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your definition with as much detail as you can and it will
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A - E
The amount of time it takes you to travel from the start lights
at a drag strip to a mark that is 60 feet away. This time
reflects how well you launched the car and got moving. In
general, when using street tires, times such as 2 seconds
and up is slow, 1.8 to 1.9x is solid, and sub 1.8 times are
good. Front wheel drive cars tend to have slower times versus
rear wheel drive cars. All wheel drive cars definitely have
an advantage in this department since they rarely lose traction.
An LSD will help lower
An obvious one. It is a filter that removes the dirt and debris
from air before it enters the engine. Stock
cars house the air filter in the airbox.
Aftermarket air filters flow more air than stock filters and
thus make more power.
/ fuel gauge
Reflects the engine's air/fuel ratio and used for tuning a
vehicle. The gauge can use either a narrowband
sensor or a wideband
sensor. Unless the gauge shows actual numbers, it is not useless
/ fuel ratio
The ratio of air to fuel that is going into the engine. The
air fuel ratio (AFR) is metered with an o2
sensor. This information is reflected as a number such
as 12:1, 10.5:1, etc. Certain ranges of numbers are normal
for certain setups or situations. Example, most cars run at
14.7:1 when cruising. This number is "stoich," the
most efficient number for cruising which yields the best gas
mileage in a safe manner. When tuning WOT,
the air fuel ratio should be around 12:1 for your standard
boosted car, or around 13.5:1 for an
NA car. However, these
numbers are not set in stone. Changes in compression
ratio, boost, timing,
among other things will affect how much fuel is needed.
An electronic sender found in the intake
system of most vehicles. Tells the ECU
the temperature of the air entering the engine for precise
fuel management. The more serious tuner
or tinkerer will place a temp sender before and after the
turbo to see the before
and after effect on the temperature of the air
A big piece of crap. It holds the filter and
usually forces the engine to breathe through a tiny hole that
Originally referred to the Lexus IS300 because that is the
name for the car in Japan. However, the name has come to reference
the style of taillights that the IS was equipped with. The
chrome housing taillights with red markers are also called
A large muffler typically found on an import car. Most designs
are modeled after the Apexi
N1, which itself appears to be modeled after the exhaust
of a sportbike. This definition applies to all mufflers bearing
this signature look but is more commonly used for the cheap,
knockoff muflers because of their lack of a nice exhaust
tone and poor overall build quality.
All wheel drive. A vehicle where the engine powers all 4 wheels.
WRX and Evolution are the popular AWD cars.
A metric unit used to measure pressure. Bar refers
to barometric pressure. 1 bar is equal to 14.5 PSI.
Commonly found on boost gauges or
See Ass cannon.
Big f*ckin hammer, used on those "fun" jobs when
working on your car.
(submitted by Chodan
on the Fighters forums)
Brake Horsepower. A term that used to mean the true output
of the engine as measured with an engine brake, but today
most people simply say horsepower.
The "house" for the engine. It is what you see when
you look at an engine from the outside. It holds the bottom
is a picture of a 4 cylinder block.
A unit that is mounted between the turbo and the engine on
pipes. It discharges the air in the pipes when you lift throttle
as to not cause damage to the turbo. The BOV can be recirculated
or "recirc'd" where the air it dispells is routed
back into the intake for the car, which is recommended for
MAF based cars. Or, it
can be "open vented" which is when the air it dispells
is simply shot into the open air and not sucked back up by
the engine. The latter makes the BOV louder but can lessen
Positive pressure forcing air into the engine via a supercharger
or turbo. Usually quoted
in PSI or bar.
The more boost, the more pressure.
A problem caused by having a small wastegate
that cannot expell enough exhaust gas, meaning that more air
spins the turbo than is supposed to, causing excessive boost.
Gauge used to measure the output of a turbo or
supercharger. Vacuum portion of the gauge shows the health
of an engine. Usually reads in bar or PSI.
Mechanical boost gauges have a rubber or silicone
line that runs from the intake
manifold to the gauge itself. Some mechanical gauges use
a hard plastic line with a series of fittings (Autometer).
Electronic gauges have the hose run to a sender which mounts
anywhere, then wires run to the gauge itself. Electronic gauges
are generally preferred for the ease of running wires as opposed
to a boost line. Some more expensive boost gauges have a warning
light and peak hold
The process of removing material from the cylinder
to smoothen its surface and ensure a good seal.
Also, known as the diameter of the cylinder
Not the kind you're thinking of. ;o) The bottom end consists
of the block, crankshaft,
rods, and pistons.
The crank, rods, and pistons is also called the "rotating
assembly" when together. A built bottom end typically
refers to aftermarket pistons and rods at the least, sometimes
the crank and block is aftermarket as well. Here
is the typical bottom end (unassembled).
See blow off valve.
(submitted by FD3S
on the Fighters forums)
A term coined by the Supra guys referring to Basic Performance
Upgrades such as intake, downpipe, midpipe, cat-back, and
a boost controller.
Slang for camshaft.
No explanation needed.
The spot at a drag strip that is setup for the cars to do
a burnout and heat up their tires so they get nice and sticky.
Doing so will make for a better short
time. Cars that do not have slicks
need not do a burnout. There is no point in doing a smoky
burnout on street tires.
A piece devised by AEM that sits inline on an intake
and opens up when the air filter
is submerged in water. It allows the engine to breathe in
air rather than suck up water via the air filter and potentially
Refers to wheels and tires. If looking at the car from the
rear, seeing the tread of the tires, positive camber is when
the top of the wheel sticks out further passed the fender
than the the bottom of the wheel. Negative camber is when
the top of the wheel sits inward more than the bottom. A perfectly
vertical wheel/tire has zero camber. Negative camber usually
occurs when a vehicle is lowered and can be remedied with
a camber kit. Here
is a visual aid to explain the differences. Negative camber
wears the inside patch of the tire towards the car, positive
camber wears the outside patch. Zero camber will help to wear
the tire evenly. *Some* negative camber is desirable in road
racing situations because the car leans into the angled tire,
providing more grip.
A kit typically used to remove negative camber from lowered
cars so that the tires wear evenly. Usually consists of adjustable
suspension arms, longer bolts and washers, or bushings that
help straighten out the wheel to a more vertical position.
Part of the valvetrain.
The cam determines the duration and
lift for the valve.
In a SOHC or DOHC
engine, the cam sits on top of the valvetrain and pushes on
it as it spins. Here
is a great pic to explain the arrangement.
Attaches to the end of the camshaft and is spun by the timing
belt or chain. These pieces can be degreed by clocking
the cam left or right in an attempt to gain more power.
See crank angle sensor.
A suspension setup is where the coils/springs literally fit
over the struts. Aftermarket coilover setups usually have
a threaded portion that let you adjust the ride height of
the vehicle by adjusting where the springs sit.
An intake kit that
typically places the air filter in the fender or another area
that receives fresh air outside of the engine bay. The "fresh
air" location is intended to draw in cooler air, which
makes more power. These intakes are susceptible to hydrolocking
the engine if driven through a deep puddle because the filter
is very low to the ground. A bypass
valve is highly recommended for cars equipped with cold
The amount of pressure that the engine is able to produce,
measured in PSI. Lower numbers mean a worn motor. Measured
by doing a compression test.
A ratio that measures how much air is compressed inside the
engine while it is operating. The normal CR for a boosted
motor is 8-9:1 while NA
cars run a higher CR. The greatest safe CR will yield the
most power. The higher the CR, the greater the need for higher
octane fuels and better tuning. The engine's CR is also referred
to as "static compression" because it doesn't change.
Method of measuring an engine's compression, or health. A
compression tester can be puchased at any auto parts store
for ~$30. The process is...
1) Warm up the motor to normal operating temperature.
2) Remove all of the spark plugs
3) Disconnect the fuse responsible for delivery of fuel. If
unknown, simply undo the fuel line and point it into a jug
to collect the fuel that will spray out when cranking.
4) Insert compression tester into a spark plug hole. Crank
engine until the needle stops increasing on the tester's gauge.
Note the result.
5) Test each cylinder via step #4 until you have the numbers
for all cylinders (spark plug holes). Compare the numbers
for each cylinder.
should be similar and not vary by more than 10%. Each engine
has a recommended minimum number that each cylinder should
produce along with a recommended range it should be within.
This information is available in the vehicle's FSM.
For example, an engine might have a minimum of 125 PSI with
a recommended 150. As long as the numbers are near 150 and
above 125, the engine is healthy. Cylinders with low numbers
might be worn or have problems that need to be remedied. To
test if the rings are
worn, pour a teaspoon of motor oil into the spark plug holes
of the "low" cylinders. Retest the cylinder with
the compression gauge. If the number jumped up significantly,
the rings might be
The part of the turbo or supercharger that actually compresses
the air before it enters the engine. The compressor (pic)
looks like a fan blade and functions in a similar manner.
The turbine looks
Tells the ECU the temperature of the coolant
so it can adjust the amount of fuel injected. It also tells
the temp gauge on the dash what to do
CAS, this sensor measures the position of the
internals (how far they've spun) and determines the timing
of the motor. This piece usually has a gear that sticks into
the valve cover and is spun on the cam gear.
The main part of the engine that turns the rods and pistons.
The rods bolt to the crank. Here
is a pic of a crankshaft.
The round part of the block that the piston slides
up and down inside of. Here
is a picture of 3 cylinders. You can see the middle cylinder
does not have a piston in it and is just as it sounds, a cylinder
of metal that is pressed into the engine block.
Also called knock. This event usually occurs near
the end of the combustion process when highly compressed,
high-temperature end gases spontaneously ignite, radically
increasing the cylinder pressure.
This pressure spike moves at the speed of sound in the combustion
chamber, and the pressure can cause damage to pistons,
cylinder walls, and the head
gasket. Unlike pre-ignition,
detonation occurs after the normal combustion event.
Dual overhead cam. This setup features 2 cams that sit over
and rest at the top of the engine. One cam opens the intake
valves while another
cam operates the exhaust valves.
Part of the exhaust that bolts onto the turbo
or onto the O2 housing
if there is one. Here
is an example.
Be it a legal event at a track or an illegal
streetrace, this is a gathering of people for the sole purpose
of drag racing.
Engine, transmission, differential. The parts that make the
A nitrous kit that
does not add fuel when it adds nitrous. Not as safe as a wet
kit, especially for higher horsepower shots.
(submitted by FD3S
on the Fighters forums)
Diamond star motors. Refers to the 90-96 Eclipse/Talon/Laser
because they all shared the same platform and were built in
a plant in Normal, Illinois. Most people refer to any 90-99
E/T/L as DSM's just to save time.
A term used to describe how long the cam
holds the valve open.
The term is usually defined in numbers, or degrees. The degrees
refer to how many degrees of crankshaft operation that the
cam holds the valve open.
A dynamometer measures the horsepower that a vehicle makes.
A chassis dyno measures the actual horsepower that gets put
to the ground while an engine dyno measures how much the engine
makes before turning all of the drivetrain.
Electronic boost controller. This device can change the amount
of boost a car is running from inside
the car via a knob or push of a button. Boost can be programmed
for each gear, by RPM, etc, making for a highly customized
tune. Being able to switch from low to high boost while in
the car is most people's reason for purchasing such a device.
Tuning for lower boost in the lower gears in an attempt to
gain traction is another reason.
The "brain" of the car, the computer. Modern EFI
cars use an ECU to determine how much fuel to inject into
the engine. Aftemarket ECUs can make more power than stock
ones and some standalone
ECUs allow you to completely tune the car yourself. Stock
ECUs can also be chipped which involves adding a chip onto
the ECU that alters its tuning and makes more power. There
are also piggyback
ECUs that alter the stock ECU's signal.
Electronic Fuel Injection. A system on all modern cars that
replaces a carburetor in the efforts of precise fuel management
for every climate. Usually requires an air
temp sensor, MAP
or MAF sensor, coolant
temperature sensor, and fuel
injectors as the key components. The ECU
uses the information from all of the sensors to control the
fuel injectors and make the car run efficiently.
Elapsed time. The amount of time it takes you to run the course
at whatever track you are at, be it 1/4 mile dragstrip or
1/8 mile. Heavily influenced by your short
time and your car's power (of course).
The piping that expells the exhaust gasses from
the engine. Non-turbo exhausts consist of (in order) a manifold/header,
catalytic converter, and a cat-back. Turbo
exhausts consist of (in order) a turbo
manifold, turbo, sometimes an O2
housing, downpipe, catalytic converter,
and a cat-back.
stock exhaust manifold is usually poor flowing and is often
replaced with a header
named so because it attaches to the engine's head.
The catalytic converter (pic)
filters the toxic gasses out for the sake of the environment.
Due to its power robbing traits, many people replace it with
a test pipe/cat delete pipe. This item is simply a piece of
pipe that replaces the "cat." Having no cat makes
the exhaust smelly and makes the exhaust sound louder and
often removes the tone to the sound. Environmentally concious
people replace the cat with a high flow cat. It is eco friendly
but flows more air in efforts of making more power, all while
keeping a good exhaust tone/sound. Another option is to replace
the cat with a resonator.
This step will keep a good exhaust tone but is not eco friendly.
In most states, tampering with the cat is illegal.
is self-descriptive. It is the piping from the catalytic
converter back to the rear of the car. It is usually
a long piece of pipe with a resonator and a muffler, with
the pipe bolting directly to the cat. Cheaper (louder) cat-backs
only include piping and a muffler.