Every year in early December, the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) tradeshow sets up shop in Orlando and invites all the major manufacturers in the racing industry to show off their wares. And for us it's like a racer's giant toy store. The show is all about racing, so there's no time wasted passing by booths of giant rims or weapons-grade stereo systems. That's cool and all, but we're all about the racing and PRI has it.
It's one of the two opportunities available to check out all of the great new racing hardware available. The other is, of course, the International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) in Indianapolis. We were at both shows this year and, in most cases, got to lay our hands on a whole slew of new parts so we can make a real-world judgment on whether it's really all the advertising materials say it's cracked up to be.
So without further ado, we bring you part one of the absolute best of what we found over five long days at the PRI and IMIS shows. Some of it can help you go faster, some of it can save you money, some of it can save you time in the shop or cut down on DNFs, and some of it's just for the fun of it. More will come in next month's issue,but we think all of it's pretty cool. Hopefully, you'll be able to find something in all of this to make your racing life just a little bit better. Now go out there and have a great season of racing!
Dart's new 9-degree cylinder head casting had already proven its worth in Super Dirt Late Model racing, and MBE Cylinder Heads and Manifolds has put its own stamp on this race-winning head with its custom porting touch. MBE has developed custom porting programs for everyone from NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to Top Fuel drag racers, and its cylinder heads produce some of the best flow characteristics you'll find anywhere.
MBE's Dart 9-degree head is capable of flowing 425 and 280 cfm through the intake and exhaust ports, respectively, while also keeping the port velocities high for good throttle response. MBE also offers a custom ported intake for this head for even better performance.
MBE Cylinder Heads and Manifolds
Vintage Look, Modern Protection
G-Force Racing Gear's new Pro Vintage full-face helmet has that great old-school look that many racers prefer without sacrificing modern safety standards. The Pro Vintage has earned the new SA 2010 rating for maximum protection and the full-face design provides plenty of visibility.\
G-Force Racing Gear
Quarter Master says its new carbon-fiber driveshaft (intended for Dirt Late Models but applicable anywhere else a CF driveshaft is legal) is the lightest on the market. For example, the 39-inch-length driveshaft weighs less than 4 pounds, which is 1.5 pounds less than the typical CF driveshaft of the same length and 2 pounds less than a similar driveshaft constructed from aluminum. The reduced moment of inertia this weight reduction provides should provide a measurable advantage during acceleration.
But the lighter weight doesn't come with a durability penalty. Quarter Master says the 3.0-inch CF driveshaft has tested to be able to handle more than 4,000 lb-ft of torque loading. For additional safety, the driveshaft has a sacrificial outer layer that is non-load bearing, so any superficial damage it withstands won't create a catastrophic failure.
JE Pistons has updated its SRP 305 Sprint piston with a complete redesign. The 305 Sprint class is all about low-cost racing, so the new piston is designed about maximum performance without adding any unnecessary costs. This brand-new, dedicated forging is lighter than the old 305 Sprint design and also uses a 2 1/4-inch long pin to help carve off additional ounces, but it has been left uncoated to help keep costs down.
This is a shelf stock piston and is quickly available in 0.020, 0.030, 0.040, and 0.060 over sizes. Dyno tests have shown this new SRP 305 Sprint piston to be worth 13 hp versus the old piston with no other changes.
There are a few racing classes out there that still require a cast-iron cylinder head but post no other restrictions beyond that. If this describes the rule book where you're racing, RHS has your secret weapon in its Pro Elite iron cylinder head. This head has fully ported 240cc intake runners and 53cc combustion chambers. It also features ductile iron valve seats instead of the hardened iron seats you usually find in these castings, so that it will work better with titanium valves. The flow advantage you will have over any as-cast cylinder head is significant, and the cost is better compared to any hand-ported cast-iron head that provides the same performance.
Bicknell has a new spindle with a built-in camber adjuster that not only makes camber adjustments a snap, but also allows adjustments without changing the kingpin angle. The angle is changed by spinning a slug built into the spindle itself. The slug is pinned to eliminate the chance for movement, and you can go from -2 to +2 degrees from your standard settings.
Bicknell Racing Products
Jesel's two-piece solid roller lifters have been a hit with engine builders (left in the photo), but, to be honest, they're also a bit high-end in the price department, too. As a response, Jesel has released the one-piece lifter (right) that maintains many of the premium lifter's best qualities at around half the price. The one-piece lifter does sacrifice the aluminum components which does make it a little heavier, but still offers a pressurized oiling circuit to the roller's needle bearings, a heat-treated stainless link bar fastened to the lifter bodies with tool-steel fasteners, and a precision-ground REM-polished steel body.
PBM has thrown the racing world a curve with its Hybrid Aluminum Block aimed at Outlaw Dirt Late Model racers. It utilizes classic big-block 4.84 bore centers to allow for big bore diameters with small-block bearings sizes and front accessories for lighter weight. The bare block is only 14 pounds heavier than an equivalent small-block, but allows a 4.550-inch bore with a 4.250-inch stroke with a 9.00-inch deck height. There's also a six-bolt rear main cap for ultimate crankshaft stability.
PBM Performance Products
No, that photo you see isn't upside down. That's an example of how much easier our lives can be when technology is used intelligently. This is Intercomp's new Digital Angle Gauge. Its square shape allows you to use any of the four sides to find an angle, and the display adjusts to read correctly even when the gauge itself is upside down. It operates on a single 9-volt battery, is small enough to slip into your pocket so you won't lose it at the track, features a backlit display to make reading it easy even in when crawling underneath the car in poorly lit pits, and reads from 0 to 90 degrees in 0.05-degree increments for accuracy.
For those of you looking for a more personalized touch than the usual decals, the Buegler Striper may be just what you're looking for. The Buegler Striper is a tool that makes it quite easy to acquire the skills classic pinstripers normally need years to perfect. It lays down a smooth even line quickly and easily, with no mess. Simply load the tool with the color you want (no thinning necessary) and get to work. The roller applies a smooth line, and the tool's solid contact with the work surface-unlike a brush-eliminates the "shaky hand" effect that plagues so many of our efforts at doing our own striping.
S.B. Beugler Company
Jones Racing Products has this new power steering pump and reservoir for asphalt Modified racers and anyone else with fitment issues underneath a low hood. This pump features all the benefits of JRP's other power steering pumps but also has an integral power steering fluid reservoir with a 22-ounce capacity. There are two access ports fabricated into the reservoir, and several different style fittings are included to make routing hoses in your chassis a cinch.
Jones Racing Products
This one is for the racetrack and series promoters out there. The question regarding GM's LS-based engines and stock car racing is no longer an "if" but a "when." Earnhardt Childress Racing recognizes this and has developed an LS-based spec engine capable of 600 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque at what it calls "very reasonable prices." The actual engine package is designed to be flexible so that ECR can custom fit it to any racing series that wants to use it. Want more horsepower? No problem. Maybe a fuel-injection system similar to what the Cup guys will be using in 2011? ECR can do that too.
Safety Solutions is now a part of the Simpson family of racing safety products, but that doesn't mean it is sitting on its laurels. Now, all of Safety Solutions' head-and-neck restraints feature an available sliding tether system. The sliding tether makes it easier for the driver to turn his/her head left and right for greater awareness on the track without reducing the amount of protection the restraint provides in the event of a head-on impact. In fact, because the slider aids pivoting head movement, the length of the tether between the helmet and the restraint can now be tightened even further, which can make the entire system even safer.
Maximum Effort 23-Degree Pistons
Wiseco calls its new Max 23 piston design the ultimate racing piston for anyone using 23-degree Chevy-style cylinder heads. This new forging is designed for light weight without sacrificing strength. In addition to a lighter overall piston, a 2.250-inch wristpin cuts weight versus the customary 2.950 pins. To cut friction, the piston skirts have been given an anti-friction coating, and the Max 23 pistons are packaged with high-quality GFX rings. Finally, the pistons have been given extra large valve pockets to allow for the aggressive cam profiles that many race engine builders are now running so that extra work to create proper clearances won't be required.
Who Doesn't Love A Remote?
If you do all of your TIG welding at a bench, then you've never encountered the frustration many chassis builders suffer. Miller's new Wireless TIG remote solves that frustration by ditching the cable that connects the foot pedal to the main unit. Now there will be no more tangles or re-routing your foot pedal through the jig when working on a chassis. The wireless setup means you can place the control pedal anywhere within 90 feet of the welder with no worries. Miller's wireless technology also eliminates conflicts between units, so multiple wireless remotes can be used inside a shop without glitching or affecting each other.
Ready For Abuse
Advancing technology is not only making small video cameras available, but also affordable. There are already several video camera options available, but now Stable Imagine Solutions is leading the charge with a video camera that looks like it can laugh off the abuse circle track racers normally deliver to their equipment. Protected inside an aluminum casing, the Replay cameras are small, unobtrusive, lightweight, and easy to use. Simple two-button operation should also make them foolproof. They're available in either standard or high definition units to fit your needs and budget.
Stable Imaging Solutions
The trend to use "small-blocks" with the larger 4.500-inch bore spacing in Dirt Late Model racing won't be going away anytime soon, and Dart's new 4.500 aluminum block casting is a big reason why. The larger bore spacing opens up space for larger cylinder bores than ever before for better breathing, less piston speed (when combined with a shorter stroke), and more displacement. But Dart's new casting is more than simply cramming larger cylinder liners in the same casting. Dart has enlarged the casting and reworked the water jackets to make sure the engine gets optimum cooling for peak power and improved durability.