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Old 06-13-2016, 09:50 AM   #1
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Autocrossing Adventure w/ the 1LE

I've probably taken the least efficient path to autocross ever by driving a bunch of random cars over a short period of time.

tl;dr on below. Tried autocrossing a couple of cars. Was not happy until I got the 1LE Camaro. The Camaro is a keeper.

Car History:

2013: Infiniti G37S. My first event was in an Infiniti G37 w/ Sport Package. I tired autocross 1 month before I was set the return the car to Infiniti. I just replaced the rear tires with the cheapest crap I could find so I was sliding all over the place. This car actually could have been a good platform to learn on. Too bad I got it on a 24 month lease so had to return it pretty quickly.


2014: BMW ActiveHybrid 3. This is a BMW 335i but with a battery pack and electric motors. This was a tester car for BMW before they got into electric cars. Because BMW didn't spend much time testing it, it only came with the base suspension option. Pushed like crazy everywhere. I was still learning to drive as well. Braked way too deep for such a heavy car. This was an OK car to learn on. Did a lease transfer in a year and gave it to someone else after I got tired of it. When I owned this car, I was bit by the detailing bug. Learned about proper washing technique, how to use a DA, claying and all the different types of products out there for the paint, trim, wheels, tires, leather, etc.


2015: Fiat 500 Abarth. This car was an adventure. Before this car, I never owned a wrench or knew how to change my own oil. Mods for the car were cheap so I started small (Intake, Tune). Got bit by the mod bug pretty bad. Started by learning how to change my own oil then graduated to coilovers, brakes, exhaust, torque mounts, blow off valves, swapped the rear sway bar at least 6 times with different prototypes. By the end of it, the transmission was cracked open to install a LSD. On a FWD car, it is no small feat. Every component on the Abarth was modified by the time I was done. This car was a pretty decent learning platform. Only issue was that I was always tweaking something or the other and focused more on the car than driver mod. While owning this car, I really got bit by the autocross bug and wanted something different. Something competitive in the SCCA street classes, something unique (aka not Miata, Focus ST, FRS/BRZ, etc.) and something beast-mode.


Also 2015: BMW Z4. Got this car as a weekend cruiser. Purposely picked the smallest engine in BMW's line up because it was significantly lighter and had a better center of gravity. It was small, RWD and agile. Was able to snag top 8 during a BMWCCA Top Driver Shootout event my first event in the car on stock tires and in the wet. Competition-wise in SCCA though, it would never be able to succeed in B street class against the C5 Corvette.


2016: Camaro 1LE. I started eyeing the Camaro at the end of 2014. Went through the SCCA National autocross results for inspiration on my next car. When Chevrolet had their 20% sale in November 2015, in one day I reached out to a dealer (FH Dailey) that had one in stock + 20% off and bought it. Traded in the Abarth the next week after de-modding. So far, I've been ridiculously impressed that Chevy put out this package straight from the factory. Grip: Amazing. Power: Strong. Suspension: Predictable. Tire temps show that the setup is very balanced and neutral (tires front and rear are same temp after a run).


Of course every car has its issues and this car's is clearly weight. The car will not let you stomp on the brakes and cheat using ABS. The tires will give up before that happens.

I think though, this time I've finally found a keeper to autocross for several years instead of just a season. Looking forward to joining the Camaro community and developing the car for autocross.

Started with an alignment, better tires and a better air filter.

Next step is 19" wheels + tires. And of course a ton of driver mod and seat time.

Last edited by nilfinite; 06-21-2016 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:50 AM   #2
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Autocrossing Adventure w/ the 1LE

Modifications:
Air Filter: K&N Filter
Pedals: Heel-Toe Gas Pedal

All else stock.

Mods up for consideration:
Sway Bar Bushings
Brake Pads
Seats for Recaros
Struts

Fluids:
Motor Oil: Mobil 1 5W-30 EP
Brake Fluid: ATE TYP 200 DOT 4
Transmission Fluid: Stock

Alignment:
Front: -2.3 camber, 5.4-5.6 caster, 0 toe
Rear: -1.4 camber, 1/16 total toe out

Wheels & Tires:
20" 1LE/ZL1 Wheels + 285/35/20 Hankook RS3 Tires

Tire Pressures:
Front: 31-33 psi hot
Rear: 33-35 psi hot

Range depends on length of course and ambient temperature. Still testing with a tire pyrometer.

Data Acquisition:
Device: iPhone 6S
Application: Harry's Lap Timer
GPS: Dual XGPS160
OBD: PLX Kiwi 3 or GoPoint BT1

Event Checklist:
Helmet
Magnetic Numbers
Painters Tape
Tech Items (+ Portable Battery)
Tire Inflator (VIAIR 85P)
Tire Pressure Gauge (Joes Racing Tire Pressure Gauge)
Tire Repair Kit (Safety Seal)
Tire Pyrometer (Joes Racing Pyrometer w/ Adjustable Probe)
Torque Wrench, Breaker Bar & Sockets (Harbor Freight)

Planned Calendar:
6/25: SFR SCCA @ Marina
6/26: PCA LPR @ Marina
7/2: AAS @ Crows Landing
7/3: AAS @ Crows Landing
7/9: GGLC @ Marina
7/21: SCCA Track Night in America @ Thunderhill West
7/30: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
7/31: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
8/13: BMWCCA @ Marina
8/14: GGLC @ Marina
8/20: AAS @ Crows Landing
8/21: AAS @ Crows Landing
8/27: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
8/28: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
9/10: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
9/11: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
10/15: AAS @ Crows Landing
10/16: AAS @ Crows Landing
11/5: BMWCCA Top Driver Shootout @ Marina
11/6: GGLC @ Marina
12/17: BMWCCA @ Marina

Last edited by nilfinite; 06-21-2016 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:56 AM   #3
Retro69

 
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Drives: 2011 2SS M6 Synergy Green
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Morgan, UT
Posts: 1,159
Okay.... You've peaked my curiosity. Subscribed


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Old 06-13-2016, 10:12 AM   #4
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Went to one of the more legit autocross events in the Bay Area the past weekend: American Autocross Series + SF SCCA joint event. A bunch of national champions were there including Heitkotter, Teddie, Fraiser. Some really good competition. I let the top 2 drivers in FS drive a lap in my car because their M3 broke down.

Was really interesting to get their perspective on M3 vs Camaro. They were surprised there wasn't much power-on oversteer. They also were surprised about less power coming out of a dig (~30 mph). Really impressed by the torque and not having to shift out of 2nd gear lol. We hit the top of 2nd gear only once. Other cars had to shift to 3rd 3 different times on the course.

I have 285/35/20 RS3s on stock 1LE wheels because I couldn't wait the time for custom-spec 19" wheels to arrive. It's good to learn on the RS3s and be consistently 2 seconds behind the winners on their cheater RE-71R tires :P

With more driver mod and RE-71R tires, planning on closing the gap

Definitely learned the lesson Corsaro was telling me on tires and wheels. The car is geared way too tall for autocross. Need improve the car's ability to come out of a dig (~30 mph on 2nd gear) on the turnarounds.

On the look out for new 19" wheels to match the 305/30/19 RE-71Rs that are going to be released after August this year. That'll bring down the top speed in 2nd gear from 77 mph to 73 mph. I wish could bring it even lower but limited by the 19" wheels and tire options out there.

The top of 2nd for the e92 M3 w/ ZCP (275/35/18 RE-71R tires; won FS in 2015) is 68 mph.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:04 AM   #5
SteveZ28
 
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Drives: 2015 1LE SIM 2SS/RS AYZ NAV NPP
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Reno, eNVy
Posts: 513
Subbed! I love a good 1LE AutoX thread/build.

Where you at in the Bay Area? I grew up in San Jose and have been in Reno for 15 years. Have you come across the NorCal 5th gen Camaro group yet?
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:03 PM   #6
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Autocrossing Adventure w/ the 1LE

So far impressions of the RS3 is that they like to be colder than I expected. I've always read that the Hankooks like heat.

What they probably meant is that the RS3 need at least 1 run to get up to temp. The RE-71R is good from the very first run.

I found the Hankooks a little bit greasy when the tire temp is 140+ degrees after a run. Tires were very happy at 110 degrees post-run.

Even so, the RS3 is much better than than the stock Goodyears. With the Goodyears, the rear would step out every single time I hit the gas on corner exit. The RS3 refuses to step out.

Last edited by nilfinite; 06-14-2016 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:17 PM   #7
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveZ28 View Post
Subbed! I love a good 1LE AutoX thread/build.

Where you at in the Bay Area? I grew up in San Jose and have been in Reno for 15 years. Have you come across the NorCal 5th gen Camaro group yet?

Thanks for the subs guys. I live and work all over the Bay Area but aiming to make as many Crows Landing, CA events as possible. I have family in East Bay so it's not too difficult to make those.

Haven't gotten involved with the NorCal Camaro group yet but I'm a member. Lots of good content on there.

Actually meeting quite a few Camaro5 forum members in person at these AX events.

Saw 3 other gen 5 Camaros last weekend. A Yellow SS with 1LE track pack (on Camaro5), a silver SS with roll cage and another white SS.

Two weeks ago met another guy with a white 1LE that is active on the Facebook group.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Autocrossing Adventure w/ the 1LE



Here is why I really love data acquisition. After I let the other guys drive my car, I got to compare driving styles. To get really fast, I need a fellow co-driver so that we can push each other and compare styles.

Using this chart (I'm the red line and the chart on the back shows how the gray line is doing relative to the red line), it is very clear I could have gained 1 second by entering the slalom better. The car is capable of slaloming in the mid 50s but I'm bringing the car down to the 40s. Gotta trust the car.

Had another .3 second available if I take a better line through the increasing radius turn (2nd turnaround). Don't need to slow down as much and can accelerate earlier.

Last edited by nilfinite; 06-15-2016 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
JusticePete
5th Gen Master Builder

 
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Drives: Camaro Justice
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 18,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by nilfinite View Post
Modifications:
Air Filter: K&N Filter
Pedals: Heel-Toe Gas Pedal

Potential to be changed:
Sway Bar Bushings
Brake Pads
Seats for Recaros

All else stock.

Fluids:
Motor Oil: Mobil 1 5W-30 EP
Brake Fluid: ATE TYP 200 DOT 4
Transmission Fluid: Stock

Alignment:
Front: -2.3 camber, 5.4-5.6 caster, 0 toe
Rear: -1.4 camber, 1/16 total toe

Wheels & Tires:
20" 1LE/ZL1 Wheels + 285/35/20 Hankook RS3 Tires

Tire Pressures:
Front: 31-33 psi hot
Rear: 33-35 psi hot

Range depends on length of course and ambient temperature. Still testing with a tire pyrometer.

Data Acquisition:
Device: iPhone 6S
Application: Harry's Lap Timer
GPS: Dual XGPS160
OBD: PLX Kiwi 3 or GoPoint BT1

Event Checklist:
Helmet
Magnetic Numbers
Painters Tape
Tech Items (+ Portable Battery)
Tire Inflator (VIAIR 85P)
Tire Pressure Gauge (Joes Racing Tire Pressure Gauge)
Tire Repair Kit (Safety Seal)
Tire Pyrometer (Joes Racing Pyrometer w/ Adjustable Probe)
Torque Wrench, Breaker Bar & Sockets (Harbor Freight)

Planned Calendar:
6/25: Reno SCCA PDX @ Thunderhill West
7/2: AAS @ Crows Landing
7/3: AAS @ Crows Landing
7/9: GGLC @ Marina
7/21: SCCA Track Night in America @ Thunderhill West
7/30: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
7/31: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
8/13: BMWCCA @ Marina
8/14: GGLC @ Marina
8/20: AAS @ Crows Landing
8/21: AAS @ Crows Landing
8/27: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
8/28: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
9/10: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
9/11: Sacramento SCCA @ San Joaquin Fairgrounds
10/15: AAS @ Crows Landing
10/16: AAS @ Crows Landing
Is your rear toe IN?
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:20 PM   #10
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
Is your rear toe IN?
Why do you ask that? Due to the lack of oversteer? Here are the results of my latest alignment.

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Old 06-15-2016, 01:22 PM   #11
JusticePete
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Drives: Camaro Justice
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 18,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by nilfinite View Post
Why do you ask that? Due to the lack of oversteer? Here are the results of my latest alignment.

The attachment is not showing
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:24 PM   #12
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Here is another try.
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:28 PM   #13
JusticePete
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Drives: Camaro Justice
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 18,074
The rear toe out makes the rear loose. Set the rear toe IN 0.12 per side. Total Rear Toe IN 0.24 IN 1/32
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Old 06-15-2016, 02:06 PM   #14
nilfinite
 
Drives: Camaro 1LE
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
The rear toe out makes the rear loose. Set the rear toe IN 0.12 per side. Total Rear Toe IN 0.24 IN 1/32
Thanks for the great recommendation. I realize what you mean now. I should have set it to toe in instead of toe out. That is a big reason why the rear won't kick out at all. I should I'll try it out on the next alignment. I'm pretty happy with the front alignment specs.

I'm not certain yet if I want to rear to be a little loose or extremely loose. I find that Autocross guys generally like their oversteer and the track guys prefer the car to be neutral.

Guessing the car is going to drive very different once I get the RE-71R so probably going to wait until I get those tires to do another alignment tweak.

Last edited by nilfinite; 06-15-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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