Reatta Racing

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About Reatta Racing

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  1. After that we test fit the main hoop (the one that goes behind the driver) and the halo bar (hoop on the roof of the car) and tacked them together. We also test fit the front down bars to the halo. All of these require some notching work of the tubes. We did the halo notching on a tube notching setup we made for a lathe. Other parts we just test fit and used angle grinders to get what we needed. We pulled out the main hoop and halo from the car and fully welded the joints and then fit up and welded the angled main hoop bar. I don't really have any good pictures of this part, but after that we worked on fabricating plinth boxes that go under the cage tubing that tie the cage into the car. Using plinth boxes instead of just spreader plates will allow us to drop the cage down after tacking the front bars to the halo to weld the top of the cage. We also pulled out the engine and trans from the car to do some work to then engine and simplify the engine bay a bit. We had a leak on the intake gasket, so we cleaned that up and installed a new gasket. We also removed the EGR and put in an AC delete pulley. We also removed the HVAC stuff from the engine bay because it takes up a bunch of space, and we won't really need it (we will need some minimal amount of HVAC, but keeping the OEM stuff didn't seem to be worth it). Now some questions: Has anybody changed the final drive ratio on the stock trans? We were reading that it was possible, and have found some information, but could definitely use some more help. It appears you can swap out 2 gears and achieve a 3.73 final drive ratio, increasing acceleration, but decreasing top speed. We ran the numbers right quick, and it looked like we would redline in 3rd gear (the 1:1 gear) at 103 mph, which is a pretty good number for the tracks we will run). Has anyone done much work stiffening the motor mounts or the front subframe? It looked like you could buy non-hydraulic mounts for the back one, but we weren't sure if that would be better or not. Does anyone know of stiffer than OEM subframe bushing being sold somewhere?
  2. We didn't do much work on the car over the holidays, but we have worked on it for the past 2 weekends. Late last year we ordered the bent steel for a roll cage from Roll Cage Components. Jim was great with walking us through measuring the car and built a good cage. He has a pattern now if anyone needs to cage a Reatta in the future. Before starting the install on the roll cage we took out the gas tank. We are going to need to do some repairs to some of the gas lines that were in pretty rough shape. We had already taken out the windshield, but we also took out the rear window. I don't know if our windows had been replaced, but the glue on the windows was really hard to cut. After breaking 2 different tools we cobbled together one out of the parts we had. And we attached leads from a battery charger to the wires after we fished one side under the window making a hot wire cutter, and making it really easy to remove. When installing a roll cage, you want to put it as high up in the car as possible, so you have enough clearance between the top of the cage and the top of a helmeted drivers head. After doing some test fitting with a seat we determined we would need to notch out the roof supports to push the bars up higher. We will eventually tie the car back in with the cage in these spots to get back the strength we removed.
  3. Yeah, that is the first (and we believe only) Reatta to race in Lemons. I think the story goes that it crashed into the snoopy vehicle (I think it was a van or a truck) run by the same team. It had a supercharged 3800 and a Getrag manual transmission if I remember correctly. Yeah, RWD would definitely be preferred, but the uniqueness of the car trumped actually being good at racing for us. Long term plan for the car is to put in a manual transmission, but we are planning to race at least once with the stock transmission. Not really sure how that will go. We're planning to put a big cooler on it, though. Your car is super cool, I don't know anything about old Fiats, though. But Miatta stuff usually does well in Lemons, so should work out.
  4. We worked on the Reatta again this weekend, but I didn't do a great job of taking pictures. Some of the stuff we worked on: - Finished fixing the front headlights, we made new plastic bushings and one of the lights had the arm with too much clearance, we put in a set screw and jb welded it all together - Removed the windshield. Ours had a bunch of cracks, and it will be easier to weld in the roll cage with the windshield out. We worked on removing the rear window, too, but didn't get super far. We were using a harbor freight tool to do it, and sometimes you get what you pay for. - Pulled the transmission off the spare L67 supercharged motor and started building a cradle for the engine for easier storage. That's definitely a thing we are going to have to work more on is getting this project organized and so it takes up less space in the garage where we store it - we cut out the drivers seat rails, this will give us more vertical space to mount the seat, but we will have to add back some strength. You need 2" of clearance above the top of your helmeted head to the plane created by the roll cage, that makes you have to sit quite a bit lower in the car and/or leaned back more than normal - removed a bunch of wiring, mainly around the door lock system, but we got some other stuff taken out as well
  5. Oh, and for some new content. We picked up a cheap L67 supercharged series II 3800 engine on Craigslist.
  6. We haven't attempted to lower either the front or the back yet, but we do have some ideas. Potential ways to lower the back: - Use a different rear spring. On the forum someone had talked about using a spring from Birchmount. - Move the spring perches out farther along the rear suspension. You can only move them a bit before you get right next to where the lower control arm mounts. Probably need to add some additional support to the subframe to do this. - Lower the spot where the rear spring rests on the lower control arm. This would be some fabricating on the control arm to ensure everything is strong enough - Raise where the the rear subframe attaches to the body. We think we could shorten the top of the square style rubber mount. and we could weld plates over the front attachment points and drill holes a little bit higher. I think we might end up doing a few of these to get the car as low as we want it. Potential ways to lower the front: - Lowering springs. It seems people haven't had much luck with ordering aftermarket springs and that's probably more than we want to spend on this part of the project. We have some thoughts on how to modify some Buick Rendezvous springs to work - Taller ball joint. We didn't see anyone that made one for this car, but are looking into how to make one. - Modifying the anti-sway bar linkage to be shorter - Modify how the front of the control arm (the rod part, I don't know what it is called) mounts to the subframe. The way it's currently setup it very much wants to angle the lower control arm down quite a bit. We are thinking maybe messing with the bushings would help. I think we will probably have to do all of these to lower the front of the car as much as we want. The photos were acting super weird when I was uploading them yesterday. All except the first one had their aspect ratio changed (they got squished side to side). I'll try and see if I can upload them again later today, and hopefully won't have the issues.
  7. I didn't take a lot of pictures at our last work session, but we installed some custom bushings at the front of the rear subframe to the car connection. We also got the rest of the front and rear suspensions wrapped u, and set the car back down. It sat really high, but we didn't drive it or anything to help settle the suspension. We also stripped the wiring out of the doors, and a lot of the extra bits from the doors (and pulled them off the car for right now). We removed the TEVES system from the car, and will be replacing it with a more traditional brake booster out of a Riviera. If anyone wants to buy the TEVES let me know. We also started on headlight repair for the car. After disassembling both lights we determined both lights had the two common failure modes (the disintegrated rollers and the loose bracket on the shaft). We made some new rollers and plan to fix the bracket with some JB Weld. That pretty much catches up all the work done on the car. We also measured for a roll cage, and should be ordering that soon. Current things we are working on are how to lower the car reliably and fairly inexpensively, planning for installing the new brake booster and redoing the brake lines as necessary. decide on a race seat and get that ordered, and get everything ready for cage fabrication.
  8. So I still have a bit of backlog of stuff we have done to the car, so hopefully this post will help get the thread caught up to real time. We also dropped the rear subframe out of the car and took the whole rear suspension apart. We replaced struts, strut mounts and bushings. We also cleaned up all the metal parts we were reusing We found some significant rust on the rear subframe near where the rear spring mounts. We ground out the rusty metal on the worst side, and welded in new metal. We also welded in a steel patch on both sides. I don't have pictures of the patch, but the rust seems to be due to the design of the subframe, and the layers of steel overlapping. It's probably an area worth checking on most cars. We painted the subframe with rust encapsulating paint. We also stripped the interior out of the car. We saved all the dash stuff because we are planning on re-installing a bunch of it. I know it looks like a mess currently, and as Reatta fans that might not be the best sight, but I promise we will have it looking better.
  9. Ronnie, we are planning on running 16" rims to accommodate the bigger front brakes. We will be running a smaller overall tire dimension though (by 1.1"). We picked up 2 sets of Cadillac Allante rims, and they look pretty good with the car. Carl, we are limited by the racing series to run 190 treadwear tires, SCCA just changed some of their tire ratings to 200 from 140 or something, so there are lots of tires available with a 200 treadwear rating. On the car we previously raced we ran Falken Azenis RT615 K+ tires, and they worked pretty well. Definitely agreed that you get a lot of performance out of running a good tire. The endurance racing part adds a bit of a wrinkle to it, in that you are trying to balance performance, life, and total cost. We expect to pretty much wear out a set of tires at each race, with that being one of the biggest operating costs of the car.
  10. Yeah, it's definitely a bit of an odd choice. To my knowledge only one other Reatta has run in Lemons. The decision to race it gets into what the racing series is trying to be about (usually called 'the spirit of Lemons') and the idea that it is more fun to figure out how to make a slow car go fast than make a fast car go fast. Also, there are 3 classes based on how fast a car is; the Reatta will race in the slowest one. And we will try and keep this updated with the work we are doing and how it turns out as we test the car at track days and then race the car. I'm sure we will figure out a go-pro setup and post some videos. And Ronnie, to your final point, I agree we will be modifying the car in quite a bit different ways than most of you guys have. Hopefully by posting what we are doing there will be some useful takeaways for non race cars. One area that immediately comes to mind is suspension/lowering work; we will need a low and stiff suspension so we will have to figure out how to lower the front of the car. We have been doing some research, checking part dimensions on rock auto, and lots of walking around junkyards looking at front suspensions and think we have some ideas, but we need to do some testing. For the rear spring, I saw the threads about using the Birchmount lowering spring. Is this what everyone who has lowered the rear did? Has anyone had any luck with taking the spring to a local (to them) shop and having a spring made for less than Birchmount? Does anyone have a Birchmount spring they are not using that they want to sell?
  11. Ronnie, we are based in Michigan so the two closest tracks that Lemons regularly races at are Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, MI and Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL (just south of Chicago). We will probably mainly hit races there, but may travel to some other tracks if we get ambitious.
  12. Barney, Lemons does a few car shows, including one in Detroit. We brought the Reatta because it was in pretty rough shape, but there is a Corvair club that always shows up with a lot of cars to laugh about the "Unsafe at Any Speed" stuff. They all had beautiful cars.
  13. After driving the Reatta around for a while there was a significant knocking noise coming from the drivers side front strut tower. We decided we should take apart the front suspension of the car and go over everything and replace some of the parts including new wheel bearings, struts, and the strut mount that had likely failed. Tearing everything apart went pretty well for such an old car. The drivers side strut mount had failed as well as one of the struts but otherwise everything was in good shape. We cleaned up all the parts, rattle can painted them in stupid colors and put everything back together. When we were putting everything back together we also upgraded the front brakes using the aluminum Camaro calipers and Aurora rotors. Brake parts are budget exempt in Lemons as they are safety gear. The new brakes look really good.
  14. Hi, I am new to the forum, although I have been reading it since I bought my 89 Reatta this summer. I purchased a pretty rough example that was probably only a stop or two away from the junk yard and instead of working to fix everything that was wrong with it I decided to form a team to race the car in the 24 hours of Lemons series. 24 Hours of Lemons Here is a link with info about the racing series: Basically it is a series for endurance racing inexpensive cars on road course race tracks. Most races are about 15 hours spread over 2 days using 4 or 5 drivers per car. One of my teammates and I raced in the series this year on a different team, so we have some experience with the series. Point of this Thread I plan to provide a build thread for turning a Reatta into a race car. I will add pictures, update on the progress we make, and probably ask some questions and try and get some feedback on the various projects that we are working on. Attached are some pictures shortly after I bought the car.