Back in the old days, the late ’90s, when the economy was strong and incomes were high, people had a lot more money to put toward their favorite hobby, which for many was a souped up car that could be driven on the street but maybe also a little on the track as well.
Today, the economy may not be as strong as it was then, but that hasn’t changed the appetite consumers have for performance goods. Why is that, you may ask? There seems to be a couple of factors. One is that many of us have the desire to build something unique or own our dream ride from the past. Thankfully, the automobile is still a top obsession in this country and the street performance market can serve two purposes: transportation and entertainment.
Judging by the latest Machine Shop Market Profile, a survey that we have been doing for more than 20 years, the majority of shops work on performance engines (86 percent, up 6 percent from the previous year). And of those shops that do this work, it accounts for approximately 20 percent of their business. It’s a significant number and a lot of the industry’s ups and downs are tied to the health of this important market.
Whether you work on performance diesels, domestic iron or high-revving sport compacts, the market for performance engine modifications is far reaching. There are several small markets within this niche market so finding what works for your shop is usually tied to what you enjoy doing the most.
With the 2012 SEMA Show at the end of the month, we thought we would use this space to showcase some of the hot products in the street performance category. And if you’re attending the show, be sure to stop by and visit some of your favorite engine part suppliers that we’ve highlighted here, and then stop by our location in the Central Hall at booth 23428.
1) GM LS-Series Cylinder Head Guide from CarTech
The GM LS-Series V8s are easily the most popular engines in the aftermarket right now. They have proven to be full of power potential and are readily available in either new or used condition in a wide range of displacements. Choosing the best-possible cylinder head to match the rest of the package is key to making any LS-based project engine perform to its highest potential.
This book reviews every readily available factory and aftermarket cylinder head designed for GM LS-Series engines, and delivers the facts about each in an easily comparable format. It includes the basic dimensions of each head, along with their claimed airflow rates. Also included is information on interchangeability, combustion chamber sizes, compression ratios, applications, performance characteristics, helpful tips, and even a chapter on intakes.
Whether you?re a budget enthusiast looking for the best-possible factory head to top your specific combination, an engine swapper looking to modernize your vintage muscle car, or an engine builder looking for the best-flowing head out there, High-Performance GM LS-Series Cylinder Head Guide is essential for accomplishing your goals.
The book is available from CarTech for $24.95 plus $6.95 shipping and handling and may be ordered by visiting cartechbooks.com.
2) Performance-Prepped Engine Blocks from Atech Motorsports
Build a strong foundation for a small block Chevy, small block Ford, or GM LS at a great price with a fully prepped Summit Racing Remanufactured Cast Iron Engine Block.
Summit Racing Engine Block for Chevy 350 Ideal for building a 383 stroker engine, Summit Racing takes a 1996-2000 4-bolt main block and does all the machining and prep work, including a .030?. overbore, proper clearances for stroker cranks, and H-beam rods, machined deck surfaces, line honed mains, and line bored cam bearings. (p/n: SUM-150100)
Summit Racing Engine Block for Ford 302 Turn a 302 into a 347! The 2-bolt block has a .030? overbore, proper clearances for a 3.400? stroker crank and H-beam rods, machined deck surfaces, line honed mains, and line bored cam bearings. (p/n: SUM-150110)
Summit Racing Engine Block for GM LS 6.0L Summit Racing’s cast iron 6.0L LS block can be used to build a 408 cubic-inch stroker engine and is capable of handling over 1,400 horsepower. This seasoned 6-bolt block is CNC-machined for precise clearances, and features a finished 4.030? bore and a 9.240? deck height. (p/n: SUM-150105)
For more information about Atech Motorsports, call 800-517-1040 or visit AtechMotorsports.com.
SEMA Booth 24529
3) ARP Introduces Stronger Rod Bolts For Diesels
Industry leader ARP has introduced Pro Series rod bolt kits for Ford, Chevy/GM and Dodge/Cummins diesel engines. Forged from proprietary ARP2000 material, the premium grade fasteners are nominally rated at 220,000 psi tensile strength and are substantially stronger than the OEM fasteners.
Given the increased loads placed on rod bolts typically the weakest link in an engine by engine modifications, ARP’s new rod bolts are important reliability “insurance” for owners of performance-enhanced diesel trucks.
In addition to being made from superior material, ARP rod bolts are thread rolled after heat-treating, which adds significantly to their fatigue strength. All manufacturing operations, including forging, heat-treating, machining and finishing, are done entirely in-house at ARP’s California facilities to stringent AS9100 and ISO-9001 quality control standards.
ARP rod bolts are available for the Ford 6.0L/6.4L Powerstroke (p/n 250-6301). Chevy/GMC 6.6L Duramax (p/n 230-6301), Dodge/Cummins 5.9L (p/n 247-6303) and 1999-2001 Ford 7.3L Powerstroke (p/n 250-6302).
For additional information call ARP’s tech staff at 800-826-3045 or visit its dedicated diesel website, ARPdiesel.com. SEMA Booth 22549
4) CP-Carrillo Pro-H Rod and Piston for Suburu BRZ/Scion FR-S FA20 Engine
CP-Carrillo has released its new Pro-H profile connecting rod for the new Subaru BRZ/ Scion FR-S FA20 engine. Forged from a proprietary 4330M steel alloy for strength, fully machined, and shot peened for stress relieving, these connecting rods come bushed with premium silicone bronze bushings for full floating pins and top of the line CARR multiphase fasteners. This design retains the factory eighteen degree split line angle for proper ease of assembly.
CP-Carrillo also introduced a new line of low compression 2618 alloy forged pistons for the new Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S FA20 engine under p/n SC7402. These pistons will include CP-Carrillo’s 51 series wrist pins, Sure-Lox’s, and premium CPN ring set which includes a gas nitride steel top ring, taper hook groove second ring, and low tension oil ring.
For more information about CP-Carrillo, visit cp-carrillo.com. SEMA Booth 23128
5) New Calibration Kit for Street Demon Carburetors
Demon Carburetion has released a new calibration kit (p/n 1921) that enables engine tuners to dial-in exact air-fuel ratios for each specific engine. Whether additional fine-tuning is precipitated by altitude, exotic cam, high-compression, or engine displacement, or uneven distribution from an intake manifold at different engine speeds, this new calibration kit will fine-tune the fuel curve.
It provides four different sizes of primary jets, six different sizes of metering rods, four different weights of metering rod springs, and two different sizes of secondary jets. All components are supplied in pairs and all jets and needles are stamped for easy identification.
Generally, the metering rods are changed to adjust air-fuel ratios in finer increments; the jets are changed to adjust air-fuel ratios in larger increments. The tuning kit eradicates eye-watering exhaust fumes or puffs of smoke under acceleration. At the chassis dynamometer it enables the tuner to accomplish maximum efficiency.
The Street Demon calibration kit is priced at $54.95. For more information about Demon Carburetion, visit demoncarbs.com. SEMA Booth 22525
6) EVO 4G63 H-Beam Billet Connecting Rod
Race Engineering has re-engineered its 4G63 H-Beam billet rod to incorporated massive 7/16? ARP 2000 capscrews, instead of the more common 3/8? bolt. No other rod in the industry has this. There is a tremendous increase in strength without any added cost.
Applications include EVO 1-8 and all second generation engines. Perfect for severely boosted motors. Dealer pricing is available.
For more information about Race Engineering, visit raceeng.com or call 561-533-5500.
7) Billet Main Caps For 2JZ Toyota Engines
Race Engineering offers CNC machined main caps from 4140 billet steel and carefully heat treated. No modification needed to install thrust (like competing designs). Dealer pricing is available. Visit raceeng.com or call 561-533-5500.
8) New Pipe Wrap & Stainless Steel Locking Tie Kit
Design Engineering, Inc. (DEI) has long been recognized as a top manufacturer of thermal pipe wrap; used for street, track, marine and powersport applications to reduce the transfer of heat. Excessive under the hood heat can rob horsepower, affect exhaust gas velocity and reduce cabin comfort causing stress and fatigue.
Now this proven and versatile pipe wrap is available in a new cost savings kit that includes one roll of 2” x 25’ thermal pipe wrap and four 8” stainless steel locking ties. The combination kit ensures a secure fit regardless of use.
For more information, visit designengineering.com. SEMA booth 20113
9) High Inertia Series Flexplates
Designed for use with Turbo 350/400 and GM 4L60E, 4L80E & 4-L85 transmissions including 11.5? 6-Bolt Torque Converter. This plate is SFI 29.1 certified with a 4-5 mm thick core. Constructed from cold-rolled premium steel and has a long lasting white zinc finish that helps prevent rust.
For more information about PRW, visit PRW-USA.com. SEMA booth 23217
10) LS Engine Swap Headers and Swap Mount Kit and for S13/S14 Nissan 240SX
Hooker Headers recently released their new Engine Swap Headers and Engine Swap Mount Kit, allowing installation of GM’s LS engine into the S13 and S14 Nissan 240SX chassis (1989-1998 year models).
For more information, visit holley.com. SEMA booth 22667
11) EngineQuest Releases New Big Block Chevy Replacement Cylinder Heads
EQ’s BBC replacement cylinder heads surpass any production unit by producing outstanding horsepower and torque improvements for virtually all Big Block Chevy engines from a mild 454 to a supercharged 572.
For more information, visit enginequest.com.
Stay tuned to our website and social media during the show for more SEMA products.