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Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/3/20 1:30 p.m.

Had spacers made, will be running wider MUCH newer rubber this year. 

 

 

 

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/20/20 12:36 p.m.

WOW, this is beyond a screaming deal.

 

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/d/garland-formula-500-race-car/7095289290.html

 

Get this and join the FUN. 

camaroz1985
camaroz1985 HalfDork
3/20/20 1:54 p.m.

Someone needs a quarantine project...

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/5/21 7:57 p.m.

 

First FTD!  

 

Some more work to do getting used to it, but it's starting to come together.

 

edited, because new GoPro had me putting up my second fastest run initially

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/5/21 10:07 p.m.

Nice driving, that looks like fun!

And the sound and (imagined) smells, takes me back to riding snowmobiles as a kid.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/7/21 8:07 p.m.

Sunday video.   I gave up some in the first big right hander as if I got off line it could have meant damage

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/7/21 9:01 p.m.

Great work!!!

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/9/21 8:30 a.m.

So a few comparison side by side video links...

 

Gimp's CP Camaro vs the F500, sync'd at start time - https://viewsync.net/watch?v=TN8c7PEYO-k&t=9.31&v=2AWLh4da1Sw&t=9.39&mode=solo

 

CP vs Fmod fairly close to finish sync - https://viewsync.net/watch?v=2AWLh4da1Sw&t=4&v=TN8c7PEYO-k&t=0&mode=solo

 

Fmod vs Kart Mod. https://viewsync.net/watch?v=TN8c7PEYO-k&t=9.08&v=hZNbeJ7e9cI&t=3.4&mode=solo

(a few notes, I gave up big on that first big right hander, if I went off line I could have damaged the car and I was nervous. the Kart driver has trophied in KM at nationals)

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/9/21 8:59 a.m.

Mine sounds cooler... cheeky

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/9/21 10:46 a.m.
Gimp (Forum Supporter) said:

Mine sounds cooler... cheeky

WHAT?!?

 

 

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/10/21 5:05 a.m.

 

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/15/21 10:29 p.m.

So a bit over a week later and I am finally going to do some writeup for the first race weekend after covid. 

Gimpy's birthday, as great of an excuse as any for a gang of us who used to meet up autocrossing at an airport in western Maryland to meet at a different airport and relive the golden days of times past. 

I had just finished a slew of upgrades before the pandemic hit, biggest of which was having spacers machined which allowed the new rubber with wider front wheels and tires to be fit. Prior to this I had been on 7 year old tires which to say the least were sub-optimal. I had also worked on a fiberglass seat insert to help with being battered around in the car. The biggest hurdle was that the car had sat without being started for a year and a half thanks tongue pandemic. Well, aside from trailer maintenance matters like how old are my trailer tires anyways? (Turns out date codes were from 2006 and they were cracking, so new trailer tires including spare needed). 

A few weeks before the event I managed enough time to try to test run the car at home and it wouldn't stay running without the choke and poorly at that. So I had a blizzard of disassembling the carbs and cleaning them before I could manage another try. When I did get to, the carbs showed gas climbing out the overflows before settling down. Flooding at first then starting and warming up normally. So it appears my float valves aren't the happiest ever. I got to do a brief sedate drive around my neighborhood (I have understanding neighbors) and it was under a week out from the event, so I was just going to send it. (Note to self, get carb gasket and float kits).

 

For a first big outing towing four and a half hours from home I over packed in the spares department. Hey, I might have needed the extra pistons and upper gasket sets, right? (Actually less work than you might think on a two stroke).

 

Tow went great, gathering an impressive amount of cicada splat. Rolled into the hotel and met up with a great group of friends for dinner and drinks. Saturday dawned and I hit a Walmart for a shore power battery, which runs the fans and water pump between runs with engine off on the car. Fun snowmobile powered car thing, 150* is overheating and starting to risk engine damage. You want temps to be at about 120-130*. So, you go some extra miles to cool them. 

Unload the car and do the normal warmup dance. Put the rear up on a stand (you can't start these on the ground with no driver in them, it's in the rulebook and for good reason, they can take off) and make noise warming it up and getting it off choke. If you get water temps to 100+ you usually won't need choke again for the rest of the day. Roll over to tech inspection and have a rather fun time. Tech guy figures if it has a logbook he pretty much has to assume I know what I'm doing, so no, I don't have to take off the body panels so he can check that my battery is secure... 

On my way to grid for morning session (Saturday would see 4 am runs, 3 pm runs) my usual pit trailer concept of bungi cords and the furniture dolly fails miserably and yard sales my stuff. I wind up paring down for the rest of the weekend and only needing to have friends tote my shore battery in their trunk for me. 

Morning runs...  I knew that the old tires had been toast and holding me back, but DAYM. New tire setup woke the car up. It's FAST and it's sooo good. Beyond knocking a year and a halfs rust off my driving, I have my work cut out for me adjusting. Balance is great. Some low speed understeer, some high speed oversteer. It's what you expect from a solid rear axle. I only get it really sideways once and I can snap it back straight, no problem. I work through the day on adapting and actually taking good lines and overall having the testicular fortitude to stay in the gas. I wind up ftd taking down a novice shifter kart. I celebrate a bit because it's a first for me.  Negatives of the day- rear brakes still don't seem to be doing much, the seating position gives me some neck/shoulder pain, pit cart idea needs work. Ftd and about 28th in pax out of about 70 cars.

 

Back to hotel, shower, dinner, beer, sleep.

Sunday dawns. Get to site, unload, warm it up. Off blocks and go to start to get to grid. Floods. I didn't warm it enough. Onboard battery starts running low. Thankfully snowmobile engines have an alternative. Gimpy saves the day and gets a morning workout on the pull starter. (Thanks again Gimpy). Walks reveal a much faster course. I keep improving with each run. I know I left some out there again, but this time I felt like I did respectfully. Another shifter kart showed up and had trophied at nats, so 2nd raw and I improved to 11th in pax. 

 

It was a great weekend. My first time really getting out and even eating in a restaurant since covid began. It was great seeing friends. This last year+ has been nuts. It was a wonderful salve for me.

 

For the car. Big success. Massive improvement, though there's always more work to do. The shore power cooling worked great, I never started for a run with temps over 120. I could even get it sub 110 between runs.

Improvements

Item 1- seating position. My neck and shoulders hurt for a few days afterwards and looking at pics, I'm too high up in the car. The back of my head is kind of jammed into the headrest. More to say in another post later.

Item 2- brakes. Are the rears doing anything? I had switched the master for the rear awhile back from 1 inch to 3/4 to increase pressure. Still not doing much. Bias bar full rear and I am locking fronts everywhere. 

 

Item 3- pit cart. Should be easy enough.

 

Item 4- jump port. I have a bigger battery with the car. Add a jump port to use it for morning starts or if the onboard runs down. Won't always have gimpy on the pull starter to bail me out. It would also be worth looking at a way to fuel the car without pulling a half dozen dzeus fastners and a body panel.

 

Item 5- carb rebuilds. Just get new valves and gaskets as prevention.

Item 6- I've been smelling gas when the car has been closed in the trailer...  

 

 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/18/21 5:39 p.m.

So item 6...

 

That might be the gas smell...

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
11/5/21 7:40 p.m.

I know you posted the pic months ago but just wanted to chime in and say I also had to replace my cell as it was starting weep. On mine I notice oil on the floor (I use premix)

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
11/5/21 8:16 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I don't premix, but man, what a royal pain on the KBS. I actually wound up using a mightyvac on the cells to get them in and out. The cell itself is probably the most expensive part of the car for mine. It's custom to the KBS and more than a set of new tires. I wouldn't need it if I was going autox only, but I want to try some track stuff in the next few years.

Planning to do a poured seat this winter, been going through the car a little, but most of my time has been kids, house, work, and the bugeye lately. Hopefully going to get out a few times next year.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/3/23 9:18 a.m.

Wow, it's been a minute since I updated this thread.

I got out once last year, the DC tour. The long and short of it was that temps stayed low (I think 40's), the tires never got to a happy place. Little to no grip whatsoever and I just felt like I was tiptoing for most of the event. The good news: first in class and got a placard! The bad news: ONLY car in class! So yay for participation trophy! It was my first national event and I hope to do it again sometime with warmer temps. I don't remember how I placed overall/pax and it doesn't really matter. I had fun, even if it was cold and like driving on an ice rink.

Perhaps the bigger news was finally getting graphics on it. Big thanks to autoxgraphics for the numbers and class, plus the supplies to do the swoop stripe. (Knifeless tape is fun to play with)

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/3/23 9:28 a.m.

Looking to get out a good amount this season, hitting most of the WDCR events and a trip back to PA for the conekiller classic. 

 

(First start of the year is always smokey until the oil burns off, a slow leak in the oil injection pump is normal) did my season beginning carb cleaning and it pretty much fired right up.

Car is pretty much ready to go. Updates since last event:

  • Jump port- I can now boost with the shore battery for starts. 
  • Seating position - hopefully centering in on it, but before i do track stuff I will be switching to either a bead or poured seat.
  • Rear brakes. New caliper. Hopefully fixes or improves it. If that doesn't do it, it's time for design change.
  • New windshield - old one was cracked. (Lexan)
  • Transit rear wheels with internal bearings. Pushing the car around against the clutch drag kinda sucked, so now I have free spinning wheels for loading and unloading.
Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/18/23 4:32 p.m.

Ran with DCR today, sorry, I didn't get pictures or video.

So, positives, a lot of my "ease of operations" mods worked really well. The jump battery port did it's job, the transit wheels (I don't think I did a post, I'll do a write up in the next week or so) saved me a lot of sweat.  The car ran pretty well. It started when asked, it ran hard no problems. It wasn't slow. 

 

The negatives, well, I hadn't driven it in over a year, so I am rusty. It's not slow, but I need time to generate the feel for keeping it in the edge it needs. The booster electric water pump wasn't working, but shouldn't be hard to diagnose or replace. The brakes...  Still feel like the front is doing all the work. It's better, but not where I want it. I need to go back to the fmod hive mind for advice before I start redesigning it. 

 

I pushed hard enough that I actually spun it on one run. Fun thing with these is they don't travel far when spun. I whipped a quick doughnut and continued to finish all on course (and was still faster than a lot of street class cars on the spin run)

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/26/23 9:22 a.m.

After the first event, the car didn't require work, but I did some anyway looking for improvements.

 

Brake system: history first so, when I got the car the brake setup was Willwood dynalite calipers, one for each front wheel with a single identical caliper on the rear axle. The master sizes were 3/4" front and 1" rear. It felt like the rear brakes were non-functional, even with bias bar full rear. I then changed the rear master to a 3/4" as well, to increase pressure and replaced the rear caliper (in case one of the two pistons were seized) and new pads/ scuffed up the rotor surfaces. Better, but still feels like the front does all the work. The bias bar is set full rear and it locks the fronts easily and forget trail braking. 

 

So I did want any lazy engineer would do. I found a good calculator and plugged the system details in.  With the matching masters and assuming the bias bar set to neutral, it was only tasking the rear brakes with 36% of the braking effort. If I plugged in some best guess values for cg height and known values for weight distribution, if I'm asking for 1G of braking, it should be able to task the rear brakes with closer to 50%. That is if I'm doing the calculations correctly. 

So, how do we improve things? 

To get to the full 50% I could put the 1" master I have on the front, but I liked the feel on the front brakes and worry it would increase pedal effort. Thankfully, fairly universal racing parts are cheap. I can get new masters from speedway motors for $68 each. Also, I worry that the full 50% may be a bit much, so I want to take slower steps. I ordered a 5/8" and a 7/8" master. Changing just the rear master to the 5/8" gives me 44% rear and if that doesn't feel like enough, taking the front one step larger gives me the 50%. 

So input the 5/8" rear on and flushed/bled the whole car (I have a motive bleeder, doesn't take long).  The next event up is a Saturday/Sunday at an airport in PA, and I'll have the parts and tools to swap the front if need be.  If this doesn't solve it, it's time to make a bracket and do a larger rotor/caliper in the rear for more surface area.

 

Additionally, I threw the car on the scales. After a bit of confusion due to stiction (fmod damping) everything checked out. With an admittedly unknown fuel load (maybe a half tank?) It's 632lbs without driver and the cross weights are within 2 lbs.  Fun fact, the car is light enough that I get away with postage scales!

I think it's ready for the next event! 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
7/1/23 7:05 a.m.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
2/9/24 8:25 a.m.

I call it artistic carbon monoxide...

Did a short test fire of the engine to check a few things. The big one being that the charging system doesn't seem to work. I am still trying to figure out if it's that it was just set up that way by the PO, or if something is wrong with the stator. (Yay snowmobile stuff!)

So, when I got the car I very consciously got a car that was roadrace legal with good logbooks and all that. I haven't done anything more than autocross. Well, yet...

The big news is that I am looking to run track trials with Pennsylvania hillclimb association at summit point at the end of May. This will require passing full tech, same as wheel to wheel racing, but without the prerequisite drivers school. The goal is to get some time doing higher speed stuff with the track to myself before doing it in traffic. 

This means there are a few extra things on my to-do list. I had some things to do anyway, but it's time to get going on it.

  • Tires- Hoosier discontinued the 19.5"OD tires I had been running. I have to go to 18"OD, so I need to set the car up 3/4 of an inch higher. This might mean some rear suspension work to gain droop travel. 
  • Harness - it's expired
  • Arm restraints - a set came with the car, but who knows how old. 
  • Helmet -it expired
  • Fire system - it's got an old halon system, but way out of date. Need to replace it as they don't make halon anymore. (Then recert every 2 years)
  • FIA rain light - it's a new requirement, but the rain light on my car doesn't meet current rules. I could probably get away without replacing it for this event, but I should just do it. 
  • Fan switch back powering the booster water pump - leads to more draw than necessary, so I'm putting a diode in the circuit. My wiring error. 
  • Fiberglass repair - got a bit of damage from a cone last year, it's very minor.
  • switch back to roadrace gearing (autox gearing tops out at 90mph)

 

So far I've ordered the following

  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Arm restraints
  • Tires
  • Diode for water pump circuit
Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
2/9/24 1:02 p.m.

Tire machine? We don't need no stinking tire machine. 

Hopefully the new tires go on as easily as these came off.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
2/12/24 3:37 p.m.

Old and, well, not busted, just expired. 

New hotness. 

 

A few things on this, new harness is FIA, so I don't have to worry about it until 2028. I did go from a 3" to a 2", but the 2" will work with the HANS better and just be nicer in the tight confines of the car. 

Big thing, the sub straps. If you look closely, the old ones just attached to the cam lock, while the new ones go through rings on the lap belt and the shoulder belts go through loops in the ends. Yes, it will be more fiddly and take longer to get belted. BUT, most importantly, the wider spacing gives room for anatomically male bits and drastically reduces the chances of a crushing injury. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
2/15/24 1:32 p.m.

So, had a great chat with the novice coordinator for PHA and got some questions answered and checked a few things. 

One of the things on my list was "do driving suits expire/ what labeling is needed?"

So he had me look

 

And the response is wow, that's old! 

So, time to relegate this to Halloween costume duty and get a new one.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
2/16/24 12:29 p.m.

So, Hoosier discontinued the 19.5x7.5 -10 that I was running before awhile back. So, I get the fun of resetting the ride height 3/4" higher and going to 18x7.5 -10. That said, I am going from the old r25b compound to r20, so, perhaps a bit softer?

 

Tire installation is a fair bit more difficult than removal, but I got it figured out. I use a cheapie harbor freight tire changer with some modifications and tools from no-mar. 

I remove the centers from the wheels and bolt the wheels onto the changer with some holes I drilled in the changer. For tire install, the no-mar yellow thing (that's what it's called) had to have some of the handle cut off for the 10" wheels and I found that it slips on the rim, so I safety wire from the handle to the changer and it works.

So, what do the old vs new tires look like?

Looks like the new are just a touch narrower. 

 

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