Grass Bridge: Beacon of engineering prowess and daring act

Grass Bridge: Beacon of engineering prowess and daring act

By Archie Bilk: In racing we are keenly aware of load paths and forces. When we find more power, more downforce, more traction, it usually reveals more consequences—the next weakest link. Of course, this is the fascination that draws inquisitive minds to our industry. It is they who are our problem-solvers, and we survive on their astuteness. For centuries Peruvian villagers have been constructing a bridge from grass that is installed in three days and renewed every year. Their motivation was simple: natives needed to find a way to cross a wide, deep ravine and the most common material available to them was grass. The inspiration to convert grass into braided cords, ropes, and finally large diameter cables was the mark of considerable insight by the their ancient ancestors, the Inca, conquered by the Spanish in 1572. To view this brief yet captivating model of remarkable engineering click...
Drive Belts: How not to install them

Drive Belts: How not to install them

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.  Topic: drive belts When drive belts are first installed, their molecule structure conforms to the belt’s direction of travel. As a result, drive belts don’t perform well when fitted in the reverse direction. Here, in fewer than 75 seconds, Ray shares valuable information on installing a drive belt that was previously used. Click here or on the video to...
Wilwood Engineering’s New Tru-Bar Balance Bar Pedal System

Wilwood Engineering’s New Tru-Bar Balance Bar Pedal System

Camarillo, California: Wilwood’s Tru-Bar brake balance-bar system is now available in the eight popular pedal styles used in virtually all types of competition applications. Tru-Bar pedals use a fixed-trunnion bearing in the pedal arm with spherical rod-end bearing pushrod attachments. They provide ultimate precision, control and adjustment of the brake bias on race vehicles. Online casino for Aussies – https://i-casinos.net/casino/playamo-casino/. The new Tru-Bar pedals adopt the same chassis and master cylinder mounting arrangement as all Wilwood balance-bar-style pedals. A stronger and larger diameter 7/16-20 bar provides quicker adjustment and features a shouldered 3/8” diameter end to attach the standard remote adjuster cable for further proficiency. M.S.R.P. starts at $328.31. For more information contact Wilwood Engineering at...
What made the 75th Sturgis rally so memorable?

What made the 75th Sturgis rally so memorable?

By Martha Maglone: For the motorcycle dealership, Black Hills Harley Davidson, the 75th Sturgis Rally will remain indelibly in the memory, for they sold 602 motorcycles in ten days during this year’s anniversary event. Seventy-three machines were purchased in one day, a dealership record! Apparently, 85 percent of these buyers originated from outside the state of South Dakota. Notably, most Harley dealers don’t sell 600 bikes in two years. Motorcyclists are an enigma to most onlookers with their image poised somewhere between the ‘Wild One’ and fast, irresponsible road users. The Harley guy, with his outstretched feet set on pegs like shoe boxes four-feet apart in the evening sun, arms held high, chin in the air making enough noise to waken every sleeping child within a five-mile radius is often the antithesis of the sport-bike guy who tends to get his thrills from the machine’s acceleration, cornering and braking. Stealth—quietness—is usually the best strategy to realize his thrills without attracting the unwanted attention of the law. But in Sturgis, although the Harley community outnumbers the others by, perhaps, fifteen-to-one they all seek adventure together. And the adventure? Roaming the scenic beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota and eastern Wyoming for days. Because the terrain is one of such enticing contrast, varying from wide open prairies with grazing buffalo herds to tight, twisty well-surfaced roads, the entire experience deepens the delights of motorcycling. Co-founded by Pappy and Pearl Hoel, Sturgis is a motorcycling Mecca, an annual pilgrimage for its devoted followers. And this year, its 75th was the magnet for hundreds of thousands of like-minded souls who take...
Minimizing spark scatter in the Vintage race engine

Minimizing spark scatter in the Vintage race engine

By Sam Logan Photography by Moore Good Ink & V&B Engines Often Vintage racing engines exhibit excessive spark scatter caused by torsional vibration in the distributor drive system. To correct it Virkler & Bartlett adds a miniature flywheel to the system. They mold a series of rubber couplers with a range of Shore A hardness, which allows them to tune the system. Note rubber coupler glued within steel ring.       How to get the best from a Vintage engine ignition system Chatham, Virginia:Vintage racers are often forced to live with points-and-coil ignition. But the most successful know the shortcomings of the ignition system and have it corrected. For the past forty years or so electronic ignition has been the standard, but most Historic race cars produced before the 1970s are equipped with something other. Unfailingly, coil-and-points ignition systems work best when optimized mechanically and electrically. But how is it achieved? Vintage racers seem to run a little faster each year, and as compression ratios and engine speeds creep up, deficiencies in points-and-coil ignition systems can precipitate the perfect storm of performance problems. Background Just over one hundred years ago, the brilliant engineer Charles Kettering invented the ubiquitous battery-powered “points-and-coil” ignition system that first appeared on the 1910 Cadillac. Remarkably, it was used in most cars until the mid-1970s. An engine-driven mechanical cam operated a set of breaker points, switching electrical current to the coil which converted it to high voltage required to fire spark plugs. A rotor within the distributor routed high-voltage impulses to the correct spark plug. The condenser had the dual function of extending the...
HydraMat: Why expectations in fuel delivery are about to change

HydraMat: Why expectations in fuel delivery are about to change

By Ben Mozart: Bowling Green, KY: Holley’s new patent-pending HydraMat fuel system is unique. It can deliver the last droplet of fuel in a tank or cell through the introduction of two clever principles: fluid wicking and surface tension. The term surface tension refers to sealing the tiny pores of the HydraMat media with fuel in the same way water clings to the fine mesh of a screen door. This has the rewarding effect of accumulating and sequestering fuel in the reservoir, delaying any vapor intrusion until the fuel supply is exhausted. Wicking symbolizes capillary action, which promotes liquid flow in narrow spaces and small diameter tubes. Capillary action is impressive because the flow is unassisted; it even defies gravity. As a result it invests the HydraMat with the ability to draw fuel from any area that has contact with it. Designed to operate in stock fuel tanks or racing cells, HydraMat’s shapes and sizes vary from a single section to cross sections and from square- to rectangular-shaped mats. Obviously, its attributes are indispensible during low-fuel conditions and on inclines where fuel runs away from the pick-up. But also it is highly effective under hard cornering, acceleration and braking. Some years ago I remember the mood of an indignant racer robbed of a Daytona victory. When the car raced along the 31-degree banking the fuel supply was satisfactory but on the flat section as it approached the last corner on the last lap it died! Source: Holley Performance Products 1-866-464-6553 HydraMat info click...