Every year, the racing industry uses the Performance Racing Industry and IMIS-Indy trade shows, both held in early December to debut new products that will be available to racers and engine builders for the upcoming racing season. That’s why we’re always eager to attend the shows to see just what goodies are going to be on our Christmas wish list. And this year was no different.
We saw—and drooled over—everything from air cleaners to tire cleaner. Lots of it is simply a refinement of something that’s already out there, some of it is incredibly inventive, and some of it left us scratching our heads. To help give you a heads-up on the competition we’ve rounded up some of the best, most interesting, and most useful items we found from the show.
There should be something in here you can find useful. Enjoy!
Lots of racetracks and sanctioning bodies try to hold down speeds by requiring the use of an rpm limiter. And a lot of times racers are trying to use their tach and the driver’s eyeballs to make sure they are hitting the chip consistently and at the right point on the racetrack. But a mechanical tach can vary considerably from your engine’s true rpm, and if you can’t trust your tach, how do you know that the rev limiter is accurate?
Crane solved that problem with its Digital Rev Limit Tester. This unit not only works with Crane’s racing ignition systems, but it’s also compatible with MSD’s 6 series and Mallory’s CD ignition systems and is accurate to plus or minus 5 rpm. Not only can you ensure that your rev limiter is hitting at the right rpm level, but it can also be used to check the accuracy of your tach.
GM’s crate racing programs have taken off at racetracks across the country. They are popular because they are quite inexpensive compared to most handbuilt race engines, but with that economy does come a few trade-offs. One of the big ones is the valvesprings. The stock springs used in the 602 and 604 crate engines lose their tension, and most race teams find they must change the springs after just three or four weekends of racing.
To deal with that issue, Comp Cams has developed these valvesprings designed to be a drop-in upgrade for Chevy crate engines. They install at the same height and have the same pressures, but the improved quality of materials and surface finish means these springs won’t lose their tension over the course of a season versus just a few races. And if your sanctioning body just happens not to allow aftermarket valvesprings, these bad boys visually look just like stock—not that we’re suggesting anything…
Modern action sports video cameras are a marvel of engineering and we’ve seen some incredible in-car videos produced from these little gems. But one complaint we often hear from teams is that after sitting on pit road waiting to get onto the track, warm-up laps, and if there is an extended caution, the small batteries the cameras run off of can’t make it through to the checkered flag.
Replay XD has a new hardwire system for its cameras that not only means a dead battery is no longer an issue, but you can also control when the camera is recording right from easy reach on your dash. No more wading through 20 laps under caution filling up your memory card because some backmarker hit the wall again.
Super Light Clutch
Quarter Master continues to push the boundaries of lightweight clutches. Its newest design swaps out the standard back plate for a machined aluminum unit. There’s also a fulcrum ring, which cuts additional weight. This cuts a full pound and a half off of an already light clutch system. Best of all, if you already have a Quarter Master clutch, it will sell you just the parts you need to upgrade your existing hardware.
Rear Mount Alternator and Power Steering
KRC Power Steering’s new rear mount alternator and power steering pump assembly for Ford Racing crate engines is designed for dirt track racing. It allows you to simplify everything going on at the front of the engine and move a little more weight to the center of the chassis. The mounting system keys off the bellhousing and includes a single serpentine water pump drive with an idler tensioner. All the necessary bolts and brackets are included in the kit.
KRC Power Steering
LS Oil Pan
More and more tracks are allowing LS-based engines because they make easy power and are quickly becoming plentiful in the junkyards. The aftermarket has supported the LS engine for years, but this time around we noticed a big uptick of products to help the LS engine go stock car racing. Milodon’s dry-sump oil pan for LS engines is definitely one of the coolest in this category. This pan has all the tricks to minimize horsepower losses from windage. It can handle stroke up to 4.25 inches, but is only 4.5 inches deep to work with big bar/soft spring setups. There are two oil pickups under the windage screen, and the adjustable scrapers fit tightly between the crankshaft counterweights.
Quick Fuel Technology now has billet carburetor fuel bowls with extra volume. The larger bowls mean more stable fuel delivery to the carburetor jets and venturis, as well as more stable fuel temps. Quick Fuel has also incorporated baffling into the bowls to minimize fuel slosh so that the jets are never uncovered.
Quick Fuel Technology
CP-Carrillo’s new X Forging pistons aim to bring top-shelf quality at a great value. These Chevy flat-top pistons, for example, sport an 0.043-, 0.043-, 3mm ring package and gas ports for great cylinder sealing. A short 2.250-inch pin length also helps keep weight to a minimum. These forged pistons are designed to work well in high compression applications.
Dirt Accessory Drive
Jones Racing Products’ new rear-mount accessory drive system for dirt track racing cleans up the accessory drives and moves the alternator to the rear of the engine where it is better protected and out of the way. The alternator pulls less than one-half of one horsepower and is driven off the pulley of the multi-stage oil pump. The entire system mounts up to the bellhousing unlike many systems that mount to the motor midplate. This eliminates fitment issues for teams that wish to scallop the midplate to cut unnecessary weight.
Jones Racing Products
Brake on Left
Afco’s new brake pedals are quite a switch—literally. The Ultimate Brake Pedal Assembly, as Afco calls it, moves the brake pedal to the left and puts the clutch in the center between the brake and throttle pedals. The idea is that you don’t stand with your feet directly side by side, so the extra space between the pedals will feel more comfortable to you in the race car. Besides the pedal switch, this unit has been designed through FEA analysis to be as much as 30 percent more rigid. And less pedal flex equals better brake feel for the driver.
JRi is a trusted shock manufacturer for several of NASCAR’s top Truck, Nationwide, and Cup teams, and now it’s consistently moving into the Saturday night racing ranks. Its newest offering is a United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) legal shock. It can be had with and without a Schrader valve depending on your rules, and it features the same JRi commitment to quality found it its shocks for high-level professional teams.
Lots of engine builders working with GM’s LS engines are forced to use a double-row timing chain for the strength it provides to stand up to the extra stresses from racing. But the added thickness of the double-row chain creates fitment issues. It can create problems with the timing cover and require spacers for the water pump. But Cloyes has eliminated that need with its single-row Z Chain timing sets for LS engine. The Z Chain is said to be incredibly strong and can handle engines with as much as 680 pounds of open spring pressure. And that’s with the camshaft spinning the distributor as well. The sprockets are heat treated billet and the crank sprocket is adjustable to plus or minus 6 degrees.
Cloyes Gear and Products
479/646-1662, ext. 228