Browsing: The Tech

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…

Let’s not kid ourselves, the Mazda MX-5 is not and never was a fast car. Quick? Yes. Fun to drive? Absolutely. But certainly not fast. This enlarged go kart of a car consistently delivered smiles to owners everywhere over the past 16 years of production, due to its excellent handling and incredibly low weight. The current ND model introduces the lightest Miata since the first generation, however, its 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G power plant produces less horsepower and torque than its most recent predecessor. For this Test & Tune, we started with the basics of intake and exhaust in the search for…

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,…

It’s going to happen. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there’s going to be an incident that causes a paint chip on your vehicle. It can happen in your garage, at the track, in a parking lot…anywhere. Recently our GT-R received a nasty chip on the edge of its door while visiting a fabrication shop. After a flash of rage and a five-minute cool-down session, it was time to come up with a solution. Text and Photos by Michael Ferrara Step #1: Assess the damage A chip or scratch can be categorized into one of four stages…

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…

Polyurethane Bushings: Getting the Most Out of Your 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata If you’ve had a look at issue #170, you’ve seen the benefits of making the switch over to polyurethane suspension bushings. When we tested Energy Suspension’s Hyper-Flex polyurethane bushings on our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, we found notable improvements in both lap times and the car’s driving characteristics. Installing a new set of bushings is no simple task, but the proper tools and know-how come a long way in getting the job done and reaping the benefits. In this How-To, we’ll take a look at the installation process…

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…

Change can be difficult. While few embrace it, change must happen in order to evolve and improve. When EVO fans discovered their beloved 4G63 would be replaced with an all-aluminum engine, outrage ensued. Many questioned why Mitsubishi did away with an iconic and nearly indestructible engine that has set records for the last two decades. The reason was simple: new, more-stringent emission require- ments. Detuned to meet these limits, the 4G63 engine would max out at 250 horsepower. To remain compliant with EPA while be able to make more power, Mitsubishi developed its new 4B11T engine that debuted in its…

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