Vintage class winner: EMC attracts unexpected 600,000 views

By Alfie Bilk: Jon Kaase has won this year’s Amsoil Engine Masters Challenge Vintage class with a 473ci 1958 MEL (Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln) engine. Exploring the classic turf in distinctive fashion, it was not the first time Kaase had arrived with an unorthodox relic endowed with bewildering technology. Held annually in early October at the University of Northwestern Ohio, his entry produced 770hp with torque never less than 630lb-ft during the entire scored rpm range of 3,700-6,200rpm. The engine’s peak torque was recorded at 715lb-ft. Earning a check in the sum of $13,700, it was Kaase’s seventh victory at the prestigious affair, which coincided a few days before his sixty-fifth birthday. This year’s Vintage rules specified factory cast iron cylinder heads and prohibited welding or the application of epoxy to the ports. Also, it was stipulated that the engine block must retain its original bore spacing and original block deck angle. A further constraint for Kaase was the fact that he had to return the MEL block to its owner, Royce Brechler, in a functioning condition. The origins that preceded the workings of a bright mind MEL engines had wedge-shaped combustion chambers formed between a flat cylinder head surface and an angle-milled block deck angle that was ten degrees off square with the bore axis. The piston crown determined the compression ratio and combustion chamber shape—a concept similar to Chevrolet’s 409, a design also introduced originally in 1958. Yet to each cylinder head deck, Kaase added four slugs of round bronze bar stock by counter-boring the heads to accept them. Measuring 4.600in diameter and 1.250in tall and protruding downwards, each set... read more

Master cylinder recall and new Pinto / Mustang II 5 x 5.00in front brake kits

Wilwood has released four new brake kits for the OE-style Pinto / Mustang II spindles and Wilwood’s replacement ProSpindle for Mustang II style suspensions. These kits offer Wilwood’s high-tech styling and proven big brake performance. They also include an all-new hub configured specifically for 5 x 5.00in stud pattern wheels. Kits feature 12.19in diameter x 0.81 inch-thick vented rotors in either the HP smooth face or SRP drilled and slotted style. Choices of four piston FDLI or six piston DP6 calipers are available in 24 colors, including their signature gloss black and competition red, to personalize any custom street, strip, or show-quality hot rod project. MSRP starts at $1,203.99. For more information, contact Wilwood Engineering at      WILWOOD ENGINEERING VOLUNTARILY RECALLS SELECT MASTER CYLINDERS IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL Wilwood Engineering, Inc. of Camarillo, California has notified NHTSA of a defect in certain 7/8in bore Tandem Master Cylinders (with integral reservoir) and its intent to voluntarily rebuild or repair the affected parts. Wilwood® customers have been notified of this recall starting mid-July. The voluntary recall is limited to the following part numbers: 260-9439 260-12900 261-13271 (with proportioning valve) 261-13272 (with proportioning valve)   These aftermarket master cylinders and kits are offered in different finishes indicated by a suffix (plain, black (“BK”) and ball burnished (“P”). The part numbers above were distributed by Wilwood between 2 January 2006 and 31 October 2016. It is critical that affected customers contact Wilwood if they are using recalled 7/8in bore Tandem Master Cylinders (with integral reservoir) or know of someone who may have one of the recalled parts.   Consumer Contact: Wilwood Customer... read more

The art of the car

By Vic Moore: Revisiting vivid images from the past is natural as we grow older. The chance to relish again those illustrations from earlier times is tempting; their spectacular visual portraits from boyhood remind us of their ancient marketing triumphs. It’s a study in automotive imagery and elegant luxury. Their commercial prominence of the day reflects the culture they promoted, which highlights vast differences compared with today—particularly in their apparel. Recently, I visited our local home center on one of those hot end-of-summer afternoons. I’d been toiling in the heat for hours and as I advanced toward the entrance suddenly became aware of my disheveled appearance. Though mildly ashamed, I continued into the air conditioned sanctuary and… no one noticed, for we all looked the same. Wonder if standards are slipping!   In their heyday of the 50s and 60s artists captured the imagination of the public with wonderful illustrations in many print publications. To preview or purchase any of these nostalgic images. Visit Plan59.... read more

26th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion – October 20-22, 2017

Legendary names in the sport of drag racing will take center stage during the 26th annual California Hot Rod Reunion® presented by Automobile Club of Southern California on Oct. 20-22 to Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. The legends including Bakersfield native Grand Marshal Rick Stewart who will be feted for his decade’s long involvement with NHRA at the star studded Hot Rod Reunion Honoree Reception at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bakersfield on Friday at 7:30 p.m., admission to the reception is free. Also recognized during the event will be Pete Eastwood, Bill Holland, Bob Lambeck, Bob Panella, Sr., and Jimmy Scott. They will all also be recognized during the honoree presentation on the track Saturday evening. The action-packed weekend provides drag racing fans with nostalgia quarter-mile nitro racing and a full display of California hot rod culture. The event also serves as the final race of the 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Drag Racing Series season. Racers in Nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Car will be vying for a win at one of the most unique tracks in the country.   Saturday evening will also feature the famous Cacklefest® which originated with the 2000 California Hot Rod Reunion and will continue to feature the crowd-pleasing push starts and display of dozens of nitro-burning machines of the past. For this season the Cacklefest® will return to a format familiar to the fans and participants. Adding to the excitement, the California event will include the popular exhibition push starts throughout each day that were part of previous events. The California Hot Rod Reunion will also host the Nostalgia Silent... read more

Showing off new vitality of Slant Six at Mopar Nationals

Contagious qualities embedded at its center – By Freddie Heaney: TorqStorm unveiled their new Slant-6 supercharger kit at this year’s Mopar Nationals held at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, 11-13 August 2017. To its followers, the Chrysler Slant-six is an icon. From the moment the concept settles in the mind, it seems to mark the beginning of a curious adventure; an innovation now almost sixty years old, its appeal endures. Created in 1959 in cast iron with 170cu in displacement and soon after 225ci, its characteristic cylinder block installed at thirty-degrees from vertical extols the virtues of lower center of gravity and diminished hood height. Nor was its production a brief excursion for Chrysler. Offered in various configurations, it served in cars until 1983, in trucks until ’87 and in marine and agricultural applications as well as for industrial use until ’91. Its presence was further distinguished by the production of replacement engines until the year 2000. Initially conceived to fit under the stylish low-line Valiant hood, its familiar semi-recumbent visual consistency not only lowered hood lines but also exploited engine bay space. Most notably, it enabled the water pump to be mounted with a lateral offset, reducing the six-cylinder engine’s length. Efficient exhaust and particularly the intake manifold with its long nearly-equal-length wide radii runners produced uniform air-fuel distribution. But now Torqstorm has pioneered a supercharger, further raising its charm and technical prowess. From a boosted capacity of 6psi to around 12psi—and perhaps more, the TorqStorm could increase the Slant-six’s power output to 700hp. TorqStorm’s Chris Beardsley says, “The Slant-6 probably won’t see that, but if you use... read more

How camshaft grinds go awry:

Do not stray beyond the confines of the hard rim – By Titus Bloom:   Two months ago, I confronted an industry friend, Jack McInnis, about Erson, asking about their progress. He told me they always seem busy.  How so I wondered. They don’t rely much on publicizing their efforts. It’s managed by Russ Yoder, he told me. A former race engine builder, Yoder facilitated a useful custom cam grinding service that rapidly blossomed. This, incidentally, is in addition to their shelf-stock performance cams enterprise. But nothing blossoms rapidly without a competitive edge. What spurred development and growth in their custom cam sector; how was this accomplished? Raw, un-ground camshafts have a case-hardened rim on each lobe that penetrates this working surface by 0.200in to 0.250in. When finish-ground, the case-hardened surfaces must achieve a minimum depth of 0.100in. If less, the lobe will be impaired and likely fail. But the camshaft grinder has around 0.150in to work with, so where’s the problem? Even if the cam was originally designed with, say, a 106-degree lobe separation angle (LSA) but then altered to 105 degrees wouldn’t it still retain sufficient case hardening around its perimeter? To determine valve timing, camshaft lobes—intake or exhaust or both–can be advanced or retarded, which is frequently the case as race engineers seek an advantage. Consequently, whatever the lobe placement, they have to be accommodated within the real estate available—that is, within the case-hardened rim. If trouble strikes how is it noticeable and how soon? It’s noticeable after a few runs. The first tangible evidence is excessive valve lash. Commonly, a lobe ramp will yield to... read more

New cylinder head & intake manifold for Gen III Hemi from Edelbrock

Earlier, at the end of July, Edelbrock released information on their new Performer RPM cylinder head for Gen III Hemi engines 2003 to present.  Six days ago, further news emerged regarding their latest Victor II EFI intake manifold for the same engine. The Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder head is a bolt-on performance upgrade for 2003-Present Gen III HEMI® 5.7L, 6.1L, 6.2L and 6.4L engines. It’s designed with the Eagle intake and exhaust port location and can be used with the 5.7L Eagle and later stock intake manifold, exhaust manifolds, valve covers, rockers, spark plugs and accessories, as well as Hellcat components. These cylinder heads have been machined to be used on either the driver or passenger side of the block.This cylinder head features fully CNC-machined combustion chambers along with CNC-profiled bowls and port entries/exits for improved air flow. It also features more material in the deck and reinforced combustion chambers for increased cylinder pressures. In addition, the rocker bosses have been reinforced for improved stability and strength. Furthermore, extra material has been added around the intake and exhaust ports to facilitate additional porting in racing applications. The intake and exhaust valves have been angled away from the bore wall to accommodate the larger valves, while maintaining compatibility with OEM valvetrain components. The seat diameters have also been increased for improved heat transfer and durability. Port Volume Intake / Exhaust Exhaust Port Location To Stock Chamber Volume Valve Sizes Intake / Exhaust Valve Spring Diameter Max Lift 202cc / 75cc 5.7L Eagle & Later 73cc 2.165″ / 1.650″ 1.066″ / 1.300″ 0.630″ Universal EFI Sump Fuel Kit Details: Designed for... read more

LS twin & single supercharger kits for transplants

Complete conversions for older cars & trucks. In June of 2017, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based supercharger company TorqStorm introduced a new carb hat that showed significant upgrades both in air flow and aesthetics. Then in July, they lurched forward with a new Blow-off valve providing better air control by virtue of its larger size. Now attention is diverted to the September debut of their new twin and single supercharger kits for GM LS transplants. Although they’ve blazed the trail for high quality, inexpensive superchargers with a winning limited lifetime warranty, this is the first time they’ve committed to offering kits with a full range of belt-driven accessories. Unorthodox? Well, perhaps more than this, for they believe they are the first to do it.     The twin kit supports 1,000-plus horsepower while the single sustains 700 plus. Both can be adapted for use with electronic fuel injection or carburetion. But this is only the start. Though the new designs are aimed at LS-powered hot rods, the game-changer for TorqStorm has been an increased attention to greater completeness. Whether supplied as twin or single, the kits include a Sanden air conditioning compressor, Turn One power steering pump, and Powermaster alternator—the first such integrated kits furnished in the company’s history. Indeed, to the best of our knowledge, the first by any supercharger manufacturer to integrate belt-driven components. In addition, TorqStorm provides two serpentine belts, an eight-rib to drive the supercharger and a six-rib to impel the accessories; all necessary pulleys, including a tool steel hub for the crank pulley; two self-adjusting tensioners, a blow-off valve; an  air filter plus all the... read more

What is core shift and why is it detrimental?

How a clever concept remedied misalignment in competition engine blocks – By Archie Bosman: No other engine deficiency would have irritated racers, particularly professional drag racers of the last century, like core shift. A bitter source of anguish, they would describe it in a way not easily forgotten. “We used mostly Hemi blocks,” commented “Mongoose” McEwen. “Often we would test fifteen-to-twenty blocks before finding one with consistent cylinder wall thickness. Keith Black had a method of measuring them, which typically demonstrated core-shift variations from around 0.090in or 0.100in to 0.040in. Consequently, if we raced those engines, the severity of the internal pressures usually split the cylinder walls.” As you can guess, the impediment of core shift didn’t debilitate just the racing Hemi; Funny Car racer “Wild Wilfred” Boutilier’s reject ratio with big-block Chevrolets was similar. So there they were pencil and pad in hand, slavishly enumerating cylinder wall thicknesses, one engine block at a time. The term core shift relates to the deviation of a foundry core during the casting process. That is to say, the core moves from its original position, perhaps as a result of inaccuracies in the machining process or the setting of the mold, and leads to alignment problems when the mold is closed. Mold temperatures or pressure differentials on opposing mold walls also cause deflections of the cores. Whatever the cause, the result is evidenced by undesirable variations in wall thickness, which affects the final shape and, thus, the mechanical performance of the part. The Remedy: The problem has now been resolved by substituting multiple conventional foundry segmented cores with a one-piece major core.... read more

Eaton Detroit Spring: Leaf and coil

By Martha Maglone: This summer marks the 80th anniversary of the advent of the Eaton Detroit Spring company. Founded during the Great Depression, the company is one of the most successful in the manufacture of leaf and coil springs and related attaching parts for the auto restoration and street rod markets. “The firm was first started by my grandparents, Frank and Grace” says current President, Mike Eaton. An aftermarket division of Detroit Steel Products, the Eatons originally purchased the company for $11,000. It was a perilous time; the country’s economy was stalled and prospects uncertain. Yet it thrived and a few years later, when the original lease expired, production was moved to the corner of Michigan and Trumbull—across from the former home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. The firm still operates from this location today, manufacturing springs and components for the classic vehicles it watched debut and mature over the decades. Significantly, Eaton Detroit Spring possesses over 24,000 OEM spring blueprints for more than 166,000 vehicle applications, covering fitment for nearly every classic, muscle car or hot rod application that comes its way. “Our blueprints give us a substantial edge in leaf spring design and manufacture over our rivals,” claims Eaton. “If you provide us accurate information and install the springs correctly, the likelihood of a problem arising is remote.” Eaton’s passion is springs and, helpfully, they’ve combined it with access to an expert design staff. Dedicated to custom applications, they are willing to assist in all spring-related inquiries.  Mike Eaton again, “Others may sell springs, we make them. That’s our specialty—just as it’s been for the past 80... read more

Ignition for beginners

Extracts from Drag Racer magazine, September issue: By Ben Mozart:    Early in 2017, a new capacitive discharge (CD) ignition system emerged. An innovative philosophy derived from new software—”a proprietary algorithm” as it’s known in engineering jargon, it promises substantially more than previously available. Designed to operate with a single-coil distributed spark, which includes most carbureted drag racing applications, it’s reputed to be smaller in size than any CD device with similar features. Of greater significance, it is more energy-dense, maintaining multiple spark activity from idle to 7,000rpm as well as generating greater sparking power. There are two common types of ignition systems: capacitive and inductive. The coil is supplied power by one or the other. Inductive, which is still the most common and employed on most road-going passenger cars, charges the coil with 14.6 volts and discharges between 200-300 volts into the coil’s secondary windings. Inductive systems are any of those ignition systems that do not have a capacitor energizing the coil. Inductive systems have power applied to the coil for a period of time but their electro-magnetic principals are the limiting factors as to how quickly the coil charges and how much energy it discharges. Properly seen, the standard inductive ignition system is designed to start vehicles in all climatic conditions, including those operating in temperatures of 20 degrees F. below zero rather than supporting vehicles with high compression ratios or high horsepower or high rpm. Capacitive ignition systems on the other hand are developed for high performance and racing vehicles, which operate at high RPM and generate higher cylinder pressures. Higher cylinder pressures mean the spark... read more

How to avoid your next traffic ticket

By Martha Maglone – A recent article from Your Mechanic asks: Does the type of car you drive make a difference to the amount of tickets it might receive? The most ticketed luxury car is the Lexus ES 300 and the least ticketed compact car the Honda Civic. In 2016, released a study ranking car models with the highest number of speeding tickets and traffic violations. Data derived from over 323,000 offenses, revealed the Lexus ES 300 and the Nissan 350Z were the highest ticketed cars, with about one-third of drivers caught violating traffic laws particularly those involving speeding. But does the category of vehicle make a difference in the amount of tickets it received? When classified by luxury cars, mid-sized, compact, sports cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and subcompact cars, it revealed some interesting findings, not least the types of drivers typically receiving the most, and least tickets. It’s important to note that traffic violations can differ from state to state, but some of the most common include running a red light, driving at night without headlights, illegal turns, illegal parking, or running a stop sign. Speeding laws also fluctuate based on the State and road conditions. This article gives data on ten categories of cars. Read... read more