First time (again), passing tech in an older car

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Eric Wong
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:57 pm
Car#: 900

First time (again), passing tech in an older car

Postby Eric Wong » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:27 pm

I don't know if my I can get the CoG height / SSF for my beloved Chevy Bolt EV in time, so I will likely fall back to borrowing a car from a family member (with permission, and I'm covered by the insurance, at least off track) if needed. I'm signed up for Saturday practice on 9/23 already (my schedule is iffy that Sunday), but won't know what car I'll run, yet.

So, for passing tech in an older car, I have some questions:

- With GM side post terminals on the battery, the bolt is uncovered from the factory, will electrical tape suffice for covering the positive terminal?

- I'll need new tires due to slightly cracked sidewalls. Since I'm a newbie, should I get less sticky all-season tires to improve my skills?

Otherwise, the wheel bearings seem alright, bushings and boots look good, steering feels responsive...
I'll need to flush the brake fluid and do an oil change.
Loose items can quickly be taken out...

What else?

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Randy Gonzalez
Posts: 303
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 8:12 pm
Club: CASOC
Car#: 436
Location: Orange County, CA
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Re: First time (again), passing tech in an older car

Postby Randy Gonzalez » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:03 am

Hi Eric,

You shouldn't have any problems with an older car that's in decent shape in tech.

The most common problem that we run into in tech is a loose battery (the battery itself, not cables). We need that thing mounted in there securely. We don't want it rolling around and having those terminals banging against the hood or something and shorting out or arcing. Factory battery mounts are typically adequate, but if yours isn't up to the task, get that thing secured with a ratchet strap or something.

Beyond that, we just want to make sure the car is safe enough to get around our courses in one piece and not leaking fluids to mess up the course for other competitors. If you have throttle return springs, we're typically looking for redundancy (i.e. two redundant springs) ...although I don't think the rules specifically state that as a requirement (the safety inspection rules state: "Throttle return action shall be safe and positive."). Older tires typically aren't a problem...but make sure you don't have cords or cracks showing.

Here's a link to the specific safety inspection rules (see Section 3.3.3 that starts on page 29 of this document). These are the guidelines our tech team specifically uses to determine if your car is safe and able to run with us:

https://dk1xgl0d43mu1.cloudfront.net/user_files/scca/downloads/000/036/760/2017-07-12-sections-1-12.pdf?1499879807

As far as purchasing tires goes, we consider 200 tread wear tires to be "Street" tires so anything with that rating (or higher) on the sidewall will allow you to run in our stock or street tire classes. There are some "go to" tire recommendations we can share if you want to be competitive, but I don't know that I'd recommend them right out of the box for a first time autocrosser. Some of your tire decision may be driven by how you use your car outside autocross (i.e. is it a daily driver?, etc.). Come out with us a few events and see if you like it, if it becomes a passion, then go spend some cash on grippy tires.

All that being said, if this is your first time out with us, read this document (our Novice Guide):

http://solo2.com/MiscDocuments/Cal_Club_Autocross_Novice_Guide.pdf

If you have any further specific question, feel free to post them....

See ya out there!
SCCA Certifications: Solo Safety Steward, Flagging and Communications
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Eric Wong
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:57 pm
Car#: 900

Re: First time (again), passing tech in an older car

Postby Eric Wong » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:45 pm

Yep, I've definitely been going over those documents but wasn't sure about some things such as the GM side post terminal. The factory battery mount seems secure for normal driving, at least.

Another thing I remembered: the front bumper covers are damaged and held on by zip ties since the original rivet and bolt holes broke. The zip ties have held for years over rough highways and sunlight, but I'll bring some extra zip ties in case a cone knocks them loose. There's still some original rivets in place, at least.

The car is definitely not a daily and won't be driven in cold weather, so I'm a little tempted to get TW 200 tires except it might not be good for my development as a driver (or my wallet!).

Eric Wong
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:57 pm
Car#: 900

Re: First time (again), passing tech in an older car

Postby Eric Wong » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:42 pm

Just requested a cancellation for Saturday practice. Cars can't pass tech if they don't start.

I'll try to get it fixed on Saturday and maybe run on Sunday if there's walk up spots available.

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Rick Brown
Club Representative
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:25 am
Club: PSCC
Car#: 240
Location: Lake Elsinore, CA

Re: First time (again), passing tech in an older car

Postby Rick Brown » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:05 pm

Eric Wong wrote:Just requested a cancellation for Saturday practice. Cars can't pass tech if they don't start.

I'll try to get it fixed on Saturday and maybe run on Sunday if there's walk up spots available.

No limit on entries for Sunday events.
Since light is faster than sound...many people look bright until they speak...


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