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FUBARCUS
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You definitely are bringing a knife to a gun fight in HS with street tires on a Focus SE. It's unfortunately a car without a fitting class.

Patrice and Andrew are like aliens with their driving abilities. Every time I see them I just don't understand how they do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
You definitely are bringing a knife to a gun fight in HS with street tires on a Focus SE. It's unfortunately a car without a fitting class.

Patrice and Andrew are like aliens with their driving abilities. Every time I see them I just don't understand how they do it.
Yup, I was 2.5 seconds off the class winning car. Last weekend I was up against the Fiesta ST's.
Being unemployed right now I shouldn't spend money on car stuff, but I'm considering buying a set of 17x8 wheels so I can swap my half used Zii 245's on before the 2 Jimmy V events at the end of June.
I'd guess that setup would help me shave around 1.0-1.25 seconds on a 50 second course.
 

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FUBARCUS
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You definitely are bringing a knife to a gun fight in HS with street tires on a Focus SE. It's unfortunately a car without a fitting class.

Patrice and Andrew are like aliens with their driving abilities. Every time I see them I just don't understand how they do it.
Yup, I was 2.5 seconds off the class winning car. Last weekend I was up against the Fiesta ST's.
Being unemployed right now I shouldn't spend money on car stuff, but I'm considering buying a set of 17x8 wheels so I can swap my half used Zii 245's on before the 2 Jimmy V events at the end of June.
I'd guess that setup would help me shave around 1.0-1.25 seconds on a 50 second course.
You definitely would gain some ground with sticky tires. That's not an amount that couldn't be made up with the right parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
HaHa
The right parts installed correctly!
A couple days ago I discovered that I adjusted the rear shocks wrong before I installed them. The front struts have an adjuster knob that says turn counterclockwise to firm the damping. There is no such indicator on the internally adjustable rear shocks, so I "assumed" that you turn the rears the same direction. NOPE!!! Koni is illogical in that regard. You turn the rears clockwise to firm the damping.

Yesterday I pulled the rear shocks and adjusted them to full firm. LOL It is a big difference between full soft and full firm. I'm anticipating the car rotating a little better at the next autox vs the last autox.

I also just took delivery of a set of TR Motorsports FF10 17x8 wheels. I weighed them at 17.4lbs. I'll get the 245 autox rubber mounted on those wheels after I run them on the Miata at VIR this Wednesday(we are giving Wounded Warriors some ride-a-longs Wednesday and I'm super excited to participate in this event).

My SE Focus won't beat the competition in HS, but maybe I can keep those guys more honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
That's a bit of a frustrating discovery! Why would koni do that!?
I certainly can't speak for Koni on this issue, but it definitely seems counter-intuitive to me. The fact that the front need to be turned counterclockwise to firm them is different than all the other dampers I'm aware of.

I want to try the full firm rears at autox on June 30 & July 1 before I decide if I'll leave them at full firm all the time. As my DD car, they seem a bit too firm for daily usage. My spring rates don't need that much damping, but the firm setting controls transitions better.

I'm anxious to see how the car feels with the 245 RE71, if I do the RE71 vs the Zii. I still haven't decided which I'll mount for the Focus and which will stay on Miata wheels.
 

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FUBARCUS
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That's a bit of a frustrating discovery! Why would koni do that!?
I certainly can't speak for Koni on this issue, but it definitely seems counter-intuitive to me. The fact that the front need to be turned counterclockwise to firm them is different than all the other dampers I'm aware of.

I want to try the full firm rears at autox on June 30 & July 1 before I decide if I'll leave them at full firm all the time. As my DD car, they seem a bit too firm for daily usage. My spring rates don't need that much damping, but the firm setting controls transitions better.

I'm anxious to see how the car feels with the 245 RE71, if I do the RE71 vs the Zii. I still haven't decided which I'll mount for the Focus and which will stay on Miata wheels.
I just killed my 245 RE71 this weekend. They were well worn and I didn't keep them cool enough between runs and corded the front passenger tire all along the shoulder.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I just killed my 245 RE71 this weekend. They were well worn and I didn't keep them cool enough between runs and corded the front passenger tire all along the shoulder.
At least you are wearing them out before they get old.
I'm afraid that my Zii being 2.5 years old may not have the level of grip they once had. My RE71 are now 1.5 years old. I need to replace them both at the end of this year no matter how much tread is left. Both sets are about half worn.
 

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FUBARCUS
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I just killed my 245 RE71 this weekend. They were well worn and I didn't keep them cool enough between runs and corded the front passenger tire all along the shoulder.
At least you are wearing them out before they get old.
I'm afraid that my Zii being 2.5 years old may not have the level of grip they once had. My RE71 are now 1.5 years old. I need to replace them both at the end of this year no matter how much tread is left. Both sets are about half worn.
I was hoping these would last a little longer than they did but oh well. I really abused them hard.

Could always treat them with the fancy tire treatment to keep them softer.
 

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I'm playing with an auto tranny car as well and with our longer courses, I really don't have any issue with the transmission after the replacement. I'm sure it will come along. But, for now, if I could just get some negative camber up front I'd be happy enough. I know it isn't a class car, and I've only been taking it to our practice days. But, it is fun enough for a burner.

FWIW, we used to have opinion towards lightweight wheels, but the more I' looking into it, I keep reading on Grassroots and the SCCA forums that lightweight wheels on a smooth surface aren't helping. Grip and suspension (read grip) are where it's at. I call it a can of worms, but it keeps me from buying expensive wheels. :p I just bought a set of CMAX rims for $125 off CL and put some Azenis on for the time being. Cheap entry on a non competetive car for seat time is perfect for me. I've been out of the game too long.

Did finally get a cheap GoPro so I got some decent footage on the last event. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I'm playing with an auto tranny car as well and with our longer courses, I really don't have any issue with the transmission after the replacement. I'm sure it will come along. But, for now, if I could just get some negative camber up front I'd be happy enough. I know it isn't a class car, and I've only been taking it to our practice days. But, it is fun enough for a burner.

FWIW, we used to have opinion towards lightweight wheels, but the more I' looking into it, I keep reading on Grassroots and the SCCA forums that lightweight wheels on a smooth surface aren't helping. Grip and suspension (read grip) are where it's at. I call it a can of worms, but it keeps me from buying expensive wheels. :p I just bought a set of CMAX rims for $125 off CL and put some Azenis on for the time being. Cheap entry on a non competetive car for seat time is perfect for me. I've been out of the game too long.

Did finally get a cheap GoPro so I got some decent footage on the last event. :p
I completely agree on the need for some camber up front. My car eats the outer shoulders on the tires, especially the fronts, during autox usage. I'm curious how my 245 Zii's will wear on my new 17x8 wheels.

I partially agree with the assessment of wheel weight on smooth surfaces, BUT lighter wheels is always BETTER than heavy wheels. Why not strive to find lighter wheels when possible?
I just purchased brand new wheels in 17x8 at just over 17lbs each for $105 a piece(including centering rings and lug nuts). IMHO, that is definitely worth the investment since my factory wheels are 21lbs each.

I also agree that the SE is seriously outgunned in HS, but it is an OK car for learning.
 

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Dunno, man. I run into the lightweight thing backpacking all the time. "But, if I only got 6oz lighter......" Then you end up spending $500 to save half a pound. :p

If you aren't in a competitive car, then dumping money into lightweight just makes it a money pit with no positive reward other than faster times and still no trophy. Now, keep the funds for when she gets more seat time and wants to step into a different car (if it isn't your Miata) and then put it into the mods there. But, spending money on a non winner (the car) just doesn't make sense, other than obviously the tire factor. And like I said, my mind still screams "lightweeeeeeeiiiiiiigghhhhhttt!" But, I just keep reading this on the autocross forums about the wheels not making as much of a difference as we think they do on a short course.

Sounds like a fun joint venture between you and your wife. :) I wish mine wanted ANYTHING to do with cars. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #53
HaHa
You are right about money pits. Honestly, I got the 17x8 wheels as much to easy my conscience about putting my brother out of my Miata(if my wife gets in) as anything. Then my brother could autox my SE for only the cost of providing his own tires for the 17x8's.

If that path never develops, I then have light 17x8 for my daily usage. Light wheels definitely make a difference in a low power car on the street.

It is AWESOME that my wife has been willing to try driving. If she doesn't continue in the future, at least she will have a better appreciation for what I do and why I wish to modify my cars.
 
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