Auto X newbie with a Stock Type-S [Archive] - Club RSX Message Board

: Auto X newbie with a Stock Type-S


blue03typeS
02-10-2003, 03:12 PM
I have zero racing experience and a stock Type-S and want to start auto X.
Should I bother making any mods to the vehicle?
Is it a bad idea to buy an intake or other power mod if I want to start auto X, since that will bump me to street prepared?
Are there any good mods I can make that will help the Type-S without changing my category?

Thanks.

davidshu
02-10-2003, 04:03 PM
If you are new to autocross, the typical answer is to work on the driver for a while. This where the biggest gains will be.

I definitely would discourage anything that would bump you out of stock class.

As for things to change, the biggest help will be from a decent set of tires.

blue03typeS
02-10-2003, 04:58 PM
I'd like to stay stock while I improve my skills.
What tire sizes can an RSX hold while remaining stock?
Tirerack.com lists the stock rims as being able to hold 225/45-17.
What's a good brand/size to fit on the stock rim that will still remain a stock classified tire, improve performance over the factory tires, and not cost too much (too much being over $650 or so for a full set)?

not your Type
02-10-2003, 05:24 PM
I've only done 1 auto-x, but here's my take:
- I'd keep the stock tires on. It's a great place to burn off that super crap rubber. Plus, when you get new tires (or any mods) you'll be able to gauge the difference.
- I'd suggest running stock cause I think I'd be fun to race other stock RSXs so you can compare drivers with all other factors being as close to equal as possible.
- I could be wrong, but I think any mods to your car is considered not-stock. I got bumped for a 1" drop.

If you want to get serious you have to go first. Maybe just try octane booster and lightening your car, then go from there?
:wavey:

mR.dnA
02-10-2003, 05:33 PM
LEARN HOW TO DRIVE FIRST.

No, I'm not trying to be a dick - it's true. Autox is way different from street driving - and that includes "ripping through the canyon". So seriously - don't spend ANY money yet. Just learn the car and how it behaves on an autox track - THEN mod (definitely tires first:p )

I was actually talking this morning with a coworker who does autox and we were talking about this exact thing - there was some guy in a hopped up integra (hopped up wheels, tires, etc) there this weekend that made an ass of himself because he couldn't drive.

:wavey:

blue03typeS
02-10-2003, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by mR.dnA
LEARN HOW TO DRIVE FIRST.

No, I'm not trying to be a dick - it's true.

I didn't take it as an insult. I took it as "learn how to drive _autocross_ first". I know just from simulated racing in GT3 that it's much different than zipping through traffic on the freeway.

Maybe I'll just get the K&N air filter and leave everything else stock for now...definitely the cheapest upgrade path. :)


I was actually talking this morning with a coworker who does autox and we were talking about this exact thing - there was some guy in a hopped up integra (hopped up wheels, tires, etc) there this weekend that made an ass of himself because he couldn't drive.

I was talking to a coworker about autoX today too. (The Phoenix Solo-II event was yesterday). Except for him, the modded Integra Type-R dusted him, cuz the car was better and the guy knew how to drive it.

mR.dnA
02-10-2003, 06:58 PM
Cool - let us know how it turns out then!

]I was thinking about autoxing as well (that guy always bugs me) but in my spare time I prefer messing around with my 70 'cuda - which is NOT for autoxing :nervous:

CivicSiRacer
02-10-2003, 07:22 PM
I suggest using that money that is burning a hole in your pocket for an Evolution School or if your local region has one a NOvice Autocross school.

I attended my first Evo school back in April 2002. I've been autocrossing for 6 years now and my first baseline runs I thought I did great. Ran a 36.xxx. Instructor told me to change a couple of lines through the course and by lunchtime I ran a 34.xxx! So for $225 I shaved off about 2 seconds on a 30 second course. Your basic exhaust for $500 couldn't do that and even a nice Tein coilover for $800-1000 wouldn't even come close to that.

So yes seat time is more important now than mods. Learn the limits of your car before modding your car like crazy. There's more of a learning curve to autocross than drag racing too. Drag racing you just make sure you don't mis-shift. Autocross you have to worry about when to brake, when not to brake, when to accelerate, when not to accelerate, how close to come to one cone, and not the next.

davidshu
02-11-2003, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by blue03typeS
snip...
I was talking to a coworker about autoX today too. (The Phoenix Solo-II event was yesterday). Except for him, the modded Integra Type-R dusted him, cuz the car was better and the guy knew how to drive it.

Was the ITR white with a guy named Jamie driving?

In regards to the tire sizes, 225/50-16 is about as large as you will fit on the stock RSX wheels. The stock tires will not be the limiting factor for most newcomers to autocross, but eventually they'll need to be replaced.

I have to agree with CivicSiRacer that an Evo school would be a great investment, but not many folks have them close by. Go to any Novice school you can find, and run as many events as possible. Read Henry Watts fine book, "Secrets of Solo Racing". You can find it at www.soloracer.com or www.soloperformance.com . Heck, my local Borders even had a copy.

Have fun! :)

walk
02-18-2003, 07:16 PM
I'm in a similar situation and here's what I've decided on..

STS group (although I've been running in STS all along...)
.
TIRES! - got to do tires first, probably makes 10x more difference than anything else you can do..
*Falken Azenis, stock size because they are a lot cheaper and will be daily driven, on stock rims, I don't want and have nowhere to store an extra set of rims..
$380.

Camber kit up front - Ingalls is only $18 - and a good alignment, should run about $120-$150 for that.

Progress rear swaybar - the local RSX auto-xers all agree, rear swaybar makes the most single difference (besides tires) and isn't megabucks either. $180 + install, which looks to be pretty easy, half hour at mechanic rates..

Also will probably do the DIY Hondata stock airbox mod ($0) and drop in a K&N filter for $60.

Total - $820-850 for a pretty damn competitive STS setup.

I thought about springs too, but I'd want shocks. If I'm gonna do that, might as well throw down for the full on Coilover setup, but that's another day and another paycheck ($1200-1500).

walk
02-18-2003, 07:24 PM
I should mention also that lot of people swear by a 4-pt harness, they aren't too expensive..

And about stock class. For the Novice group - hell yeah go for it. You can do just about anything as long as you stay away from the intake (although replacement filter is allowed) and suspension (replacement shocks OK).

But - once you are bumped out of the Stock-Novice class (next year) you'll be competing with guys on R compound tires (racing slicks). Unless you plan to get some yourself ... you can forget about being competitive on street tires.. vs 325s and WRX's... (although next year theoretically the RSX-S will be move to H-stock, you still are gonna want R tires..) IMO.

Personally for me, STS is the only way to go..

blue03typeS
02-18-2003, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by walk
I'm in a similar situation and here's what I've decided on..

Progress rear swaybar - the local RSX auto-xers all agree, rear swaybar makes the most single difference (besides tires) and isn't megabucks either. $180 + install, which looks to be pretty easy, half hour at mechanic rates..

Also will probably do the DIY Hondata stock airbox mod ($0) and drop in a K&N filter for $60.
($1200-1500).

You can probably install a swaybar yourself. A guy I work with did his and said it was pretty simple.

What is the DIY hondata stock airbox mod? And what does it get you?

walk
02-18-2003, 07:37 PM
2-3hp for a few minutes with a Dremel :
http://www.hondata.com/kseriesairboxmod.html

blue03typeS
02-18-2003, 09:08 PM
Does that take the car out of stock?

CivicSiRacer
02-19-2003, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by blue03typeS
Does that take the car out of stock?

Why of course it does.

davidshu
02-19-2003, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by walk
snip (although next year theoretically the RSX-S will be move to H-stock, you still are gonna want R tires..) IMO.
snip

Wow! I got rid of the old girl too soon!! :D

FWIW, the "proposed" move will be to G-stock.

walk
02-20-2003, 12:55 PM
GS! I guess they will move the RSX to HS ?

Any modification of the intake, except drop-in filters, is illegal for stock classes, yeah. I suppose technically it's not smog legal either, although it still looks stock from the outside...

Capbill
02-20-2003, 01:42 PM
then I can put a front strut bar on & remain in GS.

blue03typeS
02-20-2003, 02:15 PM
I read a coworker's official SOLO-II rulebook and from what I gather you can do three things and remain stock:
-replacement air filter
-replacement shocks (but nothing fancy like lowering or camber plates)
-replacement tires that fit on the stock sized rims and meet certain production requirements

CivicSiRacer
02-21-2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by blue03typeS
I read a coworker's official SOLO-II rulebook and from what I gather you can do three things and remain stock:
-replacement air filter
-replacement shocks (but nothing fancy like lowering or camber plates)
-replacement tires that fit on the stock sized rims and meet certain production requirements

To add:

-cat back exhaust
-K&N filter replacement element
-any fluids
-any brake pads
-any brake rotors that are same as stock
-spark plug wires
-spark plugs
-DOT approved racing tires on stock size wheels within 1/4" offset
-4 or 5 point harness
-roll bar
-front sway bar
-aftermarket shocks same height as stock
-interior ammenities that do not enhance performance (stereo, e-brake handle, gauges)

C25A1guy
02-26-2003, 12:41 PM
Awwww daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmnnnn! Looks like my first auto x will make me look like ass. My cor got H&R on it next week (the dummy previous owner had some wisdom of putting stock springs on the left and H&R on the right :rolleyes: ). Well, looks like my 1st time out (whenever it'll be), I'm gonna have to push harder to even try and stay competitive.

mR.dnA
02-26-2003, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by C25A1guy
(the dummy previous owner had some wisdom of putting stock springs on the left and H&R on the right :rolleyes: ).

What, was he racing in NASCAR? :laughing: :laughing:

C25A1guy
02-27-2003, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by mR.dnA
What, was he racing in NASCAR? :laughing: :laughing:

Exactly what I was thinking.

Cetylpyridinum Chloride
02-27-2003, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by mR.dnA
What, was he racing in NASCAR? :laughing: :laughing: That is funny:laughing:

hooverrsx
02-28-2003, 03:45 PM
Keep it simple. Work on your skills. Ask and learn. Don't spend $ yet.

And don't forget your HELMET ! ! !

This is from the SCCA National Solo 2003 Rules:

"4.3.1 Helmets

Helmets meeting the following standards must be worn while on course: All helmets meeting the current or two immediately preceding Snell Foundation standards (SA or M) are acceptable. For 2003 this includes snell 2000, Snell 1995, and Snell 1990. FIA approved helmets which are acceptable for use in Performance rally events are acceptable for Solo II events. See Appendix G for Kart helmet rules.

For maximum protection, helmets must fit securely and should provide adequate peripheral vision. The chin strap must be securely fastened. Loaner helmets should be available to vehicle occupants not having their own."

As you can probably tell from 4.3.1, DOT-approved helmets are not mentioned so they are not approved for SCCA Solo 2. Inside the helmet (and probably under the liner), you should have a sticker that says SA2000, M2000, SA95, M95, SA90, or M90. A motorcycle dealer would have M helmets and should also be able to help you with a proper fit.

I hope this helps. Have fun.

hooverrsx
02-28-2003, 03:54 PM
Lots of info.

www.soloracer.com/articles.html

www.soloracer.com

zeroryde
03-06-2003, 05:10 PM
I whole heartedly agree with civic si racer... evo school will help you a lot... and driving skills are essentially the whole part of autox... if you want to think about it.. my friend in a EF6 (old civic hatch) ala eternalblue's civic... in stock class... with a whole 87 HP, and R compound tires only... beat my times and many others including people with mods left and right... why, because he was doing this for 3 years already... experience counts in this sport... not mods... mods will only help if you know how to drive the car to it's fullest potential... and mods... don't even shave off that much time.... I've learned that the hard way...

so save your money first... and get lots of seat time.... that's all I can say... and when you're ready... tires.... tires... and only... tires...

CivicSiRacer
03-06-2003, 10:53 PM
Plus I think mods cover up bad driving habits. Alot of people think they will be faster with all the mods legal for the class. But if you have bad habits, you will never be able to find them with all those mods cause you will have too many other parameters to figure out.

I know someone who has a camber kit and is always changing the settings throughout the day. Keeps saying "Bah! car understeers", "Bah! car is turning like crap", "Bah! car doesn't go straight".

Too many settings and you learn to forget that you as a driver have to readjust to the settings for a bit. Shocks now with 25 different settings, and heights, sway bars with 3 settings, etc....

awhittle
03-07-2003, 11:01 PM
<<snip>>Plus I think mods cover up bad driving habits. <<snip>>

Mod is a bad habit :) HEHE

http://www.ncs-stl.com/racecar/MVC-777F.JPG

ClA
03-25-2003, 11:57 AM
Good thread. I want to get into AutoX too. One question, what gears do you guys usually use??? Do you usually stay in 2nd?? And what rpm do you stay in mainly?

not your Type
03-25-2003, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by ClA
Good thread. I want to get into AutoX too. One question, what gears do you guys usually use??? Do you usually stay in 2nd?? And what rpm do you stay in mainly?
1-2, vtec-redline
:wavey:

walk
03-25-2003, 01:11 PM
Usually the SFR courses are all 2nd gear (after the launch of course). Revs, anywhere from very low around tight turns (unfortunately) to near redline. I have yet to see a course where hitting the rev limit was an issue.

CivicSiRacer
03-25-2003, 01:25 PM
Yep 2nd gear majority for us. Some of the lower redlined cars might have to switch to 3rd, but only for a few seconds. I've only been on one course where I had to shift to 3rd and I've been autocrossing for 7 years.

ClA
03-25-2003, 04:24 PM
Woo, 2nd gear all the way ah? Weren't that hurt the engine?? I have CAI, that'll be very loud to stay vtec all the way......

zeroryde
03-25-2003, 05:05 PM
nah it won't hurt the engine at all...staying in second gear prevents you from taking time to shift gears and losing (gaining) time on the course, you want to shift as little as possible... once u get into 2nd... leave it there, unless you really "park" the car... then downshift to first...

walk
03-25-2003, 07:46 PM
It won't be in vtec all the way either, only on the faster parts.

blue03typeS
03-26-2003, 02:11 PM
I say only downshift to first if it's a tight corner that gets you down below 15mph or followed by a decent straightish part that you want to enter with as much speed as possible. Just don't forget to shift back. Hitting the rev limiter in first make you feel stupid (I know), and is a great way to spoil what you're sure would have been your fastest time of the day otherwise.
Of course your own shifting skill and course conditions might suggest a different strategy.

If you go with solo-II, you might want to take off your intake for autoX. The class change will hurt more than the hp will help (unless you have enough mods to be competitive in prep or modded). In nasa autoX the points won't push you to the next class, so it's worth putting on.
What other mods do you have?

I have Falken Azeni Sports (stock size on stock rims)
and a K&N drop in filter on its way (hopefully here by Saturday's event).
I'd definitely recommend Azenis, because they give excellent grip (especially compared to those crappy Michellins), but still count as D-stock, and the K&N filter gives a few hp and mpg (always good with $2.20/gal prices) while staying D-stock as well.

CivicSiRacer
03-26-2003, 02:19 PM
I believe in shifting more you're not accelerating for those few milliseconds. And on the autocross course a few milliseconds can be the difference between 1st and last place.

blue03typeS
03-26-2003, 05:28 PM
CivicSiRacer,
are you saying you shift more to be in a better gear for acceleration or shift less because it costs you time to shift?

I say if the downshift won't cost you any time (such as when braking before a tight turn) and you plan to exit the turn at 20mph or less (when 2nd is pretty weak), especially if it's before a spot where you'll be able to hit 40mph or more, then downshift.
Based on the gear ratios, I calculate that a Type-S will be around 3k RPM at 20mph in 2nd, or 4700 RPM in 1st gear.
I can get my car to 8400 before the rev limiter kicks in, which translates to 35.5 mph. I'm willing to spend a fraction of a second shifting back to second once I hit 8400, if it gets me up to 35 that much quicker, because it will shave off more time than it costs.

But if it's going into a spot where you're going to need both hands to steer, stay in second, cuz it sucks to be stuck in first.

Like most situations, you should judge it by the corners ahead of you not the corner you're leaving.

For those who are interested:
The numbers I came up with are X RPM * Factor = Y mph
where X is in thousands of RPM and factor is a scale that takes the gear, final drive ratio, tire circumference, and unit conversions into account: 4.233 for 1st gear and 6.492 for 2nd.
8.4 kRPM * 6.492 = 54.53mph max in second gear.

CivicSiRacer
03-26-2003, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by blue03typeS
CivicSiRacer,
are you saying you shift more to be in a better gear for acceleration or shift less because it costs you time to shift?


See my thing is you set yourself up before the turn so you don't have to shift. And I know people who threw their run away because they messed up the downshift and just burned the inside tire OR completely just killed the turn.

I believe in just setting up for the turn so you get the most power coming out. You still mostlikely have to shift to 2nd once you complete the turn. So already you shifted twice into 2nd which is about .5-1 seconds you just lost.

In all the events I've been to going from 1st to 2nd back to 1st and back to 2nd was slower than just staying in 2nd :) Even when the course had complete u-turns.

blue03typeS
03-27-2003, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by CivicSiRacer
See my thing is you set yourself up before the turn so you don't have to shift. And I know people who threw their run away because they messed up the downshift and just burned the inside tire OR completely just killed the turn.

If you're good enough to carry a lot of speed through a corner, then downshifting might not help as much. I have misjudged the corner, or my braking to such an extent that I came out of the corner very slowly (15mph or less), and being in first at that point lets me make up some of the speed that I lost.


I believe in just setting up for the turn so you get the most power coming out. You still mostlikely have to shift to 2nd once you complete the turn. So already you shifted twice into 2nd which is about .5-1 seconds you just lost.

I don't think it actually costs time. If you downshift before/during the corner, when you're braking anyway, you don't lose any time.
Then exiting the corner you have:
15mph -> 35mph in 1st, shift to second, 35mph -> 40+mph in 2nd.
vs.
15mph -> 40+mph in 2nd.
Obviously the extra acceleration of 1st gear will get you to 35mph from 15mph faster than 2nd gear, and the time you gain from that should be greater than the time lost shifting to 2nd.
The best way to find out would be to time 15-50 times in 2nd only versus maxing out 1st. I'd bet on the first gear method being faster.
But the closer you are to 35 (or wherever your rev-limiter kicks in in 1st), the less gain you get to offset the shift. Downshifting to 1st when you're already doing 25mph is obviously a waste, while doing it at 3mph is obviously a gain, the challenge is finding the point where shifting becomes slower.

And of course all of that only applies if it's a corner before a straight or a slight sweeper, where you'll be able to take a hand off the wheel to shift and make use of the speed. If it's a corner before a chicane or hairpin or something similar, stay in 2nd.

davidshu
03-28-2003, 10:27 AM
This is a very interesting discussion and one that is even more prescient to me since I got the Miata (and you thought Honda fours had no torque!).

Last weekend, I went to the Phase 1 Evolution School in Pensacola, FL. The instructors, Rob Falkner and Tommy Pulliam convinced most of us to just stay in second gear for the whole course (except the start). There was a fairly tight turnaround and a Chicago box that really bogged me down, but I stuck with second. There was plenty to think about, so I didn't question the logic of staying in second gear. However, this week I sent an email to Rob asking him whether or not he would have shifted to first any if he were in competition on a similar course. The following is his reply.


" I competition, I would properly try to down shift in a Miata as long as it was easy to make the up shift without upsetting the car. You still have to worry about the wheel spin. When I downshift for a real slow corner I do it as I'm braking the car, and have the clutch out before I let off the brake pedal. I want to balance the car with throttle coming out. I pick the throttle up as soon as I can after braking. This means getting on the power as soon as I get off the brakes. You have to be real careful with the amount that you use so as not to cause any push or over steer. This is a fine line and may cause some anguishing runs.

If you have anymore question please drop me another note.

Thanks Rob F "

rgdigital
03-28-2003, 06:12 PM
I'll bet that instructor wanted you to stay in second so your mind was just on corner approach, apexing and exiting.


Have any of you guys ran on Kumho Ecsta Supra 712's? How do they compare to the Falken Azenis?

walk
03-31-2003, 03:33 AM
He's also saying that smoother is faster.

Any time you change throttle input (or brake input) quickly rather than smoothly you upset the balance of the car. Of course when you shift you go from one extreme to the other so this can upset it a lot. When you lift the throttle, or clutch in, or brake you throw all the weight of the car suddenly forward.

Also if you try 1st gear especially around a corner you risk just spinning the tires. Not to mention you can't really downshift into 1st unless you are going like 5mph - unless you really want to wreck your transmission.

CivicSiRacer
03-31-2003, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by rgdigital
I'll bet that instructor wanted you to stay in second so your mind was just on corner approach, apexing and exiting.


Have any of you guys ran on Kumho Ecsta Supra 712's? How do they compare to the Falken Azenis?

Yep. Shifting too much and you cannot fully concentrate on the corner you need to negotiate. Staying in 2nd usually is better until you get really good.

The Kumho 712s don't even compare to the Azenis. I ran in 2001 on the Kumho 712s and in 2002 on the Azenis and the Azenis are quite close to R compound tires :)

rgdigital
03-31-2003, 11:19 AM
How did you like the 712's compared to the stock tires? I'm probably going to get them for a summer set...

buhda
03-31-2003, 07:18 PM
Just about anything you get is an improvement over stock. But you can't beat the price and performance of azenis

CivicSiRacer
03-31-2003, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by rgdigital
How did you like the 712's compared to the stock tires? I'm probably going to get them for a summer set...

The Kumho 712s are much better than stock tires :)

blue03typeS
04-03-2003, 04:04 PM
Riding on the rims would be better than the stock tires. :)
I ran on azenis sports (not the azenis st, they suck) for the first time Saturday, and it was a huge difference.
Three weeks ago, my friend with a spec-V was running 2-3 seconds better on a 35-40 second course. On Saturday, I got within half a second of him on a 40-50 second course.
I know I wasn't driving that much better, so I'd say a big chunk of it was the tires.
I ran mine at 35psi front and 37psi rear warm. I took some corners faster than I should have and slid several feet, but never rolled onto the sidewall.
They're the most popular street tire in autoX for a reason.

rgdigital,
Get Azenis Sports instead, you'll be glad you did.

Mjfan12
04-06-2003, 09:22 PM
Hi, I also want to autoX, and I really want to improve my skills, and become a great driver, but there isn't an EVO school around here. There is only a beginner's class before the autox season. What can I do to be a good driver?

buhda
04-06-2003, 09:25 PM
The beginners class is a good start if you don't have a evo school around. Alot of seat time helps too.