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About N546RV

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    Track Freak

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    Brookshire, TX
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  1. Well now I dunno what the deal is. Replaced the master today, bled everything, including running the INPA DSC bleed routine. Brake pedal is at the same point under pressure, and still does the weird thing where I can firm it up by pumping, but then it slowly eases down if I hold pressure. So either there is something up with my brakes that I haven't figured out yet, or I'm just imagining the pedal being deeper than before. Maybe I'll try doing some more bleeding for good measure, though it's kinda expensive running a bunch of RBF600 through the system. Otherwise, guess I better start adapting my footwork.
  2. I've sort of had the opposite problem. I got really used to my "street heel-toe" using bulkier tennis shoes and whatnot, and when I first got on-track wearing super thin shoes I had to get used to not having all that extra sole to make my foot wider. I'm really hoping the new master cylinder forms up the brakes and makes my life easier. I doubt it's going to solve all my problems, but not having a super soft pedal ought to help, maybe at lest I can get back the semi-competent technique I had going on a year ago.
  3. This is the technique I like as well, and hopefully I can find a way to be able to use it on-track by the time I'm done. I feel like I have better control overall; in particular, if I'm not rotating my foot it feels a lot easier to kind of maintain the feeling of pressure between my foot and the brake pedal, and thus not change the brake input as I blip the throttle.
  4. I'll probably look into that at some point in the near future. I went ahead and ordered a new master last night, should be here in time to install it this weekend and see how that changes things. From there I can evaluate possible pedal improvements.
  5. Grabbed some photos when I got home. Here are the pedals at rest. Brake pedal is maybe an inch or so "above" the gas. And here I am applying firm but not ridiculous pressure to the brake pedal (at this point my SO might chime in and and remind me that I am a massive brute who doesn't know his own strength, but I digress): At this point the gas pedal is almost even with my ankle bone if I hold my foot in what seems like a natural position to me. If I point my foot like a ballerina I can kind of roll over and hit the gas with the side of my foot but it's super awkward. One thing I noticed while playing with this tonight: If I pump the pedal, it firms up and only goes an inch or two below the gas, and if I hold it there, it'll slowly soften up and sink down. Since I'd bled the system repeatedly, I kinda wonder if there's an issue with my master cylinder leaking internally. Edit: Spoke to a friend who's a Germanaphile or whatever, he also thinks that it may be the master. Probably going to just go ahead and replace it and see if that helps.
  6. This is going to be kind of long, but it's a nagging problem that I want to solve. The quick summary is that I'm consistently unable to heel-toe in my car on-track, and I'm unsure if it's something inherent about the car, or a problem with me, or if something is up with my brakes. Background: I've been DDing manual cars for about two decades now. I taught myself a street version of heel-toe some time ago, and it's served me well over the years. The technique I learned is what I've more commonly seen called "toe-toe." Basically, I put the ball of my foot on the brake pedal, and the outstep (not sure if that's the right term but oh well) of my foot overlaps the edge of the throttle. Under street-driving braking, in every car I've driven, this puts my foot in a great position to pivot around the ball a bit and blip the throttle for downshifts. After a few track events, as I started to actually really use the brakes, this technique became problematic. Going deeper on the brakes meant that having my outstep overlap the throttle was problematic; there were more than a few occasions when I'd inadvertently add throttle while braking heavily. At that time I tried modifying the technique by trying to keep my outstep higher (ie pulling my knee to the left), but it was never high enough to eliminate the problem. So I ended up developing a new technique for the track. Whereas normally I have my heel on or close to the floor, the "new way" was to put my foot higher on the brake pedal - say, with the top edge of the pedal kind of at the bottom of the ball of my foot. If I did this, and sort of pointed my foot out as I was braking, I could pivot it around the ball and catch the gas with my outstep. I never got super comfortable with it, but felt I was at least somewhat confident with it. Lately, though, even that technique doesn't seem to be working for me. What I feel like is that the brake pedal is going deeper than before, such that even with this "pointy-foot" method, I can't easily get my foot over to blip the throttle. When I mentioned this to a friend a year or two ago, he suggested adding some sort of pad or spacer to the brake pedal to improve the relative position of the pedals. I thought it seemed like a decent idea at the time, and still kind of do, but I worry about my perception that the pedal is getting softer and/or going deeper. That is, I don't want to mask a mechanical issue with something like this. This concern is kind of highlighted by what seems like a consensus from other E9X drivers that the brake pedal is too high for heel-toe except under heavy braking conditions. This may just be due to different techniques - maybe these people are trying to do a traditional heel-toe and not my toe-toe thing - but it's still enough to concern me. So that brings me to the first set of questions, specifically aimed at anyone else here who drives or has driven an E9X (only ones I can think of offhand are @dbyrd and @SchadenFred๐Ÿ˜ž Do/did you have trouble heel-toeing in your car? Do you feel that the brake pedal ends up significantly lower than the throttle under heavy braking? Next are some tech questions regarding the possibly abnormal soft pedal: any thoughts on what might cause this? I regularly (every ~6 months) flush the system, and I use RBF600. Flushing is done with a pressure bleeder, and I even did a manual bleeding before going to Cresson last month, on the off chance it would change something (it didn't). Soft lines were replaced with braided steel lines a couple years ago. Brakes are otherwise stock, and I run cool carbon S/T plus pads (other than one weekend with the free EBC Yellowstuff pads I got off @SchadenFred). To be clear, I've never felt the car was not stopping like it should, just that the pedal position was further down than where I think it ought to be under heavy braking. Finally, assuming the conclusion here is that there's no mechanical issue, and that this is normal pedal positioning - any recommendations on pedal changes to make to accommodate heel-toe better? I know I've seen pedal sets with a wider gas pedal, but I don't think I've seen anything like the sort of spacer thing my friend suggested for the brake pedal. I guess I could always fab something up, but this isn't exactly an area where I want to half-ass anything. Any thoughts are welcome. This is something that's been bothering me since last fall, and my continued efforts to find a technique to work around it have failed, and I'd like to fix the problem for real. I feel like it's a glaring hole on my driving skill repertoire.
  7. Yup, that's the toilet bowl. As it was explained to me, momentum cars like Miatas tend to take a tighter line around it, while power cars tend to go deeper, turn in later, and get full on the power sooner. I started out the weekend with the tighter line because it "felt" better, then gradually started displacing the first apex, but I don't think I ever went deep enough to use the so-called "Corvette line." I suspect this is why there's such a marked difference in that turn - I'm getting back on the gas sooner, but he's getting back to full throttle sooner. Or it might be a confidence issue - just the most marked example of me being hesitant to put the pedal down. Or both. Actually I might just be a shitty driver. ๐Ÿ˜€
  8. After a brief break this week to assemble a big presentation for work, I'm returning to my data addiction. I grabbed some of the logs that @BRZ4Science shared and went looking for good stuff to compare notes with. Ended up settling on a Joe Karigan Mustang run at MSRC 3.1 - from what I've seen most Mustangs are fairly comparable to my car in terms of agility vs power, so it seemed like a good one to start with. There's only speed data in the comparison data, so I can't compare all my fun fancy inputs, but all the patterns are still visible: Most of it's not surprising. In general he's getting back to power earlier than I am, that's the biggest difference I see. He's often also braking later than I am, though it's not as universal, and some of the spots here I ascribe to unfamiliarity with the big track. The big ones I see are just before rattlesnake (I was overbraking that entry all weekend) and ricochet (Lee was having me brake before starting down the hill to be conservative). Also I see what appear to be later turn-in points in a few places, particularly toilet bowl and buzzard neck. Oh, and I'm losing my nerve in a couple spots and lifting where he's staying full throttle - down the roller coaster, just before the hairpin, and going over the big hill before toilet bowl. This stuff is a lot of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
  9. For me, I think the value I'm seeing so far is being able to tell the difference between "feels fast" and "is fast." A good example comes from me trying different lines through the toilet bowl at MSRC. To me, the "Miata line" "felt" better, or more natural, whereas braking deeper and doing the "Corvette line" felt worse. But the limited data I've looked at (which in fairness is a tiny sample size and subject to all the requisite problems) seem to indicate that weird as it might feel, the deeper line is a good bit faster. Put another way, it seems like a nice tool for moving past the early-DE mindset of "one optimum line" and discovering what other options are out there. And as a sort-of engineer/nerd type it just makes me happy to look at all the squiggly lines. Yup, straight in. It's a Solo 2 DL; I got the CAN/RS232 interface cable, routed it through the firewall, and tapped into the wiring harness for my JB4 tuner box, as well as adding power and ground taps. The cable stows away in the glove box when I'm not on track. And once I get home and grab the data from the AIM, all the cool stuff is already there.
  10. It's all from the CAN bus, along with buttloads more stuff if I ever want to look at it. Among other things I can get the brake pressure to each wheel, which might be interesting to look at (though I dunno if it'd be helpful for lap times, but who knows).
  11. Yeah, one recurring theme is me not quite working up full trust in getting back on the power, and it's reflected there - lots of spots where I start to get back into it, then sort of lose my nerve a bit and back off again before finally putting the pedal down. It'll be interesting to look over my data when I run MSRH CW in May. That configuration is probably the one where I'm the most confident and familiar, so it'll be fun to see if the same throttle usage patterns present themselves.
  12. Yeah, I've observed the LEDs, though where I have mine mounted isn't in my direct view, so I rarely look at it while I'm out on track. Generally I'll just review the times on the unit after a session, I haven't gotten familiar with any of the other in-unit analytics to go a little deeper. The thing that got me thinking about looking between sessions was from another dig I did in Race Studio this morning. In one of my sessions Sunday at MSRC, I put down two consecutive laps with identical times, right down to the thousandth of a second. Of course the first naive reaction to seeing that is "goddamn I was super consistent," even though I knew there had to be some element of randomness involved. So I compared the data for those two laps and they're vastly different, I mean hilariously. At one point I was about 1.5 seconds ahead of myself, only to lose it all in what looks to be either reacting to a yellow flag, or giving a pass to a much slower car (I haven't reviewed the video to find out which). Eventually I'm almost half second behind, but then I reel myself back in from ricochet onwards. The two "identical" laps: I'm honestly finding it difficult to get actual work done at the office today. Do some real work, then think of something that I want to check out, open the laptop, fire up the Windows VM, over and over again...I'm going to have to like lock my laptop in a vault or something.
  13. This is really convenient; I got a Solo earlier this year and just this morning really dug into some of my data from Cresson this past weekend (see thread in that forum for my initial nerdgasm). Definitely going to grab some of these data sets and use them for comparison to my stuff. After this morning I can see myself becoming someone who's looking at data between sessions sometimes. Just waaay too much cool info and visualization, and I'm sure I've barely even scratched the surface of what I can learn.
  14. And down the data rabbit hole I go... For most of the weekend, once I got through Saturday morning and started getting some flow around the track, my best times were floating between mid-to-high 2:42s and low 2:43s. Not a ton of consistency, but that doesn't surprise me at a new track. But in my last session when I glanced at the Solo on the way back in, I'd put down a 2:41.7, almost a full second up on my previous best lap. Further investigation revealed it was the first hot lap of the session, which isn't where I typically set PBs. That got me curious enough to finally dig in and wrap my head around the data analysis stuff in Race Studio, and that pretty quickly put me into full-on nerdvana. Long story short, I gained/lost all my time between the hairpin and ricochet. I carried more speed into the hairpin but still was able to brake later. Same thing with the toilet bowl - I stayed on the gas a little longer over the hill and went deeper on the brakes. I took the wider line through the turn (not really clipping the first apex) and got on the power a lot sooner. And then the other big loss came when I lifted early before ricochet for whatever reason on the slower lap. Not sure what the deal was there. Run video follows. The fast lap from the data above starts about 2:45, while the slower one (second slowest of this run) starts at about 13:40. For my next trick I might try splitting the video and putting the fast and less-fast laps side-by side, I'm interested to visually see what some of the line variations look like from inside the car.
  15. Torque, shmorque...I get a decent helping of that in my car. Hands down the funnest instructor ride I ever did was in a prepped Miata at TWS. It's fun to experience the momentum-car life. Speaking of momentum cars...I had a fun moment Sunday morning. Guy in another prepped Miata caught up to me into rattlesnake and stayed right on my rear bumper through T5. I guess maybe he wanted to keep momentum down the hill to make sure I wasn't going to Viper away from him and not give the point after T7, but he didn't seem to be prepared for me to get on the brakes for turn-in and ended up locking all four and going off. Not sure if he was expecting me to wait until Miata o'clock to brake or what. Admittedly my brake point there can probably be pushed a bit further, but I don't feel like I was throwing the boat anchor out super early or anything.
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