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The MONSUTA Track Adventure Thread


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#1 ADVNTURR

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 03:16 PM

I'll start out by simply posting my fastest lap of the day and then I'll follow up with details:

 


2011 Gunmetal Grey GTR Premium - Built motor and JT Drag 800 transmission

2005 Red 350Z - TT'd (~420whp) Track Car

2016 Lapiz Blue Golf R - Daily


#2 ADVNTURR

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 03:35 PM

I've been looking forward to getting out to a track day with my 2011 since I took ownership last year but between emissions/registration issues and now COVID it took a lot longer than anticipated to get some laps in. My first trip out in the car was to my local track, Nelson Ledges Road Course, a little SE of Cleveland. It is a 1.9mi simple but fast track that has seen a lot of money dumped into it over the past 2-3 years with new asphalt, added kerbing, improved facilities, and improved safety. That said, this is not a good track to exit the racing surface because the tire barriers can act as ramps and have caused some serious damage in the past. Good thing there was plenty of rain the night before my first day so that I could start out on a nice wet surface...

 

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A quick background on my car, it is a 2011 that has spent time at both AAM and Baker Performance down in the Baltimore/DC area and currently has a built motor, upgrades from Jack's Transmission, SD EcuTek tune and I was told is good for ~1000awhp. Tires are MPSS 285/295 on factory wheels with 15/20mm spacers respectively held on by newly installed ARP studs and forged steel nuts. The car currently is lowered on H&R springs with an SPL front camber arm and a custom alignment that came from a lot of searching through forum posts. Brakes rotors are from RacingBrake and I upgraded the fronts to the larger 390mm rotors and they are clamped by GLOC R16/R12 pads with SS lines and Motul fluid.

 

My background is that I'm a Jeep guy at heart but fell backwards into a TT'd 350Z 5 years ago and found out that going fast is fun too. I started out doing autocrosses in the Z and progressed into doing track days as well at Nelson Ledges, Mid-Ohio, PittRace, and Summit Point. I've also taken my daily MK7 Golf R out for some auto/snowcross runs and several track days as well. Last year I also joined a ChampCar team and have a couple of endurance races under my belt in our S13 240SX.

 

After a wet first session on track where I got to learn how the VDC kicks in, the track did start drying out and I started building speed and confidence in the car. I knew the car was going to need more tire than the MPSS's, but it did better than I expected and I was at least able to hold my own in the corners. With my TT'd 350Z I was used to being able to build speed quickly, but this car is on an entirely different level. I managed to beat my best time in my Z by ~3s without even really pushing (I know I was coasting into turns).

 

One observation that hopefully someone can chime in on. The car seems to be really under-damped (bouncy and a bit unsettled) with the current H&R springs on the factory Bilsteins even in R mode. Is that just a tendency of the factory shocks or are they not playing nicely with the springs? My plan is to ditch the H&R springs and switch to a KW sleeve kit but that is a ways off and if this is just how the factory Bilsteins act then that might change my plan.

 

There does appear to be a casualty from the day, other than fuel and tread life, because during my 5th session I got a VDC/ABS malfunction light and I brought it in to inspect. The light cleared after a restart and I misunderstood the information when I plugged in my EcuTek dongle and paired my phone. I assumed it was a clutch overheat and that it had cleared when it cooled down. I came back for the Sunday event and made it a whole 3 laps before the warnings came back. I searched the forum between sessions and saw a lot of mentions of the ABS pump and to check brake fluid and ground connections (full and tight - then tightened more). I tried one more session and made almost 1 whole lap before the warnings came back so I called it a day. Once I got the car home and was able to hook into EcuTek with my laptop I pulled the dreaded C1111 code that pretty much seems to signal the end of the ABS pump. I've tried and failed one re-calibration and will probably try once more before ordering and installing the new pump. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

 

For anyone interested, here is the full session where I grabbed my best time:

 

 


2011 Gunmetal Grey GTR Premium - Built motor and JT Drag 800 transmission

2005 Red 350Z - TT'd (~420whp) Track Car

2016 Lapiz Blue Golf R - Daily


#3 taffy44

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 08:05 AM

The vids w/ data look slick. Hoping this will bump your post b/c I can't speak to any OH tracks, but I've done Sebring w/ stock susp and left wondering what bumps everyone was complaining about. From the looks of your lap, NL looks pretty smooth so I'm not sure if damping is an issue. Even new surfaces get beat up pretty quickly in braking zones and having a heavier car only accentuates the feedback you get in those areas. For a track like that you may want to look at some aero mods though.



#4 ADVNTURR

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 04:10 PM

The vids w/ data look slick. Hoping this will bump your post b/c I can't speak to any OH tracks, but I've done Sebring w/ stock susp and left wondering what bumps everyone was complaining about. From the looks of your lap, NL looks pretty smooth so I'm not sure if damping is an issue. Even new surfaces get beat up pretty quickly in braking zones and having a heavier car only accentuates the feedback you get in those areas. For a track like that you may want to look at some aero mods though.

 

Thanks for the feedback. The video with the data overlay and picture-in-picture is something I've gotten pretty good with over the years. All of the data comes from the front camera (Garmin Virb Ultra30) and a cheap bluetooth OBDII dongle that is paired to the camera. The Garmin software does all of the overlays and then I use 3rd party software to add in the other two cameras (both GoPros).

 

As for the track, it is honestly quite smooth overall with the exception of "the Kink" which is really more of a feature than a bug. I'm starting to question if I'm experiencing some bumpsteer that I'm interpreting as a damping issue. It definitely presents itself the most when I encounter a bump in a corner, and it is something I notice on the street as well. I didn't think I would have an issue with only 3/4" lowering springs because I don't notice bumpsteer in my 350Z that is lowered closer to 1" at this point, but the geometry of the 2 cars is quite different. I'm heading out to another familiar track next week that I've run in several vehicles that is a lot longer and more technical so hopefully it will give me more data points to try and lock down what I'm feeling.


2011 Gunmetal Grey GTR Premium - Built motor and JT Drag 800 transmission

2005 Red 350Z - TT'd (~420whp) Track Car

2016 Lapiz Blue Golf R - Daily


#5 taffy44

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 07:26 PM

Valid concern. Never experimented w/ the springs so what you're doing makes sense. I can't say I've seen a lot of rack/tie-rod mods out there for these cars so wonder if that's any indicator of likelihood, or worse--a missed opportunity by the market to make these more track friendly.



#6 ADVNTURR

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Posted 18 November 2020 - 08:10 PM

I previously made a post about my first track day with my 2011 at Nelson Ledges Road Course in NE Ohio. I don't want to continue making a bunch of new topics as I take my car to more track days so I'm starting this thread as a place for me to post updates, pictures, and video from my various track adventures.
 
 
For anyone who didn't click the link to my first post, my first track outing was a mixed bag; on one hand I set a new personal best (1:16.8) at Nelson Ledges and I drove the car home, but on the other hand the ABS pump failed on my first day of a 2-day event and I had to write the second day off as a loss. After doing some digging and confirming the ABS pump failure, I picked up a newer 2015 model ABS pump from Nissan and installed it in the car (How-To video thread here for anyone who might need it).
 
After the pump replacement, my next chance to get out on track was with SCCA and their Track Night in America program at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PittRace) on the full 19-turn 2.8 mile layout. PittRace is a great track and I've spent a lot of time there in my TT350Z, my MK7 Golf R, and a 240SX ChampCar, but this was my first chance in the GT-R. Just like my first time out at Nelson Ledges with the GT-R, I managed to put down a new personal best with a time of 2:03.9 (GPS based):

 


 
A little over a month later I made the trip back to PittRace with a friend and his C6 Z06 for another TNiA event. The temperatures were cooler and I was able to run the full 20min sessions without the transmission temperature getting up to a point where I felt the need to take a cool down lap. With some more seat time and confidence in the car I managed to run several laps down around my previous PB and managed to shave a little bit of time off getting down to a 2:03.7:


Edited by ADVNTURR, 19 November 2020 - 09:07 PM.

2011 Gunmetal Grey GTR Premium - Built motor and JT Drag 800 transmission

2005 Red 350Z - TT'd (~420whp) Track Car

2016 Lapiz Blue Golf R - Daily


#7 ADVNTURR

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 07:32 PM

Last week I had a rare opportunity, a track day in mid-November in NE Ohio at Nelson Ledges again. The temperature started out cold, near freezing, and the first session required some common sense but by mid-day the temps had come up, the sun was out, and traction was available. Even with the colder temps I was a lot more comfortable in the car after the 3 other track days so I was able to start pushing times down and bested my PB several times throughout the day. During the last session I managed to set the new target for next year with a time of 1:15.4, a solid 1.3s quicker despite worse lines through Turn 4 & 12.

 

 

 

I did have one sketchy moment during the 4th session of the day trying to put some distance on my friend in his C6 Z06 Vette and got the car into a really big skid with full TCS intervention. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what happened but my current thought is that I didn't get back on throttle quick enough (The Kink at Nelson Ledges really works best with some maintenance throttle if not still fully planted with a momentum car) before starting to initiate the turn and the back end was way too light. Regardless, I owe some Nissan software engineers a beer:

 


2011 Gunmetal Grey GTR Premium - Built motor and JT Drag 800 transmission

2005 Red 350Z - TT'd (~420whp) Track Car

2016 Lapiz Blue Golf R - Daily


#8 Gdzilla_

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 07:51 PM

I’ve merged your original (first post) with this one.

Current Stable:
2009 R35 Premium Edition 'GDZILLA' / Ivory Pearl / Ebony / brought home Sept. 8th 2008 / weekend warrior
2006 Solstice 'EMILEY' / Olympic White / Ebony on Suede / for those 'Top Down' summer days
2014 GMC All Terrain Sierra 4x4 'C2SKYE' / Summit White / Ebony Faux Carbon Fiber / trailer hauler
1999 Vulcan Nomad 'TAZ' / Pearl Boulogne / Candy Arsenate Green / quick weekend get-a-ways
2008 Vulcan Classic LT 'PEARL' / Crystal Pearl White / Metallic Titanium / quick weekend get-a-ways for the wife
2019 Tucson Ultimate AWD 'POLRCUB' / Winter White / Ebony on Beige / Wife's daily driver
'EMILEYII' / Solstice battery powered ride on car / White / daily driver for my daughter
'GDZILLAII' / R35 GTR battery powered ride on car / White / weekend warrior for my daughter
1999 R34 Gtt Skyline / White / Ebony / Sold

 

 


#9 ADVNTURR

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 09:06 PM

I’ve merged your original (first post) with this one.

Awesome, thanks for the cleanup


2011 Gunmetal Grey GTR Premium - Built motor and JT Drag 800 transmission

2005 Red 350Z - TT'd (~420whp) Track Car

2016 Lapiz Blue Golf R - Daily



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