Sim racing has taken off since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, and many, including the RallySport Mag team, decided that it was time to take it a little more seriously.
We’d forever fiddled with average set-ups, connected to a fold-up table, on a kitchen chair, or mounted to the coffee table, sitting on the floor.
None of these were stable enough to play seriously, so we decided to take matters into our own hands.
Here, we will take you through a step-by-step process on how to build your own racing sim set-up, for a minimal price.
This guide is based on the fact that you probably already have a wheel and pedals that you use with your PlayStation, PC or other device, but want to take your racing to the next level.
Matt Whitten with our almost complete set-up to tackle the Dirt Rally 2.0 stages.
Step 1: Materials.
The materials we used were all found around our yard and in the shed. We used metal offcuts from another job, an old competition seat we had in the shed, and used a welder to construct the frame.
Step 2: Measurements
The base of our sim is 1400mm x 500mm, which is long enough to get a fair distance from the TV, as well as enough room to adjust the seat to users of different height.
The piece of metal checker plate to mount the pedals on is 760mm x 500mm.
You can build your own simulator frame quickly, easily and cheaply.
Step 3: Cut!
Now for the serious work to start. Once you know how long your steel has to be, you need to use an angle grinder to cut the ends off at a 45 degree angle, allowing them to be welded to each other, making a snug fit.
Bear in mind that a wrong angle measurement can put your whole set-up out of whack.
On your thicker pieces of steel, the floor end of the frame was cut at a 10 degree angle, meaning that the wheel was tilted towards the driver to make it more vertical and realistic.
Step 4: Weld
Now you have cut and measured all your pieces, it is now time to weld it together. First, the rectangular base, then adding the frame for the wheel to sit, and then the plate for the pedals.
An old competition seat is bolted to seat runners on the sim frame.
Step 5: Seat mounting
We used an unused seat that was sitting in the shed, so had no intention of ever using it for anything other than the sim.
We welded the seat rails straight to some horizontal beams that were welded across the rectangular frame. This meant that the rails were secure, and there was no risk of it moving mid-stage and ruining your perfect online contest.
Step 6: Precision
Now you have your seat in position, it is time to find your perfect seating position. From here, you need to work out how far away you want your pedals.
On our Logitech G29 system, the bottom of the pedals have bolt threads on the bottom, so we measured them up and drilled holes in the plate to match these.
Once bolted in, you can use as much brake pressure as you like, and there is no risk of the pedals slipping out from underneath your feet.
After sanding it back, a couple of coats of paint will have it looking the goods.
Step 7: Paint
Once you’re happy with your positioning and everything else, it’s time to make it look pretty. Take off everything so you’re just left with the frame.
Give it a clean, a sand, and two coats of spray paint, and you’ll have a simulator set-up that looks great as well as performs well.
Put everything back on, connect back to the TV, and you have got hours of fun at your fingertips.
We were able to build our simulator with the materials we found in our yard, so overall, our only cost was the two cans of spray paint we used to finish the project.
However, even when buying the steel and picking up a seat from the local auto wreckers, you could easily build a quality simulator like ours for under $50.
So get to it, and enjoy!
The frame to mount the gear lever within easy reach of the driver.
We use the paddle shift to change gears, and have programmed 4th gear to act as a handbrake for our rally adventures.
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