MSD Performance Group Acquired
MSD Performance Group (MSDP), one of the world leaders in vehicle aftermarket performance parts, announced today that the company has been acquired by Hot Rod Brands, LLC, an affiliate of Z Capital Partners, LLC (Z Capital). MSDP sells products under the MSD, Racepak, Powerteq, Edge, and Superchips brands. MSDP filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection petition on September 6th of this year.
Z Capital is a private equity firm with approximately $1.2 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital with offices in Lake Forest, Illinois, and New York, New York. The firm specializes in investing in companies with a strong product line and top-tier brand recognition. The group leverages its operational expertise in actively working with the management teams of their portfolio companies to enhance enterprise value.
"We are excited to add MSDP to the Z Capital portfolio of companies and believe it to be a terrific growth platform. We will work with the management team to continue to be a market leader and deliver cutting-edge products to our loyal customer base. MSDP represents substantial brands within the performance segment, and we look forward to further solidifying and growing that brand recognition," said James J. Zenni, president and chief executive officer of Z Capital.
MSD Performance looks forward to the future, as the combination of a stronger balance sheet and focused ownership will allow for an even greater ability to serve consumers with exciting new products and technology. In recent years, MSD Performance has expanded its portfolio of products and technology, including the award-winning Atomic brand Fuel Injection systems, Flashcal brand Jeep hand-held programmer, Vigilante brand Harley tuning products, and this year's SEMA Show introduction of Brainwave, the new Vehicle Management Network that allows aftermarket components to utilize a common technology platform for complete vehicle communication.
MSDP's CEO Ron Turcotte said, "Our restructuring allows us to be positioned for substantial growth through an even greater ability to serve our customers with new, innovative product offerings and a higher level of customer service."
Over the last few years, MSD Performance Group has been the innovation leader in game-changing technology for the aftermarket. SEMA supported this belief with the recognition of Todd Petersen—MSDP chief innovation officer—as this year's recipient of the Gen-III Innovation award. For more information, contact Manny Grigalva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers' Tech Q&A:
I have a 440 short-block kit I bought years ago. It has the old Speedpro L2295F pistons, Comp Cams XE274H (0.488/0.491-inch lift with 230/236 duration) topped off with Mopar old Stage V iron heads, PN P5249112. The intake manifold is an M1 single plane with an 850 Demon carb. The valvetrain uses Crane gold 1.5 rockers and 3⁄8 pushrods. My problem is that the intake pushrods are scraping on the intake port runners and the rockers will not stay aligned. My question is: Can I clearance the intake runners with a grinder or do I need offset intake rockers? If so, how much offset? Maybe 5⁄16 pushrods would cure the problem? Of course, I want to fix the problem the least expensive way. Can I get close to 500 hp with these heads? I know, I should have bought the Edelbrock heads.
Rich, you'll find that even the stock iron big-block heads will have a pushrod clearance problem to the intake ports when running 3⁄8-inch pushrods. Usually, some grinding at the casting parting line will be enough to give the required clearance. On the Mopar Stage V iron heads, the ports are cast wider at the pushrod pinch, and on most of these heads that I have seen, the intake pushrod clearance is machined into the side of the port. Normally, you will not have a problem grinding these for enough clearance for the 3⁄8-inch pushrods. However, since they are already machined in this area, the thickness of the port wall here should be checked to make sure there is enough "meat" for clearancing. It will ruin your day if you cut through a port while trying to clearance them.
The other alternative is to just get some 5⁄16-inch pushrods. A good set of 5⁄16 pushrods can be ordered from Manton or Smith Brothers and dropped right in. For a moderate hydraulic cam, this diameter is all you really need. All in all, replacing the pushrods would be the easiest and quickest thing to do, since you will not have to pull the heads for grinding, and a set of pushrods is a lot cheaper than new offset rockers, which the Stage V was never really intended for.
Engine Masters Book Review
At the 2013 AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge, I was pleased to find automotive writer and tech guru David Vizard among the guests. In the world of performance engines, Mr. Vizard has few peers, having authored dozens of books, penned countless magazine articles, and regularly speaking as a popular lecturer worldwide on the subject of engine performance and technology. I have known of Vizard's work for decades, impressed by the outstanding information found in his many books and articles. Vizard's work is characterized by a hands-on approach with real-world results. His books have always been exceptional because he dug deeper, telling you why things worked as they did with detailed theory, and then going on to explain how to get the job done, backing it up with real-world results. I had the good fortune to get to know Vizard personally, spending several years under his tutorage at his shop in Riverside, California, more than 20 years ago.
This 144-page book is packed with specific information and the theory behind it. It explains the dynamics of carburetor function and theory in an easy-to-read and enjoyable style. There is plenty of specific information on Holley carburetors and modifications, from basic to unique. As usual, Vizard goes much further than the ordinary information you can find in other books on the subject, featuring modifications that you will not find anywhere else. If you are tuning or modifying a Holley carburetor or just want to know more about them, get this book for the real-world tech. Even if you have no intention of touching your carb, this book is definitely worth the cover price to better understand how it works. This publication is a welcome addition to the David Vizard shelf of my automotive library.
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