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gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/16/21 8:11 a.m.

 

For tomorrow's Susquehanna Rallycross Practice Day 7 out of 10 in Prepared FWD are Mazdas.  And there are another 3 in SF and MF for a total of 10.  Overall more than any other brand except of course the AWD Subarus which outnumber the Mazdas 2 to 1.

Weirdly, only 2 RWD cars at all, both in MR.

 

 

 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/18/21 7:41 a.m.

Wow!  Practice rallycross day yesterday was blast and an eye opener for me. With the LSD and rally tires, I have to learn to drive the car completely differently. I hit A LOT of cones because the car turned so much better than I was used to.  
 

At the same time I'm wondering if I may have "out kicked my coverage"  meaning the car is faster than I am talented. Hopefully with seat time I'll improve.

At least it looked good.  Haha
 


 

 

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
4/18/21 9:46 p.m.

Awesome to see! An LSD is probably in my future but most likely not this season. I wish I could've made it to the practice yesterday but I had other commitments. Hopefully, it's looking like I'll be able to make it to Susquehanna in July though, fingers crossed.

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
4/19/21 8:10 a.m.

I wouldn't sweat it too much, you made a TON of changes to the car and will take some time to get used to how it responds. I would just give the cones some room and trust the upgrades you made, and it'll come with some seat time. BTW I'm pretty sure nearly every has room to grow their skills no matter the car, and that just part of the adventure.

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/19/21 12:57 p.m.

In reply to HopmanJones :

Thanks! So basically, Go Fast! Avoid Cones! Seems so obvious and simple. laugh

 

 

HopmanJones
HopmanJones New Reader
4/22/21 7:57 a.m.

Yeah, I know my advice is vague but it kinda boils down to what I had to do when I did very similar upgrades. I distrusted the grip potential that my car had after adding gravel tires and a diff, and I just had to take time to push it to learn the limits. 

Thanks again for the air filter btw!

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/24/21 1:33 p.m.
HopmanJones said:

Yeah, I know my advice is vague but it kinda boils down to what I had to do when I did very similar upgrades. I distrusted the grip potential that my car had after adding gravel tires and a diff, and I just had to take time to push it to learn the limits. 

Thanks again for the air filter btw!

Oh I was totally joking. REALLY appreciate your advice!

I got a great deal on an NRG steering wheel through marketplace.  So much so that I though it was a fake. For $60, I got this wheel in remarkably great condition. The worst of it is the horn button and even that is not that bad. This model lists for $165, though I've seen it for as low as $125. Now I just need the hub to fit my Mazda 3 (also fits Mustang and Focus if anyone happens to have one  available). 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/30/21 7:40 a.m.

Always awesome pics by Tom Hamm at Susquehanna events! 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/13/21 12:44 p.m.

Today's junkyard finds at Baughman's U-Pull-It in York .  Red stitched shifter boot and "one" Mazdaspeed sill cover.  $5.30.

 

Also, here's the new wheel installed.  Ignore the dash dust (aka rallyx natural flocking). Couldn't get an NRG hub, so settled for a "FlashPower" short hub.  I guess its supposed to be used with a quick release, but I just mounted it without.  I had to cut away some of the steering column plastic cause it rubbed a bit. I made a mess of that. What's the best way to cut thick plastic precisely?

And the wheel and shift boot together. In this lighting, you can barely see the red in the boot. You'll just have to trust me that its there.

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/13/21 1:54 p.m.

And then this decal showed up in the mail today.  "Adding lightness" with "carbon fiber" So light, instead of charging me for shipping, they paid me to ship it. wink

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/23/21 7:48 p.m.

Back from my first DC Rallycross. Great event! And look who placed first in his class! Easy to do when the only other PF that showed, Kris Hamilton, purchased his Scion "Something"  the day before. And even then it was close. Whatever, I'll take it. Haha. 
 

Really different course than Susquehanna. Lots of fast straights. It was fun and I hope I can make it back soon. 
 

Also got to meet irish44j in person and check out his stage rally e30. 
 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/26/21 9:01 p.m.

My mid season upgrades are coming early. Honestly it is more maintenance than anything. I can't attend anything in June due to other commitments so I have until July 10 to do some work on the car. 
 

Over the winter I never got a chance to do some rear suspension maintenance that I was planning. I have Powerflex trailing arm bushings and some adjustable rear upper camber arms. Also at the last event I passed tech, but was told my rear bearings might be starting to go, so I'm going do hubs too.

 

That should be enough but it has escalated quickly.  Yeah that's the subframe on the floor. With the brakes and trailing arms already removed, dropping the subframe was just a couple clips and 6 bolts,  I wanted to see how bad the rust on the frame rails is and am really happy how it's looking.  Will clean and paint that before reinstalling.   

My bigger problem are the trailing arms and hubs. Check out the torx socket broken off in the hub bolt.  Ugh!  And this bolt for the lower control arm just spins and spins in the rubber bushing.

 


I'm ready to just give up and buy new trailing arms. There not THAT expensive. About $200/piece. Not very grassroots though. Still thinking on that one. 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
5/27/21 9:49 a.m.

 

I'm grassroots again and saved myself over $400. With some PB Blaster and a variety of dremel and angle grinder work, I have freed the hubs and control arms from the trailing arms.  Now to do some rust cleanup and paint before getting to pressing in the new bushings.

 

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/2/21 4:31 p.m.

I made a mess of the threads for the sway bar mounts and had to get creative with the tap to rethread.  I could fit the standard tap wrench but the bar would hit the side of the subframe. The ratcheting tap wrench was too long. I could work from the opposite side for the top one, but not the bottom one. 
 

So my m10x1.25 tap was sacrificed to make a shorty version. First I cut off the end, but the it slipped in the wrench. So I had to dremel the round part into a square part so it would stay in place. 
 


 

Also putting new poly bushings in the control arm. One end was easy with this rental from Advanced Auto. 


The other end has not been easy. So the bushings are in the freezer until tomorrow. Let's see if that shrinks them enough to get them in place.  (The non dairy stuff is for my daughter who is allergic to dairy)

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/4/21 2:24 p.m.

The freezer trick didn't work. So the control arms are with my bushings guy to get them pressed in.

 

The trailing arm bushings went in with many hits with a large hammer on one of the spacers from the Advanced Auto kit. They are now installed along with the new  Timken hubs. 
 


 

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/4/21 9:43 p.m.

Looks like fun.  I'm thinking of seat, steering wheel and LSD mods for my Subaru RS too.  In TX, I'm usually in stock AWD all by myself if you can imagine that.  Doing these mods would push me to prepared, where I can upgrade struts too and run a header if I want.  I may wait until next season or at least later this season when I have enough points no one can catch me in stock AWD (S4). 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/5/21 6:37 p.m.

Should I be really embarrassed or is it completely normal that in the last day I

- reinstalled my rear sway bar upside down

- reinstalled one rear lower control arm without the coil spring  

 

I mean I caught both before the car came off the jack stands. But I'm wondering if I'm sloppy, hasty, or just typical?

 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/8/21 8:03 p.m.

Finished up my rear suspension rebuild and rust repair. Everything was good except an annoying rattle that I assumed was a loose bolt or
nut somewhere. Tracked it down to a loose upper shock nut. While I was at it, I replaced the shock mounts. I had these steel (instead of aluminum) Dorman units that I’ve been saving. 
 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/16/21 6:38 p.m.

Wow, I haven't posted in  while. Just finished up the RallyX season with a great race at Panthera. It was my first time there. Great course and beautiful environment. 
 

I did really well and even had a shot at a first place finish. That is until I took out 9 cones in one turn. Ended up in third anyway but not the way I'd like to as two competitors went down with car troubles.

Now for some off season plans. Thinking about a partial paint job. Black cars get real hot in the middle of summer. I'm thinking about a white roof. Maybe the hood too. According to science, it can make a 10 degree difference in interior temps. 
 

I don't really have other big plans. Just maintenance. But I'll be looking out for marketplace and junkyard bargains. 
 

 

gszczyrbak
gszczyrbak GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/3/22 10:28 a.m.

Oops.  That's embarrassing. My last post was just two days before GRM promoted this thread, and then I didn't post again until now almost a year later. [sheepish] Thanks GRM! I promise to do better. smiley

This past season was a blast.  I finally put in a full season and had my best season yet.  (update below).  Not much with the car, except for some new light weight oem Mazda Millenia wheels. I also bought a new daily driver, a 2022 Mazda3 Turbo.  (LOVE IT despite it being an automatic, and definitely not a speed). Future post about that car maybe.

Susquehanna rallycross prepared front season summary

This season, the fastest runners in Prepared Front moved to different classes or different cars so the mid pack runners including me thought we had a decent shot at some first place finishes.  That was until Spiro showed up with an Escort GT and co-driver Lilly.  Doesn't matter what he drives, he is always fast.  

First event in April I ended up in a typical fourth place for me. For the second event, I disconnected the front sway bar and something just clicked. Ended up in second just .8 seconds away from Spiro in first. Event 3 was more of the same, another second place finish. Missed first by 3.4 seconds and had the fastest run of the day in my class. I didn't attend event 4.

Event 5 was interesting. Fellow mid-pack runner, Andy, broke his car on the parade lap. Fuel just cut out suddenly. So I offered to have him co-drive my car. I got beat in my own car, and learned some things as a passenger with Andy driving my car.

For the final event, Andy co-drove with me again. In the morning, I was fastest overall including my second run which was maybe the best I've ever driven my car. Everything was just perfect including lots of luck that bounced my way.

But the afternoon session, I just completely fell apart.  The surface changed so much and I didn't adapt my driving style in response. I was a mess and ended up in 4th, but ahead of Andy. It was funny, Andy was struggling in the morning, but fantastic in the afternoon. It was the complete opposite for me. Huge realizations about how driving style and changing track surfaces interact . Was glad to see Lilly claim second place though with a nearly flawless, consistent day . She only hit one cone on a day that I hit 24!  Corey also only hit 1 cone which is his typical, yet ridiculously impressive given the mess the afternoon was.

The official season results aren't out yet, but pretty sure Andy and I tied for second. The tie breaker is cones hit and I win that tie breaker, so second for the season and I couldn't be more pleased. Spiro secured first of course.

Just a couple pics from the season. More at my instagram

The aforementioned lightweight Millenia Wheels pictured with the 929 wheels I already had. Only have 2 so far. Would like 2 more.

From my messy afternoon of the last event. Bad driving makes for great pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

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