Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

By Simon

I came across this flowchart during cyber travels and it made me laugh because it was spot on. What made me laugh even more was the fact that duct tape and WD-40 were two of my closest friends on my race team, along with silicon bath sealant, plastic cable ties and twist wire.

WD-40 was just a good a good temporary lubricant, but it made for a useful barrier the car the elements. After a race, I sprayed the wishbone suspension with WD-40 to keep the rain corroding them. A nice layer of WD-40 made it easy to wipe the dirt and dust that stuck to the surface. It helped keep the corrosion down.

Duct tape a racing team’s best friend. They run on the stuff. It ensures that bodywork doesn’t fly off and clips stay in place. For a fast and dirty repair, it’s the best bodywork repair material. It also makes for a great repair material. During one race, one of my competitors tossed out a fiberglass radiator pod. It was split and broken, but it didn’t look too bad, so I fished out of the trash and using duct tape, I pieced the thing back together and it was as good as new and I mean as good as new. At first glance, it looked like I’d constructed the pod from carbon fiber, only a close up lost revealed the truth. It survived twelve races on my car until the elements finally got to it, but it saved me a chunk of cash.

I learned the hard way that bath silicon sealant was a handy tool to have in the toolbox when an electrical connector shook loose. That’s the problem with racing. The common enemy is vibration and duct tape, bath sealant, cable ties and twist wire are the weapons against it. I’d pack every electrical connection with sealant. The silicon variety never dried hard or glued itself to everything. It absorbed the shock and when I was finished, I just pealed it off.

Cable ties kept every cable and pipe in place (and occasionally the odd piece of bodywork) and twist wire was the last line of defense in a major failure. If a camber bolt or something snapped, twist wire kept the wheel from flying off.

These seemingly insignificant items were more valuable to me than most everything in my toolbox. They saved me in a crunch situation and their safety value kept me from harm. This flowchart isn’t just a joke, but a way of life on pit road. :-)

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