VEHICLE REGISTRATION INFORMATION.
Please click on your state’s link below to find out more information on registering your custom built vehicle.
VEHICLE REGISTRATION INFORMATION.
Please click on your state’s link below to find out more information on registering your custom built vehicle.
5 Things You Should Know Before Using a High-Output Alternator
So you’re considering swapping out your stock alternator.
There are plenty of good reasons to make the leap to a high-output alternator, but you’ll need to do a little bit of homework first. Luckily, we’ve got smart friends to help us with our studies, so you can ace the topic. In conjunction with the alternator experts at Powermaster and MSD, we’ve compiled the five things you need to know before upgrading to a high-amp, or high-output alternator.
This starts with the most basic of questions:
Do You Really Need a High-Output Alternator?
If you’ve got a basic, stock vehicle, chances are you don’t need a high-output alternator. Most factory alternators are rated at 65 to 100 amps and are capable of handling your vehicle’s basic necessities, such as headlights, gauges, fuel pumps, A/C, etc. These alternators also typically come with a 10 to 15 percent reserve to handle additional accessories.
However, many of our readers don’t have a stock vehicle. For example, you may have a custom-built street rod with a unique combination of accessories. Or you may have a high-end stereo system or a race vehicle with an array of on-board electronics. As the electrical load of all these accessories add up, you may find yourself in need of a higher-amperage alternator.
But how do you know?
There are a few ways to figure out whether you need to upgrade your alternator. A few telltale signs are dim headlights, poor stereo system performance, or an alternator that simply wears out quickly. You can also check your electrical load using an ammeter. Simply connect the ammeter in series with the battery’s ground terminal (with the engine turned off), switch each electrical component on and off, and note their amperage draws. Add up the total electrical draw and compare with your alternator’s rated output. The output should be 50 percent greater than the draw.
One final way to estimate your vehicle’s electrical load is to check the accessory fuses. The amp ratings, although slightly higher than the highest draw of each component, will give you a good estimate of your vehicle’s electrical load.
What Amperage Do You Need?
That depends on the current draw, along with any future accessories you plan to add. For that reason, we’ve supplied a list of some common accessories and their amp draw:
Accessory: Amp Draw:
Air Conditioner 20-21
Audio Power Amplifiers 10-70
Back-up Lamps 3-4
Cigarette Lighter 10-12
CD/Tuner with amp 7-14
CD/Player/Tuner without amp 2.5-5
Dome Light 1-2
Electric Cooling Fans 6-15
Head Lamp Dimmer 2
Head Lamp (Low Beam) 8-10
Head Lamp (High Beam) 13-15
Heater Defroster 6-15
Ignition (Racing) 8-36
Instrument Panel 0.7-1.5
Lamp, Gauges 1.5-3.5
Lamps, License Plate 1.5-2
Lamps, Parking 1.5-2
Lamps, Side Marker 1.3-3
Lamps, Tail 5-7
Nitrous Oxide Solenoid 5-8
Power Windows Defroster 1-30
Power Seats 25-50
Power Windows 20-30
Power Antenna 6-10
Pumps, Electric Fuel 3-8
Starter Solenoid 10-12
Voltage Regulators (1 Wire) 0.3-0.5
How Much is Too Much?
You can never have too much amperage when it comes to alternators; therefore, you never have to worry about choosing an alternator with too high of a rated output. Here’s why:
Amperage is basically the amount of electrical current your alternator can supply. And it basically operates off of supply and demand. That is, your alternator will only supply the amount of amperage a particular component demands—and no more. So high-output alternators will not harm your components or charging system, no matter how high you go with the amps.
What Gauge Wire Do You Need?
A performance alternator really doesn’t require much in the way of modifications. However, Powermaster and other alternator manufacturers do recommend you replace both the ground straps and charge wire. Keep in mind the factory cables weren’t designed to handle the juice of a higher-output alternator, and can restrict the flow of electricity.
In the case of the charge wire, you really can’t go too large. However, here is a chart that matches cable gauge size to total amperage:
|Amps||Up to 4′||4′-7′||7′-10′||10′-13′||13′-16′||16′-19′||19′-22′||22′-28′|
What is Pulley Ratio (and Why Should You Care)?
In short, pulley ratio is a comparison between the crankshaft pulley diameter and alternator pulley diameter. This ratio is derived by dividing the crank pulley diameter by the alternator pulley. For example, a 6-inch crank pulley with 2-inch alternator pulley will yield a 3:1 pulley ratio.
The ratio has a direct effect on how fast the alternator spins.
In order to understand the importance of pulley ratio, you first need to understand the “power curve” involved with alternator output. Although the alternator’s output is dependent upon engine speed, it follows a unique curve. At idle, small changes in the alternator’s speed can make a big difference, so the pulley ratio becomes very important.
Powermaster supplies its alternators with pulleys matched to the alternator’s power curve. The company follows this common rule of thumb:
So why should you care?
Because differing ratios can affect performance, you should take care to maintain the same pulley ratio if you decide to use dress-up pulley sets. A mismatched pulley ratio and alternator can lead to big problems, especially at idle where alternator performance is critical. That’s because these high-amp units typically lose output under 2,400 rotor rpm. Rotor rpm are a factor of pulley ratio multiplied by engine speed. So, if you have a pulley ratio of 2:1 multiplied by an engine speed of 870, you’ll get a rotor rpm of 1,827.
At 1,827 rpm, you’ll see a significant drop in alternator output.
Again, the ideal ratio depends on your application (street, drag racing, circle track racing), but you need to understand the effects of altering pulley ratio.
With all this in mind, you’re ready to choose the right alternator for your application.
Article Courtesy of David Fuller
Engine Oil – Viscosity
What is Viscosity?
In a nut shell, it’s how easily the oil pours. It’s a simple measurement of “thickness”, “pour-ability”, or “weight”. Pour an ounce of water from a glass. Now pour an ounce of maple syrup. The maple syrup has a greater viscosity than water. Simple, right?
There are various ways to measure viscosity. And the charts are different for different kinds of lubricants. You can’t compare motor oil to gear oil, it’s a different scale.
As you know, fluids pour differently and various temps. To standardize things, it’s generally agreed that lubricant viscosity will be measured at 40*C(100*F) and 100*C (212*F).
Oil Viscosity Scale
If you look at the SAE viscosity charts, you’ll see that a certain viscosity of engine oil can actually cover a large range of actual kinemetic viscosities. A 20 weight oil ranges from 35 to 75 on the kinematic scale.
It’s a measurement of how well the oil flows when the engine is first started. That’s when a large amount of engine wear occurs – when the engine is cold, the parts are moving, and all the oil is in the oil pan, not doing any good. The thicker the oil is, the harder it is to get moving, and the longer it takes. Which means more wear is occurring. That’s especially bad on a high pressure valve train.
5W doesn’t mean the oil will have a viscosity of 5. It means that it will pour like a 5 weight oil that has been cooled to 32*F. Again, there’s that standard for measurement.
Also, remember that the viscosity is not 5 or 40, it’s a range between them, mostly dependent on temperature. Many engineers argue that you should use the lowest cold viscosity you can find. Even if the oil temp is 65*F when you turn the crank, that lower viscosity will lubricate the engine that much faster.
What Do I Need?
Again, it depends on what you’re doing. Generally speaking, you need enough viscosity to maintain proper oil pressure in all situations. More viscosity is not always better. Thicker oil requires more energy to move around, moves a little slower, and puts more strain on those moving parts because of the higher energy requirements. If you make good oil pressure with a 30 weight oil, changing to a 50 or 60 weight oil is detrimental to your engine.
There are some excellent spintron studies that show a 40 weight oil is better at stabilizing the valve train at high RPM’s. For racing, Most use 5W-40. For my street cars, or 0W-30; Unless you’re racing in really high heat situations – like desert truck racing – there’s really no need to go more than that. Some Newer vehicles engineers setup clearances that less oil pressure for better gas mileage.
The 2015-2016 5.0 Coyote is impressive by itself but fast is never fast enough!! 2017 Mustang GT features the Aluminator crate engine series, the 5.2-liter Aluminator XS. Capable of producing 570+ horsepower, the 5.2L Aluminator XS offers an aftermarket option for enthusiasts looking for enhanced powertrain options.
How does the 5.2L Aluminator XS differ from the engine in the GT350?
Significantly. The Aluminator 5.2L XS combines all of the FPP highest-performing Coyote engine parts built since 2011 into one package:
.What do you see the intended use of this engine for Mustang enthusiasts?
This engine can be used as a crate engine in high-end resto-mod builds or used as an engine upgrade for customers building track-day cars.
How did Ford go about developing the 5.2L Aluminator XS?
FPP engineers made slight modifications to work with the cross-plane crank. As a result, the Aluminator XS is a capable, high-revving. One thing we set out to do with the new Aluminator was keep the flat-plane crankshaft exclusive to GT350. Doing that meant integrating a cross-plane crankshaft which was a challenge because it changes the firing order which impacts valve timing.
ALUMINATOR XS CRATE ENGINE FEATURES
Flat Out: Inside the Shelby GT350 Mustang’s Engine
On the outside it may look like your garden variety 5.0-liter Coyote V8 found in the engine bay of a Mustang GT or F-150, but appearances can be deceiving. “This is a new engine top to bottom,” said Eric Ladner, engine program supervisor at Ford. The list of changes and enhancements compared to the standard five-oh are exhaustive.
And as you’ve no doubt heard, the most important update of all is the crankshaft. Engineers eschewed a traditional cross-plane arrangement for one that’s flat. Rather than having the throws arranged at 90-degree intervals the Shelby GT350’s are set 180-degrees apart. Flat-plane cranks are common in supercars like Ferraris where maximum performance is a top concern but this is the first time Ford’s ever offered one and they’ve been mass-producing V8s for more than eight decades, ever since old Henry’s first flathead rolled out of the Rouge foundry in 1932.
Ladner said, “Flat-plane cranks are inherently lighter than their cross-plane counterparts.” This is because bulky counterweights are not required to balance them. But he also cautioned that crankshafts account for less than 15 percent of an engine’s rotating mass, so this is hardly their only benefit.
Beyond all of this, they “[allow] all the cylinders breathe the same,” said Christian, which makes tuning the engine much easier so they can run it closer to the ragged edge and get more power. Additionally, the Shelby GT350’s crank is made from forged steel for extra strength and it’s been “gun-drilled,” meaning holes have been punched through each of its throws to further cut mass. These openings also allow the adjacent bays inside the block to breathe together, further reducing parasitic drag.
Instead of traditional cylinder liners that are either pressed or cast into place the Shelby’s engine uses a plasma transferred wire-arc technology, which saves a significant amount of mass. Additionally its block is unique to this application but the bore spacing and deck height are identical to a five-oh so the same machine tools can be used. The GT350’s engines will be assembled on Ford’s niche line in Romeo, Michigan; standard Coyotes are built in Windsor, Ontario.
These rotating components squeeze incoming air and fuel with a frighteningly high 12-to-1 compression ratio and apparently that’s ok. Thanks to exhaustive computer modeling the engine runs just fine on 93 octane pump gas and it doesn’t even have direct injection. According to Ladner this feature “wasn’t necessary to meet our performance targets,” plus DI systems are heavier and add cost.
Moving into the basement, this engine features a composite oil pan that saves more weight, about 20 percent in fact. But it’s hardly just a sump; it also contains an integrated pickup and windage tray, all in one unit. A higher-capacity oil pump ensures there’s plenty of lubrication at all times.
Taking an elevator ride topside, the Shelby engine breathes through an 87-millimeter throttle-body, the largest Ford’s ever fitted, as well as an open-element air filter. Beyond this there’s an all-new intake manifold. Its runners are both longer and larger in diameter than the ones found in the dearly departed Boss 302. This configuration bolsters torque production across the rev range and all told, 90 percent of peak twist is available at just 3,450 RPM.
The cylinder heads are where all the magic happens in modern engines and the 5.2-liter V8’s have received special attention. For starters they’ve been strategically lightened and weigh about 6 percent less than the ones that cap off a standard Coyote block. Beyond this, the engine’s enlarged bores allowed for even bigger valves to help get copious amounts of fuel and air into the cylinders and speedily evacuate spent exhaust gasses once the mixture’s gone off.
Overall this engine is lighter than the 5.0-liter V8 on which it’s based and it puts out A LOT more power. And despite spinning beyond 8,000 RPM it has to meet the same durability requirements as any other Ford product. Accordingly it will be backed by the same warranty, so don’t be afraid to tickle that redline.
The development of supercharging has a long history, with surprisingly diverse applications. In 1860, the Roots brothers developed an air pump with a pair of meshing lobes for use in blast furnaces, and this type of blower found its way onto an engine designed by Gottlieb Daimler in 1900, making it the oldest of the various superchargers available.
Later on, veterans returning from WWII were inspired by the superchargers on fighter planes to hop up their hot rods. Today, this type of forced induction is now a staple of the performance aftermarket. There’s no quicker way to pull big power out of an engine than bolting on a blower. Gains of 30 to 50 percent and even more are not unusual, depending on the fuel delivery, octane and intercooling systems.
The principle behind supercharging is fairly simple: use a belt-driven pump to push more air into the cylinders so the engine can burn more fuel and generate more power. The devil’s in the details, though, since superchargers come in a variety of sizes and configurations. They also often require modifications to the intake, fuel and cooling systems, along with reprogramming the engine computer.
The basic types of blowers are Roots, twin-screw and centrifugal. As noted above, the Roots pulls air through a pair of meshing lobes (as does the twin-screw, but in a different configuration). While traditionally thought of as the least fuel-efficient type, the Roots has been refined by Eaton Corporation by using three- or four-lobe rotors, among other changes.
These include twisting each rotor 60 degrees to form a helix, along with improved geometry for the inlet and outlet ports, reducing pressure variations, resulting in a smoother discharge of air for higher efficiency over traditional Roots superchargers.
The twin-screw type, offered by both Kenne Bell and Whipple, might look visually similar to the Roots type (both are usually mounted on top of the intake manifold), and is also a positive displacement unit (the amount of airflow pumped per rpm is fixed), but the internals are significantly different.
Using “male” and “female” rotors that turn in opposite directions, the twin-screw compresses the air between the rotors (rather than around the rotors, next to the blower case). The advantages of this design, Kenne Bell notes, include less turbulence, heat and friction, along with higher boost levels.
Kenne Bell introduced the twin-screw concept to Ford Mustangs in 1990, and employs it on a number of other engines, including both the GM LS V8s and the Chrysler Hemi. As mentioned, it’s a positive displacement design that produces the same cfm output and boost at any rpm — not just peak rpm. The 10 psi kit for the 2011 to ’14 Mustang GT increases power by 225 to 250 hp (approximately 20 hp/psi boost), depending on fuel octane (91 or 93).
Supercharger displacement choices are not limited to the smaller 2.3 OEM rotors. The much larger and powerful twin-screw sizes of 2.8, 3, 3.2, 3.6, 4.2 and 4.7 liters cover a power range of 725 to 1,800 hp. All superchargers utilize the same exclusive 4×6 lobe rotor concept that holds all those horsepower and track records.
The twin screw’s big, fat torque curve in the low and middle range, coupled to maximum peak horsepower and rpm, are the main reasons why the twin-screw concept has become so popular with both the aftermarket and OEMs.
In addition, to minimize supercharger inlet and boost restriction, Kenne Bell utilizes the industry’s largest throttle body (168 mm) and inlet system. This feature alone is worth 30 to 50 hp, the company claims. Also, the cooler air charge and patented Liquid Cooling ensure the lowest possible air charge temps for higher air density and thus more power. Finally, the twin-screw concept uses less engine power to drive it, resulting in lower parasitic losses and more power to the rear wheels.
The third basic type of supercharger, the centrifugal, is much smaller in size. It uses an impeller or compressor wheel spinning as fast as 50,000 rpm to draw air in and then force it out radially into a circular scroll. Since this configuration is similar to a turbocharger, the centrifugal supercharger has been described as a belt-driven turbocharger. (Turbos are driven by exhaust gasses.)
One advantage of a centrifugal unit is in the package size, since it can fit under the hood as part of the accessory drive system, usually with no changes in the bodywork, except perhaps to redirect the airflow more efficiently. Another significant difference from positive displacement blowers is that the centrifugal unit provides less boost pressure at low engine speeds. (Which can be an advantage, since no piston modifications are required to prevent engine knock.)
On the other hand, since a centrifugal unit’s airflow is not fixed and increases with the square of its shaft rpm, it really comes alive at higher engine revs. So an engine with a centrifugal blower might feel stock at first, but gets bigger as you go faster. It sometimes seems like the speedometer rises quicker than the tach. Several popular makes of centrifugal superchargers include Paxton, Powerdyne, ProCharger, Rotrex and Vortech.
Which type of supercharger is right for your engine and vehicle? That will depend on a number of variables, but generally speaking, a centrifugal supercharger is ideal for a quick-revving, lighter vehicle with a manual transmission, while the positive displacement blower excels on a larger vehicle with an automatic transmission.
Both types can produce prodigious amounts of power, but at different areas of the power band. When looking at a supercharger, one shouldn’t be concerned only with peak horsepower numbers. Unlike race cars, performance cars aren’t driven frequently at the peak power range, so that can be a misleading figure.
Whatever the type, all superchargers benefit from the use of an intercooler to reduce heat during compression. A decrease in air intake temperature (using either an air-to-air or air-to-liquid heat exchanger) provides a denser intake charge to the engine and allows more air and fuel to be combusted per engine cycle, increasing the output of the
engine. In addition, a cooler intake charge allows for higher boost levels without detonation for more power.
Of course, to keep up with a higher airflow, the fuel system needs to be modified. On an EFI engine, that usually means bigger injectors and reprogramming of the engine computer. The condition and mileage on the engine should be evaluated as well, to make sure the internals can withstand higher cylinder pressures. Also, when you add boost to an engine you are essentially adding compression. Regardless of supercharger style, there is a boost limit with 92- to 93-octane pump gas before detonation occurs, resulting in engine damage. So be wary of huge horsepower claims on pump gas, since they’re simply not sustainable within the detonation limits of most production engines.
Article Courtesy of Reincarmagazine.
Development for the 3rd Generation engines by Chevy began after the short-lived LT1/LT4 engines which in the year 1992 to 1997 that failed to meet GM’s expectation.
General Motors then created Generation 3rd V-8 engine that has replaced a small-block LT1/LT4 platform.
After that Generation 3rd LS1 engines designed by GM showcased modern engine technology retaining traditional valve mechanical system. This engine was first appeared in Corvette 1997. After that whole series of high performance engines followed it.
In the last 10 years,
The LS engine exploded the market and we see them nestled between all show cars to all racing cars.
There are some reasons for this!
Their downward price and the market continued to make their transplants into all variety of vehicles with the fact that they are not simply going away.
Whether you are planning to drop this magical engine into your legendary ride or you are buying a car for your college going child. I want to give a small introduction about them, focusing on the part that why LS engines are called GREAT in hot road culture!
What is an Engine??
It is just an air pump.
Air goes in, fuel added, mixture blows up and horsepower happens. Vroom-Vroom…
We all have heard some shorts about this technology on how engine works. But, the process is not quite easy as I have explained in one sentence. There are lots of processes undergoes inside the engine. And these
LS engines add quite more to advance these processes.
The pistons are made up of alloys that are more stronger and more thermally stable than the cast iron pistons used in Generation 1 engines. These pistons are fitted with a thinner metal ring packs that reduces friction and also helps bore sealing.
Coming to the connecting rods, LS platforms use powder-forged design. They have cracked cap providing irregular mating surface allowing rod to align precisely with a large end, helping equalize bearing wear. They are very much stronger than production rods used earlier.
LS crankshafts are tough pieces with relocated thrust bearings have been proven to quadruple horsepower outputs.
So till now, I have established that the bottom end to this engine has got few things which are different from traditional small blocks. So, why to change SBC engine combo for few things when bottom end is less than $1000? It doesn’t make sense.
Now, here comes the master piece of LS engines…
The master piece of LS family engines is the cylinder head and valve mechanics components. This is what makes LS engines to deliver outstanding performance with few changes made.
The head of the engine is designed with a 15 degrees valve angle.
Research about a 15 degree small block head and you’ll come to know about the biggest win for the LS engines. In addition to improved geometrical valve design, the LS engines have replicated ports. Something different from Gen 1’s mirrored port configuration that have different runner sizing for cylinders 3 & 5, 4 & 6.
The new LS engine style allows every runner to be more symmetrical and gives every cylinder equal opportunity for airflow. The ported LS heads have proven to move over 300cfm of air.
The valve mechanism design for LS engines retains the pushroads. No more pinning rocker studs, or adding rocker girdles. The LS valvetrain is 7000 rpm capable right out. Engineers also integrated beehive springs which reduces overall valvetrain mass.
One more thing!
With LS, there’s no need to spend $1,000 on a retrofit kit.
I can go more on and on LS engines but till now you probably get the point that why LS engine are great stuff. But you are still hanging on Gen I small block death grip.
Not yet ready???
Just fine. Knowing that there is some better options available in the market can’t reduce the things we love.
MSD Performance Atomic Fuel Injection System has been granted an Executive Order Number from the California Air Resources Board. This E.O. Number makes the Atomic the only aftermarket EFI system that is legal on 1987 and older GM vehicles in California. The Atomic EFI system received E.O. Number D-722 which permits the system to be installed in place of the factory carburetor on 1987 and older passenger cars and trucks originally powered by a V8 engine. This Executive Order also means the Atomic EFI system provides “reasonable basis” for satisfying the anti-tampering requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act, thus allowing its use in all other states. This is terrific news for enthusiasts with an ’87 and older car or truck as it means they can finally do away with their old carburetor and take advantage of the driveability benefits of a modern, self-learning EFI system such as quick starts, consistent idle and smooth power throughout all driving conditions. MSD will supply an information label with the E.O. Number and details that must be affixed on the vehicle for inspection purposes. Great news for all you Hot Rodders and Replica cars that faced restrictions with Emmisions.
We’re finally getting operations up and running along with the website.
Plenty of Posts to come. Stay Tuned!!