Entries for 'rawkus'

28

"My Fiancée's" Miata: Part 9 - V8 Roadsters Cowl Stabilizer Braces, Sway Bar End Links and Track Test

by Daniel O'Donnell

Last winter, I was debating all the areas of improvement the Miata needed and first and foremost was chassis rigidity. The car crashes over bumps, the interior rattles and the cowl shakes like an old man’s fist when the neighbor kids are playing ball too close to his roses. It was getting to me and really needed to be the focus for improvement before future modifications could be made. Much like a relationship, a chassis needs to be rock solid for the whole package to work. My fiancée will appreciate that part.


 

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19

"My Fiancée's" Miata: Part 8 - Whiteline Roll Bars and Track Test

by Daniel O'Donnell

In Part 6 of our ongoing Miata project, we got to spend a lovely day tracking the car and finding out its good and bad traits. One of the most glaring problems, at least from the driver’s confidence standpoint, was a massive amount of body roll in the corners. Body roll, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, especially as our Miata is at the stock ride height. It didn’t appear that we were running out of shock travel and we didn’t notice any exaggerated or strange tire wear, confirming that the suspension was working more or less as designed. That being said, it didn’t exactly inspire confidence. The car would set into a turn and take significant time to transfer load if I had quickly change directions. To improve the dynamics of the Miata and not feel like we’d roll over and off the track, the body roll had to be rectified.


 

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21

"My Girlfriend's" Miata: Part 7 - LRB Speed Aero Cooling Panels

by Daniel O'Donnell

An update for My Girlfriend’s Miata Project has us dipping our toes into the world of aerodynamic performance. I feel as this is an often overlooked aspect of street car performance and another area we shall address as we try to improve all aspects of our Miata platform. We’ll hold off on improving downforce/reducing drag for a future article and instead start with improving reliability through better control of the air for the cooling system.


 

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17

"My Girlfriend's" Miata: Part 6 - Gingerman Raceway Baseline

by Daniel O'Donnell

As luck would have it, the girlfriend had to work out of town and the semi-local track that we do all of our testing for the Professional Awesome Evo, Gingerman Raceway, was hosting a weekend track day. This would be the perfect opportunity to take the Miata, with or without her knowledge, up to the track. With tech and driving support from PA Motorsports owner, Grant Davis, it looked like the perfect opportunity to take the car around this wonderfully challenging racetrack to get some data on what the Miata could do. With the roll bar, seats, brakes and cooling system ready to go, it was also a great time to track test these systems to ensure everything was up to snuff and baseline the car for future improvements.


 

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09

Ghostwalk the Whip: Fixing Subaru Bump Steer with Whiteline Bushings

by Daniel O'Donnell (With language assistance for Subaru owners in bold)

There aren’t many more usable vehicles than a Subaru Outback (Scooby Vapewagon). Mild off-roading to your next rock climbing trip? Easy-peasy. Need to take your Australian Cattle Dogs to the vegan dog park? Donezo. Hauling your butch friend Karen and all her camping gear to Beaver Island for a weekend under the stars? Legally, only Subarus are allowed to perform that task. Yet with all these wonderful positives, there’s one annoying issue that nearly makes all these points moot, over time Outbacks can develop terrible rear bump steer (totes gnar dorifto).


 

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31

"My Girlfriend's" Miata: Part 5 - Keeping Cool with Koyorad

by Daniel O'Donnell

I had a dream. In this dream a man would drive a car on the track. He wouldn’t own this car, yet he would have all the joy and happiness as if he actually owned it. His expenses would be low and his debt modest due to his loving girlfriend’s trust and/or gullibility. This was a beautiful dream that would leave me slightly sad when I awoke. Surely I couldn’t become this man. With my awkward personality and face only a mother could love, no girl would date me, let alone be foolish enough to let me drive her car at speed. But this my friends, is America. Dreams still come true and slowly, the dream has started becoming a reality. First the girlfriend, then the Miata, then the rollbar, seats and brakes to get it track ready. The last piece of the puzzle was improving the dumpster fire Mazda calls a cooling system in NA Miatas. With the help of Koyorad, my vision, foretold many years ago, is ready to be fulfilled.


 

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25

"My Girlfriend's" Miata: Part 4 - Brake Upgrade with Good-Win-Racing and DBA USA

by Daniel O'Donnell

We’re doing it people. The impossible is becoming possible. We’re taking a car that I don’t own or insure and slowly turning it into a track vehicle that is someone else’s day-to-day responsibility. That being said, in order to keep up this ruse, I can’t screw up its daily manners too much or the girlfriend might catch on to my plan. This was a big concern for me when I was planning one of the most important systems for the track, the brakes!


 

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28

"My Girlfriend's" Miata: Part 3 - Lotus Elise Seats and Flipside Customs Brackets

by Daniel O'Donnell

Spring in the midwest is a lovely time of year. A pat on the back is earned for making it through winter without committing suicide and this can be a big challenge in an area with snow, yet no mountains to make any use of it. Gray immediately turns to green. As if out of nowhere, all sorts of bugs and birds appear and try to have sex with one another. More importantly, racetracks open up and whatever project you’ve been procrastinating on calls out to be finished up post haste.


 

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17

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 4 - Drivetrain

by Daniel O'Donnell

Today, boys and girls, we’re heading back into the technical side of the Professional Awesome Evo. For your reading and viewing pleasure, we’ll be showing all the secrets in the drivetrain of the fastest Limited Class time attack machine ever to compete at Buttonwillow Raceway.


 

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02

"My Girlfriend's" Miata: Part 2 - Blackbird Fabworx GT3 Roll Bar

by Daniel O'Donnell

I’ll start off with a little bit of background for those that don’t know me. I occasionally drive the Professional Awesome Evo, and in 2013, the first version of the car was wrecked at Road Atlanta. Wise decision or not, I still had a loan on the Evo and there was a significant balance still remaining at the time of the accident. The monthly payment was nothing to scoff at and therefore, I like to consider those years I spent paying off that loan as my time in the "Valley of the Poor." It left me a changed man. I went in a naive money waster, I came out a tightwad.


 

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18

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Driver Safety Part 1 (Being Safe and Looking Like a Million Bucks While Doing It)

by Daniel O'Donnell

There’s an interesting thing I’ve learned when it comes to safety in racing. It’s never a priority until you’ve had you first experience with a concrete barrier. Concrete puts a new perspective on life. One starts to plan and prepare to reduce chances of injuries if a second experience were to occur. An accident will also have you reevaluating the quality of equipment you use. Gone are the days when a borrowed motorcycle helmet with a missing visor and paint chips seem like a wise tool to protect your noggin.


 

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17

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 3 - Fuel System

by Daniel O'Donnell

At Professional Awesome Racing, we take pride in thinking through problems and coming up with solutions that are as efficient and reliable as possible, all while fitting into a modest budget. We try not to do things that other people do just because “it’s always been done that way.” As you can read in our previous articles, this has lead to unique designs with our chassis/roll cage and powerplant. We like to think this same mentality translates into our fuel and computer systems and that’s the topic we’ll dive into today. So enjoy reading while sitting on your favorite throne or perhaps fire up MotoIQ at work with a finger quick to pop up a spreadsheet if the boss walks by.


 

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23

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 2 - Engine Details

by Daniel O'Donnell

We last left you with the chassis in progress and weeks worth of prep and fab ahead of ourselves to have the car ready to start bolting parts on to it. While this was going on in our shop, we had a whole new engine project being worked on by Steve Schmidt Racing Engines in Indianapolis, IN. The goal of the new engine was to improve reliability, make more power and try some new ideas we had been tinkering around with in our heads.


 

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08

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 1 - Roll Cage and Chassis in Detail

by Daniel O'Donnell

Hi! For those that don’t know me, I drive the Professional Awesome Evo from time to time. That being said, I am no engineer, I don’t weld, I don’t fabricate, but when it comes to pushing the broom around the shop and holding things while the guys tack important bits of metal in place, I’m a champ. This should be kept in mind when reading this article. I may not be a complete dip sh!t, but I don’t know everything there is to know on this topic. Please don’t hesitate to comment and add to this conversation, let me know where I’m right and where I should get to studying!


 

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01

My Girlfriend's Miata: Part 1 - Flyin' Miata Frame Rail Reinforcement Kit

by Daniel O'Donnell

Sure, there are some advantages to having a girlfriend, but as a car guy, the negatives can get in the way of more important things. Who’d want to go on long walks on the beach when you could be looking at cars, working on cars, day dreaming about cars, reading about cars and winning online arguments about cars? Trying to carve out a few minutes to actually listen to your significant other can be a real bummer. Luckily for me, Flyin’ Miata produces a slew of cool parts that work on my girlfriend’s 1993 Miata. This allows me to “bond” with her while, more importantly, improving her car for my own driving enjoyment.


 

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27

We Didn't Crash!: An Enthusiastic Outing at Road Atlanta in Global Time Attack's Enthusiast Class

by Daniel O'Donnell

Truth be told, I don’t consider myself the best tech writer. I have a comfortable working knowledge of what goes on with a car, but how to explain said knowledge so that others can understand and enjoy, well, let’s just say it doesn’t come as easily as it might for a Dave Coleman or Mike Kojima. Regardless, I do like to spin a good yarn and having a minimally modified 2013 Mitsubishi Evo X to compete in Global Time Attack’s Enthusiast Class at Road Atlanta affords me the opportunity to chat with you all, without having my brain struggle to explain the intricate details of a full blown racecar.


 

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20

Global Time Attack/Super Lap Battle Buttonwillow Finale

by Alec Cervenka and Daniel O'Donnell

Why on Earth you would be excited to wake up at a less-than-luxury (much less?) motel in the middle of the desert at 5 am on a Thursday? Odds are, if you're a regular reader of MotoIQ, you've driven yourself out to the boonies to either watch fast cars, drive fast cars, or fix fast cars when their drivers weren't driving their fast cars. Buttonwillow's "four-star" Motel 6 had a drastically changed clientele this fateful Thursday with the usual guests, aka nobody, being replaced by countless automotive enthusiasts. These enthusiasts gathered from all over North America and, in one team's case, England, to compete in the Global Time Attack/Super Lap Battle finale.


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02

Global Time Attack/Super Lap Battle Buttonwillow Finale Preview

by Daniel O'Donnell

I think of Time Attack like I think of the USA and USSR during the Cold War… or was it Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd? One side brings out an axe, the next a pistol, the next a shotgun, the next a cannon, until you end up with a nuclear bomb. So how does this relate to time attack? The first year of the Super Lap Battle Time Attack at Buttonwillow was 2004. The best lap time was a 1:54 for an Unlimited class car, the Signal Auto Skyline R34, driven by the one and only Tarzan Yamada. Fast forward to modern times and a 1:54 is a great time for a Street Tire car and the Unlimited cars are talking numbers sub 1:40(!!!) to secure a victory.


 

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Posted in: Magazine, Events
07

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Part 0 - The End of an Era, the Beginning of a Legend

by Daniel O'Donnell

My name is Dan O’Donnell, I’m the driver of the Professional Awesome Evo and I’m a Time Attack-aholic. It’s been 4 years since I first started and it’s taking over my life. I have no money, I find it hard to focus at work and I’m slowly converting all my friends and family to manual transmission cars. They are concerned because I mutter confusing statements to myself such as “If I can just shave a tenth in turn 3” and “If the engine will hold 30psi, surely 35 won’t hurt.” I need help.


 

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