Electricity and the modern nitro car

By Sam Logan, June 02, 2014 There aren’t many people you can engage in conversation about the old days of drag racing like Mongoose McEwen. Though drag racing brought him to prominence, McEwen is defined as much as anything by his selfless behavior—a kindly man with none of the racer’s avid self-absorption—his upbeat humor and his remarkable memory. “In the old days, at least up till 1952,” he explains, “we acquired our engines from junk yards. Flat-head Ford V8s or Oldsmobile Over Head Valve V8s were often the favorites. But when Chrysler, Plymouth and DeSoto introduced the Hemi we switched. “We used to tune using the spark plug’s heat range. We’d start the engines on Powertips, which featured an electrode and porcelain that protruded from the tip. Then we’d change to a cooler plug when the engine warmed. One night at Orange County we forgot to change them and were amazed at how well the engine ran. So we figured in future we’d run with the hotter Powertips, and increase the fuel volume. “At that time Top Fuel and Funny Cars operated with fuel pumps that delivered 10 or 11 gallons of fuel per minute; today Top Fuel cars deliver 120gpm. Can you imagine filling two 55-gallon drums in a minute? The trick is to put a lot of fuel in the cylinders, generate huge cylinder pressures, and ignite it—that’s where the power comes from: lots of fuel, lots of compression, lots of electricity. Looking for used car dealership? On https://www.autozin.com are a different kind of car dealer with simple pricing, professional people and low-pressure sales approach. “Our Fuel...
Combine an electrified turbocharger with a battery pack, you’ll scarcely believe the effect!

Combine an electrified turbocharger with a battery pack, you’ll scarcely believe the effect!

By Freddie Heaney: If you reduce engine displacement by 50 percent, add an electrified turbocharger and connect it to an on-board battery pack what do you get? Amazingly…the same fast lap times while using 35 percent less fuel—and the elimination of turbo lag! We live in fascinating times. For the 2014 racing season Formula One teams encountered their biggest challenge in decades. Generating toward 800hp, the former naturally aspirated 2.4 liter V8 racing engines, which had been revving to over 20,000rpm and more recently limited to 18,000rpm, were replaced by smaller, turbocharged 1.6 liter 90-degree V6 units accompanied by an on-board battery pack. The battery pack generates a further 160hp and uses an energy recovery system (ERS) to keep the battery charged. Assuredly, the changes have brought an abundance of new technologies in its wake. What was the purpose? These efforts have been devised as an environmental gain by the sport’s ruling body, the FIA, to reduce fuel consumption to 100 kilograms (220lbs) per race. Races are limited to a maximum of 2 hours in duration. Under the new regulations refueling stops are no longer permitted. Miraculously, the new power units can complete a full race distance within seconds of last year’s times while using 35 percent less fuel thanks largely to the ERS. The ERS recharges the battery pack by motor-generators connected to the electrified turbo and to the braking system. The function of the motor-generators is determined by the direction in which the electricity is flowing. If the electricity turns the shaft it functions as a motor. But if the engine spins the shaft it functions as...

Engine blocks have changed, so have cylinder honing practices: Here’s how to apply new procedures and gain power.

By Alfie Bilk, May 25, 2014 In the past two decades the metallurgy in engine blocks has changed—and not by a small amount. Cylinders are now much harder and with modern honing practices they accommodate rings that are much thinner, lighter, and lower in tension—often with exotic coatings. In addition, lubricating oils have been modified significantly to reduce friction and viscosity. All of this has contributed to new power generated by the engine block, but to take advantage of it, new honing procedures have to be adopted. The techniques employed for the past twenty years are rapidly becoming unsustainable. Compare the production finish and standards of the engine cylinders of modern mass-produced automobiles. Yesteryear’s GM, Ford and Chrysler were typically rated at 18 to 22Ra. Today’s GM LS, Ford Modular and Chrysler Hemi engines measure 8 to12Ra. But that’s not all; the car factories anticipate further reductions to 6Ra in the near future. Modern cylinder honing is confirmed by measurements: Rpk, Rk and Rvk Harder engine blocks and affordable profilometers—the devices that precisely measure the surface finish of the cylinders—have changed honing procedures immensely and with it our understanding of oil retention and ring seal. Even the measuring standard Ra (arithmetic average of roughness) is becoming obsolescent, being replaced by three more effective standards: Rpk (Peak roughness); Rk (Core roughness) and Rvk (Valley roughness found below the core roughness). “Almost always,” says Tom Boucher of Boucher’s Racing Engines, “people are honing much rougher than they think. When you have a rough bore it retains too much oil for modern light-tension low-drag racing rings and they cannot seal correctly and...

Two new upgraded clutch assemblies for 2014 Corvette C7

By Alfie Bilk, May 26, 2014 In the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours event, June 14-15, Corvette Racing has much reason for optimism. Their new C7 machine has won the last two rounds of the GT Le Mans class of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship held at Mazda Raceway (Laguna Seca) and Long Beach. But for road-going Corvette C7s Ram has introduced two new clutch-flywheel assemblies to manage the full potency of power adders delivering up to 1,000hp and beyond. –Necessity with power adders -Organic disc series transmits up to 800hp -Metallic disc series transmits up to1,000 to 1,100hp Columbia, SC: As sales of the new C7 Chevrolet Corvette build, Ram Clutches has developed two new 10.5in dual-disc upgraded clutch–flywheel systems. They are devised to transmit the increases of aftermarket power adders: potent superchargers, turbochargers and nitrous oxide. Consider the proposition offered by Ram. Identified by their greater clamping power, the new clutch systems are direct replacements for the original 10in dual-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel. Consider also they demonstrate lighter weight and transmit the added power output effortlessly through the pedal. The increased clamping capacity is generated by greater static pressure and the use of two advanced friction materials: 300 series and 900 series. When used with conventional tire compounds, gearing and weight, the 300-series—an organic friction material—transmits up to 800hp. The more aggressive 900 series, a metallic base, transmits up to 1,000 to 1,100hp. Both systems are supported with urethane encapsulated springs, which resist four times the compression rate of uncoated springs. Ram’s new cover assembly, which is equipped with a nodular iron pressure ring, comes with the...

When racing ends this is how it might happen

By Freddie Heaney, May 17, 1014 Russian chess Grandmaster and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov once boasted he would never lose to a machine, but that is exactly what happened in May 1997, when he suffered defeat while competing against an IBM supercomputer known as Deep Blue. Fourteen years later BMW has released footage of a car that orchestrates elegant four-wheel drifts on the very ragged edge of traction. This is probably no surprise since the German car company, in common with most US car makers, has remained largely committed to the high performance rear-wheel-drive concept. But there is news: This BMW, however, requires no driver in the car to accomplish it—it’s autonomous. Remote and independent it uses highly sophisticated 360-degree radar with ultra-sonic sensors and cameras to make the driving decisions. Furthermore, it can be programmed to lap race tracks with the finest clinical efficiency. One wonders when these vehicles become available what our car racers will do. Will we call our sport “classic racing” as the chess people refer to their game? And what will our beloved traffic enforcement authorities do? Their practice of concealing themselves in dark, secluded, or unexpected places anticipating a willful or errant speeder could be obsolescent. As a result the days of their revenue-generating activities, via a highway chase, could be virtually extinct. Though we remain occupants within the motor vehicle, its speed will be sensibly set at the legal limit and we are busy computing while commuting instead of driving. You will create text messages and conduct phone calls and in festive times tell the long-suffering dedicated driver to imbibe a...