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Author Topic: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build  (Read 10239 times)

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #60 on: 11:00:30 AM / 28-Jul-21 »
Yeah you're right. I had to double stack the washers because the fitting bottoms out in the rack.  I really need to cut down the fittings to make it fit properly.
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Lucky Dog Racing League – Portland International Raceway June 2021

Race Report


Last year’s October PIR event was the race debut for my 1988 Nissan 200sx V6, where the engine spun a bearing 6 hours into Saturday’s race.  I rebuilt the engine over the winter and that engine spun a rod bearing at a track day in April.  Our last-ditch effort to make the June PIR race was to buy a Quest engine from the junkyard and throw it in and hope it is good!

We really really really want to finish a race, and with record high temps in the forecast (105-115F) I start to get nervous about the car & drivers holding up.

Saturday 7 hour enduro

We have two drivers on the team with racing experience: Myself (5 races), and Tyler (1 race). Blake and Jesse are not new to driving on track but have not raced yet.  No one on the team wants to start the race, thinking the start will be chaotic.  I never want to start because I want all my drivers to get time in early in case the car breaks.  I do not want anyone to miss out on driving. Nevertheless, I volunteer to take the green flag to manage the start and [hopefully] bring the car back to the next guy without trouble.  Blake and Jesse each get about 3 smooth laps in qualifying and bring the car back into the pits to top off fuel and change drivers.  I already notice that there is some PS fluid leaking and ask them to check it out while I am belting in.  They said it appears fluid is boiling out of the reservoir. Not much we can do at this point other than clean it up and hope it was overfilled (we only have about 10 miles of street driving with the new engine & PS setup). I leave pit lane and immediately radio “guys, the PS is louder than the engine”.  They do not know what to do about that, it is too late anyway, so I continue.  After one short lap we get a green flag and I go for it.  Mid turn 5, the power steering completely dies, and I go right off the track on the inside of turn 6.  Smoke starts pouring out of the hood vents. I slowly make my way back into the pits and tell the guys we need to ditch PS in a hurry. They took about 10 minutes to cut the belt, drain the fluid, and clean up a ton of fluid. I go back out in 44th place out of 45 cars that took the checker.  The car is doing great, but with very heavy steering.  This is going to get difficult when the temps start creeping up.  Since last race we had made some handling improvements to the car including removed rear sway bar, welded diff, and dropping some weight off the front.  Surprisingly, they worked much better than I could have predicted.  The car understeers a bit but stops with throttle and the car rotates beautifully.  Despite telling myself constantly to take it easy and bring the car home, my times start dropping into the 1:38’s and 1:37’s, roughly 2.5 seconds faster than last year! I stop using 2nd gear and limit the max RPM’s by about 700 to keep the coolant temps under control, and it doesn’t appear to hurt lap times that bad.  The engine has torque! I make my way up to 28th overall and hand the car off to Blake.  We get close to a 5-minute pit stop (slight improvement over last year), and he’s off in 31st place.  Standing and holding a fire extinguisher after 1.5 hours in the car was quite miserable, we decide not to make the incoming driver do anything during pits for the rest of the weekend.

Blake’s stint

I’m already a bit relieved to hand a healthy car off to the next guy, especially someone who hasn’t raced before.  That’s one goal accomplished.  Blake is doing a great job and is getting fast.  He is probably trying his hardest and not as unreasonably worried about the as like I am.  He starts chipping down at his lap times and eventually sets the car’s fastest lap (Blake you little…!!) of a 1:36.4.  During his stint he gets squeezed in turn 10 and half spins and knocks the steering off center a few degrees.  See Blake this is what happens when you try and beat my fastest lap time. Anyways, he did a great job and comes into the pits in 19th place and we get Jesse in the car. This pit is a minute faster, but the starter is no longer working.  We push start the car as the 5-minute timer starts buzzing.  Jesse’s racing now for the first time ever… another goal accomplished!

Jesse’s stint

Jesse rejoins the track in 23rd place. The ambient temp is really starting to creep up right about this time.  Blake and I were able to do 1.5 hours but its getting hot enough that we don’t think that will be possible anymore.  Jesse starts settling in when the safety car comes out for an incident.  Lap after lap Jesse is stuck behind the safety car in a line of other cars, and not moving very fast. He radios in and says there is no airflow in the car, and he feels like he’s just baking.  Ambient temperature is about 95 degrees at this point.  Jesse says he’s not feeling good, and says he’s coming in.  This was a huge bummer, because one of our drivers only had 30 minutes of driving and did not have a good experience.  We have to try to make this right for Sunday. Jesse pits in 21st and hands it off to Tyler.

Tyler’s stint

Tyler rejoins in 23rd.  Unfortunately for Tyler I scheduled him to have the 3rd stint in the heat of the day, but he was the right choice for this drive having already raced the car for 2 hours straight last year.  Tyler is smooth, consistent, and stays out of trouble, exactly what we need for a day like this.  The longer we’re out there turning laps the higher we move up the order as other cars/drivers break or overheat.  Tyler’s stint is quiet because he’s quiet.  He doesn’t say much on the radio, and just does his job.  He pits in 20th position after about an hour in the car.  We are getting faster with our pits, and even though we’re push starting the car, we still pull off a stop that’s barely over the 5-minute minimum.

My 2nd stint

I jump back in the car for an hour in the afternoon.  The plan was only the people that have driven the first two stints would be in any kind of shape to get back in the car in the afternoon. With Jesse’s stint going wrong, we’d have to have Blake drive another stint at the very end of the day.  I rejoin the track in 22nd position.  Now that all my drivers have had a stint, I’m breathing a bit easier.  The only unfinished business now is to bring the car home so we can take a checkered flag and have a car for Jesse to race tomorrow! My stint is going about as well as it can considering it’s over 100 degrees.  There are some incidents that bring out the safety car, and I end up cruising for 6 laps behind the safety car.  Jesse is right, there is no airflow in this thing and its misery.  One consolation is that I don’t have to watch the temp gauge creep past 215 and am able to keep it around 205 behind the safety car.  Oddly that makes me feel better. Green flag lasts one lap and we’re back to a safety car for another 3.  Green flag drops again, and I am trying as hard as I can to get focused, but the heat is absolutely brutal.  It takes me 4 laps to start running in the 1:39’s again, and I will not improve on that pace for the rest of the day.   I’m clicking off laps, but the fatigue is really starting to set in and I start questioning how much longer I’ll be able to do this.  I start trying to do math in my head to figure out how long I’ll need to go to keep Blake’s stint short enough so that he can survive it.  My brain can’t do math in this state though.  My wife, with the voice of an angel sent from Jesus comes on the radio “… race is being shortened due to heat, checkered flag at 3:30.” Thank God. The safety crew decided the heat was too much, as they had to repair a tire wall during the safety car.  Seems like it takes everything I have left to make it the next few laps, but the last lap finally comes and I get to buzz the wall to the checker for the first time ever.  It felt so good to finally finish a race, I can’t even put it to words.  It made me choke up at the time when my wife was congratulating me over the radio, and I know it wasn’t just the heat exhaustion now because it still gives me the same feeling writing about it a month later.

The 7-hour enduro was shortened to 5.5 hours.  We finished 15th place overall, and 5th in C-class at 104 degrees F.

Sunday’s race recap is coming soon!

 https://youtu.be/b3PXpJwnJkY
« Last Edit: 12:25:12 PM / 28-Jul-21 by Max »

Offline kelso840

Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #61 on: 03:17:12 PM / 28-Jul-21 »
What an adventure!

Great storytelling, and great video. You sound like a great team manager.
Infrequently driving an s12.

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #62 on: 08:37:02 PM / 28-Jul-21 »
Thanks man! Story telling comes natural, but video is extremely difficult and time consuming. Capturing the video and getting settings right is very hard in the heat of a race. Editing takes me forever but I think they're getting better with every video.

As far as team manager, I never set out to be one. But I am enjoying it. I set out to be a racer and try to win races. Right now I'm in the "pay your dues" stage. Get experience, develop drivers and relationships. I love the strategy of running a race, but it's not always about reaching the maximum result at this level. Guys are investing their hard earned money to be here and I want to make sure they're happy and ultimately that they come back and race with me.

I'll try to finish Sundays race report and get that posted tomorrow.

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #63 on: 05:34:23 PM / 04-Aug-21 »
As promised! It's long, fair warning!

Sunday Enduro

It was too dang hot to work on the car after the race on Saturday, so we left a few things to fix early Sunday morning when it was cooler.  Blake had gone off and knocked the steering off center and that had to be checked, as well as brake pads, and a bolt check.  We found nothing wrong with the steering, and nothing bent. We decided to run it as is.  Jesse improvised a driver cooling solution with old brake duct hose and zip ties on the A-pillars. Today’s going to be even hotter at 115F. We’re all wondering how long the race is going to be considering the last race was cut short due to much lower temps. At the drivers meeting, race control confirms our suspicions.  The race will be shortened from 8 hours to 4 hours, with a maximum stint length of 1 hour.  Fine with us! We don’t want to be driving any longer than that anyways.

Race start and Jesse’s stint

We belt Jesse in, and he pulls the car to grid. Recall that the day before, Jesse had some heat exhaustion problems and had to pit early.  Getting Jesse a stint with lower temperatures so that he could compete and enjoy himself was the only unfinished business that really mattered.  He got the first choice of stint and of course that meant the coolest part of the day.  As he sits on grid at 9am it’s already 85F.

He makes his way through the formation lap and reports that the driver cooling mods are a night and day difference! The green flag drops and we start the race in 26th out of 35 cars.  He’s cautious as he starts to get into the groove of the race, and before we know it his times start dropping to competitive levels. By lap 14 he clicks off a 1:38.3 and a personal best.  Jesse had a great time and was able to battle with Team Neon and the Battle Forged Heroes VW.  This is what it’s all about.  Jesse pit’s in 22nd and is happy.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Now let’s go run the best race we can.  We’ve got nothing to lose!

Tyler’s Stint

Tyler belt’s in for the second stint.  We gave him a *cooler* stint today because last race he was baking in the afternoon heat. Our pit stops are getting almost as good as they can get.  We push start the car right as the 5-minute timer goes off.  Tyler rejoins in 28th.  We didn’t know much about Tyler’s stint because he’s a racing machine and didn’t say anything.  Later Tyler reported that he was trying to focus on his line and work on the areas where he knew he was slow. Apparently this worked because Tyler ran his personal best time of 1:39.8, which meant all our team was running in the 1:3X’s.  Tyler’s driving has improved by a few seconds per lap since his first race last year (and in much worse conditions than last year). Toward the end of his stint, he decided to be the drift king in turn 7 which precipitated some massive fuel cut.  We are brainstorming on how to improve the fuel cut in the future because it seems to happen even with 4 gallons left. Soon after, he pulls into the pits in 21st place. By this point, race control has notified us that our transponder signal is extremely weak.  They give us a new rental transponder to stick on the car.  Somehow, we’re able to swap transponders, drivers, and fuel, all within 5 minutes and 2 seconds.  After running mid-to-back of C-class most of the morning, we’re starting to see that our consistency is moving us up the order.  There are also a lot of car’s dropping out.  If we keep running a clean race, and a bit of luck goes our way, we could be on the podium.

Blake’s Stint

Blake rejoins in 22nd place.  It’s really hot at this point.  Blake is paying the price now for having a cooler stint the day before.  His lap times are good, but not quite as fast as the day before.  He is able to get down to a 1:37.3. Despite the heat, he’s able to push, and we start moving up through the field.  Unfortunately, our transponder problems are still present.  Blake is not recording laps that he’s clearly making.  Race control tells us that the location of our transponder must be the issue.  We don’t know why this is, because it’s very close to the ground and in the same place we’ve always put transponders.  They tell us to bolt 3 rentals on to it if we have to, but they need another signal for our car. After a trip to race control, we’re credited back a lap for every “double lap time” we have (laps that register double our normal lap time).  They give us another transponder and tell us to bolt it on in a totally different area of the car.  Once all of our laps are given back we finally get an idea of where we are in the standings.  Blake has moved us up to 15th overall and 5th in C-Class.  He pulls into the pits and we get to work refueling.  He gave us this report about his stint “Hot, go fast, don’t crash, almost crashed, go faster, hot”.  Thanks Blake.  Tyler sheet metal screws the new transponder somewhere near the back bumper.  Jesse gets the camera reset. Somehow, we do this all and only lose 1 minute for a total of 6 minutes in the pits.

My Stint

I leave pit lane and we all believe there’s a legitimate chance at being on the podium, so long as our transponder works, I don’t crash, I survive the heat, and we get a little bit of luck going our way.  We can’t be sure because of our transponder issues, but it appears I’ve rejoined 6th in class with #246 Shift Happens CRX leading, with #153 Bunny Boy’s miata, #323 Durkee Walker Racing miata, #606 Sleepyrace miata, and the #943 Porsche 944 ahead of us.  Shortly after my stint begins, I overtake the green 944 as they pit for their final driver change which moves us into 5th.  After that we’re all racing heads up to the checker, everyone else short of an issue does not need to pit.  A few laps later I catch up to the #606 Sleepyrace Miata, and overtake on the inside entering turn 7, moving us in to 4th place in class.  A safety car comes out to deal with a stalled vehicle in turn 11.  After a lap or two under full course yellow we get a green flag.  I can see the #167 Miata that is running 6th in class and I’m able to pull very close to them by the exit of the chicane.  At that very moment we come up on the #246 CRX that’s going slowly into turn 4.  The CRX is running 1st in class and it appears their LF wheel is coming loose! Huge bummer for them, but thankfully they were able to limp it back to the pits safely. This means if we put a few more laps in we will eventually overtake them.  On the back straight I motor past the #167 miata to put one lap up on them, and by the front straight we’re back on a full course yellow for the disabled CRX.  These restarts have gone our way in that all the cars are bunched back up and they’re within striking distance when we go green.  Green flag drops and I’m right behind Durkee Walker, Bunny Boys (who were both laps up on us), and the green 944.  By the back straight I’m close enough to the miata’s to motor by and pull within a few car lengths of the 944. By turn 12 I’m right on the 944, and able to draft and overtake him on the front straight to put one lap on them.  At this point, not only is the race going my way, but I am also the fastest I’ll be all race setting a 1:37.5 right as I pull past the Porsche to put a lap on them.  Shortly after we reach the number of laps the #246 CRX completed, and we overtake them by default and move into 3rd place. Unfortunately, this is the point where we get some luck that doesn’t go our way.  About 10 minutes left in the race the orange General Leif Volvo runs out of fuel and coasts off course in the chicane, which brings out a local yellow in turn 1.  I come up on this flag station and am right behind an e46 BMW in another class.  We coast through turns 1-3, and past the volvo on the side of the track. As we approach the apex of turn 3 I stay tight to the bumper of the BMW, and as soon as the turn 4 flag station is within view and without a yellow flag I go for it.  About a minute later Blake comes on the radio and says, “MAX did you pass someone under yellow?”.  “I don’t think so!!!” I reply. I was getting really tired and hot. It was nearly an hour into my stint in the heat so I didn’t flat out deny it even though I was pretty sure I didn’t.  Anyways, sure enough I see a black flag the next time I’m on the front straight.  I pull into pit lane and am held in the doghouse for a couple of minutes.  While sitting there idling I see the oil pressure gauge hovering around zero, and I panic and shut the engine off.  My team sprints down pit lane to be ready to push start me while I debate if I should not go back out (my brain is not working very well at this point).  There is only 3 minutes left to the checker.  The guys get to the doghouse, and I’m released. They push start me, and as soon as the RPMs come up, the oil pressure does too… Maybe it’s just really hot. The penalty cost us about two extra minutes. After the race we would review the video, and all agree that it should not have been a penalty.  We presented it to race control and they say I should have waited longer to make the pass.  Unfortunate, but that’s racing sometimes.  Thankfully my team doesn’t think it should have been a penalty, and not letting them down is what really matters to me.  Two more laps to the checker and I have no idea where I stand, although I can see the green Porsche in my mirrors.  Somehow, I’m still able to crank out a 1:38 on the last lap of the race, which proves to be important.  I buzz the wall to the checkered flag.  It’s 104 degrees when I get out of the car, and I learn that we came in 4th place in C-Class, and 15th overall.  The #606 Sleepyrace Miata was about 20 seconds ahead and took 3rd.  Amazingly, the Porsche behind me was on the same lap in 5th place and only 3 seconds back.  After 4 hours of racing 3rd-6th place were separated by only 35 seconds!!!

We all had an epic weekend that we’ll never forget.  After actual years of work, we make it to a race weekend hoping to finish a race and preferably have a running engine at the end. Instead we finish BOTH races, the car is 3 seconds faster than the year before, every driver drove, every driver went the fastest they’d ever gone, we actually get to push and compete, we come within 20 seconds of a podium, AND we drove the car on to the trailer in working condition.  If you would have told me this weekend was going to turn out THIS GOOD I would have never believed you! I’m so proud of my team and there couldn’t be a happier team owner than THIS GUY!



check out how close the 5th place Porsche was!

https://youtu.be/fUs8VJltZ4c

Offline weitrhino

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #64 on: 03:10:11 PM / 05-Aug-21 »
Nice, and thanks for sharing your adventure. This car is running the Quest engine, right?

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #65 on: 05:26:48 PM / 05-Aug-21 »
Thanks and No problem! Yes it's from a 2000 Quest.

Offline kelso840

Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #66 on: 05:52:01 PM / 06-Aug-21 »
My opinion on the VG33e has changed completely after I reset my timing (and added a supercharger).  Bet your car's got just enough torque to get out of turns without cranking too many RPMs.
Infrequently driving an s12.

Offline weitrhino

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #67 on: 06:43:01 PM / 06-Aug-21 »
Kelso, is there posted info on your VG supercharger project? I'd really like to see the whole process. Really.

Did I say, "really?" Because I meant "really."

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #68 on: 04:48:02 PM / 07-Aug-21 »
My opinion on the VG33e has changed completely after I reset my timing (and added a supercharger).  Bet your car's got just enough torque to get out of turns without cranking too many RPMs.

The torque is great.  I believe I mentioned that we stopped revving the engine up to the 6000 rpm redline, and instead started shifting 53-5400.  Not spinning the engine as high makes a huge difference in keeping temperatures down.  So this meant that we used 3rd-5th gear instead of 2nd-4th.  I'm sure the car is faster if we use the lower gears and the whole rev range, but really not by much.

Offline iceageg

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #69 on: 08:02:50 AM / 09-Aug-21 »
The torque is great.  I believe I mentioned that we stopped revving the engine up to the 6000 rpm redline, and instead started shifting 53-5400.  Not spinning the engine as high makes a huge difference in keeping temperatures down.  So this meant that we used 3rd-5th gear instead of 2nd-4th.  I'm sure the car is faster if we use the lower gears and the whole rev range, but really not by much.
You are truly doing god's work sir.  I am running out of popcorn.
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Kelso, is there posted info on your VG supercharger project? I'd really like to see the whole process. Really.

Did I say, "really?" Because I meant "really."

Really.  Really really.  As a supercharger guy I command a detailed explanation.
« Last Edit: 08:03:25 AM / 09-Aug-21 by iceageg »
I was afraid all the five gallon buckets of pain stacked four high were going to fall over

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #70 on: 02:35:37 PM / 09-Aug-21 »
You are truly doing god's work sir.  I am running out of popcorn.

Thanks man I appreciate it.  Glad it's entertaining and contributing something to the community.  Racing was always my destiny, and I'm so glad to finally be doing it.
« Last Edit: 02:38:12 PM / 09-Aug-21 by Max »

Offline weitrhino

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #71 on: 11:14:10 PM / 09-Aug-21 »
You are truly doing god's work sir.  I am running out of popcorn.
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Really.  Really really.  As a supercharger guy I command a detailed explanation.

He supercharged a truck rather than an S12

Offline iceageg

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #72 on: 02:08:31 PM / 10-Aug-21 »
He supercharged a truck rather than an S12
Not as cool, but still interested.  I am supercharging my subaru right now.  Along with several planes but "work" doesn't really count.
I was afraid all the five gallon buckets of pain stacked four high were going to fall over

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #73 on: 01:54:24 PM / 02-Sep-21 »
More content!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDeeb8HpTLQ

Was able to get my VG30e cams out of the VG33, and install my new Isky Racing reground cams (using original VG33e cams).  When I was doing my VG33e swap, I installed the VG30e cams in the engine and noticed some cracks around the dowel and threads when I was going to set the timing.  Running out of time, I checked to make sure the cam gear bolt would reach it's torque spec. It did, and I rolled the dice with the cracked cams.  We survived 10 hours of racing in record high temps, thank God.  The cracks were worse and there was a lot of play in the gear.  Sent my 3.3 cams to Ron @ Isky and asked his advice on the best cam for a stock engine, stock RPM, endurance race car.  He recommended the "258 Mega" grind that has a 258 duration and .435" lift.  I installed them last weekend and put together a clip for you guys.  The car feels like it just has more between 3000-6000.  Butt dyno guesses 10-15 hp gain, which is what I expected.  There is slightly more valvetrain noise, which caught me off guard.  I seriously couldn't be more impressed with the Isky product, value and service.  They sent them back in nice boxes, engraved, parco coated, with a jar of Isky assembly lube, a cam spec card and a lot of install/general cam information. For only $206 shipped! Ron was awesome. You HAVE to call him and ask if you want Isky regrinds. They are not listed on the website.

Offline iceageg

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #74 on: 09:55:23 AM / 03-Sep-21 »
Awesome.  Long live the VG33 hybrid.  Minivan motors in every enduro car!
I was afraid all the five gallon buckets of pain stacked four high were going to fall over