The curse of the round wire lock

The curse of the round wire lock

By Bertie Scott Brown, January 28, 2015   When a round wire lock, the spring-loaded device that retains the piston pin within the pin towers, comes out while the engine is racing, it releases a fanatical frenzy, a chain of events that most engine builders describe as catastrophic. It is an insecurity within the racing engine most dare not think of. Recently, however, a Californian engineer shook the establishment, when he not only cured the curse but also devised an ingeniously simple method of installing and removing them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgdosv29Frk Karl Ramm, who has been engineering racing pistons for almost twenty years, has devised a new style of wire lock: the Kramm-Lox®. Characterized by its 90 degree tang, which resides within the existing pick lock notch, the Kramm-Lox importantly will not spin. Equally appealing, this non-rotating lock requires no modifications to the traditional piston. Furthermore, Ramm was also the inspiration behind a tool (Patent Pending) that makes them easy to install and remove. Also worth noting, the tool negates the danger of scratching the pin bore; it also removes the threat of eye injury, a comforting distinction from the notorious, flying spring-loaded locks! In addition, by keeping the wire lock stationary in the pin bore groove, Kramm-Lox avoid other self-destructive traits. If the traditional round wire lock rotates placing its gap at the top of the pin bore, particularly in high-revving long-stroke engines, the lock can distort and can pop out. The extreme jolt that occurs as the piston changes direction at the top of its stroke can momentarily change the shape of the lock. “I just started using Kramm-Lox,”...

John Force Racing joins with GM. Announces crew chief line-up

By Martha Maglone, February 1, 2015 YORBA LINDA, CA – Top talent Mike Neff will continue as crew chief for Robert Hight’s Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car, but John Force Racing (JFR) has announced promotions that will expand the youth and depth of its team positions.  Starting with the promotion of Jon Schaffer as crew chief of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force. Previously Schaffer worked with Mike Neff as his assistant crew chief, but the 27 year-old Californian will be making the calls on Force’s PEAK Camaro SS Funny Car beginning with testing in Phoenix. Long-time crewman Tim Fabrisi will be stepping up to assist Neff on the Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car. “We have developed the next generation of drivers,” said Force, “and now I want to do the same thing with our crew chiefs. We have so much young talent…I want to start giving these guys a chance to grow and develop their skills. Mike Neff, Ron Douglas, Dean Antonelli, Todd Smith and Dan Hood have a lot of experience and we want to continue to be competitive at a championship level. Guys like Jon Schaffer and Tim Fabrisi as well as new hires, Ronnie Thompson and Nick Casertano, will keep us young and on the cutting edge.” In addition to Schaffer’s promotion JFR has added car chief Nick Casertano to the PEAK Camaro SS Funny Car team. On the Top Fuel team led by Todd Smith, JFR has hired Ronnie Thompson to assist Smith with the Top Fuel dragster piloted by Brittany Force. Thompson was previously with Al-Anabi Racing working on Khalid AlBalooshi’s...

Kiwi magic: an infatuation with engine power

By Titus Bloom, February 4, 2015 In America we are continually impressed by the sheer numbers of racing enthusiasts in the little-populated large land of Australia. Dozens of Kaase Boss Nine hot rod engines have left our shores destined for the land Down-under. But have you ever contemplated the engineering accomplishments from the even smaller population of New Zealand? The World’s Fastest Indian Bert Munro was a phenomenon from Invercargill, located at the very tip of the South Island. He developed a 1920’s Indian motorcycle that became so successful on the Bonneville Salt Flats a movie was made to celebrate his achievements, many of which were financed in later life by his weekly pension. Munro’s Bonneville record of 1967 remains unbroken today. Then a generation later, John Britten emerged. Another Kiwi with a brilliant creative mind, Britten began his career as a sculptor and later as an outstanding architect. But in unaccountable contrast, for anyone who stood in the pits at Daytona in 1995 and witnessed his Britten 1000cc V-twin being started on the rollers, its irregular air-cracking staccato would remain indelibly in the memory. It competed against the best factory machines of the time and defeated them. Now, here’s Duke’s unique new concept:...

Autosport International Show: Radical RXC goes Spyder (open)

By Freddie Heaney, January 28, 2015 Birmingham, England: Fancy embarking on a great adventure? To occupy your mind in the grip of winter, you might consider the Autosport International show. It began in 1991 as the Racing Car show and has just celebrated its 25th anniversary this January. A pioneering concept originally, it revealed an era of optimism and energy, opening up an alluring world of racing cars old and new. It’s a venue where technology and industry and science and racing people flourish. Always based at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, the inaugural event attracted just 150 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors. Last year, by comparison, the four-day show enticed 600 exhibitors and 82,000 visitors. Presenting an enchanting mix of modern and classic exhibits, it’s the nostalgia flavor, apparently, that’s often the main draw. Like our own PRI event held annually in Indianapolis, the UK exhibition serves as the traditional precursor to every race season. Company head Phil Abbott said, “The reaction to the Spyder quite surprised me—this was probably the best show we have ever attended in terms of sales. The SR3 is also selling well and the RXC, our gull-wing coupe, has just been homologated.” http://www.evo.co.uk/videos/14926/autosport-show-highlights-ariel-nomad-radical-rxc-spyder-renault-and-morE Radical race cars arrived in the US at the turn of the century. Always elegant and fast, they quickly established six lap records in the SCCA 1-liter D-Sport division between 2000 and 2002, won the prestigious June Sprints as well as two successive Southeastern National championships. Today, Radical North America thrives through a nationwide network of dealers. To find out more click on the link below it’s worth a look!...
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