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Thread: Build or buy?

  1. #21
    200 square left 03Caddy's Avatar
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    I would reccomend buy first - And even though it does sound like you have plenty of resources to build a good car - buying has some advantages.

    My experience was trying to build an RX7 in 2000. I got about $3500 into it (donor car/suspension) before I ran into trouble finding a cage builder (they were out there but busy and cages were in the 3-5K range - if they had time at all to build one). Not too mention the donor car had issues of its own. At that point I sold it and bought the turbo colt. It still needed about a $1000 bucks work to get it rally teched but the overall cost was much lower and the car was properly built (at the time).

    Point being is sometimes the build gets stalled or the project takes a lot longer than you think. The amount of half built rally cars is most likely staggering.

    Secondly if you buy a starter car (fwd non turbo) and you really get into the sport - its more likely you will want to jump classes and get into awd/turbo - which you could build yourself to your liking. Then you are not stuck with a 20K focus that you are no longer interested in driving at events.

    Plus you can use your starter car during the process of the other car's build, and sell it when you are ready, or use parts - seats etc for the new car.

    The main problem for rally for normal enthusiasts is money - just updating a car for next years rules can be costly, plus event entry fees, unforseen problems, etc. A starter car can get you a decent ride at someone elses cost and you can estimate what you'll need for a future car.

    Just my opinion here.
    Self proclaimed slowest rally driver...

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  3. #22
    Sweat and anger and shame. MarkMalsom's Avatar
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    i built mine and it was fun at the time and helped me learn the car better than i ever would have. it also allowed me to concentrate on the points of the car that i wanted to and felt would help me become a better driver like brakes and suspension before power. at this point in my life now i'd rather buy a car as i'm tired of wrenching on it. it has taken a out little bit of the fun of tinkering with a car.

    as scott said, building a car is a huge investment in time, money, and patience. since i was running pgt at the time upgrades and swaps weren't a concern and i could run a very conservative budget on parts and time. now that i've upgraded to open everytime i think i'm was close to being done with something i find something else i needed to do or convince myself i needed to do something more. my advice if you build is to also keep it simple initially.
    -Mark Malsom

  4. #23
    Slid'n around 'n havin a ball randyzimmer's Avatar
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    I haven't read the "read this first" thread in a while but for whatever reason, it didn't get your attention enough to dissuade your building lust.

    A good competitive rally done at good competitive speeds is tough on equipment.
    Not having any idea what you're up against is no way to start a project.
    You will waste time and money "fixing" things better left alone and you will waste time and money by not fixing things that need it.
    It sucks to tow 500 miles and spend $1000 on an entry and have a corner rip off at the first bridge.
    It also sucks to have a car with mismatched or worse parts, adjusted to the wrong specs and suffer with it for a year until someone tells you that, "no, they don't HAVE to drive like that" and you finally find that You don't suck, its the Car.
    (The opposite is, you can always blame the car for why you suck.)
    AFAIK, there's only one manual for building a rally car on a budget - and that's mine.
    And its not for a Focus.

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  6. #24

    Default car 102

    I started this thread on 6/2/08. I ran my first event on 1/24/09. I then Ran STPR and NEFR. Anyone who has seen the car competing or at events have any comments or questions? I thought the car looked great and preformed very well in the production class. I just need to learn how to drive! Thanks for your time.

    Derek

  7. #25
    <catchy rally phrase> UP2MTNS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekar058 View Post
    I started this thread on 6/2/08. I ran my first event on 1/24/09. I then Ran STPR and NEFR. Anyone who has seen the car competing or at events have any comments or questions? I thought the car looked great and preformed very well in the production class. I just need to learn how to drive! Thanks for your time.

    Derek
    I haven't seen your car, but congrats on a successful build!....7 months from project start to 1st event...that's really good!
    (the other) Jon Burke
    I drive a Sub-a-rat
    FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jon-B...13428728700857
    Team Blog: Up Two Mountains Rally Team

    "...when it comes to racing and sushi, I never look at the bill." - Foust

  8. #26

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    thank you. I did a really good job obtaining sponsors, i think... It was fun and I can't wait till next year! Im thinking a little more hp and torque, rear disc, hydro handbrake, relocate battery, etc...

    here is what the car looks like as of now...

    http://www.onalimbracing.com/photos/..._Rally/102.htm

  9. #27
    100 K left 2
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    Could I ask how much it cost?

  10. #28
    150 K Right 4 Into Truck Dust BajaBill's Avatar
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    Nice job, and its a Ford too

    Bill Holmes
    Truck #44

  11. #29

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    I just went through helping getting a "bought" car ready to rally again. It was certainly faster than prepping a car from scratch, but it still took a lot of time and quite a bit of money. It had been crashed with minor damage and then sat for several years, so it was not the same as buying a car that had been raced recently. We knew that it needed to have all the safety stuff brought up to date and some maintenance, but alot of the things that should have been OK were not. The suspension on the right front corner had been damaged in the crash, so we knew that it needed replaced, but both rear struts were also bent upon examination. We ended up having to redesign the strut mounting arrangement and basically replacing all the of the struts.

    The wiring was a mess, and my personal favorite item was the way that all the interior add in electrical rally equipment (Terratrip, intercom, map lights, etc) were powered. An existing wire in the car had been pierced with an awl, another wire had been stuck in that hole, and then the pair were zip-tied together. No joke.

    The steering wheel was the worst probably from a safety standpoint. The stock steering wheel had been replaced with an after market part and "custom" adapter was made up. They had only used half of the stock coupling system and it had allowed the single bolt holding the steering wheel on to the shaft to come loose. The wheel was still coupled to shaft so it would steer, but if the bolt had rattled out the steering wheel could have come off.

    The other great detail was that the front springs were sized such a way that there was not enough spring compression, and the springs going in to coil bind was acting as the bump stop. Obviously some suspension travel was being lost as well. There were some other suspensions issues as well but this was the most glaring one.

    So just because you buy a prepared car does not mean that it will be working correctly or even be safe. You really need to go through everything that was modified by the previous owner. And even then unless you know what you are doing you might not catch the issues even if you are staring right at them.

  12. #30
    50 caution yump ajax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NP75 View Post
    The wiring was a mess, and my personal favorite item was the way that all the interior add in electrical rally equipment (Terratrip, intercom, map lights, etc) were powered. An existing wire in the car had been pierced with an awl, another wire had been stuck in that hole, and then the pair were zip-tied together. No joke.
    This sounds like my car.

    There was a point where you could adjust the OE dimmer and it would change the values the gauges read. Then as I was doing some stuff behind the dash, I bumped a connector (aftermarket) and the gauges went dead and the fuel pump shut off. Randomly the shift light comes on too.

    If you're starting with a stock car, leave the wiring alone and only use the accessory hot wire to wire the stuff that you need. (The hot wire from the cigarette plug) If you're doing a lot of work on the car to get it back up to spec and your wiring is as bad as the cases above, tear it all out and start from scratch.

    If you're not competent in wiring, find someone who is because having the wiring done right will save you more headache than you can know.

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