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hhaase Reader
6/23/16 7:08 p.m.

Been a long week, having to visit Dad in the hospital (He's fine now and home), which was 2 hours each way. So lots of longer drive seat time. Good info to have planning for the looooooong week of the One Lap. I really do need new seats, the current ones are in good visible shape, but just get uncomfortable after a while. They're about an inch too narrow for me. I'm also really starting to see the limitations on the factory A/C, about 85 degrees is where things start getting uncomfortable if the sun is bright. I need to get some new tint on the windows to cut down on interior heat.

But the biggest take away from the trip is that I need to deal with the oil leaks in the current engine, and it's looking like I need to just do all the front seals. Crank, cams, oil pump, etc... Not something I relish doing, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Speaking of engines, I'm finally getting some time to start looking at that smallport I picked up. It's in better shape than I expected it to be, with no ridging at all in the bores. I'm starting to wonder if I'll need to do any overbore in the cylinders at all, which makes me wonder about the existing pistons and their viability in a turbo build. Would be nice bit of money to save, but I don't know enough about their material composition to make the call one way or the other. I'm just afraid of $500ing myself into the poor house. Or ending up with a half-finished engine when it's time to do the event, which effectively means any engine money spent at that point would be a complete waste and I would have been better served to just do bolt-on's to the existing engine. Some tough decisions ahead.


hhaase Reader
6/27/16 6:36 p.m.

2nd autocross of the season yesterday, had a decent day other than the first run when the course was still covered in gravel. Managed to come out ahead of a fox body Mustang plus a 90's Camaro and Firebird, both LS powered. Finally getting a good feel for it on the course and seeing how far I can push it.

Coming up on the limit of my current tires pretty fast. Ran my go-pro pointing at the wheels and man could I see the sidewalls swinging back and forth. Suspension definitely seems to be doing well however as it's really keeping body roll and pitch to a minimum. Not pushing as bad either now that I'm driving it better, I had suspected the problem was me coming into the corners too hot, and now I know it. Also finding I can get back into the throttle a lot quicker now too.

All in all, a great day. Lots of video to edit.


hhaase Reader
7/19/16 8:50 p.m.

Huh, realized I never posted the June video here.... here it is!


Anyway, that video is for June, now on to what's happening in July.....

3rd round of the autocross was this weekend. Never last place, but never far from it either. Not worried about that fact as it's all about car and driver development. However my confidence in the car does get a bit of a boost when I see the cars I did have faster times than. 350Z, 3000GT, CRZ, and an '89 Mustang. I am, by a significant amount, the lowest horsepower car out there almost every event.

The good news is it's taking me less and less runs to hit a solid groove. It's also becoming much easier for me to follow the course through the cones. It's one thing to walk the course and plan a line, it's something completely different to do it at 5,000-6,000 RPM. Now I'm more able to think and visualize a couple turns ahead, and I'm getting a much better grasp on the limits of the car.

I always said I'd get the suspension done, and then the car would let me know what it needs next. That thing is tires. I need to start budgeting for a set of 15" rims and better tires. I know I can get Direzza's in my current size, but GoPro footage has convinced me otherwise. Factory sized tires get too much sidewall flex. Still targetting 205/50R15's. Trying to sell a few pieces of electronics manufacturing equipment that I have, which should give me a great budget boost, but otherwise I'm going to have to just suffer with these cheapie BFG's a while longer.

Also suffered a pile of pissmeoff today, pulling the numbers off to get the car ready for the new set. I knew the bodyman that painted the car prior to me buying it was a dumbass .... but his paint prep work is just E36 M3. I'm kinda stuck with using the same font and size again for the new number set for reasons that will be obvious when you look at this photo.......

paint problems

hhaase Reader
7/21/16 5:53 p.m.

Friday, I pick up the trailer I'll be rebuilding for OneLap. Not really sure about the details on it, other than 'kinda small', and my Grandpa built it a few decades ago when he was still around.

Sounds Perfect!

hhaase Reader
7/23/16 10:20 p.m.

Adventure Day! Got my trailer, took a while to get it ready. The usual midwest trailer wiring nightmares of course, had to get a plate on it, but all in all things went well. Tires held air and didn't have any obvious sidewall cracks. So hitch 'er up, and off we went!

Then, 25 miles down the road, with no spare ......

Well, poop. Called up Dad, and he has a potential spare, but just had major shoulder surgery so he can't do anything about it. Called a few friends, and found one of them was JUST leaving the town I just left, and was heading TO the town I was heading to. Talk about fortuitous. He stops by dad's place, grabs the spare and a wheel spider, and brings it to me. Unfortunately, spare is a 6-lug, trailer hubs are all 5-lug.

Well, hold my beer, and watch THIS!!!!! Problem solved!! Didn't weigh much, just the right size, and we were well stocked on tiedown straps.

Drag it to Walmart (not many choices at 7:30pm on a Saturday). They can give me a really over-heavy-duty trailer tire, but can't put passenger car tires onto trailers. Can't say I blame them, but for my needs a passenger car tire would be perfect. But they tell me that if I just brought in some old tires on rims, they can of course just change the tire. Nor would they be offended if I leave a wheel-less trailer in the parking lot for an hour.

I can deal with that. Looked pretty funny for a bit, but there it sat..... Now I've got some fresh rubber on it, rolling again, and have it home. Next weekend I'll start working on converting it for supporting the MR2 during One-Lap.

hhaase Reader
7/27/16 11:03 a.m.

Video #9 is up and live for your viewing pleasure


hhaase Reader
7/29/16 6:46 a.m.

Stumbled across a problem with the coilovers. They're threaded body, with sway bar tabs that thread up and down the body of the coilover. Had both sides loosen up on their own by a quarter turn until it started binding up the steering, particularly right turns. Not sure what caused that.

Everything is back in place now, and I did tighten down the locking screws more to clamp it in place tighter, hopefully that was my problem.


hhaase Reader
8/7/16 6:34 p.m.

Hmmmmm, there's a set of Konig Minuz on e-bay right now for a not-terrible price, in 15"x6.5"

I wonder how well they'll fit with some 205/50R15's.

oldeskewltoy UltraDork
8/8/16 2:17 p.m.
hhaase wrote: Hmmmmm, there's a set of Konig Minuz on e-bay right now for a not-terrible price, in 15"x6.5" I wonder how well they'll fit with some 205/50R15's.

a bit of a bulge (wheel borderline too narrow). 195/50/15 should work ok

hhaase Reader
8/8/16 4:56 p.m.

Hey, good news, Bridgestone has a size chart available on their website, they say 205/50R15's should be on a 5.5"-7.5" rim. 6.5's would put me right in the center of that range

hhaase Reader
8/8/16 8:01 p.m.

I forgot how much I hated under-dash wiring, but man does it help just removing the seats completely. I can't believe I didn't realize that 20 years ago.

Either way ... I now have radio stations again after running a new antenna cable all the way from the radio to the trunk. Also ran a pair of 10awg power wires from the trunk to the frunk, getting it prepped for an accessory fuse block. Still need to get another fuse block for near the battery, plus relay mounts, as I want those lines protected and relayed to come on with the accessory circuit.


hhaase Reader
8/9/16 6:40 p.m.

Ordered the Konig's. Not the most awesome price out there, but locally I'm just not going to get any better deals in the middle of Pontiac/Chevy/Ford/Dodge land. Tires will be a bit still, but at least half that equation is solved.

Back to handling my accessory wiring now.

DocV New Reader
8/10/16 6:34 p.m.

I love this thread -- I am searching Craigslist for AW11's as a result and I need to stop. Thanks for documenting with text and videos.

About your Arduino powered gauge cluster, are there more supporting documents for this type of thing ? I would love to make a similar sort of thing for other cars.

hhaase Reader
8/10/16 8:22 p.m.

DocV, I definitely appreciate it. It's fun doing the videos and stuff, thinking about another video series when I re-start the restoration of Grandpa's old Airstream.

As to the gauge cluster, there's really not so much direct supporting documentation. Lots of stuff on general programming for Arduino's (I highly recommend "The Arduino Cookbook"), but be prepared for a lot of tedious research if you're not familiar with electronics design and code. I'm hoping to get back to it soon actually, but all depends on when my business kicks back into high gear when the summer slow season ends.

Just finished up another big part of the project, laying the groundwork for auxiliary power. The big eureka moment came due to this monstrosity .... not sure if I complained in this thread or not about how the previous owner cut a big hole in the front firewall due to the absurdly large speaker box in the frunk. Couldn't see this hole until I took the speaker box out, so I was pretty pissed when I found it. Badly done hole cut into a very inconvenient location to repair. Stupid Stupid Stupid.

Well, lemons into lemonade, and all those happy generic inspirational crap. I finally got off my ass and made a patch panel for it, and it dawned on me I had a perfect opportunity. So I cut a big hole in the patch panel, and installed a Bussman RTMR fuse box, which will give me 20 fresh fuse locations. I ran a pair of 10AWG wires back to the rear trunk where I have a temporary relay and fuse setup for now, so that these fuses all power up with the accessory power, plus have fuse protection right at the battery. This gives me room to add a LOT of accessories in the future, and I already have a few more planned in addition to ones I just added.

With the cover on, I'm really happy with how clean this ended up being. I can't say enough good stuff about this style fuse box, if you can fit it. Bussman has a really nice product. Fully sealed with 280 style connectors, a few different style boxes with fuse or fuse/relay combo layouts. Nice stuff. But Littelfuse makes a new series that looks like it's even nicer, I've got one of them on order for the rear trunk fuse/relay system to drive this one. I'll post up that part of the wiring when the permanent stuff is done. Looks a hell of a lot nicer than that crappy hole, eh?

Right now it's only feeding a new power center I added under the radio. dual USB power jack, voltmeter, and a higher amperage cigarette lighter. Annoyingly I only have ONE fuse at the moment, so only the USB has power. More fuses arriving with my parts order. Was in a bit of a rush as I wanted to have the USB power for autocross this weekend, in order to keep power in my GoPro. Eventually I need to do a lot of work cleaning up the radio mount. For now though it's serviceable. The whole radio area was another nightmare from the previous owner that I'm slowly cleaning up. Wiring is all done but I need to do a whole new bezel mount around the radio, possibly even replace the front trim piece.

jfryjfry Reader
8/11/16 12:23 a.m.

Help me understand why they cut the front firewall for a speaker box in the rear??

hhaase Reader
8/11/16 5:39 a.m.

This was in the front trunk, (generally called a 'frunk' by mr2 owners).

Not even sure you can call this spot a firewall, Probably more accurate to call it a bulkhead. By the passengers feet. Either way, here's a photo of what was in the frunk when I bought the car. This is over the front wheels. Remember, MR2, engine behind the passenger compartment.

wheelsmithy Dork
8/11/16 6:05 p.m.


I am enjoying your thread. You seem very good with the pixels.

hhaase Reader
8/13/16 11:26 p.m.

Fun lessons learned at autocross today.

  1. NA AW11 has a rev limiter in the ECU at 8200rpm. I wasn't sure if there was one or not, found out today when I bounced off it a couple times. Good runs today.

  2. GPS signal reception in my IPhone 6 is awful. Wanted to try TrackAddict to add some speed/time overlays onto my videos. Didn't work so well as it had trouble detecting the starts and finishes. Looking at external GPS receivers to improve that.

  3. Cars = awesome.

hhaase Reader
9/1/16 6:09 p.m.

Fresh video goodness! The August update is live. Trying to hit 100 subscribers, so feel free to subscribe if you haven't yet.


Also, got myself a Dual XGPS150 external GPS unit ($15 on E-bay). 5hz refresh, much better than crappy iphone GPS receiver. Will need to figure out a good mount for it. Should really improve data for the dashware overlays.


hhaase Reader
9/22/16 9:07 p.m.

The 11th chapter of the video series has gone live on YouTube. HUGE improvement going from IPhone GPS to the Dual XGPS150.

Performance on the course? Completely awful! Way too sealant on the pavement made for an extremely slick course.


mazdeuce UltimaDork
9/22/16 9:17 p.m.

I like checking in every now and again to see how this is going. What are your track time plans prior to 2018? Very different stresses on the car than AX. Also, the R8 that ran the last couple of years had adapters that let them run the same wheels on the trailer as the car. This let them bring one spare that would work for the car or the trailer. Certainly not necessary, but pretty cool.

hhaase Reader
9/22/16 9:28 p.m.

Hoping for a weekend each at Brainerd and RPM, at least that's the plan. Was going to try for a weekend this year too but didn't have the budget for tires and brakes work out in time. Wasn't about to hit a track with street pads and all season tires.

Crackers New Reader
9/23/16 3:59 a.m.

I had an 88 for a while, ended up having mystery coolant loss and I sold it. Was probably my favorite driver though. Someday I'd like to get my hands on a newer turbo model.

hhaase wrote: This was in the front trunk, (generally called a 'frunk' by mr2 owners). Not even sure you can call this spot a firewall, Probably more accurate to call it a bulkhead. By the passengers feet. Either way, here's a photo of what was in the frunk when I bought the car. This is over the front wheels. Remember, MR2, engine behind the passenger compartment.

Ford techs aren't allowed to use the term "firewall" anymore. They're all called bulkheads now.

hhaase Reader
10/2/16 9:21 p.m.

So, this happened today on Twitter.....

hhaase Reader
10/3/16 4:39 p.m.

Well, that closes out the 2016 Autocross season near me. Had a blast, and definitely starting to see my place in the rankings improve. #43 out of 52 overall this time. Compared to cars that are contemporary to mine, I'm actually doing damn good. This month was the land of badly driven Corvettes, and I was quicker than a fair number of them. So yeah, a Slow Car Driven Fast is definitely better than a Fast Car Driven Slow.

Some takeaways from the season as I look at my learned lessons, particularly as the apply to the goal of One Lap.

  1. Logistics and durability trump performance.
  2. There's still time to be had in the car, without further modification.
  3. I'm flogging the snot out of it, so there isn't THAT much time to be had.
  4. Tires - need some. I'm near the limits of my traction.
  5. I don't need bigger brakes. Though I do need something that can withstand track temperatures.
  6. I've never been in a spot where I thought I needed more power.
  7. Most of these will be re-evaluated after I get some track time, particularly #6.
  8. You never know who's watching your social media.
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