Project Sim Racer: Part 1- Building the Rig

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The cockpit has a few main purposes, in order of decreasing criticality:

  1. Most importantly, it secures and mounts the controls (steering wheel, shifter, pedals).

  2. It can provide an (adjustable) seat that is attached to the control mount.

  3. It can provide a mounting point for the display.

 

The least expensive cockpits are nothing more than portable stands that you bolt a steering wheel and pedals to. You sit on your own chair in front of the stand and you put the whole thing in front of a TV. Pedal stands are pretty common for console racers because they’re very cheap, and work well in a living room setting. My office is kind of spacious and is sort of my man cave, so I wanted something that addressed all of the purposes a little better.

GTR Simulator provided me with their GTA-F cockpit. As you can see here, it arrives flat-packed, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in capabilities. The GTA-F has a lot of really nice features in addition to the minimum things I was looking for. There’s also a gift from Logitech, which I’ll explain shortly. As far as GTA-F features go, the cockpit has:

  • a racing style seat that has a both an adjustable back as well as a slider to adjust the seat forward and rear.
  • an adjustable mount for the steering wheel to provide a little fine tuning of the forward/back position of the wheel in relation to the seat and pedals.
  • a mount to attach a shifter.
  • an adjustable mount for the pedals that allows the pedal assembly to be raised or lowered at the far end to fine tune both the distance to the pedals as well as the height of the pedals in relation to the floor.
  • an optional monitor stand that can support up to three monitors.

Ready? Assemble!

 

The seat, stacked and packed.

The seat comes disassembled and stacked, which is why it’s able to fit in a nice flat-pack box. It was pretty well protected with bubble wrap and other packing materials. It only takes a few moments to bolt it together.

 

The seat back’s connected to the… seat bottom!

Pretty much everything on the GTA-F uses socket cap screws, and GTR Simulator is kind enough to provide an Allen key to use with them. There are a couple of philips head screws that attach trim pieces to the seat, but, for the most part, it’s all socket caps.

For the seat, you simply bolt the seat back to the seat bottom with the provided socket cap screws. The seat bottom has the spring-loaded adjustment mechanism inside it. I wonder if I could swap this thing out for a Bride seat… Is that my wife yelling at me to stop spending?

 

I’ve never seen styrofoam cut into tiny square bricks before…

When I first opened this box I was really confused. I couldn’t believe that essentially everything else for the cockpit was underneath all that styrofoam packing material. But, much like a Volkswagen Beetle at the circus, all of the clowns came out of there. Well, all of the pieces came out of there. I was the only clown.

 

Here is the entire GTA-F cockpit frame, hardware, and instructions.

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