2009 Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show - Ready To Perform
What's Hot From The 2009 Performance Racing Industry Trade Show
From the April, 2010 issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords
By Mark Houlahan
Photography by Mark Houlahan
We've all had that sinking...
We've all had that sinking feeling of driving down the road and your smooth ride turns into a shaking steering wheel and sluggish performance. Rats, just burned another plug wire on those big-tube headers. ACCEL now offers the ultimate fix for your burned plug wire issues, its new Extreme 9000 Ceramic Wire plug wire kits. The spark plug boot is made of ceramic material, which is able to withstand up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you have big headers, a cramped engine compartment with a big-block putting off lots of heat, or perhaps a turbo or supercharger, these Extreme 9000 ceramic wires are your answer. They come in straight, 90-degree, and 135-degree (Ford-style) boot angles.
The annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show, held in Orlando, Florida, for the last five years and for many years prior in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a Mecca for all things speed related. From insanely fast shifter go-carts to dirt and asphalt-based race cars, drag racing, road racing, and anything else related to the art of going fast (even machinery used to make the go-fast parts) is displayed here for three days every year in early December. While admission is free, it is only open to trade professionals like race teams, shop owners, engine builders, parts buyers, and more. While the SEMA show held in November out in Las Vegas is a more general automotive aftermarket show with everything from chrome emblems and LED taillights to supercharger kits and cylinder heads, the PRI show is definitely more on the hard-core side of things. There's a good bit of booth space devoted to gear our readers will most likely not care to see on the next few pages (then again I do know some of our readers race shifter carts, late-model modifieds, and such), but the PRI show does allow us to get up close and personal with those hard-core parts companies that we either couldn't get to at the SEMA show, or they didn't display at the SEMA show. So check out some of the goodies that got our attention and if you want to know more, be certain to get in touch with the manufacturer directly.
The Future Of Hotrodding?
While we first spotted this trick '34 Ford three-window coupe in the Ford display at SEMA we couldn't even get near the thing there were so many people jammed around it. And why you ask? Well, besides the fact that the '33-'34 Ford three-window is arguably the sexiest street rod shape ever to come out of Dearborn, and the suede like paint was perfect, we're sure it was because this one-off show beauty was packin' a 400hp version of Ford's new EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6, swiped from the new Taurus SHO. Built by Detroit Street Rods for Ford Powertrain Division, it features the 3.5L EcoBoost pumped past the stock rating to 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque and mated via a one-off block adapter to a Tremec five-speed trans (yes, it is rear wheel drive). The all-steel body is stamped by Experi-metal for Steve's Auto Restoration, which sells the replica body in the street rod marketplace. We certainly hope Ford gets a ton of positive feedback on this new engine technology and specifically this car. We'd love to open the Ford Racing catalog a year from now and see the block adapter, wiring harness kit, and other swap goodies to make the EcoBoost friendly for engine swaps in classic Fords, street rods, kit cars, and more. The future is bright indeed.
Now here's a...
Now here's a name synonymous with performance engine parts-Crane Cams [www.cranecams.com; (866) 388-5120]. While Crane has gone through some tough times the past year, even closing its doors for a while, Crane is now under new ownership and is back in business. While the new owners are concentrating on the Crane ignition line (HI-6 and it's siblings), we did happen to see Chase Knight, long time Crane engineer, back in the saddle as well in the Crane booth and he assured us that any Crane cam grind offered in the past can still be special ordered through the "new" Crane. Welcome back guys!
It seems like every...
It seems like every time you turn around a new spark plug technology is popping up. We know ACCEL [www.accel-ignition.com; (216) 688-8300] has been around for decades making performance spark plugs and today it's still at the top of its game with these new silver-tipped racing plugs. These plugs are much more resistant to fouling, require less voltage, and are compatible with all fuels (E85, LPG, and Methanol/Ethanol) and burn cleaner too. Best of all, they offer a true one piece plug design for 4.6L Three-Valve modular engines. So for those of you with mod motor swaps you can find an off the shelf plug for it now instead of going to the Ford dealer.
We all know what...
We all know what a pain it can be to get those nice new headers installed. Large tube diameters coupled with cramped spacing and that great side-by-side bolt pattern of most Ford cylinder heads means time with the bench grinder making custom installation "tools." Well not anymore. Mr. Gasket [www.mrgasket.com; (216) 688-8300] showed us its latest line of fasteners, these combination hex/socket head header bolts that even include the ball-end hex driver too.
Edelbrock [www.edelbrock.com; (310) 781-2222] was one of the few companies we didn't get to visit with at SEMA this year, so we made sure to stop by at PRI to see what was new and we're glad we did. Edelbrock is releasing its new Pro-Flo XT EFI systems. Much more advanced, they feature a true long-runner port EFI intake manifold, true sequential injection, tuning from the driver seat or via laptop, and more. The Pro-Flo XT manifold is also available separately for custom builds in both 8.2- and 9.5-inch deck heights along with optional fuel rails.
While we all know Edelbrock...
While we all know Edelbrock jumped into the Ford crate engine fray last year, it has upped the ante with a new 347 Performer RPM XT EFI crate offering. This baby has all the goodies, including a Ford Racing Boss 302 block, Edelbrock RPM Extreme aluminum heads, and a forged steel SCAT reciprocating assembly that lays down 449 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. Best of all, Edelbrock will even consider custom builds if you want to step it up a notch, plus you get a 2-year/unlimited mileage warranty on the whole package.
We're beginning to think that...
We're beginning to think that Mr. Gasket might have a microphone in our shop because just a week or two before heading to the PRI show we were swapping thermostats in a project car and commented on why no one made a reusable housing gasket when there are reusable valve cover, fuel bowl, and header gaskets (to name a few). And then there it was, hanging on the display with Mr. Gasket's slew of new parts, its usable thermostat housing gasket. Now don't shoot us for taking a picture of a GM part, but that's all they had on display. The Ford housing gaskets are being finalized as we type this and should be for sale once this magazine hits your mailbox.
If you're hankerin' for some Ford big-block based cubes under the hood of your next build you should take a look at Barry Rabotnick's Survival Motorsports [www.survivalmotorsports.com; (248) 931-0358]. Barry has been in the business for a long time and knows how to screw together the Ford FE engine. From his competitive entries in Popular Hot Rodding's Engine Masters Challenge, to more sane levels of street performance, Barry has built 'em all. When we stopped by to chat with Barry we spied an odd-looking camshaft, but it didn't take us long to notice the chain gear on the end and realize it was an SOHC cam (the SOHC sitting on the floor in the middle of the booth didn't hurt either). While Barry's popular 4.25-inch FE stroker kit is still a hot seller-that's the crank sitting next to the SOHC cam-the big news is all of the SOHC parts coming to market. While it won't be cheap, if you've ever dreamed of a 427 "Cammer" in your classic Mustang, Ford, street rod, or kit car, Barry's one of the best to help your dreams come true.
Performance Automatic [www.performance automatic.com; (301) 963-8078] has been building street and racing transmissions for more than 25 years and has not shied away from current technology and electronically controlled transmissions. Offering several electronically controlled Ford overdrive transmissions with stand-alone shift controls, perfect for classic Mustangs and Fords, PA had this early example of its new steering-column-mounted paddle shifter assembly. Fingertip controlled up and down shifts are just a click away and the extra buttons on the housing can be used for different transmission control strategies, or anything else you want to control with a momentary switch. Contact PA for more details on this new technology.
It's going to be one...
It's going to be one heck of a birthday cake, but MSD Ignition [www.msdignition.com; (915) 857-5200] is turning 40 years old in 2010. For the last four decades, MSD has been at the forefront of automotive ignition solutions and has provided the spark for untold thousands of engines from street cars to mega-horsepower NHRA race cars. To celebrate this milestone MSD is going to be offering a special 40th anniversary MSD 6AL ignition with a replica housing of its original ignition system. Limited to 4,000 units, each one will be engraved with its unit number as well. Happy birthday MSD!
One of the problems we've run into running big horsepower packages is that they aren't always controlled by street-friendly hardware. Take in point the typical fuel system needed to run 400 or more horsepower. These big thirsty fuel pumps run great at wide open throttle, but at part throttle cruise or idle they're just pumping away, shortening their life and making a lot of noise. One way to combat this issue, whether you are carbureted or fuel injected, is to slow down the fuel pump during off-peak demand. Professional Products' [www.professional-products.com; (323) 779-2020] new FuelOnDemand module is just the ticket. Wire this unit up, install the fuel pressure sensor and map sensor and let the FuelOnDemand module control your fuel pressure. Non-liner targeted fuel pressure control means you can program the module to increase fuel pressure at certain engine vacuum or boost levels, perfect for getting more fuel without maxing out your injector size.