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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I apologize for the broken links. As soon as I migrate the pics from Photobucket to a new sharing service I will get the links up
1/2018 I'm working backwards and down to page 30

After a couple of years racing a Mazda MX3 in LeChump events, I decided that I wanted to try something new. I enjoy following other people's builds because they're informative and entertaining. This thread will document the build, but I want to encourage a two-way dialog as I go. If you have information that will help, or questions, please feel free to post. If you need any interior parts check out my Sale Thread.

I found this 1985 P-type on Craigslist in PA. I wanted to start with a running example with a clean title because I intend to keep the car street legal. Here she is, fresh from a 750 mile drive home to Atlanta. Turned 189,000 miles on the way!



Things are pretty ugly underneath - lots of rust and mud. It runs and drives well, and seems fairly solid in general.

I'm not sure on a theme yet, but this car has always intrigued me:



I know.... it's a Celica, but I wanted to race one of these when I was younger.

Now I'm going to start taking things apart...

... and for those of you who don't want to scroll through 29 pages, here is the end result on track during the first race!

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The seats are this color. I have no idea if it's blue or grey.



Disassembly has begun. My goal today was to remove the sunroof since it had been sealed shut with black silicone. I started removing pieces to get the headliner out (A, B, and C-pillar covers, mirror, dome light), then got carried away and ended up removing all of the inner rear panels, the carpet/liner that runs from the trunk floor to the rear seats, and the wood support around the spare tire.



Then it was time to attack the sunroof. All bolts were removed, but the sunroof was still solidly mounted! After a little research on CS I found that the sealer "glues" the unit to the car, so I had to pry it loose with a lot of effort.





Now I have a large hole in the roof which will be sealed with a welded-in sheet during the cage installation. For now it's sealed with a sheet of plastic, silicone, and duct tape :) Free is good right now, and I kinda like the opaque look that lets light through.



 

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Discussion Starter #5
The lighter the better. There are no weight rules in LeMons. I can always add ballast if I decide to run an SCCA event.

Any suggestions for removing weight without affecting structural integrity? Oxidation seems to be doing a fine job on the underside :laugh:
 

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For our lemons car (a 1990 Integra) we stripped it of everything. We removed the hatch, all glass minus the windshield (required), sunroof, interior, dash, cut out the inner door liners, and removed all insulation.

We cut out a piece of sheet metal just bigger than the sunroof and riveted it to the roof, in case we ever needed access again.

As far as your cage goes, don't skimp on the drivers side bars. There's a lot of contact out there, and it's better to be safe than sorry. Also, read the cage rules thoroughly. They're very picky about the cage during inspections. There's a great do's and don'ts illustrated guide out there on lemons cage building. Should be on the lemons forum somewhere.

Also, if you plan on modding, hide them well. For those you can't hide, bring good bribes for the BS inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One of our team drivers is a master with metal. He built the cage in our MX3 to Lemons spec and the tech people loved it. Do you know if it's legal in Lemons to weld braces from the cage to the body to add stiffness?

What theme is your Integra? Do you run all the West Coast races? My team owner drove a smowmobile-powered Miata in a race last year and had a blast.
 

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One of our team drivers is a master with metal. He built the cage in our MX3 to Lemons spec and the tech people loved it. Do you know if it's legal in Lemons to weld braces from the cage to the body to add stiffness?

What theme is your Integra? Do you run all the West Coast races? My team owner drove a smowmobile-powered Miata in a race last year and had a blast.
No restrictions in LeMons for cage-to-body attachments. Chump does have some restrictions
 

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One of our team drivers is a master with metal. He built the cage in our MX3 to Lemons spec and the tech people loved it. Do you know if it's legal in Lemons to weld braces from the cage to the body to add stiffness?

What theme is your Integra? Do you run all the West Coast races? My team owner drove a smowmobile-powered Miata in a race last year and had a blast.
It's been about a year since we built the cage, but I don't remember any restrictions, other than you cannot extend from the front and rear mounting points towards the bumpers. They want to keep the stock crumple zones working as intended by the manufacturer. We boxed in our rear strut towers with the rear mounting points, and it passes muster.

We started racing last September at the Thunder Hill Event. We plan to do all the California events. We did the last Sears event and the Buttonwillow event last weekend.

Our theme is Team Big Test Icicles. We're campaigning for awareness and prevention of icicle injuries. This is our emergency response vehicle:

 

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Discussion Starter #12
That car is so full of awesome!!! Do you know the specs on your wheels (Lug pattern, offset)? They look like something that might fit the supra.

Here's our current ride after an "eventful" CMP win: Hong Norrth Sumbich

 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Moving deeper and getting concerned. Today I stripped out the rear seat area. If you see anything you need please visit my sale thread.



Here's the concern: The rust around the shock towers.






Other than that everything seems fairly solid.

 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I had a little time this afternoon to continue disassembly. There are two switches on the console that I could not identify (one is a single action toggle and the other a dual-action) - does anyone know what they're for? They are on the flat area behind the shifter.

The first thing to go was the passenger seat, along with the rear half of the floor carpet.



Then the fun started - weight removal from the front end! The AC radiator fins are full of ??? mud, dirt? I thought that this would bode well for the radiator behind it - it was stopping all the crud from the one I need to race. As you'll see in the next photos that wasn't the case. At least there are 30 less pounds under the hood!



By the way, does anyone know what the two circled items below are for? They seem like resistors or relays. A couple of strange things happened after my work today. I took the car for a short drive and the fuel gauge did not work and the vents were blowing hot air even at the lowest setting (like the heat was turned up). Maybe these items had something to do with it.




The crud didn't reach the radiator, but this is what I found when the AC unit was removed. Pardon the poor quality. The worst area is on the driver side bottom, possibly helped by the battery drain issue.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for including the rust repair DIY in my thread - now I won't have to search for it when I begin the project! I'm on the lookout for a welder on Craigslist, I've always wanted to learn the art, and what better chance than a Lemons car :)

Thanks also for the information about the switches. The car did not have a rear wiper when I picked it up, and will not have one for racing.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Today I began the part of the project I've been dreading - removing things from under the car. The car was on a lift when I arrived to pick it up so I had a chance to walk under it. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea before driving it 750 miles home, there was rust and dirt everywhere I looked. The only parts that weren't rusted were covered in oil from various leaks :)

But first, I just HAD to remove something from the interior. Today it was the radio and about a pound of electrical and speaker wires associated with it (powered right off the battery post).



Then it was on to the left front suspension. I sprayed every nut, bolt and thread I could see with PB Blaster, then started trying to remove them. The caliper bolt came right out, but the pivot was binding badly. After a few shots of PBB I was able to slide the caliper off the mount. It took a lot of force for a few of the bolts, but everything came apart eventually.



Behind it all was a fairly decent looking inner fender. I should be able to clean everything with a wire wheel and seal it with some type of spray. I'm open to suggestions on undercoating or other product.



I've read in other resto threads about acid damage under the battery, and this car is no different. Fortunately there doesn't seem to be more damage than I can fix with a welder. I cut out the battery tray after the photo was taken.



I may get crazy and try to remove the entire front subframe tomorrow. I just have to find a thread here to guide me! I don't think my HOA will be too crazy about having a car on jacks in the driveway for too long, so I'll be working quickly but not at the expense of doing things right.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Awake early on a Saturday. After pulling the left front suspension yesterday with only a little drama I was looking forward to tackling the right side and cleaning a few things. During this phase of the project I'm taking things apart to see whether it's worth the time and effort to build it into a race car. The rust in the rear wheel wells freaked me out a little, but the more I read about welding the more comfortable I get. Now that I've had the entire front suspension off and taken a look around, I'm definitely going to move ahead with the build.

The right front suspension came apart with no drama. I pre-sprayed everything with PBB and started turning bolts. The brakes were awful during the drive home from PA and now I know why - both front calipers were barely moving.





The first real problem during disassembly was this bolt that holds the strut bar brace to the frame on the left side. The bolt started loosening, then got tight and the "captured" nut inside the frame broke loose so it started spinning freely. Fortunately there was enough room to get a cut-off wheel in there to cut off the bolt head. Everything on the left side related to the strut bar brace will need to be improved - the battery acid caused rust that weakened every point where the brace attaches.



With a little persuasion the sway bar and strut bar braces were removed. Everything is rusted, but not enough to affect integrity.



So I went to the local Autozone and did a little shopping :)



I used a wire brush on a drill the clean the parts as well as possible. There's no way I'd have enough time or patience (or wire wheels) to get everything down to bare metal. After cleaning the parts were sprayed with the rust-inhibiting paint. While everything was drying I ran a tap through every captured nut on the chassis and braces to clean the threads.



If you noticed that I installed the sway bar incorrectly into the braces... bravo. It took me 15 minutes of wrestling before I figured it out under the car. Since I can't leave the car on jack-stands too long, I cleaned, greased, and put Never-Seize on every thread and put everything back together.





Later today I'll start a list of things that will need to be repaired and replaced, and I can finally start my search for race parts (seat, harness, wheels, steering wheel with hub and quick-release). I'll also start brainstorming ideas that will make the car easier to service and repair at the track (e.g. relocating the fuel pump and filter).
 

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The single action rocker switch you removed from the center console was for the fog lights.

Your heater blows hot because you unplugged 2 of the 3 ambient air temperature sensors from the car. One sensor is mounted on the front A/C fan frame, the black thing that you circled on the left in that pic. The other one was inside the rear of the center console; it looked like a smoke fan above the ashtray. It sucks in interior air to sense it's temperature from a central part of the car.

The 3rd sensor is the "solar sensor" that is the little button on the very top of the dash, on the right side up by the windshield. The automatic HVAC system uses the 3 sensors to adjust temperature. You can get around it by installing a manual water valve for the heater.

The fuel filter on the engine can be relocated to the firewall by using a fuel hose assembly from a 22RE Toyota 4 cylinder. I haven't done that mod myself yet, but I just got the hose from a junkyard 89 4x4 truck and hope it works.

Gonna remove the sound deadening? That stuff weighs a lot. Upgrading the brakes? The Mazda 4 pot front calipers from fc/fd RX-7's are aluminum and allow you to pull 2 pins and slide the pads right out. Some of the 4 pot Nissan 300z Z32 front calipers also allow you to do this, and those bolt right on to the Supra struts. Check out the Brake Upgrade thread on how to convert. There are also others, but depends on what rims you're using. 4 pot calipers require a lot of behind the rim clearance in the spoke area to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, Great information! Thanks, Dan. The sound deadening material is definitely coming off. A friend volunteered to help me using a dry ice method. I'll be running 15" wheels and probably sticking with the Cressida brake upgrade. With good pads, ATE fluid, and cooling ducts I should be able to keep the heat under control.

I guess I'll remove those sensors from the AC radiator and plug them back in!

I'm thinking about creating a small sealed box in the hatch area to house the fuel pump and filter. I may add a second pump wired separately in case of failure during a race. I'm trying to plan for everything to be easily accessible.
 
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