boardkat's Daily Driven CAM-C AutoX Slayer!

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boardkat

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Bolted all (4) on for the first time tonight and took a drive with a few hard corners and bumps. No rub!
Sidenote: sticker BFG Rival S in cold (low-40s) and wet conditions don't grip so well. Tread carefully! :lol:

Apologies on the potato quality pics; my garage is a lot wider than it is long (and it should be pretty obvious why I spend so much time on my back, inconveniently placed support beams FTL!!), so taking pics is difficult, especially in the dark!
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Front:
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Rear:
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Jayme

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amazing build thread!
 

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Awesome build thread looks like we have almost the same suspension setup. I have to work on my engine and thinking of doing the magnum xl swap too so I'll be curious to see how it goes with the blower for you
 
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Got an unexpected afternoon off work Friday, so took advantage of the downtime w/o professional or familial distraction to do some wrenching. Thanks to [MENTION=25806]SteedaTech[/MENTION] for the quick delivery of some go-fast parts!

First, I swapped out my existing Energy Suspension mount and poly bushing setup for my FSB, and put in some Steeda billet mounts w/ delrin:

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A significantly more substantial design with the stiffness/predictability of delrin. Important to note: this is not a simple bolt on solution. Due to the unfortunate proximity of the alternator to the driver side mount, you either have to trim it down (to allow a ratcheting wrench to tighten the bolt head down), or remove the alternator completely (to install the mount intact). Just food for thought if you think you'll check this off the list in a matter of minutes like I originally did! :)

Next up, I swapped out my BMR spherical vertical links for the Steeda poly version:

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This is an attempt at seeing if adding "some" additional compliance in this part of the rear suspension will help with better control under very heavy braking. While inconsequential, it's also nice to keep the silver theme going :D

I then moved on to tackling the issues introduced by lowering my front suspension. Steeda makes an OEM-spec lateral link with an extended ball joint, to help correct the roll center problem:

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The added length helps take the roll center from being subterranean back to where the Ford engineers intended it to be.

I also installed the Steeda bumpsteer kit:

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It didn't take much correction from the stock location (in tandem with the lateral link), but I was amazed at how much of a difference it made in toe change +/- 1.5" from static ride height. How do I know this? I measured!

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Word of caution: if you have plans within a few hours of tackling this, be prepared to cancel them. Getting this setup, measuring, making the necessary spacer changes, remeasuring (rinse, repeat, MANY times) is a very time consuming process! But what I can say is that I took out 6mm (~3/16") of total toe OUT on the stock setup (prior to installing the link/kit), to within 1mm (~1/32") of total toe IN from static -> 1.5" compression. I knew I was having bumpsteer issues (and have been driving around with quick hands for years), but actually seeing the gravity of the situation through measurement was eye-opening. Don't hesitate to do this mod if you have the time and motivation to do it yourself!

End result of all these changes was getting a chance to take the car through the ringer at a local event Sunday. Protip: expecting grip on a sticker 18x13/335 setup in sub-40deg weather is an exercise in futility, lol. But it was actually dry (!) and I needed a good scrub on them before the Fontana Pro later this month, so I made the decision to do it anyway. Still had fun, but tires were lukewarm (at best) after 6 runs, and I was more half a second off the pace of the national STP champion (Ryan Otis) in his cursed Gen6 Camaro. I am planning to get my revenge next month at the Crows Landing events, where my significant torque disadvantage will be canceled out with substantial grip and the sweet song of high revving power on what always ends up being around 80mph+ 3rd gear courses.

Competition aside, I did accomplish a number of things:

1.) Confirmed that there is NO rubbing/interference from the 18x13/335 square setup. All that hard work paid off!!
2.) Adding 3/4" of contact patch and supporting the tire better on a wider wheel requires lower tire pressures for equivalent roll-over (a lot more than I'd predicted)
3.) I'm not reaching block height on my 5" front spring setup in street driving and on very bumpy courses.
4.) Bumpsteer and roll center correction is amazing! To actually be able to hit a bump at any angle with predictable behavior will allow me the mind space to focus on things other than steering correction while on course.

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... and so begins the 2018 season! Looking forward to the wild ride, as always :D
 


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Amazing !!
 

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Loving the work so far!!
 
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So for the first time in awhile, I'm adding weight back to the car. Since midway through the 2015 season, I've been running a super-lightweight (3.5lbs) Battery Tender LiFePO4 battery. I managed to kill the first one by leaving a light on overnight. Protip: you can bring this battery back to life, but don't expect it to have anywhere near the capacity that it had before! The second one ran strong for the 2016 season (I even kept it in for daily driving that year), but as soon as it started getting into the 30s, it struggled to start the car. I put it on a trickle for the offseason, then threw it back in 2017 only for big events. Back in the trickle for the winter, but wondered if there was something better out there now? Turns out, there was. Enter the Antigravity Batteries RS-30, a brand new offering just released a few weeks ago:

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It replaces their RS-20, which suffered in the same manner that my Battery Tender did in terms of capacity, maximum charge rate and the difficulty handling the starting needs of a large engine like the Coyote (i.e., low cranking amps). The RS-30 fixes all of these issues, and also includes an additional restart capability, that always keeps enough reserve power (when undercharge protection kicks in) to get you a few start attempts without needing a jump.

So how much weight am I adding for the convenience of not having to swap my battery out every race, and not having to worry about CCAs, temperature and capacity? Not much, as it turns out:

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Compared to the stock battery, the savings are obvious:

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Slightly taller than stock:

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But I also needed to free up some space in my engine bay, to make room for the custom baffled degas tank for my FI setup that I'll be installing later this season, so I actually moved ALL the weight to the back of the car:

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Would like to have mounted in the spare tire well, but since I still drive to all events and don't always have a support vehicle to haul wheels/tires, I needed that space to throw a tire in.

Since the RS-30 is slightly taller than the stock battery, I had to add some spacers to the hold down bracket for it to work without having to fab up another mount. Of course, LiFePO4 batteries can be mounted in any orientation, but since this one is also slightly wider, I couldn't mount in any other configuration without additional modifications. Also, there was an annoying taper on the negative terminal, so I couldn't get the repurposed ford piece to clamp down on it (since it, too, has an annoying clamping mechanism that doesn't apply force evenly throughout) - which is why you see that spacer/washer/screw contraption (to keep the terminal clamp seated). I'll definitely be cleaning this up in the near future!

All-in-all, I paid quite a $$$ premium to ADD weight back to the car, but with so many other things to do on race day (let alone the demands of my professional and personal life), it's worth it to me for the convenience alone. The extra piece of mind is icing on the cake.
 
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Following intensely... big props.
Big test this weekend - Fontana Pro Solo. Class of 25 - most competition I’ve had at a single event in more than a decade competing nationally, outside of Solo Nats, nice way to start the season! Did a few locals on the virgin 335/13s, but didn’t do much other than confirm fitment and get a scrub (and reaffirm that rivals do NOT work in 40/50 degree weather!) - no real feedback when running in literal parking lots with poor course designs to boot! Anxious to see where I need to take my setup with all this extra grip on more open/fast courses. Soon :D

Results will be posted here as the event progresses, beginning Saturday morning:

http://sololive.scca.com
 
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Running on fumes (again) this morning, after a 10 hour cannonball run home that didn't have me getting in until after 2am, but wanted to get something out there before work gets crazy this week.

It's been a tumultuous start to the 2018 season. Cones, red lights, tire heat issues (or lack thereof), oiling issues, sound issues, (unintended) dynamic suspension settings and 1000s of miles of traveling have been the story of the last month for me! But the end result of trials and tribulations is that I have the car (and driving!) heading in the right direction as the rest of the season unfolds.

tl;dr is:
Fontana Pro Solo - 5th, CAM (scratch times good enough to win)
Crows Landing National Tour - 6th (standing on a run with 3 (!) cones, scratch times good enough to win)
Crows Landing CAM Challenge/Pro Solo - 3rd in CAM, 1st in CAM-C, 2nd in Challenge

Now for some details. first important thing to note: don't show up at an event with temps in the low-50s on a 335/13 setup with no co-driver! Whodathunk that it'd be that cold in the Inland Empire of California in March, uggh. This event quickly became an exercise in futility for me, since I was also running a concrete setup (stiff) on a very low-grip (and bumpy) surface with no heat in my tires. Protip: driving a high-powered RWD car with no grip requires AWD-like driving tendencies. Barrel into a corner, trailbrake the hell out of it, and hope you don't slide too far on throttle-down exit :D

Another protip: the ABS system doesn't like brakestands with TCS and Advancetrac off, and no ABS means no braking force without constant lockup, period. I tripped the light in the burnout box on a run, requiring a battery reset afterwards to clear. No more burnouts for me! :doh:

That about all that's worth mentioning about Fontana. I've already purged the experience from my memory, and that's all I have to say about that :lol:

Building on what I learned about needing HEAT for this setup, I picked up a co-driver for my next event, the Crows Landing National Tour. With temps in the high-60s/low-70s, we both had enough grip by our second runs to attack the course. That is, if we weren't scrambling after each and every run all weekend with a combination of both sound and oiling issues. Sound, because they had the meter at a spot on the course where my car was absolutely SCREAMING over 8k rpm in 2nd gear. Yeah, it was a FAST course. Nothing a couple turndowns couldn't fix to get me back under 100dB, but the more persistent issue was MASSIVE blow-by we experienced on a couple of very specific elements. Mainly, a couple very high-speed, high rpm and high G entries into large steady-state right-handers (with an off-throttle moment), followed by sustained WOT into more high-speed transitions. End result: blow-by, smoke-galore and a whole lot of ticking upon return to grid :(

"Why don't you have catchcans?" you might ask. Well, I do. Except with the amount of blow-by, the driver-side can filled so quickly that there was no more capacity to catch anything in the GT350 separator, and it dumped right back into the intake tube. So we were forced to empty after every run, and blew by over a quart each day (!)

In addition to this, I threw a P0345 code (cam position sensor) after my co-driver's 3rd run on the 1st day. Having already lunched an engine a few seasons ago, and not wanting to destroy another one, I parked the car without taking my final run, so that I could assess the situation before deciding if we were going continue on day 2. After speaking with another competitor, who had similar oiling issues with his Boss on the track (and also throwing the same code), I felt confident that clearing the code and keeping an eye on the oiling issues would suffice. Heading into day 2, I was sitting in 2nd, just .090 out of 1st, but knowing that I left gobs of time out there. With similar elements still existing, we continued with our oiling routine on day 2, but the stress and exhaustion of the weekend had definitely caught up to me. In a first for me at a national event, I DNFd not one, but two of my runs, due to a couple overly optimistic (LATE) braking moments coming out of some high speed elements. The run I ended up standing on gapped the class by over a second, but it also had (3) cones attached :doh:

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Here's a sample of what the course was like on Day 2. Apologies for the wind noise; my external mic broke, so I had to use the built-in one with an unsealed casing. Hope to have that fixed before my next event.

[ame]
The first thing I did when I woke up the next morning was give [MENTION=25806]SteedaTech[/MENTION] a call. Knowing that MikeD and crew had experienced similar issues on their road race car, I asked if they could piece together a similar system on short notice, since I'd be competing again in the CAM Challenge that weekend. After some back-and-forth, we decided the most effective solution would be a vented Peterson can to catch any blow-by, effectively eliminating the PCV system (preventing oil dumping back into the intake) while keeping a close eye on any accumulation (since I wouldn't have the time or tools on-site to swap oil pans and drain back into it).

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I'm happy to report that I had zero blow-by issues like the ones that plagued me the previous weekend, which allowed me to focus on driving. THANK YOU STEEDA!!! A couple protips when installing: you will need to eliminate (or relocate) your windshield wiper fluid reservoir (if you use the same location I did). And be careful with the pressure applied to the valve cover vents when positioning the system. I broke the (3) of the (4) tabs in my haste to finish the installation ahead of morning runs, which is why you see those lovely ghetto-fab-spec zipties securing the lines at the covers :headbonk: Of course, I'll be re-doing the system when I get the pan installed, and mount the can permanently.

Now, on to the excitement of the event itself! The CAM Challenge took on a unique format this year - an event, within an event, within an event. What I mean by that is they decided to combine the 2018 SCCA CAM Challenge California with another event (SCCA Pro Solo), which is different than a typical autocross. Instead of a single course, there are (2) mirror-image courses with a burnout box, tree and drag start - reaction time, 60ft performance and heads-up racing all become key components for success. On Saturday, we are given (4) cracks at each course (2 at a time, 4 back-to-back in the morning and another 4 back-to-back in the afternoon, for a total of 8 runs), and then we return Sunday morning to take (4) more. Out of the (12) total runs, your best left and right side runs are combined to give your total time (and standing). All of this is then used to seed you, based on overall position in class, in a Challenge bracket, where competitors take a run on each side, with the winner of each round being the one closest to their dial-in that they established earlier, until an overall winner of the challenge round emerges - essentially, bracket racing (with penalties for break-outs, rather than disqualification).

During the seeding round, I was one of (26) competitors in an indexed class called CAM, which which pits American-made RWD cars of three varieties against each other: CAM-S, for 2-seater cars; CAM-T, for 4-seater cars built earlier than 1993; and CAM-C, for 4-seater cars built after 1993. In this portion, I was the top CAM-C competitor (out of 15), but got edged out by a '68 Camaro and '01 Z06 (on PAX, which is an index applied to raw times to compare cars from different classes) to seed 3rd overall. My biggest competitor was myself again though, as I had the scratch times to win, but couldn't do it clean (cones and red-lights plagued my fastest runs) - in fact, I had the misfortune of standing on my Saturday morning runs (including my very first run of the weekend!) - guess I can cross that unfortunate tidbit off my bucket list! In spite of this, I was feeling pretty good heading into the Challenge bracket. In the first round, I took out a GT350R (who beat me last weekend at the SCCA National Tour event, when I couldn't get a clean 2nd day run), and then another GT350R (who beat me in Fontana last month at the previous Pro Solo event) to make it to the final against the highly modified, fire-breathing C7 Corvette belonging to Jordan Priestley of JDP Motorsports. I did happen to break-out in the previous round, so suffered a slight dial-in penalty (1.5x the improvement), but Jordan himself had broken out by a much larger margin earlier, so I knew all I had to do was get a couple clean and quick runs to win. I'd been pushing the lights most of the weekend (0.500 is considered a "perfect" reaction time), and with all the additional rubber laid down that morning, I failed to consider that my car was hooking much better on roll-out. With much disappointment, on my first run, I red-lit with a 0.491 and handed Jordan the Challenge win on a silver platter. Ah well, that's how it goes sometimes!

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Here's a sample of the format; apologies again for the wind noise.

[ame]
I did have some (unintended) dynamic suspension issues on the first day, due to a loose lower rear control arm frame bolt up front. Only noticed it because I was making a sway bar rate change, and noticed some compliance. If you thrash on your car, be sure to check these bolts frequently (I usually do when I get home, shame on me for not checking after two out-of-town national events!). This isn't the first time I've had a bolt back out, even with the proper torque and loctite.

After all this early season excitement, I'm taking a breather for a few weeks, allowing some time for the weather to improve around here before jumping back into local/regional competition. I'm excited that I've got a good baseline established to build upon heading into the summer National schedule, and ultimately the Championship events in Nebraska in September, but have a lot of work to do before that. With height-adjustable articulating 2.25" rear-perches *finally* in hand, my first task will be to experiment with 1600/1800/2000 rates, get the car on the scales and corner-balanced. A HUGE thank you to Mike @ Mike Maier Inc, who quickly modified his design to come up with a prototype to meet my needs.

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I'll also be experimenting with a different combination of front/rear bars and front spring rates, until I can find an optimal setup that maximizes the grip of my new monster 335/18x13 square setup.

That's it for now, keep the shiny side up everyone!
 

BoostedMike177

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I love this build man! Right now i have a 16 EcoBoost that I'm running in street class and I want to start going to pro and Nats next year. I see you run 18' wheels, everyone else runs 19'. Right now I'm on 18s with old rivals and still do alright but I wrap 2nd gear out at about 55. What was your deciding factor on sticking with the 18s?
 
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I love this build man! Right now i have a 16 EcoBoost that I'm running in street class and I want to start going to pro and Nats next year. I see you run 18' wheels, everyone else runs 19'. Right now I'm on 18s with old rivals and still do alright but I wrap 2nd gear out at about 55. What was your deciding factor on sticking with the 18s?
width.
my 335/30R18 on 13s are almost 2"/corner wider than 305/30R19 RE-71R on 12s. also, the RE-71R is not a good match for my driving style.
gearing is a non-issue for me - with the 335/MT82/3.31/8250 combo, i go to 78 in 2nd.
 

 
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