GTM Owners Club Forum

Rossa Racecar Build
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Willie [ Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Rossa Racecar Build

Hi Folks,

Brand new member here. Have just collected a Rossa Mk1. Hopefully a few pics below, if I can work this yoke.

The plan is for this to become a "race" car, for hillclimbing, autotesting and some navigation rallies.

I've a million house related projects on at the minute, so the build is only going to be a day a week or so, but I'll try to update this any time there is significant progress. Wanted to start a thread so I can see the progress myself, but also so the previous owner and friends can check up on it...and give me a boot when I'm slacking.

Engine with it is a standard 1275cc A Series. I can't drive anything without an LSD, so I've a few quid to invest. So the question is, do I stick with the A Series, or try something else? (I know the engine bay is tight, but if it was worth it, I'd go semi-spaceframe). Ideally looking around 160bhp, so if A Series, thinking it'd need to be a 16v conversion on fuel injection. What BHP does a "Stage 4" head with hot cam on carb(s) get, 140bhp?

Any help/advice/encouragement or good aul banter welcome,


DSC_0501.JPG [ 249.49 KiB | Viewed 13734 times ]
DSC_0497.JPG [ 256.19 KiB | Viewed 13734 times ]
DSC_0498.JPG [ 267.22 KiB | Viewed 13734 times ]

Author:  Sven [ Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hi Willie & welcome

I have to say that if you wanted a Rossa with 160bhp, then a Rossa K3 would have been a better starting point! The K3's were fitted with the K-series engine, so bung a 1.8 vvc in & you have an easy 160 bhp Rossa.
But as you already have a Mk 1, i guess thats not really an option.
Although i've had lots of Mini's & Mini based kits over the years, i've not really tuned them much. But i would think getting 160bhp from an A-series is pushing the limits (of reliability!) of the engine.
There are several owners on here of coupe's, that have swapped the A-series engine for Honda units or various bike engines. But not sure if anyones fitted them to a Rossa.
Whichever way you go with your project, best of luck with it, & do post the progress on here for us to see ( with pics if poss - we like lots of photo's!!)

Author:  Willie [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hi Sven and thanks for the welcome.

You're, of course, correct...I probably should've gone for a K3. In reality though, I was just looking for a project car, and wasn't overly worried what it was. Was really hankering for a MG Midget or a Mk1 Fiesta, but always loved GTM Coupes. Then I was offered the Rossa. I just kinda fancied it. I'll be honest, I wasn't massively fired up about it, as I'd really rather have had a Coupe...but when I went to collect it, I really liked it. I've started to fall for it.

So I've kinda arrived where I am by accident. I have a Mk1 Rossa and I'm trying to decide what's the best way to get from here to a fun hillclimber, at sensible expense.

I reckon I "need" around 160bhp to be able to have fun. I haven't done much with A Series engines, so you'd know much more than me, but I think we're both on the same wavelength. To get 160bhp naturally aspirated, it's going to be seriously hot. Modified 16V head on a hot bottom end with throttle bodies. And the chances are the gearbox/diff/crank or something is probably going to go ping at some stage. And it won't be cheap to build that.

I have a 2.0ltr Duratec (Currently in the towcar - Mondeo). I bought it for the engine as it had only 52k miles on it. Runs as sweet as a nut, doesn't burn a drop of oil and pulls real strong. Last night I was measuring up with the tape. Currently I'm thinking it's the way to go. 140bhp standard, 180bhp on throttle bodies, and over 200bhp with a set of hot cams on otherwise standard internals. Now that would be fun!

It's my intention to fit a cage to the car, so I'm thinking making a combined cage/spaceframe rear might be the way to go. It'd really strengthen the chassis, means I can mount the engine easier and I can modify the suspension as required. Nothing's ever set in stone though.

So far I've done little to it; mostly just looking and pondering. A previous owner had started to fit a MG (F I assume) dash, and lots of the interior gubbins from the MG was lying inside her. I removed all this as it's quite heavy and I just didn't like it. I'll make my own dash so I can place the instruments where I like. I was also given lots and lots of A Series spares with it, so I took those out to be stored separately.

Next job is to get it up on trestles/work table so I can take better dimensions of it. Want to get the basics drawn up in CAD, so I can examine the suspension and decide how to go.

DSC_0513.JPG [ 218.17 KiB | Viewed 13663 times ]
IMG-20150616-WA0007.jpeg [ 177.23 KiB | Viewed 13663 times ]
DSC_0514.JPG [ 222.93 KiB | Viewed 13663 times ]
IMG-20150616-WA0013.jpeg [ 142.25 KiB | Viewed 13663 times ]
IMG-20150616-WA0005.jpeg [ 167.9 KiB | Viewed 13663 times ]

Author:  RaymondH [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Interesting body kit on that. Have you seen Scott Masterton's thread about his spaceframed Type R build in Projects? Unfortunately, most of his photos have disappeared for some reason though. I'll be watching your progress with interest :)

Author:  Willie [ Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hadn't seen that, but had a look and found his pictures on FaceBook. Hadn't even spotted the Projects forum, so had a snoop at a few others. Some interesting builds going on...and I thought I was mad.

I guess I've maybe put this in the wrong place. Could anyone please advise who the moderators are, and I'll ask if they could possibly move it?

The bodykit doesn't overly float my boat. Some bits have been done nicely, others not so much. I might keep the skirts, but I think the front and rear venty things will be going. That said, by the time I've finished...the bodykit will probably seem relatively tame.

Author:  Willie [ Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Summer has been spent doing garden and house related projects, but with winter closing it, its finally time to get at the Rossa. HURRAH.

It's still going to be slow, but I'll try to get an evening a week at it.

Got a good Saturday at it, so managed to strip the donor (Tow car) Mondeo of parts I reckoned I could use.

- Removed the 2.0ltr Duratec engine and gearbox
- Removed the front hubs and driveshafts
- Removed the front brake discs and callipers
- Removed the gear lever assembly
- Removed 4x gas rams (For boot and hatchback)
- Removed 4x electric window motors

I then stuck the Rossa on my lift and pulled the wheels of it. Set it back down at approximately the ride height I reckon I'd run at for hill climbing, and then set the wheels against it.

The current track is about 60", and the Mondeo track is 68", so I set the wheels out to see what a 68" track would look like. Wide. I'll probably end up somewhere in the middle. The current wheel arches are tiny and with the current wheels on it, she already scrubs near full lock. Sitting around 4.5" ride height (Under the body) has the wheels rubbing underneath the arches. Flared arches are going to be required anyway, so I might aswell increase the track if it helps me.

Next job is to remove the rear bodywork and subframe, then swing the Duratec engine/box over to see what I'm up against.

DSC_0750.JPG [ 302.56 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0751.JPG [ 316.78 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0754.JPG [ 265.52 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0766.JPG [ 362.32 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0764.JPG [ 266.09 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0765.JPG [ 221.34 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0775.JPG [ 247.36 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]
DSC_0774.JPG [ 207.23 KiB | Viewed 13275 times ]

Author:  RaymondH [ Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Beastie! :twisted:

Author:  kano nordie [ Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Big arches needed :roll: the Duratech is a much better and cheaper option than such a highly tuned 160bhp A series, you will be up against very well developed "Westies" in the 2lt class at hillclimbs, I have 2 x (160bhp with dyno print outs)1095 ZZr kawasaki out of my Jedi for sale if interested in going small and light :wink:

Author:  Willie [ Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hi John,

Thanks very much for giving me the heads up on the ZZRs. At the minute though, I've my mind set on the Duratec, and I want to exhaust my options before I'd abandon that idea. Car is to be used not just for hillclimbs, but autotesting and maybe a few navigation rallies. I reckon with the use it'll get, need for a reverse gear and torque, the car engine would suit better.

I know the Duratec will stick me in a seriously competitive class. I'm sufficiently humble to admit I'm not the best at steering, so I'm not going to be a class winner anyway. Main thing I'm after is a bit of craic on a closed road.

Anyway, got an hour at it last night, so lifted the boot/engine lid off. Couldn't believe the weight of that thing. It must be 25kg. I'm now wondering if the Duratec even has enough torque! Also took the boot box off, then removed the rear subframe. Still wondering why on earth the rear lid was made so heavy when it's not a structural section. I'd like to make a one piece rear end (And possibly similar at the front), which could be significantly lighter, but mainly be removed quickly for access.

Couple more pics.

DSC_0776.JPG [ 286.67 KiB | Viewed 13238 times ]
DSC_0778.JPG [ 237.22 KiB | Viewed 13238 times ]

Author:  Malcolm_Ball [ Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Dunno why but the last two pics remind me of the 5/8 size race cars called Legends, maybe the way 3/4 of the tyres are out from under the wings/mud guards.

Hoping this works; ... s.jpg.html

Author:  Willie [ Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Absolutely love those Legends. Would love something like that. I've just got a 4.4 ltr v8 with manual 6spd, and my Da has an Austin 7 needing restoration...

Was looking forward til today all week. Finally time to get my TIG welder going for the first time. Went to collect bottle and they'd messed up stock, so it was mixed and not pure argon. Between that and other hold ups I managed to get nothing done to the Rossa at all.

Well, I wheeled the engine over to the back of it, but that's it.

Author:  Willie [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Been a frustrating couple of weeks. Obviously I'm going to be doing a lot of fabrication work (The bit I'm most excited about), but I didn't actually own my own welder. I've always used either my Da's or a good mate's Oxy Acetylene for brazing, as I've been working at their places. I love brazing and am comfortable with it; but decided to get a TIG. I needed an ARC welder for making benches/gates, so it was easy to get a TIG torch for it...and I've always fancied having a go with TIG.

All manner of hold-ups ensued. Couldn't get gas. Then could get gas, but when I drove 50mile to collect wasn't the right stuff. Needed pure argon, and they'd put argon mix into stock as pure. "Grrr" I exclaimed. Then the torch was missing a collet and holder for the tungsten I really needed.

Excuses aside, I eventually got a little bit of testing/playing with the welder done. It's taking me time to re-adjust from the gas. "Torch" angle needs to be more upright and you really do need the right sized tungsten (Which was the one I couldn't use, so worked this out at the very end). Gas flow is critical, too slow and it doesn't shield. Too high and it actually seems to get dirty. I think it becomes turbulent and maybe induces a bit of air into the puddle. It also seems that if you're welding it right and penetrating right through to the other side, you get impurities. I'm not sure yet if this is air coming up through from beneath the job, or if it's just grease/dirt/rust from inside the tube.

Biggest problems are because it's a scratch start TIG. I have to touch the tungsten off the job to get the arc going. This contaminates the tungsten and you're kind beat before you've even started. Grinding the tungsten to a point helps, but I think it's something I just need to practice. I'm sure I can strike it better than I currently am if I can get a decent flick. The same problem occurs at the end when you want to finish. To stop you've to pull the torch away and break the arc. That obviously removes the shielding gas from the molten puddle, so you end with a crater. Pic attached of trial piece with various settings/styles/rods and trying to stop without the crater. I think I'll try making a foot switch to break the earth so I can stop the arc and keep the gas going.

I've a lot more practicing to do before I'm happy to do any chassis work.

In other news, pulled the front end off, removed the dampers and soon to start removing the subframe. Can't get over how heavy all the bodypanels are.

Just a couple of pics this time:

DSC_0812.JPG [ 163.42 KiB | Viewed 13099 times ]
DSC_0814.JPG [ 181.39 KiB | Viewed 13099 times ]

Author:  kano nordie [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hi Willie I've acquired a tig set and am practicing, I have adjustable start and stop ramps to vary the current :wink: yonks ago a good welder was using this set on light gauge stainless tube and he put nitrogen inside the tubes to stop oxide forming as it was for a food factory pipe installation.
The tungstens should be ground to a point.

Author:  Willie [ Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hi John,

Glad to hear someone else is at the practicing stage! Unfortunately my TIG is a bog standard inverter unit, so no fancy stuff. I find myself wanting things though, like a burst of higher current to get it going and an arc trigger switch on the torch. Will just have to keep practicing and hope I get into the swing of it with the technical limitations. Currently I'm the bigger limiting factor.

Got a bit of time last night so removed the subframe and stripped the front end down a bit. I intend to replace the dash/heater/tubular front structure with one tied in with the cage, so took it out too.

DSC_0816.JPG [ 238.99 KiB | Viewed 13052 times ]
DSC_0817.JPG [ 214.43 KiB | Viewed 13052 times ]
DSC_0818.JPG [ 267.87 KiB | Viewed 13052 times ]

Author:  Jaykart1227 [ Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rossa Racecar Build

Hi Willie,

Watching your build with interest and enjoying the posts so far :D Looks like it will be a real beastie when its complete.

At a similar stage with my Rossa 2 rebuild and sent a load of bits of to be blasted today so the paint gun will be out at the weekend.

Let me know if you are going to scrap the dash frame you took out as I need a replacement - mine has been chopped about a bit!

Keep up the good work.


Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group