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Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/28/15 2:10 p.m.

love the graphics

flatlander937
flatlander937 New Reader
5/28/15 3:15 p.m.

Nice build! I'm moving back to VA in a few weeks and really want to take my 2 to VIR at some point to get into HPDE. I may find myself up your way for an auto-x event as well at some point since I have family in DC and a Mazda2 friend in NJ.

Also love the paw print decals!

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer New Reader
9/18/15 9:54 p.m.

Thanks! The decals have long been taken off the car, except for "Dogpark Racing" on the rear bumper. It was a cleansing experience to have them off.

I'll only be autocrossing the Fiesta from this point on, as I've bought a Porsche 944 dedicated to driving on the track.

This year I've stayed regional, but next year I hope to campaign the car again nationally in H-Street class with a long-time autocrosser friend and former H-Stock rival of mine. Should be fun!

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
5/23/16 8:54 p.m.

An update on this "Build"...

The front struts wouldn't stay solid and tight, no matter how much loctite I put on the threads of the Koni nut. I believe the reason was the concave bottom of the strut allowed the shock to move just a little bit in the cup, and it worked itself around until it made itself some room to make lots of noise.

I ended up taking the strut apart so many times that I damaged the Koni inserts with my impact wrench taking it off and putting it back on. So at the end of the 2014 autocross season, I went back to the stock struts in front.

I think the design would have worked with an extra seating ring welded into the bottom of the strut to accept and hold the insert fast. Someday I may do that, but the stock ones are actually pretty good. I don't know that I'm any faster in the Koni's after all.

In 2015 I did quite a few track days with the car, and a few autocross events on my old tires when I could fit them in.

But now in 2016, I've got a very competitive co-driver, we've got ourselves some Bridgestone RE-71R's, and we're cleaning up in the Washington DC Region!

No other mods for now... just oil changes and checking the tire pressures between runs! :-)

Photo by Alejandro Aviles

Photo by Alejandro Aviles

flatlander937
flatlander937 Reader
5/29/16 8:14 a.m.

That's too bad about the inserts. I believe the bottom of my housings have a large ID washer welded to the bottom that centers it. I'm about to roll over 30k miles on my homemade strut housings on my Mazda2 with no problems of that coming loose. You can ask Martin Valent of TM Family Racing to see what he does specificially, I got a bare housing tube with gland nut from him already set to drop the insert in, just welded the brackets on myself.

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
6/25/16 7:47 p.m.

Turns out we don't need double-adjustable race inserts to be competitive...

We placed 1-2 in the SCCA Washington DC National Tour event!

http://www.scca.com/articles/2001404-winning-campaigns-at-tire-rack-dc-champ-tour

Waaay down at the bottom of the news release, I'm mentioned as the H-Street class winner.

13497909_711543512356592_8641833952756855078_o

The course was designed by Sam Strano and I really enjoyed it - in both directions. I was lucky to hold off my co-driver Marshall considering I coned away half-second improvements on both days.

It's also the first time I've ever won contingency money... Bridgestone and Hawk both paid out!

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
6/25/16 8:01 p.m.

In reply to CrookedRacer:

Congrats!

What's tire wear like for these cars? Can you get any negative camber in front?

beans
beans Dork
6/26/16 10:38 a.m.

So tires and brakes are the hot ticket?

Picking my '16 Molten Orange/Recaro combo up monday!

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
6/26/16 8:06 p.m.

Tire wear on the street tires is quite reasonable. I have 40k miles on the car and I just started into my second set of OEM takeoff tires that I bought used. They still had the little nubs on them.

Tire wear on the Bridgestone RE-71R's has been even and we haven't experienced chunking or separation after seven events (x2 drivers). Just the usual wear at the center ridge. They are holding up well. I never drive them on the street, so it's all ax wear.

Beans: Tires are indeed the one thing you will do for the car that will make it instantly competitive when driven well. Brakes, however, are completely stock for autocross. All the brake work I have done to this car was for the track only.

Enjoy the car! You'll love it!

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
6/26/16 8:11 p.m.

Oh, and the Hawk contingency doesn't mean you need to run Hawk pads. You just have to wear the stickers, which I did.

You do have to run Bridgestones to collect the Bridgestone contingency cash.

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
6/26/16 8:29 p.m.

You can get a slight bit of negative camber (like -1 degree) by loosening the strut tower hat nuts and shoving the struts as far inboard as they will go, and tightening them again. Same for the knuckle bolts at the bottom of the struts.. Loosen, jack the brake rotor, tighten.

But that is the best you can do in SCCA Street classes.

beans
beans Dork
6/26/16 9:04 p.m.

Awesome! I'm getting a second set of the oem tires for free as well! Haha

Looks like all I'll be doing is a second set of wheels/tires aside from cosmetic stuff.

Thanks for the advice, I'm definitely doing that with the alignment as well.

beans
beans Dork
7/11/16 3:44 p.m.

Are you running stock wheels as well? Weighing if I really want to do a 16" combo or just get tires. Did an autox Sunday and felt the tires just sucked, but my driving was pretty sloppy, too. Gotta learn the car, but tires would be a huge benefit.

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
4/26/17 3:36 a.m.

2017 Update!

The car just crossed over 50,000 miles this month. So I'm doing some of the longer maintenance items... coolant flush and transaxle fluid. Normal intervals for those are 100,000 and 150,000 respectively, but this car has seen some serious track use on hot days. So it's probably a good idea to get some uncooked stuff in there.

The car has Motul 600 brake fluid in it, which tends to absorb water more quickly than standard fluids, so I have to flush that at the start of every season no matter what. Now that I don't drive on the track so much (if at all) with this car, I will probably switch to the less expensive Valvoline. Fine for autocross, and good for two years.

On Sunday we had a fantastic first event!

There's a new car in H-Street class this year... the Acura RSX Type S. Marshall and I expect that Stephen will be very competitive this year, considering he is running fresh Bridgestones.

What's remarkable is that the top four HS drivers made the top 20 in PAX (out of 165) and the difference in times from 2nd to 4th was just 9 thousandths of a second, in three different cars!

Thanks to AJ Aviles for the nice pics! IMG_0801

IMG_0800

WDCR-SCCA Practice Event 4/23/2017 image

image

Last year's tires seem to be competitive, so yesterday I had them flipped on their rims to use up the other shoulders, and I sprayed them down with some Formula V that's been sitting around on the garage shelf for more than a decade. Hopefully that'll soften them up a little bit.

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
4/26/17 3:49 a.m.
beans wrote: Are you running stock wheels as well? Weighing if I really want to do a 16" combo or just get tires. Did an autox Sunday and felt the tires just sucked, but my driving was pretty sloppy, too. Gotta learn the car, but tires would be a huge benefit.

We are running 16" wheels. With Bridgestones in the 205 width.

And I'm about to buy 15" wheels with nice tall sidewalls for the street. I commute for hours at a time in this thing and my back has had quite enough of this 17" low profile E36 M3.

FlightService
FlightService MegaDork
4/26/17 7:04 a.m.

I noticed your car was hungry for some cone on run one.

My style is more like Ally Art's run 1.

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
4/27/17 6:24 p.m.

Last night Marshall and I flushed the brakes, coolant, and transaxle.

Everything went smoothly but I am really glad we did the transaxle fluid. It was an orange-ish color and smelled funny, like in a burnt way. Fortunately no evidence of metal wear or shimmer or flakes. After at least a dozen track weekends, some in 100 degree temps, that fluid wasn't going to make it to 150,000 miles!

The new fluid (available on Amazon for nearly $30 per quart, takes two quarts) was a very light amber, almost colorless, and smelled of fresh rain, silken on the tongue, balanced with light acidity; hints of citrus. Ready to drink.

CrookedRacer
CrookedRacer Reader
4/27/17 6:29 p.m.
FlightService wrote: I noticed your car was hungry for some cone on run one. My style is more like Ally Art's run 1.

Ha, that is typically my style too. I tend to flirt with the edges of control, hitting more than my fair share of cones. My co-driver, Marshall, is the opposite: he drives more smoothly and might have hit one cone all last season.

I don't know how I kept it clean for three runs in a row!

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