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dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
6/25/19 8:41 a.m.

It's funny as many times as I've been out to Hallett I've never run it clockwise.  1:37 is some good scootin'!  What tires are you running?

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
6/25/19 8:56 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :

235/40/18 Falken Azenis rt615k+ on a 18x9.5 rim.

I've been trying to find times to compare with, but everything I have found is running ~100tw or slicks and usually a gutted car. I have no idea what an FRS usually would run out there, and didn't think to ask the instructor what times his mostly stock one ran.

After running only CW so far, I'm curious as to how much different it is to run CCW. I really loved diving in to turn 9 and blasting through 8 and 7.  Actually I love the whole track really.

 

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
6/25/19 9:27 a.m.

Time-wise the speed is about the same but most people just don't have as much experience with CW so the numbers tend to stack up a bit slower.  Visually it looks completely different, I credit the elevation changes for part of that.  I don't know about an FRS but in my C5Z going CCW I've run around a 1:35 on stock suspension and Hankook RS4s in square 285/35/18 although admittedly I don't normally run a timer so I have no idea what times I'm putting down on average. 

I love going to Hallett, I feel fortunate to have it close enough that I can go there with some frequency and its costs not being so astronomical that I can afford to go more than once a year (when I don't break my car). 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
6/25/19 9:43 a.m.

In reply to dclafleur :

I think I've got a 1:35 in the car, just gotta work on my lines a bit. Too much brakes into turn 1 and I should have been braking later into turn 3.

Yeah I don't know if it will be my new home, but I would like to make it out every month or two from here on out. It's about 2 1/2 hours depending on time of day to get there, so not too bad. I may try to do a Sat/Sun combo my next time out to get some more seat time.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
7/1/19 11:29 a.m.

So there's a club that runs autocross at a different location than I'm used to called Reaction Motorsports. I've always wanted to check it out, but schedules never seem to line up. Friday afternoon I realize I can make the one on Saturday, so a quick online registration gets me set up. It's located on an old Army barracks grid with some DEEP ditches and massive culverts that can swallow cars whole. From what I gather, there have been quite a few accidents that have totaled cars, so it's definitely a bit sketch. Narrow roads mean mostly slaloms, but variety is what I'm after.

The nice part about going to Reaction is the classing put me with 6 drivers to compete with. Usually at SCCA I'm all alone in CSP, so a first place ribbon is almost always a given. Heck, last year I won DSP with my e30 mainly by just showing up to most of the events. Anyway, these guys/gals run 4 in the early part of the day, switch to cone shagging for the other half's 4 runs, out to lunch, and then back to do another 4 runs. The best run of the first 4 and the best of the second 4 create your overall average. That's how you win or lose. Kinda cool I think as it relies more on consistency than a banzai run. The only real downside is that they basically run the same course all year, so almost all of my competition knows the course, and they know it well.

Overall it was fun to get out and try something different. Personally I wasn't a fan of the 270 degree turns, of which there are two, but the rest was pretty high speed and fun. Immediately I pull out some decent times putting me in the fight for first place in the class. I didn't manage to close the small gap, so 2nd place was mine, and 3rd for overall time that day. I'm pretty happy with those results.

Unfortunately one of my competitors put a Miata in one of those ditches I spoke of earlier. She broke her arm and it deployed air bags. They pulled it from the ditch with what looked like some front steering components bent and busted up. I really don't know how much longer they will be able to keep enough competitors for longevity if this is common occurance. I was told about every 4 months there's a big OFF and usually it's serious. If my schedule frees up again, I'll go back, but the safety thing really bugs me. Also the fact that the course stays the same. Half the fun of autocross is the variety and skills you apply with each new course.

Here's a super crappy quality video of the course (click to watch):

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
7/16/19 9:21 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday were spent with the 4 State Vette Club, and the car performed well. Saturday I got 4th overall with two cars on street tires that beat me by a couple tenths. Sunday I managed 7th overall with only 1 street tired car edging me out. I kinda want to throw some A7s on now, but what's the point. As cool as it would be to get a number 1 spot a few times, it's nicer to not change tires each event, and best of all it's still doing decent on the Falkens. Oh yeah, and the cost of A7s in these sizes are nauseating. There was one other FRS there with some exhaust and tires that was about 6.5-7 seconds slower than me. I hit about 70+ on two sections of the course in third gear, it was a quick as frick dawg.

Unfortunately I'm missing the local Mid-Divs AGAIN due to some poor planning on my part, so I don't get to see what the hot shoes from other areas have to offer. That also means I won't have another autocross for about a month now. Wah wa wa....

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
7/31/19 10:13 a.m.

Not much going on lately. My next autocross isn't until August 11th which currently feels like a decade away. I'm planning another track day at Hallett September 21st, and just signed up for the Southern Express '19 rally in October. Since I no longer have plans to attend the GRM Challenge, this fills the void for me. I've never been to a Rally, but what got me excited was to tick another track off my list with Cresson. The wife will be navigating for me for the road portion. We've done plenty of road trips before, but since this one is more car focused I'm hoping it's not a complete let down for her. My buddy and his wife will be joining as well with an SS 1LE. It should be a real hoot!

Here's the basic details:

Southern Express '19
October 24-26th
$1,199 for a team of two
Deposit of $500 reserves your spot
Register @ www.expressrally.com
NWA•Dallas•NWA

Entry Fee Includes:
• Southern Express vehicle sticker kit.
• 2 Southern Express t-shirts.
• 4 Star hotel accommodations in Dallas.
• Private karting event at Dallas Karting Complex.
• Private track day at Motorsport Ranch (Cresson).
• Complete media coverage from BLK ELK Media.

*As with all Express Rally events, entry fees cover all expenses for participating teams with the exception of fuel and food.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
7/31/19 11:55 a.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

My regional SOLO group took the month of July off (FL + Heat + thunderstorms).  I've also been waiting patiently for the next event.  We did get ~15 people to rent a carting track for a 1/2 day...which was stupid fun.  

I've never seriously considered an organized rally, but this looks like there's quite a bit included in that price tag.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
7/31/19 12:33 p.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

I imagine it will be fun. If not for the Kart and Cresson day it wouldn't be worth my while. I would have gone to Hallett last weekend, but my youngest turned 6 and you just don't skip out on the good stuff.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
7/31/19 9:07 p.m.

I finally got around to fixing the clock spring that causes ABS and traction control to spaz on me. As previously mentioned, if I start the car and just begin to drive the steering wheel sensor (clock spring) goes bonkers and shuts off ABS and the traction control. If I press and hold the traction control button or do the "pedal dance" before driving, ABS function stays. The problem is I don't want to have to ALWAYS turn traction control off before driving. It's irritating.

So today I pulled all of the steering wheel hub stuff to find the clock spring set at the 3:30-4 o'clock range. It's supposed to be set at 12 o'clock. With the clock spring set at the right position I reinstalled the splined adapter hub. I guess the previous owner added a spacer to place the steering wheel closer to him, but in doing so, that placed the wheel slightly off center. So to "fix" that he spun the adapter and clock spring so it could line the wheel up properly. His "fix" ended up causing things to be "broke". I removed the spacer, bolted everything back in place and took the car for a spin.

I'm pleased to report the issue is fixed. I can drive around without worrying the clock spring will shut ABS off.

Tonight I ordered a 3-D printed cruise control bracket and a new cruise control stalk and harness. I wanted to make my own bracket, but it was inexpensive and better than what I would managed to create. I need cruise control for the next trip to Hallett and more importantly the trip to Dallas with the Southern Express.

This is the spacer. You can see the slight misalignment it would cause, especially once the quick release bracket is to be bolted on.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/7/19 10:03 a.m.

I've never really been a fan of the Grip Royal horn button that came with the car. As far as I can tell the only thing Grip Royal that came with a car looks like a sex toy or vape stick thingy and it's not installed. So the other day I saw a fairly neat looking horn button that I though fit the look of the interior a little better. It was $25.99 on Amazon made by Forever Sharp. The price has since gone up to $29.99 but even that seems reasonable. The quality looks good. The horn button works like it should. It looks better than the GR one. I'd call it a win.

OLD

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

NEW

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JeremyJ
JeremyJ New Reader
8/7/19 11:44 a.m.

Much better. It looks right at home. 

badwaytolive
badwaytolive Reader
8/8/19 9:44 a.m.

Really enjoyable thread, thanks for posting! Sorry I missed it before.

How do you find the auto-x vs HPDE experience? Once I started doing track days, I quickly lost interest in auto-x, especially once the 100degF / 100% humidity cone-replacing work sessions were factored in...

damen

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/8/19 10:31 a.m.

In reply to badwaytolive :

Definitely not a fair dollar per smile comparison, cause HPDE will crush that metric. I really like them both though for different reasons. After the first few laps of HPDE I was worried it was the end of autoX for me, but since I can't visit the track as often as autoX that never came true.

The cost of autoX is low, and for me the closest to get to. The clubs I run with have an event almost every weekend throughout most of the year. Variety is one of my favorite parts about autoX. Showing up to an event with the same opportunity to learn/race the course as everyone else is rad. Plus over the past couple years I've gotten to know a lot of the regulars, so it's a place to catch up with friends. Except we race each other, which is even cooler. When the results are posted the next day or two it can't come soon enough. The competition is awesome. I hope to try some events that are further than I usually would travel, as it's fun to try new things.

As much as I dislike some cone shagging, it's good for me. It gets me off the couch or from the seat at my desk. It gets me social. It makes my weekends feel like I did something. I get to see lines taken by the hot shoes that confirm whether I screwed up or did well. I've also racked up some experience using the timing equipment, helping in grid, etc. which has developed some understanding of how these things work(or don't). In fact, I'm probably going to work towards a safety steward certification, as that's always in demand.

In closing, I feel lucky to have so many options available to me. If not for autoX, I probably wouldn't have stepped up to a track day. That gateway drug has been fun, and so far hasn't got old. It's nice to support the racing community and clubs that spend time putting on an event. Tons of respect to those guys/gals as the hard work is often ignored or unseen due to ignorance. I hope others get to experience even just a smidge of what I've managed to stumble into. Sorry for all the words, it's more than you probably asked for.

badwaytolive
badwaytolive Reader
8/8/19 10:57 a.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

Wooo, great answer! Love it.

damen

TXratti
TXratti New Reader
8/8/19 12:08 p.m.
captainawesome said:

In reply to badwaytolive :

Definitely not a fair dollar per smile comparison, cause HPDE will crush that metric. I really like them both though for different reasons. After the first few laps of HPDE I was worried it was the end of autoX for me, but since I can't visit the track as often as autoX that never came true.

The cost of autoX is low, and for me the closest to get to. The clubs I run with have an event almost every weekend throughout most of the year. Variety is one of my favorite parts about autoX. Showing up to an event with the same opportunity to learn/race the course as everyone else is rad. Plus over the past couple years I've gotten to know a lot of the regulars, so it's a place to catch up with friends. Except we race each other, which is even cooler. When the results are posted the next day or two it can't come soon enough. The competition is awesome. I hope to try some events that are further than I usually would travel, as it's fun to try new things.

As much as I dislike some cone shagging, it's good for me. It gets me off the couch or from the seat at my desk. It gets me social. It makes my weekends feel like I did something. I get to see lines taken by the hot shoes that confirm whether I screwed up or did well. I've also racked up some experience using the timing equipment, helping in grid, etc. which has developed some understanding of how these things work(or don't). In fact, I'm probably going to work towards a safety steward certification, as that's always in demand.

In closing, I feel lucky to have so many options available to me. If not for autoX, I probably wouldn't have stepped up to a track day. That gateway drug has been fun, and so far hasn't got old. It's nice to support the racing community and clubs that spend time putting on an event. Tons of respect to those guys/gals as the hard work is often ignored or unseen due to ignorance. I hope others get to experience even just a smidge of what I've managed to stumble into. Sorry for all the words, it's more than you probably asked for.

Your words are great! This is extraordinarily similar to my entry into track days and racing. Everyone knows autocross is the worst $/seat time of any motorsport, but that's not the point, and I think you hit on why. It's the people, it's the challenge, it's getting out and about. 

My personal racing journey is still on the $1500 car and fixing it up (daily driver excepted), or sitting in other people's racecars (stage rally co-driver). Perhaps I'll upgrade at some point, or just keep upgrading my 80's crapcan, but it's all about the journey, the people, and the memories.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/10/19 2:36 p.m.

I finally got the 3d printed bracket in from Shapeways to mount my cruise control switch. The bracket is a little more flimsy than I would like. It also doesn't sit flat with the switch like it should, but that could be sorted with some filing of the bracket profile spacer. Seems silly that a precision part like this isn't really the precise, but it looks better than anything I could manage to create. A couple black zip ties secure the switch to the bracket but you could use hardware if it tickles thy fancy. After trimming the plastic hub surround a smidge, I was able to tuck the harness behind the bracket for a cleaner install. It took some effort to get all the pieces stacked just right to start threading in the screws, but once a couple were aligned they tightened up drama free.

So, guess who's got two thumbs and a functional cruise control now?

It's me.

The light turns on/off with the switch, and after a few trips around the neighborhood I can confirm it all functions nice and proper. Yeehaw!

Oh, I also bought a silly cheap shift knob off ebay. It's delrin, and has some embossed TRD lettering in red. Unfortunately the one I got looks like some weld spatter or something on it. There are multiple little pock marks right where it's most visible when installed. I've contacted the seller in hopes they can fix this, but doubtful it will be rectified. Autocross is tomorrow, so we will see if the new knob is up to my standards or the old one goes back on. It will also be nice to have cruise control on the way there and back.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

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captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/12/19 7:56 a.m.

Sunday I joined the 4 Stave Vettes club for some autocross shenanigans. I placed 3rd overall with other fellers running street tires. I was bested by RE71rs on both cars, one being a MINI Cooper S and the other a 350z. I was within a hundredth of the Z but a little over a half second slower than the MINI.

It was hot. Really hot. Lots of water.

Cruise control was nice to have the way there and back. The new shift knob can stay. It's slightly taller than the previous one, but lighter too. The other one was heavier than I realized.

I've been looking into a good camera for all my recent automotive high jinks, and a buddy insisted I try out his Gopro 7 black. It's nice. The quality is great, and was easy to use. He wants me to hold on to it for a while and see if I'd rather get whatever new model comes out or stick with this one. Okay.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/12/19 7:57 a.m.
captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/26/19 10:15 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday we managed to get some dryish surface for the Ozark Z club doubleheader weekend. Attendance was low, but the usual suspects came out to play. Day 1 I managed to get third overall with a course that had some excellent flow. Day 2 was the same course flipped and my car was just not happy with the transitions. I finished 5th overall but left some time on the table for sure. It feels like the tires are done with grip. I can't imagine I've cycled all the goodness out of them, but they felt real greasy. Plenty of understeer with oversteer looming as well. They feel just like the old tires that came with the car now.

Anyway, my older brother saw a video I posted the other day, and was extremely interested in checking out some autocross. He's done some drag racing in the past, but that's about it. After riding along most of Sunday with me I think he's hooked. Pretty sure we will be prepping a car for him soon on a Challenge budget. I'm pretty stoked that he's into it.

I also gifted him my Gambler 500 Baja Bug. I'm just never going to get it going. He's hopefully going to make it run great again. At least I'll still get some seat time if it ever sees the road under his ownership.

This coming Sunday our local SCCA is staring it's first attempt at running in Springfield Missouri. It's a 2 hour drive for me, and most I've spoken with aren't too impressed with the surface. Their next 3 events will be there, so I've decided to try out the first one and see if it's worth returning to. Some variety will be nice, and honestly it's not that much further away.

On to the photographical evidence of my weekend exploits....

This is my fastest for Saturday.

 

Looks like I uploaded the wrong run for Sunday. This one had a downed cone, so I didn't count it as my quickest even though it wasn't counted against me.

 

My brother took this outside footage.

 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/27/19 9:01 a.m.

Maintenance update:

Saturday was the 1st oil change on e85. Looks good, but from what I have been reading a 3000 mile interval is probably the best idea, so that's when I did it. Apparently e85 is pretty harsh on oils or something scientific. Anyway, that puts my total miles on the car since purchase around 4600 miles. Still smiling.

Cabin filter was gross, so that was swapped. Air filter is gonna get replaced today.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

New Yellowstuff EBC pads were purchased. After Hallett in June I measured around 7mm of pad left, and I imagine they won't manage to last the 21st of September when I go back. Gonna bleed some fresh Motul 600 when they are installed sometime in the next few days.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

On to the next mod. For a while I've been using the Open Flash Tablet to engage the "pedal dance" when it's race time. As mentioned before this is the only true nanny shut off for the car. In order to set it, the car has to be warmed up to a certain temp, idle has to drop below 1k RPM, and you can't be in motion to set it. Also you have to navigate a handful of menu clicks if you use the OFT. It does the job, but I'm tired of having the tablet as a permanent fixture by the steering wheel when there are "pedal dance" boxes out there. Or at least there used to be. A company called Beastronix was making a variety of these boxes that would engage pedal dance mode, TPMS delete, ABS shut off, etc. but they weren't long for this world. I put a want to buy ad on the gt86 forum but never really got any good offers until last week. Speed Academy had a custom version made that automatically engages pedal dance regardless of whether the engine is warm or RPMs. It also immediately shuts the TPMS light off. This was the box I've been looking for. Luckily one was offered for $135 shipped so I pounced.

Instructions are simple. Unclip some plastic parts, drill a hole in your switch panel, connect wires, tuck the box behind the trim, and that's it. So simple. If I want the car to run in normal mode I simply press the button and hold until the lights turn off. If I want it to shut ABS off I just click the switch once. I love it. It has a proper OBD2 pass through so data logging or OFT can be plugged in.

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

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Untitled by hatchethairy, on Flickr

 

 

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
8/27/19 10:49 a.m.

Why would you want to turn off tpms and abs?  I can see wanting to totally disable traction control but I'm unclear on the rest?

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
8/27/19 11:52 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Bear in mind this depends on the car and braking setup: ABS can lengthen stopping distance vs threshold braking. It's also one less thing worry about failing if you were to get into the habit of relying on it.

TPMS: Aftermarket wheels with no sensors or a second set of wheels with different sensors. It prevents having to listen to to the car bitch about not finding the correct sensor.

This thread is awesome BTW.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/27/19 11:53 a.m.
docwyte said:

Why would you want to turn off tpms and abs?  I can see wanting to totally disable traction control but I'm unclear on the rest?

TPMS is the only thing of those that I want off. My wheels didn't come with sensors, and honestly I check pressure often enough that I don't need a sensor to tell me it's low.

I personally want ABS, but I guess some guys with different brake setups have had issue with it on track engaging in some hairy situations. It's never been an issue for me. Someone mentioned maybe ice racing being one of the reasons as well.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
8/27/19 12:15 p.m.
The0retical said:

This thread is awesome BTW.

Thanks!

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