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84-87 suspension/brake upgrades for autocross by pontiacfierokid1985
Started on: 06-23-2013 09:20 PM
Replies: 25 (1846 views)
Last post by: mcguiver3 on 07-03-2013 11:21 AM
pontiacfierokid1985
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Report this Post06-23-2013 09:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiacfierokid1985Click Here to visit pontiacfierokid1985's HomePageClick Here to Email pontiacfierokid1985Send a Private Message to pontiacfierokid1985Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
(85 fiero gt 2.8 5 speed getrag conversion) Ok so its that time in new england where its nice, sunny, an hot also that local autocross clubs are starting up im actually in the process of registering with a club to do autocross. Im also in the process of doing upgrades to the fiero front an rear suspension plus doing a brake upgrade.

What are some of the best upgrades to do on a budget for suspension and brakes i know the grand am/beretta brakes are best around which im in the process of.

Im also using the stock 2.8 with a getrag 282 5 speed set up, tires are the stock 15 inch cross lace rims

Another question what would be the best alignment setup for autocross

Any info would help out so please leave tons of feedback
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Patrick
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Report this Post06-23-2013 09:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The best money you can spend will be on tires. All season street tires won't cut it. You'll be squealing around corners going nowhere fast slow. I run 225/50/16 Kumho Ecsta XS tires. They're fantastic. Allows my duke to beat a lot of much more powerful cars. Bought them new on eBay for $426 shipped.

Installing a rear sway bar is cheap and very effective. I put a front sway bar on the back of my '84. Made a big difference in handling. Got rid of the understeer.

Lowering the car might be a matter of personal preference, but I cut the springs all around and installed inexpensive Monroe Sensa-Trac struts/shocks. I love how the car feels. My 93 year old father finds the ride kind of rough, but that's his problem.

Your stock brakes are fine for autocross. You're not on the track long enough for them to heat up and fade.

From one weekend ago...



I was hesitant to post this video, as last weekend was not a duke-friendly course. There were a couple of very tight corners that I had no power to accelerate out of. Anyway, here it is... filmed in Hi-Def 3D!

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06-23-2013).]

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pontiacfierokid1985
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Report this Post06-23-2013 10:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiacfierokid1985Click Here to visit pontiacfierokid1985's HomePageClick Here to Email pontiacfierokid1985Send a Private Message to pontiacfierokid1985Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Not to bad of a run an u said ur using the stock iron duke wow not to bad now what do u mean a rear sway bar how do i do that since the 84-87 wasnt offered with one im gonna do the beretta brakes anyway since this my street car/ dd car what about poly bushings will that help out i just did poly front upper an lower control bushings with new lower an upper ball joints also poly sway bushings a endlinks
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Report this Post06-23-2013 10:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pontiacfierokid1985:

Not to bad of a run an u said ur using the stock iron duke wow not to bad


Yeah, it really galls some of the other drivers to find out that their expensive new 300 HP machine just got beat around the track by a 29 year old 90 HP 4-banger Fiero.

 
quote
Originally posted by pontiacfierokid1985:

what do u mean a rear sway bar how do i do that since the 84-87 wasnt offered with one


Lots of info on that in this forum, but you can check the thread from my local Fiero club's forum Here. (Make sure to read both pages.)

The poly bushings you installed definitely won't hurt handling. If your rubber bushings were worn and loose, then you'll certainly notice an improvement. I still have rubber control arm bushings, but they're in good shape.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06-23-2013).]

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pontiacfierokid1985
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Report this Post06-24-2013 10:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiacfierokid1985Click Here to visit pontiacfierokid1985's HomePageClick Here to Email pontiacfierokid1985Send a Private Message to pontiacfierokid1985Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That is a great write up on the rear sway bar install ill def do that hopefully ill be able to go to the bome yard on thursday an pick one up
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Blacktree
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Report this Post06-24-2013 12:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would suggest tires and a rear sway bar to start. You also need to go thru the suspension and make sure everything is in good working order. I wouldn't worry about brake upgrades yet.
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Report this Post06-24-2013 01:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Lambo nutSend a Private Message to Lambo nutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:






I watched the video and looked like it could make a person dizzy!
How do you know where to go on a course like that? Does everyone get to walk it first? It is a standard set up used at most of these event?
You can probably tell I don't have a clue on these races.

Kevin
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pontiacfierokid1985
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Report this Post06-24-2013 01:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiacfierokid1985Click Here to visit pontiacfierokid1985's HomePageClick Here to Email pontiacfierokid1985Send a Private Message to pontiacfierokid1985Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yea that course is kinda funky i dont know why they would have people standing on the track telling u which way to go that is a big unsafe hazard what would happen if a car spun out an hit the person that track would get shut down an for the brake upgrade im doing it anyway just cause its better braking while driving through town or on the highway ive had the fiero stock brakes lock up on me a couple of times an almost hit someone or something because of it locking up
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Report this Post06-24-2013 01:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mattman134Click Here to Email mattman134Send a Private Message to mattman134Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am running in SSM with my 86gt. It has 3800sc, 91 beretta brake upgrade, poly bushings everywhere (CRADLE is important!) and performance alignment. For camber I have -2 in te rear, -1.3 in the front(maxed out) and 0.0 toe all around. I need to put the front at -2 camber and about 1/4 degree toe out in the front for the best handling, but it is twitchy and tramlines on the highway now. Lol it depends on what you want to do. If you are going for a daily driver, use the specs that I have. If you are race only, then use -3 camber rear, -2 camber front, 1/4 degree toe out in front and about 1/8 toe IN in the rear. This helps keep the rear end planted and still allows you to use throttle to help you steer out of a turn
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mcguiver3
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Report this Post06-24-2013 02:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm in Ct and we AX every other weekend down here.
We will be at Thompson Speedway July 28 & August 4 & 18
That's not too far for you is it?
My 88 is set up for AX & Track days but have a buddy with an 86 that I built
a few years ago with everything but the kitchen sink thrown into it.
Rear bar is a good start, take a front bar and mount it in the rear.
Most mount it under the sub frame but I have it mounted at the rear on a custom bracket.
Suspension/brakes, I believe are the most important starting points, shocks, springs, lowering, etc.
A lot of guys boost horse power and put on tires, but unless the suspension and brakes are done first
You will over use the car and problems will occur.
If you need any help give me a shout.
Here is a pic of the 88 at the last event...........

If I can get a few of the 86 I will post them.

Bob
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FFIEROFRED
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Report this Post06-25-2013 08:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FFIEROFREDClick Here to Email FFIEROFREDSend a Private Message to FFIEROFREDEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Rule # 1. READ the RULE book. Don't plan ANY changes untill you read the book.

Rule #2 Pass tech.

here is the deal, Some times changes can put you in a race tire class with the bad boys before your car is close to running that fast. My fiero, with the chevy V8 is so far out in left field for SCCA rules I have to run "XP". "XP" is a for all the miss fits, hotrods, hand made cars, but a least I have some body to race most of the time.

rear sway bar is a needfull thing. sticky tires also. I would never try to cheat, ( you can't in "XP" ) but I painted all my red poly bushings flat black. The front tires tip out when the body rolls. That is a killer for a fiero. Hard to get wide tires to work when they are up on the out side edge of the tread.
GO, Have FUN!
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Patrick
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Report this Post06-25-2013 11:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Lambo nut:

I watched the video and looked like it could make a person dizzy!
How do you know where to go on a course like that? Does everyone get to walk it first? It is a standard set up used at most of these event?
You can probably tell I don't have a clue on these races.


The course changes at every event. The layout for this particular course is a little different than most autocross events as this place also doubles as a facilty to train cops to drive. So there's a whole lot more cones on the tarmac than you'd normally see at an autocross.

At the start of the day you're given a map of the course, and yes, the more times you walk the course the more your brain (usually) absorbs it. Having said that, on my first run I got lost coming out of the sweep in the upper right corner. I didn't have a clue where I was supposed to go next... and I came to a complete stop. I finally clued in and carried on. I was fine for the rest of the day, but some poor guys (and gals) just can't seem to memorize the course and they continue to go the wrong way time and time again. So autocross is not just about driving fast, it's also about remembering where you're supposed to go!



 
quote
Originally posted by pontiacfierokid1985:

Yea that course is kinda funky i dont know why they would have people standing on the track telling u which way to go that is a big unsafe hazard what would happen if a car spun out an hit the person that track would get shut down


Heh heh, you are new at this aren't you. Those people are not casually standing around telling the drivers where to go. They're standing at specific (safe) locations on the track to pick up cones that get knocked over, and to report to the timer (using a walkie-talkie) when that occurs (and/or report when a driver takes the wrong route). As a matter of fact, this is what you'll be doing when your group is not driving.

You've got much to learn grasshopper, but it's a lot of fun. I really enjoy it.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06-25-2013).]

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Lambo nut
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Report this Post06-25-2013 11:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Lambo nutSend a Private Message to Lambo nutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

The course changes at every event. The layout for this particular course is a little different than most autocross events as this place also doubles as a facilty to train cops to drive. So there's a whole lot more cones on the tarmac than you'd normally see at an autocross.

At the start of the day you're given a map of the course, and yes, the more times you walk the course the more your brain (usually) absorbs it. Having said that, on my first run I got lost coming out of the sweep in the upper right corner. I didn't have a clue where I was supposed to go next... and I came to a complete stop. I finally clued in and carried on. I was fine for the rest of the day, but some poor guys (and gals) just can't seem to memorize the course and they continue to go the wrong way time and time again. So autocross is not just about driving fast, it's also about remembering where you're supposed to go!



Thanks for the info.
I could see where this sport could be a problem for someone with a short term memory!

Kevin
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Patrick
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Report this Post06-26-2013 12:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Lambo nut:

I could see where this sport could be a problem for someone with a short term memory!


What sport?
.
.
.
.
.
.

...
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mcguiver3
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Report this Post06-26-2013 07:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yea, the down side to any AX event is that you will have to do a work session.
More than likely at a flag station chasing cones.
I believe SCCA runs in groups by class so when you are not running you are working.
Our club does things a bit different.
We run numerically and everyone gets a 1/2 hour work assignment only.
This allows drivers time to adjust their cars throughout the day and have some down time to socialize.
It does present an issue if it starts to rain and you take a run in the rain when your comp. may not have too.
But that is a rarity.
A previous post is correct about getting teched and about reading the rule book.
It is a lot of fun when you can place your car in a competitive class and be competitive.
I run in F Prepared and often get bumped to X Prepared. Cobra replica with 350 HP, Full blown Turbo Miata 300 + etc.
Get my A#@ creamed, but it is still a bunch of fun.

Bob
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pontiacfierokid1985
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Report this Post06-26-2013 04:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiacfierokid1985Click Here to visit pontiacfierokid1985's HomePageClick Here to Email pontiacfierokid1985Send a Private Message to pontiacfierokid1985Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
hhhhhhmmmmmm i havent got issused the book yet on the instructions and the rules but ill definitely study them when i get it like i said im still getting looked at for the registration to see if i even get qualified for that club they are really scricted about who can join
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Report this Post06-26-2013 09:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What club are you looking to run with?
Is it an SCCA sanctioned club? marque club? Bunch of guys/gals running stuff club?
Most clubs do use SCCA classing and rules. I think the info is available on line too.
Our club site is www.cartct.com
Lots of info there for the newbie or message me if you need any info.
I'm currently the club president, been doing this stuff for over 15 years and playin with the Fiero for 20

Bob
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Report this Post06-26-2013 09:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mcguiver3:

Most clubs do use SCCA classing and rules.


Fortunately, most of the events I attend don't bother with proper classification. We're just there to see how fast we can go without knocking over all the cones.

If I remember correctly though, I believe my '84 duke is in STS.

Whatever class it's supposed to be in, I don't have a chance to "win" it with 90 HP... so I participate just to gain experience and to enjoy myself.

However, I do have a 5-spd '88 Formula in the works. It'll be nice getting a bit of a boost in power after driving the duke at these events for the last three years.
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Report this Post06-26-2013 10:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FFIEROFREDClick Here to Email FFIEROFREDSend a Private Message to FFIEROFREDEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In SCCA SOLO II rules the fiero runs in "H" stock ( the last time I looked ) that is the slowest class. Any fiero, 4 or 6, any year. Cars have improved in 30 years. You will learn more in the 2.5 fiero. It is NOT a HP contest. It is a "drivers skill" contest. When I started to auto cross in south cal. I used my 2 year old chevy Vega GT ( 110 HP ) for 2 years untill I got the vet running. It was a under powered, under streering, slow car. But I learned a lot about getting a under proforming street car around the autocross lot. And I HAD FUN!
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Report this Post06-26-2013 10:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FFIEROFRED:

In SCCA SOLO II rules the fiero runs in "H" stock ( the last time I looked ) that is the slowest class. Any fiero, 4 or 6, any year.


Doesn't it make a difference though if something is not "factory"... such as cut springs or different diameter wheels than "stock", etc?
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Report this Post06-28-2013 02:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for OneSlowFieroSend a Private Message to OneSlowFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Not to hijack the thread but I am in a very similar position. I have a 87 GT that is pretty much stock and I'd like to start doing some autocross this season and I'm not sure how to go about things. It would seem the consensus is to start by getting good tires and bolting in a rear sway bar. My tires were old and dry rotted so I have a set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 on the way from tirerack.com for only $131 a tire and an $80 rebate. I went with 245/40R18 all the way around because that's what my rims currently have mounted from the PO. They rub a little on the front wheel well shrouds but I may try and modify them. I recall reading about someone selling sets of racing sway bars on the forum awhile back. How much more of an advantage would that kind of a setup have over a stock front bar being put in the rear? Lastly, what suspension upgrades come after the sway bar? Poly Mounts? Coil-overs? I want to do this cheap but I want it to be done right and in proper order. Also, I don't want to get put in a class that I am completely annihilated if I can prevent it lol. Ultimately the goal for this car is a 3800SC swap but I figured suspension upgrades would give me a better bang for my buck when it comes to autocross.

Thanks!
-Josh

[This message has been edited by OneSlowFiero (edited 06-28-2013).]

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Report this Post06-28-2013 07:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you want to start out slow and on a budget I would bring all aspects of the car up to snuff.
Make sure all things are checked out (brakes, tires, shocks, fluids, etc).
Stay in a stock class until you find out what autocross actually is and play for a while.
That will give you time to assess the club you are running with and what class would be best to try to run in.
Then read, read, read, read the rule book to get the car ready for that class.
Every club is different in the class make up and how many are playing in any class.
Seat time is the thing here, The more you have the better you will be.
I have heard it said many times..................
It's 40% car 60% driver
Also, if you are fortunate to have a son or daughter driving as well, be prepared to be beaten on a regular basis.
The best part about this for me now is watching my son take the same car and be 1-3 seconds faster that the old man.

Bob


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Report this Post06-28-2013 03:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mcguiver3:

Also, if you are fortunate to have a son or daughter driving as well, be prepared to be beaten on a regular basis.
The best part about this for me now is watching my son take the same car and be 1-3 seconds faster that the old man.


I hope to be taking my 16 year old step-daughter (known her since she was 3) to her first autocross event in a couple of weeks to co-drive my Fiero. If she beats me I'll give her the car and take up golf.

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Report this Post07-03-2013 04:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for OneSlowFieroSend a Private Message to OneSlowFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mcguiver3:

If you want to start out slow and on a budget I would bring all aspects of the car up to snuff.
Make sure all things are checked out (brakes, tires, shocks, fluids, etc).
Stay in a stock class until you find out what autocross actually is and play for a while.
That will give you time to assess the club you are running with and what class would be best to try to run in.
Then read, read, read, read the rule book to get the car ready for that class.
Every club is different in the class make up and how many are playing in any class.
Seat time is the thing here, The more you have the better you will be.
I have heard it said many times..................
It's 40% car 60% driver
Also, if you are fortunate to have a son or daughter driving as well, be prepared to be beaten on a regular basis.
The best part about this for me now is watching my son take the same car and be 1-3 seconds faster that the old man.

Bob



Thanks for the info. I have done a full tune up and also have new calipers, pads, and rotors all around and will have the new tires on Friday. I'm currently working on some other things with the car like the EGR and possible coolant line replacement. I'll stick with the stock class and read over the rule book for the local club for this season. Over the winter though I would like to:

1. Upgrade to aluminum cradle bolts
2. Upgrade to Poly everywhere else
3. Add a rear sway bar
4. Upgrade to coilovers
5. Upgrade to RD lowering balljoints

Does this seem like a reasonable order to go in for upgrading the handling? Anything I overlooked?

Thanks!
-Josh
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mcguiver3
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Report this Post07-03-2013 11:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Josh,
Do you still want the car streetable?
The thing about suspension upgrades is if you want to drive the car daily you may not want it too stiff.
Watch the spring rates and shock valving for coilovers.
There has been a lot on this forum regarding spring rates 250# - 400# etc.
My car is strictly a track car but I like it a bit compliant.
Running coilovers at all corners (built my own front set up and 5 others over the years for my 88, two other 88's and three 86's)
I'm running 300# rears and 250#f fronts. Koni adjustable struts and QA1 single adjustable fronts.
It's lowered about 2" F/R
Poly everywhere (inc. eng/trany)
245/40/17 rear on 8" rims 225/45/17 front on 7" rims Kuhmo Exsta V710 R Comps
2% neg camber front, 2.5 neg. rear
Zero toe front/rear (it like it there)
Stock calipers with Hawk HP plus pads all corners and a manual proportioning valve.
Modified a stock bar to be adjustable at the rear and the stock bar front.
The car is also gutted but installed a custom build 4 point roll bar (track regulation for my class)
Aluminum race seats with 5 point harness'
Total weight wet is #2250 without driver.
Cross weighting is 49.5 / 50.5 with driver
Also have a really neat custom intake that I've been playing with this season.
Camaro throttle body grafted to a modified stock upper intake manifold along with a FEW engine mods
Dyno at 170 HP at the wheels.
In Ct any time?
Like I said earlier, we will be at Thompson Speedway for a few events, check the web for dates www.cartct.com
If I can be any help let me know

Bob
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mcguiver3
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Report this Post07-03-2013 11:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mcguiver3Send a Private Message to mcguiver3Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I got a bit carried away there but that is the list of stuff possible.
Been working on the car for the last 9 years and having a blast with it.
Could probably take it apart in my sleep now.
Look forward to possibly seeing you and your ride.

Bob
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