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Autocrossing w/ TCS and ABS on

Joined
10 November 2011
Messages
74
Location
Ohio
So I am going to do an autocross event soon and I would like to know if I should turn the TSC and ABS on??

Do you guys turn this stuff on?


Thanks
 
Definitely turn the TCS off.
The ABS could go either way depending on which year ABS unit you have and the track layout.
 
So why not have traction controll on wouldn't it help you stay on the course? I dont really know how it works it just seems logical.
 
our tcs is a very crude and simple mechanism...it just cuts power...you don't want it on,it will unsettle the car on course.
 
Ok...can't resist.

What about spirited steet driving?Or even drag racing. I have seen my light flash a few times and have been thinking about palying around with it off.
 
So I have a 91 stock Nsx would I be better off with the abs turned off also.

If you were national level on slicks maybe abs delete would work...or maybe not...for the occasional wkend warrior don't bother.
 
Ok...can't resist.

What about spirited steet driving?Or even drag racing. I have seen my light flash a few times and have been thinking about palying around with it off.

If your car in na then you really can't get into too much trouble with the throttle in a straight line....if you are boosted and a newb at hard launches practice with it on,but you will want it off for most "spirited" driving. It is very much more a mental crutch than any real performance enhancer.
 
So I have a 91 stock Nsx would I be better off with the abs turned off also.

I think for most tracks and most beginning, novice and intermediate drivers the TCS should be OFF and the ABS should be left ON.

If you're an Advanced level driver, then go and turn the ABS OFF if you have the first generation ABS system (1991-1999 NSXs). You can do this by pulling the E-Brake up 1 click and driving around the block. The ABS light will eventually illuminate (meaning ABS is disabled) at which point put the E-Brake all the way back down. The ABS will stay off until you turn the car off and back on.

Ok...can't resist.

What about spirited steet driving?Or even drag racing. I have seen my light flash a few times and have been thinking about palying around with it off.

Depends on what you mean by "spirited". For 95% of driving, I think the systems should be left in their ON/Default positions.

If you intend to break the wheels loose and get a little sideways, do a little drifting, then the TCS needs to be OFF. (Please note that things can get real hairy really quick if you're not experienced with the NSX's over-steer characteristics & tendencies. Do this at your own risk and on a closed course).

For Drag Racing the TCS needs to be OFF. I've run a few times with the TCS ON accidentally and it usually intrudes either at the launch or right at the 1 to 2 shift when I sort of "churp" the tires. There's a split second of non-power which is enough to loose the race.

If you were national level on slicks maybe abs delete would work...or maybe not...for the occasional wkend warrior don't bother.

I agree with Doc. I would probably leave it. I mean you do a quick test to see how intrusive it is. Just go to 45mph and stomp on the brakes hard (as in put the pedal to the floor). Don't let up until you're stopped. My 1995 NSX does like 3 really slow pulses (I think the ABS system is going out on it) vs my 2008 Mazdaspeed which does like 20-40 super fast pulses.

If you want to test without the ABS, do the E-brake trick above (make sure there's plenty of room/space that you won't slide into anything).
 
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I agree. For track driving (including autocross), TCS off and ABS on. For street driving, both on.

ABS can be used as a great learning tool for track/autocross. The braking technique you want to learn, which gives you maximum braking capability, is called "threshold braking". That means you're braking with the tire traction on the THRESHOLD of slipping (losing traction), but not actually slipping. If the tires slip, the ABS will engage and you will feel the pedal pulsing, telling you that you have gone too far in your braking. If you learn proper threshold braking, the tires will never actually slip, so the ABS will not engage (even when it's left on), only when you brake too much. It's a great learning tool.

If you've never played around with the ABS, and if you have sticky tires, you will find that it takes quite a bit of effort to reach the braking threshold. Until you get that experience, you will probably find yourself underbraking rather than overbraking and engaging the ABS.

Have fun - you'll learn that the NSX brakes are very capable! (And if you're not using sticky tires, you'll learn to want them!)
 
Leave the ABS on. If nothing else, it'll save you from flat-spotting your tires (not common on street tires, but can still happen). Typically autocross courses are so technical, it's hard to avoid small lockups here and there with no ABS. If you have it, you can actually use it to fudge the line between braking and turning just a little.

I can say with no ego that I'm an above average autocrosser, and I've tried it with/without ABS on my NSX...and Interestingly, I've also tried it with both the old style ABS system and the new style (01+) on the same car. Even the old style ABS allows you to get a little "chirp" before it takes over, so if you're threshold braking the ABS, you're pretty close to threshold braking to lock. The newer system is more consistent about that, and less invasive when it does kick in. Either way, usually, when it kicks in while I'm autocrossing, it's helping rather than hurting my time.

TCS: Definitely off for autocross. I can attribute several spins over the years to my forgetting to turn the stupid thing off, trying to rotate the car on-throttle and the fuel cut putting me in a tank slapper.

For the street....turning the TCS off somewhere other than a closed course is akin to saying "hold my beer and watch this". If you're inclined to, stop and think, "is what I'm about to do really advisable, and do I really want to put the car in a slide...and if I do, have I had extensive practice getting it out of a slide?".

If you're driving reasonably, even in a spirited manner, within your skill level at say 7-8/10ths or so (which is my typical "dragon run" pace), it should really never come into play anyway.

'just sayin.
 
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