Problem Solver: Easy Fan Controller
You're just seven wires away from having a state-of-the-art fan control system for your muscle car or hot rod. This compact, easy-to-install controller from Dakota Digital can be used with any dual electric fan kit, including salvage yard fans from late-model cars and trucks. The PAC-2700 kit includes the controller (with LED temp display) and 70-amp relay. Program any "on" or "off" temp setting for two electric fans, or set them on a timer after you shut 'er down!
Safety & Handling:Hotchkis Steering Rebuild Kits
We'll never forget the day 11 years ago: driving through town in a high-mileage '87 Turbo Buick, the car made a sudden jink to the curb on its own. Had we been on the highway instead of a city street, it could've been curtains. The problem: a worn-out tie-rod end. The turbocharged LC2 powerplant was the most important thing in the world up to that moment, but we instantly found out the overriding importance of properly maintained steering components. Now that Hotchkis has put comprehensive steering kits together for GM A-, F-, G-, and X-body cars, as well as '64-'73 Mustangs, there is no need to scrounge the back room at the NAPA store for dusty boxes. Hotchkis steering rebuild kits come with ball joints, inner and outer tie-rod ends, billet adjuster sleeves, idler arm, and drag link.
Quick Fuel Technologies:Lightweight Main Body
Modular carburetors-the 4150- and 4500-series square-bore types we've grown to love-just keep marching on, with new refinements to their interchangeable design being made every year. At the top of the leader board is Quick Fuel Technologies, which has just implemented a key product initiative across its entire line of Professional and Q-Series carbs. All carb main bodies in these lines will now be made of lightweight aluminum, a savings of 4.5 pounds (when combined with billet aluminum metering plates) over traditional zinc main bodies. In the main body redesign, the air bleeds were recessed and the accelerator pump squirters were moved out of the air stream, resulting in greater airflow and less fuel pull. We dig the look, too!
Quick Fuel Technologies
Keisler Engineering:Hydraulic Clutch Kit
For several years, owners of Keisler PerfectFit overdrive transmission kits have enjoyed the benefits of hydraulic clutch actuation. These include low-effort engagement, silent, bind-free operation, tidy installation, and a linear uptake of clutch adhesion. We've been lucky enough to experience this first-hand in our '76 Camaro project car, g/28, but we know there are folks who can't, or don't need to shell out upwards of $3,000 for an entire tranny kit. For this reason, Keisler now offers a hydraulic kit with their unique Concentric Slave Cylinder (CSC) that can retrofit into virtually any four-, five-, or six-speed manual transmission. Bye-bye Z-bars and cables, hello new-car clutch feel! Call 'em up to see if they make one for your old or new manual transmission.
Cherry Bomb:Light It, And Run!
Turn back the hands of time: you're 10 years old, and you've managed to cajole or steal a coveted Cherry Bomb pyrotechnic device. You can't just light it up indiscriminately-a rarity like this may only be used on something special. That mean neighbor's front porch. Maybe stick it in that old battleship model and float it down the creek. Pile up some old Hot Wheels around it and just fire it up. Whatever you did with your Cherry Bomb, it was some variant of light it, and run like hell! This was immediately followed by a rush of adrenaline. Looking to get back that old Cherry Bomb feeling? Feel the need to be heard? Light up a pair of 100-percent welded, aluminized steel, red-painted Cherry Bomb mufflers, then run like hell!
Random Cool Product:SMW Cold Air Cleaner
People send us unsolicited stuff all the time. Much of it isn't worth mentioning, but this cold-air induction piece is really cool, literally. Most late-model cars already get cold air from the outside, maximizing their performance from the factory, but muscle cars suck in heat-soaked air as a matter of course. Unbelievably, it's still accepted practice, so there's lots of power hidden in this low-hanging fruit. It's a fact that if you lower the incoming air by 10 degrees, you pick up an extra 1 percent hp. In fact, that's the operative concept with many new intake manifolds, like the Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap. Cooler air passing around its runners lowers the induction temp, making the intake charge denser, and more powerful.
The Schmidt Motor Works Ram Air Cleaner ups the ante by allowing the user to duct cool outside air, rather than breathe hot underhood air. The kit we got did not have the 4-inch ductwork, duct clamps, or any suggested mounting instructions, so you'll need to get creative for most muscle cars. We'd like to see specific kits for GM A-body (include dual-beam single headlights to free up quad headlight openings, or core-support-mounted scoops, wiring kits, ducting, clamps, and instructions with photos)-but it looks like that's out for now. In any event, this two-piece unit is tough (it's made of high-temp Nylon 66), universal (it's slim, taking a 14x3 filter), and inexpensive (just $49). We also like the no-nonsense muscle car ram air look, and non-bling appearance.
Schmidt Motor Works
Arrington Engines:575hp Hemi Crate Motor
If the name Arrington sounds familiar to you, it's because Arrington is a Mopar legend with deep roots in NASCAR. As one of the last great independents, Buddy Arrington flew the Mopar flag from the '60s until well into the mid '80s-way after Mopar left the sport officially. Buddy's son, Joey, now carries the banner at Arrington Engines, based in-where else-Martinsville, VA. Arrington Engines specializes in late-model Hemis, and they've just released a 440-ci late-model fuel-injected Hemi crate motor that puts out 575 hp on pump gas. That's more than GM's 427ci LS7, and it's more than enough to put even the heaviest Magnum R/T or 300C into the 11s. With an introductory price of $12,999, the 440 Hemi comes with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. Arrington also offers parts for late Hemis, as well as crate motors and parts for traditional Mopar engines. If you're into Mopars of any description, you've got to check out all the goodies at Arrington Engines-their website is www.shophemi.com. There's even a nice biography and history of Buddy Arrington's NASCAR career.