New sprint car crate engine program using factory-sealed Chevrolet 602 and 604

By Bertie Scott Brown –  Boardman, Ohio: When Pace Performance discovered sprint cars in the northeast spent more time languishing in garages because owners couldn’t afford to race them, they decided to try a different approach. Last year, 2014, they prepared a Chevrolet Performance factory-sealed 602 and tested it over a full season of racing against traditional 305-powered machines. It proved competitive, finishing regularly in the top five, durable, and overcame the cost obstacles. This year they are launching their new crate engine program offering the 602 and 604. The 602 generates 400hp @ 5,600rpm and 440lbs ft of torque @ 3,800rpm and costs $3,975. The 604, on the other hand, is equipped with fast-burn aluminum cylinder heads and a more aggressive camshaft. Both engines are provided with a Crate Innovations crank balance hub and slip yoke assembly.       The process GM delivers the crate engines to Pace Performance with factory-sealed fasteners. Pace adds a cam spud to the rear of the camshaft which drives the fuel pump and power steering pump if required. Then their partner Race1, headed by Brad Hibbard, installs secondary cable seals on the existing engine fasteners and applies tamper-proof tape over the seals with a QR code. Should a tech inspector wish to scan it with a Smart phone, a page will appear that identifies every seal and its location as well as every serial number. Like to see a 602 sprint car in action? Click here. Eligibility of the 602 and 604 depends upon individual track owners and race series promoters, but the response so far, according to Pace Performance, has... read more

New 454cu in engine block: World Products launches formidable Windsor-style competitor

By Alfie Bilk:  Introducing a new engine block with big power potential, understandably, gives rise to a sense of occasion. First, consider the time and treasure invested in its creation. Also, consider the enormity of the engineering details and the designer who tirelessly examined hundreds of complex regions of the new casting. It’s an endeavor not for the faint of heart. But its culmination is exactly what we observed at the end of 2014 when, during the PRI exhibition in Indianapolis, World Products unveiled two innovative Ford-based blocks. Both defined as small-blocks they are distinguished mainly by their deck heights: one measures 8.2in., the other 9.5in. The 9.5 version displayed in finished form sported a displacement of 454cu in (7.4L), exhibited a host of advantages, and echoed the biggest engine news of the show. It is called Man O’ War. The Man O’ War block had existed previously, but when World Products was sold in late 2012 the new owners decided to entirely revise it. Now graced by new architecture and the brainchild of World’s Engineering Director, Dick Boyer, it accommodates the original 10-bolt cylinder heads as well as the latest aftermarket high-performance 18-bolt counterparts. Introducing six head bolts per cylinder combined with extra thick decks greatly reinforces gasket clamping. But its sporting credentials didn’t end there. Devoted to the idea that the new engine should be the strongest and most rugged, Boyer, an accomplished race engine builder and tuner, cast the new power unit in a 40,000psi iron alloy. He also increased the thickness of the main bearing webs, upgrading the front one by adding 0.080in and the... read more

Dramatic first ChumpCar endurance event of 2015

By Freddie Heaney – Road Atlanta, GA: ChumpCar staged its first nationwide event of the 2015 race season with a well-supported 14-hour endurance race. “Life has an expiry date,” as they say, “let’s do something!” Of the ninety-two entrants, some originating from as far away as Canada, the ChumpCar opener was won by a 1999 Saab driven by an upstate New York-based team called Tired Iron from Sauquoit. In fact, this same car triumphed at the 2014 ChumpCar Daytona event and yet another of their Saabs finished fourth at Road Atlanta. What’s their special quality you might ask? A reputation for building fast reliable Saabs and selecting fast evenly matched drivers—usually four. The trouble with flags Saturday, February 7, turned out to be a warm mid-winter day with blue skies, grateful enthusiasts escaping their snowy thermal prisons in the north and the promise of close, enjoyable racing. In fact, sometimes too close which precipitated a couple red-flag periods. The red flag carries a symbol of urgency, signifying all racers must come to an easy stop, pulling over to track edge and out of the way. But endurance racing, where hundreds of drivers participate, has by nature a potential for error: some proceed to stop as fast as possible with dramatic clouds of tire smoke, while others fail to pull over, blocking the track for those cars racing up behind. Even more sinister, perhaps, was the sight of the black flag, brandished around 5:45 just before nightfall. This compelled all racers to return to the paddock for a “Call-to-Jesus meeting.” With racecars parked in two neat, long lines along the... read more

Dazzling art of heel-and-toe

On modern racing cars, throttle blipping on down-shifts is activated by the paddle-shifting mechanism on the steering wheel. But during the last century it was the work of the driver’s right foot…

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Why people struggle with serpentine pulley systems

By Archie Bosman: When you decide to invest in a serpentine pulley system, many of which cost around $2,000 and beyond, naturally, you want your endeavor to be a potential award-winner. But the new system should not only look good but also fit well.  It is also crucial that the kit includes all the brackets, pulleys, accessories, belt, as well as power steering and air conditioning provisions. And if the manufacturer takes pride in their work you’ll find all the fasteners, spacers, and gaskets, individually identified. Joe Rode of Eddie Motorsports explains the basics and offers advice on how to select a competent serpentine belt system. To view the video of “How to Select a Serpentine System” click here: Source: Eddie Motorsports Inc Rancho, Cucamonga, CA 888-813-1293... read more

KRC launches new power steering fluid: their best ever!

By Bertie Scott Brown – Kennesaw, GA: KRC has introduced a unique, new power steering fluid. It breaks new ground in its reduction of fluid cavitation, noise and heat. Surviving heat hazards is a crucial breakthrough in fluid longevity. Under-hood temperatures in some racing vehicles can exceed 300 degrees Fahrenheit, precipitating power steering fluid renewal before each race. KRC’s new petroleum-based fluid also prevents corrosion and foaming within the system. Foaming causes an effect in steering systems similar to that of air in braking systems. Racers can now purchase KRC’s new fluid in a convenient six-pack, instead of the traditional twelve, or individually. The six one-quart containers usually complete three fluid changes. Now available from stocking dealers, KRC power steering fluid sells for $14.95 per quart. Background: a simple but decisive test Using a pump tester operating at 2,000rpm with 500psi pressure applied, KRC monitored the performance of various power steering fluids. As the fluids reached 240 degrees Fahrenheit, they recorded the elapsed time of temperature increases in 10-degree increments. They then released the entire 500psi pressure, which rapidly reduced the heat the pump emits and recorded the rate of decline. During testing KRC discovered synthetic fluids would perform admirably during the first test cycle. However, if after cooling, the same test was repeated, the performance of the synthetic fluid deteriorated and after several heat cycles it deteriorated significantly. Hence, they concluded that the properties of the synthetic fluid would break down as it passed 240 to 300 degrees where, in contrast, their new premium petroleum-based formula was more repeatable. How do you know when to change power steering... read more

Edelbrock announces new LS3 intake, bestows small-block Chevrolet engine in sweepstake contest and releases 2015 catalog

By Fergus Ogilvy – Torrance, CA: Edelbrock has expanded its LS intake manifold line with a new Performer RPM design. Devised for Gen IV LS engines with LS3, L92 and L76 rectangular port cylinder heads, it is ideal for carbureted LS2 or LS3 engines operating in the 1,500 – 6,500rpm range. Assigned part number 71197, the new intake incorporates a high-rise dual-plane design that combines a plenum optimized for square-bore carburetors. Weighing 14lbs the Performer RPM LS3 includes provision for mounting an MSD Ignition Timing Control Module and features passages for routing the coil wire harness. It’s also provided with a throttle and transmission bracket that operates with 700R-4, 200-4R and Turbo 350 transmissions. Conveniently, the intake manifold flange is machined for use with GM LS3, L92 and L76-style individual port o-ring gaskets. Win small-block Chevrolet engine: Sweepstake commemorating its 60th anniversary Shortly, one winner will receive a 60th anniversary edition Chevrolet small-block engine. It’s equipped with an Edelbrock Power Package top end and Enforcer Supercharger that generates 520hp. Entries close May 5, 2015. To sign-up go to 2015 catalog Lastly, Edelbrock has announced the release of their 2015 catalog which features 190 new products. Free, the latest 220-page volume can be ordered in print (#09215) or on CD (#09015); they can also be viewed online at   Source: Edelbrock, LLC. (888) 288-2892... read more

Short track ovals: Wilwood announces new GM D154 Metric Caliper

Alfie Bilk, March 1, 2015 These ultra-strong forged calipers are fully detail machined and stress-analysis tested. They provide the lightest overall weight with the highest resistance to deflection – even when compared to much heavier and bulky cast aluminum parts, bar none. The calipers feature an anodized finish, with low-heat conduction stainless steel pistons and positive retraction bore seals. Fluid inlets have been relocated to the center of the piston bore to eliminate any possible interference with the slide pins. Bleed ports at both ends accommodate left, right, front, or rear position mounting. Available with 2.00in or 2.50in pistons, Wilwood’s new high-end caliper costs only $112.20   Wilwood Partners with JJ Furillo of Ultimate Performance to Enhance Support Wilwood Disc Brakes has partnered with Ultimate Performance, a North Carolina-based suspension tuning and performance product supplier. The new program will support drivers at race events, including road racing and auto-cross competitions. As part of the partnership, Ultimate Performance owner JJ Furillo will travel to pro-touring events across the country providing technical support and guidance to competitors on tuning suspensions to match their driving style. Additionally, Furillo can recommend the best braking application setup to create the complete performance package. To contact JJ Furillo, call (610) 790-4071 or email him at read more

Mahle Motorsports Introduces Sportsman Drag Series PowerPak pistons for Chevrolet big-blocks

Fletcher, NC: Mahle Motorsports, a division of Mahle the world’s largest piston manufacturer, has introduced a new Elite Sportsman drag racing piston series for popular aftermarket competition big-block Chevrolet cylinder heads. Using lightweight, strong, true slipper-skirt forgings, Mahle’s emphasis is on power production and durability. By necessity they pay special attention to drag race-specific stress areas, notably skirts and ring lands. The pistons also feature dual coatings. A phosphate dry-film lubricant is applied to the entire piston followed by MAHLE’s proprietary GRAFAL® coating. Grafal is introduced to the skirts to minimize drag, scuffing, and cylinder bore wear. Other important considerations include gas porting and an advanced pin bore design as well as the piston’s profile and ovality geometries. Available singly or in packs of eight, with or without rings, and in bore sizes up to 4.630in. (0.030in overbore for 632cu in), the result is a custom-style, high feature piston with off-the-shelf availability. For more information, contact, or call toll... read more

Overnight success for electrical wizard

By Titus Bloom, January 27, 2015 Overnight success for electrical wizard – after 40 years of toil At last year’s SEMA exhibition, in early November, the Chester, Pennsylvania electrical firm Ron Francis Wiring suddenly became the authority when it won the New Street Rod Product of the Year award for the striking innovation displayed in their new Blackbox relay system. Says company head Scott Bowers, “It greatly simplifies complex wiring, particularly in systems with numerous relays.” In fact, the Black box is not just limited to Street Rods, but serves equally well all hot rods, Muscle cars, race cars and others. Used for controlling power windows, door locks, fuel and water pumps and fans, this fully programmable apparatus controls 10 individual relayed circuits and costs $299.95. Four quick tips from Ron Francis Wiring 1) Mini fuses are better than ATO-ATC blade fuses because they have silver contacts that prevent them from adhering to the similar metal used in the fuse box. Introduced in 1992, they are widely available, including your local grocery store. 2) Do not solder unless you are experienced. If the solder wicks up the wire strands further than the connector itself, the strand wire becomes solid and can break under vibration. This is why solid core wire in not used on cars. 3) Always use a crash relay. It will immobilize the electric fuel pump in a collision. Fuel injection systems, carburetors, and broken fuel lines can discharge volatile gasoline in seconds, either onto the ground or in the car. 4) Remember, the nomenclature for wire gauges runs in reverse to common logic: the bigger the... read more

The curse of the round wire lock

By Bertie Scott Brown, January 28, 2015   When a round wire lock, the spring-loaded device that retains the piston pin within the pin towers, comes out while the engine is racing, it releases a fanatical frenzy, a chain of events that most engine builders describe as catastrophic. It is an insecurity within the racing engine most dare not think of. Recently, however, a Californian engineer shook the establishment, when he not only cured the curse but also devised an ingeniously simple method of installing and removing them. Karl Ramm, who has been engineering racing pistons for almost twenty years, has devised a new style of wire lock: the Kramm-Lox®. Characterized by its 90 degree tang, which resides within the existing pick lock notch, the Kramm-Lox importantly will not spin. Equally appealing, this non-rotating lock requires no modifications to the traditional piston. Furthermore, Ramm was also the inspiration behind a tool (Patent Pending) that makes them easy to install and remove. Also worth noting, the tool negates the danger of scratching the pin bore; it also removes the threat of eye injury, a comforting distinction from the notorious, flying spring-loaded locks! In addition, by keeping the wire lock stationary in the pin bore groove, Kramm-Lox avoid other self-destructive traits. If the traditional round wire lock rotates placing its gap at the top of the pin bore, particularly in high-revving long-stroke engines, the lock can distort and can pop out. The extreme jolt that occurs as the piston changes direction at the top of its stroke can momentarily change the shape of the lock. “I just started using Kramm-Lox,”... read more

Unique business card: diminutive protractor verifies cylinder cross-hatch honing angles

By Freddie Heaney, January 25, 2015 It is probable Total Seal’s Keith Jones exhibited an aptitude for engineering at an early age. Given a knack for simplifying the concept of cylinder sealing, his latest business card is wondrously effective. Representing a flexible, transparent plastic protractor, it confirms cylinder cross-hatch honing angles in moments. Of course there are formulas to check cross-hatch angles, but often the simplest method is a protractor. “Just peel the translucent backing off the card to aid visibility,” says Jones, “and press the card into the curvature of the cylinder wall, aligning its top edge with the deck surface.” To determine the included angle of the cross-hatch honing, simply double the angle displayed on the card—if it reads 22 degrees the true included angle becomes 44. Used on both small-block Chevrolet and Ford engines, the 45-degree honing angle is the most common. Yet some engines like flat-sixes or flat-fours (Subaru) and particularly those with long strokes operate better with a more vertical cross-hatch angle: 60degrees. This promotes oil movement all the way up to the top of the bore. These engines trade a little more blow-by for increased oiling to the top of the cylinder, which results in less wear. As the cross-hatch angle becomes more vertical it increases the movement of oil up and down the cylinder wall. Though it returns oil more rapidly to the sump, it also facilitates blow-by. Most honing troubles are caused by angles that are too flat By contrast as the cross-hatch angle becomes flatter, blow-by is reduced as the oil tends to move left and right rather than up... read more