Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

I can't believe I left that out! I just added a paragraph under "Teamwork". It's a start, but I think I need to write up a "how to drag your family along" bit. Any tips?

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

nice. i have this bookmarked

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Added:

Realizing there's no way you can get the car finished and that your fees are lost:
This sucks. This is the most sucky suckness you'll likely feel. You realize you just lost a serious amount of cash and Jay won't give it back because whether or not you show up, he has to pay his people. There is a way to keep that knot in your stomach from turning into an ulcer. If you're on the team that doesn't have their car ready, post in human resources. Say up front that you've paid your fees and don't have a car. If you can wrench, advertise it. Let them know if you're willing to pay a couple hundred for a spot on a team. You'd be surprised how many teams can make room if you're already paid up as a driver, know how to swap pads, and are willing to front some gas money. Would you rather spend $500 to sit on the couch or $700 to actually race? Try and look out for your teammates. If you find a team that's willing to take more than one of you, let your teammates know.

If you're three drivers short of a minimum team, post in the human resources section and offer the teams that paid and don't have their car together the chance to arrive and drive for a nominal fee. Explain expectations and set ground rules with them. Don't think of them as second stringers, think of them as your second chance at glory. Be patient and expect personality clashes. If all else fails, show up with your small team and let the car sit for the stints with no drivers. Get yourself plenty of track time. Let one of the Judges take your car for a spin. Enjoy the fact that you made it, even if the rest of your team is a bunch of jokers.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

I could have used something like this for the 24 hour race.

Both cars made it...barely...but I think most of the team had a good experience by the time all was said and done.

Team OK-Speed : Civic Tape-R and Spec Piñata (RIP)
2011 Heaps in the Heart of Texas - I Got Screwed || 2012 Yee-Haw, It's Lemons Texas - Judges Choice
2012 North Dallas Hooptie - Personal Scolding from Jay "Award" || 2012 Heaps in the Heart of Texas - Judges Choice
2014 Shine Country Classic - Heroic Fix || 2015 Doing Time in Joliet - Class B Win!

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Revamped the Safety section to include a bit on sharing equipment. Also deleted the reference to DOM rollcage tubing. I need to write up a bit on rollcages for the car prep section.

Safety:
Don't skimp on safety. The last thing you want to do is explain to a teammate's spouse that they died because you went cheap on the safety equipment. Don't underestimate the power of Mom when it comes to buying safety gear. I'm not saying mooch off your parents, but when my mother heard I was going to a Lemons race, she made a monetary safety equipment donation that allowed me to upgrade from a foam collar to a Hans.

At a minimum you will need two full sets of: suit, helmet, gloves, shoes, and socks. If you've bucked the trend and read the rule book before asking questions (good for you!) you should remember that you need two fully suited team members to refuel.  There are some options when it comes to suits and neck restraints. My recommendation is to get the 3.2A/5 suit and share a true neck restraint with the team.

Many first-time teams have members who fall short on gear, either by lack of funds or by forgetting to order until the race is a week away and their preferred race shop takes 10 days to ship. Lemons is like kindergarten in that sharing is okay. Well, that and we all behave like five year olds. When my team got our car to the track, we had two suits, two sets of gloves/shoes/socks, one helmet, and a Hans. Luckily the team next to us loaned us a helmet so we could refuel. Don't count on being so lucky. We were also fortunate that it was only about 80 degrees. If it's any hotter and you're sharing a helmet, get balaclavas. They'll help keep your sweat off your friends' faces and vice-versa. The recommendations are to get a single-face-hole, not the two-eye-hole version. A thin seam is important, as a thick seam will dig into your skull and drive you nuts. We don't want you driving while infuriated.

If you're racing in hot weather, a Cool Suit IS safety gear. On a 100 degree day most racers with neck donuts and no Cool Suit start making bad decisions after 15 minutes. With a Cool Suit you can run comfortably for about 45 minutes. If you can't afford one of the ready-made setups, build your own cooler/bilge pump contraption or buy a used one from a medical supply store. Make your own Cool Shirts with cotton t-shirts and the thinnest surgical tubing you can find.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

If I can add any thing from 6 races I would say never, never, never quit. Find team members that understand that it may come all the way down to a 24 hour strait work day to get the car ready. Our very first race was the most memorable because we did not quit. I think we only actually drove for an hour, but all three of us got to drive and in the end we won Organizers Choice! It made all the effort worth it.

Organizer's Choice Houston Yee-Haw Its Lemons 08', DNF Houston Yee-Haw Its Lemons 09'
Ugly Class 3 Winner Houston Gatoro-o-Rama  10', Ugly Class 3 Winner BFE Colorado 10', Ugly Class 3 Winner Texas World Speedway 12, We got Screwed Winner ECR 14', Barely Finished MSR 14' and trying like hell for an IOE in 2015.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

I reviewed it to see what I have written on "not giving up in the middle of a race" and realized I don't have anything. I feel the need to add a section on "What to do when your heap fails as predicted". I have a few ideas, but I'd appreciate some input. I'd like to cover not giving up, parts scrounging, outside talent scrounging, and a list of some of the ingenious ideas seen in Lemons (using a soldering iron to weld a plastic radiator tank, repairing a clutch with brake pads, etc.).

I also made a few editorial changes in the "teamwork" section and a spelling correction in the "at the race" section.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

EriktheAwful wrote:

I reviewed it to see what I have written on "not giving up in the middle of a race" and realized I don't have anything. I feel the need to add a section on "What to do when your heap fails as predicted". I have a few ideas, but I'd appreciate some input. I'd like to cover not giving up, parts scrounging, outside talent scrounging, and a list of some of the ingenious ideas seen in Lemons (using a soldering iron to weld a plastic radiator tank, repairing a clutch with brake pads, etc.).

I also made a few editorial changes in the "teamwork" section and a spelling correction in the "at the race" section.

How about "keep an extra fire extinguisher in your paddock space -- not the same one you use for fueling -- you know, just in case."

In terms of parts scrounging/ideating in the middle of the race, it can be very helpful to cultivate friends in marque-specific forums that you can contact out of the blue with a question about something that has gone wonky. Internet/forum access can be pretty poor at a racetrack, so getting phone numbers of guys who know things and who are ready/willing/able to help troubleshoot over the phone can be useful. If you can find someone who sells parts for your car AND who really cares about your make/model of car, cultivate that relationship because they may be able to help you from a distance too in terms of scrounging. I once mis-re-installed the dipstick tube and knew that I'd cut the o-ring but couldn't find one that was the right size in the Harbor Freight 1,001 Metric O-Rings kit with which to replace it. Fortunately, there's a guy who works parts sales at a Toyota dealership in Oregon whom I've never met in person but have emailed with and talked with many times. He was able to find me a crossover parts number for my no-longer-made O-ring for a silvertop 4AG motor for a Camry O-ring that was the exact same size. The Toyota dealership near the track had the Camry part in stock and we were able to complete the repair on Saturday before the race started, but I never would have found the Camry crossover number without Aaron's help, and then we would have been getting black flagged for dripping oil out of our race car.

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67
https://youtu.be/qmf9JkedPR8

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Added Emergency situations, and Facing up to potentially race-ending failures near the end.

Emergency situations

If you find yourself or your team in an emergency situation, STAY CALM. You can't respond to the situation if you can't think clearly. Prioritize what needs to be done to make the situation safe, and work towards resolving it. Staying calm comes with practice and training. Know how to work the belts in your car. Know how to get out of your car quickly. Practice it! If you can voice the situation to someone, either directly or by radio, keep your voice steady and clearly state the situation.

Know where your fire extinguishers are and how to use them. If you took your only fire extinguisher to the hot pits and your car comes into the paddock with the brakes on fire, it's a good idea to know where your neighbor's fire extinguisher is (thanks, Ross). Know where the nearest first-aid kit is. Know how to render first-aid. (pages 174-186)

Once everyone's out of danger, assess what it's going to take to get your car back out on the track, turning laps.

Facing up to potentially race-ending failures
Safety first!

Don't give up!

Online forums are great for building your car, but don't discount their worth for scrounging parts from the track. Make note of which forum members live near the track, and if you've built up a repoire with them, ask if you can keep them on speed-dial for the race in case you need parts or advice.

Keep your phone charged up so you can use it to call or surf the web and see which Autozone, O'Reilly, Advance, salvage yard, etc., might have the parts you need. Don't forget to ask for directions if you're unfamiliar with the area.

If another team is running a car similar to yours, see if they have a spare of the part you need. The corollary to this is if a team with a similar car comes knocking, try to be accomodating. If you lend them a part that helps them collect nickels, they'll be much more likely to reciprocate at the next race.

Ask the track personnel if there's a place nearby where you can make repairs. The tractor shop down the street from MAM has welding equipment. MSR sometimes has a guy on-site who repairs radiators. ECR is miles from anywhere. You may never know this stuff if you don't ask.

When all else fails, improvise! If nothing else, Lemons is a breeding ground for creativity. Whether it's welding plastic radiator end-tanks back together with a soldering iron, making a new clutch from a scrap clutch and used brake pads, slopping anti-seize compound into a noisy rear-end, or adapting a carburetor onto a fuel injected car with some scrap metal you have on hand, don't give up.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Tweaked the "At the Race" section with this paragraph.

Speaking of stints, if a beginning driver is out on track for more than an hour, their attention span is going to start slipping. In hot weather, expect it to happen sooner. If they're having a ball and driving good, they can stay out there two hours. If they're pro drivers and they're comfortable with it, then sure, leave them out there four hours. Don't push first-time drivers to take on four hour stints, although I've seen first-time drivers who were so excited they refused to pit until the car started sputtering. The most important thing if you're driving is that you keep focused on driving. If your mind starts wandering to anything other than what is happening right now, pull in to the pits and put the next driver in the seat. A lack of attention to a developing situation can cause an accident.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Changed "Car Selection:" to "Finding a Car:" and added a paragraph on finding cheap cars.

Finding a Car:
The first hurdle many teams face is finding a car for less than $500. It doesn't matter where you live, the problem is not insurmountable. Never underestimate the power of networking. Talk up what you're doing with your friends and co-workers. I had a co-worker offer me his daughter's Pulsar NX for $500, running, driving, and titled. I also had a friend who works for a tow company offer me an abandoned Dodge Neon dirt cheap. The deals are out there, expecially if you deal in cash. Search craigslist for "no title" or "ran when parked". Search for cars from $50 to $1500. It is within the rules to find a craigslist ad for $1800, offer the seller $900 cash, sell $600 worth of crap you're not using, then spend $200 on junkyard go-fast parts.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Added to "Car Prep":

When the race comes around you probably won't have everything on your to-do list done, so before you start, here's your priority list:
1) Tear out the interior.
2) Cage it.
3) Mount the seat and fire extinguisher.
4) Install the kill switch and belts
5) Fix what the car needs to be driveable.
6) Fix what the car needs to be reliable.
7) Theme.
8) Fix what the car needs to be fast.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Read mharrell's tip and added it almost verbatim.

I print one extra copy of the rules especially for the purpose of blacking it out with a chisel-tip Sharpie, line by line, after that item has been met in full.  This makes it much easier to pick out the areas that are still of particular concern.

Also added admonishments to read the rules and moved the whole rules paragraph closer to the top of the car prep section.

Read the rules. Everyone has to pass the Tech Inspection, and you can't pass Tech if you don't know the rules. Download the rules, read the rules, follow the rules during your build, and you will have a much better chance of passing the Tech Inspection. Print a copy of the rules especially for the purpose of blacking it out with a chisel-tip Sharpie, line by line, after that item has been met in full.  This makes it much easier to pick out the areas that are still of particular concern. Don't forget to read the rules. In the unlikely event you think your car is ready to pass tech and you aren't at the track humping it to get through tech before they close, minimize your chances of failing by printing off copies of the Official Lemons Tech Inspection checklist for each teammate. Have them read the rules. Then have each team member go completely through the checklist and document any problems they see. Expect this to cause some division and worries, but know that you're ahead of the game because many teams are just now buying their car. Print off a few nice, clean copies of the Inspection checklist to take to the race. They usually have some at the tech shed, but you need to have them filled out before you get to tech and it's a pain having to walk across the paddock and back for a sheet of paper you could have printed off at home. Still, count on misinterpreting something in the rules and having to go out and buy parts at 4pm Friday afternoon.

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

pretty great list

Re: The best tips from us idiots on getting started losing money in Lemons

Thanks! Sorry I didn't notice your comment earlier.