Changing the rearend gears...
Changing the rearend gears is not a complex process. It allows you to see what is going on in the rearend.
The tires and wheels receive a good share of attention. First, all of the tires are inspected. Excessively worn or damaged tires are discarded. Some tires that may still be serviceable may be retained or sold. All tires and wheels are washed and cleaned to a like-new condition. This allows the tire guys to inspect the wheels and the hubs for any cracks or damaged areas.
The bead locks are checked for damaged bolts. On the wheels that will be getting new tires, the bead locks are thoroughly inspected when apart. The bolts are cleaned and inspected for obvious damage, and the threads in the wheel are cleaned and lubricated. Wheels that are damaged beyond economical repair are discarded.
New tires are mounted, inflated to race pressures, and measured. The measurements are recorded in the race log and on the wheel and tire. A Sharpie marker is used to write on a small section of colored duct tape, either on the inside of the wheel or the tread of the tire. Some tires are grooved, and then all of the tires are placed on the trailer with the exception of the four that will be mounted on the car.
With the cover removed from...
With the cover removed from the rearend, you should look for any damage to the bearings. Bearing race damage was found during an earlier teardown, and this prevented severe damage from occurring in race conditions.
The driver's compartment receives a good deal of attention. The seatbelts are inspected, and any sign of wear or damage merits replacement. The seat is examined and all of the hardware that secures the seat is checked for any looseness. All seat hardware is torqued to the correct specification for the retaining hardware. The floor pan is checked for any damage or cracks. The pedals and related hardware is examined. At this time, the torque tube is cleaned, regreased, and reassembled.
The Arizona Sprint Car Association requires a working radio for the drivers. This is a small MP3-sized receiver, and its battery is checked or replaced as a matter of course. Failure to use a working radio can result in loss of position or race disqualification, so making sure the radio works is important.
After all of this work is accomplished and the check sheet is signed off, the body panels are checked for any damage. All of the Dzus fasteners are cleaned and replaced as required. At this point, the remaining body panels are attached, the tires are mounted, and the car is almost ready to be rolled into the trailer. With the car maintenance completed, the other support functions need to be addressed. Crew uniforms need to be laundered. The batteries for the various power tools need to be charged. Tools and the toolbox need to be cleaned and loaded back into the trailer. Any consumable products need to be replenished and restocked to their locations in the trailer or toolbox/pit cart.
New tires are inflated to...
New tires are inflated to race pressures, and the diameter is checked after mounting. This information is entered into the race log.
While some other crew members are seeing to all of the other support needs, the car is given a final once-over to ensure that nothing was left undone. The car gets a final ride height check and visual once-over. Afterward, the car is deemed ready for another night at the track. It is then loaded into the trailer, and Jeremy and the team are ready to hit the track.
Every racer needs to learn from this process that it pays to be detail oriented. Jeremy and his crew almost completely tear the car down and reassemble it between races. The data shows that this process must be working for him. Jeremy has had almost no DNFs that were attributable to mechanical failures. Cleaning, disassembling, and reassembling the car will help you catch small issues with the car before they become bigger problems at the track.
If you spend time at the track fixing your brakes or working on the engine, it is very unlikely that you will find time to tune for speed. Time spent fixing water pumps and fuel injection problems is time that you cannot spend adjusting the car to go fast.
If you want to race at the front, having a plan is imperative. This plan should include a detailed and comprehensive maintenance program. Good maintenance costs far less than having to fix problems at the track. We will be watching as you climb your way to the top of the winner's podium.