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Discussion Starter #1
My first stage rally this weekend in Ojibwe and was looking for some tips:
Other than obvious Fluids, tires, visual inspection and any noises, smells and vibrations created during the previous stages what should I check at service?
What attire is required for the practice stage - full suit and helmet?
Best brew in Bemidji is at?

Thanks for the help.
 

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Use transit time to listen to the car and feel how it's driving. Sometimes you won't notice problems until after you've finished the stage and you've begun the transit.

If there's time, it's a good idea to take all the wheels off at service and scrape out any mud/dirt/rocks stuck inside them.

Check the exhaust and other stuff under the car to make sure things aren't becoming loose.

Make sure you have enough gas, and try not to underestimate how much the car will consume. DNFing due to running out of gas would suck! Flat spares aren't good either.

Best of luck.
Dave

www.hintzbrosrally.com
 

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50 L3/CR 70 Yump 200
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- OK , In no real order.....
Have jack & tools out & ready.
Pull tires - check for cuts, scrape rims.
Scrape out inside of wheels wells.
Check underside for leaks, broken stuff, dead amimals.
Remember to torque ALL the wheels
(even if you don't pull them).
Clean the glass (inside too if needed).
Check fluids (car and crew).
Have lights ready to install.

Section 2, Item 1. in the crew rules handbook says you don't have to clean up after a sick codriver. (If you do he/she owes you UBER beer!)

The weather forcast is fantastic, so you should not get too dirty.
Be sure you have tarp down and jack stands under the car and someone must be holding a fire bottle while refueling (fines and penality if not).

Union Station ?? I think it's called - downtown has a pub or two w/food. There was a nice Italian place a few block away too - but I have not been there in a nine or ten years.

If you are staying at the HQ hotel or next door, the resturant in the Northern Inn does a good breakfast and will save you TONS of time over Perkins or whatever else you find.

- Last thing - remember you must not speed/ get caught violating traffic laws. - And you must stay on the route you are given. (more fines and penalitys on you and the crew).

Stop and say hello , I'll be crewing for Bruce Davis/Jimmy Brandt
Neon SRT4 # 60 - I'll be the guy w/ a donut in my hand.

- Jeffy Secor
WWJD (Who Wants Jelly Donuts)
 

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>- Last thing - remember you must not speed/ get caught
>violating traffic laws.

Also... check all the lights you might be using (turn signals, brakes, headlights). It would suck if you got pulled over by a cop for a missing license plate light.

All important paperwork such as vehicle registration, driver's license, etc should stay in the vehicle during service so you have less chance of forgetting them when you leave. (Best thing to do is hand over your wallet etc to your co-driver who will keep all that stuff in one place).

When checking your tires look for any little-bitty stones stuck between the wheel rim and the tire bead.

Have someone (you, co-driver, or crew) responsible at each service for making sure there is drinking water in your car.
 

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5 right opens
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You guys make is sound like the cops are hiding in trees ready to pounce on any Rally Car for Any Reason... WOW!!!

Do they really have that kind of rejudice against Rally folk?

Scott
-------
 

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Pick a good spot for servicing. Finding other crews who are servicing for like cars is good...VW guys can often form a little camp. Close to MTC out can help if cutting it close on time. High ground if it looks like rain. Level/solid. No long grass/weeds.

Cut some boards to use under your jackstands in softer ground.

Cordless impact wrenches are valuable. Make sure you have spare batteries charged up the night before.

Many cars have certain suspension bolts that like to loosen. Until you find which ones for your car, best to lay a wrench on just about all the suspension bolts both front and rear.

Have a means of bleeding brakes handy.

Even if you can't afford a high zoot radio system, take FRS radios. The team will be rolling into town and checking in. If you are tight on time for a service, the driver can tell the crew what tools and parts to have out to fix whatever is the main priority for the driver while the codriver is dealing with timecards at the MTC. Hopefully, the driver (owner/chief mechanic 25 days of the month) knows his car well enough to at least identify problems on the transit back, even if he can't diagnose them well. For teams that have dumb, arrive and drive drivers and full time (paid) mechanics, this is different, but I'm guessing you are not in that category.

Have the radio on and LISTEN for your driver! If you have a 2 meter radio and can listen to event operations while waiting for your team, you can give your driver information on his competition (maybe the guy he is driving at the limit to beat rolled on the last stage...he can back off).

Even if you don't have a radio, listen to the driver. Get your driver/codriver in the habit of making a prioritized list on the way back to service of things to check based on noises, between stage inspections, etc. (I need to get better at this.)

Keep an eye on the clock. The codriver should be barking the time remaining (with whatever "cushion" was discussed with the driver and/or crew chief).

When service is over, anticipate what's next. If you are staying in position or moving. What needs attention. What, based on the last service, is the car likely to need at the next one.

If using the driver/owner's tools, take care of them. Make sure they are covered if it starts to rain. If the jack is malfunctioning, for example, use your between service time to try to get it working, or if you recognize a tool that is needed, make a list so the dude gets it before the next rally.

NEVER allow anyone to have open alcohol in your area.

Make a phone list of all the people on the team for the weekend as well as any long distance support people who may be able to help. (Local auto parts stores and junk yards aren't a bad idea either.) Make copies and give everyone on the team this list...maybe even make it small so it fits in their wallet. Supp regs also have the emergency numbers. Make sure the crew reads the supps before they get there and has a copy in the truck in a designated location.

Know where the fire extinguishers are.

Have fun.
 

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50 L3/CR 70 Yump 200
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>You guys make is sound like the cops are hiding in trees
>ready to pounce on any Rally Car for Any Reason... WOW!!!
>Do they really have that kind of rejudice against Rally folk?

- 90% NO , but if you are doing something DUMB ....
We are playing in "their woods" .
 

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don't cut
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The gas and go's are just that, put gas in the car and go. Unless you are running for a national championship, always put gas in the car at every opportunity.

For the main services, jack the car up, remove the wheels, check for any obvious broken stuff, bent stuff, loose bolts, etc.. Check brakes for wear or cracked rotors. Check tires for cuts, stones, pressure, etc... Look under the hood, check all fluids, look for any wires coming loose.

Christian Edstrom came up with a great checklist once that prioritized what should happen at service. For example, number one on the list was to fuel the car, cuz no matter what else happens, you can't finish without fuel. Next is fix broken stuff, etc... and the last things are like clean the windshield or check the blinkers.

Finally, bring a small stick or a screwdriver in the car with you to poke dirt out of the wheels with between stages. Ojibwe sand tends to collect in the wheels and throw them wildly off balance. Also adds a lot of weight. If you don't have a simple tool to clean that crap out, you have to try and trick your codriver into giving you a pen. At service we've found that a windshield ice scraper works great for quickly cleaning wheels.

Finally, and most importantly, DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP! Ask other teams, officials, anybody. If they don't know the answer, they will help you find it.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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>You guys make is sound like the cops are hiding in trees
>ready to pounce on any Rally Car for Any Reason... WOW!!!
>
>Do they really have that kind of rejudice against Rally folk?

No, and we want to keep it that way, so...

They know exactly when the races are happening, stage times and maps are provided to most if not all local authorities around the rallies here in MN, and we have made it very clear to them that we want to be good neighbors, and that we (as organizers) expect our competitors to behave.

So, if an officer isn't out on a call, there's a good change that they'll be "spectating"

We actively encourage the authorities to stop and ticket anyone - competitors, crew, workers, spectators, committee members, anyone not following the law to the letter. We really don't want to to get a ticket, that makes us all look bad; we expect you to stay legal, and we are taking steps to encourage you to do so.

It's part of making sure the rally gets to happen in the future. You may not be thinking about that while on a transit, but even little things can turn people against the event, and anything you do wrong is magnified 100x by the fact that you're doing it in a racecar with numbers, logo, and lights all over it. All it takes is one person to do something stupid at just the wrong time and we'll never get to play in the woods again.

--
Mark Holden
KC0SUW
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the responses, I have printed them off and will makeup a quick reference list to put up in the service truck. Going home to pack up and see you all Thursday.
Bryan
 

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Related suggestion

As a codriver, I carry some blank checklists with general things like tires, fuel, overheating, brakes, cool-suit ice, video tapes, etc on it. As we're on each transit I ask the driver which items we need, or if there are other things to cover. I cross out the stuff that's unnecessary.

There's also a spot on the form to say at what time we should leave service. (Actually, I write two times: normal, and if we have to work to the last possible moment.)

I find that the service item checklist helps us capture potential issues while they're still fresh in our minds, reducing the amount of stuff we forget until too late. It also helps us decompress (get back into "transit speed mode") after a thrilling run, and gives the driver something to help him prioritize the upcoming service tasks for his crew.

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
www.perforce.com/wrt
 

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Probably commenting too late for Ojibwe, but in addtion to all that's been said:

Prior to the event jack up the car all around and shake the struts and wheels hard in all directions, and move the steering back and forth. Learn how to check the ball joints on your car. Twist and move all CV jounts, U-joints, and driveshafts. Check the motion in the motor and trannie mounts. This is all done to get a feel for the tightness of these parts, and learn any loose quirks of the car's suspension, bearings, drivetrain, motor and trannie mounts, and steering gear.

At actual service when the wheels are jacked up, repeat these checks. The purpose is to detect any developing problems in these systems before they progress undtected to a DNF. You can keep an eye on a developing problem, and be prepared to change something going bad at the next service or at an overnight break.

Have fun in MN!

Mark B.
 

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Coupla small additions.

On the way back to service we always make a punch list (driver yells, co-driver writes) of "extra" stuff that needs attention, and we prioritize it. We give this to the crew via cell phone if there's coverage (we're too dumb to use FRS) and give the punch list to our main service guy as we pull in as well.

On my car we always check wheels/tires (only pull them if really muddy), wheel nut torque, steering, oil level, clean glass, fill gas (if permitted in service).

Typically we replace spark plugs overnight and midway through the day, but that's just how my car is....

Glenn
 

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>You guys make is sound like the cops are hiding in trees
>ready to pounce on any Rally Car for Any Reason... WOW!!!
>
>Do they really have that kind of rejudice against Rally folk?

In our area, the cops love rally folk, because they drive slower on the transits than the local folk do.

They hate our spectators, many of which drive like idiots.

Our official position with law enforcement is to throw the book at anyone, rally car, service vehicle or spectator, who misbehaves.

This weekend a woman reported 4 cars racing on her road (a 30-mph quiet zone). What that means to me is that 40 others drove by without her noticing.

A police officer reported cars tearing up the gravel when turning from a paved highway onto a gravel road. Our response was to ticket anyone who broke the law and to report the car numbers to us. To my knowledge, no one was ticketed nor reported. Perhaps the officer witnessed a locked differential causing a little tire scraping on the gravel at safe and legal speeds.

Thank you to all competitors and workers for your good behavior this weekend. As usual, the only bad reports I got were on spectators and photographers.

Mark Larson
2005 Ojibwe Forests Rallymaster
 
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