Figured I would post a build thread of for no other reason than to answer questions about the sport of hillclimb racing, which seems to be a bit of a niche sport.
I've been an avid autocrosser for seven years, last year winning my club championship in the SM class racing a 470 hp Acura Integra put together by Kinetic Motorworks in Hampstead, NH (great guys).
I've been a part of hillclimbing since 2009, first helping run the events and lately racing myself once I finally was in a position to do so (life gets in the way).
After racing my 1996 Miata (prepped for SCCA STS Solo racing), the missus decided i needed a full roll cage. In my first weekend racing I was 5 seconds off breakout time, which is the point where a full cage is required. Not bad for a 130k mile Miata that also serves as my daily driver.
Here's a vid: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3975152785257
Since the cage was a new requirement and this was my DD, a new car would be needed. I've always loved the sounds of rotary engines, especially since there's no sound limit at my favorite hillclimb, so I began digging around for an FC, which is a nice mix of affordable and good looking. FD's are too expensive so they were out of consideration.
I went with an N/A version over a turbo for simplicity, as I'd like to develop the chassis before adding power, but a turbo could be in the cards in the future.
I found this 1987 GXL with 113k on the clock and a 13B that had been (supposedly) rebuilt around 20k miles ago. The car looked nice and straight with zero body rust, with the only reason for its sale being a burnt out brake light switch or board. It won't pass inspection but I don't need functional brake lights.
I grabbed it for $2012 (it's a Grassroots motorsports thing) and dragged her home to begin the process of build a full-on hillclimber.
Here's how it stands right now:
Engine: K&N air filter, Racing Beat cat-back exhaust
Suspension: Koni yellow single adjustable shocks on stock springs.
Brakes: Corksport stainless steel brake lines, Brembo brake rotors, Hawk HPS brake pads
Wheels and Tires: Stock wheels with new Fuzion HRi 205/60/15 tires
Other: S5 taillights, Optima Red Top battery, recently replaced OEM radiator, silicone vacuum hoses.
OK that was lots of writing so here's some pictures.
First getting home and off the trailer:
Meeting the new room mate:
Time to start the tearing out:
This plate was last registered in 1989 by my aunt, so it's an homage (I'm a Vermonter born and raised and all the hillclimbs are in VT too)
Running out of stuff to take out. Only thing left is the dash and glass:
Wheels came in! 15x10 with a 5" back space:
I'll be running 23.5/10.0-15 American Racer modified tires in the super soft M28 compound. That's roughly a 275/35 tire. Yes I'll need flares.
Still deciding on spring rates... I'm thinking 400lb front 300lb rear. I'll end up buying a couple sets so I can test and tune.
That's where she stands right now. I need to get the glass removed and then the process cleaning out the sound deadening and caging begins. I'll document that process as well.
This post is already too long and there's no need to lay out plans. This car will be a constant work in progress and I don't plan on being competitive until next year. Hopefully I'll have my maiden voyage this September at the SCCNH Ascutney hilliclimb #2.
Big thanks to Death Metal Fabrication for all their help.