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Author Topic:   UMP Mod Motors $$$$$$$$
brownstone
Member
posted April 24, 2001 08:04 PM
in most cases its not the motor that wins races, i have run and won with everything from stock rod 355 to 18 degree 434's but now am mainly running 23 degree 406's or 377's that have smooth torque curves. Alot of the newer low angle heads tend to make good horsepower but tend to be too peaky to be really drivable in a dirt mod on an 8in tire. i dont spend more that 5-6k on a motor and save the rest to keep new tires on the car week to week and to make sure the car is in top shape mechanically.
the thing is, if someone has 20k in a motor more than likely they have the best of everything and their car is in top shape and have the resourses to win consistantly, not only money wise but also setup research.
look at ump champ jimmy owens, i have seen him numerous times in the past few years roll into a track that he has never been to and walk away with the money, not because of the motor but because of the driver, and the crew knowing how to setup the car.
in ump there is also such a thing called a claim. i'm not a big advocate of the motor claim idea but if you really think that the motor wins races, go out finish on the lead lap and claim the winner, problem solved right? maybe, until he comes back next week and beats you with your old motor. then whats the excuse? my 2 cents


fury
Member
posted April 25, 2001 08:43 AM
I run a couple of NASCAR tracks in eastern Iowa, and a couple of independents as well. Motor costs do seem to be going up, and guys are spending more on their motors. We basically have a paper claim (rules say you can, but nobody does), so this takes the threat out of building a high dollar motor.

We switched to the Hoosiers last season, and that hasn't helped much either. You can hook the motors up more, and the tires cost more and don't last as long as the American Racer.

One thing I haven't figured out is that we are only racing for $400 to win & $50 to start. From a business standpoint, it doesn't pay to build an $10,000 motor. You would have to win 25 races at $400 each to pay for it, and that doesn't inlcude all the expenses for tires, fuel, parts, & wrecks.

Competition is the driving force here, but instead of just trying to win on the track, you have to win with your wallet as well.

Not sure what the solution is, as money is always an influence in motorsports. Weight rule, spec tire, no aluminum, maybe a cubic inch limit on the motors. Try and make the cars more power limited and force suspension handling to be the winning factor???

Would like to hear what everyone else is racing for as for as their weekly purse goes, in UMP, AMRA, IMCA, Independents, etc.

Thanks.

Steph
Member
posted April 27, 2001 10:37 AM
Iowamod,

We're UMP, weekly payout at our local track is $400 to win, $50 to start. Some tracks offer a little money for the transfer spots in the heats as well, but not much.

I don't think that a person looks to recoup engine expense in one year though. As much as you want to call this a business, unless you truly do this as a business (meaning you have a race shop, own two or three cars, etc.), you're not going to make money at this. For weekend racers, no matter what you tell the IRS, this thing is a hobby. And an expensive one at that. And besides, guys that do run at this as a business and try to make a profit go out there and race two, three, four or more times per week, EVERY WEEK! If it's "your only job", there is money to be made - but you're going to have to haul for it. And often, those types of people aren't showing up at the "competitive local tracks" either. They look for a track that guarantees an "easy win" for the quick 4-500 or else they are hauling to a race with a minimum payout of $2000. There's a cost-benefit analysis there. It's for the money, not the fun.

We do it for the fun.

Three years ago, we upgraded our 377 and now I think it's something like a 410 with lots of ponies. We rely on our engine builder and I couldn't even tell you what's in it, other than I know some of it is used. We're probably over $10,000, but not all at once. Our "refresh" cost is $1200 per year, but we haven't done any major upgrades since the 1998-1999 off season. During season, all we do is change the fluids. We don't touch the engine, tranny or carb other than normal maintenance.

This is what I was saying in the other thread... you pay for the quality up front and then you just maintain it. So, it's not like you're spending $10K every year.

Goldigger
unregistered
posted April 27, 2001 12:16 PM           
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Steph:

Steph do you realize about the only difference between your car and an all out latemodel is the tires- wheels and cage? That is not what the Modified class was intended to be. You guy's literally have a late-model you are running in a modified class. That's why they have a weight rule, to make it worthless to buy that aftermarket lightweight trans. Geez, 10 grand for a modified motor?? Come on.

wfoondirt
Member
posted April 27, 2001 12:52 PM
You can't honestly tell me that you consider modifieds are an entry level class. Some of the top drivers on dirt are running in the modified class for the simple reason that reguardless of what you say, a modified costs less than half what a late model does. 10g is very cheap for a top l/m motor these days, not to mention the cost of the lightweight chassis parts and tires etc. I agree w/ steph this is a hobby not a business. Most of the people i know that spend a bunch of money on their cars arent spending their own money, the majority of it is sponsorship money. If your looking to make money at this sport, that is where the money is made, not in weekly purses. Do you really think nascar teams live off the week to week purses? Most of the people i am associated with collect enough sponsorship money in the off season to pay for the car, and the weekly purses pay for consumables and other week to week expenses with occational out of pocket expense this makes racing a **** of alot more fun.


wheels13
Member
posted April 27, 2001 01:51 PM
wfo, I need to come race in your area then if sponsorship is that readily available. I have been racing since the late seventies and I can count on my fingers the number of guys I know that have sufficient sponsorship to pay for the car. I wish that were the case. I am one of the fortunate ones to have a fuel sponsor and a little weekly help but most operate out of the wallet. The costs are reaching a point that prohibits the weekend racer from participating in the program. those who can spend the exhorbitant amounts of dollars are forcing the class away from the very ones it was designed to appeal to in the beginning. No, it isnt a entry level class, it was a class that was intended for those who could not even attempt to afford a late model of some car of this type. The modified class is no different than any other class, someone always wanting to spend money on things because they can and knowing full well that others cant. Gives them the edge. I miss the days of ingenuity and fabrication. Now we have "house" cars and cookie cutter chassis. Once again it seems the dollar has proven the fastest. We have to stop it some where, and judging by the number of mods in this country, the idea is sound. We just have to find a way to "even" the playing field so that more players can score on any given race night. Lets get back to 40 car fields on a weekly show instead of 20. If the B-mod is a suitable alternative , then so be it, lets get more guys racing them so they can see if they will be able to step up. But, lets not price them out before they get a chance.


KK17
Member
posted April 27, 2001 06:26 PM
quote:
Originally posted by MOD RACER#93:
so it must mean that we love racing that much to spend our hard earned money on a peice of iron with 4 wheels. just so we can go to the track...

That it, right there. We don't have enough sponsorship money either... we get less than $3000 a year. Everything else comes out of our pocket book. It's basically another house payment. In fact, how we pay for racing is that a certain amount comes out of my paycheck and is directly deposited into the race account. On a monthly basis, that amount is more than our house payment! And I don't think that means we're being unfair because we know "full well that others can't"... we're just lucky to be able to spend that much and we do spend that much in order to have fun because we love it.

And as far as our car basically being a late model... HA! A good friend of ours that moved up to LM's last year just bought their own engine this year... almost $30K. We're not even close!


Steph
Member
posted April 30, 2001 11:27 AM
I remembered a point while writing a response over in the other thread (IMCA Weight Rule)...

How many of you that run against, or with, a big engine qualify? How many draw?

[This message has been edited by Steph (edited April 30, 2001).]

fury
Member
posted April 30, 2001 12:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by fury:
money no problem attitude of Steph

Please don't take my posts the wrong way. Just tell me what the options are instead. Go a few more years of not winning?

Just because I'm willing to be honest about our team doesn't mean that I feel like being blamed for a historically repeated problem in the entire sport. We're definitely not spending the most out of anyone at our track. It's not like we're out there throwing money around willy-nilly either. These are simply the choices we have made.

Let's come up with some better options and work on making it better rather than just casting blame. Sitting around waiting for new rules and hoping that others won't push the barriers is not cutting it, wouldn't you agree?

Are more rules the only way out of this repeating cycle?

jammin
Administrator
posted April 30, 2001 01:17 PM
Steph...I hope you didn't think the stuff I said on the other post was directly aimed at you. I am just so afraid of seeing our modifieds fade away. I love this class and dont want to see anything happen to it. It upsets me to see the rules being fluctuated toward Late Model status since there are fewer and fewer lates around now.

jammin


Steph
Member
posted April 30, 2001 01:50 PM
No, no, jammin' - not at all.

I normally just lurk... and I guess I've read enough of these types of threads all over many boards that I finally got to the point where I had to explain it from my point of view. And over the course, I'm realizing that this "problem" isn't going to go away. It happens in all classes, not just mods. So rather than complaining about it, I had to ask, "what's a team to do?"

Complaining alone solves nothing. But maybe pushing the limits is just as valid a way of trying to elicit change as is sitting back and waiting for new rules to induce the limits. Am I wrong?

jammin
Administrator
posted April 30, 2001 02:19 PM
No, your right....

This is the only way that we can better the situation. I dont think we will ever elimitate it, but I believe rules and enforcers are the only ways to keep it down. Tracks sometimes are swayed on rules to accomodate their current car counts. This is part of the problem I have seen. Going with the majority is going to hurt the racer every time.



dirt mod 70
Member
posted April 30, 2001 08:40 PM
i race at a track that averages 53 IMCA mods a night...you have to have a big horse just to make the darn feature!!ive run a 383(cant make the feature...406 i make the feature but out of top 5....421 and i have a chance to win)all these motors are easy to hook up....even on a dry slick clay track(set-up and a light foot out of the corners) unfortunately HP cost big $$$..but if you want to win, we have to do what it takes...whinning doesnt work!!!!!IF YOU CANT AFFORD TO WIN...DONT BLAME ANYBODY BUT YOURSELF!!i work just as hard as everybody else for my money(im a welder)but i choose to win...so i spend whatever it takes...DO I THINK THIS IS RIGHT...NO FRICKEN WAY!! THATS JUST WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN NOW!!

just my 2 cents worth...

PEDDLER
Member
posted April 30, 2001 09:27 PM
The cost of motors are out of sight for most people compared what the classes are paying. There will always be someone with more money than brains and the rest will have to spend what it takes to keep up.

Street stock several years I had over $5000 in the motor to stay in the top runners and all for $250 to win. Kinda dumb .

I feel the more spec rules or rules that are eaiser to tech like the I Stock carb rule will do their part in keeping cost down.

Carb restrictions, Tires,and weight rules will do more than anything.

My thoughts only
The PEDDLER


Hammer 1
Member
posted May 01, 2001 12:30 PM
Last fall at the Dirt Track World Championship at West Virginia Motor Speedway, the modified pole sitter would have qualified 15th in the LATE MODEL feature!!! with the likes of Freddy Smith and Scott Bloomquist. What's up with that??


neverenoughbrew
Member
posted May 03, 2001 08:15 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Hammer 1:
Last fall at the Dirt Track World Championship at West Virginia Motor Speedway, the modified pole sitter would have qualified 15th in the LATE MODEL feature!!! with the likes of Freddy Smith and Scott Bloomquist. What's up with that??

We ran at the Dirt World Championship last year. We had to run the consi because of fuel problem. We won the consi, started near the tail in the feature and finished in the top 10. By the halfway point the fuel problem had returned and by the end of race we only had 3lbs of fuel pressure. Not good on alky!! That was the last race of the season for us, and upon refreshing the engine this winter We found a set of lifters turned sideways, intake gasket sucked in around runner, and our heads which had not been freshened since they were purchased 5yrs ago had two dampner springs broken and had went through the motor. I believe we would have finished far better if our "little" motor was not sick and wore out. We run a little 377 that is home built, good heads, pistons and rods. The crank cost $4oo and ran it all season not being balanced. We broke down and had the crank balanced this year (they had to drill 5oz. out of it) as it vibrated at idle so bad it was starting to break the mounts out of the chassis. Our home track averages 50 to 60 car count and we run against big and high dollar motors, but we also generally finish in the top 5. My point is,unless you run a track that is always very tacky, no-one has proved bigger is better in a mod to me. In four years, all we have spent on our motor is $400 on a cheap crank and bought two rods beside just refreshing it once a year.



Hammer 1
Member
posted May 03, 2001 09:23 AM
No matter what you run from 4 cylinders to Winston Cup cars, there will be have's and have nots. It's a given. I run a home built 377 like you and had a very good year last season. What bothers me is that I chose to run a modified, not a late model. I knew up front I couldn't afford a motor program for a late model, that's why I'm in a modified. We have what we have, and we do well with what we have but if it's comming to having to have a big buck motor to get the job done,(and now there's a few SB2's floating around) we all might as well get it over with and run late models for more cash. Let's face it. A new modified roller will cost you pretty much what a late model will cost. However, a modified motor SHOULDN'T cost what a late model motor costs.


jammin
Administrator
posted May 07, 2001 05:49 PM
The one reason that late models are fading away is that the ordinary track can not afford to pay what is necessary to run a car with really high dollar stuff. I just feel like that if we as racers do not do something about the dollar situation, we may be in the same boat as the lates. I personally love to race at many different tracks. Normal modifieds allow that. Do you think that if we go big, that this will be the situation? I dont think that most tracks can afford it. If the tracks can't afford it, then we have no place to run.....sound familiar? It has already happened to lates here in Ark......and I am sure it is still spreading. We have to put a lid on it somewhere if we want to keep our mods on weekly shows.

jammin


MOD RACER#93
Member
posted May 08, 2001 07:02 PM
Jeff....that is not the reasoning behind this. How can someone come into this class if the costs to get into it get higher and higher and higher? So, what does this mean? The current modifieds are basically the backbone of the class? What happens when we are gone? Will it continue? Or will it be so expensive that no one in their right mind ever try it? Everyone talks about now.....the future of the sport is what I am concerned with. This me and I attitude is gonna kill it. If it continues to escalate.....dirt trackin as we know it will be gone. It is already doing a pretty good job on the lates. How many new guys do you see running latemodels now? Not very many. What happened to their class? The guys that are doing it now are the backbone of their class. How many do you think will be here 20 years from now? More cars? I dont think so. These are my thoughts. I do now wish to offend anyone, but I believe we must do something to put a cap on the classes we have to preserve our sport.

jammin


awkwardjeff
Member
posted May 08, 2001 09:45 PM
I have sat back watching this post, I will add my thoughts at this point. I wrote a message that either got lost or Jammin didn't feel it's message was proper for this board? I was in a rather NASTY mood when I wrote that letter.
On the cost of modifieds, Jammin is right on the button here. Here where I race the costs of motors has gotten so far out of hand this has already happened, YES our modifieds are dying. Our sanctioning body has let the cost get so high that the average person can no longer race week in and week out. So as a result over the last 5-7 years alot of racers have quit. Well then 2 years ago a person started a NEW class of cars...........MIDWEST MODIFIEDS...... sound familiar? Now this class is taking off like wild fire, growing like crazy because of the people that quit and the people that feel they can no long compete in the BIG mod class. How much longer do you think the big mod class will be around? I will tell you some tracks already dropped them this year. THE FIRST YEAR OF THE MIDWEST MODIFIEDS.
This same santioning body has let the class of street stocks get so far out of control that now tracks have started racing PURE STOCKS.........these are the same things street stocks were about 4 years ago. The sad thing is this sanctioning body is smart enough to see this happening so they now santion all the classes I have mentioned.
This sanctioning body has let the cost get to the point that racers quit, then when the track "INVENTS" a new class to run at their track (un-sanctioned)......then the smart people at the santioning body see what is going on and add this class to their organization.........then the racer all want to racae for points........thus, back to the same old santioning body.........only to start all over again.
I blame the santioning body for this, I blame the racers for this, I also blame the tracks for this mess............nobody can say they are blameless.........not my either.
I will tell you we race on a budget, I have 4 motors, 1 cost about $10,000.......another built this year cost about $8000......the other two are cheap spares. But if I were smart enough and had enough guts to say I will help make the change, I would just show up with my $400 and claim one........I personally have friends in this class that have motors over $14,000..........We are all to blame..........
The good side to this is there will always be someone willing to start this class over calling it something else, so we with modifieds will always have a class to race.


BILLY BOB
Member
posted May 09, 2001 08:37 AM

I have been following this post for a couple of weeks now, and it seems to me that we are all in some faint sort of agreement. I have heard several people state that if the claim was used, this would help. The problem that isn't discussed is this: You have to finish within a certain number of places in order to claim. If the top 6 or 7 cars all run the big $ motors, then you are no no position to claim one. When those 6 or 7 guys all run in the top 7 every week, where does the opportunity to claim come in? Maybe I'm missing something here, if someone else has an idea, please help me ***** my head on straight. If not, what is the point of the claim when you can't utilize it?
Just my two cents......See ya at the track.


jammin
Administrator
posted May 09, 2001 10:23 AM
Well...in IMCA, if you finish on the lead lap in the feature, you can claim. That should be many more cars than just 6 or 7 I would think.

jammin


Wauge28
Member
posted May 09, 2001 10:48 AM
The problem with IMCA is simple...the claim is unrealistic. A $ 400 motor just isn't realistic. Bert or Brinns, a good idea and still not adopted. Quick change rearends, a good idea because it is still cheaper in the long run if you run 2 or more tracks. I think the Mods are fading because of poor regulations. Take Bakersfeild CA, they still run IMCA and the car count ***** . The pay out is embarassing and they have claiming wars!! Now take Chico, CA... they have a head and intake claim. It allows someone to build a forged short block that doesn't smoke and can take 7000 RPMs without granading. Most will agree that the heads, carb and intake create much of the horsepower. Their rule is $ 800.00 and exchange. THAT's REALISTIC. We are going to Boone this year and I still can not believe that guys in the feature run $ 400 motors...yet I believe the top 10 motors were claimed last year???? What's up with that? That means someone with way too much money goes in to win $ 2000 and is willing to donate a 10,000 motor. NOW THATS WHAT IS KILLING IMCA!


Mod 78
Member
posted May 09, 2001 10:57 AM
I've been following this conversation for about 25 years now and have participated a time or two. I spent years racing late models against guys who had more money in their engines then I had in my whole operation, tow van and trailer included. I've done the same in other racing arenas, as well. I've seen late models die and come back and die again. At this time I'm ramping up to run IMCA Modifieds again and although I've never been claimed, I favor the concept.

In a nut shell, the reason the class costs have and continue to grow is that racers keep changing the combination, looking to get faster. More horsepower and better ways to make it stick create other drive line problems, like breaking trannys. In short, I say keep the basic formula. If guys want to build big motors and twist the snot out of them, let them. If the claiming doesn't keep them in check, the constant replacing of transmissions might. In a class where small hard tires are used to minimize the effect of horsepower, why should we be offered other ways in which to utilize that horsepower? I understand the durability arguement but the overall cost factor is the overriding concern for me. We're racing for bags of peanuts. Why spend bushels?

And this whole conversation isn't special to dirt tracks. A few years back I began building an SCCA American Sedan road race Camaro, which was totally outdated by rule changes by the time I got it on the track. When I sold the car they were still having the cost vs. durability arguement centering around transmissions. Of course, the class never really took off after a promising start.

Thanks. I feel better now. :-}

BILLY BOB
Member
posted May 09, 2001 11:59 AM
Billy Bob, I don't know if you understand what I was saying. I am using the argument about cost in relation to the IMCA. A Bert or Brinn is cheaper and more durable than most trans set-ups when including the triple disk and bell housing.

As far as boone, I agree that the good time is worth breaking even. IF you can lose a $ 2500.00 motor but win $ 2500 in return, the jacket and experience is well worth it. BUT!!!!! Are you trying to tell me that the feature last year was filled with $ 2500 motors??? Go ahead, tell me they were!

My motor is 10K plus because it has too be! Not because I want to spend that kind of money but that is what it takes. The tires "should" take big moters out of the mix but they don't. 4 bars, Z link, tire "conditioners", all help those rock hard tires carry the left front. My point was that $ 400 or $ 500 for a motor is not realistic.

BILLY BOB
Member
posted May 09, 2001 12:40 PM
Brown and Billy, Last 2 years I ran a ULGC reverse mount Tilton. The setup cost what...$ 2200 without the trans? I burt up one starter, ($ 325) two clutch packs ($ 400.00) one throwout ($ 205), my teeth on the flywheel are requiring a new flywheel (@ @200) and two Muncie trans and we know how hard those are starting to get to find. I race twice a week and felt that was premature wear. I went to a Glide from Mikes Trans in Lancaster CA. Awesome trans and I am very happy with it!!! I spent $1500 for everything including shifter, coupler, and sheild. I have rebuilt it twice already this year. Once was my fault and once was not. $ 300 for the one that wasn't my fault but just normal for a Powerglide I suppose and I have spent what I assume a very durable Brinn might cost?? Figure those failures as DNFs and now see what money was lost in patout...

As far as light weight and "waking up small motors", isn't that was a power glide does when in drive???? I am not real up on the brinns or berts but like what I have heard as far as how durable and simple they are.



BILLY BOB
Member
posted May 10, 2001 01:12 PM
That's good info. Thanks. That was the cause of one of my failures...I think. The tail shaft broke, the drive line ended up in turn 3 and the car got pretty torn up until it broke the u-joint. Nasty!