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Author Topic: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build  (Read 14521 times)

Offline sideways_s12

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #80 on: 11:58:27 PM / 17-Jan-22 »
I'm sure you posted it but what is your wheel set up...

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #81 on: 12:10:12 AM / 18-Jan-22 »
Rota Grid V 16x8 +20mm wheels. This size seems like it was made for the s12. Will work without spacers, but will require rolling fenders. I have more work to do on my rear fenders to clear with 225/50/16's

Offline sideways_s12

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #82 on: 04:07:03 PM / 19-Jan-22 »
yeah I'm looking to see what will work for my rear when I LS swap I'm gonna need something wide but not drag wide. I was thinking maybe 245 50's

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #83 on: 08:22:25 PM / 19-Jan-22 »
There's a lot more room for the rear tires. 225 is pretty much the max for the front and the offset has to be just right, and fenders rolled. You could fit 245's in the rear, probably with some rolling. More importantly than the width, would be what compound. 245/50/16 seems like it wouldn't have any performance compounds, and I bet 225/50 in an RS4 or falken azeni would have more grip. There's a few in 245/40/15, but that's a pretty short tire. More options in 17".

Offline sideways_s12

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #84 on: 04:25:51 PM / 24-Jan-22 »
Yeah I'll have to do a little more research..

Offline Max

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Re: 200sx SE V6 Endurance Race Car Build
« Reply #85 on: 04:44:25 PM / 04-Nov-22 »
Epic update of the century.



What a truly epic weekend!! It’s very hard to put words to describe just how good of a weekend this was, but I’m sure I will manage to come up with way too many words anyway, fair warning. This was the best weekend of racing of my life. We truly experienced the extreme lows (okay no one crashed or got hurt, so not THAT low), and the highest high we could have imagined. It feels like your underdog team has a comeback to win the Superbowl, only it’s YOU! I’m so grateful for my team who came and threw down their hard-earned money to race with us, worked their butts off all weekend even when things were bleak, their enthusiasm, and of course for their performance. Thank you, team! We’re grateful to Cathy and Lucky Dog who has given us racing at PIR for 13 years, and putting their heart and soul into building this organization. Thanks Erik, Chris, all the Lucky Dog team, and all the teams out there that we met &/or got to know better this weekend. Pontiaxed, Durkee Walker, 3D, Miata Vice, BDR, General Leif, and I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting. Thanks to Leo of Apex of Failure for being willing to help our team through our repairs, live stream support, parts runs, everything, dude… thanks.

If you’ve read all that and want to hear an epic story… here you go (Warning LONG).

We started the weekend very confident that we had a good team and a good car, despite forgetting a laundry list of stuff, I thought we had a shot at the podium. Our driver lineup was Dave, Blake, my wife Megan, and myself. Matt, Sarah, Jarrett and Leo rounded out the team.

7 Hour Enduro

We started Blake in the car on Saturday, and about 1.5 hours in to the first stint our hopes of a podium went up in a giant spectacular white cloud of smoke. Blake thankfully put the car in 5th gear and putted into the pits, engine stalled and he rolled the rest of the way… would not restart. He reported coolant temps of 175 all morning and then instantly shot up to 230 and… Poof!

Brought the car behind the wall and began to troubleshoot. No/low coolant, so I pressurized the cooling system and started cracking spark plugs loose. Coolant pressure held until I got to cylinder #6… PPPPSSSSSSSSSHHHH!!!!! Steam coming out of cylinder 6. We found the failure, blown head gasket! I thought about it for about 5 seconds and decided there is a decent chance it’s ONLY a headgasket and not major engine damage, therefore we MUST replace it. We may not be running before the checker, but we have a good shot at taking the green flag the next day. Leo very awesomely volunteered to run parts, after we realized we had no vehicle left on the outside of the track. He had us headgaskets, 10 qts of oil, filter, water pump, and various nick-nacks by 3pm. We exploded the whole engine through our pit stall but were able to get it all back together right before dark.




The motor fired on it’s first crank but was running on 5 cylinders. Took a couple more hours of diag, stressing out, stupefied blank stares, and a parts run. I believe there was a plug wire that pulled out of its insulator and wasn’t making a good connection. We fixed that and replaced the plugs and fired it up… sounds good. Drives good around the parking lot. I requested the coldest of beers from my team, high fives all around, bedtime.

8-hour Enduro

Sunday morning, we have our act together. Flush the oil for a second time, and wow, it’s a milkshake… Really just hoping there was no bearing damage due to the coolant at this point. What else can you do? How much abuse can a 140,000-mile junkyard minivan engine take? Fresh oil and we take the car to grid.

Dave starts the race for us. On the pace lap he reports a misfire. That really takes the wind out of my sails. I ask him if he can drive it and he says he’ll try. Well, we don’t hear from him that much so I decide not to push the issue… I don’t want to bring in a car to try and fix something that will certainly kill our race if he’s still able to drive it kinda-fast. Leo looks at me and says “this is why you need a RaceCapture live telemetry system”. Megan leaves to go put our raffle tickets in for the drawings, and dumps all but a couple into the RaceCapture box. Dave’s stint goes decent except he locked up the brakes near the safety truck when the car in front stopped suddenly… We get a penalty for extreme asshattery and are given a sticker on our car depicting a sad face with a butt on top. The shame…. Dave apologizes and we only lose a few minutes in the doghouse. I find the NW Safety crew and give more apologies. We’re way down the order, and I’m just assuming at this point that with the engine down on power and the penalty… this will just be a long track day and give the team some laps for all their trouble the day before. At this point I stopped checking where we were in the order… 12th or 13th in C-Class, don’t remember… this is a long shot. But it’s a long race, and anything can happen, and I always like to keep that in the back of my mind. Regardless we need to keep the car out there and turning laps, and give ourselves the best chance we can.

Next, we send Megan out. This is the quintessential nervous mother driver, and the only time of the day where it really starts to rain. What better way to learn how to drive a RWD car with a locked differential??? Megan does great and was able to beat her best time from the summer despite having very few laps when the track was drying. If nothing else she learned a lot about how to control a sliding car, got more confidence, and made her first full 2-hour stint. I wander down to the timing tower to check the raffle results. We won the dang RaceCapture. I radio and tell Megan while she’s driving. Icing on the cake!

I’m next up and man did it just consistently drizzle for my entire stint. Hard to find grip. Seemed like there was no grip in turns 1 & 2, 7, and 11… but places like 4 and 5 were as fast as when dry?? Crazy! Hard to learn. I’m now understanding what the misfire is like. The engine actually has power, but every few rotations it’s clearly dropping a cylinder. Keeping the revs low seems to reduce the misfiring, but it is still challenging, and the whole car is vibrating. Can’t even pull most miata’s on the straights. But it is race-able. I finally get my lap times down into the 1:38’s and I was cool with that given the conditions. Blake radios to me that I’ve just inherited 4th place in C-Class and this is the first moment since the morning when I actually considered where we stand. I could hardly believe it! Dave gets on the radio and informs me that the fuel light staying on for the entire front straight is an indicator that we’re nearly out of fuel, and we must pit that lap. He did this in the morning, and it stumbled as he was entering pit lane… This fuel float is in the 2-liter surge tank, so that means we’re seriously low. When the light stayed on solid, I come into pit. Unfortunately, my stint was part-dry, and no cautions, so I only made it 1:27 on fuel. We’re now realizing that 5 stints could BARELY work, and we may run out of fuel at the end. I pit in 4th.

Next up is Blake. He rejoins in 4th ish, give or take. Blake does a good job, and the track starts to dry out during his stint and would remain dry for the rest of the race. He inherits 2nd or 3rd place (don’t remember exactly) while the top 3 Miatas all pit for fuel right on time at 3pm, 2 hours to go. We start to see how the race is going to shake out. We’ll pit again for fuel and to put Dave in the car and drop back to 3rd. Blake just needs to go as long as he can to give Dave the shortest stint possible. Of course, this couldn’t be closer, so Blake only makes it about an hour 20 on fuel before reporting the fuel light on solid. I call him in and our fueler Matt says he’s going to slow the fuel down and make sure it’s filled all the way up the filler neck… This is going to be so close.

Dave starts our final stint and has an hour and 31 minutes to the finish. Nobody has been able to do this in dry conditions. The writing appears to be on the wall for how this is going to go. He rejoins in 3rd, 1.5 laps ahead of 4th place (3D racing). 1st (Durkee Walker) and 2nd (Pist’n Broke) place are a few laps ahead of him in their own fight. All 3 miatas plan to go for 2 hour stints, and not stop the rest of the race. I had a talk with Dave before he got in the car and told him he really has to conserve fuel or we’re not going to finish. As hard as it is to not go fast, please do not go fast. He does a few laps, gets his bearings and gets up to speed, and with his 1.5 lap buffer back to the 4th place 3D Miata, I get on the radio and tell him “Alright you’ve had some fun, we need to slow the pace and make sure we finish”. Dave, being a racing driver, does not want to go slow. There was a great deal of back and forth over the radio as he mostly-complies and slows the pace by about 4 seconds per lap. He keeps this up for a lot of his stint, but defiantly sets the fastest lap of the weekend to prove a point, protect his pride, so he can smack talk Blake later, whatever. I fire Dave from the team temporarily. What Dave doesn’t know is that 3D racing is taking about 5 seconds a lap out of his lead. What I don’t know is if the fuel light is flickering and you know what, some things are better left unsaid between the crew chief and the driver. My plan is to let them get a lot closer and then release Dave to drive as fast as he can. I trust Dave can match 3D’s pace and keep him behind when it becomes necessary. We must save fuel, we must finish, we must stay ahead of 3D racing and keep our spot on the podium… this is a juggling act that we really don’t know if we’ll be able to pull off. I’m sitting at the computer watching the times, holding the radio, watching the cars pass by and checking the gap, losing years off the end of my life for the last hour and a half of the race. Unexpectedly, Durkee Walker must have burned too much fuel trying to stay in 1st place, gives up the lead to Pist’n Broke, and starts moving slowly. They pit for fuel, a couple laps ahead of us. By this time the gap between 3D racing and Dave has shrunk to a mere 19 seconds. Everyone in the pits is yelling at me to release Dave to put the hammer down. I refuse. Wait one more lap… 16 second gap. “Dave, the moment you’ve been waiting for, it’s time to push. We’re either going to get on the podium or we’re going to get towed in.” “Copy That!” I can hear the smug grin on his face through the radio. Dave puts the hammer down dropping his lap times 4 seconds, and it appears that 3D racing gets the memo and responds, still running 1.5-2 seconds a lap faster than Dave. Just to make things more nerve-racking, Durkee Walker rejoins right between Dave and 3D, and a battle ensues about 8 seconds behind us. We begin to suspect that the 1st and 4th place miatas may not make it to the end on fuel either, so we plan an emergency pit stop if Dave sputters before 5 minutes to go. 5 minutes left comes and goes, and we’re sure Dave will put us on the podium or come in on the hook. Suddenly 3D racing slows and has run out of fuel trying to run Dave down. Doesn’t help us in the moment but solidifies our spot on the podium if Dave runs out too. Durkee Walker is charging hard with a fresh fuel stop. They keep taking chunks out of our lead. Race control gives the signal for the 2-minute warning, and we all rush to the wall to cheer on our teams. Dave comes around for our final lap with Durkee Walker just feet behind. We can see his helmet glowing, which turns out to be the fuel light on solid. That is the fuel light we have had an unspoken rule of not discussing. He radios “He’s dive bombing!!” and sure enough he tries to dive on the inside of turn 1 but is unsuccessful. Checkered Flag comes out. So here we are not knowing if Dave will be able to hold off Durkee Walker for the rest of the last lap, with no fuel, with a misfiring engine, with a fresh track side head gasket and maybe milkshake oil in our junkyard engine. I have a heart attack from stress while waiting. Then they come around turn 12 and we see our Nissan ahead of Durkee Walker but just barely and start to realize there isn’t enough room for him to run us down. Our whole team and maybe some other teams were yelling so loud and jumping up and down like a bunch of idiots. Dave crosses the line in 2nd place .098 ahead of Durkee Walker in 3rd! This is the margin at the checkered flag after 8 hour of racing:

We’re hugging and high fiving each other and Dave says on the radio “It’s stuck in 4th gear, I can’t shift” I reply “whatever Dave you can crash it for all I care”. After the race I pumped 0.4 gallons of fuel out of the car, and discovered a tire that had been rubbing that was cut down to the cords.


While not 1st place this was the hardest fought victory I’ve ever had, and I can probably say the same for the team. It almost feels better that we had such bad luck the day before because I don’t know if it would feel this good without it. Thankfully Lucky Dog saw it the same way and awarded us with the Ebay Motors Underdog Award and I got a giant check for $500.

On top of that we brought home a metal dog trophy, $100 Pyrotect gift card, 1 Hankook RS4, $150 in Hawk brakes, and of course our RaceCapture. This was the best race weekend of my life and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

« Last Edit: 09:01:20 PM / 04-Nov-22 by Max »