thewheelerZ

'98 626 Chump Racer!

346 posts in this topic

Hi guys:

 

I thought I would take an opportunity to introduce myself here on the forum.  I guess in the process start a bit of a build thread.

 

I have been wanting to go racing for quite a while now and have finally pulled the trigger and have bought a car to race in Chump Car.  Chump Car over LeMons simply due to me being in the North (

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I would do the normal Mazda 6 brakes over the Mazdaspeed 6. That is what I did on my MX-6 chump with Porterfield pads :smile:.

 

Looks like you are off to a good start. Did any of the vacuum chambers break when removing the intake manifold? Those become so brittle.

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Welcome to the insanity that is budget endurance racing.

 

BTW, there is very little difference in weight and wheel base between the Probe, MX-6, and 626.  They are within 100lbs and an 1" or so in the wheelbase.  Some people have measured and even reported that their Probes have a slightly longer wheel base than their 626.  The 626 is definitely the "sleeper" of the group.

 

The only challenge that the 626 presents compared to the Probe and Mx-6 is the location of B pillar since it's 4 door car.  It adds a little extra work and planning for the fabricator when locating the main hoop and door bars.  If this isn't you, make sure they get it right.  Our main hoop ended up pretty close to the steering wheel and pedals.  We mounted the seat as far back as possible and our shortest drivers are comfortable, but the tall drivers (5'11" to 6'2") are a little cramped.

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Welcome to the Mazdda 626 family!  Can't wait to see how your build progresses.  You are currently the 3rd active 626 race car in LeMons (that we know of).  Use RacerX's knowledge and team's experience to your advantage.  Pretty sure you've already read his entire topic since brakes are foremost on your mind.  RacerX had quite the learning experience using stock brakes.  We are learning a lot from our 626 racing teams and look forward to learning from your experiences too.

 

Any thought to what kind of theme you'll be running?  That's really the best part about LeMons are the weird themes people have.  It makes the whole experience fun and worth watching as a fan (my opinion). 

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The tall drivers being you, me and xenomorph. The fit isn't bad, I'd recommend designing the office for the average driver on your team rather than the tallest. My biggest issue is that if I try to rev match I end up removing the throttle pedal from the linkage. Like everything else, my sunglasses, RacerX's wallet, it ends up under the seat.

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Hi guys, thanks!

 

Yes, no problem with the vacuum tubes, or none that I can see as of yet.

 

Great info on the cage installation, thanks.  It, wont be me doing it, I will get a shop to do it professionally.  I dont know how to weld, and dont think that is the kind of project I want to learn on!  Average driver should be around 5'11'' with probably the shortest being 5'8''.  Maybe I will be a bit selfish and set it up for myself though at 6'!  I was hoping to mount the seat on a slider too.

 

As for the theme... Not too sure yet.  I'm thinking vintage race livery.  Maybe like the picture 626 touring cars the 787 Lemans car, or maybe something even more classic like John Player Special F1 cars.  I'm not witty enough to come up with any great ideas so far for a team name and/or theme yet though!

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That picture is from one of 2 SCCA 626's that team owned.  They were real race cars not LeMons.  Would do those real race cars an injustice to paint your LeMons car like a real race car.  Being witty is part of it.  You have to come up with something.  I mean 626Lemons has one based on an Elmer's Gluestick. 

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Our team I am a part decided to stick to Chumpcar series as opposed to 24hr of LeMons, less crazy antics, more focused racing. No silly team names needed.

 

The roll cage was the biggest and most time consuming part of our build ('91 Nissan 240SX), 3/4 of our time was getting that cage in, mostly because none of us had ever done a cage before, and only two of us somewhat knew how to weld. I think if we had to do it over again, we would have had a professional do the cage for us, the time we could have saved would out weigh the money spent.

 

If your in the Mid-Atlantic region, I look forward to seeing you out there!

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On top of that, there are other organizations appearing that also do the "crap can" racing. NASA has Boneyard racing in the SoCal region and I am hoping that spreads to other regions.

 

@thewheelerZ, were you planning on removing power steering? What about a LSD up front?

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Kenpachi: We are Northern Region, but would love to try and get to some of the classic tracks like VIR or maybe even Sebring at some point including a 24 hour event at some point.

 

Xeno:  For now I think we will leave the power steering on.  I think it will be good to remove it at some point, but dont want to do too many things before the first race in the hopes that the less changes we make, the more reliable it will be.  We also figure for the first one while everyone gets used to the car, not having to muscle the car will be a good thing.

 

As for the LSD, sounds like a good idea, and one that RacerX has done (and made big improvements to his car).  Im not sure of whats involved or how that is treated with the rules.  I will look more into it.

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They'll never know the difference since it's internal.  Any internal work isn't inspected because there is no reasonable way for them to do so.  I highly doubt they would check for something like that.  It's probably a modification that people do which is never mentioned and never asked about.

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Hahaha.  Yeah exactly.  That is what I was thinking too.  But thought I should be at least a little prudent about broadcasting my cheaty intentions on the internet!

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Great to see another new racer!!!  Where in Canada are you?   Lemons has NH, Conn, and MI races that may not be too far.  Our best upgrades were suspension and tires.  No penalty for tires, and we got 6 used 17s from a yard for $150.  Our best upgrade was new springs.  We bought new and it was probably a mistake because if you search around enough you can find some really nice used coil overs that are better than the lowering springs we bought. 

 

Also, the people on this site have an amazing amount of knowledge and are extraordinarily helpful.  A very good group

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Remainder money is best spent elsewhere which is why a lot of guys with LSD's just throw them in and never mention it.  Engine and transmission modification isn't something that most teams get into.  They just ensure it's race worthy and run the doors off the thing.  What RacerX has done is due to being so far behind the pack originally that he had to find a way to increase performance.  In the beginning he was running against much faster cars too so that had something to do with it in my opinion.  Small hardware tweaks here and there will turn the 626 into a completely different animal.  If you haven't already I highly suggest you look into some performance suspension parts like lowering springs or coil overs.  Without it the car will have a ridiculous body roll corner to corner which will slow down your entry and exit times dramatically.  You can decrease entry times with good brakes and increase exit times with good suspension.  Overall that will decrease your lap times to the point the 626 will perform like a completely different car.  Throw an LSD into that and you'll be passing Mustangs and Porches in the corners.  When you can reel in a Miata in the corners you'll realize the 626 is something pretty special.  I don't think RacerX really fell in love with the 626 until the day I saw a video of him reeling in car after car in the corners including I want to say a Porche or some other car that he shouldn't have had any earthly business overtaking.  626Lemons has over taken a couple Mustangs in the corners too.  Find a race with a lot of turns and minimal straights and you'll see your 626 excel where others struggle. 

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Oh and don't even think of using stock 626 brakes on a race track.  They'll overheat.  RacerX found that out in 2 different races then rectified it with upgrades.  Before you even go out onto a track get those brakes upgraded.

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Us too!  Our pad was totally gone after our first race and we missed the last hour as a result.  We just upgraded the rotors and pads to ones designed for the track and they have lasted the past two races and will make a third if not more.  We still have drums on the rear!

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If you haven't come across it yet, http://mazda626.net/topic/42992-your-guide-to-brake-upgrades/

 

I would find the combination that gives you the best pad selection. For the MX6, there simply wasn't anything that I could really buy off the shelf from Hawk, Porterfield, any performance pad place.

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I think this is what we used for our first race.  We still are using the rotors, but only use the pads as a back-up. 

http://www.autoanything.com/brakes/61A5870A0A0.aspx

 

Our pads our the Hawk race specific ones.  I thought that they were one version better than this, or maybe I just paid more.  They were about $120 for  the front

http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brakes.jsp?make=Hawk&model=HP+Plus+Race+brake+pads&group=HP+Plus+Race+brake+pads&partNum=HB211N606&autoMake=Mazda&autoModel=626+DX&autoYear=1999&autoModClar=

 

I used B&G springs.  Much better than stock, but you can probably find better if you search.

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Ok, great, thanks guys.

 

I will definitely plan on brake upgrades as a key to performance.  In regards to pad availability, I phoned the guys at FrozenRotors.com (they are a chump sponsor, I have never dealt with them, but a few forum posts say they are pretty good) to see what is available.  They said that pads and rotors for both the M6 and the CX9 should be pretty readily available.  They were mostly talking about Hawk pads i think.

 

Amazing that you run drums on the back!  Pretty safe to say that your fronts are doing majority of the work eh!  I will take a look at those links you sent.

 

I am located in the Toronto area, so will be trying to race the Ontario, Quebec, Michigan and NY/NJ races.

 

I will definitely be looking into suspension upgrades, but will have to be careful in terms of upgrades to stay within the regs limit and not take penalty laps.  I know for sure that coilovers or adjustable suspension will push me into penalty laps.  I am thinking maybe stiffer lowering springs on the front, with cut springs on the back so i don't need to take the hit for "all four corners".

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I would get the same lowering springs (Megan Racing) that RacerX is using. I put them on my MX6 as well. I would avoid cutting the rear springs.

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Xeno is right.  I have never really heard of someone cutting their springs and being happy with them and Racer X is the model to follow.  I believe the penalty is $20 per corner, which would put you at $455.  Read the Racer X thread, but I believe he did get hit with a penalty at Chump and he gets stuck in class A during Lemons events.  He has done a lot more than brakes and springs though.  I have been class C twice and B once at Lemons.  Just depends on the judge and my bribe, but I don't have nearly the time put in that he does.

 

We'll I'm out of Jersey, and have family in Michigan so if you run Lemons there is a good chance I'll see you there.  Looking to do Chump or WRL too if the dates/locations work.

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RacerX mentioned those and they sound good.  

 

Wouldnt the handling be pretty off if the front was lowered and the back way high in the air?  As dumb as it sounds, I kind of want to make it look a bit racier too by not having the butt way up in the rear!

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Yes, $20 per corner isnt too bad.  I was just trying to save some upgrade room, but you are probably right.

 

Ok, awesome.  I look forward to meeting/racing with some other 626s!

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The Megan Racing springs with Sachs Super Touring struts is the one modification we made to the car that we haven't touched or reconsidered since day one.  I even have a set of coil-overs sitting in the shop that I haven't bothered to mount and test because the Sachs/Megan Racing setup is that good.

 

I would not mix the Megan springs with cut springs.  Your spring rate front to rear would be way out of balance and it would unsettle the car.

 

We tried the cut springs.  We cut exactly one coil out of each hoping that would make it easier to keep the springs in the seats.  It didn't help.  The 626 springs are tapered and it was still difficult to keep them in the seats just driving around the neighborhood.  Also, one coil resulted in too stiff a rate for any struts we could buy.  Those springs would have blown struts regularly.  We ditched them and installed the Megan springs before our first race.  It was a cheap experiment.  But, it certainly proved, to myself at least, that cut springs are not the way to go for our 626.

 

We are running Hawk DTC-60's up front with the Speed6 brakes and Hawk HP+'s in the rear with the 98+ rotors and brackets.  It seems to be reasonably balanced.  We also run inexpensive Raybestos Advanced rotors.  Others swear by Wagner Professional rotors.  We learned not to use slotted or drilled rotors.  They just increase pad wear.  Fancy treated or cryogenic rotors are not needed either.  If you have problems warping rotors or melting down calipers, it's because you have a heat problem.  Add some venting in front of and behind the wheel.  Also get wheels with a very open design to improve air flow across the brakes.

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