Does anybody have any suggestions for a beginner rally car? I have been considering a toyota celica gt or possibly a honda crx or civic. I am on a very limited budget and need a good base car to start. AnNy help would be greatly appreciated.
I am a beginner, and I am building a car. I am building a Toyota FX16. Why?
1.) Light. 2110 lbs (Stock).
2.) Fast. There are many Japanese-spec 20 valve engines available cheap; making 150 hp stock.
3.) Plentiful. Junkyards 'round here have bunches of 'em.
4.) Cheap. Paid $200 for mine; and it was running.
5.) Parts Commonality. Toyota Corolla, Chevy Nova from the same years are nearly the same.
6.) Spacious. PLENTY of room inside for the cage.
7.) Upgradeable. 6 Speed transmision, 200HP engine, turbo, supercharger, etc.
8.) 4 Wheel MacPhersons. I am building custom struts, will make available to ???
9.) Nimble. 95.7" wheelbase easy to handle in the woods.
10.) FRONT WHEEL DRIVE.
There's 10 reasons. It wasn't my first choice for a project, but it has a valid rally history and the 10 reasons above are hard to refute. There are probably several cars that meet the description above. Find one you like and go for it!
BTW, if you want to watch an absolute rookie get started building, I am documenting my FX16 build up. I begin the cage installation tonight. <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.timthedriver.com/toyota_home.htm>Click here</A> to see the progress so far.
Sweet!! I just looked at your website for the buildup and it looks like you have a great start. I may have to find my own FX, especially if they are so cheap, and upgradeable. Good luck on the car and keep me posted. I'll let you know if I come up with something to wrench on.
The cage is in! I had never even seen tubing being bent, yet this turned out pretty good. There's still a bunch of gussetting and a few other straight bars to install, but it's 80% there. It took 15 hours to get to where it is.
There are no secrets to this. It is apparent to me that with the right tooling, anyone can build a rally car. Pretty-much everything is shown on my website, but if anyone wants my opinion feel free to ask!
Actually I am in Tucson. I am in Phoenix quite a bit cause my girlfriend lives there. Tim, that'd be cool if you wanted to hook up and talk cars, or anything else with wheels and internal combustion. I was a mechanic for 6 years and built high performance street cars at my shop back in Florida, so I'm fairly good with technical stuff. Let me know.
I think you cant over look a pickup as the perfect rally rig. I race a Toyota Pickup and the thing is bomb proof. As far as if they can go fast? the current Stock class champ and always in the top 10 OA is in a Toyota pick as well.
1 strenth compared to a unibody
2 frame to build cage from -safe
3 aftermarket following is huge
4 rear wheel drive
5 oh did I mention they are tough as hell
6 resale (can sell as rally or convert to off-road)
Ah just an option, I can say the little cars can fly aswell but the rally roads in the SoPac region are rough and the truck just seams to take a beating with less damage which equals less money spent fixing. I would love to put some time in a car to compare the two. Neg points are
1.weight to power
2 wheel base ( in the tight stuff, fast its a plus)
3 back is light, less traction
4 trucks cost a little more in the begining
Marshall has some good points. A truck was definitely higher on my list than the FX. In fact, Marshall and "V8Ranger" may recall some email traffic from me on this issue. Coming from a desert racing background made the truck thing a natural for me. BUT, a front wheel drive car is the best stepping-stone to an AWD car. And, as we all know, AWD is at the top of the heap. The braking and steering is similar between FWD and AWD. RWD is a whole different animal. All that said, I still look at the trucks with some amount of envy. Marshalls is a great example. By the way, the driver he refers to as always being top 10 OA, has MANY years of experience rallying. There's no substitute for experience.
The traction thing is a biggie too. From where I was filming the Gorman Rally, I could see/hear all the trucks (there were only 2 or 3) spinning their wheels going up the hill. Some had to back up and get more momentum to make it. But, you can also maximize the suspension for the rough stuff and be faster there than a car could be. Which compromise do you want to make? No vehicle is perfect.
I had a few corners at gorman that I almost came to a stop because of wheel spin, so it is a concern. As far a handling goes, we have a little test track on a friends ranch. I ran my 2001 Tacoma in 4x with the rear locker on and it was the best handling thing I have driven. I would drift and bring the rear around with a flick but would strighten out with zero over steer. It really made me upset because I took 10sec off my rally trucks best time (only 2 minute lap times) on my second lap. I have also done a few laps in my buddies Sub RS ( stock daily driver) and it was much different from the truck. Had to use the E-break or left foot to steer the thing, and nkt any faster than the Tacoma. Do the real deal rally cars run a limited or locked rearend? I do know my next rally project is going to be 4 wheel drive (well if the Lotto thing works out)
The all-trac is a groovy car. There are several people racing them. Go to SpecialStage.com and do a search for it. Before you buy one, look into the class structure. Because it's AWD, you'll be competing against turbo sub's, evo's, and eclipse's. Without some radical engine work, you won't have a chance.
I checked special stage.com earlier and guess what, there is a post on there about beginner cars too. Some of them are 323GX, XR4ti, mitsu eclipses (2WD and AWD) SOme preach RWD for a beginner car, some preach FWD, and still some preach AWD. I think whatever is in your budget and has a decent history of use is acceptable. The lower the budget, the cheaper the car, the fewer the races, the less broken parts, reverse that for a big budget. I am notorious for buying beaters and fixing them up. It's what I can afford to do and as the car gets better, so do I with my driving skills.
There ya go.
One thing about the Eclipse: I tried that already. Unless you're about 5'5" or less, there isn't much room next to your helmet after the cage goes in. You'll have to get those expensive "rally-style" fiberglass seats to fit. I put a set of Beard Ultra seats in mine. Big mistake.
(BTW, I blew up the Eclipse motor and sold the car rather than fixing the engine)
The 323 is popular, so are VW Golf's and RX-7's. A co-worker is selling an RX-7 for $500 if you want that, I can hook you up.
The RX-7 sounds like a possibility. Does the car run or will it need a motor? Just wondering. Thanks for the update on the Eclipse. I was considering one, but since I'm 6'2 190lbs, it would be a very tight squeeze. If he still has the car for sale when I get home from my 2 months straight of business travel, it sounds like a great deal. How's the car coming? Any words of wisdom for a newbie like me?