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AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/16/22 8:32 p.m.

I had a spare 45 minutes this afternoon and after more hammering and some jacking, Sven again has a fender. Just need to weld up those two tears.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/17/22 9:35 p.m.

Mostly because I needed it off the floor, I convinced the bent up old bumper it wanted to fit.

Let's call it the new Miata wink.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/29/22 10:56 a.m.

I guess I never updated this here but Sven is all back together and seems to drive just fine. The steering wheel isn't straight but hopefully that will be cured with an alignment. 

It's stashed with the Healey and Elmore for the winter but may get an early-ish wake up. I think I've convinced the rest of my normal race team to take two cars (one being Sven) down to Carolina Motorsports Park in April.  We'll see.

Plans for the 2023 season:

  • Aero(ish)
    • Redo the "splitter" that  I made last year to secure the bottom of the bumper. I'm thinking more of an actual splitter and airdam this time.
    • I have been dreaming up ideas for the fenders combining ideas of what I've seen on other Miatas to evacuate air from the wheel wells. I'm going to test those ideas on the trash ones that came off the car
    • Maybe some sort of diffuser but I don't know that I'll get to it
  • Lightness
    • Not sure where I can pull weight but I'll be searching. At the very least I can get rid of the headlights and their mechanisms. 
  • Clean up the hardtop
    • The PO did a terrible job of putting the Lexan window in and then I had to cobble together some supports at PittRace to get through tech. It also has some chipping going on that I want to get cleaned up before it gets bad.

Plans for the 2024 season

  • 1.8 swap
    • We're planning a K-swap for the Pink Lady, which is a 1.8 car. I'm thinking I'll snag that engine and put it in Sven
  • Boost
    • Self explanatory
AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/22/23 3:37 p.m.

Sven isn't home from storage yet but with the first race a month away and the fact that I'll be gone for 10 days in the middle of that, I figured I've got to get going. 

Aside from the fact that ChampCar is now requiring headlights on all cars, I realized that the SCCA Enduro in June ends at 11PM which means, get this, it'll be dark. I want to remove the headlight mechanisms for weight (don't have any lights in there anyway) so I started dreaming up ways of making my life more complicated. 

A 7 inch, two row LED bar where the parking lights usually go. I've also got the two big LED driving lights we used at Nelson 24 a few years back and will probably mount those directly to the splitter.

I'm totally unconvinced that this is going to be bright enough. My street has no lights so I'll be able to test it out before the race weekend. If it's no good, I'll probably replace the two driving lights with one big light bar.

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/6/23 9:21 a.m.

Yesterday I got the splitter mostly done using the old bumper as a template. Today I hope to nail down a couple more mounting points. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/6/23 10:05 p.m.

Solid mounting points to the disgusting cross member some dingleberry put on this poor car when it had a turbo. Those rusty, sharp brackets that have sliced me a few times also got removed. 

I took some steel rod, welded it to a washer and nut and then welded that to the cross member. 

The old smushed bumper came off, the new one went on (minus some hardware I need) and I started in on the lights. 

It's still unclear whether it's going to be bright enough but it looks pretty cool and works like it's factory. The small lights come on by turning on the parking lights and the big ones are wired into the headlights. 

\

 

 

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/7/23 4:29 p.m.

It pleases me more than it probably should that they're all wired to the stock controls. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/20/23 8:41 a.m.

I often find myself in a time crunch the week before a race but we're getting there. My 5 year old helped me paint the "splitter". 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/25/23 9:54 p.m.

SCCA Shortest Night of Nelson

14 hours, two drivers and a trusty Miata. It was a looooong day but a great day. 

Communication leading up to the event was...lacking... so it wasn't until Monday that I learned there was qualifying Friday afternoon/evening. I had a long meeting in the morning, Elmore was getting his trans rebuilt (lots of drama there that we won't get in to) and I needed to be home after getting Sven through tech for my son's bday party. Since we didn't qualify, they put us last on the grid and into a group a little faster than we'd be going.

We ran 7th or 8th overall all day long, finishing in 8th. We also ran third in class all day long until they bumped someone else into our group late in the day. They also didn't seem to care if a car actually finished the race, just how many laps were turned. The car the had been leading our class most of the day wrecked on the last lap, did not finish yet placed second.

ANYWHO. Before we turboed the black spec car the fastest I found in my thread was 1:23.8 with our quickest time that weekend a 1:23.0. My first stint out yesterday I turned a 1:22.9. Sven seems to go through a tank of gas at Nelson in 1hr 45min, maybe 1hr 50 so that's how long I was staying out. My co-driver was typically out there for 1hr 20-30min. For my second stint I felt tired, sore and just not in it. I was very consistent but was running in the 23-24 range. My third stint, however, was fantastic. The car felt great, I felt great and we turned a 1:22 flat. This was on the same set of tires we ran at Pitt last year. Towards the end I ran a full stint, my co-driver went out for about an hour and then I hopped in for the last 25-30 min to catch the checker. 

Success. 

We had a seatbelt bolt come totally out, finding it's way inside the factory seat cross member and my co-driver badly flat spotted the fronts around 9PM but other than that it went very smoothly. Perfect oil pressure and ran cool all day long. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/28/23 10:19 a.m.

Earlier in the summer, I asked my normal team to run Champ at Gingerman in Sven. That ended up falling through with no solid plan of what our next race would be.

On Wednesday last week, I get a text in our racing group chat, "Are we running Sven or the Spec Car at Nelson this weekend with AER?". Ummm. Although busy all Friday during the day and evening as well as dinner plans Saturday night I figured it's tough getting these guys to the track together these days so I should make it work. 

Between about an hour and a half Friday morning and another 30 minutes or so early Saturday morning I changed the oil, bled the brakes and clutch and gave Sven a good nut and bolt check. I got to the track about 9:15 Saturday. 

Tech was no problem although I don't have a rain light nor do I have a camera and AER requires both. They just told me to have it fixed for the next event. The format was an HPDE Saturday morning, 4 hour race Saturday afternoon and an 8 hour race Sunday. The three of us who were driving have plenty of laps around Nelson and decided to just skip the track day.

I started the race Saturday and had a good stint. I can't remember my best time but it was somewhere around 1:21:6. That was a PB for me at Nelson and I was about 1.5 seconds faster than the other guys. Our pit stops were much slower than everyone else primarily because my fuel jugs are so slow and we didn't realize could take one of our required pit stops during caution. Either way, we stayed out there, ran consistently, some other teams had bad luck and we and ended up winning Class 1, 8th overall!  

By the end of the day it was clear we weren't going to have enough front brakes to get through the full 8 hours on Sunday. These were the same pads we ran at Pitt last year and the 14hr earlier this year. I asked around the paddock and found a set of pads that I thought were right for the small 1.6 brakes and headed to dinner. 

I got there bright and early Sunday to get the front pads swapped. Man was it a pretty morning.

They were 1.8 pads. berkeley. So, we called up one of our team members who started to pull the fresh brakes off the Pink Lady and the other guy who was with me at the track went to go meet him. I then also asked AER to send out a text as a last shot asking if anyone had 1.6 front pads to spare. Jake at Winter Motorsports did and gave us the parts. Would not let us buy them. Racers are awesome. I got the fresh pads and rotors swapped over and pulled onto grid before it closed. Phew!

My first stint was the most fun I've had on track ever. The Layin Pipe racing team was running their Miata after the front right strut on the E36 snapped on Saturday and Chris and I had an absolute ball. We were in total lockstep, bump drafting down the back straight cheering each other on and just having a time. We ran a ton of laps in the 1:21s and my best of the day was during that stint at 1:21:2. Jake was right with us too in their Miata and we got a lot of comments about how fun it was to watch the train of three Miatas having fun. I had one small incident where an RX8 that I was quicker than turned into me on the last corner. He was so wide at mid corner that I assumed he was letting me by so I stuck my nose in and he turned right into my door. Technically race control could have probably found me at fault but every indication the car gave was that it was staying out wide. I went up to the driver after the stint and explained what I saw, apologized if he thought I did something wrong and we were all good. That car though, the rest of the day, was avoided. They ran inconsistent lines, hit the brakes in unnecessary places, etc. 

When I got back in the car in the afternoon, the driver before me had gone off, tearing most of the splitter off and denting the front left fender. No serious damage though. I ran a nice clean stint, lapped the Winter Motorsports car twice and the Layin Pipe car once. My fastest lap that session was a 1:21:8. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful although the same driver who went off and broke the splitter had to put two wheels off after he got turned in on and something came up and shattered the passenger quarter window. 

When the checker flew, we finished 2nd in class and 11th overall. So, Sven had some knocks this weekend but was a total champ again with perfect oil pressure and temp all weekend long. 

You can see the tire mark and dented door from where the RX8 hit me. Clearly my nose would have been ahead but stewards could have made an argument it was his corner. 

Splitter and the lower fogs removed forcefully. 

Shattered window and bump drafting damage. 

And some hardware and jewelry for Sven. 

I really wish poor Sven didn't take such a beating but man, what a great weekend!

 

I think I'm going to step up to a 225 tire for Sven. I've only run 205s. The Layin Pipe guys were running 225 up front and 245 (yes you read that right) in the rear. They're running Megasquirt and probably making more power but the 245 seems like overkill. Either way, there are a few corners where, aside from driving ability, tires do seem to be the limiting factor in how quickly I can go around. I figure it can't hurt to try. 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/31/23 3:30 p.m.

Dinged up fender. 

Spend a few minutes with my friends hammer and dolly. 

Good enough for an endurance car. 

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