180sx – Winton Practise Day

A couple weekends back I went to another Winton practise day, there was quite a few good runs, but unfortunately my car came home looking a little worse than usual.

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Friday morning I packed and loaded everything and made sure the car was running sweet. I’d changed a couple things since the Calder practise last month to try and eliminate the increased crankcase pressure. Ran some new lines from the breather ports in the head to the catch can and also put on a bigger breather on to try and eliminate the pressure problems. Luckily this worked perfectly over the day, completely got rid of the problem!

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I also checked my alignment again (I have a weird tendency to do this all the time). Then gave it a quick wash.

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Luckily it was warm and sunny so I wasn’t battling the cold and freezing my ass off.

Spent a few more minutes staring at the shiny orange.

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Then got it ready to load onto the trailer.

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Loaded both 180sx and Stagea, grabbed some food and locked the house, left just after lunch.

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I was one of the first to the track which was a little weird, it was completely deserted. I was the only human being around the whole pit area. Felt like I was in a zombie movie or something.

Saturday morning I unpacked all the stuff out of the car, luckily I had unloaded when I got there on friday so I wasn’t fighting for a pit bay.

Driver’s briefing at usual time then went out on track for first session.

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One thing I don’t think I mentioned that happened at Calder last month. In one of my sessions I had a rear tyre come off the bead mid corner. I thought it must have been something to do with the track because it was so bumpy and unforgiving on the suspension.

Well, first session at Winton I found I was very wrong.

Did 3 laps and I had another tyre come off the bead.

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Calder last month was the first time I had driven on Unigrip’s. I had heard some good things about the wear and grip, but after this bullshit I won’t be using them again. I used Federal’s and Rotalla’s for a couple years and never had any problems with them.

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If you are thinking it’s because they are super stretched, think again. My wheels are 17×9 and the tyres are 215/40. This stretch is nothing compared to some of the other combinations I’ve used/seen. I think I’ll have to research some other makes and see what they are like. Might try some Nankang or something similar. If I can find some Rotalla somewhere close for a decent price then I’ll most likely go back to them.

Anyway, I had it re-fitted and put it back on ready for next session, hoping it would stay on so I could destroy it.

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Next couple sessions were awesome! The car felt slightly more grippy (I wound out rear camber to +0.5 before the event) and it was handling the heat pretty well.

Started blazing through the back section a bit.

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The other thing I started to notice as the day went on is that the car doesn’t like the passenger side driveshaft. It’s already blown one of them earlier this year and halfway through the day it was destroying another one. I’m guessing it’s either because of low or power as they are the usual problems. So I will have to either go for a GTR rear end or maybe get some drop knuckles in the back. Either way I need to stop it from destroying them because the last thing I want to do is raise the car.

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Stopped for a bit and had some lunch. Left my car on the grid waiting for next session after the lunch break. Found some sweet photos of it parked.

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30 mins later, session start and time to go back out for more fun.

I did some tandems with a friend from way up north in his Corona. Completely different setup to mine (N/A SR, light and standard-ish) and he was keeping up with my car. Considering my car has a bit of power and some grip, I don’t know how it was driving so fast.

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Makes me think I need some more grip in the rear so I can drive faster.

Later in the afternoon I was starting to drive harder into some corners and try a few new things. This is where it all went to shit.

One session I tried to throw a big entry into turn 3 at top of 4th gear. Just as I came over the crest the front end lost some grip and I was aiming at the wall. I don’t have a speedometer so I have no idea how fast I was going, but I tried slowing the car down as much as possible. I’ve gone over the in car footage and I don’t think there was any way I could have avoided hitting it. Either way, the car came off 2nd best.

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Yes it could have been worse, but I’m still disappointed I lost it into the wall. I got pissed off at myself a bit, then figured I should see if it could still drive properly. I wanted to load up and go home but that was me being a bitch.

I checked over everything and ended up pulling off my guard so it could still turn.

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Looked a bit sad.

Also if you are wondering where my lip was, it came off when I hit the wall.

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I checked over some stuff and decided to take the car out again, minus a guard.

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Everything still drove straight, I hammered it a bit hard in the final session but nothing broke.

Had some awesome laps, then put it away. Overall the day was sick, only downside was destroying my front end. Considering Queensland is less than 6 weeks away, I need to get a whole bunch of things done and pay for a whole lot more in little to no time. Also need a new radiator as my current one has a split along the bottom. Its had its fair amount of use over the past few years so Im not disappointed about it breaking.

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Other things on the list are fixing the obvious bent stuff, guards, maybe new bar, headlight and I want to get a new door because Im getting sick of the dent in the centre. Then I need new driveshafts, need to make up a new battery clamp, re-bleed my brakes and check over everything behind the dash. Then if I have time and some spare money I may finally get a new exhaust.

As well as doing everything to this, I need to get a radiator and intercooler for the S13 so I can get the tube front started.

Everything involving cars is killing my bank account!

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