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Thread: Build or buy?

  1. #11
    stay less flat...
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    Dec 2006
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    Carbondale, CO
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    I bought my first car, I personally built my 2nd car (not the cage), I am privileged to have had pros build my third car - I've learned a lot from these three cars. all gp2, MK II VW's

    here's what I think:

    building a rally car is a major project that requires a lot of mechanical skills and attention to detail. if you have talent in those areas and workspace and time and MONEY build a new car. be honest with yourself - can you build a proper car? there is nothing lamer than poor execution and it will be a big waste of time and money.

    if you can do it, I think the main reason to build a new car is you'll have a modern cage in the car and therefore it will be safer.

    splurge on the cage, the seats, the harnesses and your personal safety gear.

    in terms of performance the key ingredients of a gp 2/ NA 2wd car are:
    - the diff and the final drive
    - the suspension
    - the brakes
    - the driver

    not in that order... and presumes the obvious: that the car is mechanically sound and reliable.

    avoid the temptation to address the powerplant before those areas.

    go to rallies and look at lots of cars and take pictures. crew for teams running the Focus. Make friends with professional rally car builders - even if they don't work on your car, their attitude, knowledge and process will rub off on you.

    good luck.

    Scott

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  3. #12

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    I vote build the car, but get the cage done somewhere else. I decieded to build my own cage... its interesting. It came out really well, and I'm very happy with it, however, I know if I had shipped the shell off to Dave Clark or Cascade Autosport, I would have had an even BETTER cage, sooner.

    Remember that.

    But I would build your car just so you know how everything goes together, and if you're anal like me, you'll know everything is put back together right.

  4. #13

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    ^^^^^

    Exactly!

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  6. #14

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    You guys have been and are awesome!

    Simon your car was already on my list to check at STPR, same goes for Frick's car if is at STPR. Spec Focus is not production it is a seprate class, correct??, or does it depend on the organization your entered into?

    A cage was rejected? was this because the owner did not have one of the inspectors look at it while in construction? Or was the car already logged somewhere else? I like the look of Simon's Cage but, I have to find someone in or near NE PA to build it for me and then have an inspector look at it to get it logged(unknown how complicated this will be).

    Simon and Frick I was wondering if you guys would post how much you guys had spend on your cars to get them prepared for their first event (not matter how scary the numbers are).

    I am too farily articulate on how I want things done (anal). I like the idea that I will have a better understanding of my vehicle's strong and weak points. And yes it would be a lot of fun to biuld this vehicle and of course to drive it when I am done. I just like the idea of building vs. buying, even though it is not the cheapest way. And I WOULD never disrespect a class, car, or organization by building a car that was a catastrophe...I believe do it right or don't do it at all!

    Thank you and please continue to post. I will see some of you this weekend at STPR.

  7. #15
    50 caution yump
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    Brooklyn, NY.
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    Simon and Frick are running spec focus which require specific parts (even DMSs which are no longer required) so theres would not be a good example since they couldnt use cheaper parts. That is of course if you dont plan on running spec focii. Its pretty simple; add up the amounts for your safety gear first, including 2500-3000 for the cage. Everything else is up to you. In other words you could run $4000+ suspension or $1500, $1500 seats or $300. You can get away without things like a diff for a while or you may just want everything from the start. If you want a fully prepped focus with all trick parts etc I bet you are looking at 30K plus, with you doing some of the work. On the other hand, you can probably build something fast and reliable for 15K. To see what a typical spec focus would cost take a look here; http://www.nasaforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=10220
    You dont have to run all the trick parts but some were required at the time like seats, suspension etc as they were handing out contingency money.
    What you should look into first is what class you plan on running.

  8. #16
    The Scorpion King John Sundelin's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
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    Queen Creek, AZ, USA.
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    What's the reason you want to build a Focus? There's nothing more inherently wrong with the platform than any other car (and perhaps less than many) but there's really only a few compelling reasons to build one.

    --
    John

  9. #17

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    John,

    Please post a good starter car as opposed to the Focus.

    I am also in the works to build a Focus and would like to hear your input if there is a better platform to start with.

    I have not purchased the chassis yet so please give us virgins some guidance.

    Thanks,
    Royal Rally

  10. #18

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    What is a "good starter car" depends on your goals and what you expect to get out of it. There's no universal answer.

    John just made mention of the lack of "compelling reasons" to build a focus. The spec focus class is about the only one I can think of. There was supposed to be some money in that class that was intended to help guys out and help offset some of the costs involved in running. Maybe some of the participants can comment as to how that has worked out.

    Along those lines, the Mazda contingency is fairly substantial right now. If I was getting into a 2wd car and could afford it, that's probably what I would look at. You may want to talk to lurch for more details and what the future of that program looks like.

    If you're just looking for something relatively inexpensive to build and run...there are some left coast people who will avail you with tales of the volvo 240 and xratties and all the wonderful junkyard upgrades you can do. They have some valid points. And of course everyone in 2wd has or has had a Mk2 VW at some point. Parts are everywhere and so is knowledge.

    If you're not dead set on 2wd, you could always join the church of Randy and build a N/A Subaru. Cheap to build...infinitely upgradeable...tons of knowledge pool...relatively low powered (just like most G2 cars) but spreading that power between 4 wheels instead of 2=less driveline failures and great traction.

    Bottom line...the road to the promised land is not the same for everyone. It depends on what you want to get out of it.
    Travis Sleight
    Saratoga Springs,NY
    KC2QIU

  11. #19
    The Scorpion King John Sundelin's Avatar
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    Exactly. I am not saying that the Focus is a bad choice, just that there could be better choices, depending on your situation. The original poster didn't state any assumptions that I would say disqualify the Focus, but I was just curious about the reason that the Focus was picked.

    --
    John

  12. #20
    200 square left
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    Dec 2004
    Location
    Greenville, SC, USA.
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    I think he said that he owns a focus already.

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