Steering feel: In all probability 90% of oval track racers don’t know how to acquire it

Steering feel: In all probability 90% of oval track racers don’t know how to acquire it

By Archie Bosman–  Kennesaw, GA: Using the correct flow valve: Electric steering in mass-produced road cars is now widespread. It is a little like ethanol in our fuel: you’ll be hard pressed to find an enthusiast who favors it yet we are stuck with it. But actually we aren’t. Hydraulic power steering systems that provide superior feel are still readily available to the racer. However, it is not widely known that steering pumps can be tuned for more feel or alternatively for more assistance. Optimizing feel to the racer’s steering is a bewildering task for most of us. But KRC Power Steering accomplished it by introducing a range of replaceable flow control valves for their hydraulic steering pumps. The flow control valves, nine in number, perform a function similar to that of jets in a carburetor. In varying their flow from 4 to 12 liters per minute, approximately one to three gallons, the largest orifice provides maximum steering assistance while the smallest provides maximum steering feel. Though the standard KRC pump flows 8 liters per minute, by using flow control valves with larger orifices, those marked B, C, D, or E, the flow rate can be increased to 12 liters per minute (3.17gals) in one-liter increments. The higher letter indicates greater hydraulic assistance, although less feel. In contrast, flow valves marked with numbers 4, 5, 6, and 7 provide less assistance; the lower the number, the greater the feel but the less assistance. Momentary loss of power or “pump catch” So how do you achieve optimum steering feel? According to KRC’s Ken Roper you reduce the size of flow...

World’s first sequential retrofit transmission for Corvette:

By Ben Mozart –  Photos by Moore Good Ink: Reece Cox is a man who immerses himself in details. For nineteen years he has served Corvette and Camaro owners, supplying them primarily with race parts. In the early nineteen nineties, he functioned as crew chief at Morrison Motorsports, running the Mobil 1 Corvettes. Now he is introducing the world’s first sequential retrofit transmission for the Corvette and all others with front-mounted Tremec T-56 transmissions. The purpose of his new gearbox is simple: gear shifts are executed in 10 to 20 milliseconds. Camaro, Mustang, Viper—in fact, conversions for all front-mounted Tremec T-56 transmissions soon to follow Marietta GA: MTI Racing has pioneered the world’s first 6-speed sequential transmission for C5 and C6 Corvettes. Operating in the stock transmission casing, its chief purpose is to accomplish exceedingly fast no-lift clutchless shifting. A direct bolt-in dog-engagement transmission, the service will soon extend to Camaro, Mustang, and Viper—in fact all front-mounted Tremec T-56 and T-6060 transmissions. Using the original Tremec gear case, MTI converts the internals and the H-pattern shift mechanism to full sequential operation. Introduced initially for the Corvette, it maintains the original mating surfaces and operates with the original mountings, clutch, slave cylinder, and drive-shafts. Its two key advancements are its strength and most of all its shifting speeds. Shift times with the original equipment require about a second. With dog engagement shift times are reduced to 0.30 to 0.40sec, depending on shift lever ratio. But when accompanied by an electronic paddle-shift mechanism, this dog-engagement design will affect a shift in 10 to 20 milliseconds (100th to 200th of a second). But...
What makes turbocharged race engines so appealing? Actually, it’s rampant power & low maintenance

What makes turbocharged race engines so appealing? Actually, it’s rampant power & low maintenance

By Titus Bloom, Photography by MGI and Pro Line, Ball Ground, Georgia: In the lightning fast drag racing category known as Pro Mod three different types of power units compete: nitrous assisted, supercharged and turbocharged. Pro Line Race Engines are specialists in the latter and they burst upon the drag racing scene like few before it. After frenetic activity over the past nine years, Pro Line not only came under new ownership in 2005 and moved factory from Woodstock to a spacious 24,000sq ft facility in Ball Ground, Georgia in 2011, but also their engines won the NHRA Pro Mod championship in 2012, won Indy in 2011, laid claim to the world’s fastest Pro Mod eighth-mile speed (221mph-3.56secs), and still hold the NHRA quarter-mile ET and speed record when Melanie Troxel recorded 5.77-258.71mph at Englishtown 2011. When Doug Patton (49) and Eric Dillard acquired ownership of Pro Line in 2005, Eric was only 22 years old. He had started three years earlier under Doug as a helper. “He doesn’t have any college training,” says Doug, “but he has a knack for running the business. We currently employ a workforce of around fifteen—seven or eight in the machine shop and seven or eight in the sales offices.” Even though the machine shop maintains the same number of employees, component sales account for eighty percent of their business. How did this come to pass? As the Amish would say, it wonders me. Establishing a niche—the turbo advocate Pro Line specializes mostly in twin turbocharged technology, but more than this they specialize in the complete turn-key combinations, which include the race motor,...
How Kaase created a cylinder head for modern street-strip use

How Kaase created a cylinder head for modern street-strip use

Written by Moore Good Ink. If you were engaged in a conversation with a barmaid and she asked you to illustrate differing valve angles and to explain their relevance in simple terms, you might be challenged. So here’s how it’s done. In addition we depict the cylinder head’s short-turn radius and describe its merits, identify the deck thicknesses and indicate its benefits, and characterize the difference between a standard port and a raised port. Free beers all round please!   Valve angles:  These cutaways provide an invaluable insight into the evolution of Ford Windsor cylinder heads, particularly the induction tracts. At the top a high performance Ford cast-iron GT 40 cross-section is depicted; in the middle the induction section of a high quality 225cc aftermarket cylinder head; and at the bottom Kaase’s innovative P-38. The intake (and exhaust) valve angles of the top and middle examples are inclined to 20 degrees from the deck face whereas the intake valve of the P-38, in contrast, adopts a much reduced angle of 8.5 degrees. Its exhaust valve is set at 10 degrees. Thus all valve tips are inclined inward toward the induction system. However, unlike the top two, the P-38 additionally adopts a cant angle: intake 4.5 degrees and exhaust 4 degrees. This means the tip of the valves also leans either fore or aft (frontward or rearward). Induction shapes It’s odd isn’t it, for you’d think the induction tracts of the top two cutaways offer the fastest route for induction gases traveling to the cylinders? In fact, they probably do just that as eight percent of the gases moving toward...
How Renault F1 won a World championship by creating the tuned mass damper

How Renault F1 won a World championship by creating the tuned mass damper

By Fergus Ogilvy: At the end of the last century, probably the autumn of 1999, senior R&D man at Renault F1, Dave Hamer, was asked to investigate what could be done to stabilize their wind tunnel model. At that time it was a half-scale model, fifty percent the size of their current Formula One car, and it had a tendency to yaw (move laterally) during wind tunnel testing. Previous attempts at reinforcing the supporting strut had failed; to their dismay they had succeeded only in increasing its natural frequency of oscillation. “The supporting strut is particularly under-damped,” explains Hamer, “therefore, it was easily triggered into oscillation.” Could a mass damper stabilize the model in the wind tunnel? To oppose or eradicate the oscillating forces, he suggested the use of a tuneable mass damper, similar in concept of those placed at the top of some skyscrapers to protect them from the effects of earthquakes. The Taipei 101 skyscraper uses a tuned mass damper that weighs 800 tons. “We hired a specialist company to conduct a stability analysis of the model,” said Hamer, “and our drawing office designed some devices, but with negligible results. Confined space within the model was the chief impediment.” Then four and a half years later, in 2004, another attempt was made. By now the wind tunnel and the work performed within it was more refined. Significantly, the R&D department had access to a vibration specialist, who was on loan from Renault at the time, and between him and Benetton’s then Head of the race team’s R&D department, Robin Tuluie, they introduced a leaf spring to address the instability of...