Hole Saw Notcher
Digital Turning Plates (top,...
Digital Turning Plates (top, left and right) Caster/Camber Gauge (bottom, center)
Pneumatic Impact Wrench and...
Pneumatic Impact Wrench and Mini-saw
Pneumatic Rivet Gun
Setting up a shop with all the tools needed to build and maintain a race car can end up costing more than the car itself. But if winning is the goal, a properly equipped shop is vital. Even most fans own sets of wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, and other hand tools with a storage toolbox of some kind, but what about race specialty tools? What tools do you need to build or repair your race car, and then to give your car a winning setup?
Stock Car Racing is here to help. We asked Busch Grand National and Hooters ProCup driver, Mario Gosselin, to assist in developing a tool list for your shop. Based on his recommendations, the following is a good foundation for tools a well-equipped race shop should have.
To build or repair a rollcage or tube-frame chassis, a tubing bender is a mustwhether its mechanical or automatic. Pictured is an example of a mechanical bender from Pro Tools (PN MB-106).
A must for any shop is compressed air, not only for filling tires but also to power many of the tools used around the race car. What kind of compressor should you get? Your needs as well as your wallet will determine this. A large commercial compressor may be what youre looking for, but it will take a chunk out of your budget. On the other hand, you dont want to waste your money on a smaller unit only to find out it wont meet your needs. With this in mind, a two-stage compressor can give you the capabilities of a larger one at half the cost and size. Pictured is Craftsmans new Professional 2-Stage Compressor (PN 16777).
Now that the tubing is bent, how do you fit the pieces together? Thats where a notcher comes into play. Notchers cut the proper angle and radius into the end of the tubing so it fits accurately onto a second piece of tubing. Once the two pieces are joined, they can be welded together, creating a strong joint. There are two types of notchers. The first is a holesaw notcher, which is designed to drill out the end of the tubing with a sawing motion and...
The second is a punch notcher; it performs the same functions as the first but with a scissor motion.
Everybody wants their car not only to run great but to look great as well. A brake will enable you to obtain those good quality straight bends in the sheetmetal when creating new body panels.
A great way to add strength to the flat metal panels on your race car without adding weight is with a bead roller. Introducing a bead in the metal has the same effect as attaching an additional piece of support metal to the panel but without the extra weight.
Digital Turning Plates
Turn plates are used to easily measure wheel rotation during alignment, including caster/camber, Ackermann steer, rear-axle roll, and bumpsteer. They are available in digital and mechanical versions.
Proper setup of the front suspension is crucial. A bubble caster/camber gauge is the perfect way to obtain the proper setup.
To reduce waste and construction time, a smart-tool digital angle finder is a must. This helpful tool digitally reads and displays in degrees and percentages; it sounds a beep when level and plumb. For additional accuracy, your digital angle finder will mount to a notch-and-bend aligner. The digital angle finder shown here is available from Mittler Brothers.
The bumpsteer gauge is designed to measure how much the front wheels turn during suspension changes (as a result of body roll and other factors).
Need to measure the toe-in on your car? A set of toe-in plates will let you accurately measure the distance between the inside front and inside rear of the front wheels.
A good, durable, lightweight hydraulic jack is a tool every racer should have. Shown here is Argo Manufacturings Pace Pro Rally Jack (PN RP480).
A set of scales is invaluable to any racer, whether to distribute weight or ensure it stays at the minimum. To make this tool as versatile as possible, look for a set that is designed to weigh objects lighter than 200 pounds, like gas cans, in small increments.
A variety of pneumatic toolsgreat time and energy saversare available to accomplish almost any job. The impact wrench and the mini-saw, (shown) are tools your shop cant survive without.
Another useful pneumatic tool is a rivet gun .