Competition piston rings and what the OEMs taught us

Competition piston rings and what the OEMs taught us

By Sam Logan:   In our racing world we tend to think of ourselves as the elite corps. But in pistons and more particularly piston ring design, it is not our racing brains that are the driving force but those of the Original Equipment Manufacturers. It would be a glum glimpse of the US racing industry if nothing changed. But it has and nothing could be more illustrative of change than ring development. In fact, if we’re not careful our tow vehicles will operate with 1 x 1 x 2mm ring packs before our race cars. And it’s not just skinny rings that’s been pioneered by the OEMs, the enduring cast iron top and second rings have been replaced by stronger and lighter steel types. Furthermore, thermal face coatings are being applied to top rings by high-velocity oxygen-fueled spray guns at supersonic speed. The force of the collision causes the face coating to become embedded in the rings. What are they seeking? Well, with regard to the thermal face coating, they are pursuing bond-integrity. Second, they are also constantly looking for improvements in overall strength and toughness of the top ring. And third they seek to lower the ring’s coefficient of friction; that is the ratio between the force necessary to move one surface over another and the pressure between the two surfaces. The high-velocity oxygen-fuel technique that applies the thermal face coatings allows the OEMs to run high-tech rings in their latest turbo applications. These are subjected to countless detonation incidents. Tod Richards, a ring specialist at MAHLE, a racer and a race engine builder marveled, “The rings...
Tough NMRA classes beg the question: What is a good clutch?

Tough NMRA classes beg the question: What is a good clutch?

By Fergus Ogilvy:   There are several schools of thought on the question of what constitutes a good clutch. But first there are two separate strands to this narrative that need to be addressed: street or track. It’s key to distinguish whether the car will be used mostly for high-performance street-travel or for track use and its purpose needs to be decided. In either case the clutch has to transmit the car’s horsepower and torque and a stock clutch assembly will flounder in thermal shock and abuse, even in a slightly modified car.   Let’s focus our attention for a moment on selecting a good clutch for a high-performance street car that visits the drag strip occasionally. In this pursuit, the first consideration is usually vehicle weight. Accurate information about the vehicle’s poundage not only guides to the proper selection of an adequate clutch but also has relevance in the selection of the most effective flywheel. Another necessary statistic is the amount of power being transmitted through the clutch. And third, let’s not overlook the gearing. Lastly, pay attention to the size and type of tire conveying the rotational energy to the road or track.   Flywheels and a simple gearing formula Lighter flywheels provoke engine speeds to accelerate and decelerate quicker while the opposite is true of heavier flywheels. Heavier street cars usually benefit from a heavier flywheel, which maintains its advantageous momentum—it inhibits engine speeds from descending too quickly. However, shedding 10 to 15lbs of mass from the rotating assembly of a properly geared vehicle has a pronounced effect on its responses. Hence, lightweight, high-revving race cars...
World’s most powerful Y-block

World’s most powerful Y-block

“To the best of my knowledge,” said Jon Kaase, “prior to last year’s Engine Masters Challenge, the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford Y-block engine produced around 600 hp.” This enduring feat, however, was substantially exceeded on January 17, 2016, when Kaase’s efforts raised the peak power record to 709 hp @ 6,300 RPM and 748-lb.ft. of torque at 5,400 RPM. Read the full story compliments of Hemmings Muscle Machine’s July 2016...
Competition Connecting Rods

Competition Connecting Rods

24 things you need to know. By Sam Logan: Nothing undermines the legitimacy of a connecting rod maker more than a deficient batch of rods. They agonize 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. Read the full story as published in Engine Professional...
Just Like the Original, Only Better.

Just Like the Original, Only Better.

AutoMeter’s line of direct fit mounting solutions continues to expand with the inclusion of these high quality, American made, billet aluminum dash panels. Precision engineered for a perfect fit, these panels drastically simplify the process of gauge installation while providing a clean, timeless look. It’s never been easier to add the accuracy and quality of AutoMeter gauges to your project. Checkout the complete lineup of applications for your classic at AUTOMETER.com. Products 7033        Dash Panel, Chevy Car 55-56, 1 x 3-1/8″ & 4 x 2-1/16″, SR Bezel, Billet 7034        Dash Insert/Adapter, Chevy Car 59-60, 1 x 5″, Billet 7035        Dash Insert/Adapter, Mustang 65-66, 1 x 3-3/8, 4 x 2-1/16″ 7036        Dash Panel, Chevy Truck 55-59, 1 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7037        Dash Insert/Adapter, Chevy Truck 54-55, 2 x 5″, Billet 7038        Dash Insert/Adapter, Chevy Car 51-52, 2 x 5″, Billet 7039        Dash Insert/Adapter, Chevy Truck 47-53, 2 x 5″, Billet 7042        Dash Panel, Chevy Car 53-54, 1 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7043        Dash Panel, Chevy Truck 64-66, 2 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7044        Dash Panel, Nova 62-65, 1 x 3-1/8″ & 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7045        Dash Panel, Chevy Truck 67-72, 2 x 4-5/8″, 4 x 2-5/8″, Billet 7046        Dash Panel, Ford Truck 48-50, 1 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7047        Dash Panel, Chevy Truck 60-63, 2 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7048        Dash Panel, Ford Truck 53-55, 2 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Billet 7049        Dash Panel, Chevy Truck 55-59, 1 x 3-1/8″, 4 x 2-1/16″, Black...