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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/12/2005 7:55:03 PM EDT
I've got a 82 280-ZX, a 90 300-ZX NA and a 95 300-ZX TT, I am an experienced racer as I've got SCCA certification as well as NASA (National auto sports assoc.) and have run hundreds of laps at Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio etc. and consider myself a fair driver.

My question is, I constantly have to go head to head with modified Miata's and BMW Z-3's in my 300 NA (which has it's own modifications) and I'm constantly getting my ass handed to me. I realize that there's a curb weight issue but I usually have about 10 to 20 % more hp and torque.

Do we have any race enthusiast's here that could give me some tips, I have an upcoming event at Nashville SuperSpeedways road course in a couple of weeks.

As far as my 82 Z, I usually do pretty well with that car because of the classification that I fall in.

As far as the 95 TT, again I get my ass handed to me because I'm in with the Vettes, Porsche's, Vipers etc.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:10:11 PM EDT
I'm no roadracing expert, but I do have quite an interest.

You didn't mention the classes for each car (mods allowed, etc) or where on the track the car is not competitive (turns, straights?)

Let's go from here.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:12:58 PM EDT
Sounds like your car is too heavy. but it could be a million other things like upgraded anti-roll bars, good shocks...etc etc.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:21:45 PM EDT
Well, first off you need to move to a car forum because there are some Auto-Xers who go all out and discuss and flame each other over concepts i've never even heard about... I'm sure your Z forums would be a good place to start.

Auto-X is a completely different game from roadracing... Road racing is more technical, Auto-X is more timing and reaction. Road racing uses MORE of the direct inputs of brake, steer, and throttle, whereas Auto-X is a dynamic mix of the 3. One newbie mistake a pro helped me fix was that I was over-relying on my steering inputs, and could use the throttle and brake to "guide" the car more instead of jerking on my steering wheel as hard as I could.

That's all i can really help with, i'm not gonna pretend to be a pro! Good luck!

Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:25:48 PM EDT
do you still have the 4 wheel steering on the car? because that alone is like 800 lbs or something outrageous like that. Some, Z guys remove the whole unit to save weight.

However if you do that, it may put you in the modified class...which means you will really get your ass handed to you
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:33:13 PM EDT
Try these guys:

http://www.corner-carvers.com/
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:33:16 PM EDT
Thanks for your input...both of you

I'm concerned more about the 90 NA car as opposed to the other two.

To answer TodaysTom Sawyer (are you a Rush fan?) first

The class that this car falls in has a couple of restrictions....I.E no turbos, no roll bars, street legal, under 300 hp.

Where my problems is, seems to be on the early apex of the corners, believe it not, I do well coming out...but not going in...I usually gain ground on straights..as should be expected.


Gaspain, yeah....that's always been the nemisis of a Z-car driver...weight, I have done some suspension work, eibach on all four, anti roll, skyline brake system. But I always seem to "dive" into tight turns...lots of understeer,(pushing) no problem with oversteer in the out.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:35:32 PM EDT
i autox on a regular basis.

always watch 3 or more cones ahead, never the next one in front of your car.

attack the back of cones in slaloms, you'll be much faster through them.

walk the course beforehand as much as you can. the more you can memorize it, the better off you'll be.

don't be afraid to hit the cones.

watch tire pressures.

always be on the gas or the brake, never coasting.

steer w/ both hands and sit in a good position, no crazy reclining.

left foot braking is good, esp. if you have a turbocharged vehicle. you can brake w/ left foot while staying on gas w/ right and maintain positive intake manifold pressure. in other words, keep load on the motor and boost up.

me:
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:37:42 PM EDT
What are your camber, caster, and toe settings? What tires are you using? Lots of excellent info at corner-carvers
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:38:27 PM EDT
Tagging this thread--

I have an interest as I have always liked the BMW E30 body style, and (if I recall properly), the M3 E30 usually does quite well at these events (even a stock 325i does OK due to the handling characteristics).

AFARR
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:39:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nephilim:

Gaspain, yeah....that's always been the nemisis of a Z-car driver...weight, I have done some suspension work, eibach on all four, anti roll, skyline brake system. But I always seem to "dive" into tight turns...lots of understeer,(pushing) no problem with oversteer in the out.



Understeer can shouldnt be a problem on a RWD car. And when you say dive, does that mean when you are going around a right hand turn the front left spring/shock compresses much more than the others?
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:40:43 PM EDT
oh, shameless plug for an autox board run by a local SCCA member:

www.autoxforum.com
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:41:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
Understeer can shouldnt be a problem on a RWD car.


i take it you've never driven a stock 240sx?
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:43:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
do you still have the 4 wheel steering on the car? because that alone is like 800 lbs or something outrageous like that. Some, Z guys remove the whole unit to save weight.

However if you do that, it may put you in the modified class...which means you will really get your ass handed to you



No, the NA's never had the four wheel steering, and I've basically gutted the car of airconditioning etc...I stil have a cassette player in there to listen to Ministry while I'm driving.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:45:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eWRXshun:

Originally Posted By gaspain:
Understeer can shouldnt be a problem on a RWD car.


i take it you've never driven a stock 240sx?



Well, no. However I was refering to a track setup car. Now a properly setup 240 can make one formitable drift car (major oversteer).
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:47:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eWRXshun:
i autox on a regular basis.

always watch 3 or more cones ahead, never the next one in front of your car.

attack the back of cones in slaloms, you'll be much faster through them.

walk the course beforehand as much as you can. the more you can memorize it, the better off you'll be.

don't be afraid to hit the cones.

watch tire pressures.

always be on the gas or the brake, never coasting.

steer w/ both hands and sit in a good position, no crazy reclining.

left foot braking is good, esp. if you have a turbocharged vehicle. you can brake w/ left foot while staying on gas w/ right and maintain positive intake manifold pressure. in other words, keep load on the motor and boost up.

me:
img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/eWRXshun/cenla%20april%2024/smallPICT0098.jpg






Yeah...good mantra on all of the advice....already in my book.

Subaru guy huh....those things keep me up at night....with concern, I hate seeing those fuckers pull up.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:48:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2005 8:49:43 PM EDT by eWRXshun]

Originally Posted By gaspain:Well, no. However I was refering to a track setup car. Now a properly setup 240 can make one formitable drift car (major oversteer).

this i realize.

on the other hand, most (99.9%) of track racers i know, including myself, do not want oversteer. we want neutrality, we want as much traction as possible through the turns.

this is especially true for me as i drive a WRX. it is AWD and undesteers like a semi-truck in stock form.

nothing my:
cusco 22mm front sway bar
cusco 24mm rear sway bar
whiteline front sway endlinks
kartboy rear sway droplinks
ground control coil sleeves
eibach 8" springs, 325#F/350#R
ground control camber plates
koni sport inserts

...didn't fix, though
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:52:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eWRXshun:

Originally Posted By gaspain:Well, no. However I was refering to a track setup car. Now a properly setup 240 can make one formitable drift car (major oversteer).

this i realize.

on the other hand, most (99.9%) of track racers i know, including myself, do not want oversteer. we want neutrality, we want as much traction as possible through the turns.

this is especially true for me as i drive a WRX. it is AWD and undesteers like a semi-truck in stock form.

nothing my:
cusco 22mm front sway bar
cusco 24mm rear sway bar
whiteline front sway endlinks
kartboy rear sway droplinks
ground control coil sleeves
eibach 8" springs, 325#F/350#R
ground control camber plates
koni sport inserts

...didn't fix, though



over inflate your rear tires by 5 lbs
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:52:36 PM EDT
One thing I've found from many years of autox around here; most of the autox clubs are dominated by Miata drivers. They set up courses that tend to favor their own cars. Whether this is intentional or not I don't know, however I've seen it with at least four different clubs in the northeast.

When I've run with less restrictive groups, like the CCA, Mustang, or BMW guys, I find I tend to do much better; the course designs don't explicilty favor little timy cars and allow the type of car to be less of a determining factor in competition.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:53:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
over inflate your rear tires by 5 lbs


still plowed in stock trim.

now, it just makes driving more fun.

i need to source a place w/ nitrogen tanks so i can run that in my tires for track days.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:59:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DavidC:
One thing I've found from many years of autox around here; most of the autox clubs are dominated by Miata drivers. They set up courses that tend to favor their own cars. Whether this is intentional or not I don't know, however I've seen it with at least four different clubs in the northeast.

When I've run with less restrictive groups, like the CCA, Mustang, or BMW guys, I find I tend to do much better; the course designs don't explicilty favor little timy cars and allow the type of car to be less of a determining factor in competition.



That's a good point, although I'm looking forward to a roadcourse event in a couple of weeks, I've notice d that the autocross courses around here are extremely tight....no long runs...not good for a 2800 ib car.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:22:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nephilim:

My question is, I constantly have to go head to head with modified Miata's and BMW Z-3's in my 300 NA (which has it's own modifications) and I'm constantly getting my ass handed to me. I realize that there's a curb weight issue but I usually have about 10 to 20 % more hp and torque.




More than the curb weight issue is the weight bias of your ZX vs. a Miata or Z3, either of which will be closer to 50/50 distribution than your ZX. The turns is where they'll hurt you. Have you ever checked the weight bias in your ZX?

The car is pushing into the turns. Have you checked the tire temps after a run? This can tell you a lot about what's happening - inside - center - outside of the tire. I would recommend checking with other Z-car owners about camber settings they are using - it won't be good for the street, but it will help with the turns. You want the full contact patch at the most g-load and checking temps will tell you when your there.

Also, try to get as much weight off of the nose as possible. I see you yanked the a/c - how about the extra crap behind the front bumper? Can you relocate the battery to the rear? Anything you can get away with to move towards a 50/50 bias. Carbon fiber hood, maybe?

I'm sorry I can't do better, but I can tell you that you can make that car competitive as anything out there. Amazingly enough, one of the best autocross cars around years ago (15 or so)was a 1970 Buick Skylark with a 350/auto. It was owned by a doctor and he could do amazing things with that car. Really freaked people out. He never talked about the suspension
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:29:44 PM EDT
General set-up tips are a good start, but it is really hard to say what you could do without watching your car run compared to others who are beating you.

How far off are you? 2/10ths, 1 sec, 3 seconds?

Hate to say it, but your 300 vs. miatas is a poor match-up. Not impossible, but you are going to need to shed as much weight as possible.

And remember not to overdrive the course. Sometimes slower is faster.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:40:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TodaysTomSawyer:

Originally Posted By Nephilim:

My question is, I constantly have to go head to head with modified Miata's and BMW Z-3's in my 300 NA (which has it's own modifications) and I'm constantly getting my ass handed to me. I realize that there's a curb weight issue but I usually have about 10 to 20 % more hp and torque.




More than the curb weight issue is the weight bias of your ZX vs. a Miata or Z3, either of which will be closer to 50/50 distribution than your ZX. The turns is where they'll hurt you. Have you ever checked the weight bias in your ZX?

The car is pushing into the turns. Have you checked the tire temps after a run? This can tell you a lot about what's happening - inside - center - outside of the tire. I would recommend checking with other Z-car owners about camber settings they are using - it won't be good for the street, but it will help with the turns. You want the full contact patch at the most g-load and checking temps will tell you when your there.

Also, try to get as much weight off of the nose as possible. I see you yanked the a/c - how about the extra crap behind the front bumper? Can you relocate the battery to the rear? Anything you can get away with to move towards a 50/50 bias. Carbon fiber hood, maybe?

I'm sorry I can't do better, but I can tell you that you can make that car competitive as anything out there. Amazingly enough, one of the best autocross cars around years ago (15 or so)was a 1970 Buick Skylark with a 350/auto. It was owned by a doctor and he could do amazing things with that car. Really freaked people out. He never talked about the suspension




Thanks man, yeah, I'm all over the Z boards...gotten to be old news if you know what I mean. You're more than lucky to not get flamed if you don't have one of the new 350's. needless to say, I smoke those everytime I hit the the track, I 've even eat them in my old 280....they're nice but...well nevermind. I will readjust and consider making the front end lighter, I haven't considered the "crap behind the front bumper" I'll check it out tomorrow.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:49:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fike:
General set-up tips are a good start, but it is really hard to say what you could do without watching your car run compared to others who are beating you.

How far off are you? 2/10ths, 1 sec, 3 seconds?

Hate to say it, but your 300 vs. miatas is a poor match-up. Not impossible, but you are going to need to shed as much weight as possible.

And remember not to overdrive the course. Sometimes slower is faster.




Good advice, and true. I went through a two week course with Panoz down in Atlanta. "Slow is fast" is the motto down there.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:59:15 PM EDT
slow is smooth, smooth is fast
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 5:54:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nephilim:

Thanks man, yeah, I'm all over the Z boards...gotten to be old news if you know what I mean. You're more than lucky to not get flamed if you don't have one of the new 350's. needless to say, I smoke those everytime I hit the the track, I 've even eat them in my old 280....they're nice but...well nevermind. I will readjust and consider making the front end lighter, I haven't considered the "crap behind the front bumper" I'll check it out tomorrow.



Yeah, the newest stuff tends to crowd the boards with excited new owners. The 350s are nice to be sure, but each generation has moved further away from the original 240 in terms of balance and luxury. The 300s like you have are one of the best styled Zs to come along.

My personal favorite is the last of the 280ZXs. Damn fun to drive. A little dated by today's styling standards, but I wouldn't mind owning one.

I don't know what you'll find behind the bumper cover. Sometimes there is extra weight in the form of real steel behind the plastic bumper covers. If you can, find a parts diagram to show you what's there.

Oh, yes I am a fan of Rush, BTW.

Also, good luck and let us know how you do.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 6:18:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TodaysTomSawyer:

Originally Posted By Nephilim:

Thanks man, yeah, I'm all over the Z boards...gotten to be old news if you know what I mean. You're more than lucky to not get flamed if you don't have one of the new 350's. needless to say, I smoke those everytime I hit the the track, I 've even eat them in my old 280....they're nice but...well nevermind. I will readjust and consider making the front end lighter, I haven't considered the "crap behind the front bumper" I'll check it out tomorrow.



Yeah, the newest stuff tends to crowd the boards with excited new owners. The 350s are nice to be sure, but each generation has moved further away from the original 240 in terms of balance and luxury. The 300s like you have are one of the best styled Zs to come along.

My personal favorite is the last of the 280ZXs. Damn fun to drive. A little dated by today's styling standards, but I wouldn't mind owning one.

I don't know what you'll find behind the bumper cover. Sometimes there is extra weight in the form of real steel behind the plastic bumper covers. If you can, find a parts diagram to show you what's there.

Oh, yes I am a fan of Rush, BTW.

Also, good luck and let us know how you do.



I swapped bumpers on my 1990 Twin Turbo Z just last week! Don't remember anything that could save weight but that car is so tightly packed that you could pour a cup of water across the top of the engine bay and not a drop hit the ground...its a real knucklebuster.....Here's a website that has the online shop manual.

300zx-twinturbo.com/cgi-bin/manual.cgi



Link Posted: 9/13/2005 8:22:01 AM EDT
If you want to win, then buy what is winning.

This is true for just about any racing class that lumps multiple vehicle types together, even if they are handicapped.

Back in the day my old 81 Accord used to clean up in G-Stock. You wanted to win G-Stock, then you needed an Accord.

Right now I'm road racing motorcycles. You want to win Lightweight Supersport? Then you need a Suzuki SV650.

When I was racing big sailboats the ones with the lowest 3 or 4 handicaps in the class always won because they were out in front of the disturbed air caused by the rest of the fleet, so you needed one of those.

Let's face it. Once you reach a certain level of competition you need the genetics (in this case mechanical AND biological) as well as training and desire.
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