Sunday, December 4, 2016

Going Wider

One thing I haven't done to Bumblestook because she was already working well was to try to go with wider tires up front to make it a square setup and increase front grip. With the significant gap we had to the Mazdaspeed Miatas at Nationals, I really have no choice but to try and extract every bit of performance I can get within the limits of the rules. Now that the season is over, SJF Performance was finally able find the time to work on this.

Circuit Garage S2000 front overfenders - 11/26/2016
We mounted the 315/30/18 Hoosier A7s on the 18x11 front wheels leaving the 315/30/18 Hoosiers on the 18x12 in the rear. I previously had 295s up front which were slightly stretched on an 11" wide wheel so the 315s are actually a better fit anyway. I technically don't need 18x12 in the rear but if I can't get the car to balance the way I want on the square setup, I'm leaving the option to go to 335s in the rear. I used to also run 10mm spacers in the front to get maximum clearance and to try and compensate slightly for the wider tire, I went to a 15mm spacer this time. To accommodate the extra tire width, I decided we should cut the OEM fenders some more and add overfenders so I picked up a pair of Circuit Garage S2000 front overfenders. Sadly these overfenders cost about as much as pre-made wider OEM style fenders but since those aren't Street Prepared legal, I had to go this route instead.

Make more room up front - 11/26/2016
It was clear early on that these overfenders had pretty bad fitment and would probably take a body shop a fair amount of time to mold properly to the car. Rather than use the entire overfender, we decided to just cut them up and just use the portion that overlays with the top of the OEM fender. I had my OEM fenders previously widened professionally by a body shop so they were shaped really nicely but unfortunately they were only nice because the shop used a fair bit of bondo to sculpt it into form. Some of the bondo cracked while cutting the fender away. Not a big deal but this was definitely going to end up being a case of function over form.

Front over fenders mocked up - 11/26/2016
Since I didn't know if I'd end up just destroying these fenders after a few events I was reluctant to have them professionally painted so I found a company that sells OEM color paint in spray can from ( They give you a can of base coat, medium coat and clear coat each of your car color. I was a bit skeptical especially since Spa Yellow is often hard to match but SJF and I were both surprised at how well the color matched (at least from a reasonable distance away). Since we were going to color match the front fenders, I opted to also paint the rear over fenders the same color after we cut them up a bit more for extra tire clearance in the rear as well.

Automotive Paint - 11/26/2016
Over fenders painted - 11/26/2016
At the last run of the final event this year, the passenger side front fender got ripped out completely. Luckily I was able to get a pair of brand new ones for a steal from Dan who had it lying around in his garage so SJF installed the new one.

New passenger front fender installed and trimmed for tire clearance - 11/26/2016
The new square setup and the wider front track is going to completely change the balance of the car. Unfortunately, the Gendron front bar and Ankeny rear bar I've been running for years now don't have sufficient adjustment for this setup so I replaced both with a fresh set of Karcepts sway bars instead. I'm running the largest front bar Karcepts makes for the S2000, 1.375" OD with 0.25" walls. For the rear I'm using the standard Karcepts S2000 rear sway bar used by the STR cars (which I also have on Lupa). SJF also noticed that the tabs on the rear subframe used for rear toe adjustment had been warped from all the rear grip so he straightened them out again.

Karcepts 1.375" OD, 0.25" wall front sway bar - 12/4/2016
Karcepts S2000 rear sway bar - 12/4/2016
After we got back from Nationals, we also noticed that the offset camber joint was leaking so we replaced both sides as well with a fresh set. I want to run Solostorm next year for data logging but didn't want to have a tablet mounted in my field of vision so I picked up an NVidia K7 Shield K1 tablet along with a RAM Tablet mount (RAMHOLTAB12U), RAM Diamond adapter (Ram-B-238) and RAM V-Base strap clamp with 1" ball arm which we hard mounted behind the passenger seat.

Tablet mount behind passenger seat - 11/26/2016
We also drained the remaining E85 in the fuel tank and put in pump gas again for winter storage. We still have a few things left to do over the winter to get her ready for next season but thankfully a lot of the major work has been completed.

Front overfenders - 12/4/2016
Color matched overfenders - 12/4/2016
Painted rear overfenders with weather stripping - 12/4/2016
Front overfenders viewed from above - 12/4/2016