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The Method And Mayhem Behind Selecting A New Race Car And A Behind-The-Scenes Of The City Boy Teardown
By Justin Cesler, Photography by Justin Cesler
March 14, 2011
Many Mini Stock racers run stock radiators on track, and while that's affordable and works well, you need to ensure that your cooling system is up to snuff before making any laps. Even a mildly damaged radiator can ruin your night and your car, so make sure to test everything related to cooling before putting the hammer down! Our radiator was junk, as you can see, so the hunt began for a new unit.
Many Mini Stock racers run stock radiators on track, and while that's affordable and works
Remember that rust from the interior? Well, it also made its way onto the driver- and passenger-side framerail. Upon initial inspection it looked pretty serious, but after some further investigation, the base metal looked decent. When in doubt, always make sure to dig a little deeper, even if it means breaking out a couple of tools to clean up and thoroughly inspect the area.
Remember that rust from the interior? Well, it also made its way onto the driver- and pass
On any modern race platform that starts with a stock body, it's important to pay special attention to all of the suspension pickup points or mounting brackets. Starting in the engine bay, our first concern was the shock towers. You want to verify they're in good shape, with no deformations or signs of fatigue. On early body Mustangs (pre 1970), these are notorious for sagging, which destroys alignments and severely affects handling. Luckily, most of the late-model cars show no signs of sag, as was the case with ours.
On any modern race platform that starts with a stock body, it's important to pay special a
Think we're going racing on that shock? Think again. The driver side may be salvageable, but this one looked bent and beat up, which would cause a plethora of handling issues, that may or may not have been hard to track down. Maybe the previous owner liked to jump railroad tracks or hit curbs? Whatever the case, we made sure to put down four, stock-appearing shocks on our shopping list. Like those words "stock appearing"? We'll get into that later.
Think we're going racing on that shock? Think again. The driver side may be salvageable, b
While it's possible to race with the stock bars, we're not even going to consider it, as the advantage of a properly selected front and rear antisway bar is too great to pass up. Interestingly, our rulebook says nothing of antisway bars, which means we're going to spend a lot of time in the future coming up with the perfect set for our needs.
While it's possible to race with the stock bars, we're not even going to consider it, as t
The power steering pump, rack, and lines should be checked for leaks or tears in any of the components. While some people prefer to run a manual-style rack, we're going to leave the power unit for the first couple of races. This is a personal preference, so only you or your driver can decide what to do. Of course, any way you choose, you need to make sure everything is in proper working order before heading out on track.
The power steering pump, rack, and lines should be checked for leaks or tears in any of th
Gross! Not surprisingly, our little stock four-cylinder leaks around the oil pan. During this phase of our inspection, we noted this issue but didn't dive any deeper. Engines can always be fixed and we don't plan on keeping this one "stock" for long, so this is an issue for a later date. Of course, if you find any major leaks or holes, you're going to have to fix them before race day.
Gross! Not surprisingly, our little stock four-cylinder leaks around the oil pan. During t
Project G.R.E.E.N. may be an emissions complaint vehicle, but we have no such intentions! Even if you would like to keep a catalytic converter on your car, make sure you inspect it for any issues, such as a clog, now. Collapsed converters can wreak havoc on an engine and can result in a partial or complete loss of power and they often go undetected.
Project G.R.E.E.N. may be an emissions complaint vehicle, but we have no such intentions!
Mini Stock racing allows for either a manual or automatic transmission, although we plan on ditching the slushbox for a real manual five-speed option. When selecting a project, try to find one with the right transmission, so you can save yourself the hassle and expense of converting the car over. We didn't, and will have to pay the price in a couple of months, when we go back and install all of the necessary parts to get the manual up and running.
Mini Stock racing allows for either a manual or automatic transmission, although we plan o
Each and every Fox-body Mustang must be checked for torque-box issues. The torque box, shown here, is the main mounting location for the two upper control arms. In cars with a lot of horsepower, or ones that have seen a lot of abuse, these torque boxes can tear out from the chassis. As you can imagine, this can cause major problems, especially if the issue isn't addressed early on. If you happen to have a torque-box issue, there are aftermarket solutions available depending on the severity of the problem and your end goal, or you can re-weld them yourself, if you can assure they end up in the original location.
Each and every Fox-body Mustang must be checked for torque-box issues. The torque box, sho
According to the rule book the "Drive axle must be strictly stock for make and model of car. Must not be locked." That's fine with us, since our Mustang came with a 7.5-inch rear, stuffed with a 3.73:1 ring-and-pinion. Depending on your track, this gearing may not be ideal but we hope it at least gets us going, so we don't have to spend the money twice (or three times!) to get the gearing right. The slightly moist cover isn't a great sign, but hopefully the internals are still in good shape.
According to the rule book the "Drive axle must be strictly stock for make and model of ca
Last but not least, we checked out the stock brakes on City Boy. According to the rule book, we can only run "stock factory OEM 4 wheel working brakes" without any brake bias device. Obviously, these pads and rotors are shot, but after confirming the calipers are in good condition, a simple trip to the parts store should get us up and running. For now, we're putting the brakes on this story, and on City Boy's build, until we can gather up some parts for our chassis stiffening and safety upgrade. Check back next month to see our next move!
Last but not least, we checked out the stock brakes on City Boy. According to the rule boo
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By Justin Cesler
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