Race cars wear things out (if you are paying attention) and break them (if you are not) so spare parts are always needed. How many spare parts to carry? How to organize spare parts?
Money is obviously the primary consideration (and limiting factor) but there are others. Sourcing is at the top of the list of other considerations. In the digital age, there is so much that can arrive the next day at the click of a mouse. The next other consideration is storage. If there is no room for it on the trailer and it can be delivered tomorrow, why have it at the shop?
What is left are hundreds of small, relatively low cost parts to have at the shop and then take to the race track. It would make no sense, for example, to ruin a race weekend over a spark plug so a set of spark plugs goes to the track.
Here’s an outline of the spare parts that I take to the race track and how I organize them into the three totes shown above:
Electrical and Fluid Handling. No spark and fuel starvation are the two primary causes of engine problems. This tote contains critical electrical parts (master switch, on/off switch, starter button, coil, starter, etc), a complete set of ignition parts (cap, rotor, condenser, plug wires), and wire in every color and connectors in every size. Also in this tote are critical fuel system components: pump, filter, hose, clamps, and check valve. A complete set of coolant hoses and clamps, oil filter cartridges and o-rings, and assorted light bulbs complete the spare parts in this tote.
Chassis and Power Train. Brakes are worked hard in Formula Ford racing. This tote contains spare parts required to refurbish the brake system: master cylinders, caliper seals, caliper pistons, and pads. Also in this tote are rod ends in all sizes, clutch parts (disc, slave cylinder, throw out bearing), spark plugs, lobro joints and boots, front wheel bearings and seals, a throttle cable, an assortment of small springs, an engine gasket kit, and alternate gear sets.
Vital Fluids and Chemicals. This tote contains the fluids and lubricants (oil, brake fluid, water wetter, bearing grease) and chemicals (cleaners, sealers, thread lockers) required to maintain the car. Also contained in this tote are shop rags, paper towels, micro fiber cloths, emery cloth, scotch brite, etc.
Not all spare parts fit into these three totes. Carried separately are a nose, a nose frame, splitter rub strips, a radiator, assorted suspension links, engine mounts, a rear upright, two hardware kits, and eight mounted tires. I would take more to the track if I had the money and the room on the trailer. 🙂
This is the third in a series of blogs on how to get started in racing. If you missed the first two, here are the links: How to Get Started in Racing and Tools and Equipment.