New to Autocross - wear and tear?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Autocross' started by MonsterST, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    Hey! I'm new to Autocross this being my first year. I was looking for an outlet to enjoy my FiST and this seemed like the logical place to start as a "weekend" warrior. I know I can expect to burn up tires and brakes but what kind of extra wear and tear can I expect? Will Autocross dramatically shorten the life of my car? I want to have fun and enjoy some spirited driving but don't want to trash my car either. Would appreciate any input or advice from you experienced guys out there!! Thanks in advance.:thumbsup:
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  3. eRic

    eRic Active Member

    you put more wear and tear driving to and from autocross events. autocross won't trash your car. the biggest wear item at the event is tires. the rest of the car will be just fine. I autocrossed my 2011 Fiesta for over three and a half years and didn't have any issues in 64,000 miles. I replaced tires every year and brake pads but the brake pad replacements were due to open track events. I got my Fiesta ST after our season ended so I have yet to autocross or open track it yet.
  4. wash

    wash Active Member

    I think the tires will wear better than you expect.

    I would be worried about front wheel bearings, CV joints, suspension bushings and front bumper cover paint.

    I don't think they will wear out quickly but the wheel bearings and suspension bushings will be stressed more than if you drive like a granny.

    CV joints are much less durable if you are on the gas in low gear with high steering deflection. Autocross is one of few situations where you will stress them that way. Now that I think about it, this might be the reason why Ford limits torque in low gears.

    If you take out a lot of cones, your paint could suffer.

    Lateral acceleration forces can cause oil starvation if your oil pan and pickup are not designed well. So far so good but that's what power train warranty's are for. The Sigma engine architecture has been around for a long time, I'm not too worried.
  5. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    Thanks for the info. A guy at a performance shop I was at had me worried. I'm pumped to give Autocross a go!!! Thanks guys!

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  6. k757

    k757 Active Member

    Auto-x is a blast; you'll love it. I would second the tires and brake pads. Be aware that you will likely get cone scrapes on the front bumper and/or marks down the side of the car,

    I highly recommend you attend rookie schools in your area. They will teach you the basics. Things that you'll need to do before you get driving: clean out the car of all loose items, register, get car tech inspected, walk the course and attend the morning meeting. When you walk the course, tag along with an experienced driver. Going out there on your own is not advised
  7. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    For sure. Looking into joining the local sports car club that hosts the races. They offer new racer course and I'm signed up for ST Octane Academy. I've wanted to do something like this for a long time - going to be a great summer!!

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  8. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    If you just trying it out, don't worry about wear. If you plan to run every event, then think about getting a dedicated set of wheels/tires. The hard cornering likely does wear on the car more than a trip to the grocery store, but only just. During a full day of autocross, you will put 3-5 miles on the car.
    Oil starvation has always scared me, so checking the oil level is part of my checklist. I have never had a problem and don't expect to, but I will feel better when everybody gets through the season and nobody reports any issues.
    This isn't meant to give you second thoughts about using the car. I will be out there driving this thing like a fiend. Autocross is amazing fun and the FiST should be right at home. Enjoy!
  9. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    Thanks Cligedy - what would you include on a pre-race checklist?

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  10. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Slow and easy if your tires are sreaming too much then you are in to the corner too fast start it nice and slow. Might want to take a paper and pencil along and draw the track as you walk it it helps you memorize the layout and gives you a refresher during the off time when you are not driving or working the track.. works for some anyway.. Also never hurt to ask if you can ride along with some of the better drivers in the first few laps if they allow it as most time the first couple runs are learning for them.. Also ask if you can get a rookie run if they offer. Thats where the instructors or real good drivers ride alone with you the first time to get you used to the track and help you pick your line.. Above all relax and HAVE FUN... "Slow In Fast Out"
  11. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    What are your thoughts on this review of the FiST doing autocross?

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  12. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    RodMoe is right, at the events, don't be afraid to ask for help or advice at the event. Most people will be glad to help. Just be considerate of others during their course walk, that is a time when folks need to concentrate. Riding with another driver or vice-versa can be enlightening.

    I usually check the fluids and I do my best to show up at events with 1/4 tank of gas or less. I also make sure to bring:
    • A small number of tools (few wrenches, sockets, etc.)
    • Floor jack
    • Air tank or compressor
    • Air pressure gauge
    • Water spray tank
    • CG Lock
    • Folding chairs
    • Sunscreen
    • Cooler w/ gatorade & snacks
    • Raincoat
    The raincoat is critical. Since I started bringing one, I've never needed it :)
    spangenb and RodMoe like this.
  13. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    I've only driven the ST hard at the Ford Ecoboost challenge, but I didn't think that the ESC was intervening. I wonder if he was driving in "Sport" mode, not with the ESC all the way off. Test-n-tune is next weekend, so I'll finally have a little seat time to really get to grips with the car.
  14. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    Let us know your thoughts when done!!!

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  15. wash

    wash Active Member

    I don't know what to say about that video.

    By the time I did the EcoBoost Challenge last summer, they managed to make the Fiesta ST feel quite nimble compared to the Focus ST.

    When I got my car in September, it felt just as nimble as the EcoBoost Challenge car.

    I think as my tires have started to go off I have felt the stability control step in more often. My response is to turn it off, then I can toss it around without worrying about the computer spoiling the fun. Hopefully a set of sticky tires will raise the traction level high enough that I'll only feel the stability control on the track.
  16. AlanBDahl

    AlanBDahl Active Member

    My 1990 is a good example of what happens when you autocross a car. It was my only autocross car from 1989 until mid-1994 and I put perhaps 125 autocrosses on it during that time. SInce then I’ve done a few more now and then. The only part that shows any autocross-related wear and tear 300,000 miles later is the scissors jack (over 1000 times up and down can do that). My current Solstice GXP has been raced for 6 years and is still OEM from one end to the other, nothing has worn out at all.
    spangenb, MonsterST and Cligedy like this.
  17. ryst

    ryst Active Member

    This was a pre-production model, they didn't have a full ECS off feature. He says in the video "hopefully when it hits showroom floors..."

    It DOES fully disable now on production models (hold down ECS button for 5 seconds and it's actually FULL off now). It's also possible he didn't know that you could fully disable it by holding down the button for 5 seconds.

    Because it's winter here in Michigan I've found the limits of Sport and normal mode pretty easily. IMO Sport mode is pretty aggressive and intervenes too early, but "Off" is really really off, and I've never had any intervening (even when going totally sideways on snow-covered parking lots).
  18. MonsterST

    MonsterST Member

    That's kinda what I thought as well. All other review I have seen say they love the FiST for autocross.
  19. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Really ? I have had my car in a 4 wheel drift around more than one corner without tc lighting up in Sport Mode and wheel spin up the kazoo then it finally comes in.. have not even bothered with Off on the street only on the Ice to see how it worked .. Weird maybe the tune does something to this idk... (running Cobb Stage 1 91 oct)
  20. ryst

    ryst Active Member

    Could be tune related. I can barely get the back end to kick out before it intervenes on me on sport mode. Rod do you have an early build of the ST? Mine is likely much later, could be different programming.
  21. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    If early is Late AUG then yes my car was built late Aug early Sept 13. I was really surprise how much hooning it let me do in sprot mode to be honest where as full on it like anything close to tire spin or slide it goes off...

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