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Car Hacks & Mods for Dummies 373

Posted by timothy
from the no-relation-to-tom dept.
donour (Donour Sizemore) writes "I recently bought a high-performance automobile that has a reputation for its tuning potential. Before making the purchase, I joined several online forums for enthusiasts in order to get a good reading on how happy people are with the particular model. I was amazed at the vibrant communities built around websites such as evolutionm.net and nasioc.com. A wealth of information is available, but the data is surrounded by noise. For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk. Enter David Vespremi's Car Hacks & Mods for Dummies." Read on for the rest of Sizemore's review.
Car Hacks & Mods for Dummies
author David Vespremi's
pages 384
publisher Wiley & Sons
rating 9
reviewer Donour Sizemore
ISBN 0764571427
summary Presents the big-picture view of car mods that have to do with making the car stop, go, turn, and keep the occupants safe.

In general, I steer myself and others away from the "for Dummies" book series since I believe a lot of material at this level can be found on the internet for free. HOWTOs and tutorials abound for using and modifying most consumer products. In this case, the time saved from filtering online discussion is well worth it. The book is well organized, with separate sections devoted to handling, power, braking, engine management, safety, and cosmetics. There are 26 chapters spread across 360 pages. As you can see, chapters are short and can be tackled easily during lunch or a short taxi ride to retrieve your broken car.

Slashdot readers may be surprised to learn that there is no discussion of entertainment electronics such as stereos or car-mounted computers. This should not be confused with engine management units (ECU). ECUs are discussed at length. Car Hacks & Mods for Dummies main focus is making your car go, stop and turn. Sections were added for safety and cosmetics, but performance is by far the emphasis.

The book does not actually explain how to do any specific modifications whatsoever. Instead it serves as a guidebook to learn what options are out there and compare one upgrade path to another. For example, there is a great explanation of the differences between a turbocharger and a supercharger, but you're not going to get an analysis of the mods required to support your brand new 10.5cm hotside. Instead there are careful treatments of the pros and cons associated with almost any upgrade car car enthusiast may be considering. The coverage of jargon and rating systems used for various products is especially useful. Whenever a new subject or car component is mentioned, the author goes over regulating and standardizing bodies (the DOT, EPA, and SAE) as well as explains how parts, pieces, and fluids are rated. While this is useful when thinking about a new project, it isn't the information someone would want to rely on once they begin such an undertaking itself. The author clearly states, "this book is not intended to be an instruction manual."

The author gets high marks for addressing safety -- both the driver's and the vehicle's -- before any modification. The emphasis on maintaining legal and effective safety devices on a tuner car is something you are not likely to get during an argument about which upgrade path is optimal, nor is it obvious that many safety 'upgrades' -- 4-point harnesses, flashy roll-bars -- actually decrease driver safety when used on the street. In addition the author consistently gives warning when introducing a mod that could put added stress on a vehicle.

If you are a professional mechanic, this book is not for you. You already know most of the contents. Mechanics would be better served by product literature and shop manuals. If you are thinking about modifying your car, but don't have any idea where to start, this is probably a good place. Just be sure to read the first chapter. Car modding quickly becomes expensive, and jumping in without knowing the attached costs (which this book addresses) can be a financial nightmare.


You can purchase Car Hacks & Mods from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Car Hacks & Mods for Dummies

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  • Noises (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:31PM (#10644904) Homepage
    A wealth of information is available, but the data is surrounded by noise. For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk.

    Instead of reading other websites or books, he should have done a AskSlashdot :)

    In my opinion (a WRX), it's best to leave any mods/upgrades to the experts. If you have the money to spend on mods, you should have the money to pay for the experts' time. Cars, in most cases, are the second most expensive asset a person's going to get (after a supercomputer), so I would rather put it in good hand, and just enjoy the outcome, not the journey of car mods.
    • Re:Noises (Score:3, Insightful)

      by boudie (704942)
      And how you become an expert is the same as with computers, you first get an old one and tear it apart. Bonus points for putting it back together.
      • That's how my nephew became an expert. He runs PCMforless.com [pcmforless.com] along with a friend of his. They both started programming mod chips for their own cars. As they got better, friends started asking them to mod their chips. Now they have a pretty good business and a reputation for turning out excellent mods. Now they are using their 'hobby' to pay for college! :)
    • Re:Noises (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:38PM (#10644997) Homepage Journal
      I know a couple people who mod their cars. The impression I get is that, for them, the joy is in the journey, not the destination. One guy I know sells cars and boats off once he's done fixing them up.
    • Re:Noises (Score:5, Insightful)

      by `Sean (15328) * <sean@ubuntu.com> on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:40PM (#10645014) Homepage Journal

      I'd tend to agree when it comes to novices and people who want a fast daily driver. But, personally, I'd rather become an expert myself and turn every bolt. That's why I built my own project car [trunkmonkeyracing.com] from the ground up for rally and ice racing.

      But, by your logic, most computer users of high end systems should only trust installing software to the experts at Best Buy. ;)

      • Re:Noises (Score:3, Insightful)

        by `Sean (15328) *

        Rephrase: novices getting in over their heads and people with no interest in mechanics who want a fast daily driver.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)
        If you want something done right, often you have to do it yourself. Finding a good tuner shop is TOUGH.

        And in some cases, you might have a car where you'll need to do all the research and fabrication yourself. Some cars have impressive performance potential, but for various reasons were ignored by the aftermarket.

        Plus in some cases, the challenge is to produce a sleeper car that no one expects to be fast.

        http://www.turbovan.net/ and http://www.thedodgegarage.com/ are good examples of people who REALLY
    • Re:Noises (Score:4, Funny)

      by lashi (822466) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:54PM (#10645199) Homepage
      >Cars, in most cases, are the second most expensive asset a person's going to get (after a supercomputer),

      Most people would say house, but we are on slashdot so I am glad you have your priority straight.

    • I do most of my own auto work because I've had a hard time finding someone capable of competently fixing common problems on my low-performance sedan. I can usually do better with a few hours and a Hayne's or Chilton's manual.

      There are plenty of tuner shops around, but I bet Sturgeon's law is even worse than with general mechanics.

      Even if you are going to pay someone else, you need enough clue to know what to ask for.
    • Re:Noises (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Big Smirk (692056)

      That's it, you are out of the hacker club! :)

      There are different levels of mods.

      Beginner - bolt on the exhaust and make vroom vroom noises. Do you really want to pay someone $70/hr to install this?

      Intermediate - replacing engine components - camshaft heads; Bolting on superchargers. Almost everything in kit form. Requires an investment in tools (Sear Craftsman - not too bad)

      Advanced - Fabrication! Welding in roll cages (maybe even bending them yourself). Welding up your own exhaust because no on

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:32PM (#10644912)
    Do I need to install a really big fan on my car to mod it?
  • Type R (Score:5, Funny)

    by Grayden (137336) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:32PM (#10644913) Homepage
    Does the book cover proper application of Type R decals?
    • Re:Type R (Score:3, Funny)

      by ebooher (187230)

      What are you talking about!? I have Sw33t Type-R decals on my Chevrolet Cavalier sedan. You're just jealous of those more l337 than you.

      • Re:Type R (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Type-R, phesh, whatever... I have a "Maserati" sticker across my windshield. ... I drive a rusty late 80's 4-door Cavalier with the paint peeling off, the next sticker is going to be "2fast4paint".
    • >>Does the book cover proper application of Type R decals?

      Somehow this critical chapter was left out... editors these days! (sigh)

      Addendum.
      Chapter 31: "Sticker-charging" your Rice Rocket
      Subtitled: If you can't go fast, make up for it by looking silly.

      To increase the co-efficient of drag, add weight, reduce ETs and gain street cred with your peeps consider plastering your POS ragged-out pathetic bomb of an economy car with stickers. More is better, especially on four-door models. Our testing has fou
  • Sweet (Score:2, Funny)

    by Nickdawwg (609344) *
    I'd like the Speed racer kit please.
  • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:34PM (#10644932) Homepage Journal
    For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk.

    And I thought it only happend on /.

  • Yes, and? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) *
    For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk.

    And this differs from Slashdot, how? ;-)

    Driving an unmodified car and proud of it. Can't stand "overtuned" cars.

  • well G'ah (Score:2, Funny)

    by geekoid (135745)
    Hmmm, you went to forums for people who are fans of something, and they all liked it!
    why, color me surprised.

    And you say there were people who were unifirmed, but still gave an opinion! jeez, what is the world coming to.

    I think we are all very fortunate that slashdot doesn't have those things.

  • the only way i could be a dummie is if i actually tried to improve my old saturn's performance.....leaving it run is the only way i can asure myself of my intelligence....
  • Spoliers! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:37PM (#10644973) Homepage
    I hope that this book explains the usefulness of putting giant spoilers on front wheel drive cars to all idiots who continue to do so. I also hope that it explains the difference between a real exhaust system, and a fart pipe. Kids these days are really, really, really stupid, it seems (either that, or I'm getting old).
    • by dykofone (787059) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:59PM (#10645273) Homepage
      You've obviously never taken any aerodynamics classes. The point of the spoiler isn't for traction, it goes along with the basic understanding that an airfoil will provide a significant horsepower increase. Your typical spoiler on a Civic will increase horsepower 40 to 60 percent.

      Take airplanes for instance. They need a large amount of thrust to get off the ground, so aircraft engineers went ahead and put TWO big airfoils on each side, as well as some smaller ones in back.

      It's all simple engineering really. Let me guess, you think that stickers are purely aesthetic, and don't serve their main purpose of abrateable heat sheilding during fast runs?

      • It's modded informative!!!
      • by DogDude (805747)
        You've obviously never taken any aerodynamics classes. The point of the spoiler isn't for traction, it goes along with the basic understanding that an airfoil will provide a significant horsepower increase. Your typical spoiler on a Civic will increase horsepower 40 to 60 percent.

        So, assuming that you have a Civic that will go 120 MPH +, how exactly does downward pressure on the back end accomplish adding horsepower? And I'm sorry, I only took a few college level physics classes, but from what I remembe
      • You've obviously never taken any aerodynamics classes. The point of the spoiler isn't for traction, it goes along with the basic understanding that an airfoil will provide a significant horsepower increase.

        Pot... come in pot, this is Kettle. You're looking mighty black today, over.
      • I'd like to smack whoever modded this Informative and Insightful, jeez. I guess ricers must be moderators on /. too.
      • by FXSTD (468083)
        You forgot the thrust generated from the "fart can" style muffler. The rythmic pulse generated will induce a thrust coefficient similar to what a turbo would effect. Sure the sound is nice but the extra 50hp is the real gain. Tinted windows also reduce cabin temp allowing for increased ignition timing without detonation. Lets not forget how VTEC technology has brought hydraulic roller lifters into the spotlight. The reduced friction coupled with boost potential from the carbon fiber bling items have maximum
  • by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:38PM (#10644982) Homepage Journal
    Is there a discussion of common car annoyances such as fart pipes, chain-link license plate frames, spoilers on family sedans, ill-fitting aftermarket plastic body kits, and drivers of any type of Pontiac?

    • spoilers on family sedans, ill-fitting aftermarket plastic body kits, and drivers of any type of Pontiac?

      Man it's hilarious to see downforce spoilers/wings on front wheel drive cars. I may make a lot of people angry with this statement, but I can't help but laugh my white arse off when I see posers trying to lift their drive wheels off the ground. Absolutely hilarious.

      • Downforce on the rear wheels of a car won't lift up the front wheels, the front will receive the same amount of downforce, unless the rear wing is _way_ out behind the rear wheels, using the rear wheels like a lever. Yes ricers do that a lot, no it won't lift the front wheels up. Most of the shoddy body kits also serve to increase front downforce as well, by blocking off air from going underneath the car, creating a nice low pressure zone.

        -Jesse
    • There may be, but will it help? After all, I doubt most of the maledies cited are the result of car owners doing thorough (read: any) research before modding their cars...so reading a book is probably out of the question.
    • More importantly, does it have instructions on the installation of big-ass spoilers on Volkswagen Bugs?
  • by Nick of NSTime (597712) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:38PM (#10644996)
    I have a 2005 Dodge Magnum RT [allpar.com], so a lot of the ricer-type "upgrades" don't apply to my car. I need a balance of old-school stuff (bigger exhaust, cold air induction) with new-school stuff (reprogrammed PCM). Unfortunately, a lot of the upgrades for the Hemi engine in the Dodge Ram pickups don't work with the Hemi engine [allpar.com] in my Magnum.

    So my question is, does this book cater to the pocket racer crowd or will I find any good information for my 347 cid hot rod station wagon?
    • There's no way that a book like this can address the nuances of every motor, so I would say it's mostly useless to you. It can tell you in general terms what to do to a big displacement NA engine (colder air, better ECU, engine internals, etc.) but you probbaly already know that.
    • The simple fact is that in order to make your car faster, you need more air and more fuel. That's it.

      Learn how your particular engine works, its tolerances, and its choke points. Fuel is easy to add more of, especially in a fuel injected car. Bigger injectors and the ability to change your fuel curve and monitor the engine status will fix that.

      Air is harder. The MAF is often a choke point, as is the intake box. Throttle bodies will sometimes be an issue, although less so with the larger V-8 engines.
    • Something that will make power on engine 99.9% of the time will make power on another engine. Bigger exhaust, cold air intakes like you mentioned are the bread-and-butter of "ricers". The concepts are all the same, cram more air into the engine, along with more fuel. It's the same whether it's a 1.6L honda, or a 6.7 liter turbo diesel.

      -Jesse
  • by CRepetski (824321)
    IMHO, the majority of modded cars you see on the road are driven in a significantly more aggressive manner than unmodded ones. This seems to outweigh a slight improvement or reduction in safety by such mods. That said, perhaps learning about safety from a "for dummies" book is even more important in these cases?
  • by octal666 (668007) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:39PM (#10645003)
    For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk.

    I have nightmares about an unmodded slashdot...
  • by Buran (150348) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:41PM (#10645034)
    VWVortex.com has some great discussion forums, although the main model-specific forums, especially the Golf/Jetta forums, are mostly full of "what rims should I get?" and suchlike, which is a shame because I keep finding that requests for actual help are buried under such junk. It's quite frustrating to check back a while after a request to find two pages of rim polls burying your post past the 1-3 pages most people bother to read. Some people resort to adding a photo to their post to get the camera icon next to their thread so people will open it even if the photo is unrelated to the help request.

    Then there are the large number of people who, frustrated by this and by the search function that seems to be totally incapable of actually finding anything, post a nice query that obviously took some time to set up, only to be greeted by people who post "Use the search" or screenshots of the forum software toolbar with huge arrows pointing to the search function ... which has probably already been tried, with no success.

    So, I recommend the forums, but use the more-specific forums for your problem ... although the sad fact still is that fewer people traffic those forums so you'll have to wait longer than you should for a real answer.
    • For what it's worth... TDIclub has great resources for modding TDI's (again, VW specific). Lots of really useful information on that, and not too many posers.
      Of course, you have to understand that you are trying to mod a 90 HP car that sounds like a tractor...not really cool with the in-crowd. But it takes a special person to "get" a diesel, and you can actually get some pretty descent performance out of it at the same time.
      • I am planning at this point to trade in my auto 2.0 for the Golf 5 TDI when it's available (since I no longer have to share the car with a non-stick driver... my ex-husband refused to learn) so I'll definitely be joing TDIclub and chipping the car when I've got it (I've heard great things about the TDI chips.) I want a fun-to-drive car that is efficient at the same time.

    • the best place to start might be the local car club. The folks in the club can direct you to race tracks that have a fairly large VW contingent. Go to these tracks and talk to people - drivers and builders - in the pits (but don't be a nuisance).

      Years ago I was fortunate enough to find a VW shop run by a) a close-to-retirement gentleman who had everything and knew everything and b) his assistant who drag-raced VWs professionally (i.e. for money). Through them I bought an engine w/ the following specs:
    • That's exactly why you should go to Sport Compact Racing [sportcompactracing.com] instead of the 'Tex. The Whoretex is full of assess for the most part.

      It's amazing what a simple ECU upgrade can do to a turbocharged engine with regards to performance ;-)
  • the book's gotta say something about painting parts yellow to make your car go faster..
  • by OverlordQ (264228) * on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @02:42PM (#10645055) Journal
    "A Dummys Guide to Ricing" instead of an O'Rielly "Car Computing"
    • Not at all. David's part of a performance car community that's quite the anti-thesis of "Ricing." Rather than the crowd from The Fast and the Furious, you'll find a group of people that are dedicated to increasing the performance of their vehicles by bettering the car's power and handling. Very little, if any, modifications are made to the cars that do not directly impact performance. For an example of such a tuning shop, check out the one David worked at a year ago, WORKS [worksevo.com].

      These enthusiasts partake in spir
  • www.diy-efi.org [diy-efi.org] is a great source of information on GM vehicles. The guys there have reverse engineered many GM ecms and distribute their work for free.

    Right now I'm working on a GPL'd bin editor, and once that's done I'll be working on a PROM burner that works in Linux.

    Oh, I should add a link to www.moates.net [moates.net] as well, since he makes lots of cool stuff like PROM emulators and USB programmers. Craig's gonna kill me...
    • Another one to check is PGMFI.org [pgmfi.org]. Very good DIY ECU hacking for Hondas. Covers most ODB0 and ODB1 chipping, reprogramming, adding boost, whatever.

      And yes, moates.net is awesome. I have one of his pocket USB EEPROM programmers and haven't had a lick of trouble out of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I recently bought a high-performance automobile that has a reputation for its tuning potential

    you just got a new Minivan??? sweet!
  • So, since I doubt this would get an overall success rating from /. in an Ask Slashdot forum, and since it's more on topic talking about a book of Car Hacks .....

    How many people dream of modifying a 60's model Mercedes sedan? I mean, don't you just drool at the thought of fiberglass bumper covers? Trick rims on lower suspension? Maybe some AMG disc break conversion info? 6.3L V8 swap. Oh yeah baby!

    Bring it on, let's get some ideas!!!!!

  • For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk.

    Really! ... Well then you have certainly come to the right place.


  • "For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk."

    Dude, you just described the entire Internet. Get on a *moderated* mailing list if you want a decent signal to noise ratio.
  • What about the... (Score:2, Interesting)

    Offroaders! We mod too.
    Jeep Enthusiasts! [4wd.com]

  • Fuel Efficiency (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NardofDoom (821951)
    I'd love to mod my car, but to get better fuel efficiency, not to go fast and make loud noises.

    Unfortunately, there's no source for after-market parts or chips that can do this, which makes me sad.

    • When you tune your engine to go fast, you do it by improving the engine's volumetric efficiency. That typically means you'll burn more fuel (and air) than the original engine, but also make correspondingly increased power from a given engine displacement. If you combine that with gearing appropriate to your driving environment, you WILL get decent mileage, and be able to merge into traffic too. If you want to significantly increase your mileage, then you need to address waste heat, and you need to reduce t
  • by dj245 (732906) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @03:06PM (#10645359) Homepage
    I recently bought a high-performance automobile that has a reputation for its tuning potential.

    You've got the Civic DX too eh?

  • This is a pretty good site with some step by step picture tutorials.

    http://www.overboost.com [overboost.com]

    Car modding is definitely not cheap though...

  • by jstockdale (258118) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @03:07PM (#10645382) Homepage Journal
    Wow, didn't see this one coming on Slashdot.

    About a year ago I delt with David at length while he was working for WORKS [worksevo.com], a tuning shop in San Francisco. We were discussing the details of the power, handling, etc. modifications that they would be making to my Mitsubishi Evolution [mitsubishicars.com] (the car they in which they specialize). For the entire time I delt with David (before he left WORKS [worksevo.com] to pursue other things, like the book) I was consistantly impressed by his comprehensive knoweledge of both the technical and legal aspects of vehical modifications (especially impressive in good ole California thanks to strict emission standards).

    His expertise and professionalism have resulted in him gaining much respect within the Evolution community, and although I have not yet had a chance to review his book, if it's anything like the conversations I've had with him, you'll be amazed by just how far car tuning has come.

    Before talking with him, I didn't think it was safely possible to take a $32000 car, $7k of tuning, and end up just a hair short of a supercar*. Amazing.

    Hope the book sells well.

    -S ...

    * by which I mean a 2.0L 340hp 4WD beast that sprints from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, skidpad tests to 1g, and through the twisties can out perform anything short of a 911 Turbo
    • Before talking with him, I didn't think it was safely possible to take a $32000 car, $7k of tuning, and end up just a hair short of a supercar

      Not that fast, but a lot cheaper; I've driven Alfa Romeo 164 V6 and Mitsubishi Sigma, costing me around ?2000, and they go 140mph and do 0-60 around 7 seconds I think. Low cost, high funfactor outrunning all those -dime-a-dozen mobile discos and sportscars. Plus these sedans give you more respect from the general public.
      It always makes me laugh at movies like 2 Fast
  • Like we really need more rice grinders that sound like a pack of flies mating.
  • by nolife (233813) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @03:11PM (#10645416) Homepage Journal
    For every knowledgeable enthusiast, there are many more misinformed or incorrect speculators whose opinions usually spring from personal preference or a need to hear themselves talk.

    The whole reason for test and tune day at the track.

    That grouping can be catorigized into two types of people. Those that actually race and those that do not. People have many different goals when it comes to building a car: looks, straight line speed, handling, and durability and almost always some mixture of each. With that, you get different opinions on what works and what does not.

    There is some gray area.. Examples.. Some people remove the cooling water supply from the throttle body on cars so equiped. Some think it heats up the incoming air to much and others think it is required to cool the throttle body. Another one. At a 1/4 or 1/8 mile track, many people are pushing their cars to the line and apply ice to the intake, others run it to the line and have the car at normal operating temperature. For some, the colder denser air seems to be an advantage, for others, having the temperatures in the normal range puts the cars computer in a closed loop and running at its peak as it is not compensating for lower temperatures (retarded timing, incease in idle, higher or lower fuel/air ratio etc...) Each of these examples are really effected by what else the person has on the car and some are opinions. The actual indicator of advantage is the clocks time.

    My point..
    The people that actually race the car and can compare before and after times are the only ones that really know the true effect of a modification. 10 degrees advanced timing or 15 degrees? You will only know the true difference between the two on a track with a timer. Optimum tire pressure for your tire and suspension setup? Who the hell really knows without repeated timed laps.
    People that NEVER go to an actual track or an event are not the ones you want to blindly take advice from, those are probably the same people that put a new muffler on the car and swear they can actually feel the difference. I doubt anyone in the world can actually feel the difference between a real world difference of .01 to .1 seconds in a 1/4 mile let alone from one stop sign to the third telephone poll.

    The time clock should be treated the same as running a doom3 timed demo after changing your memory timings. Does it just feel faster or do you have something indicated to back it up? That can seperate FUD from speculation.
  • Where's the obligatory Gentoo && Ricers comment?

    http://www.funroll-loops.org/
    • Oh yeah, i forgot my disclaimer:

      I have a degree in the Automotive/Diesel Technology field and used to race, and I took 6 years of architectural and mechanical drafting between junior and high schools.

      I can build amazing stuff out of Lego Technic, I run Debian and Freebsd.

      And i still say Gentoo is for Ricers! :-D
  • Natural fit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalhermit (113459) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @03:20PM (#10645537) Homepage
    Man, I've been a computer geek all my life. Recently I've started playing around with cars (got a couple non-turbo 3000GTs and a VR-4 coming next week). It's a tremendous amount of fun... As with the computer groups, there are a bunch of newbie folks and those in it just for the image... but for every ten of those there seems to be one or two knowledgeable folks.

    I'm the first to admit that I know very little about modern cars. Just as with computers, however, there are things that seem to make sense but can be bad for your cars. I'm still in the fix it stage -- trying to put a car back to complete stock condition. It's almost like restoring an old Atari ST or Amiga to full functionality. E.g., the other day it took me a couple hours to change the front fog lights. The bolts had frozen up and grime had covered one of the screw holes so it wasn't immediately obvious how to remove them. After lots of cleaning I got them off, changed the bulbs, and got the housings repainted. The second time around it was a fifteen minute job. So, like learning some weird bash shell construct or new awk script, it was satisfying.
  • I read tons of geek message boards (go figure), as well as car enthusiast sites. I tune my Celica, read all kinds of boards, and I'm a CS student. So, I get to see the differences of the sub-cultures first hand. I have gearhead friends, and computer geek friends.

    They are ONE IN THE SAME - believe me. The faster the better, and whoever has the best & biggest toys win.

    You may write code or be an admin to prove to the world how smart you are. The tuner guys drive fast to prove to the world how f
  • Come on now. There are mods even a noob can do with high degree of success, cold air bypass being one. It's simple, inexpensive and will yield a few more horsepower quite easily. You learn by doing, the trick being not swimming out of your depth.
  • A little bit of self promotion here. :)

    Amongst my other racing-oriented duties, I maintain a web page full of links to books on Amazon that will teach you a LOT about race car engineeering

    Yes, I make a little kickback from Amazon on this, but that helps to offset the bandwidth costs. It's main purpose is to educate.

    See The Street Modified Engineering Resources page [streetmodified.org] for more info. I've also got a smattering of techical articles on the team home page at Far North Racing [farnorthracing.com]

    Have fun!

    DG

  • Does the book mention anything about speed holes and how they make the car go faster?

    (hint: Simpsons)
  • Cosmetics? (Score:3, Funny)

    by superdan2k (135614) on Wednesday October 27, 2004 @03:59PM (#10646081) Homepage Journal
    That whole chapter should have been nothing more than a warning regarding the "Gay Batmobile Effect"...which can only be explained by example. In this case, the example is a kid who lived not far from my now-ex-girlfriend when I lived out in Philly.

    Specifically, a Hydundai Tiburon. Metalflake purple, with ground effects. Gold rims. Big non-functional scoop on the hood. Type-R stickers everywhere. And two -- yes, two spoilers, stacked one on top of the other. Some sort of bad airbrush art on the hood. When I first saw the thing, my first words, were, "Jesus Christ! It's the Gay Batmobile!"

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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