PDA

View Full Version : What to look for in a car?



dmstang
05-26-2010, 04:39 PM
Hi all, I'm interested in buying a car from a friend and would like to know what to look for into a used imca modified? I believe it's a Dirtworks Z link car. I'm a beginner and never turned a lap before. Looks like the whole car is there without the engine and trans.

So what's the realistic expections for a beginner to get into racing, do I need to get the best of everything in a trans and motor, such as Brinn trans $1,700 and engine with 500+ HP? I mean how much HP do I really need for a 1/3 mile track, I would be more concerned about chassis set up and make sure it sticks to the track with a high HP engine.

What does the average racer have in their car? And their knowledge with chassis set ups? I would like to get away with cheap engine and trans if possible and focus on chassis set up until I get the feeling of it.

Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

CC28
05-26-2010, 04:54 PM
First off, if your like every other yahoo in the stands that tells thereself they could go out there and win your horribly mistaken. Mods are the hardest thing to drive on dirt, 8 inch tires with 500-750 horsepower, 600-650 is most common. Buy a used tranny for 800 bucks, and build a cheap 383 using a cheap scat or eagle crank and rods and some used iron eagles and go race. If you can go out there and not spin out every turn or get lapped 5 times you have already won. HOLD YOUR LINE, get some seat time and see if this is for you, then start spending real money to go real fast. I have a descent 383 with iron eagles, havnt dynoed yet but should go 620 pretty easy that id sell.

dmstang
05-26-2010, 05:51 PM
Yeah you're exactly right, I'm just a guy from the stand that think it would be cool to try it out. I have raced mini stock couple years ago and understand little about racing.

I don't want to get into it with high expections. More of avoiding the mistake of buying the wrong kind of car or put to much money in the wrong place of the car etc...

So when I look at the car for sale, what should I look for? I'm looking at set up tools in speedway catalog and see things like scale, caster/chamber degree, spring, and shocks, I'm thinking those stuff would be better investment to start off with before I put any money into the motor?

What kind of goals should I set before buying the car and after I buy it?
Thanks

CC28
05-26-2010, 06:01 PM
How much is he talking for the roller? If you were smart youd buy a turnkey car from somebody desperate to get out. You go piecing it together your gonna spend a fortune. And your 100% right, you could buy a used 602 crate motor for $1500 bucks and that will be great to start with, anymore than that and you'll be a weapon on the dryslick and make people very angry. Have somebody set the car up with you, get used to putting your hands on it, do a complete bolt check every week. All those tools and shocks wont do anything for you right now. Getcha a stagger stick, air pressure gauge, battery impact, etc. You would be amazed what you can get away with on the dry which is when it really matters. Let me know what you need, and while your at it what your looking to spend on a roller, cause Id sell my ellis or the null car I just posted for a good price considering the condition its in. Id put it this car your looking at on jackstands, get underneath and see how she looks, take some pics, post them and we'll give you an idea what its worth so you dont get screwed.

dmstang
05-26-2010, 07:24 PM
excellent idea, I'll post pixs within couple days and see what you think.

So are you saying set up doesn't matter for a rookie driver when the track is dry slick cuz the tires spin all the way around.

dmstang
05-26-2010, 07:25 PM
He's asking $2500 for the whole car except for engine and trans. I told him that I'm interested in a complete car, so I supply the engine and trans and he'll put everything together and it'll be race ready when I pick it up.

CC28
05-26-2010, 07:54 PM
Sort of, a super dry track is like ice skating and sometimes with alot less you can wave to the guys with big motors as your hooking up passing them. Depending on what year it is and condition that might not be too bad. Mine has 9 nights on it and id sell roller with brand new body for $5000, too bad your in cali.

Racin_G73
05-26-2010, 10:00 PM
I was in the same boat as you in 2003. I spent 2002 working with modified drivers in their pits, learning about the cars a little bit. I bought a 2000 DW-8 from a guy I knew who was getting out of racing. It's a Z-link on both sides, as well. If I could have changed that in retrospect, I probably would have. Because there's nobody else out there running Z-link on both sides at my track. Still, the DirtWorks people are pretty helpful if you're looking for information.

I started out with basically a street stock motor in the car. And that lasted me 2 seasons. It wasn't till the end of my second season that I really needed to put more gear into the car for higher RPM's at corner exit. Prior to that the engine really wouldn't have made much difference any way.

As it stands, the 'upgraded' motor is still a stock block with an aftermarket crank, pistons and Dart Iron Eagle heads. I think the intake is a Victor Jr. knock-off, as well.

I bought my car with a Brinn tranny in it, and both the Brinn and Bert are pretty common in my area. Also Falcons are used a good bit, I think. I can't remember if it's the Falcon or the TCI(?) that offers a low and a high gear? But one guy said he really likes that cause he can take the restart in the 'low' gear and then put it in high ... he felt like that really helped him be faster off the line than the guys in the Brinn/Bert camp who only had one racing gear.

Those guys who said to measure everything are absolutely right. I took mine out and ran it a few times, hit the wall a couple times, bounced off someone else's car when they spun, got bounced into when someone else spun... Anyway, when I finally took the car to someone to get some help, they found both rearend tubes bent, the upper A-arm location bent, several rod ends stretched, etc. None of which I would have been able to diagnose because I didn't have any measurements.

Give me a shout if you want to hear more about my car. PM is probably best since I may not look 'here'.

Racin_G73
05-26-2010, 10:09 PM
Sorry, posted twice. :D

Tom Slick
05-26-2010, 10:30 PM
some of the best & winning the most in modifieds, couldnt win in street stocks, they climbed in a modified and started winning. explain that. most will tell you they are easier to drive.

CC28
05-26-2010, 10:36 PM
some of the best & winning the most in modifieds, couldnt win in street stocks, they climbed in a modified and started winning. explain that. most will tell you they are easier to drive.

Most are nuts then, I have drove both, no comparison. In a street stock you whiz it in there and then stand on it. You do that with a mod and you'll do a top fuel burnout.

Tom Slick
05-26-2010, 11:04 PM
if you have a bar car you should be able to stand on it from the center off.

dmstang
05-26-2010, 11:31 PM
Bar car? don't you mean car with panhard bar? Yes the car has a J shaped bar and it has a Z link on the RR only and the LR has 2 link that goes parallel to the birdcage, that is if I understand what I'm seeing. Will take pixs soon and let you guys help me out soon.

The car also has pull bar, what's the purpose for that? Sorry for asking rookie question but I gotta learn somehow. Thanks.

CC28
05-27-2010, 12:04 AM
if you have a bar car you should be able to stand on it from the center off.

Maybe in a heat race chief, thats about it. With the tracks in my area, with the big cube motor I have, thats very unrealistic.

CC28
05-27-2010, 12:05 AM
Bar car? don't you mean car with panhard bar? Yes the car has a J shaped bar and it has a Z link on the RR only and the LR has 2 link that goes parallel to the birdcage, that is if I understand what I'm seeing. Will take pixs soon and let you guys help me out soon.

The car also has pull bar, what's the purpose for that? Sorry for asking rookie question but I gotta learn somehow. Thanks.

Thats a 4 bar/z link with a j bar and pullbar. J bar controls lateral movement, pullbar controls pinion rotation. Bar car just means non-leaf configuration.

tilley88
05-27-2010, 11:32 AM
I agree with CC28 on the street stock to modified deal......mods are more difficult to learn, but a blast to drive once you get the hang of it. You'll like the Dirtworks, presently putting together my 2nd. You may not like the feel of the chassis getting up on the bars with that 4/z deal, but try it before you make changes. Just for your info, CC28 is a stand up guy......my dad bought a car from him a few years back and it went on to win a few races with a few different drivers.

Racin_G73
05-27-2010, 02:48 PM
The two bars going forward on the left makes that side a "4-bar" setup (even though it's only two bars, if both sides of the car were set up the same it'd be 4 bars). The 2 bars, one going forward and one going backward, on the other side make that side a "z-link" setup. That one doesn't need any explanation, I'm sure.

That was a more popular setup back in 2002/2003 when I was doing my 'apprenticeship'. :D Don't know how many are running that now.

Pullbars and J-bars - if I have my head straight - are more used to locate the rear-end and leverage the high amount of forces being applied to the rearend by the driveshaft, brakes, tires, etc. Where the 4-bar/z-link/3-link are used more to control rear steer.

(I'm very much a novice at this stuff. So I partially wrote this message just to see how much of it I have got straight in my head. ;)

brs11
05-27-2010, 07:58 PM
#1 its not as easy as it looks, better save your money and buy good stuff, this stuff is abused each week and if you don't keep up with it, you will be spending more and more fixing. I built my own motor (except for machine work) New car except for trans and rear end and I have 25K in it.

Tom Slick
05-27-2010, 07:59 PM
maybe you have the wrong gear for the amount of torque you have, or your using to much rear brake to turn the car then when you jump back in the gas the traction is gone, or your not putting the right tire compounds on when track is slick, the reason motors have gotten so big & expensive is because bar cars can hook them up.
Maybe in a heat race chief, thats about it. With the tracks in my area, with the big cube motor I have, thats very unrealistic.

Tom Slick
05-27-2010, 08:06 PM
i see alot of guys buying the best of everything and running in the back, you dont have to spend money to run in the back, you can run in the back in anything and as long as your having fun thats all that matters.

leadfoot_35
05-27-2010, 11:26 PM
i see alot of guys buying the best of everything and running in the back, you dont have to spend money to run in the back, you can run in the back in anything and as long as your having fun thats all that matters.

Thats a good post. Having fun is what its all about. You can't say you are racing to get rich cause that won't realisticaly happen. I started in street stocks and now run a mod. I'm still loving every bit of it. Winning is just a bonus.

LFMotorsports
05-29-2010, 12:37 PM
To answer the original question: Look at everything and see what is bent or wore out. There is always "wear and tear" just make sure its something that can be corrected (hiem joints, ball joints, rods, etc). A good straight car with nothing wore out will get you headed in the right direction.

I just bought used and basically replacing what is worn out. Looking forward to turning laps to get the feel and will figure out upgrades this winter.

I've seen a guy in my area run a street stock motor and win on a slick night.

dmstang
05-29-2010, 03:21 PM
The rear frame looks pretty good, I couldn't notice if there was any bend or repair before. The front frame is where there's little bump and cracks on weld area on the frame but nothing big. Is there any way I can measure to see if it's straight? He's asking $2500 for a complete car without engine and trans, looks like right deal to me. It's a DW-9 car.

I tried to search for DW setup guide at dirtworks site and for some reason I couldn't open the setup guide there. Does anyone know where to get DW setup guide on the internet? Thanks.

Racin_G73
05-29-2010, 11:48 PM
I've got a copy or two of it. Send me an email address and I'll try to get one to you. The link on DirtWorks' website has been broken for nearly a year now.

I don't know if I've got it scanned in yet, so if not it might take me a couple days. If you lived closer I'd just send it to the track with a buddy! ;) If scanning ends up being a pain I might PM you and get an address. I'll donate the cost of a stamp to help out another racer.

LFMotorsports
06-01-2010, 10:53 AM
My opinion only: $2500 is a fair price (not a deal but fair) but get all the extras you can. wheels, tires, springs, shocks, etc. Also, make sure it has MSD box or equivalent, power steering pump/lines, GOOD radiator, seat belts less than 3 yrs old (some places actually check that).

You can get solid motors for 3k-6k in price and tranny's for ~$800. Just look to see what is needed to make it race ready and price stuff out. As someone said before, it will nickle/dime you to death, which is what I'm learning and I knew this going into it. It's too easy to spend $75 here, $100 there, etc and your into a few $1000 later.

Good luck.

powerslide
06-02-2010, 11:06 AM
avoid dw-9's they are SLOWWWWW