Destination SSM One Miata's Journey through Hell


Test Run – Phase 1 Complete

Posted by David de Regt

The past several weeks have been on and off busy and not.  Even though the car dynoed, there were a lot of loose ends to tie up.  I had the car aligned and ride heighted while I got some work done the next day, and we had an emergency all day session on Friday trying to finish the car in time for going out to a karting track (that allowed cars that day) -- seatbelt installs onto the firewall, custom bracket for passenger seat, fender and bumper cutting to fit the giant tires, front swaybar install, etc.  We decided not to bother going down to the kart track by the time we finally finished up all the last touches (weather/lack of daylight to make it worth it), but at least the car was drivable.

Instead, Brian and I spend Saturday doing a bunch of work.  We measured bump travel vs offset for the front and rear of the car, to plan the new uprights, and then took the car out for its first spin (turned out to be a gorgeous day, but with no autocross all weekend anywhere in the northwest).  The car worked great and we dialed in the Throttle Pump settings and had some fun.  The car was showing signs of being incredibly loose, but we didn't care too much at the time.

Over the next week, I continued tweaking things.  I built a temporary intake out of cheap parts, we added some lexan panels to the hood to block water getting all over the headlights, I added a cabin-switchable intercooler fan, etc.  There's so many little things to do building an SSM car.  The weekend had an event in Packwood, but it was going to definitely be rainy (100% chance of rain both days) so I ordered a set of 15x9 6ULs and some Hoosier Wets on Monday, which ended up having 3 come in Friday and one come in Tuesday (good job UPS), so I missed that weekend of events.

Fortunately, the following weekend had a gorgeous pair of events up in Vancouver.  My dad and I towed the car up and ran a PCA event Saturday and a VCMC event Sunday, where the car showed great promise.  It turned out to be at least as loose as we anticipated, but it was still keeping up with CSP cars on a non-power course (we checked the datalogs, and were both over 60% throttle for a collective less than 1 full second).  In any event, my dad signed on for codriving for the rest of the year, which should make for a smooth first year of towing to events.

The car's waiting for several things right now.  The shocks are taking a little longer than originally anticipated, the wing pushed out a couple weeks longer than they thought, and the EPMiata upper control arms are also being pushed out a couple weeks.  As a result, even though there was an event this past weekend, I didn't figure on there being much point in running it, as the car's current handling is largely a result of the temporary suspension setup on it.  So, instead, I brought it into the local body shop to start prepwork on painting it, and over the next week or two it'll get painted while I wait for the rest of the parts to come in.  I've abandoned my San Diego entry and I'm aiming at the Lincoln double now, which should actually be doable...

Filed under: Delays, Handling No Comments