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Old 07-02-2004, 08:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4
Budget build up for open track car.

I was reading the advice you gave to Randy on his question. I was hoping to get some advice from you guys too.

I just picked up an '87 roller chassis. Ex-drag car. It has a roll cage and subframe connectors in it. I want to turn it into an open track/autox car. Problem I have is that my FFR Cobra and family obligations (read mortgage and ) take up most of my extra $$. So Wilwood brakes and top of the line suspensions are out of the question.

I read the suggestions for brake ducts and some of the other cheap mods. Any other recommendations for brakes? BTW, I've got a few years autox experience and 4 open track events, so I'm certainly not an expert, but not a complete rookie either. How about the suspension? What is the best budget shock/strut/spring set up? I've read about the AGX KYB stuff, Koni's, Eibach. It gets confusing. Should I look for good used stuff?

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Old 07-02-2004, 09:43 AM   #2
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Welcome to "car wars".

For suspension:
- shocks -
Koni, KYB, KW are all pretty good (no experience with Tokiko)- I would suggest getting double adjustable (both bump and rebound) rather than single adjustable (rebound only)
- springs -
Hyperco, H&R are pretty good, Eibach have had quality issues
over the past few years
- sway bars -
my preference has always been soft springs and BIG sway bars
the car goes around corners, and is compliant over the bumps

- does the cage tie to the strut towers, both front and rear? if not I would
add those tubes. also, do the roll cage pads tie to the subframe
connectors? do that too.

- necessary pieces:

strut tower cross braces, both front and rear

caster plates - KB makes some with caster pre-set,
which makes it MUCH easier to adjust camber

-panhard bar - KB makes a "track kit plus" that includes
rear upper and lower control arms, this kit lowers rear
roll center and increases anti-squat, makes a big

- urethane bushings...everywhere EXCEPT rear upper
control arms. also, if you lower the car about 1.5 to
2 inches ( I wouldn't go more) you will need offset
steering rack bushings - tie rods MUST be parallel to lower control arm plane

what limited slip does the car have? for track, the stock set-up will have
a very short life - an Auburn or Torsen is the way to go, also, don't
forget a diff cooler

brakes: -
for autocross and most track events, the standard calipers and
rotors are acceptable
(bigger is better, but if cost is a factor, do other stuff first)
you would want to run different pads for autocross/short track/long track. Performance Friction, Hawk, Carbon-Tech all do a selection of different compounds.
cooling for the fronts is a MUST, with ducting fed to the rotor center
fluid - Motul, Wilwood, AP all make a 600 degree fluid, and bleed calipers after each session

If you can find used stuff, take it - but be careful to find out "how used", and make sure that it actually fits YOUR car.

Since we're building a race car, don't forget the safety items:
buy a GOOD RACE seat that supports your shoulders as well as your hips
6 point race harness - properly anchored to the cage
Fire system - SPA makes one that uses AFFF foam, MUCH better than Halon

Buy a GOOD tire pressure gauge and tire pyrometer and use them religiously. (the infra-red heat gun works well for brakes, trans, diff, etc, but NOT for tires)

Final suggestion: Caroll Smith wrote a set of books that are a wealth of information, and are written in normal language:
Prepare to Win
Tune to Win
Engineer to Win
Drive to Win
Nuts, Bolts, and Hardware (screw to win ??)
Read carefully before starting on the car - Caroll will save you time and money. I have had mine for many years, and recommend them highly

Have fun......
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Old 07-02-2004, 06:47 PM   #3
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Do you have a name Gumball? Very nice response.
John Pearson

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