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American Iron - State of the Union


tacovini

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firehawkclone
That is what Pat and I were trying to do by bringing the orange car back out and all we got was a lot of crying about it.We will see how bad it is when the new rules come out,but I am pretty sure what ever they change will effect us because we have already built the car to these rules.

 

He's got the money to deal with it.

 

Jeff F, can you post a price on the FR500 ABS unit? I hear it's going to be legal in 2010 and beyond, and I'd like to research how to put it in my car.

 

Thanks.

 

I'd also like to see the cost to install that system in an F body.

 

Bingo! The stock fbody unit is crap, and you can't get it to run without a stock dash/gauges and it will over heat and shut off in a 20min race. FACT!

 

You will never get more GM cars to run if you keep building the rules for Ford cars!

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I'd also like to see the cost to install that system in an F body.

 

Dave, since the Aluminum Motorsport block is going to be allowed now, are you going to put a ford in that camaro?!

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Bingo! The stock fbody unit is crap, and you can't get it to run without a stock dash/gauges and it will over heat and shut off in a 20min race. FACT!

 

Patterson seems to get along with his just fine....might PM him to find out how he does it..

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I'd also like to see the cost to install that system in an F body.

 

Dave, since the Aluminum Motorsport block is going to be allowed now, are you going to put a ford in that camaro?!

 

Maybe I'm out of the loop, but I haven't seen the 2010 rules.

Not making any decisions until I see them.

 

Side note: I would have loved to have seen this broad wide sweeping review about 3 years ago. My fear now is that no matter what happens about 1/2 of the current AI racers are going to be scratching their heads. At this point, I'm going to assume that the time and effort put forth is for the good of the series. My feeling is, we will at least know the direction the series is headed.

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... My feeling is, we will at least know the direction the series is headed.

 

My feeling is, fat rule books are for chumps! Keep this one skinny.

 

Don't make me get "No fat rule books, car will scrape!" bumper stickers made up.

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Jeff F, can you post a price on the FR500 ABS unit?
On a FR500S the only part that is unique is the ECU. The module is $249 retail. http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=10375 The rest of the system is production Mustang, all of which has been legal forever.

 

as i recall dean martin has said that the fr500C abs module is tuned for sticky tires and would not be the correct choice for Toyo tires. The Shelby GT500 module is the correct one for AI.
Rob, do you really think that Dean would tell you that the illegal module is the best one?
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He's got the money to deal with it.
Nice attitude, you guys really disgust me. Pat's car is built to a ruleset that hasn't changed substantially in years. That car would have been legal 5 years ago, but now that someone shows up with a car that is built to take advantage of the rules, it's a big crybaby witchhunt to make the thing illegal-- and your attitude is that it's OK because you believe he can afford to make the changes??? What relevance does that have? Is this socialist racing? Maybe would should adjust the entry fees based on income so you can better afford to race. Or we could set up an American Iron welfare fund for you so you can be more competitive. What a bunch of BS.

 

Look, I don't like an LS1 in a Fox body any more than you do, but the way the rules have been interpreted it's legal. I applaud Pat for doing something new and innovative, and I don't want to see his car made illegal after the fact. If we make a habit of doing this, nobody would want to do anything innovative because it will just get taken away from them the next year.

 

Hell, my car isn't even CLOSE to built to the rules, and someone is trying to get it outlawed because I did something that was perfectly legal, but they didn't like it after it was done. I do all of my own work, and it took me 6 months and missing half of the race season to do it. I'm not going to be happy if someone wants me to throw all that away and put it back.

 

The time to complain about these rules was 5 years ago, not now.

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Jeff, u sometimes have to excuse me for being the one to say what everyone else is thinking. Besides, he built the to the rules once and will probably do so again as the rules change. It's a risk we all take when stretching the rules interpretations.

 

I do agree however these rules redos are a long overdue.

 

 

As for "being more competitive" part, not sure you really want me to be faster!

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robbodleimages

NASA in general and AI in particular grew out of the distain that grew up over the SCCA rule book. Less was thought to be better. Less means more room for creativity and financial advantage.

 

We either start being more restrictive and more like the SCCA or leave it the way it is. My take is that we are popular enough now that we are running into the same problems that caused the mess in the SCCA rule book. How we handle it will cut the difference between us and them.

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Haven't turned a wheel in an Iron race yet . I took all of last season off to start building my car to the rules that were current. I also have done some things that nobody has tried and if I can't run because of some cost containing rule change that would have me change anything more than a a couple of Franklin's I'll go to ST-1 SU or over to the other guys ITE. What loured me in was a good set of rules in the first place . If Pats car is a problem for any of you that just shows what a whining puss you are. I wish he would stick around and take that thing to the next level. Although the HP race in AIX has gotten a little out of hand , that's the price to run in the Big Dog's neighborhood

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The time to complain about these rules was 5 years ago, not now.

Absolutely, and many of us knew back then that the AI rules had very serious flaws in them. But since we can't turn back the clock, what's better, doing nothing and letting it flame out pretty quickly or taking a long overdue opportunity to establish some boundaries that can hopefully ensure a reasonable future for the class? AI isn't the first class and won't be the last that died because the rules got out of hand. What would be truly ground-breaking would be for a sanctioning body to actually take the unprecedented step of pulling back a rule book. That never happens because no one wants anybody's stuff to be made illegal. But sometimes you have to cut a leg off to save the body.

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marshallmosty
He's got the money to deal with it.
Nice attitude, you guys really disgust me. Pat's car is built to a ruleset that hasn't changed substantially in years. That car would have been legal 5 years ago, but now that someone shows up with a car that is built to take advantage of the rules, it's a big crybaby witchhunt to make the thing illegal-- and your attitude is that it's OK because you believe he can afford to make the changes??? What relevance does that have? Is this socialist racing? Maybe would should adjust the entry fees based on income so you can better afford to race. Or we could set up an American Iron welfare fund for you so you can be more competitive. What a bunch of BS.

 

Look, I don't like an LS1 in a Fox body any more than you do, but the way the rules have been interpreted it's legal. I applaud Pat for doing something new and innovative, and I don't want to see his car made illegal after the fact. If we make a habit of doing this, nobody would want to do anything innovative because it will just get taken away from them the next year.

 

Hell, my car isn't even CLOSE to built to the rules, and someone is trying to get it outlawed because I did something that was perfectly legal, but they didn't like it after it was done. I do all of my own work, and it took me 6 months and missing half of the race season to do it. I'm not going to be happy if someone wants me to throw all that away and put it back.

 

The time to complain about these rules was 5 years ago, not now.

Jeff,

I 100% agree with all your points. However, I believe that NASA has had a gigantic black hole of a rule book for so many years and no one realized what a 100% prepared AI car would look like, and/or cost to be built to 99.999% of the current ruleset.

Aero has just been coming in during the last few years and it's been legal from the get go.

ABS has been legal, but it takes almost a decade for people to start fussing about it.

When NASA realizes that the "black hole" rule book is a bit too open during the growth of the series, I don't think it should be beyond them to tighten areas up to keep the group heading forward and not sideways or backwards.

 

As an engineer, I personally applaud all the "high dollar" and "grassroots" efforts at the same time. Everyone has a different way of skinning the same cat, as the ruleset allows us to do so. We do live in a "have" and "doesn't have as much" world. Pat is fortunate enough in his non-racing life to afford to be on the "have" end of the spectrum. Applause for him, seriously. Those in the "doesn't have as much" end of the world should realize how much the do have and be fortunate enough to just participate for FUN! I'm in the "doesn't have as much" end of the spectrum, so I see it as a challenge to be creative enough to build/modify within the ruleset to be able to run with the "big boys". I run out of talent well before my car runs out of grip.

 

I like Aero (have a wing and splitter).

I like ABS (financial decision to stop squaring tires... read a lack of pure talent... it's a crutch, but also an insurance policy).

I like the open end of the rules regarding fabrication.

I wish the rules would tighten on ECU's.

 

Life is good. At least we are on the right side of the ground and can see blue sky.

 

 

On a severe side note, I was driving to a b-day party yesterday for my 4-yr old and MapQuest got me lost in a VERY, VERY rough part of town that I didn't even know existed. If felt uncomfortable driving through that neighborhood during the day, in my Honda Accord... We should all be greatful that we can afford to complain about ABS and throttle by ECU and not just worry if there is going to be heat during the winter.

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robbodleimages

Vision in this situation is a good thing. I started with a 95 Cobra R. Its 15 years old as of the 2010 model year. My current 2005 Mustang won't be 15 years old for another 10 years.

 

What do we want AI to look like in 10 years? Do we want a series based on Fox body and SN95 Mustangs(Sorry GM guys, I am GM challenged and this the best way for me to talk about this) or do we want to see a series where the median age of the race car in the field is 10-15 years old?

 

If we don't want to obsolete the 1985 Fox body car from AI, we need to move the 2005 Mustang to a new class. That will make for better competition base for the 2005 car when the 2015 car hits the race track. If we want AI to be what it is today, then we have to realize that as time goes by the older cars will get phased out. My 2 cents worth of free advise.

 

In any case. I've made my decision. My SN95 race cars are gone as of Friday. I have an S197 will be racing that one place or another. Whichever place makes the most sense.

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Ok so if the s197 were so superior then why was Pat's car so dominant until the engine dropped a lung.

Last yr. I do remember a really old Mustang getting First in the X class.

I don't think splitting things up would do any good

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robbodleimages

Why? Pat's car was significantly more developed. The S197 cars cost about half has much and have just a year or two of use in this class. This is not about Pat's car. I have nothing against his ride.

 

My point about splitting things up is that there is a segment of audience/participants here that are trying to back off the tech and engineering advances of the newer cars. Throttle by wire, ABS, 14" brakes, 18" wheels. The "its not a stock car, its a race car" point of view is primarily targeted toward the newer cars or that is how it reads to me.

 

If you want to take the brakes and basic operational electronics off the new mustang and camaro and challenger and require them to retrofit the 10 year old tech and engineering to the new cars, I say just reclass them.

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Why? Pat's car was significantly more developed. The S197 cars cost about half has much and have just a year or two of use in this class. This is not about Pat's car. I have nothing against his ride.

 

My point about splitting things up is that there is a segment of audience/participants here that are trying to back off the tech and engineering advances of the newer cars. Throttle by wire, ABS, 14" brakes, 18" wheels. The "its not a stock car, its a race car" point of view is primarily targeted toward the newer cars or that is how it reads to me.

 

If you want to take the brakes and basic operational electronics off the new mustang and camaro and challenger and require them to retrofit the 10 year old tech and engineering to the new cars, I say just reclass them.

 

Anyone who wants to spend the time and/or money could have an platform developed to the level that Pat is on. Go pick up a copy of Chassis Engineering, Engineer to Win, and Competition Car Aerodynamics and start reading and comprehending. Then, either head out to the garage or pick up the phone and your wallet.

 

Tech and engineering advances of the newer cars? Do you want us to allow the 20" wheels off the new Camaro? Max tire size 275/25/20? Making shit bigger isn't a tech and engineering advance, it's because the cars are getting big and heavy from the factories. If 14" brakes and 18" wheels were the only things that fit those cars, I could understand the bitching, but they have options for 13" brakes and 17" wheels. If you don't want to have to change things, don't build a race car. You're going to have to change the seats, carpet, creature comforts, etc. The old cars have to go through big upgrades to race at this level (anyone remember that 3rd gens and Foxes came with 10.5" brakes and single piston calipers?), is it too much to ask the newer cars not to bolt on the top of the line package from the factory? We do it with horsepower, why not with other areas?

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robbodleimages

actually, i think before we make decisions for today, we need to try and take into consideration where our cars are going. Do we really want to make a guy who wants to race a Camaro having to reengineer/retroengineer that car to make the rules?

 

This is why I suggested that it might be time to split the class.

 

Right now there are many options for off the shelf racing wheels for our cars. There are off the shelf racing wheels for the S197 Mustang and the 2010 Camaro. If you require them to run a wheels size that is not a factory size for these cars, you may be requiring them to rework the car to fit a part not meant for them or spend big money for custom wheels just to make the rules work.

 

That was the reason for the posting. It might be time for a PT like points system for this class. By 2012 there will be Camaros ready to race and aftermarket parts to make them better. Do we want those cars racing with 1985 Mustangs and Camaros? If we do, we have to accomidate them both. If we don't we need to find classes for both new and old to fit into. Suggesting that the new cars go X or ST2 is not what I have in mind.

 

What do you suggest? This conversation we are having right here, right now will only get more intense as the years go by.

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OK but , we have 2 CMC classes and 2 AI classes, creating another would not help the series grow.

Pat's car is a good example , that platform is very old and this is a real life situation that it can be competitive .

If a competitor would develop a new Ford, Chevy or Dodge to the same level as Pat's car someone would whine about it. The new car's come with a weight handycap to overcome already. Thats a good reason alone for the brake and wheel increase , how about a 295 tire to help the pig's out . Let's stay away from the Oboma Iron where the have-nots take from the haves. It's interesting all the different views that are out there . The original rules are for the aftermarket to to show their product's not the OE's .

But I would hope the Dub's would stay in the hood with the beat.

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As we're waitng for the rules, here's my opportunity to put in my 2 cents. This applies to my thoughts about American Iron, not AIX.

 

One thing which attracts me to AI is the idea of having things simple, and giving more and more average Joe's the "impression" that they can in their garage build a fairly competitive car without having to have the latest model, and without having to have a well developed pro-shop built car. Many people are taking years to build a car (speaking about myself and a few friends anyway) so I like the idea of having the five year plan. I have a fresh shell sitting here ready to get going on, and a good donor car that I crunched the right hand side at Summit Point a while back. Hope I don't have to build a CMC car, the IRS has a lot of time and money in it. The other option is to just do the track days and autocross it.

 

Back to the subject on hand, and what simple means to me... it means within budget first of all. Grand Am would be a better option if I had a much bigger budget. It also means that people are on the same tires like the RA1 which are long lasting, forgiving, fun to drive, and don't require the most precision suspension on the planet.

 

Although it's unpopular with everyone who has anti-lock (that includes me) I like the idea of getting rid of it if it means reeling in electronic driving aids. That shouldn't cost anyone much money or effort to make the change if they already have it. It will cause the people who do have it to bitch a lot, but probably not enough of a deter them from competing. Look at how technology has impacted driving aids at the highest ends of the sport. Driving aids levels the playing field in terms of talent a little bit, but eventually unlevel it in terms of the seemingly unlimited budget due to advantage they can provide. From a simplicity perspective, and how I think a race-car should be, my perspective is that it's best to get that sucker out of the car and dump it in the trash. It's the lesser of two evils. When I was crewing for a Grand Am Rolex GT deal, I noticed that the car didn't have anti-lock brakes. Not sure what the current rules are, but obviously it's wise for NASA to have the same concerns. It's true that we can't drive like an idiot as much and get away with it.

 

Same with using stock based ECU's at least on 1996 or whatever years they went to OBDII and later cars. Let's look at some of the big boys with more developed rules.

 

Just talking here... not like I have any influence and the rules our probably being typed up right now to be released today anyway.

 

Dave

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robbodleimages

Dave,

 

I am not an expert on this, but this is my understanding. My 95R had ABS. It had a switch on the dash where I could turn it off and I usually did. I was told the car would be faster without the ABS and that made sense. The ABS was a nice tool to help me find the braking threshold on new tracks, which as a rookie were all new for me.

 

The 2005 ABS is different. Its completely integrated. That means that if you "turn off" the ABS, the entire brake system will not function correctly. The 1995 ABS computer just worried about the anti lock issue. The 2005 brake system has one computer running the entire system with the ABS being one function. Eliminating the ABS requires changing the brake system, not just unpluggint the anti lock function.

 

I could be wrong, but this is my understanding.

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RWinchester199

you are right you cant just unplug it. i had to take all of it out of my car to run a manual setup without abs. however with the rules the way they are as of now thats not the best setup on the s197 so i am going to put assisted abs brakes back on as long as it stays legal. or if the rules force me to spend more money ill leave it alone and run it in another class. we arent pros so its just for fun anyway. and all this bitching makes it a lot less fun. LETS JUST RACE ALREADY.

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robbodleimages

Well..thats really the thing. Its supposed to be for fun. Reality is that some guys can't have fun unless they are winning while other guys just want to participate with others being everywhere in between.

 

This is why we have some guys spending and engineering to the max and other guys that just come for some laps and for some beers with the boys in cars that have no chance to be remotely competitive.

 

Fun is a relative thing.

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