I’ve now gone through an entire build on my car. I’ve learned a lot along the way and in fact I’ve been reminded somewhat on how things took place on my Myers Manx my dad and I built. I’ll do a post about that sometime soon as it had a lasting impact on my life. These lessons that took place over both builds will always last in my mind and never be forgotten. Hopefully some of the lessons I’ve learned can help you in your builds.
Related: Engine Build
First, and this can be further explained in the video below from Real Street Performance, you need to choose what your plan is. My engine builder sent me this video and it portrays things I wish I would have known before. Before you start you need to sit down, likely with a professional, and decide what you want to do. Do you want to road course your car, is it meant for street, do you want to dominate at the 1/4 mile or maybe the half mile. These decisions will influence your build in parts needed, tuning, pricing and more.
Lesson two: When choosing who to work with I feel you need to take the time to meet them in person. I met a lot of people building both cars and found some know more than anyone else. Sometimes you can find out little tidbits just from talking to them about how they do business and their knowledge. Some don’t know enough about your car or platform or they might not know enough about what you want to do. Some you call will tell you right up front they don’t know your platform and you can move on. It’s a matter of taking time to research.
Lesson three: Not everything is as it appears online. You need to talk to customers and discuss with them the pros and cons of what they experienced. You want to hear what they ran into, what kinds of problems they faced. You should want to hear both sides of the story. You don’t want just the fan boys but the real truth. It could be from their experience, maybe they got some stuff done for free, maybe they got a perk or built a good personal relationship with their engine builder. However it happened you don’t just want to hear the fans talk. You want real life experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly.
You need to pay close attention to the behind the scenes, the people who are doing well. Pay particular attention to which cars are shop cars, which ones are customers who have gotten special files and which are the normal everyday customers. If one or two of the cars from a particular builder or particular shop are going fast and none of the others are it might want you to reconsider these additional facts. What did they have done to the car, how much has been stripped, did they have a hot tune or what special things have been done to achieve those fast times when none of the other customers have gone as fast.
Four, always expect it to cost more than you planned. You try to budget but things happen. It’s just how life goes. You see a different part that might work better or something didn’t work the way you or the builder expected and then you change it out for something else. Or you try a different method, whatever the case it will always cost more than your initial plans.
Find a tuner you trust. This could mean the difference between a lifted head and a smooth running engine. You need to dig sometimes as tuners and builders try to hide the blown up engines and have customers sign non disclosure agreements so failures stay hidden. Everyone has blown an engine or two. Just see if you can find a pattern. Sometimes a particular tuner will get the bad reputation for blowing engines. I wish this didn’t happen as often as it does as I think that everyone involved could learn from the experience.
Finally no matter how it goes, if you win or lose races, remember why you got into this in the first place. You were having fun, that’s what really matters the most. We are all customers and enthusiasts on the consumer side. We have our biases and opinions but most of us don’t have our own shops. We are just having fun and going fast. It’s about the experience not about winning or losing. Don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun with the experience.
To be continued…
Thanks for visiting and remember to "Strive to Arrive"