Monday, June 8, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

DECA - Round 8

First outing for Tyra at DECA (aftger tragically missing last year), and first place outright. Can't complain about that.

For some incomprehensible reason, the motorsport group of the club collectively voted to drop this event from the championship in future, so this is the last time this will count. :o( Stupid decision. This is one of the trickiest events - you only get one or maybe two shots at each course, and how you drive is more important than what you drive. Oh, and the weather always plays a part - this time was no different, with rain on and off throughout the day. Fortunately there was a dry run at each course possible.

The first release of results had me in second place behind Sam - SHOCK - but after querying one of my times I gained 6 seconds and one place.

Brake too late, and you're through the garage and get a time penalty. Oops. Lucky then that Greg messed up the timing and I got another go at this course...

An open diff really doesn't help - you just spin the inside rear. Oh for an LSD! Pity that I can't get one AND do the suspension, AND stay in Clubman class...

Precision is the key - you've gotta be close to the cones. Think I need some stiffer suspension?

Thanks to Roady for the photos.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Haunted Hills - Round 7

First time at a new track is always exciting. The brand new Gippsland Car Club track at Haunted Hills certainly looked thrilling from the YouTube videos (which I was studying to figure out the lines before I arrived). The other additional edge was the forecast for rain.

Fortunately the rain held off for the morning, allowing a few dry runs. I only got in 2 practice runs (should have taken more!) and 3 timed runs, which is barely enough to even start getting familiar with the lines. A few drops of rain upset the second run, but I still improved with each attempt.

With a best of 63.94 seconds, I still managed (in my standard NB car) I managed to knock off the best NC and Clubman times, as well as a few modified cars. Can't complain about that!

After lunch the rain rolled in, so there was no way of going faster. Time to pack up and have a safe drive home.

In other news, I finally have all my suspension parts ready to set my car up for Clubman Class next season. While in the US I picked up the last piece of the puzzle - some Flyin Miata springs, which were available much cheaper locally than shipping to Australia. It won't be the greatest suspension setup ever, but it should be good value, and hey, I'm working on a budget here!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Winton - Round 5

Fuck it was hot! OK, so I'm also typing this a week later on the hottest day that Melbourne has had in 150 years, but last weekend was pretty harsh - I don't think anyone's car didn't start overheating at some point of the weekend.

Both days (driver training Sunday and Sprints Sunday) were in the 40s, so lap times were never going to be sensational.

Saturday's highlight - Rucky gave me a drive of the Redback (his atmo race car) - an absolute joy to drive with an engine that revved til forever and slicks with ludicrous amounts of grip. The only downside was the lack of power steering that made it a real handful given the high grip levels. But I certainly wouldn't pass up another drive!

Sunday's sprint times were never going to set the world on fire, not with the temperature killing the available grip, and killing the power output. And especially not when I forgot to turn the air-con off for the second session... Sam had given me number 1 - no pressure then.

Nonetheless I still took about 0.5s off the short track record (Standard NB class) - down to a 1:15.6. I think that's about 1.5-2.0s off where it should be.

The long track was poor though - the aforementioned A/C stupidity not helping. I was about 2 seconds off James' record. Ultimately not too bad a time (1:50.2) given that most other regulars were about 2 seconds off previous bests.

Hmmm, do you think it's time to do the suspension? Check out that body roll!

Next round is also at Winton, but I might pass it up (did the budget this week...) and wait til Haunted Hills. That decision also blows any chances of the Club Motorsport Trophy - I've already missed two rounds... Oh well, it's only a bucket...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Benny's Boot

Where have I been lately? That's right, working on my other small project... anyway, back to the car:

I wanted a new shifter boot as the original was cracking. But it wasn't bad enough to warrant me paying for a new one. After another forumite showed his install of the Scala leather boots (aka Benny's Boots after Scala owner and MX-5 nut George Benedek) I asked if I cold have his old one which was still in good condition.

But Benny piped in and offered me a free set! Can't resist an offer like that.


If I was a picky man I'd complain that some of the holes didn't line up with the tangs, but that's not hard to fix for a Dodgy Brother.

Much better!

While I had the centre console out I also did some dodgy plastic welding on a crack near the hinge. Looks a little better with the edges aligned. (This is the 'before' photo. I pushed the edges together and ran a hot soldering iron over the underside of the crack.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

tail lights

Continuing with the theme of removing the orange bits from the car... I saw someone do this on the big forum and really liked the look.

I have done it really cheaply, with red self adhesive book covering, which is probably not UV stable or anything useful like that, but it looks pretty nice for $2.50... Can always remove it if it starts to fade (hope so anyway, I waxed the lenses thoroughly before application).
First light done... The contact was cut roughly to size, stuck on and smoothed out to eliminate wrinkles. Then I cut carefully around the groove at the edge of the orange lens.

Both lights completed. The light output is red-orange (not to be unexpected I guess)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

bright and shiny

Tyra got buffed last weekend! The paint has been neglected for some time (ie since I bought her), for several reasons. I didn't want to mess with the resprayed side, and the weather has been ordinary so there's no point washing her when it's about to rain again. But now that the weather is more reliable I decided to spend a few Sunday hours with the products and the random orbital buffer. Came up pretty well, but still a few scratches that won't buff out without more effort.

I even (shock horror!) gave the interior and soft top a nice coat of 303 Aerospace Protectant - the best plastic rejuvenator I've used - nice and black but not greasy if you use sparingly.

This photo tells me just how much she needs lowering though...

If you're observant you'll notice the side indicators are now tinted, in addition to the corner reflectors done previously. Very tidy, I think. I'm not keen on reducing light output, but it looks so much better I think, and much cheaper than buying the clear side indicators.

If you're super observant, you'll spot the centre brake light is also darker, but I'm not happy with the tinting job done there.

I only did the brake light tinting after making the light output brighter to compensate - 10 high intensity LEDs were installed in the internal diffraction lens. A fairly straightforward job to crack it open and play with.

For the interested, the LEDs are 10mm, 10000 millicandela red ones, and the resistors are 220 ohm, 1 watt. Parts from Jaycar.
DIY wiring.

I also had a couple of new tyres fitted on the left side to replace the flatspotted ones. Amazing how much nicer it is to drive a car with round tyres!