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PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
2/28/22 9:27 a.m.

Yes I moved it to the outer most hole with the new links to check out how clearance would be on the other hole. Moving between holes doesn't change the angle of the bar too much.

jh36
jh36 Dork
2/28/22 8:12 p.m.
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham said:

Yes I moved it to the outer most hole with the new links to check out how clearance would be on the other hole. Moving between holes doesn't change the angle of the bar too much.

Awesome...that's great. 

Taylor Johnson
Taylor Johnson New Reader
3/1/22 1:00 p.m.
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham said:

So the reason the head got all new valves is every single exhaust valve was bent. Evidently at some point the engine jumped timing (how does that even happen with a timing chain? Bad tensioners?) I looked close at the pistons last night and you can definitely see where the valves slapped. below is cylinder 6, which is the worst. I think I'm just going to get rid of the high points with a dremel or something and then assemble. Terrible idea?

I asked for the rule change we got this year that allows the upgraded chain tensioner from later cars. I haven't seen a car jump timing, but there's a part out there to stop it from happening, I'm all for it. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/1/22 1:28 p.m.

In reply to Taylor Johnson :

Oh are those the hydraulic ones? I got another sprung one. Maybe I should upgrade. I definitely did jump timing. I assume that tensioner was the culprit. Or at least I hope so.

PS nice to see you in this neck of the woods!

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/4/22 12:01 a.m.

Getting there. M3 front control arms are in. Need to run by everything underneath with the torque wrench, add front sway bar end links and install fire suppression. Then it's just a bunch of little things but after those larger items it can at least run an event. 
 

need to finish stickering it up with the Spec3 series sponsors too. 
 

jh36
jh36 Dork
3/4/22 12:57 a.m.

In reply to PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham :

New wheels and the windshield name look good!

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/4/22 9:48 a.m.

This windshield name is per the rules (3 inches tall). It probably won't be noticeable from in the car but I felt like I was laying down Ricky Bobby's fig newton decal. It goes almost 2/3 of the way across the windshield! laugh

jh36
jh36 Dork
3/4/22 4:50 p.m.
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham said:

This windshield name is per the rules (3 inches tall). It probably won't be noticeable from in the car but I felt like I was laying down Ricky Bobby's fig newton decal. It goes almost 2/3 of the way across the windshield! laugh

That decal is dangerous and inconvenient, but I do love fig newtons. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/6/22 2:52 p.m.

Just took it for its first drive down the road. Forgot to bleed the clutch. Bad noises happened. Currently bleeding clutch. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/6/22 9:09 p.m.

After bleeding the clutch and a quick alignment the car blasted down the road like a champ! Very excited. Also replaced all the outdated safety stuff.

I was excited to use my string alignment kit from Caliper Garage but I hadn't bought the needed tubing yet. So I borrowed my dad's smart strings stuff. 
 

Added all the required stickers for Spec3. First time cutting this much on the US Cutter vinyl cutter that was recommended to us on here. I think it turned out pretty decent.


 

the list is getting smaller! Less than two weeks until the first race. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/7/22 3:32 p.m.

Finally figured out my gauges issue. They were getting 12 volts but weren't powering on. Turns out I hadn't stripped the ground wire before crimping it into the connector. No idea how I did that but glad they work. File that one in the DOH folder. 

Before:

After:

I should probably go check the rest of my wiring...

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/9/22 6:26 p.m.

It's tire mounting day!

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/10/22 4:53 a.m.

Looking good, Ed!

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/15/22 11:27 a.m.

Three days to go. 
 

Brakes are done. Spec3 chip is installed. Finished wiring everything to switches. Only big thing I'm missing now is tires. Picked them up from our local shop yesterday but they forgot to balance them so I took them back. Hopefully I'll have them by end of day. 


 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
3/15/22 1:20 p.m.

In reply to PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham :

Just my 2 cents,  I haven't balanced track tires in a few years now, since I became aware that the tires can actually slip on the rim in track situations.  Plus the material that is picked up/lost while tracking will quickly throw it off balance as well.  I haven't noticed any issues since I started doing this.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/15/22 3:14 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Ok so you are the second person to mention this to me in the past couple weeks. I think I may stop balancing them from now on, but in this case I did pay for both a mount and balance so really it comes down to me wanting to get what I paid for. But now that I've had two people tell me this I think I'll quit balancing.

I was thinking that balancing may be a waste, not strictly because of the tire's movement on the rim, but also because of the amount of chunked rubber you get caked on the inside of the wheel. That must throw it out of balance as well.

Appreciate your input.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
3/15/22 3:42 p.m.

I always balance my track tires, as does any pro team (go to the tire shop at the Rolex 24 and you'll see weights on every wheel). 

The way I see it, why add additional vibration and discomfort to an environment where the driver and every single mechanical item is expected to perform at 1000%?

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy SuperDork
3/15/22 3:59 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I'd like to see the results of a balance/test when a wheel/tire comes off the track after a 30 minute session, 2 hour stint, full Champ race?  Could be interesting.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/15/22 4:07 p.m.

That would be very interesting indeed!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
3/15/22 4:12 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Not a crazy idea. I know from experience that we've had a 75% worn 200tw tire throw a weight on the Miata while caked in used rubber, and it was immediately noticable in the steering wheel. Balancing fixed the problem. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/22/22 11:04 a.m.

Back home from VIR for this car's maiden race. Turned out to be more of a troubleshooting/test weekend than anything else. 
 


Arrived late Thursday night and spent Friday morning buttoning up a couple things and checking torques. 

jh36 installed some "that's custom, brah" radiator ducting. We tidied up my terrible wiring work and installed the center net. Then it was off to the tech shed for this car's first annual inspection since 2019. Tech passed and then it was pretty much all downhill from there. 
 

During the warm up lap in practice on Saturday the car kept cutting out every 30 seconds or so. When it happened the tach would immediately peg at 0. Seemed like a crank sensor. The great and helpful Taylor Johnson brought over a scan tool and pulled a knock sensor code. So we set to work and missed qualifying while replacing both the knock sensor and the crank sensor. 

The knock sensor was definitely an issue. The connection was totally severed.

We were all set by race time. Pulled out and headed for grid. While waiting our turn to enter the grid the car shut off and would not restart. We flailed for about 10 minutes trying various things like cycling power, replacing the dme, etc. pushed it back to our trailer, didn't even pop the hood and went to watch the race in frustration. After the race it took maybe 5 minutes to find the issue. The small hot wire that powers the DME had come disconnected at the kill switch. Literally just reconnected the terminal and everything was fixed. So no racing was had on Saturday. We were allowed to go out in the final HPDE session of the day to make sure all the kinks were ironed out. Everything seemed good. 
 

 

On Sunday the car ran qualifying decently. No issues except a gnarly vibration around 3-4k in the rev range and a driver not accustomed to the car yet. 
 

The race was wild. Lots of cars going off. One black flag. Two different double yellows. At the beginning of one of those double yellows I missed the first flag station holding it out and passed a couple people. That got me DQ'ed for the race. no

So there we have it. First race weekend was fraught with problems both mechanical and human. But the car now runs decently. I just need to figure out this 3-4k vibration. Starting with a new guibo and center driveshaft support bearing.
 

Then I need to learn to drive it quickly.


 

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/22/22 1:17 p.m.

You guys were working your tails off. I'm glad it all finally came together. Good seeing you there and hanging out. I know Summit Point will go more smoothly.

jh36
jh36 Dork
3/22/22 10:24 p.m.

You handled that weekend perfectly.  Well done.  It all didn't go to the perfect script but you rolled with it and came out the other side just fine.  It's easy for setbacks to tank the weekend....you didn't let that happen.  Heck, my snoring in the trailer didn't even rattle you.

It's a good car...and it will get better.  Thank goodness you enjoy sliding around...those Toyos are sort of asking for that.  Next time maybe we don't change three settings at once to induce oversteer...your drifting exhibition in the Sunday race was thrilling, but....

Seriously fast hands.  At some point you should throw the video up.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
3/24/22 9:42 p.m.

A veteran Spec3 guy went into the wall HARD at the race last weekend. Just watched the video. It's gnarly. ABS failure at the end of the back straight. Glad he's ok and it got me thinking. 
 

This car's abs does not work. Never has. After reading conversation about his failure I get the feeling I'm the only one running without abs. Is this a disadvantage? Never bothered me because up until this car I had mainly raced old 944s and an NA Miata which don't have abs. 
 

After one race I can tell they pretty much all brake deeper than me. But that could just be that I'm out of practice. Worth figuring out?

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
3/25/22 5:42 a.m.

In reply to PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham :

Sorry to hear that. I have a pretty good 323is he can swap parts into if he's interested. Needs a hood and the ABS wiring put back into it. But it's all there.

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