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About Dan_H

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  1. An inexpensive option is to replace just the muffler from the rear flange. I paid a muffler shop to cut the flange off and weld in a cheap turbo-style muffler. Total cost was less than $75. Sounded fine and was a lot lighter than the stock muffler.
  2. In that case, it would probably be better to leave it in gear, or downshift, for the engine braking.
  3. I no longer have my 8th gen Corolla, but I used it to pull another car on a trailer for more than 7K miles... No problems on hills, including two round trips through Raton pass. It's not what you're thinking... 99 VE towing about 800lbs, plus spare set of wheels/tires in the trunk. A 500lb boat should be be fine.
  4. I consistently see decreased power and mileage (~2-3 mpg) due to the ECU backing off ignition timing quite a bit in the summer. I'm in Arizona, where official temps reach as high as 50C . Higher air temps (lower air density) contribute to the power loss, but I can tell that most of it is timing in my case. I'll hear slight knocking under acceleration, followed by a noticeable power loss once the pinging stops. Mid grade or premium fuel helps if your car is backing off the timing due to pinging. I run higher octane fuel mid spring through early fall, and the power/mileage drop isn't as bad. For me, 91 octane is the minimum if I tow anything in the summer.
  5. One thing to consider with adjustable shocks-- Stiff springs with reasonably soft shock settings *can* provide a more comfortable ride than soft springs with too much damping. However, you want to prioritize handling over comfort. Don't adjust them for comfort without making sure they behave well when pushed to the limit. I don't recall the stock spring rates from those years, but I'm pretty sure the 420 / 240 springs you are looking at are more than twice (about 3x for the fronts) than stock. However, I have a hard time imagining that 420 /. 240 springs on a corolla aren't going to understeer like crazy if they are pushed hard. Stock, and most 'sport' spring rates I have seen on corollas are 20-30% higher in the front. Are you sure these are the rates they offer? Do they offer another set that are closer in spring ratio? 784 / 672 springs are going to be pretty aggressive. You'd have to back off the shocks quite a bit (possibly enough to be 'bouncy') to make these feel reasonable on the street. At these spring rates, the flexibility in the car's frame starts to become a factor in how well the car handles. Unless you're planning to do some serious frame stiffening, these would feel harsh without gaining much performance over the other springs.
  6. My 99 trunk lid closed just like that after my car was rear ended. To make mine close correctly, I removed the latching piece that is bolted in the trunk (lower latch) and used a dremel tool to oval out the bolt holes. That allowed me to bolt the latch a little lower and close the trunk completely. You might be able to reach behind the bumper cover and push it back out so the split doesn't overlap. With that small of a split, it probably won't look like much more than a light scratch if you can align both sides of the split. I'd recommend a junkyard for any parts that need replacing. Ebay is another source for used parts. I picked up a replacement taillight assembly for less than $20 shipped.
  7. Here's my $0.02 on building a custom sports car: If you think you will be using it for track days, autocross, time trials, or similar events and will want to be competitive over time-- read over the rules of talk to someone in the group as early on as possible. Knowing what you will do with the car beforehand can save a lot of money, rework, money, undoing/redoing upgrades, money, or having a severely outclassed car. Did I mention money? I always feel bad when we have a new person show up with a basically stock car, and have to compete in an extreme category (about where your finished car would wind up) because they have either an aftermarket blow-off valve or a different hood. On the flipside; if you want to build a general kicka## car that is fun to drive-- build it how you want it! Even if it isn't competitive in a specific class, it will still be fun to take to the track, autocross, etc. One driver in our local AutoX group is having a blast driving a slightly modified VW Bug in a class better suited for highly modified 400-600HP sportscars.
  8. A suspension prepared for autocross or track use should not have any wheel hop problems. Even for straight line acceleration, like drag racing, you will not want a soft suspension that transfers weight to the rear in a FWD car. If you want it to turn well, you're already looking at a stiff suspension with shocks that can handle high spring rates. Oh, and definitely run a limited slip diff if you want to have any acceleration in turns. For that much power, you're probably better off with a clutch type than a torsen diff. Are you building it for SCCA SMF class?
  9. It depends on the tape and residue, but I usually have good results from lightly pressing fresh tape of the same type over it and peeling it off immediately. The residue usually prefers to stick to the same material more than it does paint, metal, etc.
  10. I never over ran the power steering with a Corolla, but I have with others. I think it is because the Corolla has a relatively high steering ratio, making it too hard to turn the steering rack fast enough. The Hoosiers had enough grip to briefly lift both inside wheels as the suspension settled on some right hand turns.
  11. I'll post a few from when I was Autocrossing my Corolla. These are unedited videos with no sound (camera did not have audio at the time), so apologies in advance Bone stock 99 VE, running in SCCA H Stock category. ---Note the stellar launches provided by the 3speed automatic Southwestern International Raceway on crappy 400 treadwear tires. [/url] Sierra Vista Municipal Airport on Falken Azenis tires. NAU parking lot on Hoosier A3S05s.
  12. When you refill the tank, can you tell if you're putting in as much fuel? i.e. Are you really getting <10 MPG, or is the tank reading just way off?
  13. Fuel Injectors

    There are a few autoXers on the forum, myself included. Is this for SCCA SOLO rules? What class are you looking to build it for? Is this for the stock ECU, or are you changing something with engine management? Typically, you do not need larger injectors unless you're converting to forced induction or changing the internals enough to significantly increase power (cams, head/valving, etc). If the car is running fine-- don't change the injector sizes. It won't add power, and will do nothing more than confuse the ECU. Most stock pumps/injectors have enough 'overhead' to provide a little bit of extra fuel for cars with less restrictive intakes and exhaust. Is it running lean when wide open at high RPM? If so, it could have a weak pump or clogged injectors. If the pump and injectors are OK and you're still *juuust barely* running out of fuel at the top end, you might be able to go to *slightly* larger injectors and let the ECU re-learn the fuel trims.
  14. I have seen several people running 3 point harnesses (both shoulder belts merge behind the driver and mount at a single point) that were bolted above or below the rear seat back. These cars also had roll protection (see next paragraph). As Fish mentions, you don't want a low mounting point in a front end collision, because pulling forward on the belts also results in the belts pulling downwards on the shoulders. Strong mounting points above the rear seat back probably don't exist in any Corolla, and as far as I know the drivers I saw doing that had a frame mounted bar back there. There can also be an issue running a harness in a car that does not have a roll bar/cage. If you manage to roll it, and the roof presses down, you would not have any forward/sideways wiggle room. Now imagine that without a helmet. To simply stay 'more planted' in the seat, devices like the CG-Lock are a reasonable compromise. I've had one in my 'rolla for about three years. For my roll-caged car: six way harness. For my daily driver: CG-lock on standard shoulder belt. If you're looking for something to use at track days, autocross, etc-- get a hold of their tech chief and ask about the requirements before spending any money.