cheap car racing

Update your progress on your various car projects.

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:41 am

The car was out yesterday running to the fab shop for a new bar in the roll cage:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... tif_t=like

Checking out results for 2011 at Beaver Run (now Pittsburgh International Raceway Complex) I found an interesting surprise at the top of the leaderboard:
http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=1969326

I was also reviewing the results of the LeMons race in 2009 at Nelson Ledges. We would have had the third fastest time there. We ran 859 laps in 2012 and the winner in 09 ran 754 laps.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:55 pm

A lot has happened since I last posted here. We are going to race the car next weekend at Nelson Ledges.

We changed the transmission and acquired an alternate fourth teammate. We practiced with the car on 5/10. The LF wheel bearing now has a grease fitting - thanks to my cousin Bernie's machine shop we have a sealed bearing you can grease.

The rules changed so we can now run Bridgestone tires.

An engine rebuild is underway but we did not finish it in time for this race. It will be in play for the October race.

Image

Image
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:11 pm

Again much has happened:

In the July 14 hr race we ran up front most of the day until the 12 hour mark when the power steering pulley broke and we threw the serpentine belt. We fixed it in 12 minutes using the bypass belt which kept us in 3rd place. After the final refuel at 12.5 hrs it threw the replacement belt and we were unable to recover. We finished 12th of 36
We then went to PittRace (the old BeaveRun) for two 7 hr races we learned that PittRace is hard on brakes. We finished 15th in the Saturday race after spending about 15 minutes replacing the LF caliper that blew out due to no pads left and grinding metal to metal until the cylinder came out. Dave had incidental contact and now has the honor of procuring a replacement left front fender.

On Sunday we lost an hour changing the water pump but still managed to finish 18th. All in all the racing was great fun!

So now we are in offseason. Lots of little things have been fixed.

Today I took it to echeck and it failed – badly. It is running very rich. A quick scan on the internet reveals this is often caused by bad coolant temperature sensor. Funny this does not trip any engine codes but it basically thinks the car is cold and keeps dumping too much gas in. Will need a replacement.

I know when this happened and I believe it was affecting our fuel mielage during the PittRace weekend.

This got me to thinking thought that I should be monitoring tailpipe emissions to make sure the engine management systems are up to par. Anyone know equipment I can buy to monitor that?
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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Maverick
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby Maverick » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:26 pm

When OBD II came in in 1996, inspections stations were required to buy new equipment. At some point 1995 and older cars didn't required NC emissions testing and inspection stations could get rid of the older equipment. A similar rule may have been enacted in other states.

Anyway, in NC the high quality, obsolete equipment became useless for inspections stations. The garage, Wheels4Hope, where WXO and I volunteered had SUN equipment donated to it. If you can find one around, it shouldn't be worth much. If W4H still has theirs, they'd probably be glad to get it out of their way.

Downside is its big. Maybe 3X5X5 feet including storage cabinets.
Maverick

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:29 pm

So we raced at MIS last August.

Here is the start of the race with Joey at the controls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP6L6gEA5FQ

Night racing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7feRd1M7Fg

This video is from Victorious Secret BMW from the MIS race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R-tuFjNcTM

We are in it. Here are some highlights:

First two minutes: As he finally gets by Dave you can clearly hear the Saturn over his engine sounds
6 minute: watch a Cavalier just plain beat this BMW
18 minute: Jeff's Beretta appears
21 minute: Dave coming in to pit
33 minute: me passing the 666 BMW
34 minute: These guys have a good race with the first place car (black and silver BMW) going for at least 15 minutes (this video from third place car)
54 minute: passing me while I am racing with the Neon
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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TireSmoker
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby TireSmoker » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:42 am

Looks like I pulled away from him in the back section of the course, up until the hairpin. I dont like seeing us get passed.

Andy, if you know of highlights from any of our sessions, I can get a highlight-reel video together pretty quickly. Just need to know what time the clips are. (from the in-car clock)

Maybe I've just been busy, but it already feels like it was a LONG time ago. Gingerman feels like last year.

-Dave

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:47 pm

So quite a bit has happened since the last post.

1) Baseline horsepower. Took the car and put it on a dyno to baseline.

Image

2) Exhaust upgrades. Yikes the downpipes were small. In 2011 I put an Autozone downpipe on there and that was a mistake. Countless horsepower wasted over all the races. The rest of the exhaust was bad also - stock width pipes from the muffler back up to the midpoint of the exhaust. It also had a SuperTrapp muffler which I guess is not that great either.

First I decided what I wanted. After some research I decided to get larger downpipes 1.5" into 2.5". Also decided to shorten the exhaust and drop it in front of the rear wheel. To do this I would need a muffler that would fit in the tunnel where the cat sits.

I took it in for an estimate and the shop will not do an exhaust without a cat so I decided to do the exhaust myself. I will take it back there for the downpipe since I can't bend the pipes. In the meantime the original downpipe was larger than the Autozone pipe so I started with that. I had the muffler shop make a short custom pipe to help.

I am embarrassed that it took this long to address it.

Image

Image

Of course this needed welding.

Image

3) Measure air-fuel ratio. The car is running rich and in order to know how rich I will need an air-fuel gauge. Since the car runs on narrow band O2 sensor I decided to get a second sensor and a gauge. Found a good one online and installed it. This confirms what I learned on the dyno and gives me a chance to adjust it.

Image

Much more analysis after that and I now have a way to control fuel pressure using stock parts. I just need to implement it.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:00 am

More to the story:

I found the Flowmaster HP-2 muffler fit in the tunnel and has some interesting technology. There were two styles I had to go with the smaller one.

I have not dyno tested it since the exhaust is done but I took it out to Nelson Ledges for a test. It has noticeably more power and I was 1.5 seconds per lap faster than my prior best, and that was with less than optimal braking setup.

The air-fuel ratio runs at 11.2:1 at WOT. Regular driving it stays near 14.7:1.

There is no easy way to change the computer to fix this rich condition. After much deliberation I have decided to start with fuel pressure. I know the factory runs fuel pressure as low as 31 PSI at idle so I presume the injectors can handle that low. Off idle factory says 42-47 PSI is normal and the car is right around 47. So if I cut that pressure I can get less fuel in and A) add horsepower and B) increase mileage. I'll be targeting 12.5:1 for now.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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GMJohnny
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby GMJohnny » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:23 pm

Is there any percentage in putting a cut-out in front of the muffler?
Apparently, there is a C6 Corvette cut-out that is electronic and is
controlled by the throttle. It may or may not help, but I've always
found open exhaust to be best for horsepower. All of my race experience
is on a drag strip, and of course, a quarter mile's worth of that noise is
a lot different than a whole day's worth, but how important is a tenth
of a second a lap?

GM

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:34 am

With the Laminar Flow technology the Flowmaster actually produces more power than straight pipe. And we need to stay under 92 DB.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:03 am

Wow am I behind on posting here. Last year the plan was to free up the exhaust. I have already explained most of the mods above, but the downpipe did not get done until after the 2015 racing was done.

The worst downpipe - and what had been on the car since fall 2011:
IMG_0865.JPG
IMG_0865.JPG (211.34 KiB) Viewed 449 times


The original downpipe - adapted to fit large exhaust - on the car for 2015 race:
IMG_0929.JPG
IMG_0929.JPG (181.03 KiB) Viewed 449 times


When this year came I wanted to improve that a step further so I got to fabricating a down pipe. There is no one offering a flange to fit the Saturn header so my cousin machined one:
IMG_2178.JPG
IMG_2178.JPG (182.52 KiB) Viewed 449 times


I then needed the 1 3/4" downpipe material. I tried having a local chop bend them up but they did a poor job with the bends, so I found a used set of Chevy headers and cut them apart. I found the bends I needed there and fabricated the pipes. $50 was a lot cheaper than $160 to buy a kit with these types of bends for $160. Kurt welded it together:
IMG_2201.JPG
IMG_2201.JPG (138.94 KiB) Viewed 449 times

IMG_2204.JPG
IMG_2204.JPG (185.23 KiB) Viewed 449 times

IMG_2210.JPG
IMG_2210.JPG (185.01 KiB) Viewed 449 times


Putting it on the car, you could feel the improvement immediately, and the air-fuel ratio got a lot leaner.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:39 am

For 2017 we are going after three main things:

1) improve the front bearing durability
2) getting control of the ECU for better mileage and power
3) weight reduction

For #1 I have already scoped out Cavalier front knuckle and bearing it has a high probability of working

For #2 we have a mule car - its a 95 SC2 5 speed DOHC. Looks to be a running car - and for $350 its low risk. I gave it to Tiresmoker so he could play with running it on Megasquirt in the convenience of his own garage.
Attachments
IMG_1259.JPG
The mule
IMG_1259.JPG (271.59 KiB) Viewed 432 times
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:17 am

Update:

It's official the car is 25 years old and I now have historical plates on it.

My helmet was Snell SA2005 and 2016 was the last year I could run it. Merry Christmas/happy birthday I have a new helmet. The old helmet was a bit close to my nose and would fog up almost immediately when the visor was down. When racing this was not a problem but during refuel visor down is required. It took many attempts to find a helmet that fit and was not ridiculous expensive. What I have now fits decent around the crown but I need some wider jaw/cheek pads to stabilize it.

The mule car has been starting and moving on a regular basis, the wiring harness connector showed up but this is not at the front of the line of projects at Tiresmoke Central so not planning to use it for Watkins Glen.

Our second race for 2017 is planned for a 24 hour event at VIR in August, and for that we need a hub that can last 24 hours. As I mentioned before this is #1 on the list of upgrades for 2017.

It turns out the Cavalier bearing is basically the same size as the SC and the one Cavalier team I know said they are not very reliable. Unfortunately I already had the parts from pull a part but they were within 30 days so I took them back.

With some digging (and copying another Saturn team!) I had also learned you can run Ion/Cobalt knuckle, bearing, hub, rotor, caliper assembly on the SC. What does not change is the halfshaft and the bolt pattern. The SC strut can be adapted to fit the Ion knuckle with a little fabrication. The tie rod end will fit right into the knuckle it just needs to be inserted from above rather than below. The biggest challenge is the Ion uses a lower ball joint with a shank and a retaining bolt rather than the typical tapered press fit lower ball joint like the SC. I researched this exhaustively as I wanted to put the shank ball joint into the SC lower control arm but in the end I could not find the right part to fit that specialized application. Instead I cut the lower control arm and fabricated a plate to weld to it so the Ion lower ball joint will bolt on. It took me a while to be convinced I could weld this part, as I was thinking cast parts are cast iron, however after way too much investigating/deliberating I decided they were cast steel (did you know you can do a spark test with a grinder on metal to determine what kind of iron it is?).

Donor car
IMG_1401.JPG


Parts fresh off the donor
IMG_1408.JPG


Halfway through the conversion
IMG_1484.JPG


Lots of welding
IMG_1493.JPG


semi-finished product
IMG_1494.JPG


That project is not yet finished - I took the front end apart tonight. Still some fabricating to do.

Chump Car got a new primary sponsor RVA Graphics and Wraps and we have to rebadge the car - so I had them ship me the decals to do this at my leisure in the garage and not on race weekend:
IMG_1435.JPG
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:09 pm

I was assembling the car with the Ion parts and realized the brake duct bracketing we had was not going to work. With the bolt on hubs I could use those bolt holes on the back side of the knuckle. Of course there was quite a bit of figuring and fabricating so these two tiny brackets took over 3 hours to make.

Today I got to putting the parts on the car. Installed the lower control arm, halfshaft, knuckle, strut. Looking at the alignment I can see the strut to lower control arm alignment is wrong. The halfshaft boot is solidly rubbing the lower control arm at bull extension. I tried adding 1/4" of washers to raise up the ball joint but it still hits. Stepping back I can see a couple things

1) The other team put the ball joint at a point where the lower control arm is at least 1/2" longer than mine.
2) I did align the ball joints OK but the geometry of the knuckle puts the hub lower in the Ion knuckle.

I have some work to do in order to resolve. I have some options to salvage what has been done with rework, or there is going to be quite a bit of rework.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]

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MostMint
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Re: cheap car racing

Postby MostMint » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:28 am

So a lot has happened since last post. Short version

Raced the car at Watkins Glen. Broke rear hubs on the curbs in bus stop. Finished Saturday 18th overall of over 100 cars. Sunday we had a problem with the knock sensor which put us down on power, and we broke a hub and shifter linkage mid race. We fixed them both in about 15 minutes and finished the race. Watkins Glen is a really nice track just be mindful of the short runoff and walls in several places.

Track day at Nelson in June. This was learning for Rachel. She learned how the car can end up on the roof. Had to buy a new windshield and put the rest back together. Resulted in upgraded brake ducting package with less underside exposure.

Raced the car at VIR. We blew up the engine at 3:20, changed it and returned to racing around 11 PM. Car ran fine till the last lap when the trans broke. I was able to bring it in under own power but did not take the checker. Still managed 57th out of 97 cars. Night racing in the wet was quite an experience!

Been making some modifications to the car for better aero and better tire wear. Added a wing and cut the hood to reduce pressure build up under there. Bought some 15x8 wheels to help with tire wear on the outside edge. Did a track day last Thursday you can see all the pics here: https://justinfoster.pixieset.com/nelson-10-19/ choose the "Chump" section for pics of the car in action. If this fails just browse around justinfoster.photo site. He's been moving things around so not sure if the links will change

The track day finds the car 2.5-3.5 seconds faster that prior best for all drivers - quite impressive considering we are on the backup engine! Best I can tell the track repaved is giving us a second of that.
[quote="Basement Paul"]Is that a mint rocketship on the hood?? :shock:
-BP[/quote]


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