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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start a thread here, since a few of you I know personally aren't on Facebook. My dedicated autoX car, a 2000 Ford Zx2 S/R in FSP that I've been building and racing since 2007, rolled off a trailer after I broke an axle at an autoX and required a tow. It went across an oncoming off-ramp, down a hill, and into a tree and it will take me a year or two to get the car back to its former glory. It just underwent a year-long engine rebuild and everything forward of the firewall that could possibly wear out was replaced with new parts. I autoXed the 124 Abarth all last summer and this spring until the Escort was back, and I did not plan on doing anything to it more than just some tires because the stock ones are so awful.

My son will be doing his rookie year in autoX next year on his learner's permit at the age of 15. I wanted to have him learn in the very sorted out, very predictable and consistent Zx2. But if I get this thing back up in time (which I probably could), I would not trust racing it without a truck and trailer of my own. That's not in the budget right now because of some major family stuff we're having to foot financially (mother in law in Alaska with severe Parkinsons and cannot get disability quite yet). So, the easy button is to spend a couple grand and let a 15 year old learn how to race on a car that I'm still making payments on....not ideal from my perspective, but it's the easiest option.

First up will be some lighter TR110 wheels, 17x7 and only 14ish lbs. These will be wrapped in Bridgestone RE71Rs in a 225 width. I'm going with a tall tire on 17s because I've been in 3rd gear at most of the events this year on 215s. The extra width will be great, and I'm unconvinced that pinching a 235 on a 7" wheel will be a good idea. I will also get some Koni Yellows to stiffen up the ride, allow the suspension to unload much more slowly to add predictability in fast transitions. And the final piece is a Karcepts front bar, the big one (0.120" wall) that requires a reinforcement to the chassis because it's so stiff, it literally tears the frame of the car. I just have to figure out a clearance issue with that bar and the intercooler piping. The goal is to mimic the MX5 setups from SCCA Solo Nationals, as I plan on going for my first time ever in 2020. I'll update this as I develop the car, and every few events. Even without the shocks, bar, and light wheels, the car (and I) am sitting in 9th place out of almost 200 drivers in the St Louis SCCA year long points championship. Awards go out to the top 20 every year, and I'm hoping to get into the top 10. I cannot wait to see how well the car will do next year with a full prep that should equate to a second or more off my times, putting me in the top few spots at each local event. I've also had quite a few top 10 finishes with another non-SCCA club that race on much grippier concrete at an old air force base.
 

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For me, timely post, as I am just now investigating a return to HPDE/Solo, and, in what car.

Previously, I successfully campaigned a '99 Miata Hard S and won many an event in the Street Tire category.

Now, at age 71, living in central Florida, my car won't be as "raw" as the Hard S. I do require my creature comforts.

I'm thinking the Fiat might be the car for me.

TIA for your comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's an example of how much body roll the stock shocks and sway bar have with 215 RE71Rs.

 

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Very cool, Tim. I had lots of roll when I went to the Grand Junction Speedway where Steve lives. Suspension upgrades are coming this Christmas.
 

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Tim, good to see you posting here. I have Karcepts front and rear. I have the .120 on front and honestly it’s going to be overkill if you are only running 225 RE71s. You really need 245 Hoosiers or equivalent to get maximum benefit. I am running 235 Dunlop Direzza ZIIIs and I’ve gone up to a 3/3 setting on the Karcepts in front and I get too much understeer going that stiff. I also run on a tight demanding track that has a several 180 degree turns. I’ve settled on a 2/2 setting up front. I also have Ohlins coilovers with 8/4 kg springs. If you go Konis you’ll be able to go stiffer than I but I don’t think you’ll get anywhere close to the max setting unless you go wider, grippier tires. If you can, I wouldn’t settle on less than a 235 and wider is even better.

Also, don’t forget, Karcepts will not fit with the stock intercooler piping so unless you already have the EC plumbing you’ll need to look at other sway bar options.
 

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I am happy to see more people getting into motorsports with these cars. As they age I think that will be more and more common.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tim, good to see you posting here. I have Karcepts front and rear. I have the .120 on front and honestly it’s going to be overkill if you are only running 225 RE71s. You really need 245 Hoosiers or equivalent to get maximum benefit. I am running 235 Dunlop Direzza ZIIIs and I’ve gone up to a 3/3 setting on the Karcepts in front and I get too much understeer going that stiff. I also run on a tight demanding track that has a several 180 degree turns. I’ve settled on a 2/2 setting up front. I also have Ohlins coilovers with 8/4 kg springs. If you go Konis you’ll be able to go stiffer than I but I don’t think you’ll get anywhere close to the max setting unless you go wider, grippier tires. If you can, I wouldn’t settle on less than a 235 and wider is even better.

Also, don’t forget, Karcepts will not fit with the stock intercooler piping so unless you already have the EC plumbing you’ll need to look at other sway bar options.
I'm going with the 0.120 just like every single MX5 in C Street on stock springs and adjustable shocks at nationals that trophied this and last year. It's a proven part of a formula I'll need to win. I'm limited to a 7" wide wheel, so the 225s (again what was on every trophy winning CS car at nationals) will be fine, and 235s will be ballooned too much. The Karcepts bar may fit with two bolts on the intercooler piping loosened, the piping pushed a bit, then tighten the bolts. I have not been able to get anyone on Facebook to get me pictures of where the Karcepts bar is in relation to the stock piping or to the aftermarket ones (that I cannot upgrade to in CS). I will find a way to make it work that's CS legal. The stock bar is really holding me back. Some of the MX5 guys around me dropped a second or more by upgrading the bar (when looking at their time difference from FTDI over a season before an after the bar). No other bar is nearly as stiff. And if anything, I need this car to push more. It's incredibly tail happy, even after sorting out the alignment and learning how to modulate the throttle better. Turn in has never been an issue, but massive oversteer has. I was actually thinking about that during a sweeper on Sunday because others have told me "that bar will make the car push more." I'm looking forward to having a bar that I can adjust in the grid without lifting the car, as well.

Just wondering how you have that camera mounted?
It's a GoPro Hero7 Black with the suction cup mount just to the right of the rearview mirror. It's incredibly solid and the motion balance feature finds the horizon and really shows how much the car rolls in the turns.
 

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I'm going with the 0.120 just like every single MX5 in C Street on stock springs and adjustable shocks at nationals that trophied this and last year. It's a proven part of a formula I'll need to win. I'm limited to a 7" wide wheel, so the 225s (again what was on every trophy winning CS car at nationals) will be fine, and 235s will be ballooned too much. The Karcepts bar may fit with two bolts on the intercooler piping loosened, the piping pushed a bit, then tighten the bolts. I have not been able to get anyone on Facebook to get me pictures of where the Karcepts bar is in relation to the stock piping or to the aftermarket ones (that I cannot upgrade to in CS). I will find a way to make it work that's CS legal. The stock bar is really holding me back. Some of the MX5 guys around me dropped a second or more by upgrading the bar (when looking at their time difference from FTDI over a season before an after the bar). No other bar is nearly as stiff. And if anything, I need this car to push more. It's incredibly tail happy, even after sorting out the alignment and learning how to modulate the throttle better. Turn in has never been an issue, but massive oversteer has. I was actually thinking about that during a sweeper on Sunday because others have told me "that bar will make the car push more." I'm looking forward to having a bar that I can adjust in the grid without lifting the car, as well.



It's a GoPro Hero7 Black with the suction cup mount just to the right of the rearview mirror. It's incredibly solid and the motion balance feature finds the horizon and really shows how much the car rolls in the turns.
The Karcepts bar is a fantastic piece of kit. You can make the .120 work but I think everyone is just doing the same thing because everyone is doing the same thing. Knowing what I know now, I would have gone .095 for more range of adjustability. And I also would have skipped the rear bar. Stiffening the rear even a little induces too much oversteer in my application. I’ve heard people say you can take out the bolts in the stock piping and possibly get it through. I’ve never seen anyone do it though. I had a hellava time installing it. It fits extremely tight and I had to grind out one of the bracket mounts 1/16” to get it on. But it did shave a second off my track time so I guess it was worth it. And with the Ohlins my car has virtually no lean at all. I remember driving with you at Bondurant. You’re a very good and aggressive driver. I know you’ll do well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Karcepts bar is a fantastic piece of kit. You can make the .120 work but I think everyone is just doing the same thing because everyone is doing the same thing. Knowing what I know now, I would have gone .095 for more range of adjustability. And I also would have skipped the rear bar. Stiffening the rear even a little induces too much oversteer in my application. I’ve heard people say you can take out the bolts in the stock piping and possibly get it through. I’ve never seen anyone do it though. I had a hellava time installing it. It fits extremely tight and I had to grind out one of the bracket mounts 1/16” to get it on. But it did shave a second off my track time so I guess it was worth it. And with the Ohlins my car has virtually no lean at all. I remember driving with you at Bondurant. You’re a very good and aggressive driver. I know you’ll do well.
Everyone is doing it because two years ago there were 6 different bars on various cars, and all of the top 5 spots had Karcepts. Then, the next year, 1/2 of the field had Karcepts, and all of trophy cars but two had Karcepts. Then this year, all of them had it. I'll get it to work, even if nobody has before. Everyone told me I couldn't make ITBs out of motorcycle parts for my Ford Escort...and I did it anyway :)
 

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Keep up the good work, Tim!

I will be upgrading suspension soon myself to work on more autocross but I don't know how I will do on mostly all cone tracks in a big lot. The only regular, sanctioned racing is on the west side of PHX. I would prefer actual tracks with some banked turns, the curbs! Where if I do skid, I don't take out a line of cones or single cone like our buddy, Steve!
 

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Keep up the good work, Tim!

I will be upgrading suspension soon myself to work on more autocross but I don't know how I will do on mostly all cone tracks in a big lot. The only regular, sanctioned racing is on the west side of PHX. I would prefer actual tracks with some banked turns, the curbs! Where if I do skid, I don't take out a line of cones or single cone like our buddy, Steve!
Those f%#ing cones hate me and are evil. If you are pushing the very limit you will find one of them eventually.
 

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I just recently got the whole Karcepts kit (front bar, front reinforcements, rear bar) used for $750 total, so I will be trying to install the front with the stock intercooler piping soon, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just recently got the whole Karcepts kit (front bar, front reinforcements, rear bar) used for $750 total, so I will be trying to install the front with the stock intercooler piping soon, as well.
If there are clearance issues, post pictures! I want to plan accordingly. From what it says on Good-win's website, the clearance issue was one a customer claimed existed, but there's no confirmation I can find anywhere. They already had EC piping, so they didn't encounter the issue and are just going by what they've heard from one person. I am sure there is a C Street legal work-around.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Results are in for the year:

23 events
17k street miles
199 autoX runs over 7 drivers
2 sets of Bridgestone RE71Rs
4 regions
1 championship, 2nd in C Street by only 259 points out of 60,000, 18th of over 270 for overall PAX index

Next year comes a swaybar, 10mm wider tires, 9 lbs lighter wheels, and Koni Yellow shocks.
 

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Busy year!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is why I need a big, beefy front sway bar. Tons of roll, and it's causing the inside rear to lift, I start spinning the inside rear, no power gets put down if one side of a Torsen diff has a wheel in the air, and it's causing the back of the car to slide out way too easily. I'll be much faster if I could get the power down and get on the throttle earlier without sliding out. The bar will induce a lot more understeer, but this car could use a little push...it's sooo loose on throttle.

At this event, air temps were in the 40s and 50s. We ended up leaving the front tires at 30psi, it had plenty of bite going into turns. But we dropped the rears to 26 before the oversteer became manageable.

Next year, Koni Yellows with the fronts at full soft and the rears bumped up a touch, soft bump stops up front and hard in the rear. And I'll likely go with the Progress bar from Goodwin since there looks to be no way the Karcepts bar could clear the intercooler piping bolt/mounting tab without illegal (for Street class) modification, which would mean taking a bolt out and snapping the plastic mount tab off the pipe completely.

73805
 

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Discussion Starter #19
National tour dates are starting to be posted. I plan on making some of the midwest national events, and maybe a MidDiv and/or CenDiv event, as well.

So far, planning on the following:
Spring Nationals, Lincoln, NE May 23-25
Bristol Champ Tour, Bristol, TN, July 3-5
Peru Champ Tour, Peru, IN, July 24-26
Solo Nationals, Lincoln, NE, Sept 7-11

Some are pending our local schedule. I'm the new equipment chief of the St Louis SCCA and I've been asked to be a Safety Steward and possible Event Chair for a few events with the Champaign County Sports Car Club.
 

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Best of luck to you, Tim!
 
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