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    Help with some "track" modifications

    As I get my RallyX e30 ready for this season, I have a few things that I want to do to the car to make it more appropriate for its use- which is (edit) event-only, no street use at all. (/edit)

    I want to preface this by saying that I can't weld, so if the solution involves welding, please suggest a workaround. I can do woodworking and I have access to plastics and plexiglass-like mateirals (lexian, lucite, etc.), but I can't do metal fab.

    1. Dash: I want to remove the dash but still have something to hold the gauges. For now, I have the stock cluster but I don't need to keep it (more on that below). Does anyone have suggestions for cheap DIY solutions to replace the dash? Or even pictures of their track car dash? I searched here but actually was shocked to not find pictures of track car dashes (I used the search term "dash"). I used google images and found some good examples, but I am always looking for new ideas.

    Bonus: Pulling the dash will make a future cage install much easier.

    2. The OEM cluster: Idiot/warning lights are on EVERYWHERE. How much can I do to get rid of the inspection, ABS, brake lining, etc. lights? I still want the tach and monitoring gauges to work, but I don't really care about the odometer, speedo, etc. How many of those bulbs can be removed by disassembling the cluster?

    3. Dead pedal: I lost my dead pedal when I removed the carpet. What are people doing for a dead pedal in a stripped car?

    4. Switches and controls: I can do basic wiring, and I want to get as many switches and controls off of the steering column and out of the OEM dash as possible and want ot get those things onto/into the "new" dash. Of particular interest are the wiper and washer controls and lighting, as I might actually use those. WHat (if anything) can be done to re-locate the wiper and washer controls to the dash? The washer is a momentary switch, so that should not be too tough. But the wipers have me stumped. I don't even need delay- just high & low "on" settings will be enough. The turn signals...notsomuch. I can leave the light controls in the curent location, but I actually broke the wiper stalk while trying to bend it away from my steering wheel for when I was racing.

    5. HVAC: THe car does not have any A/C, but it does still have a heater core (but no blower motor). The car is NEVER street driven and the racing is primarily March-October. Frost and cold are not a huge concern. Should I yank the heater core? Harbor freight actually sells a small 12V defroster: http://www.harborfreight.com/12-volt...fan-96144.html For $10, I could put it in my tow vehicle and use it if I need it. (I keep a 12V outlet connected in the center console for my inflator.) What are the ramifications to the OEM cooling system if I take out the heater core?

    6. Windows: Is there a way to make a multi-position switch and relay where a single window switch could control drivers window or all 4 windows at the same time while only using one actual switch in the dash? I was thinking that I could bypass the OEM circuit breaker (or buy a second one) and have the 12V power coming into a single switch, then the out could go to the OEM circuit breaker and then go to the up/down wires all of the windows. I just need to get a pin diagram on the window controls.

    I have had suggestions to remove the electric windows, but I would rather use that money (the manual setup can be expensive) to buy other parts.

    7. Central locking: Can the central locking be removed and all locks be converted to manual? Seems like a little thing, but one less thing to go wrong. And a little less wiring.



    That is all for now. I will update the thread with other ideas or questions over time.
    Last edited by phenryiv1; 01-17-2013, 10:49 AM.
    Patrick Henry

    1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880



    #2
    1. Just remove the dash. Our solution to the lack of dash


    2. Remove every bulb save the CEL and oil pressure if you like. You will know if something is wrong.

    3. Why do you want a dead pedal? You shouldn't be resting your left foot anyway, it should be busy.

    4. As for wipers and lights we have shortened stalks in place on the column.

    5. Since most race events dictate windows down fogging is not much of an issue unless it's a really long red flag. So feel free to remove the heater core and the rest of the HVAC if you want. Just block off or loop the heater core hoses.

    6. Either remove the windows or mount the switches elsewhere. I cannot see the reason for a multi window operating switch as you won't need to lower or raise them on track, and doing all four at once makes operation very slow.

    7. Race cars don't need power locks, and you don't need to modify the locks since they can all be actuated manually with the key.

    Comment


      #3
      My preference for a race car is to retain enough of the HVAC system to have a working defroster. Ice or frost usually isn't a problem (the race generally misses those conditions, but a rainy day can totally fog up the windshield.

      Using the wiring diagrams you can figure out how to replace the stock switches with toggle switches. On my spec E30 the wiper stalk has been eliminated and I have a two position toggle switch to control it. As to the dash, it weighs very little and is convenient for mounting the cluster, and HVAC controls. Even if the Spec E30 rules didn't require the dash I'd still keep it. The dash isn't difficult to remove/install and while it will have to come out to install the cage it can be easily modified to back in after the cage is in place.

      You can pull the LED section of the SI board to eliminate those LED's and Inspection/Service lights. You need the SI board for the tachometer and water temperature gauge. Most of the other bulbs in the cluster can be removed, but you need to retain the battery/alternator warning light.

      The central locking system can be completely removed. The manual locks will still work. I suppose you could rewire the window controls, but in my opinion a proper cage has NASCAR door bars which require removal of the window regulators. Having destroyed a race car, and survived it, I'm of the opinion that you can't have too much cage protection. I use drop in Lexan replacements for the windows. Generally race rules allow for rear windows to be left up, so in a sedan I'd just lock then into the up position.
      The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen.
      Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        1. Just remove the dash. Our solution to the lack of dash
        I like it. Is glare an issue?

        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        2. Remove every bulb save the CEL and oil pressure if you like. You will know if something is wrong.
        I was not sure if they were in series to where removing some would resulyt in all of them going out. Thank you.
        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        3. Why do you want a dead pedal? You shouldn't be resting your left foot anyway, it should be busy.
        I had a few times in turns where I need lateral bracing. I don't (yet) have race seats (nor a cage). In time, that will be fixed, but in the interim I need something to hold me in place.
        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        4. As for wipers and lights we have shortened stalks in place on the column.
        Damn...I should have thought of that as opposed to trying to bend the stalks.
        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        5. Since most race events dictate windows down fogging is not much of an issue unless it's a really long red flag. So feel free to remove the heater core and the rest of the HVAC if you want. Just block off or loop the heater core hoses.
        We have to run windows UP in rallyX. All windows have to be closed at all times.
        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        6. Either remove the windows or mount the switches elsewhere. I cannot see the reason for a multi window operating switch as you won't need to lower or raise them on track, and doing all four at once makes operation very slow.
        As mentioned above, removing the windows won't work (plus the car is parked outside when it is at my house).

        When sitting in the grid in RallyX, you are in the car and you cook in the sun, so most people drop their windows until they get to the 2nd position behind start. Some keep the doors open until start, but the cross-breeze is better to cool yo uoff than just one open door.
        Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
        7. Race cars don't need power locks, and you don't need to modify the locks since they can all be actuated manually with the key.
        I just wanted to be sure that removing the central locking would still allow the car to be locked manually. Thank you!
        Patrick Henry

        1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880


        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jlevie View Post
          My preference for a race car is to retain enough of the HVAC system to have a working defroster. Ice or frost usually isn't a problem (the race generally misses those conditions, but a rainy day can totally fog up the windshield.
          I saw your posts about that in searches AFTER I posted this, and I think that the logic makes sense.

          Originally posted by jlevie View Post
          The central locking system can be completely removed. The manual locks will still work. I suppose you could rewire the window controls, but in my opinion a proper cage has NASCAR door bars which require removal of the window regulators. Having destroyed a race car, and survived it, I'm of the opinion that you can't have too much cage protection. I use drop in Lexan replacements for the windows. Generally race rules allow for rear windows to be left up, so in a sedan I'd just lock then into the up position.
          Are the rear windows pretty much just rectangles? I have lots of lexan (I was going to use it as door panels) and could easily replace the rear windows.

          Also, I do want to note that this car is currently only a rallyX car. No wheel-to-wheel, no "track" use in the traditional sense. It will likely NEVER be used for stage rally, but I MIGHT build a second suspension setup and use it for an HPDE at some point in the future (might make sense to just build a second car for that, truthfully). If so, I will likely put in an 10-point cage or at a minimum an 8-point roll bar.
          Patrick Henry

          1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880


          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post

            3. Why do you want a dead pedal? You shouldn't be resting your left foot anyway, it should be busy.
            Pat, agree with him. I have a dead pedal that I put into mine, but I have to drive hours to events, so it comes in handy. On-course, there is no reason to have one, IMO. If you're bracing with your left foot, you really need to get on the hunt for the seat :)

            Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
            5. Since most race events dictate windows down fogging is not much of an issue unless it's a really long red flag. So feel free to remove the heater core and the rest of the HVAC if you want. Just block off or loop the heater core hoses.
            rallycross actually requires windows UP (if you're not running nets), and we run in the winter as well. So fogging and freezing your arse off in grid are both possibilities.

            Originally posted by roguetoaster View Post
            7. Race cars don't need power locks, and you don't need to modify the locks since they can all be actuated manually with the key.
            This. The power lock actuators (don't forget the trunk and gas tank) and the wiring/module add up to about 6-7 lbs all told. Worth removing, especially in your case.
            Last edited by irish44j; 01-20-2013, 06:10 PM.
            Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
            Track/street e21 build
            visit Condor Speed Shop
            visit Motorsport Hardware



            [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by phenryiv1 View Post
              the racing is primarily March-October.
              last event this year was late November, plus the one up in PA in December ;)


              for the dash lights, if you dont' remove the bulbs/cluster:
              - the brake pad warning light you can just (IIRC) twist the two wires for the pad sensor together, and it turns the light off. That's what I did.

              I like the idea someone else posted of the shortened stalks. That may be next week's project for me :)
              Stage rally/rallycross e30 build/competition journal
              Track/street e21 build
              visit Condor Speed Shop
              visit Motorsport Hardware



              [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"] 1985 318i/M50 Rally Car - 1988 Porsche 924S - 2005 Sequoia tow pig - 2018 GTI

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by irish44j View Post
                last event this year was late November, plus the one up in PA in December ;)


                for the dash lights, if you dont' remove the bulbs/cluster:
                - the brake pad warning light you can just (IIRC) twist the two wires for the pad sensor together, and it turns the light off. That's what I did.

                I like the idea someone else posted of the shortened stalks. That may be next week's project for me :)
                I am already working on the shortened stalks. Brilliant idea.
                Patrick Henry

                1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880


                Comment


                  #9
                  Massive makes a very nice looking footrest.

                  http://www.massivebrakes.com/accessories.php?p=Footrest

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by kts View Post
                    Massive makes a very nice looking footrest.

                    http://www.massivebrakes.com/accessories.php?p=Footrest
                    I like that. Thank you!
                    Patrick Henry

                    1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880


                    Comment


                      #11
                      Bumping an old thread. I realize that the OP has probably already moved past these issues, but maybe other people will see this at some point. I'm doing a manual window conversion for my track car. Manual window parts are all still available new, although they will likely have to sip from Germany. When I do the cage, it will have X-Bars, not NASCAR bars. It's a track toy, not a race car, and while I do understand very well JLevie's point, since I'm doing AutoX and DEs, I'm less concerned about being T-Boned.

                      Massive also sells DTM-styled gauge panels so you can use aftermarket gauges. That's what I'm doing.

                      I definitely want a dead pedal. We don't have one in our Chump E30, and it makes me crazy.

                      I'm pulling all the central locking stuff, including the trunk lock actuator and the gas cap locking mechanism. The simpler the better.
                      Originally posted by LJ851
                      kingston is the play by play announcer for this thread.
                      ‘Tis by the grace of God that my cars run!

                      Originally posted by unloadedak
                      #teamross
                      Siobhan's Build Thread - UPDATED!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        since I'm doing AutoX and DEs, I'm less concerned about being T-Boned.
                        That is not the only thing you need to worry about, I have seen put their car slideways in to enough stationary objects in Autox as well as HPDE. In fact, seen that more than being T-boned.

                        That being said, I do have X-braces in my own racecar just because I didn't want the Nascar bars at the time.

                        I fabbed my own dead pedal using a section of steel tread plate and an exhaust clamp. It's attached to the bars going to the firewall. Works great on those long stretches and when you are sitting in pit/staging. Not sure if I have pix of it handy, though I doubt anyone would want to see it, since it's not the prettiest setup.
                        1984 Alpina B6 2.8/1 #35
                        1991 325i MT2 Touring (JDM bro)
                        1991 Racecar (Chase Schmidt's former drift car - M30)
                        2006 BMW X3
                        2011 Audi A3 - wife's other German car

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by kingston View Post
                          Bumping an old thread. I realize that the OP has probably already moved past these issues, but maybe other people will see this at some point.
                          Actually, some of my original issues remain unresolved.
                          Patrick Henry

                          1989 325iC build: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=316880


                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by djjerme View Post
                            That is not the only thing you need to worry about, I have seen put their car slideways in to enough stationary objects in Autox as well as HPDE. In fact, seen that more than being T-boned.

                            That being said, I do have X-braces in my own racecar just because I didn't want the Nascar bars at the time.

                            I fabbed my own dead pedal using a section of steel tread plate and an exhaust clamp. It's attached to the bars going to the firewall. Works great on those long stretches and when you are sitting in pit/staging. Not sure if I have pix of it handy, though I doubt anyone would want to see it, since it's not the prettiest setup.
                            Thank you for the feedback. I still have a fairly limited amount of experience on track, and that is food for thought. We have NASCAR bars in the Chump Car, and it's such a PITA that I really don't want to deal with it, but I realize that this is a calculated risk.

                            And I would like to see your dead pedal setup.
                            Originally posted by LJ851
                            kingston is the play by play announcer for this thread.
                            ‘Tis by the grace of God that my cars run!

                            Originally posted by unloadedak
                            #teamross
                            Siobhan's Build Thread - UPDATED!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              phenryiv1, what issues remain unresolved? We have kept the windshield wiper stalk stock on our car. I would imagine, (although I have not done it), that it wouldn't be too hard to set up a toggle switch on the dash. I'd probably just do an on-off switch if possible. If you're using Rain-X on the windshield, it will probably handle most situations, so I'd probably try to set them up to run on only the highest setting. Maybe you could have a 3-position toggle switch with off-low speed-high speed selections.
                              Originally posted by LJ851
                              kingston is the play by play announcer for this thread.
                              ‘Tis by the grace of God that my cars run!

                              Originally posted by unloadedak
                              #teamross
                              Siobhan's Build Thread - UPDATED!

                              Comment

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