Cheap track car build. Non Mercedes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gunning, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    Location:
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    Car:
    Porsche 911 / FFRR / E63 Biturbo
    So after years of spending a lot of money on 911's on the track and the upkeep I've decided to go down the cheap and cheerful route.

    My aim is to spend no more than £2500.... on everything. Trying to find a decent Mercedes track car for this is unlikely.

    The car? 2003 Mini Cooper S

    The car cost £1000
    100,000 exactly with full history
    Health checked at the bmw specialist (where all the work is being carried out too) came back as a really good little car.

    Engine: 175bhp supercharged 1.6
    6 speed manual

    They've always been good handling cars and although front wheel drive (which is for the feeble and weak) it is fun! Plus I'm going for a Nurburgring lap time of sub 9:15

    So what have I done to it?

    I've searched the forums and eBay for bargains and good parts and this is what I've got.

    New top mounts £40 for the pair

    Second hand 2 month old AP coilovers £180 delivered

    Adjustable orange rear camber arms £50 delivered

    New front control arm bushes £90 (these needed doing due to it felt like an accordion to drive)

    I wanted to get a short shifter, found a quality copy that supply's bushes that stops the play with good reviews £18

    4 x 205 50 16 federal 595 rsr - now these tyres are a great track day tyre that have been as competitive as the r888 on some cars, they heat up well and the longevity is good as well as good grip in the wet. £268 for 4 new ones (compare this to £5/600 for r888's)

    Now the exhaust was far too quiet. So I found a bargain!
    Janspeed manifold £350 new
    Custom Tomcat unsure on cost but must be circa £250
    Miltek non resonated centre section and back boxes £490
    I part exchanged my old beaten full exhaust system and gave the guy £200 for the lot. So I've saved myself £800 ish and have a car that sounds great! Sounds almost standard on tickover, hit 2500rpm and it rasps and rips into life!

    Tarox braided brake hoses £40

    Painted the wheels, Mirrors, roof, grilles, bonnet scoop in black (cost £12 in paint)

    Stripped the rear interior out.

    Plans:

    Find bucket seats and racing steering wheel.

    It'll have full racing geometry set up.

    So far total spend: about £1900
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    9 people like this.
  2. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    Photo of it before parts were fitted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  3. Lotiman

    Lotiman Active Member

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    S204 C350 CDi; R171 200SLK; Lotus Evora 400; Lotus Exige V6
    What a great idea. Like you with 911's, for years I've tracked my various Lotus cars and dare not tot up just how much they have cost me at the end of each season in expensive consumables - or worse!
    I love the idea of a cheap to buy/modify and run track car, especially one where it wouldn't necessarily be the end of the world if I totalled it. I'll be interested to follow how you get on with this.:thumb:
    Out of interest, are you installing a roll cage?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  4. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    That's basically it, with increasing costs of track days I've just decided i need to cut back in other areas. Plus I don't want to risk the cars at spa and Nurburgring any more as I tend to push the cars hard.

    I won't be installing a role cage though.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    All back together now. Slight regret not doing the work myself as it returned with an £800 bill.

    Total cost circa £2700

    Once I sell a few of the other bits should be around £2500.

    On the plus side the suspension works well and it does sound pretty incredible for a 4 pot. I will try and upload a video of it at some point.

    Still some costmetic and weight reduction left to do but it's getting there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  7. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    Today I managed to fit the short shifter myself (a bit of a mission taking exhausts, heat shields etc off) having only cost me £18 though that was a a cheap upgrade including aluminium bushes for it.

    Ordered an OMP centre boss adapter for my OMP suede 350mm deep set steering wheel. The current two spoke wheel is just horrible to use. £115 for the pair.
     
  8. John Jones Jr

    John Jones Jr MB Enthusiast

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    Gunning any idea on the car's weight?
     
  9. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Nice car .

    Another approach would be to buy a cheap 190E ( loads around for what you paid for the Mini - or less ) , then find a W124 donor car ( write off or MOT failure should be cheap too ) with the M104 300-24V engine , which can be fitted into the 190 fairly easily ( if you start with a 190E 2.6 it drops straight in , with 4 cyl 190s you need to modify the slam panel ). You can also take the brakes from the donor car , not much else needs changing .

    This gives you an 1100Kg car with 231bhp.

    Several people over on the 190 forum have done this ( I sold the engine & brakes from my crashed 300TE-24 to a chap who was going to do this ) and at least one person has fitted the AMG 3.6L version of this engine ( from a C36 ) into a 190 .
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  10. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    Not sure on weight yet. I'll get it weighed soon when I have a bit more time.

    If should be fairly light, it hasn't got run flats, any interior in the back, no pan sunroof, no aircon system either which is good.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    New wheel. So much nicer to grip than the old two spoke wheel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  12. OP
    OP
    gunning

    gunning MB Enthusiast

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    This is something I thought about many times but they handle like a boat even with strong mods. With extensive work you could get it to handle ok but I thought I'd start with a good handling car in the first place. It now handles very well. It's no 911 but it's a good bit of fun.
     
  13. John Jones Jr

    John Jones Jr MB Enthusiast

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    As per Gunning. I was concerned about getting it to handle too and it was one of the major reasons I never dropped in a 3.0l into my old 190E 2.6 Don't get wrong the 2.6 was lovely and would have been even nicer for the road with a larger engine. But to me the bottom line is, the M103 in a 190 was an afterthought by M-B and the engine sits too far forward I feel. Also after having a couple of 16V's a M103 190E just would cut it for me for the track. I reckon a far better option is drop in an M111 2.3K and a ordinary 1.8 or 2.0 manual donor would be ideal.
     

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