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Thread: Project: Blackbird FPV-GT3

  1. #1
    Isn't in Sparta anymore! Grum's Avatar
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    Project: Blackbird FPV-GT3

    Why? Because Race-car!


    As some would know, Gab (Wild Inc.) and I have formed a pretty solid friendship after meeting through AFF a few years ago. We obviously share the same interest in modded modern Falcons and more importantly the love of motor sport, especially participating in track days.

    Gab has had a few B-series Falcons and now has his very tough BA FPV GT-P to play with. He also has a brother with a just as tough Porsche GT3 (Hi Liam :notworthy ) who is a very bad influence on both of us.

    I am on my second B-Series XR8 ute, XRU-260 MKII. A few years ago I made the call on a massive career change and started a mature aged mechanic apprenticeship, primarily to focus on my involvement with various levels of motor sport.

    We have both participated in a few events in 2011 and have a burning desire to do more in the future but we have come to a cross roads of sorts. Mainly the realisation of a few of the design limits of our current cars:
    - The risk we have of damaging what is considered our pride and joy, not just a dedicated track car. This largely limits the chance of door to door racing events.
    - The risk of racing a 'road car' with out a roll-cage.
    - The implications of further modding our road registered cars to alleviate the above issues.
    - Lack of CAMS spec tow points and the difficulty (expense) of modding genuine FPV panels to suit.
    - Excess weight
    - Current wear and tear on our cars (Gab's diff bolts :yelrotflm )
    - The fact a ute will never be as competitive in a production car category.
    - The ongoing cost of swapping a car over between 'track spec' and daily drive settings (cambers, wheels/tyres, seats/harness's, exhausts etc)

    After strong consideration of the above points over multiple alcohol fueled discussions; we decided that the best way forward, taking into consideration budgets and what we hoped to achieve from a motor sport participation point of view was to co-build a dedicated B-Series Improved Production sports car. We wanted to take the opportunity to not just strip a roady, but really go all out and build the mother of all B-Series cars. Taking the design and execution to the extreme. In short, what we think could be achieved with a (loosely) GT3 based track car :evilidea .

    Enter Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

    The idea is pretty simple, which was large part of the decision process. Initial criteria consisted of:

    - Must be B-Series sedan. Either BA or BF but as we both have a considerable stock pile of B-Series spares, it made a lot of sense to stick with the same design. Being a superseded model, parts are also a bit cheaper but still readily available.
    - Ideally a XR8 or FPV built body. Learning a lesson from Eric Banner's 'Beast', if you build an awesome car over a base XT body, it will always be an XT. So by starting with a body that was originally built as a performance vehicle was important, the preferred vehicle was a FPV GT. Granted a bit of a wank, but I felt strongly that it was justified. When the entry forms are filled out, we can list it as a Ford GT - no questions asked.
    - If possible, a manual transmission built body. For the above reasons but not essential. The popularity of the ZF trans has made manual bodies a lot harder to find.
    - As close to a bare body as possible. We had a basic plan in place which was to use as much fiberglass panels as possible. A bare body was going to be cheaper.

    We began the search in late October for the right body. Weekly trips to various Sydney Ford wreckers, regular checks of E-Bay and salvage auction websites etc. It felt like I knew every damaged B-Series in Australia! We could have bought any old ex taxi body any day of the week but held out, chasing something that matched the criteria.

    We eventually found a flood damaged 2005 BF GT, Vixen red, T56 manual build on eBay. It was a rolling shell (no engine, box, shaft, diff, interior etc) which was perfect for us. Being a red body, we considered it a safe bet as they say red cars go faster. The seller had plans to build a drift car with it (and install a LS series engine :doh), so we considered it a mercy mission to buy it! It was a long 7 days waiting for the auction to end but on the 2/12/2011 it was bought and Project: Blackbird was in full swing!


    Blackbird as picked up in its new home.


    The important little badge!

    It was a bit dirty but we were both very happy with the purchase. The were a number of surplus parts that we could sell (bonnet has already been sold) to recover some money for the piggy bank.

    Like any good race car, we need sponsors to help with the budget. Luckily we have two major supporters from the start so we better give them a plug:


    East Coast Suspensions
    www.eastcoastsuspensions.com.au

    This is where I work but being suspension specialists who put a lot of time in to race car set up and preparation, it will play a big part in the build. David, my boss is one of the smartest automotive brains I have ever met and with a background in automotive engineering, is an amazing resource to have available and supportive of the project. One of the goals is to look at design options for the Falcon's inherent week rear end (Diff bushes, axles) and suspension geometry (Neg camber restrictions, bump steer and car set up/balance). It will be exciting to see what we can achieve in house.


    Property Investment Store
    http://www.propertyinvestmentstore.com.au/

    Anthony from PI Store is as much of a motor sport as we are! He has owned and raced a number of cool cars (Lotus's and Focus RS). He has been a supported from the start offering us some space in his workshop and the option of financial contributions down the track.

    In today's economic environment, his service is particularly relevant. So if any of you are considering investing in property anywhere in Australia, please make your first contact with Anthony via the above link, he will be happy to help and if you mention us, you will be helping the build!
    East Coast Suspensions
    Road - Race - Performance & Prestige Car Service

    XRU260 - Brute ute & Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

  2. #2
    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Awesome!!! cant wait to see this progress!!
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

  3. #3
    Isn't in Sparta anymore! Grum's Avatar
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    Concept:

    Think FG GT Black Series, meets BF V8SC. To give you guys a feel of what we are planning, these pics are what we are using as inspiration:


    Black BF GT Super car Mock up

    with a hint of

    FG GT Black Series

    Paying homage to a BF V8SC


    Engine and aero spec spec modeled on

    Ford GT40 GT3 spec

    and pinching styling ques from

    Porsche 997 GT3RS
    Last edited by Grum; 26th January 2012 at 03:57 PM.
    East Coast Suspensions
    Road - Race - Performance & Prestige Car Service

    XRU260 - Brute ute & Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

  4. #4
    7753 - 5030 HSE2's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Awesome.

  5. #5
    Isn't in Sparta anymore! Grum's Avatar
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    The Beginning, Back to basics

    First steps with the build are to get back to basics, which is a complete bare chassis. There are two main reasons for this:

    - We can remove as much unwanted parts and nonstructural steel. There are many components that are needed for a road car that we will not need: speakers/entertainment, air bags and wiring, seatbelts, mounting brackets for seats, air con, sound deadening, side and rear glass, factory fuel system, spare wheel tub and boot body work, etc

    - We will need to start with a bare cab to weld/bolt in the roll cage.

    Starting to strip:


    Removing window reg and glass:

    This is just a rough cut, the cut out will be trimmed up and new alloy door skins made.

    Window glass and reg removed:

    Side intrusion bars yet to be removed

    Two down!
    East Coast Suspensions
    Road - Race - Performance & Prestige Car Service

    XRU260 - Brute ute & Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

  6. #6
    Isn't in Sparta anymore! Grum's Avatar
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    With Gab's torture of Diff bushes and bolts, easy access tot he IRS will be needed:



    Scrap pile starting to build up:
    East Coast Suspensions
    Road - Race - Performance & Prestige Car Service

    XRU260 - Brute ute & Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

  7. #7
    Isn't in Sparta anymore! Grum's Avatar
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    Dash out:




    Looking back:
    East Coast Suspensions
    Road - Race - Performance & Prestige Car Service

    XRU260 - Brute ute & Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

  8. #8
    Isn't in Sparta anymore! Grum's Avatar
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    Initial strip completed:


    Now that it's up on stands we can remove all the fun stuff underneath and paint the belly.

    We have a spare IRS and diff to begin work on too:
    East Coast Suspensions
    Road - Race - Performance & Prestige Car Service

    XRU260 - Brute ute & Project: BLACKBIRD FPV-GT3

  9. #9
    Ich bin ein auslander! Lynton's Avatar
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    Looks like this is going to be a monumental build, can't wait to follow this through to the end. Please keep us up to date as it happens.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional!


  10. #10
    What an awesome project. Will pop in and see it in the metal.

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