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Author Topic: thought's and questions after 1st SM weekend
iambhooper
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Region: NCR
Car #: NA
SMIM: NA
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I have a few thought's about my first outing in a SM.

The car I purchased last month, had sat for 3 years, and I needed a lot of maintenance to get it ready in time for the Double SARRC/MARRS weekend at VIR. It has a crate motor with 6 weekends (including a 13 hour) and a Mazda comp diff.

I ran a half test session on Friday, and both race's over the weekend. Unfortunately on Friday, the hood pins backed out and the hood flopped up, destroying half of the windshield, on the back straight. I was able to "modify" the hood, and tape op the windshield in order to get back out.

First my background, some may know of me, most may not... all racing is a clickish. I've been in an ITC/B CRX for the past 5 seasons, more time's on the podium than not and damn familiar with VIR. I've also raced a SRF... once [Wink]

Impressions after the first SM weekend... the car definitely needs a pro to do the set up on it... while I don't remember the number's, they were close the -3 camber in the front and -2.5ish in the rear... with the front toe being a total of 1/8th out and the rear being 3/16th in. On the scale the cross weights were something like 1210 LR/RF to 1098 RR/LF. I had the ride height at 4 5/8" w/o the '99 top hat's. the swaybar's were set at medium on both end's.

Going from FWD to RWD is a big difference. Saturday's qualifier had me in 40'th slot with a 2:33.088, finishing that race in 31st with a 2:30.58, the weather was hot and windy. Sunday, in the cooler weather, I qualified 29th with 2:27.848, finishing 31st and running a 2:27.438. It didn't connect with me until Sunday morn that I need to start turning in earlier than I had been. At that point, the climbing ess's seemed to line up a lot nicer (i went from lifting and trail braking to feathering the throttle... I suspect the flat out come's with a proper setup). I had worked my way up the grid a bit, but a few brain fart's and some lapped traffic sent me back down the finishing positions.

Budget and time will likely preclude me from getting back out until the Goblin's go event, so I have time to work on a few things, like the hood and the windshield to name a few. I want to gut the interior, repaint it and adjust the seat.

Also, I'm certain that lack of side and reward visibility cost me at least 3 positions on Sunday! Are there any suggestion on rear view mirror's... is the wink better for this car than a panoramic?

Heat... from behind the seat? WTF?

I noticed a fuel smell in the cabin, is there one typical source for this leak, or should I just replace all lines and seal's?

Speaking of fuel, what the heck fuel are most of these guy's using? My eye's burned!

thanks for listening!

hoop

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hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

Motor City Hamilton
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Region: Great Lakes/Detroit
Car #: 51
Year : 1994 Miata
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Hey Hoop. I recognize you from the Red Pepper Racing forums. I too moved from a Honda (ITC Civic) to SM two years ago.

We first need to break you from some of your front wheel drive habits. Your setup sounds like a pretty good start. The ride height is the only thing I would double check. I know that the JD setup guide on this site says to measure at the body pinch weld under the doors, but I found that my pinch welds were nowhere near the same size. A fellow racer took his car to a frame shop and had his pinch welds cut to be the same, but I thought that was a little extreme and still not totally accurate. The pinch weld isn't the key. The amount of travel you have is. When these cars hit deep into the bump stops, things get funny. I thought my car was way too loose the first time I drove it, but actually I was hitting the rear bump stops and getting a snap loose. I measured using a tie wrap on the shock to get 3/4" of travel in the front shocks and 7/8" to 1" of travel in the rear. I can explain more about how I measured if you wish.

Now, about those front wheel drive habits. My Civic was pretty neutral. If I went into a corner too hot, I just had to breathe out of the throttle a little and it would turn in. In really tight sections, I could grab a bunch of wheel and get the car to rotate. The Miata doesn't like this style of driving. I have had to really smooth out my inputs. It's a dance between getting the car low enough for 2.9 to 3.0 degrees of front caster and driving smoothly enough to keep the car from getting hard into the bumpstops. Also, I had to learn that when the car gets a little loose, you have to stay in the gas. Lift and you'll spin. That was a different discepline than driving my Honda.

Happy to talk more with you. My cars tend to handle pretty well. I can't believe what I have learned from 20+ years of racing remote controlled cars and six years of SCCA.

What part of the country are you in. Maybe I'll see you at the track?

Keith Hamilton
Dearborn,MI

iambhooper
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Keith... yep, I remember ya, and your right about the steering habits of both cars. I need to learn to apply more throttle when the rear gets a bit funny. Smooth isn't exactly somthing that I'm good at practicing... just preaching [Big Grin]

I can't believe I didn't think of the zip tie trick. Anyway, if the budget allow's, I would like to upgrade the top hat's before I have the set up done on the car.

So much to do... Seating position... someone told me that they thought you could cut the factory seat support out of the floor... true, false, dont know?

thanks!
hoop

--------------------
hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

Motor City Hamilton
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Region: Great Lakes/Detroit
Car #: 51
Year : 1994 Miata
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We cut the rear factory seat mounts out and bolted a custom made Ultrashield aluminum seat through the floor with supports welded under the floor.

I'll send you my setup information and shoot some photos of how I measure things.

iambhooper
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I'm 6'2", and drove a Fiero GT for 17 years because I liked the leg room, same with the CRX I had before... I like to drive with a bit less bend in my leg's.

hoop

--------------------
hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

Motor City Hamilton
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Region: Great Lakes/Detroit
Car #: 51
Year : 1994 Miata
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Here are photos of my seat mounts.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14624743@N06/2575770419/in/set-72157604154934657/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14624743@N06/2575770401/in/set-72157604154934657/

I am 6'4" so head room is the major issue in a Miata. We left about 1/4" between the floor and seat for clearance of the sub-belts. Super happy with the ultrashield seat. Their website has a great measurement page. I went with custom, being taller, the shoulder belt holes needed to be taller than the stock seat.

Eric Barbaric Verified Driver
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Region: Kansas City
Car #: 95
Year : 1991
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Hoop,

About that fuel smell...

Turn your key on (not engine on) and see if your injectors are leaking.

A couple weeks ago, I smelled fuel on Saturday. On Sunday's second session a grid worker sniffed around and sent me back to the paddock. I had fuel gushing out of an injector from a bad o-ring.

I feel very lucky. I am very thankful to that grid worker at Hallett for being more on the ball than I.

Motor City Hamilton
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Year : 1994 Miata
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Also, I have heard of people having a bad fueling neck. Either a worn out hose between the gas cap and the tank or a loose fitting clamp on that hose. A leak there could poor fuel forward and right under the driver's seat under braking.

CP Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Motor City Hamilton:
We cut the rear factory seat mounts out and bolted a custom made Ultrashield aluminum seat through the floor with supports welded under the floor.

I spent a few nights drilling out all the welds for those rear mounts. Once removed my shop welded steel plates to the floor and tunnel to strengthen the mounting area. Mostly verticle plates were welded and used to bolt the bottom of the seatback to. This setup allows the seat to be as low as possible in a SM.

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

iambhooper
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come to think of it, i wa thinking i was smelling fuel in the trunk, while prepping the car in the shop. i will have to take the time to replace all the rubber lines, as well as the injector O rings... it might be benificial to pull them and have them serviced. i'll spend $20 on O ring's, or $120 having Marren clean and flow rate them.

i will pop the seat out and see what they did. i'm thinking the seat is like a 17"er or so, i was a bit loose in it.

hoop

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hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

panic motorsports Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Don't forget the lines at the fuel filter. We had a car come in the shop a while back that was a rolling fireball waiting to happen. Never thought it could get that bad and still run!!

--------------------
Steve and Becca Bertok
#90 SM 2008/2009 Carolina Cup Pro Series SM champions.
2010 VIR 13 hour enduro victorious! www.panicmotorsports.com
Need a salvage Miata part? We've got that!

iambhooper
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starting to get to a few things. just got the interior gutted and repainted (was black, now white), now i have a few things to replace.

1st, the mirror... what size panoramic are you guy's using... 14 or 17"? shorter, or longer bracket?

2nd, fuel line... i haven't pulled any off, however in the name of buying in bulk... what size line?

3rd, seats... is there a great seat thread on here? it had a 17" ultrashield, which is a bit wide for me. i can't afford the $800 seats, i will be shopping in the $400 and under bracket.... any suggestions?

thanks!
hoop

--------------------
hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

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The smaller panoramic with a short bracket will work fine...unless you want a really good look at your own head in the mirror or a really wide view out the RHS. I unfortunately went with a super wide wink mirror which does both, and it vibrated so badly I had to stuff roll bar padding between it and the cage to make it usable.

Tons of threads on seats here and 10x the opinions. You could add padding or make one of those custom expanding foam inserts if you just want to make the seat narrower.

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

iambhooper
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quote:
Originally posted by Keith in WA:
The smaller panoramic with a short bracket will work fine...unless you want a really good look at your own head in the mirror or a really wide view out the RHS.

hmmm.... interesting idea there! i couldn't see a dang thing out of the car (and the hearing part didn't help either, since all the SM's sound alike). so, i could go with the 17" mirror, offset it to the right and that would help me see everything on that side. but on the other hand, i likely would get a great view of my head too.

--------------------
hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

CP Verified Driver
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Year : 1999
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4 panel wink mirror here mounted to the cage. I tried a panoramic and pitched it after my first race weekend because it distorted distances so badly. The wink mirror is WAY better imo. I'd fit a 5-panel if it would fit.

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

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Mine is the 5 panel. It fits my car just fine. I guess the extra thickness makes it too floppy in the middle at race speed. I couldn't come up with a convinient way to add extra brackets in the extra mounting holes. A 1.5" p-clip would be great but none available at hardwares stores.

I tried a couple zip ties just to support the middle but that did nothing. Adding a big thick chunk of foam, then squishing the foam between the mirrror and the zip tie was the only way I could use the mirror for anything but backing out of my paddock space.

Now, 1/3 of my field of view is my own head, 1/3 is out the back window, and I get a great view out the RHS.

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

iambhooper
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The Fiat had a wink in it... and I spent that entire season driving in my mirror's. My Honda had the stock mirror... something I rarely needed as I learned to drive with my ear's as much as anything, and just used the rearview on the straight's.

As for the seat, I can't really use the 17" seat as I can't get it far enough back in the tub to allow me to stretch out. I felt like I was driving in the fetal position!

hoop

--------------------
hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

d mathias Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
I tried a panoramic and pitched it after my first race weekend because it distorted distances so badly
Ditto, hated it, now resides on shelf in garage. Anyone want to buy it? [Big Grin]

Went back to stock mirror - "Whatsa behind me isa not important."

Dave Lewis
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If you cant find 8mm fuel hose, 5/16" will work. You will need high pressure hose.

Don D Verified Driver
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http://www.allviewmirror.com/ram.htm

I have used the winks and the Longacre convex. Hated both for different reasons. Love this. It's slightly convex but doesn't distort much. Very clear.

-Don

--------------------
Southern Auto Auction
Eastern Powersports Auction
Kessler Engineering
http://www.kesslerengineering.com/Site/Home.html

Todd Green Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Don D:
http://www.allviewmirror.com/ram.htm

I have used the winks and the Longacre convex. Hated both for different reasons. Love this. It's slightly convex but doesn't distort much. Very clear.

+1. Get the extensions for it though or you have a huge blind spot. Well at least I did with my seating position etc., YMMV.

Muda Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
ComingToAMirrorNearYou

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What extensions?
Couldn't find them on the site.

--------------------
Muda Motorsports
"We're all here 'cause we're not all there."

iambhooper
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anyone know where to get a replacement fuel filler neck at a reasonable price? dealer wanted $46! can't seem to find it on mazda comp

thanks!
hoop

--------------------
hoop
'91 Spec Miata
'90 NA Beater/Track Day car
'06 RSX Type S

Qik Nip Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
Loose Member '09 & '10 Great Lakes Regional Points Champion

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Year : 1990
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Hoop:
I have one you can have for ten bucks (to offset the hassle of removing it and packing up) plus shipping.
Rick

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

   

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