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The Orange Cake


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I thought I'd start this for fun, its just what I've been doing over the covid time.  Josh used to navigate for Steve in the rally car, although he had his own 180B rally machine at the time. Since then he moved down to Blayney, about 40Km from Orange, and seeing I'm not building rally cars up in Walcha I've been giving him a hand. These days he has an Evo3 for gravel work and an Evo5 for tarmac stuff, and a few cars lying around.

I figure we can build cheap entry-level race cars as a sideline business, Josh does roll cages and general fabrication as a business, so we are well-suited for it. The first candidate was a rusty orange KE70 we knocked up last year as a gymkhana car, meaning he extended the LCAs, shortened the steering arms, welded the diff up and bolted on a 32/36 Weber!  Seeing there is a 2L injected Pintara sitting there we pulled the motor out of that yesterday and then started on the KE70. By the time I go down there after writing this I expect the 4K will be outside and the CA sitting in its place.  Anyone want a running 4K & K50??

I'll get some photos today, obviously it will need engine & g'box mounts, a driveshaft, radiator, fuel system and all the ECU looms hooking up, but I'm sure we will have it running in a few days.  Then we tackle the rust...   Whether to cage it or not, or run twin SUs or injection, hasn't been finalised yet, but we plan to make it look passable, use it with big "For Sale" ads on it, and sell it to someone keen to get into motorsport.  I went to the Whiteline tarmac rallysprint with him last Thursday, my first time there, and I was amazed at the wide range of cars entered. You can run anything that passes scrutiny, so a road car to a race car, and I figure that's the sort of place we build cars for. Josh came 2nd in the Evo5, as usual trailing an Evo8 worth several times as much money and driven extremely well. It started raining halfway through the night, which really added some interest!

Here's a Moke we caged recently for his cuz-


The previous one was a Corolla for a racing team-


The Bluebird he bought off Steve 5years ago has become a drift weapon, radiator in the boot, giant turbo, tube chassis..


The Evo3 was ruined in the Armidale rallysprint in 2019, the brakes failed on a fast downhill to a bridge, so it needed a complete front quarter replacement-


It sat for all of 2020 untouched, then when rallying started up again we assembled it for the test day two weeks back.


I better go, I will be late!

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Well, it was looking like this this morning-


and like this by late afternoon-


A tall skinny motor, we just cut the mounts right off the cross-member and re-shaped them to fit. Josh was making the g'box cross-member when I left.  We'll stick to injection after long discussions, complicated, but it is all there and working.  It means the loom swap will be a hurdle, but not as bad as the rust problem! They make the hydraulic clutch conversion look simple!

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Well, things went sideways fast after that!  I rocked up on Thursday morning to find the Cake outside and a giant press brake sitting in the middle of the floor!  It came up for sale in almost-new condition at a good price so it had to be bought!  Now we can bend ute trays and similar.


What it really meant was the day turned into a massive workshop rearrangement to find room for it!  Dig out the motors stored in the back to put the mill there.. hang on, the three motors need stands so they can be stacked..


The steel rack and random sheets of steel that came with the press were to go in the back room too, but that would block access for the stairs that hadn't been built to the mezzanine yet..


So by Friday arvo we had the stairs in place, the steel rack in, the mill moved...  and I took the CA20 engine loom out of the Pintara.

The next twist was asking Jase at the wreckers if we could take the whole KE70 shell we were about to chop up for its almost-rust-free rear quarters! That will be difficult as its blocked in by other wrecked cars, but hopefully we just re-shell The Orange Cake and avoid the rust problem.  We shall see...


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Well, the weather has definitely turned to crap!  The wreckers said we can take the shell and replace it with  ours when we're done, which is great of him...  but he can't get a forkhoist down the muddy lanes until it all dries out. He's looking at early spring!! So we need a method of getting the KE70 down off the Skyline it is sitting on, with double-stacked cars front, both sides and behind, without bending the roof or similar!

Meanwhile the Cake stays outside as we have a contract to build 4 steel mesh tables for the Botanic Gardens Volunteers... another one of my hobbies.


Edited by altezzaclub
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So we need a method of getting the KE70 down off the Skyline it is sitting on,

Suggestion: No: 1   Take the 4 off mesh tables down, & place them around said KE70.  One guy stands on each, & you lift the KE-70 body down.

Suggestion: No: 2    Scotty from Marketing has a few helicopters flying around NSW atm, assisting Gladys, with flood relief.  I'm sure they wouldn't mind doing a little                                                                 lift like that. They might even drop it off,  back at the shed for you !


If a helicopter in NSW can pick up a Hi-Lux, it should not have issues with your KE70 shell.   


Edited by Banjo
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It would be nice to see what helicopter was lifting the Hilux.   A Jetranger lifts 400Kg odd, so we might just get away with one of those, but I reckon 6 burly young men are more likely.

Tables delivered, everyone impressed, and apparently we have a Megane sitting in the workshop awaiting a half-cage..

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Ooooowh !   That will be fun, working with one of those fancy French autos.  Pictures please as it progresses, as being a half cage, I guess, the Renault Megane is not stripped or gutted ?

P.S.  French cars are the quirkiest & most unusual cars I have ever driven or worked on.  Learnt to drive decades ago, in a Citroen ID19 Godess, I think it was. 


Only car I've ever come across, where you have to remove the back mudguard to change the wheel !

Cheers Banjo

Edited by Banjo
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You're right!  Torx bolts with flat heads and 9mm threads!!  Weird!

looks like this-


Its a weekend warrior the owner wants to keep the trim in, and have the cage removable-


Josh did the main hoop & crosses while I did the feet, mirror imaged under the floor.


We have a 3M alloy spirit level trailer-strapped to the roof in the right place, and the hoop zip-tied to it while the rear supports are measured. They come down to the back feet, I ringed one in red. There'll be another X in the back part, so it will be one unit, with junctions onto the main hoop. The seat belt bar will go in that too.

That's it until after Easter, then finish this, then rescue the new shell for the Orange Cake, and there is a new Mini Cooper for a cage.

megane main hoop.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, well the Megane was finished and handed back to its happy owner, and we started on the Mini....  Then stuff happened and Josh thought his Mum's Golf 7 1.4L needed an upgrade from his bro's un-used Golf R...  So the 1.4 lost its spare wheel well last week-


The R had the same cut out, leaving a perfectly saleable shell if anyone wants to build a Golf R racing car-



The much shallower R spare well is needed to fit this lump of complicated machinery..


..along with motor, gearbox, wiring looms, dash, suspension & brakes, basically everything until Mum is driving a turbo 2L 4WD around to get the groceries! Going from 90KW to 220KW means next Friday should be interesting in the IGA carpark..

Then back to the Mini and getting the Evo3 ready for the Orange rally in May, we're still waiting for the close-ratio gearbox there. Hopefully the CAKE gets some work after that.


Edited by altezzaclub
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You are "having a ball", me thinks !    Best you put a little warning sign up in the IGA carpark, before Josh's Mum heads that way !   I'll bet the mornings are getting a bit coolish down in Blayney, at this time of the year.  ( I note you've got your "flanny" shirt on). 

Have Fun !


Edited by Banjo
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah, distractions distractions...  The Golf runs, although there are a few days left in the interior to finish it. The sequential close-ratio never made it in time so the Evo3 is being assembled with a new Garrett this time, otherwise pretty much the same. Josh scored an antique fireplace so that was refurbished and lifted into place, just before the weather gets really cold.


A new chimney is in place and he tells me it runs fine!


Yeah, 8mm ratchet ring spanner that was not working so well...

We FINALLY got the new CAKE out of the wreckers, with the month of sunny dry weather we've had Jase was happy to use the forkhoist to lift it out for us.


This shell has NO rust around the boot rubber, almost unheard of, and only a hole in the very bottom of the rear sides as usual.  Now it can sit for a month while we finish the EVo3 preparation, finish the Mini cage and argue over which non-rally Evo we will work on first. I swear he's trying to get the whole set, we have a 3, a 5, a 7 and a 9, mainly is bits around the shed!  Hopefully we can have the CAKE running over winter and drop the orange body back to the wrecker. The next question will be, do we aim the CAKE at the bottom end of motorsport, a cageless gymkhana car, or do we half-cage it and get it up the ladder a little to hill-climb or drift hack or whatever....


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Ah rallying...  Wednesday we get the Evo3 running and we have a day of testing before the publicity run on Friday and the rally on this Saturday.  I rock up on Thursday to find Josh didn't like the noises the rear diff was making, so his Dad went to Sydney that morning to get the close-ratio gearbox that was finally ready...  because the replacement diff has a lower ratio and changing a ratio in a 4WD means changing the front diff inside the gearbox as well.  So, it was out with the rear diff, which checked out OK on the bench, but seeing we had it out and the new gearbox coming we swapped diffs, and then into removing the gearbox.


The new close-ratio box turned up just after we got this one out, so it was reversing the morning's work for the afternoon. By 10pm we had it running again with a handful of other small improvements, and as this is Friday morning right now we should make today's publicity event. With the Garrett on and a week of rainy weather, he reckons it might have too much grunt now, a most unusual complaint for a driver!!

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Well... nope!  The Garrett lasted a few runs yesterday before blowing up in spectacular fashion!  Once again we spent the afternoon & night pulling it all off and cleaning it all, then installed the last new replacement turbo of Chinese design. This time we definitely blamed the boost control somewhere, for although the computer only displays a max boost of 23psi the nav was watching the manual gauge as it ran off the end at 35psi.  We went back to an old waste-gate, which meant manufacturing fittings to fit that and welding it all up. Another midnight, and now I'm just late for catching up with the car before driver's briefing!!

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OK, that was a busy day!    9 stages well run and well organised.  He was working his way in with a 2nd place in stage 3, but then a puncture in stage 4 cost 6minutes or so.   Never mind, we battled with strange noises, fire underneath from the exhaust flexible joint letting go (same as last Orange Rally!) and catching up with the car in front, and finally made it to the finish! Now we have a turbo system that works we will strip the whole car again, check everything and make plans to improve a lot of little things. Before then we will get the Mini cage finished and start on the CAKE!


The roads were much rougher than this picture, maybe a third of the field didn't finish, and its mainly Evos versus Subarus with a lot of 1970/80s RWDs chasing them. Speeds are up over 200kph on gravel these days, you need 4WD & turbo power to be at the pointy end of the field.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, next event, the Armidale Rallysprint went OK too!  A little work and we have a reliable car that is quick.. Quick means 2nd to the Audi Quattro all day until the last stage when the exhaust flexi gave up and the flames set the rack boot on fire... Anyway, third is fine! 

Back to work, the Mini cage needs finishing.. with this sort of quality its not fast work, but its getting there, and then the CAKE!


There may be some delays as we might be re-building a well-known Purple People Eater KE70 rally car, something to look forward to!

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