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Author Topic: Need Opinions and advice
Mike Kelly
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So here's the deal...

This past two days we spent with our Miata at VIR. We had moderate success driving the car around the course, turning a slew of 2:32s and one 2:31. The car is setup on Kumho XS tires with the following:

SM Cage
Koni Yellow Shocks (Not Spec Legal)
GC coil overs
Solid end links
Adjustable rear sway bar
Non adjustable front sway bar
Header (Not spec legal)
Carbotech front pads
Hawk rear pads (street HP+ Pads)

deleted power steering, and deleted AC.

DE alignment specs were:
Camber -2.1 RF -2.1LF
-2.0 RR -2.0LR

Caster Maxed even at +5.0
Toe 1/8th out front
1/8th in Rear

The car felt very planted and predictable for what it is right now, but we're obvioulsy trying to learn how to "momentum" drive as we develop it into a SM. The speeds were limited to no higher than 107mph everywhere on the course...Is this what's expected, or should I be looking at "issues" with the motor?

I'm all ears as to what we need to do to improve the car. I'm working on the drivers as well...

Mike

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Get a Traqmate and compare your data with a "Spec" Spec Miata. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. You have a car that is not a Spec Miata and expect to learn to drive it the same as a Spec Miata.

--------------------
Paul McLester

Ken SM-94 Verified Driver
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I don't know much about those Kumho's but I'd suspect you could use more camber front and rear. Back when we were limited to 2 deg in the front we were tearing up the outsie of the tires.

Also, that's a lot of toe. I'd run with closer to zero toe but favor slight toe-out in the front and slight toe-in in the rear for straight line speed.

I've never been to VIR so I can't comment on your top speeds.

Good luck!

Ken

Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
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You didn't mention ride-height. There's no magic number for everyone at every track. Just keep going lower til things get a little weird, then back it off.

Driving wise, "the first guy/gal on the gas wins" is a common refrain. Ditch the idea of late braking. it is hard habit to break. Work on being on the gas through the corners. Our cars don't have enough power to spin out from over-throttling (Credit: RAMJET 8). And they do have enough handling to rapidly change the balance and trajectory of the car in the turn. Fast hands pays dividends.

Mike Kelly
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I was using the manual from advanced Autosport to set the car up over the weekend, and unfortunately we couldn't get the car down to the 4 3/4 height he suggested in the manual. I need to get the 99-newer top mounts and cut the bumpstops down. The car did feel very planted, and from looking at our traqmate data, I was pleased with the progress for the first outting of the season, but I'm just trying to get accurate data to help as we develop the car. Anyone having any to share, please send it to me at dat74z@yahoo.com

Again, I know it's not a "Spec" yet. We're working to that point. We just did the cage, and the car came with this hodgepodge of parts.

We're going to replace the clutch, do a leakdown test to see if the motor is hurt, and get the newer top hats for the struts so we can get the car down lower.

Possible issues I know need addressing already: I couldn't see getting the car lower than 5 3/4 with the GC coil overs set with 1 inch of thread showing on the tubes. Bumpstops for this car were not halved, but will be when we tear into it.

Timing was set to 12 degrees, which I know probably killed top end.

The Toe. Well I just didn't know. Was going by the book.

Thanks to all for your help!

Mike

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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The motor is probably fine. Most people run about 12-14 on timing. Some higher with fancy gas. 12 wont kill it for sure. Many people also race motors with unbelievably high milage on them and do quite well.

Before you try to get your car too much lower and cut up your bump stops. Wrap a small zip tie on the shock absorber rods and see how much travel you're actually getting. You also might want to take a look at the rules before cutting up those bump stops if you plan on using them for SM.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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2:32 at VIR is not that quick. We ran our Enduro car SLOWLY at 2:25/26 for the 13 hour.

Fast guys run just below 2:20 on a good day.

If you want to bring the car up to Mount Airy MD we can get it on the dyno and let you know how it compares to other SM's.

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
http://www.SHEETZ.com
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ALL OPINIONS ON RULES OR SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUST THAT, MY OPINIONS!

Apex to Apex
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quote:
Originally posted by Ken SM-94:
I don't know much about those Kumho's but I'd suspect you could use more camber front and rear. Back when we were limited to 2 deg in the front we were tearing up the outsie of the tires.

Also, that's a lot of toe. I'd run with closer to zero toe but favor slight toe-out in the front and slight toe-in in the rear for straight line speed.

I've never been to VIR so I can't comment on your top speeds.

Good luck!

Ken

Thanks Ken. I'm marking those numbers down. I just got a set of TD 1.3 wheels and XS's this off-season for my DE Miata. For camber I'm loking at 3 degrees in front and 2.5 degrees rear. I'll see what I can get for max camber at my local Goodyear and go from there.

Once again a wealth of information.

--------------------
"Driving is a serious business" - John Milner, 'American Graffiti'

Drago Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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Mike
Until it is spec, it is hard to tell much. If your experience is anything like mine. You are probably very fast in DE and find yourself 3 plus seconds off front runner pace in SM for a bit, by the end of the first year, if you have talent and a decent car, you will be within 1 second.

I bet you will find that a very common sentiment among Sm drivers


Jim

--------------------
Jim Drago
East Street Auto Salvage
jdrago1@aol.com
2006-2007 Mid-West Division
07,09 June Sprints Champion

EAST STREET RACING

tony senese Verified Driver
Phew, that was close!

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quote:
Originally posted by Drago:
Mike
Until it is spec, it is hard to tell much. If your experience is anything like mine. You are probably very fast in DE and find yourself 3 plus seconds off front runner pace in SM for a bit, by the end of the first year, if you have talent and a decent car, you will be within 1 second.

I bet you will find that a very common sentiment among Sm drivers

Jim

+1 [thumbsup]

--------------------
Tony Senese
SM#99
2008 NASA-NE SM Champion
NASA-NE SM Director
2008 PRO-IT SM 3rd place
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davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Too many things different to make an accurate comparison.

Wrong shocks
Wrong tires, how old?
not updated shock hats
possibly wrong sway bars
possibly wrong springs
Level of prep?
I would assume not been on scales, judging by your comment about 1" thread showng. Could be horibly crossweighted?
What were the weather conditions. How fast did a true SM go on that day?

You can get some pertinent info by comparing a McIntosh apple to a Golden Delicious apple. But you have a bannana!!!!!!!!!

Get the closer to a true Spec and we can help much more.

Dave

--------------------
Advanced Autosports, The Midwests leader in Spec Miata Service, Parts and Rentals
608-313-1230
Authorised Spec Miata service center
www.advanced-autosports.com

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I was trying to say what Dave said.....only a little softer. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Paul McLester

Mike Kelly
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You know, I guess I should have expected this. Even though I pretty much spelled out all of that info upfront.

You guys sure make a guy feel welcome around here... thanks...

Mike

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Mike...I think you're reading into that too much. Your setup just has too many differences to compare it to a SM, that's all. Things often sound harsher than meant in text.

You're 12 seconds off a fast lap on a long track with a half built car and learning how to drive it? Kudos. You're out there doing it. Nuff said.

How would other people do with that setup? Beats me. Nobody has that setup and a number of things make a big difference...tires, shocks, camber. Are you slinging it around the corners and having to correct when one end or the other loses grip? Don't know that either.

Rule of thumb though...focus on the driver first. A great driver can set much better times in a slow car than a lesser driver in a fast car. If you really want to compare, have a really fast driver take your car out for a spin and see what THEY do.

--------------------
Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Didn't mean to offend you. People here want to help you, but your car is no where near comparable to a Spec Miata. I drove the MX-5 at Skip Barber and it drives nothing like my 92 Spec Miata. your car has headers, different shocks, coil overs, etc. You are talking about adding 99 top hats to get the car lower and yet you don't even have a Mazdaspeed suspension on the car? For right now concentrate on learning to drive your car and compare your own times on the Traqmate to just keep getting faster. Worry about comparing your times to Spec Miata's when you are running a spec legal car. Otherwise just have fun!

I have also learned that if you ask people on this site for their opinion....it may not be what you want to hear, but it is all intended to help you.

--------------------
Paul McLester

davew Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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My apology if I sounded harsh. I in no way intended to make anyone feel unwanted.

Dave

--------------------
Advanced Autosports, The Midwests leader in Spec Miata Service, Parts and Rentals
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Mike Kelly
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No worries... I'm just going back to lurking and reading. For now, it's obvious that until the car is on a spec suspension and exhaust manifold, along with spec tires, there's no point in me posting these types of questions here.

Mike Kelly

Ken Wilkinson Verified Driver
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Mike,
I was at the same event with you last week driving my 99 SM which I completed building last October. I turned my best lap Mon. afternoon at 2:23.5.
A year ago before I did the SM build, with a number of basic performance mods, I could consistantly run 2:26. I have learned that I have a lot to learn.
Keep building the SM and get back on the gas asap!

--------------------
Ken

Mike Kelly
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Ken, Thanks for the comments. My goal is to get the car into the 2:25s. I had hoped to get it into the 2:29s on Monday or Tuesday, but 1:31s were all it would do with the home alignment and the street tires and hodge-podge suspension.

We'll get the car there with time and work...

Mike

Frank Todaro
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everyone on this board was a beginner once. I am 3 weeks away from my first race in a new SM that I have only driven at two DE's. Hang in there Mike, if it was not for this board and the help of the guys on it, I would have waited another year. Dave is cool too, any time I call him for advice and parts he takes time out of his day to help me. It is a good bunch of guys who like to do what you do. keep working it and keep us posted. Just my thoughts someone spent some time to get the balance right with the spring and shock package upgrade to it then we can compare notes.

--------------------
Frank
Member: No Pain Racing

Mike Kelly
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Frank, I appreciate the comment...

Here's what I need: Relevent information for the questions I asked...

Here's what I don't need: comments that aren't of any real positive value.

I have a mother who just started radiation therapy TODAY for cancer, a pet that is dying with cancer that will have surgery on Thursday, and a sister inlaw who is going in for open heart surgery tomorrow.

Someone posted I need thick skin to play on this board. Right now my plate is quite full, so my threshold for nonsense is pretty low right now...

Mike

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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Kelly:
Frank, I appreciate the comment...

Here's what I need: Relevent information for the questions I asked...


Mike:
Sorry about your Mom and sister. We all hope it goes well for them and thier recoveries will be in our thoughts.

That aside,I just read all the comments, and truthfully, what you said you wanted is pretty much what everyone who responded did for you.
Rick

--------------------
Fortune Cookie Racing SM 60
Directions for use: Race, Rumple, Repair ... Repeat!

JIM DANIELS
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Convert your car to full SM trim.

Install a Traqmate.

Have a baseline setup installed (any spec listed at this site).

Baseline the power to put the times in context, Dynojet etc.

Log log some laps.

Contact anyone in this thread via a new topic or PM with your results and any of us will be glad to help.

Not sure what else you could have expected. I, for one, Don't think explaining holes in your prep is negative, it is what it is a starting point.

The IT forums have many folks running various levels of prep, they too might be a source for your questions.

   

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