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  • How big projects fail to see fruition

    This is basically my testimonial on what NOT to do when working on a major race car project. This should be considered a prophylactic for those even considering a project as large as a track dedicated race car. That being said…here’s how I jacked it up.

    It started back in 1995, yes 12-ish yrs ago. I was cruising around in my lowered (bagged I might add) 95 Ranger Splash when some co workers strong armed me to go to the track (for the locals, Morosso Motorsports Park in Jupiter FL) with them. So, I take my slow ass ranger, neon on, bass kicking (remember, 1995) and run a high 17 sec pass…I was hooked.

    Sold the lowrider, got a 98 GTi VR6. Added some juice (70 dry shot) to it after running 15.1 for a while and was now running 13.6’s. I sold it, got my first Honda, a 2002 Civic Si. Boosted from Cybernation, the car was good for high 13 sec passes due to poor tuning (IMO) but I was done with risking my daily driver at the track.

    That’s when the idea hit me. I’m going to build a track only drag car...what a freaking mistake that was. Not building the track car, but WHICH track car I was going to build. A pro stock drag car. This path would be a point of no return for me. This path would be a hard lesson, but one that I apparently needed to learn.

    So in December of 2004 I bought a completely stock EG and started to tear it down. I bought a K20a2 motor/trans for the swap and a plethora of parts from various vendors. Then after the initial money and time was gone…not much happened. Sure, some small things were mounted, cut out and fabbed…but the car looked the same for about a year and a half except for an added layer of dust. I was at rock bottom and here’s what I did wrong from the beginning:

    Know your budget: Take how much cash you have (a) plus how much cash you’ll think you’ll have (b) subtract 65% from (b) for over estimating how much cash you’ll really have available and that’s about what you have to spend. The average K- Swap will cost about $9k without a shell to put it in. Now, you can get down to about $7k if you have the skills to make axles, custom make harnesses, and do all the work on your own.

    Know your limitations: Start small and move towards an end goal. I could have had a great street K done 2 years ago and SLOWLY morphed it into more.

    Be realistic: It takes a lot of money to race a car ALL year long. Travelling to various locations up the eastern seaboard is expensive enough. Let’s add more money for gas since you need a gas guzzling monster to tow your car there. You need a hotel or friends all over the place. Food friends, that like you…and your crappy sleeping and eating habits.

    I have a lot of good friends and a few companies that were willing to cut me a few breaks in an effort to complete this project, so I owe some people for that. That being said, I’ve sold my shell and will be working on the car I should have started with, a street car EG. It’ll still be all motor, it won’t be really fast, hell, it won’t even be magazine material, but it will get completed. Why you ask? While I may have failed on the bigger project, I’m no quitter and I refuse to give up. (This might be a follow up in the future of “Know when to quit”, but for now, I don’t think so.
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