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2019 Colorado Test Day

Old 01-05-2019, 06:27 AM
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Default 2019 Colorado Test Day

Today High Plains Raceway will host their annual FREE day for past customers and those who helped build the track 13 years ago. After the Sonoma Runoffs, I've been rebuilding and repairing the damage done by racing. Besides checking alignment and replacing the shattered Enkei PF01 wheel, there was plenty of bodywork to fix. The LF corner of the bumper was repaired and a new fender painted. But closer examination found the LF headlight module was badly damaged underneath. The composite tabs that hold the front bumper and fender in place were damaged beyond repair despite multiple attempts.

So, another salvage headlight module was obtained and I swapped over the entire wiring harness and lights over. The T3 racecar also was modified to 2019 specs, with the lead ballast removed (2019 weight is 3275# with driver). I also went back to using lighter rear springs and hooking up the rear swaybar again. The older setup with 700# springs and no swaybar was very predictable, but driving the car "on the nose" didn't help me go any faster and the understeer used the front tires up too much. Still have to run the 37 mm flat plate restrictors and max tire size remains at 245-40-18 for 2019.

Today's test day will consist of an installation session to make sure the repairs were done correctly and the car runs, turns and stops with aplomb. After that, I'll check hot tire pressures and possibly dial-in rear ride heights to get ready for the coming SCCA race season. Weather should be good on the Colorado plains (60 miles NE of Denver) with temps in the high 50's.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:26 AM
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Good news from yesterday's test was that the repairs and replacements held up well. The Z in 2019 T3 trim felt a bit lighter, and lap times were consistent, but slower than last year. That's to be expected, as I used old tires and wasn't really pushing for that much speed. Still, the rust on the nut behind the wheel was noticeable, but the rest of the car seemed to hold up just fine!

The Sonoma Runoffs damage showed up yet again with a noticeable 1/4" panel gap on the hood/LF fender margin. After examining it closely, the fender is installed correctly, but it looks like the crash with the Shelby Mustang moved the entire hood to the right. I'm not sure if the mounting pins were distorted or the latches themselves were bent, but there's another detail to be addressed in the future. Started a list of items (suspension, brake and alignment mostly) before the 2019 season gets more serious.

Plenty of interesting cars in the "fast cars" grouping at HPR. 140 entries for two 50 car groupings. Got to examine the F1-style diffuser on the rear of a Z06 Vette, and see the four LED headlights of a 911 GT3 in my mirrors. There was a cool black Lotus Super 7-type vehicle with V-8 power that went streaming by, as well as assorted BMWs and formula cars. No big crashes or any significant damage during the day, although the flatbed wrecker came back with an odd assortment of cars after the "slow group" alternated with us. That group held the only other Nissan to come out: a silver 370Z time trial car. Kinda sad, but not unexpected these days. Nissan used to be a major force at the racetrack, but 2019 will likely see the fewest race entries yet.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:09 AM
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David, thanks for providing coverage of why I stick around here.... Z related race/enthusiast coverage. Welcome change to the usual "It done broked" and PWRR threads that seem to dominate the board these days.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:00 AM
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PWRR? The only thing I could come up with is "Prince of Wales Royal Regiment". LOL
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
PWRR? The only thing I could come up with is "Prince of Wales Royal Regiment". LOL
Hahaha, British politics then...

https://my350z.com/forum/politics-wa...-and-race-552/
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MicVelo View Post
Joke's on me- shows how much attention I pay to certain areas of this site.

Back OT- It's interesting to find out how the Z33 is constructed as racing tends to "de-construct" certain areas. One example is the distinctive headlights that have molded brackets to support other parts of the front end. Using the headlights off my original '03 pre-order track model on the racecar I've repaired the housings to a certain extent by using small metal staples that heat up and are inserted in several sections to reinforce broken plastic or urethane. This worked OK before the Runoffs, but the damage suffered during the race moved the stress area from the repaired section to the next most vulnerable area. As a result, the LF housing was toast as too much was broken. As stated earlier in the thread, a salvage module was used, but now I'm noticing the RF headlight is showing more tab damage as well.

Racing may not be used any longer to improve the breed, but it sure improves my understanding and appreciation for the modular design and fabrication of modern Nissan vehicles!
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