November 17, 2019, 08:03:19 AM

Author Topic: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build  (Read 4201 times)

Offline markfluko

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2019, 08:03:59 PM »
Looking good and making pretty quick progress too!

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2019, 03:07:40 PM »
Looking good and making pretty quick progress too!

Ha! Yeah I wish it was as fast as it seems. Thanks for the kind words sir!

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2019, 10:18:27 PM »


Hey guys, I made a short video to highlight my first track day with my project car last Summer. Hope you enjoy it, and feedback is of course welcome. I know the camera work leaves something to be desired... Thanks.


On a side note, seriously how the heck do I put an embedded video? I can not figure it out to save my life. I have tried looking it up and nothing seems to work.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2019, 12:59:04 AM »


Well, my first track day was officially in the books. No more excuses, no more last-minute mods before I signed up for my first track day, just finally decided to sack up and do it. And you know what? Not everything went perfectly. But thatís okay. I am super glad that I finally did it anyways.

The morning started off early (around 0130 wake up time) to make it down to the track for SUPER early tech. I am sure some of you have gone through some HPDE or have track experience, but for those who have not, I will briefly detail what your first day of HPDE1 will be like (this is relevant for a NASA event). Once you get to the track, you have to bring your car to tech. It is a basic inspection of your car to make sure that everything is safe and not going to break on track. If you have a street car, you will probably pass just fine. One potentially atypical thing is to make sure you have a cover for the positive terminal on your battery. Just look up a tech sheet before you show up and inspect your car beforehand. After tech, you will attend a morning driverís meeting with everybody where they outline the schedule for the day and get everybody lined out on where the grid is at and whatnot. After that, you break out into individual run groups. If you are in HPDE1, you will have a LONG meeting/classroom session detailing the driving line of the track, what the flags all mean, general track edicate, etcÖ This is all useful information, and it will be very helpful going forward. At some point once the first classroom instruction session is over, you will meet one-on-one with your instructor for the day and he will tell you basically how the first session will go. Your instructor will be riding with you throughout the day and giving you pointers for your driving while acting as a second set of eyes to make sure that you are safe on the track. If at some point he thinks you are ready, he will likely sign you off for DE2, and let you go out on your own. After every track session, you will need to meet once again with your run group for a debrief, and for more classroom instruction (if you are running with HPDE1).
My advice for DE1 students is to listen to your instructor and be humble. Donít be the cocky dewsh who already knows everything. You donít know shit, and you are there to learn. That being said, donít be too worried about tire pressures and lap times and tuning your wheel bearings (or something) and blah, blah, blah. Just enjoy yourself and have fun. Youíre not gonna get noticed by Penske on your first track weekend, and your lap times LITERALLY do NOT matter, so donít even worry about it. Just focus on learning. Most people get so focused on having all the best brake pad compounds and lap timers and digital dashes and sticky tires and shit for their first track day. Thatís all totally unnecessary. Seriously. I know you donít believe me, but all you need is a car that runs with some tires that are a step above all-seasons, and a helmet. The one thing you MIGHT do is get some high temp brake fluid and bleed your brakes. Even that wasnít a big deal at all for my first track day, as the traffic and my inexperience made it so that I didnít even begin to push my brakes. Itís a bigger deal if you have a heavy car (looking at you chubby bitches Mustang/Challenger). After you have a day or so under your belt, then yeah upgrade your brake pads and start taking videos of yourself. Just my $0.02
 Overall, the day was super fun. I had done a track day or two before in my Evo, along with a bunch of autocross, so I was one of the faster drivers in my run group. Autocross helps you to get comfortable with the car in a corner. It makes it so that you can put the car into a corner and be confident about how it will behave. Most people who have no auto-x experience are PAINFULLY slow in the corners for their first few laps. If that is you, donít worry about it. You will pick it up pretty quick. The other thing auto-x teaches you is car control in case the car starts to get loose. But again, track experience will teach you how to handle that as well. My first session went really well, but there was tons of traffic as you can see in the video. My second session I got some open track and was able to start running a little bit faster. However, about 2/3 of the way through the session, I had some fluid spray onto my windshield (ooohhhh yeaaaahhhh). So, my instructor had me slow down and take a cool-down lap before pitting ASAP to avoid getting fluid on the track. The culprit ended up being water from my radiator overflow bottle. My water temps had gotten WAY too high (around 250 F!!), and the excess pressure in the system pushed fluid past my radiator cap and into my overflow. At that point, the ambient temperatures were about 95F, so hot but not stupid (by desert standards). My shifting also started to become really rough, with some grinding (even with the clutch fully depressed and taking my time between shifts). This was not due to my shitty driving either, as we will see later in the thread. I got my car cooled down, and drained the overflow tank and went to talk to my instructor. He had some good feedback for me, and said that I was doing really well and that he was going to let me go out on my own for the third session (last session of the day since it was a morning-only event). So that was exciting! But I ultimately decided to not run the last session in order to avoid grenading my transmission. My instructor understood, and he signed me off for HPDE2 anyways!! So, all-in-all, it was a SUPER successful day. I had some issues that I had to work out, but I didnít give a shit since I was dog tired and ecstatic that I had moved up in the racing world.

Once I got back home, I figured I had to figure out a couple of things.

1)   My damn water temps. Anybody who has done the whole track car thing likely quickly learned that what separates a street car from a race car is mostly cooling. I ended up doing a couple of things to mitigate this problem. First, I bought a bigger fan to go on my rad shroud. I also bought some hood louvers from Trackspec Motorsports. We will see in future installments whether this helped my issues.





2)   I figured that I had to figure out what in the piss was going on with my transmission. So, as much as I hated to do so I pulled the stupid thing out. Here is what I foundÖ




This is the sleeve of the clutch master cylinder. For some damn reason, it was being lathed out from the inside! So after thinking about it, looking closely at all of my parts, and talking to a local friend, I finally came to the conclusion that I had an LT1 input shaft in my T56. What was happening was the input shaft was not seated in the pilot bearing so the front of the shaft was just flopping around like a limp salamander on the front of the transmission. The only thing keeping it contained was the sleeve of the throwout bearing. Of all the stupid!!! Oh well, I ended up ordering an LS1 shaft, and sure enough it was significantly longer. So, I borrowed a dial indicator from one of my machinist broís at work, and got the new input shaft properly shimmed and installed back in the transmission. Sail Hatan.





At this point it was still September and my next planned track day was Buttonwillow on October 13th/14th. So I was looking to be in pretty good shape for that. However, I did want to test my transmission and make sure it was operating correctly before I went and did that. So, I found an autocross that was the weekend before the track day and signed up. Back to the olí parking lot (barf). Here is a video of one of two clean runs that I got.



The course was SUPER screwy that day (particularly in one spot), and it was not outlined which made it difficult to follow. I was not the only dicktard to have a bunch of DNFís that day. The worst part is that nobody even told me that I was doing anything wrong, so I had NO idea until the night after the event that I had screwed it up haha. At some point, I randomly nailed that throttle like a dumbass and threw the chassis off balance, so that was dumb. I get the impression that probably this car on the current suspension is probably sprung too soft for autocross. It doesnít seem to handle the transients as well as some others. Still got a lot of driver mod to work on as well. Also, FULL THROTTLE FOR 1.26 SECONDS, WOOOOOOO!!!!!! Oh well. Luckily it was just auto-x. Who caresÖ

The autocross worked well as a test session, and I determined that my shit was GOOD TO GO for a REAL driving event the next weekend. So I started getting stoked for my second track day. The next week crawled by slowly as predicted, but come Friday I had the trailer all packed up and ready to head out after work. Got out of work and headed out!!! The plan was to head out to stay with my buddy about 1.5 hrs East of the track and spend the night there. Well, I got about 2.5 hours on the road towards him when I had a stone sink through my stomach and right down into my poop cavity. I pulled over and found a place to park, walked back to the trailer and opened the door to findÖ

I had FORGOTTEN MY FOOKIN STEERING WHEEL!!!!! GAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! CURSE YOU DETACHABLE STEERING WHEEL!!!!! PISSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

So that sucks donkeys. But I can tell you I wonít ever do that shit again. Wholly vampire tits!!! So that pretty much precluded Saturday, and I considered whether to even bother driving that far for Sunday. But my wife was gone and I didnít have shit else to do, so what the Hell? So, I refilled my fuel tank, actually grabbed my shit this time (and checked it twice), and headed over to good olí Commiefornia. Got to my buddyís house at like 2 pm so we could hang out, and generally tried to relax before the pee-pants of the next day.

The next day, I got up early and hit the road. Got to drive up the BIG damn hill just East of Bakersfield, and didnít see dick because it was dark so YAY BEARS!!! Got to the track with plenty of time and unloaded the olí racecar!




This was my first event with HPDE2, so I was pretty nervous. Not that I thought I was gonna die or anything, but I just didnít want to embarrass myself or do anything stupid. My first session went okay, although it went pretty damn slow behind traffic and whatnot. Turns out I wasnít the only inexperienced dewshnozzle in HPDE2!! Who would have thought? My water temperatures had come down to a slightly more reasonable 220F, so that was looking okay. Not ideal, but okay. Problem was, I was still having some troubles with shifting. But it wasnít too bad, so I pushed forward with it.

The second session started off better. I sort of knew the track now (we were running #14 CW), and I was starting to get faster. I ended up spending the first lap or so behind a Miata, and he pointed me by on the short I-5 straight. So I did what any track noob would do, I pegged the throttle and passed him on the inside and promptly overshot the FFFFFUUUUUUUU out of the next braking zone and slid into the dirt like an asshole. But for those two and a half seconds I felt SO badass. Passing Miatas like a boss. Luckily nothing got damaged or anything and the car was still running so I politely waited for the field to pass me by and then quickly stalled the car for good measure, re-started the engine and rejoined at a break in the traffic. Wow, so apparently, I am not as cool as I thought. Oh well. Life teaches you humility sometimes, and then laughs cruelly while you struggle. Could be worse. The rest of the session went okay. As youíll see in the session video below, I was still pretty timid at times and didnít exactly scream through the course, but I felt okay about how I was progressing. At some point toward the end of the session, I decided to slow it down because my water temps were creeping back up to 240 F. So looks like I still had some work to do with that problem. Oh well, live and learn I guess. You can also see that I was still having some issues shifting, although the situation had GREATLY improved. One thing that I did figure out was that it made things quite a lot easier on the transmission to blip the throttle before engaging the synchros for the next gear. Previously I had been sliding it into gear and THEN down-shifting to match the clutch speed to the flywheel speed. Pretty sure that blip before synchros is the right way to do it. So that was good to learn. Still wasnít easy to shift towards the end of the session when the trans was getting warm. Pain in the ass.



After my second session I ate a quick lunch and decided to bleed my brakes. My pedal was feeling slightly squishy and I hadnít done it in a while. So, I jacked up the rear end and had my buddy start pumping the pedal. The first corner went okay, but then the second caliper did not want to pass fluid through. At some point when we were screwing with trying to get it bled it must have sucked in an air bubble or some shit because the pedal went totally limp. PICKLED PERVERTS!!!! I tried using my vacuum bleeder to draw the air through, but we could NOT get any damn fluid out of that friggen bleed nipple. After being pissed off for an hour and missing my 3rd session while making no more damn progress bleeding the system, I decided to cut my losses and head home. What a pain in the dick man. Helluva weekend. Driving 5 hours for no reason Friday night because I was stupid, and now this. Oh well, at least I got to drive on a race track. Thatís still a better weekend than 99.99999% of the world. So SUCK it Europe!!! We drove back to my buddyís house and threw down some dinner before I hit the road to go back to America. I was disappointed with the stupid brake problem, but overall it could have been worse. Nothing major broke on the car, and I didnít crash or hit anybody else so I am going to chock that one up to an overall win. Lifeís better when you donít have a shitty attitude about everything anyways.

So anyhow, hope somebody is enjoying this. Join me with the next installment next time pistards!!!!

Offline digitalsolo

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Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2019, 09:15:38 AM »
As someone who is looking to do some driving events, I really appreciate the thorough rundown.

Also, the best quote in this post is, by far: "flopping around like a limp salamander".
Blake MF'ing McBride
1988 Mazda RX7 - Turbo LS1/T56/ProEFI/8.8/Not Slow...   sold.
1965 Mustang Coupe - TT Coyote, TR6060, modern brakes/suspension...  project car
2016 BMW 428i xDrive Gran Coupe - Completely stock...ish

Offline largeorangefont

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Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2019, 06:58:16 PM »
Let me know if you decide to do more CA events.. I'll come out with you if my schedule permits.
Quote from: cool
Sell it to spacevomit.  He'll finish it.

Offline MPbdy

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2019, 07:09:09 PM »
My car is in the best shape itís ever been but even driving like a pansy I know the cooling system and the brakes would be fried in short order. Blasting around the canyons mine gets up to 215, but seems to do pretty well. A 20 minute session is a different story.

You have an oil cooler? I donít yet.

Iíve been registered for two track days two years apart and they both rained out at fontucky. Hope to get out there someday.

Loved reading your experiences. As someone who used to put a lot of time and effort into a build thread I really miss reading and contributing. This place used to have dozens of updated threads every refresh.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2019, 10:09:28 PM »
As someone who is looking to do some driving events, I really appreciate the thorough rundown.

Also, the best quote in this post is, by far: "flopping around like a limp salamander".

Awesome to hear man, glad you find it informative. I hope you do some, the track scene is a blast, you will love it.

Yeah I was a little proud of that one haha!! Just trying to keep it entertaining.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2019, 10:12:03 PM »
Let me know if you decide to do more CA events.. I'll come out with you if my schedule permits.

Heck yeah, will do! I am close enough to CA that it makes about as much sense for me to do Chuckwalla and BW as it does for me to drive all the way to Phoenix. I am gonna try to make it out to Chuckie-wah in Sept, and then planning on doing the NASA event at BW in Oct. If you are close to either of those let me know!

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2019, 10:32:41 PM »
My car is in the best shape itís ever been but even driving like a pansy I know the cooling system and the brakes would be fried in short order. Blasting around the canyons mine gets up to 215, but seems to do pretty well. A 20 minute session is a different story.

You have an oil cooler? I donít yet.

Iíve been registered for two track days two years apart and they both rained out at fontucky. Hope to get out there someday.

Loved reading your experiences. As someone who used to put a lot of time and effort into a build thread I really miss reading and contributing. This place used to have dozens of updated threads every refresh.

Yeah, cooling is a big deal for track duty. I have got an oil cooler yeah (pic below). I believe mine is a stock FD oil cooler. In the picture, it is middle lower, front left corner of the car. It is a bit hard to see, but it has a home-made sheet aluminum shroud thing around it to prevent the air from spilling around it, and some insulation foam around the edges to "seal" it. The front of the shroud fits around the fog light hole (or whatever that hole is) in the front fascia. I have it plumbed to the filter housing using an Improved Racing Oil Cooler Adapter. Something like this (http://www.improvedracing.com/oil-cooler-adapters/low-profile-oil-cooler-adapter-for-ls-engines-p-68.html). I have my oil pressure sender plugged into that adapter as well. I installed an oil temperature sender/gauge later last year and started watching my oil temps. It comes right up to 210-220F or so and stays about there. I have never seen my oil temps above 225F, and this is in the desert SW, so it works pretty good. I have driven in ambient temps right up to 95 F or so. The brake cooling ducts in the picture also seem to work REALLY well. I haven't had issues with brake temperatures as of yet.



Oh man, you have GOT to get out there! Even if you have to back off between laps to keep it cool, it will be WELL worth the experience. I have heard Auto Club is fairly murderous to engines, so I haven't driven it yet. If you're still in SoCal and you're down for either of the events that I mentioned above replying to Large Orange, let me know and maybe we can all paddock next to each other!

Offline largeorangefont

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Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2019, 11:42:41 AM »
Let me know if you decide to do more CA events.. I'll come out with you if my schedule permits.

Heck yeah, will do! I am close enough to CA that it makes about as much sense for me to do Chuckwalla and BW as it does for me to drive all the way to Phoenix. I am gonna try to make it out to Chuckie-wah in Sept, and then planning on doing the NASA event at BW in Oct. If you are close to either of those let me know!

I'm in Orange County, I usually do Auto Club or Willow Springs. I have been wanting to get back out out to Chuckwalla, just been once.

Where do you have your oil temp sender? I have mine in the pan and have a large oil cooler but see temps at 250 or so on hot days. Oil analysis has came back fine to date, so I'm not too worried about it. I need to revise the ducting to my oil cooler though.

Auto Club is ok on engines, you just have to be on top of things, and you don't have to wring the car to redline on every shift.

At any event with an LS car - keep tabs on your oil level after every session, run 1 extra quart of oil and if you still have a PCV system that car will consume oil. I went to a full open system, and my car uses almost no oil. I have the Improved oil pan baffle in my car, and an Accusump. The Accusump has never activated on the track in 6000+ track miles... even in Auto Club banking at over 120 MPH.
Quote from: cool
Sell it to spacevomit.  He'll finish it.

Offline MPbdy

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2019, 01:08:53 PM »
I also just went to a breather on the VC and my oil level seems solid...no oil mist under hood, but I do have a little stank. Much better than the pools of oil in the intake and half quart every couple weeks Iíd need to add. With a 4Ē stroke you really suck a lot of oil through the PCV. I think the VC is mostly to blame, and the valley is what everyone puts a catch can on...just vent it.

Offline largeorangefont

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Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2019, 09:33:37 PM »
I had both valve covers vented with -10 to a filtered, baffled, can. Iíd still get a bunch of oil in the can after a couple runs. It was not until I put a -6 from the valley cover to the can that the oil being pumped into the can stopped, and the car stopped consuming any significant amount of oil.
Quote from: cool
Sell it to spacevomit.  He'll finish it.

Offline Cobranut

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2019, 10:49:10 PM »
Both my valve covers have 1/2" hose to a breather tank with a small filter to atmosphere.
The valley cover runs through a small oil catch tank to the manifold.
This way under high vacuum conditions the PCV system still purges vapors from the engine, and under full throttle any blowby can easily escape through the vented tank. 
I've never had more than a few drops of oil show up in either tank.  :bacon:
1995 FD, 7.0 Liter stroked LS3, T56, 8.8, Samberg kit.

Offline PeakAlpha

Re: "Doda" '93 FD NASA TT Build
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2019, 07:04:05 PM »
Let me know if you decide to do more CA events.. I'll come out with you if my schedule permits.

Heck yeah, will do! I am close enough to CA that it makes about as much sense for me to do Chuckwalla and BW as it does for me to drive all the way to Phoenix. I am gonna try to make it out to Chuckie-wah in Sept, and then planning on doing the NASA event at BW in Oct. If you are close to either of those let me know!

I'm in Orange County, I usually do Auto Club or Willow Springs. I have been wanting to get back out out to Chuckwalla, just been once.

Where do you have your oil temp sender? I have mine in the pan and have a large oil cooler but see temps at 250 or so on hot days. Oil analysis has came back fine to date, so I'm not too worried about it. I need to revise the ducting to my oil cooler though.

Auto Club is ok on engines, you just have to be on top of things, and you don't have to wring the car to redline on every shift.

At any event with an LS car - keep tabs on your oil level after every session, run 1 extra quart of oil and if you still have a PCV system that car will consume oil. I went to a full open system, and my car uses almost no oil. I have the Improved oil pan baffle in my car, and an Accusump. The Accusump has never activated on the track in 6000+ track miles... even in Auto Club banking at over 120 MPH.

Chuckwalla is an awesome track, lots of fun.

I have my sender in the bung where the oil level sensor goes for the F-Body pan. I should say that I really haven't been to any high engine load tracks yet like Big Willow or Autoclub. Maybe I would see higher oil temps there. I have heard that pretty much anything under 300F for oil temps is fine. Probably want to keep a decent margin to that however. 250F is well within safe from what I have read, though I am no expert.

Good to know about Autoclub, I will have to grow some nuggets and give it a try! I also have the Improved oil pan baffle and haven't seen any problems with oil pressure. I haven't made the step up to big aero and slicks yet however. Higher cornering forces may change that situation. We will see what the future holds.

I currently am running a vented catch can (no PCV) with some tubes coming out of my breathers. I have not noticed much oil in the can. Typically there is a dribble, but mostly just water. The delicious kind, with unburnt hydrocarbons mixed in (mmmm cocktail!). I will make sure to check my oil every couple of sessions from now on.