Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to the last edition of TDR for 2021! This year brought a lot of changes for us here at FJD Performance: We started competing in NASA Time Trials; We started the year off with a clean slate, running The Mare bare in March; We unveiled our new 2021/2022 livery inspired by the 1966 No. 1 GT40 MKII and; We found ourselves finishing the year off seeing a return to Laguna Seca for a 105dB track almost 4 years exactly to the date! Oh! We also had a hell of a lot of new things happen on the home front (moved to a new home twice, got a puppy, got engaged), but you’re here for racecar stuff, so lets go!
To start off, we can’t continue without saying a huge Thank You to my Fiancé – Amber- for the best, early Christmas gift known to man! That gift being the track day we just completed with Trackmasters and the Nor Cal Shelby Club. We love you, Amber! XOXO
Anywho, we start off this event with many, many conversations back and forth between Amber and I about finances since we just moved, but eventually because of my good looks, charm and perfect linguistical skills… we were able to come to the agreement that we could run the event if it were a special present for xmas, so no boxes under the tree for Frank!
Before we moved to our new home I had ordered a set of AJ Hartman canards for The Mare since we are starting to dive more into aero for the upcoming season. The canards followed by a Boss Shinoda chin splitter helped to stiffen up the front bumper, since it is a bit flimsy, and there was most definitely a hand full of air getting under the car that, quite me-ly… we could do without! A legitimate splitter and some fender vents will also be finding their way on the car, but those have yet to be ordered (or made, wink wink) so no rush there just yet. With the addition of the splitter and canards the WOW! factor and the overall aggressiveness of the car really spiked for us. It’s a look we’ve never seen before, but always dreamed of for the car and the road down complete badass racecar-ness.
With the car all set, and ready for the track, we had to dial in the logistics of getting the car and all our gear there, so that was the most stressful and draining part of the week leading up to the track day. Luckily my brother Gavin was able to step up to the plate and he really help us out with team and crew support. So thank you, Gavin.
We wake up at 0500. As my alarm goes off Amber rolls over in bed asking for another 5 minutes of sleep. I politely tell her, hell no, its go time, get your ass up babe, we got shit to do! Strategically not drinking any alcohol the day before, and taking careful measures to not be overencumbered from eating Thanksgiving feasts at both Amber and my families houses, we get dressed and set out to meet up with my brother. By the time 0530 comes around we are off to the track, and after a long hour and a half drive we find ourselves rounding the corner being greeted by a sign that says Welcome to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Hello Old Friend, we meet again.
As we wait to sign in I take in the sights and smells of the racetrack as I reminisce of all the times I’ve been here in the past and have not been able to drive due to the strict sound limits that are imposed here. 90dB? Really? That’s like the sound of a Prius farting! But hey, whatever. Do you rich people. Not like it’s the racetracks fault for being loud. Maybe you shouldn’t have decided to build your house next to a racetrack, hmm? Maybe you’re not as smart as you think!? But… whatever… Rant over for this post.
As I pull up to sign in, my brakes squeal. Obviously, because racecar. The older gentleman handing me the clipboard smiles and says, Ahh, nothing like the sound of race brakes in the morning. This guy. He gets it. We sign in, pull up to find a spot to park, and funnily enough I see 2 cars that are familiar to me. They’re a GT350R and a Focus RS, but not any R and RS. These cars belong to my old Boss. I don’t hold any grudges, so I quickly reroute and park near them as I am legitimately happy to see them and to share the track with them again.
After attending the drivers meeting we set up, set out and suit up for our first out on track. The original schedule that we had for the run groups ended up being ass backwards, so instead of being the first to hit the track at 0900, we were pushed back to 1020. And to add insult to injury, we sat for 30 minutes before we even got on track because some Camaro owner decided to put their car in the wall in 4… After pulling out the remaining hairs on top of my head we finally set out for the first session of the day.
The session went smooth as could be until the last 5 or so minutes when I had mostly a full track to myself without worrying about passing or being passed. Shooting up and over the start/finish line and down into turns 1 through 3 we had a nice groove and a ZL1 ahead of us to keep an eye on. As I came up to turn 5 and got ready to ascend to 6, and the corkscrew, I felt the cars power cut off. Odd… an experience I have had before… Was the fuel sloshing around too much? No, I have nearly a full tank. Are my coils and coil packs acting up? They’re basically brand new, so that shouldn’t be the issue. Maybe something electrical? But why now? After I make it to the corkscrew it’s time to shoot down and head into turn 10, but before I can get there the car starts to cut out again before the power comes back. Thankfully this is the last full lap that I’m going all out for, so I can use this last lap as a cool down, especially since these intermittent issues are still present.
Once I park the car it’s time to take off the hood and see what I’m working with. After a couple minutes of looking around my eyes fixate on the positive battery terminal. It’s loose. Call off the dogs! Waldo has been located! This ended up being the issue and the remaining 3 sessions ended up being a blast. Gavin rode shotgun in the next session followed by his girlfriend Natalie, who by the way, looked terrified and whose soul left her body when I offered to give her a ride around the track. They both passed with flying colors.
The final session of the day I was joined by my fiancé, Amber. While the session was cut a bit short due to sunlight and needing to travel back home, this last session mimicked the first. When I say the session mimicked the first I mean I felt my most comfortable; I felt at home: I felt like there were no issues at all because my other half was there with me, going through exactly what I was. That’s a bond that very few can identify with, but those who know what I’m talking about, well… you know, you know?
My goal when setting out was to set a lap time around 1:46/47, and that open, problem lap in the first session ended up being the fastest lap not only in that session, but for the day overall. We set a official 1:47.934 lap time and put down a theoretical 1:46.304.
At the end of the 2019 season, we brain stormed up a new design for flagship car, The Mare, and over the course of 2020 and the begining of 2021 we set out to make the new vision a reality. Like our previous design, we utilized Forza Motorsport 7’s excellent game design features.
We had to start with a clean slate, so we ripped off the old vinyl livery design and over the course of a month started wrapping the entire car one body part at a time, starting with the fenders and the bumpers.
From here we started to wrap little pieces here and there like the liscense plate framing, A and C pillars and the tail lights until we got around to the doors and quarter panels. Following that up we started to apply the accents that help pull the design together.
After finishing off the majority of the body we started to apply the finer details with flags, sponsors, performance parts that we’re running and the rest of the works.
It took us some time to find a color that we liked, and luckily this vinyl was up to the task at hand. The color changes depending on the lighting and it serves as a good base for the car. Thank You to those that helped out, kept this a secret and helped with the inspiration.
If you guys are still wondering, this new design was modeled, inspired and is a tribute to the 1966 GT40 MkII piloted by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme at Le Mans.
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to todays TDR!
This last event out at Sonoma was definitely one for the books! There was good, there was bad, and there was ugly… for some people. Luckily not for the crew at FJD Performance.
This event was the official reveal of our new race livery and she was an absolute hit! Nobody knew what we were bringing to the table in terms of looks and we couldn’t be happier with the way the Mare turned out. The week leading up to Saturday was extremely stressful because it’s officially summer time and given the industry we work in, this is a very busy time for us, so the added stress there added to the last minute stress of prepping for a day at the track equalled a whole lot of stress! Thankfully someones brother was able to help pull some weight and drive to the racetrack carrying all the support gear so we could focus on driving.
First session out testing the car was a little bit of a shit show since TT and group 4 were mixed for the 1st and last sessions of the day, but it was a successful shake down to make sure the car wouldn’t fall apart the next session out and competing. Once the 2nd and 3rd session came along we were struggleing to put down a decent time. We couldn’t pull a lap faster than 158 out of the Mare, which was puzzling for us. Are we down on power? Are the tires just finally done? Is it the heat and the wind that was blowing hard all day the reason behind what was keeping us from 154s and the 153 we tried so desperately to put down this event?
Regardless the event was an absolute blast and in all honesty was the most fun we have had out there competing. That 3rd session was where it was at! We found ourselves about 4 minutes into the session battling it out with 2 exceptionally fast NA Miatas, and boy, was it an absolute blast!
Hot out of the Carousel 2 red Miatas were coming up hot on Frank’s 6. As they exited turn 6 and up into 7 and 7A Frank gave the point by to the first Miata. It had no roof, or windshield for that matter, and a cage with a little wing on the decklid. As the car passed they went into turn 7. The second Miata, also red, with a hard top decided it was also a good time to pass Frank on the inside of 7.
After being passed by not one, but 2 hot, flying red Miatas all Frank could see was red… ahem. We started to chase the 2 Mazdas down, contemplating making a pass on the inside of turn 11 on the hard top, but Frank took a step back and decided to pass after turn 12 and into turn 1. Catching up to the first Miata on the start/finish drag strip we made our pass as we entered turn 1 and heading up hill into turn 2. However that Miata was right there next to us and took back their placement in turn 2 and into turns 3 and 3A.
Following the Miata down 3A and in to turns 4 and 5 we were preparing to make the pass, but a waving yellow flag notified us otherwise. As we crested the hill and prepared for the descent into the Carousel, a White E46 M3 was spotted in the dirt, and we cautiously cruised our way into turn 6 as cautious eyes were open for a second or third yellow flag up at turn 7.
Luckily, there wasn’t one.
Flying down the Esses and back in to turn 11 we made our way around to start a new lap. This time instead of pasing the Miata on the inside we chose to pass on the outside as we went side by side one more time up in to turn 2, but this time we got them and pushed forward with eyes set on that first Miata. Flying through turns 3, 4 and 5 we set up our final pass straight out of the Carousel on the inside of straight away.
Saying we had an amazing day at the track, and that this was the most fun we had, is an understatement, but that’s the thing about experiences. They’re hard to describe. You have to experience it.
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to todays edition of TDR!
I know we haven’t given you any updates lately, and there is good reason for that, but we had to come back and give you all the latest TDR from our last event with NASA Nor Cal. This event was special in more than one way: It was special because this event brought us the season open with NASA Nor Cal at Sonoma; It was special because this was our first time officially competing in TT3 and; It was special because this was the first time Frank’s Mom and Step-Dad had come to watch him compete since he started driving back in 2016!
Although the NASA season officially started back in February at Thunderhill, Sonoma is home and this first event back for the 2021 season was the most important for us. We started off 2021 with a clean slate since we had completely stripped the Mare of her Livery and planned to run her bare since the new FJD Performance Mk II Livery was in the works. More to come on that VERY soon.
Before the March event we had moved to a new spot in Pleasanton, so we had a lot of house keeping to do before we got all prepared for race day. Everything was in different places when it came to the car, tools, water, food, chairs, tents and all the other accessories that accompany one for a weekend at the track. In fact, things were so unorganized that we almost decided not run the event due to the VP Racing Fuels Octane Booster being misplaced! It was absolutely a drama queen moment for us here… ahem… Luckily! AutoZone actually sells the octane booster at their stores for about 25 bucks, so crisis averted on the Friday before the event lol. Of course a couple weeks after the event we found our missing stock…
Typical. Oh well!
Fast forward to Saturday morning with a little drive up 680 followed by a quick zip down 80 and finishing off with a welcoming gate at Sonoma Raceway, we were ready to waste some gas and tire life running around that 2.52 mile road course that we call home. After getting set up at the track near turn 1, and finishing off the drivers meeting, we geared up and headed out.
A couple weeks before the event we upgraded the front coils from 375LB springs to 425LB and FINALLY refreshed those 10+ year old OEM spec KYB shocks and replaced them with some single adjustable Koni shocks. Why we waited this long to upgrade, we will never know. Since the suspension set up was a bit different than what we ran in the past, this first session was all about recon. We rather quickly found ourselves understeering at turns 4, 7/7A and 11 because the rears weren’t tight enough for us. A quick text with Sal to confirm our suspicions after the 1st session followed by a quick knob turn resulted in the stiffening of the rebound in back and we were set for session 2. The stiffer rears helped the car to turn as the rear was now more prone to sliding out and giving us predictable oversteer in turns 7/7A and 11.
Before heading off track to prep for the 2nd session, Frank’s parents were able to catch the last couple minutes of him running around the tarmac and greeted him to a warm welcome once the TT drivers meeting was adjourned. It was a big moment to have his parents there and see them talk in such high praise about his passion. It was a long time in the making and it felt that much more amazing when he set his new PB on the track with his family over the bridge watching him rip around that 2.52 mile racetrack. The same racetrack where his Step-Dad used to drag race his supercharged 98 GT. This was a full circle moment for Frank and the FJD Performance crew.
Hello Guys and Gals and welcome to the first iteration of BMW Mods N Blogs! Today we will be talking about the subwoofer and Bavsound speaker installation we did this past year in our track support, auto-x tosser, family hauler, daily-driver E46 Touring!
Being that this is a car we spend A LOT of time in, we wanted the car to be comfortable and engaging whether it be as a drivers car or just a road trip cruiser. One way to address the old, worn, 20 year old factory sound system was to bring it up to the current decade and a full Stage 1 Bavsound kit addressed that problem immediately. We had been looking at this kit for some time and for the price and quality of the speakers, there probably isn’t a better option out there. The kit included the 6 speakers in front, 2 in the rear seats and 2 in the very back where all the fun hauling stuff takes place.
Install was very simple and straight forward, and having all the speakers be plug an play made the install rather quick in terms of swapping the speakers. As some of you may know, the speakers in the hatch are somewhat of a pain to get to, but the job is doable one way or another.
Here is a good write up from someone in Europe who did a speaker upgrade on an E46 Touring. We used this write up as the base for doing our install, but used some old fashion Frank flavor on the execution of the job. Especially the 2nd time around when we got to installing the Skar Audio Sub.
A few months after the Bavsound upgrade we finally come to our senses and decided to pull the trigger on the sub install… or maybe this was the opposite of our sesnes?… Huh…
We wanted to keep the practicality of a wagon while still having a good thumpin’ sub, so we bought the Basser sub enclosure, but there was a catch. Being this is a German car, and all the goodies are in Europe, that means sometime you need to source parts from the EU. Parts like the ZHP CSL Splitter, ZHP touring rear bumper and this Basser enclosure from Poland.
When we got the 10″ sub we found out quickly that there was a fitment issue. The speaker wouldn’t fully sit into the enclosure. Many hours later and a lot of cutting later… we found out that the issue wasn’t inside the enclosure… it was the opening to it. We had clearanced the inside of the enclosure and ended up having some more air space for the sub, so it all worked out for the better in the end, but boy was it a head scratcher! The design of the sub and lack of holes available made us have to get very creative when it came to installing the terminal for the power and ground.
After all of that tom foolery took place we finally got to ripping the car apart and taking care of the wiring. We originally had planned to put the amp where the factory cd changer lived, but eventually came to the conclusion that we had a better, more stealthy option and opted for it. The wiring itself wasn’t too difficult, but we had trouble getting the sub to power up and get sound. Good thing a handful of months ago when we did the stereo upgrade we also got a Line Output Converter that was exactly what we needed when it came time for the sub. We had to splice into the rear speakers in order to get sound to the sub, and man was it rewarding hearing the Wubz!
When the time came for final install we wanted to car to look neat and professional, so we opted to keep the original tray compartment and modify both the compartment and the sub enclosure so that the fit was perfect. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep the spare tire in back, but in the end it doesn’t matter since we have 330 brakes and the spare wont even fit over the calipers now.
The wubz are wubby. The sound is crisp. The craftsmanship is perfect. Most of all, the entire sub enclosure can easily be removed and installed in about 10 seconds for Auto-X shenanigans or other needs.
A couple months ago we had the honor of meeting Cliff, a new neighbor who is a car fanatic like us here at FJD Performance, who happened to be an automotive journalist and Co-Owner of Deft Auto Co.
Over the last couple of months Cliff and Frank have gotten to know one another a bit more and share some automotive stories, adventures and ideas. To say we want to work on a project with Cliff and Deft Auto is an understatement. We find ourselves constantly sending cool craigslist ads of BMWs, Porsches, Quirky JDM Nuggets and classic Americana made gems with the idea of building a racecar. Only time will tell if we do choose to go down this route together, but FJD Performance is always willing to take on new projects!
This month Cliff booked an interview with us and we couldn’t be more honored! We were asked a plethora of questions ranging from why we do what we do, where we started, how we got to where we are and where we’re heading.
On a cool, October midday at Sonoma Raceway I met up with Frank at the Sears Point Grille, “The burgers are actually really good here.” he reassured. “Try some of their barbeque sauce, it’s got a little kick to it.” I had just walked over from the midfield scoring tower, between turns 1 and 6, where I was trying to get some good shots of Frank’s second session on track.
“I’m exhausted, I barely got any sleep last night.” Frank said, “I didn’t get to bed until after midnight and I was up at 4AM.” The results of an anxious night before race day. But, here we were, at Sonoma Raceway. I was enjoying the chance to absorb the racing and snap some photos, and Frank was looking racy and competitive on track.
Shoot on over to deftautoco.com to read the full article on Frank and the Mare!
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to todays edition of TDR!
This year has been one for the books for many reasons whether it be personal, direct, indirect, local, state wide, country wide, world wide and even universe wide if you want to get on the Astrology topic, but we’re not here for a lesson about stars and planets!
This is TDR gosh darn it!
SHOW US RACECAR STUFF!!
In time, in time… First lets just talk about the year for us here at FJD Performance. The first few months of this year found us putting the Mare back together after dropping the original 293k mile T45 and replacing it with a T45 out of a 99 Cobra. Little did we know that we would run into the mechanical v electrical issue between the 2. On top of that we developed a big, extremely harsh drivetrain vibration that took multiple months and heads to diagnose.
Shortly after getting the car put back together we took her to Sal over at Specfab Racing to help put in our highly sought after custom Roll Bar. You can read more about that here. After getting the bar installed we had to replace the Optima Red Top battery due to… well… reasons that may or may not relate to welding and such…. Oops… Hey! At least the cage build has begun and looks damn sexy to boot!
It’s now mid April when the roll bar got finished. We’ve already ordered a new, light weight battery for the Mare and we’re in the middle of Covid lockdown in the Bay Area. At least we have a lot of time left to work on the car, right? We still can’t completely diagnose the root cause of the drivetrain vibration, but we have high hopes that we can take the car to our friends over at AAE in San Ramon and they should be able to fix it! Right? Well after what seemed like 2 years of playing schedule tag with the lads at AAE we decided to just take matters into our own hands and go about dropping the T45 again this year. Here’s to a repeat!
I think we’re in early July now and we’ve finally decided to tear the Mare apart again. Hopefully we can run Sonoma this August. #TransmissionDrop2pointOh2020 It’s a movement. We spend a weekend dropping the Cobra T45 and are replacing it with another 96/98 T45 since we like to keep things archaic and analog. Less to go wrong with an analog setup, right? Right. This time around we took to dropping the K member in order to take out the transmission since long tubes don’t exactly make getting that bit-….. no yeah, that’s right, that bitch is a pain to get out even without long tubes! Thanks for making the T45 bellhousing impossible to remove from the main case while in the car, TREMEC. Anywho, after dropping the trans we got to look at the pressure plate, flywheel, clutch, etc. It all looked fine, but we knew something was off. Maybe it just wasn’t torqued right? Who knows. All we know is there’s a vibration and it makes us extremely uncomfortable. All bits torqued back up and time to mount the “new” replacement, 20 odd, year old T45 we picked up from Foxbody Steve in the car. After what seemed like months of fighting the the trans we FINALLY got it mounted up, but not at the expense of some casualties. Casualties that will be undisclosed except for those who know the story…
Replacement Trans for the replacement trans in. Car back on the ground. First drive. NO MORE VIBRA-…. no its still there. Just not as harsh. Hmm. It’s at this point where we’re asking everyone what could be wrong. We did compression tests, tried new spark plugs, new spark plug wires, tried regrounding the coil packs, nearly everything we could think of without dropping the trans for a 3rd time. It’s at this point where we start thinking back to an earlier conversation we had this year with Sal about this issue potentially being clutch related. The clutch is basically brand new though! That clutch has got maybe 10k miles on it max! The collective minds of Will, our engine builder; Sal, a great friend and mentor; and Nick, a good friend who knows a thing or 20 about cars are now all pointing at the clutch probably being the cause. Did… did we hear someone say… time to drop the trans for a THIRD time this year?… Nooooo that couldn’t… well fvck us.
Nick mentioned getting a dowel kit for the flywheel, so we started off buying that instead of dropping $400+ on a new clutch setup as we got ready to drop the trans for the 3rd time in 2020. We are now in early September. Since we already tried the trans drop a couple different times this year we decided for a third, different way of taking out the T45. Removing one of the Headers. Should make things easier, right? Sure! Well it didn’t exactly make the removal easier… It did however make install a bit easier though… after we cut off a couple tabs from the bellhousing, but we’re getting a couple hours ahead of ourselves though. Dowels banged into the flywheel, everything mounted back up, NOW the pesky transmission is back in and bolted up. Finding ourselves filling the T45 for a 3rd time this year now with fresh fluid we decided to do a quick start up before dropping the car down. Start up is about to happen. Fire in the hole! Miraculously… we don’t feel any vibrations! Like… at all! Could the dowels really have been the issue?! Even though we installed that same exact setup on 2 different occasions without having this weird vibration issue? Huh… oh well, at least money wise it was a somewhat cheap fix. Saved us potentially a couple hundred bucks at the shop too! The first full drive later that night was probably one of the most rewarding drives ever. Regardless if the car was missing a bumper and hood at the time…
Now the car is fixed, drivability wise, but we’re waiting on a couple other little parts and things to come in. Things like our new Sparco tow hook, paint for said hook and seat parts to put the red Cobra seat in the car so we can give ride alongs for the Sonoma event in mid October. We’re definitely excited for this being it’s the last event of the awkward half season of 2020, but what’s really been normal this year? All parts in and installed, a new alignment done and we are ready for our return to Sonoma Raceway after a year being away from the asphalt.
This is it. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for! Three hundred and fifty days have passed since we have done anything racing related, but whos counting? Not like an entire decade has passed or anything… Ahem.
Saturday comes and we are in full on track mode! Cars are packed with all our crap. The time has come to get a taste of the car is capable of. Time to see what differences there are between October 2019 Frank and Mare and October 2020 Frank and Mare.
The day went rather well minus some hiccups, odds and ends, but that’s what a track day is all about. I would say the day was an overall success even if we only ran 3 of the 4 sessions. Turns out sending it for 3 sessions after being away for a year is more tiring than we thought! Thinking back to making this a full weekend seems laughable at this point. Our mental health was where it needed to be, but our physical health is in need of a little revamp. That goes for both Frank, and the Mare. Our fastest time of the day was off by 3 seconds at a 1:57.728, and theoretically by 2 with 1:56.101. We knew coming in that we wouldn’t be able to beat that 1:54 time we set last year, but hey, maybe? There’s always a maybe.
Overall the day was amazing finally being able to be back home with friends, familiar faces and even new acquaintances. This year didn’t go, and has yet to go, as planned in any form or fashion, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world and look forward to next year and potentially a track day at the end of November at Laguna Seca.
Thanks for sitting with us this long. Good thing the year still isn’t over after this read… or is that a bad thing?
Special thanks to everyone who helped out this year when it came to time, brainstorming and even physical labor when we worked on the Mare, and a very big, special thank you to my girlfriend, Amber, for all your support and help with my expensive hobby.
Hey there guys and gals and welcome to a new FJD Perfomance article!
We hope you are all doing well through these times and want to give you some love, thoughts and prayers from us here at FJD Performance.
Today we are covering the building of our Roll Bar built by Sal Molinare of SpecFab Racing! We got the bar built over the course of a couple days, but we spent about a year game planning the design and mounting points in the car.
We will let the pictures and craftsmanship speak for themselves!
After getting the car home we took to masking, priming and painting. Of course we only had one choice on paint and that choice was Bright Atlantic Blue!
A HUGE Thank You goes out to Sal and Richard over at SpecFab Racing for building the bar for us and for letting us be there to help build the bar.
Hey there Guys and Gals, and welcome to the last 2019 NASA Nor Cal season edition of TDR! Today we are focusing on the season closer for NASA Nor Cal that was held at the end of October, and the hell of a day we had at Sonoma with a great group of friends.
We weren’t completely sure if we were going to run this last weekend with NASA due to some personal life changes happening during that last week and a half of October, but as you can see… We made the event and had a hell of a time doing so! We met up with old time friend Fendi, the owner of the dark green 99 GT as well as Andrew and his good buddy Jeff who also has a pretty bad ass Fox.
We started off the morning by playing “musical cars” as we tried to find enough space for the four of us to unload and maintain camaraderie. After getting unloaded, and settled in the back near Simway Raceway, we cruised on over to the Driver’s Lounge for the drivers meeting to officially kick off the day. Roughly 40 minutes later we got set up for the first session of the day. Being that we had planned on giving a couple ride alongs to friends later in the day, we decided to test out the car during this first session and use this opportunity to try and set that new PB. Helmet on, laces tied, gloves slipped on and with velcro straps strapped it’s time to hit the Asphalt. Everyone else seemed very excited to get on track too, so we ended up getting stuck behind a plethora of cars. However that wasn’t a bad thing since that gave us the opportunity to open up the chopping blocks for the weekend and boy was the chopping block in full effect!
First session is a go and we get the Mare warmed up and adjusted to the ~20 minute session of abuse we are about to embark upon. The entire session we busted ass and went balls to the wall trying later braking zones and passing multiple cars in one clean swoop. One lap we missed the braking zone slightly and locked up the brakes a bit with another lap maintaining a drift out of 7A in addition to probably 10 cars getting chopped. With the 1st session done, and a solid 5 gallons of 101 used up, we returned to the pits and went to our driver’s download meeting. It wasn’t until later evaluation that we realized we had set a new PB of 1:54.936 and had a Theoretical lap of 1:54.419! To make this achievement even better, the lap where we drifted out of 7A WAS that 1:54.936 lap!
After setting that new PB we took the rest of the day easy and just enjoyed the track day out with friends. We didn’t forget to make sacrifices to the Chopping Block gods each session either as we still passed every car we came into contact with; whether it was a NA Miata, a 911 or the $115,000 FP350S, the car got chopped. Frank also covered a live video interview with a friend in the Mustang community where they talked about their respective builds and what led them to the current point in their builds; Frank gave a ride along to a friend who has been a supporter of FJD Performance since its conception and; Frank enjoyed the sound of car enthusiasts going WOT at Sonoma Raceway with his Mustang and track buddies.
The day wasn’t anything short of amazing and a hell of a way to close out the 2019 season with NASA Nor Cal. We all went home with our cars in tact and with our heads held high. Frank set a new PB, Andrew and Jeff moved up from group 3 to group 4 *cynical laugh* and Fendi moved up to group 3! Everyone is getting better and better and soon enough we will be competing in TT and soon after that ST.
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to another edition of TDR! Today we’re focusing on the September Sonoma track day we had with NASA Nor Cal, and the nightmare that followed.
The week leading up to this event was an extremely stressful one as we had to prep the car, complete the new front brake setup and find the root cause of an electrical issue. We picked up a special spec’d Wilwood kit for the Mustang courtesy of our sponsor, Wheelwell, and even though the kit bolted up to the car, there was some minor modification that had to be done in order to fit the calipers perfectly. Our friend Sal over at Specfab Racing made us some custom spacers to place between the caliper bracket and the spindle, so after a quick bleeding of the brakes that was one To-Do list item off the board.
Next up was the start of the major headaches… the electrical issues. When we were working on the brakes we noticed how the wiring harness in the wheel well was cut up, like usual, so we decided now would be the time to reroute the harness inside of the engine bay and away from the enormous 315s. We moved the harness inside of the bay thinking that would be the end of it, but once we got the car all back to normal and ready to deliver to our alignment guys we noticed that a handful of electrical items were not working: No power locking; no headlights; no power to the OBD2 port; no working speedometer and a couple other items that in a non stripped interior you would have noticed. It’s now Thursday and crunch time has become dire.
We pulled and cut up the entire harness in hopes to find where a shorting wire was. A re wrapped loom later and a night of headache done and we still had no idea what the cause was. We checked all the fuses, but being that we finished this project at around 11 at night, it was difficult to see any minor blown fuses. It is now Friday before the track day and we get to pulling ALL of the fuses to back track and see if anything was missed. After finding 2 subtly blown fuses in the engine compartment that ended up being the culprits we rushed to our special gas station to top off with 101 and get in the right mindset for Saturday.
Saturday morning we pull up to Sonoma and a shared garage with a good buddy, also named Andrew, who has a sweet Foxbody mustang. We get prepared for the beginning of the day as the first session creeps up on us. We find ourselves first in line and ready to hit the track. After setting the Mare loose the out lap is down and it’s time to book it; while cresting up turn one the car starts to back fire as if we are hitting the rev limiter, so we assume that we did and shift to the next gear. However we come to quickly realize that the rev limiter is not being touched and there is a serious problem with the car.
Initially we were thinking that the electrical issue we had may have somehow, with electric wizardry, removed the tune from the computer because the car was cutting out exactly at the stock red line of 5800RPM. A “where’s waldo” mission for a computer out in the paddock later we finally were able to update the SCT and reload the race tune MINUTES before our 3rd session (also a complete, total fvcking nightmare). However this did not fix the problem at all.
Lots of running back and forth trying to solve the issue led to a stressful and uneventful day at the track, which was very upsetting for us because we were shooting for a new PB, and we know we could have set one had the car been operating at 100%, and to add insult to injury, while leaving Sonoma the car died on the road out and we had to pull off. By some miracle the car started back up and we were able to limp home with the Mare acting as if nothing had happened. Many a conversation later with our own magician — Will — we determined the cause to be a issue with the original coil packs and a bad ground connection for them.
All in all… it was an absolute shit show, but at least we got a good picture and a session ride along with Andrew in his sweet little Foxbody build. This car will be an absolute monster when it is built because this man is a great driver!
Hi there Guys and Gals and welcome to this month’s TDR! Today’s installment is a special one for us here at FJD Performance because we finally broke the 2 minute mark at Sonoma Raceway! Woohoo!
Lets start with an overview of the day shall we? This past weekend was a pre NASCAR weekend AND Trans Am, GASS and USTCC were all sharing Sonoma alongside NASA Nor Cal, so it was packed tighter than a can of sardines! Luckily enough our paddock buddy, Dave Gordon, has a good relationship with Darrel Anderson – and this event was a special one for a close friend of theres – so we got to use the American V8 Supercar garage atop of the hill. Spoiled, lavish life for sure!
Throughout the day we had loads of fun, and got to experience the packed weekend due to Trans Am. We met Michele Abbate – who is super chill, down to earth and makes you feel like you’ve known each other for years – ran into Kevin Patten who was helping out with Dig Motorsports and their run in Trans Am, and caught up with Roger Eagleton who was running for Dig that weekend. In addition to the racecars and friends we also checked out some of the shops around Sonoma like McGee Motorsports which had a bunch of awesome classic racecars like a 70 Boss 302, 66 Shelby GT350, 60’s Torino GT, 80’s Audi Quattro (the Group B one) and a bunch of stock cars and late 60’s Camaros to name a few.
Now on to the track time. We shared 2 of our 4 sessions with the TT group, but during the first session there was a miscommunication as to which group was being sent out. This little hiccup led to the people in front of group 4 (Dave and us) getting mixed in with the TT group. However, we were completely fine with that because it allowed us to really get going and solidify a good lap before catching traffic. That first session actually awarded us with our fastest time of the day, and new PB of 1:57.846, so we finally broke the 2s! Second session out we set our 2nd fastest time of 1:58.576 which was recorded on the gopro. During this 2nd session though we ran into a rather concerning problem. What the issue is, we don’t know yet, but it’s safe to assume the vibration we were getting from hard braking into 7/7A and 11 is from suspension or brakes. Some ideas are maybe warped rotors, bad hubs, something loose in the suspension, or a bad strut. We will work on the car later in the week to diagnose, but for now our schedule is clear until September, so in that time frame we should be able to find and fix the issue in addition to getting the cage in the car!
For now enjoy some photos from Raceline Photography, and potentially additional photos from west boundary to be added at a later date.
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to Track Day Recollection! Today we are taking a look back at our last track day at Sonoma on May 19th. As some of you may know we were gunning to break the 2 minute mark at Sonoma with a 1:59 or better (that’s a whole 3 seconds off our last time!).
Come Sunday we set a new PB, but not the kind you thought. As some of you may know we had a random storm in the bay area that weekend… That’s right, we ran Sonoma and set a PB in the wet. It was intense and interesting to say the least, but that’s why you’re here! For more details on the day!
Starting off our morning the drive to Sonoma looked promising, but by the time we got to 780 and 80 the freeways were drenched in water, and with more gracing us from above, we had a good idea of the track day directly ahead of us. Pulling up to Sonoma the rain had subsided, so we had some time to unpack and get the car – and ourselves – situated after that painful drive in. Fresh at the track and out of our drivers meeting we went to go and set the car up with her race tune, but we came to find that the SCT was in need of an update, so we were stuck running the first 2 sessions on the track with a normal driving tune. Fast forward to lunch where our buddy Dave showed up to save the day, and we finished the last 2 sessions on the race tune. Not like it was truly needed though.
Sonoma is an entirely different animal in the wet. That statement is an obvious one as driving conditions everywhere are different in the rain, but Sonoma is a little something different. Let me tell you what I mean by that…
Out of the hot-pits into turn 1 and cresting into turn 2 the top of the hill is like ice. Take the turn too quickly and you’ll find your rear sliding out on you. Not so far away from the rumble strips out of 2 you will notice a bunch of mud that is finding its way on to the track. Most likely from the guys before you who went off. Heading into 3 you see a river starting to form of mud and water as you pass into 3a. Here you may find yourself having the rear come out from you as you counter right, just as you may also counter left once through 3a and down to 4. Luckily there isn’t much to worry about on your way to 4, but its after you’re into 4 and heading to 5 that you may encounter more mud from offs. Turn 5 is fairly simple. Still fast, but not at full speed in comparison to a dry track. You enter turn 6, the carousel, and while driving through you think to yourself, “oh, this isn’t all too bad!” only to immediately see a lake at the bottom of 6 aided by another stream running down and off to the right. Running out of 6 and into 7 it may not be totally clear yet, but there’s patches of water everywhere heading into 7. Talk about traction! Taking 7 and 7a still feels about the same as when dry, but if there’s cars ahead of you into 7 get ready for tons of water to spray your windshield. If you have one (sorry Radical guys). Getting out of 7a and prepping for 8 and 8a you will notice you can’t hit the apexs as hard as you want due to the lack of traction throughout that whole section. You may also find your car taking a weekend stroll for the wall out of 8. If you’ve made it this far then kudos to you! There’s still more to endure as you may have a lot of speed out of 8a and into 9, but it’s the section between 9 and 10 where the road gets tricky again. Just like heading into 7 you have a bunch of patches on the track with miniature lakes. You may find yourself drifting here, or on your way to visit the walls. After you left skid marks out of 10 (ahem) you’re on your way into 11 and hopefully with some speed. Nothing too different about 11, so long as you stay away from the rumble strips and don’t just send it. Otherwise enjoy a 180. Now you’ve made it this far! almost done with lap 1! All that’s left is turn 12! You get some traction out of 11, and are ready to gap those miatas and slow corvettes, but just as you’re going to grab the apex at 12. You come to notice another huge lake. Right there. In 12. That lake is 12. And that is a lap in the wet at Sonoma. There is a wet race line to run at Sonoma, but this was just a look at the normal line if you had never run Sonoma in the wet like us.
All in all the event was great and we learned a lot out there in the wet. Would we do it again? Only if it were a race. That’s it though. Our best time was a 2:21; we almost did a 2:18, but the session had come to a close.
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to this months TDR! FJD Performance yet again ran a private track day with Signature Wheel, Ford Performance Racing School and Griggs Racing *eeeeee!* (fan girl moment…). This time around we found ourselves visiting Big Willow at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, CA.
Unfortunately due to scheduling FJD Performance did not make an appearance at this years Fabulous Fords, but we plan to be there next year. We did however meet up with some friends from Codfod Autosports and Madd Retros/Motorsports.
Starting off Monday we got around the big boys from Griggs Racing and made some new friendships as well as rekindled old ones with friends from previous track days. Just by happenstance Jonathan Winker of Recon Racing was in the area, so we had to invite him out to the track! It was an absolute pleasure getting to meet him and share some knowledge, and we look forward to sharing the track with him in the near future!
This time around we ran in the advanced group, but the advanced group at this event was with drivers from the Fast as Fvck group in the last one! Drivers like Steve Libby in his GR40 Cobra and the guys from the Ford Performance Racing School in their FP350S blessed FJD Performance with their incredible speed on track, but in reality we just tried to get out of their way. We were completely humbled and honored to have been running with these guys, and to also have been considered a good enough driver to have been asked to instruct the Beginner group and help in lead follows. A hallmark for FJD Performance for sure.
Our first on track was an easy one getting to find the lines and get an idea for the track. By the end of the warmup session we did the lead follow with 4 guys behind us from the beginner group and come the 2nd session 101 was in the tank with the race tune loaded up! The 2nd session of the day gave us our 2 fastest times of the day with a 1:40.465 and a 1:40.783. Theoretically we could have seen a 1:39.647 based off all of our fastest sectors in that second session, but we averaged about a 1:42 throughout the rest of the day.
The Mare did great on track, but we were running into overheating issues after that 2nd session and found the coolant tank was boiling out coolant from the cap. Thankfully this was before Jonathan had to fly back, so Frank got to share some thoughts with him. On average we saw the temp getting up to the “A” in Normal, so we would back off and return to the paddock early in the remaining sessions we ran. In addition to the heat issues – and this isn’t really an issue – we were not able to get the car up past 120mph on track! Now this could have also been an added factory from the winds, but it looks like the time for some more aero on the Mare is slowly creeping up!
All in all the day was an absolute blast and we can’t wait to get out there again with this crew of drivers! Enjoy these photos taken by our good buddy Rob Gluckman!
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome once again to today’s edition of Track Day Recollection! Saturday March 16th we found ourselves running yet again with NASA Nor Cal at Sonoma Raceway, our home. However this time was different because we were running HPDE Group 4 and man what a nerve racking week it was leading up to this track day!
We have over 6 years of driving in the Mare from bone stock street car to baby racecar in training, and about 25+ combined events of experience between Autocross, track days and go-karting that has lead us to that Friday in preparation for running Group 4, but we were still totally nervous and intimidated. These are the big dogs! The cream of the crop! The highest, most advanced, and fastest group you can run before actual competition in TT or a race group with NASA! That was plenty enough reason to be intimidated, and to feel like we weren’t good enough or haven’t earned being in that group. Sure we have competed in the CAM-C class in SCCA Solo Nationals and with American AutoX Series – shoot we’ve even ran in the advanced group in track days! – but this was something different… We knew that this was big because NASA has been the goal since we started running with them back in 2017, and all this work has led to running with people who have many more years of experience than us.
Our first session was the most intimidating for us because we ran with the TT guys. Again this was our first time running in 4 and now this first time running 4… we were running with TT too? Yea, ultimate intimidation! We had a couple of conversations with Steve and Sal about the event and how we were nervous, but both Steve and Sal gave us that extra boost of confidence and support that we needed. Needless to say, this first session out we bested our previous PB by .296 seconds with a 2:08.478, but we knew there was a lot left on the table since the group was pretty packed. Our handy-dandy Track Addicts app told us we had a theoretical 2:04.379 lap during that session.
Second out and not a TT’er in sight, it was game time. We got in a groove and figured out the pace of the guys and gals we ran with and set another PB of 2:04.258 with a theoretical of 2:00.405. We were pushing the car hard and loved every second of it! Of course there was traffic we caught up to and there were offs, but that session was great and got us rolling into the 3rd session and aiming to break the 2 minute mark.
Our 3rd and final session we went out and, again, set another PB of 2:02.142! Just a couple seconds faster and we will be breaking the 2 minute mark! Before the session was out we noticed as we were reeling in a C7 corvette that the amount of fuel left in the tank was, well, nowhere near enough to pass the guy, but luckily coming around turns 11 and 12 we saw the checkered, and we felt extremely relieved so we let off and enjoyed having a cool down lap. By the end of the 3rd session we were dead tired and exhausted; It was a long and eventful day that we started at 440 in the morning. Although we had a 4th session on the board, but we took this win and headed home after hanging around with some buddies.
Now onto the actual cars performance
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE
The Mare handled perfectly out there at Sonoma this past weekend, and we cant wait to be back with some fresh pads and rotors so we can break the 2s! In addition to fresh brakes we are going to try and solidify the cage, harness and seat setup for the car. The upgrades we have done recently are huge advantages now, but we need to adjust to a slightly new learning curve. Things like turn in, breaking points, shifting points, etc.
Below are some photos by Kai Roberston Photography, and we may be getting some additional photos from other photographers at the track, but until then please enjoy these!
Here are some EXQUISITE shots from West Boundary Photography
here is the entire 2nd and 3rd session (forgive the phone recording as it was all we had for the 3rd session)
Hey there Ladies and Gents and welcome to the first edition of Track Day Recollection for the 2019 season! We have a good little review of our day at Crows Landing with good news, bad news and your typical FJD Performance entertainment. Do you want to start with the good or the bad?
We thought so too! Good first!
The Mare with the new wheels and rubber made a HUGE difference out there on course. The 315s performed flawlessly and the lesser rotational mass made stopping the car a lot easier. To be quite honest, how the car is right now, its pretty perfect save getting a proper seat and harness in the car along with some bigger and better brakes. The car did great out on the air strip, and we CANNOT wait until we hit Sonoma again, but of course.. with a Test N Tune day, you find little gremlins… and gremlins we found.
Now onto the bad news…
After our second run on the course we brought the car back to grid and proceeded to pop the hood and check the oil. We got ready to throw an extra quart in, but as soon as we took the cap off…
You guessed it…
Somebody had poisoned the water hole!
Immediately after seeing this we went to the catch can to see what that looked like…
Needless to say…
It looked worse…
Some bloke decided to poor 150mL from his cappuccino in the catch can! Indeed a total “Oh shit” moment… Sorry kids (not really). We put that quart in, put the cappuccino mix into the empty container and proceeded to clean the coffee stains from the can and cap. We then went ahead and did what any other sane person would do and ran the car again!
After Run 2 we ran the car every other run and in between were checking the catch, oil filler cap, dipstick and coolant. Lots of texts and pictures were sent back and forth with our buddy Will and we couldn’t exactly figure out what was going on since there was no milky residue on the cams, dipstick or in the coolant. Sure enough though after some runs we would come back to this sight.
Upon further inspection after lunch we looked at the T Inlet for the catch can hoses and saw that the driver side hose was clean, the passenger side hose was looking like a starbucks machine and then leading into the can was some more of the cappuccino residue.
Screw it…fix the car… clean up the gunk and run some more!
That’s exactly what we did!
We finished off a couple more runs, and finally after our 10th, and second fastest run of the day, we called it quits for the Mare. During that time though Will and Frank eventually came to the conclusion that the liquid we were finding inside the catch can, and the motor, was none other than fuel itself. Some more clues were given by start up and watching the AFR at idle jump to high 11s and having fuel cut off during one of the runs. We think that a injector may be stuck open, and off our race tune, is just dumping fuel. We still finished the day in the Mare with a fastest time of a 42.018.
Fret not though, as we still ran a handful of runs in Rob’s Miata! All in all we still had a great day out at Crows. Caught up with some AutoX buddies, shared good laughs with old friends and made new ones! Not to mention even though the Mare was having a hard time running, she was catching a lot of attention and turning heads!
Hey there Guys and Gals and again… welcome!… to another write up here on FJD Performance. Today we are going over our ZHP bumper restoration project that took place over the last couple of months.
Roughly in mid September we had picked up an OEM BMW M Tech II sedan bumper off the list of Craigs for a whooping 50 bucks! What a steal! Especially since these are about 500 bucks brand new from BMW. The bumper had your typical wear and tear from being driven, but also has some gremlins as there were huge gashes under the bumper and a crack from SF hills, streets, curbs, pedestrians and probably small animals too.
Post YouTube videos and Mighty Car Mods jokes later we began working on the bumper. We started off drilling holes around the crack in order to put it back in place and to stop the crack from further growing. While we heard Drift Stitches are a thing… we felt it unnecessary on the Wagon. Shortly after some JB Weld for plastic found itself on the bumper around the crack, and we got bondo to fill in the gashes on the bottom of the bumper and to fill in the scratches and rock chip holes on the front of the bumper. We had about 3 separate sessions of bondo fill and sanding before we got to sanding the entire bumper in prep for primer and paint. CFO Andrew made an appearance for this project as well and helped with the wet sanding and priming of the bumper.
After the bumper was all filled and primed the project was put on a light hold as we waited for Base and Clear to arrive from ERA Paints in Oregon. ERA has tons of paint matched cans of spray paint for the E46, and possibly other BMW models and manufacturers, but we only cared about color code 400, Steel Grey Metallic. During the painting process we tested the paint on our rear door handle cover and the tow hook cover. Needless to say it looked tits. Sorry kids.
Fast forward to our cooling overhaul project, and 4 cans of spray paint later we finally got to finish up the project and get the clear on the bumper followed by some cut, buff and polishing.
Phase 1: JB Welding the broken bits and Wet Sanding using 180, 320, 400 and 600 grit
Phase 2: Applying Bondo layers and wet sanding down areas using 180, 320, 400 and 600 grit sandpaper
Phase 3: Filler Primer and Wet Sanding
Phase 4: Painting with color matched paint and stalling the project
The one on top is the new paint and the one on bottom is the original paint
After getting a solid base of paint on the bumper this project halted from September until recently
Phase 5: Finishing the project. Paint, Clear, Sanding, Buff, Cut and Polishing
Again a very special thanks to Andrew Shultz for his assistance on this project and thanks to ERA Paints!
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome back to FJD Performance! This entire month of November has be one for the books, and one to remember (no pun intended). We found ourselves in a bit of a bind on the first due to an unexpected mechanical need for Elise, our E46 BMW Wagon; only to be later followed by some fuel related issues with the Mare, but we will talk about that in another write up.
Fresh out of October and Halloween Elise had some trouble with her cooling system which required immediate attention, and cause the hood of the car to get damaged among other bits. We knew that a cooling system overhaul was going to be happening, but we weren’t expecting to do it right then and there. We got the car towed back and started ripping into the car on Saturday. We also felt a bit of need to finish up our M Tech II ZHP bumper that we picked up for $50 a couple months ago. More on that later.
We paid – pun intended – a quick trip to Turner Motorsports’ website and picked up a full cooling system overhaul kit for about $500 consisting of: a new radiator, all the needed hoses, water pump, blue BMW coolant, coolant overflow tank, thermostat and housing and also picked up a new fan clutch and water pump pulley. Having worked on a 97 Audi A4, and watched many YouTube videos, we had an idea of what to expect when working on the car, so full destruction ahead!
The car was fairly easy to work on, and we actually had the majority of things done within the working day, but due to waiting on parts to arrive the full project lasted 2 weekends. All in all still not too bad; just very involved. In addition to the project we picked up some M Tech style fog lights for the bumper and a cover for the fog lights for us to route some ducts of our own to the new brakes Elise will be getting in the future. We painted, cleared, buffed, cut and polished the new bumper as well, but during this project, on top of the cooling project, was the very unfortunate fires here in the North Bay/Chico area of California, so air quality was very poor, and made for somewhat tough breathing in addition to the painting.
A very special thanks to FJD Performance CFO, Andrew Shultz, for all the time and help with this little project of ours! More will be happening with the wagon over the next few months as well, so keep your eyes on the look out.
Hey Guys and Gals, welcome to today’s installment of TDR! This past Saturday we saw Frank and Rob return to Crows Landing to run with AAS before they closed out the autocross season. The guys were also accompanied by Ethan, who also co drives Rob’s Miata, and is also a very good driver.
The boys started out the morning by getting prepped for the first run group as Rob and Ethan were going straight into the runs; we were about 30 minutes late due to traffic on 580 east, and we didn’t have as much prep time like we normally do. Since Frank actually ran in class this event he was taking support duties during Rob and Ethan’s runs by making sure tire pressures were set, gopro footage was being recorded and pictures were being taken.
Rob and Ethan both ran mid to low 73 second runs and did very well for the day; not to mention Ethan’s skills behind the Miata showed Saturday. Frank also did well getting some good action shots of the two out there. Following shortly after them, Frank got ready to run in class again and actually compete. The last time Franks ran in CAM-C was almost a year ago, so it felt right to end the season of AAS off in class.
The Mare did fairly well, but Frank was experiencing issues with his brakes as they weren’t adequate for the course, and his gearing was also taking a toll on his acceleration out of some of the sharp hair pins on course. His fastest run was a 72.124 with Alice, and a close 72.147 without a passenger. Going into the 2019 season we are going to focus on getting our brake upgrade done as well as putting in our new diff parts and reworking the exhaust and top end of the engine.
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to another installment of TDR! This past weekend we found Frank and Rob at Crows Landing competing with the San Francisco Region of SCCA in Robs 1999 Mazda Miata, and boy was it a blast!
Frank and Rob started out the event as the first ones to run the course, and got a good idea right away of just how difficult this course would be. It also helped that they got to see the layout before the walk, and roughly 20 minutes later walking the actual course. Frank was first out putting in a mid 67 second run followed by Rob putting in a mid 66. Their second runs found Frank and Rob putting in a mid 64 and low 66 respectively, but Frank was having a little trouble dialing in the Miata as he is used to having a lot more rubber on the square setup on the Mare; it was slides and drifting galore out there for Frank the next few runs! Frank choked on his 4th run, resulting in a 72 second run, and Rob shortly followed suit, choking right before the finish line on his 4th run, resulting in a 67 second run.
Rob and Frank pulled up to grid, ready to pack up their things after feeling a round of defeat, but were relieved to find out that this time there was 5 runs and not 4! The guys took a second to relax and regain themselves, and then it was out to the starting line one last time for the day! Frank took the first set of slaloms a bit easier and wasn’t as aggressive which rewarded him with a 63.418; Rob followed shortly after with his own time of 63.309! Only .109 seconds between the two of them! The guys went home satisfied with their results, and celebrated with their traditional – post autocross run – burrito lunch at El Sombrero.
In addition to some go pro footage we are grateful to have had our buddy Tyson McPherson out there snapping shots of the event and getting some great action shots of both Rob and Frank out there. Rob was running as 114 and Frank as 14.
Hey there guys and gals and welcome to today’s edition of TDR! This past Monday FJD Performance found ourselves yet again at another private track day hosted by Signature Wheel and the Ford Performance Racing School. This time however we were running at Thunderhill, just north of Sacramento.
Fresh out of the last private track day we all knew round 2 was eminent, and 6 months later we were back at Thunderhill Raceway Park where a little over a year ago we put in a 2:37 with NASA and the Mares old engine and setup.
We started the weekend by driving out to Willows Sunday afternoon and found ourselves meeting up with good friends in the Mustang and Track/Racing community. We were also very excited to meet up and talk with an old family friend who just so happens to be the driver of the GR40 Cobra, which by the way was the fastest car out there. Faster than even the new Ford Performance FP350S. At least on this track. Following this meet up with our family friend and the Griggs team at Southworst 737 Racing, we got to the track walk and then did a private track day dinner with all the participants. After dinner we prepped for the fun filled day at Thunderhill on Monday.
Monday came and we started off the day with a bang! The morning progressed into our first session where we put down a 2:16:515 – already 21 seconds faster! – and then into our 2nd session where we got some rain, and put down an even faster, wet time, of 2:13:695; and by our third session we put down our new PB on Thunderhill Bypass with a 2:11:748! The new engine, tune from Caliber Customs, revised suspension, 200TW tires, and improved driving skills and mentorship from Steve (GR40 Cobra) helped result in a 26 second faster lap time, and a projected 2:10:468 based off all the quickest track sectors. The Mare performed perfectly out on track, and now we’re aiming towards even more racecar mods! We had a blast out there with our track friends, Ford Performance Racing School and the guys at Signature Wheels and look forward to our next event!
Enjoy these phenomenal track photos from our buddy Rob Gluckman and our media on YouTube!
a fun video of Frank passing a E46 M3 and a Shelby GT350
Hey there Guys and Gals and welcome to FJD Performance’s newest edition in Track Day Recollection. This past weekend FJD Performance found ourselves at the one and only NASA Crows Landing to do some Test N Tune on the Mare before we send her off to get the official tune at Caliber Customs. We went out Saturday with our good buddy Rob and his 1999 Mazda Miata. Helping him with his driving experience is also helping us to further our knowledge of other cars and driving characteristics. I believe his fastest time was a low 74 second run; our own was a high 70. We finished the day with some good news, bad news, things to work on and much needed seat time.
So, Whats the good news?
The good news is that the car did phenomenal out there on the Autocross course! Great throttle response, low engine temps, the perfect amount of torque to get out of corners quickly, the perfect amount of horse power, and the brakes still bite and bring the car to a quick stop given the new engine’s capabilities. Nearly everything about the car out there was perfect!
Well then, what’s the bad news?
Well… one thing, and we knew this coming in, is that we need new front tires, but we said screw it, send it anyways! So yea…we need to get new tires. In addition to the tire situation — which we found out about after the event there was wire showing — we noticed some additional body roll out there on the course which was eating into the times a bit during the slaloms. We were always planning on getting the rear finished up, but now we need to make it a priority in addition to the seats, harness, cage and new wheels and brakes. We feel like so much work needs to be done in what seems like such little time, but such is life.
While out there we worked on pushing the car and testing some limits which you can see by the times we put in on course. Seeing that we haven’t had any seat time in the Mare since April, we knew that some Autocross time was needed, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. FJD Performance will see itself back out at Crows with AAS for the next couple rounds, and we will be back at Thunderhill this October 1st.
Hey there Guys and Gals, and welcome to today’s edition of Custom Modifications! This past weekend we installed our Oil Catch Can kit on the Mare, and boy was it a pain figuring out placement, and trying not to bake in this near triple digit heat! We started off by ordering a 6oz Catch Can from Turner Motorsports. You may not be familiar with that name unless you’re somewhat of a BMW fan because this part is actually made for cars like Elise, a E46 3 series. However most of these kits are universal, so as long as you’re willing to make modifications you should be good to go. I mean… this article series IS called Custom Modifications…
We got the OCC on Thursday, and immediately went to the engine bay of the Mare to try and figure out where to fit this behemoth of a can. We tried in multiple spots using the supplied brackets, but nothing really seemed to work efficiently, and were too far away. It wasn’t until we realized that we had some aluminum brackets in the garage that would help us place the OCC behind the intake manifold on the firewall.
You may be wondering…
“Why go with the Turner can?”
“Why didn’t you just get a JLT or other brand?” or other questions that we could list, but really don’t care enough to type.
We got this one for these reasons: it’s bigger than most quality cans (coming in 6oz, 8oz, and 10oz); it’s the same price for all the sizes, no increase between the three (189.99); it’s baffled unlike most cans. The JLT ones did not have any of these perks, and the JLT was only 40 bucks less than the Turner kit!
One of the potential locations for the can was under the radiator cover on the frame above the fan, but that proved to be not only inaccessible, but the distance the air would have to travel would be too far. The next couple locations were on the passenger side coil pack mount (which also proved inaccessible) and under the STB on the driver side on a bracket. The location under the STB would of worked if we found a way to level out the can more, but that was when we remembered the brackets in the garage that we used.
We had the right amount of clearance and placement with the Aluminium brackets sitting in the garage, so they got the green light. We had to measure and drill into the base of the bracket so it would sit under the bolts the connect the back of the STB to the firewall. How the can sits now, it is completely accessible and serviceable.
The fit under the hood is now ever so tighter with all this stuff in the engine bay, but it looks great nonetheless.