Visit The Dirt Forum for More Information

Author Topic:   4-cyl race car
DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted February 12, 2005 09:23 PM  
Thinkin of building a "hornet" type 4-cyl car for my local track thats 1/6 mile dirt. I'm sure I want fwd but I'm not sure what. What kind of car would anybody suggest. I've heard Probes are good and anything with a quad4. Hondas and Toyotas already make up a majority of the field. Does an auto or manual trany matter much? Thanks.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted February 13, 2005 08:02 AM  
For a track that small, you want the smallest, lightest car you can get. A small, light car is going to beat the Quad-4's because they are going to have too much power and spin all the time unless they have a really good driver that can "feather" the throttle. They've also got a lot of extra weight to bring up to speed. I would recommend something like the Honda CRX or a Ford Festiva. (of course I'm partial to the Festiva)
I prefer a manual over an automatic transmission because they can be push started and will take a beating.
John

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted February 13, 2005 09:26 AM  
Well said Festy. As much as Id like to tell you to get a probe cause thats what I race, For a track that small it wouldnt do for ****. I have a turbo probe that I race(first gen-the boxy ones) and it does good in the quarter mile and larger tracks because it is good in the straights. Your never gonna beat the hondas in the corners with a probe. LIke he said the CRX would probably be the best bet or maybe a Pinto if you wanted american...but i suppose you said you want FWD. Festy would be the way to go

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted February 13, 2005 12:28 PM  
Seriously a Festiva? I have been thinkin maybe something VW. Those motors make lots of power and they're pretty nimble. What do you think? I said fwd because everything rwd has all kinds of problems in the tight corners, or maybe its just the drivers. I can get an 80 accord 2dr with an auto trans from a friend probably for free, if that might work? Thanks for your help.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted February 13, 2005 01:21 PM  
We run a Festiva on a 1/3 mile dirt track against Ford Probes, Escorts, Dodge Daytonas, Honda CRXs, Preludes, Pontiacs with Quad-4's and Chevy Berettas. We had 2 wins, 11 top 5's and 16 top 10's. We were 4th in points and that was with missing 2 races to go to Nascar races at Bristol and Michigan. If we hadn't missed those 2 races and had finished 4th in both, we would have been second in points. A Festiva is light and light=fast.
John


DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted February 14, 2005 10:01 PM  
Been gettin sorta interested in this Festiva idea. Are there any other wheels that can be used instead of the 12" pizza cutters. Wider, different offsets maybe, 13"? Thanks for your help.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted February 15, 2005 05:45 AM  
We run 13" wheels. Our rules state we can't cut the bodies so I roll about a 1" of the bottom of the fender under for clearance. There is a whole forum (much like this one) that is dedicated to Festivas. The address is: http://www.fordfestiva.com/
The site has just recently switched formats. "Forums" is the new section and EZ archives is the old section.
John

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

19J
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted February 15, 2005 09:43 AM  
Is the motor bone stock? We had one run our track once. Got smoked. Something happened didnt end up good for him. The radiator support was pushed back about 6" atleast.

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted February 15, 2005 04:41 PM  
If the guy's radiator support was pushed back 6", it's sounds like he got in a wreck. That may have had something to do with him having a bad finish.

I use a stock engine, but only the carbed version. I strip off all the smog ****, throw away the ECM, set the carb where I want it, not where a computer "thinks" it should be, and set the timing where I want it. I also use only the engines with solid valve lash adjusters. The hydraulic lifter engines tend to start to float the valves about 6800 rpms and I need a good solid run to at least 7000.
John

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

19J
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted February 15, 2005 05:44 PM  
Well yes i know he ended up getting in a wreck. He hit the wall in turn 4 i think. or the frontstretch wall. But he got creamed week in and week out before that. I ended up with the car and i wanna say that it was carburated but maybe not. It just wasnt fast. I dont think he turned his up for 5000 though.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted February 15, 2005 10:05 PM  
Festy46, I've read online that the 1.6 swap is pretty easy and stock appearing, do you run a 1.3 or 1.6?

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted February 16, 2005 07:40 AM  
quote:
Originally posted by 19J:
But he got creamed week in and week out before that. It just wasnt fast. I dont think he turned his up for 5000 though.

He either had a piece of junk or he couldn't drive. 2 years ago, my son and his buddy bought a Festiva with 150K+ miles and ran it at the end of the season. They didn't even remove the smog stuff. They just slapped a roll cage in it and went racing. New guys start last for the first 2 races so he had to start 24th in a 15 lap race. The first race he finished 18th. The second race 9th. We have a guy like your Festiva driver at our track. He's a heck of a likable driver, he just can't drive for $***. With our current car we run 5500 through the corners and 7000+ at the end of the straight.
John

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted February 16, 2005 07:44 AM  
quote:
Originally posted by DJR22:
Festy46, I've read online that the 1.6 swap is pretty easy and stock appearing, do you run a 1.3 or 1.6?


A 1.6? That sounds like a great idea.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted February 16, 2005 07:03 PM  
It's only cheating if you get caught. http://www.festivamotorsport.com/projectcars/festiva/part11.html

------------------
-stand on it-

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted March 21, 2005 11:10 PM  
After much searching for a festiva that was not still being driven daily I came across a 87 vw jetta coupe. It's no bigger than the rest of the cars that run at the track and had already been stripped out. It needs a little work but for the price I figured I couldn't go wrong. My friend even drove it about 10 miles home. The thing already drives like a go-cart.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted March 22, 2005 07:33 AM  
I've heard that the VW's have some great handling suspensions on some of them. I don't know if your particular model fits that category. As far as finding Festivas, check out the site http://www.fordfestiva.com/forum/index.php under Parts for sale. There is almost always some guy that thinks he can build up a hot one and halfway through gives up and sells it. I've picked up 3 cars from these guys that way. Also, eBay usually has some for sale.
John

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

19J
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted March 22, 2005 11:16 AM  
Festy where you from?

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted March 22, 2005 03:00 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by 19J:
Festy where you from?

Central PA. A little North of Williamsport.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

hiner racing28
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted March 24, 2005 08:19 AM  
I ran an '84 Honda Accord..it had a bone stock 1.8 with a Holley 2 barrel and it ran like a raped ape. I weigh about 165 on a good day and the total weight of the car with me in it was 1720 lbs. My car was 300 lbs lighter than the closest guy to me. it was fast for a bone stock motor with 130,000 miles on it but i kow they performance parts for it. Just my 2 cents

Champ2x36
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 29
posted April 03, 2005 01:50 PM  
I had always considered the Festiva an "econo-box" without much potential, but it looks like I'm gonna hafta re-think my position!

------------------
When the drops the stops!!

My website: www.geocities.com/champ2x36

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted April 03, 2005 05:15 PM  
Champ,
Thats a really cool website. I loved the story of the 57 chevy. My dad always talks about those days of the powerpack 283.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted April 04, 2005 05:54 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by Champ2x36:
I had always considered the Festiva an "econo-box" without much potential, but it looks like I'm gonna hafta re-think my position!


Here are some video clips from the 2004 season: www.sdfcomputers.com/festivavids.htm

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted April 04, 2005 09:02 PM  
My respect for Festivas has increased yet again. Way cool videos.

------------------
-stand on it-

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted April 06, 2005 09:55 AM  
Festy...that little thing moves. What have you done to that? We have a few that run up here in WI but they can do **** against the Honda CRX'x and Preludes. Heck, I have a Probe GT turbo (stock) and even I have trouble with the CRX's. I get em in the straights bu not in the corners!

I just watched the hit me video...FUNNY SH*T! Some of them guys really pushed their cars in the corners. That #20 looked to be the worst. Dang that is funny. The same kinda **** happens up here i guess but its still hilarious to watch. You had some pretty good saves in there. Just a givin 'er!

[This message has been edited by rallye26 (edited April 06, 2005).]

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted April 06, 2005 04:06 PM  
Those videos are of 2 cars. The car with white stripes on the hood and roof is our old car from 2003 that we use as a back up. It has a 16 valve 1.6 liter in it with a stock carb that was worked on by Dayton from Kinetic Performance. The car with the white roof and hood has a 1.6 liter 8 valve engine in it with a stock carb from KP. The best thing I found out about Festivas is that the carbed version will run without any type computer. Basically all you need is a "hot" wire to the coil and gas to the carb and it will run.

I had a retired engineer design the roll cage and it is tied in to the unibody to keep it stiff and corner flat. If you notice in the videos it corners without much body roll. The corner flagman commented one time that he was sure that "thing" was going to roll over as hard as it ran into the corners.

I can't take credit for the "saves". My son drives the car and I build it and video tape his races. He likes to watch the tape after a race because things happen so fast out on the track that sometimes you don't know what really did happened.


DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted April 07, 2005 01:30 PM  
Is there much of a differnce on the track between the single and dual cam...they both appear to be pretty quick.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted April 07, 2005 04:32 PM  
Horsepower wise the 2 engines are very close. The newer car (8-valve) has bigger, wider tires than the old one and also better struts and a change in the roll cage design to better support the rear shock towers. So consequently, it handles better and gets around the track a little quicker. The 16-valve engine is the SOHC version not the dual cam one.

Festivas use Mazda engines of a series known as a "B series". All B series engines will bolt up to the Festiva transmission with no alterations. These include the 1.1, 1.3, 1.6 and 1.8 liter. The 1.8 liter is about 7/8" longer than any of its "brothers" and needs a slightly modified motor mount on the right side of the car to fit. Most of the fuel injected versions require a BFH applied to the firewall or some cutting to clear the fuel injected manifold. The 1.3, 1.6 and 1.8 can all be found with DOHC except the 1.3 is only in Japan. I saw a picture of the engine bay of a Festiva with a DOHC. It was pretty impressive. Some of the B series engines can also be turboed.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted April 08, 2005 11:04 AM  
turboed festiva...OH MY GOD! That would be death on wheels. The would be crazy fast to put a turbo on such a tiny car. Hmm Im getting mad scientist like ideas here!

Tell your kid hes a **** good driver. Reminds me of me. My dad does all kinds of work on my car and I just put the petal to the boards. I should get some of my videos on the web but all mine are DVD's so I don't know how to do that. Even better would be the race that I got put in the wall at about 50 with my 91 escort GT. Took out 12 of the 25 cars that started the feature. A lot of people were ****ed at that guy that night. He didn't stick around to long.
My first race is tonight at Fox Ridge Speedway in Arcadia WI. I'll let you know how it went either tomorrow or Monday. Good luck to the Festy team and all others who may read this post.

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted April 08, 2005 12:39 PM  
I know of a guy that has a 1.6 turboed 8-valve
engine with a VJ11 turbo in his Festy. He drag races it and the best time I've heard for him is 13.3 seconds at 102 mph.

My kid's a computer tech and he says if your computer has a DVD player in it that all you need is some software and you can make your videos. He said his DVD player came with the software so it's possible if you have a DVD player in your computer that you already have what you need.

Good luck at the races. We have to wait another 4 weeks for our track to open.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted April 11, 2005 11:58 AM  
Well the first night went well for me. I went out for hot laps and my new set up worked like a dream. I just flew around the corners.
In the heat race I finished first in front of a 30 year veteran Honda driver. This guy has raced civic, crx'x since they were made. Granted he was in a stock car and mine is stock turbo, He is an excellent driver so I consider it an accomplishment to beat him.
In the feature I took second behind a guy with more than 8 times the money in his car as i got in mine so i wasnt dissappointed. I bent up the front end a little as I hit another probe as it bounced back off the wall. He blew a tire and sailed right up into the wall in front of me. I got him on the bounce back off.
The downside to the night is I locked my tranny up in third gear. It doesnt come out. Apparently its a common turbo probe problem. So I got that, a tie rod end, and an inner ball joint to fix by this friday. It will be done!
And about the video thing...I'll try it at home and if I cant I'll try it at work....just not sure of a website to put them on....maybe I'll create a free one.

Champ2x36
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 29
posted April 12, 2005 04:07 AM  
quote:
Originally posted by DJR22:
Champ,
Thats a really cool website. I loved the story of the 57 chevy. My dad always talks about those days of the powerpack 283.


Glad you liked it, there's a he** of a lot of my life represented in that website!

Ed

------------------
When the drops the stops!!

My website: www.geocities.com/champ2x36

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted April 12, 2005 05:19 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by rallye26:
Well the first night went well for me. I bent up the front end a little as I hit another probe as it bounced back off the wall. He blew a tire and sailed right up into the wall in front of me. I got him on the bounce back off.

We want video! We want video! We want video!
That was a good finish for a 30 car field. 30 cars is a good turn out for this early in the season. We usually have only about 15 + or - to start the season, but then it increases. Last year we had a total of 51 different cars during the season. They weren't all there the same night. Some were only there for a week or two or until they tore up their cars. I've got 3 more Friday nights at home before it's "party time".

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted April 13, 2005 07:52 AM  
Yeah my car was flying that night. I started pole in my heat and walked away with it. Lapped a couple cars in the process. Then I started 8th in the feature and finished 2nd. Not to shabby I thought. Lapped quite a few cars in the feature. I'll work on that video thing and let you know.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted April 14, 2005 03:29 PM  
I didn't even know Ford made a Turbo Escort. How much power are those rated at?

------------------
-stand on it-

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted April 15, 2005 10:43 AM  
You must have misunderstood, sorry. I had and 91 Escort GT that was a 1.8 DOHC. Now I have a Ford PROBE 2.2L turbo. It is rated at 145hp stock.

However I know ford did make a turbo escort in the 80's. I have no idea of specs though and good luck finding one of them things!

dirttracker98
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 284
posted April 17, 2005 04:54 AM  
I would try to find an older VW beetle or even an old mini~cooper,can be made real lite,or some of the newer rice~burners.

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted August 02, 2005 07:34 AM  
I made some new videos of the Festiva in the 2005 season including some in-car. The in-car volume is loud so turn down the volume on your speakers before playing. I didn't notice this until after I had finished them. http://www.sdfcomputers.com/festivavids.htm


------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

[This message has been edited by Festy46 (edited August 02, 2005).]

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted August 03, 2005 06:10 PM  
That Festiva never fails to impress. lol Man thats a lot of cars all on the track at once! Good news, my track opened back up and we went racing for the first time 2 weeks ago. I'll post a pic when I get a chance.

------------------
-stand on it-

[This message has been edited by DJR22 (edited August 03, 2005).]

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted August 05, 2005 06:08 AM  
I'm glad to hear you got your track back. Are you running that VW you said you bought in an earlier post? How does it handle?

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted August 07, 2005 03:00 PM  
Festy, yep runnin the old VW. When my sister's home with her camera I'll get a picture and show you how it handles...lol It's probably the fastest car down the straights, but pushes like a dump truck through the turns. Last night we broke the rf tie rod in practice and didn't get to race.

------------------
-stand on it-

[This message has been edited by DJR22 (edited August 07, 2005).]

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted August 11, 2005 09:48 PM  

 
Behold the finished product.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted August 14, 2005 07:50 AM  
Wow! Look at all that smooth sheet metal. Your car looks good. Unfortunately, the only smooth sheet metal left on Festy is the roof.


We had a guy get hurt at our track Friday night. The fireman cut the top off his car to get him out because he had a neck injury. All the kid's dad did was bit@h about the fireman ruining the car. What a great dad. Festy escaped that wreck with a "Day's of Thunder" move. He floored it, dove to the bottom and missed it by only a few feet as the car was coming down across the track. The car beside Festy T-boned the injured driver's car. The guy didn't get hurt too severely because I saw him walking around at the end of the night with a neck brace on.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted August 14, 2005 04:34 PM  

 
Roofs can always be welded back on I guess, but you're stuck with the neck you've got for life. Talk about going from zero to hero...I worked on the suspension set up all week and the car responded very well. The unusually rough B main kept us from advancing to the A but all in all it was by far the best night we've had. Here's a pic of the aftermath. Enjoy.

------------------
-stand on it-

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted August 15, 2005 09:07 AM  
Festy I love the videos. I've been watching a couple and am now downloading the rest. Very fun to watch. I wish I had a camera mounted in my car! I am currently 1st in points with the Probe with only TWO WEEKS LEFT. Im so close I can taste it. All I have to do is start the next two features and I pretty much have it wrapped up. Maybe I can try to get something up for everyone to watch. Wishful thinkin

fordsblow
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 46
posted August 16, 2005 02:50 AM  
Festy, I noticed in the in car view you don't have on racing gloves. What would you do if there was a fire you will need your hands to get out.

DJR22
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 111
posted August 16, 2005 11:26 AM  
Lots of tracks don't mandate gloves to be worn. I'm pretty sure racing gloves aern't even required in NASCAR.

------------------
-stand on it-

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted August 16, 2005 12:03 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by fordsblow:
Festy, I noticed in the in car view you don't have on racing gloves. What would you do if there was a fire you will need your hands to get out.

My son drives the car. I build it and video tape his races. I've ask him a long time ago about wearing gloves and he says he doesn't like the "feel" of the car through the gloves. He's 25 years old so he's old enough to make his own decisions. When I told him about your comment, he said "How many years have we been going to the races and how many blazing fires have there been? - none." There have of course been engine fires, but never any fully engulfed, totally destroyed cars. That's not to say it couldn't happen. Every person has to decide for themselves how much risk they are willing to take in life. Personally, I don't wear a seat belt in the family car, but if I get in a race car I pull the belts tight and then lunge forward to be sure there isn't some slack caught on something making them feel tight. Like I said, it all depends on how much risk you are willing to take.

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted August 16, 2005 07:26 PM  
quote:
Originally posted by rallye26:
Festy I love the videos. I wish I had a camera mounted in my car! I am currently 1st in points with the Probe with only TWO WEEKS LEFT. Im so close I can taste it. All I have to do is start the next two features and I pretty much have it wrapped up.

I picked up the in-car camera on eBay. I get a lot of my Festiva parts on eBay, too. There is always at least a 100 or more parts for sale. We have about 6 weeks or more left for racing including a 2-day event. We race Friday night all summer, but this year they are going to run the last 4 or 5 races on Saturday afternoon. It must be nice to win the championship. We go to 2 NASCAR races during the race season (Michigan & Bristol) and that means 0 points for those 2 weeks. That's kind of hard to make up. We're currently in 6th place, 18 points behind 5th, and 70 points behind 4th. That's not too bad considering we got no points for the week we went to Michigan in June. We're almost 400 points ahead of 7th place so we won't lose any positions by going to Bristol next week.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

rallye26
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted August 17, 2005 10:11 AM  
Yeah that is aways hard to make up points when you miss weeks. I haven't missed one yet. I could miss one and still probably be on top of points. I got a good buffer a couple weeks ago when the second place guy blew a spark plug before the race started. What did you search for for the incar camera...did you just type in In-car camera? That would be neat to watch. Get some more videos up...I don't know why but I just love watching these 4 banger races...Just so **** fun!

Festy46
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 59
posted August 17, 2005 06:27 PM  
That's what I did. I just typed in a search for in-car camera. Here's the link to the completed sale. As of today eBay has not removed it yet. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=21165&item=7508324100&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW#ebayphotohosting
I won't be able to make any new videos until after we get back from Bristol. Things are kind of hectic between now and when we leave next Tuesday night. Once we start racing on Saturday afternoons during the month of September, the in-car videos should be a lot better in the daylight instead of at night with less than great lighting.

------------------
Gas right. Brake left. No bumping.

Back to the Archives