Before I spew out information about cams, tuning and how the performance world should work, here's a little look at my background. I've spent the last 12 years building, tuning and dreaming up ways to make cars go faster. My first Mitsubishi was a four-door, boxy and not particularly pretty Galant VR-4 . The local Chicago racing scene, however, was permanently changed as this four-door terror regularly took down V-8 musclecars. On the basis of Mitsubishi 4G63 performance, I started AMS and worked on developing a line of performance products. A few years later the Evo was released and our crew of talented fabricators and mechanics turned out parts that went on every go-fast Evo in the country. My own Evo VIII became our flagship for drag racing and before long we broke the 9-second barrier and then 8s. Refinement in this setup has put our Evo VIII at 8.56 at over 170 mph! There's just something about a four-cylinder putting down over 1,000 whp that puts a smile on my face. This high-horsepower excitement prompted us to build a handful of other high-horsepower 1,000-plus-hp Evos that eventually made the cover of another publication in a 1,000hp shootout. With my mechanical engineering background and experience, I see making reliable horsepower as a challenge, a puzzle where each piece is equally as important for the complete picture to work.
A few things bother me in the current tuner industry. I see a trend where consumers have more access to cheap parts via "wholesale" Web sites, misinformation and a general outlook on performance where there's no clear means to an end. I'll have cars come in with thousands of dollars worth of useless parts making less power than a well thought-out and less expensive setup. In the end, the consumer pays twice to get it right once. I respect tuning shops and individuals who are testing and putting their time on the line to give the consumer good recommendations. Knowledge is power and the more good information you learn, the better choices you make. Sounds just like life, right? If you don't understand something or it just doesn't seem right, ask questions, read a book or ask an expert. I love writing articles because I get to share some of the information I've learned. There's nothing more I like than an educated customer and performance enthusiast.
On that note, this month's issue features the first of a series of camshaft articles that I've written. Camshafts and the theory on how they affect your vehicle's performance is complex. In my testing I'll put about 10 different camshafts on an Evo VIII test engine and see how they per form. Using some cam measuring equipment I'll correlate cam-timing events, duration and lift to the real-life dyno results. This series of articles will give you some insight into picking the right cam for your engine application and its intended use. As some of you already know, bigger isn't always better!-Martin