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Proving Yourself

Well, it’s 2018. If you’ve already made, broken and forgotten your New Years’ resolutions, let me welcome you to the club. This time of year, it’s easy to say we’re going to do something better, for our health, for our finances, for our business and, most of the time, we truly believe what we say. At least I do, for a while.

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Well, it’s 2018. If you’ve already made, broken and forgotten your New Years’ resolutions, let me welcome you to the club.

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This time of year, it’s easy to say we’re going to do something better, for our health, for our finances, for our business and, most of the time, we truly believe what we say. At least I do, for a while. THIS time, it’ll be different. It’s just that, well, determining what needs to be changed is usually pretty easy – it’s measuring those changes that can be difficult.

Experts say it can take up to 21 days of repetition to make or change a habit and, let’s be honest, repetition is boring. Some psychology experts say it’s just as important not to restrict our ideas or expect too little of ourselves when trying to make changes. Don’t expect to fail regardless of what may have happened in the past.

“Focus on process goals, making changes over time to build toward long-term sustainable change, rather than sink-or-swim goals, to the extent possible depending on the level of urgency,” Grant Hilary Brenner, MD, in a recent column in Psychology Today (Dec. 14, 2017) suggests. “People are more likely to succeed and feel more empowered (if they are rewarded) for incremental steps along the way, accepting that setbacks are part of the process and something to learn from, rather than attacking oneself for failing if things aren’t perfect.”

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To me, that sounds like a certified expert giving permission to think outside the box, something Engine Builder readers do very well.

This month, one of our readers/contributors/celebrities talks with me about his own reasons for thinking outside the box and how doing so inspired him to develop and build his own dyno system. Easy? Nah. Cheap? Hardly. But is it what he needs to measure his success? Oh yeah.

And speaking of measuring your success, you’ve hopefully heard by now that there’s a new Engine Dyno Racing Challenge in town. The inaugural American Iron 2-Valve Shootout Race Engine Challenge will be held October 3-6, 2018 in Charlotte, NC. The event will feature 15 engine builders from across the United States putting their most creative builds against each other in a dyno racing competition.

“There continues to be excitement from engine builders about dyno competitions and we’re pleased to host this new event,” says Greg Finnican, contest director.

As the official media partner of the Shootout, Engine Builder will be following and promoting the growth of the contest this year and sharing the stories about the competitors next year. Our goal is to provide facts, figures and photos of each engine, and we hope that each engine builder will document his or her build so you’ll get unmatched access to their thought processes.

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The four-day event will feature five engines per day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the two top engines battling each other on Saturday, Finnican says. Scores will be determined by averaging three of the best HP dyno pulls out of the up to 10 pulls permitted. The contest will use a cubic inch divider to compensate for varied engine displacement. Scored test RPM range is 4,000-7,500 RPM; the dyno correction factor will be SAE J607. Pulls will be made on a Land & Sea Pro 2000 dyno.

In addition to the dyno pulls, contestants and their guests can also participate in the 2018 Technical Engine Conference (TEC) seminars at the same location as the Race Engine Challenge. Finnican says technical experts and industry leaders will cover topics such as valve train dynamics, cam selection, exhaust header design, EFI systems, lubrication, cryogenics and more.

To be considered for the American Iron 2-Valve Shootout Race Engine Challenge, be sure to fill out the form by visiting RaceEngineChallenge.com. All selected participants will be notified of their contest status by February 1, 2018.

Sometimes the most important changes you can make require total creativity – sometimes your path will be in another’s footsteps. In 2018, Engine Builder will continue to offer columns and articles intended to change your business for the better – and the tools to help measure those improvements.

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