SEMA recollections: a positive narcotic for the masses

SEMA recollections: a positive narcotic for the masses

By Freddie Heaney: It is hard to think of the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) greatest moments during their herculean 2015 show, November 3-6. Held as it has been since 1977 at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, it throbs with an unflagging appetite for growth. The combination of the SEMA exhibition and Las Vegas, a venue never denounced for its subtle flair brought broad appeal. Marking its 49th consecutive event, the four-day show attracted more than 140,000 individuals. From the compulsive youth to all levels of visiting management—potentates  to 60,000 buying companies—tens of thousands of them ambled along the congested corridors and outdoor enclosures with an adventurous spirit. Mind you, the exhibitors’ appearance today is much more raffish than yesteryear; a time when they presented themselves in suits and ties. Spiffy or not, there’s no arguing with SEMA’s captivating business model for it is immensely successful and hence one imagines no easing of the reigns in sight. But if your interest lies mainly in frequenting the Racing and Performance areas but unwittingly wandered into the abyss of truck conversions, wheels, tires and myriad other accessories, you would discover its vastness overwhelms—much to the consternation of many exhibitors. The notion of seeing the entire show in three days, not to mention the simultaneous AAPEX exhibition, the Sands Expo, isn’t viable, which is the part that bothers some exhibitors. But what can the organizers do as increasing numbers apply to join the club, including a sizable proportion from the Orient? Somehow these newbies need to be accommodated, and accommodated they were this year with the erection of a new large...
How to perform a cylinder leak-down test

How to perform a cylinder leak-down test

Ray Bohacz is a journalist in the automotive field and author of CarTech’s book “How to tune and win with Demon Carburetion”. He is also a monthly contributor to Hemming’s Muscle Machines magazine. Additionally, Ray writes short articles for the agriculture industry and is featured in a series of videos as the SF (Successful Farming) Engine Man. His videos introduce brief, informative features which apply to both farm and automotive equipment. A leak-down test measures air pressure that escapes around closed valves or piston rings in diesel or gasoline engines – information particularly useful for street engines. Cylinder leaks greater than 15 – 20% are considered excessive and can result in lower power or an unstable idle. Here in fewer than 2 minutes, Ray shares valuable information on performing a cylinder leak-down test. Click here or on the video to view....