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Matt's #SpecFit Project...

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2018, 02:04 AM
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Matt's #SpecFit Project...

Hi, my name is Matt.
I live in East Tennessee, am addicted to track rat stuff, and recently acquired an 07 Fit with the intention of getting more seat time... and having a more practical, yet fun, daily driver.



I can't remember a time when I wasn't a gear head. Raised in family of gear heads. Houses were picked based on garage size. Family vacations revolved around event calendars of sanctioning bodies. Family dinners were overshadowed by the presence of stained hands and fuel vapors.

My father always had at least one vintage motorcycle in the house to be pondered and admired. Not parked lazily in a foyer either.. They had a space all their own. Usually equipped with spot lighting, a platform, maybe even period art placed around.... The television got very little use in our homes.

The day my Mother retired from the Navy, she purchased a Pearl White Supra Turbo.... And this was seen as a sound decision by our clan. In fact, my sister is the only one that grew up into a normal, well rounded, beige commuter driving adult. Not sure where we went wrong with her.

However, as life goes; with a wife, house, yard, job, 2 year old boy... and another boy due very soon. I'm your average "TrackdayBro" who's #adulting has got in the way of automotive festivities.

I will pause and say I'm a bit spoiled.... I live by the mountains and I commute on some of the best driving roads in the country. I should be set with great roads, local enthusiasts, and no shortage of spirited drives.

My "Rush Hour"



My Less-than-trusty steed!



My office, early spring, still snow on the ground


But, After a long hiatus from track events or organized motorsport, I began to miss it... There is nothing like being on track and there is no better way to document the challenge of improving your driving and your car!

So I jumped back in the water a couple years ago by taking my 06 S2k to GridLife South, a motorsports and music festival at Road Atlanta. Bone stock other than some brake upgrades and a set of Sport Comp II's



It was a lot of fun; but, I loved that car too much to beat on it the way I wanted too.


So, I did what everyone does and got a Miata. The more budget friendly S2000.

And attended more GridLife...


Up to this point, I have only done HDPE and open lapping and have worked my way up from a novice to the advanced group. Or at least, they let me slap that sticker on my car. But, Im still just driving for fun and playing with my car. But, I keep watching the excitement of all the guys competing in the time attack groups. Seeing how they come in and pour over data and settings and fight for tenths of a second.... I wanted that, I want to keep improving!

Then last year, GridLife announced SpecFit!!!


I watched the fun being had in SpecFit last season and knew I wanted to play. These guys were having even more fun than me and doing it for less money! The prospect of close competition and an adorable little econobox that is likely to be more reliable than my Turbo FC... sign me up!

So, in August I purchased this unmolested 07 with 116k on the clock. Before doing any mods to get it up to spec, I drove it to work for a few weeks to get a feel for the chassis... stock.. Painfully Stock.



My commute can be very enlightening to the shortcomings of a car....
More on my first mods and track prep next time.
 

Last edited by Revhappymatt; 05-19-2018 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:52 AM
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Matt, your post made for an awesome morning read. Thank you for sharing!

I'll be looking out for future updates from you!
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:48 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I have a few pictures you've taken of me on 129! Thanks for your service to the community ��
 

Last edited by 2Rismo2; 04-06-2018 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:52 PM
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cool stuff!
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:54 PM
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wait i thought i was reading the thread backwards. lol. you ended up with a GD? you still have your other cars?
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:25 PM
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Your Fit looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

I, too, look forward to seeing the progression.
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:32 PM
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This was a great read! Lookin' forward to more.
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Rismo2 View Post
Welcome to the forum! I have a few pictures you've taken of me on 129! Thanks for your service to the community ��
Thanks for visiting us!


Originally Posted by kenchan View Post
wait i thought i was reading the thread backwards. lol. you ended up with a GD? you still have your other cars?
Your right, like many people I started out all wrong… with way more car than talent.
Now, I am happy just to go to the track. Keep it cheap, simple, and dead nuts reliable and keep my butt in the seat.

The S2000 had to go sadly.
It was mint, stock, and had full maintenance records… It sold on BringATrailer.com for a healthy amount.
But it afforded the Fit and paid off some debt. In the end it was a good decision. I loved it, but I had long-term attachments to my other cars and it was the only one worth anything on the market, LOL.

I’ve had the FC since I was 19 and its been through a few major changes, 3 motors, one theft recovery, and a hard life at the gap. Its still around because you simply can’t FINISH a rotary without something bad happening. It will never be complete; and despite my spouses hatred of it, will continue to have a spot in the garage!

The Miata has been the track car I’ve developed and improved over the last few years. In miata terms its pretty quick, very little is stock, and its well setup for the job. Its not going anywhere as I still love tracking it at events other than Gridlife where its classed a little better.


Originally Posted by marmaladedad View Post
Your Fit looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.
Thanks, I got lucky!
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:21 PM
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Lets get into the First Mods

It didn't take but a single pass to realize the Fit has crippling understeer when pushed! Not a surprise really given its factory geometry.
Like many others the first thing I did was the Progress rear bar.





Im so glad I did this while still rolling on stock wheels and crummy rubber. It made it much easier to feel the improvement. Also, since the limit of adhesion was Soooo low, breakaway characteristics could be felt, literally, without exceeding the posted speed limit, lol.


Of course the next thing to do was wheels and tires.
Dont hate, the 'less desirable' 15x6.5 black and polished MB wheels you see here were free and had deep tread DZ102's on them which will do fine for commuting.


But of course, I needed track meats!


The official tire partner for GridLife SpecFit is the 205 Maxxis VR-1("official".. but not required). A great tire for the money and one I'm somewhat familiar with. They may not be the absolute stickiest rubber available; but, they are predictable, communicative, not overly temp sensitive, great in the rain, and... most importantly... they wear like Iron. Many people have asked me about them at the track and my answer is always the same. They may only be 97% as fast as RE71r's or Rival S 1.5's; but, there as fast on their last day as they were on their first. Also, unlike the other two I named; they can go a whole session without overheating and falling off. And in budget racing, you can't beat that value!

The 205/50ZR15 is known to run a little wide (some say a cheater 205) and does well on an 8" rim. I wanted the 949Racing 6ul 15x8 +36 wheels... specifically I wanted them in Charcoal Black and had them before I even had the car.





Ive used 6uls for a long time on my miatas and there a great wheel for the price. The 8" width adds just a tiny stretch that the VR-1's respond well too and the +36 gives as wide a track as you can fit without seriously molesting your fenders. At first, I had some pretty aggressive rub; but, we'll come back to that later.
 
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:53 PM
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hey sounds like a fun place to be.
 
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:11 AM
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While waiting for some suspension bits to arrive, I caught up on a few things.

Of course, before beating on the Fit, I needed to ensure maintenance was up to date.
I freshened up the fluids, filters, and did IK22 plugs. While helping a friend upgrade his S2k to AP2 valve retainers, I decided it was a good time to check valve lash on the Fit. Glad I did as all the exhaust had gone tight and the intake had a bit too much variation.




Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP) is what I would consider my home track. Its located just at the edge of the mountains north of Atlanta. Its a fun track with lots of elevation change and almost no straits. So, it favors the underdog cars like Miatas and Fits if there set up well. Its about 2.5 hrs south of me and the route there entirely cuts through the mountains and is great fun.
I wanted a track day trailer to make short trips like this easier and more enjoyable without taking the van. So I needed a hitch on the fit.

Easy place to order from.



Super easy, 5 minute install.


Fits well



This way I could pull my newly completed tire trailer. (old tires pictured that came on the used rims)





This has been a great help.. Unhook, pop the ez-up, change tires and I’m ready to go.



I also like to camp at the tracks sometimes the evening before and this lets me carry more gear and easily change it to my sleeping quarters. I just borrow the dinette cushions from the old camper van.
 
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:26 AM
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Hello and welcome!

It's nice to see another track oriented GD build pop off on the forum. Keep us posted on the progress.

Sweet mix of cars by the way, really digging the FC.
 
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:07 PM
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Welcome! I've also got an 07 Fit and Miata, though mine is an NB1. I love both of those cars.

Your NA Miata looks very nicely put together, and it looks like you're off to a good start on the Fit. I'm looking forward to what you do with the Fit.
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:42 AM
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Love the compact size of that hitch. I had to look it up on etrailer's site in case I could have purchased it, but alas, it was only for GD.
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:09 PM
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In for updates. Similar situation to me. Track dude needing a reliable daily to become an adult, but now turning my Fit into a track/daily haha. I have a 2018 Sport with 6MT. Sold my BNR32 last week. Will hold off while life calms down for a little while then hoping to pick up an 06+ AP2 in the next couple months.
Enjoy the Fit. Cheers, mate.
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:37 PM
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Welcome to FF and nice find on the '07! Hope it brings you tons of fun and good times.

We're on the other side of the mountain from you. Very few appreciate just how good the GD can be for mountain blasts. Ours is retired from daily use and it's sole purpose is just mobbing. Surprises a whole lot of people.

The pic above is from the Dragon, but we mostly run blood mountain, richard b russel, etc. Less populated and still a whole bunch of fun.
 
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:40 PM
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Hey...are you Killboy or work for Killboy? Bought a few pictures from Killboy through the years. Some on bikes and one even in the Fit.
 
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:31 PM
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Sorry for the lack of updates guys!

Gridlife Rd1 is this weekend at mid-olio.
The fit has been ready to go; but, the van needs some small things to be ready for camping.
With lots of rain, wind, and near freezing temps expected this weekend… I ain’t sleeping in the car.
I have yet to leave for an event with the warm and fuzzy feeling of being all ready, lol.


Originally Posted by doctordoom View Post
Welcome! I've also got an 07 Fit and Miata, though mine is an NB1. I love both of those cars.
Miata’s are awesome!
Mine happens to be NB1 swapped with all the usual bolt-ons, and tuned on megasquirt. Here is a video from my first time taking the Miata to AMP. It may not be as underpowered as a Fit; but, it still gets to pick on so called “faster” cars…

I apologize now for the high viewing angle. I'm new to video and was mostly using the phone for for data acquisition and to see my gear shifts.




Originally Posted by GAFIT View Post
Hey...are you Killboy or work for Killboy?
Yup, I shoot for Killboy.
My friend Darryl is the founder. He is fairly busy handling things at the Tail of The Dragon store these days and also does a lot of traveling to document other events.

We appreciate your business!!!

The Fit is an awesome daily driver for mountain roads!
I try to hit Blood mountain on each trip to AMP! Its a super fun road; but, I always catch it when its covered in tourists or or cops. Hopefully, I'll get to pass through on a weekday sometime.
 
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Revhappymatt View Post
Yup, I shoot for Killboy.
My friend Darryl is the founder..
Alright, everyone. Now we can officially say "I got a guy."
Killboy insider!
 
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:43 PM
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Lets talk more on the footwork

Now that I had tires, I needed to be able to fit them under the fenders.
Which was going to require camber!
luckily, I had the input of a very experience chassis tuner and Fit racer (Seamus at Tailored Chassis Solutions) when it came time to spec a suspension.

There aren't a ton of great options for GD owners when it comes to coilovers. But, the first decision was what manufacture. BC coilovers have been used on two of the most successful Fit based race cars I know of. That would be Jason Owens' k-swapped GD3 Global Time Attack car and the TCS GE that has raced AER endurance in both L15 and K24 trim with Seamus and his team driving. Both of those guys were approachable, easy to talk to, and willing to answer my questions.

That went a long way in swaying my decision to run BC for TrackBattle.
Then, this package presented by BCRacing and the GridLife organizers for SpecFit sealed the deal!




Boy was I excited the day this box arrived!


Now, based off advice and recommendations, I paid a little bit extra and upgrade to the DS series coilovers with custom rates and valving for my weight intended use.
First, I can say the DS-series shocks are stout! The BR-series are great too, and perfect for 90% of intended customers. But, Unlike the standard BR coilovers which use smaller rear bodies, The DS gets the larger 46mm pistons and 53mm bodies at all four corners. Combined with the improved "digressive" piston design that allows extra dampening control at low piston speeds (i.e. turn in, brake dive, transitions). The larger piston/body/fluid capacity is better at controlling fluid flow and does so while developing less heat. The 46mm piston diameter also allows for more future tuning and dampening changes if needed.

They were also nice enough to allow me to select an extra set of rear springs instead of fronts. Which are way easier to change track-side to dial in handling.

Boy are they pretty!


I was very pleased after initial inspection.

The next day I installed them at a reasonable height not even close to slammed.
Within a few adjustments to individual corner heights I was able to achieve a perfect 50% cross weight, Rad!!!



This is with me in drivers seat, 1/4 tank fuel, jack and spare removed, just as it will roll onto track....




A little heavy; but, I'm very pleased with this balance for a front biased chassis. The bad part is, all the easy weight loss is aft of center and would only make things worse. Perfect for a daily driver!
 
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