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Author Topic: The duel purpose street/track car...the 4 year (and counting) build.  (Read 83325 times)
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millsj
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« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2012, 04:42:53 PM »

After the most recent overheating issue, it was time to go “all in” on the cooling mods.  My plan was to install an oil cooler, install a radiator cover, better insulate around the radiator, and carefully measure the proportions of water and coolant.  Another call to FM for the oil cooler (I am seeing a pattern here).  BEGi supplied the radiator cover and I was able to supply the rest.

First up was the BEGi radiator cover.  Finally! A mod was as easy to install as it looked like it would be.  

Before


After


Another after pic


Next up was some better sealing around the radiator.  I already had foam around the top of the radiator, but I added foam in the same location on the bottom of the radiator.  Easy enough….just stuff it in there.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 10:58:51 AM by SilverMiataRacer » Logged

FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2012, 07:14:33 PM »

Now it was time for the oil cooler install.  

The FM directions are pretty straight forward, but here are some additional pics to go along.

Here is the brace that you will need to remove to allow the thermostat to fit.


Here is the left and right brackets attached to the steering rack.




It is helpful if you remove the drain line for the OEM catch can where it attaches to the oil plan.  Yes, this is the same oil drain line that sucks oil up and introduces it to the intake.


Here is the thermostat in place, but with no oil lines attached.


And the oil cooler all wrapped up.


There are a couple of things I would add to the FM directions.
I would add some washers where the oil cooler mounts.  I have circled these places, but add them on both sides.  


Second, make sure that none of your oil lines are touching the fan belts.  You can zip tie them out of the way if necessary.  One of my oil line was rubbing in this location.  A zip tie and a slight rotation of the oil line fixed the problem.


FM says to fill the oil cooler before you install it.  I was afraid I would spill oil everywhere, so I installed it empty.  After it was installed, I used a funnel, several straws and some heat shrink tube to fill it from above.  I still spilled some oil, so I am not sure what way is really better.


All in all, a pretty easy install.  You will find that working around the thermostat will require some dexterity in your arms and a good mix of ratchet drivers.  

Here is a link to the exact same information above, but listed in the FAQ completed section.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25140.0.html



« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 07:16:05 PM by millsj » Logged

FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2012, 08:24:45 PM »

The oil cooler mounts on the steering rack above the plastic undertray.  I debated what to do about the plastic undertray since there would be somewhat limited airflow through it with the tray installed.  There are many opinions as to whether removing the plastic undertray improves cooling or makes it worse.  

After lots of reading about airflow and differential pressures and our engine bays, I decided that I wanted to keep the undertray installed.  Without going into too much detail, I believe that the undertray facilitates air exiting the engine compartment, which leads to overall cooler engine temps.  Of course, the tray helps keep everything clean.  The problem is that with the tray installed, there will be restricted airflow through the newly installed cooler.  I decided to make a scoop that would stick through the tray.  

I used a medium gauge metal, but I don’t know the specs.  You want something strong, but not too heavy.  You will have to use your own judgment here.  I also don’t have any metal working equipment in the garage, but here is a tip for bending metal.  I used this method for every piece of the scoop that needed a bend in it.  Clamp the metal you need to bend to a piece of angle iron and then bend it with a hammer.  It works remarkable well.  

Before


After


I used a cheap rivet gun that I bought from Northern Tool to attach all the pieces together.  

Here are some pics of the scoop in progress.






Here is a picture of the scoop installed prior to the under-tray.


I decided to install a wire mesh on in front of the cooler to protect it a little.  I have since noticed that the mesh is bent is a couple of places, so it must be doing some good.


Here is the plastic tray installed.


I installed a couple of plastic push pins here to help hold it all together.  


And the final product.


Here is a link to the full write-up that give much more details on measurements and dimensions if you are interested in tackling one on your own.  
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25141.0.html

All in all, it wasn't that difficult, but it was a lot of trial and error.  A second one with all the measurements would go pretty quickly.

So far so good.  I know this is an apples to oranges track comparison since the air temps were 75-80 degrees vs. mid 90’s.  However, the water temps were 210 vs. 235-240+ and the oil temps were 215 vs. 270.  I also took the intercooler off and cleaned it in an effort to get all the oil that I am sure was on every surface and reducing it’s efficiency.  De-natured alcohol works well for this little task.  Time will tell, but I am optimistic that my overheating issues are over (knock on wood). 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 08:57:18 PM by millsj » Logged

FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2012, 08:50:02 PM »

In the braking department, I have had no complaints, but I still have the OEM brake lines.  For the peace of mind (and a slightly better pedal feel), I installed SS brake lines. 

Here is my write-up on how to install them
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25151.0.html

I can’t really say that the brakes feel any different, but they may have a little firmer feel.  It might be a placebo effect, but at least I know I am not going to have a rubber line go bad when I am braking from 125 mph at the end of the straight. Shocked  They also look cool. 

Before:


After:


I really should have done this upgrade much earlier in the mod game, but other things kept coming up and they were put on the back burner.  There really no reason to put off brake improvements since I consider it more of a safety issue.  At least it never bit me in the rear. 
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
magnus
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« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2012, 09:18:36 PM »

Good thread, thanks for doing these really nice write-ups. Much appreciated.
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millsj
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« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2012, 09:58:15 PM »

You are welcome and glad to do it.
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2012, 10:12:13 PM »

I meant to say this a long time ago, but I would highly recommend Keith Tanner's book “Mazda Miata MX-5 Performance Projects”.  It has been a great reference tool for me and should be on the shelf of any do it yourselfer. 

The time has finally come, I get to work on the suspension.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but unfortunately, “must do” project come before “want to”.  I joked (somewhat seriously) that I need to upgrade the suspension before I go broke replacing tires.

I did a lot of reading and researching about what coilovers to go with.  There are a number of great options out there, but I decided to go with the AFCO’s from Flyin’ Miata.  My thinking was that they are great with customer support and have had a lot of development time with this suspension for the Targa.  In reality, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the known options.

Prior to ordering the AFCO’s, I talked to Keith at FM about the car and where it was headed.  He recommended a stiffer spring set-up than the default option from FM.  He said that the Targa car was faster with the stiffer set-up, so that reasoning was good enough for me.  I went with 550lb front and 400lb rear springs.  This is the same set-up that the V8 car ran at the the Targa. 



The installation was easy enough, but it always takes me longer to complete a project that it should.  I suppose there is nothing wrong with slow and steady.  I would highly recommend spraying all of the bolts with PB Blaster or similar penetrating oil a couple of days prior to even trying to get them loose.  The same advice goes for any bolt that you think might be difficult to remove on any car work.

Here is my write-up on the installation.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25152.0.html

And a couple of pics along the way








And the new look of the car all put back together. dancenana





BUT...your not done yet.  With the new lower ride height, you will need to get the car re-aligned.  I went ahead and took the extra step and got the car corner balanced.  If you're this far into the car financially, what is a few more dollars.   uglystupid2





Just as an FYI, the ride height is set to 12.0" front and 12.5" rear.  After the corner balance, the heights are a little different, but this is where we started.

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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2012, 10:34:25 PM »

The first thing that I noticed driving on the street is that the harshness of the ride was gone.  I can tell that the car is sprung stiffer than before, but the bumps don’t make the car shudder.  Getting the AFCO’s set properly may take some time, but I will get there. 

The new AFCO’s preformed well at the track in their debut, but due to some tire issues and a failing wheel bearing, we were not able to fully appreciate their capability.  The car had a serious vibration that I thought was due to extra rubber on the tires.  It then developed a loud whomp…whomp noise that was speed dependant.

After we got home from the track and I realized that the wheel bearing was shot, I think the vibration was a combination of out of balance tires and a wheel bearing.  The tires were also heat cycling out and were not all the grippy.  As much as I would like to report that with the new shocks, the car was seconds faster, that was not the case.  My wife and I were actually a few seconds slower than we were on fresh tires and the OEM suspension.  The tire/bearing issues were just not confidence inspiring and the car was difficult to drive with the vibrations in the steering wheel.  That being said, these issues didn’t stop up from driving over 500 miles in one weekend at the track. shocked

I did make a couple of compression and rebound adjustments while at the track.  I would recommend reading about suspension tuning before you randomly start making adjustments and at least have a good idea of what adjustments will increase grip and what ones will decrease grip.  I have said that the great thing about the suspension is that it is fully adjustable.  The bad thing about the suspension is that it is fully adjustable.  I am by no means an expert, but I at least have a general idea what each adjustment will do to the car and I think in the long run, I will grow to appreciate it’s adjustability.

We are headed back to the track in a couple of weeks and I will have a new wheel bearing and new r-comps, so I am really looking forward to seeing how the whole package works together.  I will report back.

Well boys and girls, this brings all of the car work up to date.  It's a good thing, I am running out of steam with the project.  I do have a couple of additional track related non-performance upgrades (electronic toys) that I have done that I will also add here in the near future. 

I am not sure what upgrades will be done this year, but there is one that I know is tops on the list.  The FM downpipe and exhaust has been ordered (thanks to the sale) and will be installed when it arrives.  Yes, I know, most of you would have done this upgrade early in the process, but oh well.  I am hoping that the extra ponnies will help me keep up down the straight. 

Other than that...who knows.  My mindset is to leave the car basically like it is for a little while and just learn to drive it better.  The car definitely has more skills than I do at this point, but I hope to catch up with is soon. cheesy

I'll add the electronic wizardry soon and will keep everyone updated on what's new and how things are going. afro
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
mr_hyde
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« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2012, 08:27:18 AM »

Joe, you need to spend some more money so I have something more to read about!   rolleyes  Nice write-up.  I'm sure you will be seconds faster with all 4 wheels actually rolling.
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1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2012, 05:37:31 PM »

Great write-ups.  A great service to our small community!
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2004 MSM #256,Ti, GT, hard top, MRSS, Custom Shift Knob, BF Clearview, L.E.B. 115db horn, SH boost/vac gauge, SH shift light, Hallman Pro RX. Valentine One w/remote display.  FM O2 Mod.  FM dp, Corksport 80mm catback. Motorcraft synthetic trans fluid.  Larger  FMIC (Ebay),  FM intake kit, Innovate A/F gauge, Innovate water temp gauge 
millsj
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« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2012, 01:17:58 AM »

I've still have a couple more mods that are not listed yet on the forum and a couple more that are waiting to be installed.  I have been tied up with other stuff and have not had time to post them yet.  Currently, I am fighting with a front wheel bearing.  I have a new one, but it is not the correct one.  The ABS ring is in the wrong place, which seems to be a common problem.  We are headed back to the track in two weeks, so I need to get a couple of these loose ends fixed soon.  Why is nothing simple?   Angry
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2012, 02:04:06 PM »

After a week or so hiatus, I am back to get this thread finalized to bring all the mods up to date as the car stands today.  So far, all the mods that I have detailed been performance related.  However, there have been a couple of upgrades that I have done along the way aren’t really performance upgrades, but definitely improvements to the car. 

My wife and I are members of the local Miata club in town and regularly do group drives.  CB’s work great to communicate while on these drives, so we installed this Cobra CB. 



We liked this CB because it is all contained in one unit and you don’t have to find a place to mount it.  I wired the CB directly to the battery and ran the wiring though the hole in panel behind the passenger seat.



Obviously, you also need a CB antenna.  I was not in love with the idea of mounting a CB antenna to the car, so we bought a CB splitter from Jeff Anderson.

http://miatafun.net/WebMastPage/CB-Connector/AntennaSpliters.htm

This gizmo allows you to use your radio antenna for the CB.  We have found that it works as well or better than any of the standalone CB antennas that other club members have installed.  I love the stealth factor and it was easy to install.
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2012, 02:07:05 PM »

If you live in a warmer climate, you should really consider a Cool Breeze Scoop.

http://www.coolbreezescoop.com/servlet/StoreFront

This is a pic showing the scoop sticking up above the center of the windshield


This pics shows a view looking up from the center console area.


They are easy to install and do a great job of directing air into the floor areas of the car.  They really make a huge difference.  If it starts to rain, make sure you take it down immediately.  They do a great job of scooping rain.  

One word of caution, DO NOT REMOVE THE SCOOP AT SPEED!!  They have been known to take flight.  Shocked

« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 02:44:16 PM by SilverMiataRacer » Logged

FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2012, 02:37:33 PM »

I have had a Gtech Pro sitting in a drawer at home and realized that it had shift lights.  I decided to try it out on the track and loved it.  I wired a cigarette lighter plug into the fuse panel with an “add a circuit” to power the unit. 





You can program the lights to come on at a certain RPM and the LED’s are easily visible during the day. 

There are two reasons that I really like the shift lights at the track.  First of all, I don’t have to keep an eye on the tach as I approach redline, so I can keep my eyes on the track at all times.  The second reason is that I can tell how good of a run I am getting by when the lights start to come on.  After a while, you get a sense of when and where the lights start to come on.  If they come on sooner at a particular place, then you know you got a good run in that section of the track.  My wife and I also compare notes as to when and how many lights we get at different sections of the track. 

You can see the shift lights in action in this video.  You may have wait until the second or third laps before the lights are in full swing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6ssRf628cI&sns=em

I have tried the lights at an autocross and I don't see any benefit.  They can be entertaining on the street, they are more of a novelty for normal driving.  The only time I have the GTech operational is at the track.     

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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2012, 10:08:13 PM »

I have finally gotten some time to continue this thread. 

I have always been a fan of having in-car video so I can go back and analyze and check out how I did.  I have found video especially beneficial in figuring out what events led to a spin or some other driving error.  I don’t have a video camera, but have always used my digital camera in video mode.  It’s not the best, but it has worked good enough.  Another tip is to put some foam rubber over the mic on the camera.  Without it, you will get a lot of wind noise.  This tip works great at autocrosses or spirited driving.  At the track, it’s pointless.  There is just too much wind noise in general and no matter what you do, you will just get wind noise unless you have an external mic mounted someplace else in the car. 

Before you can record video, you have to have a camera mount.  I have used a couple of different mounts with this car. 

Prior to the roll bar, I used a Harbor Freight duel suction cup, a PVC saddle, and a tripod head.  You can see in the pictures that I just used a long bolt to attach everything together. 

At the time, I used a different tripod head, but you can get an idea from these pictures.





I would stick the mount on the front of the truck.  This rig worked very well and makes for good video.  With the suction cups, you can really mount this rig anywhere.  I had a friend who would mount it on the front windshield.  It made cool video, but I like to be able to see what my hands are doing on the steering wheel.

This is the suction cups that I used.
http://www.harborfreight.com/dual-cup-suction-lifter-46134.html

Here is a short autocross video shot from this mount.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF-braxECJg&sns=em


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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
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