Sunday, June 24, 2012

A week of work

    On the cars that is.  I was on vacation from work this past week (my yearly week off for my birthday), so I was able to accomplish a decent list of things.  I wanted to prep the winter car (05 Legacy GT, since I hadn't gone over the car since I bought it back in March, and had some much needed work to do on the Evo.

     Legacy got an oil change, AVO dry panel filter, bottle of techron, tint, tinted tail light overlays and a plasti dipped (blacked out) grill.

     The evo got even more love...
      - Racing Brake slotted/firectional vane front rotors
      - Racing Brake stainless brake lines
      - Fresh brake fluid (ATE type 200...the non blue ATE)
      - Torque solutions Prop shaft bushings
      - Heat wrapped downpipe
      - Rolled rear fenders

     Rotors, lines and fluid went quick ans easy as can be expected, especially with my motive power bleeder.  All necessary nuts and bolts loosened with no trouble, which is always a nice thing.  I was lazy and only did the front SS lines since I actually wanted to not spend all day everyday working in the garage.  On some quick break in stops it became obvious that braking has changed a lot even with the same pads.  I was able to trigger ABS on hard stops with a very definite modulation point on the pedal...could make re learning the braking interesting...  The RC5+ pads have close to 3k miles on them plus 2 track days and have TONS of life left which is pretty cool.
      The prop shaft bushings have been sitting in my parts bin for almost a year.  I had expected stuck bolts and needing to drop the whole exhaust.  I was able to accomplish this easily while the downpipe was off.  No stuck bolts again...sweet.  I actually only did 3 out of 4 bushings, since one was in a pain in the ass location, and I thought maybe it would dampen any increase in NVH.  The car has always given me trouble going in to second gear at low speeds around town, almost requiring a double clutch or 3 count before attempting to put it in second.  That is now gone, along with a decent amount of the "whiplash" feeling when letting off the gas under load.  Very nice improvement.
     The heat wrap is one of those mods that I feel is essential at this point.  A 15 foot roll made it from turbo outlet to just beyond the oil pan.  I probably could have overlapped a little less, but it came out pretty well I feel.

     Rolling the rear fenders...a job I've been afraid of doing on multiple cars for many years.  With the 17x9.5's and 255's, there was question as to if I even needed to roll, and through 1000 street miles and a day at Lime Rock I didn't rub once...but i have a feeling I'm going to want bigger than 255's at some point so I may as well prepare now.  First fender went great.  Kept it hot, and got it nice and flat without any issue.  No body line distortion or paint cracking whatsoever.  Then i got bit in the ass on the other side thinking I knew what I was doing.  Using even more heat, I got a nice paint crack basically the entire length of the roll.  I think i had a bad starting angle on the roller or something.  No body distortion or anything, so I'm not that mad.  I can replace paint.

     Now, just imagine if I/you had payed $200+ to have a shop roll your fenders and they told you they cracked your paint.  How ape shit pissed would you be?  This basically proved my principal of do all the work you physically can so you only have yourself to be pissed at.

     Interesting find of the week...A cracked spacer.  While bolting everything back on after the rotor swap, I randomly looked at the spacer and found a nice large crack.  Now, there are all these arguments against spacers, but I do not feel this is a standard failure, and Ichiba feels the same.  A quick email to Touge Factory, who then forwarded my pictures to Ichiba, and I will be getting a free replacement.  I really have no idea what caused this...
spacer 3

      Evo is now resting in the garage for about a month to save some miles, since I'm quickly approaching the 60k mark (60k service).  That and I though it would be a good idea to do some real world testing on the legacy, since it's been sitting in the garage since I bought it.  So far, I really like the car, seems like a solid beast.

     Back to work tomorrow...I am SOOOOO excited.  (can you feel the sarcasm through your monitor?)

Monday, June 18, 2012

The funny part is I'm afraid of roller coasters.

     Time to try and recap another awesome day...

     I didn't get much sleep (read that as about 3 hours) since I got home from work Friday night around 11:30pm.  I still had to pack up a few things and go over the mental list, then I tried to relax and couldn't due to bullshit from work.  Long story short...fell asleep around 2am and woke up around 5am and just kinda layed in bed till about 6am.  Jumped in the shower, packed up and headed Dunkin for coffee and breakfast.  Finally hit the road for real at about 7:45am.  Got stuck behind some slow people and finally made it to the track around 10:45am.
     My dad arrived before me and staked out a spot, so with my help we quickly got the EZ-up up to have some shade.  I hit registration and tech, then went about pulling the front wheels off to check the torque on the spacers as well as what the brakes looked like.  Checked over a few other things are all systems were GO.

Cliff notes style recap:    
Session 1 - 15 minute run time.  Told myself I wasn't going to push too hard and just re learn the track and find the limits of the new tires.  Well I wound up doing none of that.  Right off the start getting on the brakes for turn 1 provided a nice shudder in the pedal, and a now expectation that the brakes were shot, and not gonna have a good day.  Had a few moments missing turn in for turn one having to stand on the brakes so hard, but rode it out and luckily it seems it was just deposits cleaning off from street driving as the judder mostly went away, and I put down a 1:12.66 lap.

Session 2 - 20 minute run rime.  With a little more confidence in my brakes I was just gonna go out and drive and practice some hot lap cool lap ratios/strategies to try and keep the brakes and tires at useful temps.  Dealt with some traffic because one of the guys thought i was a slow car and not cooling so he subsequently dive bombed me into turn 1, and i was able to ride his ass for two laps before he got the hint.  In clean air right from the green flag I layed down a 1:12.09 then 1:09.92 then a 1:08.86! NEW PERSONAL BEST!  For the rest of the session I hovered in the 1:09-1:12 range.

Session 3 - 20 minute run time.  By now I was psyched, and was planning to push it.  Did the warm up lap and then got up on the wheel and pushed (this is what you will see in the video).  In three hot laps I ran 1:08.34, 1:07.87 and then 1:07.79 for a new PERSONAL BEST.   Unfortunately the session was black flagged due to two wrecks right after I layed down three of my fastest laps

Lime rock 6-16 from Nathan Bookbinder on Vimeo.

     I know 3 spots I'm leaving time on the track.
      - I can't get the braking point/turn in point dialed in for the left hander (turn 3), even though         
        I have big bend figured out (turn 1 and 2)
      - Slowing too much for west bend
      - Need to use the downhill to 7 to my advantage. Compression=grip, and if I can run
        harder into/out of turn 7 I will lower my times

     Guys running around 1:03's claim a turn 7 exit speed of 100mph.  Early in the day i was in th elow 80's, but definitely increased that exit speed and it became very obvious the top speeds were climbing all day (best was 115.6mph) 

     Anyway...the question now stuck in my mind is, that due to the fact that i was pushing MUCH harder and the brakes showed signs of this, is it the pads, old rotors, or fluid?  I have new rotors, lines and fluid waiting to go in.  Definitely need to get my cooling ducts in now too...

Can't wait to get back to LRP and get my 1:05.xx


Friday, June 15, 2012

Some dope new stuff

     Got some new duds just in time for the race this weekend.

Very good friend of mine was heavily involved in the design the new PUMA GRC shoe comparing as well as the design of the cars.  Lucky bastard got to go hang out with Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek to show them the shoe...but hes still awesome and hooks me up.  So without further ado:

   PUMA GRC street Mid (BIG THUMBS UP to OROD on these)

Shoe side shot, plus the Alpinestars tech 1 race gloves.  The gloves are SFI with some nomex but not very high up FIA tags.  Picked up a pair last minute just to try and will probably upgrade quickly since these are a tad small.

     I'm super stoked for this weekend.  And can't wait for the pro version of the shoe to be out.

Here's some more about the project

PS - 250 views on this page and no comments??? come on people its getting lonely around here!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hangovers give you a lot of time to think

     I had a trying week at work this week, so my head has been swirling and working over time more than normal with life issues in addition to all the car stuff.  Then, last night myself and a large group of friends took a party bus to's all a little fuzzy after that...

     Swapping the o ring on the map sensor didn't solve my fuel trim issue, which sucks.  I think I finally pinpointed the spot in my AFR map that is causing a big rich dip just before peak load.  Hoping to try out a new map tonight.  Hopefully I've solved it, since I probably wont have any time to make another map before I get out on track next weekend.

     I'm on vacation next week, so I have a few maintenance things I can get done on the car.  I think I'll be ordering some Racing Brake slotted/directional vaned rotors as well as stainless lines, but I haven't decided if I'm going to put the rotors on yet or just carry them as spares for now.  The stock rotors are not showing any issues but do have all 56k miles of the cars life on them.  I need to get my cooling ducts set up which is proving difficult to plan out.  There is a good discussion going on right now between a few bigger evo time attack/time trial guys so I'm following that.  

     Off to Lime Rock again next weekend.  I'm trying my best not to think about lap times, but its tough.  I think that just by not having to deal with the running around to the classroom as well as a lot less anxiety in the realm of what to expect from the day/car/myself that I will be more relaxed and as a result faster.  I keep randomly watching my video from last time, and there are some very obvious spots to take a different line.

   I still need to figure out what to do about tire pressures for the RS3's...thats kind of important I think.

                                               I can't freakin wait for next weekend