You’ve loved working on cars since before you can remember. It’s time to use the skills that you’ve picked up over the years to take on the ultimate project. You want to learn how to build a race car.
You’d like to think that you know your way around a vehicle, but you have no idea where to begin. Do you grab a bunch of parts and try to build your car from the ground up, or do you upgrade a different car?
What kind of parts should you invest in, and how do you make sure the vehicle is safe for you to drive? Check out this guide to get the answers to all your burning questions.
Do Some Research
The first step of tackling any project is to hop on the internet and do your research. Depending on what kind of racing car you’re trying to build, there’s a good chance that someone on the internet has built it as well.
Reading about their experience can give you some vital information, such as what parts fit the darn thing. They can also let you know if the particular build you’re going with is any good or if it needs certain modifications to perform to your standards.
Reading up on your dream car can also save you money. The last thing you want is to spend a bunch of cash on parts that you don’t even need.
Decide on Your Budget
Speaking of your wallet, the next step is to find out how much you’re willing to spend on your build. Parts for a race car can really climb up there in price if you’re not careful.
The general rule of thumb is to make a list of your must-haves and nice to haves. You want to feel safe in your new race car. If you don’t, you’re not exactly going to want to take it out to the track.
To this end, pour your money into safety features and your brakes system. For parts that are less important, you can get them off of an online marketplace. Someone on a car enthusiast forum might be willing to give you a hand as long as you give them some form of payment.
Find the Right Donor Car
More experienced enthusiasts might be able to build a car from the ground up, but as a newbie, you’re going to need a little jumping-off point. You’re going to need a donor car.
A donor car is a second-hand vehicle that you can make improvements to. Not any old can will do. Take your time and do a lot of shopping around before you commit to a purchase.
Don’t count out a vehicle if it’s got a few dents and scuffs. There are ways to remove little dings, and you can always slap a new coat of paint on the vehicle. If the metal is completely rusted through, that’s different.
You might be familiar with vehicles, but it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. Take the donor car to a mechanic and have them check for serious problems.
Now that you have your donor car, it’s time to start making your upgrades. The one thing you want to spend the most time with is your braking system.
Driving around on a track can cause a lot of heat to build up in your brake system. This heat is the number one cause of brake fade. That’s the last thing you need.
Some people will spend hundreds of dollars to stop the problem. We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to.
In many cases, changing up to DOT5 brake fluid can do the trick. You can also trade out your regular brake pads for racing pads.
Buying New Tires
Regular street tires can’t take the same level of wear and tear that racing tires can. You’ve got to buy sports tires that are made for the heat and stress that comes from track driving.
Look for sport compound and tread patterns. They can be a bit on the expensive side, but they pack tons of durability.
Reduce the Weight
It’s going to be hard for your car to zoom around the race track if it’s too heavy. The cheapest way to lighten your load is to get rid of any unnecessary parts.
In most cases, you’re going to be in your race car by yourself. You don’t need your rear seats. You can also chuck your stereo system in the garbage.
Your Safety Is Important
Racing can be pretty dangerous unless you invest in your safety. For example, a good racing harness will keep you in your seat when the track gets rough.
While you can install one of these yourself, there’s a wrong way to go about it. If you want to opt for maximum safety, you should have an experienced professional put your harness in for you.
Our last tip for making a race car is to run plenty of tests. You need a reliable machine that’s not going to let you down on the track. A FuelTech Wheel Speed Sensor will tell you how fast your new vehicle can go.
Test the components several times before you take the car out for a spin. Break downs can happen, but staying on top of your car’s parts will help you mitigate the dangers.
How to Build a Race Car That You’ve Been Dreaming Of
Learning how to build a race car can be tricky. You want to make something safe that’s also fun to drive. If you don’t pour enough research into your project, it won’t be reliable on the track.
Don’t let an unfortunate accident happen to you. Follow these tips and avoid dangerous breakdowns. For more pointers that will help you keep your race car going, visit the Car Tech section of our blog.