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Last Post 18 Jul 2013 07:21 PM by  sjfehr
Cone damage to my Mazdaspeed 3
 13 Replies
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aaronmj
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04 May 2013 08:01 PM

    I'm an autocross novice, but I've been enjoying the hell out of it and entering as many events in as I can sign up for.  Being a novice, I occasionally get over-zealous with the throttle and push into some cones.  This is starting to hurt the car.  I've broken three out of four attachment points for the plastic aero panels on the underside of the car ahead of the front wheels.  Everything else seems pretty solid, but the way these panels are attached just seems flimsy.  Unfortunately, it's not the aero panel that breaks, (which would probably be cheap and easy to replace) but the attachment point on the front fascia.  Does anyone know of a way to fix or mitigate this damage on this car?  Other than not hitting cones. 

    sgreer78
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    04 May 2013 08:36 PM

    Don't use staples. I don't think they hold well. Oh, and don't hit cones.

    aaronmj
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    04 May 2013 10:06 PM
    You jest, but the wind deflector was stapled on at the factory... was. How the hell am I supposed to staple this thing back on?
    Dick Rasmussen
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    05 May 2013 12:48 PM

    Do the part configurations permit using something like 10/32 bolts, large backup washers (or similar), and elastic insert locking nuts? You might even use plastic bolts.

    Make sure that the "easily replaceable" part is more likely to break than the other part. 

    I did this on a 97 Mustang with under bumper "air deflectors" that originally were secured with LARGE OD "pop rivets" that needed an expensive tool to install. 

    You might even consider "ty-wraps" depending on the part configurations. Black is best for UV resistance. The tywraps will be stronger than the plastic parts they are securing but depending on the configurations may allow some "hinge" movement when you hit a cone.

    Dick

     

    btwyx
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    05 May 2013 01:46 PM

    I can't help with your problem, but I don't think not hitting cones is the answer. I'm relatively new to this (9 events), but my problem is I never hit cones, I just got credited with my second ever cone at the last event. My theory is if I'm not hitting cones I'm not going fast enough. This is particularly true when my method is to try and go too fast on the first run, hit as many cones as possible and work out where I need to slow down on later runs so as to not hit the cones.

    sjfehr
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    05 May 2013 05:38 PM
    That's exactly right, Barry. If you're not at least occasionally hitting cones, you're either too far off the cones or not going fast enough.

    Aaron: have you tried duck tape?
    aaronmj
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    05 May 2013 07:04 PM
    Well, after taking things apart and putting them back together, I don't think the situation is quite as bad as I'd imagined. I only well-and-truly broke one part, and it's all of $25 and will take no time to replace. The other parts I damaged sort of look like they were designed with this in mind. It all kind of snaps back together in a way that spreads the load around the damage. The only thing I'm not really sure how to fix is the wind deflector, and I don't really NEED that.

    I think the hit that did all the damage was somewhat unique, anyhow. I buried that sucker in a spectacular act of bad driving.
    NIFARES
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    11 Jun 2013 03:56 PM
    nothing's pretty in racing just have to live with it.
    TeamRX8
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    16 Jul 2013 12:47 AM
    get new parts and then seal them all up with duct tape, especially the plastic rivets. Once the rivets start popping out and aren't immediately replaced is when all the major damage starts

    yeah, and stop center punching cones ....
    Scootin159
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    16 Jul 2013 09:20 AM
    Another solution would be to step up to a class that allows splitters, and just make the cones the sacrificial component:

    aaronmj
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    17 Jul 2013 12:34 AM

    Are you sharpening that sucker or something?  

    btwyx
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    17 Jul 2013 04:37 PM
    Does that count as a penalty if the base remained upright and in the chalked box?
    Scootin159
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    18 Jul 2013 10:00 AM
    Posted By Aaron Johnson on 17 Jul 2013 12:34 AM

    Are you sharpening that sucker or something?  

    Not my car or picture, but I do have a very similar splitter on my car - and while they start dull enough, they do self-sharpen over time.  What happens is the tip is constantly touching the pavement over bumps, etc, slowly filing down the bottom surface at a slight angle - so the tip does get pretty thin and sharp - until it splits and breaks off.

     

    As for the penalty - I'm not sure what the official ruling would be, but personally I would consider it a no penalty if for no other reason than it's an impressive and rare sight to see.


    sjfehr
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    18 Jul 2013 07:21 PM
    I've seen it happen twice. Both times, we considered it as no penalty. Beside the "hahaha holy shit" factor, the base of the cone's still in the box...


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