Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder SuperDork
8/26/04 4:23 p.m.
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In our preparation for the Solo National Championships, we've ordered the factory service manuals. They cost $157 shipped to our door. They are required documentation for competitors at the Solo National Championships, and will help resolve any protest issues should they arise, which is unlikely.

We got to spend some time with the SRT on concrete this weekend. We finished first and second in DS at the Buccaneer event in Jacksonville. You can download the results here (it was Kim's first autocross!) and Per finished third on index overall.

Here's what we think. The R3S04's are definitely the way to go on the rear. With the A's on the front, when cold, the car rotates very nicely in transitions (maybe too much?) and works well. As the A's overheat, the car reverts to push. With R's on all four corners, as the fronts warm up, the car goes from slight push to being quite twitchy (oversteer) in transitions. Steady state is better because the front is still gripping.

Part of planning for the Solo National Championship is managing tires, determining which tires to use in certain conditions. Here's the tires that we have now:

A. pair of A3S04's that will be corded after next weekend
B. pair of scrubbed-in A3S04s
C. pair of R3S04s that have 19 runs on them as fronts, getting flipped today to wear the other shoulder. Will be certainly enough tire to last both drivers through the warm-up as fronts, then to the rears for Nationals.
D. pair of scrubbed-in R3S04s. Our plan is to use these as rears through the warm up, then rotate to the front for Nationals.

Of course, if it's really cold or if it rains, then our plans will change.

We also purchased a Mopar trailer hitch for a regular Neon for our SRT-4 this week, We've got a bunch of stuff we need to haul to Topeka in a few weeks, and our little utility trailer is pretty handy to have..

Unfortunately, the hitch interferes with the Mopar/Borla exhaust tips. This is why there's not a specific listing for the SRT-4 for a trailer hitch in Mopar's catalog.

This gave us a good excuse to do something about the gaudy and heavy exhaust tips. We cut the Mopar system in one spot and welded a short piece of 2.5" tubing to extend the system to the side. The end result is a 16 pound weight reduction. This will offset the weight we'll gain with the hitch, or we might remove the hitch at Nationals.

Since there were no mufflers after the main resonator on the SRT, the result is no change in the exhaust loudness. You notice that it's a little closer to the driver's door, but it's not objectionable. In fact, it's actually a little less buzzy under acceleration as the Mopar system was rubbing the rear subframe, no matter how it was adjusted.

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