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New Team, New Car Build. '88 200sx V6 - OR


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Definitely. Very easy to get distracted and chase bells and whistles. Thankfully I have been able to race a miata once a year for the last 4 years, and it really snaps me back to reality. It changed my perception of what a "race car" needs to be for this kind of series. As far as mods it has spec miata coilovers and a torsen, and that's it. So basic and yet we've had a reasonable amount of success with it. 

 

I also find that getting back to the track for a race or track day helps to switch focus back to car prep that *needs* to be done instead of extras.

 

Still happy to have the lap timer though 😁

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OMGgggg   Drove the car to work today, thought about racing all day at work, then drove the car up to PIR for track night. Car made it through 3, 20 minute sessions, and drove home an hour. 

Hello,  I've been racing with LDRL for the past few years at PIR in my friends Miata, and Chumpcar before that. Unfortunately, I had an irresistible desire to punish myself by building and owning a

Good discussion guys.  Mender I'm not sure if you were asking for my spring specs or Morganf's.  Here are the stock spring specs anyway. Cut & pasted from the forum so thats why the colors are goo

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Minor updates: 

 

I'm happy to report that my handling problems have been mostly resolved! Don't know if it was lowering the car another inch, significantly increasing caster, significantly increasing front camber, taking out the rear toe-in, or all of the above, but man the car drives the best it ever has! It really feels like its on rails, although driving it on the road isn't much of a test right now. 

 

Along with dialing in the alignment and straitening the steering wheel I've also:

 

Installed rear extended wheel studs and ordered new spacers (right now there's only spacers on the front for clearance to the strut)

Installed a front tow strap

PUT STICKERS ON! 

Rolled fenders more, since the car is lower I've noticed how darn close the fenders are to the tire

Looked at putting on brake cooling air deflectors

 

Best thing is that there's stickers on it now so it looks more like a race car on my commute to work, instead of just an 80's pile of junk with a lightning bolt on the side. 20200703_204540.thumb.jpg.e7e99197cd2a590d226e4eb6fd7ef8ba.jpg

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Track night JULY 31st!!!!!!!!

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Consider ducting air from the front.

Definitely will soon. I only have a few pieces of 2.5" brake duct hose, probably not enough for real ducts. I do have these Porsche 911 brake deflectors that a friend gave me, thought they'd be quick and easy and provide some benefit. Though before an endurance race I think ducts will be necessary. 

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Just now, Max said:

Definitely will soon. I only have a few pieces of 2.5" brake duct hose, probably not enough for real ducts. I do have these Porsche 911 brake deflectors that a friend gave me, thought they'd be quick and easy and provide some benefit. Though before an endurance race I think ducts will be necessary. 

I have a bunch of pieces of 2.5 hose I can give if you are at a race I am at.

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1 hour ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I have a bunch of pieces of 2.5 hose I can give if you are at a race I am at.

I'd appreciate that but I'm unlikely to make it outside of the Pacific NW. Not a popular area for champcar 😔

 

Rest assured, I'll get some brake cooling figured out before race day! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

OMGgggg

 

Drove the car to work today, thought about racing all day at work, then drove the car up to PIR for track night. Car made it through 3, 20 minute sessions, and drove home an hour. 

 

Wins for tonight:

Completed track night with no major mechanical problems.

Did not have to call wife to come pick me up. 

 

Cons:

Didn't hit my 1:3x.xx lap time goal (1:41.8). 

Not as fast as I was in a spec miata (1.36.1 best). 

My friends 16 year old son may have beat my time in the Miata I used to drive at his first track day 🤦🏻‍♂️

Total circus, insane traffic, 2-3 clean laps all evening. 

The car has so many handling problems I don't even know where to begin, it's low on grippy, very locky uppy, very 1 tire firey, suspension is very loosey goosey, darty under brakey... 

 

More to follow. I need to collect my thoughts and narrow down the problems with the car and focus on the main contributors to the lower-than-expected performance. I suspect not-4-year-old RS4's, stiffer rear springs, less aggressive rear pads, and brake ducts would all be helpful. 

 

Takeaways from tonight should really be that the wins far outweigh the cons. Freaking finally got the car on track that I've been building for 1.5 years and it didn't break down, and it drove home. I can't overstate how thankful I am for that. 

 

Pics and videos to follow! 

 

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Great first day out! I agree with the need for new tires. We tested our car in May on some nearly bald 1 year old tires and she was all over the place. I was trying to pin down whether the oversteer was worse than the understeer and what may have changed over the winter to kill the handling. Andrew said “it’s the tires, don’t touch a thing, at Nelson it will be good”. So we did just that and with sticker tires at the race she handled great!

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16 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Great first day out! I agree with the need for new tires. We tested our car in May on some nearly bald 1 year old tires and she was all over the place. I was trying to pin down whether the oversteer was worse than the understeer and what may have changed over the winter to kill the handling. Andrew said “it’s the tires, don’t touch a thing, at Nelson it will be good”. So we did just that and with sticker tires at the race she handled great!

Exactly!

 

Do the engine, etc break-in and general troubleshooting with old tires but don't tune the chassis on them. 

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On 8/1/2020 at 6:48 AM, enginerd said:

Great first day out! I agree with the need for new tires. We tested our car in May on some nearly bald 1 year old tires and she was all over the place. I was trying to pin down whether the oversteer was worse than the understeer and what may have changed over the winter to kill the handling. Andrew said “it’s the tires, don’t touch a thing, at Nelson it will be good”. So we did just that and with sticker tires at the race she handled great!

 

You're probably right about this! These tires will need to be used only as emergency spares.  Didn't think it would make that big a difference having old tires... but when you think about it all of the handling problems would be less-bad with good tires. 

 

On 8/1/2020 at 7:06 AM, mender said:

Exactly!

 

Do the engine, etc break-in and general troubleshooting with old tires but don't tune the chassis on them. 

 

Successfully broke in the 240,000+ mile original engine with no trouble 🤣 hilarious, engine was excellent! Chassis... might do some tweaks before the race, but I see your point.  I'll comment more on the handling specifics later, I think some things do need to be addressed in addition to new tires. 


For now... the video!  First crack at editing, not so good at this.  Not good at recording either, as my go pro only got the first session.  The later sessions probably weren't any better though. 

 

 

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Adding some information to the handling problems I experienced:

 

Understeer:

Overall the car seemed to not have much grip.  In the mid speed corners (Turns 4,5,6, and 12) i was limited in the throttle I could give it by how much I wanted to understeer off the other side of the track.  I think that the solution to this problem is to 1. get new tires and 2. increase the rear spring rates.  I think the front rates are much much higher than the rear (because of my scientific bounce test), so I just may leave the front of the car alone with the exception of getting new tires. 

 

Braking:

I mentioned right after the track day that it was darty under braking, I'd like to revise that description a bit.  The pedal feedback was basically non existent, and lockups came without warning, front and rear.  Seemed very difficult to recover from lockups.  From the pedal feel it was hard to tell if I was braking good or locked up. I emailed hawk about this to ask if there's anything I can do.  I have two damn near new sets of hawk blues for the race in October, so it would be a huge bummer to switch compounds at this point.  The rep is really helpful. He suggested that I bleed the brakes, test it again, then give him a call.  I'll do that even though the brakes were just bled, but I'm not going to get to test at the track again before race day so "testing" might not help. The brakes began to howl at the end of the session (17:46 of the video).  I know race pads can get noisy, but is this okay?  I didn't notice a change in brake performance from beginning to end of the session, it seemed equally bad the whole time 🤣 I know I need to implement a cooling solution.  To summarize, the brake zones were basically terrifying and I never felt like I knew what it was going to do when I pushed the pedal.  Eventually I just decided to take it easy in the brake zones and brake at 550' on the front straight instead of trying for 450' or 400'.  Normally in the miata I've been able to do 400-350' reliably.

 

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Spinning inside tire:

Turns 1, 2 and 7, are pretty low speed, and spinning the inside tire was prevalent.  Eventually I had to just coast through turn 1 because the throttle was useless, and in turn 7 I started using 3rd gear instead of 2nd to keep the inside wheel spin down but it was still bad.  That also made me question the clutch, as I was not sure when the inside rear stopped spinning and the clutch started slipping.  Never knew the clutch was slipping before, but I *think* it might have been around turn 7.  Solution here is 1. get new tires 2. get a new clutch 3. get an LSD.  I won't be able to afford an LSD anytime soon, so it'll be welded or open diff for the first race... Gonna have to think hard on that one before deciding. 

 

Body Roll:

The suspension was pretty darn loose feeling.  Like I said before, I think I'm going to leave the front alone.  The rear springs feel way too soft, so I'm going to increase the rear rates in some fashion before getting back on track.  I scored last week at the junkyard and found a Z31 with Eibach springs which fit rear suspension perfectly.  I might still have to cut them to get the correct ride height but I would be starting with a 225 lb spring instead of a 155 lb stock spring. 

 

Summary:

Understeer - Get new tires

Brake lockup - Get new tires, bleed brakes, add cooling, hope for best?

One tire fire - Get new tires, think about welding diff

Body Roll - add eibach springs to rear, trim for ride height

 

Will follow up with my junk yard adventure and some talk about brake cooling soon. 

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I’ve never heard of hawk blue being “too grippy”, the issue here is tires being too un-grippy!

No comment on the howling, except that if you are in between “cold” and “race temp”, pads get noisy. With your crappo tires, you weren’t taxing the pads enough to heat them into race temp range.

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Yeah I was thinking the same thing on pads, sounds like you aren’t getting them hot enough. Try tires and see how they do. I have never been a fan of hawk blues but that’s just me. They are always noisy from what I remember. There are much better pads to choose from for endurance racing. 

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Guys, I really appreciate the feedback. Again I could really be chasing issues when the biggest one was using old hard RS 4's, so that's definitely a possibility. 

 

I never considered the brakes not getting hot enough, only felt guilty that I hadn't addressed brake cooling yet. Thought they were closer to catching fire than they were you not being hot enough 😆 If I reduce the weight of the car, will that help my situation? Maybe not since the lighter the car, the higher speeds it'll be braking from. The car has an easy 100 lbs to lose before race day.  The compound probably isn't ideal and i can definitely switch, but would like to use the hundreds of dollars worth of pads I already have if possible 😄 

 

What would disconnecting the brake booster do? Just tell me if the booster is what's causing the lack of feedback?

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You are going to have no issue building heat in the brakes on race day, keep duct work on the list

Disconnecting the booster could help decide whats up with the brakes, it should reduce sudden lockup if its over-boosting.

Lighter is always better.

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25 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

You are going to have no issue building heat in the brakes on race day, keep duct work on the list

Ehh.. depends on the track and the car. We ran for years without any brake cooling and didn't have issues. Also tracks affect this.... go to Nelson Ledges and I bet you won't have brake overheating issues!

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We used Hawk Blues at Portland and I liked the feel of them. I didn't find them to be very temperature sensitive, felt good with pouring rain one day and hot sun the next. We have power bakes and they worked well, light pressure with good feel without being overboosted. No brake ducting at the time.

 

I noticed a big difference when we switched to ST-43s, more prone to lock-up and not very good release. We ran the Blues one day and the ST-43s the next at our local track. There's a dip in one of the corner entry zones and the inside front was very easy to lock-up with the ST-43s, and I had to get almost completely out of the brakes to get the tire to hook up again.

 

The day before with the Blues, it just took a slight reduction in brake pressure to get through the spot with a quick squeak from the tire then back on the brakes, much easier to modulate and the tire rehooked immediately.

 

I doubt that the Hawk Blues are causing issues, in fact I would consider putting Blues back on to sort out a new braking system because of what I consider to be pretty linear performance and no bad habits. I think your braking issues are elsewhere. 

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12 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

You are going to have no issue building heat in the brakes on race day, keep duct work on the list

Disconnecting the booster could help decide whats up with the brakes, it should reduce sudden lockup if its over-boosting.

Lighter is always better.

 

Is it common for people to change the booster size? I've never thought about that. 

 

9 hours ago, mender said:

We used Hawk Blues at Portland and I liked the feel of them. I didn't find them to be very temperature sensitive, felt good with pouring rain one day and hot sun the next. We have power bakes and they worked well, light pressure with good feel without being overboosted. No brake ducting at the time.

 

I noticed a big difference when we switched to ST-43s, more prone to lock-up and not very good release. We ran the Blues one day and the ST-43s the next at our local track. There's a dip in one of the corner entry zones and the inside front was very easy to lock-up with the ST-43s, and I had to get almost completely out of the brakes to get the tire to hook up again.

 

The day before with the Blues, it just took a slight reduction in brake pressure to get through the spot with a quick squeak from the tire then back on the brakes, much easier to modulate and the tire rehooked immediately.

 

I doubt that the Hawk Blues are causing issues, in fact I would consider putting Blues back on to sort out a new braking system because of what I consider to be pretty linear performance and no bad habits. I think your braking issues are elsewhere. 

 

You could be right, seems like I have to exhaust other causes before condemning the pads (especially tires).  I realize they're not the best, but it's what I have.  There's not a huge amount of options for this caliper.  Hawk only makes the blue and the HT-10.  I found another race pad that fits, may have been porterfield, at about 2x the cost.  After I use up these pads I may look into a front brake caliper upgrade to Z32, Q45 or wilwood dynalite so that I have more options.  That's a project for another day though. 

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15 minutes ago, Max said:

I may look into a front brake caliper upgrade to Z32, Q45 or wilwood dynalite so that I have more options

 Look into Z33 copies on rock auto, they bolt on in place of Z32 calipers and have different leading/trailing pistons (more surface area&better pad wear then z32) Not sure how they work on smaller rotors but worth researching.

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16 minutes ago, Max said:

After I use up these pads I may look into a front brake caliper upgrade to Z32, Q45 or wilwood dynalite so that I have more options.  That's a project for another day though. 

If you decide to upgrade, remember that you can change the feel of the brakes by changing to calipers with a different piston size. Same for front to rear balance.

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1 hour ago, enginerd said:

No. Keep it simple. 

 

That's always what I want to hear!

 

1 hour ago, Team Infiniti said:

 Look into Z33 copies on rock auto, they bolt on in place of Z32 calipers and have different leading/trailing pistons (more surface area&better pad wear then z32) Not sure how they work on smaller rotors but worth researching.

 

Will do, good to know.  I don't know what a z32/z33 upgrade is going to look like on my brakes because the rotors are a real limiting factor.  They are the bolt-on type and I'm not aware of any upgrades unless I convert the spindle to s13 and hub to s14 so they can receive 5 lug slip-on rotors.  Not sure how compatible the small thickness of the rotor is with calipers meant for thicker rotors. I know that wilwood has a range of rotor thicknesses, and my rotor thickness does not fall under any ranges.  

 

1 hour ago, mender said:

If you decide to upgrade, remember that you can change the feel of the brakes by changing to calipers with a different piston size. Same for front to rear balance.

 

Definitely.  In my experience putting bigger calipers on an s13 required a larger master cylinder.  Probably also shifted the brake bias to the front, but I'm not so sure that's a bad thing for what I'm doing. 

 

Thanks for the help guys. 

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Junkyard fun.  Scored on my trip to the junkyard last week.  Found a Z31 with eibach springs, rear Z31 lowering springs are usable on the S12 but not the fronts.  The Rear is where I think the spring rates are too low, so I'm going to put these bad boys on and trim as necessary for correct ride height.  They are 225 lb/in vs. the stock rear springs around 160 lb/in. They are progressive unfortunately, but I'm hoping they still work better. 

 

Next I found a part on a Z32 that I thought was interesting so I picked it up.  They are brake air deflectors.  Never knew Z32's had them.  They might not be super effective but I may end up using the hardware for other brake cooling solutions, as they will clamp right on to the tension rod.  These do look very durable even if they're not super effective. 

 

Third item is a super duper clean PS cooler from an xterra.  Just looked too good to leave.  My PS did boil over during one session so I might throw this on before race day to make sure i don't make a PS fluid mess. 

 

All of these cost $40!

 

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Speaking of Power Steering.  I fought a leaking PS line for a while, replaced the O ring over and over with no success. OEM lines are definitely not available anymore.  Kept leaking from the fitting, and I didn't want to be the guy that brought a car with a known oil leak to drop all over the track.  So I decided to make my first SS line with AN fittings.  Had to stack washers because the fitting wanted to bottom out in the rack before it was tight.... then the slip-on end for the PS reservoir did NOT want to slip on... After struggling with it for an hour, I got the hose over the barb and clamped it down as hard as possible.  I probably should have gone with the next size up of line 🤦‍♂️ Surprisingly there's no leaks and this looks to have been a total success.  I left the line long because I plan to add a cooler. 

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