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Discussion Starter #1
WE'RE OFF.

Season started for the OVR last weekend. The car was close to where I wanted it. For this season the front springs have been upped from 500# to 650#, and from 6" to 7". I would still like some longer springs by maybe 2 inches, as these come loose under full droop, but I would need shorter sway bar end links to make that work. So that's on the menu. In the meantime I could maybe use helper springs, but I'd rather keep it simple.

Still on the same Bridgestone RE-71R's from last season, as they seem to be wearing really well. The last set I had didn't last as long; perhaps that means I'm learning not to over-drive the car.

I've been running in the SMS class for the past 2 seasons (Street-Modified Street tire), but switched to the new XS (Xtreme Street) class this year. The rules are 90% identical, but the XS class is nationally recognized, where SMS is a regional class.

I went into the first run of the event with all the same tire and damper settings I used last year, but heading hot into the first chicane, it got all kinds of sideways, so it became clear that wasn't going to work. After run 1, I cranked the rear dampers all the way to zero, and backed them off about 5 turns. Final time: 50.084

Second run was much more under control, with the softer rear end, and getting some heat into the tires. However I smacked the wiper switch trying to catch a skid, and the wiper arm broke off on my GoPro mount, sending it onto the pavement. Final time: 48.839

Third run felt great, and was my fastest of the morning session. Leading the class thus far. Final time: 47.882

First run after lunch break having retrieved my wiper arm, I lost a half-second somewhere. Final time: 48.367

Came back for run 2 with my fastest time of the day. Final time: 47.835

Last run of the day, I REALLY wanted to get into the 46's, so I pushed really hard - and as you do, lost time. Final time: 47.979

First place XS, 47.835. Second place, 2003 SpecV Sentra, 48.800. Third place, MINI Cooper S, 49.900

Video of the 2 47.xx runs, with another in between taking a look at the left rear to see if it was lifting (it appears it is staying mostly on the ground):


A couple of photos from the event:

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Next weekend is a double-header event, Saturday and Sunday, so there will be lots of time to mess with the setup and really dial things in.

GOALS FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON:

More weight reduction
Raise rear ride height a little
Get better rear springs
Single-exit exhaust
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Double-header weekend!

Saturday: cold and rainy. They designed a really fast, flowing course, but nobody could hold on. I don't think I've ever seen so many DNF's in one event. The timing lights at the finish line were hit by 3 DIFFERENT CARS. Only 6 runs per driver, since we had to stand around waiting for the timing system to reset so many times. And we were still on course until after 5pm, where we're normally done by 3 with 8 runs per driver.

Only 3 drivers entered in XS - myself, a HEAVILY MODIFIED 2013 Audi Q5 3.0T Quattro, and a C7 Corvette Grand Sport.
  1. DNF - missed a gate
  2. 57.436 -Clean, but slow.
  3. DNF - lost the rear end in a slalom, blew a big 360 across multiple groups of cones and killed the engine in spectacular fashion
  4. DNF - Later on in the afternoon; track was dry so we were pushing hard. I missed a gate early on and DNF'd the run, so as I completed the lap, I decided to push some more to get a feel for the dry limits, and blew the last turn - bullseye-ing the timing light at the finish line. Punted it a good 20 feet across the lot.
  5. 54.945 - Clean and much better.
  6. 54.352 - Final run was a little quicker, and my quickest of the day.
I figured the Quattro would have the upper hand with probably over 300 HP and AWD, but that wasn't the case. I finished first, the Corvette 2, and the Audi last. The Corvette driver actually put in a quicker lap than mine at the end, but a cone kept him behind in the end.

Final results:
54.352 Roush
54.901 Corvette
56.669 Audi Q5

I did take some video, but it's pretty shameful. So here's a photo of the car in the wet:

80725


Killed lots of cones, spun out once, and almost spent more time sideways than forwards. All in all, pretty terrible driving day. 2/10, would not bang.

30th of 77 raw time, 44 PAX time
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
SUNDAY!

Much better weather - 70° and sunny. Much larger field - 8 drivers in XS. Same course, only this time in reverse.
  1. 52.065 - Exploration lap
  2. DNF - Started pushing hard right off the line and ended up blowing a slalom
  3. 50.921 - Beginning to get a rhythm, and finding a little time
  4. 50.530 - Backing it up, and sitting in P1 at lunch break
  5. 54.038 - 2 seconds from hitting a cone on top of a pretty lackluster time anyway
  6. 50.855 - Still can't match my morning session
  7. 50.565 - STILL
  8. 50.408 - My personal best for the day, but not fast enough to catch the leader
The car is moving around A LOT; really light in the rear, even with the dampers dialed to 0 and the pressures dropped to 35. It was on the limit of grip all day. I'm going to have to find some way to settle this thing down. Stiffen up the front a little more, maybe? The front dampers are dialed up to full firm, and the springs are firmer than previous seasons. Thoughts?

VIDEO: the Gopro Quik desktop video editing suite is even more terrible than I had imagined. Not only can you not export any clips longer than 60 seconds, and you have to manually remove their awful music track and self-serving outro clip, you also can't add GPS overlays from the newest camera. So I had to edit this clip on my iPhone using the GoPro mobile app, and eat up a ton of storage on my phone for a bunch of video that never should have to be there.

The GPS data isn't terribly accurate, but I think it's kind of interesting. Hopefully they get their software working someday for the camera that they are selling to people...


Final results:
  1. 49.647 - 89 Prelude (that I'm not sure meets the 2500# minimum weight requirement for XS-A, but I'm not gonna be that guy)
  2. 50.408 - Roush
  3. 50.577 - 93 MR2 turbo
  4. 51.407 - 03 Sentra SE-R SpecV
  5. 51.742 - 05 WRX STi
  6. 52.478 - 05 WRX STi co-driver
  7. 53.002 - 08 WRX STi
  8. 54.296 - 16 Fiesta ST

Some really good competition; should be a fun season.

20th out of 70 drivers, raw time; 31 PAX time

Here's a video of my final run:

 

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Battery relocation should help some.
I also wonder if the stock toe arms might actually help to push the grip limit a little further as they flex into the turns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Yeah hopefully I can take care of the battery thing before the next event, which is in mid-July. By then I'll be able to get the new Trubendz single exhaust in, swap ends with the battery, pull the rest of the EGR hardware, and probably swap all 4 wheel bearings out. Maybe take my spare broken sunroof assembly and look into gutting it all out and try to get it mounted in without all the hardfware.

If you're going to track your car regularly, probably a good idea to invest in a bearing press because you're gonna need it...

EDIT: you have me thinking about rear toe now. I don't remember which way it goes, but I know that setting rear toe either in or out will cause the rear to rotate violently; maybe I need to go the other direction with it and see what happens. What's the point in having adjustable arms if you're not going to use 'em, right?

EDIT EDIT: setting rear toe OUT will promote rotation. So I might go a half-turn IN on the rear and see what happens.
 

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do you have a video of where you lost it? in your first video if your watch your hands you made a big turn and it slid.

go pro tip. i know it seems counter intuitive but turn off the image stabilization. it will keep it from doing the pan and scan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
YES I figured that out eventually. My old GoPro doesn’t have image stabilization so I never had to deal with that before.

I do have a video of the spin; I’ll upload that tonight. I spent all weekend catching skids.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK here's the spin footage. You will see I DNF'd the run at about 0:30, and then at 0:50, it ALL. GOES. WRONG.


I can't get over the horrible noises the engine made while it died. It's terrifying.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
it didnt look like you were doing anything too out of whack. its hard to tell but you were on throttle when this happened? what is your ride height to the center of your wheel arches?
I can't really tell exactly, but it seems like I would have been just starting to get back on the throttle a little, since the right/left immediately before the spin was a little hard and I would have backed off a bit for that.

My ride height is a little higher in the front than the rear, actually; I'll have to measure it. I've been meaning to raise the rear a tiny bit, but last time I was in there I couldn't get the perch to move on the strut, so I didn't feel like messing with it; I'll probably have to remove the strut to really get it broken loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm getting right around 25.25" on both ends, measuring right across the hub center.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A few photos from the Saturday wet run -



 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Event 5 was yesterday! (actually it was only the 4th event because event 1 was cancelled).

Anyways, upgrades to the car since last month are the new Trubendz single-exit exhaust, and a little more weight reduction (removed a few more interior panels and the rest of the EGR hardware). I also made a slight rear toe adjustment to alleviate oversteer.

Forecast was calling for rain all day, but as luck would have it, there was only about 5 minutes of light sprinkles, and not even enough to get the pavement wet. Otherwise sunny and beautiful.

7 entries pre-registered in XS, but only 5 checked in; a lot of pre-reg drivers stayed home because they thought it was going to rain, I guess. Still, 5 is a good turnout for a brand-new class with a super high PAX modifier.

As usual, most of the XS entries are the "didn't read the rule book before modifying my car" crowd, so there were only 2 of us driving "honest" XS cars, and I finished second this day (well, the BRZ was an honest XS car, but it wasn't the driver's car, it was borrowed). My buddy Pete showed up with some brand new tires on his Sentra, and he was SMOKING. Even as I dialed out my oversteer with the rear alignment, the dreaded front-wheel-drive push came back, so there was one really bad corner on the track where I NEEDED more rotation and wasn't getting it, so I was losing a ton of speed in the push, instead of getting through the turn and back on the throttle. I think that's what killed me this time. Fortunately, I've spent months trying to dial that down, so I've got a LOT of adjustability in the other direction to balance it back out. So the never-ending struggle continues...

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These are just a couple of the shots from the weekend; I think there were at least 4 different photographers there, so there will probably be more to come.

Video of my personal best run of the day, 39.6 seconds:


Final standings: #30 of 78 Raw time, #45 of 78 PAX time. #2 XS group.

XS group results:
38.922 - 2003 Sentra SpecV
39.682 - Roush
41.846 - 2014 BRZ
43.869 - 2011 Honda CR-Z
44.297 - 2016 Fiesta ST

Plan now to have new 8" wheels and new tires for the next double-header weekend on August 15-16
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I also wonder if the stock toe arms might actually help to push the grip limit a little further as they flex into the turns.
After some study, I think it's just the opposite. The stock rear toe-control arms flexing would cause the wheel to toe OUT a little, which promotes rotation, not grip. So I'm certain I'm better served with the solid tubular arms and heim joints for my application.
 

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After some study, I think it's just the opposite. The stock rear toe-control arms flexing would cause the wheel to toe OUT a little, which promotes rotation, not grip. So I'm certain I'm better served with the solid tubular arms and heim joints for my application.
Yeah, I suppose thats right...The tires would tend to try to continue going straight. We would need some sort of active outside force to push them into the turn.
Ford's concept was probably that oversteer was safer than understeer, or maybe easier to recover from.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think Ford's idea was that if you're cornering hard enough to flex the links, then you would probably appreciate a little toe assist. It wouldn't do it under low speeds because there aren't enough g-forces, and not under braking because the rear end would be light. So it only happens in fast, hard, steady-state cornering - in other words, when you really mean it.

I remember the first time I ever really noticed it after buying my car. I was on a cloverleaf, pushing, and there is a definite SHIFT in weight back there when the flex happens. It's like VTEC for turns.
 
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
DOUBLE-HEADER WEEKEND.

First event running the new 8" wheel with 245 tires, and it was a wet one.

80876


SATURDAY

Only 4 of us registered in XS this time. The air-cooled 911 was going to be trouble, as the driver usually finishes in the top 3 times of the day in his other car - a GT3 - so he can wheel. Otherwise there was an 86 that has been running in Street class all season and now is in XS, so I'm not sure what he's done to the car since last time, and a highly modified FIAT 500 Abarth whose driver doesn't have a lot of competition seat time.

First run group was damp, and I DNF'd my first pass feeling out the course. The 911 turned in a 46.4. As the track dried a little, my second run was solid - a 48.0. The 911 driver coned his second run, and I followed with a 47.1, so I was less than a second off the lead at lunch break. The 86 was 4 seconds back, and the Abarth broke a ball joint, so it was a 2-horse race. I was pumped to come back in the afternoon and make another effort.

Well, that wasn't going to happen. Afternoon runs were in full-on monsoon conditions, so the 46.4 had to stand. Deleted air conditioner means I also have no defroster, so visibility was... a challenge. Second spot today.

Overall finish: 25 of 67 Raw time, 33 PAX.

Some wet video:


You can hear the tires let go as soon as I get hard on the throttle, at the end of the first slalom.


SUNDAY

4 entries on the books, but only myself and the 86 from yesterday arrived, so it was an uneventful afternoon. Rain was in the forecast, but the day started out dry and hot. I worked the first heat, and after watching the times come in, I estimated that I would probably start out in the 44-second range and eventually get into the low 43's or maybe a 42 by the end of the day. I came out of the gates with a 42.811 though, so I was hoping to hit a 41.xx before it was all over.

Second run I found a tenth, for a 42.751, and followed that up with a 42.401 - but that would be my fastest time of the day. After that the times just kept creeping back up: 42.544, 42.675, 42.675 (again!), 42.808, and I badly mangled my last run of the day for a 43.071. The 86 finished with a best time of 43.956. First in class today to top off a solid points weekend. Pretty sure I've clinched first in XS for the season at this point; the only guy who regularly gives me a run for my money was in Kansas this weekend for the RallyX nats.

My best run of the day:


Overall finish: 21/58 raw time, 31 PAX. The car really seems to like the extra tire; it was exceptionally well-balanced this weekend, so I have some more driver mod to do to catch up with it.

I bought an external microphone to try and alleviate the awful wind buffeting, but can't get it to work with my GoPro yet. So hopefully I can figure that out soon. Next event in 2 weeks!
 
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