Browsing: Education

It’s surprising how little is understood about tires. Just look at the number of cars with tires worn down to the belts lining up at your local tire shop when the first rain of the season begins to arrive. What’s worse is that some people think tires are just chunks of rubber used to cushion their vehicle’s ride. They couldn’t be more wrong. As the only components that make contact with the ground, tires serve an important role, delivering mechanical grip, comfort and safety. By Richard Fong The Right Class of Tires Tires provide mechanical grip (traction) for your car.…

When Magnus Ohlaker (head machinist and engine assembler at Club DSPORT’s Engine Development Facility) was asked “what is your favorite aftermarket engine?”, we never expected Magnus to say the Subaru EJ257. Later, we learned it was because Magnus had assembled over 400 of these engines while working at Cosworth Engineering. At Subaru, the EJ257 engine remains one of the most popular platforms for motorsports use. While its direct-injection descendants (FA-series) may eventually become even more popular, the EJ257 will continue to be a favorite of enthusiasts for many years to come. By Michael Ferrara Case (Block) History All of the…

Human cognition is a mind-blowing phenomenon that’s capable of incredible processes like abstract thinking, high-level computation and lightning-fast heuristics. Even though the list of amazingly complex procedures the human brain can process is long, there are still simple things that are completely incomprehensible. The dollar figure of the national debt, the space of our solar system or the amount of energy in an internal combustion engine are just a couple examples of concepts that are extremely difficult to wrap your head around. Text and Photos by Sami Sharaf Each Pulstar spark plug features a high-purity ceramic insulator which is engineered…

Smooth versus lumpy idle. Instant off idle response or lazy low end. Asthmatic high-RPM performance or a screamer to redline. When it comes to the personality traits of an engine, the control of the valve events is the primary influence of the engine’s behavior. For about the first 100 years of modern internal combustion engines, the absence of variable valve lift and variable valve timing technology meant an engine’s personality was solely determined by the profile of the camshafts. As a result, engine personalities were single minded. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Mikiko Akaogi Multi-Personality Desires Muscle-car engines…

How can you make $100-million disappear into thin air? If you go the NASA route in 1998, you fire a probe into space to float out to who-knows-where. Years of hard work and thousands of calculations went into the development of the Mars Surveyor ’98 program. However, a simple mismatch in Imperial and metric units of measurement in the navigation software sent the probe flying in the wrong direction, deeming the project a failure. This goes to show that inaccurate data can lead to catastrophe on large scale projects. Realizing the importance of accurate measurements, Innovate Motorsports steps into the…

If your car were an orchestra and the engine the conductor, the exhaust system would be made up of horned instruments. Sure the band could play without the brass, but the melody would be off and it’ll sound like crap. When it comes to understanding how aftermarket exhaust systems work, the truth seems to be clouded with some complex and rather confusing theories. Here, we’ll outline how performance exhaust systems function, important features to consider, costs associated with aftermarket systems and ultimately how you can best select an exhaust for your car. By Sami Sharaf Peer Pressure If you do…

Many of the most performance-enhancing parts of a car are also the most inconspicuous. When looking in an engine bay, high performance pistons or camshafts hide behind the veil of the engine block and valve covers, wearing no badge on the surface of the power these parts help produce. The same concept applies to any vehicle’s suspension system. While upgrades in the way of sway bars, shock absorbers, springs and control arms can improve a car’s handling, the performance of these components starts with where the suspension pieces link together. Polyurethane bushings like Energy Suspension’s Hyper-Flex product line replaces the…

Testing the Response Time of Popular Wideband Controllers For about a year, AEM electronics has wanted us to get the word out about its X-Series Wideband UEGO AFR sensor controller and gauge. This new series is promoted as being the world’s “fastest responding wideband” in independent testing. AEM Electronics asked if we would publish the results of this third party testing and we politely answered “no.” The reason was simple; we weren’t the third party conducting the test and we weren’t the company paying for the test to be conducted. A laboratory contracted by AEM Electronics conducted the testing. As…

You think throwing a rod while driving on the freeway is scary? Imagine complete engine failure 30,000 feet above ground in an airplane. While you let that frightening visual sink in, know that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforces some of the strictest regulations on aircraft repair and maintenance. So what’s that have to do with automotive tech and performance? Many of the demanding procedures laid out by the FAA on the care of aircraft engines can be directly applied to the care of your street or track car. Text and Photos by Sami Sharaf The Inside Scoop One of…

It’s the moment of truth. You’ve invested countless hours and spent tons of money on your new engine and now you’re about to start it up for the first time. Not to add to your stress level during this time, but did you know that the greatest amount of engine wear occurs during startup and the subsequent break-in period largely determines how an engine will run for the remainder of its life? Things just got real. Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Cameron Parsons & Richard Fong Lubrication System Starting from the oil pan, engine oil is is sucked…

Up until the release of the EcoBoost engine series, DSPORT has not had a reason to get excited about the four-cylinder offerings coming out of Detroit. Today, the EcoBoost family of four and six-cylinder engines from Ford are not only getting us excited, but they are also convincing generations of traditional performance enthusiasts that there are replacements for displacement. Engineering solutions to double or triple the output of an engine is nothing new for DSPORT. Before upgraded engine parts are designed, it’s imperative that a full understanding of the OEM foundation is known. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by…

Have you ever looked down at your phone and thought “How the hell did I survive before this amazing invention?” Seriously, I probably know two or three people’s phone numbers and get step-by-step directions to at least 50-percent of the places I go. Put aside the constant social contact through calls and texts and just consider the shear utility of your phone, it is mind blowing that people functioned before smartphones. Before the onset of smartphones with GPS and voice commands, people found solutions to their everyday challenges. Whether it was writing letters or using a good old-fashioned printed map,…

Strippers can be expensive. Stop thinking rap stars, lap dances and sports celebrities. We are talking about a “stripper” in terms of a hole that has had its threads stripped out or damaged. In addition to being expensive to repair, strippers also require a great deal of time and usually evoke a great deal of frustration. Fortunately, understanding the history of the materials being threaded along with the science of inserts can help you avoid encountering a stripper or, at least, be prepared to select the correct parts to repair a stripper. Done right, you’ll never have a thread failure…

If you’re running “hellaflush” levels of negative camber on your streetcar and deem it fast, you should be ashamed of yourself. Extreme camber and an ultra-low ride height may sound like a good idea to some, but there’s a harsh reality that too often goes unknown. This kind of setup burns through tires, stresses suspension components and, worst of all, erases whatever remnants of handling performance your car once had. Achieving a proper alignment for the track may not look as extreme as some of the vehicles that show up to the local late night car meets, but you’ll be…

Do you believe in miracles? What about a performance fuel that delivers race gas performance at a price below four-dollars per gallon? If you look at performance shops around the country, you’ll find more and more enthusiasts making the shuffle to E85. E85 is a blend of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline that delivers racing gas performance at under four-dollars per gallon. While the popularity of E85 was previously restricted to regions offering widespread availability, the increasing support of FLEX fuel strategies by aftermarket engine management systems has made the E85 craze a national phenomenon. While the performance potential and…

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