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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I talked to a buddy today, master at making molds and fiberglass products, CF would be a simple thing for him to master as well, about making me a CF roof. I want total glass elimination, one piece for better air flow, fully supported, remove moonroof tracks, motor, wiring, etc, etc.

IF you plan to autox seriously, do track days, hard core canyon carving, etc, this would be one of the most important mods you could ever make.

IF there was enough interest in these he would do it for us, first one would be very costly if a one off but making a mold then making more would cut that down a great deal of course.



I have another idea as well, plastic(using a very generic term here on purpose) rear glass and rear side windows. Go with a CF hood and hatch, plastic glass where applicable and CF roof, you may save around 150 or so pounds, may be less, maybe more, either way quite substantial.

I just need to find out what SCCA will say about it now, I am very very serious about wanting this, willing to wait for it if need be, etc, etc, but really want it yesterday, lol!

Rick
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tC project car just getting started, plans include full carpc, competition audio, boost, suspension, autox, drag and track day racing.
 

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Ok, the idea sounds interesting, but I guess i'd have to see it. I think it would look ok if on a car with a carbon fiber hood and hatch as well. But you confuse me because in your sig it says "competition audio"... if you're going for performance and weight reduction, why would you add useless weight of subwoofers and amps? Just a thought. But let us know how this goes for ya.
 

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not only that but why devalue the car with such an extensive AND expensive mod?? any mod to the car devalues the car as opposed to stock form..but man CF roof with lexon glass windows? sounds pretty damn expensive to me, not worth it in my opinion..u gotta think about time itll take to complete, time in the garage with ur friend fabricating it, getting a complete and flush fit to the roof, the body work..iuno jus a lil to much for me..WAYYYY to much to do what? shed some pounds? if ur really that serious about dropping weight..strip the car and then do ur autoX..150 pounds can be dropped way quicker then fabricating an entire roof in CF..but hey good luck with ur choice
 

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First, you need to know Rick... He always mods his cars to the extreme, and he knows what he's doing. If one day tC will become my project car - then making it 300lbs lighter would be an interesting endeavour, but not for the daily driver.

Rick, I'm a little torn looking at your audio plans and at the same time seeing you fight for every pound. I'm pretty sure your audio setup will be at least 50-70lbs, plus another 50+lbs of raammat. Time to make a choice - audio or autox?
 

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i'm with zolitz on this. lance and i had the conversation about CF roof panels. if you are going to mod your car to an extreme, this is a great one. the cost is worth it if its worth it to the one doing the mods. as for hurting the value, no one does mods like this with hopes of a good trade in value. go for it, and let me know how it works out.
and i agree with zolitz again with the choice of auto x and audio. shaving weight to add weight seems redundant. though it will be lighter than a car with full audio and standard glass panels. hmm. i smell dilemma.
 

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I'd be really interested to see what kind of weight savings there is in replacing the roof glass with Lexan. Keep all the controls and movement, but just use plastic instead of glass. That's where the bulk of the weight savings will be anyway. Or, a CF piece for the front section, Lexan for the moveable panel, and CF for the rear section.

The biggest drawback to Lexan is it doesn't like sun very much, so on a daily driver, it's going to need to be replaced on a regular basis. It also breaks differently than glass and would undoubtedly change the crash dynamics of the passenger compartment.

I still wouldn't mind putting the car on a diet and getting rid of about 500 lbs though...
 

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Yeah, the tC is a hog, but I can't imagine a carbon fiber roof really helping all that much. the tC is a solid car, much like VWs and cars of that nature. Alot of the weight is comprised of things that cannot be removed. For example my buddy gutted his 94 civic hatch and just removing the back seats saved him around 200 pounds. Power to weight is huge for speed... but there just isn't much that can just be removed without having to replace it with a lighter, but much more expensive substitute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can make any car relatively fast, some faster than others, not a challenge at all, just spend a bunch of money and swap out the right parts, been done a million times. Nothing wrong with that.

I can make a car sound incredibly good, been there and done that as well, not really that many have done so, most systems are just not all that great by audiophile standards which are far higher than most can even imagine. Still, not much of a challenge once you know how to do it.

BUT, how many have taken a really cool car like our tCs and made them really fast(not just a straight line) and made them sound incredible??????? Hardly ever been done and a really BIG challenge:)



The weight on a car is of course very important but not as important as to where it is located. Anything up high dramatically effects the roll center, our roofs are horrible in that regard. Anything forward of the front axle and after the rear axle are detrimental to performance as well. (exception is drag racing, turbo out front will give more traction)
I am swaping to a more compact battery and moving it as far back and towards the middle of the engine compartment as possible. OR, I may relocate it to under the car if I can find enough room on the rear, done things like this for over 30 years:)

We have a 15" sub and high end 1000watt A/B amp that gets quite loud, sounds incredibly good and will have two more amps when have the time to install them. TOTAL weight gain which resulted was 10 lbs and it is located closer to the rear axle and more centered. The sub enclosure it 2.25 cubic ft but only weights 20 lbs. That is very negliglbe and in fact due to the weight shift further forward could actually enhance the handling;) We did ditch the spare and jack and put on a smaller muffler to acheive the low weight gain, we are ok with losing the spare.

My second choice on the roof would be in Lexan, etc, my first choice is CF for all panels, supports, total removal of all mechanizims, electrical, etc. This would save a large amount of weight and have a huge impact on handling, far more than some here seem to realize.

As a whole car project, it all adds up, I will cut the ends of bolts I do not need, remove everything I can to help compensate for weight I have to add elsewhere. Normally I would use around 50 lbs of mat but we are going to use a very large number of techinques to deal with deadening and keep the added weight down. I expect no more than 20 lbs of gain from it, probably less, a huge amount of work and cost to do this.

Very little in life cannot be done, the only limiting factor is weither or not you believe you can do it and to go about making it happen. We have decided to do something a bit tough to accomplish, going to have a blast making it happen:)

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Once we get this project in high gear and get into some serious autocrossing, etc, I will post results of our standings if anybody wants to know. And I will gladly share what we did to get there so you can have some fun as well if you wish.

Rick
 

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^^ i feel u on that one..
 

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There can only be one reason. All the real sports cars have been done already. This will be unique and unexpected, but I agree, if autocrossing were my goal, a Miata would be a much better starting point. Light, double wishbones on all four corners, LOTS of mods already available, large body of knowledge on making them go fast, cheap, all the important stuff is already there.

That's a lot of the reason I'm not focused on turning my tC into a hot rod. I already have a stiff, noisy, corners on rails, fast car; and it's completely street legal and passes smog. Anything I do to the tC compromises its primary purpose: cheap transportation with a little fun added. It would be fun to get a little more out of it, but the more I think about turning it into a hot rod, the more I think I picked a poor starting point.

Rick, I know you did a lot with your Matrix, and I know you have done well with it autocrossing, but the question I always ask someone who wins is: Who was there? If you were the fastest thing out there with a Matrix, it's hard to imagine the really serious guys were there. Sure, there's a lot you can do with front drive, but making it really fast compared to rear drive or four wheel drive at the top levels of competition isn't one of them. I guess I'm one of those people who needs to see an overall win at a regional or a national to really believe this can be done. I've seen the absolute lap records for the big track at Willow Springs, there aren't any front drive cars near the top, even in the production based classes.

So I go back to my original thought when buying this car. If there's something I can do, smog legal, without comproming reliability, driveability, and comfort; I'll do it. As soon as I get to a place I don't like it, then the last mod comes out and reality steps back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Our tC car is not an autocross, drag race, road race, etc, project car. It is our car audio business advertising venture but one that happens to be dang fast in all real performance areas in a daily driver reliable unit. It all depends on perspective and overall end results compared to what the goals are.

We are not trying to build the worlds fastest race car in any class, we are not even building to a specific road race class but are to an autocross one.

This is about making a street car that looks really cool very fast, maybe not the fastest, no where to really use that except on a track and this is not an all out race car.

This is a statement car for us, one saying hey, we can do many things very very well with one car, things that generally do not get combined successfully. The vast majority of "tuner" cars are nothing more than pretenders with far to much junk bolted onto them. This is not an excersize in excess, it is one of constraint and solid execution, we have specific goals in mind and a fairly comprehenisve game plan and experinece in the areas we are working to blend together into a cohesive package.

I will see if I can dig up some race stats from when we ran our Matrix and do some comparisions to said Miatas, you may be suprissed at how many it was faster than;)

Southern CA has some fast drivers, we did not win a single event but when you have an 8 time national champ in an M3 in your class you do not expect to win, just getting closer and closer was very very satisfying. The car was very difficult to drive all out, to much brakes, too much boost, still needed alot more suspension tuning, if I competed another season I know there was alot more potential than realized in the first season. This was my very first performance FWD so you can imagine how hard it was for me to learn to drive after 35 years of RWD!!!


Sure I could of bought an M3 and did the same mods as he did, went to driving school, tweaked and tweaked and if talented enough maybe even win on occasion. It was not about winning, it was about achieving very high goals as an underdog and we did beat alot of cars that should of been faster, many in supposedly faster classes.

I already know as soon as we take it on a road course we will be black flagged in a few laps or after a session or two because we will be to fast for not having a roll bar or cage:) That will be fun! Then we may add one and go out again, really not going to do much full course events with the car, not it's primary purpose, I would just build or buy and modify a race car instead, alot less costly in many ways.

I highly prefer RWD for all out going fast but find making a FWD fast is more rewarding and more entertaining to drive on the edge which I tend to do, I am not much of a finesse driver.

I have plans for another car later on, will make the tC seem very very tame and it will be RWD;)

Rick
 

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speak it like it is lo bux..indeed the tC would be an interesting car to see modded that way, but a horrible starting point..for autoX, like Lo Bux sed, a miata would be great..i have a used 1991 miata and it drives great..the suspension is awesome, it corners like a beast, RWD, and the mods out for this car are endless..but as for the tC, just seems like something that i wouldnt waste my time doing..its a fun car to drive no doubt, but when the comfort and driveability of the car might and probably will be sacraficed its something i wouldnt do at all..its an awesome daily driver, but FAR from an autoX car..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess we are the only ones that understand us, lol! Here is how we see it.

Everything that could ever be done to a Miata, Subaru, Evo, 240SX, GTS(rwd), Supra, etc, etc, etc, has already been done and with unlimited budgets in many cases.

Just because it can be done is not enough for us, we want to do what has not been done and to a level that is far beyond stock but not so far out it is not usable.

I personnally know a builder that put together three 900+HP Supras, one was crashed within a week and the other two driven a few times then are garage queens. WHY? Because they are just to dang powerfull to be driven and far to complicated to maintian. Do not ask for a name, he no longer builds this stuff, the owners were far to much of a pain in the ass to deal with, big wallets, big egos, little brains.


Lobucs has more sense than they did;)

We just want to take a sweet looking decent car and make it very quick and sound incredible but not look like some laudry room with giant washing machine size wheels and ironing board wings


AND, very very reliable and easy to drive anytime we wish and will drive it to all events, no trailer queens allowed.

Rick
 
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