Browsing: The Tech

If you are trying to build a mega-horsepower street car that isn’t AWD, you will literally be spinning your wheels a good amount of the time. One platform that has used its AWD system to set records for nearly 30 years is the Skyline GT-R. “Godzilla” earned its legendary status as Japan’s top halo vehicle with the launch of the R32 GT-R in 1989. Heavier and no more powerful than many of its competitors at the time, Godzilla dominated in every environment. Street, drag or track, Nissan’s Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) was a primary reason for…

Ford and Chevy V8s, Toyota 2JZs, Subaru EJ257s and even Ferrari engines have managed to take the place of the Subaru FA20 in more than a handful of BRZ, WRX, FR-S and 86 platforms. Whether the venue is Formula D, Pike’s Peak, Time Attack or even the dragstrip; the go-to solution has been to swap out the FA20 instead of giving it a chance to prove itself worthy. The popularity of engine swaps into the 86 has many assuming that the FA20 isn’t a viable engine platform for plus-500whp targets. So is the FA20 a lost cause? In one word,…

Imagine a world where you couldn’t simply add more power to improve performance. You were stuck with what you have. What could you do to make your vehicle quicker? Higher grip tires and a suspension that keeps your tire planted to the ground will help, but the addition of the right aftermarket LSD will make your car quicker in both a straight line and around the corners without the cost and maintenance required with the former options. In fact, you may get down the quarter-mile a half-second quicker or around your local road course two-seconds quicker by simply upgrading the…

Bad grounds, voltage drops, ground offsets, open circuits, dirty power and electrical noise are all terms that you are likely to come across when dealing with automotive electrical systems. Today’s production vehicles have more electrical connections and wiring than ever before. Even full race cars are challenged by more wiring and connections to accommodate an ever growing list of “essential” sensors to deliver data. To compound this issue, the number of low-current circuits which are more sensitive to issues has also increased. To avoid and remedy these issues, a thorough understanding of the causes, symptoms, diagnostics and treatments are a…

While the quality of Subaru’s production line machine work may be adequate for an EJ257 engine to live a long life at factory power levels, there are few EJ257s that will spend their lifetime at factory power levels. At elevated power levels, it’s common that the OEM’s slight misalignment of the crankshaft centerline becomes a problem. This misalignment places stress and strain on the main bearing housings that leads to distortion in the main bearing bores. This is especially common in the main bearing bores that are thinner than the rest as these see the highest loads. Once the distortion…

Overkill or insufficient. When it comes to selecting the standalone solution for your racecar, it’s really easy to spend too much on an Engine Management System (EMS) that does more than you actually need. For those that have tons of disposable income, that’s probably not a major concern. Just buy the best standalone ECU and sensor package, get a custom motorsports harness, hire the best calibrator for your particular ECU, and $15K-$40K later – call it a day. For the rest of us that skip meals to buy performance parts, wasting money on an overkill EMS solution (if it can…

In a world where where fake news and alternative realities are daily headlines, it can be a struggle to get past all the misleading advice, exaggerated claims, and flat-out hoaxes. While it is important to remain vigilant in the campaign against misinformation, the old saying  “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” is not always correct. The pessimistic belief that all claims are false can discourage an enthusiast from realizing his or her full potential. As always, our mission is to educate, entertain and inform our readers. So, let’s take a look at ten common automotive…

You can learn the personality of any car from the very moment you step on the gas pedal. How is the power delivered? Does the engine run rough or smooth? Is it comfortably drivable for the street or does it only feel at home on a race track? Many components contribute to the car’s driving personality, from ECU tunes to turbocharger upgrades, among countless other items in the engine bay. However, the valves act as the final gatekeepers for intake air and exhaust gases to enter and exit the cylinders. Ultimately, these valves and the camshafts that manage them establish…

Most enthusiasts can relate to the drug that is modifying cars. Once you start, it only gets harder to stop. Coming from a background of drag racing his turbo Supra and daily driving large displacement monsters like the C6 Corvette and Dodge Viper, Al Rhee knows the horsepower addiction all too well. When he acquired his latest daily driver, a 2017 Subaru WRX STI, he knew early on that he’d have to tread carefully when starting this project. Since its introduction to the D’Garage, we’ve tested 13 exhaust systems, upgraded the intake and intercooler, added flex-fuel capabilities, and opened the…

There used to be a time where impact wrenches were only used by professionals, simply because they required an air compressor. Most DIYers didn’t have the space to store a giant tank in their garages, but this changed when battery-operated impact wrenches were introduced. However, performance has always been an issue with the cordless impact wrenches that use batteries. With the technology of the compact impact wrenches evolving, we chose one of Milwaukee’s newest products, the M18 FUEL High Torque ½” Impact Wrench, to test out in our Club DSPORT. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Joe Singleton Milwaukee…

Maximizing performance is all about timing. Launches, gear changes, braking points, you name it, a few milliseconds difference is all it takes to either set a record or blow a corner. Under the hood is no different, as every engine component must work harmoniously to not only deliver the highest performance but also to prevent a catastrophic breakdown. This starts with the engine’s camshafts, managing the opening and closing of the valves that feed air into the cylinders and allow exhaust gases to exit. The exact specifications and characteristics of the camshafts ultimately determine an engine’s performance potential. With a…

Trying to fill the shoes of what many believe to be the best four-cylinder production engine of all time is no easy task. Yet, this is exactly what the 4B11 was asked to do. More modern by design, the 4B11 has its advantages and disadvantages compared to the 4G63. We decided to see just how good a 4B11 could be by engineering a Club DSPORT Reference Series edition. Our goal is to produce a 4B11 engine combination capable of delivering exceptional power output, efficiency and reliability. Once completed, we’ll put it to the test. If we are happy with the…

Considering what tuners across the world have accomplished, the Nissan R35 GT-R may be the greatest mass-production sports car of all time. In stock form, you would need to spend double to find a competitor that could go toe to toe. With the right mix of bolt-on performance parts and a proper tune, 150 or more additional horsepower can be brought online at a price that would fit in every R35 owner’s budget. At the 600-650whp level, the factory turbochargers, engine and transmission are all at the limit in terms of power potential and power handling. For more power, it’s…

We’re told that digital is the end-all way of the future, yet the resurgence of paperback books and vinyl records say otherwise. While digital means of consuming information like books and music appear to be taking over, plenty of users show interest in doing things the old fashioned way. In the performance aftermarket, some may question why we still bother with analog-style gauges when there are plenty of digital dash solutions available. In a similar light, why do so many of us prefer manual transmissions when modern DCTs and automatics offer reduced shift times? We simply have more fun driving…

There are two questions you should ask yourself before starting any build: how much horsepower do you want, and how long do you want it to last? Although Subaru’s famous EJ-powered WRX STI models exploded into popularity out of rally racing and other motorsports, the flat-four power plant is infamous for self-destructing when squeezed for more power. Skim through the Subaru forums and you’ll find the question on so many STI owners’ minds, “how much horsepower can my EJ257 handle?” The answer is different for everyone, but the general consensus is that the 400-450whp range is when you might want…

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