While the majority of my focus starting out will be to get my driving up to snuff and gain experience, one outing in the car showed a number of deficiencies in the car as well.
Last session from mine, and the car's, first track outing: https://www.youtube....bed/3Xlf-gOchlc
Here's a few notes about the feeling of the car at this event, recent work, as well as some future plans. Feel free to ask questions or suggest changes!
-Lots of full throttle, and though the turbo is plumbed directly to the wastegate actuator (most conservative), I was still seeing 13-14 PSI. The car does not yet have an intercooler, and this will be remedied soon.
-Coolant temps climbed up around 230-235. Hot, but not overly concerning. I plan to get some better ducting to the radiator, as well as adding hoot louvers to let it all out. It's worth noting that the turbo does not have water cooling.
-The air filter is a cone on a stick in the engine bay, I hope to add some heat shielding and duct air front somewhere (perhaps remove one of the parking lights?), I could feel the car heat soak.
-Master Cylinder was freshly replaced to fix the old leaky MC, and new fluid. All 4 corners freshly bled.
-New pads (Aftermarket OE replacement)were installed in the front on the old rotors, I did a bedding procedure similar to what hawk recommends, 5-6 stops 40-(almost) stopped, and 5-6 stops from 50-60 to almost 0 and then let it cool, did some street driving before making it out to the track. These worked ok, but I could feel them fade but also knew I could be much more aggressive with the braking (speed/ lap time wise). Didn't trust these brakes.
-I plan on installing 2012+ Ford Focus calipers on all 4 corners, along with 4 lug focus (from the earlier model). Rear will be converted from drum to disk.
This opens up a lot of pad options, what do folks suggest for a mostly track/autox car that is sometimes street driven?
-I have a tall torso, my head does not fit even with the seat adjusted all the way down. Moving to a smaller (less thick) helmet, and doing some adjustment to the seat, I was able to get an ok position. I hope to get a new seat eventually.
-Because of torso height/ leg length, the position that gets my arms to have good reach, with head height compromised, as well as being a bit too close to the pedals. Hoping to get a dished steering wheel to help space that out a bit and get a better combination of arm/head/leg fit.
-3 point belts suck. Perhaps they would work marginally better in a fixed seat, but seeking solutions to eventually move to at least a 5 point belt at some point
-This time around was stockish springs (~100lb/in) and brand new stock replacement KYB struts and shocks. They worked well, though the stock springs are super soft and I experienced a lot of body roll. There was only corner where I had a wheel spin up (open diff) when the body rolled over onto the bump stop.
-I plan on installing a set of Koni-sport (yellow) coilovers that I'm purchasing from a fellow XR owner, and experimenting with spring and anti-roll bar rates.
-Next outing I hope to have 300lb/in in the front, stockish rear springs but w/19mm anti-roll bar (stock is 10mm). I expect to back down to a smaller rear bar and higher spring rates (MR is ~0.6), closer to 500-600lb/in. What thoughts do folks have for a ~2800 lb IRS RWD car in terms of spring rates?
-Before this event, all of the suspension bushings in the front were replaced with polyurethane: inner and outer control arms, anti-roll bar body connections, upper strut mounts, as well as the steering rag joint.
-The steering rack was solid mounted with aluminum bushings, and brand new tie rods inner and outer. Steering feels great but I can feel the delay between the wheel and the tire in terms of turn in.
-Rear suspension has not been touched, likely has a lot of play. Planning on solid sub-frame mounts, poly track arm bushings, solid diff mount.
Wheels and Tires:
-Current setup: 205/50r15 Federal 595 RS-RR tires on 15x5.5" (stock) wheel. They poke, a lot. They'll work for now, but I'd like to go +1, maybe +2 and definitely wider, though its hard to find wheels for 4x108 in the right offset (Fiesta/Focus wheels would require large spacers, not ideal).
-Tires felt good in this first outing, I ran the pressure fairly high to prevent the tire moving around too much on the wheel because of the lack of width, 45psi cold. It kept the tire upright but I could definitely see where more grip could be gained by dropping the pressure a bit, heated section of the tire extended upto, but did not roll over, the corner of the tire.
-Exhaust rattled loose a bit, new mechanical lock nuts on the turbo will fix this issue.
-It smokes a bit after it's warm and on the overrun. Suspect valve-stem seals. It burns a little oil but not an excessive amount.
-Oil leak from rear of block, new to this car (before the event). Hoping it's not a rear main seal.