Tag Archive: restoration



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Probably all of us, or maybe just some of us can look back on some awkward moments.  For me at least they generally are of the beautiful plan gone horribly wrong category. as a case in point I offer the following example.

My first experience with a GT1 car was a sobering one. Having raced a ITA Mercury Capri for several years with indifferent results I had to take the plunge.  One of those times when you know you shouldn’t do it but everything works out so you can. An acquaintance had a Thunderbird bodied stock car chassis that he was about to give up on trying to make work. At the same time a guy walked up to me at Summit Point and offered to buy my car. So he became the proud owner of an ITA Capri, and I became the owner of a GT1 car. Well almost. To get it to where I could afford it, a lot of parts were not included. But with the help of my best friend, and a patient wife it once again became a car.

The first time it was out on the track was a drivers school, held in a monsoon, at Summit Point. The second was my second drivers school.  These revealed a couple of things in graphic detail. One we had a really good engine. Two the brakes, from a late-model stock car, were marginal. Marginal with a capital M. Lastly it was a pig. The handled was so bad I didn’t have a clue on how to make it better.

So, rather than address the handling I bought myself some brakes. Straight from the bigger is better school of thought (low buck edition) I bought the entire front brake setup from the #31 Mike Skinner Sprint Cup car.  They had run it at Sears Point that same year. A great deal, 2 giant Wilwood calipers, about 10 rotors, several sets of hats, and bunches of sets of brake pads. All for a reasonable, it seemed, price.

So we redid the caliper brackets, bolted everything in place, bleed the brakes and awaited our next race at Summit Point.

When the time came we loaded the car, drove the 126 miles to Summit Point, unloaded the car and awaited our turn to get out on track. When that time came we went out on the course feeling that this time it was all going to be good and we would be a contender.

That good feeling lasted for maybe two laps of practice. It became apparent to me that some thing wasn’t right. The car wouldn’t accelerate like it should, and the brakes were weird. So I pulled into the pit lane, my friends came out to see what was wrong, and after a short conversation we agreed I would go out and try it again.  It immediately became apparent that we had a major problem. The engine for all its power would barely move the car along pit road.

Finally after some head scratching and oohing and wtf’s? Somebody put their hand on the center of the front wheel. Wow! It sure wasn’t supposed to be that hot. So even to the rookies that we were it was obvious that we had a brake problem. After taking the front wheels off we were able to push/pull the car back to the pits. Obviously too hot to work on we went to find help. Fortunately a fellow competitor was not only able to diagnose the problem as a stuck front caliper but point us toward someone who had spares. (Of course we didn’t, after all we’d just gotten the brakes).

So now came the process of fixing the problem. Once they had cooled sufficiently the calipers were removed from the car. Before the pads were removed, a block of wood was inserted between the pads. Then an airline was put onto the fitting where the brake line attached. A slight puff of air and the pistons pressed the pads against the wooded block. Than the wood and pads were removed so that the pistons could be removed from the bores.

So now we had to correct the problem. The old seals were removed, and the pistons lightly sanded, LIGHTLY sanded, with a fine emery paper. New seals were placed on the pistons, which were then reseated in their bores. Calipers were bolted onto the front uprights and brake pads installed.

No more problems, and a very valuable lesson learned. Always check, no matter what the pedigree, new or used. And spares are necessary whether you need them or not.

So if you want to avoid a similar situation give us a call at (804) 921-0902 or visit our store at http://www.roadraceparts.com

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BAR 003

The most beautiful thing about motorsport and the love of cars generally is its diversity. Now before you click that mouse read a little further. In this case I’m not talking about gender, race, color, national origin or even politics.

Instead I am talking about the varieties of racing disciplines, the new versus the storied past, our favorite brands or marques, etc. We invest a lot in these mechanical beasts and we live vicariously through their success or failure.

Now we have all seen a lot of project cars, and restored cars, the latest factory flash, and after a while you kinda hohum your way through them. But I saw Twitter article yesterday that made me sit up and do the mental”WTF?”!!!

It was a link (provided by ScarbsF1) to an article on F1technical.net. It was in there forum section, and was one of the most fascinating thread I’ve seen in some time. Here you have a guy that is building a real F1 car out of parts hes buying primarily off of ebay! Now I dont know about you but I would have thought it impossible.  After all aren’t F1 cars the pinnacle of motorsports? Aren’t they built in some lab with more security than Area 51? How in the heck is he going to be able to find enough parts to do this? And he’s not building a 1908 Dingbat Purple Flash either. Rather he has acquired a tub from a 2001 BAR 005, driven and crashed by Jacques V.Even more amazing is this isnt a guy who has some country named after his great grandfather, rather a guy who has a mortgage and seems to live a normal life.

You know the thing I hate about articles like this? It’s that not not only do i find them fascinating, but I start to think “heck, I could do that”. Next thing you know I’m searching the internet, sending emails, and making inquiries. But not this time. Nope.

So I encourage you to check out the thread on http://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11542

But I swear to you that reading about it is all I will do. But you know I liked the looks of the Jag F1 cars. Wonder what ever became of all the chassis they built? Hmmh, think if I called …….


As many of you know I have been dabbling with parts for these cars for oh about six years now. And have been fortunate enough to sell parts in ten countries to date. Most of these parts have been to club racers, but here and there a few professionals. But the tractor company in Israel doesn’t quite fit in either category I don’t think.

So I thought that I would share with you what people like you are looking for out there. Now remember that this does not include the new parts that we sell. Nor does it differentiate between what we have and dont have, but just the request.

Wheel centers and rim halves. These are far and away 16″, although just recently we have seen a few request for the 18’s.  BBS 5 x 5 centers were hot, and scarce, last year, not so much this year. (of course since I have a couple in stock.) Centerlok centers sometimes, and I just found out that there some with a 3″ hole for the spindle as opposed to the standard 2.44″.  Rim halves, a lot of people wanted inners when the SCCA allowed 13″ as  opposed to 12″ width. Now however its mostly to replace crash damage.

Bodywork  is kind of interesting. We probably have sold more complete bodies than individual parts. This is generally somebody doing a total build from scratch of a car. Or, in one case, there were only two cars with this particular body built and the owner wanted to be sure he had a spare set. Occasionally we do sell a individual piece to a customer. But this can lead to a bit of frustration as people are understandably looking for lightly or undamaged pieces at discount prices.

Carbon Fiber wings are also a steady seller.

Transmissions. The wide gear Hewland is always in demand, the standard gear not so much any more. Jerico and T101A are steady. Not so much now from GT racers but from vintage racers. The Jerico to replace the Ford top loader, and the T101 the Borg Warner T10.

Suspension components, most often asked for are centerlok spindles and uprights. These again are for people building a bare chassis.

This was just a quick review of some of the requests we get for parts. By no means is it complete, and I am sure that as soon as I post this I will remember a complete category I forgot.

But if you are looking for that odd part for your race car, dont forget to give us a call or email us at sales@roadraceparts.com


Chassis front

For several years I have had a bare GT1 style chassis lying around the shop. And admittedly I have been trying to sell it. Well, to be candid, I wasn’t exactly overrun with takers.

So after some deliberation I decided to go ahead and build it into a vintage GT1 style car. So after some consultation, I sent the chassis to Scott McLearen of 2M Engineering to lay the ground work.

First let me say that although I have the parts to make it into a true TA style, centerlok hubbed ride I choose not to yet. The reason being that I may use it for track days, or rentals first. And its cheaper to use 5 x 5’s. I can always swap to the centerloks.

Scott did a great job of fabricating the suspension and getting the car up on its wheels. He made brand new control arms and uprights, all the links, and trailing arms, etc. No used parts in the suspension at all.

Bodywork

Now I get to try my hand at fitting the body. The body I choose, is the correct one for this vintage of chassis, an 1987 Mustang carbon kevlar piece. This particular body was used, as you can see on the #65 AER car in 88. Still has the four National event win decals in place.
I’m just finishing trimming out the steel roof, required for these bodies. Mounting begins next week.

If you need good fabrication, or assistance at the race track I strongly recommend Scott.

Front Bodywork

Bodywork