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I had a quick question I couldn't seem to find any definitive answers to from searching so I figured I would post up and see if anyone had any info.

In the Tech Sheet I see...
" Suspension component (not otherwise listed in this table), non-OE - 10 Points per corner "  

" Camber Adjuster Homemade (pair) - 5 Points Front , 5 Points Rear " 

" Camber Adjuster Stock components re-drilled/slotted for adjustment - 0 Points " 

If I have a vehicle where the OEM arms are becoming difficult to locate, are VERY costly, and are not serviceable, am I able to run an aftermarket arm that is the same length and similar materials to OEM, non adjustable, but with a replaceable ball joint, and if so, what sort of points would I be looking at?

Essentially the car is a double A-Arm car and the front lower arms are cast steel with a non-serviceable ball joint, and are $1200-1400 for the pair if you can locate them, it seems they may be getting phased out in the US market but some overseas parts distributors show some availability from what I can tell. But an aftermarket option is available that is much more affordable, and is welded steel, a fixed length with no adjusters, and the length is the same as OEM, but the arm has the ability to remove the ball joint and replace it when it wears out or fails. So the arm would provide no additional camber adjustment compared to stock, be of similar material and weight, and would just make it more affordable to have spares when the inevitable crash happens or the ball joint wears out. 

Im sort of hoping my team will not have to fork out $2400-2800 to have a fresh set of arms and a backup set just to not suffer a point penalty compared to the more affordable, serviceable part, but I am kind of thinking we may have to just suck it up and try to locate OEM parts. 

 

Any insight would be appreciated. 
Thanks,

 

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I would think this should be within the spirit of champcar.  However, it is not currently within the rules.  

 

I bet we see more of this sort of thing moving forward with the older cars.

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Thanks for the input guys.

The car in question is a 1992 Lexus SC400. Ive had it sitting around, and I've wanted to make a run at Champ for a few years now, but the car definitely needs some upkeep before I would ever consider running it all out for 10+ hours on track. So I'm in the beginning stages of planning the maintenance/upgrades, and to see if it is feasible to get it to be somewhat competitive within my budget, and then maybe get out on track early next year. 

 

Its at 495 base point value, and I'd imagine to get it really just to be reliable and safe I'll need to spend a few points upgrading the cooling system and suspension/brakes, so I am trying to avoid 'spending' points on anything unless absolutely necessary so I am not at a huge penalty to start out with. At the same time, I don't have thousands of dollars burning a whole in my pocket to buy these incredibly expensive OE arms, as well as spares, on top of all the other bits the car will likely need. 

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8 hours ago, AKS14 said:

upgrading the cooling system and suspension/brakes

Only thing you need is everything to be within spec, cut the springs and get racing pads/fluid. Upgrades unnecessary, it WILL work as designed without much help.

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8 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

I would think this should be within the spirit of champcar.  However, it is not currently within the rules.  

 

I bet we see more of this sort of thing moving forward with the older cars.

Rob, you are a funny.  You would think and I would agree, but you know that a portion of people will say anything non stock is points not matter what car it is. 

 

20 points people can argue, 10 per side per non oem component. The issue I see when googling the SC400 lower control arm is that the aftermarket ones seem adjustable. The cost of $1700 for a new set of two really suks, wow. 

 

Also, if it is an SC400 I do wonder if the 75 point reduction comes in for the automatic trans. I heard a team try to say that the SC400 came with a manual, but every bit of my searching found nothing on that. If someone can show that then the 75 point reduction can give you plenty of points to put on the adjustable lower control arms and leave you with 60 points to play with.

 

Are the control arms the same as the SC300 as a bunch of people run those and might have a solution.

 

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Sadly, you are likely to run into the small diameter clutch precedent. If it looks too racy to other teams it must be charged points regardless of the actual benefit. Of course, as always once you pay your points don’t stop at stock replacement, once you have taken points you can go crazy with the improvements, to make sure you get your moneys worth. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help you since you don’t have the points to begin with.

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What if there was a list and way to have Tech and/or TAC evaluate specific parts for certain models of cars and years to consider equivalent parts at zero points. There could be an evaluation to consider the value/cost of the part, availability of the part, real benefit of the part and then determine if that replacement part will have a zero point value. There could be a list kept to see which makes and models and parts are approved for zero points. To me, this would be a great example, if the aftermarket part has no benefit, though if it is adjustable that is questionable and makes me ask a few questions. Does the stock have enough adjustment to have a large range of camber? Does the adjustable lower control arm give you more camber adjustment than stock. Does having more adjustment benefit the car? Is the aftermarket part much lighter than stock?

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12 hours ago, AKS14 said:

I had a quick question I couldn't seem to find any definitive answers to from searching so I figured I would post up and see if anyone had any info.

In the Tech Sheet I see...
" Suspension component (not otherwise listed in this table), non-OE - 10 Points per corner "  

" Camber Adjuster Homemade (pair) - 5 Points Front , 5 Points Rear " 

" Camber Adjuster Stock components re-drilled/slotted for adjustment - 0 Points " 

If I have a vehicle where the OEM arms are becoming difficult to locate, are VERY costly, and are not serviceable, am I able to run an aftermarket arm that is the same length and similar materials to OEM, non adjustable, but with a replaceable ball joint, and if so, what sort of points would I be looking at?

Essentially the car is a double A-Arm car and the front lower arms are cast steel with a non-serviceable ball joint, and are $1200-1400 for the pair if you can locate them, it seems they may be getting phased out in the US market but some overseas parts distributors show some availability from what I can tell. But an aftermarket option is available that is much more affordable, and is welded steel, a fixed length with no adjusters, and the length is the same as OEM, but the arm has the ability to remove the ball joint and replace it when it wears out or fails. So the arm would provide no additional camber adjustment compared to stock, be of similar material and weight, and would just make it more affordable to have spares when the inevitable crash happens or the ball joint wears out. 

Im sort of hoping my team will not have to fork out $2400-2800 to have a fresh set of arms and a backup set just to not suffer a point penalty compared to the more affordable, serviceable part, but I am kind of thinking we may have to just suck it up and try to locate OEM parts. 

 

Any insight would be appreciated. 
Thanks,

 

 

If you are unsure, Please submit a tech desk ticket.  A specific link to the aftermarket option you are referring to is going to be very helpful.

 

The tech desk is the proper way to get a real and official answer.

 

I would guess from the outside that this applies, but again,  tech desk with specific parts and vehicle will get you the answer you are searching for.

Quote

4.7.1. 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 OE or OE-equivalent part
for that car’s specific model.

 

 

OE equivalent, in the past, has extended to parts with replaceable parts when the OE part was non-serviceable.    This is a pretty common situation when buying parts.

 

Now, If the "replaceable" ball joint adds camber or adjust toe or something, thats a different situation.

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2 hours ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

Rob, you are a funny.  You would think and I would agree, but you know that a portion of people will say anything non stock is points not matter what car it is. 

 

20 points people can argue, 10 per side per non oem component. The issue I see when googling the SC400 lower control arm is that the aftermarket ones seem adjustable. The cost of $1700 for a new set of two really suks, wow. 

 

Also, if it is an SC400 I do wonder if the 75 point reduction comes in for the automatic trans. I heard a team try to say that the SC400 came with a manual, but every bit of my searching found nothing on that. If someone can show that then the 75 point reduction can give you plenty of points to put on the adjustable lower control arms and leave you with 60 points to play with.

 

Are the control arms the same as the SC300 as a bunch of people run those and might have a solution.

 

If it is using an automatic, deduct 75 points. Period. Doesn’t matter if it had a manual option or not. 
Mike C said this years ago when I asked, and I asked because JC made some confusing statement about that deduction only applying to cars which had both manual and automatic options and it left me thinking that he was just talking out his a$&.

Perhaps tech has a new view on it now. 

Edited by enginerd
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Posted (edited)

There are aftermarket lower control arms available for this car that are built according to the oem specs.  They are good enough to run and would not be points.  Look on ebay, they are about $200 each.  Also, if your ball joints are still tight you can just replace the bushings and go racing.  I am on the same set of lower control arms I bought from Toyota in 2016 so it's not something you are going to wear out quickly.  Also, up until recently the supra lower control arms that are exactly the same as the SC300/400 arms were half the price as from the Lexus dealer, but that ended last year when Toyota decided to gouge all of us still running these cars and the mkiv supras.

 

You don't have any reason to upgrade the cooling system, with fresh radiator and tweaks on ducting you will have no issue with cooling.

 

Edit: go through wheel bearings, run the LS400 front caliper (bolt on), find some good racing pads, and cut all the weight you can find.  Should be good to go other than the auto trans.  Not sure what you are going to do there.

 

Edited by Burningham
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58 minutes ago, enginerd said:

If it is using an automatic, deduct 75 points. Period. Doesn’t matter if it had a manual option or not. 
Mike C said this years ago when I asked, and I asked because JC made some confusing statement about that deduction only applying to cars which had both manual and automatic options and it left me thinking that he was just talking out his a$&.

Perhaps tech has a new view on it now. 

 

I have never understood this rule exactly.  Take this car as an example.  So the car is 495 points and only came with an auto trans.  If you do any trans swap, you take 25 points and you are at 520.  If in your example you run it with the auto trans you are saying you take the 75 point deduction and the car is 420 points.  So you can never run this car in its point configuration on the list of 495 points.  How does that make sense?

 

Let's assume another scenario.  So lets say you start with 495 points, take the 75 point deduction and then do the manual swap by taking 25 points, that puts you at 445 points.  That's 55 points less than the SC300 that did come with manual and is on the list at 500 points but you are a little less weight (aluminum block v8 vs cast iron straight 6) and you now have 20 more hp.  So that doesn't work.  None of this makes any sense unless you say you can't take the deduction on a car that was never offered with a manual trans.

 

Somebody explain this because I can't.

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18 minutes ago, Burningham said:

 

I have never understood this rule exactly.  Take this car as an example.  So the car is 495 points and only came with an auto trans.  If you do any trans swap, you take 25 points and you are at 520.  If in your example you run it with the auto trans you are saying you take the 75 point deduction and the car is 420 points.  So you can never run this car in its point configuration on the list of 495 points.  How does that make sense?

 

Let's assume another scenario.  So lets say you start with 495 points, take the 75 point deduction and then do the manual swap by taking 25 points, that puts you at 445 points.  That's 55 points less than the SC300 that did come with manual and is on the list at 500 points but you are a little less weight (aluminum block v8 vs cast iron straight 6) and you now have 20 more hp.  So that doesn't work.  None of this makes any sense unless you say you can't take the deduction on a car that was never offered with a manual trans.

 

Somebody explain this because I can't.

First example, I thought the VPI applied to the car with no reductions if it was available in only an automatic version.

Second example...no. 

See note at top of VPI table:

Quote

Note #1 - Deduct 75 points from the value listed if the car is raced with an automatic transmission.

You only get the 75 point deduction if the car is raced with the automatic. 

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3 minutes ago, Snorman said:

First example, I thought the VPI applied to the car with no reductions if it was available in only an automatic version.

Second example...no. 

See note at top of VPI table:

You only get the 75 point deduction if the car is raced with the automatic. 

 

I pretty much thought all of that was the case, it's just odd that you have a car at 495 points that you can never race at 495 points.

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3 minutes ago, Burningham said:

 

I pretty much thought all of that was the case, it's just odd that you have a car at 495 points that you can never race at 495 points.

Regarding the reduction, I would definitely want to know if that applies to cars that do NOT have a manual transmission available OE. Otherwise, why even assign the VPI? 

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1 minute ago, Snorman said:

Regarding the reduction, I would definitely want to know if that applies to cars that do NOT have a manual transmission available OE. Otherwise, why even assign the VPI? 

 

I am pretty thick headed, so maybe I continue to be confused on this.  In this car's example, you either run the car with an auto at 420 (which in my opinion there isn't enough you can do with the 80 points to make the speed back up trying to run the A340E) or you run it with a manual swap at 520.  Good luck to the original poster on whatever he decides.

 

I am pretty sure this is why Matt is the only person that has ever tried to run this car, well maybe one other a few years back.  It's a shame because the 1UZ is an awesome engine.

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14 minutes ago, Burningham said:

I pretty much thought all of that was the case, it's just odd that you have a car at 495 points that you can never race at 495 points.

Odd, but not unreasonable. It’s just a quirk.


Mike C said that it’s unreasonable for ChampCar to know if a car did or did not ever come with a manual transmission. Therefore, all values assume that a standard manual trans was equipped. If you run an auto (or if auto was the only option) deduct 75 points. 
This is especially true with all the BS like “you could have ordered this as an option if you knew somebody who wrote a letter to the factory”

Edited by enginerd
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1 hour ago, Burningham said:

There are aftermarket lower control arms available for this car that are built according to the oem specs.  They are good enough to run and would not be points.  Look on ebay, they are about $200 each.  Also, if your ball joints are still tight you can just replace the bushings and go racing.  I am on the same set of lower control arms I bought from Toyota in 2016 so it's not something you are going to wear out quickly.  Also, up until recently the supra lower control arms that are exactly the same as the SC300/400 arms were half the price as from the Lexus dealer, but that ended last year when Toyota decided to gouge all of us still running these cars and the mkiv supras..

 

I checked my normal go-to site RockAuto and I could not find any OE Replacement arm like Moog, Dorman, etc. And, from my experience purchasing MKIV lowers from Toyota for another one of my cars about 2 years ago, they were even at that time about 600$ each, and the prices on anything JZ or MKIV related have just sky-rocketed in the last year. 

That being said, I didnt check eBay and I do see some aftermarket arms available that are actually affordable, I'm just a little weary of some OE replacement stuff if its a total white-box no name piece, but I may give those a try. 

The aftermarket arms I found were built by a smaller company but had zero adjustment, just a fixed arm with poly bushings and a ball joint assembly which could be bolted on/off to be replaced, but no sort of slotting or movement in length or camber angle, so I figured it would be nice just for ease of serviceability, but I suppose I will stick with the OE-Replacement eBay stuff for now.
 

 

5 hours ago, MR2 Biohazard said:

What if there was a list and way to have Tech and/or TAC evaluate specific parts for certain models of cars and years to consider equivalent parts at zero points. There could be an evaluation to consider the value/cost of the part, availability of the part, real benefit of the part and then determine if that replacement part will have a zero point value. There could be a list kept to see which makes and models and parts are approved for zero points. To me, this would be a great example, if the aftermarket part has no benefit, though if it is adjustable that is questionable and makes me ask a few questions. Does the stock have enough adjustment to have a large range of camber? Does the adjustable lower control arm give you more camber adjustment than stock. Does having more adjustment benefit the car? Is the aftermarket part much lighter than stock?

 

I definitely agree with this. I think with some of these chassis getting older, and manufacturers discontinuing OE parts, and not many manufacturers stepping up to make OE replacement, this may be something for Champ leadership to look at a little more closely to sort of establish a best practice when evaluating these cases. The arm in question I found was Steel in construction, and I would imagine similar weight to the OEM, and absolutely no adjusters, slotted mount holes, etc., so it really provides no advantage aside from being affordable and easy to service. 

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1 hour ago, enginerd said:

Mike C said that it’s unreasonable for ChampCar to know if a car did or did not ever come with a manual transmission.

Yes, it is so difficult to do a google search before setting a cars value.

 

There are some values that have not changed since the Condren era. I kinda wonder if some of them were set assuming a -75 using the convoluted logic one would start from that lower value. Example-1987 Monte Carlo is essentially a 275 point vpi as the car never came with a manual. (250 on the list) Seems rather high.

 

Partsgeek shows lower control arms for '92 SC400 at around $780. Certainly not cheap by any means, but not $1700.

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6 minutes ago, AKS14 said:

That being said, I didnt check eBay and I do see some aftermarket arms available that are actually affordable, I'm just a little weary of some OE replacement stuff if its a total white-box no name piece, but I may give those a try. 

 

They are fine.  I suspect they were given license from the Japanese supplier that were making them for Toyota and the time ran out since they look exactly like oem.  You will have no issue with them.  Screw Toyota for more than doubling the price last June.  Sumbitches.

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1 hour ago, enginerd said:

Therefore, all values assume that a standard manual trans was equipped.

 

I don't think this is the case with this car and illustrates the issue.  That would assume the SC400 with a 1UZ would be 5 points less than the same car with a 2JZ.  I think just the opposite, the car was assumed to need a manual swap and end up at 520.

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