From Junk To Champ: Rebuilding A Swap Meet Holley 850 For Cheap

With new products being slung left and right, if you’ve got deep pockets, by all means, have at it. If you desire the industry’s latest and greatest, you better have the greenbacks to back it up. On the other hand, if you’ve only got a cheeseburger allowance (like us) to play with, then scoring a swap-meet carburetor for less then what the average tire alignment costs — you’ve scored.
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Advanced Tech: Getting to Know MSD’s Power Grid Features

MSDbug2 Racers have long coveted a universal timing controller that would allow them to seamlessly merge various ignition controls and data logging functions with different racing applications. So it was no surprise a few years back when Autotronic Controls Corporation, better known as MSD Performance, came up with that very hardware. MSD’s versatile Power Grid system was originally conceived when turbo drag cars underwent a wholesale conversion from gasoline to alcohol in search of greater performance. Boost levels quickly escalated and engine builders began switching from Digital 7 ignition boxes to Digital 8s to ensure the spark energy required for richer fuel mixtures. To retain the full programmability found on the sevens, they had to merge the two boxes, prompting MSD to consider developing a programmable Digital 8 unit. Read more
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TECH: MSD Crank Trigger Setup and Rotor Phasing

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  1. Remove mechanical advance mechanism and/or lock it out on the distributor. You should not have any advance mechanism setup in the distributor! There are different ways to disable or lock out advance mechanisms, see your distributor instructions for details.
  2. Bring the engine up to TDC on #1 Cyl on the compression stroke.
  3. Roll engine on over to approximately 30 degrees advance BTDC, or whatever base timing you’re targeting for full advance on the engine.
  4. Crank Trigger wheel should be mounted so that one of the four magnets is lined up approximately with the sensor bracket hole when it’s in the center position in it’s travel. There is only about 20 degrees of adjustment in the Sensor Bracket, so setting the trigger wheel in this fashion should give you plenty of adjustment in both directions. Also make sure the Arrow on the trigger wheel is visible, it should face out (away from the engine). Failure to do so will have the wrong polarity on the magnets and cause false triggering at higher RPMs.
  5. Install Sensor into adjustable bracket. Sensor should be centered on the trigger wheel front to back. If it isn’t, you may have to add or remove shims from the adjustable trigger mount. You should have about .050 to .080 air gap between the sensor and the trigger wheel. Avoid using less gap than .050 as any radial run out in the balancer may cause the wheel to hit the sensor. Read more
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A quick and dirty tuning explanation courtesy of Mike Frumusa of New Era Performance

300599_10152859548545273_1821621709_n I always get asked about tuning, and what do you do? You just change the air fuel ratio, and add some timing right? It’s not that simple, but I did type something very blunt and simple up a while back, that I decided to share with everyone just a fraction of what tuning a late model vehicle is. This is just the basics, I would have to write a novel to cover everything, my intent is to inform people that are just getting into the newer platforms that don’t understand. My name is Mike Frumusa, I am the owner of New Era Performance here in Rochester, NY. I also do all of the powertrain computer recalibration in my shop, otherwise known as “Tuning”. A brief description of a few of my accomplishments; I have been tuning late model GM for 10+ years. In 2008 I was hired by GM under contract as a calibrations engineer for 3 months, and they also rented my vehicle from me during this timeframe for us to do testing on a future development project. In the last 2 years I have been to Dubai, in the Middle East 5 times to work for the GM Dealership’s performance division to tune the vehicles they are modifying. I have tuned anything from a stock vehicle to a 1200 horsepower street car and race car. My business has been featured in GM High Tech Performance magazine, Fastest Street Car magazine, Chevy High Performance magazine, Popular Hot Rodding magazine, and “FUEL” by Chevrolet Performance, etc, all in the last 6 years. Read more
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Advanced Alternator Charging Systems

1 When it comes to building or working on our trucks, there’re always a few gremlins that sneak into the mix along the way. One frustrating malady is a malfunctioning or inadequate charging system. Having to jump-start your truck nearly every time you shut it down is about as aggravating a problem as you can experience. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at alternators as the foundation of a charging system, and while we’re at it, introduce you to one new and exciting product from Powermaster Motorsports that’s been designed specifically for resto- or period-style trucks: the new PowerGEN alternator. Read more
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