RAM introduces new, lighter racing flywheels for single-disc clutches: Durability increased with 6 friction inserts

By Fergus Ogilvy In the autumn of 2012 Ram heralded a change in the design of aluminum pressure rings of some competition clutch cover assemblies: they added steel segments that could expand and contract and thus avoid the adverse effect of distortion. This year they have applied similar technology to their new aluminum competition flywheels. Please see my attached release for details.     Columbia SC: Six steel friction-inserts lay at the heart of Ram Clutches’ latest lightweight aluminum drag racing flywheels for single-disc clutch systems. Developed as a direct-replacement item for sintered iron or metallic clutches, the chief motivation for employing friction inserts is their resistance to warping or distortion. Inevitably, as the threat of distortion recedes and heat dissipation improves, durability increases. Available for small-block and big-block Chevrolets and Fords the new flywheels offer an overall weight reduction of 5 pounds or more. Reduced mass lowers the polar moment of inertia thus improves acceleration. It also induces less wheel spin. Fully machined in-house from 7075 material, these flywheels use the same friction inserts successfully employed in Ram’s aluminum pressure rings. Furthermore, they are easily serviced in the field as they are mounted with screws from the rear side. Around the perimeter of the flywheel are a series of holes that accommodate tubular stands and press-in Grade 8 hardware to attach the pressure plate. This arrangement, which includes shims between the stands and the pressure plate, offers convenient ring height adjustment. In addition, to prevent wear while removing and reinstalling the flywheel, hardened inserts are used in the mounting holes that attach it to the crankshaft. Also worth...

BrakeShot™ – First new additive to fight corrosion by Phoenix Systems

By Archie Bosman It’s normal to consider the brakes of passenger cars and tow vehicles to be as safe and reliable as an airliner. Then out of the blue it seems your assessment is skewed as a severe shake enters the steering, even the foot box and the seats aren’t immune from the tumult. How did this happen so suddenly? It’s got to be an out-of-balance wheel, but it isn’t. Instead, a front caliper had gradually seized and warped a brake disc. Here is news from Phoenix Systems about their superb new product BrakeShot. DOT approved it prevents the conditions that cause brake parts to behave badly. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ St George, UT: Phoenix Systems has announced BrakeShot, the first new brake fluid additive designed to fight corrosion induced by the harmful effects of copper. DOT approved and specifically formulated to retard copper corrosion in the braking system, BrakeShot prevents sticking calipers, ailing master cylinders, and other ABS braking troubles brought about by corrosion and high copper levels in the brake system. To determine if BrakeShot can cure a contaminated system, use BrakeStrip to determine the copper parts per million (ppm) in the brake fluid. BrakeStrip is a 60-second brake fluid test that turns shades of purple according to the level of copper in the braking system. If the strip indicates a copper level of between 50-175ppm, simply add a one-ounce bottle of BrakeShot to the master cylinder. After 50-100 miles of driving, BrakeShot will re-energize the corrosion inhibitors to protect all the metals in the entire brake system and prevent further corrosion. If, however, the test strip indicates 200ppm or...

The odd psychology of some satellite navigation systems or what makes it tick

              I have a little Satnav It sits there in my car A Satnav is a driver’s friend It tells you where you are. I have a little Satnav I’ve had it most my life It’s better than the normal ones ‘Cos my Satnav is my wife. It gives me full instructions Especially on how to drive “It’s thirty miles-an-hour”, it says “You’re doing thirty-five.” It tells me when to stop and start And when to use the brake And tells me that it’s never ever Safe to overtake. It tells me when a light is red And when it goes to green It seems to know instinctively Just when to intervene. It lists the vehicles just in front And all those to the rear And taking this into account It even specifies my gear. I’m sure no other driver Has so helpful a device For when we leave and lock the car It still gives its advice. It fills me up with counselling Each journey’s pretty fraught So why don’t I exchange it And get a quieter sort? Ah well, you see, it cleans the house, Makes sure I’m always fed, It washes all my shirts and things And keeps me warm in bed! Despite all these advantages And my tendency to scoff, I only wish that now and then I could turn the bugger...
Competition Connecting Rods – Only the Strong Survive.

Competition Connecting Rods – Only the Strong Survive.

By Sam Logan: Nothing undermines the legitimacy of a connecting rod maker more than a deficient batch of rods. He agonizes constantly about heat treatments, high revs, heavy pistons, heavy pins, the number of race laps between rebuilds, but probably most of all whether or not nitrous is being sprayed. It’s a complicated business determining minimum weight while yielding maximum strength, enough to withstand the abuse sustained by the average race motor. Dyer’s Top Rods overcomes these special problems with their connecting rods by forging them in 4340, a very tough material with high nickel and high molybdenum content. In fact, the chemical constituents of the rods are almost identical to the dies from which they are forged. Probably the chief reason they consistently withstand high impact loads at high temperatures is because they are subjected to a special heat treatment, a painstaking process closely governed in a batch furnace. To this end, controlled quenching and elaborate racking procedures maintain the stability of the connecting rods during the procedure.  Though Magnaflux testing (which uses dust in a magnetic field to reveal cracks on the rod’s surface) has been in use for decades, “It was sonic testing that had the most profound effect on the quality of Dyer’s Top Rods,” says company president, Roger Friedman. In use for most of this decade, sonic testing is characterized by a sound wave transmitted through the metal, revealing any hidden internal inclusions. Under high stress conditions, inclusions or ‘cold shuts’ can be fatal to the connecting rod’s longevity. For performance as well as practical and economic reasons, most competition small-block V8 engine builders...