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Fred and James’ Clio 182 Racecar Project



FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
I’ve wanted to start a project thread for a while but progress on the car has been a little of the slow side whilst doing the fabrication work on the shell so there wouldn’t be regular updates. However we have just started to paint it so now there is light at the end of the tunnel so thought it was a good time to start.

So like many of these projects, myself (Fred) and my mate (James) decided to buy a cheap high mileage Clio 182 in 2018 to have some fun at a few track days. Picture from the night we bought it.

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Long story short, a couple days before our first track day at Croft the gearbox decided to go bang, locking up the front wheels and coming to an abrupt halt on a dual carriageway. Turns out the gearbox spat out one of the main bearings.

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So since then, after reading many of these project threads, things have escalated significantly and our plan now is to race the car in the Track Day Championship, hoping to do at least some of the races in 2021. Going to Skip over the cage build and other previous body shell work but if any one is interested then please just ask. A number of people have already asked for the drawings/files for the cage I CADed up, so just ask if you want them too.

The last few weekends I have been stripping and cleaning the car ready for paint. The roll over jig has made things much easier over the past year.

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The car is now masked up and ready to paint so will start progress updates from here.
I have found a number of project threads invaluable to get to the position we are currently in so I hope to be able to help a few others with my own thread.

Painting update in the next couple of days.
 
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FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Thanks for the comments.

Some serious work going into this, race engineer as your day job? :p
Haha, not quite, chassis design engineer as the day job but 90% of the time stuck in front of a computer so nice to do something practical.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Thought I would make a list of the work that we have already done to bring you up to date with the build.

  • Multi point custom built roll cage (Links rear damper mounts, RTB body mounts and front struts).
  • PMS weld in caster adjustable top mounts.
  • FIA spec seat mounts.
  • Custom steering column mount with modified OEM steering column.
  • PMS gear link kit relocated rearwards by 60mm.
  • Sill stand points.
  • Standard jacking points reinforced.
  • Mid point jacking point.
  • Single centre located windscreen wiper.
  • Fuel filler cap rust cut out and welded up.
  • Many many holes filled and welded instead of the OEM tape covering.
  • Cable hand brake hole filled (to be replaced with hydraulic handbrake).
  • MkI dashboard fitted.
  • All arch liner mounting fixtures replaced with rivnuts.
  • PMS spherical bearing front wishbone kit and stiffening kit.
  • PMS RTB spherical bearing kit.
  • PMS RTB stiffening kit.
  • Removed all sound deadening material.
  • Removed all stone chip/paint underneath and removed a few areas of rust.
  • Removed power steering pump and aircon pump from engine and replaced with the cup alternator setup.
I am sure I would have forgotten something but that certainly has most of it covered.

Tried to think of most fixing points needed prior to painting so we don’t have to mess up the paint underneath. Going to mock up the fuel lines, brake lines, fire extinguisher lines and foot rest trays before finishing painting. Then it will be the small task of actually putting it all back together.

MkI dashboard.
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Custom steering column mount and adjustable column.
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PMS gear linkage relocated 60mm rearwards.
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jacking points reinforced and sill stand pins.
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Power steering and aircon removed from engine and replaced with cup alternator setup.
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FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
First proper progress update.

Spent about the past 3 weekends and a few evenings during the week cleaning the shell up. Wire wheeling the thick OEM stone chip protection off the bottom and removing the vast majority of the seam sealer inside and out. I am yet to find an easy way of doing this apart from many hours with the angle grinder. Found the twisted knot brushes best for removing the stone chip then use a crimped wire brush for paint. The die grinder with wire end brushes is great for getting into corners and other harder to reach areas, however my battery die grinder eats the batteries.

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Once the worst of it was removed I then set about sanding to give the paint a better surface to adhere to. Starting with flap discs on the angle grinder (I really started to dislike them) and working my way down to hand sanding pads. By no means perfect but much better than not sanding anything back.

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So masked the external panels of the car off and then it finally came to paint! We (mainly James) had done a lot of reading about what is best to use with lots of conflicting information on what is best. However we finally decided for the underside doing 2 coats of Jotun Jotamastic 87A, using seam sealer in between the primer coats (Puraflex 40 seam sealer), then will finish it of with black Jotun Hardtop AX. The wheel arches will get the same treatment but get a coat of Upol Gravi-Gard between the primer and topcoat. Hoping the 2k epoxy primer will do the job and we won’t have to worry about it for a long time.

The engine bay will be a bit simpler, using Upol etch primer, black top coat followed by a couple coats of clear lacquer. The inside we wanted it to be dark grey and the Upol etch primer is a pretty ideal colour so we are just using the etch primer followed by a couple coats of clear lacquer.

Started with spraying the engine bay and inside after a round of panel wipe. Ended up using 7.5 cans of primer to cover the lot, did pretty well and only missed a couple spots but they can be sorted on the second coat.

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Prior to painting the underside I tried getting rid of some of the rust towards the rear, nothing to serious mainly surface rust. Tried using some Bilt Hamber Deox Gel, didn’t work as well as a proper critic acid dip but got the worst of it off. Covered the gel in cling film to stop it drying out and left over night.

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Pretty please with the result so a worth while step even though cleaning the gel off took a while.

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Finally ready to start painting the bottom. Was keen to get this done before are surface rust started to appear.

Will continue on a new post to include some more pictures.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Mixing the Jotun 87A and hardener was nice and easy, invested in some scales to get the mix just right. Leaves a great finish bearing in mind it’s applied with a brush.

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Properly chuffed how it’s started to look, we did quite like the bottom being silver but the black Hardtop has already been purchased so it will end up being black.

I have left a section in the middle on purpose. Going to get the fixings for the internal fuel lines and foot rest trays in place before painting over them. The fuel lines have dual pipe clamps with a single bolt so will use rivnuts for those. The foot rest trays haven’t arrived yet so still need to figure out what to do with them. Didn’t want to paint and then have to weld something in place and end up messing the paint up.

So next on the list is to sort the fuel lines out. The order from Atec arrived a few days ago, i was like a kid at Christmas, really nice stuff.
 

Archtronics

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 182
Great work!

Planning on sticking mine on a jig in a few weeks too how have you connected it to the rear out of interest?
Did you also find much corrosion underneath the seam sealer at all?
 
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FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Great work!

Planning on sticking mine on a jig in a few weeks too how have you connected it to the rear out of interest?
Did you also find much corrosion underneath the seam sealer at all?
No didn’t find much corrosion at all. The only bad spot I found was behind the fuel filler cap which I cut out and welded in a few new bits in. Had to buy a new filler cap too as the old one snapped off along with the corroded attachment point for it.

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FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Just a short update. Thought I would try to do regular short updates rather than leaving them for too long.

Wanted to get the rivnuts in place before painting the underside, so up next was the internal fuel lines.

Using Atec pipe and fittings for the brake and fuel system. Really like the look of them on TomoTek’s build (PRO-AM Racing) so decided to use a very similar setup to his.

Used some welding rods to mock up the routing for the pipes. Running flow and return pipes incase we go to ITBs with a fuel rail which requires a return line. Don’t really understand why a return line is needed. Assuming the OEM setup doesn’t keep a constant fuel pressure which limits performance when running ITBs?

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Once mocked up I used the welding rods as a template to bend the fuel line. The hard part was getting the first line done, once I made the first fit I could use both the second mock up line and the first actual fuel line to follow. Once bent, the fuel lines can still be manipulated into place so the bends do not have to be absolutely perfect, was worried there would be no margin for error but there is a bit.

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Dual pipe clamps work nicely to hold the lines in place and also keep a uniform gap to satisfy a bit of OCD. Rivnuts sorted the fixing points out for the clamps.

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The fittings at the rear are bulkhead 90 degree, 10mm tube to male dash 6 JIC. These will then allow a flexi line to be connected between the fitting and the fuel tank. Bolted the fuel tank in place to check clearance between the tank and the fittings and unfortunately this is the only place to fit them, seemed to be very little room elsewhere. Was hoping to run them down the passenger side instead.

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The fittings at the front are bulkhead 90 degree, 10mm tube to tube. The line will continue in the scuttle area before the hardline finishes at another JIC connector (yet to be added). The 3rd hole next to the two fuel lines is for the fire extinguisher system which will be using the same pipe and fittings but 8mm rather than 10mm.

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Now waiting for the foot rest trays to arrive so those can be fitted and then will be able to finish painting.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
That's one bad ass looking cage.
Haha, thanks.

It’s my first attempt at doing one, so really pleased how it came out. Not much I would do differently if I were to do another one which is good.

I’m sure there are a few kilos to save by using different size tubes but prefer it to be on the stronger/safer side for my first one.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Post number 5.

The carbon foot rests arrived sooner than I thought from Carbontec, shipped from Poland but only took 3 or 4 days.

Pretty simple to fit. Used rivnuts with a few of the fixings points requiring a spacer to keep the foot rest level. Used washers to make up the height of the spacers before cutting some 20mm bar to the correct length and drilling a clearance hole. May get some different bolts with a lower profile head but can worry about that later. More importantly got the fixing in prior to paint.

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The following day with the rivnuts in I could finally paint the last bit of bare metal. So another mixing pot later and the first coat of Jotun 87A was done. So in total it took 3.5 mixing pots, so just over 2 litres, but it was a generous coat. Quite enjoyed painting in the evening, nice and peaceful, also had youtube on in the back ground, couple of driftworks videos passed the time nicely.

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Left it to harden for 20-22 hours (that was yesterday) and so tonight I could do the seam sealer. Because the Jotamastic 87A is pretty thick only a few locations really needed the seam sealer, however, if you’re having to do some areas you may as well go to town and do a proper job. Decided to go with Puraflex 40, quite a few people doing restoration projects recommended it over on the migwelding forum and easy to get from Toolstation. Used just over 2 tubes for anyone wanting to know how much to get, this included packing a fair amount into the rear arches.

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Another evening of painting planned for tomorrow. Second coat of the 87A to cover the Puraflex 40. Don’t think it’s going to take as much paint as first time round, only really need to cover the seam sealer in preparation for the top coat. Also need to finish off painting the rear beam and front subframe so may get those done too if it’s not raining.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Post number 6.

Seam sealer is taking a little longer than I thought to cure so started a few other jobs.

I had already welded the PMS bearing kit and stiffening plates a couple months back but time to push the bearings in. Cleaned the paint out of the bearing housing with a flap disc. Had to make a press tool to fit round the spherical bearing as the kit I have doesn’t go down that small. So drilled out a M16 washer and it was a good fit. So M16 nut and bolt pulled the bearings in perfectly and clipped the circlips in. Will give the control arms a coat of gloss black spray paint when I have a few parts to do.

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Time to sort the uprights. These had been dipped in citric acid to remove all the rust and painted with Jotun 87A and Hardtop AX. Made a bit of an investment and bought the Sealey adjustable press support, made pushing the wheel bearings in a doddle (I also have a problem with buying kit for my garage so I don’t need much of an excuse).

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I then removed the paint from the mating surfaces.

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I’ve been looking forward to the next job. Bought the Pro-Am Racing Front Geometry Correction Kit and been waiting to fit it for a while. Hats off to Tomotek, parts do look amazing.

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Sticking with the front wheel package, rebuilt the front brake calipers, bought the refurb kit from Bigg Red. Calipers, like the uprights, were dipped in citric acid, the stuff really does an amazing job. Picture was after a couple of days in the bucket, but after another 2 days the rest of the rust came off. I left the main piston seals and bleed nipples in and blocked off the brake pipe holes so no citric acid got into the inside of the caliper. Parts painted with high temp spray paint.

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Enjoyed actually putting some parts together today. Had the heater on in the garage today to try and get the seam sealer cured so hopefully will be good to paint tomorrow.
 

JKING3008

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
Very nice work dude, love the look of the roll centre correction kit! Can't wait for mine to turn up aswell😬
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Post number 7.

Ended up leaving the seam sealer a couple of days to go off. The Puraflex 40 says it takes 24 hours to cure at 3.5mm thick and had a couple of areas which were probably a bit more than this so was probably a sensible thing to do. I applied a couple coats of Upol Guard (stone chip) just to the wheel arch areas. The can comes with two nozzles, a thin and a thick nozzle. Used the thin for the first layer and then the thick nozzle for the second. Wasn’t completely sure how thick to put it on but ended up using two cans for just the arches.

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Next was the two top coats of Hardtop AX. Managed to get a number of other parts painted at the same time. This stuff absolutely stinks, certainly was a mask and garage door open job. Leaves a very glossy finish with only minor brush marks so for underneath is perfect.

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Yesterday I then tackled the engine bay and inside. I used spray paint for the engine bay as I wanted a slightly better finish, well at least smoother with no brush marks. For the engine bay I used Upol etch primer, gloss black top coat and clear coat. Wanted to use the clear coat as I thought it would give the paint a more durable finish, however it didn’t go on particularly well in some areas, certain areas went hazy after it dried. Wasn’t sure if i was applying the clear coat too thick or thin or if I hadn’t left long enough between coats. But seeing as most of it will be covered in the engine bay I wasn’t too bothered. Just made me nervous for using the clear coat for the inside.

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Inside I used the same etch primer but as the colour of the etch primer was what we wanted, decided just to put clear straight over the top of the primer. Again a small problem with the clear coat. I found that during spraying the clear coat it was giving off a huge amount of dust. I had thoroughly cleaned the shell before painting (vacuumed, tac clothed and panel wiped), so initially I thought the clear coat was going cloudy again but in fact it was a layer of white dust coming from the spray. So before painting each small section I used a tac cloth to remove the dust before painting, so managed to recover the inside and now I’m really pleased with how it has turned out.

Was brilliant pulling all the masking tape off and finally getting the car off the roll over jig. Saying we are pleased is an understatement.

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There‘s a couple of spots to touch up where the roll over jig fixtures were bolted on. Then on to fun jobs, frames and suspension up next.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Post Number 8.

Best weekend working on the car so far I think.

Spent most of the evenings during the week getting all the parts together for the front and rear suspension, cleaning and painting a number of smaller parts too. The citric acid bucket doing its magic again. Made life easier that I had organised all small parts and fasteners into labelled bags when the car was taken apart 18 months ago too.

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So on Friday evening I started with the rear twist beam. All went together as planned, no issues. I had planned to put 2 X 10mm stub axle spacers but I posted a picture on Instagram and was convinced otherwise by a number of people so changed it to 1 X 10mm spacer. Certainly the safer option until we work out what’s going on with the car. So Saturday morning I removed a spacer and stuck with the single 10mm spacer. Only have a very vague idea of what sort of base setup we need so lots to learn but a good excuse for lots of track days.

Rear Twist Beam Spec:
  • AST 5100 Coilovers
  • Powerflex black series top mount bush (Top side mounted inside roll cage rear corner node)
  • PMS stiffener kit
  • PMS spherical bearing conversion
  • PMS camber shim 20’
  • PMS 10mm stub axle spacer
  • PMS 75mm wheel studs
  • Brembo standard discs
  • Refurbed OEM brakes using the Bigg red kit
  • Ferodo Racing DS2500 pads
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Got a bit carried away and started working on the front in the evening. Changed the steering arms/track rods for new ones, couldn’t bring myself to put the new Pro-Am Racing track rod extender onto the old arms. Blocked the power steering holes on the column part of the rack and looped the two on the rack itself using some brake line. Changed the old bushes out for powerflex black series and bolted it up to the frame, same treatment for the ARB, powerflex black series bushes. However as seen from Tomotek/pro-am racing I had to remove a fair bit of material from the outside of the ARB to frame bush to make it fit, hopefully judged it right, felt about right once tightened up.

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Then set about adding the coilovers to the front uprights. Really like the AST setup on the coilovers, lower bolt hole has the offset adaptor to convert between 56 and 60mm spacing and then has the built in camber adjustment slots.

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Should mention we bought the ASTs second hand so didn’t have a choice on the spring rates, so possibly will need to change them at a later date but I am sure they will be perfect to start with and worth it for the price we got them for. Added the PMS castor adjustable top mounts and then attached the front struts/uprights to the car.

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Hoping the strut brace isn’t going to clash with the engine. Hopefully will find out next weekend. Control arms still to do on Sunday morning which didn’t go to plan!
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Post number 8 continued.

So this morning (Sunday) i had planned to pop the lower control arms in. I had welded these together some time ago and never thought they would be a problem. However encountered this when inserting the bearing adapters into the clevis joints.

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The distance between the Pt3 and Pt4 hard point (Front and rearward control arm hard point) was about 3-4mm too large. This was the case for both left and right hand side. Checked a few different things it could have been such as the frame being out but tried a new set of OEM control arms and they fitted perfectly, measured the width of the control arm pressings compared to new OEM which were identical. So it was certainly the weld in bearing housing was in the wrong place. I had pushed the bearing housing hard up against the control arm pressing as it says in the PMS instructions/guide but really I needed to hold them off by 2mm on both housings. So also pretty annoyed at myself for not measuring and checking this when I welded them in months ago.

However, I am rather impatient and wanted it sorting on the day so decided to remove 1.5mm of material from the outer bearing adaptors. Worked a treat, just had to space the other side of the joint out with a washer so the clevis clamp up gap wasn’t too big. Will see what Nick at PMS has to say on Monday. Will be fine for the time being but will want to re make the control arms or have custom bearing adaptors/spaces made. Also need to order some new bolts to replace the originals. (Picture below is form the RHS, previous picture of the LHS, but both had the same problem and the same temporary resolution).

But on the whole if that’s the biggest problem I encounter, I’ll be pretty happy.

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Need to get some M8 countersunk screws/bolts for the brake discs with as I haven’t got any spacers at the moment a normal bolt has space to fit with the wheel.

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I decided I wanted to get the car on the ground so put the seat and steering column in so that I could sit in it on the drive and make the customary engine noises. Hadn’t had the seat and steering column in the car and forgot how good the steering wheel position is. Was worth a lot of messing around and measuring many times to get it in the correct place. Still may need to use a steering wheel spacer to alter the position for James and I (3-4 inches height difference isn’t ideal for sharing a driving position).

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Been waiting for this moment for a long time time, but finally could put the wheels on and roll the car out the garage.

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Delighted with the progress this weekend. Next job is to get the engine in, hoping for another big weekend.

Front Suspension Spec:
  • AST 5100 coilovers
  • Pro-Am Racing Front Geometry Correction Kit (Stage 2 position)
  • Power steering removed
  • PMS Front wishbone bearing kit
  • PMS stiffener plates
  • PMS weld in castor adjustable top mounts
  • PMS strut brace
  • Powerflex Black Series ARB bushes
  • Powerflex Black Series steering rack bushes
  • Brembo standard brake discs
  • Ferodo Racing DS2500 pads
  • PMS wheel studs
 

ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
Just re reading your thread.. Being a chassis engineer, do you have books you can recommend? I have race car vehicle dynamics, but I was wondering if theres anything else I can read thats more about the process and steps of desinging the car?
 

tomsteer

ClioSport Club Member
Great read, shell is looking brilliant. I know i'll be using this for reference in the future! Would love to get mine stripped down and protected like that but cant see it happening for a while!

Keep up the good work!
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Have fun using manual steering with that 😄
There seems to be two camps on this topic, some say it’s impossible and others saying it’s absolutely fine.

Could understand of the car was ever going to go on the round buts it’s only going to be used on track.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Just re reading your thread.. Being a chassis engineer, do you have books you can recommend? I have race car vehicle dynamics, but I was wondering if theres anything else I can read thats more about the process and steps of desinging the car?
Sorry you’ve got me on that one. At uni used Race Car Vehicle Dynamics a fair bit but not too much else really. I also quite like the Allan Staniforth books which are a lighter read.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Great read, shell is looking brilliant. I know i'll be using this for reference in the future! Would love to get mine stripped down and protected like that but cant see it happening for a while!

Keep up the good work!
Thanks, appreciate it.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
It hurts me when I see people drop a car down on it's wheels with no shafts in to seat the bearings properly 😥

Car is proper tackle though!! Can't wait to see it all back together!
Ah!!! Yer forgot about that. Will have to check the hub shaft hasn’t moved before putting the shafts on.

We’re getting excited about it now. Hoping to be able to keep up the progress of the last few weeks.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Just an update to the problem I had with the PMS front wishbone/control arm kit.

Nick From PMS has been in touch and said he’d get them sorted.

He also said he was going to update the fitting guide to include checking dimensions. Pretty hard to get it bang on when you are relying on the tolerance on the pressing which won’t be very tight at all as the tolerance looks like it’s taken up with the standard bushes push in depth.
 

ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
There seems to be two camps on this topic, some say it’s impossible and others saying it’s absolutely fine.

Could understand of the car was ever going to go on the round buts it’s only going to be used on track.
Not impossible, in fact its great in some ways, but I wouldnt want to be at race pace for long periods of time. And I was hinting at the caster angle you had, mine is at 4.7 and although very stable and great feel, I prefer to save my energy. I have a quick ratio rack as well which would add to the weight.
 

FPummell

ClioSport Club Member
Not impossible, in fact its great in some ways, but I wouldnt want to be at race pace for long periods of time. And I was hinting at the caster angle you had, mine is at 4.7 and although very stable and great feel, I prefer to save my energy. I have a quick ratio rack as well which would add to the weight.
Ah yes! Does look a lot of castor. No doubt will be playing with the setup once the car is together.

The races we plan on doing are 45 minutes with a driver change so shouldn’t be bad, perhaps an hours stint wouldn’t be particularly fun.

Something that can be sorted in the future if we find it an issue.
 


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