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Old 12-17-2020, 12:00 AM   #1
GraySTilimited
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Default Lemons racecar

Hey all. Looking for some information and advice.
I'm building a car for the 24 hrs of lemons race. It's a 1998 Legacy Outback wagon. I'm needing to install a roll cage in it and all I can find is Impreza and WRX cages that are pre built. Would anyone know if those would fit in my car? I was under the impression that the floor pans are the same between the two body styles.
Also, I'm wanting to convert it to rear wheel drive. Does anyone have experience with welding the center diff and how reliable it would be? Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 12-17-2020, 01:44 AM   #2
Suba_Roo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraySTilimited View Post
Hey all. Looking for some information and advice.
I'm building a car for the 24 hrs of lemons race. It's a 1998 Legacy Outback wagon. I'm needing to install a roll cage in it and all I can find is Impreza and WRX cages that are pre built. Would anyone know if those would fit in my car? I was under the impression that the floor pans are the same between the two body styles.
Also, I'm wanting to convert it to rear wheel drive. Does anyone have experience with welding the center diff and how reliable it would be? Thanks in advance for any help.
If you are building a lemons car. Try not to fabricate anything custom. Half the point of lemons is to run to a junk yard down the street from the track, buy parts of a wreck, install them and keep racing. My buddies Lemons car is a hatchback and it has mounts for two spare transmissions in the trunk area. Obviously they are removed for racing, but it helps transport the spares and not forget them. You get the point.

For the cage, it's Lemons, you don't need an FIA cage, and you might as well practice your fabrication skills. The whole idea of Lemons is to build everything and buy as little as possible.
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:18 AM   #3
GraySTilimited
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Originally Posted by Suba_Roo View Post
If you are building a lemons car. Try not to fabricate anything custom. Half the point of lemons is to run to a junk yard down the street from the track, buy parts of a wreck, install them and keep racing. My buddies Lemons car is a hatchback and it has mounts for two spare transmissions in the trunk area. Obviously they are removed for racing, but it helps transport the spares and not forget them. You get the point.



For the cage, it's Lemons, you don't need an FIA cage, and you might as well practice your fabrication skills. The whole idea of Lemons is to build everything and buy as little as possible.


Iíve looked over their rules on the cage and they do have requirements. Safety equipment is not part of the $500 limit for the car. There is no limit for safety equipment. I donít have a professional tubing bender to make the bends. Thatís why Iím asking my questions. Which havenít been answered by the way.
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:26 AM   #4
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You can literally go to a Lemons race and see teams with tube benders in the pits. Go watch a race and talk to crews. Get someone to let them use your bender.

For the drivetrain, the first thing I thought was to rip out that AWD crap, bolt in a 350 FI Chevy or 302 fox body FI with a T5 and get a machine shop to make a drive shaft to match. That's a typical frankenmobile you'd see out there.

Alternatively, just leave it AWD. It ain't gonna hurt you at all. If you can run the whole race without hours long repairs, you're going to do fine.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:59 PM   #5
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You can literally go to a Lemons race and see teams with tube benders in the pits. Go watch a race and talk to crews. Get someone to let them use your bender.

For the drivetrain, the first thing I thought was to rip out that AWD crap, bolt in a 350 FI Chevy or 302 fox body FI with a T5 and get a machine shop to make a drive shaft to match. That's a typical frankenmobile you'd see out there.

Alternatively, just leave it AWD. It ain't gonna hurt you at all. If you can run the whole race without hours long repairs, you're going to do fine.


I thought about swapping the drivetrain, but that would put us well above the $500 limit. As far as the roll cage goes. They clearly state that stretched, crimped or pinched tubes will get you disqualified. Using a harbor freight tubing bender wonít work. According to their rules.
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Old 12-18-2020, 04:08 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd look into cage builders nearby and have one built. this is your life and the lives of your team in there and I don't know that I'd want to trust that to a first time DIY prefab cage.

Also would recommend not doing any kind of exotic drivetrain mods. When things break - and they will - you want to be able to replace them without too much hassle.

Also curious about how you've come to choose a legacy wagon as you weapon of choice?
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim_ View Post
Personally, I'd look into cage builders nearby and have one built. this is your life and the lives of your team in there and I don't know that I'd want to trust that to a first time DIY prefab cage.

Also would recommend not doing any kind of exotic drivetrain mods. When things break - and they will - you want to be able to replace them without too much hassle.

Also curious about how you've come to choose a legacy wagon as you weapon of choice?


Iíve contacted S&W race cars about the roll cage. I was never planning on doing a diy cage. My life and my teammates lives are worth much more than a cheapo cage. Skimping on safety was never an option.
Weíre not planning on any kind of driveline swap (has to stay within the $500 budget). Thinking to make it rear wheel drive only just to simplify it a little by eliminating some drag from the all wheel drive and being able to drift it for fun. Lol!
Basically, chose this car because I picked it up for $250 needing minor work to get it running. They are safe cars to start with. They are easy to work on and have a low failure rate as far as electronics and driveline goes. They have 4 wheel independent suspensions that can be easily modified by means of coil overs to handle fairly well. Same suspension as the wrx. Can be easily turboed later if desired for more power. Lots of them at wrecking yards for cheap parts.

Last edited by GraySTilimited; 12-19-2020 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-19-2020, 03:58 PM   #8
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Gotcha. I race an AWD turbo Eclipse in Lemons. I'd keep AWD if the car is already set up for it. Helps a bunch in the rain. I also wouldn't worry too much about the $500 budget. I think a lot of first time entrants focus on that and tbh, the organizers don't really care in most cases, its just to keep ppl from running highly modified cars that have no business being in the series. They will look for suspension mods though so if you're planning to do something there, keep it conservative. I really doubt Speedycop's builds come in at under $500: The aquarium car, airplane car, hot dog stand, sideways bus, etc.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tim_ View Post
Gotcha. I race an AWD turbo Eclipse in Lemons. I'd keep AWD if the car is already set up for it. Helps a bunch in the rain. I also wouldn't worry too much about the $500 budget. I think a lot of first time entrants focus on that and tbh, the organizers don't really care in most cases, its just to keep ppl from running highly modified cars that have no business being in the series. They will look for suspension mods though so if you're planning to do something there, keep it conservative. I really doubt Speedycop's builds come in at under $500: The aquarium car, airplane car, hot dog stand, sideways bus, etc.


Like I said, planning on some budget coil overs to make it handle better and thatís about it for our first race. After that, weíll know what we can do for the future. Thanks for the heads up though. Weíre trying to get it ready for the may race in Colorado. Fingers crossed.
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:51 PM   #10
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraySTilimited View Post
I'm building a car for the 24 hrs of lemons race. It's a 1998 Legacy Outback wagon. I'm needing to install a roll cage in it and all I can find is Impreza and WRX cages that are pre built. Would anyone know if those would fit in my car? I was under the impression that the floor pans are the same between the two body styles.
The Legacy wheelbase is ~4" longer than the Impreza's, so the floor pans can't be the same. Maybe the forward section of the pans is the same (or nearly so), but obviously the pans are stretched somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraySTilimited View Post
Also, I'm wanting to convert it to rear wheel drive. Does anyone have experience with welding the center diff and how reliable it would be? Thanks in advance for any help.
I'm sure there's discussion of welding the center diff here on NASIOC, but probably not in this particular sub-forum. I'm not really sure it would be worth the effort.
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Old 12-20-2020, 12:47 PM   #11
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Not sure this applies in your area. I have gotten a couple of custom cage builders to price my GD and they weren't much more than the cost of a quality precut/fabbed DIY kit. I don't weld everyday, so the choice for me is a no brainer.

I've been wanting to run Lemons forever. Can't find anyone to commit. Lame asses.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:46 PM   #12
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I've been wanting to run Lemons forever. Can't find anyone to commit. Lame asses.
Find a team looking for a driver and race with them.

I'm on a team already but there are events that don't work for all of our schedules so in those cases, I've rented ride with other teams. Much less of a hassle racing with a team that already has a car built than it is to find a bunch of other dudes willing to throw money at a project car.
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Old 12-31-2020, 05:39 PM   #13
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If you want to race a Porsche GT-3, they're not going to ding you. But they will buy the car after the race for $500 out from under you. That's the threat over you to stay cheap.
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Old 01-04-2021, 06:28 PM   #14
GraySTilimited
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Find a team looking for a driver and race with them.

I'm on a team already but there are events that don't work for all of our schedules so in those cases, I've rented ride with other teams. Much less of a hassle racing with a team that already has a car built than it is to find a bunch of other dudes willing to throw money at a project car.
This is a great idea. Didn't even think about that. Where would I look for a team that is in need of a driver(s)?
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraySTilimited View Post
Hey all. Looking for some information and advice.
I'm building a car for the 24 hrs of lemons race. It's a 1998 Legacy Outback wagon. I'm needing to install a roll cage in it and all I can find is Impreza and WRX cages that are pre built. Would anyone know if those would fit in my car? I was under the impression that the floor pans are the same between the two body styles.
Also, I'm wanting to convert it to rear wheel drive. Does anyone have experience with welding the center diff and how reliable it would be? Thanks in advance for any help.
I love this! I have done a few 24 Lemons races and Chump Car races with BMW's in the past. I also have worked on the safety inspection teams for 24 lemons as well as National Auto Sport racing. In addition to building real competitive race cars for sprint racing and the famed 25Hrs of Thunderhill.

Lets tackle the cage because that is your biggest hurdle. I would go ahead and purchase the Imprezza pre-fab cage, this will get you 95% of the material you need to complete the cage. You can cut and extend or shorten as needed to fit your wagon. You only need to be concerned about the drivers cabin and safety inspection for Lemons is fairly lax, I have seen rusty cages that where pigeon **** stick welded that passed.

Next thing, DO NOT modify the drivetrain because if it breaks and a welded center diff will break in racing conditions and it will happen as the worst time and has the potential to lock the rear wheels thus created a very scary butt puckering situation for whomever is in the drivers seat as well as any cars around you at the time Most likely it will just break driving around in the pits and now your out of the race with a entire team of pissed off people whom have spent good money to be there. Plus that AWD will give you an advantage over other drivers.

Next tip, don't waste money on suspension coil overs, spend your money on the best brake pads you can get and the best tires you can get. Have fancy pants coil overs won't do you F'all any good if you can drive hard and deep into the corner outpacing your competitors into a turn. Example. 87 BMW 3 series, straight out of the junkyard, original 160,000 mile suspension, BUT Porterfield race comp pads at about $600 front and rear. Toyo RA1's with huge grip, I think they are about $180 per tire. Right there is $1320, best investment you can make that will give you a much higher advantage then cheap coil overs.

So coming down the back straight at 120mph, 3 wide, 1rst braking cone, one car starts braking and backing down, 2nd braking cone, other car start falling back, me, 3rd braking cone, nope, 4rth braking cone, hard on the brakes, like throwing an anchor out the back of the car. Now not only have I blown past the other 2 cars in the braking zone I have now spooked them and they back off even more and the cars behind them also back off, So I go into the corner free and clear and hold the lead out of the corner and into the 'ese's.

Now lets talk about that AWD advantage, at a strategic point on the track you drop 2 wheels off into the dirt kicking up a huge dirt cloud. You have the confidence of having all wheel drive and keeping control, but you gain a huge psychological advantage over the car behind you. When you drop in the dirt and kick up a cloud the first reaction for an amateur driver is to think that car is going to lose control in front of them so there first reaction is to back off, meanwhile your grinning and gunning for the next corner.

So get that cage, keep the suspension and drivetrain stock and put the best tires and pads you can get on it and go have fun!

PS: I recommend Porterfield pads as I have direct experience with them and know they get the job done. They have several compounds to choose from and if they don't make a direct pad for the legacy they will typically offer Raybesto's and Hawk pads as alternatives.
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:48 PM   #16
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This is a great idea. Didn't even think about that. Where would I look for a team that is in need of a driver(s)?
Lemons and chumpcar both have forums with specific subforums for drivers and teams looking for seats.

I'm part of a team already, but our schedules don't always align, and in the past I have successfully reached out to teams on the forums for rides. These can turn into longterm rides as there seem to be a lot of driver turnover.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:58 PM   #17
Suba_Roo
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All of this. That custom welded diff is the most likely failure point and hardest thing to fix. If you're gonna run west coast Lemons events, hit me up, I'd like to play and have a lot of Subaru spares that would make a legacy go fast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by peerless View Post
I love this! I have done a few 24 Lemons races and Chump Car races with BMW's in the past. I also have worked on the safety inspection teams for 24 lemons as well as National Auto Sport racing. In addition to building real competitive race cars for sprint racing and the famed 25Hrs of Thunderhill.

Lets tackle the cage because that is your biggest hurdle. I would go ahead and purchase the Imprezza pre-fab cage, this will get you 95% of the material you need to complete the cage. You can cut and extend or shorten as needed to fit your wagon. You only need to be concerned about the drivers cabin and safety inspection for Lemons is fairly lax, I have seen rusty cages that where pigeon **** stick welded that passed.

Next thing, DO NOT modify the drivetrain because if it breaks and a welded center diff will break in racing conditions and it will happen as the worst time and has the potential to lock the rear wheels thus created a very scary butt puckering situation for whomever is in the drivers seat as well as any cars around you at the time Most likely it will just break driving around in the pits and now your out of the race with a entire team of pissed off people whom have spent good money to be there. Plus that AWD will give you an advantage over other drivers.

Next tip, don't waste money on suspension coil overs, spend your money on the best brake pads you can get and the best tires you can get. Have fancy pants coil overs won't do you F'all any good if you can drive hard and deep into the corner outpacing your competitors into a turn. Example. 87 BMW 3 series, straight out of the junkyard, original 160,000 mile suspension, BUT Porterfield race comp pads at about $600 front and rear. Toyo RA1's with huge grip, I think they are about $180 per tire. Right there is $1320, best investment you can make that will give you a much higher advantage then cheap coil overs.

So coming down the back straight at 120mph, 3 wide, 1rst braking cone, one car starts braking and backing down, 2nd braking cone, other car start falling back, me, 3rd braking cone, nope, 4rth braking cone, hard on the brakes, like throwing an anchor out the back of the car. Now not only have I blown past the other 2 cars in the braking zone I have now spooked them and they back off even more and the cars behind them also back off, So I go into the corner free and clear and hold the lead out of the corner and into the 'ese's.

Now lets talk about that AWD advantage, at a strategic point on the track you drop 2 wheels off into the dirt kicking up a huge dirt cloud. You have the confidence of having all wheel drive and keeping control, but you gain a huge psychological advantage over the car behind you. When you drop in the dirt and kick up a cloud the first reaction for an amateur driver is to think that car is going to lose control in front of them so there first reaction is to back off, meanwhile your grinning and gunning for the next corner.

So get that cage, keep the suspension and drivetrain stock and put the best tires and pads you can get on it and go have fun!

PS: I recommend Porterfield pads as I have direct experience with them and know they get the job done. They have several compounds to choose from and if they don't make a direct pad for the legacy they will typically offer Raybesto's and Hawk pads as alternatives.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:46 PM   #18
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we got in touch with competitor team with bender/welder
(we all knew each other from autoX, and were happy to help out......mind you they got to keep the extra pipe left over from 2 cars.....pretty sure we spend $200 on chrome moly pipe
our Lexus blew HG after day one
but have awesome memories:

https://jalopnik.com/advances-in-lem...00-sta-5068112
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