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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 7:27 a.m.

One Lap of America 2018 is coming up May 4-12 2018. As usual it will start at Tire Rack in South Bend Indiana and this year will see us go to from Colorado to New Orleans hitting tracks along the way, and then back to South Bend where we will collapse from Exhaustion. This is my fourth One Lap (as the title suggested) and I've done threads about each one. 

Mazdeuce Does One Lap

Mazdeuce Does One Lap Again! 2016 Tansit Edition

Mazdeuce Does One Lap of America 2017

I've finally managed to not annoy a co-driver so much that they abandon me and will be doing the 2018 event with my co-driver from last year, Brian, and his beloved 2009 Civic. We decided to go against One Lap tradition and actually prep and test the car before the event. Of the three events I've done, I've had mechanical issues on two of them, and finished dead last on the other one. We're going to try and improve those statistics. With that in mind we spent last weekend working on the car. It was fun. 

Toyman01 MegaDork
1/22/18 7:42 a.m.

Not exactly a auspicious beginning. 

Looking forward to the continuing saga.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 9:21 a.m.

In last years thread we prepped the car in the street under a shade tree in front of the house my co-driver was renting. This biggest upgrade of the whole adventure this year is that he bought a house that has a garage! Luxury........

One of the reasons I think we get along so well is optimism in the face of facts that would otherwise prevent optimism. The property that he bought has two houses on it along with the garage. One house is habitable and not very interesting, we'll skip that. The other house, the "big house", is NOT habitable and is the reason he got a GREAT deal on the property. The house was occupied by three colonies of bees and a 30lb raccoon who had some hygene issues. The fireplace enclosure is.....not well. 

The brick facing is not aging well. 

These two additions collect water which then pours down the wall between them instead of out the valley. 

And then there's the pool..........

His basic thought process is "the quotes to tear down the house are $20K. For less than $20K I can probably make the structure useable somehow." An optimist. A great guy. We have fun. This is important when you spend 10 days a year living out of a car together. 

Brake_L8 New Reader
1/22/18 9:21 a.m.

This is exciting to watch, I've wanted to do One Lap for years now and just haven't committed to planning it out, let alone finding a co-pilot. Some friends have been competing the past couple of years (Neil & Brian, in a white BMW 1M) so I get to follow along via Facebook there - but haven't learned much about the prep process. Looking forward to seeing the progress!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 9:29 a.m.

In reply to Brake_L8 :

Tell Neil and Brian we say Hi. I haven't had a proper sit down conversation with them yet mostly because they're fast enough that they run on a completely different schedule than us. We were pitted near them at Sebring last year and chatted a bit while we were running around trying to source brake pads that didn't want to melt into jello. 
Prep for One Lap isn't much different than prep for a track weekend from a car standpoint. You start with new tires from Tire Rack, new brakes all around and all your maintenance up to date. The packing list is a bit different and you need to get your hotels reserved early or you end up sharing a bed with your co-driver. Sorry about that. It can be difficult finding someone who wants to spend a week in the car with you driving 5-8k miles on less sleep than you should probably get. 

dculberson PowerDork
1/22/18 9:55 a.m.

Drill some big holes in the bottom of the pool, fill with a few inches of #2 stone then clean fill dirt the rest of the way up. Plant bamboo. BAM! instant beautiful zen yard feature without risk of the bamboo taking over the property.

Wally MegaDork
1/22/18 10:03 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :


I was thinking bulldoze the second house into it, and top off with dirt.

NickD UltraDork
1/22/18 10:09 a.m.

In reply to Wally :

Bulldozing stuff is very zen too

klodkrawler05 Reader
1/22/18 10:11 a.m.

Subscribed for updates and vicariously living through you!

Matt and I have officially determined we'll have to wait and run next year as he's unwisely chosen to add more cylinders to his M3 and my return to school has left my racing budget too thin to prepare my m3 for this particular adventure.

Looking forward to seeing the improvements you guys make this year!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 11:12 a.m.

In reply to klodkrawler05 :

We'll miss you guys. It's always nice being able to ask people what life at the front is like. laugh

The plan for 2017 was just to go, have fun, and experience the event. I talked the car owner out of spending money upgrading things. We were bringing a spoon to a gun fight anyway, and it was more important to see if if was the kind of event he wanted to really prep a car for that to go faster. Nothing like dropping $5k into a $6k car and deciding that One Lap isn't your thing. Turns out he had a blast and is ready to go faster and finish higher up the board. We actually plotted an upgrade path on the way home last year. This year would be safety and suspension. Next year would be proper big tires and initial aero. After that is more areo and horsepower. Let's start with safety. 

The big reason I gave up driving the CTS-V on track was velocity. I could see 140mph in a 4400lb car with three point belts and whatever GM decided was appropriate rollover/crash protection. With that kind of speed it was either cage it or retire it. The Civic has a much lower top speed, I think we saw 115 on the big back stretch at Road America last year, and quite a lot less weight to slow down. Still, stock seats and three point belts aren't where it's at. I don't have any pictures of the final install, but here we are drilling holes into a perfectly good car to mount an Autopower four point roll bar. 

I know all the arguments for installing a proper welded half cage over a bolt in bar, but we're ok with the compromises. This allows us to run a race seat, harness, and HNR's. We're FAR more likely to do something that engages the HNR than we are to roll the car and in the event of a roll this does provide more protection than it did without it. Additionally this is reversible. Give us 45 minutes and we can go back to a regular back seat. He still drives this to work after all. 
Next was a seat. I picked this up from my 2015 co-driver when he cleaned out his garage. It was in a LeMons car that never did see the track, so basically a brand new 2011 seat. It's about an inch bigger than I would spec a seat in a proper race car, but that makes it a bit more comfortable for both of us for transits. I think we could both do with an inch lower as well, but double locking sliders took that space up. It's right about where the stock seat was and we're happy. 

Of course mounting it required buying a new set of side mounts from Winding Road in Austin (have a local race shop is cool) and then promptly cutting them up to get things where we wanted. You guys know about me and jigsaws, right? laugh

We also have a VERY nice new harness but we needed some additional hardware to get that mounted. More on that when we get to it. The seat mount that we got from Wedge did have holes for the stock three point belts, so we can use those for road driving, which is really nice. 

My part of the car this year was the safety gear minus the harness. The car owner covered that as he's going to update the mounts in his rally car and move it back and forth as needed. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 11:42 a.m.

Next up is suspension. Last year we were on the stock 130k mile Honda suspension that had seen something like 300 rallycross runs including a national champiuonship in SF. The passenger side strut top is slightly mushroomed if that gives you an idea of how hard the car has been driven. The suspension worked, but the words pitch and roll were used to describe the cars motions on track. A LOT of research led to the purchase of BC Racing coilovers with Bilstein single adjustable inserts. Spring rates are 1200 and 800. They're really shiny. 

Putting these on is what led to the seven hour bolt saga as seen above. The car lived in New York for it's first two winters. It escaped without any body corrosion, but the fasteners weren't so lucky. The passenger rear shock bolt was seized to the shock bushing. We were able to cut the shock out, drill the remaining piece that was stuck in the captive nut, and use an EZ out. Note that of all the times I've used a bolt extractor, this is the first time it's actually worked. I was shocked.

Oh, and the car owner said he totally felt like Angelina Jolie in Gone in 60 Seconds on his new creeper. 

Car back on the ground, remember to torque your wheels, that's all I have to say about that. Not aligned yet but we took it for a quick drive and it's so very good. 

The plan going forward is to get the car aligned, mount the belts, and do at least two track weekends. We're looking at NOLA, Cresson and maybe Hallett. Also, though big tires were supposed to be next year, my 275's from the 2015 car were mounted to some proper wide wheels that he found on CL and they kind of nearly fit under the body work. We're waiting to see how close they come with more camber and maybe some fender rolling. We might have some proper grip this year after all. 

docwyte SuperDork
1/22/18 12:04 p.m.

1200 lb rate springs?  That seems, um, kinda high...

klodkrawler05 Reader
1/22/18 12:12 p.m.

Honda guys do things in the metric system, especially when using BC, I'm guessing those springs are softer than you think.

Seth, I'm a big proponent of lots of tire under stock body work, the RS guys know a thing or 2 about that also. While all the hardware is stilly shiny and easy to remove, pull the springs out of one of the front and rear dampers and then bolt up the big wheels and run it through it's full travel to check for clearance.

The back's are usually really easy to make fit since they're just there to hold the car up. the fronts are a bit tougher, I suggest checking the travel full lock each direction. If you can fully compress the strut with the steering wheel fully locked each direction (A scenario I've yet to encounter on track) you should have more than enough room. My front setup clears fender/strut/brake caliper by about a credit card thickness and I haven't seen any evidence of rubbing.

Note that I consider fender liners and anything softer than a tire to be self clearancing, your mileage may vary.

jstein77 UltraDork
1/22/18 12:15 p.m.

As far as I know, the highest finish for a Honda was Andy Hollis's 4th place in the 2014 event, and that CRX was about 1000 lbs lighter than your Civic.  Isn't that like bringing a knife to a nuclear war?

Edit: Never mind.  I just read your post about the speeds reached in the CTS-V and understand your position completely.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 12:19 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

klod is probably right that we're working in metric and things are much softer than that. The car is magically transformed and I didn't have to pay for it, so I'm happy. 

In reply to klodkrawler :

We actualy have whole fingers of clearance on the inboard side right now. Again, waiting to see how camber, especially in the rear, affects that. The front looks easy right now, but the rear is a bit trickier considering that super proper offset wheels aren't in the budget for this year. It might be as simple as going with a 255 in the rear and a 275 in the front which "should" work fine on the car. Having rallycrossed the car for years, the wheel liners are ghosts of their previous selves already. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 12:20 p.m.
jstein77 said:

As far as I know, the highest finish for a Honda was Andy Hollis's 4th place in the 2014 event, and that CRX was about 1000 lbs lighter than your Civic.  Isn't that like bringing a knife to a nuclear war?

Spoon to a gun fight man, spoon to a gun fight. There are 1/2 dozen cars at most that are chasing for the podium any given year. The rest of us are playing our own game, it's still a great time. 

klodkrawler05 Reader
1/22/18 1:16 p.m.

fingers worth of clearance? that sounds like 275's to start and 315's later. I like it! devil

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 2:04 p.m.

In reply to klodkrawler05 :

They tell me that life starts at 305.......


As to bulldozing the house and all of the nonsense that comes with that property. He's close enough to COTA that he can almost walk to the races. He can certainly ride a bike and avoid parking. On a clear day you can actually see the COTA tower from his back yard. I think he bought VERY well. 

adam525i New Reader
1/22/18 2:07 p.m.

I'd never seen the BC Racing coilovers with Bilstein pistons, that's pretty cool!


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 2:11 p.m.

In reply to adam525i :

There was a LOT of back and forth with BC before ordering. Those aren't the normal springs that come with the kit either. He had them install the stiffer springs on the struts AND they sent the original softer springs that come with the kit. On top of that, BC has sent us a bunch of setup info that should help us get the car where we need it to be. I'm excited to drive it in anger. 

Mndsm MegaDork
1/22/18 2:14 p.m.

So, on the topic of the house,  call the local fd? I was going to buy a very depreciated property once because of a very similar reason (the entire house tilted at like 15*. Every room was a parallelogram. The foundation was river rock) and was going to let the local fire department burn the thing down as training. I was even gonna bring marshmallows. 

Bobcougarzillameister MegaDork
1/22/18 3:30 p.m.

You need to stop it. I'm already uber excited to (hopefully) be a lap puppy this year as it is. You're only making me more anxious. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/22/18 4:33 p.m.

In reply to Bobcougarzillameister :

You've GOT to come Bob. Good tacks, epically long route, we're going to have fun. 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
1/22/18 4:47 p.m.

What were the softer rates?


And i wish i was in a position to one lap. Alas, i will continue to live vicariously through you. 

Bobcougarzillameister MegaDork
1/22/18 5:22 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

Vacation time has been approved. Wife is coming to grips. lol. 

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