DMSBD Alignment & Crossbind Clinic
Written by- Ian Carsten
MSX International, 1426 Pacific Drive, Auburn Hills, MI, Saturday, March 30,
alignment and crossbind clinic began with Detroit Metro Director, Joe Flynn,
announcing that he has nearly finalized plans for the standard dealer
sponsorship package he has been negotiating with the Detroit Auto Dealers
Association. He also said the DMSBD posters are being printed and should be
at the dealerships within two weeks. Next, he said the plans for the fall
rally are almost complete. Then he commented on the spring rally scheduled
for Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. It will be an open rally and we
hope to attract racers from all over Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and
Wisconsin. Also, Joe mentioned that Detroit Metro will award trophies for 1st
through 8th place finishes in each division at the May rally. He
suggested that racing against some of the fastest racers from this part of
the country is a good experience for our racers and allows them to see what
kind of competition they would be up against at Akron this July. He stated
that this would be a great way to “tune up” for our local derby in June. The
first place winners in our local derby get to race in the national
championship races in Akron on July 27.
said that we will have to schedule a track “patch up” day soon and that we
need as many volunteers as we can muster to help us to repair the track
surface for the 2002 racing season. The date of the track preparation will
be announced shortly.
Joe began a review of last week’s car building advice. He said that he
prefers to use the small, gold “N” washers to contact the axles in the
kingpin washer stack when installing the axles. Additionally, he mentioned
that our race teams could acquire a suitable aluminum beam for a
triangulation trammel from Factory Steel in Highland Park. The required size
is 3/8-inch x 3/4-inch x 72-inch. With the addition of a set of trammel
points the set is ready for use. The ones made by the General Hardware
Company are well made and reasonably priced. Further, Joe suggested
Production Tool Company as a good source of tools useful for a derby
builder, such as inch-pound torque wrenches, and micrometers. Also, Sears
stores sell an excellent inch-pound torque wrench, the #44593 Microtork©
wrench, which sells for about $70.
also showed a custom alignment bar made of 1 x 3 oak. It has 1/2-inch
diameter holes drilled through the 3-inch width near each end. The holes are
spaced such that placing the holes over the spindles of a car holds the
axles parallel to each other. This makes setting up and adjusting the
steering cables with the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position easy.
He cautioned that you must have a different size for each division since
they have different wheelbases. Then he stressed that getting the car
correctly aligned and removing crossbind is very important. It has to be as
perfect as possible.
Joe demonstrated removing crossbind from the stock car he has been building
at these clinics so that our racers and their crews could see the process.
Joe lifted the rear of the stock car until the wheels were off the floor.
Then he gave both rear wheels a good spin. By slowly lowering the car, it
was easy to see that one wheel touched the floor and stopped spinning before
the other one, indicating crossbind. He then placed a .015-inch feeler in
the low side of the washer stack of our demonstration stock car and then re-torqued
the kingpin. This time when the spinning wheels were lowered, both wheels
stopped simultaneously, indicating the crossbind had been removed. He
cautioned the teams to be sure to get out the crossbind, as it will
definitely slow their cars.
showed how to snug the steering cables. Since the steering turnbuckles were
already closed for minimum drag, he used the nuts on the eyebolts to
fine-tune cable tension. He talked about different cabling options and
commented on the new AASBD-supplied awning pulley and support bushing.
Several attendees said this seemed to work more smoothly than the older,
standard floor mounted pulley, which allows the brake cable to rub the
flange of the pulley rather forcefully. One of the builders asked whether we
still had to use the cable-keeper block. Joe said that even though it serves
no purpose, the AASBD still mandates it be in place. In fact, he said, he
saw a number of crews at Akron in July of 2001 scramble to install them. And
that required quite a few of them to rent oxygen-acetylene welding rigs to
cut out the necessary clearance in their steel weights.
Joe discussed airfoil mounting. He suggested sanding the airfoils until they
were the same thickness as the axles or, perhaps a bit thinner. He said the
missing thickness could be made up in multiple layers of sealer and paint.
The idea is to get the airfoils exactly the same thickness as the axles to
promote smooth airflow and thereby minimize drag. He said he didn’t like the
idea of sanding the ends of the airfoils to smooth them since the process
shortens them somewhat. He likes to leave them long to smooth as much of the
airflow over the axles as possible. To smooth the ends, he recommended
building up sealer to fill up the rough cut and finishing over them when
they are painted. It was pointed out that superstock front airfoils need to
be trimmed to clear the body. Joe said that scrap lumber or rough 1 x 2’s
could be mounted and used as stand-ins to determine where to cut them. Once
this has been done, the layout can be transferred to the airfoils and they
can be cut to match. The benefit is, if a mistake is made, you won’t have to
order a new set of airfoils. You simply cut another piece of 1 x 2 and start
over until you have the proper fit. Also, an easy way was suggested to get
the eyebolt clearance properly located into the front airfoils. You first
screw them in position, then transfer the eyebolt hole into the airfoil by
placing a 3/16-inch drill through the eyebolt hole in the axle then drill
about 1/2-inch into the airfoil. Now remove the airfoil and open up the hole
with a 1/2-inch drill to a depth of 1/2-inch to 3/4- inch. Then, after the
eyebolt is installed, the hole in the airfoil should clear it perfectly when
the airfoil is screwed back in place. Joe also said the rear airfoils could
be notched out to clear the stabilizer on a stock car if necessary.
Scotti suggested using a piece of 2 x 6 lumber standing up from the
floorboard and braced against the front edge of the base plate of the
brake/steering assembly and against the front of the steering wheel, c-clamped
to the brake plunger to immobilize the steering wheel in the straight-ahead
position for steering cable setup. He said you have to remove the spring
from the plunger in order to do this. Joe commented on the wide disparity in
steering cable tension he witnessed while traveling to rally race at various
tracks in several different states. He likes the cables to have no slack but
said he doesn’t want them too tight either. However, Jim Scotti countered
that he believed the cables and stabilizer bars of a stock car should be
quite tight. He said he thought the bars should be tight enough to ring
audibly when struck with a screwdriver handle. Joe observed that derby
racing generates many opinions, sometimes disparate, from equally successful
we broke up into independent work groups. Several teams laid out and prick
punched triangulation dimples into their rear axles, installed them, torqued
the kingpins, and used the 6 foot trammel to triangulate the rear axle 90
degrees to the car’s centerline. One builder used our custom-made ballpoint
trammel to lay out the triangulation marks in the rear axle of her
superstock car. Other teams continued with various phases of construction.
At least two teams said they didn’t care for the rough action of the
standard floor-mounted pulley and were going to reconfigure their brake
system to the awning pulley option since the ones they have observed in
other cars work so much smoother.
Several builders traded tips on how to get the most satisfactory finish
using tung oil varnish. It was suggested that rubbing the board moderately
with 000 steel wool between applications helps produce a smother surface.
Another idea was to use a fine abrasive polishing compound intended for
painted automobile bodywork, such as Mother’s California Gold Auto Polish to
smooth out the final coat. One of the key ideas to using tung oil
successfully is to apply a number of really thin coats, well rubbed in. As
always, we answered a number of construction and rules questions that had
come up since last week’s clinic.
Theresa Young conducted a drawing for all Detroit Metro drivers in
attendance. The lucky winners and their prizes were:
Sally Guimond—Millenium Mug
Alexa Johr—Derby Luggage Tag
Justyn O’Green—Twix Bar
Klein—derby License Plate Bracket
Tori Balough—Derby Luggage Tag
Tillie Bergmeier—Twix Bar
Kyle Scotti—Bobble Head El Jeffie
Zach Balough—Lucky Monkey
Jeffery Lukacs—SBD Keychain
David Barnowsky—twix bar
Harrison Woods—Red Ring Cap
Next week’s clinic at MSX will focus on final
wheels, and tuning.
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