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Weight reduction and rotating mass – reduce your cars weight for more fun!

You want to have fun in your car, and have some enjoyment in the twisties and corners.

People are very often concerned about making more horsepower, having a better sound system, etc and one area thats frequently overlooked is the weight of the car, and more specifically rotating mass weight.

Now, any car can benefit from a weight reduction, but how extreme you want to take it depends on you.

Take for example our 2014 Dodge Dart GT.

One of the things we did to change our cars look, was to get a set of 18 inch Enkei PF01 wheels. These replaced the factory Dart GT wheels that looked like this.

Now, we dont have exact weights available at time of making this article, but the factory GT wheels were very heavy, and weighed something like 24/25 lbs each. The Enkei wheels we put on that you can see below weighed in at 18/19 lbs. Thats a savings of about 6 lbs on each corner.  That may not sound like much, but a 24lb weight savings on wheels is massive.

Now, with these new wheels, we noticed a difference in acceleration off the bat, the car handled better, it revved up much faster, and felt faster overall. This is because, in general anything that is rotating mass – ie, wheels, tires, brakes, axles, rotors, engine internals directly affects the engines performance.

Now, we also did some other work to our Dart to reduce weight.

Brakes – we used a custom made brake kit to reduce 16 lbs of rotating mass.

Pulley -we installed a lightweight crank pulley to reduce 3 lbs of rotating mass.

Seats – we pulled out the leather seats and installed cloth seats to save nearly 30lbs of weight. Most of the weight savings were from going from full power seats to manual seats, no heavy motors attached to the cloth seats!

So, we have reduced nearly 50lbs of rotating mass, and about 30 lbs of fixed mass. This is pretty incredible and its a difference you can feel when driving our Dart.

Morale of this story is – when you are modifying your car, keep the weight in mind!

Or, to quote the founder of Lotus automobiles, the lightweight, fun roadsters –

“Simplify, then add lightness”!

 

 

Have a 2013-2016 Dodge Dart with NO tip rear bumper but want the dual tips?

Ok, so you have a 2013-2016 Dodge Dart with the rear bumper without built in tips, and you want the dual tips.

No problem, this is an easy fix.

You can either:

A) Get the factory rear lower valance from us, and then find your own OEM tips, or have a local muffler shop weld on tips. (Click on the photo to jump to our product page)

We then recommend searching on Ebay for the OEM tips. Now these tips are about $130 (as of 4/21/17) each from a local dealership so you can try to get these cheaper on Ebay. Type into the search bar : Dodge Dart OEM Exhaust tips.

Or, if you want, you could do the same as above, but use the Mopar rear diffuser accessory. This piece is more expensive, but looks pretty cool. (Click on the photo to jump to our product page)

Option B, is where you get either the rear valance, or the Mopar rear diffuser from us, and then use the Flowmaster exhaust with tips. The photo below was of a Dodge Dart 2.4 Automatic with rear bumper without tips, and we installed the Mopar OEM rear valance, and then installed the Flowmaster exhaust with tips. We did not use the OEM tips on this car below. (Click on the photo to jump to the Flowmaster exhaust page)

 

Are your car windows opening and closing slow? Making squeaking or squealing noises?

One area of car maintenance that is seriously overlooked, is lubricating window moldings/rubber seals.
Over time, the more sun exposure your rubber moldings get, the more dry they get, and that causes windows to stick, windows to make odd squeaking or squealing noises, and other seal issues.

One product that is designed specifically for rubber moldings is Shin Etsu grease. This stuff is commonly known in the Honda world, however, it works on all rubber moldings no matter what kind of car you have. (Click the link below for more info and to buy)

This works on all rubber seals on the doors, windows, sunroofs, etc. Wherever you have rubber trim, you should apply this stuff. It will make the rubber moldings more flexible and pliable.

It can also help restore some of the black sheen of your moldings. It wont return them to like new black condition, but it helps regardless.

Photos of moldings with Shin Etsu grease applied on the right, old and dry on the left.

Moldings on bottom are old and dry, the moldings on top have Shin Etsu grease applied.

Maximum Boost.. A fantastic book for owners of turbo cars by Corky Bell.

Ok. So, maybe you’ve owned a turbo vehicle for a while, or maybe you just bought one used and could use some turbo knowledge.
Or, maybe you know a good amount about turbochargers but could use some help with calculating intercooler sizing, or exhaust piping size, it discusses turbocharger compressor maps, etc.
Its great for those of you who want to learn more about your factory turbo car and upgrading, or for those of you wanting to build your own turbo kit for your non turbo car.

Maximum Boost!

This book is written by Corky Bell, a turbocharging legend based out of San Antonio, TX. He is most well known for his turbo kits for the Mazda Miata.

This is an older book that is slightly outdated, but still a very good read.

It goes fairly deep into turbocharger explanations for the layman, and has lots of examples, formulas, etc.
True, a lot of the examples are of 80’s and 90’s cars, but you get the idea.

Anyways, we highly recommend this book for some fun reading and better understanding. Click the link above for Amazon and check it out!

Diablosport Trinity vs Intune2, whats the difference?

Diablosport Trinity vs Intune 2 – whats the difference?
Check out our handy graph below.

trinityvsintune

As you can see in the graph, they offer the same features, EXCEPT, the Intune you flash your car with, and put the Intune in your glove box, or in storage.
The Trinity on the other hand, is designed to be mounted in view for you to watch engine parameters. You can select whatever you want to monitor on the customizable graphs on the Trinity.
Watch to watch timing, knock, fuel pressure, boost pressure, etc, you can select it, and monitor it in real time with the Trinity.

The Trinity also offers drag race mode which allows you to time your car to see how fast your car is in the 1/4 mile and 0-60, etc.

Other than that, both offer the exact same performance and tuning capabilities.

How to rebuild your car’s engine with the help of a local machine shop.

Ok! One question we get asked often, is “How do I rebuild my engine”?

The process is fairly easy. Here it is highly abbreviated.
1) Order complete engine rebuild kit
2) Remove engine
3) Take engine to specialty automotive machine shop
4) Pick up assembled engine
5) re-install engine in your car

Now, it can be easy, but the more work you want to do on your own is what can make it complicated.

Want to have very little work on your own? Simple, take your car to a good local mechanic, they can remove the engine and take the engine to the machine shop.
The machine shop installs new bearings, pistons, rings, rods, whatever level of rebuild you want, and then the mechanic picks it up complete, and re-installs the engine.
This can get expensive though as the mechanic will be doing a lot of work. Figure for most four cylinder engines, you could spend as little as $2500, with most builds averaging about $3500-5000 depending on parts and complexity of engine.

Want to save money? You can buy parts, and have machine shop labor of about $1800-2500 for a really good performance engine rebuild kit with forged pistons, rods, camshafts, bearings, gaskets, etc. If you can remove the engine yourself, and then reassemble the completed engine, you could save nearly $2000 of labor or more. BUT, if you are not competent or have the right tools it could turn out to be a disaster.

When searching around for a good machine shop, we recommend typing in the name of your city in Yahoo or Google, and Automotive Machine Shop.
Look at some search results we found in Yahoo for Houston, TX:

automotivemachineshopsearchresuilts

Now, try to make sure you dont get results for regular repair shops. Make sure it shows engine rebuild shop, or machine shop in the title so you know you are dealing with a good machine shop that can fully assemble your engine and make sure everything is set up correctly.

Ed Peters and his Neon ACR headed to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Oct 2017.

We visited our friend Ed Peters and checked out his Neon ACR that is soon to be going to the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Ed Peters is a retired Chrysler engineer and Neon racer. We’ve really valued his input on Neons and SRT-4’s, and we’re excited to see him getting this first gen Neon ready to race at Bonneville. He is aiming to break 160mph.

There is still a lot more work to do on the car, but here are the current specs:
Neon ACR – previous factory Challenge race car. (used for last 15 years racing privately)
This car was factory built with no radio, no ac, no sound deadening.
2.0 dohc
Custom geared transmission to have better 3/4/5 gearing for the salt flats
Unknown brand coilovers
Spherical bushings in control arms

Photos:
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Check out these custom camber plates. These were made a long time ago, unknown brand.

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Neon guys will recognize the trunk wheels on this car.

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The legend himself, Ed Peters!

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Check out this cool license plate.

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2.0 Dohc engine.

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Check out this vin tag. Mr Peters told us that the factory ran 25 ACRS at once on the assembly line for the Neon Challenge series race.

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Mopar OEM engine belt splash shield for 2000-2005 Dodge/Plymouth Neons and SRT-4’s now in stock.

Mopar OEM engine Belt Splash Shield 00-05  Neon and SRT-4

Mopar OEM engine Belt Splash Shield 00-05  Neon and SRT-4

We now carry the Mopar OEM Engine Belt Splash Shield for the 00-05 Neon (incl. SRT-4).

This is the shield that protects the power steering/AC and alternator belts on the passenger side. If you are missing this shield, your belts and accessories will be coated in dirt, oil, water, etc and cause squealing noises, and accelerated belt wear.

Click on the images to jump to our product page for more information or to purchase.

Adjusting dampening level on BC coilovers

One question we get asked often is how to adjust the dampening of BC coilovers.
Its simple really.

BC coilovers are 30 way adjustable, which means they have 30 settings.
0 is full soft
30 is full hard

BC Coilover adjustment knob

All you have to do to adjust the dampening, is rotate the knob on the top of the strut. If you have shocks, sometimes the adjustment is on the bottom of the strut, and with cars with no access to the dampening knob, sometimes there are extension cables to adjust the dampening away from the top of the strut.

Anyways, this is a regular strut type assembly with the knob on the top.
Rotate the knob as far as it will go to the left until the knob stops. That is zero.
Then, rotate backwards or to the right to stiffen the suspension.

When we discuss numbers with BC coilovers we are frequently referring to the hardness setting.
For example, on our Dodge Dart, we have currently 8 front and 12 rear.
That means, we rotated the knob all the way to the left until it stopped, that is level zero, and then 8 clicks to the right for the level 8 on the front, and 12 clicks to the right for the level 12 on the rear.