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Dead or dying batteries suck. Did you leave the lights on? Is your alternator going bad? Does that high tech alarm that can start the car and communicate with you from two miles away leave your battery drained after you go away for a week? Or has your once-great battery been sitting on a shelf waiting for you to finally get your project car back on the road? Regardless of the circumstance, batteries have a limited life. However, properly caring for your battery is the best way to extend its service life. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Jun…

You must walk before you run. Despite what commericals say, unless you have perfect running technique and form, the latest and greatest from Nike isn’t going to help you win a marathon any more than a good kick in the ass would. Like running, racing a car requires maintaining a balance between upgrading equipment and developing proper driving technique. Getting caught up purchasing the latest equipment can blind people to the fact that they need to invest more time learning how to drive. To compete in wheel-to-wheel racing, two criteria have to be met; first, the vehicle needs adequate preparation,…

The hottest sport compacts to fly off the showroom floor have been Subaru’s BRZ and Scion’s FR-S. These fraternal siblings, born of a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, have received innumerable praise from the media and consumers for its styling, performance and value. With a low roll center that rivals that of supercars, the BRZ and FR-S have tremendous handling capabilities. Coupled with the new FA20/4U-GSE boxer engine that features both direct and port injection, tuners have really taken notice of this platform. Text and Photos by Richard Fong DEVELOPMENT DARLING For Subaru specialist Quirt Crawford at Crawford Performance,…

They said it couldn’t be done, so we did it. Had we been among the flock of misguided sheep looking to forums religiously, chances are that our engine combination would be very different. Following BAD forum advice would have likely resulted in missing the targeted horsepower goal while experiencing engine failures along the way. Taking a better path, we relied upon the engineering, engine building and engine development knowledge and experience that we have here at DSPORT. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Jun Chen Since there is not another automotive publication in the world that has a staff…

“Impressive” is a massive understatement when referring to the capabilities of Nissan’s R35 GT-R. With highly-tuned factory-engine/factory-turbo R35s breaking into the 9s and highly-modified, big-turbo/built-engine variants in the high 7s and low 8s, the performance potential is simply unbelievable. Today, trap speeds indicate that some of these GT-Rs are putting out over 1,800 horsepower to the ground. The vehicle that was touted at its launch as being “un-tunable” is now the recipient of some of the best-engineered aftermarket products in the world. While not a platform that can fit into everyone’s budget, those that do purchase the GT-R seem intent…

Racers, their tuners, and like-minded enthusiasts have propelled the tuning industry to once unimaginable new heights. Tuners and consumers alike have gained volumes of knowledge. Thanks to reflash tuning solutions for factory ECUs and greater availability of plug-and-play stand-alone engine management systems, vehicle performance has taken great strides. But with strides come greater risks, and the precision of engine tuning can make the difference between big power or big problems. Text and Photos by Richard Fong IDEAL RATIOS For a combustion engine, proper function hinges on the delivery of a proper air-to-fuel ratio. But what is the ideal ratio? With…

Thirteen thousand square feet. Fully-equipped precision engine machine shop. A 2,000-wheel-horsepower, all-wheel-drive dynamometer. A dedicated fabrication area and garage. We put just about everything that any import performance enthusiast would dream of under one roof. And here’s why we did it. Text by Jun Chen // Photos by Jun Chen and Richard Fong A Look Behind the DSPORT Logo Having worked out of a small shack in the back corner of a strip mall for over nine years, we realized that our expansion needed to include more than just office space. We needed to build a facility that enabled us…

Knock knock. Who’s there? Your blown engine. The four-cycle combustion engine has come quite a long way in its evolution and thanks to technology; it has risen to a precise science. Although precision is great, it also leaves little margin for error, especially at extreme boost pressures and high engine speeds. There are any number of events that could occur which have the potential to cause damage to an engine. One of the worst events is engine knock, the not so silent killer of engines. Like high blood pressure and some forms of cancer, early detection of knock can be…

More people will dream of driving a racecar than will ever get into one. As easy as it is to be swept up by the allure of racing, the process to get started seems difficult and elusive. The reality? Getting started is as easy as attending a weekend class at a community college and costs just about as much. While the thought of going back to school may not appeal to most people, every car enthusiast has dreamed of racing at one point in their life. What most people are unaware of is that the National Auto Sport Association (NASA)…

Boost is Best. If you disagree, find a 1,000WHP 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine without a turbocharger. On turbocharged engines, the turbo(s) takes center stage in determining the ultimate power output. If a turbo lacks the capacity to hit the power goal, the goal will not be realized. If a turbo is “too big,” the powerband on the engine will be extremely narrow. An absence of low-end and mid-range power results when a poorly matched turbocharger is selected. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Jun Chen TAKING IT TO THE LIMIT While you may be more familiar with the newest-generation of…

Sometimes tough luck will find you at the worst possible moment. The only thing you can do is assess the situation, formulate a game plan and execute it. Project Silvia’s SR23 presented an unusual hurdle as we prepared for a NASA HPDE track event. During a routine oil change, an unexpected part had found its way into the oil pan. Attached to the magnetic oil drain bolt was the oil jet that lubricates the timing chain. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Small Part, Hard To Access The press fit oil jet somehow dislodged itself from the block and luckily…

Performance without pizzazz. It’s the mentality of the street stalker-strip rocker that preys on unsuspecting fools that front with their “all show, no go” rides at stoplight encounters. But to do so while retaining the comforts for daily drivability have proven the greatest challenge for some of these street predators. In the search for ultimate performance, many mistakenly sacrifice the very features that make a streetcar. Imagine having to sweat it out in the summer, freeze in the winter, only drive the car when it’s dry or suffer the noise and vibration of a gutted chassis. It’s not very fun…

There hasn’t been this much hype and attention focused on the race to be the quickest and the fastest since the golden era of modern import drag racing. Back then, the likes of Steph Papadakis, Adam Saruwatari and David Shih battled it out for the title of quickest and fastest import. Today, top tuning shops across the USA and Japan have investing heavily in building parts and performance solutions for Nissan’s R35 GT-R platform. While Japan has focused on the street and on-track capabilities of the GT-R, America’s passion for brute acceleration has focused on the R35’s quarter-mile capabilities. 10-second,…

Many people say that if your job is your passion, you won’t work a day in your life. But when your job becomes work, it will often kill that passion. For Bob Wilkinson, his passion for cars started before he could drive, and after taking shop courses in high school, he decided to be an automotive technician. After attending technical school, Bob went to work as a mechanic. But after five years as a technician, he began to lose the passion for his own project cars. He recalled, “When you’re working on other people’s cars all day, 40 hours a…

Kill the VTEC, Get Ready for 11,000 RPM. Honda’s VTEC technology is one of the best things about the B-series engine. The technology essentially produces the same effect as blending the performance benefits of multiple cam profiles. The low-lift lobes are able to establish a smooth idle, great low-end torque, high manifold vacuum and great part throttle response. The high-lobe is able to deliver all of the benefits of increased valve duration and lift. That translates into an engine that doesn’t run out of steam as it nears redline. Instead, it just seems to want to rev forever. The VTEC…

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