Endless Possibilities

Drew Technologies took the wraps off their new high-tech do-it-all device at the SEMA Show 06. Being that it received a best new international product award from SEMA, it is obviously much more than a simple LCD display to watch movies or navigate you around town. After looking over the product specs, this becomes evident; DrewTech calls it a “cross between a data acquisition system, diagnostic tool, automotive gauge display, and a handheld computer”.  [Read more…]

 

Variable Camber Steering Suspension

OnCamber had an interesting item on display at the SEMA Show 06. Their USTCC Prototype Class RSX was sporting a fancy variable front camber contraption. The steering system is connected to a lever that moves the upper mounting points for the front suspension, effectively altering the car’s camber. The more the steering wheel is turned, the more camber is removed or added. This provides the necessary negative camber (on the outside wheel) to maximize tire contact within turns, but retain a more neutral camber in straight line driving. Additionally, the unloaded tire maintains positive camber when cornering, minimizing wheel lock and flat spotting. Obviously, this type of setup wouldn’t fly in most any spec racing class, but it’s an interesting idea for an all-out racer.

OnCamber LLC

 

Where To Put That New Track Beast?

If you’re like me, you have more project cars than space to put them. If you’re HOA frowns upon cars parked on your lawn, and you don’t have the garage height to stack cars with a conventional lift, American Custom Lifts has a nice alternative. How does tapping into the space below your garage floor sound? That’s the solution they have come up with, in their Phantom Park line. A lift with two platforms is placed below ground. When the lift is raised, the lower platform is level with the garage floor, and a car may be driven onto it. After the lift is lowered, the car is stored below ground and another car may be driven onto the upper platform. The platforms can be made to match the rest of the garage flooring, so that there is little sign of the sophisticated parking system. The manufacturer offers multiple models, of different sizes and lifting capacities, with various available options. They also claim to have many safety features in place, so that it can be used in a typical home.

American Custom Lifts – Phantom Park

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Official Laptimes In Your Vehicle

If you run with an organization that uses AMB for timing & scoring, you may be able to take advantage of a product to give you great live info. The Blind Apex DisplayIT works in conjunction with your TranX transponder and the event’s timing system to display all kinds of useful information after each pass around the track. In addition to showing your official times, your current overall position, gap with car ahead, gap with your best time, lap number, and other data can be displayed. A recent update to the unit now allows it to store 34 laps in memory. In order for all this to work, your organization must have a capable system with certain options enabled; you should check with them before plopping down the 500 bucks.  [Read more…]

 

How To Get Started In Racing

If the thought of road racing really grabs you, but you’re intimidated by all that’s involved, a new book out aims to give guidance and help make racing a reality. “Go Ahead – Take the Wheel“, by David Gran, outlines a path from HPDE to “wheel to wheel”. Emphasis is clearly placed on getting to a competition racing level, while staying within a reasonable budget for the driver. But, some of the other topics covered include safety, licensing, car preparation, maintenance, vehicle transportation, and mental preparation. Based on the reviews, it looks like a great book for someone starting out or trying to make it in the sport. Check it out at Amazon, and use their “Search Inside” functionality to scope it out.  [Read more…]

 

Heat-sensitive, Color-changing Paint

You have probably seen the brake rotors out there with colored markings that indicate their temperature, from companies like DBA and Frozen Rotors. Did you know that you can buy a special paint that has the same color-changing properties? Genesis Technologies makes a paint that has six different color levels, covering 0 – 1239° F. Knowing the rotors’ temperature can help you adjust your system components and/or driving style to where the brakes can operate in their optimum heat range. Just use the supplied brush to paint a mark on the outside edge of the rotor. The paint can also be applied to various other metallic surfaces where approximate temperature readings are desired at a glance. A 1 oz bottle of GB1000 can be found for under $60.

Genesis Technologies

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Impact Power On The Go

If you’re swapping wheels trackside, a cordless impact gun is a valuable item to have. Not only is it a timesaver, but it let’s you conserve your own energy for when you’re behind the wheel. A cordless impact can come in handy for purposes other than just removing lug nuts. If you don’t really need an air compressor in your garage, this can be a nice alternative, for jobs that aren’t too big. But, even if you do have a compressor/pneumatic impact, turning to the cordless rather than dealing with the noise and extra time involved with the alternative can be surprisingly convenient.  [Read more…]

 

Real-time Monitoring – Easy and Affordable

Greddy offers a slick device that lets you view the data emitted from your car’s sensors, in real-time; the Intelligent Informeter. Up to 25 channels can be monitored (depending on the vehicle), and visual/audible warnings can be set. Limited datalogging functionality is also provided. The device can be a nice (and less expensive) alternative to filling the dash with gauges. Just plug and play. The Greddy Informeter uses the vehicle’s OBD-II communications port to collect and display vehicle data, but a limited selection of older vehicles are also supported by the unit. MSRP is $360.  [Read more…]

 

Protect That Nose

If you’re concerned about paint/light damage to your track vehicle, an adhesive bra can be a worthwhile investment. There are various manufacturers that make kits covering bumpers, fenders, hoods, headlights, parking lights, and foglights. Not only do these offer protection from rocks and other debris, but they can even minimize the effect of light contact on the track. Venture Shield has examples of their film protecting racing vehicles from damage.

 

Data Acquisition For (Almost) Any Budget

With the introduction of its MQGPS products, MaxQData has truly made GPS-based data acquisition an affordable option for just about any racer. For a couple hundred bucks, a driver can use the device in conjunction with a Pocket PC PDA or laptop to perform flight recordings. During “flight” mode, real-time status can be displayed on the recording device. Some of the key recording elements are lateral/longitudinal g’s, speed/distance, and lap/segment times.  [Read more…]

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Pain-free Braided Hose Assembly

Just about anyone who has experience with working on race cars or highly-modified street cars knows what it’s like to cut a finger on steel-braided hoses. And, even with a relatively clean cut on the hose end, it can be a bit of a chore to get things put together just right. This can especially be the case for the inexperienced. A company, called Koul Tools, has recently come out with a product to help address the need for an easier way to accomplish this task. They claim that their product makes installing a standard braided hose into a typical fitting a simple job that can be accomplished in just seconds.  [Read more…]

 

Quick-connect Fluid Lines

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quickly disconnect fuel/oil/water lines without spilling fluid everywhere? The thought of that mess and effort has many of us jumping through hoops to avoid disconnecting lines. Jiffy-tite, a long-time manufacturer of OEM fluid connectors, has a complete line of fittings to make this a thing of the past. Their Quick Connect Fluid Fittings allow lines to be disconnected by hand within seconds. Additionally, once they are disconnected, they are designed to be 100% leak-free. Not only does this provide convenience, but the auto-shutoff feature can increase safety. They are made of 6061-T6 aluminum, with brass valves and stainless steel ball bearings, for lightweight construction and corrosion-resistance. High pressures and temperatures are not a problem, as the manufacturer claims they have been tested up to 200 psi and 350º F.

Jiffy-tite Quick Connect Fluid Fittings

 

Fast Fill-up

If you bring your own fuel to the track, you might be interested in the FLO-FAST portable fluid transfer system, made by Product Development Group LLC. In most situations, it will allow you to fill your tank/cell without having to lift a container; a pump mechanism draws fuel from the container to your tank via a 7-foot line. Its efficient design allows for 5 gallons to be transferred in just one minute. The pump is bi-directional, so fluid can be drawn back into the storage container. This is useful if you would like to keep a dry system when the vehicle is not in use. The pump can work with most other types of fluids as well. Various containers are made for the FLO-FAST pumps and a drum extractor kit is available too. The pump by itself sells for $160.

PDG LLC – FLO-FAST

 
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