Hey Nashco.. I've been following your build/story over on GRM- what an impressive bit of engineering and effort you've spearheaded!! gotta say thanks too for taking the time to so thoroughly document your build with it's many, many mods. I must confess I've stolen (ahem, borrowed
) many of your ideas for my own N600 BEC project..
I'm in the middle of my build (currently fitting Miata suspension under mine), and I was anxious to see how yours would perform. Please don't take this as a dig (I assure you it is not), but from the postings I could find on your runs, it didn't do as well as I would have thought.. You're power-to-weight is better than mine will end up (mine will have 105hp max with a VFR800 bike motor)..
Any thoughts/observations on what might be tweaked to get 'more' out of it at the track? I know you mentioned widening it- was that the biggest challenge, it's narrow track? I'm bumped out to 53" (outside of tire to outside of tire- which means I need 1.5" flares per side).. I'm wondering aloud if a bit more width wouldn't be better? I'm running 175-50-13s- you're on the same? Were you able to take advantage of your engine's big HP in such a small car?
Again- such a great build- especially considering the $2011.00 cap... your work is a bit beyond my own eyeball engineering and booger welding- hats off to you and your co-builders
Oops, forgot to come respond to this! Thanks for the compliment. As my brother pointed out, seeing the car in person shows just how many details there are that we still didn't document. As you can imagine, just about every part of the car has been customized, repaired, detailed, etc. in some fashion.
Do you have a build thread for the BEN600? (Ha...Ben 600, kind of has a ring to it...) Sounds like a neat build.
If you go back to my build thread, right after the $2011 challenge was over I put a list of things that I think need addressed to try and make it handle properly. Here's a link to that post:http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/ ... post693683
To be clear, going into this project I was firmly committed to keeping it stock width. Mostly because I'm an engineer and it seemed like a good engineering challenge, but also because I love the stock styling and wanted to stick with it. I'm confident that it's POSSIBLE to make it handle safely and predictably without going to a wider track width, I just haven't figured out how yet. The car has some pretty serious alignment issues right now, mostly the rear toe that I didn't design enough adjustment into the chassis for. Once I address the to-do list, I intend to take it autocrossing again and start trying to dial it in...hopefully by next spring. Of course, wider makes the car less tippy, but the issues I listed in my build thread have nothing to do with width, but rather my design, selection of parts, etc. Toe, damping, springs, center of gravity, camber gain, roll centers, bars, etc. are generally independent of track width or can be corrected with track width changes. I just plain ran out of time to test and tune before the $2011 Challenge! Now, with a bit of time to think about it, come up with a plan, source additional parts, etc. I hope to give the test and tune a shot.
I have a few different sets of tires to fit...175/50R13 Sumitomo HTR200 (haven't used these yet, smallest tires I have!), 185/60D13 Hoosier Street TD (used these for $2011 Challenge, barely bigger than the 175/50R13), 185/60R13 Hoosier R6 (wanted to use these for $2011 Challenge but had fitment issues, they're about an inch taller and wider than the Street TD). I'd like to figure out how to get the Hoosier R6 to fit without rubbing, as they're really close to fitting and I think with some massaging they're probably the best cheap/free rubber I'm going to fit under the car. I intend to use the 175/50 Sumitomos for general road duty and initial autocross tuning. Not a lot of tires fit this car, so who knows what will go on it in the future as I use these tires up!
In response to using the horsepower...yeah, it's fast as hell, no doubt about it. As it was set up (lots of negative rear camber with skinny tires) it didn't really start to hook until I was going about 70 mph, at which point the handling got pretty darty...to this day, I still don't think I've gone over 100 mph. With wider tires in the rear and zero camber, stable suspension, and a drag strip to try it on, I'm sure the car can go a hell of a lot faster. In my mind, there's no such thing as too much power, just not enough control. Right now the car lacks the control required to use the power available. I'm trying to remedy that. If you look purely at lb/hp, my car has way less power per pound than any really fast street car (Corvette, for example), so I'm not into ludicrous power levels. Yet.