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#21
5X Racing

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Agree.  It's a spring so we need consistent parts.  I don't care if it's single source as long as it's readily available, cost effective and of good quality and there is product support available.  Usually in a single source agreement there is a price commitment too (unless you are the US Government buying helicopter parts from Russia for the Russian helicopters we donated to Afghanistan).    Take tires for example.  We use Hoosier's which are widely and readily available, of good quality, with good support and there is a negotiated price. 

 

To reassure your thoughts:

  • I don't care if it's single source as long as it's readily available
    • Yes, we always try to keep ALL FCM kit components in good stock, from bump stops/foam pieces to the hardware in the kit (barring the rare production flub-up)
  • ​cost effective
    • Not initially set by us, and not something we breached due to it not being our invention as well as Mazdaspeed's involvement in selling it.
  • good quality
    • YES! All parts are proprietary (not off-the-shelf) and made in America 
  • Product support available
    • DOUBLE YES! We always aim to provide the best customer service we can between my wife and I who run our company, and hope Mazdaspeed as well as our trusted dealers who also sell FCM kits supplied by us also provide adequate customer service. 

​Hope this helps. Not trying to make a sales pitch, just want to reassure and clarify when called upon :-)


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#22
Mike Babcock

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So... what's the "punishment" for being caught with counterfeit Fat Cats?  Are there any pictures out there that we can reference to help determine if we're on legit bushings or not?

 

From what I understand... a competitor was taken from the podium this weekend, and put to the back of the field due to non-compliant bushings.  Racers didn't cause this problem.  Doesn't really seem right to punish the drivers for something the SMAC and the free market facilitated.



#23
38bfast

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The SMAC/CRB/SCCA never facilitated anything other than Fat Cat bump stop kits. As well as this has been a very public issue since last years runoffs. 


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#24
True North

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Ralph, I sold my car in 2018 to a young man out of the Tuson area named Austin Newmark.

Back in 2015 I received a set of Fat Cat's from East Street Racing (Jim can confirm the date) that I personally installed on my car and were found to be non compliant this weekend. .  

This is Austin's first year racing on the Hoosier Super Tour and with the SCCA. 

He suffered through a miserable weekend spending all kinds of money and not to mention travelling out of state etc only to be confronted by Mr. Bauer (National Compliance rep) after taking a podium finish. Mr. Bauer visualy inspected the bump stop's and found them to be noncompliant and then proceeded to take away Austin's podium finish. Wow...talk about the punishment not fitting the crime.  I would think an entry in the log book to replace by the next race would have been sufficient enough!  Not a DQ and moved to last place and not able to race on Sunday....which was a complete waist of their time. If we want to attract new comers to the SM field, we need to change that train of thought especially if its not a performance feature.

Like I said earlier, I bought them from a reputable shop so how is one to know what you really have on your car?


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#25
Ron Alan

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Pitting  next to Austin and watching this happen was a real bummer.  Certainly not going to blame John Bauer...He has a list to check and a job to do...we asked for this! I do have an issue with how long the "counterfeit" stops have been out there and why it was never an issue until 2017 Runoffs? Based on what Dean is saying that's at least 3 years of nobody caring(or longer)? Like Austin...my guess is there are a lot of cars out there that have no idea they have stuff that isn't legal!

 

Maybe someone can post a public service announcement with pictures on what are correct and what isn't??


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#26
FTodaro

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Pitting  next to Austin and watching this happen was a real bummer.  Certainly not going to blame John Bauer...He has a list to check and a job to do...we asked for this! I do have an issue with how long the "counterfeit" stops have been out there and why it was never an issue until 2017 Runoffs? Based on what Dean is saying that's at least 3 years of nobody caring(or longer)? Like Austin...my guess is there are a lot of cars out there that have no idea they have stuff that isn't legal!

 

Maybe someone can post a public service announcement with pictures on what are correct and what isn't??

We all know the history on this issue, and the fact that they were not available for a period of time.  We also know that there was no bad intent on vendors trying to fill the gap, or the customers who bought them, so first off why we have not moved to grandfather those into the mix and make the rule going forward, i do not know but that is what the SMAC should be doing.

 

If something like bump stops and shocks are important then we as a class have to take responsibility for the circumstances  when they are not available.

 

I agree the penalty needs to fit the crime.


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#27
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Dean, were your/Austin's bump stop aluminum washer that fit inside the spring isolator red or aluminum color?


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#28
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Tech is only looking at the cut surface condition. If you are worried, remove the bump stop, use a belts sander to remove the cut ridges, then reinstall.


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#29
RWP80000

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I talked to Austin and he told me the washer the Bump Stop rides against was Red in color (which is what comes in the Fat Cat kit). 

 

Dean replaced for sure the bump stops and other cushions (maybe even a complete kit) as in my discussion with him he can't exactly recall what all he replaced.  That was about three years ago after he bought the car from a Phoenix area racer.  The issue is in what parts were provided to Dean at that time. 

 

Austin also mentioned Bauer thought the spring isolator pad looked thinner than expected.  What effect that would have on function is beyond me as all the spring load is transmitted through the isolator into the top hat and any thickness variation would be taken up with the adjuster collar putting the shock body to top hat location at the same position at a given ride height.  Earlier comments in this thread indicated Fat Cat has made some running changes to this isolator pad to help keep the shock centered and prevent spring wear to the threaded sleeve which is common occurrence.

 

Dean was at the Indy Runoffs and was well aware of the Bump Stop issue going on but had no reason to think he had anything other than Fat Cat hardware nor did anyone bother to advise him that his parts might need to be checked.

 

Our question is when did these knock off kits come into service as it would have been nice to have been advised that he was getting something other than Fat Cat parts.  



#30
Mark

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I didn't find out about Austins situation until pretty late Saturday afternoon. By that time they were already on the trailer and ready to leave. I had a partial spare set of bump stops in my trailer that I offered up but by then it was too late. They (Austin and Dad) didn't want to chance it with a partial kit and wanted to make sure that they were 100% compliant and all the gear was already packed. These guys are a class act and Austin can wheel the car. It was a real shame to send a young talent like Austin home for an infraction that maybe could have been dealt with another way. This was an expensive trip for them. This is the sort of tech we have been asking for though so now we reap what we sow I guess. Major kudos to the SCCA tech team this weekend. Very thorough, very intrusive. I feel bad for the cars that had to step up and get the 'probe'.  Thanks to all of them for going through the process. 

 

Mark

 

 


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#31
Mike Babcock

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Tech is only looking at the cut surface condition. If you are worried, remove the bump stop, use a belts sander to remove the cut ridges, then reinstall.

 

Um... wait.  Are we trying to BE legal, or just trying to give the illusion that we're legal?

 

The key issue here is that this problem was NOT created by the competitors... yet we're the ones footing the bill to correct it.  And not just the cost of the bushings and installation, but also a potential loss of position and/or ability to race, travel expenses, et al.  I don't spend a ton of time on this forum, but I'd heard about the @#%#! with the shocks more than a few times, just chatting with folks around the paddock.  Just found out about the bushing thing on Saturday... so to suggest it's common knowledge might be a stretch.

 

Again, this isn't something the racers created... yet we get stuck with the bill.  Why not make it a bit easier to swallow?  As Dean suggested... warning in the log book to get them replaced before your next race.  Phase them out gracefully.  Nobody's winning races because of fake Fat Cats.


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#32
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When the compliance chief checked FC bump stops this past weekend did he have a brand new FC bump stop for comparison?  Here dad and son this is what the bump stop should look like.

 

Per 5X racing, the bump stops are "precision cut at the  factory", presume Speedthane. Did the factory from day one use the same cutoff process and if so does the cut surface of the bump stop change as the cut process tool ages?

 

From my perspective and to not stress/insult SM car owners, if the durometer checks, the side shape dimensionally checks and the length tolerance is within +/- 1/16 inch, let's get on with life. 

 

I know for a fact one running change which was made to the FC isolator was to make the inside diameter larger so the O.D. of shock at 3/4 plus compression of the bump stop the shock could not jam to the inside of the isolator.


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#33
ChrisA

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Sooo, where is the discussion on new shocks for the series going?? I'm all for a shock that is better spec'ed for our cars with shorter bodies and valved more appropriately for our cars. Same spring rate. Threaded body shock, which could be used as a ride-hight limiter if the class feels one is necessary. If it moves forward, would we be planning on retaining the current Fat Cat tophat and bumpstop setup?? I would think we should, although it is not prime, it would keep the expense to just upgrading the shock bodies; unless of course, you need to replace yours to get the genuine FC setup.


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#34
OrangeCrush86

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When I bought my car the previous owner said it had FatCat bumps. How can I confirm they are legal if the only way to check is with comparison to new ones? Do I need to buy a new set of FatCats to see if my old FatCats are legal lol?

 

I also think a warning would be sufficient. The only place getting thrown out might be justified would be at the Runoffs.


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#35
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When I bought my car the previous owner said it had FatCat bumps. How can I confirm they are legal if the only way to check is with comparison to new ones? Do I need to buy a new set of FatCats to see if my old FatCats are legal lol?
 
I also think a warning would be sufficient. The only place getting thrown out might be justified would be at the Runoffs.

 

Just have Kyle Webb bounce on your car.  He told us every car that was illegal in Sebring by just putting his booty on it.


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#36
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Just have Kyle Webb bounce on your car.  He told us every car that was illegal in Sebring by just putting his booty on it.


That's because putting his booty on it MADE it illegal.
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