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182 slow conversion to race car



banhama

ClioSport Club Member
I recently bought a 128,000 mile 182 Cup to convert to track and ultimately race car.
Took it to Lydden Hill for a trackday without doing anything at all to it, and found it excellent fun.
I've raced a 400+bhp Impreza for 6 years so was a little concerned I might find the Clio a bit underwhelming, but no such thing!
It's definitely a different challenge, but it's nice to have a few milliseconds to think between corners, and to concentrate on keeping speed through the corners rather than relying on grunt and grip.

Anyway the aim is to gradually morph it into an MSA race legal car to compete in BARC SE Tin Tops, in the production class initially, and also in the reborn Lydden Hill Motor Club races.

So far the modifications since last month's trackday are:
Aircon Delete and Lightweight Pulleys ( Pure Motorsport )
Ferrodo DS race pads ( Pure Motorsort )
Rear seats, belts, trim etc removed, radio removed.
Federal 595's ( found these the best value treaded track tyre on the Impreza)
HKS mushroom filter and intake. ( modified from the Impreza )

As I have all the gear ( and no idea ) from previous racing I have dataloggers fitted in the car so will be able to see what effect these minor mods have on the next Lydden trackday this coming Saturday.

Upcoming mods already planned are:
Roll cage, probably Custom Cages bolt-in, plus welding, from DT
Race seat and mounts, already ordered from Corbeau,
With cage and race seats I will remove the remainder of the interior.
De-cat pipe, recommendations welcome, keeping the manifold and rear sections for now.
Gel battery relocated to rear, probably Varley RedTop 25, but recommendations welcome.

I've mainly started this thread to keep a record of the project but would welcome any comments and advice, particularly from those of you who race a 182 or have modified it for track use.

Cheers, Andy
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Quick update.
Progress is rather slow due to being very busy at work, and also family illness.
So have collected parts but not fitted yet:

The interior is completely stripped and we have a Sparco 6-point cage primed, ready to fit.
We have Corbeau race seat and mounts ready to fit, and also the Ceika 6-pot front brake kit has arrived.
Just need some time!

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ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
Following! Will be nice to see those brakes setup, a pedal box would complete it though 😁
And I hope things get better with your family, all the best 🙂
 

Greeny.

ClioSport Club Member
Any de-cat is fine on a 182 tbh as it’s just a piece of straight pipe, you may need to change it/cut it up when you change the whole system dependant on figment though. You may well need a new de-cat to manifold fitting kit though depending how old the current one is.

Looks like a fun project, get those rear clusters off :p
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Finally managed to get some time to work on the car, and despite best intentions I completely forgot to take 'progress' photos.......just sort of cracked on while we had the time!

Cage fitting was the biggest job, and don't be fooled by the term 'bolt-in', there's just as much welding required as a 'weld-in'.
Bolt-in means you can just about remove it without cutting it out..........you'd still have to remove dash, seats, steering wheel etc.

Just looking at the way the car reacts on the jacks it seems substantially stiffer, so looking forward to seeing the difference in handling on track.

Other than the cage we've fitted:
Corbeau pro-race FIA seat and mounts
Corbeau 6-point FIA harness
4.25 Litre AFF extinguisher with 2 sprays in the footwell and 4 in the engine bay.
Odyssey gel battery, relocated to passenger rear footwell

We have bought but still need to fit:
£1000 worth of Ceika 6-pot brakes!
OMP 300mm steering wheel
Front and rear tow straps
Aero bonnet catches
Transponder
Data Logger

We've also removed all airbags and SRS ECU, the very annoying UK alarm system, and various other electrical bits.
It will be interesting to see what the car weighs after all the changes.

We hope to attend Lydden Hill trackday next weekend, and all being well enter the Allcomers race on 3rd November

A few pics, some better ones to follow I hope.

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banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Nearly ready for the Clio's first race next weekend.
A bit of a test before we enter a full championship next year.

Had the car dynoed at 178bhp after a conservative re-map. Not too bad for a 130,000 mile old engine

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ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
You might find under heavy braking the front end compresses loads and the wheels rub in the arches, if you havnt taken the bumper liners out it could be worth it
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
You might find under heavy braking the front end compresses loads and the wheels rub in the arches, if you havnt taken the bumper liners out it could be worth it
When you say bumper liners do you mean the plastic wheel arch liner? I only ask as mine are removed, but I am still getting rubbing on track, but only on nearside bends now. Fairly sure it's only touching very slightly, but makes a right racket! It is possibly the metal behind the bumper, but it is not as obvious as you would think. I might raise the suspension a bit as don't really want to start chopping metal out.
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
Sorry to hijack the thread! Cool build and you have really pushed on with it! I will be at Lydden next Saturday if you are there?
 

ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
@Mbeau Yeah the arch liners! I couldnt think of what they were called at the time 😋 I have the same problem though now, on coilovers with 16's and funny it is more the nearside as well. The metal that help attaches the bumper is the culprit, I had to bend back one of the horns as well..

A while back I fitted the brembo 4 pots with oem suspension and it was pretty much the arch liners, its mostly just sound but I dont think anyone wants to hear it!
 

Mbeau

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
I am on BC coilovers and the car is probably sitting a bit low. I will raise the front a little and we how that goes. If still rubbing might have to get the angle grinder out. It is a track car after all!
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Sorry to hijack the thread! Cool build and you have really pushed on with it! I will be at Lydden next Saturday if you are there?
Yes will be at Lydden this coming Saturday on 3rd, although don't have a timetable yet. But can't make the trackday on 10th unfortunately
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
I am on BC coilovers and the car is probably sitting a bit low. I will raise the front a little and we how that goes. If still rubbing might have to get the angle grinder out. It is a track car after all!
I think I will be ok as the weight we've taken out makes the car look a bit like it's on stilts!
When I get new suspension and lower the car back to where it should be it might be an issue, but then stiffer springs might compensate.
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Man, you guys are right about the need for some suspension attention! Think I had about 30% of the available rubber in contact with the tarmac through the elbow at Lydden Hill in yesterdays races!
Still bloody good fun. It was a really laid back race meeting. No electronic timing, no points to worry about, just have a blast. A bit like a trackday with no nanny rules and you know all the other guys have a bit of sense on track.
My AIM GPS datalogger returned a best lap of 50.42. Not too shabby and plenty to be gained in the handling department before worrying about power. Still a bit odd when my brain, lines and braking points are stuck back in 44.89 4WD subaru territory. Some unlearning required there.

A couple of short in car videos:


 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
I am on BC coilovers and the car is probably sitting a bit low. I will raise the front a little and we how that goes. If still rubbing might have to get the angle grinder out. It is a track car after all!
Sorry I've not been very good at keeping this thread up to date!
I have now also fitted BC DS coilovers and have started with 8kg springs front and rear. ( I was looking longingly at ASTs and had to remind myself that I'm supposed to be doing this on a budget....the Impreza got a bit out of hand and here I go again!)

The car definitely handles better, but just like you and @ZachB I think it's too low. Getting the rub on the arch liner under braking, particularly NSF, and on level ground the wishbones run slightly uphill from inner bush to hub. I have raised the car 10mm today so will see how it goes at Snetterton later this month.

I've also ordered a the Pure Motorsport uprated engine and gearbox mount kit on advice from other Clio racers, and will try and get that fitted for Snett as well.

I had the car weighed at 998kg without driver, quite handy as min weight for production class is 1075 with driver and I weigh about 83kg with all the kit on.

I had a good race at Brands Hatch 27th April, 30 minute pitstop race which I've never done before. If you don't have a co-driver you have to pit, engine off, get out the car and shut the door, get back in, do harness up, start and off you go......but it can't be less than 1 min stationery. ....and you have to observe the pit lane speed limit. So many people either crashed or got penalties for cocking up the pitstop I actually won production class and finished 3rd overall!
Lap times not very exciting though, best of 60.28. I would hope to get into the 58's with a production car and no power upgrades, so there's work to do.
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Biggest issue though is the lack of an LSD, I'm really struggling with this, but will battle on this year. Not a cheap upgrade, but still fits in Production Class.......here I go with the budget again!

Here's a little video from Curborough sprint circuit, just a fun day and only did a few runs, and my son Rob beat me by a tenth.....damn!

 

Hollidog

ClioSport Club Member
  182
Have you got your brakes fitted yet? This is the first build I've come across that uses them, can't imagine 6 pots on a little Clio! Assuming you're going to stick with the 16" wheels?
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Have you got your brakes fitted yet? This is the first build I've come across that uses them, can't imagine 6 pots on a little Clio! Assuming you're going to stick with the 16" wheels?
Yes, I rushed to fit them for a race at Lydden at the end of last year, and initially was a bit disappointed. However I had stupidly got air in the ABS pump when flushing through new fluid, and also Ceika had send 'street pads' rather than the race compound I had specified.
Having fully bled the brakes I decided to try the 'sports pads' rather to save the discs. Now it stops really well, good bite, but good modulation also....you don't stand the car on end when braking firmly. Also after a 30 minute race and an outing at Curborough there's no real sign of wear on either pads or discs.
Having said all that it's probably still a bit 'overkill' !
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They do fit snugly behind the OEM 16" wheels so I will be keeping those for now, also have to stay on 205 or smaller tyres to be in production class so that works as well.
Cheers, Andy
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Had a bit of time this evening so fitted the PureMotorsprt replacement gearbox 'dogbone' mount.
Impressed with the quality and fitment, also the concise fitting instructions.
Will do the 2 upper mounts at the weekend.

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ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
Yes, I rushed to fit them for a race at Lydden at the end of last year, and initially was a bit disappointed. However I had stupidly got air in the ABS pump when flushing through new fluid, and also Ceika had send 'street pads' rather than the race compound I had specified.
Having fully bled the brakes I decided to try the 'sports pads' rather to save the discs. Now it stops really well, good bite, but good modulation also....you don't stand the car on end when braking firmly. Also after a 30 minute race and an outing at Curborough there's no real sign of wear on either pads or discs.
Having said all that it's probably still a bit 'overkill' !View attachment 1418260

They do fit snugly behind the OEM 16" wheels so I will be keeping those for now, also have to stay on 205 or smaller tyres to be in production class so that works as well.
Cheers, Andy
Took this a while back :sneaky:
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banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Same colour axle stands and everything!

So those are 4 pots, what sort of compound pad do you use, and how do you find the set up?

What seems to be the common theme is that if you improve front braking but have soft suspension (in compression at least), and/or have lowered the car, the front will compress under braking enough for the tyres to contact the bodywork at some point.

I'm guessing nearside is a bit worse purely because most tracks have more right hand corners, however you would think offside might be worse as the driver's weight is on that side???

What are the solutions? Could be loads of things, one of which I thought might be to stiffen the front dampers to give less compression......that didn't go well as it made the already silly understeer almost hilarious!
So I've gone the other way with that, soften the front damping, harden the rear and try to get the rear to rotate and the front to grip more.

I have raised the car 10mm all round which should help in more ways than one:
Increased clearance from the bodywork, pretty obvious.
Bringing the suspension arms back to parallel, which I hope will bring the roll centre back to where it should be.....less roll and more constant negative camber in the corners.
I had the OSF front set 10mm higher than the other corners to compensate for the driver's weight.......sort of makes sense, driver gets in and compresses that spring and the car sits flat.....that appears to have been a particularly stupid thing to have done as all the corner weighting knowledge says raising the ride height at a corner increases the weight at that corner...I think! Suspension stuff makes my brain hurt!

I'm also hoping the competition mounts will have some effect, I've been running on 130K old mounts so the engine/gearbox weight might have been shifting about in a very unhelpful way.

I could have course done the sensible thing that you guys have done and just remove the body bits that are rubbing, but I am particularly dumb, and also thought that if I leave the arch liners in for now it will continue to give me a really good audible sign of what's happening.

Looking forward to snetterton 300 in a couple of weeks

Cheers, Andy
 

ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
I use ferodo ds1.11 pads which work well in all aspects, not grabby so can modulate well and work well from cold. Im not satisfied with the whole brake setup in the clio though and hate the inconsistent servo resistance which makes the pad knockback harder to control. Im currently installing a pedal box and have spent a small fortune and still more to buy o_O
As you see from that picture I was on stock suspension and under heavy braking the front drooped so much. Im now on asts with 500lb (ish) front springs and 630 rear, I basically have no scrubbing under any load, apart from speed bumps occasionly but of course not a problem for track. They have been corner weighted and the car isnt really low as no roll centre correction, just bump correction. Im not clued up completly on how suspension works but yes it would be nice to be able to adjust compression independently, Ive thought about starting over again and buying a cheap 172 so I can afford ast 3 ways (multiple times!)

Perhaps look at getting the car corner weighted as perhaps 10mm on the osf is a bit too much if all else is equal though I really couldnt say.

Btw Im on 16" wheels as well, 205/45, Ive just got some 195/50 semi slicks on order so will be slightly taller.
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Quite serious spring rates there Zach, my brain can't recognise lb/inch for some reason, but I reckon that's about 9kg/mm front and 11kg/mm rear.
Are the rears coilovers, or are the springs separate and inboard of the damper like the OEM set up?
Whatever, that's a pretty firm rear spring, I'm interested to know if that's to help break traction at the rear when turning in, if so does it help rotate the car, and how have you had to adapt your driving?
Sorry loads of questions, but I am really interested in using different spring rates to tune the handling of the car.

Which semi-slicks are you using? I'm guessing they have a stiffer sidewall to compensate for any flex in the taller wall when cornering.

Finally do you have a thread running regarding the pedal box? I would like to read the details.

Many thanks, Andy
 

ZachB

ClioSport Club Member
  182
They are a full coilover (Ast 4100) And I picked those rates with that in mind and to make the rear a bit more lively. Now bare in mind rear alignment is stock, -1.5 camber and 0.2 deg toe in so not that aggressive, the fronts are 2.6 camber, 4.7 deg caster and stock toe 0.06 (for now). The car is extremely balanced, I dont think I can get the rear end out unless I really try to. It understeers just a bit but Im the limiting factor not the car! It can be loose at speeds but it still gives me confidence.

They will be yokohama a048 but I have no experience with them. Im still at early days overall with the car..

This is my project thread, page 3 is where I start to look at the pedal box. I have most of the parts but still need clutch slave and all the fittings. Also the fabrication work needed to mount them.
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
So things have taken an expensive turn again! That's Motorsport I suppose.

Last Saturday I booked a B&B for 3 and trailered the car up to Snetterton, a pleasant two and a half hour journey.
Racing was to be on Sunday, so we got a burger in the circuit restaurant and watched F1 Monaco qualifying.
I signed on, and we got the car off the trailer for scrutineering at 4.00pm....and the clutch broke!
It was decision time, try and get to Norwich in time to pick up a new clutch and fit it overnight, and if I failed lose my £300 entry fee, or withdraw and carry the fee forward to the next race.
I took the safe option and withdrew. Trailered back home again!
Then I thought...well if we're going to change the clutch maybe now's the time to fit an LSD!!

A bit of research and with some help from the forum I have now ordered a recon gearbox fitted with a Gripper plated diff from @NorthloopCup

I can't wait to see what effect it has on the handling, but getting to the next round at Mallory on 16th June might be a bit of a mission.

Road testing the car with the competition mounts already felt that turn in was more precise and there was less delay in lateral weight transfer, but it would have been really useful to have tested that on track as a single upgrade. Now I will have two fairly major upgrades to test at the same time.......what a chore!
I just hope it's translated into quicker lap times.

Will report back with some results
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
Of all the upgrades you could do, the gripper will shave the most time off your laps. If you haven't got the PMS shifter kit get it before you start using the gearbox. It will save it in the long run.
Good luck with the racing!
 

robzracing

ClioSport Club Member
Many thanks for the advice, I will look into the shifter kit.

PS What series do you race in?

Cheers, Andy
No problem. I race in the CSCC Tin Tops at the moment but have raced in MSV trackday trophy and also 750mc roadsports in the past.
All are 40 or 45minute races with 1 or 2 drivers like you did.


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