|Results - 92 SC|
Here is where you can read about the results of all the hard (and enjoyable) work I've put into the car. Events that I attended most recently are listed first. Details on any of the work that goes into the car between the time it spends on the track can be seen in my project log, and photos & video from these events can be seen on my in-action page.
5/17/07 - 2007 SPC Rally events included a driver's school / lapping session at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. We drove the country club's South course. I really hadn't changed much, if anything, on the car since last year. As with other recent events, the car performed flawlessly when run very hard. Perfect reliability, with the usual outstanding handling, balance, and braking abilities allowed me to focus on improving my driving technique. I was very surprised that I was able to pick up several seconds per lap compared to the last time on this course. I could not be happier with this car rightr now, and can see that there's still a lot of potential in it as my skills continue to improve.2006
8/2/06 - One of the events at the 2006 SPC Rally was a half-day at US41 International Dragway in Morocco Indiana. We've been here several times in the past, and it was nice to be back. Especially since renting the track for our use ends up costing each of us around $40 after splitting the cost. And $40 for as many runs as you can stomach in 4 hours (with NO waiting) is an unbelievable deal. I took it easy compared to previous years, and only did about 14 runs. But when I was taking a break, the car kept on going - both Mike N and Denise P hopped in the driver's seat and did their best with it down the quarter. The temperature on this day was right around 100 degrees, which is very hot for Indiana. This heat added about a second to the times of most of the cars that participated, and generally made us all feel pretty miserable as we baked in the hot sun. But even so, the car showed no signs of overheating or any other problems. The only thing that happened that I blame on the heat was that all the rubber pieces on the track were melting onto and bonding to everyone's tires. I couldn't believe what mine looked like when I was done. Take a look at this photo.
8/3/06 - During the 2006 SPC Rally, I participated in a driver's school / lapping session at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. The last time I was at this track was during last year's SPC Rally, when the North course was being driven. But this time around, we drove the South course. Both configurations are equallly nice, and don't take very long for the first-timer to learn and remember.
It had rained lightly during the first several morning sessions. Whenever I'd driven on a slightly wet track in the past, it was never all that enjoyable. Traction suffers greatly, and it is easy to lose it very quicklyl. But this time was different, and I think it may have been because of the new set of Kumho Victoracer V700 tires I had just put on the car. They still had the little bit of tread on them that they come from the factory with. Evidently, that small bit of tread lets them work pretty damn well on wet pavement. I had a very enjoyable time - especially since a lot of the other participants weren't able to get this level of traction. Even though I wasn't behind the wheel of a supercar, the slight advantage in the rain was enough to make me feel like it a little bit.
After lunch, the track dried off and we enjoyed a beautiful day. The car performed perfectly, and tire wear was nice and uniform. Whenever I drive Blackhawk Farms, I don't get to enjoy that luxury, so it was appreciated. One less time that I need to remove the wheels from the rims to rotate them is an extra $50 still in my pocket.
I think this track day gave me the most behind-the-wheel time I've had at any event. Because there weren't a lot of cars at the event, the track went green for most of the afternoon and I didn't take much of a break. The car was pushed hard, and like other events in the past, the car showed that it liked to be driven that way and performed flawlessly.
I did get a chance to ride along with fellow club member Larry D (pic HERE) who had a set of Hoosier race tires on his SC2. Even though our suspension & alignment settings are different and it is tough to compare, I did notice that there was a noticeable difference in grip between Larry's Hoosiers and my Kumhos. The grip on the Hoosiers felt to be a notch above. I'll have to consider them for my next set of tires, even though they are considerably more expensive.
10/9/05 - CWSCC sponsored a lapping day at USA International Raceway. Normally you'll see go-karts on this track, but the way it was configured for us put it at about a mile long with 17 turns. You can see a map HERE. The white line on the map shows the counterclockwise configuration that we ran. Due to the technical nature of the track, this lapping day was esentially just like one big autocross - but no cones, passing was allowed, and a person received a total of 2 hours of seat time if they stayed the whole day.
This track is something else. The straights aren't very long and the number of turns make a great equalizer for lightweight low-horsepower cars and the heavy big-horsepower ones. The track is about 30 feet wide, a few banked corners, and a number of elevation changes - whiched caused several of the corners to be blind. If you look at the map, you can see one of the turns was something like 190 degrees too. With "armstrong" power steering in my car (pump removed), I could still feel the workout that I received a day later. It was very enjoyable adding the new dimension of the elevation changes as many of the tracks I've run don't give them to you to contend with like this one does. I had one pretty good spin coming off of a rise where a turn followed right after it. Learned something new that should have been obvious - a moment of weightlessness in the car also means no brakes, and no traction either during that time.
Since I was used to high-speed events on tracks that aren't anywhere near as technical as this one, it took some time to get used to. The very tight turns produced some slightly different behavior from my Quaife differential as well as the ABS, and a little bit of noise from the suspension which I'll need to track down. I suspect it may be a failure of the Energy Suspension LCA bushing again (see 8/15/03 event below).
You can see in-car video of a lap on this track on my in action page.
7/27/05 - As a part of the 2005 SPC Rally, today was our day at the US41 International Dragway in Morocco Indiana. We had the track exclusively for half the day, and I was able to make 25 runs. I was a bit disappointed with the performance of the car on this warm day. It seems to be affected by heat more than usual, and after the engine got hot after a handful of runs, the quarter mile time became unpredictable - varying by as much as 3/4 of a second from one run to the next. Aside from that, the car performed well, coming within a tenth of my best time ever with it. I did notice an occasional grind if I shifted extremely fast from second into third. I suspect that the synchros are starting to show their age.
During the rally, we also participated in a driver's school / lapping session at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. This was a brand new track and it was the first event ever that this private track was open to the public. Today's session allowed me to see that the recent addition of a Fluidyne radiator was making a difference, as the coolant temp was looking great as the car was punished. No leaks or problems with the radiator either which was a plus, since it took a little bit of effort to make it fit. The car ran great, and I think this was the first time where suspension settings, the amount of negative camber, and tire pressures all came together to give me perfectly uniform tire wear during the whole event. I couldn't have asked for a better day.2004
9/11/04 - Participated in a Solo 1 autocross held at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton IL. Having backed off the negative camber settings appeared to have no ill effects on this track judging by my lap times, which improved today by more than a second compared to my last event. My car is classified in the C-Race class (Midwestern Council rules), which puts me up against quite a variety of cars. The only criteria for the class is that the motor is 1.95 liters or less and naturally aspirated. The car performed well, although my handling of the track's turn one needs improvement. A standing start means that the tires and brakes are cold coming into the first turn, and behave differently than I'm used to. I did well enough for a second place finish in my class (of 6 or 7 cars). First place was taken by a Baby Grand stock car.
7/29/04 - The 2004 SPC Rally included a lapping day at Gingerman Raceway. I can easily tell that the new camber settings are now working much better as the uneven tire wear I'd seen before is gone. The car performed perfectly on the track and much better than I would have ever expected. I was able to shave several seconds off of my best prior lap time on this track, even while having a passenger along for most of the day. Weird thing was that the car did this while being treated a little differently than I'm used to. It was flogged much harder than usual, and while the car was sounding angry and PO'd, it performed better than it ever has. This also held true for the dragstrip (see below).
After reviewing video filmed with my VHS-C camcorder from inside the car while on the track, I still noticed a lot of vibration. I'd seen this in the past and attributed it to having an exhaust with no muffler that exited about 2 feet away from the camera mount. Now that I've got an exhaust with a muffler that exists at the rear, I was thinking that the vibration would be gone. Well, it wasn't - so I'll have to continue experimenting with the clamps on the mount and the image stabilization settings on the camera.
Our group also had exclusive use of US131 dragstrip for half a day. I was able to get in about 25 runs, for most of which the car was being pounded silly. It responded well, laying rubber in 3 gears and giving me some nice times. The ACT clutch is awesome, with grip that's better and comes on faster than the Centerforce clutches I've used in the past. Deebs even did a killer burnout with the car (better than any I've done with it so far) and it's nice to see that the Quaife LSD keeps the trans in one piece and protects it from the whole diff pin issue. And I think I've finally got the feel for a good launch with the M/Ts and the grippy clutch.
Unfortunately, the M/T drag slicks are now showing significant wear in the inside edges. Without any way (yet) to quickly adjust front camber, it's something I'll have to live with. I just wish I knew how much this was affecting my 60' or quarter mile times with this less-than-optimum contact patch. I didn't play around with the pressures all that much, but I didn't see any difference in times running between 10 and 13 psi. I'm told these should be run even lower than that although I haven't tried below 10 psi yet. One thing is for sure though - they launch equally well on this car with or without a burnout.
With these events allowing me to run up through the gears to redine hundreds of times, I finally got an earful of the new exhaust in action. The addition of the 2.5" Borla muffler onto the 3" Dynomax race muffler (acting as a resonator) sounds great. Very little rasp, and a nice deep tone - very similar to the full Borla cat-back system that's on my '94. Also, this time allowed me to attempt to evaluate the addition of the 55mm throttle body and Extrude honed intake manifold. Subjectively, I can't say I noticed any seat-of-the-pants difference from them. They will certainly provide benefits when I eventually move to forced induction.
7/04 - Taking a close look at my Kumho race tires after last season's events clearly show that my camber settings all around are a bit too negative. Tire wear was occurring faster on the inside edge, so a new alignment was done to back it off a bit.
5/3/04 - With the addition of the ACT clutch (replacing a very-worn Centerforce dual-friction), it really hooks up now with a nice bark in 3 gears. My 60' times improved slightly, but overall quarter mile time didn't improve much. I'm still practicing to find the sweet spot in the RPM range for launch. Too high and the Mickey Thompson slicks spin uncontrollably - too low, and the car bogs off the line. It's been hard finding the in-between point.
8/20/03 - Recent work to the car included moving the transmission with the Quaife limited-slip differential from my '94 to the '92, as well as mounting up a set of Mickey Thompson ET Drag slicks. Traction off the line should be much improved now.
I loaded up the car and headed over to Wisconsin International Raceway for one of their import/compact nights. The temp was around 93 degrees with very high humidity. Because of that, my quarter mile times really didn't improve over the last time I'd been here. My 60 foot times improved considerably though which I had expected. I was able to get in 20 runs, which is a LOT more than I normally do at test & tune at this track. But even though the car didn't have much of a break during the evening, the coolant temp stayed around 210 degrees and I was happy with that. I tried different things in an attempt to find the best way to launch with all the traction that was recently added. I set the front pressures at about 12 psi. Documentation for these MT tires say that no burnout is necessary. I tend to agree, since these things STICK no matter what you do with them. Any launch from an RPM short of the neutral rev limiter at 4000 RPM would bog slightly off the line, but 60 foot times showed that it was seriously hooking up. Wheelspin on the launch was pretty much nonexistent. This is going to take some getting used to.
8/15/03 - Attended another driver's school held by Badger Bimmers BMW club at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton IL. It was a very hot day at around 90 degrees, and I was seeing oil temps as high as 270 degrees. Looks like an oil cooler is in the car's future. Water temp stayed much cooler at around 215. This was the first time on the track that I was using the Hawk Blue brake pads from another car that I'd made fit (details HERE) and they appeared to work well. Since this is a very aggressive pad, it was surprising how loud the sound of the pads grinding away the rotors was inside the car whenever the brake pedal was to the floor. With no interior or sound damping material, all sorts of noises become obvious.
This was the first time I used my IOPort camera mount which I recently installed. Even with the camera mounted securely, the image was very unsteady. I've read some articles online that say that vibration on video isn't picked up from the camera shaking, but from the video record head vibrating from noise. And I have plenty of noise - my exhaust still remains much too loud. It is loud to the point of rattling and vibrating parts of the car violently and obscuring the sound of the motor itself. It will have to be addressed in the near future. You can see some in-car video of a full lap on my in-action page.
During one of my morning sessions, I experienced some serious brake fade which came about very quickly (which was the absolute first time ever since I started using non-street pads). I went off straight off one of the turns in a controlled manner, as I realized that I wouldn't have been able to stay on the track if I had taken the turn. The roughness of the gravel and weeds gave the tight suspension a severe pounding, and I began to hear a knocking noise after re-entering the track. It turned out to be the bushing which exists between the front sway bar end and the lower control arm. The Energy Suspension bushing in this location is 2 separate pieces which fit together. The smaller of the two pieces which I had installed toward the rear of the car (which carried all the load in that location) was completely gone. Where did it go? Maybe the heat of the brake rotor/caliper in that area took its toll on it over time and melted it. Or the constant load caused it to break down and come apart quickly. Regardless, a call to SPS was all it took to fix the situation. Energy had redesigned the part to be more durable as they'd known this to be a weak point, and SPS would ship me the redesigned versions once they were available. For now, a replacement set of the current ones was on my way to me via UPS next day air, as I had another day at the track quickly approaching. And both of these replacements would be covered under Energy's / SPS's warranty. Outstanding.
Even though the car broke, I was able knock more off my lap times and was pretty happy about some progress there.
7/27/03 - Participated in my first Solo 1 autocross at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton IL. I was classed in C Race, which is pretty much wide open to any naturally-aspirated car with a motor under 1.95 liters. Out of 8 cars, I finished second and brought home this car's first trophy! You can see some video that Mike took of me and the car on my in-action page.
The race consists of one lap of the 2-mile track from a standing start. With cold tires and brake pads, the first corner made me a bit nervous. I've got the SPS 4-way swaybar in the rear, and even on full loose/soft, the back end likes to come around if the rear tires aren't up to temperature. After they're warm, the balance is perfect. I'll have to push the car harder when the tires and brakes are cold to learn its limits and behavior in preparation for the next autocross. Improvement on this first corner of this track will help my lap time significantly.
7/11/03 - Attended a driver's school held by Badger Bimmers BMW club at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton IL. While this was the second driver's school I've attended at this track (see the first one HERE), it was the first full event I've driven on this track where drivers received a significant amount of time behind the wheel. Drivers had four 20-minute sessions, and by the end of my last session, the gas tank was completely empty. Interesting bit of trivia - when the tank was almost dry, turns to the left made the engine sputter. Turning to the right had no effect.
The car performed extremely well and I was very happy with my lap times. In my last track session with this car at Gingerman Raceway last October, it felt as though the 4-way rear sway bar was a little too much. Now that the car has a lot less weight in the rear, even with the bar set on full loose/soft, the rear wanted to come around until the tires heated up. But after this event, I realized that being able to induce a bit of oversteer when required really helps when it's needed in tight corners.
I realized that the exahust system is way too loud, mainly because it exists under the car right in the middle. It's not that it's hard on the ears (since I am wearing a helmet), but different RPMs cause different parts of the interior and spaceframe sheetmetal to vibrate extremely loudly. With no carpet, interior panels, or asphalt mat to quiet the vibrations, the car now makes a lot of noise. I don't mind it too much, but being able to hear the motor better would be beneficial. I'll now be looking for a chambered/baffled muffler that is small enough to fit under the center of the car right off the header to replace the straight thru race muffler.
4/26/03 - Since the last time on the track, the '95/'96 front end is on which will provide much more airflow to the radiator and help a great deal with cooling. I also removed the Corbeau seat rails from the driver's seat and modified them to sit lower so my helmet isn't so close to one of the rollcage bars.
I loaded the car on my dolly (bought off of eBay over the winter) and headed over to Wisconsin International Raceway, which is the closest dragstrip and only about an hour and fifteen minutes away. It was opening day for the season, and the day when I'd find out if any of my hard work paid off on the quarter mile. After a few runs, all I can say is HOLY CRAP.
The benefit from all the weight reduction exceeded my greatest expectations. After 5 years of visiting the dragstrip with my '94, my '92 outdoes the '94's best time by 1.2 seconds on its first day out. And the Quaife limited slip differential has yet to be moved from the '94 daily driver to the '92 track animal. I also drove on the Kumho Victoracer tires. While they may be killer on the road course, they are not a very good tire for the dragstrip. After 4 runs without good traction in most of first gear, they are showing some chunking. It looks like some drag tires are in my future.
10/20/02 - Rented a tow dolly from U-Haul, and actually preferred it to 2-axle car hauler trailers I've used in the past. Loaded up, and I was on the road to Gingerman Raceway for SpeedTrialUSA's lapping session.
The car performed extremely well - much better than I had expected. I had to deal with heat issues, as the car could only run a half-session (15 minutes) in pretty cool weather before the coolant temp was at the top of the red. Looks like I'll have to put the front spoiler back on until I get the '95/'96 front end on (which has much better airflow to the radiator). I also kept bumping my helmet against one of the cage bars, and will need to modify the Corbeau seat rail assembly so that it sits a bit lower.