A funny thing about exotics…

If you ever see an older exotic car at a show, like a Murcielago or early 2000’s Ferrari, take a look at the manufacture date on the tires.  A funny thing with these cars is that its fairly rare for people to put many miles on them, and therefore, their tires never ‘wear out’. Furthermore, lets face it, virtually all of the people that own these cars are not ‘car people’ and don’t care enough to replace tires anyway. So, it ends up being that many of these cars have the factory tires which are possibly now over 10 years old and are as hard as hockey pucks. Maybe that’s why there’s so many lame accidents with exotics…

Dealing with tuners

Last fall, I took my project car to a tuner to have it tuned on a dyno. I learned quite a few things during the process that I think anyone interested in getting a tune should know before going. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to maximize your time with the tuner and get a better result.

firebirddyno2
The type of dyno I was on was a Dynapack Dyno which is compact and doesn’t use rollers.

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Linear vs progressive rate springs

We are lucky to live in a time that has so many options available for upgrading a suspension. There are so many companies that make high performance components like coilover system, springs and shocks; and they are made for pretty much any application. It is possible now (though, for a price) to simply go online and order a set of 3-way adjustable dampers that are built for your car and are ready to install when you get them. Just a few years ago, such a shock (damper) was only reserved for professional racing and had to be custom valved and built for your application. But, with all these choices, you need to be educated to make a decision to find what’s best for you. In this post, I would like to focus on springs.

spring

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First start with your Megasquirt (or possibly other standalone fuel injection system)

When I was ready to start my freshly built engine for the first time using my Megasquirt II fuel injection system, I ran into some issues that I could not easily find answers for. One of the reasons for this was how incomplete and disorganized the information concerning the Megasquirt is. I hope that this post streamlines getting your engine started the first time with your new FI system, and not getting bogged down looking for answers to simple problems.

I have written this post for engines with a distributor since that is what I’m dealing with. Distributorless system can be a little more complicated to configure, but this is covered well in the megamanual. This post also assumes that you installed your Megasquirt yourself (so you know how everything is connected), you read as much as the manual as you can, you have everything installed and are pretty much ready to run and are using TunerStudio. I am obviously writing this for Megasquirt users, but this information probably applies to any E.F.I. system.

So let’s get started!

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Tires – Sidewalls vs Air pressure

The Vredestein tires I’m running have very soft sidewalls (carcass) making for a smooth ride. Unfortunately, handling and stability has suffered and is something I miss quite a bit. So why not just inflate the tires with more air pressure to counter the compliant tire construction?

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Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta review

My trusty Nitto Invo’s had come to the end of their life and it was now time for some new meat for my 350z. If you read my previous review of them, you would know that I was very impressed with the Invo’s and that they held up to everything I threw at them – including a few track days. For some time now, I have had my eye on a somewhat ‘exotic’ tire called the Ultrac Sessanta from a little known company named Vredestein out of the Netherlands. For the sake of something different and not really well known, I decided to try them out.

vredestein-ultrac-sessanta-suv

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