Opening the car from afar: a neat trick

Opening the car from afar: a neat trick

By Martha Maglone: The wave length of the electronic car key is limited to a certain distance. But here is a remarkable trick if you wanted to expand its range significantly—particularly handy when your car is parked among hundreds of others in a field at a race meet and you cannot find it! Watch the...
Ovality and other guarded racing piston shapes

Ovality and other guarded racing piston shapes

By Titus Bloom: Gibtec, makers of custom billet competition pistons reveals… Below their ring lands, pistons are neither round nor do they have parallel sides. Instead they have a larger diameter towards the bottom, between the base of the piston and the piston pin hole. They become progressively smaller toward the top of the piston, which is round because, to achieve proper sealing, round rings operate in round cylinders . The smaller diameter piston crown allows for greater expansion in a region closest to the heat source. Ovality, which means out of roundness, is necessary in all pistons to allow for thermal expansion. It also compensates for deflection of the piston skirt caused by side loads. Pistons are manufactured with single, double or triple ovality and the ovality is best measured by a precision roundness form measuring machine. Ovality in simple terms means the piston is narrower along the piston pin axis (the minor axis) than the thrust axis (the major axis). Because ovality is a function of heat, and therefore the growth the piston is likely to encounter, it is the amount of ovality assigned to a piston that’s the clever part. Ovality values differ, depending upon whether the engine is naturally aspirated, supercharged, turbocharged, or charged with nitrous oxide. Obviously, heat, cylinder pressures and side loadings are much less in the naturally aspirated engine and hence less piston ovality is required. Correct ovality usually manifests itself in the form of a bearing area. This is the area in the middle of the piston skirts that rides in the cylinder and it’s surrounded by a boundary of piston...
Irrepressible Force thinks Big!

Irrepressible Force thinks Big!

Oh how they scoffed when John Force indicated he’d personally fund the running of some of his own team cars this year in the NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Of all the noises known to man, car racing is the most expensive and they were fearful he was getting onto the slippery slope! Well, Wednesday afternoon’s announcement of new major sponsorship for Brittany Force’s Top Fuel efforts in the form of drinks heavyweight Monster Energy put an end to all of that. Unveiling the program’s significance is scheduled today, Friday May 15, at 12:30pm at the Atlanta Dragway. Mitch Covington, Monster VP of Sports Marketing:  “Monster’s marketing is built on three things mainly: that’s racing, music and girls. We think that fits great with drag racing. We’re just super excited to be back in this sport. As to how we got in with John Force Racing, you guys all know John Force is one hell of a salesman. I actually met him at a wedding party. This dude chased me down the whole time. But I got news for everybody. John Force didn’t sell this deal, it was his daughter Brittany and his other daughter...
Impressive diesel gains: 2.1lb weight-saving per cylinder

Impressive diesel gains: 2.1lb weight-saving per cylinder

Irvine, CA: At CP-Carrillo, two hybrid combinations are in the final stages of testing. One is designated for the common rail 5.9 liter Cummins using a Duramax pin size and compression height with a rod length of 0.856in longer than stock. The other combo is developed for the 6.6 liter Duramax, which comprises a long-rod diesel arrangement with a Top Fuel piston pin. The connecting rod is 0.202in longer than stock. The weight saving is not yet known on the Duramax combination, but news of an impressive 2.0lb approximate saving per cylinder has emerged for the Cummins. Though prototypes are already in use in Truck Pulling contests, CP-Carrillo’s long-rod combinations were initiated for drag racing. Company’s Rick Canning said that with the right camshaft installed the Cummins diesel will rev to 6,500rpm on the snap-of-a-finger. “It’s easily achieved,” he says, “when there is significantly less reciprocating mass attached to the crank!” The test Cummins, which was dynoed with a stock camshaft, generated 1,000hp @ 3,200rpm and produced 1,500lb ft of torque. What happens next? Apparently, the engine is to be re-cammed and installed in a truck puller. When CP-Carrillo created the new Cummins hybrid connecting rod 0.856in longer than the stock counterpart and incorporated a Duramax pin size, a reduction in pin diameter resulted: from 1.575in to 1.358in. The new pin is also shorter. The compression height is also changed from a stock Cummins to Duramax, which measures 1.946in. The difference between the Cummins compression height with the pin change is 0.856in. This instigated the longer connecting rod, which improved the rod-to-stroke ratio by reducing the side load on...
Garlits’ quest for 200mph on batteries takes temporary jolt

Garlits’ quest for 200mph on batteries takes temporary jolt

By Martha Maglone: Don Garlits’ quest for a 200mph quarter-mile record with a battery-powered twin-electric-motor dragster on April 17, 2015 at Bradenton, Florida failed. Though the Swamp Rat 37 recorded a speed of 176mph, it fell short of its earlier record run of 185.6mph when it was powered by six electric motors. Both Garlits and the Shawn Lawless team who prepare the car remain upbeat. During their attempts, Garlits’ suffered brake failure, causing him to run off the end of the track. But his main difficulties were that of electric motors that wouldn’t rev beyond 4,000rpm and one motor that suffered from overheating. “Having motors that would rev to 5,000rpm or better still 6,000rpm would be perfect,” said Garlits, “but that’s hard to get in electric.” Currently they are having a special set of gears manufactured—taller ratio for the two bigger motors. The gear Garlits refers to is similar to the 11in Ford arrangement used on nitro-fuel cars. Earlier the team had replaced the six electric motors with two of greater power and similarly upgraded the battery pack. Running six motors meant employing a big gearbox which according to Garlits, “sucked up a lot of horsepower.” Reducing the number of electric motors from six to two also lightened the car. “Everything seemed better for this attempt,” he said, “only the motors didn’t rev as I’d hoped.” During the record attempt, Garlits ran off the end of the track as a result of brake failure. “Actually, I ran off the end of that track once before when a chute failed. This time was no big deal, the chute had slowed...
Certified: California approves Motus MST/MSTR

Certified: California approves Motus MST/MSTR

By Bertie Scott Brown – Birmingham, Alabama: Motus motorcycles are now street-legal in all 50 states. On April 30, 2015, Motus Motorcycles was issued an Executive Order by the California Environmental Agency’s Air Resources Board (CARB) certifying all 2015 production Motus motorcycles as compliant with California emissions standards. A few days earlier, three 53ft trailers arrived with 110 pallets of 1650cc Baby Block American V4 engines, with their striking resemblance to half of a GM LS V8 motor. Motus also announced recently that all motorcycle testing and development as well as V4 engine assembly will be performed on-site at their headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. Though production begins at 30 machines per month, plus V4 Baby Block crate engine sales, future production will be aimed at 500 to 1,000 bikes per year. In addition to their endless road test programs, they have installed a chassis dynamometer to test entire motorcycles and also an in-house power train dynamometer to test their engines and gearboxes. Motus motorcycles as well as V4 crate engines are available through their nationwide network of dealers. Motus MST prices start at $30,975 For more information visit motusmotorcycles.com or...