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E36 M42 Build

Posted by Garrett Griffith 
Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
Mega Moderator
Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 02:18AM
*Clears throat* Hello, My name is Garrett! There, now that my formal introduction is out of the way...

ANYWAYS, I decided it was time for me to rally. With that being said, my weapon of choice is a 1995 BMW E36 318i 4 door m42 1.8l $600. I am trying to do the minimum required to get my first rally under my belt, but there are so many "What ifs" to cover. The car initially didn't move due to a messed up clutch and blown tranny. Got it to the shop after being towed through Dallas traffic. thumbs up smiley Sadly, I do not have a lot of handy fabrication tools at my disposal, so cleaver ways have/had to be improvised. This is also a very large learning project for myself and co-driver. Starting, we just knew the basics of a car and had no idea how things actually worked. Over the past winter is when a lot of the repair work was done.

***GOAL: Show-Me 16 Rally Oct. 1st***

Here is a list if crap that needs to be done AND what has been done:

DONE list:
  • replaced transmission
  • new rear main seal
  • new pilot bearing
  • new light weight flywheel
  • new clutch assembly
  • all the clutch fixn's
  • new guibo
  • hood pins
  • replaced oil filter housing gasket
  • replaced power steering pump and hoses
  • changed fluids
  • stripped car
  • bucket seats
  • harnesses
  • seat mounting brackets
  • fixed outboard lights
  • inspected/insured/and state registered

NOT DONE list:
  • coolant flush
  • a/c delete
  • finish removing wires
  • roll cage
  • anti sub mounts for harness
  • paint interior
  • skid plate
  • diff plate
  • under armor
  • mud flaps
  • suspension
  • gravel tires
  • spill kit
  • med kit
  • fire extinguishers
  • front windows need repair
  • bushings replaced
  • remove sunroof and install cover for hole
  • secure battery compartment

I will update this list every so often.

Okay so I'll catch you up on my little adventure once I figure out how to document with pictures instead of attachments. ha.spinning smiley sticking its tongue out <-these are neat but might get old fast.

But for now, here is an attached picture of my car in the early days.



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2016 03:36AM by Garrett Griffith.
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Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
Mega Moderator
Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 03:24AM
HA I FIGURED IT OUT! MUAHAHAHAHAHA

mmmmmmmkay. So this is Evangeline. She was broken. First order of business was to get the car just driving.


The reason the car didn't move was a limp clutch pedal. So initial culprit was the slave cylinder. That didn't work. The pedal was firm now, but still wouldn't engage the pressure plate. (again I had no idea how any of this worked). So at this point it was time to get the car on jack stands and start learning out to take the transmission off. A long time later...and Its off. seized throw-out bearing, worn clutch disk, and a stupid heavy dual-mass flywheel that didn't even "reduce vibrations" as the springs were shot. So after researching and finding out that this car can really benefit from a light weight fly wheel. I bought one. At $630 and more than the car, this piece of aluminium is very nice!grinning smiley

And not really knowing much or anyone that knew much about clutches, I bought an overkill stage 3 or 4 (can't remember) South Bend clutch. It said it was built for hard racing and rally so I was sold. This flywheel/clutch combo cost roughly 1k. confused smiley But they look nice for the whole lot of nobody to see! (except you guys winking smiley )





After this, Reassembly process begun. After THAT it was time to fix the leaky bits. At first I thought it was the oil pan gasket, but later found out the oil filter housing gasket likes to leak after 21 years. So I replaced it.


And now to figure out why the power steering didn't work. (once again, I had no idea how any of this worked) So after a while just observing how things worked, I add fluid to see if anything happened. Well, to my surprise, something did! A huge puddle formed, ha. The fluid was just pouring out of the pump near the pulley. Took the pump off and apart to see what what happened.


I suspect the pump ran dry and the pump destroyed its self due to no lubrication...


So, got a new pump. But now to solve why the pump went dry...hmmm...Well, gotta check the hoses I suppose. Turns out, the feeder hose and return both were leaking near the reservoir. It was due to these stupid crimp clamps the BMW decided was a great idea because who wants to tighten these things? Well, I did. I was a painful and messy project. BUT it work.

At this point I was pretty happy. Everything deemed broken had been fixed. SO TEST DRIVE BABY! or ride, cuz I didnt know how to drive a manual cool smiley annnnd 1st and 3rd gear are broken....great. Back up on the jacks. New tranny and I also ordered the bucket seats/brackets/and harnesses because I need to stare at race parts to stay sane.


Upon reassembly of the new tranny, I found a chunk of cast iron. confused smiley That cant be good. Nope, it wasnt. The starter flange broke off. This actually didn't bother me because it finally gave me an reason to *removed edited rage* get a threaded starter and not have to deal with the retarded nuts on impossible to reach, let alone get a wrench up there, up end of the attached transmission. Phew. Car is back together with a new battery and IT STARTS!


With the continuation of stripping, the hood latches were in bad shape and I read I need hood pins anyways, so I got some.


Dash came out to expose super happy fun time wires!


*It has been cleaned up a bit and reassembled for driving purposes*

It had also crossed my mind that I am going to need more than 4 wheels/tires. So I hoped on craigslist and this dude 2 hours away was selling 15" bottle cap wheels for $10 each thumbs up swagalicious of a deal.


Still continuing stripping


After looking for a long good while for cage builder, I found Rally Ready driving school in Austin, Tx. I figured if they have a fleet of rally cars, they must cage cars. They do! They install cages from Custom Cages

This is an online model they have:

This is pretty much what I had in mind except I would like more rear strut tower reinforcements as I've heard these cars are really weak in that region. Especially since I am going to run all coilovers JVABs (Hi John)

So I finally had time to learn to drive this puppy! I knew Evangeline was just waitin' to purr. The reason I had to learn was to get this car inspected, and effectively registered meaning its street legal.


It only took me about 5 miles worth of driving a manual before I aced it. It helps to have repaired the clutch and understand how it works when it came time to use it. I did notice however, When approaching speeds around 55mph, the steering wheel shakes pretty bad. I suspect bad control arm bushings. Also when letting off the gas at high speeds, It sounds like a jake brake (goes away under 50mph). To be honest, I am a little scared. I could just be over reacting due to 1.) Not driven a manual. 2.) driving a car without sound deadening. 3.) and not driving this particular car in general. I do know the suspension could use an entire refresh of bushing and what not (coming soon) and the front dampers are practically non-existing.

So this is pretty much where I am today. I am waiting on Rally Ready to contact me when they do a bulk buy from custom cages. And also waiting and working in conjunction with John to see if we can fit some JVABs on Evangeline. Still gotta do a lot, and some fab work needs to be done. BUT hopefully most critical repairs have been completed. Also must additional things to come are simply bolt on items. Easy peasy.

I am all ears with suggestions and advice as this whole project and step in my life is a learning experience.



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2016 03:33AM by Garrett Griffith.
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dunhamr1
Ryan Dunham
Infallible Moderator
Location: Hurst, TX
Join Date: 09/17/2015
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 141

Rally Car:
1989 Merkur XR4Ti


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 06:14AM
Welcome to the forum! If you need another hand, I'm in Fort Worth (for the time being), let me know. If I'm not away at at rally (leaving for OTR tomorrow) I should be able to lend a hand and possibly *some* tools as I don't have any fabrication means either.

If you want to get a hold of John V, call him! His number is in his signature. Remember he's two hours behind us.

When it comes to rally ready, you should get down there on May 7 and run the rallycross they're hosting. There's also a rally trials (scca version of rallysprint) but you'd need the cage and I know they have their hands full leading up to the event even if their cages were on site.

Anyway, welcome and good luck!
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
Junior Moderator
Location: Denver, CO
Join Date: 01/11/2006
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 6,740

Rally Car:
Merkur



Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 08:59AM
Nice choice!

A few things of note:
You will not find any BMW 15" wheel that is decent that is less than 7" width. This means we are stuck using 195 or 205 tires instead of a more power appropriate 185. We are working on building a rally spec 15x6.5 wheel for the BMWs, mostly getting interest at this point as we need to get 20 wheels to justify the tooling. For the Subaru buy we did last year we actually subsidized the group buy and the wheels were all under our cost which we will probably end up doing again. I think we aimed around $150 a wheel, retail is $220 a wheel.

Start keeping your eye out for a Z3 steering rack. They are a constant rate as opposed to progressive, 2.6 or so lock to lock I think.

Didn't realize Custom Cages did an updated spec E36 cage. They only had old spec last I had looked. That is cool, their cages can be nice.

I personally leave the BMW wiring as alone as possible. I've watched Dave Kern spend too much time trying to resolve electrical issues.

We reuse the moonroof casing and just fill the gaps with silicone. Tabs in the corner to hold it in place and give you something to weld to.

We sell skid plate, fuel line protection, soon will have diff plates, spill kits, med kits, and more. Check out the site, http://rally.build

JVAB or Reiger is the only thing to consider for suspension. The Reiger budget stuff is over $4k though and JVAB stuff is quite good. John and Dave Kern spent some good time developing it and getting stuff like lengths, valving, and spring rates worked out.

I haven't had the time to pull apart the rear of the multi-link setup to see if there is really any room for improvement going to a turret. I do know that I have never seen a rally car redo the rear in the multi-link setup. In the Compact doing so is easy and gains a ton of travel. Not sure if the newer rear suspension has any benefit. I'll be putting my sedan up on stands in driveway this week to prep while the kids play, I'll try and find time to pull springs and do some measuring.

What is wrong with front windows? Usual drop when rolling down? That's just these dumb plastic clip things that wear over time. We are building an oven for molding Lexan. High on the summer projects list, BMW windows are already sitting ready to mold. smiling smiley



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
Mega Moderator
Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 12:26PM
Quote
dunhamr1
Welcome to the forum! If you need another hand, I'm in Fort Worth (for the time being), let me know. If I'm not away at at rally (leaving for OTR tomorrow) I should be able to lend a hand and possibly *some* tools as I don't have any fabrication means either.

If you want to get a hold of John V, call him! His number is in his signature. Remember he's two hours behind us.

When it comes to rally ready, you should get down there on May 7 and run the rallycross they're hosting. There's also a rally trials (scca version of rallysprint) but you'd need the cage and I know they have their hands full leading up to the event even if their cages were on site.

Anyway, welcome and good luck!

Hey Ryan, Thanks for the greeting. Yeah we should get together sometime and have a good ol chat and slap stuff with a hammer. I called John and talked with him for a good bit already, So hopefully that part is set in motion. The reason I am hesitant about RX is because the front dampers are in such horrible condition. Its basically riding on just springs and with a good bump, Id bottom out thumbs down



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett
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Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
Mega Moderator
Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 01:14PM
Quote
NoCoast
Nice choice!

A few things of note:
You will not find any BMW 15" wheel that is decent that is less than 7" width. This means we are stuck using 195 or 205 tires instead of a more power appropriate 185. We are working on building a rally spec 15x6.5 wheel for the BMWs, mostly getting interest at this point as we need to get 20 wheels to justify the tooling. For the Subaru buy we did last year we actually subsidized the group buy and the wheels were all under our cost which we will probably end up doing again. I think we aimed around $150 a wheel, retail is $220 a wheel.

Start keeping your eye out for a Z3 steering rack. They are a constant rate as opposed to progressive, 2.6 or so lock to lock I think.

Didn't realize Custom Cages did an updated spec E36 cage. They only had old spec last I had looked. That is cool, their cages can be nice.

I personally leave the BMW wiring as alone as possible. I've watched Dave Kern spend too much time trying to resolve electrical issues.

We reuse the moonroof casing and just fill the gaps with silicone. Tabs in the corner to hold it in place and give you something to weld to.

We sell skid plate, fuel line protection, soon will have diff plates, spill kits, med kits, and more. Check out the site, http://rally.build

JVAB or Reiger is the only thing to consider for suspension. The Reiger budget stuff is over $4k though and JVAB stuff is quite good. John and Dave Kern spent some good time developing it and getting stuff like lengths, valving, and spring rates worked out.

I haven't had the time to pull apart the rear of the multi-link setup to see if there is really any room for improvement going to a turret. I do know that I have never seen a rally car redo the rear in the multi-link setup. In the Compact doing so is easy and gains a ton of travel. Not sure if the newer rear suspension has any benefit. I'll be putting my sedan up on stands in driveway this week to prep while the kids play, I'll try and find time to pull springs and do some measuring.

What is wrong with front windows? Usual drop when rolling down? That's just these dumb plastic clip things that wear over time. We are building an oven for molding Lexan. High on the summer projects list, BMW windows are already sitting ready to mold. smiling smiley

For now I will just use these bottle cap wheels I found as I haven't budgeted for a proper set of wheels. Hopefully soon though! I am not a fan that bmw is an odd 120x5 lug pattern which takes a lot of wheels out of the question. New hubs might be in store when its time for proper wheels.

I have read that the Z3 rack is indeed shorter lock-to-lock and constant. Id either do that, or get a steering ratio adapter.

So my current thought process on the wires is they really need to be out of the way for caging and painting the inside. Upon re-installation, why not just disconnect what isn't needed anymore. I still don't know if this is going to be a good idea or just too much trouble in general. More input is needed!

"We reuse the moonroof casing and just fill the gaps with silicone. Tabs in the corner to hold it in place and give you something to weld to." This was in the same ball park as my other plan. Either this or just rivet thin metal over the gap.

As for Rally.Build, I was looking at the skid plate you guys offer. I was think that, but I will still have to find someone to weld on the brace. At this point I was thinking I can get a 2'x4' 3/16" inch 6061 aluminium for $185 shipped. Then my plan was to bend it with a 10degree slope at the front. Bend some piping and weld some M12 nuts to it. Construct a something similar for mounting the pipe to the body (so I can take the brace off). Then drill holes in the aluminium and bolt it to the pipe brace. BUT THEN I thought those bolts are hungry for some rocks! so I thought of making a way to have recessed bolts but are still accessible with a socket. If we can make a deal with your skid plate, diff plate, and kits. I might be in!
For fuel protection, I was looking at getting a roll of this. It should be plenty to make some mud flaps, under armor protection, and cover the fuel/brake lines. What do you think? I hope that all made sense.

Both front windows are not working. Driver side is in the up position but the motor is not functioning. I have yet to zap it with an external battery to see if its just the connections. The passenger side windows is currently down inside the door. We have taken off the regulator and motor as it wasn't attached to the window to begin with. Why they had to rivet on the regulator, I have no idea. My co-driver and I are trying to figure out a way to either to manually crank the windows or just go Lexan.

I value your input!



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett
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tdrrally
edward mucklow
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ford mustang LX 5.0, 1973 VW Beetle



Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 02:33PM
when i worked at a BMW shop we would put chevy 5 on 4.75" wheels on them, it started out at first just to mess with the boss but then lead to some autocrosses and track events.



I would rather drive a slow car fast as a fast car slow!
first rule of cars: get what makes you happy, your the one paying for it!
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Saab 96 V4



Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 02:40PM
1/4 Inch



John Vanlandingham
Sleezattle, WA, USA

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

www.rallyrace.net/jvab
CALL +1 206 431-9696
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Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
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Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 02:41PM
Quote
tdrrally
when i worked at a BMW shop we would put chevy 5 on 4.75" wheels on them, it started out at first just to mess with the boss but then lead to some autocrosses and track events.
ha, turns out 4.75inch = 120.6mm. NICE!



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett
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Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
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Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 02:47PM

Here, I made this quick mock-up of the skid plate I had in mind. Thoughts?



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett
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Andrew_Frick
Andrew Frick
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Rally Spec Ford Focus


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 03:09PM
If your goal is to really do the bare minimum to get it to a rally then I would focus on driving the car a lot and making it reliable, reliable, reliable. Fix all of the little stuff that is broken or looks worn out on the car: suspension, bushings, ball joints, coolant overflow, brake pads, etc, etc. No sense in DNFing because of a $5 part because you don't have the miles on the car. This will serve to help you learn about wrenching on the car and make the car drive a lot better. You are also new to a stick so it gives you more time to get used to that before racing.

You can skip a rally suspension. Go on some of the BMW boards and buy a used set of Bilstien HD shocks and slap them in there. Is JVAB or something else better sure it is. Is it needed, no its not. If the stage is super rough you are allowed to slow down a little. This will be a good exercise and allow you to really inspect all of the components in the suspension. Suspension can always be upgraded later. There are some many other details you need to iron out and get used to on the car and at the rally that you will likely not notice the difference between the regular and race suspensions.

Skip modifying the harness for now. you can always go back and remove wires later. But if you cut something critical now it can dog you for a while trying to trouble shoot it.

Mud flaps, I would buy the cheapest mud flaps you can find and just expect to lose them on the first stage. I used to buy like $3 ones from autozone and put them on with sheet metal screws and just replace them every rally. You could do a lifetime of rallies for the price of that sheet of stuff you posted.

You could also skip all of the underbody stuff for now other than a skid plate. Rallists raced for a years and years without underbody protection other than a skid plate. Since you have no fab skills I would buy a skid plate from rally.build. You *might* be able to make a cheaper one. But if you mess up the one you are making and half to start over will it be cheaper?

The key is to set the goal that you want, and make decisions that get you closer to that goal. If it is getting to the rally and racing on a low budget you need to keep thinking that every dollar you spend on non essential stuff for the car is another dollar that you can't spend on something that is required to go racing.

Good luck with build, and have fun. I think this is a great platform to build a rally car from as you can keep developing it with more power, suspension, brakes, etc, etc as money and time become available.
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Garrett Griffith
Garrett Griffith
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Location: Dallas, Tx
Join Date: 04/14/2016
Age: Party Animal
Posts: 20

Rally Car:
BMW E36 318i


Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 03:37PM
With the HDs, what springs would you use on them? Keep stock or go with something else?



"Cut the don'ts" - Garrett
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Location: Denver, CO
Join Date: 01/11/2006
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 6,740

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Merkur



Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 03:39PM
I've never been a fan of covering every surface in HDPE. It is certainly not enough for fuel line protection if you leave them in stock location.
On my last car I did 1/8" thick L bar to protect the fuel lines.
Current cars I just use 16 gauge, still L bar but more like 70 degrees than 90 degrees.

I use cardboard and wrap the wires and run them down the tunnel during cage prep. BMW is not like Subaru where a few easy plugs and you can pretty much clear the whole compartment of wires. I don't like chasing electrical issues. The Goose still has the damn crash sensor that's under the back seat because when I took it out the car wouldn't start, put it back in and it started.

I just run a skidplate currently. I'll probably do a diff plate one day.
You can always build something cheaper than you can buy it.

I never care about protecting the bolt heads on skid plates. Bolts are cheap from McMaster Carr. If you want to see the best way to go about it, browse Dave Clark's photo albums on facebook. He's at master jedi level of rally prep.

You can run an event, maybe two with stock suspension but I definitely think that proper rally suspension is the best money you can spend on any rally car.

If you plan to stay 4 cylinder, I have some cool guy carbon fiber intake from a M44. I'm sure it'd be easy enough to make work on your M42.

Window problem sounds fun. If your browsing Dave Clark's album you can see what a BMW window regulator can do to a finger too.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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NoCoast
Grant Hughes
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Location: Denver, CO
Join Date: 01/11/2006
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 6,740

Rally Car:
Merkur



Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 03:40PM
I didn't even bother with HDs. Stock springs are fine.
I'm testing convertible E30 springs in the back of my Compact in the near future.



Grant Hughes
http://rally.build
Denver, CO
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john vanlandingham
John Vanlandingham
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Join Date: 12/20/2005
Age: Ancient
Posts: 13,996

Rally Car:
Saab 96 V4



Re: E36 M42 Build
April 21, 2016 03:44PM
Quote
Andrew_Frick
If your goal is to really do the bare minimum to get it to a rally then I would focus on driving the car a lot and making it reliable, reliable, reliable. Fix all of the little stuff that is broken or looks worn out on the car: suspension, bushings, ball joints, coolant overflow, brake pads, etc, etc. No sense in DNFing because of a $5 part because you don't have the miles on the car. This will serve to help you learn about wrenching on the car and make the car drive a lot better. You are also new to a stick so it gives you more time to get used to that before racing.

You can skip a rally suspension. Go on some of the BMW boards and buy a used set of Bilstien HD shocks and slap them in there. Is JVAB or something else better sure it is. Is it needed, no its not. If the stage is super rough you are allowed to slow down a little. This will be a good exercise and allow you to really inspect all of the components in the suspension. Suspension can always be upgraded later. There are some many other details you need to iron out and get used to on the car and at the rally that you will likely not notice the difference between the regular and race suspensions.

Skip modifying the harness for now. you can always go back and remove wires later. But if you cut something critical now it can dog you for a while trying to trouble shoot it.

Mud flaps, I would buy the cheapest mud flaps you can find and just expect to lose them on the first stage. I used to buy like $3 ones from autozone and put them on with sheet metal screws and just replace them every rally. You could do a lifetime of rallies for the price of that sheet of stuff you posted.

You could also skip all of the underbody stuff for now other than a skid plate. Rallists raced for a years and years without underbody protection other than a skid plate. Since you have no fab skills I would buy a skid plate from rally.build. You *might* be able to make a cheaper one. But if you mess up the one you are making and half to start over will it be cheaper?

The key is to set the goal that you want, and make decisions that get you closer to that goal. If it is getting to the rally and racing on a low budget you need to keep thinking that every dollar you spend on non essential stuff for the car is another dollar that you can't spend on something that is required to go racing.

Good luck with build, and have fun. I think this is a great platform to build a rally car from as you can keep developing it with more power, suspension, brakes, etc, etc as money and time become available.


All this and its all predicated on an erroneous presumtion.

He is not worried about being on stage as quickly as possible.



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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