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Can someone please talk me out of a 200 point 3rd Gen F-body


WTFover
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Looking to possibly do something different than the Miata next year.   Fun car, but Ecotec swap reliability leaves a bit to be desired.  Also we started with the wrong chassis to do a swap to. Also PBIR is getting demolished, which is one of our 3 "home" tracks and favors the Miata.  The 200 point 3rd gen F-body looks pretty enticing on the surface.  Can do a later car with the 350TPI and a T5 trans swap for 225 points, and 15.5 gallons with a 2 gallon allowance (unless that changes)+  1/2 gallon surge might get us somewhere  near the  2 hour mark if we keep the revs down.  Am I being suckered in by my own delusions of grandeur and the desire to relive my formative car years?   I think there is a decent amount of fat to be trimmed off these cars in Champcar guise too.  I just feel like the rules are now favoring cars that are delivered from the factory heavy with big engines and larger fuel capacities,  which can then be significantly lightened, and can get a big brake upgrade for "free".  

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I would not count  on 2hr stint.  Our C4 with a 350 TPI  and a 20 gal tank make and average of 1:45 (using somewhere around 17-19gal) depending on track conditions.  If there are some full course cautions we can get close to 2hrs.  Maybe with a 305 and t5 you could use less fuel.  

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You think 2 hours is possible.  Your nuts.

 

Ours was about an hour.  But we bought an American Iron NASA car just to go fast with, winning wasn’t an option as we were taking many laps. 

 

Then what is the old adage ‘to finish first first you must finish’ @red0 will always hate me and my white Camaro for trashing his weekend because our car broke.  They are utter junk.  Our two times out with the car resulted in two serious failures.  Panhard bar that speared the Honda (chump race) then a steering box failure (ran it with SCCA one weekend).    

 

Also, can you build a better car than GBU?  Because I don’t see them running their mullet Camaro anymore either. 

 

Don’t do it run away.   

 

I’m a hater.  My team wanted to run it while I didn’t.   I am very happy we sold the car for a loss.

 

Look up all the consumables… ours ate a lot. 

hate that car.jpg

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We have a number of American Iron up in our area and none can get near the two hour time. PWR takes fuel and unless you strip all the weight

not sure you will make it work if that's your goal. Teams up here mostly run for fun knowing they are not in the hunt to hit podium.

 

Sorry to hear of you issues with the swap package, we have run a couple for many years and it does take time to sort the swap to reliability.

 

Good luck on the new venture what ever that may be.

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Before going with our BMW I wanted to do a 3rd generation F-Body as that is something I had a ton of experience with. All of them near me were waaaay to much money for the basic car. However, my general thoughts were later year 305 TPI / 5-spd (non-"peanut cam" LB9 only gives up 10hp to the L98) and were a popular car in the American Iron series years ago. 

 

I considered "low HP" LS type swaps like a 4.8 or 5.3, even considered a hot Ecotec swap to cut weight and stay in the area on power. 

 

The small gas tank almost begs for a fuel cell to take advantage of +2 gallons. 

 

I still think one can be done well, but it won't be easy and probably more expensive than other builds.

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Grew up SBC, would enjoy campaigning one as I know all the race day nags can be eliminated (keep revs down, focus on early torque) saying that, expect 10 or 12 GPH on a fuel run, also, driveline refresh every year. Consumables will be painful if you want to podium, 18 in tires, etc.

 

While not "win-ie", most reliable SBC I have ever seen run this series was Lead Sled Lincoln, it started out using a stock, unrefreshed super high mile 97 chevy truck engine + super t10  in a 91 town car, eventually (years later) they had to replace that engine as it started to leak uncontrollably (presumably blow by) the new engine was a dealer service replacement.  That car mostly outlasted the team, unfortunately it was totaled @ Daytona.

 

I believe GBU runs the same trans.

Edited by Team Infiniti
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1 hour ago, smitham32803 said:

I would not count  on 2hr stint.  Our C4 with a 350 TPI  and a 20 gal tank make and average of 1:45 (using somewhere around 17-19gal) depending on track conditions.  If there are some full course cautions we can get close to 2hrs.  Maybe with a 305 and t5 you could use less fuel.  

c4 was the other car I would consider, but by the time you address oiling issues, you might have enough for a splitter or a wing.  How competitive do you feel the car is at Daytona and Sebring in it's current guise, and do you feel like you are leaving anything on the table weight wise?  

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Our first race was at Daytona a few years ago which I am pretty sure was the debut for the GBU corvette, I didn't realize they had anything before that.   I think that's a pretty stark testament to its ultimate capability if that is the way it all shakes out.  Bummer. 

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42 minutes ago, Fetterhund said:

Before going with our BMW I wanted to do a 3rd generation F-Body as that is something I had a ton of experience with. All of them near me were waaaay to much money for the basic car. However, my general thoughts were later year 305 TPI / 5-spd (non-"peanut cam" LB9 only gives up 10hp to the L98) and were a popular car in the American Iron series years ago. 

 

I considered "low HP" LS type swaps like a 4.8 or 5.3, even considered a hot Ecotec swap to cut weight and stay in the area on power. 

 

The small gas tank almost begs for a fuel cell to take advantage of +2 gallons. 

 

I still think one can be done well, but it won't be easy and probably more expensive than other builds.

Yeah, bummer about the fuel capacity.  I know you can do a 4th gen tank swap and easily get another gallon, but that might be a no-no here. The rule states stock OEM fuel tank, and it is inferred (but not written) that it has to be from the same car, but not stated explicitly.  I could argue that it is a stock OEM unaltered  tank, but I'm probably just making an excuse to get me in trouble later.    So if you want to get it all you have to drop 4K on a purpose built fuel cell then fill it with displacement balls.   I remember seeing a petition this year to end the +2 gallon allowance for everyone now that displacement balls are a thing.  It will be interesting to see if that goes through or not.   

Edited by WTFover
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With fortunately placed cautions a 3rd gen could be competitive. Or, one would have to build it to run fast enough to make at least one more stop than other cars that also can't make two hours. In other words, 2 more stops minimum than those that can do 2 hours. And when you start running 5 seconds/lap faster than the other hot dogs to make up for your extra fuel stop you will be tarred and feathered while having your VPI raised making your build worthless.

 

Years ago I ran some numbers for Road America with a fuel limited car and, going from memory here, a fuel range of 1:18 per stint and 2:37-2:40 lap times would put a car in contention with the normal mid 2:40 cars that win/podium. (Those cars generally don't make 2 hours either, so you're making an extra stop beyond them.) The third gen has the points to do this but the question is do you want to as your looking at big expensive tires, big brakes and big fuel bills.

 

TiredBird runs a 3rd gen and can give more info, but as I recall he gets about 1:30 out of a tank of gas with a 305. Don't recall if that is with a cell.

 

Crowd Control with their Cobra had similar fuel capacity issues so would have good insight on what it took to win. I recall them saying cautions were important.

 

In my opinion, a 2nd gen is a much better choice as it has a 21 gallon fuel tank from the factory, handles pretty well stock, anything you want is available aftermarket for suspension, and has even more points to play with. Saying that, the Camaro that has run at RA, which has a cell, makes about 1:45 on stints from what I have seen with a not wild 305 and has been in high 2:40's. Very competitive with the front runners at that track.

 

PS-Third/fourth gens and Mustangs are the poster children for the fallacy of CC's fuel capacity rules.

 

eta-Here's a vid of the 2nd gen at Road America. They have a number of vids on their youtube including Autobahn where I think it was competitive as well. Great looking car as well as sounding a lot better than an Ecotech. hah

 

spacer.png

 

Of course there was also the infamous Blitzmobile Trans Am.

 

Edited by Bandit
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2 hours ago, WTFover said:

c4 was the other car I would consider, but by the time you address oiling issues, you might have enough for a splitter or a wing.  How competitive do you feel the car is at Daytona and Sebring in it's current guise, and do you feel like you are leaving anything on the table weight wise?  

 

As far as lap time and speed go our car is great at Daytona (but we focused our build on that track since we are so close to it), i think we were something like the 2nd fastest lap time this year.  But it is an endurance race and our team is not super completive when it comes to pit stops and strategy, we typically only have 3 drivers and no added pit help so our stops are not optimized.  factor that in with the fact we have average 1:45 stints and our car has a couple penalty we are not winning anytime soon.  This year with the rain we sucked, last year we were in top 10 overall. 

 

Most important think is that it is fun to drive fast and pass cars.     

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49 minutes ago, smitham32803 said:

 

Most important thing is that it is fun to drive fast and pass cars.     

 

But you can do all that in a miata also.  & he already has the miata. 

 

I think @WTFover should think hard about keeping & fixing the miata.  The grass isn't always greener on the other side. 

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2 minutes ago, Ben 595 said:

 

But you can do all that in a miata also.  & he already has the miata. 

 

I think @WTFover should think hard about keeping & fixing the miata.  The grass isn't always greener on the other side. 

If we stayed Miata, we would go away from an NB to an NA.  There is a 17 point deficit to an NA in an Ecotec configuration.  Our chassis program is (was) very strong and we are  very happy with it.  I'm just tired of getting the paint sucked off the car when a corvette or a lexus goes by at Daytona.  We tried giving up our front roll bar for some more points at Daytona after the extended ball joint ruling and that absolutely killed the car.   If we stayed with the Miata we would just swap the parts over.  After Daytona we put the bar back on and gave up aftermarket front hubs and ball joints to squeak in under 500 points.  I'll build a  lightweight NA with a K member and front hubs for the points I gain back going to an NA, and possibly look at other engine combinations beside ecotec.  Also this next bit is a personal take here and I maybe wrong because I don't really have any data points but our own, but I feel like you really have to ring the neck of the miata (with any engine) to get the lap time out of it because of how the car makes it lap time.  If you drive at say 95%you are probably getting 85% out of the car, whereas a more powerful car, you drive it 95% it gives you 90 -95% pace.  If that makes any sense. 

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1 hour ago, WTFover said:

If we stayed Miata, we would go away from an NB to an NA.  There is a 17 point deficit to an NA in an Ecotec configuration

So help me understand where you are using all the points? We have two swapped cars with full areo bits and use the Na platform swap and still

have points to spare.

Edited by 55mini
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24 minutes ago, WTFover said:

 If you drive at say 95%you are probably getting 85% out of the car, whereas a more powerful car, you drive it 95% it gives you 90 -95% pace.  If that makes any sense. 

 

I know exactly what you are saying, to get the time out of a Miata, you really have to send it and maximize your apex speeds.  

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Don't waste your time. The BOD already changed the fuel rules and hurt all of the fuel-challenged cars. Now, a BOD member is trying to limit tire size and IMO eventually they'll be limited to 255-275 mm and a 17" diameter so the lighter cars (i.e. E30s and Miatas) will benefit while heavier cars (Mustangs, Camaros, other American iron) will get screwed. 

On top of that, even if you build a tip-of-the-spear car, be prepared for a VPI increase if you podium frequently. It'll be a never-ending battle even if you build a bad-ass car and drive it well. 

 

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2 hours ago, 55mini said:

So help me understand where you are using all the points? We have two swapped cars with full areo bits and use the Na platform swap and still

have points to spare.

In it's current guise it's 

418 point Ecotec swapped NB baseline. 

40 points for height adjustable coil overs (SM Penskes)

10 points for Splitter

10 points  for rear wing

20 points for the front anti-roll bar

 

498 points.   Probably going to have to give something up to put hubs on.  I'm a little sketched about running Daytona And Sebring with aero and stock hubs. 

Edited by WTFover
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12 minutes ago, WTFover said:

In it's current guise it's 

418 point Ecotec swapped NB baseline. 

40 points for height adjustable coil overs (SM Penskes)

10 points for Splitter

10 points air dam

10 points  for rear wing

20 points for the front anti-roll bar

 

498 points.   Probably going to have to give something up to put hubs on.  I'm a little sketched about running Daytona And Sebring with aero and stock hubs. 

Math correct? 

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46 minutes ago, Snorman said:

Don't waste your time. The BOD already changed the fuel rules and hurt all of the fuel-challenged cars. Now, a BOD member is trying to limit tire size and IMO eventually they'll be limited to 255-275 mm and a 17" diameter so the lighter cars (i.e. E30s and Miatas) will benefit while heavier cars (Mustangs, Camaros, other American iron) will get screwed. 

On top of that, even if you build a tip-of-the-spear car, be prepared for a VPI increase if you podium frequently. It'll be a never-ending battle even if you build a bad-ass car and drive it well. 

 

Still scratching my head over the fuel rule change. I know for a fact one of the Board members runs 18s and doesn't want to change so IMHO you won't see any tire size changes in any upcoming rule changes.  I hope the board only tweaks rules to refine the current ruleset.

Edited by Hurljohn
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