MSD’s 6-series ignition boxes for Muscle cars

By Sam Logan, July 7, 2014 MSD 6-series multi-spark capacitive discharge ignition systems feature prominently on Muscle cars everywhere and their installation is easily performed. Though the ignition pioneer makes competition systems for applications with distributor-less ignitions, Muscle car owners are drawn to the 6-series systems that are designed to be used with a distributor, whether equipped with contact points or of electronics style. Because capacitive discharge (CD) ignitions fire very quickly, the system has the ability to actually fire multiple times within the same firing sequence. While a standard ignition fires the spark plug only once, the MSD (which stands for Multiple Spark Discharge) actually fires three times in the same session at engine speeds below 3,000rpm. The objective is to help ignite any part of the charge that wasn’t already ignited by the initial spark. Hence complete combustion is accomplished which improves drivability and heightens performance. The capacitive discharge concept means that a capacitor in the ignition box is charged such that the electrical force traveling to the coil is around 500 volts, instead of the customary12 to 14 volts from the battery. It also carries the advantage that the MSD capacitor discharges very fast, so you achieve a very steep curve on the voltage traveling through the coil and to the spark plugs. With the old school points-and-coil system, the output voltage resembled a sine wave with the voltage building up to full power slowly. In sharp contrast the capacitor’s energy is almost instantaneous. Six ignition boxes in MSD’s 6 series for Muscle cars: How to select the right one For the average street-strip enthusiasts with...

Garlits in renaissance: Eighty-two year old sets quarter-mile record with electric dragster and targets 200mph

By Ben Mozart, June 30, 2014 Almost fifty years ago, in August of 1964, Don Garlits distinguished himself as the first man to reach 200mph over a quarter-mile distance from a standing start. His current challenge is to repeat the achievement under electrical power. On April 30, 2014, at IHRA’s Bradenton Motorsports Park, Florida, the 82-year–old drag racing legend and 17-time world champion set the quarter-mile record for an electrically powered dragster. He recorded a pass of 7.258 seconds at 184.01mph in the Swamp Rat 37, surpassing the previous record of 7.95 at 156.00mph. Currently, the chassis has been returned to Lawless Industries, the electric motor specialists in Ohio, where they are carrying out revisions to the drive systems that link the dragster’s six motors. In an earlier pass, sand entered an electric motor when the dragster penetrated a sand trap. “Despite the failure of one of the motors on the last run, the incremental times looked really good,” said Garlits, Work should be completed and the car returned to Florida by July 14, at which time they will set a date for their next record attempt, which is likely to take place at Bradenton around July 15 to 18. The Swamp Rat 37, which is powered by a 1,500-amp lithium polymer battery pack constructed by High Tech Systems of Aurora, Colorado, was built by Brad Hadman and project manager Mike Gerry who is based in Las Vegas. Garlits’ legacy? “This challenge is very important to me,” explained Garlits. “It has been 50 years since I broke the 200mph barrier in Top Fuel and I would like to do...

For the best of fun, take a chance on Chump Car racing

By Freddie Heaney, June 23, 2014, Photography by Moore Good Ink Should you be lucky enough to receive an invitation to take part in a Chump Car endurance race, jump at the chance! Most of us admire those who hit upon a big idea and, commendably, Chump Car racing meets this criterion for in popularity the concept has been remarkably successful. Informal and agreeable, the organizers are fair minded and laid back. But most of all they do their best to keep the racing fair and affordable—adamant it should be equitable for all participants for they know motor racing can be ruinously expensive. Predictably this is a major part of its appeal. Its least appealing aspect is the outward appearance of most of the competing cars, some of which are disgusting. Although ingenuity abounds, few of these $500 racing cars present themselves as beacons of engineering delight or exhibit any flair for concours d’elegance. In fact the Cougar that won the Summit Point, West Virginia endurance race, held June 21, was blight on the landscape, what sponsor would wish to be aligned with such ugliness, what photographer would desire to have such an abomination residing within the Nikon? Still, the Cougar was adeptly driven, easily recorded the fastest laps and won by a far margin. Unrivaled. Further, it was a joy to see American Iron succeed so competently on a circuit that seemed initially more suitable for the deftness of the BMW. It was also quite the triumph that so many cars finished the race, after being hammered relentlessly for ten successive hours. What can you expect from Chump...

Ever wonder how your muscle car would feel with LeMans sportscar steering?

By Fergus Ogilvy, Photographs by Moore Good Ink: –Unique pulley kit: well-weighted, beautifully geared & admirably precise –For street rods, custom cars & trucks, Muscle cars & road race machines –Internal machining tolerances, & even pulley surfaces, held to 0.0002in Kennesaw, Georgia: KRC Power has introduced a new and distinctly different 6-rib serpentine pulley kit for LS engines. It includes a race-bred competition hydraulic power steering pump originally proven on 24-hour Le Mans sports racing cars. The kit is offered for LS-powered street rods, custom cars and trucks as well as Muscle cars and road racing applications. With internal machining tolerances held to 0.0002in., this fully in-house built aluminum pump with integrated reservoir uses no OEM parts and is well-weighted, beautifully geared and admirably precise. In addition, its high standards offer generous adjustment. In fact its genius probably lies in its response to tuning. Similar to changing jets in a carburetor, a selection of nine flow control valves is available to adjust the steering feel to personal preference. Beyond this, the pump has access to two different diameter pulleys: 6.0in and 6.5in. Determined by the size of the GM harmonic balancer, they offer the ability to spin the power steering pump at its optimum speed, which is 2,500 to 4,500rpm. In this rev band the pump achieves minimum horsepower consumption and maximum output. Importantly, the pulleys are slipped onto a splined drive, unlike most pulleys that are press-fitted and require a puller for removal. Most LS enthusiasts know that the engines operate with one of three pulley offsets. These are largely determined by the design of the original GM...
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