frenchyd Dork
1/27/18 1:09 p.m.

I’ve got a little no line of places I get stuff from depending on what and how fast I need something.  

Suspension stuff I tend to buy at my local circle track dealer ( Lou  Fegars) I also pick up safety stuff from them  

Metal I buy mainly at scrap metal places, often getting new surplus stuff in the required sizes or types of metal. Some stuff like 3003 dead soft for body panels I buy whenever I’m there and they have it.  

Only rarely do I buy new!!! 

Fiberglass carbon fiber etc. I bunch my purchases and add extra.  I’ve never gone there and been told the prices are the same!!  Plus there are three warehouses in the metro area and I always call before.  I shop all of them  and will buy the resin at one place, the gelcoat another and Matt or cloth at the third if that’s the way the prices are.  

vazbmw HalfDork
2/1/18 7:53 a.m.

Thanks for the information.


I have found it hard to buy scrap metal in the Atlanta area, so I end up having to buy from Steel Mart...but the prices of scrap metal could be way cheaper. If I could find a scrap metal yard that sells to the public I would be very happy

Patrick MegaDork
2/1/18 8:05 a.m.

Summit racing for any new normal stuff

speedway motors for new circle track stuff

ebay for new chinese may or may not work stuff

Local metal supply/fab house for stock for non challenge builds.  Anything under 5 feet is put on a rack and allowed to be picked through at per pound pricing.  

treelawns for free sheetmetal and tubular bits like bicycles for small parts 

home depot for things you don’t normally need like hinges and latches for bulkheads and firewall boxes around fuel cells

advance auto online with store pickup using the ever present 20% off coupons and speedperks for basic stuff that isn’t cheaper somewhere else

rock auto in bulk for filters and little parts that they just seem to be 70% less on

rural king for bulk fasteners and lubricants 

ebay, tires-easy, or tirerack depending on price of tires

only rarely does craigslist net anything for racecars that’s worth my time dealing with it

Nugi New Reader
2/1/18 8:32 a.m.

Agreed on CL usually being more trouble than its worth for race parts. Everyones old crap is gold on there. But it can still occasionally be a good source. 

Had some luck with RacingJunk.

I have issues with at least half of all my ebay orders, so I only go there when super duper desprate and feeling lucky. The chinese stuff can be had just as cheap from more reputible sources now.

For raw materials, I always find a shop that already orders enough for a discount. Sign shops for polymer and clad sheet, welding job shops for pipe, boat builders or repair for fiberglass and resin, etc. 

Junkyards. Seriously. Subframes, sheet metal, all kinds of fun shapes to start with. Ill pull composite and al hoods, springs, sensors, mandrel bent exhaust, shop wheels, and even some aftermarket stuff on occasion. You must view it not as parts cars, but raw material.

In the same vein, I find a local with a similar setup and swap parts. Sometimes, if you are creative, or "custom", you can use parts from very different cars. I may have circle track parts on my honda as I type this.

volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
2/1/18 8:33 a.m.

Old bedframes are my go-to for angle iron.  You can get them for free.  

Old appliances (ranges, washers, dryers) are excellent for thin gauge sheetmetal.  Especially if you need the metal to be painted white.

I just fabbed a firewall for my LeMons racer for an engine set-back project.  it turned out the scrap hood from a Volvo 122 worked perfectly as a firewall.  

Summit is my go-to for speedy cheaty bits.  I'd love to support a local speed shop but haven't found any yet.  

Tractor Supply and Ace hardware usually have good fastener selection.  TSC is cheaper, but Ace has rarely let me down when I need that stupid weird little widget.  

One of our local metal suppliers here in Baltimore lets you dig through their scrap bin and charges like 25 cents per pound for anything you want out of it.  

jimbbski Dork
2/1/18 8:57 a.m.

There used to be a store that sold industrial supplies and surplus metal near me. They bought from the metal from local machine shops and manufacturers. One time I scored a sheet of aluminum honeycomb about 3' X 5' X .5". I haven't found a use for it yet! But one day.  I also have a metal outlet near me that allows customers to go into the shop and scrounge through their scrap, drops, and misc. steel and aluminum.

chaparral Dork
2/1/18 8:59 a.m.

Next time I build a race car, I'm starting with surplus unidirectional prepreg carbon fiber from eBay.

frenchyd Dork
2/1/18 9:55 a.m.

In reply to chaparral :

Why prepeg?  Do you have access to an autoclave big enough?  I used to before Northwest airlines was bought by Delta.  But back then prepeg was so expensive.  The bad thing is when it expired they simply tossed it out.

Now I understand they don’t use the autoclave anymore and won’t let anyone else use it either. 

Patrick MegaDork
2/1/18 10:31 a.m.
chaparral said:

Next time I build a race car, I'm starting with surplus unidirectional prepreg carbon fiber from eBay.

How does this work exactly?  Some guy has 3x2 foot for $19 shipped.  It says 250* cure temp.  Do you need a big oven, can you lay it over a steel part and the heat conforms it to shape then cures, can you use a heat gun to cure small parts?  How about those vacuum storage bags to mold it to something?  

frenchyd Dork
2/1/18 10:42 a.m.

In reply to Patrick :

You need a mold to shape it to and then it needs to be put in an autoclave.  Exact “cooking” details are dependent on a lot of variables such as number of layers, age of prepeg, frequency of autoclave. If Vacuum bags are in use.  Etc etc  

Some normal mold things are a no-no in an autoclave. Bolts, screws, pip pins, holding segments together  etc. 

spandak New Reader
2/1/18 10:52 a.m.

My FSAE team used a TON of uni prepreg on our car. It’s a total pain to work with*. Every part we made with it required several test runs to ensure it would work properly. On the other side of things, the little bit of twill prepreg that we had was far more forgiving. That stuff was gold in that world... or any for that matter. 

*we didn’t have an autoclave. Just vacuum bags and an oven. It worked but we had to engineer around it’s constraints. I can’t recommend it. 

frenchyd Dork
2/1/18 3:52 p.m.

In reply to spandak :

You can have 98% of the advantages of carbon fiber prepeg without the massive hassles 

Just buy carbon fiber  ( cloth ) and use normal resin.   When you lay it out use a squeegee ( I use bondo spreaders as my squeegee)  to remove most of the excess.  

It still is massively stronger than fiberglass and because you are laying it out prior to adding the resin/ catalysts mix still tidy. 

What prepeg does for you is exactly add the required amount of”resin” that is heat activated.  As long as you mix the right amount of catalyst with resin it will pretty much do the same with maybe a tiny bit of extra weight.  If those last ounces matter go ahead and buy the materials and pump  to vacuum bag it.  

Or you could go on a diet for a week 

With regard to engineering I reasearched myself silly trying to get the exact details spelled out for me.  In the end I followed the example of the guy who taught me.  

He made bodies for top fuel cars and funny cars. One of the first to go with carbon fiber.  

Brutal things that have to be right or people die.  His advice?  Make it strong. An extra layer of cloth won’t weigh much but failure will haunt you for the rest of your life.  

I might remind you that Bruce McLaren was killed when the bodywork on his Can Am car failed.   

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ HalfDork
2/1/18 8:32 p.m.

There are a few missing STOP signs and crossing signs around my neighborhood.  They can make really nice floor pans.  cool

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