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Author Topic: Backups & Organization  (Read 5986 times)
racemom2000
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« on: July 18, 2009, 10:27:57 AM »

So here's the scoop: our lil' guy has been pretty lucky in the rookie classes about not breaking much stuff on the car. But in the next few months he'll be moving from Sr. Rookie to Sr. Honda (whew-what a leap!). Currently we don't have any spare parts (except tires). So I'd like to start accumulating backups for the parts that are notorious for breaking during spin outs/crashes, etc.

In your experience, what would you say would be the first items we should purchase as backups? And do you have any organizational methods that help you track these items, & that keep them close-by on race days?

Thanks (in advance) for any insight you can share here.....

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Katherine Weaver
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 12:03:24 PM »

Axles, spindles, Tie Rods, Radius Rods. Get one of those Rod Duplicators. Once you have the car set, set each rod up to the same length. This way when one bends or breaks you can quickly swap them out.


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Kris Walker
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 12:05:44 PM »

Everything he said, plus I would add a shock or two. If you could have a whole set that would be best, but at least one or two.
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2009, 12:11:23 PM »

Start watching ebay and check the forums here and the classifieds on the QMA site for good deal on backup stuff.  We have picked up every item we carry as spares with the exception of the spare rear axle through those thre methods.

We try to carry the following:
At least one complete set of rods that are duplicated to what is on the car. (We make our own rods so we also bring all the tools with us in the trailer in case we need to make a couple at the track.  We have also purchased a few from trackside vendors if need be due to time constraints).  (we hang these in fishing rod holders in the trailer)
Two front axles with two sets of spindles and steering arms (right now we don't have the second set of spindles, but are looking to pick one up).  (Axles hang on the wall in the trailer and other parts go in a drawer)
Two rear axles (right now we only have one, but will be picking a second up ASAP). (PVC Pipe that holds them in the trailer)
Backup engine. (Engine mounting rack in the trailer)
Every size nut, bolt and screw that is on the car in case we need to replace any at the track. (One box for all nuts and bolts)
At least one spare set of wheels and tires exactly the same as what is on the car (we also carry several different sized rims for each position on the car in case we want to try different staggers and such).  (Tire rack in the trailer and spare wheels get stacked in the closet)
Springs and Shocks - we carry a few extra shocks in case one gets damaged in an accident and always have a full rack of springs on the trailer. (Shock rack and spring racks in the trailer)
Engine parts - Many valve springs, valve cover gaskets, head gaskets and spark plugs. (We keep these all in a drawer in the trailer)
Many gears, not really for backup, but for getting the ratio dead on.  (We bolt our axle gears together with long bolts.  They are in groups of five gears, ten halves, per bolt)
Chain and links - we carry a whole box of chain and at least half a dozen master and half links. (These go in a drawer)
Batteries - We carry a box of every different battery type we need at the track. (These hang on a peg board in the front of the trailer)
Trailer Bearing - We carry a complete set a trailer bearings with us because we have burned a set up on the way to the track and I won't be stuck again. (These go in a drawer)

One item we haven't carried spares of, but will now after AJ's broke in the hot chute right before main in Indy, is spare earbuds for the Radio.

I am sure there is more, but that is what I can think of off the top of my head.
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
racemom2000
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2009, 12:51:43 PM »

Scott,
I've seen some of the things you talked about & your organizational system is top-notch! I love the fishing rod holder idea (very smart thinking). Thank you soooooo much for typing all that out. I've printed it all for our binder.  Grin
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Katherine Weaver
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racemom2000
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2009, 12:52:33 PM »

Axles, spindles, Tie Rods, Radius Rods. Get one of those Rod Duplicators. Once you have the car set, set each rod up to the same length. This way when one bends or breaks you can quickly swap them out.



Thanks Joe & Kris!  Grin
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Katherine Weaver
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racemom2000
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2009, 12:53:34 PM »

Everything he said, plus I would add a shock or two. If you could have a whole set that would be best, but at least one or two.
Thanks, Rob. I will definitely do that!  Grin
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Katherine Weaver
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goffin20
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2009, 02:20:12 PM »

Things that bend and break during a race that you will need to fix or repair under caution to get back out and finish the race "PIT Repairs" usually consist of

1. Rod Bender Bars - As long as the rods or heims are not broke, these are a life saver.  We actually used them last night on a fellow racers car to get their nerf bar out of the RR tire after a wreck.

2. Radius Rods - I keep one full set with heims on the pit cart, they are color coded with electrical tape to make it easy for anyone to grab for me.  I just yell grab a yellow rod (or blue, red, green, white, black etc) and anyone can grab it off my cart and I know it will be what I need while I work on getting the old one off the car.

3. Wheels and Tires - Keep an extra of each wheel and tire on the pit cart, many get bent or punctured during a race and it’s nice to have an extra to bolt on under caution.  ALWAYS  remember to measure the RR and LR to ensure they are as close to what you’re running as possible to avoid changing your stagger or gear ratio.  However, sometimes if you already used yours or gave it to someone else in need, someone may toss you one to use which I never minded because I always felt that getting back out was the most important thing to finish the race, even if it threw off some of the setup.

4. Chain, master link, half link - Chains get knocked off, sometimes they can go back on, sometimes the master link or half link brakes.  Keeping an extra chain handy never hurts and is a quick fix to get the car back out.

5. Muffler - These also get broke or knocked off during races and is a sure way to get DQ'd at the scales and is a small easy fix in the pits under caution.

6. Duck Tape - Yup, it works wonders, especially if someone busts your nose or tailcone.  It again will keep them in place so you don’t lose any parts on the track.

7. Air Tank and Gauge - Just in case your tire goes flat or gets knocked off the wheel or you just need to add air during a race.


In the trailer it’s a good idea to carry at least one part of everything you could use, it’s hard for many to stock up on parts so most of us need to start out one item at a time.  Start with a set of rods and heims, then a front axle, then spindles, then rear axle and then bird cages.  Anything else you can get is always great.  Home Depot sells a tackle or parts box which works great to keep every nut, bolt, fastener, hubs, heims and many other parts in.

My rule of thumb is if I ever have to go to the parts guy at the track, there is another part I need in my parts box as a backup.  I should only go to him to restock my parts supply.

Tools on the pit cart should consist of at least
2 – ½ wrenches, at least one ratchet wrench speeds things up.
2 – 7/16 wrenches, at least one ratchet wrench speeds things up.
1 – Impact wrench with both a ½ and 7/16 socket with extension.
Pliers
Flat head screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
Air gauge
Mallet

If your front axle is bent in a race, its almost impossible to fix or replace even though I have seen this completed after a Red flag before while the walls were being repaired.  If you have a wheel kicked out, the easiest fix is to bend a radius rod to pull the wheel back in a bit to make the car a little easier to drive.

The more you can stock or carry the better, for those of you at the Nationals, you may have witnessed a motor change in the Lt. AA class which was successfully completed during the 4 minute refuel stop.  Truly a spectacular display of handlers working together and pulling off something amazing to get a driver back on the track and into competition.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 02:25:45 PM by goffin20 » Logged

racemom2000
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2009, 10:08:17 PM »

Scott,
Wow - thank you for all of your valuable insight. I have copied it all down, so we can start purchasing backup items. And I know our pit cart will be much better prepared at the next race. I hadn't thought of putting several of the items you had mentioned. Smiley Oh, and BTW - I did witness that engine change during Nationals. It was absolutely phenomenal how they hiked that car on top of one of those blue trash cans & changed out in the engine within 4 minutes. Talk about focus & team work! Definitely a moment of bravado!
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Katherine Weaver
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2009, 10:47:08 PM »

A spare tire for the pit cart.  In our 1 year racing .25 I've seen multiple pit cart tires pop or go flat...

And to agree with my brother... Earbuds.  They need to stay on the pitcart.
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clouse55
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2009, 12:25:44 AM »

One thing to add to Scotts list of "Pit Repair" items is one of the cheapest things you can have.

Know when to say "enough is enough"

There has been tons of cars that have been through a major crash during a race, fixed enough so it will just roll, returns to the race not being able to get out of its own way and usually just ends up in another crash. Not only being damaging to your wallet and others involved, it can set a once timid younger driver backwards 6 months.

Here are a few other things I usually have on hand.

Honda valve cover gasket
Honda spark plug
Honda spark plug boot (TIP: If you run a tie wrap, just snug, around your plug boot to the engine boss where your throttle linkage attaches, the plug tip or the connector inside the boot wont wear out)
Honda oil fill cap and drain plug ( If you are carrying a spare motor you will always have these)
Honda pilot jet (you will plug one sooner or later, they are cheap and you can change one in seconds. Just make sure it comes in the original plastic bag and it stays unopened untill you use it, the holes in them are very small and dont like dirt)

After accumulating all the pieces and parts everyone has listed, go out and buy a dry erase board and hang it up in your trailer. It will help you keep track of where all the parts go when you loan them out. LOL!       
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racemom2000
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2009, 09:13:59 AM »

After accumulating all the pieces and parts everyone has listed, go out and buy a dry erase board and hang it up in your trailer. It will help you keep track of where all the parts go when you loan them out. LOL!       
Good Point - LOL! Smiley
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Katherine Weaver
www.noahweaver.com
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2009, 08:53:18 PM »

duck tape, thats all you need, duck tape!!! lol
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Swartz
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 01:44:25 PM »

Probably the best thing you can take is a bundle of tens or an extra credit card. You can take all the spares you want but only get to use them about half the time. I don't know how many times I've run to the fence to get parts and tools off our cart and get back just in time to see our car getting pushed of by people I don't, sometimes, even know fixed with parts from god knows where. I guess I'm just too slow for some people. Heck, at Indy there was one guy (won't use his name) that had an engine fail in their A car. At the fuel stop, they were lucky enough to get, about 7 guys swarmed the car. They changed the engine and got it down and out in the 4 minutes allowed. After the race he was walking around asking where the engine came from. Didn't even know who it belonged to. That kind of stuff I have never seen anywhere else and thanks to all the people who do it.
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sprintcar39
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2009, 02:06:31 PM »

I have a million ( okay only 30 ) spare parts but never what I need at the time. It wont be long and you will see gators loaded with parts parked close to the track like they have at big sprint car races.
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Eric Rankine
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USAC - HPD Midget - Midwest Series
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