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Discussion Starter #1
hello everyone, Im new to this site and have some questions.

Im guessing most of these questions have been answer one way or another in these forums but not sure which thread will shed the most light on it. Ive decided after much time to get into rally after seen most of my friends do rally and track racing. Ive decided to go with the focus as the building platform because of it dependability, cost of parts and labor. Ive looked over the nasa rally rules and there not so clear on everything.

If i rally a focus do i have to do the focus rally spec class or can i rally in a different class such as modified 2 or super stock class?

what engine and trans upgrades can you do... such as cams, clutch, flywheel, gearing, valves, connecting rods..... i saw you cant bore out the head?

can you use a hydraulic e-brake ?

can you make your own door panels or do you have to use the factory ones?

you can modified the dashboard?

i have more questions but this is just a start.. Im looking forward to get into such a amazing sport. thanks for your time and help.
 

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I built to RSF rules but ran in M2 all this year (now 2009 M2 Atlantic Rally Cup Champion :) ). You can run a stock or production class as long as you have pretty much no modifications to the engine/tranny and much of the interior. RSF allows a ZX3 to be built up to an SVT level of performance but that typically means the top end and a tune. An SVT cannot be tweaked. The ZX3 (MTX-75) can also get an LSD and can change the final drive ratio. Not so for the SVT. That being said it's probably cheaper to get an SVT rally ready than a ZX3 w/ performance updates. Hampton ran an SVT. Andrew and I both started with the basic ZX3 and did little to them in the first year.

RSF disallows dashboard or front door panel mods except to accommodate the cage. And stock e-brake.

M2 is a little more lenient.

RSF is a nice rule set to build to and as you can see it doesn't penalize you in M2. In fact I beat all the M1 cars at BRS too. It's a lot more than power. It's luck, preparedness, team-work, driver and codriver skill. And experience. Your best modification is seat time. Get in a basic ZX3 and go drive. It'll be several rallies before you can't make that car go any faster - then start making it better.

Where are you located?

Simon
USUK Racing
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
first id like to congrat you on winning m2 atlantic rally cup, second thanks for the reply. After reading what you have to say Im going to set my car up with rsf rules.. seems like the smarter thing to do in the long run. The only thing i dont like about it is, you have to you racetech seat, team dynamics wheels, hankook tires, and the dms suspension. Ive heard that the dms suspension isnt that reliable for the cost compared to hot-bits.

Do you know how different the rules for the rsf and nasa are to rally america rules?, Im looking to try to hit as many races that my wallet and car can handle. Having it set up for both will raise the resell value in the end too which would be a great plus.

Im probably going to go the same route as andrew and you have, it might cost more in the long run, but i plan on adding engine mods slowly. Im located about 2 hours from philly in pa. thanks for the info again.

By the way, nice videos of black river stages this year on you tube. you guys kick some ass
 

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Discussion Starter #4
do you know where i can find the 2009 and 2010 rally spec focus rules, i found the track rules and the 2008 rally spec focus rules. thanks
 

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The rules have not changed so they did not republish them. A couple of things to note on the parts.

- DMS is not required. Let me repeat DMS is NOT required. And yes DMS are unreliable. They really cheaped out on the housing manufacturing which caused a lot of failures. Now the damping aspect of the DMS is top notch.

- Hankook is no longer importing rally tires into the US so that rule will likely need to change. The good thing is that you can get the hankooks super cheap if you can find them.

- Racetech seats are in the rules but there is a part exception form now. So if you want to run another seat for whatever reason then just fill out the form. No one is going to protest you over not having Racetech seats. And with no contingency money, who really cares.

- Team Dynamics wheels are great. Ford made their wheels out of silly puddy or something with similar impact absorption properties. I ran a set of ford rims last year at a snow rally and destroyed them. I have had no issues with the team dynamics rims.

As for the rule differences make sure you read they rule book carefully. From the top of my head. You need a bigger fire extinguisher or two of them. I think the cage rules are slightly different, but you should be able to build a cage that meets both sets of rules. And RA requires a fuel test port.

I agree with Simon that motor mods should be the last thing you look at. I ran the first full season in my car with a completely stock drive train. This included a stock exhaust, trans, motor, etc. The only thing I changed was I added a K&N to the stock air box. And I had a good year. Hope to see you out on the stages.
 

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RA will generally accept an NRS log-booked car.
To be certain my car would meet the RA Group 2 rules I added a sill bar to my cage design. Car's a tad heavier with it but safer too so I'm happy. See the cage in my build pages (a bit old now but still mostly applicable). As Andrew said there's not much else for RA - I have two fire extinguishers and a fuel sample port.

I couldn't find Z-Hill, PA on the map but you're a lot closer to Narrowsburg, NY than I am. Have you been to a rally yet? You should go to IRNY. We're competing against Ken Block :-D

Simon
 

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Simon, I attended my first rally event at BRS this year and your team was amazing. I never once considered having my 17 year old son co-pilot, but after seeing you, Kieran, and the Bartons, I immediately called him and told him what our next project was going to be. We have a 2000 ZX3 that I hope run with you in ’10 or ’11.

I have had the same problem with the rules, though. That latest copy that I round was Version 2008.3 and they make reference to Hankook RS201’s and McPherson dampers. No other tires or dampers are permitted. Is this correct? I can’t find 2009 or 2010 rules. The Rally Spec Focus site seems to be frozen in 2008.
 

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Err, Mr Sniper?

That's great! If you have any questions I (and I'm sure Andrew) would be happy to help.

Be assured you can use any suspension you want (I'm on Hotbits) and any tire. Andrew and I are pushing to get the rules posted for 2010 but that shouldn't hold you back. Just make sure it also meets NASA GRRs. As Andrew said, the Team Dynamics wheels are good and I really like our RaceTech seats but if you want to run something else you can get a waiver. And adopt a nearby NASA Scrutineer - for you that's probably Andrew Smith or Mark Bowers - both good people and can give you good advice _before_ you take the car to get logbooked.

Good luck.

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ive just read in the rule book that 11.19 they can claim any engine and resell it to the highest bidder.. does that mean they can take your motor for any reason and sell it leaving you s.o.l.?

Have you seen this happen to anyone? does this happen often?
 

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Ive just read in the rule book that 11.19 they can claim any engine and resell it to the highest bidder.. does that mean they can take your motor for any reason and sell it leaving you s.o.l.?

Have you seen this happen to anyone? does this happen often?
They have this same rule in AMA Motocross. The idea is that you wouldn't risk running in a limited class with excessive and expensive mods if there was a chance that your engine could be confiscated.

If you are claiming that your engine is only slightly more expensive than stock, the deal that competitors would get on your engine isn't that great.

If however, you're engine was so trick and mod'd out that your competitors could get that engine for the cost of a stock SVT engine, then you're in trouble.

It's a case of making a penalty so great that you wouldn't risk violating the rule. I'm sure it's happened somewhere at sometime, but if you are following all the limited class rules, there is little to no chance they are going to take your engine.

Of course, I'm new to the rally scene, so my opinion and analysis is only based on my experience racing motocross.
 

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11.19 has never been applied. Chances are, if you've got a tricked out engine, that you'll be challenged by a competitor and whatever trophy/points will be withdrawn if it's upheld. Also, if you've got that sort of money you're probably not running in the Rally Spec Focus class ! :)

Simon
 

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No. Battery relocation comes with some problems like cut off switches and mounting the boxes and it is not allowed in the Spec Focus rules. The fuel cell rules on NASA are pretty restrictive and I don't see much advantage to running a cell. Since the stock pump seems to work well and the tank is in a great location from a performance standpoint. low in the car and within the wheel base so it has a low center of gravity and provides a good moment of inertia.
 

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No. Battery relocation comes with some problems like cut off switches and mounting the boxes and it is not allowed in the Spec Focus rules.
I can't find anything in the Rally Spec Focus Regs (Version 2008.3) that prohibit the relocation of the battery. The reason I bring it up is that it would be nice to have that space under the hood for the air intake system filter. Has anyone seen someone sent to M2 because of this? Maybe a waiver could help.

The fuel cell rules on NASA are pretty restrictive and I don't see much advantage to running a cell. Since the stock pump seems to work well and the tank is in a great location from a performance standpoint. low in the car and within the wheel base so it has a low center of gravity and provides a good moment of inertia.
It seems that it would still be nice to have a fuel cell up in the rear compartment to get it out of the reach of nasty rocks and whatnot that may damage it. Skid plates are great, but they're not bulletproof.
 

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The battery issue is covered by the if its not listed that you can do it you can't rule at the beginning. And that space is not really needed for a Zetec car. Since a short ram type intake fits nicely behind the battery. Another option is the SVT airbox and snokle which flows really well and also has all of the fun OEM protection against water, dirt, etc that comes with it.

Be very careful going down the fuel cell road. Talk with your NASA scrutineer before you go for it. Since there all kinds of bulkhead rules and I think they want you to keep the cell in the stock location. You are right that skid plates are not bulletproof, but they work pretty well. I have not seen a lot of guys DNF at rallies with punctured stock tanks in all classes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
the only reason im looking into a fuel cell is safety, i look at it as the safer the better. thanks for the insight
 

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The battery issue is covered by the if its not listed that you can do it you can't rule at the beginning.
That's the answer I thought you'd give. That's cool though. :thumbup: I'm a rules lawyer and can appreciate the intricacies of the rules. I just like to know how they're typically applied.

Thanks for the info about the SVT airbox. For now I'm running a K&N filter in my stock Zetec airbox with the resonator removed. I'm following your philosophy of spending all my time and money on cage, suspension, brakes, wheels, etc. There's no way I'm outdriving the engine my first season anyway.
 

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cdizzle, Check out this link for a list of NASA Scrutineers.

http://www.nasarallysport.com/main/contact

While a fuel cell can be safer it can easily be more dangerous than a stock tank. Yes a stock tank is more exposed to damage from rock blast. But someone at Ford has a job designing a fuel system that keeps people from dying in fiery crashes which is bad publicity for Ford. This involves lots of crash testing and fail safe designs.

This is the reason why I left the inertial kill switch in the rally car. I had it trip on the 8th rally that the car entered, but that was because the co-drivers route book got loose and hit the switch not because of the rough roads or anything of that sort. I have since relocated the switch to the center tunnel in easy reach of both the driver and co-driver.

Scott, sounds like you have a good plan for a solid, fun rally car. I am looking forward to seeing you on the stages.
 
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