Some dumb questions...

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Some dumb questions...

Post by JDH2550 on Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:51 pm

So, I've two HPDE events under my belt now. The first, Waterford (MI), was a complete disaster - biggest issue was my 2005 Stalker was running on the *original* tires. 13 year old tires are only slightly more useful than painting the rims black... My second event was at Gingerman (also MI) - much better with new boots. I also replaced the tie rod ends due to very loud clunking when engaging power.

Now, the questions (in no particular order):

1) What tire pressures do folks run for track days?
2) What wheel bearings do I need to purchase? (the front right is starting to go)
3) My fuel filter just kind of "hangs in space" - do folks usually mount this to the rear of the driver compartment in some fashion?
4) My Stalker doesn't have a radiator fan - is that normal? I'm going to fit a fan and wire it to a simple dashboard switch - any suggestions?
5) How does one go about dialing in the suspension on this thing? I'm a noob to this stuff and quite frankly I've no idea if I'm starting from a good benchmark or not. Now that I've got new rubber and I'm not constantly spinning then it makes me happier about the basic setup.
6) Lost a muffler at Gingerman - when I retrieved it I can look right through it. I'm assuming someone removed the actual muffler to make the pipes louder? Thus I'm gonna replace them. Does anyone know a part number? I think they're Patriot pipes?

Thanks all - and if any of you have a Stalker and haven't taken it to a track then google "HPDE track days near me" and give it a go! It'll be the best couple a hundred bucks you spend this summer... Very Happy

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Re: Some dumb questions...

Post by Ted FM 13 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:59 am

1) What tire pressures do folks run for track days?

I shoot for 20# hot on used Goodyear 475 bias ply slicks. I start with 17# cold depending on track and ambient temps. 20# hot is what I used for years racing a Formula Mazda (1350-1380# with me). then asking about this car, I've heard a target of 1 psi hot per 100# of wet on track weight. Now that will likely vary with your particular tire and can only truly be dialed in with testing on track and taking tire temps across width of all 4 tires IMMEDIATELY in the pit lane after tires are up to temp and pressure. You'll need an experienced hand to do that within seconds of you stopping the car; you can do it yourself but the tires cool quickly (even on a cool down lap), so you getting out of the car makes a difference.

2) What wheel bearings do I need to purchase? (the front right is starting to go)

I'm not sure the bearings need to be anything special but call Scott Minehart to get them or the part # for a NAPA store purchase.

3) My fuel filter just kind of "hangs in space" - do folks usually mount this to the rear of the driver compartment in some fashion?

It needs to be bolted down; Mine is just above the fuel cell.

4) My Stalker doesn't have a radiator fan - is that normal? I'm going to fit a fan and wire it to a simple dashboard switch - any suggestions?

Yes, for track especially, you should have a fan. When you come in after a cool down lap, the latent heat of the engine will still raise the water temp. Not a big deal if it's running 200-215 on track. Scott schooled me on temps when I was learning how fill and burp the system (no small task.) I added a fill port behind the T-stat (highest part of the cooling system and put a 25# cap on the radiator.

5) How does one go about dialing in the suspension on this thing? I'm a noob to this stuff and quite frankly I've no idea if I'm starting from a good benchmark or not. Now that I've got new rubber and I'm not constantly spinning then it makes me happier about the basic setup.

Scott gave me some numbers. I'll look those up. I tweaked those a bit based on my previous experience in a Formula Mazda, but I'm not guaranteeing that's wise since the Stalker is balanced on all 4 corners much more than the FM. I'll dig up Scott's EM and post his recommendations. Use those #s and the aforementioned tire temp readings while testing to know what you need. But first, who set up the car originally and has it been crashed or altered? If not, and you're only on your 2nd track day, you're most likely a long way from needing any detailed set up tweaks. In my experience 8/10's of your max speed is probably based on your execution of the basics of track driving and your comfort in the car. which is why the old adage is that an experienced driver in a slow car will pass a slow driver in a fast car every time. However, with that said, it wouldn't hurt to take Scott's set up #s and the car to a race shop and ask them to check/adjust everything (including a nut and bolt check) and give you a lesson on what the car needs and why.

6) Lost a muffler at Gingerman - when I retrieved it I can look right through it. I'm assuming someone removed the actual muffler to make the pipes louder? Thus I'm gonna replace them. Does anyone know a part number? I think they're Patriot pipes?

No, they're Stalker specific made by Scott. Call him up and get one.

Good luck; enjoy the looks and point by's you'll be getting.
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Re: Some dumb questions...

Post by JDH2550 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:57 am

Hi Ted,

Thanks for the detailed answers.  Much appreciated.  And yes, I agree, although I have more than 2 track days total (it's just 2 in this car) I know that by far the most important thing to tweak is the nut between the steering wheel and the seat.  That's what I'm enjoying most - is challenging myself to improve.  It just struck me that I don't know even the basics of how to set things up.  However, after my Gingerman weekend I'm much happier.  Waterford Hills was a complete disaster for me - I know I'm not a great driver but I didn't think I was THAT bad.  I just have a new set of Falken AZEN1S's on (summer street tires), but they stick a lot better than the old ones I threw away. I ran them at 25psi last time out.  

Regarding the muffler I've been in email contact with Glen and I'll be calling Scott today with some measurements and credit card details - he's gonna make me a new set of mufflers with extended pipes and turndowns - in time for my next run.  Nelson Ledges on 6/23.  Wish me luck! :-)

p.s. At some point I want to sit in the passenger seat and have someone who knows how to drive these take me for a lap.  That'll really show me how much I need to improve! :-)

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Re: Some dumb questions...

Post by Ted FM 13 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:45 pm

Here's what I got for set up:

http://stalkercars.forumotion.com/t254-basic-track-set-up-for-2012-kit-154

There's plenty of other good stuff in the Racing & Motorsports/Road Course forum including tire pressures.

And you're right: a ride along on a track you know with someone who is quick in a Stalker would be worth gold.

PS; if you have power steering, you may need a small aluminum fined cylinder type cooler for summer track days. I found that out when the air temp wasn't even 90. four laps and the PS stopped working; A tight corkscrew type turn is a bad place to get surprised. Evil or Very Mad And if you have a manual, tell me what you have; I tried a manual rack and it was nearly un-driveable at 1.3 G's.
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Re: Some dumb questions...

Post by JDH2550 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:46 pm

I'm just a casual n00b when it comes to this - sounds like you're a lot more "serious"... Smile

PS? We don't need no stinkin' PS... Wink I don't have PS but unfortunately I've no idea what the source of the steering rack is (could that be S-10 also?)

Actually, PS is something I was considering - but it's far down on the list right now.  I was planning to use it on the road - but now I'm thinking it's best just for track days and maybe TT at some point.  I probably shouldn't race it (who know's the trouble I'd get in! And more to the point not sure what category)

Just ordered my mufflers - $350 shipped.  Scott is going to create lengthened pipes that will exit downwards just in front of the rear wheels.  He let me know that it's my fault when I burn my leg getting in and out the car... Very Happy  But maybe I need to start thinking about heat shielding.  Hmmm...

He also confirmed that the wheels & breaks on mine are just standard S-10 stuff.  So a wheel bearing will probably be like $5...

Life is good.

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Re: Some dumb questions...

Post by Ted FM 13 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:48 pm

I don't know about a 2005 kit as mine is a 2012, but the built in castor in mine is high, making the car very stable but much harder to turn. I expected the car to handle and feel not unlike my Formula Mazda which had a manual rack, the same GY race slicks and only about 500 # less total weight. None of us ever said the FM had heavy steering and we would do 1.8 G routinely for 1/2 hour races. but the FM only had 270# on each front tire, not 400+ like the Lotus has. I guess the extra 130+# on the each Lotus front tire is significant along with the non adjustable castor. I don't see an easy way to measure the castor, but visually it doesn't look much more than the 4 deg we had on the FM.

The manual rack was OK around town, and only mildly annoying for spirited driving thru the twisty bits of CA's Gold country back roads but, as I said, nearly impossible to comfortably drive on track with lateral loads above, say 1.0 G. Driving on track requires processing a lot of information and input, but all I could think of was muscling the steering wheel and hoping I got within waving distance of the apex. Not fun and not good for going fast.

If and when I have a problem with the current PS system, I'll switch over to an electric assist.
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Re: Some dumb questions...

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