Race Car Planning
How to Plan a Race Car Build
There are many things to think about when upgrading performance for any vehicle. As noted in the first post of this series. For this post, I want to focus on the overall planning process.
The first step for LA Street Cars, and our customers, is to have a full understanding of the use of the vehicle. How will it be driven? Daily? Weekends only? Shows? Track use and what kind of track? How often will the car be tracked?
The second step is to recognize the technological understanding of various performance upgrades that our customers have. We NEVER want to assume you know anything at all, because ultimately, the decision is yours and you have to own it, and drive it. Our goal is to make sure you know your options, the tech behind it, and why any 1 solution may be better than another, for your specific needs and use.
We spend a lot of time teaching our customers about performance technology. We often have customers that will ask for a simple quote for a supercharger for instance, or coilover and suspension needs. Thats easy to accomplish, but we don’t know if the customer realizes what else may be needed to make that solution work reliably. Sometimes supporting modifications have already been made, but we don’t know about them, so we ask. Please understand that we aren’t asking just to sell you something else, but to make sure your end result is right the first time, safe, and reliable, and perhaps we have thoughts about and experienced something you may have not.
Lets get back to planning and what to plan for. We take into consideration all vehicle systems. From suspension to brakes, to fuel and exhaust, to controls and logging and management, to general safety including seats, seat belts, cages, and of course, traction.
You have to plan for all of these systems at some level. Some modifications don’t really need extensive planning, we know that of course, such as a simple intake, exhaust and tune. But in planning for the basics, that may not be the end game. In fact, with other modifications, those systems may need to be replaced. Out goal is to have you spend your money once, the way, in phases and stages as necessary, so that you minimize throwing money away.
A little more this topic now. Throwing money away. That’s easy to do. We all like the immediate gratification that a set of lowering springs, exhaust and an intake for example, make to a vehicle. It’s very difficult sometimes to wait 3-6 months or longer for your goal to be had, so we all get impatient and want to do “something”, versus nothing for along time. Some of us have extra money an don’t care, and some plan on selling the basics mods later when they come off the car. No matter what, if it comes off later, there is a loss, and that loss can make a project take longer and money is being spent in the wrong places at the wrong times. If we can plan and phase the build properly, then we can plan for things and change now, that won’t lose you that investment dollar other than maybe some labor costs.
Many of our customers come with knowledge and ideas from what they have heard from the internet or forums. While much of this information can be valuable, unless it is typically coming from a shop of some sort, its usually biased toward what someone else has already put on their own cars and worked for them…but always remember, you are not them and may have different goals.
At LA Street Cars, we spend a lot of time planning your build. We want to make sure you are getting what you asked for and expect in the end. Part of that expectation is also knowing that you know how to drive a car with the enhanced performance you will receive. Granted, exhaust and intakes make such a minor improvement that driving technique really won’t change much at all, versus a Supercharger or Turbo setup. We also help in this area with some training too. We like going with our customers to events, such as drag races, air strip attacks, and others, to help them learn how to manage the power and the car. This goes back to safety, and we often encourage our customers to attend some training as tracks as well, while the car is being built, so they can handle the car and respect the power, before they get into it for the first time.
I hope this post has helped you to realize what should go into your project at a planning phase. Considering EVERYTHING is key from Day 1…and we do that every day!