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Bleh, bleh bleh, bleh bleh. - Equiraptor's Journal
Bleh, bleh bleh, bleh bleh.
I feel like my brain is mush, for some reason. Oh well.

Autocross last weekend. See nugget's post for a video. I absolutely sucked. I don't know what it was, but I had terrible problems sticking to the course. I kept going on the wrong side of cones. I was doing better handling the car. I didn't spin this time, though I came close. The car felt very slippery to me. I blame the tires. They probably could have used a bit more air and a bit more tread. Heh. Or maybe I just need to spend an obscene amount of money setting myself up with different rims/tires for autocross days. Hey, I'm spending an even more obscene amount of money on the engine/supercharger, right?

On the supercharger subject: Due to the fact that I'm taking Dan's engine, and Dan is a regular, competitive autocrosser, the installation of the supercharger needs to be delayed about a month. In a way, pout, but in a way, this gives me more time to prepare. I need to make sure we get the right radiator and setup for the gauges BEFORE I take the car in, not after. I do not want to risk blowing up my car because I procrastinated. The machine work on the head will probably take 4 days. Dan says he can do the block swap + supercharger in two, and is willing to do it over a weekend so I can watch (Yay!!!), and then will come tuning. Due to the headwork, the tuning will be more of a challenge. John says he's up to it, but wants to take a couple of days to be sure he does it right. So I'll probably be in The Boat (blue Camry) for about a week and a half. Slushbox, slush-suspension, real roof. Pout. At least it has new struts, a new rear swaybar, and a newly fixed transmission. John was telling me it's now a great car!

Now for some computer geekery. The fan on my Radeon 9800 was making a bit of a squealing noise at times, and if I powered off the machine, it would make a grinding noise for a few minutes when it was powered back on. This inspired me to search for a new fan for the graphics card. I found a Zalman heatsink and fan that looked like it would work well and be quieter. The set arrived today and Nugget and I began the complex installation. The original heatsink did not want to come off and did not want to be unplugged. Once that was done, screws and braces had to be put in the correct location and the heatsink carefully tightened to the board. However, now my video RAM and chipset all have heatsinks, with a larger, more efficient fan/heatsink on the chip. Hopefully this will allow for hours playing WoW with minimal noise levels.

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38 comments | Leave a comment
decibel45 From: decibel45 Date: May 17th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
What's being done to the heads?

How consistent are your runs? Once you get consistent you can start working on tuning your suspension. Tire pressures are definately something to look at. A pyrometer will tell you if you're over or under inflated.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: May 17th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
A who the what the? Chalk will tell me if my tires are under or over inflated. Additionally, since the suspension is mostly stock, I can talk to other Miata owners who have run the same tires, and see what range of pressures is desired. I was running about 4psi below the recommended starting value.

The head is getting new camshafts, new mechanical lifters, and cut-back valves with... dangit, I forget the word John used, but triple angled on the edge that would make the seal. At least, that's what I remember. John said those would get around 9% better flow for around $200. A port and polish would bring it up to 12%, but would make it around a grand. He said the 3% just isn't worth the port and polish.
decibel45 From: decibel45 Date: May 17th, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
How's chalk tell you if you're over or under inflated?

3 angle valve job. And if porting and polishing only gets you 3% then those are some pretty damn good heads.

What are cut-back valves?
(Deleted comment)
cetan From: cetan Date: May 18th, 2005 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I went with my uncle to a couple of SCCA autocross events in a Fiat X-19 just before he moved up into club racing. To me it looked like your autocross event had a lot fewer cones than I remember at his. I know this is rather vague on my part, but is there a standard for cone placement/quantity for autocross or is it up to the people running the event?

cetan From: cetan Date: May 18th, 2005 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
"in a Fiat X-19"

That sounds like I was in the car, which I was not. I mean he raced a Fiat :)
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: May 18th, 2005 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't have a real thorough understanding of what's required with cones as defined by the SCCA. I know nearly everyone uses more cones than the minimum required, and I don't know if there's an expected amount of "extra" cones or not. nrubenstein or mhat would probably be better qualified to answer.
nrubenstein From: nrubenstein Date: May 18th, 2005 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
It's mostly a matter of preference. Around here, we tend not to use that many cones because it's a lot of extra work for zero gain. Cailfornia, on the other hand, seems to go for the sea of cones approach. There are standards, but they mostly relate to making sure people don't drive off into crowds or curbs.

The rules are actually up on the scca web site if you're really feeling bored.
rossa From: rossa Date: May 18th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
in ATL-scca, they really are strange about how they use cones, and you can definatly tell what the maker of the course drives, in terms of front versus rear wheel drive.. the RWD'ers always place a lot of cones on understeer zones, and the FWD'ers always do the opposite... it's always funny for us to figure out which is which, because it's obvious in mixed classes, like STS and SM2.
nrubenstein From: nrubenstein Date: May 18th, 2005 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
And BMW drivers tend to make really wide, open flowing courses without cones in either understeer or oversteer zones. But really, you shouldn't be kicking the tail out that much, anyway.

paradox0220 From: paradox0220 Date: May 18th, 2005 08:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't know you played WoW!? Join the Stormreaver server! Lots of AMD'ers are playing there and I have tons of characters. :)
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: May 18th, 2005 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I already have 19 characters - 10 Alliance on WhisperWind and 9 Horde on Azjol-Nerub. And Stormreaver is a PvP server - I'm not interested in the PvP aspects of the game. :-P
paradox0220 From: paradox0220 Date: May 18th, 2005 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Geez, 19 and I thought I had a lot... 58 priest, 51 mage, 36 warlock, 31 rogue and a few various 10-20 ranged chars. Ah well, I got bored with just fighting the game without PVP which is why I'm on that server. Getting ganked can be a drag (especially in Un'Goro, STV and Eastern Plaguelands) sometimes but overall it is more fun and challenging for me.

BTW, here is a good (and hilarious as long as you ween't in the group) example of why I like PVP as opposed to raiding high level instances all the time:


I've been in exactly that spot before (iirc that is Upper Black Rock Depths) and had someone do something "not quite so stupid" but still wipe our party of 30 people.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: May 18th, 2005 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Let's see... Can I remember them all?

23 Druid (herbal/alchemy)
16 Human Paladin (mining/blacksmithing)
23 NE Hunter (skinning/leatherworking)
19 Dwarf Hunter (mining, engineering)
18 NE Hunter (tailor/enchanter)
13 Gnome Mage (2 gathering)
12 Human Rogue (2 gathering)
12 NE Priest (2 gathering)
10 Dwarf Warrior (2 gathering)
10 Gnome Warlock (2 gathering)

11 Druid (skinning/leatherworking)
13 Undead Warclock (tailor/enchanter)
10 Orc Shaman (don't remember... Maybe herbalism/alchemy? Haven't worked on this one's professions much)
10 Troll Warrior (mining/blacksmithing)
11 Troll Hunter (mining/engineering)
9 Orc Rogue (2 gathering)
9 Tauren Hunter (2 gathering)
8 Undead Priest (2 gathering)
8 Troll Mage (2 gathering)

I can remember the WhisperWind characters on my own, but I have to view my character list on the forums to remember the Azjol-Nerub ones.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 19th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Bleh, bleh bleh

wow, how'd this thread go from car talk to geekspeek?

just an FYI, there are no rules about how many cones can/should be used on an autocross course. the only regulations are distances between slalom cones and distances between inside/outside gate cones. There are no followed rules, though, about number of cones, size of cones, color of cones or even that you HAVE to use cones.

38 comments | Leave a comment