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About RacerX

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    1993 626 DX 2.0L w/5 spd

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  1. I think scales are relative. If I recall correctly, the car weighed about 2450 last time it was inspected by the WRL with empty cool shirt cooler, radio, go-pro, and other electronics. I doubt there is 200 lbs difference in the actual weight due to the trimming you've done and the weight of my cool shirt cooler. No telling whose scale is more accurate though. But, I bet there was 15 lbs of trunk lid supports and hinges alone and a few more pounds in the door frames. Those never made it to the top of my work list. I like how you trimmed the doors. It looks like you left enough of the outer frame to maintain rigidity. I had been conservative in trimming them for that very reason. Whoever trimmed the doors of my new car way over did it. They trimmed all of the frame of the door down to the skin. It's near impossible to close the doors from inside the car. And the latch on the passenger door flexes so much it barely works and is about to fail any day. The corner weights are not surprising. You can see the weight of the battery on the rear. When you put a full cool shirt cooler in the wheel well, it will balance that out some. Not that it's required. The car is looking great. BTW, that's rolled on Rustoleum Safety Yellow and Flat Black if you want to touch up paint without re-doing it all. I stored the car in my enclosed trailer or garage. Others that have used that Rustoleum flat black report that is bleaches if stored in direct sun. Fuel slosh with the original factory sending unit and gauge made it worthless on the track. I even tried an aftermarket gauge with the original sending unit for a couple races. Same result. It did work when you slowed down and drove in a straight line long enough or parked it.
  2. I love this project
  3. When I researched the FS-ZE intake manifold I found people saying that the screws holding the butterfly valve plates had a tendency to back out and suck the screws and plate into the head/cylinder. Not sure if this is a real thing. But, it discouraged me from using that intake when I built my ZE. It would be very easy to wire up the vacuum solenoid that controls the butterflies to the Microsquirt and set it to open around 4500 rpm. That seemed to be the factory setting from what I could gather from the inter-webs. If the intake works as advertised by Mazda, you should gain some noticeable low end torque. There's a couple aux digital outputs available on the Microsquirt. I used one for the cooling fan relay. I set the fans to kick on around 160 degrees. BTW, if the tuner completely ditched my old tune (I can't blame them), make sure the setting for the cooling fans got transferred to the new tune.
  4. Yes, it was rich.
  5. Wow, that exceeds my expectations by about 20%. I am almost certain, we were never putting that kinda power to the wheels. That car is legit if it's making that kinda power now. I'm curious how much tuning the ECU required, or was that mostly the ZE motor (compression and cams) making more power. Did the tuner provide a dyno run from before he started tuning?
  6. Those numbers look good. You are well within spec. When I got around to testing mine, it was much closer to the max resistance numbers. I don't remember how warm the engine was when I tested though. It would be good to double check those numbers just after the car rolls off the track during your next test session. No need to replace it if you are still getting good numbers.
  7. I ran plugs and wires about 4-5 races on average. I usually replaced them over the winter. Plugs can last a lot longer than 4-5 races. So those are less critical. Depending on the plug wires, they won't last as long. NGK wires are very good. But, the ones for the FS-DE had a very gimpy connection to the plugs. Never felt them snap onto the plug properly. So, I usually ran cheaper plug wires and replaced once a year (or more). Ohm out your coil and check if it is well within the specs. Also, watch your engine temps for the test and next race. When my coil started fading, it ohm'd out just within spec and we noticed the engine temps went up a little while racing. When I replaced the distributor/coil, power was suddenly restored and engine temps dropped by about 10 degrees. Power had been slowly dropping and the engine temps had been rising over several races. The drop in power was subtle enough over time that we didn't really notice. But once I put a new distributor in with a new coil, it felt like it gained 15-20 HP. It was very noticeable. Those coils mounted in the distributor are subjected to a lot of heat when running WOT all weekend. It's hard on them. Here's another vid of a different racer running out of talent into the bus stop on Saturday. This time I had it all under control, so no pucker moment. But, I was watching my mirrors closely when I had to slow significantly to keep from getting tagged if the driver choose to stay in it and re-enter the bus stop midway. Fortunately, he stayed off it until he reentered the track. I've seen more than one driver try to stay in it while re-entering the track and completely losing it.
  8. The power difference I felt between Saturday and Sunday was subtle and kinda broad, not just the top end. That's why I mentioned it felt like a simple tune up item like ignition timing, a plug, plug wire, or coil. In fact, the worse part was it didn't pull as well below 4K rpm on Sunday. So, I was running the motor to 6.5K before shifting to keep it in the power. On Saturday, I was shifting around 6.1K-6.2K rpm and easily pulling the next gear, including fifth gear. I looked back at video from both days and it's hard to compare with traffic and differences in lap times. But, you can definitely tell I was shifting at higher rpms and much later. It seemed to take quite a bit longer to get those extra 300-400 rpm. For instance, I rarely shifted into fifth on front straight on Sunday. I was easily pulling fifth gear before the flag stand on Saturday. BTW, this was a fun moment going into the bus stop late in my stint on Saturday. The #721(?) driver ran out of talent trying to pass me on the long straight into the bus stop. I saw him coming but he didn't have a prayer at doing it there. So, I figured I'd give him plenty of room on the inside to pass just after the one line bus stop. Fortunately, I watched him all the way in and soft peddled a little to avoid major contact. That was the closest to a "Oh Shit" moment. I thought the driving by everyone on the track was excellent all weekend, better than a Chump event in Texas.
  9. I'd be willing to run those tracks. But, keep in mind that a cool shirt cooler is important safety gear when racing in the south from mid May to mid/late Oct. Road America is on my short list of bucket list tracks and VIR is in Xeno's backyard. I'd even be up for a 24 hr race next year, since I wouldn't be car owner/chief mechanic.
  10. The track is amazing and racing a V6 626 was just as much fun as I expected it would be. I would love to race The Glen again with Wheelhouse Racing. Maybe a Mazda626.net race team next year? BTW, that was the fastest team/car I have run with to date. With a little better luck with the safety car on FCY's, we could have finished top 15. Twice we ended up right behind the safety car and lost a lap to the cars ahead of us.
  11. The motor was going a little flat on me over the length of my stint. It started out feeling very strong like it did on Saturday, but just a few laps in it started to feel a little weaker. At first, I thought it might be heat soak. But, it seemed a little more significant than that. With the loss in power, it had trouble accelerating below 4K rpm. So, I started running it up to 6500 to shift. That's when I noticed the shift light wasn't working. Probably about three quarters of the way through my stint I had one of those drag racing a Miata and E30 on either side of me moments. I was racing up the hill out of the toe of the boot. They were loud, my exit line was messed up, and it turned into a three way drag race into 8 with a car on either side of me. Since my exit line was tight and slow, I rode 3rd gear longer than usual. The next thing I know we are approaching the braking zone, I can't hear my own motor, I'm still in third wanting to shift, but also wanting to hold it just a few seconds longer to be the last to brake and clear the rolling road block. I looked down at the tach just as I pushed in the clutch and brake. I pegged 7K right in that moment and the shift light flashed. Doh! The drop in power wasn't huge, but it was noticeable. I suspect it's something as simple as a regular tune up type item (plugs, wires, fuel filter, etc), or possibly a coil going bad. Towards the end of my stint I was shifting into 5th gear on the front straight about every other lap and Tomek said he had to resort to using 3rd gear to pull out of turn 11 during his stint.
  12. I had an absolute blast running with WheelerZ and team this past weekend at Watkins Glen. The car is well prepped, ran nearly flawlessly all weekend, and Watkins Glen is an amazing track. We even pulled off some reasonable strategy decisions on Sunday and managed a 18th overall out of 105 cars there this past weekend. Due to some bad luck with the safety car pulling right in front of us early on Sunday, I hopped in the car while we were running 37th. I ran a 90 minute session and handed it off to the final driver running 22nd. That was a fun stint. WheelerZ posted a good summary of the race weekend here on the chump forum. https://forum.chumpcar.com/index.php?/topic/16265-sahlens-chumpyard-dog-at-the-glen/&do=findComment&comment=334219\ He also post some race video on YouTube. WheelerZ's starting stint on Sunday morning: My stint (3rd stint of 4) Sunday afternoon:
  13. The front pads on the car are Hawk DTC-60's, the rears are Hawk HP+'s. Both sets are relatively new with approximately one race on them. I don't recall exactly. They should have at least a full race remaining in them. Those pads with the current brake setup were lasting 3-4 races on average. The DTC-60's have good friction and durability, they are easy on the rotors, and they have excellent modulation. The HP+'s in back have very high friction, good durability, and good modulation. The extra friction in the back help balance the braking on the car in the absence of a proportioning valve. These are the only pads I have tried with the MazdaSpeed 6 brakes up front and the '98+ 626 brakes in the rear. I was very happy with them. They far outperformed the Carbotech and Hawk Blue 9012's I tried with previous brake combos. The huge rotors upfront combined with the power brake booster and no ABS system are a bit grabby on initial bite. If you are used to stabbing the brakes on your current track or race car, these will surprise you. They require just regular daily driver on the street type pressure at the pedal, no more. If you stab them quickly with lots of pressure, you are sure to lock up the fronts. All my drivers had lots of track time in modern ABS equipped Mini Cooper or BWM track cars. Each were a little surprised by the initial bite their first couple laps in the car. Everyone got used to it after that. I had no plans to change the wheel and brake combo. This setup lasts much longer than a set of 98+ 626 hardware all around would last with similar pads. Also, the 17" tires last about twice as long as the 14" tires we originally ran (Dunlop Direzza Z2's). The bigger wheels are a little sluggish out of a turn compared to the 14" tires we originally ran. But, mid-corner to exit speeds are higher on the 17" wheels and terminal velocity at the end of the straights is about the same. So, lap times are comparable. In fact, lap times on the 17" wheels were faster, but I made other changes too. So, it's hard to compare straight up.
  14. Having run both the under-drive and factory crank pulley, I can say they both work just fine with the water pump at track speeds/revs. If you have a temp problem, it's something else. With a clean factory type radiator, the cooling system has no problem managing engine temps all weekend. I've run both the 170° and 180° thermostats and both did fine. I was running a 170° the last several races. That's a fresh one in the old motor. As far as spinning up the motor faster with the under-drive pulley, it's noticeable in the pit, but not noticeable on the track. If you want the car to accelerate faster out of the turns, I'd suggest getting a set of 15" wheels and go back to 98'+ 626 calipers and rotors on the front of the car. But, you will go through pads and tires faster. I'm looking forward to reading about the dyno runs and your impression of the car on the track.
  15. I see you went with the under-drive crank pulley. I've been on the fence regarding running those on an endurance racer. I had one on a previous FS-DE based motor I had assembled. It ran fine for 2-3 races. But in the end, I decided to go back to a factory harmonic balancer. The pulley/balancer on the motor that was in the car has very little time on it. You might want to keep it in case you decide to go back to something that will dampen some of the crank vibration. Another thing you will want to keep out of that old motor are the cams. It has a FSH9 intake cam and matched Corksport exhaust cam. It's likely very similar to the cams you have in your current FS-ZE motor. But, they could be helpful for another motor build. The biggest problem with the AWR oil pan is the mating surface of the pan and lower engine cradle in the back of the motor (intake side) near the transmission is offset a little and provides a very small surface to mate. If you pull the pan and look at your rtv, you will see exactly what I am talking about. This is where it often developed leaks. I found using a cork gasket with a thin layer of rtv on both sides helped. BTW, I have always been suspect of the FS-ZE numbers published. They claimed something like 170hp at 7,000-7,200 rpm. First off, it's a bad plan to spin that long stroke motor at 7K rpm all weekend. Second off, I've run FS-ZE cams and even that full FS-ZE motor (minus the intake setup and ECU) for 4-5 laps before it seized. The head + cams were run out of air by about 6,500 rpm. The small valves in the head are never gonna make big power at 7K rpm. The good news is the reality that I found was much better for endurance racing. The FSH9 cam combo does breath better, but it still makes plenty of torque and doesn't want to rev to the moon. I never put any of my motor combos on a dyno. But, I assume that my original '93 motor setup was making about 115-120 hp at the crank. The FS-DE setup with Microsquirt, solid lifters and FSH9 exhaust cam probably made about 130-140 hp. And, the FS-ZE based motor with full FS-ZE cams, 626 intake, and microsquirt was probably destined to make maybe 140-150 hp. All of those combos were very torquey and we usually shifted around 5500 to 6000 rpm.