A rare Post From Msquared

msquared

Member
I had someone PM me for some advice. I gave it to him without any sugar coating.

The bottom line is what do you do, a chassis adjustment or a chemical adjustment?

My answer was a chassis adjustment is much harder to do and requires a lot of thought and work whereas a chemical adjustment requires not as much work or even any work at all because you are forcing the chassis to work. After all, you have many tires for your impending situation but what if you have limited tires (ie not a big budget) but many chassis adjustments, which are free? Tire adjustments are way more expensive, after all you have to have many different sets of tires, rims and chemicals where you only have one chassis and many adjustments.

Meaning that sure tire prepping is an art and costs a lot of money but is quite easy where as a chassis adjustment requires a lot of thought.

My point is that anything that is easy in life is not as rewarding but something that you have to work for is usually always the best and the most rewarding. The argument is prepping is complicated and so are chassis adjustments. The real question is who benefits the most monetarily?

So, the question you have to ask is who benefits the most from your dollars, adjusting by tires and chemicals or fully understanding all your chassis adjustments?

Tires, rims and prep makes way more money than selling one chassis!

I finished second in a track championship to a guy who spent over $15k on tires alone where my total budget was only $1,500! A TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP??!!! Imagine at the National level what people are spending?

As Marvin Webster would say, "Think about it!"

Mike McCarty
Chassis Manual (Only $17.95)
www.kartcalc.com
 

W5R

New member
I still prefer to adjust my chassis and do the best with what i have, rather than ruin a good set of tires just to win a race. Sure i may not get the adjustment just right the first time, but i will learn from it, whether it helped or hurt. And after enough times of making those adjustments and learning from them, i learn what to do and what not to do, which changes i can make and when to make them, as well as what those changes will do and how the chassis will respond to the change. To me, anyone can pick up a set of tires and wipe some chemicals on them, but the ones who can actually adjust a chassis to get what they need out of it, are becoming few and far between. I agree when you come across someone who can do both, you will have your hands full, but ill continue to put my time and efforts into learning my chassis and learning to adjust it to get what i need from it, and save the chemicals for last ditch efforts when nothing else seems to work or when i need that extra bit of bite from the tires or for them to fire off a little quicker. And hopefully one day, ill be one of those who can do both and do them well. I have a goal and have the motivation to work towards that goal, thats what keeps me going and wanting to learn more.
 

Yakattack

Member
Both of you have explained it very well...
It took me the whole year of learning and adjusting my chassis to get it "right".
I Do Not have the budget for prep and tires, so make the best with what you got.
Also when I build my S/A motors I build them so I do not have to run race gas or oxygenated gas...not enough budget for that either... I know I am giving up some HP, but when on a budget...you do what you can do.
In the end , I may not finish 1st but , still a strong 3rd or 4th...and have heck of a lot of fun doing it!!!
 

bwyatt33

New member
Had a discussion about prepping and torching with a race buddy. When I first started kart racing the W.K.A. didn't allow prepping and I thought it was great. I enjoy the figuring it out part of racing as much as the battle on the track. Its all about thinking and learning. Well I guess the W.K.A. gave in because I heard about a kid who was burned buy a chemical fire at the Daytona race this year. The way I see it we are encouraging our young racers to take the easy path. Racing should be about getting young talent thinking about whats going on with the chassis not what prep to burn in a tire. What happens when they move into a late model or something that doesn't allow prepping? I prep and will continue to prep, but I will keep it to a minimal and never torch a tire.
 

Team 13

New member
Thank you MSquared for the post. I am a budget racer to the point it took me 8 months just to put my kart together; motor, safety, etc., etc. I have 2 sets of tires, a set of 33's and a set of 55's that unfortunately currently duro at 90. This year i am hoping to get my 6 year old into a kart. Was able to get a 99 buller Demon with a cage, required by my wife for both of us, for the awesome price of $100.00 and it came with a rolling stand, talk about your good day. it needs a little love but not bent. I will be putting my racing on hold this year due to lack of funds and help but your post just makes me want to teach him you have to work to get what you want. It may take time and frustration but my hope is he will be a better racer when all is said and done. Again, Thank You for the inspiration.
 

paulkish

old fart
Within limits Mike I totally agree with you. If your second place was accomplished only taking one set of tires to the track, I totally agree with you.

But if you even one time changed one tire to better match track conditions, your accomplishment was not accomplished by chassis adjustments alone. I think and hope you agree that all chassis adjustments can do, with the exception of air pressure is to alter how and when weight is applied. No chassis adjustment will alter the tires ability to handle weight.

I think your telling us if you show up at a track with tires close to what you need for the feature, chassis adjustments should be all that's needed to fine tune for the feature and to put a kart on the track able to get a respectable starting spot in the feature through heats.

I can see that happening and I see you being able to do it. I don't think anyone can just throw any old set of tires on and make them work. I think you'd have to show up with something close or at least start out with something close to what will be needed come feature time. And it sounds like a whole ton of fun and self satisfaction for you doing it. Cool, nice post, nice story behind it and fun to read.
 

rebsfan4

New member
Within limits Mike I totally agree with you. If your second place was accomplished only taking one set of tires to the track, I totally agree with you.

But if you even one time changed one tire to better match track conditions, your accomplishment was not accomplished by chassis adjustments alone. I think and hope you agree that all chassis adjustments can do, with the exception of air pressure is to alter how and when weight is applied. No chassis adjustment will alter the tires ability to handle weight.

I think your telling us if you show up at a track with tires close to what you need for the feature, chassis adjustments should be all that's needed to fine tune for the feature and to put a kart on the track able to get a respectable starting spot in the feature through heats.

I can see that happening and I see you being able to do it. I don't think anyone can just throw any old set of tires on and make them work. I think you'd have to show up with something close or at least start out with something close to what will be needed come feature time. And it sounds like a whole ton of fun and self satisfaction for you doing it. Cool, nice post, nice story behind it and fun to read.

Holy smokes ....that made perfect sense to me. Very nice post Paul!!! :)
 

Rikk

New member
Thank you MSquared for the post. I am a budget racer to the point it took me 8 months just to put my kart together; motor, safety, etc., etc. I have 2 sets of tires, a set of 33's and a set of 55's that unfortunately currently duro at 90. This year i am hoping to get my 6 year old into a kart. Was able to get a 99 buller Demon with a cage, required by my wife for both of us, for the awesome price of $100.00 and it came with a rolling stand, talk about your good day. it needs a little love but not bent. I will be putting my racing on hold this year due to lack of funds and help but your post just makes me want to teach him you have to work to get what you want. It may take time and frustration but my hope is he will be a better racer when all is said and done. Again, Thank You for the inspiration.


Same thing here. Modded straight rail chassis with two sets of used (mismatched brand) tires for a purple plate novice. One bottle of prep and many times just use wd-40. First year, 5th in points after starting halfway through the season. This past season, 3rd overall and missed several races. And 3rd in a touring series we ran. Same used tires, but I learned how to get the chassis to work better. Moving to a LTO chassis this year and I believe that what I've learned in the past years will help tremendously this year. Will still have minimal tires and minimal prep.
 

paulkish

old fart
a common everyday reply from paulkish

you keep making rare posts and first thing ya know you'll hav a medium one ... and then maybe if ya keep at it you'll have one well done. ... :)

I find them rare ones still bleed a little, then ya get to the pinko posts and finally work up to well done, just before ya get burnt. ... :)

we miss ya Mike, least I miss hearin yer words of wisdom, even if the wisdoms end up havin to get pulled out. ... :)
 

Charliemac115

New member
It's a combination of tires and chassis setup. One can't do its job properly without the other. I think way too much focuse is on tires these days and the true understanding of chassis tuning is being lost. Both have a huge effect on your race day outcome.. All I hear is add some cross and wipe more prep and sadly people run to there Pitts and do it because someone told them too. I might make the wrong decisions and not win them all but at least I know I am responsible for my outcome and I'm not paying a insane amount to some sopposedly guru for my success.
 

WILLIEBEZ

New member
Yes! It is a combination of tires and setup, and the longer the race goes the more this will be evident, because the ones who have balanced these best will not slow down and sometimes may get faster.

However......unless you have a reasonable understanding of the kart and the dynamics of what is happening as it goes around the track, any adjustment that you make, tire or chassis, will pretty much be a coin toss. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. What works for your neighbor may not work for you.

If you are the driver and you are making your own adjustments, you ABSOLUTELY need a decent understanding of whats going on with the kart. If you are a crew chief you still need that knowledge, but you also need a driver that can relay the proper information to you as to what he is feeling. Junior and rookie drivers can be a challenge for some crew chiefs, but if you get together by yourselves without everyone butting in, the two need to listen to each other and form a line of communication that they both understand.

So........ if you don't have an understanding of what is happening, stop running around like a lost kid in a toy store and BUY MIKE McCARTY"S BOOK !! Sit down and read it, then read it again. Then go out to your shop, put the tires on the kart, set it on the floor and study it using what you've just read. It's not as easy as some people make it look, but it's not as complicated as some people think. I have been a mechanic for over 35 years I can tell you that as long as you have an understanding of how something is supposed to work, you can fix it when it doesn't work. Without a good working knowledge you are just making hit or miss guesses.

I read Mike's book a while back and it helped me gain a better understanding of what I thought I already knew. Some of it was slightly above my pay grade, but it was well worth it. (Which reminds me, I've lost mine and need to order a new one....)

But there is one thing that many people seem to forget....... WHAT WORKS FOR ONE PERSON MAY NOT ALWAYS WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE. I've lost track of the times through the years that someone has asked me about my setup or what we were doing, and when I tried to be helpful and told them what we were doing, they told me that there was no way that would work! And a few even went as far as to accuse me of lying! These are the same people that cannot grasp the concept of THE BASELINE SETUP, which is meant to get a racer in the ballpark where he can fine tune the rest. I've even witnessed a racer that was raising hell because So and So told him to run a particular set of numbers and he barely made top ten, so "that guy didn't know what he was talking about!" Funny thing was, Mr So and So won his race. Go figure.

In my opinion, it takes knowledge, hard work and experience to get to the front. There seems to be a lot of people that don't believe that today, and they are constantly looking for someone to put them on that magic setup that will let them lap the field. It ain't gonna happen. If this stuff was that easy, little old ladies would be doing it. We've been banging our heads against the wall for over 8 years in this sport, and we have progressed to the point that front end adjustments are measured in a single flat of the heim joint nut and air pressure is tweeked 1/4 pound at a time............and we have a couple of national event wins and over ten track championships to show for our efforts. And it's not always about who spends the most money either...... we won multiple races at Dumplin Valley's Fall shootout a couple of years ago..... on two year old tires. Go figure....

Sorry for getting carried away. I'll get down off my soapbox now.
 

JIM D

New member
Thinking that if prep was not allowed a person would be able to learm more and have more fun please dont spank me to hard lol!
 
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