Race Car Tech Discuss anything related to road racing and auto X.

81 Track Car

Old 01-29-08, 11:40 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (3)
 
Keeble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
81 Track Car

Well i got a 1981 FB as a track car. I plan on taking it to the track in march, so i have some time to prep the car. The interior has been stripped. and i will be buying steel soon to make my header/exhaust. and i plan on stripping the emissions and AC off as well.

I'm 17 and this will be the first car i have ever driven on the track, and i have bought it as a learning experience.

I was wondering what i could do to improve braking power and handling without spending alot of money. i have shocks, spring and a full polyurethane bushing set on the list as well as tires. I'm a welder, and have access to a full machine shop, so i can make parts if need be.

I want to have a track monster, so any and all help and tips would be appreciated.
Keeble is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 06:46 AM
  #2  
Rotor Power Rules
iTrader: (5)
 
Bruceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
Posts: 515
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You will save money by buying this manual - Mazda 1st Gen Setup Manual /Shock Tuning Guide

http://www.gforceengineering.net/products.htm
Bruceman is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 08:30 AM
  #3  
Old Rotary Dog
10 Year Member
 
wrankin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,461
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Keeble View Post
Well i got a 1981 FB as a track car. I plan on taking it to the track in march, so i have some time to prep the car.
Okay, two things are very important here:

1) you just bought the car

2) it's your first track event.

and a month and a half is not a lot of time to prep the car. Trust me on this.

Getting a good, reliable platform should be your biggest concern in the next month and a half. Forget doing a lot of fabrication right now. Make sure that the existing parts are in good shape. Get it up on a lift and go through the entire undercarriage. Check all your mounts and bushings. Replace as needed. Check all bolts for torque. Check all your fluids and probably change most of them (tranny, diff). Look for leaks.

How are the brake pads/shoes and rotors right now? This is a definite weak spot for the 1st gens. In the long-term you probably want to swap out the rear end with one from a 84-85 GSLSE (you get disk brakes and an LSD).

How's the cooling system? Straighten out the radiator fins (if needed), flush and clean the system and replace with a 70/30 mix and water wetter. Long term you should probably look into installing a 2nd gen oil cooler. Remember a lot of the cooling for the rotary cames from the oil.

Keep It Simple, Stupid. Make sure you've covered the basics before you run off fabricating.

Good luck and have fun. An FB can definitely be a blast on the track!

-bill
wrankin is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 10:39 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The above advise is dead on in My opinion...especially if this is going to be your first time at the track you will most likely be overwealmed with the experience, as there is a lot to learn and a lot to concentrate on. The last thing you need is to have to divide your attention with mechanical issues with your car. Take the time you have and try to make the car as bulletproof as possible. period. If you check everything, and you still have time left over, go ahead and check everything again. Adding headers, etc... will only add speed, and speed will only make your learning curve more complicated. If you have bushing/ springs/ shocks coming that should make for a very competent first time track car. I'm sure you'll have a blast!
designfreak is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 03:17 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (3)
 
Keeble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
me and my dad are jacking up the car today to inspect everything under the car, and the brakes.

Is there anything i can do to the existing brakes to improve performance without costing much? should i drill holes in the backing plate of the drums and maybe remove the inner splash shields?
Keeble is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 03:36 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
YES!!! Making ducts is gonna be the #1 thing to help keep your brakes working during a long session out. I keep the splash plates, and cut some holes into them big enough to use them as mounting plates for ducts. order yourself some racing ducts like these:

http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/c..._Temp_Ducting2

and pull cold air from the front of your car to cool the rotors. Ill be happy to post some pics of my setup if you like.

Make sure the rotors are good, and just get some racing pads. I use Hawk Blue compound. Dont drill or cut anything into the rotor. Unless you know what your doing you can create stress risers that can make the rotor crack under braking= big problems!
designfreak is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 03:38 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
edit...not really sure about how to make the drums work better..search around. Perhaps venting out the baking plates wouldnt be too bad, but Ive got no experience making drums work for racing. Im sure some of the 1st geners out here cold help, if not the 1st gen forum.
designfreak is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 03:46 PM
  #8  
Rotary Enthusiast
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Rocket City, Alabama
Posts: 1,035
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
"me and my dad are jacking up the car today to inspect everything under the car, and the brakes"

It takes a lot more than looking at a 27 year old car in order to make it reliable and safe on the race track. You really need to take apart and inspect every single moving part: bearings, axles, steering, transmission, clutch. And also go thru things like cooling system and brake hoses and master cylinders and slave cylinders etc.

Like Wrankin said, if you start today, you will not be ready by March.
speedturn is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 05:06 PM
  #9  
FB Maniac
10 Year Member
iTrader: (1)
 
mazda6guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Disputanta, VA
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
General maintenance is the key. Also changing all fluids for general purpose will help out too.
mazda6guy is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 06:14 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wauwatosa Wisconsin
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
keeble, I understand 17 years young & being all full of **** & go. I appreciate the fact that your father is involved with you. < That's a BIG positive. Take the remainder for what it's worth. Im 66 years young & still enjoying cars & road racing. I was 17 once also with minimal money to buy & fabricate stuff. My first thought to you would be for you to go to the track & decide which direction you will take with your driving ambitions. On a road race track for Solo days, Driver Education days or wheel to wheel racing. IF you have never raced anything you might think about racing Karts to get your feet wet. EVERYTHING you learn from Karting will carry over to racing a car at a later date. Even tho your all full of youth & vigor you may find racing is not for you. < Not ment to be negative BUT it might be a fact of life. Each person is different.

Where are you from & what tracks are around you? In an effort to get aquainted with road racing (if that's what you intend to do) people you might go asking questions or ask if you & your father might join someone with a road race car to learn a bit before you jump in with both feet & minimal ideas of what different types of race car cost. People will be happy to talk with you at the trace & let you touch & feel. Here are a couple sites where road racers post & talk. improvedtouring.com, prodracing.com & specmiata.com.

I raced a 85 FB 6 years & an in the process of building a 1990 Spec Miata both are road racing cars. I could answer a lot of question that you have & some you haven't thought of yet. But I realy believe you should go to a road race track & learn some before you start spending money because if you don't learn some first you may spend twice for the same thing.

Have Fun
David

ps: pm with questions.
David Dewhurst is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 06:42 PM
  #11  
needs more track time
iTrader: (14)
 
gracer7-rx7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bay Area CA
Posts: 7,833
Received 14 Likes on 13 Posts
gracer7-rx7 is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 11:20 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (3)
 
Keeble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i bought the car for $200 from a impound lot. I've checked all the fluids and everything is perfectly clean which leads me to believe this car had a full tuneup before it was impounded. After the full inspection, i need new tie rod bushings, sway bar end links, sway bar chassis mounts, and the rear U-joint. also noticed that it smelled like fuel under the car and tank looked like it had been leaking, so i need to fix that as well.

I started removing cruise control and AC today, and will finish that and removing the emissions by the end of the week.

My Father is a real help, he used to race in the SCCA back in the day and use dto race mini-sprints. The closest track is Arroyo Seco Motorplex which is about 1 1/2 hour away. They are having a season that starts in may, but i want to get all reliability problems out of the way by then.

I will try the brake ducts, and i'll make them myself at school cause im in the metal trades shop and I'm learning welding. and I will defiantly invest my next paycheck into buying that manual.
Keeble is offline  
Old 01-30-08, 11:58 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like your off to a good start man! I started roadracing in my twenties and It still seemed like I was the youngest guy around... Is Arroyo a roadcoarse? do you know how long of a track it is?

Seems like youve got your head on right...take heed to peoples advice around here, it is worth its weight in gold because most advice you will get from other racers most likely cost them a heft chunk of change to learn. If your doing this on a budget pay close attention to what people reccomend. Just as David was saying above try to get to know the local racing scene, and the opportunities offered. It would be a shame for you to spend alot of money building a car for one kind of racing, then come to find out you want to do something different with it. It might be a good idea to test out the cars handling at a local autocross event before it goes out on track. Thats $30 well spent for some testing time, and making sure everything is working as it should at a more moderate speed.

Make sure that above all else the car is safe, and go out and have fun, and learn as much as you can! Im sure you'll be turning hot laps in no time
designfreak is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 12:45 AM
  #14  
Old Rotary Dog
10 Year Member
 
wrankin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,461
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
+1 for Dave Gran's book (http://goaheadtakethewheel.com/). A great read and it's definitely a good sanity check.

Originally Posted by Keeble View Post
My Father is a real help, he used to race in the SCCA back in the day and use to race mini-sprints.
Well in that case, just listen to your dad. Geeze, I mean it sounds like he can offer a lot better advice than we can in regards to prepping a car ;-).

Have fun,

-bill
wrankin is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 05:35 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (3)
 
Keeble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hey design freak, can i see some pics of the brake cooling ducts you got going there?
Keeble is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 06:08 PM
  #16  
Full Member
10 Year Member
 
Chedstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 159
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can vent rear drum brakes, but I do not think you will see much improvement. You will have to run the cold air ducting through the backing plate. As for now "venting" the hot air out of the drum; I have seen two ways. The first, which is what I did on my old ITA RX-3 was to trim the backing plate around the outer edge, allowing the hot air to escape from the entire circumference. I saw on a Datsun 510, someone drilled a four 1" to 1.5" diameter holes in the center of the drum to vent the hot air. Personally, I could never tell a difference with vented or not vented. I ran that car for six seasons and took the rear venting off after the first.
Chedstar is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 07:08 PM
  #17  
****** of disaster
10 Year Member
iTrader: (1)
 
thetech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 1,115
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having built an old Datsun Z a few years back here's what I would recommend:

1) Take the entire suspension apart
2) Replace all bushings with at a minimum polyurethane versions of themselves, if not Delrin
3) Replace all ball joints, tierod ends, steering couplers, etc
4) Replace shocks/springs (probably) with some relatively cheap replacements (Tokico, etc)
5) Get some safety equipment - minimally an Autopower bolt-in rollbar, seat, and 5+ point harness
6) I recommend a quick-release steering wheel, getting out in a hurry can be a bitch
7) Worry about increasing power, bigger brakes, and anything else later
8) Make modifications in accordance to test results - ie. get on track first then adjust your car according to what you feel and discover
9) Have fun
thetech is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 08:01 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (3)
 
Keeble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
well im going to build a bolt in cage at school. and i want to buy a full polyurethane bushing set for the entire car.
Keeble is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 08:17 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
here you go:

designfreak is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 08:18 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
designfreak is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 08:19 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


designfreak is offline  
Old 01-31-08, 08:36 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (3)
 
Keeble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 658
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ok thanks man, i'll defiantly invest in the brake ducts.
Keeble is offline  
Old 02-01-08, 08:25 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
5 Year Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wauwatosa Wisconsin
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
keeble or anyone else. If someone were to explain how to post a picture, I'd post more pictures of brake ducts for a 1 st gen RX-7. I don't understand typing in the URL of my images. Not dissing designfreek but there are other ways to duct the brakes forcing the air through the vented front rotor.

Have Fun
David
David Dewhurst is offline  
Old 02-01-08, 09:06 AM
  #24  
Rotary Enthusiast
5 Year Member
 
Zyrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 1,025
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
David, when you are typing your post, hit the "Go Advance button" On the new page, type your post and hit the manage attachment button. You should then be able to pick pictures you want to upload from your computer.

This is probably the most straight forward way without having to go into another image hosting site. The pictures can't be too big though.
Zyrano is offline  
Old 02-01-08, 09:49 AM
  #25  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
designfreak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: miami FL
Posts: 352
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you have trouble with the picture posting on RX7 club just create a free account on Photobucket.com. Simply upload the pictures you want. each picture has a series of tags that you can select next to it. Click on the "HTML" tag that automatically copies the HTML location. Open a new post on rx7club, and paste the info into it...voila
designfreak is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: 81 Track Car


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: