pdmracing New Reader
12/9/13 2:40 p.m.

We have all seen this person at the track(or it may even be you), The guy laying under the car yelling at the hapless spouse/partner/friend asking for a tool while making a last minute repair. Most people want to help if they could, and this tip will help them help you and keep your significant other from killing you.

My solution is to break down your tools/parts into "Job Boxes" I use different colored boxes for fast identification.

Example: I keep all my suspension servicing tools in a blue box. So anyone, regardless of experience, can jump in my trailer & get the blue tool box as opposed to trying to find a 23mm 1/2 in. drive socket if they knew what one was.

This eliminates a lot of frustration in the pits and makes race day more efficient and less stressful for everyone involved. People actually will want to help you.

I got his idea from my time as an F4 crew chief in the Air Force. They went even further with foam cut outs of the tools for easy ID that you actually had all your tools back in the box after doing a job. Imagine a forgotten socket laying in a jet intake. Trust me the first time you use this tip at the track you will realize the worth.

mndsm UltimaDork
12/9/13 2:42 p.m.

Wow, I like the job box concept. I have so many tools that are only used for one job, It'd be a nice thing to sort them by "suspension" "brakes" etc.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
12/9/13 2:44 p.m.

This is a great idea... I took a slightly different tack.

I never, ever bring my wife to the track. Ever. Under any circumstances.

But your way works too. :)

pdmracing New Reader
12/9/13 2:55 p.m.

In reply to mndsm: Its also a back saver

Cone_Junkie SuperDork
12/10/13 5:25 p.m.

People's wives help them work on cars? I thought my wife was perfect up until now. Great, now I need to trade-in for a new one...

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/13 9:10 a.m.

I thought this thread would contain the "jewellery with every set of tires" advice

eastsidemav Dork
12/11/13 9:33 a.m.

Getting them hooked to racing is my secret. My wife co-drives the rallycross car. We've hit the point where we both know what we're supposed to do to prep the car once we reach the field, and it works pretty well.

dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/11/13 9:51 a.m.

I'm beginning to do the same thing in my garage, I'm getting the little Craftsman 13" tool bags and creating separate ones for electric tools, brake tools, oil change, spark plugs/O2 sensors, etc. That way I can just grab what I need for the particular job I'm working on. Otherwise, I'm hunting through my tool chest, tool box, shelves, etc. looking for the parts. This way it's also much quicker to clean up after a job.

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/29/13 1:01 p.m.

When I was at the track and we were doing 12 and 24 hour races I took it a little further. Kind of like surgery. We took aluminum trays and put what ever service we were doing (parts and tools) in the tray. Brake pad changes, hub changes, We used bigger roasting pans for things like an entire front corner. In those we had complete tools and replacement hardware. Working with new cold hardware is so much better than working with HOT hardware. So when it was time to change pads in the hot pits all you had to do was grab from the tray. It also was nice to have it under where you were working so things that fell would land in the tray and you do not puncture a tire leaving the pits. Each tray for each corner had duplicate tools so there was no fumbling for tools going from side to side. Each tray was "shrink wrapped" with house hold saran wrap and labeled with a large black sharpie on top so you could see in it as well as read what is in side of it. We made up enough trays for an entire race plus one extra and between stops we would sort out the trays we had used with either new parts or the best of the used parts just in case.

EDIT. Also test install all the parts in the trays before you go to the track and use only the tools in the tray. You would be surprised how many times brake pads need to be trimmed with a grinder to fit just that much easier. Remember at the track thigns will be hot, REALLY HOT and a tight fit in the shop can be a no go at the track. I use to grind down the sides of the back plates on almost every set of pads a little as the backer plates were to wide to fit when the calipter was roaring hot. Again a little thing but it makes a hot pits brake bad change easy.

One other thing. Try changing pads (again using only what is in the tray) in full fire suite and work gloves on and with your helmet on. Get use to this. Sounds silly but if you are not use to it you will not be comfortable doing it at the track. Since I was the gas man I had full suite and nomex on with my full faced helmet balaclava and everything as did the fire watch. When we were done fueling we would then go in to brake change mode or what ever service we were doing. This goes for drivers as well. Once a driver is out they may be called to help (if they can) some times they are exhausted and just need to sit and be fed water and cooled down but if they can help they will be in full race clothing with helmet so try doing service on the car at the shop dressed similarly.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/10/14 8:26 a.m.

Dude, any pictures from your days as an F4 crew chief should be posted ASAP! (one of my favorite planes of all times)

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