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SCCA Autocross setup thread

94870 Views 647 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Des
I thought I'd start a thread specifically to discuss autocross setup for the Fiesta ST for next years Street class (probably G Street). This way we can share our learnings on wheels, tires, shocks, sway bars and alignment.
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Those are good choices but I am leaning toward the Toyo Proxes R1R 225/45x16. These are proven tires and has the under 24" diameter that I THINK is the limiting factor. Direzza has a 225/45x16 and 215/40x17. I don't think the Yokohama is sticky enough The Falken is a good tire just slightly less grippy than the Dunlop, Hankook and BFG. I used the Falken on my GTI before going to R-comps. If BFG comes out with a 16" fitment, that would be the way to go. I will be waiting until March 2014 to make the final decision.

BTW, BFG's web site asks viewers for comments. If enough of us go on there asking for proper 16" fitment for a FiST they will listen!!!
Why do you want 16" rather than 17" Rivals for the ST?

WRT the Toyos a friend has them on her BRZ but says that they tend to start chunking in as little as 18 runs.
there is no 17" Rival that will not rub the fenders. The Toyos have been known to chunk in heavy cars but are great with lghtweight cars.
At the EcoBoost challenge the Focus ST was usually setting fast time on a fairly tight course.

That was stock cars/tires with no prep but if those results are indicative it will take a very tight course for the Fiesta ST to have an advantage.

I've got to read the rules but I don't think our classification is going to translate to instant domination.

You have to remember even in stock the cars are not stock. The old Celica GTs that have dominated the last several years are highly modified autocross cars from just a few people. Them and the Neon have the ability to adjust front camber significantly, have mechanical limited slip diffs and they run small diameter wheels and wide Hoosier tires. They have dominated with Hoosier A6s. Can they do the same with Road tire Rivals, Dunlops or Hankooks? Other things to go-fast? probably.

Going back to the question about 17" vs 16" wheels..... it's about the rotational torque required to get them spinning up as much as unsprung weight.

I was 4.4 secs out of 1st in 2012 with a GTI on Hankook Z214s. That's 2.2 sec per day. Could Hoosiers given me that extra 2 seconds? Don't know. Could a little more negative camber given me that extra? For sure. Could the 500 pound weight difference between the GTI and a Celica GT been the difference? What do you think? Will the 250-300 pound weight difference in the FiST be the difference? Probably.

In autocross getting a car to rotate is as important than anything. That involves getting the front to grip with little understeer and having the rear loose and manegable. From what I've read, the Fiesta does that.

One thing for sure, I have competed against locals that are multiple national champions and others taht are consistently nationally competitive. I have kept a book on how I fare vs. them in PAX and raw times with the GTI. I will have quite a bit of confidence in whatever I see when competition starts.......
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BTW, this weekend is Kansas City region's last autocross. Current pre-registered is 109. Usually about 10-15 walk-ups............if your in the neighborhood.....
My friend said the Toyos were chunking on her RWD 2600 lb FRS so there's at least a possibility on our cars.

Do the 17" Rivals rub on the inside? Would 1/4" extra offset be enough to make a difference?
Ask redeker. It looked like the front and rear of the opening.
The curb weight of the BRZ is 2760. About the same as the ST. Curiously the OEM tire is slightly bigger, 215/45x17. I know a couple were competitive at Nationals but none locally have set any competitive times.
+1 on the rotation thing. That was the secret to running a large 4WD car in HS against the MINIs, if you could make it rotate you could run with them, if you couldn't you were in for a long day.

WRT comparing against competition I have two ProSolo national championships and two Nationals 3rd places in classes of 50+ so I think I should be a reasonable yardstick, especially since my local NWR Pax class is full of current and former National Champions. Unfortunately it will be February before our next event so you folks in sunnier climates will have a big head start.

Where are you located?
Where are you located?
Our season won't begin again until the first of April. Lots of events through June and then divisional and National tours predominate. Right up to a Divisional and regional at Lincoln in August. Unfortunately my wife got sick in July and I was out for the rest of the season. Will be borrowing a friends GLI this weekend. Last time in a VW for me!!
This thread interests me. I have an STR S2000 and will probably also be running the FiST in GS next year.

Anyone have any idea on if we can get any camber adjustment stock?
Sorry, the new STREET rules state no camber adjustment bolts, plates, etc....
I was planning on using the available eccentric strut bolts. They made a buddy's Genesis really competitive.
I don't think it's going to change enough to matter. I personally wouldn't waste time tuning toe, just my .02
??? Whut?

If you're going to drive it aggressively or autocross/rallycross toe is the most important change you can make.
It's unlikely you can alter the castor at all. With camber, like they've said here before, loosen everything and push real hard. Still won't get much more negative camber. But they do have eccentric camber bolts for the struts that will add more camber.

With a FWD for daily driving set toe to 0.0 or very very slightly toe-out.
For autocross and rally cross set the tow close to the maximum in-green-range toe-out.

There is no adjustment you can make to the rear settings...unless you have a really big hammer....
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Assuming Des squeezed some 215/45/R17 Z2s on his stock wheels, there's no reason why 215/45R17 Rivals shouldn't fit, right?

Wish you would do it so we can clear up the 215/45x17 Rival question. Some say it will rub, some don't....
I still cannot understand the logic of running low pressures in the rear. If the car tends to understeer, and you want more play in the back, one should have a smaller contact patch, hence higher pressure. Yes?

Advice to me from multi-time National Champion Mark Smith:
High rear pressures (45-55) will let the rear break loose, but fast and with less control.
Low rear pressures (28-34) will let the rear break loose, but smoother and with greater control.
He goes with lower pressures.
I went that way with the GTI in '12 and '13, before it broke, and was consistently quicker riding on 245/40/18s. I am so looking forward to the 225/45/16s.......
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Ok, pulled out my alignment sheet from last Friday.
With my big ass 220 pounds of ballast in the drivers seat, the new alignment is -0.9 L camber/-1.3 r camber.
That being said, at 1/4 steering wheel turn the camber increased to -1.8 and greater at 1/2 lock but can't remember the number.
That is without body roll/bump steer.

Caster 4.0 L/4.1 R.
Toe -0.10 L/-0.11 R; Total toe -0.21.
Interestingly the factory total toe was +0.15 toe in which the form says is out of spec.
That did away with the dartiness and should help get the tail out.

Rear toe is +0.16 L/+0.05 R; Total toe +0.21. So it looks like the extra weight in the driver's seat/cornering roll toes out the rear.
Rear camber is -0.5 L/-0.7 R

My Ford Serv guy looked up in the factory service manual and there is no provision for alternate front camber bolts so eccentric/adjustable bolts are not allowed in Street/stock categories. He has sent a req to Ford for an addition but says the answer is usually "no".
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BTW Des, that's degrees, not inches.

"0 plus/minus .2 inch. "
Thanks man! The 5.0 looked fun to drive on that course, you looked quite quick in it too. I'm bummed I missed out on Sunday but I saw your run in the RSX on the BRR forums and it looked really fast. I used to own one of those, they're fun cars and those K-series motors are a blast to wring out.

the Fiesta an insanely fun car to drive. I initially went to the dealer to buy a Focus ST but saw the Fiesta ST on the lot and after test driving both of them I ended up with the Fiesta. I think the nasty understeer issues we're having with the cars in GS right now will be solvable in the long run too. I've been looking at changing shocks actually, it's funny you mention that. You're right there aren't really any attractive options out there just yet but maybe someone like Ground Control can come to the rescue with some appropriately valved Konis.

I don't think it's even possible to compare the 5.0 and the Fiesta since they're such different cars. That said, you'll definitely be saving some gas with the 36-38mpg highway the Fiesta gets! Next time I'm up there for a BBR event, or if you make it to one of the ODR/TWSCC events you're more than welcome to drive the car. It's hard to say just where the Fiesta will fall in terms of keeping up with the Celica and Focus just yet but I think we can get in there with a shout.

It's okay if you say "yes dumbass, I did", but curious if you disengaged the stability control completely?

Also, I converted my GTI back to stock and was looking at the rear Koni Sports shocks I have and think they may fit. I will try them on the ST someday when the weather improves and let you all know......
Our T&T is 4/5 on a course with concrete to asphalt transitions (octagons=concrete; strips=asphalt). This is a police driver training facility.

The guys have set up a fairly simple course with short and long, on and off camber corners, two sweepers and a long slalom. I have had hundreds of runs on this site with the GTI and other cars so have an excellent feel for car control and capabilities here so I am curious about the turn-in complaints of the ST. In hooning around town I can feel the rear end loosen up more than the GTI ever did. So it will be interesting and I'll report.

BTW my motivation for getting the FiST was I expect it to be 1-1.5 secs faster than the GTI. I have lots of deltas to compare it against. I will be disappointed if it is not. Also I think it will be quicker than a non-tuned Focus ST, but I have only run against one with a competitive driver and beat him in the GTI. BTW, I will be instructing one in a Focus ST the following week in our Novice School, so should have some good notes!

In 2012 I was 4.4 secs from 1st in GS (2-day total) at the National Championships and I know who my midwest competitors are. Didn't get to go last year because my wife was sick. Hope to get it dialed in for the Lincoln Nationals May 25th.

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Full disclosure, I just turned 60 last Sunday and had a mild stroke one month ago so if I'm a total wonk in the ST don't blame the car....
So incapable hands, do you think the FiST is faster than the GTI?

I'm up against one this weekend, but it looks like we're in for a bunch of rain.
That's my $22,000 bet................
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I'm hoping the change from front toe-in to toe-out will help. Also, until I get a few runs in I am not making a judgement on the rear end tossability.
When the car came out all of the media commented favorably on how easy it was to get the tail out and so far only one autocross'r has reported difficulty.
The track day guys apparently didn't have problems.'re results may vary....
BTW, the guys at the speed shop loosened both the two strut bolts and the top housing nuts and used a wooden wedge to force additional camber without any significant improvement. I really don't think shims in the rear would make any difference in Ax.
BTW, did order the j2 3" exhaust so when I install that I will pull a rear shock and see if the koni sport will fit.
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