In vehicle performance upgrades, there’s the tendency to first upgrade parts that bring in the most power. These are the engine internals, with pistons, connecting rods and crankshafts making up the majority of changes. What is often overlooked are the finer details. Parts that are necessary and contribute to the gains from bigger components. This includes items like piston rings, gaskets, bearings, gaskets, girdle plates, and valve springs. Each has a crucial role in the production of cars. For performance vehicles and any intended upgrades more so. They may not be responsible for overall power, but are the links in getting there.
What are Piston Pins?
Piston pins go by a few names -wrist or gudgeon pins. They’re the engine parts consisting of hardened metal connecting the pistons with the connecting rods. They resemble hollowed-out rods (to keep the weight down) that slot into the top end of the conrod and the opening in the piston skirt. They provide bearing support for the connecting rods, as the pistons make their way through each engine cycle. In production cars, wrist pins are sourced in adequate thickness, strength and hardness to effectively cancel out the forces and temperatures acting on them as the piston moves through the cylinder bore. A damaged or cracked piston pin can cause engine seizure and catastrophic engine failure.
In production engines, when you start tampering with horsepower figures, and in effect increase forces throughout, there’s a greater chance of piston pin failure. Performance piston pins are therefore made of tougher materials, often coated and in greater thickness. They’ll also have different methods by which they connect the conrod and piston. Piston pins can be sold on their own, or packaged with pistons and engine rebuild kits.
Types of Piston Pins
There are three types of piston pins -fixed, semi-floating and full-floating. These differ in design and how they connect the pistons to the connecting rods.
Fixed or anchored piston pins pivot freely in the top end of the connecting rod, and are connected to the piston skirts by way of a bushing. The piston locks the pin in place with screws that go through the pin bosses. These types of pins are generally found in industrial engines and rarely in any performance upgrades because of the likelihood of increased wear in the contact points.
Semi-floating pins are those that are secured in the midsection of the connecting rod. The ends of the pins are chamfered to allow for free movement in the bearing in the piston bosses. Securing the pin to the connecting rod is often done by press-fitting, or heating the conrod top-end, during which it expands and the pin is pressed into place. This is the type of pin found mostly in production engines.
Full-floating piston pins float freely in the conrod top ends and the piston bosses. Different types of spring-loaded locks (circlips) lock the pin in place. This may also be achieved by buttons placed on either end of the piston bosses, and in effect centre, the pin in the cylinder bore, and provide for even loads in all cycles. This is what is found in newer engines and is the preferred choice in engine upgrades. as they allow for easy removal and installation.
When it comes to transferring the energy from the pistons to the crankshaft, piston pins have a pivotal role. Performance pins differ in materials, designs, weight and overall thickness from those found in production engines. The choice of materials, and how these are treated determine crucial factors in the performance of every gudgeon pin. Generally, pins are made from steel or steel alloys in what is known as carburising or case hardening. This improves stiffness and reduces wear by adding trace amounts of manganese, nickel and chromium. Further hardening can be carried out with nitride treatment, where the addition of chromium, aluminium or titanium, increases the stresses the pin can take before galling sets in. The same treatment is often applied to crankshafts where inherent strength and rigidity determine rotational speed and stiffness. This is in extreme loads, and higher RPMs. Treated pins will always outperform those that are left without.
Varying levels of stiffness can be achieved through experimentation with wall thicknesses, especially in motorsport where combinations of other metals and alloys, besides steel, have produced interesting results. Wear from excessive friction can be minimised with DLC or Diamond-like Coatings both to the piston bosses and bushings and conrod top ends.
What Makes a Quality Piston Pin?
Any damage to piston pins is a recipe for costly and irrevocable repairs, usually requiring the replacement of the whole engine. Piston pins, therefore need to have enough strength and flexibility to carry the loads at all engine speeds. Those that have been heat-treated and coated serve this purpose better. Pins also need to be precisely machined to the dimensions of the piston bosses, to reduce the likelihood of play and allow for optimal levels of lubrication. For performance pins, lighter is always better (without sacrificing strength). And where there are higher loads, as in upgraded or performance engines, pins that are easily serviced would prove beneficial and save time.
Of the seemingly limitless number of custom bolt-ons a person can add to a car, only 2 can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, yet still have the ability to change every aspect of how a car looks and handles … and maybe it’s no coincidence that they’re both round. You can swap on a new set of rims and tyres ( … an eye-watering costly proposition), or, you can just swap in a new steering wheel.
Are you basking in the glory of your new car? It’s quite a milestone for you since you’ve always wanted to have your own. Now that you’ve achieved that, the excitement is through the roof and you just can’t wait to take it out for a spin. But before you do that, you want to equip it with all the practical and useful car accessories necessary to ensure that it keeps running for a long time.Read More
Roof racks are among the most useful accessories a person could install on a car. A lot of people seem to be aware of them, but relatively few have roof racks installed on their cars, and those that do have them are staunch supporters. It’s undeniable that roof racks can improve your trip, even off-road ones, which is why we’re talking about them today. They’re incredibly useful in many different ways that most people don’t seem to be aware of, and once they install them on their car, they immediately understand why they’re so good.
The more you drive your car the more it gets worn down and less sturdy than it once was. This is an inevitable process no matter if you drive your car or if you just let it sit in the garage most of the time. One thing that becomes more and more prominent as the years go by is noise. At first, when you get a new car, noises are only there when you put your vehicle’s engine to the test or when your car displays a warning.
As time goes by more and more noises start to appear such as wind noise especially when driving on the motorway. But with a little bit of effort and time, this can easily be sorted by installing acoustic car mats. Just as you would install an aluminised exhaust system or a new suspension you should consider installing some soundproofing mats. This way you will keep outer noises from making your driving experience less enjoyable.
How to Install Soundproof Insulation in Car
1. When installing mats you always need to start with the floor Since I was first starting out in the car insulation business there was always one simple solution to sound deaden your car with – mats. Acoustic matting for cars has always been the go-to for many customers including myself.
2. The floor of your car is the closest surface to the road which is where most of the outside noise comes from. I would advise you to start from the floor too but just make sure you remove everything from it so that only bare metal is all that’s left.
3. With everything stripped from your car, take the acoustic matting and cut it according to the area you want to cover. What I do is start with the largest areas first and the most difficult corners so that when I’m done the easy part is all that is left. Measure the area you want to cover up and then cut enough matting so that there is no metal visible when you match it.
4. The same should be done with the doors which are the second most popular area in your car that gets lined with acoustic matting for cars. I cannot stress how much wind noise can enter through the doors as well as windows but you can’t mat up the windows. When it comes to the doors I would suggest you first disconnect the battery terminals before you start stripping the doors.
5. Since there are electrical plugs once you get past the door panel, disconnecting them with the battery still on can create some issues. Again once everything is removed and you can see the bare metal body of your vehicle, measure well and cut up some acoustic lining or mats. Install them by applying firm pressure on the mats with your hands or a squeegee so that no air bubbles are present.
6. The last place where you can install any sort of car acoustic insulation, not just mats, is the roof. I would leave the roof last since there is not as much noise coming from it. You can only really notice noise coming from the roof when travelling at high speeds.
7. Lining the roof with car acoustic insulation is not as easy, since gravity is working against you. Here you should know to take your time and not get aggravated when things are working against you. Just take it easy and you’ll finish insulating your roof before you even know it.
Other Things You Can do To Make Your Car Quieter
The next best thing I would suggest you do after installing some car acoustic insulation is to check the tires. Tires can create a lot of road noise, especially ones that don’t have the adequate amount of air in them. If your tires are worn out replace them but if they’re not and you have them filled with the right amount of air then consider upgrading them. A set of tires made with a higher profile, made from a softer and more durable material are going to reduce road noise drastically.
Sometimes other more serious issues can arise which can be the cause for noise when driving your car. This issue mainly has to do with the engine which is why you should inspect your engine on a regular basis and especially when you hear noises coming from it. Even if it’s not an engine-related component causing the noise yous should still check if the engine is running right.
Proper and regular maintenance is needed for many other reasons than just noise. Regularly taking your vehicle to a local mechanic to check on its most essential systems, especially if its an older vehicle, is a must. This will also help you save some time and money on bigger issues since you will be able to get rid of them on time instead of waiting for them to become more serious.
With the speed at which we live our lives in the 21st century, we spend more and more time in our cars. They have become an even bigger part of our lives, which is why it’s wise to get some car accessories that will make the entire car experience that much better. I’ve already covered a shopping guide for accessories for the Range Rover, but now we feel it’s time to discuss car accessories in general.
There are plenty of choices when you’re car accessories shopping out there. They can range from minor to major, from expensive to affordable, but the thing to keep in mind is choosing one that works best with your driving style and vehicle. Make sure to not go overboard with accessories because you don’t want your vehicle to become a cluttering zone.
With modern cars becoming more and more powerful, sometimes it might feel like we’re pressured to drive a bit faster than we should. However, that is definitely not safe and should be avoided whenever possible, although that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared if that happens, just in case. A radar detector is one of the most underrated auto accessories out there because it tells you if the police are nearby in order to slow down a bit in case you were driving over the limit. However, when you’re car accessories shopping you should keep in mind that the low-end devices tend to have a lot of false positives, which can definitely ruin the entire experience, so make sure to invest in a good and reliable radar detector.
While not a typical car accessory in the regular sense of the world, investing in a good flashlight can save you from heaps of trouble. Flashlights can be used both in and out of the car because you never know when you’re going to need that extra light. For example, if you’re looking for something in the boot, then a flashlight will do wonders. Also, if you happen to stop somewhere during the night and have to offer assistance, then you’d want nothing more than a flashlight by your side. There are tons of flashlights to choose from, so make sure to not go for the cheapest option because you’d definitely want a reliable option.
Cars aren’t always the cleanest of places. That doesn’t mean that they’re automatically filthy, but they do attract a lot of unwanted particles and debris, such as mud, dust, pet hair, and leaves. On top of that, a lot of people just don’t have the time to regularly clean their cars at home. Also, home vacuum cleaners tend to bulky and not ideal for cleaning cars. That’s why you should invest in a car vacuum, which is typically quite small and ideal for cleaning out the nooks and crannies of cars, which are typically places where most filth accumulates. Couple that with a few attachments for the vacuum, and your car will never be that dirty again.
Heated Seat Cushion
Most people have a misconception that automotive accessories need to be flashy or to somehow improve the performance of the car. However, something that’s equally important, and in some cases more so, is the driver’s comfort. While some cars have an add-on that you can get before purchasing it, there are plenty of significantly more affordable aftermarket accessories in the form of heated seat cushions. They provide the much-needed lumbar support plenty that plenty of car seats lack, and they can get the temperature regulated with no hassle. It’s something that a lot of people neglect, but heated seat cushions can make a big difference in comfort.
Parking in a very crowded parking lot to shop, only to lose the car afterwards is something that has happened to everyone at least once. It’s nothing shameful at all, but there is an alternative that can make such trips significantly easier. Car finders are Bluetooth devices that are linked to both your car and your phone, and they can track your car’s location with only the press of a button. On top of that, there are a lot of car finders that also have an added accessory that can charge your phone via USB, making these an exceptionally useful car accessory in general.
Keys are even easier to lose than the whole car. They can get lost in furniture, somewhere in the clutter, possibly in the laundry, or maybe in some pocket that you might have forgotten about. Key finders are little tags that are added to the keychain that operate via Bluetooth. They’re very lightweight, and many of those come in stylish designs that won’t look out of place beside your key at all. They’re very easy to use, too.
Dash cams have steadily grown in popularity throughout recent years. There is something very satisfying to know exactly what has happened on the drive, and in some cases, it might even be a lifesaver. Dash cams have evolved to be able to record in 4K resolution, and transferring the video files over to PC is incredibly easy. They typically use magnetic pads to secure them on the dashboard, and they regularly have GPS and speed tracking in order to always correctly have all of the necessary information on hand.
Mitsubishi have a long history in the Australian car market. With the Adelaide plant beginning production in 1980, the company churned out popular models like the Sigma, Colt, and Magna. And though it has faced the fate of all local car producers, Mitsubishi is still going strong in Australia, with models like the Triton selling by the bucketload, consistently figuring in the top 10 models sold in 2021. The shift to SUVs and utes comes at the expense of mid-size sedans and small hatchbacks, marking a global trend well suited to the Australian terrain and our driving habits. Utes, in this sense, have proven to be both versatile and rugged, either as work vehicles, family cars (especially dual-cab models), or recreational vehicles up to the task of tackling difficult terrain.
Protecting Your 4WD
If you’re venturing off-road, bear in mind to equip your vehicle with the goodies that will protect you and your 4WD in any situation. Added vehicle protection and any modifications, like the exhaust will give you the confidence to tackle any terrain without worrying about potential damage. Let’s take a detailed look into the types of protective equipment you can fit your Triton or any 4WD you choose.
Essential front-end protection comes in the form of bull bars. Bull bars come in various shapes and sizes, for various driving conditions, and a wide range of materials and finishes to best suit your needs and budget. Finding the right triton mq bullbar will be easier once I go through each type.
Bumper bars offer aesthetic appeal to your vehicle while adding a little more protection over your stock bumper. They are relatively cheap, easy to install, and suited for daily driving on sealed roads.
Nudge bars can be added to bumper bars for additional front-end protection to radiator grilles in minor collisions. They are low-weight, easily installed bars, ideal for avoiding dents or scratches in city driving.
Single hoop bull bars have a single hoop covering the radiator grille, while still showcasing the rest of the vehicle. They are robust enough to protect from collision with smaller animals or potential damage from dirt and debris when off-roading. Though heavier and a bit more expensive than nudge bars, they’re the bar to have if you intend to do any serious off-roading.
Triple hoop bull bars, like the single hoop variant, feature added hoops for protecting front lights. Triple hoops cover more of your 4WD and offer added protection, and mounting points for extras, like fog lights and H-brackets. This is handy in extreme technical off-roading and gives you versatility if you use your 4WD for work.
Both single hoop and triple hoop bull bars are sold as winch compatible variants, which can come in handy if you plan to install a winch.
Materials in Bull Bars
Bull bars are made of different materials, each having its pros and cons. Most traditional bull bars are made of steel, as it is often seen as the most robust choice, able to withstand impact at higher speed. Steel bars require little maintenance, provide good weather resistance, and most have coat sprays that protect from rust and moisture. However, steel bars are heavy and may require changes to your front suspension to cater to the load. This is especially important to avoid top-heavy steering which might get you into trouble on more technical terrain.
Lighter, but generally more expensive options are available in the form of aluminium bull bars. Aluminium offers similar rigidity to steel bars, especially with advancements in tubing and welding, but is yet to pick up in popularity. Aluminium bull bars also lack the weather resistance of steel and may stain over time.
More recent bull bars are made of plastic. But plastic lacks the overall strength of both steel and aluminium bars. They are extremely light, and ideal for city driving conditions with a high frequency of pedestrians.
Choose the material that best suits your driving needs and consider where you’ll be driving.
Driving with Bull Bars
Bull bars definitely give your vehicle a go-anywhere look. However, keep in mind that they may affect how your 4WD drives. With the added weight, especially of larger steel bull bars fitted with a winch, you might need to change your stock suspension to stiffer struts and springs. Weight will also mean that your fuel consumption will be slightly higher. Heavier vehicles may need additional changes, like higher-rated brakes. All this comes at a cost.
Installing and Buying a Bull Bar
When outfitting your Triton, you can accessorise it with a wide range of add-ons, including bull bars. This can be pricey, both for parts and labour. Genuine factory bull bars may cost a few thousand, though you do get genuine, brand-name bars and a professional fit, compliant with Australian driving safety regulations.
If you’re buying aftermarket, you have the choice to fit bull bars yourself or by a pro. Most opt for the second choice, as fitting may require drilling, changes to wiring, or complicated work most of us don’t have time and skills for. Aftermarket bull bars are typically cheaper, available for a variety of vehicles, and are built to a high standard. Some come with rated tow points and brackets for extras like high lift jacks. If you’re set to do the work yourself, bear in mind that some models may not include installation details.
Stores selling gear for 4WDs will have brand-name and aftermarket models in stock. Here, you’ll also find towing and recovery equipment for serious off-roading, and more general items like camping gear. When buying bull bars, compare prices online, and go to your nearest workshop or dealership for installation.
I mentioned that most bull bars are compatible with winches. Look for models that suit your make and model. You can also fit additional spotlights and antennas to bull bars using clamp brackets that slide along the tubing, allowing you to place them where you want. These accessories come in handy when driving at night, or in places with poor reception.
For added protection, you might also consider fitting a rear bar to your Triton. To complete the look, aftermarket body kits containing fender flares, bonnet scoops, or headlight trims can keep your car clean, while also protecting it from flying debris.
The world of auto manufacturers and auto accessories is a big part of the world’s economy and with more and more cars being made it’s only becoming bigger. Something that is also big in the automotive world is the Range Rover Sport – a luxury SUV, which as time passes, gets more functionality thanks to more and more accessories being made for the model. This is expected since the Sport is a 4WD vehicle that can become off-road capable, and the world of aftermarket accessories is full of accessories for 4WD vehicles.
Most of us are oblivious about the importance of car safety until an accident happens. Then it’s too late to take any action, which is why we need to make sure we act beforehand and ensure our car is in top shape. But there are so many aspects of improving vehicle safety that some car owners feel overwhelmed. The obvious priority is to check vital car parts on a regular basis. Road safety easily translates into the passenger cabin as well. Some consider drivers comfort as an important safety factor, while protection of passengers in case of collision is also up there. And these days, cars get advanced technology with safety features designed to make life easier for everyone. This doesn’t mean that you can forget about car maintenance chores and regular replacement of parts.
A motorcycle is a type of transportation mean that’s hard not to love. They are appealing, sexy and can take you almost anywhere you want. That’s why making the driving experience as comfy as possible is one of the main things bikers want to do. Except for taking good care of it and maintaining it on a regular basis, having a storage space aka ‘motorbike trunk’ is another required thing. Without a doubt, travelling on two wheels is fast and one of the most exciting and fun ways to get somewhere. But to truly enjoy the experience, you’ll need to buy motorcycle luggage.
Do you want to get more power from your ride? Installing a new 4×4 exhaust system on your vehicle is one of the easiest upgrades you can make to get better power and improved fuel economy. It is a simple process which can be done with the help of a few simple tools in your driveway in about one or two hours. In other words, diesel engines and 4×4 go well together like coffee and cigarettes.
There are aftermarket exhausts on the market that can help you make your vehicle great again. For this very reason, in this article, we will take a look at some of the benefits of installing 4×4 exhausts.
Improved Power and Torque
The quicker the exhaust gases escape, the more power and torque your engine will produce. How quickly the exhaust gases escape is directly related to how much restriction there is in the factory exhaust. The larger the diameter of the exhaust, the easier the gases can spool up and the more boost it can produce. Installing a larger diameter exhaust will allow for quicker take-offs as well as for better over-taking power.
Better Fuel Economy
Factory exhaust systems are very restrictive. That is because manufacturers are more focused on making whisper-quiet vehicles that suit new vehicle buyers. That means, they clog the exhaust to make it quiet, but it also usually causes the engine to end up working harder to get rid of the exhaust gases. Aftermarket 4×4 exhausts free up the engine and prevent it from clogging, which, in turn, improves fuel economy.
One of the main causes of over-heating exhausts is excessive exhaust gas temperatures. When the exhaust is relatively restrictive (as almost all factory exhausts are), it’s difficult to get those hot exhaust gases away from the engine. A larger diameter exhaust is designed with mandrel bends that allow the exhaust gases to flow out of the system a lot quicker. Keep in mind that mandrel bends are a sign of a quality exhaust that has been designed well. Mandrel bends refer to an exhaust that has had its curves bent in a special way that prevents the exhaust pipe from crushing in as its bent. In other words, there’s no change in the internal diameter of the exhaust pipe, which otherwise could create unnecessary restriction and impact the vehicle’s power and fuel economy.
Traveling on hot summer days can be quite the challenge even for proud RV owners who are headed out of the concrete jungle. Although you may not be able to have the perks you so much love at home, you can easily make adventuring with your RV unforgettable. I am not talking about taking with you bulky pieces of equipment and gadgets but portable devices that will make life on the road safer, cleaner and more convenient. Here are some of my suggestions.Read More