Author Archive

Who doesn’t like a sweet deal on some new parts for their favorite car, the Mustang? We’ll we know we do! Through our normal surfing, we were checking out New Take Off’s web site and found two things to improve the exterior look and function on the S197 Mustang – a Chin Spoiler and a set of Bullitt Wheels.

You can find these deals as well as others from New Take Off, by checking out their website.

First up we saw the chin spoiler. New Take Off is offering this for all 2005-2009 Mustang owners that are looking to add a stronger stance to their car. Designed by Classic Design Concepts, the spoiler highlights the natural lines of the factory bumper and features a textured black surface similar to the type seen on the stock black mirror housings. Though, these can be painted to match your existing body color. We liked it because it installs using factory hardware and a few strips of 3M acrylic bonding tape so you won’t have to hack up your bumper to install it. In this package, NTO includes the entire front bumper with the spoiler already installed! This is perfect for those with a beat up bumper that are looking to replace it with something with more style – and of course V6 owners wanting to upgrade to the GT look. New Take Off has this on sale for $369.99.

Another sweet deal is the set of four chrome Mustang Bullitt wheels. Measuring in at 17”X8”, these five spoke wheels are the same ones equipped on the Bullitt Mustang with the chrome wheel option. That means they can fit all 2005-2010 Mustangs, including V6 models with no modifications. Normally these wheels sell for around $1,600. NTO on the other hand is letting these go for only $799.99, just under half what they normally go for.

But the guys and gals over at New Take Off wanted to kick it up another notch for you Stang TV die-hards. They are offering an additional $100 of the Chrome Billett Wheels, when you purchase the wheel and tire package and use the discount code PowerTV. This deal runs until the end of the month, so move quickly!

Tools are an important part of the automotive lifestyle, and I think it is safe to say there is defiantly an unwritten list of “Must Have” tools. These can range from a simple box wrench, to a pneumatic-powered impact gun. With the advancement of technology, video, and more specifically, video cameras, have worked their way into the tool box of some of the top level racers regardless of sport. More and more, we see racers having their car recorded to study how it performs out on the track, just like in the stick and ball world.

But why does the power and usefulness of video have to stop when the car gets off the track? We were checking out Cornwell Tools website and found this full color, high resolution, video scope designed for the automotive industry. Instantly, our minds were flooded with uses for this tool. We came up with a few of the places this would be useful to for our cars, but we also want to know – what could you use this tool for?

Real quick, here is the quick rundown on this tool:
• High resolution auto focus color camera
• 2.5-inch full color viewing monitor
• Video Output
• 10MM shaft diameter
• Fluidproof, flexible Staylok shaft
• High output LED illumination
• Light Source – Dual white LED’s at tip
• Kits include: Scope, batteries, clip-on mirror and magnet, and storage case

Bent Valves?
Yeah, it happens to the best of us. You get a little excited with the RPMs, float the valves, and POW! Piston hits the valve, valve gets bent, and doesn’t seat right in the head. Now, while a simple compression check might be able to tell you which cylinder is the culprit, but could you really tell for sure that it was the valves and not a blown ring? Imagine if you could feed this camera into the spark plug hole and take a look at the valves, all without ever removing the heads!

Worried About Your Eyes?
Sight is an important sense, no disputing that. We imagine that you could even use this camera to see things that you wouldn’t want your eyes exposed to, like inspecting the fuel pickup in your fuel cell without even draining the gas. Really, the uses are endless. This is one tool that is defiantly going to be on our wish list.

Source:
Cornwell Tools
Web: www.cornwelltools.com
Phone: 800-321-8356

We honestly love reading tech articles just as much as we do writing them. Learning is an important part of hot rodding – after all it was the sharing of what we have learned with each other that has gotten us here today. We were surfing over on the Spohn Performance Blog and found out about a series of tech articles they are putting together on suspension technology. The first one covers suspension alignment settings, and it is a great topic that many don’t understand. If you don’t know what caster is, or how thrust angle effects handling, you need to read this.

We went ahead and included the first part of the article below. While this one might be a little basic for some, look for the next segments to increase in tech. To make sure you get the rest of the series, you can follow their blog here via RSS.

From Spohn Performance Blog:

In our new series of technical articles we will address some of the most common questions our technical support group receives on a regular basis. Please leave your comments below this post with any suggestions you’d like to see us cover in future technical articles. These articles are being written to benefit you, so your input is greatly appreciated. Remember that you can always find our technical resources in the future very easily through our searchable online FAQ/Knowledgebase located at http://www.spohn.net/support.

Tech Article: Suspension Alignment Settings Explained

Camber:

Camber is the tilting of the wheels from the vertical when viewed from the front of the vehicle. When the wheels tilt outward at the top, the caster is positive (+). When the wheels tilt inward at the top, the camber is negative (-). The amount of tilt is measured in degrees from the vertical. Camber settings influence the directional control and the tire wear.

Too much positive camber will result in premature wear on the outside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts. Too much negative camber will result in premature wear on the inside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts.

Unequal side-to-side camber of 1 degree or more will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the most positive camber.

Caster:

Caster is the tilting of the uppermost point of the steering axis either forward or backward, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. A backward tilt is positive (+) and a forward tilt is negative (-). Caster influences directional control of the steering but does not affect the tire wear. Caster is affected by the vehicle height, therefore it is important to keep the body at its designed height, or correct the caster setting when altering the vehicle’s height. Overloading a vehicle or a weak or sagging rear spring will affect caster. When the rear of the vehicle is lower than it’s factory ride height, the front suspension moves to a more positive caster. If the rear of the vehicle is higher than it’s factory ride height, the front suspension moves to a less positive caster.

With too little positive caster, steering may be touchy at high speed and wheel returnability may be diminished when coming out of a turn. If one wheel has more positive caster than the other, that wheel will pull toward the center of the vehicle. This condition will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the least amount of positive caster.

Lead / Pull:

At a constant highway speed on a typical straight road, lead/pull is the amount of effort required at the steering wheel to maintain the vehicle’s straight path. Vehicles will tend to lead/pull in the direction of the road slope as part of normal operation. Lead/pull is usually caused by the following factors…

To read the rest of the article, visit the Spohn Blog.

Who doesn’t love the Shelby GT500 KR. Besides it’s massive 5.4L supercharged engine, the suspension was tuned by SVT with unique spring rates, dampers, stabilizer bars, and strut tower brace that was sourced from Ford Racing. That means you can upgrade the suspension on your 2005-2009 Mustang to the KR’s level easily. Doesn’t matter if it is a V6, GT, or even the GT500 – this will improve the handling of your car.

To make it affordable, Buy Ford Racing is offering two KR suspension packages to turn your pony into a snake at a smoking good price. The suspension upgrade is divided into two part numbers. The first one covers the struts and shocks, while the second gets you the springs. Not only will these give you a better ride quality and performance, a better look stance will come with it as well.

Check out the struts and shocks here.

More info on the springs here.

The truly amassing part of this deal has to be the price. While the KR rolled off dealer lots at around $80,000, combined these two packages will only run you less than $340. That is about the same or less than stock replacements, so why not get more for your money?

<a href=’http://www2.powertvonline.com/digitalads/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a8679b06&amp;cb=465′ target=’_blank’><img src=’http://www2.powertvonline.com/digitalads/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=261&amp;cb=67896&amp;n=a8679b06′ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>

Just a few short years ago, IMV films produced a video that captured the true essence of racing and the automotive lifestyle. The film was called Vehicular Lunatics, and it received rave reviews from just about anyone that saw it.

Now IMV and Vehicular Lunatics are back in the news again. Previously, the only way to enjoy this one of a kind film was to order a DVD copy of it. While great as that is, the future is here and with it comes on demand programing. Currently IMV is working to offer a online pay per view solution for enthusiasts to watch their creation.

For those who do not remember, or maybe didn’t hear about Vehicular Lunatics, you are truly missing out. This video has it all. Crazy street bike stunts, high horsepower street racing, and even some big name appearances from Hulk Hogan and John Hennessey. Plus all the beater car abuse and comical scenes that made this movie famous.

We’ve heard from sources inside IMV that they are currently working on a second Vehicular Lunatics. While it is unclear exactly when the film will be released, one thing is for sure. It is going to be even more crazy than the first, and will more than live up to the Vehicular Lunatics name.

If you’ve never seen the film, check out the previews below and be sure to visit IMV Website to order your copy.

Source:

IMV Films
Web: www.imbfilms.com

Go Pro HD HERO Review and Tips

Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Considering that we are a video production company and that we publish online magazines, it comes as no surprise that we occasionally geek out a bit on new camera hardware. The latest gadgets to really get our techno-blood pumping are the new Go Pro HD HERO cameras.

We recently picked up a few of these small but feature-packed units for use as on-car cameras. Our expectations were modest to say the least, but after just one afternoon with these pocket sized gems and our original opinions were blown away. The Go Pro HD HERO is one of the best action sports cameras that we have ever used! Let’s learn more about these full HD cameras, as well as show you some of our tips for mounting and using them to record motorsports action.

Camera Overview

Many may remember the first Go Pro camera released just a few short years ago. The original HERO camera took still photos at 3 megapixels and could shoot video in 512×384 pixels at 30 frames per second (FPS). The latest version of the camera, the HD HERO, features a bump up in resolution to 5MP for shooting awesome photos in both single shot and action burst mode.


Just to give you an idea of how compact the HD HERO is, this is the camera in front of a standard-size business card from one of the Go Pro guys.

As cool as the increased still resolution is, it’s really the video side of things that impressed us the most. These cameras, which are literally matchbox-sized, are now capable of shooting video in full 1080p resolution. For those who know more about engine compression than video compression, that means the HD HERO records movies at the same level of quality you get from a Blu-ray DVD player.


Racers will get the most use out of the HD Motorsports HERO suction-cup mount, but the kit comes with several alternative ways of securing the camera to your car, your helmet, or even yourself.

A Tool, Not a Toy

Sure, you can stick this camera on your car and have a blast watching all the footage you start collecting, but there can be more to the HD HERO than just entertainment. Look closely the next time you’re at the track and you’ll see professional race teams using video cameras as a data logging device. Drag racers use them to see how the car is maneuvering down the track, and the circle track guys use them to see their line. By a large margin, Go Pro’s products are the cameras of choice for recording in- and on-car video for testing and analysis.


The HD HERO features simple controls to make it easy to set up and use without being a professional videographer.

We recently had the chance to put these cameras to work on a film shoot with Nitto Tire for their line of off-road tires. Some sample video from that shoot is just below, and be sure to take a look at the demonstration videos from the Go Pro site as well – it’s amazing!

Mounting Tips and Tricks

Go Pro made it very easy to mount these cameras almost anywhere on a vehicle. Their incredibly small size lets them physically fit in places that other cameras simply can’t, and their wide angle lens ensures that you won’t miss the shot even if the camera isn’t perfectly framed.


The suction cup mount will securely attach to most any relatively flat, smooth surface, including body panels and glass or Lexan.

For drag racing, one really cool shot you’ll frequently see from HD HERO users is when the camera is mounted on the trunk of the car. Looking backward, it’s easy to see how the car moves relative to the groove on the launch, all the way down-track, and even when the parachute deploys. Plus, you might just get to see your competition falling behind as well, if you’re lucky…


Thanks to the water-resistant housing, spray from the burnout box won’t do any permanent harm.

Who doesn’t love burnout shots? Besides the entertainment factor of watching smoke boil off the tires, a closeup video of the tire can also be a tuning aid. The Go Pro camera is capable of shooting in both 30 and 60 FPS modes. The higher frame rate lets you slow it down during playback on your computer and see more detail of things like sidewall wrinkle and suspension compression.


The polycarbonate case and tempered glass lens cover are both very durable, but should you somehow damage either piece, they’re inexpensive to replace.

Don’t worry about mounting the camera in a compromising position because these things are truly built to last. The waterproof case makes it submersible up to 180 feet under water, and it also helps to protect the camera from debris like flying rubber. Go Pro has also gone to considerable trouble to design both the camera and case to minimize wind noise – a useful feature when it’s mounted to the outside of a racecar!


The suction mount will work equally well on steel or fiberglass bodywork.

Because there are a number of ways you can position this camera thanks to the adjustable suction mount, the angles that you can achieve with these cameras straight out of the box is limited only by your own creativity.


Interior mounting is easy, too, either with the suction cup or one of the included self-adhesive mounts.

With a Go Pro camera you have the ability to keep an eye on the driver as well. The suction mount can be placed on any flat surface, outside or inside the car – just make sure it is clean. We used a quick shot of detail spray or glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to prep the surface before sending the car down the track.

Go Pro HD HERO Kit Options

Go Pro sells the HD HERO in a few different flavors for various uses. The only difference between the kits are the types of mounts included in them. The camera is the same no matter which one you order. Here is the quick overview:

HD Helmet HERO

The Helmet HERO was designed for sports where helmets can be used as a mounting point for the camera. A great example of this would be motocross, FMX, street bike riding, and even go karts. We’ve seen base jumpers and skydivers use this one as well.

1 HD HERO Camera (5 megapixel)
1 Rechargeable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
1 Waterproof Quick-Release Housing (180’/60m)
1 Headlamp-Style Head Strap
1 Vented Helmet Strap
2 Curved 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
2 Flat 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
1 Three-Way Pivoting Side Arm Assembly
2 Quick-Release Buckles
1 USB Cable
1 Component Video (HDTV) Cable
1 Composite Video + Audio Out Cable
Warranty: One Year


The HD HERO is available in several different kits, depending on which mounting options are most important to you.

HD Motorsports HERO

Designed for use on vehicles, the mounts included with this kit give you plenty of options for mounting the camera in a number of different angles. Whether you are drag racing, autocrossing, have a hot street car, or anything like that, this is the kit for you.

1 HD HERO Camera (5 megapixel)
1 Rechargeable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
1 Waterproof Quick-Release Housing (180’/60m)
3 Flat 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
2 Curved 3M™ Adhesive Mounts
2 Quick-Release Buckles
1 Vertical Surface “J-Hook” Buckle
1 Suction Cup Mount
1 Three-Way Pivoting Side Arm Assembly
1 USB Cable
1 Component Video (HDTV) Cable
1 Composite Video + Audio Out Cable
Warranty: One Year

HD Surf HERO

As the name says, this one is for those that like to get wet.

1 HD HERO Camera (5 megapixel)
1 Rechargeable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
1 Waterproof Quick-Release Housing (180’/60m)
1 3M™ Adhesive Mounting Base
1 FCS™ Plug-Compatible Mount
1 Quick-Release Buckle
1 Leash
1 USB Cable
1 Component Video (HDTV) Cable
1 Composite Video + Audio Out Cable
Warranty: One Year

HD HERO Naked


This is the kit for those that are not looking for a lot of mounts. It is the perfect way to purchase a second or third camera, which is what we did.

1 HD HERO Camera (5 megapixel)
1 Rechargeable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
1 Waterproof Quick-Release Housing (180’/60m)
1 Curved 3M™ Adhesive Mount
1 Quick-Release Buckle
1 USB Cable
1 Component Video (HDTV) Cable
1 Composite Video + Audio Out Cable
Warranty: One Year

Full Go Pro HD HERO Tech Specs:

Camera Optics

Lens Type: Fixed Focus (2ft/.6m – infinity), glass
Aperture: f/2.8 (high performance in low-light situations)
Angle of View: 170º ultra wide angle in WVGA, 720p, or 960p mode
Angle of View: 127º wide angle in 1080p mode

Video

HD Video Resolution Modes: (subject to change, pending final firmware release)
1080p = 1920×1080 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 15 Mbit/s data rate
960p = 1280×960 pixels (4:3), 30 fps, 12 Mbit/s data rate
720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 15 Mbit/s data rate
720p = 1280×720 pixels (16:9), 30 fps, 8 Mbit/s data rate
WVGA = 848×480 pixels (16:9), 60 fps, 8 Mbit/s data rate
Sensor Type: 1/2.5″ HD CMOS, 2.2µm-sized pixels
Light Sensitivity: Super low-light sensitivity (>1.4 V/lux-sec)
Video Format: H.264 compression, saved as Windows- & Mac-compatible MPEG4 (.mp4) file
Exposure Control: Auto with user selectable center weighted average and spot metering settings
White Balance: Auto

Audio

Microphone: Built-in, mono with AGC (automatic gain control)
Audio Format: 48 kHz, AAC audio compression

Photo

Resolution: 5 megapixel
Capture Modes: Single shot, photo every 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 secs.; 3 photo burst; self-timer

Storage

Memory: SD card, up to 32GB capacity (SDHC)
Average recording times (using 32GB SD card):
1080p (30 fps): 4h 21m
960p (30 fps): 5h 26m
720p (60 fps): 4h 21
720p (30 fps): 8h 09m
WVGA (60 fps): 8h 09m

Camera Connectors & Cables

PC Connection: USB 2.0 (data connection and battery charging)
HDTV Out: HD NTSC & PAL (component cable included)
Audio Out: Combo 2.5mm jack with stereo audio and composite video out
PC Compatibility: Windows® XP (Service Pack 2 or later), Vista, or Windows 7; Mac OS® X 10.4.11 and later

Power & Battery

Battery Type: Rechargeable 1100 mAh lithium-ion
Battery Life: Approximately 2.5 hrs
Charging: via USB to computer or optional power adapter
Charge Time: 80% capacity after 1 hour with optional power adapter; or 2 hours with a computer’s USB port

Waterproof Camera Housing

Depth Rating: Up to 180 feet / 60 meters
Construction: Polycarbonate and stainless steel
Hardware: Stainless steel

Size & Weight

Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2” (42mm x 60mm x 30mm)
Weight: 3.3oz (94g) incl. battery, 5.9oz (167g) including housing

Source:

Go Pro
Web: www.goprocamera.com

CNC porting is hands down the most cost-effective way to port and polish your heads. One company that we’ve been working with for some time now is Ford Performance Solutions / Avenger Cylinder heads. Owner Troy Bowen has helped us with a few engine builds, and we decided to take a little closer look at his CNC-ported heads, branded under the “Avenger” name – in return. Enjoy!

Check out the video below, and read below for even more cool facts and tidbits on CNC porting:

Top Interesting “CNC Porting” Facts

  • CNC porting involves more than just loading a bare head into a CNC machine and pushing the magical GO button: “Each port design really starts out as a hand ported design,” explains Bowen. “Things such as CFM, port volume and combustion chamber profile are just a few sources for data that are collected and analyzed during this process to ensure the port-design is top notch,” added Bowen.

  • Port Digitizing is what “Maps” your port: This digital information is a graphed into a computerized model and used to set what is called the tool path. The tool path is the exact patch the CNC cutter will follow to best recreate the original hand ported design. This program takes into account the size and length of the cutter to ensure that there are no accidental cuts, especially when reaching deep into the runners.
  • Double Checking the “Map” versus the original “Port” is important:
    Before going to mass production, Bowen takes the time to ensure the tool path results in a port job that is similar to the original hand ported design.

  • Prototype Testing is Critical: “Once this first prototype is finished being ported, it returns to the flow bench and dyno for additional testing to compare it to the original hand ported model,” says Bowen. From there changes are made when necessary to ensure the final tool path results in a high flowing CNC head.

  • Matching & Blending the port entry & exit is the tricky part: The matching and blending of where the intake and exhaust ports meet up with the valve bowl is extremely important. Getting this wrong will cause even the best designed port to flow like you know what. “Making sure that the head is indexed properly in relation to the tool during setup ,” says Bowen.

  • Don’t Get Shanked: The CNC machine actually keeps active track of the shank of the porting tool to try to keep it from colliding with the port entry while reaching deep into the port. According to Bowen, “This is critical or the tool will snap or gouge the port.”

  • Hand Blending: It Helps: Avenger hand blends any “steps” formed from the cutting tool and blends in the valve job to a smooth finish. The final step for Avenger is to assemble the heads with quality springs, valves, and other valve train hardware, before packaging them up to be shipped out.

Source

Avenger Cylinder Heads
Web: www.avengercylinderheads.com
Phone: 714-773-4177

In today’s world, if you build a high performance vehicle, every aspect of the car needs to perform at its best. Centerforce Clutches makes high performance clutches and flywheels for a number of popular American muscle applications for that exact reason. Back in the early part of the 1980s, Bill Hays (legendary hot roder and SEMA Hall of Fame member) sought to cure problems with what was then the existing designs of clutches, while developing a competition-rated clutch/pressure plate system. Bill’s invention was then patented as the Centerforce Weighted Clutch System.

The rest as they say is history. His little shop in Midway, CA soon grew to a 48,000 square-foot operation in Prescott, AZ. Now almost 20 years later, Centerforce is still on the cutting edge of clutch design. They back that statement up with the fact that they have 9 separate U.S. patents for their products which translates to over 1,700 different clutch and pressure plate applications for automotive applications. Many of those are for popular late model American cars such as the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger.

To learn more about some of their processes and how they build their clutches, we took a trip to their Prescott, AZ facility. While we were there, we learned a lot about the different products that Centerforce makes, as well as what types of technology goes into their clutches. We saw everything from the manufacturing of the friction materials, to how things are packaged and shipped to speed shops and customers across the nation – plus everything in between. They even showed us some of their manufacturing process that had never been seen before!

Best of all, we shot a complete shop tour covering everything that we saw. (Plus a little fun they had with a Camaro in the parking lot.) That video is playing above for your enjoyment.

Source:

Centerforce Clutches
Web: www.centerforce.com
Phone: 928-771-8422

JMS Chip & Performance has just released their JMS Dominator SN197 rear brake kit. This kit includes coated/drilled rotors, caliper relocation brackets, ABS brackets, and all of the mounting hardware. This kit will fit on ’05 and up Mustang GT and GT500s.

Official Release

JMS CHIP & PERFORMANCE Dominator SN197 Rear Brake Kit

This brake kit allows the use of 15 inch rear wheels on any S197 Mustang GT or GT500.

SN197 owners can now take advantage of the various drag radial and slick sizes available for 15 inch wheels. You can now run a tire with enough sidewall to get even the highest horsepower S197’s down the street or track.

This kit contains: coated/drilled rotors, caliper relocation brackets, abs brackets, mounting hardware and detailed instructions.

Retail Price is $219.00. Dealer inquires welcome. For more information go to www.jmschip.com or call JMS Chip & Performance at 601-766-9424.

• Coated/drilled rotors
• Allows the use of 15 inch rear wheels
• Retail price of $219.00

Contact Information

JMS Chip & Performance
Web: www.jmschip.com
Phone: 601-766-9424

New for 2010 are some brand new products from many of the COMP Performance Group companies. These include COMP Cams, TCI Automotive, FAST, and ZEX to name a few. Here are some things that we thought you needed to check out from these new books.

COMP Cams
Thumpr Cams
Ultra Pro Magnums Rocker Arms
COMP Break In Oil
Elite Race Lifters
Ultra Dual Valve Springs

TCI Automotive
6X Transmission
4L80E 6-Pinion Planetary Sets
Ford AOD Rebuild Kit
TH400 Full Manual Reverse Shift Pattern Valve Body
LS-Series Permanent Magnet Starter

FAST
EZ-EFI System
Dual Sensor Air/Fuel Meter
LSXR & LSXRT Intake Manifolds
XFI Fuel Injection Systems

ZEX
S197 Mustang Nitrous Systems
LSX Nitrous Systems
Race Perimeter Plate Kits
Dual Outlet Purge Kit

RHS
Pro Elite CNC Ported Cylinder Heads
LS Race Block
Cylinder Head Assembly Kits

Contact Information:

COMP Cams
Phone: 800-999-8053
Web: www.compcams.com

TCI Automotive
Phone: 888-776-9824
Web: www.tciauto.com

FAST
Phone: 877-334-8355
Web: www.fuelairspark.com

ZEX
Phone: 888-817-1008
Web: www.zex.com

RHS
Phone: 877-776-4323
Web: www.racingheadservice.com

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