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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I introduced myself a while back, but got busy over the last few months. Back with some updates and to start a thread about my Celica with some build info and hopefully info that helps guys that want to road race or autocross these cars.

I'll try updating and answering questions frequently, but you can also follow the car's progress and racing at http://facebook.com/silverdragoncelica

My Celica isn't technically a Supra....it's a GTS model, with a 2JZ swap. So at this point, it's basically a Supra with a different front end, right?



The build began about a year ago, with an 85 Celica GTS that had been sitting for 7 or 8 years. I picked it up in Austin, TX (right next to Circuit of the Americas actually) and trailered it back up here to Dallas. The next morning, we pulled it into the shop and started gutting the interior and trying to clean it up a bit. We literally filled a long bed truck with all the crap that came out (the interior was basically a trash can and ashtray for the previous owners).




The interior got repurposed as a storage area while the car spent a few weeks out behind the shop on jackstands, and the suspension came apart. Front suspension got stripped down completely, sandblasted, painted, front crossmember modified, all bushings/bearing/seals replaced. Strut tubes modified to accept coilover sleeves and standard 2.5" springs. Fabbed custom camber plates and strut mounts. Rear subframe came out, got stripped/sandblasted/painted. Rear control arms inspected and gusseted, added adjustable spring perches to accept standard 5.5" coil springs, replaced rear bushings and bearings.



Once the car was back on the ground, time to start on the cage. Finished gutting the interior and removing extra metal. Used the old dry ice trick to strip the sound insulation from the floor, and then started bending tubes for a custom 1.5" roll cage. Get a cage in there, some seat mounts, and a fresh coat of paint.....now we're getting somewhere.




Mounted a seat, fabbed up a steering column. Rounded up some old gauges from around the shop and made a panel to fit the car. Fabbed up a quick switch panel and started running some wires, now we're starting to get an office together to work in.


 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Now it's time to get this thing moving. The old 22re came out, and we did some shopping for a new powerplant......



Drops right in.....




Got the engine and trans in to fab custom engine mounts and get everything mocked up. Then it was back out to finish the flywheel/clutch and replace the head gasket/water pump/timing belt/tensioner/idler/cam seals/rear main as maintenance before we get going.

To remain in the ChumpCar spirit, the car got a quick PVC pipe intake. An oem radiator was used from another car (there's a v8 american car out there with a radiator that fits pretty damn well with a little fabrication). We wired it up, plumbed it up, and got it on the dyno to verify our powertrain was good to go.



At this point, the car was ready to slap the body back together and get out for a little track testing. After a few weekends of testing, we took the car to it's first WRL race in Hallett, Oklahoma.




Only two issues the first weekend out...a blown clutch on Saturday morning, that disintegrated. We had another clutch in the car in about an hour and finished the day. Sunday morning one of our drivers had an off-track excursion that ran him into a tire wall. Damaged the LF corner a bit, but got back on track about 15 minutes later.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
After that first weekend we had about 7 weeks until the next race, so we threw some new fenders on the car to repair Paul's tire wall damage and spent a little time going over the car and ironing a few things out. The next race was at Texas World Speedway in December. We race in the top class of WRL, GP1, and had some stiff competition at TWS - 5 Porsche Boxsters, a few 914's, a C5 Corvette, a C4 vette, and a handful of BMW's. Saturday we came out strong and finished on the podium, 3rd place beside 2 Boxsters. Sunday morning we had an off-track incident that lost us some time, but set the 2nd fastest lap of the day.





Over the winter break, I finally had some time to do some body work and clean up the car's external appearance. Started by pulling the doors and fenders off for some shiny new paint. Pulled the front end apart to start a new aero package.





The bumper bar got replaced with 1.5" tube and a frame of 1/2" square tube for new front sheetmetal. Built a radiator box and added some brake ducts. Built inlets and ducting for the oil cooler and CAI.















 

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Very well done, nice work on the new front end. That thing looks mean. Love the look of the non flare front with the flared rear. Any details on suspension setup or is that top secret? :p
 

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Nice work and great driving! Putting a 30 year old car on the podium with that competition is impressive.

I'll be trying my hand at WRL for the first time in June at AMP in Georgia. I like their rule-set and will probably be a bit underprepped since LeChump doesn't allow some of the mods you have. The good news is that I should be able to run in GP3 with the 5MGE engine.
 

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If you don't mind sharing, I'm interested in the suspension also. It looks like you made deeper pockets for the rear springs to fit into and added some type of camber mod in the front. It looks like you're still using captured brake rotors on the front. If so you should think about the Q45/MPV set-up - it bolts right on and provides larger rotors and much easier replacement (I replace rotors after every event).

What is the race weight at WRL events? I watched the video and the car sounds excellent and is well driven. I'm jealous of the way it accelerates!

Are you still within budget for CCWS? The engine/trans swap probably cost you 100 points.
 

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lol Great work! love the fabbing and paint work. Better a track car than a lawn ornament. you've done great so far :) We're all in for some suspension knowledge :)
 

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On a scale of 1 - 10, the Russian judge awards the theoretical maximum of 17 points for the first and likely only time ever!! Like Gamble, I love the looks. And the build quality and details reflect very well on both engineering and artistic aspects. Couple that with the obvious talent behind the wheel and the true giant killer it is humiliates the high $, big ego class favorites. Congrats on the podium finish. You pulled off my favorite thing even better than I ever did. You beat the mostest with the leastest in every way AND you were the pilot too!
If only I had developed a driving interest beyond developing cars, helping optimize setups and seeing how well I could do against the track compared to the pros which by the way, was very good indeed. I just never had much interest being out there with most of the competitors and potentially becoming a victim of their mistakes. There was a couple of brief and enjoyable exceptions and those memories have sustained me for life! Only had to deal with mechanical failure once and that was the Supra LSD failing (to unlock) a few years ago and becoming a helpless passenger as a result. Unfortunately, had a friend severely injured a couple of years ago from a track day incident that could and should have been avoidable but....
So be careful out there and enjoy the ass whooping your giving all those others that are SURE they're going to dominate. They'll never notice you in their mirrors coming up to pass them but they'll remember your rear view afterwards, so have something memorable visible from the rear. My suggestion would be something I saw mounted to the rear crossbar just below the rear window in a vintage (Canadian) Trans Am Mustang a few years ago @ Laguna Seca... a beautifully carved lower arm and hand fully upright with that special finger raised in salute! It wasn't quite actual size but at first look from anywhere except up close and personal, appeared to be the real thing! The license plate on the front of their hauler was even better. It said "No Brakes" in mirror image!
By the way, I'd like to know more suspension specifics too. If you'd prefer keeping your secrets from your competitors, there's always PM's if you ever have the time! And I also second the Q45 caliper / MPV rotor setup and personally, I like the pedal feel with a MK III master cylinder. 87-88 Cressida rear brakes might help a little too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the nice posts, guys. BillyM, you'll be happy to know it's got one of your shifter bushing kits in it. RevvHappy, I've read your entire thread too, and I think I have some guesses of how your car drives, and maybe some ideas to pick up the pace.

It sounds like everyone wants suspension info. I don't have a ton of time to type tonight, but I promise a ton of suspension info this week for you guys. I'll probably just start a new thread on suspension and try to answer as many questions as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Last weekend we ran another 16 hour endurance race at Texas World Speedway. Finished 2nd overall out of 87 cars that started the race, and set a new WRL track record with a 1:58.03 lap.

Had a few issues in the first half of the race. The weather turned out much warmer and drier than expected, which caused me to come into pits the first few laps to remove some grill tape as the temps were climbing. Went back out in 72nd position, and fought back up to 3rd over the next hour. Another driver had to come out of the car early when he was feeling dizzy and dehydrated from the heat, that unplanned stop set us back some too. But in the second day of the race, our strategy worked perfect and we fought back up to second.

Some laps:

More pics, vids, and info if you follow our Facebook page:
http://facebook.com/SilverDragonCelica
 

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EPIC bad assery in this thread!

Questions: What is the wet weight of the car without driver? How much power is that motor putting down? What is the final drive on your gearbox (for that course)?

Driver is good, damn GOOD. BMW driver, not so much (second vid).

Ken.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, Ken. Full of fuel, without driver, the car weighs 2423 lbs. The 2JZ is rated at 220hp, which puts us right at the GP1 limit of 11lbs/hp. The motor's bone stock, with over 190,000 miles on it and no changes other than intake and exhaust, it dynos right over 200 at the rear. Rear diff is a factory 3.42 diff with the spider gears welded up.
 

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Would you mind sharing a photo of your brake cooling system? I'm trying to find a way to get my ducts to guide most of their flow into the center of the rotors.

We have a WRL race at Atlanta Motorsports Park in less than three weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pretty simple, pieces of 3" exhaust pipe with a little tab welded to them so that they bolt to the upper hole in the strut tube that used to hold the backing plate. You can see we still run factory brakes, with probably the cheapest pads you'll find on the track, and Motul 600 fluid. The car's faster than anybody at the end of the straights, I brake as deep as anyone, and we've never had fade issues, even at the tighter tracks (our home track is Eagles Canyon, which is known to be hell on brakes with long straights into tight corners).


 

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That's exactly where my 2.5" ducts are running, but it's a tight fit to get the duct to avoid contact with the brake lines. I see you solved the bump steer issue the same way I did.

Finished the left side tonight:



Thanks for sharing! I remember racing the full course at Eagles Canyon a few years ago in the Lemons championship. It was incredibly bumpy on one of the back downhill sections, and really was hell on brakes. Fun track, though.
 
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