Preparing for my first auto-x event - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Preparing for my first auto-x event

Hey there, first off I'm new here and my name is Tony.

My wife and I sold our 2007 Silverado since we have a baby on the way(due in August!), and we ended up settling on getting an 09 Mazda3 i with the touring package and 5spd... so I can have a bit of fun autocrossing it as well

I have not driven in an auto-x event yet, but I went along to one event last year and had a blast riding along in a bunch of different cars(the most awesome by far was a Sunbeam Tiger).

Did a bit of reading and it appears that the MZ3 is actually a decently competitive car in HS... which is the class I plan on running.

I have no intentions of being competitive for a while, especially since it is on the stock 17s with GY Eagle GTs that it came with(brand new)... plan on eventually getting some 16x6.5 aluminum wheels from an earlier MZ3 or newer MX-5 and mounting some good DOT stickies on them.

The only thing I plan on doing to the car is adding a set of either Bilstein or Koni yellows when money allows(probably later this summer).


What I want to have done BEFORE my first event(which is April 15th with the Cincy SCCA) is buy a helmet so I don't have to worry about borrowing one, and flush my brake fluid with some DOT4.

Can anybody recommend a good open face helmet that is reasonably priced and doesn't weigh a ton? Or better yet what kind of place you would go to buy a helmet and try them on? I'm guessing a place that specializes in motorcycles, but is there anywhere else that I should consider checking out?

And to clarify on the helmet ratings... A Snell 2000 rating will be fine for now, though will be useless come 2015... so I'm pretty sure I'm going to settle for nothing less than a 2005 rating. I'm correct on this right?


Here is the car by the way... it's a 2.0l with not a lot of options, it has cruise and a CD player(single disc)... so that's about it AFAIK. Should be a fun auto-x car... I love the way this thing feels driving.



Maybe after that first event I will get some Hawk HPS pads and new rotors for the front... but for now I'm going to run the car as-is.



And by the way I'm an automotive technician myself and work on all makes and models... driving a few Mazdas at work recently is what really impressed me with them... they're super reliable, very affordable overall, and feel like they handle comparably to some German cars... just without the electrical gremlins :P


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2009 Mazda 3i Touring /// Hawk HPS front pads /// Goodyear Eagle GT 205/50R17 on stock wheels /// Ghetto fabulous filled motor mount

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 06:42 PM
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

[quote author=flatlander937 link=topic=204606.msg4194599#msg4194599 date=1330811697]


Did a bit of reading and it appears that the MZ3 is actually a decently competitive car in HS... which is the class I plan on running.

I have no intentions of being competitive for a while, especially since it is on the stock 17s with GY Eagle GTs that it came with(brand new)... plan on eventually getting some 16x6.5 aluminum wheels from an earlier MZ3 or newer MX-5 and mounting some good DOT stickies on them.
[/quote]

A quick Edmunds search says that 16's were not available for the i Touring in 2009, so you are stuck with 17's if you want to remain in HS.

Shocks before R-Comps.

[quote author=flatlander937 link=topic=204606.msg4194599#msg4194599 date=1330811697]
What I want to have done BEFORE my first event(which is April 15th with the Cincy SCCA) is buy a helmet so I don't have to worry about borrowing one, and flush my brake fluid with some DOT4.
[/quote]

I wouldn't bother with the DOT4. When it comes to autocross, DOT 3 is fine. You don't use the brakes that much.

[quote author=flatlander937 link=topic=204606.msg4194599#msg4194599 date=1330811697]
Can anybody recommend a good open face helmet that is reasonably priced and doesn't weigh a ton? Or better yet what kind of place you would go to buy a helmet and try them on? I'm guessing a place that specializes in motorcycles, but is there anywhere else that I should consider checking out?[/quote]

Bike shop is best as you can try one on and make sure it fits right. If you buy on-line, make sure that they have a very liberal return policy.

This is the helmet that I got for my daughter to race karts:

http://www.k1racegear.com/auto-racin...ng-helmet.html

K1 is excellent and will let you return the helmet for a different size. The full face is not that heavy.



Good Luck!

2008 New England Region SCCA HS Class Champion
2008 New England Region Stirling Moss Championship co-winner.
92HS - 2007 Mazda 3s Sport Sedan -2006 Miata Wheel, 16x6.5, 15lb w/ Hoosier A6 245/45R16 (f) and 225/50R16 (r) MS Accessory Sport Shocks
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

Thank you very much for the reply! I've read through most of the posts in the auto-x forum from the last few months, and also read your STF build... very cool and inspirational!

I must have missed that usable wheels have to be available on that particular model... I know the hatchbacks are limited to 17x6.5 in HS... but completely forgot to check about the "i" model

So 17x6.5 wheels it is... I'm having a hell of a time finding any that could be considered lightweight and usable on this car. I wonder if I could get some stock wheels and chuck them on my buddy's bridgeport to shave a couple pounds off each


And yes, I plan on the struts/shocks first... it will benefit me both on track and daily driving... that's my mentality on it anyway.


As for the DOT4, I just wanted to bleed the brakes as it appears the fluid is original, as it likely is. Might as well use DOT4... no real downsides to DOT3 AFAIK.

And thanks also for the helmet recommendation... hopefully I can find something decent one of these next few weekends.


edit: I wonder what these Chevy Impala wheels weigh... I'd have to have the wheel bolt pattern added between the existing lugs(if it can be done safely)... but that would save weight at the same time.

http://www.stockwheelsolutions.com/c...silver-17x6-5/


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2009 Mazda 3i Touring /// Hawk HPS front pads /// Goodyear Eagle GT 205/50R17 on stock wheels /// Ghetto fabulous filled motor mount

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 01:19 PM
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

[quote author=flatlander937 link=topic=204606.msg4194696#msg4194696 date=1330829050]
also read your STF build... very cool and inspirational!
[/quote]

That's not me. I'm not the type of person that spends money to go slower. lol

[quote author=flatlander937 link=topic=204606.msg4194696#msg4194696 date=1330829050]

edit: I wonder what these Chevy Impala wheels weigh... I'd have to have the wheel bolt pattern added between the existing lugs(if it can be done safely)... but that would save weight at the same time.

http://www.stockwheelsolutions.com/c...silver-17x6-5/
[/quote]

I'm betting that they weigh more than the Mazda wheels. Chevy isn't exactly known for their lightweight stuff.

2008 New England Region SCCA HS Class Champion
2008 New England Region Stirling Moss Championship co-winner.
92HS - 2007 Mazda 3s Sport Sedan -2006 Miata Wheel, 16x6.5, 15lb w/ Hoosier A6 245/45R16 (f) and 225/50R16 (r) MS Accessory Sport Shocks
Slow in - Fast out Fast in - out backwards
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

hmmm... I think I have mistaken you for this guy:

http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=183642.0

:hide:

The MZ3 wagons in that color seem to be very popular.

edit: And I apparently don't pay attention to sig lines enough to notice yours is a sedan... your avatar pic has the back half nearly cut off... doh! :P


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2009 Mazda 3i Touring /// Hawk HPS front pads /// Goodyear Eagle GT 205/50R17 on stock wheels /// Ghetto fabulous filled motor mount

Guinea pig for Dynotronics tuning.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 03:35 PM
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

Stock brakes can definitely be overheated in autocross. Get some ATE Super Blue in there.

I have no Fusion. I have a Miata.

I need a new sig.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 10:18 PM
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

As Paul said go to bike shops and try before you buy. I got this one for about $150 about 5 years ago after seeing how overpriced helmets are for automotive use. It has a snell M2000 rating so it should be good for a few more years. Pick up a M2005 or M2010 and you should be good to go.






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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 06:27 PM
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

I thought you couldn't switch out shocks in the HS class?

I tried Autocross once, and won....I think i'm gonna like this.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 07:25 PM
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

[quote author=MazdaBoy2.3 link=topic=204606.msg4196208#msg4196208 date=1331076454]
I thought you couldn't switch out shocks in the HS class?
[/quote]

Shocks are pretty much free (I think triple and quad adjustable are out)

Can't change springs.

2008 New England Region SCCA HS Class Champion
2008 New England Region Stirling Moss Championship co-winner.
92HS - 2007 Mazda 3s Sport Sedan -2006 Miata Wheel, 16x6.5, 15lb w/ Hoosier A6 245/45R16 (f) and 225/50R16 (r) MS Accessory Sport Shocks
Slow in - Fast out Fast in - out backwards
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Preparing for my first auto-x event

[quote author=MazdaBoy2.3 link=topic=204606.msg4196208#msg4196208 date=1331076454]
I thought you couldn't switch out shocks in the HS class?
[/quote]

As long as they are no more than double adjustable, and are built to the same specs as stock(not adding camber or lowering the car by being physically shorter, etc) then they should be good to go. That's what I get from the SCCA rule book.

Go here for the latest rule book updates:

http://www.scca.com/solo/content.cfm?cid=44517


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2009 Mazda 3i Touring /// Hawk HPS front pads /// Goodyear Eagle GT 205/50R17 on stock wheels /// Ghetto fabulous filled motor mount

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