1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 13
Rodan Reader
7/24/17 3:14 p.m.

So, I've been pretty pleased with the performance of the VVT engine in the NA, but I've had no real quantification of the results since it's 2hrs to the nearest dyno, and I just haven't had the time.

Since I've got the tune dialed in pretty well, it was time to start using a tool to quantify the results, so I downloaded Virtual Dyno.

VDyno uses the information from your datalog (essentially, time, RPM and throttle), and the parameters of the car (weight, gearing, coefficient of drag, tire diameter, etc) to calculate HP and TQ number and generate a graph. Stuff like this has always been kind of a mixed bag, but it's been widely reported on various forums that VDyno is a dependable tool for comparison, and thus tuning; and it also gives results pretty close to an actual dyno if used correctly.

So this morning, I went out and tried it out. One critical variable to eliminate is the road... it really needs to be straight and level. And you need to be able to run out a gear on it... 4th (1:1) is the ideal gear for this, but that's not realistic on public roads, so I used 3rd to limit my speed to ~80mph. I can get away with that on a 65mph road if I'm cautious. Of course, I don't have anything close that meets that description while being perfectly level. So I ran both directions to come up with an average.

The other issue I have is altitude. I live at 5000ft, which reduces power considerably. Fortunately, the software allows input of the barometric pressure and temperature, and corrects accordingly.

Now that you're sick of reading, here's the results (corrected for altitude):

VDyno 1st 7-24-17 corrected

Averaged out, I'm looking at ~134hp / 116tq... Now, I fully understand that a dyno is just a tool, and this software is the same. That said, the numbers are right about where they should be, given a stock 2001 NB is rated at 155 crank, so I'm pretty pleased!

And there's more on the table, since I've been tuning to 'safe' generic AFRs and timing... getting it on a dyno and optimizing things should see more improvement.

And now that I can start playing with this tool, I may be able to do some of that optimization myself. It's just cumbersome and time consuming to do it on the street.

Oh, also got the NB's title transferred into my name this morning, and filed the non-op paperwork so I don't have to insure it 'till I get it running.

Dashpot Reader
7/25/17 12:10 p.m.
Rodan wrote: Averaged out, I'm looking at ~134hp / 116tq... Now, I fully understand that a dyno is just a tool, and this software is the same. That said, the numbers are right about where they should be, given a stock 2001 NB is rated at 155 crank, so I'm pretty pleased!

Good stuff & great work!

Thought I read that the '01 NB was de-rated to 140HP when the hit the street? But all Japanese cars are rated "at the brochure" anyway, so please carry on...

Rodan Reader
7/29/17 6:25 p.m.
Dashpot wrote: Thought I read that the '01 NB was de-rated to 140HP when the hit the street? But all Japanese cars are rated "at the brochure" anyway, so please carry on...

You may be right... I just grabbed the 155 number off an old C&D article.

Finally finished preparations for FM's Summer Camp. Both cars have fresh alignments, and the NC has a fresh oil change. Both cars got a wash and wax, although the NC will be driving, so it'll just get dirty on the way.


NA is loaded in the trailer...


Even the truck got a wash, and the camper is loaded. Still have to pack the camper and load tools and tires in the trailer, but I think we're about ready.

The last time the NA attended Summer Camp was our first time, in 2012. We didn't run the track that year, so this will be the first time on the track at Summer Camp. I'm looking forward to it!

In 2012, it looked a lot different!

Miata Lizard Head Pass FM SC 12 track

Rodan Reader
8/11/17 9:31 p.m.

Overdue update:

As usual, Summer Camp was a BLAST!

FM are some seriously good people, and we really enjoy hanging out with them, and their customers for a few days. It all started at the track...

We got there the day before, and set up camp. It's nice to wake up in the pits and enjoy your coffee while everyone starts to roll in...


Things got crowded pretty quickly!


We ran the track two days, and this year we ran the track in its "correct" direction, clockwise. For the 5 years we have been attending Summer Camp, we've run the track in 'reverse' or counter clockwise. This, of course, required re-learning the track! Fortunately, we both got up to speed pretty quickly. The word from the expert (Keith) was that the track was very similar in times, regardless of direction. We found it to 'flow' slightly better, but it seemed terminal speeds on the straights were slightly lower.

Here's a track map:

It's a .9 mile go-kart track, and works great for Miatae.

My wife ran her NC, and was over 2 seconds quicker than last year, running the opposite direction. No changes to the car since last year.


I ran the NA, and don't have anything to compare to since the car hadn't been there before. I ran about a second faster than last year, but that was in the NC going the other direction...


According to FM's posted lap times, I ended up 7th overall, and the fastest naturally aspirated car. Pretty happy with that, considering it was the car's first time on track since the engine swap.

The NA ran like a top, and datalogs showed everything was as it should be. Highest CLTs were ~205F, which isn't bad considering the low average speed on this track. It definitely needs more spring rate, and running on 2 year old NT-01s probably cost me some time. Not to mention a couple of corners I was still trying to figure out...

Here's a quick one-lap in car video, with a short clip from the sidelines:


Not everything went perfectly... I think I need some new exhaust hangers. I ended up with some unintended bumper mods...


At least that was an easy fix... just a little 'clearancing' with a box cutter and it was all better.

After the track, the rest of the weekend was spent hanging out at FM and attending the various activities planned for the attendees, ending on Sunday with a cruise over the Grand Mesa and around the Black Canyon of the Gunnison river, both great driving roads. Monday morning, we set out early and made the trek home.

Already scheming on how to make the NA faster next year...

Rodan Reader
8/11/17 10:02 p.m.

All was not unicorns and rainbows on the trip, however...

On our trip cross country in May, I had started to notice some increased oil consumption on the tow rig, and by the time we got home, the underside of the truck, and front of the trailer were covered with oil...

After doing some research online, and some examination under the truck, I determined the source. The intake and exhaust side of the turbo were both clean and dry, so I eliminated that as a problem. The oil was coming from the crankcase vent overflow tube, which essentially dumps the oil on the road. I'm not sure how Dodge/Cummins gets away with this from an emissions standpoint, but there it is. The Cummins forums call it the 'slobber tube'. Apparently, blowby pressurizes the crankcase and pushes oil out the crankcase vent. Some of it goes through a drain tube back to the oil pan, but overflow goes overboard and the airflow under the truck spreads it everywhere.

I replaced the crankcase vent, drain tube and check valve, hoping these were the problem, as the truck seemed to run fine, and exhibited no signs of blowby under normal driving. The problem only presented with heavy loads at high boost for extended periods.

Unfortunately, the tow to Summer Camp and back proved that the problem was not only still present, but getting worse... power was off, EGTs were up, and it puked ~ 3qts in the 1000 mile round trip... All indicators pointed to a probable broken piston ring. The realities of a high miler, coming home to roost...

I had already been researching worst case remedies. Reman Cummins engines are $$$$! And unfortunately, due to the size/weight of the components, it's not a realistic DiY for me. With the cost of labor, I was looking at a potential $10k fix on a 14 year old truck that wasn't worth much more than that. And although everything else had been working great, at 240k, the next potential component failure could be right around the corner. I had hoped to get 300k out of it, but it was looking like time to cut bait.

So, why not spend a LOT more money??!!

With the plans we have for travel over the next few years, the idea of a truck still under factory warranty was looking pretty good. Also, my wife was never comfortable driving the rig with the manual trans, mostly because of the clutch effort. Fortunately, the automatic transmissions have come a long way, and are much better and more reliable than they used to be. In fact, the current Ram Cummins with the Aisin auto is rated at almost 50% more torque than the manual version.... And the new trucks are rated much higher for loads and towing as well. All good things.

After looking at a couple of disappointing used trucks, I decided the prices I was finding on 1-2 year old trucks were high enough that we were better off just buying new. It still gives me heart palpitations to think about what we just spent, since we've never spent this much on any TWO vehicles we've owned, but we brought the new rig home yesterday...

DSC_0968 DSC_0969

2017 Ram 3500 Laramie, Cummins, Aisin trans, 4.10 gears. Monster of towing monsters! Holy E36 M3 is this thing nice! I can't believe how far these things have come from my '04... of course the price does reflect that!

This should be a nice place to spend some time, and that's good, as we've got plans!

DSC_0972 DSC_0971

I certainly can't call it the 'tow pig'!!

Next step is to get the camper mounting hardware and hitch hardware installed, so we can get ready for the tow to Monterey for Miatas at MRLS...

Unfortunately, all this spending will prevent me from replacing the coilovers on the NA before MRLS, but I'll just have to live with that...

Rodan Reader
8/17/17 7:39 p.m.

So, the Superhitch and Camper tiedown hardware for the new truck have arrived, but I'm still waiting on getting the spray-in bedlining done. Have an appointment next week...

The owner's manual recommends 500 miles before towing to allow the trans and diff to break-in, and after that to load it up! Manual states the Cummins requires no specific break in, but will reach peak efficiency better if run with a load. I drove it to the nearest CAT scale (25 miles) to get axle weights empty, which put it over 500 miles, then I went and picked up the trailer, dialed in the brake controller and drove back to the CAT scales.

Empty truck: 8600(!) 5040F/3560R

Truck and trailer: 13060 4860F/4180R/4020T

So the trailer is 4460 empty except for the winch/battery, the weight distrubiting hitch and torsion bars, a roll of indoor/outdoor carpet we use in the pits, and a 10x10 pop up. It's a little lighter than I expected (I hadn't had the opportunity to weigh it empty). And exactly 10% is on the hitch empty.

Once I get the camper mounted, I'll hit the CAT scale again for axle weights.

After I scaled it, I took it on a little drive which included the nastiest grade local to us. With the trailer empty, the truck was just bored...

docwyte SuperDork
8/18/17 10:25 a.m.

Holy moly! The truck weighs 8600lbs!

Rodan Reader
8/18/17 11:21 a.m.

700lbs more than the 2004...

And the hitch, camper tiedown system and swaybar will add at least another 100lbs...

HonestSpeedShop New Reader
8/18/17 11:35 a.m.

our 93 super cab weights 8500lbs wet. Trucks arnt light!

Rodan Reader
8/18/17 11:47 a.m.

The outright weight didn't surprise me as much as the gain from 2004-2017, considering both are 4x4 crew dually diesels. But, I guess in the big scheme of things it's less than 10%... most cars have fattened up by 10% as well.

Rodan Reader
8/19/17 3:13 p.m.

Bolted on my Torklift Superhitch today... another 112lbs on the rear...

Rodan Reader
9/2/17 3:41 p.m.

Event photos from FMSC are in...

A bit of rain before the driver's meeting... FMSC17 Thurs 2

Wife diving through the chicane in her NC... FMSC17 Thurs 3

Serious business... FMSC17 Thurs 4

Or not! FMSC17 Thurs 6

Actually, the above was her first time driving the NA in several years, and first ever time driving it on track. The seat position is fixed, and it's too far back for her, so I need to make some modifications before MRLS next month.

I'm not a driving instructor, but I did... no wait, I didn't stay at Holiday Inn... FMSC17 Thurs 7

And finally, the NA through the chicane... FMSC17 Thurs 1 small

All pics in this post are by Travis Ingram, who does the event photos for FMSC. Super guy, and great photog to boot!

Rodan Reader
9/2/17 3:49 p.m.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working mostly on the truck to get it ready for our trek to Miatas at MRLS next month. Hitch, camper tie downs and Stable Loads are installed. I'm still waiting for the sway bar to show up, and I'm working on getting my video rearview system installed. I made some changes from how the screen was mounted in the '04 truck, which required fabricating a bracket.

I'm close to finishing it, so I should have some pics this week. After the mounting bracket is finished, I just have to run the video cables.

The NA won't be getting any big changes for MRLS, just a good checking over. I do need to flesh out the tune for full throttle from 80kPa to 100kPa. That's been impossible to do living at 5000ft, and Grand Junction was close to the same altitude, so I couldn't do it while we were there. I've extrapolated the current map, but I'd at least like to do some logging and ensure I'm in the ballpark before running at MRLS, which is at sea level. It looks like I'm going to tow the car down in the desert somewhere at lower altitude to get it done. Unfortunately, I'll have to go very early in the morning to avoid scorching hot temps... yay!

Rodan Reader
9/7/17 7:51 p.m.

Made an MRLS tailpipe extension for the NA today.  Miatas at MRLS is a 103dB weekend, but we'll also be doing the Trackmasters day on Friday, which is a 90dB day.  I'm pretty sure the NA will make it, but I got black flagged at MRLS at a Keith Code Superbike school on a totally stock ZX6R school bike, so I want to be prepared...

Sure is ugly, but hopefully will cut a dB or two if we're just over the limit... cheeky

DSC_0991 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr


Rodan Reader
9/7/17 7:57 p.m.

Also installed a rear sway bar on the dually...  should help a lot with the camper loaded.  It did on the last truck.  Of course, what should have been a 1hr install ended up taking most of the day due to fitment issues.  Hellwig needs to update their fitment for the newer trucks.

Hellwig 'Big Wig' with stock NA rear bar, just for laughs... 

DSC_0989 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I had to extend the endlinks to keep the bar from interfering with the exhuast...

DSC_0990 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

DSC_0993 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Rodan Reader
9/13/17 11:37 a.m.

Final step in getting the truck ready was installing the monitor and cabling for the rear view video system.  In the previous truck, I had a mount for the monitor that allowed it to replace the standard rearview mirror, but that wasn't going to work with the new truck.  After a bit of experimentation, I decided to mount it to the coin tray on top of the dash.  It was a convenient place to run the wires, there were existing mounting points for the dash center trim, and it's visible, without blocking outward vision (well, I can't see the passenger side windshield wiper anymore).


DSC_0986 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

DSC_0984 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I ran the video cables through the factory knockout for the clutch master cylinder.

DSC_1006 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

They connect to the monitor harness under the center console, and the harness runs behind the factory HVAC and radio screen up through the coin holder.

DSC_1001 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

And it's done!

DSC_1007 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr


In other news, some asshat hit my trailer in the the storage yard...

DSC_0203 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

From the looks of things, they drug their motorhome mirror down the side of my trailer pulling through the next spot over while that trailer was gone.  I'm hoping most of it will rub out, but it still really pisses me off.  What was even more annoying was the total lack of give a E36 M3 by the storage yard owner. angry

On the Miata front, got some cool parts on the way, hoping they arrive in time to get installed and sorted before MRLS...

Rodan Reader
9/21/17 3:10 p.m.

So, lots going on getting ready for Miatas at MRLS...

Last week, I trailered the NA to the nearest spot that was reasonably close to sea level for some tuning.  Living at 5000ft only allowed me to tune up to a certain MAP, which was OK for our run to FM, as they're at around the same altitude.  MRLS isn't...   So, it was around a 100 mile pull to get to 1200ft in an area where I could drive and tune the car without lots of traffic around.  

Also last week, I installed these:

Xida by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Five years ago, I bought VMaxx suspension for the NA.  I knew I wanted better suspension, but the VMaxx fit the budget at the time, and they were a decent compromise.  And, unlike most "cheap" coilovers, they were actually developed by FM for the Miata application (at least the ones you buy from them).  The truth is they're pretty darn good for the price, and I still think they're a great bargain.  Mine will be going on our NB eventually.

All that said, the NA needed a more track focused setup.  After 5 long years, the stars finally aligned, and the budget was there for the 'good stuff'.  I spent a long time debating between FM Fox and 949 Xida, but eventually went with the track focused choice.

I've been dialing in the ride height over the last few days, and will be aligning the car on Monday.  So far, I'm amazed at the compliance, considering the spring rates (800/500).

Also came across a used Racing Beat header and flat top manifold last week.  I'd planned on these down the road, but with the rarity that they come up for sale, had to jump.  They'll be going on after MRLS... just don't have time to install and re-tune before.

RBnFlattop by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Rodan Reader
9/26/17 10:19 a.m.

Got the ride height set, and the oil/filter changed over the weekend; yesterday I had the car aligned to some new numbers for the higher spring rates.  It's just about ready for MRLS.

One of the other projects on the list was an accurate H2O temp gauge.  Anyone who's owned a Miata knows the stock gauge indicates cold, operating temp, and blown head gasket...  and it doesn't move off 'operating temp' until it's past 'blown head gasket'.  Even though data logs indicated no issues at FM Summer Camp in 90+ deg weather, I knew the sessions at MRLS would be a LOT longer, and a lot more time at full throttle.  Since I didn't get around to installing a temp gauge, I wanted to do something.

Enter MSDroid... an app that allows you to use some of the Megasquirt functionality with an android phone... including displaying live data in the form of a dashboard.  It's fully configurable, and can use either bluetooth, or a cable connection.  I ordered up a cable from EFI Analytics, and some RAM mounting hardware, downloaded the app, and got it running this morning.

MSDroid1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr
MSDroid2 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I've got it set up to display H2O temp on a large gauge, and the small bar gauges are for X/Y acceleration (uses the phone's accelerometers), MAP and RPM.  Not sure I'm going to keep that stuff, but wanted to play with the accelerometers.  The app will datalog, and I think it would be pretty interesting if it will datalog the acclerometer data...  I don't have high hopes, as you can see from the image the numbers it was displaying from the vibration at idle.  Hopefully, steady state cornering will be better.

Oh, I had just started it cold, thus the rich AFR, in case anyone was wondering...

Also over the weekend I cleaned up the header...

DSC_1017 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I was hoping for better, but it's probably going to get wrapped anyway...

10 days to MRLS... laugh

Rodan Reader
9/28/17 7:22 p.m.

Finally loaded the camper in the new truck today... compared to the old truck, it drives effortlessly... laugh

17wlance1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Also rolled it across the CAT scales... first time I've gotten an accurate weight on the camper... 4350lbs with 2/3 fresh tank, and empty black and grey tanks.   Double the weight of my NA!  surprise

Rodan Reader
10/11/17 12:25 a.m.

So...  Miatas at MRLS 2017 is in the books.

It marked several firsts for us.  Though I had ridden MRLS several times on two wheels, this was my first time in a car.  It was my wife's first time at MRLS, and on a 'real' racetrack with traffic.  It was also our first trip with the new truck.  And it all went pretty darn well! laugh

MRLS is right at 700 miles for us, and though it's a long day, it's better than breaking it into two short days.  So we pulled out at zero dark thirty Thursday morning.  A bunch of burnt diesel, a little too much junk food, and around 13 hours later, we pulled into MRLS.  I couldn't get my wife signed up for the novice group both days for the Miata weekend, as it sold out in something like 7 minutes.  When a Friday trackday was announced, I got her a spot in the novice group so we would each have two days driving... her on Friday and Sunday, and me on Saturday and Sunday.

There was an AMG event going on Thursday, so we didn't have access to drop the trailer in the paddock, and had to drop it in another lot before going to our campsite.  This minor annoyance was followed by not getting the campsite we had reserved (in January!), but a different smaller site.  Of course, no one from Monterey County Parks was on site...

In the morning, we broke camp, hooked up the trailer and drug it to the paddock, unloaded the Miata, and then took the truck/camper back to the campsite...  PITA, but at least we were done moving things 'till Sunday night.  Quite an array of hardware in the paddock for the Friday trackday!

ACR by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Ultima by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

And whatever this guy is doing, he's doing it right...

RS3RS1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

RS3RS2 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I wasn't driving on Friday, so I got to watch my wife play all day.  Here she is strapped in and ready to go...

Brandie1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Typical novice day:  two sessions of lead/follow, and then one with an instructor.  I rode along for the other sessions.  Soon enough, we were wrapping up and headed back to the camper to clean up for the evening festivities.  I stopped at the entry sign for a photo op.

MRLSSign1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

That evening, we drove into Monterey for a car show/ BBQ put on by one of the weekend's vendors, and to register for the event.  Parking was a E36 M3 show, then we stood in line for a while to register.  By the time we got to the food, they had run out of meat.  We bailed and went to In-n-Out for dinner, then Cold Stone for dessert, gassed up the Miata, and headed back to the camper, where we promptly passed out from exhaustion!

Rodan Reader
10/11/17 12:52 p.m.

So... Saturday morning, it's my turn.  laugh

While my wife was driving on Friday, I had run MSDroid on my phone to watch what was going on, and run a couple of data logs.  The VVT motor wasn't missing a beat, and everything was well within the green.  Throughout the weekend, the highest water temp it reached was 191*...

Saturday morning, I set the tire pressures and went out for my first session.  I only really got one clear lap... lots of traffic, but the car was running great and felt fast.  I picked up some speed during the day, enough that the brakes started to become an issue.  With all the different projects getting the car, truck, trailer and camper ready, I had neglected the brakes.  I'm running stock 1.6 brakes with SS lines, good fluid and Hawk HPS pads.  They had always worked great, even on the track in Grand Junction.  But they weren't up to MRLS...  Had I been thinking, I would have upgraded to HP+ before the trip, and that would probably have been sufficient.  As it was, on faster laps braking into T2, T11 and the corkscrew was getting interesting...

Best lap of the day was 1:54.5.  My goal for the trip had been to break into the high 1:40s after looking at some Spec Miata times, so I had quite a bit of room for improvement.

Couple of Saturday pics:


ChrisT4small by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

The green car behind me was running a Honda K series swap, and I pointed him by between T4 and T5.  We had just finished working our way past the gray NC.  Surprisingly, the K swapped car would pull a little on the straights, but I always caught up to him in the corners.  More on that on Sunday...

Diving through the Corkscrew

DSC_1221 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Full paddock on Saturday!

PaddockSat by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

The parade laps at lunch went long and put us a full session behind schedule in the afternoon.  Though the car was running great, I skipped the last session to spare the brakes a bit of abuse since we were both driving on Sunday.

Rodan Reader
10/11/17 5:36 p.m.

Sunday was pretty hectic with the car out in two groups, and adjusting harnesses in addition to all the other between sessions stuff.   I had picked the brains of a few folks, and realized I was carrying the wrong gear through a few sections and made some small line adjustments.  I immediately picked up a bunch of speed....  the brakes were starting to be a bigger issue.

Me in T3

ChrisT3small by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

All of Saturday and the first session Sunday, I had tried to be considerate, and lined up mid pack for the session.  After having to get point bys from most of the cars lined up in front of me in the first session Sunday, I said screw it and got up front.  I ended up being the 3rd car out, the car in front of me being the K swapped green NA from Saturday.  2nd lap out the front car went off at the exit of T4 and it was me and the K car.  We had a great session, with me right on his ass until he finally pointed me by, and then he pretty much stuck right on my ass.   Like Saturday, I was faster in the turns, he had more on the straights.  Much fun!  I went and found the driver after the session and we had a nice talk about the cars, the traffic and various strategies on track.  Then it was back on track with my wife.

My wife had to start over with the novice group, including the initial lead/follow session...  that didn't go well.  The instructor was running completely different lines than she was shown on Friday, and completely different from anything I'd seen around the track...  most drivers I know don't like going deep into the marbles before turning in.    It also turned into a huge conga line as the different groups merged into one after a couple laps.  After talking with the organizers, they let her go out with D in the next session, then move back to E to skip the 2nd lead/follow.

D gave her some good experience in pointing faster cars by, but she was also picking up speed...

Wife in T3

BrandieT3small by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Wife in T6

Brandie T6 small by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Me in the Corkscrew

MRLS17CorkscrewSmall1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I later checked for lap times, and discovered I wasn't getting any times.  By that time we were into the lunch parade laps, and all the event staff were nowhere to be found.  I later discovered the battery in my transponder was dead.  Great...  I ended up downloading a GPS based lap timer app to my phone, and was able to get it running.

This time, I got out first.  I had been picking up speed all day, and it was time to try for a time.  Got through the warm up lap, and got a good drive up the front straight, but caught a straggler at T2.  He didn't point me by (mandatory for passing in our group) until after T5, killing my drive up the hill to T6.  Once through the Corkscrew it was clear sailing and I got a good run into T11 and up the straight... 1:55.2.  But now I was on a flyer... no traffic, I was nailing my marks and going fast.  My shift points were telling me I was carrying more speed through the corners, and all was great through the Corkscrew and into Rainey.  And then it all went wrong in T10... trying to bleed off speed, trailbraking toward the apex, and the back stepped out.  I couldn't catch it and around we went.  Both feet in, and backwards into the gravel.   Oops. cheeky

Well, so much for the fastest lap of the day.  LOL

After getting pulled out of the gravel, I took the car back to the paddock, jacked it up and made sure there was no damage, and got the gravel out of the brakes.  A quick drive around the paddock shook out most of the remainder, then it was time to get my wife in for her next session.

She was still picking up speed, but was tired and her lines were getting a little ragged.  She still got her fastest lap (2:05.8), and her first ever point by (three of them) in that session.

I elected to call it a day at that point, discretion being the better part of valor.  I spoke to the K swapped driver again later in the day.  He told me he was able to get a 1:51 with a minor slowdown for traffic, so I'm pretty sure we were both knocking on the 1:40s...  Something to shoot for next time... wink

We loaded the trailer, and brought the camper down from the campsite to pick it up.  Fortunately, it fit in our campsite, so we were able to keep everything hooked up for an early, pre-dawn departure.

MRLSTruck2 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

All in all, a fantastic weekend, and a great experience, especially for my wife having never been to Laguna Seca.  The car ran perfectly all weekend.  The new truck did an awesome job, and is a much better place to spend many hours on the highway.  

Now, time to do something about those brakes...


Photo credit:  All on track photos in this post were taken by gotbluemilk.com, the track pro photog... great job!







Rodan Reader
10/21/17 12:44 p.m.

Well, the dust from MRLS has settled, and it's time to get back to work.  Next project on the NA is the header and intake manifold....

I wanted to minimize heat under the hood, so I bought some quality header wrap and stainless ties, and spent a few hours carefully wrapping the header.  And then I did this:

DSC_1313 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Though the upper primaries turned out great, I just couldn't a good wrap around the collector that would stay tight.  I just couldn't stand it so I tore it all off and drove the header 100 miles to Phoenix to get it ceramic coated.  Should be done next week.

Meanwhile, I found a great price on Amazon for a Skunk2 throttle body.   While any performance gain from these is debatable, and they have their own QC issues, it solves a known problem with the stock throttle body:  under repeated high rpm usage (track), the pivot rod on which the throttle plate is mounted can fail.  When it fails, it usually cracks at one of the holes for the throttle plate screws, launching the screw through the engine.  Not good.  Some folks have successfully epoxied the screws, but this seems a more permanent solution.  And it might have a slight performance advantage... maybe.  cheeky

Throttle body:

DSC_1315 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Of course, the TB is slightly larger than the opening on the manifold...

Manifold marked... outside edge of sharpie mark indicates how much material needs to be removed.

FT pre port by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I used an HF electric die grinder with a carbide bit, then a sanding drum after the rough cut was made.

FT ported by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

I'll install both when the header comes back from coating...


Rodan Reader
10/21/17 12:51 p.m.

On the NB front, I'm really debating where to go with it.  I know where there's currently an NB2 engine I can buy, but right now I'd much rather spend the $$ on a brake upgrade for the NA.  But it's hard to pass up a good engine deal... decisions, decisions...

In the meantime, I confirmed that the engine was seized... I'm unable to turn it with a breaker bar on the crank.  I pulled the plugs, which looked pretty normal, and ran a borescope into the cylinders and didn't see anything obvious.  No oil on the dipstick, but I drained the crankcase and got ~2qts out of the pan.  No water, and no metal...  Coolant was old but not horrible.  I pulled the radiator, fans and airbox for now.  I'm going to continue to get it ready to pull the engine/trans.  After the drivetrain is out, I'll probably stick it back in the yard for a while.

I'm really interested in getting a look inside the engine...


Rodan Reader
10/26/17 9:19 p.m.

NB is finally getting prepped for the engine pull...

NB 10-26-17 1 by Rodan AZ, on Flickr

Just about everything is unhooked... just a few more things to get ready.


1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 13
Our Preferred Partners