March 25, 2012

Getting Ready!

Getting help at Wankel Works with installing the oil pan
Racing season has already begun in some parts of the country, and it is almost time for it to start over in the east coast! With less than two weeks left before the first race, I've been working overtime to get ready. Most of the things I had to take care of over my winter break were maintenance related, but I still managed to pick up some new goodies as well. If you haven't noticed from the changes to the build page yet, here are some of the new parts for this year.
To show some Tomei Powered love and support after getting to see their amazing facility in Japan, I decided to try out their differential. After doing a lot of research into different types of LSDs and what to run, it made sense for me to upgrade to a 1.5-way clutch type LSD. Basically, the car will be more stable when on the throttle in slaloms and entering corners. Another benefit is that the differential will be locking a hell of a lot harder than the OEM Torsen-type LSD. Even though I'm looking forward to seeing how well it should perform this year, I'm hoping there is not too much of a learning curve to get used to it.

Bushings installed into the differential mount
John had put together these amazing bushings so that we could have something stiffer than any polyurethane differential bushing. My OEM differential bushings were ripped after only 60,000 miles surprisingly, so now is as good of a time as any to upgrade! These bushings are legal for solo classes STX, SP, and up. We had to press out the stock bushing, cleaned it up a little bit, and then press in the new bushings and sleeves. It added a bit of vibration to the car, but I can feel more feedback from the rear. Thanks John!
Outside of the mount
Inside of the mount
The seats were a bit of a no brainer. They weigh only 12lbs., where as my current seats weigh almost 20lbs. I figured I'll throw the Corbeau seats into my Miata for whoever wants to race it in STS. The seats are essentially the same in fitment, except for the leg area being a bit tighter.

The header will be done soon, so I'm looking forward to seeing the final design changes Ray and I came up with in action. Once I have it installed, I'm aiming for a retune of the car in hopes of milking out any remaining power that I can!
GReddy oil pan installed
The GReddy oil pan was sort of a "just cause". My oil level sensor was starting to fail on me last season, which has been a common issue in the older RX-8's, so I figured why not replace the sensor and the whole pan? It's class legal, it adds more oil, and it has some baffles and cooling fins to it, so might as well, right?

Lastly, the 18x10 +38 wheels with some 285 sized Hoosiers will be a great addition. More grip can never hurt, especially if you can fit it! I'm hoping I don't lose any steering response due to the larger tires like I did when I tested out 285's a couple years back (that was on stock sized wheels however). I really wish I could fit some crazy looking Advan wheel that weighs less and is 18x10, but their offsets are all really aggressive and would require some fender flares. Perhaps something I can look into in the future, but not anything I'm planning for this year.

With all these changes, some small maintenance fixes and more, she will be ready to take on BSP regionally. Nationally however? I guess we'll have to see. Either way, John and I are ready to show off what Serenity is made of, so stay tuned!

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