My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

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breakaway500
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My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:16 am

Inspired by others who have built cars at COM,especially Wild Bill McMahon and his V-8 hotrod Austin-Healey..I decided to build a lightweight fwd track car. I started with a 2005 Focus ST which is powered by a 2.3L Duratec 150hp engine and 5spd MTX transaxle. I would use as many components of the donor car as possible.It had a rotted chassis and was free. I kept the front engine/suspension crossmember and the shock towers and front radiator support. The rest of the chassis would be made from 1.5" .120 wall EWS square tube. I had the main hoop bent by a shop. Other than that, all straight pieces, MIG welded.

I started with a simple mock up. Then laid down the main frame connectors to get spacing.I then aligned everything square and centered. I then started welding. Once the main frame was solid I could start putting in the driveline and other components and get it on the lift.
I fabricated a firewall and completed wiring and other incidentals. Lots of incidentals..wiring was..interesting. Ford does not want you using their harness outside their cars.
Turned the key...drove it around the yard...and then took it to Whiskey Hill yesterday on it's shake down run. :shock:

Ran some 205 wide tires which were take offs but not corded and proceeded to do a few laps.

No issues..other than the brake fluid reservoir did not like being in the wind and spit at me.

Braking was perfect. Manual steering was excellent and accurate. Ride quality is amazingly smooth! The engine pulled well with the substantial weight reduction.Have not had the car on the scales,but I believe it is right around 1k.lbs. Less is more.

I was pretty amazed how well the car handled and comfortably got into the low 1:50s. With better tires and some aero..I expect high 1:40s.

With my turbo 2.3 Duratec engine...making 325whp... I may get to see God..:)
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Last edited by breakaway500 on Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:17 am

Few more photos..
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It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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breakaway500
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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:18 am

Few more photos..
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It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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breakaway500
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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:19 am

Last one. My well used tires were going away..but the car felt very stable and wanted more. Not nervous or twitchy at all. NO roll..NO dive under braking..it was very entertaining. Passing a Ferrari made it all very real. I'M...H-A-P-P-Y...I'm H-A-P-P-Y...!! :lol:

I’ll have to work on getting it looking a bit less....hillbilly. Plus aero is important.
Some sort of nose. Must be light. And cheap. Aluminum foil so far wins. Maybe a Lexan bird deflector. 4 have hit me this year. One came inside the students ZO6! It was...feathery..but we pressed on. 😃👍

For all those building..keep at it. Nothing like that first lap in a car you created... :wink:
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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:54 am

Got the MOTA on the scales yesterday..and much to my surprise..it weighs in at just under 1400lbs...without me in it. Heavier than I expected, but steel and iron factory bits add up quickly!
I'll be adding another 70lbs with the addition of two more main hoop support bars (one back and a semi-Petty bar) and some sheet metal. Corner balanced it as bast as possible with what I have. Now if we can have a warm dry fall... :lol:
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Last edited by breakaway500 on Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:05 pm

Nose frame coming along. Light aluminum. Riveted, seeing as I have not “perfected” TIG welding.Hsving a difficult time holding my tungsten clearance. Plus that damn foot pedal. Ah well. I’ll practice..sitting down.

:D :sunny:
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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:08 pm

Got my sheetmetal on and painted. I had the car back to the track once more to try out the aero but only did about 9 laps as it was 36 degrees, and my hands were stone cold frozen after 5 laps.....but I did prove out the aero. Everything feels excellent and can't wait for spring!

Yes..it's unconventional and maybe ugly to most eyes...but to me it's beautiful!

I painted it blue..but somehow..after 9 laps..there seems to be gold dust all over the car! The MAGIC of Whiskey Hill! :wink:
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Last edited by breakaway500 on Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:10 pm

Few more pics...
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mota4.jpg
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It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by Mick » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:14 pm

That's terrifying :D

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breakaway500
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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by breakaway500 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:25 pm

Yea..it is. With the 325hp engine it should be downright mortifying. :shock: It’s actually quite easy to drive. Stab and steer! Back end comes along for the ride. :)

One more pic...
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It's not what you drive, it's how you drive. "Lap times matter"

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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by dinoracer » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:25 pm

Very impressive job there Mark!
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Re: My MOTA build..thats Atom, backwards...

Post by jbr3rd » Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:43 pm

That is so cool, I can't wait to see and hear it on track! BTW, do I remember correct Bill M's Austin Healey was yellow and gray colored? I'll have to admit I never knew it was V8 powered!
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