Sentra tweaks & progress

Update by Per Schroeder to the Nissan Sentra SE-R project car
Mar 22, 2005

We’ve been doing some tweaks to our SE-R and had a blast on Sunday at the Central Florida Region Solo II. It was an “up and back” airport runway autocross with slaloms and offsets in both directions with a long sweeper at the turn-around. Out of about 80 cars, We believe Per was the 3 fastest time of the day….34 seconds for a shifter kart, 34 seconds for a F500…and 35.6 for the Sentra on street tires.

The car just feels “right” in the offsets and has plenty of forward grip coming out of sweepers. We’ve got some seat time in one of the fastest STS cars (Chris Shenefield’s Civic) and while this doesn’t have quite the same mechanical grip yet, it’s got more forward gumption… credit the real LSD for putting it down. This was one of the first real offset and slalom intensive courses we’ve been on with this car and we “get” slaloms. Most of our local courses are short sweepers followed by long straights… course designers at the local level try to make things easy for the newbies. That’s why it has been hard to get an idea of how this car was working. Sure, a prepped WRX can out accelerate us in a straight..what does that say about anything?

That was our first top index in this car. Kim came in with a 39.3, which was good for 2nd in STX about 1.5 or so behind a WRX that ran a low 38. We were happy about that as this is her first season of autocrossing. We’re also very happy with the Progress coilovers, anti-rollbars and modified LCA brace. We’ll post a link to the results page when it goes up.

Now we’re a little more hopeful about this car in STX and depending on the course, could be nationally competitive. We’ll be at the Atlanta National Tour in a few weeks. Hopefully we’ll have the Kosei 15x8s for the front by then. We’ve also got the new Azenis RT-615 tires sitting in our office.

Here’s the current specs:

  • Tires: currently Falken Azenis RT215s on front and rear (currently 15x7s). Fronts are 04 mold date, rears are 01
  • Pressure: 42/37 let rear rise with heat, bleed to keep fronts at 42 after every run. Thoroughly cool front tires with cold water from a garden sprayer after EVERY single run, including after the first one. note: Per’s tire pressures are a little “high” as the gauge reads about 2 pounds up.
  • Front alignment: 2.9 degrees neg camber, max caster (around 3), 1/8 toe out.
  • Rear alignment: zero degrees camber, zero toe.

Corner weighted car with Per in it (we needed to re-cornerweight with weight reductions like the battery….current weight at 1/8 tank of gas = 2392)

On Friday, we replaced the eBay sourced $40 steering wheel with a $146 MOMO Monte Carlo from LTB Motorsports. Why the change? Well, let’s just say you get what you pay for and we bent the crappy steering wheel during an autocross a few weeks ago. The Monte Carlo is an inexpensive, well-built wheel that’s a lot stiffer than the junk we took off. We also installed a Magnaflow high-flow catalytic converter, we’ll be dynoing the car to see the effect on power and torque with this change. We’ve also got an underdrive pulley from Global Performance Parts that will be installed shortly.

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