Jump to content

Photo

SSM concept questions.


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1
AW33COM

AW33COM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Region:NE
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:78

I'm fresh off the NHMS regional races in the rain and in the dry.  Looking at my SM and SM2 results, rain vs. dry, SSM, and talking with few guys, I have few questions regarding SSM. 

 

The engine is my main area of interest.  Are there pro build motors in SSM?  I see pro build SSM engines for sale.

 

The rules about the engine are as follow: "Overhaul procedures that in the slightest way would increase performance are not to be utilized, for example, porting.  Blueprinting and balancing are inconsistent with the philosophy of this class and are not permitted." 

 

So what about overhaul procedures that are done for SM where you can refresh the engine to the factory manual? Is that allowed?  And if so, how is SSM engine different than SM engine? 

 

I like the idea of not opening up an engine, and running to figure out who the best driver is given what he's got out of the factory.   I'm not knocking SM or anything like that, just trying to understand SSM.  I like the idea of controlling cost, but my main focus is the engine.  In case there are pro build motors in SSM and there are differences between engines than SSM makes very little sense to me.  But if I'm wrong I will convert to SSM.

 

Can someone give me an objective answer on this. 



#2
Mike Collins

Mike Collins

    Big Cheese

  • Moderators
  • 1,205 posts
  • Location:Summit Point Motorsports Park
  • Region:Washington DC
  • Car Number:75

Not sure this will answer your question but... in the WDCR SSM motors are sealed.  We do have "pro built" motors but they are not built to the same standard as SM motors.  In fact they are a lot different.  Since there is a dyno target, over-building the motor would be a bad thing since you would then have to de-tune the engine to stay within the HP limit.  A de-tuned engine runs like crap.  The "perfect" SSM engine ramps up early and runs flat at the top to have the HP limit for the largest RMP range.  While lots of motors can reach the goal, a "pro" SSM motor doesn't make any more power, it just makes the right amount of power for longer in the RPM band.  It's really not that hard to do, its a fine art of mix and match LEGAL 1.6 parts, a good LEGAL valve job and decking the head to the FSM limit of 5.268".  Then use standard FSM engine assembly.


  • Mike Bell likes this
Mike "MEATHEAD" Collins
Founder - Partner
MEATHEADRacing
240-476-1593

www.meatheadracing.com
Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ Sponsor / Advertiser - Site sponsor / advertiser... support these guys! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Sugar Daddy - Made PayPal donation of $500+ Donor - Made PayPal donation Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. MX5 Cup Participant - Has Participated in a MX5Cup.com Series Event Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other

#3
Walter Vetter

Walter Vetter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,170 posts

... some are just more equal than others.


  • Jim Drago likes this
Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#4
Jim Drago

Jim Drago

    East Street Racing / 2 Time National Champion

  • Administrators
  • 5,214 posts
  • Location:Memphis, Tn
  • Region:Mid South
  • Car Year:2000
  • Car Number:2
What Mike said.. and some of those motors when opened up at events like ARRC are as good or better than any SM engine out there. IN SSM a motor that makes good power across the RPM band is the key.

East Street Auto Parts
Jim@Eaststreet.com
800 700 9080

ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#5
AW33COM

AW33COM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Region:NE
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:78

^ So first they open up the motor, do mods for SSM and then they seal them.  Got it. 

I'm going to assume there is no real class out there using stock motors. 

 

At the last event I showed up with a complete stock Miata (even with stock FPR) and in the rain I started last, but got up to like 12, 15, or 17 out of 30 cars.  In the dry I had hard time keeping up with the last 3 cars.  I know I suck at driving, but why such a big difference? 



#6
David L

David L

    guest

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Location:SW FLORIDA
  • Region:WDCR
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:29

I see your in NJ, we have many guys from Nj and further that run the complete MARRS series in SSM because the competition is that good. I run SSM with a bone stock motor with over 100k on it and have many podium finishes. I can honestly say my stock motor is not the problem. My car can run with any car on the track but when you make a mistake (and I always do) you are toast.

 

You should come down to Summit and give it a whirl, you won't be disappointed.         


You've been served - Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#7
Bench Racer

Bench Racer

    Different strokes for different folks : )

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,476 posts
  • Location:Wauwatosa, WI
  • Region:Milwaukee
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:14

 It's really not that hard to do, its a fine art of mix and match LEGAL 1.6 parts,

 

Would this be the SSM LEGAL term for blueprinting which is illegal??? :duck:

 

I find this parts bin blueprinting to be really funny because it is being done and the fact that it is being done means that statistically it can be proven which engines have these parts. If "X" number of engines parts were measured/weighed for a base line, game over during the tech tear down. :o


Broken record - You are starting to sound like a broken record. Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#8
Rob Burgoon

Rob Burgoon

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,465 posts
  • Location:San Diego
  • Car Year:1995
  • Car Number:91

Would this be the SSM LEGAL term for blueprinting which is illegal??? :duck:

 

I find this parts bin blueprinting to be really funny because it is being done and the fact that it is being done means that statistically it can be proven which engines have these parts. If "X" number of engines parts were measured/weighed for a base line, game over during the tech tear down. :o

 

I won't say "it's only cheating if you get caught", but I will say "it might as well be legal if it's not POSSIBLE to get caught"

 

Not sure statistical analysis of the probability that engine parts are "natural" is a reliable method or one that will survive any sort of appeal.


Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill - Survive the 25, NASA Thunderhill We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations!

#9
AW33COM

AW33COM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Region:NE
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:78

Reading the rules and intent of SSM I have hard time understanding the logic behind the class.  From one side you want to save money, and create competition.  But from the other side you have pro build motors.  Stuff like camber is fixed in my region, but you're allowed to put your fingers into the air flow meter.  Who makes these rules? Very illogical. 

 

David, I'm sure we'll race each other as I plan to race a lot going forward. 



#10
Alberto

Alberto

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,160 posts
  • Location:Mountain View, CA
  • Region:SFR
  • Car Year:1990

It is a bit odd isn't it.  It blew my mind a year or two ago when I learned about pro motors and such.  I was pretty incredulous and made some statements that probably pissed some people off.  I understand the intent behind some of these rules better now and wouldn't make the same statements today but I still believe that there must be a better way...

 

I run a stock, unopened street motor with ~92k miles.  I dyno'ed 107 rwhp before tuning and 107.7 after tuning. Most people in the field are running motors that can put down 113+.  There is only one car in the entire field that I've ever been able to drag race down the straight and pull on. :)  I'd like to get a head or a more potent motor but budget does not allow.  I'd rather spend the money on tires.  I can live w/o the xtra HP but not tires.


Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#11
Walter Vetter

Walter Vetter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,170 posts

I'm going to assume there is no real class out there using stock motors.

 

Stock no, sealed yes. Spec Racer Ford.


Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#12
Mike Collins

Mike Collins

    Big Cheese

  • Moderators
  • 1,205 posts
  • Location:Summit Point Motorsports Park
  • Region:Washington DC
  • Car Number:75

In the 1.6 Miata, there are 2 cranks. 3 blocks, 4 different head castings, 3 different "sets" of cams.  3 different valve springs. 6 different water pumps.  All from Mazda in various different production runs.

 

Other than maybe Jim Drago or Marc Cefalo...who else among you can tell the difference, year the part came from, was it factory or OEM replacement from Mazda?????

 

Knowing which parts are the best are why you pay a "pro" to build your motor....

 

On the SMAC we occasionally have to change the rules because Mazda starts selling an OEM part that is not exactly like the part it replaces.  It does not mean the new part is better, just different.  

 

Eventually you are all going to need a motor.  While the 100k motors are great, we even won SM at the ARRC with a '99 that had 97,435 original miles on it  The tech shed could not believe it when we were taking it apart, it had never been opened.  I don't think you could do that now.  They all eventually need replacing you get to the point in your racing career where you are ready for a faster motor.  Remember, no matter if it is "pro" or stock, they are all the fastest right before they blow up ;)

 

Myself or anyone of the "pro" builders could probably build you a great motor with all stock parts and not one bit of machining because we each have our own secret recipe based on the parts that are available.


Mike "MEATHEAD" Collins
Founder - Partner
MEATHEADRacing
240-476-1593

www.meatheadracing.com
Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ Sponsor / Advertiser - Site sponsor / advertiser... support these guys! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Sugar Daddy - Made PayPal donation of $500+ Donor - Made PayPal donation Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. MX5 Cup Participant - Has Participated in a MX5Cup.com Series Event Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other

#13
Walter Vetter

Walter Vetter

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,170 posts

Mr Schabi, I think I hear SM5 calling your name.


Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#14
Glenn Davis

Glenn Davis

    Member

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Location:Colorado Springs, CO
  • Region:WDCR/Mid-Atlantic
  • Car Year:2002
  • Car Number:TBD

Reading the rules and intent of SSM I have hard time understanding the logic behind the class.  From one side you want to save money, and create competition.  But from the other side you have pro build motors.  Stuff like camber is fixed in my region, but you're allowed to put your fingers into the air flow meter.  Who makes these rules? Very illogical. 

 

David, I'm sure we'll race each other as I plan to race a lot going forward. 

 

Maybe I can help.  The only thing I have done to my motor is freshen it.  My HP/TQ curves look pretty normal and peak right at the ~107 limit for the SSM class in WDCR.  I have long known that there are other motors in the class that can easily pull me, but not because of peak HP/TQ.  I am a heavy guy, with good safety equipment, and I am regularly 60+ lbs over minimum.  I have only been racing for 4 years.  Given all of that, I have worked my way from DFL to regularly finish in the top ten in an extremely competitive 35+ car field.

 

I believe that the front of the WDCR SSM field is led be some very talented drivers with very well-prepped cars.  I don't see the issue.

 

 

It is a bit odd isn't it.  It blew my mind a year or two ago when I learned about pro motors and such.  I was pretty incredulous and made some statements that probably pissed some people off.  I understand the intent behind some of these rules better now and wouldn't make the same statements today but I still believe that there must be a better way...

 

I run a stock, unopened street motor with ~92k miles.  I dyno'ed 107 rwhp before tuning and 107.7 after tuning. Most people in the field are running motors that can put down 113+.  There is only one car in the entire field that I've ever been able to drag race down the straight and pull on. :)  I'd like to get a head or a more potent motor but budget does not allow.  I'd rather spend the money on tires.  I can live w/o the xtra HP but not tires.

 

Dyno and limits solved this issue for WDCR and for NASA MA in SSM.  We know who the good guys are and we know when fast is too fast.  The too fast folks get called out pretty quick.


  • Glenn likes this
Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#15
wreckerboy

wreckerboy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 153 posts
  • Location:Mrs Orcutt's driveway
  • Region:NJ
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:30

I'm one of those "guys from Nj"* who runs the entire MARRS series. I routinely make the 400+ mile round trip tow when I could be racing places much closer to home (and, at 8.5 MPG @ $3.45/gallon, much cheaper). I have for the last five years - in fact, when I built this car it was specifically with the MARRS SSM series in mind.

 

Why?

 

Remember way back in the hoary olden days, before SM went National? Back when the GCR included the phrase "low cost, affordable racing"? When SM went Big Time, and certainly before then, there were many in the class who were natural tinkerers. People who wanted to do the sort of development that included the sort of minutia Mike described above, about knowing that "(i)n the 1.6 Miata, there are 2 cranks. 3 blocks, 4 different head castings, 3 different 'sets' of cams,  3 different valve springs. 6 different water pumps" and no doubt investing the time and money to find out which of those combinations works best. I applaud Mike for doing so. Back then (read the archives) there were long investigations into things like exhaust systems, spark plugs, and wires, in which countless dyno hour$$$$$$ were invested finding that last 0.002 horsepower, that last inch-pound of torque. All that stuff is wonderful and valuable, but for many of us, completely at odds with what that now gone phrase from the GCR said the class was supposed to be. For many, we just don't have the inclination, or the time, skill, or money to do so. That "low cost" part is what drew many in. It brought me back from IT.

 

So the "founding fathers" of the class like Jim Thill and others eliminated much of the guesswork involved in putting together a reliable package. Things like spark plugs and wires were spec'd. The exhaust system was spec'd. The class even tried a spec camber allowance for a few years. In short, much of the expense of "development time" for the car was curtailed. A program was put in place to dyno and seal the engines.

 

I raced my first season in MARRS (and several seasons in EMRA before that) with a 280,000 mile old engine. It had great compression and leakdown numbers, never leaked a drop and was not the only reason I wasn't standing on the podium. Are pro built motors in the class? Yes, but not at the level it is on a national level. I have a pro-built motor in my car - I got it from Ed York through Mike. It's beginning its fourth season now. The leakdown numbers are good, it burns no oil, and still dynos and seals well. Why did I buy a motor instead of building one? Because at the price Mike/Ed was charging for building, installing, dynoing and sealing the thing, it was way more cost effective than doing it myself. In my case, by paying for somebody else's labor and expertise, I got an engine that I knew was going to be right (as in running, not spewing fluids or any of a 1000 other typical maladies experienced by the occasional home builder) and I wasn't going to be risking time and money (Remember that 400 mile tow, plus an entry fee?) to get to the track and start having problems caused by my own lack of knowledge. Besides, my wife gave it to me for my birthday. Are pro-built motors going to be built to maximize their potential within the spec by creating as broad a power band as possible? Of course.

 

The reality is that in any "spec" class there is going to be development dollars required, perhaps more so than in a more open class like IT. Face it, racing costs money, no matter where you race. At least in SSM some of the variables are controlled, to at least eliminate some of that cost. I can take my money and throw it at the driver variable in the equation instead.

 

The MARRS SSM program seems to be working - we've had consistently larger fields than the SM crowd has had over the years, and I would put the talent at the front of our field up against anyone else. I'd bet, given equal cars, that somebody like Mnsr. Obadia could have given Danny and the rest of that crowd a run for their money at the recent National. Come on down and give it a try - I'll even tell you the shortcuts from scenic Enn Jay down to Summit to avoid the traffic...

 

EDIT - You mentioned that the engine rule is your main area of interest. You cannot discount one of the other factors in our class: the tires. We still run on the "old" RA-1s. While the guys running in the top three or so are certainly going to be on fresh 1/32nd or 2/32 shaves every weekend, you can be confident that the bulk of the top 10 or 15 is not.  You can still be reasonably competitive on Toyos with a whole buncha heat cycles on 'em. Last year I managed to run top 10s on tires that were well into the 30 or 40 heat cycle range. Did I know that I was at a competitive disadvantage? Of course, but reality sucks, and I was pleased with my finishes within that constraint. Conventional wisdom says that the Toyos are much more tolerant of the ham handed abuse that many beginning drivers hand out vs. teh Purple Crack, because the hoo-hoos are real race tires. Fark, I'd race on $59.95 Sears Allstate Specials if that were class spec, because if we're all on them there is no difference.

 

 

 

*DISCLAIMER - I/we are not from NJ, we just live there....


  • David L, Alberto and RacerX like this
Rob Myles | "I didn't lose, I got out-painted!"
Hero To The Momentum Challenged
WDCR SSM #30

#16
AW33COM

AW33COM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Region:NE
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:78

Come on down and give it a try - I'll even tell you the shortcuts from scenic Enn Jay down to Summit to avoid the traffic...

 

Well, to keep this thread positive I decided to come down on June 8 and run in SM and whatever else I can.  I can't run SSM, because I do not have the exhaust for it.  I only have Hoosiers, so I need to figure out your rules and register for SM and ITA perphaps.  CCPS sounds nice, but I'm not sure if I'll be allowed to race that.



#17
Mike Collins

Mike Collins

    Big Cheese

  • Moderators
  • 1,205 posts
  • Location:Summit Point Motorsports Park
  • Region:Washington DC
  • Car Number:75

Well, to keep this thread positive I decided to come down on June 8 and run in SM and whatever else I can.  I can't run SSM, because I do not have the exhaust for it.  I only have Hoosiers, so I need to figure out your rules and register for SM and ITA perphaps.  CCPS sounds nice, but I'm not sure if I'll be allowed to race that.

You can race CCPS. in SM trim no problem.


Mike "MEATHEAD" Collins
Founder - Partner
MEATHEADRacing
240-476-1593

www.meatheadracing.com
Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ Sponsor / Advertiser - Site sponsor / advertiser... support these guys! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Sugar Daddy - Made PayPal donation of $500+ Donor - Made PayPal donation Beta-Tester - Assisted us with beta testing the website. MX5 Cup Participant - Has Participated in a MX5Cup.com Series Event Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other

#18
David L

David L

    guest

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Location:SW FLORIDA
  • Region:WDCR
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:29

Hey Wreckerboy hate to burst your bubble but Im still running used tires from NJ last year that were given to me by Brandon Fletch and shaved by Windsor. I love Toyo's don't even know how many cycles are on those babies. Got my next set ready to go bought those used 2 years ago LOL.


You've been served - Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#19
AW33COM

AW33COM

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Location:NJ
  • Region:NE
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:78

Regged for SM and ITA.  From what I can see online the track is pretty smooth, but I'm going to assume there are no garages, and the parking is organized by classes. 



#20
wreckerboy

wreckerboy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 153 posts
  • Location:Mrs Orcutt's driveway
  • Region:NJ
  • Car Year:1990
  • Car Number:30

Garages? We doan' need no stinkin' garages! This is Summit Point. We're all excited because we got new bathrooms a few years ago. As for parking, the SM/SSM crowd tends to park in the paddock area inside of T10, which will be the first thing you see after you cross the bridge to the infield.

 

Yes, there is electricity available at the track. It's reasonably priced at $20 or $25 for the weekend.

If you are hoteling it, try Winchester, VA instead of Charles Town. Many hotels right off 81 that are <15 miles from the track. Hotels are competitively priced to Chas Town an often cheaper for nicer rooms. There are Sheetz in the area (think "7-11s of the south") where you can get sandwiches for lunch, ice, etc. before heading to the track.

 

As for directions:

 

1. 95 south to 695 west to 70W to 340 west. Works very well either late at night as noted above, or during the early to mid part of the day when traffic is somewhat lighter. Can be the quickest route if you miss traffic. Time it wrong and you'll sit forever. If it's a weekday and I can't be at the Baltimore Tunnel before 0630 it's a lost cause.

2. 78W to 81 S Exit 5 (Inwood) in WV. This used to be our preferred route, except that A: there is occasionally construction along 81; B: it is somewhat congested these days (not as bad as 95 by any means); C: it is boring as hell. The advantage here is that if you are planning a stopover at Cabelas it's right there.


3. 95 / NJ Turnpike south to Pennsylvania Turnpike west to exit 236 - 15 south to 340 west. This is how we've been going for the last two or three years. Lightly traveled, much nicer, no major hills to climb if you are towing. The only issue is that there is a ton of radar/laser on the northern 15-20 miles or so, and not a lot of places to stop and eat or fuel. Generally the times are the same or slightly quicker than 81, but the ride is a lot nicer. Yes, the toll on the Pennsy 'Pike if you are towing will be
pricey (probably $13-$15, IIRC) but it's not a bad road to travel and worth it. Not a lot of killer hills.


 


Rob Myles | "I didn't lose, I got out-painted!"
Hero To The Momentum Challenged
WDCR SSM #30




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users