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KBicknel said:
Just curious to hear if anyone had or knew of anyone who had autocrossed their GT? Was it heavily modified or was it stock? Would like to hear any stories.

Kristi
Here's a link to a thread that may help.
 

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I must be at an AA meeting...(AutoXers Anonymous)

Hi, I'm James and I'm a long time autoXer......

Been running the GT in FSP for about a year. I've also driven it on a track for a driving school and track days. I've added the poly bushings to the suspension, KYB gas shocks, front sway bar, stiffer, lower front spring, kevlar brake pads and shoes with racing fluid and 15x7 wheels with sticky Falken Azenis tires. The car handles well, but is under powered. I regularly beat a buddy with a nice Bug-Eye Sprite, but I get way over powered by a guy in our class with a hot VW Scirroco. The Opel isn't even close. I'm currently building a new engine to take care of that. Now to hone the most important part, the loose screw behind the wheel.....
Bestus,
James
 

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I autocrossed MY GT from 91 to 96

then the car was totaled and i bought DR Goodpastures very trick $$$ GT From Gil

I raced that GT from 96 until 2000 (with a trip to the SOLO II nats in 97)
then i made the decision to go road racing and its been down hill ever since Ha Ha

haven't raced an Opel since 2000

My Street GT was cut in two after a wreck. the front end (with its beautiful translucent pearl paint job--the kind that changes color as you look at it) used to sit in back of Marty Reimer house

where i used to look out his sliding glass door with a beer in hand and a tear in my eye "sure was a nice car"

1.5 head (9.2cr) 75 FI t-5-- 5 speed
3.67 rear 15x7 Fiti stars on 205-50-15 tires
every thing on that car was either new, rebuilt or remanufactured.
Even had a Targa top that was going to go on, and vintage air AC unit.



just a real fun car.

Davegt74
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
WHat mods would eveyone suggest for autox? SOme good tires are a must but what would everyone feel is most important to do? I am not concerned about winning but I would like to do ok. My husband actually autoxes his audi S4 now and I am looking to run a GT next year.
 

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Improvements

Dollar for Dollar....The best improvements to invest (?) in are:

1) Driver training... Evolution Driving School
2) Tires.. The Faulken seem to be one of the better "Street" tires. Or even Better... "R" Compounded tires !!!!! Nothing grips like the Hoosiers!!!!!!
3) Shocks... You really need something other than stock type shocks. You will need something somewhat stiffer in Compression and a lot stiffer in Rebound. Adjustibles take the guess work out of deciding what to buy and allow the front and rear to be adjusted differently.

These improvements should come AFTER the standard maintenance and safety items.

I Auto-Xed my Manta back in the 70's and have Auto-Xed a Neon since 95. I have found that the greatest restriction to fast driving is what's between the EARS.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Paul....
Great answer. You are exactly right. Heavily modifying a car is a waste of money if you never take the time to try to learn how to drive. A friend of my husbands thinks the more money he throws into his car, the better he will do. THat may be somewhat true to a degree but even though he has spent $2000 on a $150 car his times are stll slow but he hasnt made any effort to learn to drive.
My husband is getting Hoosiers next year but I doubt I will go with a full race tire like that. Thanks again for the reply!
 

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KBicknel said:
WHat mods would eveyone suggest for autox? SOme good tires are a must but what would everyone feel is most important to do
It depends on what class you are running. Certain modifications are not allowed for entry-level classes. But, in order of importance, here's my suggestions.

1) Driver training. Run as many events as you can, even ask to go as a passenger with a 'fast' driver. It may be humbling, but at least you'll know what 'fast' feels like, and can see braking points, turn-ins, and speeds.

2) Tires. Good tires are paramount. If possible, stick with small diameter wheels/tires. There are various reasons for this. First, they tend to be cheaper. Second, the weight is less, which means the suspension works better over bumps (less 'unsprung' weight). It also means there's less rotating inertia, so the car will accelerate better. Kinda like having 4 lightened flywheels on your car at the same time. A shorter tire will also lower your effective gear ratio, making the car accelerate quicker. While 15" and 16"/17" tires look cool, and are great for the street, they are not the hot setup for autocrossing unless you have the big brakes to fit inside the big wheels!

3) Shocks. Good shocks will allow the suspension to work properly regardless of the terrain, and invoke driver confidence as well.

4) Setup. This means things like alignment, and tire pressures. This can transform the car's handling amazingly. Again, talk to people who 'know', and don't be afraid to experiment. Document your changes and how they affect the car.

Bob
 

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RallyBob said:
1) Driver training. Run as many events as you can, even ask to go as a passenger with a 'fast' driver. It may be humbling, but at least you'll know what 'fast' feels like, and can see braking points, turn-ins, and speeds.
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It would be best to either ride in a car with a similiar layout to your own or to get them to drive your car. Also, some people are fast in their own car and others have the ability to be fast in any car they drive. You obviously want the latter

While 15" and 16"/17" tires look cool, and are great for the street, they are not the hot setup for autocrossing unless you have the big brakes to fit inside the big wheels!
[/B]
I suspect the better braking wouldn't offset the increased inertia. I'd also swap 2 and 3. Having sticky tires and crappy shocks will make it easier for someone, especially a newbe to get into trouble and roll it. Unlikely, yet still possible.

-Travis
 

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I am new to opel's, and driving in fact. I am 16 and my first car is an opel GT, and i love it. I've been into cars forever and have been driving this car (legally) for 7months as my daily driver, and after driving it for 7 months a lot, i feel it fits me, i can tell what it is going to do before it happens, I think you get what I mean. After driving this car around it has jumped me up infinite levels in my like and understanding of cars. But i'm ready for something more, so I have looked into scca the solo II/autocross andi really want to break into that scene. The thing is is that this car is my daily driver and i have to be able to rely on it being streetable and rdy for me to drive to and from school and such. SO if I can figure that out I'm half way there ,next is I want to take some of these driving lessons you guys have ben reccommending. But i can't afford a $2000 2 day race school, any place out there that does a good job for decent price?
 

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Many of the local autocross clubs(for lack of a better term) put on driving schools once or twice a year. I want to say I've heard anything from $50 to a few hundred...but don't quote me on that:)

Try to find a local chapter of the SCCA and ask around. If they don't have one, it's likely they will know where to go.

-Travis
 

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Travis said:
It would be best to either ride in a car with a similiar layout to your own or to get them to drive your car. Also, some people are fast in their own car and others have the ability to be fast in any car they drive. You obviously want the latter



I suspect the better braking wouldn't offset the increased inertia. I'd also swap 2 and 3. Having sticky tires and crappy shocks will make it easier for someone, especially a newbe to get into trouble and roll it. Unlikely, yet still possible.

-Travis
On the first item, yes, it's best to drive/be driven in a similar vehicle. But still, if you're a complete novice, you'll never know what is possible without some guidelines. It's similar to my hillclimbing my WRX recently. I went 6 seconds slower than my friend's Nissan up a particular hillclimb venue, but my speed on the straights was far greater, and speeds on the turns far slower. Still, a ride in either car would give a 'feel' for what is possible, and I based my first runs on previous experiences as a passenger only in other people's cars.

I agree too, that bigger brakes in autocrossing are pretty frivilous. They are hardly ever used, and even then, not used under severe duress. The smaller tire diameter wins out, hands down. IF you already have the big brakes though, you can't fit the smaller tires, so case closed there. In terms of my sequence of modifications, I was speaking of speed only. I feel proper competition tires will be far faster proportionately than normal street tires, moreso than racing shocks over normal shocks (not necessarily worn out ones). As far as ease of car control, the shocks win hands down over the race tires.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have seen the difference when someone has street tires at one event then has race tires the next. It seems to shave a couple seconds (more or less depending) which is a a lot of time in autocrossing.
 

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It is an amazing feeling the first time you drive a car on sticky rubber vs regular street tires. Many of the old timers in our local club preach to the newbes to learn to drive before they upgrade to the sticky rubber. Our region sponsers a driving school for novices every spring. It's very informative and cheap, usually $25 for a Fri nite class, driving on Sat, and an autoX on Sunday. In the past few years, our region has really embraced the novice class as part of our monthly races. Check with your local region, they probably have something simalar.

A few years ago we had some younguns flip a Prelude. It had suspension mods, sticky rubber and a loose cannon behind the wheel. Totaled a 6 month old car in a parking lot!
 

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if you are taking in terms of what to do to an Opel GT

the first thing is make the car Mech. sound first

since you are getting the car mech. sound this means your first true upgrade is poly bushings


the next thing to get is sway bars

you need the rear bar but you might as well get the front also

without a rear sway bar you have a good chance of messing up your rear end

remember to have fun

Davegt74
 

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Check out the SCCA web page. Click the tab for Regional/Division sites and find your local region. Then follow the link to your local's web page and watch their schedule. You might even want to make some phone calls asking about local a driving school hosted by your local region.

http://www.scca.org/amateur/solo2/index.html

Next check out the Evolution Driving School.

http://www.autocross.com/evolution/

Evolution is owned by Jean Kinser Dana, of the Kinser racing family. The cost is usually about $200 to $300 for a weekend of highly personalized instruction. There is phase I, II and III.

Good Luck
Paul
 

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thanks for all this info (even though I wasn't the one who asked!)

I've been AutoXing my Impreza for the past 2 years, and I place suprisingly well (always top 8 in class) considering my lack of experience.

I'm looking to AutoX the GT, once I get a new drivetrain into her...but it's good to see recommendations about suspension/wheels/ and brakes.

One other thing. Springs. With the upgraded shocks along with swaybars, aren't strengthened springs a must, in order to prevent the car from being over-damped?
 

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there is not much choice when it comes to springs and shocks for the Opel GT

i think there are only 3 or 4 front shocks i know about

and 2 or 3 front springs

the rear springs you could have custom made


most people get what they can afford and go out and have fun

My street car road like a buck board and most people would not like it.
the GT also had some very very serious bump steer at highway speed.

So in other words if your just starting out don't worry to much about the perfect setup (there is no such animal) learn how to drive the car first.

Next is to be able to adj. the car and have it respond the way you want (tire press adj.)

the next step is what i call the time factor
what i mean is when you first start out its all you can do is hit the gas and go

After a while you become less busy in the cockpit and you can look at the tach
watch the corner workers as you go buy drive the line you told yourself you where going to drive.

when you get back to the pits you know shift points rpm you did all kinds of stuff

i could go on and on

Davegt74
 

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Dave,
Want to hear a story about "hit the gas and go"???
When I was first exposed to autoX, there was a guy in our British car club (I had a street MGB, very slow) that had a full race DP Spitfire for sale. He had got into bikes and wanted to clean out his garage. Now I usually do things backwards, so I bought the race car and trailer for a song, instead of learning to autoX first with a "normal" car. Unfourtunitly, I live in a subdivision that wouldn't put up with someone driving around the neighborhood with a open exhaust race car. So a few weeks later, I go to my first autoX. I'm thinking it's just another British car with only a 1500cc engine, no big deal. I roll the car off the trailer, drive it (for the first time) to the line, the starter says go. It was like sticking your hand in a wasp nest! It had a locked rear end and would spin the 8" slicks through third gear! It took me a few years to really learn how to drive it. I eventually won the state in DP. Thinking back now, it was another car I should have never sold. You couldn't duplicate that engine for under 8 grand and I sold it, with trailer, for $2800!
James
 
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