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Thread: Gator's 818R

  1. #1

    Gator's 818R

    As many of you know that after participating here for a few years while I watched the progress of the 818 I have now purchased Brando's 818R. In 2013 I actually ordered an 818R kit but canceled when I realized there was a lot of pioneering work that needed to be done and issues resolved which I didn't have time to deal with. But now I'm in!
    This thread will be to document my own take on a racing - instructor's 818R. The goals for this car will be in the following order:

    1) Safe and Reliable car for instructing students at Oregon Raceway Park.
    2) Safe and Reliable Track Day rental car for HPDE type events, and possibly Rental Racer too.
    3) Performance Racing Car in NW ICSCC races in SPM and NASA NorCal ST2.

    Note the order of these priorities. Full race ultimate speed is the last one. I already have an STI built primarily for Endurance Racing, and a Palatov D4 built for Sprint racing, so there is no need to make this an all-out race 818R. What I do need is a car a student and I can feel safe in as they make the transition from a fully caged production car to an open top sports racer like my Palatov. I intend to use this car as a pre-qulifying car for students who want to rent the Palatov but whom I'm not sure they are ready for such a car, so a few laps in the 818R should let us both know if they are ready. And it should be a great car for instructing.

    To meet these goals my mods will first be for :
    1) Safety
    2) Reliability
    3) Performance.


    Safety:
    Now that I've had the car in my shop for a week I've discovered a few Safety shortcomings that need to be rectified first. I've already identified the failure of the broomstick test for me in the 818R Forum Thread on Real Life Broomstick Testing, if you haven't reviewed that thread you should whether you have an R, C, or S.
    I'm in the process of taking it back down to Go-Kart mode so I can make a full evaluation before starting the mods. As I find issues I'll post them up here in pics so we can all learn and build safer cars!

    Belts: The belts are installed incorrectly, both the main shoulder harness and the sub belts. The shoulder harnesses are threaded thru the D Rings and around the harness bar wrong. Here's the way they are installed and the way Schroth says they should be installed. I know why this is done, I was with a guy who almost fell off a rappel tower because he had his seat harness threaded this way and the belt pulled thru the D-Ring almost all the way out before another officer grabbed him.

    ..

    The Sub belt is not threaded back thru the D-Ring. What's holding it is it's pinched between the anchor fitting and the frame. This is the driver's side, I haven't checked the passenger side sub belt yet.



    Padding: There is none. My helmet can contact the angled side bar, and my arms and legs can contact all the side bars in the door. Per SCCA: 1. All portions of the roll cage subject to contact by the driver must be padded with a minimum 1
    inch of material. Padding that meets or exceeds SFI 45.1 or FIA 8857-2001 (curved padding), or SFI 45.2 or FIA sports car head rest material (flat padding) specification is recommended.

    Firewall: I'm not sure why but there's an odd sideways V shaped hole in the firewall next to the passenger seat. Big enough to reach thru and touch the gas tank. That will be covered over with an aluminum patch.

    ..

    The shoulder harness bar brings up a second issue, if I drop the seat all the way to the floor I think the harness bar will be too high to pass the zero to -30 degree test. I'm pretty sure it will be angling upwards from my Hans device to the bar, which is a no-no.

    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  2. #2
    Now for the Broomstick test issues. As purchased the car I failed the test by a good 4" at the main hoop height. To solve this I may use DanielsDM's method of cutting out the X Bars and welding in a steel plate across the bottom. I like the added protection from projectiles that provides, it makes it easy to mount the 5 point sub belt and future 6 point sub belts in the correct locations, and drops the seat as low as possible.

    And/or I'm strongly considering a Lotus 2-Eleven GT4 style halo. Many of you are probably familiar with the regular 2-Eleven track car but may have never seen the 2-Eleven that was built for FIA Homologation European GT4 racing. Since the 2-Eleven looks so much like an 818R, the images are good approximation of what our 818 would look like with this style halo:

    The standard 2-Eleven:

    The FIA GT4 race version:

    ......

    What do ya'll think?
    Last edited by Sgt.Gator; 10-09-2017 at 04:28 PM.
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  3. #3
    From a racing safety perspective, I like the additional cage.

    For your stated priorities specifically, I would find an alternative solution. That particular solution looks like it would be very difficult for ingress and egress, and to the extent that your priority with this car is instructive training for passengers, that cage would be a total PITA.

    We've been struggling with this broomstick test problem for awhile, and we solved it with a floor and seat solution. But as I was looking through some photos on my phone of the 818 early in its FFR development, I stumbled upon this one with some interesting roll hoop supplements above the main hoop. This photo is from before the track testing of the prototype car (I believe). I've been wondering about doing this too and if those would pass tech:

    IMG_3371.JPG

  4. #4
    Mulry, good point on the ingress-egress, which is basically straight up thru the roll cage. When I drove the MX-5 Cup cars I found it easier to go straight up in and out than to use the doors and squeeze under the cage. But that's the tall guy answer, not for everyone.

    On the extension, I'm guessing probably not. It would not meet the one continuous tube and the side braces no more than 6 from the top rules. Although a similar thing has been done with the Spec Racer Ford who had the same issue years ago with tall drivers. They allowed a second hoop to be welded on to the primary hoop. But then again SRF production is owned by SCCA Enterprises!

    Here's what Palatov did to extend my D4. When I went to tech it the ICSCC inspector didn't like the extension, but the chief tech inspector for the SCCA NW region was racing that day in our ICSCC races so the ICSCC inspector asked his opinion since the SCCA has the most experience with open top formula and sports racers. The SCCA inspector had no problem with my main hoop extension, but he didn't like the way the rear braces tied into the frame. The end result was they both said to submit drawings to SCCA HQ and get the design homologated....note the car in the background!

    This hoop extension is actually blended into the original hoop tube so it is one continuous tube.

    ..
    Last edited by Sgt.Gator; 10-09-2017 at 04:03 PM.
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  5. #5
    The extensions also aren't triangulated and are non-nodal. They would apply a massive bending load into the hoop if it were to ever be used.

    Strangely, that picture kind of looks like the S roll bar with those extensions simply added on top. While it's obviously pre-production, I do find it odd that with that seat location driver's helmet would still be marginal at best. Kind of shoots a few holes into the "it fit in CAD" argument.

  6. #6
    I don't have the side fender panels off yet, but from what I can see in the gap it looks like there is about 3" of unused clearance between the cockpit firewall and the Boyd tank. If that is correct and I can refabricate the firewall back 3" that will make a difference in how high the roll bar has to go for my helmet to clear the broomstick. I got the serch function figured out, looking at what everyone has done with the Boyd Tank / Firewall Mod.
    Last edited by Sgt.Gator; 10-10-2017 at 11:01 AM.
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  7. #7
    We see this all the time, when it comes to belt installation, it's just too easy to do wrong.
    The 818R model is an incomplete adaptation of the street version to something you can really race on track. You still need a ton of knowledge, and some pretty advanced modifications, to really turn it into a safe and sorted wheel to wheel race car, it's more an advanced track day car for someone that doesn't want to take out their expensive sports car.

  8. #8
    I sat in the car with no seat, my butt jammed down behind the stock floor X-Braces right on the aluminum floor, and my helmet resting back against the harness bar. I can literally get no lower or further back than that. I still was 1/2" short of passing the broomstick test. So I either have to raise the rear roll bar, add a front hoop, or sell the car to someone who doesn't have the body of a fat mink topped with a giraffe neck! Make me an offer before I start cutting and welding!
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  9. #9
    fasterer and furiouser longislandwrx's Avatar
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    can you get the 1/2 by tilting the seat back?
    A well stocked beverage fridge is the key to any successful project.

  10. #10
    Sgt, the 3" gap between the firewall and Boyd tank is easy to solve. The 1/8"-thick panel from FFR is for the FFR tank, but the Boyd tank is 3" thinner, so I bent the panel 20 degrees more at the second bend from the top. Or, I saw someone else who cut the panel and made it a 2-piece firewall.
    818S/C : Chassis #25 with 06 WRX 2.5 turbo, ABS, cruise, PS, A/C, Apple CarPlay, rear camera, power windows & locks, leather & other complexities.
    Mk3 Roadster #6228 4.6L, T45, IRS, PS, PB, ABS, Cruise, Koni's, 17" Halibrands, red w/ silver - 9K miles then sold @ Barrett-Jackson Jan 2011 (got back cash spent).

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by longislandwrx View Post
    can you get the 1/2 by tilting the seat back?
    No. my head (helmet) was all the way back against the harness bar. There's no more room down or back to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZPete View Post
    Sgt, the 3" gap between the firewall and Boyd tank is easy to solve. The 1/8"-thick panel from FFR is for the FFR tank, but the Boyd tank is 3" thinner, so I bent the panel 20 degrees more at the second bend from the top. Or, I saw someone else who cut the panel and made it a 2-piece firewall.
    Thanks AZPete. I searched and found your thread and several others form the original group of pioneers who dealt with this issue. Although it won't solve my broomstick test problem, it should give me a lot more legroom so my knees won't be so bent. Thanks.
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bob_n_Cincy's Avatar
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    Gator
    Michael is 6'3 340#
    we move the gas tank to battery box.
    Replaced roll bar. (13" to 18")
    custom shaped kirkey seat.

    I will bring it to PRI if you want to try it on for size.
    Bob

    bar.jpg
    818S #22 Candy Blue Frame, Front Gas Tank, 2.5L Turbo, Rear radiator, Shortened Transmission, Wookiee Compatible, Console mounted MR2 Shifter, Custom ECU panel, AWIC soon
    My Son Michael's Turbo ICE Build X22 http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...rts-818S-Build
    My Electric Supercar Build X21 (on hold until winter) http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...e-Build-Thread

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_n_Cincy View Post
    Gator
    Michael is 6'3 340#
    we move the gas tank to battery box.
    Replaced roll bar. (13" to 18")
    custom shaped kirkey seat.

    I will bring it to PRI if you want to try it on for size.
    Bob

    bar.jpg
    Thanks Bob, your's look good! They should all come 18".

    I think we have the solution, our very own Tom Ryon who works and drives FFRSpec72's (Tony) 818R is going to build me a similar halo cage to what he did for this Factory Five Cobra, which is already approved and has been racing in our ICSCC and SCCA races for years:





    Although I want to add corner braces in the halo corners like this Palatov:





    I'm debating keeping the 818R angled brace that comes from the main hoop to the front at about face level or not. It would be easier to get in and out without it, and far easier to get out when upside down and on fire without it. But it does add a measure of side impact safety which is far more likely than being upside down and on fire. We'll try a test wriggle out and see if I could do it....
    Thanks Tom!
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  14. #14
    From and engineering stand point, I see issues with both but nothing that can't be dealt with easily. I agree that the angle brace is nice, but will make it impossible to get out in a rollover. Check out our Nascar side impact foam installation that is both light and effective in dealing with a hard side impact situation.
    We have many thoughts about how the cage could be improved, as well as how we would approach a new build with this chassis. Bring your colored pencils........

  15. #15
    I seem to be a magnet for drama and confrontations over cage modifications:

    I took the 818R with me to the Portland Enduro race with two goals, as an emergency odd parts car for Retro's 818R, and also to meet with our ICSCC race stewards and get their blessings on my proposed cage modifications BEFORE I start cutting and welding (and spending $$$). The Blessings part was a fail, and even worse than I expected.

    I proposed two solutions to the broomstick failure test:

    1) Raise the main hoop (rear) by 6" by cutting off the factory hoop and braces and fabricating an almost exact replica of hoop and braces, only 6" higher. The problem with this solution, besides not providing protection from another car sliding up over the front of the 818 or impacts from loose wheels flying down the track (Watch out! Terry's driving the Retro Racing RX-7 and here comes a wheel at 90mph! ), it also means the angled side bar will have to go up 6" making ingress /egress even more difficult. So my prefferrred solution is 2).

    2) Adding a new front hoop and braces. There were two likely spots the additional front hoop could be located. The hoop would be braced to the rear hoop with two braces far enough inside that a driver and passenger could still ingress/egress over the angled sidebar and slide down between the fore aft braces connecting the hoops, aka the FF Challenge car in the pics above.

    The two stewards went back and forth over the course of hours looking at it and discussing my two proposed solutions. At the end of the race, they said either solution would require either a letter from Factory Five approving the modifications as safe, or an engineers letter and stamp approving them as safe, or SCCA Tech certifying the design and issuing a homologation certificate. After several subsequent and angst filled emails overnight they have ruled that if I get an acknowledeged cage expert to do the modifications, and if the Conference insurance person agrees it meets the rules, they will stamp the cage. So now I'm trying to settle with them who the cage builder has to be!

    They say the 818R has to meet SCCA Formula/Sports Racer cage rules, not Production rules.

    That's a lot of IFs. Frankly, if someone was to offer me a good price where I can cover my transportation costs from California up to the NW and make a modest profit I'd be willing to sell the car and move on to something I know I can fit in, like a FF Gen 3 Daytona coupe. The buyer will need to be less than 6' tall though!
    Last edited by Sgt.Gator; 10-16-2017 at 03:23 PM.
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

  16. #16
    I have two engineers on staff that could sign off on the cage design. Send me a quick drawing, with measurements of what you want, and I will get them working on it if you want.
    All this for the low low price of helping out again at the next endure!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RetroRacing View Post
    I have two engineers on staff that could sign off on the cage design. Send me a quick drawing, with measurements of what you want, and I will get them working on it if you want.
    All this for the low low price of helping out again at the next endure!
    Wow, Jeff, that's very generous! I'll get to work on it!
    Thanks
    Owner: Colonel Red Racing
    eBAy Store: http://stores.ebay.com/colonelredracing
    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    2005 Subaru STI Race Car ICSCC ST and SPM, NASA ST3
    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
    Race Videos at www.facebook.com/ColRedRacing

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