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Sedan based Short course race car. Input wanted

lsuakme

Member
I've had the thought over the past few months of building a sedan/sports car based vehicle as a NZ Class 9 offroad racer (2wd/4wd cars, sedan bodies allowed) with it being solely dedicated to my local short course track for budget reasons. In its most simple form I want to lift the car a bit, cut the wheel wells, put bigger tyres on and possibly bigger shocks/stock shocks + spacers and go racing. Obviously there will be a roll cage and other safety parts but is this a feasible plan to build from a factory sedan platform and try reuse as much stock parts as possible? I'm a welder by trade so i can do most of the work myself and currently race circuit racing but this is a bit of a step into the unknown for me. The vehicles i would look most seriously at using would be Toyota Soarer/Lexus sc300/400, Nissan Skyline R32 (4 door), Mk3 Toyota Supra, AU/BA Ford Falcon 4.0, mid 90's Subaru of some sort all due to ease of parts and availability.

Rough ride height and inspiration of the idea, just unsure on how this particular vehicle would handle jumps

My local track, albeit looking backwards. 3 jumps the rest the stock bits would handle fine

i'm not after a meg dollars tube framed prerunner style build, just something cheap to have a bash in as im wanting to downgrade from my circuit racing because of the cost of it. Any info would be great. Cheers
 

Ol' Curmudgeon

RDC's resident crackpot
Not too sure any kind of off road racing can be enjoyable with "just something cheap."

How's a unibody vehicle with only a cage going to stand up to repeated jumping and bumping?

I don't see anyone doing that successfully in short course or desert racing anywhere.
 

PDANK Racing

Well-Known Member
Unibody would work, but you'll need to tie in a frame that will connect the front and rear subframes, and also use the cage to support it. Even a full frame vehicle needs the cage and additional bracing to support the correct spots or the frame will get bent or twisted. Trucks tend to be built stronger, so they are usually a better starting point. Regardless of what you start with, controls arms, spindles and other suspension parts will need to be strengthen or replaced with fabbed parts. You will need offroad specific shocks, no way around it, get kings, bilsteins , Swayaway or Fox, preferably from a local source that carries parts. Even buying a rancho nonrebuildable shock is a waste of money, even though it has enough travel. They won't handle the abuse and are junk after a race or two.


Looking through the rulebook at http://www.oranz.co.nz/ (assuming this is the right place) Class 7 and Challenger look like they would be pretty affordable. I race a similar VW based class, and it is cheap. Preseason prep is around $3000usd, and cost to keep it on the track during the season is easily affordable (I spent around $500 for repairs during the season).

Your class 9 only had 1 competitor last season, which would not really be that fun for racing. plus if the class grows, your cost to be competitive will also go up, because rules are unlimited.

Go to an event and talk with the teams, most guys will be upfront about how much they are spending, which will help you pick a class you can afford.
 

lsuakme

Member
Ive been in contact with one of the ORANZ class 8 teams that runs an SR20DET powered 2 seater pro lite and have the chassis plans for that too. Oranz.co.nz is indeed the right place. I'll have to look more into it, i'd like to keep away from buggies for now as im much more of a fan of trucks and the other factor is ive only got a 5mx5m garage so a car based build will fit. Also with a 4 door car i could fit 4 seats to take passengers as allowed at the club. Not really worried if im the only class 9 as most races are all in or i would be tagged in with another class like class 2 or 4 and im not chasing championships at this stage
 

51rcr

Well-Known Member
when you say a truck fan can you or do ya want to do like a early 90s FJ80? friend did a gas one up here(no Diesels in the states), had old man emu springs and he added extra shocks old school style. That thing is super tough. Then go do one of your desert races also, or just rip around.
 

lsuakme

Member
I actually have an XF Ford Falcon ute I'm looking into going about making to ORANZ Class 2 spec for short course racing as io was just gonna sell the ute thinking i couldnt do anything with it. 1986, 4.1 carbed i6 mated to a 3spd column automatic, 3.23:1 live axle, rear leafs front wishbone. class rules allow for a bit of a lift but suspension design must stay the same as must most components. figure this is the best i have to start off with as i already own the ute and it'll be cheap to do a 2" lift all round and cage it. Hell of a lot cheaper than my original class 9 idea
 
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lsuakme

Member
when you say a truck fan can you or do ya want to do like a early 90s FJ80? friend did a gas one up here(no Diesels in the states), had old man emu springs and he added extra shocks old school style. That thing is super tough. Then go do one of your desert races also, or just rip around.
I prefer things like pro lites or prerunners or things like that. we don't have desert races in nz as theres not really any desert i know of. whatever i build will be for shortcourse racing
 

51rcr

Well-Known Member
build that ute for sure. ya own it. in line 6 pry pretty tough to. you will have almost as much fun in it as a top class truck. they just cost more and have to go faster for the same ride. you can scare your friends in the ute at a way slower speed haha. most of the stuff we do is lap races, from 3 miles to 38. no real desert. prairie to 2 track through the woods and trees.
 

lsuakme

Member
at the moment mine looks like pic 3 (555) but im slowly stripping it down. pic 4 (508) is pretty much exactly what i want it to look like. The one thing holding me back from going full out into this build straight away is how it will survive jumps. i get there will be more wear and tear than a standard ute and i want to jump it but i dont wanna be replacing steering racks and suspension components every round. other than that its dead set to become an offroad racer and my circuit car will go up for sale
 

dbq61537

Well-Known Member
I'd use a Subaru Outback, already has the 4-wheel drive. Car is pretty easy to find, and are getting cheaper every day.


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lsuakme

Member
I'd use a Subaru Outback, already has the 4-wheel drive. Car is pretty easy to find, and are getting cheaper every day.


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if i didnt already have a falcon ute wasting away in my garage i would definitely be looking into that. it was supposed to be a daily driver after a small rust repair but found out it had way more rust than i first thought and bought a falcon sedan instead as a daily driver.
 

lsuakme

Member
at the moment mine looks like pic 3 (555) but im slowly stripping it down. pic 4 (508) is pretty much exactly what i want it to look like. The one thing holding me back from going full out into this build straight away is how it will survive jumps. i get there will be more wear and tear than a standard ute and i want to jump it but i dont wanna be replacing steering racks and suspension components every round. other than that its dead set to become an offroad racer and my circuit car will go up for sale
If anyone knows more details on the wheels/suspension of the 508 ute or know rougly what it would be in terms of how much its been lifted and what size wheels please do say. don't want to go over 2 inch lift and a 31 inch tyre for cost and so i can keep as much stock as possible
 
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