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Author Topic:   What would you do???
Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 14, 2005 04:37 PM  
1st of all thanks to all about Iron Duke.

I am now with a dilema. In my search for the best for the buck. We have run across a possible Modified Toyota Celica with some light mods. A Monza that I no nothing about. And a Saab that has alot of people scared. All of these cars are legal by all Texas Mini-Stock rule books. I'm a rookie this year and I'm clueless. Please help and be honest please???

b4racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 626
posted January 14, 2005 10:45 PM  
I love my ford but if I had to do anything else it would be a yoter sad to say

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 15, 2005 12:24 AM  
Go with the Toyota! The Saab sounds interesting though. They have very strong engines. The Barber/Saab series was or has been around for quite a while. You may be able to go to their website and see if they have info on parts and performance stuff for the dirt car. When I went to Conroe TX last year, there were several front wheel drive cars. They all seemed to be very fast down the straights, but cornering looked to be a bit more difficult and lost their advantage. Once you lift that inside drive wheel you lose your momentum and most don't come with limited slip diffs.

The Monza has the Iron Duke engine and you have probably read enough about that to know if that is what you want or not.

I have a 1983 Toyota Celica that is pretty fast. Track champ for 2002 and 2003 and second in 2001 and 2004. I am selling it for $2,800.00. There is room for more engine mods, but email me if you want more info.

Russ

Xtrem4U
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 144
posted January 15, 2005 05:31 AM  
The "ONLY" weakness- on the celica is their flimsly front end! If you race a track, that doesn't bump & bang alot, you'll be OK. I've seen mustangs hit the wall hard & keep going. A celica will not. Once they see you are fast in a celica, they will go for your front tires. You "blow" on a celica front tire & you'll brake a tie rod! I've replaced more tie rods, than O'reillys can order! So if you are going to bump & bang with a celica buy you a pocket full of tie rods- you'll need them! Maybe someone knows a fix, I've tried everything. For years I've considered putting a pinto or mustang front end on a toyota.

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 15, 2005 07:32 AM  
Hmmmmmmmmm very interesting. I have raced the Celica now for ten years. I have bent front end parts, lower swing arms and even had the upper mounting part of the strut break once, but I have never broken a tie rod end. My stuff was stock and I have rubbed and been rubbed over the years. I have raced with both types of steering arrangements. I have checked my toe in/out after some hard licks and have had to readjust, but never has one broke.

The only time I wasn't able to finish a race with suspension failure was when I was hit hard on both ends and one of my rear springs came out. It broke my panhard bar mount too. That was a hard hit, but I have never rolled a car either.

So that is one myth that needed correcting!

Russ

When I race against the Ford guys, I always hope that their auxillary distrbutor drive breaks and they do that very often. They offer a nice expensive billet piece for that area or a better gear for the distributor, but so many of them that really push their engines hard don't have them. Oh yeah, starters can be a Ford problem too since they sit right under the header, not a problem with the Toyota. The oil pump on a 20R/22R engine is right behind the crank pulley. Pull the pully off and there is the oil pump and is easily replaced. I thought I would mention this, but I have never had to replace one other than just wanting to.

bigcityracer
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 431
posted January 15, 2005 07:43 AM  
I heard the same about a toyota beening soft.
There not, my Corolla knocked a 3'by3'by 6' concrete block out of the wall, moved a second one 6 inches, then doove to the pits. That did break a tierod end. I fix it and ran the feature. Yes I did need some frame streightening when it was over, but a mustang would have been in it's grave. I also won the next 2-features I was in at different tracks.
As far as a strong mustang, no such thing. You have to stiffen the front frame rails before you race them. or they fall apart. Toyotas have strong frames.

Xtrem4U
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 144
posted January 15, 2005 08:45 AM  
WOW- first off I'm not a Ford man-but look @ their tie rods & compare them to a toyota that's made out of a super light alloy! Same thing on the a frames. If you guys have never broken tie rods, can only be about 3 reasons why! Narrow tires, I run 15 inch hoosiers most of the time. I've never seen a corolla that would "PULL" that big of a tire! Little tracks- where you don't get up enough speed to have a hard impact on your tires! Non- bumping & banging tracks! If the front ends on a toyota are so stable, why do all mod 4 & pro 4 use either, s10 front end, pinto, or mustang! Or when Toyota factory team raced on the nascar goody's circuit, why didn't they use the flimsly toyota front ends? I've been racing celica's for 10 years & to put it "BLUNTLY" the front ends are cheap junk! How can you guys say a tie rod that is no bigger around than your finger & is made outta light alloy is a good piece? I will agree usually it doesn't matter, because a toyota will be so far in front, they won't get rubbed or tire bumped. Unless one of the ford guys has a 2850 with a roller cam- then that's a different story!

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 15, 2005 10:58 AM  
In racing there is no such thing as a stong anything that is stock! All the frames are reinforced alot. The Toyota and Ford guys both run as much metal up the frame rails as they can. Any unibody is not that strong. They are cheap and don't use as much metal as a full frame tank like the older American cars.

I have used the Hoosier soft race tires for the past 2 years and have had some pretty hard hits, but none that have broken any tie rods, but the right hit will break anything. I think the reason for the use of those front ends on the Goody's circuit is their availability and aftermarket parts for them. Just as I think the Toyota engine is a better all around piece compared to the Ford engine, but there are so many more of the Fords, more people using them and thus more of an aftermarket for them.

True, I used the lower front arm off a Cressida because they are much stronger than the stock Celica control arm. None of the strut stuff is immune to getting bent. The same happens to the Ford struts, they get bent with the right hit.

Not many Ford guys use the stock rear end that came out of the Pinto or Mustang 2, but go with the stronger 8 in unit. I could go on and on. You need light, but strong. It is hard to have it together, but the Toyota company is not going to send out on the street a flimsy piece on the steering end. The Celica stuff is strong. I don't know how many steering ball joints I see broken after a wreck with the modifieds and they are made of strong American made steel, but the car weighs the same as most of our mini stocks. Faster, yes....more vulnerable, yes....but they still break, even the aftermarket stuff.

I have bent stuff, broken stuff but if I can replace it with a stronger piece then I do it. I never really needed to with my 83 Celica in the steering area, with or without the race tires. Asphalt may be a different story, but I am referring to dirt track racing.

Russ

Xtrem4U
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 144
posted January 15, 2005 02:35 PM  
moswal- it is the design & material of the tie rods that make them junk. Do you extend your right side lower arm? That makes them even weaker! The way they are made with the bends in them & especially weak where they go into the adjusting sleeve. I don't think the nascar goody guys that are spending 20-30K on their cars use different front ends because of availabilty or aftermarket parts. They have to do it to be competive, jus as you will have to spend 15-20K on your new modified project, if you race @ a very competive track.(flip over to mod section on here- their are talking about cost of mods). Take a look @ the tie rod on a mod & compare it to the celica- big difference! I get more torn up in my celica, than I do in my mod! (probally because of inexperience of drivers). Also in my celica I'm going 70'ish mph, my mod 100plus mph. 30 mph does make a difference on impact. Ball joints on mods most of us tack weld them- & yes I have tack weld braces on the tie rods of the celica, that does help, but the bushings will not stand the weld. So I'm sticking with my story- the front ends of toyota's is JAP Junk! moswal- what size track do you race?

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 15, 2005 05:14 PM  
Well I have to admit that it is only a 3/8 mile track and we only get up to about 70 mph. We only have one wall along the spectators stands down the front stretch. I do extend the right lower control arm, but like I said, it is out of a Toyta Cressida and much beefier and I braced my welding.

Jap junk huh. I hate to tell you this but the metalurgy of the foreign stuff is very good. I haven't run into a wall or another driver at 100 mph so I will have to take your word for it that things break. All I can say is that I have never had a tie rod break. I have bent a stock lower control arm though, but I replaced it with the stuff mentioned earlier. I still say that the use of the Ford rack and pinion and ball joints is more because of availability and the way the mounts are made just for that unit. It is like the NASCAR guys all using the Ford rear end. It is strong, but there is also a record of reliablilty and a million parts for it, but even it breaks and not all drag racers us the Ford rear end either, but I am getting away from the main issue.

I have seen some hits and taken some that broke stuff, I just fortunately have not broken a tie rod, nor a rack, nor a spindle, transmission, rear end, rotor, axle, I even still use the stock lug nuts and bolts on my race rims. I really should go to the larger 1" nuts, but I have never had a lug nut or bolt break. We have a fast, banked tacky clay track. I raced at Conroe TX and during the feature I got put into the wall coming out of turn 4. I kept going, caught and spun the guy that hit me (stupid me), got put to the rear and still came in 4th. I bent the rim in, but the car still steered straight.

I am the only Toyota racing at my track against all Fords. We used to have a Nissan truck, but he left a few years ago. The year I won my first championship I only had 2 wins, but the consistancy I had brought me the championship. We always had 15 to 20 cars for the features and there was hardly ever a clean race. Not dirty racing, but a dry slick track that always caused a driver to spin out right in front of you it seemed...lol. Now with the clay it is faster and we also got the Hoosiers. A lot of speed in the corners. I never had a front suspension failure.

Oh well, they don't race the mini stocks anymore at my track and I hate it. So it is on to the modifieds and still trying to sell my Toyota, cheap jap front end stuff and all.

Tell us some more about your car and your racing. Just curious.

Russ

Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 16, 2005 08:52 PM  
10-4 I am greatful to all the responses. If I get the Monza I'll be up front till I break. Then I will probably be out for season. Parts are few and Expensive. Sounds Like Ford w/ Drag Racing. The Toyota Guy pulled his original offer of 800.00 and meet half way. That Leaves my all time favorite FORD, and the always strong Saab(Expensive though). The Saab seem good for a dry slick track especially in turns because of the RALLEY RACES 115mph around a corner in the snow. Still think well Built Ford Tough. Watch the unvieling at Crandall Big Chill Feb.03,2005. Looking to take this infamous Jason Riddle. He is the one to beat here in Texas. I just want to have a good run against him. No disrespect Mr. Riddle It is just that you are the man to beat.

Shawn #44 mini-stock Thunderbird Speedway

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 17, 2005 12:29 AM  
$800.00 for the Toyota! Just curious what the others went for and what they had in them and what your rules allowed. Going through a turn at 115 mph is cool, but more than likely it is with a 4 wheel drive and thin, made for snow, tires. Take a close look at them the next time they have a rally event on Speed.

If you want reliability and parts availability and something in common with most of the other racers, go with the Ford, (ouch, that hurt) then the Toyota. I have never been to a track where a gm was competitive. If you must go front wheel drive, at least go with either a VW or a Dodge. They at least are pretty plentiful and the Dodge offers a bigger motor and dealer gofast parts.

Of course that is just my opinion and I could be wrong.

Russ

Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 17, 2005 04:19 PM  
10-4 I appreciate the input there brother. I liked the Toyota but seller and just couldn't figure out what he wanted to do. He has alot of receipts and worked a 20R. Posted on whowon.com. Check it out you will probably be impressed. I don't want what everybody else is running. That is why I was so interested in the Toyota,Chevy, and Saabs. I have watched and been in many of Chevy or Ford is better. But now like in NASCAR Toyota has entered into the age old Friends don't let Friends drive _________. Wow who would have thaught?

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 17, 2005 04:36 PM  
I would like to see what is in the Toyota but I don't know what heading to look under at whowon.com. Any help there. There isn't a search function at that site. Thanks

Russ

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 18, 2005 05:21 AM  
As to the original question, "What would you do?" I still think you should buy my Toyota. That would keep you a little bit different, but with a good quality car, fast and able to find the parts you need for upgrades if you need to. If you really want to be different, go with a VW! One of the aircooled engined cars won the whole deal down at the $3000.00 to win mini stock race last year. Of course it was a tube framed, alcohol monster and it didn't walk away with the race, but it started up front and no one could pull it down the straights. Cornering was a different story though.

Oh well, just though I would keep on plugging............lol.

Russ

Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 18, 2005 01:00 PM  
the post is in karts and micros I think. His email is badcowboy17@yahoo.com I think. I'll double check to confirm, but thought you might find it with this add. info. Your car sounds great but way out of my price range at 2800.00. Looking to find a car and trailor for 2000.00 or less.
Thanks
Shawn

rnoswal53
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 120
posted January 18, 2005 02:37 PM  
Hmmmmm well ok. Thanks, I will try to find it. Good luck

Russ

Xtrem4U
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 144
posted January 19, 2005 06:08 PM  
If you can run up front in Texas, for a $2000.00 car with trailer, I need to head South! Can you really do that in Texas?

Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 19, 2005 08:36 PM  
Yea Brother:
Texas is pretty stricked on keeping the mini-stocks as close to stock as possible. Some Tracks wont even allow modified cams or headers. We get broke down and specs. checked at Thunderbird Speedway. Puts it in the driver's hands. But you still have some jerks that try and put $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 motors just to win 150.00 1st prize. Who would would have thunk it.

Here's your sign!!!
Shawn(Spazz)Martin

Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 19, 2005 09:53 PM  
Oh yea: FIY last year I got an 83 Ford mustang race ready $500.00 and a trailor for $500.00. Raced 6 races to finish in top 20 at track. Whats that tell you for Texas Tracks,and price of competition?

Shawn(Spazz)

Xtrem4U
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 144
posted January 20, 2005 08:04 AM  
Have I got a deal for you! 1978 or 1980 toyota celica & roll cage. Price $500.00! Runs good- smokes a little- You can drive it home. But unless you bring a pickup or trailer, we'll have to strap the roll cage to the top of the Celica. I'm located 172 miles, north of Dallas.

Shawn P Martin
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 33
posted January 20, 2005 09:28 PM  
I have a deal pending. If it dosn't go through I ma surely call you. Heared that its easy to get alot out of the toyota with stock bottom and worked head. I also see that the Chevy may actually be a little more plentiful then originally lead to believe. My partner may fall through so my deal in Irving may not work. Will keep both in mind. Thought I would have my ride for play day at Crandall January 23,2005. Still not painted, and waiting on buddy to fork over his cash for the 2nd car and trailor.
Shawn

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