On the Racks

August/Sept 1999

Sorry we missed last month. For this month, HYBRID strongly recommends you skip the grocery store rack, pool your magazine money and go find RaceCar Engineering magazine. It is imported from the U.K. and costs about $7-8. It can usually be found at Barnes and Nobles, Borders, and the big big bookstores. For a review of this months issue and a few others, read on.

This months Ranking system
: o another surprisingly good issue
: ) worth taking home
: | YMMV
: ( dissappointing again
>: ( so insulted, it angers me.

RaceCar Engineering Sept 99, V9N7
Major article:
CLASS OF 99: LeMans 24Hr Roundup and all manner of details on each's car's build and various specs.

INSIGHT: Article on what it takes for a GT car to fly - ie MB CLR's. Basically a genereal tech discussion about CL (coefficient of lift) vs incidence angles, vs ground clearances and the state of GT aerodynamics today also as compared to F1 aerodynamics of today and how GT tolerances for racing on track vs flying off track are a lot smaller than in F1.

The 24Hour Brake - About BMW V12 LMR's AP brake system specifically designed for the LM24 - ie NO rotor or PAD change for entire RACE! ...Uhhh... wow!?! And FYI by the end of the 24hr stint the V12 LMR was turning 3:36 laps with the Toyota GT-ONE hot on its heels so they certainly weren't baby-ing it. According to AP they were still well within wear parameters after the race.

1999 Formula SAE recap of event at Silver Dome in Auburn Hills, MI

SHORT TAKE: on 1999 Subaru WRC 's Prodrive's new "fly-by-wire" electronics control system which according to them and Richard Burns has been absolutely revolutionary making the car much easier to drive. For example: "...when R.Burns sat in the new car for the first time in Dec 98, he identified that he would like a slightly shorter throw on the throttle pedal. The conventional 'fix' with a mechanical linkage would have involved revised pivots/actuation ratios. In incorporating a 'fly-by-wire' throttle arrangement in the Impreza WRC99, however the task was much more simplified, requiring just a quick recalibration on the laptop PC to alter the graph denoting the relationship between the throttle pedal and the throttle.

+ the usual review of newly arrived products on motorsport scene.

: 0

Hot Rod, Sept 1999:
Two articles make this month worth picking up:

"10 things you always wanted to know about engines" pg.44
When it comes to basic motor-head tech, The Hot Rod staff has come up with 10 need-to-know highlights. Fortunately, they are not specific to tuning the small block Chevy! While there is an obvious V8 undertone to the whole article, each point is carefully balanced between theory and reality to qualify as just engine tech. Subjects covered include volumetric efficiency, spark advance, and rod/stroke ratio to name a few. If you've often wondered why horsepower and torque are always equal at 5,252 rpm, pick this issue up.

"Stormy Ports" pg. 62
Interested in flowing heads? This article picks on one key element of flowbench testing: Port-entrance geometry. While this article is not as comprehensive as it could be, it does point out the inaccuracy of flow numbers on the bench vs. under the hood. If your planning on doing some p-n-p and flowing the results, read the article so you can educate your local shop.

: )

Turbo, Sept 1999:
Do you like Honda turbo drag cars? Two of the faster ones are here. No major break through information though. Some wheelie bar talk.

I'd like to see a feature on the dynamics of wheelie bars and FF drag cars. This is also second issue in a row with no mention of their LS/VTEC project.

: |

Import Tuner, Sept 1999
I am embarassed to pick up this magazine in public. I'd feel more comfortable picking up Playboy and having the centerfold spill out at the supermarket. This months cover art with their cartoon character "MAX BOOST" seems targetted at 12 year old comic book readers. My vote? Shoot the art department, and the photographers, and keep the dyno articles. Their Integra LS makes a whopping 7hp, peaking at a weak ass 114 hp after adding AEM cold air intake, Tanabe exhaust and Airmass header. Thats only 4 hp more than my ZC made with a DC header, stock intake, and exhaust. OBDII strikes again? Their 1999 Civic Si spent a grip of money again to make like 3-4 hp. The magazine insults me with it's 'hood-rats' only coverage of the shows. If you like the hood rats sitting on riced out cars, this is your magazine.

>: (

Sport Compact, Sept 1999
Basically nothing worthwhile for Hondas. They are introducing their street culture 'zine. Oh please...

: (

Grassroots Motorsports, Sept/Oct 1999
An okay article on modfiying Hondas mild or wild, more targetted at beginners. An excellent article on Improved Touring racing, where alot of Civics and CRXs spend their retirement from the streets. The article on shock absorbers is well written and has two excellent sidebars. One called "Tuning for Sport" describes how to tune your adjustable shocks, and the other is "Advice for the Drag enthusiast" which is an excellent, excellent primer on FF drag shock absorber requirements. It will not tell you which shocks to buy, but more importantly, it tells you what you are looking for and why. This 3/4 page sidebar alone bumps the ranking up one level.

: 0

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