We knew about Nitto's new NT05 tire over a year ago, but we were sworn to secrecy. Over the last 12 months, we must have had just as many conversations with Nitto tire engineers and PR people, giving them input on tread designs, sidewall graphics, and size recommendations. Now that the secret of the Nitto NT05 finally came out at the 2008 SEMA show, we can start raving about how it's the answer to all your insane street car requirements. While we have no problem running the track-use-only NT01 R-compound tire on our '76 Camaro and '68 Chevelle project cars (not to mention NT-555R Extreme Drag radials at all four corners of the '75 Laguna), we realize that some folks might not be as crazy as us.
People still demand the smash-mouth grip of an R-compound tire without the R-compound designation--especially with serious suspensions, big brakes, and stump-pulling powerplants. The Nitto NT05 is exactly that tire. Optimized for ultimate dry weather performance, the NT05 has a beefy, uninterrupted center contact patch for huge grip. Large reinforced tread blocks on the outer edge are beveled for extreme g-loading, and allow water to be channeled away, while providing best-in-class hook--on the highway, and on the track.
This rubber is super grippy to the touch. We simply can't tell the difference between the rubber on the NT05 and the NT01. If you're squeamish about treadwear ratings, and prefer to change your tires when the sidewalls crack from dry rot, this isn't your tire. If you demand max grip and you're tired of your existing baloneys letting you down after spending thousands on suspension parts, brakes, and lightweight wheels, your train has arrived. Tires are like insurance--when you hammer the brake pedal to avoid the accident ahead of you on the highway, you're hardly going to care that you need to replace them every three years instead of every five. You need grip, and you need it now. Take a look at the sizes above to see if they have shoes in your size.
Nitto NT05 Data
|Performance rating: ||W |
|UTQC Treadwear: ||200 |
|Traction: ||AA |
|Temperature: ||A |
Available 1st Quarter 2009
255/40ZR17 98W XL
235/40ZR18 95W XL
245/40ZR18 97W XL
265/35ZR18 97W XL
275/35ZR18 99W XL
285/35ZR18 101W XL
225/40ZR19 93W XL
235/35ZR19 91W XL
245/35ZR19 93W XL
275/30ZR19 96W XL
275/35ZR19 100W XL
275/40ZR20 106W XL
315/35ZR20 110W XL
Available 2nd Quarter 2009
245/40ZR19 98W XL
255/35ZR20 97W XL
275/35ZR20 102W XL
GM A-Body Tech:
DSE Rear Control Arms
Detroit Speed & Engineering trademarked the name Swivel-Link for a reason. They don't want you to forget what makes their rear control arm kit for '64-72 GM A-bodies unique--and therefore very effective. To understand why, picture the following: A triangulated four-link necessarily serves three masters: that of locating the rear axle laterally, that of keeping the rear tires parallel to the chassis, and that of preserving a consistent pinion angle throughout its range of travel. In doing so, the geometry of the four links sometimes forces the arms to twist, and bind where they interface with the axle and chassis. The phenomenon--called rear roll bind--prevents the suspension from achieving its intended limits of excursion, and interferes with the damping of the springs and shocks.
DSE's Swivel-Link control arms pivot freely, preventing rear roll bind, but unlike Heim-joint-equipped aftermarket arms, perform their function without the abrupt drama of clanking and banging. DSE's Swivel-Link kit also includes a chassis brace that further supports the overall stability of the four-link geometry. All this goodness will set you back $960. Order PN 041603 for '64-67 A-bodies, and PN 041604 for '68-72 A-bodies.
Detroit Speed & Engineering
Rear Main Conversion
Regular readers know we're big fans of Engine Quest products, and the reason is simple: Engine Quest has a real knack for thinking of affordable and simple pieces that make life easy for regular gearheads like us. Take, for instance, their new rear main seal conversion kit for '86-present small-block Chevys (PN RSH349 for early-style oil pans, and PN RSH350 for late-style pans). This billet aluminum kit allows the user to install an older two-piece seal crank into a newer block, which is cool because most aftermarket cranks are the older style, while most core blocks are the later design. It's understandable that Engine Quest would think of an item like this, as they are one of the nation's largest core suppliers (AAMidwest) as well as a major player in new replacement and aftermarket parts. Price for the kit, which also includes locator dowels, is $129.
Synthetic Steering Fluid
"I remember the first time I really thought about the importance of power steering fluid," editor Hunkins says. "I was beating on my '93 Firebird on the skidpad at Englishtown when smoke started pouring from under the hood. The power steering fluid was boiling over and spraying everywhere. Not only that, the pump was toast." What he discovered that day was that under continuous cornering load, power steering fluid is subjected to the equivalent of an open flame. A full synthetic power steering fluid like Amsoil not only provides excellent long-term wear resistance, but also protection from extreme heat, like the kind experienced during hard testing at road courses and autocrosses. A 16-ounce bottle of Amsoil Synthetic Universal Power Steering Fluid costs just $6.95, and is cheap insurance against pump damage, loss of steering power, and boil-over scenarios like those experienced by Hunkins!
Edelbrock offers its 347-cube...
Edelbrock offers its 347-cube small-block Ford crate motor in single- and dual-quad form, as well as with Pro-Flo XT fuel injection. Prices range between $10,000 and $12,500, depending on options. The dual-quad version shown with EnduraShine finish is $11,500.
Edelbrock 347-Ci Ford Crate
While the folks at Nitto were busy making cars grip and handle better at their SEMA booth, the guys at Edelbrock were out to make their job tougher with yet another stump ripper of a powerplant--this one a nod to the Blue Oval boys. Everybody knows that Vic Edelbrock Jr. has a soft spot for Fords, and his new line of small-block Ford plants is packed with all the good stuff, and at a price that won't drain your bank account.
The Super Heat Sponge
We recently heard about a new product from HTP America that we'd like to try next time we're welding something temperature sensitive. Sometimes you're in proximity to glass, lead, gaskets, brazing, or are working on something super thin that can be easily warped from heat. In cases like this, it's critical that the temperature gradient around the work be very high, containing the heat as much as possible to the area being welded. To address this, HTP America has just brought out an improved version of an existing product called the Super Heat Sponge.
It's a paste that's spread around the weld area that sucks heat out from the area near the weld. It dries out during the weld process, and continues its protection. Moreover, you can wipe it all off when you're done, and put it back in the container for reuse. HTP Super Heat Sponge also works for lead applications near gaskets or windows. What's more, it can be used vertically, horizontally, or overhead.
Since Project X--our '57 Chevy 210 project car--first hit the pages of Popular Hot Rodding back in 1965, it's been beaten, modded, thrashed, road-tripped, painted, rebuilt, broken, and reinvented many times over. It's starred in movies, graced magazine covers, appeared on TV, and provided untold inspiration for thousands of hot rodders over a 44-year career. And now it's time to retire.
After last year's high-profile transformation by GM Performance Parts and the GM Performance Division, Project X embarked on a coast-to-coast trek, including the 2008 Hot Rod Power Tour. The GMPP Anniversary Edition 427ci ZL1 big-block crate motor did its PR job, which culminated in one final curtain call at GM's dealership council meeting in Las Vegas this November. When the lights turned out, it was time for Project X to come home one last time, and that ride couldn't be trusted to just anyone.
We called on the classic car transport experts at Intercity Lines because they know how to treat extreme high-end classics and exotics right. If you're a discriminating buyer, and won't trust your high-value automobile to just anyone, you should consider Intercity Lines. They're the official carrier for the Barrett-Jackson auction, and that kind of responsibility doesn't go to just any carrier. With our famous '57 eventually headed for the Peterson Museum, we couldn't take any risks, and we weren't let down by Intercity. When it arrived at our SoCal headquarters, Project X was in perfect condition, and that's what it's all about.
Ground Up A/C Delete
Stuff floats across our desk all day, most of it junk. Toys, trinkets, cheese catalogs, you name it, we get it. But we've always got our radar on for anything Chevelle, and we hit the mother lode this month. Most Chevelle buffs are already familiar with the heavy hitters of the industry, such as Year One and OPG, but the thing we like about Ground Up out of Meridian, Connecticut, is that they specialize in '64-72 Chevelles. The guys at Ground Up are hardcore, and have seemingly thought of every last widget that ever came on Chevy's famous midsize. This '68-72 Chevelle A/C delete cover (PN AXB-9B, $119.95) is a good example. This piece allows you to remove your factory air conditioning while retaining your factory heater core. It's made of ABS plastic, and is a bunch nicer than the fiberglass ones floating around, both in appearance and fit. Ground Up has a ton of stuff besides this, so if you're a Chevelle guy, you owe it to yourself to check out their website.