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Pit Tips

Pit Tips

No more E-clips

No more E-clips

Instead of relying only on E-clips to keep your car's hingepins in place, add a 4-40 setscrew for extra security. To do this, drill a hole in the arm mount or hub carrier (whichever part has more 'meat') so the setscrew will intersect the hingepin bore, and drill the hole slightly smaller than the setscrew so it will thread properly. Next, grind a flat spot on the hingepin where the setscrew pinches it, and assemble the parts so the setscrew tightens against the flat. No more lost hingepins!
Cover me! I’m going in!

Cover me! I’m going in!

To make shock coverings (usually a balloon or finger from a latex glove) easier to install, wrap your spring in electrician's tape, leaving about a 3-inch tab hanging off the bottom of it. Now, with the tape in place, the shock covering will easily slide over the spring. Once the shock covering is in the proper position, just pull the tab and the tape will unravel off the spring, and the covering will stay in place. Brad King
Allison Park, PA

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Receiver Pack Strap

Receiver Pack Strap

The 4-cell receiver battery-pack holders that often come with nitro kits work fine, but AA cells can pop out of the holder during hard running. If a cell pops loose, it can cause a loss of signal. To prevent this, wrap electrical tape around the battery pack. The tape will hold the pack securely in place even during the hardest driving, but it will still be easy to remove.
Keith Quill
Buffalo, NY
Chassis Markup

Chassis Markup

On most nitro vehicles, you have to reset the gear mesh whenever you reinstall the engine. If you thoroughly clean your vehicle after every day of running, you'll have to set the gear mesh quite often. If you know your gear mesh is perfect, before you remove your engine, scratch lines on the bottom of the chassis plate to show exactly where the engine-mount screw heads are. Next, fill these scratch marks with a bright paint, and wipe off the excess. Now, you'll be able to quickly reinstall your engine with confidence, knowing that your gear mesh will be perfect.
Stephen Carter
Kissimmee, FL

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Screened in

Screened in

When running big breather holes in off-road tires or even small holes on touring-car tires, small rocks sometimes work their way into the rim and get trapped. To prevent this, glue a small piece of window-screen mesh over the opening. This will allow air to pass freely but will prevent debris from getting in and adding weight, or setting the wheel out of balance. Peter Bedford
Fairfax, VA
Nickel-and-dime ride-height gauge

Nickel-and-dime ride-height gauge

Forgot your ride-height gauge? No problem; you can use the change in your pocket to adjust your touring car?s ride height. For asphalt, most racers set up their cars with a 5mm ride height. A stack of three quarters or four dimes equals 5mm. Set up the stack of coins, and lower or raise the ride height until the chassis just grazes the coins as it rolls over them.

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No-mess diff-ball greasing

No-mess diff-ball greasing

Cut a slit in the bag that the diff balls came in, and then squeeze diff grease into the bag. Work the grease around the balls, and then remove them one at a time as you build your diff. The greased diff balls will stick to the tip of a hobby-knife blade, and installing them in the diff-gear holes will be much easier.
Motor-tube parts holder

Motor-tube parts holder

Spare motor and armature tubes are ideal for storing small parts. They're easy to stow in a pit box, and the clear plastic tubes make it easy to spot the parts you're looking for.

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David Morison - Fontana, CA

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Power Stroke shock boot seal

Power Stroke shock boot seal

The Pro-Line Power Stroke shocks have rubber boots installed to keep the shock shafts and seals clean. Unfortunately, the boots are not secured to the rod ends on the By-Pass shocks because they do not use springs or retainers. Use a small zip-tie to secure the bottoms of the boots to the shock-shaft rod ends. The zip-tie will prevent the boot from slipping off the rod end.
Free parts tray

Free parts tray

Once washed thoroughly, the foam trays used for packaging meat work great for holding small parts when you work on your cars. They prevent the small parts from rolling around, and you can stick the screws into the foam to keep them in any order you want, so you'll remember their installation order. Gary Nelson
Chillicothe, OH

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Prevent clutch slippage

Prevent clutch slippage

After rebuilding a new clutch and replacing the bearings, clean the grease out of the rear bearing (closest to the clutch) with motor spray. Also, blow out the bearing with an air compressor if you can. This will greatly reduce the life of that bearing, but it will prevent the clutch from slipping because the grease was thrown out of the bearing during the first few tanks after you replaced it.
Easy, accurate wheel alignment

Easy, accurate wheel alignment

If you use foam tires, you know that precise camber adjustment is required to ensure long and even tire wear. To properly set the camber on your car, draw a line across the tires? contact patches with a piece of chalk. Drive the car around the track for a few minutes, and then pull the car off the track and check the chalk. The chalk will show the contact patch the tires have with the track surface. If the chalk has worn away on the outside of a tire, shorten the camber rod slightly to increase negative camber. Do the opposite if the chalk has worn away on the inside of the tire.
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