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¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/19/20 2:26 p.m.

A couple little interior things- I trimmed and riveted a piece of textured plastic to my radio blank thing:

And I went around with a multimeter and labeled the various now-unused plugs that may be useful later since they have either switched or constant power:

Soon it'll be time to gut it the rest of the way for the cage to go in!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
12/19/20 5:04 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

So, interesting development on the steering- there are a bunch of little "D" shaped sensors in the interior and elsewhere for the airbag system, but there is one right in the middle of the car on the trans tunnel that doesn't have the telltale yellow airbag connector.  I reinstalled that one and plugged it in and I'm pretty sure the steering feel improved- maybe the electric steering assist needs feedback from that one, which is presumably some sort of yaw sensor.

If it is bolted solidly to the structure and either has mounting bolts such that it can only go in one way, or has an arrow on it.... yup.

What is weird is, they list a labor time for yaw rate sensor (it's part of the ABS system) but nothing in the wiring diagrams. Or a part number.

 

also, I have many questions regarding your AFCO shocks.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/19/20 5:34 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Yep, it has a pin that forces you to install it one way- neat that it still works for variable assist even without the ABS and traction control working.  What do you want to know about the AFCOs?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
12/19/20 6:37 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Y'know, teh Volvo uses a yaw sensor for its chassis dynamics shenanigans, and I wonder if I could hardware-hack the sensor to have reduced sensitivity to allow more tail out shenanigans instead of reining it in.  Granted, it's very subtle and not a hammer-hit "YOU NO HAVE FUN NOW" reaction, and you can definitely get the rear tires working in a corner, but you can sort of feel it sleeeaze the rear end back into shape if you go too far.

 

Regarding the shocks, looking through the very, very nice catalog they have, my brain went into a tailspin looking at all of the different valving options, which tells me that there are many ways to screw things up.  Like linear, progressive, and digressive pistons, and for compression and rebound.  I know I need "better" shocks, as the fastest times I can get are with my adjustables turned down so low that ride control is decidedly Buick-like, but I don't even know what questions I need to ask to find a starting point.  And I know that there's no point to getting the rear shocks right if the front struts are wrong...

 

I can get stock-body shocks valved any way I would like for my application (call it '79-93 Fox body, which is what I have in there now) for not very much cash, but jeez... there's like five hundred ways to get the wrong shocks.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/19/20 8:00 p.m.

Yeah, there are a ton of options.  If you can figure out what you have now in terms of damping that will help you make a decision, but without a shock dyno that may prove difficult.  If you're starting from scratch I have two recommendations:

  1. Keep it simple: linear valving unless you have a compelling reason (like the setup for a very similar car) to run something else.
  2. Plagiarize: for rwd stuff, the mk2 Escort and Sierra both have a pretty good amount of published setup information online that uses Bilstein style valving numbers.  You can take the known setups for those cars, scale by the corner weights and motion ratios of your car, and if needed translate the Bilstein numbers to whoever else's valving using shock dyno plots. *

Combining those two things got me a setup I'm pretty happy with on the BRZ, and while the rear compression damping feels a little harsh I also don't have the cage/jack/tools/etc in the back of the car yet so I'll reassess when I get there.

*Another option, if you're using "Fox Mustang" shocks, might be to go looking for Pony or Mini Stock setup recommendations for dirt tracks.  After doing my math on the AFCOs I ran across a setup sheet that recommended a similar spring rate with the same valving I picked for swingarm chassis cars in rough/loose track conditions which helped confirm that I was in the right ballpark.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/20/20 6:10 p.m.

Took the door panels off and made a neat discovery- rather than being held together with clips, all the stuff in the door panel is fastened with screws:

This should make it easier to move the necessary components around when the cage makes their original locations unworkable:

I also disconnected the power locks, meaning the car now meets ARA's rules regarding the various locking/entry systems that need to be disabled.  None of it seems to have upset the antitheft stuff yet, hopefully it'll stay that way.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/25/20 4:17 p.m.

Got the dash out:

Then took the cluster apart and used some strategically trimmed electrical tape to blank out the warning lights that no longer mean anything:

These are the important ones that still work:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/27/20 8:27 a.m.

What do you do when it's too cold and windy to want to be outside?  Recce practice!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/3/21 2:02 p.m.

Picking away at the last few things before Adam gets here on Friday to start caging things.  A bunch of grinder work got the seat mounts off the floor:

Then it was time to try and remove the windshield, so I balanced my favorite sketchy space heater on the dash bar:

Made this terrifying tool:

Cut enough adhesive with the blade thing to slip a guitar string through:

And worked my way around the windshield sawing the adhesive away with the guitar string- it took roughly one full guitar's worth to cut all the way around since they eventually break, so restring something before you start.  If you don't have a guitar handy I'm sure the wire they make specifically for doing this works well too. cheeky

Thomas' car is here too, that'll be Adam's warm up before he cages mine:

That's a pretty sweet prison-shiv you made there.  Good to know that you can use one for windshields, not just stabbing people in the spleen.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/3/21 2:15 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) :

The scariest thing about it is that it always lands blade side up when dropped.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) :

The scariest thing about it is that it always lands blade side up when dropped.

Bonus!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
1/3/21 2:48 p.m.

Deadbug!

 

I think I see the plan.  Adam will make the 240's cage, then he'll use the offcuts to make the BRZ cage wink

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) :

The scariest thing about it is that it always lands blade side up when dropped.

Would that be a good or bad thing when you're in the shower?

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/3/21 8:24 p.m.

Adam, the traveling cage builder, seems like a good guy to know.  Lookin good!  How long do you expect it to take to build 2 cages?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/4/21 5:36 a.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Rumor has it that he works really fast so a few days for each and hopefully a little break in between- even if you're a professional I have to imagine this sort of work beats you up a bit.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/4/21 7:15 a.m.

I've been eagerly awaiting the "pile of tubes in the garage" photo. 

mazdeuce - Seth said:

I've been eagerly awaiting the "pile of tubes in the garage" photo. 

Same. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/11/21 5:55 a.m.

For those who don't know, this is Adam Brock.  The front of his van is a living space, the back is a fab shop, and his whole deal is traveling around doing roll cages and going rallying.  He's basically a fabrication gypsy who helps people go racing, which is the coolest thing in the world and if you think you could use his services you can find him at 9HIO.com.  He's working on Thomas' cage right now, which should go very smoothly since Adam's personal rally car is also a Volvo 240, and will tackle the BRZ after that.

You guys wanted a pile of tubes in the garage, but the pile of tubes lives in the van so that'll have to do:

And as if that wasn't enough, he also travels with Mudflap the rally dog, who has made fast friends with our pups and is a welcome temporary addition to our crew:

I will probably post a daily cage update in Thomas' Volvo thread as he moves along, and then get back to posting here when the BRZ is in progress.

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/11/21 6:03 a.m.

Goals

golfduke
golfduke Dork
1/11/21 12:32 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I didn't know this was a thing, but that is just freaking awesome...  What a life for a young-ish, unattached dude. 

 

 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/11/21 12:42 p.m.

Thats freakin awesome!  Bill Caswell has talked about doing something similar for a few years now.  I think he wanted to call himself the "Racecar Santa Claus" or something like that.  But Adam is getting it done, and I think I'd trust his fab skills a bit more than Bill.  Looks fun!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/11/21 12:54 p.m.
Lof8 - Andy said:

Thats freakin awesome!  Bill Caswell has talked about doing something similar for a few years now.  I think he wanted to call himself the "Racecar Santa Claus" or something like that.  But Adam is getting it done, and I think I'd trust his fab skills a bit more than Bill.  Looks fun!

Pretty sure Bill actually did it for a few months back in 2019 or early 2020, and did at least a handful of cages.. But I think he stopped doing it during COVID. But you know Caswell, he's always onto a new idea every few months lol, so who knows if he'll do any more. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/11/21 1:17 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Is there a "normal" range of prices for a cage to be built on this way? I don't have anything that needs a cage just mostly courious.  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/11/21 1:22 p.m.
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Is there a "normal" range of prices for a cage to be built on this way? I don't have anything that needs a cage just mostly courious.  

$3k ballpark for a (pretty involved) FIA 253 appendix J legal rally cage tied into the suspension pickups and gusseted to the car where applicable.  Could you do it cheaper yourself?  Probably.  Will it be as well done and fit as tightly to the car?  Not if you're me.  cheeky

I'm sure prices vary depending on what you need, but I think that's an incredibly reasonable cost to have a professional do the critical safety work on my first "nice" race car.

EDIT: For what it's worth, I did price other options before going this route, because I'm cheap.  Custom Cages will sell you an FIA approved cage for the BRZ... for over $3k before you even pick up the welder.  I also looked at doing it using similar techiques to what I did for the suspension; by 3D scanning, designing, and having a CNC bent/notched cage made for me to weld together (I trust my welds but not my tube grinding/bending/fitting).  I couldn't find a business that could both a) actually produce such a thing from nothing but CAD models and b) do it for a reasonable price once I considered transport, since the best option seemed to be on the west coast.

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