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irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 7:14 p.m.

Took a few minutes to bolt everything up loosely today to measure overall travel (since everyone loves the "stuffed" photos), without the springs in. This is with my largest diameter tire so as to check clearances (basically, the stage rally size, which is larger than the rallycross/street/winter tires)

So, full droop. This should be about 1/2" or so more than stock droop, based on my measurements with the other suspension set.

And full stuff, lifting the car's weight. Obviously it'll go a bit further if there is an impact load (with no spring) but in a functional sense I doubt it would be able to. Will also have to measure how much compression the 12" springs have before bind, but I expect it to be more than the overall distance so bind should never be an issue. 

With the wheels turned about halfway (jack was in the way of full lock) there's about 1/4" of clearance on the fender lip, or a shade more. The only time I could see the car hitting absolute full compression would be landing a large jump, in which case the wheels would be straight anyhow. This is about 1/2" more compression stuff than the previous setup and I never had any rubbing with that, so don't think it will be an issue.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/24/20 7:58 p.m.

Finally got the springs in, late today. They look like they went through WW2 on the way, and the box was almost totally split open (berkeley you FedEx). Luckily the coilover adjuster wrenches in there with the springs somehow didn't fall out....

Installed on the coilovers;

And all bolted up on the car

Here's the clearance to the tire, so looks like I should be able to put some longer springs on if needed (still need to check them with the rally wheels/spacers since those have a slightly different offset compared to the street Euroweaves)

Due to other obligations, I only had time to quickly run the car up the street. Initial impressions are that I literally cannot feel anything on the pavement (cracks, bumps, etc) at slow speeds. Very smooth, but overall on slow-speed maneuvering not much different in feel from prior - of course the main difference I'm hoping for is in bumpy terrain, but will have to wait for that (may try to find an under-repaving road or something tomorrow, since gravel or rough roads are pretty rare around here.

Initial setup was with essentially no preload (just enough to keep the spring from rattling at full droop), and it looks like that puts the car roughly at the height I want it at. I may or may not add some tender springs so they fully unload under full droop, but we'll see. My measurements of coil gap shows that it'll be pretty close on absolute full compression as to whether there is any bind. Another option may just be to do 14" springs instead of 12" to get some additional bind gap. I don't expect it will be an issue for rallycross, and with no stage rally for the rest of this year I have time to make that determination better. In any case, happy with the setup so far.

Side note, at this ride height I measured right under 1/2* negative camber on the driver's side and 3/4* on the passenger side (which is sitting about 1/2" lower at the moment). So once I get it corner-weighed and set up I'll see exactly where it is. In any case, that seems pretty close to where I want it for rallycross/gravel rally and if I'm on hardpack i can just lower the suspension to gain some negative.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/24/20 9:04 p.m.

Out of curiosity, at full stuff, how much room is there between the top of the tire and various parts of the inner fender?

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/25/20 9:01 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Out of curiosity, at full stuff, how much room is there between the top of the tire and various parts of the inner fender?

 

A couple inches ar most depending on the tire/wheel setup. I didn't take any specific measurements.

shagles
shagles Reader
9/25/20 9:56 a.m.

Really liking the custom labeling on the gusset.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/2/20 7:07 p.m.

I'm at the beach this week with the family, so no car stuff. But I did get a chance to get out on the beach a few times in the Sequoia, which is always enjoyable (and always a bit anxious on the off chance of getting embarrassingly stuck, though that never actually happens). I'm pretty good about airing down (around 20psi on the beach) and the Falken Wildpeaks I have on this are very good in the sand, even deep stuff.

Actually almost got stuck the other night turning off onto a recently rebuilt dune area trying to get my wife a vantage point for a sunset photo. Thought it was hard-pack (so still in 2WD) but the truck sunk about 2 feet deep! Managed to get it into 4WD and lock the center diff and after much sand spraying got back out of there. That was about to be highly embarrassing.

Anyhow, a few pics, because beach pics are always  fun.

There were areas with much deeper dry sand, but didn't really want to stop in those to take pics (see above...)

Also, this new VIAIR pump I got is awesome. Gets me from 20psi to 45psi all around in about 5 minutes.. Well worth the cost. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/3/20 2:33 p.m.

Helped out a stuck Subaru back in the dunes behind our beach house today. The AAA guy could not get to them with his big truck, so I backed the Sequoia between the dunes and got them out. Pretty lousy pull angle But did not have any alternative just had to get the back of the car around and then it came out easy.

spandak
spandak HalfDork
10/3/20 6:53 p.m.

It's like a mini Matt's offroad recovery! 
I actually started watching his stuff based on your positive mention of it. Good stuff, I've learned a lot 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/3/20 8:18 p.m.
spandak said:

It's like a mini Matt's offroad recovery! 
I actually started watching his stuff based on your positive mention of it. Good stuff, I've learned a lot 

Totally thought about that when I was doing this. Like remembering to tell the driver to turn his wheel hard left just to give it a little bit of gas but don't help too much lol.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/6/20 7:26 p.m.

Some random little stuff today just goofing around. So I noticed the front suspension make an annoying groaning noise when i bounched on it. With the minimal preload I figured it was the bottom of the spring grinding on the aluminum seat, so decided to make up a couple isolators out of some scrap HPDE sheet. So, out with the hole saws. 

Nothing fancy, just some thin "spacers" cut to fit. To avoid having to take the whole assembly apart I just cut a slit in it so I could slip in directly in. Should work. If it somehow comes out (doubtful) won't hurt anything anyhow.

So, that worked, and no more creaking noise.

While I was standing there, "fabbed" up a dust cover for the upper mounts.. This is pretty high-tech stuff, kids....

Oh also, a couple weeks late (and not in time for the beach trip last week), got some new seat covers in for the tow rig. The 2005 Toyota leather was getting pretty crappy...

I don't usually care about high-end interior stuff, but decided for once to get something nice, since our asses spend a lot of time in these seats on long hauls...

Install was easy, they fit great, very comfortable, and look pretty good :)

Things currently on my mind/in the planning stage:

1. hydrobrake and/or brake bias valve for the e30. Still thinking about what I want to do, exactly.

2. headers for the Sequoia, which has a crack in the OEM header(s), like literally 99% of all Toyota 4.7L trucks do. The "sewing machine" sound is really driving me crazy, so I may drop the cash for some good headers to get rid of it, gain some power (hopefully), gain some good sounds, etc. I'm waiting for the place that sells them to run their Halloween sale, so we'll see if I pull the trigger at the time. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
10/6/20 9:07 p.m.

I had a set of those seat covers in a Toyota Corolla years ago. They were great except the Florida sun faded them out pretty quickly.  Do what you can to protect them from extended exposure. yes

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 8:05 p.m.

Ok, time for some racing. DC Rallycross #5 and 6 (doubleheader) last weekend was at Panthera Training. The weather was clear and crisp with a nice breeze to keep the dust off the course for the most part. MR was, as usual, the largest class with 15 entries out of the 50 total cars there. All the usual suspects were there:

(here's where I apologize for taking very few photos for some reason, since I knew Sara Nonack was taking about a billion of them which I'm sure we'll see at some point)

(also, be sure to catch up on Nonack's and Nick's and Mike's threads here on GRM for their takes on the event)

This was the first event with the new suspension setup. I put a grand total of 5 miles on the street on it so wasn't sure what to expect. To recap, at the previous event it had Bilstein HDs up front with 220# 10" springs and in the rear it had IX stock springs with the Gp4 gravel Bilsteins (no sways). Now it has the Escort gravel Bilsteins up front with 12" 230# springs and the e36 M3 springs in the rear again, plus the weight "rebalance" from the spare tire relocation, etc. I ran all weekend with a rally spare in the backseat area. In short, spring rate up front got a bit stiffer, damping up front got much softer, rear spring rate got stiffer, and front camber went from about -2* to about 0.5* negative. So i was interested to see how it would feel. 

The Saturday course was the shorter "back side" course that is basically a hillclimb full of technical S-curves and cutbacks. It tends to favor the more powerful cars since it's pretty much entirely uphill, with a long vertical "drag strip" coming into the finish turn. That said, it also has some narrow areas with large cone walls (to keep people from tumbling down large hills) and "moon dust" on the edges that are time-killers if you go too wide (one e30 did that and got high-centered and stuck). Also many of the turns are blind, so you can't really 'look ahead' all that much, and have to go a lot on memory from the drive-through and early runs.

Everyone went fast out of the gate in this tight class. On the first run Nick, Stephen Nichols (e30 M20, the current points leader), Mike Golden (2zzz-swapped MR2) and me pretty much matched times from the start, with minor variations. The next 4-5 cars in class stayed close behind but picked up some cones here and there while we mostly stayed clean. After 6 runs none of the top 4 cars had any cones, and we went into lunch with me holding a ~2-second lead over Nick and Stevie, with several others close behind.

The after-lunch course was largely the same with some small changes but Nick was clearly in a groove and started laying down consecutive very fast and clean runs, using the M3's power to out-climb the rest of us. Stevie and me both made a couple minor mistakes costing us a second or two and by the last run my lead had been whittled down to 4/10ths of a second, with Nick beating me on every afternoon run. My last run was pretty good, my 2nd fastest of the day. Nick out of the blue laid down a flyer, beating it by 1.6 seconds (the fastest run by anyone in the class other than Golden's MR2). So he took the win on the last run. 

So for Saturday, Nick won, I was 1.1s back, Stephen was 2.7s back from me, and the rest of the class were gapped 2-5 seconds behind each other for the most part. So that was pretty disappointing

Here's the top-10 MR results, minus the MR2 and Miatas down at the bottom. 

We headed out to grab some pizza and beer and then came back to hang out with the people camping out in the near-freezing temps at the venue. It was cold.

It was also cold in the morning, evidenced by Golden's MR2

Sunday we ran what can only be described as the biggest, fastest, longest course in mid-Atlantic rallycross history. It used pretty much 75% of the entire rallycross venue, including the giant long hillclimbs (and hill descents) that we haven't used in a couple years due to conditions, which had finally been graded. This promised to be an epic course combining huge power-friendly areas with some very tight and technical/cone-heavy/blind turn areas. Course conditions were excellent with dust mostly blowing off the course (keep this in mind). The closest to a stage rally that you'll ever see in rallycross. The early run group was taking well over 2 minutes per run (in grippy conditions, no slippery mud or grass slowing people down)...the course was THAT long. It also had the popular high-speed downhill-into-pin-turn-and-then-straight-uphill. I Ken Block-style nailed it every time in the morning (turning left) but not so much turning right in the afternoon. I hope there are some pics lol. 

Still pissed over Saturday's blown lead, I went out of the gates hard. So did Stephen. Both of us ran low 117-second runs, with his co-driver Chris putting down 119. The closest car after that was Nonack's 122 in the BRZ, and much of the class were in the 124-125 zone. This is highly unusual in this class, with everyone evenly matched usually, and I'm not really sure WHY it was the case, honestly. But the trend continued all morning, and at lunch I had a 4-second lead over Stevie and he was about 15 seconds ahead of Nick in 3rd.  The afternoon course reversed to the direction I'm typically slower at for some reason. But still, Steve and I went out of the gate hard. Nick switched tires from grasstracks to gravels at lunch and started laying down run times similar to ours with the M3's power and clean driving. The rest of the class continued to fall further behind for the most part. With two runs left I was holding onto about a 4-second lead over Stephen, with nobody else remotely close to the two of us. Mid-run I came over the hilltop crest and got a full-bore blast of dust from the car coming up the hill below me and it was a total whiteout heading toward basically a big dropoff with no marker cones. I'm one who is a proponent of "just remember where the turn is and drive that way" but in this case the total lack of any course markers (or anything) visible made me shut it down. Going off an embankment would not have been fun (and likely would have stopped the event for a good amount of time). So after coming to a complete stop I finished with a 124)-second run (my prior run had been 117). I've only once ever requested a re-run due to conditions before, but in this case with the tight battle I felt like it was warranted. Re-run was granted and I went immediately, made a couple big mistakes, and finished with a pretty slow 119. A full second slower than Stevie. So had the dust run stood, Stevie would have had a couple-second lead going into the last run, but as it was, I maintained a 1-second lead. My last run I went all-out knowing he would as well, and nailed another 117-second run, not knowing what Stevie had run right before me since he was still on course. As it happens, it didn't much matter as he hit two cones in addition to a slow 119 and ended up almost 7 seconds behind me. Even with Nick's very fast afternoon runs, he only pulled within 11 seconds of Stephen. So, I finally got a win this season. 

Here's the finishing positions for Sunday's giant course:

So, the takeaway is this: I didn't hit any cones all weekend. And there were some areas where it was possible to hit 6 cones at once if your line was just a foot or two off. I was overly careful in these areas and tried to make up the time elsewhere. 

The real takeaway, though, is that the new front suspension is really, really good. The car felt completely controllable, with no surprises from either end, no matter what I did. The softer damping up front (and increased front end height by about 1") really balanced the car well, and the more vertical camber felt like it give better outer edge bite. Overall, the car felt extremely locked-in - ESPECIALLY on the high-speed sections on Sunday where the prior suspension setup sometimes felt somewhat unsettled. Makes sense since this suspension setup is intended for high-speed stage rally. But in short, I'm very very pleased with it and there's no chance I win on Sunday with my old suspension, in my opinion. There are many drivers in this class who are better than I am. But I honestly think I've managed to build the best car at this point (just my biased opinion, of course). I suspect several of these guys (Nonack, Eisele, Stephen in particular) would probably beat me badly if they co-drove my car lol (most of them have in the past, in truth). 

In other news, we revived our habit of putting a bottle with flowers in it onto the course right as Julian Zottl is approaching. This is an inside joke among us from the old Summit Point days (and it's only done because he fully expects it to be done and he loves hitting it)...

Also, this thing was there, and it was not terribly fast, but still awesome. Especially with the driver wearing full Speedracer helmet and ascot. This is the one with the locking center and rear diffs, and it looked to have traction for days....

So, here are the season points as they stand. One remaining doubleheader next month at Summit Point, where freezing temps may be a factor for tire choice. Summit is very flat, so the power edge Nick and I have over the class is mostly negated compared to the big hills at Panthera. So, we'll see how that goes and who picks the right tires, I guess.

One thing to look at here: Take a look at the fact that we've had 6 events, with 4 different winners. Meanwhile, there are extremely fast guys (Nonack, Cox, Golden) that could win any time but haven't (yet) this season. Most regions and classes there tend to be 2 or 3 top dogs who always win. Here in DC, I'd say there are probably 8 to 10 drivers in MR that COULD win at any given event. Plus, many-time PR champion and class leader Shawn Roberts could certainly finish at the top of MR if he chose to up-class his Miata (I think he doesn't because he doesn't want to embarrass all of us lol). 

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 8:30 p.m.

Also, for size context, here's an overhead of Panthera. That giant lot at the left was about 20% full with everyone's tow rigs, trailers, and rally cars - to put the size into perspective. And the whole course is on a hilltop, so you can kind of see the ridge running across the middle, with the course going up and down both sides....

All of those vehicles at the bottom edge of the paved lot are Suburbans and Crown Vics....

Here's a photo I stole from Mike's thread showing just a small part of the course....you can see the paddock lot about a mile away in the background.

 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/19/20 9:06 p.m.

Looks awesome!

I set of goal to make it to one Rallycross this year, preferably to drive, so I may see you at #7 @ Summit Point. As long as I have my e46 driving by then, I'll bring the Miata to drive. I'll have to double check rules, but it should qualify for Stock RWD, not that I'm going for anything more than fun. 

If I don't have the e46 running by then, is spectating allowed yet? 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 9:10 p.m.
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:

Looks awesome!

I set of goal to make it to one Rallycross this year, preferably to drive, so I may see you at #7 @ Summit Point. As long as I have my e46 driving by then, I'll bring the Miata to drive. I'll have to double check rules, but it should qualify for Stock RWD, not that I'm going for anything more than fun. 

If I don't have the e46 running by then, is spectating allowed yet? 

Not really. I think only non-drivers are allowed if they are "essential personnel" with a driver (i.e. your wife). Who knows what the rules will be for Summit though. Worst case, you register and just drive slow and careful, but you get to be there :)

For a Miata, I assume you have a hardtop?

 

SR is pretty empty this year I think. I believe a Crown Vic is winning the class. So you could pick up a win :)

PR you'd get to run against Shawn (moxnix) and see just how slow, er, fast you really are against the fastest.......

MR run just to be in the huge fun class :)

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/19/20 9:35 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:

Looks awesome!

I set of goal to make it to one Rallycross this year, preferably to drive, so I may see you at #7 @ Summit Point. As long as I have my e46 driving by then, I'll bring the Miata to drive. I'll have to double check rules, but it should qualify for Stock RWD, not that I'm going for anything more than fun. 

If I don't have the e46 running by then, is spectating allowed yet? 

Not really. I think only non-drivers are allowed if they are "essential personnel" with a driver (i.e. your wife). Who knows what the rules will be for Summit though. Worst case, you register and just drive slow and careful, but you get to be there :)

For a Miata, I assume you have a hardtop?

 

SR is pretty empty this year I think. I believe a Crown Vic is winning the class. So you could pick up a win :)

PR you'd get to run against Shawn (moxnix) and see just how slow, er, fast you really are against the fastest.......

MR run just to be in the huge fun class :)

Gotcha, fair enough. If it comes to that I will definitely be temped to drive the Miata anyway. 

Yes, NB Miata with a hardtop. I'll toss the snow tires on, and I have an LSD. Nothing special really, just wanna have some fun. 

 

Nice, guess I should double check to make sure I can keep the car in SR so I have a chance.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/19/20 9:53 p.m.
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) said:

Looks awesome!

I set of goal to make it to one Rallycross this year, preferably to drive, so I may see you at #7 @ Summit Point. As long as I have my e46 driving by then, I'll bring the Miata to drive. I'll have to double check rules, but it should qualify for Stock RWD, not that I'm going for anything more than fun. 

If I don't have the e46 running by then, is spectating allowed yet? 

Not really. I think only non-drivers are allowed if they are "essential personnel" with a driver (i.e. your wife). Who knows what the rules will be for Summit though. Worst case, you register and just drive slow and careful, but you get to be there :)

For a Miata, I assume you have a hardtop?

 

SR is pretty empty this year I think. I believe a Crown Vic is winning the class. So you could pick up a win :)

PR you'd get to run against Shawn (moxnix) and see just how slow, er, fast you really are against the fastest.......

MR run just to be in the huge fun class :)

Gotcha, fair enough. If it comes to that I will definitely be temped to drive the Miata anyway. 

Yes, NB Miata with a hardtop. I'll toss the snow tires on, and I have an LSD. Nothing special really, just wanna have some fun. 

 

Nice, guess I should double check to make sure I can keep the car in SR so I have a chance.

My first two years in a 100hp e30 I lost at every event to Shawn (at that time in his old RX7). Almost 10 years later I've actually beaten him a couple times (at non-DC events where he runs in my class) after much driving and much car-modifying haha..... All the losing makes the occasional win much more fulfilling haha......

My advice is always to dive right in amongst the top dogs (I started in MR from day one, in an almost-stock e30). It's the best way to get faster! If you're beating up on some hapless crown vic you may subconsciously not try nearly as hard to improve, since you don't have to :)

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/19/20 10:35 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Fair point. Plus I'm much less likely to mess with anybody's points then. Or do will they automatically not count mine since I'm not going for season points?

Gaunt596
Gaunt596 Reader
10/20/20 12:22 a.m.

Berkeley. The one time yall run the cool course down there I cant make it. Hopefully things improve and i can get the Focus fixed and back up to speed, maybe start making events again. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/20/20 8:44 a.m.

An early preview of one of your photos, check out the clean air in front of the spoiler and dust behind it even at pivot turn speeds:

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/21/20 6:25 p.m.

Yeah, between the spoiler and the front lip spoiler and the suspension the car felt REALLY settled on the high speed transitions especially.

And some additional photos from Mrs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/21/20 8:11 p.m.

Sometimes I wonder if that effect with a huge spoiler isn't downforce so much as moving the aerodynamic center of drag rearward, closer to the center of gravity or maybe the drive wheels.  (For an extreme example, the "Moby Dick" 935 with the wing about six feet behind the actual car)

 

I only wonder this because I have a really squirrely car that gets really, really stable when dragging a trailer around.  That's not aero, that's just drag located at the rear bumper.

 

This is what happens when it's 3 hours to rallycross sites and the car has no radio smiley

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/21/20 8:23 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Sometimes I wonder if that effect with a huge spoiler isn't downforce so much as moving the aerodynamic center of drag rearward, closer to the center of gravity or maybe the drive wheels.  (For an extreme example, the "Moby Dick" 935 with the wing about six feet behind the actual car)

 

I only wonder this because I have a really squirrely car that gets really, really stable when dragging a trailer around.  That's not aero, that's just drag located at the rear bumper.

 

This is what happens when it's 3 hours to rallycross sites and the car has no radio smiley

I don't necessarily think it does much at all on most rallycross courses, frankly. Then again, our rallycross courses are substantially faster than "most" rallycross courses. Last weekend's course would make that Frostburg setup seem slow, just to put it in terms of venues you've been to.

That said, it is intended for stage work, primarily to stabilize the car on high-speed turns. One of the fastest e30s in ARA added basically the same thing last season and they swear it adds 10mph to what they can hold on high-speed turns without losing the rear end (and their comparative times seem to bear this out, with few other changes to the car otherwise). In any case, it weighs less than the totally cosmetic Alpina lip spoiler that used to be there, and this car has enough power that any drag added is pretty much a nonfactor as far as I'm concerned. 

Not sure the trailer analogy is really the same. In that case you're physically adding a substantial amount of actual weight to the rear at all speeds as well as changing the entire polar movement of the tow vehicle substantially more than minor aero like this could possibly do. Thanks to the shape of an e30, there's only a limited amount of actual clean air hitting this spoiler in the first place, I would imagine, compared to something with a fastback shape. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/21/20 8:31 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Oh, I get that it's for stage.

I also wouldn't call that spoiler "minor"... that thang looks hee-yuuge!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/21/20 8:41 p.m.

well, perhaps minor relative to the giant box which is the e30 cabin.

on an RX7, different story lol. 

It's 8" tall, btw. 

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