Lying Up

February 28th, 2015

fuelpumpNo joke… for the first time today I told someone how “good” my Dodge truck was. Moments later it died and wouldn’t re-start.

The truck is now scattered across my yard… with my shop too small to both house it, and at the same time grant access to, and space to maneuver very large and separated components there are no real options but to get my red neck on. It’s very painful when it’s -20 outside, and work is already incredibly busy.

Dynamic Entry

February 21st, 2015

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Note: This is Andrew’s writing. He and I are former roommates and long time friends… and as he suggests, I have dragged him into an often tortuous car life. I’ve been bugging him for a while to contribute here, mostly because he does some cool stuff (like lap the real actual ‘ring and chase hashirya down Irohazaka) but partly because I occasionally feel guilty about the times he slays me in my own car and I make believe here like I am un-defeatable. Stand up and defend yourself mang! As the images suggest, Andrew now owns my old GDA. He and I will be running the ZN6 in C street at local auto-x in 2015. Q


a building joined to or associated with a main building, providing additional space or accommodations.

10 years ago I made a new friend. He taught me that it is OK to take cars apart and put them back together again. And even better than OK to put things back together differently.

I learned that is OK to buy a car sight unseen from another province, another country, another continent – as long as you can see the potential [fun/art/glory] in it.

During the last ten years I have been more of a wanderer than a property owner, so I never had my own space to occupy. Along the way I have managed to sneak many projects into the [qr] barn and some even onto this site. Some were gloriously simple (I still want Trackick/Funrunner in my life some days), some never saw the light of day (SVX wasn’t actually “mine”), and some will haunt me (I owned an e34 for 9 years and never managed to make it worth driving – literal shame).

Things have changed now and – although my garage is not actually wide enough to take wheels off both sides of the car at the same time – I have added garage space to the [qr] realm.

The amount of wrenching, fabricating and modification that occurs here will likely be proportinate to the square footage – but at least I finally have my computer plugged into The Source now.
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Regressive Revolution

February 21st, 2015

penske-regressiveHaving first read about this two years ago… there is no breaking news here. At the time of first reading though, the concept of shock valving was only vaguely meaningful to me, and I didn’t fully understand what I was reading.

Car design is often about compromise. Want a great camber curve? Jack that roll center up. Want negative lift in the corners? Add some drag on the straight. Want 600hp out of 2.0L? Create a very narrow power band. Want minimal body roll in transition and cornering? Just add harshness over bumps.

regressivepiston2Enter Penske’s regressive shock piston.

Don’t understand what you’re looking at? The vertical axis shows damping force, while damper piston speed is on the horizontal. Historically, shocks were linearly valved…. meaning the harder you hit them, the harder they pushed back. Since body roll, dive and squat act on dampers at much lower piston speeds than bumps and other impacts, racers needed horribly stiff shocks that barely worked at all over bumpers. Rally, and off road racers that needed dampers that worked in rough terrain, were forced to give up control of body roll and pitch.

And then digressive damping came to the “rescue”. Different piston design allowed fairly aggressive damping at lower piston speeds for high performance body control, while still allowing some compliance over rough terrain. Digressive pistons are found in basically every high performance racing shock these days.

…Except for Penske’s which recently introduced (and patented) a regressive piston. The curve is obviously not perfect (at mid speeds it is perhaps over damped) but it is certainly closer to the theoretical ideal, with the potential to provide a lot more roll and pitch control! Now two years since its release, regressive damping is become quite widely accepted… Originally it was accepted for use in rally and off road racing, but now road racers and even auto-xers seem to be using it.

Not sure how relevant it really is to auto-x, where roll and pitch control are basically the only concern… but for street and circuit where there are gutters and curbing…

Not that I can afford Penske products…


February 14th, 2015

Actually 58.407. Speaking of FA20 development, when TRD Japan builds a car, they do it right. There is no turbo and the transmission is a re-geared stock unit (Aisin AZ6). This is a built 86 that makes you proud of your purchase, rather than regret that you didn’t instead buy a 911, 370Z, or Focus ST…

This FA20 uses in development pistons, rods and cams from TRD, and revs to 8000rpm for… an amazing 230hp. That’s a whole lot of car for only 230hp.

So is the question now… can a 2.4L V8 go faster? Of course it can… but I’m still doubtful that it will.

Still The One

February 11th, 2015

andrew-gdaYes this car is still around. It’s still awesome… but as the roof rack suggests, Andrew has made it his own. Gone is the low down suspension and the home made aero… but it still has a trailer hitch on the shift lever, two limited slip differentials… and a third differential that isn’t.

I got to spend some time with it recently… and was sad to remember how good it actually is.

You Know It Wasn’t Me

February 4th, 2015

[qr]GaraGe fits on this map, but you know it wasn’t I. What a piss off that they are not only in my front yard, but they are also driving my car.

I have been known to say that if you race on the street, “death awaits you.” Well it may be that that death looks a helluva lot like a lanky, scruffy mole faced guy who wants a proper freaking race track in his province. Some of you will say that street racing is why we need a race track. I say that street racing is why we need police brutality and car crushers. Of course my view is not actually this extreme, but there is no way that stories like this help the cause of race track builders. And FYI, the exact time that this “race” went down there was an ASN sanctioned event not 20minutes away where both of these losers may have spent $50 and proven to everyone in attendance that their cars are slow and they can’t drive worth a shit.

But heh… that’s no way to encourage people to get involved in motorsports…

FA20 Is Doomed

February 1st, 2015

JUN-Synergy-BRZ-V8-07When famed engine tuner Jun is swapping out FA20’s rather than building them up, it seems like the future is bleak for FA20 owners.

That said… I did add this photo to my background image roll. Certainly looks drool worthy… but when projecting 58.XXX Tsukuba times, I wonder if Jun is confusing RPM and number of throttle bodies with actual output… nevermind the relatively mild aero this car is equipped with. I will be impressed.

But… rather than carefully watching for the moment this car puts together an angry lap, I will remain hopeful that someone will figure out how to get 300hp out of an FA20 without boost. Let’s do it Japan! K20 gets to that mark. EJ25 gets to that mark… hell even B16’s and 4AG’s are putting out bigger numbers than FA20’s.

And stock FT86 weight distribution is 56/44? That certainly is not what is advertised, and more like what my WRX was… Seems like someone is fudging numbers to sell pretty things.

Read the full Speedhunters article here.