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Check your stuff

steveespo

Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Child
Moderator
3,810
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10-20 Years
Cookeville TN
Today
I learned a couple good lessons about post event teardown and system checks. I got the car out today with plans to take the wheels off and start install on my Steeda UCA with spherical link. Also have to change front and rear rotors, rear pads and overall check the car out prior to 10/24 event. When jacking the drivers side I noticed the front wheel wasn't lifting off the ground, WTF? Turns out the top strut nut came off and the entire strut dropped out of the tower! Threads on the strut shaft were worn, ruining the strut. I have a spare after blowing the seal in my first pair so I got that out and began the swap. When removing the MM camber plate nuts I noticed they were real tight, I had taken the car to my tire shop for alignment and apparently they could care less about 23 ft/lbs torque spec I gave them. Got it off and took the plates out to mount up the replacement strut, no real issue. Went to remove the nuts on the passenger side to take the strut tower brace off and found that thy stripped the studs completely on this side, now I am pissed and have to order replacement parts from Maximum Motorsports. I now suspect that the tech they assigned did not know how to adjust the plates even though I went over it with the Boss and the other tech and he loosened the strut nut and couldn't get that torqued properly and then over compensated by torquing the 8mm studs on the camber plates to 75 ft/lbs.
Not really happy and have proven to myself once again that I should trust one mechanic with my life and that is me.

Morals of this story are watch anyone who is servicing your car if you track it, and check all suspension bolts and nuts and ball joints etc. prior to EVERY track event.
I suspect the strut came loose on the Sunday at Summit Point when my lap times were suddenly off by 4 seconds and I was terribly loose on corner exit. Thought it was the tires, luckily I didn't lose the car or worse.
Steve
 
1,450
366
Good advice. On the plus side MM will sell you the parts you need separately. "My nuts were too tight" too, since I bought the car used. First hint was the stacked nuts on one stud. Sigh... Put the new parts on and move on. IMO the material they use for the male threaded portion of the part is too soft. I don't know if they think they'll suffer from material fatigue if they used something a little harder or what.

You think your alignment was all over the place? The strut is under constant pressure until you lifted the body up and held it there, right?
 
Great catch Steve, this could've jeopardized your safety at the track.

On a side note, it sucks that we can't trust most mechanics due to their negligence. Was this a performance shop, or a dealership?

When I get suspension parts installed, or any other critical part on the car, I plan on making the drive to a mustang specific performance shop that has the experience with race cars (e.g. Don's mustang garage or Rev Auto). Unfortunately, both shops are a good distance away.

Hope everything gets straightened out in time.
 

steveespo

Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Child
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Cookeville TN
Andy
Alignment settings held but the strut was definitely moving in the camber plates for a while, the threads on the shaft were worn smooth and the diameter is distinctly reduced.
I heard a crunch a couple times on track and coming off my last two sessions and really thought it might have been a rear control arm that was making noise (I have the Spherical 302S arms, that was the first thing I was checking when I started the day.
I don't think the mechanics are purposely negligent or that they don't care, just that they don't really understand how important being precise and accurate with torque values and adjustments you need to be on a race car. If it was a street car I may never had to have removed those nuts again and they could've stayed welded tight. Just aggravating at this point.
Steve
 

dmichaels

Papa Smurf
547
30
CT
steveespo said:
Andy
Alignment settings held but the strut was definitely moving in the camber plates for a while, the threads on the shaft were worn smooth and the diameter is distinctly reduced.
I heard a crunch a couple times on track and coming off my last two sessions and really thought it might have been a rear control arm that was making noise (I have the Spherical 302S arms, that was the first thing I was checking when I started the day.
I don't think the mechanics are purposely negligent or that they don't care, just that they don't really understand how important being precise and accurate with torque values and adjustments you need to be on a race car. If it was a street car I may never had to have removed those nuts again and they could've stayed welded tight. Just aggravating at this point.
Steve

That is scary Steve - glad you found the issue and had no on track issues...

I recently (at Thompson) developed a bit of a "click" almost like the steering "jumps a tooth" on certain left to right transitions. It's worrying me a little, but I've found nothing remotely loose yet. Might check everything a little more carefully before going out again though...
 
+1 I found a front lower control arm nut hand tight after I got all of my car work done. Luckily I caught it before it did any damage. I am blessed with having three very competent shops locally that I trust to do certain work on my car.
 
Steve knows that I had a Howe Ball joint (302S part) come a little loose at WG. Tonight got the car up on the lift after a day at the track and the LH front LCA had a bit of play. Turned out that the forward LCA bolt had loosned just over half a turn, and I know I torqued t to spec (155 lbft) on installation last winter.

Lesson learned: Even when stuff is torqued to spec, things get loose after 20+ track days, always paint mark and check!
 
This 100% true. I had the opportunity to intern for a Racing team over the summer, they competed in the Porsche GT3 in Canada, Prior to every run we would do a complete nut and bolt inspection of every suspension component ever since then I check my suspension and wheels before my track day and if it is a multi day event I check it every night before I go back to the Hotel.

Check your nuts Folks it could save your life! ;D
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
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Paint pens on order.

Does anyone have a cheat sheet for suspension and brake torque values.

Steve.

Very glad the lesson was not too expensive. We like having you around!!! ;D
 
There are apps you can get, like grocery checklists. I have a Colornote checklist for AutoX/Track since I always forget something. It would be easy to just list each bolt followed by a torque value. Either that or a nice laminated index card with torque values would be nice.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,625
2,555
Arizona, USA
Black Boss said:
always paint mark and check!

Amen. Always witness-mark any fasteners you're working on using a paint pen or at the least a grease pencil. Makes inspections very easy and can be done visually.
 

302 Hi Pro

Boss 302 - Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
2,009
438
Southeast
Hi Guys:

Here is a shop tip I learned during the install of my Steeda HD Camber Plates and Koni Sports. I noticed the Koni hardwear only came with a stainless steel nut and lock washer. The Camber Plates are billet aluminum so to prevent wear and having the nut loose it torque setting I installed a Stainless Steel flat washer, then lock washer and nut. Then torqued to spec. The flat washer will save the aluminum Camber Plate from excessive gauling/wear from the split ring lock washer.

Hope this helps someone out there,
Enjoy your Boss,
Dave
302 Hi Pro
 

302 Hi Pro

Boss 302 - Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
2,009
438
Southeast
WinterSucks said:
I would be tempted to just use a SS fender washer and a lock nut. I don't trust lock washers, but maybe I am just being paranoid.

Here are some that are supposed to be superior to nylon lock nuts that I would hesitate to trust due to engine bay heat:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#hex-locknuts/=u1dwb7

Well, I can't recommend these, but if your installing Koni Sports using aluminum CC Plates and the Koni supplied hardwear, it's best to use a flat washer to protect the aluminum.

It's like using a flat washer on your head bolts and lock washers when installing aluminum heads. It keeps the lock washer from gauling the aluminum and maintains a better torque value.

All the Best,
302 Hi Pro
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,858
4,118
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
gww52 said:
This is exactly why I'm the only one who touches anything on my cars!

I agree that the best way to know how well a job is done is to do it yourself.

I don't have an alignment rack, asked the accountant (read wife) for permission, she said no. Go figure. Some work has to be done by others.

Statements condemning all mechanics, can't agree.

A good mechanic is like a good doctor or dentist. Find them, get to know them and then trust them.

Nothing wrong with checking behind a good mechanic. I work in aviation. No critical system is worked on without a second individual and in some cases a third checking the work. It's the rules.

Driving a street car at high speeds should then change the rules. Have a second person check the work.

Trust but verify.

Don't blame a guy who has to beat the flat rate manual to make money for being human.

Just my two cents
 

steveespo

Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Child
Moderator
3,810
1,387
Exp. Type
Time Attack
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10-20 Years
Cookeville TN
No one is "blaming" all mechanics, just like you said need to find specialist mechanics that understand race car work. I thought I had the right guy. Actually I did but for this alignment they put a different tech on the job, that demonstrated that he didn't know how to adjust and retorque MM camber plate setup. I paid good money for this work and also have to pay for replacement parts. I also blame myself for not double checking things when I picked up the car. I do have Longacre caster camber gauge and toe plates so I will perform the realignment work on the car after replacing the damaged parts.
Steve
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,858
4,118
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
I had unique experience with an alignment shop myself. Work was done right, no issues there. I brought in the instructions from MM and went through them with the tech.

I was in the waiting area when a blue boss remarkable just like mine went by on the street. I went to the shop owner and asked what was going on. He said it was their policy to take all cars for a test drive before putting them on the rack. "Really' I said, even when the owner tells you the reason the car was brought is was to have alignment set to specs because camber plates and new springs were just installed.

Several apologies later we came to an agreement. NO test drive without the owner.

I know for a fact the owner can be a As* when it comes to his car. And so does that shop!! LOL.
 

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