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Reatta Racing

Racing a Reatta in 24 Hours of Lemons

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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.



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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. 1330585832_engineremoval.thumb.jpg.04f6be04947aab2f10d81b6eb79d23a6.jpg


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?



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Check out this link for Cradle Bushings. These Dorman parts are much heavier then the OEM Mounts which are no longer available. But are not solid mounts.



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If you are going to stick with the GM transmission I would strongly suggest creating a manual shifter and a switch to keep the TCC locked up unless stopping. Running it almost constantly unlocked is going to create a lot of heat.


BTW the stock exhaust collector on the back of the engine is a terrible restriction. I'd suggest building duals.


ps I have that same Diehard charger. Not sure if its been used in the last decade.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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