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

Auto-x Prep for 1st gen

Old 12-24-02, 10:41 PM
  #1  
Yeah, shutup kid.
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
coldy13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,686
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Auto-x Prep for 1st gen

This coming year is going to be my first year in auto-x. I'll be starting it with one of my friends. I have a 85 GS, he has an 85 GSL-SE. I know I should remove all extra weight, like the spare tire and everything else I can. My car is pretty much stock, K&N filter, gutted cat(shhh, i know it's not legal), straight thru muffler, and some real nice tires. My car runs really good, and I want to stay in stock class for my first year. What are all the legal mods I can do to my car, and all the things I can remove. A/C is long gone already. I don't want to strip the interior, since it's my daily driver too, but I want to really clean up the engine bay, removing all that I can. I know I shouldn't race my daily driver, but I do have a spare that I can use if I mess up my car. I know it's really early to start getting ready, but I don't work much, so if there's anything important I need to get, I gotta have some time to save the $. So, any advice on what I should do to get ready for the next season would be helpful.

-Matt
coldy13 is offline  
Old 12-25-02, 01:19 AM
  #2  
Has been.. hangin' around
10 Year Member
 
Silkworm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Milpitas, CA
Posts: 2,618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can you remove the spare in stock class? I don't think so..

You definitely can't remove anything in the engine bay if you want to stay legal, basically, you have only a few mods legal. Shocks, front swaybar, catback exhaust, and tires (on stock size wheels (I forget if you're stuck with actual stock wheels or not, and my rules book is packed up right now)

Get the car running right, get some excellent shocks (I like my Konis for road racing, but KYB AGX or Tokicos are fine IMHO), and some good R compound tires. So, new plugs, new wires, oil change (all around), make sure your LSD is working (if equipped), clutch working ok, etc.

Other than that, you haven't got much else to do.

paulC
Silkworm is offline  
Old 12-25-02, 09:45 AM
  #3  
Airflow is my life
10 Year Member
 
Rx7carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 6,736
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
You can remove the spare and jack in stock IIRC. You have to stick with stock size/dia rims, with the stock offset +or- a small amount (I forget how much). Get good sticky rubber, and Tokico Illuminas ( crank them to 5 to stiffen the suspension) since you have to keep stock soft springs. It's a band-aid but its about all you can really do in stock. Run some toe out to help the turn in, and rotate the strut toppers to max neg camber and pos caster, (the little arrow inboard and back). And the other stuff paul covered in the previous post.
Rx7carl is offline  
Old 12-25-02, 02:15 PM
  #4  
Yeah, shutup kid.
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
 
coldy13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,686
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Well, ****. I'm already screwed with my tires then, I have some 15x6 wheels, with 195-50-15 tires. No LSD, but if I can find one close, I'll be grabbing it up. I'll be getting a new clutch soon, the one on there now heats up and loses grip fast. My fan clutch doesnt work, would they let me put on an electric fan, or do I have to jsut get a new fan clutch?
coldy13 is offline  
Old 12-25-02, 07:16 PM
  #5  
Airflow is my life
10 Year Member
 
Rx7carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 6,736
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
New clutch. Thats the trouble running stock.
Rx7carl is offline  
Old 12-25-02, 08:43 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
Chemical's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to stray a bit off topic, but if the GSL-SE and GS are in the same stock class, would swapping the suspension from a GSL-SE (and larger wheels too of course) be legal?
Chemical is offline  
Old 12-26-02, 12:32 AM
  #7  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
NOPE! Moving stuff from model to model is Street Prepared, and then only if they are described on "the same line".
Stock is pretty limited. The car must run pretty much as delivered. Shocks are free. Exhaust behind CAT is free. Front sway bar is free. Wheels are free EXCEPT they must be the same size and offset as the OEMs or any others available FROM THE FACTORY for that car. Tires must be DOT approved and not on the "exclution list". Filters and other normal wear and tear items (brake pads) are free. Best thing to do is get and read rule book and remember "if it doesn't say you can, you CAN'T! If you already have mods that put you out of "stock" just run the class you belong in, but stop making changes. Concistancy is the key to learning because the biggest improvement will come from the drivers seat.
Best advice for beginners: get and keep the car in good running order. Don't spend a dime on "parts" to make it go faster. Use the same tires you use on the street everyday. Do these things for your whole first year. You will gain much more knowledge about the sport and will learn much faster about how to drive much faster! Spend your money on entry fees and if you don't have enough events locally, travel a little. Seek to improve the driver, not the car, and HAVE FUN.
BTW the vast majority of autocross cars ARE daily drivers!
racermike is offline  
Old 12-27-02, 07:22 PM
  #8  
Death to Infinite Scroll
 
peejay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Posts: 11,702
Received 43 Likes on 40 Posts
Hmm, all '79-85 12A cars are all considered the same model, right?

'83 LEs had 14" wheels stock. I think they were 14x6.

Now the trick is finding a set of LE wheels... since it's near impossible finding 14" custom wheels, let alone 14" custom wheels in 4x110. And then you have to find 14" tires... and then you realize you'd have been better off with 205/60s on stock 13" rims because they're smaller in diameter and therefore have a wider contact patch and lower the effective gearing...
peejay is offline  
Old 12-27-02, 08:05 PM
  #9  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I believe the 2 models are listed seprately in the "stock" rules (12A vs. 13B) so you can't swap between them, BUT are listed as "ALL" in "street prepared" so you CAN "update / backdate".
I think you are right about the LE wheels but not sure, I've never had any myself. I do have the "honeycomb" style that was an option, and they were 14 x 5.5. I think most wind up on the stock wheels for stock class.
Shouldn't "smaller" in EITHER diameter OR width give you a "smaller" contact patch?? A wider tire will give you a wider patch, as long as they aren't being "pinched" by mounting on too narrow a wheel.
I do believe that people sometimes get a tire that is too BIG for their car, ie. more tire on the ground is NOT always the best set-up. Autocross tires have a range of temp. where they work the best. Often they do not get up to that temp. quick enough to be utilized at their optimum. A "larger" tire in either dia. OR width slows that proccess even more. (all other things being equal)
racermike is offline  
Old 12-27-02, 08:57 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: TN
Posts: 332
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok, I have an 84' gsl-se and I wanted to race in the e-stock class, but I have no cats, no air conditioning, and no power steering. I don't mind having no powersteering but I havn't tried doing close sloloms yet. Racermike in your opinion should I go for the class I belong in or try and go for E-stock. Should I just use my car now to learn to drive or try and be real competitive. This is my first year autocrossing and I am getting ready to go into college. What tires should I buy? Cheap street and ok race, or good street. What kind of street tires do good autocrossing?
Nick-7 is offline  
Old 12-27-02, 09:38 PM
  #11  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well see above my opinion about newbies to autocross. You will gain MUCH more competitivness by having fun and driving your car at the event the same way it is set up for street, including (good) tires. Unlike many people here who park their "7" in bad weather, I go out, with good tires and extra wieght in the back.
Your local club may not care too much about your "legality" until you get better. Then again they may have a "novice" class and want everyone to play fair. If you set a goal of "driving your car as fast as possible" instead of "winning your class", it will not matter at all where you place. If you think you are already doing it at some point, let an "oldtimer" drive your car. You may well be amazed at how fast your car actually is! I have a total of about ~2,500~ runs so far. I can count no more than 4 that were "perfect", so attaining that goal is far greater than "winning your class". AND you can go for that goal in any car and at any prep level! You simply want to drive it faster than anyone else could. You can do that and still be last in class!
The last car I autocrossed had the power steering disabled by not having a belt, NO problem. I spend money on "High Performance All Season (M&S rated) tires for the street. Yes, you will give up "dry" traction, but with high quality tires you will be able to predict what they will do and drive with confidence. NO street tires will take you to the top in solo if you have any real competition. When it comes time for that, get another set of wheels and purpose built solo tires. Also think of this, if you loose traction at an autocross and spin out, what have you hurt? If you spin out on the street, you could hurt much more! Pass on cheap street tires, and IMHO, pass on "dry only" tires as well unless you truely only drive in the dry. For some opinions on tires, street and solo, (not neccesarily agreeing with mine) go to Solo2.org and ask.
Also, I always forget about some new classes besides "stock" and "street prepared",,,STREET TOURING,,,and your local region may have special classes as well that address "tires".
You can have fun without winning, and you can win without having fun!
racermike is offline  
Old 12-28-02, 06:40 PM
  #12  
Death to Infinite Scroll
 
peejay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Posts: 11,702
Received 43 Likes on 40 Posts
Contact patch shape is important too. The wider a tire in proportion to its diameter (or the smaller in diameter in proportion to its width) the shorter and wider the contact patch gets. The actual size of the contact patch is determined almost solely by tire pressure, regardless of tire size (within reason of course)
peejay is offline  
Old 12-28-02, 08:02 PM
  #13  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And of course all this is in a static state with the wheel / tire perpendicular to the ground. Dynamically on a moving car,,,,,,,,,well
racermike is offline  
Old 12-29-02, 09:05 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: TN
Posts: 332
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Racemike earlier you stated

"the vast majority of autocross cars ARE daily drivers!"

My car has 177,000 miles on it and I was wondering how bad autocrossing would be on it. I usually drive it pretty hard on the street and I think it will hold up. My dad would rather me fix my parts car to race and haul it to the track, but I don't want to spend the money on it and I don't like it. Also what clutch would you recommend? Do you know of a clutch that is a little better quality than the autozone ones (even though I heard they had a lifetime warranty) but doesn't cost too much more?
Thanks for your advice
Nick-7 is offline  
Old 12-29-02, 09:46 PM
  #15  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Autocrossing properly doesn't stress the car any more than "spirited" driving. The best drivers often look slow because they are smooth. Popping the clutch and banging gears isn't fast because it upsets the car and breaks traction. That being said, you DO have a lot of miles on the motor and no matter how well it was cared for, it is probably kinda loose. You can limit yourself on the revs, but it is hard to limit the "load". I would check the compression and if it is still pretty high, make sure all your fluids are good and stay that way. If it is pretty low,,,,well have another engine ready. As far as the rest of the car you aren't likely to break anything at the solo that you wouldn't break on the street. Again, the fastest way around the course is the smoothest.
As far as the clutch, with a stock engine a stock clutch is just fine (see above about smooth). There are plenty of sources out there but I have no real opinion about brands per sey. (anybody else?)
Now don't laugh but, here is one more thought, get your dad to do it as well!!
Many, if not most, "oldtimers" in solo get their kids out as soon as they get a license. "Driver's Ed" can tech you about traffic laws and opperating a car, but not what you and/or the car is really capable of. The best place to learn that is at an autocross where nothing or no one gets hurt. We have MANY families in the sport, moms as well as dads, daughters as well as sons, and even 3rd generations! And I have seen many parents get involved.
racermike is offline  
Old 12-30-02, 01:52 AM
  #16  
Full Member
5 Year Member
 
Jinx099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Aurora, CO
Posts: 225
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
no, dont bring your dad. Lat time I did that he beat me by 6 seconds in my car!

j/k, I want my dad to auto-x my car every once in a while too because it is a way to gauge my improvements. (My dad has been racing for years).
Jinx099 is offline  
Old 12-30-02, 07:40 AM
  #17  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Take heart Jinx. The offspring usually get faster than the parent,,,,,eventually! It's great when you have an "in house" example and goal. It could even be your MOM! Maybe I should start a thread about female drivers?
racermike is offline  
Old 12-30-02, 08:16 PM
  #18  
Airflow is my life
10 Year Member
 
Rx7carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 6,736
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
My wife beat me once at SOLO II. I got really drunk the night before watching the 12 at Sebring LOL. Learned my lesson after that. Yea smooth is fast, the best drivers are really boring to watch, they look slow, but the clock dont lie!
Rx7carl is offline  
Old 12-30-02, 08:31 PM
  #19  
aheadau
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 411
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That is excuse num. 93 I think. Did you go ahead and get drunk again, or were you doing the dishes for a week??
racermike is offline  
Old 12-31-02, 07:46 AM
  #20  
Airflow is my life
10 Year Member
 
Rx7carl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 6,736
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
LOL. Nah, got drunk, cried in my beer, and it never happened again!
Rx7carl is offline  
Old 01-14-03, 09:51 AM
  #21  
Junior Member
10 Year Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Calgary
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I own a 85 GSL-SE. Autocrossed it the first year. After managing the year well, I upgraded all the bushings the next year for road race. At that time I discovered my front control arm bushings had about an inch of slop. It explained why I had understeer, I had to change my driving style allot. THINK SMOOTH......

The comments about the GSL-SE not being a good road race car is very correct. Plans to move to GT should allow me to be more competitive.
Al36rx7 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
demetlaw
3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002)
6
10-02-15 06:22 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Auto-x Prep for 1st gen


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: