View Full Version : Need help prepping for Auto-X

06-21-2010, 07:35 PM
I need a little help prepping for the Auto-X since I've never done it before. What things do I specifically need to be sure of?

These are the things I know of that my car is good (common sense stuff)

Battery bolted down
3 point seat belts (Morris belts)
Good tires (what about tread wear - my rears are 180)
No leaks (need a new gas cap - suggestions?)
decent front end alignment

Car is the 68 Camaro in my sig - 17" wheels F&R 245/45's and 275/40's.

What about a helmet?? I don't currently own one...


06-21-2010, 07:47 PM
Most SCCA events will have helmets to borrow, but I would say an open mind to having a good time. If you don't have someone who has been before going with you, don't worry about pro'ing it up your first time, just go, participate and get a feel for the flow of things. A decent bag full of tools is a good Idea, and make sure your Lug nuts are properly torqued. Spend about 2 hours the night before and really inspect your vehicle, tires, bearings, brakes, fluids, etc. You should show up at the track ready to run, because with registration and tech and numbering your car, you'll be busy.

06-22-2010, 11:52 AM
Make sure you have :
The battery secured.
Good Tires.
Good brakes , meaning they work when you press the pedal.( no pumping)
A helmet.
No fluid leaks.
Seatbelts ( lap belts and shoulder belts , or 3 point belts will work)

We are not having a treadwear rating rule at the PSMC ( yet).
We may institute some treadwear rules and have different classes of cars as the event grows ( next year ).

As far as the gas cap goes.
I use a vented cap for normal driving , and I substitute a non-vented cap while on the track.
( so fuel doesn't slosh out the filler neck )
Then I switch the caps back after the run.
So it doesn't build up pressure in the tank..

06-22-2010, 05:41 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm good on everything except for a helmet and a good gas cap. My car currently has an original SS cap that leaks if there's very much gas in the tank under any kind of hard launch.

06-24-2010, 05:45 PM
I found a gas cap - O'Reilly's stocks a locking cap that will fit. I'm sure it looks terrible, but will likely do a fine job. I'm just stuck finding a good helmet that won't break the bank. I've got a few maintenance items to get done before the 3rd.

06-28-2010, 11:01 AM
I got the locking cap from O'Reilly's. It's functional, but looks awful. While looking the car over Saturday, I remembered that I never put a radiator catch can on the car, that's one more thing to get fixed by this weekend. I've already got to get it re-aligned from a ball joint install this winter and get new BFG KDW's installed on the front. I'm hoping to change out the trans fluid to Syncromesh before Saturday too, but doubt I'll have time.

I'm just glad I saw the post about helmets not being required - if a loaner from a friend doesn't work out, I doubt I'll be able to get one in time.

06-29-2010, 04:59 PM
I'm just glad I saw the post about helmets not being required - if a loaner from a friend doesn't work out, I doubt I'll be able to get one in time.
I just bought a cheap HJC from Jeg's this week so I'd have one just in case. It's a large and you're welcome to borrow it if you want.

06-29-2010, 06:17 PM
Take some of that blue painter's tape to put your number and class on the side of the car. Pick an easy number that's not already being used by a regular. Count on 77 already being used ;)

06-29-2010, 06:19 PM
Thanks I appreciate the offer very much. My local loaner didn't pan out. I almost got lucky at Wal-Mart, but they didn't have my size. They're clearancing the automotive helmets they used to carry (Fuel brand) for $35 in case anyone is interested. It didn't appear that they carried XL though which is what I need.

On a positive note, I got my new KDW's mounted on the fronts today and am taking the car in the morning for a fresh alignment:
Camber -.5
Caster as much as possible up to 5. We'll see what they can get. I hope to at least get 3.5.
Toe in 1/16" to 1/8"

My car doesn't have the G-mod (and no plans to do it) because I hope to do tall upper ball joints next year or possibly something better if I can swing it.

06-30-2010, 04:49 AM
The ones I've gone to in the NW have always had loaner helmets. I definitely wouldn't buy an expensive helmet if it's your first time. If for some reason you don't like it (hard to imagine, it's a kick), then you don't have a brand new helmet lying around.
I think the most important thing is to go with the idea of having fun like Dan W said. Some people take it way to seriously. When it gets right down to it you're trying not to kill cones in a parking lot.
The ones I've been to are pretty laid back. Most of the time there are people who will let you ride along or will ride with you in your car. They can usually give you some good pointers on how to get around the course the quickest.
Good luck and have fun.

06-30-2010, 06:03 AM
Actually, I'm guessing Jeff won't have any loaners at PSMC. Since they aren't required, I probably won't worry about it this time around. Depending on how it goes Saturday, I may buy one for the next time. I'm hoping to talk my wife into going to RttH this year with the car. This weekend may make or break that hope...

06-30-2010, 11:51 AM
If anyone wants to wear a helmet , then do so ..
I will be wearing mine ...
Although it's not required...
Your noggin' is your own responsibilty..
If you get your head busted , it's your own fault..

06-30-2010, 12:36 PM
I'm hoping a busted head isn't in anyone's future quite honestly. I agree that it's better to wear one and I will be once I buy one, but I just don't have the money after having just spent quite a bit getting my car ready for this weekend. I should mention that I have an XL head! (physically XL not a BIG head!):hammer:

06-30-2010, 06:11 PM
Ok so I got my car back from the alignment shop. The guy was able to get caster set to 3.0 on one side and 3.1 on the other. I don't know what he got the caster set to, but he set total toe in to 1/4 after I specifically told him to set it at no more than 1/8. He kept saying that 1/4 toe would help compensate for the higher than factory caster. I told the guy I wanted it set that way for a reason, but he still did it. I figure I can fix toe in fairly easily if anyone thinks 1/4 is a problem. Next time I'll be taking it someplace else. At least it drives a LOT better and seems to handle better than it did before.

06-30-2010, 08:39 PM
If he's worth a damn, he may have set it with that much toe to correct brake scrub....just saying. Were all settings done with you in the car? be cause my setting are different side to side without me in the car. And then I make more adjustments based on tire temperatures on the track.

07-01-2010, 04:16 AM
I had to leave it there and go to work. I doubt anyone was in the car when he was doing the alignment. I don't know his credentials or anything, so I don't know if he knows what he's talking about or not. He seems to be one of those guys that subscribes to the "OEM knows best" rule of thumb because he resisted setting it up by my requested specs. Regardless, I'm not overly worried about it since I'm doing this for the fun of it, not for serious competition. I just want it setup right to minimize unnecessary problems and so it will pass the tech inspection.

07-01-2010, 02:17 PM
My wife was very helpful today and picked up a radiator overflow bottle and 4 qt's of Syncromesh from AZ today. I'm hoping to finish the prep up tonight if it'll ever quit raining.

07-01-2010, 06:31 PM
I got the radiator overflow installed, swapped on my 17's from my IROC (I only own one set of nicer wheels), and changed the fluid in the trans from Dex III to Pennzoil Syncromesh. I'm getting close to having the car ready for Saturday. I'm hoping the fluid change will improve my T-56's shifting. It doesn't grind, but occasionally it doesn't slide easily into gear, especially 3rd. No big deal - either way the fluid change won't hurt based on what I've read about syncromesh. Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions. I hope to see/meet y'all Saturday.

07-02-2010, 04:23 AM
I'm honestly surprised at how much difference the fluid change made to my transmission. It really does shift better than it ever has before. :)