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post #1 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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autocross newbie

I went to an event yesterday and I liked watching. I have a few cars.
1.2002 excursion 4x4
2.2004 F150 stx
3.2003 toyota corolla
4.1991 mustang with MM max grip suspension built turbo engine & aod et street drag radials in rear and 255/40/17 continental all season tires on the front. They are mounted on 17x9 bbs rx wheels. Baer brakes.

I think I may like to autocross next year. I'd rather drive the mustang, but it will be placed in EM (I checked results for the year and no one uses this class). I could drive any of the other vehicles too. I was thinking about buying a set of used wheels for the mustang and getting some race tires for the monthly events. What would you recommend? I could also drive OS2 which is a street class, but why when I would have to buy new wheels and tires anyway?

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post #2 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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I realize I won't win anything, so this is just for fun.

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post #3 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 04:37 PM
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I'd recommend getting out and doing it in the most fun vehicle you have and not giving a rat's ass about classes.
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post #4 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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The most fun vehicle I have is the mustang. I think that is why I take it to the drag strip. Maybe I could win something bracket racing with the other cars though...
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post #5 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE
I'd recommend getting out and doing it in the most fun vehicle you have and not giving a rat's ass about classes.
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 05:23 PM
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Either run the Corolla as is or get some different tires for the mustang. If you want to minimize the investment risk, just run the Corolla for an event or two to see if the hook gets set. You'll still have a good time.
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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The mustang will only require some brake pads and wheels and tires. That is only about $1000 which won't be bad. About $300 cheaper if I get street tires instead of race tires like kuhmo v710s which I was thinking about.

I'm not thinking of this as an investment. It is more like a see what my car can do type of thing. I know my car is okay fast at the drag strip and it is okay fast on the street, but is it an okay fast car at autocross? The car is not a purpose built autocross machine.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterisland
I know my car is okay fast at the drag strip and it is okay fast on the street, but is it an okay fast car at autocross? The car is not a purpose built autocross machine.
Generally, drag racing and auto-cross conflict to the extent you will want at least an entirely different spring and shock package for each. Not many people are willing to change springs and shocks between events, so usually they gravitate one way or the other, or at least recognize the car won't be ideal for one or both types of events.

But, auto-cross is more driver than car anyway. So just put a set of Falken 615 (or 215 if you can find them) on the Mustang and have fun. They make a decent street tire, though they will wear pretty fast. If you get hooked, the rest will follow.

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post #9 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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The car sucks at the drag strip because of the springs, but I should run a low 10/9 second pass next year. I already run low 11's with a 1.9 60ft which I think is due to the spring rates. My car doesn't squat it just moves out of the hole the springs are so tight.

You are of the opinion that race tires would not be a good thing? That I should start out with street tires? I can afford race tires and I think I'd like to have race tires for autocross.
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post #10 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 07:24 PM
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It is your money but IMO buying race tires would be a bad thing. Speaking from experience, my advice is to get a set of street tires like the ones Bob mentioned above, and use the money you saved to attend an Evolution school. My guess is that you with an Evolution school and a set of Azenis would be faster than you with no school and race tires. Good driving will follow you where ever you go, tires (especially race tires) will wear out.


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post #11 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martindc1
It is your money but IMO buying race tires would be a bad thing. Speaking from experience, my advice is to get a set of street tires like the ones Bob mentioned above, and use the money you saved to attend an Evolution school. My guess is that you with an Evolution school and a set of Azenis would be faster than you with no school and race tires. Good driving will follow you where ever you go, tires (especially race tires) will wear out.
Kumho V710s are cheaper then Azenis.

Get the brakes, then some seat time, then wheels and tires and run EM.

If your not plowing the tires the Kumhos last a while.

Usually the SCCA regions have their own driving school at the begining of the year. Even better go to a High Performance Driving Event on a track so you can learn your car better in a shorter amount of time.


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post #12 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftBatch
Kumho V710s are cheaper then Azenis.
In size 275/40/17 the Azenis 615 is $169 from Discount tire and the Kumho V710 is $209 from Tire Rack. That is a savings of $160 which is more than half of what an Evolution School would cost (around $220). Not to mention the fact that the V710 will wear out way faster than an Azenis 615. Like I said before good driving will go with you where ever you go, tires will wear out. An Evolution school is by far the best bang for the buck mod one can make. A beginner can improve times by at least 3 seconds depending on the course size. I can not think of another mod out there that will give a beginner 3 seconds for $220. If autocrossing is going to be just for fun then why drop over $1000 on race tires and wheels?

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post #13 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martindc1
If autocrossing is going to be just for fun then why drop over $1000 on race tires and wheels?

That is what I am saying, but how good are mickey thompson et streets on an autocross course? I'm thinking they are not that great because they are not great on the street. Which is why I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend $750 for street tires instead of $1000 for race tires. I wouldn't mind taking a class or two either.

Why drop $20K + on a 15 year old car? I did on mine. The reason is because it is fun. Why do people spend $100 on a bottle of wine? Because they like how it tastes.
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-21-2005, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterisland
That is what I am saying, but how good are mickey thompson et streets on an autocross course? I'm thinking they are not that great because they are not great on the street. Which is why I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend $750 for street tires instead of $1000 for race tires. I wouldn't mind taking a class or two either.

Why drop $20K + on a 15 year old car? I did on mine. The reason is because it is fun. Why do people spend $100 on a bottle of wine? Because they like how it tastes.

My wife asked me the same thing. I can't explain it.

05 Mustang GT- PH Turbo, Stage 3 heads, Built Block
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post #15 of 19 Old 11-22-2005, 11:57 AM
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There is a lot more to consider than just the price of the race tires. If you do not know what you're doing the race tires will be roasted in no time. Here are a few other things you will need to consider.

V710 275/40/17 $209 X 4 + shipping + mounting and balancing.
A good heavy duty air compressor or air tank $25 - $40
Liquid filled or digital air gauge $25 - $40
Performance alignment $40- $55 Not uncommon to need this done more than once in a season.
Pyrometer $99 - $150 If you're serious about race tires, don't leave home without it.

Just starting out in autox, you will be at the shallow end of the learning curve, and it a big deep pool. The above posts are giving you good advice.

When you get race tires, you will need to change tires at the track or trailor to the event. If you change tires at the event, you will need a good jack and should use a torque wrench on the lug nuts.

This only scratches the surface... Learn to control the car on street tires first then look into race tires. By this time you should have learned about air pressures, driving lines and how to tune the car for over or understeering. It will be more fun and less frustrating too.

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post #16 of 19 Old 11-22-2005, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easterisland
That is what I am saying, but how good are mickey thompson et streets on an autocross course? I'm thinking they are not that great because they are not great on the street. Which is why I have a hard time figuring out why I should spend $750 for street tires instead of $1000 for race tires.
The M/T's will suck at auto-cross because they have very soft sidewalls.

$750 for street tires instead of $1,000 for race tires because:

A. You need an extra set of wheels for the race tires. 710's are not good on the street. Virtually no tread and they pick up every nail within miles.

B. You will actually learn faster on street tires since they give way sooner (though the Azenis are quite good).

And, C. You are the one who brought it up: "About $300 cheaper if I get street tires instead of race tires like kuhmo v710s which I was thinking about."

Don't worry, if you get into auto-cross, you will be buying tires on a regular basis.

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post #17 of 19 Old 11-22-2005, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfloz
The M/T's will suck at auto-cross because they have very soft sidewalls.
I agree on that part. However, if you want to lessen the drag racing traction, I'd recommend the Nitto 555R drag radial. While not the greatest drag radial, it's a really good dry weather traction tire. I've autox'd on my drag radials many a time(even in the rain on a banked oval)and felt that it was a great tire. The sidewall must be a tat stiffer in the Nitto's i believe. You can get about 9-12,000 miles out of a set. I'm pushing 14,000 miles on mine right now(daily driver/drag tire). I have a set of Kumho V710's for autox only.

Quote:
Don't worry, if you get into auto-cross, you will be buying tires on a regular basis.
WERD!
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post #18 of 19 Old 11-22-2005, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAT
A good heavy duty air compressor or air tank $25 - $40
Liquid filled or digital air gauge $25 - $40
Performance alignment $40- $55 Not uncommon to need this done more than once in a season.
Pyrometer $99 - $150 If you're serious about race tires, don't leave home without it.

When you get race tires, you will need to change tires at the track or trailor to the event. If you change tires at the event, you will need a good jack and should use a torque wrench on the lug nuts.
I have a portable air compressor, I have a nice tire gauge, I have a lifetime alignment from firestone-the one I go to does the alignment for a few other autocross guys around here, I have a nice aluminum jack, torque wrench, etc.
The mustang has a trailer hitch and I have a trailer. If that doesn't work then I'll have my wife follow me in the excursion to the track and my kids can watch dvds while I race. Or I can rent a uhaul trailer to get me there. I have been looking for a nice enclosed trailer also...This isn't all that complicated.
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post #19 of 19 Old 11-22-2005, 04:36 PM
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FOr just all out "go have yourself some fun", it's hard to beat the joy of autox'ing on wide R-compound tires. Anything else afterwards sucks about as much as walking on sharp gravel to get your mail.
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