AFIS introduces new range of high-performance ignition wire sets

By Bertie Scott Brown For 2014 AFIS is introducing a new range of fast-reaction fuel injectors and ignition wire sets that helped Dan Fletcher win 6 NHRA national events in 2013. You’ll notice that today’s ignition wires are distinguished by several fine attributes not least their low-resistance, but in the early 1990s the Ohm resistance could be as high as 800 per foot. Then one day Tom Jenkins found 150 Ohm-per-foot wire and constructed a set for NHRA Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson, who won his next three races. Later when Johnson returned to his race shop in north Georgia he told Jenkins that his engine power had increased by 5 or 6hp—more energy was being transmitted through the plug wires. Today, AFIS presents their latest ignition wire rated at 50 Ohms per foot. -Strong, high-energy ignition wire sets with low resistance -Both fiber and spiral cores transmit current without interference -Every wire set checked for output and endurance Hebron, Indiana: Developed for high performance street cars and racing cars, AFIS has introduced a comprehensive new range of spiral-core ignition wire sets that contribute very low resistance, 50 Ohms per foot. Their low resistance means that more electrical current is transmitted from the distributor or coil to fire the spark plugs while still maintaining RFI/EMI suppression: they inhibit electromagnetic interference. Electrical current is transmitted through the cable’s Aramid™ fiber and also its spiral core—its inductive wire windings. At its center the strong, heat-resistant synthetic core fiber is impregnated with carbon. The spiral core, which is wound around the fiber, prevents the magnetic field, the electrical noise, from being transmitted... read more

Dart unveils aluminum LS Next engine block

By Ben Mozart There are many ways to move forward but only one to stand still:                                                                                                                                 -Franklin D. Roosevelt It’s PRI 2013 and Richard Maskin exudes a glow of satisfaction. He began thinking about the potential of the LS engine around 6 years ago and initially itched to correct rampant leaks throughout its oiling system and to optimize the length of its cylinder barrels. There was much work to be done: “When the piston protrudes at the bottom of its stroke, ring seal is usually compromised.” In discussion about Dart’s latest innovation, the aluminum LS Next high-performance engine block, Maskin is engaging, always seeking efficiencies, always aiming for a higher standard—the ultimate triumph of the rational mind. Here are some of the facts surrounding Dart’s new aluminum LS Next variant. -Lightweight aluminum Next block saves 108lbs -Windage concerns at high revs eliminated –Proven priority-mains oiling system: greatest safeguard of the performance engine -Extended cylinder bores resolve ring-sealing anxieties and accommodate longer strokes   Troy MI: One year after revealing their remarkable cast iron LS Next engine block, Dart Machinery reduces its mass and announces an aluminum counterpart. Created from the finest casting materials and weighing 107lbs, the LS Next was the first aftermarket block to comprehensively address high-performance troubles in the original equipment LS power unit. Laden with innovations, the list of performance upgrades incorporated in the Next block is long. It was the first to correct rampant internal oil leaks. It was also the first to introduce a stepped bore to maintain oil pressure in the main galley. The first to remove the crankcase skirts, which not... read more


By Fergus Ogilvy Understanding factory clutch hydraulics in late model vehicles. Whenever working with hydraulic release systems, taking the extra few minutes to verify slave cylinder measurements is more than worth it.  Factory hydraulics depend on a proper amount of preload for the clutch to disengage properly, yet not so much as to not allow room for the clutch to wear over time.  Aftermarket systems require a correct amount of bearing gap or clearance to function properly and allow for wear over time.  RAM has an excellent technical document on checking factory bearing preload. Click here to read. Or view this excellent video by clicking here.   For further information contact: RAM Automotive Company 201 Business Park Blvd. Columbia, SC 29203 Telephone (803) 788-6034... read more

Meet Uncle Jed: A Robert Killian creation aimed to run 200-plus mph

Written by Moore Good Ink What would a Rat Rod look like if it were propelled by an 820cu in Pro Stock engine? Robert Killian hails from Canton, Georgia. He’s been building hot rods for most his adult life, and he has always indulged himself in the unorthodox. But when contemplating Uncle Jed he told his chassis builder, “Let’s have one last adventure into the unknown. I’m reaching a point in my life (58) when I don’t anticipate foolin’ with 200mph cars much longer.” So this was how he approached his latest creation: a 1,900hp big-inch Pro Stock-powered road-legal Rat Rod. “Mind you,” said Killian, “I’m hesitant about calling Uncle Jed a Rat Rod because some Rat Rodders take offense. They’re adamant that it’s not low-buck enough, but obviously there’s not enough gleaming paint on it to call it a hotrod.” So its genre is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that Uncle Jed was constructed using a 1928 Ford Model A 2-door sedan body mounted on a twin-rail chrome molybdenum drag race chassis with a front-mounted 14-gallon fuel tank between its rails and wheelie bars at the back. Certified by the NHRA to run in Top Sportsman, the car has sufficient wherewithal and stability to run a quarter mile in 6.50 seconds at speeds in excess of 200mph. The chief reason for selecting a 1928 or ’29 cab is that each side of its narrow cowl steps out an inch or more to meet the door pillars. In so doing the cowl accentuates the impressive proportions of a Kaase 820cu in Mountain Motor. Mickey Thompson 33in tall x 10.5... read more

Limited-edition Ariel Atom track day car: TMI puts you at the front

By Bertie Scott Brown Alton, VA: Last year TMI Autotech released a new limited-edition Ariel Atom track day car. In a technical partnership with Honda Racing, a mere 10 uniquely numbered cars, known as the Ariel Atom Honda Racing Edition, were produced at TMI’s Virginia factory. Capitalizing on the opportunity to showcase Honda Racing’s latest components for their Grand American and World Challenge HPD racing program, the new Atoms exhibit an extra 45hp, producing 275hp at 7,800rpm and generating 225lb-ft of torque at 5,300rpm. Other key upgrades worth noting in the drive line include Honda’s six-speed close-ratio transmission and limited slip differential. Stopping power for this new 1,300lb projectile is provided by 300mm floating brake discs in conjunction with radial-mount 4-piston calipers on all four corners. In the suspension systems, chrome-moly aero tubes replace conventional round-tube wishbones, and operate with double-adjustable custom-calibrated JRI aluminum dampers.   Power-to-weight ratio: the irrefutable advantage As you can imagine, cars endowed with a power-to-weight ratio of .21hp/lb are rarely dull, and in this regard the Ariel Atom Honda Racing Edition will exceed that of many modern supercars—and will accomplish it in naturally aspirated form. Of course, for the fifty or so competitors already competing in this season’s Spec Race Atom series, statistics close to these are well known. The genius of the Ariel Atom lies in its simplicity. Vivid are the images of an Atom that hits its turning-in marks at speed, holds its line, brakes from 100mph to zero in lightning time and generates 1.7 to 1.8g in steady-state cornering. Robust and well engineered these new track day editions might be a revelation—not... read more

John Force: His formative years

By: Titus Bloom   A 16-time NHRA Funny Car title holder, Force is the most successful auto racer, in any category, of our time. Yet Tom “Mongoose” McEwen insists he possesses other qualities that may transcend his prowess at the drag strip: he rarely forgets old friends and does a lot of good that’s never reported.  John Force was raised in a small trailer house in Bell Gardens just south of the City of Los Angeles, California with his parents, three brothers, and a sister. He was the youngest.  During their seasonal work, up and down the coast and berry picking in the Joaquin Valley, his mother would fasten a rope to the young Force, anchoring the other end of the tether to a stone to deter him from crawling away.     In the off-season his dad was engaged in logging; his mom a cook. An Oklahoma migrant driven from her home during the dust bowl period of the nineteen-thirties, the correlation between the struggles of the young Force family and those depicted in John Steinbeck’s famous novel the Grapes of Wrath must have seemed uncannily similar. Today, Force readily admits they never had a Thanksgiving dinner or a big table. “Dinner was usually from a tin foil tray that you’d heat in the oven. My kids cannot imagine…” Football or racing? As soon as he was old enough to qualify for a driver’s license, Force entered competition at Irwindale and Orange County drag strips and won his first trophies at Lion’s drag strip in a 1960 Ford. Bought with some help from his dad, “It was a six... read more

Three reasons why power steering systems fail

By Archie Bosman, Photography by Moore Good Ink: You might be surprised to learn that one of the three principal reasons for power steering pump failures is forgetfulness. To run a hydraulic power steering pump safely during a dyno run, simply form an oiling loop. Connect the power steering reservoir to the pump’s inlet port and the pump’s outlet port back to the reservoir’s return port. Then fill the reservoir with fluid, about 1in above the return port. “With the best will in the world though,” says Ken Roper, head of KRC Power Steering, “it’s easier to remember to put oil in the engine than it is in the power steering reservoir, and the consequences of the oversight can be severe.” As most power steering pumps rotate at engine speeds, the internals of one without oil will soon turn blue and invariably weld themselves together. The same transgression is common when breaking-in a new camshaft or similar. Although break-in speeds are usually significantly lower, often around 2,500 to 3,000rpm, a dry power-steering pump may survive the torture, though it usually suffers some adverse consequences. The second reason for power steering pump failure occurs when the oil hoses have not been thoroughly cleaned in the aftermath of a previous pump wreckage. Avoid this demoralizing calamity by ensuring all related hydraulic hoses are flushed clean. If not, the new replacement pump will be soon sabotaged by shrapnel from the previous failure. The third condition that causes power steering pump failure is improper bleeding or worse, disregarding the bleeding procedure completely. In common with a dry-sump lubrication system, expelling air bubbles from... read more

SEMA 2013 winners: Aeromotive leads the way with new high performance in-tank fuel pump

By Archie Bosman Photography by Moore Good Ink   Steve Matusek and his Aeromotive team were thrilled to win Best New Street Rod/Custom Car Product at this year’s SEMA show with their Stealth—a new, universal in-tank fuel system. Though the judges awarded their highest vote to the Street Rod/Custom Car brigade, it’s more likely the Muscle car troops, particularly those with contemporary engine transplants, will be the ones most enthralled by the innovative powers of the Kansas fuel system specialists. Aeromotive’s new pump design can be installed in any stock fuel tank and, significantly, it operates with both carbureted and EFI engines. More pertinently still, it is of universal fitment and as such installs in tanks from 6in to 11in deep, including those made of plastic, steel or aluminum. Also worth noting, it seals whether the tank has a corrugated or smooth surface. “We created a scenario where you could put an electric pump in any gas tank,” said Matusek. “It took us a while to get it right but we got there,” he added with some satisfaction. Additional qualities: vapor lock and cavitation eliminated Nowadays in some circles an in-tank pump is the preferred fuel pump type because it eliminates such issues as cavitation and vapor lock in high volume fuel systems. Furthermore, and to its credit, the Stealth is equipped with an internal fuel-resistant baffle to prevent unwanted fuel movement, which allows the pump to remain submerged at all times, even with low fuel levels or aggressive driving. When a fuel pump runs dry, even for a split second, it causes wear in the pump, and usually... read more

Best of SEMA 2013

By Martha Maglone Photography by Moore Good Ink Las Vegas, Nevada: Industry analysts estimated SEMA attendees would exceed 165,000 this year.  As it turned out, their reckonings were probably close to the mark: some coach journeys from hotels just three miles distance from the Convention Center took between an hour and one and one-half hours. At 8:30 on Wednesday morning attendees catching the Monorail at the MGM station arrived at the exhibition at 10:45! The crush in Vegas was something most won’t miss. By necessity, though, SEMA tries to attract the maximum number of qualified attendees. But exhibitors are caught wondering where the wholesalers have gone. Ironically, this was the irritation hardcore exhibitors voiced a decade ago to the Performance Racing Industry. To attract ever greater numbers of attendees and exhibitors, PRI management moved their show from Indianapolis to a larger facility in Orlando. Unfortunately, the move attracted new attendees and exhibitors far from the hardcore variety, and the former soon tired of the latter. Attracting throngs of tire-kickers and facilitating displayers of toy helicopters and every other distraction imaginable had been the final straw. To the exhibitor’s consternation, the show had exceeded its parameter and another hardcore exhibition was established at Indy to replace the defector. Years passed before common sense prevailed, and in the meantime the exhibitors paid the price. These circumstances evoked the old saying: The only lesson we learn from history is we never learn from history! As for SEMA, it’s hard to distinguish between trade members and the general public. However, a decade ago queues for women’s restrooms didn’t exist. Not so today. Moreover,... read more

Demon 98 and Six-Shooter scheduled for production in 2014

By Archie Bosman Photography by Moore Good Ink Dawsonville GA: During the 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Demon Carburetion announced it has completed the tooling process that will enable the manufacture of a new fuel bowl. As a result production of two, popular, former hot rod carburetors, the Demon 98 and the Six-Shooter is expected to resume mid-2014. It’s anticipated that the 98’s will be first to appear.     Demon 98: 205cfm Retro Carburetor Delivering 205cfm the Demon 98 is a retro two-barrel high performance carburetor that suits the thirties-style three-bolt intake manifolds that remained popular throughout the fifties and early sixties. Accepting 2-5/8” period-style air cleaners or air horns, it was created to improve the performance of the Flathead, Y-Block, Hemi and Nailhead. The Demon 98 is a direct replacement for the Stromberg 97 or Holley 94 carburetors. Chief differences between the Demon 98 and the Stromberg 97 include the design of the accelerator pump mechanism and the operating fuel pressures. The 98’s accelerator pump arrangement features interchangeable nozzles, which can be adapted to suit newer designs of camshafts, cylinder heads and intake manifolds. Operating fuel pressure for the Stromberg 97 is limited to 3-4psi in contrast with the Demon 98 which functions at a more practical 6-7psi.   Demon Six-Shooter Energizes Tri-power Resurrection The Demon Six-Shooter is a resurrection of the Tri-power systems that dominated the late sixties Muscle car era. It consists of three 250cfm two-barrel carburetors atop an aluminum intake that comes complete as one unit for easy installation. Beyond this the attractive dual-plane intake manifold is developed to generate high torque, while the airflow capacity of... read more

Full Metal Arts & Entertainment seeks film projects; completes acclaimed Whelen Marsh Racing video; appears at PRI show in Indy

By Martha Maglone Gainesville, GA: If television is the most potent advertising medium ever devised, video we assume is similarly blessed. How-to videos stand alone in explaining the complicated processes of our racing products and they promote companies and their achievements with equal brilliance. Spearheaded by Tom Arbeiter, Full Metal Arts & Entertainment has been specializing in producing media projects in film since 1994. They have completed notable works for the Ford Motor Company, Penske Racing Shocks, Lou Santiago’s GarageInsider TV and more recently Whelen Marsh Racing*. Should you be interested in promotional videos, TV commercials, product demonstrations, training videos, or short films, consider Full Metal. Their capabilities include pre-production, scriptwriting, storyboarding, casting, voice over, graphic design, animation elements, and post production. Chat with Tom personally at the PRI show Dec 12-14 Indianapolis, he’ll be accessible via NARRA (North American Road Racing Association) at booth #7043 in the Yellow Hall. To view the latest Whelen Marsh Racing promotional video click here. To download Full Metal TV’s Production Services click here.   Full Metal Arts & Entertainment 3305 Cook Drive Gainesville, GA 30507 PH: 678.386.1440 Email:   *Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease six years ago, George “Sonny” Whelen, 59, has recently retired from sports car racing and is taking up a new challenge of  ‘racing for a cure’ having joined the board of the Michael J Fox Foundation. Whelen, and his Whelen Engineering Marsh Racing Team run by Teddy Marsh, field the TEAM FOX car for drivers Eric Curran and Boris Said, who will be driving in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. For sponsorship on media projects... read more

Dart’s annual seminar at PRI: Friday Dec 13, 1-2pm, their 17th year

By Ben Mozart Moore Good Ink Dart Machinery has announced they’ll be occupying peninsula booth 2211 at this year’s PRI exhibition in Indianapolis, December 12-14, 2013. As anticipated they will also be holding their annual seminar in rooms 231 and 232—their 17th consecutive event. Successful race engine building is a craft, part inspiration and part know-how, and this seminar attracts a great many engine builders who are keen to learn more. Nonetheless, Dart welcomes all enthusiasts who are interested in discussions involving the problems and solutions encountered in race engine building, testing, developing, and maintaining. The core themes of this year’s seminar will include the introduction of new products, Sprint car matters, and how access to quality race car engine components and systems have changed the racers’ prospects. Dart’s head, Richard Maskin, will open the proceedings by bringing the audience up to date on the company’s latest engine blocks: the LS Next, the new SHP400 as well as the 305, a recent Sprint car unit. French Grimes, head of RaceSaver the acclaimed Sprint car organization, which embraces almost 1,000 racers, will take the stage to discuss the 305—particularly how Dart’s intervention saved the race block from extinction and the potential that lies ahead for 305 Sprint car racing. Last but not least David Reher of the famed Texas engine building firm Reher Morrison will speak on the availability and quality of today’s race engine parts. From pistons and rings, connecting rods and cranks, to cylinder heads, blocks and oiling systems David will share his considerable insight. Dart is a fascinating Michigan success story. Founded at the school of hard... read more