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Author Topic:   New to Sprints
mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted January 06, 2003 10:59 AM
I'm a 30 year old guy who has been racing modifieds for the past 7 years. After a great 2002 season, Sponsor finally stepped up to the plate, I just returned to Florida from Ohio with a used Stealth Sprint Car.

If anyone has any advice for a total novice, please share.

I'll share what I learn, along with my mess ups. I have a LOT to learn about Injection, Magnetos, torsion bars.


KSGerry
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted January 06, 2003 11:26 AM
Invest in the new Steve Smith book regarding sprint cars and chassis set-ups. It is written by Jimmy Sills. It starts out very basic for beginners and works up to tried and true configurations for all sorts of dirt and asphalt tracks. I understand that there is also a video tape that goes along with the book. However, it may be a separate purchase.

You might contact the builder and see if there are updates for your car or if they have dimensions and/or basic set-up information. Make sure your chassis is "square" and everything moves freely. Used cars (new too!) can have a bent or sprung chassis that must be checked for and corrected before racing. Use fresh torsion bars or springs. Same with new tires when doing your final test and tune sessions. Many times, poor handling can be traced to old bars, tires or shocks.

Good luck with your "new" car!
Regards,
Gerry

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KSGerry

[This message has been edited by KSGerry (edited January 06, 2003).]

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted January 07, 2003 07:27 AM
Got and read the Smith book several times while still deciding on which used chassis to buy. Coming from the Mods, I also had their Modified book, and while a good baseline, I didn't (and don't) agree with everything they had to say (about mods).

Ended up with a 98 Stealth with all 2002 updates. Car has 20 races total, was raced three times in 2002. After a complete inspection last night, one birdcage has a notch where the heim end mounts and needs to be machined square. Other then that, we appear to be in great shape.

Engine program is next step. Our season opens first week of March, going to be close between buying parts and getting everything together.

And a Q I am kinda embarrassed to ask : When towing a winged car on an open trailer, do most people take angle out of the wing, or just leave it alone? I'll be hauling about 30 miles one way, mostly 70mph or slower. Perhaps block the chassis to avoid stressing the torsion bars an extra 60 miles each week?
Thanks again everyone.

KSGerry
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted January 07, 2003 08:20 AM
"When towing a winged car on an open trailer, do most people take angle out of the wing, or just leave it alone? I'll be hauling about 30 miles one way, mostly 70mph or slower. Perhaps block the chassis to avoid stressing the torsion bars an extra 60 miles each week?"

The answer is yes for both questions. Mark the position of the wing on the slider, drop the angle to flatten it and move it as far forward as possible. Tighten hardware. This lessens the drag on your tow vehicle and the stress on the wing and wing components. Watch for cross-wind! The side panels may cause your trailer to slide sideways.

As for elevating and blocking your chassis, we have made a padded wooden block to slide between the lower chassis rails and the trailer floor. Roll the car onto the trailer. Secure the front end. Pick up the tail and slide the block into place. Secure the rear of the car. The front and rear tie-down straps should be snug but no so tight as to stress components.

The car (all race cars) should be placed with the chassis on blocks between races or through the off-season allowing the car's suspension to hang free. Be careful not to overextend the shock absorbers.

Perhaps an oversimplified explanation as you are an experienced racer.

Regards,
Gerry

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KSGerry

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted January 13, 2003 09:54 AM
The car I bought as ran has very little RF shock travel. I understand that Winged Sprints don't use much RF travel .... but what about bumps and such ? As a novice I'm going to ask lots of Q's like these ... please forgive me in advance.
What kind of total shock travel do the corners of a Winged Sprint see? My track will be a paperclip 3/8's with some banking.

KSGerry
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted January 13, 2003 04:25 PM
I'm thinking that the travel for our front shocks is only an inch or two. With a winged car, the sideboards load the LR so shock travel for the opposite corner (RF) is not critical. One reason you see the "outlaws" raising the RF wheel and the LR squat down.
Regards,
Gerry

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KSGerry

hogracer
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 31
posted January 14, 2003 11:34 AM
The injection is much easier to tune than a carb will ever be. Pay lots of attention to timing the birdcages, and keeping the jacobs ladder out of a bind, also if it has a Buckley instead of a torque tube you must make sure that is not binding.Elbows up hammer down--Gass er UP. and remember"how do you make a small fortune in sprint car racing?"-- "start out with a large one!!"

[This message has been edited by hogracer (edited January 14, 2003).]

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted January 24, 2003 09:41 AM
Okay, another beginner Q.
Why do the SprintCars use the "block" method of chassis setup? Is the the most accurate way to repeat with Torsion Bars? How important is scaling - how much can the cornerweights vary if you use the blocks carefully?
Thanks again !

hogracer
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 31
posted January 24, 2003 10:53 AM
We only used the blocks as a begining point for setting the ride height, then we added turns on the stops according to our notes and the type of track we were racing

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted February 09, 2003 12:19 PM
How about the angle of Torsion Arms ? The Steve Smith book talks about them but doesnt explain WHY the angles are important.

Also, all other factors being the same, what happens if you widen the front track of a SprintCar? Reason I am asking - my car is "designed" for a 50" axle, but the one that came with it has been offset 2.5" to the left. Everything I read says you want the axle centered ... if I am going to buy another axle should I go wider ?

KSGerry
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 125
posted February 09, 2003 01:30 PM
One important note regarding torsion arms is their relationship to the chassis. They naturally travel in an arc as the chassis loads and unloads. When loading or winding the bar, they should never go past center. Remember too as the chassis loads on one corner that the other bars may be unwinding.

Another note is the length of the arm in relationship to the spring rate of the bar. The greater the distance from the torsion bar to the link on the arm, the more leverage and a longer stroke. You will also notice the placement of the torsion bar tubes are placed one in front of the other and the length of the arms are different.

As for the axle and the offset, you might give Stealth a call and see what they suggest. You can always change the offset with wheels and spacers. Try what you have before making any changes unless this axle doesn't belong on this car or may be for a different track size/configuration. Look at the tracks this car raced at previously and how they compare to where you are going to race.

Every car handles differently and every driver's style is unique. Give things a try first before changing parts.

Best regards,
Gerry

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KSGerry

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted March 04, 2003 10:57 AM

LS4J.JPG

 
Well, we finally got the car done & on the track. Problem was the track was rougher then the surface of Mars ....

My friend (also new to Sprints) has his car there as well. My problem was my car was WAY too tight for my style. We are running a 'paperclip' shaped 3/8s's and I just could not get the car to rotate into the corner. When I tossed it hard enough, the R/R would catch a hole and drag the nose over, the few times I tried to gas it back loose I picked up the front end and kept pushing.
My friend was telling me he was driving with both feet, using the brake to hold the nose down, his car also has the third brake setup which I do not have. He was about a second off a race time at our track, I was a couple tenths slower.
My first reaction was to freak out

but my thoughts are that with the track rougher then we would ever race on, I should wait and get a second try before I worried. I did all the tricks at the track (spaced R/R out, wing forward, plenty of stagger) to get the car to pivot for me, just too much R/R bite. After the Sprint test I climbed into a Modified, backed it in harder then ever, so I know it can still be done, altho I about flipped the Mod over bouncing through the holes.
Are Sprints really challenging on a super rough track compared to other cars? I mean, I'm looking for some input here, cause the car was a beast.
The one thing I had not mentally prepared myself for was the way the engines STOP when you get off the gas, really neat how far you can drive in the corners with that ....

As I said when I started this post, I'm a total Sprint rookie, and I'm going to share all the low and high points here. First race will be the 15th of March (we were rained out this past week).
Thanks !

iowa_dirt_track_girl
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 74
posted March 04, 2003 09:08 PM
Here is a question what bars did you have in what shock on the rr did you have any lead in the front axle and also did you have easy up shocks on the front what lr shock did you have and what bar in the rr what was it blocked at?

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted March 05, 2003 06:57 PM
LF 1000bar 6/3 Shock
RF 1025bar 5/3 Shock + 1 turn on Bar
LR 1025bar 6/5 Shock + 1 turn on Bar
RR 1025bar 5 Shock

front blocked at 3" rear blocked 3.5"
front and rear were square or very very close
Had 5" offset LF, 3" offset RF rims (wrong)
Going to go with 4" offset both fronts
had RR spaced 19.5" center of tire from chassis (18" recommended)
had 14" stagger, 18" recommended.

The stagger and rims were due to thrashing to get ready to test, both didnt help my problem of being too tight.
Once again, the track is a paperclip shaped 3/8's, two dragstrips and 2 U turns.
Running a 6.04 gear I turned 7400 running 18.10 - 18.30's , need to run low 17's to be fast here. I felt I was getting about 60% of what the car was really able to do.
Thanks for your input.

[This message has been edited by mod4 (edited March 05, 2003).]

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted March 11, 2003 12:39 PM
LOL, I think everyone gave up on me after I told my setup

iowa_dirt_track_girl
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 74
posted March 13, 2003 09:54 PM
quote:
Originally posted by mod4:
LOL, I think everyone gave up on me after I told my setup

Sorry i had a house fire and couldnt get back to you
Here is a set up for you to try all the way around now if it gets really slick e-mail me back at bachs_racing_engines@yahoo


block it at 3front or 2 3/4 what you fell might be right 3.5 on rear put your easy up shocks on the front and unless it gets really heavy all the time DONT TAKE THEM OFF most of the outlaws never take them off the just change their numbers of easy ups

1025 all around off the blocks to start ajust to conditions a 9500 on rr is good a 9600 on a tacky track wooks good also i run a tie down on the left side almost all the time.

I dont know about your motor but sounds to me that your not turning enough rpms you should be around 7800 to 7900 for a 360 less for 410 if you can get good forward bite run a deeper gear and dont lug your motor be easy on the gas and you will be alot faster then everyone else

Slide your wing all the way forward if the turns are sharp it will help you get into the corner better put about 30 degrees in it if your not getting enough bite slide it back about two to three holes.

your about right on offsets what tire do you run and do you run a inside bead lock on the left rear?

please e-mail me if you have any other questions that i can help you with

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted March 20, 2003 10:26 AM
Going testing again this Saturday, right rims and more stagger this time. Will let y'all know how it goes....

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted March 22, 2003 07:46 PM
Went testing. 950 LF Bar, both front rims @ 5" offset (new ones didn't arrive).
First two sessions could NOT get the car to pivot. Still TIGHT. Track owner (who sponsors several sprints kept walking by and saying "Lower your rear air pressure!"
Seemed completely backwards from what I wanted to do, didn't listen and kept scratching our heads, for the third session we GAVE UP and said, "Heck, it can't be any worse then we are now". Dropped 3lbs LR and RR.
Completely new car, would turn in and pivot and just completely blew my mind. We picked up three quarters of a second instantly.
I don't understand at all.... unless the softer RR tire had LESS sidebite because the sidewall was softer? Any input is WELCOME.
But I'm much happier about the car. I actually drove it, instead of it driving me. These things are awesome

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted April 06, 2003 02:08 PM
Last night, first race.

It finally just kinda clicked. Car pivots for me, if anything I was a tick loose in warm ups, ran about a groove high and mostly watched the cars passing me seeing what I could learn.
14 or 15 cars qualified, pole time was a 16.59, I was 6th or 7th (not sure) at 17.27. While thats a long way off the pace, it was almost a second faster then when I last practiced and .60 faster then my warm up times. Plus I outqualified my buddy Robby
Started the heat on the tail, stayed out of trouble, passed a couple cars and finished 4th. Surprised myself kinda. Car was loose, moved the wing back during the race, didn't notice any real difference.
Spaced the R/R in an inch for the feature. Started on the tail, ran there and battled with my pal Robby for awhile. Car was really loose and lacked forward bite.
Coming to the white flag, rookie mistake. Two cars ahead jumped wheels, I got target fixation and got wayyyy up in the loose stuff and backed the R/R into the wall. Rim is shot, I haven't examined the ladder yet but the torque tube is still free.
Well, overall it was a really fun night, I really learned alot. Also won the Modified Feature, which helped me not be bummmed out.

#1 now is examine everything for damage and repair, #2 is improve forward bite.

Next race is in two weeks.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me on here, especially IDTG & her husband.

[This message has been edited by mod4 (edited April 06, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by mod4 (edited April 07, 2003).]

Fast132
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 27
posted April 06, 2003 09:19 PM
Okay, he barely outqualified me. Upon reflection, I also outweigh him b 70 pounds and had the car completely full of alky. (We figured we would figure out how much it burned through the night.
Huge learning curve, the sprints are definitely foreign animals. Although I don't post much, usually Mod4 and I share everything we learn or question, and I also really appreciate the help and advice. I got 3rd in the mod feature, but I did beat him in the sprint.
Fast132

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted April 07, 2003 02:49 PM
Robby, Robby, Robby .... I weigh 180, you're what, 225 ? And your car is like 30 pounds lighter ... I don't wanna hear you whining about the weight deal pal !

Also, you didn't mention the part about the loose wheel chasing you down the track ?
Another car lost a wheel ... it bounced off the wall ... off Rob's nose wing ... off the wall ... off Rob's right arm guard ... off the wall, and tried to hit him again, but he finally had enough and avoided it
I was right behind him laughing myself silly. Funny how he forgot about the wheel deal but mentioned the non existant weight issue .....

SLEEPY GOMEZ
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 199
posted April 07, 2003 09:45 PM
Check with Charlie Fewell, All Star motorsports at 1-888-336-8228 or www.allstar-ms.com. He has the best set of instructional video tapes for beginning sprinters that i have seen. SLEEPY

iowa_dirt_track_girl
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 74
posted April 20, 2003 01:46 AM
if any of you have questions that you cant get an answer to you can e-mail my brother at alexander62003@yahoo.com or my dad at alexandervl@yahoo.com. We race in KNOXVILLE IOWA the 360 sprints. Dad has been racing for 23 years and brother has been racing for 7 years, so they could help you out.
Hope this helps you..

dirty driver
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted April 22, 2003 10:59 PM
That's really nice of you dirt track girl. I was talking to a Danny Lee Hutchins on Hoseheads who will probably be looking for some guidance. I respond to his last post but haven't gotten a reply. He might not have liked what I had to say even though all I was trying to do is help. Maybe I'm all messed up but anyone with zero driving experience wanting to go straight to Knoxville is in for a rude awakening. Could you follow this link for me and help this guy out? Thanks
http://www.racercity.com/cforum.cgi?action=message&clubs=&forum=hosehead&thread=1050523087,29427

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted April 25, 2003 04:33 PM
Hey Dirty Driver, whats it mean when you said "Watch out for drivers in Black uniforms" ? Is it a Knoxville thing ?

dirty driver
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 3
posted April 25, 2003 04:47 PM
Just a particular driver I don't care for. No big deal. It's kinda like what they say about Harleys "if you have to ask". Not meaning to be a wise guy or anything but there's a driver up there with a particularly bad rep and deservedly so. Thanks for asking.

mod4
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted May 07, 2003 09:44 AM
More rookie Questions !

Somebody PLEASE explain to me how a SOFTER front torsion bar transfers more weight to the rear. I have played with the car on jack and stands and still have a problem seeing how a softer rate of sprint lets the weight transfer, the bar is pushing down on the axle, holding the chassis up, just like a regular spring ...

Steve Smith book claims softer front bar transfers more weight, Sport Allen also in the new SprintCar and Midget Mag.

I'm obviously missing a basic concept here and need somebody to make me understand it.

Thanks in advance !

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