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Old 01-04-2018, 11:26 AM
gills gills is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 555
Default Core4 Motorsports Endurance Racing Saga...

New Years resolution: BUILD THREAD!

This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Not only to document and share my journey through the rapidly growing grassroots endurance road racing genre that's happening in the US, but for my own compiling of information and progress with the development of myself, my car and team. I’m treating this like I started back in 2013 so IT’S A LOT. I have posts scattered all throughout the forum since then that cover technical issues of my first S13 race cars, but to get that all in here ordered properly is tough. From this point onward however, I will do my best to post everything I do in here.

I’d also like to mention that I have access to lots of equipment at my work, including CNC vertical milling machines and professional CAD/CAM software that I always use for designing and making stuff for this racing adventure. Some of the stuff I’ve made I intend on offering, including a bolt-on rear Wilwood BBK that doesn’t require cutting the stock caliper mounting ears (only works with OEM steel and Z32 uprights for now) that will cost you less than $900 for everything. I will also offer radial mount caliper brackets (based off of a design Def created) to run Wilwood FSL6R calipers with Defsport rotor hats. Hopefully a full kit in the future for people who don’t have Defsport hats already. I can now finally brake confidently along side BMW’s with this setup. More on these later, I’ll start rambling now…

Ever since the introduction of the 24 Hours of Lemons racing series in 2008, the endurance genre of amateur racing has grown tremendously. There are now no less than 5 entry level endurance racing series (24HoL, WRL, ChumpCar/ChampCar, AER, LDRL) across the country that cater to different rule sets and regions, but all mutually related as one spun off another and snowballed from there. All of them fill the grid for every single event. Although late to the game, SCCA also created something called "bracket enduro."

And there's good reason for it; nowhere else will you find the bang for buck that endurance racing provides without sometimes irritating, stickler rule sets (with the exception of maybe Chump/ChampCar). You literally accumulate 1000's of laps of wheel-to-wheel racing experience with relative speeds between different classes of cars that compare to pro racing. The laps per dollar can’t be beat at the grassroots level. So if you and a group of friends/family have been considering entering an event or campaigning, I'd highly recommend doing it if you're getting bored and trust each other.

I started HPDE's in 2005 and have been driving on track several times per year since then. I took a more unorthodox approach to racing vs. the standard NASA/SCCA HPDE ladder climb to getting a comp license by starting in the 24 Hours of Lemons in 2011 with my boss's 1985 Alfa Romeo Milano (Team Pro-Crash-Duh-Nation). He's an Alfa Romeo junkie and also vintage races older Alfa's. His car is cursed. He started racing it in 2009 and still hasn't won a race overall, but has multiple 2nd place finishes that I've been a part of almost every time. Does the picture look familiar?:

Yea, that’s his car nailing the deer.

It does sounds incredible though!:

Alfa V6 Aural Bliss

Fast forward to 2013; I've learned a ton on what it takes to actually win one of these events. My brother, myself and a couple of friends decided to embark on building an S13 to run in 24 Hours of Lemons and ChumpCar (which recently acquired the rights to and renamed to the ChampCar Endurance Series).

We picked the S-chassis for obvious reasons, and ironically I went full circle as a S13 hatch was the first car I ever owned 20 years ago (which I bought for less than what they are going for today).

This one was found in New Jersey from the all-too-common aspiring drifter in January, 2013:

Sorted the car out for the teams inaugural race at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in August, 2013 using a cage kit from (highly recommended) and built to simplicity, lightness and reliability. Welcome team "Abe Froman Racing." We didn't care about the gimmicks, we just wanted to race and win like all the A-class 24HoL cars.

Of course some chassis prep:

Cat hump clearance removal

Custom seat bracketry cage kit installation:

Some custom front ARB brackets:

The goal was just to finish the 1st race without a mechanical issue. To finish first, you must first finish! The car was reliable as ever, but the drivers weren't. We were black flagged out of the race on Saturday about 6ish hours in (4 black flags in a day gets you parked for the rest of the day in 24HoL), but had a flagless and incident free Sunday. Finished a paltry 36th out of 136 cars, but had the 3rd or 4th fastest lap of the weekend.

Comical black flag penalty when the judges had enough of our passing under yellow shenanigans:

BMW’s forever haunt us:

when there were 6:

So fast forward a couple other mediocre finishes (but with 3rd or 4th FLW’s) to the May, 2014 NJMP race. The weekend from hell. First, the OEM fuel pump wiring circuit decided to start going haywire on race day when on practice day it was perfectly fine. Got towed in no less than 4 times. Finally bypassed the OE circuit completely and direct wired the fuel pump from the switch panel and all was well.....for about 1.5 hours... then this:

(yes those are plastic Salami’s/sausages lol. Abe Froman Racing!)

An E30 blew its engine a few seconds ahead of our driver (also least experienced) thru the fastest turn at NJMP Thunderbolt. A turn that’s WOT, starts the main straight and well known for eating cars on the inside tire wall when people lift. With no in-car video or data, we’ll never really know what happened, but it’s probably a combination of a bit of oil and panic braking mid-turn.

After a couple days of deep depression and deliberation about salvaging the chassis, we wasted no time and picked up another S13 that was in drifter purgatory in Queens, NYC. My wife was due in a week and a half with our 2nd baby at the time so it was a now or wait-many-months moment with getting another chassis.

The thing was terrible. Teal spray paint covering everything. What the hell are drifter guys smoking?

The build continued in early-mid 2015 to hit the August ChumpCar race at Limerock Park, CT. 2 guys had quit the team after the last race and we were down to 4 members. New team name also. Team Failken: Formula D-Bags.

The decision was made to re-use the cage from the wreck vs starting from scratch. Whether or not this is less work like we had envisioned is debatable. Anything roll cage related is a **** ton of work, even if it’s a “kit.”

We cut the roof off of both cars, removed the cage and hoisted the cage into the new chassis. We braced the new chassis with some square stock on the frame rails and A to B pillars. The cage had some preload in it from welding so it moved a bit once it was released from the wreck. Of course it required some manipulation to get it right in the new chassis.

In 5 weeks time we went from this:

to this:

to race ready:

The Limerock ChumpCar race was an ok result. We had zero sleep and were beyond exhausted. We placed 4th in class and 15th out of 60 cars, another top 5 fastest lap. We had issues with overheating due to using a crap stock radiator to comply with ChumpCar rules, and our clutch was slipping in 5th gear because we forgot to adjust pedal actuation during the re-build and were too dumb/brain dead to realize it at the race.

Next race was 24HoL New Hampshire Motor Speedway in October, 2015.

WE WON! 1st place overall in a field of 107 and had the 2nd fastest lap of the weekend. The car didn’t miss a beat. The start of Sunday morning was cold and raining, with P1 thru P3 on the same lap (we were P3). We were gifted when P2 got wrapped up in P1’s spin in the first lap and took both out of contention:

Short clip of P1 taking out P2

Talk about luck. The rain eventually dissipated and we were able to pull away from the field. Our first race win and last race with the 24HoL. The payout in 24HoL is in rolls of nickels. Some eyebrows raised when I went to the bank to exchange the $500 in nickels lol. The KA24DE now had about 70 hours of racing.

Core4 Motorsports
CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Car

Last edited by gills; 03-13-2018 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:26 AM
gills gills is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 555

In 2016 we decided to focus solely on AER ( The minimalist rule set, run what ya’ brung mantra, East region focus, and level of competition was enough incentive to go all in. A similar feel to WRL (, but with a different classing system (AER = Lap time based, WRL = power-to-weight). We got the car up to snuff aesthetically and with some fancier suspension bits. We also changed our team name to our current Core4 Motorsports.

Made a custom high capacity oil pan with trap doors for 6qt capacity:

AER Watkins Glen in April, 2016
Our expectations were pretty high considering we won our last race. The format of AER races is Friday qualifying day, and 9 hour races on Saturday and Sunday. AER typically sets 5 classes; class 1 thru 5 with 5 being the fastest of the bunch, and a class of attrition because the hardware is fast and expensive. Since it is lap time based, it is very driver dependent, but an idea on the class 5 cars are well prepped E46 & E92 M3’s, Porsche Caymans, Boss 302R’s, etc, and class 1 cars being spec Miatas, spec E30, 4 cylinder E36, NA 944’s, 90’s Honda/Acura, etc.

So about 2 hours into practice/qualifying day, the KA24DE spun a rod bearing.

[Some may remember reading this thread I started about the oil pressure relief bypass valve inside the KA block failing here: that I thought was the root cause. It actually turned out to be one of the most embarrassing things I think I can ever admit and was NOT the bypass valve. I used an oil filter sandwich plate adapter for oil sensors that was meant for an oil cooler rather than one that’s just used for sensors. Thing is I never did install an oil cooler, so oil was never actually being filtered in this KA for the 70+ hours of racing we put on it. I only discovered this after I plugged the bypass valve hole on a rebuild a few months later and there was no oil pressure getting to the head. I took the oil filter off, cut it open and it was bone dry. The level of facepalm was high. It’s an amazing thing that it didn’t spin a rod bearing earlier.]

So just as we were about ready to bail on the weekend, we manned up and found a kid selling a KA and trans about 2 hours away on CL. 2 guys went to pick it up, 2 guys stayed back to pull the motor and trans late Friday night.

We took our sweet ass time and managed to get the car running again in time for the full 9 hour race on Sunday. Amazingly, the engine didn’t blow. There were significant oil pressure drops in turns toward the end of everyone’s stint because it was burning 1.5 quarts every 1.75ish hours. This motor felt like a dog compared to our first. Especially painful on a track like Watkins Glen. Finished 6th out of 15 in class and 24th overall.

Short clip of a good HP vs handling battle with a fox body mustang:

This race ended up causing a lot of discussion about the direction I wanted to take since AER is very open. We all wanted more power and we had to deal with a trashed KA and one that needed to be rebuilt. AER Class 4 is the place where we all really wanted to be. The E36 M3 is the standard/template of this class. At first we were thinking of building a turbo KA, or VQ30/VQ35 swap, or possibly BMW S52 swap since most of us have BMW’s to begin with and and it’s different (why we’re endurance racing a 240 instead of an E30/36/46 in the first place). An LS swap would put us in class 5 and would require a monster fuel cell so that was out of the question.

So I slowly started to accumulate parts to do a basic KA turbo build, but I soon realized that this beauty was still for sale on this forum:

After talking to the seller for about an hour, I sent him a deposit. It was a no brainer for me. The VQ35DE is not a high strung motor at all, but still plenty powerful in a 2500lbs chassis and the chassis was prepped 98% how I would do it. We saved thousands of dollars and many, many hours buying a race car already done. As much as I like building my own, time is limited as 3 of the 4 team members have 2 small kids each.

Core4 Motorsports
CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Car

Last edited by gills; 03-13-2018 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:26 AM
gills gills is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 555

The rest of 2016 was used for testing and feeling out the S14 at a bunch track/test days and rebuilding the KA so we could sell the S13. We found a few gremlins in it, like any car. Mainly the high pressure power steering supply fitting at the rack (the Fragola/Earls fitting everyone uses to convert to AN lines) blowing O-rings every 2ish hours of track time. The shoulder diameter that the o-ring seals to was a hair too small causing the O-ring to slightly stretch into a void and rupture. So I machined my own from an M14x1.5 bolt on the lathe based on the OEM fitting dimensions, which resolved that:

The transmission (CD009) shifter linkage that came with the car also had terrible feel and vagueness to it that was not confidence inspiring at all. I think it was a McKinney unit. I ordered the GKTech shifter setup to replace it, which does away completely with the OEM U-Joint linkage and picks up the selector rod directly. It is a significant difference in feel. The spacing between gates is very close, almost too close, but I think that’s the nature of picking up the selector rod directly. It’s something that is much easier to get used to than the weirdness from the original setup.

[Interesting comparo vid I made to see how I differ from my co-driver when we first got the car. Also notice I have issues shifting into 6th. 4.08 final drive): ]

It didn’t come without its issues though. First being the reverse lockout pin and plate was incorrectly spec’d in my batch with mild steel. Within only about 4 hours of track time, they wore enough to make it almost impossible to shift into 5th and 6th without readjusting it:

I informed GK of the situation and he sent new shift rods with pins and plates to everyone who got a kit from that batch. That didn’t happen quick enough for me at that moment so I made an overkill solution with O1 tool steel plate hardened to ~50 Rc and dowel pin stock.

The other issue is the shifter getting stuck when you go to push it down to get it into reverse. Still need to delve into this. The shifter rod sits in a plastic housing that sits on top of a spring in the main metal housing that you compress to clear the lockout plate. My guess is that the plastic is scuffed or messed up from the heat generated from racing and not sitting properly in the main metal housing where the spring sits. It’s something GK is aware of and awaiting my findings. The customer service from them has been excellent.

Race prep time for AER Watkins Glen April, 2017.

Engine pulled:

For oiling reliability we installed a Cosworth oil pan baffle kit and AAM oil pan spacer. Oil capacity now at 6+ quarts:

Also installed a new VQ35 rev-up oil pump to handle the sustained high rpm use. This VQ motor makes excellent oil pressure using 30wt Redline Race oil. About 80-85psi in the upper rev range under WOT with oil temps at 240-255F.

I scored a great deal on a used AiM MXL PISTA datalogging dash with a GPS05 sensor (10Hz). This is one of the best things I’ve purchased yet for the race car. It’s expensive, but for good reason. This allows complete driver analysis and enough resolution to monitor oil pressure in turns. Needed a solution to mount it in my bare interior and came up with this to mount directly on my steering column (I can make this for anyone wanting a solution to mount their AiM/Motec dashes):

In AER, there’s a minimum pit stop time of 3 minutes, which is plenty of time to re-fuel, change drivers, and go over vitals on the car. It also prevents fueling rig cost creep for all teams so we’re not forced to use dry-break systems to be competitive. Ironically, there’s no pit time restriction in 24HoL (5 minutes in Chump/Champ) and there are some top teams with fuel fill systems that are more expensive than the car. I just drill out the flappy door thing from the OEM filler neck and use Hunsaker quick fill fuel jugs. Takes about 20-25 seconds for 5.5 gallons of fuel with OEM venting.

Also removed and replaced the existing wiring harness and power distribution box with a more robust kit from Painless Peformance. The existing power distribution box had only 2 relays for all the circuits in the car and suspicious wire sizing. We ended up using the 10 circuit race only chassis harness as the replacement. I would’ve like to have gone with a solid state power distribution box/harness, but they are more than double the price:



Wiring is the best!!:

Did our own version of the Pathfinder coolant tube bypass mod on the rear coolant pipe by the firewall instead of piecing together OEM parts which adds $$$ up quickly. Whether this actually improves cooling efficiency or not is debatable. I like the idea of it at least so I figured it wouldn’t hurt and *should* provide an additional exit for coolant at the back cylinders.

While having everything out we also discovered the transmission front cover shaft the TO bearing slides on was completely broken off. Not sure why this is yet or how long it was like that for, but it at least functioned that way. I’m hoping that it was just too much clutch pedal movement so I adjusted the clutch pedal stop to provide the minimum amount of travel required to disengage the clutch. The verdict is still out if this worked. We’ll find out next time trans is pulled.

Broken clean off:

Cleaned up and TIG’d back on:

There was an ACT unsprung 6 puck clutch disc with HD pressure plate in the car already, but it was unanimously agreed upon that we all couldn’t stand it and it needed to be removed. Surprisingly, the 6 puck disc is no lighter than the an ACT SS sprung full clutch disc so that solidified my decision. The main negative is that the springs in the disc add another point of failure that can screw us in a race. My fingers are crossed.

A Cosworth intake manifold came with the car and is gorgeous. Based on all the research I’ve done it seemed that it was best suited to be used on FI applications and actually hindered performance in the low-end to mid-range and negligible gains in top-end on NA cars. Unfortunately, I never got it on a dyno to actually prove that out. I ended up selling it and installed an OEM manifold with a ” Motordyne plenum spacer kit. I regret it sometimes because 1) it was gorgeous and 2) it was very space efficient. I ended up having to space the hood a bit more to clear the OEM IM setup. The hood spacing is one of my biggest peeves aesthetically on the car (in addition to the fender vents) so spacing it higher ticked me off. But, I sold it for a pretty penny and function >>> form, BRUH!


Engine all buttoned up and going back in. Engine install # 5,173:

Mr. KA24DE isn’t happy about being replaced and eventually sold off

Lastly, fire system, communications, and center net installed. Want to also mention that we use a Schroth Enduro 6 point safety harness. It is by far the smoothest, and easiest adjusting safety harness I’ve ever used. Driver changes are incredibly easy with it.

Ended up borrowing a load cell from work to have fun weighing engines and transmissions because these were all sitting in my garage at the same time and why the hell not!:

KA24 stuff (484 lbs w/o PS and AC):

VQ35DE stuff (521 lbs):

And for sh!ts and giggles, arch nemesis BMW S52 on the scale (377lbs + 82lbs ZF trans = 459lbs w/o plastic IM) :

Unfortunately don’t have a pic of the ZF 5 speed, but it only weighed a feathery 82 lbs. Is it a surprise that the KA being an I4 is the heaviest of the bunch? Cast iron block, sure, but so is the S52. It treated us well even when we didn’t (unfiltered oil ), but good riddance. Maybe one day I’ll mate the VQ to a ZF…
Core4 Motorsports
CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Car

Last edited by gills; 01-07-2018 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:26 AM
gills gills is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 555

4/2017 AER Watkins Glen race

Goal was to just finish the race incident free. We were all unsure as to where the car would class since there’s a large disparity in lap time potential between driver pairs. We all really wanted to be in class 4 with this car, but after Friday’s qualifying session we put the car into class 5 with the 7th fastest lap time. 2 of the 4 drivers are in the range and the other 2 are 5-7 seconds slower per lap. It’s something we need to work on. The car is essentially a class “4.5” car in this race.

Heading out:

Green flag! There we are on the right...

Crazy race start with one of Team Sahlen’s Cayman’s wrecking right at the drop of the green flag and almost causing a huge pile up. My first 2 wide rolling start also. If you have extra time, the first 12 laps or so there’s some good battling:

We were about mid-pack in class 5 and 7th place overall with the 3rd driver in the car when divine intervention came down upon him/us and prevented a giant wreck. Nothing like starting a spin at 106mph and not touch a single piece of armco at a track where it’s only feet off the asphalt (must watch!):

That essentially parked us for the rest of the day as we went over the car to make sure everything was all right. We lost a tire from dirt packing into the wheel from going slideways in the grass and coincidentally (or not) one of the lower front coilover locking collars worked loose so that was clunking around. We also put in some fresh Redline 75w-110 diff fluid because it was starting to get noisy and extra clunky. The PO used Redline “NS” gear oil that had no friction modifier so it was always very noisy.

We went back out on track for a few more laps at the end of the day to make sure everything was ok for Sunday. We found that the 6th gear synchro was also starting to take a sh!t.

Sunday: The cooling system was gradually getting more and more heat soaked as we cycled through drivers. Driver 2 was the first to report higher water temps vs Saturday. By the time I got in as 4th driver the water temp was dangerously high to run for extended period. Within 5 laps I started seeing temp spikes to 240*F. Once I realized I couldn’t get them to come down by farting around I parked it. The rest of the day was trying to bleed the coolant system and trying to determine if we had a slight head gasket leak. VQ’s are notorious for finicky coolant systems to bleed.

Subpar results for our first race. Positives are that we ran as high as 5th overall for awhile and we had the 7th fastest lap overall for the weekend. Oh, and the car came out unscathed in that spin!!

A few things that needed addressing before the next race
1) the 4.08 final with a 6800rpm rev limit is too short, especially for the Glen.
2) the car couldn’t brake as well as the BMW’s.
3) the CD009 6th gear synchro was toast.
4) the 4 piston Wilwood superlites with equal piston sizing have serious pad taper issues.

Here’s what was a brand new set of Hawk DTC-60 at the start of the weekend after 14ish hours of track time. Maybe this is why braking felt ‘meh’ over the course of the weekend?:

It had to be addressed for the next race, which was 4 weeks later at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) so onto prep time.

First thing was testing if the head gasket was leaking. Compression and leak down tests were good. Just to be certain we used this nifty little tool that “sniffs” the gas in the radiator for CO2 and changes color if it does, which indicates a leak of combustion gases. Luckily it tested negative:

It was air in the system that came to ruin our Sunday at Watkins Glen. VQ’s are notoriously a PITA to bleed. Most VQ swaps do away with the OEM bleeder that ties into a line that runs from behind the T-stat to the heater core circuit. This is a problem. Also a problem that the top of the radiator in a S-chassis is far below the high points of the VQ cooling system.

We T’d in a generic bleeder in the highest line of the system that runs from the radiator return to behind the t-stat.

Then bought this vacuum coolant refill tool to help evacuate much of the air in the system:

And lastly, a giant funnel with the nose of the car way up in the air.

It all worked and we haven’t had bleeding/overheating problems since.

After chatting with Def on here about the brake situation, I went all in on making radial mount brackets for the Wilwood FSL6R’s based on his design. I changed a few things for manufacturability and also made them so they will fit 12.2” rotors as is and 12.8” rotors with a spacer:

Ready for testing:


Also changed the final drive to an S15 3.69 ring and pinion. Many people just swap ring and pinions using existing pinion height shims and side bearing spacers, etc. Definitely couldn’t get away with that here. Look at how different the pinons are:

4.08 on left, 3.69 on right:

I ended up having to grind down the pinion height shim that came with the 3.69 substantially. See/read more detail in this thread if you’d like:

I also decided to move away from Hawk pads and try a different brake pad compounds. Ended up going with Porterfield/Raybestos ST-43 compound for the front and rear after talking with many endurance guys. They had to make the rear Z32 pad shape custom (more on this next).
Core4 Motorsports
CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Car

Last edited by gills; 01-04-2018 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:27 AM
gills gills is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: LI, NY
Posts: 555

5/2017 NJMP AER race
Friday Qualy/Practice: new final drive ratio is excellent and much less frantic. Started having issues with the rear brakes locking once heat got into them under even the slightest amount of brake pressure. SOB…

Porterfield’s pad shape template turned out to be a bit off. When the rotor would expand from proper heat, the very top portion of the pad was getting caught up on the circumference/edge of the rotor and created way too much friction. Nothing a good ol’ 4.5” angle grinder flapper disc wheel couldn’t deal with though. I hit the top of the pad so it wasn’t overhanging on the rotor edge anymore. They probably don’t sell many Z32 rear applications at all so as irritating as it is, it was an easy fix. They’ve updated their template now.

Dealing with that ate up a couple of hours so we didn’t get a ton of laps in for qualy. We ended up qualifying in class 4, 11th overall behind some impressive hardware.

Saturday starting grid in front of us:

Another Nissan in a sea of BMW’s:

And another!:

Y’all remember ‘CodyAce’ on this forum? Here he is wishing he still drove his S14 and had radial mount FSL6R’s! lol:

Saturday was the best day of racing yet for this car. We finished 3rd overall (58 cars) and 2nd in class. We got pushed into Class 5 once the slightly faster of the faster driver pair (hopefully he reads this ) got into his groove 30ish minutes in at the start. Good, clean driving all around. Brakes felt the best yet, even though there’s definitely less initial bite on the ST43 vs. DTC-60, but longevity isn’t even close (pics below). They are also just as loud though.

Big negative; 5th gear synchro now took a sh!t also.

The Saturday results determines starting grid for Sunday so we were P2 next to some proper hardware. We are the only car at the front that runs basically zero aero. Comical. Now it’s a pride thing being aero-less :

Sunday P1, 2, and 3:


Sunday was going great until our exhaust decided to partially fall off toward the end :embarrassing: Someone forgot to fully tighten some exhaust flange bolts in the muffler (me). That caused us to finish mid-pack for Sunday.

Passing 2 modern Nissan machines at the beginning and end of the same lap:

Because class 5 is typically the class of attrition, we actually finished P2 overall in class for the weekend. Great result for the team.

Core4 podium:

About those brakes, check out wear of the ST43 pads inside the FSL6R after 15 hours of racing:

I didn’t believe we raced when I saw how much they wore. Zero taper issues and what looks to be multiple race weekends on a single set of pads. Amazing consumable efficiency. I also don’t run any brake ducting at all.

Alignment and setup also seems to work well. Here’s a Falken RT615K+ after 14 hours of track time. Outside edge facing up:

Unfortunately, that was the end of our 2017 AER campaign. We really wanted to hit Summit Point and Mid-Ohio, but life/family and tow rig issues prevented that from happening.
Core4 Motorsports
CLICK HERE for Wilwood FSL6R Radial Bracket & Rear Wilwood BBK GROUP BUY
S14 VQ AER Endurance Racing Car

Last edited by gills; 01-10-2018 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:59 AM
gills gills is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: LI, NY
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That didn’t mean the rest of 2017 sucked!

First, we managed to get into a partnership with Motion Control Suspension ( and are now running their 2-Way remote reservoir dampers.

[lap comparo video of initial damper settings vs final damper settings:

Second, I designed, machined and tested a rear Wilwood BBK that doesn’t require cutting off the OEM caliper mounting tabs/ears. The kit uses Wilwoods Forged Dynalite Narrow caliper and 12.2 x 0.81 2 piece rotors (8x7” hat bolt circle). The benefits mirror Defsport’s front BBK. The kit weighs about 3.6lbs per corner less than a Z32 rear setup (not including the e-brake mechanism), moves more bias to the rear (can be even more if you choose to go with the larger piston size caliper), larger pad volume, more pad choices, and way cheaper than Z32 pads! They will last way longer than Z32’s as well.


Rotor Hats:


Inside wheel clearance (17x10 +18 RPF1), no spacer:

WW Pad vs Z32:

Paired with Defsport front BBK (new Greddy Zenki lip too):

If you have any interest at all in this kit and/or the front radial mount brackets, please PM me. I’ve made 4 kits so far that will be sent out in hopefully the next two weeks. I will also be creating a FS thread soon for these items to pre-order.

2018 plans will be four AER races, Watkins Glen, NJMP, Calabogie or Summit Point, and Mid-Ohio.

Changes in the pipeline are making a flush mounted hood, which we already started experimenting with:

We’re going to attempt to graft a 2005 Dodge Ram hood buldge onto the Zenki hood. Ideally I would use it as a plug to make a fiberglass mold and a nice lightweight hood. The hood is a big place to lose a few lbs.

OEM Ram hood stock photo:

Also will be incorporating trackspec hood vents/louvers ( for venting the engine compartment instead of custom reverse scoop things.

We bought a brand new Nissan CD00A (supersedes CD009 now) transmission for a killer price from our hookup at a local Nissan dealership. Going this route vs dealing with unknown used CD009’s that still develop synchro issues was a no brainer. I want to eat sushi off of it:

A big change and one I’m very much looking forward to will be real-time telemetry from a soon to be released unit from Autosportlabs called PodiumConnect (same guys that make RaceCapturePro). This unit is filling a large void in the market that allows you to tie into existing DAQ systems (AiM, Motec, etc.) and stream their data live, instead of having to get another complete DAQ system like RaceCapturePro to use for telemetry.

We will also be live streaming in-car video for all races this year. I will be sharing telemetry and video streams during race weekends in here so stay tuned!

And lastly, fine tune the MCS dampers, spring rates, and ARB’s. I just jumped from 500 lbs/in front to 600 and 335 lbs/in rear to 500 lbs/in with no rear sway bar. Already tested this setup and did manage to post our fastest lap yet at our home track (NJMP) on street tire that is nowhere near the fastest of the current crop (original Falken RT615K), but not in a good feeling manner. Needs more work for sure. I’m confident Wyatt at MCS can help us get these dampers dialed in just right.

We are still not going to add any wings or significant aero. I want to maximize the mechanical grip first and it’s not like we’re slow in this configuration. At the most, I will put on a very small front splitter to tie into the Greddy lip.
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Last edited by gills; 02-06-2018 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:49 PM
induetime induetime is online now
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Very nice write up. Thanks for sharing. I'm super jealous of your machining ability. Kudos for transferring the cage from chassis to chassis too!
First 300ZX to break 500whp on the Stock Turbo/Stock Long Block, boost only, no meth.
Currently building sub-2800# 300zx Twin BW 6258 EFR, AMB Aero, TA-U & Road Race Car.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:40 AM
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CodyAce CodyAce is offline
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Hey now, I still lurk once in a while :P

I didn't realize trackspec made universal stuff like that, thought it was only kits. I think that GT2 louver like you have will fit almost perfect over the hole we have in our hood.
'Slicks on a car show me you care - broken axles show me you're trying'
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:56 AM
clotuning clotuning is online now
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Your crew as tall as hell lol

What do you guys do when the windshield gets foggy?
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:04 AM
Matt93SE Matt93SE is online now
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Nice writeup!
I just bought a wrecked 350Z to either fix and flip or donate the drivetrain to my S14.. there might just be two red S14VQs running endurance racing next year..

I'm debating whether to keep it or not still.. car's been for sale for a LONG time and nobody is interested at 1/3 the cost to build.. I'm still trying to convince the wife to let me keep it.. If I do, we will be talking more!! you've definitely done much more real development on the car than I've bothered with- both from a time and financial standpoint. I'd certainly like to learn from you and make sure anything else I do makes for faster and more reliable.
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