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Does anyone else do ice racing or ice autocross in Miatas?


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#1
gerglmuff2

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Seems we don't have a forum for these kinds of things. I've been Ice autocrossing my junker miata for 6 years, I want to buy a junker caged car to get into wheel to wheel ice racing. be curious what folks are doing to keep them alive, i seem to go through more wheel bearings and suspension parts on this car than my race car, and other problems. if someone has some experience id be interested. I have some, willing to pass that one too. id be curious what everyone's Diffs are setup like. 

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#2
gerglmuff2

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renewing this thread cause the season is gonna get started soon. 

does anyone know of upgraded rear wheel bearings? i seem to go through rears more than fronts on this car, i assume its because the car spends so much time loaded up on the stops in the rear. lots of folks focused on fronts, not a ton of folks focused on making tougher rears. 

also anyone with experience with the torsen on ice? ive been loving the VLSD, in this application the lack of lock up, and slower response of lockup, is an advantage. but the little ring and pinion also get beat to to shit, and i have to replace them every 3 or 4 years cuase they blow up on me. changing diff fluid at least twice a season. i worry about the torsen being too jerky, they lock and unlock so fast. there is also the issue of one wheel nearing zero traction pretty frequently too. 

im also going to be realigning the car this year for the extra grip of the studs, curious if anyone has any tips there. 


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#3
Alberto

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There's no ice around me but that looks like fun.  Would be fun to watch some videos of that action :)


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#4
Bench Racer

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Went ice racing time trials with Lawrence Loshak in his Mitsubishi Evo a few years ago on lake Sinissippi Lake at Hustisford, WI. Lawrence had on $300.00 per corner non-studded snow tires and made the 4 wheel drive studded tire Subarus and everything else's time look silly. When he matted the Evo, it set you back in the seat and the traction surprised me. He and Mike Moser back in the late 90's early 2000's regularly ice raced CRX's W2W in MN and did very well. Then they grew into asphalt road racers and rarely do an ice race, but they still talk about it with great interest.    


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#5
gerglmuff2

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There's no ice around me but that looks like fun.  Would be fun to watch some videos of that action :)

 

i have gifs for days, and a few videos of the silliness, but i was mostly hoping for more input on keep the car from breaking itself. on rubber tires (winter) it was always reliable, but switching to the studs, i go through wheel bearings and suspension parts like crazy (hint: ice is not flat!). and no, no one on winter tires, is beating us on studs for grip, never in a million years. 

like i said, im also curious about diff setups too. 

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https://www.youtube....h?v=Z4ax95JeGtw
 


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#6
Bench Racer

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Gordon, if I had the Loshak driving skills shown in SCCA and Trans Am TA, I'd do a casual bet on times with you and your studs. As a aside note, do you really believe a 2 wheel studded mid pack Spec Miata driver is going to beat a 4 wheel drive non-studded with an exceptional driver. Sorry, not a crack at your driving skills, only a factual comment.


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#7
gerglmuff2

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Gordon, if I had the Loshak driving skills shown in SCCA and Trans Am TA, I'd do a casual bet on times with you and your studs. 

i know who loshak is, but no evo on rubber is making more grip than on studs, lol. you can actually pull more lateral on studs on ice, than some dry pavement/summer tires situations. ive driven a lot of cars on both (even evos), and there is no situation where a car on rubber is make more grip than on studs. period. 

more recent video:

https://www.youtube....h?v=U-N2EMHcXGw


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#8
Ron Alan

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Based on the obvious load in some of the pictures and video,  grip would not seem to be an issue with those studded tires  :blink: :king: 

 

Torsen only works when both tires have traction...lift a wheel you have an open diff. Not sure how the viscous works but sounds like you like it...if you go to a 7" ring and pinion(1.8)you might want to consider installing a Cusco or similar. An old RX7 clutchpack will fit in the 1.8 pumpkin...another option but you need the correct stub axles(2 piece)


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#9
William Keeling

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will need to make a set of studded for next years runoffs


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#10
gerglmuff2

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Based on the obvious load in some of the pictures and video,  grip would not seem to be an issue with those studded tires  :blink: :king:

 

Torsen only works when both tires have traction...lift a wheel you have an open diff. Not sure how the viscous works but sounds like you like it...if you go to a 7" ring and pinion(1.8)you might want to consider installing a Cusco or similar. An old RX7 clutchpack will fit in the 1.8 pumpkin...another option but you need the correct stub axles(2 piece)

 

thats what im worried about with switching from the vlsd. 90+ percent of the time both wheels are on the ground and in a good place to put grip down, but its those times when they arn't, which are pretty common on snow and ice, that im worried converting to a 1.8 torsen will actually be a step backwards. i kinda wish there was a 1.8 viscus 

another option is the welded diff i have just laying on my garage floor, but i feel like ill start snapping CVs or have too much understeer with a welded diff. anyone have an experience with them? 

cvs are cheaper than diffs though ... 


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#11
Camaro67racer

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This won't be much help to the info you are looking for, but my wife and I used a previous street 2007 MX-5 during several seasons of ice racing. Our events are AutoX style against the clock, typically a 1.5-2.0 mile course. So much fun! The car was stock and we just ran it on the Blizzaks. They are very good on the ice, perfect balance of power and weight.

We only have one studded class in the group, so it's a run what you brung. One guy trailers in a stripped out early VW Rabbit. I mean stripped. It's just a caged shell, chopped roof that's now riveted sheet metal with the doors even welded shut.

For this winter, I'm planning to build some studded tires like you have with the sharpened bolts. Any tips or advice?
I am going to run them on another NC that I have with the 2.5L swap I'm finishing up.

They also try to put on a day/night event. Pretty cool to run on the lake in the total darkness. I made a custom bar for some Hellas on the front.

Couple of pics of the last car from a few years ago...

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#12
Steve Scheifler

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I don’t know if there is a way to modify/swap parts to the Miata torsen so it works like the version with built-in preload, so you don’t lose all traction with a lifted wheel. Might be some cheaters out there who can tell you.
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#13
Bench Racer

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I don’t know if there is a way to modify/swap parts to the Miata torsen so it works like the version with built-in preload, so you don’t lose all traction with a lifted wheel. Might be some cheaters out there who can tell you.

PM site member SaulSpeedwell aka Mark Bennett. He has several youtube videos under miataboxs. IIRC, there's one video on stiffening the center what I'll call wave springs.


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#14
gerglmuff2

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This won't be much help to the info you are looking for, but my wife and I used a previous street 2007 MX-5 during several seasons of ice racing. Our events are AutoX style against the clock, typically a 1.5-2.0 mile course. So much fun! The car was stock and we just ran it on the Blizzaks. They are very good on the ice, perfect balance of power and weight.

We only have one studded class in the group, so it's a run what you brung. One guy trailers in a stripped out early VW Rabbit. I mean stripped. It's just a caged shell, chopped roof that's now riveted sheet metal with the doors even welded shut.

For this winter, I'm planning to build some studded tires like you have with the sharpened bolts. Any tips or advice?
I am going to run them on another NC that I have with the 2.5L swap I'm finishing up.

They also try to put on a day/night event. Pretty cool to run on the lake in the total darkness. I made a custom bar for some Hellas on the front.

Couple of pics of the last car from a few years ago...

i followed racing365 (local guys) page on how to do it. you can google it. 

sharpen the bolts first, use a drill press if you can, with a snowmobile sharpening tool.

use a die to check the threads on each one. 
i used two washers on the back, a big one, and a smaller one. then dab each stud with some windshield silicon sealant (very important).

use a drill and socket to run each stud though from the inside

use a wrench on the inside, and an impact on the outside, add a small washer, then the lock nut (also very important), and run them down. 

tighten each one like a lot. 

mounting them on the rims is really annoying too. you'll need your basic ratchet strap, wood etc to seat the bead. cause the tire will look like shit cause you drilled through all the belting. 

all told i think i spent about ~22 hours on mine. i could maybe shave that down to 16-18 having done it before. yes, its a MAJOR endeavor. some poeples leak like a psi a minute, and are constantly pumping them up. one of mine doesnt leak at all, and the worst leaker is like 5 psi a day. 

driving a miata on studs though is one of my all time favorite driving experiences ever. 


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#15
Bench Racer

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all told i think i spent about ~22 hours on mine. i could maybe shave that down to 16-18 having done it before. yes, its a MAJOR endeavor. some poeples leak like a psi a minute, and are constantly pumping them up. one of mine doesnt leak at all, and the worst leaker is like 5 psi a day. 

??? https://www.walmart....54aAu0zEALw_wcB


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#16
gerglmuff2

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ive seen people try slime, its a fudging mess. i do not recommend. 


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