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#1
Greg Holmberg

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On ApexSpeed.com I've been conducting a survey of operational costs for each class.

 

Here I'm only looking at the predictable costs that vary between the classes.

Some costs are more or less the same between classes, such as towing, hotel, food, entry fee, and so on. I am ignoring those costs.

Some costs are personal choice, and not inherent in the class, such as how much you choose to spend on your tow vehicle or RV, or paying people to support you. I am ignoring those too.

Some costs, while having some correlation to the class, are unpredictable and so difficult to quantify, such as crash repairs or engine failures. I am ignoring those too.

That leaves me with:

  • tires
  • engine rebuild (by a professional)
  • gearbox rebuild
  • fuel
  • brake pads
  • other, depending on the class

I guess there are other smaller but predictable maintenance costs, such as oil changes, brake rotors, brake fluid, etc. If you think Spec Miata has above or below average expenses in these areas, let me know, and I will include them.

Drivers from many of the classes have responded with data for their class, and the result is:

a spreadsheet in Google docs.

Here's what I have for Spec Miata. If you have changes, please reply below, and I will update the spreadsheet.

Class name: SM
Engine make: Mazda
Engine model: BP
Displacement: 1800
Power at crank, HP: 126
Torque at crank, ft-lbs: 122
Weight with driver, lbs: 2,400
Purchase new, $: 35,000 professional build, SCCA Run-offs competitive
Purchase used, $: 25,000 
professional build, SCCA Run-offs competitive

Tires set, $: 836 Hoosier SM7
Tire competitive heat cycles: 12
Engine rebuild, $: 5,000
Engine competitive hours: 27
Fuel $/gallon: 3.00
Fuel gallons/hour: 8
Brake pads set, $: 264
Brake pads hours: 10
Gearbox rebuild: ?

Gearbox hours: ?

Other operational costs per weekend or per hour, $:

 

 

Thanks,

 

Greg Holmberg



#2
Ron Alan

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PM sent...


Ron

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#3
OrangeCrush86

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You might want to add rain tires to your list.



#4
tynor

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Is 12 HC really a realistic "competitive" lifespan for our SM7's?   I'm just mid-pack, but I understand the guys up front are buying a set per weekend (4-6 HC's - 8 if they are using the on a test day?  -- and in the extreme case a set per race (2 sets a weekend for a double race).    I notice a significant drop in stick in the 11-12 HC range, but I don't think those that are running up front are waiting that long.

 

Most of the guys I used to paddock with in SCCA have abandoned the club and are racing on Toyos with NASA (and the reason they give me is that it's due to tire cost).

 

Is it unreasonable to ask Hoosier to make a tire with the competitive longevity of the Toyo?  We're in a spec class -- who cares if it slows us down a bit?  We're all running the same tires...


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Steve Tynor

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#5
Danica Davison

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Is 12 HC really a realistic "competitive" lifespan for our SM7's?   I'm just mid-pack, but I understand the guys up front are buying a set per weekend (4-6 HC's - 8 if they are using the on a test day?  -- and in the extreme case a set per race (2 sets a weekend for a double race).    I notice a significant drop in stick in the 11-12 HC range, but I don't think those that are running up front are waiting that long.
 
Most of the guys I used to paddock with in SCCA have abandoned the club and are racing on Toyos with NASA (and the reason they give me is that it's due to tire cost).
 
Is it unreasonable to ask Hoosier to make a tire with the competitive longevity of the Toyo?  We're in a spec class -- who cares if it slows us down a bit?  We're all running the same tires...

 

 

Yeah, the hoosier SM7 has like 2-3 competitive cycles in my opinion, but still ... nothing is better than stickers.  We need to have tires like the Toyos that just come molded at 4/32s, so you don't have to worry too much about shaving tires.


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John Davison
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#6
mdavis

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Is 12 HC really a realistic "competitive" lifespan for our SM7's? 

 

 

No.  


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#7
ner88

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How many heat cycles depends greatly on the track.

Some track do like new and other like tires with 6+ cycles.


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#8
Caveman-kwebb99

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It's simple it boils down to who your racing against if your racing the best in the country you better have new tires, even at mid Ohio if yo have 4 hc tires that a 3 months old to someone who has 4hc for that weekend you ain't winning... If your in a regional field and you are a very good racer you can get away with 3 month old tires with 8-10 hc... It's all about what your goals and your competition level is.

If you have new toys that are not shaved or even shaved at mid Ohio you are already a loser. As you will grain the tires badly and be off pace immediatly

Most other tracks like new tires and your not usually gonna win on 4hc tire when everyone else is running 1hc tires.
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#9
Danica Davison

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It's simple it boils down to who your racing against if your racing the best in the country you better have new tires, even at mid Ohio if yo have 4 hc tires that a 3 months old to someone who has 4hc for that weekend you ain't winning... If your in a regional field and you are a very good racer you can get away with 3 month old tires with 8-10 hc... It's all about what your goals and your competition level is.

If you have new toys that are not shaved or even shaved at mid Ohio you are already a loser. As you will grain the tires badly and be off pace immediatly

Most other tracks like new tires and your not usually gonna win on 4hc tire when everyone else is running 1hc tires.

 

I second this. And the line I bolded is very accurate. Don't even bother showing up for the majors races, wanting to do well, if you don't want to spend money on the "purple crack".  We tend to have an agreement on our team not to sticker up for regionals unless we have no tires, which help keep the costs down and to keep it more about having fun.  However, some guys (Danny Steyn) still love putting stickers on at every regional.  And that's when we say, "have at it" if you want to win that badly.  You cant hide money!


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#itcouldbeyou

Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver

#10
Greg Holmberg

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The biggest cost surprise (to me, at least) in the data I've gathered for the Miata is the cost of maintaining a competitive engine, and the small number of hours until it's not competitive.  The Miata seems to require a pro-built engine to get competitive power, and then no longer makes competitive power after a relatively few number of hours.
 
To be clear, in this survey, I'm not asking for the cost of the average mid-pack car in a regional race. In order to make an apples-to-apples comparison across so many classes, the scenario is a car that's capable of winning a Major or finishing in the top five at the Run-offs. In some classes, such as Formula Enterprises, nearly all cars meet this criteria, so I have to make that the scenario for comparison.
 
Can anyone confirm these engine costs for a front-running car?
 
Engine rebuild, $: 5,000
Engine competitive hours: 27



#11
chris haldeman

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5000-6500 for pro engine.
Competitive life 50-100 hours
So 10-20 weekends including test days
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3 podium finishes
2 2013 NASA nats
1 2013 Scca runoffs
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#12
J. Pressman

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I certainly hope a refresh on a $6,500 engine doesn't cost $5000...?  While we are at it, when one gets a pro engine refreshed, are most only doing head work, or are some going through the bottom end again as well?


2007 ARRC Champion - SSM

 


#13
chris haldeman

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Personally I go thru the entire engine. Cost range was including multiple builders cost new. Refresh is less and on a case by case basis
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#14
Ron Alan

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I certainly hope a refresh on a $6,500 engine doesn't cost $5000...?  While we are at it, when one gets a pro engine refreshed, are most only doing head work, or are some going through the bottom end again as well?

New head(rebuilt) can be purchaced for $1500-$2000 if you want to leave the bottom end alone. But a "refresh" in my mind means complete disassemble and re-assemble...then any wear items that need to be replaced and associated cleaning and machining if there is still room! Labor is money!

Knock on wood...my 2 season old motor still makes the same power and torque!


Ron

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#15
Caveman-kwebb99

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New head(rebuilt) can be purchaced for $1500-$2000 if you want to leave the bottom end alone. But a "refresh" in my mind means complete disassemble and re-assemble...then any wear items that need to be replaced and associated cleaning and machining if there is still room! Labor is money!
Knock on wood...my 2 season old motor still makes the same power and torque!


That's cause you live the land of milk and honey lol

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My Signature is still not as long as Danny boy's
 

 

 

Donor - Made PayPal donation Majors Winner - Chatterbox - Blah blah blah... Blah blah blah Instigator - Made a topic or post that inspired other Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+

#16
Jim Drago

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I certainly hope a refresh on a $6,500 engine doesn't cost $5000...?  While we are at it, when one gets a pro engine refreshed, are most only doing head work, or are some going through the bottom end again as well?

the term refresh is a vague one.. some run a ball hone through it and lap a few valves and charge $3500.00, but to do it right.. You are re doing EVERYTHING you do to build a new engine less deck the head, deck the block and cut the relief cuts.. a total of $400 worth of machine work ..  A quality refresh is should be about 20-25% discount off of the new build cost IMO.   More often than not, you likely just need to pull the head and reseal it, which is not very expensive at all


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#17
Martinracing98

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More often than not, you likely just need to pull the head and reseal it, which is not very expensive at all

 

How many hours typical between a head reseal, and how many hours typical between bottom end rebuilds



#18
Jim Drago

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How many hours typical between a head reseal, and how many hours typical between bottom end rebuilds

It depends on how it is used.. my car has two full seasons and 118 hrs on it. Still one of the strongest if not the strongest int the country. I will refresh the head before the runoffs.  I would see less over revvs, you should get  80-100 plus hrs


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#19
callumhay

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Thinking it would be a good idea to add clarification on model years of the cars that your list refers to. Also the 126 at crank should be to wheels, no?. Correct me if I'm wrong but crank hp is higher than wheel hp ..and most are shooting for 122-128 ? at the wheels with the restrictor plate . And different dynos read differently on different days so maybe a footnote on the hp might help the un initiated? Hp for sure is a discussion but a single number may be misleading to some and I'm not sure it's accurate to quote a crank number.

#20
Jim Drago

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Engine competitive hours: 27

This is VERY inaccurate IMO from just about any of the reputable builders. If someone is telling you that, switch builders.  Less over rev, over heat or running lean, running low on oil, these engines should run in top form for 80 hours plus routinely.   There will be an occasional valve that doesn't seal here and there, but for the most part under normal conditions, the engines should run in top form for 80 hours plus. 


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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




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