The most important part of your car is not the engine, suspension, or brakes. It’s the TIRES!!! This is because your car can only perform as well as the capability of its tires. I’m often asked which tire is best and what size to buy. In this article I discuss my methods for choosing and properly sizing the right tires. I’m not into the “hella-flush” or “stance” scenes so this article is focused towards those who care about the PERFORMANCE of their car, whether on the street or on the track.
A few weeks ago we got to get a close look at the car that we think is perhaps the most radical and innovative drift car ever built, Mad Mike Whiddett's Radbul Mazda MX-5. After a 5 year absence, Mad Mike is back on the US drift scene with a car built for today's exceedingly competitive Formula D environment.
I've joked in the past that "Time Attack" is the "Professional Wrestling" of Motorsports. Not in the sense that it's questionably real or has obnoxious intro music. More so, that it's over the top, a great show, and takes a high level of skill, guts, and charisma to be successful. As well as being dramatic, full of characters, and having a core fan base that truly respects and enjoys the sport, even if others just think its nothing more then "qualifying" (which I don't agree with at all). Having been on both sides of the coin with both time attack and wheel-to-wheel racing, without having done both at a high level of competition, judgements cannot be made.
As the holiday music fills the air on every freakin' street corner in the United States, the weather begins to turn cold and the populace begins to cower in fear of the dreaded flakes of solidified water that fall from the atmosphere. If you’re like most of the MotoIQ staff, you live in southern California where you have to drive hours to find a hint of the fluffy white stuff. Not all of us are so lucky unfortunately, and if you live in the northern part of the world, you will at some point have to deal with snow. And since we live in the age of the internet, there is tons of advice out there on how to prepare for winter, some of it good, some of it questionable, some of it horrible. So let’s do what MotoIQ does best and cut the crap and help you prepare for the winter the right way.
Finding the right balance of performance and civility when upgrading a street car can be difficult. It all comes down to finding the perfect compromise between daily drivability and “because racecar”. Go too far and a car can become too loud, too rough, and too unreliable. With the goal of eventually increasing the power output of our Subaru Legacy GT wagon beyond what the stock VF40 turbo can efficiently produce, we knew that we would need to upgrade some of the other components in preparation. Our clutch disc and pressure plate were the first items on the list of things to replace. While everything was apart for the clutch job we decided to also replace the heavy stock flywheel with a lightweight alternative, to bolster the transmission with help from Moore Performance, and reduce slop with some polyurethane bushings.
Many of our MotoIQ Project Cars feature top of the line or even exotic suspension parts, exactly the kind of stuff you want to use in cars that see mixed track/street use with a heavy track bias. However, not all of our cars are set up like this, some of our cars are more street oriented and set up towards hassle free daily use.
With four project installments of our Project VehiCross, you would expect we would have done something insane to it. After all most MotoIQ projects don’t stay stock very long and so far the only aftermarket parts this truck has seen are an air filter, brake pads, and tires. After ranting and raving about how terrible replacing a power steering hose on a VehiCross is, we promised we would start putting on some sweet aftermarket parts. We lied.
Picture a sunny, Southern California day at a race track with a smorgasbord of Nissans, Datsuns, and Infinitis everywhere you look, with the not-so-feint sound of racecars in the distance. Sounds like a dream, right? Wrong! Nissfest proved itself to be the premiere event of the year for all Nissan owners and lovers alike.
Before this year, I had never been to SEMA (or Vegas for that matter). Well, the stars aligned with my calendar and wallet, so I decided that I would make the pilgrimage to what is considered the epicenter of the automotive aftermarket. The show had never really held much interest to me. I had always believed that it was a massive convention with an overwhelming sea of half-assed show cars and shelves packed with trendy bullshit. If you can’t tell, I’m not much of an optimist. I went into the unknown without much of a game plan, and having no past experiences to help shape a plan of attack I mostly just wandered around aimlessly for several days absorbing the sight and sounds. And honestly, I didn’t hate it. Yes, there was a disturbing amount of cars with big wheels and bolt-on fender flares that were laid out on air ride. There were also a lot of well-built cars, quality engineered parts, and interesting people to connect with. Read on for some quick observations of a SEMA-newbie.
The OEMs are getting serious about going fast around a track. See what new toys they had to show off in Part 2 of our Nerd’s Eye View of SEMA 2015.
I had the recent displeasure of being rear-ended in the Vehicross. Luckily, the accident wasn't too bad (and we will get into it more in a later project installment), but the bumper cover did need to be replaced. We decided to replace our damaged bumper with a used one. The used bumper was in good shape, but we found a number of the mounting bolts were rusted onto what was left of the bumper support. We would have to remove these bolts without damaging the new cover. This would require a delicate mix of power tools, cleverness, and a basic understanding of heat transfer.
It's been a while since Project Civic EF Racecar has had an update outside of the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship race coverage articles. So here we'll take a closer look at the oil cooler upgrade thanks to Earl's Performance. The oil cooler setup which came with Project EF worked fine, but had some room to improve in regards to overall performance with the core, and durability with the lines. With the heat and abuse a wheel-to-wheel race car can put into the engine oil during 30 minute sprint races, having a cooler configuration with high levels of effectiveness is critical. Also essential is having lines sized correctly for proper flow and oil pressure.
The final rounds of the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship presented by Motul brings the gang back to Buttonwillow Raceway Park, but this time running the popular time attack configuration Clockwise #13. With the track setup in such a manner, there's ample amounts of data and video on what it takes to be quick for such a configuration. The interesting thing for me was despite my many years of time attack and HPDE driving experience on the CW #13 config, I have 0% experience on it during a wheel to wheel race situation. So I was extremely excited to get a new perspective on a course I had so much seat time on. Another exciting factor was that the year end championship points winner would be decided also. With myself and Justin Taylor neck and neck in points, whoever finished higher both days wins the final championship. But if somehow both of us DNS or DNF, Martin Gonzales is close enough in points to win as well. With many possible outcomes, the race weekend's was to be an interesting one.
When TEIN released the EDFC controller nearly 14 years ago, the suspension tuning world hit a new level of technology. Now with its more current EDFC ACTIVE version, TEIN has stepped up its game again, and we got to install it on our 800 WHP Project MKIV Supra!