Tips to get the best gas mileage

While gas prices haven’t pushed the $5 mark in almost a decade, nobody wants to spend more on gas than they have to. AAA cites the average price of gas was $2.85 September this year. We could limit our trips, car pool, use public transportation, or many other things to lower the amount of money we pay for fuel but, we are famous for our mobility. America is a country of drivers.

Slide4As a nation, Americans love to drive putting an average of 13,474 miles on the roads ever year according to Motley Fool contributor Matthew DiLallo. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration says the average American drives 13,476 miles every year. With Wyoming leading the 50 states in miles driven 22,306 per driver at an annual cost of $1,917.34 (second highest) per year. Those trips to the gas pump really do add up, so how do we keep fuel costs from taking such a large bite out of our wallet?

Trucking companies and others in the transportation industry know one of the keys to maximizing fuel efficiency is to keep the trucks in good top working condition. According to Fleet Hall of Fame inductee and Over The Road Truck blogger, Mike Antich, the 2019 forecast is filled with corporate strategies to procure the most fuel efficient and task specific vehicles to add to their fleets. Aging fleets can seriously impact the bottom line in several ways fuel consumption ranking at the top along with deprecation.

While no one can change deprecation, we can take a hint from the transportation industry. The professionals and well informed “DYI-ers” can use diagnostic tools to help pin-point the perfect ratio of oxygen to fuel, timing lights to adjust the spark plug firing, and aftermarket modifications (mods as those in the know call them), to alter the vehicles default settings. Some states have statutes limiting aftermarket changes to the fuel/oxygen ratio. Be sure you are up to date on your training and states’ emission laws before you make any modifications.

However, there are simple steps professional drivers as well as average commuters can take to improve fuel efficiency. Most of the remedies for poor fuel consumption are basic. Don’t run the A/C at full blast on every trip, cut back on auxiliary items such as navigation systems and refrigerators, ensure your gas cap seals tightly, and most importantly: slow down. Another overlooked fuel saver is the basic tune up. Keeping your vehicle in top shape can boost fuel efficiency.Slide2

You can take your car in to a professional or you can do the job yourself. Be sure you have the basic tools for the job: socket set, screwdrivers, and ratchet are items most people already have on hand. Other, not so common items you may need are a spark plug gap tool, spark plug socket, collapsible magnet, tire gauge, and tread tool (tires are a part of the tune up too). Don’t forget electrical grease and your camera. The electrical grease keeps contacts from rusting and lets the electricity flow. Use your camera to take before and after pictures to be sure you put everything back in the right place the right way. Don’t overlook your cars owners manual. It’s a great resource to guide your tune up.

Another excellent resource is YouTube. Yes, YouTube. This is a great way to brush up on your tune up skills and learn the latest in car maintenance. Try searching for videos using the term ‘Hypermiling’. Hypermiling is the latest slang term denoting all the ways to keep your fuel efficiency up and costs down. However, the same basic rules still apply: keeping it simple is the best way to improve your autos performance. Bear in mind there are plenty of fuel saving myths out there too.

Slide1

Some of the myths such as buying gas when it’s cooler so you get more are theoretically correct but don’t work in practice. According to Consumer Reports, most fuel stations store fuel underground which results in only small fluctuations in temperature no matter what the temperature is on the surface. They also have found that Low Rolling Resistance tires may save a small amount on fuel, however, keeping the tires properly inflated will make up the difference. They suggest buying good, all around tires.

To truly maximize efficient fuel consumption, though, improve your driving habits. Reduce your speed, keep your vehicle tuned, and tires properly inflated. These simple steps will keep more money in your pocket without taking away your American love of the open road.

 

Resources:

https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/how-to-drive-economically7.htm

https://www.hmfracing.com/tech/2014/07/how-does-the-optimizer-work

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/11/151114-can-you-hack-your-car-for-better-mileage/

https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/0627/Myth-busters-Consumer-Reports-takes-on-alleged-gas-saving-tips

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/6-myths-about-gas-mileage/

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/14/heres-how-much-gasoline-the-averageamerican-consu.aspx

http://time.com/5306658/gas-pricescalculator/

https://gasprices.aaa.com/q1-gas-price-report-2018/

https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/01/25/the-average-american-drives-this-much-each-year-ho.aspx

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm

 

Summer-Proof your vehicle

The dog days of summer are here; have you summer-proofed your car? Yes, summer-proof your car!

Most of us are well aware of the damage the chill of winter can wreak on our SUVs, vans, and trucks but the heat and UV rays of summer can also harm our vehicles.

According to R.L. Polk, Americans keep their cars for an average of six years and most vehicles are resold at that time. Taking the time to summer-proof your vehicle is not only good for your car, it can add dollars to your resale price. Statista – The Statistics Portal, reported people are selling their vehicles at ever increasing rates.

Want top dollar for that car when you are ready to sell it? Make sure it looks good. The most obvious summer-time damage is to the paint and the dashboard. The UV rays of the sun can discolor paint and crack the dashboard until it looks like a model of the Grand Canyon.

BYK Laboratories explained that the UV rays breakdown the organic compounds in the paint like the binders which lead to the paint discoloring and drying out to the cracking point. Also increased dust because of dry, summer conditions can really build up.

Slide1Dust acts like sandpaper on your cars’ clear coat. The clear coat not only makes the car look good but more than that, it is the primary barrier against rust. The scratching effects of accumulated dirt and dust coupled with the drying effects of the suns UV rays, acidic insects from increased summer insect populations, bird droppings, and tree sap all have adverse effects on an otherwise beautiful and beneficial paint job.

Don’t forget, every trip to the beach we not only bring home sand in our shoes but also in our car, on our car and in our air filters. An air filters’ job is to trap sand, dust, and other particles to keep them from mangling our vehicles’ engines. Regular checks and changes of the filters will keep our engines running smoothly and a quick wash will rid the paint of the scratching sand.Slide2

Plastics and vinyl tend to absorb UV radiation more quickly than paint. This leads to crumbling windshield wipers, which do little good in the occasional August rain shower. One place you might not think of when you think of summer damage are the belts and hoses under the hood. Excessive heat from parking in the sun can damage these parts as well. It would be a good idea to check them a few extra times during the summer.

 

Summer Proofing Steps –

  • Park in the shade whenever possible but be careful of parking under trees that might drip sap and be a favorite roosting spot for birds
  • Wash your car often – once a week is recommended. Hand washing is recommended but having the vehicle on a regular washing schedule and hand dry – Don’t let it dry in the sun
  • Protect interior by tinting windows, using a windshield sun screen and using a protectant on the dash
  • Check and maintain all fluid levels
  • Check and change the filters often

 

 

Resource list

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/06/47-million-americans-new-independence-day-travel-record/

BYK LABORATORIES BLOG

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/preserve-car-value-vehicle-depreciation.asp

https://www.wikihow.com/Increase-Your-Car%27s-Resale-Value

https://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1090254_the-united-states-of-used-cars

https://www.statista.com/statistics/183713/value-of-us-passenger-cas-sales-and-leases-since-1990/

R.L. Polk

 

 

by: J. K. Luckhurst

CHECK OUT THESE COOLERS

Summer is still upon us making ice cold beverages a life saver.  Take a look at these hot new coolers 

SON-CA-E065G

The first thing you notice is that it looks like an old-school boombox.  That’s right, it’s a music machine.  With USB power AND data, AUX, and SD card inputs, you can even hook up your vinyl player!  It has a flashlight! (batteries not included).  With four colors to choose from, you can keep one at home, one on your boat, one in your golf cart and one at the shop.  Check out these cool stats:

  • 40 qt. cooler holds up to 48 cans or 28 bottles and advanced insulation technology keeps ice frozen for up to 3 days. Comes with detachable cooler flashlight (3 AAA batteries not included)
  • 350 watts maximum output power Bluetooth digital music player and FM radio with two built-in 6.5” Hi-Fi water-resistant speakers and two 2” high performance tweeters
  • XLR microphone/instrument input, 1/4 inch instrument input, 12 volt power outlet plug (cigarette lighter port), 2 standard 3.5mm auxiliary jacks, powered USB port, USB data port and SD card slot to play MP3 /WMA music (supports up to 32GB)
  • Built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 16 hours of playing time and come with 100-240V AC/17V DC adaptor also built in weather resistant storage for iPad and charging compartment for iPhone/Smartphone
  • Heavy-duty wheeled design with long, telescoping handle for easy transport and extra large side handles with convenient bottle openers

Don’t get caught with a hot soda.  Order one today and we’ll ship it to you for $9.95!

Sources: SONDPEX WEBSITE

Pig Mat Customer Review

Here at National Tool, we receive “fan mail” from our customers on a regular basis.  We pass on the comments and helpful tips to our employees as training tools to make our business better.  But, we’ve received a rave review on a fairly new product line and we decided to share it with our customers.

We would love to hear your feedback on a product you’ve purchased, good or bad! Send us an email with your review and you may be featured on a future blog!
customerservice@nationaltoolwarehouse.com

Hi National Tool,

 

I wanted to share a story with you about a product that we recently purchased from you all, The Pig Mat roll. My family and I attend car shows all of the time and if we have a leak, it is a mess to clean up! We have been looking for something that was light-weight and easy to use. This new pig mat towel was so easy to use and we didn’t have to clean up a mess after using them. We placed a couple sheets under the engine compartment while we were at an indoor show and WOW does it work! The oil decided to leak out and it could have gotten everywhere. It was so nice to be able to pick up the mats and just throw them away. A neighbor of ours at the show was so impressed that we gave them a couple to use and they are in love with them also. I would recommend these to anybody out there and you’ll definitely be getting more of our business soon!

P.S. I’ve included a picture of two of our cars that you can share with your employees and your customers.

 

Thank You,

Jerry D.

J. Dillinger Show Cars 2015

We would like to thank Jerry and his family for sharing their story and their product review!

 

Photo Credit: Jerry D., 2015

Introducing the Robinair 34788NI & 34788NI-H

Robinair introduces its next innovation, the 34788NI, featuring an industry leading 98.5% recovery efficiency for standard and hybrid vehicles and fully automatic function. 

According to the Robinair website, the Robinair 34788NI and 34788NI-H machines recover, recycle, evacuate, leak-test and recharge R-134a with improved 98.5% efficiency – unmatched by any competitor. The new design features a larger graphical display, automatic features including leak testing, automatic refrigerant refill and oil drain/inject – putting A/C lubricant back into the system. 34788 also boasts the ability to add a printer, USB data sharing, refrigerant identifier and wireless module for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth® communication. An optional refrigerant charge and oil capacities database is available for North American market vehicles. 

Robinair 34788NI - Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine

Robinair 34788NI – Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine

So, how does this new model stack up to the older version?  We’ve generated a sheet to show you how all of the Robinair machines stack up against each other. From what we can tell, these are very impressive machines.

ROBINAIR COMPARISON SHEET

ROB34788NI-H Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine for Hybrid and Non-Hybrid Vehicles

ROB34788NI-H Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine for Hybrid and Non-Hybrid Vehicles

Make sure you visit the information Robinair has released.  It’s informative and will help you decide if one of these machines is right for you!

 

Picking The Right Jump Starter For You

In a previous blog post, we talked about the different reasons your car won’t start. Today, I would like to follow up with talking about how to choose the right jump starter for your needs. Like man, all jump starters are not created equal. There are a myriad of different options to choose from. We will be discussing options for your daily driver to your heavy duty towing vehicles.

For your daily driver or family vehicle, we have two favorites. The Jump-N-Carry KKC660 and the TCBES5000 by Booster Pac.  Below I will show you the details and help you chose the right option for you.

The Jump-N-Carry KKC660

KKC660

  • For California CEC-compliant equivalent product, please order KKC-660C
  • The KKC660 delivers 1700 Peak Amps and 425 Cranking Amps of starting power and weighs just 18 lbs.
  • Perfect for a variety of professional starting environments, including automotive service, fleet service, auto dealerships, auto auctions, marinas, implement dealerships and more.
  • 1700 Peak Amps
  • 425 Cranking Amps
  • Clore PROFORMER battery technology
  • 46″ #4 AWG welding cable leads
  • Industrial-grade clamps
  • Built-in charger
  • Automatic charging
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of on board battery
  • 12VDC outlet to power accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Email reminder when the unit needs to be charged

Cost: $136.22

The TCBES5000

TCBES5000

  • For California CEC-compliant equivalent product, please order TCB-ES5000C
  • Multiple jumps between charges and 43″ cables make the ES5000 as convenient as it is powerful.
  • 1500 Peak Amps
  • 400 Cranking Amps
  • ES Series battery designed specifically for vehicle jump-starting
  • Automatic recharging
  • LED battery status indicator
  • 43″ #4 AWG cables
  • Industrial Grade Hot Jaw™ clamps
  • DC outlet to power 12 Volt accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Email reminder when the unit needs to be charged

Cost: $138.89

Mid Range Jump Starters & Chargers

For you drivers of large trucks like an F-250 or above or a vehicle you are using to pull a boat, tractor, or heavy equipment we also have two favorites. They are the SHUPSJ-3612 by Schumacher and KKCJNCXF by Jump-N-Carry.

The SHUPSJ-3612

Schumacher Jump Starter

  • Two, 18-Ah Professional-Grade, High-Output AGM Batteries—especially formulated to jump start vehicles.
  • Non-spillable; stores in any position.
  • 2-Gauge, 55-inch Cables.
  • Heavy-duty clamps have replaceable, copper jaws—fit both top and side-post batteries.
  • ON/OFF Switch
  • 3-Amp Built-in, Automatic Charger
  • Reverse Hook-Up Alarm
  • Two-Function Digital Display
  • 12-Volt DC Power Outlet
  • Durable, Rust & Corrosion Proof, Polypropylene Case with Unique Clamp Storage
    Vented case for added safety
  • Unique, High-Impact Rubber Base—for case protection.

Cost: $280.54

The KKCJNCXF

Jump-N-Carry Jump Starter

  • The new standard in power-to-weight ratio in a handheld jump starter, its exclusive X-Force battery delivers 770 Crank Assist Amps to tackle the toughest automotive, marine and industrial jump starting assignments.
  • Features 68″ extra-long cables to reach the starting points on virtually any vehicle and automatic charging from its built-in charger
  • Made in the USA
  • 770 Crank Assist Amps
  • X-Force battery technology
  • 68″” #4 welding cable leads
  • Industrial Grade Hot Jaw Clamps
  • Built-in charger
  • Automatic charging
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of onboard battery
  • 12VDC outlet to power accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cost: $273.44

Heavy Duty Jump Starters For Large Industrial & Commercial Vehicles

For the big boys (and gals), we have big and powerful toys. Our two favorite heavy duty chargers are the TCBES6000KE by Booster Pac, and the KKCJNCXFE by Jump-N-Carry.

The TCBES6000KE

ES6000KE

 

  • The workhorse of the Booster PAC family, the ES6000 delivers 3000 Peak Amps.
  • 12 Volt, 54” cables, auto charging
  • High performance ES Series battery
  • Battery Capacity: (2) 22 Amp Hour
  • Peak Amps: 3000
  • Cranking Amps: 800
  • Cold Cranking Amps: 650
  • Packaged with two batteries

Cost: $278.65

The KKCJNCFXE

Industrial Strength Jump Starter

  • The ideal unit for the very toughest 12 Volt jump starting tasks and the harshest work environments
  • Its dual X-Force batteries deliver 1540 Crank Assist Amps, making it perfect for a wide range of environments: automotive, marine, fleet, industrial, construction, outdoor power equipment and heavy-duty starting
  • Features 68″ extra-long cables to reach the starting points on virtually any vehicle and automatic charging from its built-in charger
  • Made in the USA
  • 1540 Crank Assist Amps
  • X-Force battery technology
  • 68″” #2 welding cable leads
  • Industrial Grade Hot Jaw Clamps
  • Built-in automatic charger
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of on board battery
  • 12VDC outlet to power accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cost: $402.55

Now, what does all this mean to you? We have broken these jump starters out into three different tiers. Tier one would be your every day jump starters. These are best suited for your home garage and to keep in the trunk of your car, truck or van. They work like a charm and are a great selection for anyone. Tier two jump starters are designated for those of you that have large trucks and SUVs. Finally, tier three are for your big, heavy duty trucks. We’re talking about F-450+ or 4500’s for you GM folks.

If you have any questions about any of these jump starters or just jump starters in general, please leave them in the comments box and we’ll answer them right here for you. Or you can feel free to email us at customerservice@nationaltoolwarehouse.com and we will return your email promptly!

Don’t forget to sign up for our email specials…don’t worry, we won’t spam you or rent/sell your email address.  We simply use our email list to send out specials and private discounts only available to our email subscribers.

email signup

 

Robinair Recycling Machines-The Buying Guide!

Even though it’s still cold in most parts of the US this month, the warmer temps are rapidly approaching. Is your auto repair shop equipped with a Robinair Recycling Machine? We’ve had several customers calling in asking which Robinair AC Recovery machine would best suit their needs. Why pay for more than you need?

Whether it’s the fully-automatic 34988, 34788 or the semi-automatic 34288, these machines will test, recover, and recharge R-134a automotive AC systems quickly and accurately. The question is: Which one should you buy? I’m going to break these machines down for you and give you some facts to chew on before making that big purchase.

Robinair 34988

Robinair Recycling 34988 Premium A/C RRR machine

Robinair Recycling 34988 Premium A/C RRR machine

Let’s start with the best of the best – the Robinair 34988 combines simple operation with superior accuracy. The Robinair Recycling 34988 recovers, recycles, evacuates, leak tests and recharges R-134a quickly and accurately.

What does this unit have that the others don’t?
*Automatic dye inject feature – This gives the user the ability to use the machine to inject UV dye into a vehicle’s AC system.
*Automatic oil measure & inject feature – the machine will automatically determine how much lubrication oil needs to be injected back into the AC system based on how much oil was taken out during recovery.
*AC System Flush – Flushes a vehicle’s AC system with refrigerant eliminating any residual oil or other liquid. (Flushing adapters are not included in the purchase of the machine.)
*Save & Print before and after service data – This allows the user to store before and after service information on the vehicle and print this information to provide to a customer.
*Indicator light and notification alarm – Notifies the user when service is complete or if a problem has occurred.

With this machine, automatic operation means less attention is needed. Set the parameters and watch it work! You can view more information on this machine on the Robinair Recycling website. They have also uploaded a video showing the use of this machine here.

 

Robinair 34788

Robinair Recycling 34788 CoolTech Recovery, Recycling, Recharging Unit

Robinair Recycling 34788 CoolTech Recovery, Recycling, Recharging Unit

Moving on to the middle of the road unit – the Robinair Recycling 34788, like it’s superior the 34988, combines simple operation with superior accuracy. The 34788 also recovers, recycles, evacuates, leak tests and recharges R-134a quickly and accurately.

This machine does not include the items previously noted about the 34988 but it does have a lot of great functions. This is the most popular of the three units I’m discussing today, mainly because it has the automatic function but it’s reasonably priced.

Robinair has a great information section here on their website. Also, there are numerous videos posted about this machine here.

 

Robinair 34288

Robinair Recycling Cool-Tech 34288

Robinair Recycling Cool-Tech 34288

The Robinair 34288 is the simplest of the three main machines. The main functions of this machine are the automatic air purge, refrigerant charging, refrigerant management, vacuum function and the new 4×20 multilingual display.

If low cost and simple is what you are after, this is the machine for you. You can view more information about this machine on the Robinair website here.

All three of these units use the same maintenance kit which makes it easy when restocking. The Robinair maintenance kits include one quick change filter-drier to be used on both R-12 and R-134a stations, and one 16 ounce bottle of Robinair brand premium high vacuum pump oil.

Robinair Recycling 13172 Maintenance Kit

Robinair Recycling 13172 Maintenance Kit

Robinair Recycling 34724 Recycling Filter-Driers

Robinair Recycling 34724 Recycling Filter-Driers

Whether you purchase the 34288, 34788, or 34988 these units can pay for themselves in as little as 2.5 months (based on the Robinair “Investing In The Future” Return on Investment worksheet).

So…after the analysis is complete, which machine is best for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts on these machines!

Written by: Jay Johnson
Information courtesy of www.robinair.com

2014 Chevrolet Silverado vs. Ford F-150

So the great debate continues; are you a Chevy fan or Ford fan? At every family gathering my father and uncle get into a large discussion about Chevy and Ford and why they think their respective choice is better.  Of course, at the end of the meal we are no closer to a definitive winner.

As I tried telling my feuding family members; comparing these two trucks is not as simple as one would think.  There are so many variations and packages available for each that it’s not necessarily comparing apples to apples.  We can try though!

Ford1 Silverado1

Performance

Both trucks have the available V-8 engine with the Silverado represented by 5.3-liters and the F-150 represented by only 5.0-liters(Chalk one up for Chevy!) Although the Silverado’s V-8 produces 355 horsepower while the Ford’s produces 360 horsepower (win for the F-150). But when it comes to fuel efficiency between these two, Silverado holds the title with an EPA estimated 17/22 city/highway mpg (17/21 city/highway mpg for the F-150).

Interior

interior1 interior2

Moving on to the interior of these two trucks, the Silverado provides more legroom for front passengers than the F-150 but the F-150 compensates for this with more rear passenger legroom. Both trucks, depending on package purchased, offer a variety of interior comforts.  Some of which include: in-dash screens, storage compartments and charging connections for a variety of electronics.

I’m sure trucks are not the only source of discussion though since Chevrolet has come out with the new Corvette Stingray! When all is said and done, I think the feud between brothers will continue for many years.  Every year these trucks are neck and neck with technology, sleek styles and performance ratings leaving both the Chevy fans and Ford fans saying their truck is the best.

Which are you? Chevy fan or Ford fan?  Why?

Photos courtesy of chevrolet.com, ford.com and cargurus.com









The 2014 Jaguar F-Type – WOW!

Good day, friends. Today we’re going to look at the 2014 Jaguar F-Type. The first time I saw the new design, I was in awe. I absolutely love it. It has beautiful sleek lines and an aggressive stance.

Jaguar-F-Type-Coupe-R-cover

However, the look of this bad boy isn’t the only impressive thing. There are three models being currently offered, The F-Type Coupe, The F-Type Convertible, and the The F-Type Coupe R. They each have their own unique identities and different performance specs, and all are fast, sound amazing, and are fun to drive. Unfortunately for me, I don’t own one; but I did jet over to my local Jaguar dealership and take one out for a test drive.

“The F-Type Coupe carries over the same engines as the convertible, but replaces the V8S convertible model with the F-Type Coupe R, which makes an impressive 550-horsepower.

We loved the exhaust note of the F-Type, so it’s safe to say this V8 R will sound like a herd dinosaurs charging down the street.

Also new for the F-Type coupe is a set of carbon ceramic brakes, which will help turn this car into an ultimate performance machine capable of delivering the goods on the track or the street.” – AutoGuide.com

Jaguar-F-Type-Coupe-02

They do come with a hefty price tag, but you’re definitely getting a big bang for your buck. Here is a look at the pricing for the convertible option.

$69895      F-TYPE 2dr Conv V6
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive Car, 340 bhp, 332 lb-ft, 8-sp Automatic, 20/28 mpg
2 passengers, 3525 lb, 3-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, V-6 engine, 10.4 lb/bhp

$81895      F-TYPE 2dr Conv V6 S
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive Car, 380 bhp, 339 lb-ft, 8-sp Automatic, 19/27 mpg
2 passengers, 3550 lb, 3-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, V-6 engine, 9.4 lb/bhp

$92895      F-TYPE 2dr Conv V8 S
2-Door Rear Wheel Drive Car, 495 bhp, 460 lb-ft, 8-sp Automatic, 16/23 mpg
2 passengers, 3675 lb, 5-liter, supercharged, turbocharged, 8-cylinder engine, 7.4 lb/bhp

The F-Type Coupe R gets even pricier

“With soaring performance, the F-TYPE R Coupe offers outstanding levels of dynamic capability and control. Its 5.0 liter supercharged V8 engine produces 550 horsepower, accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 4.0 seconds3. The F-TYPE R features an Electronic Active Differential, Jaguar Super Performance Braking System, and Sport Suspension with Adaptive Dynamics. MSRP starting at $99,000” – Jaguar Website

With that said, the new Jaguar F-Type is our second favorite elite sports car for 2014. Falling into second place behind the amazing new Corvette Stingray
Sources: Jaguar.com – Car & Driver – Motor Trend – AutoGuide.com










Starting the Year Off With a Bang – 10 Tips to Make Your Car Go Faster

This post is for those of us who like to go fast. As we start 2014, let’s look at the best ways to make our cars and trucks go faster. Some of these are cheap, and some will cost you. But as well all know, you get what you pay for. And here at National Tool, we like to do things right the first time.

1. Take Care of It
Regular servicing, including changing the various fluids and filters, is vital if you want to keep your car delivering the performance it was designed to give.

Not only that, but on tuned motors it’s a good idea to take your car to a respected tuner once a year so, as well as regular servicing, they can check and adjust fuel and boost pressures, ignition timing, and if necessary, the mapping of the car’s ECU to keep the car running at peak performance.

It’s not unusual for some cars to need large adjustments, even when they seem to be running perfectly fine. In the past we have seen gains of nearly 30 horse power to the wheels, just from a dyno operator adjusting the ignition timing to its optimum.

2. Let it Breathe.
Almost all cars come with restrictive inlet and exhaust systems as standard, mainly to cut down on noise, but also to deliberately reduce power levels for economy and reliability reasons. Catalytic converters are very restrictive too (there isn’t really a way around this one though)

Because of this, it’s not uncommon to gain 5-10 percent extra power from a full exhaust system, cat-back pipe and induction kit on a modern car. Filter and exhaust combos don’t cost a fortune either, so should be the first performance mods you buy.

A performance ECU chip is also a simple mod, improving power for relatively little cash. You’ll only get small gains on a N/A car, but turbocharged cars can sometimes give upwards of 25 hp.

3. Gas It!
Once you’ve fitted an exhaust and filter, tuning gets more expensive. One exception to this is nitrous, which can give huge gains for the least amount of money.

Nitrous is an oxygen-rich compressed gas, which, when injected into the engine with the corresponding amount of extra fuel, gives an immediate boost in power.

Most standard production cars can happily withstand a 50bhp increase in power via nitrous with no ill-effects, and that’s enough to make any car a load faster. Remember the gas doesn’t last long, so you’ll need to pay for re-fills and that adds up.

4. Strip it Out
You’ve probably noticed the difference in performance of your car when you’re on your own in it and when it’s fully loaded, especially in small cars.

Well, apart from not giving fat birds lifts, another good plan for more performance is to strip the car out. Things such as seats, interior trim, ICE, sound deadening, the spare wheel and air conditioning systems all weigh a hell of a lot. With them removed you’ll not only have faster acceleration, but also better braking and handling, too.

However, the best thing about it is that it costs nothing! Once you want to spend some money you can replace your standard seats with lightweight fiberglass or carbon fiber buckets, glass windows with Perspex, and steel panels with fiberglass or carbon ones.

5. Stroke It
This is neither cheap nor easy, but increasing the capacity of your engine is always a great way to improve all-round power and torque. This is done by totally rebuilding the engine with a new longer-stroke crankshaft to increase the swept capacity of the engine.

There is a double advantage when this is done to a turbocharged motor, because when you increase the capacity you don’t just get the aforementioned gains in power and torque, but a bigger engine means more exhaust gas too. This means your turbo will spin up much sooner, and also enables you to run a much bigger turbo than you could on the smaller engine, but without giving any more lag.

The only disadvantage is that some stroker kits can make your safe rev limit slightly lower, but the fact the new stroker crank is often far stronger than standard means the safe rev limit can sometimes actually be higher.

6. Engine Transpalnt
What better way to make your car quicker than to rip out its wheezing old lump and fit something bigger and more powerful?

Some engine swaps are easy, where it’s just a drop-in replacement, but really the only limits to the swaps are your imagination and your wallet! And who’s to say the engine has to go back in the same place? You could go rear-engined, or if you’re really nuts fit twin engines!

As well as the engine you will need the wiring loom, ECU, and all that sort of thing from the donor car, and often the gearbox and other parts, too. It’s not the most straightforward mod in the world, but can totally transform your car and can even work out cheaper than tuning your existing engine.

7. Blow It
Engines give power by compressing and igniting the fuel/air mix inside the cylinders, and the more that’s in there, the more power you will get. Well, the best way to get more in there is to force it in under pressure with a fan.

Turbo and supercharger conversions are never cheap, but if you want the maximum amount of power possible from your engine, it’s really the only way to go.

On a normally aspirated engine even 100bhp per liter is considered highly tuned, and 150bhp per liter is usually reserved for mega-budget race engines. But in turbo engines, 100bhp per liter is considered ordinary, and upwards of 250bhp per liter is possible from the majority of engines.

8. Diff It!
This is hard to imagine unless you’ve experienced it, so you will have to take our word for it, but lowering the gearing of your car (either with a close-ratio gearbox or low-ratio diffs) will drastically improve your car’s acceleration, in exchange for a lower top speed.

Often this can be achieved by swapping your gearbox or diffs with a unit from a different model from the same company, but if there are none available there are many aftermarket transmission specialists than will be happy to help you out.

9. STOP IT!
Performance isn’t all about power and acceleration. If your brakes are crap then you’ll be off the accelerator and jumping on the stoppers far earlier than you would with a good brake setup, and over a long stretch of road or track this will make you significantly slower overall. If you’ve got good anchors you can stay on the gas until the last minute, maximizing acceleration time and minimizing braking time, improving your average speed and making you faster in the long run.

Best of all, basic brake upgrades such as better discs and pads are pretty cheap, so you don’t need to break the bank to achieve some big performance gains. The most basic mod would involve some uprated brake pads.

The next step is some drilled or grooved standard-size discs, and again it’s quite a cheap and straightforward upgrade. If you want a serious brake setup then many companies can do you a big brake conversion that consists of massive discs and equally huge calipers, giving unbeatable stopping power.

Discs, pads, and calipers aren’t the only important brake parts. Uprated fluid, brake lines and braces to keep the master cylinder steady are also important and fairly cheap upgrades that can be done.

10. Rubber
Having tons of power is no good if you can’t transfer it to the road. You might have 300 hp, but when a standard car leaves you for dead as your car just sits there in a cloud of wheel smoke, it’s pretty pointless isn’t it?!

Sticking with standard-width normal road tires won’t do much good when you’ve seriously bumped up the power, so it’s time for some fat, sticky tires. There’s a huge range available, and not only will the extra grip help your acceleration, it will improve your cornering speeds, and reduce braking distances too.

Many modern hot hatches can take 225-wide tires, and performance RWD
cars can often take 255-wide rubber or more on the rear, so there are no excuses to run on standard-width tires!

Happy New Year everyone. If you have any questions, please post them below. We would love to learn more about your projects and upgrades.