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Author Topic: Tech Shed News??
Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

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How can you tell if your ART head has the illegal valve guide sleeves? Pull the valves and look for dissimilar metals?

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

motorrock
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Congrats to David and Steve. The preparation of those two was impeccable.......I know !!

I too spent some late nights at their mercy.... [Smile]

--------------------
philstireservice.com
philstireservice@aol.com

Jerry Cabe Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by J.D.:
History is good, its out there in a post but not in FAQ.


UPDATE ON THE WINNER:

The race was not won on appeal, the protest was pulled and no appeal was needed.

Upon removal of the pipe to pull the tranny the wrapping was noticed by a Steward. The Steward initiated action.

Members of the SMAC retrieved the pipe and inspected it compared to the rules. It is the cat back section in question. The pipe was less than 2.25" WITH the wrapping. The decision was made that since the total size of the pipe with the wrapping did not exceed the rule and no clear definition of "heat shield" is in place to inturpret, the pipe was legal. The SMAC then held a meeting with the Chief Stewart and explained their findings. The Steward's action was withdrawn, no harm no foul.

FYI (geezz my spelling...)

Looking for a Tech opinion --- If the exhaust pipe was found to be within the 2.25 diameter, but the wrapping exceeded the 2.25 diameter, would this then be illegal? Second question --- assuming the wrapping is only on the exhaust pipe (cat back), how does this offer any performance benefit?

BTW, I throughly enjoyed the race from my flagging position at Turn 3. Great race from that location, except for the report filed on the 46 and 88 car incident. Congrats to all that competed!

Jerry

--------------------
Just driving SM until the F-1 car is ready.

Jeremy Lucas
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I don't understand why the top 3 heads were legal if the valve job was beyond factory spec. Can someone explain?

--------------------
Jeremy Lucas
Fast Tech Limited.com

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Lucas:
I don't understand why the top 3 heads were legal if the valve job was beyond factory spec. Can someone explain?

Who ever said they were illegal or that anything was beyond "factory spec"? Seems to me that only myself, Ty Till and a couple of other tech folks looked at them and no official paper was EVER created for any of the cylinder heads.

Now you may see some rules in the off season filling in the voids left in the "factory spec".

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
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The MEATHEAD Racing 2010 Calendar is up!!!!
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Cabe:
quote:
Originally posted by J.D.:
History is good, its out there in a post but not in FAQ.


UPDATE ON THE WINNER:

The race was not won on appeal, the protest was pulled and no appeal was needed.

Upon removal of the pipe to pull the tranny the wrapping was noticed by a Steward. The Steward initiated action.

Members of the SMAC retrieved the pipe and inspected it compared to the rules. It is the cat back section in question. The pipe was less than 2.25" WITH the wrapping. The decision was made that since the total size of the pipe with the wrapping did not exceed the rule and no clear definition of "heat shield" is in place to inturpret, the pipe was legal. The SMAC then held a meeting with the Chief Stewart and explained their findings. The Steward's action was withdrawn, no harm no foul.

FYI (geezz my spelling...)

Looking for a Tech opinion --- If the exhaust pipe was found to be within the 2.25 diameter, but the wrapping exceeded the 2.25 diameter, would this then be illegal? Second question --- assuming the wrapping is only on the exhaust pipe (cat back), how does this offer any performance benefit?

BTW, I throughly enjoyed the race from my flagging position at Turn 3. Great race from that location, except for the report filed on the 46 and 88 car incident. Congrats to all that competed!

Jerry

If your pipe is over 2.25 it is illegal.

Heat wrap may or may not provide an advantage I don't know. Maybe David did it to keep Steve's but cool. [Wink]

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
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The MEATHEAD Racing 2010 Calendar is up!!!!
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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The 2.25" is for the INNER DIAMETER, correct? Who cares if your piping is .5" thick, as long as it has an ID of 2.25"...

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Cabe:
quote:
Originally posted by J.D.:
History is good, its out there in a post but not in FAQ.


UPDATE ON THE WINNER:

The race was not won on appeal, the protest was pulled and no appeal was needed.

Upon removal of the pipe to pull the tranny the wrapping was noticed by a Steward. The Steward initiated action.

Members of the SMAC retrieved the pipe and inspected it compared to the rules. It is the cat back section in question. The pipe was less than 2.25" WITH the wrapping. The decision was made that since the total size of the pipe with the wrapping did not exceed the rule and no clear definition of "heat shield" is in place to inturpret, the pipe was legal. The SMAC then held a meeting with the Chief Stewart and explained their findings. The Steward's action was withdrawn, no harm no foul.

FYI (geezz my spelling...)

Looking for a Tech opinion --- If the exhaust pipe was found to be within the 2.25 diameter, but the wrapping exceeded the 2.25 diameter, would this then be illegal? Second question --- assuming the wrapping is only on the exhaust pipe (cat back), how does this offer any performance benefit?

BTW, I throughly enjoyed the race from my flagging position at Turn 3. Great race from that location, except for the report filed on the 46 and 88 car incident. Congrats to all that competed!

Jerry

If your pipe is over 2.25 it is illegal.

Heat wrap may or may not provide an advantage I don't know. Maybe David did it to keep Steve's but cool. [Wink]

Does that OD include the tape? That doesn't make any sense if it does. We all know it is an advantage. If it keeps your right leg cool it keeps the trans and diff cooler too. It is closer to them than your leg. Anyone that has ever crawled under one of these cars knows that.

I agree with the CSA opinion, but there should be a clarification as to whether or not it includes the tape. If the tape is included and if you use a smaller pipe OD for the smaller RP it needs to be addressed.

So is it pipe plus tape must be 2.25" or pipe as the actual rule states?

--------------------
----------------
Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

Tyler Dahl Verified Driver Series Champ
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a. Said replacement system retains the original configuration, e.g. single tube design, and the tubing diameter is a maximum of 2.25” outside diameter.

I don't think that wrapping is included in the measruement just tube. With wrapping it my leg would still burn since the end of the downpipe is about at my butt. Now if we could wrap the downpipe my foot and leg would be happier. Oh yeah slow down the 99's! nevermind I don't know what i'm talking about, I need to hit the treadmill instead of the forum and then I might make weight!

--------------------
Tyler Dahl
Race Engineering
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Jeremy Pike
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a. Said replacement system retains the original configuration, e.g. single tube design, and the tubing diameter is a maximum of 2.25” outside diameter.

What are the chances exhaust wrap will be covered in next years rules. Original configuration could be read as no wrap allowed. I changed from an old Joie seat to a new Sparco and don't have nearly the heat issue in the car that I did.

Monkeywrench
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Pike:
a. Said replacement system retains the original configuration, e.g. single tube design, and the tubing diameter is a maximum of 2.25” outside diameter.

What are the chances exhaust wrap will be covered in next years rules. Original configuration could be read as no wrap allowed. I changed from an old Joie seat to a new Sparco and don't have nearly the heat issue in the car that I did.

Playing devil's advocate..

Wrap = cheap. Stainless, titanium, iconel and / or coatings is not.

--------------------
-Bob Adams

Jeremy Lucas
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
Who ever said they were illegal or that anything was beyond "factory spec"? Seems to me that only myself, Ty Till and a couple of other tech folks looked at them and no official paper was EVER created for any of the cylinder heads.

Well since you saw them, was the valve seat prep beyond that of a crate motor as many of us heard and JD alluded to in his post ("the crate motor head did not match")? A "it's been this way for the last several years" or "they all have it" does not make it ok or the direction the class should be heading. If your adding rules, it should be to try and eliminate stuff like this so you don't have to spend a bunch of money reworking a new purchased crate motor to be competitive. I'd like to join the SM fray, but right now the costs are just out of control to run up front.

--------------------
Jeremy Lucas
Fast Tech Limited.com

Steve D. Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Tyler Dahl:
... retains the original configuration, e.g. single tube design ...

The rule should say "i.e." rather than "e.g." so we would know what characteristic(s) the phrase "original confguration" describes. By using "e.g." we only know that single tube design is ONE OF the characteristics the replacement exhaust must have.

Props to GOrilla/DDG for exploiting a grey area. $20 says it won't be so grey next year.

pat slattery Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Lucas:
I don't understand why the top 3 heads were legal if the valve job was beyond factory spec. Can someone explain?

Who ever said they were illegal or that anything was beyond "factory spec"? Seems to me that only myself, Ty Till and a couple of other tech folks looked at them and no official paper was EVER created for any of the cylinder heads.

Now you may see some rules in the off season filling in the voids left in the "factory spec".

Mike did the heads in question appear to look like a factory head?

I bet you will answer no

Pat

--------------------
keeping the faith for the 1.6

Arrow Karts

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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They all (regardless of the builder) looked enough like the factory head to leave enough reasonable doubt that it would be hard to convince a Steward or COA otherwise.

Nothing I saw all weekend looked "cheated up" or obvious to the untrained eye. EVERYTHING was a top of the line masterpiece that only the most discriminating of observer may have bought into question but lacking a few "factory specs" there was not a lot to stand on. I saw more "perfect" parts this past week than I have ever seen in my life. Weather they came from countless hours of parts bin searches or recreated to match a perfect part will never be known but they all meet the letter of the current rule.

By rule all the cars were legal. Whatever rumors were not from anyone actually looking at the heads.

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
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The MEATHEAD Racing 2010 Calendar is up!!!!
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

CP Verified Driver
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Was the exhaust wrapped from the flange at the downpipe connection all the way back to the exit behind the axle, or just from the flange to a resonator?

FWIW, DEI makes a sheet-style heat barrier with an adhesive backing that has worked wonders on the underside of my trans tunnel at controlling cockpit heat from the exhaust. I can acutally rest my arm on the trans tunnel at the end of a race.

--------------------
-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
http://www.speedshackonline.com

Tom Scheifler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
Nothing I saw all weekend looked "cheated up" or obvious to the untrained eye.

Is this (nothing obvious to the untrained eye) the standard for assessing compliance? [boggled]

--------------------
http://www.plainoldgas.com

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Scheifler:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
Nothing I saw all weekend looked "cheated up" or obvious to the untrained eye.

Is this (nothing obvious to the untrained eye) the standard for assessing compliance? [boggled]
Tom, SCCA tech has protocols and procedures that are certainly older than I am. The Category Chief (Ty Till) had to submit a list weeks ago as to what was going to be checked. Ty has been around the block before so the list was loose and allowed for some free-board as to what to check within the confines of what was listed.

Every part we checked via a measurement or visual inspection against stock parts the SCCA already had in inventory or parts Tim Buck was kind enough to loan us straight out of the MAZDA trailer.

Once you find a "suspect" part you have to first identify the rule it is in violation of. Define beyond any reasonable doubt that it is out of compliance and then prove it to a court made up of Stewards that may or may not know anything about Miata's or machining or electronics and may not understand the benefit a minor tweak may actually provide. This is where it gets tricky. If I ruled the world and was the benevolent dictator of tech some of the "questionable" or "suspect" parts would have never made it out of the shed. They would have been retained and depending on the severity of the infraction a penalty may have been assessed. But in the SCCA world you have to prove BEYOND any reasonable doubt the nature of the part in question and the Stewards and the Courts will almost always give the benefit of the doubt to the competitor as they should.

SM has one problem, old and new parts and several changes in suppliers along the way.

Over 50% of the cars were inspected. A few items through the week were found and acted on. Some got overturned some did not.

I think the top guys bought tech shed legal packages and they passed. Right or wrong it was to the letter (not intent) of the rules.

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
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The MEATHEAD Racing 2010 Calendar is up!!!!
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Tom Scheifler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Mike,

Quoting Harry Manning from a post on the other site "reports from Runoffs impound indicate that the inspected cylinder heads were obviously modified, when compared with a crate engine cylinder head. Maybe it was better for SCCA to allow those heads, versus throwing all six cars out"

What was your assessment of the heads at impound?

Tom

--------------------
http://www.plainoldgas.com

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Scheifler:
Mike,

Quoting Harry Manning from a post on the other site "reports from Runoffs impound indicate that the inspected cylinder heads were obviously modified, when compared with a crate engine cylinder head. Maybe it was better for SCCA to allow those heads, versus throwing all six cars out"

What was your assessment of the heads at impound?

Tom

All of the heads had obviously had work done to them. The quality of work was top shelf, these were without a doubt prepared for a runoffs tear down. Variance from the crate head was not obvious to an untrained eye and those with the skill set to evaluate them all felt they were within the rules we had to actually MEASURE with. I certainly feel that the intent of the rule may have been broken, but that is subjective and certainly would not have held up under a CSA with a COA. These cars were "tech shed" legal. They all complied with the standards we have to judge them by.

Tom, I am not sure what you are trying to get me to say? This is not your first question or attempt to call me out. We held onto the heads for a great deal of time, they underwent a huge amount of scrutiny from a number of Compliance Officials. Some were even machinist by trade. Other classes were limited to a 4 hour tear-down the SM tear down took 8 hours of constant dis-assembly and compliance checks.

Harry was not in the tech shed for post race impound so anything you have heard is just hearsay...

Rumors started flying when we took the heads in for evaluation, part of the reason for the lengthy evaluation was to make sure we did not miss anything and that everything complied with the rules. When things take some time the rumors start flying.

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
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The MEATHEAD Racing 2010 Calendar is up!!!!
www.MEATHEADRacing.com
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Kent Carter Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Future Never Has Been

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Mike, would you be kind enough to help us pen letters to the CRB that would give tech and the stewards clear and enforceable language that would make it easy to bounce all these modified heads?

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

Tom Scheifler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Hey Mike,

I'm not calling you "out", really. I'm looking for facts and you seem to be the only person with first-hand knowledge of the events that is willing to discuss. That is why I am asking you to comment on the second-hand information from Harry and others. I greatly appreciate you doing so.

I'm trying to be constructive.

A lot of people, including some who were torn down, want to claim that tech-shed legal is the same as GCR legal. And I want to be clear that they are not the same. You have, thankfully, confirmed that every head you looked at was tech-shed compliant but GCR non-compliant -- I assume based on the GCR rule "overhaul procedures that in the slightest way would increase performance are not to be utilized".

Your enforcement does not allow you to look at a head and say "I see you have violated the rule so you are DQ'd". You must be able to prove a measurement is not compliant with a written specification.

Knowing this, it sounds like the heads you looked at went by the modified rule "overhaul procedures that in the slightest way would increase performance are not to be utilized, unless tech cannot measure to prove the part has been altered".

For the reasons you state, there is a clear disconnect between the GCR and what is currently being done in tech.

So, besides "do nothing", the options include:
1. Write more rules with specific measurements.
2. Allow tech to DQ people based on non-measurable assessments.
3. Write rules that allow everyone to be GCR compliant with things that are currently only tech-shed compliant.

Note, these are not mutually exclusive options.

What do you recommend?

Tom

--------------------
http://www.plainoldgas.com

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Scheifler:
For the reasons you state, there is a clear disconnect between the GCR and what is currently being done in tech.

So, besides "do nothing", the options include:
1. Write more rules with specific measurements.
2. Allow tech to DQ people based on non-measurable assessments.
3. Write rules that allow everyone to be GCR compliant with things that are currently only tech-shed compliant.

Note, these are not mutually exclusive options.

What do you recommend?

Tom

I am working through this now just like everyone else. My job in Tech at the Runoffs was as a SMAC representative, the idea was to assist Ty with SM compliance and learn how we can better do our job, I have already begun to share my experiences with the rest of the SMAC members and we do have some work in front of us.

I am not sure I am in agreement with the GCR legal vs. Tech Shed legal argument. Here is why in the most basic of forms. If I "service" my engine over the winter and all I do is take it apart, change the rings, bearings, gaskets and valve springs with all oem MAZDA parts and nothing else, I put it back together exactly the way it came apart am I in violation of an overhaul the increased performance in the slightest way. You bet I am.

How is that different from taking it one step further and matching the heaviest piston and the lightest rod, selecting the right shim for solid lifters to get perfect lash on '99s?

I am really starting to believe our "intent" rule is the problem and is unenforceable. Does that mean I am for making things wide open, not at all, I think we need to clearly define the limits of what is allowable and not. And we need to do it in a fashion that is identifiable AND enforceable.

The SCCA system of Tech, Stewards, the process, and pushing the limits is not going to change so don't expect any Tech Scrutineers to start DQ'ing racers.

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
http://www.SHEETZ.com
The MEATHEAD Racing 2010 Calendar is up!!!!
www.MEATHEADRacing.com
SMAC Member
WDCR-SCCA SM Drivers Rep.
ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Mazda/Enterprises sealed motor. I'll be first in line. [yep]

--------------------
Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
I am not sure I am in agreement with the GCR legal vs. Tech Shed legal argument. Here is why in the most basic of forms. If I "service" my engine over the winter and all I do is take it apart, change the rings, bearings, gaskets and valve springs with all oem MAZDA parts and nothing else, I put it back together exactly the way it came apart am I in violation of an overhaul the increased performance in the slightest way. You bet I am.

How is that different from taking it one step further and matching the heaviest piston and the lightest rod, selecting the right shim for solid lifters to get perfect lash on '99s?

I am really starting to believe our "intent" rule is the problem and is unenforceable. Does that mean I am for making things wide open, not at all, I think we need to clearly define the limits of what is allowable and not. And we need to do it in a fashion that is identifiable AND enforceable.

Mike,

I agree with the premise the rule set needs to specific in what is allowed and what is not, i.e. something a tech person can measure and give a thumbs up/down to. However, I think you miss the mark with your "any rebuild is performance enhancing" argument. The rules specifically allow us to rebuild per the FSM. Therefore that section trumps the any performance enhancing etc section. What is in question is when you take it beyond what the FSM allows.

The problem is most of us can look at a head and know that it has been "improved" but we can't measure it under the existing rules...

--------------------
----------------
Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

David Dewhurst
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***but we can't measure it under the existing rules...***

Where did the dimensional (with tolerance) camshaft specifications come from?

--------------------
Have Fun [Wink]

David Dewhurst
CenDiv
Milwaukee Region
Spec Miata #14

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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
SCCA tech has protocols and procedures that are certainly older than I am.

Allegedly.

Colin MacLean Verified Driver
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It just seems like a crazy situation to me. You have a number of builders out there all putting together motors that are quite frankly works of art that unfortunately cost a LOT of money. The reason they are expensive is not because of the power, it's because of the rules. Loosely defined rules and rules that are not backed up by a measurement or allowable tolerance are causing the problem.

If, as a class, we don't want SM to be sealed motor (another discussion) then we simply need a VTS. Measure and define every part in the motor and you remove the gray areas that are being exploited today. You're legal or you're not, no gray area, no finger-pointing. Look at the Runoffs result, the innuendo now is that guys torn down were "illegal" to the "intent" of the rules but no-one can prove it. That's not a good situation for anyone.

--------------------
Colin MacLean
Flyin' MacLean Motorsports

Tom Scheifler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike C:
I am not sure I am in agreement with the GCR legal vs. Tech Shed legal argument. Here is why in the most basic of forms. If I "service" my engine over the winter and all I do is take it apart, change the rings, bearings, gaskets and valve springs with all oem MAZDA parts and nothing else, I put it back together exactly the way it came apart am I in violation of an overhaul the increased performance in the slightest way. You bet I am.

No! You are not in violation of the rules. As Steve posted on the other site quoting the rules:

quote:


(bold added for emphasis)

The following items represent the only modifications and safety items permitted and/or required on Spec Miata automobiles other than safety items as required in Section 9. No permitted component/modification shall additionally perform a prohibited function. No updating or backdating of cars, models, specifications, and/or components thereof shall be permitted except as specifically authorized in these specifications.

A Shop Manual for the specific make, model, and year of automobile is required to be in the possession of each entrant. The manual is intended to aid Scrutineers in identifying parts and the configuration of the automobile. Overhaul procedures that in the slightest way would increase performance are not to be utilized; e.g., porting, etc. Blueprinting and balancing are inconsistent with the philosophy of this class and are not permitted.

All adjustments shall be at the manufacturer's specification and/or within the manufacturer's specified tolerances except as permitted within the SMCS.

A standard rings-bearings-gaskets-and-valve-springs-with-all-oem-MAZDA-parts-and-nothing-else rebuild is not "inconsistent with the philosophy of this class" when made "at the manufacturer's specification and/or within the manufacturer's specified tolerances except as permitted within the SMCS". It is GCR compliant.

However, blueprinting, balancing (and custom machining to recreate a perfect part) are "inconsistent with the philosophy of this class" and not explicitly "permitted within the SMCS". So they are GCR non-compliant (even though they are tech-shed compliant).

I cannot see it any other way but I'd like to hear arguments from people that genuinely disagree with me.

--------------------
http://www.plainoldgas.com

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Mike, I agree with those above. If you consider a re-ring/bearing job with OEM bits to violate the 'slightest way' rule, then wouldn't replacing a 150k mile original lump with a Mazda Motorsports crate motor be the same thing? I think you jumped off the logical cliff there.

--------------------
Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

cam Verified Driver
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First of all, thanks Mazda for all of your support and the SCCA tech workers who have a thankless job. IMHO, SM is still the best class in both SCCA and NASA.

This years run-offs is just another data point of a trend that supports the nay sayers against SM go national several years ago. To run up front takes a great deal of dedication in time, money and other resources as well as deep driving talent. There appears to be sufficient proof that the way the rules are written and the reference to the FSM naturally lends itself to grey areas that can be exploited. Congratulations to pro builders that figured out how to stay within that grey and make more power. This situation has built (almost like a design) an environment that supports and rewards the innovative pro builders. (note, this is not a pro builder bash, just stating observations)

Last time I checked, SCCA was a club and we are the club members. We have a choice to sit back and watch as others run the club for us or we can take an active role. This form (thanks JD for providing this space) seems to be full of those who what to take an active role. I think I see two logical courses of actions to take our club back.

1) Minimize the advantage of the pro builder by making public all of the little tweaks that are allowed (specific and measurable if not clear is the FSM) and make measurable and specific spec for parts to remove grey areas. Then we know what we need to run up front if we choose to pay someone to build it for us or do it ourselves. The downside to this is that there are a lot of cleaver people always looking for an advantage and it just makes sense that there is a whole batch of other grey areas that a few elite know about or will discover in due time.
2) Go sealed motor route with significant negative rewards for tampering. Then the question is where to stop sealing? Do we need a sealed wiring harness? (not sure how to anyway) Sealed ECU? Etc…

Either direction will cost a great deal but will be cheaper in the long run than the current situation for the person with national aspirations. If we stay with the current model of allowing significant grey area and refining the rules after significant complaining, then we (as a club) will only encourage innovations and the cycle will continue.

Some will argue that a sealed motor program is too late. Maybe so but has an analysis really been done? How does one define “too late” in this case? There will always be a place for pro builders as most people do not have the skill or time to build a high quality car themselves.

Call to action: At this point in time, I think it would be prudent to write the CRB (crb@scca.com) and take our club back.

Summery: Can we bring Spec Miata back to spec and focus on who is the best driver, not the best turner or who can pay for the best tuner. If one really likes to tinker, then both SCCA and NASA offer other classes from mild to wild.

I truly hope we are not having this same basic discussion next year after the run offs.


OK getting off the [soapbox] and back to work

--------------------
"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
~Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
~Thomas Jefferson

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
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I really think you're missing the bigger picture with a post like that. There is a huge pile of people making their livliehoods off the sport. Even me, reselling used ECUs and other bits in order to eek enough money to make it to next event, could no longer afford to run without that income. Nor could I afford to run with sealed spares. You WOULD make the class MORE expensive with these logistics.

--------------------
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cam Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Blake Thompson:
I really think you're missing the bigger picture with a post like that. There is a huge pile of people making their livliehoods off the sport. Even me, reselling used ECUs and other bits in order to eek enough money to make it to next event, could no longer afford to run without that income. Nor could I afford to run with sealed spares. You WOULD make the class MORE expensive with these logistics.

Wow Blake, not sure if you’re being facetious or not. And I think I do see the bigger picture. Assuming you’re serious, then lets explore the current trends. By your own admission, there is a whole cottage industry to support this specific class, as various tweaks are tried, costs go up. If a racer wants to be competitive then he/she needs the latest and greatest set-up and tweaks. The costs go up and there is no end in sight. Each year, new rules are implemented and new tweaks are created to work around the rules, and the costs up. The cost will continue to rise until only a few wealthy are willing and able to pay. But if you seal it and lock it down now, there is an initial lump sum cost and then is should stabilize. It is neither my responsibility nor my intention to help create and support a cottage industry. Rather, it is my intention and desire to be able to race competitively in a class that started out as “spec” and would like to see it return there.

--------------------
"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
~Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
~Thomas Jefferson

wheel Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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How about the businesses who will build and seal the engines. SCCA could contract out to the same companies that now build the engine du jour. Well, not for the same money.....

cam Verified Driver
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As a club member, I have exercised my right to influence to rule set, below is my letter to the CRB.
quote:
Dear CRB:

Respectfully request an inquiry to start a seal motor program with the Spec Miata class. There seems to be a perspective that within the Spec Miata community there is a significant disparity between the top running pro motors and the average Mazda issued crate motor. I would suggest a study to determine who (vendor wise) can supply the crate motors to the whole national level Spec Miata community, cost, ramp-up time, seals to sufficiently secure the motors from tampering, and ramifications for tampering with the seals. If it is determined to be a cost effective program from the racers perspective, then suggest an aggressive time line of phased implementation over 2010 and fully implemented but 2011. Furthermore, would suggest that sealed motors only be required in National events, thus allowing the more casual hobbyist to run a standard stock/crate/home built motor.

If it is determined that a sealed motor program is a poor fit for the national level Spec Miata, then recommend an active effort to eliminate grey areas of motor preparation by adding repeatable and measurable specification where the FSM is left to open interpretation.

Thanks in advance for your consideration
Charles A. Mathes
SCCA member 249240


--------------------
"The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
~Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
~Thomas Jefferson

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Not to start the debate in this thread, but I would be all for the national class running sealed motors from scca enterprises. Leave regional open, but if you want to run nationals and run offs, you must have a sealed motor from sccae. Doesn't fix the parity issue between years though...

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Sean Allen:
Not to start the debate in this thread, but I would be all for the national class running sealed motors from scca enterprises. Leave regional open, but if you want to run nationals and run offs, you must have a sealed motor from sccae. Doesn't fix the parity issue between years though...

OK, I'll put my head in the noose. Why not spec sealed motors for regionals and let the nationals continue as is? The idea is to control costs correct, and we know the national guys are going to blow the dough anyways....

Why do the front running national guys need cost control from themselves? They (we) spend the bucks anyways and know its part of the deal. What is the motive here? Why promote a rule set for a group that it sounds as if you want no part.

It's sealed motors for all or none in my book.

--------------------
James York


sponsored by:
Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA
powered by:
East Street Racing, Memphis TN
set up guru:
Gilfus Racing, Austin TX

Jason Holland Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Mediocrity rules!

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I agree with James. Lowering costs for the people with dough doesn't seem to make that much sense. Either do it for all or for none. Hopefully all.

Jason

--------------------
Jason Holland
Semi-interested civilian

D.B. Cutler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Ugh, if we went with a sealed motor program I'd either have to sell the pro engine which I currently have and buy a sealed motor or run in ITA.

If I sell the engine I currently have, I'd lose money on the current engine and then have to spend money on a sealed engine. If I run in ITA with my current engine than I'll have zero chance against the CRXs and others.

Either way, I'm getting screwed.

If you argue that everyone has to run a sealed engine then everyone has to trash their current engine and buy a new one so the market for current engines (junkyard, crate or pro) is now shot as well. So now no one can sell an engine except to an ITA or similar guy.

How does any of this do anyone any good ? You guys are going to keep f%&ing with this class until no one wants to run in it. For Christ sake, spec some new weights and some RP changes and lets get back to it. The various models are close, just keep making small adjustments.

Also, how about if we put together some very specific rules with regards to how engines need to be constructed. Ever look at the engine rules in FF, FC or S2 ? Give the engine builders better definition as to what they can or can't do. I'll bet a large percentage of the cost is because the builder has to go back in and cover up his work to make it look OEM. Take out the grey areas in the rules.

D.B. Cutler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Sorry, I had a really, really crappy day today.

Casey Z Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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D.B.,

I think one thing you may be missing here is that if good specs are published the motor you have now will most likely not meet them because it is a pro motor (assuming it is a good one). That is unless they really open up the development in the specs. There is no good solution here. We are going to have to either bite bullet at some point or just let everyone loose to do whatever they want.

Sorry you had a bad day.

--------------------
----------------
Z Brothers Racing / East Street Auto

Casey Z - 1.6 Kettle
MidDiv National #13

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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DB, according to James's theory if you run nationals you have the money to spend so who cares if you have to get rid of the pro motor?

James, I disagree, spec classes (True spec classes!), with sealed motors and other parts are the way of the future. They work and they insure legal motors (if you have an illegal motor, it's pretty easy to tell). Why make national run sealed, and not regional? Well National actually means something, national guys are the ones that want results and may be doing it for more then fun. Those are the guys that you need to insure are running legal. Regional doesn't mean anything, its all for fun, let em run what they have and have fun with it. If someone feels they need to be a regional champion and they want to spend 7k on a motor, who cares? let them. Nationals can give you a future, and if we regulate what motors they can run it will keep cost down and not let them spend 45k on a miata... And not everyone that runs nationals and goes to the runoffs has a ton of money...

George Munson Verified Driver
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You guys are going to keep f%&ing with this class until no one wants to run in it. For Christ sake, spec some new weights and some RP changes and lets get back to it. The various models are close, just keep making small adjustments.

Now thats smart thinking.

As Casey says above lets just publish goods specs and be done with it. [thumbsup]

Cajun Miata Man Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Sean Allen:
DB, according to James's theory if you run nationals you have the money to spend so who cares if you have to get rid of the pro motor?

James, I disagree, spec classes (True spec classes!), with sealed motors and other parts are the way of the future. They work and they insure legal motors (if you have an illegal motor, it's pretty easy to tell). Why make national run sealed, and not regional? Well National actually means something, national guys are the ones that want results and may be doing it for more then fun. Those are the guys that you need to insure are running legal. Regional doesn't mean anything, its all for fun, let em run what they have and have fun with it. If someone feels they need to be a regional champion and they want to spend 7k on a motor, who cares? let them. Nationals can give you a future, and if we regulate what motors they can run it will keep cost down and not let them spend 45k on a miata... And not everyone that runs nationals and goes to the runoffs has a ton of money...

Sean,

I never said spec classes (sealed motor) wouldn't work. Read again. I only asked the logic of why national versus regional is all.

And also suggested the sealed motors (if that is what the class wants, me personally I do not) apply to all.

I do notice that the folks running nationals and doing what it takes to run up front aren't complaining about costs or pushing sealed motors (they just want package parity), but it's the guys "running for fun". I don't get it, why does the guy that runs for fun care if someone spends 45k on a miata to have a shot at being national champion? I don't get logic.

In addition, you need to consider different divisions take on regionals. In SOWDIV, most SM races are nationals. If the just for fun guys were shut out, they would probably find another class due to lack of racing opportunity. Over in east, they have some serious regional series that carry more prestige for some than the Runoffs and its a big deal and not just for fun.

--------------------
James York


sponsored by:
Stan's Auto Center, Lafayette LA
powered by:
East Street Racing, Memphis TN
set up guru:
Gilfus Racing, Austin TX

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
Now The Fastest "Blake" in Spec Miata

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quote:
Originally posted by cam:
quote:
Originally posted by Blake Thompson:
I really think you're missing the bigger picture with a post like that. There is a huge pile of people making their livliehoods off the sport. Even me, reselling used ECUs and other bits in order to eek enough money to make it to next event, could no longer afford to run without that income. Nor could I afford to run with sealed spares. You WOULD make the class MORE expensive with these logistics.

Wow Blake, not sure if you’re being facetious or not. And I think I do see the bigger picture. Assuming you’re serious, then lets explore the current trends. By your own admission, there is a whole cottage industry to support this specific class, as various tweaks are tried, costs go up. If a racer wants to be competitive then he/she needs the latest and greatest set-up and tweaks. The costs go up and there is no end in sight. Each year, new rules are implemented and new tweaks are created to work around the rules, and the costs up. The cost will continue to rise until only a few wealthy are willing and able to pay. But if you seal it and lock it down now, there is an initial lump sum cost and then is should stabilize. It is neither my responsibility nor my intention to help create and support a cottage industry. Rather, it is my intention and desire to be able to race competitively in a class that started out as “spec” and would like to see it return there.
The fact of the matter is I can't afford to run a sealed engine, but I do OK regionally with what I run. I NEVER would have afforded a start in SM if I had to do so with anything other than a junkyard motor.

I could SEE running a sealed motor, but you suggested ECUs, and one could assume a number of parts in between. At that point we might as well just buy the spec wrecker kit and go with that series.

I really don't want enterprises controlling my future in this class, I'm pretty happy with the true democracy we have today.

--------------------
http://btdtracing.com - YOUR Miata Parts Pimp

Giles Medlicott
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quote:
I do notice that the folks running nationals and doing what it takes to run up front aren't complaining about costs or pushing sealed motors (they just want package parity), but it's the guys "running for fun". I don't get it, why does the guy that runs for fun care if someone spends 45k on a miata to have a shot at being national champion? I don't get logic.
I'm a regional guy just getting into racing, and don't have the money to build a top car but would like to have a chance to be competitive, which seems mutually exclusive.

One of the most frustrating things is not knowing how much off the pace you are is attributed to the car, and how much the driver.

I too vote for a sealed motor program. If you called out every single tolerance in the motor, it would cost me more to replicate an ideal one at my local machine shop than to buy a sealed crate.

As it stands, this winter i'm going to rebuild a spare motor and hope it gets me within 5% of the good motors out there. And i'm sure when i'm all done it will cost me as much as a crate (though hopefully make more power thanks to a good valve job and compression increase to the limit).

A crate motor program would make for more people to race with too, as it would take out the money variable in the equation: front runners with money and skill, mid-pack with money or skill, and back-markers with less of both.

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
quote:
Originally posted by Sean Allen:
DB, according to James's theory if you run nationals you have the money to spend so who cares if you have to get rid of the pro motor?

James, I disagree, spec classes (True spec classes!), with sealed motors and other parts are the way of the future. They work and they insure legal motors (if you have an illegal motor, it's pretty easy to tell). Why make national run sealed, and not regional? Well National actually means something, national guys are the ones that want results and may be doing it for more then fun. Those are the guys that you need to insure are running legal. Regional doesn't mean anything, its all for fun, let em run what they have and have fun with it. If someone feels they need to be a regional champion and they want to spend 7k on a motor, who cares? let them. Nationals can give you a future, and if we regulate what motors they can run it will keep cost down and not let them spend 45k on a miata... And not everyone that runs nationals and goes to the runoffs has a ton of money...

Sean,




I do notice that the folks running nationals and doing what it takes to run up front aren't complaining about costs or pushing sealed motors

That could be because some of the front runners are making money off 45k builds and 7k motors [duck]

PedalFaster Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Cajun Miata Man:
I don't get it, why does the guy that runs for fun care if someone spends 45k on a miata to have a shot at being national champion? I don't get logic.

The local guy running for fun could care less what the national guys are doing. The local guy running for fun does care when he starts sliding from midpack to the back of the pack as more and more midpack drivers buy pro motors. Suddenly that local guy faces a choice: spend big money for a pro motor just to maintain his place in the field, or forgo pro power and struggle in every race to get ahead and stay ahead of people who have less driving talent but can drive by whenever the track straightens out. Suddenly that local guy isn't having much fun anymore.

--------------------
Stephen Hui - '95 SM #86, Northwest / Oregon Region SCCA

Blake Thompson Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Giles Medlicott:
[quote]
I too vote for a sealed motor program. If you called out every single tolerance in the motor, it would cost me more to replicate an ideal one at my local machine shop than to buy a sealed crate.

Maybe you'll get lucky like me, drop your change on a crate motor and it will blow its guts after 1000 miles.

--------------------
http://btdtracing.com - YOUR Miata Parts Pimp

B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Not so fast guys, I bought a pro motor 3+ years ago and was able to squeek 2 podiums at this years big T-hill national race. All my costs have been tires and entry fees for the past two years, which is much much more than I spent on the engine. consumables and travel is the real cost!

You can certainly spend 45k if you want to, but I find it a lot more fun to do it with several sets of tires a year, POG, and then just drive the pi$$ out of it. Don't give up, swallow some of that pride you got blowing away folks at hpde or the kart track, and find those people who are willing to share and ask them. You'd be surprised how much you'll learn... but don't just assume it's all about the money all the time.

Crate motors have way more hp variance than pro motors do (one pro motor to the next). I wish they didn't else I would be buying one.

BTW, aren't some national/runoffs pro motors going for much less these days, like 4k? Seems like a good price to pay for consistent hp.

I know is sounds like I'm all negative and everything, but sm won't go sealed nationally, as there's just too much logistics involved. SRF is the sealed motor spec class.


quote:
Originally posted by George Munson:
You guys are going to keep f%&ing with this class until no one wants to run in it. For Christ sake, spec some new weights and some RP changes and lets get back to it. The various models are close, just keep making small adjustments.

Now thats smart thinking.

As Casey says above lets just publish goods specs and be done with it. [thumbsup]

[thumbsup] [thumbsup]

My advice, get a decent motor, however you do it, GET AND COMPARE DATA!!! and don't give up! You do this long enough and you can beat those guys spending 45k [Roll Eyes]

-bw

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

 
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