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Old 09-10-2007, 12:15 PM
Johnhef's Avatar
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Ran autocross in the 87 300D yesterday

It was fun! My first time running autocross in one of my own cars (last was in a 06 C230 2 years ago). This event is put on monthly by the DC area section of the MBCA. Still waiting to see my offical results but I didn't do half bad for a diesel at 56.37s! Fastest MB time of the day was a 190E-16 @ 49.91s and slowest was a 93 400E @ 63.33s. I was surprised to find out afterward that I beat an 03 E55, 05 Saleen Mustang and 99 Trans-Am, all by about a second! It was good though to finally be able to put my new H&R springs and Bilstein Sport shocks to the test. I plan on attending as many events as I can and try to improve even more.


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past: 1969 280SE 4.5 | 1978 240D | 1978 300D | 1981 300SD | 1981 300SD | 1982 300CD | 1983 300CD | 1983 300SD | 1983 380SEC | 1984 300D | 1984 300D | 1984 300TD | 1984 500SEL | 1984 300SD | 1985 300D | 1986 300E | 1986 560SEL | 1986 560SEL/Carat | 1987 560SEC | 1991 300D 2.5 | 2006 R350

Last edited by Johnhef; 09-11-2007 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:10 PM
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Nice going John,,,, I'd like to try that myself some day.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:33 PM
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That sounds cool! I was going to build the 528 as a autocross car, but now maybe I will do the 300SD instead. I can imagine chucking 4000 pounds around the course When I move down there I will have to change my membership from the NY Hudson Valley chapter of MBCA.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:55 PM
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Nice! Autocross is about weight and having the balls to use your car. So its not surprising that you can run with an E55.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:51 PM
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Cool John, nice run! Hey, you and Tom W. could team up

You two are bad influences on someone who doesn't have the time to do such a thing right now yet the strong desire to do so!

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Old 09-10-2007, 03:15 PM
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Ah, it's my car's much-hipper twin ... doing much-hipper things than my car gets to do! I would love to do autocross but I'd probably be better not to do it in my car, since I'd be "braver" in a car I'm not quite so attached to.

Does everyone who autocrosses have a lot of suspension mods, or do some people run it pretty much stock? Seems like there's a wide variety of car-types and levels of "seriousness" among autocrossers at the events I've heard of.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:59 PM
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I saw a presumably stock 740iL try to autocross in Portland last July. It was funny . There was a 500E there, but I don't think he took it to the autocross track.

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Old 09-10-2007, 09:32 PM
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I'd do it in my SD....I hope they have another michigan autocross next year....

Its a good way to find out whats wrong with your car's suspension!
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:44 PM
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Good going John! Wish I could have made it but will be there next month with the CE!
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:00 PM
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Do you have any sway bars (anti-roll bars) with your H&R and billy sport setup?

Looks like alot of body lean! But cool none the less, im hoping to do the same with my 87 once i get the AMG springs and shocks plus sportline sway bars installed!
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:10 PM
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But, you kept all 4 wheels on the ground.....
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:20 PM
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can be stock or modified

I used to autocross a bit in an 83 VW GTI I had. The classes are setup (in SCCA) by hp/#, then stock, slightly modified, and really modified. So you should be racing something you have a chance at competing with. The SCCA group in our area had a "circuit" of many tracks around NC that you could run. One was an old airport near Kinston, NC that had this very long straight.... over 1/2 mile I think. Many were just parking lots.

The GTI was wound pretty tight - 4000 rpm at 70 mph in 5th if I remember and topped out in the upper 80's. I never tried the bigger courses, just did the parking lot and small street races. Some groups have a novice class too. In my novice runs I beat an RX-7, Porsche 911, and an early 70's Buick GS in my group.

It is fun and pretty safe racing. Many folks treat it like running a 10K. Some folks are there to win, some are just there to personally get better. You can often get 3 or more runs on the same track in a day so you can see your improvements. I would even recommend it for beginner drivers. Have them start slow - at their comfort level, and gradually push it. One lady dropped over 60 seconds off a 3 minute time in the course of a day.

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Old 09-10-2007, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BodhiBenz1987 View Post
I'd probably be better not to do it in my car, since I'd be "braver" in a car I'm not quite so attached to.
Autocross is pretty safe. Safer than driving to and from the event for sure. If you spin out, you just kill some cones.

Does everyone who autocrosses have a lot of suspension mods, or do some people run it pretty much stock? Seems like there's a wide variety of car-types and levels of "seriousness" among autocrossers at the events I've heard of.
If you are doing it for the first time, I can't stress enough how much better off you are stock. 99.99% of drivers don't have the skills to drive the car as engineered originally without some seat time. Johnhef's beating a Saleen Mustang by 2 seconds shows how big a difference the driver can make. Modifying also makes it harder to learn. If you get hooked, just get some good tires.
The first time I went, it was a Porsche club event (at Ft. Meade, in MD). I met up with another Honda Prelude driver. He had the 160hp base model of the previous design, stock. He ended the day 3rd fastest, and 2.2 seconds faster than a Ferrari 328GT. My time was of course pretty bad, but I got a few seconds faster each next event with no mods. I then bought a good set of tires, took a Porsche club autocross school, and knocked even more time off. By my second summer, I was in the top 10 in my class, which was street touring - cars that had suspension mods and light engine mods. I was stock except for the wheels I bought to put my new tires on. Once you get the feel of the car at its limit stock, you make one change and tune the car, and you'll have a much better understanding of what's happening with the car.

Johnhef, you should check out the DC area BMW club. Cool guys, and fun courses. The porsche club also has events for non-members too.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:50 PM
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I did my first autocross a couple months ago in my 911. It was a blast. I second the idea of checking out the PCA. They have a lot of autocrosses and often open them up to non-members. I should try my 240 4-speed sometime

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Old 09-10-2007, 11:03 PM
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good show!

That car doesn't lean much at all!

I wish I could get a hefty sway bar for my 123!

Yesterday I did an autocross at crown point indiana. good fun.

I beat a saleen mustang with a blower but the guy was doing it for the first time and he also was running street tires!

Tom W
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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