DtomRacing None
April 27, 2010 10:20 a.m.

Grassroots as a term gets thrown around a lot, and its hard to use that when you're talking about any level of 'pro' racing since just regular amateur type racing is expensive enough.

However we'll humbly submit this project for everyone's review. I define this as grassroots since we're on a definite budget (no semi truck stacker trailers), all the people involved are unpaid volunteers (ie abused friendships), and we all have other full time jobs (not running race teams).

We're updating on a fairly regular basis on the blog. To cherry pick the post of most interest -

We strip our 2006 BMW donor in 7 hours time lapse video. Time Lapse Video

More blog humor and what not here on the main site. We're also on FaceBook for anyone that would like to follow along! DTOMRacing.com

maroon92 SuperDork
April 27, 2010 10:38 a.m.

Hey, I am in Atlanta, GA. I could be an Abused friend...

Give me a PM, I may have a free weekend one of these days!

petegossett SuperDork
April 27, 2010 10:38 a.m.

Very cool, definitely Grassroots!

NYG95GA SuperDork
April 27, 2010 10:42 a.m.

That time lapse is really cool!

You seem to have pegged the Grassroots mindset in that:

No fancy stuff/big money.

Delegate jobs to unsuspecting bystanders/ one-time friends

Car still doesn't run until the last minute, then blows up.

DtomRacing New Reader
April 27, 2010 10:47 a.m.

Thanks guys. I'm not sure why it took so long to get this up over here. I've obviously got the magazine for years but typically stick to the more BMW-centric forums.

Maroon92 - be careful what you wish for!

We're currently on 'hiatus' while the cage is built at BimmerWorld. (We're cheap not suicidal). If anyone saw what happened to the BW #80 in practice at VIR you'll see that they know how to build a cage!!

nutherjrfan Reader
April 27, 2010 10:53 a.m.

just skimming thru' the link i'm liking it a lot. Formula 1 was fun for me as a kid, but as an adult it's just too unreal. IRL's jockey sized drivers! that's funny, you should read the Danica thread in off-topic. and, Donuts! mmmm. My idea of grassroots would be like the London-Mexico or London-Sydney as won by a Ford Escort and Hillman Hunter back in the good old days of motorsports I grew up with Irish rallying so I've spent many hours volunteering. I know there are beater rallies out there, but it's not the same thing. Keep up the good work.

1slowcrx HalfDork
April 27, 2010 11:48 a.m.

Very very cool!

there seems to be a ton of awesome grassroots style efforts in Grand Am this year.

Mike Skeen and the Bennett Racing Ferrari are very much a grass roots effort. I mean come on, the whole team is volunteer and the car was a street car.

Chris Prey and his Prey Racing boxter is about as grass roots as it gets. They pulled it to the track via a 1990ish Ford F-250 and had to sneak Chris into the track via a friends trunk because his pass had been stolen and they didn't have the money to buy both tires and a new pass!

alfadriver Dork
April 27, 2010 12:15 p.m.

It seems as if there are a few classes where a brand new, compact car that costs a reasonable amount would be competetive in the ST class.

I'm waiting for the next Focus to come out.

For those in SE MI, Larry Rehagen is an engineer here at Ford- I've worked with him in the past in his emissions cell. Never talked about racing, but I'm sure he would be willing to talk- that "rent-a-ride" article did mention him.

Great job on the car- hopefully, you can come up with a business plan so that your team can break even.

Eric

DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
April 27, 2010 12:25 p.m.

count me in! im up in Forsyth county, i dont mind turning a wrench!

Raze HalfDork
April 27, 2010 12:31 p.m.

If you need general wrenching or electronics / tuning help, I'm no pro but I've helped build and tune a MegaSquirt for our boosted track rat and write software for a living . I'm in Fulton County.

DtomRacing New Reader
April 27, 2010 12:40 p.m.

In reply to Raze:

Now we're talking. Our budget is mostly dependent on running the stock ECU and harness at the expense of HP. It has been done before, but that is the big unknown at this point.

We've seen the Rehagen boys before - we came in 3rd overall to them at the NASA SE 9hr enduro..... in a Spec E30!

BTW Grand Am from what I've seen does have some awesome grassroots teams. It is a good mix overall. We'll be doing our towing in style with a GMC2500 and tbd enclosed trailer... Clay (at BimmerWorld) said they'd frown on my open job...

Big Mike Skeen fans. We started in SE30 around the same time. In all fairness Skip's budget is a bit larger than ours and that car was an ex-Ferrari Challenge ride. Not the lowest buck spec series.. They did real well for a first outing in the GT class at VIR finishing 15th!!!

alfadriver Dork
April 27, 2010 12:51 p.m.
DtomRacing wrote: Now we're talking. Our budget is mostly dependent on running the stock ECU and harness at the expense of HP. It has been done before, but that is the big unknown at this point.

What's allowed?

Who has a decent ECU, and tuning tool?

There are some pretty easy dirty little secrets that we all do that reduces power to enhance durability....

As for data acquisition- what's your budget planned? And you need two types- one for the powertrain (tuning and maintenence), and one for the driver/car. Most of the recent GPS based driving ones seem to have taken out the raw data acq. Although, there are many now that will record OBD PIDS- which can be very, very useful.

If you budget is tight (read non existant)- a buddy of mine and I are putting together a pretty basic one based on this software- http://www.racechrono.com/

But I bet that a grand or so will buy the team a good enough one that has all the GPS, accelerometers, and inputs (including OBD) that you'll need.

(BTW, when you ask for the good ECU tuning tool, make sure they have hacked the exhaust temperature model)

Eric

DtomRacing New Reader
April 27, 2010 1:00 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

You have to use the Stock ECU (can be tuned / flashed) or a specific Bosch unit that is $$$. That is it in terms of options. The trick becomes getting the car to run w/o limp modes, etc when you start taking things out of the harness. For example the GS Audi S4 from APR (I think) found out at Barber that their car would go into limp mode if the ECU didn't 'see' the windshield wipers. To the kraut engineer it didn't seem safe to have someone driving at full speed with no wipers.... Fun stuff like that.

Data Acq will probably be the Stack stuff I currently have in my SE30. It is pretty robust, maybe one step down or so from Motec and I own it already! Traqmate is pretty awesome though in terms of what it can do.

DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
April 27, 2010 1:00 p.m.

we dont offer any BMW ECU tuning, but we will check our sources to see who does offer it. There is usually a limit you could do with ecu tuning. If i remember right, the Mk5 Jettas are only allowed to boost to 12psi and spike to 12.3 or something like that...

alfadriver Dork
April 27, 2010 1:07 p.m.
DtomRacing wrote: In reply to alfadriver: You have to use the Stock ECU (can be tuned / flashed) or a specific Bosch unit that is $$$. That is it in terms of options. The trick becomes getting the car to run w/o limp modes, etc when you start taking things out of the harness. For example the GS Audi S4 from APR (I think) found out at Barber that their car would go into limp mode if the ECU didn't 'see' the windshield wipers. To the kraut engineer it didn't seem safe to have someone driving at full speed with no wipers.... Fun stuff like that. Data Acq will probably be the Stack stuff I currently have in my SE30. It is pretty robust, maybe one step down or so from Motec and I own it already! Traqmate is pretty awesome though in terms of what it can do.

For the ECU- see if you can find someone that can sell you the tuning kit. I'm reading the rules now, and answered part of the question.

Really shop for the tuners- I've had some personal experience that there are some really gifted software writers out there that have hacked quite well into the systems (ours), but they don't actually know what to look for.

The one issue you will have is that Bosch will be in Bosch German- which isn't all that straightforward to read or comprehend. But IF you can find that, turning off OBD, and many of the other overides is pretty easy. And then finding the main calibration to make best power is generally very easy.

Good on the Acq system. Regarless of system, one can make any system work well enough (especially considering the restrictions in the rules on what you are allowed to take), and being familiar with a given system is really important (as you already know).

Eric

Raze HalfDork
April 27, 2010 1:07 p.m.

As far as faking sensors, piggybacking, intercepting and modifying signals, etc, I'm all about it, did that in my Cadillac Eldorado, talk about an OBD-II nightmare . Defeating even the best sensor driven system is all about system-of-system wrapper engineering...

alfadriver Dork
April 27, 2010 1:10 p.m.
Raze wrote: As far as faking sensors, piggybacking, intercepting and modifying signals, etc, I'm all about it, did that in my Cadillac Eldorado, talk about an OBD-II nightmare . Defeating even the best sensor driven system is all about system-of-system wrapper engineering...

You are WAY better off finding a hacker. not even close.

Especially since it's required that you remove the catalyst.

Raze HalfDork
April 27, 2010 1:35 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

I'd agree that an experienced BMW ECU recoding specialist who works for free and lives in the Atlanta area and who can donate their time when convenient for the team would be ideal...

I just offered to help with general wrenching and electrical and software, no need to jump all over me...

alfadriver Dork
April 27, 2010 1:55 p.m.
Raze wrote: In reply to alfadriver: I'd agree that an experienced BMW ECU recoding specialist who works for free and lives in the Atlanta area and who can donate their time when convenient for the team would be ideal... I just offered to help with general wrenching and electrical and software, no need to jump all over me...

Time to become skilled, then.

pigeon HalfDork
April 27, 2010 2:21 p.m.

I wonder if INPA (BMW's factory, windows-based OBD/ECU interface, easily available out there on the intrawebz) with a cheap vagcom KKL cable would provide enough ability to at least turn off all the unneeded sensors? I've been meaning to install the version a friend loaned me maybe I'll play around with that and see what can and can't be done.

alfadriver Dork
April 27, 2010 3:04 p.m.
pigeon wrote: I wonder if INPA (BMW's factory, windows-based OBD/ECU interface, easily available out there on the intrawebz) with a cheap vagcom KKL cable would provide enough ability to at least turn off all the unneeded sensors? I've been meaning to install the version a friend loaned me maybe I'll play around with that and see what can and can't be done.

If it's anything like ours, then, no, probably not. It would end up being a pretty big risk to allow any service tech to re-program the car like that. All they can generally do is add or take away keys.... (along with the sophisticated diagnostics...)

E-

DtomRacing New Reader
April 29, 2010 11:17 a.m.

For those of you on FaceBook follow along at:

http://www.facebook.com/dtomracing

Wally SuperDork
April 29, 2010 11:47 a.m.

If you are coming to Lime Rock next month i will probably be there friday if you need a hand.

DtomRacing New Reader
April 29, 2010 1:28 p.m.

In reply to Wally:

We'll see in you 2011. Still a 'little' left to do! haha

Couldn't get to post a pic. So you can see my avatar for the current 'status'.

DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
April 29, 2010 1:54 p.m.
DtomRacing wrote: For those of you on FaceBook follow along at: http://www.facebook.com/dtomracing

Joined!

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