Project S2000 – Part 10 – Track Testing Revised KW Clubsports and Earl’s Oil Cooler


Just a weeee bit loose.  Photo by CaliPhotography.

The other purpose of the auto-x was testing the altered suspension setup.  The stiffer front springs also performed just about how I anticipated; this needs a little detail.  From the first highway cloverleaf onramp I took, I could immediately tell the balance was improved.  Out on the auto-x, the car was significantly better balanced than before with oversteer mostly eliminated.  However, the car was a little loose turning left and a little tight turning right.  Hmmm….. I guess eyeballing the ride height is not good for ultimate performance, go figure.


The car was a fair bit loose turning left and a little tight turning right.  I get a little sideways in the first left hander section.

Off I went to West End Alignment for a corner balance and a slight tweak to the alignment.  The corner balance and alignment were performed with me sitting in the car.  While the guys were making the adjustments, I had my laptop in the car doing work; hey, I had to convince my boss to let me go during work hours somehow!  As I did a rough ride height setup, the corner balance was off as you could have probably guessed.  And it was really off.  By a lot.  But the guys at West End worked their magic and got the cross weights perfect.  The alignment and corner balance only took about an hour and a half which I think must be some kind of record, but these guys have worked on S2000s for years.  For the alignment, I reduced my front camber from -2.3 to -2.0, castor at 6 degrees, and 0 degrees toe.  I left the rear unchanged at -2.8 degrees of camber and 3/16 inch of toe-in.

The before and after corner balance.  I took out everything from the trunk and the car was short about 1 gallon from a full tank of gas.  I figure my weight plus my laptop, change in the center console, GPS, owner’s manual, etc add up to about 155 lbs.  So the car is probably right about 2810 lbs with a full tank of gas, no spare tire, and nothing in the trunk.  These numbers are with the roof up.  For s**** and giggles, we lowered the roof which moved the front/rear weight distribution back about 0.2%.  On the before readings, the heavily loaded left front and right rear completely explain the behavior of the car being loose turning left and tight turning right.

Next up was the real challenge for the Earl’s oil cooler, the Industry Track Day at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in the middle of freakin nowhere in the desert.  The forecast was for temperatures in the mid-90s, so similar to the test conditions during my track day at Buttonwillow.  I was going to swap out the StopTech street pads for my Ferodo DS3000 track pads, but I measured my StopTech pads and still had 10.5mm left.  That’s with 4 track sessions in cool weather, ~60 auto-x runs, and 14k miles or so on them.  So I decided to leave them in and only add my ghetto cooling ducts.  For the rears, I was planning on swapping in new slotted rotors, but the stock rotors measured in at 12mm of thickness left with 10mm being the minimum.  No swap required there.  I did change the oil and filled it with 15w-50 in anticipation of the high temperatures though.

Ghetto ducts zip-tied on for even more ghettoness.  They are still better than nothing!

This was my first time to Chuckwalla and it’s a really fun track!  The surface is nice and smooth and a couple blind corners made the first session interesting while learning the track.  By the third session, I was pushing hard taking the engine to redline in 3rd and 4th gears, getting in to 5th on the straights, and working the brakes hard.  With the ambient temperature at 92F, the Earl’s oil cooler kept the oil temperature to a maximum of 117.2C/243F.


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