Car Life>> Fc Race Build Part 1.9

1.9? Why 1.9? Well I haven't got as much done as I'd like to have, but am still making progress, and am making progress in the planning stages as well.

I've been busy prepping the car for a LOT of work in the coming months. Its pretty boring stuff at this stage, so don't say I didn't warn you.

I spent almost 2 days crouched inside this beast removing that damn sound deadening. I used chunks of dry ice for the first pass (looked like an old high-school dance in my shop with the the cool fog, just needed some laser lights, but I digress). The dry ice freezes the sound deadening so well that a good hit from a hammer or my trusty putty knife, it shatters off. The rest I had to take a heat gun to and pry it off, if I never do that again it'll be too soon. All said and done there was about 45lbs of this stuff taken out, I'm pretty happy about that.

Once I got all that junk off, I took a wire wheel and a angle grinder and cleaned up the rest. All ready to be stitch welded! I also took the opportunity to remove a bunch of brackets and other miscellaneous crap, a few lbs saved there… starting to see a theme here?

Next up was the doors, this was actually pretty fun work for me. Unfortunately, I didn't weigh the doors before I started as I tossed the door panels awhile back, but I did weigh them when I was done, and I got them down to 24lbs each. I estimate the stockers with everything included are around 80lbs, the door bars alone are close to 15lbs. As you can see I took a hole saw to the doors, other than just looking rad like 1950's aviation metalwork, it saved maybe another pound.

Since I scrapped the door panels I needed some way to re-mount the interior door handles, so I swapped them left to right, and mounted them up high on the top support with some aluminum rivets and a small alu plate. Works really well, and best of all, its light! (and cheap)

I've gutted the dashboard now to the bare essentials, and I'm ready to flock it once I know where my roll cage will intersect with it and I can cut out the hole. The flocking is going to cover the nice vintage '88 grey/blue vinyl color of my dash, as well as cutting out a ton of glare on the inside of the windshield.

Next on the list was to start re-building the rear suspension and drivetrain. I'm going to be cleaning everything up and powdercoating most of it, replacing all the bushings with solid, delrin, or spherical bearings/mounts.

As you can tell by the condition of the diff, this car had a LOT of miles on it. The diff is going to be tossed, I'm planning to pick up a FC diff with a Miata torsen installed into it, which should handle a lot of abuse with a fair amount of ease.

The dissassembly didn't come without its problems though. I failed miserably trying to remove the last of the 4 bolt hubs that need to be scrapped. Tried to take it off while still on the car, my 380 ft/lbs electric impact wrench wouldn't budge it, half a litre of penetration oil didn't help, nor did a 3 ft breaker bar! I wrenched on the thing so hard the entire rear of the car came off both jackstands and almost onto the floor. 

I decided to take the rear sub-frame out and try to get it off when it was off the car. I threw the control arm in my vise and took an even bigger breaker bar to it…

…and severed a burly Grade 8 bolt clean in half. Time to go shopping for a new control arm I think. Silly that such a relatively small thing kept me busy for so damn long.

Hope you enjoyed our time spent together, remember kids, I'm just some dude in a garage with no real training, I make video games for a living, not cars, so take it easy on me! I promise to have some more exciting things to share next episode.

Happy holidays! I'm off to spend a few days in the garage, then cruise around the Caribbean is 3,000 other chumps drinking and eating way too much.

- Carl Jarrett



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Carl, cool post! Cool weight loss on those doors! I love 40's-50's hot rods and planes. Can't wait to follow this build as you go. The more details and "useless info" the better imo!


Good luck on the build, i will be following it for sure, looks good so far


its always the smaller things that take the longest and are sometimes the hardest to do but in the end all the small details will make it all worth it. very nice choice of car, and everything is looking great so far.


proper anarach-, car-bore stuff :)

would like a pic of the intire thing thoug...

anyways, keep it up. (and get going, i want to see this thing a bit further down the build :D)


Carl, lmk if you need any help with this thing.. looks like u have a good start already!!


Sweet start! I'm wondering about the miata diff idea though, because I thought those where well known to be really weak? Like breaking with anything more than 250hp and sticky tires weak?


Did you buy the car in a rust prone area, or did it sit for a while?


Love the progress!


This should be pretty cool to watch...Ive always wanted an FC timeattack car.


Yea miata diff is ok if ya stick to the na setup, if you go for the OTHER option we have been discussing id suggest a similar setup with the turbo diff housing and FD torsion like what I'm running its very well balanced and has handled all my abuse but rock on your doing well!


AWESOME. This is exactly what this site needed


Good progress carl, good luck with the build you'll get there in the end.


hows the CFD going?

PS do you know what you are doing? do you know that removing that much bracing from a door can cause it to flap around in the wind?

do you know that you might crash your car in the first 5 mins. of trying to drive it? i'd spend my money on track time if i were you and not worry about shaving 6 lbs off your piece.


@albert: I'm sure the cage will involve a door bar as well to minimize that.


I like this. Keep up the posts


I understand how things like that can take lots of extra time. My 510's rear suspension has had several snags like that. Keep it up!


you, sirrah, are living the dream. my dream anyway haha maybe if i'm lucky one day i'll see you at Black Box :P


but until then, i'm really enjoying your build posts! can't wait to see what the coming year holds!


Albert - I disagree (there's always someone who does!)

Yes, you might crash it 5 mins after you turn the key for the first time and there are thousands of other "what if's" but clearly Carl is building this thing *from scratch* and now is the time to do shitty jobs like scrapping sound deadening, lightening things like the doors and removing brackets, etc.

Those doors will do nothing but close the hole in the shell. The roll cage will take the job of stiffening the area and ensuring safety *if* there is an impact. Ideally, you could even weld them in place and climb in through the window (now THAT would be cool! lol)

Yes, you will gain more time from improving yourself than throwing money at the car but it's his money and his build. Someone else would complain he wasn't doing it "properly" if he *didn't* strip all the weight out of it! It's a bit daunting putting your build up on the web for all to have an opinion about, but good on him.

When i have some spare time i'll probably be having a go at a project again and no doubt it'll be a similar course to Carl's :)


Albert, There is no need to worry about the doors flapping around. He still has plenty of bracing in there. I race a DC2 integra with nothing but the outer surface left of the door. It is literally a single slice of sheet metal riveted to the car in 8 places around the edges and its fine. I also have removed all inner body bracing. Its a cage with an integra outer shell, all that is left of the original body is what you can see from the outside and the floor.

I have braces to the fenders and A,B and C pillars of course to keep from flapping away, but I'm sure carl wont over look that.


Great job btw carl, nice to someone else with as much attention to detail. Every ounce counts!


Damn, I feel like I'm looking at my car picked apart. Now i don't have to guess what it looks like from the inside, lol. I been working on the suspension on mine 87 NA. Changed the front sway bar bushings and endlinks with energy sus and racing beat adj rear endlinks for the rear wit some HPS brake pads. I couldn't afford any coilovers, so i settled for the RB springs/Tokico HP shocks this time around, just finished getting them installed at my school this week, and it feels so good to drive now.

My budget is near depleted now so i'll be saving for a new exhaust next year. All I got for my FC is base level mods and it feels great, so I can imagine yurs will be incredible when yur done. Kudos and kep up the good work!


Speedhunter needs more build posts like this! Really looking foward to see your progress, Carl! Best of luck and keep us posted!


Awesome, nice work, keep it detailed so alot of people can take not on certain things... keep us updated.


thats what happens when your building a car, problems occur, if your gonna restore the car buy all new parts instead of messing with old rusted, its either all or nothing


@ Joe, thats just surface rust. Buff it all off and you have a brand new part. No need to break the bank buying new spindles and such, used ones are just as good once cleaned up and new bearings put in. Only wear items need to be replaced with new stuff. Everything else just needs some TLC, lower control arms, sub frame, etc


i can seem to find a pair of non corroded rear spindles.......cant bolt on the rear brakes and dont want to risk running a heli-coil. Anyone else with this problem?


@ Albert. You're an idiot - go back to your PS3 or Xbox or whatever. Just about every serious racecar has had it's doors gutted and holesawed. And as for crashing it after 5 mins of driving it - if he does then he'll do what the rest of us track racers do... Pick up the bits, figure out why he crashed, and rebuild it better than before.


@ spwr squirt

i dont think this is a serious race car.

hence my objection. based on a lot of the naive things the author of the article has said, I am a little worried about him going gun-ho on this car build. of course i'd love to see him at a local track tearing it up, i'd even like to show him a good autocross down here in san diego. but this build is pretty indicative of the whole tuner culture where people put 90% into appearance and 10% into driving... go to your local porsche autocross and check out the 914 drivers. they are usually in the top 10, with $2000 cars with only engine tuneups, minor suspension tweaks and tires.

and for the record i am a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in racecar aerodynamics and structures

@ neil and luke, you guys have the right attitude, taking my criticism and providing your own insight instead of just slagging. good luck, stay safe!


@ CARL : anything that is seized, just heat it up and melt wax on it, do this 3 or 4 times, and just before it completly cools is when you remove it easily like it was ment to be.


@ albert

This FC is OBVIOUSLY more than just "appearance". You sir are just another hater. Who cares if you are an engineer? You are worried about him "going gun-ho on this car build" whats your f'n problem??

Its not your f'n money, time, or car. GET OVER IT! The best way to learn/appreciate anything is through experience!


LOL, the sloped chasis of the FC is just awesome to look at. and just and is too much fun to drive modded. After driving mine for nearly a year now I can say from experience that I'm glad that i didn't settle for less than what i wanted. Now I can look always look back and say my first and favorite car was a rotary!


I like that you have done an FC project car, That's cool, I've owned 2 FC's so far, and I love them.

I only dont get one thing... how are you planning to run door glass with those doors set up that way? Or are you planning to only track it in the dry, no racing in the rain? Another thing I would suggest is to keep your heater core and HVAC systems on the race car, in case your windshield ever fogs up, or if your car starts to overheat during an HPDE or something. A lot of people gut the hvac and the wiper blades in the socal area, but take into consideration your reasons and the benefits of some components before you chop the car up for good, ok? I've done a simmilar mistake, and just wanted to give you a heads up.

Good luck with the project.