Setting up for SCCA Learning Curve (noobie) - Page 2 - Saturn ION RedLine Forums
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post #11 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 10:29 AM
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If you intend to autocross, deciding what class to run in matters a LOT.

Stock - allowed mods include brake pads (rotors already put you out if they're slotted) only, shocks only (no springs), catback exhaust only, air filter only (no intake changes AT ALL). You can change or modify the FRONT swaybar only. You can run any wheel that is stock size +/- 6mm of offset, so any 17x7 with offset between 48 and 36 mm. Any DOT rated tire including DOT slicks like Hoosier A/R6, BFG R1, Kumho V710, etc. You may run a racing harness that connects to stock bolts only. THAT IS IT.

STX - this is the "street tire" class that the IRL goes into. Most bolt-ons are allowed, as wel as a few other goodies - but you lose the slicks, as the tires have to e treadwear 140 or higher. Suspension is mostly open but must use stock mounting locations, no drilling or welding. Sway bars, springs or coilovers, etc, fine. Brakes are more or less open, you may change the rotors, pads, even the calipers. You may change the intake but not the TB or anything past it. You may run headers and a full exhaust as long as the cat is +/- 6" of the stock location. you may run a tune - but boost levels may not be changed in blown or turbocharged cars, so no pulley. you may run a different battery and the battery may be relocated (not an issue for us, lol). Wheels size is open, tire size is limited to 265 width for 2wd cars in STX.

SMF - "Street Mod, FWD" - this is where the bigger boys play. Basically, if it bolts on without welding or cutting, it's legal. Engine internals may be changed, heads ported, even motor swaps are legal (at this time, engine must be from the same manufacturer - and that means Saturn, not GM). CF hoods and such and any boost mods will land you in this class, period. Tires must be DOT stamped, DOT slicks are legal.

Based on what you say you have and want to do, I'd start building an STX car. You'll never hang with the big boys there (the non-STi WRX, RX-8, and BMW 330i reign supreme in this class for the most part) but you'll have a blast and the mods are straightforward. Get CSS/t shocks all around, Pedders or Progress springs, a rear swaybar, some Hawk HPS or HP+ pads, and some decent tires and get started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaJaguar5
I try and get with as many dudes as possible when I'm out on the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4ckler
I miss the days when people weren't emo and just hung themselves instead of bitching on youtube....
RIP "Sally" - Pacific Blue 2005 Ion Redline Comp Pack

14.8 @ 96 mph, 2.3 second 60' - 100% stock on stock tires, 85 degrees out at 2200 ft altitude...

207 whp, 187 wtq, 100% stock uncorrected numbers on a mustang dyno...
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post #12 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBrother View Post
If you intend to autocross, deciding what class to run in matters a LOT.

Stock - allowed mods include brake pads (rotors already put you out if they're slotted) only, shocks only (no springs), catback exhaust only, air filter only (no intake changes AT ALL). You can change or modify the FRONT swaybar only. You can run any wheel that is stock size +/- 6mm of offset, so any 17x7 with offset between 48 and 36 mm. Any DOT rated tire including DOT slicks like Hoosier A/R6, BFG R1, Kumho V710, etc. You may run a racing harness that connects to stock bolts only. THAT IS IT.

STX - this is the "street tire" class that the IRL goes into. Most bolt-ons are allowed, as wel as a few other goodies - but you lose the slicks, as the tires have to e treadwear 140 or higher. Suspension is mostly open but must use stock mounting locations, no drilling or welding. Sway bars, springs or coilovers, etc, fine. Brakes are more or less open, you may change the rotors, pads, even the calipers. You may change the intake but not the TB or anything past it. You may run headers and a full exhaust as long as the cat is +/- 6" of the stock location. you may run a tune - but boost levels may not be changed in blown or turbocharged cars, so no pulley. you may run a different battery and the battery may be relocated (not an issue for us, lol). Wheels size is open, tire size is limited to 265 width for 2wd cars in STX.

SMF - "Street Mod, FWD" - this is where the bigger boys play. Basically, if it bolts on without welding or cutting, it's legal. Engine internals may be changed, heads ported, even motor swaps are legal (at this time, engine must be from the same manufacturer - and that means Saturn, not GM). CF hoods and such and any boost mods will land you in this class, period. Tires must be DOT stamped, DOT slicks are legal.

Based on what you say you have and want to do, I'd start building an STX car. You'll never hang with the big boys there (the non-STi WRX, RX-8, and BMW 330i reign supreme in this class for the most part) but you'll have a blast and the mods are straightforward. Get CSS/t shocks all around, Pedders or Progress springs, a rear swaybar, some Hawk HPS or HP+ pads, and some decent tires and get started.
Well thought out and easy to understand response +1, Thank you!

Honestly, I'm too broke to track the car on a regular basis but for occasional runs (1-3 times a year) and spirited street driving, my goal is to have best handling car I can have to make up for driver mod, at least until I get some practice.

AutoX isn't the ultimate goal for me either, it would be a track day at a place like BlackHawk Farms, Autobahn or maybe even Road America but that's a ways down the road (no pun intended). Who knows, I'll probably go to Learning Curve and get bit by the bug.

I have been reading up on the driving piece in order to be more informed going into Learning Curve.

I'm picking up a Progress Rear Sway at the advice of GC (and others) and my next purchase will likely be better quality UHP street tires (heard and read good things about Falken Azenis, Hankook Evos, and Yok S). After that will be FE5 struts/Pedders springs and then maybe coppertop subframe.

Big problem right now is I noticed a rattle coming from my SC so immediately I'm thinking coupler or needle bearings...took it to the dealer because I bought an extended warranty with the car. They come back with fried IC pump (which I already have en route to replace myself), brakes need new pads and rotor deglaze/resurface and clutch is not "engaging correctly". The old clutch catch close to the floor issue I've had since I bought the car. So looks like I'm grabbing some Hawk Pads now too.

When I asked about the supercharger, they said there didn't seem to be anything wrong with it. Waiting to speak directly to the tech instead of the counter girl as a rattling supercharger is not a normally operating piece of equipment. I love dealerships (sarcasm).

Thanks again!

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Last edited by Droxity; 03-10-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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post #13 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 04:33 AM
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It's the coupler. It's easy to fix - hell, I have the kit sitting here new in box if you want it cheap, lol. Got a new SC from another member who was turning his car in to the bank so I don't need it anymore.

Don't worry about the subframe brace, get the O T T P rotated mounts. In fact, that should be your first mod, period - getting rid of the wheel hop turns these into a completely different car in a good way - you can use first gear! Not to mention not snapping axles every few thousand miles, lol.

After that, swaybar and springs with Cobalt turbo struts and shocks. We have plenty of power, these mods will make it stick better in turns and help put the power to the ground.

Kumho XS, Hankook RS3's, and Dunlop Z1 star spec's are the best bang for the buck AND they rock for autocross, will handle track days okay, and stick like glue on the street - all for a reasonable price. Downside is they suck in winter (don't even bother) and are marginal in rain, and you'll burn through a set in 15k miles or so with regular rotation WITHOUT solo or track days. If you lower the car, get the Nitto NeoGens; they won't wear as badly with strong negative camber.

Oh - camber - don't bother with the cam bolts. There;s a sticky here somewhere detailing the factory specified way to modify camber by slotting the lower bolt holes on the struts. We can get somewhere close to -3* if we want to, without special bolts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaJaguar5
I try and get with as many dudes as possible when I'm out on the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4ckler
I miss the days when people weren't emo and just hung themselves instead of bitching on youtube....
RIP "Sally" - Pacific Blue 2005 Ion Redline Comp Pack

14.8 @ 96 mph, 2.3 second 60' - 100% stock on stock tires, 85 degrees out at 2200 ft altitude...

207 whp, 187 wtq, 100% stock uncorrected numbers on a mustang dyno...
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post #14 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 06:08 AM
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This is a good thread. I'm going to try autocrossing this summer for the first time as well. I think I'll be stuck in Street Modified tho because of my engine mods. I don't really care tho, I'm not trying to win anything, just have fun. If you don't have a competition package, look into an LSD. I'm swapping in a G85 trans and it will only cost me $130 out of pocket to upgrade after selling my original transmission.
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post #15 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBrother View Post
It's the coupler. It's easy to fix - hell, I have the kit sitting here new in box if you want it cheap, lol. Got a new SC from another member who was turning his car in to the bank so I don't need it anymore.
PM sent regarding coupler kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBrother View Post
Don't worry about the subframe brace, get the O T T P rotated mounts. In fact, that should be your first mod, period - getting rid of the wheel hop turns these into a completely different car in a good way - you can use first gear! Not to mention not snapping axles every few thousand miles, lol.
I actually haven't experienced that much wheel hop, probably because it's been so cold here and I have summer UHP tires on so if they slip, they just spin. I'll have to check into the rotated mounts since I'm on an 04. IIRC, O T T P can do it but there's a core charge if you don't ship your mounts to them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBrother View Post
After that, swaybar and springs with Cobalt turbo struts and shocks. We have plenty of power, these mods will make it stick better in turns and help put the power to the ground.

Kumho XS, Hankook RS3's, and Dunlop Z1 star spec's are the best bang for the buck AND they rock for autocross, will handle track days okay, and stick like glue on the street - all for a reasonable price. Downside is they suck in winter (don't even bother) and are marginal in rain, and you'll burn through a set in 15k miles or so with regular rotation WITHOUT solo or track days. If you lower the car, get the Nitto NeoGens; they won't wear as badly with strong negative camber.

Oh - camber - don't bother with the cam bolts. There;s a sticky here somewhere detailing the factory specified way to modify camber by slotting the lower bolt holes on the struts. We can get somewhere close to -3* if we want to, without special bolts.
Saw that thread but was a little skeptical of slotting bolt holes, I guess if it's in the service manual, it should be ok. Thanks for the tire recommendations and ALL of the info.

Just need to get buy-in from the boss and/or come into some unexpected windfall of cash

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post #16 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 03:05 PM
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honestly, i haven't seen a lowered rl with camber issues other than ones with cam bolts that were set wrong.

lower it and keep the strut original bolts. your camber shouldn't be out of spec just from lowering.

kumho xs got incredible reviews for dry traction if i remember correctly. z1 star specs got great reviews...period.

rotated mounts are a great idea, but they won't help you or hurt you on a road course since there's no launching of the car, and really no use of 1st gear. i do NHMS in 3rd almost all the way around. i did lime rock in 3rd and 4th down the front straight.

spinning the tires and then letting them grab traction can be a bad thing for your axles whether you have rotated mounts or not. it's also bad for your entire drivetrain.
most autocross events i've heard of use almost exclusively 2nd gear in these cars, but a good launch could be helpful.

if you're definitely sure the sc is making the noise, then i'd agree, it's probably the coupler. however, many people have experienced timing chain tensioner failure which leads to a rattling sound that is hard to pinpoint. it makes the car sound like a diesel idling or has been described as "rocks in a can"


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post #17 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 03:10 AM
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Yeah - the trouble is, the SC coupler and the timing chain tensioner sound almost identical.

True that the mounts don't help beyond 1st gear, but they make SUCH a difference in 1st and sometimes high in 2nd that to ANY SC IRL or CSS I say they should e the first mod. They increase performance AND prevent shit from breaking - a rare combination, lmao.

Mine have been slotted for over 50k hard driven and frequently autocrossed miles, set at -2.5* the whole time, without issue. And yes, that comes straight from the factory service manual, I'm the one that scanned it from the manual and posted it up, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaJaguar5
I try and get with as many dudes as possible when I'm out on the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4ckler
I miss the days when people weren't emo and just hung themselves instead of bitching on youtube....
RIP "Sally" - Pacific Blue 2005 Ion Redline Comp Pack

14.8 @ 96 mph, 2.3 second 60' - 100% stock on stock tires, 85 degrees out at 2200 ft altitude...

207 whp, 187 wtq, 100% stock uncorrected numbers on a mustang dyno...
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post #18 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 03:33 AM
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current mods: K&N typhoon intake, B&M STS, Aeroforcetech dual interceptors, BWoody solid mounts, TTR 1" rear sway bar
waiting for warmth to install: zzp long tube, AEM UEGO, mech boost gauge, dual pass + option b, cobra heat exchanger
distant future mods: 2.8 or 2.9 pulley, 60 or 80 lbs/hr injectors? Gas or e85? depends how crazy i decide to go...

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post #19 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah - the trouble is, the SC coupler and the timing chain tensioner sound almost identical.
I actually took my phone and recorded with video and moved it all over the engine bay. Listening back, it seems pretty obvious it's coming from the supercharger. Rattle isn't as bad since I got it back but it's still there...Dealer said they couldn't duplicate or hear it...BS...gonna need that coupler kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBrother View Post
True that the mounts don't help beyond 1st gear, but they make SUCH a difference in 1st and sometimes high in 2nd that to ANY SC IRL or CSS I say they should e the first mod. They increase performance AND prevent shit from breaking - a rare combination, lmao.

Mine have been slotted for over 50k hard driven and frequently autocrossed miles, set at -2.5* the whole time, without issue. And yes, that comes straight from the factory service manual, I'm the one that scanned it from the manual and posted it up, lol.
Rotated mounts will definitely be on the list but rotors/pads are the most immediate need. For what it costs someone else to put premium pads on and turn the rotors ($450 quote from Midas), I can get all new premium pads and rotors and do it myself. I'm actually excited to work on the car since I haven't really done wrenched on my own ride since I had a 64 Impala in college.

Great discussion and advice guys, I like it

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post #20 of 146 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 10:08 AM
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Seriously - nobody should ever pay to have their brakes serviced, unless you're not comfortable bleeding them - even then, not many shops really do it RIGHT.

Hawk pads aren't expensive. Don't pay for crazy badass rotors. Stock replacements bring this car to 0 from 70 in under 120 feet with Hawk HPS and decent tires, and will stand up to light track duty. Slotted is fine if they're inexpensive, get the good ones if you plan to track the car a LOT - but if you track the car a LOT, you should have dedicated rotors and pads for the track and change them back & forth like tires. Hell, if you're changing the wheels/tires, it's only another 10 minutes or so to swap the pads and rotors, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaJaguar5
I try and get with as many dudes as possible when I'm out on the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4ckler
I miss the days when people weren't emo and just hung themselves instead of bitching on youtube....
RIP "Sally" - Pacific Blue 2005 Ion Redline Comp Pack

14.8 @ 96 mph, 2.3 second 60' - 100% stock on stock tires, 85 degrees out at 2200 ft altitude...

207 whp, 187 wtq, 100% stock uncorrected numbers on a mustang dyno...
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