We recently got a firsthand look at a must-have product that anybody with a home shop will want. Miller Electric-the big welder manufacturer-has branched out into workstations for welding and metalworking. In speaking with the Miller reps who brought the new workstation, called the ArcStation, we discovered there was a need in the marketplace for welding workstations-specifically for smaller pro shops and serious home use. The existing products on the market were large, expensive industrial benches-but nothing really high in quality in a compact station for the home guy. As a result, Miller set out to design the ArcStation, which features a 1/8-inch-thick steel frame, pre-welded leg assemblies, a durable powdercoat finish, and either a 3/16- or 3/8-inch steel top. Miller offers the ArcStation in a 30x30-inch and a 30x60-inch version (shown), and with a variety of accessories, including shelving, storage drawers, clamps, a vice, and a welding curtain.
The ArcStation is ideal for welding, and is available with a top having an X-shaped grid and integral clamp for attaching and grounding your work. An optional heavy-duty vise can also be mounted on the corner for metalworking and for wrangling larger projects. Adjustable feet allow for easy leveling in your workspace, and there is plenty of tool storage with roller drawers under the work surface. Our overwhelming impression is that this is one sturdy piece of equipment that would last decades under the harsh daily industrial use. The best part, however, is the price. The 30x30 ArcStation starts at just $352, suggested retail. They key thing we found out from Miller is that they set pricing for the ArcStation strategically: It would actually cost you more to buy the materials and components to build your own workstation than it costs for the comparable ArcStation.
COMP High Energy
COMP Cams' new High Energy aluminum roller rocker arms feature a die-cast aluminum body with a needle bearing fulcrum and roller tip. Designed to be stiffer and more durable than factory stamped steel rockers, these new rocker arms are capable of providing added valve lift while withstanding the rigors of a performance application. Perfect for street and moderate race use, the die-cast, larger-than-stock body of the rocker arm is made of aluminum for superior strength with light overall weight. A specially engineered fulcrum and roller tip create far less friction than sliding factory models to lower oil temperatures and friction. Snap rings are used to hold the trunion and bearings in place, and the simple bolt-on design fits most popular muscle car applications. They are available for AMC, Chevrolet, Ford, and Oldsmobile applications.
Moser Engineering has partnered with Autotech Corporation where Moser Engineering will be the sole distributor in North America for 35-spline Wavetrac differentials for 12-bolt applications. According to Moser, they actually tried to break a Wavetrac diff in their fleet of race vehicles. When that failed, they became believers. That's why they're putting a transferrable lifetime warranty on every Wavetrac they sell. This unit is said to be different than other torque biasing diff designs because it works in low- or no-traction conditions that could stop others. The Wavetrac is made from 9310 steel gears that run in a case-hardened billet steel body and use high-quality ARP fasteners. The Wavetrac is designed to be maintenance-free, meaning that as supplied new, it will perform a lifetime of service without maintenance or rebuilds. The unit is also customizable, and you can alter the diff's behavior to suit your needs using optional components. This made-in-America design opens up the possibilities for dual-purpose race cars, bringing usable limited-slip capability to an extremely strong application.
Speed tech Spindles
Prior to GM's new-for-1973 A-body, all suspensions were designed by the seat of the pants with a "hit-or-miss" philosophy. Little was understood about camber curves, scrub radius, bumpsteer, or other concepts we regularly embrace while building a hot rod. The only clear goal for those early suspension designers was to induce understeer for safety reasons. We now know better, and through sophisticated computer design like the kind used in Speed Tech's AFX spindle, we can predict with a high degree of confidence the handling characteristics of a component before it even meets the real world. Speed Tech's AFX spindle for '64-72 GM A-body, '67-69 GM F-body, and '68-74 GM X-body can banish those bad handling traits, because its forged aluminum construction and computer-designed shape correct the gross flaws of the originals. A choice of standard or tall height allows the builder to vastly improve camber gain when a larger wheel is used-or maintain a factory-style wheel fitment while still providing major gains. All AFX spindles provide a 1-inch lower ride height as well. At the heart of the ATX spindle is a C5 Corvette hub assembly for a higher load capacity and wheel speed sensor compatibility. The DIY guy will also appreciate the bolt-in nature of the AFX spindle, since no other chassis mods are required. Based largely to accommodate C5 suspension components, the AFX spindle can be paired with virtually any factory or aftermarket C5/C6 brake system.
Speed Tech Performance
Automotive-themed timepieces are nothing new-what's new is a watchmaker who is just as dedicated to quality as he is to the singular automotive theme. Until now, hot rod-inspired watches have either been cheap chachkas that looked like refugees from a swap meet, or they were made from unobtainium with a price tag to match. That's where the kernel for the idea behind Equipe watches comes into play: Why not make a quality line of luxury watches with an automotive theme that is tailor-made for the sensibilities of the hard-core muscle car enthusiast? On paper at least, the idea sounded good, so we took a harder look at Equipe's website, www.EquipeWatches.com.
We were shocked to find that the Equipe line consists not of just two or three styles, but 15, and all of them retro cool. With names like Big Block, Chassis, Hemi, Octane, and BallJoint, you can tell Equipe is betting the farm that hot rodders will cotton to them just in time for the holiday season. It's a big risk to take, especially when Equipe is boasting custom stainless steel cases, crystals, and knobs, and loading them with quality Miyota/Citizen chronograph-style quartz movements. These don't look or feel like rebadged generic throwaways, they present like the real deal. Being closet watch fans, we ordered two samples for review-the Chassis ($349) and the Spring ($599).
Our samples arrived by FedEx the next day and were packaged in a rugged metal container that was closer in concept to a Snap-on rig than a watch box. The first thing we noticed about these Equipe timepieces is the heft. You know you're dealing with something substantial from the moment you pick it up. These watches are not for girly men, so if you've got a skinny wrist, go buy a Movado. The stainless steel cases have a quality brushed matte texture, which is punctuated by precision-machined fasteners and knobs. Both the Chassis and Spring have chronograph movements, which allow them to time events in 1-second increments up to 60 minutes (30 minutes for the Chassis). The high-quality dials resemble classic automotive gauge faces and the numbers and hands were marked with fluorescent paint for easy reading at night. The water-resistant crown and chrono buttons resemble pistons or breather elements, depending on the model. About our only gripe was the lack of a synthetic sapphire crystal, which would make these watches far more appropriate for wearing while working on a car. You'll have to take care not to bang your Equipe against tools or other metal parts while working, or risk scratching the crystal-but unless you're wearing something pricier, you already have to worry about that.
Equipe timepieces are water-resistant down to 100 meters (330 feet), and are serialized like watches that are far more expensive. Pricing on Equipe watches ranges from $249 for the Octane (which features dual time zones instead of a chronograph movement), to the top-of-the-line BallJoint ($999). Most of the Equipe pieces are sport watches, but some of them, like our Spring model (a tank-style design), are more formal, and appropriate for business or evening events. These aren't toys per se, they're serious, quality timepieces that will impress. We also discovered that wearing one provides an immediate conversation topic for like-minded hot rodders and watch enthusiasts. And finally, there is this extra tidbit: Unlike most watchmakers who hail from Switzerland, Germany, or Japan, Equipe is based right here in Detroit, USA. Equipe really gets it. We're fans of quality watches almost as much as we dig hot rods, and it's a pleasant surprise to find a homegrown company that joins two of our great passions. We say put away that Timex and wear one of these big dogs to the track!
RHS Race Block
GM LS engines have set a new standard for V-8 performance and durability, but there still are limits when it comes to finding a high-performance replacement for the factory block. Aware of this opportunity, RHS designed and tested several versions of GM LS engine blocks until they found the optimal solution for performance engine builders and racing enthusiasts.
The LS Race Block is designed for added clearance and mass customization. Available in both standard (9.240-inch) and tall (9.750-inch) deck heights with an extra-thick deck surface (.750-inch), the LS Race Block features a raised-cam centerline and priority main oiling via an oil galley that is shifted outboard to allow rod clearance for a much larger stroke (4.600 inches) while also minimizing crankcase windage. Using computer-aided design, the cylinder walls are Siamese cast with press-in spun cast-iron liners. Cylinder liners are available in standard deck (5.67-/5.87-inch, same as the LS7) and tall deck (5.94-/6.38-inch) lengths. Also featured is a six-bolt head design with a full water jacket around each cylinder (based on the LS7 design).
For quality control assurance, RHS performs a CT scan on each block (similar to a medical CAT scan) to maintain maximum casting precision and consistency. Combine all of these features with a superior finish quality, thanks to the RHS patented Clean Cast Technology, ultra-precise computer aided design, and extra surface material to allow custom machining, and you've got a GM block that sets a new benchmark for LS horsepower, torque, and durability.