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 Post subject: Classifying a Ford Focus
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:30 pm 
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This is a large post. I initialy had written it to send to the TT director but thought it might be best to address in on teh forum first.

I am a new participant into NASA, or let me say I am building a car to be a participant in the 2014 season. I have not attended a HPDE1 event yet, but am looking forward to it next year. I am currently building a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 for future tack use in the time trial events. I am at some cross roads on my engine work to see if its worth making the modifications now or at a later date. I am trying to understand how my car would fit in the TTB-TTF class rating. I have attempted to go through the TT car classification form (TTB-TTF)—2013 (v10.4) from the web site and I get about 55 points with my modifications.

If its ok I would like to list what modifications I have and then how I have done the brake down in points. If those who have time to review this it would be greatly appreciated.

Engine: Eagle rods w/ JE 9.0:1 compression pistons and bored to 85.5mm. Stock Zetec motor is 9.5:1 compression with a 84.81mm bore. My analysis shows that this increase in bore is only a 1.01% increase in displacement and I have shaved the head only by 0.010” Which should leave compression around 9.2:1 still leaving no increase compression ratio. The motor has been built with all new ARP hardware. The head as mentioned was shaved 0.010” and a valve job will be done. I will have stock cams and cam gears, but does have upgraded springs and retainers. I have a full aftermarket CAT back exhaust, and the exhaust header and catalytic converter is off the SVT trim level of Focus. The Intake is also different with an aftermarket TB, an OEM intake manifold from a 2000 focus, non OEM ducting between the TB and the aftermarket cone air filter. The engine also has a tune to run on 91 octane, it is not a different system or a piggy back, but is a custom tune to alter the OEM ECU.

Transmission: The only item that has been changed in the MTX-75 OEM transmission is that the final drive gear has been changed out to 4.06:1 ratio vs. the stock 3.82:1

Suspension: The front and rear sway bars have been increased to aftermarket and larger diameter w/ poly bushings (non adjustable). I have installed front and rear strut tower braces. All motor mounts have been replaced with aftermarket poly style bushings. I have Koni Yellow Sport (adjustable) shocks and struts with the same Koni Sport springs. I have aftermarket tubular control arms, and Camber plates on the front struts that all for ±2.5 degrees of adjustability. There is also a rear camber bolt to allow for ±1 degree of camber in the back.

Tires: Currently I have 225/50/R16 Bridgestone Potenza RE 960as pole position.

Aerodynamics: I have an aftermarket front and rear bumper. The front bumper is a Cervinis bumper. I am not sure if this bumper and the change of the aerodynamics plays any role. There are different vents which I do plan on ducting for bake cooling. Rear bumper has no aerodynamic properties; it is just a “euro” version. The bumpers have no additional chassis tie in for support nor are they designed to add any more down force or reduce drag.

It would be greatly appreciated if you can help me identify what class this may put me in. With the 55 points I calculated I am 4 points away from moving up 3 classes (which different tires may to that) otherwise I am firmly up two classes which would move me from TTE to TTC. Starting out with stock cams and gears with no change to the head will save me a # of points to put to tires and stay in TTC, but looks like with my mods I am out of the TTD. And one I make Tire changes and other cam changes I will be firmly in TTB.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:02 am 
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only address reliability until middle of HPDE3, then start looking at making final tweaks to prepare for the step to TT :)

I'd bump back to stock fascias at that time for sure since you will take hits for those but not gain any benifit, and maybe look at if any of the power adding parts are actually worth their points value and maybe trim some of those to land in TTE or TTD with good race tires versus basic street tires - either of those depending on what's popular in your region and also how modified a track car you prefer to deal with.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Thank you for the feedback. I will look into the bumpers. The thing is the bulk of work is already done and parts were replaced and I dont have the OEM replacements as a majority of the work was done by a previous owner.

I will likely try how it currently stands and move from there. At the moment I dont have my eyes set on winning anything its more just a life dream to participate in events like this. I attended nationals at Miller and another event before then also at Miller Motor Sports park. Thats where I will likely do most of my events.

So the bumpers even though not designed for aerodynamics or down force would go against me in my points? That would be a good place save points.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:48 pm 
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It also appears that using NASA -X class list it shows the Ford Focus 2.0L 00'-04' (which is what mine is) as a NXG** which means its a G class with 14 initial points.

So can I assume that the same thing is true for the TT division? The online classifier says its down for 2013 maintenance but its going to be 2014 soon. And I could not find any large spread sheet showing what the older provisional TT classifications are for older cars. I was presuming it started out as a TTE as I had come across something that said that but am no longer able to find it.

I am going to assume that If I have calculated 55 points I should add 14 points to that making 69 points from base line assuming it to be TTG.

With 69 points being in the 60-79 point range it would move me up 3 classes to TTD and would have 10 points to "spend" on tires.

Also the site still says that the late Roger Miller is the TT director for my region. I am not sure if I should contact Will Faules who has been identified as the temporary replacement while a new director is found.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:21 pm 
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It sounds like you have not done any events since you mention not yet doing an HPDE1 session. Based on that I would stop making any modifications to the car and start doing some driving sessions. Just focus on safety and reliability areas right now. Then once you start getting some time in you can find out where you need to make changes to the car to get better performance. You may even go back to stock on some areas to make your car competitive for a given class. Honestly I am not sure if a Focus would be competitive in TTB given the crop of cars I usually see compete. I could very well be wrong however.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:27 am 
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You've got some time to start finding stock stuff here & there while you work through HPDE :) It's also great that you already have your goal laid out in front of you, I found that helpful as an instructor to know what the student wanted to get out of the weekend. You'll get there!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:07 am 
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Magus2727 wrote:
And I could not find any large spread sheet showing what the older provisional TT classifications are for older cars. I was presuming it started out as a TTE as I had come across something that said that but am no longer able to find it.


http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/time_trial_rules.pdf ( linked from http://nasa-tt.com/rules and http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules )

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Thanks for the link. I did not suspect the classification to be barried in 55 pages of rules. Thanks! So it does look to be the same. So starting I would be in class TTG with 14 points. So with my modifications I would be in TTD.

The modifications I have made were upgrades due to needing to replace the components and instead of replacing with stock I have replaced with "better" aftermarket ones.

Most of the modifications were done before I had an interest in doing HPDE and eventually TT events.

Thanks the help.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:47 pm 
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A serious consideration: Go through HPDE 1-3 with this vehicle. While in DE4 if you're bit by the competitive bug and realize you have a knack for kicking off a fast lap, you will want to look at selling your car and/or stop using it for track events and pick up an empty canvas to build towards a specific class.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:56 pm 
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it may not be THAT bad a choice though, esp with a few tweaks. Hp/Weight reclass may save a good amt of points too. Focii seem to be good TTE/PTE cars at some tracks fwiw. D might be a little bit more of a struggle though, and higher than that a true uphill battle.

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