Seeking permanent end to exhaust gasket leaks?

Seeking permanent end to exhaust gasket leaks?

By Freddie Heaney:   How do you compete on the national stage—how do you rise from obscurity if you don’t advertise? Engine builders do it by word of mouth but for small manufacturers the process is more daunting: expensive and often hit-and-miss if not executed with some skill. In an attempt to survive these hazards, Remflex, the graphite exhaust gasket firm, applied to SEMA for the chance to make an appearance at last week’s MPMC conference and got lucky in their annual draw. In thickness, Remflex exhaust gaskets measure approximately 1/8-inch and compress by 50 percent when tightened between two surfaces. In so doing they fill leaky gaps in slightly warped or pitted flanges. Operational up to 3,000-degrees Fahrenheit, Remflex claims the flexible graphite, which is bonded to both sides of a thin stainless steel mesh core, has swelling properties that eliminate the need to re-torque. Guaranteed for six months, longer bolts are unnecessary. However, the three chief things to remember are, first, do not over-tighten them. Suggested torque ratings are listed on the box. Second, hold the gaskets properly. Though they are designed to withstand intensive clamping forces, do not bend them. If you do they’ll break. Lastly, don’t use sealers because they will rapidly burn and disappear, introducing an exhaust leak. Five hundred part numbers now available, the cost of a small-block Chevrolet gasket kit is $34.99   MPMC Background Each January, the MPMC introduces one hundred manufacturers to approximately three hundred members of the media. The customary venue is the Embassy Suites hotel in Orange County, California not far from John Wayne Airport. The manufacturers set...
2021: Vested interests, emerging technologies and the dangers of ignoring change

2021: Vested interests, emerging technologies and the dangers of ignoring change

Bertie S. Brown:   At a lunch table at last week’s MPMC conference, Cam Benty joined a seated media group. “In just four years’ time.” he said, “there’s a likelihood you’ll hardly recognize our automotive scene.” Benty, the editorial director of the magazine Power & Performance who was attending the SEMA event held each January in Los Angeles where 100 manufacturers meet the media, was referring to news from the VW Group who had recently formed a car/minibus company called Moia. An ancient name from the vast south Asian country India—Moia means magic and its aim is to exploit the many alluring opportunities in the emerging autonomous (no driver required) vehicle markets. As today with Uber, you will use your app to summon a vehicle. The purpose of Moia’s electric minibuses is to provide a service similar to taxi convenience for little more than a bus fare. They will shuttle about the major cities, pooling common journeys wherever possible to reduce emissions, congestion and cost. The trick in business is staying in business and developing a new concept—in this case ‘smart electric taxis’ that carry up to eight people—seems a fairly safe bet, especially useful for those who live in large towns and cities. Though the technology is near, the bigger hurdle will be gaining the approval of city authorities with extensive public transport networks already in place. Persuading governments to enact the required legislation is usually arduous. But the pace of change has never been suppressed for long. Last month while visiting the Auto Sport International show in England (originally the Racing Car Show), an Uber driver told...
Testing first small-block Ford Hemi

Testing first small-block Ford Hemi

By Alfie Bilk: If you were seeking a guidebook on how not to carve out a career in motor sport, Greg Brown’s story might be a good starting place. Following two years of studying numerous concepts and with a prototype partially complete, he undertook the daunting task of pioneering production Hemi cylinder heads for the small-block Ford engine in a scant period of just under four and a half months. The processes for developing the rare Hemi included complex scanning to gather CAD data, mobilizing a casting company to create the tangible form and developing a CNC program that would sculpt its final shape. Then, a head was urgently dispatched to Jesel to develop crucial rocker development. With an intuitive grasp of the technical and an eye for future opportunities, what had shaped Brown’s decision? “If I failed to display it at the 2016 PRI exhibition in Indianapolis, I could potentially squander a year,” he said. The performance-minded public, particularly those based in the Northeast is large and active and languishing for a further 52 weeks in obscurity was obviously not an attractive proposition. Even more astounding, word of the unique cylinder head would be released without any convincing proof of a single dyno test. There was simply no time. When the inaugural dynamometer test of the new heads, which were attached to a 427ci World Products block, was eventually undertaken in January 2017, the results were astounding: 604hp and 601lb-ft torque. Astounding because the initial set up was meant to deliver 10.5:1 compression ratio. However, final valve changes were made, which entailed moving the intake valve seats to...
Sponsorship guru: a contract-clincher like no other

Sponsorship guru: a contract-clincher like no other

By Martha Maglone: Zak Brown briefly attended the opening of this year’s Auto Sport International show in Birmingham, England. The traditional curtain-raiser of the international motor racing season, it was formerly known as the Racing Car Show and, held annually, has been running since the 1960s. Brown, a 45-year old Californian, is known as the man with the magic touch. This Formula One sponsorship guru has sealed deals that have shaped motor racing worldwide. So successful and so well connected, he was tipped to succeed the most influential man in motor sport, Bernie Ecclestone. Born in Los Angeles, Brown arrived in England almost penniless, just sufficient funds to buy tuition at the Jim Russell Racing School at the Leicestershire venue Donington Park near Derby. Under the tutelage of Richard Dean, an adept, former F3000 racer, the nineteen-year old Brown proclaimed at the end of the week he wanted to be a professional racing driver and live in England and said to Dean, “Can I stay with you for a couple of nights?” Who would have known that this relationship would endure and thrive and that Brown would go on to attract business connections that would make your mouth water. He formed JMI, Just Marketing International the world’s largest motor sport marketing agency and is widely credited with the highest profile deals, attracting the most new-money sponsors in the F1 paddock. Bizarrely, he didn’t attend college, “I’m not sure I could even spell it,” says Brown. “The business came out of a necessity to make a living because I wasn’t making a good living as a driver. The business came...
Balance of Power

Balance of Power

Harmonic Balancer Types and Tech. It’s easy to underestimate the cost of a deficient harmonic balancer. But they can have a profound effect on the fortunes of the able race engine—a natural enemy of crank and bearings. With the engine running, camshafts and crankshafts vibrate torsionally (in twist) and, as the saying goes, for every action there’s a reaction. Camshafts are affected by the forces related to the opening and closing of the valves while crankshafts by the combustion events. Each time the cylinders fire, torque is imparted to the crank, causing deflections—twisting it as much as 2 degrees. All of this partially complicates the timing of the valve openings as well as the cam and ignition timing to say nothing of the oppressive conditions in which the crank operates. Read the full story courtesy of Engine Masters...
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