This weekend the local auto-x club http://www.tidewatersportscarclub.com/ put on a Saturday school and a Sunday test-n-drive.
I participated in the school and found out that I previously knew absolutely nothing about driving. It was humbling to say the least when 4 different instructors (one of them being a hot-shoe 16yr old w/his own C5) each pointed out a major flaw in my technique.
Slalom- drive exactly the opposite of what feels normal... turn before the cone not after, use minor stabs at the throttle.
Carousel- look completely out the windo, not in front of the car, but about 60* out the side of the car.
Chicago Box- come in way-way-way-way-way-way wide no matter what it takes.
I also learned the complete limits of my 195 Toyo's... they've got half the grip of 205 Azenis (thanks Mike... dick). They also have half the tread the did when I started. The good thing about locking up the fronts several times in a row in the exact same spot was that the skidmarks served as perfect braking/turning markers for the entire school the rest of the day.
I also fixed 2 noises. My clutch slave piston was squealing on the pivot arm, and my accessory belt had over 1" of play in it. And in the process discovered my slave cylinder is leaking slightly. QUESTION: do they ever catasrophically fail or do they just leak worse and worse over time?
This coming weekend I'm finally going to STEALTH flat black my intercooler. There was a 400whp S2000 out there with a big front mount that you couldn't even see.
I learned that the 200k mile motor I installed a few months back actually had 258k on it. The previous owner was there (one of the instructors) and filled me in. He also drove the car and said it was set up pretty good... could use a little camber adjustment in the front to help turn-in. Since I'm gonna need new tires early summer I'll take care of an alignment then. I'm taking suggestions on new tires... it's my primary DD and I'm looking into 205's to keep the cost down. Where's the cheapest place for Azenis?
edgeracing has cheap prices on Azenis, possibly tirerack if they carry them.
My master cylinder catostrophically failed on me at a gas station. Had to start the car in first gear and drive home with no clutch. That was an experience. I would swap the slave ASAP, they're pretty cheap anyhow. Flush the system real well to make sure you get all the water out. Many people recommend doing both master and slave at the same time to know you have good components. I didn't do my slave though.
damn i just did an auto cross as well this past weekend. glad your car is doing well. i had a problem in my fourth run where my spark plug wires gave out completely and i thought i toasted my care for about 30 seconds. that is why today i did the COPs conversion thing hopefully in the future i won't need to do the damn wires crap.
as far the tires go i would buy the azenis for sure. Zabac runs them all the damn time and they are great auto cross tires, in the rain they suck, but who cares even more fun.
have you considered slicks? i think it is a great investment if you are going to auto cross often i had no traction for about 90% of the course with falken ze512 tires.
Been using Heliums for 4 years. Our streets look like the surface of the moon with so many craters. I've done about 1 season of autocross using them with RA-1. They also saw one season at the track. No issues with mine.
For the pivot arm, a dab of standard automotive grease where the slave piston pushes on the arm. Another method if you've got some unknown squeeking from an obvious "clutch" source is to pull off the rubber boot on the pivot arm, and use a can of liquid silicone spray and get the throwout bearing really good. Be sure to use one of the skinny spray tubes on the can so you can get in there and aim really good (no lube on the disc).
I'm pretty sure that 90% of my noise was the belt, but there was another less-annoying squeal that is now gone due to greasing the piston/arm.
And what's the cheapest place for slaves... $63.95 from FinishLine... there's also something I read about a piston re-design that will hold grease better... whatcha all know?
EDIT: VulcanTire and EdgeRacing are both $327 shipped... Discount website is down.
Ii really like my azenis, but if i had more money to blow i would give the brisgestone RE01R's a try...heared many great things about them.
If you want to get better at auto-x Sam, i highly recomend you let someone experienced drive your car or ride along in their car to get an idea of how fast you can really go at an auto-x course. Next step is just practice, get to as many events as you can and get as much seat time as you can. Ignore the comment on the slalom, in reality, each car will behave different in one, and no two slaloms will be the same either, just figure out what works for you, i personaly find myself faster if I do modulate the throttle on tighter longer (with more cones) slaloms, short slaloms (3 cones for ex.) i brake through first cone and throttle 2 and 3 being that b/w 2 and 3 I'm at WOT. Make sure you walk the course at least 2 times before the event. After you walk it twice, if you can not sit down close your eyes and go through the entire course in your head, you need to walk it again. One thing i always say is, at an auto-x you will learn how much you don't know. I certainly did.
yeah, pretty sure that's the one i used. easy breezy. the main thing is the gasket on the plunger gets replaced...which is what leaks. i rebuilt mine for the hell of it, took ten minutes plus bleeding time.