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1991 Honda Accord - Racing The 24 Hours Of Lemons
Can You Really Make A Race Car Out Of A Honda?
By Jeff Huneycutt, Photography by Jeff Huneycutt
September 01, 2009
The first step is to strip practically everything out of the car. LeMons rules require only flammable materials be removed, but everything not necessary to racing is just dead weight, so it needs to go. Here, you can also see one of the headaches with racing a relatively modern car--lots and lots of wires. We kept the dash gauges and wires necessary to run the engine management computer but cut just about everything else. We did, however, keep power wires for the package tray brake light and a fuel pump. This is an area where you just have to take your time and identify every wire before breaking out the cutters.
The first step is to strip practically everything out of the car. LeMons rules require onl
It may not look like much, but the anti-vibration matting glued to the floorboards of street cars is nasty, evil stuff. It adds weight and is flammable. Once it catches fire it makes a black, acrid smoke and is difficult to put out. So it needs to be removed from any car being turned into a racer. You can scrape it out with a putty knife like you see here, or a wire wheel in a drill also works well. Either way, plan to spend a little time getting rid of it.
It may not look like much, but the anti-vibration matting glued to the floorboards of stre
The good news about this Honda is the entire front suspension comes out in a unit. Since the front end had been damaged, we yanked the entire assembly out and bolted up a good one found in a junkyard for just a few bucks. It was an easy fix.
The good news about this Honda is the entire front suspension comes out in a unit. Since t
Once the car has been stripped, Chris Hargett begins the process of fabricating a 'cage. LeMons requires only a four-point 'cage with a single driver-side door bar, but we wanted a more substantial 'cage than that. We followed standard circle track requirements by using 1.75 diameter DOM tubing with 0.095 wall thickness. Here, Hargett is fitting the existing pinch welds on the body/frame to the bar so he can get a good strong weld bead going. This bar replaces the need to weld plates into a unibody car like this one as mounting points for the 'cage and also does a good job of stiffening up the chassis.
Once the car has been stripped, Chris Hargett begins the process of fabricating a 'cage. L
Hargett also welds caps on any exposed opening to keep water from rusting the bars from the inside out.
Hargett also welds caps on any exposed opening to keep water from rusting the bars from th
The main hoop is the next section to go in. It attaches directly to the bars welded to the framerails. Two supports come off the main hoop and extend to the back of the car. Hargett also took advantage of the rear bars to brace the rear shock mounts to eliminate any movement there.
The main hoop is the next section to go in. It attaches directly to the bars welded to the
In the back, metal plates are welded to the structure of the car, and the ends of the tubing are welded to that. If you don't, the 'cage can rip right through the sheetmetal of the car in a wreck. Here, you can also see we've removed the stock fuel tank and cut a hole in the trunk floor to make room for a racing fuel cell.
In the back, metal plates are welded to the structure of the car, and the ends of the tubi
The halo bar connects to the main hoop and follows the roof. Two A-pillar bars connect from the front of the halo bar and extend to the bar welded to the framerail on the floor. This bar needs to be as close to the firewall as possible to protect the driver's feet, so we needed to cut holes in the dash to fit it up. You'll notice that we also decided not to keep the car's B-pillars. The one you can see here has already been cut halfway away and the rest will be gone soon.
The halo bar connects to the main hoop and follows the roof. Two A-pillar bars connect fro
Here's how we built the door bars. We'll use the same setup on the driver side with an additional horizontal bar for protection. Notice how the B-pillar has been completely removed in this photo with a plate welded over it. We did this on the driver side to make it easier to get in to and out of the car quickly and cut the passenger side to match.
Here's how we built the door bars. We'll use the same setup on the driver side with an add
Randy Turner fits up the aluminum racing seat we got from Richardson Racing Products. This is Richardson's Deluxe aluminum seat that features ribbing along the sides to provide some extra bracing in the event of a crash. We're also using one of Richardson's aluminum braces to connect the seatback to a support brace on the main hoop.
Randy Turner fits up the aluminum racing seat we got from Richardson Racing Products. This
This is the seat hoop Hargett fabricated to mount the race seat. The idea is to mount the seat to the rollcage so that if you take a shot in the side hard enough to move the 'cage, the seat will move with it instead of allowing the 'cage to smash into you. The seat hoop has no attachment points to the floorpan of the car at all. Three button-head bolts will be used to attach the seat to the hoop and four more will hold the seat to a bar welded to the main hoop.
This is the seat hoop Hargett fabricated to mount the race seat. The idea is to mount the
Once the seat was securely bolted in and all the welding was done, we fit up the cover and installed our five-point belt system from RaceQuip. We chose RaceQuip for this project because it makes high-quality safety gear that's quite affordable--which fits nicely with our budget racing theme. Also, we ordered up some rollbar padding from JR Motorsports and installed it over all the bars that the driver could come into contact with either his head or arms in the event of a rollover or some other type of crash.
Once the seat was securely bolted in and all the welding was done, we fit up the cover and
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By Jeff Huneycutt
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