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Bill Sims seems to be doing very well. He recently got his Milano back in action with an intercooler, aftermarket engine managment and some really big wheels.

It features stuff from Performatek, RS racing, Richard Jemison, and the first Milano supercharger kit I ever made.

He has taken first place in the last two SCCA autocrosses in the highly competitive street modified class. Results for the first of these two events are here: Summary Results - Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society - Nov 10, 2007 . About those results Bill said "And that one time that appears so much faster than everyone else on the last
page is an "indexed" or PAX time, which is handicapped. The guy is a
national level driver in a Miata, and he's running in X Class, which is
adjusted for the car's handicap. "

Bill also mentioned he is still having traction issues even with those huge tires. He hopes a rear anti-sway bar adjustment will help.

Good job Bill! Very impressive automotive building and driving skills. It's nice to see an Alfa winning.

Greg
 

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Well...Dubs are actually 20" rims, I don't think Bill's are quite that big. I think they are 18". In any case they are massive.

Greg
 

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It's great to see Bill has his car running again. There aren't many of us running Alfas in Autocross / Solo events.

FYI: "PAX" evolved from a "Professional Autocross" series started many years ago in the Chicago area (Not SCCA Pro Solo, but a much earlier idea). The original series died, but the handicap system is still used around the country to compare autocross times from different classes. There is a table of handicap multipliers for each class, and in theory, if everyone drove with the same skill level and multiplied their individual times, they would all come out the same time. The PAX handicaps are refined from national level autocrosses around the country, so you are actually comparing your time to national champions. The PAX multiplier for SM (Street Modified) is .860, so Bill's SM winning raw time of 60.919 equates to a PAX time of 52.390.

Clear as mud, huh?. Almost all events give trophies based on raw time. PAX scores are usually for bragging rights, or to combine classes with only one car entered per class.

The winning PAX handicap was a STS2 car with a PAX time of 49.830, a handicap multiplier of .818, computing to a raw time of 60.917. This illustrates how a car with a sometimes slower raw time can have a faster PAX time (Street Modified is a faster class = .860 multiplier, while STS2 is a slower class = .818 multiplier).



Bill Sims seems to be doing very well. He recently got his Milano back in action with an intercooler, aftermarket engine managment and some really big wheels.

It features stuff from Performatek, RS racing, Richard Jemison, and the first Milano supercharger kit I ever made.

He has taken first place in the last two SCCA autocrosses in the highly competitive street modified class. Results for the first of these two events are here: Summary Results - Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society - Nov 10, 2007 . About those results Bill said "And that one time that appears so much faster than everyone else on the last
page is an "indexed" or PAX time, which is handicapped. The guy is a
national level driver in a Miata, and he's running in X Class, which is
adjusted for the car's handicap. "

Bill also mentioned he is still having traction issues even with those huge tires. He hopes a rear anti-sway bar adjustment will help.

Good job Bill! Very impressive automotive building and driving skills. It's nice to see an Alfa winning.

Greg
 

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Wow, those look really big! I worked for the manufacturer of DUB and T.I.S. (same company) and those do look bigger than 18". Don't you think a smaller wheel/tire combo would help steering inputs?
 

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I'm hopefully meeting up with another bb member next week when I'm in New Orleans. If you pass the word to Bill maybe we can all have an impromtu beer or coffee! I'll be there from the tenth through the thirteenth. I'm also looking for some property so maybe Bill could represent me.

Glenn
 

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The wheels are from Complete Custom Wheels (aka CCW) of Daytona Beach. Fronts are 18x9, and rears are 18x11. Tires are Kumho V710s, 245/35 in front, 285/30 in rear.

Yesterday changed my Performatek rear bar from full stiff to medium. Hopefully that will help with traction issues.

Some of the local cars in my class are running more hp, but I get more immediate torque (all others have a turbo or 2 to spin up, but the supercharger gives me grunt right away).
 

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Needed bigger wheels to clear bigger front brakes from Ron Simons Racing. Running stock brakes in rear with Bobcat pads from Performatek. Balance is excellent--have driven a couple of competitors cars the past year while my car was down, and the Milano has much better brakes.

Since the pic was taken I put a very light carbon fiber hood on the car, made by Mike Cudahy of Prototype Composites. Since it was his first Milano hood I had to pay for making the mold, which was about $800. Any of you who get a hood made by Mike with my mold will just have to pay a $100 mold fee. Car weighs 2690 pounds. Class rules allow me to go down to 2500, but very much limit where I can take off weight. I've done about all I can except stripping undercoating and switching out the 2 front seats (rules allowed me to take out the back seat), and having carbon fiber front fenders.
of
 

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Really, really fantastic! I'd love to hear more about what all you've done during the build-up to SM specs. Do you have it all documented on a website or something?

Can the Milano be a nationally competitive SM platform?!
 

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I don't have it summarized on a website. The main points are RSR suspension and shocks(except Performatek adjustable rear bar), with 30mm front bar and RSR coilovers, Performatek urethane bushings except for the DeDion bushing, which is OEM to get a bit of passive rear wheel steering; 3 liter built by Kevin Oliver, dynamically balanced, heads ported by Glynn Motorsports with stock valves, MP-62 Eaton supercharger now putting out 7.5 psi, Greg Gordon brackets, Greg Gordon supercharger intake/output ports, Greg Gordon cone filter, IAP headers Jet-hot coated flowing into Thrush glass packs, Haltech E6X engine management system, PWR water-to-air intercooler, RC 550cc injectors, OEM plenum, OEM intake runners "polished", S cams, S pistons; Accu-shift shift light; RSR front brake rotors with adapter for OEM calipers; carbon fiber hood; rear seat, A/C, radio, sunroof, and ABS removed to lighten car within rules. Surely forgot some things....

Nationally competitive? No way is it going to be Mark Daddio's EVO. I do think it could put pressure on Victor Silas and his M3, but only if he hits a cone! It's obviously competitive in the 2 local SCCA chapters, and I hope it can be competitive at nat'l tour events...have only been to one a couple of years , and it was running on 3 or 4 cylinders and alot of the work had not been done yet. Totally sucked!
 

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Sounds like a wicked machine you've got there. Congrats on the build and the result. I'm really excited to see someone seriously campaigning the Milano and to hear that it can do well in SM. I think I agree with you that an all-out assault on Daddio is probably a lofty goal....but it would be amazing if any of our Alfas could go toe-to-toe with the top SM runners!

Will SM allow you to run with the torsion bars removed in the front? Are you doing this already? I'm thinking you could save yourself some weight there, as the T-bars are heavy and you could potentially remove the crossmember they mount to...but I'm not sure anyone has really studied the impact that has on the chassis.

You mention softening the rear....How does the 'medium' setting on the Performatek bar compare to the OEM? And I'm guessing that you're running an LSD...any modifications done to that?

Have you dyno'd the car lately?? ;)
 

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James,

You are right about the torsion bars being extra weight, but I believe (not sure) they are hollow. I've had them out of this car and another in the past. The RSR coilovers are designed to be "helper springs", and not take all the weight. You lower the front to a certain height and then install the springs.

I'm concerned that if I stiffened up the coilovers more then I'd have the chassis give way. My previous race car was an Alfetta running in E Prepared, and it tore up the front chassis, even though I wasn't running coilovers. I was running very stiff front bar and very little suspension travel. Added a brace between the shock towers and had some circle track guys gusset up the front,and that bought the car a little more time, but it was eventually too far gone for racing.

Richard Jemison did the clutch, transaxle, shift linkage, and tranny. Have his lightweight hockey puck racing clutch (aluminum center with no springs), and he lightened 2 or 3 gears (have forgotten how many), and designed a shifter that is similar to the Alfetta/GTV6. He set up the LSD for 50% lockup, but I'm having trouble with traction coming out of corners. Hoping softening up the rear bar will help. The engine flywheel was lightened by 50%, also.

Last dyno was 251 rwhp at 7 psi. The dyno owner says his dyno registers 15% less than the popular Dyno-Jet, so that would be 295 on a Dyno-jet. Have increased boost to 7.5 pounds, so should be up about another 5 or 6 hp. Torque was very flat from 3700 rpm to 5700. I believe the top end is severely limited by the European downpipes that the headers flow into (max hp is at 6100 rpm). I need to get bigger diameter pipes, but have plenty of hp for now.
 

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Bill,

Sounds like a more and more impressive setup with every bit of new info! :)

What sort of alignment are you running, front and rear? From the small avatar photo, it doesn't look like the front has too radical a camber setting. I'm guessing you've taken the "I'll stop the front from rolling and thus eliminate any concerns about a non-optimal camber curve range" approach? Again, I'm a bit fuzzy on SM rules (I'm mostly STS, myself), are you allowed to modify the hub-end of the suspension geometry?

So you've ditched the Iso-static shift mechanism then? I was under a friends Milano a few weeks back, and that was my first encounter with one...it was an interesting contraption. I can't imagine something so complex being good for racing. Did you attempt to run with it prior to having Richard make you something?

Does SM let you play with gear ratios? Verde or Platinum box?

Sorry for all the questions! It's just really exciting to see someone seriously campaigning a transaxle Alfa in Solo. If anything is 'proprietary information', just let me know and I'll quit asking :)
 

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Not enuf Gription?

Bill,
Are you spinning both tires or just the inside one?
If the latter, it`s probably a result is burnt oil buildup on the plates. That much HP in tight corners is asking alot from a unit designed for less than 200 ft lb torque.
But...
You can probably do some improvement to the lock up gription yourself. The ringgear/LSD assembly can be removed by dropping the passenger side driveshaft & tying the brake assembly up out of the way, and removing the side plate.
Wash the mess out of it with gas & then soak the whole thing in Castrol Super Purple Cleaner (full strength) for a couple of days. This will eat all the carbon build up on the plates off of them. Make the insides turn two or three times a day to get the cleaner in between everything. (use chemical gloves)
There should be at least .030-.040 free clearance in the clutch pack in the unit.
Somewhere in the attic are a set of drive plates with the ramps modified so that the acceleration side gives about 80% lockup but the coast (decel) ramp is stock so turn in is not affected. I kept all the trick stuff when I sold the GT2 car.
PM me if you have questions about cleaning. There is a better (super secret) method but the Castrol method is the easiest and even JJ could do it. :p
 

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Bill,
Are you spinning both tires or just the inside one?
If the latter, it`s probably a result is burnt oil buildup on the plates. That much HP in tight corners is asking alot from a unit designed for less than 200 ft lb torque.
But...
You can probably do some improvement to the lock up gription yourself. The ringgear/LSD assembly can be removed by dropping the passenger side driveshaft & tying the brake assembly up out of the way, and removing the side plate.
Wash the mess out of it with gas & then soak the whole thing in Castrol Super Purple Cleaner (full strength) for a couple of days. This will eat all the carbon build up on the plates off of them. Make the insides turn two or three times a day to get the cleaner in between everything. (use chemical gloves)
There should be at least .030-.040 free clearance in the clutch pack in the unit.
Somewhere in the attic are a set of drive plates with the ramps modified so that the acceleration side gives about 80% lockup but the coast (decel) ramp is stock so turn in is not affected. I kept all the trick stuff when I sold the GT2 car.
PM me if you have questions about cleaning. There is a better (super secret) method but the Castrol method is the easiest and even JJ could do it. :p
How about lowering the rear roll center a little more? With the pivot point a little lower, it would increase the counter moment that the chassis gives to the rear wheels under cornering.

Relative to the centerline of the wheels/axle (de-Dion), where is the pivot point for the Watts link?

Eric
 

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Richard, both wheels are spinning. When I put the car on jackstands I can stop one wheel while the other is spinning, but that's under no-load, though in gear. If I understand the clutch disks, they only lock up under load.

If the sway bar adjustment doesn't do the trick then I'm going to look into lowering the Watts link pivot point like Eric mentions. And if that doesn't do it, then I'm going to clean up the disks the way you described (have copied and pasted your excellent instructions).
 
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