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Old 07-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #1
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Default 3 Rotor FB build - "Silvie II"

Almost 10 years have passed since I traded a Racing Beat exhaust for a dented '85 GSL-SE with 140k on the clock. From day one, it was a street-legal track slut. All of the money went under the hood, with almost no consideration for aesthetics given. I slapped a black hood on it to ironically emulate the look of a friend's beater 12a car. He called his "Silvie", and so I named mine "Silvie II". We took them to autocrosses, street car challenges, the drag strip and even to Rotary Revolution. Our favorite jag was to "bump" the each other occasionally, and watch the reactions of horrified Solo II competitors or passengers.

Over the years, it would go from being powered by a tired stock 13b N/A, to a 300hp t04 boosted 13bT, to finally a 450hp REW big-single. Chris Ludwig of Ludwig Motorsports put so much time into building and tuning this car he never had time to build his own. I think he enjoyed it almost as much as I did. All the while, the suspension and brakes were refined while bits of the interior cracked apart and the paint and trim deteriorated. I didn't care what it looked like; as long as it was fast.

When the REW popped on the track at in '08, I bought a D-code Cosmo front clip and set to the task of trying to swap it in. It was beyond my abilities, and once again Chris Ludwig stepped in and rescued the project from abandonment. I had begun trying to build a 12a-powered SandRail, and was seriously considering selling all the parts I had amassed over the years. Chris installed an FC subframe and mounted the motor in the chassis,and began building the wiring harness for the new motor. Just as the project got rolling I lost my job of 7 years and for nearly 8 months the car sat covered in his driveway. I haven't so much as touched the car since '09.

Last week I towed it back to my shop and tried to figure out what to do with the rusting carcass of a race car that had monopolized my 20's. I sat in the garage a long time just staring at it... I figure it needs at least $3k in new parts, and probably 6 months of labor to return it to running condition. Ignoring the body work is no longer an option. The easy way out would be to just run the 20b N/A, something I could probably accomplish with what I've got on the shelf.

I thumbed through all the receipts and photos from previous builds, and was genuinely shocked at all we'd done. Ford rear-end: $3500, NHRA cage: $1500, Haltech Platinum ECU: $1600, Fuel-pump and related parts: $900. The timeslips and dyno graphs showed how it had matured over the years, and the pictures of the gleaming engine-bay in an otherwise clapped-out car made me nostalgic. "After all that" I thought to myself, "Why stop now?". This car has always been special to me, and I wouldn't be happy driving it around half-assed (any longer).

So I've decided to restore the car from bumper to bumper, and finish the turbo 20b. Watch this thread to see me rebuild my dream.






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Old 07-21-2010, 09:25 PM   #2
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Haha I love the story. Can't wait to see what you do with it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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Here are some pics from the past:














Last edited by ducktape; 07-21-2010 at 09:32 PM..
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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First update, taking stock of what's good and bad.





The exterior is unchanged since '07. Driver side fender is shot, and needs to be replaced as does the driver's side door. The previous owner's repair job on the sheetmetal below the rear window glass is falling apart. Badges are missing, and probably won't be replaced.







The chromoloy cage is covered in surface rust, and some rust has appeared on the floor. The interior is mostly gone, including all of the chassis wiring. Good news is, this car STILL has no bin-rot despite my neglect.







Engine still spins freely and is in good shape. Some corrosion has appeared on the manifold. I'll need to pull this out to get into the body work. I think I'm likely to fabricate my own v-mount for the radiator and intercooler.



Some parts in good condition, including the cosmo oil cooler, the sumped tank, the fuel pump, FPR, and wastegate. Lots of stuff I'm glad I hung on to.





The suspension and diff are in excellent shape. I don't think I'll need to mess with the underpinnings until the body work is done.

What's first? I think I'll tackle finishing the interior and the body work.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:48 PM   #5
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I remember the ride you gave me in this thing at one of Danny's (Xtreme) rotary cookouts. LOL. That thing was a ruckus. Anyways, I guess you're recovering from the job loss and good luck with your build. If you need a third hand, I'm down in Shepherdsville. My second gen will be "project status" in a few months once I pick up a daily driving pickup truck for myself. Looking forward to the updates.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:16 AM   #6
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Kind of a boring update. I started working on cleaning up the interior and removing the rust on the cage. I had removed the bulk the factory sound-deadening tar in '07, and I'm attempting to complete the job now. It took 4 hours to clean the floor forward of the bins. I used mineral spirits and scotch-brite pads and a whole lot of elbow grease.

Tomorrow I'm going to finish cleaning the hatch area and buy some primer for the cage. I thought about painting the interior at the same time as the body, but I decided against it. I'll likely just spray paint the cage either silver or maroon.

Before:




After:






Once I knock this out, I think I'll start on the body work. I could still paint it before fall.

Note to self: Move the driver's seat down and to the right. My head is too close to the roll bar.

Last edited by ducktape; 07-25-2010 at 01:20 AM..
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:09 AM   #7
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Holy shit you did a number on that floor! Nice work!
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:45 AM   #8
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Another boring interior update, this time with some welding. First, I finished cleaning the tar off from the bin area. Zzzz...

Before:


After:


I decided I would tackle the problem of my head being too close to the roll bar by dropping the seat as far down as I could. I don't have any pictures of it, but originally the seat was mounted on risers that were bolted to the OEM seat slider. I started by removing the sliders and placing the seat in the car in the proper driving position.







With the seat in this position, I was still not satisfied with the clearance for my head. the risers sat perfectly on top of the factory seat mounting points front and back but I decided to take it one step further. I removed the risers and found that if I cut the rear seat brackets out of the car I could basically bolt the seat directly to the floor. The fronts would require shorter L-shaped brackets.

After I cut out the brackets, I replaced them with a couple of pieces of 1/8th inch steel plate welded to the floor. I then donned by race helmet to check the clearance, and found I could move my head freely in the car without contacting the roll bar. I sat there for 5 minutes or so; a full grown man, shirtless with a race helmet on in a non-running car at 4 in the morning making engine noises and pretending to shift gears.



The hardest thing about this was figuring out how to set this seat up so that both Chris Ludwig and I could drive the car comfortably. For those who have never met Chris, he's 11 feet tall... No joke, one time I was staging his ITS car at a track day at IRP and nearly ran over an official because I couldn't reach the pedals.

So, for Chris I made the seat mount plate an extra 4 inches longer. I figure we can use the risers bolted into the floor in the front, with a separate set of holes drilled into the mounting plate in the back. Should be a 5-10 minute job to move the seat into "Andre the Giant" driving position.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:02 PM   #9
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I love that car

I had most of the pics you posted on my hard drive

I always loved the way the FD intake looked on that car.

Quick question, how did you remove the tar back in 07? I have to tackle that job and I dont know how to do it
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -xlr8planet- View Post
I love that car

I had most of the pics you posted on my hard drive

I always loved the way the FD intake looked on that car.

Quick question, how did you remove the tar back in 07? I have to tackle that job and I dont know how to do it
Thanks! To this day I wish I had just rebuilt that REW!

To answer your question, I did the removal in December when it was right around freezing outside. The cold makes the tar brittle, and easy to break up. You can just whack it with a hammer and it'll come apart, then scrape the remaining chunks off with a paint scraper. I've heard of people using dry ice to get the same effect in warmer weather, but I don't know how well that would work.

I noticed when removing the remaining tar this week that soaking the floor in mineral spirits seems to loosen the adhesion enough that you can scrape up big pieces with a flat razor-knife, but I don't think that would work for full-thickness material. Just wait 'til winter would be my suggestion.

Still, it's definitely a worthwhile mod. I was amazed that I got two 5 gallon buckets full-to-the-brim of that stuff out of the car. It's heavy and there's a lot of it!
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:54 PM   #11
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hehehe its winter here right now.

I can give it a shot.

Im still not sure if Im gonna run with full interior or not
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:50 PM   #12
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I've heard alot of people also use dry ice to get it brittle.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:19 PM   #13
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Awesome job on the floorboards, seems like an great project. Good luck.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -xlr8planet- View Post
hehehe its winter here right now.

I can give it a shot.

Im still not sure if Im gonna run with full interior or not
Lol, so it is! Southern Hemisphere FTW!

Google weather says the low on Friday in BA should be around 39 degrees on Friday night. That would be a great time to do it.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:33 AM   #15
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Primered the cage yesterday, probably going to paint it tonight with some rattlecan silver.







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