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bauer catfish – Built 2 Track http://built2track.com Garage built and track worthy! Tue, 02 Feb 2016 07:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Tire and wheel options for the Bauer Catfish http://built2track.com/tire-and-wheel-options-for-the-bauer-catfish/ Tue, 09 Jun 2015 10:10:33 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=140 Wheels for the Catfish:

Being that this Catfish will be serving double duty as a weekend cruiser and a track car I wanted some nice looking wheels that were light weight and strong.

I already had some Rota RKR 15×9’s (from my second donor car) but I opted to sell those and buy some new 15×9 Avanti Storm S1’s.

The Avanti Storm S1 is a new wheel that’s very strong with a 550kg load rating. They are flow formed and super light weight. They come in black and grey but best of all the 15×9 weighs only 12.2 pounds.

I purchased mine from Good Win Racing and it just so happens that Good-Win-Racing is located here in San Diego about 15 minutes away so I was able to pick them up the same day!


Tires for the Catfish:

My second donor car already had almost new R888 225/45/15 tires on the Rota RKR 15×8 wheels. I had the wheels dismounted from the Rota’s and installed on the new Avanti Storm S1 15×9’s here at a local shop in San Diego.


Mounting the muffler on the Catfish http://built2track.com/mounting-the-muffler-on-the-catfish/ Wed, 07 Jan 2015 06:07:31 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=216 Today I mounted the muffler on the Catfish.

The first step was to cut out the exhaust hole in the fiberglass. I ended up drilling holes then filing the rest. I then mounted the fiberglass body, attached both parts of the muffler with the Vband and got a good sense for were the muffler needed to be mounted. I then drilled holes and mounted the exhaust to the floor panel.

My next step will be to take the car to a muffler fabrication shop so that I can get a custom downpipe made.






Gas tank steering column and pedal assembly for the catfish http://built2track.com/gas-tank-steering-column-and-pedal-assembly-for-the-catfish/ Thu, 06 Nov 2014 06:51:16 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=207 Now that the aluminum panels are coated with Lizard skin, the under panels (and the firewall) are permanently installed and the mounting holes for the interior panels are finally drilled its time to tackle the gas tank, steering column and pedal assembly. This post also includes a few small random steps along the way.

Installing the steering column and the pedal assembly was a pretty straight forward process. However, after installing it, I decided to remove it and paint it black. The rust color just wasn’t workin for me against the clean black powder coated frame (even though it would eventually be hidden).

Steering column (pre-paint):

I also cut an initial hole in the the fiberglass transmission tunnel. This will eventually need to be larger depending on what type of shift boot I get but as of right now I haven’t made a decision. I also plan on mounting the Willwood adjustable brake proportioning valve next to the shifter so I can access it from underneath the shift boot if needed while driving. If anyone has suggestions on a cool shift boot and ring let me know!


One important Cord mentioned I needed to do was seam seal the floor panel and the frame. This will help cut down on noise and vibration, and protect the floor from water and moisture. I used DAP clear flexible gutter and roof sealant from Home Depot which was better and less expensive than automotive sealant.



For my steering wheel I ended up selling the Nardi wood wheel from one of the donor cars and replacing it with a Momo Race wheel and an NRG quick release. I checked out a bunch of different wheels at a couple local shops and beyond looking good this one was sized right and had a nice heavy high quality feel:

Once the steering was functioning I was able to roll the chassis out of the garage for the first time! (Gotta celebrate the small wins)





Next up: running the fuel lines and brake lines.

Radiator and intercooler setup for the catfish http://built2track.com/radiator-and-intercooler-setup-for-the-catfish/ Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:01:20 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=27 After deciding to go the forced induction route with the Catfish I had a couple conversations with Cord to decide on the best way to mount the radiator and intercooler.

There are two main ways to set up a radiator and intercooler.  The typical way is to simply sandwich them together. This is the way Cord set up his Catfish. This is a standard setup which means you have longer intercooler hose lengths but shorter radiator hoses.

The second option we discussed would be to do a “V” style.

This means essentially mounting the radiator so it slants backwards instead of forward, then mounting the intercooler at the top of the radiator horizontally.  The trick to this setup is making sure that incoming air is forced through the intercooler and radiator. Doing this requires some fabrication.  The benefit is that the radiator and the intercooler don’t fight over the same air and the intercooler hose lengths get very short. As another benefit the weight is moved back towards the center of the car (which is always a good thing). Last but not least it looks cool!

I opted to have Dave over at Bent Motorsports in Escondido help me fab this up.



Update: It ended up being much easier to sandwich mount them so we stuck with that route (as you can see)

The Catfish gets carbon fiber seats http://built2track.com/carbon-fiber-racing-seats/ Sat, 04 Oct 2014 18:40:16 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=25 I just picked up a set of Carbon Fiber seats from a guy in LA. He bought these seats 6 years ago and never used them so they are brand new. They brand (Netami) no longer produces these seats but I did find some info on them from the manufacturers website. They weigh in at whopping 12.5 lbs each!





Coating aluminum panels of the catfish http://built2track.com/coating-aluminum-panels-of-the-catfish/ Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:00:52 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=77 Once I had my kit one important step early on in the build process was to coat the aluminum panels with a heat control insulation. It was recommended that I use a product called Lizard Skin.

However, before coating the aluminum panels I suggest you first test fit all pieces to make sure you have everything and ensure that everything generally lined up. Having Cleco fasteners (temporary rivets) will make this process a whole lot easier. In my case I did not have the Clecos and ended up riveting a few spots then drilling them out later.

Once the panels have been test fitted you will want to remove them and prep them for the Lizard Skin. Lizard Skin is a thick ceramic insulation that sprays on (similar to a bedliner material). Lizard Skin comes in 2 formulas, one is the ceramic heat control (this is the one you want) and the other is a sound control formula. The sound control is meant to go on as a first coat under the ceramic insulation but being that the Bauer Catfish is an open cockpit roadster there is not much need for a (heavy) sound control insulation.

I also took the unnecessary step of primering all the aluminum panels before spraying them with the ceramic insulation then realized that aluminum is the one metal that does not require primer before applying the Lizard Skin. (Lesson learned: read instructions)

I would also recommend buying the Lizard Skin application kit (pictured below) to make the job easier. Once blended up the Lizard skin is easy to spray (using the spray bottle and nozzle) but it goes quick.

I purchased one gallon and I had enough to coat the outside of all panels except for the back panel behind the seats. I also double coated the firewall on both sides.

P.S. I’ll probably never use my application hardware again so if you are interested contact me and I’ll give you a good deal on mine.


lizard skin for bauer catfish

Sourcing a donor for the catfish http://built2track.com/sourcing-a-donor-for-the-catfish/ Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:50:07 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=10 Short Version:

I purchased a donor package comprised of:
– 2003 1.8L VVT motor with 50k miles on it
– Torson 4.1 LSD
– 6spd Transmission
– All parts needed from a Stock 2003

If you care to read about how I sourced it and how I came to this conclusion feel free to read on:

After I pulled the trigger on the Catfish deposit I started to research options for donor cars. I had been told to stick with an NB (second generation 1998+) miata for a number of reasons most notably the larger 1.8L motor. I had also been told to ideally stick with a 99-00 However most of the NB’s I was finding were in pretty good shape and selling for $4k – $7k. This seemed a bit steep for a car I was going to rip apart  so I started looking for other options.

I was introduced to Roman Maguinez up in LA and he ended up putting together a donor package for me so I could get exactly what I wanted. This not only saved me some time on sourcing and stripping a full car but it allowed me to get even better components from a 2003 for less than I would have spent on buying a 1999. Roman is one of the people involved in the development of the Catfish and he has personally owned over 300 Miatas so its safe to say he is a good resource. He was great at helping me uncover my goals for the car and piecing together a donor package that would work well for me. I wanted the car to be street legal but built for the track and I explained that I had intensions of doing forced induction at some point down the road. With that said, Roman ended up putting together a donor package from a  2003 MX-5. The kit included the front and rear subframe, a 1.8L VVT motor with 50k miles on it, suspension, ECU and wiring harness, brakes and just about everything else (except for the shell of the car and the wheels). I also ended up having him upgrade me to a 4.1 Torson limited slip differential and a 6 speed manual transmission. I have heard a lot of people say that they prefer the 5spd but I have also heard that the 5psd can only handle about 250whp and I intend to make closer to 300whp with the turbo kit so I opted for a 6spd which is known to be able to handle more HP. I figure they are inexpensive enough that I can start with the 6spd and always pick up a used 5spd for about $200 if needed.

If you are wondering about transportation, the entire donor package for the catfish fit in the back of a midsized pickup truck.


Deciding on the Catfish http://built2track.com/deciding-on-the-catfish/ Sat, 09 Aug 2014 05:40:00 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=151 About a year ago I started looking for a track car that would be somewhat easy to work on and relatively inexpensive to operate (as far as track cars go). At the same time it had been a lifelong dream of mine to build a car so I decided I would start researching kit cars. My longtime childhood friend (Jay) said he was willing to help me with the build so I started looking at options. I came to the conclusion that a miata would be a great donor car and I was considering the Exocet. However, before pulling the trigger on an Exocet I stumbled upon the Bauer Catfish and realized it was developed right here San Diego. Not only did I love the look but I loved that it was street legal, unique and purpose built to perform. It also looks significantly more like a finished car being that it has a fiberglass body as opposed to the the Exocet which has an exposed frame. After a few conversations with Cord Bauer (the creator of the Catfish) and a test drive with Dave at Bent Motorsports I was sold.

Here is a picture I shot at Bent Motorsports when I first saw Cord’s Catfish!

The Backstory http://built2track.com/the-backstory/ Sun, 03 Aug 2014 05:37:25 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=149 My passion for cars started when I was about two. My dad had a 69 GT Velose Bertone design Alfa Romeo 1750 that he used to take to the local track down the road (Laguna Seca) and every once in a while I got to go watch! That’s me in my red racing shoes (apparently holding a toothbrush)

My passion grew, and as you might expect from any kid growing up in the 80’s I soon became the owner a sweet Dodge Viper GTS poster and a velcro Trapper Keeper with a picture of a lamborghini countach on it. I didn’t even mind playing dolls with my sister because it meant I got to play with her pink C4 Barbie corvette.

Fast forward to 2001 when I was able to save up enough cash to get my first “fun” car while in college. I didn’t care if it was 10 years old with 122k miles on it, I was dead set on this 300zx Twin Turbo. Working my way through college I ended up getting a second job at JWT (a nissan performance shop) and quickly found myself in the back of the shop porting and polishing turbo housings, drilling and tapping fuel rails on the CNC, and grinding away at air intakes on the laithe. Every once in a while I would get to break up the monotony and hook a car up to the dyno or get a ride in the 500hp sentra. Fast forward another 14 years and I’ve since started a company, locked down a fiancee and surrounded myself with great friends here in San Diego (a number of which happen to have some pretty fun cars). I might be missing a few things but that’s basically the important stuff.

Building a Bauer Catfish kit car http://built2track.com/building-my-first-car/ Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://built2track.com/?p=1 I have always been a car enthusiast and it has been a longtime dream of mine to build a unique and fun car. This blog is initially geared towards sharing my experience and documenting the build process of the kit car I have decided to build. I eventually envision this site being a resource for others to also share their track car and kit car builds.

So here’s my story:

After months of research I pulled the trigger on a Bauer Limited Production kit car (known as a Bauer Catfish). Below are just a few reasons I chose this route over other available kit car options:

1) I wanted something I could reasonably build in my own garage with a couple friends without having to weld.
2) I wanted something somewhat affordable to build (affordable in the context of the automotive racing world at least).
3) I didn’t want it to be so expensive to maintain that I would be discouraged from tracking it and running it hard.
4) I wanted something that was built for the track but also street legal.
5) I wanted something with 2 seats so I could enjoy it with others.
6) I wanted something unique and custom that could not be easily identified.
7) I loved that it was designed and built here locally in San Diego so I can support the local economy.
8) I wanted to be part of a new and exciting kit car.
9) I wanted something that was easy to work on.
10) I wanted something with amazing performance both in terms of handling and acceleration (shooting for 300hp and 1,700lbs).

Bauer Catfish