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PWND

Wanting to start a new project and looking for some advice

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Hi,

I thought I would see if I can get some advice on here before I start pouring cash into the black hole that is called car modifying.

Some of you may have seen my previous car, which I recently sold off in parts.

Link is bellow for those interested

http://www.nissansilvia.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=301473&hl=&fromsearch=1

 

This car was my first foray into serious car modifying and was an absolute money pit. A lot of this spending could have been avoided as I did little work by myself and also did half assed upgrades, which then required re-upgrading etc.

Also, I went about it the wrong way, in my opinion, which involved spending a lot of money on getting power out of it, and adding suspension, brakes, wheels that fit and tyres as an afterthought.

 

So my plan now is to try and do things right from the beginning.

What I am after ideally is a track specific car that is still registered. The registration is not for wank facor of street racing or anything similar, I just want the flexibility of being able to drive the car to wherever, whenever I wish. But, I also want the car to be street legal in QLD, which obviously makes things trickier.

 

So the questions I do have are around what platform to start with, as the ultimate goal will be to strip the car of all unnecessary weight and try to make it go as fast as possible.

What I would like to know are some of the finer points of what I can do. Such as what I am able to strip out.

 

My plan was to look at an S chassis car, preferrably an s15, as I like the shape, they weigh in mid 1200kgs, and have a huge ammount of after market parts available. Furthermore, there are pretty decent examples going for around 15k.

What I need to know is, what can I get rid of? Do I need to retain the factory airbags? Demister? Sun visors? Padded steering wheel? ETC. Is there a way of getting mod plates to eliminate some of these things.

My plan for the car once I get it is to strip it entirely, all carpets, plastics etc, and have a cage welded in.

Buy coilovers and some adjustable arms, a radiator and some brakes/pads and decent tyres have a go at getting some laptime under my belt from there. I would look at power upgrades much further down the track, once I was comfortable with the car.

 

Several other options I have been thinking about is to start with an s13, but due to the age, money required to get 5 stud, s14 or 15 rear cradle etc, I though I am better off with a newer car. The benefit of the s13 though would be if I have to retain factory airbags etc in the s15 for RWC purposes, as the s13 did not come with them factory.

Another option I have been looking at are mx5's, as they are cheap and handle well, and even 1970's ford escorts, as I love the shape and have seen a few cars go for reasonable money.

Suggestions, feedback is appreciated.

 

So basically I am just looking for some input before I decide what to bite the bullet on and purchase a car, as my last purchase, the 32, I regreted a few things once I got modifying, such as the sunroof which eliminated head room and created extra weigth.

I don't want to spend a bit of money on the s15, only to find out further down the track that I was better off with a cheaper s13.

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looks like you should have kept your r32.

 

s15 & just leave the interior in, it'll be fast and police won't get mad

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32 had to go to cover bills etc. plus it had a sunroof and a bit of rust in the rear guards and under one side skirt, as I found out once I started stripping it.

Doing a bit better financially now so keen for another crack and want to do it properly.

Suspension, brakes and tyres first.

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there are a lot of things you can strip out of an S15 to make it weigh less and improve performance but 100% street legal and race car don't go well together.

 

If it must remain completely legal then I wouldn't strip anything out of it and instead just do some basic mods to make it a little quicker, turn and stop better and then get those mods engineered. Then I would suggest buying another set of rims with quality tyres for track days.

 

If it was me shopping for a street legal track car, I would stretch the budget further and choose a car that is faster from the factory and then just spend money where needed to help it stay cool and reliable.

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buy a tow car and trailer

 

and build a race car if you want to do it properly...

 

street legal cars and race cars are at opposite ends of the spectrum

 

 

alternalty sit down with your engineer of choice and discuss what you can and cant engineer where you live and go from there

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Run with a street legal car for a bit, then remove what you can to lose the weight but still have it streetable, then have a bit of a think ultimately what should decide for you if you want to turn into a more serious track car is is it worth it being less comfortable and potentially more defectable as a street car?

 

Also if you are after coilovers let me know, I know a good place in qld that specialize in them.

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One thing I learnt after all these years with playing around with cars is to build a pure track car and buy a cheap daily

That way u don't have to worry about breaking any thing and not having a car to get around in and u can take as long as u want on upgrades

You also don't need to worry about cops pulling you over

 

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S15, S13, MX5, Escort?? Fully stripped yet everyday driver... your a little confused!

 

Of that list the S15 would be the best at all the things you want ie good daily and a good track car. MX5 too slow, S13 too old (for daily but liveable), Escort... well no comment lol

 

Whats better S13 or S15? The S15 is better, its newer, better looking, nicer interior, better geometry, already 5 stud etc. Bad points 6 speed box, and its more expensive to buy. If this is going to be a daily driver used at the track, get an S15. But if you want more money to modify the car, get an S13 or even S14.

 

BTW you'll hate life driving a stripped, caged Silvia of any kind on the street on a daily basis - ok for the weekend cruise but not for everyday. If you just want to slowly modify the car, I wouldn't be so quick to strip the interior, you'll save weight but what you lose in driveability and comfort its just not worth it. Sure you can remvoe the rear seat and rear carpet but once you go stripping sound deadening, all carpets, air con, sun visors, trim etc you turn it an annoying and unbearable PITA. Unstripped cars can go very quick, James NFI's S15 was doing 6-7's at Wakefield as a street car (im sure it wasnt stripped but could be wrong) so you can get them to go very quick without ruining it.

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S15, S13, MX5, Escort?? Fully stripped yet everyday driver... your a little confused!

 

Of that list the S15 would be the best at all the things you want ie good daily and a good track car. MX5 too slow, S13 too old (for daily but liveable), Escort... well no comment lol

 

Whats better S13 or S15? The S15 is better, its newer, better looking, nicer interior, better geometry, already 5 stud etc. Bad points 6 speed box, and its more expensive to buy. If this is going to be a daily driver used at the track, get an S15. But if you want more money to modify the car, get an S13 or even S14.

 

BTW you'll hate life driving a stripped, caged Silvia of any kind on the street on a daily basis - ok for the weekend cruise but not for everyday. If you just want to slowly modify the car, I wouldn't be so quick to strip the interior, you'll save weight but what you lose in driveability and comfort its just not worth it. Sure you can remvoe the rear seat and rear carpet but once you go stripping sound deadening, all carpets, air con, sun visors, trim etc you turn it an annoying and unbearable PITA. Unstripped cars can go very quick, James NFI's S15 was doing 6-7's at Wakefield as a street car (im sure it wasnt stripped but could be wrong) so you can get them to go very quick without ruining it.

 

That right John 1.06.9 was PB as a full weight street car. I reckon it's possible to go fair bit quicker to without stripping as well.

 

PWND: If you want something you need to drive to get around don't go nuts on the stripping but if its not needed go nuts!! I reckon the experience of driving a hardcore stripped and caged car is awesome. It's so unique and just feels light, tough and hardcore. Upside also is there is no rattles as there is nothing to rattle. Love it every time I drive mine.

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there are a lot of things you can strip out of an S15 to make it weigh less and improve performance but 100% street legal and race car don't go well together.

 

If it must remain completely legal then I wouldn't strip anything out of it and instead just do some basic mods to make it a little quicker, turn and stop better and then get those mods engineered. Then I would suggest buying another set of rims with quality tyres for track days.

 

If it was me shopping for a street legal track car, I would stretch the budget further and choose a car that is faster from the factory and then just spend money where needed to help it stay cool and reliable.

I could easily get rid of all interior plastics, rear seats etc. I was just wondering whether it is able to get mod plates for removing air bags, demisters etc, or ways around it, like heated windscreens etc.

In terms of stretching the budget and buying something quicker for the money, I can't really think of much else than an s15 that has the aftermarket support and performance. I don't want to go awd, so evo's and rex's are out, as I like RWD for a bit of fun. I am open to suggestions though

buy a tow car and trailer

and build a race car if you want to do it properly...

street legal cars and race cars are at opposite ends of the spectrum

alternalty sit down with your engineer of choice and discuss what you can and cant engineer where you live and go from there

Trying to avoid tow car and trailer as I would like to be able to drive the car to track days, as well as cruises and show and shines etc if time permits.

Run with a street legal car for a bit, then remove what you can to lose the weight but still have it streetable, then have a bit of a think ultimately what should decide for you if you want to turn into a more serious track car is is it worth it being less comfortable and potentially more defectable as a street car?

Also if you are after coilovers let me know, I know a good place in qld that specialize in them.

comfort is not really high on the list. Had the 32 for a few years and loved the raw quality of the car

once I do pick something, which will be between march and june, as I am away in asia and US for Jan and Feb

One thing I learnt after all these years with playing around with cars is to build a pure track car and buy a cheap daily

That way u don't have to worry about breaking any thing and not having a car to get around in and u can take as long as u want on upgrades

You also don't need to worry about cops pulling you over

My mate that will be helping me with a lot of the build, as he has worked for Sirromet Racing and Dick Johnson Racing for nearly ten years, was suggesting the same thing. Both my current cars are not really suited to towing a car, and they are both still have two years remaining on their leases. And quite often I feel like going for a evening drive out to Tamborine etc, as I usually have a fair bit on weekends with my business, and late evenings once the kids are asleep are my few hours I do get to myself, so if it's a pure track car it may not see the track for months at a time.

S15, S13, MX5, Escort?? Fully stripped yet everyday driver... your a little confused!

 

Of that list the S15 would be the best at all the things you want ie good daily and a good track car. MX5 too slow, S13 too old (for daily but liveable), Escort... well no comment lol

 

Whats better S13 or S15? The S15 is better, its newer, better looking, nicer interior, better geometry, already 5 stud etc. Bad points 6 speed box, and its more expensive to buy. If this is going to be a daily driver used at the track, get an S15. But if you want more money to modify the car, get an S13 or even S14.

 

BTW you'll hate life driving a stripped, caged Silvia of any kind on the street on a daily basis - ok for the weekend cruise but not for everyday. If you just want to slowly modify the car, I wouldn't be so quick to strip the interior, you'll save weight but what you lose in driveability and comfort its just not worth it. Sure you can remvoe the rear seat and rear carpet but once you go stripping sound deadening, all carpets, air con, sun visors, trim etc you turn it an annoying and unbearable PITA. Unstripped cars can go very quick, James NFI's S15 was doing 6-7's at Wakefield as a street car (im sure it wasnt stripped but could be wrong) so you can get them to go very quick without ruining it.

I should have been clearer. Car is purely a toy. My previous weekend car was stripped and I absolutely loved it. No stereo, no sound deadening etc, just pure car noise. Loved it.

The reason I was suggesting older cars is that they came with less features, so I would be able to get them to a lower weight whilst still having the car road legal.

Don't be so quick to discount escorts. Large ammount of parts for them both in Europe, and to an lesser ammount here, low curb weight and will comfortably fit an sr20 into it. Also, due to them weighing around the 750kg mark, an sr could produce a comfortable and safe 200 odd rwkw and have it moving at quite a pace.

Lastly, I find them quite good looking if done right

ford-escort-mexico-1600-cc-05.jpg

Ford_Escort_RS2000_MkI.jpg

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man you had that perfectly capable r32 with cage and all and never drove it...

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32 had a constant string of issues that as the funds dried up due to having kids, were harder and harder to keep on top of

also, due to the sunroof, if I was wearing my helmet, I had to have my head at a slight angle to fit into the car, which further resulted in my head constantly rattling against the sunroof rails whilst driving.

I really did not want to have an incident with my head that close to the rails

Regardless, as I stated at the beginning, I am looking to plan the next project a bit better from the beginning, as opposed to just finding a cheap car and going from there.

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hey pwnd

 

I have almost finished my s13 build and went with an s13 purely for cost. the 5 stud is a bit of a pain but not too bad. as for the s15 to keep it legal you must retain the factory air bags and abs etc.

 

the best option might be to go for a series 1 s14 that doesn't have an airbag the abs will still be a problem for engineering.

 

in terms of what to spend and how to do it right will all depend on how far you want to go in the first place. for me I had a budget and a shopping list of want I wanted and stuck to it just don't change your goal half way through :)

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I don't really understand why you are so keen to strip it. Saying you want to drive it on the road and do a few track days. You don't seem like you're trying to shave a few fraction of seconds off lap times. Just do some suspension stuff, good tyres, some basic power mods and go from there.

 

Too many people start building a car because they plan to do this and that in it. Why not let the car evolve around what you use it for.

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I think its great that a bit of forward planning is taking place. Most just jump in and then regret later on. But you need to sort out what you want the car to be and do; then do an 'for and against' for each model you have chosen along with a price comparison based on purchase price and then required mods. That's the only logical way of doing this in my opinion.

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If it was me I'd buy something with most of the mods you want already done, will save you 1000's in the long run. I'd stick with an s14 or s15 as well. Much newer and stiffer chassis. Alot of the s14a's came without abs and airbags as well I think? Or you could always keep the stock steering wheel with the airbag?

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hey pwnd

 

I have almost finished my s13 build and went with an s13 purely for cost. the 5 stud is a bit of a pain but not too bad. as for the s15 to keep it legal you must retain the factory air bags and abs etc.

 

the best option might be to go for a series 1 s14 that doesn't have an airbag the abs will still be a problem for engineering.

 

in terms of what to spend and how to do it right will all depend on how far you want to go in the first place. for me I had a budget and a shopping list of want I wanted and stuck to it just don't change your goal half way through :)

Yeah, having a look at s14's, as they are going for almost identical money as s13's, but there are not a lot of nice examples out there at this stage. We'll see how it looks early next year.

I don't really understand why you are so keen to strip it. Saying you want to drive it on the road and do a few track days. You don't seem like you're trying to shave a few fraction of seconds off lap times. Just do some suspension stuff, good tyres, some basic power mods and go from there.

 

Too many people start building a car because they plan to do this and that in it. Why not let the car evolve around what you use it for.

I feel like I am repeating myself at this stage but anyways, the purpose of the car is for my to do some track days in it, and I have already previously stated my reasons for wishing the car to be road registered. Stripping it is one of the cheapest, most cost effective ways in my experience of modifying the car. Furthermore, having a proper weld in cage, seats and harnesses is important to me, as being a father of two, my safety is of improtance to me. Hence, along with suspension, brakes and rubber, I plan on doing this first.

I see far more benefits of having a clear goal in mind before pulling the pin, than letting the car "evolve". I have used your approach previously and have found it can be a coslty exercise.

I think its great that a bit of forward planning is taking place. Most just jump in and then regret later on. But you need to sort out what you want the car to be and do; then do an 'for and against' for each model you have chosen along with a price comparison based on purchase price and then required mods. That's the only logical way of doing this in my opinion.

Cheers. That's essentially what I was trying to achieve here. Get people's opinions and hopefully hear from some others that have learned from experience. I have a pretty good idea already of what I most likely will go ahead with doing, but was using this to see if there was any further information that could sway me in one direction or another.

If it was me I'd buy something with most of the mods you want already done, will save you 1000's in the long run. I'd stick with an s14 or s15 as well. Much newer and stiffer chassis. Alot of the s14a's came without abs and airbags as well I think? Or you could always keep the stock steering wheel with the airbag?

I was aiming for something along these lines.

Even though I am still tossing up the 1970's escort, as a nice restored, ready to paint shell has come up in Adelaide that I am contemplating flying out to have a look at. This would unfortunately mean that I would probably not have a fun car to drive for at least 12 odd months, but at least it would give me something constructive, therapeutic to play with in my spare time.

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i dont like the idea of driving a car too and from the track. chances are you will break something and require a tow. so much easier if you already have the trailer there.

 

id get an s14 s1

tow car plus trailer

 

and go from there. then you can do whatever you want with no hassles. s14's are almost the same as s15's already has 5 stud and are really cheap to buy.

 

after building an engineered street car that i can take to the track. the extra cost of engineering and the compromises i made to make it 'streetable' are not worth it

 

plus i still get defected...

Edited by skedy

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Perhaps you misunderstood my previous post. I was suggesting that you take the car to track days. And then think 'gee I think I could improve my lap times with better brakes' for example. So you proceed to do brake upgrades etc

I don't really understand how you think that will cost you more. Because what you'll end up with is a car modified for the purposes you need.

 

And in regards to the interior how much are you taking out. Carpet, rear seats and sound deadening? Maybe the console?

Well I'm sure the cars going to be so much quicker after that.

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Perhaps you misunderstood my previous post. I was suggesting that you take the car to track days. And then think 'gee I think I could improve my lap times with better brakes' for example. So you proceed to do brake upgrades etc

I don't really understand how you think that will cost you more. Because what you'll end up with is a car modified for the purposes you need.

 

And in regards to the interior how much are you taking out. Carpet, rear seats and sound deadening? Maybe the console?

Well I'm sure the cars going to be so much quicker after that.

 

this guy knows whats going on and is the same thing ive done with my previous 2 cars now, both were fairly standard and i took them both out on tracks to find out which area of the car needed improvements, which also improved street drivability, except for when i started to go a bit overboard and got rose joint everything suspension components, the car was still streetable but you cant say it was a comfortable street ride anymore, even though you might be thick skin and can take it, you yourself know inside its too much for a daily street car, that was my learning curve.

 

Increasing power is not important, a friend of a friend of mine did a 1:13 at wakefiled with a stock s14, just stripped out interior and not sure what tyres they had used but you get the point, there are many ways to go fast..number 1 is Driving skills and that can only be obtained with Track time behind the wheel.

 

I did a 1:16.38 in my AE86 still with a stock 4age 1.6L na engine

 

People often modify their car faster then their growth of driving skill which then makes the driver look slow in potentially fast car, which is embarrasing to be honest.

 

It is your car so build it as you want, but as a street car Less is MORE and so true.. sway bars, coilovers or good S/S setup, tyres, brake pads, and drive its tits off at the track, thats the plan with my S14 anyways lol

Edited by AE86557

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To answer some of your questions more directly, I am almost 100% sure that you can't get an engineering cert for the removal of the airbag systems, demister would be the same deal. Both of these issues would effectively rule out using an S14 (ADM S1 Super-Sport also has driver's airbag, not sure about the Sport spec) or S15.

 

That said, both of things would be easy to get around for the sake of the roadworthy, but it all comes down to how honest you want to play it. ABS on the other hand could be a larger problem.

 

Then again, no matter how legal your car is, if you run into the wrong officer, you could always get defected for 'uneven tyre wear' or 'wheels too wide' or something stupid like that.

 

If it were my money, I would probably get an S15, and remove the extra bits and just roll with it. Leave the factory wheel in place, and keep most of the front plastics in place. Strip the carpet and everything from the rear including the seats. Then, either get one of the carbon rear seat replacements, or just get a sheet of alloy and bolt it in across the boot space (having an unsealed boot enclosure is also a potential defect).

 

Basically, just keep the place as tidy as possible. I have also been told by a few people that you have to have fixed floor mats (or carpet) to be legal in QLD too. Something to keep in mind.

Edited by normality

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I have been down a similar road before, and I think the first question is how fast / competitive do you want to be or are you just going to track days to have some fun and spend time with likeminded people?

 

Pending on the answer you can then decide what car you should look at. Let me share with you my thoughts.

 

If your answer is that you like going to trackday and have fun than any s-series with sensible mods would do the job nicely, better brakes, wheels / tyres, suspension, power, etc. You will be able to go reasonable quickly compared to most other cars and I am sure you will have fun.

 

Next if you would like to be competitive then my recommendation is to go and get yourself something like an MX5, WRX, or PBR / Westfield. There are plenty of clubs out there that run club based championship that has restriction on the amount of mods one can have. Pending on the level of mods you have, you are placed in a class so you are comparing against people in a vehicle with similar capability. You can keep your car road registrable and still be competitive instead of going all out.

 

Lastly if you want to be among the quickest and enjoy modifying your car with ingenuity to go fast then IMO it would be difficult to keep the car registered. One thing you mentioned is safety, which is great to hear BTW, while a half cage can easily be engineered however I think if you are serious you would want some sort of full 6 point type cage. It would be close to impossible to register a car with a 6 point cage.

 

To sum it up you'll need to consider ultimately what you want out of your car, we all like to modify our cars however most of us have limited funding and time so choose your vehicle wisely at the beginning and you are going to have more fun and less stress at the end.

 

This is coming from a guy who has owned his s14a for 16 years and aiming to be the fastest non wide body s-series in NSW :)

Edited by WOY

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