November 30, 2005
Recaro seats arrived
I bought a Recaro Pole Position for my passenger and a Recaro Profi SPG for the driver side. Both are tight with the SPG being very tight but comfortable. I've a 33 inch waist and I fit in both and fit in the SPG even with a winter jacket on as they are mainly tight around the hips, butt and legs, not the upper body so much.
BTW, the Porsche child seat fits in both with no problem.
I also got Recaro sliders and seat bases. Each base has two tabs built in allowing the stock seat belts to be attached as well as allowing the lap belts to be bolted to these on both sides of each seat. If you are getting a seat for a non track only car make sure you get these bases. Otherwise you need to drill holes in the car. I bought everything from Speedware Motorsports. It all cost 2100 bucks.
I'll post more when I put them in the car.
November 24, 2005
Selling my Sparco EVO 3 seats
Too big for me. Buying a smaller set instead. I'm selling them on EBay starting at 800 bucks including mounts and Porsche 996 sliders.
Sparco EVO 3 review
Having had the Sparco EVO 3s here what I think. They are really wide. I have a 33 inch waist and weigh around 170. They are huge for me. I think you'd need a 36 inch waist to be snug in these seats. So, if you're bigger than these are your only option.
They fit 'just' barely in my 996. They slightly rub the tunnel and almost touch the door. There is no 'extra' room. But, they do fit.
Finish wise, they are the same as the rest of the EVO seats. I like the look of them and they are comfortable.
November 16, 2005
More bad news
The seat receptacles being sold by NorthStar performance don't work with my setup. The problem is they don't clear the sparco seat mounts. From looking at the web site, it looks like the Recaro mounts are a lot narrower than the Sparco ones and this may be why they are advertised as Recaro Belt mounts.
The part numbers are 964 521 065 00. There are Porsche OEM parts and not Recaro as mentioned on their WebSite.
I'll phone tomorrow to see what they say.
Track natural simulator
It's cold here today, 1F with wind chill, high will be 23F. We got an inch or so of snow last night. I was driving my exploder around this morning in our car park and it's like sheet ice.
The feeling was the same as driving around turns 1 and 2 at Brainerd at 100+ mph. You're being very careful, you can feel how much traction there is, you're making small inputs and adjustments to the car, you're looking ahead to set everything up, no surprises. It's uncanny how similar the feeling between the two scenarios is.
Metal valve stems or plastic ones
I have to admit, this was worrying me. 150mph with plastic stems stretching and twisting to the outside of the wheel. But, I think it's cool. Normal rims (Ford Explorer/Windstar), the valves stems stick out about 2 inches from the rim with no support. If you push them to the outside then you'll get a good 2cms of movement. The Porsche wheels surround a shorter stem with the rim. Pushing the stem outwards will give you around 1mm of movement. The rim supports the stem and limits it's movement when the wheel is rotating at high speed.
Steel valves are still better and if I had BBS rims etc then I'd have em but the stock wheels aren't so bad after all.
November 15, 2005
I bolted in the Dassport rollbar today at the rear only but mounted the hoop on the rear brace to check fit. It all fits, I just need the eye bolts for the front belts and it's in. It fits in pretty easy, I reckon at this point on about an hour to put it in and the same to get it out. Fitting the hoop in to the rear brace is tight but I lubed it first with WD40 on the inside of the brace (the female part) and the hoop plugs (the male part) that helped. But it still took a couple of gentle whacks from a rubber mallet to get it in.
The Sparco Evo 3 seats fit very snugly in the cockpit. There is little clearance on the tunnel side (you might get some paper between the tunnel and the seat), it's basically rubbing slightly along the tunnel plastics, it's fabric rubbing on it so no scratching but it's tight.
I'm staring at it all now and I'll probably switch seats to the original Evo 2's I'd bought and returned (arrgghhh!). There would be more side clearance. Worst case, I'll sell the Evo 3's with their Sparco mounts on EBay but I'll keep the Porsche sliders they have right now.
The seat belt receptacles, eye bolts and harnesses are arriving tomorrow/Thursday but I'm now waiting till I decide about seats before moving forward. So, right now, the car has the roll bar in partially and the stock seats back in.
November 13, 2005
Drivers education insurance
Here is my insurer for drivers education. I can't comment on claiming and I hope I'll never have to comment on it :)
Trailering options for next year
We're doing 5/6 events next year and if I drive the car to those then it's like 6k-8k miles depending on where we go. We're planning on MAM in Glenwood, IA, Road America, Brainerd, Blackhawk and if we can mid ohio.
I'd prefer not to put the miles on the car so trailering is what I'm planning. My 98 Ford Explorer can haul 5160lbs (4.0 EFI, 3.7 Axle, 4 door 4x4 automatic). The car weighs say 3400. That leaves 1700lbs for the trailer. The open aluminium tailers weight between 700 and a 1000lbs so thats what I'm doing. I'll get a class 3 hitch on the explorer and an aluminium single car open aluminium trailer.
November 11, 2005
Yet another seat update
As usual, it depends on who you talk to with this stuff. Apparently you can get a Sparco base for the seats that has the bracket for the tunnel side seat belt buckle.
The seat hardware is the base, the brackets for the seats and the seats themselves. So, once I'm sure that it'll work, it looks like I'll buy the Sparco base. Thats about 250 dollars so it's not so bad and certainly less than 3k for the Porsche seats.
I also need an eye bolt for the lower seat belt anchor that is long enough to go through the belt anchor and the Das Sport roll bar. I reckon then I'm done. So, a couple of week more to get the parts.
Racing seats and 3pt belts
My dealers says it's important to have the 3pt belt system working even with racing seats in the car. The air bags in a 996 have two strengths, half and full.
In an accident a seat with no seat belt plugged in on that side (i.e. a person sitting there without a belt or an empty seat) will get a full bag regardless of crash intensity. A seat with the belt inserted in the buckle gets a half or full bag depending on the intensity.
So, basically, you want the buckle wired in to the car electronics and a belt clip plugged in to it so you get the correct behaviour (i.e. half/full rather than full always).
More and more, it looks like the Porsche GT3 seats are the way to go but man they are pricey, 3k.
November 09, 2005
1300 buck Porsche 944
A friend of mine just bought a 198K mile Porsche 944 for 1.3K US. I drove it last night and the driving position feels the same as a 996. The car needs work obviously. Brakes were really bad, it was wobbling front to back on gear changes so I figure shocks and besides that I don't know. But, figure 10k for coilovers, decent brakes and an engine workover and it's a cool car for DEs.
November 08, 2005
Here's my actual roll bar
It's a Das Sport Weekender. Retails for 1200US so it looks like I got a deal given I paid 950 for the bar and 2 seats.
November 05, 2005
Got a driving suit
I'm in Ireland right now for the weekend visiting my family. My brother who did a bit of rally racing over here had a spare OMP 3 layer nomex suit. It's certified FIA 1986 which seems old but from the tests I've been looking at on the net looks very close to the current SFI and FIA 2000 regs.
In any case, it's free and better than a pair of jeans and a cotton long sleeved sweat shirt. Tried it on today and it fits just fine.
Here's a 2000 report showing SFI 3.2A, FIA 1986 and FIA 2000 comparisons.
November 02, 2005
Next check engine theory
Porsche (the factory, not the dealer) called today to say they'd anaylzed the data sent by the dealer and they think the drive shaft isn't balanced. A balancing weight may have fallen off or it wasn't balanced correctly in the first place at the factory. I'm not bringing the car back again so quickly so we'll had to wait till then.
November 01, 2005
Got my car back
I picked up my car last night and it's nice to get it back having driving a bus for the last two weeks. Getting chilly here now, 34F this morning, a little too cold for my Michelin Pilot Sport 2s now. I'll give it another 2-4 weeks and then put on the Blizzaks for the winter.