Nerd’s Eye View: SEMA 2014 Part II


Wilson has been in the intake manifold business for quite a while now and they had these insane machined and welded pieces on display. Notice the bottom half of the manifold is machined from billet and the plenum section is welded on.
The cost of machining has come down in recent years allowing for pieces of art like this. Instead of having to create expensive casting tooling, these runners are simply machined from billet and then welded to the machined base of the manifold.
Fully machining this carburetor spacer allows for the sharp tapered edges for improved flow characteristics.
More automotive art was seen in the Akrapovic booth. The exhaust on the McLaren 650S is already short in stock form as the engine is mounted in the mid-engine configuration. However, even supercars have cost targets and sound level compromises to appease the general population, so there are gains to be made. This Akrapovic titanium slip-on exhaust adds almost 21hp, 21.5 lb-ft of torque, and shaves almost 12 lbs. For such a relatively small exhaust, those performance gains are truly impressive. I wish I knew more about acoustics as this exhaust features two cross-over pipes.
The McLaren uses twin turbos on its engine and the turbos act like mufflers. The Porsche 911 GT3 does not have turbos, so mufflers are still required to prevent bleeding from the ears. This setup from Akrapovic is very extensive including multiple mufflers and the carbon diffuser. Look closely at the first exhaust component coming out of the catalyst and you can see the V-band clamp used for easier installation. Just past that at the Y-split, there is a gusset added to the split which improves durability and prevents cracking. On the vertically mounted muffler on the outlet pipe, more gussets are used. There is a lot of attention to detail and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Akrapovic.
Sabelt is starting to make a push here in the US. If they’re good enough for F1, WRC, FIA, Le Mans, then they’re good enough for us.
So here is the new Replay XD Prime. I have the older version of this camera which I like a lot for its form factor. Being a lipstick/bullet style camera, it has a small frontal area and cross section making it more convenient to mount. When I use it on my motorcycle, I have it attached to the side fairing using the provided double-sided 3M tape used with every camera out there and in the picture above. Small frontal area equals lower drag force and also less force acting on the adhesive tape. Plus with this mount, it keeps the camera mounted low and close to the tape. So under acceleration in any direction, the camera will have inertia which the tape will have to be strong enough to counteract or come off. With the camera mounted relatively close to the point of attachment, it has a relatively low moment arm which reduces the forces trying to rip it off. I’ve had no issues with it trying to come off at triple digit speeds on the motorcycle. In this picture, the Prime is attached to the roof of the Always Evolving GT3 Nissan GT-R.

So there you have it, some of the cool parts that make your car faster, safer, more reliable, and let you replay all the cool things you do! So go buy some of these things because we like cars that are faster, safer, and more reliable. As for looks, well, that’s subjective and I’m a dorky engineer lacking style so you’ll have to search other sites for that stuff.

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