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Author Topic:   research: what fwd cars are most popularto race
SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted January 31, 2003 10:48 PM  
I'm planning to build a FWD mini-stock. The car should be able to race at tracks around the country. What cars and equipment would be the best fit? All thoughts and advice will be much appreciated. I'll post the results after a few weeks. Thanks SLEEPY

abrusse
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 24
posted February 02, 2003 12:51 AM  
honda is the way to go if u can race them.
they have the drive wheel on the right side

buckseight
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 150
posted February 04, 2003 03:13 PM  

how many times has this been asked ???

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted February 04, 2003 10:15 PM  
Hi buckseight, if you have the numbers how about sharing them. We are trying to decide on which car for a magazine project. I want it to be as representative as possible to be able to benefit the most racers (or will be racers). Thanks, SLEEPY

KSGerry
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 376
posted February 05, 2003 07:57 AM  
Hi Sleepy,
I see that you have downsized your front-wheel drive project to a mini stock. I have heard the Nissan or Toyota are good choices along with the old Dodge Omni.

You might post this question on a few other mini tech sites like http://www.4m.net or http://www.4cylinder.net to get a few more comments or suggestions.

Of course you and I have visited about using one of Ford's newer engines ( Zetec or Duratec ) in a Ford Escort or Mercury Lynx. Even go "modern" and use a Ford Focus. KRP now has driveline adapters or bellhousings to mate the Zetec or Duratec to many different types of transmissions or transaxles. Even a conversion to using a carburetor and distributer. Nice thing with the Focus is you can convert it to a rear-drive ( http://www.kugelkomponents.com ).

Call or write if I can be of any assistance. Sure wish I was in Florida with you now!!

Best regards,
Gerry Dedonis
Special Projects Coordinator
Kansas Racing Products Inc. http://www.kansasracingproducts.com

Four Cylinder Performance At It's Best!

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KSGerry

[This message has been edited by KSGerry (edited February 05, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by KSGerry (edited February 05, 2003).]

drbolander
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 8
posted February 06, 2003 10:32 PM  
Hey Sleepy, if its for a mag do it so the regular home garage mechanic can follow it. I mean low budget, cheap easy to find parts, easily available cars. (NOT NEW CARS!) These four bangers are for people not racing to find a cheap and easy way to get into racing. We have to help those people out and I think that would be your best way to go at a story. Keep me posted. Thx. Dave

KSGerry
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 376
posted February 07, 2003 07:04 AM  
Cheap racing and four bangers seem to be a contradiction of terms. Racing a mini is more expensive than full size cars due to the lack of available and affordable components. Much cheaper to race a full-size V-8.

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KSGerry

buckseight
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 150
posted February 07, 2003 03:48 PM  
AMEN to that bro.

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted February 07, 2003 09:00 PM  
I agree about the costs of 4/cy racing being expensive. On the other hand I feel we need to do the best we can to keep it cheap. Much of this is up to the rules makers. Yet, I want to make a fwd 4/cy magazine project which is at least competitive and not expensive. Any project of this nature will fit some rules and not others.

I'm of the old school" If it ain't got a v-8 it ain't a race car". But the point is this, where are new racers going to come from? Some of these new racers will be the kids whose first cars are fwd 4/cy's. This is what they have grown up with and what they have worked on. Right now they are going to the dragstrips. We need to get them to the dirt circle tracks. With some consensus of car type and some idea of general rules, we are talking entry level class. I want to show how it can be done on a reasonably small budget, maybe $1500? I'm always interested in others opinions.
SLEEPY

hornet
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 5
posted February 07, 2003 11:38 PM  
More Hondas than anything else around here, but there is just about one of everything else to.

This coming season will be my 3rd year racing the 4cyl. "hornet" division in north east Iowa. I have spent less than $1000 for each of my first 2 entire seasons, including building the cars.
My 1st. year I ran an 88 Gr.AM with a Quad4. It had some reliability issues but when I had it running right it got me several top 4 finishes, and I was 5th. in points when the track got shut down mid season.
Last year I had an 88 Accord LXI. It did not turn out to be the fast car that I had hoped it would, and I only had a few top 5 finishes but was there every week and finished 3rd in season points.
Around this area it is supposed to be an entry level or fun class, and a support class for the stocks and mods.
I think under $1000 is what most of us in this area have invested in our cars, except for the few that go way overboard. I guess some people have a different idea of what STOCK means.
This year I am building an 87 Celica GTS and so far I think I will come in at about $600 to build the car.



SKULLHULL
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 69
posted February 08, 2003 12:26 AM  
My first year i ran a fwd nissan, but i had the car to build.
In my opinion i would go with the omni due to the ease of set up. for a cheap and stock class we had one here and it won most races. it was very fast. it was stock and runing aginst built cars.

KSGerry
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 376
posted February 08, 2003 08:17 AM  
I know it is not a popular idea but one method to keep costs within reason is to have a claim rule...for any class including entry level. Set a fair price where a car can be bought or exchanged. Have a few basic rules and allow the tech people to concentrate on safety issues instead of policing the cars. The claim rule will prevent someone from "buying" race wins and/or a championship.

Just my humble opinion...

Thanks and regards,
Gerry

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KSGerry

wallbanger17
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 12
posted February 09, 2003 08:12 PM  
If your project is very cost conseous whatever you build should be a VERY common
model with good parts interchangability. Two
tracks here in midMich. have whole car claims
minus seat, cell,and belts.One track its $600
(very good car count)and the other$400 minus
the same equip. only the track WILL claim the 3 top finishers in points(new class for this track) I agree this should be able to be accomplished in any average garage without with limited money and tools

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted February 09, 2003 09:28 PM  
Thanks guys, keep it coming. SLEEPY

KSGerry
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 376
posted February 10, 2003 07:12 AM  
"If your project is very cost conseous, whatever you build should be a VERY common
model with good parts interchangability..." Wallbanger17


Very good point! I imagine the top selling older cars and most common would be the Ford Escort or it's twin the Mercury Lynx.
A little bigger in size...the Ford Tempo or Mercury Topaz. The "K" cars from Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth. Perhaps the GM-brands...Pontiac Grand-Am, Chevy Corsica or Cavelier, etc.

I've got related questions on mini stocks in general...front-wheel drive, stock fuel injection, electronic ignition, etc. I'll start another topic.
Regards,
Gerry

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KSGerry

wallbanger17
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 12
posted February 11, 2003 11:25 AM  
Sleepy since this is for a mag. and for a cost consious budget would it be fair to assume that this will be aimed at the younger
peolple with little or next to none skills &
mech. knowledge? Many writers seem to forget that the majority of the people that are the audience for these artcle do not have a clue as to what is actually needed to make it to raceday. Maybe you could include a VERY simple single axle trailer for towing this project car with,say 6x12? These youngters just need
some very simple and bacic ideas and instruction to get them started both on a car and the necessary equipment they will need , much like planting a seed for a plant!
I enjoy your articles a lot and have picked up some good ideas from them.


SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted February 15, 2003 10:59 PM  
wallbanger17, This is exactly where I want to go with this project. The younger bunch had a fwd 4/cy as their first car and this is what they know. Later we can come back and upgrade to a faster more modified class. The trailer to match is a good idea. I built a $300 plus the mobile home axles trailer in Circle Track about a year ago. Might be able to downsize it, Thanks for the compliments, SLEEPY

rt66
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 10
posted February 21, 2003 09:48 AM  
I raced an '85 Dodge Omni last year in our FWD class with a reasonable amount of success. Here are some numbers I came up with for putting a car together. It assumes that you have some tools and access to a welder.

Roll cage - Red Line #503Z0 $188
5 point safety harness $70
Window net $20
Hood pins $10
Fire extinguisher - Lowes $36
Fire proof racing suit $120
RCI Snell 95 helmet $140
Escort, Cavalier, Omni etc. $100

Optional equipment:
8 gallon fuel cell $150
Racing seat & cover $130

Grand total $964

You can see our rules at www.eastsidespeedway.com

I would be happy to discuss all of this in more detail. E-mail me directly at brad@virginia.edu

kart99ucar
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted February 23, 2003 10:07 PM  
Brad, I'll be running with you next year if you stay in that class! If you ever watch the kart races or looked at the photo albums, I'm the guy in the red and black 99. Good luck next season!

rt66
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 10
posted February 25, 2003 08:37 AM  
99 - did you get the e-mail I sent to your yahoo account?

kart99ucar
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted February 26, 2003 07:18 PM  
sure did, sent a reply too!

j55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 6
posted March 02, 2003 09:03 PM  
Most everyone here races a Ford Probe.
There's a 98 Altima, an old B-210, and a bunch of Probes that go fast.

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'Round we go!

o5racer
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 402
posted March 06, 2003 10:25 PM  
" The "K" cars from Dodge-Chrysler-Plymouth." In racing? you have to be kidding. Those have to be the most underpowered cars I have ever driven. LOL.

twleach2
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 53
posted March 13, 2003 11:59 AM  
The fwd class at Midway Speedway in Crooksville, OH had the highest car count of all classes last year. I just bought a 86 Grand Am with the 2.5L for my wife to give racing a try. I am glad to see that SCR will be doing a article on building such a car. If you could include some technical setup information such as caster/camber, weight percentages, and toe in your arctile, I would greatly appreciate it and I am sure others readers of SCR would also.

66jj
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 823
posted March 13, 2003 04:50 PM  
fwd VW's are killing everyone at Wenatchee Vallay super oval in wenatchee washington. there is also one running well at Spokane Raceway Park. in spokane wa.

rabbits and schirocco's both


jeff

hornet racer
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 7
posted March 13, 2003 09:05 PM  
we ran a ford probe last year and did real well!2wins ,second twice and a third,all in only 6 starts.

rt66
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 10
posted March 02, 2004 07:40 AM  
Hey Sleepy - What was the outcome of your research on the FWD cars? Did you build one? Is there a write-up on it somewhere?

b4racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 626
posted March 02, 2004 05:22 PM  
the top 3 that i would build is a omni #1 as it would fit most any rule with 2 valves 2 Dodge neon 3 VW if rules would allow. later BObby

speedyd1
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 170
posted March 02, 2004 05:57 PM  
the dodge neon would be a good choice. i see alot of them at road racing facilities like road atlanta. believe me they are fast. parts availability should be no problem eithor. these guys tell me you get just about anything you want for them.

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted March 03, 2004 08:18 AM  
Thanks for all the input and advice, all of you. The build up of our Honda Mini FWD is finished. It is a 4 issue series in Stock Car Racing with the last installment in the April '04 issue. The car is built to the rules of East Bay Raceway, to only dirt track in the area. Rules are liberal and all other cars are 2300 Fords, tube frame stock suspension type and mini-late model bodies. Front runners are 10 k cars. Our Honda was to be a $2500 project and ended up at $3500. Has Honda exterior sheetmetal and Honda interior where suspension goes.
Has been a fun project. Hope to make first race next weekend. SLEEPY



64racing
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 32
posted March 03, 2004 04:02 PM  
hey sleepy
wear i race ford probes kick *** ...nothing can touch them.....

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DOING IT IN THE DIRT

Gunner 33
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 28
posted March 03, 2004 06:46 PM  
Hey Everyone! I am definately out of place here because I run a 1985 S-10 (RWD) at Mohave Valley Raceway, AZ in the Mini Stock Class. However, I do agree that building a car must be cheap or should I say affordable. That's what is going to get people out there. I am 38 and just build my truck last year because I could finally afford it after talking about getting into racing for 20 years (military pay check). I paid $700.00 for the truck and bought everything else on sale, i.e. rollcage, seat, harness, fuel cell, helmet, and suit, etc. off the internet. I did not do any engine or suspension mods because of the rules. I did however, cut out as much weight as I could. I also spray can painted the truck in my garage and it came out awesome! Pictures are available. Anyway, the more affordable it is the better.

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race2win14
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 13
posted March 11, 2004 08:01 PM  
Ok this is a lil off the subject but I got a question. We have been running mod mini's four 12 years and finally decided to sell out. I was goin to build a fwd car for my lil bro to keep him out of trouble. The only problem is our local track has a $400 claim rule. Is there anyway possible to build a car that cheap? I just dont see it happening, and I already been told some old rivalries gonna claim our car as soon as we show up.

USAUS Racing
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 69
posted March 12, 2004 06:18 PM  
Sleepy,
Ran a Dodge Colt last year - reasonably succesfully. Started out uncompetetive but worked on it and got is running so that most weeks we had a top 5 finish - against Mustangs, Pinto and Celicas. Engine was only the 1600cc one. Finshed 10th poutright after missing 3 weekends.

Ok what did we do to it?? Bigger Carb (****ed off the Mikuni and ran a 38/38 Weber, better air intake, played with suspension and even fitted a strut brace. This season, if we can get one, we'll fit the 2.3 litre engine from the Chrysler version.

19J
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted March 12, 2004 10:56 PM  
I gotta ask this why fwd? Come on. Im only 17 i have a rear wheel drive car. A 1983 Dodge Challenger with the Mitsibishi 2.6 strong motors. Ive been in this car for 2 years and this will be my third. I got 9th in points last year. Car very dependable but the driver isnt lol. Would of and should of got about 5th but blew head gasket(my own stupidity) and got in big wreck. Dodges dominate here. This car is all stock and runs with the "stock" ones. The ones that say they are but get d/q in tech.

19J
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted March 13, 2004 09:13 PM  
Hey Sleepy. $3500 you could build my car about 5 times. Most likely more than that. I think it should of been $1000 tops. If i was gonna spend that much on my car i would be running hobby stock. Around here no 4 banger is way cheaper. I used to have some of your note for a hobby is there any chance you could send some ideas to me how to get my car to turn better. Its got the straight away power but ive been gettin beat through the corner. Car weighs 2500#'s no wieght. all same size tires. Rear wheel drive. Front struts so i cant adjust them for cmaber and all that. Thanks.

USAUS Racing
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 69
posted March 14, 2004 07:12 AM  
If you want something different right now I am rebuilding an MGB-GT for ministock. This car I picked (not roadable) for parts for my other one then decided what the heck that put it on the track.

Facts: In road trim it weighs the same as the Pintos and Mustangs do in race trim.

With all stock parts (except twin carbs replaced with a single [45DCOE] as per rules), stock exhaust headers, OEM high lift cam and electronic ignition from the later MGs - 125Horses from an 1800cc engine. This is based on past results in setting them up for rallying.

Battery already sits in the ideal place - in a carrier below where the backseat used to be on drivers side.

Sits only 4 inches off ground as standard

With 4 speed tranny and 3.9:1 diff computer simulation shows 75mph at 5,000rpm in third and pulling power down to 2000 in the same gear.

It probably wont be ready for the start of our season but I'll let you know how it goes once it's together.

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted March 15, 2004 09:44 AM  
To 19 J Slot the mounting holes at the top of the strut or make a plate and weld it in for a different caster/camber. To make the car turn better make sure you have some crossweight in the car( right front heavy). Do this by shimming the rf or lr spring until the car turns. When you get to much the car will want to spin on entry, then back of on the shims a little. SLEEPY


Ego Racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 724
posted March 16, 2004 02:39 PM  
Hey Sleepy> I was the one on the 4wheeler with the latemodel tire Sat night that wished you luck while you were in the car. How did it go? We had some problems on our car and were to busy to watch the race. I say them push you out I hope it was someting simple!

Ego Racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 724
posted March 16, 2004 02:43 PM  
One last thing..... about 1995 there was a guy running at Eastbay, I think his name was Jim Plankey, he ran a SAAB and was a FAST car. We tride a front drive car and he told us to get it where it would lift and carry the left rear wheel from corner entry to corner exit. We did OK but we went to A-dale with our Dodge before we got the dirt figured out.

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 295
posted March 17, 2004 08:44 AM  
Hey EGO, Yeah it was fun first night out. Car worked better than I had hoped. I had a competition adjustment to the radiator on the track which caused severe overheating. Give me a call if you can 863-607-5071. Oh yeah the left rear stays planted with this setup!

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