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RacerX

'93 626 Lemon Racer

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This is why I like endurance racing. The times on that screenshot have the 626 as the slowest time and speed. It shows that doesn't matter too much as long as you stay out on track longer.

What is ChampCar? Rebranding or something new?

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On 1/6/2018 at 10:18 AM, XeNoMoRpH said:

This is why I like endurance racing. The times on that screenshot have the 626 as the slowest time and speed. It shows that doesn't matter too much as long as you stay out on track longer.

What is ChampCar? Rebranding or something new?

The slowest fast lap in the top 15. But compared to the field as a whole, our fast lap was about .5 faster than the average fast lap. That probably applies to average lap pace as well. 

But the car is nowhere near the slowest car on the track. While speed and pace are about mid-pack, it is reliable and consistent with a good driver line up that put it in the top ~20% of the field. Hopefully we'll have a good race at Road Atlanta in a few weeks. 

 

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On ‎06‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 10:18 AM, XeNoMoRpH said:

This is why I like endurance racing. The times on that screenshot have the 626 as the slowest time and speed. It shows that doesn't matter too much as long as you stay out on track longer.

What is ChampCar? Rebranding or something new?

Yeah, the trademark came off the name from the time when it was CART so they picked it up.  Re-branding.  Same series basically.

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3 minutes ago, InActiv Motorsports said:

The slowest fast lap in the top 15. But compared to the field as a whole, our fast lap was about .5 faster than the average fast lap. That probably applies to average lap pace as well. 

But the car is nowhere near the slowest car on the track. While speed and pace are about mid-pack, it is reliable and consistent with a good driver line up that put it in the top ~20% of the field. Hopefully we'll have a good race at Road Atlanta in a few weeks. 

 

Nice work guys.  It amazing what the 626 can do with solid driving.

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Here is our YouTube channel for those of you that would like to watch vids or watch live from inside the car.   We uploaded some vids from the 10 hour Sebring race and we are going to Live-cast directly through YouTube for the upcoming Rd. Atlanta race.   Make sure you hit subscribe!!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq0ZnJgyA-JbsYxS5cWdp3Q?

 

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Just an update on the 626 racer...

We ran in the Champcar Endurance Series 24-hour race at VIR this weekend. Out of 97 cars to make it to the grid, we finished 15th overall and won B-class. We're happy with those results out of an under powered 4-door Mazda, lol. Even during high ambient temps, our water temps were well below 200* and our oil temps never got over 220*. We will be back at Sebring in September racing in the CCES 14-hour race, where we won B-class last year as well. We have a number of solid, fast and reliable rental drivers, which helps make this possible. 

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In February, at the Road Atlanta 14-hour, we broke the 3-4 shift fork, effectively ending our race. This was disappointing, as we moved the car from 78th position at the start to 17th by lap 239 and with about 5 hours left in the race. 

We fixed the car for the April race at Daytona-Rolex. Unfortunately, a defective Hydramat caused a fuel starvation issue on the banking, which led to a lean condition causing detonation and the eventual demise of a connecting rod after about 4 hours.

A replacement FS motor was installed and tuned and it made very similar horsepower to the engine we previously had in the car. The car runs about mid-pack lap times, but can run a full 2-hour stint on fuel (with ease), so it is competitive in endurance racing. We've also modified the rollcage to accommodate drivers over 6'-0". The original cage was very close to the steering wheel and offered no ability to slide the seat and almost no layback, making the seating position quite uncomfortable for some. The seat mount has been redone as well and the seat is on a slider with the slider bar being foot actuated for ease of use by the driver. 

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So the 626 is still going strong. We've got over 60 hours of racing on it and no plans to move on at anytime in the near future. 

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Hola. Quick question from a racing newb. Race a probe and we've finally managed to keep it running and on track long enough to care about suspension setup. I'm wondering how y'all determine ride height. From my basic internet reading I'm supposed to keep the control arms, or in this case rear lateral links, parallel to the ground or at a positive angle. However, this leaves the car sitting waaaay up in the air. Suggestions? Is this not actually an issue or is there something that y'all have modified as far as the mounting points for the lateral arms?

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Rmlunsford, don't over think it. The factory suspension geometry of 626/Probe platform is a great starting point. The cheap Megan lower springs and Sachs Super Touring struts worked great on the 626 in my original configuration. They lowered the car about an inch or inch and half and stiffened things up some. The car was very balanced. The setup was still soft enough that a 17.5mm AWR rear sway bar helped the car rotate nicely. I replaced the front struts after 5-6 races when I noticed excessive rebound on corner exit. The stiffer springs are a little hard on the oem style struts.

I also raced WheelerZ's car before it got totaled. He had a even stiffer coil over setup. It worked well too. I am not sure what rear sway bar he was running. But, as stiff as the coil-overs were I'm not sure it was as important. The car felt fairly balanced. His setup lowered the car about 1"-2" all the way around.

Surprisingly, the best "suspension" mod I have experienced for this chassis is adding a limit slip differential to the transmission. I am not sure if the Probe GT already has one. If not, you should figure out how to get one. In the case of the 2.0L motor, I installed a factory MazdaSpeed Protege LSD. Once I installed that, the car had excellent response to throttle input mid turn. If the back end was stepping out, I could give it more throttle to bring it back in. If the front was pushing, lifting a little on the throttle brought the rear around. It worked great with the suspension setup I mentioned above. WheelerZ's car didn't have a LSD and I could feel the difference. His car pushed more mid turn and wasn't as responsive to the throttle. It took significant throttle input to get it to behave mid-turn when you were pushing it hard.

Are you guys still racing here in Texas? What series are you racing?

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Here's some more tips.

Check your rear lower lateral arms. If they are not boxed (just pressed U-channel) like mine were, you can get stiffer boxed ones with fresh bushings from Rock Auto. Check out the part numbers below. Notice they have a plate welded across the bottom of the u-channel to stiffen them up. My 626 didn't have that originally.

MEVOTECH CMS76146 {#GD7A28650A, MS76146} Supreme; Rear Left Lower Rearward; Lateral Arm

MEVOTECH CMS76147 {#GD7A28600A, MS76147} Supreme; Rear Right Lower Rearward; Lateral Arm

I also used https://www.king6fab.com/ trailing arms and the adjustable forward lateral arms. I didn't use their rear lateral arms because I didn't like the flexy swaybar links that are required. Both are stiffer than the original units and come with stiffer bushings. The adjustable forward lateral arms will let you dial in a little extra negative camber. But to be honest, I don't think that really made a big diff. The difference with these parts was pretty subtle.

On the front end, I elongated the upper strut mount holes and rotated the strut mounts to maximize the negative camber. That combined with 1"-2" lower springs will give you about -2.5 degrees camber. That made a difference. The front felt a little more planted and the tire wear improved noticeably.

I experimented with offset camber bolts. That was a failure. Do not use those. Under race conditions they obviously rotated and gouged the lower strut mounts and really screwed up with the handling.

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On 9/29/2018 at 8:12 PM, RacerX said:

Here's some more tips.

Check your rear lower lateral arms. If they are not boxed (just pressed U-channel) like mine were, you can get stiffer boxed ones with fresh bushings from Rock Auto. Check out the part numbers below. Notice they have a plate welded across the bottom of the u-channel to stiffen them up. My 626 didn't have that originally.

MEVOTECH CMS76146 {#GD7A28650A, MS76146} Supreme; Rear Left Lower Rearward; Lateral Arm

MEVOTECH CMS76147 {#GD7A28600A, MS76147} Supreme; Rear Right Lower Rearward; Lateral Arm

I also used https://www.king6fab.com/ trailing arms and the adjustable forward lateral arms. I didn't use their rear lateral arms because I didn't like the flexy swaybar links that are required. Both are stiffer than the original units and come with stiffer bushings. The adjustable forward lateral arms will let you dial in a little extra negative camber. But to be honest, I don't think that really made a big diff. The difference with these parts was pretty subtle.

On the front end, I elongated the upper strut mount holes and rotated the strut mounts to maximize the negative camber. That combined with 1"-2" lower springs will give you about -2.5 degrees camber. That made a difference. The front felt a little more planted and the tire wear improved noticeably.

I experimented with offset camber bolts. That was a failure. Do not use those. Under race conditions they obviously rotated and gouged the lower strut mounts and really screwed up with the handling.

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Thank you for the tips! We're out of New Orleans. Right now we're racing in any series that is close and will let us run. We're still pretty rookie and seat time is probably the best improvement we can make to our lap times. We did a WRL event at NOLA Motorsports this past weekend with great results (for us). I added Yonaka Coilovers and the AWR bar as well as some new bushings in the trailing arms. I had purchased a set of JIC magic coilovers for a Protege off of a forum a while ago, and the shocks were totally shot but I was able to use the camber plates with the Yonaka coilovers, so we were able to add a good bit of negative camber up front. The car handled remarkably better, fast lap was a 2.13 v. a 2.27 at the Lemons race at the same track in March. 

I'd like to be able to add more negative camber in the rear and I'd like to get the car lower and the rear lateral arms/links need some love as they are old and the rubber bushings in them are shot. The rear rear bar is also not boxed. 

The 2.5 uses the same transmission as the 2.0 with a different bell housing and slightly different gearing I think, but the mazdaspeed LSD should work if it worked in your trans. I'll do some research. I'm pretty certain I can feel what you're talking about as far as mid corner gas pedal not doing much. 

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Hey guys, sorry for a slow reply.  Rmlunsford, I think you sent me a message on facebook too, but I don't go on there much at all anymore.

As for the angle of control arms, I agree, Id say don't over think that too much either.  Both our front and rear control/lateral arms were angled upwards slightly.  With a 255/40/17 there was about 1 finger worth of wheel gap to the fender, but we had rolled the fenders out quite a bit to ensure they didn't rub.  We also used the Yonaka coilovers and thought they were really good for the price point.  The springs end up being in the 450/350 lb/in range if I remember correctly.  We also ran the AWR rear anti roll bar.  The car really handled very well in that state.  I know when RacerX drove it, he liked it to be a bit more loose in the rear, but I found it super easy and consistent to drive being a bit more neutral.  Before the car wrecked, I was planning on going to a SLIGHTLY stiffer set of springs all around to try to limit a bit of the roll.  We were also lifting the rear inner tire in most corners too much (I think its not necessarily a bad thing, but we were doing it too easily and it was going too high).  Was thinking 500/400 or 500/450.  Depending on what tires you run you may be just fine for now with the softer yonaka coils.

As for rear camber, I personally wouldn't worry about that too much.  We saw very even wear on our rear tires just using stock setup to the max camber (about 1-1.5 degrees if I remember correctly).  There is so little weight on the rear, I doubt you would see any significant gain from messing with that.

From what I remember, the 2.0 and 2.5 all use the same bolt pattern and should all work just the same.  I think, the 98-02 has a very slight gear change for the better (in 4th or 5th gear), but in reality I believe its all the same.  We never did it, but Mazdaspeed LSD should work in both. 

As mentioned, if you haven't already, swap out to the King6Fab trailing arms.  They will give poly bushings, but also will be much stronger.  I don't think the stock trailing arms will last long and the bigger King6 version is a better bet for endurance.

Let me/us know if you have any other questions, more than happy to help!

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37 minutes ago, thewheelerZ said:

Depending on what tires you run you may be just fine for now with the softer yonaka coils.

As for rear camber, I personally wouldn't worry about that too much.  We saw very even wear on our rear tires just using stock setup to the max camber (about 1-1.5 degrees if I remember correctly).  There is so little weight on the rear, I doubt you would see any significant gain from messing with that.

From what I remember, the 2.0 and 2.5 all use the same bolt pattern and should all work just the same.  I think, the 98-02 has a very slight gear change for the better (in 4th or 5th gear), but in reality I believe its all the same.  We never did it, but Mazdaspeed LSD should work in both. 

As mentioned, if you haven't already, swap out to the King6Fab trailing arms.  They will give poly bushings, but also will be much stronger.  I don't think the stock trailing arms will last long and the bigger King6 version is a better bet for endurance.

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Definitely going to get a set of the king6 trailing arms. 

Did y'all run poly bushings on the front control arms? I see they are available on the king6 website for the stock control arms.

Do you have a tire recommendations? We ran Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's at 235/45/17 on a 17" x 8" rim. These tires were grippy, but they wore incredibly fast. Won't be using them again for endurance racing.

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We didn't run poly on the front, no.  Just never ended up getting it done.  We did have King6 send a set of bushing for front LCA, but they didn't fit for some reason and we never investigated to find out why (different part #? who knows) and the idea died on the table.

For endurance, the current go to tire is the Hankook RS-4.  We are running them now on our new car and are seeing good wear and grip despite our heavy Maxima.  We ran 255/40/17 on a 9" wheel with RS3s and Nankang NS2Rs.  The hankooks were far and away the better tire and similar price point too.  If you stick with 8" wheel, the 235 is probably a good bet. 

To be honest though, with the weight of the probe/mx6/626, we always wanted to drop down to a 15" wheel. I always found the Mazda6 brakes (needing the 17" wheel) were overkill and could be reduced.  Maybe even a 15x10 with a 245/40/15??!!  Would be killer with better "gearing" with smaller tire diameter, lighter setup and maintain the width.  Finding a big wide (light weight) 15" wheel with 5x114 is the issue though.  I think Basset makes some for circle track guys that could work.

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I ran poly bushings up front. It stiffened things up a little. But honestly, it didn't make much difference to the grip. The biggest difference is they lasted longer. I never bothered swapping them out. I can't remember how many races they ran, at least 5 or 6. Previously when I ran fresh LCA's with factory bushings they would last 2-3 races before the bushings got little mushy and the steering felt a little more vague.

I agree with WheelerZ, 15" wheel setup would be optimum for the platform. The Speed6 brake setup was very nice but overkill. A standard 6 setup or even the 98+ 626 brake setup would work fine as long as you can find good pads for it. I'm a Hawk brakes guy. But, everyone has their favorite brand/pad compound.

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2 hours ago, RacerX said:

I ran poly bushings up front. It stiffened things up a little. But honestly, it didn't make much difference to the grip. The biggest difference is they lasted longer. I never bothered swapping them out. I can't remember how many races they ran, at least 5 or 6. Previously when I ran fresh LCA's with factory bushings they would last 2-3 races before the bushings got little mushy and the steering felt a little more vague.

I agree with WheelerZ, 15" wheel setup would be optimum for the platform. The Speed6 brake setup was very nice but overkill. A standard 6 setup or even the 98+ 626 brake setup would work fine as long as you can find good pads for it. I'm a Hawk brakes guy. But, everyone has their favorite brand/pad compound.

I just bought these 17s. Darn. I wrecked one of the ball joints so I'll probably throw the poly bushings in the front before our next race. 

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Don't sweat the 17's. They have redeeming qualities too. You sacrifice some acceleration for better grip and higher corner speeds. You'll want to get your brakes dialed in so you get consistent friction and modulation. Late braking and faster corner entry speed will become more important. What size wheels were you running before?

We switched from 14" wheels to 17" wheels after a couple races and it was noticeable. The 17" wheels actually improved our lap times on an open track. However since we sacrificed some acceleration, race day required a little more strategy to manage traffic and maintain fast lap times.

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