Category: Engine

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How Much Do You Know About Short Throw Shifters?

 

A short throw shifter modifies the shifter’s geometry to reduce the shift lever’s travel distance. It moves the pivot point higher up the shift rod, which means that the shifter moves less distance, therefore the shorter throw.  So what is it exactly? It’s a driving technique utilizing the gear that is basically used to improve the fuel economy in day to day driving.  This is most common in “torquey” vehicles. Now you’re probably asking yourself,  what is a “torquey” vehicle? A “torquey” vehicle is a better measurement of how quickly your car will accelerate, while horsepower (relative to weight) is a better measure of your car’s top speed.

Basically, if you want a faster accelerating vehicle add more torque, choose a light/lighter vehicle, a lower center-of-mass (closer to the wheel axle in height), larger diameter wheels & tires and of course a engine that can output this large amount of torque over a wide range of engine speeds. “Torquey” comes from the origin torque which means the amount of “turning power” you have, much in the same way you turn a wrench.  A great example of a torquey vehicle is a racing car like in Nascar or  a more specific example would be the famous, legal street car prototype, The Sunbeam Tiger

For a more simplified explanation, or if you skimmed through the paragraph since you may not be much of a reader, here are YouTube links (Credit: The Audiopedia; WideBand) explaining the meaning and explanation of a short shifter and how does it work. 

How it works:

 

fastest street legal car

(Picture above: The Sunbeam Tiger) 

Since you made it this far, congratulations!

You’re either already a car guru or beginning to be one! Now that you’ve read in depth on short shifters, the hardest question to yourself may be is: Do I even know how to install a short shifter? Is it hard for someone whose not the best expert when it comes to cars? The answer is quite simple, like the process. No, it is actually easy to install a short shifter, plenty of newbies have done it.

It just gets easier with experience! Below, are step by step manual instructions on how to install a short shifter. If you’re not much of a “I don’t like to read manual instructions” type of person, we also provided an audio link below the manual instructions from YouTube (Credit: ChrisFix) if you’re more of a listener when it comes to instructions. Enjoy your upgraded ride!

Where Can I Purchase A Shifter?

You’re in quite luck today my friend! Not only do we inform the public, but we inform potential and existing customers who are interested in purchasing auto parts we sell; such as a shifter. Below, is the link to a category of shifters! P.S. We offer free shipping! 

 Click Here For Purchase

DIY Installation Of Short Shifters:

1. Unscrew and remove your shifter knob.

2. Remove all the console parts covering the main shifter unit. For our car, we had to pop out a few plastic molding pieces to clear a path to the shifter. In other vehicles, you might have to remove screws or pry off more than two pieces of molding. Ultimately, the key is to remove the rubber or leather shifter boot and the plastic pieces surrounding it. When prying moldings with a flat-head screwdriver, remember to wrap and cover the tip with a rag or cloth to prevent marring your interior.

3. Now that you have a clear path to the shifter, remove the bolts that attach the shifter to the connecting rod that links it to the transmission. There will usually be one large bolt that runs through a plastic bushing that holds the rod in place. Be sure to keep track of the bolt and bushing, as you will probably need these parts to install the new shifter.

4. With the rod disconnected, the shifter should swing freely, attached merely by a ball socket. Bend the shifter either fully back or forward — this may vary by vehicle — to pop out the stock shifter from its ball-socket seating.

5. There should be some grease on the stock shifter ball after removal. Wipe off this grease carefully with clean hands. Smear it onto the new shifter unit to enhance lubrication.

6. Now here’s the tricky part. Line up the new shifter over the ball socket where it will ultimately sit. Take a flat block of wood and line it up over the shifter. Using a hammer, smack the wood straight down into the shifter repeatedly until you can pop the unit into the socket. Be patient and don’t be scared to smack it hard, as this will take some effort. The reason you want to use a block of wood is to keep from damaging your new shifter’s threads with a hammer.

7. With the shifter seated in the ball socket, reconnect the new shifter to the connecting rod and bolt it in. Two warnings:

Don’t over-tighten the bolt or you will impede the car’s shifting action. You should only need about 10 to 15 ft. lbs. of torque here, so use some thread-lock on the bolt to ensure it doesn’t loosen by itself in time. If you don’t have a torque wrench to measure out the force here, just hand-tighten the nut completely. Then apply about the same amount of pressure as it would take for you to crack a nut or lobster claw.

Make sure you bolt the shifter in the right direction based on where the bend is located. If you don’t, and you install it backwards, your new shifter will likely slam into the center console when you change gears. You might want to put on the shifter knob and just test out the position of your hand as it shifts to ensure it doesn’t run into any obstructions in its new position.

8. After securing the unit, replace your center console pieces and shifter knob. Before driving with the new shifter, row it though all the gears with the engine off to ensure you are receiving proper engagement. You should be able to tell whether each gear can be solidly engaged.

Disclaimer: Please be careful racing your “race car like” vehicle on public roads for the safety of yourself and others! 

 

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Reasons Why You Should Change your Air Intake System Even If Your Car Is Brand Spanking New

 

For quieter operation for your air intake system, OEM air filters and intake tubes have restrictive curves and bars. We’re talking about how power and mpg are hurt, and why it’s never too soon to upgrade.

Aftermarket air intake systems have become one of the most popular engine modifications for cars and trucks of late models. One easy question is why are they so popular? After all, didn’t engineers who work for your vehicle manufacturer spend years developing the best engine components available? Since power and fuel economy are major points of sale these days, it is difficult to imagine that car companies do not do everything they can to maximize horsepower, miles per gallon or both.

The truth is that typical air filtration systems are designed as a compromise on most OEM vehicles. And because of this, you miss the power and kilometers you can easily gain. In the scope of this article, we’ll explain what aftermarket air intakes do, and why installing one in place of your factory air hose, filter, and air box makes good sense -even if your car is brand new. In fact, especially if it’s brand new -because you’ll have the most amount of time possible to enjoy the benefits.

The Basics

An internal combustion engine is essentially a large air pump. Air, which mainly contains oxygen and nitrogen, is pumped into the cylinders of your engine along with fuel during the intake stroke, compressed and burned during compression and power strokes, and then forced out during the exhaust stroke as spent gases. Any resistance to the free flow of gasses during intake or exhaust strokes robs the power of your engine, which is why aftermarket air intake systems exhaust headers and less restrictive exhaust systems are common engine modifications.

Since aftermarket air intake systems reduce restrictions effectively, they reduce pumping losses from power-robbing and allow your engine to take more air. We’ll explain how this additional air momentarily benefits your engine, but let’s talk about restrictions and how aftermarket systems eliminate them.

In an earlier paragraph, we will re-examine the word “compromise” that we used to describe factory air intake systems. It’s not that the engineers who created your car or truck did not understand these basic principles; they had to take into account other factors than performance when designing air intake systems. In order to reduce overall engine noise, the natural vacuuming whine of airflow is quieted by restrictive air baffles. While it may be hard for many of us to imagine the sweet music of additional air intake noise as something to complain about, most car buyers (including performance car enthusiasts) are perfectly happy to leave things stock.

We feel if those car buyers fully understood how aftermarket air intakes provide improvements, and how easily these assemblies bolt in place without major surgery, most folks would buy them -enthusiasts or not. Because while aftermarket air intakes provide additional power, their less restrictive nature also yields higher fuel economy when drivers go easy on the pedal.

Traditional flat panel air filters equipped with OEM equipment are as easy to replace as a bulb. This, however, requires a smaller overall size – a factor which is a primary source of airflow restriction. In order to improve this, most aftermarket air intake systems are equipped with larger, conical air filters, which eliminate the need for the factory filter and its enclosure box (known as the air box). While every manufacturer claims that its OEM filter design and materials are effective, the larger surface area of larger air filters in the intake system will always lead to higher airflow and less restriction.

The factory air intake tube is the other main source of restriction. Most factory tubes make awkward bends and contain sound baffles that can inhibit noise but restrict airflow. Aftermarket air intake tubes are usually constructed from mandrel-bent aluminum or molded polyethylene to ensure tubes have a consistent interior diameter in spots where they bend. Although polyethylene has a slight advantage in that it can be molded asymmetrically, both types have larger diameters and smoother bends than OEM tubes for a higher airflow to the throttle body or turbocharger.

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The Benefits of Greater Airflow and Cold Air

We’ve all heard the old hot-rodding mantra which dictates “there’s no substitute for cubic inches”. While performance tuners through the ages have agreed and disagreed on this expression meant as a reference to cylinder displacement, all of them agree it’s valid when applied to cubic inches (or feet) of airflow. Why is that? Increased airflow allows the engine to burn more fuel without compromising the ideal ratio of air to fuel. So when you decide to hit the throttle hard, that extra fuel translates into more power no matter how big or small your engine is. And it applies whether a motor is naturally-aspirated or boosted with a turbo or supercharger. In particular, an engine operates most efficiently with a mixture of 14.7 parts of air and one part of fuel, known as the stoichiometric air-to-fuel ratio. More air and fuel (in the proper ratio) in the combustion process means a more forceful explosion driving the pistons, and more horsepower and torque.

Fortunately, electronic fuel injection systems in late-model vehicles (especially those with MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensors) have no difficulty in compensating for the increased airflow provided by performance intakes. Computers for engine control react to increased airflow by automatically increasing the delivery of fuel to maintain the correct air/fuel mixture. However, if the MAF sensor on an older vehicle can be confused by the change in airflow rate, the aluminum air intake system of AEM Electronically Tuned Air Intake System offers the unique distinction of having an integrated electronic module that communicates with the mass airflow sensor of your vehicle to ensure that the airflow rate is correctly detected. This prevents a warning light from the check engine. If you are unsure about your car or truck, we recommend that you first check with the vehicle manufacturer.

The ability of aftermarket intake systems to draw cooler air from outside the vehicle is also an advantage. While air intake systems for “cold air” and “ram air” position the air filter in different locations, they both draw air from locations further away from the engine itself. Whether that location may be behind a bumper-height air scoop or center grille, the air drawn in is cooler because it’s drawn from outside, not from underneath the hot engine bay. The benefit of drawing in cooler air is that it’s denser and packed with more oxygen -allowing more fuel to be burned evenly for increased power. In fact, engineers estimate that the air is 1 percent higher for every 10 degrees cooler. In addition, conical air filters offer a wider scooping area that packs air more densely together as narrow passages. In all circumstances, this creates a denser airflow into the engine.

Since we offer too many air intake kits to mention each of them in this article, we recommend that you look through the Performance Air Intake section of our website if you have a block of time to compare available offers. As you’ll see in the picture above, it’s possible to enter the year, make, and model of your vehicle in the beginning of your search so that our website automatically does the work of narrowing down which kits are offered for your ride. Browsing through what’s available, you’ll notice each kit features one main lead picture. These images are not completely indicative of the variations you will find for each kit, since components vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a kit with a heat shield or even a complete air box is often available with a cold air intake without a heat shield around the filter.

Finally, modern vehicles are electronic wonders, with variable valve timing and other complexities that make traditional hot – rodding modes such as cam replacement impossible or beyond the average enthusiast’s scope. A higher level of factory tuning also makes it difficult to improve computer-controlled engines. If you take these facts into consideration, it becomes clear that the pure simplicity and function of aftermarket air intake systems make them one of the highest performance purchases on the market today. There’s no substitute for simplicity at times.

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The Definition Behind A Bumper Valance

Valance panels can be trimmed to direct airflow or body panels under bumpers. We cover a few variations here and help you find the replacements you need.

You may have heard the term “bumper valance” or “valance panel,” but you’re not sure. In non-automotive applications, the dictionary defines a valance as a piece of material that hangs loosely from a bed, table or shelf to hide what is underneath for decorative purposes. So how does it relate to an automobile?

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Valance Panels Location

Valance panels can be found on cars and trucks from almost any era at the front and / or rear. Depending on the aerodynamic efficiency of the car manufacturer, a valance panel can be a narrow trim piece that is placed low to direct airflow in the same way as an air dam. Or a valance panel can be a larger piece with a built-in airflow lip at the bottom.

In some cases, a vehicle may even have two separate panels on the front or rear – one for the passenger side and one for the driver side. These are only partial parts and do not typically cover the vehicle’s entire width. Instead, they can only be placed on the corners. Valance panels are also referred to as “bumper valances,” “lower valance panels,” “lower bumper trim plates” or “front lips.”

Valance panels do not improve aerodynamics in some cases. They may be simple cover pieces that conceal areas below the level of the otherwise exposed bumper (or bumper cover). This would effectively cover the lower part of the radiator on the front and protect it. The gap between dual exhaust pipes located on opposite corners of the vehicle could be bridged by a valance panel in the rear.

Materials Used for Valance Panels

Valance panels usually consist of the same materials as the bumpers of a vehicle – but not always. An older vehicle with steel bumpers, for example, is more likely to have steel valance panels. However, on later vehicles built with exposed steel and chrome bumpers, plastic valance panels are not uncommon. If you look at a new vehicle with plastic bumper covers, however, it is a sure bet that the valance panels are made of plastic as well.

Driving over speed bumps, angled driveways, potholes and a host of other road irregularities can easily damage valance panels positioned low to the ground. And even if you don’t have a low-hanging valance panel, rock hits, parking lot stops and other mistakes can still dent or crack it.

Valance panels are essentially sheet metal body panels on older vehicles that need to be removed and replaced with automotive bodywork experience. On new vehicles, swapping on a new valance panel with pieces made of plastic is simply a question of bolting on a new trim piece.

If the replacement valance is metal, and you’re performing a full-on restoration, we’re presuming that the entire body will be professionally shot with paint all at the same time. On a newer vehicle where it’s easier to remove and replace a plastic bumper cover, you may want to consider tackling the job yourself and trying to do the paint work.

 

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The Definition Of Antifreeze And The Reason Behind It’s Need

We take a look at the various types and colors of antifreeze, the characteristics of each type of antifreeze, the type of antifreeze used by your automaker and why it is necessary to mix it with water.

“Anti – freeze” is a chemical consisting primarily of ethylene glycol, which is used to reduce the freezing point and increase the boiling point of the mixture when mixed with water. The combination of antifreeze and water is traditionally referred to as “coolant.”

In contrast to air-cooled vehicles that rely on fan-driven air blowing over engine components, water-cooled engines use the engine’s radiator, water pump, thermostat, heat core, tubes and passages.

Within this system, the coolant travels in a circular path driven by the water pump, through the engine in which the heat generated by the combustion is removed, through the heat core of the vehicle (heat is supplied to the interior of the vehicle), and through the radiator in which the heat is transferred to the exterior air, in order to restart the cycle.

Water alone would cool an automotive engine fine with nothing more than the right corrosion inhibitors added -until external circumstances caused it to freeze or boil over. To prevent these disasters, antifreeze has been developed and contains additives that prevent the corrosion of metal components in contact. In this article, we will examine the various types and colors of antifreeze on the market today, their characteristics and why pure antifreeze should be mixed with water for maximum efficiency.

Like any fluid entering a vehicle, antifreeze has a lifetime and begins to degrade. But it is not the ethylene glycerol itself that wears out, but the ingredients added to it by the corrosion inhibitor are consumed.

These inhibitors prevent metal parts such as water pumps and engine blocks from forming rust and are used at different rates depending on the chemical make-up. Antifreeze that is brown or rusty in color indicates that the inhibitors have broken down to the point of replacement of the solution. If you want to replace your old antifreeze, our cooling system service article is helpful.

Adding Water to Antifreeze

If antifreeze containers do not state on their labels that they have already been pre-mixed 50/50 with water during the production process, you will receive antifreeze with “full strength” and have to dilute it with water yourself. Typically, when purchased, full strength antifreeze gives more value – even after the cost of distilled water is taken into account. If you prefer the convenience of not having to worry about accurately mixing things, 50/50 mixing is the way to go.

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Distilled Water Is Always Best

Tap water and even filtered water are full of minerals such as calcium and magnesium which leave deposits inside the entire cooling system -particularly around parts of the engine that reach high temperatures. So no matter what type of antifreeze your vehicle requires, use only distilled water when formulating your mixture. Because distilled water was boiled and condensed, there were mineral deposits and other impurities. And since it is available in any supermarket or car parts store, there are limited excuses not to use distilled water.

The Mix Maximizes the Freezing and Boiling Points

No matter what type or color your antifreeze is, the heat is most efficiently transferred when mixed with the right amount of water – a percentage of the mixture based on the lowest temperatures typically seen in your climate. Most regions are best suited to a mixture of 50 / 50 water-antifreeze, which provides protection from -34 °F to 265 °F. In addition, the proper protection of the freeze point ensures that corrosion inhibitors remain at the intended levels. It is interesting to note that the task of protecting the cooling system of your vehicle is not performed by pure antifreeze alone much better than water itself. In fact, where water does, pure antifreeze freezes at a temperature not much below. The most effective freeze-up mixture in the coldest climates is 60-70 percent antifreeze (the rest is water) -not 100 percent.

The Health of Your Entire Cooling System Suffers If the Coolant Level Is Low

Antifreeze is much more corrosive than a normal liquid state when it is in the form of hot, steaming vapors. When a cooling system is constantly low, these vapors fill the additional space available – creating an environment that is extremely corrosive to engine components. In addition, metal components which become exposed because there’s not enough antifreeze quickly form corrosion -something that transforms clean, effective coolant into sludgy, dirty coolant. And, of course, a cooling system cannot transfer heat properly when there isn’t enough antifreeze to do it. The engineers who created your vehicle have designed it to work full of anti-freeze, so make sure it is regularly checked and topped off. (If you frequently add coolant, check the system for leaks as soon as possible.)

Varieties of Antifreeze Color That Exist

The antifreeze color is completely generated by coloring dye, not directly as a result of any chemicals mixed during production. That said, there are different antifreeze colors. Although specific colors agreed in the automotive industry mean chemical make-up, in each shade there are still variations. Traditional green, extended-life yellow and extended-life pink or orange are the main antifreeze colors. Some Korean car manufacturers have even used blue dye antifreeze in recent years.

We strongly recommend that you strictly follow the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer when adding or replacing coolant, regardless of the color and type of antifreeze your vehicle has been equipped from the factory. In other words, only use the recommended type or color and never mix the types of antifreeze. Some have recently developed market-sold antifreeze claims that they are universal for all vehicles, but we would avoid making such a claim.

green antifreeze