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had a 2 day track day at NJMP and ran into a guy who was there with an AI car and all i can say is I'm hooked. i mean i've been hooked on racing, and i've actually been thinking about getting into AI, but after he took me for a ride in his car, i got the itch. to scratch this itch im selling my supercharged 89 LX thats set up for drag racing. u can check in out here. http://forums.corral.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1144394

to keep it tech, what are some good engine setups for an AI car? the guy whos car i rode in had a 32V making 330 hp. (if u dont know about AI, theres a 9.5:1 weight to hp ratio) he was saying a lot of the AI guys are doing 331's. i think a carbed 331 made to rev up to 6500 would be nice. cause if the car weighs 3000 lbs, it only needs to make 315 hp. any oppinions?
 

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Welcome to the club. First thing to do is download the NASA CCR and AI rules. AI has a 9:1 torque rule as well. A well sorted 306 can be equally competetive on TQ/HP.
 

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Don't rule out the mod engines. With the new trickflow heads, they might be worth looking into. One shop recently got 350rwhp and 357rwtq out of a set for an AI driver. The blocks are also better built and will last longer than the 5.0s which are known to split. Get a block from an Aviator (aluminum block) and get the 44cc heads and you should be in the 11.x:1 range for compression. You get more power and lighter weight (roughly 430lb engine). 2008 2nd place finisher at American Iron nationals was running a DOHC with roughly 340-350 at around 3400lbs race weight.
 

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had a 2 day track day at NJMP and ran into a guy who was there with an AI car and all i can say is I'm hooked. i mean i've been hooked on racing, and i've actually been thinking about getting into AI, but after he took me for a ride in his car, i got the itch.
Think very long and very hard about whether you want to run in AI or the MUCH cheaper CMC. Both series offer fantastic racing and close competition, but CMC is a lot easier on the budget.

And if you simply HAVE to race in a higher horsepower series, you can always upgrade the car to AI specs later.

Oh, and if you can, BUY your race car, don't build it. You'll spend less than half compared to doing it yourself.

I do know of a very competitive AI car for sale in Texas...
 

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I agree 100% with Robert King. If I were to do it all over I would have purchased a used CMC. I have been building my AI car for a long time and have been throwing money at it like I had a money tree. Get a used car, save the money and the time.
 

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A 331 should easily make AI power, a well sorted 302/306 will also do the trick with the right parts. The engine in my sig is stock bottom end 302 that only revs to 6000rpm. 3 seasons open tracking and time trialing and the only problem I've had is a leaky head gasket.

Buying a complete car is good advice. I bought mine for 1/3 of what it cost to build it.
 

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Think very long and very hard about whether you want to run in AI or the MUCH cheaper CMC. Both series offer fantastic racing and close competition, but CMC is a lot easier on the budget.

you can always upgrade the car to AI specs later.
Very sound advise. Have you checked out Matt King's SN95 CMC build in MM&FF? The 5 part series is good reading, from initial build to the CMC Championship race. IIRC, the part one started in Feb. or March, but don't quote me. Whatever you do, good luck with the build and keep us posted.
 

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Buy my old car... It's a 2003 body in white with a '95 title all set up and ready to go... I think he put a new 331 in it and it is absolutely spotless! It was on ebay, but can't find it now. Was asking something like $20k but should be cheaper now?
Call Allen Denson at his company.
Here is the link-
http://www.capdog.com/contact/contact.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very sound advise. Have you checked out Matt King's SN95 CMC build in MM&FF? The 5 part series is good reading, from initial build to the CMC Championship race. IIRC, the part one started in Feb. or March, but don't quote me. Whatever you do, good luck with the build and keep us posted.

yeah, i read every series about that build. my first objective is to sell my 89. but a trade deal might be the best way to get rid of it if the trade is good. i'll definitly take the advise of buying a complete car but they might be too hard to find around me or too much to buy straight up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Buy my old car... It's a 2003 body in white with a '95 title all set up and ready to go... I think he put a new 331 in it and it is absolutely spotless! It was on ebay, but can't find it now. Was asking something like $20k but should be cheaper now?
Call Allen Denson at his company.
Here is the link-
http://www.capdog.com/contact/contact.html
20K is way out of budget for an upfront cost. thats why the build my own route would work for me. as well as when you build ur own car, u know every little detail about it, which is priceless sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Welcome to the club. First thing to do is download the NASA CCR and AI rules. AI has a 9:1 torque rule as well. A well sorted 306 can be equally competetive on TQ/HP.
i did read the CCR and AI rules a little while ago but will def read them again (probably 2 or 3 times) before i start any building.
 

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Don't rule out the mod engines. With the new trickflow heads, they might be worth looking into. One shop recently got 350rwhp and 357rwtq out of a set for an AI driver. The blocks are also better built and will last longer than the 5.0s which are known to split. Get a block from an Aviator (aluminum block) and get the 44cc heads and you should be in the 11.x:1 range for compression. You get more power and lighter weight (roughly 430lb engine). 2008 2nd place finisher at American Iron nationals was running a DOHC with roughly 340-350 at around 3400lbs race weight.
im not against a mod engine, but it comes back down to money. i know the mods are starting to get a little cheaper but still not near a pushrod motor.
 

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If you think you can build a competative AI, CMC or AS car for under $20k you are in for a ride! Stay away from the modular stuff... that engine is so much taller - raises the center of gravity, blah, blah If you can build the whole car yourself, welding, suspension set up, wiring, plumbing, etc. and can do it within the rules, you might have a chance at building something that will just do laps at the back of the field for $15k.
 

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If you think you can build a competative AI, CMC or AS car for under $20k you are in for a ride!
Of course, a lot depends on the region, but I thin you certainly can build a competitive CMC car for under 20k. The last two years the national CMC champion has been from the texas region, so I know these cars fairly well. I know of several cppetitive (in Texas,) CMC cars that were purchased for under $6000 (Adam Ginsberg's CMC car was a former AS car that he got for about $5k.)

There's a HUGE leap, cost-wise between CMC and AI. I figure a competitive AI car should cost around 12-20k, dependong on how fresh it is and how much was put into it (SLA front, fuel cell, etc...)

To build one, I'd budget $30k, minimum. A more realistic number would be more like $60k, I think.

American Sedan (AS)? You'd be lucky to build the motor for $20k! AS is a very old class, and therefore, very sophisticated. The restrictive ruleset means you end up paying a LOT of money for very small performance gains. This is how I see CMC ending up in 20 years, unless the series directors are VERY careful.


Stay away from the modular stuff... that engine is so much taller - raises the center of gravity, blah, blah If you can build the whole car yourself, welding, suspension set up, wiring, plumbing, etc. and can do it within the rules, you might have a chance at building something that will just do laps at the back of the field for $15k.
$15k is PLENTY to build a CMC car. I doubt Jeff Burch's national championship CMC car cost $15k to build.

$15k to build an AI car? Yep -- I think it's doable. I think it can even be a mid-packer or better, given the right driver.

But if you buy instead of build, you get triple the car for your money. Remember that. Building something and calling it your own has a lot of appeal (hell, I built my AI car from scratch,) but that appeal falls a little flat when you get your ass handed to you by cars in a SLOWER class!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i think i can make a decently competitive car for 15k. especially if i get crafty with craigslist and e bay. and i do plan on doing every thing myself. including the cage.
 

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don't base your decisions off of things that haven't happened yet. Get a basic setup, work up from there. Experience builds better cars.
 

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im not against a mod engine, but it comes back down to money. i know the mods are starting to get a little cheaper but still not near a pushrod motor.
Think of your costs in terms of maintenance as well. I have looked at cost as well and would have agreed until recently when the trickflow 4.6 heads came out.

http://forums.corral.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1140167

The useable powerband looks great, and might be too much in some instances. You have a ton of used factory aluminum engines on the market that can be used for their shortblocks. Some costing as low as 1.3k. The internals were also designed to rev so 6500rpm should not be a problem. You can also use the factory PI intake, so replacements should be cheap. Your more expensive pieces would be the heads and cams which would be around 2.5k.

A built 331 shortblock will cost roughly 2.5k-3k, but it still uses the stock block. You would still need to get aftermarket heads, cam, and intake. That will take it just above 2k. Then you also have to look at all the miscellaneous pieces that would need to be upgraded like the lifters, pushrods, rockers, etc, and the costs don't look as cheap anymore. The 4.6 works great with a lot of the pieces being factory stock. Below is a link with experiences from AI racers cracking their factory 5.0 block.

http://www.nasaforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29310

I am not saying the 4.6 is superior to the 5.0 in performance, but I do think the gap in performance has been reduced especially for AI, and it is definitely an option to consider. Just understand that neither option will be cheap.
 
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