Racing Sim Rig Build - Part 4 - The Tears of a Child

Almost ready to “drive!” Just need to build the pedal stand and hook it all up! Here is part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you need to catch up.

I wanted the pedals to easily move forward/backwards for different length legs (mine go all the way up). My first thought was to put the pedals on rails from a drawer then make up some kind of locking pin system to hold it down. Then I found these rails for one of those closet storage systems where you could move the shelves up and down. Those, plus the mounts for a “shoe shelf,” got me a sturdy and easy to adjust system for moving the pedals.

Advertisement

Another piece of scrap wood, this time an old sliding shelf, will be cut down to make the base for the pedals. Here I’m playing around with different angles to put the pedals at. This feels about right.

I then built a frame with some 3/8" steel rod and welded on some mounting tabs so I can attach the board that will support the pedals. I also had to add a lip to the front of the board so that the pedals wouldn’t slide off.

Advertisement

After sitting in the seat and looking across the wheel to the TV, I realized that I’m looking up at it. No problem. Just hang the TV back from the ratchet strap, remove the frame, and chop off 6.5" from the bottom of each leg. Much better. This also means that the TV will fit nicely under a high shelf in the corner of the garage.

Advertisement

With everything now in place I wired everything up for its first run. The TV and PS3 sprang to life. The steering wheel swung from left to right, then back to the middle as it calibrates itself.

We fire up my son’s favorite game, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, start a “free drive” session and the TV dies. Crap.

Advertisement

After two months of work (all of which the PS3 never saw any use), our excitement of finally getting to use this for the first time was shattered on the ground. My son was damn near in tears, wanting so desperately for me to fix it, but all I could do was turn it off, wait, and turn it back on again, which did not resolve the issue.

Advertisement

I had looked at fixing the TV before, but it would be a gamble on which part I needed to replace: a $75 board or a $100 board. So it could cost me upwards of $200 (with shipping) to repair a 720i TV. I had hoped that the sporadic video issue would at least give us an hour of game time each session, but now this TV is going to the electronics recycle yard and I hopped on Craigslist to find a replacement.

I quickly found two in my price range, but they were both about 30-40 minutes away and had been on CL for almost a week. I emailed both sellers with my number and received a response 20 minutes later. It was a 50" Panasonic, just like the one I have, except it is 1080i. Perfect. I schedule time to meet up with the guy and three hours later I have it back at the house and mounted up.

Advertisement

So it’s all working now, but I have some changes still to make.

With the mounting board for the wheel flat, the wheel actually faces up at your face, so I want to adjust that to point down a bit more. The post for the wheel is angled a bit too far forward, so it gets a bit too close. It could be a couple inches back.

Advertisement

I still need to run all the cables so they’re not hanging around, waiting to be tripped on. I will need to figure something interesting out for the cables to/from the wheel so that there is enough slack to adjust the wheel height, but not so much that it sticks out a bunch when the wheel is all the way down.

Also, I wanted to build a shelf on the back for the console to sit, but with it’s current placement in the garage, getting back there is difficult so I might have a shelf off to the side for it.

Advertisement

Finally, the PS3 will be moved aside for an Xbox One (just got that refubished bundle on Kinja deals) so I can play Forza and Project Cars on my Logitech G920. The G920 has threaded holes on the bottom of the wheel and pedals so they can be hard-mounted to the boards (no more coming loose!).

And maybe someday (next year) I will build a PC to run this with a VR headset, which will be cheaper than doing a wrap-around, three screen setup.

Advertisement

So if you’ll excuse me, time to go play some GT5.

Share This Story