So its been a good while since i posted a blog entry. Quite a bit has happened so ill run through it all as best as I can, it'll be a shorter one in preparation for a longer one coming shortly after.
Firstly, I sold the tow rig and bought a Futura trailer. Tow beast was awesome, I loved it.. but I really wanted to get a trailer that I could load not having to totally disassemble the CRX's front end. The only solution that i saw was to spend the $$$ and get a lowering trailer. My particular model is the 'Supercar' that includes 4 inches of extra width which enables me to load with the splitter on. I also sprung for the wench option and outer track to make the tie down process much quicker and easier.
Now, with this new trailer, I don't need race ramps and can have the car fully assembled on the ground to strapped down on the trailer ready to go in about 10 mins taking my time.
This is especially nice after a long weekend in the sun when you don't feel like spending 30min strapping a car down. I basically now just wench it on and do 4 pre-sized straps and done. It also tows so nice a quiet that i fully forget its back there. last couple trips I got 15 MPG towing with my GX470 v8, thats pretty great!
My next event since the last post was going to be Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for the Narita Dogfight Attack Challenge. It was held during a vtec-club weekend and would be run in a special session as a shootout style attack event. I didn't do many changes to the car from the last event except some basic maintenance.
I showed up midday on Saturday for the Sunday event to run a session and get myself re antiquated with the track. I unloaded the car and was on track in a feeler session a half an hour after pulling in. It was the heat of the day and I was just warming up but i still managed to run a 1:57.2- a really really quick time and about a second faster than my previous PB. I knew that the AM session the next day would be the golden time to put one down. I made some small changes and was ready for the timed session the next morning.
|Loving the new red|
|106 MPH corner, chassis looking controlled.|
The next morning I got on track in the beginning of the very first session I noticed it was sandy from the wind the previous night. I worked on my shift points and waited for the other cars to blow the majority of the sand off of the surface before I went for a real flier. I ended up running a 1:56 flat on lap 5. This ended up being the fastest time for a FWD car around Chuckwalla raceway... NA or Forced induction. I was totally stoked that the car had worked so well and I had accomplished a goal of mine for this iteration of the cars build. Later in the day as the temps rose the track got a bit slower and in the timed session for the NDF challenge i was able to secure a second place behind a v6 swapped Miata with aero. Really, the car just needs more power and it would be unstoppable.
|AIM data for the record.|
After getting home I decided to do what i could to try and reduce drag even more. I made up some spats for the front wheels out of carbon that i riv-nutted to the inner fender wells.
These should help reduce a bit of drag on the front end. Every little bit helps.
A couple weekends later I was back at Chuckwalla for a CCW event that was also an HFF challenge weekend. I loaded up the car like before and made the drive out.
Weather was much cooler and calm, pretty much idea conditions for Chuckwalla raceway, if only it was like this year round.
Learning from the previous event I made some small changes and put on a new set of tires. This time out the first session on track I took a full second off of the record and my previous PB and ran 1:55's back to back to back... Best being a 1:55.1 on official timing. AIM showed a 1:55.2 and my Hotlap app with Garmen booster showed a 1:54.9. I really felt like I was coming to grips with the car and was able to drive full session and really figure out where to make improvements on my line or shifting points. There was maybe 3-4 tenths left in it if I was able to run a golden lap but i was extremely happy with how the car was reacting. With more power I'm totally sure i can get down to the very low 50's. Exciting. lateral G's on the banking are already 2.4G's sustained. Thats just crazy in a production car form the 80's and i started to worry about the chassis pulling itself apart. This is something that I want to try and head off before it happens.
Check out the video, Flat entry into the bowl is fkn terrifying.
After bringing the car home from Chuckwalla I had a few weeks until I was going to run Narita Dogfight Attack Challenge again at Buttonwillow raceway. It had been a while since driving the CRX at BW and really had my sights set on getting the 1:53 lap. I knew it was very possible with the right conditions but it would all depend on a bunch of stuff coming together perfectly at the right time. After the last few events I was in talks with a few people and was starting to formulate plans to address the power issues of the car. I could have done it with B series but it was pretty clear for reliability and TQ numbers i wanted to run Id be much better considering a K swap into the car. After the last few events I had pretty much settled on the swap and was already gathering parts (ill go into this further in later posts). Knowing this would be probably one of the last events I was going to run with the B-series i wanted to see what it was capable of around the benchmark track in socal.
In preperation I re-weighted and aligned the car and added some small tweaks to the underside and splitter.
Air deflectors in front of the rear wheel well.
Some fences on the engine belly pan.
And some sealing on the bumper to splitter transition.
I didnt get any picture of the event myself but theres a video of the attack challenge here-
Early on in the day I started to have transmission trouble which on the last corner costed me my low 1:53 predicted lap. It was super frustrating to have a mechanical issue hold me back from what would have been another goal I had for the car, but that's how this goes. I was able to hold the broken transmission together long enough to run the NSF attack session and place second behind the same v6 powered Miata as i did at Chuckwalla.
|Cool awards from the NDF Challenge|
Now that I was home from the event and the transmission was toast knew I wouldn't be driving it on track anymore as a B series for sure. I decided to pull the car apart for the next phase.
I took out the stock b18 motor that had kicked so much ass for all this time.
I also started to completely stripped down the interior for some new cage work and what will be a full rewire and layout.
Also, in preparation for going back to fabrication and in the vein of weight savings I decided to finally remove all of the under coating off of the car. I had put doing this off forever but now was a good of a time as any.
As well as removing the coating I removed the seam sealer so that I could have the chassis stitch welded for additional rigidity and keep it from pulling itself apart with the new motor power.
This is always a HUGE pain in the ass to do and every time I do it I swear it will be my last time.
Underside was the absolute WORST. I cant thing of a dirtier job to do on a car.
Each section took me at lead 4-5 hours to do over the course of a week or so.
The rear especially sucked with all the awkward curves and contours.
But I really think stitching and reinforcing the control arm points will pay off in the end for stability and chassis longevity.
After a week and a half of laying under a car with a torch, facemask, full tyvex and a corded drill I had burnt and scraped the whole bottom. After collecting what i could and putting it in a bag I weighted the soot and ashes that came off and found that this alone was about 15lbs. Actual on-the-car weight was probably more like 35-40 lbs as most rubberized material burnt into soot and smoke while blasting it with a torch.
Next step was to rearrange some corner balance where i could. The new motor was going to be a bit heavier than the B18 so i would do well to spread the weight further out towards the back. I looked into my notes and found my previous corner weight specs. I saw that the overall balance could be helped by moving everything i could to the rear of the car.
To this end I moved the battery, fire suppression system and some wiring as they are the heaviest movable things. This of course means that ill eventually need to re-plumb and rewire everything for the new locations which is worth it when looking to improve mechanical grip.
You may also notice that with the new motor im deciding to make the jump into the 21st century and use the latest technology. That being said I have picked up some solid state battery kills that will go along with the Cartek motorsports PDM. This means, instead of fuses and relays ill be able to run the car with smart electronics for a much cleaner and efficient install. I'll get more into this as i get further along in the build, but suffice to say this stuff is super trick and im excited to get started.
Next thing I needed to do was figure out what interior layout I would move forward with. I'll be reusing nothing from the previous builds wiring in this version, including gauges and dash set up.
After installing the new shifter box and reinstalling the seat I was able to rough out where i'd want to put the new PDM driver interface.
After planning out where it should go I decided to make a false floor that will hold the ECU and PDM module and be the central hub for the wiring that i'll need to make.
To do this I started with creating a cardboard template that I would then transfer over to some aerospace grade carbon sandwich plate I have. This stuff is not cheap so I refined the template over and over until I got the shape fit just right.
I then laid it out on the carbon fiber plate and carefully cut it.
Turned out pretty much perfect. Running this removable false floor will allow me to build and wire the majority of the stuff outside the car then transfer it all into the car with wiring attached and simply plug everything in.
I then created a template of a holder that I am going to have made in dry carbon. It will house the PDM and master kill switch. This will all be accessible while i'm strapped into the drivers seat and raised to stay outside of any water that may pool on the floor. This carbon piece is already being built and im excited to get it and start to get further along on the fitting.
That's pretty much all for now on the CRX there is quite a bit of things that need to happen in order to move this thing along. Unfortunately I am waiting on some other stuff to finish first before i'm able to continue the build. It shouldn't be too too long but well see how that goes. I already have a literal storage unit full of parts waiting to go and cant wait to get started.