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MaxC
MaxC Reader
11/13/22 2:17 p.m.

Small update: 

Spent our hawk contingencies on a set of rear hawk HT-10's. They felt just fine on the front of our car for the last race.  Confirmed that hawk stopped making pads for the front of our car, so I'm going to try and get some st43's going forward, and/or upgrade front calipers to something better (I hesitate to do this because they're working).

Researching racecapture. Very excited we won the raffle for this thing, and can't wait to ditch all my mess of gages.  

As far as repairs go, I need to: diagnose/ repair misfire, weird clutch problem, tire rubbing, and plenty of oil leaks.  Found cylinder 6's plug wire arcing occasionally, which must have been happening all race.  Want to diagnose the clutch next but have a feeling ill need to drop the transmission... Can't do that because I have another huge project to explode all over the garage first. That's a bit of a surprise but hopefully I'll be able to report on that with my next update! 

Honsch
Honsch Reader
11/13/22 8:58 p.m.

Good luck with the RaceCapture.

My only issue is that you need cell data access in the car if you want to get live data in the pits.  I don't know if you've run Oregon Raceway Park, but one thing you don't have there is good cell coverage.

I ended up rolling my own digital dash with LoRa radios to get live telemetry to the pits.

The ST-43 pads are good.  We run them in our car.  It's also nice that there are other compounds with more or less friction if you need to re-balance the bias.

MaxC
MaxC Reader
11/14/22 10:23 a.m.
Honsch said:

Good luck with the RaceCapture.

My only issue is that you need cell data access in the car if you want to get live data in the pits.  I don't know if you've run Oregon Raceway Park, but one thing you don't have there is good cell coverage.

I ended up rolling my own digital dash with LoRa radios to get live telemetry to the pits.

The ST-43 pads are good.  We run them in our car.  It's also nice that there are other compounds with more or less friction if you need to re-balance the bias.

Good point about the cell service. We have only raced at PIR until this point, but plan to go to the Ridge this year. ORP ranked really low on LDRL's recent survey, so they gave up their summer date and are attempting to get an October date. I'd say it's unlikely we'll be racing there anytime soon. We've been using a mobile hotspot in the car to attempt to live stream, and it drops after 30 minutes to an hour every time. Considering changing cameras, and hotspots, and trying again next race. We plan to connect the hotspot to the racecapture. 

I hope that the ST43 isn't mega backordered like they were last year when we tried to buy some. At this point I have plenty of brake pads, and won't be buying any right now (because dang brakes are expensive)... but I hope when it's time to buy we don't have any trouble. If everybody stops making brake pads in our size, we may need to look into new calipers: Z32, Z33, Q45, Wilwood, etc. 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/15/22 12:19 p.m.

Finally able to report on the "huge" project I eluded to previously....

Yes that's right... lifelong dream to have a lift in my garage has finally come to fruition.  Working on jack stands for a few years, after using a real automotive shop with real lifts as a professional technician for 10 years, finally did me in.  I couldn't take it anymore and got to the point that I wanted a lift maybe even more than my racecar. The cat meme is an actual picture of me after unloading this monstrous pile of metal and thinking through all of the implications of what I had done.  Hopefully it doesn't ruin my garage, ruin the doors of my wifes car, annoy my wife, hopefully we don't decide to move in the next 6 months, etc.  Hopefully it's just pure automotive working bliss like I imagined it would be.  So here it is GRM, now I get to put this thing together!

Honsch
Honsch Reader
12/15/22 3:27 p.m.
MaxC said:

ORP ranked really low on LDRL's recent survey, so they gave up their summer date and are attempting to get an October date. I'd say it's unlikely we'll be racing there anytime soon.

we may need to look into new calipers: Z32, Z33, Q45, Wilwood, etc. 

ORP in the middle of Summer was brutal, but you simply must drive this track at least once.  It's a paved rollercoaster!  It's a technically difficult track that can be run in both directions, I prefer CCW because it's trickier.

If you're getting new calipers make sure you don't accidentially get a Z32 set with the 26mm rotor thickness.  I've got those on my daily and it's almost impossible to find non-slotted/drilled rotors.  I ended up going with front rotors fom a 2000 Chrystler Concord with 17" wheels.  They're almost a perfect interchange.

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/16/22 12:00 p.m.
Honsch said:
MaxC said:

ORP ranked really low on LDRL's recent survey, so they gave up their summer date and are attempting to get an October date. I'd say it's unlikely we'll be racing there anytime soon.

we may need to look into new calipers: Z32, Z33, Q45, Wilwood, etc. 

ORP in the middle of Summer was brutal, but you simply must drive this track at least once.  It's a paved rollercoaster!  It's a technically difficult track that can be run in both directions, I prefer CCW because it's trickier.

If you're getting new calipers make sure you don't accidentially get a Z32 set with the 26mm rotor thickness.  I've got those on my daily and it's almost impossible to find non-slotted/drilled rotors.  I ended up going with front rotors fom a 2000 Chrystler Concord with 17" wheels.  They're almost a perfect interchange.

I'd like to drive ORP someday. What concerns me is the amount of corners, the technicality, the fact they run it in two directions, not to mention being in the middle of nowhere if something goes wrong. I really don't want to go there and try to compete without running a test day there first.  Test day will be key before we plan a race weekend. 

I know what you mean about the 26mm's. I had a 1990 300zx TT about 15 years ago, and it had aluminum calipers and the 26mm rotors. That thing warped rotors like crazy, and they were not good enough for that car. I would go for some iron 30mm's if I went Z32. I'm still considering getting some wilwoods or Q45's as well. Q45 being easiest, and bolting right on with no mod required. Z32 bolt on but need spacers and conversion brake lines. Wilwoods I would prefer due to the pads being half the cost of pads for OEM calipers, and the calipers being readily available new for less than the cost of reman Z32's...However Wilwoods would be the most custom retrofit. They also are specified for a range of rotor thickness which none of them fit my stock rotor size unfortunately... To make things more interesting, my rotors bolt on to the back of the hub. Many people use slip-on Z32 rotors by finding late Z31 unobtainium turbo hubs (not going to happen), OR by machining down their stock hubs to accept slip-on rotors (is this really a good idea???). 

Naturally given all of this nonsense, I don't know what I'm going to do about brakes in the future. Maybe just keep running stock?

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
12/16/22 1:05 p.m.

If wilwood are available in WIDER than your rotor spec, make shims for behind the pads to narrow to your cheap bolt on rotors 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/16/22 1:52 p.m.

This is not a bad idea, and they wouldn't have to be that thick to work with this caliper for example. The stock rotors are .9 in thick:

Wilwood's closest caliper is for .94-1.04" rotors:

Honsch
Honsch Reader
12/16/22 4:00 p.m.

40 thou is a millimeter, that's just an extra pad backer on each pad.  Easy peasy.

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/16/22 5:46 p.m.

Thanks for the affirmation guys lol. Deep down I wanted to do the wilwoods anyway.  They look cooler, are cheaper, are still available new, and have cheaper race pads. Now just have to burn through the rest of these pads for my OEM calipers.....

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/22/22 12:35 p.m.

Severely sore muscles...........

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/27/22 12:05 p.m.

Doing more extremely Sketchy stuff by myself:

 

But it's all bolted together now! It was pretty tense there for a bit, lots of very large heavy metal things that could tip over until it was all connected. 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
12/31/22 12:41 a.m.

 

SUCCESS!

Took a day off. Ran into some problems related to quality control issues from CHI-NAH. Lock release lever holes did not line up. Sent me the wrong fittings. Drilled some holes, couple trips to a hydraulic supply store, slow fluid leaks still present, but hey its working!! I've heard that the companies that sell these Chinese lifts are pretty liberal about sending replacement parts when you have issues so I'll give them a shot at making it right. May start another thread in a different part of the forum. 

I'm really glad to have a lift. Developed an allergy to working on Jack stands. The lift is huge but all the space it seems to take up is not right where you need it in a residential garage (like right where you open car doors). May move the lift forward a couple feet and back the car on, so that I can raise the car full height and still open/ close the garage door.

I'm so happy. Ready to finally start my winter projects on the racecar. Replace clutch, install racecapture, etc. etc.

MaxC
MaxC Reader
1/9/23 6:22 p.m.

Finally started working on the racecar for the first time since last race.  After our epic, unbelievably close finish, our driver reported that the car was stuck in gear.  We eventually got it out, but it has been extremely hard to find gears in ever since. So I figured it needs to come out one way or another. Confirmed hydraulics still worked, drained oil, then dropped trans. 

Yeah, something's broken

Removed trans. Thank you 4-post lift. The lift can only go high enough for me to work rolling around on a rolling stool... I'll take it over jack stands any day. 

60 hours on an OEM Luk clutch, and it looks surprisingly good. Hate to replace it, but this will make a high-quality spare.

This is the source of the problem, or at least a symptom. Nissan calls it a "Shift Insert". I asked a group of racers on FB about this and got a lot of good information.  Aparently when a shift collar is allowed to over-travel, it can expose these guys and they can rock out of their seats, causing the trans to lock in gear. Ours did that, and I assume after trying for a while, our driver must have popped this one out of its place and into the bottom of the trans... allowing it to come out of gear.  Time to investigate. Haven't rebuilt a manual trans since we did Altima and 350z 6 speeds in Nissan training. (hint: that would mean 6 speed Altima's and 350z's were still in production).

MaxC
MaxC Reader
1/15/23 9:52 p.m.

Okay after trying to make my own bearing puller, renting one from autozone, then finally buying one from Amazon, overnight parts from China, and then wrapping the grabber end with a steel band so it will stop separating.... I finally got the countershaft gear off, which allowed me to get to the 3-4 synchronizer/hub assembly, and I've found the culprit. 

Look closely, there's a spring that pushes up on the shift inserts. It's a $1.50 spring that is on both sides of the synchro hub. It's broken on one side, so when you shift into 4th, the shift inserts rock down, and then gets jammed. If you ever get it out of 4th, a shift insert will immediately pop out.  Surprisingly, Nissan still has brand new springs, shift inserts, and the countershaft bearing I ruined while pulling it off, still available. So $100 in OEM Nissan parts, and this trans might be fixed. I say might because I still have manual transmissions on a bit of a pedestal. I have "rebuilt" manual transmissions, but this would be the first one where I've actually fixed an issue. We'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

MaxC
MaxC Reader
4/4/23 3:55 p.m.

Long overdue update. 

I must say, this winter has been hard. I spent the time to rip apart the trans and repair it, although I would have much preferred dropping in a used one and saving the time... This spread tools all over my garage and kept the car down for weeks. Started the racecapture installation while waiting for trans parts. Finally got the trans back in and have been chasing battery and charging issues ever since.  Drove the car all of a couple of miles on just the battery... and the trans worked fine! But unfortunately not enough drive time to convince me it's reliable. I DID find another team that will bring me two used 240sx transmissions to the next race, so that really makes me feel better. 

Took me a while to figure out the charging problem. I took out the stock gauge cluster, which contains a battery light, and without that light in the circuit the alternator will not charge.  Plugged it in, and boom, charges... But doesn't keep a charge overnight. Found out the water in the battery is boiling when the charger is hooked up.  

If it's not one thing its 3 others. Oh well. The Ridge is coming up April 21-23 and I'm just seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with projects, and I THINK we'll be good to go, pending a lot of test driving. Anyways, here's the racecapture:

RPM, Speed, Oil temp & pressure, Coolant temp & pressure, volts, and once I figure out how to configure the float switch we'll have a low fuel light. Then I'll mount an old cell phone for the lap timer/stint length/race time screen. No live telemetry this time as I've heard the cell coverage sucks at the track, and I'm barely getting this project done as it is!

Will report back soon. It's crunch time. 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
5/17/23 5:49 p.m.

Finally getting around to update this post. We went racing!

What a weekend... To say the least, it did not go as planned for our #235 200SX. 3 of our drivers had never been to the Ridge before, and we got to experience our first laps under dumping rain.

The car was a handful with the locked diff! It was nerve-racking to learn the track under these conditions, but everyone got laps on Friday. Unfortunately, the car developed a problem that we didn't notice until Saturday.

The car had lost quite a bit of power, and in the slick conditions and being totally new we didn't notice on Friday. The whole team got to drive in Saturday's race, but we spent hours in the pits trying to figure out what was going on. Eventually my wife Megan parked it about an hour before the checker as the rain was really dumping, deciding it's best not to risk the car anymore, and to get a head start on repairs while we had some day light. We suspected the MAF sensor was the cause, but did not have a spare... By pure luck, the Nissan legend, and one of the very very few 200sx SE V6 enthusiasts, David Carroll's shop is one hour from the track, and he lent us whatever we thought we'd need. So that night in the dark and the rain we shot the car point blank with the parts cannon. MAF, ECU, o2 sensor, and we were ready to try again Sunday.

Sunday's race starts and we send Evan Horner out. He radios "The car is much better than yesterday... by a lot". Finally some good news! Evan gets a full stint in the morning and we hand the car off to Tom Ferrara. About 30-40 minutes into Tom's stint he radios that the car is stuck in 4th gear... Devastated.

Yet more luck... Nate Kandoll with Blue Bayou brought us two spare 240sx transmissions this weekend, so that we had some spares. Having 6 hours of the race remaining we decided there's no way we're going to pack this up if we have a chance to get our drivers back out there for some more racing, and hopefully take the checker! The whole team came together and busted out the transmission swap, including changing bell housings in about 2.5 hours. During that time Randy Pobst stopped by and commend us for not giving up, and shared some stories.... Which was pretty encouraging! We finish the trans with a little more than 2 hours remaining in the race, and realize that it will not engage any gear but second. Worse still, it appears to be locked in reverse. I bench tested the trans before putting on the bellhousing but did not discover this problem. Devastated again... and after an hour of diag or so we admitted we weren't going to get it fixed in time. We packed up in the rain and headed home.

This might sound like a bad weekend, but I prepared myself for this kind of setbacks before I started racing. I knew this kind of stuff could happen. I actually had a great weekend despite being wet, cold, and working on a broken race car outside all weekend. My wife and I had an awesome adventure, racing, hunting for parts, repairing the car, and spending 24 hours a day together, which is rare when we have 3 little kids at home. We got to meet new friends, and talk racing with old ones MUCH more than if everything was good and the car ran the whole weekend. This weekend was not at all a loss, it was quite the opposite.

Thank you team! You were awesome! Thank you Lucky Dog Racing League! We'll see you all next time when our car is more reliable!

MaxC
MaxC Reader
5/17/23 6:10 p.m.

Awesome video of the race weekend (not my video).

https://youtu.be/_TGqD2yVXYQ
 

Replacing the trans:

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/17/23 7:50 p.m.

Lolz.  I've been there!

 

I have been on my back at the racetrack staring up at a transmission WITH Evan Horner at both Road Atlanta (earlier this year) and at Laguna Seca (bout 6 years ago).

 

Lolz.

MaxC
MaxC Reader
5/20/23 1:27 p.m.
wvumtnbkr said:

Lolz.  I've been there!

 

I have been on my back at the racetrack staring up at a transmission WITH Evan Horner at both Road Atlanta (earlier this year) and at Laguna Seca (bout 6 years ago).

 

Lolz.

Haha that's crazy but doesn't surprise me. He seems to have raced everywhere, and is a solid teammate who will stick around when a transmission needs to be changed. 

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