [0.0056] equals [0.0193]) I completely missed that it was a little math problem. I get through the steps of filing down the rings, wiping off the metal, hitting with oil, wiping again, and testing. After the first couple I get the hang of it and can guess when I’m close after dragging the gap over a file 5-6 times. The most important piece I picked up here is this: Blow-by is bad, but having the rings expand to the point where the ends crash into each other is worse. There was no “stage rally” listed on the JE Piston chart, so I went with “Circle Track / Drag Race” numbers over “Street Strip” knowing that the engine will be going flat out from 3100 to 6500 for a 15 miles at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Why the factory intake Kris?!ย I had tuned into two posts in particular for that decision: The first was a comprehensive intake dyno test over on which showed that while the ITB’s and AMM intakes are great, they are great at making power OVER 7,000 RPM. I knew the 2.0L SOHC could make low end torque and the long intake is especially part of that. Second is a post where Vincent slapped a 2GN intake on a 1995 SOHC 1GN and proceeded to make 5HP and almost 10lbs of torque!

No long tube header?! Two things come into play here: I wanted the ability to keep the stock exhaust and the stock catalytic converter location, and just like the short intakes – the long headers make more power at higher RPM, sometimes at the detriment of low end torque.


The 3 day weekend was as good time to swap the new motor in. I finally decided to delete the AC, as it’s 5 complicated connections and like 20lbs of parts. I made a good effort to get it going, but all of those seals need to be clean-room clean, and any time I have to pull the motor in the future a fragile system of vacuum, refrigerant, and O-rings need to be “dealt with.”

Start’er up! The only change I had to make with the Megasquirt over the stock motor is the crank signal is different on the pre-2003 Neons. I made one change in a drop-down menu, clicked burn, power cycled, and started the car! Literally “crank, crank, vroom.” It startled me as I expected to have to fiddle with something for 15 minutes. Before I knew it, the new engine was up to temp. I ran it at various RPM’s for a few minutes after warm-up and triple checked everything.

Late night timing belt check...A few days before my dyno appointment I got the knock sensor working. This required me to solder the spark signal from the MSX board OR re-run new wires to the engine bay. I chose to change it inside the Megasquirt. I did this and the next night got some weird readings that maybe my spark timing was off, so I went back to basics. I checked timing and it was off! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ At this very moment the mechanical tensioner that WAS making a little noise earlier, decided to full on rattle and ping itself – loudly. I thought for sure the belt had skipped a tooth. Time to pull it all apart and get to the timing belt. ๐Ÿ™

Getting it all apart meant pulling the under-drive pulley and rocking the motor up and down like 25 degrees to get the motor mount / timing cover off. Once in there though, I discovered that the timing was fine. The tensioner was too TIGHT and pulling on the belt made the same rattle and ping so I adjusted it into the sweet spot. Put it all back together and sleep on it. More reading the next day revealed that when you change the timing to fixed and set it more than 10 degrees, you need to power cycle the MS. I re tested it – 0.0 on the MS and TDC on the car. No more noise from the timing belt tensioner at least.

To the Dyno!

Wide open throttle run on the DynaPack.

The tech at Church Auto Testing made quick work of the fuel map that I had been fiddling with for many days and weeks. He then turned his attention to the ignition timing (the critical reason WHY you need dyno testing) and the engine responded to timing changes without issue. He also set the limiter, fix the hot engine start-up, etc. A couple of runs later the new engine I built was making 143HP and 150ft/lbs of torque! By comparison, a bone stock SOHC 2.0l makes about 112HP and 115ft/lbs at the wheels, and it’s equal to a stock 2.4l Stratus motor (a common engine swap for the Neon). All this with the stock cat back, no timing change on the adjustable cam gear, and a table switch on the dash prepared for a tank of 100+ octane fuel. I’ve got a strong motor, a good baseline, and room to grow! ๐Ÿ˜€


The Prescott Rally 2013 Story

Racing isn’t always cut and dry: This is our 2013 Prescott story.

Two engine short blocks and a new head were rolled into my garage the weekend before Prescott, so those and the stand alone engine management that took too long for me to receive were going to have to wait until after the rally. Mildly disappointed with the situation I looked over the tires we had for the event. Two new Silverstone skins had been freshly mounted and I was picking over what was left of Rally Idaho spares. If I can’t have a hot motor, at least I have new tires.

Since we didn’t qualify for the NNRC in Idaho, our goal for the weekend was the California Rally Series CRS-2 championship. Our competition in class is a Porsche 911 driven by Jason Lightner. We raced together in Idaho, and at Gorman when we helped out with scoring I watched him beat a lot of teams and grab the Power Stage win – so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from him at Prescott. We knew if we took first in CRS-2 we’d have the points. We also knew there would be a bunch of new teams in Subarus, and I delight in surprising people with the speed to which I can pedal a Dodge Neon down a stage. You must admit that all drivers have a few pounds of ego in the car. Mine is made up mostly of beating all wheel drive turbo cars. ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrive at the rally and our best laid plans turn to shit immediately. Ray Hocker (NASA Rally Sport) hands us a start order list with a bunch of asterisks next to half of the names. “Congratulations! You are qualified for the NASA National Rally Championship.” he says to us. We excitedly thank Ray and this hasn’t even sunk in when a super clean Datsun 240Z driven by the past Prescott winning driver Brian Scott rolls by, and it’s built to the absolute limit of the class. Sure the 2.4L I-6 motor isn’t idling quite right, but I think it’s because it’s not at 6,000 RPM making 200HP. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I look at all the clean fittings on the car and I day dream of the ported and polished head that is sitting on the floor next to the laundry and the box labeled “plumbing” in my garage. I look down at my start list and I notice that Brian Scott is NOT qualified for the NNRC. His last minute unlikely co-driver is Michel Hoche-Mong (who happens to be the CRS director) will obviously get CRS points and could jeopardize the CRS-2 co-driver standings. We need max points and I already know what’s about to happen… and dammit I’m going to try and stop it.
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Rally Idaho – Plans and Preparation

Idaho RallyWe’re excited to get back into rally competition and kick off our 2013 season with Rally Idaho. We ran it in 2008, and I helped crew for another team in 2010. It was on the USRC calendar back in the day, and now we’re really excited to see it as part of the NASA National Rally Championship (NNRC). It’s a 2 day event that takes place Northeast of Boise.

Besides this little sidetrack, the 2GN is in great shape, and a lot of my time has been spent prepping and packing the Blazer. Following the mantra: “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” Everything is considered for weight and use. Nested labeled containers inside bins make sure no air space is wasted. I even plastic wrapped spare parts and placed them throughout the truck instead of taking a huge mostly empty container of odd shaped parts. I managed to fit 5 tires into the rally car and I made sure that the gas tank was pretty much empty.

A new set of brake pads and a new air filter was desperately needed on the 15 year old truck. I managed to track down a pesky wiring problem to a fuse I didn’t know existed. For the (possibly hundreds) of people that mentioned it over the years: “Yes! My left trailer light blinker now works!” I just assumed that it would be on the same circuit – who knew Chevy had separate trailer fuses from the factory?! *after 6 years… ๐Ÿ˜€

In order to instantly qualify for the NNRC we’re going to need to be on the podium in 2WD. Our competition looks pretty strong right now, and I’m not really sure what will happen. We’ve got a fresh new set of tires, experience on the roads, and a strong desire to contest the championship at Prescott this year.

We’re on our way to Idaho!

We will have pics and updates as we go.
APRS Rally car tracking will be up and running.
@rallynotes will be tweeting to #usrally
Scores will be here on


Since shaking down the car at North Nevada, the graphics package and body work have been applied. The cute Dodge Neon is transforming into an SRT-4 beast! Driver Kristopher Marciniak talks about the new livery: “One thing that’s always exciting is when the rally car finally matches the logo design at the top of our website. That rally car logo is a sort of talisman for me in that I envision what the rally car will one day become and then work towards it.” The cars silver and red paint scheme was done by Danny’s Auto Body in Long Beach; Seibon Carbon hood; Vinyl by Streetwise Motorsports.

Set in one of the most iconic landscapes in the Southwest, The 25th annual Prescott Rally travels through red rock canyons for miles on winding dirt roads. These roads are considered to be some of the best rally stages in the country. The team fell in love with the area in 2005 and have been back every year to race or volunteer. This weekend (September 28-29) will mark their 5th year of competition at this event. The team is really looking forward to it!

The competition in the USRC Open 2WD class has 10 entries vying for the win for the final round of the championship. In the regional CRS class, a win at Prescott could mean a podium finish in the California Rally Series CRS-2 class championship. After setting 3rd fastest stage times at North Nevada, the goal is to place well with the new car. “I’d like to do exactly what we did at NNR without getting stuck on a berm for 20 minutes. We love Prescott and we’re going to have fun!” said co-driver Christine Marciniak.

Live updates from this weekend will be on the tumblelog and APRS rally car tracking will be active starting Thursday! The Prescott Rally website is

What makes it a rally car? The suspension.

I’m going to break into a topic that is critical for your success in rally, costs a lot of money, was once a bit controversial on rallynotes, and a subject I’m still learning about after 7 years in the sport: Suspension.

Suspension makes the car a rally car: Regular street car struts / shocks are just not designed to take the abuse and friction that rally cars can see. First is the springs: Often 100+ pounds more force then a street car with more inches of travel. Second is the side loading: Engineers wish for a strut centered directly over the wheel that only travels up and down at a perfect 0° angle. The reality is camber, caster, toe, rotation, and side loading. The center of the tire is 4″ from the bottom of the strut, it’s at a 10° angle to the ground, the pivot for the control arm changes this angle as it goes up and down, etc. Then you go over a giant jump into a tight right hand turn – fully unloaded to fully loaded in 2 seconds. All of that energy has to go somewhere.

The first way to overcome these issues is with an inverted shock / or strut. This takes the single point of stress that is a narrow 14-19mm rod, turns the assembly inverted (upside down) and protects the damper. Now the side loading is spread over a 50mm housing and the damper piston is happily sealed from the elements. The second way is to give the damper a higher volume of fluid with a separate reservoir. It takes longer to heat up more fluid and it cools outside of the strut. You can control how fast or slow that fluid moves into the reservoir giving you adjust-ability. This is why ‘remote reservoir inverted adjustable struts’ are used in rally.

“But Kris said that he finished a rally on stock struts!” Yes. I did. It sucked. You just can’t go anywhere near as fast as you can on a proper rally setup. Unfortunately it took me a long time to get there with the P-Car (Ze’Neon). I was making a pretty good show in rallycross and had survived my first two rally events on stock dampers when I started to work with Bilstein in 2006. Their sponsorship for us consisted of a set of inverted motorsport inserts. (Just the part on the left, not the whole strut on the right.) It was up to us to have the strut housings machined as Bilstein did not make 1st Gen Neon struts. With a budget of “less than no money” I had someone with some experience build a set of housings out of stock struts. This was a miserable failure (Read the complete Rim of the World 2006 story here). Looking back, I downplayed it as much as I could to not let my new “suspension” sponsors down. The truth was the damper rod bolt shot out of the bottom of the strut INTO the CV joint on one side after the housing failed. I lost all the seals and bearings on all 4 struts, and my buddy Harry became my personal hero for rescuing us with stock spares. As far as Bilstein is concerned, their equipment is awesome! It was the cheap housings that caused all the drama. Bilstein replaced the broken rod for me, later re-valved the rears, and those dampers are still on the rally car to this day! The combination being a set of Bilstein PT cruiser fronts (that accept the motorsport inserts) and a reworked set of rear housings. Even though it works, and was able to get us a championship winning setup, this hodge-podge mismatch of housings and inserts is not something I ever want to go through again.

What should it cost? What should your budget be? I’d start at $1500 – $2000. If someone says to you they have a new rally suspension setup for less then $1000, you are going to get what you pay for. Non-inverted, junk coil-overs, with thin metal housings. Save up for the real thing!

Being able to open up a catalog and order rally struts for the 2GN (after the fiasco with the P-Car) was rewarding. Hot Bits has a ton of applications for all kinds of cars. Their full on rally setup is expensive, but you get a lot for your money. Hot Bits RSI Rally includes Camber plates, bound/rebound 35/40 way adjustable, inverted dampers, adjustable coil overs, and an out of the box rally setup that helped us set 3rd fastest times @ NNR in a brand new rally car! If you’re considering building a car, consider very carefully what options you have for an “off the shelf” rally suspension setup.


Rallynotes selected to run Saturday for the North Nevada Rally on July 7th, 2012, on roads they last raced in 2008 located near Gerlach, NV. This was the first competitive stages that the Marciniaks have run since winning the USRC in 2008. This was also the first competitive stage miles the new 2GN (Soon to be SRT-4) Dodge Neon would tackle. Kris tells us more: “New car, new suspension, new everything! We wanted to shake out the bugs and test the handling before adding 150+ HP. We also wanted to shake out 4 years of not competing by not jumping into a really powerful car!” The team by no means has been absent from rally; They volunteer for the California Rally Series and organize their own event – The High Desert Trails Rally.

There were 8 cars in the CRS-2 (Group 2) 2WD class at this event, which meant there was ample competition to judge stage times. Right off the bat the team set 3rd fastest overall on SS9 (the first stage on Saturday). On their second stage, SS10 “Purgatory Pass,” a small mistake over a sharp left hand turn pulled the car into a soft berm. Kris struggled to keep the car’s momentum, but they got stuck in what would become their own personal “Rally Purgatory.” Kristopher describes the scene: “Going over the berm de-beaded the front right tire. We went into the scenery a little bit and almost made it back onto the road, but got stuck on the berm coming out of the corner. It then took us 30 minutes to dig out the front right and get a spare on there, while car after car continued by us. It sucked, but the car was fine, the team was fine, and the competitive pressure was off. Now we just had to have fun and finish.” Pressure or no pressure, the team proceeded to set the 3rd fastest time on the last 3 stages of the day! “The last stage we made a personal charge to be fast. The car was running great, Christine was once again used to the pace that we set in the notes, and we set a fantastic 10:03 time for SS14. We missed 2nd by only 1 second, and were 32 seconds off the rally leader Andrew Lockhart, who won the event overall.” said driver Kristopher Marciniak.

The team would like to thank Kevin Patterson for his tremendous efforts in helping to service 3 teams at North Nevada!
Our next event: The Prescott Rally in Prescott, AZ. Join us!

Husband and wife team, Kristopher and Christine Marciniak, have been rallying together since 2005. They are three time USRC Production 2WD champions. Kristopher handles technology and operations at Warm Your Floor in Laguna Hills, CA. Christine has a PhD in molecular biology and is working in the field.

If you just joined us…

If you’re a beginner and you just found, keep reading, your quest starts here.

Rally car jump

Building a rally car is something that is very rewarding, time consuming and expensive. My formula is: Take the cost of ANY car and add about $8000 and you will have a good budget for your first rally car. Did eight grand scare you a little? Good, because used rallycars can be found for $5000. That cost doesn’t include the $2000 each of safety gear you’ll be wearing. ($ in USD)

You’re going to want to prioritize your to-do list and start by gutting the car. Any mechanical issues that the model has will need to be solved. (AWS on VR4, Neon head gasket, Rear beam brake bias on VW’s, etc.) This stuff involves lurking on car forums and doing research on what works and what doesn’t in racing. Talk to people who have actually rallied. Don’t spend 1000 hours re-engineering something from the factory. The manufacturer spent a LOT of money to ensure the gas tank was in a safe place. Why are you spending hours setting up a fuel cell in the spare wheel well? You’d be surprised to see how much factory stuff is just fine working under rally conditions. Don’t run too many rally experiments your first time out.

Find a reputable roll cage fabricator. You could do it yourself, but I don’t recommend it. These guys have rally experience, they know what works and what doesn’t. At least consult with one before you start cutting tubes. A basic cage that will protect you in a crash is going to be around $2300 – $2800.

friendsGet some friends to help. Your mechanic buddy might groan when you ask him for help on a Friday night, but secretly he loves it. He loves knowing everything about your rally car, he talks about it at work, and he’ll love when you finish your first rally and bring it into the winners circle with his help. Compensate these guys by paying for their rally weekend. Cover the hotel and food.

Once the cage is in and seats are installed. Upgrade the suspension, and come up with a clever way to attach some HDPE plastic and 6061 3/16″ aluminum skid plates to the underside. I used angle iron on the side sills and some metal skis off the K-member. Then take it out for testing at a rallycross, dry lake-bed, or closed dirt road. You should have already had a conversation with a sanctioning body rally car inspector. Getting a logbook for your first rally car is a major milestone!

Going to start with a brand new co-driver? Go to a rally school that teaches co-driving skills. Rally volunteers have some patience for noobs, but getting 10 minutes of road points because you don’t understand how a time card works is embarrassing.

Read rules, rulebooks, and car classes. You’ve read them once? Read then again. Now all the little details need to get in place. Your orange triangles, your first aid kit, tow hooks, extinguishers, etc. Only after this is all figured out should you sign up for your first event. Do you have everything you need to pass tech at your first rally? I highly recommend hanging out in tech a few rallies before your first one. I learned a lot just watching the scrutineering process.

Your goal is to finish your first rally. You will learn an amazing amount of stuff about your car and yourself in one event. Now you can go forward and refine your driving, your car, and your rally skills.

Want an idea of what it’s like to build and race a rally car? Check out some of the highlights of the archive. Goals Achieved at GormanThe Olympus StoryThe Black Canyon VideoThe 2008 USRC Production 2WD ChampionsRally car project number 2
Thanks for joining us!
– Kris

The Prescott Rally 2011

The Prescott Rally in Arizona is a fantastic event. The roads, the volunteers, the organizers, and the stages are awesome. This year the organizers gave us the opportunity to test out our new rally car on the stages by running zero car.

How did it go? Great! The chassis feels solid and the steering modifications are amazing at speed. Tossing the car through the end of Witty Tom South (a stage with lots of 4’s and 3’s) had me turning the wheel no more then 90 degrees. A big plus for the quickener experiment. The rallycross suspension setup was decent, but not ready for cattle-guards at 70+ mph. We embarrassingly nosed in a couple of times, and after the third time hopping the rear end through a ditch, I slowed for the remainder of them. This 2.0l n/a motor feels stronger then the one in the Production car and it will be fun to rally on for a couple more events before swapping a turbo SRT4 power-plant in.

As I feared, the stock engine mounts are completely unable to cope with this kind of abuse. The motor mount rubber on the passenger frame side ripped about halfway through stage 2. This added to the noise in the cabin and kept me from really putting down the throttle. It was a mistake not to address this before Prescott. Solid “dog bone” mounts are on order and I’m going to poly fill or weld (haven’t decided) the engine and trans mounts before the Glen Helen rallycross on October 16th.

We have a laundry list of things to fix and change, but overall it was a very successful test!

First test drive – 2nd Gen Neon Rally Car

The other day I was pretty excited to pop the axles in and go for a spin. Unfortunately I still had to re-attach the front bumper, lights, and hood. There was also adding fluid to the transmission and the modified power steering pump.

Monday, I wrapped up all these tasks and set the car back down on the wheels. The steering made no argument turning rally tires on concrete. No noise from the pump and the steering felt light. I idled slowly out of the driveway, listening for any weird noises from a car that I’ve taken completely apart and put back together.

Ferrari F355 ChallengeMy first reaction to the quickener is that it drives like a video game. That tight – instant steering you get from your Logitech Gaming Wheel. It feels natural and I didn’t even think about adapting to it. You just drive it like you would Sega’s Ferrari F355 Challenge. The car drives straight and I didn’t tax the steering pump puttering around the neighborhood swerving around trash barrels. The real test will be at speed – and at a rallycross in 3 weeks.

The plan has been finalized to be ‘Zero Car’ at Prescott. This is a lot less stressful then competing and will be a great shakedown of the systems and setup so far. For those of you unfamiliar with the term: 1 or 2 course opening cars are sent down the rally stage to make sure it’s clear and the time controls and signs are in place (000 and 00), then the 0 car (usually a rally car) is run at a fast pace before the competitors. The zero car reports any change in conditions to the drivers, any potential safety issues, and declares the stage “hot” and ready to run. The Prescott Rally is September 30th – October 1st, and we have one last weekend of prep to get the new Dodge Neon rally car ready to run. See you on the stages!

Making the most out of the least: Your tiny garage.

My first garage was, well it wasn’t really a garage. The place where I spent many a weekend wrenching on my first rally car was a small shed at the end of the driveway at my friend Sean’s house. Always fighting for space , we had to remove the bags of lawn waste, lawnmower, and gardening supplies before we could even think about bringing a car in there. Once a car was in there, good luck opening the doors or doing anything easy. Shelter from the weather and a place to wrench on cars with the help of good friends was what made that place special. I longed for a garage of my own.

Subsequent sheds, borrowed garages and driveways followed. I convinced my Dad that my brothers and I could insulate the garage in a weekend and a propane heater made the difference between working on the cars in the winter and a mission to the outer reaches of space. Have you ever changed brake pads when it was 14ยฐF out? It is a whole new level of preparation and commitment. Fluid, tools, and physical tasks are completely different at that temperature.

Once on the West Coast, we got with an eclectic group of folks that rented warehouse buildings in the garment district of LA. Lots of space to be had for $200 a month, but you never wanted to leave your good tools there, and you could never really call it home. Because of course; the guy with the blacked-out caddy already called it home, he had been living out of his car for over 2 months. ๐Ÿ˜ When we found that out, we bailed pretty quick. Transmission swaps in the UCI graduate student housing parking lot gave way to some rented shop space for $350 in San Clemente. Access to real tools, a lift, a tire mounter, etc. For a time this was as good as it gets. Then the economy tanked and the rent had to go up. I stuck it out while my space got smaller and smaller, eventually everything had to be on wheels, everything had to be mobile (including the rally car). This is a pain in the ass when you have a long term suspension and engine swap planned. It was time to save my cash, stash the rally car at a buddies house, and move the tools back into a plastic shed behind the apartment and buy a house – with a garage!

What do you get for a reasonably priced short sale in a nice neighborhood? You get 250 square feet. Now subtract space for the washer, the dryer, and the water heater. Ready to get all those extra car parts up on the shelves? How about you start with the 15 paint cans, the bucket of plumbing supplies, and the box of house fix-it stuff that you refuse to place on the hood of the rally car. Here’s my suggestions for surviving out of a tiny garage.

  • You have to start somewhere. Label the box of random house stuff – ‘House Stuff’. That way you won’t spend two hours digging through it looking for O2 Sensors. Put subsequent labels on it later. ‘House Stuff’ can become ‘House Stuff, Painting Prep, Door Hardware’. Call the P-Touch label maker geeky, but when you and your friends can find (and return) every tool in your tool chest, it’s worth cash money in time saved.

  • Put it on wheels. Become mobile and flexible.
  • Being able to quickly roll work areas and tools around keeps things potentially more flexible then the huge garage with every tool needed in the large immovable chest. Harbor Freight furniture dollies work great for bins of spares, and FWD transmissions. Have some spare dollies in anticipation of your next project. Consider building a smaller mobile work table covered in scrap sheet metal with heavy duty wheels.

  • Get it off the ground. High shelves for stuff you use less.
  • If you are a man – you no doubt consider the floor ‘a low shelf’. Now that everything is mobile in your garage, even 1 bin of parts not on wheels will be frustrating when you go to move everything around for a project. Since a box truck will never fit, why not use the magic space over 5 feet for wall shelves along the length of your garage. Consider a one foot deep shelf with angle brackets tied to the studs. Just like your sugary sweet cereal isle, put the stuff you use most at eye level, ‘good for you’ parts lower, and the super healthy un-used items up above.

  • Unfinished, cluttered, and hot. Invest in small money, big upgrades.
  • Don’t have the time for drywall? Consider ‘Thrifty White Shower Paneling’ for the walls. It’s like $9 a sheet and you get three pretty good benefits: 1. You can hose it off. 2. You can write on it with whiteboard markers (and erase). 3. It makes pretty good projector screen material for Rockband or Rally games on the Xbox. ๐Ÿ˜€ Rolls of insulation are cheap, and even in Southern California – consider an insulated garage door. My garage door faces the SW and even on the hottest of days the garage is cooler then outside.

  • Setup your old PC or laptop.
  • We’re not building a media center here. We just need access to and mp3’s. WiFi and $9 speakers makes the garage so much more productive. Most OBD software can run on a 486, so that old P4 with a gig of RAM will do just fine.

  • Other ideas:
  • Build a storage loft! Span Calculator
  • Front load washer / dryer = a temp work table on non-laundry days
  • Standardize your bins, various sizes that are all stackable
  • Got your own small garage ideas? Hit up the comments!