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My DIY wood sim racing rig - SOLID sub-$100 setup

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First off, this is my first build here on ISR, so I'll give a little introduction.

 

I've had my DIY rig for about 2 years now and have made small, subtle upgrades/mods to it over the years. For the most part, I followed the plans of the DIY Deathmobile for the initial build. After coming home from deployment and realizing the rig I designed while underway hadn't taken into account a lot of the small, but important features like seat height and wheel angle, I decided I'd use the Deathmobile as my starting point. Having some cash saved up, I bought the Thrustmaster TX Wheel for the Xbox One. If you have any questions or comments regarding the rig, I'm happy to answer them.

 

Future plans:

  • New Skylake PC build (gonna wait for CPU and GPU prices to come down a little)
  • RC car shock brake mod (very soon)
  • Triple screen setup
  • SimVibe
  • 2 more bass shakers with an upgraded amp, of course
  • Add a handbrake
  • Button box
  • Dash screen

 

Build progress up to this point:

 

09SEP14: Built the base rig using 2x4's, wood screws, and 3/4" MDF mostly following the ISR Deathmobile plans. Black carpet was purchased from Home Depot and installed later that week.

  • I placed the wheel deck upright supports at a 90 degree angle compared to the Deathmobile plans since I wasn't sure how sturdy it would be with the vibration. Still not sure if it made a difference as this rig is absolutely solid and I haven't wanted to swap the supports just to find out.
  • Seat was an old drivers seat out of one of my '91 Toyota MR2's. The seat base wasn't flat on all 4 corners, and since I was gonna swap out the seat soon, I never bolted it down. The seat did have the stock slider, though, which was nice.
  • Since the vibration was a little too strong for the simple wood screws that held up the wheel deck, I added some 2x2 upright braces in the back. It would have been fine without them, but my #1 complaint about my friend's rig was it was not 100% solid.
  • I gave up on carpeting it halfway through. lol Way too much effort for a DIY rig.

 

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26NOV14: Added T3PA pedals and TH8A shifter.

  • I originally had the pedals mounted to the base of the rig just like the stock pedals were mounted. The pedals were found on eBay and arrived without the conical brake mod.
  • I had to make a custom mount for the shifter since the base rig didn't have a spot to mount it. I ended up just doing a horizontal 2x4 with a 45 degree 2x2 underneath it for support. I learned that a 2x2 is not at all stable enough for a shifter mount brace. That thing wobbled around like crazy.
  • While my Dad was visiting, he wanted to be able to [legally] drink and drive. I didn't have a way to hold the beer without  it getting knocked over. So, I took a water bottle holder off an old mountain bike and screwed it into the wheel deck upright support on the right side.

 

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12JAN15: Bought a used cheap knockoff fixed-back racing seat from some dude when I went with my friend to go get some parts for his Ford Mustang.

  • It has a flat bottom base so I'd be able to bolt it down. And my puppy I got a couple months later loved it more than his crate, so that was a win.

 

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09SEP15: Inverted the pedals.

  • The T3PA Pro pedals were, and still are, close to $150, and I already had a set of T3PA pedals, so spending that much money just for the ability to invert them seemed stupid. Since the uprights of the wheel deck supports are at an angle, I put a 2x4 across the front and bolted the pedals to it, inverted of course.

 

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21SEP15: Swapped the physical gas and clutch pedals.

  • With the TX wheel, you can swap the clutch and gas pedals electronically, but that doesn't fix the fact that the resistances are now opposite. And I really didn't like the light clutch feel and the stiff gas feel. So, I swapped the physical pedals from one side to the other. The wires for the pedals were slightly shorter than they needed to be, so I just added a few extensions to each of the wires with crimp connectors and called it a day. My puppy wasn't much of a help. Although the thought was there. lol

 

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04OCT15: Added a console for a more robust shifter mount and armrest.

  • I used 2x4's again and this time used some scrap 1x6's for the tops. I carpeted the tops so my arm would get tore up. It was either cut up some carpet or buy a sander. And since I'm in the military and don't make a lot, carpet it was.
  • I'm really not sure why I added carpet to the left wheel deck upright support. lol

 

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13OCT15: Modded the TH8A to be a short shifter.

  • I had planned on removing the knob, cutting the upper half off the shifter rod, and then using a die to thread the now-unthreaded top of the shifter rod. That did NOT go according to plan. lol I accidentally snapped the rod in half when I was taking it apart. So, I was forced to cutout a section of the rod, then JB weld the two parts together. On the plus side, I used this project as an excuse to buy a full tap and die set. And, if your're looking to do what I had planned on doing, the stock shift knob on the TH8A shifter uses an M9x1.25 thread. A little odd, I know, but remember, they are French.

 

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?NOV15: Added 2 Aura bass shakers and a Dayton SA100 amp.

  • The console I had made a couple months before was a near perfect fit for the amp. To be honest, I couldn't have made it fit better it I had tried. I would have managed to screw it up somehow. lol
  • I had to modify the mounting method for my seat since I wanted to bolt one of the bass shakers directly under the seat and at the same time be able to get to the bass shaker easily. So, I added two pieces of 3/4 MDF to the 4x4s and placed hinges on the front. Then bolted down the seat to the MDF. I had to make small countersunk holes in the 4x4 so the seat would sit flat and allow the bolt heads to clear the 4x4.
  • I wired the shakers in series. Not knowing how I'd like the setup, and seeing as how I'd never dealt with the brands, I decided to go with a small set, instead of spending $300 on a set of 4 with a bigger amp.
  • I mounted the second shaker to the bottom of the deck under where the pedals used to be. They're not on the pedal bracket, but my feet rest on the deck right above the shakers, so I can feel it pretty good.

 

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