View Full Version : rally car build

03-17-2017, 11:51 PM
i have just spent too much time repairing my compact rally car after crashing it last october, we were entered for Bovington on the 4th and 5th march so the pressure was on to get it ready in time, it was a bit last minute at the end but just made it with the car working well and driving as it should with no repairs needed once home.
i thought i would be sick of being in the garage but after spending a few nights in front of the tv, i decided it was time to get the spanners out again.
last june i bought this compact for 50, it had a split in the inlet pipe but once replaced all was well http://i.imgur.com/cDGw1f8.jpg it is one of the later ones and was lovely to drive, there are a few dents and scratches but still a bit of a shame to pull it apart. i spent last night threading the inner rack arms on a impreza steering rack so i could fit the bmw rod ends and use it on the compact so it would work as a quick rackhttp://i.imgur.com/1am3IFt.jpg http://i.imgur.com/9UZVhhr.jpg
tonight i started pulling it apart. I got on quite well and have a van full of interior to take to the dump tomorrow. i cut one door bar out, removed the sunroof, struggled with the seats as they are so heavy, removed the seat belts and trim. i only spent a few hours on it http://i.imgur.com/FelVcmr.jpg
i have bought a 6 point cage, some extinguishers, isolator switch, plastic windows, 3.9 medium case lsd, seat rails and harness eyes. the plan is to make a basic rally car using the m44 engine, keeping it as light as possible without spending too much money or taking too long to finish. i will share the seats and harnesses from the other car to keep the cost down. i have my next quarry rally on the 22nd of april which is my target to complete the work. i am really busy with my day job and have to try to work on the car when i can.
i also picked up this 328i with full history and 67000 miles. I'm really enjoying driving it as it is lovely to drive. i will see how i get on with the m44 and if i need more power i will go with the 328i engine, 325 inlet and endtune ecu.http://i.imgur.com/1uYI5Y2.jpg

after spending so much time and effort on my other car i am really pleased with how it goes and handles so want to keep it for tarmac events and use the blue one in the quarry and share drive it encouraging other drivers to see how much fun it is.

03-17-2017, 11:54 PM
the wiring is taking a bit of time. it had traction control, reversing sensors, 2 air bags and seat belt tensioners. still plenty to do http://i.imgur.com/sIsMdHZ.jpg
i pulled the dent out the rear corner as much as i can, a bit more filler and should be good to paint

03-17-2017, 11:56 PM
removing the wiring is taking ages, all the unnecessary wires have been removed from inside the car and i have started in the fuse box now. shouldn't take long to finish. one thing i found was after removing lots of wires the starter no longer worked so i had to join 2 wires on the ews box and the engine worked as it should, the rev counter is not working and the speedometer, rev counter, fuel gauge and water temp randomly go to full then slowly return to normal. i will look into that if it still happens when the wiring is finished.
next job is to remove the fuel tank, replace the diff and start cleaning up where the cage plates are going to be welded

03-19-2017, 03:09 PM
Love the documentation and progress pics! If you were here locally, I would have taken the blue interior off of you for one of the cars. Hadn't seen that blue panel before.

How much weight are you saving in stripping the wiring?

Any pic of the cage?

Cheers! [emoji41]

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03-20-2017, 09:33 PM
this is a box i made to raise the foot of the main hoop, if the foot was bolted directly to the floor i would have problems removing the rear half of the cage out of the carhttp://i.imgur.com/WcbgApw.jpg
trial fitting the main hoop
i bought a hole cutter for notching the tubes but found a good vid on youtube about notching the tubes with an angle grinder which works well, can't fit any more of the cage until i receive the front legs, can't fit the diff until i get the new diff mount, next job will be to weld in the seat rails, rail plates and harness eyes

03-21-2017, 11:24 PM
I'm held up waiting for the front cage legs. I have fitted the medium case lsd, collected the seats, rails and steel to weld the frames in and had a go at notching the tubes using an angle grinder, i am pretty impressed with the results (thank you youtube)

04-06-2017, 10:26 PM
i have finally finished the cage and can now start putting the car back together. the cage has been a nightmare, the front legs have to be rotated about 30 degrees between the bends which i did not realise until the new legs came down so i had to order another pair. the cost is adding up and i have spent hours of work on it.
i have welded in some seat rails and fitted the sunroof panel. i took all the plastic vents out of the back of the dash, cut out for the front cage legs and fitted the dash. it is nice to be putting parts back in without having to grind, weld and paint first.
the next job is to paint the sunroof panel, fit all the wiring, steering column and wheel so i can work out where the seat is going. i am leaving the door bars until the end of the build as i don't want to be climbing in and out over them, it is bad enough getting over the seat rails.
i have painted the rear quarter and that looks ok now.
i can refit the fuel tank, prop and exhaust now the welding has been finished

04-21-2017, 11:55 PM
Lots has been happening with the car, the cage is finished apart from the door bars, i have all the parts needed to fit them but will leave them until the last thing as it gets harder to get in and out with them fitted.http://i.imgur.com/32iU4yE.jpg the seat rails and seats are fitted along with the harness eyes for 6 point harnesses.http://i.imgur.com/dHMsNMp.jpgthe hand held extinguisher has been fitted in front of the drivers seat and the plumbed in extinguisher is behind the drivers seat. the extinguisher pull cable has been fitted to a plate in the engine bay next to the electric isolator buttonhttp://i.imgur.com/N6XJz1g.jpg
the push button goes to the old central locking solenoid from the boot that now pulls a cable connected to the electric isolator.http://i.imgur.com/48jLw0L.jpg
the ABS pump has been removed and all the brake pipes have been replaced with a hydraulic hand brake fitted next to the gearstick.http://i.imgur.com/JaDnrvA.jpg
the plastic windows have been fitted and the brakes bleed so the car can now be driven. Everything worked as it should have done apart from the fuel gauge and rev counter which turned out to be a plug not pushed in enough in the back of the dash. The steering feels good and seems a lot quicker than the original rack. The brakes are good and the engine pulls well with the 3.9 diff fitted.
The rally i was trying to get the car ready for was planned for tomorrow but has been cancelled as there is work going on at the venue that it was to be staged at. The car would have been ready for competition but when i heard about the cancellation i decided to stop working on the car as i have been working too much on it lately.
I have to fit the mud flaps, toe straps and door bars before it can be taken for its check over to get its vehicle passport needed before competition. These are small jobs that shouldn't take long to finish off and i might get them done over the weekend if i get a chance.http://i.imgur.com/LdExcdE.jpg
it has been one and a half months of evenings and weekends from start up to just about done. it has been done on a budget and is a good base to work from. I will use it as it is and see how the standard suspension handles the bumps, i have some e36 M3 struts i can try then fit the 2.8 engine. i am looking forward to competing in it and am very pleased with the way it has turned out

04-24-2017, 04:20 AM
Nice, I look forward to more posts!

I'm doing something similar, although on a much smaller budget (read: it will take much longer). I should start a thread on here :)

04-26-2017, 11:30 PM
i really have tried to keep the costs down. the only way i could have done this for less money is by not using plastic windows and leaving the diff as it was, just about everything else was a necessity. i could have built an impreza for not much more money which would have been a much more competitive car on the dirt but it wouldn't have been as much fun and fun is what its all about.
i removed the rear door window divider from the 328i and fitted it to the front door of the compact. i then cut the plastic window into a triangle and a parallelogram, the triangle is fixed in place and i can now slide the main part of the window up and down which i much prefer to the small sliders that you usually get.
The rally i was getting it ready for has been postponed to july which gives me plenty of time to complete the car so i am grabbing an hour here and there, i would love to spend more time on it as it is so close to being finished but have many domestic duties to catch up on in the house

04-27-2017, 07:12 AM
i could have built an impreza for not much more money which would have been a much more competitive car on the dirt but it wouldn't have been as much fun and fun is what its all about.

This is precisely it, fun! :biggrin:

04-27-2017, 11:21 PM
finally finished, fitted the door bars, tow straps and mud flaps now just need the door squares and stickers then ready to log book (vehicle passport)

05-04-2017, 10:05 PM
What suspension are you going to be running?

05-04-2017, 10:14 PM
i have removed the front and rear anti roll bars and am using the standard suspension. its pretty soft and i will see how it works out, i have some m3 struts i can try and i also have some bilsteins but will have to raise them up a bit as they are too low. it is all about keeping the cost to a minimum

05-04-2017, 10:41 PM
Yup, I'm thinking of using M3 struts as well. For the small engine you'll need to put lowering springs in them I think.

Your car is for road rally though, right? Interesting how you choose to run without anti roll bars. I would have thought that for the road you would want at least the front.

BTW, I watched a few of your vids on youtube. Keep it up! :D

05-04-2017, 11:09 PM
it is going to be used purely for gravel rallies. when i say gravel there are lots of small rocks, pot holes and the odd jump, it is pretty rough and the car needs to be as heigh as possible as it will bottom out. the first one i competed in split my sump

05-09-2017, 05:03 PM
Reiger suspension.


05-09-2017, 10:26 PM
Reiger suspension would be very good but cost about 4 times more than the car has cost. i fitted e36 m3 springs to the rear which has kept it a good height and stiffened it up a bit. i have just pulled an e36 328i apart and will fit the springs off that onto the bilstein front shocks i have and will see how that works out.
The scrutineer passed it for its passport inspection tonight so it is now officially a rally car.
i am keen to use it on its first event with the 1900cc engine then see about fitting the 328i engine into it. the last one i did was only about 5kg heavier with the 6 cylinder aluminium engine rather than the 4 cylinder steel engine
unfortunately i was rushing to pull the engine out the diner car and forgot to disconnect the power steering pipes and spilt oil all over the drive so tomorrows job after work is to find a place to put all the goodies removed from the 328i, dump what is left and clean up the drive.

05-11-2017, 10:06 PM
our scrutineering is real strict in the US. Cage needs to be FIA (whatever numbers). basically a jungle gym.

my rx7 and my gf's 2002. Don't have a good interior pic of the 2002 handy.

05-20-2017, 12:36 AM
couldn't resist this e30, it is very clean and low mileage (not that it has an engine) i can't wait to get started on it, i have bought a sump off a m40 so that i can fit the m42 from the compact in it, and it came with a multi point cage and plastic windows.

05-24-2017, 06:21 PM
What is the throttle body?

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05-24-2017, 07:54 PM
e36 m3 with the middle pair removed

05-24-2017, 08:05 PM

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06-23-2017, 10:44 PM
i needed to do something with the suspension so i dug the old bilsteins out but couldn't fit them because they had lowering springs and i wanted to stay at standard ride height so i cut the old spring support off and fitted some adjustable height collars and fitted 350lb 10" springs, when fitted the car was far to heigh at the fronthttp://i.imgur.com/jL5UKki.jpg
i then removed the struts and dropped the mounting point 50 mm and fitted the springs without the adjustable height collarhttp://i.imgur.com/PcUZonJ.jpg
this was drying after a coat of satin black. the height is now 10mm higher than it was standard which i am happy with, at the back i have fitted bilstein shocks and e36 m3 springs which have raised its height slightly. i have re fitted the front anti roll bar but left the rear one off. it drives very nice on the road, much better than before and it feels much more stable with the anti roll bar. i have a gravel rally coming up so it will be interesting how it handles the bumps and rocks.

07-20-2017, 09:34 AM
i fitted bilstein struts with 350lb 10" springs on the front with m3 springs on the rear with bilstein shocks, i have put the front anti roll bar back on as i thought i can always remove a drop link an try it without. it will be used on gravel and dusty concrete so very little grip, there is also stones and small rocks so that is why i am keeping it heigh.http://i.imgur.com/r1mNA4V.jpg
all stickers up now as it will be competing in its first rally in 9 days. i just need to fit the correct seats, harnesses and intercom from the other car and set the tracking

07-29-2017, 07:11 PM
i have just completed its first event and what a laugh. the car ran faultless all day with most of the problems being my driving. it was very wet during the morning with the 4wd cars making up lots of time. i had plenty of understeer probably due to the wet muddy conditions and also the budget tyres that i was using, i had 3 spins luckily without hitting anything. i disconnected the front roll bar and it stopped raining which made the car a pleasure to drive. it still had understeer but no where near as bad as the morning. i was struggling to get it into 3rd gear as i had fitted a quick shift gearstick which i will be reverting back to the standard one. i managed 1st instead of 3rd a couple of times which was a bit scary
i finished 4th overall which I'm more than happy with and i can't believe how much fun i have had in this virtually standard car.
looking forward to my next event

07-29-2017, 07:17 PM

08-04-2017, 11:51 PM

08-05-2017, 09:39 PM
Woot, very nice, looks like you are having a lot of fun!

05-17-2018, 11:44 PM
that car is now sold, i had a good offer for it and a friend of mine now is really enjoying rallying it. i have bought a 316i compact which is similar to the ti but slower and drum brakes on the rear, not sure if i should turn it into a rally car and fit a m44 engine i have available, i also have a 328i engine that i could fit in.
i am not touching that until the e30 is finished and I'm not too far off now https://i.imgur.com/J3ZSDm9.jpg