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Old 08-21-2019, 03:14 PM   #99
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Worthwhile update

If anyone was thinking about getting into racing - now is the time especially as we enter the off season where used race cars get really affordable. The T4 class in SCCA is very good and cost effective and the CT4 class in ICSCC grew quite large and competitive almost overnight.

Some updates:


Sway bars: Increasing roll stiffness was a change in the right direction. The previous attempt at softening the rear really planted the rear, however it induced lots of understeer post-apex and only half of the front tire was really getting used. By increasing roll bar stiffness front/rear, the front contact patch was much better utilized and rotation has returned. The car is now very well poised for trail braking and well setup for instant transition to WOT with some modulation when necessary.

Brakes: The ST43 rear pad was MAGICAL. I have arrived at braking nirvana. ST45 or 47 front with a 43 pad is my happy place. No more rear ABS, yet plenty of rear brake and trail braking was helped immensely. You'll see in the video how well the car worked under braking.

Tires: So far we have run: 245 (hoosier) R7s, 225 A7s, 245 (BFG)R1-S, 235 R1-S, and 225 R1-S. These are all on 17x7 wheels. The 245s weren't ideal as the feedback is very poor, more so on the R1-S due to the softer sidewall. The BFG 235 and 225 were much better in feedback but the 225 just isn't enough tire/grip for this car. Of the BFGs, the 235 is the best balance. Unfortunately, we were never able to get the BFG to be as fast as the Hoosiers. We have determined that the 225 Hoosier is the go-to tire. A7s for <80 degree days and R7s for >80 degree days.

My previous best time at PIR w/ Chicane is a 1:30.7 on sticker A7s. This past weekend I did another 1:30.7 on almost-cording A7s. This comes down the improvement in setup. I'm confident that on sticker A7s with my current setup, a 1:29 is possible. After some off-season tuning, I expect low 30s and 29s to be the new normal.

Fluids: The Penn synchromesh has been absolutely brilliant 2 (long) race weekends in a row. I'm sticking with that. The drop down from 10-40 to 5w-30 was the right choice - still plenty of oil pressure and temps stayed <250f, even when drafting. On cooler race weekends, it may be worth going back to 20wt.

On Saturday I qualified 17th on grid because I was trying to wear out some old rubber, while Totemo qualified 5th overall!! I had my work cutout for me which made for a GREAT race. He's on OLD 245 R7s and I'm on OLD 225 A7s. Enjoy.


[ame]http://youtu.be/dNyl7my-u8Q[/ame]
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:07 PM   #100
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Some overdue updates

The FINAL ICSCC race was at the end of August and with everything going on I just haven't had a chance to update...
Totemo and were only a few points away in the championship in CT4 going into this event and what a dramatic weekend it turned out to be! We've been improving all year and both exceeded our tire budget that was helped by fellow SCCA Driver who gifted us a couple sets of very lightly used BFGs...

Saturday:


Here we are, both on less-than-ideal tires. I'm on skinny 225 BFGs and Totemo is on 'too fat' and almost cording R7s. I qualified 3rd in class, 6th overall and Totemo was 6th in class, 13th overall. He had a stronger start than I did and fought off the E30s well. He gained a spot and I lost a spot so we finished 4th and 5th in class. However, I noticed my car no longer sounded the same!

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdkgG2up5zs[/ame]


I roll into the paddock looking for exhaust issues and boy did I find one! Due to the some header-wrap and some stress, my header peeled apart at the seam! Thankfully someone at the track was able to weld it back together so I could make Sunday's race!

IMG_0913 by Rice Classic, on Flickr
IMG_0912 by Rice Classic, on Flickr
IMG_0918 by Rice Classic, on Flickr
IMG_0917 by Rice Classic, on Flickr
IMG_0916 by Rice Classic, on Flickr


If anyone has OEM exhaust manifold they care to part with please let me know I definitely need another one!



Sunday
Totemo Qualified 6th in class and I qualified 3rd. I lost 1 position while he clawed his way forward to challenge me at the end.


[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgmc_LJY-UA[/ame]


On the very last corner of the last lap you see a sudden gap between us grow as I head for the checkered flag. He didn't give up.. but his transmission did. Something internally broke and stuck the tranny in neutral. A spare transmission has already been sourced but we're both looking forward to pulling it apart and seeing what the culprit is - this should give him a chance to rebuild it and have a quality spare!

When it was all said and done - I finished 3rd in the CT4 championship and Totemo finished 2nd with 1st place only 9 points away (184 to 175). What a year!

We have some off-season work to do. We will revisit our suspension/shock choices and spend more time on the dyno but we both expect to find that extra 1+ second next year that will be needed so we aren't back markers at the 2020 Runoffs.
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:38 PM   #101
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Hi, who built your cage, and do you recall ballpark how much it was?
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Old 11-22-2019, 02:32 AM   #102
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Hi, who built your cage, and do you recall ballpark how much it was?
I used DnD in Puyallup. Father/Son business and those guys have been around every type of racing in the last 50+ years. My cage was just over $4k but Cost of material and sales tax in WA is . But it also saved me from having to tow it down to Portland which was my 2nd choice. This same shop did the collectors on my header (and Totemo's too) and he just finished another one for me to replace the one I broke.

If you're in Vancouver WA, I'd also recommend Russ @ Racetech fab in Portland. Cost of material in Oregon is cheaper and there's no sales tax so you can come in much closer to $3k all said and done. I would recommend both entities as both places have caged MANY cars that have raced and currently race in the PacNW (and nationally).

In either case make sure you do all your prep work ahead of time. The more stuff they have to remove, grind, etc is just more labor charge. There were a couple things I wanted done above and beyond that added cost and using someone local because I visited them with my race seat close to the end which is where we discovered the bar behind the seat that the belts would go on was too low and need to be set back since I have long legs. Worked out great!.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:56 AM   #103
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2020 is back baby!

It was good to be back at the track this weekend.

The T4 battle in the PacNW is heating up. At one point we had a 4 car battle for the top spot. Last year the fastest time set was a 1:36.1, this year I managed to set the fast time again of a 1:34.88. And two years in a row - I managed to set the fastest lap but still finished second but ce'st la vie.

In the offseason I changed shocks (MCS), re-corner balanced the car, added a loud exhaust from a company I'll never do business with again and spent a bit more time on they dyno for a few more buff horses. All in all I'm about $5k in and I found another 1.2 seconds in lap time and that's a pretty decent ROI.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:58 AM   #104
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Race 1 on Saturday, started 2nd, finished 2nd. I'm confident if this race was 10 minutes longer I would have taken back 1st place.



Race 2 on Sunday. I installed a new Duralast axle that morning. Started on pole and then the Duralast, Dura-Failed.

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Old 05-26-2020, 02:46 AM   #105
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I enjoy your race vids. That RX8 is a bit hairball and his car looks awful over the bumps. Your axle issue makes me worried about trying out a couple cheaper front hubs.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:26 AM   #106
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I enjoy your race vids. That RX8 is a bit hairball and his car looks awful over the bumps. Your axle issue makes me worried about trying out a couple cheaper front hubs.

I don't know if the concern on the front hub is necessarily warranted, unless you bought a $20-made-in-china hub. Nice thing about the hubs, especially fronts, is how easy they are to replace.



Result of the axle.





I'm glad that Autozone took it back and honored the "lifetime warranty". If it had lasted a season or even a few weekends I wouldn't have taken it back, however since it lasted 20 minutes - that garbage was going back.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:20 PM   #107
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Another fun discovery!

For all the ECUTEK users without a cruise a control lever (aka, aftermarket steering wheel) - you can still use MAP SWITCHING with the defrost button... but that's not the big news!

The big news!

The switched map now saves when you turn off the car (didn't used to). So if my base map is map 1 and I switch to map 2, the car will still be on map 2 when I shutoff and restart. This should be good news for track days guys or racers wanting to use the map switching option and don't want to have to change maps every time they start the car.

What I have yet to verify (but will) is if it saves if the kill switch is used or the battery disconnected.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:15 PM   #108
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That is some carnage.

They were not cheap cheap hubs. I think it will be okay but it has me slightly concerned. At least it is on my front left right now.

Trac Box work well? I haven't tested mine yet.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:33 PM   #109
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Trac Box work well? I haven't tested mine yet.
PD command works perfect. Just make sure you get the right kind of switch. I got a momentary switch and had to replace it with a ON/OFF switch due to the fact that I ordered the TracBox with an ON/OFF command.
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Old 06-02-2020, 02:13 PM   #110
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I really enjoy your updates and videos.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:19 PM   #111
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AXLES

So let's talk about AXLES.

I've seen threads about axle failure being caused by lowering your car. I suspect it may be a false correlation.

As you can tell, my car is very low.

From the ground to the corner of the pinchweld and the body, I'm at 5" ride height in the rear(this is how it's measured per the GCR).


The OEM Axle I pulled off the car (That did NOT fail, but the boot got ripped) shows the Balls, Runner, Cage are entirely fine and only the grooves in the cup show scoring which I attribute to the axle doing a full race after spewing the grease out (lack of lubrication).




The important thing to note about this image is that this CV axle is stock from 2012. Has 87K street miles and a few track days - plus all of last years race season on it. Because it has the scoring on 1 side of the groove, it means I can relube/reboot it and use it on the opposite side as a spare.

The wear patterns show no sign of component failure cause by abuse, excessive axle angle - really only signs of lubrication failure.

I posit that our OEM axles fail when we lower our cars and that it occurs on the driver side inner CV more often - has more to do with heat more than with lowering. I would guess that lowering the car may cause the CV to produce more heat but how much is unknown and I suspect it's pretty small. I've raced FWD cars for over a decade and put CV joints through WAY more angle and abuse than what our CVs experience.

Where's the extra heat?

Lowering a car reduces the airflow that passes by the exhaust piping, the CV joint and the differential. Also, most lowered cars have another thing in common - aftermarket exhaust. With larger piping or different routing that puts the hot pipe even closer to the CV joint. Between the lack of airflow, the heat from the diff and the added heat from the exhaust piping - the OEM grease in the CV cup is overwhelmed, deteriorating and eventually failing to do the job.

Last night I came home with 2 used OEM axles from a pick and pull and proceeded to pull them apart to replace the grease. The grease on the OUTER CV was like new. The INNER CV grease poured out like a 50wt motor oil, was brown and totally deteriorated. I'm glad the cups didn't have any scoring. The axles that came off my car were similar - the grease on the outside joint was way better looking than the inside - I don't even feel need to touch the outside CV grease (but I did, of course).

So how do I overcome the heat?! Well - I kind of don't. Instead I do 2 things: 1) Use grease that handle the heat range and 2) allow the boot to breath and hot air to escape (keep the boot from ballooning).

Grease: I use the Amsoil Polymeric NLGI#2. Either the purple stuff or the gray "off road" stuff that has 5% moly in it.





Breather/vent:



Due to centrifugal forces and the angle of the shaft coming from the inner CV (angled upward), the grease doesn't exit the tube.

I used to run OEM or auto store axles when racing Hondas (unvented) and I always replaced their grease with the Amsoil grease and I never had axle failure from inadequate lubrication again. I should have done this when I converted the FRS into a race car - but here we are.... "learning".
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:44 PM   #112
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This is fantastic information. Thank you for sharing!
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