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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interesting in trying an autocross event and didn't know if I would be daft to take my daily driver '01 Passat GLX with me. Any precedence on autocrossing with a Passat? I have the V6 4mo and I love the handling of my car, so I figured this would be the best way to enjoy it. It gets babied, so it's not like mechanically it's in bad shape. Thoughts?
 

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have someone with you with a ride hope just in case.shit happens.
 

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IMHO the Passat, especially the V6, is kind of a nose-heavy pig for autocrossing. Maybe look into joining NASA and registering for a HPDE-1 class?
HPDE: High Performance Driving Event - National Auto Sport Association - nasaproracing.com
I can only speak for myself but I think I'd get more enjoyment out of a weekend on a road course with an instructor than just jumping in to autocross.

Bring a buddy with a ride is excellent advice. Also, don't race what you can't afford to fix! If the car isn't 100% paid for, I wouldn't bring it any closer to a track than the parking lot.
 

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Heh. I jumped into a couple of Solo1 events with my Talon (another nose-heavy car with AWD) and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's hardest on your brakes and tires, so why not give it a try! Don't expect to keep up with even the mid-runners at first unless you've got serious talent, though. A friend of mine with his Talon was fuming because he'd gotten beaten by a stock Chevy Tahoe...
 

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HPDE: High Performance Driving Event - National Auto Sport Association - nasaproracing.com

Bring a buddy with a ride is excellent advice. Also, don't race what you can't afford to fix! If the car isn't 100% paid for, I wouldn't bring it any closer to a track than the parking lot.
All good suggestions. Actually, the phrase is "Don't race what you can't afford to throw away! But you'll definitely leave with a big smile on your face no matter what you're driving. Check your insurance policy. Some (fewer and fewer) companies still cover the HPDE events because they are Driver Education-not timed events.

Autocross is easier on your car and good for developing car control. (IMHO)

Either one is more addictive than crack-so be warned!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Thanks for the thoughts. The car is 100% paid for so I'm not too worried that way, I've got a backup vehicle as well. I'm not planning to wow the world in a wagon, just wanted to give it a try to see if I wanted to sink in the money to buy a cheapo car to use specifically for autocrossing in the future. Good thought on the brakes, was going to do a big upgrade this summer anyway, may not go to an event until that is done.
 

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Do it!

Thanks for the thoughts. The car is 100% paid for so I'm not too worried that way, I've got a backup vehicle as well. I'm not planning to wow the world in a wagon, just wanted to give it a try to see if I wanted to sink in the money to buy a cheapo car to use specifically for autocrossing in the future. Good thought on the brakes, was going to do a big upgrade this summer anyway, may not go to an event until that is done.

Make sure not to do a lot to the car because it is so easy to place yourself in a class that you will be outclassed in. Keep it as stock as possible and go out there and kill them. SCCA.com's SOLO section is a great place to start and make sure that you read about the stock class and see that your car is placed in the G-Stock class.
 

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I have two things to add here, since this is one of the few questions on this board I can actually answer.

1. You are going to be autocrossing a car that's just not made for it. I went from a V6 passat to an Integra, and there is a HUGE difference in how they handle (although the passat is superior in almost every other way). Then I went to a Miata (an old miata mind you), and the Integra (/Passat) are not even remotely comparable.

2. You are going to beat the hell out of your suspension bushings and ball joints, so be ready to replace them. Amusingly enough, it's easier on the passat than many other cars, though I didn't think so at the time. Same with clutch and synchros, as well as most other trans components. Engine / trans mounts won't enjoy it either.

If I were you, I would just practice the basics on some roads at night, rather than trying to full out race the car, especially if you are new to this. And yea - I know "back roads" is "horrible advice" - but I mean truly empty roads, without crossing the median, and slowly working up to where you see severe lean / tiny traction slips.

edit: Oh, and turn your music off when you do it - just saw the video above, again, unless you are just messing around well within your limits.
 

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Lord Beeps, I wasn't saying to avoid it until you upgraded your brakes. My Talon had el-cheapo tires, bad brakes and a shot suspension, and it was STILL fun! I couldn't hope to catch the quick little Honda's, but I didn't care...

Avrael makes a good point. Are you thinking Solo 1 or Solo 2 Autocross? Solo 1 tends to be more out on faster racetracks and such, while Solo 2 are in parking lots, or tracks that have been marked with cones to keep the speeds down. Solo 2 was what I did. You can practice that in a large parking lot, no need to be on a road.
 

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I am an avid autox'er and I run an 86 GLi in ST class. I have done a couple fun runs in my 2000 pasast wagon (1.8), its not bad. If your looking to be competitive you wont be, but it will teach you alot about your car and car control.......and leave you with a massive grin on your face. One or two events wont kill your car, but im sure after your first event you will be hooked. So yes, plan on replacing your bushings sooner then normal along with tires and brakes. Your first concern should be if it will pass tech inspection, make sure the tires are good, brakes are good, shifts through gears smooth, no major leaks of any kind, battery is securely tied down, all lugbolts are in place, etc.
 

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A decent suspension will make the car a lot more fun to drive. I know turn in with my setup is far better than stock or even many modified cars. The stiffer setup I had was far better suited to track/autox, but got to be a bit too rough for long drives.
 

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if your interested in competing, watch how you modify your car. You may put yourself in a class that you wont be able to keep up with. PZ, your right about the turn in with a better suspension but if you want your mind blow try getting it alighned with a little camber up front and 1/8" to 1/4" toe out. The car will carve turns.
 

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Trust me, turn in on my car is pretty violent already. The only thing it needs is a slightly higher front shock rate for compression. The 6 point upper strut bar locked the front up pretty well.
 

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If your looking to be competitive you wont be,
i beg to differ on that point, this coming from beating STI's and evos in my class and getting accused of having AWD :lol:

oh one pic cause i can
 

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right, but with the toe out the car will hold its line better with less driver input. Just putting it out there.

I agree, but it is not practical for daily driving or for my long distance trips.
 
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