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Car #163 Build Thread!


Tom Neely
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So after bouncing my old car off the tire barrier at VIR, I'm needing a new car! My old car (the black #163) was one of the first cars originally built for Spec3 many years ago. It was built for a driver that is well over 8" shorter than I am, and much lighter. Also, when the car was first built the minimum weight for the class was 50lbs heavier (2875lbs).

Being tall(ish) at 75", and a little bit, umm, "hefty" at ~250lbs, this build will have everything done that I can think of to reduce unnecessary weight. This will include removing all of the sound deadening/padding/insulation, replacement of the rear side windows (car is a coupe) with Lexan pieces, and a lightweight battery. I'm also going to look around for the lightest fiberglass or aluminum seat that I can find (carbon fiber is just out of my budget).

My plan is to build a bare chassis, and swap the motor, transmission, suspension, safety equipment from the other (wrecked) car onto the new chassis.

I'm starting with a run-of-the-mill '93 325is. It's in pretty decent condition save for a few spots in the drivers foot-well and floor-board that have some rot. I was surprised at how heavy the sound deadening/damping material actually is. My guess is it's somewhere in the 10-15lb range total, perhaps a little more.

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After removing the sound material from the interior, I removed the stock suspension. FYI with the motor/transmission removed, and the front suspension dropped, if you have the car mounted on the rear jack-points, it becomes almost neutrally balanced so be cautious if you go this route as well. I removed the entire rear sub-frame assembly (differential and suspension) in order to get the bare chassis to sit more securely on the jack stands.

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Edited by Tom Neely
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