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Edit: looking at this thread in a browser, it looks right. But in Tapatalk on iOS all the pictures are blown way up. Update problem?
Click on the photo. It usually displays in full res. Originally we were offered the option of saving as thumbnail... this smaller size is automatic. (Sort of a compromise.)
 

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Yep... Smark is the only person I know who can park 3 cars and a table saw in a 2 car garage.
Me: I had trouble squeezing in a '66 VW bug.
 

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Discussion Starter #105 (Edited)
Victory is mine!


I won first (and only) place in my class. I’d like to thank all the slow little cars in my class for not showing up, I only could have done it without them.


I also tried out a new camera view. This is better for showing the track, but less instructive to me. Unfortunately, the camera overheated during my best run of the day (racing is hard).


For today’s event you got to run 2 sessions and you had to work 2 sessions. I was out in a flagging tower, after my racing was done for the day, baking in the sun, when I realized my cheeks hurt. Then I realized that they were hurting from smiling like a big goofy idiot for to many hours in a row. Wow what a day.
There was some excellent car spotting today, including a Porsche gt3 Rs that apparently I was drooling to profusely to remember to take a picture. But this awesome lotus 7 was the fastest car of the day, and I love it


There were a bunch of Porches and Corvettes, but this guy made an impression


Those are carbon fiber blanking plates over where the headlights used to be. Meaning this isn’t a road Porsche, it’s track only. I love the idea of a world where I could have a Porsche just for the track, and a different one for daily driving duties. I don’t need to live in that world, I just want to take a vacation there.
 

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Your first place trophy photo is perfect... complete with splattered bugs. lol

You'll have to read "They Call Me Mister 500" sometime... Granatelli's story. In his early days of Indianapolis he drove his car to the race track, removed the mufflers, then went out to qualify. OK, you can't have a dedicated track car (yet)... but think of it this way. You are maintaining the old traditions. <g> With a commuter car.

Besides, for a car that's not noticeably different than when it rolled off the truck, it is doing remarkably well. Imagine how you'll do when you unleash a bit more power and start on your mods. So far, it's simply been tuning your skills... and as the saying goes, "You've come a long ways, baby!".
 

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Discussion Starter #108
Another Autocross, another victory by default


I strongly encourage you to check out the video. Today’s course was an insane blend of 2 separate figure 8’s.


I really could have used another 4-5 runs just to learn the course. Probably only one, maybe 2 events left this year, then mod season. Maybe I’ll finally turn this build thread into an actual build thread then....
 

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Discussion Starter #110
One more (hopefully) race this year. Work has been nuts, so I’m not sure I’ll make it. As for mods, many deep thoughts and a lot of moving pieces. You know how sometimes an idea of “hey, I need to do one simple thing” quickly escalates into a complete redo of everything involved? I think the best thing I can do to make the Abarth a better race-car is to get some good racing rubber on there. So, of course, the critical step for that is to... build a fishing kayak. Perhaps I should explain.
I want good tires, which means tires that I don’t drive to the track. I don’t want to put a hitch on the Abarth, and I don’t want to buy or store a dinky tire trailer either. And I really don’t want to change all 4 tires at the track after coming down from a post race adrenaline high. With the lift, I have 2 spaces in the shop. Right now they are filled with a BMW e39 540i, and a 16ft Jon boat. The bmw gets sold to fund this foolishness. The Jon boat gets sold because the only thing it’s trailer can do is haul a Jon boat. Then I buy a trailer that can haul a fiat to the track, or kayaks to the lake. And with one simple orgy of craigslist shopping, I can get tires.
After that, its coil overs. Koni seems like the sensible choice (bang for the buck), but they aren’t really easily adjustable, and of course I want to geek out on the adjustments. So BC racing is my current leader, but there is a lot of mixed information out there, and I welcome all opinions. I’ll need to do sway bar at the same time.
Then, depending on funds, the real fun starts. A tune, and the supporting engine hardware. A big decision point is front mounted intercooler. I don’t necessarily buy that the reduced plumbing and bigger capacity will help all that much. But the relocation allows me to put the intake somewhere that is actually cold. With the intake temperatures I’m seeing now, and the potential to bring them down 30-40 degrees F, I’m surprised I don’t see more people talking about this. The FMIC is a chunk of change, but I would think that huge temperature drop would be worth a ton. Chime in if I’m full of it, I’d love to be wrong and spend that money somewhere else.
Finally, I need to choose a tune. I was pretty well set on eurocompulsion. Then I saw a video where Tork motor sports was basically calling them out. Now I don’t know what to choose or how to decide.
So that’s the story. I’ve got about two more weeks of crazy at work, then Doug’s bargain bmw and boat outlet opens for business. Hopefully I have my budget set by thanksgiving, and have parts ready to install over the Christmas break.
 

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I know that engine temps make location of the intake important.

Road Race goes a different direction, as shown on their earlier Leno's Garage episode. The intake is mounted next to the firewall, with a heat shield over the top of the engine, vented hood, and a cold air intake. If you are good at fabrication, I think much of this could be built.
 

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Discussion Starter #112 (Edited)
Some progress. First, the bmw is on Craigslist to help facilitate speed parts buying

lynchburg.craigslist.org/cto/d/evington-2001-e39-bmw-540i/7008065887.html.

If you know anyone, help me out and share the ad.

Second, got the oil changed, and I made a video for it.


Can’t wait to unload some of the stuff in the shop and start putting some mods on the Abarth
 

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Discussion Starter #113
This morning I ran across a tuning thread on this forum that mentioned the Open Flash Tablet tuning system for the Abarth. The more I dig into euro+drive, the more I hear claims of B.S. from people who sound like they know what they are talking about. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #114
The BMW is sold, and I’ve got a pocketful of cash for Abarth mods. As a bonus, the Abarth finally gets covered parking.



Today I wanted to test the two “free” power mods popular on the interwebz. Specifically, the boost leak mod and the waste gate actuator preload. Before performing the mods, I wanted to baseline “power”, so that I could use real numbers to back or contradict whatever the butt dyno is telling me. For me, power means getting from the bottom of 2nd gear to the top, as quickly as possible, because that’s really the way I use power on an Autocross course. So I logged data and video on several rolling start pulls where (in second gear) I would try to hit WOT right at 18 MPH, then keep it floored until around 6000 RPM (low 50’s).
My inputs were pretty consistent from 18-50 MPH, and the data was fascinating. Unfortunately I spent the rest of the day geeking out on the data, and didn’t get the mods done, much less a post mod test. What fascinated me is that there was a .25 second (~%6) difference across the various runs. So I start digging, and I see the way boost comes in is a little different run to run. Then I start noticing differences in throttle. So when a run was well ahead of the baseline at some point in the run, throttle and boost would get reduced for a moment, bringing the run time back to the average. I’ve heard that the ECM does a lot of torque limiting stuff, and I wonder if I’m seeing it. That’s one of the main questions I’ve had with the free mods. The theory on them is sound, but if the ECU is fighting you, they aren’t going to work. I’ll try to finish the experiment next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
Well the testing is done, and I’m truly surprised at the results:




I took some baseline power pulls at wide open throttle from 20 mph to 50 mph. Then I adjusted the preload on the waste gate actuator, then I tested again. I performed the “boost leak fix” mod to the EGR system, and tested again. I used the telemetry setup I use for racing to try to produce accurate data on the effects of the modifications.
Going into this, I really didn’t expect much. The results were fairly unbelievable though. I would have guessed that if these mods make any difference at all, I wouldn’t be able to measure them. Instead, I saw 20-50 time drop by a number I have a hard time believing. Enjoy the video, and no, I won’t be offended if you say my numbers are full of crap, I can’t believe them either. Still, it was a fun attempt and I think I have enough data to definitively say that the mods do good things, at least initially.
 

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I understand why the actuator would make a difference. I will have to look at the bypass closer and see what's being cut out of the circuit. I assume the venturi is to draw additional fumes from the crankcase, giving up some boost. I'm surprised, under WOT, that the system doesn't close that line off.
 

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Discussion Starter #118
Big order #1 is complete! I took advantage of NGEN's black Friday sale and saved around $400. So the list:
Brisk Racing Plugs
Alfa Coils
GFB DV+
NGEN FMIC V2
Vogtland Coilovers
Neu-F 28mm rear bar
EBC Yellowstuff Pads with oemish rotors
Neu-F torque arm insert

Tomorrow ATM starts their black Friday sale, and I'll order their fenderwall intake.

I also picked up the open flash tablet tuner. Wow, making that decision was an ugly rabbit hole, and I certainly don't want any tuner wars over on this forum. They are really ugly elsewhere, and its a terrible shame to see every tuning conversation turn into a flame war elsewhere. I'm fairly certain that the OFT tune is the least aggressive of the big three Abarth options for North America, but I like the concept very much, and I want no part of the tork / eurocompulsion arguments.

Let the mod season begin!
 

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Wow, that's a chunk of change to drop... out to keep your wrenches flying for quite some time. Yeah, no need to fight over which is best. They all seem to improve performance, and the price was right. It should be a blast when your WHP is in the Abarth's engine HP range... quite an improvement.
 
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