Chapter Three: Setup Tools
With so many adjustments
on today’s cars, it is no wonder that so many tools have been made to
set these adjustments. Depending on how serious you are about
racing and your budget, you can spend more on set up devices than you
may have paid for the car itself. The difference between the
cost of these tools is directly related to how accurate they are. Below
are two lists of set up tools. The first list is for a racer
that is very serious about setting up his/her car accurately and where
cost is no concern. The second list is a list of set up tools
that will get the job done fairly well for a lot less money. If
you are just a club racer or just starting out, the second list is sorted
in order of the tool’s usefulness and importance in building, maintaining
and setting up your car.
Ruler - Used to measure overall lengths of upper links, steering links,
Ackerman link, shock length and collar distance on threaded shocks. Handy
for measuring a variety of odd shaped parts as well. Not as accurate
as calipers, but not as expensive either!
2. Proper Tools - screwdrivers (#1 and #2 Philips), hobby knife with
extra blades, hex wrenches if necessary, needlenose pliers, small slip-joint
pliers, etc. Anything you need to build your car, you should have in
your race toolbox.
Most of the measurements
you make as a brand new (novice class) racer can be made by eye. At
this point of your development, you're learning how to drive the car,
not how to collect expensive tools!
- Far more accurate than a standard ruler.
2. Camber Gauge
– Used to measure camber (of course). Available at your local hobby
shop in a variety of brands and styles.
3. Ride Height
Gauge – Not very expensive, easy to use, and handy.
4. Set Up Board
– A flat surface is necessary for setting up a car properly. Low-cost
versions include a sheet of glass, plastic cutting board, kitchen countertop
or particle board. More upscale versions are woven graphite sheets,
Plexiglass or commercially available tuning boards.
5. High-Quality Tools - hardened-tip screwdrivers and hex wrenches,
Teflon-coated scissors, curved needlenose pliers, sharp sidecutters,
good wire cutters (use the sidecutters for plastic parts only).
1. A "Set
Up" System – Measures Camber and toe very accurately. Prohibitively
expensive for most racers.
2. Droop Gauge
– Available in a variety of styles, a droop gauge lets you see how far
each suspension arm "droops" at maximum rebound. A droop gauge
helps you make sure the car is not tweaked. Follow the directions that
come with the gauge.
3. MIP Tweak
Station – One of few commercially available bubble-equipped "tweak
boards". Allows you to balance your car’s weight distribution equally
from left to right using your shock’s preload spacers or threaded adjustments.
4. Set Up Wheels
– Used when checking camber for a more precise measurement. Club racers
can simply use new wheels.