Winter Rebuild

Winter Rebuild

(Click Here for Downloadable PDF)

Some Must-Do's for Preparing Your Racecar for the Off-Season...

Note: For those racers in the Northern Hemisphere, now is the time you're probably parking your race car and begin overhauling. If you're fortunate enough to live in warmer climates, the off-season is probably just a short break in the action. Note: Those living south of the equator may want to ignore all this for the next 6 months!

Race cars are semi-perishable and if just left in the garage or trailer, they will need TLC to bring them back to life. An ounce of preventable maintenance goes a long way here. Here's some pointers to keep your race car (and pocketbook) happy:

  1. Drain Fuel System ...
  2. Unpack That Parachute ...
  3. Lube Those Cylinders ...
  4. How's the Bottom End? ...
  5. Remove Thee Fire Bottles ...
  6. Service the Magneto ...
  7. Check Safety Equipment Dates ...
  8. Need a Special Tool for that Job? ...
  9. Might wanna' inspect those hoses & fittings ...
  10. Read Some Books! ...
1) Drain Fuel System. This is especially important if methanol is your choice of fuel. Blow out all the lines, tank and components with air. A few squirts of Prolong SPL100 into the barrel valve, fuel pump and 3-way shutoff valve on fuel injection engines, will keep them from corroding. Also keeps the seals and o-rings from drying out. It doesn't hurt to have your mechanical fuel pump flowed every couple of years to ensure that it still flowing the number and is not cavitating (which creates air bubbles in your fuel system - not a good thing.)


2) Unpack That 'chute. The pilot chute spring has a tendency to weaken if compressed for long periods. It won't hurt to wash the parachute and sprinkle it with some baby powder to help absorb moisture. (This also makes it smell good when you take it out of the box next spring!) Be sure to check for holes or rips in the fabric. Damaged canopies can be repaired by the manufacturer or by a local upholstery shop.

3) Lube Those Cylinders. If you're not tearing down the engine this winter, you might want to pull the spark plugs and squirt some Pro-1 XPL-101 Penetrating Oil to each cylinder. Also backing off the rocker arms will ensure your valve springs are still stiff next year.

4) How's the Bottoms End? May want to take a look at the rods & main bearings. Now's the time to find out if the crankshaft needs a polishing. Your pistons rings can easily be checked externally with a leakdown tester. A leakdown will also detect poor head gaskets or a crack in the cylinder. 

Note: One can use a Leakdown tester to detect poor head gaskets or a crack in the cylinder. 
5) Remove Thee Fire Bottles. If your garage drops below freezing, Coldfire 302 (and other liquid systems) will freeze, expand, and crack the seal. Upon thawing out, the liquid will slowly leak out, the gauge will regress to 0 and you'll be contacting DJ Safety for further instructions. Prevent all that by storing the bottles inside where it's warm and toasty.

6) Service the Magneto. It's crucial the that the magneto is removed from the car before any welding is done. Doesn't hurt to set a schedule to replace the points, cap, rotor, capacitor and wires. This you can do on your own. Eventually the magnets will have to be recharged by a pro.

7) Check Safety Equipment Dates. The clock continues to run on those expensive SFI-approved items. It's ideal if the renewal period falls during the winter months when all of the equipment can be recertified at the same time. This is also the slow time for manufacturers so turn-around is usually more prompt. Here is a SFI Recertification Chart showing time frames for the more popular items.

Certification SFI Dates

8) Need a Special Tool for that Job?
  1. Bypass Pill Driver E-7009.SD
  2. Billet Alum Spark Plug Gapper
  3. Spark Plug T-Handle Torque Wrench 3/16
  4. Valve Cover Speed T-Wrench 7/16
  5. Damper Installation Kit
  6. Dzus Wrench
  7. Dimpling Tool
  8. Crimping Tool Hand Operated w/DIE for 3/16 Hose
  9. Timing Ring & Wrench Set
  10. Magneto Drive Wrench
  11. Strap Wrench for System One Filters
  12. Wrist Pin Checker
  13. Crank Hub Installer & Remover Assembly 3/4in Thread
  14. Crank Hub & Gear Remover
  15. Lower Crank Gear Installer
  16. Main Cap Puller
  17. Sleeve Puller
  18. Sleeve Installer
  19. Cam Degree Installation Fixture
  20. Push Rod Straightness Checker
  21. Valve Adjustment Wrench
  22. Rod Bolt Stretch Gauge
  23. Rod-Piston Removal & Installation Tool
  24. Top Dead Center Checker - Hemi
  25. Oil Pump Primer Chevy
  26. Ring Filer
  27. Aluminum Soft Vise Jaws
  28. Push on Hose Clamp Hand Tool
  29. Teflon Hose Separating Tool
  30. Flaring Tool for 1/8in - 3/4in Tubing 37 Degree
  31. Koul Tools

9) Might wanna' inspect those hoses & fittings.
Hoses and Fittings will deteriorate over time. If you want your stuff to last over a long period, it's a good idea to clean them out. Of great importance is to make sure there is no fuel left in the system. Also give them a good visual to find potential defects. XRP Products


10) Read Some Books! Now that the season is behind ya' and next year is still a dream, lets fill the brain with some fresh knowledge. The Good Vibrations Motorsports catalog is on top of our list though that's being a little bias. Good Vibrations also offer over a dozen of hard-core racing books ranging from Supercharging to Building Engines. Did we mentioned DVD's for those that need a better visual & audio fix?

Have a great off-season. If you need advice or have questions, Good Vibrations Motorsports has compiled a vast Technical Library online. They also offer a toll-free line: 800/576-7661


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