Weekly Update #3 – Full Spectrum Performance

Weekly Update #3

   It's Monday. Grab your lunch and jump in.

   This week, I wanted to detail some of the planning and building I've been doing on my own car in recent months. Sometimes the direction of a build can be random; it can take its own shape and form, or it can be purpose-built to excel at a specific thing. One thing persists through all this, the build always reflects the owner's personal tastes and interests throughout the process.

   The last event I ran in my own car was February of 2018. The 2017 season was my first season on what would be considered a race tire; the Hoosier A7. While I've been co-driving with a good friend in a very capable car, I've also been planning and doing some modifications that my car needs in order to be competitive in the Street Modified class next year.

   I've picked up a larger oil pan to go in. On the A7, this car easily surpasses a lateral load of 1.4G on concrete. The goal is to prevent the oil starvation that killed the original engine and scored a camshaft journal two seasons prior. The baffle and pickup are already in place, but the OEM pan lacks the desired capacity. Also, an oil temperature sensor is installed in conjunction with the larger pan.

   The oil temp sensor is part of a plug and play data-logging harness I've been working on. I'm using a re-pinned connector for the OEM radio unit to power the logging harness. Along with oil temperature, I'll be logging oil pressure, exhaust gas temperature, air/fuel ratio, and boost pressure. The system sends data to an SD card logging device from Innovate Motorsports. This is something I've been wanting to get finished, and I'm looking forward to pouring over data.

   I am fitting a set of the Cygnus Performance X-1 monotube coilovers with my V3 cas/cam plates. After 4 years on the car in competition use, the Racecomp Engineering coilovers did their job extremely well on the street tires, but larger, grippier tires have necessitated some rethinking of how this part of the car is working. Initially, the car was set for relatively narrow (by performance standards) street tires; it is now on a relatively wide R-compound tire. I've selected a 950lbs/in spring rate to go with the new monotubes as those rates will load up the large race tires more effectively. Some varying spring lengths could be in order to fine tune the inboard tire clearance that I would like to have. Because the car will feature front and rear billet uprights with a roll center drop and bumpsteer adjustment, I need to ensure that it has appropriate inboard clearance to the shock. Wider track widths work very well for keeping lateral loads up, but the downside comes when you need to dodge cones in a parking lot. It's much easier to fit a narrow car through cone gates than a wide one.

   In 2017 and the early part of 2018, I used race and qualifying takeoffs to get used to a true slick autocross tire. It was quite an adjustment that has lead to a decently steep learning curve. Finally, the driver is ready to see a couple sets of stickered Hoosiers in 2020. With the help of Mike and Aaron, we tested tires from a 255 all the way up to a 295, and 315s will be tested this winter. There were some clearance issues with the 295s, but they were easily solved with a quick alignment change. Fitting 20 extra millimeters of rubber shouldn't pose too much of a problem on the GV chassis. The running trend in SM for the last couple years has been a 335mm tire on the various Subaru car in the class, and this car will eventually see those big tires. Again, I'll have to mentally re-calibrate to take full advantage of the ludicrous-speed rubber.

   The car's brakes will need refreshing to handle all this new anticipated grip. Normally, I swap on new rotors and pads, and I flush the system with new fluids. It will only be a fluid flush this time as there is still plenty of pad and rotor left to compete for at least the beginning of the season next year. I'll throw new pads and rotors on mid-season in preparation for National Tour and Pro-Solo dates in the summer of next year.

   The driving position needed improvement. I removed the sliders earlier in the season in an effort to take weight out of the car. Kirkey aluminum seats have gone in to replace the ageing Corbeau units. After some late night drilling and fitting, I have the driver's seat exactly where I want it. I am quite convinced that a comfortable driver will drive better. I am considering alternate wheel options in order to both save a bit of weight and to improve the steering wheel length of pull. A new, taller shifter will go in as well.

   The engine is getting some TLC from my friends up at P2P Racing in Granbury, TX in the next few weeks. Ryan does some outstanding engine work. A trip up to his shop earlier this spring was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing the package he's putting together for the car. I'm also adding a Blouch turbocharger into the mix as well as updating the fuel support. I should be making some very tasty jam with the new powerplant.

   Aero is a hot-topic among the fastest Street Mod drivers. Coming up with a legal aero package that is also very effective, not only objectively but also relative to your competitor's packages, can be challenging. The current allowances up for debate on the national level are over the use and regulation of front canards. Typically, wing and splitter devices were ruled by area of the wing surface and end plate area, and while I expect this ruling measurement to continue, it is quite possible to come up with effective aero devices with dimensions that aren't easily measured. I am waiting for official rulings to come out before beginning fabrication work on my front aero package.

   The next event is the big show - Lincoln in September. It's always a great time, and while it's not necessarily the place to try new things with a setup, it's certainly the event that will confirm the true pace of the car. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces this year and maybe some new ones as well.

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1 comment

  • Love the updates!
    SM is going to get rowdy.

    • Drew