Topic: Noob questions on rules clarifications

First post ever!  A bit of background.  We are a group of NVH engineers from Ford.  We have a coworker that is on a different team, and hearing his stories was motivation for us to build a car.  Our car is being built in Dearborn.  We are doing this as an excuse to drink beer in my garage, and to expose some guys who are interested in learning how to work on cars to get their hands dirty.

I bought our 1991 Civic from a guy that has already competed in Lemons and he got it far enough we might actually complete it...

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Question 1:

For the cage... he had welded in the pads, and had built the rear hoop, but did not yet install it.

In order to leave an allowance for welding the top of the cage adjacent to the roof, he left the legs about 4" short.  The idea is that once the roof bars are welded, you can then use some 3"x 3" square tube with a cap welded to the open end to cover the distance that the hoops were short.

This is a good idea for giving yourself access to actually weld near the roof... but is it legal?

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Question 2:

Are there any adjustable seat tracks for the racing seats that are legal?  This is kind of a big deal to our team since our height range is from 5'7" to 6'3"... and we need to come up with a way that no one is significantly compromised in reaching the controls.  Any suggestions?

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Question 3:

I see that you have to run a hood... but I am guessing you can cut "heat extractors" (i.e. big-ass holes) in the hood as long as there is nothing sharp.  Is this fair?

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Question 4:

Are there any industrial supply places, or perhaps even other teams located around Detroit, that would be wiling to let us use a pipe bender?  We would be willing to pay a usage fee, but would rather not bare the expense of a bender for one-time use.


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Looking forward to being a good Lemons corporate citizen, and lending a hand if possible.

Best regards, Hew

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

Question 1.
This can be done, but not exactly as you're saying. Don't use a piece of square tube, but you can built plinth boxes. I've done this twice now. 4" is likely reaching the upper end of the height that you'd want to make up. Email HQ and talk through your plan to make sure they're on board with it. They've seen thousands of cages, they'll help you get a plan that shouldn't fail tech.

Question 2.
Tons of us use sliding seats. It's going to take some custom fab to make it work. Make sure you use a set that has a slide lock on each rail, not just one side. If you can't mount them on the stock factory points put some thought into how you attach to the car. It needs to be strong.

Question 3.
You can add heat extraction to your hood within reason. But honestly, they aren't going to make up for your crappy cooling system. Focus your efforts on beefing up the actual cooling system of the car before focusing too much on hood mods. A bigger radiator, good fans, and fixing any OEM flaws will get you waaay further.

Question 4.
If you can't find a place, there are a few shops that will send you a pre-bent kit based on your measurements. Roll Cage Components, S&W to name two. You'll still need to trim, notch, and weld, but you'll have a cage that should just go into the car.

19 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: Noob questions on rules clarifications

I agree with Engineer, and I will ad as far as the seat sliders, if head clearance is an issue, raise the front of the seat so you get some tilt towards the back.  We had to do that because we range from 5'6" to 6'3"

Good luck and hope to see you on the track

Skip "Mongo" L.
Team DadBod

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

Thank you both, for the replies : )

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

I have a cage that uses stout square tubing with plates on top as a plinth box.  I think they are 4x4, not 3x3.  The tubing needs to be sitting on spreader plates of the required size but it's an acceptable way of landing the main hoop and forward legs.  As to height, I don't think 4" is excessive.  I have longer but my plinths straddle the sill so it's longer on one side and much shorter on the other.  As with all these types of questions, consult with John Pagel before proceeding.  Execution is key so make up drawings of what you want to do and he will help you out.

You are not running a Ford?  For shame.  Even former Ford driver Greg Fricken Biffle is building a Ford for Lemons.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

A group of engineers?  You guys are DOOMED.  ;-)

Tunachuckers: 10 Years of Sucking at Sucking

2008- 2010:  1966 Volvo 122, "Charlie"
2010-present:  1975 Ford LTD Landau...doesn't have a name?

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

As far as your sliders, we used these:  https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speedway … ,7103.html

along with these:  https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Universa … ,7104.html

After one race, the sliders are good and solid.  We did have to do a little "engineering" to get them mounted to the floor.  We used 1-3/4" square tube up front, 2" x 1" in the back to have a 3/4" drop from front to back.  We used nice grade 8 bolts, washers, and nuts to go through the tube, the floor pan, and also had a 1/8" spreader plate.

Hope this helps

Skip "Mongo" L.
Team DadBod

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

I am of the camp of  where you install your footing plates, cut and fit your cage tubes and then tack weld the upper part of the roll hoop & halo bar & the front down tubes. Then you cut holes in the floor using a hole saw. I do this right through the footing plates or you can hold off welding the floor part of the footings. You drop the tubes down through the holes. Finish welding the upper part of the cage and then raise the cage back up.  Install the floor footings and weld them in, then the down tubes to the footings. This is the way it's been done for hundreds of race cars. In fact it was the only way I did it until I heard of "pith boxes" on this forum.

I actually did a version of a pith box on my last build not knowing what it was called by others.

There are times that Pith boxes are better, it really depends on the car and it's floor shape and where you have to, or want to place the down tubes.

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

One last thing...you make you driver size difference sound excessive but it is in a somewhat normal range depending on leg length/torso length.  Temporary mount you seat for the median leg length guy.  Put the short guy in and stick a 2" pad under and behind.  Take you tallest torso guy, put a helmet on him and stick him in the car.

Short guy that comfortably reach all the controls is good
Tall guy that can, with only minor discomfort, use all the controls, and ingress/egress and has the helmet clearance is fine

The only reason I mention it is teams get sliders wrong, fail to build the seat back brace correctly that is normally required, etc.  It would say it is in the top five first time failures.

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

If the cage legs have already been cut, I'd say the ship has sailed on dropping the cage through the floor so they have no choice but to use plinth boxes.  Particularly in a Civic which is already going to be a challenge to meet the helmet clearance rules for the 6'3" driver.  Some cars have no way to cage them without using plinth boxes (Corvette springs to mind) so the method can't be completely discounted.  When the legs land on top of frame rails, I'm not sure I'd want to be punching holes through those either.  It's an acceptable way to mount a cage in situations that call for it and this appears to be one of those.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

cheseroo wrote:

I have a cage that uses stout square tubing with plates on top as a plinth box.  I think they are 4x4, not 3x3.  The tubing needs to be sitting on spreader plates of the required size but it's an acceptable way of landing the main hoop and forward legs.  As to height, I don't think 4" is excessive.  I have longer but my plinths straddle the sill so it's longer on one side and much shorter on the other.  As with all these types of questions, consult with John Pagel before proceeding.  Execution is key so make up drawings of what you want to do and he will help you out.

You are not running a Ford?  For shame.  Even former Ford driver Greg Fricken Biffle is building a Ford for Lemons.

I'll concede being wrong if others have used the square tube method. I thought I had seen it frowned upon at one time.
I don't think 4" is excessive, just reaching the upper limit. Of course it all comes down to implementation and your particular car.

19 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: Noob questions on rules clarifications

I am not a big fan of "halo" type cages, but they work well when welding space is limited.
The other place that teams fail roll cage tech is welding. Make sure your welding rig has enough power,
and your welder can lay down good quality beads. Tight joint fitment makes good welds a lot easier.

Capt. Delinquent Racing
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Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

I have a Civic chassis and a lot of different size drivers. Seat with a slider makes it almost a certainty that you need to install a helmet bar. Buying a seat with a layback and then tilting it back a bit can help but in my experience the taller drivers need that helmet bar to be safe. I put a bend of about 20 degrees in mine, moved it as close to the driver as possible and put a bump in the roof to accommodate the peak in the bar. It is notched and 360 welded to the halo in the front and the hoop in the rear.

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

My Pinto has the cage sitting on 2"X3" box tubes running down the rockers (3" sides vertical) and 100% welded.  I was told by JP that this was fully acceptable IF spreader plates per the rules were used like the box tubing was not there.  JP has personally told me my car was a "Nice build."



Bill

2017 Thompson Motor Speedway #36 Sabrina Duncan Racing...... WTF.........
2016 Thompson Motor Speedway #36 Sabrina Duncan's Revenge, IOE Trophy, 5th Place 'C' Class 1977 Ford Pinto
2009 Stafford Motor Speedway #16 Team Teflon, 11th Place (overall) 1997 Saturn SL2

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

mechimike wrote:

A group of engineers?  You guys are DOOMED.  ;-)

we have 2 on our team, they are the SLOWEST people in the world, everything has to be perfect....lol
and Furd guys running a HONDA? If you are engineers you'll find a way to get a Furd mill in it.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

I am hearing a 3.0 Taurus V6 in the future? Possibly in conjunction with said Honda mill?

Racing cars is for rookies. Racing crapcans takes balls.

Re: Noob questions on rules clarifications

Sparco makes a nice heavy seat mount and double-locking slider for a Civic that makes it a bolt-in exercise that takes a few minutes. I've used them in three Civics so far and they work well.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!