Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Man Hours - Serge's Mugen GT-4 CRX Replica Build: Part 2

As you've seen from Part 1 of this 3 part post (It started off as a 2 part post, but there were so many pictures, I had to create a 3rd part.), Serge's craftsmanship is second to none.  After spending two years on the body, ensuring a flawless execution, Serge moved on to the mechanical side of the build.  In this post we'll be covering the installation of the interior and suspension.


For as rough as the car looked on the outside, the interior looked great in comparison.  The two front seats were intact, but for one tear in the drivers seat.  It was a complete interior, but it had to go.  The factory dash was replaced by a hand made aluminum dash, created by Serge himself.  To closely match the custom dash design from the original GT4 car, he used pictures of the car that he had obtained through his research, as a guide.  The dash was neatly trimmed in a microfiber material, and a Mugen badge was added to the gauge face, just to the left of the tachometer.  Above the dash, a four-pane racing rear-view mirror was also installed, and below that, the steering wheel was replaced with an original Mugen wheel, with correct center cap.  Matching the seat with the original part in the race car, however, proved to be impossible.  After contacting Sparco. they confirmed that it would be impossible to find an original part, so Serge chose to use the modern equivalent of the seat.  After finishing up the details in the drivers area of the car, which included meticulous cleaning and refinishing of original parts (such as the foot pedals and hand brake), adding a Mugen badge trimmed cover over the re-routed fuel lines, and mounting the racing harness, the roll cage was installed.

Once the cage was in, Serge moved to the rear of the car where the fuel tank and pump were to be installed.  First, a floating metal support was installed in the area of the trunk where the spare tire would normally be, and then the fuel cell was strapped onto the support.  Next, since the fuel lines were routed along the outside of the drivers seat, the fuel pump and its support were installed just behind the drivers seat, and in front of the fuel cell.  To stay true to racing regulations at the time, a compartment had to be constructed around the fuel pump and cell, to protect the occupants from fire.  This was done in sheets of aluminum.  Serge completed the compartment by installing a refueling door just above the fuel cell.  The final result is a thing of beauty.


In the same fashion as the rest of the car, the suspension received the same attention to detail.  Every component that was not able to be repaired and rebuilt was replaced by NOS parts, Custom parts, or parts from the original parts provider.  Each part and/or parts assembly was taken apart, cleaned, repainted and then rebuilt.  The original plan was to copy the suspension setup in the original GT4 car, but in order to keep the car street legal in Europe, Serge had to go a different route.  He got in contact with BC Racing, who kindly made a set of coil-overs for the front and rear of the car, from scratch.  Additional upgrades include stainless steel brake lines, an adjustable panhard bar, and polyurethane bushings.

That's it for part 2.  Stay tuned for part 3, which will feature the engine build and images of the finished product!


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