Car classification and whatnot.

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Car classification and whatnot.

Postby OC_ » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:36 am

Hi Guys,

I recently moved to State College from the Chicago area and am looking to get involved with these Hill Climbs. The roads around here are stunning and being able to race on them sounds just too good to pass up.
Even though I have been doing various track events for a long time, these hill climb events here look much more serious than anything I have ever done before. My car is an 1989 Pontiac Firebird and was originally built for the Mid-western console high speed autocross series. I have not participated in those events in years and haven't followed how those rules have changed, but when I use to run it, the series was very open and loose with the rules.

The car has been modified a lot more since then anyway, and now that I'm interested in running these SCCA classes, I have no idea where my car would fit in. I was wondering if you guys could make some suggestions on that topic? Where ever it might go, I'm sure work will have to be done to bring it into compliance.

The car is significantly modified:

Engine and exhaust:
The engine has been bored, stroked, has aftermarket cam, heads, intake, and engine management system.
The exhaust is completely aftermarket.

Interior:
Totally stripped but retains the dashboard. It has a basic 6 point cage. I suspect the cage will have to be reworked to meet SCCA requirements, though, it should be of proper diameter and thickness.
Has race seats and harnesses.

Suspension:
Weight jacks on all 4 corners with adjustable shocks.
Extended ball joints on the front control arms.
Lowered control arm mounts on the rear axle.
Lowered panhard bar mount on the axle.
Front struts have raised and adjustable camber plates.

Brakes:
Wilwoods all the way around.
in-car proportioning valve.

Driveline
Totally not stock. T56 and rear axle are from a 4th gen f-body.

The car has plates and is still street driven. But just for fun.


Here's some in-car from this summer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fkWaF1HQCE&t=185s
OC_
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby Mark Aubele » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:46 am

Looks to me like you would be a good fit in SMX, which has very similar rules to XP in autocross, with a cage requirement. If you have a 6 point you should be good to go. Looking forward to having you.
'97 BMW M3 #53 SMX
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby miniacmike » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:52 pm

Welcome to PHA. You are right, our hills are way too much fun to pass up. I have run many different 3rd and 4th gen F-bodies on the hills. Great cars!
Lets start with your car. With your interior being stripped and the engine mods, it really leaves you with two classes to run. SMX and Special 3. Special 3 is pretty much a anything goes kind of class (tube frame fiberglass body purpose built race car). SMX is the best fit for the car. THe rules for that class can be found under our supplimental rules in our rules section else where on this site. If you need any help with them let me or Mark know. WE wrote them for that class.
You will have to make sure your cage has a diagonl bar in either the main hoop or rear down bars. (main hoop perferred).
As for drivers gear you will need a suit, gloves, shoes, helmet, and arm restaints or window net.
there will or may be some other minor stuff.
Any questions feel free to ask.
2nd 84 camaro,85 camaro, 99 Camaro, 04 vette
Trees taste good
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby OC_ » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:34 pm

What’s my competition look like in SMX?
OC_
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby Mark Aubele » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:35 am

OC_ wrote:What’s my competition look like in SMX?


500whp 2650lb BMW
460whp 2900lb Camaro
450whp 2600 RX7
550whp 2200lb Honda Civic

Video of the BMW at Duryea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9IboWyq0KA
'97 BMW M3 #53 SMX
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby miniacmike » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:01 pm

Elsewhere on this site you can go to schedule and results.
Look at the results page all the at the bottom at overall finishing. You will see SMX cars in the top 5 at every event. That would be our production based cars with purpose built race cars. Competition is pretty good!
Personally I would concern yourself with that now. Get the car done, register for a event and learn the hill. Speed will come with time.
You will find we have a great group of people willing to help in whatever you need.
Have fun first, fast second!
2nd 84 camaro,85 camaro, 99 Camaro, 04 vette
Trees taste good
Occasional novice instructor
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby OC_ » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:59 pm

Mark Aubele wrote:
OC_ wrote:What’s my competition look like in SMX?


500whp 2650lb BMW
460whp 2900lb Camaro
450whp 2600 RX7
550whp 2200lb Honda Civic

Video of the BMW at Duryea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9IboWyq0KA


I took a look at that video, It looks like I have some work to do in terms of my suspension. I never built my car to deal with the bumps and lumps found on these roads.
OC_
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby Mark Aubele » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:51 pm

OC_ wrote:
I took a look at that video, It looks like I have some work to do in terms of my suspension. I never built my car to deal with the bumps and lumps found on these roads.


Some people say you need a different setup than you would need for track or autocross, but my car isn't setup any differently. Over 500lb of wheel rate up front, around 350lb in the rear (550/700 springs), big front sway bar, no rear bar, -4* camber up front -2.5* rear. In fact I will be setting the car up much stiffer for next season, car is bottoming out everywhere above 100 mph with the rear wing. Will likely be at 900/1000 springs for next year, maybe stiffer. Depending on the tire, you need a bunch of roll stiffness. My wife's 135i on a RE71r is set up even stiffer than mine (she has better dampers). Many would say that neither setup would work for hillclimbing, but you will see most of the fast cars are setup pretty stiff.
'97 BMW M3 #53 SMX
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby miniacmike » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 pm

I would agree with Mark. I probably have the softest setup of all of us and it is way to soft.
Personally I would run your car the way it is first. Then see from there if any changes are needed. Most issues can be solved with a simple shock adjustment or tire pressure change.
2nd 84 camaro,85 camaro, 99 Camaro, 04 vette
Trees taste good
Occasional novice instructor
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby OC_ » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:52 am

I still have plates on my car and had it out on the roads behind my office. That road pretty much looks like some of the hill climbs you guys do and I had trouble with bottoming out.
The crown of the road and elevation changes are things I never had to deal with in Illinois. I have an aftermarket trans mount on my car that is a big problem and needs to be raised.
OC_
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Re: Car classification and whatnot.

Postby VR6Man » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:35 pm

Welcome. I am also in SMX, but much slower than the rest of the SMX pack in my SBC swapped '98 BMW. I only made it to two hill climbs this season due to a spun rod bearing at a track event at Mid-Ohio halfway through the season, but I can tell you its great fun and the people are awesome at these events. Everyone is easy to talk to and they will happily answer any questions you have.

Hope to see you there next year.
#33 SBC Swapped '98 BMW 323is
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