Nerd’s Eye View: SEMA 2013 – Part II



Why the elaborateness for the intake? Because the engine bay is so crammed, there’s nowhere else to pull cold air from. The duct from the hood seals up against this tiny air filter. So maybe some ram air effect is possible. From the air filter, the intake tube snakes over to the little Honeywell Turbo on the 1.4L engine. Yup, there is heat shielding on the turbine housing along with insulation on the A/C line. Using insulation on the A/C line is another lesson I learned (the hard way) back in the day on my turbo SR20DE.
How does life start out for a Formula 1 brake caliper? As a forged chunk of metal. The metal is forged into a “near net shape” by Superman like how he crushed a chunk of coal forming a diamond. Well, Superman doesn’t really do it himself, but tons and tons of pressure is used to pound the metal into the rough shape of the brake caliper. This increases strength, aligns the grain structure, yada yada yada. Then, the chunk of metal is whittled down to the final shape of a brake caliper. FYI, this is basically the same process for making forged fully machined compressor wheels in turbos.
Getting into the engine, there are some tricks used in motorsports to improve performance. One is to micro-polish parts that have metal on metal contact (cams, gears, etc) which can significantly improve fatigue life and reduce friction. Then you can add coatings on top which further improve fatigue life and reduce friction. Richter Precision has a full line of coatings to meet your needs. One of the most commonly known coatings for reducing friction is DLC (diamond-like-carbon) coatings. DLC is commonly used in Motorsports. I believe Mazda used DLC on the apex seals of the rotary for example and DLC is often used on cams. Richter Precision also has a full line of other coatings that can meet practically any application.
Something I never really thought about using coatings for is corrosion resistance and to maintain a good appearance. So, exhaust tips, lug nuts, door handles, roll bars, pretty much anything. Richter Precision had mentioned the vast number of applications such as light fixtures, hand rails, pretty much anything that is metal and corrosion resistance is required.
I figured the Akrapovic exhaust for the Porsche 911 was a good way to bring up the rear of this article. The craftsmanship on any Akrapovic exhaust is spectacular. Of course, they are very well engineered with the exhaust bellows, exact fitment, and vacuum actuators on this 911 exhaust application. It’s a shame most of the exhaust is hidden underneath the bodywork.

So yet another SEMA show has come and gone. SEMA has only gotten larger and it’s tough to see everything at the show. I almost didn’t see the Akrapovic booth; I literally went to it in the very last 30 minutes of the show. Anyways, this is just a little glimpse of the cool stuff at SEMA. If I missed anything, uh, my bad! I’ll try to do better next year.

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