New Seats + Misc Prep

For those wondering why I keep working on the car rather than getting it on the track, I’m still waiting on the ELR wheel studs and modified rear trailing arm (I sent it out last July and was hoping to get it back a few months ago). The current ETA is the next two or three weeks. In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy with a long to-do list since the car is more or less stuck on jack stands until then. Once the arm and studs arrive, I’ll be able to button up the suspension, perform a full alignment and corner weight, do quick dyno tuning session with Lawrence and get it back on the track.

Cobra Sebring Pro Technology Seat
After realizing how small tight the passenger seat was, and considering the current OMP driver’s seat is not the original seat for the car, I was in the market for replacement drivers seat so I could move the larger OMP seat to the passenger side (plus is would give the passenger side head protection). Originally Mark used a Cobra Suzuka and while I like that seat a lot, I wanted something with side to side head protection (the OMP won me over for that very feature).
After some research, I decided on the Cobra Sebring Pro Technology. The seat is basically the same as the Suzuka but incorporates side head protection and is HANS compatible. The seat weight is about 11lbs and uses a full carbon fiber shell. It also exceeds (3 times) the FIA 8855-1999 standards @ 63g. The Technology/Outlast part of the seat is in relation to the foam and fabric used (energy absorbing foam padding, Dinamica upholstery with leather anti-wear patches and Outlast heat/cooling regulating system). I absolutely love this seat.

Intake manifold testing
Tied to the new motor I’ll be using later next year, I’ve been putting together a list of parts I’ll be using for R&D purposes. The goal is to create the broadest power and torque band possible between 7-10k rpms. While the engines displacement and compression will play a critical role in achieving that, fine tuning how air gets in and exists will be critical. The exhaust side is more or less a done deal, especially since I need to pass a 90db limit as Laguna, so I’ve focused my attention on the intake side.
The two intake manifolds that I’ll be testing (in various volume sizes, using premium spacers) will be the Skunk2 Ultra Street and Ultra Race manifolds. Both manifolds have been fully CNC ported by 4piston Racing, and are being matched to a Skunk2 Pro Series 74mm throttle body (for drivability). In my opinion, historically the Edelbrock Victor X and Performer X offered the best band for the buck, however, the relatively new Skunk Ultra Series is in a league of its own. The price point, flexibility (work on both GSR and B16/ITR heads), future proofing (expandable with billet spacers) readiness of CNC porting, and fit/finish makes it’s a game changer. I would even put the Ultra Race on par with my Kinsler manifold, however, the Kinsler is still special in its own right (I highly doubt I’ll test that manifold for either motor, for this car). Surprisingly both manifolds clear the strut tower reinforcement bars, however, they’ll both require some trimming/shortening of the ELR carbon intake arm (as expected and planned with the new air box). Lastly, both manifolds will be tested against a few different camshaft profiles, likely basic cams such as the current Tuner 1’s all the way up to the Ultra 3’s (biggest cam available; 14mm lift). Lawrence will be doing all the testing, tuning and develop on his dyno and based off his 15+yrs of experience.

Skunk2 Ultra Race & Ultra Street, both with CNC porting by 4piston

AiM display firmware updates
It’s a minor update but AiM just released a much anticipated firmware and software update that enables Wi-Fi connectivity, updating the boot screen, enabling of the track map on the display (tbd), display font update and a few other miscellaneous items. I’m still waiting on the CAN bus to be enabled on the wideband (currently using the analog output).

Cosmetic touch-ups
While the radiator is out of the car, I did some quick touchups on the paint around the radiator support. After years of racing the paint was pretty beat up. While California weather is great at preventing rust, I wanted to make sure any vulnerable areas were addressed.

Radiator inspection
After discovering a decent amount of metal shaving in the oil pre-filter screen (likely from a blown motor by the previous owner), I decided to send the radiator out to Fluidyne for a full inspection, hot flush and ultrasonic cleaning. Why the radiator? Well the oil cooler (heat exchanger) is actually built into the radiator. It’s an incredibly efficient design (similar to the OE heat exchanger), however, it’s weakness is that both units more or less get affected when contamination or damage occurs. The inspection/cleaning is more of a precaution then anything. To my knowledge the oil filter was always before the heat exchanger but given that the radiator is the original unit Mark designed back in 1999, it’s likely it’s never been thoroughly cleaned/inspected. Plus the car ran Redline Water Wetter and any engine builders will know how much damage/corrosion that stuff will cause if not properly flushed and frequently replaced. I was going to use an FAA certified ultrasonic cleaning shop, however, in speaking with Fluidyne’s technical support, they said they’d do a full inspection and repairs if needed, hot flush and would send it to an FAA ultrasonic cleaning shop across the street for a final verification. Lastly, since this is a custom built unit, they also offered to update technical documentation on their side for in the event I need to get a new piece made. Hopefully I’ll have it back within the next few weeks.
Bumper repaint
I know it’s a race car but the freaking front bumper doesn’t match and my OCD can’t take it anymore. I’m repainting the front bumper, front lip and possibly the fenders to ensure a clean blend. Hopefully I’ll have it finished up within the next week or two.

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