AWD Turbo Parts and Performance

Marc S – Mid 12’s! (Carlsbad, March 1998)

Yesterday at Carlsbad was a really awesome experience for me. Got some
great runs in & had some funny encounters with the Carlsbad folk/rednecks.

Carlsbad highlights for me:

First, I wanted to see if I could run in the far right lane, the one with
the short line & all the big bad-a$$ V8 trailer-queen cars that get
preferential treatment. I knew the response I’d get if I just drove into
it & asked the official if I could run there, so I walked up to him first
(so he couldn’t see I was an “import driver”) and said “This lane’s just
for those who run 12’s and faster, right?”… He said “Yep”… So I said
thanks, went back & got in the fast lane with my DSM :). A few people
looked at me funny (it must seem strange seeing a nearly bone-stock looking
DSM with a quiet exhaust driving up the fast lane) and I felt a bit nervous
& wondered if I’d get kicked… So I’m almost to the staging lanes & the
beer-bellied track official comes up to me and says “Hey, do you know what
you run?” and I said “Yep. 12’s!” and he looked at me funny, wanted to
argue, but couldn’t say anything… So he let me run. :) (Fortunately it
was a 12). So, if this isn’t great motivation for everyone to put on more
mods and hit a 12, what is? You can run in the elite V8 lane and tick off
the Carlsbad rednecks too! :)

One of the guys I raced had a built El Camino or something… I ran a 12.6
to his 12.8 and also had a much better reaction time which made it look
like I was even more ahead… He parked behind me in the lanes afterwards
and we had a great conversation… “What the hell do you have in there?”
(2 liter 4 banger). “Well how much does that little thing weigh?”
(3300+ lbs). (Pause/confusion, expected a much lighter weight, not
understanding this isn’t a Honda he’s dealing with). “JEE-SUHSSS! I saw
you jump ahead of me off the line and I’m thinkin ‘that’s a quick car but
now I’ll catch him and fly right by him… And you just kept going and I’m
saying ‘$h!t! I can’t catch this guy! What the hell?'”

The absolute highlight of the day was after making my 4th run and getting
in line for my next run, two of the Carlsbad officials walked back all
excited and started talking to me… “What the hell do you have in
there! Holy $h!t your car runs fast! We couldn’t believe how fast
you got off the line! You’re running nitrous, right?” (Then they
freaked when I said no & showed them the pretty stock looking engine
compartment). “Yeah we’ve been watching you race all day, the guy starting
the lights was commenting ‘Damn that car can go!’. Hey, what are you
doing tomorrow? You gotta come back tomorrow and race in the real races!
You could win $300!” (The emphasis on $300 made it sound like a year’s
salary). :)- Jokes aside though, several of the Carlsbad officials I
spoke to were very friendly to me & others w/ imports, irrespective of our
timeslips.

Here’s my run’s-

Run 1
1.811 60-ft, 5.257 330-ft, 1/8: 8.150 @ 83.80, 1/4 mi: 12.773 @ 103.85
mph
Beat my previous best 1/4 (12.85 @ 106mph) by a tenth, but mph’s were down
by 2

Run 2
1.743 60-ft, 5.134 330-ft, 1/8: 8.013 @ 85.78, 1/4 mi: 12.642 (mph not
shown)
With that 60 foot time, I figured for sure that would be my fastest run for
the day. MPH were back up in the 1/8th but the left lane which I was
running in wasn’t reporting mph in the 1/4 for most of the day.

Run 3
1.777 60-ft, 5.230 330-ft, 1/8: 8.092 @ 85.59, 1/4 mi: 12.755 @ 103.66
mph
Another 1.7, but not as good a run as the last one. Mph’s are way too low
and I noticed that when I shift from 3rd to 4th, it’s not pulling as hard
as it should. Though I’m running mostly 100 octane unleaded, I decide to
actually *lower* my boost for the next run to see if it will have an impact
on my MPH.

Run 4
1.735 60-ft, 5.175 330-ft, 1/8: 8.031 @ 86.60, 1/4 mi: 12.618 @ 107.1 mph
Another low 1.7 60-foot, and my MPH’s have increased substantially.
Apparently lowering the boost helped.

Run 5
1.718! 60-ft, 5.126 330-ft, 1/8: 7.958 @ 87.36, 1/4 mi: 12.525 @ 106.79
mph
Great way to end the day… Almost broke a 1.6 60 foot time (On worn-out
225/50 BFG Comp TA ZR’s). Dropped into the 7’s in the 1/8, and dropped
another full tenth off my 1/4 mile. I was working on a better 2-3 and 3-4
shift for Run 4 & Run 5 & I think it helped. I concentrated on keeping my
foot on the gas during the shift, and while in both runs I still ended up
letting off on the throttle somewhat, I kept my foot into the gas at least
part way & just jammed the shifter into gear. Surprisingly, it dropped
nicely in there w/o a fuss or a grind.

Misc notes on the runs:

I usually launch around 4000-4400rpm and drop the clutch fairly quickly
(but not a complete “drop”). In my first run it netted a low 1.8 and I had
pretty good traction. In the next run, I brought the rpm up a little
higher (4500-4600) and dropped the clutch even quicker. I got major wheel
spin on all 4’s and I think a bit of wheel hop (loud thumping noise coming
from the rear). I figured for sure that it was gonna be a crappy run, but
when I got the timeslip I had a 1.7… I continued with that method for the
rest of the day and ran consistent 1.7’s… My conclusion is that some
wheelspin on an AWD is a *good* thing. You’d think it means lost
acceleration but apparently it’s still moving you forward quite well and by
keeping the revs of the engine up due to wheelspin you stay in a stronger
power band.

Less extreme boost = better mph/ET (for me)… I had actually heard this
from another fast 2G owner & didn’t believe it at the time… I was probably
running 22-23psi initially, and I lowered that & ran better. (For me, the
16G can’t sustain 20psi past 6300rpm no matter what, but below 6300 it’s
possible). I’m assuming the higher boost is causing ignition retard, but I
don’t know if it’s because the ECU is detecting knock, or if the ECU just
doesn’t like so much air flow and is out of range…

Anyways, it was a fantastic day. Great seeing everyone again, thanks for
sharing it with me. Thanks also for putting up with all my enthusiasm
about my runs… Claim Jumpers was cool, other than Dani head
butting/attacking me every few minutes. (Grin). Some day we’ll learn to
harness her near-limitless supply of energy and we’ll power a DSM into the
9’s :)-

-Marc

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