Front 4 Club

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Ranger
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Front 4 Club

Postby Ranger » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:14

Not sure anyone aside from Saul and myself will be interested in this, but I wanted to put it out there anyway, as I'm excited to be a part of something that's going to be really cool: A new race group dedicated to naturally aspirated, front wheel drive, 4-cylinder cars.

https://front4club.wixsite.com/home

Front 4 is focused on one thing: Having fun on track without having to break the bank. And the club rules are written to encourage just that---you don't need to spend thousands on ultra lightweight wheels, new tires every weekend, or an engine build that pushes rules to the limit in order to be competitive. We want to avoid the perception that the best way to win is to build the fastest car. We aim to foster parity and driving skills, no matter what you're in. This is not a spec class, it's a driver's class!

Any FWD, N/A 4-cylinder car qualifies. The 1990-2001 Acura Integra is the favorite, but we currently have a Neon and two Civics. If buying a car for the class, no matter what you choose, donors can be had for as low as $500, and we'll help you locate one. Don't want to build a dedicated track car? No problem, come join anyway! For the first part of the season, I'll be running my daily driver, an '08 Civic. We want to be inclusive toward anyone with a car that qualifies.

We also hope to attract people of all ages and backgrounds. Our group is made up of enthusiasts of cars like the Miata, WRX, Mustang, BMW M3, Corvette, even tube-frame stock cars. How did that happen? I mean, most people in those crowds think the FF layout means being a nose heavy, hard to work on, understeering pig, right? Why would anyone want to switch to that?

Well, for me, all it took was one lap in fellow racer and co-founder Chris Venturini's car---a '92 Integra which he built for under $3500---to convince me that's an unfair stereotype. Quite the opposite: It reminded me a lot of my old Porsche 944, a RWD car with 50/50 weight distribution. Except the Integra felt better. And, owning one now, I can say they're certainly easier to work on than any German car I've ever seen ;)

All that said, the ultimate goal is to provide a path to low cost wheel to wheel racing. We will be partnering with NASA Rocky Mountain to make that happen. Yet we realize that not everyone is ready to jump into W2W---myself included---it is quite the commitment! So we will also have a strong presence at PPIR's Time Attack events, and encourage those new to road courses to sign up for NASA's High Performance Driving Event program. With roughly 80 minutes of track time per day, including 1-on-1 instruction from experienced racers, it's an excellent and cost efficient way to learn how to safely drive fast. I'll be there helping out.

So yeah, feel free to spread the word and ask any questions!

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Huzer
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Re: Front 4 Club

Postby Huzer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:14

Damn, I should've kept my CX. Probably not competitive, but I bet that would've been a fun little car to toss around. Sounds like a great plan, if I didn't have the Cougar, I'd be interested. Maybe something will happen down the road. I keep getting the small car itch.

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Ranger
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Re: Front 4 Club

Postby Ranger » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:14

That would be a great platform for the class! One of our new drivers has a DX coupe actually. He's doing a VTEC head swap from a D16Y8 (1996-2000 Civic EX) to get closer to the power level of a B18. And that generation of Civic can bolt on the trailing arms from an Integra for a quick disk brake conversion.
Last edited by Ranger on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Dwduc
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Re: Front 4 Club

Postby Dwduc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:14

Interesting. Why limiting to FWD? don't wanna have the Miata gang involved?? $3500 to build a wheel to wheel tech passing car is crazy cheap?! he must have don't the cage himself or got a freebie because that usually costs around 3k by itself. Looks fun but I think the price may be misleading. I need to come to one and have you change my mind.

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Ranger
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Re: Front 4 Club

Postby Ranger » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:14

I encourage everyone to come see what this is all about, especially Miata drivers ;) (I say that in jest, because for one thing, I think Miatas are great cars, but also, they sure like to tease FWD guys about being slow...) Come down to the PPIR Time Attack practice this weekend!

As for why FWD, well, there are many other groups out there that allow all kinds of cars. We wanted to create something that's new and different, yet will still appeal to a broad audience. And for a number of other reasons:

- Running and driving chassis are always available, and cheaper than, oh I don't know, a Miata :)
- Reliability (Honda for sure anyway). Chris' car has 240K miles and 30+ track days on the original engine.
- Huge aftermarket, and both aftermarket and OEM parts are easy to find and inexpensive.
- Easy to work on (or at least the older cars are---my Civic is kind of a pain honestly)
- To prove a point: FWD isn't slow :D

Anyway, the $3500 wasn't for a full race car build...however, it is for everything BUT the roll cage, including FIA approved seat and 6-point harness (harness isn't legal without a roll bar though). I plan to do an Autopower bolt in cage...around $1300 if you do the bolt-in parts yourself and pay someone to weld the door bars. Believe it or not, they fit pretty well. Until then, I'll be using a 3-point harness like this so I can still mount a race seat for time attack use.

To build a race legal car, I would expect to pay more in the neighborhood of $4500-6K depending on your chosen donor car and how you build it. That's our goal for a "standard" wheel to wheel build---not using the cheapest mods possible, but not going all out, either. I'll post an itemized build of my own car later.

And to that end, things like double-adjustable shocks and ultra lightweight wheels (sub-11 lbs.) are prohibited by the rules. We will also enforce adding weight and/or restrictor plates for cars that exceed power to weight limits***. We don't want to create the perception that spending more money to build a "fast" car is the way to go---it's been proven that's not necessary. We've seen firsthand how in many "spec" classes, it's not uncommon to see engine builds that cost more than the price of the entire car (minus engine), and that's the kind of thing we want to discourage.

*** - We won't be strict about these rules with new drivers / people who aren't consistently finishing on or near the podium.

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Ranger
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Re: Front 4 Club

Postby Ranger » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:14

So here's what my build would just about look like if I bought everything but the car brand new right now.

***NOTE*** - Prices vary due to sales and other things. I got my Konis for less, for example. These are rough estimates based on looking just now. You can also find much of this used. And if you want new but want to go cheaper, there are plenty of eBay / Amazon options that work fine, but may require modification for fitment.

- Donor car: $600-1200. Obviously you pay more for one with a straight body that needs no work.
- DC Sports header: $265. Might be able to find for less.
- Off-brand CAI: $50. Won't post a link because there are sooo many and they're all the same :mellow:
- Yonaka catback exhaust: $300. I picked this because I didn't want a canister muffler.
- Koni Sport shocks: $550
- Ground Control coilovers: $400
- Generic extended top hats: $50
- Energy Suspension bushing kit: $180. This kit actually has a lot more than is necessary though
- Racing seat: $400 (roughly). This isn't the exact one I have, but all entry-level seats are around that price.
- Seat mounts: $140.
- MOMO steering wheel hub: $90
- Generic steering wheel: $30
- Corbeau 3-point harness $90
- Hawk HP Plus brake pads: $155

Total = $3600 as my car was $1000. Add $800 to that for wheels / tires. BUT if you were to go with eBay / Amazon coilovers, and the cheapest header / exhaust, you'd save around $500. You don't NEED a header anyway. You could get a used seat and shave off another $100, or stick with OEM, or find some other option. The OEM seat rails can actually be modified for L brackets. And you might buy only the major bushings individually, not the full kit. Point being, if you're really on a budget, it's possible to build something similar for much less. That's what Chris did and his car has held up amazingly well.


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