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therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/11/16 5:39 a.m.

Copied from my other thread;;

I'm not really sure if the briefness reason should be split it into another thread but for now I will start it here at least.

I have always wanted to do real racing (road tracks), but where I live there is something like a 10-12 hour drive to the closest track with any racing series. So I never even really considered that. But a couple of years ago the people who now own the abandoned airfield where we do our track days, ran some company events with 6 hour endurance races for "scrap cars". That evolved into a cheap 4 hour endurance series with rules to keep costs down.

In the summer of 2014, when I had my Capri at the Motor Week event, some people I hang around with started talking about getting a team together for the races. I said that I would be in, if someone had a workshop and if the other people were serious about going racing. Since one of the guys owns a metal working company he could provide the workshop space.

During the fall we started to make the plans more in detail. The rules are strict, the car has to be available for 5000 SEK (around 600 USD) on our "Craigslist", maximum 150 bhp, no engine modifications, no forced induction, no coilovers and "road tires".

We made a list of available cars and tried to rate them on weight vs performance. Of course, things like Honda Civic CRX 16v are in a class of their own, but cheap examples are disappearing fast. We also had a limit on how far we could travel to pick the car up.

Eventually we had a number of prime suspects when we saw this listing:

"Grannys car is for sale", and I remembered that the Primera GT (Infiniti G20 in the US) got a lot of praise in the early 1990's. With 149 bhp it should be in BMW 320i territory looking at the power-to-weight ratio.

The car had a failed emissions test but we did some researh on the SR20DE engine and it seemed to be rather bullet proof so we took the plunge. The car was a good 2,5 hour drive away, not too bad. The two other team mates went off and I got a picture:

That meant we were on a roll for 2015, already in december 2014. And perhaps it's time for the next project thread.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/11/16 5:58 a.m.

The first thing to sort when we got the car home, was of course the running problems. No use turning it into a race car if it doesn't run...

Well, it idled nicely but would stumble and misfire badly as soon as it was given some revs. We googled for a fault code solution but could not find anything. Some Internet wisdom pointed at a leaking valve cover gasket, filling the spark plug holes with oil. But they were dry.

So, basics firs, compression (OK), new plugs. Now it would rev, but the test drive was disappointing - it started misfiring again.

The fuel rail has a rubber hose, making it easy to do the "redneck fuel pressure test" - pinch the hose with your finger. My calibrated fingers said we did not have 3 bar, rather like...almost no pressure. Disconnected the hose, pointed it into a bucket and hard wired the fuel pump. Not much flow there. Bypassed the filter, same story.

So we attacked the fuel pump. Nissan has been kind enough to fit an access panel under the rear seat so the pump was soon out. Not looking very nice though!

The filter is completely covered in black goo. Looking into the tank gave an answer...

The tank was full of sand! Also note the stack of food that some unidentified rodent (?) had left behind. We wondered, could someone have messed with the previous owner, and put sand in the tank? Seemed unlikely with her being a mature 60+ lady, but you never know.

Anyhow, we dropped the tank, flushed it, and fitted a Walbro copy pump. Doing that, it was pretty obvious that the filler pipe had been repaired before - it runs right through the rear wheel well - probably was rusted through and then road grime was free to enter the tank.

With a new pump the engine ran great. Success!

That sorted, we started stripping the interior and the cage fitment. We had our minds set on a pre-made kit but none was available. Apparently this car is not widely used in rally or banger racing in Sweden, so the only true mail order cage company had no templates. They would gladly take the var in for a one-off cage. But shipping a $600 car 12 hours didn't appeal much. Instead we found a local company that would make the bends according to our own templates.

The rules only demand a very simple cage but we opted for a little bit more, building it basically to our rally class "Group E" specification. It took time but turned out pretty decent.

In parallell, we had been trying to track down preformance parts. The racing series rules are pretty strict, you are not allowed to use "coilovers" (no adjustable spring platforms) and that meant finding aftermarket shocks was not too easy. The Nissan Primera P10 (or Infiniti G20 in the US) has a rather nice chassis setup with SLA front suspension and a McPherson rear. There were some shock options in the US, but few in Europe. Finally we settled on a Bilstein B6 kit front and rear, with "no name" lowering springs. The springs arrived quickly, but the shocks...more on that soon.

The "funny" thing is that these Bilstein shocks were more expensive than a Chinese coilover kit. So much for making a set of rules to keep costs down...

Gustaf

06HHR
06HHR HalfDork
4/11/16 9:31 a.m.

What are the odds I'd be doing the same thing with my fuel tank the weekend before you posted this. Wish my G20 was a manual.. Subscribed! Definitely will be following this thread with interest. TEIN Still makes lowering springs for these, about $170 a set on ebay. I used KYB GR2 as a replacement shock, about the same as a stock shock as far as price goes but I'm in the US so YMMV so far so good. I got a decent lowering with the TEIN/KYB combo, i'll can post a pic if you like for reference.

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/11/16 2:00 p.m.

Thanks! Height wise we are good with the "no name" springs but I think we'd ideally need higher spring rates, at least up front. Might have a look for the TEIN springs!

Edit; Found them at E-bay, and also a rating: Spring Rate (F) 151lbs/in (2.7kgf/mm) Spring Rate (R) 140lbs/in (2.5kgf/mm)

We have been advised by another G20 racer to look for around 9 kg/mm front and 7 kg/mm rear - but that sounds really stiff. The ones we have now are around 2 kg/mm (no scientific measurement). I would like to find something around 4-5 kg/mm to test with.

The Bilsteins seem to perform good, it was mostly the price that was the issue there. After all, they are tested on the Nordschleife :-)

I will update as soon as I have the time.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/12/16 1:13 a.m.

The first race for 2015 was approaching and we were still preparing the car.

When I was putting the dash panel back after fitting the cage I broke the wiper stalk. Doh. I could put it back together but it wouldn't work. So I went to the scrappers going through their stack of Nissans - no P10, and all the others had different connectors, or different mountings. Just as I resigned and decided to cobble something together using a P11 stalk, the owner (who I happen to know a bit) recalled that they got a P10 delivered just a day ago. "The old lady drove it here, it looks solid, I have no idea why it needs to be crushed" he said. The car was parked in the mess of new arrivals so I had to crawl in through the rear door to get the stalk. But it worked.

Now we turned our attention to the suspension. The left rear strut top was screaming for replacement.

Now, these strut tops are pretty expensive and most parts shop listed them as out of stock. The local parts storese were even more expensive and just as much out of stock. I almost went back to the scrapper before I tried another online store - mister-auto.se. They had them. At half price! Score.

Brakes turned out to be an issue. My initial research showed a number of race proven compounds, for the Infiniti G20. I almost ordered them until I saw the measurements. That does not look like our pads! It turns out the US G20 have different calipers than the P10's marketed in Europe. The G20 pads are the same (?) as the Nissan 200/240SX, but those calipers were only fitted to the European station wagons. And nobody seemed to know if wagon calipers were a bolt-on swap to the sedans.

Mintex 1144 and Ferodo DS3000 were the compounds I found that should work. But what to choose? With two weeks to the first race...

Meanwhile, the springs had arrived.

A 35 mm drop should be pretty good, not too much but still a bit lower. But just as we made the order, I stumbled upon www.motoiq.com and their G20 story. I spoke to the guy behind that car and his advise was; "Be careful of lowering springs that are not stiff enough and make the car too low. Nearly all lowering springs that fit stock perches are too soft for the ride height. On a P10 on street tires you probably want to runs something like 9kg front and 7kg rear. The front is sorta stiff due to a high motion ratio."

I roughly measured our springs at a measly 2 kg/mm... Well, at least we got some good hints on alignment specs.

We also had long thoughts about tires. The rules say "no R-tires" but there is no generic definition of that. Many series use a 200 TW rating but this series doesn't. So you really have to ask for permission to use a more sporty tire. So we were looking for true street rubber to start with. Hankook Ventus V12, Bridgestone RE002, Kumho Ecsta XS KU36, Yokohama Parada Spec2 or Toyo Proxes T1-R? The Kumhos are close to an R-tire though. In the end, our tire shop was given free hands. They ordered a set of Hankooks.

After a long trip around Europe our dampers finally arrived. Nice and yellow but do the rear struts really take inserts?

That does not look like a nut?

No, it isn't.

Three days to race day so we did not try to work around that. The rear dampers were not leaking, at least.

But where are our brake pads? The UK company who promised to deliver in time for the race suddenly stopped answering. Another company sent a set using express freight but with slim chances of arrival on a friday. We live in a smallish town pretty far north in Sweden, it has some downsides... Well, the forecast said rain, so we went to the local parts store and got cheap standard pads, two sets. One set should last two hours, right?

On Thursday evening we made the last adjustments. Extra brake lights in the rear window, new fluids, our new standard pads. And a wash!

The plans for Friday was to pick up the wheels at the tire shop, the start numbers at the signmakers and then head for the track and a short test session.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/15/16 10:32 a.m.

So, Friday came, and almost went. At 4 pm the tire shop called and said the tires hadn't arrived, and wouldn't arrive. "Sorry".

  • Well, we need to race, you have to have some 205/50-15's or thereabouts?

They would look, and I took the car up to the track for scrutineering on the old wheels it was bought on.

The tech inspection went fine and I explained the rubber dilemma to the inspector (who also runs the company on the old airfield, runs a car in the series and is a former tire man). We have some tires, he said!

That turned out to be very much appreciated, because our tire dealer had fitted a set of 195/65-15, Continental Eco-Contact. The softest tires I have ever seen (bar perhaps by M/T cheater dragracing slicks)! Now we got a mixed set, Pirellis and "Duro", but at least in 205/50-15 and reasonably stable shoulders.

The first track test showed oversteer and a distinct smell of fuel. Back to the pits to check tire pressures and look for fuel leaks. No leaks were seen but we suspected some spills when refueling. Out with the next driver, who came back complaining of fuel smell again. Now there was a puddle where the rear seat used to be. No obvious reasons so we let driver no 3 take a few laps just to see the course - then we would load up and go back home to do a real inspection.

When I drove the car onto the trailer, the brake pedal suddenly went to the floor. That is bad, I thought...

It turned out a front brake hose had burst (yes, they should have been swapped out, but...). At 8 pm on a Friday evening, the chances of finding a replacement felt slim.

We dragged the car home and while two guys started working on the fuel issue I inspected the brake hose issue. With banjo fittings on the calipers I had little hope of finding a leftover hose in my stash that would fit (never had a car with banjo hoses). But the banjo thread was M10x1 and I had some hoses with that fitting size - and I managed to cobble together a set that seemed to work. Success!

In the meantime the others had gotten to the fuel pump lid (suspected leak from our work on replacing the pump). But no signs there...

We still felt it could be resident fuel from the spill on refill so we took a chance and just tried to seal the body a bit better.

For good measure, we removed the fog light blanks to make some more room for brake cooling air. The discs were pretty hot already after 3 laps...

On Saturday morning we went back with the trailer and unloaded. An hour before the start we were asked to do a lap to check the transponders. Still fuel inside the car! And water rushed in through the cage bolt holes...

Now we had to get creative - driver no 4 in the "rear seat" and some careful turns in the pits. He reported of a solid stream of fuel coming in from one of the rivets holding the nice firewall towards the trunk. Doh. Someone had drilled the hole, not checking for the fuel tank under. The rivet was put right through the tank and that gave us a hole straight into the car.

We managed to drill the hole bigger and but a self tapping screw into the hole (plastic tank!). Now we had no more fuel entering the car, 5 minutes before the start...

The rain was still pouring down so we added duct tape around the cage feet and rolled up to the start. We had a spot in the rear part of the field and that suited me pretty good. I had a Renaul R5 in front and a 16V Golf MkI next to me. The Golf went away quickly but I hung onto the R5's bumper and had no problems keeping up with him. But I saw the cars ahead running away - on the other hand, we also opened up a gap behind us.

Some laps later I passed the R5 and then I had done my 10 laps so it was time to change.

The memory blurs a bit but in my next stint I was neck and neck with the Golf again, entering the hairpin. We closed in on a slower Saab and suddenly we were four cars in tight formation, running for the hairpin. I realised that I couldn't orient myself - where is the braking point? My gut feeling said "brake now" so I went hard on the brakes, full ABS and saw the Golf run right into the Saab as he turned into the hairpin.

I got passed both, and thankfully there were no injuries. Both cars even made it back on to the track.

We raced on but suddenly the car came in for an unexpected stop. Low on fuel, again?

Frequent refills slowed us down but we held 9th place (of 21 or so) and that felt pretty good. Towards the end we went a bit safe and I also took a shorter stint to let the fastest driver finish with a longer stint. The tactics worked out well, the team chasing us had to swap drivers with only 3-4 laps left so the 9th place was ours.

We did a total of 109 laps, the winner was on 123 or 124 so we had some potential for development there. But extremely happy with a car that ran the entire race, and only had a few encounters with the barrels lining some corners. That was completely down to a rather fierce oversteer - something needed to be done about that.

Slightly scarred car, but we were exstatic! Racing is fun, only 2 weeks to the next race of 2015...

Gustaf

ssswitch
ssswitch HalfDork
4/15/16 9:30 p.m.

I like this grille so much more than the G20. Looks like you're having a lot of fun with it.

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/16/16 12:57 a.m.

Yes, the fun factor has been great!

The first issue to tackle after race 1 was the fuel issue. We suspected that the pump would suck air, since we started having issues at 1/4 tank.

The standard fuel pump sits at a 45 degree angle and the filter has a kink to match that:

We used a generic Walbro copy, made for a "straight" pump mounting:

This means the filter points upwards. No good. But finding the right kind of pre-filter was not easy... We ordered some different versions and hoped for the best.

When the tank was taken down (again) we found more sand so we washed it through again - and then we saw more holes, from the over-enthusiastic driller... Aha, that may be why it over-steered! In the rain, it was impossible to spot a leaking tank, and with all the holes on the top side of the tank, it would only leak when fuel was sloshing around.

Next thing, brakes. We never swapped the bog standard pads during the race...

Time for a new set, perhaps?

The odometer says we did 270 kilometers during the race - is there a warranty on these pads? ;-)

We had some adapters made so we could fit the rear Bilsteins too, but we still needed better brake pads, and tires.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/18/16 4:22 a.m.

The pads we ordered for the first race arrived, Mintex 1144, decent price so we gave them a shot.

The 200SX wheels we had for the first race feels quite "closed" (lack of brake cooling air) so we ordered a set of 5-spokes from a junkyard.

Waiting for them to arrive, we swapped out all the brake hoses and fitted the new in-tank fuel filter;

Rear Bilsteins were in place:

The washer fluid bottle was moved too, it just to sit right in front of the right wheel, where we want nice airflow to the brakes.

Time for a test drive, it all seemed to work nice apart from some clunks from a rear wheel. It turned out one Bilstein insert had a bit of play inside the strut, we had to pack it out a bit with a spacer. I blame that on our tolerances in cutting the struts for the threaded adapters... Good thing, the third time the struts came off, so now it was rather quick work.

The wheels we ordered were suddenly "out of stock" but a friend had another set, so I bought them and we had the tires fitted, new Hankooks.

Ready for race number two!

Gustaf

jfryjfry
jfryjfry New Reader
4/18/16 9:52 a.m.

Great story - when's the next installment??

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/18/16 12:34 p.m.

Well, as usual (?) I'm playing catchup here, to explain the 2015 season. The 2016 season starts with race number one May 21st. So a few weeks to go...

But let's do a quick recap of race #2 in 2015. Now we had all 4 "regular" drivers (the first race only 3 of us could make it, so we had a body double jump in). It was cold and wet this time but we came better prepared with rain gear and some smarter storage to keep stuff reasonably dry in the pits.

The new track layout was tight, two hairpins that almost needs 1st gear. If had been driving the Capri where you can throttle steer it would have been easier.

Anyway, we were drawn as number 11 on the grid (of around 20 cars), maybe not too lucky with the tight first section of the track. But we put our "new" driver in the car for the start - he actually has some wheel-to-wheel racing experience. He did well in the start, the winner of the last race (BMW E36 compact) overtook him but he also managed to grab a place or two from slower cars.

I went out in stint number 4, and I think we were in 8th place then. I had a good time, overtook some and generally kept up, the car felt pretty good. But then the ABS light came on - scary, will I have any brakes? It turns out I did, just no ABS (and that had been nice in the wet).

After about 2,5-3 hours the track started drying up and our car started to understeer some, but we kept a 7th place to the finish line.

This time we were 5 laps behind the leaders. Our own analysis said that we did loose quite a lot of time in the pits - our driver changes were pretty slow, as was the fuelling. We didn't need to fill up as frequently this race. The better fuel filter and a tank without leaks definately helped!

The Mintex 1144 pads had some material left but would clearly not make another race, and we felt they would be marginal in a dry race. But hey, we had a car that was more or less intact!

I also had the GoPro along: https://www.youtube.com/embed/82OgXE8Om6w

We now had couple of weeks for next race and really only saw the need for some small fixes. Good feeling that!

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/19/16 9:02 a.m.

Small fixes, but still fixes.

Brake pads was most important, we had found that the pads for a Clio RS/Alfa 155/early Lancia Delta Integrale should be possible to modify, and we found an Italian supplier that could deliver quickly - a Ferodo DS1.11 compound that is rated as an endurance pad.

We built a new 2,5" exhaust with a race catalytic converter, and the largest parts store resonator where the rear muffler used to sit. Because racecar, and now it made racecar sounds!

The other issue was the camber. We used some advice from US G20 racers. The rears were easy, camber bolts sorted that.

Somewhere around 3 degrees negative is what we got.

The front suspension is tougher, the Primera has a nice sort of wishbone suspension, but it's not adjustable... There are shorter top links available, and expensive camber bolts for the top links. We did it the redneck way, shortened our top links (approximately 10 mm) and that gave us a little bit better settings up front. Toe was adjusted to around 20 minutes out.

Up next was the brake cooling issues. Because of the cramped area around the front upright, there is hardly a way to fix a hose to lead air into the disc center. So we decided to try an air scoop instead:

While I was at the local pub drinking Belgian beer, the team mates adapted the new pads.

I arrived at the track around 6pm Friday night, the others already started the barbecues and beers so I was given the task to bed in the pads.

The car looked rather nice in the evening sun!

We had a new track layout again, this time reversed direction and some sweeping S-bends after the start. We also had a looong left hander along the back.

Ready for the warmup laps, in the pit...

...and then on the track.

We had the same driver start as last time, since he proved to be capable of handling the traffic. Now we were 9th on the grid, in the middle of the field. We got a good start and managed to get alongside number 69 in their CRX - and suddenly they veered into our line! Some contact, and for a moment I thought we would both end up in the barrier. Probably it was more scary in the small Honda, it fishtailed quite a bit afterwards but all went well.

Soon it started to drizzle, and by accident we swapped drivers a bit early. That turned out to be pretty good since we had the pit to ourselves, it was a bit chaotic when everybody was in at the same time. But we advanced a position or two thanks to that.

The car felt strong, less understeer and the brakes felt fine - but the ABS stopped working again. I went out in stint #3, and the conditions were a bit diffucult - sometimes rain, sometimes dryish track. I had to let a couple of cars by but then we got stuck behind team Forslunds Volvo S40, and I had a light contact with the Honda when the Volvo braked harder than we thought. We lost an indicator light but otherwise nothing was damaged and it didn't impact our positions on track.

We stayed around spot 5-9 depending on driver changes and felt a bit hampered by slowish refuelling. When we were nearing the end another car got a long stop and go penalty (we had gotten two drive-throughs for some track marker hits), and then we moved up into 6th. We had the CRX in front and for a while it looked like we could catch them - the rain got worse and they were running Kumho KU36's that tend to be a bit slippery in the wet.

But soon we saw that it would not be possible, so we aimed for getting the car safely home and we did. 6th place and 122 laps, now only 2 laps behind the winners. We really felt we were on the right track here!

Some video if you have time to spend :-)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZVzWR8XLfbs

Now we had a break until August. The brake pads were OK, but we felt that we would need a new set of tires, and look into the ABS. Also we needed to do something about the fuelling stops...

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/20/16 3:27 p.m.

The danger with a break is that you postpone things. We left the car on the trailer for weeks and then we were too late ordering tires (or our supplier is just slow). So once again we had an issue with rubber. By now we had a number of part worn sets, so we thought we should be able to cobble together a working set. Rears don't wear remotely as much as the fronts, of course.

We swapped in new bushings in the front lower control arms, and new ball joints. Some alignment after that...

We didn't get exactly what we hoped for - I would have liked to try more toe out but we opted for not changing too much.

Then we put the car on the scales.

I don't recall the figures but of course it is front and left biased (standard battery, left front...). Some work on that is called for in the future.

Then we had a look at the vent tube for the filler tube. We had trouble filling up quickly, and the tube seemed clogged. So we opened it up...

Last thing was some styling. "In the dark, all cats are grey" - we had a bit of a hard time seeing our car out on the track - there are more grey 4-door sedans and the numbers tend to be obstructed. So we added some green!

As usual, the tire limbo continued. We had given our tire man some instructions; "put those tires on those wheels, and swap that for this". All well, and I went to pick the wheels up, only to find one of them flat?

Quick leak check, and sure enough, bubbles from the rim edge. He popped the tire off, and soon saw a damaged clinch (lip) on the tire. And suddenly one of the other guys working there ran off...

We didn't want to trust a repair or inner tube, so now we had issues. Where to find two decent 205/50-15's on a Friday afternoon? Then I recalled, I have a decent set at home, my old street wheels for the Capri. The Falken ZE-502's I bought back in 2001 or thereabouts. But I always liked them on track and they had pretty good thread left.

We got them fitted, hoping that they would hold up.

The weather forecast said sunny, and hot. Hey, if the old rubber has hardened enough from age, they may just work?

New track layout again, this time with some really, really tight turns. Great for a fwd car on old tires.

Same guy in the first stint again, this time from slot #6. We did a rather decent start and kept a decent pace. But we soon saw that we could not really keep up with the fastest cars so we backed off a bit to keep the car running for all 4 hours.

I went out in my first stint around place 8-9, it took some time to find the rythm but then it worked OK. And then we saw that the now on-blocked tank vent was leaking fuel...

But not too much, so we could go on. By the middle of the race, the heat started taking its toll on some cars. They either lost speed or went out. So we climbed slowly upwards, despite more refuelling stops again.

With 45 minutes to go, we were in 7th with Team Forslunds in their Volvo S40 ahead. Usually we are quite even with them, or a bit faster. But now their car was flying. At the second to last driver change, our fuel gauge was close to the red. Would we have to add a few litres in the last stop?

Our calculations said our last driver would only have to do 4-5 laps, and Forslunds swapped drivers just before us. But they refueled! Suddenly we were ahead and decided to take a chance on fuel. We still had not felt any hickups indicating a really low level...and when the hickups start, it will run for at least 10 more laps.

The gamble paid off, and we finished 6th again. More thanks to endurance and strategy than speed, but hey, that's endurance racing, right?

Some race highlights: https://www.youtube.com/embed/fG5jaLXg_xc

One thing I have omitted, is that second gear has been crunchy since race number 1. It wasn't getting any better, but not too much worse either.

Happy, but with some ideas for the last race of 2015.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/25/16 1:36 a.m.

Preparing for the last race of 2015 - now we had some sticky rubber, early enough:

Now we looked into the tank vent pipe. We fixed the blockage earlier but now we saw that the pipe had burst almost all the way. Replaced it with some rubber hose and pressure tested the assembly before refitting.

We also checked on the brake pads - the DS1.11 had been on for two races, and still had some meat left. But they had started to release some chunks. We could not find any more pads locally but swapped the discs, and found a lightly used set of pads on Ebay too.

No other big fixes, just some checks, fresh oils etc. and then we felt quite prepared for the last race.

Now the lottery tickets gave us a 5th spot on the grid, behind team Mayflower in their quick E36 320, who had 4Sign in their Astra GSi next to them. In pole position we saw the yellow Citroën BX 16v of Forsman motorsport (last years overall winner) who had Team Norsjö in their Renault R5 GTE completing the first row. We had the "rental car" (Celica ST185) next to us, and right behind us, JMS in their E36 318iS compact (overall leader).

Everything was aligned for an exiting start. We decided to play it safe and let Hans take the start again. At the wave of the flag, Forsman and Mayflower made a run for it, JMS tried to get between us and the Celica but there was no gap - they had to fall back. After the first chicane we were 4th behind Forsman, Norsjö and Mayflower.

Entering the second chicane Hans managed to roar past Mayflower and we were 3rd going ot out the main straight. After a somewhat awkward chicane it's a dragrace in 3rd and sometimes 4th before entering a sharp 180 degree hairpin. There we could accelerate past Norsjö and suddenly we were in second place.

Clearly the new rubber (and perhaps some changes in wheel alignment) did good for the Primera, now we were flying. A couple of laps in, 4Sign braked past into the hairpin but when they tried the same thing with Forsman a couple of laps later they overshot and we were back in second place.

Now we saw the greatest racing I have seen in years. Hans battled with Forsman only inches apart, always in a gentlemans fashion but really, really tight racing, all the way into the first drivers change. It seemed our car was fractionally faster but the Forsman driver made it impossible to pass. After their stint, both drivers approached each other to great one another for a great race.

We lost second place in the drivers change and went out 3rd, and almost followed 4Sign in a outbraking manoever again, and then Mayflower passed us. We managed to get by Forsman when Mayflower advanced and then got close to 4Sign when they were stuck behind a slower car.

When I went out I think we barely hung on to 3rd place but soon our gearbox started acting up, it was quite hard to find 2nd gear. It had always been crunchy and it wasn't getting any better.

In the next stint, second gear started jumping, you had to hold it with force on engine braking. Then we got a drive through for some fuel spill when refueling and it started to rain. We dropped down with the gearbox issues and were around 7th when second gear disappeared completely. First and third had to do, not the best way to get around a rather tight track.

At around 3.20 hrs into the race I went out in my third stint. 40 minutes to go, drying up but down a gear. In the first turns I heard a clunking noise from the front suspension, and the car felt a bit instable. Entering the chicane on the main stretch I was informed why - the right front wheel parted company with the car and bounced off onto the grass.

On three wheels I couldn't avoid all the barrels marking the chicace, so I lightly touched them with a fender, mirror and door. The wheel rolled forwards on the grass and I tried to keep the same speed, so I could catch it with the car it it should turn onto the track.

When I finally stopped, the culprit was easy to spot. All wheel studs broken...

This is after we removed the disc to bodge a wheel on, to get the car onto the trailer.

Before this race, we had a 4th spot overall but of course we couldn't keep that.

Why the studs broke is another question - the car is 25 years old and has many miles on it, nobody knows what the studs have seen. We do now that it took a loooong breaker bar to get the nuts loose when we got the car. They may well have been stretched.

Mayflower won the race, team JMS won the series. We were quite happy with the fact that our car was as fast as theirs in the best of days, and that our drivers seemed to be able to keep up somewhat.

Here is our in-car video on the start, and the sudden demise...

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_NOMyYUSJJw

There was also a more professional film team there. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/paeObttEp-c

Gustaf

jfryjfry
jfryjfry New Reader
4/25/16 6:53 a.m.

I would wager that the lug nuts came loose and the wobbly wheel broke the studs.

Glad you were ok and looking forward to the next race report!

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/25/16 2:30 p.m.

That's my thinking too. I found two of the nuts by the chicane, they still had the broken studs in them. But the two others may have come loose and then they snapped.

I will bring some updates (small ones) from the winter season, and the first race for 2016 is May 21st.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
4/27/16 3:06 a.m.

When the season ended, we didn't do much with the car for a good while. In November we went out to the scrapyard, to get some body parts from the white P10 we got the wiper stalks from. The indicent in the last race dented the right front fender badly, and we also felt that some extra doors would be nice. We also took a set of front calipers for spares.

Then one of our drivers remembered that a friend had a P10 standing, waiting to be scrapped. So we snitched that one!

It's a bog standard 2.0 115 bhp but the gearbox should fit, and the engine bottom end is supposed to be the same (both engines are SR20 derivatives). It should also offer front and rear suspensions as spares.

One night of stripping got us a bit forwards...

Then we had a break again - three of us in the team have caravans in the mountains for the winter season, meaning that the spring time is a bit cramped for time. But we took out the engine and transmission one night, and the other weekend we set to work on swapping in the "new" gearbox.

We really don't like working on fwd cars, but we got the old 'box down. The clutch did not look too happy.

Well, we had prepared for that, with a new set. We had no real clutch alignment tool and with no pilot bearing it is a bit hard. But we got close.

SR20 ready to accept another gearbox:

But first, some engine mounts. Three out of four was easy to find new, the remaining was either out of stock or stupid expensive. So we got three new ones, and had to keep one of the old - but all were prepped with some polyurethane.

Time to put the gearbox in. Only it didn't go in...not the last bit. After too much sweat we found the reason.

A dowel in both the engine block and gearbox trying to occupy the same space. With that removed, we tried again...and after more sweat, it was finally in.

So now we are up to date here - a couple of weeks to the first race and we have to fix some bodywork, top up on fluids, fix some brake pads. Probably we will also replace the standard rear brake proportioning valves with a VW Golf valve that will be made adjustable. The rules don't allow a limiting valve adjustable from the inside though, a pity.

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
5/11/16 11:09 a.m.

Now the first race is only a week and a half away! Time to get down to business.

Yesterday night we took some steps forward...

Startup, with fresh oil in the engine and gearbox. The eagle eyed might spot a small battery too...

It's a Lithium Ion battery for a lawn mover, from the local budget car parts store. Scary light (around 1 kg) and at just over 100 USD it's quite cheap weight loss. It started our car just fine a couple of times without flattening so I hope it should work. It's rated at around 24 Ah for a lead battery equivalent.

We also fitted the small steering wheel, some new rear view mirrors and the right fender. We need to swap some pads and discs and sort some minor issues but all in all, not too far away from being "race ready".

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
5/18/16 3:05 a.m.

We're approaching the first race...and another person questionned out battery choice. From the research I have done a normal car alternator (putting out above 14V) should be able to keep a battery like this topped up.

The battery is branded just as a "Lithium Ion" battery but should be a LiFePO4 type. It is sold by our low-price chain but seems to be similar to others that market it (for example some motorcycle shops).

Is there anyone here with experience from using these kind of batteries in a racecar - preferably endurance racing? It would be bad to spoil the race due to a battery failure...

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
5/27/16 11:17 a.m.

Well, the short report about the battery; it works!

The first race was last weekend, and the battery was fine. Although it does turn off if you leave the ignition on, strange. But the car ran for all 4 hours.

The lottery gave us starting position 11, second-to-last. So we had a long way up...

After a couple of stints we were hovering around place 5-6, on the same lap as the leaders. It was tight but we also felt that we really needed to drive at 10/10 to keep up. We managed some good (or decent at least) driver changes that actually at one time earned us a spot.

A bit later in the race some fast cars had given in and our 5th spot felt pretty safe. Same lap as the leaders still and 2 laps to spot number 6.

As the race was ending the tactics started. When do we have to make our last swap? We calculated that it would have to be done with only a few minutes left (rules say maximum 10 laps per stint). But we also decided to do as the car in front of us, who swapped drivers on the same lap as we did last time. That way, we would be even, under all circumstances.

One team felt they had swapped later so drove on, and took the checkered flag. But then the timing crew found that they had driven a 14 lap stint in the middle of the race, accidently. So they were penalized and that moved us up to 4th. Great result but not all our doing.

The car feels good but the others have found some speed in theirs too!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VJLkcNtWC90

Gustaf

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
6/8/16 6:34 a.m.

Allright, I continue the monologue and hope that some find it moderately interesting (or amusing).... :-)

We had not done very much to the car since last race. The spring is a hectic time and with only 2 weeks between the races time is short. We swapped some brake calipers, and got us some 17" wheels with fresh rubber.

Ending up at 4th place last time meant we were number 8 on the grid (reversed starting order, with the exception of new teams who were put in the back). Some of the fast cars were DNF's in the last race so we had them in front of us - but there were also some behind us.

Hans made another great start and won 3 positions on the front stretch and then passed TCR's Celica exiting the first chicane. On lap number 2 he passed Team Spisens E36 320 in the same spot and then we were 3rd after the Pug 306 of Allez Allez, and 4Sign in their Astra GSi. Tight racing once again and we entered the first driver change as number 3. Team Nordtrade in their Mitsubishi Colt GTi passed us and Allez Allez in the pits but we managed to get out in front of 4Sign.

The great racing continued and a couple of laps into the stint we could pass Nordtrade and hunt down 4Sign. It was really, really tight for some laps and unfortunately we had light contact in the hairpin once. But 4Sign led into the second driver swap, when it was my turn to take the wheel. 4Sign missed their pit stall and held us up for a short while but we still did a good change and went out as the leaders!

Now I felt the pressure. The track (new layout) had a blind left leading into a tight left, followed by an extremely sharp right hairpin. I had some difficulties getting to grips with those corners and had to let Puma Racing by in their Ford Puma, and then 4Sign also passed. I could regain that spot when 4Sign was trapped behind traffic in the hairpin though.

Then we all got stuck behind a new team in an old Opel Kadett. The car had no grip in the turns but was disturbingly quick on the straights. Hard to pass and the team sometimes seemed to think it was a demolition derby so the frustration grew. When we finally got by, me and 4Sign swapped positions a couple of times but we were in front of them for the next drivers change.

Our next driver had some bad luck in his first stint so we lost a number of places. Driver number 1 and 2 then made an heroic effort to regain the spots and they got us up to first place again. We held that for some time until Forsman Motorsport in their Citroën BX16v got by.

We had a really close call while passing the Kadett mentioned above, it was practially shoved sideways in front of our car. Our driver of course feels the Kadett swerved into him but it's hard to tell from the videos.

A little bit later Forsman had a moment passing another car, this time the Golf 16v of Team RR. The Golf ended up in the small trees (no big damage) and Forsman excelled in handling the French BX sideways and still keeping the lead.

The next driver swap was disaster for us, the belt buckle wouldn't latch and someone left the parking brake engaged. We hung on to second place but lost contact with Forsman. When I started my last stint we had a large gap to the leaders but also some room down to 3rd place. I focussed on not maiking mistakes while trying to keep a decent pace.

When I got the sign for a driver swap I also got the checkered flag. The watch I had used to keep track of the 4 hour race time had stopped a while so we were almost half an hour off...but made it safe into second place!

Extremely happy but the car has some damage that will take a couple of hours to sort. It also seems the front alignment is out of whack, something must be bent or torn. Next race is mid-August so we do have some time to work now.

Photos a http://calemotorfoto.blogspot.se/

Examples:

I also edited some video from our in-car camera.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/U2-QIxyuaiU

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FkafoEOT0-g

Gustaf

jfryjfry
jfryjfry New Reader
6/8/16 1:37 p.m.

Fantastic!

2GRX7
2GRX7 New Reader
6/8/16 10:47 p.m.

Very Cool!!! I'm definitely enjoying this!

therealpinto
therealpinto New Reader
6/9/16 1:21 a.m.

Thanks!

We're having great fun too. Just got the standings are two rounds in the league, we are third with 1 point up to second place, and 5 down to fourth. :-)

Gustaf

4Msfam
4Msfam Reader
6/9/16 1:26 a.m.

Great fun to read! Thanks for the updates!

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