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McMMotorsports13
07-07-2010, 08:45 AM
Hi there all. I have a bit of a story here, but anyhow.. I just moved here from central PA. I came from sprint cars and would like to get into something out here in southcentral Ohio. "I live 6 miles from Midway". Because I came from sprints and want to get into modifieds, "because they're everywhere here" Im quite clueless. I want an IMCA car, used, roller, preferably turnkey. Im looking to buy this fall or early winter. My biggest question is what am I looking for to be competetive? Motor, chassis, ect.....My other question would be, is there anyone out there willing to helpguy new to the area out with some setup tips? Im not looking for details, just a general idea on which way to go with things. General for a tacky track, wet track, dry track? How to make a loose car tighter, tight car looser? Like I said Im clueless to modifieds, but they seem fairly affordable and very competetive. Thanks to all you guys and if anyone doesnt feel comfortable talking on here email me at [email protected]

Racin_G73
07-07-2010, 01:02 PM
Hey, Craig:

I'm from Mechanicsburg, PA originally, now residing outside of Chicago, IL. So I understand a bit of what you're describing. I chose the modified route, too, though I had absolutely zero racing experience prior to that. Even now I've only got about 14 nights under my belt. But here's what I would say.

First of all, I'm sure you already understand that modifieds and sprint cars are completely different beasts. From my limited understanding of sprint cars (after watching Williams Grove and Silver Springs Speedway) I believe most of them run very similar if not near identical suspension 'architecture', for lack of a better term. But in the modifieds you've got leaf springs, two links, three links, 4-bars, z-links, swingarms, J-bars, pull bars, torque links... a real mix and match approach.

For starters, if I had to start all over again, probably what I would do is to pick the track where I'm going to race and then spend some nights in the pits, there. Find out who usually sells their cars at the end of the year and how they are running there. (I'm guessing you won't want to buy new your first year out there.) Also, take a look at who's running the same manufacturer of chassis. Take a look at what suspension styles people are running. If you can find a guy running the winningest chassis with the winningest suspension style who has a habit of selling off his chassis at the end of each year, you might have just struck gold. Lots of these drivers will take the time to help answer questions for the people who buy used cars from them. They figure if people see the new guy running well in the old chassis, it's going to make their future cars more valuable when they go to sell them.

Compared to your sprint car motor you should be able to get something more affordable. Some guys are running 410's, 420's, etc. Usually that's with cheaper internals. At my track (1/4 mile to 3/8 mile) I think most of the front runners are more using 358's, 355's, 377's, 383's but with aluminum heads and upscale carnks/rods/pistons. UMP allows some things that IMCA doesn't, so make sure you know which way you're going. Generally IMCA is more restrictive. I run UMP, but I bought a chassis that was built with tubing that is legal in IMCA. About the only thing illegal on mine for IMCA right now is probably the sheet metal and maybe the right front beadlock wheel.

There are plenty of good chassis manufacturers out there, but the key will be tech support. Pierce is the hottest builder in Illinois with the most cars around here. So I know if I buy a Pierce next time I should be able to get setup help from a dozen guys on any given night. You can get a bare frame for a less than $5K up to a full-on roller (minus motor, trans and rear gear) for less than $13K. If quick change rearend is legal in your area, you might want to consider that, too. It wasn't legal when I started, so I'm running a Ford 9". But next time I have to replace the rearend I'm probably going to switch.

In the end, my decision was mostly about economics. I was able to get a street stock motor in a 3-year-old modified for not a lot of money. It got me started. But now I'm one of the only guys out here with a) a DirtWorks and b) dual z-link rear suspension. Even little things like the wheel lug pattern - 5 on 5, 4 1/2 on 5 or 4 3/4 on 5... you may find you have friends running one pattern and you're running a different one, or you may find better deals on used wheels if you were running a different lug pattern.

Let me know if I've tripped any specific questions on your mind, but I hope this gets you thinking in the right direction.

-another McM racer :D

imcamodfan84
07-07-2010, 01:22 PM
Ok. I can offer a few things for help. Since running imca IDE say shoot for a 383. No aluminum heads or roller cams. As far as a chassis, ide go with a shaw most likely. And an adjustment guide use the one on larryshaw.com under tech.

McMMotorsports13
07-07-2010, 03:19 PM
Good to see another PA transfer!!!!

I know there is a big difference between the mods and a sprint, and thats the part that worries me. Im trying to forget all my knowledge of sprint car setups, because it seems useless. Speeking of setups, I have know idea what Im doing with a mod. I dont even have a baseline, let alone a clue trying to setup for track conditions, a specific track, or my driving style.

I've talked to some of the locals. I think they think I know wat Im doing. lol I DONT. I guess Im looking for something older 02 or newer preferably a Pierce, witha smallblock chevy 358 or maybe even a 383.

Other than that Im lost lol.

Thanks again Craig
Hey, Craig:

I'm from Mechanicsburg, PA originally, now residing outside of Chicago, IL. So I understand a bit of what you're describing. I chose the modified route, too, though I had absolutely zero racing experience prior to that. Even now I've only got about 14 nights under my belt. But here's what I would say.

First of all, I'm sure you already understand that modifieds and sprint cars are completely different beasts. From my limited understanding of sprint cars (after watching Williams Grove and Silver Springs Speedway) I believe most of them run very similar if not near identical suspension 'architecture', for lack of a better term. But in the modifieds you've got leaf springs, two links, three links, 4-bars, z-links, swingarms, J-bars, pull bars, torque links... a real mix and match approach.

For starters, if I had to start all over again, probably what I would do is to pick the track where I'm going to race and then spend some nights in the pits, there. Find out who usually sells their cars at the end of the year and how they are running there. (I'm guessing you won't want to buy new your first year out there.) Also, take a look at who's running the same manufacturer of chassis. Take a look at what suspension styles people are running. If you can find a guy running the winningest chassis with the winningest suspension style who has a habit of selling off his chassis at the end of each year, you might have just struck gold. Lots of these drivers will take the time to help answer questions for the people who buy used cars from them. They figure if people see the new guy running well in the old chassis, it's going to make their future cars more valuable when they go to sell them.

Compared to your sprint car motor you should be able to get something more affordable. Some guys are running 410's, 420's, etc. Usually that's with cheaper internals. At my track (1/4 mile to 3/8 mile) I think most of the front runners are more using 358's, 355's, 377's, 383's but with aluminum heads and upscale carnks/rods/pistons. UMP allows some things that IMCA doesn't, so make sure you know which way you're going. Generally IMCA is more restrictive. I run UMP, but I bought a chassis that was built with tubing that is legal in IMCA. About the only thing illegal on mine for IMCA right now is probably the sheet metal and maybe the right front beadlock wheel.

There are plenty of good chassis manufacturers out there, but the key will be tech support. Pierce is the hottest builder in Illinois with the most cars around here. So I know if I buy a Pierce next time I should be able to get setup help from a dozen guys on any given night. You can get a bare frame for a less than $5K up to a full-on roller (minus motor, trans and rear gear) for less than $13K. If quick change rearend is legal in your area, you might want to consider that, too. It wasn't legal when I started, so I'm running a Ford 9". But next time I have to replace the rearend I'm probably going to switch.

In the end, my decision was mostly about economics. I was able to get a street stock motor in a 3-year-old modified for not a lot of money. It got me started. But now I'm one of the only guys out here with a) a DirtWorks and b) dual z-link rear suspension. Even little things like the wheel lug pattern - 5 on 5, 4 1/2 on 5 or 4 3/4 on 5... you may find you have friends running one pattern and you're running a different one, or you may find better deals on used wheels if you were running a different lug pattern.

Let me know if I've tripped any specific questions on your mind, but I hope this gets you thinking in the right direction.

-another McM racer :D

Racin_G73
07-07-2010, 03:40 PM
Well, let's start with some of the obvious points. What are the guys at your track running? Pierce? Lightning? Hoffman? Shaw? Harris? DirtWorks?

Second, is it an IMCA-rules track? Or a UMP track? Or something different, independent, AMRA, etc.?

Most of these chassis builders can get you a good baseline setup. Or if you buy used from someone who races your track or at least races a similar track, that'll get you a baseline setup - at least as good as they were able to get it.

I decided to do a little research. Your track is running something called Tri-State Modified. The rules book looks like a little more lenient interpretation of the UMP rules. (Beadlocks on either side, carbon fiber drive shafts.) Steel quick changes are legal. It says you have to run a steel block, but no mention of the heads. You might want to confirm that with the local guys.

The last heat winner was running a Pierce. Second place was in a Diamond. I don't know anything about them, but someone makes a lot of noise on here about their results each week. Fifth place was in a Hassy Chassis. 8th place was a Lightning. Looks like a pretty even spread among the finishers.

McMMotorsports13
07-07-2010, 04:03 PM
Yep they run tri state mods. I was told that if I ran an IMCA i could run more places including there. but Im open to just run the local tracks. Pierce is by far the big name around here. Diamond is the up and comer that nobody can get. I hear its a Pierce copy. Oh and I'll check on the heads.

imcamodfan84
07-07-2010, 04:58 PM
alright, now ive got a little more time. I would still recommend a Shaw. newer Shaw preferably. 4/4 car. As far as going with IMCA rules, yes, you will be able to run more places, but you will be out motored at the more "open" type tracks. If that doesnt bother you, perfect! We run an IMCA car and run usually in the top 10 with the open cars. Sometimes in the top 5, but its gotta be a **** good night. Also, like I pointed out earlier, go here for an adjustment guide AFTER you have a starting point (which you can get from any of the chassis manufacturer's.)
http://larryshaw.com/tech.html

And as far as motor, I really do like the 383's. Good compromise of power and torque.

DK1
07-07-2010, 05:26 PM
most mod tracks in ohio (well atleast columbus area and NE ohio, i run at wayne county which is also a tri-state track) run open motor rules, aluminum heads and big roller cams. chasis is pretty open too. As far as teching goes, I can only speak for wayne county, but pretty much all they check is your weight

McMMotorsports13
07-07-2010, 06:26 PM
Well what Im looking for is just to get a decent car and be competetive and have fun to start. I dont need a new car or a boat load of power. As I get experience then I'll start talking about a 400+ motor and a new chassis. Im looking for an IMCA car because it will comply with all body and motor rules with the tristate mods. Plus I can travel if I want to.

As far as the response on getting a shaw car, Im open to that. Im really open to any newer chassis. I really like that setup website though. Really gives me good look at the options when making adjustments after getting a baseline setup.

cavemod
07-07-2010, 08:39 PM
check your email for my thoughts