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Old 09-22-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
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Default Pinky's Grassroots Motorsports $201x Project

For those unfamiliar, Grassroots Motorsports magazine does a yearly competition in which you can spend an amount up to the current year (this year, $2013) to buy and prepare a car to race. Judging is based on Autocross, Drag Strip and "Concourse" points. For years my buddies and I have been talking about doing it "someday", but finally decided about two weeks ago to actually do it. The competition is in November, so it may end up being our $2014 car in the end, but you never know.. Never underestimate a group of idiots on a mission.

Our mission- find a smallish car with decent suspension, stuff a Metric **** Ton of cheap American horsepower into it, and make it look sick. This is, btw, pretty much what we do all day long, so confidence is high.

A search of Craigslist found us this ratty but low-ish mile '73 Mercedes 450SLC. I dig these cars and have always wanted to swap a Vortec into one. It's a V8 (anemic 190 hp, easily 800 pounds with all the ancillary **** on it) already, so it seems a good candidate for fitting some GM goodness.

The odometer only shows 73k miles, probably because it spent the last 10 years rotting away in somebody's back yard. Non-running, partially disassembled, rotten interior, rust by the back window.. He advertised for $700, immediately offered it for $500 on the phone, and took $300 as I walked away. Rules allow you to sell off parts to recoup money for the budget, and this fine girl yielded a ton of crap that we sold as a lump to a Mercedes restorer I know. Drivetrain, dash, gauge cluster, console, wheels, all for $300, putting our budget back to the zero point.

A few pics-

Here's the car, loaded up and ready to go home.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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We gutted it, and pressure washed everything. 3000 psi makes short work of the yards of tarpaper-looking insulation lining the interior.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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Did I mention the motor was huge?

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #4
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Aaaah, Craigslist, how do I love thee? Scored these DOPE 16" Rials for $250 from a knucklehead who painted them purple and then decided they looked stupid. Again, 3000 psi made short work of his rattle can gayness.

The car has been dubbed "the ShitHammer", in homage to AMG's famous Hammer series of cars, and will have an AMG Meets Road Warrior vibe, so these throwback mesh wheels will be perfect.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:31 PM   #5
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There's a TON of room under the hood. I really want to do a radical engine setback, but to do so will require ditching the steering box and refitting a rack and pinion in its place. We looked at one in my buddy's turbo Omni and it looks do-able. (Rear steer, the right width, just have to make tie rod ends or re-bore the spindle.. Going junkyarding this week to find one.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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RastaTravis coughed up these used Fleabay "Rally Art" knockoff seats he's had in his garage for a few years. $75 for the pair. They're utter **** but adequate for the car, and much less heavy than the BarcoLoungers that came out.

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Old 09-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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You think you're going to make it this year?
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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No way the budget would allow for our usual LS1 or 5.3 Vortec shenanigans, so we stepped back a few years and picked up this LT1 and 4L60 out of a '96 Cadillac Fleetwood stretch limo. As a limo motor it's already set up for an engine oil cooler, which the Benz already has. Kismet! $375 bought the whole shebang.

Plans involve boost. Lots of boost. Like, Allofit.

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Old 09-22-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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You think you're going to make it this year?
I don't know. On one hand I'd like to thrash it out and go this year, because we've budgeted the car using the "kumho tires don't count towards your budget" rule which accompanies Kumho's current sponsorship of the event. If we wait for 2014 and Kumho doesn't sponsor it again we'd have to scramble to fit tires back into the budget. On the other hand, having 14 months to do a really nice build and really sort the car out would probably yield better results. I guess it all depends on how fast we can actually get the car together.

Speaking of fast- **** just got Serious.

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Old 09-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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Ah come on... I have two cars I'm bringing. Haven't even started the second one yet. Sack up!
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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Ah come on... I have two cars I'm bringing. Haven't even started the second one yet. Sack up!
Whatcha packin', and why two?

(Obviously that MX6, what else? How did the MX do last time? Any sage words of advice?)
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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Another MX6. Black 88 for my buddy in MN.

The mx6 didn't do well. Had big potential but I failed to notice my turbo falling off which made for a bad spool response for autox, killed power for drags (still trapped 108mph though, then smoked my clutch after I fixed it.), and bombed the concours.

Advice is just to have fun. This is a party! If the car runs, bring it. Bring it again next year in a better form.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
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Another MX6. Black 88 for my buddy in MN.

The mx6 didn't do well. Had big potential but I failed to notice my turbo falling off which made for a bad spool response for autox, killed power for drags (still trapped 108mph though, then smoked my clutch after I fixed it.), and bombed the concours.

Advice is just to have fun. This is a party! If the car runs, bring it. Bring it again next year in a better form.
Good advice... We have a tendency to fall into full Atilla Mode when we do stuff.. I'm going to go write "Have Fun" on it right now.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #14
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I once had a 450SL, it was a huge pile, mostly because of the Jetronic garbage.
That GM power will sure be a big improvement.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #15
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Agreed. 100 HP more stock with the LT1, without boost or mods. Easily a few hundred pounds lighter and with a lot cheaper upgrade paths.

There won't be much Mercedes left when I'm done- shell, front clip, that's about all. The rear end is an open 2.90 gear swing axle design, all mounted on a subframe and trailing arms that gotta weigh hundreds of pounds. I'm looking for the rear subframe from an 88-94 Audi V8 Quattro to transplant in. 4.10 Torsen, good brakes and a nice lightweight coilover strut design. Plus it keeps my 5x112 pattern intact. It's about 3" wider from hub to hub, but I can deal with that. Now I just gotta find a donor car. Audi V8 Quattro, auto Trans? Anybody? Anybody?
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #16
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This is a very cool build, stuff like this gets me hot and bothered.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:19 PM   #17
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Those cars were very heavy. Shed weight everywhere!
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:48 PM   #18
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Those cars were very heavy. Shed weight everywhere!
Agreed, swiss cheese all the panels!
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:03 AM   #19
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So your what, $900 and change into your budget? Still think you can pull off turbos, intercooling, a fuel system, your subframe setup, and everything else under $2013/$2014? These GRM challenges interest me, but I just can't see how people throw together fast cars for that kind of money. Budget wise it looks like you're doing awesome so far though.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:10 AM   #20
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So your what, $900 and change into your budget? Still think you can pull off turbos, intercooling, a fuel system, your subframe setup, and everything else under $2013/$2014? These GRM challenges interest me, but I just can't see how people throw together fast cars for that kind of money. Budget wise it looks like you're doing awesome so far though.
Pretty sure they are all cheating. Everyone ******* cheats, and it's part of the game.
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