It doesn't matter whether you're into racing, shows or just plain cruising; you love parts. The newest stuff and the latest trends are all that excite you and garner your interest. When a new carbon-fiber interior piece, cold-air intake design or tuned exhaust hits the market, you're already sitting pretty at the top of the waiting list. But, innovations that are instantly recognizable today weren't always so. Carbon Kevlar seats, forged magnesium wheels, titanium exhaust systems and remote reservoir shock absorbers were not born on the streets, they came from the racing world. Hell, even drop-in air filters had to start from somewhere.
There once was a time when nobody thought to incorporate carbon fiber into the automotive world, that is, until one fierce race car took innovation to a whole new level. In our own bent dedication to outright speed, we've begun to mix race and street with positive results. Cars are getting faster and more reliable thanks to the pioneering efforts of experimental race teams. So, in an effort to lead the way towards new trends and cool products, we've called upon our closest allies in the racing world to bring you a taste of what exists out in the real world.
Flush Mount Hood Pins
Taking hood pins to the next level, AeroCatch's flush mount design allows the greatest combination of aerodynamic efficiency, security and looks. Available in both regular and locking versions, these pins can also function vertically as lockable body panel fasteners. The plus version has the pins' edging sitting on top of the hood, while the standard version features a recessed edge so that the face of the pins will be flush with the hood surface. AeroCatch Plus is pictured. Measurements and diagrams are included, but beware; cutting the shape out for the pins is not an easy task.
Buy: Coast Fabrication
Brembo GTR Brake Kit
For the ultimate in streetable racing brakes, Brembo offers their GTR big brake kit. These kits feature the standard high-performance brake pads and monstrous two-piece brake rotors, but the biggest difference lies in the calipers. These forged monoblock beauties are stronger and lighter than even the Brembo Gran Turismo design, and feature multiple ventilated titanium piston inserts inside each caliper. Expect to pay a hefty price to be able to call these brakes your own, and you'll still need equally monstrous wheels to cover these brakes.
Who: Adel Wiggins Tube Connectors
For the ultimate in clamping and holding power, such as in high-horsepower or big boost applications, forget about using worm clamps and rubber hose. Guaranteed to hold up to more than 125psi and proven in numerous turbocharged drag cars, the Wiggins clamp uses a simple latch design to clamp down a sleeve over two o-ringed weld ferrules. The Wiggins ferrule ends are designed to be welded onto two separate hard pipes, which are then clamped together inside the sleeve. Slipping this clamp over a standard rubber hose and closing the latch will not function correctly, so be sure to brush up on your welding skills.
Buy: Burns Stainless
Lightweight Racing Batteries
Who: Odyssey, Buddy Club, Braille Auto
The key to going fast, turning harder and stopping shorter is to reduce weight. Every race car seeks to loose excess pounds wherever possible, and a smaller, lightweight battery is often a great solution. We've experienced some of these batteries in daily driven cars and have had zero problems with the maintenance of the smaller unit. Many of these batteries also feature sealed dry cell designs so that they can be installed vertically or horizontally on their sides.
Buy: Buddy Club
Gold Heat Reflective Film
Who: C&R Racing
Used in Formula One and Champ Car racing, this gold foil film is able to survive at up to 675-degrees Fahrenheit, reflects 78 percent of all radiant heat and is formable to almost any surface. The foil is commonly used to cover intake manifolds, firewalls and the underside of many hoods. Pictured on the bottom of the dry carbon hood from RS*R's Formula Drift Honda S2000. Beware of the different types of gold foil however, higher quality flameproof foil has a white backside, lower grade foil, that has clear grey backing, can actually light on fire.
Buy: Enjuku Racing
Mil-Spec Tefzel Insulated Wiring
Designed to withstand temperatures of up to 302-degrees Fahrenheit, this weather resistant aircraft-grade wiring is some of the strongest and lightest wiring that you can use to create a harness, ground cables or run near engines. Each copper strand in the wire is tin plated to resist corrosion and can conduct up to 600V. The wiring uses an incredibly strong Tefzel jacket, which means that you won't be able to strip this cabling without damaging the wire inside. A wire stripper specific to this type of cabling is also available for sale from Pegasus Auto Racing.
Buy: Pegasus Auto Racing
Magnetic Debris Collector Plug
Who: Allen Racing
Think again before you casually assume that this is just another knock-off magnetic drain plug. Allen Racing's FC-6/FC-8S aerospace grade plug is precision machined and features factory holes for safety wire rigging. It comes in a variety of sizes and can be used as a replacement or auxiliary plug. The plug is inserted into the oil of your choice (engine oil, transmission oil, differential fluid) and is spring-loaded so that when you unscrew the magnetic inner plug, a plunger stops any fluid from escaping. Perfect for checking for metal shavings in a transmission without having to drain any fluid. If used as an auxiliary plug, expect to drill and tap your own threads. Withstands up to 150psi.
Buy: Allen Racing Products
BSCI Roll Cage Padding
As one of the leading designers of energy impact systems, BSCI has virtually created the premier roll cage padding design. Self-extinguishing and melt-resistant, this padding meets the SFI 45.1 safety standards. When it comes to safety and your life, why cut corners? The cost is significantly more than "normal" padding, but your head will thank you after an accident.
Buy: Baker Precision
Digital Dash Display
Who: Racepak, AiM, Stack
For the ultimate integration between information and looks, don't run 25 different gauges along the dashboard; get a digital dash display system. These digital dashes incorporate virtually every gauge you could ever want into one small display that replaces your stock gauge cluster and also features an easier to read backlit face, lap timer or digital tachometer. Expect to spend plenty of time custom wiring these displays together since no application specific units exist.
Quick Ratio Steering Column
Who: L&E Fabrication
One of the largest differences in response between a F1 car and a big rig truck is steering response. Much like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Honda S2000, quick steering leads to more immediate response and a more direct feeling. L&E Fabrication takes a stock steering column, modifies it with a 1.5:1 quick steering coupler and then returns the core to the purchaser. L&E is pictured on top, stock is on the bottom. One turn of the steering wheel is then multiplied to 1.5 turns of the column. WRX applications go down to two turns lock-to-lock, as proven in L&E's open class rally car. Applications available for many cars, perfect for drifting as well.
Buy: L&E Fabrication
Silicone Hose Ducting
This orange silicone hose is commonly used by race teams to funnel air for cooling brakes, to feed oil coolers or for intake ducting. Good to 500-degrees Fahrenheit, the tubing is also available in lower temp, 300-degree black neoprene. The two-ply tubing is reinforced with a metal internal spiral, adding to its ability to resist imploding under vacuum when used as intake tubing.
Buy: Baker Precision
Front Wind Splitter
Because "rubbing is racing" and sometimes mistakes happen, body panels are considered wear items on many race cars. To save on downtime when changing out panels, race cars are often equipped with quick release body fasteners such as these screw-head fasteners or the more common Dzus fastener. Dzus turn-to-lock fasteners allow the release of holding pressure using a simple Dzus wrench or any common coin. Also allows easy inspection of engine and suspension parts commonly hidden behind obstructive body panels. Expect lots of custom mounting for the fastener backing plate.
Buy: Baker Precision
Sequential Shift Lever
Who: Ikeya Formula, Seqshift
Perfect for super-close gated six-speed transmissions, a sequential shift lever virtually eliminates miss-shifts. Fit on top of a standard stock transmission, the sequential lever allows up and down Ikeya-f.co.jp
Flip-up Steering Wheel Hub
Who: Splash Rapfix
Inspired by Super GT racing, the Splash Rapfix GTC steering wheel hub allows vertical tilting of an aftermarket steering wheel. Easy to use, this hub gives the driver more room to climb over roll cage side impact bars or into deeply bolstered racing buckets. Perfect for the street car that uses bucket seats, although it doesn't function as a quick release hub.
Buy: A Spec Products
Titanium Brake Pad Backing Plates
Available for such cars as the 350Z, G35, Sentra, Celica, tC, WRX, Lancer Evolution and many Stoptech specific brake calipers, these titanium backing plates replace the stock pieces and insert between the pads and the caliper pistons. The titanium construction helps insulate and prevent heat transfer from the pad to the caliper. This in turn keeps the brake fluid at a lower temperature and helps with prevention of brake fluid boiling and the resultant mushy pedal. Also keeps heat from destroying dust boots during hard track use.
Quick-Connect Fluid Fittings
Who: Russell Qwik Release
SCCA accepted and used by NASCAR, NHRA and IHRA teams, Russell Qwik Release fittings are available in both NPT and AN sizes. Designed to flow fuel, water, transmission fluid, oil and more, the Qwik Release fittings allow the removal of critical lines in seconds without any tools, with the same quality found in standard Russell fittings. Valved versions are available to prevent any loss of fluid when the fitting is disconnected. Fittings, hose ends, adaptors and transmission line kits are available. There is no faster way to swap or remove your engine when you're at the track.