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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For someone who is serious about getting into rally.. I have never rallied but now have the funding to build myself a car. Rollcages that fit are no problem, I have someone who can build me one.

So what is a good 2wd rally car that can compete well in SCCA? What are the essentials I need to add to it?
 

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Pete Morris (building "Son of CoROLLa"). I,like many others out there, like the older 2 wheel drive cars like the old Toyotas and Datsun 510's. I am currently trying to put my '74 Corolla back on the road for around $3,500, $4,000 max. That's having the cage put in, seat brackets welded to the floor, paint, re-wire and replacing the running gear. Parts are plentiful and cheap from junk yards. Cars are strong and last forever. Engines easy to work on and no computers to worry about. Where are you located?
 

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One that there are actual real gravel rally parts readily available at a reasonable cost.
and to some degree the question cant be answered without some rough idea of what you consider a reasonable budget.

front wheel drive cars which are proven competitive in GRAVEL series with much greater participation (you see here, the depth of competition is and has always been rather thin, the level of skill vastly broad, and the levels of preparation vastly different making any sort of realistic conclusion at best a big generalisation.)

VW Golf II**
VW Golf III
VW Golf IV
Opel Kadett E GSI 8v also known as Pontiac LeMans GTE
Opel Kadett E GSI 16v also known as Vauxhaul Astra GSE**
Opel Astra 16v
To a lesser degree in the 60s and 70s to early 80s :
Saab 96
Saab 99

RWD cars with good pedigree:
Ford Escort MkI
Ford Escort MkII**
Opel Manta A
Opel Ascona A
Opel Ascona B**
Volvo 240 2.3**
Ford Sierra Cosworth**
Fiat 131 SuperMirafiore

What all these cars have in common is inarguable success and all can still be found, and so can parts, competition parts.

those marked with ** were or are exceptionally noteworthy in that they were or are still highly competitive.

Any of the cars could be easily, easy except fot the pocket book, be assembled and be nationaly competitive in Gp2, and the Volvo 240 and Sierra Cosworth also good in Gp5

Gee, it seems as though they're all european cars.

(Don't tell anybody, but the japanese have typically only been interested in making enough stuff for factory and national importer supported cars, high end, small production runs, and specialty parts rare and expensive.)


So what's your buget, what have you done in your life so we can relate to what you might be thinking.

Say Hi to my friends in inSanity Cruz, used to live on Wharf Road in Crappytoilet, right around the corner from you.















John Vanlandingham
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found a 83 Volvo GLT with 150k down in Los Angeles for a grand...I might go the distance just to check it out. Would it be worth it?

John, remember a fancy schmantzy resturant called the Shadowbrook in Crapitola? Thats my income. Two months in tips could probably pay for the whole rally car by just wiping tables and pouring water.

My only real experiance rallying was up on Buzzard Lagoon road in Corrolitos[up in the boonies by Aptos]. It would actually be pretty dang awesome for a rally up there if you ask me. But back to the story, my friend decided that since his Toyota Paseo was leaking too much, he'd just kill the poor thing. He invited me along, and he let me drive the twisty tarmac road into the gravel road that stretches a few miles. The car was still going, and I wanted more but I had to hand over the wheel. I started to gather all my knowledge of rally, which pretty much to me was video games. Since than I've researched and gotten into the "rally fan" state and now I can't wait to actually compete.
 

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>I found a 83 Volvo GLT with 150k down in Los Angeles for a
>grand...I might go the distance just to check it out. Would
>it be worth it?
Fairly high miles on the motor, bores may be good or OK but I'd say the ring grooves in the pistons would be shot, so the pistons likely daid. Just happen to be building two Volvo 2300 turbo motors, they're getting CP forged short compression height pistons to go with the 6.125 c-c rods saving around 420g per cylinder.
Both the cars will be getting Ford Cosworth 2wd Garret T3 turbo units on to slighty modded late Volvo manifolds. and 3" exhaust.

The rally car of the two will be getting nice 41mm Bilstein front struts in locally made Chrome Moly strut tubes for the front and it'll get big 50mm Bilstein rears. it will also be getting big front discs from 740 or some boxy thing and really nice 4 piston aluminum calipers from some wierd japanese thing. All this stuff via JVAB Imports, oddly enough same initials as John V.
You can do all this stuff quite easily, and who is going to do the cage? Have they actually done rollcages before? Easy to go astray here, so slow down and talk about this.

John, remember a fancy schmantzy resturant called the
>Shadowbrook in Crapitola? Thats my income. Two months in
>tips could probably pay for the whole rally car by just
>wiping tables and pouring water.

Yeah of course I do even if it was in 1975. One of the women in the house worked there, always going to work in peasant blouses, low cut, wooo hoo! Said the customers, I'm sure.


>My only real experiance rallying was up on Buzzard Lagoon
>road in Corrolitos[up in the boonies by Aptos]. It would
>actually be pretty dang awesome for a rally up there if you
>ask me. But back to the story, my friend decided that since
>his Toyota Paseo was leaking too much, he'd just kill the
>poor thing. He invited me along, and he let me drive the
>twisty tarmac road into the gravel road that stretches a few
>miles. The car was still going, and I wanted more but I had
>to hand over the wheel. I started to gather all my
>knowledge of rally, which pretty much to me was video games.
> Since than I've researched and gotten into the "rally fan"
>state and now I can't wait to actually compete.

Well don't panic about competeing, build the car really good, then shake it down so it's as reliable as a street car, and work out who is going to help, who is going to co-drive, how you are going to get to events etc.

finding the car is just the first step.
you pretty good at mechanical stuff? Or failing that, can you read?

PS If you look thru archives you'll see which of the cars listed I think is the best compromise of price/competitivness/ versatility.














John Vanlandingham:p
 

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What type of car you build depends on your long range plans and budget. If you are serious about entering the PRO ranks and really have a budget then you have to go 4wd to start with. With the new seeding criteria you will never get out of club without 4wd.

On the other hand if you want to run 2 or 3 club events per year then any of the above mentioned 2wd cars would make great "and fun" cars to start with.
 

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In reply to:

>What type of car you build depends on your long range plans
>and budget. If you are serious about entering the PRO ranks
>and really have a budget then you have to go 4wd to start
>with. With the new seeding criteria you will never get out
>of club without 4wd.
>
>On the other hand if you want to run 2 or 3 club events per
>year then any of the above mentioned 2wd cars would make
>great "and fun" cars to start with.

Worry about getting experiance and the driving, all else will come in due course.

I recently did a rally in my 4wd car where we broke the center diff and became FWD for the rest of our rally. My stage times compared to my normal competition hardly changed. The drivers I typicaly take a few seconds off with 4wd I still took a few seconds off in 2wd. The drivers that are a few seconds faster than me in 4wd were still a few seconds faster than me in 2wd mode.

That is something to think about, I was sure supreised to see the lack of change agains my competors.

Derek
 

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even though ihave a fx-16, get a golf, there are more readly available rally parts than anything, and there are a lot of them too. you can get suspension form DMS, bilstien, gab, ect, not to mention the ultra cool quaife 6 speed dog gear set
 

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>
>ect, not to mention the ultra cool quaife 6 speed dog gear
>set
of course for the price of the ultra-cool 6 speed dog dog gearset and the final drive and a real LSD, you could build the entire Volvo 240 or the Ford.

But afterall isn't ultra cool stuff which is what it's REALLY all about?

Remember, any normal aspirated car will need a short ring and pinion and a close ratio gearset, to be even half competitibe against somebody who has one, but you might just be able to survive with a 5 speed box.

That's one thing nice about Gp5 turbo cars, they can get away with standard ring and pinion and standard gearbox ratios cause they have enough torque to pull the wider gaps in the gearset. Of course shoving in a shorter 4.1 or 4.37 gearset into a Volvo is cheap, $140 for a ring and pinion and maybe $150 for install, and then the taller tires you use on gravel won't hurt the accceleration.















John Vanlandingham
 

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very true, the close ratio turd(trd) gear set and diff in my fx is worth way more than the car. what about the first gen rx-7's? i have a 1st gen as a daily driver with just exjaust and intake and it goes like stink, though it sounds like a weed eater on crack. although i dont know about a rear drive car in slopy conditions(cherokee) if it was dry i would think they would be a blast. i think that you would have to be a great driver for rear drive. example: i drove a rear drive 318 at a rally cross, couldnt do crap trying everything i know from the super rolla, iget in the same car with randy bailey and it goes like a motha, so if your a bad ass get an rx-7, i can get away with a lot i the rolla, but in the rear drive car you really have to know what you are doing, and have nuts of steal
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm still gonna look around, but even though my budget could allow AWD, I am just gonna start with 2WD. I am gonna look until I am pretty confident that I have a reliable car on my hands
 

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Hey lets not forget honda civic si. Decent power, and lots of upgrades, spares are plentyfull. Not the first choice of allot of people, but is a strong car, and cheap to fix.
 

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>I'm still gonna look around, but even though my budget could
>allow AWD, I am just gonna start with 2WD. I am gonna look
>until I am pretty confident that I have a reliable car on my
>hands

If you want to drive a AWD, your budget better be real big. Maintaince and parts will kill it. You would be building a new car after every rallye.
Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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>i like my 72 bmw 2002.
>thing is tough like a volvo
>but small and light.
We know you like it, but if you think that is tough like a Volvo, then either you haven't yet really stressed the car,or you are'n familiar with just how tough Volvos are. The 2002 smallness extends to things like hubs, bearings, brake sizes, prop, and drive shaft, and CV sizes, tiny trans, a flimsy bodyshell, and wimpy steering components, not to mention recirculating ball steering, which makes upgrading to something quicker a big pain.In short everything except the motor is wimpy, and flimsy FOR GRAVEL RALLY. sorry.

In many ways it shares the same drawbacks as the Rabbit. It's a fun car to play with, but too small and too flimsy to really beat on without lots of upgrades, or lots of repairs.

But the point for somebody asking what to start with, if they don't have some particular brand fixation or loyalty or personal taste favoritism, is that with the exact same build effort into say a Golf II as opposed to a Rabbit, or the Volvo vs a BMW, is that in the one you have a car which has shown at very high levels of competition and over a long period of time that the cars can give very good results to many different drivers at many different locations and conditions.

From that we can assume that the basic dimensions, balance, dynamics, availability of parts (for gravel rally) are pretty good.
Golf II was a car capable as of doing routine top 15 results in WRC in the mid eighties,against fields full of Lancia Deltas 4wd, and won the WRC 2wd Cup and numerous National Championship rounds with really hard and deep entries all over the world.
Rabbit never really did much, aside from a result or two on easy tarmac events like Per Eklund at Hunsruck rally once.

BMW did a few loose surface results but only here and there but only when it was the newest thing and in the hands of the best guys in the world, and was consistantly pounded into piles of shredded tin-foil by Dozens and dozens of different drivers in Ford Escorts, a simpler and sturdier car _with so much development and parts availabilty and basic balance_ that it is still a viable car today 22 years after end of production.

We discuss here Gravel rally on North American roads. Simple easy faster roads by far than the average roads in the WRC series.
Go figure the average speeds, just look at Agentina which just finished something like 87 km/hr. I average more than that in my 69 SAAB 96.
That's one reason I reccommend guys to look at longer cars such as the 240, or the XR, or the Legacy, Gaylant, cause a longer car is more stable NATURALLY, and signals it's intentions to do things much much slower than short little stuff like the Rabbit, or BM. And since at least the first 2 have very quick steering available, when YOU want to do something, something happens without a lot of drama.

Now that very percieved 'snappiness' or nimbleness or as I call it %"ÖååÄääää! twitchyness is what makes them fun cars to play around with and do little rallysprints and stuff at low speeds: the sensory input is higher, and so you think you're doing something exciting.

Get them out on really fast roads IN COMPETITION used here in North America and they become a handfull and stressy at way lower speeds than the longer cars I push.
I don't reccomend RX7 I or II for the same reason, or the Toiletta Commode-a, or a whole passel of short things with crappy steering IF A GUY IS ASKING FOR WHAT TO GO OUT AND BUY.
If he already has something or is single model or brand fixated then that's another thing.

Really a shame we cant get Escorts and Ascona B over here, so we get the next nearest thing.
















John Vanlandingham
 

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>you forgot about the rabbit gti one of my fvorite :D . i
>might have mine ready to rally by this years LSPR :D

The only problem is parts are getting harder to find for the Rabbit. I'm having a difficult time finding a LT axle for my car. I may have to rebuild it myself.

Gary
 

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One car that has had US success, but never seems to get mentioned in these discussions, is the Mustang (Hurst, Butts, others?). Jeremy Butts actually won SnoDrift in one (if you've ever driver a Mustang on ice, you'll "say WOW, how the #%&@ did he do that?").

I'd love to hear opinions on this non-traditional rally car platform.

These cars should be cheap to buy, with plentiful cheap replacement parts, unlimited go-fast parts and knowledge, lots of HD drivetrain and brake parts out there. Granted sorting out rally suspension would maybe take some learning, but nothing is perfect...

If you don't like the v-8 powered stuff, you could put the Vanlandingham-approved 2.3 turbo 4 cyl from the SVO in there.

Jim Cox
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RE: Mustang, etc.

Jim,

I've always wanted to rally a Mustang, particularly because it's ...American! If I wasn't so hung up on getting my vintage Colt's back on stage, I'd want to build a Mustang.

I'd build a no-frills, low tech, light-as-possible Group 5 car. It's a Mustang so I'd have to keep the 302 (even though a V6 or 2.3 Turbo might make more sense). Probably start with a GT. Strip it down completely, lighten and reinforce the baajeezus out of that flimsy chassis as I built the cage and focused all attention on suspension. There are quite a few people with loads of Mustang rally experience to tap into.

Still, Pappa John V. is absolutley correct in post 15, and the only real reason to build a Mustang is because you want to!

Rich Smith
Vive "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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RE: Mustang, etc.

That is all true, and I love Mustangs, my dad owns 7(!) including an SVO, but if your gonna put a 2.3 in it why not just get an XR4Ti and end up with a car that handles and already has real gravel stuff sorted for you?

I'll tell you this though, spectators LOVE Mike Hursts Mustang! The spectators at 100AW calmly watched EVO, after WRX, after EVO, and when Mike came along they went NUTS! I'm sure its a lot of fun to drive also.
 
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