Monday, March 31, 2014

The rise of Bumblestook

Up to this point, autocross was just something I did in between track days to keep improving my driving skills. That all changed with going to Nationals in 2012 so in 2013 I wanted to make Bumblestook a competitive car in a SCCA class so I could bring her to Nats and really focus on getting better at autox in general. I had already been looking into a BSP build after the S2000 was moved to BSP the year before but I was mostly just toying with the idea. This time, I went through the rule book and it appeared that a BSP build wouldn't be that much more work to get to while still having her be fully track worthy. It was supposed to be a simple build...remove the non-BSP legal parts, add Hoosiers and done. Personal life events pushed me over the edge and I went with "YOLO" let's do whatever we want to this year build so I handed the car off to JDV and Evans Tuning and the transformation began.

05 S2000 F22C, AP2 tranny and driveshaft with about
50K miles shipped to the shop - 12/25/2012
New J's Racing offset camber joints - 12/27/2012
Dropped the car off at Evans Tuning to begin the transformation - 12/29/2012
I got in touch with Davgoat on S2ki who was parting S2000s and got an AP2 engine, tranny and driveshaft from an 05 S2000 that pretty much had the same mileage as my car at the time. My camber joints were heavily worn (probably from driving on the Cross Bronx more than anything) and so I ordered replacements then on a snowy day in late December 2012, I dropped her off at the shop. Since we had to pull the diff anyway, I picked up the set of Innovative 75A diff mounts from Noel. The diff had to get sent to S2kPuddydad to be rebuilt since my diff was not BSP legal. It had all cryo parts, the puddy reinforcements, a 4.1FD and AP1 input flanges. I had Puddydad put everything back to stock minus the OSGiken diff (first gen) that was already in there.

Innovative 75A Diff Mounts from Noel - 1/2/2013
Diff out ready to ship to S2kpuddydad - 1/3/2013
I got a PLM header through Brian Karwan at Karcepts and Evans Tuning sourced me the IQ3 Racepak datalogging dash to interface with my Haltech Pro-Plugin (remember, the car was still supposed to be a track car so this was mostly intended for that purpose).

PLM Header - 1/4/2013
Racepak IQ3 Dash - 1/4/2013
For the clutch, I went with a standard OEM clutch disk and throwout bearing matched to a ACT H021 pressure plate and Competition Clutch 11lb flywheel.

OEM friction disk and throwout bearing - 1/5/2013

ACT H021 Pressure Plate - 1/7/2013
Competition Clutch 11lb flywheel - 1/8/2013
The original F20C and tranny was pulled out in preparation for the "new to me" motor and tranny. Luckily this setup went onto a fellow autocross and is still enjoying some VTEC action.

Heartless - 1/5/2013
The F22C arrived and as shortly transplanted in. Jeff Evans had an idea to make more power by expanding the stock intake manifold so I let them have at it.

F22C in waiting for custom IM - 1/11/2013
The intake manifold was completed and mated to a 70mm Skunk2 TB.

Custom IM done and installed - 1/11/2013
In the meantime, I was receiving my new tires. There was some hype about the BFG R-1S over the winter and at their price point I thought I'd give it a try. The 275/35/18 BFG R1-S was actually wider than the 295 Hoosier A6.

275/35/18 BFG R-1S - 1/22/2013
As far as body work was concerned, I wanted an AP2 bumper with CR lip so I picked those up and we also started to put all the interior back in.

CR Lip - 1/26/2013
AP2 Bumper - 1/26/2013
AP2 bumper and CR lip installed (unpainted) - 1/27/2013
Interior and soft top back in the car - 1/27/2013
Clutch and flywheel installed - 1/28/2013
To make sure I maximized my power, we ditched my old Greddy SE setup and Evans fabricated a custom 3" header back exhaust with resonator and Borla muffler.

Custom exhaust - 1/30/2013
Custom exhaust - 1/30/2013
The fully BSP compliant diff finally arrived and was ready to be installed.

AP2 diff housing with OS Giken diff - 1/31/2013
It was then time to get the car on the dyno where JDV and Evans spent some late nights trying out different intakes and setups.

Dyno/intake testing - 2/2/2013
She put down 243whp/172tq on one of the intake setups
To get more tire fitment up front, JDV basically started pointing on the fender until we got as much clearance as we wasn't pretty :D

Wavy, but flared front fenders - 2/2/2013
The electronics started to go in and the IQ3 powered on for the first time and the engine bay was buttoned up. 

Racepak IQ3 datalogging dash fully working - 2/13/2013
Engine bay buttoned up - 2/14/2013

Then, on February 16, 2013, I picked her up and drove her for the first time. What a glorious feeling to have everything come together.

Bumblestook First Drive - Evans Tuning - Mt Bethel, PA

The 18x11 with 8.5" backspacing CCW Classics arrived ready to get some tires mounted.

CCW Classic 18x11, APR hardware - 2/18/2013
CCW Classic 18x11, APR hardware - 2/18/2013
In the meantime, I dropped her off at D&G Auto Body in Mineola again. I asked them to smooth out the fenders and paint the bumper and they did a fantastic job!

AP1.2.CR conversion complete - 2/22/2013
Front fender-tastic - 2/22/2013
Fresh CR Bumper paint - 2/22/2013
I had ordered a set of black 17x9 RPF-1 wheels with Dunlop Z1 star spec tires over the winter to use as my street tire setup. I put those on and got the car aligned at Camber Toe in Lynbrook. Baseline alignment set to:

Front: -3.2 Camber, 0 Toe, 5.4 Caster
Rear: -2.6 Camber, 1/8" total toe in

First alignment of 2013 - 3/1/2013
I also got the BFGs mounted on the CCWs

BFG R-1S on CCW Classic - 3/2/2013
Fitment and clearance perfect with 15mm spacers up front - 3/2/2013
And of course we have to account for wet weather racing so a set of Hoosier H2Os were also ordered (245/40/17 mounted on my 17x9 TSW Nurburgrings)

Hoosier H2O - 3/5/2013
I was also noticing some sticking of the throttle body so we replaced that with a new one of the same kind the day before the first event.

Replacement TB - 3/16/2013
...and after months of building and testing she was ready for the first event...test and tune at Warminster with the Philly SCCA...but I think that's for a next post.

Hood, spoiler and Evans Tuning meet

Next up was replacing my vented hood with a standard OEM one and a little lip spoiler on the back (purely for aesthetics). I was set on moving ahead with the Bumblestook black and yellow theme so I opted to have the hood painted black at D&G Auto Body in Mineola.

OEM hood painted - 10/12/2012
OEM lip spoiler added - 10/12/2012
Just in time too since a few days later, I was off to the Evans Tuning fall meet where I ended up making an impromptu video of the convoy down there. And so ended 2012 for Bumblestook and the end to another chapter in my life!

Evans Tuning Meet - 10/14/2012

Evans Tuning Meet - Phillipsburg, NJ

Starting on the slippery slope of Street Prepared

Almost as soon as I got back from Lincoln, I wanted to get started on the BSP build. The goal at the time wasn't necessarily to make a super competitive BSP car but instead make Bumblestook a track car that was BSP legal. This would mean removing all the aero, putting back my soft top and getting Hoosiers. I thought, what is BSP other than STR on Hoosiers right? Haha....wrong!

New wingless trunk put in - 9/15/2012
The next day I was off to Nassau Coliseum to get some more late season autox and try my new wingless configuration.

NYR SCCA Autox - Nassau Coliseum - 9/16/2012
Wingless look growing on me - NYR SCCA Autox - 9/16/2012

NYR SCCA Autox - Nassau Colisem - With Novice Ride-along

The following week I went to see Ray to start cutting my fenders. 275s all around is all I need for BSP right?

Fender cutting - 9/22/2012
Fender cutting - 9/22/2012
And then it was of to the Meadowlands again for another Autox with MSNE on a glorious, sunny day in the fall. This was shortly followed by the my last event of the season with NNJR SCCA.

MSNE Autox - Meadowlands, NJ

NNJR SCCA Autox - Meadowlands, NJ

The next day, Tony helped me take the last of the aero off my car (spoiler and side strakes).

Good-bye Aero - 9/30/2012

Sunday, March 30, 2014

SCCA Solo Nationals 2012

Ok, well first off, this is about me and not Bumblestook since Bumblestook didn't make it to the Solo Nationals of 2012. Instead, I flew out to codrive Jon and Tory's S2000 in STR but I guess this was such a pivotal point in my life that it belongs here. Being a rookie at Nationals, I was immediately overwhelmed by the scale of the place and the magnitude of the event. It's all a bit of a blur for me even to this day. All I know is I was lucky enough to also have Mark and Lisa offer to share their room with me since this was a bit of a last minute decision. I was having pretty serious weight related health issues at the time though and had a really tough time walking but still managed to get in probably 20 course walks on each side even though it meant confining myself to the bed every evening. I wanted to do the very least, I wanted to at least make mid-pack. That was a tall order for my first nationals and in a car I had never driven before especially since I'm not one to adapt to cars quickly.

SCCA Solo Nationals #93 STR - Lincoln, Nebraska - 9/4/2012
SCCA Solo Nationals #93 STR - Lincoln, Nebraska - 9/4/2012

SCCA Solo Nationals  #93 STR - Lincoln, Nebraska

It was a complete blast! The car was very tough to drive but I did somehow magically end up mid-pack out of 50 or so drivers in STR that year and I do even get to say I even beat one of the course designers that year hehe. I made the decision right then and there that I would be back every year from here on out and in my own car! It was there I saw Jason Uyeda's car (BSP class champion 2012) for the first time. It looked so menacing and I knew that's the direction I wanted Bumblestook to go.

Uyeda's BSP S2000 - Lincoln, Nebraska - 9/4/2012

Finishing off the summer

Took a break from racing for a month with family visiting then I was back at it again in July. Started off with a trip back to the Meadowlands with MSNE. Not bad for being rusty. 2nd place finish out of 18 cars in the class losing 1st place by 0.2 seconds.

MSNE Autox - 7/15/2012

MSNE Autox - Meadowlands, NJ

With the softer springs on the car, I was possessed to try going back to Nassau Coliseum again and so I did...this time with the NYR SCCA. The softer springs worked and I was able to take home FTD.

NYR SCCA Autox - Nassau Coliseum - 7/22/2012

NYR SCCA Autox - FTD Run - Nassau Coliseum

The following weekend I invited Aaron along for a codrive. Things were going well until we got slammed with torrential downpour. We'd codrive again in the future though under better circumstances ;)

NNJR SCCA Autox -  Meadowlands - 7/28/2012

NNJR SCCA Autox -  Aaron getting the hang of it - 7/28/2012

NNJR SCCA Autox - Meadowlands, NJ

Luckily for me, a codrive seat was offered to me by Jon and Tory so I could attend my first ever Solo Nationals in Lincoln, NE so I took the opportunity to do 3 more events before the summer was over. Seat time, seat time, seat time!

MSNE Autox - Meadowlands, NJ

NNJR PCA Autox - Meadowlands, NJ

NY BMWCCA Autox - Nassau Coliseum, NY - Non-BMW FTD
NY BMW CCA Autox - Nassau Coliseum - 8/26/2012