Some new Lights, Decals and Springs

Door (number) lights
I reinstalled the endurance racing door lights to give the doors a more finished appearance and to round out the original setup of the car. The intention was to illuminate the door numbers for nighttime racing per Belgian Procar rules. The units are made by Hella and use a small 23w bulb. I may install the roof light (same look/design), however, I’ll probably keep it off until I can replace the broken lens (awaiting on a replacement from Germany). Also the weight is maybe a quarter of a pound (if that), so no real weight gain by adding them.

New spring rates
This is something I should have done a long time ago but after speaking with Christian (Xian) and a few others, I finally pulled the trigger dropping the spring rates to a more reasonable and friendly setup. Originally the car ran 856F/1256R, which was great for full racing slicks, smooth tracks, and long distance racing. However, since I’ll likely be using the car for short 20min HPDE lapping sessions or amateur racing, I decided to drop the rates down to 800F/600R. Thankfully I had those rates in storage off my R2 setup so it was more or less an easy swap (7” vs. 6” and 2.25” vs. 60mm). For those concerned with such soft rear springs, remember, I have a massive 3pc rear bar that attaches to the rear hub rather than the lower arm (similar concept to Realtime). The effectiveness is pretty massive and offers a great deal of rear rotation. Also thank you Xian for the front bump stop recommendation!

Suspension dyno and rebuild
While swapping springs I decided to get the shocks dyno’d (thank Mark!). As expected the dyno indicated that the shocks need to be rebuilt (after 16yrs of use) and also had approx. 45psi of nitrogen rather than the factory 185-200psi. Mark added new nitrogen and found the sweet spot setting wise, however, in testing the shocks the passenger front rebound adjuster got jammed and eventually leaked some oil. Not a huge ordeal and actually a simple fix, however, it definitely pushed me into deciding to rebuild the shocks now rather than hitting the track in a less then optimal state. Also the driver front had a bad high-speed compression adjuster so this minor issue will get fixed. For those wondering, this is why suddenly cancelled and am not attending the Laguna Seca event this Friday. As I type the shocks are in the hands of Angelo at Anze Suspension who’s doing a full inspection and overhaul. More details to come…

Corner weight
Before making the decision to rebuild the suspension I was in the process of corner weighting the car and finalizing the alignment settings. Sadly the scales revealed about a 70lb weight gain from a year ago and total weight of 2297lbs (with no driver, 8gal of fuel and at full race trim). The weight gain is mostly attributed to the following: fuel bladders/accessories added 35lbs, air jacks added 15lbs, and the wood P1 splitter/brackets added another 15lbs. Another 30lbs or so of miscellaneous stuff got added but I also removed about 30lbs to cancel that out. The good news is that the weight is added is the right places. The bladder systems move the fuel weight to ground level and also as far forward as possible. The wood splitter has low CG and the air jacks spread the weight across all four corners. With come creative thinking I’m sure I can pull another 50lbs off the car leaving it closer to 2250 with no driver and 8gal of fuel.

Wheel temp sensors
Wheel temp sensors are something I’ve always wanted to play around with (in addition to shock pots). While they’re not really necessary or essential, I’ve always wanted see how the readings compare to what I’m seeing on the tires and how the car feels. It will also be interesting to see how the readings vary while I dial in the alignment and chassis settings. In terms of the resolution and communication, the sensors will be reading four sections of each tire and will communicate collectively on a CAN network to the AiM MXL2. As for the mounting locations, I’ll be installing the front sensors in the splitter/lip and far enough forward so that they’ll capture the entire tire regardless of the wheel turning (always measured and verified). The rear sensors will be mounted to the underside of the side skirt so that the face of the sensor it’s hit with debris and so that it can read the entire cross-section of the tire. More pictures and information to come once I get these installed in the next week or two (low priority).

Fuel measurement/capacity
Since I had a few hours to kill this weekend I decided to fully drain the fuel system and fill it to max capacity one gallon at a time so I could create perfect fuel level curve for the fuel level sensor. If you recall I previously calibrated the sensor based off measuring precise increments in a one gallon container. While that methodology gets you pretty close, it’s not perfect. And I like perfect. Going through the process of filling the system one gallon at a time and recording each mV reading allows you to account for the shape and design of the fuel bladders. It was a long and tedious process especially since the system holds a max of 100l or 26 gallons. Even worse is that I used race fuel because my OCD wouldn’t allow regular fuel to taint the bladders/foam. Anyhow, the process worked great and did reveal a nice curve in the mid-range that wasn’t previously accounted for. Also by scoping the bladders during this process and testing the fuel pumps at various levels, I confirmed I’m more or less able to run down to 0.25 gallons before pulling air (amazing baffle/trap door system) and was able to fit 27 gallons after filling both bladders and the fill hose. By the end of the process I verified I’ll probably start a 20min session with 8 gallons of fuel and monitor how much I’ll consume before reassessing the base level. Ideally while I can run as low 0.25 gallons, I’d rather keep it above 3-4 gallons for comfort.

ELR and FC Design decals added
ELR and FC Design are two amazing business based out of Belgium that helped me in the resurrection of the car. FC design for one off composite work and ELR for one off parts fabrication. Also ELR played a huge role in preparing and racing this car in Belgium (24hr of Spa Francorchamps) in 2000 and 2003. Thank you again to Cedric and Marc!

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