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Items that should be checked between race meetings.

  • Seat belt expiry dates (2yrs for non FIA and 5 yrs for FIA belts)
  • Fire extinguisher expiry dates ( 5 Years from date of manufacture)
  • Diff: Check that rod ends are all lubricated ( spray of crc )
  • Check that there are no cracks in mounting brackets
  • Lubricate top link swivels (grease both sides )
  • Check fluid level of diff. Oil should be at filler plug level.
  • D/Shaft: check for any movement in universal joints and replace if worn at all.
  • Check for any movement in slipper spline and replace if noticeable.
  • Check tightness of bolts holding D/shaft to engine flange.
  • Grease all universal joints in drive shaft.
  • Make sure drive flange is tight.
  • Engine: Check all engine mounting bolts, and general bolts around engine.
  • Check oil lines for leakages or loose connections
  • Check high tension leads for firm connections to coil and plugs
  • Check header bolts, use copper coat or similar so they don't seize in head
  • Check for cracks in headers and muffler system.
  • Front suspension: Lubricate all ball joints (again spray with crc)
  • Check mountings for cracks to chassis or bends.
  • Check steering rack rod ends for wear and replace if any.
  • Check wheel bearings and grease if necessary.
  • BRAKES: Check all brake lines for leaks
  • Check fluid levels in master cylinders and top up as pads wear.
  • Check brake pads front and rear for wear and replace if getting low.
  • Check disks for true running, jack up car and spin wheels.
  • Bleed brakes between meetings to remove moisture
  • General: Check all electrical connections for firmness of fit.
  • Check all wiring to make sure there is no rubbing of wires on
  • Drive shaft or wheels (especially reverse gear wires).
  • Check that earths are making a good connection, clean area if necessary
  • Check body bolts as they can tend to vibrate out.
  • Check brace next to driver's seat for any cracks.
  • Check all nuts and bolts for tightness.

Tech Talk

Oil Temperature and Engine Life

Optimal Oil Temp - Low oil temp lowers oil flow. Higher oil temp breaks down the oil and gives way to the chance of metal parts coming into contact. Drag Racers usually race with the oil temp too low and stock car racers too high. Try to get near 200° Fahrenheit which is roughly equal to 93.3 ° Celsius. Steve says the Suzuki motors can run around 240F which is roughly equal to 116C

Engine life vs. Oil Temperature

Properly maintained engines can last over 300,000 miles when oil temperature is kept in the optimal 180°-210°F range. As oil temperature rises engine life declines rapidly. If the temperature is too high the engine will fail in short order. But why? To explain this we need to look at what is happening at the surface of the moving parts. Under microscopic examination, the machined surfaces are not truly smooth but instead have minute peaks and valleys. When two such surfaces are forced to slide over each other opposing high spots will contact, resisting any sliding action. The contact causes distortion, scuffing, micro-welding and subsequent tearing. An engine operating like this will not last! With all the moving parts it seems impossible that an engine can last 300,000 miles, yet they do. The reason is that in normal operation the moving metal parts do not actually contact each other! If the parts move relatively quickly and sufficient viscous oil is present the oil is dragged between the surfaces filling the space between. The surfaces "float" on the oil film and no metallic contact occurs. This condition is called hydrodynamic lubrication.

Viscosity is a measure of an oils ability to flow. The viscosity controls the thickness of the oil film under hydrodynamic lubrication. Oils lose viscosity with increasing temperature.

Oil Viscosity vs. Temperature

As temperature increases and viscosity drops the oil film layer gets progressively thinner. Eventually, metal irregularities begin to contact and we no longer have hydrodynamic lubrication. The condition becomes more pronounced as temperature continues to climb and viscosity and film thickness continue to decline. Engine wear increases dramatically. There you have it. When oil is the proper temperature the moving parts operate in hydrodynamic lubrication, are not in contact and wear very little. With rising temperature viscosity drops and metal-to-metal contact begins. Engine wear is greatly accelerated. Chuck Moreland - February 2003