Browsing: The Tech

Steetable convenience and track-worthy performance, most might tell you that you can’t have both. This battle of comfort versus performance frequently leads automotive engineers and enthusiasts to search for a healthy balance between the two. When looking into aftermarket display and data logging solutions, many include options designed strictly for serious racing. Although race dashes look good and include loads of perks, these countless features that you’d almost never use for the street come with a premium price tag. This is where Racepak steps in with its IQ3s Street Dash and G2X data logger. Text by Cameron Parsons // Photos…

I hate this! What the Hell? How is it doing that? This trio of phrases was also heard on our dyno starting back in March. The cause? Our Project Scion FR-S was not cooperating with what was supposed to be a simple intake system showcase. The reason? Big government! The factory Engine Control Unit (ECU) in the Scion FR-S is now in total control of performance. Ignoring the driver’s input, the ECU ultimately determines the actual amount of throttle, ignition and fuel delivery it deems appropriate. It’s the epitome of Big Government and it’s becoming common on nearly all-new vehicles.…

Purchasing an ECU refresh solution is not an option for FR-S/BRZ owners. Instead, it should be considered a requirement. In fact, it should be the first performance part purchased for the vehicle. The reason is simple. No significant power gains can be realized on the FR-S/BRZ platform with the factory ECU programming in place. We found out the hard way. The world’s best intake and exhaust systems will only deliver small improvements since the factory program uses torque limiting tables. Fortunately, there is a solution. ECUTEK’s ProECU and RaceROM packages not only remove the performance shackles, but also provide an…

What will over 300 runs for the purpose of an intake showcase teach you? At times, it didn’t seem like much. The factory ECU seemed bipolar at times. Sometimes happy to make power and other times set on spoiling the fun. Fortunately, the addition of the EcuTek tuning solution significantly improved repeatability on the dyno. Experienced EcuTek tuner Bill Knose of HG Motorsports (San Diego, CA) was able to program the factory ECU to behave. In addition to repeatability, the optimized calibration from the EcuTek allowed for additional performance from idle to redline. Text by Michael Ferrara, Tuning by Bill…

Putting together a performance parts combination to produce more power than you ever expected feels like finding a wad of cash in a jacket you haven’t worn in six months. There’s a sense of surprise, happiness and the inevitable daydreaming of how you are going to use this horsepower or cash to have some fun. On the flip side, having this new found power scrap your entire transmission feels like finding out you owe $2,500 on your taxes when you thought you were getting a refund. Thanks Obama! But seriously, transmission issues have plagued some of the best project vehicles…

The very instant you drive a brand-new car off the lot, you have just lost thousands of dollars. The immediate depreciation of value is, hands down, the worst part of buying a new car. According to data collected by Edmunds.com, new cars lose an average of 11-percent of their value right when leaving the dealership. After the initial hit, new cars will realize a reduction in value at a steady rate of 15- to 25-percent each year and after just five years, most cars will be worth under 40-percent of what they cost new. While this fact of new car…

“Bounce on the devil put the pedal to the floor.” Unfortunately, a bone-stock FR-S/BRZ would most definitely leave Jay-Z with 99 problems, power being each and every of them. Nearly four years after its introduction, an overwhelming majority of enthusiasts continue to agree that the only thing missing from the otherwise nimble and fun FR-S/BRZ is a turbocharger. With its all-wheel- drive cousin, the WRX, featuring a turbocharged variant of the FA20 engine, we begged Toyobaru to stuff some boost into the modern day hachi-roku. As expected, they didn’t listen. Fortunately, the aftermarket now offers a plethora of supercharging and…

Nearly 20 years ago, I was fresh out of college and working for Turbo & High-Tech Performance magazine. Back then, so little was known about import performance. There was no information and no resources to turn to as no one had pushed import performance as we would. The racers, enthusiasts and manufacturers that pioneered import performance would have never made such progress had it not been for the chassis dyno. In 1996, Dynojet paid a visit to our magazine headquarters for a demo. After a couple pulls with a project car on a portable two-wheel-drive Dynojet 248, we were instantly…

Project Patience: Supra is Waiting for it’s Time to Shine Waiting for a project to be completed ranks high on the list of enthusiast anxieties. Delays seem almost unavoidable and often add to the frustration and anticipation. For Brent Huckaby, a certified American Petroleum Institute inspector, dealing with these issues seems a little easier since he’s often traveling around the world keeping oil companies in compliance. Patience has proven to be a virtue as this 1997 Supra has taken the long road to big performance. Text and Photos by Richard Fong A Good Match Huckaby’s objective was simple, a…

Is the Percent of Power Gained Going to Be the Same From Dyno to Dyno? NO While some dynos showed comparable gains at specific RPMs, other engine speeds showed much different gains. Since different dynos have varying algorithms on how the load is applied, the boost curve is affected. Hence the most difference in percent of power gains is found in the RPM range that has boost transitioning to its steady-state level. Test Procedure We conducted our dynamometer test utilizing the exact same procedure at each facility in order to ensure consistency and a fair evaluation. All testing was done…

In the modern age of media where CGI and explosions in 3D dominate the silver screen, a younger audience would claw their eyes out during any black- and-white film of the old days. From television, to photography, even to the Nintendo Gameboy, the transition from monochromatic presentations to full color was inevitable. Data logging and display systems in cars and racing recently have followed suit. Decades ago, data acquisition consisted of bulky hardware with low memory and slow capture rates. For many systems, instead of downloading the data to analyze on a computer, engineers printed out near-indecipherable data on long…

Popular opinion is known to sway with the reveal of new information. This fact holds true for any segment from politics to tuning philosophies. Over the past three years as performance parts manufacturers continue to roll out different forced-induction systems for the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, the general consensus on the car has shifted from “this car needs more power” to “which kit should I get?” Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Cameron Parsons As a result of the aftermarket’s overwhelming support for this chassis, more options for power production are available for this platform than for most other…

Attention to detail is often the difference between winning and losing. Fuel Tech 101 explored the basic components that make up the fuel system: fuel tank, fuel filter(s), fuel lines, fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator and fuel injectors. Fuel Tech 101 also detailed the math behind choosing pumps and injectors that meet the maximum fuel demands of the engine. In Fuel Tech 201, we’ll build upon these basics to explore detailed products, techniques and strategies that compose a high- performance fuel system. Read our Fuel 101 Guide Understanding Ideal Ideal leads to perfection. In order to engineer and design the…

Nearly everyone has gone through or will have to go through the ultimate test of friendship: helping a friend move. The situation worsens if they happen to live in an upstairs apartment and need assistance moving the couch. Although this piece of furniture is mostly symmetrical and balanced in weight, you don’t want to be the unlucky one carrying the lower, heavier end when tilting it up and down stairs. Just as you’d prefer to split the lifting 50/50, your car’s tires ask for a fair and balanced weight distribution. With four tires at your disposal, corner balancing your car…

A blast of performance from a button. A properly designed nitrous-oxide system can reliably deliver a “shot” of additional performance on demand. A simple system with simple controls is able to deliver simple results. If your goal is simply fun, a properly installed, well-engineered kit will deliver. But, what if you want more out of your nitrous oxide system? Sure you can change jets for more power, but what if you need the power delivered in a different way? In addition to the tried and true method of adding “stages” to the nitrous oxide system, new technologies are now available…

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