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Hey all, 

 

I tried searching for these answers not only in the forums but on the vast interwebs as well and I guess I just haven’t seen the answer in plain English. 

 

I have a 1971 240 and it needs a lot of work (floor boards, sway bar mount on driver side [the factory mounting spot is...missing] no dash, no seats, basically a body with wheels, engine/driveline, and a lot of rust and bondo <_<). I would like to auto-x this car occasionally but still maintain “some” aspects of streetability. 

 

So, my questions...

 

How strict are the limitations on “non stock” cars?

 

I don’t have a ton of money, but I feel suspension is most important over power, what restrictions or “laws” are out there regarding coilovers and the like?

 

What classes could I run my 240 in being a stripped down shell? 

 

As as far as engine, I know the car had triples before it came into my possession, currently has an unidentified header, unsure if they put a different cam in it...what should I expect as far as inspection at the track? 

 

With the safety aspect, when are full cages needed, and are roll bars a must for all modified cars? 

 

Any other helpful tips or advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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You'll need interior to run in stock or street prepared. Z's suck in those classes, BTW. With no interior you'll be in Prepared. L6 will go in FP, where the Z is still competitive but not likely to win anytime soon and it takes a lot of money to build a competitive FP car, or with an engine swap you'll be in XP, where you won't be competitive at all.

If you want to win, you've probably got the wrong car to start with. I just figure out who I'm close to in times and then run against those people and have fun.

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JMortensen, I mainly just wanna have fun and enjoy some competition. I used to race on the streets in Tucson, and some of the mountain roads, but now that I’m older, wiser, and will have a family soon, I would rather be smart but still enjoy some “spirited” driving if you will, in a legal setting. With the prepared class (I do remember reading out this class) in auto-x, are engine mods allowed? It’s already swapped to an L28 (not sure if that counts) and as I said, not sure if it’s cam’d or what, I haven’t actually driven this car, but I do, in time, plan on making these upgrades and eventually doing triples with a turbo. With this in mind, and with your knowledge of the legal racing scene, what should I expect in terms of being able to compete in class races? Honestly for the time being I just want to race myself, work on doing better than my last time, a little friendly competition is always welcome.

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Posted (edited)

Prepared class allows extensive engine mods. Can't do a stroker, but triple carbs or ITBs, huge cams, crankfire ignition, etc all allowed. L24/26/28s are allowed in SP too IIRC.

In all likelihood people won't care if your car is legal for a class unless you're racing with SCCA (people who run events seem to be hall monitor types) or you start winning. Once you start winning they'll look closer. 

Edited by JMortensen

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Alright so if I have a custom dash, interior is gutted minus a roll bar, harnesses, and seats, running SU carbs, and according to my buddy who bought the car before we traded, some “Trickery” in the engine (probably a hot cam) with a header, coilovers and upgraded front sway bar, I could run SP? Or would that be the FP class? I would like to put myself into a class now with out having to dump a TON into it just to get there...does that make sense? I already have a gutted car that needs some structural body work but all in all pretty sound, and the car from what I remember is quick off the line and through corners from the one time I drove it before it was mine. I feel like it has potential to be a really fun car, I just want to see which class I’d fall into if I were to sort of finish where he left off...?

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SCCA and NASA are two of the main sanctioning bodies in the U.S.; but there can often be local clubs and organizations that run their own events outside of these two.  Consider running some HPDE, as well as autox.  SCCAForums and NASAForums are good sources of event info across the country, as is MotorsportsReg.com.

 

If you are more interested in maximizing your car's performance (with the lowest times) than placing within a particular class, you may find that XP is most suited to your goals.  It permits just about any and all modifications, for all intents and purposes.  The penalty you pay is a stiffer PAX rating.

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Super Street Modified (SSM) is another class the Z can find itself in. You can have a stroker, add a turbo, even an RB26 swap with huge fender flares. It simply requires a few "street" items like a dash and carpeting. It is the "street" version of X Prepared (XP).

Great advice given above. No one will care what class you're in until you win, or unless it is an SCCA club with numerous hall monitors ("fun" police). Pick a class, explain to the club that you're new, and people will take you under your wing and help explain the classes while you walk the course.

 

My advice would be to show up as soon as your car is road worthy. Not competition worthy... road worthy. Seat time is worth quite a lot.

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Thanks again guys. I’m gonna try to get her on the road before the end of the year so hopefully I’ll be posting pics, vids, and times next year. 

 

Zredbaron, that’s pretty much what I was thinking, just wasn’t sure if you had to know what you were doing class wise before showing up. 

 

Jhm, I’ll definitely check out the forums, thanks for the advice! 

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On 18/04/2018 at 3:02 AM, JMortensen said:

You'll need interior to run in stock or street prepared. Z's suck in those classes, BTW. With no interior you'll be in Prepared. L6 will go in FP, where the Z is still competitive but not likely to win anytime soon and it takes a lot of money to build a competitive FP car, or with an engine swap you'll be in XP, where you won't be competitive at all.

If you want to win, you've probably got the wrong car to start with. I just figure out who I'm close to in times and then run against those people and have fun.

 

That sounds a bit sad, why so uncompetitive? Obviously the better later model cars have good dynamics but the S30 is light and the L engine can be powered up nicely although it gets a bit expensive to have Green Hornet type performance. Are the later chassis/suspension cars that much better or what is it?

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Yeah, that's pretty much it. Stockish Z suspension sucks. The Z was competitive in Street Prepared until the E36 came into that class. Again, I don't keep track of the classes I'm not in, but that seems to have  been the end of it. They might have demoted it to a slower class by now but I haven't heard of the good news about its renewed competitiveness and I'm in enough groups that I think I would have heard.

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Concur 100%. In my experience across several states, Zs only have a chance at truly being competitive in FP. Other classes will have cars that we can't keep up with, if they show up. It's never fun to be the only car in your class and "win."

 

Like all forms of racing, one must maximize class allowances to allow the driver a chance to compete. The S30 just isn't a platform for competition against a modern car.

 

It is however that platform that connects driver to the road most directly. Our Zs are among the most exciting cars to autocross in terms of adrenaline for this reason. Racers with faster times get out of my Z hooting and hollering. 

 

I'm with Jon. I target competing against a few cars or drivers. I prefer to have a passenger than drive alone. Why hog the adrenaline? Get in!

 

I pursue excitement. I feel like I win, because I'm driving my dream car since I was 17. And that's my best victory, really.

 

FWIW.

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Posted (edited)

I can also add that once performance driving is tasted in an environment where it is safe to go beyond the traction envelope and spin out without harm.... you'll see the street never could have delivered the goods.

 

"Adulthood" is a different pursuit entirely. ;)  [Insert Peter Pan reference.]

 

:cheers:

Edited by zredbaron
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In AU there are two options if you want to race a Z, both are expensive. One, we have Historics (Veteran in the US?) where Porsches are allowed bigger brakes and wider wheels, two, time attack lol.  Sedans rule here, particularly V8 Supercars. So you see where I'm coming from.

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