We’ll be talking about Garrett Turbochargers in a subsequent part, but this Pro Mod dragster running twin Garrett GTX4718 snails reminded me of a Stars Wars storm trooper. 

PRI 2014: Part 1

The Performance Racing Industry shown through the eyes of a first-timer.  Oh my!

by Pablo Mazlumian

I’ve been in the automotive media industry now nearly 15 years.  Granted, nearly all of those years have been part time.  Even so, I was a late bloomer getting to SEMA with my first attendance in 2008, followed by an encore in 2011.  I haven’t been back since.

I liked SEMA.  It was huge, with events going on inside and outside the convention center, along with dozens of show-entered cars parked outside.  Las Vegas isn’t the most boring place on earth to be with friends, either.  But SEMA wasn’t something I was going to want to go to every year, because it’s simply exhausting.  I would be fine with returning there every three to four years. 

On the other hand, people kept insisting I just had go to the PRI (Performance Racing Industry) show, which at the time was in Orlando, Florida.  But I never made it happen.

This year, after finding out just a handful of days before the actual event that it was in Indianapolis, Indiana (much closer to KC, where I live, you see), the wheels started turning in my head.  Then later, when I confirmed that the majority of the MotoIQ crew would be there, I turned toward the kitchen and told my wife, “sweetie, I think I’m going to drive to Indianapolis next week!”  She was supportive, bless her bare feet!

I’m sure glad I went, and I was fired up driving home.  Over the next many pages you’ll see some parts and cars you might have come to expect already, but others that may surprise you.  You'll see PRI 2014 through the eyes of a first-timer, but I must prepare you with this fact:  There was so much to see and share with our readers that I have to spread the coverage over three large articles.  As you might imagine, this show is for every performance-minded gear head!  Now please, follow me…

This is one of the entrances to the show.  While it took place over three days, Thursday through Saturday, I was only able to be there Thursday and Friday. 

Before we go in, we must get registered.


This is registration, which was impressively efficient.  I even overheard others talking about how quick it was to get our credentials.  It took me less than five minutes to walk in and out of this room.

Along with my badge, PRI gave me a PRI guide to the city of Indianapolis, a show map, and a 390-page PRI show magazine that I’m sure was expensive to produce, and definitely deserves a shout out!

You may be asking why I'm showing you all of this.  Well, if you had seen the mass of people we entered with the first morning, you would have thought this process was going to take over an hour.  I even tried to take a picture at the time but I had no room to reach around for my camera in my backpack, and stepping away from the herd was going to cost me a few minutes.  But I was wrong.  These guys had their act together.

This may not come as a shock, but the PRI show is a real dude-fest, most of which are either older, or young but looking like Jesse James fabricator wanna-bes.  Still, don't be afraid to come out to PRI 2015 with your beautiful wives because most of us will be looking like we're playing a part in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers (if you got that, you're old too).

Okay I just had to get that out.  Please, allow me...

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Nick B
Nick Blink
Monday, December 22, 2014 7:34 AM
PRI>SEMA hands down. Great article Pablo!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, December 22, 2014 11:52 AM
My favorite trade show. Blows SEMA away.
Monday, December 22, 2014 12:42 PM
Industry only or is this show open to the public?
Monday, December 22, 2014 1:52 PM
Industry only, but it's not too hard to get a pass in.
Monday, December 22, 2014 4:17 PM
Regarding the Top Fuel fuel pump rates on pg 11, I did the
Monday, December 22, 2014 4:20 PM
math, 100 gals per hour = 1.6 gals per min...and that doesnt seem that beastly. Regardless, great article!
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Monday, December 22, 2014 8:10 PM
Hello and thanks for reading and compliments, guys!
@HybridAndy/Rawkus: indeed, it was not hard to get a credential at all.

@B: what do you mean not beastly! 100gal/hour = 389 LPH....oh wait. I meant 100 gallons per MINUTE! Actually, on page 16 or 17 I cover the waterman fuel pump, and the one in the pic does 116 GPM. It's like 27000 LPH, and I believe that's achieved at 600 PSI! Ok there, that's better (and thank you, changing my typo in the article, ;).
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 10:20 AM
About these batteries ... yup, it caught your eyes. But these ratings are fake ;)

These are LIFEPO4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries. I have been using some for a couple of years if not more now, and they really are worth it. And it is a safe tech, unlike the usual lipos that can catch fire when overcharged, undercharged, pierced or overheated. This tech just does nothing, so no need for a special circuitry.

There is just a slight problem though, and that is the fake ratings pegasus and most other companies are using. The real info is usually hidden in the FAQ. This is quoted from the shorai:

--The internal "completely discharged" capacity of a Shorai battery is 1/3 the rated "PbEq" capacity. For example, the LFX18 12V series have 6Ah cells internally.--

The same trick exists for CCA, basically the real max amp value is half of the advertised CCA value.

So these 20AH, 600Amax batteries are actually 7AH, 300Amax batteries. At 7AH, they take a heavy discharge when starting the engine, and their life expectancy goes down.

If anyone wants a lifepo4 battery ( and everyone should, they really are awesome), the first thing to do is NOT to buy one from a manufacturer that advertise pbeq rating;
the second is to always get the cell datasheet and check for yourself if the cell can do what the battery is rated for, because most of the time, again, they cannot.

Long story short, i searched for quite some time, and there are not a lot of cells that we can use for starting engines. The best suited i found was from A123 company, and is the 26650 cell. They are the only one i found which have a 30C continuous discharge rate. Some say this is the same manufacturer as the tesla batteries.

A 4S4P arrangement will give 9.2AH and a real 500+ max amps. This is just perfect for any 4 cylinder engine. You can find some on ebay, usually sold for 1000cc bike engines, for around 200$. Be ready to wait 3 weeks before delivery though... but it really is worth it. it measures 4" x4"x6", and weight 3lbs :D

If you have a bigger engine, either stack them, or ask the sellers for a 4S6P, or 4S8P arrangement. It will extend the capacity as well as allowing for higher current and a longer battery life.

I am running this one (although not bought from this seller).


Works flawlessly, just add a cutoff switch. It has a balance connector, but i never needed to balance it. It went empty once, i forgot to cut the lights ... We jump started the car, and 2 mins later the battery was full (i think the max charge current is 60 or 80 amps in 4S4P; double that number with a 8P arrangement)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 12:22 PM

Your comment of :

"There is just a slight problem though, and that is the fake ratings pegasus and most other companies are using. The real info is usually hidden in the FAQ."

Pegasus has not offered Fake ratings.They are not the manufacturer of the batteries. I am sure they have been given the ratings by the manufacturer of the batteries they sell.

Are all batteries equal? No they are not. Each battery on the market currently does something very well and other things not as well. Lithium batteries are lightweight and have excellent burst cranking amps. They will work very well on vehicles equipped with a charging source or a very very low parasitic draw/loss.
Lithium batteries also require a different use procedure in cold weather as in below freezing when starting a car.

On the other hand standard lead acid batteries weigh a lot. They offer a better ability for AH capacity storage when used for vehicle that run total loss systems that have no charging capabilities. However again they are large and heavy.

When choosing a battery you choose one based on what you need it to do not based myth.

Those of you who are also looking to buy batteries may want to consider the warranty aspect of the product and the company whom is selling you the product. Will they back the product that they sell? Are they reputable?

Ebay is not the fix to quality batteries either.

A123 also has been in and out of bankruptcy since 2012 and may be now operating under a different name.

Mark F
Mark Flink
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 1:11 PM
A123 may have taken US tax payer monies, and then declared bankruptcy, but the manufacturers that repackage them as their own or inside of their units continue to use them and everyone is just paying for a fancy label on a A123 battery cell(s).
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 2:59 PM
ok i stand corrected. Pegasus sells gravity free batteries with fake but somewhat accepted ratings in the battery industry. They are still responsible for what they sell. The same is true about shorai, ballistic, earthX (who even lie about the necessity to use a BMS with lifepo4 chemistry), and so on.

A 20AH battery is supposed to deliver 20Amps for 1hour at nominal tension before being empty. Not 6. Using a 7ah battery with a 250A rating to start an engine that really needs more than 450A at its peak will result in overworking cells, which will show "abnormal usage damage". No warranty against that.

Considering that the whole american industry decided to fool its customers with fake ratings, while the usual chinese maker do not... well the chinese guys build them, so considering quality, my money is on them. "made in america" claims that i have seen became "assembled in america" after a few questions, where "assembled" meant "putting the chinese battery in an enclosure and adding a fancy sticer".

People interested in these should ask for the cell datasheet, and stay away from the people who cannot produce that datasheet.

I spent a lot of time on endless-sphere forums before getting my battery, i encourage everyone that wants to know more to head there. They are mostly about low discharge, high capacity cells, which is not what a starter battery is, but there is also some info about this. Many cells and makers have been tested, with actual usable results, so it is a nice place to start.

What i do know is i have been running my battery pack for some time now, i checked at first every month but it never needed balancing, and still kicks ass. Before that, i used lead acid batteries that died every year (because i did not want to let a battery charger unattended in my garage, and i was too lazy to charge it once in a while, i admit.These batteries ? Nearly no self discharge rate. Just use the cut off switch, let it stay for a year. No discharge)
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:39 PM
Good grief we have some serious battery techs here. Thanks for the info!! I shall look into it..
Thursday, December 25, 2014 9:13 AM
Pablo, as I like to say, we have the smartest readers out there :)
Friday, December 26, 2014 6:56 PM
Bottom of page 6 in the text talking about the Borg Warner turbo, you reference the black hose on the compressor cover "That little black hose coming off of the compressor housing is for the speed sensor, which is optional." It is actually the hose for the boost control solenoid. The speed sensor mounts on the raised angled boss right next to it.
Pablo Mazlumian
Pablo Mazlumianlink
Saturday, December 27, 2014 10:53 PM
@spdracerut: indeed!
@Mr.B: thank you--you are correct. will change!
Anonymous User
Anonymous Userlink
Sunday, February 01, 2015 11:07 PM
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