irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/21/21 8:53 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Are you on throttle when you leave the ground? I found that a quick stab going up the ramp and then throttle to the floor immediately after that set the car nicely for landings. We previously would nose dive when I would just coast over the crest.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/21/21 9:05 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Yes, and it helps but not enough.  You can see in the photo on liftoff the rear isn't dropping much, and the front is already off the ground but was almost certainly more compressed on the way up, so I think that's my sign to make the rear eat up a little more of the ramp.  I could also stiffen the front but I don't want to because the turn-in is so nice.

EDIT:  Thinking through the rear suspension even more, the arm and coilover angle also mean it's effectively a rising rate through the entire travel.  This may also be part of the problem, a spring/damping combo that feels right at ride height may be on the stiff side as things compress further.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/21/21 8:19 p.m.

would using a dual-rate or progressive rear spring help that, perhaps? Give you an amount of initial travel to eat up the movement but then back to high rate for when the car is on the ground? IDK if that would actually work - I only ask because our rears are stock beehives, so they're progressive and they seem to be about right with similar top rates to yours. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/12/21 9:29 a.m.

Pulled the bumper covers so I can patch them back together- they each had like 15lbs of mud inside of them!

Core support looks like it moved up a teeny bit, but all the suspension stuff didn't move so I'm going to call this a nice approach angle modification that would otherwise be illegal in L2WD instead of being bothered by it:

The holes that formerly hosted the weld nuts for the front of the skidplate will need a little help before I weld something else in there.  Considering we landed several jumps almost entirely on this part of the car, I'm still OK with how it held up:

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/18/21 6:16 a.m.

Bumper repair- in the back, just some zip ties:

Up front, the lower part of the bumper cover needed a little more help so it got a piece of plastic epoxied to the back:

Then some zip ties for good measure, and I removed the one remaining turn signal grille thing and just painted the openings black instead:

Also changed out the rear springs for some 250lb/in ones.  If this doesn't make it jump better I need even more damping tweaks:

I think what I'm learning here is that, while both are perfectly decent rough surface dampers, there are some weird fundamental differences in the way the AFCOs on the rear and the Bilsteins in the front handle low vs high speed damping.  If I were to do it over, I'd probably put more effort towards using the same brand on both ends of the car.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/24/21 7:11 p.m.

One of the photographers (@rally_ph_usa on Instagram) at STPR was also taking awesome overhead drone footage of the spectator hairpin- check it out:

 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/24/21 7:55 p.m.

I need to hit him up for the full shot of mine, totally forgot. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/25/21 6:39 a.m.

Finally replaced my very used Eastwood with something better- a Primeweld MIG 180.  Haven't done much with it yet but so far it seems quite nice, and it shipped to my house in less than 24hrs for free!

Zapped some much thicker M10 weld nuts into the skidplate mounts, remade the rear mounts twice (I made it too low the first time), failed to take any good pictures, and now the plate is reinstalled:

I also replaced an exhaust gasket that required drilling out two broken bolts from the header, but now it doesn't leak so that's nice.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/25/21 4:21 p.m.

So i take it you're coming to Rausch this weekend then :)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/25/21 5:05 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

That's the plan, and also the reason I haven't started fixing the back end of the exhaust yet- Rausch can finish this one off first. 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
10/25/21 5:44 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to paul_s0 :

I could probably figure out a way to protect the bolt heads a bit better, but the hit that ripped things apart was gonna break SOMETHING it's just a matter of what.  I do already have stronger weld nuts I was planning to install this winter, I guess that's no longer optional now!

My concern about recessing the heads is that it would effectively move the whole plate down, and the car is pretty clearance limited.

I'm guessing you can't use countersunk Allen/torx head bolts because they'll pack up with dirt instantly, right?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/25/21 5:49 p.m.

In reply to thatsnowinnebago :

Or they grind the outside into the center and then there's nothing to grab with vice grips. I think the ultimate would be getting the fasteners off the bottom entirely and having bolts on the sides accessible through the wheel wells or something, but then the plate would probably just find somewhere else to break!

Rotaryracer
Rotaryracer Reader
10/26/21 6:13 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Finally replaced my very used Eastwood with something better- a Primeweld MIG 180.  Haven't done much with it yet but so far it seems quite nice, and it shipped to my house in less than 24hrs for free!

Just read the specs - that looks like a lot of machine for the money.  Consumables interchangeable with anything else?  I don't want to crap up your thread, but would be interested in your feedback once you've run some more wire through it.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/26/21 6:38 a.m.

In reply to Rotaryracer :

I bought it specifically because it was recommended to me by Adam Brock, who I figured knows more than me about these things since he welds for a living.  So far it seems quite nice, and the tips and nozzles seem to be the same as the stuff I had for my Eastwood, all standard bits from the local welding store intended mainly to fit Miller and Hobart machines.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/26/21 6:39 a.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to paul_s0 :

I could probably figure out a way to protect the bolt heads a bit better, but the hit that ripped things apart was gonna break SOMETHING it's just a matter of what.  I do already have stronger weld nuts I was planning to install this winter, I guess that's no longer optional now!

My concern about recessing the heads is that it would effectively move the whole plate down, and the car is pretty clearance limited.

I'm guessing you can't use countersunk Allen/torx head bolts because they'll pack up with dirt instantly, right?

Many years ago my ex- bought a stainless steel skid plate for her '03 MCS.  It came with pretty, round-head Allen type bolts, also made of stainless steel. Despite liberal use of anti-seize, those bolts where bonded to the sub-frame the next time I needed to remove the plate. And the soft stainless steel hex stripped out because the hex wrench size (6mm) was far to small for the size of the thread (about 10mm, IIRC).  I managed to get three of the bolts out, but one had to be drilled out. I then replaced the bolts with proper bolts.  Never had a problem after that.

Every skid plate I installed for friends after that got those allen head bolts tossed and the regular bolts installed since most of the cars I worked on were daily drivers and saw a fair bit of Northeast snow and road salt. The bolts came as a bag of 50, so I had plenty of them (my ex- still has them...).

That welder does look nice. The 180 model?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/26/21 9:05 a.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Yep it's the 180.  I finally have a use for the 220v outlet I put on the side of the lift!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/26/21 3:16 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Ditto. I use regular non-stainless bolts and just replace them periodically. I also round all the edges on my grinder before install so they don't get mushroomed out by rock hits. Never had any problem with them seizing up or breaking in my weldnuts. Also conveniently they use the same size bolt head as my lugs, So if we need to pull the plates in service the right socket is already on the impact.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/29/21 4:29 p.m.

My spare set of rear shocks got back from Bob Harris Enterprises just in time for the rallysprint!

So those are on the car now, and they have fancy new progressive compression valving which should, according to BHE, tame the jump behavior substantially.   We'll see!

Then, test driving the car a bit, the check engine light came on with a cam actuator code- the same code it threw at STPR.   Since this time around I wasn't sitting in a time control, I went poking around under the hood and surprise, the connection was actually loose!  Look for the connector in the middle of the image here:

It actually points down so it makes sense that with enough hits, vibrations, heat, etc it starts to work loose.  I reseated it and it's happy for now, we'll see what it does at the sprint.  It's supposed to be raining and we're starting off on the same tires we chewed up at STPR so I don't expect to be super fast, I just really want to get a feel for these revalved shocks and determine whether there's anything else that needs to be changed over the winter. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/29/21 8:29 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

My spare set of rear shocks got back from Bob Harris Enterprises just in time for the rallysprint!

So those are on the car now, and they have fancy new progressive compression valving which should, according to BHE, tame the jump behavior substantially.   We'll see!

Then, test driving the car a bit, the check engine light came on with a cam actuator code- the same code it threw at STPR.   Since this time around I wasn't sitting in a time control, I went poking around under the hood and surprise, the connection was actually loose!  Look for the connector in the middle of the image here:

It actually points down so it makes sense that with enough hits, vibrations, heat, etc it starts to work loose.  I reseated it and it's happy for now, we'll see what it does at the sprint.  It's supposed to be raining and we're starting off on the same tires we chewed up at STPR so I don't expect to be super fast, I just really want to get a feel for these revalved shocks and determine whether there's anything else that needs to be changed over the winter. 

don't worry, the rest of us will be on old chewed up tires as well. Becuase 100% chance I'll be too lazy (and not wanting to get all muddy) to swap on the Maxsports sitting on my trailer at the moment and I'll just run my most-worn set of Federals. Which are probably way worse for mud than your Hoosiers lol. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/29/21 8:29 p.m.

btw, thought of maybe using some liquid electrical tape on that plug to keep it from coming loose?

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/30/21 5:52 p.m.

Or is there a way to use a zip-tie to hold the connectors together?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/31/21 5:35 p.m.

Rausch Creek Rallysprint, Halloween Mudbog Edition

The Rausch Creek Rallysprint venue used to have to cancel if there was rain within a few WEEKS of an event, so it's a huge credit to the organizers that we were able to run in the rain... but also, we ran in the rain.  And I was, in an attempt to squeeze every cent out of an expensive set of tires, running on the same used Hoosiers we had on the car for STPR.  This was a mistake.

Our main competition was Josh and a few front wheel drive cars, and the moment we started running it was apparent that our tire choice meant we weren't really competing at all- zero grip on the rear, to the point where getting stuck on course was a real concern.  We ran two full heats like that, though, and everyone made a real mess of their vehicles in the snotty, sticky mud:

After a bunch of slip and slide runs, we started getting a check engine light- a misfire code.  This was probably heat related, since the entire front of the car was clogged with mud and there wasn't a whole lot of cool air making its' way into the engine bay.  At some point we also shed our rear bumper cover, and with upwards of 50lbs of mud weighing it down Chris Bersheim carried it all the way back to our service spot:

It still meets my definition of repairable so we threw it in the truck bed.  I also determined that, with the misfire code and really excessive wheelspin, our used up rear tires might be hurting the car more than was acceptable so we changed them out for some used but still good Hoosiers instead:

Off to even more mud slinging:

The fresh(er) rear tires made a huge difference and I was cursing myself for trying to run on the bald old ones all afternoon, but it didn't really matter much- our times improved by 10sec+ per run on the two minute course but we were WAY back at that point.  After some night runs, the event ended and we were in last or close to it.  I think the new rear shocks work well but honestly the conditions were so soupy it was hard to tell.

To top it all off, apparently I wasn't finished making an ass of myself and the rear of the car slid off the ramps on the way onto the trailer, requiring some serious teamwork to get it back onto the deck:

All things considered, the car handled it well and the organizers put some serious work in in order to make this event happen despite the weather.  I need to figure out what, if anything, to do about the seemingly heat related misfire code, and consider some better ways to keep the rear bumper on and maybe rethink my tire strategy or avoid mud events entirely.  Sara was of course perfect on the notes the whole time, and seems to be mildly horrified at the condition of the car afterwards.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/31/21 5:36 p.m.

I just spent over 4 hours cleaning the car.  This mud is STICKY.

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
10/31/21 6:24 p.m.

Chris.....so is this ride what you expected it to be??? or do you truly miss the Merkur?.........at all 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/31/21 6:36 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

It's everything I wanted- truly the modern version of the FC RX7 we started out rallying in.  The only time I miss the Merkur is when I want to hit a big jump with zero regard for the landing. 

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