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First Rally car, what to get?

Posted by Hatman 
Hatman
Robert Permenter
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Location: Saint Cloud FL
Join Date: 08/29/2017
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 7

Rally Car:
None.... Yet! That's why I'm here.


First Rally car, what to get?
August 29, 2017 12:12PM
Hello everyone. Just signed up here trying to get my bearings on the whole rally thing. First some background. I've been autocrossing for about a year and half and now have the bug for trying to slide around in the dirt. I've always loved rallying and the skill it takes but I'm not taking the daily '14 Civic Si out in the dirt. P So I want to start out with the Local Rallycross (SCCA type) stuff. I would like to build the car up over time and maybe do some stage stuff someday.

So on to the question. What car to start with?

I've tossed around early 2000's BMW 3 series. Lately been seriously considering an early 2000's Focus ZX3. Those can be found for cheap and I won't cry if I roll it.... tongue sticking out smiley Any other cars out there I should consider?

Thanks in advance all! Hope to hear from you soon!
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Rolling Blunder
Ryan Bouffioux
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Stuporu Turdocharged Grocery-getter


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 29, 2017 04:02PM
1. Good job filling out your profile before someone had to ask you to do it.

2a. Generally, the response is going to be "drive whatever gets you in the seat soonest and worry about performance/modification/dick-waving later." If you're strapped for cash, buy something cheap and common enough that you'll be able to afford it as well as entry fees and maintenance/repair.

2b. Some will tell you the hierarchy of loose-surface cars goes:
Shit Tier: FWD
Acceptable Tier: everything else
...but the point in 2a is probably more important than the drivetrain layout.

3. If you're going to get an early 2000s ZX3, do yourself a favor and replace pretty much every part of the cooling system before it ever hits the dirt (or street, for that matter). Be aware of little quirks like the notoriously bad ignition cylinder binding issue, fuel pump issues, etc... the type of annoying shit that has nothing to do with racing or abuse but could leave you stranded in grid, at the grocery store, at home on race day, etc.

4. There's lots of knowledge about many different platforms around here and elsewhere... keep a genuinely open mind to the advice your given. If you've got preconceived opinions, share them and accept that they may well get torn apart, but it'll likely be to help you by saving you from the same (unnecessary) hard knocks others have endured. If something doesn't make sense or seems contradictory, research until you understand or ask someone to explain.
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alosix
Jason Powers
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Location: Lyons, CO
Join Date: 08/02/2011
Age: Midlife Crisis
Posts: 323

Rally Car:
02 WRX, still to quiet, but it finished a rally


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 29, 2017 07:19PM
You to be a moron like me.. Take a WRX that you ordered in 2002, daily drove for a while, had a few track days, then rally cross. They you buy a copy of bend tech, a bender and go at it smiling smiley.. 2 moves (one many thousand miles) and more years that I'd like later.. you finally enter a rally smiling smiley.

I think I'd go about it this way:

Figure out a list of cars that

* You'd enjoy driving
* Are plentiful
* you can find in a manual trans
* are still new enough to be kinda reliable

As much as people love to see it in rally, unique is probably a bit of a pain to deal with. Granted I love Dave Clark's eco boosted xratty, but there's A LOT of time in that car.

* BMWs: our E30 vert is a hoot on dirt. if it was a hard top it would have been caged already. E36 you'll start finding more plentiful/tough parts. E46 hasn't seemed horribly expensive. Search the web for Grant's "Goose" for a reasonable budget setup with that.

* about any FWD econobox that can be had in 5spd would do as well. Mazda 2s, 3s, focus, fiesta, etc.

* The powerband of NA subarus is probably easier to deal with to start with if you want to play in AWD. GD bodies (02-07) aren't crazy expensive (even here in CO). There's a LOT of stuff available for them, downside is you'll have a bit higher running costs because they are a bit more complicated. Earlier GCs were available in FWD. Not a horrible( ala Alex) starting setup, less cost, but later AWD and a wide array of suspension availability. Other Subaru's can be converted to FWD without a lot of parts since a few kit cars use the trans for rear engine RWD.

So I'd figure out a list of cars you can deal with. At least for me, I need to enjoy the car, working on it and driving it to put enough effort into it to race.

Then I'd look for what upgraded suspension is available for them (down the road). JVL seems to do quite good with the more odd fitments.

Then I'd hunt for what cars you can find a decent diff for. Worst case you can always 'lincoln locker' it, but a proper LSD will probably give you more options to use the car (like doing a track day with it if you want)

This is an easy $10k endeavor, even with a complete sh!tbox. At least once the car is done and the safety gear is bought that calms down a bit.



Quote

This isn't floor mat anarchy
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dreamsofjvl
Sancho Panza
Junior Moderator
Join Date: 06/30/2016
Posts: 131


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 29, 2017 08:06PM
Buy a Subaru, preferably N/A. Build it in a durable manner (seam weld the important bits). Run it into the ground. When you get fast enough, stuff a cheap jdm motor in it.

Rinse and repeat.

:p
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MattP
Matt Pullen
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Location: Calgary
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2002 Ford StRanger


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 29, 2017 09:28PM
I have a line on a number of cars at the moment, from not so expensive to more expensive. They are an entry level Focus FX3, maybe a nicely sorted FX3, a '98 M3 and possibly a Civic. All are caged and have log books and are ready to rally.



Yes, it's a Ranger.
Xr4Ti, it is rwd and was made in Germany.
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Merkur



Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 09:46AM
If you are already a Honda guy, I'd look for a less nice and slightly older Civic. Any of them are probably fine starting points.
RWD is more fun, E36 BMW are quite nice in that regards.
But, you are in Florida so I have to say the answer is a Toyota Starlet. They can still be found down there in decent shape. smiling smiley



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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lxender1291
Super Moderator
Join Date: 07/27/2017
Posts: 1


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 10:11AM
Quote
MattP
I have a line on a number of cars at the moment, from not so expensive to more expensive. They are an entry level Focus FX3, maybe a nicely sorted FX3, a '98 M3 and possibly a Civic. All are caged and have log books and are ready to rally.

Details on these cars? Specifically the Focus?
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alosix
Jason Powers
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Location: Lyons, CO
Join Date: 08/02/2011
Age: Midlife Crisis
Posts: 323

Rally Car:
02 WRX, still to quiet, but it finished a rally


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 10:51AM
Quote
NoCoast
If you are already a Honda guy, I'd look for a less nice and slightly older Civic. Any of them are probably fine starting points.
RWD is more fun, E36 BMW are quite nice in that regards.
But, you are in Florida so I have to say the answer is a Toyota Starlet. They can still be found down there in decent shape. smiling smiley

Didn't really catch the desire to try on cross first. If your civic is still closer to stock and not in a normal autox trim it should be fine on dirt. I wouldn't expect a cross in florida to be that rough on a car.

Good point on the civic. My last time down at core some dude was running one (quite old, quite beaten) . Gearing allowed him to seemingly just keep it in 1st and bounce off the rev limiter the whole run. Epic smile on his face.

in CA one dude (Bernie) used to run a geo metro. Was hella quick with that thing given how small/light it was.

I really don't enjoy my WRX on cross courses. With and without the restrictor the power band has always had me wanting to be between gears. We've been considering picking up something RWD just for cross playing.

Also make sure its got a 'real metal' roof. Sunroof cars can be run in cross, but it'll need to be blocked off for stage. Too bad miatas never came with a real roof, they'd probably fit the bill nicely for fun.



Quote

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alosix
Jason Powers
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Location: Lyons, CO
Join Date: 08/02/2011
Age: Midlife Crisis
Posts: 323

Rally Car:
02 WRX, still to quiet, but it finished a rally


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 11:53AM
Team O'Neil has also put up a decent series on some basic rally stuff:





others on tires and whatnots..



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DanielSL
Daniel
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Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 06:54PM
Robert;

If you are going to be buying a car specifically for Rally duty, and starting with some RX use, decide if you want FWD, RWD, or AWD first. That in my opinion is the first step. Then you can narrow down your car list from there.

You are going to be running CFR for your region for RX, so get on the SCCA website, and decide if in RX you want to run stock, or modified class. Don't even waste your time trying to do a car for prepared if you are going to do Stage Rally later on. Get your seat time learning how the car reacts to you in stock form, or start slowly modifying it, and run it in modified. What they allow you versus the huge amount of "not allowed" in prepared just makes most competitors nuts.

Based off of our results for the last few years; here are your best choices to be competitive on a friendly level at CFR - RX events. Take this with a grain of salt, as if you are going to do stage rally, some of these may not be good choices...

Stock;

FWD - Ford Focus
RWD - Miatas, BMW's
AWD - Any Subaru

Modified;

FWD - Ford SVT, Volkswagen, Peugeot 206
RWD - Miatas, Volvos
AWD - Turbo Subarus


Your buddy is running a 318 Ti, and there are other Ti's in CFR. Grant Hughes from Rally.Build has a Ti in his fleet, so he can give you lots of great information.

A quick search gave me roughly a dozen Ti ads on CL between several hundred to 2500. If you have a garage space, and can do some work yourself; there is the ability to buy 2 different 318 Ti's, and a low mileage engine all in Fl right now, for a total of under $2,000, which would give you a running car, a spare drivetrain, and an entire car of spares.

If you look at Miatas, you can get a good rallycross base for less than $2,000-2,500, but remember you need a hardtop to run it. Spare sets of wheels are as low as 150-250 per set off of CL. John at Goomba Fabrication in Tampa runs one that is fully legal and teched with Rally America, and builds most of the NASA and RA cages for CFR members who step up to stage rally. He did 4 alone for SandBlast this year besides his own, and everyone passed tech first time through with no red flags.

Good luck. Hope to see you at one of the events.
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Hatman
Robert Permenter
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Location: Saint Cloud FL
Join Date: 08/29/2017
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Posts: 7

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None.... Yet! That's why I'm here.


Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 07:23PM
Nice! Thanks to all who've replied and helped. Alas the current Civic is prepped in STX for aurocross and wouldn't be able to do a RallyX. The thought of an early 2000's civic is on the table. I had an 2001 LX for 12 years and it was dead reliable. Loved that car. So that's an option.

I like the idea of getting back into a RWD car and the 318's sound cool. Not sure I can convince the wife to have 2 cars stashed in the back yard but it's certainly on the table also. I also think RallyX will be my "thing" for a couple of years while I build the car up. Think RallyX primary with the option to do a stage rally someday.

Miata is always the answer and definitely applies here. tongue sticking out smiley

Really trying to see what others have to say and pick everyone's brains. I'm not going out tomorrow and buying a car and have some time to think about it and do research on it. Why not ask, says I.

Still I've really enjoyed AutoX'ing the Civic and starting to learn the FWD style of driving and I kinda dig the "wrong" wheel way to drive. It's been "unlearn what you have learned" (yoda quote... tongue sticking out smiley ) kinda process and cool for me. Still I wouldn't mind having a RWD back in my life to remind how a real car drives tongue sticking out smiley

So really full circle. Honestly the ZX3 is appealing due to the availability and entry price but I don't want to "tunnel Vision" myself. Which is why I posted here.

Wow that's a novel. Keep 'em coming. Still open to all ideas and thoughts, rude, snide remarks ... tongue sticking out smiley
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Merkur



Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 08:41PM
As soon as you know what all the rally cross classes are or even mean it's time to shit or get off the pot. Build a rally car and do it quickly.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Philippe Bellefleur
same as above
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Location: montreal
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Volvo 740 imposed by vince



Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 30, 2017 09:09PM
Quote
DanielSL
Robert;

If you are going to be buying a car specifically for Rally duty, and starting with some RX use, decide if you want FWD, RWD, or AWD first. That in my opinion is the first step. Then you can narrow down your car list from there.

You are going to be running CFR for your region for RX, so get on the SCCA website, and decide if in RX you want to run stock, or modified class. Don't even waste your time trying to do a car for prepared if you are going to do Stage Rally later on. Get your seat time learning how the car reacts to you in stock form, or start slowly modifying it, and run it in modified. What they allow you versus the huge amount of "not allowed" in prepared just makes most competitors nuts.

Based off of our results for the last few years; here are your best choices to be competitive on a friendly level at CFR - RX events. Take this with a grain of salt, as if you are going to do stage rally, some of these may not be good choices...

Stock;

FWD - Ford Focus
RWD - Miatas, BMW's
AWD - Any Subaru

Modified;

FWD - Ford SVT, Volkswagen, Peugeot 206
RWD - Miatas, Volvos
AWD - Turbo Subarus


Your buddy is running a 318 Ti, and there are other Ti's in CFR. Grant Hughes from Rally.Build has a Ti in his fleet, so he can give you lots of great information.

A quick search gave me roughly a dozen Ti ads on CL between several hundred to 2500. If you have a garage space, and can do some work yourself; there is the ability to buy 2 different 318 Ti's, and a low mileage engine all in Fl right now, for a total of under $2,000, which would give you a running car, a spare drivetrain, and an entire car of spares.

If you look at Miatas, you can get a good rallycross base for less than $2,000-2,500, but remember you need a hardtop to run it. Spare sets of wheels are as low as 150-250 per set off of CL. John at Goomba Fabrication in Tampa runs one that is fully legal and teched with Rally America, and builds most of the NASA and RA cages for CFR members who step up to stage rally. He did 4 alone for SandBlast this year besides his own, and everyone passed tech first time through with no red flags.

Good luck. Hope to see you at one of the events.

Take this guy as an example, whatever he did, don't do it!
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Location: Ford Asylum, Sleezattle, WA
Join Date: 12/20/2005
Age: Ancient
Posts: 13,996

Rally Car:
Saab 96 V4



Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 31, 2017 01:54PM
Quote
Philippe Bellefleur
Quote
DanielSL
Robert;

If you are going to be buying a car specifically for Rally duty, and starting with some RX use, decide if you want FWD, RWD, or AWD first. That in my opinion is the first step. Then you can narrow down your car list from there.

You are going to be running CFR for your region for RX, so get on the SCCA website, and decide if in RX you want to run stock, or modified class. Don't even waste your time trying to do a car for prepared if you are going to do Stage Rally later on. Get your seat time learning how the car reacts to you in stock form, or start slowly modifying it, and run it in modified. What they allow you versus the huge amount of "not allowed" in prepared just makes most competitors nuts.

Based off of our results for the last few years; here are your best choices to be competitive on a friendly level at CFR - RX events. Take this with a grain of salt, as if you are going to do stage rally, some of these may not be good choices...

Stock;

FWD - Ford Focus
RWD - Miatas, BMW's
AWD - Any Subaru

Modified;

FWD - Ford SVT, Volkswagen, Peugeot 206
RWD - Miatas, Volvos
AWD - Turbo Subarus


Your buddy is running a 318 Ti, and there are other Ti's in CFR. Grant Hughes from Rally.Build has a Ti in his fleet, so he can give you lots of great information.

A quick search gave me roughly a dozen Ti ads on CL between several hundred to 2500. If you have a garage space, and can do some work yourself; there is the ability to buy 2 different 318 Ti's, and a low mileage engine all in Fl right now, for a total of under $2,000, which would give you a running car, a spare drivetrain, and an entire car of spares.

If you look at Miatas, you can get a good rallycross base for less than $2,000-2,500, but remember you need a hardtop to run it. Spare sets of wheels are as low as 150-250 per set off of CL. John at Goomba Fabrication in Tampa runs one that is fully legal and teched with Rally America, and builds most of the NASA and RA cages for CFR members who step up to stage rally. He did 4 alone for SandBlast this year besides his own, and everyone passed tech first time through with no red flags.

Good luck. Hope to see you at one of the events.

Take this guy as an example, whatever he did, don't do it!

This cannot be stressed enough...



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
Remember! Pacific Standard Time
is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
Junior Moderator
Location: Ford Asylum, Sleezattle, WA
Join Date: 12/20/2005
Age: Ancient
Posts: 13,996

Rally Car:
Saab 96 V4



Re: First Rally car, what to get?
August 31, 2017 02:31PM
Quote
Hatman
Hello everyone.I've been autocrossing for about a year and half and now have the bug for trying to slide around in the dirt. I've always loved rallying and the skill it takes but I'm not taking the daily '14 Civic Si out in the dirt. P So I want to start out with the Local Rallycross (SCCA type) stuff. I would like to build the car up over time and maybe do some stage stuff someday.

So on to the question. What car to start with?

A lotta resonable words so far but really seriouisly listen..
I know this is Merkuh, and its a GAWD GIVEN right to have every whim instantly met..
But

Grass-o-cross (rally cross is a real sport with 4-8 cars with real motors and cages and shit racing same time, I refuse to call this driving around on a empty lot rallycross because to do so is to insult others) is one thing...and rally is something else.

Don't voluntarily make your decisions more difficult by bullshitting yourself, or listening to bullshitters and trying to get one car you'll "eventually build into a rally car"..
Don't.

Get ANY manual trans ANYTHING and get out and start playing...

Like otter-cross which you've been doing the decisive thing is the driver making big blunders trying too hard...just look at how well Miatas do when driven sensibly..

For grass-o-cross you don't need lots of HP or torque, or brakes (the speed differential between the "straights" and the corners are just a few mph and the duration of the runs are so short anything will do)..

No regarding Fuck-us in particular: there are over 2 million Fuckuses with the very nice Duratec motors...It is a wonderful engine..The Zetec isn't a very nice motor..
No reason except price to get a Zetec motored Fuckus..

The entire rear subframe, links, arms etc on the Fuckus is weak in any direction except straight ahead..I've posted here photos of what those parts do dozens of times. They bend and tear and suck... The car is also relatively heavy...But if you have a hard on for a Fuckus then get one.
Stock suspension and brakes and motor and box will do---for grass-o-cross.

A car for rally is another story entirely.. There the No1 consideration is the eventual cost to build a real rally car that is fun and competitive so "growth potential at what cost" is central....and there the availability of AFFORDABLE shorter final drive, LSD, and driveline (CVs, half-shafts) parts stronger than original is central and there FWD cars fail. ALL of their parts are multiples more costly and costly to install and any stronger parts are generally not available except at insanely overpriced levels.
A decent rally car should have good upgrade path at reasonable prices and there are nor many that do..
BOTH FWD and RWD BOTH work effectively when properly built.
The big difference is the cost to build a more or less 'proper" car.


So separate the 2 sports...get started, don't listen to anybody in Florida about anything. listen to the guys who in vain wasted their time telling this Daniel character that every single thing he said he was doing was foolish and pointless...everything. THEY were actually doing grass-o-cross for years and some quite successfully.

I know which RWD cars I'd find...again because of costs, and it would NOT be a German car..too expensive to buy and outrageously expensive for real parts and in the end, not one bit more effective than other simple RWD cars.



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
Remember! Pacific Standard Time
is 3 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
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