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1275Gt Tarmac Rally Car - From Scratch

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#16 rally1380

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 08:25 AM

  

Hi Simon.
 
Nice to see another rally Clubman joining the fray. Whether it's an original GT or not.....who gives a stuff right? And I really like your last paragraph.....
 
"... if I do something well, tell me, if I could do something a better way, a simpler way or I’ve overlooked something, tell me and if I’m doing something completely stupid tell me before it comes back to bite me."
 
Brilliant attitude to have and I salute you for being open to folks being critical (all be it in a nice way hopefully!), although on the whole, the small rally and motorsport community on here I've always found to be super supportive and helpful.
 
Keep the updates coming as it might give me the inspiration to crack on with mine....i'm assuming you are looking at the Minisport Cup as target events to compete on?
 
All the best,  Dave


Cheers Dave, I might have a few good ideas of my own, but it’s pointless completely reinventing the wheel so I’m happy to learn from those who have done it before, or tried different things.

There were a few ups and downs, reading your build and it triggered a memory, I had a look round your car at the start of The Garstang memorial rally that you drowned it in a ford several years ago! I was absolutely gutted for you when you put pictures of the accident that killed off the car after so much work. But then quite excited when it looked like you were going to be heading in the same direction I was. I hope I can motivate you to get back into your build, because no doubt at some point I am going need some motivation to keep pushing forward and if at this point I can see someone going through the same thing it will be a big help!!!
Did you ever make a descision on what you were going to do about a roll cage or at least a shortlist? I have a few thoughts but would be interested to hear yours before I possibly bias it with my thoughts.
The minisport cup is definitely something I’d like to do, one make championship and all that, a chance to go over to Belgium, so initially that’s what I’ll be targeting event and car set up wise.


Cheers
Simon

 

 

Hi Simon. Yeah, that years GP Memorial was a baptism of fire for us as our first nat b event and having a tyre delaminate on the way up to the rally....to then get rather wet was the icing on the cake really.....i'll never forget going down the track after the ford (after being bump started by the species) and feeling the water inside the car slosh from side to side.....ha ha ha  But...the main thing is we finished and got a result.

 

As for cage......in short, I have still yet to decide as i'm still weighing up options. There are so many horror stories on various social media pages of badly fitted cages that I don't want to make a huge mistake by going with the wrong fabricator and ending up with a pile of scrap because the car doesn't conform to rule x, y or z.

 

I to want the car to be compliant with events on the continent and Belgium in particular seeing as it seems a very popular destination for Brits rallying. Ireland is also a place I might visit along with the Isle of Man for sure.  So does this mean I "NEED" a homologated cage? or does it just mean it needs to conform to Blue Book regs by the letter, get the MUK logbook and Historic passport and happy days we go rallying? 

 

I think from my research a "Homologated cage" essentially means if the rules change in the future, any extra bars or design changes are essentially not needing to be done to your car because the cage it has, has passed it's 'test' (if you will) for that period, so is safe to use until such time that they ban internal combustion engines.....which is why Safety devices still sell their 6 point bolt in cage with the smaller diameter roll over hoop compared to what is specced now.

 

Where a "fabricated by the bloke down the road" cage is different is that yes it can be used and will pass all the scrutiny you can throw at it if build to the blue book rules, but it is not immune from any future rule changes....I THINK?????  And another way this type of cage can vary is in the material......A Custom Cages t45 cage is a lighter cage because it's made from a thinner gauge tube because their design has been tested at places like MIRA and still meets FIA and MUK yield and deformation tests.....what I don't think "the bloke down the street " can do, is use this same thin wall t45 tubing as a scrute will measure the tubing wall thickness during the logbooking and it'll come up short because the cage won't have the certificate like a CC or SD cage would have (although SD don't do a thin wall weld in t45 cage for a mini at least). 

 

So I think where my research stopped and the budget dried up was that I have a few options.......buy a Custom Cages T45 cage and get it installed....and seeing as the best (or at least most well known) dude in the country for this is Endaf Owens, it would probably involve a trip to see him and a very large wad of cash. I've not researched how much this would actually cost, but seeing as he is the go to guy for the Appendix K Goodwood mini brigade, I doubt he'll be cheap. But, i'm not necessarily looking for cheap, i'm looking for quality and a cage that will actually add value and provenance to my build should the future throw a spanner in the works and I'm required to sell the car.  So that's the light weight, FIA homologated option.

 

Then there is my equivalent to "the bloke down the road" who is actually an amazing fabricator. He's quoted me strong money for a cage (which is why I do need to get a price from Endaf Owens to compare) but I don't think we can have him build a T45 cage with a "light weight" tubing and still pass the regs.  This I definitely need to check though.  So with him I may be forced to use the 'standard' but heavier CDS tubing.....but I can tweak the design to suit me but still obviously stay within the Blue Book rules. 

 

Then there are the bolt ins......not overly keen as they don't give much flexibility and are heavier. I do have a 6 point SD version that I can use, but with a build as special as I hope this one to be, I kind of want to start off with the best cage I can afford if my plan is to go stage rallying and a second hand SD cage isn't that.

 

I'm all ears with regards to any research you have done though because i'm still no further along really....and annoyingly! ha ha



#17 KRM_Simon

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 02:52 PM

Dave, it seems that your research has gone about as far as mine. The whole regs surrounding roll cages seems to be unecessarily confusing. I agree with your assessment of homologated cages, like you say you dont need one, but if it isnt, you may have to change the cage config to meet any future rule changes, where as your homologation should allow you to continue using it, unless they phase out "cages homologated prior to xxxx date", like they currently allow 38mm cages if approved prior to 1995 they may scrap that and change it to you need a cage approved after a certain date maybe, but yes a homologated should certainly future proof your cage as much as foreseeably possible.
Also my understanding is as you mention, man in shed can't use T45 due to it falling foul of the diameter/thickness rules. However it may be worth talking to your 'man in a shed' if he does a lot of cages, he may know, or speak to MUK how easy it is to get an approval certificate, I have heard it mentioned it’s a case of providing the certificate of conformance for the metal used, yield strength etc. a picture of the cage layout and either some welded samples for inspection/getting them tested, however this is starting to sound expensive for a one off cage build. Also a one off build, you will need to be on the ball to make sure it meets every single line of the blue book requirements, at least off the shelf have already been through this.

So what is there available off the shelf, it certainly looks like not a lot. OMP, Sparco, safety devices and custom cages. I have no experience of the first 2 however depending what “options” you can get on the mini OMP cage it looks quite comprehensive and should be FIA compliant, looks to be just a bolt in though. The safety devices multi point bolt in looks a very good cage when fitted and a lot of the minisport cup guys use them and would undoubtedly make for a very rigid shell. This is what I was planning to use when I was looking at upgrading the mini 1000 to stage spec, despite them being in very short supply and long lead times. To make it FIA compliant you would simply remove bolts from the extra mounting points. I don’t like the CC bolt in, its just a clubman level 6 point bolt in.
But like you, given the point I am starting this build from and the spec/events I am aiming for, weld in seems logical. So SD or CC! CDS or T45, MUK or FIA. I think the SD would be stronger and stiffer due to the extra attachment points, these would have to be bolted to allow it to be FIA compliant it would however be heavier. The CC is quite a good cage by the looks of it and the option I am leaning towards, this coupled with a seam welded shell should make for a very stiff combination, maybe look into a few extra bolt on pick up points for use on MUK events (which is the majority of the event I’m likely doing).

At the beginning of this year I went to the HRCR open day and their were some representatives from the tour of Flanders organising team there as it’s one of the minisport cup rounds, I spoke to them about roll cages and they said the clerk of course would be writing a dispensation to allow the minisport cup guys to run MUK cages rather than FIA cages. I have heard this from other people as well saying the Belgians are generally very accommodating, wanting people out competing so likely they would allow you to run an MUK cage on most events as long as you weren’t doing a championship.

So really my research has found “you pays your money and takes your chance”. I think it will be a fully seam welded shell, CC T45 weld in for me, with or without additional bolted pick ups. I may get them to supply and fit, I have a few leads on other fitters I need to chase up.

Simon

Edited by KRM_Simon, 02 June 2019 - 02:54 PM.


#18 gem1

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 03:03 PM

A freind enquired about a endaf cage i think it was £2750

#19 KRM_Simon

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 06:19 PM

A freind enquired about a endaf cage i think it was £2750


Thanks gem, useful to know, that’s around the ball park I was expecting £1200-1400 for the cage and similar again for fitting.

#20 rally1380

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 10:38 AM

 

A freind enquired about a endaf cage i think it was £2750


Thanks gem, useful to know, that’s around the ball park I was expecting £1200-1400 for the cage and similar again for fitting.

 

 

That sounds about right to be fair.

 

From what I've seen on the Owens Fabrication Facebook page, they will tweak their cages to suit your needs....but obviously staying within the rules.  On the whole these are for race cars rather than rally though.

 

Another option that could be considered is Harry Hockley for an in house fabricated cage. His are CDS due to the constraints mentioned above.

 

 

The thing i'm struggling with is which material I want to use.  Had I not been told a story about a T45 cage snapping I'd have spent my money on one ages ago.  I don't know much about the details of the cage in question, but it did come from a reliable source and someone with zero vested interest. I have also heard stories of certain manufacturers of cages using cheaper materials than perhaps they should do which again just niggles in the back of my brain that I want to get this decision right.

 

I know some stories will be utter BS and I should ignore them....but when it's safety critical things we are talking about I kinda find it hard to filter the BS from the truth.  Probably made slightly worse after crashing my car so I see the importance of cages now...or at least my lower legs do.  :D



#21 KRM_Simon

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 08:15 PM

You are right to take your time, I think it’s the biggest descision to make in the whole build, like you say it’s your safety and it could save your life and there’s the fact it’s pretty final because once it’s in you are kind of stuck with it you can’t just change it.

How much can you tweak a cage before it’s no longer the homologated cage haha. I believe any reputable cage manufacturers should be more than happy to provide a copy of the certificate of conformance for the tube they buy.

I always take stories with a pinch of salt, mainly because when it comes to motorsport you can find as many stories for and against every different possible option and everyone has their own preferences. It really doesn’t make the descision any easier.



In other news, had a guy come round today who is going to do a purpose built wiring loom for me, he threw some pretty interesting options at me, will be good to get him back once I’ve decided where everything is going so he can get to work on it.

#22 rally1380

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:46 AM



How much can you tweak a cage before it’s no longer the homologated cage haha.
I believe any reputable cage manufacturers should be more than happy to provide a copy of the certificate of conformance for the tube they buy.
 

 

 

When I say "tweak", I mean having the door bars exactly as I want, the height of the harness bar and maybe a few extra triangulation bits and bobs. Nothing that would void a certificate, just fine tuning what I have bought to suit me and my body.....optimizing if you will.

 

As for the cage material - Yes I agree, but I think the theory behind the story runs true as one of the top suppliers of the actual cage tubing refuses to sell to a certain company.  But as you say, stories are just stories sometimes.



#23 nicklouse

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:51 AM

 



How much can you tweak a cage before it’s no longer the homologated cage haha.
I believe any reputable cage manufacturers should be more than happy to provide a copy of the certificate of conformance for the tube they buy.
 

 

 

When I say "tweak", I mean having the door bars exactly as I want, the height of the harness bar and maybe a few extra triangulation bits and bobs. Nothing that would void a certificate, just fine tuning what I have bought to suit me and my body.....optimizing if you will.

 

As for the cage material - Yes I agree, but I think the theory behind the story runs true as one of the top suppliers of the actual cage tubing refuses to sell to a certain company.  But as you say, stories are just stories sometimes.

 

this is where you really need to read the Blue book. as often changing parts that are not part of the main design is quite free, BUT read the regs and then discuss. Harness bar position does depend on you as it does nee to place the straps within certain angles for the FHR systems.



#24 rally1380

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 10:03 AM

 

 



How much can you tweak a cage before it’s no longer the homologated cage haha.
I believe any reputable cage manufacturers should be more than happy to provide a copy of the certificate of conformance for the tube they buy.
 

 

 

When I say "tweak", I mean having the door bars exactly as I want, the height of the harness bar and maybe a few extra triangulation bits and bobs. Nothing that would void a certificate, just fine tuning what I have bought to suit me and my body.....optimizing if you will.

 

As for the cage material - Yes I agree, but I think the theory behind the story runs true as one of the top suppliers of the actual cage tubing refuses to sell to a certain company.  But as you say, stories are just stories sometimes.

 

this is where you really need to read the Blue book. as often changing parts that are not part of the main design is quite free, BUT read the regs and then discuss. Harness bar position does depend on you as it does nee to place the straps within certain angles for the FHR systems.

 

 

Yup, Exactly my point.

 

The Blue book clearly states what is 'free' and these tweaks will just be optimising what is in the cage design to best suit me and my needs. I don't want an installer to weld the cage in (at considerable expense....for me at least) and to have the harness bar too low or too high, or the door bars in a position that makes exiting the car impossible or interferes with some component yet to be fitted in the car (as an example). Also, I see loads of cages installed to full blown race cars that wouldn't suit a rally car application as us dirty rally folk have to carry a dead weight around with us in the form of a navigator who bosses us around......I suppose the best terminology for my thoughts would be "optimised packaging".  Yes I know I can't be saying miss this, that or the other bar out, and while you are at it, make that tube a smaller diameter, but there are small changes that can be made (fully in keeping with MUK Blue Book) to ensure the build happens in a better fashion without compromising safety or packaging.



#25 nicklouse

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 10:50 AM

as you will see there are various approved door bar designs. and also the option not to have any.

 

most fabs. that do this often will know what works well. ones that you are asking to do it for the first time will need guidance from you and for that you will need to have everything in approx. place so things work (like the drivers seat being in the right place and not being topped by the main upright. door bars not obstructing the door opening mechanism, access to helmet storage and OK/SOS board...…

 

so you need to do all the cabin fab and install before the cage. like the seat mounts. and air box mods or bulkhead plating (front/rear) including access doors for rear shock tops if twin tanks or one if one tank. navs. foot rest/horn switch mount.

 

nothing worse than working around a cage.



#26 KRM_Simon

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 01:58 PM

Hi all. Not posted much in the way of updates because I’m not sure how interested people are in general shell preparation. For those who are, despite having a good shell I have set too with the angle grinder, much to the pain of the purists out there no doubt. Here is some of the extra weight removed, rear opening window latches, interior light holder, all fuel and brake line clips under the car, all wiring loom clips from the engine bay, interior and boot and the rear seat belt mounts I can get to, still debating what to do with the ones up against the wheel arches. Which looks roughly like this:
ZVhxdXx.jpg
B789HU8.jpg
qLL93ki.jpg
OK335vw.jpg
Then out came the rear seat base and companion bins:
NovOe8n.jpg
Leaving this:
PVZS2md.jpg
You can see the holes from where the old roll cage was, no welded in strengthening plates! I won’t do anything with these for now because the chances are these areas will be cut out and strengthened when the weld in cage goes in.

That is it for now, I have recently started a little bit of actual motorsport prep but I will save that for the next update.

Simon

#27 Curley

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 10:51 PM

 

A freind enquired about a endaf cage i think it was £2750


Thanks gem, useful to know, that’s around the ball park I was expecting £1200-1400 for the cage and similar again for fitting.

 

 

Yup, I recently paid £2700 for a made to measure T45 cage from a very well respected builder. Custom cages T45 kit £1700 and that's before your welded it together, not to mention any modifications/fitting needed to fit you.



#28 KRM_Simon

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 05:41 PM

So, super oscars or down size to smaller oscars? I know this is personal opinion on the looks more than anything else.
S1cPhAw.jpg
But the real reason for the trial fit was to test the accuracy of my guesstimation and make sure there was enough room to fit spotlight brackets and oil cooler where I wanted them:
i4IGrDj.jpg
Made to measure. Proper trial fits will be done when I have a front bumper and grill then I know final positions of everything and put it all on captive nuts

#29 warning634

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:32 AM

Stick with the Super Cibie, 2 up 2 down are the best looking spot light set up on the clubman...hands down :proud:



#30 KRM_Simon

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 05:07 PM

Stick with the Super Cibie, 2 up 2 down are the best looking spot light set up on the clubman...hands down :proud:


Yeah my thoughts too, plus I’ve already got 2 so might as well. The 2 I’ve got are spot pattern, if I get 2 more either driving or fog beam pattern they should turn night into day.





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