On Thu, 4 Mar 2004, Dick Rasmussen wrote:
> >I guess I don't have opinions here as much as just wanting to acknowledge
> >that its probably time to address these issues. Our goal (in terms of a
> >protest) is to have the data we need to prove the car illegal or not.
> >Forcing each competitor to have the documentation for their car _isn't_ a
> >goal. Its a means to the real goal. Perhaps there's a better way.
> When trying to solve this problem don't forget that the owner/driver of
> each car needs some reasonable way of proving to himself or herself that
> his or her car has not been modified beyond what is permitted in the
> rules for the class. Relatively easy for original owners but what about
> everyone else? Remember, we as competitors have the primary
> responsibility for insuring that our cars are legal. Seems like we need
> some documentation to do that with a used car. However, as I posted
> previously, factory shop manuals won't necessarily have the most
> relevant information such as spring and anti-roll bar data for late
> model Mustangs.
I think that's a red herring argument overall.
First, there are alternate ways that a competitor might use. #1 would be
to ask the mechanic (who _does_ have some sorta of manual) to tell you
about any non-stock component on the car along with any repaired damage.
#2 is to examine the car yourself, looking for suspect parts or repairs.
Do you need a manual to know that the typical offset bushings aren't
stock? Probably not. Will the manual help you find out if that spring is
the correct one for your car w/the options it has? Probably not again.
When's the last time you bought a used car for stock class autox and took
off the head to check that the motor hadn't been bored more than the first
overbore? I'll tell you flat out that I didn't. For all I know, its
.060" over (though I tend to doubt it... :-)
Is the competitor responsible for their car's legality? You betcha, 100%.
I wouldn't even dream of changing that. Should it therefore follow that
the competitor has to own a set of factory service manuals? I don't think
so. If the competitor is comfortable with a general inspection of their
car (if used... Obviously if they bought it new they should know if
anything has been modified), then so be it. They're taking the
responsibility for the car and are ok with not checking every part against
a manual (that doesn't have part numbers anyway, but I digress).
Now if that same competitor decides to get his engine rebuilt, should he
get the manual? Probably. I certainly would, just so that I didn't
inadvertently do something that's a common modification (like shaving the
heads on an MR2 to get them straight) but which the manufacturer doesn't
list as an acceptable procedure (which, in our example, Toyota doesn't).
But again, its my call as to whether I get that knowledge first hand via a
manual or 4th hand via telepathy from Mars. Its my responsibility either
way, and the consequences of being wrong are all on me.