My custom budget racing cockpit project

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Systems & Troubleshooting' started by Noxrai, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    Hi all. I've decided to make my own racing sim cockpit on a budget and this will be where I show my progress. Follow me on my adventure. It could end ugly.

    My current setup works ok. But I'm finding my racing office chair is just not sturdy enough for sim racing. I constantly have to re-adjust myself. While braking, my chair leans back too far. It's not an ideal situation.

    My peddle holders are made out of polyboard (also holds my chair in place) I half hazardly made up as quickly as possible in time for a race. It works. But its not pretty and I'm not overly happy with where my legs fit and sit.

    I currently mount my fanetrc wheel to my table. Again it works ok, but on big torque events such as catching a tank slapper, spinning out, crashing (which was quite often in season 7 of the Fittipaldi) it can move and shake my whole table and my monitor shakes all over the place. It's not a nice experience and kind of brings you out of the driving experience. I would like to remedy all those things with the rig i want to build.

    Current setup:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Why don't i just buy one?
    1.Because something I would want is kinda out of my budget atm. (New wheel splurge was more important lol)
    2. I have the materials and welding experience to make my own super sturdy one to my own specs.
    3.I want my wheel to fit just underneath my current table so i can bring my monitor right to the front for closer viewing.
    4. It will be fun project for me to tackle and I will take pride in my finished accomplishment no matter how it turns out.

    With that out of the way. My plan for the rig is light, sturdy and simple. Luckily where I work we stock 50mm x 50mm aluminium box lengths. Pretty much perfect for what I will be doing. I have drawn up a very rough plan of how my rig will look and function. It will more than likely change and evolve as I progress along in the weeks it will take me to make it. I have taken inspiration from a few sources but it definitely is a project from my mind rather than somebody elses hard work. There are only so many ways to rig a seat peddles and a wheel up though.
    I've tried to keep it as simple as possible though for myself but I do forsee a few things that may slow me down.

    To keep costs down i have bought a Suzuki Swift chair from the wreckers for $80. This will be more than sturdy to handle my fat ass. Plus i know it will be comfy on long endurance races with all that marvelous padding and springs. I will be incorporating the chairs sliding mechanism into the rig for added adjustability.
    I have also tracked down another seat runner/slider for $50 to use underneath where my peddles will sit for even more adjustments.

    Wed 10th July
    First thing to cut is my base frame. I will be going 1200mm long for the side lengths and 400mm for the front and back width. Adding them on will push the overall length to 1300mm long. I believe this should give me a decent length to work with. Ran out of time after spending a fair amount of time adjusting my plans for the rig to do anymore tonight. But I'm really happy I have the very first pieces cut and ready to move forward onto the next item.
    [​IMG]

    Next thing on my to do list is make a base for my seat to sit on.

    Thursday 11 July
    Tonight i had to remember how to do Pythagoras to work out four cuts i needed to do. I have been deliberating whether i should put my seat on a slight incline the last couple of days. I have decided to go ahead with that idea and i put a downward fall of 5° for for my seat to rest on. This will help aleviate any back stress i get on long drives.

    I have lightly tacced all points on my frame tonight. Quite a few joins i will have to go back over for the full weld. But for now these will do. I do this just incase there is something i need to change down the pipe line. Easy to do a quick skim of the grinder.

    I can't wait to put the chair on and see how things feel for the first time. Next session will be marking out points to drill ready for seat bolts to slot in. Possibly peddle base lentgh cuts too if i get time.

    [​IMG]

    Sunday 14th July
    Got to the trickier part today. Attaching the seat slider to the frame will be no problem. Its how to attach the legs and peddle set to it. I had to raise it a little so the lever has a enough room to do it's thing. Then came the decision of how much angle i wanted to put on. I've gone with 25° but I'm not 100% sold on it yet. I can still change the angle to something less if need be. I'm going to take my old thrustmaster pedals around to my workshop at some stage to see how it feels at that angle. My seat will fit perfectly. Just need to bolt it down once everything else is finished.

    Not sure how much I'll get done this coming week. Got the flu, so I'll probably have to rest for a bit. Will give me some time to decide how i want my wheel stand to sit. I'm wondering if i should just go straight up and down. Or put a little angle on it to give myself leg room. But I'm unsure how much stress this will put on joins or if it will lose its rigidity.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Friday 19th July

    Back in action today after being hit hard with manflu. I was able to source some great looking 6mm ally plates cut to size while i was away though. $100 for the pedal plate, mouse pad, shifter pad and a 10mm thick wheel base pad. This gives you a little insight on the additional things i will be making for the rig. I had ideas of how to do all those things without the the plates. But $100 just really saved me a heck of a lot of screwing around and they will just make the rig feel really solid.

    Looking to finally finish my pedal mount tonight. Turned out to be the most fiddly damn thing i could have put on the rig. I have spent more time on this thing than anything else.
    Welded on a brace for extra strength for the legs.
    Made the mistake of being too keen with the 6mm plate. I lined it up with the back legs and immediately tacced them down. To my dismay, it became clear that the plate had not been cut square by a whopping 5mm. I originally thought it was just the slider sitting off because i hadn't screwed it down. But no, after a bit of measuring i realised the plate hadn't been cut precisely at all.To add to that it had been cut too wide by 3mm. Cutting 6mm ally plate with a little grinder is not a fun thing. 30min later i had cut it down to the width i wanted. I left the lengths a bit skewed as i was still able to make it work. Not as precice as i would have wanted, but i didn't want to spend another 30min grinding something lol. It will still function and you will only notice it if you are looking for it.
    Welded everything down from there. Fully welded the legs and it's going to be super strong and solid once screwed down.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next up is sorting out the big bad wheel stand.


    Wednesday 24th July
    Today I went ahead with my plans for the wheel stand. Decided to put in some holes on the bottom side of the rig so i can get to the pedal nuts/bolts in the future before i got any further with the stand. Cut up lengths for the stand and also a base for it to groove into. While doing the cuts i realised I need a better drop saw. It cant fully cut at 45°. It gets about 3/4 down and can't cut my ally box any further. The rest i had to be very precice and follow my lines with an angle grinder.
    I also cut 2 strips of an ally sheet to go between where i will weld the base of the wheel stand and the main frame. This is to give the pedals just enough room to slide through if needed.

    I found an old box that has almost the exact dimensions of my fanatec wheel. So I put it to good use. Very handy to see how the wheel will sit.

    Happy with how everything is coming together I started to fully weld the main frame together. Chucked a brace in the middle for more sttength. Amazing how time consuming welding gets.

    Ran out of time to weld the stand up (just weights holding it up in the pic). But I'm quite happy how everything will look. The wheel i feel will be a good height and angle.

    Next time out, will be to weld the stand on and put some supports in. Possibly weld the 10mm wheel base pad on to the stand too.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This post is getting hella big and long. Not sure if i should keep going or start another comment .


    Sunday 28th July
    Been super busy lately. Having trouble finding any free time to put aside for the rig.
    But today I managed to fully weld the wheel stand on. I cut up some lengths at 45° for added strength and fully welded them on. The wheel mounting pad went on too. Just have to put the mounting holes in.
    I then measured and worked out where a good spot for the shifter mount and mouse pad will go. I cut the lengths ready for welding on for next time.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A lovely close up of my welding beads for anyone interested. Getting better:
    [​IMG]
    So getting really close to the end now. I reckon just one more session with the welder to put on the shifter, mouse pad and keyboard holder and everything will be good to go for a coat of paint
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  2. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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  3. SteveDrivingSlowly

    SteveDrivingSlowly Rookie

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    Looks great so far mate!
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  4. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    Thanks buddy. Early days still, hopefully it stays looking great.
  5. SteveDrivingSlowly

    SteveDrivingSlowly Rookie

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    I'm sure it will. Back in the UK I worked for an engineering firm and had access to all the gear - but here all I have is my garage and mainly woodworking stuff plus MIG/ARC welders, so my plan is to build a nice timber rig. Very interested in your build - keep up the reports!
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  6. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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  7. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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  8. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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  9. beakeroo

    beakeroo Professional Gold Member

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    That's looking great, keep up the good work.
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  10. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    Thanks Beakeroo. Finish line is in sight!
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  11. xlxy90

    xlxy90 Team Driver Gold Member

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    @Noxrai may i suggest trying to make the wheel stand adjustable up/down and forward/back?

    When I set up my rig, it took me about 3 weeks of playing around with the wheel position before I got comfortable enough to sit there for prolonged periods of time without any discomfort.
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  12. beakeroo

    beakeroo Professional Gold Member

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    I thought the same thing with the pedal plate. If he could make that adjustable it would suit any future upgrades.
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  13. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    Yeah i had an idea for a height adjustable wheel pad. But i feel it will create too much trouble in regards to flex and may introduce unwanted rickety vibrations. I've gone over my measurements quite a lot. It should feel pretty natural from the get go. I'm pretty confident in this department.

    The pedals , the jig i have made for the runners should give me enough adjustment back and forth. I agree that adjusting the angle of my pedals would be nice. But incorporating something like that into my current setup gives me a headach. Any ideas of an easy solution?
    Remember i only have very simple tools at my disposal and we don't stock much in the way of heavy duty steel. Which i feel will probably needed to prop up or down my current pedal plate
  14. beakeroo

    beakeroo Professional Gold Member

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    Hmm, maybe you're too far in to change pedal structure now. Might be easier to just modify it later should you upgrade those pedals in time.

    How's the DD going for you. Happy with it?
  15. xlxy90

    xlxy90 Team Driver Gold Member

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    To me, the wheel height looks quite high in relation to where your rear end will go.
  16. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    Yeah. It's the first prototype. There will always be something that won't be perfect. But at least i can change things myself later down the road if it ever becomes a big issue.

    I'm really happy with the DD so far. Doesn't make me any faster. But it makes the driving so immersive. Everything just feels teally solid and responsive.
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  17. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    I've gone with a f1 style wheel height. It will point directly to my neck which is recommended. It also to help alleviate my shoulder blade issues i get when i drive. Having the wheel too low kills my back to the point i cant get out of bed the next day
  18. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    To add to the height question. I have a height adjustable table. I have the wheel basically the same hight to myself currently which i feel suits me.
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  19. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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  20. Noxrai

    Noxrai Team Driver Gold Member

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    Monday 29th July
    Hit the picture limit on my original post lol. Guess the final few will go here.

    The final welding day has come. Welded on the mouse pad leg and shifter pad leg. I made up a keyboard pad myself with some ally sheet. Cut an arm out of 20mm rectangle ally box from bunnings and welded that to the pad. Then for my masterstroke. I screwed on a $3 door hinge from bunnings to the rig and attached the keyboad arm to that so to allow a swivel motion in front and away from the user. Pretty happy how that worked out. Done!
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I've now taken the rig home and the only thing to do now is to give it a light sand, clean and then paint it. This rig should hopefully be ready to roll come the Sunday night league race. Hopefully a little before then so i can get some time in it to adjust to a very new driving position.

    Peace