Who knows how many times a broken ball joint or worn-out bushing has cost a racer a good finish. Bushings definitely fall under the "mundane" category, but things can quickly get exciting if they are not doing their job.
The number one goal for a racer is to have his ball joints and bushings tight, greased, and free from crash damage. If these are in check, the suspension will be able to do its job. After every race, the suspension should be cleaned with the rest of the car and the parts inspected. Mangled parts should be replaced. If you don't have the money to replace them, why bother going to the track and risking a failure that costs you even more? Get the right parts and take care of them.
Advanced racers will be able to tune their suspension with some of the more intricate parts like adjustable-height ball joints (for camber gain), different ball joints than stock (by using a reamer to change the taper in the spindle), and more. If you don't understand that stuff, check with the suppliers listed at the end of this article. For now, making sure everything is hunky-dory in bushing-land will keep you busy enough.
1. Many dirt racers don't run the rubber boots on their ball joints as they trap dirt during racing and hold water from the cleaning process.
2. Grease is your friend in racing. Make sure ball joints and bushings work freely by keeping them liberally greased.
3. Use castle nuts and cotter pins on your ball joints. We've seen plenty of nuts come off ball joints, but that shouldn't happen. Use the right parts and you won't have to worry about it.
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AFCO Racing Products
P.O. Box 548
3719 N. 32nd Ave.
Coleman Racing Products
N1597 U.S. 41
Port City Racing
3011 Mill Iron Rd.
42 High Tech Blvd.
P.O. Box 81906
1131 Via Callejon