Chicago Volkswagen Organization

"New" race car project
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Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:53 am ]
Post subject:  "New" race car project

I have been racing my 86 GTI in SCCAs Improved Touring B class for many years now. Before I went back to school and had to severely limit how much racing I did each year, it was one of, if not the fastest A2 in the class nationwide. I had decided during the original build that I would like to eventually convert the car to Production class, once I was done with ITB, and now is the time.

The main difference between the two categories is the level of modification allowed. IT cars use all stock bodywork, have limited attachment points for the roll cage, and very limited engine modifications. Imagine them as what a street car would be if it were optimized for track use (though there is no way that they are streetable in any sense when done right). Production cars allow a lot more in the engine: alternate pistons, lightened rods/crank, cams, lightweight lifters, higher compression; a lot more on the body: alternate material fenders/quarters/hoods/deck lids; more on the chassis: reinforcements, cage connection points, motor mounts, ride height. To get a feel, take a look at the thread I have in our Paddock area about helping a friend build an F Production Scirocco 1.

There are two flavors of Production cars: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 2 was created with a few more restrictions to make it easier to put more "modern" cars into classes that originally were filled with MG Midgets and other very small engined cars. The Scirocco build is a Level 1 car in F Production. My car would be a Level 1 prep level in F Prod as well, but initially I will build it as a Level 2 car in H Production. This means the compression ratio on the engine is limited to 12:1 vs unlimited, the cam lift is limited to .425" vs unlimited, I cannot use a dry sump and I would take a big weight penalty to use a "dog box" racing transmission.

The goal is to gradually make the changes needed over the course of 2013 to have a competitive HP car for the 2014 season. The first order of business will be the body and chassis. I recently rolled an extra shell of an 85 Golf into the garage and we are getting started to make forms for new bodywork molds off of that car. At the same time there is weight reduction and wiring changes to be made on the race car. These two things will probably take up all of the winter months. After that there will be a round of suspension changes, to get things set up properly for the new racing slick tires (much different than the DOT approved race Hoosiers that we have been using), and finally we will get to a proper engine build. I will try to keep updates going on here fairly regularly - or at least once a month. It should be a fun ride. If anyone is interested in working on a project like this, let me know. I would be happy to teach what we are doing along the way, and very appreciative of the extra help.

Here are some current state pictures:

Author:  Sir Revalot [ Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Hello Chris,

Glad to hear that you are moving forward with your racing and Im sure that the GTi will be a contender with you behind the wheel :thumbup:

I always wondered if the Production guys actually give each other more room since they invest more $$ in body mods?

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

We all give the other guys all the room they need, and not a half inch more.

The carbon stuff has proven amazingly sturdy when other cars have driven into it....

Author:  DasTeknoViking [ Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

looks pretty slick, I've been on and off about building a dedicated track car. It was going to be my old 87 GL 4 door with a R1 carbed, cammed PL motor !

Author:  Sir Revalot [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

We plan on coming out for these wheel to wheel races in 2013 with the family so keep me posted on the schedule, thanks.


Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

First work day done.

Good start on making forms for the new front fenders.
Got a start on disassembling the interior of the car. (seat out, cleaned out the parts and tools that were sitting there from the last event)
Moved the backup motor to the back of my commuter to take to the engine builder this weekend.

Once we have cool looking things to share, I will post some pics.

The plan is getting more clear.
I would like to do the following in time to run a race in St. Louis in April
get the electronic fuel injection installed and running
remove the heater
move the battery
remove wipers
re-wire brake lights
bonus items that would be nice - move cage dash bar, tie cage to A/B pillars and rockers

The motor plan will be to get the head done first:
stock size hollow valves - long stem to run "real" solid lifters, rather than the ones designed to replace hydro
new seats
new seals
new guides
new custom cam
multi-angle valve job
adjustable cam sprocket

The bottom end will be targeted for late in the year - by September if we do enough races to go to the runoffs, by November if not.
All that will be re-used is the block, head casting, crank and rods. Everything will see some machining. I need to do it in pieces so it does not whack my budget too hard all at once...

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Have a carbon hood now. Just need to get it back from my buddies shop in St Louis.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Making some good progress.

Wiring out
Heater system is out
Dash is out
One new fender shape roughed in
Old injection removed and new injection parts about 30% there

I will try to get some pics sometime this week.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Finally an update.

Had some cage repair to do. The guy that built the cage took a shortcut that left about 1" not welded at the top of the A pillar down tubes. I never found this until the last time I raced - when the tech inspector found it. It was not welded because you can't reach it, so most builders will cut holes in the floor, drop the cage down, weld them up, then raise the cage, slip mounting plates under the tubes and weld it up.

So - I needed to fix this. Here is how I did it:
The smallest metal cutting blade I could get, without buying a new tool, was one for an old jigsaw. So I used a dremel to start each cut, and then the jigsaw to make it.

I cut 95% of the way around a square:

Opened it up to see the not welded section:

Welded it up:

Tacked the panel back in place:

Patiently (but not patiently enough, there was some warping) added short weld sections, and took breaks to let it cool to weld it all the way up:

The section of the roof is a bit convex, and the heat pulled it down slightly concave. So I should be able to make it look race car acceptable with a touch of filler. Got both sides fixed. Now just need to move one tube and add a few extras to tie in the front strut towers.

Also had a chance to weigh the stuff coming out of the car:
dash & brackets = 13.5lbs
wiring and fuse panel = 15lbs
carpet, insulation and sound deadening = 35 lbs (left this in before because we were under weight, and I wanted to add weight very low in the car)
heater system = 11lbs (non-AC heater, controls, vents)
wiper system = 6lbs
right door panel = 3lbs
rear side panels = 4lbs
TOTAL so far = 89.5 lbs!

The goal is to move from 2280 as raced with driver to 2050. Still have 100lbs of steel ballast bolted in the floor, have not installed the carbon hood, and have not finished making the carbon fenders or installed the lexan. Should make weight very easily.

Author:  trepoman [ Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Welding sheet metal like that without warping needs a special kind of patience I haven't found yet. I've made myself some copper spoons (plumbing pipe hammered flat and a screwdriver jammed in it) that help by dissipating the heat off the back of the weld, but you don't always have the luxury of access.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Yeah - I totally blew the patience part on that one.

I found a few other joints that need some work, but hope to find a way to gain access to fix them without more sheetmetal work. Maybe could get in there with a TIG gun...

Author:  trepoman [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Good luck with that. My car will be all weld by the time I finish with it. New rockers, fenders, quarters, and rocker to rear body members going in slowly.

Why did I not give up on this already? So much hidden rust in stupidly inconvenient places.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Tue May 14, 2013 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Got the injectors mounted, new fuel lines routed on the front half, and have the material to install the new dash bar and front braces. Still need to get some 3/8 plate to tie the cage to the pillars, rockers and floor. Also need to R&R a rear wheel bearing and fix the exhaust. Will then put things back together, get the fuel injection wired, install the custom cam and get the car teched so we can race some this year and get used to the new weight/tires/etc.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Picked up the new hood over the weekend from Chuck.

Also we are re-starting the "Wed night is race car night" schedule. The plan is to get folks together at the garage-mahal and make consistent progress on getting this car track ready by the end of summer (or at least on weeks when I am not out of town).

The project list for tonight:
replace castors on engine lift - just need to drill some holes and bolt them on
Install the small tube header, and 2.25" exhaust
identify the bad rear wheel bearing and replace it
finish mounting the fuel lines for the digifant hardware
fit/tack the cage dash bar

That is a pretty long list - and there may be some general organization/cleanup required to get rolling, but there will be cold beer/water/soda in the fridge, and the hawks game on radio and dvr if we just need to watch something.

Right now we will have 2 or 3 guys working. If you are interested in learning how a race car is built, let me know and I will get you directions.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

It was a good night. We got the dash bar in the cage, and got the new header mocked up. Just need to weld on the tabs to secure the collector and the O2 sensor bung. We also got the fuel lines figured out.

Next week will be moving on to wiring stuff.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Slow, consistent progress.
Welded the retainer tabs and O2 sensor bungs on the collector,and mounted the header.
Finished installing the fuel lines.

No wiring progress, because I failed to order the wire.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

No race car night this week or next. Should be back into making progress on the 17th.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Had some time to work on gutting/trimming the doors over the weekend. I will snap some pics before moving them up to the attic.

The right side door, stock - only missing the door panel, but had all of the glass, impact bars, window regulators - was 50lbs. After gutting and trimming it was 25lbs, with the triangle glass still there. Going more aggressive on some of the spares - cutting out the stock latch, and taking more material all the way around saved another 2.5lbs. We will see how those hold up in use, but a pretty nice weight loss either way.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Thu May 07, 2015 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Zombie thread update -

Lots of work on the lightweight body work, or at least the forms for the molds for the bodywork....

Hoping to have the Golf on track later this year.

Now working on the right side too.

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Slow progress update -
Sprayed PVA and tooling gelcoat on the form on Sunday. Hoping to lay some glass down on it this week.


Author:  guest user [ Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

What's new with the project?

Author:  FVGNGN 1 [ Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "New" race car project

Sorry - not much traffic here anymore. Most CVO discussion is on a Facebook page now.
I am doing occasional updates on a Vortex build thread. ... Production

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