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Rules Set: Garage "Engineering" and improvements no longer in rules?


WilsonSteele
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In prep for the 2018 season, and in response to very valid concerns in the forum from new teams about the "secret rules" / "forum rule book", I am searching the 2017 and 2018 rules for the allowance of using simple garage engineering to improve a car. 

 

I admit as co-owner/chief fabricator I somehow completely missed that this series hasn't had it's "Chumpiness" laid out in the 2017-2018 rules set.  And as a 4 year SpecMiata ex-driver, and someone who really wants this series to do well for current racers and bring in new teams without making the mistakes of SM runaway costs and "tech shed legal" cheating, we need to have a set of rules that clearly lays out what we can and can't do.  And then have 99% of the field clearly operate under those rules.  So, there are many places in the rules that quote what you are NOT allowed to do.  We need to bring back what we ARE allowed to do, or racers will take that lack of clarity as permission. 

 

2013 rules:

4.4.7.1. Any component that could reasonably and with relative quality be fabricated using readily available hand tools, basic hand-held power tools, a vice, hammer and a Harbor Freight mig/arc welder, will be valued at the cost of materials only.

 

Many, many people on teams and in the forum, are still operating under the assumption that we are allowed to do what we want to all of the OEM parts that came on our cars.  Using die grinders and dremel tools,  Drilling holes to add lightness, a dremel polish inside the intake casting, vice grip or MIG weld closed the EGR system, nerf bars replacing bumpers under a stock bumper cover, drill the strut tower unibody for more front camber on a sedan, etc?

 

Are modifiied OEM parts that I do in my garage (dremel and drill press) legal to have on the car?  Where does it say this in the rules?

 

A series based on the 4.4 concept below will be inconsistent and subjective, leading to spotty enforcement that will vary throughout the year and region, and lacks the guidance to new teams of 4.4.7.1 above...

4.4. NON FIXED POINT VALUE PARTS
4.4.1. ALL non-stock components, parts, assemblies, or systems MUST be declared to Tech Inspection, noted in the vehicle Log Book, and declared and accounted for in the total points of the vehicle.
4.4.2. There is NO SUCH THING as a free part, every part of a vehicle has a value. Parts not covered elsewhere in the rules will be assigned a point value by ChumpCar Tech.

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Curious how tech answers this, as it is a pretty core element of chumpcar. Trying to help explain here what will get you pulled over by the cops, although i dont appear to fully know what the speed limit actually is......

 

In practicality, you currently appear to be able to modify existing parts through removal of material for free, and through adding material if you cost it out. Exceptions to this seem to be hardware and mounting, those tend to be free and probably should. 

 

If you add a part to the system, it is not free. Grey area to this currently appears to be parts that are not required and do not perform a direct function to the running of the car, like nerf bars and rad protectors. Technically they should be cost of materials, bit since you dont have to run them at all to race it except for safety, they appear to be exempt.

 

Anything the driver can directly touch also seems to be open, like pedals.  

 

From what actually happens at the track, you need to pay points on

1) anything on the fixed points performance mod list

2) material on anything else you modify that is needed to make the car run (not safety and with some exception non performance adding or non required items). Brakes, exhaust, Air filtration, fuel and driver aid systems are exempt. Reasonable cooling tweeks like new filler panels seem to be ok, as is oemish replacement to fix old crap.

3) car initial aiv, engine trans and diff swap.

 

The rest is fair game. 

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Theoretically without this clarification you could protest nearly every car on grid all over the country.  This is a requirement for clarification, and there should be a pinned, locked post that states all of the clarifications made at races by event directors or local tech chiefs.  Too much is heresay and not formal and its a major hindrance for new teams trying to understand the rules.

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As I campaign a car which can only be raced as stock with freebies and 2X components I believe the rest of you should also only be able to race as stock plus freebies and 2X components.

 

Anything, and I mean everything costs points if it ain't stock.....

 

3 page rulebook....

 

 

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5 minutes ago, dogtired said:

As I campaign a car which can only be raced as stock with freebies and 2X components I believe the rest of you should also only be able to race as stock plus freebies and 2X components.

 

Anything, and I mean everything costs points if it ain't stock.....

 

3 page rulebook....

 

 

 Last time I checked the rules applied to everyone. You can do all the same things as everyone else but you also take the same points for doing those things as everyone else.

 

If you're going to start complaining about what you can't do to your car,  just remember: we didn't pick your car. :P

Edited by mender
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22 minutes ago, mender said:

 Last time I checked the rules applied to everyone. You can do all the same things as everyone else but you also take the same points for doing those things as everyone else.

 

If you're going to start complaining about what you can't do to your car,  just remember: we didn't pick your car. :P

Read it again, I said exactly that....

 

No need for shade tree innovation grey areas. If you did something, it cost points.

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2 minutes ago, dogtired said:

Read it again, I said exactly that....

 

No need for shade tree innovation grey areas. If you did something, it cost points.

If you or anybody else did it with common hand tools and didn't use any materials, it doesn't cost points.

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9 minutes ago, mender said:

If you or anybody else did it with common hand tools and didn't use any materials, it doesn't cost points.

I realize that you usually get paid for such information, but humor me here.... what can you or I do to an E36 for free that will help make it a more competitive platform?

 

Mind you, I know of two or three teams that would love some sage advice, as they have moved on to other series because they couldn't whip that horse to their advantage here...

 

Bone stock, out of the box the E36 is the Gold Standard.  I'll give you that, but it is still stock.  It can be lightened, the intake and exhaust can be opened, but that is about it.

 

I drove for an E36 team that was penalized for delrin lollipops but the rules state delrin suspension bits are legal.

 

WTF?

 

I have delrin motor mounts which have survived 15 races. 10 points. We have been through two money-shift situations partially due to the crappy stock transmission mounts.

 

And, the best part...... the Gold Standard is about to be usurped by the next generation of its platform with all those frailties addressed by the manufacturer all the while below 500 points.

 

Yeh,.... fugh me. 

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10 hours ago, Miata PI said:

re-purposing metal

 

It definitely needs to be clarified officially and added to the rule book

I started a thread on this. Nobody seemed to be able to answer. So Tech should give us a ruling. 

My understanding since we started racing in 2015 was that you could "re-purpose" material from the car to modify or augment another component on the car at no cost. The BCCR does not address this. 

S. 

 

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@mender, I agree that your comment above is the backbone of a great series that allows creativity with items off streetcars that normally get thrown away.  And the vast majority of fields that I see /race against are prepped with this intent.

i.e, "If you or anybody else did it with common hand tools and didn't use any materials, it doesn't cost points."

HOWEVER, can you show me where in either the 2017 or 2018 rule book this is even mentioned or alluded to?

https://www.chumpcar.com/downloads/2017ChumpCarBCCR.pdf

https://www.chumpcar.com/downloads/2018ChumpCarBCCR.pdf

 

 

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@Snorman, I am hoping someone can point out that I completely missed reading an important page.

I don't think that is going to happen, so I will gradually move this thread to wordsmithing the correct line to put back into the rule set, and petition our board with it.  It's our series, it's up to us to get it to welcome newcomers better, and have a BCCR that reflects what we are all already doing.

 

My first pass at a rule to petition the Board with, (probably as a new 4.4.1):

Stock / OE (Original Equipment) parts that are on your valued / as raced car can have material moved or removed with readily available hand tools, basic hand-held power tools, drill press, vice, hammer or a Harbor Freight mig/arc welder for no additional points and no need to declare to tech.  For example, you can dremel polish an OE intake manifold, dremel port an OE exhaust manifold and MIG weld the outside even if the OEM did not, put non-adjustable holes in an OE shock tower for camber, or cut air vents in your stock hood or body panels, while complying with all other listed rules.  No TIG welding, no mills, no lathes, no CNC work.  Tech will be the final judge of garage work.

 

Please comment

 

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1 hour ago, Snake said:

Wish we had an area where tech would respond and answer questions so everyone wouldn't be guessing all the time.  Oh wait, we do.   Last post was Feb. 2016.   :ph34r:

I'm committed to having better response time to questions and be more active here on the forum moving forward.

I still work a full time job thats very demanding of my time.

Phil McKinney

Director Tech & Safety

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On 12/5/2017 at 2:31 AM, WilsonSteele said:

In prep for the 2018 season, and in response to very valid concerns in the forum from new teams about the "secret rules" / "forum rule book", I am searching the 2017 and 2018 rules for the allowance of using simple garage engineering to improve a car. 

 

I admit as co-owner/chief fabricator I somehow completely missed that this series hasn't had it's "Chumpiness" laid out in the 2017-2018 rules set.  And as a 4 year SpecMiata ex-driver, and someone who really wants this series to do well for current racers and bring in new teams without making the mistakes of SM runaway costs and "tech shed legal" cheating, we need to have a set of rules that clearly lays out what we can and can't do.  And then have 99% of the field clearly operate under those rules.  So, there are many places in the rules that quote what you are NOT allowed to do.  We need to bring back what we ARE allowed to do, or racers will take that lack of clarity as permission. 

 

2013 rules:

4.4.7.1. Any component that could reasonably and with relative quality be fabricated using readily available hand tools, basic hand-held power tools, a vice, hammer and a Harbor Freight mig/arc welder, will be valued at the cost of materials only.

 

Many, many people on teams and in the forum, are still operating under the assumption that we are allowed to do what we want to all of the OEM parts that came on our cars.  Using die grinders and dremel tools,  Drilling holes to add lightness, a dremel polish inside the intake casting, vice grip or MIG weld closed the EGR system, nerf bars replacing bumpers under a stock bumper cover, drill the strut tower unibody for more front camber on a sedan, etc?

 

Are modifiied OEM parts that I do in my garage (dremel and drill press) legal to have on the car?  Where does it say this in the rules?

 

A series based on the 4.4 concept below will be inconsistent and subjective, leading to spotty enforcement that will vary throughout the year and region, and lacks the guidance to new teams of 4.4.7.1 above...

4.4. NON FIXED POINT VALUE PARTS
4.4.1. ALL non-stock components, parts, assemblies, or systems MUST be declared to Tech Inspection, noted in the vehicle Log Book, and declared and accounted for in the total points of the vehicle.
4.4.2. There is NO SUCH THING as a free part, every part of a vehicle has a value. Parts not covered elsewhere in the rules will be assigned a point value by ChumpCar Tech.

In an effort to meet request to simplify and reduce the size of the rules we did not include the section concerning the non value added for using hand tools to modify your car.

4.7.6. Teams may replace any worn, broken, ventilated, impaled, defective, or bent-beyond-all recognition parts on their car without affecting their total points so long as it’s an OEM or OEMequivalent part for that car’s specific model.

We allow teams to apply the aboue rule in an effort to keep cost down and to allow creativity in your car.

Yes we had a team that turned their trunk upside down and created a rear spoiler that was a non value adder.

Yes we have teams that use their heater cores and AC coils as coolers .

No you cannot reuse the sheet metal from your gas tank that you replaced with a fuel cell.

Yes you can use hand tools to work on your car.  But remember we have professional race teams that have free access to tools the average racers would have to pay to to use of have work done so these are not allowed without cost.

Its a balancing act to meet the demands of our racers, keep cost down, and allow creative engineering.

As always I welcome your input on continous improvements for our series.

 

Phil McKinney

Director Tech & Safety  

 

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4 hours ago, Mopar 63 said:

In an effort to meet request to simplify and reduce the size of the rules we did not include the section concerning the non value added for using hand tools to modify your car.

4.7.6. Teams may replace any worn, broken, ventilated, impaled, defective, or bent-beyond-all recognition parts on their car without affecting their total points so long as it’s an OEM or OEMequivalent part for that car’s specific model.

We allow teams to apply the aboue rule in an effort to keep cost down and to allow creativity in your car.

Yes we had a team that turned their trunk upside down and created a rear spoiler that was a non value adder.

Yes we have teams that use their heater cores and AC coils as coolers .

No you cannot reuse the sheet metal from your gas tank that you replaced with a fuel cell.

Yes you can use hand tools to work on your car.  But remember we have professional race teams that have free access to tools the average racers would have to pay to to use of have work done so these are not allowed without cost.

Its a balancing act to meet the demands of our racers, keep cost down, and allow creative engineering.

As always I welcome your input on continous improvements for our series.

 

Phil McKinney

Director Tech & Safety  

 

Awesome quick response phil. I think the rules sort of handle this with the clause that "any non fixed item must be declared to tech" which is already in the rules (4.4.1).  The only thing not written down in the rules is the intent, which you stated above, that will be used to determine the value (if any) for non fixed items. Finding a way to share the intent of the rule with new teams would be handy, but writing "intent" is a hard thing to do.

 

On the e36 lollypop example, if they wanted to avoid the points i would think redrilling a new hole in a oem direct replacement bushing for that car would be a zero point way of adding caster. Buying a specifically offset bushing (for the 95 year model) and not using it in that models control arm (96+) would be value add. Both would need to be claimed, and ultimately phil would decide. Bolt have historically been free, so shove a bolt in the original hole so you dont have a mega soft bushing.

 

Lots of free things you can do with the cars, just remember you will most likely get the free nod from tech if your hand tools, not your paypal account made the item possible.

 

Edited by Black Magic
I can not spell
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4 hours ago, Mopar 63 said:

In an effort to meet request to simplify and reduce the size of the rules we did not include the section concerning the non value added for using hand tools to modify your car.

4.7.6. Teams may replace any worn, broken, ventilated, impaled, defective, or bent-beyond-all recognition parts on their car without affecting their total points so long as it’s an OEM or OEMequivalent part for that car’s specific model.

We allow teams to apply the aboue rule in an effort to keep cost down and to allow creativity in your car.

Yes we had a team that turned their trunk upside down and created a rear spoiler that was a non value adder.

Yes we have teams that use their heater cores and AC coils as coolers .

No you cannot reuse the sheet metal from your gas tank that you replaced with a fuel cell.

Yes you can use hand tools to work on your car.  But remember we have professional race teams that have free access to tools the average racers would have to pay to to use of have work done so these are not allowed without cost.

Its a balancing act to meet the demands of our racers, keep cost down, and allow creative engineering.

As always I welcome your input on continous improvements for our series.

 

Phil McKinney

Director Tech & Safety  

 

Phil - good summary, still leaves a few holes.

 

When it comes re-using material that came on the car, how are points determined for using metal cut from the car from an unused (not replaced) component (e.g.; inner door panel, door crash bars, inner hood/trunk bracing, dash support bar, seat frame, rear bulkhead, spare tire well, etc) elsewhere on the vehicle, with potential for performance improvement?

 

 

A few examples for point clarification, is it 0 points, 5 points or 1 point per sq ft of material for:

-Weld cut metal to a suspension arm to increase strength/stiffness of the suspension part.

-Weld cut metal to a subframe to increase strength/stiffness of the subframe.

-Weld cut metal to a suspension arm/subframe to change the suspension geometry

-Attach cut metal to chassis for bracing

-Use cut metal to re-direct airflow at either front or rear of vehicle

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