It's been a busy year dealing with life situations, which were more important than playing with a car. Now with some time the end of the autox season up in here in the NE is coming to a close. Tomorrow is our first autox we are running this year, hoping the last event in Nov that the weather holds out and we can run it also.
In Pa we have annual state safety and emission inspections, stickers go on the windshield as proof. Yesterday a trip to my local inspection station took care of stickering, and the 86 got some time on their alignment rack. As an improvement to the car for autox the 4.10s got pulled and 3.73 went back in the 8 1/2". The rear axle was pulled to do the R&P change and the UCAs and LCAs removed for an R&R of those parts that are aging very well but needed to get serviced. The UCAs are a 20 year old set of Edel adjustable that have been adjusted several times for pinion angle changes but never removed from the car. Once removed the delrin joints at both ends were serviced and both arm reset to equal length. They were pretty close, but now exact equals. The adj LCAs were also serviced but length was not changed. They are different lengths, because one was adjusted to correct rear axle thrust angle several years ago.
Several reason for some time on their computer 4 corner alignment rack yesterday. First was to check and reset rear axle thrust angle if necessary. Bingo, it was good and still what i had set several years ago. On a 4 corner rack rear axle camber and toe is also measured. The 8 1/2" showed L -.5 degree and R -.6 degree camber, L .05" toe an R .01" toe. the thrust angle was .06 degrees. Very happy with those number.
Up front just wanted to see what number his rack produced. L 10 degrees caster, -1.5 degrees camber, R side was caster 9.6, -1.2 camber. Close enough to what I set on my homemade rack, L set was 9.8, -1.3, R 9.7, -1.3 dialed in. Close enough even in horseshoes.
Interestingly the computer we change to inches instead of degrees so i can check my set toe, set in inches, easier to compare to the computer if in inch numbers. I set 3/32" + or - 1/32'' toe OUT with my toe plates and tape measures. The computer rack said .07" but think it was not seeing toe out on both tires. No mater what I think setting toe on an expensive computer rack or using my tape measures and toe plates it's a crap shoot getting accurate numbers. So easy to effect toe by just rolling car forward or backward on the rack, and any change in front ride height can skew the final toe number produced. So I wasn't concerned that the fancy rack toe numbers said but needed them to do the next check, bump in droop.
We lifted the car 2" in the the front as a check to see how much toes changed in droop. Not surprised, toe changed less than .100". I'm done for now on that fancy rack and very happy with the numbers it showed. Today back in the shop rechecked my toe setting and got 3/32" toe out at ride height. Jacked the front up 2" and saw a 1/32' toe out change. This is a B-spindle car with lots of front suspension mods to improve the ridiculously poor bumpsteer when the B-spindle is put on a g-body. Very very pleased with the way the front suspension has virtually no bump anymore and even now how the very little bump actually helps to gain some Ackeramnn. Many hours of tweaking the front suspension has netted a very good, very dollar wise cheap, package.
5 am out the door in the morning to arrive before the 7 am course walk. Being a retired type who like to sleep in makes a 5 am difficult. In the morning 125 cars running, we are Group 1 which means first runs for us are before my normal wake up. So thinking our 8 runs in the morning are throw a ways. Also being a year since last autox makes things a little more difficult. Weather will be dry, temps chilly in the early morning. Just hoping for an uneventful, fun day with my son as a co-driver. Bob
Long day, interesting day, refresher day, great weather, ALL good people, a 3 hr lunch break, afternoon session cancelled, we were all thankful it was a good day.
The car has it's usual problem, way to much oversteer, you chase it all the time. The front sticks so well but the rear won't do the the same. One of the take aways you learn at an autox is when you spend a few hours doing your on course worker assignment. A real variety of fast cars will drive past you as you watch them fly through the cones, and you watch 40 cars make 4 runs. You learn a lot watching how well some cars, some driver's drive the obstacles in front of them. The trick is to work the first session and watch 160 runs go past you, see where not to screw up when it's your turn in the next run group out. Today we were first run group, my son driving, me shotgun, we're the 3rd or 4th car out for the day. I was maybe 25th car out. Luck of the draw they say. I'm usually not out of bed on a Sat morning at nine and here i am driving into the sunrise while trying to go fast.
It's been over a year since our last outing in this parking lot, much harder these days to shake the rust off. Now our fifth time running this parking lot it's setup was again different, several fast sections and a fun course. Haven't seen the result but know I'm slow, my son much better. He has No Fear of breaking it or knowing he needs the car to get home, dad will take care of that. So he drives it like he stole it. Funny, he totaled my 72 Chevelle SS when he was in high school, we bought a built 78 Z28 for him and told him you can never drive my stuff again. Now he's soon 50 and I take him to beat on my stuff once a year. Oh, he still doesn't get the keys for the 86.
Improvements, we pulled out in 1st and ran entire course in 2nd gear, reinstall of the 3.73 was the ticket and made running the course easier. And our trip to this parking lot is 75 miles and most at 70+. On the way home cruising near 80 mph on the turnpike with the R12 cranking, the 3.73 allow that. The 4.11s were happy at 72 mph.
The rebolstering and recovering of the stock driver's seat we both agree the trunk-seat back fit is much much better, a big improvement over the tired upholstering on the original driver's seat. Overall pleased with car today, didn't go anything special to prepare it, didn't even check tire pressure once today, did touch a tire of two several times checking their temp, cold. In the morning everyone struggled with the cold run of the morning. Our plan was just make runs in the morning to get the rust off, we each had 4 runs in the afternoon to get better, but that changed.
Planning the next improvement to try and get the rear grip better. We look at the fat cars that play in our fat car's neighborhood and much more tire in the rear fixes a lot of that. Also thinking about making another set of rear springs to just run at the autox.
In the last run group today was Justin Peachey with his Corvette.. I met Justin at Hershey maybe 5 years ago, we have talked several times since at events. He is FAST in his LS7 crash box race car, a notable driver and car nationally know. Kiddingly today I mentioned to him about driving my car, he said "that would be interesting" Him today being in the last run group, me being done for the day I crabbed my helmet and buckled myself into his pass seat for his second run of the day. We get to start line and he has to back out, no power steering, engine has thrown the belt. He know's that is a problem, has a spare belt. A trip to pits and we are putting another belt on his LS7, I get the tensioner duties, and dirty hands.. Back to the starting line for my learning experience of how he is so fast. Haven't seen his run times for today yet but think that run I got from him was the second fastest time of the 500 runs made today. We kinda came to the same conclusion of what sets the really really fast cars from the fast cars is the horsepower and braking. Saw that at the hillclimb event my son ran over the years, saw it at UMI KOTM events, really really fast cars didn't need to stress out going around the corners, they made up time between corners. That ride with Justin today just showed how fast he was between cones and how awesome his brake are to scrub off so much speed. Not taking away from his corners speeds which are also very high, but. Here's a video of one of his runs today.
So good day, fun day and a 3 hour nap when returned home finished off a, good day. Bob
Lance thanks for the address to the picture from yesterdays event. They are from the first run group, must be dozens of good pics of my son and I driving the car. Was hoping to get some good pics of body roll in 360 corners. This one stand out, middle of the 360.
The goal for the next time out is to take 1 second off his time. Just hard to be good at this when you do it for 4 minutes a year.
Lots of very fast drivers with very fast cars at these events, looking to finish the car in top 1/3 next time out. Wish this was like playing golf. Used to play every Fri afternoon, 15 minutes from home. Never practiced, never any good, but good enough to play in the low 80s which was ok for a hacker. Autox is is once or twice a year, 75 miles from home, never practice, and a hacker there too. Bob
When you rode with Justin, did you notice how aggressive he is with EVERY input? You have 45ish seconds to go as far as you can as quickly as you can and you have to be on it every single partial second. There is no relaxing, no resting, no coasting in autocross.
People may laugh and scoff at us saying racing around cones in a parking lot isn't real racing, but when someone like Al Unser Jr says it's one of the hardest types of racing he's ever done that should say something.
You are still in the development stage Bob, both as a driver and as a car builder. And it takes time to get it down. It would be awesome to get Justin in your seat for a run just to show you what your car can do just as it is now. Then he could also make suggestions as for what to change next. Personally, I'd like to see your whole car lower...like at least an inch lower. But I also understand the ramifications that has on everything else. Just look at my inner fenders!!
Justin aggressive, that may be an understatement!!!!!!!!!!!! He has dozens of videos doing what he does so well.
Surprisingly he has just a 4 point on both seats. When I went to buckle up that was the first thing I realized. His seats are a hard race seat, which is the big plus to holding you in place, but the lap was real high on the stomach when you cranked the shoulder belts tight. I see what you mean about that.happening. I can say I was totally at ease on that 44.1 second run, trying to absorb how he attacked each cone.
I've had several rides in Aaron's Chevelle and Travis's 77 T/A at UMI, it was a ride-a-long in a GS Vette on Hoosiers 10 years ago that really tweaked my interest in autox. But that ride-a-long with Justin @44.1 seconds was way cool, best every ride. He just that good and reaction time is plain phenomenal. Something i realize after that ride along is I will never be that quick on the pedal again, about 4 decades in youth have passed me by. Why my youngster is my co driver.
Have already entertained dropping the rear end ride height about an 1" lower. Already have shopped another set of BMR springs, almost pushed the send button already. Not a big deal to cut and dial in a new ride height using the BMR SP092 spring. Just a cheap way to lower center 1" in the back. Today adjusted the rear shocks back to the street settings and looked at the tie wraps on the shock shafts. After the Sat runs there was still about 1 1/2" of travel left in the shock at full event compression. So dropping the rear 1" may not bottom out the shocks, not a good thing.
Put the front of the car on jackstands today and did the underworld inspection looking for old parts needing attention.
My son smelled antifreeze on Sat, yep, needed 4 oz of the yellow stuff back in overflow tank, that was sprayed in the oil filter area again, and again, and again, been leaking there for years, one of these days I pull the heads and fix that. Not a problem now, only 4 oz fixed it again. A wet microfiber rag cleans up that yellow antifreeze mess easily. .
Used about a 1/2 qt of Mobil 1, for 175 miles of travel and 4 miles of 2nd gear 3K to 5K runs, that's normal for a 15 year old engine build.
P/S pump/reservoir didn't overflow, good. When it was a scorching hot event a couple years ago the pump puked a little fluid. The fix was run the level in the pump a little lower, right at not over the 'cold' when the pump was cold. The 9' of extra 3/8" tubing in the cooler line adds about 6 1/2 oz of fluid to the system, hopefully offsetting the couple oz less in the pump.
Rear 275 tire rub on the frame. As expected. On the left side just a very very light touch and less than 1" in length. Excellent. On the right side the usual tire touch, 3" long and paint off in a very narrow bandwidth. Happy yes, it has touched there when really worked hard but you can't even see a rubbing on the tire's corners, it just that light of a touch. A touch there was expected, is it a problem, nope. When the tires get rotated the rubs will get dressed again with some satin black, ready for the next beating
A good reason to have FI and no mechanical pump on the engine, The gasket between the mech pump mounting plate and engine block looks like it's seeping again. Could be the second time to remove the pump and plate and try to fix a PITA leak of Mobil 1.
Engine has a low oil pressure idiot light on the dash cluster. Sender was found today to be unplugged. I can be the only one to blame for that.
Inspection of the three piece sway bar fabricated and installed two seasons ago shows no signs of any issues nothing has moved out of place. Doing every thing expected of that 1000+ lb bar.
So mechanically the usual things but car survived for another do it again. After Sat runs the car has now logged 98 autox runs over the past 9 years. Hard to believe that's 98 runs, 70 runs on the RT660s. Dug out the 1/4 time slips, 197 over the little more that 15 years off making annual pilgrimages the tracks for time. slips. Hard to believe time flies by so fast. But I do what i can to abuse the car.
Tonight went to a friend's hose to fix his Samsung dryer. His 2020 C8 is sitting in his garage, soon I'm sitting in it, the remote is handed to me and you push the start and an LT1 fires up. You tap throttle lightly a couple times and ain't that cool. Push the start again and hand him back the remote, the garage door is down. In a couple days I'll clean and fix his dryer and a ride in the Vette will happen if the weather is dry. In the mean time I need to figure out how to occupy the drivers seat again, with the garage door up. Bob