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About Racer_Z_

  • Rank
    Escargot Racing

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  • Map Location
    Los Angeles
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My Cars

  • About my Cars
    My cars are all old, ugly and in a constant state of repair, just like me.
  1. Just to toss more crap in the furnace.... My girlfriends new 2012 Fiat 500C weighs in at 2400 pounds, fully loaded. But, it's nothing like a 240Z or a Miata. And it's a gutless wonder with 100 HP. I got to admit that it handles well around town and has decent acceleration, but I bet that out on a track it will show it's true colors, all show and no go. Next year (2013) the Abarth version is due to be released. That should be a car to write home about.
  2. Oh, neat car. It's the continuation of the Miata. My sister-in-law has a first generation Miata and some of the guys at the track drive Miatas (first gen). Fun cars and they get around the track very well. In fact, I'm surprised that they go as fast as they do down the back straight considering they got a sewing machine motor. One of them (good driver) can keep up with the front runners consisting of BMWs and other "big motor" cars. They're so popular there's even a Spec Miata class.
  3. Interesting topic. But I've got mixed feelings on this one. The original 240z was a "purist's" sports car. It didn't have anything it didn't need. It was stripped down by design. Even the seats were lighter than most other sports cars of it's day. And it was a true coupe. To defend Datsun (Nissan) and their design concept, they built an "economy" car because they didn't expect it to do well in the American market. Not only did the 240z put them on the map, but it's economy and purist features are what helped to make it so popular. The modern day sports car is a heavy weight by design. Not that the car designer want's it to be, but because of mandated safety regulations (USA, if not all the world). The modern continuation of the Z-car, the 370z is almost 4,000 pounds and has every creature comfort known to man. You can strip it down and it will still be over 3,000 pounds. And most modern sports cars are in the sedan class being a 2+2. I don't think it would be possible to design and build a "modern" purist coupe sports car that weighs in at 2,500 pounds and is street legal. What would "I" do if "I" could? I would stay with the same basic 240z lines and round out the corners a bit. (No, I would not do the ugly G-Nose.) The power plant would be no less than 300 HP and the car would weigh no more than 2,500 pounds. Probably a V-12 aluminum block naturally aspirated with modern computerized fuel injection. This would include computer controlled valve timing. Headers and quad pipes running straight back. Clearly this concept car has fully independent suspension, four wheel disk brakes and rear wheel drive. Let's not forget the clutch type limited slip. The interior would be that of a race car, including a roll bar. Gauges that work and are easy to read. Nothing that is not essential, except a radio, one that you can brag about. What is it really? A street legal race car, ever so slightly de-tuned so that it is drive-able on the street and goes like a banshee on the track. The price? Who cares. Yes I missed a few things, like the flat belly-pan for better aerodynamics and the 7-speed manual transmission. Yes, 7-speeds, fifth is 1:1, that gives five close ratio shifts and two over-drives. Ah, what the heck, let's make it a paddle shift, after all, we're in a dream world.
  4. It's been a while, but we finally mounted some tires on our new VTO Retro-4 rims and were able to mount the wheels on the our Datsun 240z. The rims are the VTO Retro-4 15x7 zero offset. The tires are the Falken 912 225/50-15. The lugs are not what came with the rims. We have racing studs that are longer than stock and had to use open lugs. We drove the car around town a bit without problems and then a full weekend at Willow Springs Raceway without any issues. There was some concern that this rim/tire combination might rub or otherwise not fit right. We had no issues of any kind. The car is a 1973 Datsun 240z that is mostly stock. (well, sort of...) The things we changed that might effect wheel rub or fitment are as such: Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings all around. Tokico Lowering Springs all around. This lowers the car one or two inches and stiffens the ride a bit. These are street class springs. 260z swaybars, front and rear. The front swaybars are identical, the 240z came without a rear bar. The Retro-4 wheels are kind of heavy for racing purposes. They weigh in at 18 pounds each. I was hoping for 14 or 15 pounds. They did perform well on the track though. We lowered our laps times by about 3 seconds since the last time at this same track. We used the same tire, brand, style and size as our last event for comparative purposes. No, these wheels did lower our track time. We lightened the car by 130 pounds, added a LSD (limited slip differential) and added an adjustable proportional valve sense our last event. The wheels look good on the car and I'm happy with them. picture resolution: 1280x768 picture resolution: 1024x768
  5. AROSC HPDE, Time Trials, Race & Enduro Buttonwillow Raceway, May 14-15, 2011 Please join us at Buttonwillow Raceway. We have been welcoming all car marques to our events for about 40 years. Come out and enjoy: • High Performance Driving Education • Time Trial / Time Attack • Race Group • 2-hour Endurance race! Buttonwillow is a great track, with lots of twists and turns, and great accommodations for friends and family. We will be running the full track, with the Bus Stop configuration on the backside to even out the competition. NEW RUN GROUPS! We have run groups and vehicle safety requirements to provide more fun, and allow those with cars in street trim to experience the thrill of getting your car out on the track! • DE/Solo: For relatively new drivers, passing with point-by only in certain straight sections of track. Stock seat belts OK. • Point-By: For drivers with more experience, passing anywhere on the track with a point-by. Stock seat belts OK for 2000 & newer cars unless engine mods or race tires. • Open Passing: For very experienced drivers & faster cars, passing anywhere on the track with no point-by required. 5 or 6 point harnesses required. • Race Group: Wheel to wheel racing, typical racing equipment required. • 2 Hour Enduro: For racer only. Saturday from 4 PM to 6 PM. Entry in the Enduro includes one qualifying session, by lap time, on Saturday afternoon. REGISTRATION NEW this year! Online Registration at: http://www.motorsportreg.com/ Mail-in registrations forms: http://www.aroschpd.org/events/2011/may2011_entry.pdf (PDF) http://www.aroschpd.org/events/2011/may2011_entry.doc (WORD Doc) Can't make it, but know someone who might be interested? Forward this message to a friend! NEW! TECH YOUR CAR YOURSELF! AROSC has now gone to a “Self Tech” process. You may tech your car yourself, or can have a professional do it if you do not feel qualified. You must bring your completed & signed tech form to the track and turn it in at Registration. Click here to download the Self Tech form: http://www.aroschpd.org/events/2011/may2011_tech.pdf Questions? Phone Terry Watson at 310-372-5027 or email: comp@arosc.org AROSC HPD Web Site Event: http://www.aroschpd.org/events/2011/may2011_bw.html ACCOMMODATIONS The club has arranged a special rate at the Motel 6 Central (formerly the Red Roof Inn), 20645 Tracy Ave, (661) 764-5121. Tell them you’re with the Alfa Romeo Club, and code: 453330, to get the Club room rate of $45.99, Single or Doubles. Reserve before May 6. After May 6, the rooms are no longer held for club members. Coffee maker, refrigerator and microwave in all rooms. Located 9 miles south of the track on I-5 at the Highway 58 exit in the lovely city of Buttonwillow. SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER AT THE WILLOW RANCH Join us for a delicious barbecue dinner at the Willow Ranch Restaurant, 27770 Lagoon Dr., Buttonwillow (next to Shell station). Come by for some great food and “bench racing” about the day’s exciting passes, off-road excursions and personal best times. We will be ordering off the menu, individual checks. Don’t miss this great chance to make some new friends! Arrive at any time after 6:30pm.
  6. The stock 240z exhaust manifolds are a pretty good design actually. I've never use or even touched a Pacesetter product, but, my impression based on pictures is that they are just tube benders with no real thought towards true performance.
  7. Our 73 has a stamped sheet steel frame with a foam/vinyl cover. I would expect your 77 to be the same. A "Dash Cap" comes to mind, but I've never actually seen one.
  8. Interesting comments on that $28 tool. I'm not going to pay $28 when I can put my breaker bar directly in the plug and turn it out. It is made to that size for a reason and has been since day-one. The reason is, so you can use the breaker bar direct. We had put a two foot cheater on out 1/2 inch breaker and even then it was a bear. A 3/8 drive would have bent or broke along with knuckles or worse.
  9. Change the tranny and drive around a while before you decide to change the diffy. If your overall gearing is too high, you will be out of your power band. Then you'll blow-up your gas mileage and performance will suck. I've been in more than one car that got the same MPG in fourth as it did overdrive. Why? Bad gear choices from the factory. I would go with a OD (over drive) that has a small step, not a big step. All you need/want to do is drop the RPM down a little. To big a step is worse than leaving it in fourth.
  10. You can get new ball joints from any auto parts store. The new joint will come with a new cover.
  11. Those "T-Bars" that you're referring to are called "Nerf Bars". They were originally used in racing to get around class rules that required some sort of a bumper. Would a Nerf bar look cool on your car? Probably. But it's your car. Don't let me tell you not to do it based on my opinion of "Good Looks". For track purposes they are great. For show cars they can look good. For street cars, I would not do it. You park your Z and go into the store. While you're parked, some old lady backs into your beloved Z. Not hard, just a love tap. Had the stock bumper been on, it would have protected the body and paint. But she missed the Nerf bar and clobbered the paint and sheet metal. Screw Insurance! She clobbered your beloved Z!
  12. The 5-speed has an "overdrive" gear. Most call it fifth gear. An overdive gear is any gear that is over 1:1, nothing more, nothing less. The 3-speed automatic and the 4-speed manual both have a high gear of 1:1. So, yes, putting in a 5-speed will lower the engine RPM at highway speeds. If it's still not low enough for you, you can change the differential gearing later. Not all 5-speeds have the same fifth gear ratio. I personally would not want a big fifth gear, but others do.
  13. On the bottom of the tranny is a tapered pipe-plug. Take it out using a 1/2 inch breaker bar. We had to use a cheater bar on ours. This is the oil drain. To fill and or check the fluid level, on the side is another tapered pipe plug. Remove it and pump the oil in through that hole. When the oil just starts to dribble out, it is full. Later, to check the fluid level, put you little finger in the hole and wiggle it. If you can't touch the oil, it is low. The same goes for the differential. This is the normal procedure for all manual transmissions and differentials, regardless of who made it or what car it was sold with. I should point out that most differentials don't have a drain plug and you must remover the inspection cover. We (240z owners) have one of the few stock diffy's with a drain plug.
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