Pit Setup

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This page is a description of our current pit/paddock setup for competition. There is always flexibility depending on the day, event, people in the pit, weather, etc. This should be considered a starting point rather than absolute truth.


Pit Crew Roles and Responsibilities

This is the most important time to have a well-organized pit, as you will gain laps and therefore points by fixing the car fast. It's important to have one or two people in charge of the pit, so it's clear who to listen to when the car comes in. There should also be one or two truck runners, who stay in the truck and get tools or hardware for the rest of the pit crew. The truck runners should be somewhat experienced team members who know where everything is and what "I need a quarter twenty from the Rousseau" means.

Generally, the people in the pit should be divided into 3 groups (there's a fair amount of flexibility here, but again, this is a good starting point). First, there are the people actually working on the car. These should be experienced team members, although there shouldn't be the same 2-3 people fixing every issue. These people are given priority when they ask for tools, help, etc. There should also be a few people near the car who aren't actively working on it. Their job is to grab things off the tables and hand them to people working on the car, hold tools/hardware as necessary, and provide an extra pair of hands if needed. These people should also be somewhat experienced, although not necessarily as much. This is a good place for promising newer members who will take over as primary pit crew members in a year or two. Lastly, everyone who doesn't fall into the first two categories should know that their job is to stay out of the way unless they're asked to do something else. This is why freshmen are almost always put on carnage crew; they get to see more of the race than they would otherwise, and it keeps them out of the pit crew's way.

Pit Setup

First, there should be a clear space where the car can be worked on. This needs to be kept clear of food, parts, etc. during the entire race. Covering this area with a tarp and the tent is helpful. Immediately next to this area, there should be at least one and preferably two to three tables, mostly for tools. A good way to set these up is to have the largest table reserved for hand tools (not powered) and a smaller table for hand power tools (a specific list of tools is below). The hand tools table should be divided and labeled so things don't get mixed up. Larger, stationary tools like bench grinders can be set up on the liftgate of the truck. The generator should be toward the back of the pit, and extension cords should be run from it to whatever needs power. The generator that we borrow from Mahany has 4 standard outlets, so a good way to use them is as follows:

  • Run 1 extension cord to the workbench inside the truck. This gives you a whole row of outlets to use, which can supply power for anything inside the truck. This cord should not run across the liftgate or entrance where people can trip over it.
  • Run another cord directly to the welder. The welder draws a lot of power, so it's good to use a single rather than a 3-way cord for this.
  • Dedicate cord #3 to the hand power tools next to the pit. This should be a 3-way cord, so multiple things can be plugged in and ready to go.
  • Use the last outlet to power the larger tools on the liftgate, i.e. bench grinders. This should also be a 3-way cord.

IMPORTANT: all extension cords should be labeled at both ends. If you need to unplug one to supply power to something else, you need to know what's being unplugged.

Other than that, the welder should be completely set up before the race starts (gas and pedal connected, etc.) It should be in the truck, but close to the entrance so you can weld directly on the car if necessary. The air compressor (and attachments) should be out of the truck, near the generator. The compressor doesn't need to be plugged in (save the outlet for something more important), but it should be accessible.

Tools, Parts and Hardware

Hand tools that should be on the table(s) next to the pit:

  • Wrenches and sockets: 3/8" through 5/8", plus 10mm-13mm. The wrenches for the ball joints and front & rear hubs should also be out and labeled. Also, any specialty wrenches/sockets should be out: 10mm socket for engine cover, small wrenches for brakes, etc. Sockets should already be on the wrenches, not loose on the table.
  • Allen wrenches, including specialty ones (for example, the metric one for the U-joint set screws)
  • Crescent wrenches
  • Screwdrivers: Phillips and flathead
  • Hammers, including deadblow
  • Pliers and channel-locks
  • Wire cutters
  • Files
  • Zip ties and zip tie gun
  • Utility knives
  • Loctite
  • Tape (electrical, Teflon, duct tape, etc.)
  • Rivet gun and rivets
  • Pulley extractor
  • Brakes box (with extra fittings, etc.)
  • Brake bleeding stuff, including brake fluid
  • Bike pump, shock pumps, tire pressure gauge

Power tools that should also be accessible from the pit (on the tables):

  • Angle grinder (with wrench and different wheels)
  • Dremel (also with different wheels/attachments)
  • Hand drill (with drill index and wire brush/paint wheel)

Other things that should be easily accessible from the pit, i.e. not in the truck:

  • Spare suspension parts
  • Spare CVT belts
  • Gloves for handling hot CVT
  • Water for cleaning/cooling parts
  • Shop rags/paper towels
  • Commonly used hardware: Nylocks, bolts, washers, cotter pins, etc.
  • Spare tires
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Car stands/jackstands

Things that should be on the liftgate:

  • Bench grinder
  • Welding bench grinder (with tungsten wheel)
  • Vise

Things that should be inside the truck but easily usable:

  • Drill press
  • Other bench grinder
  • Chop saw
  • Another vise

Dynamic Day and Tech Inspection

The pit doesn't need to be organized as well on dynamic day or for tech, there's no need to have all the tools set up, etc. Things that take a while to set up and may be useful should still be set up: welder, generator, and so on. One of the most important things is to make sure that the tools and people that should be with the car are always with the car. This includes shock pumps, tire pressure gauges, possibly the car stand, and the suspension lead (or someone who knows how to tune suspension properly). Other than that, a few people should always be at the pit with at least one radio. This is in case the car needs to be taken to the pit and fixed, or if anything needs to be run from the truck to an event.