Topic: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Hello, local idiot here. I have myself and one or two friends who wanna race, and we’re looking for a car to start a team. What kind of budget should I expect to have? What all will I need to buy? What all counts towards the $500? And how soon can I start?

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

There is a lot to let you in on but we need some more to give you accurate information.
Local where?
Most cars that need to be built, if you have nothing and no mechanical skill, can be upwards of 6K to 10K.
Personal equipment,( Neck restraint, Fire suit, Helmet,) can be had through the Lemons store.
Roll cage is the most expensive single piece of the puzzle.(seat, fire suppression, seat belts, and shutoff switch, are also necessary )
The Roll cage is the most difficult to source, (you need a pro here)
Also needed for a race weekend, Fuel jugs, A way to get it to the track, a theme,
I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of other stuff, but this is the basics.
$500 is for the car only, safety items dont count.
If you have a car that is not a factory-type race car that is older. Don't be concerned with the $500
Let us know the car you are thinking of and i'm sure you will get more feedback.

Manny,  (12year Lemons veteran and part time judge)
,

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

The rules do a really good job of laying out what counts towards the $500 budget, what doesn't, and how you can recoup costs by selling parts. It's a short rulebook, give it a read and a lot of questions will be answered.

Manny's budget estimate is right on. It's possible to build a car cheaper if you have the skills and tools, but most first time teams are looking at $5k+. My first race back in 2011 it was just over $5k from buying the car through finishing the first race, and I don't think I could have done it that cheap again starting from scratch. Costs are up on steel and many other parts, and the general requirements for what you need to install in the car are up from 10 years ago. (dear god I've been doing this for a decade....)

Ask any questions though, we're all happy to help.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

4 (edited by duthehustle93 2021-10-05 04:19 PM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

TWB503 wrote:

Hello, local idiot here. I have myself and one or two friends who wanna race, and we’re looking for a car to start a team. What kind of budget should I expect to have? What all will I need to buy? What all counts towards the $500? And how soon can I start?

Start by reading the rule book cover-to-cover, that'll give you most of your information. Build yourself car=$3-6k depending on resources, creativity, and how much work you put in. Buy a prebuilt retired car = almost no work and ~$1000-3000. Outside of car: racing gear ($500+ per person, try to find used), spare consumable parts, money (for fuel, entry, tires, consumables), fuel jugs, tools, trailer/support vehicle is a good idea, a light-hearted attitude, and a few friends who are dumb enough to do this with you. We bought out a retired team with a broken car and tired trailer and put in a lot of elbow grease and started up our team with around $3000 including the trailer. From here, we spend around $3500-4000/race for entry+car gas+tires+consumables+tow vehicle gas+food+misc stuff. Worth every penny IMO.

Full Ass Racing
#455 Piñata Miata

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

http://cservices.ddns.net:81/u/zTFbLO.png
Anything I'm forgetting? Anything extra? What goes where and what doesn't? etc etc etc

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Mkotzias wrote:

There is a lot to let you in on but we need some more to give you accurate information.
Local where?
Most cars that need to be built, if you have nothing and no mechanical skill, can be upwards of 6K to 10K.
Personal equipment,( Neck restraint, Fire suit, Helmet,) can be had through the Lemons store.
Roll cage is the most expensive single piece of the puzzle.(seat, fire suppression, seat belts, and shutoff switch, are also necessary )
The Roll cage is the most difficult to source, (you need a pro here)
Also needed for a race weekend, Fuel jugs, A way to get it to the track, a theme,
I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of other stuff, but this is the basics.
$500 is for the car only, safety items dont count.
If you have a car that is not a factory-type race car that is older. Don't be concerned with the $500
Let us know the car you are thinking of and i'm sure you will get more feedback.

Manny,  (12year Lemons veteran and part time judge)
,

thinking of a free CRX i saw, just needs an engine. But i wanna plan my budget for in case i have to get something else

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

TWB503 wrote:

Anything I'm forgetting? Anything extra? What goes where and what doesn't? etc etc etc

Drivers gear is missing a neck brace
Car equipment is missing a kill switch at a minimum.

Hard to comment on the dollar amounts without knowing what you've allocated for each item. Example the fuel cell (which is not required, stock tank can work for your first races), but the cell usually requires the actual cell, steel for building a containment cell for it, AN fittings, AN Line and new fuel pump at a minimum. All that adds up. Fuel jugs will depend on how fast you want to fill for price and you will need more than 1 since they are limited to 5 gallons.

I think if you are allocating $7k you should be able to get it done, but take the time to list out all the items that you will actually need.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

TheEngineer wrote:
TWB503 wrote:

Anything I'm forgetting? Anything extra? What goes where and what doesn't? etc etc etc

Drivers gear is missing a neck brace
Car equipment is missing a kill switch at a minimum.

Hard to comment on the dollar amounts without knowing what you've allocated for each item. Example the fuel cell (which is not required, stock tank can work for your first races), but the cell usually requires the actual cell, steel for building a containment cell for it, AN fittings, AN Line and new fuel pump at a minimum. All that adds up. Fuel jugs will depend on how fast you want to fill for price and you will need more than 1 since they are limited to 5 gallons.

I think if you are allocating $7k you should be able to get it done, but take the time to list out all the items that you will actually need.

So subtract the fuel cell and just use the tank, up the fillers to two, add neck brace, add kill switch.. anything else? I’d like to spend as close to what I can get for my budget, let’s just say for example I have a 5k budget. First I need everything I need to make it completely legal for two drivers, then I can spend the rest on everything to make it fast. How much should I be expecting for the bare minimum of legality?

9 (edited by TWB503 2021-10-06 08:07 AM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Mkotzias wrote:

There is a lot to let you in on but we need some more to give you accurate information.
Local where?
Most cars that need to be built, if you have nothing and no mechanical skill, can be upwards of 6K to 10K.
Personal equipment,( Neck restraint, Fire suit, Helmet,) can be had through the Lemons store.
Roll cage is the most expensive single piece of the puzzle.(seat, fire suppression, seat belts, and shutoff switch, are also necessary )
The Roll cage is the most difficult to source, (you need a pro here)
Also needed for a race weekend, Fuel jugs, A way to get it to the track, a theme,
I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of other stuff, but this is the basics.
$500 is for the car only, safety items dont count.
If you have a car that is not a factory-type race car that is older. Don't be concerned with the $500
Let us know the car you are thinking of and i'm sure you will get more feedback.

Manny,  (12year Lemons veteran and part time judge)
,

I must not of read this all the way through sad
I am local to Plano, TX, which makes things hard, because the only race left in the calender I have any shot at going to is the one in Houston, and that’s like a 5 hour drive. Obv I’m not expecting to attend EVERY race, but I’d like to just race at least once, for experience. I included a roll cage I found for a CRX in the car equipment section of my chart above. I have not accounted for how much it’ll cost to get it to the track. I have a Jetta and a Tundra, so I’ll have to rent out a trailer and take the Tundra down (It already gets crap fuel economy, can’t imagine how bad it’ll be towing.. anyways,) is a theme a thing to name the team around? I already have an idea, so that’s sorted. I tried to get into contact with the person selling the CRX on this forum (it’s raced before, again all it needs is an engine)
Anything else I should do?

10 (edited by TheEngineer 2021-10-06 08:49 AM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

I'm going to say it one more time, read the rules, because they lay out every single thing you will need to make your car pass tech. It's a short rule book, only takes like 15 minutes to read. You should be able to make a checklist for yourself and then start laying out a purchase list.
https://24hoursoflemons.com/prices-rules/

There is also a picture book for how not to fail tech
https://24hoursoflemons.com/wp-content/ … 040419.pdf

This is also the latest tech sheet that is used for tech inspection, it's a checklist to work from
https://24hoursoflemons.com/wp-content/ … .7_PDF.pdf



The BEST thing you can do to prep for starting a team is visit a race. You'll get a really good sense of the things you need by visiting and watching. That or find a team to join for a race even as just crew and learn from them.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
Turbo Dodge Powered E36 Build
2008 Saab 9-5Aero Wagon
Retired - 1989 Dodge Daytona Shelby 2011-2015 "Lifetime Award for Lack of Achievement" IOE, 3X I got screwed, Organizer's Choice

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

I must say Chris(The Engineer) and I (Manny) are in agreement on you need to read through the rule book backwards and forwards.
And a Must is to attend a race!
My Teammate and Co-Captain lives in Dallas. I could have him reach out to you and he can give you more insight, if you want to pass on your contact info.
There is a ton of info he will be able to impart to you a bunch faster than we can from the east coast.
Manny

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Correct me if I'm wrong,but I get the feeling that you would like to attend (race) in the Houston MSR race next month.

I personally don't think there are enough days between now and then to properly prepare a car,get all the necessary safety gear,and get your shit together enough to have a satisfactory experience.Don't take this as a negative comment,it's just that I've seen enough teams try to half-ass it enough (again,not in a negative way).....

Nothing will turn your friends/teammates against the idea than dropping a shit-ton of money and blowing up/failing tech/not getting to race.A $500 race car sounds great,but in reality,it takes a whole lot more in terms of time,money,preparation to run for an entire weekend.
Your best bet is to get your potential teammates together and attend the race as spectators.You can see what to do,what NOT to do,what type of equipment/supplies to bring.and what to expect on a real race weekend,without the stress of actually having to be in the race.Who knows,maybe you just wander the pits and find a team you can shadow for the weekend to get the big picture.

Again,don't take any of this a trying to discourage you from trying,just my observations from what I've seen happen more times than I can count.

40+x Loser.....You'd think I would learn......
5x I.O.E  Winner   1 Heroic Fix Winner   1 Org Choice Winner
2x  I Got Screwed Winner    2x Class C Winner
(Still a Class B driver in a Class A car)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Mkotzias wrote:

I must say Chris(The Engineer) and I (Manny) are in agreement on you need to read through the rule book backwards and forwards.
And a Must is to attend a race!
My Teammate and Co-Captain lives in Dallas. I could have him reach out to you and he can give you more insight, if you want to pass on your contact info.
There is a ton of info he will be able to impart to you a bunch faster than we can from the east coast.
Manny

I'd be happy to meet up! My email is linked in my profile, but you can pass it off to him at conner@smith.net

14 (edited by TWB503 2021-10-06 09:39 AM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

BigBird wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong,but I get the feeling that you would like to attend (race) in the Houston MSR race next month.

I personally don't think there are enough days between now and then to properly prepare a car,get all the necessary safety gear,and get your shit together enough to have a satisfactory experience.Don't take this as a negative comment,it's just that I've seen enough teams try to half-ass it enough (again,not in a negative way).....

Nothing will turn your friends/teammates against the idea than dropping a shit-ton of money and blowing up/failing tech/not getting to race.A $500 race car sounds great,but in reality,it takes a whole lot more in terms of time,money,preparation to run for an entire weekend.
Your best bet is to get your potential teammates together and attend the race as spectators.You can see what to do,what NOT to do,what type of equipment/supplies to bring.and what to expect on a real race weekend,without the stress of actually having to be in the race.Who knows,maybe you just wander the pits and find a team you can shadow for the weekend to get the big picture.

Again,don't take any of this a trying to discourage you from trying,just my observations from what I've seen happen more times than I can count.

Yep, Houston is the correct race.
I see. So, are there any races within like 400 miles of DFW area next year? I guess I'll start racing next year, which I'm fine with.. So, attend the race, maybe find some time to talk to existing teams, anything else I should do in these 3 months?

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

My experience is that Operating and entry costs and consumables for a weekend for a car that is easy on tires, brakes and race fuel and tow fuel including entry fee is $2300-$2500 per event (possibly add a couple hundred based on current elevated fuel prices). This takes into account 2 races for tires and brakes, so add $150-$200 for purchase cost of those items.

This does not include purchase and build costs for the vehicle. This is just what you will eat up with a light car 4cyl running all weekend.

Safety gear can be rented from racesuitrental.com to help cut costs if this is possibly a 1-and-done event for you.

buying someone else's already-built car is your fastest and cheapest entry point but cuts your full Lemons experience in half or more.

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

And if you can swing it, try to get there early enough for tech on Friday - watch and listen carefully.

+x: Read the rules and “HOW TO NOT FAIL Lemons TECH INSPECTION”

Also, look through this forum. Many of your questions will have already been answered several times. I lurked here for more than a year before joining, though I still had/have questions; they were mostly specifics regarding my project or equipment.  There's a ton of good information here already.

Your enthusiasm is great to see, and you have been shown the path. What you accomplish now is up to you.

I think most of the enjoyment of the racecar builders here comes from figuring out the answer to problems which arise on their 'creative' builds.

There are some who seem to just want to arrive&drive.

There's room for all.

Just my opinion.

(I thought driving 5 hours in Texas was like just going to the away high school football game on Friday night(?); maybe that's just Idaho...

Anyway, that's not a long _distance_ here in the northeast, though there's usually a lot more traffic which results in the _time_ component of going anywhere. And you're almost guaranteed to transit more than one state - which is _not_ like Texas.)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:

And if you can swing it, try to get there early enough for tech on Friday - watch and listen carefully.

+x: Read the rules and “HOW TO NOT FAIL Lemons TECH INSPECTION”

Also, look through this forum. Many of your questions will have already been answered several times. I lurked here for more than a year before joining, though I still had/have questions; they were mostly specifics regarding my project or equipment.  There's a ton of good information here already.

Your enthusiasm is great to see, and you have been shown the path. What you accomplish now is up to you.

I think most of the enjoyment of the racecar builders here comes from figuring out the answer to problems which arise on their 'creative' builds.

There are some who seem to just want to arrive&drive.

There's room for all.

Just my opinion.

(I thought driving 5 hours in Texas was like just going to the away high school football game on Friday night(?); maybe that's just Idaho...

Anyway, that's not a long _distance_ here in the northeast, though there's usually a lot more traffic which results in the _time_ component of going anywhere. And you're almost guaranteed to transit more than one state - which is _not_ like Texas.)

I'm fine with driving out of state to pick up a car, but a race would be a little more difficult to do out of state for me. When I get home I'll tally up all the requirements I'll need.. I think an 8k budget should get me fine, and I'll have the time to get that money in the mean time.. But I guess I'll just wait till next year to race, I'd like to race this November, but chances are I'll have to wait until next year if I want to.. not suck

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Spank wrote:

My experience is that Operating and entry costs and consumables for a weekend for a car that is easy on tires, brakes and race fuel and tow fuel including entry fee is $2300-$2500 per event (possibly add a couple hundred based on current elevated fuel prices). This takes into account 2 races for tires and brakes, so add $150-$200 for purchase cost of those items.

This does not include purchase and build costs for the vehicle. This is just what you will eat up with a light car 4cyl running all weekend.

Safety gear can be rented from racesuitrental.com to help cut costs if this is possibly a 1-and-done event for you.

buying someone else's already-built car is your fastest and cheapest entry point but cuts your full Lemons experience in half or more.

I'd quite like to keep a suit for future events, just incase (plus it looks cool;) )
I'm hoping I can get my hands on that CRX I'm looking at.. I'll need to factor in tyres in the costs.. How much fuel would I expect to use in a race (in gallons)?

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:

(I thought driving 5 hours in Texas was like just going to the away high school football game on Friday night(?); maybe that's just Idaho...

Anyway, that's not a long _distance_ here in the northeast, though there's usually a lot more traffic which results in the _time_ component of going anywhere. And you're almost guaranteed to transit more than one state - which is _not_ like Texas.)

Oh yea, my closest race is a minimum 4-hour tow at 220miles. The next closest race is 520+ mile 9-10 hour tow, then next closest is 12-ish hour tow.  The furthest I've driven to get to a Lemons race was 2,230 miles to Palm Beach International Raceway.

So suck it up.

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/1226100733-466x350.jpg

20 (edited by Spank 2021-10-06 09:58 AM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

TWB503 wrote:

How much fuel would I expect to use in a race (in gallons)?

a crx about 4gallons per hour maybe 5

edit: and don't forget to budget in head gaskets...

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

Spank wrote:
Lemon_Newton-Metre wrote:

(I thought driving 5 hours in Texas was like just going to the away high school football game on Friday night(?); maybe that's just Idaho...

Anyway, that's not a long _distance_ here in the northeast, though there's usually a lot more traffic which results in the _time_ component of going anywhere. And you're almost guaranteed to transit more than one state - which is _not_ like Texas.)

Oh yea, my closest race is a minimum 4-hour tow at 220miles. The next closest race is 520+ mile 9-10 hour tow, then next closest is 12-ish hour tow.  The furthest I've driven to get to a Lemons race was 2,230 miles to Palm Beach International Raceway.

So suck it up.

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/1226100733-466x350.jpg

Actually if I'm towing... I'm fine with whatever distance >:)

22 (edited by Mr.Yuck 2021-10-06 10:35 AM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

TWB503 wrote:

Hello, local idiot here. I have myself and one or two friends who wanna race, and we’re looking for a car to start a team. What kind of budget should I expect to have? What all will I need to buy? What all counts towards the $500? And how soon can I start?

By the time you are done you will have 4-5k into the car. Maybe 3-4k if you can weld the cage in, and unless you have a person with that skill set and experience I wouldn't even try it. and that's just on the car.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

TWB503 wrote:

<snip>.....So subtract the fuel cell and just use the tank, up the fillers to two,

No, no, no.  Absolutely not legal to modify a stock tank.  I think even with a fuel cell you would get smacked down for having two fillers.

In general, you seem too ready to sprint before learning to walk.  Simplify things.  It's super easy to underestimate how much time and money it takes to build these things.  Find whatever car you want to use.  Make it reliable.  Make it street legal if you can so you can drive it around for a month or so before a race.  Once you are confident the thing won't break down in the paddock before the race, do the safety stuff.  Whatever modifications you think you need should be ignored in favor of the ones that make it more reliable.  For example, the CRX has a reputation for being head gasket blow-ey.  Fixes for that exist.  Find them and mitigate the problem.  The Jetta (IIRC) has a front wheel bearing weakness.  Fixes exist for that. 

Go to the MSR race.  You don't even have to be part of a team.  Approach people and ask questions.  At the last race a team approached and asked permission to look over the car.  I spent as much time as they wanted to point out things and explain why I did it the way I did.  You'll find that most people are receptive to helping you out.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

One thing to note about that CRX for free, or any retired car, make sure that the cage is up to snuff. Before we bought our current pre-built car we checked out a next-to-free Kia ($200) that was complete. Went to check it out and the cage was awful, they said that it's raced before, but the cage wasn't even fully welded, geometry was awful, and the harnesses were bolted down to the seat bracket. If the cage is bad, it's typically scrap metal.

Also, I might have some gear I'd be willing to sell if you're interested, I'll have to see what I have but if potentially interested shoot me an email (link under my name).

Full Ass Racing
#455 Piñata Miata

25 (edited by mharrell 2021-10-06 11:40 AM)

Re: What should I expect to spend, and where?

cheseroo wrote:
TWB503 wrote:

<snip>.....So subtract the fuel cell and just use the tank, up the fillers to two,

No, no, no.  Absolutely not legal to modify a stock tank.  I think even with a fuel cell you would get smacked down for having two fillers.

I think from context that TWB503 is responding to TheEngineer's comment by expressing a desire to add a second fuel jug to the shopping list, not a second filler tube to the fuel tank. It's still worthwhile to keep in mind that stock fuel systems can't be modified, though.

Edit: As far as the theoretical installation of a second filler tube, I don't think Tech would like it even on a fuel cell and there's still the limitation that, for hot pit fueling, a team can only have one fuel jug over the wall at a time anyway...

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