With two weeks before the team’s first full, honest to goodness 24 hour event, we decided it was high time to start thinking about maybe doing some work to our race car/Jeep/go-fast thing. This represents a milestone for the Petty Cash Racing organization as this is the first time in our history since we originally built the SuperCherokeeBird way back in November of 2009 that we’ve actually done any significant work to it beyond writing amusing (to us) sayings and phrases on it in Sharpie.
Our list started out small and swelled as our wild delusions of mechanical grandeur overtook our better judgement. Initially we were just going to toss some new pads on, scrape some dirt and grass out of the fender from when the Jeep wished to return to her natural habitat (off-road) at Sears Point, and maybe kick one of the fenders to see if we could even out a dent (we couldn’t). That has morphed into what you’re about to see:
We’ve had pretty good luck with brakes. The stock pads and rotors have done a really good job in the last four races, therefore we had to screw with it. In all seriousness, brakes are a pretty important safety item and I knew we’d been coasting by on borrowed time for a while now. So, after consulting with the leading minds in Cherokees (www.NAXJA.org) to find out the current cool-kid way to go, I called my buddy Gerald Lee from Savvy Off-Road who is offering a really badass big brake kit that fits most 4×4 Jeeps. After a couple days of talking with Smart-Guy-In-Charge Blaine Johnson we pieced together a kit that would net us dual piston calipers off a 1/2 ton Dodge Ram, larger and thicker Centrix rotors, some trick new track compound Black Magic pads and new knuckles and unit bearings off a late model Jeep TJ. At the same time we decided to address our front end camber issues with some -2 degree offset ball joints.
After bolting things more or less back together, we couldn’t resist taking the Jeep out for a quick spin on the quasi-private road near Petty Cash Racing’s Tech Center and Proving Grounds. We had some pretty specific instructions from Blaine at Black Magic on how to break (brake?) in the pads so we actually did have a reason to go out hooning. The new brakes when couple with the really worn out tires we noticed pretty amazing clamping power. We’re hoping that with our new, stickier tires (thank you Falken!) and some time to get used to the new pedal feel we’ll be able to out-brake even more sports cars. This should also be a really good torture test for the brakes, as we’re hoping to run at least 1200 miles in Reno…that’s a lot of racing.
On a lighter note, the guys from BecauseRacecar.org made this for us: