Topic: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Hello, all. Yet another over-excited newbie here. A friend of mine has been telling me about Lemons for a while now, and I finally started looking into it seriously. Luckily, it seems that most of my circle of amateur gearhead friends is now out of college and making enough money to actually try something this expensive/stupid/awesome/fun/dangerous. From what I've read on these forums, it sounds like these races are a blast no matter how few laps you car actually drives before dying.

So I started looking around in the obvious place and found this 1977 Porsche 924 with no engine for $500.
http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/3036606264.html

Quite a problem for a bunch of young guys who don't know what the hell they're doing, but it turns out that the 924 forums have an entire section dedicated to engine swaps:
http://www.924board.org/viewforum.php?f … 5f47eda4c2

The first thing I noticed was that more than one member of that board had (apparently successfully) swapped a Chevy 350 V8 into this car. 350s can be found everywhere, but in decent shape it would still break the budget.

Luckily, there's another option. I know a guy with a Chevy Astro who performed a V8 swap a few years back. The guys on astrosafari.com do this all the time, as the original 4.3L V6 is considered by some to be terribly underpowered. As I understand it, the 4.3 is basically a 350 with the front two cylinders chopped off, so the swap requires no modification to the drivetrain.

What I'm thinking is, if people on astrosafari are frequently putting V8s in their vans, we might be able to pick up a well-used 4.3L V6 for dirt cheap, then install it in this 924 using similar methods to those that were used for the 350.



Okay, so in all honesty, after typing that up it sounds like a project that is too complicated for a first-time team. What do you guys think? Should we take the easy way out and just strip out my friend's old Civic?

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Porsche with 4.3 swap vs. old civic

that's a no brainer

go for the porsche

If it moves and shouldn't, use Duct Tape.
If it should move and doesn't, use WD-40.
If those don't work, its BROKE!

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

How old is the Civic?  If it's from the '70s and has a Hondamatic, skip the Porsche.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP, Organizer's Choice 2022 Hell on Wheels California Rally

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Obviously the 4.3 powered Porsche is the better idea...

I'm sure if you post where you are (I'll guess Houston from the craigslist ad) someone will offer to help / stand around drinking beer while you work on the car.

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

4.3 all the way.  It has yet to let us down except at the track.

True it is a 350 but missing two cylinders.  Our experience with the 4.3 is that we get all of the fuel mileage, near all of the weight, all of the inherent failure, all of the heat retention, and all of the inefficiencies of the 350, but none of the torque, HP, or cheapness of the parts.

Putting it into a Porche will be beautiful.  Passing along the best advice that we ever got - you will definitely need exhaust stacks on that.

Speedy Monzales
- Organizers' Choice Dec 2011 Heaps in the Heart of Texas
- IOE May 2012 North Dallas Hooptie
woo hoo

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

I'm gonna say that for a first time team, keeping it simple is better.  Worrying about keeping a frankenstein running can be a hassle - especially when it's your first outing.  But if you're feeling adventurous, go for it!

(And this is coming from someone that has not heeded that advice in the past...)

Quad4 CRX - Wartburg 311 - Civic Wagovan - Parnelli Jones Galaxie - LS400 - Lancia MR2 - Boat - Sentra - 56 Ford Victoria
Known Associate of 3pedal Mafia, Speedycop, and the Russians.  Maybe even NSF.

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

My suggestion on an earlier post about 944 goes here as well.

1) pull slant 4 Porsche motor (or in this case VW/Audi)

2) install slant 4 Pontiac 1/2 a big block from an early Tempest

3) make it rain nickles

Constructor/Owner/Driver - Billy Beer Ford Futura

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Forget the V6 Porsche swap, How much does the guy want for the V8 AstroVan? Thats Lemony!

TEAM TONTO, 7 cylinders of thunder!
Now with 4 big Losses!
Steve was right

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Take a horrible car and plug in a horrible motor...

Phil is fapping somewhere right now.

Daniel Sycks

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

BTW... a 924 with no motor is worth less than scrap value. They should pay you to haul it off.

Daniel Sycks

11 (edited by Mulry 2012-06-29 05:42 AM)

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

dculberson wrote:

I'm gonna say that for a first time team, keeping it simple is better.  Worrying about keeping a frankenstein running can be a hassle - especially when it's your first outing.  But if you're feeling adventurous, go for it!

(And this is coming from someone that has not heeded that advice in the past...)

+1 on all of this. It's great to have another excited team join the circus, but be aware that rookie teams have been known to never make a race when they bite off more than they can chew. The key to getting started in Lemons is to buy a car that already runs and drives for less than $500. If you're like most of us here, getting even that car ready for its first race will provide more challenges than you can imagine. That said, YMMV, and if you guys are really dedicated and willing to put in the work, then make it happen. Just make sure to fairly consider how much energy, effort, and cash it's going to require to accomplish what you're setting out to do. It's extraordinarily easy to underestimate all three of those on any build, let alone a first one.

Finally, make sure to read Erik's post, The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons. It may help you avoid some common mistakes. Good luck!

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

dculberson wrote:

I'm gonna say that for a first time team, keeping it simple is better.  Worrying about keeping a frankenstein running can be a hassle - especially when it's your first outing.  But if you're feeling adventurous, go for it!

(And this is coming from someone that has not heeded that advice in the past...)

I have to agree with you here. As much fun as a crazy project would be, it should be more than enough work just getting a working car ready to race for 12 hours straight. I did read the post on advice for starting out, and I'm totally on board with not sweating the budget too hard. Just finishing the race is a lofty enough goal for us first-timers.

To answer one of the earlier questions, I think the Civic in question is a boring 5th generation model from the early 90s. Unfortunately, it's in perfect operating condition already, which I'm sure will be major points against it. I wonder if the fact that it has a salvage title would moderate the budget penalties? After all, that's the only reason he didn't trade it in when he bought a new car; they wouldn't give him a cent for it.

Alternatively, one of the other guys has a 70s Corolla that doesn't run and has a stripped out interior.

Alternatively alternatively, I have a '64 Dodge Dart that I've been trying to get rid of for a while. It could be made to drive with minimal effort, but I think it's in far too good condition to destroy in a race like this.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

13

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Honda's have not been all that reliable in Lemons.  Street reliable and Lemons reliable are often quite different.

Just something else to consider.

Racing 4 Nickels - 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
2011 SHOWROOM-SCHLOCK SHOOTOUT  IOE Winner
2012 The Chubba Cheddar Enduro Class C winner
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Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

A 70's Corolla would be a good starting point for a first time Lemons racer.  Finding all the parts you need would be the biggest adventure, and that shouldn't be too tough.

No need to count the dollars in the budget.  No one will question it, if you keep it appropriately LeMon'y looking.

2012 North Dallas Hooptie Judge's Choice Winners
If life gives you Lemons, install racing brakes!
https://www.facebook.com/JoBoRacing

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

SpaceFrank wrote:

To answer one of the earlier questions, I think the Civic in question is a boring 5th generation model from the early 90s. Unfortunately, it's in perfect operating condition already, which I'm sure will be major points against it. I wonder if the fact that it has a salvage title would moderate the budget penalties? After all, that's the only reason he didn't trade it in when he bought a new car; they wouldn't give him a cent for it.

5th gen Civic - check!
Phil assuming all honda teams are CHEATERS! - check!
Swap blown engines until everyone on the team can do it in their sleep - check!

The Civic is like the dark side of the force.  It seems SO easy.  It lures you in with the promise of easy returns.  So much handling, so much reliability, so much win.  You take the bait.  You learn the ways of the Honda.  You race.  Once.  Then four engine swaps later you realize you are the prick with two light-sabers and a bunch of dead kids laying around you.

SpaceFrank wrote:

Alternatively alternatively, I have a '64 Dodge Dart that I've been trying to get rid of for a while. It could be made to drive with minimal effort, but I think it's in far too good condition to destroy in a race like this.

Buy the Dodge.  The Honda is the path to ruin.

Oddly enough, I now own two Honda Lemons cars, but I've turned far more worry free laps in Mopar products (thank you NSF and Tetanus!)

Apparently my name is really "Craigers".  Who knew?
We might be yellow, but at least we are slow
I'm a WINNER!

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

dsycks wrote:

BTW... a 924 with no motor is worth less than scrap value. They should pay you to haul it off.

^^^ This.
I was given a 924 in exchange for extracting it from the frozen mud in a guy's backyard.

It is the WPE*, so people should pay to get rid of a non-running example.




*Worst Porsche Evar.

Jim C.
If God meant for us to race, we'd all have baggy Nomex skin.
08TMS.09NL.10GM, SP, NL.11SP, NL.12SP, VIR, NL.13GM, NJ.14NJ, VIR, WGI.15AB.16GM.17NCM.18GM.19...

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

To give perspective... Our Metro has ran 3500 track miles without a hiccup.  A METRO!!!!  Now... they aren't the fastest of miles, but the damned thing won't break.  Yet...

Two races with our BMW and we've fixed all kinds of crap... during the race... Saturday night... etc...

Just because a car seems like it SHOULD be the right choice, doesn't make it the right choice.

Listen to the civic bashers...

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

18 (edited by SpaceFrank 2012-06-29 10:54 AM)

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Well, it turns out I was wrong about the Toyota. It's not a Corolla, it's a '77 Celica with a seized engine. Unfortunately, the owner doesn't want to use it for Lemons.

The Dodge I already own. It was a daily driver for several years before being parked and neglected. It needs a new carburetor, but other than that it's in good mechanical shape. Perhaps too good. It's just taking up space right now, but I'm still not sure I'd want to use it for Lemons. On the other hand, parting out all the stripped crap will probably net more money than I'd get for the car as a whole.

Is there any rule requiring a Lemons car to have, say, front fenders?


Edit: holy crap I also just found this. Yes, I'm in Houston.
http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/3018231777.html

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

SpaceFrank wrote:

Is there any rule requiring a Lemons car to have, say, front fenders?

Yep, you're required to have fenders.  They don't have to be in great shape, so often times you can sell your old, good fenders with a "must bring your rusty fenders and swap" clause.

Quad4 CRX - Wartburg 311 - Civic Wagovan - Parnelli Jones Galaxie - LS400 - Lancia MR2 - Boat - Sentra - 56 Ford Victoria
Known Associate of 3pedal Mafia, Speedycop, and the Russians.  Maybe even NSF.

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

SpaceFrank wrote:

Edit: holy crap I also just found this. Yes, I'm in Houston.
http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/3018231777.html

"Lemons Z Cars:  Bad Idea, or The Worst Idea?"

mike - Schumacher Taxi Service
12+-time loser
"Winner" - We Got Screwed, NJMP '11

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

dculberson wrote:
SpaceFrank wrote:

Is there any rule requiring a Lemons car to have, say, front fenders?

Yep, you're required to have fenders.  They don't have to be in great shape, so often times you can sell your old, good fenders with a "must bring your rusty fenders and swap" clause.

....and they don't even need to be from the same car if you're creative!

Lorin Mueller
Scuderia Asino formerly Team Haulin' Ass - 83 Plymouth Scamp
Team Soccer Moms - 93 Dodge Caravan

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

SpaceFrank wrote:

[

Alternatively alternatively, I have a '64 Dodge Dart that I've been trying to get rid of for a while. It could be made to drive with minimal effort, but I think it's in far too good condition to destroy in a race like this.

I have a '64 Dart, too.  I have some non-LeMonny plans for it, for the moment.  But those A bodies can be made into surprisingly good track cars, with cheap upgrades to brakes and engine.  I wouldn't discount it.  And don't worry, Lemons isn't the crash-o-rama its often made out to be.  A car can live a long life on the track if you take care of it.

Tunachuckers: 13 Years of Sucking at Sucking
2008- 2010:  1966 Volvo 122, "Charlie"
2010-conversion into Plymford:  1975 Ford LTD Landau...doesn't have a name?
2018:  1950 "Plymford".  Organizer's Choice - CMP Fall 2018 Hurricane Florence reschedule

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Omnilith wrote:
dculberson wrote:
SpaceFrank wrote:

Is there any rule requiring a Lemons car to have, say, front fenders?

Yep, you're required to have fenders.  They don't have to be in great shape, so often times you can sell your old, good fenders with a "must bring your rusty fenders and swap" clause.

....and they don't even need to be from the same car if you're creative!

or they could be from the same car, just not originally fenders.

mike - Schumacher Taxi Service
12+-time loser
"Winner" - We Got Screwed, NJMP '11

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

I would advise against the 924 4.3 swap, its not as easy as the forums make it out to be, at least not on a Lemons budget.  Sure you could by the $2500 kit, but if you are like us that's not really an option.  There's a lot of fabrication to do without the kit.  If you are still interested in it email me, I'd be happy to talk all day about everything we learned doing the swap.  I've got lists and pictures of things that we learned to do and not to do.  We got ours running (with the TBI, thank you to all that chimed in on my earlier post about this swap), now the only issue we are having is making it actually move.  We might have found out what we did wrong, the only thing left is to finish putting it back in the car and see if we are right.

Re: Great idea? Or greatest idea?

Oh wow. I didn't realize someone had actually done that build already. Good luck!

Well, at this point we're basically scouring CL for running crapcans and trying to decide where we would work on the thing. This team probably won't be getting started for a couple months at least.

Command Pilot/Flight Director, Escape Velocity Racing
Index of Effluency, Heroic Fix, Class C Trophy, now hopelessly gunning for Class B.
Currently 1-2 vs. Team Fairlylame in the Class of 1964 Championships