August 28, 2010

Old Friend and a Pesky Airbag Light

I met up with an old friend I haven't seen in about 13 years. Good friend of mine that I grew up with when I was living in New Hampshire. It was great to spend the day with him and his girlfriend working on our cars, as it was a nice change of scenery and pace from everything lately. Tom is currently working on an awesome RX-7 FC build, looking to compete in local drift events and maybe even some autocross. Having done all the work himself on the car, from rewiring the entire harness, fixing up the engine and more, he's put a lot of time and effort into the car, so I can't wait to see the end result.
We were going to punch out two quick things on my car then work on his, but as usual with my car, those two things took a lot longer than expected. Looks like I owe him some more beer and time to help him with whatever comes his way to work on his car in the future. We took care of my slanted seat issue I was having, as my Corbeau seat wasn't cut fully flat in the rear, propping it up in one corner awkwardly so I would be sitting crocked.

Using his FC as a work table, Tom used his sawzall to cut the rear pegs of the seat down flat, smoothing it out nicely. Since the seats were out, we looked into my airbag light problem as well. I followed some instructions I found on the RX-8 club but they weren't really explain well enough, and this is how I ran into problems. So, I decided to make this into a quick DIY for all those other RX-8 drivers out there who are looking to swap in a replacement bucket seat.

  • Electrical Tape
  • Seat Position Sensor for the Driver Side
  • 2.0 Ohm 1 Watt Resistor (NOT 2.2 K.. AVOID the K. This is where I went wrong.)
No need to even really put steps on this as it's very straight forward. Simply bend the prongs of the resistor a bit so you can slip it into the connectors of the airbag sensor plug. Do this for both sides. Then simply apply some electrical tape ontop of the resistors to cover any dust from getting into the plug.
For the seat position sensor, Tom was awesome enough to rivet it to the hump in the floor that is by the front of the seat (you can't miss it). Nothing special there, as long as it is connected and tied to something or located somewhere.And voila! That's it. The airbag light is gone and no more issues with that thankfully, as that light was always bothering me in the back of my mind when driving around. Big thanks again to Tom for the good times and helping me with these two things. To end the day, we had a quick photo shoot of the two cars side by side. You will be hearing more about Tom and his progress on his car, as well as his progress into the world of drifting in future posts, so until then, stay tuned.

August 22, 2010

Racing Against Leukemia

Whew, talk about a gloomy day! I woke up thinking it was still night out with how dark the sky was outside. Today was the 7th points event for SCCA New England Region and we were back at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. I actually like this venue a lot (not more then Devens of course), because you can go see the cars racing on the road course, eat at the restaurant in the infield, and just enjoy yourself. We usually get a ton of runs as well which is always a plus. Unfortunately, it started raining in the afternoon, making our afternoon runs mostly for just practice.
I had missed the donation event that was yesterday as I was at Renegade Miata instead, but next year I definitely won't be missing that event. I had heard many great things about it, especially the part where you get more runs if you get donation money (someone mentioned getting close to 30 runs or more yesterday!). PJ couldn't drive his 240 due to corded R compound tires that were basically ripped up from yesterday, so I offered him to drive with me. It's always great to see good drivers hop into my car and hear their thoughts, as well as any suggestions to my driving they may have. I just wish it was dry for the rest of the day so I could have learned more.The course was a 32' course with a lot of nice sweepers. The car felt great around the course and my times were stepping up, but I still need to relearn my car again with all the power changes. Just as I was getting comfortable, the rain rolled in and I pretty much had lost any chance of redeeming myself. I came home with 3rd place with a '33.9, while PJ Took first with a 32.8. I can't thank him enough though for his instructional run, tips, and just coming out and having fun with me. Final results are located here, pax located here, and raw times posted here. Below is a video of my best run in the morning and my 3rd run from outside! Followed by PJ's best run and his instructional run in the rain. The rest of the videos are located at my YouTube channel, here.

August 21, 2010

4th Event At Renegade Miata

Renegade Miata's 4th points event that they've put together this lovely Saturday. The weather was absolutely beautiful, not too sunny, not overly hot, just right. The course however, was one that was a test of wit and courage of the driver, and how he communicates with his car. It was a fast course that most, if not ALL Miata's were taking in 3rd gear! I tried it out in a few spots but hitting the rev limiter of 2nd gear seemed to be the better move for me. A lot of spins today, especially in the back section where the slalom is a big V (me being one of them). Took home 3rd place in pax, and 2nd for raw time in the Other Mazdas class. Results are posted here.A lot of compliments on my exhaust from other people working on the course. From the outside it does sound really good, I'll have to get some footage of a stand still, drive by and all that other stuff sometime. In terms of power and torque gain, it most certainly is there and I can't wait to get my new tune to fully utilize it. Only thing is, this means I need to relearn how to drive the car, as before I could do the whole "turn and full throttle" trick due to not having enough power. After most of my power mods, that trick was becoming harder and harder to do as needed, but now after the tune and then the new exhaust, that’s not an option anymore (unless I want to compete in D1 Drift events!). Not that I'm complaining, I'll just have to pick up the slack!
Below is a video of my fastest run, but dirty, at a 1'13.2, followed by my fastest clean run of 1'13.7, and then a video of Oleg taking my car out for a spin during fun runs. Feel free to check out my YouTube Channel to see all the videos of the event that I took.

August 20, 2010

The Return Home - Her New Roar

After the long wait, I was finally reunited with my lady on Friday night. How I felt when I got her back was nearly indescribable. I stopped by Small Fortune at just the right time as well, as the car was still up on stands, allowing me to see the exhaust work up close. The end result was absolutely amazing, and exactly what I needed for my current build.As I have mentioned to many others before, this exhaust system was created to replicate the exhaust setup on some of the Koni Challenge RX-8's, only muffled (so I can pass the sound limit when racing). Black Halo Racing and Small Fortune Racing worked together on this project, as Black Halo provided me with the mufflers used for their midpipe and upcoming catback system, and Small Fortune put it all together while designing the header. The components and specifics can't be mentioned here as you will need to speak to either one first for permission, but I will comment that it certainly is an ideal system. The runners of the header are very long and a good sized diameter, collecting together into 3' piping so that the Renesis engine can produce the most power and torque when matched with this intake. During this weekend's two races I received nothing but compliments on how it sounded, some claiming it sounded identical to the rotaries that race at Lime Rock Park. Heck, I even had someone say it sounded like a modified RX-7 FD.You will see a little more regarding the exhaust in the upcoming posts about those race days, but for now I'd like to point out the other few things Bill had taken care of for me. He went ahead and made this nifty radiator shroud that covers the gap between the front bumper and the cross member, as I was starting to see the hood rattle at high speeds. The second bit is very neat, but I couldn't get a picture of it as it's hard to see in the first place. Essentially, it is some sort of bracket that goes onto the bottom of the radiator and it holds the under tray up to the radiator, since plastic under trays are known to bend. Bending will cause a gap to form and let air escape between the tray and the radiator, which doesn't really promote cooling.All in all, I'm very pleased with the results of all three completed tasks, and am glad to finally have the exhaust done and out of the way. It had been troublesome for me numerous times in the past, but hopefully with this new exhaust it will be just that; a problem of the past. Stay tuned for this weekend's results.

August 15, 2010

Scorched Orange

Today was SCCA NER's 6th points event, which had a good turn out of people, a fun and intuitive course, and a little overcast for the perfect weather condition. Before I get into all the details, I would just like to do a little shout out due to some recent events. I'd like to dedicate this entry and the day to my mother, as she has been ill lately and was brought to the hospital overnight on Saturday. If it wasn't for her insisting that I come out to the event so I could get my points, I wouldn't have had such a great time with everyone. I drove as fast and smoothly as I could for you Mom, so thank you. That being said, she is doing better now and has already returned home. Now onto the good stuff about the day!

Small Fortune is still working away at my car, but check out the sneak peak at what's to come below. The design is amazing, and the length is exactly what was needed to bring out the most power, matched with my current intake.

Since my car wasn't ready, I asked Dave if I could co-drive his STX RX-8. For those of you that are unfamiliar with it, it was once Brian Goodwin's RX-8 of GoodWin Racing. Thanks to Dave for letting me take a spin in his car, as it allowed me to get points for the day. Driving different cars a lot recently has really taught me more than I expected it would, as I'm starting to notice differences in how a car handles and why it may behave how it does.
Some quick snaps of some rare cars like that White TVR and that silver GT-R (yes, that is a real Skyline GT-R 33). Was nice to hear the Skyline out on the course, and hopefully we will be seeing more of him at upcoming solo events!
Dave took home first place in STX with a 69.9', while I took 3rd place in SM with a 70.5', which is great for an STX car but terrible for an SM car. PJ Took first with a 64.4' in SM in his monster Silvia S14. Final results are posted here, with pax posted here, and raw times posted here. Current season standings are actually posted up as well, here.
Speaking of monster, I got to go for a ride in PJ's S14 for my first time ever. Needless to say, I was speechless after, as it proves my point that my car is not an SM competitive car in it's current state. That being said, it looks like I will be moving down to Street Prepared for sure next year, as all it requires is to have me replace all of the interior I removed from before, with a few other goodies. Don't hesitate to check out PJ and Jenna's Silvia blog about their build and work on their SM contender.

Below are a few videos of the event, starting with my fastest run of the day, Dave's fastest, and then a video of Mike on his fastest run in his C Stock RX-8. He managed to take home a 73.3' on my old Dunlop Star Spec street tires! Instead of posting all my videos from an event, for now on I'm only going to post the fastest runs, and then link to my YouTube channel which has all the videos taken at the event. Two events coming up the following weekend, and I get my car back this Friday, so stay tuned viewers!