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FB road racing....

Old 02-15-07, 05:41 PM
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FB road racing....

I will be doing the NASA HPDE this summer with my 12a powered FB, untill my TII swap. Anyhow, I was just trying to get some opinions on how she will do, if anyone here has done this. My car has:
MSD 6al ignitions, coils, racing beat strut brace, will have 225/50/16 Kumho exta MX tires. This will be my first time, and will be learning with an insturctor of course. Hopefully once I get the feel, she will be good.
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Old 02-15-07, 06:46 PM
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I think you'll do fine. From what I know, HPDE are not really ment to be competative, more of a learning thing I think. Just make sure she is all set up to go, good brakes, wheel bearings, fluids changed, ect. That way you can focus on learning and concentrating what is going on around you rather than wrenching and worring about your ride.

I have seen a few fellas with stock radiators have cooling issues in summer heat....just a thought to ponder. Shoot some flames and Good luck!!
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Old 02-15-07, 07:07 PM
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Thanks, I am going to ebc green pads, new bearings, and dexcool with a aftermarket rad. Thanks for help and support.
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Old 02-16-07, 02:00 AM
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One thing I do recommend is to make sure you have a oil baffle plate (fairly cheap to do). I'd also look into all of your bushings and stuff to make sure everything is in good shape.
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Old 02-16-07, 07:58 AM
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In addition to brand new thick high temp pads, Modify the brake rotor backing plates to direct cool air into the center of the rotor (not the face of the rotor.) Using a gun bore wire brush on a power drill, clean the rust out of the cooling vanes in the rotor. Brake fluid should be less than 1 month old.

Dial in at least 2 degrees negative camber on the front, and -4 degrees would be better. Make sure your idler arm bushings are perfect.

Make sure your battery is bolted down, not strapped down.

As was said above, an HPDE is not a road race. Even though you are driving on a road race track, you are not racing and they do not want you to be racing.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:31 PM
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pull the rear sway bar off too, while you're in there.

for starters all you really need is/are clean fluids and fresh filters, and brakes.
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Old 02-16-07, 02:26 PM
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First off, why pull the rear sway bar? I am not understanding the advantage to that.
I would like to run some brake cooling ducts to direct air over the rotors.
I also eventually want to run some poly-urethane bushings as well. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 02-16-07, 07:56 PM
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Just so that you're clear, you want the air to go into the center of the rotor and out through the vanes. The other way around tends to crack first gen rotors.

I wouldn't go quite as far a -4 deg (can you even get more than -2 w/o camber plates?) as I doubt the Ecstas are designed for that amount of neg. camber.

If you think cooling might be an issue, dump the beehive and get an early oil cooler and braided lines.

BUT, this is just a HPDE. Just do a good nut and bolt check, check the ball joints, wheel bearings, pads, rotors and change the fluids and you should be fine.

You're out there to learn to drive and learn how the car reacts. You shouldn't be going 10/10ths in anything you can't afford to wad up and toss in the track dumpster.
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Old 02-16-07, 09:31 PM
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Yea, I would like to go to a different oil cooler, like a BM, or RB dual.
As for the suspension, it will be basically redone for safety and reliability.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:00 AM
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A few thoughts on what has been posted here so far -

1) For HPDE stuff the long 1st gen oil cooler that goes under the radiator is fine. Much better than the heat exchanger mess under the oil filter. Believe me, the stock long cooler is one of the best available and much sought after by Mazda guys and other makes as well.

2) Rear bar on a stock suspension, even if it is nicely refurbished, is overkill. Rubber stock bushings in the rear allow enough deflection that at the extremes the whole third member becomes a sway bar causing the famous signature move of 1st gen Rx-7's everywhere "snap oversteer". Most of us that have raced Rx-7's in classes that don't allow a third link have simply learned to pitch the sucker in hard and try to catch it coming out! In general it feels like the car without the bar is a bit more forgiving, and forgiving is mucho good for novices.

3) Depending on the tires, 1st gens like a lot of front camber. Generally with Ground Control camber plates you can get a little more than 2 without cutting the towers back a bit, and around 3 1/2 with some trimming. Toyos R compounds like most of that but it's hard to say what bendy sidewalled street tires might like without taking some basic tire temps.

4) Scott speaks the absolute truth about something you need to REALLY accept rather than just paying lip service to. The minute you set one tire on a racetrack for a high performance drive, you had better be fully prepared to write the car off and walk away from it like it was stolen by aliens. This is not a scare tactic, it's just something that has a considerably better chance of happening than anything you have done on the road (unless you are a psychotic idiot!). A conservative and safe senior driver that I know found some unexpected conditions on the front straight and pinballed off of the walls on either side at high speed not so long ago. He walked away with not much more than a bit of stiffness, but we managed to get just about two five gallon buckets of spare parts out of that whole car. It really does happen. Be careful, have fun, but be safe!

5) I've never heard of anyone cleaning the vanes out on a set of front rotors. Don't get me wrong, it makes perfect sense but I've never had a set last long enough to rust! The 13b brakes fit and are bigger and longer lasting, but have catastrophic hub fracture problems that can leave you with a three wheeler at high speeds. The small bearing hubs and disks are easy to get ahold of, but take it from me - on an EP car on slicks they aren't good for much more than about two or three race weekends. Running air into the center definitely helps, and I hesitate to think how long they would last without! Wheel bearings last about twice as long as rotors - so you will be changing them a lot too. Heck, you have to take them off to change the rotor anyway - give them a nice repack of Mobil 1 synthetic grease every time you do. It's one of the few that won't just burn up at the temps those little brakes a bearings create. (Amsoil synthetic grease works just a tiny bit better but at twice the price Mobil is fine)

6) Hawk blues on the front, and blacks on the back (if you have a GSL rear) will give you a bit of brake bias without a valve. The blues are great on initial bite, handle heat well, take essentially NO bedding, last great, and tear the hell out of your rotors. Doesn't matter much though, because I am changing them every couple of week-ends (see point #5)

7) Doesn't matter what kind of car you are in, always make sure the battery is bolted down tight enough that when you grab it and yank it like you were trying to steal it so you could trade it for crack, it doesn't budge. There are few things in a car that will make a bigger mess than a battery that gets loose. For that matter, make sure EVERYTHING in your car that isn't physically bolted solidly to the chassis is out before you leave for the track. My buddy Sir Isaac observed that "an object in motion will tend to stay in motion unless an external force is apllied to it". You don't want the external force to be your neck when that subwoofer, tire iron, or cell phone goes shooting deeper into the brake zone than you intended to stop.

8) Don't try to get good all at once. You are going to find that there is a lot more to car control than you thought before you went on track. Thats a good thing, becasue if you are like me you wouldn't stick with it if you could master it easily. To be truly good behind the wheel, you need not only some talent, but also the desire to work hard, a receptiveness to instruction, and the ability to improve in manageable increments. Pretty much nobody goes out and is instantly fast. The guys that I instruct who are impressive are the ones who drive within themselves while moving the envelope just a bit lap after lap after lap. Don't try to be a hero right out of the box, be smooth and learn a little from every lap. Take it easy, it will come.

At trip to the track tends to push people in one of two directions. They either realize that the enormity of the effort required to really become good is more than they are willing to invest, or they find that they are hooked regardless of the impending impact to their 401K, personal relationships, and available free time. Good Luck and I hope you pick the dark side .........

Last edited by Boswoj; 02-17-07 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:26 AM
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Thanks for the tips and adivce, great reading. Now, if I have the oil cooler where the triangle thing is under the filter, is that ok? Sorry for my noob rx slang, I am new to these. I defintly recognize the risk, and I am willing to accept it. Thanks for support fellas, you are a great group.
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Old 02-17-07, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by matts85rx7
Thanks for the tips and adivce, great reading. Now, if I have the oil cooler where the triangle thing is under the filter, is that ok? Sorry for my noob rx slang, I am new to these. I defintly recognize the risk, and I am willing to accept it. Thanks for support fellas, you are a great group.
If you are talking about the "Beehive" oil cooler (oil heater, as I call it), NO! It is not good enough. It uses heated water, in a futile effort to cool heated oil, and dumps the even more heated water back into the inlet of the engine, for another pass thru the engine.
You state you are planning to do a T2 swap, so start a little early, and install a front mount oil cooler. You're gonna need to do it anyways as part of the swap.
I swapped a FMOC from a FC into my '83, and I noticed the engine temp dropped dramaticlly during my open track events. HIGHLY reccomended modification.
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Old 02-17-07, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Boswoj
At trip to the track tends to push people in one of two directions. They either realize that the enormity of the effort required to really become good is more than they are willing to invest, or they find that they are hooked regardless of the impending impact to their 401K, personal relationships, and available free time. Good Luck and I hope you pick the dark side .........
Some great advice above by Scott, Rick and speedturn. A good investment for any FB owner contemplating tracking his/her car is Jim Susko's book. http://www.gforceengineering.net/products.htm

The power of the dark side is strong.
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Old 02-17-07, 08:12 AM
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One thing to consider, if you decide to come to the dark side and start managing your personal calendar around track weekends is you may want to consider putting off the TII swap initially and instead invest the dollars on 1) more track time, 2) suspension overhaul on the FB, and 3) the "tires and brake pads" fund.

Of course it all depends on what you want to do with the car and how hooked you get on the "go fast crack pipe". But #2 above will probably make you faster on the track and let you become a better driver.

Good luck and have fun!

-b
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Old 02-17-07, 12:07 PM
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I'm thinking this thread is worthy of being a STICKY.
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Old 02-17-07, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by matts85rx7
Thanks for the tips and adivce, great reading. Now, if I have the oil cooler where the triangle thing is under the filter, is that ok? Sorry for my noob rx slang, I am new to these. I defintly recognize the risk, and I am willing to accept it. Thanks for support fellas, you are a great group.
if this is your first time at the track, hpde 1 or 2, then the beehive is fine, you're not going to be going that fast
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Old 02-17-07, 06:39 PM
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Awesome advice, I will end up swapping the oil cooler, cant hurt. Also, it will be a while for the TII swap, so much shall get done. Thanks again guys.
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Old 02-17-07, 09:42 PM
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I would second the point about forgetting about the TII swap. A street ported 12a can make between 170 and 200 hp depending on how far you go, and if the car becomes a dedicated track rat you can get them pretty light. You will be much better off leaving the car as simple as possible, and developing the driver. You can't really get better without seat time, and it is a better place to spend your money. Run it as stock as possible until your lap times reach a plateau that indicates you are getting all you can from the car. (Then call me and I will send someone over who can get another 2 seconds out of it!!! hehe) At the point where you are near the limits of the car, you will probably have developed enough that you will understand what the car needs to make it faster and more fun around the track. It will surprise you that your list of mods now and your list of mods then are likely to be COMPLETELY different!
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Old 02-18-07, 10:59 AM
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Well my FB is only going to be used for road racing for a while, then stepping back into drag racing (this is what I do often) and TII swap the FB for a street sweeper/drag car, then step into an older RX3 and make it my dedicated track slave. The FB may end up being awesome to me, and I may just get another for road racing. But I do want a real beastly 13b FB. But, as I said, may end up with another. But a RX3 would be badass too.
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Old 02-19-07, 05:13 PM
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These guys are all dead on. If you have an oil cooler to put on before your track day, I would recommend doing it. Your first day out on track you will explore your limits, but not the cars. Relax and have fun. My best students were the ones with an open mind and willing to listen. These students usually learn and grow with every session. My students that told me they drive 130 mph on freeway, and how great they are all had problems. Inevitably they were the ones that struggle learning the proper line.I always try to give my students a ride after their second or third session. I will drive at 8/10 so they can learn the proper line and get a feel for the reasoning behind it. You won't learn much if he is throwing the car sideways everywhere.
Here is my priority for the day

1- Have an open mind
2- Don't drive over your head
3- Be smooth
4- Look up (Most students tend to have tunnel vision to the nose of their car)
5- Have fun
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Old 02-19-07, 05:26 PM
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Here's another quick tip. According to the Mazda Competition manual, mounting the FMOC horizontally, instead of vertically, up near the grill opening, can result in 10*F lower oil temps.
I wish I had seen that earlier. I may have tried this mounting option. Since I used an FC FMOC, I may still do this.
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Old 02-19-07, 06:40 PM
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Awesome advice wlfpkrcn, I definitely want to be open minded, this going to be my first time. I will definitely keep that in mind. The oil cooler tip is also awesome, I will use a FC OC and mount it as you said. So what do I do to bypass all the other mess from the beehive OC?
Thanks again
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Old 02-19-07, 06:55 PM
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Best bet, is to check out the 1st gen archives. There is an excellent write up by trochoid, on the subject of swapping the beehive for a FC FMOC. I used it as a handy guide, but chose a different route for the oil lines.
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Old 02-19-07, 06:55 PM
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You need an oil filter adapter off a car that came with the front mounted oil cooler 80-82 or 84-91 13B. I cant remeber if the third gens have the same adapter. Don't forget to pick up some stainless oil cooler lines and adapters to mount the oil cooler. You should also think about putting in some mechanical gauges. If you do, you need an adapter for the oil pressure and oil temp. Racing Beat sellls one http://www.racingbeat.com/FRmazda1.htm

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Old 02-19-07, 07:02 PM
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Thanks, how hard is the swap? Not to bad? I am pretty inclined, and will give it a shot.
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