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Thread: Need Advice/tips - Building an ITA Saturn SC

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Pickerington, Ohio
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    760

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    Bought my race car(SSC Civic). Ran it for a few years in Regoinal SS classes (back when we had 10-15 SSC cars at a Regional...). Converted it to ITS when it moved to IT. Then got it moved to ITA. Been building/fixing it for over 10 years now. Didn't build it, but have 'built' it in upgrades and repairs (more than I like to think about in 10+ years) and know the car inside and out.

    We built my brother's Civic, but had a perfect shell to start with. Would have been cheaper to buy, but had a great starting point with tons of go-fast parts and many years of experience with the model. (Having hundreds of spare parts makes the build easier!)

    If you want to have the fun of building - go for it! It really is FUN! You will know the car inside and out when it is complete!

    If you want to race ASAP - write a check and have fun! You will still go thru the car after purchase (Prior to racing it), so you'll 'kinda' know the car.

    I'll buy my next race car (unless I want a break and feel like taking my time to build one - AKA: too poor to race and need an excuse to not be... ).
    Matt Downing
    1995 Honda Civic EX Coupe - ITA
    Ohio Valley Region, SCCA

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    hampden,ma.usa
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    3,083

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    I bought my first car then built my second. The good thing about this was I knew a lot more of what I wanted to do when I did the build.
    dick patullo
    ner scca IT7 Rx7

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    161

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    I have an ITC Civic for sale right now for $2000. I have seen cages cost this much. I know that the guy I got the car from paid much more than this for his son to race and then it sat for several years. While I agree it is fun to build, and I built my car, it would have been cheaper for me to buy, and I would have been on track a few years earlier. Start adding the cost of parts up and it gets scary fast. Buy those parts for pennies on the dollar and it gets attractive.

    Mike

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    119

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    Ah yes, building a car. What a great time of the year to think about it.
    Sitting in your office chair, staring out the window or perhaps lying in bed at night after everyone is asleep.
    You have visions of the car on jackstands in the middle of the garage. All your tools neatly laid out. Boxes of performance parts stacked, ready for install. The tempature is a perfect 68 degrees. The lighting, not a shadow anywhere. Not a speck of dirt, oil, or other contaminents on the floor. The garage stereo plays your favorite songs. Your wife pokes her head in the garage and with a warm smile tells you, "don't worry about dinner, I've ordered a pizza for you. The kids and I will eat at the table. You enjoy yourself. I'll help the kids with their homework and put them to bed after dinner. I love you ." It's a labor of love, every nut's thread matches every bolt.... The wiring is simple, orange to orange, white to white......your hands seem to fit in every crevice of the car and you manage to contort yourself in to unbelievable positions to get under the dash to connect all those gauges that work perfectly right out of the box.....every 20 year old nut and bolt on the car cooperates, amazing! The day you take the car to the cage builder the sun is shining, the trailer lights work perfectly. You driveway is the perfect angle to load the car by yourself with out damaging the front spoiler that, by the way, bolted on perfectly the first time. Blah, blah blah, blah blah.....
    It ain't like that. Well, at least for most of us.
    I've bought 5 cars and built one. Unless I win the lottery and am able to quit my job and buy wife out with vacations and diamonds, I will never build again.
    I should have invested the money in the stock market when it hit 14,000 and sold it when it was down to 6600, I'd have been better off.
    My IT7 car took 3 years to put together and almost $8000. I put a little development time in to it and sold it for $3100 (I hope my wife doesn't visit this site).
    I was told too...but didn't listen.
    Listen to these guys, they know what they're talking about!
    And remember, someone much wiser than myself once told me, "IT DOESN"T COST A DIME TO DREAM!"
    Last edited by ITS5GB; 01-10-2010 at 06:28 PM.
    Greg Blastic
    Lookin' for a new one!
    '86 RX7 ITS w/'89 Drivetrain Sold!
    ITS #5 GSLSE(still goin' strong) Sold!
    IT7 Project( now complete!!) Sold!
    Waterford Hills Regular
    Occasional GLD
    Howell, MI

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI, USA
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    1,599

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    Quote Originally Posted by ITS5GB View Post
    Ah yes, building a car. What a great time of the year to think about it.
    Sitting in your office chair, staring out the window or perhaps lying in bed at night after everyone is asleep.
    You have visions of the car on jackstands in the middle of the garage. All your tools neatly laid out. Boxes of performance parts stacked, ready for install. The tempature is a perfect 68 degrees. The lighting, not a shadow anywhere. Not a speck of dirt, oil, or other contaminents on the floor. The garage stereo plays your favorite songs. Your wife pokes her head in the garage and with a warm smile tells you, "don't worry about dinner, I've ordered a pizza for you. The kids and I will eat at the table. You enjoy yourself. I'll help the kids with their homework and put them to bed after dinner. I love you ." It's a labor of love, every nut's thread matches every bolt.... The wiring is simple, orange to orange, white to white......your hands seem to fit in every crevice of the car and you manage to contort yourself in to unbelievable positions to get under the dash to connect all those gauges that work perfectly right out of the box.....every 20 year old nut and bolt on the car cooperates, amazing! The day you take the car to the cage builder the sun is shining, the trailer lights work perfectly. You driveway is the perfect angle to load the car by yourself with out damaging the front spoiler that, by the way, bolted on perfectly the first time. Blah, blah blah, blah blah.....
    Dang, Greg, you been hanging around my garage eating my wife's food while I'm out of town?!?
    Vaughan Scott
    Detroit Region #280052
    '79 924 #77 ITB
    #65 Hidari Firefly P2
    www.vaughanscott.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lagrangeville, NY
    Posts
    691

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    Quote Originally Posted by gran racing View Post
    On the flip side, it can also work FOR you in a way. You built the car, spend hours and hours working on it, and now can fix stuff pretty darn easily because you've already taken just about everything apart on it. Oh wait, is that actually good? LOL

    Why i built mine.
    Chris Raffaelli
    24ITA

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lagrangeville, NY
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    691

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    Quote Originally Posted by lateapex911 View Post
    Now, build it yourself, and you've sunk hours, errr, moths of your time (and there is a possible family 'cost' to that) AND money....you're deeply invested in that car.

    Why I will spend 2010 in the T&S Tower.
    Chris Raffaelli
    24ITA

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Tehachapi, CA
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    4

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    I am real glad I joined the forum. It is interesting to read the different points of view.

    I don't need this car to get on track, I have an SRF. This car is for fun/more track time/enduro's. I plan to make it as competitive as possible, but not chase the impossible (custom built parts). I also have the time to waste, my wife is no longer among the living, so the time to build is not a concern. I have some experience building race cars, Pony Stock dirt racers, so part of this is for the fun of building it the way I want it.

    As no one on the west coast is available I will be emailing Jeff for advise, but will take advise/criticism from anyone.

    My email address is [email protected].

    Give me time and I will have a neat signature figured out.

    Mik

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    734

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    Well... sounds like building is a "good" idea for you since most of the normal hurdles aren't there in your case. Best of luck with the build and definitely talk with Jeff about the Saturn. He's probably one of the few "experts" you'll find out there. Another would be John Obremski (sp?). He's a Florida guy and on this forum too... was running an SC2 and is building another Saturn right now.
    Christian in FL | Something white with Honda on the valve cover...
    FASTtech Limited- DL1, Schroth, & Recaro Goodness
    LTB Motorsports- The Cheapest Place for Momo
    TrackSpeed Motorsports- OMP, Racetech, & Driver Gear

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    1,193

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    Ah, building a Saturn. I have very fond memories...

    Your biggest challenge will be a limited slip differential. I know of a total of (10) that exist for the Saturns that are truly LSDs (and, yes, i have one of them).

    As for ITA being the only class for the Saturns, that is incorrect. They are also classified in prep level 2 for FP. A little more freedom in what you get to do, plus it is a national class.

    Good luck! The comments about doubling the budget and time are spot on, but if you take your time you really, REALLY get to know the car and every single nut/bolt on it. I certainly have a ton of pride in the car that I built...

    Oh, and one nitpicky thing - there was no 92 SC2. For 91 and 92, Saturn only made the Saturn SC which came with the DOHC engine. 93 was the first year they came out with the SC1 and SC2 designation (SOHC vs. DOHC along with a number of body differences).
    "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win. - Bobby Knight

    Bill
    Planet 6 Racing

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT, USA
    Posts
    2,120

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    Bill,

    What did you use for shocks? I was trying to point him in the right direction but the only thing I could come up with was custom.
    Jeff L

    ITA Miata



    2010 NARRC Champion

    2007 NERRC Championship, 2nd place
    2008 NARRC Championship, 2nd place
    2009 NARRC Championship, 2nd place

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    1,193

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    I'll have to dig that information up again. I'm running Koni double adjustables with a threaded sleeve and adjustable springs. Plus, I have the adjustable camber plates. I know the information is around, just need to find it again...
    "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win. - Bobby Knight

    Bill
    Planet 6 Racing

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Hilliard, OH, US
    Posts
    137

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    I really have to agree with the earlier comment about ending up with a partially built car in the garage, never making it on to the track, and being disenchanted with the whole thing.

    There are so many trophy winning cars for sale under $10k that it is not even funny. If you are looking to get on track, there are a multitude of cars available for under $4k.

    A basic low end prep on your Saturn will cost more than a fully prepped car:

    - Cage: $1200 installed
    - Belts: $100
    - Net: $75 installed
    - Seat: $200 installed
    - Going through the car and replacing wheel bearings, hubs, worn suspension pieces, etc on your 275,000 mile car: An easy $1,000.
    - Decent shocks and springs (not even coil overs): $800
    - Cheap Header and exhaust: $250
    - Race tires: $600

    An easy $4000 without even trying. Even overestimating things, you are still at $3000.

    Buy a car, learn what it takes to race from behind the wheel, and then if you really want to build a car, go into it with your eyes open.
    Last edited by rgrunenw; 01-15-2010 at 11:13 PM.

  14. #34
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    Jun 2001
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    1,193

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    No offense, rgrunew, but...

    Did you read the part about him being a current SRF driver and that he was looking for a new challenge?

    The Saturn is a fun car to build, as a lot of work was done for design for assembly (except for the side timing chain cover). However, with Saturn going away (thanks GM!), the number of custom parts required will probably be increasing...
    "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win. - Bobby Knight

    Bill
    Planet 6 Racing

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Colchester, CT, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by planet6racing View Post
    No offense, rgrunew, but...

    Did you read the part about him being a current SRF driver and that he was looking for a new challenge?

    Yeah, after talking (e-mailing) with John, he is:

    a) not a rookie
    b) building for the right reasons
    Jeff L

    ITA Miata



    2010 NARRC Champion

    2007 NERRC Championship, 2nd place
    2008 NARRC Championship, 2nd place
    2009 NARRC Championship, 2nd place

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