We Test It
Innovate's Open Tune
We like this gadget for a few reasons. The obvious one is it can send O2 readings, mph, and a tach signal directly to your iPhone, wirelessly. That's entertaining. This is also the first step in tuning your car in real time without a laptop. We are going to predict that for muscle car guys, the days of heavily modifying or even digitizing your dashboard to keep up with your array of data-acquisition components might be over. Right now, the OpenTune Wi-Fi interface is for OBD-II cars built after 1996, but imagine a day when you can clip a smart device to your windshield that has g-force, GPS, speed, rpm, O2, EGT, and control race and cruise modes for your transmission and engine. The possibilities are draining our iPhone battery already.
Learn More: Innovate Motorsports; Huntington Beach, CA; 714/372-5910; innovatemotorsports.com
EFI Retrofit Kit
What It Is: EFI Connection's fuel-injection kit for big- or small-block Chevys
Why You Care: This kit makes switching to fuel injection so easy, it's almost a no-brainer. A 58-tooth wheel fits on the crank snout, and a dummy distributor engages the timing gear on the camshaft. Those two things feed cam and crank position signals to an LS1-style ECM that controls everything else, including distributorless ignition (DIS). These computers are easily tuned with HPTuners, EFILive, or LS2 Edit. This system uses an electronic throttle only, so plan on snagging a pedal on eBay.
How Much: Pricing hasn't been announced yet.
We Say: Are you sick of all the fuel-injection stories yet?
Learn More: EFI Connection; Erie, PA; 814/566-0946; eficonnection.com
The Ultimate LS
What It Is: RHS' LS Race block
Why You Care: Short of having a custom CNC-milled billet aluminum block made for you (assuming you just won the lottery), this is probably the best aluminum LS engine block on the market today. It is made with A357-T6 aluminum, has an extra-thick 0.750-inch deck, Siamese bores with full water jackets, and six head bolts per cylinder. It was made for big displacement, too. The cam bore was raised, and the oil passages were relocated to accommodate a 4.60-inch stroke crank in the 9.75-inch tall-deck version. Combine that with a maximum bore of 4.165 and you could build yourself a 500-inch LS engine.
How Much: Tall or short deck, all these blocks cost $5,082. What were we saying before about the lottery . . . .
We Say: Jeff Smith starts salivating when he sees pictures of this.
Learn More: RHS; Memphis, TN; 877/776-4323; racingheadservice.com
Synthetic Polymers = Wet-looking Paint
What It Is: Mothers FX SynWax paste wax
Why You Care: Paste wax can be more difficult to apply than liquid, but it is generally more durable and longer lasting. This product offers the best of both-a tough, long-lasting finish that is easy to apply. It is a presoftened paste wax that also polishes as you apply it and is formulated with "supertough" synthetic polymers that "bond to your paint's surface," according to the press release. We're guessing they're better than the medium-tough polymers.
How Much: Sold at your local parts store. Check the prices there or buy online for $16.99.
We Say: We may have to give this stuff a shot.
Learn More: Mothers Polish; Huntington Beach, CA; 714/891-3364; mothers.com
Buy a Locker, Get Peace of Mind
What It Is: An unconditional warranty on Yukon Lockers
Why You Care: Yukon stands by its products. The company is offering an unconditional warranty on Grizzly Lockers for one year. If you buy one of these before October 31, 2010, and manage to break it, Yukon will replace it for free and repair any other damage related to the broken differential up to $2,000.
How Much: The warranty is free. Grizzly Lockers run about $400, depending on which application you need.
Learn More: Yukon Gear; Seattle, WA; 888/905-5044; yukongear.com