A Jim of All Trades

Working on the X and autocross

with one comment

This past weekend I spent some time working on the Fiat x1/9 and went to my first autocross of 2012.

The Work:
All of the work I did was for aligning the front end of the car. The alignment has been bad ever since we got the car so working on it was long overdue. Using some camber bolts I was able to achieve a decent camber setting, then using the string method I was able to improve toe, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Now the car tracks straight and is much more responsive turning. I don’t intend on doing a whole write up about suspension and alignment here, so if you’d like more info, the link above explains how to measure and adjust toe using some string (pretty neat!) and this link is great at explaining alignment parameters – camber, toe, and caster.

The Autocross:
I had never been to an autocross held by the organization that hosted this one, and I’m happy to say that it went smoothly and was a lot of fun. There was a risk of rain so not many people showed up, only about 30, but luckily the rain never came and those of us who did go were able to do extra runs. The only real negative was that the lot was rough and really bumpy. The suspension on the X is so stiff that it bounces around on rough surfaces like that. So that combined with cold weather and my racing slicks that didn’t pick up much heat so didn’t get great traction resulted in a lot more bouncing around and sliding than I would have liked.  But, I’m not really complaining.  It was still fun, a learning experience on handling the car like that, and everyone obviously had to drive on the same course and deal with the same challenges that I did.

All that said, I actually did fairly well and finished 6th overall in PAX. (PAX is a widely used factor used to adjust drivers’ times, to essentially put them on an even playing field regardless of what kind of car they have.  A better explanation can be found here.) I was very pleased with the results from the day, I never really finish much above middle of the pack in any event I’ve run in, so hopefully this is a sign that I’m improving as a driver and the changes that have been made to the car were worthwhile. That or I just had a lucky day. Either way, I still definitely have a lot of room to improve, but it was fun and that’s what counts.

Prior to the autocross I was thinking that I’d do a detailed post about it, complete with photos and videos. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case. I completely forgot about taking any pictures and even forgot to setup my camera for video until my last couple runs, so I only recorded two of them. To make matters worse, my camera mount is pretty wobbly, so the videos are quite shaky. I contemplated not posting them at all, but what’s the fun in that. Sooo, following is a video of my best run of the day.

BE FOREWARNED: It’s shaky!!! Probably best viewed small. Sorry!

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Written by Jim

March 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Posted in x1/9

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. […] been a while since I’ve said anything about my Fiat X1/9. Last year I got it out of storage, did some work to it, did one autocross with it in March, did some […]


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