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EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/16/22 10:02 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Hopefully being there early meant that the new tow rig didn't have any issues on the trip. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/16/22 10:53 p.m.

In reply to EvanB :

So far so good!  It's pretty relaxing to tow with and got 12.5-13.5mpg on the way out.  It does have an evap code which probably has something to do with the filler neck setup for the flatbed but that's the biggest problem so far. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/16/22 11:01 p.m.

I want to get back in the habit of doing these.

100AW 2022 Setup:

Front Suspension:
Damping: 300/70 Bilstein
Spring Rate: 225 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.75"
Bumpstop:  3" soft rubber
Toe: 0"
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, new

Rear Suspension:
Damping: 3p-8 AFCO
Spring Rate: 250 lbs/in
Ride Height (pinch weld): 7.5"
Bumpstop:  2.75" soft foam
Toe: 1/16" in
Tires: Hoosier 185/65R15 Hard Compound, used previously as fronts

Other: Snorkel intake run to PS rear of engine bay to hopefully avoid filling the engine with water 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/17/22 5:57 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to EvanB :

So far so good!  It's pretty relaxing to tow with and got 12.5-13.5mpg on the way out.  It does have an evap code which probably has something to do with the filler neck setup for the flatbed but that's the biggest problem so far. 

Now I'm curious how you got 12.5-13.5 mpgs....I tow a similar weight and am around 11mpgs at best with the same engine. I must have a heavier foot than Chris lol. 

I also have Load Range E tires that are a bit taller than stock, so that could be it too, and I guess the Sequoia may weigh more than yours, IDK. But now I need to play nicer with the skinny pedal :/

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/21/22 7:58 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Stock sized E range tires, pressures 65F 75R, 50psi in the trailer tires, and tow around 65-70mph.  If you never tow anywhere flat that's probably a factor too, boring Ohio probably helped the numbers although we still got 12.5mpg on the last leg through Pennsylvania- our various sketchy tow rigs have made me very light on the throttle when towing.

Speaking of which, so happy we bought this Tundra.  Over 2000 miles of towing this weekend with zero issues and a quiet comfortable ride the whole way.

Event writeup might wait until tomorrow, I've slept less than 8 of the last 50hrs or so and have to make it through a workday.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/21/22 10:18 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Stock sized E range tires, pressures 65F 75R, 50psi in the trailer tires, and tow around 65-70mph.  If you never tow anywhere flat that's probably a factor too, boring Ohio probably helped the numbers although we still got 12.5mpg on the last leg through Pennsylvania- our various sketchy tow rigs have made me very light on the throttle when towing.

Speaking of which, so happy we bought this Tundra.  Over 2000 miles of towing this weekend with zero issues and a quiet comfortable ride the whole way.

Event writeup might wait until tomorrow, I've slept less than 8 of the last 50hrs or so and have to make it through a workday.

I have to say it was a bit refreshing not to see any posts from you guys over this entire trip regarding tow rig issues :)


Wow those are some high pressures that you keep the tires at. I think I'm usually around 50 psi in mine when towing but maybe I'll have to consider upping that. I run about 45 when not towing And it's a pretty berkeleying stiff ride lol.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/21/22 10:30 a.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

FWIW I run my E-rated tires at whatever the sidewall max cold pressure is. I think that's either 70 or 80psi. Is it rough? Well I'm either in the E250 with its Hellwig suspension setup, or the motorhome, and they're both rattly boxes on wheels so it's kinda hard to tell. :-)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/21/22 11:19 a.m.

May be an image of outdoors

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/22/22 7:59 a.m.

Rally in the 100 Acre Wood 2022


Having just purchased a Tundra to tow with a couple days before, we set off for the 1000 mile tow to Missouri with an extra day of buffer in case we had unforseen issues.

But, the Tundra did great and we had no issues so we got to spend a little extra time in St. Louis (where Sara grew up) on the way, visiting the barn and taking the dogs for a walk at Queeny park.  The biggest problem the truck and trailer managed to have across the whole trip was a lost dust cap on one of the hubs, which was quickly remedied by making a part out of trash:

We also picked up our recce vehicle from Sara's high school friend Steve- a Ram TRX, because of course you need 700hp to go 35mph on a gravel road, and grabbed some dinner in that before registration opened.

We drove out to our shared airbnb with teams Matheson/Brock (1g Talon) and Bragg/DePaoli (Coupe Quattro) and settled in for the night after some quick work on the Talon.

The next morning we were up and out bright and early for recce while crew guys Cort and Justin were left with the Tundra and BRZ to go to tech and get some tires mounted for the Talon.  At some point during the day that all happened.

Meanwhile we were blasting around the stages trying not to get speeding penalties, playing with the TRX suspension settings (Baja mode on the dampers and Sport on the steering ended up being the choice of the day), and trying not to get speeding penalties while we wrote our notes.  I have to say it seems like we're getting pretty good at recce, not a lot of edits on the second pass and Sara's routes always get us through all the stages with time to spare, even when we have to detour 30 minutes in order to find premium for a very thirsty supercharged recce truck.

With recce finished and the car through tech, we grabbed some food with the St. Louis squad (spectating and crewing for the weekend) and returned the TRX to Steve.

Then back to the airbnb to prepare and get some much needed rest, since there wouldn't be a whole lot of time to sleep between the two days of rally.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/22/22 8:36 a.m.

Rally in the 100 Acre Wood


It was a cold, rainy morning but after we got the service spot set up and drove over to parc expose in Potosi things dried out and warmed up for a bit.  The usual pre-rally festivities had an important addition- Sara's mom was in attendance, and even got out onto the stages to spectate once the event started:

Eventually the rain came back, and we spent a while hanging out under a tent, and then in the basement of the courthouse with some of our fellow competitors just trying to stay dry.  There were nearly 100 entries at this event so it took over an hour from the official start just to reach our minute to leave, and we transited out to what was sure to be a relatively muddy first stage- it's worth noting that it was dry for recce, so the surface was going to be a big unknown.

SS1 was Floyd Tower West Short, and like all of the Friday stages it was medium-high speed, with a lot of crown to the road, and nothing particularly rough, but only a few corners in it became obvious that I couldn't really read the surface- it all looked the same shade of brown mud to me, but some corners were really slippy, while some had perfectly fine grip.  I had encountered this same problem at SOFR last year and, just like it did there, it really messed my driving up and started an entire feedback loop of braking too early, not turning in aggressively enough, and then once I thought I was building speed and braking later I'd get another surprise slippy corner and go right back to complete crap driving.  I really, really need to work on this, it messed with my head and reviewing video seems to have impacted by braking and turn-in behavior all the way into the day 2 stages.  Sara's notes were perfect but we went pretty slow, and on top of my driving issues the car seemed down on power.  Still got a cool photo from Liz Wagner photography though:

SS2 was Pigeon Roost East, and it was more of the same but faster and longer so the power issue was more noticeable.  It also had virtual chicanes, which at the very least I feel went well for once.

SS3, Run for Moses, was much shorter but again I just couldn't get that confidence back to brake anywhere near where I needed to.  Notes were still perfect, this was all on me.  Power was continuing to get worse and I had a suspicion that we confirmed the moment we rolled into service.

Our intake snorkel extension is made of brake duct tubing, rated for 550F and with a pretty stiff wire in it to keep it from collapsing- however, apparently if you get it hot enough and apply vacuum that wire can scoot around and let the tube fold in on itself, which is exactly what it was doing just above the radiator.  I disconnected it while Cort and Justin checked and cleaned other things and Jonathan/Steve/Chris made sure we got something to eat before heading back out to spectate.

The car seemed otherwise fine so we set off for the same loop of three stages again.

On SS4, I continued to fight myself and the conditions while ignoring a loud squealing sound from the rear, and towards the end the car started getting really loose on left hand turns.  When we pulled into the time control, the workers pointed out that we had a flat right rear tire, so once out of the control we hopped out and changed that quickly- our tire change procedure worked great and we were done in about 90 seconds working at a leisurely pace, but the cause of the flat was... interesting:

A rock had lodged itself in between the brake caliper and the wheel and basically made a nice little lathe, cutting the wheel in half from the inside.  The fact that both halves are still beaded is a testament to how crazy strong the carcass is on these tires, but this is a weird failure for us- typically we don't get much stuff jammed inside the rear wheels, since our fronts are unpowered and don't throw stuff like a fwd/awd car would, but something about the sticky mud and sharp gravel created the perfect combination to fill them constantly and we would have to back up and jam on the brakes to dislodge stuff on every transit for the rest of the night.

SS5 and 6 I tried to push but looking at times I think my head was just in the wrong place- we were accelerating hard and getting around corners at a reasonable speed but my braking points had moved about 50 yards back from where they should be and it cost us time on every single corner.  By the end of the night, between that, the collapsed snorkel, and the flat we were minutes behind and effectively out of contention for the L2wd podium.  Mud also really seems to ruin the fuel economy of the BRZ, so to top it all off we nearly ran out of gas on the final transit back.

When we returned, the service park was a mud pit and filled with stuck tow rigs so we drove into Potosi to wash some of the mud off the car and meet Cort with the Tundra there.  We loaded up and went back to the airbnb, and I jacked the car up on the trailer and rotated tires around to get a good set- our other rear wheel also had some rock damage on the inside so I didn't want to run it on day 2 unless I had to.

On a brighter note, both Matheson and Bragg were flying and doing really well, so at least not everyone in the house was as grumpy as I was.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/22/22 9:11 a.m.

Rally in the 100 Acre Wood


There wasn't a lot of time to sleep but at least the rain was finally stopping.  We headed out, set up our service spot, and reconnected the snorkel after sleeving the collapsed section above the radiator with a Spectre intake tube from the local parts store.  This may be the first ever instance of a Spectre product actually providing a significant power increase.

We had dropped way back in the order, but hey at least it means we're visible in this parc expose photo!

This was a particularly fun parc expose since it seems like Salem really likes having the rally there, even showing live coverage on the monitor in one of the bars whose parking we were all blocking.  Everyone was nervous though, because the first stage of the day was...

SS7, Southern Loop West.  Southern Loop is a notorious car breaker, with a middle section full of water crossings, big rocks, and whooped out nasty garbage.  So that's where we went next.

The beginning of Southern Loop isn't actually so bad, but then it pitches downhill and steadily gets rougher until the first water crossing of the stage, which is pretty rocky and kind of deep.  When we got there, the "good" line on the left side of the water crossing had a stalled out Camaro stuck on the other side, so we took a diagonal path through much deeper water and managed to get a little water in the intake even with the snorkel- but after sputtering through the next section of smaller crossings, ruts, and puddles, the car recovered and was back to running properly.  Proud moment here: through the nasty stuff, the BRZ suspension was actually smoother than the TRX had been on recce, and all in all it didn't feel all that terrible.  We nailed the rest of the crossings, stayed dead on the notes the whole time, and apart from not pushing fast enough on the smoother sections I think I put in a reasonable performance given the conditions.  I'm posting this David Cosseboom photo again because just look at it:

On the transit out, though, we passed one car that had conked out shortly after the time control to find Matheson and Brock stopped but OK- their oil dipstick had blown out mid stage and they were in the midst of some unpleasant cleanup to prevent an engine fire, check the oil splash on the left side of the hood.  They told us to go ahead and would rejoin the rally at the back of the pack:

SS8 was a relatively short one called Hollow Bridge, and while it was pleasant compared to Southern Loop but something about my stupid early braking behavior had taken a set and was seemingly there to stay- we were working through it but not nearly back up to speed yet.

Back to service, the crew checked everything over and it was all OK.  Nothing stuck in the rear wheels whatsoever, really strange how that specific surface from the night before had packed them up and they stayed totally empty for every other section.  Jonathan and Chris helped us refuel and we were off hoping to try and make back some time.

At SS9 start we waited out a radio problem, and Sara found some new friends since the transit route ended next to a dog sanctuary:

Then the stage halted again- a crash this time.  Medical help was dispatched, the (thankfully mildly) injured codriver taken to the hospital, and the stage was turned into a transit.  We took the opportunity to use it as a third recce pass.

SS10, Scotia South, was the other scary one for this event- fast with lots of opportunities to clip rocks and fences, with a nasty rough water crossing near the end.  We tried to pick up the pace in here but came upon an SOS just before the water crossing- yet another crash in addition to a broken car blocking the road meant this stage was also getting canceled for us- this is life at the back of the pack with so many entries.  Eventually medical arrived, cars were moved, and we got to back up and take a run at the water crossing to transit back to service yet again.  The car was fine but we had only raced a couple of miles.

An uneventful service for us, which was probably appreciated since Cort and Justin had to replace a super difficult to access hose on Bragg's Audi.  Here's Cort's drone view of the service park, we were all the way on the left:

With the lights bolted on and the sun going down, we got back over to Elder's Crooked Truck, which is what SS9 was supposed to be.  The rally's plan was to run this as SS11, shorten SS12, and cancel SS13 to get back on schedule.

So we got to run SS11, and yet again the notes were great, the car was great, and I was just not able to get back in the groove- faster than before for sure but not at the pace we ran for NEFR or STPR last year.  I'm yet to see photos but I at least feel like we did a good job through the big spectator corner here.

At SS12 start, it was fully dark and we made it into the start control to race Scotia South again... before traffic stopped and the ambulance drove in.  Yet another crash, this time with both occupants needing medical attention (both OK thankfully) meant we were done racing.  All told we had run 3 out of 7 stages, and after a long transit back to service we arrived to find that the national awards podium had already happened.  I was in a pretty foul mood at this point, skipped the regional awards, and loaded the car on the trailer- at least we had friends and dogs to celebrate the end of the rally with:

So that was that.  We ended up 5th in Regional L2wd, which technically gives us a points lead in Central Region but that doesn't mean much since the remainder of our planned events are East Region.  Matheson finished the rally (his first) but was similarly put out after his oil incident put him far enough back in the order to get screwed by all the stage closures, and Adam Brock seemed relieved to have finished his first and possibly only event codriving.  Bragg and DePaoli managed to land in third place for regional overall though!

We got 3 hours of sleep and spent 17 hours towing home.  I'm so glad that we like the people we rally with, because if we hadn't been able to hang out eating bad food in remote places with our friends, this event would have been a whole lot less rewarding.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/22/22 9:41 a.m.

Lessons Learned

-Wheel scrapers aren't just for awd cars, I should probably make some
-Brake ducting is not a suitable intake extension
-The poor carbon Yoshi exploded again, maybe ultra lightweight motorcycle mufflers aren't cut out for contantly getting blasted with rocks
-If I make something as untested/sketchy as the snorkel again I need to keep it easy to remove
-Hey, it's water tight!  First time I've ever hit water like that without a bunch of it coming through the floor
-Still don't know about the rear shocks over jumps since we didn't really get a chance to fly the car

-I need to learn to read the surface in wet but partially/inconsistently muddy conditions, or develop the confidence to chuck the car in and figure it out mid corner
-I need to come up with a mental way to "reset" myself when my driving gets wimpy like that

To further explain the issue here, a brief stupidly oversimplified version of how I think I get a halfway decent pace on loose surfaces: brake as hard and late as I think makes sense, and then coming off the brakes but with the weight still pitched forward, turn in; the car is now rotating and can play with slip angle the whole way around the corner to adjust line and speed and whatnot.

In instances where this doesn't happen, confidence starts rapidly going out the window because even though I'm braking earlier and coming in slower, the car isn't rotating the same way and it actually gets more difficult to make line adjustments, creating a feedback loop that makes it really hard to ever pitch the car into the corner correctly again.  This is the loop I need to figure out how to break and get back to driving like I actually have some idea of what I'm doing.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/22/22 10:09 a.m.

That wheel rock lathe failure is crazy! I didn't know wheel scrapers were even a thing.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/22/22 10:42 a.m.

I love the write ups.  Even when the event doesn't go your way, its quite a memorable adventure!

adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/22/22 11:50 a.m.

Are there setup changes that would help get the car to rotate more without as much weight transfer onto the front? Is that something that you could change in service if things get wet and slippy during a rally or start to dry out? 


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/22/22 12:05 p.m.

In reply to adam525i :

Yep, the brake proportioning valve right there in the center console that I can change on the fly- there's a big difference between tweaking that and being prepared to use it at 80mph on a corner you've only seen once with trees and rocks and stuff everywhere though.  I know I can do this, in rallycross I go right back into "attack mode" pretty easily so it's definitely a mental thing.

engiekev HalfDork
3/22/22 12:57 p.m.

Wow, that is one reason to run a scraper! I thought they were usually to protect alumium calipers moreso than the wheel.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/22/22 7:46 p.m.

Lol.., well it sounds like your mood at the end of this one was reminiscent of my mood at the end of STPR when we blew a second place finish and DNFd on the last freaking stage. The only reason I even went over to the regional awards was to see you guys at that one otherwise I was so pissed that I didn't want to see any of it lol. 

But at least you finished so keeping the streak alive!

acheron64 New Reader
3/23/22 6:30 a.m.

Having navigated for a few drivers, it is just a confidence thing for drivers. Have to find that headspace that is  as instinctive as it is analytical. Maybe time for a big wet skidpan to remind yourself that you can rework the corner even if it gets sideways and messy :) 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/24/22 6:55 a.m.

One other thing that has been pointed out to me is that we were running Hoosier hard compound gravels in the mud- their minimum temperature is about 40F and with the wet conditions they were probably borderline.  My driving was not what it should have been either way, but maybe I should have one set of soft or medium compound tires for this sort of thing.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/25/22 6:05 p.m.


And just for fun here's that wheel again:

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/25/22 6:57 p.m.

Think the tire can be saved?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/22 7:06 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I used to buy used tires from someone who competed in the Spec Focus subclass (back when Hankook had contingency in the US) and his opinion was that entering a rally was too expensive to not start with new tires every time.

OTOH he was also running Hankooks, which my personal opinion is that they were hockey pucks with a tread pattern, but at least they wore quickly.

paul_s0 Reader
3/25/22 7:17 p.m.

That really is quite impressive guys, I've worn a groove in a rim before (on my Dolomite Sprint) but never sawn in it half!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/25/22 7:41 p.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

Think the tire can be saved?

I'll have to inspect it carefully once I get the wheel out of it, there are rocks and chunks of metal floating around in there so it might have internal damage.

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