class 9 rule changes


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I am trying to get some of the rules change for class9 for the 2002 seasons
these rules will affect every organization what I need from you the drivers is
mailing adresses so I can send out a balot for you to vote on the changes to be
made, These are the main rules I am trying to get changed based on input from other
drivers; the use of kartek style rear hubs instead ov drums, the use of aluminum or
magniesium wheels to replace the steel ones, and finaly dropping of the claimer rule.
if you have a rule you would like to have changed let me know so we can make it happen
please e-mail me or call me I would like to hear from everyone
phone# 702-645-9270 e-mail: [email protected] or

thanks your class 9 rep


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If you can't get the claimer rule eliminated, get it set to about $2000. I am currently building my engine and it is going to cost over $250 just for maching of the case. That doesn't include balancing or lightening the flywheel. After I add the cost of the rest of the parts, as you know, it's going to be expensive.

We need to get the engine sheetmetal rules set a little less strict, so we can trim and also use after market fan shrouds, etc.

The aftermarket Kartek rear drums are expensive, but will last much longer than the stock ones. It would be nice to not have to worry about them breaking.

I can go either way on the rims.

My .04 cents


Well-Known Member
Kenny - Thanks for taking on the class rep job. I'll send you an email with the addresses for my fiance and I.

I'd like to see some open discussion about the rule changes before ballotting occurs, especialy since this will as you say probably affect a variety of racing organizations.

Some background and thoughts:

We're both driving class 9 with VORRA, and this year, with SNORE. Last year, we finally got the resources to put together a race program instead of just crewing for other folks. So though I can't say we've been racing nine cars forever, I've been doing the desert racing thing in one way or another for 25 years (more or less) so I feel like I've got a leg to stand on with my thoughts, so here goes:

Jim's Principles of entry level racing rules:

1) Change as few rules as possible
2) Change the rules to make it cheaper or safer to race
3) Change the rules to make it less likely the rules will be broken undetected

Seems to me that nine cars are extremely limited to provide two things: a drivers class and a way into off-road racing for those of "modest means". There are already less limited classes for those who want to run more technologically advanced cars, and other limited classes for those who want to go faster and still have it be a "drivers class". The unique thing about class 9 is for about $8K including car, safety equipment, and pit supplies an ordinary joe can get in the game.

From what I can tell, none of the three rule changes you mentioned make it any cheaper or safer. The dropping of the engine claiming rule should be thoroughly discussed - hell, I'm not even sure I know where I stand on it. Seems to me like there are good arguments on both sides.

Thanks for listening.

Jim and Vanessa


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Sorry to pipe in here, but...
I gotta agree with Jim.

I like the idea about the engine tin.
The Kartek hubs are not in the "Spirit of the Class".
The engine claimer thing is ok in principal, but socially very unacceptable (and too cheap).

Instead of doing away with the claim rule, what about a manditory head cc for the top 2-3? Yes it's a ton of work after a race. But, with that displacement checking tube that is used (P&G?) compression ratio is not checked. I didn't know that until very recently. How many other people didn't know that? The compression ratio is single most effective way to make an engine "faster".

Cheaters=loosers. Maybe not loosers on the track, just in life.

Sorry to bust in here, but this stuff is still important to me.

Let the conversation continue!



Well-Known Member
I'm have to go along with Tim and Jim. I think some serious discussion needs to take place. The costs associated with changing some rules might be too much for a lot of 9 teams to overcome. That means that some teams would not be competitive due to not being able to keep up with the cost of rules changes.


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Ok you guys and girls I've got your attention these 3 items I mentioned
where brought up to me buy drivers like you. I have been racing in class 9
for 7 years now and I have4 to tell you the spirit of class 9 has changed
drasticly and so has the cost. I want to give you an explaination for each
of the rules that I have mentioned
first: the kartek style rear hubs; yes I know they mite be more expensive than
a drum but only at first those hubs run about 200$ bucks verses a drum at a 100$
they are alot stronger than regular drums and they will last alot longer 1600 cars get
a full season plus out of them, drums be it type 3s or thing only last about three
races and thats if you take good care of them I know that in the last 2 years
I have spent over 800$ on drums I lost 3 of them do to spinning the splines and
the other 5 do to cracks, the hubs are also lighter than drums giving you less
weight at the wheel plus less rotating mass (easier on the trans), plus you will have
better brakes

second: get rid of the steel wheels, centerlines or ultras weigh less. less rotating mass
less unsprung weight at the wheels (easier on the trans and suspention)
steel wheels are about 50$plus bucks now, centerlines and ultras are about 100$
but you can have centerlines straightened for about 40$ if you mess one up
also steel wheels make are cars look like antiques

finaly: the claimer either get rid of it or raise it to 2000$

this is what I need you feed back for and if you would like to have some other rule changed



Well-Known Member
Thanks for the cost data associated with your proposed rule changes. Your explanation goes a long way in helping the rest of us sort this out. I am currently building a 9 car and value the knowledge that comes from your many years racing 9 cars. Now we need to get the rest of the 9 community involved in this. Can you post this on the go-desert board and have them come to this forum? Might be a good way to get everyones opinion.

As for the proposed rule changes:
Stock drums vs. Kartek hubs- I can use my new Thing drums until they crack and then either buy the Kartek setup or additional Thing units. Does the use of the new setup provide a competitive advantage? I would like to hear from you and others.

Alum vs steel wheels- Again, I can use up my steel and then purchase what I want if the rule is changed. Does the use of the aluminum wheels provide a competitive advantage? This may due to the decrease in unsprung weight. What do other 9 drivers think? Cost vs. durability?

Claimer rule- I think the claimer rule is OK and within the spirit of the class, but the amount needs to be reasonable. I build my own engines, so the cost for me is in the parts and machine work. For someone that has their engine built by a professional engine builder, what is the cost? These two factors need to be taken into account.

Sheetmetal rule: I think it needs to be loosened up. I don't believe trimming or the use of aftermarket sheetmetal provides a competitive or cost advantage. What do other 9 drivers think?

Mik Hinson


Well-Known Member
does 2000$ sound reasonable for a claimer also I need adresses
from all class 9 drivers

so far rules that have been brought to my attention
some people would like changed

1) The claimer rule keep it,drop it or raise it
2)The use of centerline or ultra style wheels
3)The use of 16" wheels
4)Modifications or the use of aftermarket engine tins
5)The use of kartek style hubs in the place of drums
6)Power steering
7)The use of a second shock in the rear
8)The use of after market spindel snouts (such as Fodrils) heat treated with no speedo holes
and aditional gusseting of the spindel if the snouts are alowed to be changed
9)The use of external and internal bypass shocks



Well-Known Member
Congrats again on a great finish at the B.o.B. race! We tried to catch you guys but you and Walters were just really hooked up prefect!

As for the rule change ideas I have always thought that change is almost always a good thing for the sport, It keeps things new,exciting and challenging. so long as the changes stay within the basic concept or spirit of the class.

Regarding the Hubs verses Drums idea I think it would be just fine to stay with current rule so long as we are able to get good used or aftermarket drums. We have been using early 5-lug Bus drums for over 4 years and in that time we have only gone through 3 sets. and not one of them broke or cracked. Only bent one in a rollover. We can get 6 to 8 races per set then change them for saftey sake. They cost me about $60 a set then $30 for machining. and we are not easy on them by a long shot.

Wheels other than steel would wind up costing to much for most teams to absorb. I agree with the weight concepts but other than that no real advantage. I would like to possibly consider the idea of a wider rim being allowed, possibly 7 or 8 in. that would allow for a wider range of rear tires that could be used effectivly.

Claimer Rule - Never liked it never will and would like to see it eliminated! It's based on a negative reaction instead of a positive pro-action and no good ever came out of an engine being claimed. If not eliminated then at least a $2000 tag.

Engine Tin should be allowed to be anything we can get our hands on. This is one of those rules that does not in anyway offer any advantage or not. So let go Chrome or alluminum.

Just a note to you all. I posted my car for sale on the RD and F-9 web sites and in 24 hours got 4 Emails and sold it 2 days later. I will still he supporting the class 9 racers this year and will possibly be getting a new car next year either 9 or 1600. Rob S. #975


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Ken, it would be really easy to accomplish the rules changes you have proposed! Just change the number 9 to a 16 on the car and it's all legal!


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This was written 1.5 years ago. It was written on the only website specific to Class 9. In that time, no has ever refuted what it means.....

The cars and drivers of this class are unique from any other class in off-road racing. The class 9 car is highly restricted from any sort of radical modifications. It is this restriction that keeps the costs down. You can spend more than $15,000 if you want, but for under $8,000 you can usually find one in decent condition on a trailer.

Because the cars are so limited, the class is really about the driver. Some current Class 9 drivers have been in Class 9 for over 10 years. Others listed here have done well in just their first year. Class 9 is a great place to realize the dream that is off-road racing.


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Tim I dont think you understand my last post all I am doing is making public what other drivers want
I never said I agree with them all but there are a few I would like to see changed some of wich
will be more cost effective in the long run Trust me when I say this because out of every
class 9 racer I have ever met I have the smallest budget for racing in class 9 so the rules that
I am interested in changing are those of wich will make parts last longer


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Tim I agree with your last two posts, If all the changes or ideas were to be adopted then what would the end product be! "A 100' wheelbase 1600" If you can afford to build this mythic car then it's probably time to move up to the next step! What next class 9/1600 or 950s.
Kenny please don't think we are comeing down on you personaly, I think your wanting to keep up on some of the more nonsence rules of the class are great. Keep up the good work. Just keep in mind that every year there are new drivers just startng out in Class 9 like the guy I sold my car too, and they need to be able to be as competitive as everyone one else based on the limits and budget of the class. If not they may go fishing instead. R.S.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for clarifying that Ken.

None-the-less, in my opinion some of those idea's will just blur the line between 9 and 1600. I didn't see too many that made things cheaper (power steering, aluminum wheels, multiple shocks, etc.).

I believe Class 9 has survived because of it's restrictions, not in spite of them. Basically, I think of class 9 as class 11 but without the pan and body. It should be damn near stock.

I can fully appreciate someone's desire to drive faster. One of the reasons I sold my car was to get into a faster class. Everyone wants to go faster. We're racers! But, we have to balance our desire to go faster with what is good for the class. If the "buy-in" to get a reasonable car was $10k or more, I would not be racing. When I spent the $7800 to get mine, I had to beg, borrow, and (almost) steal to raise the money. Fact is, you can get a car for $5000 if you're willing to do some work. It may not look like it on paper, but there is a VAST difference between $10k and $5k.

So, to "improve" class 9 cars, two things happen:
1.) The difference between Class 9 and 1/2-1600 grows smaller and smaller (not good for the sport).
2.) The car becomes more expensive; thus fewer people getting started) not good for the sport).

In my opinion the only appropriate changes are those which cost nothing (cylinder tin) and those which make the car safer. It's fun to think of "...if I could just xxxx..." But in the end, you end up with a 1600 car.

What's my opinion worth? Nothing. It's just my opinion. Lot's of great drivers have come from this class and it would be a shame to see it harmed.

BTW: If you want to make everyone spend the same amount of their motors, drop the claimer rule and replace it with : The winner trades motors with the 3rd place guy (or some other position). If you know you're gonna give it up, you're not gonna have $4000 in it.

My $0.06


Well-Known Member
Hey Tim thanks for yor opinion but what makes the diffrence between 9 and 16
is 3 things balljoint frontend, swing axle rear, and a 100" wheelbase
the rules that I am interested in are the ones that will save me money
but as a class rep I have to pay attention to every driver out there and their suggestions
we have to face the facts alot of the parts we use are used when we get them. These
parts are sarting to run short in supply therefore driving the costs up


- users no longer part of the rdc family -
ken here's my .02 cents

1) engine claimer: drop it no good has ever come from this rule just check the winners and DQ all cheaters.
2) wheels: ken have you weighed steel vs alum. i have some centerlines i use as spares and they are heavier than my steel wheels. btw i still run my origional steel wheels i started with some 12 years ago any joe can weld them. (meaning they are very cheap too run)
3) 16" wheels: not necessary but i'm not against it. it's good for some but some cars can't handle a larger tire they'll rub the front end
4) engine tin: a rediculious rule, tin doesn't make more power just like chrome
5) drums: again don't care, i don't believe there is any advantage to running kartex drums, i have over 15 races on my drums ( type 3 ) but they are german (very hard to find) aftermarket only last a few races so i wouldn't object to kartex drums if you feel your saving money.
6) power steering: would be a luxury can't have that in a 9
7) 2nd shock: we all know what shocks cost, too expensive (remember keep it simple). the right shock setup works very well i see no reason to change this rule i even disagree with resevors on 9 cars the guys that have them aren't going any faster, and they are still rebuilding after a few races, whats the point?
8) spindles: mixed feelings about this one, only time i have ever broken spindles has been when i didn't magna-flux them before a race, (btw i use the hole in my spindle for a speedo) but why not let someone build stock spindles out of better metal.

keep up the good work ken

Rick Poole


Well-Known Member

I'm glad to see the discussion on these ... My thoughts on the nine issues Kenny has aggregated are below, but I'd like to ask about another. Is there any reason that we don't allow original VW link pin front beams? The ball joints are universally (so it seems) a source of expense, would a link pin front end using stock trailing arms and spindels be any better?


1) We absolutely should do something. I like Tim's idea about cc'ing the winners engine - but Tim - are you sure that gives you the compression ratio? What about deck height .... Whatever it is we need to try and make sure that folks are following the rules .. what does SCORE do with 1/2-1600s? I believe they have the exact same engine requirements.

2) I know everyone hates the way the wheels look. I say keep 'em standard. We're out racing, not at a car show. If we allow alloy wheels, it becomes a budget thing.

3) If we allow 16" wheels, then we end up needing to have multiple wheels for different race set ups. I'm not sure what we gain as a class by changing ...

4) You bet. Makes sense to me - use whatever tin you want, as long as you use a stock generator/alternator in the stock location.

5) You know, there are cars out there running type I drums and winning races, especially on some of the short courses. These are _cheap_. If there is no performace advantage to the kartek drums,and they work with stock brake shoes (still required), let's make 'em legal. If they do perform better than stock (perhaps in heat transfer?) than I'd say give it a pass. Let's face it, one of the challanges of the 9 car is not only going fast, but balancing speed and breakage. Anyone can pin the throttle - it's knowing when when to let up that's sometimes hard.

6) Can't see it. The big question I'd as is why?

7) Sort like 6, and then look at Jim's rules posted previously

8) I'd need to see the cost/benefit analysis. Also, one of the things that keeps 9 reasonable is that a normal, reasonably savvy guy can do most of the work (well, except the transaxle). Welding in new spindles and sending them to be heat treated? Sounds like someone else does that == $$. Also, once again - as in (5), not driving the car pat it's abilities is part of the game.

9) My ignorance is showing here .... what's an internal bypass shock?

Thanks again for listening,

Jim & Vanessa


Well-Known Member
9 - World
After speaking to a few other drivers off-line and getting some feedback, the discussion was brought up as to the possibility of adopting the use of IRS. and what the pro and cons would be?
Without a doubt the weakest link in our type of cars is the Trans. If we went to an IRS setup but stayed with stock configs on all arms and CV's and Torsion set up. What do you think?
These are not my ideas just some more ideas for discussion by 9 people without computer access.
As I see it the cost of an IRS Trans should not exceed that of an swing-axle and should not have to be torn down near as often. A Top of the line S.A. Race Trans will cost most of us between $1500 and $2500 and then $100 to $500 per race up keep. Have never built or prepped an IRS so do not have costs to relate to yet, If you have some $ figures let us know. R.S. #975


Well-Known Member
Other items to consider:
Aftermarket or stock stubs axles?
Type 1 or 930 CV's
Stock or aftermarket axles?
Stock or aftermarket arms?
Stock CV bolts and flanges or aftermarket?
Type 2 or Type 1 gearbox?
Super diffs and 4 spider gears?
Close ratio 3rd & 4th?
Welded trans cases?
The list goes on and so does the cost!

These proposed changes modify the total concept of the class. As one who is building a new car and has just purchased a new trans, axles, spring plates, etc., this change will cause major changes/modification in my car and more importantly, my budget. Here again, we are getting closer to a 1600 car. All we need to do is add the link pin front end.

If these proposed changes are being requested to allow the cars to go faster without breaking, then I think it violates the spirit of the class. It seems to me that the original intent of the class was to drive the car as fast as possible without over stressing the stock equipment. Several veteran drivers have posted the same comment on this forum as well as The cars have run faster and faster avg speeds over the last few years. Obviously, things are going to break the faster you go.

Maybe the spirit of the class needs to be re-defined/changed, or maybe the spirit of the class is OK as it is. It all depends on the consensus of the Class participants. I just don't want it to become to expensive to even build a car. Everyone says you can go out and buy a car for $5K. I know you can't build one for that amount. You might as well build a 1600. With all of this proposed equipment changes, I'm sure the $5K figure for a used car will also go up. I know without a doubt that a swingaxle 9 car would not be competitive with an IRS 9 car. Upgrades would be necessary for a driver to stay competitive. My .02 cents and I am enjoying the dialog between all the 9 owners. Keep it up.
Mike Hinson


Well-Known Member
Jim said: "I like Tim's idea about cc'ing the winners engine - but Tim - are you sure that gives you the compression ratio? What about deck height ..."

Jim, here's what I said:"...what about a manditory head cc for the top 2-3? Yes it's a ton of work after a race. But, with that displacement checking tube that is used (P&G?) compression ratio is not checked. I didn't know that until very recently. How many other people didn't know that? The compression ratio is single most effective way to make an engine "faster".

Deck height is easy to determine with the head removed. A straight edge and depth gauge are all that is required. Do a little math, and you've got it. The "engine" cc's can be determined with that big tube hooked up to a spark plug hole. But the head cc's is a different story. This is the easiest place to make more hp since it can't be checked without removing the head.

I think "sadrace" has a pretty good idea. Drop the claimer rule and tech the piss out of the motor.

Cheaters suck.