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Thread: Scout

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Scout

    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr View Post
    Hey All - happy new year. Finn and the truck are good. This sums it up:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/915072.../shares/5V5521

    Uconn has the best formula sae team - and those are Finn's folks.
    This is coming from someone that has spent a lot of time helping FSAE teams test and tune their cars. It's one of the best ways for a student to get practical hands-on experience with a difficult technical project.

    The thing with FSAE though is that it ebbs and flows a lot. I would say ETS, UofM Ann Arbor, and Oregon State have been the most consistently good North American schools over the last decade. Everyone else kind of moves up and down the results list because the final performance of your car is so dependent on factors outside of a typical engineering curriculum. Teams will be good for a handful of years and then they might fall off a cliff. RIT for example was pretty consistently inside the top ten for almost a decade, even winning the dynamic events at Michigan. They didn't complete a dynamic event in 2019. Cornell used to be the most dominant school in the world and I can't remember the last time they were a factor. UConn might be the best school on that list right now but it's no guarantee that they will be in the near future. In general, teams need 5-6 highly engaged students and a couple extra bits.

    Here are some secrets to success:

    1. you need two and a half good drivers. Two for autocross and endurance and one guy that can get around the skid pad ok. One of the drivers has to be capable of providing consistent feedback for vehicle setup. If your team doesn't have drivers you need to develop them just like any other component of the car. It's important to have an old car to cycle new members thru for driver training/development. Keeping an older car running and maintained is also a good activity for underclassmen to get their feet wet. Don't have an old car? Get a shifter kart.

    2. Get the car done early. Teams that are assembling their car on the way to competition are never successful. You ideally want to have the thing together by the end of the first semester. It doesn't need to be 100% perfect but it does need to be running and driving.

    3. Maintain continuity from year to year. Most teams have the resources to tackle 2 major system redesigns from season to season. If you bite off more than you can chew with technology development you'll never get your car finished in time to test and tune. Looping back to point 1, if you have no experienced drivers you probably won't be successful either.

    4. Don't listen to too much Claude Rouelle has to say.

    5. Make sure you take full advantage of testing days. Have a stable place to test and tune (could just be a school parking lot. could be a sponsor's location. My company opens up our proving grounds to the local schools). Come in with a plan of what you're trying to achieve. I see a lot of kids come and and just fiddle around with various knobs or drive endless hot laps instead of systematically working on their setup. Be respectful of sponsors or chaperons time. Always have a fire extinguisher handy. Always use full safety gear.

    6. Get the basics done first. I've seen a lot of schools fiddle around with minor damper or engine tuning tweaks when their static alignment settings are visibly poor or they have massive compliance in their bearing arrangement.

    7. You need a good fab shop on campus and more than likely access to some fancier machine capacity via sponsors. Putting time into building relationships with the university and local machine shops is worthwhile.

    8. Don't kill your GPA. Formula is fun and encourages long days in the shop. It doesn't matter how smart you are or how good your formula team is. If you have a 2.5 GPA it's going to be tough to get a tier 1 job after graduation.

    best of luck to Finn.

  2. #142
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    Default Re: Scout

    Any updates from East Hampton? This thread has been such a treat!

  3. #143
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    Default Re: Scout

    My brother informed me yesterday that VW now owns the Scout brand and are thinking of rebooting the SUV with an electric one soonish. Kinda cool.
    my name is Matt

  4. #144
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    Default Re: Scout

    Hello everyone - time flying past in a blur. Finn was accepted to UCONN and will be going next month. He's looking forward to it - kinda. I think that we've been too nice to him around here - he is no hurry to get out and deal with the college experience. That'll come.

    The truck continues to be a blast. He has been autocrossing it every chance he gets with the local club. The truck goes remarkably well. The suspension works great, and even on street tires he was cornering good. The truck responds well to changes, and we have tweaked the alignment, the shock compression and rebound damping and removed the rear sway bar. There is still plenty of fine tuning to do, and every day is a little different, which is fun. We haven't broken anything on the truck, but the vigorous driving through the cones has brought issues to light: we've had to replace the valve covers and the breather, installed a power steering cooler, etc. Recently he swapped out the differential to go from 3.55 gears to 4.10 gears (think of it as swapping out a 30 tooth rear cog for a 40 for you biker folks that might need a little visualization about that diff stuff). Now the truck rips in the short straights found on the autox courses. And then sticky tires - not super sticky, because the budget wont allow that (any tire sponsors out there?), but good used TW 300 tires. N ow we are talking.

    He's a minor celebrity in the club as the truck kid - and the kid who built his own truck. I appreciate that a lot, because he is not the most out going fellow and the truck sorts of puts him in a position where he must talk to lots of folks. The UCONN FSAE team was at the last local autox and he got to hook up with some of the folks on the club - sort of on neutral ground which was cool. Though - he felt they could use some more driver training: a miata just beat them for FTD - there's got to be 4 seconds in the FSAE car easy.

    Some links to images on Finn's IG (Finnwerks):

    Me riding along with Finn:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CecM4Z_L...on_share_sheet

    A little burnout in the driveway - Mom did not appreciate this one at 9pm. Something about neighbors:
    https://www.instagram.com/tv/CfFpg6K..._web_copy_link

    Truck up on the quickjacks in the new barn:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CdFBQ2JL..._web_copy_link

    I invite you to check out his IG - that's where he's posting his photos. Sorry I can't add photos direct to the thread, but I exceeded my allotment here. I'm reluctant to delete older ones to make room for newer photos.

    So, coming up we have the Volvo to finish up. It's all stripped down, and we have replaced the tunnel and part of the firewall and added some seat mounts. wE ahave decided to use one of the Ford 2.3 SVO engines, as it'll be a lot cheaper than trying to get 200 Hp out of that old B1800. Then we have more Sout work: swapping the leaf springs for links and coil overs up front. The Scout just drives like crap - like it did from the factory. We can fix that. We have a free to us 2006 Subie Forester that needs a little work to serve as Finn's college beater - the truck isn't really something you want to leave in a dorm parking lot. We have to address some bodywork issues on the Ford E350 4X4 van, so we can sell that, etc. So much to do! Oh, and ride bikes and stuff.

    Anyway, thanks for checking in. Hope you all are enjoying the summer! Bob
    Bob Spooner
    Departing from
    East Hampton, CT

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Scout

    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr View Post
    (any tire sponsors out there?)
    What size(s) do you need? I can get you a pro-deal on a set of Goodyear Supercar 3's or 3R's.

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