Tired of playing GT4 with that lap attachment kit? Still wouldn't buy that 900 degrees racing wheel and play GT4 like it was meant to be played because you don't have a place to mount it? Or still hesitating to buy that nice racing seat package because it costs $300 bucks? Here is the solution to your burning desire to be a GT4 pro, the world's first racing cage made out of PVC pipes, fittings, and other easily available tools and hardware for under $50. And the best part is it meets or exceeds performance of any commerically available ones.
Step 1: Parts, Hardware and Tools
NOTE: This project assumes that you already have a GT4 racing wheel and some household tools so the cost of these are not included in this project. After finalizing the design with the first one, it took me about 3.5 hours to finish the second one considering that I'm just an average handy person. It may vary depending on how handy you are. All parts, tools, and hardware are available at the HomeDepot.
1) Logitec force pro GT4 racing wheel, $79 on amazon with free shipping.
2) A used front car seat, preferably a sport type. Mine came out of a 1994 Honda Civic that I bought from craigslist for $20 each.
3) Tools as shown in the picture. Note that the hand saw is for plastic pipes but can also cut small pieces of wood that are needed for this project. The drill bits are 3/32" and 5/16".
4) Hardware, as shown in the picture.
a) 1 pack of #8x3/4 Metal screws (~$3.20)
b) 4 pieces of 5/16"x21/2" bolts (~18 cents each)
c) nuts (~8 cents each)
d) flat washers (~7 cents each)
e) locking washers (~12 cents each)
5) PVC pipes and fittings as shown in the picture.
a) 2 pieces of 1" x 10' white PVC pipes (~$3.19 each)
Note: There are thick and thin types, get the thick one.
b) 8 pieces each of L and T shape fittings (~48 and 49 cents each)
c) 2 pieces of straight fitting (~32 cents each)
d) 1 cross shape fitting (~$1.29 each)
a) 1 piece of 11" x 71/4" x 1/2" plywood or something similar.
b) 3 pieces of 1" x 4' wood dowels (~$3.20 each, OPTIONAL)
Note: the dowels are optional. They help stiffen the frame a little but not significant enough to be included as required items. I provided this optional step as the last one in case anyone wants to try it.
7) A No.2 pencil and a black permanent marker
Step 2: Seat Frame Assembly
1) Cut 2 pieces of 181/4" pipe, lable them A.
2) Cut 2 pieces of 143/8" pipe, label them B.
Assemble as shown using the cut pipes and 2xL and 2xT shape fittings. This is the base frame for the seat. Ignore the 5/16" holes on the fittings for now. We'll get back to them later.
Step 3: Rear Steering Base Assembly
1) Cut 8 pieces of 81/2" pipes, label them C.
2) Cut 3 pieces of 21/4" pipes, label them E.
Using 4xC cut pipes and 3xT shape fittings, assemble as shown in the first picture.
Attach 2xE cut pipes and 2xT fittings onto the front of the above assembly. Then attach this frame to the seat frame as shown in the second picture.
This is the steering base assembly for the rear.
Step 4: Front Steering Base Assembly
1) Cut 3 pieces of 18" pipes, label them D.
Using 2xD and 2xC cut pipes and 2xL and 1xT shape fittings, assemble as shown in the picture. This is the steering base assembly for the front.
Step 5: Overall Cage Base Frame Assembly
Attach the front steering base frame to the frame assembled previously as shown in the pictures. Carefully hammer the fittings to completely seat the joints and to stiffen the entire frame. This is the base frame for the entire cage.
Step 6: Top Steering Column Supports
1) Cut 4 pieces of 16" pipes, label them F.
Using these cuts and 4xL shape fittings, assemble as shown.
These are the supports for the top steering column assembly.
Step 7: Top Steering Column Assembly
1) Cut 3 pieces of 1" off the straight style fittings.
Slip them over 2xC and 1xD cut pipes. Then using the cross style fitting, assemble as shown. This is the top steering column.
Step 8: Final Steering Column Assembly
Attach the steering column supports to the top steering column assembly as shown. This is the final steering column.
Step 9: Final Cage Assembly
Attach the steering column to the cage base frame. Carefully hammer all the fittings again to completely seat the joints. This is the final cage assembly.
Step 10: Steering Wheel Clamp Support
1) Cut the 11"x71/4" wood and drill holes to fit the #8x3/4" screws in the shape shown in first picture. Adjust the 1" cuts on the steering column to align the holes to the center lines of the pipes. Then place the wood over the column and screw it tight as shown in the second picture.
Step 11: Tightening the Cage
1) Drill 3/32" holes on all the fittings where the pipes and the fittings meet. I have all my holes underneath the cage but you can have them anywhere. Check out the picture for examples.
Optional: At this point, if you are interested in stiffening the frame a bit more, go to step 13. If not, continue with the following up to step 12.
2) Screw all the holes using the #8x3/4" screws and the drill. Let the screws mesh into the holes slowly. Then using a hand screw driver, tighten all the screws one last time.
Step 12: Placing the Seat
Important Note: On some seats like mine, the bolt holes on the inlcuded metal rails are not flat. I had to hammer them to make them flat to be able to mount the seat over the cage seat frame.
Place the seat over the seat frame assembly, align, mark, and drill 5/16" through holes for the bolt, as shown in the pictures.
Place the seat over the bolts, put the washers and tighten the nuts. Becareful to not overtighten them.
Now, sit back, and take a break. Then mount your steering wheel and happy racing.
Step 13: Optional, Stiffening the Cage With Dowels
Note: Make sure that all screws have been removed if you got to this step after everything was completed. Also make sure to drill 1/8" holes into the dowels from existing holes.
1) Remove the seat if it's not already removed.
2) Detach the seat frame assembly from the rear steering base assembly.
3) Insert the dowels all the way into the front steering base frame as shown. The dowels are 1" in diameter and and should fit just right in the pipes. Twist the dowels on their way in to help ease the travel.
4) Reattach the seat base frame. The dowels are exactly 4' in length and should fit perfectly after the frame is reattached.
5) Carefully hammer all the fittings to stiffen the joints.
6) Place the seat and tighten all the screws. Or continue with step 11 if you came here from there.