F2000 Safety Advisory – July 2010

July 11, 2010

Re: Van Dieman Chassis Parts

It has come to our attention that three components used on many Van Dieman chassis have had some higher than expected failure rates in recent weekends.  As an advisory only, we are recommending teams inspect their cars with attention to these parts.  Please note that the parts in question originate from many different sources.

  1. Rear upper A arm.  We have seen what appears to be fatigue breakage across the tab that holds the rear ball joint.  There are multiple theories to the cause.  We speculate that the hole that the bearing is being pressed into may be too small in diameter.  Thus when the bearing is inserted it becomes bound.  When not able to swivel freely, the tab that holds it then begins to flex in response, possible resulting in a fatigue fracture.   A quick disassembly of that component, and one can check the bearing for free movement.  Inspection of the tab on the end of the arm for fatigue is recommended.
  1. Rear upper track bar turnbuckle.  We have seen some failures of this item.  We are unsure if it is a defect in the construction, material, or in the assembly.  It is possible when striving for some camber angles to inadvertently tighten the locknut against the shoulder of the turnbuckle, possibly straining the thread transition at that point.  We advise these parts be inspected.
  1. Wheel Nut Cones.  We have recently seen one wheel nut cone that had cracked.  Cracks in the cone can lead to the wheel loosing recommended torque.  We advise that these cones be inspected.

Re: Oil Sump Baffle for Van Diemen Chassis

With the F2KCS returning to Lime Rock Park for the next event, we highly recommend that teams install a proper baffle in their oil tanks.  Baffles are available from multiple sources.  It’s best to seek the advice of your individual engine builder as to which baffle to employ and what oil level to use.

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