its time to introduce myself to the group and at the same time start a build log. I've been on the forum for a few months, reading a lot and following many various builders' logs. Thank you all for sharing so much valuable information. I would thank many of you by name, but the list would be too long. Suffice to say, that many of my build ideas are rooted in your valuable contributions.
I live in Pemberton, BC, a small village about 2 1/2 hours north of Vancouver, BC; not quite the epicenter of car building, but the gateway to some great roads. I'm new to car building, and I never even considered myself to be a car guy, so I should qualify for "the deer caught in the headlights, what am I doing here" look. Maybe not quite. My recent background is aviation, and a couple of years ago I finished building a Challenger II, so the build discipline is something that I am quite familiar with. However during my build I proved without a shadow of a doubt, that I completely fail at KISS 101, thus turning an ultralight design into a real airplane. Four years and 2,500 hours (and a commensurate amount of $) of pure building fun. And I do have a bit of a car background, having raced at the old Westwood Mountain High race track. I'm dating myself here, but I started in the mid 70's racing Yamaha RD 350's and TZ 250's and then migrated to Formula Ford and finally a spec series, Honda Michelin. However, my incredible talents were sadly overlooked by the F1 scouts, and having spent all of my sponsorship money on a cup of coffee, I migrated into aviation. For many years I had too much fun competing in aerobatics and performing at small airshows in a Pitts, and I'm fortunate to tell the tale of too many risks taken. Being older, definitely not wiser, and having two precious daughters (4 and 9), I now find building to be as much fun as flying or driving.
So onto the build. As the title says, it will be a BEC, powered by a R1. As some others, I too was inspired by Jeff Underwood's build. For me it will be an "old man's" sportsbike, with 4 wheels, a roll cage and seatbelts; kind of tying together my motorsport past. It is a "donor less" build, since junk yards are a long way from here, and my search for a reasonable donor proved to be frustrating. The prices people are asking for Miatas is mind boggling. Anyway, I found my engine (a 2005 with 5,000 k) with everything I need for $900 about an hour down the road. The die was cast.
The car will be street legal, but bare bones, and other than maybe a track day, I have no competition inclinations. I have waded through the BC safety standards (and I thought aviation rules were obtuse) and it appears that a windshield is not necessary, thus eliminating wipers and defogger. I miss putting on my helmet, so this will be a great opportunity for the mighty Simpson to rise again (Snell 80 was leading edge. Ouch)
The frame will be based on the Haynes book; no tubing has been mutilated yet, other than for a number of practice projects, from fabricating tables to wood racks. The reason is, that I wanted to physically have some of the major components, and then build the frame to match. I've read the trials and tribulations with steering rack dimensions, and so I decided to get an Escort Mk 2 rack from the UK. As the book says, it is close, but not close enough. The pivots centers are actually at 575 mm, so I will widen the front by 40 mm; if the nose will need to be cut, that would be the lesser evil than shortening the rack.
I have a pair of R1 shocks ($ 25 ea) that I will utilize. I read all the posts about spring and wheel rates, and I think that I should be very close with a light car (I've calculated a wheel rate of 125 lbs/in with these shocks)
As I said, safety nowadays is a must for me, so I will incorporate a full roll cage. It may look goofy for the road, but I'm not going for the authentic look anyway. And this part of the world is about as far away from a pastoral countryside, where a minor shunt only leaves tire marks in the grass. Around here you either hit a big cedar, a big rock or end up in a canyon.
The rear end is still undecided; due to the need for a taller gearing, I will use either a Ford 7.5 solid axle with disks (but just today I was told that they are hard to come by; it may end up being a 8.
or a Thunderbird IRS. Just sourced one this afternoon for $ 150. My gearing choice would be a 3.08 or 3.27.
The front will be Mustang II spindles, as they seem to be easy to get from various suppliers.
The rest will fall into place as I am going along. So far I have been working on the engine, installed an oil baffle and the Barnett clutch springs.
Thanks for reading, and I hope I can contribute in the future, so others may benefit from this forum just as I have.