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Initial D World - Discussion Board / Forums > Automotive Discussion > Enter the Rx8


Posted by: Grappler Apr 18 2014, 07:17 PM
So I decided to very quickly get back into the rotary game. The FC is still undergoing to major engine bay surgery and doesn't really have many frills/niceties left on it anymore.

So been I've been driving the brokeswagon aka a VW golf with the coil pack eating 1.8t in the mean time. It was/is on its last legs at 208k decided it was time for a new daily. Its sort of turned itself into a project car and Itís been a fun car but very much full of its quirks that I wish to never deal with again.

Enter the RX8 I wanted something RWD/AWD under 15k that I could Auto-X HPDE and cruise some of the Alphabet roads in. Realistically that left me with a few options I'm not really for domestic vehicles so that took out a few options. Locally that left a few choices G35s MR-S Evo/Sti 350z and a few BMW/Audis and the RX8 still on the list.

I didn't want another VAG car so that bumped Audi off the list in short order. All of the Evo/Sti vehicles that I ever see are usually beaten within an inch of their lives and then returned to stock to be sold to the next victim. The M3/M5 BMWs that I was finding looked promising until I realized the now 12-13k car had parts are still priced for a 40k-50k car. $2000 for a Vanos solenoid no thanks you. The G35 is basically a fatter plusher version of the 350z and I wasn't really a huge fan of the ones I have ridden in or driven. I've owned an AW11 before and the MR-S while reminiscent of the AW11 just didn't do anything for me.

Of course this basically leaves the Rx8. Itís really hard to look at the RX8 and not immediately compare it to the RX7. The difference in Power the extra doors it all seems so very wrong. I was lucky enough that a pair of them were at my local Mazda dealership. I will freely admit I had some reservations until I got into the car and started it. I very quickly got over the extra doors and the back seats and remembered why I loved the rotary power plant. The power band, the smooth acceleration, and awesome handling were very much present in the RX8. Upon the conclusion of the test drive I realized what Mazda was trying to do with the RX8 and immediately regretted anything negative I have said about them before. The nice interior heated leather seats fancy sound system. It was so very tame and yet still fun. A more mature older half sister of the RX7 and I had to have one. I immediately put down a deposit and proceeded to the bank to get the rest. A full 2 days later and I am loving every minute of it.

Anyways if you scrolled this far down and bothered reading what must look like those awful erotica novels except instead of talking about naughty bits. Itís instead about leather interiors what is underneath the bonnet. Then I applaud you. Since this thread is useless without pics please see below.

Photo of the Brokeswagon courtesy of Spaz.

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And of course here is the RX8 I picked up Spaz also took these photos. Its pretty much stock although I do have a sneaking suspicion it has at the very least an AP tune as Redline is higher than it should be.

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Posted by: Mazda ina Ford guy Apr 18 2014, 09:58 PM
My personal opinion of the RX8: I actually like the body, sexy, without being overstated, surprisingly functional, despite its size (thanks to the half doors), above average interior fit, finish and quality of materials (for Mazda) with lots of "inside" references, note the rotors in the floor mats, and various other locations, seriously count them, their fucking EVERYWHERE!

On to the power train. The linear close ratio six speed is great, very intuitive, almost fool proof to correctly select the proper gear. No complaints about the chassis, well balanced (thanks to the nearly mid chassis location of the lightweight engine), solid brake feel with only moderate fade under most conditions.

Now for the only "issue" I have with the RX8, the engine. As with all rotorys you get NO power below 5k, I mean none, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to boggsville. Sure you can snap shift down two or three gears, but that gets old quickly on your daily comute (or maybe I'm getting old). This car is just begging for boost, maybe 8 psi or so, would solve every thing I find lacking in the RX8.

Just my opinions Grappler. I hope you find that your new purchase is tonnes of fun and sexy good times.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ]

Posted by: sideways Apr 19 2014, 01:54 AM
Very nice new toy you have there sir. The amount of "bad" things ive heard about the rx8s in general is a very very small list in comparison the the amount of praise ive heard for the cars. I can only assume there is a reason most owners tend to love them.

Any plans for any mods? I know you said itll remain a daily, but if you plan to have fun in it like you expressed, it wouldnt surprise me if a few things changed

Posted by: Spaz Apr 19 2014, 06:46 AM
He'll mod it, the bug will bite eventually because that's just how it works.

I haven't driven or ridden in it, but it sounds and looks good so that's as much approval as I can give at the moment.

Though admittedly, it has the exact trans as the NC Miata, and I have logged a bit of time in my father's. I will parrot how nice the gearbox feels, and while I feel like the gears are too short on the Miata, revving to OVER NINE THOUSAND is likely the perfect fix for that.

Posted by: Grappler Apr 19 2014, 07:13 AM
While a turbo kit would be super fun I think this car is going to stay N/a for quite a while. The FC should hopefully be getting most of the attention in the boost department. Although A Petitt S/C kit would not be out of the realm of possiblity at some point.

I hear you on the powerband thing though Rotaries love to live in the upper revs its definitely a different driving style/experience for sure.

There are a few things that due tend to shorten the lifespan on them that Mazda has never really addressed. 4 stroke oil doesn't burn clean so carbon buildup is a problem. Usually solved by premixing and or a Sohn Adapter. The other issue with the RX8 specifically is the ignition system in pretty weak. Usually fixed by converting the coils to GM LS2 coils. The cats also love to fail so most just take them out preemptively.

As far as mods are concerned I do have some planned, mainly reliablility things.

BHR Coil upgrade - Done - LS2 Coils
Sohn Adapter
Mishimoto Radiator
Something to monitor Oil/Water temps and pressure.

In the skinny pedal department
Cobb AP - Done
Dual Resonated midpipe of some sort. - "Done"
Either the Mazda speed or AEM intake.

Handling I will probably leave alone rolleyes.gif with the exception of proper tires at some point the ones on it now are brand new but I have a sneaking suspicion I will need some by next summer.

Posted by: Spaz Apr 19 2014, 11:12 AM
Good thing we had a conversation about not doing that silly Cobb AP. Open ECU tuning FTW! awesome.gif

Posted by: Mazda ina Ford guy Apr 22 2014, 09:46 PM
Grappler, you should score a set of the limited edition X-Men rims for that bad boy. Some sick shit right there. About the only thing about that edition worth getting...

[ Post made via Mobile Device ]

Posted by: Grappler Apr 24 2014, 05:17 AM
QUOTE (Mazda ina Ford guy @ Apr 22 2014, 09:46 PM)
Grappler, you should score a set of the limited edition X-Men rims for that bad boy.  Some sick shit right there.  About the only thing about that edition worth getting...


About the only way to describe how I felt when I saw that kit.

user posted image

Posted by: Spaz Apr 24 2014, 08:31 AM
QUOTE (Grappler @ 3 hours, 13 minutes ago)

About the only way to describe how I felt when I saw that kit.

http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Michael-scott-no-god-no.gif

OMG, so true... It's so bad...

Posted by: Grappler May 3 2014, 08:00 AM
Went to an event at DCTC with spaz last night. Had an absolute blast got to ride with a few instructors and really learn the limits of the new car. Even with crappy Nexen tires I can already do so much more than I ever could with the golf.

I think the most awesome part of the whole event was seeing that the bar can be set much much much higher and that there is so much more to learn. I got a front row seat riding along in a rather tail happy S2000 with one of the instructors and was absolutely blown away by how much changing the way you transition between inputs can affect things.

I did have a small misfire (flashing CEL but didn't stay on) on my last session and decided to not push my luck. It hasn't happened again and I had just filled up at a station I had never been too before. So I am hoping it was a combination of things other than coils/plugs regardless I'll be doing a tune up this weekend and hopefully hitting up a local Auto X event on Sunday.

Posted by: Spaz May 3 2014, 04:41 PM
^ Fucker's hooked. laugh2.gif

Posted by: Grappler May 27 2014, 07:51 PM
Went to another HPDE on Friday and hopefully will have some video recording at some point.
Still learning and enjoying the cheap seat time. However it is now that my Catalytic converter decided it hates life.
Soon to be remedied with a crowbar/hammer and a Cobb AP.
I was put into the the Intermediate A group this time instead of novice.
In my run group was a Speed 6 a Speed 3 a 335i and 3 Evos.
Surprisingly I didn't hold anyone up. I can only attribute this to the course being laid out really with a nice balance of auto x style obstacles and very few short straights.
I wish I still had my Go Pro and I was going to borrow spaz's for the last session but I missed it by 1 round.
I will be volunteering at the next one and hopefully can borrow it for the volunteer fun run 12 min session at the end.

Posted by: Spaz May 28 2014, 07:18 AM
You're ripping out there, even if you do look super slow on the front straight. tongue.gif

I'll make sure to get the GoPro to you for the last session this next time.

Posted by: Grappler May 29 2014, 05:27 AM
QUOTE (Spaz @ Yesterday, 7:18 AM)
You're ripping out there, even if you do look super slow on the front straight. tongue.gif

I'll make sure to get the GoPro to you for the last session this next time.

1.3L Powah!!!! There are definitely days I miss having boost but its teaching me to get better at managing entry/exit speeds so I can maintain that momentum. smile.gif

Aparently Scheids posted a few clips of us driving down the front straight.

YOUTUBE ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puFfxDagq-k )

Posted by: Grappler May 31 2014, 12:32 PM
Did my plate relocation yesterday, my radiator thanked me for the extra airflow.

Before,

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After

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Posted by: Nd4SpdSe Jun 4 2014, 12:27 PM
Welcome to the rotary club smile.gif

Misfire CEL when driving hard (say like only at track says but for DD you never get the CEL even on a spirited drive) is the sign of weak ignition coils cause they can't keep up on long extended periods of full out performance.


Posted by: Grappler Jun 5 2014, 05:11 AM
QUOTE (Nd4SpdSe @ Yesterday, 12:27 PM)
Welcome to the rotary club smile.gif

Misfire CEL when driving hard (say like only at track says but for DD you never get the CEL even on a spirited drive) is the sign of weak ignition coils cause they can't keep up on long extended periods of full out performance.

Thanks, this is acutally my second Rotary I still have my FC as of Monday I have only Rotary powered vehicles in my garage tongue.gif

I have done an additional HPDE since then hasn't come back on yet, but I do have my eye on a set of LS/5.3 coils just in case wink2.gif


Posted by: Nd4SpdSe Jun 5 2014, 06:37 AM
Nice! I did the same last year (or was it the year before). and went to LS3 coils. I did the mod myself with an adapter harness off of eBay, locally sourced coil packs at a discount, and some custom made MSD spark plus wires. Especially having to ship to Canada, it came in much cheaper than the BHR kit.

Posted by: Grappler Jun 10 2014, 03:42 PM
Finally uploaded the video I took From DCTC on Friday courtesy of Spaz's GoPro its mainly an interior view which is fine because I wanted to see what I was doing in the car as well as checking my lines which you can sort of do at this angle. Anyways I've already watched this thing like 20 times and found a bunch of stuff I can improve on. I need to get rid of some bad habits but thats what practice is for right?

Also did some Auto X on Sunday had a blast with that. Its so much fun all I want is more seat time. tongue.gif

YOUTUBE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO4esuN6vKo )




Posted by: Seri Jun 10 2014, 03:57 PM
Is it okay to change the topic to insurance for a few posts?

I've heard both ways, but is it true insurance is cheaper on the RX-8 because it's a technically a four door with a 1.3 liter engine?

Posted by: Grappler Jun 10 2014, 06:39 PM
Its considerably cheaper than my mk4 golf was I dropped almost 40% off of my insurance rate when I took my liability only golf off vs the fully covered Rx8 with a $100 deductible and free glass.

So yeah its pretty cheap.

There are a lot of other factors involved with insurance though but yes the 4 doors and "1.3" engine do make a difference.

Posted by: Spaz Jun 11 2014, 11:04 AM
Smoother steering inputs!

I also noticed how slow your steering ratio is... I never HAD to take my hands off the wheel in the Evo. That car spoils me, I swear.

I also also can occasionally see my headlights in your passenger mirror for a couple laps when I was taking Steve for a rip. tongue.gif

Posted by: Grappler Jun 11 2014, 11:35 AM
During my warm up laps you mean tongue.gif

Posted by: Spaz Jun 12 2014, 08:37 AM
QUOTE (Grappler @ Yesterday, 2:35 PM)
During my warm up laps you mean tongue.gif

Yep, during your 2nd and 3rd lap.

Posted by: Grappler Aug 5 2014, 09:32 PM
Update time Friday is the next DCTC event wanted to get a bit done on the car to get it prepped.

http://s194.photobucket.com/user/Grappler_130/media/20140731_150617_zps8pty5pcv.jpg.html
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These finally went into the car as well as a fresh set of plugs a long with the standard oil change. Had had a couple misfires since the last event figured it was time 2 out of the 4 coils were bad and it looked like the plugs had never been done.

http://s194.photobucket.com/user/Grappler_130/media/20140731_103908_zpspl8dc9ll.jpg.html
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I now have control of the cool graphs in my car courtesy of a Cobb AP. Stock map for now cleaned up a few things cause by my Cat which are more "efficient" now...

http://s194.photobucket.com/user/Grappler_130/media/20140718_220950_zpszpaveonl.jpg.html
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Lights now have super jackass mode enabled this is done with a simple 1 wire install.
I can now run Highs Lows and Fogs all at the same time should make night night driving much easier.

Thats about it and we now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcasting.


Posted by: Grappler Sep 3 2014, 11:09 AM
Well here is a quick video of Session #1. I realized I have been really bad about posting these, but honestly they are kind of embarrasing. I keep finding silly mistakes that I make/made. Its definitely good to look at and improve on for myself. At the very least I'm sure you can all find a few good examples of things not to do within it.

I definitely in the overdriving phase right now its probably the most frustrating part about learning to drive at the track properly. I probably won't post the other 2 sessions. Sadly I think its mostly going to be bad habbits that I have to be fix with more seat time at the track. There are definitely not many things that cross over to street driving so this will likely be a plateau of sorts till I can iron this out.


Anyways enjoy biggrin.gif

YOUTUBE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyeFfM44Xsg&feature=youtu.be )

Posted by: Spaz Sep 4 2014, 08:58 AM
As was said after one event... You're the group's new Spaz, since I'm apparently someone other than me now, haha.

But you're still doing well, you're still fast, you've got a good foundation to build on, you just have to keep driving these events, keep getting good instruction, and keep aiming high. The overdriving phase is fun though... Well, until you start giving hugs to walls. laugh2.gif

Posted by: Banken Sep 4 2014, 08:18 PM
Hands at 9 and 3, bro. 10 and 2 is for grandmothers.

Posted by: sideways Sep 6 2014, 04:31 PM
Never be embarrassed to show videos of yourself taking the time to learn to drive properly on a race track in a safe environment. Even if you make silly mistakes! All part of the learning process. So long as youre not a dick on the track tongue.gif Everyone has to start somewhere- theres nothing wrong with showing where you started. Itll be great to look back at these after a few events and see how much youve improved.

Posted by: Spaz Sep 9 2014, 08:45 AM
QUOTE (sideways @ Sep 6 2014, 07:31 PM)
Never be embarrassed to show videos of yourself taking the time to learn to drive properly on a race track in a safe environment. Even if you make silly mistakes! All part of the learning process. So long as youre not a dick on the track tongue.gif Everyone has to start somewhere- theres nothing wrong with showing where you started. Itll be great to look back at these after a few events and see how much youve improved.

I wish I had interior video from when I started... Holy crap it would be AWFUL. laugh2.gif

Posted by: Grappler Sep 10 2014, 06:09 AM
Thanks for the encouragement/advice guys I'll keep posting these as I can. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Grappler Oct 18 2014, 06:57 AM
Spaz snagged another couple of photos of of my car again figured I would post them up whistling.gif

Courtesy of his flickr account https://www.flickr.com/photos/29843549@N08/

http://s194.photobucket.com/user/Grappler_130/media/14932875743_e50d7bedcb_b_zps3078b798.jpg.html
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Posted by: Plentymoon Feb 14 2015, 03:45 PM
I love the red Rx8 been really wanting one for awhile now but for now I will continue to build my first gen rx7

Posted by: Grappler May 27 2015, 10:41 AM
QUOTE (Plentymoon @ Feb 14 2015, 03:45 PM)
I love the red Rx8 been really wanting one for awhile now but for now I will continue to build my first gen rx7


Thank you sir it was on my shortlist of cars, and I wasn't 100% sold on it till I drove it smile.gif






That said its megaupdate time I will try and break this up into a couple of posts to hopefully make it a bit easier to understand. There will also be pictures... lots of pictures.

So far not a whole lot has changed since my last update I think a week after my last post the car went into storage.

About 2 months ago it came out of storage with a vengance to be driven at more events this year. As of right now I could literally not attend another event for the rest of the year and have already doubled my attendance. After a certain bad influence (Spaz) helped me convice myself I really did need tires these showed up. 245/40/18 Rivals where technically last years 200tw fast tire but they are certainly no slouch for the local events that I do.

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After the tires showed up I went and got the car aligned (hurah for free lifetime alignments) the car is amazingly neutral now. I am absolutely thrilled with this setup and I doubt I will change a thing unless I end up with some suspension at some point. Keep in mind this photo is without me in the car. The rear camber is symmetrical with me in it.

http://s194.photobucket.com/user/Grappler_130/media/20150427_162358_zpsvc02gckw.jpg.html
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That weekend I decided to do some street car things with my street car friends.

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:Edit: So I was going to break this up but... I guess I can't so into one long post it goes :/Edit:


Here are a couple of my fastest runs from that event. I've managed to Iron out a lot of my over-driving from before at this particular event my goal was to feel out the car with the new tires and make sure I was staying smooth. I wan't nearly at the limit of the grip of the car I later found out. The car of course performed flawlessly and I managed to get 15th out of 27 in my second ever AutoX.
YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/hRK6DxO8K44 )




Finally we get to more recent events. I took the car out to yet another HPDE last Friday but they changed it up a bit and added a small speed stop course as well with the typical road course. I absolutely loved it and took full advantage of the instructors knowledge. It felt like I got out of the another plateau in my driving ability.
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I have a much better understanding of the grip the tires have now and learned a bit more about controlling the slip angle of the car while on the limit. I swear having an instructor in the car is like adding 100hp to the car sometimes. Its an awesome feeling when the lightbulb goes off and you all of sudden feel the difference in speed.

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Now in the downtime since last weekend I got the brake fluid changed out in the car. I'm running this stuff in it for now which should be good unless I start doing more than my 20 minute stints. Pads are next on the list though as well as swapping out the diff fluid.

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As a very important sidenote a friend of a friend was out taking photos at the HPDE and I can't forget to credit him for his photos.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124979639@N02/





Posted by: Grappler Jul 2 2015, 06:44 AM
I got to participate in a local time attack event this weekend and had an absolute blast. I didn't do too poorly took 6th out of 8 class competitors. However I'm beginning to wonder if my Autox habits are negatively affecting my track habits. I've been cutting into the corners too early lately and its really starting to bug me how much time I'm leaving on the track. Part of me thinks its from navigating elements at Autox. None the less both are skill sets I need to work on.

The odd part is I actually don't want to touch the car as far as mods are concerned until I have more ways of viewing data at the track. I've got an old netbook I might throw a Linux distro on and relegate it to track video review duties. I know the car has way more in it even in stock form, its just the damn nut behind the wheel that needs fixing.

Anyways a couple of quick clips from this weekend as well as a bonus at the end.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/xfdebL6UMvg )

Posted by: Spaz Jul 2 2015, 11:03 AM
Dat bonus doe.

I'm going to start bringing my Surface 2 to the track for reviewing video.

Posted by: Crono0001 Jul 2 2015, 01:27 PM
You turn in REALLY early on some corners. Use more of the track, it'll improve your traction and entry speed if you go a little wider.

Posted by: Spaz Jul 2 2015, 04:50 PM
I dragged him into my office after he posted this, pulled it up and just "early, late, overdriving, late, good, early..." I think part of it is that he spends enough time at enough events with me and it kinda turns into a "do as I say, not as I do" situation, especially considering the differences in our cars. The other part, as stated, as that the transition from autox to road racing is hard, especially if you're not used to making it like those of us who compete in both in the same weekend numerous times per year. This, AFAIK, was Grappler's first actual competitive event that wasn't in an autox configuration at this venue so from my own experience, I can say that transitional mistakes are far from unexpected.

Grappler, I need to just put you in the driver's seat of my car for a session at some point here so you can start to understand the differences between them and be able to better process what you see from my passenger seat and how it both relates and contrasts to you.

Posted by: TodoRacingDC5 Jul 2 2015, 07:56 PM
Just thought I'd pop when I read RX8! Really great stuff here, I especially like the photos taken underneath those gorgeous trees with yellow-orange leaves. Just looks incredible.

Posted by: backalleyracer Jul 5 2015, 11:47 AM
I teach a lot of people, and a lot of people come to me with autocross experience, and I always tell them...

"whatever you learned in autocross, do not do that here on a race track - you will be slow."

I have told many of my customers that autocross gives you bad habits and you are correct, you have gained bad habits from it. (this also applies to anyone who only track races car with slicks on them)

but not to worry, you are not a robot, you can learn! Keep those eyes up, and be as smooth as you can.

Just as others have said, you didn't pay to use half the track, you paid to use ALL of the track... use it.

edit - I watched your video - I liked it! I obviously do not know the track, however...

1) You need to keep looking further down the track, I saw you do it once, do it for all corners smile.gif

2) you were pretty smooth, I like that, I like your hand positions too!

3) Just practice more, and you'll get there, it takes a long time to understand what the front end of the car is doing, try to imagine where the weight of the car is moving - did you hit your entry, apex, and exit? excellent!... now do it again, but faster.

Posted by: Kiroshino Jul 5 2015, 06:12 PM
Out of curiosity, what camera are you using and how are you attaching it?

Posted by: Grappler Jul 7 2015, 10:42 AM
QUOTE (Crono0001 @ Jul 2 2015, 01:27 PM)
You turn in REALLY early on some corners.  Use more of the track, it'll improve your traction and entry speed if you go a little wider.


I most certainly do, definitely something I need to work on. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do some more road course stuff this year.

QUOTE (Spaz @ Jul 2 2015, 04:50 PM)
This, AFAIK, was Grappler's first actual competitive event that wasn't in an autox configuration at this venue.


Yes my first official non autox track day, I need better pads before I go do the big boy courses tongue.gif

QUOTE (TodoRacingDC5 @ Jul 2 2015, 07:56 PM)
Just thought I'd pop when I read RX8! Really great stuff here, I especially like the photos taken underneath those gorgeous trees with yellow-orange leaves. Just looks incredible.


Thanks man! those photos are courtesy of the Spaz, he had scoped it out. I think if you dig through his evo thread you might find a few similar photos of his Evo.

QUOTE (backalleyracer @ Jul 5 2015, 11:47 AM)
I teach a lot of people, and a lot of people come to me with autocross experience, and I always tell them...

"whatever you learned in autocross, do not do that here on a race track - you will be slow."

I have told many of my customers that autocross gives you bad habits and you are correct, you have gained bad habits from it. (this also applies to anyone who only track races car with slicks on them)

but not to worry, you are not a robot, you can learn! Keep those eyes up, and be as smooth as you can.

Just as others have said, you didn't pay to use half the track, you paid to use ALL of the track... use it.

edit - I watched your video - I liked it! I obviously do not know the track, however...

1) You need to keep looking further down the track, I saw you do it once, do it for all corners smile.gif

2) you were pretty smooth, I like that, I like your hand positions too!

3) Just practice more, and you'll get there, it takes a long time to understand what the front end of the car is doing, try to imagine where the weight of the car is moving - did you hit your entry, apex, and exit? excellent!... now do it again, but faster.


Thanks for the feedback! I really do appreciate it, I'll try to work on the things you mentioned. I don't get to do many track days, but I look forward to the challenge of developing a new skill set.

QUOTE (Kiroshino @ Jul 5 2015, 06:12 PM)
Out of curiosity, what camera are you using and how are you attaching it?


Its a Replay XD that I picked up recently, so I can stop stealing Spaz's Go Pro. Currently its mounted to my helmet via a sticky mount. I'm going to see if I can pickup a suction mount and interior mount it to the sunroof so it doesn't bobble around so much with my head movement.

Posted by: Grappler Aug 18 2015, 07:15 AM
Yep another update, at least this time its only been a month tongue.gif

user posted image

I've been skipped out on a few Autox events, just to get more track time. I feel like its been paying off.

I had the opportunity to go out to USAIR in Shawano WI and hang out with some of the 365racing.net guys and get some much needed seat time. The track has a ton of elevation changes and is very technical. I do have some video however in my attempts to muffle the wind noise there is no sound...

So a photo will have to do...

user posted image

Fast forward to last Thursday I went out to the MN Time Attack Test and Tune session which was 5 hours of pure awesomeness. I sort of figured out the wind canceling thing out but I still have very very very quiet audio so apologies.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/on51SSWuoJs )


The first clip is the cleanest lap I had all day (by no means good). The second clip is the where things sort of started to come together but got cut short by fuel starvation/misfires. What I came away with is I still need more driver mod, and I need to start bringing extra fuel to events. I also stuck another bonus clip in.

Anyways I appreciate feedback as always and the photos are again from my friend Alex https://www.flickr.com/photos/124979639@N02/

:edit: photos now in non forum breaking resolution :/edit:

Posted by: Spaz Aug 18 2015, 09:43 AM
We both need another RS event there for instruction time.

Posted by: Grappler Aug 18 2015, 09:17 PM
QUOTE (Spaz @ Today, 9:43 AM)
We both need another RS event there for instruction time.

I agree, its much quicker feedback and easy to make corrections. Instead of recording video and watching it later and then waiting for another track day.

Posted by: Grappler Sep 22 2015, 08:30 AM
Well yeah so its been about a month, so I guess I should post another update.

After the test and tune session I got some great feed back from some of the local guys, on making sure I use the whole track. Its something that had been explained to me before but its funny how someone explaining something slightly differently can make the light bulb click on.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/FDsxyMm2JLA )


Can't say I'm unhappy with the results, I managed 4th place in whats still a very stock car on "old" tires.

I feel like the car has more in it and I've just got to find it. Luckily I've got 3 more weekends worth of events and at least 2 of them should have some awesome instructors to help. The last thing I want is to start slapping parts on the car to go faster, hopefully I can get an instructor to drive the car to give me a decent benchmark of where I'm at vs the car.

Posted by: Spaz Sep 22 2015, 10:16 AM
See if Andy will drive it on Friday, he'd be a good one to get feedback from with how similar the S2k is.

And I'm glad I could help explain things for you too, everyone understands things a little bit differently so any little bit I can contribute I'm happy to do so. smile.gif

Posted by: Grappler Oct 28 2015, 08:43 AM
Last Update of the season...

I went to an HPDE/Time Attack on 9/25 and got some great instruction at the event. I had one of the instructors a local Chump/WRL guy ride along and drive my car a bit to see where I was at vs the car. I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to keep up with his times. It definitely makes me feel like I'm getting every bit I can out of the car in its current form. No videos of this event since I had left the Replay xd at home.

Fast forward to 10/4 there were no track days left for me so I went back to my old standby Autox. I managed to take 1st in my class beating a good friend in the process.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/2abukZA_LvE )


The next weekend 10/11 was the last driving event of the year for me. I didn't win but I still feel like I did well. The course was a bit longer and filled with nothing but slaloms. Which definitely put the hurt on my old tires.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/QxSvdREeMEU )


Sadly my tires were well beyond the wear-bar at this point so I didn't get a chance to do the 12 hour test and tune / time attack this last weekend. I did stop by though to harass Spaz a bit and hang out with the RS/365 Racing guys for a while.


Car went into storage Monday which means the season is officially over for me.

Event Results.

MAC Autox #3 2nd in Novice
MAC Autox #7 1st in DSP
MAC Autox #8 2nd in DSP
MN Time Attack #2 6th in Street Heavy
MN Time Attack #3 4th in Street Heavy

Series Results

MN Time Attack 10th in Street Heavy out of 27
MAC Autox 3rd in DSP

In retrospect this was my first official season of competition and I'm very happy with how it went.
I learned so much from such very awesome people and now I get to help a few of them out this next week in Las Vegas. I'm still trying figure out what I'm going to do for next year fortunately I have some time to think about it.

Posted by: Spaz Oct 28 2015, 09:57 AM
Dude, you ROCKED out there for your first season of notable competition. It's been awesome watching you get to this point.

Proud of you, man. smile.gif

Posted by: Grappler Mar 20 2016, 08:54 AM
http://s194.photobucket.com/user/Grappler_130/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-03-20%2011.53.12_zpsbtz48osf.png.html
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It's that time of year updates are incoming

[ Post made via Mobile Device ]

Posted by: Grappler Oct 7 2016, 11:25 AM
Since I'm the worst at updates I'll try and break this up into a couple of posts over a couple of days.

This summer went by way too quickly. I primarily focused on the quality of events I went to instead of quantity.
I cut down a bit on the Autox I went to and focused on going to more HPDE and Time attack related stuff.
Parts list was definitely short this year, I focused on just keeping the car as simple as possible and finding the limit of the car in every corner.

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My helmet expired so a visit to the local speed shop hooked me up with a 2010 Helmet and a set of gloves. I could of gone with just the helmet but I get really sweaty hands when I drive and so far the gloves have helped. Also on the docket where some track pads so I picked up a set of ST43s all the way around and some centric rotors. I probably could of gone something a bit more mild but this car maybe sees 350 miles of street use each year, So I'm not too worried. I did find it entertaining that these spendy pads come in such a plain brown box.

user posted image

So I ended up picking up a set of re71s in 245/40/18 same size as last year just a better compound than the old Rivals I had. Surprisingly I haven't managed to burn through the set yet, in fact I might flip them side to side and run them again next year.

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First even of the year in April I didn't even drive my car. It was a small HPDE run by the 365racing crew in Shawano, WI at USAIR. Keen observers may notice a wild Spazbadger posing in this photo. Since I didn't bring my own car, I had the rare opportunity to drive 3 out of the 5 cars that our crew brought down. I had a blast figuring out how to drive each setup. I even drove the infamous SpazEvo, still not sure how I feel about Evos in general but it was an awesome experience.

Posted by: Spaz Oct 11 2016, 07:42 PM
I never remembered to get this to Grappler, but here's the raw video from his session in my car.

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/2UvTEGWkkwY )

Posted by: Lonely_Driver Oct 12 2016, 09:27 AM
That's good advice about the event thing. I'm just not a huge fan of autox but it's way cheaper than a track day here.

Posted by: Grappler Nov 9 2016, 02:31 PM
QUOTE (Spaz @ Oct 11 2016, 07:42 PM)
I never remembered to get this to Grappler, but here's the raw video from his session in my car.


I was wondering what happened with that footage. Thanks for posting it man smile.gif

QUOTE (Lonely_Driver @ Oct 12 2016, 09:27 AM)
That's good advice about the event thing. I'm just not a huge fan of autox but it's way cheaper than a track day here.


Yeah, Most Autox events here are about $50ish If I skip two I can do short track day. $250ish for a whole weekend event.

Anyways I think this should cover the rest of the year. I've been trying super hard to balance race/life budget this year. Trying to save up for a big garage with one of those weird buildings people call houses.

I suckered myself into a single Autox event this year, if we don't count proving grounds. I felt pretty good with how I did. the DSP class here is kind of a joke so don't let the classing fool you.

user posted image

Sadly I couldn't drive at Gridlife this year, so I did the next best thing. I tagged along with Matt DeReus Racing (check him out on facebook). We met up with the RS/365 racing crew, at gingerman raceway for the time attack event they were hosting.

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Let me tell you even just being around these guys is a learning experience. I've never met such a friendly group of people that is willing to share what they know.

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After Gingerman I prepped the car for Proving Grounds. The classing is a bit, shall we say open ended so i took out the interior. My god did it sound awesome inside the car.

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:edit: looks like I might have to break this up a bit more :/edit:

Posted by: Spaz Nov 10 2016, 09:04 PM
QUOTE (Grappler @ Nov 9 2016, 05:31 PM)
:edit: looks like I might have to break this up a bit more :/edit:

*Looks at time stamp* Oops, someone ran out of work day.

Posted by: Grappler Feb 22 2017, 10:21 AM
About 7 or 8 months behind... I guess I could call this a semi quarterly update.

To quickly summarize 2016 I attended 3 more events before the year was over.

Proving Grounds 1 was my first time at a legitimate track. I competed in Triple track showdown and took 12th in class. I also set a benchmark time in my car around the BIR short course at 1:58.087 in a standing start.

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YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/vlVwrTS7do0 )


I came away with a few things to work on, as the saying goes "You always leave time on the track". Luckily I had a quick refresher at DCTC and also snagged a snazzy photo of my car.

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I came back to BIR later in the fall looking for .087 seconds to get into the 1:57s. I went into that weekend sticking with Just Autox and standing start time attack. Since no one wants to see a Rx8 drag race anyways. I'm not sure what it was but I found those .087 seconds and then some dropping over 4 seconds off of my personal best.

Fri. Autox 5th in class
Sat. Autox 3rd in class
Standing Start 1:53.927

YOUTUBE ( https://youtu.be/7XZC5wwqTMg )


Super happy with how list last year went, just looking back at all of this makes me that more excited for this year.

2017 Plans:

I think its time to give myself a bit of a mechanical advantage and fix a few things a long the way. The car developed a slight oil leak on one of the oil line quick disconnects so the whole system is getting redone. I've got some new brake hoses sitting on my counter and still need to delete the air pump in the car. Otherwise I'm hoping to throw a set of Bilsteins and springs at the car so I'm not riding on bump stops all the time but we will see what the budget allows for.







Posted by: Spaz Feb 22 2017, 01:05 PM
QUOTE (Grappler @ 2 hours, 43 minutes ago)
I'm not sure what it was but I found those .087 seconds and then some dropping over 4 seconds off of my personal best.

It's called improvement! You did well out there, man. I'm excited to see how much faster you end up this year with a few mods to the car and a winter's worth of letting this past season sink in.

Posted by: xiao Feb 22 2017, 01:35 PM
QUOTE (Grappler @ 3 hours, 12 minutes ago)
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Beautiful picture my friend!! ohmy.gif happy.gif

SPOILER

Posted by: Grappler Feb 23 2017, 01:22 PM
QUOTE (Spaz @ Yesterday, 1:05 PM)
It's called improvement! You did well out there, man. I'm excited to see how much faster you end up this year with a few mods to the car and a winter's worth of letting this past season sink in.


Haha I hope so and thank you. I'm so stoked for this season, new track(s) new parts and hopefully new limits.

QUOTE (xiao @ Yesterday, 1:35 PM)
Beautiful picture my friend!! ohmy.gif happy.gif


Thank you! smile.gif

Posted by: Grappler Apr 11 2017, 12:19 PM
Picked up the car this last weekend, which is a whole week earlier than normal. Wahoo! She started right up and gave me no issues. So of course I had to reward my car with part 1 of the mod list this year and the next morning tore all the suspension bits out and put new ones in.

user posted image

Shiny Bilstein HD (B6) and Tein S Tech springs. While not coil-overs it's definitely a step up from the blown suspension that was previously on the car. I'm just tired of riding bump stops in the corners, and the up-rated springs are already making a huge difference.

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We also took some quick measurements to see where I'm sitting alignment-wise and it looks like things have shimmied around a bit. Probably from a few curbs and/or off track excursions I've had. I really need to look into a quick trick alignment setup.

I'll hopefully finish the before/after measurements tonight should be able to rough in my alignment settings and figure out how much more of an adjustment range I have.




Posted by: Grappler May 16 2017, 10:44 AM
Busy day Sunday, got a chance to fix the leaky oil lines. Theme of the day was simplify, add lightness. 11 hours of wrenching later 9 oil lines became 3 and I removed a few pounds from the car. user posted image
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Took me several hours to make these oil lines I hope I never have to see them again.

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So much stuff in the way...

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A rare photo of the elusive spaz badger who happened to be wrenching right next to me.


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Posted by: Grappler May 18 2017, 11:55 AM
2 steps forward 1 step back as they say.

At the prompting of one of my friends we decided to wrench for a few hours again last night. Finally installed the brake lines that have been sitting on my shelf. ST-43s aren't exactly know for pedal feel but there is a lot of good feedback with these lines. I'm excited try these out and push them hard tomorrow.

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Of course Raceaflais had to rear his ugly head and hit me with the reality hammer. We finally got the suspension to settle of course we discovered that pretty much all of the front suspension bushings/adjustments are seized. I guess I can thank Mazda for that as they never lubricated the fittings from the factory. That said we tried to tweak the seized bushings as much as possible sadly the tie rods are also seized so the alignment is going to be pretty rough until parts come in. Should be close enough for a short couple of runs at the local driving course this weekend.


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I'm glad we discovered this now instead of later, it still destroys my budget for a while. On the plus side everything in the front of the car will be new and fresh. I've ordered up some power flex (Race 90A) goodness for the lower control arm assembly. Moog tie rods and a whiteline camber correction kit that I've had my eye on for a while. Another sleepless night in a garage never hurt anyone right?

Posted by: Grappler Jun 6 2017, 01:22 PM
Sleepless night was definitely an understatement. Knowing the bushings/tie-rods were seized in the front wouldn't do. Out came the emergency funds and a few days later a nice selection of parts showed up.

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Shopping list
Moog innner/outer tie rods
Whiteline offset upper control arm bushings +/-.5į
PowerFlex Lower Control arm bushings (90a Race)
Mazda Factory alignment bolts $$$

I had the fortunate opportunity to use a friends garage and the gracious help of a couple of friends. Even with help I started at about 9 AM Sunday on memorial day weekend. Lower control arms came out with copious amounts of cutting and swearing. Making a nice pile of old bushings.

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On to putting in the new bushings, queue more cursing and cutting. Ironically it took us almost as much time to put in the new bushings as it did to cut the control arms out.

user posted image

By the time we started putting everything back together very late and the car didn't actually touch the ground till about 2:30 A.M. A rough (very very rough) alignment later and I arrived home at about 5 A.M. Monday morning. 18 hours of wrenching and a shower later the car could be aligned properly.


Was it worth it?


Well fast forward to last night Gridlife is literally a couple of days away and I was crossing my fingers that everything would go smoothly. Courtesy of that same friends garage and a quick trick alignment tool. We were able to dial in a fairly aggressive alignment. Hopefully I'll have a bit of time with a pyrometer at Gingerman to fine tune everything but its a hell of a baseline.

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Posted by: Spaz Jun 6 2017, 08:42 PM
That's an awesome baseline alignment! I'll have to play around with the pyrometer as well with the RS-4s... They've got a lot of rubber inside the contact patch in comparison to the VR-1s.

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