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Episode Transcript

(Narrator)>> Today on Detroit Muscle the guys are in Indiana, where "Project Sydewinder" goes on the rack to get its suspension dialed in with the wizard of race setups. Plus Tommy and Marc head over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to do a little sightseeing and drop in on a special event down in the members only basement. ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Hey folks, welcome to Detroit Muscle. I'm here in Plainfield, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis. There's something special I want to show you here at Raymond's Auto and Truck Repair. Let's go. We heard from a friend who lives in the area that if you're dealing with race suspension this is the place to come to get alignment work done for the track. So we figured we'd bring them "Project Sydewinder" to get it dialed in. Bruce.

(Bruce)>> Hey Marc, how you doing? Nice to meet you.

(Marc)>> Beautiful place you have here man.

(Bruce)>> Oh thank you. This is our showroom and our waiting area, and I know you'd like to see the shop where we're gonna do the work right?

(Marc)>> Absolutely.

(Bruce)>> Let's go take a look at it. So Marc this is the shop.

(Marc)>> This is Bruce Raymond, the owner of Raymond's Auto and Truck Repair, and he's the man in charge of this first class facility.

(Bruce)>> Our core business in general auto and truck repair. Anything from your daily driven car, light truck, clear up to class eight semis. As you can see here's a medium truck. We're doing some fleet maintenance on. Some of the smaller vehicles we just do every day maintenance on, and then a German car we're doing some suspension work on.

(Marc)>> Speaking of which suspension and alignment is Bruce's personal specialty.

(Bruce)>> Right before I opened this I ran a shop in downtown Indianapolis, which was Matt's alignment, and they was there since 1940. So when I finally decided to do it on my own the company actually started out as Raymond's Alignment.

(Marc)>> Of course he's applied that knowledge to his regular customers but he's got a passion for working on race cars.

(Bruce)>> A smaller portion of our business, which is the fun part, is our road racing performance suspension. Heavy on the brakes, some light engine work. A lot of GM LS based stuff. It's always been a passion of mine. I've road raced for a long time, and over the years, and I've just met people at the track that needed things. And just kind of evolved from one time, hey, can you take a look at my car, and just kind of blended in. And then we started running the Optima Ultimate Street Car Series, and that really pulled us in. It gave us an opportunity to take some of our cars to the SEMA show. It gave us a platform to show our work. About two years ago the opportunity came along to buy an actual '85 Trans Am GTOne car. It actually ran Trans Am series from '85 to '92, and then bounce around. It ran SCCA Pro out on the west coast. Restored it back to original. So it's what they call a gold medallion car. It tracks all the history from the first Trans Am race until today. It's just a great piece. It's like a racing piece of history. First place I ever took the car was Watkins Glen, daunting. Never set my eyes on the place. It was intimidating. The car was wicked fast. Then last year we went to Sebring. Won a class at Indianapolis, the FBRA event. Huge deal for us.

(Marc)>> So it stands to reason if he can do that with his car we trust him with "Project Sydewinder". ♪ ♪ Getting tires for your ride can be daunting. Now if you like the tires that are already on there you know what to get. You just re-order them. That's easy but if you change things like the ride height, or the wheel diameter, or the wheel width you're gonna have to start from scratch. Now there's a lot of information right here on the sidewall of tire that tells you everything you need to know about it. The brand, the model, tread wear rating, the size, and a whole bunch of other stuff, and I'm gonna teach you how to decode all of that today. First and foremost let's talk about tire size. This is kinda big. This is actually a 28 11-50 by 15 Mickey Thompson ET Street-R. Now this is easy to decipher because it's 28 inches tall, 11.5 inches wide, and it's on a 15 inch wheel. Now it can really get a lot more complicated than that once you get into metric measurements. This tire's gonna be a little more like you see normally. This has a metric size, but this is actually one of the tires like we put on "Sydewinder" a while back. So I'm not only gonna be able to decode the size for you but a lot of other things that's here on the sidewall. We're gonna dive in a little bit more detail on this tire, and we're gonna start with the brand. You can see here it says that this is made by Hoosier. The model, this is an RSeven. You can see this looks like a blank slate here where they stamped that in. That's because they offer different iterations of this particular tire. They make an ASeven, which is for auto cross, and then this RSeven is more for road racing. The tire size is stamped here and we'll dive into that a little bit more later. Something else you have to take into consideration would be the tread wear rating. You can see that this one is at 40, which is really low. Meaning if you were to take this out on the street they wouldn't last you very long. Now that Hoosier is a DOT compliant competition use only tire. So you're not gonna be driving this thing around on the street. What you will be driving on the street though is gonna be more like something you would see here in this General GMax RS. Let's talk about these three things right here. I mentioned tread wear earlier, and then you've also got traction and temperature ratings. The tread wear rating, as the number goes up the longer the tire's gonna last, but typically that means it's gonna be a harder compound. So you could sacrifice traction. This has got a rating of 360, which is pretty standard for an ultra-high performance street tire. This traction rating is an AA, which is the highest offered. You also have "A", "B", and "C". The temperature rating is the ability for this tire to perform even at higher temperatures, and the "A" is the highest rating. Well that covers those but there's several other things on these sidewalls that need to be decoded. We need to figure out what all that metric sizing means and talk about the date codes and what those mean, but those are gonna have to wait for another time.

(Narrator)>> Stick around, "Project Sydewinder" gets dialed in for the track.

(Bruce)>> So in this area is where we do the bulk of our suspension alignment work, and today doing the Mustang repair is gonna be Stephen.

(Marc)>> Stephen, Marc, nice to meet you.

(Stephen)>> Nice to me you.

(Marc)>> What do we need to do?

(Stephen)>> We've got to get the heads on it, and get it in the air, and measure the alignment first.

(Bruce)>> Get it on there. Get the machine on it so we can get some baseline measurement. Then we're gonna start working with and we're gonna find the worst side first. We're gonna get it down as close as we can and then work the other one to it. You want to take these four sensors, or target board sensors. They use a digital h-d camera and it's gonna give us a measurement of all four corners of the car. Then it's gonna give us a little baseline to get started with, and as we get going we're gonna dial it in. Obviously sense it's been completely apart it's gonna take it a little bit of time where our readings are close. So what we're gonna do is try to get it in the ballpark, and then we'll start corner balance and stuff of that nature. Well that's what these sensors do. They're gonna give us the initial readings that we need. So what we've got here is we've got two degrees positive camber on the left and a degree and a half on the right, and about a quarter inch toe out to begin with. We're gonna do a castor measurement, which is gonna tell us our spindle angles in relation to the ball joint placement, and then we'll start making some rough adjustments.

(Marc)>> Bruce is throwing out some fancy words that you might have heard before like castor, camber, and toe, but what do all those really mean? Among the three most popular alignment terms is camber. The angle of the wheel when viewed from the front of the car. If the top leans out from the center the camber is positive. In from the center and it's negative. Castor is the angle of the steering pivot when viewed from the side. If the top of the pivot leans toward the rear castor is positive. Toward the front it's negative. Toe is the distance between the front and back of the tire, which is measured in fractions of an inch. Toe in means the front of the tires are closer to each other. Toe out means just the opposite. What Bruce and Stephen are gonna do to get all those measurements where we need them to be is to start by adjusting the castor and camber plates on the strut towers, which we installed a while back. Just like their name suggest, these plates allow you to make adjustment to the castor and camber of the front suspension.

(Bruce)>> Ah there it is, bang!

(Marc)>> Problem is there's not enough adjustments in those plates. You can see we're quite a ways off right now but our goal is really to try to get to one and a half degrees negative on the camber and probably about four to five degrees on the castor. And then the toe in will be just about a 32nd of a degree out. And then on these lower control arms I'm gonna take them off and screw the heims joint out. It's got the heim joints on the lower arm, and screw them longer.

(Marc)>> So in other words Stephen has to get the front wheels off the car and take those A-arms loose so he can lengthen them, but he's get to make sure he lengthens both ends equally. So he's counting the turn. ♪ ♪

(Stephen)>> Seven turns on each. Should be about a half an inch there, a little bit further out.

(Marc)>> The benefit of this is that lengthening the A-arms will give us a much more drastic adjustment than you can get by just adjusting the castor/camber plates. Then he can get the bolts and spacers, get the A-arms reinstalled. Now they can get it fine-tuned up top.

(Bruce)>> Definitely got some negative in that now.

(Stephen)>> Oh yeah!

(Bruce)>> Let's set her down and get a good reading on it.

(Marc)>> So they'll measure everything again, including that castor sweep. I know it's in the red but it's actually where we want to be.

(Bruce)>> So originally what we're trying to do, our goal was to get as much positive castor as we could. In this case about two and a half degrees, about where we're gonna be, and our goal was one and a half degrees negative on the camber. We're at one point three. That's about as far as we can go with the sets we've got on the car. So what we're gonna do now is we've got the car within the range where we're comfortable. Now we're gonna go ahead and jack the car up. Put our weight scales on it because we've got QA One coil overs on it. We're gonna be able to go in here and adjust the ride height on the car, and that's really the advantage of the coil over. We're gonna go cross weight this car because we want it to be on auto cross, or road course, we want a balance.

(Marc)>> So the scales go under each tire and you can lower it down. Now Bruce wants the driver in the car so he can get the most accurate cross weight. Guess who your driver is?

(Bruce)>> Man that's so freaking close. It's 49.49 percent dead even with the driver in it. For a production car that's awesome. I think with the setup we've got on the suspension now and the alignment, and the corner weight, I think we're ready to go to the track.

(Marc)>> I'm ready. So we'll pull the scales out, drop the car back onto the plates... ♪ ♪ ...do one last castor sweep, and with the camber and castor finalized we can finally set the toe. And all the numbers are right where we want them. Look at that camber, umm! ♪ ♪ [ engine starting ]

(Marc)>> We'll get it back down on the ground and she's ready to go. [ engine revving ] ♪ ♪

(Narrator)>> Don't go anywhere. The guys head over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to check out a little bit of racing history.

(Marc)>> Hey folks welcome back. Well I'm still here in Indianapolis and I picked up a hitchhiker along the way, and we figured we'd stop by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

(Tommy)>> Brother I sure am glad you stopped cause it's cold up here. But you fellas out there, if you're a big fan of high performance and racing you're gonna love this place. This museum's got a whole lot to see. Let's go check it out.

(Marc)>> The Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum is a non-profit organization that celebrates the history and achievements at the IMS. It opened at its current location inside turns one and two in 1976.

(Jason)>> On any given day you'll see probably near 70 vintage race cars on display. Sometimes passenger cars in other parts of the collection that we have, like trophies, memorabilia, things like that.

(Marc)>> Wow this place is impressive.

(Tommy)>> For sure! There's a lot to see.

(Marc)>> I want to go see these Indy cars.

(Tommy)>> Man I have to check out this short track stuff. So I'll catch you in second.

(Marc)>> You know where to find me.

(Jason)>> Guests of the museum walk in. One the first things they see is obviously the collection of winning Indianapolis 500 cars. They're usually on permanent display but we also have rotating exhibits.

(Marc)>> This isn't a room full of race cars. These are champions. 33 of them to be exact, and each one has taken the checkered flag at the Indianapolis 500. Some more than once.

(Jason)>> We have on display over 30 winners of the Indianapolis 500 but then with the rotating exhibits, like right now we're wrapping up our Hoosier Thunder exhibit that celebrates short track racing. So we have about 45 silver crown midgets and sprint cars.

(Tommy)>> I'm a big fan of dirt track racing and there's a couple of reasons why. You get to drive a high performance vehicle at a high rate of speed. You get to dance it across the mud pulling the left front tire. Now that sounds like a really good time. Here at the museum they've got cars from back in the good ole days to modern times, but regardless they all have made their mark in the history books. The Hoosier Thunder exhibit tells the story of many drivers and families that made Indiana short track racing a way of life. The exhibit is the largest in the IMS museum's 60 year history. Showcasing sprint, midget, and silver crown series cars along with many trophies, driver suits, and other artifacts.

(Marc)>> This is a really cool section here of cars that won the Indy 500 driven by legendary racers like Parnelli Jones in 1963, AJ Foyt in '64. He did it again in '67 with this car. Then in '68 Bobby Unser drove this number three for the win, and then in '69 this bright colored car here went to the winner's circle driven by a guy you might have heard of, Mario Andretti.

(Jason)>> You know the names of the '60's were iconic. Even still today they were household names with Foyt, Unser, both Unsers, Bobby and Al, Mario obviously with the saying "Who do you think you are, Mario Andretti".

(Tommy)>> To become a professional race car driver you don't just wake up one morning, put on a suit, strap on a helmet, and boom there you go. It takes a lot of seat time and practice to get you to that level. Now with some of the cars sitting around here you may notice some of the names on the side of it. These guys paid their dues before they became a household name. Names like three time Nascar Cup series champion Tony Stewart, and four time cup winner Jeff Gordon. These guys were cutting their teeth on Indiana short tracks for years before making their way to Nascar greatness. Here at the museum they've got something for everyone no matter the age limit. Whether you're into the vintage race cars or the quarter midget stuff. What I like to call Marc's size. I wonder where he's at? Let's got see if we can find him. Hey boss you find you something to take home?

(Marc)>> Yeah I got a little bit of sticker shock though.

(Tommy)>> I'll tell you I found you something special over there that you've got to see.

(Marc)>> I'll bet you did. I've got something else I want to show you though.

(Tommy)>> Alright.

(Marc)>> You know with my connections here I found out if you down this elevator to the basement there's some really cool cars down there that only a few people get to see.

(Tommy)>> Well I have to say I'm glad you've got a connection. ♪ ♪

(Tommy)>> Dude I'm tired.

(Marc)>> I know this place is crazy. It's like a maze, amazing. ♪ ♪

(Tommy)>> Dude I think we found it.

(Marc)>> Yeah, I would say.

(Narrator)>> Coming up Marc and Tommy get invited to a special event held in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

(Marc)>> Hey welcome back. We're here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and we've made our way into the basement, which few people get to experience. There's a special event that we heard about and we had to see.

(Tommy)>> There is some unbelievable stuff back there that we wish we could show you guys.

(Marc)>> Yeah but we can't. What we can show you is everything that's inside these curtains. We're gonna go see what this event is all about.

(Tommy)>> What's going on wild man?

(Rob)>> Hey how are you?

(Tommy)>> Good.

(Marc)>> Good to see you. Thanks for having us. What is this going on here?

(Rob)>> This is actually our first annual preservation project here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Partnering up with Flex and Covercraft. Just trying to bring back the original beauty of these vehicles.

(Tommy)>> This project has been a few years in the making with one common goal, and that is to keep these stored treasures ready when it's their time to shine.

(Rob)>> Our whole objective is to get these cars cleaned up, shined, protected, covered so when they do either go upstairs or go to another museum they're ready to go.

(Tommy)>> The cars we have the privilege to see are a 1924 Chrysler, '57 Rolls Royce, 2008 Corvette pace car, and a 1927 Buick.

(Marc)>> But when dealing with pieces of automotive history it can be very tough. Some of these cars are from different periods. So they do not share the same characteristics when it comes to paint. So you need a special team of players that know how to handle these automotive antiques.

(Rob)>> We came up with this idea a couple of years ago. Presented it to Michael Pena, who is actually our one and only master detailer here in the United States, and asked him what do you think? Can we put together a team? So Michael was really inspirational in saying yeah, let's do it. So Michael along with our team here, we put together a group that's really really good.

(Tommy)>> These guys are at the top of the food chain when it comes to the car detailing world.

(Michael)>> We have three teams divided up into three people per team, and they will preserve each car down the line.

(Tommy)>> Michael knows that each car has its own chemistry. When it comes to working on old iron you have to know the right techniques and products that will restore the paint.

(Michael)>> Each car has a specific car care prescription that we will use.

(Rob)>> All of these cars, they're all different. So some are single stage paints. Others obviously have clear coats. The beauty of the Sonax brand is something works for everything.

(Tommy)>> For instance, this Rolls Royce has a black lacquer paint job.

(Michael)>> We've found that we only have two mills to work with on this car. That's very thin paint in today's standards. So that's the difficult process is how far can we go to maintain the beauty of the vehicle and not go too far to where we're reversing that process, and then could damage the paint.

(Marc)>> And after several hours of buffing and polishing these four cars are ready to hit the museum floor when their number's called thanks to Sonax and these Da Vinci's of detailing. But time is of the essence, so we're gonna get out of their way so they can roll these out and roll four more in.

(Tommy)>> A few of the cars that we showed you guys earlier may not necessarily be the type of cars that you would think of that would be on our show but these two are.

(Marc)>> That's right, and since we were gonna be here we got special permission to pull these inside the curtain here so you could see them. We've got a '66 GT 40 that ran at Le Mans, and this 1957 Corvette they called "The SS".

(Tommy)>> So if any of these peaked your interest you may want to check with the museum and get yourself a membership.

(Tommy)>> I know I'm going to. Well that's all the time we have for today folks. So until next time go to Powernation TV dot com. See you later!
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