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Rear Gear and AutoCross/SOLO Racing


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SGT'ers:

 

A geriatric, straight-line hotrodder at heart, one of my Winter upgrades was to be a switch to 4.10 gearing along with a custom tune for my '07 SGT.

 

However, SCCA AutoCross/SOLO has suddenly grabbed my attention. I'm not sure if it's for me, but I will definitely be taking a closer look in the Spring when the season starts here.

 

So the question for guys or gals familiar with that type of competition is......would a 4.10 rear gear be compatible with autocross? A plus or a detriment? Is the stock 3.55 a better bet or perhaps an intermediate gear like a 3.73?

 

Any and all input gratefully accepted.

 

Kevin

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That's a good question and I would think that since autox's are mostly short bursts of speed that the 4:10 would be best. Most importantly however is the tires and getting it to corner and hook up. Bear in mind also that 4:10 gears immediately put you into the "modified" class and no longer F/Stock such as the 3:55's would allow.

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Brakes will also need attention -- possibly the most important upgrade for the S/GT's ...brakes really won't hold up, imo. Also and upgraded clutch would be worth consideration.

 

Stillen/AP-racing (a site vendor) can be helpfull ...Page is very knowledgeable and has helped several others with S/GT brakes.

 

Dan

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Brakes will also need attention -- possibly the most important upgrade for the S/GT's ...brakes really won't hold up, imo. Also and upgraded clutch would be worth consideration.

 

Stillen/AP-racing (a site vendor) can be helpfull ...Page is very knowledgeable and has helped several others with S/GT brakes.

 

Dan

Agreed.

 

Since you are just starting out in a new adventure, pay attention to brakes and clutch first. They are weak points in competition driving. Page @ Stillen has some nice upgrades. You can do the gears later down the road once that mod has proven necessary for increased performance.

 

Happy motoring!

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SGT'ers:

 

A geriatric, straight-line hotrodder at heart, one of my Winter upgrades was to be a switch to 4.10 gearing along with a custom tune for my '07 SGT.

 

However, SCCA AutoCross/SOLO has suddenly grabbed my attention. I'm not sure if it's for me, but I will definitely be taking a closer look in the Spring when the season starts here.

 

So the question for guys or gals familiar with that type of competition is......would a 4.10 rear gear be compatible with autocross? A plus or a detriment? Is the stock 3.55 a better bet or perhaps an intermediate gear like a 3.73?

 

Any and all input gratefully accepted.

 

Kevin

 

Have done some Solo in my '99 Cobra. I wouldnt do anything to the car yet (except for MAYBE some brake upgrades). Get used to driving it the way it is first. Figure out if lower gearing (higher numerically) would help you or not after running for a while. I know in my Cobra, I could have EASILY gone with lower gears. I spent the vast majority of my time on the track in first gear. On some of the straight aways (which werent that long), I wouldnt be able to shift until the very end of the straight - which would have wated time. Shifting early I would have been out of the power band of the motor.

 

Go play a few times - enjoy your car. You will quickly learn what changes you should make :)

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I wouldnt worry about the brakes or clutch either esp. if you're just starting out. Most autoxing involves one shift and "races" of less than a minute so theirs not much opportunity for brake fade. The most important thing is getting the stickiest street-legal tires, then go out there and have fun.

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Thanks much, gents.

 

Important to autocross or not, the brake upgrade is already on the way; I took advantage of Page's December "Group Buy" for the SGT. The rotors, pads and stainless brake lines are all currently residing in my dining room (don't ask!). Related, and more for the fun/'cool' factor, I also have obtained an Agent 47 brake duct cooling kit. All that stuff will go in at once and within the next week or so.

 

Regards the gear question, since I am not sure I will get into autocross in a big way, yet am certain I want a little more daily punch around town, I'll probably go forward with the 4.10 plan. The concensus here seems that it probably wouldn't hurt - and may even help - in autocross if that comes about. Ilmor's caution that it will bump me out of the "stock" class is, however, duly noted.

 

Thanks again to all for your help and any other thoughts gratefully accepted.

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Thanks much, gents.

 

Important to autocross or not, the brake upgrade is already on the way; I took advantage of Page's December "Group Buy" for the SGT. The rotors, pads and stainless brake lines are all currently residing in my dining room (don't ask!). Related, and more for the fun/'cool' factor, I also have obtained an Agent 47 brake duct cooling kit. All that stuff will go in at once and within the next week or so.

 

Regards the gear question, since I am not sure I will get into autocross in a big way, yet am certain I want a little more daily punch around town, I'll probably go forward with the 4.10 plan. The concensus here seems that it probably wouldn't hurt - and may even help - in autocross if that comes about. Ilmor's caution that it will bump me out of the "stock" class is, however, duly noted.

 

Thanks again to all for your help and any other thoughts gratefully accepted.

 

 

Be sure to post pics once you get them installed :) :)

 

I think you will probably be happy with the 4.10's. Will help you pull harder out of the turns for sure :)

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I have autocrossed mine a few times with great results. I think that track tires would have done wonders the car can easily outhandle the tires IMO.

 

To me auto-x is like golf you are just playing yourself so who cares what class you are in it is just super super fun to get better.

 

To win is to lose and to lose is to win.

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I have autocrossed mine a few times with great results. I think that track tires would have done wonders the car can easily outhandle the tires IMO.

 

To me auto-x is like golf you are just playing yourself so who cares what class you are in it is just super super fun to get better.

 

To win is to lose and to lose is to win.

 

 

Good point - just go out and enjoy yourself. In my Cobra, I had to run in a class called CSM (California Streeet Modified) which was basically an unlimited modification type of class. I got stuck there because of aftermarket exhaust, intake, tune, shifter, wheels, welded-in sub frame connectors, etc. While there was NO way I could possibly compete with the other cars in this class (MUCH quicker cars with FAR SUPERIOR drivers), it was for the fun :)

 

Go out and enjoy. Its a safe way to have fun running your car hard in the turns. Just keep LOTS of that blue painters tape with you :):):)

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Geriatric, eh? Well, that's a good thing.

 

I was a Solo addict back in the day when what we ran was "slaloms", not "autocrosses". I ran as many Parking Lot slaloms (Solo II) and Track Time-Trials (Solo I) as I could squeeze into my time and budget. Did a few SCCA Regional road races, too; all in MGB GT, MGB convertible, Vega Kammback wagon (!) and Vega GT coupe.

 

After about a thirty-year layoff I came back with a 2006 V6 convertible, automatic, just for the entertainment value. People who run for points and championships are even more obsessive than I was in my youth, and even if I had unlimited time and money available, I wouldn't dream of spending them on Solo 2. I go out to the Qualcomm stadium parking lot for an occasional event, but when I do I remember why I tapered off back then: on a standard event you get to spend hours standing around or picking up cones ("pylons" in the past), spend maybe a total of six minutes driving, another half an hour helping tear down the course, and call it a day.

 

It's true the actual driving can be very intense and enormous fun, but ...

 

The V6 Mustang was a delight to drive: with tune, springs, shocks, sways, wheels and tire upgrades it was really responsive and controllable. The automatic and engine were as good as needed for that kind of work. Qualcomm is a BIG lot, so there were a few straights that let me go 70mph or so, top of second gear. The limiting factor in my performance was my performance: driver improvement is the best way to go faster.

 

The first time I went out was a practice event on pretty much the standard V6 suspension, with GT takeoff wheels and tires (17x8 Bullitts, Pirelli PZero Nero 235-55). It skated around pretty well, gave a great feeling of speed without actually going very fast. Nice to re-tune the reflexes and sensibilities, and FUN!

 

Practice events are excellent value-for-money-and-time: I made twelve runs - three times as many as the most generous Championship event offers - and learned a lot. For instance, the stock V6 brakes worked very, very well for the first five runs. On the sixth, they faded a bit. By the twelfth they were smoking, stinking, and nearly useless. This is all with an 80-second run time and about five minutes between runs. So, yes, the brakes could be improved, cool-off-wise, but even the biggest, baddest 14-inchers with molto pistons won't make much difference in an ordinary autocross lap time.

 

Adding all the suspension and wheel-and-tire stuff to the V6 resulted in improvements in relative speed (from roughly 130th fastest to 112th fastest out of maybe 160 entrants) and increased joy on the track, but still not enough payoff to make it to every event. My oldth interferes to an extent, but mostly it's a matter of wasted time.

 

Within about 200 miles of acquiring the new GT/CS I ran a "school" event with everything absolutely stock. I was surprised and delighted with how well-behaved the car was, even with a low-miles rev-limit. The limited-slip and the manual transmission got me back closer to the "zone", and after a dozen or so (short) runs, I was feeling good about the prospects of regular competition. Then it was back out on the course chasing cones, and I conceded that maybe once every couple months might be justified.

 

And that's the truth.

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