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post #1 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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SCCA Solo Super Street Setup

I thought I would share some of the research and testing I have done since the SEB changed the rules for the new Super Street classes. I also wanted to step away from the Solo Setup sticky to concentrate on the new "Street" rule changes. The obvious rule change is for 2014 140+ treadware rating and 2015 200+ treadware rating. I personally think this is good and bad. Good because, it is cheaper, it is great to be able to drive to and from events without changing wheels and tires, and the lotus' work well on street tires. It is bad because Super Stock is a very competitive class with very good drivers, and they are blowing that apart by having a SS class on street tires and SSR on race tires. I think most of the good drivers would stay in SSR, which takes me away from that intense competition, at least for now. I also wonder how many people are going to compete in SS, will we have good numbers? The next rule allowance is we can change wheel diameter by +/- 1 inch.

Wheels

By dropping down to a 15x6.5 front wheel, you have the potential to run a wide variety of front tires. If you stick with the 16x6.5 front wheels, you are limiting yourself. Also a 15x6.5 front wheel can offer a weight savings from the stock set-up. The problem is, a 15x6.5 4x100 wheel that is well made, light weight, reasonably priced, and fits around our brakes is next to impossible to find. Add on top of that finding a 17x7.5 rear wheel that matches is even harder. If only we could run a 15x7, 17x8 setup. I would prefer to not have a regular cast wheel. I would like it to be a spun cast or something like Enkei's MAT casting technology. If you can afford Forged wheels, those are even better.

If anyone has any advice on this I would greatly appreciate it.

SSR- both the Type C and Type F wheels are discontinued and are hard to find used. When I talked to SSR in early Sept they said they are working on replacements for those wheels, and they will be released soon. Keep an eye on this.

Rota- They make options that I believe will work. I can't verify if they fit over the brakes or not. What I've found is a 15/17 set-up is heavier than the stock 16/17 LSS setup. Also I wasn't sold on the quality of the Rotas, some people say they are fine, others swear against them.

Enkei- I ordered a set of the RPF1 Type II's only to find out those are discontinued also. They don't have anymore options for their Racing line of wheels, only their Tuning series which are much heavier.

Konig- They work with Enkei on some of their wheels and borrow their MAT casting process. They make a few different wheels in the 15x6.5. I ended up with the Feather which weighs 12-12.4 lbs depend on who weighs it. I believe it is a regular cast wheel not a MAT wheel. It does not fit without a 8mm or greater spacer. The spokes close to the hub hit the brake caliper.

Volks-The TE37s are offered in a 15x6.5, 17x7.5 setup, but I can't afford them.

Custom Wheels- I talked to wheel manufactures like Bogart and Kodiak. Bogart said with some work and creative thinking he "might" be able to get something to work. The problem is the wheel center vs. the outer lip.

Once again if anyone has experience with this, please share.

Tires

16 inch tires leave you with Toyos, Kumhos, or Star Specs.

From research I believe the Toyos are only great in the magical sizes. Otherwise the tires are just good. None of the 16" sizes are magical and shavable. I've heard the tread block is so tall and soft that it leaves the car feeling numb and doesn't react like it should. By shaving the tire you get rid of that numbness, but if it is not a magical tire the compound changes half way through leaving a harder rubber.

Star Specs are another good option but not great. The Toyos and new BFGs beat them pretty consistantly.

15 inch tires open up a lot more oportunities. Almost all of the major manufactures make a 205/50/15.

Toyo - You can run the magical 195s on the front and 235s on the rear. I believe this is going to be one of the best setups if not the best for 2014. I will have to test this.

BFG - This also is going to be one of the best setups. I went with this mainly because of how many people in my region switched to BFGs this year and love them. I would recommend the 205/245 setup vs the 225/245 for more steering response.

My Current Setup

Fred at BWR is the best and I would highly recommend buying your parts from him.

BWR Hardcore Bar
BWR DA Ohlins with BWR stock legal drop spring perches, LSS springs
15 x 6.5 +38 Konig Feather Front wheels with custom 8mm spacer
17 x 7.5 LSS Rear Wheels
225-45-15 BFG Rivals
245-40-17 BFG Rivals

BFG Rivals Impressions

I have only done one event so far with the Rivals and it was in a sealed blacktop parking lot with not a lot of grip. I ordered the 205-50-15 front tires, but BFG has stopped making that size for this season and is currently out of them. Hopefully they will be making them again soon. I had no choice but to go with the 225 fronts. I was worried that they would be too pinched on a 6.5" wheel, but they don't look bad to me. The tread surface looks flat and not rounded, and the sidewalls are slightly angled in but not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I believe a 205 would perform as good if not better, less weight, sidewalls straighter for better turn-in. The rears look like they are more pinched than the fronts. On the road, these tires are quiet and smooth. They absorb bumps and centerline reflectors better than my A048's or AD07's. On the track, I had to get used to these tires a little bit. I made too many easy mistakes at first, by overdriving into a corner. These tires talk to you and let you know what they are doing, listen for the change in squeal. Even with making mistakes, I could easily re-gain control of the tires and continue on without completely blowing the run. After I got adjusted to the tires/parking lot, the car felt really good. You could easily adjust the balance of the car with the throttle. A little lift would let the rear come around and point it where you wanted to go, a little too much lift and you were drifting-which was fun, but not fast. I can't comment on how the car felt in a slalom, because there was only on 3 cone slalom that you were braking the whole way through. Using the RTR SS Pax I ended up 1st in class, 3rd in overall PAX. I also beat another RTR car by 1.3 seconds that just trophied at Lincoln. My co-driver was 2nd in class, 4th in overall PAX. This tells me these tires are plenty fast.

More to come after this weekends event.

Future Plans

Me and another lotus driver have teamed up to split the costs for tire testing. He is going with the Toyo shaved 195/235 setup. We will run BFGs on my car, Toyos on his, then switch to Toyos on mine and BFGs on his to verify which tires we like better and/or which tires are faster. I also will continue to look for a good wheel option so I can have a matching front and rear wheel.
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post #2 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 12:40 PM
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I'm an old guy who autocrosses an Elise in SS with my son and grandson. We set up with a BWR bar, light weight TR wheels and Hoosiers. I admire the systematic approach you have taken to get ready for SSR racing. My thoughts are as follows.

The rule changes regarding streetable tires was motivated largely by cost considerations. The costs will remain high if expensive wheels and shocks are necessary to compete. I am old school when it comes to the meaning of "stock".

The recent Nationals indicate that BFG, Dunlop, Toyo and Hankook tires were used by trophy winners in SSR. Although availability of proper sizes for a give car is a factor, it is obvious that fast tires are available from a variety of manufactures (The only Elise in the group ran on Toyos).

As has been said many times before, driver skill is the key factor in competing successfully. Too much emphasis on tires or other car-related modifications will detract from that reality.

Good luck in SSR.
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post #3 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-25-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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You do not need to do anything to these cars to compete. That is the beauty of a "stock" class. With decent tires and a good driver, you can be competitive a local level. To compete and be competitive at a national level against the top drivers with their fully prepped cars, you are going to have to prep your car also. I want to compete against the best and hopefully be one of the best--one day.

Also, SS is Super Street for street tires, SSR is for R-comps.
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post #4 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 06:35 AM
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BCPower, Thanks for the kind words, we do a little solo ourselves.

The word this past year from nationals was all the street tired guys on BFGs suffered in Lincoln. Apparently, one of the hot tickets was the 200TW RS-3s shaved. That is what the winner of STR ran and the 200TW are actually a bit quicker than the older 140s.

I think there are 2 valid philosophies to try for SS this year:

15x6.5" fronts with a 225/45 to get more width and lower front ride height i.e. rake in the car to help it turn. IF it is too much you can settle it with front bar.

17x6.5" fronts. You could run a 225/40 perhaps. The rake won't be as good but diameter will provide more tire contact patch. Which of these approaches is faster, I don't know but both have merit to test.

Of course the BWR hardcore bar + ohlins and our SS legal perches are a must. For club use the stock use the Ohlins are fine. For the pointy end of SS, we can revalve the ohlins to handle the unique SS setup.

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post #5 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 08:49 AM
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As soon as the wheel rule is confirmed, I will be immediately testing the Kooks. My STC experience has me liking the RS3's more than the Toyo's. My care was on Toyo's at Nats because that's all that fits. Typically, RS3's return more lateral grip, show better response and turn in, better wear, and they like heat. R1R's have far superior longitudinal grip, which may be a factor on these cars. (Particularly at Pro Solo - we gave up 6 tenths every time we launched on Kooks rather than Toyo's in the Honda.)

My RTR "setup" was nothing more than a BWR bar, SSR wheels, and Toyo's. I am "semi-retired" from serious autocrossing for the moment, so did not go the full boat set up. Would love to have me some shocks...just not in the cards right now. Nor have I even messed with alignment....a key component in my opinion to make this pig turn. (Sorry....when an STC Honda Civic turns better under power than a Lotus....somethin' needs addressing!) One very big thing missing in your list of set up items is alignment settings. In my opinion, this will be the single biggest factor in my setup. I will figure it out....when I feel like it. LOL

Fred - I would definately lean toward the 15"/225 front option. I would "love" to have to add more front bar!!!!
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post #6 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Let me first say that I have not driven on either of these tires, I can only go off of advice I've heard/read.

It is my impression that the RS-3 likes heat. It does not do well until it has heat in the tires. With such a light car, I think we will have a hard time getting the heat we need to make these tires work. With both Fred and Patrick recommending these tires, I can't argue against testing these tires, but its not in my plans right now. Patrick, if you do test them please share with us.

Fred, you brought up some interesting points. I had no idea BFG had a hard time at Nats. In the highly competitive classes, BFG's highest place was 6th. Regarding the RS3s all of the cars that were on RS-3s were bigger, heavier cars than the lotus. STS and STC were dominated by toyo's along with the highest placing miata in STR, which tells me the toyo's do better on a lighter car. Also, unless you know something I don't Tire Rack only has Hoosiers available in a 225/40/17--no street tires.

Patrick, I did not touch on alignment in my post because I feel like it has been covered enough, and I don't have much to add to it. To sum up what I've learned: Up to 1/4" toe out front, as little as 1/16", 1/8" in on the rear. As much camber as you can get on the front and I would look at tire wear/temps on the rear to make a good judgment on camber.
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post #7 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 04:12 PM
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The 195 Toyos in STC are widely regarded as a cheater tire and will go away when the treadware ratings increase. I can't speak to RS-3s competitiveness to BFGs or Dunlop Z2s as we've only played with the RS-3s. I really like them on the street Elise, but are they 0.5 faster or slower than others, I don't know. You guys need to test. A set of RS-3s in 15/17 is about $550 which is really nice. BTW, I hope you guys are running 255s in the rear!

We tested 2 different sets of Avons, old Goodyears BIAS and Radial, 2 different New Hoosiers this year on the XP car. Alot of work, but it worked out pretty well.

As far as alignment, start with 1/8"-1/4" toe-out front and between 1/32" and 1/16" toe in the rear. Caster doesn't seem to have much impact. Of course max legal camber front and generally stock rear camber.


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post #8 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 06:33 PM
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Great thread. I fully intend to get out there in 2014 and support SCCA stock classes on street tires. My question regarding the rule set is what is going on with shocks in 2015-- will the remote reservoirs be banned? If so, then what's our option besides LSS Bilsteins?

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post #9 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 07:22 PM
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Great thread. I fully intend to get out there in 2014 and support SCCA stock classes on street tires. My question regarding the rule set is what is going on with shocks in 2015-- will the remote reservoirs be banned? If so, then what's our option besides LSS Bilsteins?
Per the June FastTrack there is no mention of the remotes going away. I am 95% sure that is the case. As I dig through available tires, I think the 225/45R15 fronts are the way to go. The Lotus should throw a beat down in SS.


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post #10 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 01:53 AM
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As far as alignment, start with 1/8"-1/4" toe-out front...
This is the second time I've heard people use toe OUT on the front... my car had toe out and I set it to zero... the care become much more predictable set to zero and much more responsive. Am I missing something?
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post #11 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 03:57 AM
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This is the second time I've heard people use toe OUT on the front... my car had toe out and I set it to zero... the care become much more predictable set to zero and much more responsive. Am I missing something?
From everything that I've experienced and read, toe out on the front should make the care more responsive. I can see where the car would be more predictable with zero toe however.
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post #12 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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This is the second time I've heard people use toe OUT on the front... my car had toe out and I set it to zero... the care become much more predictable set to zero and much more responsive. Am I missing something?
The lighter the tire load, the more slip angle required for peak cornering. Coming from zero steering angle on corner entry you have no effect from Ackerman angle, the only thing you have is toe out to help the inside tire gain some of the slip angle needed. This might help a bit Home Page
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post #13 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 04:39 AM
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Ackerman - anti-Ackerman steering was debated and tested in the late 70 to early 80s. The consensus was that there is so little weight on the inside wheel that Ackerman had no measurable effect at speed...now at parking lot (parking) speeds, Ackerman did. We are talking about racing now...not parking a car. Go look at any photo of a Lotus at speed...the inside wheel is in the air! Who gives a $h!t where it's pointing?

The predictability gives you confidence to drive on the limit...

Toe out only requires you to put in more steering input for the same result... I still don't get it.
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post #14 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 06:45 AM
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Ackerman - anti-Ackerman steering was debated and tested in the late 70 to early 80s. The consensus was that there is so little weight on the inside wheel that Ackerman had no measurable effect at speed...now at parking lot (parking) speeds, Ackerman did. We are talking about racing now...not parking a car. Go look at any photo of a Lotus at speed...the inside wheel is in the air! Who gives a $h!t where it's pointing?

The predictability gives you confidence to drive on the limit...

Toe out only requires you to put in more steering input for the same result... I still don't get it.
I think this comes down to personal preference. When we autocross our Street Lotus, I definitely feel like it is more sluggish at zero toe vs. toe-out. The steering rack in the Lotus is not especially quick and for slaloms, I like it better with the toe out to initiate the turn quicker, but your mileage may vary. When I first started driving the car at Autocrosses back in 2005, I spun it so many times trying to find/ride the limit. Now the car is vastly different(I still run toe out), but I am far more used to it. I have a quicker rack that makes it even dartier, but a wing to settle the car at speed.

Bottomline is that at the end of the day, we have to test and everyone is different.


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post #15 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ackerman - anti-Ackerman steering was debated and tested in the late 70 to early 80s. The consensus was that there is so little weight on the inside wheel that Ackerman had no measurable effect at speed...now at parking lot (parking) speeds, Ackerman did. We are talking about racing now...not parking a car. Go look at any photo of a Lotus at speed...the inside wheel is in the air! Who gives a $h!t where it's pointing?

The predictability gives you confidence to drive on the limit...

Toe out only requires you to put in more steering input for the same result... I still don't get it.
Did you look at the link I gave? It agrees almost exactly what you said. Ackerman doesn't have a whole lot of effect at speed or for steady state turning. For turn-in (while your tire is still on the ground) you have increased the inside tires slip angle by having static toe out.
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post #16 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 09:57 AM
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I found rear toe to be an incredibly powerful tuning device. That's all.
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post #17 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 10:06 AM
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I will also toss in that front toe out tends to "pre-load" the rack and all the steering components. Not such a big deal in these cars perhaps, but in Stock class running can make a big difference in other, sloppier cars. My main focus with alignment testing will be on rear toe, so I agree with Gladola. I need it to turn under power - something I was able to achieve in my FWD Civic.
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post #18 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 07:36 AM
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post #19 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Another quick review of the BFGs, we did some more testing this weekend. I was a little concerned about the front end feel and overall grip in transitions with the 225 fronts, but not anymore. The front of the car felt great, you could throw the car into an element. The front was so good that for the first time I had to soften the rear so that was more controllable. I was running TO, but if you take in account the RTR SS PAX I would have been 2nd on the index, right behind Glagola and his SSM monster--who killed all of us.
Judging by the performance so far BFGs are definitely an option for these cars, but further tire testing will be needed to determine if other tires are faster/slower or fit a driver's style better than another.
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post #20 of 154 (permalink) Old 09-30-2013, 04:36 PM
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Another quick review of the BFGs, we did some more testing this weekend. I was a little concerned about the front end feel and overall grip in transitions with the 225 fronts, but not anymore. The front of the car felt great, you could throw the car into an element. The front was so good that for the first time I had to soften the rear so that was more controllable. I was running TO, but if you take in account the RTR SS PAX I would have been 2nd on the index, right behind Glagola and his SSM monster--who killed all of us.
Judging by the performance so far BFGs are definitely an option for these cars, but further tire testing will be needed to determine if other tires are faster/slower or fit a driver's style better than another.
Definitely suggest you guys test the other tires. Not that the BFGs are not all that, but let me tell you I am glad I tested the Hoosier radials 2 weeks prior to nationals! Until you test you don't know.

As far as Glagola goes, he's really pedaling that car lately and it is STILL UNDER-PREPARED, which speaks to the potential AND Matt's skill behind the wheel.


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