cheap car racing

Update your progress on your various car projects.

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MostMint
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Location: planning a race

cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:10 am

Let the insanity begin. I found a car in Wadsworth already set up for this type of racing with a bunch of spare parts for $2500 (it's an 86 Fiero which has finished this race already once). I'm going to see it and get some info from the owner. I'll not be buying it yet but I have to start somewhere.

So I put together a rough estimate of the costs. There are still things missing but I think I have the obvious. If I can find 5 people to partake in this event then I can get the cost of the first race down into the $1500 range. If you have some of the equipment already then it'll be cheaper for you. Tiresmoker and I would be two drivers, we'll need three more. I have at least one other interested party.


1-time costs
$2,500 vehicle (with cage and spare parts)
$120 safety harness (only if current is expired)
$200 something needs fixed ? Brakes, whatever
gas storage
pit board or in-helmet radios

$2,820 ← sub total

per driver 1-time costs
$210 Snell SA helmet
$160 Fire suit
$100 gloves
$90 shoes
$40 neck support (HANS if you like)

$600 ← sub total

$1,164 ← estimated 1-time cost per person (5 drivers)

per race costs
$500 race entry
$150 rent trailer
$500 Gas (1600 miles @10 mpg = 160 gals*3)
$200 what not
delivery vehicle and fuel
tires

$1,350 ← sub total

per driver per race costs
$100 per driver entry
$75 new driver instruction/license
food

$445 ← estimated cost per person (5 drivers)

First race grand total per driver:
$1,609 ← total cost per driver first race


Next up I'll start figuring out what equipment you need to take to the track and what else needs to be thought out, as well as some interesting related videos.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:00 pm

In 2009 the cheap car race was sanctioned by 24 hours of LeMons

Overview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mTJgOgE ... re=feedlik

Last 10 minutes:
(see car 668 at 4:01 and later off the track – that's the car that was for sale in Wadsworth)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUv9Y2p-sQA

Here is a crash compilation from some LeMons events:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9gy2VTM ... re=related

I've read up on Chump car rules (they are sanction the race this year at Nelson Ledges) and learned a few more things watching the videos. As a result I have an updated expense sheet (see top post). I'm also starting an equipment/supplies list - see below.

The Fiero is apparently sold as the ad was down immediately this morning and I never heard back from the guy. That's OK I think I'll use that as a benchmark for now. There will be others.

fixing the car
Basic tools: wrenches/pliers/screwdrivers
sledgehammer
sawzall
jack and stands
tarp
lighting (generator?)

camp
canopy for the car and our stuff
grill
food and drinks

spare parts
tires/rims
fuses
brake parts
engine belt
oil/trans fluid
headlights/brakelights
wire/tape/fastener
radiator
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:43 pm

I did hear back from the Fiero owner. He (Morgan) lives about .2 miles from my house so I went to see the car today. I spent a lot of time asking questions about racing and he (and his old man) were very helpful.

Morgan suggested I go to the forums to get more information about racing, specifically about contracts for your driver teammates to sign to define the expected commitment levels. I did not find those yet but I found a helpful overview on what it takes to get started. Here it is: http://forums.24hoursoflemons.com/viewtopic.php?id=7415 in a word: sobering.

He also suggested searching around as you can find the safety gear cheaper than Summit Racing - maybe each driver can save $100 (same products just find an outfit that works on less margin). His team is using the fireproof long johns (each driver has his own) and sharing the outer layer and helmet (two of these). The rules I read discourage it so I'm not interested in going that route.

It pretty clearly defines how much work it will take to get this program going.

As far as the car, it looks like it did in the videos with a few mods. The front has been opened up to let more air through the radiator (hole in the hood behind the radiator). The front half of the decklid has also been removed apparently for cooling. The exhaust is custom with the catalytic converter removed. It has the 2.8 MPFI V6. It's old and the rear inner fenders are pretty well rusted. He said the frame was solid - if I'm going to be serious about this project I'll do some homework and go over it with a fine tooth comb. The checking I did under the car - everything looked pretty solid.

He started the car. It idled OK though there was some nasty squeaking apparently from the belt and some smoke - perhaps a little oil on the exhaust manifold. I did not hear any rod knocks or anything like that. He said it had not been started since the last race.

There are a number of other issues:
- It will come with the stock steering wheel as they are keeping the one on there now (old man had sentimental attachment to it).
- Rear view mirror - has the small mirror but I think we should get the wide mirror for the inside as seeing out the back is huge.
- Non adjustable seat - it's fixed to the floor as far back as it'll go. I would probably move the seat back further to get to optimal for me but it might be too far back for Tiresmoker. Morgan said some guys use foam pads for these types of adjustments. I would have to check with the league and the drivers to confirm this is acceptable. Either that or rig up some tracks to adjust the seat.
- He also mentioned the control module in the ignition is prone to failing on these cars. I'll want to check this out on some Fiero forum or 60 degree V6 forum.
- the roll cage passed inspection though both of them suggested putting an extra brace across the front (top of the dash height). This would firm up support in case of side impact.

The engine rebuild was apparently good. It did not consume oil in the last race.

Also the panels on the car all seemed to be the same color and there was no signs of parts damaged from wrecks then replaced.

That's all I can recall right now I'll update if I remember anything more.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:06 pm

The Mostmint Racing Team was formed this past Monday and we are starting to look at cars.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:34 am

Today was a big day for the Mostmint Racing Team as we acquired our race car. Pics first:

Tom stopped by my place round 11:30 and we were off on a 200 mile trek to Monroe OH to look at a 92 Saturn SC.

The undeluxe accommodations the car had before we got it:
Image
Getting the once over before "doing the deal". Glad it was a nice day for Feb so we could push it outside and look at it in the sunshine:
Image
On the road in S Ohio - that Jeep is getting away!
Image
In the mostmint garage:
Image
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The race engine - LOL
Image
More car pics - with all the stuff inside
Image
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And how do you fit 3 cars, 3 tractors a utility trailer, two engines, etc. etc. in the garage?
Image
Very carefully of course! 8)

The seller Matt B was asking $1500 and I was prepared to pay it. He is in the military in Texas so his Dad Mike was there. When I got there I found plenty of reasons to get the price adjusted. Where the cage is welded to the floor the weld was not even and he burned through the floor pan. The support plates are probably too small. The side bars are too close together (just below where the B-pillar meets the fender the two side bars are connected to the main "hoop" behind the driver) they need to be 6 inches apart. It'll probably need another bar down low. The battery was dead. The spare trans had a cable support cracked off the casting. With all of these items I offered him $1200 and he took it. Ouch maybe there was more to be saved!

Other than these issues the car was pretty much as advertised. The engine sounded good and ran smooth. The lights worked (exc directionals). It presents itself quite well right now for a race car.

We loaded all the spare parts into the car: trans, crank, intake, passenger seat, four wheels with tires and all my tools with the idea that Tom and I could part ways once we got closer to home. It all fit.

Added a quart of oil and added 10 PSI to the front tires to get them to proper pressure.

Stalled the thing the first time I engaged the clutch so we had to jump it again. After that we were on the road! The clutch is firm and has a short engage distance. After about 5 minutes I realized I had not put my plates on the car and his were expired so we stopped to fix that and grab some food. Fred32v was not there so no pictures of the food - or us for that matter!

Another jump and we were back on the road. The exhaust is a little loud for driving though nice quiet towns like Lebanon but I just tried to keep the RPMs down and no engine braking. Had some time to observe a little more. The suspension is very firm and does not roll much. You can tell this is not a stock Saturn. The brakes stop straight and no pulsing. The car tracks straight. The shifter appears stock though the shifter throw is quite short for a stock installation. Downshifting from 5 to 4 was not as smooth as my Camaro's toploader. The heat is not working. It has "idiot gauges" with no actual numbers for oil pressure and engine temp, and it has a factory tach. The speedo is working but the odometer is not. There is an aftermarket red switch on the dash - no idea what that is for.

After another 10 minutes we stopped to fill gas tanks - the Jeep was getting low on fuel. The Saturn took less than 5 gallons as Mike had put some in while we were there. I let it idle. Getting in and out with the roll cage is a little extra effort, including getting the racing seat belt on. I definitely like the bar configuration as getting in and out is not too bad. Each time we stopped I did the ritual. I decided to use just the lap belt though a few more minutes up front and I could have used the shoulder belts too.

At this point I am gaining a little confidence in the car so I leaned on it a little on the on ramp to I71. It sounded...well like a race car. The exhaust tone is starting to grow on me. From there it was just easy cruising in the low 70's. I was talking with Fred3v when the a State Highway Patrol starting closing on us. I cut it back to the speed limit and he just went on my and never gave me a second look. If he was running plates he might have. We just kept motoring until north of Columbus. About then it was getting dark so I turned on the lights - wasn't sure if that would be a problem with the weak battery but it never missed a beat.

We made a pitstop to answer nature's call and by now the battery had been charged and warmed up enough that it started on it's own. With gaining confidence I decided to lean on it more on the way out of the rest stop. It spun the tires in some water from melting snow there but performed well in that little test. the Grand Cherokee got the jump while I was spinning tires in the water so I could not get a good comparison there.

The rest of the drive up 71 was uneventful until right before 76. I realized Tom was staying on 71 so I moved past him so he could hear it under power. I probably should have pushed it down to 3rd to start the approach.

As I got closer to home I started testing a little more. It does not appear it can make 100 in 4th. The exit ramp at state route 57 has a cloverleaf configuration and so it has a sharp right hand turn in it. It was also wet. I pushed it a little here and the car was quite balanced - when it started to give the back and front gave simultaneously.

I also pushed the engine on the backroads up to my house. It feels pretty good in the upper RPMs. This will be a fun car to race.

I then did some garage rearranging to fit it all in.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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GMJohnny
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Location: Auburn Twp, Oh

Re: cheap car racing

Postby GMJohnny » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:00 am

Hey Mostmint racing team ...... I was just at Pull-apart on Sunday... there are plenty of
those there waiting for donation to your car. My buddy got one just like yours for his kid
to drive and we were scoping them out. We were at the east side pullapart and there were
at least 20 Saturns there. Just an fyi...

GM

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Fred32v
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Fred32v » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:42 am

Looks like a flat black hood is in order until you line up a sponsor.
It appears to me that you guys are starting to have some fun!!
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:10 pm

I found some paperwork from a prior owner in the car and it got me to searching. I found pics of our car in action: http://www.wichitascca.org/pix/2006/200 ... index.html
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Basement Paul » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:50 pm

This car has seen some action! That's five years ago. Cool.

-BP

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Fred32v
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Fred32v » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:33 pm

Got to hear the racer run, listen quit, pretty neat.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ1zUDuRx2s[/youtube]
Fred32v
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Short Box 4x4 V6!

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:49 pm

You need to read this - you are looking under the hood of the Saturn:
Image
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Basement Paul
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Basement Paul » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:18 pm

Be CAREFUL!

-BP

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GMJohnny
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby GMJohnny » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:08 am

I think you should put a sticker in there that says:

" If you're still in control, you're not going fast enough! "

GM

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:51 pm

On Friday the team met at the Mostmint garage and we were with the car as a team for the first time. Due to short notice Matt could not make it but I expect to get him over here soon to do some seat fitment.

The first order of business was how we fit in the car. Everyone brought their helmets so we could check for ceiling clearance. All of this was top secret so no cameras! It was quickly obvious that I was too high up and my helmet is above the top bar. We strategized about this a bit and decided we needed to lower the back and raise the front of the support bracket. To my surprise the Corbeau seat did not attach to the factory sliders - it had its own sliders and a Corbeau made bracket to adapt those to the Saturn. Apparently the Corbeau people did not consider height in their adapter design.

By Sunday I decided I wanted to have some fun with the sawzall, drill and sledgehammer.

So after taking the whole thing apart the first steps were to drill new holes in the back of the bracket and cut off the "feet" in the back to lower the back:
Image
The next step was to raise up the front by adjusting the feet at the front. In this pic the one on the left has been modified to get and the one on the right is still unchanged:
Image
Then I had to notch the slider brackets to clear the bolts where the bracket attaches to the floor:
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To get the lowered bracket to attach to the floor I had to massage the u-channel on the floorpan supporting the seat. Forgot to take pics of that. Here are some pics after it's done:
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Seat height before:
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Seat height after:
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This design limits the seat adjustment but I think it will work. The back bolts limit the travel some. I'm comfortable with it all the way forward so I need to make sure the front is not up too high for the other guys.

Next up I need to get pics with me in the car and get them off to tech to make sure I look low enough. If it's still too high we can weld the sliders to the bracket in the back or we can flatten the u-channels in the car to get a little lower.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:11 pm
Location: planning a race

Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:14 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9JlNYtujlY[/youtube]
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]


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