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jimgood Reader
4/27/22 2:12 p.m.
HalfFast said:

In reply to jimgood :

I am thinking about replacing my front windshield.  When it goes in it will be installed with the Dzus fasteners for the reason you just stated.  With no windshield, the electrical work I want to do will be MUCH simpler.  

My seat swap happened through the window, and my seat is bigger than your seat I bet (ya, I just went there lol)

LOL!! Okay. I'll look into it. Maybe I'll get lucky.

jimgood Reader
4/29/22 6:01 p.m.

And lucky I got! HalfFast was right! The seat came out through the window just fine.

Unmounting the seat was relatively straightforward. In my case, there were two bolts at the lower front corners. Each bolt went through the seat side then through a large spacer then through a 3/8" slotted plate welded to the cage. There were no mounts in the back of the seat bottom. The only other mounts were just above the shoulder harness holes and these when through to a custom plate that attached to the harness bar; three bolts across. The head rest was also bolted to these, sandwiched between the seat and the plate. The seat was basically suspended between those two points.

The leg protectors (?) were attached at the leading edge of the seat with small bolts and lock nuts. Some one custom molded a couple of pieces of aluminum sheet that were riveted to the seat. One was a thigh support and the other a lower back support. I had already drilled out the rivets for the thigh support as it was the only way to access the submarine belt adjustment (I had to do this at my first event as the sub belt was allowing the lap belt to creep up practically to my nipples).

I measured everything to see if there was any hope of it coming out the window. The window opening is a little over 14".

From the front of the rib support to the back of the seat was 12"

From the recess below the rib support to the seat bottom was also 12".

Once it was all loose, all I had to do was lift the seat straight up, twist it so it was facing the window. Then I tilted the top out the window.

Rotate it down and she's out! Those two panels laying on the ground next to the seat are the thigh and lower back supports that were riveted in there.

Why the hell am I doing all this? The seat that was in this car is not a full containment seat. I have one in my ST6 car that I'm going to try to fit in here.

Okay, I have to go mow grass now.

jimgood Reader
4/30/22 8:27 p.m.

So far it's looking like the seat out of my ST6 car will fit fine. I'm still in the process of orienting it side to side. Once I get that where I want it, I'll decide if I need more layback. I may need to remove the existing rear seat support as it is making the seat pretty upright and I'd like as much room as I can get between the head bolster and the cage support at the front of the window opening. It looks like a lot of room but I was having a lot of trouble getting out with no head bolster in the previous seat. Another thing I don't like is that the head restraint is right up against the side cage hoop. Even with the old seat, my helmet was in contact with that bar all the time.


I tried to get a pic of the rear seat support. It came out crappy so I outlined the edge of the piece in yellow. It's just a piece of heavy angled steel. You can just barely make out the bolts that attach it to the harness bar. I'm pretty sure I can't use it at all so I'll take the IOPort support out of my ST6 car.

Edit: now that I think about it, I might be able to flip the plate over so the angle is down, which will allow it to line up with the holes in my seat back. And also drill new holes so I can move it further back.


Here is what the side mounts look like. I'll have to get some longer spacers. The previous seat was an 18" and this one is a 16" or 17", I can't recall. Forgot to measure. The plate to which the seat is mounted is very thick and slotted about 3 or 4 inches for adjustment fore and aft. The bolts are in loosely until I figure out where I want it.

I couldn't get the seat into the car with the head restraint attached. And it's a bear trying to attach it while it's inside the car. Took a while but I finally got it done.

jimgood Reader
5/1/22 10:19 a.m.

Good morning, GRM!

Got an early start working on positioning the seat. It will work and it's going to be great once I figure everything out. Here are the issues I need to solve...

These leg protector plates won't work with my seat. Frankly, one of them is a little dangerous as it's got a really sharp exposed edge. But besides that, I think they need to be properly fitted and attached to the thigh supports on the seat and connected to the tunnel on the right side and to the cage on the left side.

The next issue, which is the easiest to solve is I want the seat bottom bolted to the floor. I just don't like the idea that the seat is only attached at the front and rear up by the shoulders. There is a step-down in the floor between frame rails. I'll insert an 2 x 2 aluminum tube here and drill through it using the holes in the seat as a template.

The most difficult issue to solve is the rear support. I have two options that I can see. I can grind off the center stand-offs on the harness bar (there's one on top and bottom) and use my IOPort seat brace. Or, I can make a new brace similar in form to the one that was in there but that will fit in the recess in the back of the seat.

The brace that was in the car is wonky. It has a bend in it that was designed to fit the contour of the old seat so I can't really make it work with the new seat. The bend is off center and there's just no way to cut it such that I can use the existing bolt holes in the harness bar. I would have to add another hole in the harness bar. I originally thought it was steel plate but it's 1/4" aluminum.

The seat is going to sit back farther so will only be about an inch and a half from the harness bar. Another option would be to use 1/4" thick aluminum angle. I can get that in 3" x 3" and cut it so that it fits in the seat recess and spans across all three of the original bolt holes in the harness bar. If it doesn't quite reach far enough to sit flush against the seat, I can get some spacers to make up the diff.

Edit: Just found that I can get 4" angle in 3/8" thickness. I like that better!


jimgood Reader
5/5/22 8:40 p.m.

Quick update...While I was waiting for hardware to mount my seat, I installed a new window net; the kind with the spring action rod on top. Got too late to get pics but see one seen 'em all. Big improvement over the old net as it had zero adjustment and I could not get it latched from inside the car (maybe a few months of shoulder presses and I might have gotten there).

jimgood Reader
5/10/22 8:54 a.m.

Here's a pic of the new window net. Yeah, I know. Yawn. It was tough for me to install as I needed to weld new tabs. That shouldn't have been a big deal but I was working in the drive way using a 100' extension cord and the welder did not like that at all. I winched the car back into the trailer, backed it up to the barn and winched it into the barn aisleway. But the run from the fuse box to the receptacle I was using was still too long. Winched it back onto the trailer, pulled the trailer into the very wet back yard behind the house, winched it part way off the trailer and was finally able to get good power to the welder there. I almost didn't get the truck out of the yard.

The seat installation was its own slog. I must have positioned it and bolted in the front mounts 50 times trying to figure out the rear mount and the position of the floor mount. The rear mount was a bear but I finally got something I can live with (literally). I used a piece of 4" x 3/8" aluminum angle, cut mostly with a reciprocating saw. Never you mind that extra hole in the middle there! I know the mounting holes are close to the edge but the forces we're trying to contain will be in the opposite direction from the edge or parallel to it.

Here's what it looks like mounted and attached to the seat. These are not the final nuts/bolts. It's a bitch trying to reach those nuts and get any kind of leverage on a wrench. And,  yes, I ground off the middle mounting hole on the harness bar because I needed to see if I could use my IOPort back brace but it wouldn't work.

I bought a piece of 2" x 2" aluminum round bar to make a spacer for the left front mount. I had to get a machine shop to reduce the length to 1.8125" for a perfect fit. Under the seat, I have a piece of 2" x 3" aluminum tube. I just realized as I was posting this that I mounted it too far forward. You can see that it's going to interfere with the outboard submarine belt mounting hole (circled in red). So I'll have to move it back or cut a huge notch in it. frown

EDIT: Yay! I don't have to move the 2" x 3". I can use the holes that are further forward as my sub belt uses the front hole. So now I just have to pick up some new grade 8 hardware and finish this up.

I also still have to find a new place to mount the fire extinguisher pull, remove the inboard aluminum leg protector plate and replace all the seat hardware with the actual stuff I'm going to use.

The extended forecast says rain all weekend at VIR. I'm not really keen on running in the rain with this car yet. I do have rain tires but no seat time in the wet and no headlight, which is required to run in the rain. That can be remedied by mounting a battery powered LED light on the hood. But, if I have no choice, I'm running it!

EDIT: Reread the rules and confirmed with TT Director. No headlight requirement for TT.

jimgood Reader
5/12/22 5:41 a.m.

The seat is installed except for one bolt in the floor mount. I couldn't reach it without jacking up the car and I ran out of time and energy yesterday. I'll get it cinched down when I get situated in the paddock this evening. I'll have to get some help as someone has to hold the bolt with a wrench while I apply the nut and washers underneath.

I also moved the bracket for the extinguisher pull to the dash bar on the cage. Its position is better as, in it's previous position, I was hooking my pocket on it when trying to get out of the car.

I installed and adjusted the harness. I retained the lap and sub belts from the Simpson harness that came with the car. But the shoulder belts were 3", which isn't good to use with a HANS. So I removed the shoulder belts from the ST6 car and they work perfectly with the cam lock on the Simpson set. They're all still good through the end of 2022 so I'll need a new set next season.

I chopped up the pad that was on the roof bar above the window to make it fit better and to not be hanging down in the space needed to get in and out.

With the new seat, ingress/egress is SO MUCH EASIER. No painful pokes in the ribs. I haven't tried it with the helmet and HANS but I think I'll be able to meet the 15-second GTFO requirement. Will need to practice. The seat itself is much more comfortable for me. The original one was causing bruising under my upper arms from the torso restraints.

jimgood Reader
5/15/22 7:07 p.m.

OMG...I'm so slow! But this is the fastest I've ever driven VIR. I had two laps, one yesterday afternoon and one this morning, at 2:10.x. To put this in perspective, I was in TTU (Time Trial Unlimited, meaning anything goes) and there were two cars/drivers in TT3 (restricted to a weight-to-power ratio of 10:1, or 10 lbs per hp) that ran 2:01.x. The weight-to-power ratio of my car is approximately 6:1. So, obviously I have a LOT of work to do figuring out how to drive this car faster. My previous fastest lap is something like 2:28 or so. Here's one 2:10.x lap from this morning.


trigun7469 UltraDork
5/16/22 10:23 a.m.

In reply to jimgood :

I watched the video the gears seem to be pretty far between the throws, is there a short shifter kit?

HalfFast New Reader
5/16/22 10:25 a.m.
trigun7469 said:

In reply to jimgood :

I watched the video the gears seem to be pretty far between the throws, is there a short shifter kit?

That's a Jerico, it's about how they work.  

jimgood Reader
5/16/22 5:12 p.m.

In reply to trigun7469 :

As HalfFast said and I'll just add that, when shifting, there's some inertia as you pull/push the lever out of one gear and that inertia will basically carry you right into the next gear. A short shifter would be harder to control as it requires MORE force and generates MORE inertia. God help you if you want to stop the throw in neutral to blip the throttle on a down shift. A short shifter might be more appropriate for drag racing.

jimgood Reader
5/16/22 5:49 p.m.

I forgot to mention that I passed the annual tech and got a NASA log book. yes

I was targeting ST1 for Summit Point next month but jh36 had some bad luck with his car and it's not likely he'll make it. Plus, he's hemmin' and hawin' about maybe STU...maybe ST3...maybe ST1. For the record, there have been no entries in ST1 for the last two NASA events (perhaps longer) so it would be a lonely class.

I'm just going to run STU. That way I can save the money I would have spent on the dyno trying to detune for ST1 and use it for $11/gal race fuel instead. If I'm not competitive, so what? I'm used to that.

One other thing I didn't mention was my tires. I opted to go with McCreary tires. I was able to get a set mounted for $187 each down at Dominion Raceway (about an hour away). I like them well enough to keep using them. They are a harder compound than the old Hoosiers I was running, felt very consistent and did not get greasy, though I was not pushing that hard. The Hoosiers were giving me some mid-corner push whereas these seemed fine.

jh36 Dork
5/16/22 7:21 p.m.

You looked great out there, Jim. Yeah...I will update my thread here soon but...pulling an engine tonight. indecision

jimgood Reader
6/2/22 8:31 p.m.

I just finished cutting up some fallen Oak limbs that knocked down a fence a couple days ago and now this. At least it didn't crush a fence this time. Or a car. Or my trailer with a car in it! It's a beautiful old Willow that dropped that limb. Way too many of these this past few months. Who'd o' thunk when we bought this place 24 years ago that the trees were gonna keep growing and dying. This place...it's like a vacation and a full time second job all rolled into one.

jimgood Reader
6/27/22 2:04 p.m.

Ran the GTA Camaro at the NASA event at Summit Point over the weekend. I'm getting more confident in my ability to drive the car.

I ran three sessions on Saturday. My times dropped from one session to the next. In the morning I ran a couple of 1:23s. During qual, I ran a string of 1:21s. In the afternoon race, there was one 1:20.5 and a lot of 1:21s again.

I was all by myself in SU so I wanted to stay out of other people's races as much as I could. That meant there were times I just hung back until I could get a clear run to pass on the straight.

I got a little more brave under braking. I was staying in the throttle longer and braking later and harder. Pedal effort is high in this car and there is no feel whatsoever. I'm pretty sure I will need to address the pads next season as there is no initial bite and it feels like there's pad fade. However, I'm willing to also entertain the idea that I'm not romping on the pedal has hard as I should initially. This car weighs about the same as my E36 but, under braking, it feels like I'm trying to slow down my trailering rig. Granted, I'm slowing down from over 140 as compared to about 120 in the E36. But the tires are, what, 50% wider?

I was able to trail brake into T1 and T5 better whereas before I was lifting and braking way early. This came back to bite me a number of times as I got sideways in both turns more often than before. In T1, getting sideways was usually caused by downshifting into 2nd too soon. I was trying to put it in neutral to rev-match before the shift but the inertia of pulling the shifter out of 3rd sometimes caused me to yank straight into 2nd a split second too soon. I went off in T1 on Saturday but kept it straight and didn't lose much time. On Sunday, it was a different story. I got it perfect a couple of times and it was a nice feeling.

I was also carrying a little more speed through 3, 4 and 10. The carousel remains a problem. The car understeers at part throttle through 6. The only way to manage that is to lift or to throttle steer it. I felt like both would be slower overall as the latter would end up overheating the rear tires and it requires more finesse.

I'm not in good physical shape so it was a workout. I came out of the car completely exhausted, needing at least 20 minutes to recover. The heat in the car isn't too bad when it's moving but sitting on grid or coming in after the session is brutal. I actually used the Chiller while I was on grid to blow cool air into my helmet, shoving it between my face and the padding, which was helpful. I could actually feel the air flowing all the way around almost to the left side. I'm still not ready to invest in a helmet that's made for the hose attachment and a cool shirt. I don't like the idea of the extra connections to the car. Mental thing. Could get over it.

The only other weakness in this car is the aero. I don't know if it's how the body is fitted to the chassis of if the chassis ride height is too high but the front lip is too high for sure. According to my research, these bodies are designed to move air out to the sides such that it draws air out from under the hood. But my hood is lifting significantly; so much so that it actually bends the forward hood pins back. The rear aero does the same thing and it seems to be working correctly. Maybe too good as the rear deck gets sucked down so much that it oil-cans and I have to pop it back up to get the lid off for refueling.

Anyway, that's a long winded way of saying that there is too much air getting packed under the hood at speed. I need to get that front lip closer to the ground.

After this weekend, I'm dubious about the stated power number from the engine builder. I still haven't run on a dyno but with 525 hp at the crank, you'd think I'd have at least 400 at the wheels. So, conservatively, that's about a 7.1 to 1 weight to power ratio. But I was just barely able to keep up with ST3 cars that are at 10:1. Might be aero. Might be less power than I think.

On a side note, I caught about 30 seconds of the NASCAR race yesterday. I noticed the new generation of cars looks more "OEM" with shorter overhangs. I like them a LOT!


jh36 Dork
6/30/22 8:01 p.m.

It was a blast to see you out there Jim...you looked good!  Hope to be back out with you soon as we are both able!

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