Topic: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Hi everyone, I've appreciated this forum and hoping to run our first race plans by you - please let me know what you think we might be missing / underthinking / things you've learned from your first race to now.

Racing 1995 Chevy S10, 4 cyl, 5 speed
We have a theme and confirmed it should be unique

Getting cage delivered this week from rollcagecomponents and have a pro ready to weld it once we get it tacked in.
Gear ordered/received, all meets specs

Removing interior now, seat ordered so we can have that for cage measurements, fire suppression ordered, engine cut-off ordered

Mechanical prep:
Will have 6 brand new tires
Adding performance brakes to the front (do we need extra pads?) would like to get rear disc but time/money don't look like that will happen.  Have high temp brake fluid.   Will do new all steel brake lines.
New plugs / wires
Removed Shroud and mechanical fan, will wire in electric fan, drain coolant and re-fill with water
Changing Oil/Filter, MT fluid, rear diff fluid, and greasing wheel bearing and all fittings < all these things using good racing quality stuff
New front and rear shocks - old ones are very old, no money for good stuff but got the stiffest we could find
Removing all glass except windshield
Ordered 5 gal dump can (starting with a 17 gal full tank and adding 5 at each driver switch we should be OK.....right?)
Hoping to get some spares for things like calipers, fuel pump, water pump, alternator, etc

Other:
Bringing an attitude that we're gonna have fun and probably find about 20 things that we think "hey, should do that better next time"
Radios - still researching
Campsite - reserved
Skoal: 1 can cherry, 1 can apple, 1 can peach

Miss anything?

2 (edited by TrenchFoot 2021-04-20 10:56 AM)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

I'd bring at least one other gas jug for a couple reasons. You may find that 5 gallons isn't enough for one stint. Also, fueling is kind of a PITA. Especially when you have teammates that wander around looking for corndogs. So fillerup and then take a break from it for a stint or two.

If you buy real race pads you will likely get 2-4 races out of them so you don't need a spare set for the front. But I'd at least get some part store pads as spares. Have a spare set of shoes for the rear too. Buy on Friday, return on Monday...

Radios? Don't lose any sleep over getting radios sorted out. We tried them for a few races and now just rely on timers, arm waving, etc. We get different color pool noodles, one for each car and wave them when we want that car to come in. Otherwise, we watch the kitchen timer on the dash and use hand signals to confirm everyone is ready in 2 laps, 1 lap, etc. Having someone holding a radio to their ear all day sucks, the radios never work right, new drivers are unnecessarily chatty, and we aren't launching men to Mars over here.

Replace your fuel filter and bring a spare.

Get a wink mirror and mount it solid. Keep your stock side mirrors, but you'll appreciate the visibility a $30 mirror provides.

You didn't mention packing beer. I'm assuming that's an oversight.

Low Road Racing:  Mustang II/Sunbird/Spirit AMX

We will not compromise our morals and build anything but a class C car.
"You take the high road, we'll take the low."

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Oh yeah, beer will be packed :-)

I did get a rearview mirror like you mentioned, probably necessary for a slower truck like ours. Thanks :-)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Also, don't neglect the needs of people for a weekend in the sun. Shade is super important so bring a popup tent and straps/wheels/etc to tie it down with. Chairs for everyone. 1 table to spill snacks on and 1 to rebuild a brake caliper on. Water, tons of water. Sunscreen.

Low Road Racing:  Mustang II/Sunbird/Spirit AMX

We will not compromise our morals and build anything but a class C car.
"You take the high road, we'll take the low."

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

I have both Wink and panoramic mirrors in my different cars.  I much prefer the panoramic and it's on the list to replace the wink in the one car that still has one.  Besides daytime use, if you ever do a night race the wink is much more annoying.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Thanks, I have the wink now and will probably go ahead and install it as we don't plan to do any night races (yet).   I assume we should still leave the headlights in case it rains, right?    We have canopy on the checklist, and the small camper I'm bringing has good AC which is nice.  Didn't at all think about a table for dirty work though!  That's a big deal, will be sure to bring. 

What do people do about wipers?  The truck still has them but we weren't sure on wipers vs. Rain-x

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it and we're really excited about racing, and REALLY hoping fan restrictions lift in time for me to attend a race before ours.

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

What do people do about wipers?  The truck still has them but we weren't sure on wipers vs. Rain-x

Keep the wipers. Keep your heater/fan if you can, too. Probably not an issue at Gingerman in June, but if you're there in October and it rains on a 45-degree day, you won't be able to see a damn thing without a defroster. The extra 30 or 50 pounds or whatever is an asset and not a performance liability.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

"1 table to spill snacks on and 1 to rebuild a brake caliper on."

I might add one more table to put all your gear on...When I get out of the racecar after a hot,sweaty stint,I just want a clean,clear table to dump my shit on....It's also a little more organized when it is time to suit up and fuel up or get back in the car for another stint.Having one central spot for all your shit beats having to scour the pit area ...."I know my glasses were here a minute ago..."

40+x Loser.....You'd think I would learn......
5x I.O.E  Winner   1 Heroic Fix Winner   1 Org Choice Winner
2x  I Got Screwed Winner    2x Class C Winner
(Still a Class B driver in a Class A car)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

PLEASE keep in mind your cage has to hit the tframe but the frame itself is not a spreader plate.  A team at Pitt this weekend almost did not get to race as they welded the tubes to the frame.  A solution was reached that allowed them to race but it was a "fix before next time or you do not race again" situation.

Best option is to the use (approximate size) 4" x 6" spreader plates with two vertical triangular braces to the frame.  Askquestions if this is not clear.

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

thanks!   We discussed the s10 frame with the builder and added a set of outriggers as apparently the s10 frame is a little narrow.  We're trying to be thorough on the rules, and really want to do well in tech (for our own good).

11 (edited by mthew_m 2021-04-20 07:56 PM)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Location?  There are several teams running S-10s, you might be near enough to one that they'd consider coming to give you a hand, spare parts, etc.  Take advantage of people who are willing to come take a look at your pile of crap - they can offer really, really good advice that can save you a lot of headache come race weekend. 

Extended cab or regular?  I don't think it makes a huge difference, but, extended cab is a lot easier to work with due to the extra space. 

I think those were using the 2.2 by then, not the 2.5 Iron Duke, correct?  Does yours have the oil cooler plumbed into the radiator?  I know a lot of 4.3s (at least on Blazers) did, not sure about the 4-cylinders. 

I'd strongly consider upgrading your radiator - I don't think those engines are particularly bad for head gaskets, but, I'd also imagine the factory cooling capacity is marginal at best.  I don't remember offhand what other random GM stuff will fit there, but, if I were you and the money for a new radiator wasn't in the budget, I'd take measurements of the engine bay to determine what size radiator could fit, and wander the yard to find one that's a lot thicker that will mount into that spot (GM or not).  A junkyard radiator isn't Choice #1, but, neither is what very well may be a 5/8" thick radiator on an old truck.  I'd avoid the tank-mounted oil and transmission fluid coolers, if possible - they rob radiator capacity, and a separate oil cooler is generally preferred (although, you'll find that your easiest radiator upgrade route will probably have the in-tank coolers.  If so, no big deal, just not 'ideal').  Have a look at the junkyard, you might get lucky - I bought a perfectly fine radiator for my Blazer for $30 last summer.  In the Buick, we've got a radiator that we found in a '91 Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan with over 300k miles on the odometer, that had trees growing up through the body - radiator looked like it had been in there about 5k miles (it probably was replaced to try and fix an overheating issue, which turned out to be an intake manifold gasket which, while not really that big of a deal, can easily be the last straw on a basically worthless vehicle.)

Oil cooler - a great idea.  If your truck already has the factory oil cooler lines to the radiator, take them out of the radiator, and put them into a big dedicated cooler mounted to the front of the radiator (or somewhere that gets a lot of airflow).  You can get a really good plate cooler from a yard for $10-$15 - check larger vehicles, they tend to have really beefy dedicated transmission fluid coolers.  Alternatively, if you don't have factory oil cooler lines, an oil cooler sandwich plate adapter with lines to a cooler should be fine, and not too expensive.  If you just absolutely don't want to change the radiator, this will go a long, long ways towards helping keep the engine cool.  I'd do both, but, I understand having a list of priorities. 

Also, curious about the electric fan you put on - is it pulling air through most of the radiator?  I only ask because, I've seen some really, really pitiful fans on cars before. Strong factory fans are pretty easy to come by cheap, no reason to use something crappy.   

Driver comfort - if your heat tolerance is low, consider looking through some of the things people have rigged up to keep themselves cool in the car.  A cool suit is really nice, but, something as simple as a way to get water or fresh air while you're driving can make a big difference on those hot summer laps.  I mean, I haven't done it on my car, but, I hear it's a really good idea...

Lastly, add information!  I have no idea what the gauge setup is on a '95 S-10, but, I'm guessing it leaves a little to be desired.  I don't know that you'll be able to pull all that much information from the computer, but, a real coolant temperature gauge, an oil pressure gauge, and a voltmeter would be really good to have.  Oil temperature if you can get it.  I'm forgetting one, but oh well (maybe it's transmission fluid temperature, which you won't need).  A shift light is not a bad idea - that is most certainly NOT an engine that likes to rev, so you'll want to make visits to 5k rpm a rare occasion.  I know, I'm sure you wanna race, but, upshifting early will help the truck stay out on track all weekend.  Don't get in the habit of winding it all the way out in every gear right off the bat, unless you're okay with stuff starting to blow up. 

I like to make a search of the local parts stores and junkyards near the race for parts that we might need - wheel bearings, ignition coils/modules, random sensors, etc.  If there's something the car isn't really known to be iffy about, but is known to be a problem in racing in general, but I can get it from the local parts store if I have to, I don't worry so much about lugging a spare around.     

That got a lot longer than I intended.  Hope some of it is useful!

Semi-Sentient Centenarians
1996 Buick Century - we upgraded our crappy GM sedan with parts from a crappy GM minivan.
"In a race where everyone runs a Buick V6, their Buick ran a Chevy V6.  And a crappy one at that!"
IOE - Lemons Block Party (minus the block party) CMP 2020

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Trying to get something ready in 5-6 weeks is ambitious. With that amount of time I suggest making it safe and passing tech. I'd also look at getting some new springs, they will help more so than new shocks. You will also need 2 or 3 cans for fuel. You'll burn at least 10-12 gallons in an hour and a half. As for the brakes, if you are buying a auto parts store pad, get a few sets and rotors. I'd also keep your factory fan and shroud, just incase you find the electric doesn't do it.  6 tires is fine if you are running good tires, if you are running some no-name "performance radial" you might need 2 full sets. That thing is going to push into the corners. I like the long curved mirror more than the "wink" but you will need something. Once you are strapped in it is very hard to turn your head. We find a radio to be a big plus, it allows spotters to tell you what is going on. Keep in mind there will be 100+ cars on the track. That can be challenging for a 1st time racer.  Get a tach, keep it under 4800, get mechanical H2O, Oil pressure and volt meter. You didn't mention a tune up, unless the thing has low miles I do the standard tune up, cap, wires, coil, plugs. I'd also replace all the belts/hoses Other things that come to mind are...extra fan belt, fluids, BRAKE KLEEN (lots of it), zip ties. Good luck.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

thanks mthew_m!

It's a 2.2L extended cab with a manual transmission, and we are just a few miles West of Indianapolis in PIttsboro (you exit 74 on Jeff Gordon Blvd - but Jeff is a California guy now so to channel a great Celtics quote "Larry Bird isn't walking through that door" :-)

Would definitely love to hear input from other S10 folks.   

Radiator - we still have the stock on, but we have two pull-a-part type yards in Indy where I bet I could find a pretty good looking (better than our 245K current) radiator out of something else.  I assume a 4.3L S10 or blazer has a bigger radiator?    Our electric fan is on the way, not sure on brand b/c another teammate ordered it from Jegs but he said it had high CFM rating. 

I know very little about oil coolers, but seems like I need to do some research now!  Is that as necessary for a manual transmission?  Definitely will to spend an extra $100 if it get us more laps.

Gauges - you're right, we need to get some real ones - especially a tach b/c this truck does not have a tach or a shift light.  Our drivers all want to take care of the truck but I can see getting easily distracted by racing lines and traffic and revving it too high.  We will be adding a tach for sure.  We have the factory instrument cluster (has temp, oil pressure, volts, will keep dash for now b/c is easier for lights/fan/defrost mounting, but with radio removed seems like a good spot with lots of room to add the following?:  Temp gauge,  Oil Pressure,  Oil temp?,  Timer for stints, .....others?

Driver cooling - Not sure if the cool suit will be in the budget 1st race but I've looked at some build videos and I think we would really like to have one eventually.   What do people do for drinking water?  Will something as simple as a Camelbak work?

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

thanks mthew_m!

It's a 2.2L extended cab with a manual transmission, and we are just a few miles West of Indianapolis in PIttsboro (you exit 74 on Jeff Gordon Blvd - but Jeff is a California guy now so to channel a great Celtics quote "Larry Bird isn't walking through that door" :-)

Would definitely love to hear input from other S10 folks.   

Radiator - we still have the stock on, but we have two pull-a-part type yards in Indy where I bet I could find a pretty good looking (better than our 245K current) radiator out of something else.  I assume a 4.3L S10 or blazer has a bigger radiator?    Our electric fan is on the way, not sure on brand b/c another teammate ordered it from Jegs but he said it had high CFM rating. 

I know very little about oil coolers, but seems like I need to do some research now!  Is that as necessary for a manual transmission?  Definitely will to spend an extra $100 if it get us more laps.

Gauges - you're right, we need to get some real ones - especially a tach b/c this truck does not have a tach or a shift light.  Our drivers all want to take care of the truck but I can see getting easily distracted by racing lines and traffic and revving it too high.  We will be adding a tach for sure.  We have the factory instrument cluster (has temp, oil pressure, volts, will keep dash for now b/c is easier for lights/fan/defrost mounting, but with radio removed seems like a good spot with lots of room to add the following?:  Temp gauge,  Oil Pressure,  Oil temp?,  Timer for stints, .....others?

Driver cooling - Not sure if the cool suit will be in the budget 1st race but I've looked at some build videos and I think we would really like to have one eventually.   What do people do for drinking water?  Will something as simple as a Camelbak work?

I make up ice packs the night before...slide it into your suit. Works well, sits right on your chest,

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

I don't know if we've ever addressed it directly, but a Camelbak is fine. Mount the bladder somewhere it's not going to flop around—I've usually seen behind the driver—and situate it so that the tube won't get into your way or delay egress in a fire. Make the mount able to swap quickly and also firmly. We really don't want 7 pounds of squishy, slippery water bladder sliding around the cabin floor.

Some companies make motorsports-specific water bladders. I will say I know absolutely nothing about them (what makes them better for racing, how they mount, etc.), but they do exist and might be a good thing to have.

Again, not in the rulebook, but much like using a radio on a racetrack, it's a good rule of thumb that you don't want to take a drink while you're two-wide at Turn 3 at Gingerman, for example. Basically, use the straight sections to take a drink, thumb the radio if you need to, and check your gauges (not all at the same time). It never fails that we have 1 or 2 four-offs in the Penalty Box because someone was taking a drink mid-turn or trying to radio their teammates in the middle of a corner about the low-percentage move that Prelude just made.

Eric Rood
Everything Bagel, 24 Hours of Lemons
eric@24hoursoflemons.com

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

..... we are just a few miles West of Indianapolis in PIttsboro (you exit 74 on Jeff Gordon Blvd - but Jeff is a California guy now so to channel a great Celtics quote "Larry Bird isn't walking through that door" :-)

Jeff was born and raised in California, just down the street from the Sears Point raceway where we just raced.  His stepdad John Bickford moved him to Pittsboro when he was a teenager because Indiana would let you race a sprint car at an age that California wouldn't.  I don't believe he's currently a CA resident though, pretty sure he still lives in North Carolina.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Well I'll be darned...oh well, the sign is in concrete and if we take it down all we've got is the truck stop and the funeral home, so I guess the town will probably leave it up :-)

To his credit, his last running of the Brickyard the town held a parade for him on that Thursday - I took my son b/c he was little, Gordon was really nice about the whole thing even though I'm sure driving out here was pretty low on the list of things  he wanted to do that day.

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

cheseroo wrote:

I have both Wink and panoramic mirrors in my different cars.  I much prefer the panoramic...

I've tried both and also prefer a panoramic mirror.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

I'd put the shroud back on the radiator.  Electric fans don't always cool perfectly without the shroud.  Ask me how I know.

You should also consider the trans fluid.  I've always put ATF in my manual trans racers.  Regular trans fluid isn't designed for the heat and abuse.

Fireball Racing - ‘67 Ford Fairlane and ‘73 Saab Sonett

I've lost a lot.

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

To his credit, his last running of the Brickyard the town held a parade for him on that Thursday - I took my son b/c he was little, Gordon was really nice about the whole thing even though I'm sure driving out here was pretty low on the list of things  he wanted to do that day.

I think you'd be surprised.  He genuinely seems to enjoy reminders from his past.  But I think he'll continue to be a NC resident for the foreseeable future.  He's been named the person to take over HMS when Rick Hendricks retires.

Anyway, good luck in your endeavors.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type (Winner C-Class 2021 Sears Pointless)
Gone bye-bye
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)  1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites)

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

cheseroo wrote:
That_Noise_Is_Normal wrote:

To his credit, his last running of the Brickyard the town held a parade for him on that Thursday - I took my son b/c he was little, Gordon was really nice about the whole thing even though I'm sure driving out here was pretty low on the list of things  he wanted to do that day.

I think you'd be surprised.  He genuinely seems to enjoy reminders from his past.  But I think he'll continue to be a NC resident for the foreseeable future.  He's been named the person to take over HMS when Rick Hendricks retires.

Anyway, good luck in your endeavors.


Taxes are much friendlier in NC than Cali or Indy

"get up and get your grandma outta here"

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

A few quick ones if you don't mind:

1. Numbers, OK to have just white numbers on our dark red truck or need to add black circle background?

2. Kill switch, mounted in center of dash now, ok to just add pull cord out to passenger window or need to move to driver window side dash?

3. Normal practice times at Gingerman on Friday?  I might be early on this, maybe it posts closer to race.

Trying to be a good new team that wins at tech our first try, im sure we'll miss something but would like those to be easy fixes.

Thanks everyone!

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Don't take these as gospel, but this is my experience:

1) White on dark red will be a lot better than some of the crap you'll see (#NumberzAreHard), the numbers just need to be clear and legible from the timing tower, so make sure they're big enough. 

2) Our kill switch is in the middle of the dash, with no cord.  As long as the switch is reasonably reachable from outside, it should be fine.  But, a cord to the passenger side a-pillar/fender is a nice bit of extra safety. 

3) No idea, never been. 

I did find out some info on my earlier recommendation of an oil cooler - if you find a police spec Impala in a junkyard, they have a factory oil filter sandwich plate adapter.  You could probably pull that off, and keep it together with the hoses and cooler, and bolt it directly to the S-10, assuming you get lucky and the lines enough.  I am told 3900 ('06+) police Impalas have this, I would assume '00-'05 (and possibly some civilian ones) have it as well.  Might be a cheap/easy way to increase your cooling!  Also, all GMs should have M18x1.5 oil filter threads, I'd look around and find the biggest one that would fit.  I forget what the number is, but we use a double-length one on the Buick, because there's lots of extra space, and it's right behind the radiator, so it helps with cooling as well as increasing capacity (every little bit helps, right?).  You can seek out other opinions on this, but, a lot of us with these old pushrod engines find that they have a lot better chance at survival with .5-1 quart of extra oil in them.  I also add a bottle of zinc additive to the oil as well.  Also, I'd check online to see what of your gages are actual gages, and which ones are just glorified idiot lights.  GM tends to do a good job of providing real information, but not always.

Semi-Sentient Centenarians
1996 Buick Century - we upgraded our crappy GM sedan with parts from a crappy GM minivan.
"In a race where everyone runs a Buick V6, their Buick ran a Chevy V6.  And a crappy one at that!"
IOE - Lemons Block Party (minus the block party) CMP 2020

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Good find on the oil cooler, we have to big pull a part type lots so I'll check those out!

Re: New team 1st race at Gingerman June 2021 S10

Normal practice time is usually Something like 9-5, with a 1 hour lunch break.