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Ben280 last won the day on July 3

Ben280 had the most liked content!

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About Ben280

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    Portland OR

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  1. Ben280

    HybridZ PNW Auto-x Day

    Hey Albatross! No special requirements for entry, apart from a basic safety/tech inspection. We check for batteries properly secured, brakes/clutch have good feel, no play in the wheel bearings, throttle has positive return, no loose items in the car, tires aren't corded or dry-rotted. Pretty straightforward! As for classes, I run in FP. XP, BSP and CS are usually where these cars fall, but OR-SCCA has a special class called "Tuner Challenge" for people who are just learning the ropes of the sport, and don't want/need to get bogged down with the hefty SCCA rule book. SCCA classing is another whole can of worms that we should probably discuss in another thread! Admission for a day event is $15 for a SCCA weekend membership (unless you happen to have an annual membership) and $35 for runs. Packwood on Saturday's we run a test and tune after our competition runs, which is $20. As you might suspect, the weekend membership is good for both Saturday and Sunday, so that is a one time cost for the weekend, and that $15 can be applied towards an annual membership should you get bit by the bug! Couple useful links: http://www.oregonscca.com/solo---autocross.html (Main site with schedule, results and other fun stuff!) http://www.oregonscca.com/uploads/8/5/9/0/85902804/supps.pdf (Supplemental rules, worth the read!)
  2. Ben280

    HybridZ PNW Auto-x Day

    Dryer ducting turndowns work pretty well for this. New SCCA rules say it can go straight up or straight down. 95dBa is tough to hit if you've got some mufflers in. A cat and a turbo should be ok, and a turndown will get the rest of it if needed! Y'all should be good, the meter gets pulled out if something is rowdy loud.
  3. Ben280

    HybridZ PNW Auto-x Day

    Added a both response. Yeah, sound can be a real bastard to get, but supertrapps make a world of difference!
  4. Ben280

    HybridZ PNW Auto-x Day

    Awesome to see some interest!! In my opinion, a car is never really finished. So unless its not drivable, don't let that stop you from coming out and turning a few laps! Threw a poll up on the first post (this new HZ forum software is nice!) so vote for your preference.
  5. Ben280

    L Series Rocker Arms

    Full set of 12 rocker arms out of a N47 head. In good shape, no scoring/marks on surface. Lash pads in the picture not included, since there are only 11 of them! Asking $110 shipped anywhere in the lower 48!
  6. Leon, you are correct and I would be remise to claim that the only reason for the Z's not being on par with newer cars is its strut suspension. All that is meant to imply is that at peak driver performance, a SLA front end WILL outperform a strut front end. Can mere mortals get to that point in driving? That remains to be seen. Going off topic, but the bigger issue for competition (for my case at least) is the lack of power. I'm at minimum class weight and with a 8.5/10 motor build, about 9lbs/whp, with the guys at the pointy end of the field closer to 6-6.5 lbs/whp. For auto-x the Z has a lot going for it; light weight, excellent weight distribution, narrow even with monster tires on it, and lots of space to modify and add parts. The class I race in allows for most of the foils in the suspension to be fixed, and the excellent aftermarket support these cars have found recently makes it easy to get the adjustable parts. I'm getting closer with the car, and still believe that the nut behind the wheel is the limiting factor. Once that ceases to be the case, I'll be sure to post pics of my front suspension conversion. I will say that doing a front end conversion like this is a fabulous way to add years of development to a car, if not well thought out, or completely ruin a good car if it's not thought out at all.
  7. Ben280

    E31 Head - SOLD

    Hi All, I've got an E31 head for sale, and am hoping to send it to a better home. Its been sitting as long as I've had it, but it is in very good shape. Little bit of gunk, but its original gunk! Measured the head and it's never been decked, measures out at 108mm. Has all the original springs and valves, but the cam, rockers and lash pads have been lost to time. Looks like there's the usual surface rust in the main water jackets, but if you hot tanked and refreshed this, you should have a mighty good original head on your hands! Feel free to ask questions or request more measurements/photos. Asking $300 SOLD. Willing to ship, but you pay. Located in PDX.
  8. The strut setup on these cars is ok, but there's a reason they aren't competitive anymore. No camber gain in roll and the nightmare front hubs (hello, scrub radius called...) are challenges that can't be solved with this arrangement. The Apex Engineering is in my opinion the kit to get. It lets you lower the car and raise the inner arm pickup point to correct your roll center. I've drilled out my stock sub-frame, and that mod combined with the outboard roll center adjuster blocks make for a wizard handling car. You MIGHT be able to graft in a Miata front subframe, but you'll undoubtedly run into some hilarious issues with this. I say go for it, particularly if you've already exhausted the adjustments in the stock configuration! And post photos if you do.
  9. Hey Everybody, Trying to organize some kind of meet up/race day with the fine folks of the pacific northwest! There are a handful of events that will likely work, so I'm throwing out some dates to see if there is any interest. The obvious site is in Packwood, WA. Phenomenal site, huge courses, free on site camping and equidistant from PDX and Seattle. Oregon Region SCCA has a few more events up there this year that might work well. Possible dates for a race day: August 11/12 September 15/16 Let me know if there's interest, I'll be there either way!
  10. Ben280

    280z FP Build

    I'm more excited to see people come out and have a good time! As my project shows, these cars are always evolving, so you gotta take time and smell the race gas.
  11. I have the T3 45mm, steps down perfectly to the OER ITB setup. Excited to see how they stack up in your testing!
  12. Ben280

    280z FP Build

    On a side note, I'm wondering about organizing a Z-day/Auto-x meet up at one of the Packwood events later this summer. The site is phenomenal, great pavement and a cool chance to test out your Z. Matt and Jon were out to an event last year, and we mentioned the potential of getting a bunch of people together for a day. Its about 2.5 hrs from Portland and Seattle, free camping on site, and has high BBQ potential!
  13. Ben280

    280z FP Build

    Once I got back from California, the mods started right away. First was getting more travel in the suspension. I had my friend who machined the top hats make some spacers to adjust them down 1.5". This let me move the spring perch down 1", effectively gaining more droop travel and raising the car .5" (it was really low before!). With the droop travel solved, I went after the bump. There's lots of room in the car for that, I just had to cut some more body out to get there! The rear of the car is essentially tubbed now, no more conservative ZG flare cut for this Z! Full (pre mod) droop to ride height. Full compression came right before the tire hit the body. Not enough! Little bit of persuasion with a grinder, hammer, MIG welder, more hammer, more welder and some foil tape and we got suspension travel for days! Another big modification that needed to be addressed was the rear roll center. I've done the common modification of drilling holes in the front cross member to get better angle in the control arm, and the car really turns as a result. The rear however was a mess, and would "fall over" in roll, causing the car to porpoise under heavy acceleration. Not ideal! The solution was partially raise the rear of the car, and then lower the outboard control arm mount. I drilled out some 1.5" cold rolled steel on the lathe, bored it to 5/8" and welded it to the bottom of the knuckle. Heavy metal! Three passes with the knob cranked to 11 (on a 220v machine). Much better control arm angle. The factory hole at this ride height is about level, and .5" lower was angled 5-8* upward. Had a chance to test out all these mods two weeks ago at the NWR ProSolo, and I have to say it went real smoothly. Particularly in comparison to the California event 3 weeks prior! The ProSolo revealed a couple more flaws, but the mod list is getting shorter and shorter each event. Really looking forward to the Packwood NT/ProSolo events in July!
  14. Ben280

    280z FP Build

    First event of the year was a wet race at the PIR lot, and essentially useless for determining if any changes needed to be made to the suspension. We were able to figure out (using math!) that the ideal starting place for the adjuster knobs was slightly below the bottom of the Koni adjusters. So that made it easy, just leave everything at full soft and add as needed for balance. Second event was the National Tour stop at Crows Landing, just outside of Paterson CA. We made a quick detour to visit Steve Parmley and pick up a new windshield, as my numbers matching piece finally cracked after I got a little rough with it trying to save the gasket. Pretty funny loading the car on the trailer without front glass! Upshot of this was some cosmetic changes in the cabin that should make driving the car much nicer. Being the first real event on the car, the test day at crows was a literal s$!& show. Right off the trailer it was idling like dirt, so we did a couple pulls and added some fuel to the accel enrich map. That smoothed out the idle, but it was still misfiring like a bastard. Pulling the plugs found that the #3 cylinder had come in contact with the plug and closed the gap. No gap, no spark, no explosion. We re-gapped it and clocked it correctly, and we were good to go. Ish. We actually were worse than we started. We never corrected out that fuel we'd added to make up for no #3 spark. So now it was running so rich, it couldn't accelerate its way out of a paper bag. After 2 hours, frustratedly downloading Megalog Viewer at the end of a runway, and doing a couple terrible practice runs, we reset the tune to the start of the day, and all was well. Off the trailer with a new windshield! Thanks Steve! On the practice course, we decided that we were crashing into the bump stops on transition, and we didn't have enough droop travel to keep the inside rear down when in a turn. Remember that teeny tiny rear gap? Well as cool as it looked with flares, it lead me to be super conservative when setting my bump stops. So we weren't hitting the body, but we were getting infinite spring rate mid slalom. No bueno! But as prepared cars go, we got F'n Prepared and proceeded to remove most of the rear suspension so we could trim the bump stops, and space down the tophats. More droop, and more bump. Well, that didn't go exactly as planned! We couldn't get washers small enough to let us space the top hats down, so we cut the bump stops, pre-loaded the springs, and added some compression to try and hold up the rear of the car. The contingency plan was to throw some spring blocks in as well, and go from 500/400 to 600/450. Not ideal, but we didn't have a better option! As we went to put the car back on the ground, the final gut punch to a rough day came in the form of a deck screw in the center of the rear tire. We threw the wheel in the back of the truck and went to the hotel for beer and showers. If you can't make it worse, at least make it something! Bright and early on race day. Right where we left her (and the toolbox too!) Yup, we were so exhausted that we left the toolbox out overnight! Lucky for us, auto-crossers are a trusty bunch. One of the guys from Oregon Region that we were hanging out with had a patch kit that he generously loaned us, we slammed the patch in and she held air. Now to shift focus from thrashing to driving and having fun! Looking good! Hawk DTC-60's are the best braking dust pad I've ever used! We were running in XP, and massively outgunned by a pair of RX-7's. I drove off pace Saturday, but got some much needed confidence Sunday and managed to be more in the mix. I landed predictably in last place, but Zack drove the wheels off the car and got 2nd. A positive result and I had a long list of mods to make before the next event!
  15. Ben280

    280z FP Build

    Ok, few events in and there are some updates! Mods over the winter went smoothly, if a bit slow. Lots of new suspension parts, custom top hats, "custom" housings, Koni 8611 double adjustable shocks and some freebie ground control perches and we're off! Got some first run T3 aluminum hubs as well, but they haven't made it on the car yet, got some other very trick parts that need to be designed first! Helps to have buddies with CNC machines! I did get frustrated half way through this project with using up all my machine shop points, so I bought a lathe. That's helped a bunch with some of the more fiddly parts I've had to make since! Another big project was getting my exhaust sorted out. The one that came with the Rebello motor was very hacked together and left a lot to be desired. Crimp bends, weirdly necking down from 2.5" to 2" and back to 2.5" and just general rust were but a few reasons to throw it all in the scrap pile. I got a good deal on a bunch of parts, and busted out the welder. I decided to go full 3", with two mufflers to keep the sound down. Having been on the wrong side of the "DB meter-o-lies" I wanted to make sure I didn't get booted out for ignoring simple things. As most of you know, getting exhausts in these cars with ground clearance is easy until it really isn't, particularly around the diff. I opted to solid mound the exhaust and get better clearance, and added some proper flex joints in the header to keep everything happy. Nice Vibrant flex joints welded to 2 notches above garbage. Don't judge me! We've gone full danger noodle! This is out of the center muffler, around the diff and into the secondary muffler. Solid mounts to the diff cross member and fuel cell cage Glorious ground clearance! Pipe is as tucked as possible. This perspective is tricky, the entire center muffler is above the frame rails. Crammed in there! You can sneak the driveshaft out tho, so it's a win in my book! Last mod before the season started was to get a proper alignment and corner balance. I've been working with the guys at PRE in Portland (Zack the shop manager has a pretty wizard Evo that I have to race against) and they were the obvious choice for the first real alignment this car has had in years. On the rack. Check that rear wheel gap, it's gonna pop up later! Adding/moving around some ballast. Lost a bit of weight over the winter, need to add it back! Before we started balancing and moving weight around. This is with my weight in the drivers seat, fully ready to rock. No after pic cause I forgot, we got it close though! We were able to make some great adjustments for CAI, scrub, caster and camber. The alignment rack had a feature showing us wheelbase, and so we were able to even those out. The car had been in a crash before I got it, and the drivers side tension rod pocket was about an inch further back. With new exhaust, suspension, alignment and corner balance, we were ready to rock and roll!