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MaxC
MaxC Reader
3/15/22 3:51 p.m.
MaxC said:
 

Door bars - again, no bender. Decided to make the X-bar design after reading endless internet debates about NASCAR vs X-bar design.  The pro for the X bar design is that they're straight and when hit are immediately loaded in tension.  In tension the tubes are a lot stronger than being loaded in bending. By no means does that tell the whole story, but that's the rationale. I decided to add a sill bar as well, as my X-bar design is bisecting and therefore not two continuous tubes.  A way I could improve this is with gusseting, which I would like to do someday.

Cons of my door bar design are: I probably put them too high.  My reasoning was "higher will be safer", yeah but egress and ingress is a thing too.  So is having to weld the ends.  This was the hardest weld on the whole cage. 

That's all!  I'd like to improve the cage in the future by adding anti-intrusion bars, front strut tower supports, door bar gussets, and pillar bar to main hoop gussets. 

Time to revisit this from way back on page 1! Yes, ever since page 1 guilt has plagued me in that the X-bar door bar is not two tubes, but is in fact one.  Since the X is bisecting, the rules don't count it as two bars.   Gusseting the door bar seemed like low hanging fruit of cage improvements, and since the car is in pretty good shape, it's a good time to make these kinds of upgrades. 

Visited Russ again @ Racetech and he sold me some 18ga rectangles bent into a taco shapes, and advised me on how to trim them and weld them on properly.  He also sent me with some 12ga steel and some DOM to make anti-intrusion bars with (more on that at a later date).  This is what I came up with.  Again, I'm an excellent welder if I'm welding in perfect comfort in perfect conditions. In these less that perfect conditions, contorted awkwardly, this is the best I could come up with:

Gussets on the top/bottom of the X would have added more cross sectional area to the center of the X and more strength in a side impact. However, as I mentioned previously, the bars are somewhat high, and it concerned me making egress even harder.  Russ advised I do the side gussets and then support the center of the X by tying it into the sill bar.  So many triangles!!

I'm happy with them. They don't look professional, but I'm feeling better about the cage that I'm putting people in (wife is on the team now!). Next I'd like to install anti-intrusion bars, but for that I believe the dash will need to come out, so that's a project for a later date. 

B13Birk
B13Birk HalfDork
3/17/22 9:03 p.m.

Dude! Such a sweet build. I really like seeing these 200's doing work on track!

Looks like some epic days are ahead. 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
3/18/22 12:31 p.m.
B13Birk said:

Dude! Such a sweet build. I really like seeing these 200's doing work on track!

Looks like some epic days are ahead. 

Thanks man! Indeed epic days are ahead! And if you haven't already checked it out, I have some race recap videos.  Here's the one from the last race weekend: https://youtu.be/ARhAa4nY5PU

Always appreciate feedback too! I know they're long, and I'm trying to pare down the footage, not easy with endurance racing unfortunately...

MaxC
MaxC Reader
4/11/22 2:04 p.m.

This Friday we're going to Track Night in America at PIR, which is the car's first outing this year.  My wife is the only one driving the car.  She has driven in two races, and really wants some practice in a non-race situation.  Thankfully she's 5'-2", and racing gear for tiny people is VERY easy to find on sale.  The helmet would be the only exception to that.  We found her an FIA Alpinestars suit, Stand21 shoes, and some Impact SFI gloves, all for less than $250 total. Just set up her IMSA helmet kit in her new Pyrotect helmet!

 

Also replaced the brake rotors this weekend, which have about 30 hours on them (rough estimate), the cracks are getting a bit too big for me. 

 

Also moved the seat forward another 1". That's about as close as I can comfortably sit, but it will help every other person on the team who is shorter than me.  I'm 6'-2", and this fixed mount seat needs to accommodate everyone.  There is not enough head clearance for sliders, even with the floor dropped... Wife will still need to sit on foam pads, but this will be safer. 

This track night will be the first test on track with the surge tank, new wheels, various repairs/adjustments... really hope we have no issues. I may drive it to work this week just to get some seat time. It snowed this morning, randomly, so hopefully it'll warm up so I don't freeze. 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
4/18/22 5:11 p.m.

Track night success! 

Not only did the upgrades work, almost flawlessly (we had some tire rub on the front fenders, will have to roll the crap out of them), but our driver (my wife) improved massively.  She had a pretty bad time in the race in October, and never felt like she could get in a groove and never felt fast.  This was a great learning experience where she didn't have to worry about being dive bombed in every corner by a BMW going 20 seconds/lap faster. As a result, she dropped 6.5 seconds off her time, and is confident there's a lot of room to improve from here. 

No issues with the surge tank, thank God.  Car was in good enough shape afterward, I dropped the trailer at work, and drove the race car 35 miles home. Wife talked about racing for like a solid 24 hours straight after track night, and watched an entire spec miata race at PIR (by herself) to help understand the lines. I have a feeling racing this year is going to be fun. 

https://youtu.be/qWa-_XEfBYA

 

MaxC
MaxC Reader
5/16/22 1:53 p.m.

Progress is slow but chipping away. We are registered for PIR race on June 25/26.  Had two regular teammates unable to make the race, so we had to supplement with two renters.  They are great people and have treated our car well in the past, so it should turn out just fine. 

Gotta be honest I'm getting a bit discouraged with the rising costs of everything, and maybe a bit with all the car prep by myself. I usually don't ever have trouble with motivation to go racing, so I'm pushing on knowing that I'll be the happiest dude in the world come race day. 

Bought brake pads and a new window net, which is crap for two reasons.  1) most window nets are SFI, so only last 2 years. There are some FIA nets, and they all appear to mount goofily, and I can never figure out when the net was made before purchase. Paying double for an FIA net that's sat on a shelf for two years seems counterproductive.  Thanks do discovery parts for actually checking mfg dates for me on the G-force SFI net I actually purchased! 2) Hawk has discontinued the front brake pads we've been using.  Okay so maybe it's been a long time coming.  The pads are probably 30 years old. I can buy up some new-old stock for now, but will need to find a new pad to use. ST43 seems to be the pad of choice in the endurance world, but doesn't appear to be available for this application.  Carbotech and G-Loc make pads in this application.  The Carbotech RP2 seems to have seriously mixed reviews.  ALL of the racing pads available are significantly more expensive than the blues...so hopefully whatever we switch to will last a good amount longer than blues and still work good. 

Finishing up my low fuel warning light.  Since the gas gauge is basically useless now, and there is a surge tank, we are at risk of running out of fuel with no warning.  I'm installing a float switch in the top of the fuel surge tank. As soon as the in-tank pump is unable to keep the surge tank topped off, the float will lower and blind the driver with a bright yellow LED.  Also, the big red light next to it is a low oil pressure warning light. 

 

The windshield bar is a bit too far away from the windshield, which made the mirror placement not ideal.  You had to really look up to see it, and if you're working inside the car you might just sit up right into the mirror and crack it with your head. So we raced with a cracked mirror for the car's whole life.  Finally replacing it with another cheap $14 UTV convex mirror, and modified it a bit to sit a few inches farther forward and out of the path of my head smashing into it. 

Finally, wife is making team shirts!

Next on the list is to finish the fuel light, then work on getting the live stream up and running so we can watch the race live from the drivers perspective. 

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
5/16/22 3:07 p.m.

We have been running ST-43´s for the last years in our Primeras. We love them, but they are not listed for our car either. Frozen Rotors custom made our sets and that has worked fine, they were not very expensive either.

So worth giving Mark at Frozen rotors a call or e-mail perhaps?

 

Our biggest hurdle is that shipping from the US is both costly and slow...

Gustaf

MaxC
MaxC Reader
5/16/22 3:38 p.m.
therealpinto said:

We have been running ST-43´s for the last years in our Primeras. We love them, but they are not listed for our car either. Frozen Rotors custom made our sets and that has worked fine, they were not very expensive either.

So worth giving Mark at Frozen rotors a call or e-mail perhaps?

 

Our biggest hurdle is that shipping from the US is both costly and slow...

Gustaf

Gustaf, 

Thanks for the suggestion.  I will look in to that.  That pad seems to have the most positive reviews of all the racing pads, and the most likely to be a success on our car.  I did not know they made them custom... that's great news! I'll reach out as soon as we blow through the rest of our Hawk Blues, likely after this next race weekend. 

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
5/16/22 9:42 p.m.

We love the ST43, as does 95% of the people that use them for endurance.  Porterfield Brakes in CA can custom make them for your application.  While they are expensive we get from 3-5 entire events out of a set and they have zero rotor wear so you avoid rotor replacement cost.  

MaxC
MaxC Reader
5/17/22 10:25 a.m.
Sonic said:

We love the ST43, as does 95% of the people that use them for endurance.  Porterfield Brakes in CA can custom make them for your application.  While they are expensive we get from 3-5 entire events out of a set and they have zero rotor wear so you avoid rotor replacement cost.  

This seems nuts to me.  Hawk blues completely destroy my rotors.  Very encouraging, glad they make them custom.  So is Porterfield the company that produces the ST43? I sometimes hear Raybestos, Porterfield, etc. Now I've heard Porterfield and Frozen Rotors produce custom ST43 pads.  Is this all the same company?

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
5/17/22 10:31 a.m.

Raybestos makes the pads for some cars.  Porterfield modifies the base stock they get from Raybestos to make custom applications that Raybestos does not make.  Porterfield also makes their own stuff, which is also good for some applications, like I use ST43 on the front and Porterfield R4e on the rear of our front drive cars to get the right balance, and the R4e are cheaper and still very good, just lower friction and don't last quite as long.  

MaxC
MaxC Reader
6/8/22 5:16 p.m.
Sonic said:

Raybestos makes the pads for some cars.  Porterfield modifies the base stock they get from Raybestos to make custom applications that Raybestos does not make.  Porterfield also makes their own stuff, which is also good for some applications, like I use ST43 on the front and Porterfield R4e on the rear of our front drive cars to get the right balance, and the R4e are cheaper and still very good, just lower friction and don't last quite as long.  

Good info! I called a number of places, and they all told me that the pads are on backorder.  What I think is actually the case is that Raybestos' compound to make the ST43 pads is on backorder. Each place told me it could be more than a month before they could make the pads. Two vendors said they had Hawk HT-10's in stock, which I forgot existed.  New old stock Blues are about $180, ST43 & other race pads seem to be around $240, and HT-10's were $185... So I figured we'd give them a shot.  I *hope* that they are better than blues in every way, longer lasting, better feel, better pad & rotor wear, hopefully no crazy noise... They are rated for higher temps, and more friction than Blues. If they don't work out then I suppose we'll order ST43's farther in advance in the future.  

Last project on the list is the live stream.  Need to order a mobile hotspot, and run power to it... I think it's not much work from there. Least excited for projects like this so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it's easy. 

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