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Author Topic:   Car or Engine
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 9
posted July 20, 2005 06:16 PM  
I am new to the dirt racing experience. I will be either purchasing or building a car in the near future and like everyone else who is just starting out, I have a basic question. I have been researching and reading everything I can find, articles about Dirt Racing, forums about it, and have come to the conclusion that the field is split when it comes to "Which is more important, the Set Up or the Motor? What are yall's thoughts on this for someone who is just starting out? Thanks ahead of time for the input.


Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 56
posted July 20, 2005 06:35 PM  
i prefer to get the handling out of the way cause you can always add extra motor later after all the kinks are worked out

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 188
posted July 20, 2005 06:38 PM  
Originally posted by Jesterondirt:
i prefer to get the handling out of the way cause you can always add extra motor later after all the kinks are worked out

Setup is more important. You can have the fastest car on the track, but if you can't control it, you can't win. Plus there is more of a chance that you will spin out and wreck yourself or other poeple and cause big dollars in damage. Get your handling done, then worry about motor.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 72
posted July 20, 2005 06:39 PM  
setup most definately learn how to drive it first then add the power later plus a good handling car can make up for horsepower

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted July 20, 2005 06:48 PM  
The only thing worse than a poor handling race car is a poor handling race car with a big motor!!!

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 715
posted July 20, 2005 07:51 PM  
Put together a good strong engine that will last and work on set up.As soon as you add more power you will have to work on the set up again. I raced at a track with open "cast iron engine rules"Took a stock 305 350 holley 2 barrel and headers,had the kid next to me with his new 406.Asked him what he ran for spring rates at this track and he said "huh"? I told him when I come around him on the top side hauling the mail keep it strait.He went home after consy and I finished 11th in the feature.I dont think I have seen him at a track since.Big engines for rookies cause big problems.Learn car and set up.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 243
posted July 20, 2005 09:00 PM  
build your engine with reliabilty in mind.....also buy a new distributor, old wore out ones will make you have a nervous breakdown!! and id go with 17j on the advice of buying a good safe roller for your first car...and then when you get your car to the track let an experienced driver that you can trust drive your car so they can see what the car is doing in the turns.....

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 9
posted July 21, 2005 04:00 PM  
Thanks for the input everyone. Set up it is........


Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 147
posted July 22, 2005 12:05 PM  


Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 193
posted July 22, 2005 02:20 PM  
I think that if you are in the IMCA stock car class get the biggest engine you can. Purchase your car from a local car builder that is fairly fast at your track and then throw new tires at right rear as often as you can. That is the way that you win in the IMCA stock car class. We have the best setup at our track and have only won one race this year. Our motors cannot keep up with the big engines when racing head to head.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted July 22, 2005 09:50 PM  
A wise old man once told me engine = 30%, car/chassis = 30%, driver = 30% and luck = 10%.

Any one of the 4 won't win. The best car with the best engine and the worst drive will be beaten every time by the best driver behind the wheel of a mediocre car. Have a local shop build a 'decent' 355. 2 bolt block with Sealed Power's machined hypereutectic pistons on stock rods with ARP bolts. Double hump heads, Vortecs or World Products Torquers if allowed. Balance it and stuff a decent cam in it.

Spend the rest of the money on springs, shocks, tires, spacers and an infrared temp gun. Without the gun to check tire temps IMMEDIATELY after a race, setup will take much longer to figure out.

If all goes well the 1st year, then spend more money to get that extra 10% out of the motor. But the first year you'd be better served to get from 10% in the chassis and driver portions to 20%+.

regal 22
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 28
posted July 22, 2005 10:44 PM  
I am a rookie as well, but my problem is different. I bought a car from a reputable car builder and it handled excellent, the only problem is no horsepower, and horrible reliability, therefore limited seat time. I added lots of horsepower and now it handles badly and I have no reference for setups. and they are right a lot of horsepower in a bad handling car is not fun especially without seat time! the person who wrote " a good dependable motor with horsepower available later" is on the money, as well as the comment "buy a car from a guy who runs well " is right on as well. take their advice and you will save lots and lots of money and have more fun. good luck.


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