October Autocross

Got a new oxygen sensor installed, tuned it a bit, and went to an autocross in my 280Z a couple weeks ago. I was third in my class! Out of three, though. So last. Still, the real victory is that my car made it there, ran, started and restarted fine, and then made it back home.

I also got to try my slicks out for the first time, and man, they make the car much more predictable. Lift-off oversteer is still there but manageable and much more forgiving (which probably doesn’t help that I have a bad habit of inducing it). Traction is not as greatly improved as I thought it would be, but I was just running them on the rear.

Anyway, here are a couple runs. A fun run (no time, just learning the course), and my fastest run.


Harbor Freight Trailer Build

So I’ve got this autocross bug, despite being a terrible driver. After about 5 seconds of thought, I came to the conclusion that I must get an autocross trailer in order to improve my skills.

So, after a bit of research it looked like item #90153 was the thing to get. The key is it has 12″ wheels, whereas the cheaper one (#42708) has 8″ ones. The larger the wheel the less RPM the wheel bearings see, which is good. The increased payload capacity and trailer height were just bonuses. Since I plan on hauling some wheels and tires and some tools, I don’t see coming near the 1000+ lb. payload capacity. And if you wanted to carry more, all you’d really need is some better tires, since that’s the actual limiting factor. However, I don’t recommend carrying anything near the payload capacity.

Note that this is one of the few big-ticket items you can use the 20% coupon on, so if you want to save $46 or so off the price, use one! I got it and built it:

I also picked up a trailer jack, LED lighting kit, 1-7/8″ ball, and ratcheting straps from HF. From elsewhere I got a backup alarm, more LED lights, battery tray, some wire and a voltage gauge.

I then painted the frame and wheels to match my 280Z:

Continue reading

First autocross with a VG33

Well, with less than a couple hundred miles on the rebuilt engine, it was time to really break-in the new VG33. I took it to an autocross. Things were going well until I shut it off after my second run. It didn’t want to restart after that. It appears that the culprit was low battery voltage, as the ECU was resetting and the fuel pump never even came on during cranking. Even with a jump cranking speed just wasn’t very fast.

I did get three runs in, albeit only one of was clean. The first one was red flagged due to someone else spinning out, and the last one I spun out. Here are videos of the clean run and the second run where I spin: