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Discussion Starter #1
firstly, i gotta complain, i really don't think it's fair that the 6i and 6s are in the same category, and I'd feel that way if i had the v6 too. I mean the same car with 60 more hp is a BIG advantage. Yea, i know, it's all about skill etc. bla bla bla, but come on, equal skill and all other things equal, the v6 will stomp the i4 yet they are the same class. RRRRRRRR!! tell me why I'm wrong to complain about this. I am new at it, so feel free to yell at me and my stupidity.

as for the race, it was really fun, and i did better than I hoped, it was an SCCA solo slalom course, dry rough asphault. So obviously I have a 6i, I'm running the stock steelies with the stock 205/50/16 street tires, not ideal, i know. I also have a RB rear sway, which (doh) bumps me in to a much more competitive class. Plus i have the rest of the RB setup i'm putting on, which i may as well since i'm up in that class anyway.
so.... tires. I'm fairly poor, so i know i can't get any real race tires, but does anyone know a decent cheaper tire i could throw on those 16s just for racing? And how wide can i go with those. what do i look for in a tire?
 

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Ha I actually thought you were posting it was unfair that the 6i was in the same class because of how much more manuverable it is then the 6s.

The 60 hp advantage is almost non existent due to the weight penalty the 6s takes. In actuality, the 6s only has about 35-40 more whp then a 6i, but weighs nearly 200 lbs heavier, with most of that weight being right on the front nose. (Understeer city)

The big advantage is in torque, but that really only gives the 6s an advantage is the course isn't flat.

Just talk to stretch...he's beaten sti's and evo's on some courses in his 6i MTX. Horsepower is worth nearly jack on autox courses.

In autox the improvements usually go something like this.

1) Driver (You won't believe the difference it makes...its rediculous. Sometimes as much as 10 seconds)
2) Suspension
3) Tires
4) Weight distribution
5) Weight/Unsprung
6) Weight/Sprung
7) Horsepower
 

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Sounds to me like you've got an awesome car. A 6s requires far more suspension modifications before it gets as competitive as the 6i. More power isn't really useful unless you've got racing tires, so be thankful your car is instead light and nimble.

Buy this and practice. Once you're smooth, buy good tires on wide alloy wheels. Keep practicing on your stockers though- they're very forgiving with low limits and thus good to learn on.
 

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here is the top ten items you need to be a good driver
1 seat time
2 seat time
3 seat time
4 seat time
5 seat time
6 seat time
7 tires
8 seat time
9 seat time
10 suspension
 

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I autox my 6s and I consider myself a pretty good driver. I get my ass kicked by two Civics every time, and they probably have 100 less horsepower than I do. The power doesn't make as much difference as you might think. I'd say:

#1 - Practice being smooth. Being might FEEL slower initially, but it is ALWAYS the fastest way around the course. Try to get in as much track time as possible. Take advantage of any practice events that may be available.

#2 - Get some good tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Tire pressure is critical. They will need more air than you normally run on the street to prevent the sidewalls from rolling over. There's no tread on the side of the tire! A good, yet reasonably priced tire you might look at is the Kumho ECSTA MX.

#3 - If you want to be competitive, make sure you're in the right class. Learn the classes and sub-classes. Consider a PAX indexed class such as a Novice class. I'm guessing the rear sway bar put you in STS. You could also de-tune your vehicle (remove the sway bar) so you can run in a class where you can be more competative.

#4 - This may not be necessary depending on how your car behaves currently, but consider upgrading the front sway bar. The tires going off-camber due to body roll has a huge detrimental impact on overall grip. This will also greatly improve steering response.

Most importantly, have fun!
 

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aside from the blatantly obvious seat time recommendation, tires, tires, tires. omg get those fuggin tires.

my friend has a 6s and i have a 6i. he's on stockies and im on g-force sports from bfgoodrich. he's contemplating not doing an upcoming autocross because its going to be hell on the tires. on april 1st we had an event where his tires screamed across 90% of the course, no lie. i made mine chirp 6 times on 4 runs.

i beat his time on the final run by 1 second, and his best time overall by a half second. i actually tried and pushed the tires to what i thought were their limits only to be greeted by a lot more grip than i could've expected.

with the next event on mothers day, im watching my in car videos again and seeing all the mistakes i had that could've shaved a half/full second off my final time. so i guess thats the next big thing too: Seat time at home. get a camera, get a suction mount, and begin the long self-learning process.
 

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Sounds to me like you've got an awesome car. A 6s requires far more suspension modifications before it gets as competitive as the 6i. More power isn't really useful unless you've got racing tires, so be thankful your car is instead light and nimble.
[/b]
You should tell that to toolman02... he beat once though :p In all fairness I have the better wheels/tyres and sway bars, but he has your coilovers stretch... so its a toss up. I only bested him by .2 of a second last race, and most of the time I lost to him was on a 7-8 cone slolam.

To the original poster: sorry for thread jacking for a second. I agree with everything said above, except I would reverse crossbow's suggestion of suspension first with tyres first, THEn mod the suspension. But most importantly of all: Get comfortable with autoxing BEFORE you do any more mods! Modding your car make make you faster but at the same time it will mask your bad habits and mistakes more and won't help you learn.
 

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Everyone is recommending tires. They will surely make you faster, but you're much better off learning on your crappy tires and switching to good tires later.

Do your suspension first to get the handling bias to where you want it, then upgrade your tires once you're well practiced. As everyone else has said, seat time is most important.
 

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aside from the blatantly obvious seat time recommendation, tires, tires, tires. omg get those fuggin tires.

my friend has a 6s and i have a 6i. he's on stockies and im on g-force sports from bfgoodrich. he's contemplating not doing an upcoming autocross because its going to be hell on the tires. on april 1st we had an event where his tires screamed across 90% of the course, no lie. i made mine chirp 6 times on 4 runs.

i beat his time on the final run by 1 second, and his best time overall by a half second. i actually tried and pushed the tires to what i thought were their limits only to be greeted by a lot more grip than i could've expected.

with the next event on mothers day, im watching my in car videos again and seeing all the mistakes i had that could've shaved a half/full second off my final time. so i guess thats the next big thing too: Seat time at home. get a camera, get a suction mount, and begin the long self-learning process.
[/b]
Can't wait for that event, I should be there.... first time on the track with the speed... but my god that course looks ridiculous...

Hardest thing for me to get used to is going to be that under cornering when the car is being pushed I need to stay on the gas and let the AWD do its job, but I'm just so used to getting off the gas when my old car understeered....

Tires help, but seat time and learning the way your car behaves is far more important...
 

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Since the speed6's AWD is limited to a max of 10% rear bias under heavy lateral acceleration, it would probably be better to treat it more like a FWD car on the autox course, and just use the AWD to exit the curve/turn faster.

Slow in, fast out! (Especially with AWD, since you can get on the power REALLY early). Remember its always better to enter a turn at the proper speed, then try to throttle your way out of it. Tire squeeling and scrubbing usually looks impressive, but results in poor times.
 

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haha, yes! i'll get videos of the whole damn day :D
[/b]
Hopefully you'll get some videos of a Speed6 POWER OVERSTEER and put all this 10% nonsense to rest..
 

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Wiggum...you realize you can slide a normal 6 around an autox course without even touching the throttle right?

You wouldn't even need 0.1% rear power to slide a 6. It does it with physics! I'm not saying that the MPS 6 isn't capable of more then 10% to the rear (even though evidence suggests otherwise)...its just that it wouldn't even need more then a fraction of the cars power to swing the tail out....considering you can swing the tail (and hold it sideways for a time) without AWD.



Drifting with FWD on an Autox Course
 

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Discussion Starter #14
danm, thanks for all the replies and info. Much appreciated.
Yea, I know, more seat time is number one. I will be doing the full RB setup soon simply because I know i'm going to like how it will handle on the regular road more, so either way, it's going on. that's already payed for, so next is tires / wheels. but that will be a bit out. i may as well destroy these stock tires first. I'm not trying to have the best time out there, so probably the crappy traction will help me learn. I will work on my smoothness and entering corners slower, but i'll be damned if it doesn't feel slower, not to mention i tried going slower one lap which was my slowest of the day. but i know it's practice.
and as for making the car oversteer... are you on crack? perhaps i just need stronger gripping front tires, but my car will NOT oversteer. and i like to think i've increased the odds of OS by having only a rear sway on right now.
i'll pick up that book, thanks stretch
 

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Wiggum...you realize you can slide a normal 6 around an autox course without even touching the throttle right?

You wouldn't even need 0.1% rear power to slide a 6. It does it with physics! I'm not saying that the MPS 6 isn't capable of more then 10% to the rear (even though evidence suggests otherwise)...its just that it wouldn't even need more then a fraction of the cars power to swing the tail out....considering you can swing the tail (and hold it sideways for a time) without AWD.



Drifting with FWD on an Autox Course
[/b]
That is why I stressed POWER...

I can go into a corner at a mesely 20mph and get on the throttle in 2nd and slide the rear end around... i don't think 27.4HP and 28 FT LB of torque will do that...
 

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My totally FWD Mazda6 would oversteer WHILE ON THE THROTTLE until the rear tires (which were high-temp track tires) warmed up. On cold days, this never happened. Thus, I could power-slide an entire course. Actually, I didn't even really have a choice- couldn't let up on the throttle even a little in even a minor turn.
 

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My totally FWD Mazda6 would oversteer WHILE ON THE THROTTLE until the rear tires (which were high-temp track tires) warmed up. On cold days, this never happened. Thus, I could power-slide an entire course. Actually, I didn't even really have a choice- couldn't let up on the throttle even a little in even a minor turn.
[/b]
See my difference of opinion is I don't refer to a suspension oversteer on FWD as "Power Sliding" because you are not using power to induce the oversteer, you are using weight and a tight rear suspension...
 

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Yes but stretch's point is...if he could throw the tail around without any rear power whatsoever...it sure wouldn't take much at all to power oversteer.

ie showing that the mps6 can power oversteer doesn't counter the max of 10% to the rear when the sensor array isn't centered because the car doesn't require any power to the rear to set the tail free.

If you brake and turn, all the weight of the car is over the front wheels. If you could freeze time, you could probably get out and push the rear of the car yourself! (especially since the mps6 tripods).
 

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See my difference of opinion is I don't refer to a suspension oversteer on FWD as "Power Sliding" because you are not using power to induce the oversteer, you are using weight and a tight rear suspension...
[/b]
I haven't seen any evidence to show me that the Mazdaspeed6 uses power to introduce oversteer either. As I said, my car could oversteer while under throttle even though it certainly wasn't induced by it.

My guess is that the Mazdaspeed tries to use the rear tires mid-turn and it does is break them free, but not for the reason you think. It does so because the center coupling device tries to make them spin at the wrong speed- the speed of the front tires. It doesn't have a proper center differential, creating binding forces. Since the rear tires have less weight on them, the rear tires break free much more easily than the fronts, but it's not from power. It's from binding forces in the drivetrain. Either that, or the differential really does completely disconnect the rear wheels- which is it? I'll need to drive one myself I guess.

I've never driven an Evo, but it, like the Mazdaspeed, is considered an oversteer-on-corner-entry car. It's famous for it. It's not a power-oversteer car the way an STI (which has a proper center differential) is.
 

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and as for making the car oversteer... are you on crack? perhaps i just need stronger gripping front tires, but my car will NOT oversteer. and i like to think i've increased the odds of OS by having only a rear sway on right now. [/b]
Stock tires, right? Put the fronts at 50psi and leave the rears at 32psi.

When you say only the rear bar was on, do you mean you upgraded the rear bar or you disconnected the front bar? The front bar is so vital for reducing body roll that I'm not surprised you had terminal understeer after removing it. Your car would have so much body roll, your tires would go majorly off camber in turns. It's a complicated subject. Suffice to say that you want both a front and a rear sway bar on the car, even if the rear is more important in getting oversteer.

i'll pick up that book, thanks stretch[/b]
Seriously do it. It's a really easy to understand book. When you're done with that, I have many other recommendations, but that's by far the best book to start on. After it, just focus on seat time for a while!
 
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