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New headers, is it worth it?

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Posted on May 7, 2012 9:27:25 PM PDT
To the inept saying a FJ40 can't smoke the tires with their paltry 135/145 hp, do you even know what torque is? because that's what spin the tires, and 210 lb/ft of torque (stock) is plenty to do it, even more in such a small off-roader, which also probably helps things further by having 4.10 gearing... Ignorant wiki-boy, go out and try to do something/learn something. You tried to make fun out of someone else and just showed how stupid you are.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 12:03:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2012 12:38:49 AM PDT
JackV says:
Torque is very misunderstood by people. Once you spin the tire a little, what do you think keeps the tires spinning enough to make them SMOKE? (that's the KEY word, not spin, but SMOKE)

Look up how HP is calculated before we get into more crazy posts. Hint: There's a TIME element.

Never mind that slick is talking about doing this in -2nd gear- with LARGE off road tires. His effective ratio is more like 3.50 with tires like that.

Repeating a stupid statement does not make it true. lol Hint: You might want to use your fingertips to actually learn something new.

According to you, a basic 1957 Chev (weighs about 3400lb) manual powered by a 6-cylinder with 140 HP smokes the tires in 2nd gear? Yup, I read it in a book. Inept? Well somebody for sure is.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 2:27:13 AM PDT
Well, regarding that old Volvo, yeah 15 psi is a lot. Eight psi was stock. But that car has a pretty big old Garrett T3 that could handle that much pressure, no problem. Plus, I was running a boost controller I'd pulled out of a Saab (a redbox APC) that was also tied into the knock sensor so if it pinged, not only did the ignition ECU retard the timing, but the boost controller would taper off the boost, all to keep the engine out of detonation. As I was first dialing up the boost after installing the Saab APC, I hooked up a multimeter to the O2 sensor to check stochiometric, and was rather surprised to see that it was dead nuts on even at 15 psi. So the engine was getting the proper fuel-air mixture.

Lighting up the tires in 2nd gear wasn't something I did on a regular basis. In fact, I discovered by accident that it would, and maybe repeated the bit of folly a couple more times. (I would get these visions of things, like the tranny exploding, and then seeing dollar signs go flying out the window, so I generally didn't, and still don't, thoughtlessly hotrod my equipment.) Slipping the clutch a bit so that the engine has some resistance to work against before releasing the pedal was the only way to build up the boost. Just popping the tranny into 2nd and flooring it caused the engine to fall off boost, unless it was wound out pretty tight in first gear. The car probably wasn't moving more than 10 or 15 mph the first time I broke the rear tires loose in 2nd.

Oh, I get you now. Sorry to mislead -- I wasn't taking off from a dead stop in 2nd. The car was already rolling, albeit rather slowly. I agree -- I don't know why anybody would want to abuse a drive train by popping the clutch with the gearbox in 2nd from a dead stop. Sounds like a recipe for catastrophic failure.

Heh. I'm not a big fan of smoking tires. Again, it's a dollar sign thing. But let me just say that they continued to spin until I let my foot off the gas. A few seconds is plenty good enough for me and probably burns away only a couple months worth of tread life. :) Shifting hard from first to second, I could get the rear tires to chirp, though.

But enough about my old Volvo. Regarding the OP's original question, one of you guys nailed it with the comment that headers is only one aspect of striving for more performance and does little, if any, good in isolation. I find it useful to think of an engine as basically an air pump. To improve performance, the goal is to get it to breath as great a quantity of air as possible, as quickly as possible. This requires that anything done downstream of the combustion chamber must be matched by something done upstream of it. If a motor has a restrictive air intake system, there is little in the way of exhaust enhancement that's gonna do any good. And it's my experience that the intake side -- on a carbureted vehicle at least -- is almost always more expensive to enhance than the exhaust side. New carb(s), air cleaners/filters, and intake generally will cost more than a set of headers and a hi-flow muffler. Some fuel injection system actually have quite a bit of flexibility built into them such that there may be considerable excess capacity available, but still the intake, throttle body, air cleaner, etc., must be low restriction enough to allow for the freer breathing the engine will need with a freed up exhaust system.

Can't neglect the camshaft either, if one is serious. And if one is really serious, then it's time to pull the head and do some port work, maybe even oversize valves, which can really run into the bucks, but which may only increase the hp by a few percent.

A person has to ask, "Is it worth it?" If any improved gas economy is realized at all, how many tankfuls of gas will it take before the savings in fuel have offset the cost of the upgrades? Chances are it'll be years of tankfuls before the savings would be realized. And I dunno about the OP, but the way I tend to be is, if I have that extra power, I want to use it, so the mileage will likely go south anyway!

Posted on May 8, 2012 3:22:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2012 3:29:37 AM PDT
Jack, Ruben is right. It is torque, aka the twisting force, that is most applicable when discussing things like getting the tires to break loose. Coefficients of static friction vs. kinetic friction and all. It takes that initial amount of grunt to get the tires to break loose (static friction which is always greater than kinetic friction), which is also why, once the tires are spinning, it is much easier to keep them spinning, kinetic friction requiring less force and all. There is less demand, not more, required of the engine to keep the tires spinning. So the point you seem to be trying to make that somehow hp is required for this doesn't fit the facts.

Yes, hp has a time element, but so what? Mechanical hp, aka Imperial hp, is defined as exactly 550 ft-lb per second. In other words, hp is an expression of torque over time. Thus hp is a =calculated= value, whereas torque is a =measured= value. It's true that folks seem to have a better intuitive grasp of hp vs. torque but they should get over it. There's the old racer's expression: horsepower sells cars, but torque wins races. Is it any wonder that Audi has been dominating the LeMans 24 hour race with its diesel-powered cars (with their tons of torque and flat torque curves) these past several years? Give me a car with a motor that has gobs of torque with a dead flat torque curve any day over one with a high hp number but a peaky hp curve. Which would you rather have? An engine that develops 400 ft lb of torque beginning at 2,000 rpm with a dead flat curve all the way out to, say, 5,000 rpm, or one that peaks rather sharply at 400 hp and 5,000 rpm. Give me the torquey one any day. Frankly, with a motor like that, I couldn't care less what its hp curve looked like because it's torque, not hp, getting the work done. Hp is just a way of indicating the work being done per unit of time.

To illustrate my point that hp is a calculated value, take a look at any dynamometer chart. No, take a look at several. From different engines, even. You will note that, on every chart, the hp and torque curves cross each other at exactly 5,252 rpm. Why? Because 5252 is a constant used in calculating hp from the torque that is measured, and this crossing is an artifact of the calculation. Thus hp is a derived value and always will be secondary to torque.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 9:56:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2012 10:22:04 AM PDT
JackV says:
You are both incorrect. Sure torque breaks it loose (I agreed with that in basic concept), however, HP is what keeps it going. Remember, the issue is SMOKING tires, not just breaking them loose. You almost understand it, but you are so bent on showing I'm wrong that the very underpinning of the difference is lost on you.

Imagine you are pushing a refrigerator up an incline. Does it matter how far you have to push it? IOW, will you get more or less tired the further you push. At first you grunt and it moves a little bit. Now what? You have to keep pouring ENERGY into moving the refrigerator. That's why torque alone is meaningless. It is ENERGY that counts. Yes, it's over TIME. That's the whole key you just want to dismiss. Without time, there is NO HP.

If all it took was "torque" why do we bother getting HP? Do you think your increased torque or your HP helped you when you upped the boost? When people talk 1/4 mile ETs do they talk about how much torque they have or how much HP? Does NASCAR limit HP or torque?

Please do not do cliches. Money wins races. It's a big problem that all racing bodies are trying to control. NASCAR is the most successful so far.

Of course HP is a calculated value. All the terms we use are calculated values - Including torque. HP is just one of many ways energy is measured, but torque is NOT an energy measurement, unless time is involved. Go back and read your own description - it involves TIME. You completely misunderstood the -conversion- process for ENGINES on a DYNAMOMETER. IOW, the formula is a -byproduct- of the tool used - the dynometer. It only measures torque at a certain RPM. Hence you have that conversion stuff.

Please be careful in reading articles since you missed the most important part - ENERGY measurement. For your house, it's BTUs or KWH. Any torque there? No. Here's a conversion calculator to show how you are mistaken in your dismissal of HP as being the KEY ingredient.

Look up the definition of energy to see how that's the ONLY thing that counts in moving an object. Here's a basic reference for the terminology

Here's how HP works that is pretty good I'll quote torque from there next.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 9:58:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2012 10:11:18 AM PDT
JackV says:
Here's torque

Imagine that you have a big socket wrench with a 2-foot-long handle on it, and you apply 50 pounds of force to that 2-foot handle. What you are doing is applying a torque, or turning force, of 100 pound-feet (50 pounds to a 2-foot-long handle) to the bolt. You could get the same 100 pound-feet of torque by applying 1 pound of force to the end of a 100-foot handle or 100 pounds of force to a 1-foot handle.

Similarly, if you attach a shaft to an engine, the engine can apply torque to the shaft. A dynamometer measures this torque. You can easily convert torque to horsepower by multiplying torque by rpm/5,252.


Now a single person could easily break a tire loose using a long handle. Now how would a single person keep that tire spinning? Just think for a second and you'll see why HP is the key here. RPM is TIME. That's the Minute part.

Torque is NOT work in the static sense. HP is work being performed.

Definition: Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work. Energy exists in several forms such as heat, kinetic or mechanical energy, light, potential energy, electrical, or other forms.

Definition: Work is defined (in calculus terms) as the integral of the force over a distance of displacement.

IOW, when you say " it's torque, not hp, getting the work done" that's a non sequitur. You are saying something that is nonsense. How? HP = WORK. Torque is NOT work. So you said that torque = work and that's simple not true.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 10:46:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2012 10:10:55 AM PDT
JackV says:
McBroom says " You will note that, on every chart, the hp and torque curves cross each other at exactly 5,252 rpm. Why? "

Why? Because that's simply NOT true. Consider engines that don't even get to 5,252 RPM, much less have HP and torque curves that cross there. Diesels in particular. So not every chart, just those engines that get above that RPM.

Here's a better reference yet for HP vs Torque

and this one - for example

Myth #1: Dynamometers only actually measure torque. Power is an abstract quantity that can't be measured, and must be calculated from the torque.

This belief is false

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 5:42:00 PM PDT
JackV says:> Money wins races. It's a big problem ... NASCAR is the most successful so far. <

One way Nascar did that was to slow down innovation and keep the engines in the front. The most important thing for that spectacle is that the cars look like the cars drove to the track by the paying customers.

Until recently Nascar was based on a design by Holman Moody from the 1966 Ford Fairlane. The primary design considerations were, safety, performance, competition, and cost efficiency for teams, not ultimate handling, acceleration, braking and lap times like you might expect from Formula One.

The Birth of NASCAR

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2012 8:17:55 PM PDT
JackV says:
Nascar vehicles have been far removed from street cars for quite some time. The cars ended up NOT looking like the cars one drove to the track because they ALL had the SAME template. Yup, all the windshields slant the same angle, etc. A Chev, Dodge and Ford are all technically identical from frame to body.

They are NOT based on a design by Holman Moody from the 1966 Ford Fairlane for a long time. If that book says that, get your money back. That's about the most incorrect statement I've read in a long time. Have you ever seen a Nascar car close up?? Of course not or you'd never have said that. It's a TUBE FRAME car.

Does THIS look like a 1966 Ford Fairlane?

They are finally letting some freedom back into the actual style to more closely resemble real cars by letting up on the template specification.

And they are finally adding fuel injection.

Comparisons to F1 are meaningless as it is to compare them to any special class of racers. It's all about fun to watch - although I only like the road races.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 1:02:50 AM PDT
SpiderWebb says:
JV> Very good info! THX! A perfect blend of layman's language and technical info that should be understandable by anyone with a solid mechanical background mixed with good basic math/physics skills.

I've always heard that a slightly over square engine gives the best of both worlds and have always wondered why. After reading those articles, I'm have a better understanding today than I did yesterday. I encourage everyone to take the time to read and digest the material presented.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 2:42:57 PM PDT
C. Hallowell says:
It's all good Ruben -- I've been stringing a fool along for almost 2 weeks -- The whole deal about smoking the tires on my modified FJ-40 was put there as a trap for a know-it-all -- IT'S IMPOSSIBLE to prove one way or the other without witnessing the attempt, and the fool wasn't there.

However -- the fool is correct in regards to a STOCK 1974 FJ-40 -- you can't even chirp the tires going into 2nd gear on a stocker.

My FJ-40 was at the stock cam's limit -- there was no place else to get more torque OR more power. I just kept lowering the weight with lighter springs, fiberglas seats, etc. I eventually hung a one-piece fiberglas front clip (nose, hood, fenders) that tilted forward on there before I sold it.
Thanks for your interest.;>)

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 4:20:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2012 4:22:22 PM PDT
2006 is not a long time ago for a forty-year-old design. The quote was "On January 11, 2006, NASCAR announced the Car of Tomorrow. The then-current cars (2006) were based on a design by Holman Moody first used for the 1966 Ford Fairlane. The point is racing cars were mid-engine by 1962. But Nascar was based on a then obsolete design that it kept forever, to keep the fans happy.

NASCAR For Dummies

JackV says:> Does THIS look like a 1966 Ford Fairlane?

Yes it does, engine in the front. Four wheels and a steering wheel. It sure does not look like a McLearn.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 7:52:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2012 8:59:42 PM PDT
JackV says:
Goldie, you are too much. First of all, 2006 is SIX years ago, is hardly "recently". Would you say that about F1? You know that's an eternity for F1 - well maybe you wouldn't know. That tube frame I linked to is more or less current. Now go back to 1966 and find me a TUBE FRAME Nascar car that is built from -SCRATCH- (not a modified stock frame) like they have been for some time.

True they started with the mods then, but it's nothing like what that looked like. It's similar to saying cars today are BASED on the Model-T or that airplanes of today are BASED on the one built by the Wright Brothers. That's actually true, but is it a realistic statement? That's the point here.

Sorry, but in this case you got very misled by wiki info. Remember, ANYBODY can type data into wiki and sometimes it is not very accurate or biased via interpretation as YOU just did.

It's a stretch to compare this to an actual 1966 Ford Fairlane. You'd have to see both the 1966 version and the current version to realize the mismatch here. In 1966 we had a partially fabricated chassis from a REAL stock car, NOT a FULL 100% built chassis with nothing from a stock car. Plus there were LOTS of other modification -since- 1966 that have absolutely nothing to do with stock models.

It was a slow but steady change, from dropping real bumpers to modifying the actual body angles (cheating actually - that's why the templates were introduced) - just like anything else. So sure, I agree, just like a Model-T is like today's Ford - with minor changes.

IOW whereas the 1966 era had cars that started with stock components, today Nascar cars have nothing in common with how a street car is made, except maybe some body panels and even those are modified.

Never heard of a Mclearn. It also doesn't look like a 787.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 7:56:06 PM PDT
JackV says:
Yup, slik has been stringing me along for 2 weeks. I mean, how would I know that him posting that about the 4-barrel and headers and all that BEFORE I even came along was just to string me along.

He's such a clever devil knowing that I would post AFTER his post. Well, that's settled then, he can't smoke his tires in 2nd gear :)

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 11:45:47 PM PDT
JackV says:> Never heard of a Mclearn. It also doesn't look like a 787.<

McLaren Automotive

I guess you did not learn to read using phonics or take a speed reading course. A few letters moved around does not make a Ford Fairlane into a sports car.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2012 11:56:06 PM PDT
JackV says:> in this case you got very misled by wiki info. Remember, ANYBODY can type data into wiki. <

Wikipedia is a collaborative project. You are welcome to make corrections, but you will have to back them up with documented facts. Something that personal opinion is unable to do. If it is wrong, fix it. Otherwise we will assume you approve.

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 12:06:42 AM PDT
JackV says:> It's a TUBE FRAME car.

Does THIS look like a 1966 Ford Fairlane?

Yes it does. There was a very beautiful car made on a space frame back then, called a Mantaray. It does not look anything like a Ford Fairlane with its skin off.
Your reply to -oo0(GoldTrader)0oo-'s post:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:45:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 9:59:50 AM PDT
JackV says:
" Never heard of a Mclearn" Ever heard of making FUN of somebody? Dense

Wiki makes mistakes many times. This is one of the big failings with a collaborative effort - somebody has to check the work and make sure it's not biased or misleading. Obviously you were and are misled by inferring that a 1966 MODIFIED Ford Fairline has any resemblance to "recent" Nascar vehicles.

Next, I'm sure you will somehow post something about "middies" and how a 914 is the best car one could have bought for under $25,000. Remember that one? And you still insisted that was true even after I showed you the types of vehicles available at the price point. Then you got some 914 forum "friends" to post here and so on and so forth.

Never ending (btw, negative logic is not logical. Prove that you didn't kill that squirrel or else it must be true - such a naive way of thinking - again.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 10:18:37 AM PDT
JackV says:
Yes it really looks just like a 1966 Ford Fairlane. Even though it was started in 1963. Amazing

Let's see if anyone else will see the resemblance between the 2 engineering styles - look closely or you'll miss the similarity.

Current Nascar chassis

Mantaray chassis

Well they both use tubes and tires and a steering wheel. Yes, they are identical. Obviously.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 10:58:00 AM PDT
JackV says:
Some real NASCAR history frame evolution vs that strange goldie interpretation.

" H&M Galaxies through 1966 were modified stock frame vehicles (stock, as in they rolled off of a UAW assembly line in Norfolk Virginia). In 1966, Ford boycotted the Grand National series as a result of NASCAR's refusal to let the 427 SOHC engine run without a weight penalty. To lure Ford teams back, Bill France allowed H&M to fit unit-body Fairlanes (intermediate cars smaller in size to full sized Galaxies) with the front portion of a 1965-66 Galaxie frame. This permitted Ford teams to more easily run big block power plants--since the normally instrusive shock towers that Fairlanes featured were eliminated. The different suspension set up used in the Galaxie line was also a plus over the Fairlane set up. The new half Galaxie/half unit body cars came to be called "half chassis" cars. They were used through 1971. In 1972 full frames came back in to use in the Torino line. Banjo Matthews and Dick Hutcherson began building chassis when H&M went belly up. Their chassis still employed 1965-66 style Galaxie "rear steer" components. During the seventies stock side rails were still required. By the eighties, Ford frames were fully fabricated---but they basically retained the 1965-66 Galaxie geometry that Ralph Moody perfected. When Bill Elliott was awesome in the mid eighties, he was basically racing a re-skinned 1965-66 H&M Galaxie (albeit, one fitted with Chevry truck styule trailing arms, of course). "

You can read the discussion here - it's more or less as I recall the evolution of the frames - 1966 was nothing like the later tube-frame cars.

Wiki reference is plainly incorrect in using the "based" inference about 1966 Ford Fairlane. Unless one thinks that a current Ford is based on a Model-T.

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*blank stare* #nerdreply
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