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Old 08-20-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
JusticePete
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thank you very much for the tips!!!! should help out alot in the near future. especially for me. i have never driven *that hard* as i haven't been on an open enough closed course to test my limits.. but going in there for the first time knowing these things should make it more of a sense to me!
I forgot the most important mod. Get a GoPro HD. So you can post your runs in this thread. No video? Didn't happen. Be sure to join us at Camaro5 Fest IV for the Camsro cross!
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #16
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I forgot the most important mod. Get a GoPro HD. So you can post your runs in this thread. No video? Didn't happen. Be sure to join us at Camaro5 Fest IV for the Camsro cross!
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #17
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...Look where you want to go, not at what you don't want to hit. Hands follow eyes, car follows hands . . . and this is good advice for all of your driving, actually.
no doubt!

Oh, and don't forget to smile. AutoX is so much fun. You can make you LT scream through the twisties after a while.... I know.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:46 AM   #18
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Norm,

Did you know we occasionally make a mistake and cast parts in SCCA Black ;-)
Didn't know there was such a color (but I might personally like it a little better than yellow even though it doesn't matter at all at this point in time). Then again, I'm also under the impression that things like air and very soft foam count as nonmetallic material.


Norm,
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:35 PM   #19
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Without getting into worries about modifications that move you up in class, one of the autocrossers' mantras is "seat time, tires/wheels, everything else".

I'm not trying to step on anybody's toes here, not yours or those of any vendors.

Seat time
You're almost certainly guilty of "overdriving". Entering a course feature too hot, or starting your braking too late/holding it too long is an absolute guarantee that you'll find understeer.

For slaloms, you need to be aware that you cannot crank the steering wheel from position to position in zero time. If I had to guess, I'd say it takes at least half a second, during which time the car has travelled at least 20 feet. Meaning that you'd have to get your steering started about 20 feet sooner, or visibly before you reach the next cone you're trying to get past. This takes practice, some confidence that it will actually take this time, and a little co-ordination between what you're doing and what the car needs. When you take an instructed course walk and the instructor mentions "getting on the back side of the cone", this is what he's getting at. If you wait until you get to each slalom cone before starting to steer, you're LATE. And you'll thereafter be playing catch-up (unsuccessfully), you'll be slow and probably plowing.

You absolutely need to turn all of the nannies OFF. They aren't there to make you better at driving hard, only to help protect the street-driving morons against their own incompetence, and they do this by insisting on understeer (the average driver tends to either "freeze" or worse, do exactly the wrong thing, when faced with oversteer).

Look where you want to go, not at what you don't want to hit. Hands follow eyes, car follows hands . . . and this is good advice for all of your driving, actually.

On a really good run, you'll frequently feel that you aren't really "stuck down". That's off in your future, though.


Tires/wheels
For now, or at least until you invest in a set of higher performance tires (see class rules for limitations), tire pressure adjustments are what you have available. A little more front tire pressure will make the car turn in (get your turning started) better. A little front to rear tire pressure "stagger" with the rear tires at lower pressure may help get the car to 'rotate', or actually get pointed in the new direction better, and tend to give you a little extra margin against power-on oversteere on corner exit. You'll have to experiment with this.

Everything else
You're best off NOT modifying the car right away, beyond a more performance-oriented alignment. Learn how to drive it at this new level first, which will give you a better idea just what it is you want to fix about its handling (and you'll have had a chance to separate your own driver errors out from the clutter). Learn what different mods do.

If you're trying to stay in a specific class - be careful about what you do to modify your car, or you might find yourself running directly against far more heavily modified cars. But if you're just in it for the experience, or have other criteria such as taking in road course track days or just want to mod for your street use and autocross it wherever it falls, don't worry about this part too much.


Pete and Apex have both made good suggestions. If you even think you might get serious about this, having a few adjustments available (such as for stabilizer bars and shocks/struts) can help you upgrade the car to suit you as you grow as a driver.



Norm
Thank you Norm.
-I will certainly agree that I was "over driving" in a few spots of the course. That is interesting what you say about turning before the cone to make the cone. I totaly know what that means. My slower entry into the slalom section always ended better than the faster entry laps.
-I do have 4 more points that I can use before the next class as right now I am just barely into the prepair class. As a side note I am not into Auto cross to compete. Just make the lap as quick as I can. Compete against myself.
-I think I had the tire pressure perfect just a bit hotter on the inside than outside. Checked with temp gun.
-I think I would have been much better with the nannies turn off. Just didn't have the guts to try it until my last pass.

I thank you all for the tips so far.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #20
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The best advice given was more Seat Time, before other mods...and remember, sometimes slower is faster...too fast means sliding, sliding means slower times in most cases...unfortunately I like to slide, so often sacrifice a better time...Have fun...
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #21
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There is some good advice on here,as said before seat time then work your way into the mods.Have any questions give us a call.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:20 PM   #22
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I'd get an extra set of wheels and some 285 all around (So you don't trash your street tires) and get a performance alignment, not so much camber that you burn through tires off the track but enough to improve the turn-in characteristics. An then lots of seat time.

Remember...Smooth is fast!

P.S. A little trail braking never hurts
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #23
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Front

Camber -1.1
Toe 0.00
Caster Not Adjustable from the Factory

Rear
Camber 0.00 to -0.50
Toe IN 0.10
Total Toe 0.20
Will these work for a DD?

-Funk
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Old 08-25-2012, 03:32 PM   #24
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Those look like the "performance street" specs, so as long as your normal, everyday driving tends to be just a little more enthusiastic through the corners than that of average traffic you should be fine.

But if your normal cornering is significantly more aggressive still, or if you're frequently attending autocross or track day events, you might well want something somewhere between the performance street and race settings. It is possible to still get even tire tread wear, but you pretty much have to drive harder a lot more of the time.


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Old 08-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the tips and new questions from others.

Think I will drop the car an inch mainly for looks and when I do the alignment go for something a bit more agressive say a full race alignment. I work at a tire shop so tires are kinda cheap for me if they where off quick.

In those regaurds I drive a ton of interstate...will a race alignment just burn them off even running straight down the highway? Sadly I dont have an alignment rack at our shop.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:06 PM   #26
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The interstate will kill your tires with a real aggressive alignment, better off picking a middle ground alignment.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:47 PM   #27
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The interstate will kill your tires with a real aggressive alignment, better off picking a middle ground alignment.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:37 AM   #28
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With mostly highway driving but without autocross, "performance street" settings would be entirely appropriate as long as there's at least a little "enthusiasm" in your cornering.

With autocross included, it becomes a bit different of a balance between wearing the inner shoulders a little more rapidly in your normal driving and beating up the outer ones running through the cones. Depending on how much autocrossing is envisioned, performance street to maybe -1.3° front camber should be good for starters.

It is entirely possible to DIY alignments without a commercial rack - at least as long as the car's chassis itself is straight and square. Understanding how to get the angular measurements, having the patience to do so carefully and methodically, and understanding some of the things that could cause inaccuracy are the keys. The rest is just wrench-work. Been doing all mine in my nice, flat driveway for about 30 years now.


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Last edited by Norm Peterson; 08-27-2012 at 06:22 AM.
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