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Thursday, 24 Apr 2014
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McLaren F1 successor to have 1,000 hp - debut at Pebble Beach - report

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Our spy photographers have already snapped pictures of the McLaren F1 successor, but a new report is indicating it will be unveiled at a private event during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
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Routine Vehicle Service: DIY Fluid Inspections

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DIY Routine Vehicle Service Check List
After a night of heavy drinking and partying we usually try to take our vitamins, drink a lot of water, and eat healthy the next day so our body will be fresh and replenished to continue doing its duty.  Like a night of heavy drinking, driving hard takes a toll on the components and fluids in our engine. Regular scheduled maintenance is no longer at its regular suggested schedule when the engine is being used under hard load. Regularly checking fluids, inspecting for leaks, and making sure everything is in order under the hood will keep your engine running longer so you can enjoy it with fewer breakdowns to ensure reliability. There are a few options on servicing your car, you can go to a shop and have it done, which can be at either a Firestone, dealership, or you can do it yourself. Doing it yourself is not difficult and since we are enthusiasts we are going to try it on our own.

Engine Oil Inspection

DIY Oil Change & InspectionThe first fluid we are going to check is the engine oil. Everyone has heard about the engine oil at some point of their lives so that says that it has at
Engine Oil Inspection
least some kind of significance to a car. Oil is what some people say is the blood of the car. It lubricates the engines internals, which keeps the bearings and rings from burning up and prematurely wearing out. The oil lasts about 3,000 miles and should be replaced with a new filter. Oil changes are between $20 to $100 dollars depending on what oil you use and how much you need. All you have to do to check your oil is open the hood and pull out the oil dipstick. If the oil looks nice and clear, you have good healthy oil in the engine. If it looks dark and charcoal it is burnt and needs to be replaced. Failing to replace the oil will lead to less lubrication which then leads to catastrophic engine failure. A new or rebuilt engine can cost thousands of dollars. Replacing your oil is a small price to pay compared to the consequences that result in being lazy and overlooking such a simple thing. Remember if you like to drive hard and fast, make sure to check your oil more often as tough driving will wear out the oil even quicker.  Performance Vehicle Engine Oil

Engine Coolant Inspection

Engine Coolant InspectionThe next fluid to inspect is the engine coolant. Coolant is what keeps the engine from overheating by circulating around the
Engine Coolant Inspection
engine, moving to the heater core, flowing through the radiator where it gets cooled down and so on in a cycle. Keeping up with the coolant and its components is so important because the effects of an overheated engine are as bad if not worse than not changing or running out of oil. Coolant has lubricant in it which keeps your engine from corroding, your thermostat working well, gunk in the radiator from building up, and your water pump from seizing up. Checking your cooling system is easy. First inspect the hoses and seals for leaks. If there is any leaking you will have to seal it up first or else your new coolant will just leak out and you will be wasting your money. If there are no leaks look at the coolant and see if it’s a nice bright green color. If it looks brown and muddy it’s time to clean out the system. Having a clean cooling system will improve cooling during hard driving and hot days. Failure to keep the system clean leads to corrosion, clogged radiators, overworked water pumps and a dirty sludge all over the engines internal coolant passages. A coolant flush at a shop usually costs about 100 bucks and they inspect the cooling system for you. For $100 dollars you can’t beat the gained confidence that your engine will be protected against heat.  Performance Engine Coolant Additive

Transmission Fluid Inspection

Transmission Fluid InspectionAs we move on through our checklist of engine service points, we get to the transmission fluid. If you have
Transmission Fluid Inspection
an automatic transmission and have over 100,000 miles on the car it’s a little too late to change the fluid. The reason for that is that the small clutches inside the automatic transmission used for slipping into the next gear smoothly eventually wear out. The surface that wears out will be floating around in the transmission creating friction so the car can move. If that material is flushed out the transmission will just slip and your car will not move due to the reduction of friction between the plates. If you do have 100,000 miles or less then it is strongly suggested you take a look at how the fluid is doing. Take out the dipstick and inspect the fluid level and color. It should have a nice bright red color to it. You can also smell it to see if it is burnt. If the fluid looks dark or smells burnt you should get it serviced as soon as possible. If it is held up for long enough it will ruin the transmission just like not changing the oil. A shop usually charges around $140 dollars for a transmission flush which includes cleaning out the old dirt. Transmissions can be up to thousands of dollars, keeping up with the transmission fluid pays off. Most dealers suggest replacing the transmission fluid around 50,000 miles.

The manual transmission has fluid inside it as well. The process is a little bit different but the cost usually stays the same. A manual transmission has synchros that wear out over time. Keeping clean and good lubrication inside the transmission will not only help the gear shifts go smoothly, keep the noise down, and most of all increase the life of the transmission. There are a few different transmission fluids to choose from which vary in price but are all affordable enough to keep a close watch on the fluid. Another type of fluid in our cars is the differential fluid. This fluid is usually recommended for service at around 100,000 miles and usually only requires a few quarts to fill up. The differential in every car works hard and has many gears inside it which need constant lubrication and clean particle free fluid. Differential fluid is often referred to as gear oil and it is a lot thicker than engine or transmission oil. In some cases transfer cases take gear oil like the differential but other cases they take automatic transmission fluid. To find out which fluid your car takes make sure to look in the owners’ manual. Keeping quality and new fluid in your differential and transfer case will prolong the life of the gears inside and keep everything from becoming brittle and weak.  Peformance Transmission Fluide

Brake Fluid Change

Brake Fluid InspectionOne of the most overlooked fluids in the car, yet one of the most important is
Brake Fluid Inspection
the brake fluid. As a customer service advisor and salesman for Firestone I have never seen such a large group of customers who have not heard of changing their brake fluid and why! Over the years the brake fluid gets old, deteriorates and takes in moisture. There have been many cases of accidents where the brakes seemed to suddenly give out. When technicians went to look over the system everything seemed fine. Usually this happens because the brake fluid is too old and overheats as its boiling point drops. This can result in the brakes dragging because you can’t release the caliper. Do not be a victim of a fluid flush that comes with big benefits. Usually when you have a brake job the warranty can be around 12 months. When you include a brake flush with the job you get an extra 12 months, that equals to 2 years of warranty on your brakes. That is a great deal as in 2 years many different kinds of things can happen. Not only do you get fresh fluid, longer warranty, but you also get your brakes bled of all the air in the lines ensuring you a great pedal feel and a safe car.

In this economy it is important to keep your car at a reliable state so you do not have any unexpected surprises on the road which can be very expensive. Most of the parts in your car depend and rely on the basic service procedures that should be checked as often as every oil change. If you like to drive fast and push the car to the limits you must be even more cautious about keeping fluids clean and leak free. As long as your fluids are kept at a good clean state, your car will last a lot longer. People that service their vehicles regularly end up paying less in repairs and have a better running and performing car for a much longer time.    Performance Brake Fluid


Photogallery: Nissan Silvia | Down Under

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Photogallery: Nissan Silvia S14 SR20DET
The Nissan Silvia is perhaps one of the hottest cars in America to never have been sold in America.  We found this Nissan Silvia virtually unmolested, simple, and beautiful.  We got the short end of the stick with the only difference between the Japanese version and the U.S. version being the engine.  The American Nissan 240SX was give the 2.4L engine vs. the Japanese version 2.0L turbo charged.  Here is this right hand drive Nissan Silvia 2.0L turbo charged with the sr20det Japanese engine.

Photogallery | Tramontana-R Supercar

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Tramontana-R Supercar
The Tramontana is old news to some, but new news to many.  In 2009 the Tramontana-R was created by a European Company located on the Costa Brava (Spain), which manufactures an exclusive tailor-made supercar called Tramontana. It is a combination of a Formula 1 racing car and a fighter jet powered by a V12 engine which produces a maximum of 720 hp. The whole car is made by using the finest materials and in order to achieve an extremely light and stiff car the chassis and the bodywork are completely made of carbon fiber.  At any moment, you would expect the Tramontana-R to deploy sidewinder missiles and blow it's competition right off the track.  Enjoy!

SPEC Clutch: The Future of Fast

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It's a common misconception that when looking for a multi-plate carbon fiber clutch, the first thing you must do is run out and find yourself the best overseas aftermarket auto parts manufacturer cranking out clutches for your particular make and model.

While a whole host of after market auto parts manufacturer’s may offer long product lists and are well-positioned as carbon racing clutch suppliers, they are far from being the only game in town.

SPEC Clutch, a US-based designer and manufacturer of some of the most durable clutches on the market today don’t just blow smoke—they are more than willing to prove their products through testing on the bench or on the race track.

According to Dick Breakey, who recently installed a SPEC Stage 1 in his ’89 Mustang, “I love it. [Even though I’m] still in the break in period, I can already see how well it grabs. Even for a completely stock car this would be a great addition.”

The Alabama-based clutch and flywheel manufacturer is always working to stay ahead of the performance needs of the sports car market . In fact, just last month they announced new clutch and aluminum flywheel assemblies for the Subaru BRZ, Scion FRS, Toyota 3SGTE and Audi RS4.

Drivers looking for a multi-plate clutch assembly know what they are after; a no-nonsense clutch that is challenging to engage and can hold crazy amounts of power. There really is no other reason to run a multi-plate unless you are engaged in competition or have a high horsepower street car that sees a lot of track time.

“We developed a line of twin and triple plate carbon fiber clutches that debuted at SEMA '09” says Marketing Manager, Shelly Norton. “The need was there in the market because there are so many high horsepower cars needing low inertia and manageability.”

Carbon plates are generally considered to be superior to traditional materials for a number of reasons. The first being as soon as you install the clutch, it requires no break-in period. This is perfect for competition drivers, the lack of break-in (typically 500 miles of careful driving) means your car can get out there and shred up the track sooner, rather than later.

Carbon plates also don’t develop hot-spots because of their superior heat dissipation. Their resistance to heat means that they will clamp the same in competition and will not slip even under the most extreme conditions in high-horsepower cars.

For information on clutch basics from THMotorsports.net, click here.

SPEC Clutch Types Available At THMotorsports

SPEC Clutch Stage 1 
Types of Driving:

Street, Drag, Drift, Road Race, Rallye, Pulling, Autocross

Features an integrally molded carbon kevlar-based, high performance organic lining that offers smooth engagement and excellent life. This lining has an integrally bonded steel backing for strength under high clamp loads and temperatures. The hub is double sprung with spring cover relieves for flexibility and heat treated components for strength and durability. Best for street and many track/off-road applications.

  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Steel-backed and multi-compound woven organic material
  • High torque sprung hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit
 
SPEC Clutch Stage 2
Types of Driving:

Street, Drag, Pulling, Autocross

Features segmented or full faced pure Kevlar disc with steel backing. This lining features excellent drivability like the stage 1, but offers slightly longer life and higher torque capacity. The hub is double sprung with spring cover relieves for flexibility and heat treated components for strength and durability. Best for street, drag, pulling and autocross.
  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Pure Kevlar friction material
  • High torque sprung hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit
SPEC Clutch Stage 2+
Types of Driving:

Street, Drag, Pulling, Autocross

Features a multi-friction disc in a full faced configuration with carbon semi-metallic on one side and Kevlar on the other. Bridging the gap between stage 2 and stage 3, the 2+ offers drivability and engagement quality characteristic of the stage 2, but with a 15-20% higher torque capacity. The hub is double sprung with spring cover relieves for flexibility and heat treated components for strength and durability. Great for street, drag, autocross, road racing, pulling, rallye and drift.
  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Hybrid Kevlar and Carbon-Graphite Friction material
  • High torque sprung hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit
SPEC Clutch Stage 3
Types of Driving:

Street, Drag, Pulling, Autocross

Features a carbon semi-metallic 6 puck sprung hub disc that has been the leading puck clutch in drivability, life and torque capacity. This unit is designed for street and race cars that require an aggressive but streetable engagement and high torque capacity. The hub is double sprung with spring cover relieves for flexibility and heat treated components for strength and durability. Also available in 3 puck configuration. Great for street, drag, road racing, pulling, rallye and drift.
  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Carbon-Graphite Friction Material
  • High torque sprung hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit
SPEC Clutch Stage 3+ 
Types of Driving:

Street, Drag, Pulling, Autocross

The flagship stage for a high powered street or race car that requires a manageable and friendly engagement, the stage 3+ features a carbon semi-metallic full faced material that offers unparalleled life, friction co-efficient and drivability characteristics in one single package. The hub is double sprung with spring cover relieves for flexibility and heat treated components for strength and durability. Great for street, drag, drift, autocross, road racing, pulling, rallye and drift.
  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Carbon semi-metallic friction material
  • High torque sprung hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit
Stage 4: Types of Driving:
Street, Drag, Pulling, Autocross

This unit is a solid hub version of the stage 3. The hub is solid 8-rivet and the assembly is heat treated for strength and durability. It is available in a 3, 4 or 6 puck configuration. Use the 3 puck for the lightest option or the 6 puck for the smoothest engagement. The 4 puck is a good compromise for both. Street drivable in 6 puck configuration, but not street friendly due to the rigid hub. Best for drag racing, road racing, pulling, rallye and drift.
  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Carbon-Graphite Friction Material
  • High torque solid hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit
SPEC Clutch Stage 5
Types of Driving:

Street, Drag, Pulling, Autocross

Features a full-metallic disc with the highest possible friction co-efficient. Street drivable but not street-friendly. The hub is solid 12-rivet and the assembly is heat treated for strength and durability. Best for extreme street and drag racing.
  • High clamp pressure plate
  • Full-metallic friction material
  • High torque solid hub and disc assembly
  • Bearing and tool kit

 
 

Installation Guide

If you're a racer—or even if you’ve even dreamed of hitting the track—you know that the clutch is the vital linkage between the engine and the transmission. If you don’t have it installed or adjusted correctly, you can lose horsepower and wear out the clutch prematurely.

It’s always important to remember that attention to detail, thorough examination, and replacement of all worn clutch system components can eliminate immediate off-the-lift problems and prevent premature clutch failure. Remember, it's always important to follow manufacturers' guidelines for clutch removal and replacement as each car can create unique challenges. The guide below will walk you through the steps of installing a SPEC clutch in a C1 Corvette.



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