Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 10, 2017 1:06 p.m.

Hi all,

First, I really, really appreciate how open the $2017 Challenge's dialogue has been this year. Thank you all for asking so many good questions about builds, rules, budgets, etc. In fact, there are so many questions popping up in various threads and emails that I can't keep up with them.

So, without further ado, Welcome to the Challenge Supreme Court. This is not where we'll announce new rules or try to modify the old ones, but rather where we'll publicly rule on questions and/or loopholes in the current set. I, as well as other staffers or Challenge regulars, will be here to answer any questions you have about the Challenge, big or small, stupid or outrageously complex. This will be the thread to get an official ruling on your, um, interesting ideas for your builds, as well as a place to ask why or how things are the way they are.

I'll still try to keep up with your individual build threads, but please post here if you need a real answer. It will be much easier for us, and also make our answers much easier for the next person with your same question to find.

Please use the bold font button when you're asking a question to bold the gist of your question. For example, Do I have to have a battery cutoff switch if my car also has lasers? That will keep this somewhat readable for newcomers.

Rules can be found here: Challenge Rules - Read 'em! - http://www.grmchallenge.com/rules/

Thread too long? Looking for a quick answer? Try clicking here to search this thread.

COURT IS NOW IN SESSION!

Robbie UberDork
April 10, 2017 1:19 p.m.

If I already have a couple emailed questions out to Rick - do I post here as well or no?

(and, I guess, can we also still email Rick if we are trying not to give a hint to a portion of our build?)

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
April 10, 2017 1:29 p.m.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/so-i-accidently-bought-a-car-and-started-a-challenge-team-last-night-have-questions/118042/page1/

I would like to request that someone reviews my build from start to present. I want to make sure that i don't have any problems when I get to Gainesville in October. Id also like to catch any safety or rules violations before we get much further.

April 10, 2017 2:20 p.m.

The free to budget set of tires, is the mounting and balancing included in the free to budget? I ask because I know many places I can pay more for my tires and get them mounted for free and that would be "free" to the budget even though it would cost me personally more than buying a used set of tires and getting them mounted at walmart.

Stampie Dork
April 10, 2017 2:34 p.m.

Repair of previously working items comes up often. I know if you buy a non running car then you can't fix it for "free" but say you bought a running driving car and a year later the alternator goes out? Can normal wear and tear items that were in good condition at purchase time be repaired? I was once told "You bought it with good X part so if you remove that part and replace it with the same equivalent part it's an even swap."

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 10, 2017 3:59 p.m.
Robbie wrote: If I already have a couple emailed questions out to Rick - do I post here as well or no? (and, I guess, can we also still email Rick if we are trying not to give a hint to a portion of our build?)

Odds are good you'll get a faster answer here, and I like having the community involved, but secret stuff can stay secret and be done via email (wouldn't want to let everybody know about your $5 turbo and nitrous kit).

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 10, 2017 4:00 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

Sure, but going forward please put questions here. Don't have a ton of time, but I enjoy reading the forums in the evenings, anyway. I'll check it out later.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 10, 2017 4:07 p.m.
Ovid_and_Flem wrote: MASTER BATTERY KILL SWITCH Required in all cases where battery relocated from stock position? TAILLIGHT/HEADLIGHT FOR DRAG RACE PORTION Atleast one each operating for drag race? Must both be on even in daylight runs?

Yes, master cutoff switches are required whenever the battery is relocated. I like them, and they're cheap and easy to add. Plus 8-foot-long battery cables leave a lot of room for shorting out.

NHRA Rulebook said:

Mandatory when battery is relocated, or as outlined in Class Requirements. An electrical power cutoff switch (one only) must be installed on the rearmost part of each vehicle and be easily accessible from outside the car body. This cutoff switch must be connected to the positive side of the electrical system and must stop all electrical functions including magneto ignition. The off position must be clearly indicated with the word “OFF.” If switch is “push/pull” type, “push” must be the action for shutting off the electrical system, “pull” to turn it on. Any rods or cables used to activate the switch must be minimum 1/8-inch diameter. Plastic or keyed switches prohibited. Switches and/or controls must be located behind rear wheels on rear-engine dragsters.

For cars that run slower than a 11.49 E.T., though, you can use a switch that's built/placed like it would be in a road race car, though (see page 3 of this thread, post #1 for full details.

During the night, you have to have at least one headlight and taillight turned on during drag runs. We don't care if they are turned on or off during the day, but the day/night line is our call, not yours. If it's super dark and cloudy but the sun hasn't technically set yet, we may ask you to turn them on early.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 10, 2017 4:10 p.m.

In reply to Andy Neuman:

Mounting and balancing is free, but only for the free set of tires. And no, this doesn't mean you can pay for mounting and balancing your free tires, then claim free mounting and balancing for the second set that you paid for. I'm not even sure how Stampie would take advantage of this, but he'd find a way.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 10, 2017 4:13 p.m.

In reply to Stampie:

Yes, within reason (aka I'm invoking the "don't be a dick" clause). If you buy a Focus, autocross it for 10 seasons and then it needs an alternator to drive to Florida, swap it out for a part with no competitive advantage, note that in your build book, and you're good to go.

But, if you're 300SDL shopping (as all the better people are), and you beat the seller down $1000 because it has 140,000 miles and you tell him/her the original vacuum pump is about to break, you'd then have to include the cost of that vacuum pump replacement in your budget when it does indeed break.

If you buy a car super cheap because it has a bad alternator, you need to budget the cost of the replacement alternator.

Robbie UberDork
April 10, 2017 4:25 p.m.

Questions I have:

  1. The NHRA rulebook says that clutches have to be operated by a clutch pedal. We are building a bike-engined car, and we were hoping to use a clutch hand-lever attached to the shifter for clutch actuation. Would that be allowed or no? (throttle and brakes will still be foot pedals).

  2. I think I am reading correctly that the NHRA rulebook wants all aftermarket seats to be mounted at four points underneath and have a back brace. We are hoping to use an aftermarket seat, but it is an old corbeau upholstered seat (fixed back) and does not have provisions for a back support. We would also love to retain a slider functionality. Is that ok? (we don't plan to break 13.49 et). We can and will make sure the bottom mounts are really solid, and we plan on running a harness.

  3. NHRA dictates only one size of tubing for roll bars - and it is pretty big (1.750x.118). SCCA tube size varies by vehicle weight and is significantly smaller, especially if you have a light car. I'm planning to run a very light car. If I meet the design requirements of both SCCA and NHRA roll bars but use a smaller tube than NHRA dictates (but meeting the minimum SCCA designation) would that be allowed to run?

Stampie Dork
April 10, 2017 5:10 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard:

Good cause some dick sold me a Q45 a year ago and the alternator went out this weekend.

QuasiMofo MegaDork
April 10, 2017 5:22 p.m.

Q:

If I have bought two cars from Aussie do I have to claim the drinks I had after the deal was made?

Thank you Tom and company. This is a great idea.

Stampie Dork
April 10, 2017 5:41 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: In reply to Andy Neuman: Mounting and balancing is free, but only for the free set of tires. And no, this doesn't mean you can pay for mounting and balancing your free tires, then claim free mounting and balancing for the second set that you paid for. I'm not even sure how Stampie would take advantage of this, but he'd find a way.

So if the weights from the free mount and balance are "free" you could balance your drag tires, mark the amount and placement of the weights, and after autocross move the free weights over to the drag tires. Best I could come up with on short notice. Give me time and I'll come up with better loopholes.

darkbuddha HalfDork
April 10, 2017 11:29 p.m.

Thanks for starting this thread. With the number of questions I've posted over the last week, I kinda feel responsible for the need for such a thread... the same sort of kinda responsible one feels when you've got a really bad idea and then convince others it's actually a really good idea and that they should do it.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 11, 2017 8:14 a.m.

In reply to Robbie:

If your car isn't breaking 13.49 ET, there's precedent for a hand shifter at the Challenge, and it went fine from my memory, so sure–go for it. Same story on the lack of back brace: Slower than 13.49, that's okay. Same deal for question 3, too–your car will be too slow for a roll bar to be required IIRC, so an SCCA bar would be fine.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 11, 2017 8:15 a.m.
QuasiMofo wrote: Q: If I have bought two cars from Aussie do I have to claim the drinks I had after the deal was made? Thank you Tom and company. This is a great idea.

No–this isn't the $203,065,903 Challenge.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 11, 2017 8:16 a.m.
darkbuddha wrote: Thanks for starting this thread. With the number of questions I've posted over the last week, I kinda feel responsible for the need for such a thread... the same sort of kinda responsible one feels when you've got a really bad idea and then convince others it's actually a really good idea and that they should do it.

Don't feel bad–it wasn't you, it was everybody. And like I said, all of these questions are a good thing, but I wanted a more centralized place to answer them.

QuasiMofo MegaDork
April 11, 2017 9:14 a.m.
Tom Suddard wrote:
QuasiMofo wrote: Q: If I have bought two cars from Aussie do I have to claim the drinks I had after the deal was made? Thank you Tom and company. This is a great idea.

No–this isn't the $203,065,903 Challenge.

Oh thank Grip!

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 11, 2017 9:58 a.m.

To make sure I'm understanding correctly, you're taking a roller (let's call it a 1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car edition), and putting a cruddy drivetrain in it (let's call it an Iron Duke)?

In that case, your budget would include every part on the car at the event, including the car ($400), engine ($100.38), transmission ($49.00), and every other part that it took to get it running, like hose clamps (5 @ $.39), a clutch (used from my garage, FMV $40), distributor (traded for distributor that came on engine, $0 budget value), and the hundred other things it takes to build a running, driving car.

Contrary to popular belief, the Challenge does not have any ChumpCar-esque standard values or anything like that. Your budget is what you spent. Your Mustang could be parked next to an identical 1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car at the event, and that car could have a budget that's twice yours because you are a savvy shopper. That's part of the Challenge.

Lof8 HalfDork
April 11, 2017 10:38 a.m.

In reply to GTXVette:

Some periods and sentence structure would make reading your posts much easier.

Robbie UberDork
April 11, 2017 10:38 a.m.

Might be prudent Tom to add this link to the first post of this thread as well.

Challenge Rules - Read 'em! - http://www.grmchallenge.com/rules/

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 11, 2017 11:09 a.m.
Robbie wrote: Might be prudent Tom to add this link to the first post of this thread as well. Challenge Rules - Read 'em! - http://www.grmchallenge.com/rules/

Good point. Thanks, Robbie.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor
April 11, 2017 11:14 a.m.

In reply to GTXVette:

So the car came with a saginaw? Write in your budget "Traded Saginaw Trans for XXXX trans $0" and include a receipt.

That shelf of hoses, belts, clamps, etc. all needs to be included in your budget. Include fair market value calculations for everything if it's coming out of your stock. They may be free to you, but they still have a budget value at the Challenge.

Add the clutch/pressure plate to your budget at $35, and include a receipt.

Add the bellhousing to your budget at $20, and include a receipt.

Battery needs to be included at cost with a receipt. If you find a junk one, include the receipt for its purchase or a fair market value calculation (Pull-a-part price would be acceptable here.

SVreX MegaDork
April 11, 2017 12:10 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard:

Tom, I really love the idea of this thread, but am already finding it difficult to utilize.

I'm afraid this thread will be 20 pages long in no time, and I'm not gonna be able to read every page. It's gonna become cumbersome and hard to utilize.

Is there a way to do something similar that would encourage brief responses, and headings or an ability to search?

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