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Thread: Stalker #85 headed back to Arkansas

  1. #361
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    Looks sharp!
    Can he use the Storker for his driving test?

  2. #362
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    That was excellent. I am sure a certain "Boss of the House" will be of two minds about this development. On the other hand, I am sure your son is showing the video excerpts at school to get bonus points with the girls. As for me, when are you going to buy yourself a new kit? Double trailer? Just sayin....

    Second thoughts...why don't you drive the Miata? You could backfill its cosmetic challenges?
    Last edited by Croc; 10-04-2019 at 03:21 AM.
    Mike
    2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic


  3. #363
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    Once took a foreign client to get his Texas driver's license. He did the driving test in his Testarossa. He passed and the DPS person looked happy when she got out. By all means, take the Stalker for the test.

  4. #364
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    I sense a trend in these responses...Iím thinking more along the lines of his taking his driverís test in the beater Miata. As for the ďBoss of the HouseĒ, she watched the video and said, ďYouíre killing meĒ.

    Second thoughts...why don't you drive the Miata? You could backfill its cosmetic challenges?
    Iíll take that as a compliment.
    Stalker V8, chassis #85

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    Get up in the morning and give the day your very best. You donít get it back.

  5. #365
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    Default Addressing Bump Steer

    If you’re a first generation Stalker owner (Classic chassis) with an upgraded Coleman Racing steering rack (although, I’m probably in a very exclusive group, even for Stalker owners), you may need to address bump steer. After the rebuild of my car, and following tracking the car at VIR, Barber and NJMP in 2018, I felt the steering needed further tweaking. In short, the car drove like a three-legged pig (my emphasized opinion). It didn’t dart around, or present any bad habits that felt completely unsafe, but, simply put, the car felt mildly unpredictable in a turn. Also, when driving around locally, certain road surface imperfections would try and convince the car to momentarily, and ever so slightly, choose another path.

    My resolve was to add two .75”x1” hardened steel spacers from McMaster-Carr; yes, this absolutely should have been addressed during the build, but.... Adding the spacers aligned the tie rods parallel to the a-arms in horizontal plane. Adding the spacers also required my using longer 1/2“ (AN8) bolts (aircraft grade) from Aircraft Spruce to provide the specific grip length.

    The before/after drive told the tell. The car, when driven locally over the same driving surfaces that produced bump street prior to adding the spacers, exhibited zero bump steer with the spacers installed. However, as they say (whoever ‘they’ are), the proof is in the pudding. A track day will better reveal if the car’s track etiquette has truly improved. Hopefully, a trip to Barber in the near future will have me revisiting this post with positive feedback. To be continued....

    Better view of photos at: http://www471.pair.com/stalkerv/gall...2_itemId=32539
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by xcarguy; 11-16-2019 at 05:40 PM.
    Stalker V8, chassis #85

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  6. #366
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    Default Track Day with Family at Eagles Canyon Raceway (ECR)

    For a little more than a year, the family and I have been trying to work a track day into our busy lives with the objective being that of my now 17 year old son getting on track with me (ride along, not necessarily driving….yet). This past weekend, after several months of battling constantly changing schedules where the planets never aligned, another job change (thank you, COVID-19), a pandemic, and ongoing school activities, the family and I were able to sneak off to ECR for a last-minute weekend of fun on their revamped 2.75 mile track.

    Old track layout with new turns drawn in.
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    New track layout.
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    Thursday morning, we received news from a schoolcast that my son and daughter’s basketball games were being canceled for the weekend and rescheduled for a later date. I knew that Chin would be running at ECR Saturday and Sunday, and once we got the word about the game cancellations, I pretty much hit the ground running and began preparing for a track event that would have us pulling into ECR the following afternoon. All slicks were un-bagged and aired for the trip, my small, portable generator was run for a couple of hours on fresh gas to ensure dependability and the Stalker received a fresh oil change. By 9pm Thursday night, with all details worked out and the trailer loaded, we hit the road. Plans were to spend the night at my mother-in-law's house (two-hour drive) to shorten up the next day’s drive to ECR.

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    With the trailer in tow, we arrived at ECR Friday a bit past noon along with one Stalker that was in need of another degree or so of negative camber along with some additional rear brake bias. However, we would run it just as it came off the trailer. For track duty, we brought along one splendid six-year old set of Avon bias-ply slicks and one slightly stickier (relative term) set of 4-year old Hoosier radials that were ‘used’ when I purchased them (yes, Croc, these are the same slicks I ran on at NJMP in 2018….it is what it is).

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    Once trackside, I hooked up the generator to the trailer only to have the d$%#n thing give up and die immediately (not good for anything to sit and not get used for long periods of time). When we pulled the slicks off the tire rack, I discovered one of the Hoosiers had gone flat overnight. Found a fellow with a shop on site who repaired the Hoosier and had it ready the next morning (turns out both tire beads needed to be reseated to the rim).

    Saturday morning, with the tired Avon’s installed, my son and I hit the track for the 8am warmup session while my wife drove 22 miles to the nearest Harbor Freight for a new generator (she would drive to HF twice before the day was over). No passing during this session, but a brisk enough pace at times to figure out very quickly we were going to be severely handicapped in the turns with the old tires. When we returned to the paddock, my son thought it was cool that we were drifting at times through some of the corners….took this as an opportunity to further explain the challenges I was experiencing on track with a severe lack of proper grip. Back at the paddock, I stiffened up the dampening on the front shocks with the hopes of getting the front to push a bit in the turns thus making the car more predictable and manageable in the turns.

    9am, first session of the day. Sans the 60-minute happy hour run at the end of the day (which we didn’t run), this would be our longest session; 40 minutes. On track, the car was a bit more predictable with the stiffened dampening. About midway through the session, the old Avon’s found a brief second wind and gave a few good laps. We even managed to overtake a few of the cars we had humbly pointed by earlier in the session. But the moment was short lived. The Avons, as quickly as they came to life, died a quick death and we finished the session as cautiously as we had started it.

    11am, second session. Decided to give the Hoosier radials a try. Knowing the radials would want more camber, I softened up the front dampening to try and coax the front tires into behaving. For the first few laps, the car both pushed through some of the turns and over steered slightly. Once the Hoosiers warmed up, it became apparent they had a bit more grip than the Avons; not a ton more, but better. The push through the turns decreased to an almost unnoticeable level, but the radials didn’t like the lack of negative camber in a couple of the turns and let me know by screaming like a scared school girl. After a few laps, we found a C7 Z06 running a good pace and fell in behind him for the rest of the session.

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    Following the second session, we decided the generator my wife purchased earlier that day was not the best choice for our needs. I don’t know how fast she drove, but she managed to return the generator, purchase another generator and make it back to the track in time for lunch and the parade....88 total miles of generator chasing for the day.

    12:45pm parade laps. For me, this was the highlight of my day. My son and daughter took the Stalker out on track while my wife and I followed in the Tundra. On the second lap, coming out of turn two, my son’s foot slipped off the clutch during a gear change and the Stalker responded accordingly with a bit of oversteer. My son claimed it was an honest mistake. Personally, I think he’s following in my footsteps.

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    My son and daughter on track together during the parade laps.
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    1:30pm, third session. This would be our last session of the day and for the weekend due to our needing to pack up and head out on Sunday. The track event had turned into a family and friend gathering with my wife’s mother, aunt and uncle having driven over to visit for the day. In addition, a buddy of mine came up from the Dallas area to hang out for a bit. This was our best, and quickest, session of the day. I was feeling good about the track layout (I had zero time to look at and study this venue prior to arrival), was running a fairly good line and was fairly comfortable driving the car to the limits with the old tires, even with my son in the car with me. Once the Hoosiers found some heat, we picked up the pace and found ourselves receiving point-bys from some of the cars that had been outpacing us earlier in the day. I don’t know what our fastest lap time was (no video, no data recorder) but sometime during this session, my wife’s aunt clocked us with her iPhone at 2:15. I believe with new tires, proper negative camber, perhaps a bit more rear brake bias and readjustment of my rear wind (sits too low and too far forward on the cage for my liking) there is a sub two-minute lap waiting for me at ECR. Perhaps in the near future.

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    Sunday morning, my son and I decided to attend the novice drivers’ meeting. Felt it would be a good opportunity for him to tie together in his mind some of what had been going on the day before during our sessions. As many here know, I purchased a 99 NB Miata last year for the sole purpose of teaching both my kids to drive a stick. With that mission accomplished, my son has taken a strong interest in turning the Miata into a dedicated track day car. During the drivers’ meeting, I asked him if he would be interested in getting on track one last time in a Miata if I could arrange a ride; he was all in on that. Got him a ride with an instructor in an Ecotec-powered NB which I affectionately dubbed the ‘Snow Leopard’. I told him it would be an excellent opportunity to experience the differences between the Stalker (gradually feeding throttle out of the turn) and the Miata (power through the turn or stand on the throttle at the apex). He came off track in awe and smiling.

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    Overall, an awesome time was had by all; always good to get away with family while doing something you're passionate about. As for me, driving the Stalker on old tires was an excellent experience. It showed me that, while not as fast or as quick, I could drive the car to the limits of my ability under less-than-ideal conditions and still enjoy the drive. I’m also glad to confirm that all bump steer experienced during previous track events was completely gone; Sorry, Croc, but no off-road excisions to report; managed to keep the car on track the entire day.
    Last edited by xcarguy; 11-18-2020 at 08:06 PM.
    Stalker V8, chassis #85

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  7. #367
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    Default ECR Track Day Continued....

    About the track....

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    ECR is an excellent 2.75 mile venue with more than 200’ of elevation changes combined with some blind corners/track outs and off-camber turns. Grounds are nice, well maintained and seem to be under continuous improvement. All paddock parking (sans club members and garages) is located just past, and to the right of, the entry gate in the low-lying SW corner of the property. It’s a short, easy drive to the grid, but be prepared to get your daily exercise if you don’t have a pit bike.

    Corner by corner....

    T1 - slightly downhill once you hit the braking zone with a bit more than 90 degrees of turn. Enter the turn to the far left. Off the apex and slightly right of the track centerline will help tremendously with the setup entry for T2 which comes rather quickly.

    T2 - off the apex and track out to the right all the way to T3

    T3 - EGR actually refers to this turn as 3A and 3B. Coming into the braking zone, you’re wondering ‘where is the track’. The braking zone markers seem to disappear over the rise, which they do. Once you reach T3, you’re at the crest of the hill and the turn is off camber. Apex off of 3B with a track out to the right and then back to about center track to set up for T4.

    T4 - quite a downhill elevation change from the apex of T4 to T5. If you haven’t given slip angle much thought lately, you’re in for some remedial training here.

    T5 - coming off the T5 apex presents you with an uphill run, a blind track out and an early, and fairly aggressive, crest. It was a mental thing, but I never found the confidence I needed for the track out (car would get very light very quick at the top of the crest). It was only during the third session that I finally began to trust that the track would be there beyond the crest once I tracked out to the left to set up for T6.

    T6 - this corner reminded of The Bowl on NJMP’s Lightning course....but not as long...and flat (no positive camber). Just as the bowl, search for a late apex and stay slightly right of the center of the track during track out to set up for T7. By the third session of the day, I was carrying enough speed off the apex of T6 that I was braking slightly for the T7 entry.

    T7 - is also a late apex. If you’re not slightly right of track centerline coming out of T6, you’ll apex early and muck up the set up for T8.

    T8 - this corner was a bit intimidating for me; more than 90 degrees of turn and slightly starting back downhill on track out. My car was never loose in this corner so I think was the simply sight of the edge of track rushing up to greet me as I tracked out of T7. On the track out, track all the way right and then slightly left to set up for T9 entry.

    T9 - use the rumble strip/curb to straighten out the track between T8 and T10. Not really a late apex, but apex and stay to the right on track out for T10 entry.

    T10 - late apex with a track out to right.
    Now, you’re on the back straight; slight uphill run with the straight cresting around the beginning of the braking zone. This is the longest straight at about 1/2 mile. At the end of this straight (braking zone for T11) is one of the two places on track where I enjoyed the smell of my own brake pads.

    T11 - apex and stay far left to set up for T12. Slight uphill climb off the apex followed by a descent to T12.

    T12- this turn was a bear for me. Down hill, off-camber. Coming off the crest between T11 and T12, my car would get light. That, combined with less-than-stellar slicks and the off-camber turn made for an interesting ride. Following the apex, it’s a short, up hill track out with the crest coming about mid-braking zone for T13. On the track out, stay about mid track while working your way to the right to set up for T13.

    T13 - the braking zone is down hill followed by a downhill turn that is slightly beyond 90 degrees. Just as T12, T13 was my nemesis for every lap of every session. Similar to turn 3, this is a 13A and 13B corner with apexes for both A and B being about mid curb. After apexing off of 13B, stay far right to set up for T14.

    T14 - sweeping, up hill turn with the apex at the top followed by a blind track out. On the track out, going far left will assist with getting back on throttle quicker as you find the crest and transition far right for the the T15 entry. For me, T12 through T14 was the most technically challenging portion of the track.

    T15 - another A/B corner with slightly more than 90 degrees of initial turn. Following the B apex, drive far right during track out while coming back on throttle. This puts you back on the front straight where you’ll transition back to far left for T1.

    Places to stay....

    ECR is located NW of Dallas, TX and somewhat between Gainesville and Decatur with Decatur being closer (15 minute drive from hotel to track). There are several hotel options in Decatur. We chose the Fairfield, a nice Marriott property that’s around three years old.

    Places to eat....

    Leepers Creek BBQ - if you’re a fan of good BBQ, then you will need to add Leepers Creek BBQ to your bucket list. They’re brisket is a good gauge as to what brisket should be.

    Catfish O’Harlies - they have more than just catfish. I’ll be trying the chicken fried steak next visit. This is one of those places where you need to show up hungry.

    Villa Grande Ranch - it’s Tex Mex...and located right next door to Catfish O’Harlies in case you’re still hungry.
    Last edited by xcarguy; 11-23-2020 at 08:52 PM.
    Stalker V8, chassis #85

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  8. #368
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    Default

    A couple more photos with a little better quality than the iPhone

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    Stalker V8, chassis #85

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    Get up in the morning and give the day your very best. You donít get it back.

  9. #369
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    This is an excellent write up. Great reading. Never heard anything about this track as I all I hear from the Dallas crowd are stories about the Cresson track. I guess its better?


    Quote Originally Posted by xcarguy View Post
    ....my son thought it was cool that we were drifting at times through some of the corners….took this as an opportunity to further explain the challenges I was experiencing on track with a severe lack of proper grip.
    I thought I taught him at NJMP when I showed the limits of tire grip in a 1965 Mustang while desperately trying to hold off Kitcat from passing me?



    Quote Originally Posted by xcarguy View Post
    ....let me know by screaming like a scared school girl.
    Who was the passenger this time?


    Quote Originally Posted by xcarguy View Post
    Following the second session, we decided the generator my wife purchased earlier that day was not the best choice for our needs. I don’t know how fast she drove, but she managed to return the generator, purchase another generator and make it back to the track in time for lunch and the parade....88 total miles of generator chasing for the day.
    Help me here? Why did you need a generator? I have never used one on a track day other than to keep the beer cold. Oh wait...this is a Texas track day. Never mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by xcarguy View Post
    On the second lap, coming out of turn two, my son’s foot slipped off the clutch during a gear change and the Stalker responded accordingly with a bit of oversteer. My son claimed it was an honest mistake. Personally, I think he’s following in my footsteps.
    Ahhhh yes. Brings back fond memories of NJMP Lightning circuit 4 or 5 years back. I have your father, Larry, in the passenger seat of my Caterham while I take him around the track. Meanwhile, you try to make a lunge for a pass at turn 1, miss and spray off into the scenery with a mushroom cloud of dust. Larry takes one look in the rear view mirror, turns to me and yells, "Thats my boy!!! with a happy smile. I cried laughing. It runs in the family Shane, it runs in the family.



    Quote Originally Posted by xcarguy View Post
    I think it was simply the sight of the edge of track rushing up to greet me ...

    Would have thought you were used to this one by now?

    Last edited by Croc; 11-20-2020 at 04:04 PM.
    Mike
    2021 Caterham CSR "CatKong"
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic


  10. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post

    This is an excellent write up. Great reading. Never heard anything about this track as I all I hear from the Dallas crowd are stories about the Cresson track. I guess its better?

    Mike, thank you for the kind words. I heard the Cresson track was in the midst of being repaved; had become a bit rough over the years. The runoff areas at Cresson are much more forgiving than those of ECR, but ECR is more technical. Paddock parking at Cresson is more user friendly; short walk to the club house vs. an uphill hike at ECR. In all fairness, I’ve only run the 1.7 at Cresson. With the 1.7 combined the 1.3 (recalling this off the top of my head,,, I could be wrong), I believe you end up with a 2.3 track that is more technical than the 1.7. Also, the 1.7 can be run both clockwise and CCW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    I thought I taught him at NJMP when I showed the limits of tire grip in a 1965 Mustang while desperately trying to hold off Kitcat from passing me?


    That’s what happens when you show out and try to impress one of my family members. However, my eldest was impressed....as was I.


    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    Who was the passenger this time?


    Your favorite Mustang ride-along passenger....my son.


    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    Help me here? Why did you need a generator? I have never used one on a track day other than to keep the beer cold. Oh wait...this is a Texas track day. Never mind.


    Aside from running interior trailer/exterior flood lights, the wench, the fans and the portable air tank...to keep the beer cold.


    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    Ahhhh yes. Brings back fond memories of NJMP Lightning circuit 4 or 5 years back. I have your father, Larry, in the passenger seat of my Caterham while I take him around the track. Meanwhile, you try to make a lunge for a pass at turn 1, miss and spray off into the scenery with a mushroom cloud of dust. Larry takes one look in the rear view mirror, turns to me and yells, "Thats my boy!!! with a happy smile. I cried laughing. It runs in the family Shane, it runs in the family.


    Yes, that one is worth a revisit. I truly expected to do a bit of farming at ECR, but, nothing to see here....move along.
    However, Sunday morning, during the warmup session, a black Z06 challenged me for the John Deere award and was trailered back to the paddock. From the looks of the front end, there were some wounds that needed licking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Croc View Post
    Would have thought you were used to this one by now.
    I still have visions of Stalkers flying in my head.
    Last edited by xcarguy; 11-21-2020 at 10:25 AM.
    Stalker V8, chassis #85

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    Get up in the morning and give the day your very best. You donít get it back.

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