We Test It
Raybestos Police Brakes
Fleet service usually connotes cheap, rental-car-spec products. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is the case with Raybestos' Police Patrol brakes. Part of the company's fleet line, these components are far from performing cheaply. A representative from Raybestos candidly described the police pad friction material as closer to a race pad formula than to regular street pads. The whole system is just as serious. The company sent us a full set of calipers, rotors, and pads to throw on our in-house cop car-an '03 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor-with instructions to abuse them mercilessly.
No need to ask us twice. We are happy to report that after several thousand hard miles, the brakes never once let us down. They even sloughed off a serious, 8-mile, downhill canyon run that smoked a set of pads in one of our daily drivers.
You don't need to own a Crown Victoria to have this level of performance, either. Raybestos has police-spec brake parts for Chargers, Impalas, and Tahoes-basically any car made since 2000 that came with a factory police package. If you don't own one of those models, check out Raybestos' performance-oriented Advanced Technology line, available for most performance cars.
Learn More: Raybestos; McHenry, IL; Raybestos.com
These parts took a beating and never threw in the towel. The Police Patrol brakes come wit
...We understand this wouldn't be a concern to a police department that needs parts to wor
More Tool Steel Engine Parts
What It Is: Lightweight solid lifters from Trend Performance
Why You Care: Way back in our Mar. '08 issue, Tech Editor Smith mentioned that using tool steel valvespring retainers is a great alternative to titanium as a strong yet relatively inexpensive way to shed weight from your valvetrain. In a similar vein, Trend Performance developed these solid lifters for Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet engines. They weigh less than 79 grams but stand up to the rigors NASCAR cup engines endure in a full season of racing. These are definitely race car pieces, and you have to use them with an alloy steel or tool steel camshaft.
How Much: You can buy the plain lifters for $32.00 each. An exotic antifriction coating is available for another $40.00, and you can also opt for a special, machined hole in the foot of the lifter for extra oiling for $4.00. Add that all up for a total of $76.00 per lifter.
We Say: Wonder how many other engine parts are made with tool steel?
Learn More: Trend Performance; Warren, MI; 586/447-0400; TrendPerform.com
HoodPins with a Twist
What It Is: Quik Latch hoodpins
Why You Care: These are pretty cool, and they're a break from the standard-issue Lanyard-style hoodpins we've seen for decades. These new hoodpins from Quik Latch Products pop the hood by pushing the center button. They are made from billet aluminum, so they will not rust, and they don't have any lanyards and flopping pins that could scratch your paint (assuming you care about that sort of thing). They are available painted, polished, or satin finished.
How Much: $299.99
We Say: They're pricey but cheaper than repainting your hood every so often.
Learn More: Quik Latch Products; 469/387-0212; Q-Latch.com
Car Key Padlock
What It Is: A padlock that opens with your car key
Why You Care: OK, we were like, "Whatever" when we first saw this press release, but it started to make more sense after we thought about it for a while. This is especially useful to the guy who has parts and car junk stashed in a bunch of different places, and it keeps you from having to carry a key ring that would make a janitor jealous. Strattec Security Corp. has developed this padlock that utilizes an automotive-style lock cylinder that programs itself to your car key the first time you insert and turn the key. How it stays that way is something we're sure the engineers figured out, but we'd be happy to have one less key on our key chains.
How Much: You can buy it online for about $27.99.
We Say: Janitors of the world, don't send hate mail. One CC staffer was an actual janitor many years ago and carried a huge keychain of his own.
Learn More: Strattec Security Corp.; Milwaukee, WI; 414/247-3333; StratteClock.com