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Author Topic:   Preventive Maintenance
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 77
posted July 08, 2005 07:13 AM  
I've read different things about the intervals at which you should perform preventive maintenance on the various mechanical components of a modified.

My questions are:

- How often should I change my oil if we run once a week for 25 laps and 5 laps of practice?

- I was always told to run 20W50 oil...what brand has given you good luck in the past?

- How often should I change my transmission fluid? (We run a Falcon.)

- What brand of Transmission Fluid has given you good luck in the past?

- How often should I repack wheel bearings?

- How often should I change the rear-end oil?

Other than changing oil, checking for cracks/damage, going over the nuts and bolts and checking caster/camber/toe, what other maintenance do you do weekly? (How often do you scale the car?)

We have a slider on the LR and the pull bar seems a bit dirty... I've been told that they should be maintained regularly to prevent binding. How often do you disassemble and reassemble your slider/pull bar? (We run the Afco pull bar with a coil spring and shock.) Is it difficult to reassemble them once they are cleaned and lubed? How much preload should the spring on the pull bar have...I've read different things on here. How do I ensure that I've gotten the slider back to where it was once it is put back together without scaling the car?

Sorry for the many questions...



Limited Mod 57
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 86
posted July 08, 2005 07:50 AM  
I'll answer a couple of your questions (based on experience gained while sharing asop with 3 other cars):

- How often should I change my oil if we run once a week for 25 laps and 5 laps of practice? Oil & filter changed after 3rd race. Filter inspected after cutting it open with a filter cutter. So far, so good, no problems.

- I was always told to run 20W50 oil...what brand has given you good luck in the past? Used Kendal, but have changed over to Valvoline Racing 20-50 (didn't think the extra co$t for Kendall was warranted). No problems. Also, for a filter, Wix racing filter.

- How often should I repack wheel bearings? Probably average about 10 races between packing

- How often should I change the rear-end oil? 6 races, then change (as instructed by the shop that does mine, and just about every other oval & drag strip racecar in the Houston area)

Hopefully the other responses to your questions will be similar.


[This message has been edited by Limited Mod 57 (edited July 08, 2005).]

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 505
posted July 08, 2005 08:23 AM  
We run Mobil 1 15-50 and go 5-6 nights between oil changes and change the filter after 2-3 nights. With dino oil i would go 2-3 nights between changes. I usually change the transmission fluid every other week its cheap insurance.

Gear oil changes depend upon how often you change gear, because the oil will get contaminated with repeated gear changes. With a good synthetic I would say you could go 8-10 nights between oil changes.

We usually race 2-3 nights a week so your mileage may vary. Here is my typical routine for weekly maintainance.

Put the car on jack stands and remove all shocks/springs and replace with ride height rods. Inspect/clean/lube shocks/sliders. Remove all radius rods and clean/inspect/lube all rod ends. Remove birdcages and c/l/i. Check all remaining bolts/balljoints/welds and anything else still connected to the car. That is typically one nights worth of work. The next night I concentrate on the motor. Leakdown test, run the valves, I usually check the valve springs every other week. Also change any fluids that are due. The next night I will put everything back together and get the car on the scales and do any other setup related work that needs to be done, and get the car loaded and ready to go.

In between races I usually just put the car on jackstands and check it over.

This of course is during weeks were there's no major damage to fix. If repairs are necessary then some of the above may get compromised. I'm sure I've forgotten some things since this is all pretty much routine for me anymore but you get the general idea.

Dnf's don't pay much and its usually the little things that bite you in the @ss.

I always scale the car atleast once a week just to check for abnormalities, but its usually pretty close to where it needs to be anyway.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 334
posted July 08, 2005 08:28 AM  
We run around 35 laps per week. I change oil and filter every other week.

We run Valvoline VR1 Racing 20w-50 with 1 qt. of Lucas Oil Treatment. I havenít used any other oil.

We run a Falcon as well and change every other week along with the oil (cheap insurance)

We probably do not pack the wheel bearings or change the rear-end oil as frequent as we should. Iím interested in hearing what others have to say about this.

We do the regular maintenance you mentioned, along with a few other things. I try to pull the plugs each week to check for any mechanical problems. Cleaning out the radiator with the hose each week is important as well. We also grind the glaze off of the rear tires each week. Lately Iíve been making changes each week so I put it on the scales every week.

Again, we probably donít clean the pullbar as frequent as we should. Iím running coil-overs now, so no sliders. We run ľĒ of preload on the pullbar spring. On getting the slider back on the car without scaling, you could do a few things. You could pull the slider off and without changing the adjustments at all, measure the length between the top and bottom spring buckets and reset to that length after cleaning. You could also check your ride height on that corner before removing the slider. Then remove, clean, re-assemble and just set the ride height for that corner back to where it was before.

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 7
posted July 08, 2005 10:28 AM  


Here is the list I use...

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted July 08, 2005 10:54 AM  
One thing some guys don't spend enough time doing, is washing the car. I'm lucky enough to have a small power washer at our shop, but I'll spend a good 2 hours washing the car... You will find things that dirt can cover up. Nobody likes working on a dirty car.

I generally jack the car up in the air as high as I can get it with jackstands under it, and lay under each side and really get all the dirt off there.

Run valves regularly, I think checking them at least once a week is good, you will find problems before they happen. It only takes 20 minutes, if that.

Lube all heim joints, check U joints, and Nut and bolt all the Trailing arm, panhard, and pull bar bolts. These are things that will come loose from the forces working on them. It is also a good thing to check your tranny bolts and motor mount bolts regularly.

One thing I like to do since we are on gas is pull the water jacket plugs out of the block and drain all the water, and run a hose into your radiator and flush the cooling system.. Once water gets hot once, it will be twice as easy.

General Greasing of chassis parts, nut and bolt on the front end should consist of upper a frames, ball joints, lower a's, and tie rods.

If you race a real rough track, pull the front end apart and check ball joints also, rather replace a ball joint than run it over the next night.

Oils-... I prefer Napa 20w-50 with a Napa Race filter. I'll probably switch to Synthetic next year, but as cheap as I get the Napa oil, I can't go wrong. With the transmission, I change the fluid every time I change oil.

Rearend grease, I'm on the 2nd year on this grease, it's about time to put a new gallon in, but I run the Shockproof Red-Line stuff. It's great when changing gears, and re-useable over and over again. It starts red, but when it starts turning darker, it's time to get a new gallon and keep this in the trailer for spares.

On your tranny, just run 20w-50 through it, and change it when you change oil.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 126
posted July 08, 2005 11:28 AM  
we do most like the others so nothing new for you there. i have a power washer as well but i usually go on sundays to the big car wash in town and get the chucks off as well as all the other film and yuk off, then after unloading lube everything. then its fairly clean when working on it. we just run on sats so change oil about every other week. one thing we ran into this year is the pull bar getting bound up. in racing mods for11 years now ive never had one bind up but this did and we were scratching out heads for about 3 weeks until we took it apart so now we take it apart every couple weeks. again everything else as previous posts other than scaling. we just scale if we make lots of changes or every other week routinely unless we break, bend or replace something.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 65
posted July 08, 2005 12:30 PM  
If you run a falcon, you probably want to run type f transmission fluid.....that's what my Bert takes anyway.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 796
posted July 08, 2005 01:04 PM  
I seen a pic of Chub Franks garage, he has a lift outside and the sit the car on it, raise and cleanit. How nice would that be...

I agree on the clean thing.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 77
posted July 08, 2005 01:51 PM  
Chub Frank was at our opener this year. (The race was televised on SpeedVision.)

I think I saw the same picture of his car up on the lift for cleaning... It must be nice.

Thanks for all of the advice on PM...I want to make this equipment last as long as possible.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1261
posted July 11, 2005 09:46 PM  
One other thing to do is use a tape measure and measure ride height and spots like from underslung to rear ...both sides and find a place in front to do the same also front to rear on the rear if you cant get on scales every week you know by the tape if somthing is off. Also grease the driveshaft weekly...not so much that it blows the dust covers off but enough to keep em lubed.

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