Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break: more car, less tits same amount of beer edition

     I finally consumed enough beer to be able to sit down and write tonight.  Unfortunately, I have to start off with a rant, I apologize in advance.

     For those who don't follow closely, on basically a yearly basis I take a vacation from work in March, call it cliche or whatever but it's sort of my spring break, and allows me to do a bunch of work on my cars and as of the past two years has been my sort of season prep time.  This year I added moving into my vacation.  I've lived in a small expensive apartment in the city for a little over 2 years now, and while certainly nice, it was pricey for what it was and the parking situation sucked.  I always search listings/craigslist as does my mom, and back in December we ran across a condo listed.  Fast forward to February and I sign the lease to rent a 2 bed/1.5 bath condo with a garage and ample parking in the burbs from a young professional couple who bought a house.    
     Now is the part where I lost it.  I used the first two days of my vacation (this past weekend) to move, which promised about as much fun as getting kicked in the balls.  Long story short, things go semi smoothly, but when I get to the condo it is straight up GRIMEY, like they never mopped, just moved the dirt around or some shit.  every cabinet and shelf is gross, all walls/molding need repaintig in my opinion.  So whatever, I rushed them to let me move in.  Next day, go out for breakfast, come back, and I'm locked out...come to find out pretty much every lock in the house has a different key including the damn front door knob and deadbolt, and the garage door opener took a shit on me...WTF.

     How, as a young professional couple with money do you live like this?  I mean I get that they probably said fuck it were moving...but c'mon man.  So now I'm gonna have to replace multiple door knobs to get them properly functioning and on the same key, and hang a new garage door opened...the landlord has proven that his DIY skills are terrible...but I won't get into that.

     Let's get to the car.  This week my main goal was to get my gauges installed as well as my Ohlins coilovers.  Took me a rediculous 2 hours to do my gauge install even not having to do any wiring, this is gonna go well...

     So, I decide to at least do the rear coilovers the same day in case I run into any bad bolts etc.  All bolts come out easily, but this is what I find:
     I know what you're thinking, "Nate you suck, how did you kill that bolt???".  The asnwer is I didn't, that is either a factory defect ORRRRR (revert to rant mode).  The shocks and springs on the car were installed by the previous owner.  Either he put this bolt back in with a 1000ft/lb air gun OR he saw this and decided to re use it.  I HATE IMCOMPETENCE.  It's just a major kill you if it breaks suspension biggie.  Apparently the dumbass has never heard of anti seize either...

     Onto the front, drivers side goes ok, passenger front not so much.  2 days, multiple heat sessions and lots of hammering later, the seized camber bolt was out. So there you have it, it took me 3 days to install coilovers (insert facepalm here).

     I had hoped to put some shifter bushings and diff bushings on the suby, but didn't get to that.  Same with my oil pressure sensor, and kiggly HLA.  Oh well.

      OH, I did grow a beard though.

     Car goes off for an alignment tomorrow.  -2.8 camber front with zero toe, -1.5 camber rear with 1/16th total toe to counteract the possible over steer i might get from having seized end links and not being able to adjust the rear bar softer...I picked up a Smart Camber gauge for cheap off eBay, but I feel like I should at least get a baseline and only trust myself to make adjustments from there.

     Looking forward, officially registered for Lime Rock on 4/13 and NJMP lightning with NASA in May.  Let the fun begin!


Friday, March 1, 2013

The green flag waves, and were underway...

     Well, the first event of the season has come and gone...and what a great event it was.  The event was put on by a group of guys known as PCD aka Philadelphia's classiest drunkards, a large group of guys who all track their evo's.  They had the first event last year as a season kickoff/warmup and had a great turn out, so luckily they decided to do it again this year.
     I went down to my parents house and prepped the car the weekend before, fluids, brake pads etc, nothing crazy.  Trailered down to the track next weekend, and after that it's pretty much a blur at this point.  

     I spent most of the week leading up the event staring at the lame weather forecast, as the midwest got dumped on with didn't look good.  Everyone kept saying a rainy track day is the best thing you can ever do, but of course that's hard to believe.  I was bummed, but finally accepted the forecast, and damn did my attitude change after the first session on track.  I know understand, and would recommend to ANYONE to do a wet track day if you can.  I learned exponential amounts about my cars handling and how to be smooooothe (learned that the hard way...see below).  When the speeds are lowered by rain you are given all kinds of time to concentrate on exactly what the car is doing and how it is reacting to every little input.

This is what happens when you are not smooth:

     I got on the power way to early and hard and went right around.  

     Don't have much to say, other than to reiterate my big thanks to the guys who put on this event, and that I hope i get to hang out track side with them many more times.

on to the video:

and here's a little teaser of whats to come:

Yes, those are ohlins...and yes, I'm a baller (I would never have bought these if I hadn't gotten the SMOKIN deal I did from one of the PCD guys who switched to something else).  Running hyperco springs in the generic and well accepted evo rates of 8k/10k.  Will add more camber up front and see how awesome the car becomes.  I have some other thing in the pipeline I'll talk about later...

Back to iRacing for awhile....