Why Race a SpecRacer

By: Bruce Richardson and Bob Comis

I love my SpecRacer Ford. It is a great car for the amateur racer like me.  It is a fun car to drive. It’s a real race car, not a grocery getter that has been converted to a race car. The SpecRacer was designed and built to race, and over the years the car has been upgraded to resolve any reliability issues.   You aren’t allowed to rebuild the motor, and a good number of parts are not modifiable, or “Spec,” so you don’t have to spend gobs of money on the motor or the latest trick parts, which are expensive.  The SpecRacer is robust and doesn’t require a crew and can take abuse and still finish.  It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, so you can spend your time driving and not wrenching.   The car is also safe to drive; you can walk away from even a significant crash.  Everything about the SpecRacer—including the other drivers, who are a great group of people to hang with at or off the racetrack—makes it a fun car to drive. Also, the cars don’t depreciate, so if you buy one, you can usually sell it for close to what you paid for it.

I really like the open cockpit of the SpecRacer. Feeling the air hitting your helmet at over 100 mph just makes it feel like a race car, like you are really racing.  On hot days, with the open cockpit, you don’t feel like you are in an oven, and it is also cool to race in the rain. You do get wet on your shoulders but not a lot gets on the rest of your body. And, it’s the same experience that Formula One drivers have when they race in the rain.

Photo Seat #32.jpg

The seating in the SpecRacer is very comfortable and accommodates almost any size driver.  There are three seat options, the standard fiberglass seat, a bead seat insert, and a Butler seat.  The fiberglass seat comes in one size but can be padded for the smaller driver or modified for the larger driver.  This seat doesn’t support your ribs and is easy to get in and out of.  The Butler seat comes in different sizes and is another option for someone that likes to be more constrained. It has rib supports. With either seat, you have great visibility.  In addition to the seating options, the steering position and pedal positions are adjustable.  The steering wheel can be moved fore or aft and raised or lowered.  You can also get a removeable steering wheel if that is your preference.  The pedals can be moved to accommodate a short or tall driver. Drivers above six feet easily fit in the car.  I don’t think there is any other race car that can fit the range of size and preference of drivers like the SpecRacer.

The SpecRacer handles great. It is predictable and can corner well above one G.  The suspension is adjustable to meet the style of the driver: the camber, caster, bump steer, sway bars, shock settings and toe can all be adjusted. The sway bars are a great way to adjust the handling characteristics of the car. If you don’t like the rear stepping out, you can add grip to the rear to reduce oversteer. Or you can add oversteer.  The car can be setup to the driver’s preference, and the adjustments can be done quickly and easily compared to a modified street car.  The adjustable shocks allow the diver to get the best handling on smooth or bumpy tracks. The car can be adjusted in ways that can make almost anyone happy. The SpecRacer was designed as a race car, and it corners with higher G forces than a street car adapted to race.  The car doesn’t handle as well as cars with wings, but going around a corner above two Gs starts to stretch my concept of reality.   The Hoosier tires that we run get great grip and last for eight to twelve sessions before they need to be replaced.   Also, with the racing-designed suspension, the car doesn’t roll like your street car does.  It feels more like a go-kart and not your grandmother’s Cadillac.  The SpecRacer runs lap times about eight seconds faster than a Spec Miata, within a second of the Spec Mustang, and about four seconds slower than a GT3 car.

Photo SpecRacers 06-03-17.jpg

The number of cars that you typically race against is just right: not just one, not too many, and there is not a mix of cars.  There are cars that are faster and handle better, but you might be the only one in your class.  Now, if you are looking to win every race then the FA, FB, SP, or ASR might be for you—and only you.  In my opinion, the Spec Miata class can have too many cars, and there is almost always some significant contact in a race.  There are also other run groups that have many classes of cars on track at the same time.  It can be frustrating and dangerous when you pass a car in the corner and then keep getting passed right back in the straights.  The SpecRacers are evenly matched and have enough cars on grid to have fun.

Having fun on the track is only one part of driving a SpecRacer. It is a fun group of drivers that run this class.  A lot of drivers like the SpecRacer because they are competitive and want to challenge themselves to be the best.  You might not win in a SpecRacer, but you will always have someone to race against.  The guys I race close to are the ones that I have the most fun with on and off the track. The personal relationships that develop between SpecRacer drivers is great. A lot of drivers meet at the end of the day to grab a beer, to have dinner, or just to hang out. It is cool to share videos and stories.   

Drivers range in age from kids that can’t get a driver license to people well past retirement.  No matter the age there is a lot to talk about before and after on-track sessions. 

The people that drive SpecRacers range from doctors to just your average Joe’s.  You don’t have to be super rich to run one of these cars. It isn’t how much money you have; it is how good you drive. 

The cars are “Spec,” meaning that a lot of the parts on the car can’t be modified or only come from SCCA Enterprises.  This creates a level playing field and keeps costs down.  For some of the classes, to be competitive you need to spend over $10k just to have a competitive motor.  And in other classes you won’t be competitive unless you have a lot of carbon graphite.  The SpecRacer class has a minimum weight high enough that most people have to add ballast to their cars to meet the minimum weight. The motors come from the factory. They are put on a dyno and are all matched in horse power.  If your motor or transaxle, which both last for years, requires a rebuild they either go back to the factory or the local CSR (Customer Service Representative) or racing prep-shop. A transaxle rebuild is not expensive. Parts like oil, filters, hardware, and a lot of generic parts can be bought from your local parts store.  The key parts that impact performance are controlled and Spec. All of this is designed to keep cheaters out of the class.

The body is fiberglass.  With a steel bodied car any contact results in body damage.  Fiberglass, however, is forgiving. There is give, like a fishing pole, and in light contact the body just springs back and often needs no repairs.  Also, fiberglass repairs can be done with limited tools and by almost anyone willing to learn. If there is a bigger impact, the cracks in the fiberglass can usually be repaired with a patch of sheet metal and some pop-rivets in less than an hour.  If the damage is bad, divers can usually get a loaner front or rear from another driver or group.

The car is designed like most purpose-built race cars, which makes it relatively easy to repair after a crash.  If a corner is hit, the control arms bend before the frame.  The control arms can be replaced at the track and their cost is very reasonable.  Unless is it a high impact crash, the car can be put back together in hours and raced the same day. In case of a front end crash, all the parts can be replaced in an hour or two and at a much lower cost than any other class of car.  For most modified street cars, if you hit the front end you are done for the weekend, but not with a SpecRacer.

The cost of running a SpecRacer is one of the lowest of any class. Maintenance costs are low and the cars don’t require a lot of it, which makes it so the driver can have fun driving, instead of wrenching. Most of the maintenance is like a street car: changing oil in the engine and transaxle, and replacing filters. Brakes need to be maintained but are relatively easy and, typically, for a full race season the brake pads will have to be replaced twice and maybe a set of rotors.  Brake pads are reasonable and cost $143 for a set, two sets per car.  Wheel bearings are another part that requires seasonal maintenance, and it is a good idea to replace them every year.  Replacing them requires a hydraulic press or the CSR can change them for at the track[BC1] . The main cost of running a SpecRacer is gas and tires.  The car uses low octane full and gets relatively good fuel economy for a race car, and the tires are at the low end for racing tires, about $800 a set.

At the track, your CSR or prep-shops stock most of the parts you might need, so you don’t need to bring spare parts to the track. If you need a part when you are away from the track, they can be ordered online and you can have them the next day.

The last and probably most important reason to race a SpecRacer is safety. The SpecRacer is probably the safest race car of any class or series.  The driver is in the center of the car and it has large crush zones in every direction.  This contrasts with the Spec Miata, which has almost no impact protection on the driver’s side, and it contrasts with formula cars that have no side impact protection.  The front of the car houses the radiator, and from the driver’s feet to the front of the car is about four feet, a lot of crash protection.

The car has a very low center of gravity, which reduces the chance of a roll over and contributes to the great handling characteristics.  If for some reason the car does roll, the roll bar is well above the head of the driver, even tall drivers.  The driver is also well protected by roll bar padding and head protection.

The SpecRacer almost never catches on fire.  The fuel is stored and plumbed away from the hot headers and if there is a fuel leak, the fuel typically doesn’t ignite.  In some cars when engines blow up oil sprays across the exhaust header and a fire starts but not the SpecRacer.  The headers—the hot ignition source—are high above the part of the crankcase that would spew out oil. 

If you want to drive a fun, competitive car and want to meet great people; if you want a real race car that doesn’t require you to spend all your time on engineering and maintenance; if you don’t want to spend your life savings racing; and you don’t want to get injured, then you should be running a SpecRacer.         

June CSR Update

Everyday Driver Hosts Test Drives a Spec Racer Ford

Paul and Todd from the show “Everyday Driver” tested a Spec Racer Ford GEN2 at Thunderhill Raceway in June.  Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker produce and co-host the half-hour series, which is dedicated to helping consumers find cars they will really love. In a world where many vehicles have Bluetooth, backup cameras, and more tech than a cell phone, Todd and Paul focus on the thing most often overlooked -- enjoying driving. 

 They have a lot of great shows on YouTube, Prime Video, and have two Pod Casts every week. For more information about the show, go to their website: https://www.everydaydriver.com/about

This was the first time they had a chance to test an actual purpose-built race car, and they seemed to have a blast.  They plan to produce a show that should be aired on YouTube in about a month. 

Weld Wheel Cracks

We are starting to see hairline cracks in some of our Weld Wheels. We recommend checking for cracks when new tires are mounted. The rear wheels get the highest load and are the ones prone to cracks.

Photo Wheel Crack with Arrow.jpg

New Clutch Installation

The GEN3 clutch is a racing clutch and isn’t just a plug and play.  Conducting pre-installation testing can reduce issues like slipping and no disk engagement.  A few simple tests can increase the odds the clutch will work properly after installation.

Step 1 - Disengagement Testing

Install the clutch cover (pressure plate) with a disk onto a flywheel off the motor.  Place the assembly in a hydraulic press on a scale pad and displace the clutch until the pressure plate releases the clutch disk.  Use a dial indicator to measure the displacement.

The clutch disk should release somewhere around .200” to .250”.  If the clutch disk, at any displacement, doesn’t release, try adding shims between the clutch cover and the flywheel, the SCCA-E clutch disk should come with some shims.

The hydraulic throw-out bearing has limited travel and might not be able to displace more than .250”.  If the displacement required is or over/close to or over .250” check the displacement of the throw-out bearing.  Remove the bearing from the transaxle, reattach it to the hydraulic lines, bleed the clutch, and then push the clutch pedal to the floor while using a dial indicator to measure the displacement.  If the throw-out bearing travel Is less than the required finger release distance, the clutch will not release when installed in the car.  You can either adjust the pedal stop or add shims between the clutch cover and the flywheel.  Just make sure the displacement of the throw-out bearing is larger than the distance necessary to disengage the clutch. 

Step 2 – Force Measurement Testing

After getting the clutch setup with the correct deflection measure the amount of force that is generated by the throw-out bearing.  The peak force required to release the disk at the throw-out bearing contact should be over 400 lbs.  If it is less than that the clutch cover, the diaphragm spring may need to be replaced. 

If this force is too low, the clutch might slip when hot. 

Summary

Release Test - If the clutch assembly released in a hydraulic press and the throw-out bearing displaces less than .250” the clutch should release when installed in the car.

Throw-out Bearing Displacement – If the measured displacement of the throw-out bearing is greater than the distance required to release the clutch disk, the clutch will release when assembled in the car.

Clutch Disk Upgrade – If when you displace the throw-out bearing enough to release the clutch the force is over 400lbs the clutch should not slip under most conditions.  If the driver either speed shifts or doesn’t do a good job of matching RPM’s on downshifts a higher force clutch cover might be considered.  The clutch cover can be upgraded to the “Buff” spring to increase the holding torque by about 20%.  When using the higher force spring failures of the thrust bearing in the motor have occurred.  It is recommended that the motor be started without the clutch being engaged, in neutral, to get oil on the thrust bearing surface.  This only needs to be done when the car has been sitting for over a week or so.

Appendix - Torque Calculations & Key Specifications

The GEN3 clutch key specifications are:

Disk Material                                                   Kevlar
Torque Rating (with ceramic Tilton disk)        200 ft-lb
Throw-out Bearing Travel                               +2.50” typical
Disk Diameter                                                 7.25”

The force to displace the throw-out bearing for a given displacement measured in a hydraulic press using a scale pad. 

Throw out bearing compression and force curve

Throw out bearing compression and force curve

The force at the pressure place can be calculated along with the theoretical maximum torque:

Force at the Pressure Plate = (Lever Arm Ratio) X (Force of the Throw-out Bearing)

Lever Arm Ratio = 4.3 (calculated from measurement on the clutch plate)

Example:

Force at the Pressure Plate = 4.3 X 400
Force at the Pressure Plate = 1,722 lbs
The maximum clutch torque is:
Torque Max = (Force at the Pressure Plate) X (Radius of Contact X Coefficient of Friction)
Radius of Contact = 3.4” (the radius of center of the friction material)
Coefficient of Friction = .35 (published data for Kevlar® clutch material)

SCCA Material

Torque Max = 1,722 X (12”/3.4”) X .35 = 170 ft-lb

Tilton Clutch Material

Torque Max = 1,722 X (12/3.4) X .5 (published data for Tilton ceramic clutch material)
Torque Max = 243 ft-lb

The stock clutch supplied by SCCA-E is the “White” diaphragm spring.  This spring is marked with a “W” and has a torque rating, with a ceramic disk, of 200 ft-lbs.  The coefficient of friction for the ceramic disk material is about .50 and .35 for the Kevlar clutch material.  The adjusted torque rating for the SCCA-E material reduces the rating to 130 ft-lbs., close to the torque of the motor.

May CSR Update

New Multi-Part Nose

A new modular nose is now available for your SpecRacer.  This new design will allow the replacement of sections of the front end to simplify repairs.  The modular nose is currently available in a 4 or 6 part configuration.  The 6 part versions has a 2 part fender with a joint at the top of the fender.  The current one-piece design will not be obsoleted.

One Piece Noise

1180038          STANDARD FIBERGLASS NOSE                            $1,493.00

 Modular Nose Assemblies                             

180092            COMPLETE 4 PC NOSE-FULL FENDER*              $1,675.00
180080            COMPLETE 6 PC NOSE-SPLIT FENDER*             $1,700.00

Modular Nose Parts

180081            CENTER FRONT                                                         $383.00
180082            FENDER, SPLIT, RH FRONT                                      $342.00
180083            FENDER, SPLIT, RH REAR W FENDER WALL         $460.00
180084            FENDER, SPLIT, LH FRONT                                     $342.00
180085            FENDER, SPLIT, LH REAR W FENDER WALL         $460.00
180086            CENTER REAR W RADIATOR INTAKE                     $791.00
180087            RADIATOR INTAKE (replacement)                            $222.00
180088            FENDER WALL, RH (replacement)                           $159.00
180089            FENDER WALL, LH (replacement)                            $159.00

New SCCA-E Website

Enterprises has a new website, it includes great information and it looks cool.  Also, check out James Chartres he is featured on the “Cars” and “Spec Racer Ford” pages.

Sway Bar Upgrade

Mike at Enterprises has a great new part to make sway bar adjustment easier, a double nut.  The double nut allows the use of just one wrench to loosen the sway bar to make bar adjustments.  The part can be purchased from your local CSR or at the AccelRaceTek website.  The cost of the “Sway Bar Double Nut” is $14 each.  To order online click the button below.

New Bump Stops

The new shock bump stops are now available.  These are replacements for the Penske ones and are optional for this year.  Next year you will need to run these or no stops.  The stops are available from you CSR.

SCCA SRF Bump Stop #1.jpg

April CSR Update

National News - Technical Update

Wilwood Brakes Upgrade – An upgrade to the new Wilwood brakes is available at no cost. Some users of the new brakes have had issues with them; they sometimes required a quick pump after a long straight. The new spring eliminates any knock-back or pumping of the brakes. Drivers that have the new springs are pleased with the brake performance, and the knock-back is eliminated. The new springs are included with new brakes, and they are free for people that already have the Wilwood brakes. Just contact your CSR if you need the spring upgrade.

New Wilwood Anti-Knock Back Springs

Kevlar Sprung Clutch Disc Update - Disks are in stock, and another 200 are on order. Everyone that has the new clutch is thrilled with it, if you pull the transaxle we recommend you install the new Kevlar Sprung Clutch Disk. When installing a clutch disk make sure you read Mike Davies technical memo.

New Bump Stop Update – A new bump stop is in development. The new bump stop will be phased in and will be about half the size of the Penski bumper that currently comes with the shocks. The new bump stops will be phased in over the next few years.

Updated Engine Removal Procedure – An updated GEN3 engine removal procedure is now available on the AccelRaceTek website. We have found that removing the engine and transaxle together can save time but requires the use of a tilting engine sling. The updated procedure includes both procedures; engine and transaxle removed together and one pulling the engine and leaving the transaxle.

SCCA-E Pro Racing Update

SRF3 & FE Pro Races for 2019 – The Pro races for the SpecRacer and FE have been finalized. The dates for the Pro races are July 26-28 @ VIR, September 13-15 @ Sebring, and November 13-16 @ COTA. We were at COTA last year, and it is a great track, and it was a blast.

Local San Francisco Region News

Class ACT Update

There is a new class in the San Francisco region, and it is the Class Act. Bill Jordan wins the Class Act award for this race weekend. Bill looked at his video, after the race, and felt that he could have avoided contact with Eric Hand in a minor incident at the end of the race. He gets the class act award because he paid for the damages to Eric’s car. At the end of the year, an award will be given out for a driver in the ACT class by AccelRaceTek.

San Francisco Region Race 1 & 2 at ThunderHill

It rained for weeks up until race 1 and 2 at ThunderHill Raceway, but the sun came out and was out for the entire weekend. There was a good showing of SpecRacers at this first race of the season with 7 GEN2’s and 23 GEN3’s. Most of the cars were from the SFR with only two making the trek down from the Northern Region. The first race ran without a yellow flag. The top finishers in the SRF3 class were Umberto Milletti who took 1st, Bill Jordan landed in 2nd place, and Gregory Hoff capped off the top three. In the GEN2 class, Michael Woolley got his first win ever, congratulations to him.

The second race did not go well. The start went well for the first three turns but going up the hill into turn 4 all hill broke loose. One car spun and cars went every different direction to try and avoid him, but there were too many cars and about ten cars ended up damaged. The race had to be black flagged to clear the carnage. The race was re-started, and again Umberto Milletti ended up first, Gregory Hoff took second, and Robert Sachs ended up in third place. Ken Wooley took first in his GEN2.

San Francisco Region Race 3 & 4 at Laguna Seca

Again, it rained for weeks up until race 3 and 4 at Laguna Raceway, but race day the sun came out. It did rain a few hours in the practice/track day on Friday before the race. A group out of SoCal called Speed District had a track day the Friday before the race. They had a special run group due to a large number of SpecRacers, 23, that had signed up. SpecRacers and a few other SCCA prepared cars ended up with almost 3 hours of track time. There was another good showing of SpecRacers with 9 GEN2’s and 23 GEN3’s for a total of 32 cars. Again, most of the cars were from the SFR with a few from the SoCal region. Both of the races ran without a yellow flag.

The first race, the top finishers in the SRF3 class were John MacIntyre starting on pole and leading the entire race, Jonathon Allen in second, and Bill Booth capped off the top three. In the GEN2 class, Michael Woolley got his second win of the season. The second race finishers were: GEN3 Jonathon Allen, Bill Booth, and Alex Kwan GEN2 Michael Woolley, Kevin OConnor, and Sean O'Boyle. Both Kevin and Sean had a great race, Kevin with his best finish to date and this was Sean’s first race, he just completed drivers school.

Frank Valente gets the class ACT award for this race weekend. He helped with the cost of getting early access the Thursday night. Without his support, a lot of drivers and teams would not have been able to get track access the night before the test day.

Starting Grid for the first race a Laguna Seca

Starting Grid for the first race a Laguna Seca

March CSR Update

National News

Highlights of the SCCA-E CSR Annual Meeting in Colorado

Customer Service Representatives met February 21st at the SCCA-E facilities in Colorado for a meeting of CSR’s. The goal of the meeting was to improve the level of service and the product that is provided to racers.

Upon arriving at SCCA-E we received a warm welcome and a tour of the facilities. We toured the motor shop with dyno, the parts inventory area, shipping and receiving, Mike's prototype area and the offices. The engine rebuild and dyno area were clean and organized. I was impressed with the operations and the people. After the tour, the group of CSR's moved upstairs into a large conference room.

The Facilities at SCCA-E – Engine Shop, Dyno, and Inventory

Robey, the president of SCCA-E, started the meeting welcoming the team. He then introduced Shannon who is in charge of the engine shop.

Shannon began by letting us know he just finished running in motor #518. He then gave us a glimpse of key issues relating to the engines.

He went through the process of new or rebuilt motor run-in; it was interesting to hear how close the motors are matched. The horsepower of each engine is controlled to a very tight range of typically .3 to .4 HP. He also explained the importance of sending back a motor if it is over-revved. If an engine is accidentally shifted to the wrong gear, like from 3rd to 2nd when the driver was attempting to shift to 4th, and the motor exceeds 8,500 RPM for even a fraction of a second, it should be sent back. When a motor is over-revved the rod bolts stretch and the rod bearings can be compromised. If the engine is not sent back, the rod bearings will typically fail, leading to rod failure and possibly a hole in the block. Of the many motors sent back to Shannan most if not all have had no problems and are still running. The cost to have new rod bolts and bearings installed is a fraction of totaled motor. Shannon also discussed how they repair a motor that has been overheated. Most motors that overheat can be fixed by removing the head and installing a new head gasket and in some cases, the head might need resurfacing. Mike noted that the water holding tank should be filled to the brim to keep air out of the system to avoid overheating. If air gets into the system, it can get into the thermostat area and cause the thermostat to stay closed. This can lead to a hot engine at startup.

Mike took over from Shannon and started with talking about the transaxle. Mike is looking into other ways to improve the transaxle, like new synchros, alternative transaxles, and improved shift linkage. These improvements are probably years away from the track, but it was great to hear they are thinking about the future.

Mike gave us the status on shock bump stops. With the improved performance of the GEN3 at some tracks, the car works better with shorter or in some cases no bump stops. Mike has been testing a custom design for the bump stop, not a Penske part, that will give good performance at all tracks. The new bump stop is still in development and probably won't be available for a while. Until the new ones come out keep using the current Penske parts.

The new Wilwood brakes are also getting small improvements. Mike is working with Engineers at Wilwood to reduce the caliper pull back, a complaint some drivers have experienced with their new brakes. The various new designs to minimize the pull-back is under testing. All of the solutions will be a simple, low-cost part that is easy to install.

The status of the new sprung clutch disk was also reviewed. There are now about 150 new clutch disks in the field with limited or no failures to date. There have been a few issues due to the wear or out of tolerance parts. When installing a clutch, it is recommended to measure the critical parts before installing the clutch. If unsure about the installation, it is recommended to contact the local CSR to help with measurements and installation.

The last technical issue was a new windscreen design. Some tall drivers experience wind turbulence that causes the helmet to buffet. The guys at MBI came up with a design that eliminates the buffeting but doesn't affect the performance or drag on the car. So, in the future there will be an optional small, about 2", tall clear plastic windscreen that should be available.

Another small improvement being considered is a beefier wheel bearing. The bearing that Mike is considering has the same ID but larger OD. The new bearing would require a larger bore in the steering knuckle. At some point, the racer may have the option to buy a knuckle with a larger bore and a heavy duty bearing.

At the end of the meeting, Nikki gave a quick update on the status of inventory and parts. They are working on improved sources for parts and reducing back ordered parts.

Robey closed the meeting with an update on their plans to improve the website and other marketing efforts. Overall, I was impressed with the team and operations. I am confident that the car we have will only get better and will be around for many years to come.

Local San Francisco Region News

San Francisco Region Driver School

About 50 new drivers attended the SFR drivers school February 15th through 17th including 9 SpecRAcer Ford drivers. The weather up until the start of school was wet, very wet. Interstate 5 was closed and Walmart flooded the Thursday before school. As soon as drivers school started, the rain stopped and the sun came out. On Friday the school started out with drive arounds in street cars and then lead follow lapping. On Saturday the drivers got some open lapping in in the morning and in the afternoon worked on gridding up and race starts. On Sunday each group had four 15 minutes races. The SpecRacers Drivers that went through the school were: Sean Sorrell, Erick Hand, Sean O’Boyle, Jim Connor, Michael, James Turpin, Steve, and Erich Woolley. Erick will be the 3rd Woolley racing this year. Ken, dad, gets the award for being the best dad in the SFR for getting 2 of his kids into a car. It was a great weekend and there were a lot of smiles on the faces of all the drivers.

2019 SpecRacer Ford Drivers School Class

2019 SpecRacer Ford Drivers School Class

February CSR Update

National News

Upcoming SCCA-E CSR Meeting in Colorado

The SCCA-E CSR’s from around the US will be meeting up in Colorado the end of February. AccelRaceTek will be attending to get a firsthand look at SCCA-E and the operations. The meeting will include most of the CSR’s from across the country. The plan is to exchange ideas with the goal of supporting the growth and success of the SpecRacer Ford. If anyone has a question, feedback, or request for information please feel free to contact AccelRaceTek so we can address it at the meeting. The agenda for the meeting will include the following:

  • Tour of SCCA-E

  • Gears & Transmission Update

  • Wilwood Brakes Update

  • Radiator Update

  • Customer Service Plans

  • Website Plans

  • 35th SRF Anniversary Race Plans

  • New Products Overview

Clutch Update

By now a lot of SpecRacers have received the Technical Bulletin 01-2019 from Mike Davies. The bulletin gives the history of the clutch design, improvements, and a lot of technical information. The bulletin shows how much effort has been put into the design and improvements of the clutch. The bulletin gives us confidence that SCCA-E has a good understanding of the acceptable tolerances of the clutch assembly and they are controlling the parts from the manufacturers to provide a reliable system. Thanks to this effort, the latest design is giving great results in the field and has shown to reduce failures of both the cutch and transaxle.

Transaxle Oil Recommendations

SCCA-E recommends that Mazda gears and SCCA-E straight cut gears use 75-90W GL4 specific gear lube/differential oil. The oil can be full synthetic or non-synthetic lube. Any lube that covers both GL4/GL5 should not be used. GL5 eats brass due to the zinc additive. Avoid using ATF or GL5 lube in the SRF gearboxes.

Local San Francisco Region News

Fontana Majors Regatta Update

A good number of SpecRacers showed up at the Cal Club Major event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. The forecast of rain probably cut down on the total number of cars but we had 26 SpecRacers entered in the race. The weather turned out to be good on Friday, the test day, with limited rain. That all changed on Saturday as the rain came down in buckets. The first race seemed more like a boating regatta than an SCCA event. The banked part of the oval drained well but the infield road coarse section had some standing water, close to 6 inches deep. The rain got so bad only 17 of the 26 cars started the race and about another 6 made one lap and came in. Two SFR drivers braved the conditions, John MacIntyre and Joe Viso both finished the race and ended up placing 8th and 9th, respectively. The top spots in the first race was: 1 - Mike Miserendino, 2 - TJ Acker, and 3 - Paul Goudy.

The view from Joe’s car – looks a lot like a boat wake?

The weather on Sunday was much better, just a light rain.The race started with 25 cars and most of the cars finished the race.The top three in the second race was: 1 - TJ Acker, 2 - John Black, and 3 - Steve Fogg.

January CSR Update

SCCA-E CSR Meeting in Colorado

The SpecRacer CSR’s from around the US will be meeting up in Colorado the middle of February.  AccelRaceTek will be attending to get a firsthand look at SCCA-E and the operations.  We will also meet with other CSR’s from across the country.  The goal is to exchange ideas with the goal of supporting the growth and success of the SpecRacer Ford.  If anyone has a question, feedback, or request for information please feel free to contact AccelRaceTek so we can address it at the meeting.

ThunderHill Free End of the Year Test Day

A small group of about 8 SpecRacers made it to the free test day at the end of the year at ThunderHill Raceway.  The forecast of rain probably cut down on the number of cars that showed.  But the weather turned out to be awesome for the time of the year with blue skies and temperature in the 60’s.  The test drivers included a new SpecRacer owner, Sean Sorrel, he just bought a GEN2 SpecRacer and will be running this season.  He got his first chance to test the new car prior to drivers’ school and the season.  Please give him a warm welcome into the SpecRacer community when you see him this year.  One of the great things about the test day is you don’t need to have a competition license to drive so some of the crews got a chance to get some laps on the track.  Jesus Ruiz and Jose Montoya from the Accel crew got a chance to run one of the cars they usually work on and had a blast.   

Photo Sean.JPG

San Francisco Region New GEN2 SpecRacer

Eric H. is a new SpecRacer in the SFR this year.He just bought a car out of Colorado and is headed to Drivers School and plans to run most of the season.Please welcome him to the SpecRacer group when you see him.

Photo Eric's Car.jpg

November CSR Update

Drivers School and First Time Spec Miata Specials

AccelRaceTek is offering a special deal for the SFR SCCA drivers school. The cost of the three day school is $1,600 for a GEN2 SpecRacer. Book now there are a limited number of cars available. Also, AccelRaceTek is offering a discount to SpecMiata drivers. This offer is for drivers that are considering a SpecRacer that have never driven one before. See the “Rates” tab for details.

Add The Wheel 2018-10-24.jpg

October CSR Upate

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The new SCCA-E Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Discs are now in full production and they are working great.  The clutch disk material is different and is a big improvement.  The new clutch doesn’t grab like the old one and the new material makes it easier to get the car rolling from a start.  The clutch also includes torsional springs that reduce the harmonic stresses that are passed on to the transaxle.  This reduction of harmonic stress should increase the life of the transaxle.  It should also eliminate the stripping out of the splines and the stress fracturing of the spring steel support plate in the clutch disk. 

If you are thinking of pulling your motor this winter it would be a good idea to upgrade to the new clutch.    

New Bead Seat – The new bead seat insert is now available.  AccelRaceTek installed this new seat in one of its customers cars and it gives a great fit.  This new seat will allow almost anyone to fit into a SpecRacer with comfort. 

Installation of the new seat does require the purchase of foam beads, epoxy, and a vacuum bag.  A bead seat kit can be purchased from Pegasus Racing.  Also, note that a vacuum pump is needed to pull a vacuum while the epoxy cures. 

ECU Update – The newest PE ECU’s have an updated data chip. V50 or newer firmware must be used for the latest ECUs to log data. Older ECU’s will log data on the newer firmware. New ECU’s will not log data on the old Firmware V37. There is no performance change on new firmware.

September CSR Update

New Bead Seat – The new bead seat insert is now shipping.  AccelRaceTek installed this new seat in one of its customers cars and it gives a great fit.  The seat does require a modification to the aluminum bracket to the left of the old seat and some adjustments of the shift linkage.  If you do plan to put in one of these seats please contact AccelRaceTek to get addition details and recommendations on the installation.  This new seat will allow almost anyone to fit into a SpecRacer with comfort.

ECU Update – At the last race weekend there were a few more ECU failures due to high temperatures.  The symptoms of a bad ECU are no or too much fuel flow.  The fuel injector drivers seem to fail in high temperatures.  In one case the engine was missing and smelled very rich, one of the injectors drivers failed and was continuously on, resulting in a miss.  After replacing the ECU the car ran great.  The other ECU failure was different and the car just would not start, probably the drivers weren’t firing the injectors.  If you are running in high temperatures and your car is acting up there is a good chance it is the ECU.  The best way to check is to swap your ECU with a known good one.

The newest PE ECU’s have an updated data chip. V50 or newer firmware must be used for the latest ECUs to log data. Older ECU’s will log data on the newer firmware. New ECU’s will not log data on the old Firmware V37. There is no performance change on new firmware.

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The new SCCA-E Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Discs are now available on a limited quantity.  There were a few issues with the first run but the next batch coming in soon should be ready for prime time.  SCCA-E adjusted the material thickness tolerances to ensure that the new production run of Kevlar discs will operate properly. AccelRaceTek has a limited stock available but if you are planning to change out your clutch please place an order ahead of time. 

ThunderHill SpecRacers – The ThunderHill Raceway SpecRacer Ford race long weekend was a lot of fun with over 20 cars on grid.  The race weekend had some first-time winners.  Yehia Eissa got his first win in a GEN2 and John McIntyre, a rooky, got his first win in a GEN3. The last race of the weekend was a big one for Bill Booth and Jerry Aplass they were fighting for first place in the year end points.  It was close but it looks like Bill Booth will end up as the regional GEN3 champion.

First time winners Yehia Essia and John MacIntyre – GEN2 & 3 Winners in race 13

First time winners Yehia Essia and John MacIntyre – GEN2 & 3 Winners in race 13

August CSR Update

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The new SCCA-E Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Discs are now available on a limited quantity.  There were a few issues with the first run but the next batch coming in soon should be ready for prime time.  The first 20 Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Discs had about 6-8 discs that were too thick and would not operate properly. SCCA-E adjusted the material thickness tolerances to ensure that the new production run of Kevlar discs will operate properly. These updated discs should be available in about 2 weeks.  AccelRaceTek has a limited stock available but if you are planning to change out your clutch please place an order ahead of time. 

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are running on our cars and working great.  They are in production and are currently shipping.  A limited quantity of the new brakes is available, so put your order in ASAP for your new set.  It is strongly recommended to replace the master cylinders if you go to the new brakes. 

New Bead Seat – The new bead seat insert is now shipping.  AccelRaceTek has one seat in stock and will bring it to the next race if anyone is interested in taking a look at it.  This new seat will allow almost anyone to fit into a SpecRacer with comfort.

ECU Update - The newest PE ECU’s have an updated data chip. V50 or newer firmware must be used for the latest ECUs to log data. Older ECU’s will log data on the newer firmware. New ECU’s will not log data on the old Firmware V37. There is no performance change on new firmware.

Laguna SpecRacers – The Laguna SpecRacer Ford race weekend was a lot of fun with over 30 cars on grid.  Racer came from the north, south and mid-west.  Robert Sachs’ car was sporting a very cool new paint job, if you didn’t get a chance to see it, plan to check it out at the next race.

Grid @ Laguna Seca

Grid @ Laguna Seca

Robert’s Cool New Paint

Robert’s Cool New Paint

July CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The new SCCA-E Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Disc are now available on a limited quantity.  AccelRaceTek has a limited stock available. 

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are running on our cars and working great.  They are in production and are currently shipping.  A limited quantity of the new brakes is available, so put your order in ASAP for your new set.     

AccelRaceTek has them on some of their rental cars and has had great success with one exception.  Perry ran the new brakes at the Sonoma race and had problems with the master cylinders, they leaked all over his feet going into turn 11 and he grazed the tire wall.  After that the master cylinders were replaced and they worked great.  It is strongly recommended to replace the master cylinders if you go to the new brakes. 

New Bead Seat – The new bead seat insert is now shipping.  AccelRaceTek has one seat in stock and will bring it to the next race if anyone is interested in taking a look at it.  This new seat will allow almost anyone to fit into a SpecRacer with comfort.

Photo Bead Seat 2018-05-22.jpg

SpecRacer Festival – The Laguna SpecRacer Ford festival was a lot of fun with over 40 cars on grid.  AccelRaceTek sponsored a lunch and raffle for the drivers and friends on Saturday.  Famous Dave’s catered the BBQ with chicken and brisket and all the fixings.  Also, about $2,000 worth of prizes were handed out including a some of the new brakes and some wheels.

Photo Laguna Festival LR IMG_1666 (3).jpg

June CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New Bead Seat – The new Wilwood brakes are running on cars and working great.  They are in production and are currently shipping.  A limited quantity of the new brakes are available, so put your order in ASAP for your new set.  The brakes have low rolling friction but require a little more pedal travel before they grab.

Ride Height Rule Update –  Ride Height measurement language will be updated to the rules to better specify how the ride height should be measured and where. A new measuring tool may be introduced that can be used by CSRs, Prep Shops and Tech Inspectors. 

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are running on cars and working great.  They are in production and are currently shipping.  A limited quantity of the new brakes are available, so put your order in ASAP for your new set.  There are a few things to know about the new brakes when using Weld wheels and the torque of the bleeder valves.   

Weld Wheel Fitment Issue: Clearance of some types of bolts with the new Wilwood Calipers may have fitment issues with the Weld Wheels. Depending on the type of bolts heads and washers fitted on the Weld wheels there may be some slight contact with the Wilwood Calipers when mounted to the car with new rotors & pads. 

Weld Wheel Fix: Replace the Weld Wheel bolts with 1 ¼ X 5/16 - 24 Grade 8 Hex Heads with the hex head fitted towards the caliper without a washer and fit the bolt end to the outside with a 5/16 X 15/32 Washer with a 5/16 - 24 Jet Nut or a 5/16 – 24 Grade 8 Hex Nut.  These parts can be sourced through Enterprises or with your own third-party suppliers.  In some cases, just removing the inside washer will give enough clearance with new rotors and pads. Torx head bolts may need to be changed out.

Bleeder Valve: Wilwood Bleeder Valves should be torqued to 10-12 ft./lb. Do not over torque!  The New Wilwood Calipers may take 1-3 heat cycles for the bleeder valves to seat in the calipers. You may notice a tear drop or so of brake fluid around the threads of the bleeders for the first few heat cycles but then they will dry up after that.

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The following is the latest from SCCA-E Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Disc is still in process.  Still there is no firm delivery date.  So, don’t plan on them being available for at least a month or two. 

New Straight Cut Gears – New straight cut gears are in full production and are available as a set or individually. 

May CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are in production and are currently shipping.  A limited quantity of the new brakes are available, so put your order in ASAP for your new set of Wilwood brakes. 

Photo Brake 2018-03-28.jpg

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The following is the latest from SCCA-E  “New Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Disc is still in process. No firm delivery date has been set.”  So, don’t plan on them being available for at least a month or two. 

 New Seat Option - SCCA-E has developed a new seat option that will allow drivers to use expanding foam or a bead insert.  The seat frame is similar to the fiberglass stock seat but has a larger seating volume to accept the custom foam insert.   Prototypes of the Bead Seat are in testing and the final design is close to getting into production.  Don’t plan on them being available for at least one to two months.

New Straight Cut Gears – New straight cut gears are in full production and are available as a set or individually. 

April CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc – The following is the latest from SCCA-E  “New Kevlar SRF3 Sprung Hub Clutch Disc is still in process. Mike will approve first production prototype before the end of February. No firm delivery date has been set.”  So, don’t plan on them being available for at least a month or two. 

 New Seat Option - SCCA-E has developed a new seat option that will allow drivers to use expanding foam or a bead insert.  The seat frame is similar to the fiberglass stock seat but has a larger seating volume to accept the custom foam insert.   Bead Seat is making progress with final specs in production.  Don’t plan on them being available for at least two to three months.

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are in production and are currently shipping on only new cars.  A limited quantity of the new brakes are available, so put your order in ASAP for the first set. 

New SCCA Steering Wheel

There a new steering wheel available from the SCCA-E.  It looks and feels a lot like the Momo wheel but at a lower cost.  The new wheel list price is $177.00 compared to the $215.00 Momo wheel, part number 280392K.

Photo New Wheel SCCA.jpg

New SCCA Wheel

Steering Wheel Shaft Upgrade

There are two versions of the upper steering wheel shaft, old and new.  The older version is shorter than the new one and can fail.  The upper shaft that connects to the steering wheel is short and doesn’t go very deep into the lower tube.  After time the lower tube can crack and loss of steering control can result.  It isn’t fun if the steering wheel comes loose while on track.  The new upper steering shaft is longer and goes deep into the tube eliminating the possibility of failure.  If you have the older short upper shaft you should consider replacing it with the new one that is longer. 

Photo Steering Shafts LR.jpg

Quick Disconnect Steering Wheel Upgrade

The standard SpecRacer doesn’t have a quick disconnect steering wheel.  A quick disconnect is a good upgrade to make it easier to get in and out of the car.  Either the old shaft can be modified or a new already modified shaft can be purchased with the quick disconnect.

To modify your current shaft, make sure you have the new longer upper steering shaft.  If you don’t this is probably a good time to upgrade.  Remove the shaft and steering wheel from the car.  Cut off the plate at the end and weld on the quick disconnect adapter.  If you aren’t the best welder consider having it professionally welded. 

For the quick disconnect we recommend using the SPA quick disconnect, it is small, easy to connect and dis-connect, and only fits on one way, so your wheel is always clocked correctly.   This quick disconnect can be purchased from Pegasus Auto Racing for $249.99 and the part number is 3405.

If you want to buy the quick disconnect with the new shaft already welded to the spline you can get it from AccelRaceTek LLC for $415.13.  Then all you need to do is install it in the car and attach the steering wheel.

Image Q-disconnect.png

March CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc - The new SRF3 Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc is in production with the first 100 units on order.  Look for a 1st quarter introduction. 

New Seat Option - SCCA-E has developed a new seat option that will allow drivers to use expanding foam or a bead insert.  The seat frame is similar to the fiberglass stock seat but has a larger seating volume to accept the custom foam insert.   Bead Seat is making progress with final specs in production.  SCCA-E are making prototype for final testing in January.

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are in full production and are currently shipping on only new cars.  The brakes be available until in the second quarter of this year. 

New GEN3 Conversion Manual

Accel just published its version of a GEN3 conversion manual.  The manual is available on through the following link:  http://www.accelracetek.com/conversion-manual-gen3/ .  The manual can be copied then printed.  It includes other valuable information for the current owners of GEN3’s, like electrical schematics, cooling block diagram, torque specifications, and key part numbers.  Take a look and feel free to give us your suggestions.  The conversion manual is broken down into 7 key steps.

·         Step 1 – Planning and Preparation

The first thing to do is planning.  Additional parts might be required if the GEN2 is not up to date with upgrades.  Also, planning on swapping or rebuilding the transaxle prior to starting is recommended.    

·         Step 2 - Disassembly

The second step is to remove the motor, transaxle, other parts that will be replaced with the GEN3 components. 

·         Step 3 - GEN2 Part Modifications

The third step it to modify selected GEN2 parts to GEN3 requirements. 

·         Step 4 – Sub-Assembly Builds

The forth step is to assemble sub-assemblies that will go into the final assembly or motor installation. 

·         Step 5 – Pre-Engine Assembly

The fifth step is the assembly of the upgraded GEN2 parts and the new GEN3 parts before the engine is installed. 

·         Step 6 – Engine Installation

The sixth step is the installation of the motor and all of the connections to the motor prior to starting the engine.

·         Step 7 – Engine Run-in and Testing

The seventh and final step is the final check list, the ECU configuration, initial run-in and testing.

Example from GEN3 Manual

Example from GEN3 Manual

December CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

ECU Status – The issues with the ECU seems to be resolved and upgraded ECU’s are shipping.  PE has a new Mother Board coating that has tested very well and seems to have solved the fault issues.  AccelRaceTek will have spare ECU’s at the track if one fails. 

New Seat Option - SCCA-E has developed a new seat option that will allow drivers to use expanding foam or a bead insert.  The seat frame is similar to the fiberglass stock seat but has a larger seating volume to accept the custom foam insert.   Bead Seat is making progress with final specs in production.  SCCA-E are making prototype for final testing in January.

New Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc - The new SRF3 Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc is in production with the first 100 units on order.  Look for a 1st quarter introduction.

New Brakes – The new Willwood brakes are in full production and are currently shipping on new cars. The brakes will not be available until after the January races in California and Florida. 

Fuel Injector Calibration

Winter and the off season is a great time to check the fuel injectors in the SpecRacer or on any car.  If the fuel injectors do not inject the same amount of fuel into each cylinder the engine will not deliver maximum horsepower or in extreme cases the engine can be damaged.  When one or multiple injectors do not deliver as much fuel as the others all cylinders will not have the optimum stoichiometric mixture.  The engines computer adjusts the fuel mixture based on all of the cylinders and if some are running rich then others are running lean.  It is important to have all the fuel injectors matched to be sure that all the cylinders are running at peak power.  If one injector has significantly less flow that the others, a lean mixture, pre-ignition can result and that can lead to a damaged engine.

Disassembly Process

Pull the Injectors – Disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel rail and cap the lines with blank caps.  Disconnect the connectors leading to the injectors and then remove the fuel rail.  After removing the fuel rail, remove the injectors from the rail. 

Send off The Injectors – Bag and pack them for shipping.  Send the injectors to your shop or AccelRaceTek to have them cleaned and calibrated. 

Cleaning and Calibration Process

This section outlines the cleaning and calibration process for those that are interested.

 

  1. Pre-Cleaning Flow Measurements – The injectors are put on the flow test system to check the flow prior to cleaning.  This will give a baseline of how the injectors are performing prior to cleaning.  The injectors are attached to a manifold and tests leads are connected.  The injectors are pressurized to racing pressures and pulses of electricity are sent to the injectors simulating typical racing conditions.  The flow out of the injectors is directed into graduated cylinders. 
Photo Injector Cal 2018-01-01.JPG
  1. Pre-Cleaning Flow Analysis – The volume generated from each injector is recorded.  In a racing engine it is important that the volumes are within a few percent.  The closer the better.
  2. Spray Pattern – After the volume test, the injector spray patterns are visually inspected to be sure they spay and even pattern. 
  3. Injector Cleaning – After the pre-cleaning testing is complete the injectors go through a thorough cleaning process.  The injectors are then place in an ultrasonic cleaner and connected to injector drivers.  They are submerged in cleaning solution and pulsed while being cleaned with ultrasonic energy. The combination of the solution and the ultrasound clean the internal and external parts of the injectors.
  4. Post-Cleaning Flow Testing – The injectors are put back on the flow test system to check the flow.  The flow volumes and spray patterns are measured.  If any of the injectors does not past they are re-cleaned or replaced with ones that have matching flow rates.
  5. Test Report – The pre-cleaning and post-cleaning, flow data is recorded in a report that is sent back with the injectors.

Assembly Process

Injectors Assembly – Install the injectors back into the fuel rail.  Install the fuel rail and injectors back into the head and connect the electrical connections.  Install the fuel supply and return lines.Run-In – Turn on the ignition and check for fuel leaks before starting the motor.  If there are no leaks start the motor.  It is a good idea to check to be sure there are not any air leaks at any of the injectors.  Leaks can be found by spraying starting fluid at each of the injectors and if there is an air leak at the interface between the injector and head the engine idle will increase just after spraying and will go back to normal a few seconds after spraying.  If there are no fuel or air leaks you are ready to race.

November CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New Seat Option - SCCA-E has developed a new seat option that will allow drivers to use expanding foam or a bead insert.  The seat frame is similar to the fiberglass stock seat but has a larger seating volume to accept the custom foam insert.  The seat should be available next year.  This will allow different drivers to quickly install a new seat inserts for endurance races.

New Sprung Hub Clutch Disc - The new SRF3 Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc has been tested with very positive results production is going forward.  Look for a 1st quarter introduction.

New Brakes – The new Wilwood brakes are in full production and are currently shipping on new cars. The brakes will not be available until after the January races in California and Florida. 

Pre-Season Maintenance

Winter and the off season is a great time to do annual maintenance.  Annual maintenance is a good way of finding and reducing failures at the track.  The following includes; a summary of the maintenance, details on recommended maintenance, and information on parts that you might need. 

Maintenance

Shock Check or Rebuild – The shock check is at the top of the list because it can take weeks if you have them checked or rebuilt.   There are three options; one is to do nothing, the other is to have them performance tested, and the last is to send them off to be rebuilt.  If the shocks or car is new and you were running well at the end of last season then probably doing nothing is OK.  If you think the shocks are getting old and your lap times are not where they should be consider one of the other options. 

Shock testing can be done at most high-end racing shops on a shock dyno or you can send them to AccelRaceTek, they can turn them in about a week.  The recommended shops that can rebuild the shock are on the AccelRaceTek website.  We recommend sending them to Penske in Reading Pa. or Performance Shock, Inc. in Sonoma Ca.

Pressure Washing – We recommend removing all of the body covers to allow for a good cleaning and inspection.  We warm up the car and with the engine running spray the engine with an engine degreaser.   Focus the degreaser on the lower end of the motor (or where the grime is) and not the ignition and exhaust.  Spraying the spindle and brake area isn’t a bad idea too.  After a few minutes, use a pressure washer or spay nozzle, on a hose, to spray down the car.  We restart the engine and then use a leaf blower to blow off most of the water.  Let the motor run until most of the water has evaporated.

Safety Check – Check the fire bottle expiration date and the gauge to be sure it is still full and/or in the green area.   Check the dates on the seat belts to be sure they have not expired.  Also, check the seat belts for any signs of wear or defects.  Replace as necessary.

Half Shaft Check or Repack – Depending on the last time the half shafts were replaced or repacked you should consider repacking them.  At a minimum check the boots for leakage and for any wear or cracking.  Replace and repack as necessary.

 Wheel Bearing Check or Replace – Depending on the last time the wheel bearings were replaced you should consider replacing all of the bearings.  At a minimum check the bearing slop with a dial indicator to be sure the slop does not exceed +/- .003”.  If you don’t replace the bearings at least re-torque the front hub nuts and the rear axle nuts.

Brake Maintenance – Rebuilding the wheel cylinders should be done every season.  Remove the wheel cylinders, disassemble them, clean them with brake cleaner, and then inspect them.   Replace the Viton O-rings and the rubber dust boots which cover the pistons.  To make assembly easier use a little brake fluid to lubricate the pistons, do not use grease.  It is a good idea to replace the bleeder valve/screws or at least remove them and check them.  Check the brake pads and rotors and replace as necessary.  The rotor thickness should be checked and the lower thickness limit is 13.25mm (0.522 in.).  Install the rotors, pads and rebuilt cylinders and torque to specs.  Then flush and bleed the lines using a high temperature brake fluid. 

Engine Maintenance – It is a good idea to pull the plugs and look at their color and replace if necessary.  If the plug color looks different and/or you haven’t had the injectors flow check, sending them off to be flow tested should be considered.  AccelRaceTek has flow matched injectors for exchange or can flow test your injectors.  At the same time check the plug wires for abrasion and cracks. 

This is a good time to pull and check the alternator belt.  Small rock can build up in the grooves and they should be removed before installing the belt.

Check the air cleaner and clean it or for a GEN 2 replace it.  For a GEN 3 you will have to clean the filter, go to the K&F or AccelRaceTek website for instructions.

The last thing is to drain the oil, replace the oil filter, and add new oil.

 Transaxle Fluid Change – Drain the transaxle and look at the old oil for fine metallic particles and/or larger pieces of steel.  Any of these are an indication the transaxle might have problems in the future.  The transaxle has an internal magnet that collects normal levels of particulate.

Coolant Check – Check the level and color of the coolant.  If the coolant hasn’t been changed in years and/or it is very rusty looking you might want to consider changing it.

Complete Nut & Bolt – Check as many nuts and bolts, as feasible, to be sure they are tight and at the same time do a general check.

Rod End Check – Go around the suspension and check the rod ends.  It they have any issues replace them.  We recommend replacing the rear outer lower rod ends, these have the highest loads and they break more often than any other rod end. 

 Hose Check – Go around the car and check the water lines, oil lines, and fuel lines for wear and any leaks.  Also check the lines for cracks and hardening.  It they have any issues replace them. 

Frame Crack Check – Walk around the frame and do a visual check of all of the critical frame rails.  Also check the upper and lower steering shafts for cracks, these shafts have been known to break during a race, not good.

Align the Car – It is a good time to put the car on the scales and check the alignment.  It is also a good time to check the bump steer on both the front and the rear.

New Radiator – Consider changing to the new high cooling capacity radiator.  This new radiator was designed for the SpecRacer and has about 20% more cooling that the old Brat radiator. 

Parts Available from your Local Auto Parts Store 
Description     SCCA-E PN    Name/Generic Part                 Qty
Spark Plugs                                                     4    
          GEN3    G301041    NGK  ONLY  LTR7IX-11    
          GEN2    Motorcraft  AGSF 24C
                        Motorcraft  AGSF 34C
Air Filter
          GEN2    592231F    Fram CA 3660                       1
                   592231    Motorcraft P/N FA-1031             1
Oil Filter                                                      1
         GEN3     G301022    FL910-S ONLY Motorcraft
         GEN2     Motorcraft FL‑400 Series
SCCA-E Maintenance Parts (not available at your local parts store) 
Description     SCCA-E PN    Name/Generic Part                 Qty
Spark Plug Wires                                                1 Set    
         GEN3     G301052    WR6126 ONLY Motorcraft
         GEN2      990137    SPARK PLUG WIRES MAGNECORE
Brake Pads         801993    BRAKE PADS                         2 Sets
Brake Rotors       800065    VENTED BRAKE ROTOR                 4
Brake Rebuild Kit  800035    CALIPER SEAL KIT                   4
Bleeder Valve      800036    BLEEDER VALVE CALIPER              4
Fuel Filter        598005    FUEL FILTER ELEMENT                1
Wheel Bearings     200436    WHEEL BEARING                      4
Rod Ends           280365    ROD END 7/16 MALE RH  (inner)      8
                   280555    ROD END 7/16 MALE LH (Tie rod )    4    
                  280397F    ROD END ADJUST LBJ FRONT           2
                  280397R    ROD END ADJUST LBJ REAR            2
Other Parts of Interest
Description     SCCA-E PN    Name/Generic Part
Bleeder Valve      800036    BLEEDER VALVE CALIPER              4
Fire Bottle        180541    RECHARGE KIT FOR AFFF              1
                   180542    FIRE EXT SYSTEM - AFFF             1
                  180542A    FIRE EXT SYSTEM – LIFELINE         1
Rub Rails          180557    RUB RAIL LH                        1
                   180558    RUB RAIL RH                        1
New Radiator       480465                                       1
Upper LH Baffle    480464                                       1

October CSR Update

SpecRacer Enterprises & CSR News

New and Improved Radiator – SCCA-E has a new and improved radiator.  The Subaru Brat radiator that most people buy for their SpecRacer comes from many sources and some radiators have less cooling capacity than others.  SCCA-E developed a new radiator custom to the SpecRacer Ford with about 20% higher cooling capacity to address this issue.  The new radiator also does not have all the extra transmission cooling lines and it does not have a radiator cap.  The New SCCA SRF radiator new part number is 480465 and the cost is $205.00.  The new radiator does require a different “Upper LH Baffle” part number 480464 at a cost of $45.00 and a new "Bracket Radiator Side LH High Cap" part number 480469 at a cost of $17.48 .  If your car is running hot you should consider upgrading to the new one. 

Radiator 1.jpg

New Radiator Part# 480465

Radiator 2.jpg

Upper LH Baffle part # 480464

GEN3 Clutch Status – The current clutch from SCCA-E is performing well and giving a good service life.  The current Tilton organic clutch material disk is the only one available at this time.   A new Gen3 Kevlar Sprung Hub Clutch Disc is being tested and so far has been working well.  Stay tuned as we finalize this new clutch disc that we hope will be a long term solution to help reduce transmission and clutch disc failures.

 GEN3 Gear Sets – A second batch of straight cut gears are available.

Returning Motors –   Any motors being returned for repair must have packing list documentation as to the reason for the return.  The more information you can give SCCA-E the better.   Please see repair form located at:  https://www.scca.-e.com/engine-rebuild-2

Brakes - The new Wilwood calipers have been approved for production. The new calipers are not currently available but should be available before the next season.