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im just starting in rally and i dont know what class to start in? im thinking in PGT because of 4-wd and turbo i was thinking about a eagle talon tsi, i have driven my jetta on dirt and i dont like the way front wheel drive handles. ok now for some questions...what kind of cage do i need? skid plates/engine mods/wheel & tire combos/brakes/stering/handbrake/body mods/electrical etc. etc. i would realy like your help on this one! i would do most of the work myself, except the stuff i cant do. im planning on taking a rally school soon, and im chomping at the bit to get started on a project! thanky for you help
the rookie,
mike
 

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I will say this, but i'm sure abou 20 others will echo it in no time.

If it's your first time, here are my steps for getting into rally:

Go rally-cross a few times. See how you do in the dirt.

Then go volunteer at a rally. Learn everything you can about how the timing and controls work, and see how the pro's do it.

Then co-drive. Gets you again more in-car experience, and makes sure you have the stomach for it.

Then, if it's your first time, buy a pre-prepped rally car! You will save thousands of $$$, and get one that has had all the hard work already done for you! The classifieds here are absouloutly full of deals, to fit any budget.


Again, just my $.02
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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First off,... fwd handles very well. Most newbies think awd is easier because of their lack of driving skill. If you don't want to kill yourself right away, I suggest to visit a rally driving school like Tim O'Neil or European Rally School.
Here's a little something to think about. Colin McRae was invited to the Scotish Rallye last year to drive the fwd Puma. He set faster times in the fwd Puma than high powered awd Subaru's and Evo's. It's all driver skill.
Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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Very true. Very few top-notch drivers start out in AWD. Starting there will certainly raise your seeding quicker, but there is a lot to learn from FWD that can be applied to AWD which you will never learn if you start there. You say you don't like how FWD handles in dirt? Not to insult your skills, but that's a good clue that you don't know how to drive FWD. I've heard it said that those who master FWD will be better AWD drivers in the end.

And, I'm tired of saying it and seeing 90% of the people ignore it, but it is true. Don't build your first car. If you don't have a clue what to do now, regardless of how much advice you get from this forum, you will not build a good car. Look at the classified ads. Pick some cars that interest you and fit within your means. Research their finishing history, then choose the best of the bunch. You will save thousands, you will rally sooner, and in studying the car and what was done to make it durable, you will learn what to do for your next car.
 

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don't cut
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Rally School: Good
Building your own car: Bad
AWD: Bad

Everybody figures they can do it better, faster, cheaper themselves, but they can't. I was the same way. It took me twice as long and costs twice as much to get where I am.

I also started out in AWD, which I wouldn't reccomend. You end up using the power and traction as a crutch to support bad driving habits. I plan on spending some time in some 2wd cars this summer to work on technique and broaden my experience. Rally school should give you some good experience in different cars, and a good driving skills base to build on, so that stepping into a AWD car may not be such a big issue.

So go find yourself a good used GTI or something and have fun. Spend the bucks on a well prepped one, as the el cheapo cars are sometimes more work than they are worth. If you REALLY, REALLY wanna go AWD, I'll sell you my rocket powered Eclipse, but only after you promise to put the small turbo on and keep the boost down for a couple races. It's built right and has lots of spares.

Dennis Martin
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Hi Mike and welcome,

I'll echo the opinion that you should NOT start in AWD with a turbo. I am guessing that the time you have spent racing and on dirt is limited and you will seriously put yourself in danger with AWD/Turbo. The power is easy to use to steer that car, but you will get yourself in over your head VERY quickly without knowing it until it is too late. The sad illustration of this is the new fellow starting in AWD/Turbo at Sawmill 2 years back; his navvie met his death on the 3rd stage. So, please start 2WD. I know this is not what you want to hear from us, but we are giving you good advice here.

As far as the build versus buy, well, I'll differ from the rest of the crowd on this in certain cases. IF you have car-building experience (real engine rebuilds, brake and suspension work) under your belt, and have access to fabrication equipment (especially welding and real knowledge to use it), or you are just determined to learn, you can and probably will have a good starter car if built at home (and with our most excellent advice, how could you go wrong??) And, you will know that car inside and out when it breaks. (Notice I did not say IF it breaks; it will!)

If your car experience is limited to changing spark lugs and oil, or you want to actually race ASAP, then buy. But I'll warn you shop carefully and with the advice and even presence of an experienced person; there are some real buckets o' bolts out there being advertised as top-notch rally cars. To wit, recently I had the sad task of rejecting a cage in a nice car presented to me for annual inspection. It was built in one of the most famous rally shops in the country, and had .065" wall tubing in some places, which is way under the required spec. Result: a new cage is having to be installed.

Good luck,
Mark Bowers
 

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I've heard it said that those who master FWD will
>be better AWD drivers in the end.

Amen, brother Jerry!

Mark B.


PS: So when are you and I going to take our finely polished 2WD skills and move up to AWD? When cows fly? When we win the lottery and can afford it?? :7
 

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Ask your self what your end goal is. Is it to drive in rallys or to be a car builder.

If your goal is to drive - buy a car any rally car that is safe and leaves you plenty of $$$ to run it after you buy it. There is always plenty of work to do to any car so even if you love to work on cars you will get that need met with a prepared car.

Focus on your main goal do not try to do everything at once.

As for 2wd vs AWD look for the car that gets you out on the stages rallying ASAP, right now when I look around the better values are in the 323GTX's and the Eagles/Talons/DSM cars those happen to be AWD.

I belive that it would be better to start in 2wd but from the financial side of things the better deals are in AWD and it is more likely you will be able to sell the AWD car for an much smaller loss than a 2wd car in 1-3 years when you are ready for something else. I am sure there are good 2wd values out there but I have not seen them lately. Sometimes doing the right thing in one area can be the wrong thing somewhere else. It will not be the end of the world if you start in AWD just get out there.

Derek
 

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From my experience if you plan on building your own car check out the parts that are available and how many people are racing that kind of car. Dont buy anything for your car untill you bug the hell out of everyone on this message board for help and answers first :)

Good luck
 

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I've got to start embarrassing people in 2WD before I think about AWD. Actually, I kind of like it down here. It's really fun to pass Escort Cosworths on stage with a POS Chevy Citation.
 

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1. Welcome. You'll love it.

2. Buy built unless you love building. Even if you can do cage fabrication yourself, all the ancilliaries - seats, odo, wheels, even some used rally tires - you will get essentially free with a built car. Also someone has figured out where the car fails and (hopefully) strengthened the weak points. You don't want to spend entry fees, time, and emotional investment only to find out on your first stage that your car needs better motor mounts (personal experience here).

3. 2WDs handle great once you left foot brake. Before that you are correct that they're understeering pigs. But AWD is actually harder to master, I think. Up to 80% commitment the AWD is easier, but at the limit you have more margin for error with a 2WD I feel.

4. Go to Team O'Neil rally school. You'll be hooked, you'll learn the techniques, and you'll go a lot farther for your $.

Good luck, ACP
www.musketeerracing.com
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Another thought on FWD vs. AWD. Search the Driver?s Forum here and in the Old Forum Archives (look for the link on the Forums directory page) for FWD driving techniques, study them over and over until you understand the motions they?re trying to describe, then take your Jetta to a deserted gravel parking lot or a rallycross and try them out. If after giving it a fair chance you?re still not wild about FWD (like me), another option is RWD, but you?ll probably have to be a little patient to find a car.

While you?re searching the forums, dig into Car Construction, too, whether you buy or build your own. There are many postings that will help you avoid what others learned the hard way. A couple crashes over time have lost some good posts, but the wealth of information available for free on this website is just amazing. The people who put Special Stage together are to be commended.

And as far as what you NEED, that is spelled out in the rulebook. Order a hard copy from the SCCA or download it off their website, and STUDY it. And if you do decide to build your own car, understand that one of your biggest challenges is simply to see it through. Unless you've done something like that before, I don't think you can appreciate the drive that is necessary to stay motivated through the endless number of tasks and problems that you didn't anticipate before you started. I suspect there's probably more half-finished race cars sitting behind garages than raceable ones.
 

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Well there worse things you could spend yer time doing, like hanging out a girlie bars.
Look, don't decide what a RALLY prepped FWD will feel and react based on your street car feels like.
One of the things you really got to be carefull here on this forum is really GENERALISED information.

It's the specifics which make a rally car a rally car rather than a street car, and not just power. And it's the specifics of information which make it useful. Or not.

Your Jetta handles like a peeeeeg cause it has an open diff, you can rest assured that a fwd car is just a silly plaything if you can't give it any gas with loosing grip, loosing drive and steering. with a real multi-plate ZF type LSD with 135+ ft/lbs of breakaway torque and you'd be a fwd luvin' fool. you'd be smirking at the guy with 800 lbs more wieght to haul around and to try and STOP!

don't bother with the turbo 4wd stuff cause for most guys it's way more money for a non very fun ride. Beating on a 2 liter motor is way more fun than droning along at 2900rpm .

But this is competition, and to be competitive with a Normal aspirated car you will have to invest in a decent real rally box.
But that's the worst of it.

Good luck, ask lots of questions, give lots of details, like what you have done before if you have skied,raced motocross,etc, where do you live etc.

PS stick with European stuff, way more REAL rally parts, rally is mass sport everywhere in Europe, not just a pass time for rich playboys and royalty like in Asia.
















John Vanlandingham
 

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Now for an opinion from someone who is in the same boat or at least the same waters.

I?m in the process of building my first performance rally car and it happens to be an AWD Talon. I have no performance rallying experience and have never built a rally car before. I first became interested in rallying about 2 years ago. First as a spectator, then I volunteered at an event, then came the fun part I entered in a rallycross with my daily driver. I blew a tire and had to drive 2 hours home on a space saver spare, the wife wasn?t too happy with me. That was last summer. This spring I took a navigation course just to know what goes on in the co-driver spot. I have to say I have a lot of respect for those guys, a lot of information to process.

About a month ago I decided to take the plunge and build a performance rally car. I started out ripping the interior out of a Firefly thinking that it would make a good first rally car, but I found tons of rust. So after thinking about it for a while I decided to prep my daily driver. I know the car inside out and I know how it handles in snow/gravel.

Buying a car already prepped is definitely the way to go if you have the money and little mechanical experience. I choose to build my own car because I have a very small budget and I think I have enough mechanical knowledge to build it myself (Auto mechanic for 8 years, automotive designer for the past 2) and access to the appropriate equipment.

There?s no greater satisfaction then building a car with your own hands, but it can also be the quickest way to break the bank.

Ask lots of questions, you get a lot of good advice in this forum. Be specific though if you want specific answers.

Someone should write a paper on prepping a car for this web site. Very detailed though, not the usual install a cage and good suspension then your off to the races.

Good Luck
Darryl
 

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Only 1 addition I would make to the "buy your first car". That is certainly applicable if you are new to the sport. Having been around for a long long time, I choose to build my first car (and did so in 2.5 months). And it has passed tech every time for 2 years with only 1 slight cage issue. That background of having been around makes a difference
 

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don't cut
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>Someone should write a paper on prepping a car for this web
>site. Very detailed though, not the usual install a cage and
>good suspension then your off to the races.
>
>Good Luck
>Darryl

Workin on it. Need more pics to illustrate though. Should have something by the end of summer.


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 
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