Project #YAE92 M3: Part 4 – Let’s do some catching up.

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We wanted to start with a completely blank slate, a bare chassis, so we got rid of anything and everything that was bolted, clipped, or fastened to the chassis and from there we put it on a rotisserie and turned loose team principle Jordan Yost and lead fabricator Billy Beddow of 3saurus Fabrication. Together they put in over 100 man hours of fabrication on the chassis alone before we bolted the first part back on.

The roll cage, mounting points, and structural areas of the chassis all remained unchanged but their time was spent on the details; Getting rid of every stud and bracket not used anymore, seam welding the entire chassis, and relocating many of the parts and systems that were due to go back on the car.

 


One of the major fabrication projects they embarked on was lowering our fuel cell. Up until this point, our 22 gallon Pyrotect fuel cell sat on top of our frame rails in the trunk area and butted right up against the bottom of the wing stays. That’s a lot of weight that high in the car and its weight that changes as the fuel burns and sloshes around a bit as well so it was imperative we do what we could to negate the effects of having that much weight back there. To be able to drop the fuel cell, the frame rails had to be cut, notched, and boxed so the cell could be lowered as much as possible while still being protected by the rear bumper beam. The new location also allowed for a better angle for the fuel inlet and vent tubes. Oh, and that bridge looking thing, we’ll get to that in the next article when we talk aero. Photo: Garrett Wade

We also re-located our AP Racing air-jacks further inboard to be better protected in the event of impact. 3saurus Fabrication also completely re-designed our air jack mounts to shed a few extra pounds over last year’s design and hard lines were made to replace the heavy and ugly rubber lines we had previously used. The amount of pressure these lines need to withstand is tremendous so every line and fitting had to be exact in order not to leak pressure. The mounts for our front air jacks are in the corners of our foot wells.

Once the fabrication on the chassis was done, the entire thing was media blasted and epoxy coated in new race car white for that fresh & clean feel and professional look. You can see another view of our rear air jack mounts here without the air jacks in them as well.

One of the other things we didn’t get to in our previous articles was our electronics system. Early on in the build we tried our hardest to gut the stock wiring harness in order to save some money. That turned out to be a bad idea. We got to the point where the time and effort it was taking to get everything to work properly was costing us more than just scrapping it all together and going with a full custom wiring harness and stand-alone ECU, which is where we always wanted to end up anyway.

While it ate up a lot of extra time and budget, we went to Apex Speed Technology for a complete custom wiring harness that fed a Pectel stand-alone ECU. This decision dropped 60 lbs. of wiring over the stock harness with an infinite amount of adjustability and tuneability. The Pectel ECU works in conjunction with our Motec digital dash display which gives the driver everything he could ever want to know from operating temperatures of critical parts to lap times and sector times.

 

For the purposes of endurance racing we need to know a lot of information quickly and easily. Our MoTeC digital dash does that for us. Whether it’s as simple as a programmable shift light or warning lights for operating temperatures of critical parts this dash does it all. It also gives the driver lap times which is huge in endurance racing when you’re trying to manage fuel mileage while managing gaps on your competition. The steering wheel controls are simple with buttons for radio communication with the pits, change through display settings on the digital dash, and a toggle switch for flashing the headlights to “communicate” with other drivers while on track.

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