I Need Advice On Autocross

[b][I recently joined the SCCA and got into the leauge in my city. I have a 1998 Zx2 5spd, i have yet to race it on the course, because i do not think my car can handle the turns, mainly due to the suspension, I would like to know how i can fix it or set it up more for racing, also, what i can do to make my car faster which isnt very expensive. Another random question, what is the difference between a zx2 and a sport? Also does the Zx2 have an ECU?[/b]

First off…welcome to the board.
I would recommend the S/R drop for suspension (Eibach springs and Tokico struts) I forget which one it’s in (I think General ZX2 Discussion) but there’s a parts list with places to get them and such. ZXTuner and My Ford Performance are the recommended places to buy from. Knowing you’re from IN, I would recommend MFP because the shipping cost savings will offset the slightly higher initial cost. Those will do you much better. Others may also recommend getting a larger rear sway bar (I think 22mm) and a strut bar.

Energy Suspension Eurethane bushings would also be recommended, but not required as they’ll be a bit of a pain unless you’re a mechanic or have absolutely nothing to do ever and access to a lift and other great garage tools.

Weight reduction is your cheapest speed/acceleration getter. Less weight means not so much more power, but less power needed to move. Start with all the crap out the trunk (Spare ‘n’ all that when you’re ready to race) rear seats, interior paneling/sound deadening. I think some people even take out the carpet.

Another thing you can do is the “Keman Intake.” This involves removing the resonators. The biggest one is under your filter, kinda looks like a milk jug. That can be pulled out and left off with no ill effects. The other one is the upper resonator by the throttle body. Kinda squared off area. Hopefully KoiHoshi will chime in with the exact specs, but basically you get a piece of flared exhaust piping to replace the resonator. This “intake” won’t gain you much really, but for free (minus the small bit of pipe) what do you expect. Oh yeah! The last part is you cut your filter “box” off. Take the housing off and use a dremel, saw, whatever and cut the end off after the “Air Filter” box. That way you’re breathing through a dryer vent rather than a straw.

Everything else that I can think of is going to cost you money. The springs/struts alone are going to be about $400 plus shipping last I checked which was 2-3 years ago. But that should be enough to keep you busy and tide you over 'till you’re able to go through the site’s “search” function more.

Once again, welcome to the site and enjoy your stay. Keep us posted on the Autocrossing.

  • Darron

The only thing you need to do to your car is make sure it will pass tech and air up the tires.

For now, just get as much seat time as you can. Ask for help or advice at the autocrosses. Ask for ride alongs if its ok in your region. Ask for experienced autocrosser to ride with you.

In my first autocross, I finished 216th of 219. My goal at the first event was to not get lost, no DNF’s. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t set Fastest Time of the Day (FTD) your first time out. We have people in our region that have been autocrossing for 30 years. They are hard to beat no matter what car they are driving. They make the car fast. You can learn to do that, but not in a few autocrosses.

Seat time, seat time, seat time.

1st welcome to the boards both Gary and Cone-cerned.

1 cheap mod is a Rear sway bar from the 2nd gen escorts. The EGT had a 21mm RSB and the ELX had a 19mm sway both are a great improvement over our 13mm. Also when you do this mod get ES end links and rear bushings. Like on the S/R. This will make a great improvement over stock. Yet are stock parts. kind of a double edge sword as far as classing. When I ran with a few clubs I was considered “STOCK” due to the fact I had Ford Factory Equipment That came on my car. S/R is a option package.

The Iceman intake or Roush Intake are also “STOCK” parts. Good luck finding either part. Both are out of production. The Iceman is easier to find due to the aftermarket making them. The Roush on the other hand is very very hard to find only 106 were made 4 the 99 S/R. NO aftermarket release!

Practice Practice Practice thats the best thing you can do. Get used to the car and the way it handles. The ZX2 is a Quite nimble car it can handle Auto X very well

I have enjoyed the engine with the anti-knock sensor uplugged.
Though it seems to run best on 10% gasohol (I use BP).

I switched to Mobile 1 synthetic & lost 1-2 mpg over the stock blended Motorcraft 5-20.
Anybody else find that?

I’ve done a few autocrosses and have H&R springs with Tokico struts. It’s was at the shelby show in Great Bend Ks which is coming up again on July 21 btw. I raced against old 70 Boss 302’s all the way up to brand new mustangs and out of about 20 cars, all of which severly out powered me I finished 4th. The car handles very well. So I wouldn’t worry to much about power not only do you wanna stay at the top end of a low class when you start. Adding alittle power won’t help much when your top mph is gonna be around 60. Mainly focus on handleing and more handeling. Atleast thats what I have found

Welcome to the board. Dont let my profile fool you, i been around this site and Z’s for years, just had my profile deleted while i was in the sand box for the last couple years. Anyway, my advice is take an autox school. When i got into autox about 6 or 7 years ago i had the same few questions you did. After a few races and a buttload of cones, one of the nice older guys thats been doing it 30+ years told me about an autox school. I learned more about driving in that 3day school then i have in 15yrs of driving. Check with your group and see if they have any, if not check the national SCCA site for other regions near you that might have them. Good luck and if you have any questions drop me an email or im!

My home region (Texas Region SCCA) puts on one autocross school each year. It is a one day school on Saturday, followed by an autocross on Sunday. Oklahoma Region SCCA does the same. Some other clubs also put on schools. The Maverick Region of the Porsche Club of America has a two day autocross school each year.

Information about the Evolution Performance Driving School can be found at http://autocross.com/evolution/modules/news/

Here is a video from the Evolution group. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1phB_a_ttZk