RECENT POSTS

Race fuel is for racing? Of course it is. Anyone who’s heavily involved in motorsports is likely to have a collection of cars and parts along with a supply of five and 55-gallon fuel containers. But, why does racing require race fuel? Does higher quality race fuel make more power? Absolutely. In fact, race fuels can produce more power and reliability when combined with the proper engine calibration. The tune for the engine must be optimized to match the burn rate, specific gravity, and stoichiometry of each fuel. The ideal ignition timing, air-fuel mixture, and boost levels depend heavily on…

Purchasing an ECU reflash 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…

When Nissan released the R35 GT-R in Japan, the tuning community was abuzz about its capabilities and potential. Few imagined that tuning solutions for a car of relatively limited production would be developed in such a short window of time. But the global embrace of Japan’s world-class supercar drove an unprecedented demand for greater performance that pushed tuners to develop solutions quickly, or get left behind. Text and Photos by Richard Fong HKS Japan, whose humble beginnings in a small work shed at the base of Mount Fuji evolved into a tuning powerhouse of corporate proportion. It’s close relationship with…

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…

In our last STI GVB Test & Tune, we increased the EJ257’s operating efficiency with a bolt-on intake system, a high-flow downpipe, and an exhaust system. These bolt-ons netted a peak horsepower gain of just over 31 horsepower but revealed the limitations of the factory intercooler system as the power curves showed signs of detonation. In this segment we’ll explore solutions that allow us to safely increase the EJ’s power output while eliminating harmful detonation. Text and Photos by Arnold Eugenio // Dyno Testing and Tuning by Bill Knose/HG Motorsports The Parts The STI’s top-mounted intercooler sits above the engine,…

A split second can make the difference between winning and losing a race. A loss of traction is often the cause of those split second differences in performance. Hondata Inc. has studied traction issues experienced by drag racers, road racers, land speed racers and even the daily driver in their quest to put more Hondata-equipped cars in the winner’s circle. What started as a pet project developed into a new product solution thanks to a four-year development effort. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Interference Factory stability control and traction control systems employ the ABS sensors among other factory-installed sensors…

No guard rails, no run offs, rock walls and 1,000-foot drop offs. These factors make the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb a global draw. With their sights set on the 2013 “Race to the Clouds” Pikes Peak event, the road-racing specialists at Evasive Motorsports put together a proposal to Scion Racing. According to Evasive Motorsports’ Tony Kwan, “Our ten years in business have revolved around road racing and street performance. We wanted to build a hill climb car and Scion’s FR-S looked like the perfect platform to attack the mountain.” Scion Racing approved the project and Evasive Motorsports received its FR-S just eight weeks before the…

The last time we checked in on our Subaru STI sedan Test & Tune project, we extracted an additional 34.5 WHP by simply changing engine oil, installing new spark plugs, fine-tuning the engine calibration and increasing peak boost pressure by only 1.5psi. This time around, we enlisted the services of several bolt-on parts that are common to the upgrade path for EJ257 owners. In this process, we discovered a few more limitations of the factory system. Understanding these limits allows enthusiasts to make the right choices to safely increase power. Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Richard Fong //…

Subaru’s third-generation STI platform was released in the model year 2008 but was initially available only in the 5-door wagon configuration. This lack of choices had many Subaru enthusiasts holding off on purchases until the release of the GVB-coded sedan in 2011. With a few minor facelift and aero enhancements, the 2011-and-up STI models retained the same 2.5-liter EJ257 turbocharged boxer engine with its factory-rated 305 HP power output. The only notable difference between Gen 3A and Gen 3B STIs, outside of the availability of both the sedan and wagon platforms, was Subaru’s switch to a full-synthetic engine oil straight…

In this day and age of “there’s an app for that,” it is sometimes hard to “wow” someone with new technology. Instead of an “oh my God” reaction, a “that’s pretty cool” response is usually an indicator of something quite innovative. AEM Electronics is hoping for an “oh my God” reaction to its latest engine management system. The AEM Infinity-10 EMS puts leading-edge motorsports-technology engine management into a new platform for PnP high-performance enthusiasts. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Arnold Eugenio The Legacy While AEM may not have technically made the first plug-and-play (PnP) engine management systems, it…

Learning curves affect horsepower curves, so as Javier Loarca can attest, with greater knowledge comes greater horsepower. Loarca had raced an all-motor pro class car for a number of years. There he learned about making power without boost or nitrous oxide. When his all-motor racecar was sold, he purchased this Civic EG hatch as a commuter in 2007. But a short matter of time brought him back to racing as he sought to do something a bit different. Not only would he embark on a forced-induction journey, he would do so with Honda’s newer K-series powerplant instead of the B-series…

In our first Test & Tune with the K20Z3-based Honda Civic Si, we managed to bump up the power production with an overall 12.6 peak whp gained, with sections of the powerband showing increases as much as 19.1 whp. These power increases were realized with basic bolt-on products and an engine-refreshing upgrade to synthetic oil. For this round of parts, we decided to turn our attention to the area in and around the cylinder head to see if a few more aggressive bolt-ons could add power to our naturally-aspirated coupe. Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Jeren Walker, Vinh…

The eighth generation Honda Civic represents a legacy that dates back to the early 70’s. What started as an economy car evolved into the leader of the import tuning revolution of the early 90’s. Even though Subaru’s STI, Mitsubishi’s Evolution and Nissan’s Z have become exceptionally popular in the sport compact segment, an army of Honda loyalists continue to support the Civic banner, and Honda continues to answer with the Si. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Jeren Walker, Vinh Nguyen and Richard Fong // Wrenching by Jeren Walker K20Z3 Engine The FG2 Civic Si coupe and the FA5…

While the ignorant V8 “Mountain-Motor” camp still spouts the “There’s no replacement for displacement” mantra, various methods of forced-induction have proven to be the perfect substitutes for cubic inches. Turbochargers, along with positive displacement and centrifugal superchargers, have allowed small-displacement engines to multiply their naturally-aspirated output. When the desired power increases are on the order of 50-to-100-percent over the “all-motor” output, a properly-sized and well engineered turbocharger or supercharger system can generally provide the desired performance increase without a significant trade off in engine response. However, when the output of the engine is going to be doubled, tripled or quadrupled,…

Nothing can put the brakes on a project quicker than a FROZEN nut or bolt. Aside from being a massive frustration, seized hardware can lead you to demolish perfectly good tools or bust a knuckle or two. While there is no one method that will work on each and every situation, there are a few procedures that have proven effective in the past. Here’s a quick look at some knuckle-saving techniques. Text and Photos by Robert Choo Public Enemy #1 Make no mistake; rust and other types of metal oxidation are your enemy. Unfortunately, the underside of a car is…

1 56 57 58 59