We Test It
OTC's Wheel Hub Resurfacing Kit
Here's a really cool product we wish we had designed. Part of doing brake inspections involves cleaning the hub surface, which is easily caked with rust, road grime, and brake dust. It's important to have the wheel fit completely flush against the hub when you put it back on, so most people clean the hub with a Scotch-Brite pad on an angle grinder. The problem is, you can't get all the way around the wheel studs on some applications because the pad won't fit in all the crevasses. This tool does, and its design is very clever. Look for OTC PN 8342. It comes with the arbor for your angle grinder and five abrasive pads. You can find them online for about $27.00.
Learn More: OTC/SPX; Owatonna, MN; 507/455-7223; OTCtools.com
First of all, the abrasive disc is much smaller in diameter than the typical Scotch-Brite
Second, it's hollow like a doughnut. It fits over the stud so you can clean all the way ar
New 5.0L Exhaust
What It Is: Stainless Works full exhaust for '11 Mustang GTs
Why You Care: It's no secret we're big fans of the new 5.0L Mustang. Stainless Works wasted no time getting a car in its shop and developing a stem-to-stern 3-inch exhaust kit. The headers have 1 7/8-inch primary tubes and 3-inch merge collectors. The intermediate pipes are available with high-flow catalysts or off-road test pipes with no cats. The third component contains an X-shaped cross-pipe and chambered or straight-through mufflers. Everything follows the factory routing and attaches to the stock hangers.
How Much: The headers cost $950.00, the headers and cats run $1,450.00, and the after-cat system is an additional $1,050.00.
We Say: Check out the videos on Stainless Works' website-this system sounds killer.
Learn More: Stainless Works; Chagrin Falls, OH; 800/878-3635; StainlessWorks.net
Bluestuff-Made of Aramids, not Smurfs
What It Is: EBC's new Bluestuff brake pads
Why You Care: Though they are marketed as racing pads, EBC's literature states that these pads are equally at home on the street and on the road course. The friction material is made with Aramid fibers, a synthetic compound first manufactured by DuPont under the trade name Nomex-it's the stuff used in firesuits and body armor. It's strong, light, tough, and extremely resistant to heat-all the characteristics that make good brake pads. They have an excellent coefficient of friction, their high temperature characteristics make them resistant to fade, and they are much easier on brake rotors than other performance pads, especially semimetallic compounds. Another cool factoid is that EBC bakes these pads in a 1,000-degree oven before packaging them to be shipped. The company's literature states that a brand-new set of pads is fully bedded in just one or two warm-up laps on a track.
How Much: Depends on the application. Prices range from $99.00 to $199.00. As an example, front pads for an '02 Chevrolet Camaro cost $149.00.
We Say: Check out EBC's website. The company makes brakes for everything-even mountain bikes.
Learn More: EBC Brakes USA; Sylmar, CA; 818/362-5534; EBCbrakes.com
One Torch to Weld in All Places
What It Is: Weldcraft's new WP-225 torch
Why You Care: Here's a cool TIG-welding torch that works with water-cooled welders. The flexible neck is useful when trying to weld in tight spots, but even better than that is the fact that this single torch will accept a bunch of different-shaped tips, meaning you can weld nearly any joint in any position. It's good for making rollcages or headers where access can be extremely limited.
How Much: It depends on where you buy, but look to spend about $100.00 for the torch.
We Say: Making your own headers is cool.
Learn More: Weldcraft; Appleton, WI; 800/752-7620; Weldcraft.com
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