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Making the car slow? (N/A conversion for Rally)

Muskrat

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Joined
Jun 13, 2004
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2,107
Location
Lexington, KY
Don't lynch me just yet, there's method to my madeness.

So I've been thinking for a while I want to get into Rally, and it looks like I may have the means to do so in the next year or two, so (being bored at work) I've started researching what it will take.

I'd like the compete with the Galant, however looking over the rules and regs. for Rally America, unlicensed driver's are only allowed to compete in Production and Open Light classes.

This doesn't bode well for the Galant, as in turbo trim it doesn't meet the adjusted cc req for Production Class (1997cc * 1.3 for AWD * 1.7 for Turbo = 4413 adj. cc. Max for class is 2650 adj. cc) and O/L class is AWD and N/A only.

Originally I was thinking of just buying another car to enter Production class with, then switching once I attained my license. But then I got to thinking, it'd be much more economical to prepare just one chasis for rally, and it'd be relatively easy/inexpensive to convert to a decent N/A setup. Once a license is obtained, convert the car back to turbo and run in Open class.

On top of the normal prep work, I believe all you'd need to do is:
Swap to some rediculous CR pistons. Magnus claims to have 12.5:1 available.
Build a tubular header to bolt to the turbo exhaust.
Possibly add water injection.
Larger cam's.
Intake Pipe.

DSMLink could be used to tune it (all ready have).
Cyclone manifold (again, already have) could help with down low power. Basically this would end up being similar to the AMG Galant's set-up.

So for the cost of a decent base car to start with for Production class, I could build this, and then retain all the turbo parts for a quick conversion after (with the some modification to meet class rules).

Any thoughts or suggestions? Especially from guys who already compete in Rally events.
 

HHIVR4

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Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Messages
5,446
Location
Hilton Head Island SC

A Galant GSX would probably be a better starting point.For the money it would cost you to convert the vr4 and build an na motor you could probably get a Galant GSX.That way when your ready for open class you will already know how to drive and have the option to turbo the gsx if you wanted to.
 

Bimmubishi

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Jul 15, 2003
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5,702
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
What about buying a Japanese AMG motor. Not great for competition but cheap and then you could put yours back in later. I've seen them around. I don't think there's a point in trying to assuage power from the NA motor. A lot of money for a temporary situation.
 

Muskrat

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Jun 13, 2004
Messages
2,107
Location
Lexington, KY
I'm not really following your logic, could you explain more? How would it be cheaper to start with a GSX and then turbo that later, vs just fitting high compression pistons in the VR4 and nixing the turbo. Especially because I would have to buy all the turbo components, instead of just having them in storage. I have a lot of spare parts, but not enough for a complete turbo setup /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Engine swap is another idea, but again, what's the benefit over swapping pistons? I'll be tearing the engine down anyway and fitting new bearings and gaskets/seals to ensure durability anyway.
 
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DR1665

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Oct 19, 2005
Messages
4,641
Location
Iowa City, IA
Here's the easiest solution: Don't run RA events your first year. NASA does not prohibit rookies from driving turbocharged AWD vehicles.

Barring that, if you get out and rallyx the car enough times, you might be able to get a waiver through RA if you contact them directly.

1. RA doesn't want average Joes running what they brung. They want celebrities and ESPN coverage.
2. Production GT (PGT), loosely translated: If the rules don't explicitly say you CAN do something, then it's illegal.
3. Open, loosely translated: If the rules don't explicitly say you CAN'T do something, then it's legal.

I'm ( s l o w l y ) building 195 for Open and will be running strictly NASA events. The things I've heard about RA over the years, and their responses to issues I've raised personally, are enough that I do not wish to support them at all. I don't even volunteer at RA events anymore.

Kudos on building a rally GVR4. It's what they were made to do in the first place. Just remember that all this is supposed to be about having FUN. You want the most fun for the least money and stress. Rally-Anarchy.com is your friend. Read, read, and read some more. Keep us posted on the build.

While we're on the subject, here's some GVR4 rally-related reading for you. It is Galant VR4 Month on Gearbox Magazine, after all... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Ross Cox, aka: Thirsty on GalantVR4.org
 
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Muskrat

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Joined
Jun 13, 2004
Messages
2,107
Location
Lexington, KY
Hey thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of the NASA Rally Sport events. I'll be looking into it. Like I said, this is probably a year or 2 away from the build starting, just excited about it now (and was bored).

RA may like the big names like Block and Pastrana to show, but they were certainly pushing for first time rally drivers (or at least their announcers were) at the events I've been to. Any expansion of the sport is a good thing, right?

This season I plan to get out and autocross more, and start attending some RallyX events.

I appreciate your advice and am definitely taking it to heart. Kudo's yourself on the build, do you have any info on it? I say if you're going to race these things, why not do what they were intended for?
 

cheekychimp

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Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
7,333
Location
East Sussex, U.K.


$650-USD but the shipping would kill it for you!!!

Just joking, upon closer inspection, I think it is only an 1800 anyway but the routing looks like it could be done fairly easily as you stated.
 
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Rally America has been stingey with their waivers, so I doubt they would let you rally in open class with just some rallycrosses under your belt.

Having said that, I looks like there are more NASA rallies near you then R-A rallies.

Here's what I would do. Do whatever it takes to get on the stages as quickly and cheaply as possible. You can find cheap rallycars around right now(theres a golf gti on specialstage.com right now for $3500). the easiest thing is to buy one already built and start with that. EVERYONE will tell you to buy your first and then build your own after that using what you have learned. who knows, you might like 2wd cars. they are cheaper to run, easier on tires and suspension, easier to fix, and the competition is closer(at least were I race in R-A). I wanted to build my gvr4, but I got my Datsun instead. It is way cheaper and arguably more fun than the gvr4.

The other thing is, unless you stick huge ammounts of money in a gvr4, it won't be competitive. If you stick 6-8k in a 2wd car, you will have one of the best 2wd cars around that will beat many 4wd cars.

In any case, have fun, go fast and take chances /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

RedTwo

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Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
1,917
Location
New Zealand
RWD N/A VR4 gravel spitting beast! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Looks like the only way you'd get a turbo is with a 1550cc - so a mirage?
Not that one rally school gives me much of a fact based opinion - I'd suggest starting with a FWD car.
 

DR1665

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Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
4,641
Location
Iowa City, IA
Jimmer makes an excellent point. The debate over buying a RTR car and building your own goes back and forth. There are merits to both camps. It's one of the reasons why we make a point of asking the question to everyone we interview on Rally Gearbox Magazine.

Buying your first rally car:
PROS: Could be RTR. Should be decently sorted. Generally comes with some spares. Might need some minor updating.
Enter the next rally and have a blast.
CONS: Could need substantial updating. You might not be familiar with the platform, making repairs (more) time consuming and stressful.
Could DNF on the first event you enter.

Building your first rally car:
PROS: You know the platform like the back of your hand. You're well-connected within the platform-specific community for spares, tech, and support. When you finally roll up to your first MTC, you know the car is ready.
CONS: Start with the wrong car and you're going to spend a LOT more money. If your budget isn't the best, building your own car can take FOREVER. Since you spend so much time and money trying to complete the car, the longer it takes, the less worth it your dream seems to get. Also, your higher level of attachment means you're likely to try to "save" the car when you do race, making you slower.

I'm sticking with my plan to build a GVR4 because, as a long time member of the greater Mitsubishi community, I hope to share my experiences with other Mitsubishi owners and maybe inspire more Mitsubishi owners to explore rally - be that in a Mitsi or something else. ANYTHING to get more people into the greatest form of racing in the world.

Now, if I WASN'T such a dedicated Mitsubishi enthusiast, I would probably buy my first car and go out and race. It's more fun to finish last in a slow car than to never start in a fast one. Besides, as my rally mentor Kris Marciniak once told me, "When you can finish the race without lifting off the throttle, THAT'S when you need to think about a faster car." The driver/co-driver dynamic makes for more speed than any restricted turbocharged car.

What would I build if I wasn't dyed-in-the-wool Mitsubishi?
Assumptions: Decent rally car prep for log book with the most basic of performance mods should run you about $6000. The bulk of this is having the cage installed, but there's mud flaps, tires (2 sets minimum), upgraded brake rotors/pads, fresh struts, seats, harnesses, helmet, tripmeter, skid plates, and so on.

1. Volvo 244. You can buy RUNNING, DRIVABLE 244s for $700, rollers for less. It's a 2.3L RWD with 30 years of aftermarket support. Drop $6000 worth of prep into a 200 and you will have a tank. When you need to go faster, you can EASILY turbocharge the car for more power.

2. Ford Sierra/Merkur XR4Ti. Factory turbocharged, RWD. These cars DOMINATED BTCC racing in their prime. There are metric shittons of information out there on how to prep a Sierra for mo'sport. They're not as common as the Volvos, but I've seen running Xrattys for under a grand on Craigslist.

Your first priority should be getting on the stages. Barring that, if you STILL decide to build a Galant, strike the common, street tuner mentality from your mind. If you focus on the usual turbo, exhaust, tuning - POWER - stuff, you will never get there.

Get your cage installed. Get your seats. Get some good brakes. Get your under car protection in place. GET OUT THERE AND RALLYCROSS THE BEAST. Get as much seat time as you can. Prep the car to the mechanical minimums to compete. Once the car is legal, only seat time will allow you to set the car up for performance.

This is all a YMMV post, since I've been "building" my car for rally since about 2005 and all I've got to show for it is a partially stripped street car, but I'm really working on getting things together in the next year or two.

I recently decided to sort of "give up" on rally in a way, but moreover, to give up on fully prepping the car for rally before I do anything else. I've broken my plan down into stages. Stage I is underway today, but I hope to be into Stage IV by the end of April. It's getting close. If you wanted to see how I've tried to break it down into more manageable stages, the post is here.

Anyway, hope this helps.
 

Muskrat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2004
Messages
2,107
Location
Lexington, KY
Really good info, thanks a lot guys. Buying a car already set-up and trying to learn it may be a better move, and will def get me on the stages earlier. As long as it doesn't get wrecked can always recoup some of the cost later, by selling it to another beginner, too. Or just find a decent, inexpensive rental. I've seen rental Gulf's at most of the Rally's I've attended. Not sure where to find them though. Google search net's me 6-10K per event Evo's and Sti's

For now I think I'll just go with what I intended for this season - getting the Galant ready for Auto and Rally X, and try and get a few track days in. I'll be moving in July, hopefully for the last time in a while, so I'll start working on my rally dreams once that get's done.
 
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