Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Event 6 Fortitech/My Driving

This past Sunday 9/19/10 was MoHud region's 6th event held at Fortitech, a company with a sweet parking lot that is used/used to be used for NY State Trooper Driving training. So it was more of a tour style event in the sence that the course was longer.

This course highlighted one of my biggest weaknesses as a driver.
The Slalom.
I used to almost ALWAYS take out cones on the passenger side. I then over compensate by leaving a few feet between the passenger rear wheel and the cone. This makes my slalom's choppy and the wagon usualy goes bonkers. This course had 3 slalom's and it was a higher speed course so I had to do or die. Trust me I tried dying a few times but then it just seemed to click. I was keeping the car flatter through the cones and coming out at what seemed like a more speed. Strange how when forced to do something you can get better at it.

As for the wagon, I am totaly realizing that it can do more than I can do to it! I want to have one of the advanced drivers at the next event drive it with me. Anything to learn more about driving and seeing what the wagon can do sounds good to me.

I also got a ride in EJ's Evo (driven by Jeff K.) HOLY SHIT! That car is VERY impressive. It runs in SM class on some WIDE 285mm tires with a ton of mods. I noticed how much better a good set of seats are over the FLAT stock Jetta seats. This EVO has factory seats however they are Recaro's and very nicely bolstered. After my ridealong I realilzed that I move my body around a LOT while on the course. I may try to find some GTI seats over the winter.

I also got to use the camera mount I made.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Test-n-Tune Time

This past Saturday was a MoHud Region Test-n-Tune and my first TnT.

We got like 10 runs in... idk I lost count. Got a few pointers from some experienced racers and I really think I made improvments or at least am awaer of what I am doing wrong! :)

My strut brace is finally done. Once I mount it I'll post pics!

Wagon is doing great! Have a new urathane dogbone mount too now. That seems to get the power to the ground a bit firmer. So far I like it!
Brace pics!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Event 2 at OGS

Over a week late but hey...
Had the second MoHud event in the wagon. It was raining as we got there, then it stopped just before the 1st group. Mid way through the first group we had to stop because of lightening. After a 1.5 hour delay we were back at it. Finished up the first group and then we got our first runs in. The course was still wet and I plowed a couple of cones. I tried to turn too fast and just kept going straight. Ah well.

The sun had come out and the day was starting to turn beautiful for the first group's second set when the sky turned BLACK and a wall of water dumped out of the sky. We scurried to shelter where we stayed for probably another hour. Then the sun came out with a vengeance! We finished up with the first group and the course was actually getting dry!

Time for the wagon's second chance. 3 of us in ST class were neck and neck! A 2 door Saturn, Civic DX Coupe and I were all within a couple of tenths.

My runs in the wagon were getting better and better with my last run hitting 40.050! I think with 1 more lap I could have broken into the 39's.

In the end of the day after cone violations I got 2nd! Not bad! I was psyched!

So far I like the low end power of the VR6. Is it front heavy? I don't really know but I feel it's controllable. I'd like to try a TDI or 1.8T wagon for comparison.

I am making a strut brace at work. I'm a machinist and I have access to a TIG welder so we'll see how it comes out. I'll post pics when I'm done.

Somewhat dry.

Wet 3 wheeling!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sport Utinity Wagon

Lets see this happen in any other autocross car! HAHA!

This is what I love about this car! It's a Chaze chair.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This past Sunday was our/my first event and OMFG it was FUN!

Picked up my Dad (who used to race in the 70's & 80's) at 7am and we were an hour north in 45 minutes! When we got there the course designers were just finishing the set-up and it was nice to see that we weren't using the rough section of the course at all except to slow down after the finish line.

Shortly after My Dad and I got there the rest of the crew from showed up. There was a great VW turnout. Hell, there was a great euro turn out. BMW and Porsche were there in full effect as well.

The course was VERY easy to follow (for me at least) even though is crossed over itself a couple of times. There was a nice hard right turn down in the back of the course that was fun to go into hot and nail the gas on the way out of.

The wagon did well for me. The tires seemed to push a lot but I could have been oversteering. The rear sway bar did it's job and the exhaust sounded good on the video my dad took. I may get some up soon. Anyways I wound up 3rd out of 4 in ST class! I'll take it! Got 31st with PAX out of 56! I'll take that too!

Again the Mo-Hud SCCA group runs such a great event! Thank you guys for making this happen!

Thanks to my Dad for the photos! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Back to the exhaust issue.
Today I went to Broadway Auto in Schenectady to have the resinator bypassed. I got there first thing in the morning and by the time I walked up a couple blocks to Dunkin Doughnuts for an Iced Coffee and got back they were done.
$40 later it sounds... good... I guess. I'm on the fence on the sound to be honest. There is a rattle in the factory parts somewhere and it sounds a tad fart cannon-ish. IDK if it's just when it's cold or what but... We'll see.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some Wagon Mods

The first thing I wanted to do was the ride height. Since the factory shocks/struts were kinda shot I knew I needed those all around. I did some homework as to what set-up I wanted and I came to H&R. They make Wagon specific sport springs. OK, done. The choice was easy in the spring department. Shocks/struts were sorta a no brainer to me. You can't go wrong with Billstein!

So as I'm about to buy them I get a PM from a guy on VWvortex selling EXACTLY the set-up I want down in Queens for $200!!!! DONE!

After installing the new suspenders the wagon took on a whole new attitude on the road but it still had that fat wagon ass swaying around back there.

Found another guy on Vortex selling a 28mm Neuspeed rear sway bar for $60! Granted I had to find some of the hardware on my own but it was under $15 for everything.

The sway bar went on in less than an hour and made a HUGE difference! Let me tell you! From now on EVERY CAR I OWN WILL HAVE ONE! The rear stays flat as hell and reduces understeer greatly!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First Test-n-Tune!

I'd like to start by thanking all the people at Mo-Hud SCCA for putting on a great event! I had EJ and Russ drive along with me for 2 laps each and I feel like I learned SO much from them.

The tires are actually ok. Maybe a little better than all season tires really.

I hope pics surface soon! I have some cell phone shots from a friend though!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Is Free Really FREE?

Over the winter I had gotten some money from my Mom for Xmas to get some tires for Autocross. I looked and looked and NOBODY had anything I could afford. I was planing on running these tires daily and on the track. One day I found a guy on Craigslist who was selling a set of 4 Bridgestone RE070's for $20 each! Great! I meet the guy and they have maybe 2/32" of tread left. I said I wasn't interested so he says "Fuck it! Take 'em for free!" Sweet! I have tires. But they were a bit too worn down to comfortably use for street.

Well, then I stumbled upon a deal on I couldn't pass up. These wheels were EXACTLY what my Mom had given me! So WALAH! I have an autocross setup!

Get them mounted and balanced and put them on just a few days ago. First I noticed they spun while launching from a red light rather easily. So I take a few turns that I am familiar with and they SUCK!

Eh well. I'm gonna try the Simple Green and shrink wrap trick I read about on VWvortex and we'll see. Who knows.

The wheels look EVIL on the wagon though!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Exhausted Exhaust

You see, I've had this exhaust leak somewhere between the cat and the muffler for about a year now. It's starting to sound like shit so I'm thinking of going on the cheap (you'll notice the reoccurring theme in that department) and making a tube from the cat to the muffler, deleting the resonator in the process. That shouldn't bump me up a class, I don't think. I'll be in ST class according to the folks on the MoHud SCCA Forum.

Summit has a 5 foot long section of Stainless for ~$65. If I can pull this off it may be the cheapest exhaust repair EVAR!

At this point it's just a brain storm. I have no idea what the stock diameter piping is so I don't really know what to get. I'll measure it up and see if this'll even work.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Yes, a Jetta Wagon may not be the picture perfect car for autocross but it is however the perfect car for my lifestyle.

I'm a very happily married father of a 1 year old boy and my wife and I also ride BMX so the wagon fits like a glove. I'm also a bit of a shade tree mechanic so I try to do all of the work to my car myself. (I'll list what I've done to the car in future postings)

It's a 2001 12 valve VR6 which may help or hinder as an autocross car, I don't know. You see I haven't raced the car yet. I haven't EVER raced autocross! The VR6 is said to be too front heavy making the car unbalanced. I'm hoping that the heavier ass end of the wagon will help shift that center back a tad. Either way I wouldn't know any different so whatever.

The first autocross event is coming up shortly (April 24th & 25th 2010) so we'll see. Of course I'll keep you posted.