Irene Makeover – Part 3: Suspension, Initial Bodywork and Motor Build
In parts 1 and 2 of the Blacktrax Performance S2000 Motorsport Makeover coverage, Irene, the Blacktrax Performance S2000 was stripped down to the bare shell, was seam welded to increase rigidity, had the doors and hardtop roof gutted for weight reduction, and received a full multi-series legal racing cage from the front suspension to the rear suspension at CT Engineering in Rancho Cordova, CA. Then, the car was rolled away to be put back together between Blacktrax Performance in Milpitas, CA. and 5Fifteen Autobody in Burlingame, CA.
The first destination was 5Fifteen Autobody in Burlingame. There, Eric Lin and Sunny Wong began prepping the shell and cage for paint by thoroughly cleaning the chassis. When that was complete, the entire chassis and cage were sprayed Battleship Gray. The underbody of the car was sprayed with a lightweight black Line-X material, to help protect it from flying track debris. The driver side door bars remained unpainted, but received a pass of clear coat in order to show off and protect CT engineering’s craftsmanship.
Then, the painted chassis was taken back to Blacktrax Performance, where the car would be assembled (minus some body panels).
If you’ve followed Irene at any point in the past, you’ll know that JRZ Suspension Engineering has been a long time partner for the car. The Blacktrax Performance S2000 was refitted with set of JRZ Motorsport Triple Adjustable racing dampers, the same setup that has been run on the car for the past few seasons. The front steering system received some Spoon goodies. The steering rack received a set of solid collars and bushings to replace the OEM rubber setup.
The benefits of this, as Jei explained it, are: “We opted for spoon rigid collars for the front and rear subframe because we've had positive results in other race cars we've built in the past. The subframe through holes are larger in diameter than their matching bolts. The large dimensional tolerances allow for the subframe to shift and bolts to flex. The Spoon rigid collars essentially fill up the “air space” gap if you will, so the amount of flex and shifting now becomes negligible. The OEM steering rack bushings are made of rubber. Due to the additional grip of running R comps and slicks we found a significant amount of steering play on previous S2000's. The data we collected shows the steering rack was shifting laterally resulting in unpredictable front toe change caused by rubber bushing deflection.”