Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Autocross FAQ/Newbie Guide

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Autocross FAQ/Newbie Guide

    In an attempt to generate more enthusiasm on CEG for autocross, and get more people in the sport in general, I'm going to give some information to those who might be interested.

    For an introduction to the sport, try the Tire Rack Novice Handbook. This gives all the information you need to go to your first event.

    Autocross is a motorsport where cars are driven around a tight, very twisty course marked by cones (pylons). Cars run solo - thus the SCCA name "Solo II". Solo I is similar, but on a road course. Each run is timed to one one thousandth of a second: xx.xxx seconds. The fastest run is the one that counts. Cars are divided into classes based on modifications and type/performance potential. See http://www.scca.org for details on classing.

    There are five classes the Contour is eligible for in streetable form: G Stock (GS), Street Touring S (STS), STX, D Street Prepared (DSP), and Street Mod (SM).

    GS allows struts, front swaybar, brake pads, cat-back, DOT-legal race tires, and that's about it. This leaves you with a car with a lot of understeer. However, it's still fun, and will teach you a lot about driving to run there.

    STS allows springs, swaybars, wheels, chip, intake, A/C removal, battery relocation, and a few other things, but makes you run on "Street Tires", which has a treadwear rating of 140 or greater. The fastest tires are the Falken Azenis, Hankook Z212, Kuhmo MX, Yoko Advan Neova, and BFG KDW. Max width is 225, on a 7.5 inch wheel.

    STX is like STS but allows an LSD, bigger rotors, one high-flow cat (which means headers for us), and wider wheels/tires: 245s on 8 inch wheels. With the LSD and MSDS headers being popular, this could be a fun place to be. It will take some work to fit a 245 width tire, though.

    DSP allows the STS mods, as well as LSD, no cat at all, DOT-legal slicks, and an accusump. If I was to build a Contour for track days and autocross, this would be the place to be.

    SM allows anything power and suspension-wise without chassis modifications. You can remove more weight, run a turbo, 3.0L, etc. But so can the competition


    As I mention in my STS build thread, STS is a good place to be. With the exception of the Accusump, slicks, and LSD, it's everything I'd want in a streetable car. If you're not going to the track much, this is the way to go. If you get a nice suspension kit like the Koni or BAT, a rear swaybar, camber plates, and Azenis, you can be very well-prepared, and have a great-handling and riding street car.

    If you go a little more hardcore, you canr have a car that's great on SMOOTH roads, and very, very quick. Again, see my build thread for details.


    So, you want to run. No matter where you are, it'll be fun. Let me alleviate a few misconceptions for the wary:

    Oil starvation: I run 6.5 qts and I'm fine. Autocross doesn't have long, hard turns, in general. I have yet to run a course that scares me in the least. Just don't run low on oil, and your engine won't break a sweat.

    Tire life: a lot of newbies show up unprepared and kill their tires, never to return. If you go too fast, sliding everywhere, you'll not only burn them up, you'll be slow! Erring on the side of too cautious will give you faster lap times, and no appreciable tire wear. Also, make sure you jack the pressures up to 38-40 psi to keep them from squishing and "rolling over" onto the sidewall. This will keep the wear down, and even it out across the tread, as well as making you faster.

    Damage: it is possible to damage the car. If you are really nuts, and the course has a flaw, you could do something stupid and mess it up. But, I've never run a course where that could happen. A good course will require serious driver incompetence to have a problem. This is the safest form of motorsport, or very close, as far as car damage goes. The risk is very, very low.

    Yes, Buckshot rolled his car. This was not from cornering forces, but from going way too fast on a poorly-setup track and hitting a tire wall. He admits it was really all his fault that he went off - "cold tires, cold track, hot driver", I think he said.


    So, go to SCCA.org, find your region, and look for an event! Post up in your regional forum to see if anyone around you want to go too. Read the guide I posted the link too, and have fun!
    -Philip Maynard

    1995 V-6 5-speed parts car in great shape - PM me if you need anything.

  • #2
    What class am I in?

    Here's a lit of mods and where they put you. Bumping order goes like this:

    GS -> STS -> STX -> DSP -> SM

    except where noted. This means that a car with all GS mods and one SM mod is in SM.

    Wheels/tires:

    Tires - DOT-legal tires with a treadwear of 140 or higher are okay for any class. DOT-legal tires with a rating lower than 140 are okay in any class except STS/STX. STS max width 225 on a 7.5" rim, STX max width 245 on an 8" rim.

    Wheels - stock size and offset, GS. Any diameter up to 7.5" wide STS, up to 8" wide STX. Wider is DSP. Stock for your car - SVT wheels on a non-SVT are illegal in stock. Alloys on a car that came with steelies is okay if they were an option for your trim level.

    Suspension:

    Struts - GS

    Springs (incl. coilovers) - STS

    Poly suspension bushings/roll resistors - STS

    Front swaybar - GS

    Rear swaybar - STS

    Unrestricted endlinks - STS

    Strut tower bars - STS

    Camber adjustment plates - STS

    Subframe connectors (no lateral connections) - SM

    Power/Drivetrain:

    Intake (no TB work) - STS. K&N drop-in GS.

    Exhaust, cat-back - GS.

    Y-pipe w/ stock cat - STS

    Y-pipe with non-stock cat - STX

    Headers (with any cat) - STX, (without) DSP.

    Chip - STS.

    3L - SM

    Turbo/Supercharger - SM

    LSD - STX

    Clutch and or flywheel - DSP

    Nitrous - not with the SCCA. You may be able to run if you take out the bottle, but ask the Regional Exec first. No bottles on site at all, even if you're spectating.

    Brakes:

    Brake pads - GS

    Stock size rotors slotted/drilled - STS

    Bigger brakes (any calipers) - STX, but NOT DSP.

    SS hoses - STS

    Weight/reduction Other:

    CF/Fiberclass hood - SM

    Bodykitting - STS

    Gauges, comfort and convenience items (no performance savings including any weight loss) - GS

    Replace front seats with 15lb versions (not including hardware) - STS. Next year will be 25lbs with hardware.

    Replace front seats with anything: DSP

    Remove rear seats - SM

    Battery relocation - STS

    A/C removal - STS



    If you have any questions about a mod I missed, ask away and I'll update. I'll probably organize them better soon too.
    -Philip Maynard

    1995 V-6 5-speed parts car in great shape - PM me if you need anything.

    Comment


    • #3
      For those of us without SVTs, but with SVT UIMs and TBs:

      Intake Manifold and/or Throttle Body modifications - DSP
      Tom
      '00 Cougar
      '95 Mark VIII

      Comment


      • #4
        What does removing the resonator count as? I dont think many people know about the SVT's "third muffler"
        E0 #4384 of 6535 - Born Jan. 9 1998
        Purchased Nov. 2002 @ 76,559 miles----SOLD!!
        2005 Scion tC TRD Edition
        1966 Mustang 302 bored .40 over w/Tremec 5 speed
        www.TexasStang.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CSVT985 View Post
          What does removing the resonator count as? I dont think many people know about the SVT's "third muffler"
          Nothing. It's aft of the main cat, so do what you want with it. You'll still be eligible for stock category.
          Function before fashion.
          '96 Contour SE

          "Toss the Contour into a corner, and it's as easy to catch as a softball thrown by a preschooler." -Edmunds, 1998

          Comment


          • #6
            how picky are inspectors?
            Find the weak link, make it stronger, find the next one, repeat....

            Comment


            • #7
              seriously? thats a pretty vauge question, but to answer it as best as I can, it all depends on the inspectors duh! The inspectors that I have seen where thorough not to picky. why what part of the inspection are you worried about?

              Comment


              • #8
                For those of us with a zetec or other type of car with this avalibility. how would racing ignition wires and a "high performance" msd or other ignition coil(just a coil pack not a control modual) affect class?

                also, if i had a focus. It is know that the 03+ had a more restrictive intake manifold. So, some swap to a still stock but early 00-01 intake manifold*. how would this affect class?

                How do racing seats(if weighting the same as stock) with 4/5 point harnesses affect class?

                lastly(for now), the SE contour came with drum brakes on the zetec and disc on the v6. If I(having a zetec) swapped brakes to disc, would that put me in stx?


                *so not to arrouse more banter about the intake manifold on the contour. the 00-01 intake manifold on the focus is nearly identical to the contour, other then an adaption for EGR.
                out of the army and back in school.

                you'd have to meet devan. i've taken dumps that weighed more than he does.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ronssvt View Post
                  seriously? thats a pretty vauge question, but to answer it as best as I can, it all depends on the inspectors duh! The inspectors that I have seen where thorough not to picky. why what part of the inspection are you worried about?
                  He's probably worried about getting bumped into a higher class because of a modification he wont openly admit. I used to run in GS with guys that would have painted springs and slap dealer part stickers on their extra bracing to make it look more stock.
                  2000 "Amazon" Tropic Green CSVT #836/2150

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dyoel182 View Post
                    He's probably worried about getting bumped into a higher class because of a modification he wont openly admit. I used to run in GS with guys that would have painted springs and slap dealer part stickers on their extra bracing to make it look more stock.
                    that or might be worried about not passing inspection due to certain parts not falling into spec, I know last season my battery was a tad loose, luckily the inspectors let me zip tie it up so it didn't move.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dyoel182 View Post
                      He's probably worried about getting bumped into a higher class because of a modification he wont openly admit. I used to run in GS with guys that would have painted springs and slap dealer part stickers on their extra bracing to make it look more stock.
                      that would be like the intake manifold mod, that the focus guys do. Just not admit to it later or a Ported TB
                      out of the army and back in school.

                      you'd have to meet devan. i've taken dumps that weighed more than he does.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ronssvt View Post
                        that or might be worried about not passing inspection due to certain parts not falling into spec, I know last season my battery was a tad loose, luckily the inspectors let me zip tie it up so it didn't move.
                        I highly doubt its something as trivial as that he's worried about.
                        2000 "Amazon" Tropic Green CSVT #836/2150

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I dunno, just sayin, if you really wanna race but are worried that you might not pass tech.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For anyone else that might be true. For Kaos who always talked about cheap performance this and that I'm betting it was a modification that would have put him in a higher class.
                            2000 "Amazon" Tropic Green CSVT #836/2150

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              lol ok I didn't know he was like that, probably explaines why he's banned...

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X