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Las Vegas Convention Center - Bigger Is Better

SEMA 2003

Robert Choo
Mar 1, 2004
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Turp_0403_02_z+las_vegas_convention_center+ts_logo Photo 1/1   |   Las Vegas Convention Center - Bigger Is Better

As a tech editor, there's no show more exciting than the annual SEMA convention in Las Vegas, Nev. At SEMA, manufacturers from across the globe display their latest creations. This year, there where more than 1,600 vendors and 8,000-plus booths displaying products throughout the entire Las Vegas Convention Center. The show spans four days and it took us all four days to check out each and every booth for new goodies.

There are items ranging from mobile electronics to racing and performance products. There's amazing stuff on display for either domestic lovers or sport compact enthusiasts.

This year was no exception. I was particularly amazed with the Magnaflow booth, a company which will soon introduce a line-up of titanium exhaust systems. Normally found on JDM systems, the Magnaflow Ti-exhaust line-up utilizes a slip-fit design with high-tension exhaust springs holding the piece together. It's extremely lightweight because no exhaust flanges, nuts and bolts are needed. We can't wait to test one for the magazine.

Breslin Performance Products had a small booth, but the company had an amazing product. Breslin designed the first true self-contained mechanical-locking fastener-Split-lock. The Split-lock fastener utilizes a unique design with the tip of the fastener incorporating a split-tip design. Tightening the hex key threaded in the middle of the fastener forces the split tip to expand, locking the fastener in place. To remove the system, just loosen the hex key and take out the fastener. There's no need to use thread sealant or lock washers any longer-perfect for turbochargers and manifolds. At the time, Breslin only had a few sizes and thread pitches available, but the company is hard at work manufacturing new sizes and thread pitches to fill its metric line-up.

Last-but not least-on the wow list was TurboXS's Nintendo Gameboy Advance. The company has found a way to tune the TurboXS UTEC computer using a Gameboy. The LCD screen on the Gameboy can display all the information found in the UTEC and you can tune it directly from the Gameboy. Navigating and tuning the system isn't as easy as doing it on a laptop, but it's creative. Instead of bringing a cumbersome laptop to the track to fine-tune your car, you can whip out your Gameboy and do the same. And if your girlfriend gets bored, just hand her the Gameboy for some Bust-a-move or Tetris.

The three companies I previewed represent a mere taste of what was at the SEMA Show. Stay tuned as we test out some of the thousands of new products from the show in Turbo.

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By Robert Choo
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