Limited-edition Ariel Atom track day car: TMI puts you at the front

Limited-edition Ariel Atom track day car: TMI puts you at the front

By Bertie Scott Brown Alton, VA: Last year TMI Autotech released a new limited-edition Ariel Atom track day car. In a technical partnership with Honda Racing, a mere 10 uniquely numbered cars, known as the Ariel Atom Honda Racing Edition, were produced at TMI’s Virginia factory. Capitalizing on the opportunity to showcase Honda Racing’s latest components for their Grand American and World Challenge HPD racing program, the new Atoms exhibit an extra 45hp, producing 275hp at 7,800rpm and generating 225lb-ft of torque at 5,300rpm. Other key upgrades worth noting in the drive line include Honda’s six-speed close-ratio transmission and limited slip differential. Stopping power for this new 1,300lb projectile is provided by 300mm floating brake discs in conjunction with radial-mount 4-piston calipers on all four corners. In the suspension systems, chrome-moly aero tubes replace conventional round-tube wishbones, and operate with double-adjustable custom-calibrated JRI aluminum dampers.   Power-to-weight ratio: the irrefutable advantage As you can imagine, cars endowed with a power-to-weight ratio of .21hp/lb are rarely dull, and in this regard the Ariel Atom Honda Racing Edition will exceed that of many modern supercars—and will accomplish it in naturally aspirated form. Of course, for the fifty or so competitors already competing in this season’s Spec Race Atom series, statistics close to these are well known. The genius of the Ariel Atom lies in its simplicity. Vivid are the images of an Atom that hits its turning-in marks at speed, holds its line, brakes from 100mph to zero in lightning time and generates 1.7 to 1.8g in steady-state cornering. Robust and well engineered these new track day editions might be a revelation—not...

John Force: His formative years

By: Titus Bloom   A 16-time NHRA Funny Car title holder, Force is the most successful auto racer, in any category, of our time. Yet Tom “Mongoose” McEwen insists he possesses other qualities that may transcend his prowess at the drag strip: he rarely forgets old friends and does a lot of good that’s never reported.  John Force was raised in a small trailer house in Bell Gardens just south of the City of Los Angeles, California with his parents, three brothers, and a sister. He was the youngest.  During their seasonal work, up and down the coast and berry picking in the Joaquin Valley, his mother would fasten a rope to the young Force, anchoring the other end of the tether to a stone to deter him from crawling away.     In the off-season his dad was engaged in logging; his mom a cook. An Oklahoma migrant driven from her home during the dust bowl period of the nineteen-thirties, the correlation between the struggles of the young Force family and those depicted in John Steinbeck’s famous novel the Grapes of Wrath must have seemed uncannily similar. Today, Force readily admits they never had a Thanksgiving dinner or a big table. “Dinner was usually from a tin foil tray that you’d heat in the oven. My kids cannot imagine…” Football or racing? As soon as he was old enough to qualify for a driver’s license, Force entered competition at Irwindale and Orange County drag strips and won his first trophies at Lion’s drag strip in a 1960 Ford. Bought with some help from his dad, “It was a six...
Three reasons why power steering systems fail

Three reasons why power steering systems fail

By Archie Bosman, Photography by Moore Good Ink: You might be surprised to learn that one of the three principal reasons for power steering pump failures is forgetfulness. To run a hydraulic power steering pump safely during a dyno run, simply form an oiling loop. Connect the power steering reservoir to the pump’s inlet port and the pump’s outlet port back to the reservoir’s return port. Then fill the reservoir with fluid, about 1in above the return port. “With the best will in the world though,” says Ken Roper, head of KRC Power Steering, “it’s easier to remember to put oil in the engine than it is in the power steering reservoir, and the consequences of the oversight can be severe.” As most power steering pumps rotate at engine speeds, the internals of one without oil will soon turn blue and invariably weld themselves together. The same transgression is common when breaking-in a new camshaft or similar. Although break-in speeds are usually significantly lower, often around 2,500 to 3,000rpm, a dry power-steering pump may survive the torture, though it usually suffers some adverse consequences. The second reason for power steering pump failure occurs when the oil hoses have not been thoroughly cleaned in the aftermath of a previous pump wreckage. Avoid this demoralizing calamity by ensuring all related hydraulic hoses are flushed clean. If not, the new replacement pump will be soon sabotaged by shrapnel from the previous failure. The third condition that causes power steering pump failure is improper bleeding or worse, disregarding the bleeding procedure completely. In common with a dry-sump lubrication system, expelling air bubbles from...

SEMA 2013 winners: Aeromotive leads the way with new high performance in-tank fuel pump

By Archie Bosman Photography by Moore Good Ink   Steve Matusek and his Aeromotive team were thrilled to win Best New Street Rod/Custom Car Product at this year’s SEMA show with their Stealth—a new, universal in-tank fuel system. Though the judges awarded their highest vote to the Street Rod/Custom Car brigade, it’s more likely the Muscle car troops, particularly those with contemporary engine transplants, will be the ones most enthralled by the innovative powers of the Kansas fuel system specialists. Aeromotive’s new pump design can be installed in any stock fuel tank and, significantly, it operates with both carbureted and EFI engines. More pertinently still, it is of universal fitment and as such installs in tanks from 6in to 11in deep, including those made of plastic, steel or aluminum. Also worth noting, it seals whether the tank has a corrugated or smooth surface. “We created a scenario where you could put an electric pump in any gas tank,” said Matusek. “It took us a while to get it right but we got there,” he added with some satisfaction. Additional qualities: vapor lock and cavitation eliminated Nowadays in some circles an in-tank pump is the preferred fuel pump type because it eliminates such issues as cavitation and vapor lock in high volume fuel systems. Furthermore, and to its credit, the Stealth is equipped with an internal fuel-resistant baffle to prevent unwanted fuel movement, which allows the pump to remain submerged at all times, even with low fuel levels or aggressive driving. When a fuel pump runs dry, even for a split second, it causes wear in the pump, and usually...
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